Does it again. Carrying the team on his sholulders again and again. And this guy has never had a coach of the caliber of Phil Jackson directing the team. As I have said, Michael Jordan is the GOAT ATM, but LeBron is not through yet adding to his stats and accomplishments.
I’m not sure MJ could have dragged this bunch into the NBA Finals. As good as Mike was, he didn’t win anything until a certain UCA Bear showed up in Chicago. LeBron never had a teammate as good as Pippen, and that includes Dwyane Wade in Miami.
Michael also couldn’t make it out of the first round until he got a certain player there with him. Or could he beat the pistons, specifically.
The league is much longer and more athletic these days, not as physical, but much better talent wise over all.
Michael was great, but he can’t do the things Lebron is able to. If people can’t see that, they are lying to themselves. I’ve been blessed to watch both, and I’m certain there will be another in the next decade that will be the next to enter the long debate of who is the greatest.
I pick Lebron for now, what he has been able to do over his career, and specifically the consistency and longevity is just spectacular.
The Celtics and Pistons teams that Michael lost to were all-time great teams. Bird, Parrish, McHale, DJ, etc - Isiah, Dumars, Laimbeer, Rodman, etc. Those teams dominated the East until the Bulls, with a more mature Pippen, finally broke through. The East in Lebron’s time over the last 10 years has been historically weak.
Is the league “really longer”? Who plays center for the Warriors (mostly 6’7 Draymond), who is the C for the Cavaliers (mostly 6’9 Kevin Love). In Michael’s era you had legit shot blocking Centers - Olajuwon, Ewing, Robinson, Shaquille, etc. Now overall maybe there is more athleticism, but who today was more athletic then the Bulls big 3 of Jordan, Pippen and Rodman? I’ve lived and watched both eras - if I had to pick one guy to start a team it’s probably Lebron, if I had to pick one guy to take over a game, to take the last shot, to rip out the heart of the opponent and stomp on it it’s probably MJ (if that makes any sense).
I cannot watch an entire NBA game, watched zero of any regular season game this year, and have watched a few minutes of 2 or 3 of the playoff games mostly curious about what was so great about Harden at Houston versus Curry at Golden State and a little curiosity about Lebron’s play comments on this board. After watching five straight possessions of Houston’s four other players moving to the four corners of their half court and Harden going one on one against various Golden State defenders five straight series, I turned the channel. Harden is great but that is boring basketball to me. Curry can get hot and hit shots from amazing distances. That’s nice. I guess since there is little time to run plays, just give it to your best guy and let him jack it up is all you will ever get. The college game, men’s and women’s, is far more entertaining and interesting. There are just so many games that mean nothing until the last half of the last quarter in the NBA, they just go through the motions in a boring repetitive way even in the playoffs. JMVVVVHO.
If you’re going to argue that the league isn’t longer or more athletic today, you clearly do not keep up with NBA basketball. This is something that is statistically proven and talked about quite often. You point to stay moms green, but clearly don’t see that they have a 6’11 SF who serves as the primary ball handler in Durant. Or notice the vast amount of quality minutes played by the 7’er in looney.
Yes you can point to the Cavs as not being as tall or long, but George hill is a 6’4 point guard with an almost 7’ wing span. Pretty incredible.
You don’t have Parsons, or Steve Kerr’s guarding you anymore. You have much longer and athletic guards. The over all height of the NBA is higher right now.
There are a lot of things the NBA isn’t right now that it used to be, but smaller and less athletic is certainly not one of them. In any sport, as time goes on, the accessibility and training increases therefor the product is better.
We can argue lebron and MJ all day, I love that. But the league is more athletic and long today, while also being much less physical. (In part because MJ threw a fit to get these flagrant fouls introduced to the game)
I don’t care if you could put an all Anthony-Davis lineup out on the court, it was much more difficult to score in Jordan’s time because every other possession was a foul by today’s standards. The standard no-layup hack would be a flagrant today.
The East had some very good teams, better than anybody in the East this season, that nobody even remembers today because some All-time great Celtic, Sixer, and Piston teams kept them out of the Finals. Jordan lost to Sid and the Bucks in the first round as a rookie. That Bucks team had Sid, Pressey, Terry Cummings, and a deep bench of scoring guards and wings. They won 59 games. That Bucks team would have been the #1-seed in the East this season but got swept by the Sixers in the next round. The second-best player on the Bulls was Orlando Woolridge.
Jordan lost to the Celtics in the first round the next two years. A case can be made that the 85-86 Celtics were the greatest team of all time. The next year Jordan famously ousted the Cavaliers on the last shot of the series. That Cavaliers team had a starting lineup that included Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Larry Nance, and Ron Harper. A young Kevin Johnson was coming off the bench. They were much better than any team Cleveland has faced this postseason. So were the mid-80’s Atlanta Hawks with Doc Rivers, Dominique, and Kevin Willis anchoring a deep team. They never made it to the conference finals in that era.
Jordan had a more well-balanced game than many remember now. In '88-'89 he averaged 32.5 points on 54% from the field, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, and a block. He probably would have gotten his first ring that season had Pippen answered the bell in game 7 against the Pistons. Although Lebron is the better passer, Jordan led the Bulls in assists until he turned over some of the ball-handling duties to Pippen but was always a close second to Pippen in dimes. Like Lebron Jordan also steadily became a better perimeter shooter during his career and was a better finisher in the paint than Lebron. For rings four and five he shot 43% and 38% from the arc on over 3 attempts a game. He was also one of the greatest defenders of all time at his position.
