Okay, everybody, this is Brian Egan reporting for clutch points plus SportsCastr.
The Synergistic Partnership of the future.
Doing a deep dive, a subject we've maybe never spoken about before ever.
It's discussing Michael Jordan's goat status in comparison to contemporary athletes.
Um, an interesting, an interesting argument, one that this is the first time it's been brought to my attention.
I'm being sarcastic.
If you couldn't tell.
This is an age old conversation, and I find, like, a generally not very fruitful one.
Personally, you know, it's it's an impossible thing to truly arrive at a conclusion makes everyone feel happy.
But just just that we're on the same page with this particular one.
Um, so today's controversies that Isaiah Thomas specifically disputes Michael Jordan's good status.
Now it's a particularly egregious offense to the goat conversation when you have such a obvious bias baked into it.
Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jordan had some battles, to say the least in the n b A playoffs in the eighties nineties, um, specifically a bruising Pistons team whose whole identity was basically about pile driving Michael Jordan every time you drove to the paint, as I'm sure we'll see in the last dance do***entary that's that's been happening now.
The cultural phenomenon, uh, but anyway, so in this particular one, he says.
I think this generation of players is not getting enough credit for what they're doing, Thomas said.
Via Brad Botkin, Shout out to Brad your boy, because the athletes that are in this generation or so far superior than what was in my generation, Jordan was the best athlete that we have ever seen from an athletic standpoint.
There, like 10 or 11 guys in the N.
Now with Jordan s athleticism, we didn't have that back then with what Kevin Durant broner dealing.
If you put back, put them back in the era of the eighties with their talent, their athleticism and their skill.
Who's the goat? Um, now, again, this is like an impossible metaphysical argument, right, because we're talking about the evolution of the human species as athletes, you know, records were broken all the time.
It's it's progression is necessarily forward moving all the time.
So this generation's athletes are necessarily better than those preceding it, and so on and so forth again, you know, it's pretty fruit listed to try to engage on the argument that level.
What you are always trying to do is not pluck the generational talents and put them into other generations.
I will say, though haven't watched a fair amount of, uh, basketball from yesteryear in the last couple of months because of the pandemic that we're we're enduring.
I have noticed that there is a definite difference in the body, the muscle mass of the average NBA player.
Gone are the days of like a, you know, sort of shapeless, amorphous, skinny guy that that can shoot jumpers and threes.
That doesn't that's not doing it anymore.
Um, and I included jumpers.
They're very specifically because because that was a thing.
Back then, you had your job have a checks and so on, so forth.
You who were like, basically tone Lis, Um, but had very long lasting creatures.
The MBA generally don't see a ton of that anymore.
So with like that in mind, you know, Isaiah Thomas doesn't doesn't not have a point, you know, he's got he's got a version of a point.
They're like, Yeah, there's we've we've prioritised, speed, athleticism, jumping ability in a much different way in the contemporary MBA.
Um, but I did just generally want to talk about, Like, why is it that we have this need to arrive at a conclusion about a greatest of all time a conclusion to which we can never truly arrive at right? There is not.
It is impossible.
Toe have LeBron James Hopper this time it's currently impossible.
Now, it could be that in the feature hang on track track.
Um, it could be possible in the future, you know? You know, uh, quantum physics.
People are working on these kinds of things.
But as at present, you can't get in time.
She can't go back.
So the archetype of LeBron James, the archetype of Kevin Durant, Does it exist? I mean, kind of.
I mean, look, I think Charles Charles Barkley is sort of one of the maybe a great example of, like, super progressive, athletic, athletic, like just unicorn.
You know, he's he's some would say 64 and was, like, 2 80 at one point.
Things on the gay scene like that, uh, like, even more compact.
Zion Williamson on.
And if you watch the little Charles Barkley's clips.
And if you haven't watched many will Charles Berkeley clips, can I please recommend that some 76 years era Charles Barkley is? It's very, very high quality stuff, and he's insanely spring for just a I mean a around person.
Um, now that's again.
That's like a unique one off right there.
There were a ton of versions of that, and there was especially not, And I think we'll talk about this, assuming they talk about this one.
