Unguarded

Have you heard of the book Unguarded by Scotty Pippen.

I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to.

In the book, according to the sports experts, Scottie Pippen trashes Michael Jordan.

In essence what Pippen is saying is that he, Scottie Pippen, was just as important to the Bulls’ championships as was Michael Jordan.

I agree.

I am glad that Scottie Pippen is standing up for himself.

It must be aggravating to be overlooked.

Sometimes, you have to stand up and speak the truth.

Of course, this will mean nothing to the commentators on ESPN who are hopelessly misguided.

One only needs to watch their programs over the years to see how misguided they are.

ESPN commentators constantly fixate on who might be the greatest basketball player of all time.

It’s a fetish for them.

Many of them came of basketball age after 1980, so the names of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor are completely off their radar.

You would think that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would warrant discussion, but if you thought that, you would be wrong.

In truth, there is no greatest basketball player ever.

The logic of the ESPN broadcaster in determining the greatest player ever is flawed.

Much of their basis for determining the greatest player rests in how many championships a particular player has won.

Let’s be more specific and ask a question.

If Michael Jordan had landed with the Philadelphia 76ers and had won only one NBA championship, would he be considered one of the greatest basketball players ever?

It’s doubtful that the ESPN sports commentator would consider him at all.

Therefore, what the ESPN commentator is saying is that the number of championships won is important to them in making their decision.

Do you follow me?

If that is the case, then let me ask you this question: Is basketball played one on five?

It is not.

A complementary, not a supporting, cast is required.

Without Scottie Pippen, it would have been impossible for Michael Jordan to win six championships.

The ESPN sports commentator will state that Michael Jordan made everybody on the team better.

Yes, and it can also be stated that his fellow players made him better.

They did so by putting Jordan in a position to be the shot maker he was.

Players do not operate in a vacuum. The game of basketball is a team game.

Teams win, and teams lose.

It is not an individual sport.

Michael Jordan’s standing in the basketball world was enhanced by the championships and the team which enabled him to win those championships.

Scottie Pippen is absolutely correct in pointing that out.

Yet we live within a superstar culture that demands that we elevate people to the status of demigods.

Michael Jordan is one of those demigods.

He is a false demigod, and a dangerous one at that.

Michael Jordan’s elevation to the status of a demigod has hurt many teams not only in basketball but in others sports as well.

Teams and general managers now look to draft the next Michael Jordan. They expect the next Michael Jordan.

The problem comes when the draftee is not the next Michael Jordan.

Young recruits and draftees are no longer permitted to develop.

If they don’t work out within 15 nanoseconds, they are dispatched to the waste heap of history.

You see this time and time again in the NFL. And other professional sports.

Young players, only 22 years of age, are expected to perform like a finished Michael Jordan. When they don’t, they are tarred and feathered, placed upon a rocket sled and jetted out of town, and the sooner the better.

Fans actually cheer when failing Michael Jordan wannabes are run out of town on a rail.

Consequently, many teams founder about, always searching for the brass ring, always searching for the next Michael Jordan, never finding it.

Such teams would be better off taking a healthier approach, by viewing players as complementary pieces guided by a team approach.

To be quite frank that’s what Michael Jordan was – a complementary player.

He was not Jesus Christ. He was not a superstar. He was a member of a team. He was also not infallible.

Had the Bulls not won those championships, had Scottie Pippen not been with the team, we wouldn’t even be talking about Michael Jordan today.

This is not to diminish Jordan’s basketball playing skills, but to put perspective on his accomplishments.

We need to do this because it is the superstar culture that is killing our society.

Sincerely,

Archer Crosley

Copyright 2021 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved