Where does LeBron rank...

Pegger

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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.
Kobe hit 3 pointers that were highly contested and often had the game on the line. Mike dropped 3's largely because his defender was scared of covering him within the arch so they let Mike shoot the 3 in an effort to not have him just take a 2.

Here's a good comparison: Kobe Bryant vs Michael Jordan: Who is Better?

Again, I prefer Jordan to Kobe, but it's a lot closer than many think.

I'd add, what I think shouldn't dictate what you think (and vice versa). So this is just my opinion. I appreciate your comments and perspective, but it doesn't mean I'm changing my mind.
 

Scoot26

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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.
Yeah, the Warriors kind ruined basketball for me. I was always for threes becoming a bigger part of the game, and higher scoring games, but to me it's got a bit out of hand. I also didn't enjoy the defensive slogs of the 2000s by any means either. Even into the 2010s, and watching the Thibodeau Bulls unable to score more than 70 points was frustrating, annoying, and just as boring. Watching the Spurs in 2003, 2005, 2007 was very boring basketball. Even with 2005 being a 7 game series, it was mostly boring.

Scoring is certainly way up, so much that 7 teams this year broke the previous record for highest offensive rating (which was held by the 2019 Warriors, which prior to that was the 2017 Warriors who had tied with the 1987 Lakers). Not sure exactly the cause for that other than I'll blame the shorted offseason and pandemic. Guess we'll see if its any better next season and the following.

Another thing that has annoyed me about the NBA is that the players are really starting to not take the regular season seriously at all, and the only thing that matters is the playoffs (while this is true to an extent, the regular season still matters for positioning in the playoffs). Players sit out just to rest, many don't bother to even try playing defense during the regular season. If a player is legit hurt, fine, sit out. Healthy, play.

In any sense, they say eras of offense lead to the next eras of defense. I guess we'll see if defense makes a comeback in the coming years or not. But I really don't want to see the 80-75 scores again either. Frankly I just want the hybrid look, something we kind of had for a few years prior to the Warriors run.
 

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Yeah, the Warriors kind ruined basketball for me. I was always for threes becoming a bigger part of the game, and higher scoring games, but to me it's got a bit out of hand. I also didn't enjoy the defensive slogs of the 2000s by any means either. Even into the 2010s, and watching the Thibodeau Bulls unable to score more than 70 points was frustrating, annoying, and just as boring. Watching the Spurs in 2003, 2005, 2007 was very boring basketball. Even with 2005 being a 7 game series, it was mostly boring.

Scoring is certainly way up, so much that 7 teams this year broke the previous record for highest offensive rating (which was held by the 2019 Warriors, which prior to that was the 2017 Warriors who had tied with the 1987 Lakers). Not sure exactly the cause for that other than I'll blame the shorted offseason and pandemic. Guess we'll see if its any better next season and the following.

Another thing that has annoyed me about the NBA is that the players are really starting to not take the regular season seriously at all, and the only thing that matters is the playoffs (while this is true to an extent, the regular season still matters for positioning in the playoffs). Players sit out just to rest, many don't bother to even try playing defense during the regular season. If a player is legit hurt, fine, sit out. Healthy, play.

In any sense, they say eras of offense lead to the next eras of defense. I guess we'll see if defense makes a comeback in the coming years or not. But I really don't want to see the 80-75 scores again either. Frankly I just want the hybrid look, something we kind of had for a few years prior to the Warriors run.

Hahaha, yeah I remember the year Detroit won the title , they beat the Pacers in the ECF in game 6 or 7 by the score of like 69-67 or something like that. I know they were both below 70.

I agree that it probably wasn't the best basketball to watch. But if I had the choice between those gritty type games vs. today, where guys are just putting up crazy amounts of points.... call me crazy, but I'd choose the former. The reason why is because, back then (crazy, feels like yesterday), when a guy put up 40, or averaged 25 PPG, it actually meant something. It was breaking news when a guy got a triple double. I remember going crazy over things like that because they really had to earn it.

Now you have guys like Kevin Porter Jr. who has hardly played in the NBA, and he puts up 50 like it's nothing.

It's hard to know if some of these guys are actually that good, or if it's just a product of playing in a league in which it's easier to score.

Regarding players not caring about the regular season... I agree. Which has caused me not to care. This year, I didn't watch any regular season games prior to April. There was just no point imo.
 

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Hahaha, yeah I remember the year Detroit won the title , they beat the Pacers in the ECF in game 6 or 7 by the score of like 69-67 or something like that. I know they were both below 70.

