LeBron had two key late game turnovers, Jordan would never have… oh, yes he did (VIDEO)

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LeBron James is not Michael Jordan. He doesn’t have the resume, he hasn’t shown he can sustain this high a level of play for an extended period of time yet.

But we have built up a mythology around Michael Jordan that he is was perfect, that he would never make mistakes. He would never do what LeBron did and have two key late game turnovers that would cost his team a playoff game…

Except he did. Second round 1995 playoffs against the Magic.

That is not peak Jordan, that is No. 45 just returned from baseball Jordan. Next season the Bulls would win 72 games and start another three-peat. We are seeing peak LeBron right now, so the comparison is not ideal.

But the point is Jordan was not perfect. We live in a different time, a different world now with social media and the Internet changing how we break down players and their games, it also changes our perception of athletes. We look back at Jordan punching Steve Kerr in practice as a sign of his toughness and leadership, if he did that now the reaction would be different. Same with the gambling and his off-the-court life. That is not better or worse, it just is true. Jordan came along at a perfect time for him to lift the league and become a cultural icon, not to mention he backed it up with the play of the G.O.A.T. (or at least a guy that has to be in that conversation, if you prefer). Culturally, there will never be another Jordan.

While some reading comprehension impaired commenters on this site think I am biased toward LeBron all I have ever said is this — we should wait to judge his legacy until he is done with the peak of his career. We don’t know his legacy yet. What I am is a fan of the game of basketball and if you love the game you should try to enjoy watching LeBron make plays like this right now because he is a once in a generation talent and a great player. Whatever issues people have with LeBron — or Jordan — speaks more to them and not the players themselves.

Hat tip to The Big Lead for finding this.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.