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  #1  
Old 02-18-2014, 04:00 PM
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Default Bill Russell's Mt. Rushmore response

James needs to learn a bit of NBA history. I don't think he cracks the Top 50 YET, let alone the top 4. Mr. Russell had this to say:

“Hey, thank you for leaving me off your Mount Rushmore. I’m glad you did. Basketball is a team game, it’s not for individual honors. I won back-to-back state championships in high school, back-to-back NCAA championships in college. I won an NBA championship my first year in the league, an NBA championship in my last year, and NINE in between. That, Mr. James, is etched in stone.”

Response, Lebron?
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2014, 04:46 PM
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Default Most Valuable Player?

The same year Oscar Robertson averaged a triple double, Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50 points and 27 rebounds per game. Who was the league MVP that year?
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bocabirdman View Post
James needs to learn a bit of NBA history. I don't think he cracks the Top 50 YET, let alone the top 4. Mr. Russell had this to say:

“Hey, thank you for leaving me off your Mount Rushmore. I’m glad you did. Basketball is a team game, it’s not for individual honors. I won back-to-back state championships in high school, back-to-back NCAA championships in college. I won an NBA championship my first year in the league, an NBA championship in my last year, and NINE in between. That, Mr. James, is etched in stone.”

Response, Lebron?
Lebron not in the top 50? Seriously? He is in any serious top 10 already. And it's hard to fault his choices -- Bird Magic Jordan and Oscar. I would never discount Russell's greatness I am a huge fan, but he did play in a league with very few teams and the Celtics were far more sophisticated about selecting talent than anyone else back then, so it's hard to compare his feats to those of players who played later.
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2014, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Lebron not in the top 50? Seriously? He is in any serious top 10 already. And it's hard to fault his choices -- Bird Magic Jordan and Oscar. I would never discount Russell's greatness I am a huge fan, but he did play in a league with very few teams and the Celtics were far more sophisticated about selecting talent than anyone else back then, so it's hard to compare his feats to those of players who played later.
Not necessarily disagreeing with you but if you put a premium on big men, Lebron could be left out of a top 10. In no particular order:
Jordan
Wilt
Kareem
Hakeem
Duncan
D Robinson
Bird
Magic
Oscar
Kobe
Shaq
Russell

I did like Russell's comment and Lebron on more than one occasion has put his foot in his mouth
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:34 AM
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I may be in the minority here, I think he is being a bitter old man because he was left off Lebrons list. He says it is a team sport then adds I won this and I won that and I I I. I think he is one of the greatest ever just don't say it is a team sport then add all the I I I"s in there.

On a basketball note I am rooting for my favorite player Alonzo Mourning to make the HOF this year. If not for his kidney problems he would have been in the top 20 of all-time greats. He is #1 in my book.
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2014, 10:46 AM
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Lebron is a great ball player but has no chance at Top 4 in the history of the game. Hell, Elvin Hayes would have eaten Lebron's lunch and had him thanking E for doing so. Just ask Lew Alcindor. Hayes out played him in the '68 Houston/UCLA game. Also, any Top 4 that doesn't include Wilt Chamberlain is just plain silly.

higher.jpg

This sky hook block-to-be was at the end of Wilt's career. The only reason he was a terrible free throw shooter is that they changed the rules to keep him from dunking them.

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  #7  
Old 02-20-2014, 01:40 PM
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I may be in the minority here, I think he is being a bitter old man because he was left off Lebrons list. He says it is a team sport then adds I won this and I won that and I I I. I think he is one of the greatest ever just don't say it is a team sport then add all the I I I"s in there.

On a basketball note I am rooting for my favorite player Alonzo Mourning to make the HOF this year. If not for his kidney problems he would have been in the top 20 of all-time greats. He is #1 in my book.
Even in a team sport there are players that make the team and everyone around them better. When I was watching a lot of basketball it was Bird, Johnson and Jordan.

