How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell?

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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#221 » by justinriley11 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:57 pm

there were literally like 12 teams when Russell played...me personally, ive never counted anyone before the merger as a legit "GOAT" contender.....to me there are 3 different Eras...beginning to 1976...merger to 1998...then 1999 to now. i have just always felt this way.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#222 » by spikeslovechild » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:01 pm

Lebron plays the game easy he surrounds himself with the best talent, searches for the best looks around the basket and when it isn't there passes the basektball, and when he does take the occasional jump shot or 3PT most them are open or wide open looks.

Does that make him the greatest? To me the answer is hell no. He never had the mumba mentality of a Jordan and if people are honest there are limitations for the teams that play his style it's why often in the biggest moments of his career he is often not the one taking the shot
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#223 » by yesh » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:10 pm

MJ was just better, He was a better defender than LBJ, he was a better offensive player than him too, and he has better highlights. The only argument for Lebron is his collection of stats, and yet when MJ played as the pg, he averaged just under a triple double. MJ would kill in the 5 out pace and space of today, and yet LBJ wouldn't be anywhere near the same player facing the trees of MJ's era with his fear of the free throw line.

No one ever had to push MJ out to the perimeter and away from the rebound zone, in order to guard an opponent.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#224 » by The4thHorseman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:12 pm

JeepCSC wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:1998 Finals, MJ avg. 4rbs and 2ast for the 6gm series. How many of the Finals that LeBron lost, do you think he would have won by avg. those same numbers?

Probably those extra 94 points scored by Jordan (relative to Lebron) could have helped in that 2011 series the Heat lost by 5 points.

Okay, but what's that have to do with my question? You didn't answer it.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#225 » by The4thHorseman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:16 pm

TRKO wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:
JeepCSC wrote:Unknown. I know he didn’t have a playoff series quite like the 2011 Finals. I guess possibly the ‘95 Magic series when he was playing rusty. But probably not even that.

1998 Finals, MJ avg. 4rbs and 2ast for the 6gm series. How many of the Finals that LeBron lost, do you think he would have won by avg. those same numbers?

Do you mean the finals where Jordan averaged 33.5 points while Kukoc and Pippen were the only others to even average double figures and they combined less than Michael (their fourth best scorer was Harper at 5.3 ppg)? Do you mean the same series where Michael stole the ball from Malone, took the ball up court, and made the series winning shot?

Yeah that series. So what do you think? How many of those Finals does LeBron win avg. 4rbs and 2ast?
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#226 » by The4thHorseman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:27 pm

RakimAbdulJabar wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:
JeepCSC wrote:Unknown. I know he didn’t have a playoff series quite like the 2011 Finals. I guess possibly the ‘95 Magic series when he was playing rusty. But probably not even that.

1998 Finals, MJ avg. 4rbs and 2ast for the 6gm series. How many of the Finals that LeBron lost, do you think he would have won by avg. those same numbers?


You can't just throw out stats without context, the triangle offense was completely different to Lebron having the ball in his hands so much and dictating the offense. That has an effect on assists does it not?

Rebounds are also affected when it's a different type of offense, teams aren't jacking up countless 3's early in the shot clock like they do now allowing for more long rebounds available for guards. In that 6 games, neither team scored over 100 pts a game even once, these were tough close games except for the game 3 blowout

The 2 teams combined for about 20-30 attempts from 3 throughout that series

In the last Cavs vs Warriors series
Game 1 - Combined 73 attempts from 3
Game 2 - Combined 63 attempts from 3
Game 3- Combined 57 attempts from 3
Game 4 - Combined 65 attempts from 3

That extra 40 odd attempts from 3 makes a big difference to where the available rebounds are landing vs shots in the paint where you have Malone's elbows and Rodman lurking

Jordan's never avg. those low of numbers in a Finals before until then. He was playing in the same system for the previous 5 titles and didn't avg. those low of numbers. Just the year before, he avg. 7-6 against those same Jazz and in the same system.

You can point to 3pa and systems all you want, but it still doesn't answer my question. I didn't ask why MJ's numbers were so low in '98.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#227 » by Ainosterhaspie » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:28 pm

Mike Miller was always hurt when he played with LeBron.
My GOATs 1.LBJ/2.Jordan/3.KAJ/4.Duncan/5.Magic
Russell and Wilt grandfathered in at 6 and 7.

Yes I watched Jordan live, started paying attention to basketball in the bad boys era.

