Recommended Posts

th?id=OIP.N7MhV2vL4sw3OE0pSk3BSwHaFj&pid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeremy Lin knows what's up:

Should I ask him if LeBron is any good?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, dfwabel said:

As done by others or even myself for the LeBron's return to Cleveland...

 

Those on this board rarely or never criticize Magic Johnson for his nine NBA Finals appearances in his first 12 seasons.  Only the Moses Malone Rockets (81), Twin Towers Rockets (86) and the KJ/Chambers Suns (90).  I'm not going to count his comeback season in which he lost to HOU yet again. 

 

Because during that stretch, the Lakers had lulls and hiccups. 9 in 12 years, but it wasn’t 6-7-8-9 times in a row.

 

LeBron has not had that 81/86/90 equivalent against a conference team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll stir the pot by saying that LeBron is a distant #2 to Michael Jordan on the greatest ever list, and that anyone who thinks he's better than Jordan is as delusional as Ozzy.

 

RINGS: Jordan has 6, LeBron has 3. Jordan threepeated twice, LeBron has only repeated once despite being LeGM.

 

PRODUCTION: Jordan was the best offensive player and the best defensive player in the NBA from the 1987-88 season all the way until his first retirement in 1993. Six seasons where he the absolute best in the business on both ends of the floor. He was also the clearly the best offensive player in 1987 (37 a game! Wilt Chamberlain only topped that on four occasions and he was a 7-foot, 300-pound behemoth playing against 6-8 twigs with wiseguy accents) and from 96-98. In all, Jordan flat-out led the league in scoring (per game and total) 10 times.

 

LeBron has led the league in points per game once and total points once (different seasons) and I don't know if there's any season of his career to date where he can make a claim as the best defender in the league. Maybe in 2012-13.

 

Playoff production is better, but still favors Jordan. Jordan outright led the playoffs in scoring on 8 occasions (excluding his averages in 1986 and 1987 due to sample size), LeBron has had the highest average 3 times and the highest total 6 times. Split the difference and call it 4.5.

 

REGULAR SEASON SUCCESS: Jordan's teams won 60 games on five occasions (72, 69, 67, 62, 61), LeBron's teams have done it twice (66 each time). Jordan's Bulls never took the regular season off. Even in 1998, with Scottie Pippen missing half the season and demanding to be traded, half the team either at or approaching their mid-30s, and the entire roster (coach included) at war with the front office, the Bulls still won 62 games and turned that into yet another championship. LeBron and his teams have treated the last several seasons like an extended training camp.

 

SIDEBAR: I don't want to hear that the Bulls were a super team. LeBron has changed teams in free agency twice specifically to join/form super teams, and he's probably going to do it a third time this summer. In my book him leaving Miami in 2014 counts more against his legacy than leaving the Cavs in 2010. The Cavs were an inept slag heap of an organization that had 7 years to put a championship caliber roster around LeBron and all they were able to come up with was Larry Hughes (hook-line-and-suckered by his contract year phenomenon), Mo Williams and the corpse of Shaquille O'Neal. LeBron wanted to win, the Cavs wanted to coast and cash in on his brand. Or maybe Danny Ferry was just an imbecile. 

 

The Heat, meanwhile, turned themselves inside out to accommodate LeBron for all four seasons that they had him and always put the team in the best possible position to play for a championship, pursuing guys like Shane Battier and Ray Allen along the way to keep themselves on top. LeBron chose Miami, they gave him everything he wanted, then he flat-out ditched them because Wade and Bosh were getting too old and Spoelstra/Riley made him work too hard in practice. But hey, he had his dickweed PR team come up with that lousy "I'm coming home to Cleveland!" narrative to make it look like he was making a heartfelt choice to right some terrible wrong and take attention off the fact that he was blowing town for the second time in four years and leaving the Heat in a volcanic crater so he could get some new, younger toys. That makes it okay!

