RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 (Michael Jordan)

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RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 (Michael Jordan) 

Post#1 » by trex_8063 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:33 pm

1. LeBron James
2. ???

This top 100 list is to comprise the greatest in all of BAA/NBA/ABA history (EDIT: you may also consider NBL as far back as '47). We are not going to stipulate a specific criteria that we all must follow. Everyone is free to be guided by their own values as to their ranking (more on this below). However, the one thing we do ask [given this is to be an ALL-TIME list] is that you consider ALL players from all eras of BAA/NBA/ABA history.

I know there are a few individuals who only rank players post-merger or only back to some other arbitrary cut-off in time. For the purposes of this project, that is simply inadequate. We ask that you familiarize yourself [to the best of your ability] with players from all eras (going back as far as the BAA), and from the ABA and '47-'49 NBL as well, so that you can make educated speculations on the appropriate rank of players in an “all-time” sense.

If you do not feel up to this task, we ask that you be up front about this and refrain from voting in the project (though please still participate in the discussion where you are comfortable). We ask this to avoid an excess of bias AGAINST older eras/players.

NOTE (because it was asked about): highschool, college, international play, and NBL (or other barn-storming leagues) prior to '47 are NOT to be considered. This perhaps undermines the premise of "all-time", but it has been tradition that we're talking about the greatest in NBA/ABA/BAA [and corresponding NBL years] history.

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#2 » by DQuinn1575 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:19 pm

Since what I said in the post for #1 applies, and I had LeBron 4th, I've copied my post from the first one, and haven't changed the narrative. You can click and read if you want, if you want to save the space and only read new stuff, well you've got the choice.

One thought - Jordan probably has this clinched as he starts with like a 14-3 lead, and at lease some LeBron voters would put him
second. Don't know if you want to make it shorter when this arises in the future? Might be a good idea when we get further in the project (where it might be less likely to occur)



Spoiler:
I think the Top 11 are pretty consistent with most everyone,
Wilt, Russell, Jabbar, Bird, Magic, Jordan, Olajuwon, Duncan, LeBron, Shaq, Kobe
I havent done my list in order, so someone might squeeze in and get 10 or 11, but can't see anyone else getting a Top 3 vote. So let me start my logic -
I dont think that Magic, Kobe, Duncan, or Olajuwon were ever the best player in the league for an extended time, and can't call them the best ever as a result.
Bird just doesnt hold up in any argument against LeBron or Jordan
Shaq led his team to 3 titles, but WIlt has 2 and much more impressive stats, so Shaq is out.
THat leaves me with Wilt, Russell, Jordan, LeBron, Jabbar.
Wilt only won 2 titles, and the second had him as a shared one with West, 1.5 is so far behind the other 4 that he gets ruled out. And they are in 67 and 72, and I do have to give some timeline adjustment due to the available talent pool and discount those somewhat.
I havent mentioned Russell yet, but 11 titles, and in most he was definitely the best player. Yes, there is a timeline adjustment, and yes he had more help, but 11 out of 13, really out of 12 as he was hurt once. And yes, the time he lost Wilt beat him - so hang a loss on him.
I dont judge longevity a lot. It's a question of who was the better player, and Russell was like Alexander the Great who had no more worlds to conquer. Kareem playing seasons 14 and on not being the best player on his team doesn't do anything for me to judge him higher than the others.
LeBron has been fantastic, being one of the best players in the league for a long time. I'm not as high on him for 2020 as some, it was a shared title with AD, and in recent years Durant, Curry, and Giannis have all shown that maybe they are playing better or had better years. A couple of bad playoff series where his team didnt win hurt him here more than Russell or Jordan. Jordan's only bad playoff where they lost was 1995, and Russell 1967.
So Jabbar and LeBron won most of the time when they had a competitive team, but not always. Jabbar's team lost a few times as did LeBron when they probably had the best team.
I don't think Jordan or Russell ever lost when they had a team as good as anyone else. So that makes them 1 and 2.
And LeBron and Jabbar 3 and 4. Because being the best of all time includes making the team the best.
I think Jabbar was the more consistent and better scorer, at his peak the better defender, and the better rebounder. Obviously LeBron is a better passer, and really darned good in the other categories. So Jabbar goes 3 and LeBron 4.
Finally, Jordan was a better individual player than Russell. Russell obviously gets defense, but MJ everything else. And Russell had more help - he joined the best team in the league, and had Cousy, Sam Jones, and Havlicek - Russell would have won a lot of Finals MVP (The Bill Russell Award!), but not 11. All six of the titles were Jordan taking a team to the title, a few years with some good help from Pippen. But when it was close or they needed it he always got it done.


1. Jordan
2. Russell
3. Jabbar
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#3 » by Texas Chuck » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:31 pm

Still going to vote Russell until he's in. Don't have any interest in re-hashing the pedantic arguments from the previous thread so am not making a case for him. Plus he has zero shot here against Mike.