Bird and Jordan both led their teams to Playoff wins when they weren't at their best, playing a totally different game than usual.
Johnson came of the bench as a rookie in the finals
"The Lakers compiled a 60–22 record in the regular season and reached the 1980 NBA Finals,[37] in which they faced the Philadelphia 76ers, who were led by forward Julius Erving. The Lakers took a 3–2 lead in the series, but Abdul-Jabbar, who averaged 33 points a game in the series,[38] sprained his ankle in Game 5 and could not play in Game 6.[35] Paul Westhead decided to start Johnson at center in Game 6; Johnson recorded 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals in a 123–107 win, while playing guard, forward, and center at different times during the game.[35] Johnson became the only rookie to win the NBA Finals MVP award,[35] and his clutch performance is still regarded as one of the finest in NBA history.[

Russell is in the same sort of group. I didn't see him play, but dad did. Plus we have film from then.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40iKnaUjz_w

At I think 2:58 is the end of the play where he went full court to block a fast break layup.

Russell and Chamberlain I think were both modern players playing well ahead of their time. It's hard to say how they'd do today except that they'd still be among the best.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2iR470UVh4

So there's a few pretty solid contenders for top 5.
Many of the other players mentioned would fill out a top 10 pretty easily, and I'd include Dr J too.

I just don't see Lebron being that good yet. He's a great player, but hasn't really shown much in the way of going beyond himself and finding a way to win even when his typical style of play isn't working. The players like Bird, Johnson, Jordan, etc also played well against each other. And the video above shows how Russell and Chamberlain played against each other. Lebron has been great against ???? He's pretty much one of the only current players even mentioned as a possible top 10.
I do see top 50, maybe top 25.


Maybe a few years from now I'll see it differently, but not yet.

Steve B
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:18 PM
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James isn't even clearly the best forward let alone a top 4 of all time all positions; hey LJ, ever heard of Elgin Baylor or Karl Malone? As for Mt. Rushmore, his omitting at least one of Russell, Chamberlain or Abdul-Jabbar is just plain ignorant.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:17 PM
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Sorry, Elvin Hayes is not anywhere near as good as LeBron and I grew up watching Big E in D C.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:18 PM
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Not necessarily disagreeing with you but if you put a premium on big men, Lebron could be left out of a top 10. In no particular order:
Jordan
Wilt
Kareem
Hakeem
Duncan
D Robinson
Bird
Magic
Oscar
Kobe
Shaq
Russell

I did like Russell's comment and Lebron on more than one occasion has put his foot in his mouth
David Robinson over LeBron? Cmon.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:20 PM
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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba...-around-great/
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:04 PM
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Sorry, Elvin Hayes is not anywhere near as good as LeBron and I grew up watching Big E in D C.
I guess we will just disagree. I was in Maryland also. You might wanna check career stats though.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:59 PM
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I guess we will just disagree. I was in Maryland also. You might wanna check career stats though.
Was Elvin Hayes better than Mike Schmidt?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:03 PM
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Was Elvin Hayes better than Mike Schmidt?
On defense, it's a wash. On offense I give the edge to Schmidt, but of course, he uses a bat to get it done.

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Old 02-21-2014, 07:15 PM
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I guess we will just disagree. I was in Maryland also. You might wanna check career stats though.
I'm not taking anything away from Elvin although he had a marked tendency to disappear in the fourth quarter. I loved him and Unseld and the rest of those teams. But he does not belong in the conversation among the very few best players ever, James does even mid-career. Look at the prices of Elvin's rookie card, the hobby knows how to rate him.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:18 PM
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ps Alcindor had a severely injured eye in that game. Lew destroyed him in the rematch.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:31 PM
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I'm not taking anything away from Elvin although he had a marked tendency to disappear in the fourth quarter. I loved him and Unseld and the rest of those teams. But he does not belong in the conversation among the very few best players ever, James does even mid-career. Look at the prices of Elvin's rookie card, the hobby knows how to rate him.
Truly, my statement was less pro-Hayes and more anti-James. James rebounds horribly for a man of his size and ability. He can score and he can jump. That means he can create separation and get to the ball . He should be doing a Double double-double () 20 pts. and 20 rebounds every night. I live down here in Florida. I see him do the fourth quarter fade too often.

