So Erik Spoelstra is the Miami Heat coach – as I always say on my rants, nobody really has perspective, the nation over-reacts, after a loss on Sunday to the Bulls he said some of the players were “crying” I wrote yesterday that I didn’t really buy it to be honest with you. It’s one of those things your sorta throw out in a conversation or a quote that didn’t really happen…it’s not literal “Man, guys are killing each other in there” or “the guys are crying” that kinda means they’re not really killing or crying.
Erik Spoelstra – its got so much airplay nationally, Spoelstra responded to it yesterday by saying “…heads were down, and I saw glossy eyes…but that’s about it. I think everything else is pretty much an exaggeration. Nobody was whimpering in the locker room. I think you the media are searching for some sensationalism right now; I call this cry-gate”
I absolutely believe people reacted too harshly – Kobe Bryant yesterday, Lakers star,he even gave in his 2 cents when he was interviewed on the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN radio saying “everybody truly responded differently. If these guys are crying in the locker room then they’re crying in the locker room. It doesn’t mean that they’re chumps, it doesn’t mean that they’re soft….it doesn’t mean anything!” He’s absolutely right!
Here’s an email I got from a former colleague over at Air Miles, he goes “what’s with the double standards going on? Jay Cutler of the Bears gets trashed by people for not showing emotion, now players do, and they get hammered by the media? Nice two-faced approach!” Dude, I totally agree man! We want our athletes to be what we are not…perfect! The standard we hold athletes to is absurd!! I’ll give you an example with Lebron James…it’s ridiculous. People say “Lebron, he can’t win the big games…he’s not Michael Jordan!” Well to answer that question, he’s not nor is Kobe. It’s kinda unfair to compare somebody to the best ever, in any industry and then call them a failure if they don’t stand up to it. I mean, do you have to be the best engineer in the country to be a great engineer? Like there’s only one? Do you have to be the best litigator in the country in order to be a great litigator?
There is a thousand great attorneys’ in North America. But with basketball and with athletes, if your not as good as the greatest ever…somehow you lack a certain fortitude. Here is something to consider with Lebron James. He’s 28, holds 15 NBA records, he’s a 2 –time MVP, a 7 time All-Star, a scoring champ, 2 –time first team all defense…he’s a 2-time All Star MVP and he’s 28. He’s not MJ, but this morning I sat down, objectively as a self proclaimed analyst, and he’s in my top 12 NBA players of all time. The truth is, other than MJ, Magic and Kobe…in 2 years, Lebron could be #4 on that list. He’s absolutely amazing!!!
But you say “Andrew, that’s ridiculous, what about Barkley?” Well, what about him? Lebron’s numbers are just as impressive and a significantly better defensive player. Karl Malone was historically bad in the playoffs…he has similar numbers, Drexler, Isaiah Thomas, Oscar Robertson…very similar numbers, and that’s NOW!!! Lebron has 8 more years of playing.
Listen, the Heat are fine, it’s going to be great drama. We are unduly and unnecessarily harsh to our athletes. Just because you’re not MJ – and hasn’t that ship sailed…sorta? Are we still comparing everyone in baseball to Babe Ruth? Are we comparing every QB to Joe Montana? Like does every basketball player have to be compared to MJ? Kobe is the only guy who’s ever played like him and even HE is not MJ!