Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list?

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Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list?

1
45
26%
2
58
34%
3
38
22%
4
7
4%
5
9
5%
outside the top 5
13
8%
 
Total votes: 170

bledredwine
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#161 » by bledredwine » Tue May 12, 2020 8:52 pm

nolang1 wrote:
bledredwine wrote:
NbaAllDay wrote:
That's for supplying data. And like you said it's never definitive with just 1 or 2 sets of data but it can tell a story. I wonder if some of the data is screwed a bit due to Lebron reaching the playoffs at a younger age and not being able to perform at there GOAT levels. As you've pointed out Lebron at his peak at worse has rivaled MJ. So maybe a bit of context there narrows this potential gap more that first thought. However I don't know exactly what Lebron break down in his early years are so I can say I'm any of that definitively.


Thing is, Jordan's elite level was more elite. IMO it was much more elite.
And he was on top for a long time. I'll back this up with stats down below.

If justice were served and it was based on playing at an elite level, Jordan would have won Most Valuable Player every year except for 2 seasons- rookie year and his return year where he played few games, and his all-time leading MVP shares is an indication of that. Jordan, who won five MVP awards, has a 8.138 MVP share rate. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is closest at 6.203. LeBron James leads active players at 4.389.

Jordan's 9 1st team defensive selections is the most ever. He failed to score 20 points in only 6 of 179 playoff games. In 35 finals games, his single lowest scoring game was 22.

Excluding the players on the 50s and 60s Celtics teams the only player with more championships than Jordan is Robert Horry. Of those 6 rings, Jordan was Finals MVP all 6 times. Jordan has the most Finals MVP awards, and the next closest players only have 3.

Michael Jordan won the MVP on five distinct occasions: 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998. In both 1993 and 1997, voters were just tired of picking him as the MVP, and voted for two subpar players with subpar stats in Charles Barkley and Karl Malone. Jordan should have 7 MVPs.

Just look at their stats:

Barkley 1993: 25.6 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.6 SPG
Jordan 1993: 32.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 5.5 APG, League Leader in Steals (2.8), 1st Team All-NBA

Malone 1997: 27.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1st Team All-Defense
Jordan 1997: 29.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1st Team All-Defense, Finals MVP


(Since we're going down the Lebron Jordan route)
Jordan vs LeBron

Most trophies -
Jordan - 22
Bill Russell - 17
Kareem - 15
Lebron - 14

After Lebron's 14th season. Michael Jordan had:
•3 more rings
•3 more final mvps
•1 more DPOY
•1 more season MVP
•9 more scoring titles
•3 more steals leader
•3 more all defensive team selections
•4000 more points / Lebron moved past him in playoff points, but it took him longer.
•800 more steals
•Beat 20 50+ win teams in the playoffs (Lebron only defeated 10)
•Jordan never averaged less than 40% Field Goal in the finals
Lebron did it twice
•6/6 (never allowed a game 7)
•Lebron had much more offensive help, example:
Jordan never had a teammate average more than 22 points in the finals.. In fact, Mj is Only player in NBA history to lead a team to the championship with only one teammate averaging double figures in scoring
* In the Bulls’ 1997 playoff run, Scottie Pippen averaged 19 points per game on 42% shooting. All other teammates of Jordan averaged under 8 points per game
Kyrie averaged over 28 and DWade averaged more than 26
•MJ never ever had a finals meltdown like Lebron in 2011 against the Mavs
•MJ had more points in the playoffs in less games..
MJ accomplished all of this in 13 seasons
Lebron after his 14th season, is still chasing the “ghost (GOAT) that played in Chicago”
•Michael Jordan in the playoffs has put up atleast 40ppg, 5rpg, 5apg in 6 different playoff series. Along with an average of about 55% shooting, 3spg and 2bpg.
(86 vs bos, 89 vs cavs, 90 vs philly, 92 vs Miami, 93 vs Phoenix, 88 vs cavs) Jordan won every one of those matchups except for the 1986 matchup vs the celtics.
•Jordan in 88-89 averaged 32ppg, 8apg, 8rpg, 3spg off 54% shooting. LeBron has never even came close to this stat line.
•in 87 thru 92, MJ averaged 5 straight seasons of atleast 51% FG shooting. LeBron has never done this.
•the lowest FT% MJ ever shot in a season was 78%. Lebrons highest in a season ever is 78%.
•MJ has a higher playoff FG% of 48.7% to Lebrons 48.3%
•MJ has a higher playoff player efficiency rating of 28.6 to Lebrons 27.3.
•MJ shoots a higher playoff 3 point percentage of 33.2% to Lebrons 32.9%
•LeBron James has scored 30 points, 416 times in 1,117 games.
Michael Jordan did it 562 times in 1,072 games.
Jordan won 6 championships without losing a final in 1,072 games and LeBron in 1,117 games has lost 5 times and has only won 3 times (updated 2018)
•MJ also shocked the league by being the first (and only) player to have 100 blocks and 200 steals in the same season, then turned around and did it again the next year..
•Mj also has more career blocks (893) than Lebron James (853) despite playing in 22 LESS career games and being the smaller guy.
Also, MJ averaged 1.6 blocks per game in the 1987-88 season which is absolutely bonkers for a 6’6″ shooting guard.

MIchael Jordan:
•NBA record 5 playoffs series’ averaging atleast 40ppg
•Only player in history to lead league in scoring and win DPOY
•Highest scoring average, points per game, in any championship series:
41.0 vs. Phoenix Suns, 1993 NBA Finals
•Only rookie in NBA history to lead his team in four statistics (1984–85)
•Only player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring, win Most Valuable Player, and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season (1987–88)
•Only player in history to average at least 30pts 6reb 5assists And 2 steals per game AND HE DID IT 7 TIMES.
•Only player in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year (1984–85), Defensive Player of the Year (1987–88), NBA MVP (1987–88, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1995–96, 1997–98), All-Star MVP (1988, 1996, 1998), and Finals MVP (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998)
•Only player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring and win the NBA championship MORE THAN ONCE in the same season
* He did this SIX TIMES!! (1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98)
•One of two players in NBA history to score 3,000 points in a season: 3,041 points scored in 82 games played (37.1 ppg) (1986–87)
* Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player to achieve this.
•MJ is also the only player in NBA history to score over 40 points at age 40, and he did it twice!
•In 1988, MJ earned: Dunk Champ, All Star Game MVP, NBA Scoring Title, League MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.
Michael in only ELEVEN complete seasons with the Bulls:
-10 scoring titles,
-Won Defensive Player of the Year,
-9 times all defensive team,
-9time All NBA,
-5 league MVPs
-6 finals MVPs
All 11 seasons. Mj has done in 11 seasons things Lebron hasn’t done and won’t do in his whole career…

HELP?

All-star appearances while playing with Jordan:
Scottie Pippen 6
1 player, 6 appearances = 6/6 in finals

All-star appearances while playing with Kareem:
Magic 10
Worthy 6
Bob Dandridge 2
Jamaal Wilkes 2
Oscar 2
Flynn Robinson 1
Norm Nixon 1
AC Green 1
8 players, 25 appearances = 6/9 in finals

All-star appearances while playing with Magic:
Kareem 10
Worthy 6
Jamaal Wilkes 2
Norm Nixon 1
AC Green 1
5 players, 20 appearances = 5/9 in finals

All star appearances playing with Shaq:
Kobe 7
Wade 3
Penny 2
Van Exel 1
Eddie Jones 1
Horace Grant 1

All-star appearances while playing with Lebron
Wade 4
Bosh 4
Love 3
Kyrie 2
Mo Williams 1
Zydrunas 1
6 players, 15 appearances = 3/9 in Finals

All-star appearances while playing with Duncan:
Parker 6
Robinson 3
Ginobili 2
3 players, 11 appearances, 5/6 in finals

All-star appearances while playing with Bird:
Parish 9
McHale 6
Tiny Archibald 3
Dennis Johnson 1

4 players, 19 appearances = 3/5 in Finals

You can't try to say Lebron has been more consistent or more elite. He has not. Lebron's had many great performances, so much against him as well, with the recent sweep, multiple slaughters... when he faces all-time great players, his resume isn't the best. Dwight, Durant, Dirk (Terry...), and so on. He has hobbled Steph and a younger Durant beaten.

