And you sir, are no Michael Jordan

And you sir, are no Michael Jordan

Yes, I'm looking at you Kobe Bryant.   I'm looking at you LeBron James.  It's not your fault, the media screwed you both on this by bringing it up all the time, but in case there's any doubt, let me clear it up for you.  You may be great, but you are no Michael Jordan.

For whatever reason the media loves to dust off the "is this guy better than Michael Jordan" talk every couple years with some guy who's clearly not better than Jordan.   There's only two men who can rightly be compared to Michael Jordan.   Wilt Chamberlain (the domineer of raw stats) and Bill Russell (the domineer of wins).   They both lose, but you at least have some type of argument for either guy.

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Before we begin, let me address the argument that because we're having a conversation about this that somehow it validates the idea.   I had a conversation yesterday with my five year old where she told me I no longer need to go to work.   She said she called my boss and made sure it's okay, and that he understands that she misses me too much.  I asked what his name was, and she replied "barbecue".

Having a conversation doesn't validate in any way the contents of the conversation.  If you've ever spoken with a moron (I assume we've all done that at some point) then I doubt you feel their thoughts were validated merely by being spoken outloud.    The media are simply morons with this.   Except they're not actually morons, they're shameless self-promoters trying to boost their ratings by attempting to prop up the players playing presently on their networks.

There are many ways to sum up this argument, and what makes it so simple is that Jordan wins all of them.    That's why the case of comparing Kobe or LeBron is so absurd.  Neither guy wins any argument against Jordan.   

It'd be easy to close the book on where these guys are right now.   There are so many open and shut ways to do so.  I could say look at the rings.   Look at the Finals MVPs.   Look at the stats.  Look at the league MVPs, defensive MVPs, any statistical or subjective metric etc...   Those would all fairly simply prove the point Jordan is the best to ever play the game, and any rationale person would choose Jordan after hearing those arguments.

However, I'm not going to do that.  I'm going to take it a step farther. I'm going to show you that no reasonable extrapolation of the rest of their career for Kobe or LeBron can ever put them ahead of Jordan regardless of how many rings they win from here on out. 

That's right.  If Kobe wins the championship the next three seasons or LeBron rattles off eight straight, neither guy is better than Jordan.  They just aren't, and the rings if they come (which they probably won't in enough volume for either guy to pass MJ anyway) then it still won't matter.  Jordan will still be the best ever.

So let's begin with fictional Kobe Bryant.    Kobe Bryant has five rings right now, let's say the Lakers win three more rings to finish with eight, can he  be viewed as greater than Jordan due to the rings?

Wait for it, because I'm about to go Robert Horry on your ass.  Robert Horry was a key contributor for teams that won seven rings.  No one considers Horry better than Jordan, Kobe, or heck, Karl Malone.   Why?   He wasn't the best player on any of those teams.   Winning a ring is an accomplishment, but when weighing rings against the greats, it matters who you were in the pecking order when you won it.

Kobe Bryant won three rings as the second banana.   Three more championships gives him at most five finals MVPs, and when
looking at titles, you don't get credit for the ones you Robert Horry
your way into as anything less than the best player on the team.  If Scottie won a ring in Houston or wasn't robbed by the referees in Portland, then would he be better than Michael?   7 rings, key player on all seven teams?   No.  It'd be absurd.

Of his two finals MVPs, the second was almost by default, because he didn't really play that great in the finals in 2010.   In fact, Pau Gasol had a higher PER than Kobe Bryant in the regular season in 2010.   They have almost turned into a 1a / 1b type of option in LA similar to Kobe/Shaq.   In fact, statistically, Pau has more of a case to being the Lakers best player last season than Kobe ever had over Shaq.

The problem for Bryant is that this isn't going to get better as he ages.  In fact, it's highly likely that if the Lakers do win three more rings (an event I consider to have a near zero probability) that Bryant will not be the finals MVP three more times anyway. 

On top of that, the statistical argument is too strong against Bryant.  The amount of time in the NBA you could have possibly considered him the best player in the league is far too small.   How many years in the NBA would you say there was no doubt that MJ was the best player? 6?  8?   10?  In retrospect, it's probably at least 8.   I'm not sure there's ever a season where Kobe's the undisputed best player, and there's certainly no where near eight such seasons.

Kobe's been no where near the clutch player that Jordan was in the finals either.   He quit on his team in the playoffs once.   He had a very mediocre finals on several occasions where a Jordan like performance would have easily won the ring.   If Kobe was Jordan, given his caliber of play in the finals, he'd already have seven or more rings.   He's not.   Disregarding playoff stats, his regular season stats also fail to compare.

In short, Kobe's a great player, 2nd greatest SG of all time, but there is a noticeable gap in every area between him and Jordan, and even if he wins three more rings, unless his play radically improves (an unrealistic expectation at the age of 32), then he's got no hope of ever passing Michael.

Let's move on to LeBron.   LeBron is more difficult to argue, because LeBron has so much career left.   In fact, he'll only turn 26 this season.   An age where Jordan had yet to capture an NBA championship.   LeBron's career arc thus far resembles Jordan except that he came out three years younger.   However, he's dominated the league individually without much help while yet to be able to win a title.

LeBron though, is about to add some jewelry.   The problem with LeBron is that his help is too good.   His team is too strong.   I love Scottie Pippen to death, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are better than Scottie and Grant/Rodman.    Wade was a finals MVP in his own right already, and is a legitimate year in and year out MVP candidate. 

LeBron's cast may be so good that he may not even win the finals MVP.   Is LeBron really the closer on this team?   We've yet to find out.   Much like Kobe, and much unlike Jordan, LeBron has also bailed on his team in a playoff series.  He's quit.  He hasn't shown the same level of utter commitment to get it done.   I don't think he took the easy way out.   While Jordan said he wanted to beat Larry and Magic, do you really think Jordan would have been upset if one of them was traded to the Bulls?   He was always begging for help.

However, it didn't happen that way for Michael.   The Bulls added good players, but he won his six titles as clearly the man.  He was so much the man in his title wins, that few players have ever meant more to their team in a championship run than Jordan did to the Bulls.   Hakeem is the only one who leaps to mind.   LeBron won't have that.

That means his rings will be weighed out less valuable than Michaels.   Can he win eight rings?   nine rings?   Anything is possible, but it's awfully unlikely.   It would take an inconceivably good run in order for LeBron to win eight more rings in his career.   Especially since Wade isn't going to hold up for eight seasons. 

Ignoring the rings argument, can LeBron win a defensive MVP?  Can he make 9 defensive first teams?   Can he lead the league in scoring for 11 seasons?   The thing about Jordan too is that he made these accomplishments in the majority of his seasons in the league.  Jordan only had 11 seasons in his prime, losing one to injury, and two to retirement.  Heck, of those 11 seasons, several were well past his prime, it's just that he was so awesome a past his prime Jordan still dominated the hell out of the league.

Even if LeBron can match some of Jordan's raw numbers in terms of awards (unlikely), he'll take 16+ seasons to do what Jordan did in 11.   I won't be surprised if LeBron wins six rings.  I won't be surprised if there is huge media hype that he's better than Jordan at that point, however, when we look back and measure who he had to do it with, how many years it took him, how he contributed in other areas, then a reasonable person will still look back at the pair and pick Jordan without blinking.

