Monday, May 31, 2010

So, what does the best really mean?

Throughout the 2009-10 NBA regular season, observers debated whether Cleveland's LeBron James or Los Angeles Lakers' guard Kobe Bryant was the league's best player.

There are nights when the play of each player makes a strong case. Clearly, James is a tremendous physical specimen who can straight gangster his way to 30 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

When he shows the inclination, James will go to the basket repeatedly and seemingly cannot be prevented from getting there.

Then there is Bryant, the self-described Black Mamba, who can and will 'J' you down with relentless precision. There's not another player who knows where he wants to get, has the skills to get there and then has the talent to do what he wants to do.

Bryant's basketball IQ and toughness - mental and physical - is unmatched.

And the combination of his skill set and the toughness is what makes him the game's best player.

However, that's just my opinion. We all can formulate what the 'best' is.

Some say it's the player that most often helps his or her team win. Some say it's the most unstoppable player. Others feel it's the player who makes the best offensive and defensive contribution.

Between the two players for me, it comes down to whom can get what he wants when he wants. And Bryant has been that guy for 10 years. Remember him taking over in the 2000 NBA Finals against the Indiana Pacers in overtime of Game Four after Shaquille O'Neal fouled out?

I can still see Bryant coming back downcourt with both palms down gesturing to the Indiana crowd to calm down. Bryant then was 21.

No doubt, Bryant has played with better talent than has James. There's also no doubt Bryant's hand, knee and ankle injuries this season influenced the feelings many of us had regarding his capabilities.

However, through this point in the playoffs, Bryant certainly has validated his stature as numero uno.

Former head coach says he'll pass next time

A former NBA head coach has been watching the treatment of other head coaches by their respective ownerships and decided he's rather be an assistant.

Head coaches usually are paid higher than assistants. However, those head coaches also get catch far more grief than do the assistants.

Just in case, the former head coach's name will be withheld.

"I don't want to be a head coach anymore," he said. "There's too much B.S. as a head coach. You can win like Mike Brown and get fired. I can deal with being an assistant and bypass the garbage."

Brown was 127-37 during his last two seasons with Cleveland, but couldn't get the Cavs back to the NBA Finals as he did in 2007.

Still working on the bugs

It's been impossible for folks to leave comments, so I'll drop my answers to the questions asked in previous editions: 1) Who is the league's best point guard? and 2) Who is the greatest player?

Point guard is a tough position to call. During these NBA playoffs, the common call was Utah's Deron Williams. I'll hang with New Orleans' Chris Paul, although if he can't stay healthy more frequently, he'll get booted to the real.

Rajon Rondo has to fix his inconsistent jump shot to move into consideration for the top spot, but his defensive and playmaking contributions give him potential.

As for the greatest, yes, Bryant is the baddest man in shorts right now. And it's not close.


  1. Hey Marty Mac! I agree that Rajon needs to get his jump shot together in order to be a contender. Still Kobe is now, the hands down best.

  2. My bad. I mean Rondo in contention as best point guard, not best player.

  3. Does Steve Nash get no love for being in the top 5 point guards with the lack of talent around him out side of Stoudamire

  4. Steve Nash is the best all arond point guard in the league.