If you were to take all of the stats, accolades, etc that could be compared between Jordan and Lebron, it's a slaughter. The problem is that it's advanced stats that favor ball-dominant players and over-reliance on Lebron that are continually brought up, and even those are close. Otherwise? It's triple double stats that really don't mean that much other than Lebron's one of the greatest ever. But in this comparison? It means little to nothing, especially considering the era and role Lebron plays. Heck, Durant basically had similar stats to Lebron with fewer assists and way better scoring numbers over the last 2 finals. There's plenty of evidence that modern stats are blown up.


So this boils down to Jordan playing on better teams and Jordan being more of a pure scorer (in an era where the rules were friendlier to 1v1 play and teams couldn’t fully commit to stopping one guy from scoring). LeBron also had additional seasons where he was clearly the best player and could’ve been awarded MVP; frankly if you use the same logic that was used to deny LeBron a few MVPs (yeah he’s the best player but the MVP is a regular season award and he’s clearly holding something back for the playoffs) then the players that won MVP over Jordan make sense as well; in my mind they’d both have more MVPs, but those accolades don’t mean much compared to actually being the best player, which is proven in the postseason. And again, you can’t point to Jordan’s regular season accolades without acknowledging that he took a year and a half off in the midst of his prime and didn’t do anything particularly noteworthy after age 35. If LeBron were to drastically fall off and be at best a borderline all-star player next year and going forward rather than an MVP candidate I’d be perfectly willing to concede Jordan had a better career.

When accolades like all-star appearances and MVP voting are determined by people who aren’t too smart and default to things like points per game, of course the players who are better at getting their teammates involved on offense are going to play with more all-star teammates and lose MVPs to players who score more points per game. The whole point I was making about Jordan was that he had to have an outstanding defensive big like Horace Grant or Dennis Rodman (both of whom were better than Kevin Love or Chris Bosh overall and were definitely better than Wade was after his first year with LeBron) for his team to win championships, and players like that just didn’t make all-star teams back then.


Jordan is 24-11 in the finals dude. Lebron is 18-31. You can't just attribute that to teams. That's such a ridiculous difference. 24-11 in the finals is insane. We also know for a fact that Jordan got the best of his match-ups, by far, every series and that Lebron has not in 4 of his finals series. 4 out of 9- that's individual play I'm speaking of, not team, and Jordan has the upper-hand on both. Then you consider that all of Jordan's championships were 3-peats... in a row, with him performing at that highest level as lead dog every single time, and it makes that all that more impressive. 6 championships in 8 years.. with 2 years of retirement. And sure, a small portion of another season where he had few games to get back in shape from baseball, but the point stands. Even then, he bolstered the Bulls from a 31-39 record to finish .666 for the rest of the season, despite being a shell of his former self.

And for your comment on establishing dominance, records, winning? So we've established that Jordan has the clearly better resume. We know that already. But that's the thing.

... he also dominates most of the stats as well, advanced included, and poses far fewer weaknesses. We can also admit that his intangibles on the defensive end and in practice are better (holding teammates accountable, making practices insanely competitive). Anyone who disagrees with that last sentence? I can't even talk with because we've seen Lebron's teams on defense and how often he doesn't hold them accountable. We've seen them goofing off in the past as well. And we know how Jordan treated the seriousness of competition, and their records reflect that.

So some fun advanced stats

Jordan has led the league in winshares 8 times. Lebron 5 times.

Jordan has finished in the top 3 in winshares 11 times. Lebron 6 times.

In winshares per 48 minutes, Jordan has the highest career rating in both the regular season and the playoffs.

In box plus/minus, Jordan has 1st in that as well. This is after the adjustment to make it more accurate due to Westbrook posting the best box plus/minus, revealing flaws.

Gamescore measures production in a single game. Jordan has 19 of the top 100 of all time. 1 out of every 5 best single game performances over the last 40 years was by Jordan. He also has the highest with his 69 and 19 performance against Cleveland. Lebron only has 3.

Rebounds? Clearly forwards and centers grab more than guards, especially in the 90s. Even Westbrook is dominating the boards.

Compared to other SG's to play at least 500 games in the history of the game, Jordan ranks
1st in points
4th in assists
3rd in rebounds
3rd in steals
3rd in blocks
9th in FG%

He's near the top in every category and aside from assists, Lebron is well behind Jordan in each of these categories (exception 2nd in scoring at SF).

Jordan is the only guard to rank top 5 in steals per game and blocks per game.
He also led his position in defensive win shares 10 times, practically every year that he played for the Bulls.
Lebron has led his position in winshares on just 4 occasions, and for the last 7 seasons, didn't even crack the top 10 for winshares at his position.

Now in terms of flaws,
What can you really point out about Jordan for flaws in his game?

More than 1 of 3 of Lebron's shots come from from 0-3 feet from the baskets, including fast break dunks and the like. He's great at this.

But when he has to shoot past 3 feet?
Lebron's shooting percentage is:
37.5 percent.

IN the playoffs?
35.9 percent

Close and late situations?
In the last 2 minutes of the game when the score is within 5 points,
31.9 percent





Plenty of this is posted in the following video



IN THE CLUTCH

Finally, what is said about clutch. Everyone quotes these tiny clutch samples to try and call Lebron great in the clutch. While he's awesome at getting to the rim in the last several minutes (in that regard, I'll say he IS clutch), his tight situation abilities are severely lacking (I.E. when defense clamps down and his path to the basket is taken away).

5 seconds to go in the 4th or overtime, and your team needs a bucket to tie or win the game.

In the regular season and playoffs combined, Lebron has taken 94 shots, a large sample size.
Lebron has made 19 of those.

20%.

In the same situation? Jordan shot roughly 50 percent.

Aside from this, as mentioned above, Close and late situations?
In the last 2 minutes of the game when the score is within 5 points,
Lebron is 31.9 percent from midrange, and doesn't shoot well from the line,
which confirms everything I've been saying about Lebron's midrange game being
a damper in the clutch. These stats just confirmed it to me.

I'll be frank and honest. To me, this isn't a comparison and hasn't been. I've been holding these stats with the wish that I don't have to use them, because I know they bother fans of Lebron (and I honestly don't like to do that). But these are facts and there's so much in Jordan's favor in this comparison, that the evidence is overwhelming. None of these stats (or very few at the most) are arbitrary, like you can say about triple double numbers and such in this particular comparison. This is what happens when your goal is to win all the time and not to be better than Jordan as an individual first and foremost, which was my original criticism of Lebron. If he had made winning a die-hard priority? Who knows what his career would have looked like, in practices, in games, etc. But he's made it obvious that he's not as competitive as he is trying to live up to the number one legacy, via any type of assimilating- creating super teams, tampering in free agency, proclaiming titles before playing a single game, quitting multiple times, refusing to defend the other team's great superstar in the finals, proclaiming himself GOAT after a 73 win team's main reason they won 73 is hobbled, had a 10 Gamescore to Harden's 19 the series prior, only having played 2 games before facing Lebron, and so on. Lebron's own point guard teammate crushed Steph in that series. Point being? There's a lot of false narrative here.
Image

dice wrote:James Harden is currently in the same league as Michael Jordan as a scorer.



Playoffs- to age 27
MJ 35.4 PPG
JH 20.6 PPG

LBJ 27% in the clutch in the Finals: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1651184
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#162 » by SNPA » Tue May 12, 2020 10:26 pm

Bidofo wrote:It gets annoying seeing these very data-dismissive approaches. Why does there have to be such a one-or-the-other dichotomy?


It's the opposite of data dismissive, it's demonstrating that there are way more data points that impact the game which come from outside of purely quantitative output data.

Bidofo wrote:Understanding humans is difficult, correct. But using stats as a proxy, we get pretty dang close to painting the whole and accurate picture.


This is isn't close to true, no social scientist would agree with this.

Stats tell what happened (to some degree), sometimes when and where it happened (to some degree), occasionally how but they don't tell why it happened. And the why is the most important part. What people do to get to the why is speculate, which is subjective. Thus the objective stat becomes the subjective speculation as to why that stats is the way it is.

Also, which stats are selected is subjective and how much value is given to each one is subjective. Notice lots of subjectivity here.

Bidofo wrote:Claiming "artistry" only goes so far; Bird is one of the GOAT aesthetically pleasing players, while LeBron is much less so. Does that affect their impact in any meaningful way? I'm not sure that it does.


