What will you say if LeBron doesn't beat the Pacers.
I would say that LBJ had a very good year. In fact he had a MVP year, even though I think it is at times more of a popularity contest. A lot of people have compared LB to MJ, and even saying he is better. I'm shocked that Paul George offensively has more then held his own, and he is defending him well as you can hope to expect. The Heats have LB, two top ten players in Wade and Bosh, a stacked roster. If Lebron James isn't able to get pass the Pacers and Paul George is it safe to say that he isn't better then Michael Jordan for good this time ?
If Lebron James doesn't lead the Heat to an NBA title this season then I have to imagine people will talk about Lebron like people talk about Wilt Chamberlain. Lebron was a great player who was physically dominate and could do almost anything he wanted on the court. That's how I'd imagine people will refer to him. Lebron will be remembered with reverence, but he won't be mentioned as the best ever.
Not enough help.
If Lebron doesn't win the NBA title this year, let alone beat the Pacers, I say The Heat will go out and try their hardest to get Greg Oden to play 15-20 minutes a game. They will have realized you can't play small ball all of the time to win the title. Especially since 3 of the final 4 teams in the NBA conference finals are traditional teams, and if they lose to the Pacers or lose to the Spurs next round it will be because of size.
Now what will I say about Lebron? I will say people will blame the loss on not having a healthy Wade and the group of old shooters lost their touch.
Lebron apologists will continue to back him and get mad if anyone says anything against him, and the Haters and the people who are truly indifferent and are just objective to his game, will once again state the fact that he isn't Jordan, he isn't Kobe, and he isn't Magic! He left Cleveland to go to South Beach with 2 other superstars to win 1 title. At least Wilt's championship was in year 12 of his 13 year career. He was still good but wasn't the same and he was close to retirement, Lebron joined 2 other stars to win a title before he even entered his prime.
His story will change mightily if they lose, rather that be to the Pacers or the Spurs. He will once again be in a situation where he's vulnerable mentally.
How you can even determine where Lebron would be at mentally if they lost this series is beyond me.
Lebron clearly is not mentally vulnerable anymore, he wasn't even mentally vulnerable in last year's playoffs in the biggest spots of his career (see Game 4 v. Indiana, Game 6 v. Boston).
Lebron James is still mentally vulnerable, we're talking about the guy who still responds every time someone says something about him that he disagrees with. Michael Jordan made a statement 3 months ago about defending him and forcing him left, and Lebron James just has to come out with a rebuttal 3 months later after one good play to the left, when really It was a Paul George defensive mistake that allowed him to do that. Lebron James is the guy that had to go out and defend himself when Jordan said Kobe was the better player because of rings, when really he just had to say "it's Jordan's opinion and I still have a ton of years left." The same guy that allowed himself to feel slighted over the Frank Vogel quote that was inaccurately quoted to him. The same guy that said he wants everyone to like him. That is most definitely a weak minded individual.
And if he loses, his "kingdom will fall", he will be once again be talked about in the media about not being able to reach Jordan's level or Kobe's level. At the end of the day when you reach a certain level of excellence..."RINGS MATTER"
To be fair, that story about his left hand and how he brought up what Jordan said a few months prior...that's EXACTLY what MJ did. Heck, in his hall of fame speech, he took a shot at the guy that famously beat him for that last varsity spot in high school. Almost every NBA superstar does the same stuff in the media that you just talked about besides someone like Tim Duncan that seemingly doesn't talk to anybody lol
So he is mentally vulnerable because he defended himself and said things you didn't think he should say? I don't understand how that is even a remotely fair standard to judge him. He didn't say or do the things you wanted him to do, so therefore he must be mentally vulnerable?
You can say what you will about the "mentally vulnerable" Lebron James, but in the most pivotal season of his basketball career last year and in the some of the most important playoff games of his life, he came up big, shutting up the critics of him as "mentally vulnerable." Then, in this season, the one where the expectations are that he'll take "the leap", he puts together one of the greatest regular seasons ever (and I'm not just saying this in hyperbole, look at the stats 55% FG, 40% 3PT, 30+% Usage while averaging 26-8-7 plus a 26 game win streak) and wins his 4th MVP in 5 years.
