Monday, July 19, 2010

Me v. We and The Pursuit of Excellence

Kelly Dwyer (Ball Don't Lie) finally gets it. Or at least partly.

LeBron, LeCirque, LeDecision, all about me.

LeBron, LeWade,  LeBosh, all about we.

Jordan, His Airness, "his supporting cast". No different from LeCirque, all about me.

It explains, in part, Kwame Brown. Or Adam Morrison. Jordan the exec steadfastly believing His Airness still retains magical powers. Powers that transcend the mortal shackles of due diligence, hard work, collaboration, improved competition, flaws &  imperfection, fear of injury, limited shelf-life, evolving rules & devolving CBAs which made parity the operative paradigm of post-Jordan league and ownership until now -- when league and ownership were powerless to stop 3 x noteworthy players from choosing their next gigs.

Because me v. we isn't an argument to any "serious" adult.

Jordan's concept of competition -- much like Jordan's projection of Holy See infallibility -- was always superficial at best, a media event throughout, but otherwise comical, infantile, Wiley E Cartoonish on your average hair day.

Truth is, Jordan remains a poltergeist-protege of Bobby Knight with only slightly better impulse control.

A once-great player but hardly reliable connoisseur of the "collaboration" required to win today (Gasol/Byum/Odom/Bryant; Garnett/Pierce/Allen/Rondo) .

Or, even, a clear-eyed appraiser of the yesteryear collaborations that defined Jordan's legacy, those of his predecessors, immediate successors or contemporaries (Jordan/Pippen/Kukoc/HoGrant; Magic/Kareem/Worthy/Scott; Bird/McHale/Parrish/Buckner; Robinson/Duncan/Ginobili/Parker; Hakeem/Horry/Drexler/Cassell).

Note: Almost all the players mentioned above were either All-Stars and/or lottery picks (Kukoc would have been a multi All-Star had he entered the league in his prime). More succinctly, "supporting cast" members were anything but pumpkins transformed into coaches thanks to the sheer greatness of His Oneness or similar deities.

Sure, James/Wade may approximate Pippen/Jordan. But is Bosh really closer to Abdul-Jabbar in his prime -- a truly elite big? Or is Bosh, at his current best, more Horry, HoGrant or James Worthy? A still-lesser version of KG when both are healthy?

Point yet taken: Wade/James/Bosh are no different and hardly more money to win it all, all the time, than any championship collaboration before or since Jordan.

The only substantive difference between them/then & they/now: Them/then -- owner-assembled. They/now -- player-decided.

Questions to ex-players like: 3 Kings, approve or disapprove? Nonsense.

More sense, why not ask, for example, a Stockton or Malone: Your choice, stay with teams where management picks your teammates or, pick the team and teammates you want to join?

Who but owners, lords or their lackeys would begrudge 3 x emancipated though well-paid immensely-talented serfs a once-in-lifetime opportunity to determine their own fates? To pursue excellence on their own terms?

So with all respect to His Airness and royal, loyal sycophants -- Thanks but no thanks. Keep your me, we'll keep three.