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1984
02-16-2013, 10:02 AM
HOUSTON — It shouldn’t, but the sound bite virtually always trumps the fuller narrative.That’s a modern media fact of life and it’s especially true at a saturated carnival like All-Star weekend and during a free-for-all availability in which questions sometimes sound like pick-up lines and shout-outs are requested in three or four languages simultaneously. LeBron James has been in front of enough cameras and dealt with immense fame for long enough that he was ready to deliver his lines with ease when the inevitable topic was raised on Friday.

“That’s his own opinion,” James said of Michael Jordan’s recent statement (http://nba.si.com/2013/02/14/michael-jordan-kobe-bryant-lebron-james/) that he would pick Kobe Bryant over James on the basis of the Lakers guard’s five championships. “At the end of the day, rings [don't] always define someone’s career.

“If that was the case, then I would sit up here and say I would take Russell over Jordan. I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t take Russell over Jordan. Russell has 11 rings, Jordan has six. Take, I don’t know, Robert Horry over Kobe. I wouldn’t do that. It’s your own personal opinion. Rings [do] not define a person’s career.”

This was a clever, almost senatorial maneuver: James answered the question, shifted the discussion and briefly distracted a five-deep pack of reporters that surrounded him.

“You look at a guy like [former Bulls reserve] Jud Buechler, he has multiple rings, Charles Barkley does not have one ring,” James continued. “He’s not better than Charles Barkley. Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest of all time, [B]Reggie Miller is one of the greatest of all time. Sometimes it’s about the situation you’re in, the team you’re in and it’s about timing as well.”

That sound bite was followed by another, in which he tried to play off Jordan’s comments.

“I don’t play the game and try to define who I am over what guys say or how they feel about me,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I play for my family, I play for my teammates, I play for our coaching staff and I play for our fans, that’s it.”

LeBron’s sound bites, politically crafted and politically correct, served their specific purpose, providing a rebuttal to Jordan’s widely circulated comments. The fuller context — in this case, still only 30 minutes of questions and answers — rendered the sound bites wholly unconvincing. The extended conversation gave the impression that James not only cares about the comparisons but that he cares deeply, and implied that he particularly cares about Jordan’s opinion. What other impression could be reached after listening to James rattle off his favorite Jordan moments, in honor of MJ’s upcoming 50th birthday, in rapid-fire succession?

“I’ve got 50 of them, s— I’ve got 100 of them,” James said. “I’ve got so many memories of MJ. You name it. From the shoes, to him flying through the air, to him hitting the threes against the Blazers, to him being on the TV screen with Bugs Bunny. From him jumping over the buildings in a suit in the commercials. To him hitting the golf ball, swinging the baseball bat, so many memories. Him having the [ProStars] cartoon, you guys remember that? … I’ve got so many memories. MJ was an inspiration to me growing up.”

Not only an inspiration but, he admitted, but a full-fledged hero.

“You always tried to look for someone that was a superhero or someone who was beyond life,” James said. “Mine was Batman, mine was Transformers and Michael Jordan. Growing up those were the ones. I was like, I wish I could transform into this, I wish I could fly like Michael Jordan, or propel like Batman does.”

Does James, who so openly idolizes Jordan as an adult and who wore No. 23 in high school and in Cleveland, really expect anyone to believe that Jordan’s assessment of his progress doesn’t matter to him? As James’ friend Jay-Z would say, “We don’t believe you, you need more people.”
But this has morphed past simply validation-seeking now that James has claimed his first title and could very well add a second in a few months. Because just as easily as he made his respect for Jordan known, James didn’t blink in putting a target on his back.

“I want to be the greatest of all time,” James declared, adding later: “As my talent continued to grow, as I continued to know about the game, appreciate the game, continued to get better, I felt like I had the drive, first of all, the passion, the commitment to the game to place myself as the greatest of all time, the best of all time, however you want to categorize it. I don’t do it to say I’m better than this guy or that guy. I do it for my own inspiration. I inspire myself. When I go out on the floor, I want to be the best of all time. That’s how I help myself each and every night.”

The logical next question, then: How will he ultimately decide that he’s achieved his goal? Surely championships — rings — would be among the criteria, right? Does James have a checklist, a la a young Tiger Woods, who methodically tracked his progress alongside golf’s greats? What are the mileposts he is striving to hit?

“Nope, nope, nope, nope,” James said, unwilling to reveal any details. “If I go out and play at a high level, those things will take care of themselves.”
The fuller narrative, of course, reminds us that James values winning above everything. “It’s about damn time,” he declared after securing his first title last June. The previous year, after losing to the Mavericks in the Finals, he told reporters that he barely left his house for more than a week, such was his despair. How are we to reasonably believe the spirit of his sound bite — that rings aren’t critically important in judging greatness — when we have clear and convincing evidence of how much he personally values them?

Moreover, the fuller narrative between James and Jordan, even in just this half-hour window, grew so complicated and intertwined that it became difficult to keep up. To summarize: James disputed Jordan’s standard for comparing him to Bryant; claimed he doesn’t seek Jordan’s validation; ranked Jordan over Russell; spoke openly about how he idolized Jordan as a child; and stated clearly that he wants to be the best player ever, which would push Jordan, Bryant and everyone else to the side.
Eventually James conceded — not dejectedly but not eagerly, either — that these comparisons, for as long as they have already raged, are only just beginning.

“That’s the life,” he said. “I understand it. That’s the life I live in. The comparisons are going to come. I’d rather be compared to Michael Jordan than somebody who wasn’t in the league very long. It’s very humbling. I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. Mike is in his own lane and I try to create my own.”

What happens if and when James gets his second title? His fifth? His sixth? What happens if and when he passes Jordan — and Bryant — on the all-time scoring chart? What happens if and when he hits statistical peaks for career points, rebounds and assists that have never been achieved by the same player? What happens when he’s 50, like Jordan will be on Sunday, looking back on his career with the next generation of stars going after his records?
“How do I want to be remembered when I’m 50?” James asked rhetorically. “I’m 28 years old, I ain’t thinking about that.”
There it was, one last unconvincing sound bite. He wants to be the greatest and, like any man, he wants his due. Jordan won’t yet give it to him, but James is savvy enough not to whine about it and smart enough to make his case on the court. The fuller narrative suggests that the comparisons will be even more difficult and more complicated five years from now. Friday’s full narrative suggested that James knows that better than anyone.

Complete article HERE (http://nba.si.com/2013/02/15/lebron-james-michael-jordan-kobe-bryant/).

PacerPenguins
02-16-2013, 10:09 AM
I mean LBJ is a pretty good dude, I don't mind him as a player and respect the game he plays. The reason I don't like the Heat is because of the "fans" and Dwayne Wade, my oh my how I would love to just punch that guy in the face

yoadknux
02-16-2013, 10:10 AM
If he thinks rings are so unimportant, why did he join 2 "budding" stars?

mattie
02-16-2013, 10:15 AM
HAHA beautiful.

James just killed MJ. Everything he said is true. And I'll say the same thing I told my cousin last night when he repeated MJ's comments. Of course MJ would say Kobe is better. Because at the end of the day, no rational person could EVER say Kobe is the player MJ was. It's a stupid debate. MJ is flat out better than Kobe in every possible aspect of the game.

The problem with admitting LBJ's greatness? LBJ is quicker, stronger, more athletic, a better defender, a better passer than MJ ever was. At the end of his career we'll probably all say LBJ was the greatest to play the game.

MJ is imtimidated by LBJ. And he should be. LBJ already has a ring at a younger age than MJ, so he could possibly end up with as many rings as well. (which would just be nuts if he was able to pull that off as well)

mattie
02-16-2013, 10:19 AM
If he thinks rings are so unimportant, why did he join 2 "budding" stars?

He said they don't define who a player is. That's why we don't refer to Sam Jones as the greatest guard ever.

mattie
02-16-2013, 10:20 AM
Nothing more ridiculous than preaching about the greatness of Kobe because of his ridiculously fortunate career, while destroying 'Melo because he's extremely unfortunate. Championships are not how you define players' greatness.

Hicks
02-16-2013, 10:57 AM
To me, rings are for tie-breaking debates between players that belong in the same class/tier with one another.

Derek Fisher was not a better player than Reggie Miller because he had all of those rings and Reggie never had any, but if you want to break a tie between a comparison or debate of two top-tier guys (like Kobe and LeBron), I think that's a fair way to pick somebody, even if it's flawed. I mean give 2007-2009 Lebron a 2000-2002 Shaq teammate and he probably wins three rings then, you know?

mattie
02-16-2013, 11:03 AM
Put LBJ in Kobe's shoes and he wins maybe 10, maybe 15 rings.

graphic-er
02-16-2013, 11:06 AM
Nothing more ridiculous than preaching about the greatness of Kobe because of his ridiculously fortunate career, while destroying 'Melo because he's extremely unfortunate. Championships are not how you define players' greatness.

I Would not say that up until this year, Melo has ever been considered having "greatness" He was a very selfish player in Denver who didn't play defense and called his own number way too much. He hits tough shots, but he doesn't always make the correct basketball play. Everyone can agree that LBJ is making the correct basketball play to win games and not just chucking up tough shots.

I do agree that Kobe has had an unbelievably fortunate career. With out Shaq on board, there is no way Kobe gets this level of hype or respect.

mattie
02-16-2013, 11:13 AM
I Would not say that up until this year, Melo has ever been considered having "greatness" He was a very selfish player in Denver who didn't play defense and called his own number way too much. He hits tough shots, but he doesn't always make the correct basketball play. Everyone can agree that LBJ is making the correct basketball play to win games and not just chucking up tough shots.

I do agree that Kobe has had an unbelievably fortunate career. With out Shaq on board, there is no way Kobe gets this level of hype or respect.

The point, is had 'melo been as fortunate as Kobe, then we would talk completely different about him.

If Kobe has been in 'Melo shoes, he'd be criticized for his defensive effort and selfishness for his entire career.

shags
02-16-2013, 11:29 AM
To me, rings are for tie-breaking debates between players that belong in the same class/tier with one another.

Derek Fisher was not a better player than Reggie Miller because he had all of those rings and Reggie never had any, but if you want to break a tie between a comparison or debate of two top-tier guys (like Kobe and LeBron), I think that's a fair way to pick somebody, even if it's flawed. I mean give 2007-2009 Lebron a 2000-2002 Shaq teammate and he probably wins three rings then, you know?

That's exactly how I see it too.

shags
02-16-2013, 11:30 AM
Put LBJ in Kobe's shoes and he wins maybe 10, maybe 15 rings.

This is only LeBron's 10th year. How could he have 15 rings?

graphic-er
02-16-2013, 11:33 AM
The point, is had 'melo been as fortunate as Kobe, then we would talk completely different about him.

If Kobe has been in 'Melo shoes, he'd be criticized for his defensive effort and selfishness for his entire career.

