A common complaint about our current culture is our impatience.

No one is immune to the microwave society. We are all complicit.

How could we not be? There’s literally an app that buys groceries from your nearest supermarket and delivers them to you.

In no area of our society is this phenomenon more evident than in the world of professional athletics.

Think about how we define a player’s career.

A legacy in today’s sports lexicon is really just a career in progress. The concept of legacy is accounting for the totality of something, but in sports, a legacy is defined in a moment’s notice. It’s microwavable.

That’s what seems so redundant about LeBron James’ career. If comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan seems overstated and stale it’s because it is. LeBron has been compared to Michael his entire career. How asinine is it to compare a burgeoning career, forever changing against the landscape of a full and complete resume. I’m not saying LeBron hasn’t always been chasing the ghost of Michael. He has, and he’s never really competed against his contemporaries. It’s merely the need to conclude a career in progress.

Is LeBron better than Michael? I suppose it’s something I should answer.

Better question. Is necessity really the mother of invention? No. Inventions do not fulfill one singular need, but instead evolve and are molded over time to fit a specific need.

None of any of the greatest inventions in the history of mankind were created by one singular person. It’s a chain of people that connect generations of inventors. One step of progress across a generation begets the next step of progress for future generations.

Michael ushered in the modern professional athlete. Michael brought the game to the farthest reaches of the globe. LeBron made sure it stayed there. LeBron took absolute power from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.  LeBron created upward mobility for NBA players in a way never seen before.

I’ll ask again, and I’m sure it’s not the last time we’ll ask if LeBron James is indeed better than Michael Jordan. The answer is and always was LeBron is the latest evolution of the Michael invention.

Watch Ari Temkin weekdays at 10am ET on The Renegades of Talk, exclusively on FANTOM, Facebook’s only live sports network.


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