The Jordan-LeBron comparisons.
Here's a short, simple message, in particular to those at a certain four-lettered network: Stop.
One article last week suggested LeBron is bypassing Jordan as the greatest of all time.
Sorry, ESPN, but it's not even close.
Heck, I wouldn't consider LeBron a top-five player of all time. Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson is an ideal starting five.
Let's reflect a bit, here.
Jordan played in arguably the golden age of the NBA, with him, Magic and Bird all in their primes at the same time. Had Bird had a healthier back and Magic not been stricken with HIV, both of those guys could've played well into the mid-1990's.
Jordan also played against far superior competition. No disrespect to Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, but Jordan had to go through the likes of the Celtics of the 80's, the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons, Magic's Lakers, Patrick Ewing's Knicks and Karl Malone's Utah Jazz to earn his six titles. Jordan's Bulls would probably beat the Curry-Thompson-Durant Warriors in five or six games
We're also forgetting that Jordan decided to try baseball for a cup of coffee in the mid-1990's. Imagine two Bulls-Rockets Finals in 1994 and 1995.
Only once in Jordan's career when his Bulls didn't make the Finals did the team that knocked them out of the postseason not make the Finals. That was Milwaukee in MJ's rookie year (1984-85).
Lest we forget that Jordan is 6-0 in the Finals and never let a Finals' series get to Game 7. During the Bulls' championship run, Chicago only had to play two Game 7's (Knicks, 1992 second round, Pacers, 1998 Eastern Conference Finals). The latter series would've been over in 5 if not for some Reggie Miller heroics in Game 4.
Look, I know the folks in Cleveland may still be bitter about Jordan sending their Cavs home on buzzer-beaters in two postseason series (1989, 1993), but Jordan transcended the game, and did it in an era where physicality was allowed, and whistles didn't blow every time a fingernail grazed Jordan on a drive to the hoop.
Anyone else remember when Jordan dropped 63 points on arguably the greatest single-season team in NBA history, the 1986 Celtics? Recovering from a broken foot, no less?
LeBron is notorious for crying to the officials. That "flagrant foul" he drew against Indiana in the first round? Probably not a common foul 20 years ago. Let's see you drive the line against guys named Pippen, Rodman, Laimbeer, Barkley, McHale and Ewing. Guys that are among the best physical defenders in the history of the game.
I know these Celtics have no Jordan-esque superstar power. But Brad Stevens is getting them to play like a t-e-a-m. And t hat's why I think Boston can get to the Finals.
Realistically, whomever wins the Golden State-Houston series is probably going to get hats and t-shirts in June - I'm taking the Warriors in 6 over Houston, for those keeping score - but if the Celtics can get to the Finals with their two best players in street clothes, Stevens deserves a lot of the credit.
Celtics in 7. LeBron's Cavs career will once again end on Causeway Street before he ends up in Los Angeles.