I respect Jordan way more now than I did when he played.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#228 » by The4thHorseman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:31 pm

chitownsports4ever wrote:
TRKO wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:1998 Finals, MJ avg. 4rbs and 2ast for the 6gm series. How many of the Finals that LeBron lost, do you think he would have won by avg. those same numbers?

Do you mean the finals where Jordan averaged 33.5 points while Kukoc and Pippen were the only others to even average double figures and they combined less than Michael (their fourth best scorer was Harper at 5.3 ppg)? Do you mean the same series where Michael stole the ball from Malone, took the ball up court, and made the series winning shot?



Hes embarrassing himself even trying to argue that after this


How am I embarrassing myself by asking a simple question that nobody's givin' me an answer to?
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#229 » by Johnny Bball » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:35 pm

Since Jordan acknowledges this and doesn't think he's better than Russell, and since the reasons for it make so much sense, I fail to see any real point here.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#230 » by RakimAbdulJabar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:36 pm

The4thHorseman wrote:
RakimAbdulJabar wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:1998 Finals, MJ avg. 4rbs and 2ast for the 6gm series. How many of the Finals that LeBron lost, do you think he would have won by avg. those same numbers?


You can't just throw out stats without context, the triangle offense was completely different to Lebron having the ball in his hands so much and dictating the offense. That has an effect on assists does it not?

Rebounds are also affected when it's a different type of offense, teams aren't jacking up countless 3's early in the shot clock like they do now allowing for more long rebounds available for guards. In that 6 games, neither team scored over 100 pts a game even once, these were tough close games except for the game 3 blowout

The 2 teams combined for about 20-30 attempts from 3 throughout that series

In the last Cavs vs Warriors series
Game 1 - Combined 73 attempts from 3
Game 2 - Combined 63 attempts from 3
Game 3- Combined 57 attempts from 3
Game 4 - Combined 65 attempts from 3

That extra 40 odd attempts from 3 makes a big difference to where the available rebounds are landing vs shots in the paint where you have Malone's elbows and Rodman lurking

Jordan's never avg. those low of numbers in a Finals before until then. He was playing in the same system for the previous 5 titles and didn't avg. those low of numbers. Just the year before, he avg. 7-6 against those same Jazz and in the same system.

You can point to 3pa and systems all you want, but it still doesn't answer my question. I didn't ask why MJ's numbers were so low in '98.


I don't get what you're looking for, you don't judge a series based simply on averages. Every game, every matchup, every situation is different on a nightly basis and all I would want players to do is whatever it took to get the win. There are many games/series where guys have great numbers but watching you don't feel like they had a great game and vice versa. No one player is perfect and puts up amazing stats every night while going undefeated.

I won't even look back and see the stats from the year before, maybe someone or a few players stepped up and grabbed an extra rebound each, maybe he was focused on something else defensively as instructed by Phil, there's no way of knowing, I don't think it's that big of a deal and there wasn't anything clearly visible from watching both series that made it seem like the effort wasn't there, or he had declined as a player.

Assists are a tricky thing, you're relying on guys to make shots, it's not always about the passer and that series again didn't have any high scoring games, so I don't see the point of asking what if so and so had these stats when comparing 2 different positions in 2 different systems against 2 different opponents playing in 2 different approaches to the game in 2 different eras

Also keep in mind that Pippen had a back injury he was trying to play through and MJ was tired, he's still human
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#231 » by G35 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:38 pm

freethedevil wrote:Lebron has a similar peak. He's going to retire with much better longetivity. The argument for MJ is that he won 3 more rings and a marginally higher % of playoff series whithout weighs lebron's 3 extra finals. Fair enough.

Russel won 5 more rings, made 6 more finals, was the clear #1 on his team throughout as they went to win 90% of their playoff series. That's about a 30% gap. The gap between jordan and lebron's team success is much closer than mj and russell.

How does one argue for mj against one without conceding his inferiority to the other?



You are being hypocritical as well because if you want to argue the rings and how we are counting them then it's not not just Russell vs Jordan vs Lebron.

Magic is over Lebron 5>3
Kareem is over Lebron 6>3
Kobe is over Lebron 5>3
Shaq is over Lebron 4>3
Pippen is over Lebron 6>3
Horry is over Lebron 7>3
Duncan is over Lebron 5>3


So you have a lot of other players that exceed Lebron's ring count.

