Jordan and Drexler, Kobe and LeBron: Are Championship Rings Overrated?- By Paul Knepper/ Blecher Report
I think the author made a valid point. People judge the players as individuals instead of in the context of a team game. People always say Michael Jordan won 6 championships but he wouldn't have won those without one of the greatest if not greatest perimeter defenders ever, and also Scottie Pippen as the point forward also took care of the ball handling duties, Michael really just had to focus on scoring. Scottie Pippen is one of the 50 greatest players ever. Also Bill Russell has 11 rings, why isn't he the greatest player? Michael Jordan also had a hall of fame power forward in his last 3 championships and his first 3 he had and All Star power forward and a 2 time member of the all defensive team in Horace Grant. Larry Bird played with 6 other Hall of Famers and Magic Johnson played with 3.
I'm just using Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan as an examples, but the question is are rings overrated?
Or a better question could someone become the best player to ever play the game without eclipsing Michael Jordan's 6 rings?Example if Lebron gets 3 championships to go along with his other accolades and stats could he be the best player ever?
Also on a sidenote the article is a bit long but it's a great read.
But no Championships are not overrated.
Rings are overrated in my opinion. Why should a player be kept out of discussion of goat because he doesn't have a ring? There are 4 people on the court with him as well one great player can't win it alone. Lebron needed wade and bosh, Kobe needed shaq and pau, drexler needed Hakeem and Jordan had pippen and rodman. Robert horry has more rings than mj but does that make him better than Jordan?
Bill Russell is the greatest "champion" of all-time with his 11 rings, but he's obviously not greater than Jordan because Jordan's numbers are far greater than Russell's. Steve Kerr has 5 rings, but is he better than Malone or Barkley? Of course not. Rings aren't the deciding factor when determining greatness. All defensive teams, all-nba teams, MVP's, and career ppg, rebounds and assists all should be taken into account.
its a little of both, rings do not automatically =greater then the next guy. But they are very important and absolutely should reflect to some level how great an individuals career was. Lebron doesnt have to win 6, but 2 certainly wont cut it either.
Championships matter because you get to see players rise to the occasion when it matters most, Jordan is considered the greatest ever because of the work he put in at the highest level.... I feel you can measure a players greatness when watching them play in the FINALS...
Obviously you don't have to win a championship to have a stellar career and be considered one of the best, but winning a ring is one thing that EVERY nba player wants, Barkley, Malone, Stockton, and Reggie Miller are some names that come off the top of my head that are considered some of the greatest to ever play, but don't have a ring. I also agree with billyk because players step up to the occasion and get tunnel-vision. At the end of that tunnel, is the greatest prize of all time.
Michael Jordan is the best player ever because he is the best. Like skill for skill...nobody does it better.
Rings aren't overrated, they are incredibly important, because at the end of the day numbers are meaningless except as a means of determining why people win. If you don't win, your numbers are meaningless.
The thing that separates Jordan is that he combined great individual achievements with team success - something Magic also did, except that MJ further distinguishes himself from Magic by being a dominant two-way player, something Magic can't really claim to be.
I hate it when people link bleacherreport articles...15 year old's can post an article there.
15 Year olds post articles on here...
ENOGSIWONdede only posts forum topics. There's a difference.
A forum topic and a bleacher report article both serve the same purpose. They bring forth a topic of debate. If you really want to read an article about sports you go to espn.com, or some other sports authorized website. The article asked a question which opened up a debate, which has over 300 comments. Isn't that the same thing we do when we post forum topics? Yes it is!
Okay? An opinion is still an opinion. It wouldn't be any more right or wrong if it was an article written by an "expert." It's an opinion that is supposed to spark a conversation.
Championships aren't overrated, because they're only weighed for and against people with enough skill to have something expected from them. Luke Walton has a ring or two but that doesn't make anyone think he's better than Clyde or Barkley or Malone or any of the number of other supremely talented and unfortunately ringless players in league history. Kobe has five rings and elite talent in his prime, so that conversation is a lot more valid.
I agree Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever.
I don't hate him, I hate this idea that he can never be surpassed.