Dennis Rodman's portion of this do***entary starts airing, but the like defensive guy, the guy that was getting paid for being different, playing defense and rebounding just did not exist for a long time because I think presumably, you know the same way that, like the MLB, was sort of medieval in their appraisal of what led to a winning basketball nineties, N B.
A was probably enduring the same same thing, right? They didn't realize that you can create a team in a variety of different ways.
They were just all sort of looking for Michael Jordan's and and that's good.
And Larry Bird's, um, and Isiah Thomas is, uh, so, But anyways, again, I was trying to think about how to how to make this into, like, a larger sort of like how philosophically this can never be a satisfying argument.
The goat argument right? Like, because I think that it's such an interesting phenomenon social phenomenon that we continue to have to have this this argument, and it's not even just like you can break it down on, like the rules are different, right? They had zone defense is they had, you know, the three point line was engineered in or brought into the game in the eighties, late seventies eighties and and a whole generation of players who are now built the entire careers around the existence of that thing that shaped how they played the game.
So the idea that you could go back and say, Well, you know, if you pets put Steph Curry in the A B A in like, 78 or whatever 77.
Whenever they emerged like Is he gonna kick out? Yeah, he's going to be very good.
He'll be he'll be quit good at that game, although you could make the argument that, you know the game wasn't even well adapted enough at that point that, like you know he'd be so maligned for the way that he plays the game.
Because back then, once the Institute of the three point Line, he was seen as a lazy person's shove.
That's how they perceive it.
Still, kind of is to a certain extent, like people do kind of just like I mean, like younger ages au and stuff like that.
Like you'll see coaches that don't encourage that because, you know those coaches a rolled to their boomers like the rest of us.
You know, they grew up thinking that, you know, if you really wanted to earn a bucket, you went into the paint like a man.
You guys buckets, you earned it blood, sweat and tears.
Um but so yes, so putting Steph Curry back in the day that So that's where I want to take this metaphysical argument.
But it is interesting that as a um as a society that we need, we find the need to place Michael Jordan or LeBron James or anyone in their goodness.
I would say that leg e even breaking open this like metaphysical argument even further, Like how much are all of these people's greatness sort of contingent on the cir***stances in which they were brought into the game.
I mean on and I'm not talking about, like, you know, Michael Jordan's style of player, whatever, but just the situation that he was brought into some really LeBron James a good situation.
But like you could find players that were drafted much later who had, who could have been transformational players, it could have been transcended.
Athletes, like all use a historically bad example of that to prove it out, like Anthony Bennett, you know, had he had his trajectory have been entirely different.
I'm not disputing that there has been plenty of very, you know, well meaning arguments about Anthony Betz ability to focus on the game basketball and prove himself.
That seems to be if you're building a good archetype of a legendary player, you want to put a lot of points in tow that, like, stat, you know the practice until you're until your mind melts.
Sort of sort of status is seems to be a good predictor of success.
Anthony Bennett, by all measures, did not have that, but my boys, if you get Anthony Bennett on different situation, the calves were so poorly right at that point, you know, maybe correct that different? Not saying he's Charles Barkley.
I'm not saying is Michael Trump still not saying LeBron shapes that? I'm not saying that, but I think in different contexts you arrive at different situations.
And so for me, uh, like, you know, I think that the I will even say that I am a particularly bad person to talk about this because I think M v ***** is a sort of It's a sort of pageantry that, like never really truly be justified and exists more for the sake of these types of arguments.
You know, it's an argument that exists because we like arguing about these kinds of things.
What what all of this is really, truly comes back.
Teoh, you know, and I guess in like a larger sort of civilisation building context.
I think that if you are going to look at the evolution of sport in general, and why we arrive at these things is because sports in many senses like a substitute for tribal warfare, right? Like I am a I am a fan of this team, not for many other reasons.
Other than I was bored in a close proximity to where they play the game itself.
It's not a great reason for liking a thing.
You know, Had I been, you know, a Kobe stand or LeBron stand? You could make different justifications based on aesthetic or or, you know, something philosophical.
But if you're a fan of a team and it's because you're like born near where they play sort of a substitute for tribal tribalism, right, I mean, and in that sense, like there's nothing more, uh, like core to tribalism.