I don't think so, i've never seen Kobe as a player who doesn't bring it defensively. Kobe is far more of a tactician than a Player like Melo.

mattie
02-16-2013, 11:35 AM
This is only LeBron 10th year. How could he have 15 rings?

Put LBJ in Kobe's shoes...

shags
02-16-2013, 11:41 AM
Put LBJ in Kobe's shoes...

Oh I see. While I'm at it, can I put Chris Paul in Derek Fisher's shoes, or is that just ridiculous?

1984
02-16-2013, 11:46 AM
If Reggie Miller had a Scottie Pippen by his side (And I think there is a growing opinion that Reggie was much better than Scottie) then how many championships would have Reggie Miller won? I believe that championships are not the ultimate measure. On some level, you are the product of your circumstances. Barkley, Miller, and Ewing never played on the caliber of teams that Jordan did. Ergo, while Jordan is the greatest, there may be some who could have ascended to a higher level if they had been able to play on better teams.

shags
02-16-2013, 11:48 AM
Here's the point. It's not ridiculous to say, right now, that Kobe's had a better career than LeBron. I agree with MJ on that, and that's how I took it when I saw the clip. I also don't have a problem with LeBron's response either.

But LeBron has more years to play than Kobe does. If LeBron gets 4 titles at relatively the same production, than I think you go with LeBron over Kobe. But if LeBron only wins one more, or none, than you probably go with Kobe. You don't know yet though.

It is ridiculous to say, right now, that Kobe is better than LeBron. That's not what I took from Jordan's comments though.

1984
02-16-2013, 11:49 AM
In my opinion, the measure of Kobe Bryant is not limited by his contribution to championship teams and record books, but the drama he has been a part of for two decades. Kobe Bryant is not a team player. I think the question that should be asked about Kobe Bryant is not, "How many did he win?" but "How many more could he have won?" if he had been a better teammate. Furthermore, Kobe Bryant was not the best player on multiple championship teams. We forget that Kobe Bryant played with Shaquille O'Neal who was one of the most dominant players of all time.

Michael Jordan has always been a renowned jerk, his comments should be taken with great moderation.

shags
02-16-2013, 11:49 AM
If Reggie Miller had a Scottie Pippen by his side (And I think there is a growing opinion that Reggie was much better than Scottie) then how many championships would have Reggie Miller won? I believe that championships are not the ultimate measure. On some level, you are the product of your circumstances. Barkley, Miller, and Ewing never played on the caliber of teams that Jordan did. Ergo, while Jordan is the greatest, there may be some who could have ascended to a higher level if they had been able to play on better teams.

In what world outside of Pacerville is there a growing opinion that Reggie Miller was greater than Scottie Pippen?

Pace Maker
02-16-2013, 11:54 AM
I won't compare careers because obviously at this point point Kobe's>LBJ's, BUT just going off skill level and the player themselves, I would take current Lebron over prime Kobe.

IUfan4life
02-16-2013, 12:19 PM
Some of you if not most may know Haralabob. I think his tweet sums it up perfectly, "Why does anyone care that MJ would take Kobe over Lebron? You guys are aware of MJ's draft and trading record right?"

J7F
02-16-2013, 12:20 PM
This is only LeBron's 10th year. How could he have 15 rings?

Because he's LeBron Freaking James :) /green

ilive4sports
02-16-2013, 12:35 PM
HAHA beautiful.

James just killed MJ. Everything he said is true. And I'll say the same thing I told my cousin last night when he repeated MJ's comments. Of course MJ would say Kobe is better. Because at the end of the day, no rational person could EVER say Kobe is the player MJ was. It's a stupid debate. MJ is flat out better than Kobe in every possible aspect of the game.

The problem with admitting LBJ's greatness? LBJ is quicker, stronger, more athletic, a better defender, a better passer than MJ ever was. At the end of his career we'll probably all say LBJ was the greatest to play the game.

MJ is imtimidated by LBJ. And he should be. LBJ already has a ring at a younger age than MJ, so he could possibly end up with as many rings as well. (which would just be nuts if he was able to pull that off as well)
Damn you really don't like MJ do you? I get the whole Pacers/Bulls rivalry, but LeBron has a ton of work to do to even think about being at MJ's level let alone surpassing it. Even this streak that LBJ is on now, its nothing compared to what MJ did back in 89' with the ten triple doubles in eleven games.

I think people forget about how good Jordan actually was. Dude averaged 30ppg for his career even with his last two seasons on the Wizards. He left two rings on the table when he went to play baseball as well.

I think LeBron is a ridiculously good basketball player. And will go down as one of the best ever. But damn man, he's no MJ. No one is.

15th parallel
02-16-2013, 01:13 PM
Michael Jordan saying that he'll choose Kobe against James is really a compliment to James. You know how well MJ evaluates talent you know... ;)

Seriously, I think it affected LeBron somehow because MJ's picking is really flawed (looking at the number of rings), and LeBron no doubt admires Jordan more than any other former greats. And what James said is true in that rings do not define greatness or who's better than, but of course it is still every great player's goal at the end of the day. Basketball is a game of 5 vs. 5 on the court, so championships need more than just one great player to achieve that, even as great as Jordan is he'll basically admit that.

As for Kobe, he's a great player but I will not even put him in the top 10 (maybe he'll crack top 20 but that's a maybe). His 1st 3 rings he was 2nd fiddle next to a dominant Shaq, and he also had great teammates as well that saved them in critical situations (Robert Horry vs. the Kings for example). And his antics against Shaq contributed in a way for the Lakers to fall apart. Then made threats to leave or be traded when he just can't win without Shaw. Then he just got lucky that in exchange for scrubs he got a great teammate in Pau Gasol to bow down to him to salvage his career as a future GOAT candidate next to Jordan. And he almost didn't get his 5th ring because he was laying eggs in game 7 (and he attempted so much to almost bury his team to ground). I just can't consider a guy like that better than James.

immortality
02-16-2013, 01:27 PM
Then he just got lucky that in exchange for scrubs he got a great teammate in Pau Gasol to bow down to him to salvage his career as a future GOAT candidate next to Jordan. And he almost didn't get his 5th ring because he was laying eggs in game 7 (and he attempted so much to almost bury his team to ground). I just can't consider a guy like that better than James.

Wouldn't call Marc Gasol a scrub, at this point in their careers, Marc seems to be the more dominant player.

boombaby1987
02-16-2013, 01:29 PM
Lebron is one of the realest dudes in the NBA. If you ask him a question, he will answer it. So much better than the LeBron who cared what others thought about him.

15th parallel
02-16-2013, 01:42 PM
Wouldn't call Marc Gasol a scrub, at this point in their careers, Marc seems to be the more dominant player.

Okay, not really meant to call Marc Gasol a scrub (it was for Kwame btw), but let me rephrase that to a scrub and an unproven player.

And Marc is a better big man right now against Pau no doubt, but Pau was a better player at the same time in the league as Marc right now. So I'll still call it a lopsided trade for the Lakers.

yoadknux
02-16-2013, 01:44 PM
Wouldn't call Marc Gasol a scrub, at this point in their careers, Marc seems to be the more dominant player.
He was a scrub during the trade. If I remember correctly, when they traded him he was simply a 2nd round pick that had never played in the NBA.

Naptown_Seth
02-16-2013, 02:11 PM
The best thing is that sports are performed in a bubble where each player is totally isolated from each other. No team ever won anything due to who they played, or matchups, or teammates, or travel, or injury, or coaching. Pretty much if you are better than another player of "equal" talent then you'll always beat them. That's how it works. This is why Vegas went out of the Sports Book business.

Also there is this great "switch on" moment where s****y players like Lebron instantly get a lot better just as the final minute of a title series clinching game tick off. You can see it, like a bolt of lightening where they instantly become a lot better. Prior to that they were dogs***, but then the hand of God reaches down, changes their actual physical structure, and denotes this by placing a ring on their finger. Magic.



See, no player ever made a teammate better. No defender ever hurt or helped an opponent. No scheme ever had any impact on a game. It's just not that complex. Sports is probably the most black and white, obvious, merit based system ever invented.






Having said that (sarcastically), Lebron is still an overprivileged, flopping douche. I don't fault him on rings, I fault him on on-court attitude and behavior in some prior tough moments (like giving up).

Young
02-16-2013, 02:11 PM
Before I use to have a strong opinion on who the greatest ever is but as time goes on I just think its impossible to say. Yet so many people believe MJ is the greatest ever and I think that is unfair to Bird, Kareem. Magic, Wilt, Russel, and even guys like Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West. Almost all the people who say MJ is the greatest ever can't even remember watching guys before MJ play if they were even born then. I have always found it crazy when people just forget about all of these great players who came before MJ.

I think MJ has brought up a good point in saying the competition was tougher in his era. Less teams = better teams and you have to remember it use to be that you could be a physical defender, not so much the case anymore. However I think that Lebron makes valid points about MJ. I don't know if there was any coach besides Phil who could have got through to MJ in order to win and Scott Pippen was the PERFECT star to pair with MJ.

When it comes to Lebron vs Kobe its really hard to say. One thing about Lebron is there has NEVER been a player like him before. He is a once in a lifetime type of talent. He has his faults and all but even I can appreciate what he brings to basketball.

Peck
02-16-2013, 02:21 PM
The single factor IMO that puts Jordan above all of the other wings (I refuse to compare him to centers of long ago era's because it is impossible to do) of the current age is that Michael had to suffer through legal hand checking on the perimeter. That practice is and has been illegal for years now in the NBA. I'm not saying that Bryant or James or Durrant couldn't overcome this obstacle but the simple matter of the fact is they haven't had to.

Hand checking may not sound like much but let me assure you certain players (Derek Harper comes to mind right away) could knock you off of your dribble and change your path to the basket.

Great players are great players & I'm not trying to take any of them down but I'm just saying that Michael did all of his damage (even as much as I hated it) with defenses allowed to be far more physical than they are today.

mattie
02-16-2013, 02:38 PM
Damn you really don't like MJ do you? I get the whole Pacers/Bulls rivalry, but LeBron has a ton of work to do to even think about being at MJ's level let alone surpassing it. Even this streak that LBJ is on now, its nothing compared to what MJ did back in 89' with the ten triple doubles in eleven games.

I think people forget about how good Jordan actually was. Dude averaged 30ppg for his career even with his last two seasons on the Wizards. He left two rings on the table when he went to play baseball as well.

I think LeBron is a ridiculously good basketball player. And will go down as one of the best ever. But damn man, he's no MJ. No one is.

No, I have no problem with MJ at all!

I just don't believe in the, "there will be no one better than - insert great player- " LBJ is already a superior athlete and superior to many aspects to MJ's game. After his career is over, and LBJ has surpassed all his numbers I know many may consider him better. Maybe even myself. I'm not saying it is true. But it will be a very interesting discussion that any basketball fan should take seriously.

