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Thread: The Last Dance

  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by MartyClark View Post
    Yup, you are right.

    I was trying to talk about Michael's drive to win and, that in my opinion, that drive exceeded any other player. I didn't say it very well and, if I did, it would be debatable.

    Bill Russell, by record, is the winningest b-ball player and I did not intend to ignore the obvious.
    Fivethirtyeight has a new-fangled stat. I think it only goes back to '78. Also has Jordan as 4th best perimeter defender of that era (interestingly, Danny Green is number 2, which I never suspected).

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...-was-the-best/

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    It's game 7 of the NBA Finals and you can draft any player in history in his absolute prime to be on your team. Who are you taking?
    Bill Russell.

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    It's game 7 of the NBA Finals and you can draft any player in history in his absolute prime to be on your team. Who are you taking?
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    Larry Joe Bird. But since he didnít get to play at his prime for very long, without some injuries here and there, I canít say heís the GOAT. One game - Game 7 - in his prime and injury free? Yep, Iím taking Bird.

    And I dare Jason to tell me Iím crazy this time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bay Area Duke Fan View Post
    Bill Russell.
    I'm taking Jordan, because if I take anyone else and Jordan finds out? I'm dead. He will move heaven and earth not just to win the game, but to embarass my team then rub it in our faces.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    It's game 7 of the NBA Finals and you can draft any player in history in his absolute prime to be on your team. Who are you taking?
    Mr. Robert Horry


  5. #85
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    Santa Clara, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    It's game 7 of the NBA Finals and you can draft any player in history in his absolute prime to be on your team. Who are you taking?
    Giving it some thought, I'd say Magic.

    The point here is that I am picking a team, and not a player. Sure, picking MJ or LeBron or Kareem or Russell might be banking on the player. But I'd want Magic as my PG in Game 7. And since it's a draft, I might even go with Magic if I had the first pick. Let's say the next guy picks Jordan. Then I'd pick LeBron or Kareem or Russell... or even Durant. I think I will have the top 2 players team-wise. There's not another true PG in the NBA top 10 (though Curry fans might argue). For those that would pick MJ and argue you could put him with BJ Armstrong and still win, I disagree. Who's BJ going to guard on the other all-time team?

    I say again that I think LeBron is the best all-around NBA player that I've ever seen. That actually doesn't mean he's the GOAT. Or that he's my first pick in an all-time draft. Maybe MJ is the GOAT. But LeBron is the best all-around (not having seen the Big O).

    9F
    Bucket List - Throw a party when Duke MBB has a winning record against Carolina.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    It's game 7 of the NBA Finals and you can draft any player in history in his absolute prime to be on your team. Who are you taking?
    Jordan. For me it's not even close.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Truth&Justise View Post
    I'm taking Jordan, because if I take anyone else and Jordan finds out? I'm dead. He will move heaven and earth not just to win the game, but to embarass my team then rub it in our faces.
    See, I think Bird had that same exact mentality. And when healthy could impact those big games in the same way Jordan did.

  8. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    It's game 7 of the NBA Finals and you can draft any player in history in his absolute prime to be on your team. Who are you taking?
    Yeah, sorry folks, the correct answer is Jordan.

    Russell won a lot, but wasn't the reason for each trophy. Robert Horry won tons of hardware - is he one of the best twenty players ever?

    I am steadfast that LeBron is a better player in most aspects of the game. But I would select MJ for game seven every time.

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Personally, I just can’t put old-school centers in the conversation of all-time greats such as Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James.

    As primary ballhandlers these guys had to be adept at passing from long distances while on the move, shooting from anywhere on the court whether near the basket or not, and, of course, handling the ball all over the court. The centers didn’t really need those skills as they were mostly camped out near the basket.
    Perimeter players are typically more complete (i.e. wider skillset), sure, but that doesn't make them better players, especially adjusted for era as CDu noted. For many decades, if you had the best big man, you were probably going to win multiple championships.

    Also, big men like Kareem, Hakeem, and Duncan were still exquisitely skilled at their craft, despite not also being the long-distance shooters or great ball-handlers that a guard could be.

  10. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Yeah, sorry folks, the correct answer is Jordan.

    Russell won a lot, but wasn't the reason for each trophy. Robert Horry won tons of hardware - is he one of the best twenty players ever?

    I am steadfast that LeBron is a better player in most aspects of the game. But I would select MJ for game seven every time.
    I'm not aware of any contemporary accounts (e.g. teammates, coaches, reporters) that didn't consider Russell to be the best player on each of his championship teams.

    The answer to the Game 7 question is fairly easy. Russell. He played in ten Game 7s and was 10-0. (MJ is a fine answer but he just didn't have the extensive track record of Game 7s).

    Here's a writeup of his Russell's ten Game 7s.

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I'm not aware of any contemporary accounts (e.g. teammates, coaches, reporters) that didn't consider Russell to be the best player on each of his championship teams.

    The answer to the Game 7 question is fairly easy. Russell. He played in ten Game 7s and was 10-0. (MJ is a fine answer but he just didn't have the extensive track record of Game 7s).