I watched teams give up early and often back in the prime aesthetically pleasing Webber/Vlade Kings days because the Kings would come out and just put on a passing and cutting clinic and it was demoralizing. Teams would give up down ten in the first quarter, you could see it in their body language, they'd be oh .... here we go. It can have an impact. It is akin to dunking on someone, it's only worth two points but there is a different psychology to it.

Bidofo wrote:Bird being an innate basketball player doesn't mean he didn't have flaws that hold him back from GOAT status. He has weak longevity. He's been injured in the postseason a few times (imagine if LeBron got into a bar fight and saw a drop in production in today's age, lol). His defense took a steep drop as he got older. He isn't exactly the most resilient postseason scorer (lack of dominant slashing/foul drawing hurts him here). I mean the case that he's out of the top 7/8 is very easy, and at that point I wouldn't call someone a GOAT candidate. If you like purely subjective reasoning pick something where winning and goodness don't have such a (relatively) strong correlation with stats.


All players have flaws.

Anyone can make a case Bird isn't top 8. People will tell you Budweiser is the best beer too, you aren't obligated to take them seriously.

Bidofo wrote:I'm not sure if that innate quality even exists. Recently Curry's shooting has been such an outlier that I'm more pressed to believe that it does.


How anyone can argue it doesn't is beyond me. If innate qualities didn't exist we'd all have equal chance at being the best drummer in the world. Every try to play a set of drums? You can tell if someone doesn't have innate qualities real quick.

Bidofo wrote:But there are tons of instances of people picking up basketball relatively late and still dominating. Things like "seeing moves ahead of time" are a) learnable as you age and get better, and b) not limited to only offense. Two late bloomers that are better than Bird imo are Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon. Both guys started playing a different sport (swimming and soccer, respectively). Coming into the league they were already demons on defense, but they peaked later in their career on that end because of added experience. And now looking back, I consider both of them having better careers than Bird and much stronger cases for GOAT (though I wouldn't argue for any of them).


Are you trying to make my point now? lol Yes, they picked up the sport very late and got great at it super quick, almost like they had some innate dormant abilities that got put to use once they found basketball.

Yes, you can get better at court vision if you practice enough as I stated LeBron did but some players don't have to work at it to get better, they are great at it right away.

Bidofo wrote:LeBron may not be as intuitive a passer as Bird,


He isn't. Clearly.

Bidofo wrote:...but if he's able to "barrel" to the rim and his scoring is better/more resilient in leading to offenses that are just as good if not better, and then leverage his GOAT athleticism on defense at a good to elite level (depending on year)...where is Bird's case? Not to mention the massive longevity edge LeBron has. Defaulting to "social sciences" is just running away from this analysis, imo.


What analysis am I running from here? LeBron played longer and is more athletic? And the social sciences can tell you massive amounts (maybe even more) about how a player and team work than quantitative stats. The game is played by humans, you can dismiss the sciences that study humans if you'd like but you might want to consider not starting posts stating that others are being data dismissive.

Bidofo wrote:Fwiw, I think Ben Taylor actually is a social scientist (psychologist?) of some kind, and he has Bird at 11 all-time. I know, it's blasphemy. But read his article (and the others) and he lays a good case.


I disagree with him on several part of his top ten list.

Bidofo wrote:And then the LeBron criticisms make no sense. You would be remiss to say "He isn't a savant that can play any style in any era at the top of the game" and not account for the fact that LeBron molded his game to best fit his era. His athleticism and IQ alone guarantee he would dominate any time period. Also maybe someone hasn't watched HS/young LeBron but he's always been an exceptional passer; he understood it's value at such a young age, compared to guys like Jordan (look, another GOAT candidate who's better than Bird that didn't have the same instinctual skills) and Kobe.


He molded his game to the era? Seems a bit more like they molded the era to his game to me.

What style would James mold his game into in the 80's when there was way less spacing, monsters down low and players weren't afraid to put some pain in you? I'm curious how he molds? Does he become a shooter? Does he become a post up player? And whatever he molds into, is he as great at it as is he is drive and kick? Because I don't think his game adjusts that well.

Driving and kick in certain era of basketball was a good way to cut LeBron's longevity way down. Part of the reason he has played so long in that style is because you can't touch him anymore.

Bidofo wrote:What does it say about Bird if LeBron picked up these skills a few years into his career and still proceeded to outperform Bird as a postseason player? LeBron's prime alone ('09-'20) matches up to Bird's entire career. So LeBron took a few years to become a GOAT tier playmaker...so what? :roll:


Playmaker? Ok. Passer? Nope.

Also, this gets us into longevity and the career value vs greatest player argument. A lot of people consider them the same thing, I don't. Imagine if a player came into the league and average 45pts, 18boards, 12dimes on high efficiency and with top tier first team defense, but he only plays 7-8 years. People would be out here arguing that X is better than that player because of longevity and career value. LOL. Greatest is who was the greatest, the best, the most impact on winning, the best winning player IMO.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#163 » by SeniorWalker » Wed May 13, 2020 10:58 pm

KTM_2813 wrote:
SeniorWalker wrote:I oscillate between 2 and 5. Most days it settles around 3.

He's the greatest individual talent I've ever seen. And had a great work ethic and got a lot out of it. When he became more confident later in his career he seemed unstoppable at times. From a raw talent perspective, 2009 was maybe the most dominant indidvudal season I've ever seen from a face up perimeter player. His playoffs were incredible, if that were his consistent prime and he won titles during that time I might have his peak as #1.

I think I just have a problem with his intangibles. Early in his career I thought he had a pretty unfortunate set of circumstances that made it difficult for him to win....but this applied to so many great players in their career. He decided to take matters into his own hands and control his own destiny and shape his own team's from then on. But the way his teams were designed felt less less than the sum of their parts. At the end of the day, it really, really seemed like he should have won more than he did and I believe a good amount of that it his own fault. Nobody else in history gets a pass, especially when nobody else has had the amount of power he's had over his own career since 2010, so I don't see why LeBron should especially when he can basically form his own teams, supercede GMs, fire coaches, etc. If other players had the same ability to conspire and play with their elite NBA buddies in their prime, a lot of hall of fame careers would look different. I'm not willing to overlook this, it's a huge deal.

I also don't really like his attitude at times. He's flat out quit on numerous occasions at crucial moments. The most recent example is the 2018 finals. No one expected the cavs to win that series but in game 1 theyre tied with the dubs going into overtime. Sure, JR made a mistake..... But the f**king game was tied!! He acted like they already lost! There are SOOO many times in competition where a call doesn't go your way or something seemingly unlucky happens, maybe in your control or not, but if you're the leader of a team you have to play through those moments. You play your hardest until the end and see where the chips fall. What it the warriors had a series of unfortunate series shifting injuries like they did in 2016? What if KD hurts sprains his ankle, or curry or someone goes out for a few games. This literally happened in 2019 and the raptors won the title. But with Lebron's attitude they'd never have a shot because he already quit. He sulked in such a horrible way, distancing himself from his team and flat out gave up when the game was TIED. And then the rest of the series, he pretty much spent the press conferences stroking the greatness of the other team, communicating with his body language that he had no faith in his team. And then game 4, not trying at all and then wrapping his hand in that cast, ready for an excuse to give the media? It wouldn't be as big if a deal, except he's done this many times throughout his career. Just folded when he thought he was going to lose instead of giving it his all. Its consistent behavior with him, he acts like a spoiled child at times and it irritates me beyond belief because I like his personality otherwise.

For these reasons, in my mind he definitely is not #1 now and through his own actions prevented himself from ever surpassing guys like MJ, despite the fact that he's the right kind of talent to be the undisputed greatest.

I suspect that most people will not ever consider him the greatest either. MJ probably won't be surpassed culturally but a player may surpass his impact on the court. It could have been LeBron but I believe it will probably be someone else.


Thanks for posting this. I think that you raise some really good points, and I have some thoughts about them.

The point about LeBron's complicity in his teams being flawed is an interesting one that frankly makes my head explode after a certain point. There's no doubting that he's made some bad calls over the years - in hindsight, the Cavaliers should have gotten someone else or even multiple good role players instead of Kevin Love - but how relevant is that to how good LeBron was at basketball? When we judge a player's greatness, are we strictly staying within the lines or going outside of them? It seems to me that LeBron almost always optimized his team's potential once the games began (with a few obvious exceptions), but maybe not when it came to the front office. But at the same time, Cleveland had the best four-year stretch in franchise history while he was playing GM, so... I dunno, it's confusing.

