Blog Entry

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Posted on: June 17, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 4:18 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young

LeBron James is 26 years old. He's got at least five to seven more years of basketball in his prime which means he has quite a bit of time to re-write all this legacy talk that's dominated headlines over the past week.

So he lost in the NBA Finals. For a second time. Doesn't mean he's got to retire a loser forever now.

Nobody keeps perspective quite like the former all-time greats. They understand what it means to be a champion and the road it takes to get there. Isiah Thomas came to LeBron's defense saying James is just going through things that all stars go through. And Larry Bird -- who when The Basketball Jesus speaks, you listen -- said not to worry too much about LeBron because his time will come. Via Sports Radio Interviews, Bird was asked if he feels bad for LeBron because of all the recent criticism:
“He brought a lot of it on himself, but here’s what I feel about LeBron: he’s as good as anyone that’s ever played this game. I think he’s going to win a lot of titles; I think he’s going to continue to get better. To me, he’s an amazing athlete, he’s never been hurt, he’s got the body of a football player and he’s got skill. I just think he’s off the charts good.

And I think his time is going to come. I think they did a remarkable job in Miami this year bringing that team together and getting where they got. They’ll get better next year. Their time is going to come if he stays healthy, and he’s going to have a lot of success in this league and win championships.”
People like me can say that stuff like that over and over, but when Larry Legend says it, it makes a lot more impact. LeBron's time will come. He's too good for it not to.

Bird sort of took the Scottie Pippen side of things saying LeBron is "as good as anyone that's played this game." And in terms of pure talent, I don't think you can really disagree. But LeBron's not the total package yet. He's got work to do and rings to win before anyone is willing to place him anywhere near an all-timers list.

But there's a lot of time left and a lot of chapters left to be written in the LeBron Legacy. I wouldn't write him off quite yet.
Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

 He's just not a winner. he's Just not a champion. He's just not Kobe, 

Can you let Lebrons career progress as Kobes has, and give him a chance to be everything you just mentioned he is not?  Its just ridiculous to me how people call his career a failure when he is just getting started.  Jordan was 28 when he won his frist title for crying out loud, but im most certain everyone was not calling his career a failure, and how he is not a winner when he was 26.  Think before you type plz.



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

As for the age thing compared to Jordans championship runs, it really does not apply. Jordan was 27 when he won his first, but he didn't have Lebron's experience in the NBA as he went to college, and lets not forget also that Jordan wasn't even the #1 pick. Actually not even the 2nd pick. Lebron was touted as the #1 pick in the NBA when he was in the 10th grade!
Thanks for saying that. It gets old hearing folks compare it by the age every time. Media does it the most and completely neglect the fact Jordan played college ball so at this age Lebron James has more NBA experience then Jordan did. Always a silly way of comparing who has done what at which point of time. Things aren't like they were back then. 

LBJ compares himself to Jordan, simply because he grew up watching, like most of us youngins, Jordan dominate as the best player in history.
Honestly I don't think he does. WE as fans and the media compare him to Jordan. We do that to everyone who has a skillset sort of similar. But truth is he is more of a combination of a Jordan, Magic and Pippen. He's not as aggressive as Jordan, never was and never wished to be. He is the type that actually enjoys getting others involved while a Jordan, a Wade or Kobe Bryant want to take over and control the game and push their presence upon it. That's their personalities. They are true closers. James never played that way until he HAD to with the Cavaliers. When he first began folks said he was too passive. Well, that's how he played coming up. 

I think by joining the Heat he sought that again. He never asked for the entire package to be placed upon his shoulders so for that I am understanable. At the same time he has to know he put it on himself with the Decision and that Miami celebration before the season started. It just was a bit too much. 








sman2011
Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:49 pm
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sman2011
Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:45 pm
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Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Seriously you think we didnt have mass media in the 70's and 80's? We didn't have twitter and facebook true, but we had TV and interviews and real reporting and real newspaper articles as well. The players of that time that had the same attitude as James are well documented. Some of them won and others did not, but theie personalities were out there just the same. And with todays mass media Mikey it is odd that you are so misinformed about what Lebron has said and done. He most certainly has compared himself and placed himself above all that you say he has not, and great players have compared Wade to other great players. Don't get me wrong, I hope something clicks and Lebron gets it and becomes all that he can be, but right now he just isn't. I appreciate your passion as a LEbron fan but the fact i that Wade is a winner. He has won a championship for Miami, he has played hurt and been a warrior and he gets credit from the Heat fans for recruiting James and Bosh to come there. There is no denying he is the chosen son of Miami, and until somone takes that away he will be. James only chance of changing that would be if Wade got hurt and Lebron took over a playoffs and carried the team on his shoulders to a championship, which is possible, but not likely. As all Hea fans know, without Wade, rightnow, they may not even make the playoffs.



Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Why do people keep using his initials as LBJ?  His middle name is Raymone.  If you want to use his initials its LRJ.  Just sayin..



Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

I agree with Bird, but its not about Lebron. He is not capable of winning a championship by himself or he would have stayed in Cleveland where year by year they gave him more and more to work with. Just as Bird could not win the NCAA Championship by himself against 3 All Americans and first round picks, even though he was by far the superior player on the court at that time, with all due respect to Ervin Johnson.

Make no mistake, the Miami Heat are a formidable force and barring injury they should win at least one title, and probably 2-3. They simply are that talented, and with the rookie salary cap they can fill in the holes thay made by committing so much to the big 2 1/2 with cheaper rookie labor. They didn't win this year for all the reasons stated, but they also didn't win it because their coach is pretty useless. You know what the badpart is for Lebron? When they do win a title, unless Lebron does somehow dominate the series, he will nto get credit for it. This is and will always be Wade's team. All the bad will always fall on Lebron and Bosh, and all the good will always be heaped on Wade. he won a title without them, and both put together they ar not the force that Shaq was on that championship team.

As for the age thing compared to Jordans championship runs, it really does not apply. Jordan was 27 when he won his first, but he didn't have Lebron's experience in the NBA as he went to college, and lets not forget also that Jordan wasn't even the #1 pick. Actually not even the 2nd pick. Lebron was touted as the #1 pick in the NBA when he was in the 10th grade!

It has to be tough when you have been told you ar the heir apparent for so long when it doesn't happen right away. I am guessing that some time this off season or maybe next that he is going to figure out it's not all simply about skills or talent and that it is a team game. I think he will also figure out at some point that had he realized this earlier, he could have won a title in Cleveland and that was his chance at a legacy. Not running to Miami to be Wade's wing man.



Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:22 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

you didnt have internet and the mass media when all them guys played so you dont know how they worried about their legacy and I dont hear LeBron talking about his legacy it is others that compare him to Jordan and the like. Then you have the idiots who say he is a sidekick to D wade and its Wades team (not saying you said it because I agree with most of ur post) but yet its Lebrons fault they lost but its D #Wades team? hmmm. Well you dont hear Scottie Pippen or Laryy Bird saying D Wade is as good as Jordan or anyone ever do you?



Since: Apr 30, 2008
Posted on: June 18, 2011 2:39 am
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Crosshairs, a very well written thread. I'm impressed and i am not the easiest person to impress. I agree with you almost  whole heartedly, however while yes LeBron James has the offensive skills to be a great player i do not think he has the mentality to be one of the greatest.

 It takes mental toughness and, belief (not cockiness) in yourself in pressure situations. I do not believe that James possess' that. Like so many other players that could go out and will victory out of the jaws of certain defeat.

 Such as players like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain,Larry Bird,Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, etc. i swear i have seen those players do such incredible things on the court, that sometimes i have to watch old games just to convince myself i was not dreaming, or tripping on old age. No James has the skills he just does not have the mental strength to be in the class of the afore mentioned players.

 I may be wrong but, until he goes out and proves me wrong and, scores of others besides myself but, mainly to his self he will be just another player that could have been great. My self i do not think he can do it.

 You are usually born with mental toughness it is not something that you learn, that is the reason i think he will never achieve super star greatness. This is the only thing Larry Bird has ever said i disagree with.

                                                                 PEACE       



Since: May 10, 2011
Posted on: June 17, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

If you keep on eye on things long enough you will see great players come an go.  As a youngster I watched the likes of Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Wilt the Stilt and on up to today.  I don't remember any of those guys being so concerned with their legacy as LeBron.  They just came out and took care of business.  Russell is among any and every greatest of all time discussions because of what he brought to the Celtics dynasty.  He was a physically gifted athlete who was maybe the greatest "help" defender ever.  His teammates could all take aggressive chances defensively knowing that Bill would be there to help if they just yelled "Hey Bill".  He was quick enough to help and get back on any subsequent open man so their defense wouldn't break down and give up easy scores.  That gave Boston the ability to play shut down defense at the end of close games and that is how Championships were won then AND today.  Perform at that level over a career and you have a legacy.


LeBron has the individual skills and ability to perform at that level.  He just has to come out and take care of business... year after year.  It has turned off most NBA fans of any ilk other than Heat fans to see the way the Heat handled the addition of James and Bosh.  The way they brashly promised multiple championships... as if every other team would just fall before them like wheat to the harvester.  Well the Mavs must not have been watching when they aired the Decision, or maybe they were.  But as a Cubs fan I am aware of the fact that there has always been a next year and another chance.  After uttering the words "I can taste it" after their game three victory at Dallas.  I am wondering how it tasted to lose again and whether that is enough to motivate the kind of focus it takes to win a championship.  He succumbed to to many distractions... a perceived bad call upset him too much at times and a host of other things like the media and fans misunderstanding him.  You have to move past those things and keep on taking care of business like the Mavs did and all the other championship teams before them.  Do that enough over a career and you have a legacy.  Succumb to the distractions stay too full of yourself and you flirt with disaster.  Just ask another brilliantly gifted athlete with a legacy in his sights from the beginning by the name of Eldrick Woods.  Think he might have any advice about sticking to taking care of business for LeBron. 


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