To me I'm interested in hearing those who make a case for Kareem or Duncan over Mike here. Because I think they both have one to be made.

Not yet official vote:

1. Russell
2. Mike ?
3. Duncan ?
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#4 » by Joao Saraiva » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:32 pm

Votes:
1. Michael Jordan
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
3. Bill Russell


Michael Jordan is in my tier 1 peak wise, with Shaq, LeBron and Hakeem.

He's also in my tier 1 prime wise, ahead of those 2 (I consider prime the best 5 years).

I can excuse him for a bit of lack in longevity (after all he provided us 10+ superb quality seasons, so it's not like longevity alone can do the trick to knock him a few spots down.

Jordan is the greatest scorer ever in the NBA in my evaluation. Dude always put up ridiculous numbers volume wise, and at least until 93 he was super efficient.

Great finisher at the rim, superb mid range, great on and off ball, he's the perfection scoring wise. Of course his 3 point ability isn't elite, but back then the 3 point shot was seen as something to use whenever you couldn't get anything better. Since he was very good with his 1st step in and in the post, he usually got a "better" shot, cause that is how it was seen at the time.

He also displayed great passing abilities when he operated more in the perimeter, racking up assists. The ultimate proof that he was a good playmaker was against the Lakers in 91 (his peak year) when he outassisted the best playmaker of all time after 4 games in the finals (Magic then had 20 assists in the last game, but the Bulls still won).

Good as a rebounder, ferocious man to man defender in the perimeter.

Another great thing about MJ is that he is mister consistency. There isn't probably a series I'd say he played bad in his entire career. Some subpar games here and there, but overall never a bad series. That is something ultra difficult to do, and that's why I rank his prime as the #1 in the history of the game.

In accodales he's also #1. 5 MVPs, 6 FMVPs, 1 DPOY, and all type of all-NBA selections and all-star appearences.

To sum it up:
- #1 prime in the history of the NBA;
- #1 scorer in the history of the NBA;
- Great perimeter defense. Man to man defense at elite level;
- Most consistent performer in the history of the NBA;
- Versatile player who could control the game in the perimeter or operate in triangle;
- Most accodales in the history of the game (even tough he FMVP might come with an asterisk cause of Bill Russell).
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#5 » by Joao Saraiva » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:37 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:Still going to vote Russell until he's in. Don't have any interest in re-hashing the pedantic arguments from the previous thread so am not making a case for him. Plus he has zero shot here against Mike.

To me I'm interested in hearing those who make a case for Kareem or Duncan over Mike here. Because I think they both have one to be made.

Not yet official vote:

1. Russell
2. Mike ?
3. Duncan ?


You should copy your arguments about Russell. I haven't seen much of the 60s, but it was actually reading threads like this that my perception changed a lot about Bill Russell. He deserves the long post man.

Idk about Duncan vs MJ, that seem to harsh for MJ the way I see it. But KAJ has more than a case, and he was talked about greatly in the last thread. If he's not in I also want to write a bit about him. After these 3, I'm with you on selecting Bill Russell for #4.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#6 » by Texas Chuck » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:42 pm

Joao Saraiva wrote:
Idk about Duncan vs MJ, that seem to harsh for MJ the way I see it. But KAJ has more than a case, and he was talked about greatly in the last thread. .


No doubt Kareem is getting more early traction. And that may well be correct. But Duncan is very similar to Kareem in a lot of ways only with elite defense, good offense as opposed to elite offense, good defense. Duncan isn't the 2nd best defender of all-time imo, but he has an argument for it. And nobody ever defended at the level he did for as long as he did it. He was one of the 5 best defenders in the entire world when he walked into the league and still a top 10 at worst defender in the league when he walked out with the vast majority of his time spent as a top 3 defender and probably half his career or so as the best defensive player in the league despite the lack of hardware.

And as I stated in my criteria post, I don't treat offensive impact as more valuable than defensive impact though I understand many others do and I understand why they do so.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#7 » by trex_8063 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:48 pm

Transplanting discussion to new thread....

penbeast0 wrote:Something I would need to get past to put Kareem top 3 (or even 4th). When he was at his most dominant, in the 1970s, in the weakest era of NBA history other than the segregated 1950s, his teams weren't. They seemed to underperform their talent level outside of the great run in 71. From what you hear from contemporaries, he very much withdrew from his teams and teammates in this period and it took Magic to bring him back out of his shell.

To be fair to him, his withdrawal was based on brutal and extremely nasty circumstances. He was a sensitive and highly intelligent man during one of the most racially divisive eras (even more than the early 60s) who made the choice to become a overt Muslim so there was a lot of blowback from fans (even hometown fans were often extremely hostile to him), Christian teammates, and the older white establishment owners and coaches. Then you had the group of Muslims murdered in Kareem's house. It's not surprising he withdrew into himself.