If Lebron James is mentally vulnerable, then I want to know all of the NBA players who aren't because I can tell you this, I wouldn't take one of the "mentally strong" players over Lebron James, not one of em.
I agree with you that if the Heat don't win the title this year they'll be seeking out big men because they'll realize they can't win the championship always playing small ball.
Just a side note : Wilt won two championships. His first was in 1967 with the 76ers his second was 1972 with the Lakers.
"two top ten players in Wade and Bosh"
Well if not top ten, then All-Star caliber players that if they were in their own team would likely be the focal point.
He is this eras shaq great talents that dominated because of athleticism but didn't have the Jordan or Kobe mentality.
But Shaq still was the top player for more championship teams than Kobe.
I think people should not rush to judgements about LeBron's career. Michael Jordan couldn't stand up to his own legacy if he was playing today. And LeBron has never had the supporting cast MJ, Bird, or Magic had. If the Heat lose to the Pacers, that doesn't mean LeBron is done winning championships. LeBron is the same age now as when Jordan won his first championship. LeBron is unlikely to ever eclipse Jordan's legacy, because that is hard to do without at least equalling Jordan's championship total. It is silly to just compare rings, but its the way these things work.
LeBron won't be thought of quite like Wilt, due to the fact that the quality of the game today prevents any player from posting the gaudy stats of Wilt's day, and the fact that LeBron didn't take until the tail end of his career to win a championship. And LeBron will likely win a few more rings, as he is that dominant of a player. Any well-coached team with at least a mediocre roster becomes a title contender with LeBron, which is something you could never say about Kobe, or perhaps any modern player other than Jordan or possibly Shaq in his absolute prime.
I'd put Tim Duncan in that discussion as well. His first championship team was him and a bunch of role players. He's taken a bit of a backseat to tony parker the past couple years, but he's won 3 or 4 titles and I don't think his supporting casts have really ever been as good as Shaq or MJ's.
and the fact that LeBron didn't take until the tail end of his career to win a championship.
What? 1967 wasn't the tail end of wilt's career...It was actually Wilt's eighth year in the league, Lebron didn't win his first chip until 9 years into his career...
And what happens if he gets to 4, 5, or 6 rings?
I still think he'd be regarded as better than Kobe when it's all said and done. I really don't think losing one year is enough to make a rash judgment about his career. He's played great all year. I used to absolutely hate LeBron but it's a little ridiculous to think that " he doesn't have the Kobe mentality" if he loses this year. Kobe has lost plenty throughout his career. It happens.
If they don't win this year, it will definitely tarnish his legacy. Just as his disastrous 2011 finals did.
I'd say where was his team at. Despite his two late turnovers last game, he's been showing up in the 4th, but his team really hasn't He can't win this series by himself.
I'd say one less year for Lebron to get to 6. Still plenty of time though. I'll reserve judgement until after his career is over.
If Lebron does not win this year, he may never win another championship. That Birdman pick up was bigger than many realized. If I was a rival team, any legit big man I would offer contracts to keep away from Miami. Miami does not have money to pay a decent big man and Birdman was available only because of some drama he got into.
Ok. So LeBron is Jordan. What if LeBron played with a dominant younger wing player, an ace rebounder with a ton of energy? Jordan had Pippen and then got to play with Rodman late in his career. What if LeBron had a great all-around sixth man like Toni Kukoc, some complementary guards and shooters and a couple of smart, serviceable bigs to mimic the 1996-1998 Bulls?
What about this team with LeBron?
PG Mario Chalmers (combo of Ron Harper, Kerr, and Randy Brown)
SG Tony Allen (complementary defender/veteran like Ron Harper)
SF Paul George (the new Pippen)
PF LeBron James
C Tiago Splitter
PG Cory Joseph (D point guard like Randy Brown)/Jimmer Fredette (shooter like Steve Kerr)
SG Manu (sixth man like Kukoc)
SF Quincy Pondexter (combo of Scott Burrell and Jud Bucheler
PF Kenneth Faried (rebounder like Rodman)
C Matt Bonner (Bill Wenninton with more range)
I think this would be a heck of a team. Similar to those great Jordan, Pippen, Rodman teams.
