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Thread: This ESPN article got me thinking...

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    Member tdubb03's Avatar
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    Default This ESPN article got me thinking...

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailyd...1&lid=tab1pos2

    It's a list of the all-time 10 best point guards. Here's the list;

    1. Magic Johnson
    2. Oscar Robertson
    3. Isaiah Thomas
    4. John Stockton
    5. Bob Cousy
    6. Walt Frazier
    7. Jason Kidd
    8. Tiny Archibald
    9. Steve Nash
    10. Gary Payton
    In that order. I don't care about the order of the list, or even who's on the list. There's 35+ names that could be on that list. But out of those 10 that these "experts" chose, 3 of them are currently playing. Albeit it's a Payton far past his prime, and a Kidd who's getting old, but it's still relevant.

    I hear the argument that the NBA is so dilluted and not as fundamentally sound. That it's just not good basketball. I've heard that from all types of people, league officials, former players, media, and your average fan. It seems to be an almost exclusive opinion.

    But if it's true that today's game is so horrible, how can 3 of the best PGs ever be playing in the 2006 Playoffs? Is it that the people who made up the list are just favoring the current players because it's who they've seen the most of? Or is it a different problem? Does today's league have some of the best players in the history of the game playing in it, while still having some of the worst talent ever taking the same floor?

    I don't know, just made me wonder.

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    Member SycamoreKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    I think the top level of players today, the Shaqs, Duncans, KGs, Kidds, are amoung the best ever. It's below that level, especially the lower third, where the players are worst than in the past because there are more of them in the league because of expansion.

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    Banned Jermaniac's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    The Glove >>> Nash

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by SycamoreKen
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    I think the top level of players today, the Saqs, Duncans, KGs, Kidds, are amoung the best ever. It's below that level, especially the lower third, where the players are worst than in the past because there are more of them in the league because of expansion.
    Actually I think just the oposite. I think top players like Wilt and Oscar would still be top players today. It's after the top players that todays players would stand out. They are less fundamentally sound to be sure.

    However todays players are bigger, more athletic, and better trained than their forbears, and I suspect the game is played at a faster pace. I would say the pace of the NBA game in the 80's was on a par with the speed played in Europe today.

    As for the league being diluted by expansion I disagree. There are millions more players to pick from now days. We are even getting players from China.

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    A mod should move this to the main forum, that's where it should be.

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    zamboni77
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen
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    However todays players are bigger, more athletic, and better trained than their forbears, and I suspect the game is played at a faster pace. I would say the pace of the NBA game in the 80's was on a par with the speed played in Europe today.
    I don't know about this. Everything depends on context. If you gave yesteryear's players the same benefits (better equipment, training, nutrition ) that modern players have, or modern players the same handicaps the old players had (ie let's see Jordan play in canvas Converse All-Stars after taking the train from Ft. Wayne to Syracuse) I don't think you could tell a dime's worth of difference between them. The guys who were good back when would be good today, and visa versa.

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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by zamboni77
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    I don't know about this. Everything depends on context. If you gave yesteryear's players the same benefits (better equipment, training, nutrition ) that modern players have, or modern players the same handicaps the old players had (ie let's see Jordan play in canvas Converse All-Stars after taking the train from Ft. Wayne to Syracuse) I don't think you could tell a dime's worth of difference between them. The guys who were good back when would be good today, and visa versa.

    Size, strength, and quickness are better today than even 15yrs. ago.

    You can see that in other sports were those things are measured. The human body has, I hate to use the word evolved, but became better each generation.

    It's not a knock on the past players, but they, as they were, wouldn't have the impact today.

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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    a) Moved.

    b) to Since86: Oh no, Oscar would be the best player in the league. No doubt. Ditto for Wilt. They'd still be much smarter than the modern player, and they'd also be in a position to take advantage of the advanced training techniques that today's players have.

    c) this is a by-product of ESPN's "what happened lately" mentality. They've got ESPN classic but that's still a bit of a farce. They've got no sense of history.

    My top-ten all time PGs would probably be very similar, but I'd have either Mark Jackson or Tim Hardaway in there ahead of Nash.

    Fat Lever is as-deserving of a top-ten nomination as Nash.
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    Come Home Lance! BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jermaniac
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    The Glove >>> Nash
    As good as Nash has been the last couple years, I have to agree. Glove used to be a shut down defender and required double teams to stop him from scoring. In addition, he could put up the assists. As much as I like Nash's game, shooting and professionalism and as much of an idiot Glove can be, I would take Glove in his prime if I wanted to win it all. Defense wins championships.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Chauncey Billups made #12.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    WOW, Chauncey is a great player but a top 12 PG after what 4-5 good seasons. I dont know about that.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Winning a finals MVP had a lot to do with it.

    You can count the number of finals MVP PGs in NBA history on one hand, and Chauncey came 1 quarter away from being one of only two PGs that have won it more than once.

    Chauncey has a lot of clutch playoff perfomances on his resume. That's how he's climbed the ladder so quickly.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Rip should have won the MVP he year that Chauncey did...

