Happy Valentine’s Day and welcome to the first of many “Play by Play” posts! We hope to have one of these posted per day Monday thru Friday. Normally we will do just one topic a day, but being this is special because it is our first one, we will cover two! We will start off with speaking about a topic requested by one of our fans, Jody Babcock, who is anxious to hear our opinion on Ndamukang Suh.
Chase, do you think that the criticism towards Ndamukang Suh is justified?
If you looked up dirty player in the encyclopedia, I’m pretty sure that Ndamukong Suh’s picture will be the first thing you see. Whether he’s stomping on players laying on the ground, making dirty hits, completely disrespecting other players in general, it’s somewhat deserving. But hey, its football right? The man works his ass off every day like all the rest of the players, he’s obviously one of the best defensive linemen that has ever played the game, and he’s not afraid to completely lay someone out. Do I agree with everything he does? Absolutely not. Is he a great football player? You guessed it, absolutely. This isn’t soccer we’re talking about here. These are grown men, making millions of dollars, who signed on the line acknowledging this is a contact sport and you will get hit. He’s not even close to classiest player in the league, but at least he can backup his actions by being a good player.
Zach, Do you have anything to add to that?
You won’t hear me say this all the time, but I have to completely agree with this analysis. There is no doubt he is a dirty football player, and having watched him during his college days while Nebraska was still Big 12 rivals with Iowa State University, I can honestly say we saw this coming. I mean for heaven’s sake his name has to do with swords or something along those lines, the man is an angry monster. I don’t much care for when he is trying to stomp a mud hole in rival players on the football field, but it would be untrue for me to say that I don’t appreciate his intensity. For all we know, he may be the last of a dying breed. With more and more attention being put towards concussions and long lasting injuries, defensive players are going to likely become more passive and avoid fines. Let’s hope Suh isn’t the last hard- hitting guy we will ever see.
Now on to a topic where there is definitely more disagreement and passion in the answers. Earlier this week, LeBron James made an extremely boastful claim that at the end of his career he would be considered one of the four greats of all time, with reference to a Mt. Rushmore type group of guys. He said it would be both MJ’s, Larry Legend and himself.Chase, what are your thoughts on LeBron James and his claim?
At this point it’s so hard to tell as he is still in the early stages of his career. If he’s on the same path as he is now I’ll say within the top 10. It takes more than a couple championships to be considered the “best of the best.” You’ve got to have the fan support and the personality to be loved by all. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson – those are guys who will be the best of all time. Period. Michael Jordan – being carried off the court after a game for being so sick, countless game winning shots, the iconic free throw line dunk. Larry bird – 3x champion, 3x finals MVP, 12x NBA all-star, one of the best shooters of all time. Magic Johnson – averaging over 19 points per game in his career with 11.2 assists per game (highest average in NBA history.) Right now Lebron is a dunktastic air head who gets more attention than he’s worth. All the hype surrounding him will be remembered more than his basketball playing style. “Hey remember that guy Lebron James that everybody bowed down to? You remember what he did that was so special?” Now maybe if he bought me an escalade, I’d have a little different opinion on him. But until that happens that’s all I have to say about that.
Now Zach, I know this is a little more near and dear to your heart, what are your thoughts?
Well truthfully, I am slightly biased but I will try to remain as objective as humanly possible. For me this is pretty easy, if LeBron James were to end his career today, and whether you like it or not that would be tragic he would already be considered top 10-15 players all time. I grew up watching Michael in his later championship years, and my father recalls me as a small boy getting excited and shaking at the sound of “Sirius” by the Allen Parson’s Project, when the Bulls would blast onto the basketball court before a game. In more recent years, I have studied endlessly the likes of Larry and Magic. I love me some Larry Legend, that guy could not jump over a stack of newspapers but somehow found a way to win and Magic, well what’s there to say other than what he did was magical. For LeBron, in my opinion he is a healthy mixture between the two MJs with a little bit of Oscar Robertson thrown in there. He has two rings, two finals MVPs, 4 regular season MVPs, a perennial All-Star and can play effectively at both ends of the court. Not to mention he’s basically got rid of all the nonsense talk about him not getting it done late in games, did you see that rainbow three with less than a second versus Golden State? So my prediction, by the end of his career he will have 5 rings, 5 finals MVPs, 6 regular season MVPs, and will finish his career ranking as one of the top 4 players of all time, in no particular order: Larry, MJ, MJ, LBJ. God I love basketball!