If you watch, and I mean REALLY watch him, game-after game, he is brilliant in spurts but seldom brilliant for an entire game. Granted, the Heat do not NEED him to be brilliant for 40 minutes.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:00 PM
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7.7 boards per game since coming to Miami, that seems decent, granted it is not the best phase of his game.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:27 PM
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7.7 boards per game since coming to Miami, that seems decent, granted it is not the best phase of his game.
I was curious so I ran some of his numbers.

He is 3rd in the League in Points/Game
He is 9th in Assists/Game
He is tied for 22nd in Steals
He is 38th in Rebounding
He is 3rd in Turn Overs
He blocks one shot every three games.
He grabs one Offensive Rebound a game

Really I was surprised to see how one dimensional he is. He scores first and passes a bit when he is double-teamed. Aside from that he is pedestrian.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:36 PM
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2003-04 NBA All-Rookie (1st)
2004-05 NBA All-NBA (2nd)
2005-06 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2006-07 NBA All-NBA (2nd)
2007-08 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2008-09 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2008-09 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2009-10 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2009-10 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2010-11 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2010-11 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2011-12 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2011-12 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2012-13 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2012-13 NBA All-NBA (1st)

If that's pedestrian, I'll take it.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:29 PM
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2003-04 NBA All-Rookie (1st)
2004-05 NBA All-NBA (2nd)
2005-06 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2006-07 NBA All-NBA (2nd)
2007-08 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2008-09 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2008-09 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2009-10 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2009-10 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2010-11 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2010-11 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2011-12 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2011-12 NBA All-NBA (1st)
2012-13 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
2012-13 NBA All-NBA (1st)

If that's pedestrian, I'll take it.
Impressive as those honors are, we both know that they don't get him on Mt. Rushmore. I don't have the gumption to get the numbers but there are dozens of similarly impressive careers that outshine James. In addition, I listed statistics. Does two top tens warrant consideration for the greatest of all time? The honors you cite are voted on, in a lot of cases being awarded on past reputations. Do you think Brooks Robinson deserved the Gold Gloves numbers 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 when he was in his mid to late thirties? The statistics say no, but he was Brooksie.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:08 AM
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ps Alcindor had a severely injured eye in that game. Lew destroyed him in the rematch.
Alcindor was wearing a patch on his eye. That had to affect his depth perception. When UCLA and Houston met later in the NCAA's it was all Alcindor. I watched both games and remember them fairly well.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:53 AM
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Barry, you and I will take Alcindor/Jabbar and LeBron, Mike will take Hayes and David Robinson, and we'll go from there.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:58 AM
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Impressive as those honors are, we both know that they don't get him on Mt. Rushmore. I don't have the gumption to get the numbers but there are dozens of similarly impressive careers that outshine James. In addition, I listed statistics. Does two top tens warrant consideration for the greatest of all time? The honors you cite are voted on, in a lot of cases being awarded on past reputations. Do you think Brooks Robinson deserved the Gold Gloves numbers 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 when he was in his mid to late thirties? The statistics say no, but he was Brooksie.
So now the argument is that he didn't deserve all those honors? At age 29 I somehow don't think they are based on past reputation.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:42 AM
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I have no skin in this game but

I would take LeBron over Manute Bol in an alley fight after the game.

But if you let me have Muggsy Bogues too, LeBron doesn't stand a chance.

He wouldn't know which end to defend.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:19 PM
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Barry, you and I will take Alcindor/Jabbar and LeBron, Mike will take Hayes and David Robinson, and we'll go from there.
I happen to think Elvin Hayes was a sensational player, but I do agree our guys would kick ass!
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:28 PM
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Barry, you and I will take Alcindor/Jabbar and LeBron, Mike will take Hayes and David Robinson, and we'll go from there.
I had nothing to do with Robinson... If you are gonna stick me with who I brought into the conversation, it would be E and Wilt. I posted the sky hook block above..... And I wouldn't miss if I were your guys...they wouldn't sniff a rebound.

