More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

More impressive: Jordan's 6 or Russell's 11?

1) Jordan
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2) Russell
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More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:10 am

Which feat are you more impressed with?

Russell won 11 rings in his 13 seasons (1957 - 1969) in the league, including 8 straight at one point.

Jordan won 6 rings in his 12 full seasons (1985 - 1998) as a Bull (not counting his shortened 1994-95 season or his Wizard years) including 6 in his last 6 full seasons.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:38 am

I'm no fan of the C's, but 11 rings is impressive. He guarded Wilt for many of those titles, and beat Wilt to rebounds. He's more of a Rodman type on his HOF team, but it's hard to ignore the importance of Rodman in those last three Bulls titles. Russell wasn't a scoring option on his team, kinda like Rodman, but it's hard to argue against being the defensive anchor on 11 title runs.

While Jordan happily accepts the GOAT title, Russell recents said that basketball is a team sport, and there's no room for individual accolades.

I gotta respect that kind of attitude.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby therealdeal on Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:44 am

Most fans these days would probably pick Jordan hands down. I'd say it's a very good discussion.

I'm going to say Jordan only because he had so many more athletes to compete against. Russell had Wilt, but Wilt's teams were never great and the league consisted of very few teams back then. I think Russell's game would transcend generations, but in today's NBA he'd likely have less titles.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:08 am

For me, it's not really close. MJ's 6 > Russell's 11.

For most of Russell's career, there were 8-9 teams in the NBA. In his last 2 years, the NBA expanded from 12 to 14 teams but the vast majority of his career was played in 8-9 team seasons. The Celtics had a monopoly on talent IMO. I mean the 1962-63 team had 9 freaken Hall of Famers for crying out loud.

Ask yourself this. Do you ever envision a team winning 8 straight championships in this day and age? Heck, only the Lakers and Bulls are the only teams to even 3 peat in the modern era. And I don't think any team has gone to the NBA finals 4 straight years (I could be mistaken). The level of competition in today's game is fierce. Everyone is always shooting for the top team and improving while the top team struggles to hold the throne. And at some point, a better team overtakes them. LeBron is facing the same scenario now where he has made 3 straight finals and trying to make 4 in a row. Everyone is gunning for his team. And the amount of additional games and minutes his team has to play year after year takes a toll. Russell didn't have extended playoffs like today.

And Jordan won 6 titles in his last 6 full seasons as a Bull. That's unbelievably impressive. Like once he figured out how to win, he didn't relinquish his throne. I mean you got your opponent's absolute best every single night. MJ also has two of the best regular seasons ever. 72-10 and 69-13. He saw and conquered in the modern era and is "the man".
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Weezy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:09 pm

Did you seriously create a thread to further discredit Russell and all players from beyond a certain era and pursue your argument from the Hakeem vs Isaiah thread? Really, you want to be "right" that badly?
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby wcsoldier81 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:33 pm

The Chosen one's 2 >>>
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Rooscooter on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:44 pm

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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:24 pm

Weezy wrote:Did you seriously create a thread to further discredit Russell and all players from beyond a certain era and pursue your argument from the Hakeem vs Isaiah thread? Really, you want to be "right" that badly?


This is a legit question and completely separate from that other thread.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:53 pm

I have no problem calling Jordan the GOAT, but I think it's been enough time to start looking at his career while some of the polish comes off the hype.

His bulls teams were great, especially the last threepeat, but they didn't have to compete against the great Laker and Celtic teams. The competition was definitely less in the 90s than the 80s. And Jordan was a media darling, as well as the chosen one for the NBA. Steve Kerr once said that he never saw anyone else get calls the way Jordan did on the road. Russell had to fight civil right issues during his time in the NBA.

Obviously Jordan is the greatest shooting guard of all time. Russell is not the greatest center of all time. But being one of the HOFers on a team with 11 titles IS impressive. I will give the man his due.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Kou on Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:44 pm

Weezy wrote:Did you seriously create a thread to further discredit Russell and all players from beyond a certain era and pursue your argument from the Hakeem vs Isaiah thread? Really, you want to be "right" that badly?


This is what I thought when I saw the thread, but in terms of the thread question, 11 in 13 is more impressive than 6 in 12.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby TIME on Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:17 pm

This reminds me of that Spurs fan that was arguing that Pop's 4 rings were more impressive than Phil's 11.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Forward Three on Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:48 am

I think what Russell said in response to Bron about having won b2b in HS championships, College championships and then entering and leaving the NBA with a ring (with 9 in-between) is bonafide and really puts into perspective a level of 'winner' that knows no equal.

We'll debate the individual merits of each ring and championship run, the circumstances behind the various 'eras', level of competition etc but Russell wins this comparison by default in my eyes.


But then of course, any Lakers fan knows our threepeat years were the best championship achievement overall. :man11:
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Magic Skywalker on Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:42 am

I think it's really unfair to discredit Russell just because of his era. I hate the fact that the guy "took away" quite a few rings from us (no Bill, and Lakers vs Celtics would not even be a real conversation), but he really earned his rings.

