July 22, 2010

To Be The Man

Can we let it go already?

I understand that people are going to keep asking the questions. I recognize their need to get a soundbyte out there and lay the verbal smackdown on “the decision.”

In the past week, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and countless other NBA legends have lined up to make their sentiments known about the gathering in Miami.

It was a different era, where the players hardly dealt with one another, Magic & Isaiah’s embraces aside, and fought to beat one another senseless. It was also a different era, where the salary cap didn’t exist, free agency was reserved for secondary and tertiary players and where the money didn’t weight you down with an extra zero.

They’re the legends of the game, and while we certainly appreciate their thoughts on the matter, and I don’t know that we’ve been surprised by anything said. The video game titles of the era said it all — “Bird VS. Magic” — “Jordan VS. Bird.”

If anything, maybe it serves as a nice marketing piece to get the names back in the discussion (not that we don’t talk about Michael, Larry & Magic). Maybe it forces new NBA fans that wish to deify a LeBron James to do their homework and go back and watch the DVDs and classic games of the 80s and 90s teams. Maybe it forces them to take off the rose-colored glasses and recognize the history.

You have to give James and company this – we’re 10 days from training camps beginning in earnest, the trade deadline is approaching in MLB and orders for face paint have spiked on college campuses — and we’re talking about the NBA! David Stern can talk about how much he hates the way this was handled and so on, but every day that the NBA takes centerstage is a good day.

In “Highlander,” the mantra was that “there can be only one.”

Well, I guess that that “one” resides in Los Angeles and wears No. 24.

I have a new theory about what caused the powers to converge in Miami. I blame the “participation trophy” mentality.