For me, Fed has surpassed Jordan, Brady and Gretzky

TheMaestro1990

Hall of Fame
Fair enough I see your point. I feel like Messi is cursed internationally and has been incredibly unlucky (while Ronaldo was fortunate to bag that Euros win)
Yeah I agree. Ronaldo did absolutely nothing in the Euros except for 2-3 goals. Goals are important but in play he doesn’t do anything
 
1. Maradona cheated. That sullies anything else he did imo, and Messi would have a WC if he had a competent non choking ST in front of him (he played CAM for Argentina)
2. Di Stefano’s 5 European cups I would say are worth 1 of Messi’s CL titles at best. Completely different era and nowhere near as competitive.
3. Messi is the best and most complete footballer of all time. Arguably the best goal scorer and assister ever and could play any midfield or attacking position.
Disagree. Maradona's genius overshadows the Hand of God, Di Stefano's 5 European Cups are greater than Messi's 4(?) Champions Leagues.
(Your point #2 proves you're a recent CL worshipper with little respect for football history btw)
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
20 major titles. 30 major final appearances. 6 year end championships, 10 year end finals appearances.

In his last FIFTY SIX major appearances, he's been to at least the QF's or better FIFTY times...FIFTY.
In his last fifty six major appearances, he's been to the Semi-finals or better FOURTY-FOUR TIMES!!!
He has a 90% winning percentage in slams since mid-2003.

He's been in 145 professional tournament finals, winning 96. His major wins are now 14 1/2 years apart.
He's won doubles Gold. He's led Switzerland to the Davis Cup title. He's led his team to 2 Hopman Cup wins.
He's missed TWO slam events in over 16 years.

We all know about his ranking longevity at Number 1 or 2 or 3.

He is the greatest in his sport, without question. He's been far more consistent than Serena ever was...there's no comparison there (and he has 24 more titles than her).

For longevity and consistent excellence, he's the greatest of the last 100 years. Who is better? And, he'd have 5 or more French Opens if he didn't have to go against the greatest clay court player ever...BY FAR.

And even when Novak was dominating in stretches, Fed always found ways to beat him in Masters events. Fed was right there with him, as he's always been with Rafa...whom he's now beaten FOUR times in a row. If anyone can't give him his props or is still unwilling to call him the greatest without question, you seriously have an unhealthy need to rebel for the sake of rebelling...it points to your own stubborness, arrogance and pride.

I agree...He never had "team" on court around him to cover for his weaknesses. Jordan had rules put in place to keep them from blowing on him. Brady hasn't been hit 5 times in 14 years and the 4 times he was hit 3 of them he got calls for roughing the passer. He also played with some deflated balls apparently probably on more than one occasion if truth be told. He also had an O-line that is apparently allowed to hold and have had the fewest holding penalties called of any NFL team in the league. You think that's coincidence? They are both are great players at their sports but they had help. Fed had to do it alone. Jordan and Brady had coaching from the beginning to the end. Fed had to think for himself. Gretsky? well I can't say much about him. I only saw what I saw on Sports Center but he had a team around him as well...which disqualifies him on that alone. :) Fed is the greatest of alllllll thimeeeeeeee.... :) I put him over Serena because he had to win 3 of 5 sets in majors
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Disagree. Maradona's genius overshadows the Hand of God, Di Stefano's 5 European Cups are greater than Messi's 4(?) Champions Leagues.
(Your point #2 proves you're a recent CL worshipper with little respect for football history btw)
I hate cheats so have no respect for Maradona 1986 sorry.

1950s European cups are nowhere near the standing/prestigious/difficulty of modern champions league. European football didn’t take off until late 60s/70s in that way. Real Madrid’s EC wins in the 50s don’t hold the same value.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Fair enough I see your point. I feel like Messi is cursed internationally and has been incredibly unlucky (while Ronaldo was fortunate to bag that Euros win)
Yeah. That same year Messi was incredible at the Copa America and played better overall at his respective event (apart from that penalty miss)
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
The easiest way to demonstrate that Federer is the greatest athlete of all time is simply to have a group of people who follow sports vote on a group of great athletes on who belongs in the discussion of greatest athlete ever? I'm pretty confident Fed would be included by pretty much everyone. Jordan maybe. Everyone else is quite a ways behind.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Lol Jordan is probably one of the most overrated athletes of all time.

You say Fed had a weak era? Jordan was feasting on franchises whose top dudes were known perennial chokers and would retire without a damn ring in Barkley and Malone.

People accuse of Fed and Rafa ducking each other? Jordan was busy playing baseball when Hakeem Olajuwon and the rockets went to town and won back to back rings.

You complain that Fed is arrogant? Rafa isnt gracious in the jaws of defeat or Nole celebrates too much? Jordan not only punched his teammate and didnt get any flak for it, he was deep into gambling addiction which might have had something to do with the death of his own father.

And oh, notice why I didnt compare accomplishments too much? That's because Roger is a tier or two above MJ. If you cant recognize that, you are either ignorant of basketball or just a plain blinded hater.

