Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Kobe8Fan on Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:58 pm

Pulling away from his peers, LeBron James' competition is becoming history

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Give Charles Barkley credit. He's trying to make an argument when other candidates won't even bother.

LeBron James' brilliance has sucked the drama out of the NBA's MVP debate, and the only real race is to see who can be first to text him congratulations after he wins the award again.

Barkley favors San Antonio's Tony Parker for MVP if the Spurs finish with the league's best record, rejecting the notion that best player has to mean the most valuable one. Yet make no mistake, Barkley is no James hater.

In fact, give the Hall of Famer and TNT analyst props for something else: He's willing to make the Michael Jordan comparison that scares off so many others.

"They've got to get off saying it's not even close, because I think it is close," Barkley said.

And if James keeps this up, it's only going to get closer.

Pulling away from his peers, James' only competition will soon — if it's not already — be history. He's averaging 27.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists for a team that won its final 12 games in February, when he shot a ridiculous 64.1 percent from the field. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra used the term "video game numbers" after James had 40 points and 16 assists against Sacramento on Wednesday, but video games become boring once they're this easy.

Perhaps because of Jordan's popularity or his currently lopsided advantage in championships, many aren't willing to consider what Barkley believes.

"It's unfair to compare eras," is the common answer from those who won't touch the topic, such as Philadelphia coach Doug Collins, who coached Jordan twice and whose 76ers were just beaten by James' triple-double last week.

"I just think you can never compare a 1996 BMW to a 2013 BMW. Different technologies, they all look sleek and look fast, but it's just different," said Shaquille O'Neal, Barkley's TNT teammate.

Those who aren't ready to give James his due usually point to his lone title — six-time champion Jordan among them. Sometimes the argument is more laughable, such as the one from former Seattle guard Gary Payton, who argued that James wouldn't have been as effective during his era because players would have pushed him around more.

"You can't guard him now because it seems like you can't put your hands on him. You know what I'm saying?" Payton said during the All-Star break. "With LeBron, if somebody can hand check him and muscle him, I still think it could be the same. It's a lot different when somebody can hand-check you and control you and be stronger than you on the block or whatever and not let you go anywhere.

"It's a little bit different, as being free and being a freak of nature and his body that he has right now, nobody can guard him, you know what I'm saying? So right now, if he could come back in our era and we could hand check him and guard him and bigger guys get on him and when he gets to the bucket we hit him and knock him like (Bill) Laimbeer, like the Boston Celtic days, it'd be a little bit different. I guarantee you it would be. But he's still great, he's still a great basketball player and like I said he's playing in a great era because he can get to the bucket whenever he feels like it."


James is listed at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds — though he's called himself over 260. Who exactly are these people that were going to outmuscle him?

James is quicker than most guards and stronger than just about every big man. He can play or defend all five positions, and even the 6-6 Jordan couldn't match all James' physical tools.

"I don't think his physical advantages were as great as LeBron is," Barkley said.

Barkley even draws a comparison between James and Wilt Chamberlain, another player who athletically just blew away the competition. Nobody will ever put up the kind of stats the 7-1 Chamberlain did — he averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds one season — but Barkley sees a similarity.

"I never seen Wilt play in person, but he was somebody who was just so physically better than everybody else," Barkley said. "Wilt probably never got his credit because the Celtics had much better teams, but like, the guy averaged 50 points and 30 rebounds in a year. You're like ... that's crazy. LeBron is so much physically bigger and better than everyone else, like, Wilt's the only other person you would think is in that conversation."

Kevin Durant might win a fourth straight scoring title, but after the Heat have beaten Oklahoma City six straight times dating to the NBA Finals and have a better record, it would be awfully difficult to pick him over James as the league's MVP. Parker's team has had the best record for a while even while having to play so often without either Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili, but in typical Spurs fashion, he insists he's more interested in team success than individual recognition. Chris Paul, who has turned the Clippers from longtime laughingstock into a legitimate contender, seems more of a James cheerleader than MVP threat.

"What Bron is doing right now is unbelievable, I mean unbelievable," Paul said. "The way he's playing, the confidence that he's playing with, and the biggest thing about LeBron is he's doing it on both ends. Obviously I'm a little biased because that's like my best friend, but he's playing great basketball right now."

James arrived at last month's All-Star weekend after a stretch where he scored more than 30 points and shot better than 60 percent in six straight games, an NBA first. Yet the weekend still belonged just as much to Jordan, who turned 50 on the day of the game and who, to believe some players, could still play in the league now.

Jordan made news that weekend when he told NBA TV in a televised special that he would pick Kobe Bryant over James because of Bryant's five titles. James downplayed the remarks and Barkley practically dismissed them.