We are watching true greatness in LBJ. I've just learned to accept that is all.

Pacerized
02-16-2013, 02:44 PM
HAHA beautiful.

James just killed MJ. Everything he said is true. And I'll say the same thing I told my cousin last night when he repeated MJ's comments. Of course MJ would say Kobe is better. Because at the end of the day, no rational person could EVER say Kobe is the player MJ was. It's a stupid debate. MJ is flat out better than Kobe in every possible aspect of the game.

The problem with admitting LBJ's greatness? LBJ is quicker, stronger, more athletic, a better defender, a better passer than MJ ever was. At the end of his career we'll probably all say LBJ was the greatest to play the game.

MJ is imtimidated by LBJ. And he should be. LBJ already has a ring at a younger age than MJ, so he could possibly end up with as many rings as well. (which would just be nuts if he was able to pull that off as well)


About the only thing I could agree with you on this is that Lebron is stronger.
He's not nearly the scorer, shooter, or defender that MJ was and he's not nearly as quick.
I do agree with Lebron that titles alone don't make a player great but he isn't on the level of Jordan. He'll end up playing a lot longer then Jordan and still won't be considered as great.

Wage
02-16-2013, 03:00 PM
Here's the point. It's not ridiculous to say, right now, that Kobe's had a better career than LeBron. I agree with MJ on that, and that's how I took it when I saw the clip. I also don't have a problem with LeBron's response either.


I think this is where the contention is coming from. It is certainly fair to say that Kobe has had a better career than LeBron, but it is borderline crazy to say Kobe is a better player than LeBron. Knowing what you know now, if an 18 year old LeBron and an 18 year old Kobe both entered the draft, I would question the sanity of anyone that would even consider drafting Kobe over LeBron.

ilive4sports
02-16-2013, 03:01 PM
No, I have no problem with MJ at all!

I just don't believe in the, "there will be no one better than - insert great player- " LBJ is already a superior athlete and superior to many aspects to MJ's game. After his career is over, and LBJ has surpassed all his numbers I know many may consider him better. Maybe even myself. I'm not saying it is true. But it will be a very interesting discussion that any basketball fan should take seriously.

We are watching true greatness in LBJ. I've just learned to accept that is all.
I've been a fan of LeBron since he entered the league because there is no one else like him in the NBA. The man is a true freak of nature. I love watching him play any team not name the Pacers because he is a joy to watch. And honestly a lot of that comes down to his freakish athleticism. Seeing a man his size to those things at those speeds is special.

But when we talk about raw skill, MJ has LBJ beat. The only thing LBJ really has over Michael is the athleticism, but not even by that much because Michael was a phenomenal athlete himself. And Michael had the mental game down better than anyone. And that has been a huge struggle for LeBron. Michael was just such a pure basketball player in every facet of the game. Its why at age 49 he still beat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in 1 on 1.
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/21710771/michael-kidd-gilchrist-says-michael-jordan-beat-him-one-on-one

daschysta
02-16-2013, 03:01 PM
The single factor IMO that puts Jordan above all of the other wings (I refuse to compare him to centers of long ago era's because it is impossible to do) of the current age is that Michael had to suffer through legal hand checking on the perimeter. That practice is and has been illegal for years now in the NBA. I'm not saying that Bryant or James or Durrant couldn't overcome this obstacle but the simple matter of the fact is they haven't had to.

Hand checking may not sound like much but let me assure you certain players (Derek Harper comes to mind right away) could knock you off of your dribble and change your path to the basket.

Great players are great players & I'm not trying to take any of them down but I'm just saying that Michael did all of his damage (even as much as I hated it) with defenses allowed to be far more physical than they are today.

This is true, though zones weren't really played as much back then were they? A zone performed well can stymie a star player as we saw when Dallas won their championship a few years back.


I've been a fan of LeBron since he entered the league because there is no one else like him in the NBA. The man is a true freak of nature. I love watching him play any team not name the Pacers because he is a joy to watch. And honestly a lot of that comes down to his freakish athleticism. Seeing a man his size to those things at those speeds is special.

But when we talk about raw skill, MJ has LBJ beat. The only thing LBJ really has over Michael is the athleticism, but not even by that Michael was mentally stronger, but i'm not so sure about raw skill. I've watched both, LeBron is the better and more willing passer, and a better rebounder due to his size. LeBron doesn't even use his athleticism to score half the time anymore, though he could every time he goes down the court.
much because Michael was a phenomenal athlete himself. And Michael had the mental game down better than anyone. And that has been a huge struggle for LeBron. Michael was just such a pure basketball player in every facet of the game. Its why at age 49 he still beat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in 1 on 1.
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/21710771/michael-kidd-gilchrist-says-michael-jordan-beat-him-one-on-one

Not sure I buy the skill argument, LeBron is a better and more willing passer, he sees plays develop in a way Michael didn't.

3rdStrike
02-16-2013, 07:21 PM
No, I have no problem with MJ at all!

I just don't believe in the, "there will be no one better than - insert great player- " LBJ is already a superior athlete and superior to many aspects to MJ's game. After his career is over, and LBJ has surpassed all his numbers I know many may consider him better. Maybe even myself. I'm not saying it is true. But it will be a very interesting discussion that any basketball fan should take seriously.

We are watching true greatness in LBJ. I've just learned to accept that is all.

That's fine, but he hasn't done it yet. And that's all MJ was saying, really. You got very excited about comments that weren't dismissive of Lebron at all.

Also, a previous poster mentioned the hand checking rules. That is a big deal. But also, Lebron's points and percentages come largely from the paint/foul line, as a result of the referees NOT calling his signature shove (the one Jordan made famous vs the Cavs...Lebron does it on every single drive) and as a result of defenders being afraid of being called for a foul if he A.) flops or B.) gets breathed on. Every superstar gets superstar calls, but Lebron still flops as much as anyone in the NBA, and gets away with it.

Also, Lebron's defensive intensity hasn't been there this year. He gets the chase down blocks every so often, but he's still not in Jordan's league as far as man-to-man. Is he good? Yes. Is he more versatile than Jordan, owing largely to his size? Yes. Is it probably because he's spending so much energy on offense? Yes.

Nobody is saying Lebron sucks, but to act like he's already better than Jordan, please. No point until there's some sort of statistical evidence, which would be years from now.

BlueNGold
02-16-2013, 07:53 PM
LeBron is the first player to approach the level of greatness that is Jordan. I've seen a ton of Bird and Magic, and while they were very entertaining and great players...players with far more personality than Jordan & James, those guys are a notch below. I do think Wilt is in that region. But LeBron is in that region of greatness as well. Kobe, I think falls a hair short of that.

I say all of this even though I can't stand LeBron. Note that he said in the article above that he inspires himself. Wow!

Anyway, I will not deny the truth. He is right there with the very best who ever played the game.

We can stress LeBron's physical strength as an advantage to him. We can stress Jordan's creativity and craftiness. But the reason I think Jordan is better is that he had supreme confidence and an insane level of competitiveness. You never ever saw fear in the eyes of Michael Jordan. You do see it in LeBron's eyes on occasion...and I think this is a big reason why "de Bulls" would beat the tar out of the Miami Heat.

mattie
02-16-2013, 07:57 PM
That's fine, but he hasn't done it yet. And that's all MJ was saying, really.


No. MJ said Kobe was better than LBJ. I noted how ridiculous that statement is as well as laughing at MJ's motives for saying so. I think it is funny, because there is no way MJ actually believes Kobe is a better player than LBJ. That or he just doesn't watch basketball anymore.

Hicks
02-16-2013, 08:03 PM
You guys really ought to watch the video of Jordan's quotes about this. It comes across a lot differently in print than it did on camera. He almost didn't want to pick one over the other.

BlueNGold
02-16-2013, 08:07 PM
Peck is right. Glad to see some old timers post considering they witnessed it. The fouls were much harder and the hand checking made it harder to score. It was just about football on hardwood against the Knicks and Pistons. I cannot imagine how good MJ would be in today's league of touch fouls. It's really made for him.

As an aside, Derrick Rose wouldn't last one season back in the day. That zip and spin crap would have him in traction in no time.

Sandman21
02-16-2013, 08:10 PM
I'm not convinced that Lebron would have survived the 90s mentally. If he's complaining about Lance talking trash, Michael, Larry, Gary Payton, and Reggie in their primes would have torn him APART.

mattie
02-16-2013, 08:13 PM
It's probably just as bad to be nostalgic about the greatness of the NBA before as it is to preach about the superior athletes of today.

BlueNGold
02-16-2013, 08:17 PM
It's probably just as bad to be nostalgic about the greatness of the NBA before as it is to preach about the superior athletes of today.

Don't confuse nostalgia for experience and knowledge. I watched Bird and Magic play live many, many times. Neither are as good as LeBron James. Still, I would not rank LeBron over Michael.

The reality is, my opinion is more educated because I actually witnessed all of these players...and lived through the seasons.

spreedom
02-16-2013, 08:50 PM
I like people saying that LeBron couldn't have handled the physicality of the 80s and 90s... he's 6'8" and 260 pounds. Get a clue.

And saying that he isn't mentally tough or couldn't handle trash talk is unmeasurable, lacking in substance, and ignoring the fact that basically every player in the history of the NBA got rattled by on-court happenings. I hate LeBron's personality off the court, but I appreciate his ability and I believe he'll be the greatest single player ever when he retires.

And the level he's playing at right now is totally unmatched. Jordan had a much better career than LeBron has so far, but at no time did Jordan dominate all aspects of the game like LBJ.

D-BONE
02-16-2013, 09:06 PM
Funny how mature, poised, and respectful LeWhine is in front of the press when he's talking to MJ and Kobe. Everyone seems to have forgotten what a complete d-bag he was about Dirk when the poor Heat wer being denied, heaven forbid, in their first attempt at a ring w the big 3 d-bags. And don't say it was all about Wade.

This is why I'll take a Dirk, Reggie, PG type. Not perfect but so much better on the egotistical front. Jordan, Kobe, LeWhine can have their GOAT debates and stroke their already overinflated egos. Those guys don't even respect guys from older eras in these discussions enough.

edc
02-16-2013, 10:33 PM
It really hard to gauge who was better who was not. Many circumstances not in their control like trades, injuries, teammates...type of officiating...

After they retire try to be a coach or an executive and lets see how their minds work. Jordan sucks, Magic too impatient.

