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A good post, but I think your critique of the "pound-for-pound" argument is buying in to straw man analysis that moves away from your aesthetic argument. I am generally in favor of efficient basketball, but I'd watch Iverson over CP3 20 times out of 20. I enjoy systemic players - I like the Spurs way more than most people. But I also appreciate, on a totally different scale of enjoyment, how Iverson's autonomy was never really broken. When people talk about AI as cultural icon, it's because he represents a code. That code was not punching people in the nuts or outrageous flopping. Iverson simply never managed to work the system, he needed to be the system - he was an artist on the court, but not one of your living-room friendly artists, but a Warhol or Manzoni who would crap in a can and dare you to like it. That to me made him someone I could always be happy watching, no matter how much he won or lost. But GhostofGeorgeLynch and you are both right that the era sucked for watching basketball.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on The Allen Iverson paradox: Right moment, wrong time
This is excellent. I totally agree that we do Jordan's greatness a disservice by only remembering it as the calculation of greatness rather than the techniques he mastered. Also, the greatness discourse is flat, a way for bone-heads to assert the supremacy of their own values over others, the trump card on analysis of e.g LeBron (who I like) or Kobe (who I don't like, but respect). But the game actually turns on each player's way of doing things that no-one has a counter for. Jordan is now a stand-in for "wanting to win", but I played high school football with a guy just as competitive as MJ, who is now in jail for trying to take out his competitors in real life. Actually, success is being able to do the right things in the right situation, and Jordan knew what could be done by him like few others.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on How did Michael Jordan play?
10 months, 1 week ago on Player Capsule (Plus): The Egoism of Chris Paul