I read somewhere LB James legacy rests on whether or not they win this series against the San Antonio Spurs.
Once again, basketball talking heads blurting out nonsense.
In this blogger’s opinion, LB James legacy is clear: Superstar, Hall-of-Famer and one of the top players of all time. If you’re a 4-time Most Valuable Player, your legacy is secure. It’s only sportscasters who’ve equated team success with heroball and one-man shows who even bother putting the man’s legacy in question.
And then again, some guys get heat on them because they don’t win at the right time. Camelo Anthony, ball hog. Doesn’t make his teammates better. Isn’t a winner. But Carmelo Anthony won a NCAA championship in his only year as a collegian; carrying his team to victory on his back. Actually, that’s a much harder feat than winning an NBA title.
Many players didn’t win titles but were Hall-of-Famers and among the game’s greats. Stockton and Malone didn’t win titles. Neither did know-it-all bandwagoner Reggie Miller. Elgin Baylor, George Gervin. Charles Barkley, Bob Lanier, Patrick Ewing or a whole lot of great, Hall-of-Fame players don’t have titles. I don’t get it. Sports media does a lot of things wrong and shaping arguments like even posing the idea if a player doesn’t have a legacy of transcendental greatness without winning a team event, they are less of a player.
Jerry Krause said “Players and coaches alone don’t win championships, organizations win championships.” It’s very true. Sometimes an organization won’t push all their chips into the center of the table. Sometimes an organization just doesn’t want to take a financial loss. A lot of organizations don’t care about winning.
You know what BSP likes to see? We like to see organizations push their chips to the center of the table. We like how San Antonio has traded picks and players to get players to hopefully push them over the hump. We admire how the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team I despise, has made huge deals to try and win Cups, but went down in flames trying. The New York Yankees turned almost all their profit in trying to get players to help them win. Remember the Florida Marlins have two MLB titles? Do we even remember who played on those two teams? Maybe not, but we know they lost $30-$40M in their first World Series win.
A player winning titles is admirable, but shouldn’t be a focus of greatness. Ron Harper has five titles. So does Steve Kerr. A gang of guys you likely never heard of won five titles. There’s a number of stiffs who’ve won titles by having decent careers, making a ton of money then sitting at the end of a bench for a title winner. And then there’s the guy who is an replaceable part on a winning team. Think Luc Longley or Bill Wennington.
Winning titles does not make a player great, nor cement his legacy. It’s like adding a second scoop of ice cream to a hot apple pie. a la mode.