Is Dwyane Wade now the 3rd greatest SG of all time behind Jordan and Kobe?
Is LeBron James now the 2nd greatest SF of all time behind Bird?
Where would you rank them?
Lbj is better than bird lbj can play every single position on the floor yes bird was a better shooter but lebron is a better athlete and better defender and better passer even though that one is close. I think Lebrons ball handling is way better than birds. If your starting a team today who would u pick give me lebron. Could you imagine lebron im the 80s against strictly man defense and double teaming him would have been adding to his assist numbers.
You can't really compare players like that jay in my opinion. Bird played in a different era. He has great handle, size, length, height, shooting, rebounding, passing, during his time. He is the orginal Kevin Durant. I think there impact in the game should be compared instead.
Also I just wanted to add lets say if Bird played in the 50's and Jordan played in the 60's as well.
Jordan, Kobe, Jerry West
by now....When lebron gets 2 or 3 Rings then we can talk
YES for me it's enough that one ring already, im one of those who puts LeBron already in the best small forward ever to play this game nomination
In his first 9 seasons Bird averaged 25 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 6.1 apg, 1.8 spg and o.8 bpg on 50% from the field and 88% from the stripe and had 3 championships
LeBron has averaged 27.6, 7.2, 6.9, 1.7 and 0.8 on 48.3% and 74.6%.
LeBron is the better defender, but Bird is the better rebounder and more efficient scorer, Bird also palyed on a better team all his life and had more success
Right now I surely take Bird over James, it's obvious that if LeBron continues to play great for another 4-5 years - he'll be the best SF, but not now
Bird's still far better than Lebron when looking at full body of work. As far as who a better player prime is, well, are we sure we've seen Lebron's peak? Because Larry averaged 30-9-9 in the finals once... As far as careers and SF ranks, Lebron is probably ahead of Elgin now, but not yet ahead of Dr. J.
Wade isn't above West by any stretch of the imagination. Is he even really ahead of Drexler? Glyde as a ring and, were it not for Jordan, would likely have had more than one.
It really hurts to listen to Bird/Lebron comparisons. Bird was far more than simply his stats can offer. At this point in Lebron's career, he still can't be compared to Bird. Let's look back when his career is over.
You can't compare the 2!
Two different era's
The NBA is 30x more athletic than what it was Lebron probably could have averaged 15 boards back then.
Bird probably would have averaged more points, because of the no hand check rule, it's less physical today.
You can't compare players from 2 different era's!
But I do think Lebron is the best SF to ever play.
And I see people saying Dr.J, and Elgin Baylor were next in line, better stop sleeping on PIPPEN!
You can't compare the 2!
Two different era's
The NBA is 30x more athletic than what it was Lebron probably could have averaged 15 boards back then.
I really hope you're not serious with this theory that LBJ could've averaged 15 RPG in the 1980s. What do you think Dwight would average in the 80s? 22?
Yeah the NBA is more athletic now but not that much more. Lets not forget that Bird was putting up really impressive stats in the early 90s despite being in his mid 30s and being injured. The early 90s were not hugely different from the early 2000s when Lebron started playing, it's not like comparing Garnett to Bob Petit. The major difference I have found is not in athleticism but in strength and weight training. Modern players seem quite a bit heavier and muscular than most of their counterparts in the 80s (with obvious exceptions like Karl Malone). However much of that credit has to go to modern weight training and supplements/nutrition etc. If Bird was playing in todays era he's probably be 10-15 bs of muscle heavier and with modern medecine his back probably would have never given him as many problems relatively early in his career.
I take Bird, I'm old school but if LBJ keeps doing what he just did. He's a whole nother level.... More Jordan'nisque though!
