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

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#81 » by eminence » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:24 pm

My 2/3 in thread #1 were Duncan/KAJ and my HMs were MJ/Russell/KG. I feel pretty strongly overall those are my top 6.

Sticking with my order for the last round.

1st - Tim Duncan

2nd - Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Some reasoning for Duncan over KAJ.
-KAJ was a great underrated defender, but Duncan is the 2nd best defender ever in terms of career value imo. Led the 2nd greatest (maybe 3rd with Mikan) extended defensive dynasty, starting as co-leader with Robinson and eventually taking over the clear lead.
-KAJ had tough circumstances and I generally think of him as a solid leader, but I still give the slight edge to Duncan in that regard. KAJ a bit too much of an intellectual approach to a physical game.
-They might be closer as scorers than many think. The huge pace differences lead the the counting stat differences in a lot of ways. Both are approximately 30 pts/100 scorers in their primes. KAJ does have the solid efficiency edge.
-Overall KAJ still has the clear lead offensively.
-Both aged spectacularly (arguably the top 2 ever), but I prefer Duncan, I think he was 80% of his prime longer, due at least in part to the more defensive focus of his game.
-If I were to side with KAJ it would likely be based off him having an even stronger entrance to the league than Duncan did and giving him some points for his college dominance. Or if I wanted to ding Duncan a bit more for his minor injury issues.

3rd -??? - I'll come back to this and edit. I need to think about who from my next trio I want to go with here. I think MJ was the best at his best, Russell has THE dominant career, and if I were picking a player to win the most with I'd go KG. Tough to balance and I've enjoyed reading the thoughts of everyone else on MJ v Russell (not much KG yet, but I understand).

Edit:

3rd - Bill Russell
Going with the champ for my final vote. Think I'll leave KG at 6th, as I think my top 5 had near the max success for what you could expect for a career in each's respective era, and even if I think he's in the same class talentwise the other 5 all accomplished what I'd call reasonable expectations for a GOAT talent (several others have similar accomplishments, namely Magic, but I don't view them as quite the same talent level). For Russell vs MJ I give Russell an edge for longevity again, he came in better and had more reasons to retire on top than MJ (accomplished more on the court, basketball itself was less financially appealing). Absurd prime consistency from Russell is his main selling point for me, even though I'm kinda low on his peak I think I might rank his prime #1.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#82 » by trex_8063 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:28 pm

penbeast0 wrote:
limbo wrote:
70sFan wrote:No it wasn't and I'd argue that the league was stronger in the mid-1960s than during second part of 1990s.


Based on what?


Based on the ridiculous expansion of the 70s and 80s; it is extremely unlikely that there was an equivalent expansion of the population base they were drawing from. It wasn't until the nineties (a little originally) then the 21st century where the world players really began to compose a signficant part of the NBA.

The average player on the average team in the 60s was probably a better player than the average player on the average team in the 80s, for me a little worse than the average player on the average team in the 90s as the generation that grew up on Bird/Magic grew up (so more people wanting to play basketball) and a few foreigners (Hakeem, Detlef, Toni K) were starting to make a difference. But it's close and I would guess that the average big man was stronger in the 60s than the 90s while the average guard was stronger in the 90s.


Without really taking a side, I'll just provide some factors pertaining to the expansion of size and/or quality of the player pool the NBA was selecting from (1966 vs 1996).....

a) The US population rose by 37.2% (from 196.6 mil to 269.7 mil).

b) The league was not fully integrated in '66, but was in '96: I don't know the proportion of black players specifically in '66, but in '67 the league was 49.6% black, whereas it had been only 28.0% black in '61 (had been only 7.7% in '55). Given the rapid rise, would likely be safe to assume it was a little less than 50% black in '66. The peak proportion of black players occurred in '95 (82%).

c) Though obviously not to the degree that the league does today, they were tapping into international talent pools by the 90s, something that basically wasn't being done at all in the 60s (I know someone might mention Tom Meschery [born in Russia], but his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was around 8 years old; so for our purposes he was basically American).
I don't know how much this consideration effectively increases the player pool, but it certainly has "some" effect.

d) Popularity (and the financial incentive) of basketball increased from '66 to '96.
Just how big of an effect this had on the effective size and quality of the player pool is also hard to hammer down; but I think it's safe to say that the change was NOT small.
I'm going to provide that evidence that the popularity of basketball [and the NBA] EXPLODED from the mid-50s (when the bulk of the player pool that made up the mid-60s NBA was cutting their basketball chops) to the early-mid 70s (when the bulk of the player pool for early 80s were cutting their teeth):

