Great to hear from you, my friend.
I hope you and your family are staying safe.
The bubble was fantastic, but the NBA is terrible telling their story. As I wrote at the time, after the Lakers won the title, some idiot interviewed LeBron and Davis and asked LeBron about the GOAT converation within the first 5 minutes, followed by a question about Davis' free agency destination.
I've learned so much about the nuances of the game from watching Laker Film Room videos and listening to their podcasts. That's what the announcers need to break down during games, not having Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson complain about the refs, or listening to former players complain about the younger ones.
My theory on LeBron vs Jordan is simple. Most of the people controlling the NBA narrative media grew up watching Jordan. Like all kids and teenagers, we fixate on the thing that meant the most to us during our developmental years.
For me, it was all about West, Kareem and Magic. Jordan was just the latest flavor of MVP, not a god.
Also, Jordan didn't get involved in politics, so he wasn't hated by white conservatives the way black athletes in the Civil Rights movement were reviled.
Jordan also enjoyed the last time when the press respected athletes and didn't report all the terrible things he did.
There was no internet to replay cell phone videos of him berating or fighting his teammates.
But we sure have videos of Kobe calling his teammates shit and "as soft as toilet paper."
LeBron's only mistake was The Decision, followed by the introduction of the Heat when he said "not one, not two, not three..." saying they would win seven championships.
He said 7 for a reason. He had already set his sights on Jordan. I think the Jordan cultists picked up on that so he became the number one focus of their hatred, because nobody wants to see their childhood hero displaced in the record books.
I was never a huge LeBron fan until I saw the photo of him and the Heat wearing hoodies after the Trayvon Martin murder.
Then I read his letter to announce coming back to bring a championship to Cleveland.
Then I watched his play against the invincible Warriors. He was performing on an other wordly level.
Then he built a school in Akron.
Finally, when he came to the Lakers, I watched him in every game and finally understood his greatness as a passer.
From a stylistic perspective, everything I hate about basketball (ball-hogging isolation play, trash talking, and getting away with fouls because you are the face of the league) is symbolized by players like Jordan and Harden. Even Kobe would drive me crazy at times, and he was a Laker.
While LeBron does get his share of calls, he is not immortalized for blatantly pushing off a Utah defender when he hit the game winning shot to win the 1998 NBA championship.
It's like the Maradona hand of god goal. I hate shit like that where players win by cheating (regardless of whether it is intentional or accidental).
LeBron will be known forever by his chase down block on Iguodala's fastbreak layup that helped win Game 7 against the greatest regular season team of all time.
I'm not saying LeBron is the GOAT, but Jordan is not the GOD. LeBron, Jordan, and Kareem standout as the greatest players of all time, with Magic, Bird, Russell and Wilt in the second tier.
And the hatred is even worse because LeBron is a now wearing the purple and gold.