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King James (Non-Americans Tolerated)

Discussion in 'Colosseum' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I get the comparison that Jordan was making. My point is that there was no great impetus for Jordan to switch teams because he had a more than capable supporting cast. It's true that Pippen isn't as good as Magic, Bird, et al, but he IS a HoFer, and way better than anyone LeBron ever had in Cleveland. No, old fat Shaq doesn't count. Shaq developed into a star in Orlando, peaked in LA, and was still very good when he went to Miami. He went into steep decline when he went to Phoenix, and was a complete non-factor by the time he went to Cleveland. Comparing the Shaq that played in Orlando, LA, and Miami to the Shaq that played in Cleveland is like comparing Jordon on the Bulls to Jordan on the Wizards.

    My larger point is that I do not feel that LeBron saw his move to Miami as a means of avoiding the competition of playing against Wade and Bosh. I think he saw it as a means of getting himself on the same footing as other teams. Look at the other good teams in the league right now. All of them have at minimum two, and most of them have three very good players.

    And while I agree that there were many good teams in the 80s and 90s, there were very few great teams. How many teams not named the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, or Pistons won a title between 1980 and 2002? (2002ish - I forget what year that Lakers run of 3 ended.) The two the Rockets won in between the Bulls two sets of three. The 76ers had a single title back in the early 80s. And perhaps the Spurs won their only title with the Admiral and Duncan together thrown in there. If there were so many other "great" teams in the league then, I think they would have managed more than 4 titles combined in a 23 year period.

    Just looked it up, and it turns out the Lakers, Celtics, and Pistons lost another 7 Finals in that 23 year span - usually to each other. Most of the other teams you listed made it to one or two, and sometimes no Finals. Barkley's Suns made it to one. Trailblazers with Clyde and Porter made it to two. the Jazz with Stockton and Malone made it to two. Golden State didn't win any, and the Spurs did have the one title. I'm surprised you passed up the one team that you could actually make a good case for - the Rockets led by Hakeem Olajuwon. He was criminally under-rated. I think Hakeem would make my list of top 10 ever.
     
  2. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    All good points Aldeth. :)

    I thought you mentioned the Rockets and the Knicks, so I left them out.

    Like Lebron, Jordan didn't win a Ring in his first 5 or six years. But he didn't leave to win a Ring. Lebron did. That is what Jordan is saying. I am not saying I completely agree with him as teh dynamics on salaries have changed, but I understand his point. If Jordan went to any of the teams I listed, even outside of the Lakers/Celtics/Pistons, he would of brought home a Ring instaneously. Hell, just about any team with Jordan aded would of been an instant contender.

    After watching this years playoff run, barring serious injuries, it looks like the Heat will be winning a few more as well. Though I do like the Nash signing for LA, Nash can't defend, so in the playoffs, unless he puts of 30+ a night, I don't see him putting LA back on top, even if they keep Gasol. Allen possibly signing with the Heat as added bench will be huge as well.
     
  3. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well I certainly can't argue with that. Jordan had a very good supporting cast, including another HoFer, and he won six titles. I think it's only logical to conclude that if he went somewhere else that had talent - especially a team that had future HoFers, that he would also have won a ton of titles.

    The careers of MJ and LeBraon started similarly. They both went to teams that were pretty bad, with very little pre-existing talent. And they both took their teams from losers to playoff teams. I looked up the rest of the starting lineup on the Bulls for the 1984 and 1985 seasons (the first two years Jordan was on the team).

    Quintin Daily (G), Orlando Woolridge (F), Steve Johnson (F), Dave Corzine (C)

    Remember them? Neither do I.

    Compare that to the first team that Jordan won a championship in 1991. The other members were: BJ Armstrong (G), Pippen (F), Grant (F), Bill Cartwright (C).

    The difference is in the following six years that Jordan was on the team, they improved. Jordan was actually the first of the pieces acquired that made up the eventual championship team. Bill Cartwright came in a trade from the Knicks. They drafted Armstrong and Grant, and Pippen was actually acquired in a draft day deal (technically the Sonics drafted him, although he never played a single game in a Sonics uniform). The team was put together in 1989, although they didn't win the title that year (which also is another parallel to LeBron).

    What we don't know, and never will, is what would have happened if the Bulls hadn't put together such a good supporting cast? Would Jordan have been able to take a team to a championship with below average talent? We'll never know. Or, on the flip side, would LeBron have been able to win a championship if he had a little bit more help in Cleveland? Again, impossible to say.

