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Frank Ramsey

Jim Loscutoff

Tom Heinsohn

Robert Horry

You may have heard of some these players, you may not have.  Regardless, each of them has won at least 7 NBA championships.  Yes, that’s more than Michael Jordan himself.

The argument of championship rings in basketball is one of the most overused and frankly ignorant arguments in sports.  Basketball is a team game.  It’s not one man against the world, regardless of what the major sports media companies portray. 

In sports, superstars are treated as gods; they can do no wrong.  In reality, they don’t win titles alone.  Great teams with depth win titles.  Very rarely are there teams that succeed with only one guy running the show (think 1994 Rockets for example). 

Michael Jordan wouldn’t have won his 6 championships without Scottie Pippen.  Simple as that.  Before Pippen, Jordan was 1-9 in the playoffs.  I do believe MJ to be the greatest ever, but not just based on his amount of rings.  He couldn’t have won those championships alone, and thus it cannot be the only factor when determining greatness.

 Therefore, determining the greatest player of all time cannot be done by merely looking at championships.  Plenty of players have won them, but it’s a combination of many things that truly determines greatness.  So please, stop the LeBron slander due to lack of rings, and understand the game is situational. 

There’s a reason they call it “team sports” after all. 

LeBron has had to face one of the greatest teams ever assembled, pitting 4 all-stars against him.  Jordan simply did not have to deal with this level of dominance against him, as the most brilliantly assembled team at the time was the one he was on. 

I’m not here to give LeBron excuses for his abysmal Finals record.  It is entirely factual that he has not won consistently in the biggest moments.  But, this simply cannot be the most used reasoning for undermining him.

Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever not because he has 6 championships, but because of the way he dominated the game.  It’s never been done like that before, and it probably won’t be again. 

To determine how the NBA Mount Rushmore shakes out, I’d suggest watching the tape instead of putting all your faith in one number.

Photo: John Bazemore/AP; Beth A. Keiser/AP