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The Gipper

LeBron The Greatest of All Time?

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Here is a clue for you all: whether you think LeBron is or is not the greatest of all time, which is arguable, I have NEVER been one to believe that Michael Jordan should have EVER been considered the best ever. Even when he was playing and winning titles I ALWAYS thought that Magic, Russell, and Wilt were better players....and maybe Jabbar.

LeBron is definitely in the running though. NO player has ever been as versatile as he. He has Magic's court sense with Jordan's athleticism with Karl Malone's strength.

 

Consider: NO ONE has ever brought his team back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals. NO ONE has ever led all players in the Finals in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals.

 

Also, except for the Celtic Dynasty players, no one has ever appeared in 6 consecutive Finals....and none ever with two different teams.

 

Also, in my opinion, Jordan NEVER had to play the competition in the Finals that LeBron had to face. Jordan NEVER played teams that were as good as the Spurs and the Warriors. The best they played were the Jazz with Stockton and Malone....a team that I think nowhere compares to the Spurs and Warriors the Cavs/LeBron had to play. The only team that LeBron played that was perhaps on a par with Jordan's finals opponents was the Dallas Mavs. And yes, he lost, but he did get to the Finals. Jordan's losses came in his own conference, primarily against the Pistons and Celtics. It took Jordan 7 years to reach his first finals. It took LeBron only 4. ...and Jordan only played in 6... yes, winning them all. But LeBron has already played in 7...at age 31.

 

So, I know that there are a lot out that the worship at the altar of Michael Jordan...but in my opinion he actually only won his first title because the Bulls played a Magicless Laker team in 1991 after Magics HIV retirement. Magic would have won that matchup. (and Jordan never faced a team as good as the Bird Celtic teams in the finals either)

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So, if you asked me to put together an all time position by position team, here is what I would do:

 

Point Guard: Magic Johnson first team, Oscar Robertson second team

Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan first team, Kobe Bryant, second team

Small Forward: LeBron James first team, Larry Bird, second team

Power Forward: Bill Russell, first team, Tim Duncan, second team

Center: Wilt Chamberlain first team, Kareem, second team

 

I know. Russell played center. But I saw him play, and he played the position about the same way as Duncan does who is a hybrid C/PF. So I put him there.

 

And the Big O is #6 all time in assists. He was just a "guard", who could play any of a number of positions....kinda like LeBron. So I put him behind Magic at point.

Do your own if you would like.

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I pretty much agree with everything you say and believe he'll go down as the GOAT when it's all said and done. In my mind he already is, but he still has plenty of time left to remove the remaining doubt.

 

He's the most versatile to ever play the game, for sure. The way he single handedly elevated the pre-decision Cavs teams to contenders is something I'm not so sure anybody else could have done - since then he's had much better teams around him, obviously.

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I'm a life-long NBA fan (mostly a NBA Playoffs fan aka, the best basketball in the world), but I'm only 31 years old. I know the history, and I've seen the highlights, but I'm not married to any of the "old school" greats. I do know that the NBA Playoffs, and especially the Finals are where great players show up, or disappear. Based on career playoff performances, I would set my roster as such:

 

Starting Lineup (and these guys all deserve better position names than PG, PF, etc... and only need 1 name)

Facilitator - Magic - 3 Finals MVP's. (19.5 pts, 12.3 ast, 7.7 reb, 1.9 stl, 50.6% FG)

Finisher - Jordan - 6 Finals MVP's. (33.4 pts, 6.4 reb, 5.7 ast, 2.1 stl, 48.7% FG)

Point Forward - Lebron - 3 Finals MVP's. (28 pts, 8.8 reb, 6.8 ast, 1.8 stl, 47.8% FG)

Rim Protector- Wilt - 1 Finals MVP. (22.5 pts, 24.5 reb, 4.2 ast, 52.2% FG)

Dominator - Shaq - 3 Finals MVP's. (24.3 pts, 11.6 reb, 2.7 ast, 2.1 blk, 56.3% FG)

 

Bench:

Unguardable - Kareem - 2 Finals MVP's. (24.3 pts, 10.5 reb, 3.2 ast, 2.4 blk, 53.3% FG)

Mr. Fundamental - Duncan - 3 Finals MVP's. (20.6 pts, 11.4 reb, 3 ast, 2.3 blk, 50.1% FG)

The MVP - Russell - MVP Named after him. (16.2 pts, 24.9 reb, 4.7 ast, 43% FG)

Doctor - Erving - 2 ABA Playoffs MVP. (24.2 pts, 8.5 reb, 4.4 ast, 49.6% FG)

Pure Shooter - Bird - 2 Finals MVP's. (23.8 pts, 10.3 reb, 6.5 ast, 1.8 stl, 47.2% FG)

