The4thHorseman wrote:Since you confirm that both Wade and James are both close friends, then it's not hard to imagine an agreement of LeBron taking a back seat so Wade can have one last hurrah and try to win another FMVP.
Does it not strike you odd that shortly after that Finals loss, Wade told the media "it's LeBron's team now" in which Miami proceeded to win B2B Championships with Wade taking the backseat and the luxury of taking games off during the reg. season??
No, it doesn't because I can document for you exactly what happened. The lockout-shortened 2012 season began in December with James and Wade once again in full co-alpha mode. Through two games, LeBron was averaging 26 and Wade 24. In the third game, Wade got hurt and then had to sit out nine games, during which time the Heat went 8 -1, and James/ Bosh were a devastating combo. After seeing this and in light of LBJ's ultimate failure at sharing the leadership mantle in 2011, Wade approached James and told him he would take the back seat (however, he was sort of lying as he proceeded to outplay James for the next two months-- during January and February, in terms of per 36, Wade averaged 28 ppg to James' 24 ppg; but, in March, Wade suffered sustained his first serious injury of the Heatles-era, which signified the beginning of the end of his prime).
Also, your theory about LBJ agreeing to defer in the 2011 Finals is a cute attempt to obscure the fact that LeBron scored 8 points in Game 4, which they lost by 3, with the Heat poised to take a 3 - 1 lead, which with HCA under the 2-3-2 format was insurmountable. It also ignores that Wade outplayed James in the second most important series of that playoffs against the Celtics (33 ppg vs. 27 ppg), outscored him in the playoffs outright (24 ppg vs. 23 ppg), was statistically on par with him during the season (27/7/7 vs. 26/6/5), had better numbers per 36 and was the leading scorer in more games that both played. Wade was in every way James' equal, if not better.
MJ shouldered the offense while Pippen shouldered the defense by guarding the best opposing offensive player. That's why MJ could stay fresher on offense. Younger non-injured better 2 way player Pippen > 2012-14 Wade. Young Grant banging for rebounds and posting up > 2012-14 Bosh
Defense does not equal offense. Neither does rebounding, and neither does passing or any other skill (although the ability to be a scorer/playmaker is admittedly fundamental to dominance-- hence why MJ's first Finals when he dropped 31/11 was one of his more impressive performances). Overall, there is no more valuable ability in basketball then for your team to put the ball in your hands and say win us the game/ series/ title. On that front, without hesitation, I'm taking both MJ and Wade over James.
Also, while MJ didn't hit every single game-determining shot on the biggest stage (for example, Phil drew up a play for a Paxson 3 that won the 1993 title against the Suns, and MJ drew and kicked to Kerr for the clincher in 1997 vs. the Jazz), he was never bailed out as LeBron definitely was by Ray Allen after he missed a game-tying three in Game 6 in 2013 and also arguably was by Kyrie last year.
As far as comparing prime Pippen to 2012 - 2014 Wade, I suppose that's arguable. But, here's what I'll say: as recently as the 2016 playoffs last year, a healthy 34 year-old Wade was reprising his "hop-on-my-back" role in beating the Hornets and taking the Raptors to Game 7. Scottie couldn't do that. He wasn't that kind of player. (Scottie's stats in his best season without MJ are almost identical to his best season with MJ-- the proper comparison for him is the Grant Hill tier).
The reason this matters is that even as it got to the point where Wade was constantly getting his knee-drained in the postseason, he was still able to provide "flashes" of his true self at critical times, such as Games 2 - 5 in the 2012 Finals when he averaged 25 ppg and Game 4 of the 2013 Spurs series, which he closed down after James subbed himself out, scoring 32 and putting the Heat up by 15 by the time LeBron reentered.
MJ just never had that caliber of support. An easy way to explain the difference is that Mike played with a true Robin. LeBron played with a Batman who was crammed into a Robin costume, a fact reinforced by the fact that as soon as LBJ left, Wade immediately changed back into his Batman suit. (The jury is out on whether Kyrie is a Batman; we haven't seen him in that role in his prime).