News: Why has Magic Johnson and Larry Bird avoided criticism for their early statements that “a Michael Jordan led team would never win an NBA Championship” and “he was disappointed in Michael Jordan, thought that he would be more than just a dunker,” respectively?

Unlike so many other aspects of life, sports have the delightful feature of having something called a scoreboard. The scoreboard is a clear and concise representation of the facts that cannot be further interpreted in light of the outcome. As a result, you shouldn’t worry about meaningless “criticism,” as Larry Bird was the first to acknowledge that his claims were demonstrably false. And he wouldn’t be the first; outstanding players frequently have their early careers overlooked.

Jordan was a ball hog and quite one-dimensional early in his career. Although he was undoubtedly the greatest basketball player of all time, it took him a few years to mature into a leader who improved everyone around him. That occurred when they perfected the triangle offense under Phil Jackson’s coaching. Bird was right on this one, though. As for Magic, he and Bird detested one another and were fierce rivals. In sports, it’s also common to talk bad about your rivals and try to take up residence in their minds without paying rent. Excuse me while I go throw up if you’re saying that racism might have been the source of these remarks.

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