(Originally posted on vmagtv.com on Jun 24, 2012)
Written By: Steven Kennebrew-Turner (Dub Deuce The Poet)
With the recent NBA Championship win by the Miami Heat
lead by LeBron James, the debate around barbershops and
sports world has begun…has LBJ reached the status level of
the greatest NBA players that have come before him? The
unequivocal answer is, NO.
LeBron James is one of the greatest talents to ever lace
them up in the NBA. With 3 league MVPs, an NBA Finals
MVP, and now an NBA Title, LBJ definitely has an
impressive resume. However, King James’ Version of
greatness is still at the entry level of mastery…i.e. he has
just begun to truly obtain knowledge of the game of
basketball beyond his physical talents. But, just after overcoming one major hurdle, many
(prisoners of the moment) have now ballooned his status to
be worthy of a Jordan comparison. Keep in mind, today, his
level of accomplishments haven’t even reached Kobe
Bryant’s level yet, so he’s definitely nowhere near a
comparison of a Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. To be a Master, one must truly have mastered the knowledge of your craft and embrace the knowledge that it’s going to take something greater than your talent to
maximize your greatness (i.e. you’re not depending on
talent alone anymore). Thus, such a Master can begin to
build upon his foundation (toward a dynasty if applicable)
because he has now mastered the tools in his arsenal. This
level in most cases would be known as the apprentice level
because he has simply just begun. At this level, one would
have only mastered talent (not the mind). Mastering the
talent and the mind, one would then move into the next
level…the Grand Master.
When you began to talk about the highest Masters of the
NBA Game, then you begin to talk about the Grand Masters
of the NBA. To be at the Grand Master Level, one’s
• Surpasses the “knowledge” stage of the game and
continually and/or consistently dwell in the levels of
“wisdom and overstanding”…balanced with the
power of their raw talent…where you’re no longer a
floor general on the court, you are now the Master
Teacher (i.e. coach) on the court (and in cases of a
Michael, Magic, and Kobe at the bench as well).
• Not only did teams have to game plan for Grand
Masters, they feared them.
• Watching a Grand Master play, you could truly say
“you are watching a Master at work.”
• Traditionally won/wins multiple titles.
• You absolutely positively wanted the ball in their
hands during pressure situations in big games;
meaning they were traditionally “clutch” i.e. a “killer”.
• Their minds would be similar to one of a Grand
Master of Chess…unbreakable confidence even in
defeat…patient and potentExamples of such players would be Magic Johnson, Michael
Keep in mind, none of the Grand Masters started as Grand
Masters; they had to grow into such a level too…(though
someone like a Magic Johnson came into the league as a
Master, he too had to grow into GM). This, my friends, is
why LBJ has to continue to grow into the mastery of his
craft to eventually be included amongst the Greatest Of All
Time…the Grand Masters of the NBA. With the completion
of his 9th year in the league, he’s finally begun to walk
through the door of a Master NBA player.
As well, please be reminded that LBJ has only overcome one major hurdle, once. (And, that’s winning one NBA Championship to date). Thus, even mentioning him to be amongst the Grand Masters is blasphemy. But, this is what many in the sports world pulpits are preaching today. I say; don’t fall under the ghost-spell of the false prophets.