Lebron James is a better passer, he may even be more athletic, He's a better rebounder, He is on his way to at least being the same level defender, if not better. People fail to realize Michael Jordan never guarded the other teams best player. Scottie Pippen did that, We've seen Lebron James guard everyone from Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, KD and Carmelo, Lamarcus Aldridge to Roy Hibbert, 5 positions and he guarded them all succesfully. Michael Jordan was a superior scorer and really that's it. If Lebron James wins 3 or 4 championships, there should be an argument. People act like you can't even add someone else's name to the same sentence as MJ'S. Get over it people. People didn't thought Magic couldn't be passed, it happened, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, the Big O, tons of player have had their time as the best players ever, and they have all been passed and one day Michael Jordan will be passed. Lebron James is a better passer, he may even be more athletic, He's a better rebounder, He is on his way to at least being the same level defender, if not better. People fail to realize Michael Jordan never guarded the other teams best player. Scottie Pippen did that, We've seen Lebron James guard everyone from Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, KD and Carmelo, Lamarcus Aldridge to Roy Hibbert, 5 positions and he guarded them all succesfully. Michael Jordan was a superior scorer and really that's it. If Lebron James wins 3 or 4 championships, there should be an argument. People act like you can't even add someone else's name to the same sentence as MJ'S. Get over it people. People didn't thought Magic couldn't be passed, it happened, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, the Big O, tons of player have had their time as the best players ever, and they have all been passed and one day Michael Jordan will be passed.
I'm seriously tired of people on this site and others being total Michael Jordan marks, come on people learn the game and be objective.
post,people dont reazlize that in 30-40 years mj probably wont be considered for goat...its all opionions people, basketball istn like track and field where you can measuere who is the fastest=best....in basketball some people will consider supieror averages for goat,somebody else rings etc...
@Michael Jordan can be surpassed.Stop acting as if he can't.
Both Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen defended the other team's best player. They had that luxury.
Jordan's scoring gets most of the attention because he was so special, but he was a great defender... He was a great defender in high school. He then went on to be a great defender in college, which is why he started for a coach that didn't like to play freshmen much in Dean Smith and he was only the 2nd or 3rd freshman to start in North Carolina History. He then went to the NBA and led the league in steals three times and made the NBA All-Defense First Team *NINE* times... Even won a DPOY award. He was the definition of a lock down defender who didn't want to give you an inch.
LeBron is 6' 8" 250 lbs... He's a more versatile defender than Jordan. However, I think Jordan was a far better on ball defender and competed more at that end. Jordan also just had quicker hands, feet and had more of a nose for the ball. LeBron is still growing, but I feel Jordan just had more overall defensive awareness.
LeBron is a better rebounder and he should be. He's a small forward. They usually average more rebounds than guards. However, Jordan is one of the best rebounders at his position in NBA history. Passing is LeBron's greatest gift, but let's not act like Jordan couldn't pass the ball. He was a GREAT passer, but just not with the blessed gift like a LeBron or Magic Johnson.
LeBron is still growing as a player, but he's not close to Jordan in my opinion. Especially when you just look at the overall fundamentals of the game. Jordan is notches above him. Then look at mentality, heart and that fearlessness to make winning/game changing plays when the game is on the line consistently. You have to understand... Jordan had a certain type of mentality that sets him far apart from LeBron and even others like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. LeBron has a long way to go to catch him. I don't see the same drive or will in LeBron that I seen in Jordan.
Another good example that rings don't necessarily equal greatness is Robert Horry. Horry has 7 rings more than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, and many other multiple championship winners and all time greats who never won a ring. Horry was a super role player, but even with 7 rings he won't be a hall of fame player.
Rings and Championships are indicators of greatness and being the best at whatever sport. Basketball is no exeption. Michael Jordan was the greatest and best basketball player during his era in which he dominated like no one before. Yes Russell got 11 rings and domintated defensively but Jordan's offensive dominance and all-around game combined with his desire to win, allwowed him to win 6 rings and most likely more if not for baseball. During this time he beat all the other great players like Barkely, Malone, Ewing, and others which doesn't mean they shouldn't be talked about in the conversation of G.O.A.T. just not a a head of Jordan, and not anywhere close. Basketball is a team game and history has shown you must have HOF's, All-Stars, and usually the BEST PLAYER. There are only 5 guys on your team so while basketball is a team game, one individual usuallly stands out more than any other sports like soccer and football, and roles are established from there. When the best player gets on a team where those roles underneath his leading one, are filled with Hall Of Famers, you win 6, 11, 4, or a collection of rings. Yes Jordan had Pippen who played a vital role with ball handling, defense, and doing a bit of everything, but again, history has shown that every Batman needs his Robin. LeBron has Wade now and looks ready for a run to wear a handful of those rings.