I agree that it probably wasn't the best basketball to watch. But if I had the choice between those gritty type games vs. today, where guys are just putting up crazy amounts of points.... call me crazy, but I'd choose the former. The reason why is because, back then (crazy, feels like yesterday), when a guy put up 40, or averaged 25 PPG, it actually meant something. It was breaking news when a guy got a triple double. I remember going crazy over things like that because they really had to earn it.

Now you have guys like Kevin Porter Jr. who has hardly played in the NBA, and he puts up 50 like it's nothing.

It's hard to know if some of these guys are actually that good, or if it's just a product of playing in a league in which it's easier to score.

Regarding players not caring about the regular season... I agree. Which has caused me not to care. This year, I didn't watch any regular season games prior to April. There was just no point imo.
In the early 2000's, I think 2003, the Mavericks and Kings played a playoff series where each team generally scored over 110 points. Game 3 was a double OT game that ended 141-37. Game 4 was the only defensive battle of the series (99-83).. Overall I thought the series was a good example of a more ideal NBA I viewed. Both these teams were ranked in the Top 10 in O and D, yet still put up these high scoring games on each other.

The first two games of the Suns-Clippers have also been in my ideal scoring range, but there was a point in the game where they shot like 8 threes in a row and I started to yell at that to take it to the basket and stop dropping bricks.Its not
 

houheffna

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Lebron is only second to Jordan as far as the players I've seen. Now who would I build a franchise with? That's different...but Jordan is the best player I've ever watched play basketball. Kobe is Jordan's doppelganger...but I don't trust him as much as others to deliver...
 

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Lebron is only second to Jordan as far as the players I've seen. Now who would I build a franchise with? That's different...but Jordan is the best player I've ever watched play basketball. Kobe is Jordan's doppelganger...but I don't trust him as much as others to deliver...
Wow what a blast from the past to see you my friend
 

Enasic

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Lebron is only second to Jordan as far as the players I've seen. Now who would I build a franchise with? That's different...but Jordan is the best player I've ever watched play basketball. Kobe is Jordan's doppelganger...but I don't trust him as much as others to deliver...
I agree with this. It’s also very difficult to compare eras. But overall, this is spot on. Kobe mimicked Jordan’s game and was a dominant offensive player, but I’d take LeBrons overall game and impact over Kobe all day every day
 

houheffna

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I agree with this. It’s also very difficult to compare eras. But overall, this is spot on. Kobe mimicked Jordan’s game and was a dominant offensive player, but I’d take LeBrons overall game and impact over Kobe all day every day
That is the main problem when I argue with people in my age group....."Lebron couldn't have played in the 1990s....." is one of their favorites...they think Laimbeer and Oakley would have knocked him on his ass.....HE'S THE SAME SIZE AS KARL MALONE PEOPLE!!! Then the "Jordan would score 45ppg today" argument. You really think Jordan is 17-18ppg better than Durant and Curry? 10ppg better than Harden? I don't think so. He would have been the best in the game today in my opinion...but remember the dominant wings in the 1990's? I don't either. The closest to the second best wing in the 1990s...was Jordan's teammate.
 

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That is the main problem when I argue with people in my age group....."Lebron couldn't have played in the 1990s....." is one of their favorites...they think Laimbeer and Oakley would have knocked him on his ass.....HE'S THE SAME SIZE AS KARL MALONE PEOPLE!!! Then the "Jordan would score 45ppg today" argument. You really think Jordan is 17-18ppg better than Durant and Curry? 10ppg better than Harden? I don't think so. He would have been the best in the game today in my opinion...but remember the dominant wings in the 1990's? I don't either. The closest to the second best wing in the 1990s...was Jordan's teammate.

I don't think the 45 PPG is that crazy of an argument if you think about it.

At his scoring peak, he averaged 37 PPG, and over 35 PPG twice. That was with hand checking and big guys camping out in the paint because there was no defensive 3 second rule, and it was generally a more physical game.

Since MJ played with the Bulls, pace has increased by 11%, 3pt. shooting has increased over 150%, there is no hand checking, there is now a defensive 3 seconds rule which takes bigs out of the paint, and sometimes you have guys that are built like a SF playing C.

With an increased pace, MJ would get more possessions. With no hand checking, MJ would be able to create shots easier, and get to the basket easier with no bigs clogging it up. With the game also focusing on outside shooting more, you'd have to think that MJ would have also taken more 3's, which would have increased his point total. Remember, when he averaged 37 a game in his 3rd season, he made only 12 threes that year. That's insane.

