October 28, 2011
Years ago there existed a cute American band called The Knack, which had a hit with the single "My Sharona." Not long after its single shot to the top of the charts, The Knack's lead singer and principal songwriter Doug Fieger gushed to the press that his band had "the craft, the excitement, feeling and love that The Beatles brought to rock and roll." The American record-buying public, already a little tired of the ubiquity of "My Sharona" on the FM dial, promptly tuned out Fieger's band in part as response to his clumsy self-comparison to The Beatles.
What does this have to do with the NBA, on one of the more important days in the league's history? Well, Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford(notes) was recently asked by the Washington Post's Michael Lee to expound upon a personal Twitter description that Crawford wrote regarding his mission to be "The Greatest."
"I don't tell nobody, but I feel like I can be better than Michael Jordan," Crawford said, without the slightest hint of sarcasm. "When I'm done playing, I don't want people to say, Michael Jordan is the best player. I want that to be me. That's how I am. That's how I was built."
Um, what? You realize people will look at you sideways and think you're crazy for saying that, right?
"Yeah, I know that, I definitely know that. But I'm not settling for anything less," Crawford said. "I feel like I'm better than him, anyway. My mom is going to say I'm better than him."
Lee goes on to report that Crawford delivered these lines without his tongue placed firmly in a cheek, and with his poker face on. To Lee, Crawford was "serious." We don't doubt the man.
Of course, this is where we also get to shoot fish in a barrel.
Crawford is best known for throwing down on LeBron James(notes) in a pickup game while in between his sophomore and junior year at Xavier, a dunk made all the more infamous because Nike decided it was in James' best interest to attempt to confiscate the tapes of the flush. Crawford enjoyed a solid career at Xavier before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2010 and moving on to the Wizards late last season.
Following the trade, Crawford turned into just about the worst chucker (16.3 points on 16.3 shots per game) we've seen in 14 years of covering the NBA online. He made Jamal Crawford(notes) look like, well, Michael Jordan.
So for Jordan Crawford to overstep Jamal Crawford and turn into Michael Jordan? Or something better than Michael Jordan? That's a bit of a reach. We won't insult your intelligence by going too far into detail, but Crawford did average 17.6 points on 39 percent shooting for every 36 minutes he played last year. Jordan managed 26 points on 51 percent shooting per 36 minutes at the same age.
This brings us back to The Knack. Fieger, who passed away last year, wasn't wrong in his praise for his band. Not because they rivaled The Beatles in any significant way, but because this is what you say. This is what you're supposed to feel, whether you're heading a chamber music outfit, a power pop trio, or a long-haired heavy metal group.
The Knack's guitarist, Berton Averre, tried to explain his bandleader's fawning:
"Asking a new band if they're trying to copy the Beatles is like asking a rookie outfielder if he's trying to be Babe Ruth. Obviously, the answer's gonna be yes."
Crawford? He probably doesn't share as humble a perspective, but what do you want the kid to say? Do you prefer he doesn't gun for the top, on record? Do we not want his mother to think of him as the greatest thing to hit the hardwood since, well, Him?
Anyone who takes pot shots at Crawford today is just having fun with the guy, and that's more than fine. Actually, that's necessary. I mean, better than Jordan?
Beyond that, though? Dream big, Jordan Crawford. And let the history fall where it may.
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