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Retired Legendary Players and How They Would Play Today

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Retired Legendary Players and How They Would Play Today

From Bleacher Report:

People often bring up how players played in a different era and wouldn't be able to dominate the way they did in today's era. This is my opinion on how they would fare in today's game. The following rankings had skill, talent, and were all legends in their one right. Some players I am going to include are magic johnson, larry bird, wilt chamberlain, bill russell, etc.

Michael Jordan

There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player in NBA history. He was so good that he didn’t win MVP awards because of it. People got tired of voting for him so they started passing the award around to other NBA stars. In all, Jordan won six NBA Championships, six Finals MVPs, five NBA MVPs, and three All Star game MVPs. He was even selected to nine first team All-Defensive teams. He would still have his jumping ability, his huge hands, his work ethic, his imposing physique, his post moves. He would still dominate todays game without a doubt.

Magic Johnson

Magic was a 6′8 point guard who could run the break, drive to the hole, rebound and post-up. His excellence produced five NBA Championships and three MVPs. He accomplished all of that despite the fact that his career ended at 31 years of age. One can only imagine what he could have done with five-to-ten more years added to his career. He wasn't a great athlete, but he found a way to make his teammates play WAY above their heads. His passing, rebounding and leadership would allow him to dominate today's game.

Larry Bird

Larry Bird was probably one of the if not the smartest player ever. Non athletic, weird mechanics in his jumpshot, he was always the underdog.Three MVP's, three rings. His smarts, fundamentals, and shooting would allow him to still be a force.

Bob Cousy

Cousy played for six NBA Championship teams. He also won an MVP award and was selected to the All-NBA first team 10 times (second all-time). He was the first great point guard. However, his skills wouldn't translate into today's game. Very unathletic, to overcome that you have to have great skills. Well, he couldn't shoot and dribble with his left hand.

Wilt Chamberlain

People think he couldn't play today since he wouldn't have the height advantage. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wilt “The Big Dipper” Chamberlain would have feasted on centers today, and would have dominated thoroughly almost all of the centers through the '80s and '90s. While many think of Wilt as simply a skinny version of Shaq, this is absolute nonsense. Shaq certainly has the bulk to seem like Superman, but while photos of Wilt give the impression he was some “beanpole” with not much real power, Chamberlain would have beaten O’Neal in any feat of strength without even trying hard.Many don’t know it, but Wilt used to lift weights with Arnold Schwarzenegger and got his bench press up to over 500 lbs. He has been credited by many as having been able to bench as much as 500 pounds even during his college days, but there are not very many credible sources for this. He was a world class track and field star during those days though, competing in the 440, shot put, broad jump, and high jump. People often think he just dunked on everyone. Far from it, he had the best post moves(including the fingerroll, fadeaway, dropstep, and spin that he invented, only after he used them did they become popular) I've seen besides Hakeem, and Kareem. He would of still been the best center today.

Bill Russell

I am a big fan of taking into consideration championships when analyzing a career. That’s not to say that a player who never won a championship can’t be better than a player who did win a championship. Nobody, in any sport, has won more championships than Bill Russell. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to ever play the game. He won 11 championships, 11! He would of won numerous finals MVP's too. He never had a great offensive game, but what he had was a highly underrated one. Today he would be the best post defender, best outlet passer, best teammate, and best winner in the NBA today. He might make few all star teams, but he would be the presence and locker room player everyone would want.

What do you guys think?


the lake show
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Well I never got a chance to

Well I never got a chance to really watch wilt bob or Russell so I don't know. I watched Jordan rules the other day for the millionth time ( hadn't watched it in ten years)and I need to change something. I said kobe's handles are better then jordans. I take that back. Jordan had handles. He didn't try to cross you all over the place but when he wanted to he would put u on skates and make you look stupid. I have no doubt that he would dominate today. He had bad games but never gave up (Im a big Kobe fan but I recall the suns game seven when he decided to just pass and not try to take over because people were criticising him)

I think bird and magic would still be great

I think there's a misconception about the players of today. We have seen guys like these before. We have seen a similar rose/Westbrook/wall in the 6'2 with shoes kj. Very fast. Hella bounce get in the lane at will ( couple seasons of 20-10)

I'm still sticking to the players being more skilled back then compared to today where players are bigger Not nessesarily stronger since the foul rules are more lax then back then. Not too sure about the more versitile part because there were long versitile players back then

detlef shrimp(forgot how to spell his last name)
Robert horry
Derrick mckey
cliff Robinson
Scottie pippen
James worthy
Sean Elliot
kemp Coleman

mwalling2117
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Russell

I think Russell would be very similar to Ben Wallace in today's game. Except I would consider Russell a better locker room presence and he probably is a bit more offensively skilled.