"I think that's Michael taking shots at him, because I think, listen, as great as Kobe has been, I've never thought he was as good as Michael Jordan," Barkley said. "But this guy, and everybody wants to talk — I don't know how many rings he's going to win, nobody knows that. If this guy can win five or six rings, I think that's a very legitimate contest.

"I mean this guy, man, think about it. He can guard anybody. A couple of years ago he took Derrick Rose, the MVP, out of a playoff series. I mean, that was amazing, and the guy gets 30 points, let's say 20ish a night, eight, nine rebounds. He's getting eight, nine assists, that's amazing."

James can't get around the rings argument, though, largely because his talent — and his bolting Cleveland to build a potential powerhouse in Miami — mandate him winning many. When Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen finally one won with Boston in 2008, or Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd finally got theirs by beating the Heat in 2011, it seemed that was all they needed to clinch what were already Hall of Fame resumes.

But for James, winning one last year only led to the questions about when he'd win another, the kind of expectations O'Neal faced once he finally broke through eight years into his career.

"It's very unfair but it was life and for me it was nothing but motivation," O'Neal said.

The Heat will surge into springtime with a great shot at another one, and after next season James can decide if he wants to keep chasing championships in Miami or go somewhere else to continue his quest.

Is he Jordan? No, not yet.

Maybe not ever.

But check back when his fingers are a little more filled up.

"If this guy can win five or six championships, I think it will squash all those rumors, all those gripes," Barkley said. "Because this guy, I've never seen anything like him."


http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/03/0 ... z2MO3ME5ut
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Jazzygirl205 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:02 pm

Perhaps because of Jordan's popularity or his currently lopsided advantage in championships, many aren't willing to consider what Barkley believes.


Now where the hell was this argument for Kobe Bryant?
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:05 pm

More LBJ love. Shocking. When I get old I am going to regret not being part of the swallow job the media has done on the greatest ever, ever, ever to do it in LBJ. I am happy to see Barkley get off his knees for MJ and give someone else a turn though. Way to go Sir Charles :jam2: hmm a better one would be :bow: yes headbowing for the win.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby revgen on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:06 pm

I agree with Payton. Imagine Ron Artest or Anthony Mason being allowed to put a hand on him at the top of the key where he typically likes to operate. He wouldn't be nearly as effective.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Jazzygirl205 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:18 pm

puffyusaf#2 wrote:More LBJ love. Shocking. When I get old I am going to regret not being part of the swallow job the media has done on the greatest ever, ever, ever to do it in LBJ. I am happy to see Barkley get off his knees for MJ and give someone else a turn though. Way to go Sir Charles :jam2: hmm a better one would be :bow: yes headbowing for the win.


Well, since MJ's reputation and legacy has been "UNTOUCHABLE" to the point if you mentioned anyone near his greatness no matter what kind of career they had people made sure to let you know how amazingly great he was and that it's blasphemy for anyone to even consider the thought of even not only surpassing him or even "matching" him in any category, I'm surprised.

Now MJ's legacy is all of a sudden irrelevant and touchable, some even consider him a grumpy old bitter man who's jealous. It's just so shocking to see the change of heart of so many MJ loyalist. Have people no loyalty anymore?
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:05 pm

^ON a serious note. MJ's legacy of untouchable has deminished with the watered down version of media we have today. Back in the day in Hollywood a star could be made by simply having the right connections. That is how the NBA is today. There are 3 truly celebrated players in the NBA through NBA TV and ESPN (in my opinion) that is Lebron, Griffin and KD. There are some lesser celebrated players but those 3 are the front runners for the "machine." Just like in Hollywood back in the day, if these writers don't support the status quo then they are gone for another person. Writers are famous for being outspoken and in your face but really they are nothing more than ambulance chasing lawyers. The only thing they are trying to do is to support the celebrity status. I watched Sportnation the other day after the Wolves game where Kobe was dunking on everything. They had the segment of "something you didn't see" and the #8 thing was rubio getting by Kobe not one of their little highlights included the amazing shots Kobe hit. Actually a dunk Lebron did in warm-ups was like #3 I think. The point is, the media has been bought and they are all falling in line. Off the top of my head there is only one writer who I think speaks his mind and that's Woj. I am sure there are more but as soon as they get to the next level they all fall in line. MJ has fallen because he has just as much time as an owner/manager as he did as a player. The fans today don't know him like they do Lebron. Pretty soon you will see MJ's teammates start getting a lot more credit which I am sure Pippen will finally be happy cause he has been vastly underrated because of the MJ GOAT train.
For what it's worth, the Lakers also clinched the Pacific Division, an achievement Bryant dismissed by saying "We don't hang divisions." No, only the big NBA championship banners are considered wall-worthy for the Lakers.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Weezy on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:54 pm