But Bird.....everywhere he goes he wins.

shags
02-16-2013, 11:07 PM
Read the first paragraph and the fantastic quote by Shane Battier on LeBron James.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8016432/gladwell-vs-simmons-iv

Jordan, Magic, and Bird. None of them had to play during the information age and live through the 24/7/365 scrutiny LeBron does. Who knows how that would have affected them, especially Jordan. Deadspin, TMZ, etc. would have had a field day with him.

brownjake43
02-16-2013, 11:17 PM
I hate Lebron. But he is the most talented player ever to live. Better court vision than MJ by far. Gets his teammates involved. MJ was much more competitive though. Defense is equal as they bring different things to the table defensively. Lebrons better at rebounding obviously. I take lebron and hope I can get him to have Jordan's mentality. Yes I saw them both play. Lebrons unreal

Pacerized
02-16-2013, 11:51 PM
I don't think I've read a comment from anyone old enough to really remember Jordon in his prime think Lebron stands a chance to surpass him. Lebron is the best player in the game right now, but I still don't think he's better then Kobe in his prime and well below Jordon. For the record I never liked Jordon but he was the greatest that I've ever seen play the game. And btw today's game does not contain overall better athletes and that's a shame. Centers and power forwards are overall smaller and not as physical and the sg position has taken a step down talent wise. I will say that there are more high quality point guards and small forwards in the league today overall. There is some great talent in the league right now and Lebron is playing at an elite level however I think the competition Jordon faced was at a time when nba talent levels were at their greatest. Put Jordon in today's nba with today's defensive rules and he'd at least average in the 40's scoring. Lebron should play a lot more games then Jordon when all is said and done so I expect him to surpass his scoring total but I doubt if he wins as many titles and he won't be considered the greatest ever.

edc
02-17-2013, 08:07 AM
Maybe we are overrating michael jordan too much.

I remember in the 80s and 90s jordan was guarded by players shorter than him or players less physically gifted than him. 1980s never won. Fast forward 90s against the lakers i forgot who guarded him. Against the knicks john starks? Seattle gary payton? Utah against byron russell, howard eisley, shannon anderson....even jeff hornacek.

The only player who played great defense against jordan was derrick mckey. I remember the 98 series and wow i thought we won that.

So if jordan plays today we will never know if he can score 40 points with the emergence of more physically gifted, quicker and taller players.

BlueNGold
02-17-2013, 08:13 AM
Read the first paragraph and the fantastic quote by Shane Battier on LeBron James.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8016432/gladwell-vs-simmons-iv

Jordan, Magic, and Bird. None of them had to play during the information age and live through the 24/7/365 scrutiny LeBron does. Who knows how that would have affected them, especially Jordan. Deadspin, TMZ, etc. would have had a field day with him.

LeBron brought scrutiny on himself by staging "the Decision" on national TV. Prior to that, he was viewed FAR more positively.

Also, Jordan had his share of scrutiny. 24/7/365 news and ESPN existed before he laced them up in Chicago. Perhaps Battier needs to read "The Jordan Rules" which was published in 1991. Talk about scrutiny.

Just because twitter didn't exist at the time does not mean there wasn't a high degree of scrutiny. Some of you probably think Wilt Chamberlain came to the arena in a horse and buggy. BTW, Wilt would completely dominate this league right now and he'd be better than LeBron. He's like a 7'1" LeBron James folks. Talk about an athlete.

Edit: Wilt was like a bigger version of Dwight Howard with LeBron's skill level. Maybe a better description is that Wilt is the center version LeBron James. He led the league in assists...when he decided to do it.

spreedom
02-17-2013, 09:41 AM
I don't think I've read a comment from anyone old enough to really remember Jordon in his prime think Lebron stands a chance to surpass him. Lebron is the best player in the game right now, but I still don't think he's better then Kobe in his prime and well below Jordon. For the record I never liked Jordon but he was the greatest that I've ever seen play the game. And btw today's game does not contain overall better athletes and that's a shame. Centers and power forwards are overall smaller and not as physical and the sg position has taken a step down talent wise. I will say that there are more high quality point guards and small forwards in the league today overall. There is some great talent in the league right now and Lebron is playing at an elite level however I think the competition Jordon faced was at a time when nba talent levels were at their greatest. Put Jordon in today's nba with today's defensive rules and he'd at least average in the 40's scoring. Lebron should play a lot more games then Jordon when all is said and done so I expect him to surpass his scoring total but I doubt if he wins as many titles and he won't be considered the greatest ever.


No offense, but you're going to make a sweeping generalization like that, at least spell Jordan's name correctly.

Pacerized
02-17-2013, 10:28 AM
No offense, but you're going to make a sweeping generalization like that, at least spell Jordan's name correctly.

Oh my god a typo. Sorry it doesn't take away from the fact. You can't appreciate how good a player is at 10 years old like you can as an adult.

spreedom
02-17-2013, 11:58 AM
Oh my god a typo. Sorry it doesn't take away from the fact. You can't appreciate how good a player is at 10 years old like you can as an adult.

Fact? What fact? Your post is filled with a bunch of opinions that aren't supported by a single fact. If anything, the fact that I was a kid when he was in his prime would suggest that I'd overrate him, considering he was basically a superhero to me growing up.

Pace Maker
02-17-2013, 12:14 PM
I'm not coming here to say MJ is overrated, but people are so nostalgic about his era they don't even realize their biases.

People glamorize MJ and Dominique Wilkins dunk contest and wish today's dunk contests could be like, but they ignore the fact that MJ and Dominique did some pretty damn basic dunks. If a player tried those today he wouldn't even last til the 2nd round lol

BlueNGold
02-17-2013, 12:30 PM
I'm not coming here to say MJ is overrated, but people are so nostalgic about his era they don't even realize their biases.

People glamorize MJ and Dominique Wilkins dunk contest and wish today's dunk contests could be like, but they ignore the fact that MJ and Dominique did some pretty damn basic dunks. If a player tried those today he wouldn't even last til the 2nd round lol

I think the dunks are better in recent years, but that's because the league has become more and more like a track meet where high jumpers like Gerald Green and James White are paid big bucks purely due to their athleticism. They have little to bring to the table in a real game even though they can jump out of the gym.

In any event, better dunking clearly doesn't translate to better basketball.

Edit: I bet some people think Wilt "the stilt" was good because he was tall. Well, that's probably because they never saw him play. Again, don't confuse nostalgia for knowledge and experience.

J7F
02-17-2013, 01:02 PM
I don't think I've read a comment from anyone old enough to really remember Jordon in his prime think Lebron stands a chance to surpass him. Lebron is the best player in the game right now, but I still don't think he's better then Kobe in his prime and well below Jordon. For the record I never liked Jordon but he was the greatest that I've ever seen play the game. And btw today's game does not contain overall better athletes and that's a shame. Centers and power forwards are overall smaller and not as physical and the sg position has taken a step down talent wise. I will say that there are more high quality point guards and small forwards in the league today overall. There is some great talent in the league right now and Lebron is playing at an elite level however I think the competition Jordon faced was at a time when nba talent levels were at their greatest. Put Jordon in today's nba with today's defensive rules and he'd at least average in the 40's scoring. Lebron should play a lot more games then Jordon when all is said and done so I expect him to surpass his scoring total but I doubt if he wins as many titles and he won't be considered the greatest ever.

I'm 30 and remember Jordan well...

Jordan was the better scorer and probably defender (by a slight edge)... But he could not pass and rebound like LeBron... Mentally Jordan was the master... Physically LeBron is...

We have yet to see how LeBron's game will translate with age... How Jordan transitioned his game was beautiful...

That will be the most key component and we'll just have to wait and see...

When judging a players greatness I can't use titles as a factor... Titles are won by teams... Sure the goats are 9/10ths of what it takes to win one... But that other 1/10th is out of their control...

spreedom
02-17-2013, 01:30 PM
I think the dunks are better in recent years, but that's because the league has become more and more like a track meet where high jumpers like Gerald Green and James White are paid big bucks purely due to their athleticism. They have little to bring to the table in a real game even though they can jump out of the gym.

Big bucks? Green has gotten one guaranteed contract after his rookie deal. White has been in and out of the league, and this season, with him playing less than 7 MPG, has been by far the biggest role he's ever played on a team. They're both very low-end role players, but they probably would have been fringe guys in the 80s as well.

panthro_1
02-17-2013, 03:25 PM
Put LBJ in Kobe's shoes and he wins maybe 10, maybe 15 rings.
Dude, I so agree! LBJ would have been a WAY better team mate to shaq!

Heisenberg
02-17-2013, 04:31 PM
Read the first paragraph and the fantastic quote by Shane Battier on LeBron James.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8016432/gladwell-vs-simmons-iv

Jordan, Magic, and Bird. None of them had to play during the information age and live through the 24/7/365 scrutiny LeBron does. Who knows how that would have affected them, especially Jordan. Deadspin, TMZ, etc. would have had a field day with him.

Holy hell did Simmons oversell that quote

woowoo
02-17-2013, 06:23 PM
HAHA beautiful.

James just killed MJ. Everything he said is true. And I'll say the same thing I told my cousin last night when he repeated MJ's comments. Of course MJ would say Kobe is better. Because at the end of the day, no rational person could EVER say Kobe is the player MJ was. It's a stupid debate. MJ is flat out better than Kobe in every possible aspect of the game.

The problem with admitting LBJ's greatness? LBJ is quicker, stronger, more athletic, a better defender, a better passer than MJ ever was. At the end of his career we'll probably all say LBJ was the greatest to play the game.

MJ is imtimidated by LBJ. And he should be. LBJ already has a ring at a younger age than MJ, so he could possibly end up with as many rings as well. (which would just be nuts if he was able to pull that off as well)

All of the above is just total comedy... King James... totally QUIT on his team in Cleveland ..... multiple times. QUIT. Too much pressure for the great one.

So... he runs of to a stacked team ... and wins one. Finally.

Bron Bron is just not a mentally tough guy and that is what will separate him and MJ/Kobe the rest of their careers. Bron ran from the challenge... Jordan and Kobe EMBRACED it.

woowoo
02-17-2013, 06:28 PM
Read the first paragraph and the fantastic quote by Shane Battier on LeBron James.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8016432/gladwell-vs-simmons-iv

Jordan, Magic, and Bird. None of them had to play during the information age and live through the 24/7/365 scrutiny LeBron does. Who knows how that would have affected them, especially Jordan. Deadspin, TMZ, etc. would have had a field day with him.

Bird, Magic, MJ, and Kobe never QUIT on the court....

That is the fundamental difference between the GREAT ONES... and the good ones.

If James was a savy dude and really wanted to get some PR points he would re sign with Cleveland and play with KI and the "soon to be tandem of Ty and Cody Zeller" ... And get Cleveland a pro sports RING.

and then Bron would be a Legend....

mattie
02-17-2013, 06:31 PM
^_^

Pacerized
02-17-2013, 08:36 PM
I'm 30 and remember Jordan well...
Jordan was the better scorer and probably defender (by a slight edge)... But he could not pass and rebound like LeBron... Mentally Jordan was the master... Physically LeBron is...
We have yet to see how LeBron's game will translate with age... How Jordan transitioned his game was beautiful...
That will be the most key component and we'll just have to wait and see...
When judging a players greatness I can't use titles as a factor... Titles are won by teams... Sure the goats are 9/10ths of what it takes to win one... But that other 1/10th is out of their control...

