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Max Kellerman's answer to "Is LeBron ring chasing?"


Thanks to Michael Jeffrey Jordan, it seems as if every NBA superstar’s career is now measured by the number of championships won and lost. However, it is far from being that simple as how you win and lose those rings is just as important. When today’s superstars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant started to take matters into their own hands and start creating winning situations for themselves by assembling teams and recruiting some of their very talented friends to play alongside them, the term “Ring Chasing” was born.

Fair or not, this is the stigma cast on today's superstars that seek greener pastures in pursuit of their first, second, third, or fourth NBA championship, with the same doubters who said one could not do it alone accusing them of abandoning their competitive spirit to have a greater chance of winning. This is largely due to the success that Michael Jordan achieved in the 90s, not only in terms of winning but in the ascend of his star as a global sports icon that remained mysterious due to the relatively limited player access fans had before the dawn of social media.

The myth of Michael Jordan was so great that it might have led others to believe that Jordan did not need other elite players to win and that Hall of Fame teammates such as Pippen and Rodman got there off the greatness of Michael alone. (That's part of the reason for Pippen to write a book that battles that very idea). So when asked about the concept of ring chasing on his radio show, ESPN’s Max Kellerman decided to share his thoughts on the topic.

“Who wins a ring that doesn’t ring chase nowadays?.... Jordan didn’t have to ring chase, they got him Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, before that Horace Grant… He didn’t have to go anywhere.”

Max Kellerman, ">The Max Kellerman Show

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This is the argument of today’s NBA players and why the term ring chasing should cease to exist for the most part. If a player is measured by how many championships he wins and the organization he is a part of cannot construct a team good enough to win multiple rings, let alone one, then what choice do they have? Jordan didn't leave because, despite all the hate and bad PR he got in "The Last Dance," Jerry Kraus was an excellent GM.

Oftentimes front offices call most if not all of the shots, and for good reason. Personnel decisions can often be a delicate balance between building the best team and managing the organization in a way that will optimize the resources it has put forward at that moment. That being said, that very seldom leads to winning, and history has proven that the biggest spenders win more of the championships.

Perhaps ring chasing is not the problem, perhaps it is the way we view players as a whole that needs to change. After all, sports isn’t all about winning but about the pursuit of excellence amidst adversity with a competitive spirit. Maybe if we change the way we view the game, then the game will give everyone even more to love about it than we already do.

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