However, it seems to have made him a less effective team basketball player for most of a decade. He was always clearly head and shoulders talentwise about everyone else in the league including end of era Wilt and even the one relatively healthy year of Bill Walton. His teams were not like Garnett's Minnesota teams but had players who proved themselves championship caliber sidemen in other circumstances (Dandridge, Wilkes, etc.) but they never seemed to coalesce into great team ball.

The other top candidates here, Russell, Jordan, LeBron, took their teams further than the raw talent level of their teammates would indicate (see the many long posts I have made about the overrating of Russell's Celtic teammates outside of Sam Jones and 67-69 Havlicek). Kareem, except probably the ATG candidate 1971 Bucks team, didn't.


I don't think you're being entirely fair in essentially labelling [at least by insinuation] all of Kareem's teams in the 70s (except the '71 Bucks) as under-achievers. I'm gonna go thru this year-by-year.....

'70
Kareem is just a rookie [as is Dandridge], and Oscar has not yet arrived. They have a very good [not great] SRS [is actually 2nd-best in league, albeit a distant 2nd] while winning 56 games [also 2nd in league].
They soundly stomp a pretty good Sixer team [led by Billy Cunningham and the backcourt of Hal Greer/Archie Clark] before getting stomped by the eventual champ [an outstanding Knicks team].
There's no way this team under-achieved based on the talent and circumstance.


'71
As you said this was a great run, and truly a team for the ages. And they did this without much depth, fwiw. They had the great trio of Kareem/Oscar/Dandridge [and John McGlocklin was actually a really nice 4th banana].....but they otherwise only typically went seven deep in their roster, with an aging Bob Boozer and a young Lucius Allen being the only two who consistently played minutes that mattered off the bench [neither of them a prize at that stage]. McCoy McLemore [also no prize] was a mid-season acquisition that they used regularly in the rs, but not really in the playoffs. They only had sub-replacement level players and scrubs behind that: Dick Cunningham and Bob Zopf were the two most frequent recipients of “garbage time”.
If anything, this season is a marginal OVER-achieving year.


'72
Although still a very good player, Oscar has likely inched into his post-prime by this year (and misses 18 rs games, too). They also shake up the roster mid-season, trading Greg Smith and getting Curtis Perry [who wasn't very good at all this year] in return. Few other changes to the bench.
They still achieve 63 wins and an all-time tier SRS in the rs.
In the playoffs they pretty soundly beat a fairly good Warriors team, before losing to another "team for the ages": the eventual champion '72 Lakers [which is on the shortlist of greatest teams ever assembled] in the WCF.
The series went 6 games, and the Bucks actually outscored the Lakers overall in the series. Individually, Kareem led BOTH teams in scoring in FIVE of the six contests, and led BOTH teams in rebounds [beating out Wilt!] twice.

This cannot really be seen as "under-achieving", imo. This is simply a circumstance where a "super team" ran into an even more SUPER team in the conference finals, very analogous to when the '18 Rockets ran into the '18 Warriors in the WCF. That '18 Rockets team was better than anything the East had to offer, and would likely best the entire league MOST years.....'18 just happened to be one of the years they couldn't.
Same is basically true of the '72 Bucks.


'73
Oscar is just further into decline, but this is the first year I'll agree they underachieved [in the playoffs], and Kareem under-performed too (not surprisingly it was while matched up against Thurmond, the GOAT low-post defender, imo).
This was the year of the murders, fwiw.


'74
Although both Lucius Allen and Curtis Perry have improved some since earlier years, Oscar is now on his last legs [and McGlocklin seems like he's maybe showing signs of early decline].
They still appear the best team in the league in the rs: best record and best SRS; #1-rated offense and #2-rated defense [BOTH being built upon Kareem’s shoulders].
In the playoffs they knock off the Lakers 4-1, then sweep a very good Bulls team [wherein Kareem lights up the defensive-minded Clifford Ray and the #1-defense to the tune of 34.8 ppg @ 67.3% TS] to reach the finals once again.

In the finals they lose to a seemingly [based on rs performance] inferior Celtics team in a hard-fought 7-game series, although there’s A LOT of context to consider in this:
*Lucius Allen [Bucks starting guard, who’d been having his peak season up to that point, and with Oscar’s decline was arguably even their 3rd-best player] is injured late in rs and misses the ENTIRE PLAYOFFS; this was like Lebron losing Love in ‘15.
**Allen’s back-up [Ron Williams] misses one game in this finals series, as well.
***John McGlocklin I believe gets hurt in Game 1 (ankle, I think??), and only plays 12 minutes in that one, and then misses games 2 and 3 entirely. The Bucks lost game 1, and lost one of those next two.

