Even The Greats Need Help Sometimes…
I was having a conversation a little while at dinner with a few of my friends about the Chicago Bulls’ championship teams back in the 90’s with Jordan and company. We all agreed that obviously MJ is one of the greatest, and possible the greatest to every play the game, but one of my friends felt that his legacy was tainted because he had the help of guys like Pippen, Cartwright, Grant, Kerr and Rodman. And that was the comment that ended our friendship (kidding! No, but really)
Yes, Jordan was surrounded by decent players, he and Pippen were basically the Batman and Robin duo of the early 90’s. But , just because the guy got an extra hand to get over that hump doesn’t diminish the fact that he is one of the best. Jordan made himself a household name way before those guys were around, heck during his rookie season in 1986 he put up 63 points during a playoff game against Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in Boston (where they were 40-1 that season) and still ended up losing and ultimately getting swept.
His example and plenty others just prove one thing: Even the greatest need help sometimes too!
Think about any great, elite-type players in any team sport (Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc.). Now think about if they won a championship or not. Now think about the team and the players that surrounded them, would they have won that championship without those guys.
Take Peyton for instance, think about all those record-setting teams he played for all those offensive weapons he had whether it was Harrison, Wayne, Clark, Thomas or even Welker. There were years where those certain teams were locks to take home the Lombardi, and yet they would always come up short.
Except for one season:2006, the same year that majority of the Colts defense seemed to be at full strength heading into the playoffs. That year, Manning walked away with a championship, what was the difference? Out of those years (including right now while he’s in Denver) he had solid players on both sides of the ball.You give a decent QB a good offense and an ok defense your promised a few games for that season, you gie an elite QB like Manning that same offense and same defense he will at least get you to the big game.
Great players need help around, they can’t do on their own, ask Brady and all those records he broke back in 2007, he went 18-0 and still walked away a loser that season. Why? Because his defense was exposed to be not a that great.
Still don’t agree with me, ok. What about LeBron? Isn’t the whole reason people hate him so much is because he left his hometown, his home team and pretty much wasted an hour of everyone’s day with that “I’m taking my talents to South Beach special”. What was his reasoning for leaving? Did you look at the roster he had to work compared the to Miami Heat roster with Pat Riley down there finding decent player left and right? Who would you want Sasha Pavlovic or Dwayne Wade, Drew Gooden or Chris Bosh? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Yeah he could have done a better job getting down there, but it’s easy to say because James had the guys around him he didn’t always had to be “Superman” or the hero to make to the dance, but even then it seemed as though the pieces around him helped elevate his game higher than it was by himself in Cleveland. Think the same can be said about Kobe and the Lakers when they required Shaq (though he did win two more after the two spilt), you can say the same for Isiah Thomas and the “Bad Boy” Piston of the late 80’s, Montana or Young and all that talent that surrounded them during their years in San Francisco.
The point I trying to make is that the whole idea of there is no “I” in team is apparent in team sports, you can be the biggest, baddest player that ever was, you might be able to win yourself a few games, set some records and make a brand for yourself. But, I have yet to see the day that one player won a championship all by himself (Kobe is trying is hardest to do it in LA, but it’s time for him to call it a career on his own terms before it’s too late).