Seems funny to regard Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone and the Dream Team as “old school,” but compared to the players of today, it’s a fitting term. Hearing the newest inductees sound off about LeBron’s decision to “take his talents to South Beach” separates the generations even further. While most of the players don’t begrudge his choice of moving to the Heat, each feels that the manner in which he decided to deliver the news (the ESPN show, The Decision) was in poor taste.
Also factored into the mix is that the “old-timers” claim they would have never made the choice to join forces to create a super power. The one time the greats did get together, it was called “The Dream Team” and they crushed everyone in their path on the way to Olympic gold. LeBron and his best friends will find trying to accomplish something similar to be a far greater challenge. Naturally, one reason will be the level of competition.
Another, however, will be whether the Big Three will play the type of team basketball that the Dream Teamers did. Included in that mission will be to get their teammates to follow that lead. Believe me, I fully realize that any comparison between next year’s version of the Miami Heat and the Dream Team is totally unfair - yet, when they decided to join forces, wasn’t that the purpose? Didn’t LeBron’s predictions of multiple championships (I think he was up to around seven when he finally stopped) claim those three (and their running mates) would dominate their opposition in the NBA?
To listen to the induction speeches of Pippen and Malone was refreshing. Each was humble (I know I’ll be hearing from readers about MJ’s speech, which was far from humble, but I’ve been told there were extenuating circumstances prior to his taking the podium, and I’ll leave it at that), thanking “those who made it possible.” When you have impressionable sons who’ve been told how great these guys were, it’s always nice to have that message reinforced.
Andrew J. Holmes made a very pertinent statement regarding humility:
“It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.”