Channing Frye Invites Hate After Critics Gets ‘Grouchy’ About His Michael Jordan Statement

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One day after retired Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye offered his opinion that LeBron James, not Michael Jordan, was the greatest basketball player of all time, he took time to try and tamp down the furor that subsequently resulted.

Frye’s original thoughts dismissed the idea that Jordan’s six NBA titles, compared to three for James, was a key difference in determining the two players’ qualifications.

That belief is due to Frye’s feeling that the absence of Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell in any such discussion negates the titles comparison. Russell won 11 championships during his 13 seasons with the Celtics.

Instead, Frye focused on the comparative career stats between James and Jordan. James is currently in his 17th season and has career averages of 27.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

On the other side, Jordan played 15 seasons and averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

Those commenters who favor Jordan in any debate will no doubt point to Frye’s perceived bias toward James, since the two players played with the Cavaliers for parts of three seasons from 2016 to 2018.

Any bias on Frye’s behalf is understandable, given the simple fact that he was part of two Cavaliers teams that reached the NBA Finals in 2016 and 2017.

James was the leader of those teams and helped the Cavaliers make history by becoming the first NBA team ever to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals.

In recognition of James’ efforts in that 2016 series, he won his third Finals MVP award, with Frye along for the celebration.

These types of debates really have no wrong answer, considering only opinions are involved. Yet, the level of emotion that people have toward them help guarantee that they will likely go on for decades to come.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.