LeBron's already spent too much time to match Jordan's accomplishments in a similar time frame.   He's too far behind the pace in too many areas.   He's already put himself on an easier path.   He's come close to living up to Jordan's stats, but he's fallen just short.    In short, everything about LeBron so far is close, but he'll lose by a little bit in every category.  Not as clutch, not as good a defender, not as good statistically, not as clearly dominant as Jordan, will need more talent to win, not as mentally tough, just not as good in every area.

His only hope is to win in terms of titles, but he's put himself to not be as important to his title teams as Jordan, and he'd still need to win seven titles to even be debatable in that one category while still losing in everything else.  

Jordan may not be the greatest forever.   There may come a day where someone dominates their era more so than Michael his, but it's not someone in the league yet.  

So sorry Kobe, sorry LeBron.  I'm sorry that you keep getting propped up in this conversation you can never win.   Perhaps one of the only conversations that can be brought up to diminish your talents.   That said, you're still no Michael Jordan.

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  • What about Kareem? He could easily be put into the conversation as being better than Chamberlain or Russell. Granted that I was too young to see them. But my dad witnessed all three of them and I would bet that Kareem would be the first center he'd take, then Russell, then Chamberlain if he had to build a team. Even if you disagree, the man has to be in the conversation, as it is definitely reasonable to debate who was the best center of all time. From what I've heard, Kareem got a bad rap for changing his name. America did not like Muslims back then either.

  • Pippen was a better defender than Jordan, and didn't win defensive MVP. Jordan was considered the best after 5,6 seasons with 2 MVP and 1 ring. It's about the ability to perform on the court. That said, Jordan is the greatest, but Lebron is more talented and Kobe is more skilled in certain areas. I think mentally, Jordan has a larger edge but there are very few, if anything Jordan does on the court that Kobe is incapable of doing.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Nor did Pippen get as many 1st team Defensive selections, which kind of boggles me, as Pippen always took the opposition's best perimeter player, allowing Jordan to cheat off his man and disrupt the passing lanes, hence the majority of his steals.

    I'm not sure Kobe is more skilled than Jordan. I don't think professional sports has ever seen an athlete the caliber of LeBron.

  • In reply to Houston:

    1. I agree. Kobe had Shaq(for a few years) where Shaq was the best player by a far amount. Kobe lost a few finals after winning a few.
    That shows he was out-played and out-hearted which MJ will never let it happen.
    2. LBJ is fool's gold. He looks very promising and talented. But he hasn't shown the ability to take up it a notch at the highest level. He beats up on regular season competition or average talent in the playoffs(Decimated Bulls, Atlanta last year)..
    I would say since LBJ's game is similar to Magic, his level is more like a milder version of Magic. Magic needed Kareem, Worthy to win 5 championships and he started doing it from his 1st year. I would give LBJ 3/4 championships at the most and that too if Wade doesn't break down and Bosh learns to play defense(Bosh had never shown anything else other than play good offense as a 1st option).

  • In reply to Houston:

    I don't think Kobe is better skilled in certain areas than MJ. There is no proof either way. So that's just an opinion.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Man, somebody ate their Wheaties today. Nicely done.

  • Kobe is a better long range shooter and a better ballhandler, many, including Phil Jackson has stated that. Tex Winter said Kobe is similar, Pippen even stated some comparisons. I don't think they are incomparable, it's closer than you make it. Jemele Hill wrote a column about it.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Didn't Kobe's teams lose in the first round of the playoffs and did not qualify for the playoffs once in his prime. That never happened to MJ in his prime with all the issues on the roster and coach changes he had.
    The other thing is I am not sure is when ESPN started broadcasting NBA games. I somehow see the connection between LBJ and hype after ESPN had to push their broadcasts.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    kobe had no help when he lost in 1st round of playoffs. Jordan didn't get past them either until he got pip and both detroit and boston got old. And jordan ran out his coach in the only coach change he experienced and the player changes were all advances in talent until that championship team was formed. Kobe lost in the 1st round in te lakers rebuilding years with no other talent around him

  • In reply to tsova:

    I said in his prime years. Jordan got his team into the playoffs even from his rookie year. His teams lost to championship contenders. Kobe was in his prime after Shaq left and couldn't even will his team to playoffs once. What is your point? Kobe is better than MJ???

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Jordan was also getting those bulls teams into the playoffs with sub .500 records in a very top-heavy but truly weak Eastern conference( sorta like it is now) while kb24 was leading a subpar team through a tough western conference. By your argument mj failed to make it to the finals more than 6 times while kobe has spent half his seasons playing into june so mjs finals record is good cuz he made it less times but succeeded more while completely ignoring the fact that every year he didn't make it counts as a loss. Do the math. And right now yes kb is better than mj. Seen both play from the beginning and mjs path is like lebrons today( since I'm stronger and faster I'll just crash to the goal. I'll get a skill set l8r) while kobe came out with a midrange and turnaround jumper at the age of 18 that rivaled mjs itself. He learned the game and gained a competitive edge that put him on jordans level in only a few short years to combine with the athleticism and skill set and into a 3x champ

  • In reply to tsova:

    Against bigger stronger defenders

  • In reply to tsova:

    Whatever??? That takes some real thinking to say Kobe is better than MJ after all these stats, arguments presented:-)
    Well, I guess I didn't know that Kobe has fans who will put him past MJ so fast...it must be news to Kobe himself:-)

  • In reply to Houston:

    The better ballhandler argument is a joke, When it mattered most the ball was always in Jordans hands, and basically no one ever took it away.

    Jordan is essentially as good of a ballhandler as there has ever been. Jordan had as good of a pair of hands as anyone the game has ever seen.

  • Lebron is Karl Malone's size...yet one of the fastest players in the league along with his strength. His only weakness is a post game, that will come with time. But as far as skill and size goes...I have never seen an athlete like Lebron James. But I don't think Jordan is the 20th century's best athlete either.

  • In reply to Houston:

    LeBron has achieved nothing. Unless he wins 4/5 championships with him as the main dog and he is the Finals MVP in 3/4 of them,,,he is closer to Dominique Wilkins than MJ. If MJ is in Grad School, LeBron is in Grade School now. So, let's stop the comparisons now because Kobe has atleast won a few championships.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Nobody said that about Jordan when the media crowned him the greatest. They said it in the early 90's, he wasn't statistically close nor did he win nearly enough rings by that time. So why the change in criteria now?

  • In reply to Houston:

    Now we can look back and see that MJ is clearly better. Its no longer unknown. Kobe and Lebron aren't able to overtake his crown and what they have done to this point shows they aren't close.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Yeah, they looked back...five years. Nothing Jordan had done showed that he was close to Russell or Chamberlain or Kareem. Hell, he didn't win half the titles Bird and Magic had won before he was anointed the best ever. I think it has to do with watching these players play and giving an unbiased, objective opinion. Arguably the greatest RB ever doesn't have the most yards or superbowl rings. The greastest baseball players don't have the most HR or the highest batting average, nor does he have the most world series rings. In basketball, you should be able to look at the players and compare on the court. Counting titles and MVP's is just lame, lazy analysis.

