Jordan’s Effect On The NBA

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Now on to my article.

 

Michael Jordan. One can’t say his name without effecting some kind of reverence nowadays in basketball. Players such as Derrick Rose get compared to him because of his athleticism and as a guard on the Chicago Bulls, Kobe because of the generally large round sphereical objects between his legs in clutch situations, and Lebron James because of all his hype (not his skill).

But has Jordan really been good for basketball? Ever since Jordan, the NBA has been trying to hype up the “next MJ” in an effort to bring the NBA back to a level of profitability that was brought on by Michael Jordan. The players we see in the game nowadays reflect those changes, with athletic guards with no shooting ability, (see Russell Westbrook, John Wall, and at one point Derrick Rose) have taken centerstage as “stars” while many stalwarts of the older era of basketball insist that these small speedy guards would not have survived back in their day.

A friend of mine commented that shooting was better in the old days (to be fair, we were watching the Bulls-Hawks game, and it was ugly. The Bulls have never been a great shooting team.) which to a point is true. A lot of these speedy guards have flourished because they have an ability to get to the rim and draw fouls which leads to points. Also dunks are just so much fun to watch. But enough about that.

The problem is that the attitude of many of the prima donna stars in the NBA are toxic and sometimes hurt teams more than they help. Many of the older “Next Michael Jordan”s have faded away. Vince Carter is on an aging Mavericks team going nowhere, having won nothing. Allen Iverson couldn’t get over his own ego and is now unemployed after washing out of several teams.

For most of the 2000s, one of the few justifications of that player model was Kobe Bryant. Nowadays, he is aging and is probably the only player in the NBA that would justify taking 30+ shots a game. The Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade can also say that he meets this caliber, although the last time he took more than 30 shots in a game was two years ago. Though with his team, who can blame him? Lets not even talk about Lebron.

My real concern is with players such as the Knicks Carmelo Anthony who disrupted an extremely entertaining (and successful if you look at their roster at the time) offense and turned it into a one man show. Last night Anthony took 27 shots on the way to a 92-103 loss to the Orlando Magic. The problem is that he took more shots than the rest of his starters, and he only made 9 shots. Which by the way, is 2 less than his other starters.

This may have been justifiable on the Nuggets which had an arguably weaker cast (Which by the way had the best offense in the league after Anthony left) but he has another star on his team in Amare Stoudemire, who averaged thirty points a game for the Knicks last year at this time. You have teammates, use them! A team with two all-stars that are 6-7 at this point in the season? Inexcusable. At this point in the season last year, the Knicks were 5-8. Which means that the addition of Carmelo Anthony was only worth a single win’s improvement over last year thus far? Ridiculous.

Many of these players want to be Jordan. Which is admirable, but you have to understand, Jordan couldn’t win on his own. He had Scotty Pippen as well as a string of great shooting guards and a great coach. Until players learn to play as a team and not as a stat stuffer (still looking at you Carmelo) they cannot win.

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