Look, LeBron is great, but Payton is right IMO. LeBron is able to gather a lot of steam from the perimeter to get all those layups and dunks because you literally cannot touch him or anyone else out there to stop their momentum. Add in LeBron's size and speed and not being able to touch him on the perimeter makes him almost impossible to stop on layups. Put him in a hand checking allowed era with the men that played in Payton's era, he doesn't get those as easy. He'd still be great, just not AS easily successful.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby The Rock on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:58 pm

Lebron is milking the hell out of the spacing advantage, hes better than 99% of the league in 1 on 1 situations obviously but when he draws the 2nd or 3rd defender there are enough shot makers around him, thats what it basically comes down to. Look at the amount of 6'4 to 6'8 shooters that Miami have they built that roster around Lebron's strengths and to take advantage of today's rules and their Center (Chris Bosh) can make a 20 foot jumper or even 3 pointers (as we saw in Game 7 last yr vs Boston, he made 2 huge 3s late in the 4th Q)
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby JSM on Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:08 pm

GP is right. I'd be willing to bet the majority of the players from the 80s/90s would agree, as long as they aren't on ESPN's payroll. Would've loved to see Rodman destroy him on a mental and physical level.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Maluco Beleza on Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:11 pm

i hate this myth that there isn't any hand checking anymore.

as if if u even get touched its a foul and that is completely bs.

goes for both Kobe and LBJ

just the old timers thinking they played in a tougher era which is also BS
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:35 pm

Nope, if there was hand-checking, LeBron and Wade would be much slower to the basket, with less than half as many free-throws. The problem is inconsistency for them and KD to everyone else. Kobe gets hacked to death, sometimes never going to the line in a game, while they feast at the free throw line. And that's the thing about the "no hand checking" rule in the new NBA. It's not really that there's no hand-checking, it's that some marquee players are allowed to get away with everything, on both ends, while everyone else has to keep their hands to themselves on one end and get molested on the other. Just like the US, the difference between the favored ones and everyone else is getting bigger.

What's funny is that MJ, in one of the recent articles about him, gets angry whenever anyone mentions that he was favored by the refs. But he was. He got calls on the road in the playoffs, that most guys never dream of getting. It's true that early in his career he couldn't buy a call, which is why the Pistons were allowed to beat up on him a la the "Jordan Rules". But in 91 that changed, probably due to his huge popularity, and the Bulls got through. The Pistons left the court after that series, refusing to talk to anyone or shake hands. But if you hear those guys talk about that series, they'll claim that they weren't allowed to "play defense" against MJ the way they were accustomed to in the past. His favoritism changed everything, and the titles began.

My point is not to take away from MJ's legacy, who in my mind is the greatest ever, but to point out that it's hard to look at these guys objectively, and say who's the greatest ever, and who would have done better or worse in a certain era. LeBron is heavily favored by the league, but that's not his fault. He still competes every night. Kobe was the league Golden Boy until the rape charge, and then the favoritism disappeared in the 04 Finals. For good.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Congo Cash on Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:38 pm

Imagine LeBron being guarded by the likes of Charles Oakley or Bruce Bowen...
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Jazzygirl205 on Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:47 pm

puffyusaf#2 wrote:^ON a serious note. MJ's legacy of untouchable has deminished with the watered down version of media we have today. Back in the day in Hollywood a star could be made by simply having the right connections. That is how the NBA is today. There are 3 truly celebrated players in the NBA through NBA TV and ESPN (in my opinion) that is Lebron, Griffin and KD. There are some lesser celebrated players but those 3 are the front runners for the "machine." Just like in Hollywood back in the day, if these writers don't support the status quo then they are gone for another person. Writers are famous for being outspoken and in your face but really they are nothing more than ambulance chasing lawyers. The only thing they are trying to do is to support the celebrity status. I watched Sportnation the other day after the Wolves game where Kobe was dunking on everything. They had the segment of "something you didn't see" and the #8 thing was rubio getting by Kobe not one of their little highlights included the amazing shots Kobe hit. Actually a dunk Lebron did in warm-ups was like #3 I think. The point is, the media has been bought and they are all falling in line. Off the top of my head there is only one writer who I think speaks his mind and that's Woj. I am sure there are more but as soon as they get to the next level they all fall in line. MJ has fallen because he has just as much time as an owner/manager as he did as a player. The fans today don't know him like they do Lebron. Pretty soon you will see MJ's teammates start getting a lot more credit which I am sure Pippen will finally be happy cause he has been vastly underrated because of the MJ GOAT train.


