If there is one thing you know about me when it comes to basketball its Lebron James is my least favorite player in the game today. My high school basketball coach asked me if the Pistons signed him would I like it, and I said no.
Right now, Lebron is the best player in the game, I wont get into that debate. I would not put him in the top 5 all time however. Part of that is my dislike for him, but I also think that some of the older players were just better.
For the record here are my top 5 players
1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar (leads in scoring and was part of the Lakers streak, and the Bucks streak)
2. Michael Jordan (MJ changed the game, in many eyes he is the best, and i can see that, he was fun to watch)
3. Magic Johnson (Magic brought a whole new dimension to the point guard position. At 6 9 he was a matchup nightmare.
4. Larry Bird (One of the greatest players in the greatest franchise of the sport, and I hate the Celtics)
5. Shaq. This one will raise eyebrows, but shaq was dominant. He was one of the best big men ever. Alot of people remember shaq for his personality, but he was a great baller, and won with 2 different franchises.
Anyways, the real reason for the post was not to talk about who my top 5 are. It is to talk about the Miami Heat's streak of 27 games and what happened after the game. The streak was impressive. I hate the Heat, I dont like the super teams, and I think the teams they played were weak, but to win 27 straight is hard it doesnt matter who you play. After the game however, as one of my friends from school put on her blog, Lebron and the Heat didnt shake hands with Chicago. The announcers said "We are okay with this, I hate when they shake hands and act like friends after a match like this."
What in the world are we teaching America's youth with that?? If we win its okay to go over to the other team and shake their hands, but if we lose dont go congratulate them on their victory? I understand competitive nature, trust me, I hate losing. Losing is my least favorite thing. Whether if it was a high school soccer game my senior year, or playing go fish with my 4 year old niece I hate losing (I dont get all mad if I lose to her, but I do not take it easy and let her win, part of it is the competitive nature, part of it is I dont want her to grow up thinking she should win every time she plays a game.)
My junior year in high school our soccer team finished the conference with a record of 9-2. That was the best conference record we had ever put up in the history of the school as far as I know. We were one of the best teams in the conference, we had 3 1st team all conference players, and a handful of 2nd team and honarable mentions. Our best player was Andrew. Andrew was in the top of the league in scoring. I do not know where he ranked, but he had to have been top 3. We had the best defense in the league. We allowed 2 or less goals a game, and Andrew would score that in a game. I do not want to sound braggy, but I was the best goalie in the conference.
The thing that made our team special is we had the confidence we were the best, but we trained hard at every practice, and we never took an opponent lightly. We knew that we could be beat if we didnt show up. In the conference tourny that year, we played our rivals Grand Marais in the first round. Looking back on this game there is no reason on earth we shouldnt have won 5-0 or worse. We missed wide open shots. I had to make some saves to keep us in the game, and I did.. The game was 0-0 and we went into a shootout, we lost the shootout 3-1. I was ticked. Like I said, I hate losing, but losing to Grand Marais sucks. To put it into perspective, the rivalry then was like the Florida Florida State rivalry. We are in the same county, so every game was bragging rights for the county. They beat us, we shook their hands. I can promise you this, if I refused to shake their hands because I hate losing I would not be allowed to play on the team my senior year.
Two things that we dont teach in sports today that I believe we should are good sports, and failure. Good sports goes deeper than shaking hands after a game, its a respect factor. You play physical, but you play clean. You dont knock out a player just because he is better. I have heard several stories, and I have been attacked myself because teams tried to knock me out of the game. The other thing that I hate about the world today is participation awards. You want kids to succeed in life? Then teach them failure. Teach them how to handle losing, teach them that life wont give you handouts. Sometimes you do everything your supposed to, and the results just dont go your way. Thats life. I have never been given a "nice try" award for doing something right but it didnt end the way I was planning. I know that not everyone has the competitive drive that I do, but when a kid loses a game, let him remember how he felt after the game. Don't try to fix it by giving him a nice try trophy. To this day I still feel pain from losing that game. Obviously it isn't anywhere near it was the day of the game, but none of us talk about it because we all feel we should have won, and it bugs us. If our coach said "guys, we played great, here is a trophy for trying" we all would have been mad. It would have been a slap in the face to us, but that is exactly what is going on. Ok, my rant is over, I have to go to work now, haha.