LeBron would win a bunch of titles with those guys.
What do you guys think?
Chris Bosh a top 10 player hahaha!
I agree. I think getting Birdman was huge. I also think that getting Shane Battier last year tipped the scales in their favor
If Battier was on the Thunder I think they would have won the title last year.
Then Ray Allen helped too.
I think the Heat need to so the same thing this offseason too. Get another piece. Jerryd Bayless might be the guy.
They might consider throwing some decent money at Tony Allen too.
take some time off to rest and you guys will be back next year
I can't believe that we have people on this board that actually believe that LeBron team doesn't have enough talent right now. If they lose I don't think it damages his long term legacy because he was almost never going to past Jordan in the first place. Not because of talent... its absurd to think that MJ just had more talent than Bird, Magic, Wilt, Kareem, and others. Jordan is regarded as the best yes for his many accolades but also because of his impact globally for the NBA and how he redefined the game of basketball as a whole.
LeBron, Kobe, Durant, and maybe some kid in the future might end up with more rings, accolades (longevity might play a part in that), but unless they are able to do something groundbreaking or substantial to redefine and change the game like Jordan it will be hard to surpass him. I know it's an interesting storyline to compare the current best to the best ever, but right now it has no substance. The closest substantial thing LeBron has done has been to jump ship to another superstar team, and link with a 3rd all star in the process to make winning easier for himself. Not blaming him because it was a smart decision, and one he thought necessary but how does that put him on a course to pass the "Legend' of Jordan?
I remember Jordan had a quote when he described his success on the court and with Jordan brand as just being a natural phenomenon, it couldn't be explained. LeBron has no chance of passing him if we are trying to construct his legacy to match Jordan.
I personally think Michael Jordan is the all time better basketball player at this time. Lebron has a long way to go. However I think the debate is and should be who was the better basketball player. Not how they changed the game or made the NBA global. You can't control what era you are born in.
If Lebron ends up with 8 NBA titles and 8 MVP's or something ridiculous like that I think the argument can be made that he could be considered the best basketball player of all time. Maybe not the icon that Jordan was or anything like that but who cares? It's a basketball debate not a NBA growth or marketing debate.
If the Pacers win I'm thinking people think that Indianapolis has themselves one helluva team.
I have to say this is the toughest era to win a championship. The zone defense with the more athletic players and stacked teams has made it really tough. When Jordan was playing if you double teamed him someone was wide open now you can double team and recover. If Lebron was able to go one on one I think it would be a diff story. Today's game is built more for team basketball. Teams like the spurs 04 pistons. The day of the Single Superstar are over its about Teams that have depth and balance. Teams with shooter slasher post have a better chance than the teams without. You put Lebron in the 90s he wins a cchampionship with Cleveland in 2013 he might lose with wade and bosh. Know days you can play significantly off you man without really having to pay for it.
What? How much did you watch of which you speak. I saw the 80's and 90's and would never describe as you just did.
If he doesn't win a ring this yr I would not go as far to say its gnna tarnish his legacy... hes only 28 and has lots of ball left... I would be upset if he doesn't win one this yr... if LeBron ends up with at least 4 rings and assuming 4 final mvp's then its safe to say hes top 5 of all time
He's just talking out his ass. Probably born in '87 so never saw 80's and not much on the 90's either. Remember, in a post a few days ago he compared Cousins to Shaq.....that says it all.
*Edit* whoops, was in response to purple's post....
Well, you could look at it your way and assume Lebron has the better team because of Bosh and Wade, or you could look at it as Jordan had better complementary players. Pippen played great defense, Rodman rebounded everything, and Longley was a center that actually had post up moves. Not to mention Horace Grant, who averaged a double double twice with the Bulls. On the Heat, Wade and Bosh are at their best with the ball in their hands, and Wade's game is similar to Lebron's. Now I'm not trying to say that Wade and Bosh are terrible and Lebron needs more help, that would be absurd. I just think people forget that Jordan played with a very solid Bulls team.
It's still a team sport. Or you all believe Derek Fisher and Randy Woods are Top 5 all time point guards..