    I think the Nash signing was huge. The Lakers haven't had a true point guard in forever, although last year they were particularly bad - it was unquestioningly their position of greatest need. I'm with you, that I don't know if it will be enough to put them back on top, but adding Nash has to be seen as a huge upgrade.

    With Allen, even though they say he's coming off the bench, I think he's going to see a ton of minutes. He may well be the 4th best player on that team. (And if that's all you need Allen to do - be the 4th best player, that's pretty darn good.)
     
  4. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The thing is, I don't particularly think that Jordan's cast was gthat great during his championship years. Kerr, Paxson, Hodges & Armstrong were one-dimensional players all. Grant is overrated in my opinion. The only 2 star players to play with jordan in chicago were Pippen and Rodman. The rest were average at best. And Jordan on floor makes them better.

    Allen will have to come off the bench, there is no starting position available. PG - Chalmers, SG - Wade, SF- James. Allen is a SG only and that's Wade spot. Chalmers played so good in the playoffs, I think he solidified the PG starting postion for years to come in Miami. Of course, Wade or James can play PG to let Allen enter the floor, but they won't have that happen a lot per game, as it will tire them out on the defensive end. Allen will see 24-28 minutes per game until someone gets injured. He is insurance for Wade or Lebron and a huge bench boost with his 3-point shooting.
     
  5. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Couple of things:

    Orlando Woolridge was reasonably good. Dave Corzine, meh. Quintin Daily was OK. Even I don't remember Steve Johnson.

    Also, it's not necessarily the overall talent of the pieces, but how their talent matches up with their assigned tasks. In the dynasty Bulls, you actually had the completely ideal pieces for an established star like MJ. He needed a wing defender and secondary scoring option - can't do better than Pippin. He needed a rebound guy, scoring is a bonus. Grant was that and Rodman was REALLY that. He needed spot up shooters so that his drives could have kicks in them, he had perfectly suited people for that. He needed big bodies at center and he had that, albeit Bill Cartwright was a good talent, the three headed monster that succeeded him was meh at best.

    He didn't need another dominant scorer, because that's what he was.

    To compare to, say, Kobe, he came in where there was an established alpha in Shaq. That completely changes the dynamics, in that Kobe was the Pippin in that equation, but he wasn't content to be Robin to Shaq's Batman.

    However, if you look at the 2000 Lakers teams, what else did they have? Aging Rick Fox, aging Grant, Horry, aging Bryan Shaw, aging Ron Harper, young Fisher and such awesome talent as Slava Medvedenko, Devean George, and Mark Madsen.

    Point being is that the team won because the pieces were just fine for their roles and Shaq and Kobe weren't completely at each others' throats. Jordan's Bulls won because the pieces were fine for their roles and Pippin knew damned well who was boss and was comfortable with it.

    Last year's Heat LOST because their pieces were not good for their roles and their stars hadn't figured out what was what. This year's Heat WON because their pieces worked well for their roles and the stars figured it out.

    Ray Allen could start on the Heat like this: Chalmers (PG); Allen (SG); Wade (SF); James (PF); Bosh (C). That's their best lineup anyway. You've got 4 guys who can play 1 - 3 on that squad and, aside from whatever team winds up with Dwight Howard, you really don't worry about another center abusing Bosh anyway. The game is much faster and rewards speed over size.
     
  6. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    When the Heat lose, it is becuase they get dominated in the paint. Bosh is no full-time Center. Teams will beat on him and he will get hurt. That lineup will not win consistently. You need one big man who can afford to foul and be able to take fouls. Foul trouble kills an all offensive squad. When playing against such a fast/scoring lineup, (smart) teams will slow the pace(like a Spurs for ex.) and keeping trying to isolate a one-on-one against a star to put them in foul trouble. Once oyu grind them, then you start running. However, the lineup DMC suggests WILL be the fourth quarter lineup for the Heat if all are healthy in the playofs next year....

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 6 minutes and 29 seconds later... ----------

    Orlando Woolridge was a big time scorer for a few years. O-Woolridge and Bernard King were two guys who never passed on a shot. Any shot. "Gunners".
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    One of the things that always amazed me about basketball is the lack of parity. In my life there really have only been a few dominant teams in the league. It's a sport where the superstars tend to congregate in the major cities. Boston and LA are obvious examples. (In fact, LA is the only city in the US that lists their favorite sport as basketball - no doubt some of that has to do with them having two basketball teams and no football teams, but still...) There's a few really big basketball cities in the US, and that's where the stars go.

