bledredwine wrote: 70sFan wrote:
Kobe fans drove me nuts, but he's a top 2 most skilled player all time next to Jordan, no doubt. He has some of the best fundamentals and footwork that I've seen. No one today really compares.
Well, it all depends on what you call "skills". By using typical definition (skills as an ability to score in variety of ways and using finesse) then Kobe is more skilled than Magic for example, but counting passing and versatility Magic is more skilled than Kobe in my opinion.
Using typical skills=scoring skills, Dantley may be the most skilled player ever. I don't think that's the best definition though.
Larry Bird is actually a player who is extremely skilled by any definition. So is Oscar, who I consider more skilled than Jordan (but not as good overall).
Good call on Bird. He's easily in top 5 most skilled range, probably top 3. I'll add Hakeem to that equation for a big. I'll have to watch more Oscar, but he doesn't strike me as more skilled, especially when it comes to dribbling (so much one handed dribbling, though I know it's reflective of the times). What do you consider him more skilled at? I will say that I've been impressed by how "tight" or concise his game looks.
I consider skills all-encompassing. Fundamentals - footwork, ability to dribble, passing ability, defensive hand in the passing lane, quick lateral movement. Everything that requires execution, really.
Anyway, you may find it ironic since Oscar (and Jordan) are known for versatility, but I don't find Oscar's skillset nearly as versatile as Jordan's, hence why he wasn't able to perform all of the bizarre dribbles, acrobatic moves, etc. I actually believe that it's Jordan's insane control and fundamentals that enabled him to do the seemingly bizarre circus shots and plays that he made. But most of the time, he controlled these crazy plays and circus shots. Those are the skills at work, IMO.
His dribbling looks unimpressive because he couldn't do things players from 1980s and on have been doing. Rules didn't allow that, that's why his dribbling looks very simple. He still had killer crossover and could do all behind the backs and hesitation moves, he did that and it worked for him perfectly.
Oscar had amazing midrange game, the level of difficulty of some of his fadeaways and pull ups is ridiculous. In this aspect he's quite comparable to older Jordan who didn't have enough athleticism to find easy separation and instead forced tons of contested jumpshots that was easy for him. The same applies to Oscar, he did that without any problems.
Oscar had extremely efficient high post game too, also very similar to Jordan. He didn't use all of the fancy footwork because traveling was called more strictly back then, but when you watch him you can see a lot of subtle head fakes, hesitations and shimmy moves. It's often not visible at first look, but when you watch him in slow motion you should really appreciate his abilities.
Oscar was also extremely good at using his body and I consider that more of a skill than acrobatic moves. Jordan's insane ability to hit circus shots needs a lot of skill, but it's still mostly due to his athleticism. I think that watching someone like Dantley finishing over 7 footer in the post requires more skill than Jordan jumping over two defenders and making reverse layup.
Oscar was also better passer than Jordan and this one isn't close to me. Maybe it's more because of his mindset, but Jordan was not the floor general Oscar was. I'm not talking about assists numbers or highlight passes, but regular playmaking and executing typical plays. It's not a knock on Jordan's passing ability (he was good passer), I am just very high on Oscar passing ability.
I definitely agree with you that Jordan's combination of fundamentals and athleticism is probably unmatched by any player. That's why he can be argued as the most skilled player ever, but I have a bit different definition of that word and by my definitions Bird and Oscar are more skilled players (but worse overall). Oscar could do everything Jordan could in terms of non-athletic related things, but he doesn't look as "impressive" at first look because he's less athletic and played under stricter rules.
I hope you understand my argument now.