687 Basketball Superstars

Ken talks about the stars of the NBA and why they are good.

Wendi: OK, so I wanna ask you who you think is the best player of all time.

Ken: All time?

Wendi: Basketball player.

Ken: Basketball player of all time? Well, that's a no-brainer. It's Michael Jordan. No one even comes close to what he's been doing, or what he did. He's one, what six, five, no five MVPs, six championships, scoring titles every year in the league. He makes his teammates better. By far the best player to ever play the game.

Wendi: I wanna know who is the, kind of, strongest player right now that you could see filling Michael Jordan's shoes.

Ken: If you've been watching the NBA recently, you've probably heard the name LeBron James. He's probably like 21 right now, but he's already dominating the league. He takes a team and he's carried them to the playoffs, like it's just him, no one else on the team's good. He's done very well for himself.

Wendi: What do you think of the little man that could, Steve Nash from Victoria?

Ken: Steve Nash is amazing. He's everything a basketball player shouldn't be.

Wendi: Really.

Ken: He's short, white, Canadian, floppy hair, but he's a really, really good basketball player. He's making his teammates better. Everybody wants to play with him because he's so good and, you know, he's doing real well in the playoffs right now. Maybe they might win the championship so...

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

a no-brainer

That question about who the best player of all time is, that's no-brainer.

You can use the term 'no-brainer' to describe a question that has an obvious or easy answer. You don't have to think about it. Notice the following:

  1. This questions should be kind of a no-brainer.
  2. If you study enough, this test should basically be a no-brainer.

no one even comes close

No one even comes close to what Michael Jordan did.

When something is far superior to all other competition, you can say that 'no one even comes close.' Notice the following:

  1. No one even comes close to Amy Winehouse's style.
  2. Nothing here even comes close to how beautiful the scenery was there.

by far

Michael Jordan is by far the best player to ever play the game.

The phrase 'by far' is used to talk about something that is different from all other similar things to an extreme degree. In the example, Michael Jordan is not just a little better than the rest; he is a lot better than the rest. Notice the following:

  1. This is by far the best sushi  I have ever had.
  2. These are by far the most expensive shoes I own.


LeBron James is only 21 but he's already dominating the league.

'Dominating' something means that you completely overpower all other competitors. Notice the following:

  1. She's the kind of lawyer that just dominates the courthouse.
  2. He's so tall and strong that he completely dominates the game.

the little man

What do you think of the little man that could, Steve Nash from Victoria? He's short but he's good.

Here, 'the little man that could' refers to someone who is short but skilled. He doesn't give up just because his height will hold him back a little bit. Notice the following:

  1. He's always been kind of the little man with his friends.
  2. I don't think he understands that he's now the little man on the team.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
no-brainer • close • by far
dominate • little man
  1. China is expected to the competition.
  2. He is the on the team, but he works harder than most other players.
  3. This is the biggest city i have ever lived in.
  4. No one even comes to Madonna's level of fame.
  5. I know that doing this is kind of a for you, but it's difficult for me.