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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    Chauncey Billups made #12.
    Actually he was more like #15 and he was just behind guys like Scottie Pippen and Jerry West...and he got two vote-points, I hardly think that that is cause for celebration or outrage. These are just extra votes and outliers. Like when PJ Brown got an MVP vote. I don't think anybody counts Chauncey that high. At least not yet.

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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...


    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...


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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Johnson ahead of Robertson at point guard. What are these guys smoking?
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays
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    Johnson ahead of Robertson at point guard. What are these guys smoking?
    Something about 5 titles, 3 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, superb career averages, more of a point than Oscar, the fact that he could play 5 positions extremely well, and so on, and so on

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Oscar was a me-first player for a lot of years. He didnt learn to be unselfish as a true PG until late in his career.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    He averaged a triple double his second year in the league Kstat. How much later in his career should we go?
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

  21. #21

    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    I'm Glad somebody asked this question, I was actually going to ask it myself.

    The one guy I have always wondered about is Bill Russell. I consider him the second greatest player of All-Time. In today's game he would be considered small and he was very defensive minded. Is that Like Jeff Foster. I even hate to ask because it seems as if there is no comparison. Take, if you will, Bill from his top form and put him in the present, would his skills match those of even middle ranked centers? I've always wondered how much the pace of the game has changed.

    I think one reason the pace has changed is simply because offenses have evolved. Before, scores were very low and there weren't alot of set out affective offenses. Personally, I think that is why the value of great defensive skills is so high by those who really, really love and respect the game, because it was instilled as the main priority so long ago.
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    Oscar was a me-first player for a lot of years. He didnt learn to be unselfish as a true PG until late in his career.
    Oscar was on a Cincinnati team devoid of talent and lacking sufficient finances (in a pre-expansion NBA in where the top contenders were STACKED with talent.) He was the #1, #2, #3, and #4 scoring options and the #1 through #5 playmaking options and one of the top rebounding options as a PG. I don't know that he was selfish, I don't think he had a choice.

    He may have been "me-first" in his contract negotiations, but I don't think I'd accuse him of being "me-first" on the court.
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by 8.9_seconds
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    I'm Glad somebody asked this question, I was actually going to ask it myself.

    The one guy I have always wondered about is Bill Russell. I consider him the second greatest player of All-Time. In today's game he would be considered small and he was very defensive minded. Is that Like Jeff Foster. I even hate to ask because it seems as if there is no comparison. Take, if you will, Bill from his top form and put him in the present, would his skills match those of even middle ranked centers? I've always wondered how much the pace of the game has changed.

    I think one reason the pace has changed is simply because offenses have evolved. Before, scores were very low and there weren't alot of set out affective offenses. Personally, I think that is why the value of great defensive skills is so high by those who really, really love and respect the game, because it was instilled as the main priority so long ago.
    yeh, russell is an intersting situation. in today's nba he would have an extremely hard time having the effect he had when he was playing. yeh by todays standard he would be pretty small for a center and he would absolutely have to hit the weights hard in order to compete since he only went like 220 lbs. or 230 tops. as good as he was- i don't believe he would be able to dominate like he used to. no way could he ever deal with a young shaq -the diesel is simply far too big and strong for him the way he was always too big and strong for a guy like dale davis. dale would give it all he had against shaq but, shaq would overpower dale with frightening ease and with his nearly 4 inch height advantage- dale wasn't even really a speed bump against a monster like the diesel and i doubt russel could get any more buffed out than dale.

  24. #24
    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    yeh, russell is an intersting situation. in today's nba he would have an extremely hard time having the effect he had when he was playing.
    ....as opposed to back then, when Russell's celtics allowed around 120ppg every year, with Bob Cousey and Sam Jones as the worst defensive guard duo in NBA history in front of him? Russell was the only Celtic playing defense on that team. The rest of them played Phoenix Suns ball.

    eh by todays standard he would be pretty small for a center and he would absolutely have to hit the weights hard in order to compete since he only went like 220 lbs.
    Apples and oranges. Take the players of the 60's and give them the advanced nutritional and physicial conditioning of today's athletes, and then get back to me on body types.

    Not to mention, at only 6-8, Russell was undersized even for his era. There were plenty of centers taller than Russell.

    as good as he was- i don't believe he would be able to dominate like he used to. no way could he ever deal with a young shaq
    ...as opposed to, say, a young Wilt?

    the diesel is simply far too big and strong for him the way he was always too big and strong for a guy like dale davis. dale would give it all he had against shaq but, shaq would overpower dale with frightening ease and with his nearly 4 inch height advantage
    ...so now we're judging a center's transcendant dominance by how well he does against Dale Davis?

    Are you related to Peck?

    If Ben Wallace can single-cover Shaq, then so can Bill Russell.

    i doubt russel could get any more buffed out than dale.
    Wow.

    Just wow. Don't know what else to say.....

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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  25. #25

    Default Re: This ESPN article got me thinking...

    Russell is about the same height and reach as Ben Wallace. With improved traning methods, he would has the same type of body, but Russell was faster and a quicker leaper.

    Picture Ben Wallace and double the shot blocking, double the rebounding, and add at least a little touch around the hoop and you have the Bill Russell of 40 years ago.

    He would fit in nicely into any lineup in the league, though perhaps as an all-star PF instead of C.
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