    Here's a writeup of his Russell's ten Game 7s.
    That's one of the best counterpoints I can imagine. Well done.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    Larry Joe Bird. But since he didnít get to play at his prime for very long, without some injuries here and there, I canít say heís the GOAT. One game - Game 7 - in his prime and injury free? Yep, Iím taking Bird.
    Seconded.

  13. #93
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    New York City
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    Larry Joe Bird. But since he didnít get to play at his prime for very long, without some injuries here and there, I canít say heís the GOAT. One game - Game 7 - in his prime and injury free? Yep, Iím taking Bird.

    And I dare Jason to tell me Iím crazy this time.
    This would be my answer too. 1984-1986 Larry Bird.
    Singler is IRON

    I STILL GOT IT! -- Ryan Kelly, March 2, 2013

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Seconded.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. synellinden View Post
    This would be my answer too. 1984-1986 Larry Bird.
    Sanity restored to DBR. Just kidding. Don't let your cornbread get cold on account of it.

    In all seriousness, I also admire the counterpoint that Troublemaker supplied concerning Russell. Hard to argue with that.

  15. #95
    Gotta say one more thing. I really do believe as time goes by more and more folk forget just how good Larry Bird was.

    James Worthy: "I would rather guard Jordan than Bird."

    Pat Riley: "I'd want Jordan to take the shot with the game on the line. I'd want Bird to take it if my LIFE was on the line."

    Isiah Thomas: "if you locked me, Michael, Magic and Larry in a room----I think Larry is the one who makes it out".

    Michael Cooper: "He was the toughest in the sense that anytime Larry was on the floor, you had to be aware of his presence because he was going to make something good happen. I played against George Gervin, Andrew Toney, Dr. J., a young Michael Jordan, some of the best players that have ever played this game, but Larry would have to be the best. You knew if Jordan had the ball, once he gave it up, you were okay with that. Larry could go get offensive rebounds. He could make a great pass. He was the ultimate offensive threat. Anytime he was on the offensive side of the floor you had to defend him. To me, that makes him the best I've ever played against."

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by DUKIECB View Post
    Jordan. For me it's not even close.
    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.

  17. #97
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    Dec 2011
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    Chicago
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDukie View Post
    Gotta say one more thing. I really do believe as time goes by more and more folk forget just how good Larry Bird was.

    James Worthy: "I would rather guard Jordan than Bird."

    Pat Riley: "I'd want Jordan to take the shot with the game on the line. I'd want Bird to take it if my LIFE was on the line."

    Isiah Thomas: "if you locked me, Michael, Magic and Larry in a room----I think Larry is the one who makes it out".

    Michael Cooper: "He was the toughest in the sense that anytime Larry was on the floor, you had to be aware of his presence because he was going to make something good happen. I played against George Gervin, Andrew Toney, Dr. J., a young Michael Jordan, some of the best players that have ever played this game, but Larry would have to be the best. You knew if Jordan had the ball, once he gave it up, you were okay with that. Larry could go get offensive rebounds. He could make a great pass. He was the ultimate offensive threat. Anytime he was on the offensive side of the floor you had to defend him. To me, that makes him the best I've ever played against."
    Bird was undoubtedly a great offensive player. But do have any memory of him trying to defend Worthy in those great Lakers-Celtics matchups? It wasn't pretty.

  18. #98
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    Dec 2011
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    Chicago
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I'm not aware of any contemporary accounts (e.g. teammates, coaches, reporters) that didn't consider Russell to be the best player on each of his championship teams.

    The answer to the Game 7 question is fairly easy. Russell. He played in ten Game 7s and was 10-0. (MJ is a fine answer but he just didn't have the extensive track record of Game 7s).

    Here's a writeup of his Russell's ten Game 7s.
    Russell was undoubtedly a great player, great leader and great winner.

    FWIW, I would argue (in hindsight admittedly) that Havlicek was the best player on the '68 and '69 championship teams, years in which Russell averaged 12.5 and 9.9 ppg, respectively.

    I also think the "Russell as ultimate winner = Russell as greatest player" logic glosses over - if not outright ignores - some inconvenient facts, namely:

    Number of championships won without at least 3 future HoF teammates - ZERO

    Number of years Russell led the Celtics in scoring in the regular season or playoffs - ZERO

    Number of times Russell was named 1st Team All-NBA - 3 (OUT OF 13 SEASONS)

    Number of times Russell had the ball in his hands with a Finals game on the line - NO IDEA, BUT SAFE TO SAY IT WAS FAR FEWER THAN MJ, LEBRON OR KAREEM

  19. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Seconded.
    I really enjoyed watching Bird play- he was such a good shooter and smart player. He could find a million ways to beat you. Just did not play long enough.

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by luvdahops View Post
    Number of times Russell had the ball in his hands with a Finals game on the line - NO IDEA, BUT SAFE TO SAY IT WAS FAR FEWER THAN MJ, LEBRON OR KAREEM
    By ďball in his handĒ are you including rebounds and blocks? Just curious.

    I would also like to know how many times Russell was guarding the guy with the ball in his hand (or who wanted the ball in his hand) with a Finals game on the line.

    One of the things that makes this argument endless is that best players have had some of the best teammates, and playing the game at the highest level on both sides of the ball has a heck of an impact on winning.
    Carolina delenda est

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