    I have watched both Jordan and Kobe play over the course of their careers. And there is no way, you can put Jordan in this era or Kobe in Jordan's era and say Jordan would be much better than Kobe or Lebron. Absolutely not.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Huh? Your argument is that since you've watched them both play(which by the way congratulations, so has every single NBA fan over the age of 25), and since Jordan played in a different era you can't compare the two? You aren't even remotely sensible, let alone "absolutely". If any separation exists between now and then, its found in the way games were called. Watch footage of any NBA game in the 90's and see the overwhelming contrast in officiating. Guys were permitted to body up and hand check five times fold the magnitude allowed in today's game. So what exactly is your argument for discounting the kobe jordan comparison? Is it the fact that you've seen it so your opinion must be synonymous with fact, or that Jordan played against tougher defense? Child please.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    Jordan stated that the eras shouldn't be compared. Depending on who you talk to, Jordan had refs in his back pocket...so please, spare me...child.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Don't forget the off-the-court presence that Jordan had. Jordan did so much for the NBA by becoming a global sports icon. His image, his brand changed the league forever. This is something that Kobe and especially LeBron will never have. They cannot impact the league as much as Jordan has from a marketing perspective.

  • In reply to Houston:

    Anybody get ESPN insider? In the rumors, it has "D-Rose about to get even better". Anyone?

  • Agreed. And has anyone even mentioned the no hand checking rules that now apply?

    I wonder what numbers Michael would put up with no hand checking compared to today's free pass? The steering, pushing, and ocasional grabbing he had to contend with, and take all that away? What numbers would he put up in Kobe's hands free era?

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I am not sure that Kobe(as tough as he is) would have survived all the garbage that the Pistons and the Knicks threw at Jordan.

  • Thanks!

  • I mean to say when somebody like Phil or Tex Winter says Kobe is a better ball-handler than Jordan. All that is situational depending on so many factors. On the points, shooting percentage, finals performance and many other things..I am not even disputing MJ is far better than Kobe. Overall, there is no comparison of Kobe Vs MJ as you mentioned after watching this year's playoffs.
    If we watched this year's playoffs without any ESPN/ABC hyperbole, we would assume Gasol is the best player or maybe Boston lost because of Perkins's injury.

  • LeBron is not more talented than Jordan. He's just bigger. He has Magic's size and Jordan's athleticism, but Jordan had a better jump shot and was better in the post, which is almost inexcusable considering LeBron's size advantage. The "Kobe is more skilled" argument holds no water either. His jumper may "look" better than MJ's, but the difference in their 3pt percentages is virtually negligible. Kobe has always wasted more effort with flashy dribbling and forcing bad shots, but - as Phil Jackson also said - Jordan had a much better knack for creating easier looks for himself as opposed to forcing bad shots the way Kobe does. Which speaks to Jordan's higher basketball IQ.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Pippen stated that Kobe had a higher baaketball IQ than Jordan when Kobe was 26,27 years old...so again it's a matter of opinion...

  • In reply to magestew:

    Agree totally. Jordan's IQ puts him ahead of the curve. He knew how to play the game better and that's why his stats were ultimately better.

  • In reply to magestew:

    The thing about Jordan's career, if you were 18 yrs or older/bascially an adult, and followed the Bulls for a couple of years before the first championship, you saw a sea change.

    Michael was a driver early on, and had to fight for all his points as he had Granville Waiters, Sedale Threat, Brad Sellers, and a cast of second raters. You watched him toil as the only star talent with not even a legit supporting cast.

    Then you had Doug Collins(yeah, Ol' Nutzy) come in, and at least bring some pride and discipline, and the team became more driven. Follow young wards Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen. Then a legit post guy(I don't care what his numbers were - Bill Cartwight was the post presence they needed, and he used to often kick Patrick Ewing's ass head to head in his first couple of seasons with the Bulls). And Paxson who was actually already there in the 84/85' Boston series where MJ scored 64.

    Add Phil Jackson who along with Jordan finally accpeted Tex Winter's triangle offense. Defensive guru Johnny Bach.

    Then your ready to overcome the bullying/assbeating of the Piston's which was allowed simply because the league couldn't tolerate one player beating an obviously superior talented team in the Pistons.

    I remember all the leg twisting, whipping, entangling crap the 'Worm' used to get away with on Michael. It was bullsh*t.

    Anyhow whether you buy the Michael was better then the whole pistons team/could have beat them argument or not, it was a drama of the highest order. And MJ furiously berating/mentally ripping apart his teammates at halftimes and after game/series failures/losses.

    Yes MJ could be a monumental prick. But putting aside the MJ major critique, you still had a spellbinding drama. Then comes Scottie and Horace's games taking off along with Pax, B.J. Armstrong, Craig Hodges etc. etc.

    That's not even mentioning surviving the Riley Knick's beatdown squads with Derek Harper, Anthony Mason(jar), John Starks, Oakley etc. etc. Riley whipped Starks into such a hypnotic state that he actually believed he was/and played better then Michael Jordan for a game or two of that series where Pippen had to bascially take over for a game or two and save Chicago.

    The point is: look at the character guys around Michael, with Teach/Cartwright, B.J., Pax, workhorse Ho Grant, Pip etc. etc. Look at the menacing foes they had to face in Detroit and New York. Where would you find that kind of drama/theater today?
    We who witnesses Michael Jordan's rise to power and dominant reign were the luckiest fans ever. As sure as Michael was the greatest player ever.

    And despite the new media and fan imitated penchant not to hold anyone in reverence, and to more often point to their faults and weaknesses as not being a homer/objective/modern/sophisticated/keeping it real etc. etc. ajudicator of the history of the game. I'll say I hold Micahel Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, Pax. B.J. Armstrong, Toni Kukoc, Ronnie Harper, Steve Kerr among others in reverence along with Phil, Tex, and Johnny Bach forever.

    Because life is not worth living without heros. And those victories over Detroit and New York were without doubt heroic battles/triumphs. And if you diagree then either you were nto old enough to take it all in, or I just plain feel sorry for you.

  • This was almost like a church sermon to me. The thing is, in terms of the combination of individual statistical dominance, team dominance, and titles as the unquestioned leader of his team, no one in the history of the game matches Jordan. Until they do, MJ will be considered the Greatest Of All Time. The only one who has had a realistic chance was LeBron, and now that he's joined Wade, LeBron has likely taken himself out of the categories of individual statistical dominance and unquestioned leader of his team.

  • Whoa! How does Kareem get dismissed so easily? Take a look at the stats:

    6x NBA Champion
    6x NBA MVP
    19x NBA All-Star
    2x NBA Finals MVP
    10x All-NBA First Team Selection
    5x All-NBA Second Team Selection
    5x NBA All-Defensive First Team Selection
    6x NBA All-Defensive Second Team Selection
    NBA Rookie of the Year
    NBA All-Rookie Team
    3x NCAA Men's Basketball Champion
    3x NCAA Basketball Tournament MOP
    Naismith College Player of the Year
    2x USBWA College Player of the Year
    #1 Career Leader in Points (38,387)
    #3 Career Leader in Rebounds (17,440)
    #3 Career Leader in Blocks (3,189)

    If Wilt and Bill make a legitimate argument against Jordan, Kareem perhaps makes a MORE legitimate argument considering a) the combination of raw stats AND winning, b) playing in a larger, more competitive league and c) playing at such a high level for a ridiculous amount of time. He's the Hank Aaron of basketball.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Kareem was a ninny.

  • Jordan had a career .497 FG%. He made virtually HALF the shots he EVER took. EVER!!! And this guy didn't shoot once in a while. Kobe, with a career .455 FG%, never shot above .469 for a season while MJ did it 10x, all while playing 78 games or more. In what way is Kobe more skilled? The only thing he does better than Jordan is "copy Jordan".

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    And Kobe hasn't had his 2 "Washington" seasons yet.

    Prior to those Michael was over 50% for his career.