 

FOR LEBRON TO CATCH OR PASS JORDAN (IN MY SUBJECTIVE OPINION): LeBron must win at least 2 more championships in his career as the best player on the team, OR extend his current finals appearance streak to double digits, again as the lead dog. In addition to that, he must keep up his current statline (26-27 pts, 7-8 reb, 7-8 ast, on at least 50% from the field) at least through 2020, regular season and playoffs, and go until age 40 without dipping below 20-5-5 and still keeping a decent percentage (44% from the field or something). In that case I would be willing to entertain the longevity of his performance versus the potency of Jordan's. And this is all just for me to reconsider, not necessarily to change my mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ozzyman314 said:

What's frustratingly dumb is people acting like a guy making 8 straight against conference where he's been the favorite every year is some major accomplishment.  

If Lebron went 82-0 having only to play Atlanta, Kings, & Magic you would all laude that as some grandiose accomplishment. It's the kind of asinine thing only a fanboy would do. 

Beating up on players vastly inferior to you is not impressive, no matter how many times you do it. 

 

This whole time not one of you have been able to come up with an serious argument that he would've be just as dominant out in The West as he has been in The East. 

Instead just saying how it "laughably stupid" or making up excuses like "The West would be different" and pretending that makes you right. 

 

If you want me to stop, then quit acting likes fanboys that believe him dominating a conference that hasn't been a challenge to him in years (so much so he had to handicap himself with a trash team) is some colossal achievement. When all stacked teams that could beat you are in the other conference, it's not. 

IDK how blind you have to be to not see that having a 3-6 record along with the fact he hasn't been the favorite in something like 7/9 Finals, is a red flag that maybe he has been helped by the fact The East hasn't been quite as good as The West.

Most of you already acknowledged that those Spurs, Warriors, and OKC teams were really good,  so why is it so hard to understand that he may not have been as dominant if he had to face those teams before the Finals? 

It's such a simple observation you all made so much bigger than it hand any business being because you can't handle a bit of criticism against him. 

Or you can consider a warning from a moderator that you have gone past derailing this thread and have entered trolling territory.

 

Seriously, knock it off and move on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, oldschoolvikings said:

 

This is The most fascinating thing I've witnessed in The time I've spend on The site. I've asked The obvious question of The poster, as to why The The get capitalized all The time, but The answer remains elusive.  I'm quickly losing The annoyance I've been dealing with, and now The best way to describe The way I feel is admiration. all The extra time it takes to constantly remember to use The caps key to capitalize The The makes The feat all the more impressive.  I've pretty much lost The thread of The moronic argument, just getting lost in The hypnotic swirl of all The The's.

 

The well The done, sir. 

 

The.  

 

Maybe he just really likes "This Is The Day"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Opens thread expecting to see Cavs-Warriors Part IV discussion*

 

giphy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3 hours ago, who do you think said:

PRODUCTION: Jordan was the best offensive player and the best defensive player in the NBA from the 1987-88 season all the way until his first retirement in 1993. Six seasons where he the absolute best in the business on both ends of the floor. He was also the clearly the best offensive player in 1987 (37 a game! Wilt Chamberlain only topped that on four occasions and he was a 7-foot, 300-pound behemoth playing against 6-8 twigs with wiseguy accents) and from 96-98. In all, Jordan flat-out led the league in scoring (per game and total) 10 times.

 

LeBron has led the league in points per game once and total points once (different seasons) and I don't know if there's any season of his career to date where he can make a claim as the best defender in the league. Maybe in 2012-13.

 

Look at the pace of NBA games early in Jordan's career.  Teams averaged over 100 possessions per game early in Jordan's career and have hovered in the low 90's for the bulk of LeBron's career with the Cavaliers even dipping into the 80's a few times.  Also... I noticed you only used points, which is interesting because LeBron averaged more assists and rebounds.  In fact, LeBron averages ~2 more assists per game than Jordan, which just about makes up for the difference in scoring.

