I like First Take, although I believe it's a bit staged now and then to play to some key words that each person likes to say like "So Disrespectful". Skip Bayless grinds my gears more times than not, but all in all, I believe it is an entertaining show. First Take, like every other sports related outlet, are major Michael Jordan fans and they love the man to death. Every chance they get, they try to compare Lebron James to him or they tout his abilities on the court when he was still playing the game. Personally, this is where I draw conflict with not only First Take, but every other sports channel outlet that chooses to tout Michael Jordan as the best Basketball player to ever play the game without there being so much of a mention of some of the other players who have ever played the game of basketball. I, like everyone else, think that Jordan is one of the best basketball players ever, but I feel that Michael Jordan is hands down one of the most overrated basketball players to ever play the game. Earlier I mentioned first take and this is why:
First Take - Michael Jordan calls out Lebron James (via mrtamnus too)
In this video, they talk about the possibility of Michael Jordan coming back at the age of 50. Skip Bayless, being the biggest Michael Jordan fan to ever lives actually says that a 50 year old Jordan could give Lebron James a run for his money. I know I shouldn't take it to heart, but this is the type of crap that drives me insane about the conversation about Jordan. It's like we are not allowed to say that he had/has flaws and he's the second coming. Now, before you crucify me for mentioning overrated in the same sentence as Jordan. Below, I will tell you explain to you why Jordan is not only overrated, but one of the most overrated players to ever play.
The first reason why I believe Jordan is overrated is because of Rings. Whenever you ask someone why Jordan is better than Kobe or Lebron, they will 9 times out of 10 tell you being Jordan has 6 rings and that is more rings than both Lebron and Kobe. Let me make this clear from the jump, Championship Rings are not an individual player's accomplishment and nor would it ever be, but lets entertain the conversation. Right now, including Jordan, there are 13 players that have 6 or more Champion Rings in NBA history. Out of the 13 players that have 6 or more championships, there are 9 players that have more rings than Jordan, so does that mean that Jordan is the 10th best player of all time?
Here are all 13 of them players (Source is from Wikipedia)
So, let me further sink this theory that rings define a player. Derek Fisher has 5 rings as of right now, so does that make him better than Tony Parker? No! Does that make him better than Chris Paul? No! Does that mean that he's on the same level as Kobe Bryant? No! as Championship Rings are of course a big part of seeing what type of player a player is, but it does not and should not be the end all be all of a conversation, but for some reason it's OK when it's Jordan, stop it!
After I have destroyed that part of the discussion, for some reason Jordan fans like to come back at me and say Jordan did it by himself. This argument has been made plenty of times to me and each time I have laughed out of my mind because it it's completely not true, but once again I will entertain it. Here's a list of players that Jordan played with on the duration of the Bulls getting them 6 rings.
Both Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman are Hall of Famers so that myth is already destroyed, but then people like to point out that Jordan made these players better and even Rodman and Pippen into Hall of Famers which is just not true. Rodman had already made his mark in the league far before he got with the Bulls and Jordan. Pippen was a great defender and rebounder. And if you say Jordan made Pippen better, then how come, when Jordan retired the first time, Pippen had had better numbers in shooting percentage and scoring average the year after Jordan retired as opposed to the prior year? Exactly, if you state that Jordan made the other 3 players better, you are also wrong because Jordan was not the primary ball handler for the bulls in those days, Scottie was. Let me enlighten you, Jordan could not play with a traditional point guard because Jordan needed to being to slash to the goal. Why you ask, well that simple, Jordan sucked at shooting in the earlier parts of his career. He was about as bad as Lebron was when he entered the league, so he need to get the the goal to be effective. Which is why their actual Point Guards were pretty much spot up shooters, which Pippen hit when they need the ball. Jordan did not understand the meaning of hitting players in their sweet spot, even Phil Jackson said this. Jordan would argue with coaches about touches and his shots because Jordan was a SHOOTING GUARD. Then people always like to say when I'm making this point that Pippen didn't win any Championships without Jordan which is true, but Jordan never won one without Pippen either. Jordan even said that he wouldn't play with Pippen many times. And if Jordan made Pippen so much, why did Pippen have his best years without Jordan? In 1995,Pippen became the 2nd player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. This was without Jordan...
The last reason why Jordan is overrated is because how valuable he is seen by the general public. Now, I will not deny that Jordan was very valuable to the Bulls teams because he was, but he wasn't the most valuable player to ever live by any stretch and I will prove it. Who, in your mind, is more valuable to their team, Jordan or Lebron? If you said Jordan, you are wrong and here's how. The season after the first time Jordan retired, many analysts project that the Bulls would fall out of race because they had lost Jordan and this was logical at the time, but they were wrong. In actuality, the Bulls only lost 2 more games the following year without Jordan than they did the year before with him and would have probably won the whole thing if not for some horrible calls in the Knicks series, like this one:
NBA 1994 Playoffs game 5: Knicks and Bulls: The ending (via Emanuelknicks)
Now, we go to Lebron. The season before Lebron left Cleveland, the Caveliers had the best record in the NBA and made it to the Conference Finals before they would lose. The following season, the Cavaliers would post the worst record they have ever had since the 02-03 season with a 19-63 record. You can say that more players left Cleveland than just Lebron that year, but can you tell me with them they don't make the playoffs and go deep that year, no. That is just one example, now look at other legends like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson the years after they left and it gets even worse when you talk about his value.
I respect Michael Jordan and think he is anywhere between the best player ever and a top 3 player, depending on your criteria. But from the criteria that I often here, which I have discussed above, Jordan is by far one of the most overrated players to ever play the game. This in turn, for me, makes Scottie Pippen
one of the the most underrated players of all time.
I look forward to the debate and hope you bring logical arguments to the conversation. Thanks for reading...