You should be banned for a week for this blasphemy. lol You have gone too far. lol I'll admit that Fed is a better athlete, but Jordan was and is the greatest team sport athlete of All time. He took what was basically a bunch of parts and made them into better players. He made people around him better just as James does at times. As far as any of them being arrogant. They all are. Only a fool would think any of them aren't. Some hide it better than others, but what athlete isn't all the way down to us rec tennis players. lol Jordan let you know about it on the Court. Brady did it with his actions on the field while gutting out teams secondaries even in games where they were blowing teams up. Overrated for Jordan? I don't think so...but was Fed better...of course he was. He wasn't or isn't relying on Pippen or Gronk to catch his errant passes. Fed didn't even have coaching on the court and had to think for himself. So yes. I'll give him the nod on that but you keep up your rant about Jordan you are going to be banned even from a tennis forum. lol I'm giving you a hard time man..don't take the banning thing serious. lol
 
I hate cheats so have no respect for Maradona 1986 sorry.

1950s European cups are nowhere near the standing/prestigious/difficulty of modern champions league. European football didn’t take off until late 60s/70s in that way. Real Madrid’s EC wins in the 50s don’t hold the same value.
We'll have to agree to disagree I'm afraid.
 

Man of steel

Hall of Fame
Yeah, cuz beating Angie on grass is so much harder than beating a two time Wimby champ (with multiple other finals too), right? And Nadal slaughtered the field on the faster grass of Queens in 2008, don't kid yourself.
Lol. Who did fed beat in wimbledon last year to win again? Yeah such a tough match

If you want to talk about having a tough grass court competition...
Nadal is still chump change on grass compared to a true GOAT on grass like Venus who's a 5 TIME WIMBLEDON CHAMPION AND A NINE TIME WIMBLEDON FINALIST. She has the same wimbledon accolades (wins and finals) as Nadal and Djokovic COMBINED.
 

ShowStealer

New User
OMG
are you fukin kidding me
the op cant being serious

i dont know where are from i dont know how old you are
but damn this hurts badly

how can anyone compare jordan to federer
jordan is light years ahead of any tennis player ever
jordan was an iconic figure of 90s
anybody who lived in the 90s knows who mj was

he had a bigger impact on the 90s decade
than all tennis players combined since open era

your greatness is measured by
your world wide fame
your impact on your sport and all sports in general
your cultural impact on the society and the world

no tennis player ever reached a hight level of those things
thats why i believe that there is no goat in tennis

jordan belongs to the rare list of sports greatest athletes ever
that includes
ali
tyson
pele
maradona
bruce lee (in spite of being an actor not an athlete)
hulk hogan (in spite of not being in a real competitive sport)
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
That’s fine but just remember back in those days you had to win 4 ties to win the European cup. Nowhere near as long or tough as a full CL campaign.
Ofcourse not. Messi has dominated the sport domestically in a way nobody including Maradona were ever capable of.
9 league's at the age of 30 if they wrap up La liga, 2 trebles (both as lead dog) which has never been done in the history of the sport, and 4 UCL and league doubles.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
OMG
are you fukin kidding me
the op cant being serious

i dont know where are from i dont know how old you are
but damn this hurts badly

how can anyone compare jordan to federer
jordan is light years ahead of any tennis player ever
jordan was an iconic figure of 90s
anybody who lived in the 90s knows who mj was

he had a bigger impact on the 90s decade
than all tennis players combined since open era

your greatness is measured by
your world wide fame
your impact on your sport and all sports in general
your cultural impact on the society and the world

no tennis player ever reached a hight level of those things
thats why i believe that there is no goat in tennis

jordan belongs to the rare list of sports greatest athletes ever
that includes
ali
tyson
pele
maradona
bruce lee (in spite of being an actor not an athlete)
hulk hogan (in spite of not being in a real competitive sport)
I completely agree and I'm a Federer fan (and not a Jordan fan.) He's the greatest sportsman I've ever seen. I hated him in unhealthy ways during the 90s and it was only after he retired that I realized I was cheating myself. I was watching the greatest athlete in sports history and never allowed myself to appreciate him, so consumed with hate was I.

Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time but he's not as dominant in his sports as jordan was in his. Jordan was a human video game. The gap between him and the 2nd greatest player of all time is much bigger than the gap between the consensus Goats of any of the major sports.
 

Otacon

Hall of Fame
Outside the US and Canada, nobody gives a damn about the NHL and NFL, the greatest sportsmen must play a worldwide sport like football, boxing or tennis. So Brady and Gretzky are disqualified from the conversation.
 

Otacon

Hall of Fame
Ofcourse not. Messi has dominated the sport domestically in a way nobody including Maradona were ever capable of.
9 league's at the age of 30 if they wrap up La liga, 2 trebles (both as lead dog) which has never been done in the history of the sport, and 4 UCL and league doubles.
Messi's Barcelona and Maradona's Napoli are incomparable, one is playing for the best team of the decade and the other was part of a very average team.
 
Ofcourse not. Messi has dominated the sport domestically in a way nobody including Maradona were ever capable of.
9 league's at the age of 30 if they wrap up La liga, 2 trebles (both as lead dog) which has never been done in the history of the sport, and 4 UCL and league doubles.
Aren't you the same person who talked about team mates being very important in football - this being your excuse for Messi never having won the World Cup?

