Out Of Bounds: Lebron is Better Than Jordan (Extra Long Read)
Welcome to my first edition/installment of "Out Of Bounds".
This is a series of unpopular opinion and politically incorrect views, hence the title header. These topics are sure to draw ire and lots of negative responses and point deductions.
The first topic is one I have wanted to post for a while but wanted to think on it and do it at the right time.
Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of All Time in my opinion. I think that is a consensus opinion. However, where I make a left turn is....I believe that unequivocally, Lebron is the best player of All Time...and better than Jordan. Jordan is the greatest because he was one of the top 5 players of all time without a doubt and he had the one of the most amazing careers of any modern day athlete. We know his accolades, they have been cited many times over.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with some friends of mine. We were discussing the question..."if you could pick any player in history to start your team with, who would it be?" Most of the answers were Jordan, a few said Kobe. I said without a doubt...my player would be Lebron. Another friend agreed with me. When they asked who would I take second....I said Magic.
I have stated on this forum several times that I believe Magic to be a very close second to Jordan as the best/greatest player I have ever seen. I also stated, there have been a few who were able to mimic a lot of what Jordan could do on the court skill wise, but NO ONE has ever been able to come close to duplicating Magic's skills. Of all the Magic "supposed-to-bees", the closest I can get to him skill wise with similar physicality would have to be Lebron and after that maybe a young Lamar Odom....when we are talking about playing 4 to 5 positions on the court. Of course Odom could play multiple positions but he is nothing to Magic at any of those positions....its like an NBA player against a High Schooler. Thats not disrespect to Odom, but a testament to how monumental the skills of Magic was.
The reason why I pick Lebron and Magic alike is because I look at players from how they affect the win/loss column. This is the same reason it is my opinion that Jason Kidd is better than Steve Nash and John Stockton. We get too wrapped up in championships. When asked the question of the player we would choose, the first thing that came out of everyone's mouth is, but Lebron needs championships. I wholeheartedly disagree. He does not. NBA Championships take an extraordinary level of TEAM effort. In a team sport, a lot comes down to timing and circumstance. As I was reading the other day, someone said championships require a combination of skill and luck.
While some may place an enormous amount of creedence into winning championships in team sport, I place the highest level of value on individuals who win wherever and whenever they play.
Magic was a winner at every level. Every stop he dominated and led his teams to victory. Magic could easily be considered the sport's all time best. In HS, he won games and won a title while leading his team. In college, he won games and won a title while leading his team. The next year after leading his college team to a national title he led his NBA team to a title. The year before Magic arrived in L.A. they had a record of 47-35 and were nearly swept out of the Western Conference semi-finals. The year Magic arrived, the Lakers won 60 games and an NBA Title, going 12-4 in the playoffs. The amazing thing is, I will never forget when it was announced that Kareem would not be able to play in game 6 of the finals. Everyone was thinking, this would be the Lakers swan song. It was a reasonable assessment, as Kareem averaged 33ppg for the series. Magic stepped in as center, and the rest is history. 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Magic is arguably the greatest winner the sport has ever seen. Oh, but this conversation is about Lebron vs Jordan....I was getting to that.
Magic did always have great players around him. Lebron didnt have that luxury. For this reason, it is why Lebron is severely underrated and undervalued for his accomplishments.
For the past few months, I have challenged friends and family alike, to name me someone...anyone who played on the Cavaliers finals team with Lebron. Most cant name anyone. If someone is lucky enough....they can name one player. Some have named Ilgauskas....but thats about it, as far as correct answers go. I have had more people name Delonte West as a player from the team which is actually funny to me and shows the obscurity of the other players.
A bit of trivia. On Jordan's first Finals appearance, he played with several players who made the All Star team at some point in their careers, 4 to be exact. Pippen, Armstrong, Grant, and Cartwright. Pippen, Armstrong, and Grant all made All Star teams AFTER they played with Jordan....and what many dont remember is, they all were All Stars the year Jordan didnt play! Lebron only played with one All Star in his first finals appearance. Ilgauskas, who was an All Star prior to Lebron but never after!
One of the things that compelled me to write this topic that I grew up watching Jordan at UNC and then into the NBA and I remember vividly when everyone was critical of him, saying he wasnt the best, he could score but he couldnt win, he was a gunner, etc... It was deja vu all over again when Kobe came along (after Shaq). It pissed me off because I felt like both of these guys were great players who just didnt have the help. People would say (when asked personally) they WOULDNT want those guys on their time because they would never be able to win with them. Sounds funny now in retrospect.
Jordan as a rookie had a losing record. He improved his teams wins by 11 victories from the previous season. We wont count his 2nd year due to injury but in his 3rd year....his team only won 10 more games than the previous season. So he had a decrease in plus wins. The next year, Jordan's 4th, he had a winning team. He never played on a winning team that didnt contain either Pippen or Grant...or even Oakley for that matter who also made the All Star team AFTER he played with Jordan...and that was on a different team.
Lets look at Lebron win/loss columns. Lebron's first year in the league was the only year in his career he has played on a team with a losing record. How much did he mean to the team's win column? An improvement over the previous year by 18 games! In his 4th season he went to the Finals at 22 years old.
I think we realized how great Lebron was when he left Cleveland and for the first time in NBA history a team went from the best record to the worst within a year. Thats pretty amazing. It is very hard to win a championship in a team sport as one man...but Lebron was the closest in recent memory to almost pull it off. People often say the Bulls were nothing without Jordan, but look at the collapse of the Cavaliers post-Lebron and then recall that when Jordan left the Bulls, Chicago won 55 games without him. Wait...what did I say? 55 games without Jordan. The Bulls were still a playoff team! Did Jordan make his teammates better. Of course he did, but this is one of the most overstated and misused assessments of Jordan talents and an oh so overused cliche in Jordan GOAT discussions.
Who made their teammates better? We will leave Magic out of this conversation for now but obviously he is one of the best at this.
Quite a few of Jordan's teammates had their best seasons statistically when they DIDNT play with Jordan. Lets take Pippen for example. He averaged career highs in Points, Rebounds, Steals and FGMpg. His assist total dipped but he was the primary focus of the offense. Well, if you are the primary focus and there is No Jordan so teams can just key in on you, you should shoot a lower percentage right? Wrong. Pip shot 49% from the field. Although that was not career high for him, he never shot at that high a percentage ever again once Jordan returned. This actually shows support that Jordan's teammates sacrificed their games to fit in with him and make HIM better. Grant didnt get worse...averaged career highs in Points and Rebounds in Jordans absense. Kukoc shot a career best from the field, Kerr shot a career best from 3pt range and his 2nd highest FG% of his career, Scott Williams, Bill Wennington, even Pete Myers had their best seasons of their careers when Jordan was playing baseball.
