Judging Players by Titles
Hopefully no one posted this yet.
Who do you side with - Team Jordan or Team Lebron?
I'm siding with Jordan on this one. You can't compare Robert Horry and Adam Morrison's combined 9 rings to Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant's 0 rings. But when you discuss the GOAT, I think Titles should be a major factor.
Out of Jordan, LeBron, Russell and Kobe, I think their overall career rankings would have to go as follows: Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, Russell. Obviously Russell won the most rings, but his talent level isn't on the same level as the other 3. Now I'm not saying that if Kobe or LeBron ever got 7 rings that they'd automatically be better than Jordan, but it would help their cases. But with the fine line between Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron, I think rings have to be the deciding factor, and not personal success and achievements. You're supposed to play the game to win championships. The GOAT surely needs to dominate in the championship, not just the stat line.
When titles are brought up, everyone contradicts themselves, when people argue Kobe and Lebron, the first statement made is that Kobe has more titles so he's automatically better, but then someone will turn around and ask you....."So Robert Horry is better than Patrick Ewing just because he has more rings right? Then you say No.....
I think the way you should judge players is their entire body of work, stats,rings,winning percentages,etc, not go off who got more rings because if thats the case Bill Russell wins far as all time greats go if were talking about rings.
It's more than winning titles I mean not everyone has a Scottie Pippen or a Phil Jackson on their team. Some guys spend majority of their career in a bad situation and worrying about how many rings a player got is taking away from how great they were(Barkley, Malone, Stock, Miller).
Titles=team accomplishment. For example Lionel Messi is the greatest player in the world but will never be a world cup champion because argentina despite being good can't mess with a team that has inferior players than messi but many of them like Spain. Same for C. Ronaldo and portugal. Basketball is a team sport. If you talk about who had the greatest career, then yes titles should be factored in. But when asking who is the better player, they are irrelevant as an accolade. The only accolades are the individual awards like MVPs that matter. And FYI Lebron has 4 total mvps including finals. Kobe has 3. Jordan has 11 soooo.. He's a while away. The finals MVP shows you were the prime contributor to winning the chip. Having a ring, anyone can have a ring, some players who stay suited up all year have rings. does that make someone like Scalabrine better than Carmelo? judging a single talent by the number of accolades that are team based isn't accurate because you have the performance of the other team mates that is taken into account. Had Patrick Ewing had better teammates he would've perhaps won a chip. Had michael never had scottie, he could've not had as many chips if any at all. And we know that Kobe's team was far superior to any of lebron's teams in cleveland. Get Kobe scrub talent ala lebron's 2007 finals team, adn you'll see the lakers making a first round playoff exit against an amare less phoenix suns, but he suddenly is forgiven when he gets a title with a super team
I agree with both to a point...
I think you've got to take titles into consideration but 1 person never wins a title...It takes good timing and other good players to win titles..
I think Lebron loses credibility now because he seemingly has quit on his team several times in the playoffs...the greatest of all time wouldn't have that on his resume so I don't think he could ever pass Jordan's legacy...
I do think he can pass Kobe pretty easily though..
Kobe's 5 aren't as impressive as they appear to me, at least in terms of being considered the GOAT...He played with Shaq as the primary player for 3 and his 4th was won primarily because of other teams injuries (KG went down when the C's were steam rolling everyone that year)....LBJ and Kobe as of now is a good argument but eventually I think James will pass him but ultimately be short of MJ..
Rings only tell part of the story,.. the best team wins every year not the best player..
Its not just that Jordan won 6 rings he never lost a finals series.
I don't know about LeBron losing credibility. I mean, it's a lot easier to win titles when you have Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman on your team instead of Mike Brown, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Mo Williams.
I think titles have a lot to do with it but it shouldn't be a breaking-point when comparing players across generations.
For various reason -- one being the team, coaching staff, and organization a player is put in. The Cavaliers were afraid of taking chances on some draft picks and were too soft while looking at trades and pulling the trigger on huge moves that would make them better while the Bulls were always exploring new options in terms of trades/FA/draft selections to improve themselves.
Another thing that needs to be taken into account is competition. Let's take a look at the shooting guard landscape in the 90s. The best perimeter defender in the 90s was arguably Pippen, who was on Jordan's team. Arguably, the 2nd best SG in the league in the 90s was Reggie Miller.
Jordan's Bulls were significantly more talented than any other team in the 90s in every aspect. Even without Jordan, the Bulls made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs twice in two years. Not to mention, taking the Knicks to game 7 and nearly reaching the Eastern Conferences Finals sans Jordan.
