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Red Tiger

NBA playoffs 2018 - Raptors over Cavs in 6

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17 minutes ago, Red Tiger said:

Carry on.

Do we have to carry on though?  Can we skip the last couple pages and talk basketball?

So anyways, I get tired of the LeBron vs MJ debate I always hear drudged up on ESPN Radio.  Seriously?  Is there anyone out there who honestly thinks LeBron is better than Mike?!!?

But one thing I get absolutely tired of hearing is the "Jordan was 6-0 in the Finals" argument.  Yes.  He was.  And if he hadn't gone to play baseball, he would have a very good shot at 8 straight Finals wins.  But with the exception of maybe the Bulls win over the Lakers in his first appearance, he was always on the appreciably better team.  The season after he left, the Bulls were the 3 seed and won 55 games.  When LeBron leaves this year, does anyone expect Cleveland to win 10 games next year?  I can also only think of one year where LeBron had what I thought was the better team and lost in the Finals, that first year in Miami where they inexplicably lost to Dirk.  To LeBron's credit, I think two of his titles have been won over teams that were likely better than his.  San Antonio and Golden State.

To sum up... yes, Jordan is miles ahead of LeBron and will be no matter what happens in the next 5 years of LeBron's career.  But Jordan never had to carry garbage uphill on his back the way LeBron does.

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I don't know about Jordan being "miles ahead" of LeBron. In what? Skills? Unlikely. Accomplishments? Sure.

 

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1 minute ago, DanteGabriel said:

I don't know about Jordan being "miles ahead" of LeBron. In what? Skills? Unlikely. Accomplishments? Sure.

 

Usually it's "dominance", but if you're talking about individual dominance, rather than team dominance, it is hard to really make the argument that Jordan is clearly above Lebron there either.  And if you're talking about team dominance, shouldn't it be Bill Russell? 

You can say that Bill Russell wasn't playing the same NBA that Jordan did, and that's right.  But neither is Lebron playing in the 90s.  There was one Superteam in the NBA in the 90s, and it was the Bulls (like Rhom said, good enough to make the ECF without Jordan).  In comparison, winning championships over and over again just isn't possible for one man, or likely even two.  Take your choice of any two NBA players and three average NBA starters and match them against the 2017 Warriors, who do you favor?  IMO, it's the Warriors and it isn't even close. 

Michael Jordan was the best player of his generation.  But almost his entire GOAT argument is because of the dominance of his team, not Jordan's individual achievements.  Without Scottie Pippin we'd never call Jordan GOAT. 

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I endorse everything Maith says above, especially about Bill Russell. Yeah they didn't have that many teams in his day, but his teams still beat Wilt's teams and some pretty loaded Lakers teams.

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Posted (edited)

In some ways you can map the Jordan vs Lebron debate onto the larger old school basketball vs analytics debate.  Jordan represents old school basketball.  He has all those idioms that they made fun of in Moneyball:  knows how to win, clutch, killer instinct, "6 rings!" (as if the rest of the team had nothing to do with it). 

In comparison, Lebron is dominant in a way that analytics loves, he's versatile, he makes his teammates better, he can play and defend any position, he can elevate any individual aspect of his game as needed.  But the Lebron haters insist that he isn't clutch, he's a crybaby, and he wilts in the big moment (in spite of having the best avg stat line in career game 7s in NBA history). 

Edited by Maithanet

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51 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

I endorse everything Maith says above, especially about Bill Russell. Yeah they didn't have that many teams in his day, but his teams still beat Wilt's teams and some pretty loaded Lakers teams.

I'm glad you mentioned Wilt, because there comparison between the two shows how trick GOAT debates are. Russell is the ultimate champion in not just basketball, but American sports. You can find guys who have more championships, but nobody is gonna say there was a greater basketball champion than Bill Russell.

Inversely, Wilt might be the most talented player ever. He has stats that will not only never be broken, but attempted. Nobody is going to average 50 points and 25 rebounds in a season or score 100 in a game. And that's not even his best stat on the court (:cool4:). In the 1961-62 season he played every game and averaged 48.5 minutes per game. I don't know if he sat for a single second on the bench. 

All in all, GOAT conversations really mean who an individual prefers, not an absolute fact. Jordan vs. LeBron is all about preferences as Maith laid out. If you want the most dominate player, you take Jordan. If you want the most complete one you take LeBron. And that's about as far as it goes.

Side note, how do we compare their windows? How many seasons did Jordan have a realistic chance of winning the title? Cause when I look at LeBron, if feels like there were 5 seasons where he had a real chance to win, and he won 3 times in that window. 

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*Mod Hat* To follow up on events in the last couple of pages of the prior thread, lets keep it on topic and respectful people.  Take the political debate over the appropriate threads in GC and stay away from insults, intentionally offensive language and other disruptive behavior.  Thank you */Mod Hat*

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1 hour ago, Rhom said:

Do we have to carry on though?  Can we skip the last couple pages and talk basketball?

So anyways, I get tired of the LeBron vs MJ debate I always hear drudged up on ESPN Radio.  Seriously?  Is there anyone out there who honestly thinks LeBron is better than Mike?!!?

MJ is also 1-0 against the Monstars.

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21 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Jordan vs. LeBron is all about preferences as Maith laid out. If you want the most dominate player, you take Jordan. If you want the most complete one you take LeBron. And that's about as far as it goes.