The second player in history to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals was Scottie Pippen. He did it without Mike. Pretty amazing feat. (Mike mustve made him really good.) There are only 3 other players who have done this. Dave Cowens was the first, then Kevin Garnett, then....you guessed it...Lebron James.
Pippen was more valuable to the win column than Jordan, like it or not. Without Pip, Jordan never had a winning season...ever. Yet I documented what Pip did without Jordan....also he won while playing for other teams as well. Not to say he could win a title by himself, not even Lebron could do that. Pippen, Lebron, Grant Hill, Magic, those were players who were important to the win column. Those are players that truly made everyone around them better. Pippen's ability to play point guard/forward was the key to Jordan excelling as he did, the same as DWade benefits from Lebron point skills. Jordan actually stated that he would not play without Pippen on his team.
Does Lebron make Mo Williams better? Statiscally, no. Mo was putting up nearly identical numbers before he got to Cleveland. The difference is, the season before he got there, he only won 26 games with Milwaukee the year prior. In Cleveland, he won 66 games. Those 40 games are the difference in a player putting up good numbers on a bad team and a guy who is an All Star. What has Mo done since Lebron? Boobie Gibson has had a better statistical season since Lebron left, unfortunately, it was when the Cavs were the worst team in the league. Drew Gooden hasnt played more than half a season for a team with a winning record since Lebron. You may say that Damon Jones was on his way out of the league regardless. I say Lebron prolonged his NBA tenure. The year after Jones stopped playing with Lebron, ironically was his last year in the league...and he was only 31 years old. Donyell Marshall only appeared in 40 more games after leaving Cleveland. I struggled just bringing those guys names up but only to prove a subtle point.
Lebron went more years before winning a title but still won his first at 27...so from that regard he is on par with Jordan...but one of the most biased arguments I always have to hear is that Lebron has been in the league longer...as to say he shouldve won earlier. Not fair. At age 27, Lebron has a massive lead on Jordan at the same age in terms of regular and post season stats. Points, rebounds, assists, and blocks. The only stat Jordan is close in is steals. "But Lebron came in the league almost 3 years younger than Jordan!" Is that supposed to mean that his stats are inflated because he was so good he made the jump from HS? If anything, it only shows that Lebron was more talented.
I really dont like to harp on individual stats and awards, but rather wins vs loses. Still, at 27, Lebron has 3 league MVP's, 1 Finals MVP, 3 Conf Titles, 8 All NBA selections and 4 All Defense selections.
It is my opinion that for what Lebron has accomplished, he is the best player of all times when you are talking from a pure winning perspective. Not simply titles. What I do believe is that history will best reward Lebron. He does not have the mentality that Jordan does, that does not make him less of a player, only less valuable in certain situations and settings. He will never be that kind of killer like Jordan was scoring wise, nor Kobe for that matter...but in the end, Jordan's competitve nature was more about him than the team (likewise with Kobe)...it just happened that he had some great teammates placed around him that helped him succeed.
Quote from Jordan: "I thought of myself first, the team second. I always wanted my teams to be successful. But I wanted to be the main cause." - The Jordan Rules
Lebron is more like Magic, but what is wrong with that? To me, they are the two best players in the history of the game in terms of pure winning and making teams and teammates better.
Lebron is not as Great as Jordan...yet. He is better though. When you talk about impact on win/loss, its not close either. I have given plenty of verification of my statements. Lebron is the type of player that you build a team around, it is unfortunate that Cleveland couldnt put the pieces around him and he was forced to defect to another team to find championship glory.
In closing, if Lebron stays on pace, he wont have to win a bunch of NBA titles, contrary to popular belief. Not 6, not 5, not 4....No. If he continues winning at the level that he is winning at, continues to be the league MVP, continue to scorch towards record numbers in cumulative top 5 catagorical statistics, then there will be NO WAY that he will not only be considered in the conversation with Jordan (which I believe he already is) but considered as the greatest basketball player to ever lace em up.
No one is a god their will be great future players and their are great players now.You will get crucified for this one tho. lol None of these guys want to think anybody is better then past players.I praise your braveness and you make a good point that alot of ppl dont want to admit jordan was the one of the best players in the league on a super team like lebron is on the heat.To be honest is MIA really even a super team how many hof besides james were on the roster when they won the championship?3 all star cal and a bunch of old shooters ,bull dog looking bigs (eddy curry and joel) who sit back and get paid only because they cant find better center and 2back up pgs?you call that a super team or power house and add one of the if not the youngest coach in the league who the players dont respect that much. come on now. jordan had a better team then most players ever had.
He still put #s up tho and #s dont lie when they equal championships. you have to be great.
thank you. and I also failed to mention the greatness of Phil Jackson. the 55 wins in Jordan's absense were due to him and his philosphies in large part. also, retooling and breaking down the game of Ron Harper and making him a championship leading PG on the Bulls and the Lakers. People like to say Harper wasnt the same player after the knee injury, so he was forced to change his game....uhhh ahhhh. Harper played 3 seasons (237 games) after the knee injury. He was not the same athlete of course, but in those 3 season he avg over 18ppg. The year before Harper came to Chicago, he avg 20ppg while appearing in 75 games. Phil was a master. One of the best to ever do it. I dont know if that 2nd 3-peat takes place without Phil at the helm.
I don't know about you guys but if I had a choice to play with either of these guys I would choose LeBron, LeBron is easily one of the biggest superstars ever but is so unselfish(which some view as a bad thing). Everyone knows MJ was a very selfish player(not hating just stating the obvious) I don't know how pippen managed to stay under his shadow for so long, LeBron is the better teammate out of the two
I like the outside the box thinking, but there were so many blatant flaws in this reasoning.
"Quite a few of Jordan's teammates had their best seasons statistically when they DIDNT play with Jordan. Lets take Pippen for example. He averaged career highs in Points, Rebounds, Steals and FGMpg. His assist total dipped but he was the primary focus of the offense."
You completely played this both ways. You say his assists go down because of no Jordan, yet don't say his points went up because he didn't have Jordan as the #1. This is an extremely flawed few sentences, as well as leaving out the fact that he shot the ball more that year (although he was more efficient). Of course players are going to have better statistical seasons when they don't have a superstar on there team because they will get far more chances overall, hell you even mentioned this with LeBron and Mo Williams. That's at least twice where you've played both sides of an argument.