I somewhat agree about his attitude... He has given up at times. However, there were also times where he kicked into another gear out of desperation (Games 6-7 in 2013, Games 5-7 in 2016), and it ultimately pushed him to levels we've never seen from him before. My theory is that LeBron thinks about the game like a computer. He's always assessing win probability, and when it goes below a certain threshold, he cuts his losses. It's not the most inspiring strategy, but I also don't know that it moved the needle much for his championship count.

I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say is that outside of 2011, and for all of LeBron's flaws, I feel as though his teams ultimately did about as well as they could do. Three championships does indeed feel low for a GOAT candidate, but if you go year by year, it also seems about right for him. Of his 17 years, I only count two where the team flat-out underachieved (2010, 2011) and maybe another two that are sketchy but ultimately explainable (2009, 2014). Just my two cents, as always.

The reason why it's relevant is because frankly, when you compare Lebron's overall resume and accolades to other careers considered in this debate, he comes up a bit short. So the only way to justify his overall placement as being as high as it is, if you're going to take a more holistic approach anyway, is to excuse his shortcomings in terms of winning. That's where the intangibles matter for me. The level of control he's had..... With the coach firing, the switching teams, the quitting and pouting on his teams when things don't go his way. I think it's disingenuous to remove responsibility from LeBron in this and say, "welp no one else could ever beat those teams he went against" . It might be true sometimes, but you can't use that excuse every time especially because at worst its probably not true and at best an unanswerable question to begin with.

I also think the fact that LeBron has really never lead a team to such a consistent or dominant stretch over a few years like some of the others have is telling as well, probably a partial result of the lack of chemistry from the shorter time frames his teams spend together. And how is that anyone's fault but his? Others were forced to stick with what they had, and trust the organizations and coaches to do their jobs, and their teams managed to consistently win. I think you can say LeBron consistently lifted his teams into playoff contenders, but how high of a ceiling did any of those teams he played on have? And as I said before, prior to the year 2010 LeBron didn't play on the most talented teams, so he can easily get a pass for that. After 2010 though, his team was typically either the most or second most talented in the NBA every year, until his last year in Cleveland. But you never saw a three peat run like a Shaq or MJ did. Even the back to back run he had in Miami was quite shaky, the Spurs easily could have won.

It's not a peak/prime argument either. For peak/prime LeBron is undoubtedly one of the 3-4 most dominant players ever, with MJ, Shaq, and Hakeem being the others.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#164 » by Bidofo » Thu May 14, 2020 6:55 am

SNPA wrote:It's the opposite of data dismissive, it's demonstrating that there are way more data points that impact the game which come from outside of purely quantitative output data.

Well when you say LeBron can't be the GOAT because he isn't as instinctual a basketball player despite an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows he belongs in the convo, I'm thinking there's a large imbalance between how you weigh the qualitative and quantitative data.

Bird's artistry shows up in the numbers...his ability to bend defenses, for example with his threat of passing, has led to ATG offenses. Just because LeBron doesn't share the same skillset doesn't mean he must be eliminated from contention.
SNPA wrote:This isn't close to true, no social scientist would agree with this.

Fair enough, I'm not claiming to be a social scientist.
SNPA wrote:Stats tell what happened (to some degree), sometimes when and where it happened (to some degree), occasionally how but they don't tell why it happened. And the why is the most important part. What people do to get to the why is speculate, which is subjective. Thus the objective stat becomes the subjective speculation as to why that stats is the way it is.

Depending on the context, stats CAN tell you why. And at that point, it's a pretty good picture we have painted. Not the whole of it ofc, and I didn't claim that, but stats lead the way for insightful analysis as well as inference.

SNPA wrote:Also, which stats are selected is subjective and how much value is given to each one is subjective. Notice lots of subjectivity here.

Fair, but stats shouldn't be used without clarifying what it measures, how it's measured, or why it's appropriate in the given circumstance.

SNPA wrote:I watched teams give up early and often back in the prime aesthetically pleasing Webber/Vlade Kings days because the Kings would come out and just put on a passing and cutting clinic and it was demoralizing. Teams would give up down ten in the first quarter, you could see it in their body language, they'd be oh .... here we go. It can have an impact. It is akin to dunking on someone, it's only worth two points but there is a different psychology to it.

I was a bit too harsh about it having no impact. But the trouble lies in differentiating how much. How does a flashy dime compare with a poster? Not to mention if a dunk can have a similarly debilitating affect on the team as a passing clinic would, then why exactly does "artistry" take precedence over LeBron's sheer domination over his opponents? A team can be in awe of Bird and his passes and ridiculous shots just as much as we can [as fans], but the same thing can be said about LeBron and his dunks, his "bully-ball", and his own ridiculous shotmaking and passes. What makes Bird's artistry more meaningful?
SNPA wrote:All players have flaws.

This is a bit reductionist. I'm ofc not saying Bird has flaws and GOAT contenders do not, but rather the significance of those flaws hold him back from a level/career that other players achieved. LeBron has flaws, his shooting ability being the biggest imo, but how costly are these flaws?
SNPA wrote:How anyone can argue it doesn't is beyond me. If innate qualities didn't exist we'd all have equal chance at being the best drummer in the world. Every try to play a set of drums? You can tell if someone doesn't have innate qualities real quick.

Fair enough, again can't say I'm an expert. Though doesn't some of this ability develop in subtle ways as infants or children? I wouldn't call the claim "At birth, all babies have (more or less) equal chances at X" farfetched or anything. As someone said before, we have no idea the upbringing of a young LeBron or young Bird or young Jordan. How can we tell what is innate and what isn't? The reason I bring up Curry is because I consider his shooting an incredible outlier (and it is by all means when we look at difficulty of shots and efficiency), so I'm left wondering "Did this guy just practice shooting (off-dribble) 3-pointers more than anyone else in history, or is it something within?" I don't consider Bird's passing to be a similar outlier, though I think we disagree there.
SNPA wrote:Are you trying to make my point now? lol Yes, they picked up the sport very late and got great at it super quick, almost like they had some innate dormant abilities that got put to use once they found basketball.
Yes, you can get better at court vision if you practice enough as I stated LeBron did but some players don't have to work at it to get better, they are great at it right away.

This is the basis of our disagreement pretty much: why does it matter that Bird was great at it right away? What value does that hold? It's also worth noting that of the top 10ish or so players, Kobe and LeBron came straight out of HS and thus have arguably the worst rookie seasons. LeBron in particular exploded his second year and averaged 27/7/7 right after a year under his belt. What's to say he didn't channel his NBA-level abilities within that one year? Does he not have that insane dormant ability then?
SNPA wrote:What analysis am I running from here? LeBron played longer and is more athletic?

Well to put it bluntly, LeBron is a better player which is reflected in his better postseason performances. As simple as that. When I look at the GOAT, I'm looking for most cumulative value wrt improving championship odds. Even in a prime vs. prime comparison, I think LeBron has him beat. So I'm looking for how you reconcile this and still consider Bird a tier above LeBron, because what matters more than improving your teams likelihood of winning a championship?
SNPA wrote:And the social sciences can tell you massive amounts (maybe even more) about how a player and team work than quantitative stats. The game is played by humans, you can dismiss the sciences that study humans if you'd like but you might want to consider not starting posts stating that others are being data dismissive.

What do you base the bolded on? Also I never claimed to dismiss social sciences, so I don't see the hypocrisy, I tried making it clear in the beginning of my original post that everything should be accounted for. My question is how much weight do we give it?
SNPA wrote:I disagree with him on several part of his top ten list.

I don't care much about the list itself, anything in Bird's article specifically you object to?
SNPA wrote:What style would James mold his game into in the 80's when there was way less spacing, monsters down low and players weren't afraid to put some pain in you? I'm curious how he molds? Does he become a shooter? Does he become a post up player? And whatever he molds into, is he as great at it as is he is drive and kick? Because I don't think his game adjusts that well.

Um...he would be those very same monsters lol. His body is perfect for that era (or any really). You give young LeBron (like 09) the ability to handcheck on defense and it's over, ditto for an older+smarter LeBron (like 13, 16) acting as a pseudo-rim protector in a jam-packed lane. He would be a tier or two above Bird there for instance. As for offense, LeBron picked up a post-game after the '11 Finals and then destroyed the league right after. Give him an upbringing where post-play is celebrated more and he probably excels there greatly too. His passing is portable. I won't say he'll improve as a shooter, but we could have seen a bigger, more athletic Barkley (already one of the offensive GOATs) with very impressive defense. That still sounds like a GOAT contender to me.
SNPA wrote:Playmaker? Ok. Passer? Nope.

