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

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

Post#21 » by BostonCouchGM » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:46 pm

In the toughest decade, full of the best teams in NBA history (Sixers, Celtics, Lakers, Pistons) and the best players in NBA history (MJ, Magic, Hakeem, Bird, Barkley, Moses, Dr. J, Dominique, Ewing, Kareem, King, Gervin, Worthy, McHale, Malone, Isiah)...the 1980s, before injury, Larry Bird was the best player in the league, finishing top 2 in the MVP voting (winning three straight) for 8 years. If you sit down and really think about the skills a basketball player can have, Larry Bird finishes near the top for all of them and when combined, is better than everyone else who has ever lived:

Shooting: Bird is better than MJ, Lebron, Magic, and Kobe
Rebounding: Bird had more rebounds, despite having to fight other 7 footers for them, than MJ, Lebron, Magic, and Kobe and even .8 away from Tim Duncan!
Passing: There have been similarly skilled passers i.e. Magic, Lebron, Kidd, Pistol Pete, but Bird is right there with all of them
BBIQ: Nobody but Magic, Lebron, and MJ have as high a BBIQ as Bird. The elite of the elite
Team Defense: Bird was a great defender who could defend against almost anyone on switches and averaged 1.7 steals and .8 blocks. J and Kobe were better man defenders but he was their equal on team defense just like Lebron
Man Defense: Clearly MJ and Kobe were elite. But except for a few seasons, he was Lebron's equal and Magic's superior
Clutch: obviously he's one of the more clutch players in NBA history. Right up there with MJ
Hustle: nobody out hustled Bird.

oh, and he did it in a 6'9" body that had well below average athleticism unlike his peers. Size and athleticsm combo were what helped make those other players great. If they had Larry's body and athleticism they aren't even all-stars. If not for injuries to his heels and back, and Len Bias dying, he would have had the additional championships and longevity that would convince casuals he's the GOAT or at minimum second to only MJ. As is, only people who actually know basketball recognize him as the best SF to ever play the game and top 3 player of all time.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#22 » by OGLife » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:53 pm

How is Bird not the greatest Celtic?
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#23 » by boomershadow » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:54 pm

Up-And-Coming wrote:Scottie Pippen, 6-0 in the Finals

I'm serious


6 rings. 7 time All Star. 7 All-NBA selections. 10 All-Defense. 1995 steals leader. Only player to win an NBA Championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year... twice.

Kept the Bulls relevant when Mike was retired. Had a more interesting post-Bulls career than Mike, too.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#24 » by Texas Chuck » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:05 pm

Glad to see Duncan getting this much love because he usually doesn't. I have 5 GOAT candidates--Wilt doesn't make my list. Admittedly I have Duncan one of the weaker ones, but he absolutely belongs in any conversation. Incredible career from start to finish that lasted a really long time.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#25 » by homecourtloss » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:07 pm

TheNG wrote: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.


:lol: :lol: Had a chance to make a post without bringing up LeBron but couldn’t.
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Hal14 wrote:Not saying I put McHale over Duncan, but the argument can be made.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#26 » by Antinomy » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:09 pm

Either Kobe, Duncan, Hakeem, Bird or Shaq
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#27 » by OdomFan » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:11 pm

Larry Bird - Came into the NBA as a rookie and turned a 32-29 win team into a team that won 61. One of the smartest players to ever pick up a basketball. One of the greatest scorers/shooters of all time, one of the best passers of all time. As competitive as a star can possible be in professional sports. I don't have him over Michael Jordan but he has a place in the conversation for sure. Same with Tim Duncan.

He had the privilege to learn from fellow big man David Robinson, but he was already NBA ready before even stepping into the league. Elite on both ends, great leader in his own way, Just the mere fact that he's been argued as the greatest player of his own position for so long gives him an argument in the conversation.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#28 » by Homer38 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:19 pm

Scottie Pippen

Pippen has won 6 titles and his best teammate (Jordan) has never had a winning season without him ... Pippen has had a winning season in every season of his career except his last one when he only played 23 games.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#29 » by Joao Saraiva » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:22 pm

Those are the guys I believe have an argument.

If you put a criteria heavy based on something, others might get close to #1, but not surpass at least one of them.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#30 » by druggas » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:24 pm

Jerry West. If you don't know what he's accomplished in his career, you haven't paid attention.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#31 » by Egg Nog » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:27 pm

What about Luka? Now I'm DEFINITELY not saying he looks like he'll be better than those guys, to be clear. But if he peaks higher than we expect it's not completely out of the question.

You can name injury what-ifs like Bill Walton or even Sabonis, career what-ifs like Oscar Schmidt, or just try to make the case for someone like Bird or Magic.

What if Ralph Sampson hadn't gotten injured and he and Hakeem ruled the late 80s through to the mid 90s? With the right cohesive teammates I could maybe see a case for Hakeem with a different career trajectory. We've never seen a two-way player like Hakeem again.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#32 » by Reeko » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:27 pm

It's hard to make a case for Bird because it ends up becoming a game of "ifs", but Bird won 3 titles and averaged 24, 10 and 6 for his career which makes it a bit easier to argue. So if Bird didn't ruin his back while making a driveway for his mom, and if Len Bias hadn't died and if Reggie Lewis hadn't died, Bird and the Celtics may have been able to keep Isiah Thomas from winning in 89 and 90, and Jordan from winning 1 or 2 championships in the early 90's.

