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Thread: The Last Dance

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Well, MJ is the one player who has probably "earned" such a treatment. He was the OG "superstar" crossing all culture lines, omnipresent on all three networks, appointment television. He was larger than life.

    I think LeBron is by far a better basketball player, but you can't even begin to explain to a Millennial what MJ was like in his prime.

    Perhaps I'm biased based on my age, but as a basketball fanatic teen in the late 80s and early 90s, it's impossible to overstate the impact he had on my childhood, and every who I knew with similar interests.
    But here's the thing: if you're a 90s baby who never saw MJ play, what's more valuable to you: a 10-part hagiography blessed by MJ himself, or actually going over his legitimately amazing career with a critical eye? I was 13 during the 1998 Finals, I had an MJ poster on my wall, I saw Space Jam in the theater, I do chores around the house with my tongue out to this day which annoys the hell out of my wife. I get the formative importance a guy like MJ has on people, myself included, but it still does an immense disservice to our understanding of history to accept something like this documentary as anything close to "definitive" when (through 2 episodes at least) it is nothing more than an elegantly produced puff piece.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    But here's the thing: if you're a 90s baby who never saw MJ play, what's more valuable to you: a 10-part hagiography blessed by MJ himself, or actually going over his legitimately amazing career with a critical eye? I was 13 during the 1998 Finals, I had an MJ poster on my wall, I saw Space Jam in the theater, I do chores around the house with my tongue out to this day which annoys the hell out of my wife. I get the formative importance a guy like MJ has on people, myself included, but it still does an immense disservice to our understanding of history to accept something like this documentary as anything close to "definitive" when (through 2 episodes at least) it is nothing more than an elegantly produced puff piece.
    Oh, I hope they go into his gambling issues, his abuse of teammates, his dubious business dealings, his reluctance to take political stances, etc. I'll reserve judgment til we get there.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    But here's the thing: if you're a 90s baby who never saw MJ play, what's more valuable to you: a 10-part hagiography blessed by MJ himself, or actually going over his legitimately amazing career with a critical eye? I was 13 during the 1998 Finals, I had an MJ poster on my wall, I saw Space Jam in the theater, I do chores around the house with my tongue out to this day which annoys the hell out of my wife. I get the formative importance a guy like MJ has on people, myself included, but it still does an immense disservice to our understanding of history to accept something like this documentary as anything close to "definitive" when (through 2 episodes at least) it is nothing more than an elegantly produced puff piece.
    I am curious what kind of dirt you are looking for looking for the series to cover? I looked at that article on the Pippen contract and, while I agree it contained some interesting facts about cap spikes and bad timing for Pippen, would the doc have been that much more interesting if it got into that minutiae? In the doc, I think they accurately show that Pippen grew up dirt poor and could not pass on an $18MM contract even though it was very long. You have the owner, Reinsdorf, saying that he told Scottie at the time that he was signing for too many years, and you also had Reinsdorf saying that he believed in never renegotiating a contract. I think that is the core issue at hand, Reinsdorf couldn't see the big picture and probably forgot, after 6 titles, that the reason for that was Jordan/Pippen, and not really him, or anyone else.

    As far as hagiography, they show him, in episode 2, being a complete jerk to his teammates at practice. They talk about him having to physically fight his older brother if he beat him at basketball, and the marks that left on his psyche. They show him playing golf with Danny Ainge the day before an NBA playoff game, which shocked me. As someone who lived through his career, read the Sam Smith and Halberstam books, I feel like I am getting new info here, and not all of it is pretty.

    Now, are we going to hear about his womanizing and gambling? I don't know. But, I think comparing it to "OJ: Made in America" is kind of unfair. That doc centered around the most high profile murder case in modern American history...I think there were a few more dark corners to explore in that one.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZLA View Post
    Great post. However, I don't agree that LeBron is or was better, let alone "by far" compared to MJ. MJ's competitive will, speed, jumping, shooting, athleticism, defense, creativeness, and ability to take hits in a league when Jordan Rules were in effect and people actually made contact (and defense was allowed to play physical defense).
    I'm not going say that LeBron is better than Michael either. They are/were both incredible in their time. But one disagreement I have with you is that I think the older rules would have suited LeBron on both offense and defense. His amazing physicality would have been an even more valuable asset in a more physical era. Who do you think is scoring on LeBron in a more physical league? Maybe Karl Malone, but no one else from that era comes to mind. And on offense LeBron already absorbs a tremendous amount of contact: he's like Shaq in that he is the guy that takes the most abuse without fouls being called. If everyone else was officiated the way LeBron is, I guess he would have led the league in scoring a number of times.

    Howard

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Oh, I hope they go into his gambling issues, his abuse of teammates, his dubious business dealings, his reluctance to take political stances, etc. I'll reserve judgment til we get there.
    Somebody dislikes MJ...