I mean let's not act like they are oceans apart. Also playmaking (leveraging your scoring threat into passing opportunities) is more important than just pure passing.
SNPA wrote:Also, this gets us into longevity and the career value vs greatest player argument. A lot of people consider them the same thing, I don't. Imagine if a player came into the league and average 45pts, 18boards, 12dimes on high efficiency and with top tier first team defense, but he only plays 7-8 years. People would be out here arguing that X is better than that player because of longevity and career value. LOL. Greatest is who was the greatest, the best, the most impact on winning, the best winning player IMO.

Yea this is a criteria thing, so to each their own. Though the example you gave is very obviously the GOAT lol no one who values longevity is gonna shy away from placing that guy at #1. Again, it's not just about number of years. Let's say we grade players on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best. This theoretical player is having numerous 10 seasons in a row for 7 years, so the cumulative value is 70. Someone like Stockton had on average level 3 seasons (this is only so low because the theoretical player set the standard for 10 way too high lol) for 19 seasons for a cumulative value of 57. The details are smudged, but I hope you get the point; the goodness of the individual season itself matters in any discussion of longevity.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#165 » by jdzimme3 » Thu May 14, 2020 1:41 pm

At some point the apologists need to recognize that when you have extremely high usage, select the coach, select your teammates, and call all the shots....... maybe you have some responsibility for the teams success. (I have Lebron top 4)
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#166 » by Homer38 » Thu May 14, 2020 2:22 pm

jdzimme3 wrote:At some point the apologists need to recognize that when you have extremely high usage, select the coach, select your teammates, and call all the shots....... maybe you have some responsibility for the teams success. (I have Lebron top 4)



The cavs were a great team between 2015 to 2017...This is just,the injuries did not help in 2015 and in 2017,the Warriors were one of the best team ever.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#167 » by O_6 » Thu May 14, 2020 9:20 pm

Kareem/Russell/Magic/Bird are the guys I've been measuring his career by before I entertain the Jordan discussions.

I believe that with his longevity on top of his two-way peak, I can't possibly rank LeBron lower than Bird or Magic on an all-time list. Now I can see arguments for those two as players vs. LeBron in terms of their peak (both much better shooters, Bird with a far more diverse offensive skillset, Magic being a superior floor general) but overall for Peak and Career, give me LeBron over either of these two. I think 2016 is what cemented this opinion in my mind.

As far as Bill Russell, it's just so tough to compare. Over the years there have been times I've pivoted and had Russell as #1 over MJ on my list, and he's usually #2 in my mind. But I've always felt like his impact was more "era specific" than Kareem's, so in recent years that + Kareem's longevity have made me change my opinion and place Kareem over Russell. I'd still go Prime Russell > Prime Kareem, but the longevity is just too much to overcome.

I think watching LeBron drag that garbage 2018 Cavs roster to the Finals is when I decided that he passed Russell. He was just so unreal during that run and led his team to a 9th Finals appearance. Yes, 3-6 in the Finals vs. Russell going 11-1 isn't the same thing. But just the amount of seasons where LeBron has been the centerpiece of a great team had just gotten mind-boggling. Russell vs. LeBron is still a question mark in my mind, but then again so is Russell vs. MJ.

I still have Kareem ranked ahead of LeBron due to his longevity. But this 2020 season was actually really big in terms of the Kareem vs. LeBron debate in my eyes. Kareem's 17th season was in 1986 where he was still a brilliant scorer, finished 5th in the MVP voting, and was named on the 1st team All-NBA. But the decline in Kareem's game was visible by this point (6.1 RPG!) and at the age of 38, year 17 Kareem was certainly not in the "Best Player in the League" debate. He was borderline Top 5. This was Kareem's last year as an elite player. Karl Malone was no longer a Top 5 player during his 17th season either.

The fact that Year 17 LeBron was the hands down runner-up MVP and clearly still in the "Best Player" debate while showing no signs of slowing down was insane. It was the first time you could start to argue for his sustained prime as superior to both Malone's or Kareem's. This was huge and I feel like a Lakers Championship this year would solidify LeBron > Kareem in my book.

As great as LeBron has been, I think his inconsistent jumper is just too much of a weakness for me to place him above MJ. This is a weakness in his game that was exposed in both his 2007 and 2011 Finals losses, not to mention the 2013 Finals where it was exposed but his jumper came alive at the end of the series (pretty damn clutch on his part).

Because of that, I rank '88-'98 MJ as a slightly but clearly superior player to '09-'18 LeBron. In order for LeBron to surpass MJ on my list, he would need to have another 2-4 years of sustained excellence imo. Improbable but not impossible.


TLDR: Passed Magic and Bird after his 2016 Championship run, passed Russell after his 2018 playoff carryjob, was in the middle of passing Kareem with his play in 2020, probably needs to remain an MVP caliber player until 2022-24 before I take him over MJ. I voted 3rd place, just a hair behind Kareem.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#168 » by AMW27 » Thu May 14, 2020 10:18 pm

My ranking
1. MJ
2.Rusell
3.Duncan
4.Magic
5.LeBron
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#169 » by KTM_2813 » Fri May 15, 2020 1:19 pm

SeniorWalker wrote:The reason why it's relevant is because frankly, when you compare Lebron's overall resume and accolades to other careers considered in this debate, he comes up a bit short. So the only way to justify his overall placement as being as high as it is, if you're going to take a more holistic approach anyway, is to excuse his shortcomings in terms of winning. That's where the intangibles matter for me. The level of control he's had..... With the coach firing, the switching teams, the quitting and pouting on his teams when things don't go his way. I think it's disingenuous to remove responsibility from LeBron in this and say, "welp no one else could ever beat those teams he went against" . It might be true sometimes, but you can't use that excuse every time especially because at worst its probably not true and at best an unanswerable question to begin with.

I also think the fact that LeBron has really never lead a team to such a consistent or dominant stretch over a few years like some of the others have is telling as well, probably a partial result of the lack of chemistry from the shorter time frames his teams spend together. And how is that anyone's fault but his? Others were forced to stick with what they had, and trust the organizations and coaches to do their jobs, and their teams managed to consistently win. I think you can say LeBron consistently lifted his teams into playoff contenders, but how high of a ceiling did any of those teams he played on have? And as I said before, prior to the year 2010 LeBron didn't play on the most talented teams, so he can easily get a pass for that. After 2010 though, his team was typically either the most or second most talented in the NBA every year, until his last year in Cleveland. But you never saw a three peat run like a Shaq or MJ did. Even the back to back run he had in Miami was quite shaky, the Spurs easily could have won.

It's not a peak/prime argument either. For peak/prime LeBron is undoubtedly one of the 3-4 most dominant players ever, with MJ, Shaq, and Hakeem being the others.


Fair enough, fair enough. I might quibble with some of these points but I ultimately agree with your conclusion that LeBron's overall resume and accolades do not pass the "GOAT smell test". For me though, the guy who really throws a wrench in that whole thing is Russell. If awards for DPOTY and FMVP existed back in the day, then Russell's resume would be so far beyond anyone else's that even Jordan and Kareem wouldn't compare. It's a hypothetical for sure, and sometimes all we can do is compare resumes as they actually are, but I sometimes feel as though I am ignoring the elephant in the room because there wouldn't be a debate if I didn't. :lol:
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#170 » by Hal14 » Sat May 16, 2020 1:37 am

KTM_2813 wrote:
SeniorWalker wrote:The reason why it's relevant is because frankly, when you compare Lebron's overall resume and accolades to other careers considered in this debate, he comes up a bit short. So the only way to justify his overall placement as being as high as it is, if you're going to take a more holistic approach anyway, is to excuse his shortcomings in terms of winning. That's where the intangibles matter for me. The level of control he's had..... With the coach firing, the switching teams, the quitting and pouting on his teams when things don't go his way. I think it's disingenuous to remove responsibility from LeBron in this and say, "welp no one else could ever beat those teams he went against" . It might be true sometimes, but you can't use that excuse every time especially because at worst its probably not true and at best an unanswerable question to begin with.

