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#281 » by michaelm » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:34 pm

JonFromVA wrote:
michaelm wrote:
JonFromVA wrote:
Not what I said... certainly LeBron has benefited from the refs at times - especially against second rate teams, but there have been many times that wasn't the case in big games against top opponents.

Michael, otoh, started getting the favor of the refs before the Bulls had ever won anything and it lasted all the way until the last shot of his Bulls' career.

There were some serious problems with the NBA refs ... not because Tim Donaghy said so, but indicated by how the NBA flushed out the old Philly boys club. Weight training was something just coming in to vogue during Michael's time. International players were just starting to influence the league in Michael's time. Expansion was occuring, etc, etc.

Which is not to take anything away from what Michael or even Bill Russell accomplished, but it's all part of why trying to compare players across generations is beyond stupid. Any sort of fair/unbiased comparison is simply impossible.

I was being sarcastic as I assume you realised, not positing that my contention was yours.

However weak the arguments with which you rightly take issue may be, trying to differentiate between 2 such superstars of the game on the basis of how favourably they were treated by officialdom is a weaker one.

I tend like many GSW fans btw to believe that favourable treatment by officialdom in the 2016 finals both in relation to Green’s suspension and how LeBron was refereed in the games subsequent to that helped LeBron and the Cavs win the title that year, but given I am sufficiently obsessed as a fan to post regularly on a forum such as this one, this may have similar substance to your argument in regard to how Jordan was refereed.


Fact is we both know how the refs choose to call the game has a major effect on the outcome and it's just another factor we struggle to deal with in the same era let alone across eras. Something tells me there will be more future fans who remember what James Harden got away with 30 years down the line ... but many will just hold up his numbers and say stuff like 36 ppg! 60 TS% 30.6 PER! Look at that peak!!!

I don’t like how Harden plays because he imo is to some extent trying to exploit grey areas in the rules of basketball rather than just play the game, particularly given his huge talent offensively in areas other than drawing fouls.

Superstars definitely get superstar calls, but are also the players everyone is trying to stop any way they can. Jordan and LeBron were pretty much both the darlings of the media and probably the NBA head office for much of their careers, and to differentiate their career achievements on the basis of one being refereed more favorably than the other over an entire career is drawing a long bow imo. It is the nature of fandom to believe that a team or player you emotionally invest in has been jobbed by officialdom when they lose, something I myself do of course, and referees can be biased or even crooked, but a career long conspiracy by officialdom in general which favoured Jordan over his entire career in contrast to LeBron’s career long treatment is rather pushing things as I have said and implied. More than a few non-LeBron fans believe he has gotten away with pushing players off with his forearm as a move on offense for his whole career.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#282 » by NeutralObserver » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:46 pm

bmurph128 wrote:I'm totally fine with people having MJ above LeBron.

Has nothing to do with rings for me though - I despise using that as a measurement for any players in any sport. It contributes to it, but having that as a primary criteria makes no sense.

Take Duncan and LeBron - others may disagree, but I'm very confident that LeBron wins at least five/six championships if you swap he and Duncan - both were first overall picks, just a few years apart.

So if I were to compare Duncan and LeBron, I wouldn't take championships into account, at all.

I feel the same with MJ and LeBron. Before I put LBJ over MJ, I had MJ higher because of his overall body of work - not because the Bulls won championships as a team.


You have to use this much mental gymnastics to argue that Duncan and LeBron are in the same tier?

Swap LeBron and Duncan and Coach Pop eats LeBron alive in San Antonio.

If LeBron hasn't won "five or six" by now given how many super teams he's played on, it DEFINITELY wasn't gonna happen in the Western Conference.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#283 » by dickfox » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:48 pm

This is crazy. Stop it. Please. Just. Don't. C'mon man.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#284 » by NeutralObserver » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:49 pm

People saying that they don't wanna consider rings as a factor in evaluating success are SURELY the people who'd be the first to throw in media/Can awards like "regular season MVPs" and "all star appearances" instead.

It's best to just leave these types of fans to their own devices.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#285 » by Harry Garris » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:54 pm

freethedevil wrote:
Harry Garris wrote:
NO-KG-AI wrote:Because Michael didn't cost his team rings with poor play.


He did in the 95 playoffs against the Magic. But yeah I get that you're strictly talking about finals.

Cough, cherrypicking, cough.