I've been saying, this is good and this is bad for no reason other than because I was, I was raised in a situation in which we thought that way, great, like that's That's truly the proxy for the argument that we're making here.
Um, so with that in mind, I think it makes sense that, like this argument exists in basketball and in other sports, obviously, but so heatedly in basketball, um, and for this other reason to, and I think it's unique to basketball or like with temperature of it is Knick basketball because, um, having a good player you can having one good player can transform the trajectory of your franchise forever, right? There could be a completely transformational thing.
Just the one guy.
I mean, that used to be sort of the case.
It's a little bit different now, but I mean, not so much different.
Like you get you get Steph Curry on the Charlotte Hornets tomorrow, and that changes the trajectory of that team.
Not so much for baseball and football, Um, and so like, there is a particular kind of microscope place on the greatness of these players and maybe with good reason, because having a transformational player does, you know, definition only transform form the team.
So in that sense, like I get it.
And when your team is good, there's a strong urge to defend the greatness of the players on it.
Um, but again, why are we doing this? Must we always must we continue to do this and what are we going to continue to get out of it? I mean, like, for example, like Isaiah Thomas here in this quote, like he knows what he's doing right? He's destroying Michael Jordan because they have an age old argument about this.
I guess I would wonder what Michael Jordan thinks about this argument like, Does he even enjoy having this? Could we even look that up? Let me see if I could look at a heck were onstream.
People are around, right? What does What does Michael Jordan think of being the goat was given? So and then, of course.
So the first thing that comes up is LeBron James.
Why Michael Jordan will always be the guilt.
And then there's there's deferential thing that helps, like, reaffirm anything.
And And this is sort of like why, you know, I think was wilbon and that in the last dance do***entary talks about Michael Jordan being sort of cemented in a level of greatness with Bay Birth and Mohammed Ali.
That's kind of immutable.
I mean, really, when you're thinking about it like it's immutable.
There's a like It is cemented in a Mount Rushmore of a kind because it represents a time in the in the growth of the sport itself, right, like basketball had been established, but not a massive sort of public consciousness kind of way, the same way that it did when Michael Jordan's around Babe Ruth was had a similar thing and Mohammed Ali with boxing, it was really that they were like mirrors of the popularity of the sport itself, you know? And you can argue that, like maybe the greatness argument is about how you feed back into that, that back and forth with with the, uh with the fandom of the audience of the sport like is the NBA's biggest.
It was during that time without George, Michael Jordan and, likewise, Michael Jordan help propel the n B A.
It's it's it's kind of a symbiotic back and forth relationship.
But anyways, yeah, like LeBron James will reaffirm till the cows come When you actually part of the conversation with Kevin Durant, LeBron James is, they have.
No, it doesn't do their brand any any good to get into an argument about whether they're better than Michael Jordan.
That's a bad time.
You gotta have a bad time so forevermore, he's just sort of almost like semantically locked into the positions of as the good.
I think I actually like you know, when I went the long way around, it took the scenic route.
But I got to the kind of conclusion that if you were talking about greatness in a a broader sort of sense, not like on court Praxis, but be the popular consciousness Praxis.
Hard to argue that the ascendance of the N. B.
A is not due in some part to Michael Jordan's ascendance in the same way that Babe Ruth and Mohammed Ali contributed to their sports.
And for that reason, they they will always have a special sacred spot.
So with that in mind, I guess I just flatly disagree with Isaiah Thomas.
And I've come full circle on this whole argument.
Michael Jordan is the goat.
And about before his greatness, I guess, is the take away.
If you have anything to say about in the chat, I'd be super interested to hear what you guys you're thinking.
I see some people bears Paul Pats Rule bleed, You know, on sports guest here.
If you guys were watching this feed live on on clutch points, this was truly a live feed.
So if you want to do, you know, weigh in on this and give you a big old fight about it, um, I'd be happy to do that with you.
Um, anyway, until then, until next time this is Brian Egan reporting on behalf of all these institutions? Um, thank you so much for spending your Saturday from You know, I hear that there's, like, NFL news and things like that.
I don't traffic neither.
The n f l B s, um but I know that some other guys that I stream with her having a hoot with that.
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Thanks again, everybody, and have a good one.