  • Exactly. Houston, why does it matter what other peoples opinions are? Just look at the proof. It's as plain as day who was better and had the higher IQ. Michael knew when to use his team... when to pass, when to shoot, when to drive. And as stated it showed in his effeciency compared to Kobe.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    The proof is skill wise, there isn't much of a difference between the two of them. I have stated that Jordan is better, but to act as if Jordan is soooooo much better just isn't the case.

  • And, if I am not mistaken, Michael has a higher career playoff 3 point percentage than Kobe.

    Also, Michael raised his game(statistically)in the playoffs, Kobe dropped(and isn't finished dropping).

  • Also, Jordan didn't grow up shooting the 3, so he had to develop that skill in the pro's.

    Take out his first few seasons, when he shot in the 20's, and he likely has a higher career 3 point percentage.

  • Exactly, statistically Kobe is not even in the discussion. and Michael kills him on the intangibles also.

  • Yea, the article just says that Rose continues to work on his 3 point shot.

  • Basically, not matter how good it looks on the surface, the copy or the forgery is never as beautiful as the original Masterpiece.

    For my money, Jordan and Wilt are the 2 most significant players in the history of the league.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The more we analyze Kobe, the more he looks like a "Poor Man's Jordan" ....he is good at all the things that MJ was but nowhere close to him. He is not even a copy, he is a wrinkled copy of MJ.

    About LBJ, maybe he is better athletically than MJ(Carl Lewis was better too)..but basketball skills and mental skills wise...no reason to go into comparison mode..

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I seem to remember an over the hill MJ going head to head with a Kobe in his prime at MJ's last All Star Game. And if it hadn't been for a horrible 4th quarter turn over by the East, Jordan would have taken MVP of that game and completely out performed Kobe. But due to that one turn over the game went into over time and Kevin Garnett walked away with MVP in a West win. Jordan didn't play in over time. So in my view a worn out MJ on his best day could take a Kobe in his prime. That says some thing right there.

  • In reply to CPBuff22:

    I also remember a 19 year old Kobe scoring 33 on Jordan in a year Jordan won MVP.

  • In reply to CPBuff22:

    Ok, you guys are right. You can keep the "best player in the lauge" with no finals wins.

    I'll take Kobe and win another championship this year. Thanks.

    Here's what better means to me:

    Having a legitmate consistent jumpshot.

    Having a post up move.

    Lebron has neither.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    So Bill Russell is the best ever with his 11 ships then right? Or is it just have some titles, a consistent jumper and a post up move then it's an large tie with Jordan, Hakeem, and a host of others. Or does that mean that centers like Wilt or Shaq weren't really that great after all because they didn't have good jumpers?

    Can't you even imagine what would happen if LeBron played for the Lakers? You think if they had switched spots last year that the Cavs would have been nearly that good or that the Lakers wouldn't easily won the title?

    Once you redefine better there's no need to say LeBron is better because you've already suited the rules to prove your point. Not to mention LeBron does have a good jumper, it's not spectacular (and neither is Kobe's) but it's pretty damn good.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    There was also that horrible foul on Kobe when he was shooting a fade away three from the corner. UH that was the worst foul ever.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's nearly impossible to argue this either way (because of the different eras and LeBron's stage of his career), in the case of Jordan v LeBron, but I will make the case for LeBron as equal to Jordan.

    During his prime thus far LeBron not as good as scorer as MJ, statistically by several points a game, but he is a better passer. In fact LeBron is the best passing forward ever and arguably the best in the league. He's finished top 3 in scoring and top 10 in assists 4 seasons already and that is simply unheard of. Zone defense and the lack of hand checking make this comparison hard but LeBron would be even better if he played under the rules MJ enjoyed but for MJ the lack of handchecking would be somewhat balanced by the ability to zone. Not to mention these same things would make LeBron even more valuable as a defender and MJ slightly less so.

    Defensively MJ put up better steal numbers and was considered the best one of the best perimeter defender's in the league and but it would be foolish not to notice LeBron is now considered in the same light (of course he hasn't played long enough to get the recognition). LeBron, as a bigger player, is a better shot blocker and can guard the 1-4 effectively.

    Awards don't mean alot to me because the MVP rarely goes to the person most deserving (as evidenced by MJ's mere 5 MVPs and Nash's 2). Popularity of the story has too much to do awards, specifically the MVP. The rings argument is too dependent on your teammates and the rest of the league. Otherwise MJ would have won when he was averaging 37 on 48% shooting (the best non-Wilt year for individual dominance) and several other years before Scottie became great and LeBron would have 3 rings already. As for the quitting on his team stuff... really that's what you say when you've run out of arguments. Only in today's media circus would that come up and I find it false and scapegoating anyway. He had a bad shooting game in game 5 but he hardly quit. The myth of him quitting has become "fact" since the game but really they just lost as he got no help from his team. Go back and check the stats:

    http://www.nba.com/playerfile/lebron_james/game_by_game_stats.html

    I try to judge dominance during a player's prime and just because LeBron made the road easy for himself doesn't mean he's not (or won't be) the same caliber of player even if he doesn't get credit for it. They are different players but really very similar and the differences statistically, and to me, on the court dominance are minimal.

  • In reply to MADman24:

    LeBron's story was being written as you put it. But unfortunately, during the middle of the story he decided to "wade" his way into Miami. Now, to go back to his old story...a few things need to happen.
    1. Wade has to get hurt so it becomes LeBron's team
    2. With another supposed superstar Bosh in tandem, then LBJ has to win 5/6 titles.

    Then he can come into the discussion with MJ. I agree MVPs don't count. But, winning a championship counts. It is not so in baseball and football. But in basketball, you as a supreme talent and with good players can make it happen. So, until he wins multiple championships without Wade and just with Bosh and another decent star...he will not be in the same level as MJ because MJ has excelled at the stat part of the conversation and that in the finals..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    It's LeBron's team now he's by a relatively wide margin better than Wade. Wade, to me, is in the argument for 2nd best player in the league now but whoever is 2nd is a distant second to LeBron.

    Titles count very minimally to me but even given that why wouldn't say let's say 5 straight "walk to the championship" titles (which I think they are going to win) count. Let's say 16-0 and the playoffs more than once would that count as a sign of his supreme dominance?

    For the record I don't think he'll ever be considered the best ever but I'm just saying he's right there regardless of recognition. And if I had to pick between them at gunpoint I'd say MJ over LeBron I just think it's my homerism that makes me say that and that it's really, really close or indistinguishable as far as pure on the court dominance and talent.

  • In reply to MADman24:

    THIS JUST IN:

    Luol Deng comes up with a HUGE block at the end of the game for G.B. as they improve to 5-0 in Eurobasket play.

    He struggled offensively coming up with only 13 points on 3/12 FG Shooting and 6/12 FT-shooting, but PINNED a dunk attempt on the glass by the opposing Center in the final seconds of the game with Great Britain up by 1 point.

    It was quite nice. I have to admit.

    http://live.fibaeurope.com/netcasting/default.asp?game_number=7663-B-11µsite_scope=undefined

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    this just in.. u still complain and want to TRADE him.. whats the point of talking about him or hearing anything good aboit luol if your goina ask for melo in the NEXT comment

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    This just in, nobody gives a crap.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Ultimately greatness will always be defined by a combination of talent, accolades, championships, and how you win. Jordan, Kobe, and Lebron all have/had overwhelming talent. Jordan has more accolades and Jordan won ALL his championships as the best player on the team. Kobe has only done so twice. Lebron has yet to win and if he doesn't win multiple rings now...than he need not ever be in THIS conversation. He could be in the conversation of best position players as the best SF all-time(like Malone arguably the best PF but not much else)but not the best player all-time. That is still Mike.