I also think the fact that LeBron has really never lead a team to such a consistent or dominant stretch over a few years like some of the others have is telling as well, probably a partial result of the lack of chemistry from the shorter time frames his teams spend together. And how is that anyone's fault but his? Others were forced to stick with what they had, and trust the organizations and coaches to do their jobs, and their teams managed to consistently win. I think you can say LeBron consistently lifted his teams into playoff contenders, but how high of a ceiling did any of those teams he played on have? And as I said before, prior to the year 2010 LeBron didn't play on the most talented teams, so he can easily get a pass for that. After 2010 though, his team was typically either the most or second most talented in the NBA every year, until his last year in Cleveland. But you never saw a three peat run like a Shaq or MJ did. Even the back to back run he had in Miami was quite shaky, the Spurs easily could have won.

It's not a peak/prime argument either. For peak/prime LeBron is undoubtedly one of the 3-4 most dominant players ever, with MJ, Shaq, and Hakeem being the others.


Fair enough, fair enough. I might quibble with some of these points but I ultimately agree with your conclusion that LeBron's overall resume and accolades do not pass the "GOAT smell test". For me though, the guy who really throws a wrench in that whole thing is Russell. If awards for DPOTY and FMVP existed back in the day, then Russell's resume would be so far beyond anyone else's that even Jordan and Kareem wouldn't compare. It's a hypothetical for sure, and sometimes all we can do is compare resumes as they actually are, but I sometimes feel as though I am ignoring the elephant in the room because there wouldn't be a debate if I didn't. :lol:


Good point about Russell. To me it's either Russell or Jordan for that no. 1 spot. Over his basketball career, including college, Olympics and the NBA, Bill Russell participated in 21 games which, for lack of a better term, can be called “winner take all” games. His record in those games: 21-0. People try to ding Russell because he played with so many hall of famers. Guess what? During 2 different stretches where Russell missed a few games to injury, the Celtics wet 0-4 and 0-5. If Russell really had this amazing supporting case they would have won some of those games with him out.

People try to ding Russell for not scoring more. Guess what? Bill know that his tea's best chance at winning was getting his teammates involved and helping THEM score more.

I love this quote by Russell at the 20:00 mark of this video when talking about the difference between the way him and Wilt played, "his teammates had to feed him - and I fed my teammates"



2 of the greatest coaches ever and 2 of the greatest basketball minds ever. Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson. You would think Red would say Russell was the GOAT..or possibly Bird. Nope, he says it's Jordan

https://fadeawayworld.net/2018/10/13/never-forget-red-auerbach-would-select-michael-jordan-over-bill-russell/

Phil Jackson on the other hand, you would think he'd pick Jordan as the GOAT. Nope, he says it was Russell:

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/9307574/phil-jackson-says-start-team-bill-russell-michael-jordan
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#171 » by Pelly24 » Sat May 16, 2020 3:39 am

Gooner wrote:
Homer38 wrote:
Gooner wrote:
I would put Jordan, Bird, Magic, Kobe, Olajuwon, Duncan, Shaq, Wilt, Russell, Kareem ahead of him, not in particual order.


Why?


They were all more skilled than him, they played in a tougher era, they didn't jump from team to team, and they were more competitive players that didn't make any excuses. I would put Moses Malone and Dr J potentially ahead of him aswell.


No offense, but the tougher era stuff is funny. LeBron is as big as Karl Malone but in the open court he's as fast as MJ, and he's got the bounce of Dr. J and elite body control. I just don't see a scenario where LeBron doesn't completely physically overwhelm everyone just as easily as he did this era lol.

There are periods of LeBron's career where everyone knew he couldn't hit a jumper but they still couldn't stop him from getting 30 points a game.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#172 » by SNPA » Sat May 16, 2020 4:46 am

Pelly24 wrote:LeBron is as big as Karl Malone but in the open court he's as fast as MJ, and he's got the bounce of Dr. J and elite body control.


Where do people get this stuff?

He is a freak athlete. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest, he’s a combo. Just enjoy it for what it is.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#173 » by Pelly24 » Sat May 16, 2020 5:00 am

SNPA wrote:
Pelly24 wrote:LeBron is as big as Karl Malone but in the open court he's as fast as MJ, and he's got the bounce of Dr. J and elite body control.


Where do people get this stuff?

He is a freak athlete. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest, he’s a combo. Just enjoy it for what it is.



He's not literally the biggest player (he's not as big as Shaq), but his height and playing weight are the same. Karl Malone is 6'9" 256 playing weight. LeBron is 6'8.5" without shoes and measured in at 245 coming into the league, when he was much scrawnier. So by the numbers, he's the same size as Karl Malone, even if he's slightly svelter. As far as the speed, everyone has commented that LeBron is one of the very fastest players in the league. His countless chasedown blocks are evidence of this.

Lol if you're gonna say someone is overrating something, idk, at least pick something that's not widely thought if not outright proven. LeBron is regarded as possibly the most athletic player ever. His size and speed are a big part of that. It is what it is.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#174 » by SNPA » Sat May 16, 2020 5:15 am

Pelly24 wrote:
SNPA wrote:
Pelly24 wrote:LeBron is as big as Karl Malone but in the open court he's as fast as MJ, and he's got the bounce of Dr. J and elite body control.


Where do people get this stuff?

He is a freak athlete. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest, he’s a combo. Just enjoy it for what it is.



He's not literally the biggest player (he's not as big as Shaq), but his height and playing weight are the same. Karl Malone is 6'9" 256 playing weight. LeBron is 6'8.5" without shoes and measured in at 245 coming into the league, when he was much scrawnier. So by the numbers, he's the same size as Karl Malone, even if he's slightly svelter. As far as the speed, everyone has commented that LeBron is one of the very fastest players in the league. His countless chasedown blocks are evidence of this.

Lol if you're gonna say someone is overrating something, idk, at least pick something that's not widely thought if not outright proven. LeBron is regarded as possibly the most athletic player ever. His size and speed are a big part of that. It is what it is.


Funny how the league came out with new “official” barefoot heights and the best player got taller while most other guys shrank. Lol.

https://stats.nba.com/draft/combine-anthro/?SeasonYear=2003-04

Post some pictures of Malone and Lebron. It’s obvious.

He is a freak athlete, no denying that. So was Jordan.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#175 » by SNPA » Sat May 16, 2020 5:16 am

Hal14 wrote:
KTM_2813 wrote:
SeniorWalker wrote:The reason why it's relevant is because frankly, when you compare Lebron's overall resume and accolades to other careers considered in this debate, he comes up a bit short. So the only way to justify his overall placement as being as high as it is, if you're going to take a more holistic approach anyway, is to excuse his shortcomings in terms of winning. That's where the intangibles matter for me. The level of control he's had..... With the coach firing, the switching teams, the quitting and pouting on his teams when things don't go his way. I think it's disingenuous to remove responsibility from LeBron in this and say, "welp no one else could ever beat those teams he went against" . It might be true sometimes, but you can't use that excuse every time especially because at worst its probably not true and at best an unanswerable question to begin with.

I also think the fact that LeBron has really never lead a team to such a consistent or dominant stretch over a few years like some of the others have is telling as well, probably a partial result of the lack of chemistry from the shorter time frames his teams spend together. And how is that anyone's fault but his? Others were forced to stick with what they had, and trust the organizations and coaches to do their jobs, and their teams managed to consistently win. I think you can say LeBron consistently lifted his teams into playoff contenders, but how high of a ceiling did any of those teams he played on have? And as I said before, prior to the year 2010 LeBron didn't play on the most talented teams, so he can easily get a pass for that. After 2010 though, his team was typically either the most or second most talented in the NBA every year, until his last year in Cleveland. But you never saw a three peat run like a Shaq or MJ did. Even the back to back run he had in Miami was quite shaky, the Spurs easily could have won.

It's not a peak/prime argument either. For peak/prime LeBron is undoubtedly one of the 3-4 most dominant players ever, with MJ, Shaq, and Hakeem being the others.


