Game of Lists
By Gary Sussman
Where is Bill Murray when I need him? The time I wake up every morning. Regardless. And considering my work schedule is more random than the NFL Flex schedule for Sunday night games, I have decisions to make. Morning Joe…Cup o’ Joe…Joe from Staten Island? Except this week. Because this week, there are two words that eliminate the early morning blindness. Roland Garros. The French Open. Every morning at 5:00 am on Tennis Channel. Say hello to my little friend (the remote)! Merci beaucoup!
And even though he may not be waking that early to catch the mayhem, I do know there’s one lunatic who’ll be watching the torture of the red clay during the day, and The Trilogy on the hardwood at night. My man, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com, @NotoriousOHM, aficionado all things roundball and tennis ball. Just not too early. (Back in the day, when Ohm was at the Daily News, I re-scheduled media availability for gameday shootarounds to before, rather than after, so the media could do their work and get on with their day. Mild applause…except for one. Ohm. Why? Made him get up an hour earlier. Who knew?…But I digress).
Earlier this week, the HOF writer Harvey Araton, @harveyaraton, tackled the raging (at least when I’m in the car) MJ vs. LeBron debate in a NY Times column titled, “One Thing LeBron James Can’t Win: A Comparison With Michael Jordan.” Two all-time greats from two different eras, and Harvey writes a compelling and multi-layered essay on why it’s really apples and oranges when talking about the two, for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with points or titles. But comparisons and lists always get to the who you are as a fan, where your passion lies, and often times reasoned discussion is road kill. But I didn’t go to Ohm with that matchup. Let Harvey do the heavy lifting. We went valet parking.
NBA Finals. French Open. Dunks and dinks…jammin’ and slammin’….crossover and cross court. Give me some lists. First up…All-Time NBA starting unit.
PG: Magic Johnson-Still the best passer I’ve ever seen and best at making teammates better (both went to Michigan State….but I digress).
SG: MJ- GOAT. Sorry LeBron, sorry Kobe.
SF: LeBron- LBJ just entered my top five with his Finals comeback last year and making the Finals yet again.
PF: Larry Bird-Tough choice over Tim Duncan but Bird could do it all when healthy and was clutch.
Center- Shaq- Physically the most dominant force I’ve ever seen.
I’m with him on the first four…but at the end of the day, I can’t overlook six titles, 38,387 points and the sky hook…Kareem, step to the podium.
And now onto the tennis court of your choice…hard, grass, clay…pick your surface. Not the three GOAT, but the three you love to watch.
Fed- The GOAT. Stylistically, we won’t see anyone like him again with his ability to serve, volley, play baseline and his one -handed backhand.
Stefan Edberg-My idol. Never will be another pure and only serve-and-volleyer with that kind of form.
Gabriela Sabatini-Style and beauty. I’m still in love with her. LOL
Ohm….come back to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had the opportunity to run the press conferences at the US Open last summer, so I’ll go with my top 3 player impressions….with a little NBA flavor.
Rafa- Shook everyone’s hand….no attitude….if Vince was in that setting, would have hugged it out.
Stan Wawrinka-The champ…when I said two more questions, he said no, five more…for a moment, I thought Marbury had won the Open.
Djokovic- I felt like wood…akin to my KG experience!
And for the bonus question…2020….Judge or Conforto….Ohm, who you got?
The Judge and executioner!!
If Kathy Griffin won the Kentucky Derby of bad career moves…then Mr. Met is your Preakness winner.
I would like to see Pierre McGuire work an NBA playoff game next season to interview the coach between periods.
Megyn Kelly…Show Uno….Putin…first baseman even slapped you five as you rounded the bases.
photos: paddypower.com (Roland Garros Stadium); espn.com (LeBron James); nba.com (Michael Jordan)