Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron

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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#21 » by JVL » Sat Jan 4, 2020 10:22 am

batmana wrote:
Egg Nog wrote:...
I don't see that this is an apt comparison at all. Boxers are an easier comparison because they fight one on one.

To really make a comparison in basketball we need to filter out the influence on winning/losing from teammates and the opposition to isolate one player's talent. A difficult task, certainly.

Jordan's finals teams were always heavily favored apart from '98 when they were slightly favored. -200, -250, -240, -950, -600, -115

LeBron's finals teams were only favored twice: +360, -175, +155, -220, +135, +190, +180, +250, +688


Don't you think LeBron has something to do with the fact that even though he stacked the deck in his own favor by joining Wade (and attracting Bosh) and proclaimed "not 1, not 2,..., not 6..." titles were coming up, his teams weren't considered clear-cut favorites? Maybe it's because of the fact that every LeBron team plays LeBron ball. He dominates all of the stats, his teams play his style which, ultimately, caps the team's performance..


I can't belief this is still a narrative on these boards.

Do you actually have any data to back up your assessment that Lebron makes teams worse? Or curbs their potential?

Statistical Analysis subforum and we still have nobodies peddling their unsubstantiated snake oil.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#22 » by VanWest82 » Wed Jan 8, 2020 11:02 pm

JVL wrote:
batmana wrote:
Egg Nog wrote:...
I don't see that this is an apt comparison at all. Boxers are an easier comparison because they fight one on one.

To really make a comparison in basketball we need to filter out the influence on winning/losing from teammates and the opposition to isolate one player's talent. A difficult task, certainly.

Jordan's finals teams were always heavily favored apart from '98 when they were slightly favored. -200, -250, -240, -950, -600, -115

LeBron's finals teams were only favored twice: +360, -175, +155, -220, +135, +190, +180, +250, +688


Don't you think LeBron has something to do with the fact that even though he stacked the deck in his own favor by joining Wade (and attracting Bosh) and proclaimed "not 1, not 2,..., not 6..." titles were coming up, his teams weren't considered clear-cut favorites? Maybe it's because of the fact that every LeBron team plays LeBron ball. He dominates all of the stats, his teams play his style which, ultimately, caps the team's performance..


I can't belief this is still a narrative on these boards.

Do you actually have any data to back up your assessment that Lebron makes teams worse? Or curbs their potential?

Statistical Analysis subforum and we still have nobodies peddling their unsubstantiated snake oil.


The data you're looking for is in on/offs and win/loss record when Lebron couldn't play. MJ played on teams with offensive systems that could survive beyond 'give Lebron the ball and let him make all the plays.' Bron has been a blessing and a curse in that respect though obviously the benefit of having him has far, far outweighed any negatives. If we're splitting hairs over ATGs I think it's a fair criticism.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#23 » by Blackmill » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:01 am

pmart123 wrote:Daryl Morey in an interview commented something like "the advanced stats favor Lebron by a wide margin." Does anyone know what advanced stats that were available across eras he is referring to? In terms of win shares in say top five or seven seasons or playoff win shares per 48, Jordan's stats look better. Top five or seven season VORP's look pretty similar. "Wide margin" seems pretty strong in either direction, so wanted to see if anyone had insights on his reasoning or whether his reasoning has merit?

Here's a link to the video: https://art19.com/shows/the-haberstroh-show


Ever heard of "garbage in, garbage out"? This isn't just heuristic advice, it's a mathematical fact (see the data processing inequality). What it means for your question is that Morey surely isn't talking about any kind of box-score derived statistic. At least he shouldn't be. He probably is referring to some form of plus minus.

Onto plus minus, this a popular way to evaluate impact, but typically plus-minus regression has many solutions with nearly identical error but significantly different implications. For instance, it's pretty easy to fix one player's plus minus to whatever you want, fit the rest of the model, and see almost no change in average error. Adding regularization doesn't always change this fact.

All that's to say I doubt there's much merit when Morey says advanced stats favor LeBron. But maybe Morey has some ultra high quality player tracking data and is correct. I wouldn't be surprised if this type of data favors LeBron over MJ but I just don't think it exists.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#24 » by DavidDunn21 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:41 am

Egg Nog wrote:
Richfield wrote:Imagine boxer A, who punches 5 times, then ducks 3 times, then punches 2 more times.

