Where does LeBron rank...

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no matter your roster construct, Jordan fits the roster…you always have room for guys on that level. I get what you’re saying, but think of it more like if you were on the playground and you were a team captain and had the first pick….and Jordan and lebron happen to be there…who you picking?

while I also agree it’s hard to compare the different generations, it’s more so due to rules differences when comparing Jordan and lebron. Comparing Jordan and the 3 guys you listed is tough because those 3 guys are big men and Jordan is not. While lebron is a bigger guy than Jordan, their games are a lot easier to compare imo than Jordan to Wilt for example.

and of course Jackson and Krause deserve credit. But let’s be real, Jordan was the key piece of the puzzle. And yeah, you’d have to say lebron has done as much as he possibly could with the hands he was dealt, as most of the hands he’s been dealt were dealt to him by himself….i.e. - running to Miami, then running back to Cleveland when bosh and wade weren’t working anymore to play with kyrie, then running to LA.

Just to chat, Jackson has had success away from Jordan. Jordan hasn't really has success away from Phil. I'm not saying it was all Phil, but compare that to LeBron where he's had many GMs, coaches and teammates. He always made it work.
 

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Nah, Kobe isn't even top 5.

I think he's been overrated since he died.
As Enasic said, he was overrated before he died.

Kobe gets a lot of benefit of the doubt with his rankings. He had the same killer/competitive drive that Jordan had, but he was way less talented than Jordan. His ability to drag his team without another star wasn't there. And perhaps this is a victim of circumstances in that Kobe came to a team with a superstar already present, while Jordan grew with a team organically and developed along the way.

Kobe's best seasons are when his Lakers were a 1st round exit team. LeBron by comparison has dragged rather awful teams deep into the playoffs, and yes I know the west was better than the east, but my statement stands.

Also, Kobe didn't have the big playoff moments like others.. perhaps a victim of circumstance. Of all the Lakers playoff moments I can think of, these are the big ones in chronological order:
1) Kobe throwing an alley oop to Shaq to put away the Blazers in Game 7 in 2000
2) Robert Horry three pointer vs Sacramento in Game 4 2002 WCF to tie the series
3) Derek Fisher making the buzzer beater shot in Game 5 2004 Semifinals
4) Kobe hitting buzzer beater shot in Game 4 vs Phoenix to go up 3-1 in the series in 2006 1st round. Lakers would blow the 3-1 lead and lose the series.
5) Derek Fisher tying the game in Game 4 2009 Finals to send it into OT, Lakers would win to take a 3-1 series lead over Orlando. They would win the next game easily.
6) Ron Artest snatching a Kobe Bryant airball and tipping it in at the buzzer to win Game 5 2010 WCF vs Phoenix. Lakers had command of Game 6 until late in the 4th when Phoenix made a strong push, though was too late. Kobe's contribution was making free throws.

In 2010, on the biggest stage, and biggest game, a game 7 at home Kobe proceeded to shoot 6/24, 0/6 3PT, in an incredibly low scoring game 7 in which the Lakers won 83-79. Kobe contributions in the 4th quarter were minimal, and mainly limited to free throw shooting (where he shot 8/9 in the quarter and 11/15 overall).

Now of course he was a 5 time champion, and much of the Lakers original 3 peat run were really boring series in which games are not very close or are just put away at the free throw line, but any that did get close, Kobe Bryant wasn't really the one making the moment. Same goes for the second run. Kobe absolutely has a lot of great regular season moments, but overall lacked them in the playoffs.

Kobe was a great player, but I agree he's not even top 5. I think recency bias plays a lot into it, and as far as the competitive drive, Kobe is as close to MJ as it gets in modern terms.
 
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Just to chat, Jackson has had success away from Jordan. Jordan hasn't really has success away from Phil. I'm not saying it was all Phil, but compare that to LeBron where he's had many GMs, coaches and teammates. He always made it work.

if jordan had jumped ship in his prime multiple times, I’m sure he would of found success. Example, if jordan had decided to go to the knicks and play with Ewing and co….don’t think he would of found success? Don’t try and knock a guy for not playing the role of mercenary for hire.

and always made it work?! That’s just silly talk. LeFlop fails plenty…as evidenced by his 4-6 finals record. How can you be the goat but lose 6 times in the finals? If you’re the best player ever, you should probably at least have a winning record on the biggest stage
 
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@Scoot26 @Enasic

Yeah, given the sheer number of Laker fans out there, Kobe has always been overrated to some extent.

I know this is kind of anecdotal evidence, but since his death, I've seen him ranked generally higher by people on FB, Twitter, Reddit, etc. Before his death, I'd say I saw him generally ranked anywhere from 7-14. 7 was probably too high, and 14 maybe too low, but now, I rarely see anyone put him outside of the top 10, and many have him either near or in the top 5.

Scoot, I agree with what you said in your post. For those reasons, and the qualifications of other players, I'd probably be okay with Kobe being put anywhere between 9-12.
 