"At age 27, Lebron has a massive lead on Jordan at the same age in terms of regular and post season stats. Points, rebounds, assists, and blocks. The only stat Jordan is close in is steals"
Because he played less games...I know for a fact his scoring, FG% and steals in the same # of games were FAR higher, and the assists and rebounds were probably moderately close too.
Pippen was emerging out of MJ's shadow that year MJ retired. I didnt play that both ways. If Jordan makes you better that means that if you have him as a 30pt plus scorer, then you should shoot higher percentages due to better looks....right? This should hold true for anyone on the team. Pippen shot more but his percentage was higher than any year after Jordan's return. How do you explain that? If anything, Pippen shouldve shot a higher percentage with Jordan being the focal point. It was the opposite. I believe this to be a harsh truth....Pippen, not as great a player as Jordan but was more valuable to the win/lose column. Take Pip away from those teams and its doubtful they make the Finals. Its possible they could be a borderline playoff team depending on how strong the conference was. Before Pippen's emergence, they were a borderline playoff team. (have to throw Grant in there too with his double-double yearly averages)
Pip's assists were going to dip naturally because he didnt have a guy scoring more points than him. I should make clear that this dip was less than 1 apg. (6.3 to 5.6) Almost not even relevant....considering his shooting percentage went up from 47% to 49% and his ppg total went from 18.6 to 22ppg. Actually, its astonishing that you lose 32ppg from one guy and you dont even lose a whole assist off your average.
I didnt play the Mo Williams thing both ways. Mo's stats were identical in Milwaukee the year before, but he lost 40 more games. My point was that if you have a guy who averages 17ppg and 6apg (while playing beside a guy who avgs 22ppg) on a team that wins 26 games against a guy who avgs 18.6ppg (even more points, while playing with a guy who avg 28ppg) and 4apg (Lebron being facilitator). on a 66 win team...which one is the All Star?
My point about Lebron's stats at 27 is, why does he get penalized for playing more games? Its just fact that at the same age his stats were better. Lebron came in the league scoring 20ppg straight out of HS. Could Jordan have done that? His game was still developing at 19 and it was doubtful that he was the best freshman in the country early on, he certainly wasnt the best player.
I think its a good thing that a guy can skip Algebra I, II, and Geometry and go straight to Calc and Trig. I proves that he is more advanced and mature than others at his same age. I certainly dont think someone would argue that it was unfair that others had to take Algebra first.
I mentioned his FG% went up, I conceded that. But every other statistic could be attributed to Jordan's production not being there. You absolutely played that both ways.
You did play the Mo Williams thing both ways. You went and said that Jordan's peers played better statisically without him, then bring up a guy who statistically didn't go up with LeBron but say he was better.
"My point about Lebron's stats at 27 is, why does he get penalized for playing more games? Its just fact that at the same age his stats were better. Lebron came in the league scoring 20ppg straight out of HS. Could Jordan have done that? His game was still developing at 19 and it was doubtful that he was the best freshman in the country early on, he certainly wasnt the best player."
Come on man., this is absolutely ridiculous. You're just using 3 years of stats to help your case (which only come in handy bulk wise) and it's hypothetical how Jordan would've done either way. It doesn't matter when someone goes to the NBA, it matters what they did when they got there and if you want a fair comparison you go by games played or at the very least seasons played, not by age. That's just a way to discredit upperclassmen essentially. If a Fr. goes pro and is pretty good for 3 years and really good the 4th and a Sr. is the better player as a rookie, are you really going to take the lesser player because he has better bulk stats? That's basically the situation you're suggesting. Jordan's averages for the most part were better too, that's a fact.
I liked your idea, but I disagree with a very large portion of what you posted, mainly because a lot of it is double standard. I like LeBron, but he's not Jordan and I don't know if he ever will be. You also failed to mention playoff stats, which is weird considering you mention winning so often, and that winning is most important in the playoffs (where Jordan utterly dominated).
Also when Cleveland had the worst record in the NBA they not only lost LeBron, but Jamison for 26 games, Mo Williams didn't even play half the games (and was traded), Varejao missing 50 games and had a handful of D-Leaguers step in. That wasn't even close to the same roster as the year before. The Bulls team that won 55 games was a team that had just won a title and while losing Jordan, gained a nice player in Toni Kukoc. So of course they were going to be a good team, no one ever said Jordan had terrible teams. Not to mention that the Bulls lost in the 2nd round without Jordan, after winning 3 in a row with him. Then in his 1st full season back he won 3 more. Pippen never won a title with Jordan either you know, and he played a decent amount of years without him.
Than explain the two seasons previous, where Scottie shot 52% and 50.6%? The thing I noticed is, Michael's FG % dipped significantly during that 1992-93 season as well. The change that occurred was John Paxson having a significantly reduced role, not to mention Bill Cartwright taking a big step back one year later as well. They went from 67-15 to 57-25. They really did not make any significant changes besides replacing Craig Hodges with Trent Tucker. That next season, they got Kukoc, Kerr, Myers, Wennington and Longley. One might say that Michael did not matter much, but they finished 55-27 and lost in the semi-finals insteading of doing what they had done the three seasons prior.
The major thing you do indeed leave out is how much worse Scottie shot in the play-offs without Michael. He went from 46.5% to 43.4%. Against the Knicks, 40.5%. Now, to point to one seasons difference in percentage in the regular season (though in Scottie's previous three seasons to 1993-94, he had shot 49.9% combined) is indeed leaving something pretty big out of the equation. Scottie shot 48.8% after Michael Jordan came back that next season in those last 17 games (47.8% before than). Not to mention ever so slightly better in the play-offs. Than, he combined to shoot 46.4% FG in the regular season and 40.8% in the play-offs from 1996-98. With 3 championship rings he would have a snow balls chance in hell of getting without Michael Jordan coming back in 1995.
Better than Jordan at what?
I think he might be referring to the whole Basketball thing
wow, I hurt some feelings, lol. cant neg me but one time on each post on this thread so somebody got their panties in a bunch and went back and started negging stuff I posted days/weeks ago. is it that serious? forgive me for I have blasphemed.
Yeah I hate that...I usually don't care either way if I get a neg or not but when I see like 10 straight negs all within a span of one minute and all on a different post...I'm not going to lie I get a little peeved.
That's why I think there should be a rule that to neg someone you should have a reply that states why a poster didn't agree with a post. Because negging without a reply doesn't make us better posters! How are we supposed to know what we did wrong if someone doesn't tell us!
The rule should stand until a post gets more than -5 imo because the issue with the post has probably already been stated in the five previous negative replies so that when we come across a truly historically stupid post, there won't be 100 negative replies saying all the same thing.