Imagine boxer B, who punches 3 times, ducks 1 time, then punches 3 more times.

Boxer A lost.

Boxer B won.

Boxer A shows more dominant stats.

Boxer B anticipated the opponent's particular movements better, knew more precisely when to duck and when to punch. They landed at better times.

Boxer B is the better boxer. He won.

If that doesn't do it for you. Think of pushing a kid on a swing. The goal is to go high. It's not about stats like how fast you push, or necessarily how hard you push. If you push at the wrong rhythm, the kid won't go very high no matter what. If you push even lightly, at just the right times, the kid flies.

Jordan knew what to do and when to do it. Stats aren't going to tell that entire story.

Not sure if Morey's stats factored in Championships, and the fact that they're the ultimate stat. And don't bring up Robert Horry, we know what this discussion is about. Superstar versus superstar.

Morey's stats didn't measure intelligence, the importance of genius, accurately if at all.


I don't see that this is an apt comparison at all. Boxers are an easier comparison because they fight one on one.

To really make a comparison in basketball we need to filter out the influence on winning/losing from teammates and the opposition to isolate one player's talent. A difficult task, certainly.

Jordan's finals teams were always heavily favored apart from '98 when they were slightly favored. -200, -250, -240, -950, -600, -115

LeBron's finals teams were only favored twice: +360, -175, +155, -220, +135, +190, +180, +250, +688

Watch the first couple minutes of this. I don't know what Vegas was saying, but this was absolutely the narrative. I doubt they were heavily favored.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#25 » by Some smartguy » Tue Dec 1, 2020 4:54 pm

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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#26 » by homecourtloss » Thu Dec 3, 2020 4:06 am

DavidDunn21 wrote:
Egg Nog wrote:
Richfield wrote:Imagine boxer A, who punches 5 times, then ducks 3 times, then punches 2 more times.

Imagine boxer B, who punches 3 times, ducks 1 time, then punches 3 more times.

Boxer A lost.

Boxer B won.

Boxer A shows more dominant stats.

Boxer B anticipated the opponent's particular movements better, knew more precisely when to duck and when to punch. They landed at better times.

Boxer B is the better boxer. He won.

If that doesn't do it for you. Think of pushing a kid on a swing. The goal is to go high. It's not about stats like how fast you push, or necessarily how hard you push. If you push at the wrong rhythm, the kid won't go very high no matter what. If you push even lightly, at just the right times, the kid flies.

Jordan knew what to do and when to do it. Stats aren't going to tell that entire story.

Not sure if Morey's stats factored in Championships, and the fact that they're the ultimate stat. And don't bring up Robert Horry, we know what this discussion is about. Superstar versus superstar.

Morey's stats didn't measure intelligence, the importance of genius, accurately if at all.


I don't see that this is an apt comparison at all. Boxers are an easier comparison because they fight one on one.

To really make a comparison in basketball we need to filter out the influence on winning/losing from teammates and the opposition to isolate one player's talent. A difficult task, certainly.

Jordan's finals teams were always heavily favored apart from '98 when they were slightly favored. -200, -250, -240, -950, -600, -115

LeBron's finals teams were only favored twice: +360, -175, +155, -220, +135, +190, +180, +250, +688

Watch the first couple minutes of this. I don't know what Vegas was saying, but this was absolutely the narrative. I doubt they were heavily favored.


Bulls were favored by every betting agency and you can look it up. The team with home court has been favored in every series other than 1993 and 1998 Bulls. Bulls were absolutely the favored and were favorites in every Finals series.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#27 » by JonFromVA » Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:19 pm

K_chile22 wrote:He's probably talking about proprietary stuff we have no access to and definitely not WS or VORP which are just box score derived


I'm not sure how much he has to go on, and there's no particular benefit to the NBA or an NBA team of going back and creating stats that don't exist for previous eras.

So, unless Morey cares to clarify, I'd assume he wasn't looking too hard at defensive stats for instance.

But he can look at things like "team uplift" and as we know the Bulls won 50-games and nearly made it to the finals the season Jordan "retired". I imagine the fact that LeBron is a slightly more efficient scorer, a more effective creator/passer, and rebounder than Jordan would have played a part as well in his thinking.