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Just to chat, Jackson has had success away from Jordan. Jordan hasn't really has success away from Phil. I'm not saying it was all Phil, but compare that to LeBron where he's had many GMs, coaches and teammates. He always made it work.

Well, MJ didn't need to play for 7 coaches haha.
 

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Just to chat, Jackson has had success away from Jordan. Jordan hasn't really has success away from Phil. I'm not saying it was all Phil, but compare that to LeBron where he's had many GMs, coaches and teammates. He always made it work.
Not sure how this can really be comparable given Jordan was out of his prime with the Wizards and Shaq didn't sign up to join Jordan in Washington.

Jordan took the Bulls to the ECF with Doug Collins, who was then fired because Krause didn't think he had it, and then Jackson and the Bulls went to the same place and lost in the ECF before breaking through the next season.
 

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if jordan had jumped ship in his prime multiple times, I’m sure he would of found success. Example, if jordan had decided to go to the knicks and play with Ewing and co….don’t think he would of found success? Don’t try and knock a guy for not playing the role of mercenary for hire.

and always made it work?! That’s just silly talk. LeFlop fails plenty…as evidenced by his 4-6 finals record. How can you be the goat but lose 6 times in the finals? If you’re the best player ever, you should probably at least have a winning record on the biggest stage

I'd actually say James' ability to move to other team and have the power he does came directly from players like Jordan not having that power. Jordan's struggles with the front office were discussed in depth in his documentary and both retirements had some linkage to Jordan making a power play.

I'd add, LeBron has faced some super teams. Specifically I'm thinking of the Warriors (Curry, Thompson, Green & KD) and Spurs (Duncan, Ginobili, Parker & Leonard). In their prime those were extremely impressive dynasties. I'm trying to think back to who had that in Jordan's era and I keep coming up with a blank. Some great teams that had two stars like the Jazz (Malone/Stockton), Sonics (Kemp/Payton), Knicks (Ewing/Houston), but the closest thing would have been the Hakeem/Drexler/Cassel Rockets, but they really happened after Jordan retired for the second time.
 

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I'd actually say James' ability to move to other team and have the power he does came directly from players like Jordan not having that power. Jordan's struggles with the front office were discussed in depth in his documentary and both retirements had some linkage to Jordan making a power play.

I'd add, LeBron has faced some super teams. Specifically I'm thinking of the Warriors (Curry, Thompson, Green & KD) and Spurs (Duncan, Ginobili, Parker & Leonard). In their prime those were extremely impressive dynasties. I'm trying to think back to who had that in Jordan's era and I keep coming up with a blank. Some great teams that had two stars like the Jazz (Malone/Stockton), Sonics (Kemp/Payton), Knicks (Ewing/Houston), but the closest thing would have been the Hakeem/Drexler/Cassel Rockets, but they really happened after Jordan retired for the second time.

Jordan WAS the dynasty of his time. You made my point for me…lebron was never a part of a dynasty. He was the one getting beaten by dynasties. Jordan created a dynasty that kept numerous hall of fame players from ever getting a ring.

and your history is off. The rockets won back to back titles after Jordan’s first retirement. Then Jordan came back and won 3 more titles and guess who didn’t make a finals run at that point? The rockets.

really all you’ve done is put lebron more in the category with guys like those teams Jordan routinely beat down
 

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I'd actually say James' ability to move to other team and have the power he does came directly from players like Jordan not having that power. Jordan's struggles with the front office were discussed in depth in his documentary and both retirements had some linkage to Jordan making a power play.

I'd add, LeBron has faced some super teams. Specifically I'm thinking of the Warriors (Curry, Thompson, Green & KD) and Spurs (Duncan, Ginobili, Parker & Leonard). In their prime those were extremely impressive dynasties. I'm trying to think back to who had that in Jordan's era and I keep coming up with a blank. Some great teams that had two stars like the Jazz (Malone/Stockton), Sonics (Kemp/Payton), Knicks (Ewing/Houston), but the closest thing would have been the Hakeem/Drexler/Cassel Rockets, but they really happened after Jordan retired for the second time.
In the 90s the west often beat itself to death prior to getting to the Finals. The early 90s east was a bit tough, but the late 90s east was meh. LeBron's entire existence in the East was weak. The West was always strong though.

In the early 90s, Jordan had to bust through the defending champion Pistons, the Knicks gave them some problems, though I actually view the Knicks as quite overrated, but they were a great defensive team. In the 91 Finals they face the final act of Magic Johnson and the showtime Lakers. The Portland team was Drexler and then a bunch of well rounded guys. The Suns were pretty good prior to Barkley showing up, Barkley just took them next level. The Bulls did miss ever having to face Olajuwon, who may have been a real problem for them, we will never know. Every other western team they faced in the Finals never had a superstar center, just like them. Those matchups always favored the Bulls. The Bulls demolished Shaq and Penny in the 96 ECF. They beat the Payton/Kemp duo pretty handily. Stockton/Malone finally break through in the west, but and gave the Bulls a competitive series certainly.