And on paper---with a starting core of Havlicek, Cowens, Silas, Jo Jo White, and Don Chaney [ALL in their primes], and aging Don Nelson and young Paul Westphal off the bench---the Celtics actually look pretty comparable to the Bucks line-up. That is: I’d say Cowens’s [or Hondo’s, if you think he’s the alpha on the team] supporting cast looks every bit as good as [if not marginally better than] Kareem’s supporting cast, even at full strength. With Allen out and McGlocklin/Williams missing 3 games in the series, I would say Cowen’s cast looks EASILY better.

In short, I don’t think the Bucks under-achieved here at all. We talk about all the things that sometimes have to fall into place to win a title, including a bit of luck.
This year was just bad luck in the timing of Allen’s injury (because I doubt they lose the series if he’s playing, even with the McGlocklin/Williams minor injuries).


’75
The Bucks do seem to fall off a cliff this year after the departure of their starting backcourt (Oscar retires, Allen was traded early in the year). They did still have a marginally positive SRS, fwiw, despite the losing record.
Though the WOWY kind of indicates just how inept they were without Kareem, as he actually misses 17 games this year: they’re 35-30 with him, but just 3-14 without him.
But yeah, I think they did underachieve a bit this year.


’76
KAJ goes to the Lakers [largely replacing Elmore Smith at C], and while they do improve [amidst some other minor roster changes], it’s not as much improvement as one would hope to see.
So I’ll agree this year could be called an under-achievement.


’77
This is the first year post-merger, so say what you will about the 70s prior to this, but I don’t think THIS year (or those that come after) can be labelled as weaker than the Russell-era (I don’t think ANY of the 70s can be labelled as weaker than the late 50s, personally).

And this year is definitely no under-achievement. His supporting cast was not that impressive. I mean, there were a couple bright spots on the bench [Washington, Tatum], though Washington was traded away after the punch incident [so not around for the playoffs]. And otherwise his best teammate is probably Cazzie Russell--->(to illustrate this relative to the depth of that Knicks team that bounced Kareem in ‘70: Cazzie was probably only the 5th or 6th-best player on that Knicks roster…..but here [no better, imo, than he’d been in ‘70] he’s the 2nd-best player).
Then you have some fair/decent players [not necessarily good starter-level players, though] in Allen and Chaney, but not much else.

This team STILL posted the best record (though only 5th-best SRS) in the league. They then beat a very good Warriors team [that had much the same cast they’d won the ‘75 title with] in 7 games, with Kareem going off for 37 and 19 @ 64% TS% in the series: he led BOTH teams in points AND rebounds in FIVE of the seven meetings (and led BOTH teams in rebounds for one other).

They then got swept by the eventual champion Blazers [with Lucius Allen again missing two games, fwiw], though Kareem was dominant in the series, clearly out-playing Walton on an individual level.

In my Scaled metric studies, ‘77 Kareem came out as the 2nd-highest scaled PER and 3rd-highest scaled WS/48 of all-time, during the rs.
In the playoffs, ‘77 Kareem is the highest ever scaled PER and tied for 2nd-highest scaled WS/48.
So he was CRUSHING the post-merger league; he just didn’t have a lot of help.

Overall, I do not think this team under-achieved on their talent level. And individually, Kareem over-achieved, imo.


’78
This was the year he broke his hand punching Kent Benson [who had provoked him, though I’m not condoning the act]; played most of the year AFTER coming back from that injury, fwiw.
They do seem to under-achieve slightly, based on the talent “on paper”, winning just 45 games (though were 37-25 in the 62 games KAJ plays in [on pace for 49 wins], but just 8-12 without him), then losing 2-1 in the 1st round to the eventual WC champs.


’79
I’m not sure what to think about ‘79. His cast is decent [but far from great]. They win 47 games and have a solid SRS; they beat a pretty talented Nuggets team in the first round before losing 4-1 to the eventual champion [Sonics] in the following round (the last two losses coming by a COMBINED 8 pts).
Kareem was fairly brilliant in that series: going for 29 and 12, with 4.6 apg and 61.7% TS. Kareem turns 32 as the playoffs wrap up, too.

So I don’t know if I can call this an under-achieving year. Marginally so, at worst.


So ‘73, ‘75, and ‘76 are the only years where I’d say they definitely under-achieved [and none of them to the degree that something like the '13 Lakers under-achieved, imo]. And I'll say "maybe marginally" for ‘78 and ‘79.

‘70-’72, ‘74, and ‘77, though…...absolutely not. One or two of those could even be called small over-achievements, imo.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#8 » by penbeast0 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:59 pm

Again, I see Russell as a stronger candidate than Jordan for 3 reasons.

(1) Russell came into the NBA already a great team player. Jordan came in as a great individual player but clashed with coaches about fitting his individual game into a team setting. His talent was undeniable but he didn't start to win titles until they brought in Phil Jackson who was able to convince Jordan to play the triangle.