Yeah I realize that. But Lebron has only cost his team 1 finals with poor play as well. Every finals he's played in since 2011 have been some of the statistically greatest finals performances of all time.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#286 » by tyguy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:01 pm

The4thHorseman wrote:
NZB2323 wrote:Michael Jordan is undefeated in playoff series with homecourt advantage. Lebron lost in 09, 10, and 11 with homecourt and Russel lost in 58 with homecourt to a team with no black players. If you have homecourt advantage you're supposed to win and Jordan always did.

It's totally fair to have Jordan above both.

1989 ECF the Bulls went up 2-1 with game 4 being played in Chicago. That gave them home court advantage. They proceed to lose the next 3gms including game 5 which was MJ's biggest playoff game of his career and he only took 8FGA for the entire game.

This will be swept under the rug.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#287 » by Raps in 4 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:09 pm

Russell won all his rings in the pre-merger era. The NBA was basically a rec league back then.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#288 » by 70sFan » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:03 pm

Raps in 4 wrote:Russell won all his rings in the pre-merger era. The NBA was basically a rec league back then.

No it wasn't.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#289 » by ItsMyPotPie » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:43 pm

Does this really matter though?
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#290 » by batmana » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:45 pm

Simple, MJ was better than both. I find it really amusing how some people think their criteria are universal and want to impose their personal rankings on everyone else.

How can one argue Russell>Jordan and not have Horry>Jordan???? I'll never understand that.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#291 » by JeepCSC » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:50 pm

tyguy wrote:This will be swept under the rug.

It’s already been answered.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#292 » by JonFromVA » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:08 pm

michaelm wrote:
JonFromVA wrote:
michaelm wrote:I was being sarcastic as I assume you realised, not positing that my contention was yours.

However weak the arguments with which you rightly take issue may be, trying to differentiate between 2 such superstars of the game on the basis of how favourably they were treated by officialdom is a weaker one.

I tend like many GSW fans btw to believe that favourable treatment by officialdom in the 2016 finals both in relation to Green’s suspension and how LeBron was refereed in the games subsequent to that helped LeBron and the Cavs win the title that year, but given I am sufficiently obsessed as a fan to post regularly on a forum such as this one, this may have similar substance to your argument in regard to how Jordan was refereed.


Fact is we both know how the refs choose to call the game has a major effect on the outcome and it's just another factor we struggle to deal with in the same era let alone across eras. Something tells me there will be more future fans who remember what James Harden got away with 30 years down the line ... but many will just hold up his numbers and say stuff like 36 ppg! 60 TS% 30.6 PER! Look at that peak!!!

I don’t like how Harden plays because he imo is to some extent trying to exploit grey areas in the rules of basketball rather than just play the game, particularly given his huge talent offensively in areas other than drawing fouls.

Superstars definitely get superstar calls, but are also the players everyone is trying to stop any way they can. Jordan and LeBron were pretty much both the darlings of the media and probably the NBA head office for much of their careers, and to differentiate their career achievements on the basis of one being refereed more favorably than the other over an entire career is drawing a long bow imo. It is the nature of fandom to believe that a team or player you emotionally invest in has been jobbed by officialdom when they lose, something I myself do of course, and referees can be biased or even crooked, but a career long conspiracy by officialdom in general which favoured Jordan over his entire career in contrast to LeBron’s career long treatment is rather pushing things as I have said and implied. More than a few non-LeBron fans believe he has gotten away with pushing players off with his forearm as a move on offense for his whole career.


Again, I never argued LeBron didn't get away with things. He does, but he's a lot bigger than Mike, and like Shaq there's a lot of contact calls he doesn't get that Mike always got even when Mike was clearly initiating the contact.

I see no reason to dismiss that sort of thing, which is why I brought it up; but really it's just a drop in the bucket of reasons why trying to compare players across eras is beyond idiotic.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#293 » by JonFromVA » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:11 pm

batmana wrote:Simple, MJ was better than both. I find it really amusing how some people think their criteria are universal and want to impose their personal rankings on everyone else.

How can one argue Russell>Jordan and not have Horry>Jordan???? I'll never understand that.


Probably by ignoring role players who weren't the primary reason for their team's success ... or are you arguing Bill Russell was just a role player?
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#294 » by NZB2323 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:28 pm

tyguy wrote:
The4thHorseman wrote:
NZB2323 wrote:Michael Jordan is undefeated in playoff series with homecourt advantage. Lebron lost in 09, 10, and 11 with homecourt and Russel lost in 58 with homecourt to a team with no black players. If you have homecourt advantage you're supposed to win and Jordan always did.

