Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reggie unplugged

Reggie Miller has never been the shy retiring type. Several million residents of New York who probably still want to break his spindly self in half can attest to that.

So no surprise  that his opinion on the Kobe vs. Michael debate -- revived again since Kobe passed Michael on the all-time NBA scoring list the other day -- is, shall we say, caffeinated. Like, a vat of espresso caffeinated.

Basically, he went on Dan Patrick the other day and said there was no debate. Michael was miles better than Kobe. All day, every day.

You know what?

He's almost right.

MJ is still cult figure for a certain generation of American, and Reggie falls squarely into that demographic. He got Michael in his prime and Kobe in the first awakening of his prime, and so no surprise he'd pick MJ by a wide margin.

The only thing he's wrong about is just how wide the margin is.

Says here it's a few miles shy of Reggie's mark, and that's not because the Blob suffers from long-term memory loss. MJ was great. Maybe the greatest ever. But let's not pretend that he never missed a shot or won every game in the last second, because he didn't.

He failed. A lot. He also succeeded a lot. And that goes for Kobe, too.

No, he didn't win six NBA titles in six tries and win six finals MVPs, like MJ. But he did win five of the former and two of the latter. And on those nights when he had it all going, he was as unstoppable as MJ.

That puts him behind Jordan, but not miles and miles behind him. And it doesn't diminish Jordan's greatness to say that -- even though there are some MJ cultists who think if we don't put Jordan far, far above everyone else who ever played, we're somehow shortchanging him.

Not so.

And Reggie ... God love ya. But you're wrong. 

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