(2) Russell's influence on the Celtic's winning was greater than Jordan's on the Bulls winning. If you look at the Celtics before Russell you can see a good 1950s offensive team with weak defense that had finished 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd our of 4 teams the previous 4 years. They did get off to a strong start in Russell's rookie year before he came in halfway through from the Olympics which weakens this argument a little. They had a weak defensive superstar in Bob Cousy and drafted a weak defensive scorer in Tommy Heinsohn, Bill Sharman and Jim Loscutoff were decent defenders but nothing special from what I've been able to tell. They transformed into the NBA's greatest defensive dynasty while their offense stayed at 1950s levels of efficiency while the whole rest of the league passed them by offensively. They won 11 titles in 13 years (1 year Russell was injured in the finals they lost, plus 67) while consistently finishing at or near the bottom of the league on offense by dominating every other team in the league defensively, often by quite decent margins. Many of those Celtics scorers made the HOF, based on scoring volume but only Sam Jones was really a consistent efficient scorer for more than a three year stretch with the Celtics. It was all about defense and while they later added some fine defenders (Havlicek, KC Jones, Sanders), the defense was built around Russell and stayed consistently best in the league throughout a complete turnover of all 5 starters. When Russell left, the team still had their other starters from 1969 but fell to one of the worst in the league as their defense fell apart.

MJ didn't change the culture of the Bulls when he came in, they were a selfish disfunctional team and stayed that way. They improved a lot when they moved some of their former starters and installed the likes of Oakley, then Grant, and Scottie Pippen but didn't become champions until bringing in Phil Jackson who was able to get past Jordan's famous "there may not be an I in team but there is in win" mentality and get him to buy into a more passing and spacing based system, the Triangle. When they lost Jordan for two years for baseball, they were still a strong playoff team with Pippen taking the lead role.

So, I feel that Russell's influence on the Celtics was stronger than Jordan's on the Bulls and the Celtics during Russell's years were more successful than the Bulls during Jordan''s . Although there were less rounds of playoffs, look at the percentage of playoff series's won in their careers and you will see Jordan's up around 80% which is terrific. You will see Russell's around 95% which is ridiculous.

(3) Finally, I discount the Celtics success in the 1960s compared to other eras in the league but I don't dismiss it altogether like some other posters. The 60s were mainly pre-expansion (1967) and the teams were full of very good talent, particularly at center (since guys who are 6'9 plus almost always at least consider giving basketball a try and get recruited where shorter athletes may choose baseball or football without even looking much at basketball). The expansion of the 70s and 80s nearly tripled the size of the league in less than 25 years. I dont' think the player pool was growing that quickly. By the 90s you got the first wave of Euros into the league which made a difference but there wasn't anywhere near the impact it would have in this century. So, I have the 60s as a stronger league than the 70s (easily) and roughly in the neighborhood of the 80s in terms of average talent with the 90s having an edge, but not a strong one. So, the extra impact of playing in the 90s for Jordan doesn't make up for his lesser impact than Jordan had in the 60s.

(4) FInally, I don't care about how a player has impact. Over the history of the NBA, the league's best defensive team has won more often than its best offensive team (though that includes those 11 Celtic titles without which it switches to the other way) so if a player dominates enough defensively I don't care that, like Russell, they weren't a good offensive player (a decent finisher in his first few years but the league quickly passed him by as it did so many other 1950s players and early on he was not a good passer. He became a stronger passer but it didn't lead to efficient team scoring so it isn't really that important for me). No do I care that guys like Magic Johnson and Steve Nash were poor defenders if they were being compared to 2 way players that weren't as impactful. It's about impact on winning, particularly on having a chance to win a title, not about how you get there.

And, I think it's disingenuous to look at players and say, well, they wouldn't be as effective in other eras. I don't care in the slightest. I don't downgrade Russell because his game was perfect for his era and wouldn't be as effective today. I don't downgrade Curry because his shooting would be much less valuable before the 3 point line. And I certainly don't downgrade either because they wouldn't have been allowed to play in the racially segregated era that Mikan dominated.

That's my take on Russell v. Jordan.

1. Bill Russell
2. Michael Jordan
3. Wilt Chamberlain


-- I understand that almost everyone has Jabbar higher but my respect for Russell translates into greater respect for Wilt who had to face him almost every year while Jabbar's greatest rival in his prime was Dave Cowens. Wilt's playoff series winning percentage facing anyone but Russell was in the 80% range and higher than Michael Jordan's playoff series winning percentage. He had the misfortune of playing against the most dominant player and winner of all time. Kareem played in a much easier to dominate era due to expansion (and to a lesser extent the ABA) and dominated less than Wilt did. His longevity was amazing and would be the main argument for having him over Wilt for me but I worry less about this than most posters.