Average Attendance for Franchises (50's and 60's)
Hawks - 3,588 in '55; 6,829 in '67 (increase of 90.3% in 12 years)
Celtics - 7,027 in '55; 10,409 in '67 (increase of 48.1% in 12 years)
Pistons - 3,717 in '55; 6,459 in '67 (increase 73.8% in 12 years)
Warriors - 5,878 in '55; 7,727 in '67 (increase of 31.5% in 12 years)
Lakers - 5,388 in '51; 4,494 in '56 (decrease of 16.6% in 5 years; note '56 is a mostly Mikan-less year in which they weren't very good, whereas the were a champion dynasty team in '51).
Avg 11,154 in '67 (more than double over either '51 or '56: a 148.2% increase from '56 (in just 11 years), 107.0% increase over their championship '51 team).
Knicks - 8,565 in '55; 11,716 in '67 (increase of 36.8%)
Nationals (Sixers) - 5,276 in '51; 4,539 in '56 (decrease of 14.0%); but then 8,224 in '67 (81.2% increase in 11 years)
Royals - 2,478 in '55; 4,755 in '67 (91.9% increase in 12 years).

TV ratings
*Nielson ratings of NBA games increased by 70% from '61 to '68.
**The TV audience in '67 increased by 26% over '66 (at least early in the year: this per a November 1966 issue of Advertising Age).
***TV ratings for NBA games rose steadily from when ABC first got rights to the NBA (in 1964) thru 1970. William Marsano of TV Guide predicted basketball would be "the sport of the 70's" because it's popularity had been rising so fast and steadily in the 1960's.

TV contracts
*The NBA's very first TV contract [in '54] was obtained for what amounts [after inflation] to about $350,000. The first nationally televised Finals game wouldn't occur until 1956.

**ABC paid the equivalent of ~$5.1M today for the TV contract for the '64 season. Although certainly a big reason why the contract size may have increased so much is that televisions themselves were much more widely owned in '64 compared to '54. But still.......that's an increase of 14-15x in ten years.

***The TV contract for '68 was the equivalent of ~$6.9M today.

****The TV contract for '69 cost the equivalent of ~$20M today.

*****In 1974, CBC paid $27 million for a 3-year contract ($9 million per year---->adjusted for inflation is ~$40 million per year [i.e. TWICE what it had been just five years previously in '69]).



Anyway, take this information any way you like as it pertains to player pool.....
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#83 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:40 pm

limbo wrote:
Ainosterhaspie wrote:90s was an era where talent was diluted. It was more concentrated in the 80s on teams like the Celtics, Sixers, Lakers and Pistons. Then in the 90s those super teams were gone except for the Bulls. Heavy expansion and those teams all getting old, left a talent gap in the 90s. Even if the league overall had more talent, (not sure I agree, but assuming for the sake of argument it did) the talent was so spread out, there was only one great team. Compare that to the 80s with the above mentioned teams, then the 00s with the Spurs/Lakers, then LeBron dynasty, Warriors and tail end of Spurs in 10s.


And the 60's wasn't diluted in talent for most of the decade? Only Boston was able to accrue the best of all Worlds; superstars (yes plural) depth and coaching... Every other team was hemorrhaging in multiple of those areas. Oscar and Jerry West had garbage casts the entire decade. Matter of fact, West had Baylor for like 3 seasons in the early 60's and was able to get to the Finals and almost beat Boston with just Baylor playing 2v5 basketball... Same with the Hawks there for a couple of seasons. They had a good 3-man core, but everyone else was trash. Wilt was a Globetrotter with no proper help and wrong coaching until 1967. Richie Guerin had trash on the Knicks... Syracuse had more depth than anyone else but no superstars...

These were mostly 1-man,2-man bands trying to take down the Celtics with no depth...

Lakers were always strong team from 1962 on.

Nationals had quality depth although they lacked top power. Then they added Wilt and became the most talented team of the 1960s.

Hawks were always deep and they had great trio of Hagan/Pettit/Lovellette, with Wilkens, Bridges and later Guerin.

Knicks became a top tier team from 1967.

Royals were poorly structurer, but had outstanding offensive roster.