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Old 02-22-2014, 01:52 PM
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One could do worse than Wilt. I would take Kareem over him, but it's hard to go wrong either way if you're taking one to start your team.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:21 PM
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Bill Russell to start my team, greatest north american team player ever. After Red retired he said there`s only one person that can coach and keep Russell motivated , he wins the last 2 championships as player coach at age 37 I think. Since we brought up the 2 on 2 match ups I`d go with Magic and Hakeem against anyone.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:04 PM
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Bill Russell to start my team, greatest north american team player ever. After Red retired he said there`s only one person that can coach and keep Russell motivated , he wins the last 2 championships as player coach at age 37 I think. Since we brought up the 2 on 2 match ups I`d go with Magic and Hakeem against anyone.
Hakeem was a straight beast...I'd take him over LeBron any day. Not to knock LeBron because the dude is great, but something tells me that we've already seen his best basketball...it looks like Durant is starting to take over the top spot in the NBA.

As for Russell's comments...he was making a point to LeBron. He was simply putting him in his place. I mean, sure LJ has been the best player in the league for a while now, but does that automatically put him atop the best of all time? Doubt it. Could be eventually be considered that...absolutely. One thing that I've learned over time is that a lot of people will favor what they see in front of them versus players that have been retired for some time. I believe I would give LJ a lot more credit if he would have continued to play for Cleveland and eventually won one or more championships there. I just don't believe LJ is much of a leader. I don't completely blame him for running away from Cleveland, and he did earn those two championships, but I'm not raising the LJ flag simply because he built his own team of all-stars to get to that point...weak if you ask me. If he was a leader, he would have stayed put or built a team around him instead of doing it the way he did. Great players make players around them better...LJ doesn't really do that IMO.

As far as people trying to compare him to Jordan...pure blasphemy
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:04 AM
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Let's wait till Lebron actually finishes his career before we start dissecting his place in the all time greats of basketball. He's on the path to greatness given what he's already done - but, his career isnt complete. it's already difficult comparing players from different eras - it's even more difficult when comparing players who are only mid way through their careers to those who have retired a long time ago and whose careers are etched in nba lore.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:38 PM
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Let's wait till Lebron actually finishes his career before we start dissecting his place in the all time greats of basketball. He's on the path to greatness given what he's already done - but, his career isnt complete. it's already difficult comparing players from different eras - it's even more difficult when comparing players who are only mid way through their careers to those who have retired a long time ago and whose careers are etched in nba lore.
That's the main reason I have the waffling "maybe someday but not yet" stuff in my comment.

Maybe he'll become a better sort of player, one who can win with a good but not great group around him. Maybe not. Maybe he gets better and keeps up with being 3rd in ppg or lasts a long time getting into the top 5 in a lot of categories.

Maybe not.

Maybe my impression will change after a few more years.

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Old 02-23-2014, 06:36 PM
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Who has won champrionships consistently without other great players? Not Russell. Not Wilt. Not Kareem. Not Magic. Not Jordan. Not Bird. Not Oscar. It's hardly an argument against LeBron that Cleveland was not terribly successful. How successful were Oscar's teams until he played with Kareem? How successful were Kareem's Lakers before Magic came on the scene? Wilt usually lost as a Warrior/76er, but is anyone really saying Wilt is not in the very few best players ever? Russell had Cousy and Havlicek and numerous other HOFers, and played against a much smaller league besides. Jordan didn't win for quite a few years, until Pippen. Specious argument.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:10 PM
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As far as people trying to compare him to Jordan...pure blasphemy
True...he needs to learn to push off better.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:19 PM
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True...he needs to learn to push off better.

