Before we watch the Cavaliers attempt to stave off elimination at the hands of the Warriors and their ’90s Cowboys-like greatness tonight, let’s take a trip to the barbershop to find out why LeBron James doesn’t believe Tom Brady is the greatest athlete of his lifetime.
It starts when Maverick Carter — James’ longtime business manager — contends that Brady’s seven Super Bowl trips and five wins are the greatest things he’s seen from an athlete in his lifetime. LeBron returns volley with the (slightly disappointing) “He only affects one side of the game!” argument.
Warning: This video includes several man yelling over each other relentlessly. The scene comes from an ESPN feature titled, “The Shop.”
â Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops)
June 9, 2017
“Yes, Brady is unbelievable,” LeBron says. “Brady is the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen but he affects the game one way.
“Just as a basketball player, and the pounding that you take and running both sides — ‘OK, I gotta do offense. Oh s–t, I gotta get back on defense. Oh s–t, I gotta get back on offense. Oh s–t, I gotta get back on defense.’ As physical as football is — and to the body, I know it’s crazy to the body — but for a quarterback, [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick has done a great job of implementing those five guys in front to protect that asset.”
“For us [as basketball players], every single night, you gotta know both sides.”
Not to add to the disappointment for LeBron this week, but he is grotesquely marginalizing the insane importance of the quarterback. It’s the most vital position in American sports, and the advantage of having a truly great quarterback — like, say, Tom Brady — cannot be understated.
As for not affecting both sides of the ball, pump the brakes. When Brady’s endless parade of marathon drives slowly bled the Falcons defense dry in Super Bowl LI, it had the dual effect of giving the Patriots‘ defense time to rest, refocus and figure out a way to neutralize Atlanta’s incredible offense. And they did just that.
Is Brady the best athlete — period — of his generation? There are many fair opinions to be had there. But sorry ‘Bron, let’s not act like the man’s a designated hitter or something.
UPDATE: The Cavaliers live to see another day after beating the Warriors 137-116 in game 4 of the NBA finals.