However, if LeBron were to somehow not get up to Kobe and Jordan's level? Or if another player comes along, say Anthony Davis and stays with the Bobcats who never put any other all stars with, and at the end of his career has put up all the numbers, all-star and olympic appearances but never wins a championship? Yes, I do beleive that they can still be the G.O.A.T.
For example, if LeBron were to never win again, I would still rank him ahead of Jordan on that list. He is a better all-around basketball player and does more things well, and is more dominant. LeBron just played with Antwain Jamison and Mo Williams (before Wade/Bosh) instead of Pippen and Rodman.
So much is exaggerated or inaccurate in the this article.
First of all the author says "Championship rings are the No. 1 criterion used to evaluate the careers of great basketball players." I disagree with that on a very basic level. Most people I know consider Allen Iverson and George Gervin higher on their all-time lists than Sam Jones, Ray Allen, Earl Monroe, Dwyane Wade (at least presently), and Joe Dumars. Likewise Wilt Chamberlain is often considered to have been the greatest center in NBA history despite fewer championships than Russell, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O'neal. Karl Malone didn't win a chip but almost everyone I know places him higher than Kevin McHale, Kevin Garnett, Bob Pettit and Elvin Hayes. Pippin won 6 championships but few place him higher than Bird, Dr J, Baylor and Lebron. There is alot of criteria used to evaluate the careers of great basketball players; statistics, individual awards, superiority against their peers, impact on the game as well as team success. So championships are really just one factor in many. Yes MJ won 6 championships to Drexler's 1, but he also won 5 MVPs to Drexler's 0, put up superior stats, made 10 All-NBA first teams and 1 All-NBA second team to Drexler's 1 All-NBA first team and 2 All-NBA second teams, and was a far better defender (Drexler was a solid defender but MJ was perhaps the greatest defensive SG ever). All those facts go through people's head when they consider MJ's all time ranking.
"Drexler's two best teammates on the Blazers’ finals teams were two-time All-Star Terry Porter and Buck Williams, who though still a great defender, was past his prime. Jerome Kersey and an overweight Kevin Duckworth rounded out the starting five." Bit of an exaggeration here. It's true that Drexler didn't have a running mate of Pippin's caliber, however Kersey was a solid player at SF. Buck Williams was just as good as Horace Grant at PF. And the overweight Kevin Duckworth was a two time All-Star during the Blazers best years and him and Terry Porter were better than any center and point guard that MJ would ever play with. So it's not like Drexler had a bunch of scrubs surrounding him.
"The ring standard also fails to adequately account for players like David Robinson, who had phenomenal careers and won at least one ring but were not the best players on their championship teams. " Another exagerration. First of all, there is no "ring standard". While Robinson is given credit for being a winner he is always lower on All-Time lists than Wilt and Hakeem who had the same number of titles and he's usually lower than Moses Malone who won just one title. Having a major role on a championship team is taken into consideration by almost everyone I talk to. You don't see Gary Payton or Nate Archibald leap frogging John Stockton on many all-time lists on the strength of their titles wins with Miami and Boston.
The article goes on to make all sorts of could've would've statements. What if Kobe had been drafted by the Nets? What if Byron Scott and Magic hadn't injured their hamstrings. What if a healthy Bernard King had played with Patrick Ewing etc. You can always make those kinds of "what if" statements unfortunately we can only evaluate players on what they have done not hypothetical situations. Hypothetically maybe Connie Hawkins could've been the greatest PF of all time, or Arvydas Sabonis the best center all time or MJ could've never come back to the league for his second three peat.Yes, luck and circumstance plays a role in the success of individuals but that applies in everything in this world.
Also to the OP, you write "Also Bill Russell has 11 rings, why isn't he the greatest player?". Doesn't that completely go against this argument that we place too much emphasis on rings? Obviously we do look at championship rings within a team context and realize that Russell had the benefit of playing with an amazing support cast and played in an era with 8-14 teams (making it numerically easier to win multiple championships than the modern era). Russell is actually evidence against the bleacher article...
One final thing I will end this too long post on; MJ didn't just win 6 championships, he also won 6 NBA finals MVP awards. To me that is more impressive than anything else.
Bleacher Report........... lol garbage site.