    In addition to Boston and LA, Chicago and Detroit are big basketball towns, as is NYC, even though the Knicks haven't won a title in about 40 years. And it really hasn't changed that much since after they implemented the salary cap. The salary cap was instituted in the 98-99 season. Since that time, the Lakers have won 5 titles, the Spurs have won 4, and the Heat have won 2. Everyone else combined have won 3, two of which came from teams that have historically been powerhouses, the Celtics and Pistons. Only the Mavericks from last year really break that mold. (And this year they were pretty bad, and next year they'll probably be REALLY bad - Cuban must be ready to pull his hair out - the Mavs had a terrible offseason.)

    Oh, and since you asked about the pre-salary cap era, I looked up the Bulls salary for the year before they put in the salary cap:

    1 Michael Jordan $33,140,000
    2 Toni Kukoc $4,560,000
    3 Ron Harper $4,560,000
    4 Dennis Rodman $4,500,000
    5 Luc Longley $3,184,900
    6 Scottie Pippen $2,775,000
    7 Bill Wennington $1,800,000
    8 Scott Burrell $1,430,000
    9 Randy Brown $1,260,000
    10 Dickey Simpkins $1,235,000
    11 Robert Parish $1,150,000
    12 Jason Caffey $850,920
    13 Steve Kerr $750,000
    14 David Vaughn $693,840
    15 Keith Booth $597,600
    16 Jud Buechler $500,000
    17 Joe Kleine $272,250

    Jordan made more than the rest of the team combined. Also shocking was that Pippen was on the last year of a six year deal, which had to be one of the biggest bargains in NBA history. I can't beleive he had a salary of under $3 million. To put Jordan's $33 million in perspective, no one has come close since. Kobe made $24 million last year, and KG had a $24 million salary two years ago. But Jordan's salary was so much bigger, and it was 14 years ago!

    But the larger point is that the NBA is a dynasty league, and those dynasties are concentrated among a few teams - most notably the Celtics and Lakers have had multiple dynasties. And the other sports simply aren't. It's rare to see a back to back champion in the NFL. The Patiorts dynasty is now eight or nine years old. And when was the last time there were back to back champs in baseball or hockey? In baseball I think the last team to repeat was the Yankees dynasty of the 1990s. The NHL? I don't even know. I guess the Red Wings won back to back titles around the same time as the Yankees had thier last run. But the last true dynasty in hockey may very well be the Oilers.
     
  8. dogsoldier Gems: 7/31
    Latest gem: Tchazar


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    I'm ambivalent about James' supposed ego or public face. I frankly think that at this point, there is little the guy can do to overcome the opinions of his detractors. ("The Decision" was surely one of the worst ideas in pro sports, and the Heat have done him few favors in how they've marketed him since he's come to Miami. Of course, Miami themselves struggled with how to market a reigning MVP and probably the most important free-agent signing ever in the NBA. Those things being said, they don't matter anymore).

    It shocks me when ex-players like Scottie Pippen say that LeBron is better than Jordan. I think Dwayne Wade has handled this question in a more thoughtful manner. A quick statistical laydown:

    Jordan: 31.47 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.6 apg, 2.66 spg, 1.03 bpg. Had set career-highs with an 18-rebound game, a 17-assist game, a 10-steal game, a 6-block game, a 26-for-27 game from the free-throw line, and a 69-point game. By my count, had 33 50+ point games and 28 triple-doubles in his first 9 years (including play-offs). Averaged 32.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 8.0 apg, and 2.89 spg in the '88-89 season, where he also had 7 consecutive triple-doubles, which in my opinion is one of the most dominant seasons ever recorded. 3 season MVPs, Defensive Player of the Year, selected All-NBA First Team 9 times, selected All-NBA First Team Defense 9 times, 3 Finals MVP selections, Rookie of the Year. Two gold medals.

    James: 27.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.7 spg, .8 bpg. Career-high "stat games" include a 19-rebound game, a 15-assist game, a 56-point game, a 7-steal game, and a couple of 5-block games. Had 8 50+ point games and 35 triple-doubles (including play-offs). 3 regular season MVPs, 6 All-NBA First Team selections, selected All-NBA First Team Defense 4 times, 1 Finals MVP selection, Rookie of the Year. Two gold medals.

    To me, Michael Jordan had clearly accomplished more by this stage in his career than LeBron has, and furthermore, seemed more dominant (in terms of being first-team All-NBA and All-Defense every year). Jordan was by far a better defender (I personally think LeBron is a rather overrated defender). I'm not sure on what basis one could legitimately argue that LeBron is "better" than Jordan.

    Each are different players, however, and the truly impressive thing about LeBron is he's still pretty young. He's only just reached his athletic potential, and when I watch him play, I think there is a lot of room yet for technical refinement in his skills (for instance, he can still be an awkward jump shooter at times).
     
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