It's not true that Russell's teams were much better or much more talented than the rest.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#84 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:47 pm

Also, I beg for the last time - don't compare SRS from 9-14 team league to 30 team league. It's just silly, completely out of context. Saying that a lot of teams in 1998 had positive SRS doesn't mean anything, when the league is thrice as big.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#85 » by Ainosterhaspie » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:10 pm

limbo wrote:
Ainosterhaspie wrote:90s was an era where talent was diluted. It was more concentrated in the 80s on teams like the Celtics, Sixers, Lakers and Pistons. Then in the 90s those super teams were gone except for the Bulls. Heavy expansion and those teams all getting old, left a talent gap in the 90s. Even if the league overall had more talent, (not sure I agree, but assuming for the sake of argument it did) the talent was so spread out, there was only one great team. Compare that to the 80s with the above mentioned teams, then the 00s with the Spurs/Lakers, then LeBron dynasty, Warriors and tail end of Spurs in 10s.

I was responding more to an earlier contention that 90s was a golden era. Though that was clear from the context of my post since I didn't mention 60s or 70s.
And the 60's wasn't diluted in talent for most of the decade? Only Boston was able to accrue the best of all Worlds; superstars (yes plural) depth and coaching... Every other team was hemorrhaging in multiple of those areas. Oscar and Jerry West had garbage casts the entire decade. Matter of fact, West had Baylor for like 3 seasons in the early 60's and was able to get to the Finals and almost beat Boston with just Baylor playing 2v5 basketball... Same with the Hawks there for a couple of seasons. They had a good 3-man core, but everyone else was trash. Wilt was a Globetrotter with no proper help and wrong coaching until 1967. Richie Guerin had trash on the Knicks... Syracuse had more depth than anyone else but no superstars...

These were mostly 1-man,2-man bands trying to take down the Celtics with no depth...
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#86 » by limbo » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:13 pm

70sFan wrote:Lakers were always strong team from 1962 on.


Stop it. They peaked in 1963 when Baylor was still producing as one of the best players in the league and Barnett had a career year. After that Baylor kept getting injured and fell off rapidly and they could barely scrap 45 wins in a lot of the following seasons. They were slowly adding some depth but Baylor kept being worse and more injured. In 1968 Goodrich missed most of the Finals. Last Russell season is where the finally added Wilt, but they had no time to gel and Baylor was like 34 at that point... pretty much done and dusted.


It's not true that Russell's teams were much better or much more talented than the rest.


Yes they were. Russell played with Cousy, Sharman, Ramsey, Heinsohn, Sanders, Sam Jones, Havlicek, Don Nelson, Howell and a few lesser but still solid supporting players... I agree that there were some years in the mid 60's where the old guard was kind of getting phased out and Boston didn't have as much depth around Russell, but even then the worst Russell supporting cast probably consists of peak Sam Jones (top 10 player in the league), Sanders and K.C Jones... which is better than what Jerry West had to play with through most of the 60's... not to mention someone like Oscar.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#87 » by limbo » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:33 pm

70sFan wrote:Also, I beg for the last time - don't compare SRS from 9-14 team league to 30 team league. It's just silly, completely out of context. Saying that a lot of teams in 1998 had positive SRS doesn't mean anything, when the league is thrice as big.


Go look at team performance metrics in the early 60's... Specifically in 1960, 1962 and 1965. This is definitely comparable to how the league was in 1996, 1997. The Celtics were lapping the field by a couple of standard deviations. And 1961, 1963, 1964 are not much better... The Celtics are still clearly head and shoulders above all teams, and there's only like 2 challengers for the title every year.
Basically what the Celtics had to do in the first half of the 60's (since they easily finished with the best record in the league), was defeat a mediocre team in the 1st round... and then they were already in the Finals fighting for the title... That's absurd. Is if Jordan defeated the '96 Heat in the 1st round and he went straight to the Finals.

It wasn't until Wilt came to Philly that the league finally had a comparable team... And no, the Lakers before that weren't comparable, even though one series went to like 7 games in 1962... It was literally Baylor and West having to average 72 ppg for their team (with LaRusso shooting 32% FG as the 3rd best player) and also probably be the best defenders on the team, and they still almost won.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#88 » by ZeppelinPage » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:56 pm

Please take a look at how many minutes Auerbach was playing the Celtics players over the course of the year. Then look at their win totals.

Those teams were even better than what their win totals were come playoff time. The 60s Celtics were ridiculously more talented in both coaching and roster than every other team. Sam Jones was playing 30 MPG and they were still winning 60 games, I mean come on.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#89 » by homecourtloss » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:00 pm

Gregoire wrote:
2klegend wrote:
homecourtloss wrote:
I thought your formula concluded that Jordan was at the top? From the sound of this post, it seems that you’d have Jordan on top regardless and tinker with the formula until it spit out the “right answer.”

Not really. I have Jordan on top for a variety of reasons including his accolades so far triumph Lebron. But why Lebron on top when he has fewer accolades and achieving less in his career?