 

Look at the statistics per 100 possessions, which eliminates the advantage Jordan had from getting extra possessions because of the different pace the game was played at early in Jordan's career.  Jordan averaged 40.4 pts, 7 assists, 8.3 rebounds -- LeBron averages 36.7, 9.7 assists, and 10 rebounds.  LeBron also takes four less shots per 100 possessions than Jordan did.  LeBron's got the better numbers.

 

LeBron also plays in an NBA where zone defense is legal whereas everything NBA teams do to defend LeBron was illegal when Jordan played.  There was no "helping off" or having somebody defend nobody in particular in the paint -- you either doubled team someone or played them straight up.  And since doubling requires leaving a man open, that's a pretty crappy option given how well LeBron passes.

 

One interesting note, Michael Jordan returned from baseball to a league where everybody was essentially shooting corner threes because the league, fearing that PPG would decrease, moved the three point line in.  This made Jordan (not a particularly good 3 point shooter) a good three point shooter for two or three years.

 

Quote

REGULAR SEASON SUCCESS: Jordan's teams won 60 games on five occasions (72, 69, 67, 62, 61), LeBron's teams have done it twice (66 each time). Jordan's Bulls never took the regular season off. Even in 1998, with Scottie Pippen missing half the season and demanding to be traded, half the team either at or approaching their mid-30s, and the entire roster (coach included) at war with the front office, the Bulls still won 62 games and turned that into yet another championship. LeBron and his teams have treated the last several seasons like an extended training camp.

 

Who cares?

 

Quote

SIDEBAR: I don't want to hear that the Bulls were a super team. LeBron has changed teams in free agency twice specifically to join/form super teams, and he's probably going to do it a third time this summer...

 

I brought this up earlier in the thread and I'll bring it up again.  When Jordan was playing baseball, the Bulls were a phantom call against Scottie Pippen away from being up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Knicks (they won game 6).  Jordan left the Bulls and they went from 57 wins to 55.  Say what you want about LeBron and his super teams, none of them were sniffing the Finals without him.  The Cavaliers went from 61 wins to 19 while Miami went from 54 to 37.  You can asterisk that last one since Bosh missed a chunk of the season, but still, it's clear teams regressed significantly without LeBron.  Again, this did not happen with Jordan.

 

Quote

FOR LEBRON TO CATCH OR PASS JORDAN (IN MY SUBJECTIVE OPINION): LeBron must win at least 2 more championships in his career as the best player on the team, OR extend his current finals appearance streak to double digits, again as the lead dog. In addition to that, he must keep up his current statline (26-27 pts, 7-8 reb, 7-8 ast, on at least 50% from the field) at least through 2020, regular season and playoffs, and go until age 40 without dipping below 20-5-5 and still keeping a decent percentage (44% from the field or something). In that case I would be willing to entertain the longevity of his performance versus the potency of Jordan's. And this is all just for me to reconsider, not necessarily to change my mind.

 

Why?  He's already played two more seasons than Jordan did with the Bulls.  Jordan had regressed in his 13th season -- LeBron in his 15th season is playing some of his best basketball and might be having the single greatest postseason by an individual player the NBA has ever seen.  And again, the "potency" of Jordan's?  His numbers aren't even better.

 

The one thing I'll say about Jordan is he did it with more panache.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, See Red said:

Look at the pace of NBA games early in Jordan's career.  Teams averaged over 100 possessions per game early in Jordan's career and have hovered in the low 90's for the bulk of LeBron's career with the Cavaliers even dipping into the 80's a few times.  Also... I noticed you only used points, which is interesting because LeBron averaged more passes and rebounds.  In fact, LeBron averages ~2 more assists per game than Jordan, which just about makes up for the difference in scoring.

 

"Just about".

 

If you want to bring rebounds into the equation, you can also bring steals into the equation, since they have the same result - a possession gained for their team. Jordan averages almost 1 full steal more than LeBron for his career (and slightly over 1 steal more for each of their top six seasons in that category).