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Old 02-23-2014, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Who has won champrionships consistently without other great players? Not Russell. Not Wilt. Not Kareem. Not Magic. Not Jordan. Not Bird. Not Oscar. It's hardly an argument against LeBron that Cleveland was not terribly successful. How successful were Oscar's teams until he played with Kareem? How successful were Kareem's Lakers before Magic came on the scene? Wilt usually lost as a Warrior/76er, but is anyone really saying Wilt is not in the very few best players ever? Russell had Cousy and Havlicek and numerous other HOFers, and played against a much smaller league besides. Jordan didn't win for quite a few years, until Pippen. Specious argument.
And how did Pippen do without Jordan? Or for that matter the Celtics without Bird or the lakers without Magic?

All three of those guys made a team of very good players great. One interesting thing is that the three main players of each team have a lot of career overlap. That makes it hard to compare before/after without the problem of someone being at the end of a career.
The closest I can get is Parrish. About a .500 shooter before Bird, And above .540 with Bird.
Of course the opposite argument holds, Bird might not have been as good without Parrish and McHale.

Miamis two main players besides James have been a bit less productive since James arrived.

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Old 02-23-2014, 08:50 PM
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And how did Pippen do without Jordan? Or for that matter the Celtics without Bird or the lakers without Magic?

All three of those guys made a team of very good players great. One interesting thing is that the three main players of each team have a lot of career overlap. That makes it hard to compare before/after without the problem of someone being at the end of a career.
The closest I can get is Parrish. About a .500 shooter before Bird, And above .540 with Bird.
Of course the opposite argument holds, Bird might not have been as good without Parrish and McHale.

Miamis two main players besides James have been a bit less productive since James arrived.

Steve B
The Lakers a team of "very good" players? I think Kareem might take offense to that characterization. McHale was also a great player in his own right, well beyond "very good" in my opinion. Same with Pippen. My point is even the very greatest players never won consistently without at least one other first tier HOF type player as their running mate. LeBron's Cleveland squad was pathetic, by contrast, so it's hardly a knock on him that he didn't win big there.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:20 PM
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That's an excellent point.

My comment wasn't a knock against the other excellent players, just a recognition that aside from Kareem they weren't quite the players the top stars were. And I obviously had it wrong with the Lakers. It was more Kareem supported by Johnson, even if it didn't seem that way at the time.

When I looked at the teams stats that was one thing that stood out. Most of the great players had at least one other great player alongside them and often with a lot of career overlap. Parrish was the only one I found with enough time before and after Bird to make any comparison. Kareem of course was fantastic for a long time.

I guess the question is how good would the groups of players been individually? The Kareem/Johnson pair is interesting, When Kareem retired Johnsons assists dropped, but his scoring went up. And Kareem was very consistent, almost no difference with or without Johnson.
Bird/McHale have so much overlap they pretty much can't be separated.
Jordan/Pippen also have a lot of overlap.

Lebron did have a few guys around him who could have been that supporting player, but none of them really became consistent.

I may have to rethink some things. I'm not sure if Lebron is better than I thought because he's been great without consistent support, or if he's what I think, because he hasn't made that support consistent. He's certainly been great in Miami with a couple great players around him.
And maybe I need to rethink just how good some of the guys I thought of more as a supporting cast really were.

I'd still call it premature to put him in the top 5 all time. That's a pretty crowded space.

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:20 PM
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Yeah I would not put Lebron top 5 yet either. Top 10 though, probably. I understand why people don't like him and are biased against him, but he is a wonderful, dominant, extremely versatile player.

These things are really hard to sort out, in part because to an extent it's subjective and in part because you can't do any controlled experiments like separate Jordan from Pippen or Bird from McHale and hold all else equal. But there is clear support for the one all-time great alone can't win regularly -- Oscar, for one. Wilt, for another, yeah Greer was good as were other 76ers but they weren't Cousy and Havlicek (Russell's mates) and they weren't West and Baylor (with whom he won more). To me, Lebron at Cleveland is analogous to Oscar with the Royals.

PS Most probably would not agree, but to me, a Celtics fan, Kareem is the best center ever.
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