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2019-20 NBA Thread of Threads

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Just now, DEAD! said:

I recall this whole "rings" debate when comparing Brady to Montana, which is now a moot point as Brady has passed Montana in rings. Jordan went to six finals and won them all, but it also meant failing to get to the finals in all the other years. Magic Johnson played about 12+ seasons and went to 9 finals. In some respects, I wished I had Magic's career over Jordan's. 

 

Magic Johnson is criminally underrepresented in these GOAT convos. Before MJ made the NBA a global brand, Magic (with Bird) rescued the league from being scrapped in the 80s.

 

My top ten list!

 

1. LeBron

2. MJ

3. Kareem

4. Magic

5. Russell

6. Kobe

7. Duncan

8. Bird

9. Wilt

10. Shaq

 

It'll change tomorrow. Isaiah Thomas is up there somewhere too.

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11 minutes ago, DEAD! said:

I recall this whole "rings" debate when comparing Brady to Montana, which is now a moot point as Brady has passed Montana in rings. Jordan went to six finals and won them all, but it also meant failing to get to the finals in all the other years. Magic Johnson played about 12+ seasons and went to 9 finals. In some respects, I wished I had Magic's career over Jordan's. 

Yeah, back when Brady was like 4-2 (even 4-3?) I argued that 4-2 was better than 4-0.  But it's surprising how many people don't see it that way.

 

So LeBron is 4-6.  Is that better than Kobe's 5-2?  It's an interesting question, whether the three extra appearances make up for one less title.  Probably not, but to me the comparison gets tricky and fruitless because of other circumstances.

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Who really is not getting the credit he's due is Frank Vogel.  He went from being the back-to-the-drawing-board fallback option after Lue spurned them and opted to sit behind Doc Rivers to winning a title in his first year at the helm of a team that won the title in arguably the most difficult circumstances in league, if not American sports, history.

 

Also lost is that in hindsight it took Jeannie's family coup and Magic taking his ball (and drama) home with him to bring the team back to prominence.  To think that there was talk last season that Pelinka was the organizational cancer.

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25 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

It'll change tomorrow. Isaiah Thomas is up there somewhere too.

Ok, I will let this slide because I know who you meant. 

 

12 minutes ago, LMU said:

Who really is not getting the credit he's due is Frank Vogel.  He went from being the back-to-the-drawing-board fallback option after Lue spurned them and opted to sit behind Doc Rivers to winning a title in his first year at the helm of a team that won the title in arguably the most difficult circumstances in league, if not American sports, history.

 

Also lost is that in hindsight it took Jeannie's family coup and Magic taking his ball (and drama) home with him to bring the team back to prominence.  To think that there was talk last season that Pelinka was the organizational cancer.

 

Vogel should get a lot of credit as well. It is telling that LeBron never said anything to undermine Frank (that I can recall). It meant LeBron had enough respect and faith in him to guide the team. 

In hindsight, it was pretty hilarious how Magic left and when. I have to give Jeannie credit and realize last season  (and the previous 5) may  not but great, but still kept her cool and trusted her staff (and LeBron) were doing the right thing. 

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AEW (with their relationship with TNT) should have jumped the gun here. Plus AEW has the nicer title!

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15 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

AEW (with their relationship with TNT) should have jumped the gun here. Plus AEW has the nicer title!

 

It was so much more fun when Rasheed Wallace brought out the "Big Gold" for the Pistons 2004 title. 

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3 minutes ago, DEAD! said:

 

It was so much more fun when Rasheed Wallace brought out the "Big Gold" for the Pistons 2004 title. 

 

True -- that was organic and interesting and more fun. Also, the Big Gold is way more impressive than the logo belt.

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20 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

True -- that was organic and interesting and more fun. Also, the Big Gold is way more impressive than the logo belt.

 

I often think leagues should come up with their own belt so they can leave out the WWE's opportunistic marketing sham of a corproate prop. 

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1 hour ago, DEAD! said:

 

I often think leagues should come up with their own belt so they can leave out the WWE's opportunistic marketing sham of a corproate prop. 

the Lightning had a custom NHL belt when they won the Cup

BeltCelebration_300x300.jpg?v=1601387633

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On 10/12/2020 at 12:13 PM, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

Magic Johnson is criminally underrepresented in these GOAT convos. Before MJ made the NBA a global brand, Magic (with Bird) rescued the league from being scrapped in the 80s.

 

My top ten list!

 

1. LeBron

2. MJ

3. Kareem

4. Magic

5. Russell

6. Kobe

7. Duncan

8. Bird

9. Wilt

10. Shaq

 

It'll change tomorrow. Isaiah Thomas is up there somewhere too.

Solid list.  I might have them in a different order but a case can be made for pretty much any combination for the top 5.  Jerry West sadly was left out, but had it been not ring-dependent, West would definitely take one of those spots.  Curry and Durant are great but not there yet.  Except for Duncan, everyone on your list either played for or against the Lakers in the Finals at least once.

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32 minutes ago, sayahh said:

Solid list.  I might have them in a different order but a case can be made for pretty much any combination for the top 5.  Jerry West sadly was left out, but had it been not ring-dependent, West would definitely take one of those spots.  Curry and Durant are great but not there yet.  Except for Duncan, everyone on your list either played for or against the Lakers in the Finals at least once.

 

Durant is probably top 15 of all time.