Well then, you must have the intelligence to understand why Messi, playing with the team mates he has at Barcelona, has dominated his domestic league much more than Maradona did - the latter playing for unfashionable Napoli, and yet still guiding them to two Serie A titles.

I think you know that if Maradona had been put in Messi's place at Barcelona, with Xavi/Iniesta et al, he'd have won just as many trophies.

And he'd also have won the World Cup - which Messi has been utterly incapable of delivering for an expectant Argentine public.
 
I completely agree and I'm a Federer fan (and not a Jordan fan.) He's the greatest sportsman I've ever seen. I hated him in unhealthy ways during the 90s and it was only after he retired that I realized I was cheating myself. I was watching the greatest athlete in sports history and never allowed myself to appreciate him, so consumed with hate was I.

Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time but he's not as dominant in his sports as jordan was in his. Jordan was a human video game. The gap between him and the 2nd greatest player of all time is much bigger than the gap between the consensus Goats of any of the major sports.
Jordan might be the basketball GOAT, but I think your claiming him as "the greatest athlete in sports history" should more accurately be translated as "the greatest marketer of himself in sports history". He's not as great as Muhammad Ali and several others overall. Not sure who is generally considered the 2nd greatest basketball player of all time - but surely the gap between Don Bradman and the 2nd greatest cricketer exceeds the gap between Jordan and the 2nd greatest basketball player?
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Jordan might be the basketball GOAT, but I think your claiming him as "the greatest athlete in sports history" should more accurately be translated as "the greatest marketer of himself in sports history". He's not as great as Muhammad Ali and several others overall. Not sure who is generally considered the 2nd greatest basketball player of all time - but surely the gap between Don Bradman and the 2nd greatest cricketer exceeds the gap between Jordan and the 2nd greatest basketball player?
Yep. Also, when people talk about how big Jordan was in the 90s compared to Federer in the 2010s you have to consider the media landscape too. American businesses dominated the sports media market in the 90s and there was no competition from social media, or from many other sports which weren't nearly as polished or matured entertainment packages. Nowdays there is massive competition constantly for eyeballs, including from gaming etc. Had their eras been swapped people would be making the exact same claims but the other way around.

It's like looking at how many albums Michael Jackson sold of Thriller in the early 80s and then comparing him to Justin Timberlake now who lives in an era where physical album sales are irrelevant. They can't be compared except subjectively.

Federer is far and away the most universally loved current sportsperson. He's also more globally recognised than Jordan was (mainly because of Asia coming to the party in the global sports viewer market) - it's just that Jordan's global appeal has more than doubled since he stopped competing through the marketing of Jordan branded gear. Federer, by contrast, has 10+ true competitors whereas Jordan had basically Mike Tyson for a couple of years only and even then more as an object of intrigue (because of his non-sporting stuff) rather than as a serious challenger for greatest sportsperson. In Jordan's era it was vastly easier to dominate the sports news globally especially because he was American (in the same way Serena is overhyped the absurd levels. If she was French she wouldn't be half as lauded as she is vs Graf and other former greats). A bunch of posts here by American members show mostly the result of having America-centric sports rammed down your throat on a daily basis for your entire life. Some go as far as claiming basketball is an example of a "global sport" because Spain and Turkey etc play it also which is laughable. Compared to football (i.e. soccer) it's almost akin to comparing Sam Hornish Jr to Lewis Hamilton in true terms of talent and high-level achievement. It's just not possible, yet literally most of American motorsport followers would argue that Hornish was as great, or almost as great, as Hamilton.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Do you understand how many people would say only the first 5 count? Or the first 4? In the US tennis is a non-factor with general sports fans.
I don't know if I'd call tennis a non fact
OMG
are you fukin kidding me
the op cant being serious

i dont know where are from i dont know how old you are
but damn this hurts badly

how can anyone compare jordan to federer
jordan is light years ahead of any tennis player ever
jordan was an iconic figure of 90s
anybody who lived in the 90s knows who mj was

he had a bigger impact on the 90s decade
than all tennis players combined since open era

your greatness is measured by
your world wide fame
your impact on your sport and all sports in general
your cultural impact on the society and the world

no tennis player ever reached a hight level of those things
thats why i believe that there is no goat in tennis

jordan belongs to the rare list of sports greatest athletes ever
that includes
ali
tyson
pele
maradona
bruce lee (in spite of being an actor not an athlete)
hulk hogan (in spite of not being in a real competitive sport)