And while we don't have all the clutch statistics we might like to compare the two, some figures have been compiled regarding game winning/tieing shots with the game on the line - and those favor James too.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#28 » by Some smartguy » Sun Jul 4, 2021 9:24 am

King Ken wrote:
GhostOfChicago wrote:
King Ken wrote:LeBron is GOAT and it's not even close. I feel like Jordan is the Hulk Hogan of NBA Basketball. A.J. Styles is 1000x better in the ring. But but, look at his mic skills. Rock ran circles around Hogan on the mic and in the ring. But but, Hogan changed the sport and just meant more for wrestling... like it's always nonsense with fans about him. When you watch the film, I don't know how you say Jordan. The NBA is just night and day better today. That's due to the evolution of the sport, sports medicine, players putting their careers first, the money in the sport is bigger than ever. The best player pool in NBA history. The sport is suppose to evolve. Look at the NFL, the average OL was 6'4 250 in the 90s. Today they are 6'5 290 on average. Things get better. Coaching gets better. Teams spend on sports Medicine, players do too, analytics, etc. The game evolves.

I am pretty sure 20-30 years from now, someone new will be GOAT to the next great comes along.


Let facts do the talking.


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There is nothing that proves LeBron > MJ

There is a reason why the smart brains of the NBA like Morey know LeBron is and the Basketball internet Stevie Wonders "feel" MJ is.

Because if we broke down tape over their entire careers, you would realize how ridiculous your arguement or his is as the standards of the NBA has risen tremendously just in the last 10 NBA seasons much less throughout the eras.

This is where guys like me just shake our heads when we here nonsense like MJ is GOAT. The bigger joke is that there is one GOAT as well. Every generation has multiple GOATs. Even Hakeem had a case in MJ era. In Brons era, Steph and Durant has a case.

This is a fluid game. There will always be legends who are better than the last generation of legends. Soccer is not going to end with Messi and Ronaldo. Basketball is not going to end with Bron, Steph or KD.

With the trainers, coaching, sports medicine, etc. We will stay getting bigger and better sports legends. Just the way it's meant to be.


Oh man, another LeBron Stan armed with nothing but insults and invalid evidence with no real way to back up a single claim he made. Jordan leads in almost every conceivable advanced metric, and considering the slower pace and possessions per game of the 90s, he would have absolutely dominated the league today with the no hand-checking and faster pace. Jordan had no weaknesses, as you’ll see if you watch the game film you so aptly mentioned, while you could point out multiple areas that LeBron is weak in.

Furthermore, the word GOAT means “greatest of all-time,” no? Why would there be multiple GOATs if the word is meant to be singular? At least in basketball we have a clear, definitive player who is better than anyone and everyone else in MJ. If you want to look at the Advanced Stats, Accolades, Basic Stats or the Eye Test, be my guest. If you’re comparing any basic box-stats, try adjusting the pace and total possessions the Bulls had to today’s era and see how Jordan’s stats change. That should go to show how clearly dominant MJ is over LeBron.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#29 » by Marty McFly » Tue Jul 6, 2021 1:48 am

Any argument you can make for LeBron over Michael, you could make for Wilt or Kareem over everyone else. The goalpost always get moved for LeBron.

Michael's combination of hardware, statistics and cultural impact will not be superseded for a long time. Dems the breaks.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#30 » by feyki » Thu Jul 8, 2021 11:08 am

Probably he has some great tracking metrics to evaluate players impact since the late 90's. And when you taking metric data without the adjusting, even within related league, then you have Lebron by a big margin over of MJ. 85 to 98, Jordan played in a league with %53/54 LgTS and %14/14,5 LgTOV%; 05 to 15 it's %53,5/54,5 LgTS and %13/13,5. With the Post 15, it's %56/57 LgTS and %12,5 LgTOV% . Even with taking numbers within relativeness, both Jordan and Lebron +5 offensive impact and +1 or +2 at best defensive impact players, the difference boosting your +5 offence to +6 or even +7. And also with a longer career, Lebron has been a much higher total of impact compared to Jordan. Kareem also couldn't match with Lebron, with that offensive inflation.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#31 » by VanWest82 » Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:21 am

Daryl is full of it. Nobody is paying people (with access) to go back and derive the kind of league wide plus/minus data over decades that would be needed to have a meaningful discussion. He's making a blanket statement based on longevity and volume that any of us idiots could make.

