Jim Jackson, a former NBA journeyman now working as an analyst, almost certainly struck a chord with Boston Celtics fans Wednesday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.”
That’s because Jackson downplayed Larry Bird’s legacy, suggesting the Celtics legend isn’t on the same level as LeBron James, Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson in terms of being a “transformational” player.
“It’s a whole different aura when Magic walks in, when Michael walks in and when LeBron walks in,” Jackson said. “The aura is totally different than when a Larry Bird walks in.”
Jackson explained that he meant no disrespect toward Bird and actually was a fan of the three-time NBA champion, but his sizzling take drew the ire of Jason Whitlock and Marcellus Wiley. Kenyon Martin, meanwhile, agreed with Jackson to a certain extent.
The whole debate is kind of weird. The phrase “transformational” is very subjective when it comes to defining athletes’ careers. But folks on social media still were riled up about Jackson’s comments, so he took to Twitter a little while later to clarify his stance.
For all of you scoring at home: Bird, who played 13 seasons with the Celtics from 1979 to 1992, earned 12 NBA All-Star selections and three MVP awards in his illustrious career.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images