Apr 23, 2010, 11:02 AM EDT
The current religion of the NBA is that Michael Jordan is the best player ever. He is THE GOAT. Not up for debate. He won six titles, scored at will, was the best defender ever, lifted the NBA to new heights, cured polio and invented the cell phone.
“(Jordan’s) certainly right there with anybody and he may be (the greatest). But the people who say it’s obvious and everything else….. I think maybe don’t know enough history,” Van Gundy said.
“I think one of the really tough things is to compare players from generation to generation. The game has changed a great deal. He’s the best player by far since I’ve been in the league. I came in the early 90′s when he was in his prime. I think in the last 20, 25 years, he’s the best.
“But to me, the two other guys I think of are Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain… the things they did.”
Somebody is going to try to call SVG out on this, but they will look the fool.
Van Gundy makes a key point — because of television we have the achievements of Jordan seared into our brain. We have a visual record, one we can access at any time. On the other hand, we know that Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double one season, but we don’t have it in our collective conscious in the same way. We know Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game, but all we have is a picture of him holding up a hand-written sign with 100 on it.
Funny thing is, in 20 years, people will feel the same way about LeBron (or maybe Kevin Durant). And how dare you bring up some guy named MJ to question the conventional wisdom.
- Three things about Game 2: Tony Parker is that good but Randolph, Grizzlies figuring it out 0
- Spurs need overtime in Game 2 to beat Grizzlies, take a 2-0 series lead 0
- Cavaliers bask in another lottery victory 5
- For second time in three years Cavaliers win NBA draft lottery 33
- PBT Extra: Eastern Conference Finals preview time 3
- Report: Dwight Howard will consider multiple teams in free agency, is said to be most intrigued by the Rockets (121)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (88)
- Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen says LeBron would “kick Jordan’s ass” (75)
- Bradley Beal said he’d lose respect for a teammate who acted like Derrick Rose (67)
- Seattle group releases statement; forced to wait, hope for expansion (64)
- Sharks pull even with Kings
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- Spurs survive Grizzlies' late run, win in OT
- PHT: Bruins rally in third, put Rangers in 3-0 hole
- PFT: Jim Harbaugh to drive Indy 500 pace car
- Durant pledges $1 million for tornado victims
- GTC: Garcia offers Tiger 'fried chicken' for dinner
- Play Video: Metta World Peace the weatherman
- Play Video: Eastern Conference finals preview
- Play Video: Heat gearing for another physical battle
- Play Video: Phil Jackson compares MJ and Kobe
- Play Video: Grizzlies ready for 'running' Spurs
- Play Video: Durant won't 'compromise himself' like other stars