I already conceded that if Lebron brings in another title and MVP, even if it's 5>6, I will have Lebron as GOAT and that is how much I value his game and really value his longer prime.


I think main problem here that a lot of people didnt see MJ live (only youtube) and are very numbers or stats (or rings oriented) and sometimes its very difficult to explain formulate in sentences why he was best (not bias, but just he has "it" - then you know we will win regardless). Yeah, Im failed to explain it properly too. Even at his peak, if we take only numbers - Shaq, Lebron are close, but if you would watch he games, playoffs of them (not today, but in respective live situation and moment) - only Jordan looked inhuman.


The bolded seems to be a common refrain from people who have Jordan as the GOAT when addressing those who don’t have Jordan at the top, i.e., “didn’t watch him because otherwise, you’d just know,” or “too stats driven/analytics driven and didn’t watch him,” etc.

Many of the posters who have posted in this thread here including myself have watched him play live and are 40+ years in age. They have articulated their reasons for having LeBron over Jordan (or Kareem or Russell over Jordan) and these reasons are articulated here better than just about anywhere else I’ve seen. There are very good arguments for each, i.e., James, Jordan, Kareem, Russell, that seem to often be dismissed with “you can only think this because you didn’t watch them play.”
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#90 » by SHAQ32 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:10 pm

Pretty set with:

1. Michael Jordan
I guess I'm in the minority that feels that relative to positions, Jordan was clearly a better defensive player than Kareem. Also while Kareem was putting up some nice seasons post-Magic, I also feel he was able to benefit in sort of a lull period for Centers therefrom 80-84.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

3. Tim Duncan
You could go with a few guys here but I like Duncan because he has the least proverbial holes in his resume. Again you could say he doesn't have dominant raw stats in any particular category but I never felt he was a guy that put numbers over the team. I just feel the safest having him here, really.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#91 » by 70sFan » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:33 pm

Since when Sanders, KC Jones, Heinsohn and Nelson are all-time great supporting cast? They are one way players, in Nelson case mediocre ones. I like watching Heinsohn but he was a gunner with no impact outside of volume scoring. Cousy was good, but his impact is questionable from 1961. Sam Jones was realy good, but he wasn't better than Hal Greer or Jerry Lucas and he was clearly inferior to Elgin Baylor.

Lakers weren't all Baylor and West either - they had very solid Rudy LaRusso (who was probably better than Tom Heinsohn), Walt Hazzard (much better than KC Jones offensively), Dick Barnett (worse than Jones, but still excellent 3rd/4th option with very good defense) and solid center rotation built from Imhoff/Wiley/Ellis.

Royals were full of offensive firepower - Lucas and Twyman were excellent offensively and they had very solid guard rotation. Embry wasn't great on defense, but he wasm't bad offensively either.

Hawks had lineups built of either Martin/Green/Hagan/Pettit/Lovellette or Wilkens/Guerin/Hagan/Pettit/Beaty with Bridges/Silas off the bench. Then they later aquirred Lou Hudson and Joe Caldwell. Hawks were very talented team.

Pointing out Celtics metrics doesn't make any sense, since they were mediocre to poor offensice team carried by ATG defense. This basically exclude players like Cousy, Sharman, Jones, Heinsohn and Howell as elite offensive players. Celtics were ahead of the rest of competition because of Russell.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#92 » by lebron3-14-3 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:44 pm

I gave my reasons in the previous thread, but basically:

2) Kareem
3) Jordan


Basically it comes down to the fact that jordan 87 to 93 + 96 to 98 (10 years) is a bit better than kaj 70-79 or 80 but not nearly enough to compensate for the entirty of kareem's 80s.

Still not sure about the 4th.

I think I'll find the time to: tell you why west is a top 10 and the most underrated player ever, talk down on magic and about kobe possibly being better than him (at around number 11), write down my top 40 or something...tentative vote for russell.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#93 » by mailmp » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:48 pm

If Magic is coming in at 12 after West and Kobe at 10 and 11, I am really excited to see just how low Bird ends up!
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#94 » by Doctor MJ » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:51 pm

Vote:

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

As I talked about before I've been re-thinking Jordan and Russell, and at least for now have Jordan back ahead (I used to have Jordan ahead before becoming a Russell believer).

I'm still a Russell believer in terms of what he actually did and how impressed I am with his body and mind, but I'm struggling with the realization that basketball as we now know it with its superior shooting would not be what's best for Russell.

And when I'm saying I'm struggling, I mean I'll continue struggling with it after Russell is voted in. It's put me in a place of disequilibrium with my criteria and could end up resulting in Russell tumbling further in the future.

