I stand corrected.

And how.

A little over a year ago, I commented how I thought it was unwise to compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan. Of Jordan, I said:

I don’t think he would have flaunted his awesomeness in such a classless way, regardless of  his personal preferences.”

He certainly didn’t when I was watching him on TV. At least not in public where people would comment about it. But after reading part of the transcript and then a review of his Hall of Fame acceptance speech by the reporter who has likely covered him the longest, I realized I may have been wrong. Reeeally wrong.  This all happened last week…where have I been? I didn’t even hear about it.

Anyway, I read another story, and then this one with an opposing viewpoint (there were several others in support of the speech as well).

Of this I am certain: he is arguably the best player to ever hit the NBA. Maybe even the best player ever, anywhere, at any sport. But I also agree with a comment on one of the stories: “Great men do not need to stomp on those around them to make themselves [appear] taller.”

And stomp he did. From his high school and UNC coaches, fellow players and other acquaintances, to his own family — no one was spared. It was as if he finally got his turn to purge all the pent-up grudges and bitterness, saved and documented since the 1980s. It was just sad that he had to do it at a ceremony designed to honor his amazing career.

Maybe he could have written a tell-all book instead. Spill all the poison there.

Then again, he doesn’t have to be nice; he’s a great athlete. That’s the conventional acquiescence nowadays, anyhow. Same for entertainers and CEOs. If you are at the top of your game, humanity is optional.

Somehow, though, I think the likes of Jerry West, Hank Aaron, Joe Montana and Jackie Robinson might disagree.


PS – Happy Birthday to Rousseau! He’s a big 9-year-old this day, Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yarrrrr!

Photo credit: Nike

7 thoughts on “I stand corrected.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Indeed, Dr. Merchclod. Ya know, they have no real “obligation” to be nice guys, I guess, anymore than anyone else in the world. Being a jerk is not against the law. But I sure wish it was…

  1. Suzanne

    Too bad that Michael Jordan was that way, I would have been shocked too. He’s always seemed to have a lot of class.

    I have to respectfully disagree that he is “Maybe even the best player ever, anywhere, at any sport. ” The Maybe part I agree with. Look at professional bikeriders — in the “Main Events” (Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Tour of Spain) they ride their bikes 4-6 hours a day for 21 days with 2 days off. And on their days off they quite often ride 2-3 hours. Then they take a few weeks off and do it again! Look at Professional Footballers (soccer to you Yanks :-P) who play for 90 minutes straight with 15 minutes break, no body protection except for shin guards and do NOT stop for anything except someone who died or is practically dead on the pitch. Yes playing basketball/American football/baseball takes a lot out of an athlete but most American sporters look like ninnies compared to a lot of worldwide sporters.

    Just MHO. :)

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I defer to rugby and soccer and bike riders! I will say that basketball requires so much finesse, it can basically become an art; amazing to watch. But it’s possible there’s no match for physical and mental toughness between basketball and the 3 other sports. Maybe it’s apples-to-oranges. That’s why I said “maybe.” Gotta allow myself an out.


  2. Stein

    So MJ finally had a microphone site for everybody to listen to his personal feelings about his career, and life, and we hear what comes out. I would probably have said worse, to be quite honest. The man was locked out of an all-star game, cut from his high-school team and refused the next year the right to play varsity. When he finally gets to the big stage he only hears about how little he actually cares about winning a championship instead of his own statistics. Then, after all of the accolades, people only talk about how he played basketball well. We say he is the greatest basketball player due to this stat or that stat. The man had to withstand being shunned, being hated, being told he isn’t worth his talent, just to earn 3 rings, leave the game, come back 2 years later and win 3 more. The articles linked spoke of anger from what some might have from his retirement or inability to win early. Jordan won games single-handedly and his coach yells angrily in his face. Lebron does it and he is treated as the king. Give the man a break. He has faced this nonsense for over 20 years and only now has broken his good-natured publicity to state some deep truths. I don’t buy into the evil-Mike statements.


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