Daily Czabe: LeBron James Is A Human Cheat Code

Last week in the CzabeCast, I explained that even though the debate between LeBron and Jordan is getting more narrow all the time, the adoration of Jordan over LeBron by my generation is a gap that will never be closed. But so far in these playoffs, LeBron James is wiping out teams like a one-man tsumani of stats and buzzerbeaters, that even old farts like me who have never had a “taste” for LeBron and his millenial style are being converted. In the House of James, I too, have become a witness. The running off-handed high-kiss of death that sent LeBronto into a 3-0 pit of misery (“Dilly, dilly!”) was made possible in part by ghastly coaching (really, Dwayne Casey, there was NOBODY else you would have rather shot that ball?) and also by a wet-behind-the-ears Cameroonian kid Pascal Siakam inexplicably running away from an easy double-team on James in the corner, a good 90 feet from the basket.

Still, LeBron hit the shot. Again. When it comes time to hit the damn shot…. he hits it. C-L-U-T-C-H.

Here are some of the best stats and takes from Saturday night.

The tweet about LeBron being like Tiger 2000 hits home for me, and it is why I will try to split hairs just a bit on the LeBron v. Jordan debate. I can now say without any hesitation: “LeBron James is the BEST basketball player of ALL TIME.” While ALSO holding firm that “Michael Jordan was the GREATEST player in HISTORY.”

Just like I think Tiger Woods is the best golfer to ever play the game, I still hold Nicklaus as the “greatest” player in golf history.

To me, “greatness” is a slightly different cut of meat than just being “the best.” It includes a bunch of intangibles that help a player lift his teammates, will his team to victories, maintain an edge of excellence, and otherwise carry himself with that unmistakeable “air of greatness.” LeBron with his juvenile early years (the handshake skipping, fake-coughing, miserable-life quote, The Decision, bumping Spolstra, being a front-runner, etc. etc.) weigh down his “greatness” factor. Just like Tiger’s asshole persona, lack of sportsmanship in a gentleman’s game, probable steroid usage, and disastrous tabloid scandal, keep him from ever planting his flag atop Mt. Nicklaus when it comes to true “greatness” in the game.

But oh, fuck yeah. Tiger was better. Hell yeah. Just like LeBron is better than Jordan. No doubt in my mind.

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Steve Martin: I Bought A Fur Sink, Electric Dog Polisher…. And Some Dumb Stuff Too

 

 

 

About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on "Bob and Brian" in Milwaukee. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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2 Comments

  1. The funny thing about this LeBron/Jordan stuff is that I remember hating it just as much when they did it when Jordan was in his prime. When the question was Bird or Magic, at least there was some fun debate going back and forth. But when they started declaring Jordan to be The Best Ever, it just got old. It seemed *important* to a lot of people that Jordan be ranked over Bird as soon as possible, just like it seems *important* to them to crown LeBron now. And that was when it was confined to a few sports shows on cable and radio. I can’t imagine what it would have been like with today’s social media.

  2. Spot on assessment. Seven-ish years ago my son, now 20, could not stand it when I told him Lebron’s good and all, but the problem being he disappears in the 4th quarter. I’m still not fond of some of his antics, but I chalk that up to the ubiquitous generational gap. You now get to the 4th…or get to that closeout game…and you know it’s curtains. I give him his due as “the best”, but I don’t see a path to him taking over the title of “greatest”. Lebron would need to elevate the play of today’s version of Will Perdue, Luc Longley, Bill Wennington, and the ever-uncomfortable looking Bill Cartwright to accomplish that feat.

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