Michael Jordan comparisons

Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Pig Miller on Fri May 24, 2013 8:05 am

nowadays, it seems that everyone gets compared to jordan, fairly or unfairly, maybe prematurely. jordan is the gold standard for what a ball player should be according to most, especially in the media.

however, i wanted to get a feel of:

1) did you watch jordan's prime (90-98)?
2) do you think jordan has reached an unattainable status due to the myth/legend growing larger via the media and as time passes?
3) why isn't there a big man equivalent of jordan? some might say russell, kaj, wilt, etc as the greatest big man of all time, but jordan is hands down the greatest wing of all time.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby lakerfan2 on Fri May 24, 2013 8:57 am

1. I did watch Jordan's prime, and he was much like Kobe, without the immaturity tbh. and that's what made michaels career seem more balanced than a young brash kobe coming out of high school. just two different situations for players who played the same style of game. mj learned in college, kobe learned in the nba.

2. i think the mj legend status is definitely heralded, but at the same time, it's partly his personality they way was marketed. magic, kareem, bird, dr. j never got that type of exposure as MJ did in the 90's. more people were drawn in to the NBA by then. if you remember when Magic and Bird entered the league, the NBA was at it's lowest. those two defined basketball entertainment imo and paved the way for a player like michael to take the nba to it's top.

3. because the center position is oft the most overlooked, yet underrate part of basketball because they're not as "flashy" as the little wingers who can dribble between their legs and "fly like mike".

i love basketball, and my favorite position to watch is the center position. kareem, hakeem, shaq...loved it, because i knew the they were primarily the real reasons for their rings. how does someone overlook the fact that kareer scored 38,000 points? A full 6,000 points above Michael.

Granted, yes, it's usually the guards that setup the bigs, but in the case of Kareem, we all know that Skyhook was on lock.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Rooscooter on Fri May 24, 2013 9:47 am

I watched Jordan from the beginning to the end. He wasn't the best player around until about 91 or so IMO. His best 3 years he separated himself from the rest of the league in a way that I've never seen before or since.

Now IMO there are better players that have played. I'd still put Kareem up there with Jordan. His longevity, ability to adapt over the years and still be the best center into his late 30's is pretty much unmatched. While he only scored over 50 points 3 times (I believe) he was unbelievable consistent. No one ever won as many games down the stretch and in the playoffs as Kareem did.

MJ's emergence changed the game considerably. Rarely if ever did a team with the leagues leading scorer even play deep in the playoffs so previous players who scored a lot were in the mold of a "Melo".... good but not great. Jordan took it to another level by leading the league in scoring, having massive scoring games and winning championships.

Is he the greatest wing player ever? To me it depends on what is meant by Greatness. Baylor and Maravich revolutionized the wing position in the NBA IMO. They have to have some place in there because without their unique abilities, contributions and approach to the SF/SG position we might not have had a Jordan or Kobe. My father used to tell me that he'd seen Jordan before..... meaning Baylor. I never saw him play but from what my dad told me his game was significantly better than everyone else in his era. He said it was an even wider gap than Jordan and the rest of the league. Maravich is often overlooked because he played during the lost 70's but what he did at that position for 5 years there revolutionized the modern NBA game IMO and his college career was surreal. Larry Bird noted that he would not have been nearly as good as he was if he had not played with Maravich for the last 20 games of his career.

Now for Kobe. He is in the Jordan/Baylor mold. His performance was not revolutionary compared the the contemporary league but it was somewhat evolutionary at times. He took what Jordan did to some new levels. He was never as good at going to the hoop but he was better away from the basket and I think his desire to win surpasses that of Jordan mainly because I could never see Kobe walking away from the game twice... once in his prime.

It's a debate that has no answer either. I think Jordan took it to a level not seen before in a time period when the NBA went from a niche professional sport to a Worldwide sport. Nike's promotion of Jordan as well didn't hurt. Magic/Bird in the 80's laid the groundwork for it but that was still the era of "tape delayed" playoff games. Jordan was the first Worldwide face of the NBA and as such gets more recognition IMO.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Weezy on Fri May 24, 2013 10:19 am

1. I watched Jordan in 92/93 playoffs, then when he came back from "retirement" til he retired again.

2. No, because ESPN is already saying LeBron had a chance to catch and pass him.

3. There should be, and IMO it's Kareem

I think what ultimately makes Jordan's legend though is simple, 6 finals appearances, 6 finals wins, 6 finals MVPs. He went 6 for 6, nobody today does that, I think Duncan is the closest at 4 for 4. LeBron so far is 1 for 3
( so I'm still not sure how he can pass MJ, buy ok ESPN), Kobe is 5 for 7, which to date should make him closest to MJ at that position at least.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Vasashi17 on Fri May 24, 2013 12:11 pm

You associate basketball with length. Look at all the memorable (meaning multiple) winning champions. Russel, McHale/Parish, Kareem, Hakeem, Robsinson/Duncan, Mikan.