LOL....LOL...well...I guess we need to go back and see what his def of athlete is. I agreed with OP but only from the stance of them playing their respective sports and not the popularity or the other stuff you mentioned. You are right if you bring all of that in, but just from a person to person....and trust me I hate admitting this...Fed is better just from the stand point alone that fed played alone. He didn't need a Pippen as a side kick. Jordan couldn't have accomplished what he did without Pippen. Those are facts because he never won one without Pippen. I do think he is the best athlete to ever play team sports for now. If Lebron reaches say 5, I'll put Lebron ahead of him. The reason being is if we use your Narrative, then to me as a Black man, Lebron will surpass Jordan because of his willingness to speak out on issues. Jordan wouldn't even speak out to the black youth that were out here killing each other over his shoes. If it is one thing I didn't like about Jordan that is it. Other than that...he is the greatest team athlete of all time...if we just look at what they were able to accomplish on court. If we bring in what you said...then yes Jordan is greater but that is only because basketball is more popular. If America would be more inclusive with Tennis, the next Michael Jordan may choose Tennis over basketball. Over all the better athletes are playing basketball...no comparison. So maybe the OP will come back and clarrify. You had me rolling though right out of the gate. lol
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Jordan might be the basketball GOAT, but I think your claiming him as "the greatest athlete in sports history" should more accurately be translated as "the greatest marketer of himself in sports history". He's not as great as Muhammad Ali and several others overall. Not sure who is generally considered the 2nd greatest basketball player of all time - but surely the gap between Don Bradman and the 2nd greatest cricketer exceeds the gap between Jordan and the 2nd greatest basketball player?
Yep. Also, when people talk about how big Jordan was in the 90s compared to Federer in the 2010s you have to consider the media landscape too. American businesses dominated the sports media market in the 90s and there was no competition from social media, or from many other sports which weren't nearly as polished or matured entertainment packages. Nowdays there is massive competition constantly for eyeballs, including from gaming etc. Had their eras been swapped people would be making the exact same claims but the other way around.

It's like looking at how many albums Michael Jackson sold of Thriller in the early 80s and then comparing him to Justin Timberlake now who lives in an era where physical album sales are irrelevant. They can't be compared except subjectively.

Federer is far and away the most universally loved current sportsperson. He's also more globally recognised than Jordan was (mainly because of Asia coming to the party in the global sports viewer market) - it's just that Jordan's global appeal has more than doubled since he stopped competing through the marketing of Jordan branded gear. Federer, by contrast, has 10+ true competitors whereas Jordan had basically Mike Tyson for a couple of years only and even then more as an object of intrigue (because of his non-sporting stuff) rather than as a serious challenger for greatest sportsperson. In Jordan's era it was vastly easier to dominate the sports news globally especially because he was American (in the same way Serena is overhyped the absurd levels. If she was French she wouldn't be half as lauded as she is vs Graf and other former greats). A bunch of posts here by American members show mostly the result of having America-centric sports rammed down your throat on a daily basis for your entire life. Some go as far as claiming basketball is an example of a "global sport" because Spain and Turkey etc play it also which is laughable. Compared to football (i.e. soccer) it's almost akin to comparing Sam Hornish Jr to Lewis Hamilton in true terms of talent and high-level achievement. It's just not possible, yet literally most of American motorsport followers would argue that Hornish was as great, or almost as great, as Hamilton.
As somebody who lived most of his younger years in Asia I assure you MJ really was that big a phenomenon outside America. And it wasn't just marketing either, as anybody who followed his NBA career would tell you. Now if you compare him to a veritable icon like Ali then sure, I do think he falls short but who really doesn't? Maybe Pele, but then even he can't boast of standing up to the most powerful country in history and having suffered mighty for it.

Also when you say Fed is "the most universally loved current sportsperson" I'm guessing you based that on the usual metrics they trot out for this kind of thing. As I explained when I jumped into the thread earlier those polls/numbers are highly misleading as the majority of the world doesn't have the clout to be even included as part of such PR endeavors. In fact the very notion of being able to measure degrees of an athlete's being "loved" speaks volumes as to its real intent, and it's really our Western bias rearing its ugly head when we keep putting out these lists and demand they be taken seriously.

And speaking of which if we're to downgrade basketball with respect to football/soccer then it only makes sense to do the same for tennis, and I highly doubt Fed or any other tennis player is as globally famous as Messi or Ronaldo, let alone Pele or Maradona, because I can tell you from my experience that I've met plenty of people in Asia (usually older ones, yes) who wouldn't recognize Federer even by name. Believe it or not tennis is still a niche bourgeois sport to many segments of the world population, and while basketball isn't as big as football worldwide I'm pretty confident it's more popular than tennis in terms of both participation and viewership.

But your comparison of Jordan with the other MJ is interesting, and not only because I thought about it myself yesterday. First off it doesn't make sense to downplay the massive cultural phenomenon that was Michael Jackson's Thriller just because it happened in different times. That's like saying Columbus doesn't deserve to be considered one of the most influential people in history because he happened to introduce the Old World to the Americas at the right point in time. Obviously both Columbus and Jackson were seminal figures in history and culture, and while Jordan's influence probably doesn't match even Jackson's (I say showbiz still trumps sports except maybe football, plus I doubt there has ever been a more famous living celebrity than Jackson before his untimely death, though Trump due to his sheer grotesqueness may be his equal at this point) he deserves credit for bringing basketball to the masses.

Likewise you're quite right that there are currently so many things that can complete with one sport for anyone's attention, but that's actually a point in Jordan's favor as it's virtually impossible these days for anyone to command the level of fandom he inspired in his heyday. Also you seem to think MJ could've been replaced by another random NBA star and things wouldn't have changed much. That's obviously a counterfactual which is impossible to answer and I may not be the most objective observer here, but as @-NN- (who's not a basketball maven) noted earlier it's unlikely LeBron, Kobe, Shaq or whoever could've filled in MJ's role as Mike had this extraordinary combo of skill, athleticism, intensity and charisma that I've yet to see from any other basketball player, or any other athlete period. You could say Fed could've done the same under similar circumstances, but like I said I don't think that kind of idle talk is helpful in these comparisons.