 

I have a difficult time ranking Steph. Yes, he's incredibly talent. He's also benefited from the greatest roster construction of all time. In contrast to MJ, LeBron, and KD, I don't know you can drop Steph onto any team and be competitive. All the other guys in my top 10, I think you can.

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42 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

Durant is probably top 15 of all time.

 

I have a difficult time ranking Steph. Yes, he's incredibly talent. He's also benefited from the greatest roster construction of all time. In contrast to MJ, LeBron, and KD, I don't know you can drop Steph onto any team and be competitive. All the other guys in my top 10, I think you can.

 

Playing devil's advocate, MJ never won a title without Pippen; LBJ won with the big 3 (and a clutch shot from Allen) in Miami, with AD (and a bunch of players who've played or won in previous NBA Finals) in LA, and with Kyrie and Love in Cleveland (his title with the Cavs was impressive, though conspiracy theorists and gamblers would point to Draymond Green's suspension as fishy); and KD couldn't win with Harden, Westbrook, Perkins and Davis but almost beat the Warriors until they blew it.  KD is that good, though, barring injury. (But then every team is an injury away from losing: Miami with their two injuries, Curry and Thompson taking turns getting hurt, LeBron last year, Giannis not 100%, PG-13 or Leonard, etc.)

 

Top 10 lists are fun and always subjective and hypothetical and thus always the best way to start an argument or a fight LOL.  People will always be biased toward their favorite team or era, and Celtics players dominated the NBA Top 50 list in 1996, but Lakers players starting to catch up, but again, very ring dependent.

 

I like the number of Finals MVPs won: the top five players with the most Finals MVP trophies would make a formidable, if not almost unbeatable, all-time team: LeBron, Duncan, Shaq, Jordan and Magic.  Bill Russell does not have 1 despite having won 11 titles because they didn't give them out until 1969 or something, and I would take him either over LeBron or Duncan in the front court as a starting 5.

 

The next 7 would make up a roster of 12 players (13 if you include Russell), each having won 2 Finals MVPs, Willis Reed, Kareem, Bird, Olajuwon, Kobe, Durant and Leonard.  Wilt, Moses Malone and either Curry, Nash or Iguodala and Nowitzki would really round out the bench and backcourt.

 

The NBA Top 75 list should be fantastic.

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They literally changed multiple rules, including the floor to make it fair to play against Wilt.  I'm not sure a center can be the "best overall" player, but I'm not sure how someone as dominant as him can be far from the top.  

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23 minutes ago, BBTV said:

They literally changed multiple rules, including the floor to make it fair to play against Wilt.  I'm not sure a center can be the "best overall" player, but I'm not sure how someone as dominant as him can be far from the top.  

 

You're right. He was the LeBron of his time -- clearly the best, most dominant player but unable to get over the hump against the best assemblage of talent in Boston. We underrate Magic and we make Wilt a punchline. It's not fair.

 

@sayahh -- good points. For me, the difference between Steph and everyone else is that Steph was never the best player in an NBA Finals. LeBron, MJ, and KD have been. And AD was the best player in at least one Finals game; maybe two.

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32 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

You're right. He was the LeBron of his time -- clearly the best, most dominant player but unable to get over the hump against the best assemblage of talent in Boston. We underrate Magic and we make Wilt a punchline. It's not fair.

 

@sayahh -- good points. For me, the difference between Steph and everyone else is that Steph was never the best player in an NBA Finals. LeBron, MJ, and KD have been. And AD was the best player in at least one Finals game; maybe two.

 

Wilt: overrated and underrated at the same time.  The league had to change the rules for Mikan, Russell, Chamberlain, Wilt and Shaq.  They are really game changing giants of the game.  The game has changed and evolved, especially after the introduction of the 3-pt. line and zone defense, but there is no question that players like Wilt, Baylor, Oscar Robertson and many others paved the way for all the superstars that came after them.

 

The emphasis has switched away from iso/hero ball, which is why Harden and Westbrook have struggled and Curry has succeeded.  Curry plays team ball and is a facilitator, like Stockton is with Karl Malone, except Curry can also draw multiple defenders because he is deadly anywhere on the court, can drive and can dish dimes.  He doesn't have to be, nor will he ever be, physically as dominant as Blake Griffin, Barkley, Ewing, Karl Malone or David Thompson, but that's not who or what he is, and those named have never won NBA titles as players.  His free throw and 3pt. percentages are insane; if Shaq and Wilt shot as well as he does at the charity stripe they'd each have at least 3 more rings.

 

I mean I love Chauncey Billups. He's a NBA champ, a Finals MVP and defeated a Lakers team with 4 HOFrs, no less. (Five if you count Phil Jackson.) Like Rip Hamilton and Ben Wallace, he doesn't have to draw defenders and be the big dog or alpha male, but I'd probably still take Curry over him when both are healthy and in their prime. He does what he needs to do and asked of him.  He will defer to Klay Thompson and KD, just like LeBron would've deferred to AD, except AD got hurt.  There is no right or wrong answer and if the best Curry teams played the best Cavs team 100 times and each won 50 times, we would be no closer to knowing who is better because this isn't an individual sport like boxing, tennis, golf or MMA. Hardware is great, but a ring is better.  Just ask Sir Charles. 

 

Just glad nobody died from COVID-19 in the bubble.  

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On 10/14/2020 at 6:55 PM, DG_ThenNowForever said:

The Jared Dudley interview on today's Bill Simmons podcast is incredible.


Completely agree. I never knew how good of an interview Jared Dudley was. That s*** was captivating. I’d love to listen to more of his stories/insights. 

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