I keep with the NBA and agree that the league has more plus run/jump athletes, but I wouldn’t agree that they are any more skilled, nor do I think the teams are better then the 80s 76ers, Celtics, Lakers, Pistons nor the 90s Bulls (or the Shaq/Kobe Lakers).
Who is Parsons (I assume you mean Paxson)
Where are you getting Looney at 7ft, he’s not
Kerr was a specialist, the 3-headed monster of Jordan, Pippen and Ron Harper were the starters (now that was a long backcourt)
With the emphasis on analytics, scouting, etc. I do think the overall defense is better, but I don’t think the game is necessarily better. The dependence on the 3 and the death of the modern post player makes it not as appealing to me.
While of course I have to agree that the teams you mentioned are better than most today, they are also some all time great teams.
As much as I don’t like them, the GS Warriors, are an all time great team, mainly because they have 4 all stars who have all been a part of the All NBA team before. I don’t think that any of the teams mentioned could beat them in a best of 7 series with today’s rules. They are designed perfectly for it.
Not a fan of them, I think they have all but ruined the NBA because there is very little competition to them. I am glad to see the rockets give them a run, but I think we all know that will more than likely end. They will then likely sweep the Cavs, who shouldn’t be in the finals. I can’t remember a time ever where a 4 seed made it to the finals. But that just goes to my Lebron argument.
It is interesting to think about. I think the old Bulls had enough defensive firepower to slow down the Warriors, but Durant would be the wildcard. On the flip side the Warriors would equally have their hands full with MJ and Pippen plus Kukoc was no slouch. Rodman would have Green thrown out of the series by Game 3 LOL.
I just have so much awe/respect for MJ that I think he git’r Dun, but I know I’m biased.
Like Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden are great defenders. The second version of the Bulls with Ron Harper, Jordan, Pippen, and Dennis Rodman was the greatest perimeter defensive team of all time. There were also plenty of long, rangy, athletic perimeter defenders in that era - Jordan, Moncrief, Drexler, Julius Irving, Paul Pressey, Alvin Robertson, Dennis Johnson, Doc Rivers, Bobby Jones, Rodman, Dominique Wilkins, Michael Cooper, Joe Dumars, etc. Dumars alone was 10x the defender George Hill is at PG. Jordan, Moncrief, Pressey, Rivers, Dennis Johnson, Cooper, and Magic all played PG at least part of the time.
Teams got bigger to deal with Magic at the PG and Larry on the perimeter. Atlanta, for instance, started 6-4 Doc Rivers at PG, 6-6 Randy Whitman at SG, 6-7 uber athlete Wilkins at SF, 7-0 Kevin Willis at PF, and 7-1 Tree Rollins at center. The smallest player that got on the court for any appreciable minutes for Boston was 6-5 Danny Ainge. The Lakers often had 6-9 Magic, 6-7 James Worthy, and a very long 6-5 uber defender Michael Cooper on the perimeter. The Bucks had Moncrief and Pressey at guard.
You all keep talking about what LeBron’s teams did vs what Jordan’s teams did. Sure Jordan’s teams had tougher road through the East. Basketball is a team sport. So taken from the team perspective, that is all true.
Also it is true, the game was more physical back then when Jordan played. But at the same time, there were notorious Jordan rules where you could hardly breathe on him without getting a foul called.
But as an individual vs individual. If you cannot see that LeBron is physically and skillwise more complete player than Jordan, you are in denial. Or you are drowning in the “back in the good old days…” syndrome our generation or every generation for that matter suffers from.
Having said all that, both MJ and LeBron are great players. And there are intangibles such as basketball IQ, getting rest of the team involved, coaching received that may separate the two into deciding who is the GOAT. For myself, I again repeat Jordan is the GOAT right now. But wait a few years, It may change.
Regardless. I feel fortunate I have been able watch them both and enjoy their basketball,
I really think it’s unfair to compare the two because they had different games. LeBron is a much more physical player, while MJ was more finesse. Both are/were extremely good at what they do. I’ll always say MJ is the GOAT, but recognize that LeBron is the best on the court in this era.
95-96 Bulls versus last years Warriors team would have been interesting. The matchups would have essentially been:
Ron Harper - Steph Curry
Jordan - Klay Thompson
Pippen - Durant
Rodman - Green
Kukoc - Iguodala
Kerr - Livingston
Longley - ZaZa
Thompson is a good defender and great shooter that still would have been abused by Jordan at both ends. Harper and Pippen don’t stop Curry and Durant, but they could have slowed them down and forced them to defend at the other end. If Curry was doing too much damage, Jordan could have taken him, and Harper is still a good answer to Thompson. The Bulls would have posted Curry unmercifully unless Kerr was in the game. The Bulls would lose some D but gain some O when they went to the bench. Opposite for the Warriors. The Bulls could have switched on everything on the perimeter without a terrible matchup, whereas the Warriors would have had a hard time hiding Curry on defense.
I think the Bulls win, but homecourt may have been the difference. It would be interesting to get an honest opinion out of Kerr on that matchup. The Warriors were more skilled, but the Bulls were more athletic and complemented each other perfectly. The Bulls would have had the best scorer, the three best defenders, and the best rebounder in the series. The Warriors had three of the four best shooters in the series. With 90’s rules it’s probably the Bulls. More iffy with today’s rules.