In an age when every thought you have can easily be sent to millions of people with a few keystrokes, sometimes that can backfire. In former NBA player Eddie Johnson's case, that happened on Friday afternoon when he attempted to defend LeBron James by bringing up San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan.
Of course, Johnson probably would never readily admit he embarrassed himself with his tweet, but I'll let you be the judge for yourself after considering all the overwhelming evidence completely contradicting his statement. Here's the tragic moment where Eddie decided to take his argument defending LeBron's late-career struggles to somewhere that made no sense.
In the off chance Johnson wises up and deletes his misinformed tweet, here's what it said:
"It’s amazing how LeBron at almost 37 is still being ripped for struggling, when he has an AD in his prime and not living up to expectations. Magic, Bird, Duncan, Hakeem, and Jordan were no longer relevant at 37. That lets you know how great LBJ is. “Keep it moving"
As someone who followed Tim Duncan and the Spurs closely throughout his whole career, my ears immediately perked up, my eyes popped out, and my brain broke after reading this. Certainly he... doesn't mean... Tim Duncan... right? The guy who dropped 30 and 17 In Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals... at 37? Then opened up the 2014 Playoffs with 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting days before turning the decrepit old age of 38?
That guy? Not possible. Maybe he meant another NBA Duncan? Hmm, to Basketball Reference I go. Let's see, Andy Duncan -- played for the Rochester Royals from 1948-51 and retired at 28. I mean, I guess he wasn't relevant at 37. Maybe Duncan Robinson? Wait, he's only 27. Alright, so it's either Andy or Tim.
Then I saw this:
Eddie Johnson thought he could pull a fast one on real NBA fans
Oh, boy. Oh, man. Ok. So it is Tim. Alright. First of all, pointing to a season in which someone was named an All-Star at said age is certainly... a strategy. Not a good one, but it's definitely a sentence with words. Why didn't Eddie just point to Tim's season at age 37 where he wasn't named an All-Star? It would still be dopey but not as dopey.
Beyond that, there are just so many arguments for why calling Tim Duncan irrelevant at 37 years old is hilariously ignorant. In fact, there are so many I think I need to break out a list. *Takes a deep breath*
- Between 36-39 years of age, Tim Duncan was named to two NBA All-Star games, an All-NBA First Team, an All-NBA Third Team, two All-NBA Defensive Second Teams, and became an NBA champion for the fifth time.
- Duncan was 37 for all but two games of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. In that postseason, he averaged 18.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and shot 80.6% from the free throw line. In the Finals, those numbers were 18.9, 12.1, 1.4, and 82.1%.
- Duncan was 38 for all but two games of the 2014 NBA Playoffs. In that postseason, he averaged 16.3 points and 9.2 rebounds. He pushed that to a double-double average of 15.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in the Finals.
- Tim Duncan's Spurs defeated LeBron James and effectively broke up the Miami Heat superteam with one of the most lopsided NBA Finals series in history, winning by an average margin of 18 points per game. Tim was 38 when those Finals ended.
There are many more examples like this, but I advise you just check out the original tweet and resulting quote tweets to get a full idea. In any event, Johnson could have not have more off base by dragging Tim Duncan's name into his tweet.
Eddie Johnson, AKA "The Other Eddie Johnson" (the original one actually had multiple accolades to his name) was at least right with some parts of his tweet. Magic Johnson was retired by the time he turned 37 after not playing for five of the previous six years after contracting HIV. Congrats on that one, Eddie.
Larry Bird had also retired before even turning 36, so score another point for Johnson.
Meanwhile, Hakeem's Rockets went 79-85 in his last two years after he turned 37 until he went to Toronto to finish his career for some reason. Alright, I'll give him a third point.
The greatest player of all-time, Michael Jordan, also shouldn't have been in his list. Jordan was retired at age 37 but returned to the league for two years at age 38. While his Wizards didn't fare that well, he still put up a line of 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in those two seasons.
So let's recap. Johnson went with two retired guys, the greatest player of all time, and the greatest power forward of all time who won a title at age 38 to justify why LeBron James is being unfairly treated at 37? And this guy talks on the radio for a living? About basketball?
They say greatness recognizes greatness. Maybe that's why Eddie Johnson can't fully grasp the idea of Tim Duncan. Keep it moving.