Fair enough, fair enough. I might quibble with some of these points but I ultimately agree with your conclusion that LeBron's overall resume and accolades do not pass the "GOAT smell test". For me though, the guy who really throws a wrench in that whole thing is Russell. If awards for DPOTY and FMVP existed back in the day, then Russell's resume would be so far beyond anyone else's that even Jordan and Kareem wouldn't compare. It's a hypothetical for sure, and sometimes all we can do is compare resumes as they actually are, but I sometimes feel as though I am ignoring the elephant in the room because there wouldn't be a debate if I didn't. :lol:


Good point about Russell. To me it's either Russell or Jordan for that no. 1 spot. Over his basketball career, including college, Olympics and the NBA, Bill Russell participated in 21 games which, for lack of a better term, can be called “winner take all” games. His record in those games: 21-0. People try to ding Russell because he played with so many hall of famers. Guess what? During 2 different stretches where Russell missed a few games to injury, the Celtics wet 0-4 and 0-5. If Russell really had this amazing supporting case they would have won some of those games with him out.

People try to ding Russell for not scoring more. Guess what? Bill know that his tea's best chance at winning was getting his teammates involved and helping THEM score more.

I love this quote by Russell at the 20:00 mark of this video when talking about the difference between the way him and Wilt played, "his teammates had to feed him - and I fed my teammates"



2 of the greatest coaches ever and 2 of the greatest basketball minds ever. Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson. You would think Red would say Russell was the GOAT..or possibly Bird. Nope, he says it's Jordan

https://fadeawayworld.net/2018/10/13/never-forget-red-auerbach-would-select-michael-jordan-over-bill-russell/

Phil Jackson on the other hand, you would think he'd pick Jordan as the GOAT. Nope, he says it was Russell:

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/9307574/phil-jackson-says-start-team-bill-russell-michael-jordan


This is really good. Thanks.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#176 » by Pelly24 » Sat May 16, 2020 5:21 am

SNPA wrote:
Pelly24 wrote:
SNPA wrote:
Where do people get this stuff?

He is a freak athlete. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest, he’s a combo. Just enjoy it for what it is.



He's not literally the biggest player (he's not as big as Shaq), but his height and playing weight are the same. Karl Malone is 6'9" 256 playing weight. LeBron is 6'8.5" without shoes and measured in at 245 coming into the league, when he was much scrawnier. So by the numbers, he's the same size as Karl Malone, even if he's slightly svelter. As far as the speed, everyone has commented that LeBron is one of the very fastest players in the league. His countless chasedown blocks are evidence of this.

Lol if you're gonna say someone is overrating something, idk, at least pick something that's not widely thought if not outright proven. LeBron is regarded as possibly the most athletic player ever. His size and speed are a big part of that. It is what it is.


Funny how the league came out with new “official” barefoot heights and the best player got taller while most other guys shrank. Lol.

https://stats.nba.com/draft/combine-anthro/?SeasonYear=2003-04

Post some pictures of Malone and Lebron. It’s obvious.

He is a freak athlete, no denying that. So was Jordan.


It doesn't really matter if LeBron is 6'7.25, or 6'8.5," etc (I would buy 6'8," not a reach, and it's not as though Malone was measured without shoes). He's tall and he's in most cases the strongest guy on the court and at times in his career, the fastest player on the court. I'm just saying its kinda hard to be hyperbolic with his physical abilities. I'd say Karl Malone is slightly bulkier, but LeBron is noticeably more muscular, more chiseled than almost any other wing in the league. The point is that the idea that leBron would struggle in the 1980s and 1990s feels laughable. MJ is the only person with similar athleticism, and Lebron is bigger than he is by 50 pounds most years. thats really my only point.
Pelly24
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#177 » by Pelly24 » Sat May 16, 2020 5:22 am

SNPA wrote:
Pelly24 wrote:
SNPA wrote:
Where do people get this stuff?

He is a freak athlete. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest, he’s a combo. Just enjoy it for what it is.



He's not literally the biggest player (he's not as big as Shaq), but his height and playing weight are the same. Karl Malone is 6'9" 256 playing weight. LeBron is 6'8.5" without shoes and measured in at 245 coming into the league, when he was much scrawnier. So by the numbers, he's the same size as Karl Malone, even if he's slightly svelter. As far as the speed, everyone has commented that LeBron is one of the very fastest players in the league. His countless chasedown blocks are evidence of this.

Lol if you're gonna say someone is overrating something, idk, at least pick something that's not widely thought if not outright proven. LeBron is regarded as possibly the most athletic player ever. His size and speed are a big part of that. It is what it is.


Funny how the league came out with new “official” barefoot heights and the best player got taller while most other guys shrank. Lol.

https://stats.nba.com/draft/combine-anthro/?SeasonYear=2003-04

Post some pictures of Malone and Lebron. It’s obvious.

He is a freak athlete, no denying that. So was Jordan.


It doesn't really matter if LeBron is 6'7.25, or 6'8.5," etc (I would buy 6'8," not a reach, and it's not as though Malone was measured without shoes). He's tall and he's in most cases the strongest guy on the court and at times in his career, the fastest player on the court. I'm just saying its kinda hard to be hyperbolic with his physical abilities. I'd say Karl Malone is slightly bulkier, but LeBron is noticeably more muscular, more chiseled than almost any other wing in the league. The point is that the idea that leBron would struggle in the 1980s and 1990s feels laughable. MJ is the only person with similar athleticism, and Lebron is bigger than he is by 50 pounds most years. thats really my only point.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#178 » by Hal14 » Sat May 16, 2020 5:18 pm

Bidofo wrote:Bird being an innate basketball player doesn't mean he didn't have flaws that hold him back from GOAT status. He has weak longevity. He's been injured in the postseason a few times (imagine if LeBron got into a bar fight and saw a drop in production in today's age, lol). His defense took a steep drop as he got older. He isn't exactly the most resilient postseason scorer (lack of dominant slashing/foul drawing hurts him here). I mean the case that he's out of the top 7/8 is very easy, and at that point I wouldn't call someone a GOAT candidate. If you like purely subjective reasoning pick something where winning and goodness don't have such a (relatively) strong correlation with stats.


Weak longevity? He played 12 full seasons and made the all-star team 12 times. 12 seasons was actually a pretty standard career length back then.

Bird entered the league at 22 and just a month into his rookie year he turned 23. Compare that to LeBron going from HS to the Pros. So if Bird went from HS to the pros, you can tack on 4 more years to his career so that gives him 16 seasons. If LeBron entered the league at 22, right now he'd only be in his 13 season..so who has better longevity?

Not to mention Jordan only played 11 full seasons in the NBA before retiring in 98. So is Bird's 12 seasons really that weak?

There's many advantages that modern players have which allow them to play longer (less physical game, no hand checking allowed, flagrant fouls are enforced, more days off in between games, better facilities, better equipment, better advances in nutrition, sports science and strength/conditioning, players make more $ so more incentive for them to hang on past their prime, star players play less minutes per game in general which means less wear and tear, Bird also played through more pain than LeBron has ever felt in his life. He messed up his back really bad in summer of 86, and still went out the next season, won his 3rd straight MVP and won an NBA title..imagine if LeBron did that? lol

LeBron got a cramp and sat out on the sidelines. Imagine Bird doing that? lol

Defense took a drop as he got older..oh yeah, that never happens for any other players, lol sounds like you're reaching/nit picking.

"Larry was a debate. He still is. People ask me all the time who my all-time five top players are, and when I start saying Larry, they interrupt me. They say, 'You've got to be kidding me. He can't play with Lebron James!' I tell them, 'You guys don't get it. Larry is far better than any small forward who played the game, and to be honest, I'm still not sure if he is a small forward or a power forward.' " - Michael Jordan

MJ has got to respect Bird, because Bird went 23-11 against him. Bird swept Jordan in the playoffs....twice! Bird swept Jordan in the playoffs twice, whereas LeBron got swept in the finals twice. LeBron had to play God and form a super team with Wade and Bosh in order to win a title, then he broke the team up, played God again to form another super team with Kyrie and Love in order to win another title, then he broke the team up, forced Kyrie to demand a trade and his teammates (see 9:00 mark in this video) say they were happier on a different team after they no longer were LeBron's teammate. Imagine that happening to Bird? lol



While 1 teammate demanded a trade and another teammate said he was happier after he left Cleveland - in the same season! Meanwhile this is what Bird's teammates say about him, skip to the 14:45 mark in this video:



This is what happened when Bird and Jordan played against each other, yet you don't even think Bird is top 7 or 8?

;feature=emb_logo

Between 1980 and 1989, Bird could’ve won the NBA MVP almost every year. In the nine-year stretch, he never finished MVP race lower than 4th place. He was in the race in his rookie season and received 66.97% of  possible votes during that 9 year stretch. He won 3 straight MVPs and 3 NBA titles in the best era in terms of overall level of play, overall talent and physicality.