I basically agree with you. Lebron is a slightly better passer and of course he's bigger and stronger and a better rebounder. Lot's of players can claim that but being stronger doesn't make him more athletic, Jordan was more athletic then Lebron. Jordan was also much faster, had better handles and a motor that seemed to have no limit. At the end of a game in which he'd expend more energy then any other player was capable of and he should've been slowing down, Jordan would just shift into another gear that no one else had the energy to match and he'd take over with no one able to stop him. It was awesome to watch until he'd do it to the Pacers. I don't see that in Lebron and I'm not saying he's not in great shape, he just isn't on that level. I'm also not dogging on younger fans. I'm just saying that someone who was a kid when Jordan was in his prime can't objectively compare Jordan to Lebron. I can't really tell you how good Wilt was even though he played when I was a kid and I'd defer to someone who followed his play in his prime. Your old enough to remember some of Jordan's prime objectively and how he changed his game but I'd think you'd remember him a little better in his last championship run then in his first.

Major Cold
02-17-2013, 09:30 PM
http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w460/npowell4christ/E7aTBksGs5DKWqluF5sPfFnWKTHKv9dk-ucuCEZ_634.png

BRushWithDeath
02-18-2013, 09:48 AM
In what world outside of Pacerville is there a growing opinion that Reggie Miller was greater than Scottie Pippen?

In what world inside of Pacerville is there a growing opinion that Reggie Miller was greater than Scottie Pippen?

duke dynamite
02-18-2013, 10:08 AM
I never cared for MJ as a kid, let alone "The Decision" really killed any respect for LeBron I had. (Which was very little.) Now he is guilty by association because of Dwayne Wade and all the bandwagoners. I can't stand it.

SMosley21
02-18-2013, 09:27 PM
Funny how hardly anyone has said a word about the quote in the thread title. People are so hung up on this argument that they're ignoring Lebron giving major props to Reggie.

Sollozzo
02-18-2013, 09:52 PM
LeBron is the first player to approach the level of greatness that is Jordan. I've seen a ton of Bird and Magic, and while they were very entertaining and great players...players with far more personality than Jordan & James, those guys are a notch below. I do think Wilt is in that region. But LeBron is in that region of greatness as well. Kobe, I think falls a hair short of that.




Let's see Lebron win back to back titles like Kobe did in 2009 and 2010. Then maybe he'll deserve to be in the same class as Mamba and 45. Lebron is a more raw physical specimen than Kobe, but he hasn't had a better career yet. Obviously Kobe had a seven year head start on him, but Lebron still has a little ways to go before his career can be considered better than Kobe's.

BlueNGold
02-18-2013, 09:59 PM
Funny how hardly anyone has said a word about the quote in the thread title. People are so hung up on this argument that they're ignoring Lebron giving major props to Reggie.

You're right. Not one of the greatest, but I think Reggie is one of the greatest offensive players of all-time. He did not produce big numbers but I always felt if he shot more he would just keep scoring. At the same time, his offensive game was somewhat limited. All jumpshots. No post game at all. Rarely dunked and didn't go for contact or drive the lane that much. With all that said, he was phenomenal. He could literally beat you with his shooting and as a young player I do believe he was better than Ray Allen.

BlueNGold
02-18-2013, 10:05 PM
Let's see Lebron win back to back titles like Kobe did in 2009 and 2010. Then maybe he'll deserve to be in the same class as Mamba and 45. Lebron is a more raw physical specimen than Kobe, but he hasn't had a better career yet. Obviously Kobe had a seven year head start on him, but Lebron still has a little ways to go before his career can be considered better than Kobe's.

Agreed. LeBron still has a lot to prove. The fact he's bigger and stronger than Kobe and Michael means little. I think people get caught up in that. At the same time, LeBron has Magic-esque abilities to get other guys involved. Michael had some of that and Kobe has a little. But LeBron actually has more than either IMO. Also, Kobe benefited greatly from prime Shaq years. Recall Kobe's teams about fell apart when he wasn't surrounded by talent. LeBron could put a team on his back that was pretty so-so and took them pretty far.

Still, da Bulls would beat the tar out of the Heat. The Bulls would have both Rodman and Pippen to guard LeBron...two of the very best defenders of all-time....while that slacker Jordan would be on Wade. Nobody on the Heat could have possibly stopped Jordan, btw....

Sookie
02-19-2013, 12:28 AM
Agreed. LeBron still has a lot to prove. The fact he's bigger and stronger than Kobe and Michael means little. I think people get caught up in that. At the same time, LeBron has Magic-esque abilities to get other guys involved. Michael had some of that and Kobe has a little. But LeBron actually has more than either IMO. Also, Kobe benefited greatly from prime Shaq years. Recall Kobe's teams about fell apart when he wasn't surrounded by talent. LeBron could put a team on his back that was pretty so-so and took them pretty far.

Still, da Bulls would beat the tar out of the Heat. The Bulls would have both Rodman and Pippen to guard LeBron...two of the very best defenders of all-time....while that slacker Jordan would be on Wade. Nobody on the Heat could have possibly stopped Jordan, btw....

I really don't like that argument.

Kobe's teams were terrible..including Smush Parker, Walton, and Mihm in rotation minutes (all might have been starters..)

Lebron had good players around him, and more importantly, players that were a perfect fit with him. He had big guys willing to defend and rebound and shooters that he could kick the ball out to when he drove to the basket.

Those teams were actually built to be really successful in the regular season. The problem was in the playoffs, good defensive teams could stop it.

No player wins a championship by himself. So yes, Kobe benefited from playing with Shaq. As Lebron benefited by playing with Wade, and MJ with Pippen, and Duncan with Parker and Ginobili etc. No one wins by himself. But when you are a hall of famer type of player, and you win 5, that's pretty special and imo, silly to discredit. Kobe also transitioned exceptionally well..and became..maybe an even better player when he was past his athletic prime. We'll see if Lebron can do that.

ilive4sports
02-19-2013, 01:55 AM
Agreed. LeBron still has a lot to prove. The fact he's bigger and stronger than Kobe and Michael means little. I think people get caught up in that. At the same time, LeBron has Magic-esque abilities to get other guys involved. Michael had some of that and Kobe has a little. But LeBron actually has more than either IMO. Also, Kobe benefited greatly from prime Shaq years. Recall Kobe's teams about fell apart when he wasn't surrounded by talent. LeBron could put a team on his back that was pretty so-so and took them pretty far.

Still, da Bulls would beat the tar out of the Heat. The Bulls would have both Rodman and Pippen to guard LeBron...two of the very best defenders of all-time....while that slacker Jordan would be on Wade. Nobody on the Heat could have possibly stopped Jordan, btw....
Pippen guarding LeBron, I'd kill to watch that, 90's rules of course. That would have been incredible to watch.

mattie
02-19-2013, 03:17 AM
I really don't like that argument.

Kobe's teams were terrible..including Smush Parker, Walton, and Mihm in rotation minutes (all might have been starters..)

Lebron had good players around him, and more importantly, players that were a perfect fit with him. He had big guys willing to defend and rebound and shooters that he could kick the ball out to when he drove to the basket.

Those teams were actually built to be really successful in the regular season. The problem was in the playoffs, good defensive teams could stop it.

No player wins a championship by himself. So yes, Kobe benefited from playing with Shaq. As Lebron benefited by playing with Wade, and MJ with Pippen, and Duncan with Parker and Ginobili etc. No one wins by himself. But when you are a hall of famer type of player, and you win 5, that's pretty special and imo, silly to discredit. Kobe also transitioned exceptionally well..and became..maybe an even better player when he was past his athletic prime. We'll see if Lebron can do that.

You say that but compare LBJ's 07 finals team to the Lakers garbage 05/06 Smush Parker team. LBJ would have killed to have someone on Odom's level. And Smush Parker? Yeah LBJ would have taken him over Daniel Gibson any day of the week.

LBJ's team SUCKED. He took them to the finals.

Kobe got knocked out of the first round.

I don't blame Kobe though, and the fact that he got them to the playoffs is impressive. But let's not act like he's ever been in the same ballpark as LBJ. That's a joke.

mattie
02-19-2013, 03:25 AM
You never discredit someone based on titles, but you don't judge them on the titles either.

Kobe should be seen for exactly who he was throughout his career: An exceptional scorer. An above average defender. And a poor crunch time performer. http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24200/the-truth-about-kobe-bryant-in-crunch-time

Kobe's selfish nature, or his desire to be Michael Jordan, (I think he wanted to be him more than beat him), definitely kept from being an even better player. He could have won more, and ended up considered truly one of the top 10 players in NBA history. (and that is by people who know what they're talking about). But he's not. Which is fine.

He's probably one of the 25 greatest to ever play the game and he has had simply an exceptional career that he should be proud of, and his fans should be proud of.

mattie
02-19-2013, 03:37 AM
It's important to note that when Kobe finally went back to the finals in '10, his team was stacked, and far more talented than any team LBJ has ever been on.

Gasol: 1st or 2nd best center in the league. He killed.
Odom: Stud, defensively, offensively and on the boards. Not sure his contributions will ever be properly appreciated because he's really had no real position.
A season after scoring 17 a game, Artest was still playing great basketball, and one of the best defenders in the game.
and Fisher was still playing good ball, a spot up shooter and solid defender.

Off the bench, they had Bynum throwing up 12 and 10 per 36 with 2 1/2 blocks.

Damn that was a good team. They had 3 guys in addition to Kobe playing at all-star levels as well as a world class defender. They were stacked. You can't just count Kobe's rings and say, "wow look what he did." It's ridiculous. There's a long list of guys that would have won championships in his place. A very long list.

mattie
02-19-2013, 03:54 AM
If you're wondering where this comes from - Basketball nerds have always had the need to put Kobe in perspective. His fanboys are uncommonly dumb, and Kobe's particular bad antics during crunch time have rubbed every basketball nerd the wrong way. (so much that many of us basketball nerds even tend to underrate Kobe because we dont want to admit what a great player he is).

Even before we had the numbers to prove that Kobe's teams always underformed in late games we knew they did because you couldn't mistake one Kobe horrible jacked up shot after another for good basketball. And it's as if Kobe KNEW his teams played bad in these times but it didn't matter to him - because he knew when he did make the shots, that is what everyone would remember.

Finally, there is nothing more annoying than this fact: If you swapped Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant the results would be the same. The only possible difference is 'Melo hasn't quite been the scorer Kobe has, but the Lakers probably would have won, one or two more championships. (not saying this is necessarily Kobe's fault either- but 'Melo gets along with people. Kobe being Kobe helped destroy a dynasty)

But essentially, the results would be the same.

Only 'Melo would be worshiped and Kobe would be villified. This is ridiculous. We should appreciate players for who they are. Not their fortunate circumstances.

