News: The greatest of all time: does anyone compare to Jordan?
Story by Staff Sgt. Roger RyDell Daniels
FORT STEWART, Ga. - For more than a week, I’ve heard a lot of talk on the radio and television about Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday and comparing him with current players.
Every year, about this time, people do the same thing and they always get the same result - no one compares to Michael Jordan.
All of the debate got me to thinking about who is the best player of all time. But, with so many who have played basketball, how can one person be considered the greatest of all time?
How can it be defined? Is it scoring? Is it the number of championships? What criteria should be used?
Did you know Michael Jordan is not the all-time leader in scoring or championships, but he is the most popular?
Kareem Abdul Jabbar has the most points with 38,387 and Bill Russell has the most championships with 11. Jordan is third in scoring with 32,292 and has six championships.
Because the debate will always be out there, I’ll offer you the Daniels’ All-time list of greatest basketball players by position.
Looking at my list, the center and point guard positions were the two hardest to select a group of ten. Here’s my list, in no particular order:
Centers: Jabbar, Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robertson, Elvin Hayes, Patrick Ewing and Wes Unseld.
Point guards: Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isaiah Thomas, Oscar Robertson, Walt Frazier, Bob Cousy, Gary Payton, Steve Nash, Jerry West and Chris Paul.
Shooting guards: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Pete Maravich, Allen Iverson, John Havlicek, Reggie Miller, Clyde Drexler, Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen.
Small Forwards: Larry Bird, LeBron James, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Durant, Alex English, Charles Barkley, Bernard King and Dominique Wilkins
Power Forwards: Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Kevin McHale, Elvin Hayes, Elgin Baylor, Willis Reed, Dirk Nowitzki and Dennis Rodman.
You can take most of those players and have a really good discussion about who is the greatest of all time – behind Jordan, of course.
The NBA held its all-star activities this past weekend, but I only watched a small portion of it. On Sunday, when the game was being aired, I was flipping through the channels and came across the Melrose Games, an indoor track and field meet, and started watching it.
I’m always amazed at people who run fast -- mostly because I can’t.
There were records falling one after another. A 16-year-old high school girl broke the high school record in the mile by running it in a little over four minutes, twenty-seven seconds. The announcers said she also broke the two-mile record previously by some 17 seconds. After her, several other people broke records, including two in one race: the men’s adult and high school two-miles.
I’m in awe over that two-mile race because this 38-year-older broke the American record by running about eight minutes and nine seconds. The high-school runner did it in about eight minutes and thirteen seconds.
If we were running the APFT together, both of those guys would cross the finish line about the same time I’m turning around at the halfway mark.
Now that’s hard for me to accept.
Things that may only interest me
How exciting is it that NASCAR is back in action?
Danica Patrick won the pole position, the first woman to do so. Great news, but no pole sitter has won the race since 2000. Good luck to her.
I’m not picking a winner because I believe it’s the hardest sport to predict. It’s always one of the toughest sports to win.
How tough is professional racing? Imagine driving 195 mph for four hours while 40 other drivers less than an inch from your rear bumper. The average time difference between the winner and the 10th place finisher is a measly .85 seconds.
That's some good driving.
I wish I can bump draft in Hinesville.