Very good points, I totally agree.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Rooscooter on Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:00 pm

Guys.... this is kind of petty isn't it? LeBron would be fantastic in any "era". I've watched a few of them and I've never seen anyone even near his combination of speed, size, strength and skill.

Would the defense of the past era's change the way he played?..... duh! Would Kobe be able to do what he's done for a decade and a half? Not the same way.... that much I can say with confidence.

LeBron has a chance to build a legacy that is beyond anyone IMO. It's not a big chance but it's a chance. He seems to get it now and has the help he needs to build it. After all the guys he's being compared to had great to very great supporting casts as well.

If you pin me down I'd have to say that Kobe is the best pure scorer I've ever seen, Jordan the most dominant non-center ever and LeBron the most well rounded player..... each different and yet a lot alike. LeBron lacks some of the drive of Kobe and Jordan but he's closer now than he was a few years ago..... so he may still grow in that respect.

As for comparing "eras"..... what would all 3 do in 70's ABA?...... :man10:

As for Payton and Barkley..... they seem a little bitter and...... well petty.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Maluco Beleza on Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:10 pm

Thank You Roos :bow:

these guys dont get the same way they discredit Lebron
is the same way others discredit Kobe and they get mad about it.

Kobe and Lebron would dominate any damn era period
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby baller4life on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:07 am

Look, LeBron is already an all time great. I saw him in person, no one in the league can compare to him physicaly, his efficiency is mind blowing but then again maybe im little biased since I followed Kobes carrer since the 98 all star game, what im trying to say is that the media is way overreacting with everything LeBron James related and how he was already MJ level and Kobe Bryant is not even in the discussion. Thats pure disrespect and it just ugly. Look MJ has 6 rings and 6 fmvps with no lose in the finals, Kobe Bryant went 7 times to the finals The last 13 years. I have never heard about that 30+ pts on 60% stat untill LeBron, i mean what exactly is this? Kobe averaged 50+ ppg on 50+% in 5 games, averaged 40 for month 2 or 3 times, so what?
LeBron will have his place in history lets debate that after he retire. Putting him ahead of Jordan and Kobe right now is a no no in my eyes.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby therealdeal on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:36 am

The main difference is that LeBron wouldn't be able to get to the rim in the 90s or even the time of our 3 peat. Let alone any time period before that.

And :man10: at anyone thinking today's defense on the perimeter is in any way related to the defense of old. Seriously it's not even in the same stratosphere. I don't have to tear down LeBron to build up Kobe in that regard, I'm tearing them both down. Neither of them would get to the rim as easily. A 34 year old Kobe wouldn't be as effective.

The difference is when Kobe was 28 he could consistently attack from any spot on the floor offensively. LeBron can't yet. His jump shot is much better, but it's not nearly on the same level as a Kobe or a Jordan. Offensively he is BUILT off of getting to the basket. He'd be able to do it in any era given his size and speed advantage, not to mention leaping ability, over everybody on the wing.

All I'm saying is his efficiency would drop by a whole hell of a lot if he was allowed to be defended. Watch a game today and watch how many fouls he gets that are questionable by TODAY'S standards. Take running over Nash for instance in our game against him. There was NOTHING like that call just 13 years ago, let alone 23 years ago or 33 years ago.

Payton is not wrong in his assessment that LeBron wouldn't be as good. But that doesn't mean anyone here is saying he'd be BAD. Just not as good. I don't think that's petty. It's definitely a bitter thing to say, but I'm not sold on petty.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby gcclaker on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:50 am

It's speculative how James would have done against the rough and tumble style of the late 1980's to mid 1990's teams. Squad's such as the Detroit "Bad Boys" or Riley's "Game Of Force" Knicks where driving down the key was taking your career into your own hands. Even Bird's title teams were physical. James is big, strong and fast so I am not conviced hand checking would slow him. Heck you can say as physically dominant he is now, how would he have used the rules or lack of it himself? James would probably still put up really good numbers. What he would have dealt with was the steady body blows, forearm shivers and knockdowns off second...maybe even third help defenders. That would add up in a season. Could James have mentally willed himself past it...make free throws and focus?
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby thkthebest on Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:38 pm

Every player from every era thinks his own era was the best. Lol.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby trodgers on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:08 pm

