All the great ones bitched at referees a time or two (as in 2,000 times). Larry Bird used to drop the word, “motherfucker!” a lot. Don’t let Magic Johnson’s smile fool you — he might have complained to the refs more than anybody in the history of basketball!
Anyway, there’s this sense among NBA fans today, probably new[er] ones that haven’t studied the history of basketball, that believe Jordan never whined to refs like the way LeBron James does.
Y’know, when Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls lost to the Detroit Pistons every year from 1988 to 1990 in the playoffs, Jordan exploded, verbally, all over the Pistons’ “dirty play”. Imagine if the internet and social media had been around back then. People online would have been delivering the same shit they give LeBron to Jordan. And it’s funny, because if you ask older dudes who grew up watching Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain play, they’d tell you that either they or their peers shunned the thought of considering Jordan a great until it was inevitable not to.
A lot of people put MJ on a pedestal. He’s my all-time favorite basketball player since he’s the athlete that got me hooked to the sport in my childhood, but he was not infallible. He was not immune to being flawed. Basketball fans today look into the lore of basketball and pick out what they want to hear and disregard facts. Why?