LeBron is amongst pretty rare air. I still can't rank him in the top 10. But let's look at how Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan did through their first 9 seasons:
Regular Season: 32.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.9 apg, 2.7 spg, 1 bpg, 51.6/30.1/84.6
Play-offs: 34.7, 6.7, 6.6, 50.1/35.2/83.4
Achievements: 3 NBA Championships/Finals MVP, 7 time All-NBA 1st team/All-Defensive 1st team, 7 Scoring Titles, 3 time MVP (Could have technically won a few more), 1987-88 DPOY (Plus All-Star Game MVP/MVP in the same year), 9 time All-Star, Widely considered the greatest player of all-time and for good reason
Regular Season: 22.4, 5.1, 4.4, 1.5, 0.6, 45.2/33.3/83.1
Play-offs: 22.6, 4.8, 4.4, 43.4/32.3/79.2
Achievements: 3 NBA Championships, 3 time All-NBA 1st Team/All-Defensive 1st Team, 7 time All-Star (lockout took one away), played one season without Shaquille O'Neal, accomplished much more so afterwards and established a long reign as possibly the best player in the NBA
Regular Season: 27.7, 12.4, 2.8, 0.7, 2.7, 57.7/53.1
Play-offs: 28.2, 12.7, 3.2, 56.6/50.3
Achievements: 2 NBA Championships/Finals MVP, MVP/All-Star Game MVP/Finals MVP in 1999-00, 8 time All-Star, 3 time All-NBA 1st Team, 2 scoring titles
Regular Season: 22.0, 12.0, 3.1, 0.8, 2.5, 50.5/68.5
Play-offs: 24.1, 12.7, 3.6, 50.5/70.4
Achievements: 3 NBA Championships/Finals MVP, 2 time NBA MVP, All-Star Game MVP, 8 time All-NBA 1st team, 6 All-Defensive 1st Team, 8 time All-Star (lockout season only thing preventing him from 9)
Regular Season: 27.6, 7.2, 6.9, 1.7, 0.8, 48.3/33.1/74.6
Play-offs: 28.5, 8.7, 6.7, 46.9/31.2/74.5
Achievements: 1 NBA Championship/Finals MVP, 3 time NBA MVP, 2 time All-Star MVP, 6 All-NBA 1st Team, 4 All-Defensive 1st Team, 1 scoring title, 8 time All-Star (did not make it his rookie season)
And, why not compare him to Magic and Oscar Robertson's first 9 seasons:
Regular Season: 19.1, 7.3, 11, 2.1, 0.5, 53.3/19.2/83.3
Play-offs: 19.0, 7.9, 12.5, 52/16.7/81.8
Achievements: 5 time NBA Champion, 3 time Finals MVP, 1 time NBA MVP, 6 time All-NBA 1st team, 4 Assists Titles, 8 time NBA All-Star (injured in his 2nd year)
Regular Season: 29.7, 8.7, 10.5, 48.7/83.9
Play-offs: 29.7, 9.3, 9.4, 46.1/86.9
Achievements: 1 NBA MVP, 3 All-Star Game MVP's, 9 time NBA All-Star, 7 Assists Titles, 1 scoring title, 9 All-NBA 1st Team, averaged a triple double in 1961-62 plus over the course of his first 5 season on average
Just was kind of interested to see how the first 9 seasons of these greats added up. To me, LeBron is somewhere in the 15-20 range (for now). Dwyane Wade is probably in the 30's or so. Both seem to have a lot of ability to move up. I still feel I would rank these players careers ahead of LeBron right now:
- Michael Jordan
- Kobe Bryant
- Shaquille O'Neal
- Bill Russell
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Tim Duncan
- Larry Bird
- Magic Johnson
- Oscar Robertson
- Jerry West
- Hakeem Olajuwon
- Moses Malone
- Julius Erving
- Elgin Baylor
- John Havlicek
Those are 16 players, with some others arguably also in front of him. Still, those are 16 fairly spectacular NBA legends. LeBron still has quite a bit of his career ahead of him if he stays healthy. My guess is he eventually is in top 5 contention and seems like he is definitely destined for the top 10. Other players may have won more at an earlier stage, but LeBron is up there with the All-Time greats for what he has accomplished through 9 NBA seasons.
I believe LBJ is ahead of Bird now. In terms of talent, he's just a way more complete player than Bird, and is better than him in every feasible way in terms of talent...but when he was ringless it was impossble to put him up there
How is LeBron a way more complete player than Bird?
Bird was a better rebounder. A better shooter. Just as good of a passer. And let's remember Bird wasn't as ball dominant as LeBron... He wasn't a point forward, yet still averaged over 6 assists for his career. He wasn't the defender LeBron was, but he knew where he was supposed to be at the defensive end.
Mentally wise, he was a notch or two above LeBron as well.
I don't think Bird is getting enough respect in this thread for what he accomplished during his career, despite not being an elite level type of athlete. Even during the late stages of his career when his back was shot, he still was a 20 point guy and very efficient.
Stats are quite stupid if you were going to compare people 20 years apart in any sport. Players back in the day will always have better stats just look at Football basketball and the most obvious one being hockey. The level of competition has rised considerably since those times. If you were Great back in the day you were head over heals above anyone else and were usually bigger faster stronger or more coordinated. The level between great players and average players are slowly coming closer together will all the training and information in the age we live in today. In baseball a pitcher knows exactly where to throw the ball to every batter before he ever faces them. In basketball now they know all of your "heat percentages" of every player on the court. So yes i do think that Lebron is better considering how much closer the competition is today compared to back in the day
LeBron isn't ahead of Bird yet. If you guys actually go back and watch Bird, he's absolutely incredible. I'd even go as far as to say he's a better passer then LeBron. I think LBJ will pass him, but he isn't there yet.
No I wasn't serious I was just saying Lebron could have possibly averaged more boards back in the day, since he would have been 3x more of an elite athlete back then than he is today.
And if Dwight Howard played back in the day YES he could possibly average 22 boards per game, Wilt did it, Howard is possibly one of the most athletic Center's ever so yes I do think Dwight could have averaged 22 boards per.
Alreafy averaging 13 for his career, and just came off a season where he averaged 14.5, so it's possible.!
Bird never had the same offensive responsibilities LeBron did. Kevin McHale was a dominant post player and the team's go-to guy in many games. McHale was the team's best player in '86-'87, when he averaged 26-10 on 60% shooting, including 30-10 on 71% shooting in the month before he broke his foot. When the Celtics lost, it wasn't all on Bird the way it is on LeBron when the Heat lose.