Assassin- Kobe - 2 Finals MVP's. (25.6 pts, 5.1 reb, 4.7 ast, 44.8% FG)

The Logo - West - 1 Finals MVP. (29.1 pts, 6.3 ast, 5.6 reb, 46.9% FG)

 

I watched Shaq his whole career so maybe I'm a little biased, but based on the stats he's the guy at C. I've never watched a player be so dominant, and I think he's one of the most underrated guys in the "all-time great" conversations. Also, to compare all-time greats it's hard to compare guys who played different positions. You never hear NFL guys asking "Who's the greatest of all-time, Montana, LT, or Rice?" Or, "Who's the best, Mays, or Koufax?" Why do people even bother doing this in basketball?

 

Comparing Lebron to Jordan is like comparing a WR to a QB... it's damn-near impossible. The only guys you can really compare Lebron to in NBA history are Magic, Bird, and Dr.J - and I'd put Lebron ahead of all 3.

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Gip I like what your saying . However.. The reality is I think Jordan faced harder defenses back then.. today.. it would like letting him steal candy with all the rules in place now..

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Gip I like what your saying . However.. The reality is I think Jordan faced harder defenses back then.. today.. it would like letting him steal candy with all the rules in place now..

I don't think they were harder defenses per se at all. I just think that the rules back then allowed more physical contact.

 

But, don't forget...while those defenses were harder overall, The Jordan Rules were in place which disallowed playing defense on him that was allowed to most others. So I don't think the defenses on him would have been much changed at all in today's game.

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I'm a life-long NBA fan (mostly a NBA Playoffs fan aka, the best basketball in the world), but I'm only 31 years old. I know the history, and I've seen the highlights, but I'm not married to any of the "old school" greats. I do know that the NBA Playoffs, and especially the Finals are where great players show up, or disappear. Based on career playoff performances, I would set my roster as such:

 

Starting Lineup (and these guys all deserve better position names than PG, PF, etc... and only need 1 name)

Facilitator - Magic - 3 Finals MVP's. (19.5 pts, 12.3 ast, 7.7 reb, 1.9 stl, 50.6% FG)

Finisher - Jordan - 6 Finals MVP's. (33.4 pts, 6.4 reb, 5.7 ast, 2.1 stl, 48.7% FG)

Point Forward - Lebron - 3 Finals MVP's. (28 pts, 8.8 reb, 6.8 ast, 1.8 stl, 47.8% FG)

Rim Protector- Wilt - 1 Finals MVP. (22.5 pts, 24.5 reb, 4.2 ast, 52.2% FG)

Dominator - Shaq - 3 Finals MVP's. (24.3 pts, 11.6 reb, 2.7 ast, 2.1 blk, 56.3% FG)

 

Bench:

Unguardable - Kareem - 2 Finals MVP's. (24.3 pts, 10.5 reb, 3.2 ast, 2.4 blk, 53.3% FG)

Mr. Fundamental - Duncan - 3 Finals MVP's. (20.6 pts, 11.4 reb, 3 ast, 2.3 blk, 50.1% FG)

The MVP - Russell - MVP Named after him. (16.2 pts, 24.9 reb, 4.7 ast, 43% FG)

Doctor - Erving - 2 ABA Playoffs MVP. (24.2 pts, 8.5 reb, 4.4 ast, 49.6% FG)

Pure Shooter - Bird - 2 Finals MVP's. (23.8 pts, 10.3 reb, 6.5 ast, 1.8 stl, 47.2% FG)

Assassin- Kobe - 2 Finals MVP's. (25.6 pts, 5.1 reb, 4.7 ast, 44.8% FG)

The Logo - West - 1 Finals MVP. (29.1 pts, 6.3 ast, 5.6 reb, 46.9% FG)

 

I watched Shaq his whole career so maybe I'm a little biased, but based on the stats he's the guy at C. I've never watched a player be so dominant, and I think he's one of the most underrated guys in the "all-time great" conversations. Also, to compare all-time greats it's hard to compare guys who played different positions. You never hear NFL guys asking "Who's the greatest of all-time, Montana, LT, or Rice?" Or, "Who's the best, Mays, or Koufax?" Why do people even bother doing this in basketball?

 

Comparing Lebron to Jordan is like comparing a WR to a QB... it's damn-near impossible. The only guys you can really compare Lebron to in NBA history are Magic, Bird, and Dr.J - and I'd put Lebron ahead of all 3.

Last time I looked though they don't play 7 men on the floor...so your second team might get a technical called on it.

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GOAT is MJ but Lebron has gained some serious ground on the field. Magic Johnson was awesome, this coming from a Bird guy, as was Kobe in my watching history.