LeBron first busted through with a pathetic Cavs team in 2007. The rest of the East is rather weak as hell at this time. They were destroyed by the Spurs in the Finals.

LeBron's next trip is with Wade and Bosh vs the last act of Dirk Nowitzki and his rag tag team of role players. Dallas wins this after being down 2-1, ripping off 3 straight wins.

The next year, Miami faces the young trio of Durant-Westbrook-Harden, and pretty handily beat them as the series is not as competitve as people thought it was going to be.

In 2013, they face an aging Spurs team that has a bright light in Kawhi Leonard (not yet a star this season). Duncan is old and more of a role player at this point. Ginobli and Parker are getting up in age as well. The Spurs are a rebound away from winning this series.

In 2014, in a rematch, Kawhi is still not yet an All-Star but improved, but explodes in the Finals and that's is where his light shines. The Spurs demolish the Heat in a 4-1 win. LeBron decides to go home.

Saying he is patient and can't wait for players to develop, LeBron quickly backtracks and trades for Kevin Love. When the season starts and the role players aren't to LeBron's liking, they make several trade for better ones. In the playoffs he loses Love, but still makes the Finals, only to see Kyrie gone down. The Cavs still win Game 3 despite this for a 2-1 series win before the Warriors shoot them out of the rest of the Finals for a 4-2 win.

We get a rematch the next year in which everyone writes off Cleveland and the Warriors do take a 3-1 lead before the Cavs stomp back and force a Game 7, which ends up being the only close game of this series. Kyrie makes the game winner as LeBron makes a bunch of defensive stops but isn't there on the offensive end in the 4th Q of this game.

Durant signs with the Warriors, and the next 2 years we get to watch a repeat as the Warriors destroy the Cavs in the Finals because they just have too much star power. The only surprise really was LeBron taking the Cavs as a 4th seed to the Finals in 2018, but lets be honest, the East still sucks at this point.

In 2018, LeBron leaves home for his acting career and joins a young Lakers team. This time he is unable to get any other star to get moved there and is forced to play with this young crew. They proceed to suck, piss him off, as he's seen not trying numerous times in the season and getting mad at his teammates. The Lakers don't make the playoffs.

In the offseason, the Lakers trade the farm for Anthony Davis. They hope to sign Kawhi Leonard as well, but he signs with the Clippers instead. They sign some role players but proceed to a #1 seed. They then win the bubble ship as the other top teams are taken out by lesser teams as the Lakers get fairly favorable matchups throughout the playoffs. They get the #5 seed Miami Heat in the Finals, a team lacking any superstar at all. May sound like I'm knocking this (and I guess I am) but you can only play who wins prior matchups, the Lakers didn't get to pick their matchups. Just saying , 2020 was a pretty easy road.

In 2021, the Lakers spend most of the season injured as they only had a 7 week offseason, AD gets injured in the 1st round with a 2-1 lead and LeBron quits and the Lakers lose 4-2.
 

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In the 90s the west often beat itself to death prior to getting to the Finals. The early 90s east was a bit tough, but the late 90s east was meh. LeBron's entire existence in the East was weak. The West was always strong though.

In the early 90s, Jordan had to bust through the defending champion Pistons, the Knicks gave them some problems, though I actually view the Knicks as quite overrated, but they were a great defensive team. In the 91 Finals they face the final act of Magic Johnson and the showtime Lakers. The Portland team was Drexler and then a bunch of well rounded guys. The Suns were pretty good prior to Barkley showing up, Barkley just took them next level. The Bulls did miss ever having to face Olajuwon, who may have been a real problem for them, we will never know. Every other western team they faced in the Finals never had a superstar center, just like them. Those matchups always favored the Bulls. The Bulls demolished Shaq and Penny in the 96 ECF. They beat the Payton/Kemp duo pretty handily. Stockton/Malone finally break through in the west, but and gave the Bulls a competitive series certainly.

LeBron first busted through with a pathetic Cavs team in 2007. The rest of the East is rather weak as hell at this time. They were destroyed by the Spurs in the Finals.

LeBron's next trip is with Wade and Bosh vs the last act of Dirk Nowitzki and his rag tag team of role players. Dallas wins this after being down 2-1, ripping off 3 straight wins.

The next year, Miami faces the young trio of Durant-Westbrook-Harden, and pretty handily beat them as the series is not as competitve as people thought it was going to be.

In 2013, they face an aging Spurs team that has a bright light in Kawhi Leonard (not yet a star this season). Duncan is old and more of a role player at this point. Ginobli and Parker are getting up in age as well. The Spurs are a rebound away from winning this series.