Imo, Dirk's run in 2011 is better than anything Lebron ever did. It is one of the greatest playoff runs I've ever seen. It doesn't make him the greatest because of one run.

Rings are not the end all, but they are significant tie breakers......
I'm so tired of the typical......
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#232 » by GhostOfChicago » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:16 pm

This guy put in amazing work with this. No bias just facts.

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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#233 » by TheSheriff » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:19 pm

Middle Child wrote:The argument for Jordan isn’t simply just rings but rings are the ultimate tie breaker if all things are equal between him and LeBron.

Bill Russell isn’t even in the conversation when it comes to GOATs and many basketball pundits agree. His era was simply too inferior to even be mentioned amongst the Elites. But he was a great winner and that’s respected.


Russell was and is in the conversation. I mean I can dig out a million threads on this in the comparison forum...
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#234 » by The Explorer » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:25 pm

Dupp wrote:
The Explorer wrote:People don't realize the advantages Lebron has. Lebron picked his teammates and roster multiple times. For about half his career he's played GM, he chose his co-stars and his role players. Can you imagine MJ picking a prime Barkley or Olajuwon to join his team? Or even decent role players like Mike Miller, Tristan Thompson. He also got multiple coaches fired and hand-picked his own coaches. Michael never got to do that. He worked with what he had and was very coachable - see Phil Jackson's books and how he detailed this. On top of that, Lebron also had the advantage of stats and advanced stats - he's always been conscious of putting up good advanced metrics and studies them. There was no such thing in MJ's day. He's had the advantage of knowing MJ's metrics and trying to match them. Yet another advantage is he's playing in an era where points, assists are much easier to rack up due to an increase in 3pt volume and emphasis on spacing. Knowing Lebron had all these advantages, what MJ accomplished was much more difficult and therefore more impressive.

Lebron has basically strong-armed his way into the goat discussion artificially, whereas MJ naturally came into the discussion and ultimately considered the GOAT through his sheer on-court dominance and team success.



So MJ was at a disadvantage playing for a goat level coach but lebron was spoon fed luke Walton and David blatt?

Imagine also having a decent role player like an ageing mike miller over someone like rodman. Huge advantage there for lebron. Poor mj


Who said MJ was at a disadvantage because he played for a hall of fame coach? I said Lebron got to pick and choose who he fired and hired which MJ didn't. The point is that he was coachable even if he didn't like some of the strategies. Lebron got to be his own GM. When MJ complained about the roster, Reinsdorf called him into his office scolded him that he needs to be a better leader. And MJ listened. Lebron has been called a coach-killer. If you're really the GOAT, you make due with what you have and still find a way to succeed, which is what MJ did.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#235 » by The4thHorseman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:29 pm

RakimAbdulJabar wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:
RakimAbdulJabar wrote:
You can't just throw out stats without context, the triangle offense was completely different to Lebron having the ball in his hands so much and dictating the offense. That has an effect on assists does it not?

Rebounds are also affected when it's a different type of offense, teams aren't jacking up countless 3's early in the shot clock like they do now allowing for more long rebounds available for guards. In that 6 games, neither team scored over 100 pts a game even once, these were tough close games except for the game 3 blowout

The 2 teams combined for about 20-30 attempts from 3 throughout that series

In the last Cavs vs Warriors series
Game 1 - Combined 73 attempts from 3
Game 2 - Combined 63 attempts from 3
Game 3- Combined 57 attempts from 3
Game 4 - Combined 65 attempts from 3

That extra 40 odd attempts from 3 makes a big difference to where the available rebounds are landing vs shots in the paint where you have Malone's elbows and Rodman lurking

Jordan's never avg. those low of numbers in a Finals before until then. He was playing in the same system for the previous 5 titles and didn't avg. those low of numbers. Just the year before, he avg. 7-6 against those same Jazz and in the same system.

You can point to 3pa and systems all you want, but it still doesn't answer my question. I didn't ask why MJ's numbers were so low in '98.


I don't get what you're looking for, you don't judge a series based simply on averages. Every game, every matchup, every situation is different on a nightly basis and all I would want players to do is whatever it took to get the win. There are many games/series where guys have great numbers but watching you don't feel like they had a great game and vice versa. No one player is perfect and puts up amazing stats every night while going undefeated.

