I had totally forgotten about this thread, (thanks to the spammer for using this one in particular) ... good time to revive it. (I'd forgotten when I had returned to CB, too ... didn't we have a "Welcome Back" thread at one time?).
Anyway ... was just having an appropriate discussion today about the difference between "favorite" player and "best" player. I think sometimes when people ask who your favorite
player is, they interpret that your answer is who you feel is the best
player. Not even close for me.
As far as best
player, (which is a much more difficult decision personally), I usually find myself wavering between Jordan and Russell, with the obvious differences in their games as a toss-up factor, (and a couple of other Greats close behind on my list).
player isn't even close ... it's Larry, period. Was he the "best" of all-time? As my previous statement indicates, probably not ... I don't believe he had quite the impact on the game itself (overall) that Michael or Bill did.
But when I qualify "favorite" in my mind, I'm thinking of who I loved to watch play the most ... who made the game the most fun to watch, the most exciting, who gave me the biggest knot of anticipation in my stomach when he came onto the floor. Larry Bird, no question.
And while this is just a personal observation on my part, I think there is also a strong argument to make him unequivocally one of the most awe-inspiring players to ever
play the game ... period. Even folks who didn't like Larry on a personal
level, still have a difficult time denying how exciting he was to watch.
While I have my share of Michael Jordan, Paul Pierce, Bill Russell, and other assorted players', (mostly Celtics), memorabilia taking up space in my home, just entering my front door leaves the one entering no question as to who my "favorite" athlete of all-time is, (as my abode is somewhat saturated with double-threes).
And while "best" is an argument that will forever divide the sports fan species from one-another, and make that topic most likely the one that all other sports topics will bow down to in reverence, "favorite" is a tag we can always hold onto as individuals, claim as our own, (no matter how absurd it may seem to others), and use to identify our taste in sports attributes.
Larry Bird the best
of all time? There is certainly a strong argument there to the contrary, (though I could argue pretty vehemently to the yea as well). But when it comes to favorites
"Larry Legend" will forever top the list in my book, and if I could have only one DVD of player highlights to watch from now until nigh, it would be the one with the green 33.