What If: Michael Jordan Never Existed?

Of course Karl Malone is the one who snaps him away

Earlier this year, Michael Jordan was asked which record would be harder to break: Russell Westbrook’s consecutive games with a triple-double, or Harden’s consecutive games with 30 points or more?

The G.O.A.T.’s answer?

Michael Jordan won six championships in six tries – collecting all six Finals MVP’s – earned five regular season MVP’s, a DPOY, three steals titles, and ten scoring titles. Quite simply, he dominated the era he played in.

Now, what if a player this dominant simply didn’t exist? Who collects the accolades that Michael Jordan earned?

Let’s start with divvying up the scoring titles:

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LeBron James Is Crazy

One year ago today, Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss could do no wrong. Now, everyone is calling for their jobs. What happened? Well, July 9th 2018, the Lakers signed Crazy.

It’s not hard to recognize crazy, but we sometimes ignore the signs. We ignore them because even crazy can make you feel good. It could be laughing with you at a bar. Smiling with you on vacation. Sleeping with you in your bed. Making you dinner while you watch TV.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

When you become this comfortable with crazy, all of the red flags you saw before become a distant memory. You’ll even find yourself sticking it out with crazy, until you walk out for work one morning to see that your car has “I’M PREGNANT” keyed into it and say to yourself:

“Ohhh… Yeah, that was a bad idea.”

Because crazy only rests. It never goes away.

So, why would the Lakers think their franchise was any different from Cleveland or Miami? Why did I think things would be different this time around? It’s not like all of this dirty laundry was in a room somewhere, away from the public eye. We were all witnesses, after all.

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Don Jeanie and the Buss Family

We were all floored from hearing the news that Magic Johnson was stepping down from his role as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers; However, I’ve watched enough gangster flicks to recognize when things aren’t what they seem.

Upon hearing the breaking news that Magic had quit, I sent out a tweet, comparing the situation to a scene from the Godfather II.

However, I woke up the next morning thinking that perhaps not everyone – or a vast majority of my fifty-seven followers – got the reference? Perhaps a little backstory on exactly who Frankie “Five Angels” was, is needed? And just how many similarities are there between the Lakers ongoing saga and the greatest cinematic saga of all time, The Godfather?

Well, let’s start from the beginning:

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Think Big

The Los Angeles Lakers have a potential “Death Lineup” at their disposal, but will they use it?

This season, the Lakers signed superstar LeBron James to join their young core in Los Angeles. Although they are third in the league in points per game, and sit at fourth in pace, the team has so far been plagued by poor effort on defense and defensive rebounding. They sit at 27th in opponent points per game, 24th in opponent field goal percentage, and 22nd in overall defensive rating. A huge contributing factor in this is the team places 27th in opponent offensive rebounds per game, and 22nd in opponent second-chance points.

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