Just my .02
Ppl have past players so high that future players dont have a fair chance to be GOAT at their pos. .Basketball gets better with time Arran just posted a topic about how combos guards are plentiful in the nba in the past there where less combos less stretch 4s and less strecth 5. I think if we played by the rules in the 60s and 70s dirk would give bill ,wilt, and kareem hell because they wouldnt know how to stick him and there are suppose to be the greatest bigs ever. Basketball only gets better with time because of the great players of the past.
BOLD statments I know but come on now.These guys have no chance its ppl that never watched a basketball game that says jordan is the best because thats the popular thing to say and will argue you down .
There's no doubt that basketball has evolved and gotten better with time, BUT you still have to respect what players did during their era. I don't look at it as "What would Dirk do if he played back then?" I look at it like "What did Dirk do in his era with all things equal compared to what Kareem did during his era in the same circumstance?"
It works both ways. IF you take those great players from back then and give them the sports training, medicine, physical training, etc that players have today... You have to think they'd benefit.
And buddy...politicaly incorrect? Overhyping and overrating Lebron is as politicaly correct ad it gets. The guy is Nike's most heavily backed player.
And what does that have to do with his talent?NIKE can promo lebron all day and it wont change his game for better or worst he has to strap up he earned that endorsement cause he was a great player.
No Miami not even a good half court offense, Michael Jordan teams always were.
Jordan has the competitive edge on Lebron by a mile. There are so many memorable moments in his career with regards to game winning shots. Sure he had Pippen, but that shouldn't take away from anything.Every season in Chicago Mike's playoff stats leaped up from that regular season. It was always in Mike's DNA to exceed in the playoffs. So once he had a squad capable of winning they won. Gave him a fellow HOF'er and he won 3. Gave him another HOF'er in Rodman and he won 3 more. Lebron still has another 7 years to be the greatest. Lebron right now is the most physically gifted athlete to play the sport, but he's not the best basketball player ever.
Being an MVP of two three peats is very hard to match.
"Being an MVP of two three peats is very hard to match."
yes, but I am dealing with PURE winning and what one man means to team. In Football, 8 times out of 10 the QB gets the Super Bowl MVP. Its a great individual award, but so many contribute to that.
I just want someone to explain these numbers to me....
Cleveland 2009-2010, 61 wins 21 losses
Cleveland 2010-2011, 19 wins 63 losses
Chicago 1992-1993, 57 wins 25 losses
Chicago 1993-1994, 55 wins 27 losses
you guys do realize that Chicago only lost 2 more games without Jordan the year after he retired? only one game shy of winning Eastern semi finals.
also as a sidenote, Miami won 11 more games with Lebron than they did the previous season and went to the Finals.
As you mentioned Chicago had a better supporting cast. You said it yourself, Jordan had better players around him. Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen made the All-Star team that year. Not because Jordan made them worse, but because the 1993-94 Chicago Bulls had to make up for the loss of Jordan's 33 ppg and their roster was made of guys that were capable, with increased shot attempts, of making up much of that gap.
That was also Toni Kukoc's rookie season. The Bulls were very fortunate to get a 11 ppg rookie who was a seasoned pro, after playing professionally in Europe. Also, they had B.J. Armstrong who had been paying his dues as the Bull's backup point guard until the 92-93 season when he was promoted to a starter, if anyone was poised for a breakout, it was the 26 year old point guard who started his first full season right before Jordan left. Also, I will mention, Armstrong never had a higher 3 PT % for a full season, than he did with as Jordan's starting point guard. The same thing can be said for John Paxton and Ron Harper who also started next to Jordan, at the point.
The 93-94 Bulls were a veteran team, coached by possibly the best coach in the history of the NBA, with two All-Defensive teamers, the year before, an immediate impact rookie, and virtually the same team that won the NBA title the year before.
Cleveland imploded in the playoffs the year before Lebron left town. If there is the opposite of leaving a championship team, it's leaving a team that choked in the playoffs. Mo Williams was so sad he thought about retiring. That is the opposite of what Scottie Pippen was to the 93-94 Bulls. The NBA is much different now, teams tank to get top draft picks. Cleveland was content in a 34 year old Antawn Jamison and Ramon Sessions being Cleveland's most consistant and best players. Mo Williams played 36 games, Anderson Varejau played 31 games. 13 guys averaged 19 or more minutes for that team that year! Oh, did I mention they had a new coach that year too! That is a tanking team, with a new system and no one under 34 years old that is or was remotely close to being an All-Star.
I think I explained the difference in those numbers
In addition, you fail to mention during the 94-95 season, the Bulls team took a shuffle in the downward as far as their roster. The Bulls were sitting at 34-31 when Jordan return from baseball. They finished their season on a 13-4 run to end the season, and advanced to the 2nd round in which they took the Magic ( who made it to the finals that year ) to 6 games. This was a team, before Jordan who was barely over 500
Then, they won 72 games the next season.
94-95 Bulls before Jordan 34-31
94-95 Bulls with Jordan 13-4 regular season 7-3 playoffs
95-96 Bulls with Jordan 72-10
You paint a nice narrative, but you're ignoring many facts that would bode well for Jordan's side of the arguement.
When you take away Horace Grant (who was an All Star in Jordan's absence) thats a problem. A huge problem. You take away a guy that had his best season and was an All Star the prior year (15ppg and 11rpg) and what do you expect to happen?
They did win 72 games the following season, after going out and replacing Grant with a 7x NBA rebounding champ. Which by the way he avg 16rpg that year. Jesus. The 2nd Bulls 3peat team was better than the first!
But were they not better due to Kukoc and Rodman? The Bulls were still an excellent defensive team without Michael Jordan, in part due to Scottie Pippen. Nonetheless, would Jordan and Kukoc not have worked pretty well? Kukoc averaged nearly the same amount of assists per minute as Scottie, plus obviously was a major help with the loss of Jordan. Also, there are names that were left out as far as replacing Jordan. They may be seen as jokes compared to Michael, but they were definite pieces that led to the Bulls long term success after Jordan came back.
I mentioned Pete Myers, who was a solid utility player, but also Steve Kerr and Bill Wennington. Yes, they are not prime time guys, almost seem to be like guys whom LeBron might have in Cleveland. Yet, Steve Kerr was a knockdown shooter who helped take some of the scoring load while Wennington actually provided decent value minutes as a center. They also got a 7'2 Aussie named Luc Longley. At one point, the Bulls were 38-22, than Luc finally got comfortable in his role. The Bulls went 17-3, getting the third seed in the conference.