It's totally fair to have Jordan above both.

1989 ECF the Bulls went up 2-1 with game 4 being played in Chicago. That gave them home court advantage. They proceed to lose the next 3gms including game 5 which was MJ's biggest playoff game of his career and he only took 8FGA for the entire game.

This will be swept under the rug.


Well, to elaborate on how impressive this is I'll mention that Jordan was always a great regular season player and wanted to win every single game and tried his best to have the best record in the league every year. I'll also make a list for other greats.

Times losing with homecourt advantage:

Russel: 58
Wilt: 61, 66, 68, 69, 73
Kareem: 73, 74, 77, 81, 86
Magic: 81, 86, 90
Bird: 80, 82, 85, 91, 91
Hakeem: 85, 87, 93
Shaq: 95, 04, 05, 07, 10
Kobe: 04, 11
Duncan: 00(injured), 01, 02, 06, 09, 11, 12, 16
Lebron: 09, 10, 11

Jordan: Never
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#295 » by HEAT33 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:30 pm

Only way Russell or Lebron could be better is if you fused them together into one player

LeBill James >>> MJ

On there own it’s not even close
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#296 » by Samurai » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:31 pm

ATRAIN53 wrote:No one who posts here ever saw Russel play, so it's not a valid argument IMO.

Not one of us knows how good he really was. We just regurgitate the stores, see he won a ton of titles and the named the Finals MVP trophy after him.

But what would he average today in the NBA? Who is his comp? Duncan? Shaq?

The MJ vs Lebron Argument ends with the fact that once MJ scaled the mountain, no one pushed him off.
He climbed down himself after he slayed everyone and he got old and lonely sitting up there alone.
If not for age, he would still be still be there pushing guys off it when they got close.

I always say a peak LeBron vs peak MJ game would be them trading baskets for hours until LeBron quit.
MJ would refuse to quit until he won.

I could not tell you what MJ vs Russel game would be like.

I saw Russell, Wilt, Kareem (including a few of his UCLA games) play, so according to you I am just "no one". I guess if I am a "no one", then I can assume you must be a middle school-aged poster who never saw the greats of yesterday play.

Russell was my first "favorite player"; my older brother was a Wilt fan so when those two went at it on TV things got a bit heated! I've posted repeatedly that I do not believe in time machines; I am convinced they don't exist so for those who want to discuss them, feel free in a science fiction thread. But this is basketball, not science fiction. I've posted often that if Russell were born in 1990 and grew up learning to play the game under current conditions and strategy, he would still be an outstanding player today. Remember he was an Olympic-caliber athlete (could have gone to the Olympics as a high-jumper if he wasn't on the USA basketball team); his speed and hops for a big man would still make him unique in today's game. If you actually watched him play back then instead of spending your time "regurgitating" (if that's a legit health issue, my apologies and hope you get better), you could see that he was the GOAT at being able to challenge someone on the perimeter and then using his quickness to still get back to the rim to be in rebounding position. PnR's weren't run nearly to extent that they are today, but that ability to cover so much ground would still be highly coveted by coaches today. Uncanny defensive awareness and a phenomenal rebounder; obviously wouldn't be averaging 22 boards/game in today's game but would still be a league-leading rebounder.

As with most of the GOAT candidates, there is no one quite like him in today's game. Thus I don't see anyone who is a clone of MJ, Wilt or Kareem in today's game either.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#297 » by JonFromVA » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:57 pm

ATRAIN53 wrote:I could not tell you what MJ vs Russel game would be like.


Russ wouldn't waste his time ... consummate team player that was happy to make Wilt work to get his buckets, while Russ did everything else to help his team win.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#298 » by JeepCSC » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:00 pm

Russell wouldn’t waste his time what? MJ isn’t Wilt.
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#299 » by nurseryc » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:02 pm

1993Playoffs 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.


But things are not all equal, LeBron is a better passer, which matters alot, better rebounder, more efficient from the field from 3 etc both players have a case vs each other. After the 2016 its been nearly a toss up for me


Have you accounted for the fact that MJ was a vastly superior player to that of Lebron. Lebron while great was not as good as MJ at basketball
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Re: How can one argue MJ>Lebron and also have MJ> Russell? 

Post#300 » by bo8403 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:05 pm

clyde21 wrote:because Russell won his rings playing against part time plumbers when there was 6 teams in the league


It astounds me how nobody talks about this.

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