In 2014, in a rematch, Kawhi is still not yet an All-Star but improved, but explodes in the Finals and that's is where his light shines. The Spurs demolish the Heat in a 4-1 win. LeBron decides to go home.

Saying he is patient and can't wait for players to develop, LeBron quickly backtracks and trades for Kevin Love. When the season starts and the role players aren't to LeBron's liking, they make several trade for better ones. In the playoffs he loses Love, but still makes the Finals, only to see Kyrie gone down. The Cavs still win Game 3 despite this for a 2-1 series win before the Warriors shoot them out of the rest of the Finals for a 4-2 win.

We get a rematch the next year in which everyone writes off Cleveland and the Warriors do take a 3-1 lead before the Cavs stomp back and force a Game 7, which ends up being the only close game of this series. Kyrie makes the game winner as LeBron makes a bunch of defensive stops but isn't there on the offensive end in the 4th Q of this game.

Durant signs with the Warriors, and the next 2 years we get to watch a repeat as the Warriors destroy the Cavs in the Finals because they just have too much star power. The only surprise really was LeBron taking the Cavs as a 4th seed to the Finals in 2018, but lets be honest, the East still sucks at this point.

In 2018, LeBron leaves home for his acting career and joins a young Lakers team. This time he is unable to get any other star to get moved there and is forced to play with this young crew. They proceed to suck, piss him off, as he's seen not trying numerous times in the season and getting mad at his teammates. The Lakers don't make the playoffs.

In the offseason, the Lakers trade the farm for Anthony Davis. They hope to sign Kawhi Leonard as well, but he signs with the Clippers instead. They sign some role players but proceed to a #1 seed. They then win the bubble ship as the other top teams are taken out by lesser teams as the Lakers get fairly favorable matchups throughout the playoffs. They get the #5 seed Miami Heat in the Finals, a team lacking any superstar at all. May sound like I'm knocking this (and I guess I am) but you can only play who wins prior matchups, the Lakers didn't get to pick their matchups. Just saying , 2020 was a pretty easy road.

In 2021, the Lakers spend most of the season injured as they only had a 7 week offseason, AD gets injured in the 1st round with a 2-1 lead and LeBron quits and the Lakers lose 4-2.
I agree with almost everything you said and even the slight items I'd bring up don't really matter in the larger context of the conversation.

Anyway, with the Bulls they had 3 legit HOFers on the court being Jordan, Pippen and Rodman. It seems like teams that go on long dynasty runs have that. Just thinking of the past dynasties; Bird/McHale/Parrish, Magic/Kareem/Worthy, Jordan/Pippen/Rodman, Hakeem/Drexler/Cassel, James/Wade/Bosh, Duncan/Ginobili/Parker/Leonard, James/Irving/Love, then Curry/Thompson/Green.

This is taking the conversation of Jordan vs. James and taking a big step back at what it takes to win. Jordan (and James) certainly did their part because between them two there are 10 championships, but it's never like either of those players guaranteed a championship on their own. They needed teammates/coaches that helped them reach the heights they did and ultimately they also needed to be a better team than their competition.
 

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Whomst was the 3rd legit hall of famer on the bulls in their first 3 peat then? Oh, that’s right…there wasn’t one
 

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I agree with almost everything you said and even the slight items I'd bring up don't really matter in the larger context of the conversation.

Anyway, with the Bulls they had 3 legit HOFers on the court being Jordan, Pippen and Rodman. It seems like teams that go on long dynasty runs have that. Just thinking of the past dynasties; Bird/McHale/Parrish, Magic/Kareem/Worthy, Jordan/Pippen/Rodman, Hakeem/Drexler/Cassel, James/Wade/Bosh, Duncan/Ginobili/Parker/Leonard, James/Irving/Love, then Curry/Thompson/Green.

This is taking the conversation of Jordan vs. James and taking a big step back at what it takes to win. Jordan (and James) certainly did their part because between them two there are 10 championships, but it's never like either of those players guaranteed a championship on their own. They needed teammates/coaches that helped them reach the heights they did and ultimately they also needed to be a better team than their competition.
Well yes, it's a team game, and obviously having more stars will likely give you more championships. While Rodman is a HOFer, lets not act like he was some superstar at any point. He never made an All-Star team during his three years with the Bulls.

The Celtics and Lakers of the 80s more so "gamed/lucked" into their guys (which I guess is really the name of the game, luck), and more of was a fleecing of stupid desperate franchises in the NBA that led to a bunch of rule changes in the 80s to prevent such things from really happening again.

The Lakers gained Magic Johnson by their aging star (Gail Goodrich) signing as a free agent with the Utah Jazz in 1977, when the rules said if such a thing occurred, the team signing the free agent must give up three 1st round draft picks. The Jazz proceeded to be the worst team in the league in 1979 and while there was a 50-50 chance with a coin flip to determine the #1 pick, the Jazz won that coin flip and thus the Lakers got the #1 pick and Magic Johnson (the Bulls were on the other end of that coin flip). In 1980, the Cavs were owned by a dumbass guy who didn't believe in draft picks and traded all his future picks away for more current guys. This included the 1982 pick to the Lakers, and the Cavs proceeded to be the worst team in the league in 1982. The Lakers had just won the title in 1982 and didn't even need James Worthy.