15th parallel
02-19-2013, 04:35 AM
I really don't like that argument.

Kobe's teams were terrible..including Smush Parker, Walton, and Mihm in rotation minutes (all might have been starters..)

Lebron had good players around him, and more importantly, players that were a perfect fit with him. He had big guys willing to defend and rebound and shooters that he could kick the ball out to when he drove to the basket.

Those teams were actually built to be really successful in the regular season. The problem was in the playoffs, good defensive teams could stop it.

No player wins a championship by himself. So yes, Kobe benefited from playing with Shaq. As Lebron benefited by playing with Wade, and MJ with Pippen, and Duncan with Parker and Ginobili etc. No one wins by himself. But when you are a hall of famer type of player, and you win 5, that's pretty special and imo, silly to discredit. Kobe also transitioned exceptionally well..and became..maybe an even better player when he was past his athletic prime. We'll see if Lebron can do that.


It's not about discrediting Kobe's 5 rings, but it's about damping the overblown achievement that Kobe has 5 rings that makes him better than other superstars, especially James. There's no argument about needing more than just 1 great player to win a championship. In recent history that hasn't happened. In James' case, he almost did it but of course failed miserably to the Spurs who just own every advantage in every position except SF.

In his first 3 championships plus the seasons after he was just 2nd tier to Shaq. He just couldn't overcome the shadow of Shaq even after he left for Miami. The only thing that gave shine to his career is when agreat big man came in to the Lakers in the name of Pau Gasol and accepted that he's just #2 in there. He just got into discussion of MVP afterwards when that happened. It's his selfishness as a player that did more harm than good in his career, and in the Lakers as a whole. And you can even see it now with the current Lakers.

And the only time Lebron got great talent around him was when he was in Miami, so it's misleading to say he got great talent around him in Cleveland. Who was Gasol-level talent or even Manu-level talent who played with Lebron in Cleveland? The next best player he ever got there was Mo Williams, and that was even before they reached the finals. Kobe had Lamar Odom, who was basically a double-double guy ever since he got the title of the face of the Lakers franchise. The closest equivalent Lebron got was Carlos Boozer, who opt out of the Cavs before even the Cavs' rise to the playoffs.

There's no doubt that Kobe is a great player, up there in the elites. And there's no question that Lebron needs to further prove himself to be considered the best player ever. It's still early, but Lebron is already a better player now than Kobe was ever been up to now. In Lebron's case, he still has more time to get into the GOAT discussion. Kobe will leave the NBA with pride with all his achievements as a player, but there's just no way he'll be in the GOAT discussion.

15th parallel
02-19-2013, 04:42 AM
Funny how hardly anyone has said a word about the quote in the thread title. People are so hung up on this argument that they're ignoring Lebron giving major props to Reggie.

Yeah, it's really great when players like Lebron and Kobe (he said one time Reggie was the hardest player to guard) praise and recognize Reggie as an elite player. Reggie's shooting is just at an elite level that his scoring percentage is as good or better than many of the post players who play an inside game. And his ability to free himself up is so great that he practically tires his man down on every game.

cgg
02-19-2013, 07:55 AM
Yeah, it's really great when players like Lebron and Kobe (he said one time Reggie was the hardest player to guard) praise and recognize Reggie as an elite player. Reggie's shooting is just at an elite level that his scoring percentage is as good or better than many of the post players who play an inside game. And his ability to free himself up is so great that he practically tires his man down on every game.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/ts_pct_career.html


<tbody>
6.
Reggie Miller (http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/millere01.html)*
.6139

</tbody>

spreedom
02-19-2013, 09:49 AM
If you're wondering where this comes from - Basketball nerds have always had the need to put Kobe in perspective. His fanboys are uncommonly dumb, and Kobe's particular bad antics during crunch time have rubbed every basketball nerd the wrong way. (so much that many of us basketball nerds even tend to underrate Kobe because we dont want to admit what a great player he is).

Even before we had the numbers to prove that Kobe's teams always underformed in late games we knew they did because you couldn't mistake one Kobe horrible jacked up shot after another for good basketball. And it's as if Kobe KNEW his teams played bad in these times but it didn't matter to him - because he knew when he did make the shots, that is what everyone would remember.

Finally, there is nothing more annoying than this fact: If you swapped Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant the results would be the same. The only possible difference is 'Melo hasn't quite been the scorer Kobe has, but the Lakers probably would have won, one or two more championships. (not saying this is necessarily Kobe's fault either- but 'Melo gets along with people. Kobe being Kobe helped destroy a dynasty)

But essentially, the results would be the same.

Only 'Melo would be worshiped and Kobe would be villified. This is ridiculous. We should appreciate players for who they are. Not their fortunate circumstances.


.....yeah, I don't agree with that at all.

Coopdog23
02-19-2013, 10:09 AM
Reggie is one of the greatest players all time because he was able to produce in the clutch and he stayed with one franchise for his whole career. Lebron will always be criticized

Pacerized
02-19-2013, 10:51 AM
He's probably one of the 25 greatest to ever play the game and he has had simply an exceptional career that he should be proud of, and his fans should be proud of.

I really don't like Kobe at all, but come on top 25. Where does that put Lebron, top 60?

Sookie
02-19-2013, 12:36 PM
I really don't like Kobe at all, but come on top 25. Where does that put Lebron, top 60?

Yea, that's ridiculous. He's top 5 easy.

I don't think he'll be appreciated until he retires.

And yes, it is discrediting Kobe's 5 championships. It is an incredible achievement. People even like to try and discredit the other two because he had Pau. Every champion has great players on his team, otherwise, they don't win. To say that an elite player is easily replaceable by a semi-elite player, silly. Facts are facts, Kobe won 5 championships. Regardless of how many "it doesn't count because..." arguments there are, he has 5. Does Lebron not really have 1 because he played with Wade? Does MJ not have 6 because he played with Scottie and Rodman? Duncan not really have 3 because he played with Parker and Ginobili.

Elite players not only need great players on their team, but they need them to fit their needs. Lebron needs shooters, rebounders..and one other player who doesn't depend on him to create a shot for them. Kobe needs a great big man and a point guard he respects (so he can be told to pass the f'ing ball, and Kobe might consider it.).

Basketball fans don't like Kobe because he proves everyone wrong. His style of basketball isn't what typically wins games or what "old school" basketball fans think should win games. (Bryant "fanboys" tend to come off as less intelligent, because they tend to be teenage boys. Who tend to think that Allen Iverson style of play is how the game should be played.). It bothered me for while, until I had to admit that the guy was actually the best player I had ever seen (I didn't watch MJ)..simply because he plays his way, and he wins. It's like if we all watched JOB ball, hating how contrary it was to our opinions of what wins basketball games...and then he won 5 championships. At some point, you have to give a little respect. Bryant is the exception that proves the rule. But the simple fact that he's the exception makes him great.

This idea that Kobe under performs in the clutch is ludicrous. Yes, I know what the statistics say. I also know, that the way Bryant is defended in clutch situations, is way different than the way any other player currently playing, even Lebron gets open threes, is defended. Should he not take the shot every time, like Lebron? Maybe, but if he didn't, he'd get criticized for it as well. (And every other star ever takes clutch shots..) His team under performs? Really? Once again, he's won a championship five times, and been to 7 (or is it 8?) finals. That isn't under performing.

I could easily discredit a lot of Lebron's achievements as well. But I don't, because bottom line..getting to the finals for the first time was certainly a job well done. Winning a championship is a job well done. Anyone who say Lebron's game against Detroit, would have come away impressed. But then again, don't make them bigger than what they are either. Boobie Gibson sucks? He didn't when he played with Lebron (because he's a shooter..) and without him, they don't go to the finals..because he had (at least one) career game.

I don't like the way Lebron plays, (in fact, I think he's just as selfish as Kobe, but in a completely different way..) but there's no denying the man is efficient, has talent, and is an athletic beast. He just has not had as good of a career as Kobe has had. And if both retired today, Kobe retires with the better career. And it's not close. (That said, it's not fair..lets wait to see how Lebron's career finishes) and yes, Kobe Bryant retries as having been the better basketball player, Lebron just isn't as skilled (yet).

Sollozzo
02-19-2013, 02:15 PM
It's important to note that when Kobe finally went back to the finals in '10, his team was stacked, and far more talented than any team LBJ has ever been on.

Gasol: 1st or 2nd best center in the league. He killed.
Odom: Stud, defensively, offensively and on the boards. Not sure his contributions will ever be properly appreciated because he's really had no real position.
A season after scoring 17 a game, Artest was still playing great basketball, and one of the best defenders in the game.
and Fisher was still playing good ball, a spot up shooter and solid defender.

Off the bench, they had Bynum throwing up 12 and 10 per 36 with 2 1/2 blocks.

Damn that was a good team. They had 3 guys in addition to Kobe playing at all-star levels as well as a world class defender. They were stacked. You can't just count Kobe's rings and say, "wow look what he did." It's ridiculous. There's a long list of guys that would have won championships in his place. A very long list.

If playing like this in game 6 of the WCF's to propel your team into the Finals isn't clutch, then I don't know what is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfYGBHi7ya0

Kobe owned game 6 of that 2010 WCF against Phoenix. 37 points on 12-25 shooting.

Kobe averaged 30 and 29 in the 09 and 10 playoffs while shooting 45% from the field, which is basically identical to what Jordan averaged in the post season during the second three-peat.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bryanko01.html

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01.html

You rattle off Gasol, Odom, and Bynum (who was often banged up), as if Kobe is the first champion to ever have solid talent around him. No one knocks Magic for getting lucky and being drafted onto a Laker team that had Kareem and would eventually add Worthy. No one knocks Bird for having two of the best front court mates ever in Parrish and McHale. Guys like Dennis Johnson weren't slouches either. 45 had Pippen and Rodman, who not only was a great rebounder, but also played great D and got under The Mailman's skin. Lebron had Wade and Bosh, which is more than Kobe had on his 2009 and 2010 teams. Yet people act like Kobe had better talent than all of the other greats who won rings. Sure he was fortunate to play with Shaq, but Shaq was also fortunate to play with Kobe. Kobe basically won the 2000 Finals in the OT of Game 4 when Shaq was fouled off on the bench. Kobe was a monster on those first three championship teams.

You say "you could have switched Melo for Kobe and the Lakers would have won", but that's pure speculation. No way for you to prove it. What we do know is that Kobe has 5 rings and Melo has 0. In fact, Melo has only made it out of the first round one time in nine seasons. The one year he did make it out of the first round, he went to the WCF's and lost to none other than Kobe. Melo had Billups beside him (a former Finals MVP), not to mention guys like KMart, J.R. Smith, and Nene, none of whom were chopped liver.