Celtics had the best team in the 60s sure (guess what, Bulls also in the 90s), but it wasn't just an easy road, year after year he was going against the likes of Bob Pettit and the Hawks, Robertson and the Royals, Baylor, West and the Lakers, Bellamy, Reed and the Knicks, Wilt and the Warriors/Sixers, Bing and the Pistons, etc. It was no easy road.

They had some good years, some great years, and some regular years in regular season, but they always came through.

1969 title (last Russell title) is very known for us Lakers because probably there's never been a loss that has hurt more than that. And because of the fact that it hurts so much, you can see how big it was. Russell, way past his prime, beat an impressive Lakers team led by West, Wilt and Baylor, and Russell was probably the main reason behind that (ok, I admit Havlicek was HUGE also).

So yeah, we're talking about 11 vs 6... it's not even close. There's a "Kobe difference" between MJ's ring and Bill's. That's A LOT.

So yeah, I take Bill Russell, and I don't think it's really close. I may be a Lakers fan, but I'm a basketball fan first, and it's impossible for me not to appreciate what Bill Russell did.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Rooscooter on Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:18 am

Magic Skywalker wrote:I think it's really unfair to discredit Russell just because of his era. I hate the fact that the guy "took away" quite a few rings from us (no Bill, and Lakers vs Celtics would not even be a real conversation), but he really earned his rings.

Celtics had the best team in the 60s sure (guess what, Bulls also in the 90s), but it wasn't just an easy road, year after year he was going against the likes of Bob Pettit and the Hawks, Robertson and the Royals, Baylor, West and the Lakers, Bellamy, Reed and the Knicks, Wilt and the Warriors/Sixers, Bing and the Pistons, etc. It was no easy road.

They had some good years, some great years, and some regular years in regular season, but they always came through.

1969 title (last Russell title) is very known for us Lakers because probably there's never been a loss that has hurt more than that. And because of the fact that it hurts so much, you can see how big it was. Russell, way past his prime, beat an impressive Lakers team led by West, Wilt and Baylor, and Russell was probably the main reason behind that (ok, I admit Havlicek was HUGE also).

So yeah, we're talking about 11 vs 6... it's not even close. There's a "Kobe difference" between MJ's ring and Bill's. That's A LOT.

So yeah, I take Bill Russell, and I don't think it's really close. I may be a Lakers fan, but I'm a basketball fan first, and it's impossible for me not to appreciate what Bill Russell did.


Well said. The consistency and drive needed to put together a run like that ia unparalleled in pro sports. To compare the two as if they're similar shows a lack of understanding, respect or both IMHO.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:32 pm

Kou wrote:
Weezy wrote:Did you seriously create a thread to further discredit Russell and all players from beyond a certain era and pursue your argument from the Hakeem vs Isaiah thread? Really, you want to be "right" that badly?


This is what I thought when I saw the thread, but in terms of the thread question, 11 in 13 is more impressive than 6 in 12.


That's why I specifically listed those numbers to see if people would take them at face value without considering era or level of comp.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:36 pm

TIME wrote:This reminds me of that Spurs fan that was arguing that Pop's 4 rings were more impressive than Phil's 11.


Not relevant for this topic because those guys coached in the same era so it' s completely fine to compare rings at face value.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:43 pm

Magic Skywalker wrote:I think it's really unfair to discredit Russell just because of his era. I hate the fact that the guy "took away" quite a few rings from us (no Bill, and Lakers vs Celtics would not even be a real conversation), but he really earned his rings.

Celtics had the best team in the 60s sure (guess what, Bulls also in the 90s), but it wasn't just an easy road, year after year he was going against the likes of Bob Pettit and the Hawks, Robertson and the Royals, Baylor, West and the Lakers, Bellamy, Reed and the Knicks, Wilt and the Warriors/Sixers, Bing and the Pistons, etc. It was no easy road.

They had some good years, some great years, and some regular years in regular season, but they always came through.

1969 title (last Russell title) is very known for us Lakers because probably there's never been a loss that has hurt more than that. And because of the fact that it hurts so much, you can see how big it was. Russell, way past his prime, beat an impressive Lakers team led by West, Wilt and Baylor, and Russell was probably the main reason behind that (ok, I admit Havlicek was HUGE also).

So yeah, we're talking about 11 vs 6... it's not even close. There's a "Kobe difference" between MJ's ring and Bill's. That's A LOT.

So yeah, I take Bill Russell, and I don't think it's really close. I may be a Lakers fan, but I'm a basketball fan first, and it's impossible for me not to appreciate what Bill Russell did.