The Celtics legit sucked enough to draft Larry Bird in 1978, however what dropped Bird to #6 was his returning to college in 1978-79. In 1979, the owner of the Celtics traded all of their 1st round draft picks (they had 3 in a draft that was not very good outside of Magic) over Red Auerbach's objections to the Knicks for All-Star Bob McAdoo.. this owner later that year traded franchises with the Buffalo Braves, and Auerbach then traded Bob McAdoo to the Pistons for their unprotected 1st round pick. The Pistons proceeded to finish last in the league, giving the 61 win Celtics the #1 pick in the 1980 draft. They traded with the stupid Warriors who gave the Celtics the #3 pick and Robert Parish. The Celtics took McHale with the #3 pick, then won the championship in 1981.

The free agency draft pick thing eventually went out the door. Due to the Cavs, the NBA does not allow teams to trade consecutive 1st round picks (swaps are allowed though). Protections were also allowed at some point to picks. The salary cap being added was originally to stop teams from owning so many good players, but then Bird rights became a thing that kind got around a lot of that. But when these two franchises ran their course, there wasn't as easy of a rebuild as past eras for them, though the Lakers kind of once again lucked into a special circumstance when the then CBA allowed 3 year players to be an unrestricted free agents and they signed Shaq away. Then traded Vlade Divac for a high school player named Kobe Bryant. It took until Kobe rose to the occassion for them to win a championship though. And until the LeBron James free agency era, it was rare to see more than two stars together on the same team.

Note on the Rockets, while they did win two ships in a row, hard to truly quantify them as a dynasty. The 93-94 team did not have Drexler, and he came over in a mid-season trade in 1995. Cassell, while a key contributor, was just a rookie in 94, and never exactly a star. He came off the bench in both championship seasons. The 94 Rockets benefited hugely from the Sonics choking again the 8th seeded Nuggets and obviously Jordan being gone. However they still had to get through some tough teams in the West, the previous Finalist the Suns they went to 7 games with, and they faced Stockton/Malone in the conference Finals. The 95 team is more impressive given their regular season struggles ending them as a 6th seed, but then they proceeded to beat Stockton/Malone, Barkley, MVP David Robinson, and then Shaq/Penny in the Finals (in a sweep no less), possibly being the only team in history to ever face that many superstars in the playoffs.

As a basketball fan, I have a love for more organically grown teams versus acquiring them. Today's players probably get the idea that to win, you need other stars to do so. Teaming up is the easiest way to do that rather than relying on a front office to make good draft/trade moves...Organically grown teams are hard to come by as we see teams like the Sixers/Bucks fail year after year. The title the Raptors win in 2019 only happened because they pulled the trigger for one year of Kawhi (and benefited from Golden State being dead).

Teaming up doesn't guarantee anything of course as LeBron lost 2/4 Finals with his superteam, lost 1/4 with his next lesser superteam, and the Nets got injured in the playoffs ending their possibility of such a thing thus far. So I suppose it goes both ways, but we certainly see more champions less organically grown lately than not.
 

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Yeah, the "art" of building a team has died quite a bit in the NBA.

Now, it's really players who decide which team will be good.

Here and there, some GMs do a good job putting together a legit team, but it's no match against 3 superstar players deciding they want to play together.
 

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Yeah, the "art" of building a team has died quite a bit in the NBA.

Now, it's really players who decide which team will be good.

Here and there, some GMs do a good job putting together a legit team, but it's no match against 3 superstar players deciding they want to play together.
Of todays top teams..

Suns are fairly organically grown with Booker and Ayton being drafted. Bridges was a draft day trade. Chris Paul has probably exceeded expectations as an aging star via trade. Crowder was a good FA signing for a role player.

Bucks have Greek and Middleton as their draftees. Holiday was traded for. Lopez is their only real FA signing as no one wants to sign with Milwaukee.

Jazz are organically grown and they lost in the second to a Kawhi-less Clippers team that isn't very organically grown at all.

Philly is sort of a mess of organically grown as Embiid is the only real draft pick of theirs to work out. Simmons just showed he's a failure. Harris was acquired via trade.

Nuggets have Jokic and Murray, pity Murray got hurt as it would be interesting to see what they could have done in the playoffs.

None of these teams above were favored to win a ship this year. It was basically bet as Nets vs Lakers. Clippers were the next highest due to Kawhi. All these teams were basically assembled by the superstar players.