Sorry about being so wordy this time.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#9 » by Dutchball97 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:02 pm

1. Michael Jordan - I voted for him for the #1 spot so it's only natural I vote him here for the #2 spot. I think MJ and LeBron are on a tier of their own in terms of their sustained dominance both individually and in team settings. LeBron has a clear longevity advantage, while MJ has a slight peak advantage. I'm more of a peak/prime guy but I understand the longevity was enough of a difference to give it to LeBron. I'd be surprised if Mike doesn't get this tbh.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - The only thing seperating him from LeBron/MJ in my mind is that during his prime he didn't have as much play-off success as you'd hope for a player of his caliber, while he wasn't quite the same dominant force during the 80s when he won the majority of his titles. He was still one of the best players in the league during the early 80s of course but the individual dominance and team success not alligning in the best way puts him a nudge below LeBron/MJ.

3. Bill Russell - Winning 11 titles is insane and will most likely never be replicated. He did this while being a top 5 player for his entire career. The only thing that puts him below LeBron/MJ/Kareem for me is that he "only" was the clear best player for a couple of seasons. Compared to LeBron/MJ/Kareem all pretty much being the clear best player for a decade straight the rings aren't enough to make up that difference in my eyes.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#10 » by Hornet Mania » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:08 pm

My top two votes from last round are still on the board so I'll be sticking with them. I'm in agreement with a few of the others who believe Duncan is the next-best after MJ/Kareem.

My last post talked about how I think of GOAT as more of a club than a title and Russell/Wilt are the only two other members that I haven't yet given a vote. Those two would not necessarily be my 4th and 5th place votes if I were casting them now, definitely not in Wilt's case, but they're in the mix for me from #4 onward.

My votes:
1. Michael Jordan
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
3. Tim Duncan
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#11 » by Dr Positivity » Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:31 pm

I feel pretty good about voting Kareem over Jordan due to the longevity. However open to hearing the Russell arguments.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#12 » by Ainosterhaspie » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:04 pm

1. Jordan
2. Kareem
3. Russell

4. Duncan

My biggest struggle here is Kareem's huge longevity edge over Jordan. Not hanging on because he's a big name who can't give up the game and who the fans and teams don't want to let go, but legitimate first or second option for a title contender quality. Those years can't just be dismissed. He was a key contributor to a title in 71 and 85. (By 87 his efficacy was finally diminished enough to give little credit in this discussion.)

However I don't think he measures up to the sustained top level play that Jordan managed. He may be in the neighborhood briefly, but for much of his prime he wasn't at Jordanesque heights. He was still performing at levels better than almost any other player in history could sustain for more than a year or two, but still below Jordan by a noticeable margin.

I also give Jordan an offensive edge because he was less reliant on a teammate to set up his offense, and was more reliable in diverse ways. Jordan is a more reliable engine to keep an offense functioning no matter the circumstance. I value Kareem's defense significantly more than Jordan's, but Jordan was an excellent defender in his own right.

I guess the best way to put it is I trust Jordan to achieve more for his team in a wider variety of circumstances than I trust Kareem. This by the slimmest of margins makes up for the gap in total years of high level (all-NBA caliber or better) play.

--

Russell has a slight longevity edge over Jordan and similar league dominance. Yes 11 titles is well clear of six, but with better casts, Jordan was at a level to win titles starting in 88 at the latest and I could see him winning in 95 with a slightly better roster, like if Bulls had Rodman one year earlier.

But the bigger issue for me is I favor players who play at high levels on both ends, and that's not Russell. He may be in a class by himself with defensive dominance that no one else, certainly not Jordan can match, but I can't credit a defensive standout with a mediocre offensive game, over a top-tier offensive and defensive player who achieved similar levels of dominance in his own era.

Lastly, I dock Russell slightly for era, though I'm not real sold on the quality of the 90s. Still when pre and post merger players are relatively close I'm leaning post merger.

--

Kareem has versatility and longevity edges over Russell, though didn't show the same level of dominance. This is probably in part to inferior support at times. Even with equal support, I'm not convinced Kareem dominates quite as much as Russell. The gap between the two us razor thin, but Kareem edges Russell for me.

--

Duncan will be up next for me due to longevity and high level play on both ends of the Court.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#13 » by limbo » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:32 pm

This basically comes down to MJ vs. Kareem for me, and i'm leaning towards Jordan. I'm more impressed with his prime and the competition he dominated and the fact that he was able to be the clear best player on all 6 of his title-winning teams, while Kareem was 2nd behind Magic in 1985 (despite winning FMVP that year), behind Magic and Worthy, and somewhere in the mix with Cooper and AC Green in 1987, and was largely carried in the 1988 postseason...

I will say that Kareem's huge edge in longevity is making me hesitant a bit, so i'll wait a bit more before i cast my vote to see what people here will have to say in the discussion.

I wonder what people think about the competition Kareem was dominated on the Bucks in the early 70's? I really don't see the Bucks winning against many great teams in Kareem's period there. The Sixers in 1970 looked decent at 3.32 SRS (i guess that was good enough for 3rd best at the time, lol), but they were not equipped at all with anyone who can defend a 7'2'' dude... Their biggest dude was 6'10 and he played like 27 minutes per game... The rest of their core was relatively small. Obviously, i don't blame Kareem for the Bucks losing to the Knicks in the next round because they were a legit juggernaut at the time.