As for MJ vs. Bradman I know next to zilch about cricket but it seems to me that Don occupies a similar place in his sport as Babe Ruth in baseball: statistically peerless (nobody in MLB history has excelled both as batter and pitcher to the same extent as did Babe), but questionable competition (no black MLB players in Babe's heyday, and from my limited understanding relatively few nations in Bradman's time). There are still many who vouch for Ruth as the baseball GOAT and I tend to agree with it, but I'm guessing Don's supremacy in cricket isn't as airtight as you present it.

BTW that's what makes MJ truly unique. Among the major sports you'll be hard-pressed to find another athlete who enjoys a similar level of almost universal acclamation as the GOAT. (Don't be fooled by the MJ-LBJ talk here. Among the basketball cognoscenti it's still not even close.) You could say it's closer to worship and I agree it gets overblown sometimes (after all few of us have seen old-timers like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson), but given his on-court achievements and his impact on the sport and the very nature of the modern athlete itself (if not always for the better, as I noted in my earlier post) I say the guy deserves much of the adulation.

LOL....LOL...well...I guess we need to go back and see what his def of athlete is. I agreed with OP but only from the stance of them playing their respective sports and not the popularity or the other stuff you mentioned. You are right if you bring all of that in, but just from a person to person....and trust me I hate admitting this...Fed is better just from the stand point alone that fed played alone. He didn't need a Pippen as a side kick. Jordan couldn't have accomplished what he did without Pippen. Those are facts because he never won one without Pippen. I do think he is the best athlete to ever play team sports for now. If Lebron reaches say 5, I'll put Lebron ahead of him. The reason being is if we use your Narrative, then to me as a Black man, Lebron will surpass Jordan because of his willingness to speak out on issues. Jordan wouldn't even speak out to the black youth that were out here killing each other over his shoes. If it is one thing I didn't like about Jordan that is it. Other than that...he is the greatest team athlete of all time...if we just look at what they were able to accomplish on court. If we bring in what you said...then yes Jordan is greater but that is only because basketball is more popular. If America would be more inclusive with Tennis, the next Michael Jordan may choose Tennis over basketball. Over all the better athletes are playing basketball...no comparison. So maybe the OP will come back and clarrify. You had me rolling though right out of the gate. lol
By your definition of "athlete" Kevin Johnson should be considered greater than MJ or LBJ because the guy actually became a politician and tried to do something about the "issues," and he went about it solo. Maybe your definition still needs work.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Also when you say Fed is "the most universally loved current sportsperson" I'm guessing you based that on the usual metrics they trot out for this kind of thing.
Universally loved.

No other current sportsperson has a broadly positive appeal - not Lebron James, not Brady, not ant footballer. Effectively Federer's only detractors are Nadal fans under the age of 30 and a few salty former players who are now 2rd tier pundits (Cash).

...because I can tell you from my experience that I've met plenty of people in Asia (usually older ones, yes) who wouldn't recognize Federer even by name.
I'm guessing you based that on the usual metrics they trot out for this kind of thing.

If the shoe fits. Worse in your case because you're just playing the me-and-my-circle-of-influences card. Perhaps even worse than that if your circle of influences is as limited and biased as it is for most Americans.

But your comparison of Jordan with the other MJ is interesting, and not only because I thought about it myself yesterday. First off it doesn't make sense to downplay the massive cultural phenomenon that was Michael Jackson's Thriller just because it happened in different times. That's like saying Columbus doesn't deserve to be considered one of the most influential people in history because he happened to introduce the Old World to the Americas at the right point in time.
Quite the contrary. Modern adventurers (last 100 years) are downplayed because they exist in an era where information is so easily obtained, when seemingly world-changing discoveries or inventions are proclaimed almost weekly. This is a disadvantage to them through clutter - just as Federer is seen in the light of the modern clutter compared to Jordan who competed in an era when there was comparatively less clutter, not to mention the US sports media machine was hitting its stride and biasing virtually the entire global news landscape with pro-American sports stories despite most of the rest of the world not caring about those sports beyond highlights and viewing them. That is where Jordan made his biggest mark - he was a living highlight reel.

BTW that's what makes MJ truly unique. Among the major sports you'll be hard-pressed to find another athlete who enjoys a similar level of almost universal acclamation as the GOAT.
Aside from Federer you mean, who also competes in a more major, global sport than basketball regardless that a couple of the most populous countries boost basketball's numbers/stats for viewership (US and China).
 
Lol. Who did fed beat in wimbledon last year to win again? Yeah such a tough match

If you want to talk about having a tough grass court competition...
Nadal is still chump change on grass compared to a true GOAT on grass like Venus who's a 5 TIME WIMBLEDON CHAMPION AND A NINE TIME WIMBLEDON FINALIST. She has the same wimbledon accolades (wins and finals) as Nadal and Djokovic COMBINED.
One Venus compared to Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Roddick, Hewitt. Only in the Serena fanatic universe is the former tougher competition than all of the latter put together.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
I think Lebron and MJ are close to equal defenders, but you could argue Lebron is better. His size definitely makes him more versatile. He is also a better rebounder and far better passer. MJ though is the best scorer ever, and he is good enough in the other categories if not downright excellent (MJ was one of the best defenders ever still, it's just his offense was even better). The reality is elite offense and merely very good defense is better than vice versa. The edge MJ has over Lebron as an offensive scoring force is real and significant. It puts him a notch above LBJ in terms of "best".