Kobe is great, but he's always had that potential best big man in the business (at the time)....from Shaq to Gasol. All MJ had was Ho Grant and Rodman as his go-to big men.

MJ had Pippen, but you knew that there was a distinction between the two as to who's team it was and who was the best player on that team. Unfortunately for Kobe, due to timing and circumstance, he couldn't make the same claim when playing with Shaq. It goes both ways in a way, since Shaq only has one MVP to his name and you can argue that it should have been way more. Same with Kobe....he got his lone MVP when Gasol was his main running mate.

Due to zone defenses and the manner in which the game was played in previous generations, Jordan was able to impact the game on both sides of the ball...recall that he was the other half of that crazy doberman defense Chicago sported. He was not just a good, but great 2 way player.

In terms of being the best wing player ever....IMHO, I think that is a fair assessment. Maybe in a different time and circumstance, Kobe could have been that type of player. This is why, its really unfair to make comparisons between generational players, cause there are so many intangibles that impacted how these players had to play the game.

But like Weez said, MJ has a flawless Finals record. Phil mentioned that he would start a NBA franchise with Bill Russell over Jordan....well, if you base it on titles and being the primary weapon in earning those titles, MJ earns the GOAT title amongst backcourt players and probably remains the best wing player for a long long time.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby wcsoldier81 on Fri May 24, 2013 12:16 pm

I doubt another player will match Jordan 91-93 run ... he was more human during his 2nd 3peat and the competition was weak imo .
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby CGrand81 on Fri May 24, 2013 1:40 pm

You earn your paycheck during the regular season, your legacy in the post-season.

It is hard to argue against the guy, his case for GOAT is the strongest one out there. If take away all his regular season accomplishments and just look at what he did in the playoffs, it is pretty amazing. As someone stated above 6-6 in the Finals, 6 Finals MVP's, yikes hard to beat that.

Seemed like every playoff appearence he brought his A game, his career playoff averages of 33-6-6 is stupid ridiculous. The closest to that from a SG is Kobe at 26-5-5 but MJ was much more efficient.

Also I do not think MJ ever lost a series where Chicago had home court advantage, could be wrong as it was a long time ago but thinking about it I cannot think of a time.

Even back when he could never beat the Pistons, those Pistons were one of the greatest teams ever and always favored. Jordan was on some other type stuff those years, really from 87-on the guy was unbelievable. That year he won MVP and DPOY added on another scoring title.

A side note Prime MJ started in 87, not 91, but him winning his first title always gets the nod over the people, but 87 was Scottie Pippen and Horace Grants rookie years, pre Phil Jackson as well. They didn't win it all, but they were like the Thunder when we started out 3 straight Finals appearances. You knew they would eventually get over the hump, once they did it was over.

Regular season 1987-19991: 33 PPG/6.6 RPG/6.4 APG/3 steals on 53% shooting.

Have not seen a stretch of dominance like that outside of Shaq and if LeBron continues then LeBron.

IMO Jordan's the GOAT, only other player I hear realistic arguments for are Kareem and Russell. Watched Kareem, top 5 anywhere from 2-4, never saw Russell but is also top 5 somewhere from 2-4.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Weezy on Fri May 24, 2013 2:21 pm

It's just hard, if not impossible to top that 6 for 6 finals. Like I said Lebron is considered the best player today and he's 1 for 3, Kobe is considered by many the closest we've seen to MJ and he's 5 for 7. Perhaps if Jordan hadn't retired he would have lost one in 94 or 95 ( and yes I know he played 17 games in 95 and didn't reach the Finals but that doesn't quite count IMO), of maybe he would have won 8 titles in a row and be even more untouchable, there's no way to know. He certainly didn't seem like the type to physically wear out, and yeah the competition wasn't amazing in the mid 90's, so who knows what he might have done, or when he would have retired without taking the baseball break. We can only go on what we have and if championships are the biggest measure it's hard to argue against 6 wins in 6 Finals. He didn't always get there, as nobody does, but he always closed the deal when he did.