In '71 they win the title, but they don't really beat anyone of note. The best team they faced in the PS that run was a Lakers team without Jerry West, lol... The Baltimore Bullets were a .500 team and that's how they got in the Finals... '72 they just beat one average team before losing to the Lakers. In '73 they lose to an underdog team. In '74 they beat a Chicago team that was past their best years and didn't have anyone to guard Kareem and then lost in the Finals to a 3.42 SRS Celtics team...

So basically the best teams that Kareem beat in a straight up Playoff series when he was with the Bucks were like 3.20 SRS level teams such as the 1970 Sixers or the offensively inept 1974 Bulls with no one to guard Kareem 1v1... While losing as a favorite on paper in 1974 and 1973. Lost in a juggernaut vs. juggernaut matchup in 1972 to the Lakers and lost to the Knicks in the 1970 although those Knicks was simply much better than his team, so it was whatever.

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#14 » by SeniorWalker » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:48 pm

#2 MJ

MJ was #1 for me. Still not convinced that LeBron deserves #1 over him but my criteria doesn't rate longevity as highly as others. I also do think that LeBron could make #1 in my book someday depending on the how the next few years goes but there are other factors that make me hesitant to crown him. I really don't think people fully appreciate the massive, unique advantage (compared to other ATGs) he's had with picking/controlling his teams. But, if longevity is that important to someone, I do understand the LeBron love. I don't fight it much because his talent really is as good as advertised.

The one change I'm thinking of making for this project is switching Kareem and Russell. I've always had Kareem as either 2 or 3 but I may move Russell up. Undecided today.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#15 » by trex_8063 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:06 pm

limbo wrote:This basically comes down to MJ vs. Kareem for me, and i'm leaning towards Jordan. I'm more impressed with his prime and the competition he dominated and the fact that he was able to be the clear best player on all 6 of his title-winning teams, while Kareem was 2nd behind Magic in 1985 (despite winning FMVP that year), behind Magic and Worthy, and somewhere in the mix with Cooper and AC Green in 1987, and was largely carried in the 1988 postseason...

I will say that Kareem's huge edge in longevity is making me hesitant a bit, so i'll wait a bit more before i cast my vote to see what people here will have to say in the discussion.

I wonder what people think about the competition Kareem was dominated on the Bucks in the early 70's? I really don't see the Bucks winning against many great teams in Kareem's period there. The Sixers in 1970 looked decent at 3.32 SRS (i guess that was good enough for 3rd best at the time, lol), but they were not equipped at all with anyone who can defend a 7'2'' dude... Their biggest dude was 6'10 and he played like 27 minutes per game... The rest of their core was relatively small. Obviously, i don't blame Kareem for the Bucks losing to the Knicks in the next round because they were a legit juggernaut at the time.

In '71 they win the title, but they don't really beat anyone of note. The best team they faced in the PS that run was a Lakers team without Jerry West, lol... The Baltimore Bullets were a .500 team and that's how they got in the Finals... '72 they just beat one average team before losing to the Lakers. In '73 they lose to an underdog team. In '74 they beat a Chicago team that was past their best years and didn't have anyone to guard Kareem and then lost in the Finals to a 3.42 SRS Celtics team...

So basically the best teams that Kareem beat in a straight up Playoff series when he was with the Bucks were like 3.20 SRS level teams such as the 1970 Sixers or the offensively inept 1974 Bulls with no one to guard Kareem 1v1... While losing as a favorite on paper in 1974 and 1973. Lost in a juggernaut vs. juggernaut matchup in 1972 to the Lakers and lost to the Knicks in the 1970 although those Knicks was simply much better than his team, so it was whatever.

Any thoughts on this?



Well, I already answered to the Kareem team results of each year in the 70s in an above post, so I won't repeat anything there.

As to a total career contribution [relative to era], I think Kareem did more [more production/efficiency, more wins added, more value above replacement] than anyone save maybe Lebron.

For example, if you look at a formula that measures value above replacement as measured by PER and WS/48 (setting "replacement level" at 13.5 for PER and .078 for WS/48 in the rs [12.5 and .064 in playoffs, to account for the decline that is typical of most players in playoffs])----applying an adjustment to make it such that a PER of 15 [average] will yield the same "value" as a WS/48 of .100 [average]----and weight each playoff minute played at 3.25x the weight of each rs minute......

Kareem comes out with the second-highest career figure of all-time (behind only Lebron; Jordan is 3rd). That's with using raw PER and WS/48.
If instead of raw PER and WS/48, I use my scaled PER and WS/48 values, he still comes out 2nd to Lebron; although now the margin is almost negligible, while his lead over Jordan in 3rd is a little bigger (his value being about 13% bigger than MJ's).


