1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James

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Better player?

1984 Larry Bird
28
49%
2020 Lebron James
29
51%
 
Total votes: 57

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1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#1 » by Matt15 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:03 am

Who was the better player?
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#2 » by Dutchball97 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:51 am

84 Bird is one of the best play-off runs ever, LeBron even having a season at 35 years old that is comparable is impressive but I'm still going with Bird here.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#3 » by The Master » Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:38 am

Dutchball97 wrote:84 Bird is one of the best play-off runs ever

Yup, I don't think Bird was better player impact-wise that year, but I don't think he was worse in both regular season and in the playoffs, and a level of opponents he played against in his playoff run was incomparable to those met by LeBron. You can give some extra tiebreaker for LeBron for (potentially) having more upside, but the only thing you can point out against Bird that year was this 6/18 G7 in the finals - but in general he was great in that series.

For me it's like: pretty similar impact - Bird's season more impressive in terms of accolades/road to the title - LeBron may be a better player, but he wasn't challenged as much as was Bird, so your voting depends on if you think that LeBron is still in his actual prime, and I do believe so.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#4 » by Cavsfansince84 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:10 am

I think we are naturally going to have some skepticism regarding 2020 LeBron due to the fact that he was 35 but the thing that's probably being underestimated(really two or three things) is how much the 5-6 month off season plus 3 month layoff/shortened season may have helped him on top of the millions he's spent taking care of himself over the last 10-15 years. LeBron's 35 is probably closer to Bird's 28-30 given how many injuries Bird had over his career. It's probably even equivalent to LeBron's 2016 season endurance wise given the career lows in rs and playoff mpg(34.6/36.3) on top of everything else. It was by far the most rested LeBron we have seen since his rookie year which also explains his resurgence on defense.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#5 » by Freighttrain » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:48 am

Since I haven't seen Bird in '84 it's hard for me to judge, but looking at the numbers it's very close. Bird averaged way more minutes than LeBron, but the efficiency is almost the same. It's a great comparison, but I give LeBron the edge, just by a hair. I also don't know how Bird's defence was so we have to take that into consideration, but LeBron's was very good to great this year.

These are the playoff comparisons:

Bird:
41.8min 52.4FG% 41.2 3P% 88%FT 27.5 PTS 11 REB 6 AST

LeBron:
36.3min 56%FG 37 3P% 72%FT 27.6 PTS 10.8 REB 8.8 AST

All of the advanced metrics are also neck and neck so it's a really great question.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#6 » by Jiminy Glick » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:27 am

The 1984 season was much more physical than the 2020 season. It is a much different game of basketball. 1984 Bird is the better shooter, scorer, passer, rebounder, and defender. I will go with Bird. Don't overrate 2020 LeBron for playing in a flag basketball league though 2020 LeBron would still be great in the 1984 season.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#7 » by Homer38 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:40 am

Jiminy Glick wrote:The 1984 season was much more physical than the 2020 season. It is a much different game of basketball. 1984 Bird is the better shooter, scorer, passer, rebounder, and defender. I will go with Bird. Don't overrate 2020 LeBron for playing in a flag basketball league though 2020 LeBron would still be great in the 1984 season.


The points per game and the offense rating in 1984 and 2020 are very similar, although the 3 point shooting was not a factor in 1984...
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#8 » by Jiminy Glick » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:26 pm

Homer38 wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:The 1984 season was much more physical than the 2020 season. It is a much different game of basketball. 1984 Bird is the better shooter, scorer, passer, rebounder, and defender. I will go with Bird. Don't overrate 2020 LeBron for playing in a flag basketball league though 2020 LeBron would still be great in the 1984 season.


The points per game and the offense rating in 1984 and 2020 are very similar, although the 3 point shooting was not a factor in 1984...


The league had 3 point shooting in 1984. eFG% was much lower in 1984 than in 2020. I don't care about the stats though for this argument you can tell it is a different type of game just by watching it. There was hand-checking in 1984, you have to have hand-checking in basketball.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#9 » by Homer38 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:40 pm

Jiminy Glick wrote:
Homer38 wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:The 1984 season was much more physical than the 2020 season. It is a much different game of basketball. 1984 Bird is the better shooter, scorer, passer, rebounder, and defender. I will go with Bird. Don't overrate 2020 LeBron for playing in a flag basketball league though 2020 LeBron would still be great in the 1984 season.


The points per game and the offense rating in 1984 and 2020 are very similar, although the 3 point shooting was not a factor in 1984...


