Dorell Wright, Brook LopezFirst impressions can make an indelible impact on us as human beings. Once we have an idea of what makes a person, place, or thing, it's difficult for them (us) to shed that perception. In sports, it's part of the reason why players considered to have high potential continue to get second, third, and fourth chances despite having played at below-average levels; conversely, it's why players that sign surprise-high contracts with substandard numbers tend to have a poor league-wide image.

Sometimes those perceptions are borne from comparison. No less than a half-dozen guards were compared to Michael Jordan once Jordan passed the baton in the late-90s. None of them lived up to those lofty standards, and as a result they're often considered by their flaws, rather than their accomplishments. ... MORE →