I won't even look back and see the stats from the year before, maybe someone or a few players stepped up and grabbed an extra rebound each, maybe he was focused on something else defensively as instructed by Phil, there's no way of knowing, I don't think it's that big of a deal and there wasn't anything clearly visible from watching both series that made it seem like the effort wasn't there, or he had declined as a player.

Assists are a tricky thing, you're relying on guys to make shots, it's not always about the passer and that series again didn't have any high scoring games, so I don't see the point of asking what if so and so had these stats when comparing 2 different positions in 2 different systems against 2 different opponents playing in 2 different approaches to the game in 2 different eras

Also keep in mind that Pippen had a back injury he was trying to play through and MJ was tired, he's still human

Basically it comes down to this.

In 1998, MJ avg. 33-4-2 on 42% shooting, wIns the Finals, wins FMVP and still get's praised like no other. In 1996, he avg. 27-5-4 on 41% shooting and still goes on to win that Finals in pretty much easy fashion.

In 2017, James avg. 33-10-12 on 56% shooting and loses in 5gms. Yet he gets penalized for losing and supposedly not doing enough to bring his team to victory. In 2018, he avg. 34-8-10 on 52% shooting. Same as above, penalized for losing and not doing enough for his team.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#236 » by vancity604 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:35 pm

Middle Child wrote:The argument for Jordan isn’t simply just rings but rings are the ultimate tie breaker if all things are equal between him and LeBron.

Bill Russell isn’t even in the conversation when it comes to GOATs and many basketball pundits agree. His era was simply too inferior to even be mentioned amongst the Elites. But he was a great winner and that’s respected.


Bill Rusell played in the most difficult era for big men in NBA history. People keep forgetting that there were only around 8 - 10 teams during his era. He had to go up against Chamberlain, Thurmond, Pettit, Reed, Bellamy, Unseld or another hall of famer just about every night. Now compare that to the 90s. Olajuwon had to play against Robinson, Ewing, Shaq, Mourning, Mutombo... but in a 29 team league he faced them maybe 12 times a season. The other 70 games he played against trash like oliver miller and bryant reeves.

No player in the history of team sports understood the art of winning better than Bill Russell. He is the real goat.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#237 » by Prokorov » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:57 pm

vancity604 wrote:
Middle Child wrote:The argument for Jordan isn’t simply just rings but rings are the ultimate tie breaker if all things are equal between him and LeBron.

Bill Russell isn’t even in the conversation when it comes to GOATs and many basketball pundits agree. His era was simply too inferior to even be mentioned amongst the Elites. But he was a great winner and that’s respected.


Bill Rusell played in the most difficult era for big men in NBA history. People keep forgetting that there were only around 8 - 10 teams during his era. He had to go up against Chamberlain, Thurmond, Pettit, Reed, Bellamy, Unseld or another hall of famer just about every night. Now compare that to the 90s. Olajuwon had to play against Robinson, Ewing, Shaq, Mourning, Mutombo... but in a 29 team league he faced them maybe 12 times a season. The other 70 games he played against trash like oliver miller and bryant reeves.

No player in the history of team sports understood the art of winning better than Bill Russell. He is the real goat.


remind me when shaq faced a team with a losing record in the finals? robinson? hakeem? ewing?

if all ewing needed to do to get a ring was beat a 34-38 team he'd be all set
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#238 » by RakimAbdulJabar » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:57 pm

The4thHorseman wrote:
RakimAbdulJabar wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:Jordan's never avg. those low of numbers in a Finals before until then. He was playing in the same system for the previous 5 titles and didn't avg. those low of numbers. Just the year before, he avg. 7-6 against those same Jazz and in the same system.

You can point to 3pa and systems all you want, but it still doesn't answer my question. I didn't ask why MJ's numbers were so low in '98.


I don't get what you're looking for, you don't judge a series based simply on averages. Every game, every matchup, every situation is different on a nightly basis and all I would want players to do is whatever it took to get the win. There are many games/series where guys have great numbers but watching you don't feel like they had a great game and vice versa. No one player is perfect and puts up amazing stats every night while going undefeated.

I won't even look back and see the stats from the year before, maybe someone or a few players stepped up and grabbed an extra rebound each, maybe he was focused on something else defensively as instructed by Phil, there's no way of knowing, I don't think it's that big of a deal and there wasn't anything clearly visible from watching both series that made it seem like the effort wasn't there, or he had declined as a player.