    Side note:Lebron has to become more mature. His dancing and antics before games and during blowouts shows where his mind is sometimes. Michael was all BUSINESS. He wasn't always trying to be everyone's friend on the court, even to his teamates sometimes. He was a LEADER and he pushed his guys in practice and challenged everyday. This is another reason Lebron to this point has not surpassed Jordan's greatness...he has the tools to but he hasn't yet.

  • In reply to MADman24:

    Lebron is not better than kobe.

    the fact that we are even debating this is embarrassing for everyone involved. I cant keep getting into this same discussion. I brought this up last year, when I told everyone LA would win and the Cavs and LBJ would lose. Everyone, Doug included, said Lebron was better.

    I seriously dont know what you guys are watching. Sure, he's bigger and stronger, but you dont have to be the biggest or the strongest to be the best. Its about killer instinct, being a closer and being a winner. LBJ is none of those things.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Winning last year's title in no way proves your argument and if the Cavs had won it wouldn't prove LeBron was better and if LeBron winning last year's title would have changed your mind then was Paul Pierce the best player in the league win Boston just won the title?

    Clutch is almost impossible to judge but 82games tries and LeBron blows Kobe away:

    http://www.82games.com/0910/CSORT11.HTM

    http://www.82games.com/gamewinningshots.htm

    Also if your using clutch it's notable the Rip Hamilton is quite close to best player in the league. Going by your statement "Its about killer instinct, being a closer and being a winner." Bill Russell is the greatest player of all time hands down because of his rings.

    It's not that "he's bigger and stronger" why he's better than Kobe, although LeBron's athleticism is a great strength of his, it's that LeBron is a far more dominant and efficient player than Kobe. Kobe is the "better" all around offensive player only if "better" means has more moves but that is simply irrelevant to who is the more dominant and hence actually the better player.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Where was Kobe's killer instinct in Game 7 this year? What clutch performance did Kobe really have in the playoffs this year? Maybe Game 5 again Phoenix. I'm just saying I don't think it is as clear cut as you make it out to be...Kobe has always had a better team(Shaq, best C then...Gasol, best PF now) and the B-COAT(Best Coach of All-Time)

  • In reply to MADman24:

    Regular season MVP's dont matter as much as Finals MVPs. Nash has 2 season MVPs but NO Finals appearances. Lebron has only been to the Finals once and was swept.

    What happens if Lebron only wins 2 or 3 championships w/this team? Would you agree that this would more negatively impact his legacy than if he stayed in Cleveland or went elsewhere w/a team built around him and won only 1 ring? Wouldn't he look worse for having better talent surrounding him than Mike but not being able to replicate or even come close to his results?

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    wow so nash doesnt deserve those awards? he was by far the real reason behind phx success.. u guys are bugging.. dantoni cant win anymore and amare deserves half the little hype he gets.... so since when mvps dont count.. becuase the when kone won it.. he got it becuase he didnt have one.. dont bring up am example and use kobe becuase nash isnt media hyped.. nash deserved those .. kg deserved on not kobe..

  • In reply to MADman24:

    I'm sorry you lost at. "In fact LeBron is the best passing forward ever and arguably the best in the league." Wait so he's the best passing forward ever, but only maybe the best in the league now? What ever you say man.. I'm also the best blogger ever, and maybe even the best on this site.

  • Doug, you suggested that despite your love for Scottie, Wade and Bosh are (far?) superior to Pippen and Grant/Rodman.

    Since it is still August, that one deserves its own post, so I won't debate it here, except to say that Rodman would literally make Bosh cry and go home, he would absolutely zero him out, and I would have loved to see Scottie guard Wade.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He didn't say "far" better...but I do agree w/the premise of your statement. The evolution of the NBA has produced more offensive-minded players so it may seem that Wade/Bosh are better than Pippen/Rodman/Grant. The latter group is vastly superior defensively while the former is superior offensively. So head to head just Pippen/Rodman would shut down Wade/Bosh while Pippen would be able to beat Wade on offensive just from size...not to mention skill.

    Also, I feel that if Pippen was THE man on the Bulls and there was no MJ(a tough hypothetical if you believe Pippen's growth is directly related to MJ's influence) he could have won 1 or 2 rings with as many Final MVPs. Interesting debate...

  • Houston thinks that he is playing the devil's advocate or he is plain irrational. He is just using random quotes and is a self-professed LBJ fan. So there's no point continuing the discussion with him once his mind looks like is made up...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I wish you all would stick to the subject and not analyze the mind of the person stating there opinion. This is a Chicago blog written for Bulls fans...there isn't a lot of objectivity on this subject to begin with...I am a Bulls fan but also an NBA fan. I have never been a Kobe fan, and never wanted Lebron to win because if he starts, he will dominate. I just call it like I see it. Disagree with me if u want, even on facts (like Melo can shoot 3's) but I will believe what I believe. My computer is down, when it's back up, I will supply all quotes...

  • In reply to Houston:

    That doesn't explain why other players or coaches opinions matter. There could be any number of reasons for them or us for that matter to state opinions.

    However, facts like stats/and game situations stated like performances in the playoffs and finals(clutch performance) tell the story. Not 81 points in a meaningless season game against the Raptors(Kobe)...but 63 in a playoff game after coming back from a broken foot against one of the best NBA teams in history 85-86 Boston Celtics(Jordan).

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    If it was stats it would be Wilt or Russell. Russell had 40pts and 30 Rebs in a Game 7! I think Phil Jackson and others opinion matter just as much if more because he knows them both better than you or I.

  • In reply to Houston:

    can we be honest for a second? how is lebron not the best player in the league.. kobe played with shaq whos impact was greater than any other player in history besides jordan or wilt.. lebron is still the best player in the league and had he played for another team his whole life with a pau gasol or shaq and etc he would have two or three rings right now.. everyone knows lebron is the best.. so what if he went to miami.. dwade will never be better than lebron & ya know it.. wades team last year was better than the team lebron took to the finals.. were not talking about tracy mcgrady success were talking about beating a dominat pistons team in the east.. playing with no true star.. at the end of the day.. the people who say lebron cant be better than jordan is just upset by the media hype and his decision.. face it .. we looking at a top three player of all time.. and miami will be his team like it or not.. everyone knows it took gasol to get kpbe over the top.. kobe couldnt get to the second round.. neither could wade.. so how can a guy with a cleveland roster get to the finals and own the lakers every year? lebron gets numbers easy.. if he wanred to avg 35 or 38 a season he could do it.. yes media hypes him.. but can you not.. hes the best player and its not close.. lebron can overtake jordan.. stop being ignorant

  • In reply to Houston:

    Yunqn915-

    You cant be considered the best player in the leauge if you do your best houdini impression in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    oh im sorry name a star whos had his success by himself in the playoffs..

    kobe?
    couldnt get to the second round
    wade?
    couldnt get to the second round
    shaq?
    is damaging his rep by ring chasing and taking vet min.
    but still shaq & duncan were the only players.. kobe isnt close to james and a couple triple double seasons,more mvps and now rings.. whats your excuse.. to be the guy you gotta be better talent wise and vocally over everyone.. name me a more taleted player or a guy who lead a cleveland team to video game stats(best team for 2 yrs and a finals apperance) mind you lebron is 25..