MJ is also a much better player performer. I dont want to get into team vs individual debates or "finals record" debates where on one side you have people saying it is better to never lose in the finals vs make it and lose instead of losing in earlier rounds (obviously stupid), and on the other hand people are saying it means nothing Lebron has lost so much in the finals (also stupid.) Let's use a concrete example: the Mavs series in 2011. Jordan NEVER folded like that.
The 2011 series is pretty much all Jordan has right now that makes him greater.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Are you? Or are you on a windup? He wasn't just a better defender. He was on a different tier. LeBron was getting ravaged by baby Durant as far back as 2012. He was torched by Rondo as soon as they switched LeBron on him in the ecf the same year. It was shocking to see him struggle against Rondo the way Kobe didn't when he was put on Rajon. A 32 year old Kobe dealt better with Rondo than LeBron did.
The series against Indiana weren't much better and Paul George kept drilling 3s in Lebron's face when they were matched up.
The icing on the cake is getting torched by a hobbling, grandpa bench player in Jason Terry who outplayed LeBron in the 2011 finals while constantly talking smack and calling LeBron the b word.
So basically a bunch of cherry picked samples and no real evidence. Pretty typical for LeBron detractors.

Yeah Rondo sure was torching people with his usual inefficient 20 while the Celtics offense was humming along in that series to the tune of 92 point game and a 103.5 oRTG despite Bosh being hurt most of the series. In addition to anchoring the defense, LeBron puts up 34/11/4 on elite efficiency and puts in maybe the greatest game 6/7 performance combination ever to come back from 3-2 in a series where all he had was a mediocre Wade, Chalmers and a bunch of shooters that weren't making shots. No big deal.

George was useless in the 2012 series, 2013 series he played great sure, but once again leBron anchored both ends of the ball to pull out a tough 7 game series where none of his teammates besides Chalmers played well. Wade and Bosh were awful in that series (some superteam huh). But yeah George hit some tough contested 3's in his face, so none of that counts.
 
Last edited:

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
As somebody who lived most of his younger years in Asia I assure you MJ really was that big a phenomenon outside America. And it wasn't just marketing either, as anybody who followed his NBA career would tell you. Now if you compare him to a veritable icon like Ali then sure, I do think he falls short but who really doesn't? Maybe Pele, but then even he can't boast of standing up to the most powerful country in history and having suffered mighty for it.

Also when you say Fed is "the most universally loved current sportsperson" I'm guessing you based that on the usual metrics they trot out for this kind of thing. As I explained when I jumped into the thread earlier those polls/numbers are highly misleading as the majority of the world doesn't have the clout to be even included as part of such PR endeavors. In fact the very notion of being able to measure degrees of an athlete's being "loved" speaks volumes as to its real intent, and it's really our Western bias rearing its ugly head when we keep putting out these lists and demand they be taken seriously.

And speaking of which if we're to downgrade basketball with respect to football/soccer then it only makes sense to do the same for tennis, and I highly doubt Fed or any other tennis player is as globally famous as Messi or Ronaldo, let alone Pele or Maradona, because I can tell you from my experience that I've met plenty of people in Asia (usually older ones, yes) who wouldn't recognize Federer even by name. Believe it or not tennis is still a niche bourgeois sport to many segments of the world population, and while basketball isn't as big as football worldwide I'm pretty confident it's more popular than tennis in terms of both participation and viewership.

But your comparison of Jordan with the other MJ is interesting, and not only because I thought about it myself yesterday. First off it doesn't make sense to downplay the massive cultural phenomenon that was Michael Jackson's Thriller just because it happened in different times. That's like saying Columbus doesn't deserve to be considered one of the most influential people in history because he happened to introduce the Old World to the Americas at the right point in time. Obviously both Columbus and Jackson were seminal figures in history and culture, and while Jordan's influence probably doesn't match even Jackson's (I say showbiz still trumps sports except maybe football, plus I doubt there has ever been a more famous living celebrity than Jackson before his untimely death, though Trump due to his sheer grotesqueness may be his equal at this point) he deserves credit for bringing basketball to the masses.

Likewise you're quite right that there are currently so many things that can complete with one sport for anyone's attention, but that's actually a point in Jordan's favor as it's virtually impossible these days for anyone to command the level of fandom he inspired in his heyday. Also you seem to think MJ could've been replaced by another random NBA star and things wouldn't have changed much. That's obviously a counterfactual which is impossible to answer and I may not be the most objective observer here, but as @-NN- (who's not a basketball maven) noted earlier it's unlikely LeBron, Kobe, Shaq or whoever could've filled in MJ's role as Mike had this extraordinary combo of skill, athleticism, intensity and charisma that I've yet to see from any other basketball player, or any other athlete period. You could say Fed could've done the same under similar circumstances, but like I said I don't think that kind of idle talk is helpful in these comparisons.

