That’s Why You Don’t Read Slate for Sports

01Jul10

A sigh inducing passage from Josh Levin:

A large part of Michael Jordan’s legend stems from the fact that he won six titles with Scottie Pippen and a bunch of role players. Magic Johnson, by contrast, is probably underrated because he won all of his titles with loaded Lakers teams.

Anyone who watched basketball in the 90s knows that it wasn’t just a bunch of role players. Dennis Rodman is one of the best rebounders the game has ever seen, Ron Harper was a fantastic defensive point guard with good distribution, Toni Kukoc’s drives were menacing, and even Luc Longley was a solid inside presence. Moreover, how is Magic Johnson underrated? Because he’s not Michael Jordan? He’s arguably the 2nd most famous retired NBA player.

The passage comes in the context of an article arguing that LeBron James shouldn’t sign with Chris Bosh or Dwyane (shut up, spellcheck!) Wade, because any championship James wins somehow doesn’t prove enough. This is just foolish. We’ve been over Jordan’s supporting cast, and he’s the best of all time. Magic had Karim, Bird had Parish, Kobe had Shaq and Pao, Russell had Cousy and Havlicheck….it goes on.

This article seems to try to take advantage of the fact that the average Slate reader doesn’t know much about basketball. It attempts to give them dinner party or bar fodder. It’s flat-out contemptuous of its audience. Or Levin doesn’t know what he’s talking about. One of the two.

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One Response to “That’s Why You Don’t Read Slate for Sports”

  1. 1 Brian SIerk

    I get the point though. If someone was to put all that work in to a pro basketball career, only to have people say “He was a s good as Johnson, but not quite as good as Jordan” Then what’s the fucking point? Might as well quit now and go sell insurance.


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