Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell

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Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#1 » by NyKnicks1714 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:39 pm

Magic, Bird, Shaq, someone else... You can make a case for the five guys mentioned (to varying degrees of strength): Jordan's success and greatness, LeBron's all-around game, intelligence, and longevity, Wilt's absurd stats, Russell's 11 rings, etc.

Not that I think Shaq is the GOAT, but I'll make a case for him in that at his peak, he was probably the most feared player in the modern era, even more so than Jordan. In the early 2000's, I swear opposing coaches would jump at the chance to replace Shaq with any other player in NBA history. He was that feared.

If you actually do think the GOAT is someone other than those 5, mention that too.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#3 » by DaPessimist » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:48 pm

Magic has an argument. 3 MVPS's and 5 Titles. You could argue that he would have more Titles and more Finals MVP's without injuries and having to face arguably the greatest team of all time (80's Celtics) in the Finals. In contrast, guys like MJ, Wilt, and Russell won their titles in watered-down era's against inferior competition.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#4 » by Freighttrain » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:50 pm

That's my mount Rushmore + wilt
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#5 » by TheNG » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:37 pm

In math there's something called "proof by induction".
In our case, let's say x is considered a GOAT, and y is basically better in every aspect than x, then y is the GOAT.
So x is LeBron and y is Bird.
Or in other words: if you think LeBron can be the GOAT, than Bird should be your GOAT.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#6 » by oldncreaky » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:40 pm

I'll bite.

You made it quite challenging by including my top 5 candidates, and honestly, I can't really get behind anyone other than MJ or LBJ, but I will make the case for the player I would honestly put 6th, and who seems to be overlooked.

Tim Duncan. His leadership, as the heart of an enduring Spurs culture, is unparalleled in modern (post-ABA merger) NBA history. Despite a career sacrificing for the team, his personal stats still shine, and he earned MVP votes in 18 consecutive seasons, top 5 MVP in 9 seasons. He lead his team to the playoffs every year of his 19 year career, and was the heart of a contender for 18 years (yikes!). Last but not least, he is the only GOAT candidate who did it without the major advantages of a playing for a team in a large market -- advantages that help pad the exposure, reputation and team success (i.e. rings) of the other candidates who played in LA/BOS/CHI/MIA

(Yeah, I'm not really buying it either, but I thought I'd try!)
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#8 » by oldncreaky » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:50 pm

DaPessimist wrote:Magic has an argument. 3 MVPS's and 5 Titles. You could argue that he would have more Titles and more Finals MVP's without injuries and having to face arguably the greatest team of all time (80's Celtics) in the Finals. In contrast MJ, Wilt, Russell, and Jordan won their titles in mostly watered-down era's against inferior competition.


I like Magic, but to me his team achievements (titles and finals appearances) are diminished because he played in the West when the West was so, so much weaker than the East. The Lakers were good, but the rest of the WC garbage. If I rank the best teams of the 1980s, I get to at least #7 or #8 before I pick a second WC team ahead of BOS/PHI/MIL/DET/CHI/ATL. Heck, even NYK or WAS may have been better than HOU or PHO.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#9 » by FlyingArrow » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:05 pm

I may be repeating the post of oldncreaky, but here goes. I only read his post as far as "my top 5 candidates" and "Tim Duncan". And that's pretty much what I'm about to say...

I think the 5 players that the OP mentioned are in fact all co-number 1. It really depends on how much you value scoring, rings, peak vs prime vs career numbers, and how much you discount or pump up each era.

Tim Duncan as the GOAT is a more nuanced argument. Of course you have to put a high value on defense, a high value on rings (but not too high), and a high value on a long, consistent career. Further, discount the 60s based on the era (fewer teams, less athletic, etc). If those are your parameters, Wilt and Russell aren't really in the discussion based on the era, and Duncan rises above Jordan based on longevity. But he still falls short of Kareem and LeBron. And that's where you have to bring in an X factor where Duncan is arguably the best ever - transformational locker room presence. The Spurs culture saw them bring in guy after guy who were journeymen but thrived in the Spurs system. They got buy-in from so many people largely because players came in and saw the Hall of Famer superstar Tim Duncan following the coach's lead and buying into the system. He set the tone for two decades of winning. If you also value loyalty, you take Duncan over LeBron 100 times out of 100.

So there's my case. Admittedly, I don't believe it myself. I have those other 5 guys as my co-number 1 in the GOAT race. Duncan is right behind them on a tier by himself but above Shaq, Magic, Bird, etc.

But I would genuinely grant Duncan the title of Greatest Franchise Player of All-Time. He didn't chase numbers (Wilt), quit on you twice (Jordan), or leave the team (LeBron). He valued winning, established a culture of winning around himself, and did it consistently for longer than anyone else. He won 5 rings, was one rebound away from a 6th, was close to two others (close losses in the West where they'd have been strongly favored in the finals), and made his team a serious contender nearly every single year. From the perspective of a team choosing a single player for a whole career, he's the pick.

Now I'll go back and read oldncreaky's post and see if I actually said anything new.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#10 » by HerroBalls » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:07 pm

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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#11 » by oldncreaky » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:10 pm

FlyingArrow wrote:I may be repeating the post of oldncreaky, but here goes. I only read his post as far as "my top 5 candidates" and "Tim Duncan". And that's pretty much what I'm about to say...