Now, that is a pretty major team transformation. Plus, while you point to them only finishing with two fewer wins with Scottie carrying the load, what is to say they would have not been better with Michael? You could start Kukoc next to him, have a giant three headed center, Horace Grant and BJ Armstrong? Who you do not fail to mention, were All-Stars. To say Michael Jordan had no part in making them All-Stars might not be fully correct either. Would they have had the league wide notoriety to be in that position without Michael? Horace might have, a guard averaging 14.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 3.9 apg probably would not have (BJ could shoot lights out, though).
Just saying that while the Bulls did not heavily decline without Michael Jordan, them not winning a championship still definitely means something. Not to mention his coming back and helping them turn around the season after. Not to mention won the MVP in two of the next three seasons. Michael Jordan helped his team win games as much as anybody, his not finishing with great records before getting sufficient help does little to prove otherwise. He was generally unstoppable, even with the Pistons Jordan Rules doing a decent job (29.7 ppg in 1988-89, 32.1 in 1989-90. Slightly below average shooting, nothing close to the around 40% Scottie shot against New York in 1994).
Scottie may have had success the season after Michael came, but why are you not holding him accountable for going 3-20 during his last stop in Chicago? What about the fact that when he was not coached by Phil Jackson, he was not even close to as efficient as when he was? Say what you will about Michael Jordan with the Wizards, he was on a totally different level as a 38 year old than Scottie at the same age. A 57-25 team that wins a championship is and was a lot better than a 55-27 team that loses one. Not to mention a 61-21 team that lost in the second round that loses its coach, best player and other core pieces that helped them get to that record.
I was commenting on the fact that that 94-95 team was mediocre before Jordan, who had not played basketball in a year and a half. Add him and they won 76% of their games and made it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
I don't agree with you, but I'm not negging you. I know the feeling. I have also had someone neg all my past post. I'm not going to name him. Weirdo that brought points up a lot.
oh well, if thats what gets him through the day and helps him get his jollies off then who are we to take that from him?
Pretty much this. I didn't neg surve, but I didn't agree with what he said.
Surve I agree LeBron had a MUCH bigger impact on his teams than Jordan had, name the second best player on lebrons team that made it to the finals in 07? Kinda tough, name the second best player on jordans championship teams? Pippen of course, MJ was great but as far as team impact LeBron had a bigger one and Jordan just had WAY better teams plain and simple
Honestly LeBron IMO is the greatest all around player of all time(yes even magic Johnson)LeBron might not average as much rebounds or assist as him but he was certainly the better scorer and defender then magic was.If I were to pick any player that has ever picked up a basketball to build a team around it would be LeBron simply because he can do everything for your team to win a game ,he probably contributes the most and effects the game more then any player of all time.
BUT there is one thing that he cant do that will make him the greatest player of all time which is just absolutely take over a game in the 4th quarter and win that game by beig unstoppable and scoring at any time because let's not forget there is all of those stats such as rebounds,assist,steals,blocks and stuff like that you do need to win games but at the end of the day those stats don't mean anything if your teams has less points on that scoreboard win that clock hits zero and the only way to have more points on that score board to achieve a win is by the putting the ball in the hoop and MJ did it better then anyone when his team needed it to the most,you can give him the ball and he can score at will ,while the other team can't keep up and MJ simply out score the other team at the end of the game so there was no way they could win.THATS WHY MICHAEL JORDAN ISTHE GRATEST PLAYER OF ALL TIM(although there is still a possibility he could he passed up)
stats show lebron is a good 4th quarter player
Everybody is going off of the dallas series when he was a beast the entire playoffs.When he was a cav he didnt go down with out a fight how many rebounds did he have the last game as a cav?
27 pts 19 rebounds 10 assits and ppl said he quit and doesnt come thru 4th quarter liesssss.
The dallas series was awful but it made him better the zone defense and the dallas scoring was unstoppable.
Lebron is still great in the 4th. Better yet hes great the entire game......HOF.
I'm not a stats person. Lebron leads the league in fast break points that accounts close to half his points, on top of that he goes to the line at least 5 times. That being said when the game is on the line his presence isn't felt because he is a average halfcourt player, which is the reason it looks like he chokes or doesn't show up when in critical situations...Mike Kobe and Magic even Carmelo and KD they all thrive in half court offense which makes them versatile players. The bulls have 6 season with more than 60's games win's, and holds the record for 72 win's in a season. What about those stats ?
"The bulls have 6 season with more than 60's games win's, and holds the record for 72 win's in a season. What about those stats ?"
and how many winning seasons did the Bulls have without Pippen while Jordan was there?
Pippen's teams still won without Mike though.
People who dont know me may think I am anti-Mike. Those that do know me, know that I am UNC Blue to the core, Mike is one of my top 3 favorite players of all time (next to Lebron and Magic), and that I have stated in the past that I didnt think I would ever see a player do the things Mike has done....and I still havent. Its just that now, it my later days, I prefer to reserve my spots for BEST (not greatest) to those who impact the win column. This is why I value Jason Kidd so much. I just dont agree that Stockton is better, and certainly not Nash...although their individual accomplishments may be greater.
I get that you're being the Devil's Advocate here, but I don't agree with much of what you're saying. I don't have all the time I'd like to counter everything you've said, but I'll endeavour to do what I can quickly.
"I have stated on this forum several times that I believe Magic to be a very close second to Jordan as the best/greatest player I have ever seen. I also stated, there have been a few who were able to mimic a lot of what Jordan could do on the court skill wise, but NO ONE has ever been able to come close to duplicating Magic's skills. Of all the Magic "supposed-to-bees", the closest I can get to him skill wise with similar physicality would have to be Lebron and after that maybe a young Lamar Odom....when we are talking about playing 4 to 5 positions on the court. Of course Odom could play multiple positions but he is nothing to Magic at any of those positions....its like an NBA player against a High Schooler. Thats not disrespect to Odom, but a testament to how monumental the skills of Magic was."
Okay, here you're making a mistake by saying the uniqueness of a player's skillset or style is what makes them the best/worst. There have been countless players who have been successful using unorthodox methods and not been replicated - Dirk is an example; but nobody would say he's the best player of all time. You seem to be putting the style of play that Magic, Pippen and Lebron play on a higher pedestal than the Jordan style because it's harder to duplicate. However, that's an entirely different argument. Following your logic we should look down on Tim Duncan because he's so fundamentally sound that every PF technically mimics him with varying degrees of success. Put succinctly, being able to play multiple positions is a result of a certain body-type and size, it shouldn't be held against Jordan because he's the perfect example of what a shooting guard should be physically - which is equally as rare.
