Thursday, October 20


Come on, you all know me. It's Andy, your friendly local Cleveland sports fan and advocate of all things Cleveland. I've lived Downtown for four years now - I've got the cred. I'm laying this out at the beginning here because I have to, once again, defend LeBron James. I know. Trust me, I'm as disdainful of #6 as anyone - my lone appearance on consisted of two anti-#6 statements, one serving as a Trojan Horse within which I hid a dig at the Steelers. Score.

But Magic Johnson's recent comments while speaking at the University of Albany have me rallying to the former Cavalier's defense, because, well, I can't stand bad logic.

There's going to always be great players in basketball.
No wonder ABC pays this guy so much.

There's going to always be guys who win championships in the NBA, except LeBron ..."
Does this make any sense? The first part is obvious - there will always be guys winning championship, with the possible notable exception of this season. Yes, a championship team emerges every year and guys are usually on that team winning. But the second, part, "except LeBron" - does that mean every guy in the NBA but LeBron wins? This is horribly phrased.

Everybody's always asking, "Who is better between Kobe and LeBron?' I'm like, Are you kidding me? I'm like you're kidding me ... Kobe, five championships; LeBron, zero.
This tiresome thing again, where ability and success are measured only in championships, as if basketball were not a team game. Put Shaq in his prime on the last few Cavs teams #6 played on and see if there aren't a few more banners in the Q.

Plus, he's not being very specific here. If the person asks Magic who's had the better career, then clearly it's Kobe Bryant, and the five championships do indeed have much (not all) to do with that. I can't see anyone arguing otherwise. But if the person says, "who's better?" meaning who's better now, it's obviously #6, championships be damned. Magic himself has five - does that mean he's better than LeBron today? Of course not, though he indisputably had a better career. I guarantee you even an ego fiend like #6 would acknowledge that he hasn't matched the careers of either Laker great.

And trust me, if anyone's asking Magic the question he references, they mean at the present time, and his answer and reasoning are way, way off base.

I love the young man though. I know he's going to get better in the fourth quarter this year.
The fourth quarter of what, pickup games?

I'm not hating on LeBron
A statement like this is usually a sign that you are indeed hating on someone.

Come on, man, six championships for Jordan. You know that Michael averaged over 30points every playoff series? Don't try to touch that."
'96 Finals vs Seattle: 27.3 ppg. I only looked up one to prove Magic wrong. Gotcha journalism! Also, if Kobe wins one more, is he exactly as good as MJ by your simple-minded metric?

But that's not the point. Johnson's arguing a straw man here - not one person thinks #6 is better than was #23. Seriously, find me one. But I don't like the close here, "don't try to touch that." What if #6 steps it up, wins seven titles, and matches Jordan's performance? He's not even supposed to try? I hope the guy wins zero, of course, but Magic's totally lost me here.

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