Kobe's rings matter a helluva lot. You can't just write them off because of your dislike for The Mamba. Kobe's back to back titles in 09 and 10 are more impressive than anything Lebron has done to date. If Lebron wins another one this year, then you can start to put him in Kobe's class. But until then, Mamba>King.

mattie
02-19-2013, 02:27 PM
Kobe's peers are Pistol Pete, Dwyane Wade, and Hondo. I'll give you a hint, he is not better than these guys:

MJ, Big O, Dr J, the Dream, Wilt, Duncan, Shaq, Kareem, Magic, LBJ, Russell, Chuck, Moses, Isaiah, Jerry West, George Gervin, and KD.

And that's just a list of guys that are CLEARLY much better than him.

Trader Joe
02-19-2013, 02:29 PM
Kobe's peers are Pistol Pete, Dwyane Wade, and Hondo. I'll give you a hint, he is not better than these guys:

MJ, Big O, Dr J, the Dream, Wilt, Duncan, Shaq, Kareem, Magic, LBJ, Russell, Chuck, Moses, Isaiah, Jerry West, George Gervin, and KD.

And that's just a list of guys that are CLEARLY much better than him.

:hmm:

mattie
02-19-2013, 02:33 PM
Yea, that's ridiculous. He's top 5 easy.

I don't think he'll be appreciated until he retires.

And yes, it is discrediting Kobe's 5 championships. It is an incredible achievement. People even like to try and discredit the other two because he had Pau. Every champion has great players on his team, otherwise, they don't win. To say that an elite player is easily replaceable by a semi-elite player, silly. Facts are facts, Kobe won 5 championships. Regardless of how many "it doesn't count because..." arguments there are, he has 5. Does Lebron not really have 1 because he played with Wade? Does MJ not have 6 because he played with Scottie and Rodman? Duncan not really have 3 because he played with Parker and Ginobili.

Elite players not only need great players on their team, but they need them to fit their needs. Lebron needs shooters, rebounders..and one other player who doesn't depend on him to create a shot for them. Kobe needs a great big man and a point guard he respects (so he can be told to pass the f'ing ball, and Kobe might consider it.).

Basketball fans don't like Kobe because he proves everyone wrong. His style of basketball isn't what typically wins games or what "old school" basketball fans think should win games. (Bryant "fanboys" tend to come off as less intelligent, because they tend to be teenage boys. Who tend to think that Allen Iverson style of play is how the game should be played.). It bothered me for while, until I had to admit that the guy was actually the best player I had ever seen (I didn't watch MJ)..simply because he plays his way, and he wins. It's like if we all watched JOB ball, hating how contrary it was to our opinions of what wins basketball games...and then he won 5 championships. At some point, you have to give a little respect. Bryant is the exception that proves the rule. But the simple fact that he's the exception makes him great.

This idea that Kobe under performs in the clutch is ludicrous. Yes, I know what the statistics say. I also know, that the way Bryant is defended in clutch situations, is way different than the way any other player currently playing, even Lebron gets open threes, is defended. Should he not take the shot every time, like Lebron? Maybe, but if he didn't, he'd get criticized for it as well. (And every other star ever takes clutch shots..) His team under performs? Really? Once again, he's won a championship five times, and been to 7 (or is it 8?) finals. That isn't under performing.

I could easily discredit a lot of Lebron's achievements as well. But I don't, because bottom line..getting to the finals for the first time was certainly a job well done. Winning a championship is a job well done. Anyone who say Lebron's game against Detroit, would have come away impressed. But then again, don't make them bigger than what they are either. Boobie Gibson sucks? He didn't when he played with Lebron (because he's a shooter..) and without him, they don't go to the finals..because he had (at least one) career game.

I don't like the way Lebron plays, (in fact, I think he's just as selfish as Kobe, but in a completely different way..) but there's no denying the man is efficient, has talent, and is an athletic beast. He just has not had as good of a career as Kobe has had. And if both retired today, Kobe retires with the better career. And it's not close. (That said, it's not fair..lets wait to see how Lebron's career finishes) and yes, Kobe Bryant retries as having been the better basketball player, Lebron just isn't as skilled (yet).

I mean you want to see it that way so it doesn't matter what the numbers say...

Facts are facts: Kobe didn't win 5 championships. I'm sorry. He was on 5 different teams that won championships. players don't win championships. Teams do. You'll learn that... someday. (unless you're a Kobe defender for the rest of your life, and then you'll never accept it)

Kobe's hero ball: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7649571/nba-kobe-bryant-not-money-think-espn-magazine
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/24200/the-truth-about-kobe-bryant-in-crunch-time

And "Kobe's defended different" is the dumbest thing I've ever heard lol. Every team wants to win, every team plays the same way, only the Lakers have underperformed consistently since they drafted Kobe. And for one reason. Kobe chucks up ****** shots and it's easy to shutdown.

Trader Joe
02-19-2013, 02:36 PM
The Lakers have under performed consistently since they drafted Kobe? Man I hope we under perform like that some day

Since86
02-19-2013, 02:37 PM
Mattie, you're kinda confusing me here. In this thread, you're arguing that Kobe's rings don't matter all that much. In the PaulG vs. Kyrie thread, you argue that wings are more important than pg's because they win more rings.

I see you picking and chosing when rings are important in a discussion, and when they aren't.

spreedom
02-19-2013, 02:38 PM
Kobe's peers are Pistol Pete, Dwyane Wade, and Hondo. I'll give you a hint, he is not better than these guys:

MJ, Big O, Dr J, the Dream, Wilt, Duncan, Shaq, Kareem, Magic, LBJ, Russell, Chuck, Moses, Isaiah, Jerry West, George Gervin, and KD.

And that's just a list of guys that are CLEARLY much better than him.


Pretty sure Kobe clearly had a greater career than all of the highlighted guys. And I'm glad that with all of your huffing and puffing, you failed to mention Larry Bird but somehow feel that Durant is "CLEARLY" better than Kobe.

mattie
02-19-2013, 06:40 PM
Pretty sure Kobe clearly had a greater career than all of the highlighted guys. And I'm glad that with all of your huffing and puffing, you failed to mention Larry Bird but somehow feel that Durant is "CLEARLY" better than Kobe.

Jerry West was a GREAT defender who averaged 27 a game for his career and nearly 7 assists. I'm not sure how anyone could argue differently.. but meh.

mattie
02-19-2013, 06:43 PM
Mattie, you're kinda confusing me here. In this thread, you're arguing that Kobe's rings don't matter all that much. In the PaulG vs. Kyrie thread, you argue that wings are more important than pg's because they win more rings.

I see you picking and chosing when rings are important in a discussion, and when they aren't.

No it's stupid to individually value one player over another because he had the good fortune to play on a great team. It is.

But yes, wings will always probably contribute to more championships.

With that said, at the end of Chris Paul's career he will still be known as one of the greatest players ever. He proved it. I don't think he'll have any rings tho. It seems an extremely important component of a championship team is a dynamic scorer at the 2-5 positions. It's hard to get that player if you spent your cap money on a point.

Edit - Also like to point out, I am in no way saying Kobe didn't contribute to these championships. Of course he did. Especially in his last two championships, Kobe brought a needed element that almost every championship team needs, the guy that can throw up 30 a game and score when the defense tightens.

And sure, some guys roles on championship teams could not be replicated. LBJ, MJ. Those are examples of players that probably couldn't be replicated by anyone else. But many championship winners could have their production replicated by other guys, so when we want to call them a winner because they got the championship and someone else didn't it is not accurate.

When I say, 'melo can do what Kobe did in LA, it's not because Im saying "haha Kobe sucks" I'm accurately portraying what Kobe does. He's a great scorer. Like 'Melo. That's who his peer is (at the end of melos career he will be) though I think we can all probably agree Kobe is a better scorer, 'Melo is right behind him.

I'm not arguing that Kobe sucks. Focus here. I'm arguing that the selfish guy that averaged 25 a game for his career, is not as good as guys like West who averaged 27 a game.

I'm arguing that Kobe's needed offensive punch, could essentially be replicated by someone like Carmelo, so if you love Kobe and hate 'melo you're a hypocrite.

Edit 2 - This reminds me of KG's early days. I used to be a HUGE fan. I hated that everyone said Duncan was a winner and KG wasn't. KG was playing outstanding, spectacular ball. Yet people said, "he's can't win." The truth? His team sucked. He needed teammates. Like every champion. Like Bird. Like MJ. Like Kobe.

So you look at their production. Look at Kobe's production for ****s sake. It's not as good as you think it is...

Moving on...

mattie
02-19-2013, 06:44 PM
The Lakers have under performed consistently since they drafted Kobe? Man I hope we under perform like that some day

Maybe it wasn't clear, but from the links posted it should have been. Anyways, the Lakers have underpormed late in close games since they acquired Kobe. This is indisputable.

That's just the facts. :)

mattie
02-19-2013, 07:00 PM
Every one of you that is arguing Kobe is better than I'm saying.. Maybe you're arguing he is top 10??? You're arguing that he's better than guys who've scored more than him, were better passers, better defenders, better rebounders and had a more profound effect on the game. THE ONLY way you can say Kobe is better is because of his rings. You see why it is ridiculous to count rings??

Now, if you want to count rings, go ahead but I want you to come out and say that Sam Jones is superior to Kobe. Say that to avoid the hypocrisy..

mattie
02-19-2013, 07:10 PM
Lastly, let me explain this- Usually when you say something unpopular, there is the pile on effect, everyone attempting to poke fun to deligitimize my position.

I never said points can't win championships.
I never said Kobe sucks.
I never said he made the Lakers performed. (or didn't intend to, I meant to say they underperformed in the "clutch"- THEY DO)
I never said Kobe isn't a GREAT player

Now I am suggesting Kobe is underrated, or maybe more importantly basketball fans are forgetting the greatness of other players by overvaluing the number of rings a player has acquired.
I am suggesting that some positions are probably more important Example: QB and MLB in Football. QB is probably more important. That doesn't mean Dick Butkus isn't a legend! Who'd you rather have Sweetness or Peyton Manning? If you're smart you'd take Peyton despite both being extremely great.

:)

BlueNGold
02-19-2013, 07:12 PM
Pippen guarding LeBron, I'd kill to watch that, 90's rules of course. That would have been incredible to watch.

Pippen would definitely take LeBron out of his game. But the worm might even be better. In any event, we talk about Paul being a great defender. Pippen and Rodman were just as good and more physical.

Sookie
02-19-2013, 07:19 PM
Every one of you that is arguing Kobe is better than I'm saying.. Maybe you're arguing he is top 10??? You're arguing that he's better than guys who've scored more than him, were better passers, better defenders, better rebounders and had a more profound effect on the game. THE ONLY way you can say Kobe is better is because of his rings. You see why it is ridiculous to count rings??

Now, if you want to count rings, go ahead but I want you to come out and say that Sam Jones is superior to Kobe. Say that to avoid the hypocrisy..