The league had 3 point shooting in 1984. eFG% was much lower in 1984 than in 2020. I don't care about the stats though for this argument you can tell it is a different type of game just by watching it. There was hand-checking in 1984, you have to have hand-checking in basketball.



I hope you understand the big difference in volume of the 3 points between 1984 and 2020.This is a different game now because of the small ball,3 points not because that this is flag basketball now.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#10 » by Jiminy Glick » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:46 pm

Homer38 wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:
Homer38 wrote:
The points per game and the offense rating in 1984 and 2020 are very similar, although the 3 point shooting was not a factor in 1984...


The league had 3 point shooting in 1984. eFG% was much lower in 1984 than in 2020. I don't care about the stats though for this argument you can tell it is a different type of game just by watching it. There was hand-checking in 1984, you have to have hand-checking in basketball.



I hope you understand the big difference in volume of the 3 points between 1984 and 2020.This is a different game now because of the small ball,3 points not because that this is flag basketball now.


Yes people are shooting more 3's now. That is fine and it can be a good strategy. The league is extremely soft because hand-checking was banned.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#11 » by No-more-rings » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:03 pm

Bird by a small but clear amount. He faced all top 10 defenses in the playoffs including the top 2 defenses and killed them all, Lebron didn’t face any team in the top 10 in drtg. Considering Bird put up similar numbers against much tougher defensive competition makes his run better to me. This was also one of Bird’s better defensive seasons.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#12 » by ReddoverKobe » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:20 pm

Jiminy Glick wrote:
Homer38 wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:
The league had 3 point shooting in 1984. eFG% was much lower in 1984 than in 2020. I don't care about the stats though for this argument you can tell it is a different type of game just by watching it. There was hand-checking in 1984, you have to have hand-checking in basketball.



I hope you understand the big difference in volume of the 3 points between 1984 and 2020.This is a different game now because of the small ball,3 points not because that this is flag basketball now.


Yes people are shooting more 3's now. That is fine and it can be a good strategy. The league is extremely soft because hand-checking was banned.


Hand checking might be the most overrated argument for anything ever in basketball. I feel like its supposed to be some trump card to promote that game back in the day, when in fact its kind of laughable.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#13 » by Jiminy Glick » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:32 pm

ReddoverKobe wrote:
Jiminy Glick wrote:
Homer38 wrote:

I hope you understand the big difference in volume of the 3 points between 1984 and 2020.This is a different game now because of the small ball,3 points not because that this is flag basketball now.


Yes people are shooting more 3's now. That is fine and it can be a good strategy. The league is extremely soft because hand-checking was banned.


Hand checking might be the most overrated argument for anything ever in basketball. I feel like its supposed to be some trump card to promote that game back in the day, when in fact its kind of laughable.


You couldn't be more wrong. So you are not in favor of bring back hand-checking? Then you are not in favor of physical basketball and actual defense. Posts like these really sadden me because the game has been destroyed and people need to wake up.

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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#14 » by 70sFan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:49 pm

Bird was freaking good in that season. Might be my favorite version of Bird ever.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#15 » by magicman1978 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:52 pm

I think the lack of hand checking has enabled offenses to be more effective today, but I don't think hand checking was that prevalent in 1984. Just watch game 7 of the NBA finals compared to what LeBron dealt with in these finals.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#16 » by OdomFan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:53 pm

Lebron is the bigger, stronger, and faster athlete, but when it comes to Basketball skills I honestly give Bird the check mark. Better at shooting the ball, Just as good at passing the ball. Bron only has getting to the rim, rebounding and defense over Bird.

Bird could hit his target passes as well as Magic and any other elite play maker that's ever played the game, he never choked under pressure. He brought it every single time. Never tried to be buddies and recruit people to come play for Boston. Instead he came back the season after he lost and tried again with what he had to work with that the team front office put together for him.

Winning more championships in the process all the way through til the end of the 1980s. With that being said it really comes down to what each fan out there values most when choosing between these two. With Lebron you have a guy that can do whatever he wants in the paint because of his size, speed and Basketball IQ.

With Larry Bird you have a guy that could light your team up with his shooting ability, get everybody else involved with his passing, and play decent enough defense to not be a liability. If I was choosing between 1984 Bird and 2020 Lebron to have lead my team I'm going to go with Bird. He's younger than 2020 Lebron, and has many more years ahead of him of playing at a higher level.