And for everybody claiming LeBron had Wade to bail him out, the Heat were -34 in this postseason when Wade played, but LeBron didn't, and Wade shot under 37% from the field in the playoffs when LeBron was on the bench. LeBron carried this Heat team to a title.
Bird was an incredible player and is the greatest sf ever not named LeBron. But LeBron has done more with less. You can't compare individual skills much across eras because, like champzilla said, the quality of game is dramatically higher now. If you put the Larry Bird of 1986 in a time machine and brought him to present day, he wouldn't be some star in the NBA. It is unfair to him to compare his skills to LeBron.
And anyways, relative to his competition, LeBron is the more complete player. Relative to the average player of their respective eras, LeBron is a better defender, slasher, passer, ballhandler, and overall playmaker. Bird was the better shooter and maybe rebounder, although he did play more pf, so that is hard to compare at all.
There were incredible athletes in the 80's. The 80's had the greatest basketball players of any era. Wilkins, Jordan, Pippen, Thomas, Parish, Magic, Bird, King, Dr J, Ewing, Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Bernard King, Kareem, Barkley, McHale, Stockton and on and on.
I would venture to guess not many of you watched much basketball in the 80's by saying that Lebron James or Dwight Howard would have more boards in the 80's. It was a much more physical game in the 80's, much more contact was allowed in the NBA during the 80's era.. The centers and power forwards in the 1980's were extremely physical. It was a man's game down low and not easy to grab rebounds, if anything it was more difficult. Look at some of the better centers in the game now versus the 80's. How many compare favorably to Ewing, Olajuwon, Malone, Parish, Jabbar? Who's the second best center compared to Dwight Howard? Andrew Bynum? Bogut? Al Jefferson? The level of play inside of the paint was at another level in the 80's. There are numerous centers and power forwards in the 80's that are among the greatest players in the history of the NBA.
All of that being said I do think that eventually Lebron James will pass Larry Bird. It will not be easy, Bird was incredible in so many ways. He was so underrated in his ability to pass the basketball and make his teammates better. Everyone remembers how clutch he was and how great of a shooter he was but his competitive desire is second to no one. He was 5 steps ahead of most players, his anticipation was out of this world. Bird was also an incredible rebounder, not good, but great. Slightly better rebounder than Lebron despite 1/10th of the athleticisim. This isn't a knock on Lebron because Lebron is a great rebounder also but Bird was a master at positioning his body and was one of the more tenacious players in NBA history.
However, Lebron is one of the greatest playmakers I've ever seen and he's just scratching the surface. Larry Bird himself has acknowledged that Lebron is "as good as anyone that’s ever played this game." Bird has also said he has the chance to be the greatest ever and Magic Johnson has said Lebron could be one of the best 1 or 2 players ever. Think about this, Bird and Magic know basketball like no one else. Lebron is only flashing his post game in spurts at the moment but when he goes to the post consistently he will be unstoppable. Can't double team him, he's one of the greatest passers of all time. Already you can see how fluid he is in the post, as he develops this more, the sky is the limit. He will be a much, much more dangerous weapon in the post than Bird ever was. Lebron is in a different class defensively than Bird ever was, Lebron effects the game defensively in so many ways. He can guard the best player on the other team regardless of their position, he is the best help defender in the NBA, no pass or shot is safe, teams have to think twice before lofting a careless shot or pass anywhere near James. Eventhough Larry Bird was one of the best rebounders ever despite his lack of athleticism, James rebounds exceptionally well from every position on the floor and often gets rebounds Bird wouldn't have been able to reach because of his superior athleticism. Bird was a much better shooter than Lebron but Lebron is much better at creating his own shot and attacks the rim like few, if any, before him .
Bird might be as great of a passer as James but he was not a better passer. I personally feel James is a better passer but I could live with someone making a case for Bird. However, James is definitetly a better playmaker, he creates many more opportunities during the course of the game for his team than Bird did. James is closer to the class of a Magic Johnson when it comes to passing and playmaking. Bird played with much better teammates over the course of his career. Parrish and McHale rarely wasted passes by Bird, they were excellent finishers. Bird also relied many times on other players creating shots for him, running opponents off of screens. I think Lebron compares but is slightly below Magic Johnson's level when it comes to passing and playmaking and that is extremely rare company. Magic was one of the best, if not the very best playmaker in NBA history.
The thing that puts James over the top in the end is that he will go down as the most versatile player ever in my mind. There is little he can't do to effect the outcome of a game. He does everything on the court well and he does nothing poorly. He does many things at an elite level(rebounding, passing, defending, ball handling) and if he ever develops a better than average perimeter shot that he currently has, he will be completely unstoppable.He will drive around bigs and post up smalls, the only way to stop him will be big men giving him a huge cushion on the perimeter and if he improves his jump shot to better than average, you're looking at a player who will be able to impose his will on a team in any way he chooses, and that's Michael Jordan territory.