With Kevin Durant firmly in the lead for 2007's Next Jordan nomination, I'd like to point out some previous candidates, nominees and wannabees compared to His Airness by idiots in the press at one time or another.
Grant Hill- With a body made entirely out of balsa wood and construction paper, Hill once got injured eating a sandwich. That's actually a lie, it didn't happen- but you believed me for a second, didn't you? It IS feasible that a sandwich could injure Grant Hill. What a pussy.
Ray Allen- Also a pussy. Spent his career avoiding the lane and shooting ten 3s a game. If anything, Ray Ray turned out to be the Next Glen Rice.
Harold Miner- Baby Jordan dunked a lot at 'SC, then played a total of 47 seconds in the NBA. The only thing Miner had in common with Mike was male-pattern baldness.
Mitch Richmond- The M in RUN-TMC, but certainly no Jordan. Scored 20+ for ten years in a row but usually played on mediocre squads that missed the playoffs.
JR Rider-Expectations swelled when he was killing 'em at UNLV, one 'expert' going so far as to call him the best college player ever. Instead of turning that momentum into NBA stardom, JR decided he's rather roll up his career and smoke it.
Ron Harper- As a high-flying Cavalier, Harper drew the comparison frequently for awhile. Then he blew his knee out. Then he realized he'd been traded to The Clippers and aged fifty years overnight.
Vince Carter- Simultaneously the most athletic and apathetic player in league history. Would be pretty good if he gave a shit. Coaches hate him.
Jerry Stackhouse- I'll give him credit for socking Christian Laettner (Jordan definitely would have done that) but that's where the similarities end. This Tar Heel had neither the handle nor the leadership to make the label stick.
Lebron James- All the talent in the world but his killer instinct is still in question. Can you imagine MJ nervously chewing his nails in a playoff game? Of course not.
Kobe Bryant- A legit comparison, skillwise. Kobe can do all the same things physically but gets too enamored with his own ego-driven agendas. And only in the very beginning of his career did Bryant approach MJ's tenacity at the defensive end.
So bring it, Durant. You've got some big shoes to fill. Or not.