 

I'm still not sure how to parse "dominant." Because I am pretty sure there are things LeBron can do that Jordan couldn't. Is this a who would win a one-on-one kind of question?

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18 minutes ago, davos said:

*Mod Hat* To follow up on events in the last couple of pages of the prior thread, lets keep it on topic and respectful people.  Take the political debate over the appropriate threads in GC and stay away from insults, intentionally offensive language and other disruptive behavior.  Thank you */Mod Hat*

Where thy hell have you been man? You robbed me of a NFL seasons worth of mocking the Packers.

:bawl:

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9 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

I'm still not sure how to parse "dominant." Because I am pretty sure there are things LeBron can do that Jordan couldn't. Is this a who would win a one-on-one kind of question?

I kind of view it as being the overwhelming player/team of an era. Like for instance, Shaq for a while was the most overwhelming force the game had ever seen. But his era was shorter than Jordan's. LeBron's been the best player for a decade, but I really feel like his teams only ran the league for four years. He's just benefited from an easier path. Does anyone believe he would have made it to seven consecutive Finals in the West? 

Jordan vs. LeBron one on one actually would be funny. I think LeBron would get the better of him, but Jordan would keep saying one more game until he was ahead of LeBron and then quit. I feel bad for his kids if they ever played driveway basketball. All dad's are jerks that way, but I picture Jordan straight up humiliating his kids. 

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2 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I kind of view it as being the overwhelming player/team of an era. Like for instance, Shaq for a while was the most overwhelming force the game had ever seen. But his era was shorter than Jordan's. LeBron's been the best player for a decade, but I really feel like his teams only ran the league for four years. He's just benefited from an easier path. Does anyone believe he would have made it to seven consecutive Finals in the West? 

Jordan vs. LeBron one on one actually would be funny. I think LeBron would get the better of him, but Jordan would keep saying one more game until he was ahead of LeBron and then quit. I feel bad for his kids if they ever played driveway basketball. All dad's are jerks that way, but I picture Jordan straight up humiliating his kids. 

Sure, the East has been weak for most of LeBron's career. He did at least have a demons-conquering series when he flipped a switch in that famous game 6 against the Celtics (who were a couple years past their expiration date, but that was his bogeyman to beat at the time). 

So to put it on dominant teams is to judge a player by the shape of the league in their time. By the same token, didn't Jordan benefit from the early retirements of Bird and Magic?

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2 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

 

So to put it on dominant teams is to judge a player by the shape of the league in their time. By the same token, didn't Jordan benefit from the early retirements of Bird and Magic?

And the aging of the Bad Boys.

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Just now, Rhom said:

And the aging of the Bad Boys.

Yeah, them too, but also, fuck those guys.

 

Spoiler

Actually I was pretty happy they beat the Lakers. It was even better in 2004, though, with my Pistons hatred diminished and my Lakers hate peaking.

 

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2 hours ago, Rhom said:

Do we have to carry on though?  Can we skip the last couple pages and talk basketball?

So anyways, I get tired of the LeBron vs MJ debate I always hear drudged up on ESPN Radio.  Seriously?  Is there anyone out there who honestly thinks LeBron is better than Mike?!!?

But one thing I get absolutely tired of hearing is the "Jordan was 6-0 in the Finals" argument.  Yes.  He was.  And if he hadn't gone to play baseball, he would have a very good shot at 8 straight Finals wins.  But with the exception of maybe the Bulls win over the Lakers in his first appearance, he was always on the appreciably better team.  The season after he left, the Bulls were the 3 seed and won 55 games.  When LeBron leaves this year, does anyone expect Cleveland to win 10 games next year?  I can also only think of one year where LeBron had what I thought was the better team and lost in the Finals, that first year in Miami where they inexplicably lost to Dirk.  To LeBron's credit, I think two of his titles have been won over teams that were likely better than his.  San Antonio and Golden State.

To sum up... yes, Jordan is miles ahead of LeBron and will be no matter what happens in the next 5 years of LeBron's career.  But Jordan never had to carry garbage uphill on his back the way LeBron does.

Saying Jordan is 6-0 in the Finals also ignores all the years he didn't make them.  You'd think that getting knocked out in the first or second round is more of a blight on a resume than making the Finals and losing, and yet here we are.

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5 hours ago, Rhom said:

Do we have to carry on though?  Can we skip the last couple pages and talk basketball?

LOL, yeah, that is not what I meant with carrying on. That ebonics discussion was a mess.

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5 hours ago, briantw said:

Saying Jordan is 6-0 in the Finals also ignores all the years he didn't make them.  You'd think that getting knocked out in the first or second round is more of a blight on a resume than making the Finals and losing, and yet here we are.

But there's a flip-side to that which is that Jordan built up to making the finals and then only not only made the finals and only won the finals. 

And while there's something to be said about LeBron's early path to the NBA he was also in the league working towards actually making the finals for some time.  

Not even trying to take a side on this debate, but it's not like people are saying Jordan is only his 6-0 final years.  But it's also not like LeBron's career is only his finals trips.  

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5 hours ago, briantw said:

Saying Jordan is 6-0 in the Finals also ignores all the years he didn't make them.  You'd think that getting knocked out in the first or second round is more of a blight on a resume than making the Finals and losing, and yet here we are.

Jordan came in The East was just stacked with some great teams. Those early exits were also when it is really was MJ and the other guys. So the person thinking those early exits as a knock on Jordan just do not know the League, especially The East, during the time.

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