When she first found out that I would be writing for a sports blog, my momma gave me three rules to abide by. Until now, I have faithfully and dutifully followed them to the letter of the law: in all my blog posts, in my Tweets, and in my day-to-day conversations with other sports fans. They have guided me well and I would like to thank Momma for her solid advice. For the record, the rules were:
1. Never, under any circumstances, mention Skip Bayless by name — even if he broadcasts an endless stream of vacuous antagonistic statements with the no-so-subtle goal of directing the limelight his way.
2. See rule #1, but substitute Colin Cowherd
3. See rule #2, but substitute Stephen A. Smith.
The purpose of the rules is simple: any and all reaction to the trio and their trolling only further enhances their mission to dominate sports media with clichéd opinions, drama-queen bravado, and general loudmouthiness.
I wanted so badly to adhere to these rules. But this week, the subject-not-to-be-named #3 decided to open his mouth and let hot, gaseous crap float out. (Specifically, persons #1 and #3 got together to name their top-5 NBA players. Their ridiculous lists are a hoot.) Since person #3 took mindless aim at a core piece of Bucks history, the error of his way needs to be corrected. For the record, here is the video:
“Kareem wasn’t Kareem until Magic came along.”
First of all, let me just say one thing: ‘Ugh.’
Secondly, before playing a single game with Magic, Kareem won the 1971 title with the Bucks (and the playoff MVP award to boot). He also won 5 MVP awards, made 9 All-NBA squads, and played perhaps the most efficient season by any NBA player ever in 1972. He did all of it without Magic “to get him the ball”.
Kareem is also the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, and he scored more points in the ten years he played before Magic’s arrival than in the decade that followed it. Given the overwhelming evidence, I would have hoped that Mr. Smith knew better than to say such things. I would also hope that he takes care to craft his future statements with logic and reason.
But then again, who needs logic and reason in a debate with Skip Bayless?