The Bulls had a Hall of Fame Big-3 along with, possibly, the greatest coach of all time on their side while other teams were scrambling to put together old-aged veterans to try to make a run.
Take a look at LeBron's competition, he had to win against two of the greatest dynasties of the 00s -- Spurs and Lakers. Not only were there legendary teams on the opposing conference but the 00 Pistons were one of the greatest defensive teams of all time. Not only were the Pistons a tough 5-man-team but the Boston Celtics were/are extremely tough and well coached.
While LeBron was always a one-man-team, he had to misfortune to be matched-up against the great 00s Pistons TEAM and of course, the Big3+1 Celtic era.
In short, judging championships is necessary, but it isn't the breaking point when comparing legendary players from all generations simply for the fact that basketball is a team sport and winning championships does not solely rest on any one single player's shoulders but rather an entire organization.
That's all well and good until you factor in Lebron losing the title his first year in Miami alongside Bosh and Wade. They were by far the more talented team, but Lebron choked big time in the Finals, his numbers were well below his regular outings and just because he redeemed himself last year doesn't mean you can wipe out that Finals loss.
Also, as far as MJ's competition, he played against some pretty damn good teams;
- Magic Johnson's Lakers, who were admittedly a bit older, but still potent.
- A prime Clyde Drexler's Portland team, Drexler being a very talented SG, who was almost MJ's equal athletically and was giving up nothing size-wise.
- Charles Barkley's Phoenix Suns who were also relatively loaded with talent and this was probably Barkley's best year as a pro.
- The Payton/Kemp Sonics - 'nuff said.
- Back to back years of the HoF Malone/Stockton tandem.
This is without going into all the great teams he played outside of the Finals, and all this without a dominant big-man. When you consider he did all this without reliable post-scoring. Just because Jordan never lost a Finals series doesn't mean it was a cakewalk where his Bulls hopelessly outclassed every team; he faced down almost every superstar that era had to offer in a playoff series and came out on top, you can put some of it down to coaching, but at the end of the day all the coaching in the world can't replicate the greatness of Michael Jordan and his sheer determination to always pick himself up after each loss and still believe in himself.
To me its not just how many titles a players wins but how many you as win the best player. Jordan won six titles as the best player and honestly could have 8 straight titles if he doesn't have that baseball stint. Bill Russell won 11 Titles in 13 seasons each time as the best player and a few times as player-coach. He never gets enough credit for this. He's the only player who could out rebound wilt while in era with no 3 point line and is my opinion the 2nd best player ever just narrowly behind Jordan. No other player can claim stretches of dominance like these two. Lebron's can get to their level of greatness but he needs to be able to dominate this era like Jordan and Russell before him because as good as Kevin Durant is Lebron is clearly the best player in the league and there is no reason he shouldn't be winning titles from here on out.
That's pretty much how I feel about it. If we judged players on titles, then Bill Russell would be the greatest of all time and it wouldn't be close.
Russell won his championships in an era with 8-14 teams. His first four championships came in an era with 8 teams and his next five came in an era with 9 teams.
MJ won his titles in an era with 27-29 teams in the league. It's simple math; it's much easier to win a championship with far fewer teams in the league and MJ's success is more impressive than Russell's.
I think it's sad when fans can't seem to understand when to place a big emphasis on rings and when not to.
For example, we should know to excuse rings when comparing Robert Horry to Karl Malone and Charles Barkely. Horry was a clutch player, but a role player. Malone and Barkley were the best players on their teams and two of the best at their positions in NBA history. We should know that Steve Kerr isn't better than John Stockton. We should know that Kenny Smith isn't better than Gary Payton. We should know these things. It's not that hard. A current example is Rajon Rondo versus Chris Paul. People love to bring up Rondo's ring, but he was a role player that season playing off of Boston's Big Three. Chris Paul has been the best player on every team he's been on and his teams have always overachieved. It's dumb to bring up Rondo's ring in that debate.
However, when comparing great players to great players, you have to put an emphasis on championships.
Thank you Indiana you pratically said it all someone that talks the right things, even when Jordan choose Kobe over Lebron he was comparing both, he didn't say more rings better player.
Titles are important but you also have to look at players' stats, their All NBA Team standings etc. As regards Kobe and LeBron, one has 5 titles and one MVP whilst the other has one title and 3 MVPs, so you have an almost immediate counter arguement there.
Bill Russell IMO was the greatest defensive player ever and his legacy is one that is ever unlikely to be matched as regards titles.