    As for the subject matter: Richard Deitsch has a great interview with the Director (behind a paywall): https://theathletic.com/1741609/2020...om-all-angles/

    Looks like they will discuss his gambling and his political stance (or lack thereof). They even discuss the rumors about his gambling being the reason for his dad's death:

    “It’s one thing for someone from the NBA to give me that note or a researcher,” Hehir said. “It would honestly be a great note to get from anybody. But when you get it from someone who’s giving it to you first person, that’s a different level. Those are the kind of notes that he could give. If anything he wanted to discuss more in-depth things like ‘Republicans buy sneakers, too.’ and the response that. And all the allegations (about his gambling being part of his father’s death). If you watch a lot of those stories, he’s got a different shirt on because he wanted to discuss it over the course of a couple of interviews. He did not want to shy away from it.”

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    LeBron finds open players, locks down on defense, and has a much more well-rounded game.
    Just checking but you are aware that Jordan was on the NBA All-Defensive first team nine times (and you can bet he would have made 3 more if he had not taken that hiatus in the middle of his prime), right? James, who is an excellent defender, has made it 5 times and will not make it any more (despite having a much longer career than Jordan).

    Michael Jordan was perhaps the most fearsome backcourt defensive player of all-time when he buckled down at crunch time. Just ask Bobby Hurley*.

    -Jason "*-the story of the college all-stars beating the 1992 dream team... and the vengeance that Jordan laid down in the rematch... is legendary" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Just checking but you are aware that Jordan was on the NBA All-Defensive first team nine times (and you can bet he would have made 3 more if he had not taken that hiatus in the middle of his prime), right? James, who is an excellent defender, has made it 5 times and will not make it any more (despite having a much longer career than Jordan).

    Michael Jordan was perhaps the most fearsome backcourt defensive player of all-time when he buckled down at crunch time. Just ask Bobby Hurley*.

    -Jason "*-the story of the college all-stars beating the 1992 dream team... and the vengeance that Jordan laid down in the rematch... is legendary" Evans
    Jordan also had Pippen and Rodman playing defense, Rob Harper and Oakley were no slouches.

    Defense was clearly just different back then. I probably did myself a disservice by mentioning it at all.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardlander View Post
    I'm not going say that LeBron is better than Michael either. They are/were both incredible in their time. But one disagreement I have with you is that I think the older rules would have suited LeBron on both offense and defense. His amazing physicality would have been an even more valuable asset in a more physical era. Who do you think is scoring on LeBron in a more physical league? Maybe Karl Malone, but no one else from that era comes to mind. And on offense LeBron already absorbs a tremendous amount of contact: he's like Shaq in that he is the guy that takes the most abuse without fouls being called. If everyone else was officiated the way LeBron is, I guess he would have led the league in scoring a number of times.

    Howard
    LeBron would dominate in any era. As would Michael. To say one is a significantly better player than the other is ridiculous. To look at Michael's intensity and will-to-win as a negative is definitely an odd take as well. He was hard on his teammates because he expected them to have the same mindset he did. That does not mean he was a bad teammate. He demanded a lot and like he says, he never asked anyone to do anything he hadn't done himself. You could argue that if LeBron was as intense and strong-willed, he would not have lost a whopping 6 NBA Finals.

    Also, Michael Jordan did all this while properly playing within a system (the triangle).

    Edit: @HowardLander, most of my response is not to be directed at you specifically! Didn't want there to be any confusion.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by J4Kop99 View Post
    Somebody dislikes MJ...
    Well, you're mistaken. Growing up, he was the end all be all. I was one of tens of millions who wanted to be like Mike.

    I'm just wondering if they will whitewash the entirety of his career. As an adult, I'm much more aware of his foibles, which I would say are far more significant than LeBron's.

    As I said earlier, I don't think anyone will match what MJ was culturally. In an age when most of us had a dozen stations, he was on all of them all the time.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Jordan also had Pippen and Rodman playing defense, Rob Harper and Oakley were no slouches.

    Defense was clearly just different back then. I probably did myself a disservice by mentioning it at all.
    That Rob Harper was a beast.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by left_hook_lacey View Post
    That Rob Harper was a beast.
    Dang autocorrect

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by J4Kop99 View Post

    Edit: @HowardLander, most of my response is not to be directed at you specifically! Didn't want there to be any confusion.
    Yeah, I got that, no worries.

  13. #53
    You know whose opinion I would love to hear on the MJ v LeBron debate? Mike Krzyzewski.
    Carolina delenda est

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by J4Kop99 View Post
    LeBron would dominate in any era. As would Michael. To say one is a significantly better player than the other is ridiculous. To look at Michael's intensity and will-to-win as a negative is definitely an odd take as well. He was hard on his teammates because he expected them to have the same mindset he did. That does not mean he was a bad teammate. He demanded a lot and like he says, he never asked anyone to do anything he hadn't done himself. You could argue that if LeBron was as intense and strong-willed, he would not have lost a whopping 6 NBA Finals.

    Also, Michael Jordan did all this while properly playing within a system (the triangle).