"The reason why I pick Lebron and Magic alike is because I look at players from how they affect the win/loss column. This is the same reason it is my opinion that Jason Kidd is better than Steve Nash and John Stockton. We get too wrapped up in championships. When asked the question of the player we would choose, the first thing that came out of everyone's mouth is, but Lebron needs championships. I wholeheartedly disagree. He does not. NBA Championships take an extraordinary level of TEAM effort. In a team sport, a lot comes down to timing and circumstance. As I was reading the other day, someone said championships require a combination of skill and luck."
Yes, it takes a great deal of luck to win a championship, but when you win 6 in an 8 year span, you have to give some of the credit to the players involved. Magic is still better than Lebron for this reason, he was the constant factor winning championships - but this is about Lebron and Jordan as you've said.
Okay I'm running short of time, so I can't break this down paragraph by paragraph anymore.
So the main points you made is that Lebron did more for his team, that he had poor teammates and that Lebron is a winner.
In terms of "doing more for his team", there's such a thing as doing too much. If Lebron is making every play, always scoring, always rebounding and just generally dominating the ball on every possession (like he did in Cleveland), then while it may help his teammates from a statistical standpoint, it hurts them in the playoffs. The players lose confidence in their abilities, they fail to develop their skills in game-like situations and are unable to step up in the playoffs when Lebron sags off and the competition increases. You might say that Lebron is unselfish because he passes a lot, and that's valid, but at the same time being unselfish means letting the other players shine so they can grow. This is something that Michael realised; he could have put up 35ppg, 7rpg, 7apg for much of his career and never won a championship, but he took a step back and refined his role into what would best serve the team. Basketball is a team sport, there reaches a point where "Less is More" and this is something Lebron didn't understand in Cleveland. Lebron has the capacity to put a team on his back and simply overpower an opposition on any given day, because he's such a force of nature that people are unable to adequately prepare for him in the 82-game schedule where encounters with players of this level are few and far between. So yes, he can affect the W/L column in the REGULAR SEASON, but Jordan also showed the capacity to do so when his teammates were subpar, and chose to reign it in for greater team success in the post-season. At the end of the day, it's all about post-season wins, because in the playoffs you're facing better opponents, and Lebron loses the "shock value" he has in the regular season. Consequently, when teams adjust to the force of nature that is Lebron, his effectiveness drops off and he isn't able to secure wins by himself. Now, I'm not saying that Lebron should try and get wins by himself, just that his playing style in the regular season while he was in Cleveland also more or less ensures he has to get wins by himself.
Lebron's ability to get wins in the regular season by doing too much not only stunted the development of players around him, but also hurt his chances of long-term success because it prevented him getting decent draft picks in Cleveland. I know it sounds funny to say he should have lost more, but it's more a case of his coaches should have limited his ball-dominance and gotten his teammates involved.
Now, mostly I've addressed his time in Cleveland, because the things he did there seem to be the basis for your argument. But once he got to Miami, he still tried to do too much, and it hurt them their first year together, Dallas lulled him into a false sense of security in the first 3 quarters, but then put the clamps on the ball-handler trying to go 1v5 (be it Wade or Lebron) in the 4th and it showed with his numbers.
He finally won a championship this season, and did it by doing less, taking more plays off offensively and working more off the ball - i.e. playing as part of the team. Numbers don't reflect the whole story, you have to watch the tape to see how different he was in Miami last season relative to the rest of his career.
Lebron might be the best regular season contributor of all time, but true greatness is proved in the playoffs, and Jordan was the king of flipping the switch when the post-season rolled around. The reason why it's okay for Jordan to dominate the ball and do everything in the playoffs is because it was after a whole season of his teammates getting used to contributing to wins and it meant they didn't form bad habits of ball-watching during the regular season which would hurt them during the playoffs. So when Jordan failed, his teammates were ready to elevate their game and rise to the occasion.
You could say this is because Jordan's teammates were simply better, but I say he made them better indirectly by limiting his role to scoring and allowing the other players on his teams to fill their roles accordingly.
Also, coaching has to be mentioned here, it's not necessarily Lebron's fault that he made mistakes early, he just didn't have a guy like Phil Jackson to reign in his excesses and contribute to the greater good. Jordan is now and probably always will be the greatest individual player in basketball, but he also balanced that with team success, which is why I say he's better than Lebron.
Really had to rush at the end there, sorry if it's a bit disjointed.
No matter what you do Surve people will always disagree with you when you challenge the untouchable (MJ).
But kudos to you for having the courage to challenge the status quo. I think it's too early to say Lebron is better, but you make some great points.
There will always be Jordan apologists. If Lebron say gets 7 rings, I promise you some of them would try to diminish his accomplishments in some way.
It's just the nature of this beast that you decided to tackle.
I dont think Lebrons the best but i actually kind of agree with you. People act like Jordan was an unstoppable force that could not be beat but he spent his first 7 years in the league getting beat by the Celtics and Pistons. He couldnt beat them until they got old and injured. He still might be the greatest player ever but i think its really close and his greatness is exaggerated in a 90's NBA where talent was so spread out.
Lebron has 1 chip.
for the people who say Jordan is the GOAT, I never said he wasnt. His career is unmatched.
when it comes to what a player can do to impact a team, there is no one like Magic and Lebron.
Omphalos, I wasnt saying that Magic's uniqueness is what made him the best. This is what I am saying.
Magic was the best player on his HS team. They won the state title....led by him.
Magic was the best player on MSU. they won a national title....led by him.
Magic was the best player on those Laker championship teams....he led them to titles.
When did Magic ever lose? He is the greatest winner of all time in my book because not only did he win at every level, but he was the star when doing it. More importantly, every team Magic was on was better because of it.
Lebron has been similar but the team he inherited in Cleveland was not as good as Magic's, and Lebron was younger. Lebron's addition meant 18 more wins. Think about that. A 19 year old kid comes in and immediately becomes the best player on his team while heavily impacting their record. Then, in his 2nd year turns them into a winning franchise. Never again would this team have a losing record with him as their best player.
Jordan was great and his teams were great as long as he had great players around him, when he didnt, his teams didnt have winning records. Jordan played 5 total years without Pippen. Out of those 5 times, his team never had winning records. Thats just fact. It's not unfathomable to think that Jordan possibly wouldve never won a title without Pippen, there is no evidence to support it...after all, he did refuse to play on a Bulls team without Pippen.