When you look at all facets of the game (transition scoring, outside shooting, mid range shot, post up scoring, scoring on drives to the rim, FT shooting, rebounding, defense and passing, Bird was arguably the best all-around player ever. He was well above average relative to his position in literally every one of those categories. Bird was a better FT shooter than LeBron, a better outside shooter than LeBron, a better mid range shooter than LeBron, had more moves in the post, he was a better passer, better rebounder...a MUCH better teammate and MUCH better leader than LeBron and no slouch on defense either:

;feature=emb_logo
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#179 » by Homer38 » Sat May 16, 2020 5:22 pm

The Bulls had a losing record the two times the Celtics swept Chicago in the playoffs ... It was a horrible team.
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Re: Where do you rank Lebron right now in the GOAT list? 

Post#180 » by Bidofo » Sat May 16, 2020 7:38 pm

Hal14 wrote:Weak longevity? He played 12 full seasons and made the all-star team 12 times. 12 seasons was actually a pretty standard career length back then.

You realize that in his last two seasons, he played 60 games (and then had a terrible playoffs) and then 45 games (didn't even play in the playoffs)? Why would that count in a longevity discussion? Calling him an all-star level player those years is just disingenuous, calling them "full seasons" is a blatant lie.
Hal14 wrote:Bird entered the league at 22 and just a month into his rookie year he turned 23. Compare that to LeBron going from HS to the Pros. So if Bird went from HS to the pros, you can tack on 4 more years to his career so that gives him 16 seasons. If LeBron entered the league at 22, right now he'd only be in his 13 season..so who has better longevity?

Give it a break with these nonsensical longevity arguments where you try to twist things to make one look better than the other. Did you really just try to compare a Bird with 4 extra NBA years vs. LeBron with 4 less years? Even if LeBron's career was cut short after 12 years, he'd still have over 4000 more minutes played. It's a fact LeBron has better longevity, that's how their careers played out, part of it was due to circumstance fine, but it is what happened.

Also I'm pretty sure Bird only played 3 years in college...
Hal14 wrote:Not to mention Jordan only played 11 full seasons in the NBA before retiring in 98. So is Bird's 12 seasons really that weak?

Longevity is not only about number of years played. Jordan in the time that he did play was on a level very few players reached, and Bird is not one of them. '89-'93 Jordan is the best 5-year stretch in history, and he pretty much ALWAYS showed up in the playoffs.
Hal14 wrote:There's many advantages that modern players have which allow them to play longer (less physical game, no hand checking allowed, flagrant fouls are enforced, more days off in between games, better facilities, better equipment, better advances in nutrition, sports science and strength/conditioning, players make more $ so more incentive for them to hang on past their prime, star players play less minutes per game in general which means less wear and tear,

What does players making more money today have anything to do with improved longevity lol? Are you implying that pay was low enough in the 80s that NBA athletes would opt to leave playing basketball...to do what exactly? This argument only makes sense if other, more available jobs paid as much as an NBA contract. Besides, comparing dollar amounts from then and today are not the same at all.

It's worth noting that even Wilt and Russell, who played in a time with worse sports medicine, have better longevity than Bird. Magic, his contemporary, has better longevity. And while it may be easier to play longer today, LeBron is still an outlier compared to everyone else. He's going to be second in MVP voting at the age of 35. The only other player left in his draft class is Korver, who's on his last legs. Who else in modern times has had comparable longevity? The way you make it sound, we should be seeing tons of stars still playing at an elite level in their mid-late 30s, but that is not the case.
Hal14 wrote:Bird also played through more pain than LeBron has ever felt in his life. He messed up his back really bad in summer of 86, and still went out the next season, won his 3rd straight MVP and won an NBA title..imagine if LeBron did that? lol

Cool, so your argument is based on something as speculative as this? Bird can be as tough as he wants, and I commend him for it, but it doesn't take away from LeBron being a better player (as shown through postseason play). You come off as biased when you say things like the bolded.
Hal14 wrote:LeBron got a cramp and sat out on the sidelines. Imagine Bird doing that? lol

You're comparing a cramp, something LeBron can't control and renders you immobile so you can't even do anything on the court, to a stupid injury (talking about the bar fight here) Bird inflicted on himself that could have costed him a championship? Plus here's what LeBron actually did after the cramp:
Hal14 wrote:Defense took a drop as he got older..oh yeah, that never happens for any other players, lol sounds like you're reaching/nit picking.

It happened way too soon though. He was on the downward by '87 the latest (so possible earlier), only 8 years into his career. For comparison, LeBron and Jordan were elite that late. LeBron had an all time great defensive playoffs (for a wing) in his 13th year. I'm not even gonna mention the bigs. Relative to these guys, it's a major flaw.
Hal14 wrote:"Larry was a debate. He still is. People ask me all the time who my all-time five top players are, and when I start saying Larry, they interrupt me. They say, 'You've got to be kidding me. He can't play with Lebron James!' I tell them, 'You guys don't get it. Larry is far better than any small forward who played the game, and to be honest, I'm still not sure if he is a small forward or a power forward.' " - Michael Jordan

The quote is utterly useless without knowing when he said it. On a quick Google search, it looks like he said it around 2009, before LeBron even won his second MVP. No duh he thinks that...
Hal14 wrote:MJ has got to respect Bird, because Bird went 23-11 against him. Bird swept Jordan in the playoffs....twice!

Yea, had nothing to do with Bird playing on one of the most stacked teams of all time and Jordan playing with a bunch of bums I'm sure........
Hal14 wrote:Bird swept Jordan in the playoffs twice, whereas LeBron got swept in the finals twice.

False equivalency.
Hal14 wrote:LeBron had to play God and form a super team with Wade and Bosh in order to win a title, then he broke the team up, played God again to form another super team with Kyrie and Love in order to win another title, then he broke the team up, forced Kyrie to demand a trade and his teammates (see 9:00 mark in this video) say they were happier on a different team after they no longer were LeBron's teammate. Imagine that happening to Bird? lol

He played with God? What does that even mean :lol:

And yea let's let Crowder's opinion outweigh all the other countless teammates that have praised LeBron and his work ethic. Just another journeyman that couldn't keep up.
Hal14 wrote:While 1 teammate demanded a trade and another teammate said he was happier after he left Cleveland - in the same season! Meanwhile this is what Bird's teammates say about him, skip to the 14:45 mark in this video:

If you wanna make you list based off "likability" or whatever, go ahead. Kyrie has hardly been a rational thinker these past few years.

Let's wait for Wade's speech and see what he has to say lol...
Hal14 wrote:This is what happened when Bird and Jordan played against each other, yet you don't even think Bird is top 7 or 8?

Jordan was still young, inexperienced, and unpolished at that point. And his team was waayyyyyyyyy outmatched. He dropped 63 and still lost for crying out loud.
Hal14 wrote:Between 1980 and 1989, Bird could’ve won the NBA MVP almost every year. In the nine-year stretch, he never finished MVP race lower than 4th place. He was in the race in his rookie season and received 66.97% of  possible votes during that 9 year stretch. He won 3 straight MVPs and 3 NBA titles in the best era in terms of overall level of play, overall talent and physicality.

Placing in the top 4 does not mean he "could have" won MVP. For example there was no way he could have won over Magic in '87. Also the 60s were more physical than the 80s, and the overall talent is better now than ever before (as one would assume logically, what with increased player pool and more international prospects).
Hal14 wrote:When you look at all facets of the game (transition scoring, outside shooting, mid range shot, post up scoring, scoring on drives to the rim, FT shooting, rebounding, defense and passing, Bird was arguably the best all-around player ever. He was well above average relative to his position in literally every one of those categories. Bird was a better FT shooter than LeBron, a better outside shooter than LeBron, a better mid range shooter than LeBron, had more moves in the post, he was a better passer, better rebounder...a MUCH better teammate and MUCH better leader than LeBron and no slouch on defense either:

I mean you could say the same things in a Kareem vs. Bird discussion. Bird's a better shooter, passer, and you probably would say he's a better rebounder too (based on a "relative to position" stance). Still doesn't mean he's better than Kareem. If Bird was as well-rounded as you say, he'd should be one of the greatest playoff performers of all time, but alas, he is not.

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