What I have to acknowledge is that I have an emotional pull here. I don't want Russell to tumble. I admire what he did so, so much. But if I let myself use the above argument for LeBron & Jordan, does it really end with them?

I've said that I'll always have him in my top tier, but I don't really do my rankings with purposeful tiering. The real truth is that in my own personal "Most Hall-Worthy" players, Russell will always be in the top tier, but will he on a list like this that for me has always been grounded in terms of what you could expect to get from a guy in the highest level of competition, maybe he won't. I don't enjoy that thought, but I have to consider it.

Kareem? Not a ton to say here since for most the question isn't why Kareem is as high as 4th on my list but why he isn't even higher. I think he's got a great argument for being #1 and tend to see the top 4 guys here as a pretty clear Mount Rushmore.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#95 » by lebron3-14-3 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:55 pm

mailmp wrote:If Magic is coming in at 12 after West and Kobe at 10 and 11, I am really excited to see just how low Bird ends up!


I'd say I'd put bird slightly ahead of all kobe and magic, but probably below west
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#96 » by mailmp » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:57 pm

West being at #9 fundamentally seems to place a priority on playoff performance which Bird loses relative to Magic, but you do you!
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#97 » by Doctor MJ » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:03 pm

ZeppelinPage wrote:Please take a look at how many minutes Auerbach was playing the Celtics players over the course of the year. Then look at their win totals.

Those teams were even better than what their win totals were come playoff time. The 60s Celtics were ridiculously more talented in both coaching and roster than every other team. Sam Jones was playing 30 MPG and they were still winning 60 games, I mean come on.


I don't think that's so clear.

bkref 1963-64 Celtics

This is the signature Russell year (you can argue he was better in another year, but this is the essential moment for his legacy). It's the year after Cousy retired, when people thought the team was going to fall apart and instead got better putting up an ultra-outlier defensive performance (by DRtg 4.8 better than the #2 Warriors with Wilt and Nate Thurmond, and 10.2 better than anyone else).

Regular season MPG:

Russell 44.6
Havlicek 32.3
Sam Jones 31.3
KC Jones 30.3
Sanders 29.6
Heinsohn 26.8

Playoffs MPG:

Russell 45.1
Sam Jones 35.6
KC Jones 31.2
Heinsohn 30.8
Sanders 30.2
Havlicek 28.9

I don't see a huge difference there. Still looks largely like a Russell + Platoon system where you're relying on Russell to anchor your defense (and help facilitate the offense) in every meaningful minute and everyone else is given time on the bench to rest.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#98 » by lebron3-14-3 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:18 pm

mailmp wrote:West being at #9 fundamentally seems to place a priority on playoff performance which Bird loses relative to Magic, but you do you!


It's basically based on the fact that west is the best offensive player pre 3-point era but also one of the best defenders ever between pgs and sgs (5th in our defensive project) meanwhile magic was average on d, and while he was comparable to slightly better on Offense, I think that magic would have been a less valuable offensive player on an average/less suited for him team (compared to west on a generic team). West also has legendary playoff performances.

About bird vs magic, basically similar considerations in regard to the offensive end and also bird was a better defender, even tho he was no andre iguodala, I also think that until 1988 bird had a vastly better career than magic, with magic not totally closing the gap in the next years.

Yeah I'd also put west above bird. It should probably go LBJ KAJ MJ RUSSELL SHAQ WILT DUNCAN OLAJUWON WEST BIRD KOBE MAGIC GARNETT MALONE
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#99 » by mailmp » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:21 pm

Magic as “offensively comparable to slightly better than West” is quite the take, but I guess playing with Byron Scott and young Vlade Divac is indeed a notably unfair roster advantage.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #2 

Post#100 » by Blackmill » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:32 pm

How to do people feel about the speed of these threads? I think the previous thread was open for 48 hours. Personally I would like the top-10 discussions to be open for at least 3 days. Especially if the discussion happens during the work week. Between reading the argument, hitting the film room, writing responses, and repeating I feel like there's not enough time in two days to form a complete opinion for all three votes.

If I had any say, I would prefer a 4-day 3-day split of the week (Mon-Thurs, Fri-Sun) until we pass #10. Then we could go back to the usual two days. And if we wanted to keep the total time of the project the same, down the line we could make weekend votes one day, which I think may be acceptable as those later spots are less contested and more people are free on the weekend than weekday.

Thoughts? I've just started looking over what's been written and will be hard pressed to have my vote ready by tomorrow morning (especially since I want to ask a few questions).

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