 

Maybe we can go a step further and bring turnovers into the fray as well, since they have the inverse result - a possession for the *other* team. LeBron averages almost 1 turnover more per game than Jordan for their careers and LeBron has never averaged fewer than 3 turnovers a game, while Jordan has only averaged 3 or more turnovers in a season on five occasions.

 

Total up career rebounds per game and career steals per game, subtract the career turnovers per game, and Jordan comes out ahead.

 

Quote

 

Look at the statistics per 100 possessions, which factors in the different pace the game was played at early in Jordan's career.  Jordan averaged 40.4 pts, 7 assists, 8.3 rebounds -- LeBron averages 36.7, 9.7 assists, and 10 rebounds.  LeBron also takes four less shots per 100 possessions than Jordan did.

 

So Jordan is better, but if you cross your eyes when looking at the stat book and start saying "what if", it kinda looks like LeBron is better.

 

Quote

 

LeBron also plays in an NBA where zone defense is legal whereas everything NBA teams do to defend LeBron was illegal when Jordan played.  There was no "helping off" or having somebody defend nobody in particular in the paint -- you either doubled team someone or played them straight up.  And since doubling requires leaving a man open, that's a pretty crappy option given how well LeBron passes.

 

Boo hoo. Jordan had to play when hand checking was legal.

 

Quote

One interesting note, Michael Jordan returned from baseball to a league where everybody was essentially shooting corner threes because the league, fearing that PPG would decrease, moved the three point line in.  This made Jordan (not a particularly great 3 point shooter) a good three point shooter for two or three years.

 

Who cares?

 

Quote

Who cares?

 

I do. Jordan's Bulls never phoned it in, even in the regular season when they had nothing left to prove. LeBron's teams sit around, play half speed, and photobomb each other for three months out of the year. You want to be the best, you gotta be the best all season long.

 

Quote

I brought this up earlier in the thread and I'll bring it up again.  When Jordan was playing baseball, the Bulls were a phantom call against Scottie Pippen away from being up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Knicks (they won game 6).  Jordan left the Bulls and they went from 57 wins to 55.  Say what you want about LeBron and his super teams, none of them were sniffing the Finals without him.  The Cavaliers went from 61 wins to 19 while Miami went from 54 to 37.  You can asterisk that last one since Bosh missed a chunk of the season, but still, it's clear teams regressed significantly without LeBron.  Again, this did not happen with Jordan.

 

Phoenix went from 54 wins in 2010 to 40 wins in 2011 after Stoudemire walked. By this logic, Amare Stoudemire is better than Michael Jordan.

 

Quote

Why?  He's already played two more seasons than Jordan did with the Bulls.  Jordan had regressed in his 13th season -- LeBron in his 15th season is playing some of his best basketball and might be having the single greatest postseason by an individual player the NBA has ever seen.

 

Because Jordan has more rings and his performance outclasses LeBron. LeBron would have to do what he does for a significantly longer period of time to make up the difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about this: Jordan and LeBron are two of the greatest of all-time. End of story. End of debate. For the love of god and all our sanity lets move on. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/28/2018 at 7:47 PM, the admiral said:

I still like the Warriors, even if the owner is a stupid prick who would do things like give a TED Talk where he just puts the word "Disruptioneering" on a PowerPoint slide and stands there for an hour.

giphy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, who do you think said:
Quote

"Just about".

 

Yeah, since assists require a FG, creating two more FGs for your teammates makes up for at least the four point difference in scoring between the two.  LeBron's game is about more than scoring -- his greatest strength might be his vision and awareness of what's going on on the court.  The least you can do is account for this fact when comparing the two players.

 

Quote

If you want to bring rebounds into the equation, you can also bring steals into the equation, since they have the same result - a possession gained for their team. Jordan averages almost 1 full steal more than LeBron for his career (and slightly over 1 steal more for each of their top six seasons in that category).