I think the 5 players that the OP mentioned are in fact all co-number 1. It really depends on how much you value scoring, rings, peak vs prime vs career numbers, and how much you discount or pump up each era.

Tim Duncan as the GOAT is a more nuanced argument. Of course you have to put a high value on defense, a high value on rings (but not too high), and a high value on a long, consistent career. Further, discount the 60s based on the era (fewer teams, less athletic, etc). If those are your parameters, Wilt and Russell aren't really in the discussion based on the era, and Duncan rises above Jordan based on longevity. But he still falls short of Kareem and LeBron. And that's where you have to bring in an X factor where Duncan is arguably the best ever - transformational locker room presence. The Spurs culture saw them bring in guy after guy who were journeymen but thrived in the Spurs system. They got buy-in from so many people largely because players came in and saw the Hall of Famer superstar Tim Duncan following the coach's lead and buying into the system. He set the tone for two decades of winning. If you also value loyalty, you take Duncan over LeBron 100 times out of 100.

So there's my case. Admittedly, I don't believe it myself. I have those other 5 guys as my co-number 1 in the GOAT race. Duncan is right behind them on a tier by himself but above Shaq, Magic, Bird, etc.

But I would genuinely grant Duncan the title of Greatest Franchise Player of All-Time. He didn't chase numbers (Wilt), quit on you twice (Jordan), or leave the team (LeBron). He valued winning, established a culture of winning around himself, and did it consistently for longer than anyone else. He won 5 rings, was one rebound away from a 6th, was close to two others (close losses in the West where they'd have been strongly favored in the finals), and made his team a serious contender nearly every single year. From the perspective of a team choosing a single player for a whole career, he's the pick.

Now I'll go back and read oldncreaky's post and see if I actually said anything new.


Same sentiment I had, and better writing!
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#12 » by SA37 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:16 pm

I'd go with either Kobe or Magic.

Kobe was one of the greatest scorers the NBA has ever had and became a fantastic all-around player who won just about every accolade possible.

Magic revolutionized the game in so many ways and bridged winning and entertainment in a way no one else has been able to do.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#13 » by frica » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:20 pm

Oscar Robertson would have retired as the GOAT if he hadn't played alongside the Andrea Bargnani of his era. (Besides the center in question also being undersized)
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#14 » by soxfan2003 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:20 pm

Duncan's game translates even better to a 2 ball era as it does a 3 ball era but he would easily be dominant in both types of eras. Duncan proved it by continuing his great play even as teams started shooting more 3's.

Duncan played in an NBA that was more athletic than Russell/Wilt. Maybe the average center was better in Russell/Wilt's day but other positions in the Duncan era on average where probably better. And Duncan only played a few years in the NBA when it was on average probably not as good as late 80's ball. Expansion dilutes the NBA but population growth/sport growing more popular helps it.

So the NBA that Duncan competed in was marginally better overall than Bird/Magic and especially Jordan who was around in his prime for the NBA to expand by 6 teams. Kareem has a very strong GOAT case but he did have a good deal of his prime in a weak era for the NBA.

And while I would still prefer Kareem as GOAT over Duncan, Duncan in his 30's especially was better on defense than Kareem. This means he doesn't need to score as much to have a dominant impact.

When SAS swept Lebron in 2007, the Cavs had a really good defensive team but thanks to Duncan the Spurs did as well.

If you just want peak performance over a reasonable time period, GOAT is clearly Shaq or Wilt. But when longevity is taken into account, Kareem and Duncan have strong cases.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#15 » by KGtabake » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:56 pm

If you value prime and peak over everything else, then Shaq, Larry, Hakeem and Duncan have a case.
All bigs btw

edit. larry not a big lol
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#16 » by Up-And-Coming » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:23 pm

Scottie Pippen, 6-0 in the Finals

I'm serious
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#17 » by Spanish_Laker » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:24 pm

Shaq, most dominant player ever.
Arguably the greatest franchise ever
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#18 » by Petergrifindor » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:35 pm

The best case would be Shaq trying to make the case to have even a highest peak than MJ.

Would not be truth... but close enough.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#19 » by cpower » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:42 pm

Duncan:

best two way player/leader combination out of anyone. consistently competing against other top 10 players (Shaq/Kobe/Lebron) and having a winning record against GOAT.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#20 » by Ainosterhaspie » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:43 pm

Duncan.

Key contributor to title teams in title runs 15 years apart, and obviously was the most important player during most of those title runs. Immediately imactful at the highest level upon entering the league and remained that way until retirement with quality longevity rarely matched.

Will fit seamlessly into any offense or defense. GOAT caliber defender that plays so smart he's able to retain high level efficacy even with declining athleticism. Willing to take any role needed on offense, do the dirty work without ego about getting stats. Other players can thrive offensively while he elevates quietly. Able to be the primary scorer if necessary, but willing to let others do it if it's better for the team.

Steady leadership that builds a coachable culture of winning and accountability.

Separated himself from the pack in an era with other ATG power forwards. Faced and beat several dynasty level teams with multiple ATG level players.

In short, the perfect teammate and elite defender at the most important defensive position with with elite effective longevity.
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