Assists are a tricky thing, you're relying on guys to make shots, it's not always about the passer and that series again didn't have any high scoring games, so I don't see the point of asking what if so and so had these stats when comparing 2 different positions in 2 different systems against 2 different opponents playing in 2 different approaches to the game in 2 different eras

Also keep in mind that Pippen had a back injury he was trying to play through and MJ was tired, he's still human

Basically it comes down to this.

In 1998, MJ avg. 33-4-2 on 42% shooting, wIns the Finals, wins FMVP and still get's praised like no other. In 1996, he avg. 27-5-4 on 41% shooting and still goes on to win that Finals in pretty much easy fashion.

In 2017, James avg. 33-10-12 on 56% shooting and loses in 5gms. Yet he gets penalized for losing and supposedly not doing enough to bring his team to victory. In 2018, he avg. 34-8-10 on 52% shooting. Same as above, penalized for losing and not doing enough for his team.


I don't believe in ever using stats without context to understand them. I don't hold it against Lebron for losing to the Warriors, they were the better team with better players. But I don't like to compare the stats as previously mentioned because you're playing with a different set of teammates against a completely different team, with different mindsets, from different positions and eras so the numbers aren't going to be comparable. In a case like this I strongly believe you need to just watch the game and see how each player impacted their teams chances of winning and whether there was anything they could have done to win that they didn't. I can't blame Lebron for JR Smith's free throw line antics, but I'm also not going to give him more credit than he deserves.

I don't think he should be excused for any of the Heat series losses, on paper they had the better team each time no matter how good the Spurs were, they were mostly at the tail end of their careers other than Kawhi. If you're the GOAT all stats aside, that's a scenario that I feel you need to win no matter what.

Then fans start to factor in the Draymond suspension and the Ray Allen shot and while luck is part of the game and every player has benefited and suffered due to it at some point, it's fair to at least consider that he could easily be 1-8 in the finals right now and that has to have some kind of impact on a discussion of the greatest of all time.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#239 » by michaelm » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:16 pm

JonFromVA wrote:
michaelm wrote:Jordan was a stone cold killer, whether or not that is a good thing. LeBron is quite likely a more admirable human being, but a stone cold killer he is not and never was.


It's a lot easier to be a "stone cold killer" when you get all the whistles when you need them.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, all 3 players are the greatest of their era, and that's about all we'll ever be able to say with any degree of certainty.

Sure, you got me. Imagine how great LeBron could have been if officialdom hadn’t been so set against him all his career.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#240 » by michaelm » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:20 pm

The4thHorseman wrote:
RakimAbdulJabar wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:Jordan's never avg. those low of numbers in a Finals before until then. He was playing in the same system for the previous 5 titles and didn't avg. those low of numbers. Just the year before, he avg. 7-6 against those same Jazz and in the same system.

You can point to 3pa and systems all you want, but it still doesn't answer my question. I didn't ask why MJ's numbers were so low in '98.


I don't get what you're looking for, you don't judge a series based simply on averages. Every game, every matchup, every situation is different on a nightly basis and all I would want players to do is whatever it took to get the win. There are many games/series where guys have great numbers but watching you don't feel like they had a great game and vice versa. No one player is perfect and puts up amazing stats every night while going undefeated.

I won't even look back and see the stats from the year before, maybe someone or a few players stepped up and grabbed an extra rebound each, maybe he was focused on something else defensively as instructed by Phil, there's no way of knowing, I don't think it's that big of a deal and there wasn't anything clearly visible from watching both series that made it seem like the effort wasn't there, or he had declined as a player.

Assists are a tricky thing, you're relying on guys to make shots, it's not always about the passer and that series again didn't have any high scoring games, so I don't see the point of asking what if so and so had these stats when comparing 2 different positions in 2 different systems against 2 different opponents playing in 2 different approaches to the game in 2 different eras

Also keep in mind that Pippen had a back injury he was trying to play through and MJ was tired, he's still human

Basically it comes down to this.

In 1998, MJ avg. 33-4-2 on 42% shooting, wIns the Finals, wins FMVP and still get's praised like no other. In 1996, he avg. 27-5-4 on 41% shooting and still goes on to win that Finals in pretty much easy fashion.

In 2017, James avg. 33-10-12 on 56% shooting and loses in 5gms. Yet he gets penalized for losing and supposedly not doing enough to bring his team to victory. In 2018, he avg. 34-8-10 on 52% shooting. Same as above, penalized for losing and not doing enough for his team.

So individual stats are better than actually winning?.

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