Good things never last. Mitch Williams had a blog and then he got fired and his blog went bye-bye. I've lost Joe Morgan, Jay Mariotti has disappeared, and Rick Reilly stopped writing. But there is hope on the horizon. Now apparently Luther Campbell has a column he writes on a semi-regular basis. Yes, that Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew. He writes. Hat tip to the reader who only I know by his email address, so I won't hand it out here, for alerting me to Campbell's columns and the specific column he wrote about LeBron James and Michael Jordan. So Luther has taken time away from 2 Live Crew (I'm kidding, I have no idea if he even works with them anymore) to talk about how LeBron James is already better than Michael Jordan. Why? Because. And yes, Campbell is still going by "Uncle Luke" which is starting to seem a little creepier to me as time goes by for some reason. Here is the picture that accompanies this column. 1989 Luther Campbell would not be impressed with 2014 Luther Campbell.
Last week, in game four of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James broke Michael Jordan's playoff record for most games with at least 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Best of all-time based on these arbitrarily picked statistics.
As the Heat heads to the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row, it's
time to admit that James has now taken Jordan's place as the greatest of
all time. But you will never hear the
former-players-turned-commentators admit it.
NO ONE WILL ADMIT THAT WHICH ISN'T PROVEN TO BE TRUE YET!
Guys like Steve Kerr (who recently left TV to coach Golden State), Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal will never give LeBron the crown.
That's only because the crown has to be earned and LeBron hasn't earned it yet. We must protect this HOUSE!
Barkley and friends all played in the Jordan era and are endorsed by Michael. They wouldn't say anything to make him mad.
This is as opposed to Uncle Luke who is totally neutral on this subject since Campbell lives in Miami, has long been affiliated with Miami teams and LeBron played for the Heat at the time. Not that Campbell would take the opinion of a homer while calling out others for their biases. Never.
LeBron has surpassed Jordan in every facet of the game, though. Jordan
had to learn to pass the ball, but finding the open man is part of
LeBron's instinct since he was winning championships at the high school
Jordan's five highest assist totals per game came when he was 25, 26, 28, 21, and 24 years of age. His five lowest assist totals per game came when he was 22, 39, 34, 33, and 32 years of age. So the statistics don't exactly bear out that Jordan had to learn to pass. In fact, it says the opposite is true. Maybe his teammates forgot how to make shots. Out of LeBron's five highest assist totals per game, only one of those seasons was with the Miami Heat. It goes to prove LeBron did have the instincts to pass, but as his teammates got better his assists when down, which also happened with Jordan. That's pretty interesting to me.
More importantly, much of Luther Campbell's case for LeBron over Jordan is based on the fact LeBron is a better all-around player. I think that's true, but it doesn't mean LeBron is better than Jordan...yet.
Every dunk Jordan did, LeBron can do better.
Irrelevant. Though if this were relevant to this discussion, it would also be relevant to point out Jordan went up against the best dunkers of his era in the Slam Dunk Contest and beat them. LeBron has not done that.
He can cover five positions on the court, even center. Jordan couldn't do that.
Shaquille O'Neal can't play any other position but center or power forward. It doesn't mean Shawn Marion is a better player than O'Neal.
Off the court, LeBron is a better teammate than Jordan was. Michael
would never have visited a teammate having a poor series to cheer him up
like LeBron (and Dwyane Wade) did with Chris Bosh.
In terms of irrelevant points regarding which player was better on the court, how sweet and gentle Jordan/LeBron was to his teammates is up there in terms of irrelevancy. Notice how Uncle Luke is conspicuously leaving out the whole "6-0 in the NBA Finals versus 2-3 in the NBA Finals" thing. It's not fair to judge LeBron based on NBA Finals accomplishments only, but if Campbell is going to drag off-the-court kindness, versatility and dunking ability into the discussion, the record in NBA Finals contests becomes more relevant.
Jordan was always flying out to the casinos or wherever he hung out on his own.
Then coming back and winning games anyway. Carry on...
Now we get to the real reason Luther Campbell doesn't like Michael Jordan and won't consider him the best NBA player of all-time. I'll give you a hint, it has absolutely nothing to do with Jordan's performance on the court and it's personal.
Whenever the Chicago Bulls came down to play Miami during the Jordan era, all the players would come to my nightclub.
Guess who didn't show up to Uncle Luke's nightclub? GUESS WHO? It's a toughie, so I will give you three guesses. Make them NOW, then scroll down.
The only one who didn't show up was Michael.
What? Such an unexpected turn of events this is! Michael Jordan didn't soothe Luther Campbell's ego, so that's why he isn't the best NBA player of all-time.
Remember back in this column when Campbell said guys like Barkley, Kerr, and Shaq are friends with Michael Jordan, so that's why they claim he's the best NBA player ever? Isn't it possible Campbell is saying Jordan isn't the best NBA player ever because Jordan didn't come to Campbell's nightclub when the Bulls were in town and Campbell is a Heat fan? Maybe? Just a little?
See, Michael Jordan wasn't a good teammate because he wouldn't come to Luther Campbell's nightclub. Only good teammates show up at Uncle Luke's place. Therefore, Jordan isn't a team player.
Jordan never faced the criticism and opinions of ex-players as LeBron has either.
Really? Jordan didn't face the criticism through the many outlets that fans and players have now to express their criticisms and opinions, but he faced criticism. Jordan had an entire book written about what an asshole he could be. Sam Smith wrote that book. Scott Raab wrote "The Whore of Akron" about LeBron. I vividly remember when Jordan wasn't considered good enough to carry a team to the NBA Finals and he wasn't considered enough of an unselfish passer and teammate to make the players around him better. Phil Jackson turned up, Scottie Pippen was drafted, the Bulls surrounded Jordan with good role players and six NBA Finals victories later nobody remembers the negative shit said about Jordan.
Jordan never had to worry about someone like Barkley saying Wilt Chamberlain was the best because he's the only player to score 100 points in one game.
No, Jordan had to worry about everyone saying Magic, Kareem, Larry Bird, Thomas, and other players from his era who had won NBA titles were better than him because they had won multiple NBA titles while Jordan couldn't even get his team to the NBA Finals. But no, I enjoy a little revisionist history where it's pretended that Michael Jordan didn't face criticism about the achievements of other players during his era and their accomplishments compared to his own accomplishments.
Hell, Barkley is the biggest hypocrite. He says LeBron should go back to Cleveland, yet Barkley bounced around teams like a groupie chasing a ring throughout his career.
Barkley played for three teams in his career. Three teams. That's not exactly bouncing around like a groupie throughout his career. But again, Luther Campbell apparently doesn't deal in facts, he deals in hot sports takes.
It's time these hall-of-fame pundits acknowledge LeBron's place in history.
Yes, it's time to induct LeBron into the Basketball Hall of Fame now!
Wait, what? What the hell does the Hall of Fame have to do with whether LeBron is a better NBA player than Michael Jordan? Does Luther Campbell believe Shaq, Barkley, and Steve Kerr are saying LeBron James won't be in the Hall of Fame after he retires? "LeBron's place in history" will probably include induction into the Hall of Fame, who is denying this? I'm very confused, but I'm not as confused as Luther Campbell seems to be.