When MJ retired, the Bulls only lost 2 games more than they did the season before. Makes you wonder how many games they wouldve won had Pippen retired instead of Mike. Pippen was what allowed Mike to do what he did. Pippen's ability to play PG/forward was what made the team better because it allowed the offense to flow as opposed to when Mike was the primary ballhandler. It wasnt that MJ refined his role, it was that his coaches figured out a way to have players compliment him the best. The Bulls actually tried to play Mike at PG...and it worked, from a stats perspective but it didnt help his teammates. Most of MJ's teammates shot a higher FG% when they DIDNT play with him. You would think it would be the other way around.
When I think about it....I actually may even pick a healthy Grant Hill to start my team over Jordan because like Pip, Lebron, and Magic, he affected the win column. He immediately made his teammates better. Remember, Grant lost his first year like Lebron, but after that, as the star of the Pistons, he turned them into a winning team....AS THEIR BEST PLAYER! He had some pretty good Pistons teams while he avg nearly a triple double. The best players Grant ever played with on those teams were a past prime Dumars and pre-peak Houston and Stackhouse.
It takes a lot of luck to win championships but because MJ did it 6 times in 8 years, you have to give him and his teammates credit. Grant didnt have luck on his side as far as health.
Grant was the 2nd Pippen and Lebron's predecessor. Shame he didnt stay healthy. I wont get into the TMac-Grant/Jordan-Pippen parallels, that will be for a later edition of Out of Bounds.
Again, Jordan didnt make anyone better, the fact is, most of the players he played with had their best seasons playing apart from him. Where is Boobie Gibson? What has Mo Williams done since Lebron? Varejao and players like that have the same stats but on much worse teams.
The argument is always that MJ is a great scorer and can take over a game at will....the fact is, he could always do that but it never won him any games until his teammates emerged into good players.
There was never any doubt that Lebron would win a title if he stayed healthy. this same opinion applied to Magic and Grant Hill, unfortunate that Hill didnt stay healthy. It was always in doubt that Jordan would win a title and he was almost traded to the Clippers. After Shaq, there was doubt that Kobe would ever win again, and he was very close to leaving L.A. the year before beating Boston in the Finals.
The reason why Jordan didnt become a Clipper wasnt because of his skill level...it was because for one, he was the most popular player in the league and made Chicago a ton of money that would be hard to replace....and two, Donald Sterling didnt have quite enough desirable assets (and that hasnt changed over the years). Yet and still that deal was closer to going down than most people think. Fortunately it didnt, or their may not have been two 3 peats and the best teammate couldve been Benoit Benjamin.
I'm looking forward to your Tmac/Grant Hill vs Jordan/Pippen. I'm sure it will be a good one.
This Out of Bounds thing is one of the best ideas on this site because of how thought provoking it is and it will almost assuredly lead to great debates.
thanks! great debates is an understatement. I know as a Dukie you like how I big upped Grant. Truthfully, Grant Hill was on his way to being an all time great. Had he been healthy, he couldve been better than Pippen. Really, the only thing that separates Lebron from those two is the insane physical/athletic attributes, although Pip and Grant were elite athletes IMO. Lebron is a better scorer, but other than that, Grant and Pip were on par with Lebron as far as impacting the win/loss column and making their teammates better. Grant Hill won 54 games with his 2nd best player being a way past prime Dumars (even though Joe was only 33, but he retired 2 years later) and peak Lindsey Hunter.
You are right haha that my ears perked up at the mention of Grant. But it wasn't necessarily because I'm a Dukie but because I was too young to remember him in his prime.
I like to soak in as much info about him so I can get some kind of idea of what kind of player he was and what kind of player he could've been.
he was a special player, especially considering the fact that he couldnt shoot beyond 18 feet. People always say how Pip wasnt a great shooter...but he was much better jumpshooter than Grant was. Grant Hill was one of the most amazing ballhandlers with extraordinary quickness. He had this crossover move that everyone knew exactly what he was going to do every time down, but there was no way to time it or stop it!
Grant falls in between Pip and Lebron. He wasnt quite as successful winning as either of them, but then again, he never played with any real threats in his prime. He didnt have a player half as good as DWade. The best player he ever played with pre-injury was Allan Houston for one year iirc. Houston was a good player, but not on the tier as Wade.
In his 2nd year in the league he avg 20ppg, almost 10rpg, and 7 apg. Third year, 21ppg, 9rbg, 7apg. and so on. His numbers were identical to Lebron except he was not as good a scorer because LBJ was a better shooter and athlete. Grant has been injured almost 1/2 of his career. Still he has been a good player late in his career, should prove what kind of talent he was. Guy still has career avgs of 17ppg, 6rpg, and 4apg. He is one guy that I hate got injured because only a few more great seasons and he wouldve been a surefire HOFer.
oh my, please don't compare tmac/hill to jordan/pippen. Tmac i would guess settled for the top five most jump shots in nba history. A guy that was capable of getting to the rim for whatever reason most of the time did not. So i would hate to hear how you would compare him to MJ as it looks like your doing that.
You have to have a good team to win it all. Jordan did not win untill he had good players around him. But he was the main reason that the Bulls won. He was the Finals MVP of all six championships the bulls won. Not to mention all of the other great stats that he put togther.
Jordan teammates were not great compared to the players magic had on his team. I mean I will take jabbar, worthy, scott, cooper, McAdoo, Rambis over the players Mike had on his team.
When we talk about GOAT we have to take in account the era that these guys all played in. You can only compare a player to the level of competition they played agaisnt. I mean Wilt was probably the most dominate player of all time. He lead the league in assists one year. The man had a three year stat line of 43,24,4 another two year stat line of 24,24,8. To me that looks like GOAT numbers.
Just a short response... when did Magic lose? To Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the 1991 Finals. I won't say more than that because you didn't really respond to what I said directly just essentially restated your whole argument.
Magic won from the day he stepped on the court, in HS, College, and NBA. thats why I hate that championship argument. Yes, he lost to the Bulls, but that doesnt make him a loser. He was never considered anything but a winner in his career when it wasnt the same with Jordan. I dont know how else to address what you are saying. If you dont have a winning season, chances are you wont even make it to the playoffs.
Also, you cant say Magic is unequivocally better than Lebron just because he has 5 championships. Magic did play with Kareem, Worthy, and Scott. Byron Scott wasnt even an all star and I dont know if Lebron ever played with anyone as good as Scott in Cleveland. Who? Mo Williams? Mo is a stat player. Good numbers on good teams, good numbers on bad teams, but doesnt affect wins. Larry Hughes was better than Byron Scott?
I swear, you guys stake everything on rings....and that just overstates things every time. How many losing seasons did Magic have? Out of all his years in the NBA how many times did he NOT make the playoffs? Just because he lost in the Finals doesnt make him a loser. The same as Jordan is not a loser just because he lost in the playoffs to the Pistons. Jordan did however have 3 losing seasons in Chicago and two in Washington. You cant act like Washington didnt happen, since the argument is how Jordan makes everyone better...he didnt do it there with Stackhouse, Hamilton, Kwame Brown.