Taking all that into account, it absolutely isn't crazy to think that MJ could have averaged over 40 PPG at his peak.
 

Enasic

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That is the main problem when I argue with people in my age group....."Lebron couldn't have played in the 1990s....." is one of their favorites...they think Laimbeer and Oakley would have knocked him on his ass.....HE'S THE SAME SIZE AS KARL MALONE PEOPLE!!! Then the "Jordan would score 45ppg today" argument. You really think Jordan is 17-18ppg better than Durant and Curry? 10ppg better than Harden? I don't think so. He would have been the best in the game today in my opinion...but remember the dominant wings in the 1990's? I don't either. The closest to the second best wing in the 1990s...was Jordan's teammate.
Yeah for sure. People fail to recognize that LeBron would also be able to be more physical back in the day. He’s a physical freak for today’s standards…even more so in the 80s and 90s.

Jordan would have had to really improve his outside shot to improve his PPG average in today’s game. Even if he did, he would not average 45 ppg lol

Many of the defenders Jordan went up against were smaller, weaker, and infinitely less athletic. It wasn’t uncommon for SG to be 6’3. Today there are athletic freaks at every position. He wouldn’t get as many easy matchups like mark price, Craig ehlo, and other undersized/un-athletic, weak defenders. Look back at his highlight clips if you weren’t alive to watch him…a ton of mismatches and guys who had no chance at guarding MJ. A lot of undersized non athletes. Granted, hand checking, effort, and overall physicality were more prominent back in the day. I think it all evens out in the end, TBH.
 

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I do find it interesting that with everyone saying how easy it is to score these days, how is it that Kevin Durant isn't lighting everyone up for 40 every game? Clearly the man could score in any era, but he tops out at 32 PPG. Harden got up to 36 one season. Give Jordan an average 3pt shot in today's NBA and perhaps he gets 40 a game, perhaps not. I do know he'd be getting big time buckets either way
 

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I do find it interesting that with everyone saying how easy it is to score these days, how is it that Kevin Durant isn't lighting everyone up for 40 every game? Clearly the man could score in any era, but he tops out at 32 PPG. Harden got up to 36 one season. Give Jordan an average 3pt shot in today's NBA and perhaps he gets 40 a game, perhaps not. I do know he'd be getting big time buckets either way

Maybe if Durant wasn't playing with so many other star scorers, he'd be averaging a lot more. He takes less than 20 shots a game (because he has had to share the load with Irving, Harden, Westbrook, Curry, Thompson). One would think that if he took 25-27 shots a game, he'd easily be averaging between 35-40.
 
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Axl Rose

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Offense def seems inflated these days. I remember when 50 point games were special.
 

houheffna

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I don't think the 45 PPG is that crazy of an argument if you think about it.

At his scoring peak, he averaged 37 PPG, and over 35 PPG twice. That was with hand checking and big guys camping out in the paint because there was no defensive 3 second rule, and it was generally a more physical game.

Since MJ played with the Bulls, pace has increased by 11%, 3pt. shooting has increased over 150%, there is no hand checking, there is now a defensive 3 seconds rule which takes bigs out of the paint, and sometimes you have guys that are built like a SF playing C.

With an increased pace, MJ would get more possessions. With no hand checking, MJ would be able to create shots easier, and get to the basket easier with no bigs clogging it up. With the game also focusing on outside shooting more, you'd have to think that MJ would have also taken more 3's, which would have increased his point total. Remember, when he averaged 37 a game in his 3rd season, he made only 12 threes that year. That's insane.

Taking all that into account, it absolutely isn't crazy to think that MJ could have averaged over 40 PPG at his peak.
Oh its crazy...think about it...he scores 30 one day...he has to score 60 in the next game to break even. He'd also have to shoot crazy percentages from long range....he never showed that ability during his playing days. And I don't think he is 7 or 8ppg better than Harden. With zone defenses (Jordan wanted NO parts of that...), passing is emphasized over one on one play. He'd be a better passer, but I don't know how much of a better shooter he'd be.

I honestly consider Durant the second best scorer I've seen in my lifetime...he averaged 32 one season...he's a better shooter than Jordan also. So I guess I am saying Jordan would have to shoot the ball 35 times a game to reach that level of scoring. I don't see it.
 

houheffna

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Yeah for sure. People fail to recognize that LeBron would also be able to be more physical back in the day. He’s a physical freak for today’s standards…even more so in the 80s and 90s.

