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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    I beg to differ, sir. I donít believe Bryant had the overall athleticism, strength, effectiveness in scoring near the basket, defensive ability, or sheer will to win that Jordan had. Bryant was 2% to Jordanís whole milk.
    But Kobe wasn't a tar heel.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Bay Area Duke Fan View Post
    But Kobe wasn't a tar heel.
    Fair point.

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Larry is too HIGH?? No, Larry is way too low. I think he had more high-level abilities — passing, court vision, rebounding, shooting from ANYWHERE on the court, FTs, clutchness, leadership, will to win, toughness — than anybody on this list. The only thing that kept him from being considered right alongside Jordan as the best player ever was injuries. If you didn’t see him play at his absolute peak you would not understand. You had to see with your own eyes how he would absolutely dominate games.

    The narrative has changed with time, but when Bird was at his peak he was widely considered the superior overall player to Magic. Kareem said Bird was the best player he ever played against, and he played against many of the all-time greats. I am more inclined to believe Kareem knows what he’s talking on this subject than random posters on DBR (including myself) or ESPN sportswriters, most of whom weren’t there.
    I both somewhat agree with you while ultimately disagreeing. These lists are not for "Best Peak Player," and so Larry's debilitating back injury (and the bone spurs in his heels) that lowered his effectiveness for the last third of his already somewhat short career unfortunately moves him down the GOAT lists, appropriately, imo. One of my favorite basketball analysts Ben Taylor actually puts Larry's overall career outside the top 10 at #11: https://backpicks.com/2017/12/11/the...n-nba-history/

    Now with that said, Peak Larry was amazing as you mentioned. He won 3 MVPs in a row ('84, '85, '86)* and was an excellent team defender to go with his scoring, passing, and shooting ability. Had some of the best basketball instincts ever. I remember it the same way as you do, that until the injuries took a toll, Larry was regarded as better than Magic.

    * For those that are young, think about how dominant he must've been in the mid-80s to win 3 MVPs in a row, something neither MJ nor Lebron did.

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I both somewhat agree with you while ultimately disagreeing. These lists are not for "Best Peak Player," and so Larry's debilitating back injury (and the bone spurs in his heels) that lowered his effectiveness for the last third of his already somewhat short career unfortunately moves him down the GOAT lists, appropriately, imo. One of my favorite basketball analysts Ben Taylor actually puts Larry's overall career outside the top 10 at #11: https://backpicks.com/2017/12/11/the...n-nba-history/

    Now with that said, Peak Larry was amazing as you mentioned. He won 3 MVPs in a row ('84, '85, '86) and was an excellent team defender to go with his scoring, passing, and shooting ability. Had some of the best basketball instincts ever. I remember it the same way as you do, that until the injuries took a toll, Larry was regarded as better than Magic.
    Well, and that's what makes lists like these such perfect sportstalk fodder.

    No one ever agrees on the criteria. Most trophies? Most impressive stats? Most wins? Best for longest? Most spectacular to watch? Best teammate? Most physically impressive?

    And that's setting aside the "what would player X do if they played in player Y's league" trying to compare across eras.

    It's completely insane discussion that has no right or wrong answers. Except mine, of course.

    1) LeBron
    2) Kareem
    3) MJ

    Anyway, all of this is what also makes it perfect for discussion during what is literally the longest off-season from Duke basketball any of us have endured. And, it's dovetailed with the biggest sports drought of our lifetimes.

    So sure. Let's break down Russell/Wilt.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada (Ohio born and raised)
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I both somewhat agree with you while ultimately disagreeing. These lists are not for "Best Peak Player," and so Larry's debilitating back injury (and the bone spurs in his heels) that lowered his effectiveness for the last third of his already somewhat short career unfortunately moves him down the GOAT lists, appropriately, imo. One of my favorite basketball analysts Ben Taylor actually puts Larry's overall career outside the top 10 at #11: https://backpicks.com/2017/12/11/the...n-nba-history/

    Now with that said, Peak Larry was amazing as you mentioned. He won 3 MVPs in a row ('84, '85, '86)* and was an excellent team defender to go with his scoring, passing, and shooting ability. Had some of the best basketball instincts ever. I remember it the same way as you do, that until the injuries took a toll, Larry was regarded as better than Magic.

    * For those that are young, think about how dominant he must've been in the mid-80s to win 3 MVPs in a row, something neither MJ nor Lebron did.
    MJ and Lebron should of won three in a row. Itís all politics if you ask me. Also, Bron won it 4 times in a 5 year span at one point which is something Bird never did.

  6. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegas View Post
    MJ and Lebron should of won three in a row. Itís all politics if you ask me. Also, Bron won it 4 times in a 5 year span at one point which is something Bird never did.
    Well, that's what I'm saying. He was so great and seemingly so in control of the game that he overcame voter fatigue about voting for the same guy three years in a row.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegas View Post
    MJ and Lebron should of won three in a row. It’s all politics if you ask me. Also, Bron won it 4 times in a 5 year span at one point which is something Bird never did.
    That’s fine. But Bird could also have won the MVP in 83, 87, and 88 (in addition to his winning it in 84, 85, and 86). Basically, for nine straight seasons he was absolutely brilliant — from his rookie year in 79-80 through the 87-88 season. It was near the beginning of the ill-fated 88-89 season that the first of several debilitating injuries robbed him, and all sports fans, of seeing what would almost surely have been two decades of sustained greatness (though he did come back to have excellent seasons even after major injuries) from the greatest basketball player of his generation. Instead, we only got one (decade).

  8. #88
    There are a million videos on the subject, but I found this one particularly compelling: https://youtu.be/tl3mR6eoEa8

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Belhaven, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Thatís fine. But Bird could also have won the MVP in 83, 87, and 88 (in addition to his winning it in 84, 85, and 86). Basically, for nine straight seasons he was absolutely brilliant ó from his rookie year in 79-80 through the 87-88 season. It was near the beginning of the ill-fated 88-89 season that the first of several debilitating injuries robbed him, and all sports fans, of seeing what would almost surely have been two decades of sustained greatness (though he did come back to have excellent seasons even after major injuries) from the greatest basketball player of his generation. Instead, we only got one (decade).
    If I'm not mistaken, Larry's best statistical year was the year after he won the MVP last time. I've watched a ton of Larry Bird stuff on YouTube lately. I'm convinced he could have scored 40 any night he wanted to. The 60 point night might be the most amazing scoring display ever. Trainer's lap? You gotta be kidding me

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