But yeah, I think he did most of this in a weaker era than what Jordan played in.
I applied an [intricate, though admittedly totally subjective] era-strength weighting to the above scores.......if using raw PER and WS/48, Jordan now comes out slightly ahead (by about 3.3%), though if I use scaled terms, Kareem is still ahead (though now only by 4.3%). (Lebron still comes out 1st in all permutations)


Not that this is the end-all summation of my methodology [far from it], but it's a way of illustrating in a semi-objective manner that I think their total career value above replacement is pretty similar, even when weighting in strength of era.

But for myself, I'll be going with Jordan as my top pick for this spot because he left a far bigger imprint on the game, the future course and evolution of the game, and upon culture itself. He was simply iconic, major driving influence in the growth of popularity worldwide, etc.
That's a small consideration in my criteria, and enough for me to put him ahead of Kareem (though I don't feel strongly enough to argue anyone who wants to put KAJ ahead).
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#16 » by trex_8063 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:08 pm

SeniorWalker wrote:#2 MJ

MJ was #1 for me. Still not convinced that LeBron deserves #1 over him but my criteria doesn't rate longevity as highly as others. I also do think that LeBron could make #1 in my book someday depending on the how the next few years goes but there are other factors that make me hesitant to crown him. I really don't think people fully appreciate the massive, unique advantage (compared to other ATGs) he's had with picking/controlling his teams. But, if longevity is that important to someone, I do understand the LeBron love. I don't fight it much because his talent really is as good as advertised.

The one change I'm thinking of making for this project is switching Kareem and Russell. I've always had Kareem as either 2 or 3 but I may move Russell up. Undecided today.


Don't forget to provide two [in order] ALTERNATE picks. Very likely won't matter on this thread, but just for future reference: in more closely contended spots, I won't be able to count someone's vote if he doesn't provide [prior to deadline] his alternate choices.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#17 » by SeniorWalker » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:32 pm

trex_8063 wrote:
SeniorWalker wrote:#2 MJ

MJ was #1 for me. Still not convinced that LeBron deserves #1 over him but my criteria doesn't rate longevity as highly as others. I also do think that LeBron could make #1 in my book someday depending on the how the next few years goes but there are other factors that make me hesitant to crown him. I really don't think people fully appreciate the massive, unique advantage (compared to other ATGs) he's had with picking/controlling his teams. But, if longevity is that important to someone, I do understand the LeBron love. I don't fight it much because his talent really is as good as advertised.

The one change I'm thinking of making for this project is switching Kareem and Russell. I've always had Kareem as either 2 or 3 but I may move Russell up. Undecided today.


Don't forget to provide two [in order] ALTERNATE picks. Very likely won't matter on this thread, but just for future reference: in more closely contended spots, I won't be able to count someone's vote if he doesn't provide [prior to deadline] his alternate choices.

Sorry.

2 - MJ
3 - Russell
4 - Kareem

I probably won't give new input until #5, reasoning is the same for each slot.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#18 » by DQuinn1575 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:37 pm

Good post - follow up on 75

trex_8063 wrote:

’75
The Bucks do seem to fall off a cliff this year after the departure of their starting backcourt (Oscar retires, Allen was traded early in the year). They did still have a marginally positive SRS, fwiw, despite the losing record.
Though the WOWY kind of indicates just how inept they were without Kareem, as he actually misses 17 games this year: they’re 35-30 with him, but just 3-14 without him.
But yeah, I think they did underachieve a bit this year.


Team got off to 3-14 start without him, they played well until Jim Price got hurt and then they had no point guard and missed playoff due to divisional setup. Lots of ifs, but if Price doesn't get hurt this team could have made a lot of noise in the playoffs in a wide open year. Playing the what-if game, if they won in 74 or 75, does Kareem still go to LA??
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#19 » by trex_8063 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:47 pm

SeniorWalker wrote:I probably won't give new input until #5, reasoning is the same for each slot.


You can simply copy/paste your arguments/votes into future threads, if you like.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#20 » by trex_8063 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:55 pm

1. Michael Jordan
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
3. Tim Duncan


I've kind of laid out the gist of my thinking wrt MJ v KAJ in prior posts itt [and the last one]. Boils down to my belief that MJ's career value is roughly similar to Kareem's, once factoring in some consideration of era strength (though I'll freely state that I think Kareem's probably go the raw edge in terms of simple in-era value; though not as big as Kareem's longevity edge [because I simply feel Jordan peaked higher, and was more playoff resilient]).

But Jordan's larger-than-life image, his importance on the evolution of the game, the population expansion of the game that he [maybe more than any other ONE player] drove.....these considerations give him the edge for me.


I hope to make a large post on Tim Duncan soon (if not this thread, than the next). One of the most singularly underrated [by the mainstream] superstars in NBA history, and really needs serious consideration [even right now].
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