I'd also argue this is ultimately what the NBA (and the average fan) wants because these start studded teams are the only thing that seems to get the NBA TV ratings. Despite everyone knowing the Warriors with Durant were going to win the championship, Warriors/Cavs still got pretty good ratings. The Raptors being in it brought down ratings in 2019. This all ignores last season as the bubble ratings were the worst in NBA history. This year may also suffer from the Finals being in July instead of June, so it may be hard to really compare to other years.

I am looking more forward to this years Finals though because we're not getting any super team and we'll actually probably get two fairly organically grown teams unless Kawhi comes back.
 
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Well yes, it's a team game, and obviously having more stars will likely give you more championships. While Rodman is a HOFer, lets not act like he was some superstar at any point. He never made an All-Star team during his three years with the Bulls.

The Celtics and Lakers of the 80s more so "gamed/lucked" into their guys (which I guess is really the name of the game, luck), and more of was a fleecing of stupid desperate franchises in the NBA that led to a bunch of rule changes in the 80s to prevent such things from really happening again.

The Lakers gained Magic Johnson by their aging star (Gail Goodrich) signing as a free agent with the Utah Jazz in 1977, when the rules said if such a thing occurred, the team signing the free agent must give up three 1st round draft picks. The Jazz proceeded to be the worst team in the league in 1979 and while there was a 50-50 chance with a coin flip to determine the #1 pick, the Jazz won that coin flip and thus the Lakers got the #1 pick and Magic Johnson (the Bulls were on the other end of that coin flip). In 1980, the Cavs were owned by a dumbass guy who didn't believe in draft picks and traded all his future picks away for more current guys. This included the 1982 pick to the Lakers, and the Cavs proceeded to be the worst team in the league in 1982. The Lakers had just won the title in 1982 and didn't even need James Worthy.

The Celtics legit sucked enough to draft Larry Bird in 1978, however what dropped Bird to #6 was his returning to college in 1978-79. In 1979, the owner of the Celtics traded all of their 1st round draft picks (they had 3 in a draft that was not very good outside of Magic) over Red Auerbach's objections to the Knicks for All-Star Bob McAdoo.. this owner later that year traded franchises with the Buffalo Braves, and Auerbach then traded Bob McAdoo to the Pistons for their unprotected 1st round pick. The Pistons proceeded to finish last in the league, giving the 61 win Celtics the #1 pick in the 1980 draft. They traded with the stupid Warriors who gave the Celtics the #3 pick and Robert Parish. The Celtics took McHale with the #3 pick, then won the championship in 1981.

The free agency draft pick thing eventually went out the door. Due to the Cavs, the NBA does not allow teams to trade consecutive 1st round picks (swaps are allowed though). Protections were also allowed at some point to picks. The salary cap being added was originally to stop teams from owning so many good players, but then Bird rights became a thing that kind got around a lot of that. But when these two franchises ran their course, there wasn't as easy of a rebuild as past eras for them, though the Lakers kind of once again lucked into a special circumstance when the then CBA allowed 3 year players to be an unrestricted free agents and they signed Shaq away. Then traded Vlade Divac for a high school player named Kobe Bryant. It took until Kobe rose to the occassion for them to win a championship though. And until the LeBron James free agency era, it was rare to see more than two stars together on the same team.

Note on the Rockets, while they did win two ships in a row, hard to truly quantify them as a dynasty. The 93-94 team did not have Drexler, and he came over in a mid-season trade in 1995. Cassell, while a key contributor, was just a rookie in 94, and never exactly a star. He came off the bench in both championship seasons. The 94 Rockets benefited hugely from the Sonics choking again the 8th seeded Nuggets and obviously Jordan being gone. However they still had to get through some tough teams in the West, the previous Finalist the Suns they went to 7 games with, and they faced Stockton/Malone in the conference Finals. The 95 team is more impressive given their regular season struggles ending them as a 6th seed, but then they proceeded to beat Stockton/Malone, Barkley, MVP David Robinson, and then Shaq/Penny in the Finals (in a sweep no less), possibly being the only team in history to ever face that many superstars in the playoffs.

As a basketball fan, I have a love for more organically grown teams versus acquiring them. Today's players probably get the idea that to win, you need other stars to do so. Teaming up is the easiest way to do that rather than relying on a front office to make good draft/trade moves...Organically grown teams are hard to come by as we see teams like the Sixers/Bucks fail year after year. The title the Raptors win in 2019 only happened because they pulled the trigger for one year of Kawhi (and benefited from Golden State being dead).

Teaming up doesn't guarantee anything of course as LeBron lost 2/4 Finals with his superteam, lost 1/4 with his next lesser superteam, and the Nets got injured in the playoffs ending their possibility of such a thing thus far. So I suppose it goes both ways, but we certainly see more champions less organically grown lately than not.