    kobe wouldve cryed on cleveland
    wade wouldve left asap..

    bosh and wade by themselves couldnt even start on team usa or be mentioned as top ten all time by themselves ..but guess what lebron has and deservingly so.. we could so called debate about lebron all day.. but at the end of the day if ypu could find me a player to go in lebrons shoes in cleveland they will still a mediocore franchise looking for a second round goal.. face it

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Lebron's team talent had increased since his 2007 finals appearance however the output in the playoffs decreased. What happened this year? Lebron will not finish his career better than Michael b/c greatness is not only measured by accolades and achievements but also the way in which you do it. Jordan only had Pippen. Lebron now has not only the 2nd best SG and
    3rd best player in the LEAGUE in Wade but also the 2nd or 3rd best PF.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    oh ueah only pippen who was once considered the best players and a hall of famer.. oh yeah i forgot dennis rodman a top 3 defensive player of all time.. and lasty how could i forget the greatest coach of all time..

    wade without that title that one year.. isnt considered a top 3 player rght now.. just a injured superstar who needs help(i.e tracy mcgrady)

    bosh? couldnt even get to the playoffs.. so what now?

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    wade got to the second round once byhimself and injuried nearly every year..mind you that team was talented.. and he wasnt the best player.. if lebron came to chicago you guys would be naming your children lebron..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    No one would ever say he was better than Mike tho. Btw, the first 3peat didn't have Rodman...just Pippen and Phil(who at the time wasn't the best coach of all-time).

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    MADman-

    As i've heard this point several times (you cant simply go off championships because bill russell blah blah blah) its easy to rebutt.

    Are you really going to compare Bill Russell's era to Mj's? Really? Come on man...thats ridiculous.

    Like baseball, lets discuss the "modern era". Winning championships 60 years ago doesnt really translate for comparison purposes.

    I guess my point is that IN MY OPINION, there is nothing that Lebron can do that Kobe cant, however, there is a LOT that Kobe can do that Lebron cannot.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Now it's a "LOT?" Kobe may have a better jumper and better post up moves(which he acquired this year) does that matter when Lebron has better output? Statistically Lebron is better. What Kobe does works b/c he has a dominant team...with a team like Cleveland Kobe would not have as good success. Conversely what Lebron does now would most definitely work on LA's team and no doubt with better results.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    THIS IS A BULLS BLOG!!!

    THIS JUST IN:

    Luol Deng comes up with a HUGE block at the end of the game for G.B. as they improve to 5-0 in Eurobasket play.

    He struggled offensively coming up with only 13 points on 3/12 FG Shooting and 6/12 FT-shooting, but blocked a shot attempt at the rim by an opposing player in the final seconds of the game with Great Britain up by 1 point.

    It was quite nice. I have to admit.

    http://live.fibaeurope.com/netcasting/default.asp?game_number=7663-B-11µsite_scope=undefined

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Who do you think is better: Kobe or Lebron?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    DEEEEEEENG LUOL HAHA!!!!!

    seems like dengs carrying this gb team wheteher its offense or defense ..he didnt put up huge numbers but he came through with a crucial block...i definitley love what im seeing from deng even though the competition level is alot weaker its still nice to see one of our chicago bullys make an impact ...N POPS MENSAH BONSU scored 16pts n grabbed 17 reb..another solid performance by the GREAT BRITAIN BEAST..idk bout yall but pops is starting to grow on me ..hes lookin like the poor mans version of joakim noah minus the joakim noah part lol jk...but seriously hes been beastin on the def. end and on the boards ... n i really think gar/pax should take a look at him and give him a shot....he would fill our 13th spot on the roster and bring alot of def. intensity and rebounds to our team and most importantly he wouldnt cost us alot of money...n since were lookin for a big man..i think pops would fit into our system..a big man who likes to run the floor n bang it everytime he touches the rock...yay or nay?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Even if you say Russell's title don't count you seemingly just ignored everything else I said about Shaq, Wilt and Hakeem because it doesn't serve your purpose.

    All the chase down blocks, being top 3 in the league in scoring and top 10 in assists, shoting 50% from the field, I could name several physical things he could do that Kobe can't (especially at this stage of his career) and physical skills matter this is a sport we're talking about... you could dispute all of these but really this silly because by this logic, if you can call it that, is who has the most individual skills no matter how efficient the use of these skills are.

    So by that metric someone like Shaq is always weaker then the more rounded player and that's just ludicrous. You seem to keep changing what you mean when I show how and why LeBron is better but really there's one thing Kobe certainly couldn't do:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mgiXKcXn1E

    Off the court you have a good point: LeBron couldn't punch a teammate in the face and still be looked as a good guy by the public and media. That is one thing he couldn't do.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    MADman-

    I didnt acknowledge that because its impossible to compare Mj to Shaq. Its far more possible to compare players who play the same or similar position on thier respective teams. Of course, statiscially, a center is going to have certain metrics that a 2 isnt going to have (i.e. rebounding, blocks, etc)

    You cant compare centers to 2's, but I think you can compare Lebron and Kobe.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    There's no need to compare center's to 2's I meant comparing Shaq to other more well rounded centers. Because this is a Bulls blog I'll use Noah as an example. Noah has more individual skills than Shaq ever did and hence is a better all-around player but it would be beyond lunacy to say therefore Noah is better than Shaq.

    Using this argument when the players are closer in skill, LeBron and Kobe, doesn't make the argument itself any less fallacious. Just because Kobe has some talents that LeBron doesn't (and I would say and vice versa) that doesn't actually make him better because that's not sound logic.

    Ginobli can't really finish with his right hand does that make everyone around his talent level better than him? Of course it doesn't. Kevin Durant has a better all-around offensive game than Wade but does that automatically make him the better player? Once again of course it doesn't. Yet this is what you are now arguing for Kobe over LeBron.

  • In reply to MADman24:

    LBJ is probably the most talented player right now as Kobe is past his prime and Durant is not in his prime.
    The bottom line is unless LBJ wins multiple championships as the main dog ...there is no argument. He has chosen the easy path which means he doesn't care about being the elite of the elite...Good for him...He is a caring and loving guy...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I wasn't even arguing LeBron over MJ anymore just LeBron over Kobe... which for the past 3 seasons has been no argument.

    And you're right LeBron chose winning over everything else and because of this limited, if not eliminated, his chance to be recognized as equal to or eventually possibly better than MJ. This recognition wouldn't change the truth only minimize it like how around 2001 when people were claiming Iverson was the best in the league when it was clearly Shaq only limited the spread of the truth not the fact itself.

  • In reply to MADman24:

    That's a different story. I think Iverson was too overrated and I personally never even felt he was a dominant player who will kill you in the playoffs. Just because he scored by his quickness and dominated the ball so much...just looked more like a pickup game. I know there are a lot of Iverson fans out there and they probably have stats to backup but he just was not a winning player and I don't think he is even in LBJ or Kobe league either forget MJ. He is probably not in Wade or Shaq's class... For WITW, Shaq and LBJ and Kobe sometimes have looked the most dominant in the league after MJ..

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Oh and MADman youre right.

    Except Lebron punched a whole city in the face.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    off topic but i just visited the bulls website n i gotta say i love the derek rose n joakim noah clip they have displayed before u enter the website..If that doesnt motivate u for this season idk what will....