Cardinal_Fan
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Bird

I just don't know if Larry Bird could survive in todays nba game, yes he wus as smart an crafy as they come......but.....today its a much faster an very much more athletic game. Now there were great athletes in Birds era, but there were juss few elite athletes.....in todays game pretty much every player ecspecially on tha wings has elite athleticism. So with Birds slow and unorthodox game combined with his akward shooting mechanics, i really cant see him being more than maybe a Kyle Korver with a decent handle, Cousy i doubt could even make a roster in this era, he's juss too limited athleticly and skill wise.

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haha detlef shrimp

haha detlef shrimp

billyk
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An elite athlete doesnt make

An elite athlete doesnt make a GOOD basketball player.. Bird was a cerebral player that understood angles, combine that with the fact that he was arguably greatest shooters of all time.. Bird was better that Peja Stojavic who averaged 24 ppg at one time in his career and Peja wasnt the greatest athlete in the world...

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Peja

Saying Peja Stojakavic isn't the greatest athlete in the world is like saying O.J. wasn't the greatest husband in the world.

Cardinal_Fan
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Peja in his best statistical

Peja in his best statistical years had players 2 open up scoring oppurtunities 4 him (Chris Webber, Mike Bibby). I agree with u becuz a perfect example is Paul Pierce. Nobody will ever mistake Paul Pierce for a elite athlete but without the decent athleticism he has 2 go along with his high basketball IQ an high skill level he would not be the same player. Peja wus clearly at his best when people were creating shots 4 him. Proof is how he fell off the face of the planet when he left sacramento.

the lake show
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Dis u really say Larry bird

Dis u really say Larry bird would be Kyle kover??? How old are you? Playets today may be athletic but what does that have to do with defense? Players today basketball iq is lower and many rely less on skill and more on athletic ability. Man that was a slap in the face of bird. On top of the fact. It's less physical and you can't hand check

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Ok less physical an u cant

Ok less physical an u cant hand check.....which means a slow footed, unathletic Larry Bird doesnt have the foot speed or lateral quickness 2 stay in front of the quick an athletic wings in 2days game. Who could Larry Bird guard???? Nobody!!!!

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Despite what you think, CJ,

Despite what you think, CJ, Bird had the understanding, spacing, footwork, and timing to trail or sidestep with his man and collect his share of block. He also owned some of the best hands on defensive ever, so poking the ball away and playing the passing lanes would still be his M.O. Which is how most people play defense now anyway. Bird has the shooting, versitility, and most importantly, the size to more than excel in todays game. Maybe he wouldnt have averaged 10 rebs per game, but was a pure, relentless scorer. He wouldnt stop. You wanna talk about how Jordan and Kobe have 'it'. Bird was 'it'. I see 23-28+ points, 7 rebounds 2+ offensive, and 5+ assists. Thats an MVP candidate.

And Wilt would smack centers silly now. He would be easily the best center today, and arguable the freakiest athlete of all time. He could one step from a standstill at the free throw line, and dunk. And his skill is severely underrated. Wilt would drop 25 points 13 rebs 4+ assists 1+steal and 2.5-3.5 blocks.

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And did you say Larry Bird

And did you say Larry Bird had 'decent' handle by TODAYS Standards???

andxxx
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I think if Dominique Wilkins

I think if Dominique Wilkins was on that strong celtics team with Mchale and Parrish I think he would have won a few championships with them

Cardinal_Fan
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I respect every 1's opinion,

I respect every 1's opinion, an i may be wrong thats y its fun 2 have these debates lol, I juss think theres a reason why scouts are so big on athleticism in todays game an thats becuz the elite players possess a certain level of athleticism that makes them stand out along wit their respective skill sets.

Grandmama
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lmao @ "detlef shrimp"

lmao @ "detlef shrimp"

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Ive always thought as Magic

Ive always thought as Magic Johnson as overhyped not because of his stats but because of the greatest pg of all time stuff, IMO he was a SF with PG abilties he would be good but not dominate, the pgs of today would kill him he was not know as a good defender and to cancel out his post up abilites just have cross matchups.....