The 60's were one of the best eras ever for superstars that's for sure but that's not the same as great teams. I will absolutely give you the 69 win over the stacked Laker team. I mean the guy is one of the best ever and does get plenty of credit (as he should) but personally, I'm more impressed with MJ's 6 in the modern era. The guy won 6 straight rings in his last 6 full seasons as a Bull. And had he not retired, who knows, maybe he would've had 8 straight. But that's another topic. But he was 31 and 32 in the years he was gone and his Bulls had the best season ever when he was 33. So he was dead in his prime when he walked away.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:29 pm

^Yeah but it's a team sport. Pippen was on the downside, with a bad back, and barely finished the last title run. If Pippen is MIA for most of the next season, even though it was a shortened season, they may have faltered against the Jazz or the Spurs.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:54 pm

This really isn't a question at all. Russell's team dominated a 13 year span of the NBA. It doesn't matter if there were less teams or not he simply was a catalyst to 11 Championships in 13 years. All things being equal that is what it is. MJ's 6 is better than Kobe's 5 who is better than Tim Duncans 4 which is better than Lebron's 2. The numbers are the numbers when you are talking about star players who lead a team to the Championship. I say that because guys like Robert Horry has 7 and Dfish has 5 and while they are great role players there ring count is not in a discussion of this type.

Another thing I think the younger me-first generation seem to forget while knocking other peoples accomplishments to hype MJ's is that MJ had a stacked team. If we knock Russell for lack of competition then MJ must be knocked for having an amazing team to include, imo, one of the most underrated players in the NBA in Scottie Pippen. This really isn't a question to me.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:58 pm

V.V.V.V.V. wrote:^Yeah but it's a team sport. Pippen was on the downside, with a bad back, and barely finished the last title run. If Pippen is MIA for most of the next season, even though it was a shortened season, they may have faltered against the Jazz or the Spurs.


You misunderstood my post. When I say "retired", I meant the 2 year layoff in 1994 and 1995 and not after the 1998 season. Jordan was 35 when he won his last ring and I don't know if he would've won another one. Maybe one more but he was definitely pushing it with his age. He left at the perfec time I guess.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Magic Skywalker on Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:13 pm

Thing is, teams didn't have just one player in the 60s. I just named the stars (which is who you usually highlight from a team), but they were not alone. There were also other great guys on those teams (many of them Hall of Famers) who were really great players also, the "Pau Gasol role", lets say. Guys like Ed McCauley, Cliff Hagan, Paul Arizin, Rudy LaRusso, Jack Twyman, Hal Greer, Chet Walker, Cazzie Russell, Dick Van Arsdale, you name it.

And of course, there were also those role players who weren't stars but were really important, guys like a very young Gail Goodrich, Leroy Ellis, Abdul-Rahmad, Gene Wiley.... and this is only naming a few Lakers that come to mind.

Of course, most of nowadays fans won't know most of those names (and hence, they'll pretty much be considered nonexistent), and its normal. How's your avarage fan going to now the old role players. I'm pretty sure many 15-20 (and even older) guys wouldn't even know who's Mike McGee, and that is perfectly normal (much more considering there was no internet, and the case of the 60s, it gets even more complicated).

Where I want to go with all this naming of player is that teams in the 60s were like every team in NBA history. Some were more star heavy, others more deep and others had a good balance between both things (of course, there were also teams that sucked). The only thing is that the names we'll constantly hear are the big stars, that's how its supposed to be, and that's how it'll always be. 30 years from now, we'll still hear a lot about Kobe and even about Pau, but I don't expect to hear a lot from Ariza, even though he was very important in the 2009 run.

Bill Russell won a lot, and yes, he had a great team, but there was no shortage of competition, but he just came through. The guy had the winners mentality... they came through every damn game 7. They were many times just one game from elimination, yet they always came through... and that was definitely mainly because of Bill Russell.

About Jordan, first thing is that even if he had won in 94 and 95, I still think Russell's run would be better. But that aside, it is VERY arguable that they'd have won. I think its pretty fair to think that those two years helped MJ rest and gain more motivation (which he admittedly said he had lost it), specially considering that while he didn't play, he did practice. The Bulls in 1994 didn't have either Rodman nor Grant, which made them a lot weaker defensively in the paint, so yeah, they would've had a great time against those Rockets, assuming they get past the Knicks (yes, I am aware they were 4-3 against them without MJ). In 1995, while he didn't play the whole season, he did play enough to get used to NBA basketball again. But again, Bulls were not as strong without Rodman or Grant, and Orlando made them pay big with Shaq, and ironically, Horace Grant.

MJ was great, he really was. He's arguably the GOAT (my personal opinion on this matter is that it's not that easy to rank NBA players, and there is a group of players that were simply the elite from the elite, and of course, MJ is one of those) and he's career, his game... pretty much everything was amazing... But he was no deity; he was not perfect.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:38 pm

It's hard to guess what would have happened if MJ didn't retire the first time. There's a pretty good chance that the team would have broken down due to injury after 4 straight years to the finals.

IMO Jordan had great timing / luck in his career, along with his incredible talent and will.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Lakerjones on Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:23 am

Russell's 11 and it's not even close. Why would it be, it's practically twice as many. 11 rings as team captain is ridiculous. These aren't Robert Horry rings - no offense Big Shot Rob.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby Magic Skywalker on Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:31 am

Technically speaking, Bob Cousy was the captain for 5 or 6 of Russell's title :man9: ... but yeah, I understand what you really meant by captain.
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Re: More Impressive: Jordan's 6 rings or Russell's 11 rings?

Postby John3:16 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:28 am

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Hmmmm....

I dunno. California public school education fails me again.

And others, it appears.
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