Especially if you have 84 Bird in todays league. Of course it's no guarantee, but I'd bet good money that Birds career would last much longer if he played in the modern game that's less physical. and is geared more towards shooting threes. I think he'd mix in mid range shooting when ever he has a good look, and would do everything else just as he always did.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#17 » by The Master » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:17 pm

OdomFan wrote:Lebron is the bigger, stronger, and faster athlete, but when it comes to Basketball skills I honestly give Bird the check mark. Better at shooting the ball, Just as good at passing the ball. Bron only has getting to the rim, rebounding and defense over Bird.

LeBron, even in 2020, is better in scoring (his adjusted-to-era stats are still better), defending and playmaking than Bird '84.

The point is - Bird in '84 had one of his two seasons (another in '86) where he looked unstoppable in postseason no matter whom he played against, what was rare for him because of injuries and early career failures. Like there are historically few players who could score, create an offense, defend and rebound on similar level like Bird '84 and '86. That's why this poll is really close, because level of opposition he met was superior in comparison to Lakers 2020 run, so it's kinda guessing game if LeBron would be able to maintain his production from postseason against better oppositon. I believe so, but in some way I understand people not giving 35yo LeBron benefit of the doubt.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#18 » by OdomFan » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:22 pm

The Master wrote:
OdomFan wrote:Lebron is the bigger, stronger, and faster athlete, but when it comes to Basketball skills I honestly give Bird the check mark. Better at shooting the ball, Just as good at passing the ball. Bron only has getting to the rim, rebounding and defense over Bird.

LeBron, even in 2020, is better in scoring (his adjusted-to-era stats are still better), defending and playmaking than Bird '84.

The point is - Bird in '84 had one of his two seasons (another in '86) where he looked unstoppable in postseason no matter whom he played against, what was rare for him because of injuries and early career failures. Like there are historically few players who could score, create an offense, defend and rebound on similar level like Bird '84 and '86. That's why this poll is really close, because level of opposition he met was superior in comparison to Lakers 2020 run, so it's kinda guessing game if LeBron would be able to maintain his production from postseason against better opposition. I believe so, but in some way I understand people not giving 35yo LeBron benefit of the doubt.

2020 Lebron (and any other year of him) is only better at driving and scoring under the rim than Larry Bird. Bird shooting ability is far better anywhere else. The numbers point this out, and so does simply watching both men play throughout the respective seasons the topic is about.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#19 » by SNPA » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:32 pm

OdomFan wrote:
The Master wrote:
OdomFan wrote:Lebron is the bigger, stronger, and faster athlete, but when it comes to Basketball skills I honestly give Bird the check mark. Better at shooting the ball, Just as good at passing the ball. Bron only has getting to the rim, rebounding and defense over Bird.

LeBron, even in 2020, is better in scoring (his adjusted-to-era stats are still better), defending and playmaking than Bird '84.

The point is - Bird in '84 had one of his two seasons (another in '86) where he looked unstoppable in postseason no matter whom he played against, what was rare for him because of injuries and early career failures. Like there are historically few players who could score, create an offense, defend and rebound on similar level like Bird '84 and '86. That's why this poll is really close, because level of opposition he met was superior in comparison to Lakers 2020 run, so it's kinda guessing game if LeBron would be able to maintain his production from postseason against better opposition. I believe so, but in some way I understand people not giving 35yo LeBron benefit of the doubt.

2020 Lebron (and any other year of him) is only better at driving and scoring under the rim than Larry Bird. Bird shooting ability is far better anywhere else. The numbers point this out, and so does simply watching both men play throughout the respective seasons the topic is about.


Just a note, LeBron has never been a better rebounder than Bird at any point.
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Re: 1984 Larry Bird vs 2020 Lebron James 

Post#20 » by The Master » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:42 pm

SNPA wrote:Just a note, LeBron has never been a better rebounder than Bird at any point.

LeBron this year in playoffs had higher TRB% and rebounds/100 possessions than Bird at any point of his career in postseason. I don't think it is relevant though.
OdomFan wrote:2020 Lebron (and any other year of him) is only better at driving and scoring under the rim than Larry Bird. Bird shooting ability is far better anywhere else. The numbers point this out, and so does simply watching both men play throughout the respective seasons the topic is about.
And thanks to being 'only better at driving and scoring under the rim' - LeBron was stastically better scorer in their respective seasons as well as in their careers. I thought that information will follow-up your post well. ;)

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