    Edit: @HowardLander, most of my response is not to be directed at you specifically! Didn't want there to be any confusion.
    That would be a bad argument. JR Rider cost him. Kyrie and Love being hurt cost him. Dirk cost him (that Heat team was still figuring things out). Kawhi cost him (the Spurs were a better team top to bottom). Playing 6 All-stars cost him. Jordan never had such issues.

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I think LeBron is by far a better basketball player, but you can't even begin to explain to a Millennial what MJ was like in his prime.
    I hate Michael Jordan. I have my whole sports watching life. I have no problems saying that he is the greatest basketball player I have ever seen. I think Lebron is more well rounded but not a better player. Jordan in today’s NBA would average 35-40 a night.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Well, you're mistaken. Growing up, he was the end all be all. I was one of tens of millions who wanted to be like Mike.
    Heck, you just lost me. I do hate Jordan. Have to. He played at freakin' UNC and then dominated the NBA, further encouraging UNC love from the masses. Nuff said.

    Well, not quite enough said. I will begrudgingly admit he was/is the GOAT in basketball. It's surely between him and LeBron (and perhaps Kobe). And this is coming from a Larry Bird loving Celtic fan growing up. But I can still hate MJ in the sports fan kinda way.

  17. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    That would be a bad argument. JR Rider cost him. Kyrie and Love being hurt cost him. Dirk cost him (that Heat team was still figuring things out). Kawhi cost him (the Spurs were a better team top to bottom). Playing 6 All-stars cost him. Jordan never had such issues.
    Truth! Every bit of it. If anyone argues that Michael Jordan didn't have an easier time of claiming titles vs LeBron, they are two fries short of a happy meal. That doesn't take away from his accomplishments, but I don't want to hear Michael had it harder than LeBron. No way.

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    Heck, you just lost me. I do hate Jordan. Have to. He played at freakin' UNC and then dominated the NBA, further encouraging UNC love from the masses. Nuff said.

    Well, not quite enough said. I will begrudgingly admit he was/is the GOAT in basketball. It's surely between him and LeBron (and perhaps Kobe). And this is coming from a Larry Bird loving Celtic fan growing up. But I can still hate MJ in the sports fan kinda way.
    Maybe it was an age thing.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    I will begrudgingly admit he was/is the GOAT in basketball. It's surely between him and LeBron (and perhaps Kobe).
    Wait... what did you just say there?!?!?

    Talk about killing your credibility! I'm not even sure Kobe is among the 10 best players of all time, let alone in the GOAT conversation. Off the top of my head: MJ, Lebron, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, Bird, and Magic are unquestionably better than Kobe. Kobe was rarely even the best player in the NBA during his career. He won the MVP award exactly one time.

    Quote Originally Posted by SupaDave View Post
    That would be a bad argument. JR Rider cost him. Kyrie and Love being hurt cost him. Dirk cost him (that Heat team was still figuring things out). Kawhi cost him (the Spurs were a better team top to bottom). Playing 6 All-stars cost him. Jordan never had such issues.
    "JR Rider cost him" - First of all, the Cavs aren't wining that series even if JR Smith (not JR Rider) had taken a shot (who knows if he makes it) versus sending game one of the series into OT. They lost to the Warriors 4-0. And even if you want to contend that Smith's boneheaded play broke the Cavs spirit, there is no no no no way Jordan would have let his team fold after a mistake like that.

    "Kyrie and Love being hurt cost him" - You are aware that Jordan won a title when he was so sick he could barely get out of bed, right? It is not like the Bull had perfect health ever single post-season.

    "Dirk cost him" - So, your contention is that the GOAT lost a series to a team that was clearly less talented because someone on the other team was better than the GOAT? Ummmm, the grand total of times someone was better than Jordan in the playoffs is zero (ok, maybe one... he was merely great, not the greatest, in 1995 when he came back from early retirement).

    "Kawhi cost him" - See my above retort. How can Lebron be the GOAT when he keeps losing to guys who are better than him? This argument makes no sense to me.

    "Playing 6 All-stars cost him" - I'll give you this one. That Warriors team was stacked in a major way and the Cavs simply did not have the weapons to fight back. But, you know one of the amazing thing about the Bulls? Jordan somehow made those mediocre players pretty darn good all by himself. It is not like the Bulls were loaded with All-stars. Other than Pippen, they were a bunch of role players who Jordan molded into the pieces that would prove unbeatable in the playoffs. Lebron's is often on teams that just don't work all that well together. I dunno how much of it is his fault, but this never happened to Jordan. There has to be some responsibility to the star here, doesn't there?

    The GOAT does not lose 6 NBA finals... he just doesn't. Make all the excuses you want but the reality is that Jordan would not let his teams lose. That is what makes him the GOAT. Lebron... not so much.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  20. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Wait... what did you just say there?!?!?

    Talk about killing your credibility! I'm not even sure Kobe is among the 10 best players of all time, let alone in the GOAT conversation. Off the top of my head: MJ, Lebron, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, Bird, and Magic are unquestionably better than Kobe. Kobe was rarely even the best player in the NBA during his career. He won the MVP award exactly one time.
    “Okay. A simple wrong would have done just fine, but...“

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