Didn’t know you could retire from something you weren’t apart of anymore. Also didn’t know you could make over 100 Million dollars over a 15-20 span and eventually have money issues. But no judgements made, despite the fact that AI has managed to defy logic on both of those statements. The King of Newport News, VA plans on “Officially” announcing his retirement from the league this week, making himself eligible for his just-do in the Hall Of Fame. As well as making him the target of legacy conversations for the next few days.
So the question is, looking at the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list(which was made during the 96-97 season) does AI deserve a spot? I mean, sure he’s better than some of the dudes on here, but does his career work say so? First, lets take a look at the rundown:
THE 50 GREATEST PLAYERS IN NBA HISTORY
|Kareem Abdul-JabbarNate ArchibaldPaul ArizinCharles Barkley
|Karl MaloneMoses MalonePete Maravich|
Aight, so for the sake of 80’s babies innate ignorance to anything before Magic & Bird, let’s get about 10 of these old heads outta here.(Whichever 10 you chose) Now, let’s replace those 10 with everybody who played after this list came out in ’96. Kobe, Lebron, Duncan, KG, Dirk, D. Wade, J. Kidd, Paul Pierce, Steve Nash, and I think it’s safe to put Kevin Durant on here somewhat prematurely.
NOW with that being said, does AI deserve a spot in the Top 50??? I mean, his talent, his stats in his prime, combined with his cultural impact says he does. But, please be advised of how many other greats at his position with similar accomplishments won’t even be in consideration! Penny Hardaway(Similar success in his Prime, cultural impact), Reggie Miller(overall career), Gary Payton.(Champion, possibly the best 1 on 1 defender of all time)
Let’s be clear, we’re talking about a man with career averages of 26.7 ppg, 6.2 assets, & 2.3 steals. Career playoff averages of 30 & 6! And a regular season MVP. His legacy should be solidified! But unfortunately it’s still in question. Was is the fact that he wouldn’t become a true PG late in his career? The fact that he refused humble and change his game ruin his spot on this list? Did his pride and bravado, the thing we most loved him for ultimately destroy his legacy that should have been?
If you think AI’s status is Top 50, I just post one question to you; “who the f*** is he better than?”
But yo, you be the judge; Is AI Top 50? Let’s open the flood gates of trash opinions & debate, at us @SwishGeneration.