RE: Rodman - I think many MJ fans don't fully appreciate Rodman's contributions. Defensively he locked down often the best player on the other side, was a help defender AND rebounded better than anyone. As a tone setter Mike and Pip would run the offense, but when things flipped to the other side Rodman was the tone setter there. Maybe another way to look at his HOF induction, off the court he was a headache. For the league/AP to look past all that and not hold it against him says something to how his peers viewed his contributions. IMHO in any sport if you look at a HOFer and say "they aren't a real HOFer" that only because you weren't paying attention to what they did.

RE: Team construction - Weather it's by draft/development or free agency it's all relevant, but things change over time. Just to use football as an example until Reggie White sued the Eagles teams had almost all the control. This was probably most evident when guys like Barry Sanders retired over playing with the team. Each league evolves over time, so it's not like how things worked in the past mean that's the right way to do it today.

RE: the first FA superteam - I'm thinking it's the 2007-08 Celtics. Paul Pierce was able to attract Ray Allen the season before, then KG after that. I'd say you had a lot of young superstars like James see that and realize that they have that level of control. I could only imagine if a young, hyper competitive MJ saw something like that he would have navigated his career in a similar way.

RE: Rockets - They made the playoffs 8 years in a row, made it to the semi's twice, conference finals once and won 2 championships in that time. To me that's a dynasty. On paper their most talented teams had Hakeem, Drexler, Barkley or Hakeem, Drexler and Pippen, but those guys were all 34+ and past their prime. Sort of like when Malone joined the Lakers. Great name, but not enough in the tank to have a legit role.

One other comment, I'm a big basketball fan as well. I followed a lot closer in the 90s and early 2000s, so I have a deep appreciation for what the Bulls accomplished. Something that I find interesting is that I'm having a hard time getting excited about these playoffs. I used to dislike the superteams, but I sort of miss them. Normally I'm cheering against them, but without it sort of feels like the 2019 championship, but it's the Raptors against the Raptors. Some new team will win and that will be great for them and their city, but I'm really not invested in seeing anyone win or lose. Here's where both MJ and James were great for the league. Love them or hate them it was must see TV.
 

Scoot26

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RE: Rodman - I think many MJ fans don't fully appreciate Rodman's contributions. Defensively he locked down often the best player on the other side, was a help defender AND rebounded better than anyone. As a tone setter Mike and Pip would run the offense, but when things flipped to the other side Rodman was the tone setter there. Maybe another way to look at his HOF induction, off the court he was a headache. For the league/AP to look past all that and not hold it against him says something to how his peers viewed his contributions. IMHO in any sport if you look at a HOFer and say "they aren't a real HOFer" that only because you weren't paying attention to what they did.

I'm not disputing Rodman being a HOFer or even a great contributor, my thing is he isn't a top tier player by any means and offensively he was pretty much non-existent for most of his career. He is possibly one of the greatest rebounders ever and certainly knew defense. Credit there and all. The Bulls certainly improved a ton with him in 95-96 over the previous season who were missing a rebounder at PF/C.

RE: Team construction - Weather it's by draft/development or free agency it's all relevant, but things change over time. Just to use football as an example until Reggie White sued the Eagles teams had almost all the control. This was probably most evident when guys like Barry Sanders retired over playing with the team. Each league evolves over time, so it's not like how things worked in the past mean that's the right way to do it today.

Don't really disagree with any of this. Just saying what my preference is.

RE: the first FA superteam - I'm thinking it's the 2007-08 Celtics. Paul Pierce was able to attract Ray Allen the season before, then KG after that. I'd say you had a lot of young superstars like James see that and realize that they have that level of control. I could only imagine if a young, hyper competitive MJ saw something like that he would have navigated his career in a similar way.

None of these guys were free agents though. Ray Allen was traded for Jeff Green on draft day and KG was acquired later in the summer for Al Jefferson, other players and draft picks. Boston's whole plan was actually plan B, because their original plan was to suck horrible for Oden or Durant. When they didn't get the #1 or #2 pick, they went after Ray Allen. KG wanting out of Minnesota to try and win a championship story developed over the summer, and the trade was made.

RE: Rockets - They made the playoffs 8 years in a row, made it to the semi's twice, conference finals once and won 2 championships in that time. To me that's a dynasty. On paper their most talented teams had Hakeem, Drexler, Barkley or Hakeem, Drexler and Pippen, but those guys were all 34+ and past their prime. Sort of like when Malone joined the Lakers. Great name, but not enough in the tank to have a legit role.
You and clearly have different meanings to dynasty, which is fine.

The 96-97 Rockets were certainly more star studded on paper, but they were all aging, Barkley was massively declining probably when his metabolism was no longer as good.

One other comment, I'm a big basketball fan as well. I followed a lot closer in the 90s and early 2000s, so I have a deep appreciation for what the Bulls accomplished. Something that I find interesting is that I'm having a hard time getting excited about these playoffs. I used to dislike the superteams, but I sort of miss them. Normally I'm cheering against them, but without it sort of feels like the 2019 championship, but it's the Raptors against the Raptors. Some new team will win and that will be great for them and their city, but I'm really not invested in seeing anyone win or lose. Here's where both MJ and James were great for the league. Love them or hate them it was must see TV.