As for MJ vs. Bradman I know next to zilch about cricket but it seems to me that Don occupies a similar place in his sport as Babe Ruth in baseball: statistically peerless (nobody in MLB history has excelled both as batter and pitcher to the same extent as did Babe), but questionable competition (no black MLB players in Babe's heyday, and from my limited understanding relatively few nations in Bradman's time). There are still many who vouch for Ruth as the baseball GOAT and I tend to agree with it, but I'm guessing Don's supremacy in cricket isn't as airtight as you present it.

BTW that's what makes MJ truly unique. Among the major sports you'll be hard-pressed to find another athlete who enjoys a similar level of almost universal acclamation as the GOAT. (Don't be fooled by the MJ-LBJ talk here. Among the basketball cognoscenti it's still not even close.) You could say it's closer to worship and I agree it gets overblown sometimes (after all few of us have seen old-timers like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson), but given his on-court achievements and his impact on the sport and the very nature of the modern athlete itself (if not always for the better, as I noted in my earlier post) I say the guy deserves much of the adulation.



By your definition of "athlete" Kevin Johnson should be considered greater than MJ or LBJ because the guy actually became a politician and tried to do something about the "issues," and he went about it solo. Maybe your definition still needs work.


No, it doesn't need any work...it's my definition. :) It doesn't need to be what you think it should be. Looks like you only got out of that what you wanted and that's fine.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
This topsy-turvy season has definitely put a serious dent in LBJ's reputation for leadership. You know, before LeBron's Decision 2.0 I remember telling people Kyrie was absolutely one of the league's elite talents and he's really been given short shrift throughout his career, though I'll admit even I didn't expect him to grow into such an offensive juggernaut. He obviously made the right decision to bolt for the Celtics, and though I still think they need Gordon back before they can seriously challenge for the championship (we'll find out soon enough if they can finally get past LBJ & Co. at least) I'm glad he had the chutzpah to stick it to LBJ and the front office unlike so many others before him.



Look, I know LeBron is your guy and I can overlook some hyperbole for anyone's fave player, but you really lost me with this one. I guarantee you, ask those who really know their bball (not the usual talking heads, but former coaches and players who've been studying the game for a long time) and you'll be hard-pressed to find many who'd back you up here. Like I said LBJ's body mass and relatively high center of gravity prevent him from changing direction on a dime like MJ and Kobe, and LeBron's edge in size can't help bridge this gap entirely cuz Mike/Bean are strong enough to hang with bigger guys except the biggest centers who aren't LBJ's competition anyway. Not to mention that MJ was several degrees ahead in defensive effort and intensity especially come the playoffs. (I'll be frank here and concede that Kobe did sometimes gamble for steals instead of guarding his man, but he still was the superior defender. In terms of effort on both ends Wade is actually MJ's closest rival in recent times.)

And you know full well your comparison of their D is misleading because Pippen and Rodman were two of the greatest stoppers who have ever played the game. With LBJ on board (I'll be generous and assume for now MJ was indeed behind these two in D) he'd no longer be the best offensive/defensive player on his team either. What exactly does that prove?

Also if by "numbers" you mean the defensive ratings you can forget about them. I wouldn't go so far as to say they're completely useless (after all they do show IT at the rock bottom where he probably should be), but when you've got the likes of Howard and Westbrook (my current fave, in case you've forgotten) in the top 10 like they did last year you must seriously wonder whether they're all that reliable. In short these #s generally show what happens when the player follows the ball, not away from it, and the latter is where most of the attention should be.



You're entitled to your view, but I say LBJ's edge in versatility over MJ and even Kobe is highly exaggerated because the numbers don't show that these two played in a fundamentally different system that limited their roles while LBJ has generally been given more leeway to dominate the ball. The usage rating is a poor barometer of their actual ball-handling responsibilities for that very reason (here's where I point out Mike once averaged 32.5-8-8 himself when he was less committed to the triangle), and while I still give LBJ the ultimate props here you're underestimating how the triangle limited even MJ/Kobe's offense (it's quite telling that Kobe and LeBron made virtually the same # of shot attempts over their careers, despite Bean's rep as a scorer). And when they're given free rein to hog the ball as much (to paraphrase your dubious hypothetical) I suspect their numbers won't look so shabby compared to LBJ's.



I know MJ got his share of superstar calls (I'm guessing you're still not happy about what happened to your boy Charles and the Suns) but that can be said of any ATG. What I had in mind is something more systematic. Replace MJ with LBJ in the '80s/90s and with hand-checking in place he's now working harder just to get the ball across the timeline (kinda like what Kobe did to him in the above clip). And what used to be "flagrant" fouls are now considered mere hard fouls, so he wouldn't be practicing his layups so often and also not post up as much, and when he does receive entry passes in the paint he'll be about a step farther away from the rim than he used to be. In short his #s would go down, and MJ's superiority in O would become even more apparent.

Also if we grant that MJ's shooting distribution during his prime was comparable to Kobe's (yes I know Bean had a bigger share of mid-rangers/3s still) most likely he still shot more jumpers than LBJ so I don't think it really matters in the grand scheme of things that LeBron has attempted more 3s. And let me repeat, Mike would be shooting more 3s in this era himself, and very likely posting better %s too.