    But going back to the topic kobe will never be better than jordan...let me make this clear KOBE LBJ OR ANYONE IN THIS DECADE WILL NEVER BE BETTER THAN JORDAN..no matter how many rings they win...we can all agree kobe is the best player of this generation but thats where it stops...kobe has jordan written all over his game and clearly got his swag from jordan from the way he fades away to the way he fist pumps, chews his gum , talks to the media, i even see kobe sticking out his tongue on a few occasions,heck he even kind of sounds like jordan,(im just sayin) need i say more...it almost seems like kobe wants to "be like mike"...so imo kobe will never BE BETTER THAN JORDAN...just like how daniel son will never be better than mr.miagee lol so to compare kobe to jordan is hilarious and a longshot imo and to even mention LBJ is even more hilarious and should neva be taken serious..LBJ Isnt even better than kobe right now and yall know where i stand wit kobe being compared to jordan..so yall can imagine where i stand wit LBJ being compared to MJ...anyone agree or disagree, let me know what yall think?

  • In reply to flyjr1988:

    Kobe benefited from his circumstances. Think about it: he won a ring his 4th year in b/c of Shaq and Phil. He was a great player, don't get me wrong, but not always the best player on the team until recently. Lebron was always the best player on a crappy team with a crappy coach. Switch their fortunes and have Lebron traded to LA his rookie or even 2nd year for Kobe and Lebron has 4 or 5 rings by now. Or even put Lebron on the same team with Dwight Howard and have Popavich coach they easily duplicate what Kobe/Shaq/Phil accomplished I think.

  • In reply to flyjr1988:

    Mr Happy-

    If this is a BULLS BLOG, then why are you posting about Great britians national team! hahahaha..jk

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Dmband,

    In the words of MJ, "Are you stupid?"

    Luol Deng plays for G.B., as well as the Chicago Bulls.

    Get a clue.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Dmband,

    JK...haha.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeYisyGV5Hc

    I'm testy...haha.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Wow, It's the great who is better than MJ argument that I love to jump into at least some 5 times a yr... Well, I'm 30 yrs old, So I grew up watching MJ. He retired from the Bulls when I was 18 yrs old. I thought he was great when I was younger watching him and now that Im older I appreciate his game so much more. He is the definition of what we would call a BEAST in prety much all aspects of his game. We can all argue till everyone is blue in the face regarding who is the greatest of all time using stats, championships, PER, diff era's, etc... Basically I will sum it up with a simple stat. What has Kobe or LBJ done that I havent seen MJ do? I can go on for days about stuff Mike did doing his career that no one has done or possibly will do. The only thing I can say for Kobe is he scored his 81 pts. ( who cares if it was against a horrible non defensive minded Raptors squad.) 81 is 81. Now for LBJ, I cant really think of one to be honest. I think what he did that yr against Detroit in the playoffs was pretty impressive. The only real similarity I see between him and MJ is prob how unstoppable they both are at getting to the basket. (MJ form 84-88 was an absolute monster going to the cup). LBJ is prob just as good if not better, but he is also bigger and stronger, but not as graceful as Mike. So thats my take on that argument, just from a different perspective than most would use.

  • In reply to deemoney23:

    you know why? becuase lebron gets it too easy.. he posts big numbers nightly.. games where people suck kobe for having a triple double or close people yawn when lebron does it becuase its expected...the day lebron gets 10 blks is when we finally saw something differnet .. other than that.. lebron numbers on anyone else would make them the bet but since lebron gets the hype he deserves people think its too much.. check his numbers and check his success hkm takin that team to new worlds is more success than kobe winning on the best roster hands down..

  • In reply to Dmband:

    My bad...that was MELO to LBJ.

    God forbid, LBJ has corrupted MELO.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    GET A CLUE.

    :)

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    It's more like GET AN "EDIT" TOOL.

  • In reply to flyjr1988:

    do the math

    lebron has two mvps to kobe one which kobe was handed becuase he didnt have and l.a was back.. gasol brought them back

    put kobe on cleveland those seven years.. does he lead cleveland to the top record and nearly 70 wins? does he take the worst starting 5 finals there?

    does wade do it?

    whats all the lebron doubt? becuase he did what every star will do? cleveland or miami? comeon! act like you were him..

    kobe broke up a dynasty and said he played his last game ine l.a
    kobe night in night out tries to act like mj..

    lebron just made one bad decision.. and thats care what people say.. kobe said it on tv too.. lebron doesnt have a rape charge.. and lebron wants to just win.. he knows hes the best he doesnt act like mj whos crowned it just to get compared.. lebron will be the best... just stop

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    If I were Lebron, I would have chosen Chicago. I'm biased.....obviously...but Rose will do nothing but get better for the remainder of Lebron's career and should be entering his prime as LeBron winds down. Plus Noah and Boozer (although Bosh might have went Chicago if Lebron did)and you got a better team than Miami currently has...AND he had the chance to be "the man" on the Bulls.

    ...but he made a decision to play with his friends and decided to be, as Doug points out, a Douchey McDouchenstein as often as Mr. Happy repeats himself.

    I, for one, am glad he didn't choose the Bulls just for the fact that I can keep alive the rich tradition of yelling "Dance NOW, bitch!!!!" at the television when he turns it over or misses a shot...

  • In reply to flyjr1988:

    I'm being dragged into this, but LBJ IS AT IT AGAIN.

    He called NBA FANS HATERS when giving advice to Melo.

    http://twitter.com/carmeloanthony/status/21420377804

    When will this guy just SHUT-UP?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You need to FOCUS, Happy.....

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    "THIS IS A BULLS BLOG!!!"

    - Mr. Happy

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    It is? When did that happen?

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Jordan still made those players better. Why did Lebron's team win the most regular season games two years in a row but not even make the finals either year? What changes come playoff time? Stars are made in the playoffs not the regular season.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    why bwcuase it takes two in the playoffs .. lebron has sone o the best playoff numbers .. you guys act like jordan played with lebrons team.. i swear none of you guys would be saying this ha his decision was to take his talebts to chicago.. he was unquestionly the leader of team usa.. a team full of stars.. they looked to him..ok an one question .. did kobe do it? did wade do it? jordan may have made pippen better.. but hall o fame better? its either you hve it or dont .. dont act like jordan created earth either.. if stars are made jn the playoffs then robert horry was the biggest and only star for the 90s & 2000s .. kobe never did it and neither did wade.. so the nba has no star then.. but guess what.. lebrons been to the finals.. with larry hughes as his sidekick.. give me someone better? fact the truth its annoyong how ya bring up a playoff series where his numbers would look dominating for someone else but bad for hkm.. thats hiw easy it comes for him.. lets keep debating becuase noone has proved anything as to why lebron cant be te best or is not on his way

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Everyone assumes Lebron will get better with age. Now lets really consider what this means. Growing up we all saw MJ had to make the adjustment from being a player who drove to the basket and used his 'gifts' to score to being a much smarter, crafty veteran with an absolutely unguardable turn around post up move. Kobe has done the SAME exact thing.

    Now, Lebron, will eventually get older, and slower, and lose some strength. Thats a fact. If he does not develop and adjust, realistically, his numbers could drop substantially.

    Could this be why he chose to go and play with other great players? I dont know...maybe deep down he KNOWS that he's not the best. I would just respect him more if he would admit it.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    This is just your speculation. Lebron is more dominant now though. As I said above Kobe has had more favorable circumstances with a better team every year than Lebron's. Switch Lebron and Kobe and Lebron gets the same results if not better.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    he will.. why? he still is a big truck on a break at any age.. kobe isnt.. your jumpshot and i.q of the game grows as you age.. thats the only weakness in lebrons game... jumpshooting.. now with a down low threat and a wing how is his game not goina grow? hes goina learn how to play off ball to and rebound this year more than before.. and guard the best player.. his game will drastically improve this year and as he grows

  • In reply to Dmband:

    One of these things is not like the other....

