The world of sports media is one of takes. Some are hot. Some are cold. Some are purposeful. Others are not. It is an interesting line to draw with actual members of the media because sometimes, as Lou Williams was polite enough to share, the take isn’t really accepted no matter what.
That concept changes drastically when a retired player, especially one in the Hall of Fame, makes any kind of take. Not only is it something that is respected just due to the fact of who uttered it, but it becomes an automatic headline. It flashes across the notification screen of every phone that has an ESPN or Bleacher Report app downloaded. And rarely, if ever, is it a good and purposeful take.
Today, another one of these absolutely absurd takes got pushed through by ESPN, this time by maybe the greatest player of all time, His Airness himself.
After the quote surfaced, ESPN put out a question of “who do you think is better?” which found a home on Twitter thanks to the dog days of the late-summer sports scene. But, when did this become a debate again. LeBron has been objectively the better player than Kobe for at least five years now. There is no more debate, but when Jordan utters the insanity, it becomes front-page sporting news from the largest distributor of sporting news in the world. Great point, Michael, more rings. Fantastic point. No sense taking note of the fact that LeBron is better than Kobe in literally every single purposeful basketball category other than free-throw percentage.
This came during a week when more retired guys were coming out and dissing the modern game than the usual barrage. When Tracy McGrady was asked about his Hall of Fame induction, he said “anyone can win a championship, Everybody can’t get in the Hall of Fame.” Funny enough, he is a guy that is ringless, but in the hall. Put him on a list that includes guys like Karl Malone, Elgin Baylor, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson. Hm. Anyone can win a title, huh?
On the same day, Charles Oakley talked about the sensitivity of today’s players and how some should “wear dresses.” Blatant sexism aside, he goes on to say later in his rant that, “we drank milk, they drink water, it’s a big difference.” That is the most old person thing to say ever. How is an athlete hydrating himself possibly an insult, and how is it that dairy product makes you more of an intimidating force. This is just too stupid to break down, honestly.
I don’t care that these guys are saying something. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how god damn stupid it is. More the point of this rant is that we don’t need to read about it every time someone in the NBA’s retirement community has a take that I would expect from my twelve-year-old cousin whowears neon Nike Elite socks with even-more-neon shorts and t-shirt.