LeBron's athleticism is ludicrous. His skill level isn't. Kobe showed, what, a month ago, that you can wholly take him off his game.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Jazzygirl205 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:38 pm

baller4life wrote:Look, LeBron is already an all time great. I saw him in person, no one in the league can compare to him physicaly, his efficiency is mind blowing but then again maybe im little biased since I followed Kobes carrer since the 98 all star game, what im trying to say is that the media is way overreacting with everything LeBron James related and how he was already MJ level and Kobe Bryant is not even in the discussion. Thats pure disrespect and it just ugly. Look MJ has 6 rings and 6 fmvps with no lose in the finals, Kobe Bryant went 7 times to the finals The last 13 years. I have never heard about that 30+ pts on 60% stat untill LeBron, i mean what exactly is this? Kobe averaged 50+ ppg on 50+% in 5 games, averaged 40 for month 2 or 3 times, so what?
LeBron will have his place in history lets debate that after he retire. Putting him ahead of Jordan and Kobe right now is a no no in my eyes.


:bow: :jam2: I still wanna see LBJ in person,how or when I can have the schedule and the time to travel to do? I don't know but I'm gonna get there some kind of way. Anyway, I agree I already came up with my opinion why I believe they're overreacting like this though, it may be biased but that's my conclusion and opinion. LeBron's outstanding just watching him on t.v. but the media ah.....never mind I'll stop there.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Juronimo on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:50 pm

One thing Lebron has going for him that is similar to Jordan is both of them at their respective peaks, were far and away the best players in the game by a pretty significant margin. Jordan in the '90's was the best player in the league and except for Olajuwon's incredible 1995 run when Jordan was whiffing at curveballs, was absolutely dominant. That wasn't the case in the '80's when Magic and Larry were still around but once they got old and retired, it was just Jordan, then everyone else.

Lebron is basically in that same situation now. Right now there's no one to challenge him as the best player in the league. Kobe is too old. Durant isn't close IMO. Neither is CP3, Dwight, Carmelo, etc. Right now the gap between Lebron and everyone else is significant, about is big as a gap Jordan enjoyed in the '90's. This is why the comparisons to Jordan are happening.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby LakerFan1235 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:26 pm

^Obviously I am biased when I say kobe can still hang, but are you being serious about Durant "not being close"?
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Maluco Beleza on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:41 pm

LakerFan1235 wrote:^Obviously I am biased when I say kobe can still hang, but are you being serious about Durant "not being close"?



Kobe can hang and thats saying something great for him but you cannot honestly think he's close or better than Lebron right now. idc if he beats him in a game or not.
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Re: Gary Payton: LeBron Wouldn't Be As Good In Our Era

Postby Finwë on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:55 pm

trodgers wrote:LeBron's athleticism is ludicrous. His skill level isn't. Kobe showed, what, a month ago, that you can wholly take him off his game.

This.

I don't question that LeBron would be a very good player in any era, but I don't know if he'd be able to be nearly as effective and dominant.

A quick example: Even with LeBron's improved jumper, his jump shooting efficiency is mostly due to the room defenders give him to shoot. Most of his jumpshots are wide open, mainly in situations where defenders give him room in fear of him driving to the basket. With today's rules, it's very hard to imagine many players standing a chance at slowing LeBron down in a drive to the rim. Any contact can be considered a foul, and honeslty there aren't any athletes that compare to him in terms of a combination of size, speed and strength. So defenders are often faced with a choice, give up a relatively easy jumpshot or risk him blowing by you and either finishing or getting to the line. It's usually the former.
In a different era however, where handchecking (along with other differences in officiating -like allowing more contact by a defender-) was allowed, things would be different. Defenders would stand a much, much better chance in trying to stop him from going to the rim at will. It just makes a world of difference, being able to slow him down with your hand/forearm, being physical, forcing him to rely on fundamentals a lot more. This would also mean defenders wouldn't have to give him so much room to shoot, because his drives would be less threatening, and hence his jumpshots would be more and more contested.
Sounds like a small thing, but it's not. I think that these couple of differences (handchecking, more physical contact allowed) alone would make him a below 50% shooter, a more turnover prone player, and much less dominant. [One could speculate that LeBron's defense would very much benefit from this ruling changes though. With his speed and size, plus now the ability to handcheck the opposition and really be physical with them, he should become an amazing defensive force. That I can't deny]
However, to be fair, we can't assume that his game would be the same. He could attempt to alter his game to better fit the current rules of the time, and he could improve his skillset and fundamentals. This is just speculation in terms of the current LeBron and his current playing style and how he would perform in, say, the 80s.
"The first time I ever saw my uniform hanging in the locker I put it on right away, and it just felt like I was putting on golden armour. From that day forward, I just called it 'the golden armour', it just felt like there was something mystical and magical about it" - Kobe Bryant.
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