I grew up with the Bulls, so for several years it was just winning winning winning. I was also a kid and I didn't have much of an idea of anything else. I say I learned a lot about basketball in between 5th and 6th grade. I had a natural hate for the Lakers 3 peat, usually rooted against them. Really, I tend to hate any team that is on the dynasty road to multiple championships in a row. With the Durant Warriors vs LeBron Cavs pretty much guaranteed, I found the NBA utterly pointless and just didn't even watch beyond the first few rounds. In 2018, I think I watched the first round, then only saw the ECF Game 7 in which I hoped LeBron was going to lose to Boston, but didn't. I didn't watch a lick of the Finals that year, and yeah, a 4-0 sweep showed why. I've heard this from many "causal" fans as well, yet the NBA got some of its better ratings from this.

But, I just don't find it all that interesting. Perhaps people felt this way about the Bulls in the late 90s, and certainly is fair. It kinda feel like if Kyrie Irving didn't get hurt, we'd be watching the same thing go on with the Nets as they'd just shoot themselves to a championship without needing to play any defense. And the Nets probably will win next season.
 

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Nah, Kobe isn't even top 5.

I think he's been overrated since he died.
Yikes!

As a pure scorer I have MJ #1 and Kobe #2. There were certain parts of Kobe's game that were better than MJ' s, specifically his 3 point shooting. Different era, but he was still better.

The only reason I have MJ ahead of Kobe is without Mike, Kobe wouldn't have seen how great a player can be and ultimately followed his footsteps. MJ was to Kobe the same way Dr. J was to Michael.
 

BNB

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Yikes!

As a pure scorer I have MJ #1 and Kobe #2. There were certain parts of Kobe's game that were better than MJ' s, specifically his 3 point shooting. Different era, but he was still better.

The only reason I have MJ ahead of Kobe is without Mike, Kobe wouldn't have seen how great a player can be and ultimately followed his footsteps. MJ was to Kobe the same way Dr. J was to Michael.

Their 3pt percentage was almost identical. Kobe made more 3s because, as you said, he played in a different era, which called for more 3s being taken. MJ played in an era that didn't rely on the 3pt shot. Even still, Kobe finished his career shooting 32.9% from 3, and MJ shot 32.7% from 3.

If you want to give Kobe the slight edge on 3pt shooting, fine... But I'd be curious to hear what these other "certain parts" of Kobe's game that were better than MJs... because I can't think of one.
 

BNB

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Of todays top teams..

Suns are fairly organically grown with Booker and Ayton being drafted. Bridges was a draft day trade. Chris Paul has probably exceeded expectations as an aging star via trade. Crowder was a good FA signing for a role player.

Bucks have Greek and Middleton as their draftees. Holiday was traded for. Lopez is their only real FA signing as no one wants to sign with Milwaukee.

Jazz are organically grown and they lost in the second to a Kawhi-less Clippers team that isn't very organically grown at all.

Philly is sort of a mess of organically grown as Embiid is the only real draft pick of theirs to work out. Simmons just showed he's a failure. Harris was acquired via trade.

Nuggets have Jokic and Murray, pity Murray got hurt as it would be interesting to see what they could have done in the playoffs.

None of these teams above were favored to win a ship this year. It was basically bet as Nets vs Lakers. Clippers were the next highest due to Kawhi. All these teams were basically assembled by the superstar players.

I'd also argue this is ultimately what the NBA (and the average fan) wants because these start studded teams are the only thing that seems to get the NBA TV ratings. Despite everyone knowing the Warriors with Durant were going to win the championship, Warriors/Cavs still got pretty good ratings. The Raptors being in it brought down ratings in 2019. This all ignores last season as the bubble ratings were the worst in NBA history. This year may also suffer from the Finals being in July instead of June, so it may be hard to really compare to other years.

I am looking more forward to this years Finals though because we're not getting any super team and we'll actually probably get two fairly organically grown teams unless Kawhi comes back.

Yeah, it may be what most fans want, but definitely not me. In fact, the direction that the NBA has headed in is precisely what has made me watch less basketball over the last decade. It was terribly boring knowing which 2-3 teams would likely make the finals before the season even started. Even all the rule changes to heavily favor the offense. Not even that, but even the style of play isn't as exciting to me. In the Jazz/Grizzlies series, I think at one point there were 8 straight 3s taken by both teams in a matter of 90 seconds. It was just boring. The beauty of running plays, cutting, driving and kicking, etc. was gone. Just guys running back and forth jacking up 30 footers.

That's what has made this post-season so exciting for me. So many unexpected things have happened. Sure, if there were no injuries, we'd probably see the Nets in the Finals, and probably the Clippers (especially if they still had Ibaka), but I don't care. I'd love to see PHX and ATL or MIL go at it.
 

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