It goes both ways. You basically say "It does not make him a loser", than kind of devalue Michael Jordan for never winning without pieces around him. It just seems like you are kind of leaning towards a side because it bodes more towards what you are arguing. Your Washington argument is ridiculous. He absolutely made them better, they were just flat out awful. He actually finished 30-30 his first season their, after they had only won 19 games the previous season. He finished 37-45 the year afterwards, but take him off of the team they would have been much worse.
Now, lets go on to your earlier argument about his first few seasons in the league. You say Michael should take account for these and than say Magic never went through the same thing, he was always a winner. Did Michael Jordan get drafted to a team with a 5 time MVP center, who had been the best player in the NBA for years? To say rings do not matter is one thing, you are just REALLY leaving out that Magic was drafted into a jackpot. You can say rings are not the end all, just not that Magic had a huge helping hand in the Lakers long reign of relative dominance.
No one is saying Magic is a loser. I do not know where you came up with that. They are maybe just saying that while Michael Jordan had losing seasons, he turned out to be every bit the winner that Magic was in a department that undoubtedly plays a part in Magic's greatness as well. Michael Jordan was playing with one perennial All-Star and a couple players who made a few All-Star games. Magic was with two former first picks in the NBA Draft. Hell, some years they had Mychal Thompson (another first pick) coming off of the bench. Not to mention, their careers were not exactly down the tubes once Magic left.
Michael Jordan played with a quite underrated supporting cast, just realize the Lakers and Bulls were at very different spots during Magic/Michael's first retirements. The Lakers still made the play-offs the year after Magic retired. They were not the Bulls after Michael's first retirement, but were also racked by injuries to James Worthy and Vlade Divac. This was a team that had also lost the Finals as opposed to winning the year previous, which I do think makes a difference as well in how a team recovers.
Age was a factor and I think coaching and injury were factors in Magic's team doing less than Michael's after they hung them up that first time. Still, it is difficult to say that it is proof that Michael Jordan was not as much of a factor in the team winning. Plus, the fact is that while the team was winning, the goal is indeed to win it all. Had the Bulls won a ring without Michael Jordan, it would make your argument much more concrete than them having a good following season. It just seems like you discount the circumstance that made it largely possible for Magic to win as much as he did each season in the league, yet say that Michael Jordan than has to take account for not doing so. Think the answer is in the team mates, and plays much into the same argument you have with why you dislike rings mattering so much. Winning without them is a team effort as well, as is winning in general.
Chemistry is a huge factor and coaching as well. Give me Phil Jackson at the helm over Mike Dunleavy. Not to mention, give me Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, BJ Armstrong and Toni Kukoc in 1993-94 over James Worthy (played 54 games), Sam Perkins (played 63 games), Sedale Threatt and Byron Scott in 1991-92. The Lakers had much less chemistry without Magic, but the Bulls were losing theirs until Michael came out of retirement. Just kind of seems to be a slanted argument when you leave out the individual success Michael had to make bad teams better and good teams great. Magic did much of the same, just had much more help throughout a majority of his career.
The fact that Magic was drafted into a jackpot makes it even more of a case for him because Magic was the star wherever he played. Its different if you get drafted into a good situation but STILL manage to become the teams best player. Magic stepped in and won as a rookie, not just regular season, which was phenomenal, but he was the Finals MVP...as a rookie.
If anything, when a player is drafted in a great situation, how uncommon is it for him to become the best player...right then? Without that rookie named Magic, that team doesnt win the title. He led them to victory...plain and simple, regardless of who was around him.
Magic's Game 6 versus Philadelphia was one for the ages. It is maybe one of the most impressive performances in NBA Play-off history and cemented Magic as a winner. However, I think you are laying it on a little thick with his immediately being the best player on that team. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP that season. Kareem may have broken his ankle and been forced out of the series, but he played 15 games out of 16. In those games, he averaged 31.9 ppg and 12.9 rpg.
Magic almost averaged a triple double, with 18.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 9.4 apg. He also had 42 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists in the Finals clinching game sans Kareem. This is incredible. Yet, to automatically say he was better than Kareem on that team might not be the case. I mean, if LeBron had gone to a team his rookie season with a 32 year old Shaquille O'Neal, things would have turned out differently (Remember, Shaq lost an incredibly close MVP vote at age 32 to Steve Nash). Or Michael Jordan playing with Moses Malone. Who knows if they would have the same success Magic did, but they were both obviously special players who would have more than likely made a major impact in that situation.
Bill Russell came into the league and won a championship. Larry Bird did the same thing as Magic his first year in the league, without Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (he had Pete Maravich for 26 games though). Larry's team went 61-21, he won Rookie of the Year over Magic and the very next season won a championship (with Robert Parish and a rookie named Kevin McHale as new team mates, but still). Kareem won a title his second season, while leading the league in scoring and winning the MVP. As rare as it is for a player like Magic to step in and cement himself on a great team, that situation was not a luxury many other great players had (Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal etc.).
I know they would not have won without Magic, he was incredible and is one of the best players of All-Time. The thing is, that does not necessarily make him the best player on that team. Nor does it mean that Michael Jordan or Larry Bird were not possibly better than Magic as rookies or otherwise. Here is a funny scenario that I will give you. What if the Bulls (30-52, worst record in the Western Conference, which they were than part of) had won the coin toss instead of the Lakers (47-35, Western Conference Semi-Finalist, pick traded from the last place New Orleans Jazz)? My guess is the Bulls would have been a lot better than they were with David Greenwood, just think that it would may be give Magic a similar perspective into what players without MVP's of the league tend to go through as rookies.
I think he missed JoeWolf's and my own take on why the wins argument is flawed as well.
I think I did miss that. How is the wins argument flawed. Cleveland goes from best to worst in a year, Chicago virtually stays the same. Sounds like yall are trying to tell us dont believe what our eyes see.
I am still waiting for a challenge on the playoff numbers. Everyone loves to bring up Jordan's averages, but what about totals. They pale in comparison to a player that made the postseason 2 less seasons than he in the same amount of time.
Also, how weak the divisions were when Jordan got in the playoffs with 3 losing teams and Lebron had a winning team that didnt get in.
Its only flawed logic because its sacriligious to imply someone is better than Jordan. Look at this thread. There are valid arguments on both sides but anyone for Jordan has been plused and anyone for Lebron has been negged. Thats call unadulterated bias. Its not like I am generating false information...now that would call for some negs.