The number of times other players got there even without winning them all is still amazing to me though, like Kareem, and like Magic who was in the Finals almost every season he played, 9 Finals appearances in 12 seasons (I don't count '96, just don't) ? That's incredible.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Rooscooter on Fri May 24, 2013 2:58 pm

Kareem was 6-10 in the finals.... 10 finals appearances for a leading player isn't to shabby either. He was robbed of a 3rd finals MVP in 80 IMO....

As for Jordan, his teams were very well put together with some of the better role players of that era. Those teams had very few weaknesses in comparison to the latest Lakers teams that heave been led by Kobe.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby John3:16 on Fri May 24, 2013 3:11 pm

I watched his entire career, from UNC to Chicago, from baseball to DC. Great player. No denying that.

As Roo said, I'd take Kareem over Jordan. As much as it pains me, I'd say Jordan was better than Kobe, but I gotta throw this in: Kobe at his best (in the zone) is better than Jordan at his best. Kobe got hotter and stayed there longer than anyone. I think Phil was even quoted as saying this once and everyone loves a good Phil quote.

The whole Jordan vs Kobe thing is interesting. No one compared Wade to Jordan. But Kobe haters are always the first to bring up Jordan when bashing Kobe. Kobe might be Jordan, but he's the closest thing to him.

Lastly, I think Kobe said it best when he said, "different career paths."
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby CGrand81 on Fri May 24, 2013 3:33 pm

John3:16 wrote:I watched his entire career, from UNC to Chicago, from baseball to DC. Great player. No denying that.

As Roo said, I'd take Kareem over Jordan. As much as it pains me, I'd say Jordan was better than Kobe, but I gotta throw this in: Kobe at his best (in the zone) is better than Jordan at his best. Kobe got hotter and stayed there longer than anyone. I think Phil was even quoted as saying this once and everyone loves a good Phil quote.

The whole Jordan vs Kobe thing is interesting. No one compared Wade to Jordan. But Kobe haters are always the first to bring up Jordan when bashing Kobe. Kobe might be Jordan, but he's the closest thing to him.

Lastly, I think Kobe said it best when he said, "different career paths."


Kobe's best game or Kobe's best peak performance in a game. I guess I could make a good case for Kobe. Vis versa Kobe's lows are much lower than MJ's IMO.

However if we are talking primes, Jordan's prime is significantly greater than Kobe's, of course career wise I do not think it is all that close.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Weezy on Fri May 24, 2013 3:56 pm

I don't know that Jordan's prime is significantly better than Kobe's other than the teams they had. Kobe had crap from '04/'05 to '06/'07, 3 of his most amazing, unstoppable years wasted. Give him the 2009/2010 teams then and he probably wins another title or 2, he was carrying garbage to the playoffs in a tough West. Individually in their primes I'd have a hard time choosing. Overall accomplishments you can't really argue against 6 Finals MVP's to 2 and 5 league MVPs to 1 (though I feel Kobe should have at least 3), but Kobe has a huge list of accomplishments himself like 1st team NBA selections, all defensive team selections, all-star selections, gold medals, points scored all time, Finals appearances, and so on.

Like Kobe said though, apples and oranges, totally different career paths. Kobe was always amazing in the West playoffs, and then Shaq destroyed the East centers in the Finals and got the MVPs, deservedly so. But then maybe if Kobe never played with Shaq, Phil and the Lakers he doesn't have those first 3 titles, maybe he does win some wherever he would have played, who knows. He might have more MVPs, more career points and scoring titles, stuff like that. Well before I lose where I'm going with this, main point is individually as a player and talent-wise I do think you can at least compare Kobe to MJ, he just doesn't measure up in total accomplishments, and falls a little short when compared as an all around player in a few areas.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Fri May 24, 2013 4:09 pm

There's always some luck involved in a successful career. It applies to everyone, so IMO it shouldn't be counted against anyone. Kobe was lucky to have Shaq when he was younger and probably unable to lead his team just yet to a title. Magic was lucky to have Kareem, and Kareem was lucky to have Magic. MJ was lucky to have Pippen, and was lucky that Magic was injured in the 91' Finals, otherwise the Lakers would have stomped their butts. MJ was also lucky to have retired after 3 titles, since the next year his team probably would have hit the wall due to fatigue. Without these twists of fate, all of these careers would have been less than how they turned out.