Hypotheticals obviously are not the best way to make a case for any player, but that's the only way to make a case for Bird.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#33 » by NZB2323 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:44 pm

I don’t really believe in this argument, but I could make a case for Hakeem. He beat Magic, Kareem, and Worthy his 2nd year, and then Ralph Sampson got injured and he played on bad teams and then he won a title without another all-star on his team, and he led his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. Then he won a title as a 6th seed and he ended up playing 18 years.

Jordan/Lebron/Kareem/Russell/Wilt never won a title without another all-star, never won a title as a 6th seed, and never led their team in all 5 categories while winning a title.

You could also argue that Hakeem played in the GOAT era for centers with him beating Kareem, Shaq, Robinson and Ewing in the playoffs. Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutumbo were also in the league but Hakeem never faced them in the playoffs.

You could also argue that Hakeem is a better offensive player than Russel, and a better defensive player than Jordan/Lebron/Kareem/Wilt.

With that being said, I’m not even sure Hakeem is top 10 all time since he only won 2 titles and I might have Russel, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, Duncan, and Lebron ahead of him.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#34 » by zonedefense » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:52 pm

I don´t have any in depth knowledge about the 40s and 50s but is it possible to make a case for someone like Mikan? Maybe something like no player was more dominant in his given era?
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#35 » by bmurph128 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:21 pm

Shaq is the easiest.

Since it's a tough and odd argument to make, I'll go this route:

If he and Kobe liked each other, he would have been the best player on the only fourpete in league history.

The only thing that stopped him is that they didn't get along. Not really basketball related.

Shaq was also the most unstoppable player in his prime in NBA history IMO.

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

Post#36 » by ThunderBolt » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:43 pm

I’m a Jordan is the goat guy but Shaq bullying people was the most unstoppable thing I’ve ever seen in basketball.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#37 » by SNPA » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:48 pm

BostonCouchGM wrote:In the toughest decade, full of the best teams in NBA history (Sixers, Celtics, Lakers, Pistons) and the best players in NBA history (MJ, Magic, Hakeem, Bird, Barkley, Moses, Dr. J, Dominique, Ewing, Kareem, King, Gervin, Worthy, McHale, Malone, Isiah)...the 1980s, before injury, Larry Bird was the best player in the league, finishing top 2 in the MVP voting (winning three straight) for 8 years. If you sit down and really think about the skills a basketball player can have, Larry Bird finishes near the top for all of them and when combined, is better than everyone else who has ever lived:

Shooting: Bird is better than MJ, Lebron, Magic, and Kobe
Rebounding: Bird had more rebounds, despite having to fight other 7 footers for them, than MJ, Lebron, Magic, and Kobe and even .8 away from Tim Duncan!
Passing: There have been similarly skilled passers i.e. Magic, Lebron, Kidd, Pistol Pete, but Bird is right there with all of them
BBIQ: Nobody but Magic, Lebron, and MJ have as high a BBIQ as Bird. The elite of the elite
Team Defense: Bird was a great defender who could defend against almost anyone on switches and averaged 1.7 steals and .8 blocks. J and Kobe were better man defenders but he was their equal on team defense just like Lebron
Man Defense: Clearly MJ and Kobe were elite. But except for a few seasons, he was Lebron's equal and Magic's superior
Clutch: obviously he's one of the more clutch players in NBA history. Right up there with MJ
Hustle: nobody out hustled Bird.

oh, and he did it in a 6'9" body that had well below average athleticism unlike his peers. Size and athleticsm combo were what helped make those other players great. If they had Larry's body and athleticism they aren't even all-stars. If not for injuries to his heels and back, and Len Bias dying, he would have had the additional championships and longevity that would convince casuals he's the GOAT or at minimum second to only MJ. As is, only people who actually know basketball recognize him as the best SF to ever play the game and top 3 player of all time.


Agreed. This is easily Bird. Especially if you value peak and prime over longevity and individual skills over team accolades. Best all around player. He has a clear GOAT case.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#38 » by Ascrilas » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:50 pm

Ask this in the PC forum and you'll probably find a few people making a case for KG :lol:
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#39 » by oaktownwarriors87 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:47 am

Shaq

None of those guys were more impactful than prime Shaq.

Many had better careers, but none were better when they were on the floor in their prime.

You can talk about longevity and number of rings, but they still weren't better than Shaq.
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Re: Make a GOAT case for someone other than Jordan/LeBron/Kareem/Wilt/Russell 

Post#40 » by Lakers LeBron » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:15 am

Ascrilas wrote:Ask this in the PC forum and you'll probably find a few people making a case for KG :lol:


I don't think KG is the best ever, but if I died and went to heaven, I'd ask God who the NBA goat is. And if he gave a player that wasn't the five listed in the topic, the answer that would surprise me least is probably KG

It's basically impossible to overstate how bad those Timberwolves teams were when KG was there. McHale was generally incompetent at every aspect of being a general manager, but his crowning achievement was being fined 5 first round picks for making a secret deal with Joe Smith, who wasn't even good. And it was 5 first rounders, you could almost get Paul George with that many picks

No player could have won in that situation. KG only spent 1 year outside of Minnesota before he hurt his knee and it's obviously not a coincidence that he won 66 games and the NBA title that season

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