    * You might be interested in:
    * Ticket prices for Miami Heat soar on backs of megastars (Chicago Tribune)
    * Miami Heat to host exhibition against Russian powerhouse (Chicago Tribune)
    * Charles Barkley Says LeBron Acting Like a 'Punk' (Chicago Tribune)
    * Seriously, do these guys want to look like douchebags? (Chicago Bulls Confidential)

    I love it! :)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    The only true and accurate answer to the media's incessant question of, who will be the next Jordan is, NO ONE! He is the greatest to play the game and there will never be another like him.

    It is possible that another player could eclipse Jordan in the future, but as Doug so accurately stated, that player has not yet entered the NBA. Maybe he hasn't even been born.

    Kobe grew up watching Jordan and made himself into a Jordan clone. And just like a photocopy is never as good as the original document, so it is with Kobe. And ESPN notwithstanding, James hasn't even earned an entry into the discussion...

    Maybe we can revisit this question in another decade or two. At present, no other player has provided any compelling reason for discussion.

  • you forgot to mention that Lebron isnt going to win a championship this year.

  • The only real argument has to do with quality of competition (QoC). Even more than the related arguments about supporting casts, QoC strikes me as the only remotely feasible way to argue that Kobe or Lebron might someday pass Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time. It's where there's the least amount of clarity (particularly if we agree that Kareem's competition was tougher than that faced by Russell and Wilt) and the most amount of relevance to the question.

    None of the criteria you discuss, though you discuss them well, are even remotely debatable. In popular discourse, the only opposition to MJ as GOAT is based on vague claims of "athleticism" and "skill," which are irrelevant; no one is claiming MJ is the most athletic (he's not) or skilled (he might be) basketball player, or person, of all time. Seems to me, comparative QoC metrics are in order for determining greatest player status and for predicting future greatest player status.

  • What is a "better athletic package"?

  • In reply to Houston:

    2 inches taller...20 pounds heavier...but with the same speed. He's more athletically gifted.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Lebron is about 40 pounds bigger or more...and when that manifests itself...you have an extremely talented player, on a higher level than anybody else.

  • Agree. This is where we need to give some kudos to the Bulls management during the MJ era. Even MJ was probably like that. These guys are young(in their 20s) and already have a tough time being the star on the team and improving their game. Obviously they have egos and want to have a say which players will fit around them. They are almost in every instance clueless about it. Just because you can act well, doesn't mean you can direct or build a movie team or market it. That's where Danny Ferry/Gilbert failed LBJ. They should have asked him to just play and he would had his tantrums then. But it is now their loss as well as LBJ's loss. And surprisingly, they didn't learn from MJ's history in a city near them..

  • ok now to answer those points

    it took kobe until the trading deadline..
    it took wade 2 years

    it took lebron 7 years..how long are you suppose to wait .. if anything no team should be waiting.. every team should look to win every year

    now heres a question if kobe went to orlando .. whos the sidekick?
    correct me if im wrong isnt it still dwight? why because kobes better

    lebron is far better than dwyane.. look at the team success and roster over 7 years.. would kobe or wade have 2mvps a finals apperance and 2 times best record with cleveland?

    kobe is trying to be michael its obvs.
    lebron is trying to be lebron.. becuase of that hes bad?

    tainted how? is on the court what makes you a basketball player and is your legacy .. then how is lebrobs tainted.. you guys ignore his success and act like wade & kobe have more..

    lebrons only problem is the people he surrounds himself with.. do we care whos larry birds best friend?

    heres a question

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    you guys point out a turnover or a moment.. but look at the overall picture of things.. the reasonwhy lebron is talked about is not media but fans.. things in life will always be around if the truth isnt told..but once it is people dont care to bring it up again.. the day we admit lebron is the best is the day we stop talking about him and look for the next.. p.s kobes roster is far better and guess what they still havent won the top record.. the lakers should have lost to boston this year.. it wasnt a moment or a foul.. it was clear from tipoff .. the celtics couldnt defend the post or rebound.. it wasnt kobe dominating .. it was a injury.. you cant take things back but be real boston was the better team and kobe only one 1 legit title as the "man"

  • Jordan himself stated it is too hard to make comparisons on different eras...what do u say is fact?

  • Lol, he has selective memory.

  • In reply to mdot1986:

    Kobe scored 33pts in 29 minutes...Jordan was guarding him and Kobe used a lot of Jordan's moves on Jordan. They went at each other and Kobe excelled that night. You can actually watch the game on Youtube. Those two were playing a game within the game. Jordan didn't slack off, neither did Kobe...

  • Bay Area Bully-

    Right on man..and the Miagi/Danielson comparison is classic. Nice work.

  • I agree with your point about Jordan potentially raising his game (as ridiculous as that sounds) to meet today's standards (if they are, in fact, higher), especially considering he would have had better training and so forth.

    QoC just seems like the only way to even BEGIN making an argument that Jordan doesn't have the GOAT title locked up for the foreseeable future. Otherwise Russell (ignoring QoC) or Durant (wagering on potential future dividends) seem like the only viable counter-arguments.

    Ultimately, suitable team-wide and league-wide QoC metrics don't exist at this point (as far as I'm aware). Sure, we can look at PER by player, but that doesn't tell us much about true QoC if what were interested is not MJ's PER vs Player X's PER but rather his success against variable competition treated in some holistic fashion.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    "were" = "we're"

  • MJ's 36 pts in 35 min nearly equals Kobe's 33 pts in 29 min. Plus MJ outperformed KB in every category except FG%, 3P%, and Turnovers.

    And, obviously, the scoreboard.

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzMWKo0uDu8

    Box Score: http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/199712170CHI.html

  • Plus it's hard to be a leader when your followers keep putting it to your mom....

    ...and Wade was with Starr Jones. Uh-oh.

  • Kobe has taken the skill set mj had and built on it with deeper range and more complex extensions of footwork fundamentals. When had u ever seen mj use a pump fake or combine it with a stepthrough or reverse pivot or both or stepthrough self alley off glass. Kobes repertoire makes jordans look rudimentary.

  • No its not...that is the very reason Jordan said you can't compare players from different eras of the game. Numbers and accomplishments were NOT used when Jordan was initially called the greatest ever in the early 1990's. Why would it be the criteria now? Makes no sense.

  • I doubt if those who played with both players, like Mark Jackson gives a damn about nerdy statistics. This isn't baseball, stats doesn't always give evidence of a players impact. It is important to watch the players play. That is why people who played and coached those players or played and coach against those players see similarities, and people with stat sheets, from Chicago and LA, who can't possible be objective, don't...

  • But its the physical talent that I am talking about...when it comes to his abilities, plus size, and speed. He is the most talented player I have seen. I saw Jordan at 25, I have seen Lebron at 25. Lebron is more impressive...

  • In reply to Houston:

    Once again congrats, we get that you've seen them both at 25. SO HAVE WE. Congratulations on your ability to pay for cable the last 25 years.

  • I would have to drive about 9 hours to make the game...and need about three beers.....but it could happen. :)

  • Yup! Gross, eh?

  • Great post Mr. Thonus!

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