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O and Detlef Shrimp lol

O and Detlef Shrimp lol

andxxx
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magic johnson was a less

magic johnson was a less athletic version of Lebron but maybe a slightly better passer

iguapops420
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a tougher minded dirk with

a tougher minded dirk with less height. too tough, smart, and skilled to not be effective. its not like larry was out there boxing out everybody on everyplay. he chased every loose ball like it was his. wasnt affraid to go at u, and had some terrific touch. he wouldnt be as effective creating for other players off the dribble, but his smarts would still lead to 5-7 asts(this a league where trevor ariza is a 4 ast guy), his tenacity, desire, nose for the ball, and again smarts would lead to 6-9 rbs, his touch toughness and yet again smarts would pull about 17-25 pts. depending the role he is given whether its a #1 like dirk or a #2 who can pick his spots like peja was. larry wasnt a super run and jump athlete, but smarts mixed with sum decent quickness can still master the game. didnt dunleavey avg 20 5 and 4 a few yrs back. nuff said.

the lake show
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Easier for h to guard guys

Easier for h to guard guys now since they aren't as skilled. Being a good defender doesn't mean you're the fastest or most athletic. Bruce bowan wasn't the fastest but he was smart and played the angles. Ron artest is slower then most guys he guards but he knows angles. Rose is one of the fastest guys in the leauge right? Then why is he such a bad defender? Why wasn't Vince Carter ever a top defender? He out jumps every one. Why is Amare such a bad defender. Ask a coach what it takes to be a good defender

By the way how old are u cj? If you were born in 86 that would explain you're doubt in bird

Cardinal_Fan
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I agree andxxx, Bird wus

I agree andxxx, Bird wus always surrounded by superior talent. Multiple hall of famers!!!!! Would Bird perhaps have the same legacy if he an MJ could swap situatons???? Could Bird win 6 championships with the same Bulls teams Jordan had???? oI strongly believe if the celtics had Michael Jordan wit the same teammates Bird had they would have possibly been the most dominant teams the NBA has ever seen!!!! And i also think they would have won more championships.

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In the days of Magic, Michael

In the days of Magic, Michael and Bird there weren't as many teams, so each player was better on average.
Also, players tended to stay in college longer, so they came into the league with a better sense of fundamental development. I believe it was harder to succeed in their day than it is now.

andxxx
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Bird's confidence in his game

Bird's confidence in his game was unreal, but I think that quickness on offense is different than LATERAL quickness on defense a guy like john stockton wasn't overly quick but I remember a play where A.I tryed to cross him up but stockton stuck with him the whole way there's a difference

the lake show
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Why would the pgs kill him

Why would the pgs kill him today? How many zekes are there today? Stocktons? Kjs? With his legnth he would play off of rose. Pg today would have a tougher time back then. Oakly wouldn't be having rose in the lane at will. Cp3 would be even more injured after Rick mahorn lays him out.

Maybe you don't remember but magic put up 30plus while playing center for injured jabar. Imagin rose rondo or cp3 tryna guard him down there? After all that banging you think they gonna be running all over the court

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Defense is an attitude u have

Defense is an attitude u have 2 have. U have 2 wanna lock guys down. Rose can be a lock down defender becuz of his physical gifts. But defense is something you have to take pride in doing. Bowen an Artest made their niche defense, an thats how they made their careers.

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Stockton was quick an wus a

Stockton was quick an wus a really good defender, if im not mistakin he's near the top of the all time steals list. Not sayin that makes you a lockdown defender but when u hear things Larry Bird is known 4 i don't think ive ever heard defense come up.

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Theorectically Speaking lets

Theorectically Speaking lets put magics 1980 team vs the recent 2010 bulls
F Chones
F Wilkes
C Johnson
G Cooper
G Nixon

F Deng
F Boozer
C Noah
G Brewer
G Rose

You can easily let Deng or Brewer check Johnson but with todays rules not even Cooper could stop Rose

the lake show
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U see how injured dwade gets

U see how injured dwade gets now from
going in the lane. Imagin him going in the lane back then. Lol. He would have had to learn to shoot alot sooner in his career

I laugh when young people try to act like players were spoo unathletic back then

nique
Larry nance
Tom chambers
Jordan
kj
Clyde drexler
Barkley
Richard Dumas
Shawn kemp
just to name a few

there weren't too many darkos and mark madsons then. Players were much more skilled from
top to bottom and I'm sure staying in college and learning the fundamentals had alot to do with it. And let's not even start with comparing bigs because today's bigs are wayyyyyyyyy

Mr.Knick 32
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People forget....Larry was

People forget....Larry was slapping up 20-20 games in like his second season. He would have been a star. He had all the tools. He even played SG early in his career.