Someday a collection of individuals (like the Orlando Magic data guy + others) with access will actually get through enough tape and we'll be able to piece together APM and have a (still non-definitive) discussion, but until then it's MJ > everything and all you Lebron stans are left grasping at straws because Mike wins on all the important fronts.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#32 » by Squared2020 » Sun Jul 11, 2021 10:02 pm

VanWest82 wrote:Daryl is full of it. Nobody is paying people (with access) to go back and derive the kind of league wide plus/minus data over decades that would be needed to have a meaningful discussion. He's making a blanket statement based on longevity and volume that any of us idiots could make.

Someday a collection of individuals (like the Orlando Magic data guy + others) with access will actually get through enough tape and we'll be able to piece together APM and have a (still non-definitive) discussion, but until then it's MJ > everything and all you Lebron stans are left grasping at straws because Mike wins on all the important fronts.


Why do I have to be known the "Orlando Magic data guy" when I spent more time on the Rockets? :D
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#33 » by LAL1947 » Tue Aug 3, 2021 7:09 pm

There is only one GOAT, MJ. Stop trying to be basketball hipsters by putting the Lebrons, Russells, Kareems over him. That's just silly.

If anyone wants to say Lebron, Kareem or Russell had greater overall careers (the first two because of their longevity in the league and the stats they have compiled... and Russell for winning more titles as a part of the most winning team ever), that could be sensible... but NOT the greatest player. None of them could do what Jordan did with the ball in his hands or lead their teams to multiple titles without having an equally good 2nd banana or multiple bananas... and in this "player-empowerment" era, Lebron even gets to stack his teams with exactly the sort of depth that fits his own characteristics, which helps his stats.

Regarding the point about bananas, Lebron and Durant are just as bad as each other when it comes to wanting all the star players on their teams so they can win. One creates super-team with D Wade and Bosh, the other responds by making super-team of Curry, Klay, Iggy, Dray and himself. One signs Harden, the other responds by signing Westbrook. One signs Patty Mills, the other responds by signing Melo. One signs Blake, the other responds by signing Dwight. Frankly, it's quite pathetic what these two guys are doing to the league... and IMO, this should disqualify Lebron from any GOAT conversations, which he shouldn't even be in as MJ is it... and disqualify Durant from any top-10 list.
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#34 » by nolang1 » Wed Aug 4, 2021 1:51 am

LAL1947 wrote:There is only one GOAT, MJ. Stop trying to be basketball hipsters by putting the Lebrons, Russells, Kareems over him. That's just silly.

If anyone wants to say Lebron, Kareem or Russell had greater overall careers (the first two because of their longevity in the league and the stats they have compiled... and Russell for winning more titles as a part of the most winning team ever), that could be sensible... but NOT the greatest player. None of them could do what Jordan did with the ball in his hands or lead their teams to multiple titles without having an equally good 2nd banana or multiple bananas... and in this "player-empowerment" era, Lebron even gets to stack his teams with exactly the sort of depth that fits his own characteristics, which helps his stats.

Regarding the point about bananas, Lebron and Durant are just as bad as each other when it comes to wanting all the star players on their teams so they can win. One creates super-team with D Wade and Bosh, the other responds by making super-team of Curry, Klay, Iggy, Dray and himself. One signs Harden, the other responds by signing Westbrook. One signs Patty Mills, the other responds by signing Melo. One signs Blake, the other responds by signing Dwight. Frankly, it's quite pathetic what these two guys are doing to the league... and IMO, this should disqualify Lebron from any GOAT conversations, which he shouldn't even be in as MJ is it... and disqualify Durant from any top-10 list.


Damn that was so stupid on your part. Why would players like freaking Patty Mills and washed up Carmelo Anthony even factor into it if you weren't a total idiot? Why would you think Dennis Rodman (an all-star player more recently than Carmelo was and someone who obviously plays a more complimentary role to an already outstanding offensive player) getting traded to the Bulls for nothing was less signifcant than the Lakers signing some washed-up guys nobody else wanted lol
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Re: Daryl Morey on MJ vs. Lebron 

Post#35 » by Asianiac_24 » Wed Aug 4, 2021 8:43 pm

Peak to peak they are very similar. If one of them is a 100 in his peak, the other is a 99.

What makes LeBron the GOAT is how long he’s been playing at peak or near peak level. MJ is probably like 88/89 to 93. LeBron spans from 2009 to 2020, with a down year in 2011 and maybe 2015. That’s double the amount of years.

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