The Next Michael? The Next Larry? The Next Magic: Eternally Overrated

Posted by By at 22 April, at 04 : 29 AM Print

You’ve heard these questions for 15 years. Analysts from newspapers, TV, Internet and from the mother of all sports channels-ESPN. Everyone trying to find the “Next” Larry, Michael and Magic. In all their searching, I will submit that there has been no player that comes within close to the painted area of those three. But why really should we try to find the “next” when the NBA grows with new players that have a style of their own and can write their own stories?

We have players like Steve Nash, a 2 time MVP, a fantastic passer and scorer or Dirk Nowitzki who is probably the best shooting “bigman” over the last 30 years in the NBA. Kobe has gotten most of the press in terms of being the “next” but he has written his own story. When the “book” is opened on his career, it should be and has earned the right to be considered without the shadows of comparison. Lebron James has also gotten his fair share of “pop” getting compared in his game to Michael and his no-look passing and height to Magic. Really, I think he fits a game similar to Oscar Robertson but Lebron will write his own stories. Right now unfortunately, its that he doesn’t buy into the “team concept” and is content to do everything on his own. The Heat coaches are working on that so stay tuned. Rounding out the list has been Carmelo and Dwayne Wade, but other than the shoe and cell phone commercials, they have a lot of work to do. But all of them, I guarantee, will be exciting to watch.

Then look at the pretenders who have come and gone in recent years–Iverson, Carter, Marbury, McGrady and Anfernee Hardaway. They have all added to the NBA in their own way without any comparison. Vince Carter (at onetime Vinsanity) has put together a very solid career. Tracy McGrady is finding new life as a point guard with the Pistons after a great run as the No.1 scoring threat with the Magic and Rockets. My point is with all of these players, minus the hype and shoe commercials, they have played professional basketball and played it with distinction. Before professional basketball hit it big, players had to work in the off-seasons at regular jobs (mining, steel mills, railroads) to make ends meet. Some perspective is in order here that those of us who were there to see Magic, Larry and Michael should cherish that era, but embrace the future and its uncertainty with new players. Keep sharpening your eyes on the fundamentals and rules of the game that make it fun to watch.

The Bowse's Word

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