Wilt would have been good

I wonder how David Thompson, George Gervin would have done. Another guy would be like Bill Walton

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Where did oakley come from

Where did oakley come from was he ever on Magics team is anybody you mentioned above on magics 1980 team

the lake show
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Since this is roses best team

Since this is roses best team how about u compare that with magics team with worthy and Scott and jabar

andxxx
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Anyone think Mchale or

Anyone think Mchale or Parrish would be good in the modern game?

the lake show
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I recall talking about old

I recall talking about old school players not magics team. But I just put up one of magics team and that team would destroy rose team. Hell you can add Ben gordan and Kirk and still get punished

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Lol why you changing the

Lol why you changing the subject were talking about Rose vs Magic not Lakers vs Bulls we know the Lakers would win but Rose would get the better of Magic

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Overall its probably not fair

Overall its probably not fair to compare players from different eras, players now have more advanced regimes and if star players in the past had those regimes for a year or two they could probably hang or make near the same impace

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Yep because both were skilled

Yep because both were skilled in the post and had a high basketball iq. In today's game you can put up numbers as a big without being very
skilled

brewer and rose in the back court. Just sit back and let them shoot threes. Would probably the worst shooting back court in the history if thr game

the lake show
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Rose would get the better of

Rose would get the better of magic? Lol that's not even debateable. Rose can't check him at all. Magic wasn't the best defender but he was better then rose who is a bad defender. All he has to do is play off rose. Let him
shoot that below average jumper and use his height if he tries to drive. Then post him up all game. One just made his first allstar game the other is a hall of famer one of the best ever and a champion with a MVP. Ummmm yea not even debateable. Magic was better as a rookie then rose is right now. There's nothing rose is better at other then speed and jumping. Basketball iq,passing,defense,leadership,versitility,midrange,three,flash, magic. Not even close

the lake show
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I wanna see one person old

I wanna see one person old enough to understand basketball who watched magic and rose at the same stage say rose would out play h in a match up. And we aren't talking about older slower magic we talking bout 220 something quick
magic who would dunk on you

Mr.Knick 32
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Magic would simply put it:

Magic would simply put it: Rape Derrick Rose on offense ( underrated considering Magic wasn't the main scorer on LA until 1986) and on defense.....Stanford said it best.

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Magic Johnson at 6'9 and

Magic Johnson at 6'9 and around 225-230 would cause absolute havoc on NBA point guards of 2day. He could defend an could post any1 of them up all nite long.

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I'm guessing he's thinking

I'm guessing he's thinking of bigger slower magic not younger quicker magic

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LETS GET SERIOUS

First of all it is very difficult to compare players from different eras. The game and skill set is suppose to get better as time goes on. Yet, there are some players who were ahead of their time and their game would translate smoothly today. Michael Jordan, Magic, Scottie Pippen, Bird, Dominque, and some others would have no problem today. Cousy is too far removed so he would not fair well now. But in his time, wow. You have to look at reality. Ray Allen, Kurt Thomas, Shaquille Oneal, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Marcus Camby, Allen Iverson and some others have all played against either Jordan in his prime or a player from Jordan Era in their prime years. Yet Kidd and company are still playing and holding their. And this notion Larry Bird could not play is crazy. You honestly dont think Bird would be more productive than Troy Murphy who averages a near double double every night? Lastly factor in that in the Jordan Era there was hand checking. How would you stop Mike now without hand checking? Get Serious!

the lake show
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Well put nj. And I can't

Well put nj. And I can't stand bird. But I respect his game. You won't find one basketball expert or older true basketball fan who doesn't think bird would be a star now. If that was the case I doubt anyone would say he's one of the best ever

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Thanks Stanford

Im not a huge Bird fan either, but i respect toughness, will, and heart and Bird and most of his peers had all of those attributes.

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Mchale

I think Mchale would reak havoc on people with his advanced low post moves. He would be a tougher better defensive Pau Gasol.

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are u kidding me? dont you

are u kidding me? dont you understand what larry bird went through WHILE he was playing? he suffered a back injury that basically healed wrong and his back muscles are so &$#%#&@! up... id be amazed if he could jog...

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