Who's better in their prime WITHOUT injuries.. And I don't wanna see someone say "we'll you can't compare that" because I am asking you guys and hopefully some of you older people can help elaborate on this and describe why. I in my limited knowledge say Tmac was better and would have been Better if he never got injured. Appreciate it.
My honest opinion.....I was a T-Mac guy, he was the coldest to me in the League when he was with the Magic.
If he had played on a big market team for a large part of his career, I think you would have people comparing him to kobe,
Despite being 6'9 with ELITE athleticism, he was one of the smoothest scorers ever, I remember watching him and Gilbert Arenas go back and forth when he was with the magic, he put up the easiest 50+ points I have ever seen
Does anybody else find it interesting that Shane Battier called Tracy by far the best passer he played with? And that was after the Heat won the chip last year. It was in some magazine where he picked a starting five of guys he's played with.
I never saw prime McGrady, and I know Kobe is the wise choice here, but I'd take T-Mac.
a different question would be
if kobe played in a small market: N.O. Cleveland, SLC... (with out a dominate big man)
would he be comparable to T-mac, Vince Carter, Darrell Griffith, (had to put in Dr. Dunkenstein)????
I think Kobe still would be comparable, I think he would have been just like Jordan, he would have came in his first couple years and start blasting at the scoring records, averaging all kinds of numbers.
But further down the line his desire to be the best would have kicked in and he would have either went to another team for help or demanded help for the team he would have already been on, and got his championships from there.
When he was in his prime t-mac was the only person who could consistently defend kobe at an extremely high level and outplay him on the offensive end in the same game. Tmac was a tremendously talented player who in my opinion had a extremely high skill level that was similar to penny hardaway and scottie pippen. He was a complete basketball player who posessed a skill set that allowed him to be a unguardible scorer, dominate defender, and great playmaker.
What makes kobe the better player in my opinion was kobe's mental game ( focus, mental toughness, passion, ambition, pride, extreme confidence in pressure based situations, ability to overcome challenging situations, desire to be the best, resiliency, heart, etc )
I'd have to say Kobe was the better player during their "prime" years, even though that is difficult because Mcgrady got hurt when he was 26 and never really fully recovered from that injury so he didn't get to enjoy peak performance during the prime years of 25-29. With that being said Mcgrady was arguably the best sg in the league for 2 years, 2002-2004, and Kobe was a superior player every other year especially when you factor in defense.
Mcgrady was a volume scorer who scored at below average percentages, but people remember the spectacular plays he made especially the dunks, however he always had a shaky jumper and took way to many 3's and played defense with questionable effort for his entire career. Mcgrady was hyper athletic, blessed with great size and had his trademark smoothness that made it seem like the game came to him (rather than the other way around) however Mcgrady was lazy on offense at times often settling for long jumpers when he easily could have abused his defender to get better looks and just lacked the instinct to dominate game in and game out (he def dominated at times, but not as often as he should have).
Kobe was also incredibly athletic, though not on Tmac's level, had prototypical size, and was also a volume scorer however he scored at much better percentages and when he was younger took the ball to the rack relentlessly, he always wanted had the instinct to dominate games and knew exactly when he was feeling it and would take over games. Kobe was an outstanding defender earlier in his career, understood the nuances of the games like angles and how defensive schemes would react to certain movements, and he also played in the heaviest basketball shoes of all time (Adidas crazy 1 & 2) lol.
check out this old Kobe Adidas 2 commercial the dunk from the free throw line is sick
Solid points. But the dunk from the freethrow line isn't real. Lol please rewatch the video and.lool where he takes off from.
I think the efficiency numbers go back with playing alongside great players. It's a lot easier to shoot nice percentages when you have other guys to take the pressure off of you.
I mean, the worst 2nd/3rd options Kobe ever had in his entire career were Lamar Odom and Caron Butler. Those two guys were probably better than anyone T-Mac ever played with on the Magic.
And don't even say Grant Hill, since Grant Hill only played 47 games in four seasons with T-Mac on the Magic.
By the time T-Mac arrived to Houston, he was damaged goods. Still electric and exciting, but damaged goods.
As a Rockets fan, I always think, what would have happened if Artest-TMac-Yao were all healthy in that 08-09 season. Hell, we took the eventual champs to 7 games without T-Mac. Yao also missed games 4-7 in that series.
I was a HUGE T-Mac fan growing up and he's still my favorite all-time player so I have to go with T-Mac.
Not only could he score on you from everywhere on the floor but he was also an above average rebounder for a SG (granted, he was 6'8) and was one of the best point-shooting-guards of his time. He could easily play 4 positions on the floor and when he wanted to defend, his 7'3" wingspan and bulked strength really helped him.
You also have to remember, we never got to see T-Mac in his complete prime. He dropped 32ppg when he was only 23. Imagine how good the guy would have been at the age of 27-29 if he never had any of those injuries. Easily a 30-8-7 guy .
But of course, we look at individual and team accolades along with longevity when comparing players. Which is why T-Mac is a top-50 player all time while Kobe is top-10, creeping into the top-5.
You brought up some good points Tongue-Out-Like-23, but I have to disagree with you on this "I mean, the worst 2nd/3rd options Kobe ever had in his entire career were Lamar Odom and Caron Butler. Those two guys were probably better than anyone T-Mac ever played with on the Magic." From the 04/05 season to halfway thru the 07/08 season Kobe played with garbage and still lead those teams to decent finishes in a much tougher Western Conference and Tmac played with some solid although mostly unspectacular players like Mike Miller, Juwan Howard, Grant Hill, Skip, Luis Scola, Shane Battier and he also played with Yao Ming, who was beastmoding Asian style before Jeremy Lin ever came around.
Its one of those questions where there's a lot of things that factor into the decision making process that you cant always quantify and its a matter of people liking different players styles better. If you break it down by raw stats, team success, and defense its an interesting battle, but I favor Kobe in this particular scenario.
Heres an average of their 01/02 - 04/05 seasons:
Kobe: 26.93 ppg, 44.78 fg%, 32.48 3pt%, 5.95 rpg, 5.63 apg, 1.68 spg, 3.24 tovpg, 2 all nba defensive 1st team, 2 all nba defensive 2nd team, 49.5 average wins per season, 1 championship, 1 appearance in the Finals that they lost, lost in Western Conference Championships
Tmac: 27.85 ppg, 43.55 fg%, 35.38% 3pt%, 6.65 rpg, 5.5 apg, 1.6 spg, 2.6 tovpg, 35.75 average wins per season, 2 losses in the Eastern Conference 1st round
Offensively Tmac holds a slight advantage in most categories, but in terms of defense Kobe blows him away with mentions every year on the all defensive team when Tmac got none (and to be honest Tmac was never close to consideration) and in terms of team sucess Kobe holds a huge advantage granted he had far superior teammates than Tmac 3 out of 4 years.
Hope the breakdown was interesting and shed a little light on the discussion and in case anyone was wondering why I chose those seasons to average out, those were the 4 seasons prior to Tmac getting hurt so I figured it would best represent his prime years.
Kobe. He had every tool on offense tmac had but he was hungrier not to get locked up on offense and would put his head down and attack. And defensively they are not even omparable.