As for comparing careers, no excuses, MJ's 6/6 record in the finals is better than Kobe's 5/7. Considering how hard it is to get to the finals, I would say that maybe Magic's 5/9 is better than 5/7, since 9 finals appearances in 12 years is amazing. In terms of talent, Magic was the best passer ever, and seemed to have the most impact on raising the level of play of his teammates. That showtime team was the most cohesive unit I've ever seen play together, and Magic (on the offensive end) has a lot to do with it. MJ was the best I've seen in completing a play. If he wanted to score, he would find a way, from his near-perfect fadeaway jumper to his will-not-be-denied drives to the basket, which always ended in either a score or drawing a foul. Steve Kerr once said that MJ was the best he'd ever seen in drawing fouls on the road in the playoffs. We know that Kobe definitely can't do that. But Tex once said that Kobe was the best shotmaker he'd ever seen, and that his shots were more difficult than any player he'd ever watched. Kobe probably has the most complete offensive game of any of these guys, bar none.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Cleansed on Sat May 25, 2013 1:22 am

V.V.V.V.V. wrote:There's always some luck involved in a successful career.


This is how i feel and thus have stopped comparing in my mind for the most part.

1) I watched Jordans entire career (well 90-98. Prior to that i peeked at his early career lol)
2) I am completely disgusted with the media in general. The deification and nurturing of the MJ myth and twisting of reality is a symptom of a larger problem within the media and American culture . We like cookie cutter narratives. Jordan benefited from that. That isn't his fault . Couple that with the criminal influence in professional sports ......
3) Flat out because of the STORY of Kareem . Bill Russells story (overcoming racism during its arguably most virulent time , being a part of an East Coast championship team / organization at that time in history, etc.) is more palatable to the American psyche (at least it used to be) than the man that changed his name , embraced a religion that has cultural baggage in the US (both then and now) and was by all accounts well read and not willing to "play the game" when it comes to the media (think about what Muhammad Ali went through for a spell before his eventual embrace in boxing). Kareem simply didnt fit the stereotype. Contrast that with Magic Johnson by all accounts who was also intelligent but smiled for the camera so much it hurt. Bill Russell is the center that receives the primary share of camera time and historical attention but Kareem was the pinnacle of center play overall (achievements and overall performance).

Wilt was amazing but his achievements don't hold up against Kareems.

Regarding Kobe and Mike.. when Kobe was on at his peak he was the best offensive player i've seen in my lifetime. Second to no one including Mike (and Bernard). I didn't see Baylor who by all accounts was Lebron and Mike wrapped in one package. The way Kobe entered the league (emotional baggage , coming into the league young and dealing with an immature *and still immature* 7 ft giant in Shaquille Oneal ), the era , Scottie Pippen and not having well constructed teams are the difference between Kobe and MJ. Their talent and wills make them both winners. Their timing and circumstances make them distinct.

Kobe Bryant is the answer to the question " What if Michael Jordan turned left instead of right?".
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby Johnnyboy on Sat May 25, 2013 12:30 pm

Pig Miller wrote:nowadays, it seems that everyone gets compared to jordan, fairly or unfairly, maybe prematurely. jordan is the gold standard for what a ball player should be according to most, especially in the media.

however, i wanted to get a feel of:

1) did you watch jordan's prime (90-98)?
2) do you think jordan has reached an unattainable status due to the myth/legend growing larger via the media and as time passes?
3) why isn't there a big man equivalent of jordan? some might say russell, kaj, wilt, etc as the greatest big man of all time, but jordan is hands down the greatest wing of all time.


I watched Mj in his prime.
The media plays a big role in Mj's exposer...But I will say this...And anyone who disagrees is wearing laker goggles IMO....Kobe doesn't come that close to Mj's prime years. There were 3 or 4 years were MJ was ridiculous. I just angered all the kobe lovers i know , I know...that beings said, Kobes ability to play at his current level for so long makes his overall career just as impressive as MJ IMO. The way kobe took care of his body and the way he commits. MJ used to show up to games smoking cigars. lol
Big men don't handle the ball as much and aren't as flashy. thats why they get overlooked.
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Re: Michael Jordan comparisons

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Sat May 25, 2013 4:02 pm

Shaq recently said that when you're 7 feet the game is easier. I would agree to some degree. If you're at least seven feet, then you only have to worry about moves if you're playing against another seven footer. That's why the dominant player in the league was usually a big guy. And that's why MJ was so impressive, as the first SG to be the best player in the league. The first SG to build a team around. (Although I guess Phil would rather take Russell.)
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