 

Maybe we can go a step further and bring turnovers into the fray as well, since they have the inverse result - a possession for the *other* team. LeBron averages almost 1 turnover more per game than Jordan for their careers and LeBron has never averaged fewer than 3 turnovers a game, while Jordan has only averaged 3 or more turnovers in a season on five occasions.

 

Total up career rebounds per game and career steals per game, subtract the career turnovers per game, and Jordan comes out ahead.

 

Sure, but don't forget to account for LeBron's superior FG% (despite taking more 3's) and needing less shots per game to be as effective.

 

Quote

So Jordan is better, but if you cross your eyes when looking at the stat book and start saying "what if", it kinda looks like LeBron is better.

 

Or... Jordan's statistics look better but if you control for a variable that allowed Jordan to have more opportunities to score/assist/rebound every game, they actually aren't better.

 

You're analyzing statistics without even doing the bare minimum you can do to control for a variable that has a huge impact on those statistics (literally the bare minimum, basketball reference even has a Per 100 Possessions category).  That makes your analysis meaningless.

 

Do you really not understand that if you have two players and Player A gets 100 possessions per game and Player B gets 90, it's easier for Player A to score more points because he has more opportunities?

 

Quote

Boo hoo. Jordan had to play when hand checking was legal.

 

 

nba_g_lebron-james_mb_576.jpg

2013_06_06_09_00_24.jpg

 

 

Because LeBron's never been hand checked.

 

Fun fact: The hand checking rule was introduced because the allowance of zone defenses made it too easy to defend.  So, LeBron having to deal with zone defenses is more limiting than dealing with hand checking.  There's a reason star players complained when the NBA allowed teams to play zone defense.  But don't take my word for it.  Jordan, who famously said that if zone defenses were legal he never would have had the career he had, also once said:


"I never liked zones.  I felt like that's a lazy way to play defense and with them, you can eliminate a lot of the stars making things happen."

 

LeBron's 6'8", 250 by the way.  If hand checking him is what you're relying on to defend him, you might as well just start walking back to your offensive end.

 

Hand checking... gtfo.  You couldn't breathe on Jordan without getting called for a foul.

 

Quote

Who cares?

 

You're arguing that Jordan's better because he scored more points and you don't think it's relevant that a rule change made it easier for Jordan to score more points?

 

Quote

I do. Jordan's Bulls never phoned it in, even in the regular season when they had nothing left to prove. LeBron's teams sit around, play half speed, and photobomb each other for three months out of the year. You want to be the best, you gotta be the best all season long.

 

Jordan also played in a watered down league on loaded teams at the end of his career, but whatever.

 

Quote

Phoenix went from 54 wins in 2010 to 40 wins in 2011 after Stoudemire walked. By this logic, Amare Stoudemire is better than Michael Jordan.

 

Well, the Suns also lost Goran Dragic, Jason Richardson, Leandro Barbosa, and Hedo Turkoglu (among, like, 8 others), so that's not really the same.  The point is you're using team accomplishments to argue individual greatness even though the team was damn near capable of achieving just as much without him.

 

Quote

Because Jordan has more rings and his performance outclasses LeBron. LeBron would have to do what he does for a significantly longer period of time to make up the difference.

 

Only if you omit the stats that don't support your case.

 

And Robert Horry, a perfectly fine player, has more rings than Jordan.  You've chosen the laziest possible way of comparing two players.  Congrats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the longest episode of First Take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least Game 1 is tomorrow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So on one hand, we now have "LeBron's teams weren't as good as Jordan's in the regular season" as a pro-Jordan argument.

 

On the other, we have "actually, 60- and 59-win teams are garbage" as an anti-LeBron argument.

 

I think I'm just gonna step out for a little while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm enjoying what I'm reading. I like fact-based arguments with nuance.  Some of you are trying to ignore that nuance, but that's a you problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

👀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would it be fair to say that Magic was the best player of the 80s, Jordan the 90s, Kobe the 00s and Lebron the 10s? No? Too bad, I'm gonna do it anyways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now