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I don't think they were harder defenses per se at all. I just think that the rules back then allowed more physical contact.

 

But, don't forget...while those defenses were harder overall, The Jordan Rules were in place which disallowed playing defense on him that was allowed to most others. So I don't think the defenses on him would have been much changed at all in today's game.

Fair point.

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Gip I like what your saying . However.. The reality is I think Jordan faced harder defenses back then.. today.. it would like letting him steal candy with all the rules in place now..

 

Jordan also didn't have to dribble once he got past mid court, and palming the ball was OK.

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Jordan by far.

 

This was discussed on ESPN. Only if you want to count Finals records 6-0 vs 3-4, and Finals MVPs. LeBron is the more complete player-by far. I have little doubt He'll eventually pass Jordan in points. He's already ahead of him in rebounds and assists. James is First Ballot HOF- even if he never played another game.

 

Same argument is Joe Montana the Greatest QB of all time because he's 4-0 in Super Bowl wins.

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This was discussed on ESPN. Only if you want to count Finals records 6-0 vs 3-4, and Finals MVPs. LeBron is the more complete player-by far. I have little doubt He'll eventually pass Jordan in points. He's already ahead of him in rebounds and assists. James is First Ballot HOF- even if he never played another game.

 

Same argument is Joe Montana the Greatest QB of all time because he's 4-0 in Super Bowl wins.

Not only that.. it's likely James will win the 4th.. maybe a 5th title.. that will put him ahead of Jordan by Me.

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30.1 ppg regular season

33.4 ppg playoffs

 

Lebron not getting there any time soon, period. Guys enjoy the Championship, savor the moment. These discussions can happen later.

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This was discussed on ESPN. Only if you want to count Finals records 6-0 vs 3-4, and Finals MVPs. LeBron is the more complete player-by far. I have little doubt He'll eventually pass Jordan in points. He's already ahead of him in rebounds and assists. James is First Ballot HOF- even if he never played another game.

 

Same argument is Joe Montana the Greatest QB of all time because he's 4-0 in Super Bowl wins.

Brady > Montana

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From purely a skill standpoint, michael and kobe are still the greatest.

Kobe is #3

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From purely a skill standpoint, michael and kobe are still the greatest.

If the only skill you are talking about is scoring....but LeBron's skills, as I am sure you are aware go well beyond just scoring.

(If he wanted to just score like MJ and Kobe, he could do that.)

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L James has played in the last SEVEN straight finals.

Only 6 straight.....7 overall.

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Lebrons scoring now comes primarlily from muscling his way to the basket. His shot is night to night now. Lebrons a beyter passer than those guys sure, but we all saw how the warriors baited him into passing and jumping those lanes.

 

If all 3 came out in the draft next year, knowing what we know, i would still take jordan. And only because we know kobe has clashed more with teammates. From a pure skill standpoint i still wouldnt know who to take between kobe and jordan.

 

I would take lebron over them only if i already had other pieces in place that he would fit better with

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Lebrons scoring now comes primarlily from muscling his way to the basket. His shot is night to night now. Lebrons a beyter passer than those guys sure, but we all saw how the warriors baited him into passing and jumping those lanes.

 

If all 3 came out in the draft next year, knowing what we know, i would still take jordan. And only because we know kobe has clashed more with teammates. From a pure skill standpoint i still wouldnt know who to take between kobe and jordan.

 

I would take lebron over them only if i already had other pieces in place that he would fit better with

Well. Sorry. You're wrong.

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If the only skill you are talking about is scoring....but LeBron's skills, as I am sure you are aware go well beyond just scoring.

(If he wanted to just score like MJ and Kobe, he could do that.)

 

Sure could- he'd be another Karl Malone if he wanted to. Malone had Stockton with him for years- and failed to win a Ring. Just like Curry is better than LeBron because he puts more balls through the hoop.

 

Regarding Kobe- prime a-hole, might have a few more rings if he didn't run Shaq out of town. & he really carried the Lakers this year to a 17 win season.

 

As a complete player- no one else (currently) is close to LeBron. They have to go back to Oscar Robertson for comparisons. James has already passed Jordan and Kobe in rebounds and assists. You might argue Jordan would hold better stats if he hadn't sat out for 4 seasons- but he did. I'll concede that Jordan is still the GOAT. But with this win, LeBron put himself in the conversation for top 5- and he's far from done yet IMHO. 2016-2017 he's almost certain to pass Shaq for #7 all time in points. Barring injury, and playing until he's a shadow of himself (like Jerry Rice did in football) Kareem's point record might be attainable- and that's not me talking- it's a couple of other supposed experts saying that.

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