Kings Of The NBA: Kobe, Jordan, Dr. J, Mikan And Chamberlain

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the greatest of them all?

Such a subjective question can only be answered by the player's body of work. When applied to basketball, we find that a player that is considered the current “best in the game” may lose his luster when the next generation comes of age.

This is understandable since the new generation may have never seen a player actually perform live. Therefore, we should only compare the work of contemporaries.

What we have seen recently is a plethora of opinions caused by a proliferation of sports news outlets, twitter, blogs aided by the maturation of the internet. Fanatics, usually  abbreviated to the word fans, of a particular player or team yell loud and long when they think that object of their admiration is being short changed.

In the past, once a player was given the "greatest" moniker, it was his until retirement.

I like the old saying “he set the bar high.” Basically it means that the standard of excellence has been reset to a higher standard.

In order to be the best, a player would have to exceed the highest standard of the current player. Once that player retires, a new standard may be set for the new generation. This is how it has worked in the past.

George Miken was the best of his time, but upon his retirement his “throne" was eventually ceded to Wilt Chamberlain. Shortly after Wilt’s retirement, Julius Erving became the first player I can ever recall being hailed as the best player in the world.That accolade was given to him by virtually every analyst in the game, though he played in the ABA at the time.

Erving was one of the several reasons for the NBA/ABA merger. The NBA brought the Slam Dunk contest from the ABA just to highlight Dr “J” and his one-man circus act. He held sway as the best in the game unti...

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