That's just inaccurate. I don't think you realize how skilled Bryant actually is. Or you just refuse to acknowledge it because you don't like how he plays.

mattie
02-19-2013, 07:30 PM
That's just inaccurate. I don't think you realize how skilled Bryant actually is. Or you just refuse to acknowledge it because you don't like how he plays.

No I said he's one of the 25 best that ever played the game. That is an exceptional feet. But all the guys I mentioned were better defenders, equal scorers, and better passers.

The only one who didn't have as well rounded a game was probably the Iceman, who was a better scorer anyways. If you wanted to say Kobe was better than the Iceman I'd have no problem with that.

I'm not underrating Kobe. I'm saying he's great.

You guys are the ones that are trying to say he's better than Jerry West for instance. That's wrong. I'm sorry. It's just wrong.

You guys are the ones that are trying to say he's in the same league as MJ. That's absurd. It's just not true. And I'm done anyways. I just had to defend myself from people who were trying to pick apart my argument, ignoring the message by pointing a particular poor worded sentence.

Sookie
02-19-2013, 07:40 PM
I don't think anyone would argue that Kobe is better than or equal to MJ.

But I wouldn't argue that any player was. What I am arguing though, is that you are over rating 20 or so players you are ranking above him.

mattie
02-19-2013, 07:45 PM
I don't think anyone would argue that Kobe is better than or equal to MJ.

But I wouldn't argue that any player was. What I am arguing though, is that you are over rating 20 or so players you are ranking above him.

Ok fine. Maybe I am. I think if you were to take the time and remember how great each of those players were you'd understand why I'm saying that. Or more importantly, when I say Kobe Bryant is one of the 25 greatest to ever play the game, that is not a knock in any way. That is high praise. That is an exceptional compliment.

TIA!

Since86
02-20-2013, 09:40 AM
No it's stupid to individually value one player over another because he had the good fortune to play on a great team.

Okay, so it's stupid to individually value one player over the other based on rings, but it's not stupid to individually value one position over another based on rings?


I would imagine you think "good fortune to play on a great team" comes into the debate, but doesn't LeBron fit that exact same category? That's the whole reason why he chose Miami, to play along side two other All-Stars, and why they bring in HOF talent like Ray Allen to help round it out.

You have to be on a great team to win a championship. That's also why LeBron also left Cleveland, because he was out there by himself. He wanted that great team around him.

Any player that gets any ring has that "good fortune to play on a great team" knock on them.

Sollozzo
02-20-2013, 09:48 AM
Side note: As far as individual playoff performances go, I think that Nowitzki's 2011 playoff run is the most impressive individual performance since Shaq in 00-02. Nowitzki outplayed Kobe, Durant, Westbrook, Wade, and Lebron.

ChicagoJ
02-20-2013, 10:34 AM
He said they don't define who a player is. That's why we don't refer to Sam Jones as the greatest guard ever.

Haven't read the entire thread or article, so some of this may have already been covered and I apologize if it has been, but Sam Jones' election to the Hall of Fame was an absolute joke.

I also don't think Russell was the better basketball player than Wilt just because the loaded Celtics won more rings than Wilt's one-man teams did. But it is clearly evident that the Celtics were such a dominant team that (IMO, which most of you won't agree with) the best player ever could only muster a couple of championships, and one of them (two? - didn't look it up to confirm) came via the even-more-stacked early 1970's era Lakers teams.

Winning rings is a team accomplishment, and as a fan of a basketball team I think its pretty important for my team to chase the rings. That's more important to me than having an MVP candidate on the roster.

But "number of rings" is a ****-poor measure of any individual player's worth or accomplishments.

mattie
02-20-2013, 10:54 AM
Dammit it is so ****ing frustrating talking to someone who would rather pick a part my argument rather than understand it.

Im losing my patience because in all of my posts ive gone out of my way to Explain myself. If your goal is simply to prove me wrong, fine, A I am wrong. Everything ive said is stupid. I dont really give a ****.

But if you want to understand I will tey to repeat it once more.

I am not knocking anyone, especially not Kobe for winning rings. Im not sayong LBJ doesnt need help. Everyone does.

Im saying couning rings is stupid. Talk about consistency? Well if you want to evaluate a player by number of rings YOU HAVE TO SAY SAM JONES IS BETTER THAN KOBE. I dont know how to make it more clear why ring counting is stupid.

As far as evaluating positions, yes I believe acquiring a dynamic scorer is a necessary component of a championship team. Acquiring a scoring wing like Kobe is probably more necessary than acquiring a great point guard like Chris Paul. You still need a shitload of talent but once you have that scorer? I hink it is easier to fill out the rest of the roster. This how I think the best way of going about building a contender. That doesn't suddenly mean im contradicting myself.

Now hopefully I can move onto something else. This **** is frustrating as ****.

mattie
02-20-2013, 10:58 AM
Ive been told im stupid my whole life so if you want to just tell me that, do it. Doesnt bother me. Id like to move onto discussing the Pacers now.

Thank you.

:)

Sollozzo
02-20-2013, 10:58 AM
But "number of rings" is a ****-poor measure of any individual player's worth or accomplishments.

It's not the be-all and end-all measurement of greatness, but it matters a lot. Rings in basketball are especially important when judging individual greatness. In baseball, you can only bat 4-5 times a game. In football, you can only play one end of the field. But in basketball, you can take as many shots as you want and make game altering plays on the defensive end. So it matters when a player rises to the occasion on both ends of the court by making plays that will their team to a championship. That's what the likes of Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan, Hakeem, Bird, Magic, etc did, and that's why they are the cream of the crop.

The Jazz were probably a more complete team than Chicago in 1998, particularly since Pippen had been banged up that year. But a 35 year old Jordan literally refused to lose. He made game altering plays on both ends of the court that literally won the Bulls the title in Game 6. I think something like that is pretty important when judging individual greatness. Jordan dominated the playoffs six times in two separate three-peats. The latter of those three peats was when he was in his mid 30's. What he did is more impressive than what anyone else has done.

This is a lot different than using number of rings to judge individual greatness in baseball. Barry Bonds had zero rings, but he only had the opportunity to bat 4-5 times a game.

Since86
02-20-2013, 11:07 AM
Dammit it is so ****ing frustrating talking to someone who would rather pick a part my argument rather than understand it.

No reason to get so worked up. If you're going to put your opinion out there, especially on an internet message board, it's going to get challenged. It fosters discussion.

ChicagoJ
02-20-2013, 11:53 AM
The Jazz were probably a more complete team than Chicago in 1998, particularly since Pippen had been banged up that year. But a 35 year old Jordan literally refused to lose. He made game altering plays on both ends of the court that literally won the Bulls the title in Game 6. I think something like that is pretty important when judging individual greatness. Jordan dominated the playoffs six times in two separate three-peats. The latter of those three peats was when he was in his mid 30's. What he did is more impressive than what anyone else has done.


If Rik Smits doesn't bring the ball down to his waist, and get suckered into a jumpball with that Jordan punk...

Or if either Davis could locate Toni Kukoc on the court and challenge his jump shot...

We win Game #7 and then we kick Utah's butt in the Finals.

And that still doesn't take anything away from Karl Malone, John Stockton, Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Mark Jackson, or Chris Mullin. Four HoF'ers, and two other guys that may get some minor HoF converation but don't necessarily belong in the HoF. (Of course, neither did Sam Jones.) All of them were oustanding basketball players but happened to spend their careers on the "wrong" - meaning, they didn't have the good fortune to find themselves on the team that ultimately won the championship.

So what I'm saying is, if you think Jordan is better than Wilt, the arguement can't be "number of rings." Even for the "best player on the team." Because then you're arguing that Russell is better than Jordan and I'm telling you that Russell was not better than Wilt individually. They had great battles, and Russell rose to the occasion against Wilt. Russell was a great competitor. But the Celtics weren't winning titles because Russell was better than Wilt, they were winning titles because they had the best team.

Hicks
02-20-2013, 12:34 PM
No reason to get so worked up. If you're going to put your opinion out there, especially on an internet message board, it's going to get challenged. It fosters discussion.

Yeah, but I get his point. I've felt the way I think he feels right now.

Sometimes you just want to be understood versus have someone try to dissect you. The former is a discussion centering around a sharing of ideas, the latter is more of a contest.

BillS
02-20-2013, 12:43 PM
Yeah, but I get his point. I've felt the way I think he feels right now.

Sometimes you just want to be understood versus have someone try to dissect you. The former is a discussion centering around a sharing of ideas, the latter is more of a contest.

On the other hand, sometimes disagreements really do center on shades of meaning, and it is perfectly valid to question seeming inconsistencies.

But, yes, an Internet discussion without pedantic logic chopping is like a day without sunshine :)

Sookie
02-20-2013, 02:12 PM
Dammit it is so ****ing frustrating talking to someone who would rather pick a part my argument rather than understand it.

Im losing my patience because in all of my posts ive gone out of my way to Explain myself. If your goal is simply to prove me wrong, fine, A I am wrong. Everything ive said is stupid. I dont really give a ****.

But if you want to understand I will tey to repeat it once more.

I am not knocking anyone, especially not Kobe for winning rings. Im not sayong LBJ doesnt need help. Everyone does.

Im saying couning rings is stupid. Talk about consistency? Well if you want to evaluate a player by number of rings YOU HAVE TO SAY SAM JONES IS BETTER THAN KOBE. I dont know how to make it more clear why ring counting is stupid.

As far as evaluating positions, yes I believe acquiring a dynamic scorer is a necessary component of a championship team. Acquiring a scoring wing like Kobe is probably more necessary than acquiring a great point guard like Chris Paul. You still need a shitload of talent but once you have that scorer? I hink it is easier to fill out the rest of the roster. This how I think the best way of going about building a contender. That doesn't suddenly mean im contradicting myself.

Now hopefully I can move onto something else. This **** is frustrating as ****.

I think we all get what you are saying.

We just disagree with it.

Rings aren't the ONLY thing that matters when talking about a players career, but they are important. Michael Jordan is not in the conversation for best player ever if he doesn't win at least a couple of championships. But a player also has to be elite to make the conversation.

At the end of the day, Bryant has been the centerpiece (or one of the centerpieces)...an elite player..on five championship teams. If watched games, where it's obvious..that if you replace Bryant with any other player, the team would have lost. Yes, Lebron for instance, didn't have a team built for the playoffs..but many many great players did, and many of them don't win it all. That says something about Kobe, IMO.

I've just personally seen too many great players have such a huge influence on a championship team, to disregard that as a criteria for greatness.

And as for your arguments about Kobe. I think there's just some disagreement about how good he actually is as a player. Championships are validation. In my opinion, and I think other posters, Bryant is a tremendously skilled individual, much more so than you are giving him credit for. And I think your arguments against him tend to be strawman arguments, probably because you don't like the way he plays.