Jordan would have had to really improve his outside shot to improve his PPG average in today’s game. Even if he did, he would not average 45 ppg lol

Many of the defenders Jordan went up against were smaller, weaker, and infinitely less athletic. It wasn’t uncommon for SG to be 6’3. Today there are athletic freaks at every position. He wouldn’t get as many easy matchups like mark price, Craig ehlo, and other undersized/un-athletic, weak defenders. Look back at his highlight clips if you weren’t alive to watch him…a ton of mismatches and guys who had no chance at guarding MJ. A lot of undersized non athletes. Granted, hand checking, effort, and overall physicality were more prominent back in the day. I think it all evens out in the end, TBH.
Yeah, you have a point concerning his competition at wing. Try arguing that with old heads though...so they can opine about the hidden greatness of Mitch Richmond....smh.
 

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Oh its crazy...think about it...he scores 30 one day...he has to score 60 in the next game to break even. He'd also have to shoot crazy percentages from long range....he never showed that ability during his playing days. And I don't think he is 7 or 8ppg better than Harden. With zone defenses (Jordan wanted NO parts of that...), passing is emphasized over one on one play. He'd be a better passer, but I don't know how much of a better shooter he'd be.

I honestly consider Durant the second best scorer I've seen in my lifetime...he averaged 32 one season...he's a better shooter than Jordan also. So I guess I am saying Jordan would have to shoot the ball 35 times a game to reach that level of scoring. I don't see it.
People have said this before, but they don't don't put it in context.

MJ himself made a comment around 20 years ago that, had zone defenses been legal when he played, he wouldn't have had the career he had. However, he made that comment when defensive 3 seconds wasn't a thing. With zone defenses (and without defensive 3 seconds), it would have been damn near impossible to score in the paint.

But then the NBA made zone defenses legal in 2001, and also enforced the defensive 3 seconds rule, which made many zone defense basically obsolete in some ways.

In fact, as recently as 2019, NBA teams played Zone defense between only 4-10 percent of the time.

And if anyone needed any proof that MJ wouldn't have had an issue scoring with the rule changes, he proved it as a 38-40 year old with the Wizards. He had little issue hanging 43 points on the 2nd best defensive in the league (Nets) when he was 40-years old.

So basically, when MJ said that, his idea of what the zone would look like was a lot different than what it actually became. He would not have had an issue with today's defenses.
 
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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.
What's your top 10?

Off the top of my head I'll go:
1. Jordan
2. Kareem
3. LBJ
4. Bird
5. Magic
6. Bill Russell
7. Shaq
8. Timmy D
9. Hakeem
10. Kobe
 
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BNB

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What's your top 10?

Off the top of my head I'll go:
1. Jordan
2. Kareem
3. LBJ
4. Bird
5. Magic
6. Bill Russell
7. Shaq
8. Timmy D
9. Hakeem
10. Kobe

This is tough for me. I generally don't like top 10 lists because it's almost impossible to compare different positions in different eras. If I had to make one, I'd probably have 8-9 of the guys you have in yours, but maybe in a different order.

While I have a tremendous amount of respect for historic impact guys like Russell, Wilt, the Big O, etc. had on the game, I don't generally consider them among the top players in the history of the game. Their numbers were just so super inflated due to the fact that they were playing against such poor competition. I mean, you watch some of these videos, and it looks like some of these no name guys don't even know how to play basketball. Wilt would never score 100 points in the 80's, 90's, or today. Bill Russell would never win 11 rings in 13 years or average 22 rebounds for his career if he started in the 80's. Maybe they would have still been good, but they sure as hell wouldn't have the stats they had, and the probably wouldn't have won as much either.

I like to rank each position individually.

So...

Top 3 Point Guards:
1. Magic
2. Chris Paul
3. Steph Curry
(this one was tough... a lot of good point guards. I ultimately think Curry will be number 2. Guys like Stockton, Nash, Kidd, Thomas can probably be argued )

Top 3 Shooting Guards:
1. MJ
2. Kobe
3. Dwyane Wade

Top 3 Small Forwards:
1. LBJ
2. Bird
3. Durant

Top 3 Power Forwards:
1. Duncan
2. Karl Malone
3. KG
(Number 3 for me is tough. Guys like Dirk, KG, Barkley, and soon AD can all be argued. I just went with KG because he was so great all around... Great defender, passer, could shoot, post up... just everything.)

Top 3 Centers:
1. Kareem
2. Shaq
3. Hakeem
 

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