As you can see above I fully acknowledge Kobe's shooting %s were never that great. It's really no secret he attempted too many tough shots (including banging up on bigs, which MJ was usually smart enough to avoid), but like I argued earlier I do think his stubbornness paid off in the playoffs, if still not quite enough to redeem his overall shot selection.

Like your "3 ball league" dig. :cool: And....



Hear, hear!
Jordan was several degrees of intensity ahead in the playoffs? So the very high level defense that LeBron led teams played in the playoffs in 2012 and 2016 that were instrumental to winning the rings came from where exactly? LeBron slacking off and world beating defenders like hobbled Wade, hobbled Bosh, Kyrie, and JR locking things down? Or was it Chalmers, ancient Battier/Allen, and Iman Shumpert doing the heavy lifting?

Point with bringing up Rodman/Pippen is to say that the defensive pressure on Jordan was far less with those guys on his team. Jordan's first 3 peat defense was legitimately very good, elite perimeter defense, but his 2nd three-peat defense on the whole is generally overrated. He was more of a dynamic defensive playmaker with the steals than a high level defender possession in and possession out because he didn't have to be. That team was loaded to the brim with high level defensive role players in addition to Pippen/Rodman. LeBron was forced to be the best offensive player and best defensive player on his team pretty much every year, and he won 2 championships doing that (2013 playoffs he wasn't quite as good defensively as 2012 and 2016). Jordan never did, and I doubt he would have if he was tasked with being the best defender on his team simply because he wouldn't have protected the rim and rebounded well enough and elite perimeter defense can only go so far, especially in an era where the balance of power was not on the perimeter.

Like I said, Jordan's superiority over LeBron comes down to being a bit steadier force offensively in his prime and never having a series as bad as 2011 (and the two of those basically go hand in hand). But I think in terms of pure offense+defense impact, LeBron is the better player. But actual performances can't be ignored, so I still have Jordan 1 and LeBron 1a or 2. LeBron still has a few more years to atone for 2011 though.

Also, if the 80's/90's hand checking made this big a difference, why was offense (before these last couple years) at an all time high from around 84-96? Maybe because while one on one defense was more physical, defensive schemes were much less complex, there was no zone/strong side overload, as a result it was much easier for star players to get favorable one on one matchups instead of defensive pressure forcing the ball out of their hands. The early 00's was actually the toughest era defensively by pretty much all accounts before the 7SOL Suns and easier defense rules changed everything. But offense was higher in the late 80s and early 90s than it was in the early 10's and by quite a bit too. The zone and strong side overload/help defense principles had a much bigger impact than hand checking did. Hend checking was more detrimental to shooters than it was to slashers really. LeBron is going to freight train by you no matter if you hand check or not, he's still stronger and faster than 99% of the competition. Guys like LeBron and Jordan will abuse anyone 1v1, and if you can't send multiple help defenders his way and at the rim, you're screwed. Not to mention it's much harder to deny you the ball with those old illegal defense rules. So I think one of the, if not the, most gifted physical player in history would be just fine. Jordan would have a field day in today's era for sure, but it's important to keep in mind that defense in the early 10's was actually pretty good and only in really the last couple years have things started to go downhill.
 
Last edited:
As somebody who lived most of his younger years in Asia I assure you MJ really was that big a phenomenon outside America. And it wasn't just marketing either, as anybody who followed his NBA career would tell you. Now if you compare him to a veritable icon like Ali then sure, I do think he falls short but who really doesn't? Maybe Pele, but then even he can't boast of standing up to the most powerful country in history and having suffered mighty for it.

Also when you say Fed is "the most universally loved current sportsperson" I'm guessing you based that on the usual metrics they trot out for this kind of thing. As I explained when I jumped into the thread earlier those polls/numbers are highly misleading as the majority of the world doesn't have the clout to be even included as part of such PR endeavors. In fact the very notion of being able to measure degrees of an athlete's being "loved" speaks volumes as to its real intent, and it's really our Western bias rearing its ugly head when we keep putting out these lists and demand they be taken seriously.

And speaking of which if we're to downgrade basketball with respect to football/soccer then it only makes sense to do the same for tennis, and I highly doubt Fed or any other tennis player is as globally famous as Messi or Ronaldo, let alone Pele or Maradona, because I can tell you from my experience that I've met plenty of people in Asia (usually older ones, yes) who wouldn't recognize Federer even by name. Believe it or not tennis is still a niche bourgeois sport to many segments of the world population, and while basketball isn't as big as football worldwide I'm pretty confident it's more popular than tennis in terms of both participation and viewership.

But your comparison of Jordan with the other MJ is interesting, and not only because I thought about it myself yesterday. First off it doesn't make sense to downplay the massive cultural phenomenon that was Michael Jackson's Thriller just because it happened in different times. That's like saying Columbus doesn't deserve to be considered one of the most influential people in history because he happened to introduce the Old World to the Americas at the right point in time. Obviously both Columbus and Jackson were seminal figures in history and culture, and while Jordan's influence probably doesn't match even Jackson's (I say showbiz still trumps sports except maybe football, plus I doubt there has ever been a more famous living celebrity than Jackson before his untimely death, though Trump due to his sheer grotesqueness may be his equal at this point) he deserves credit for bringing basketball to the masses.

Likewise you're quite right that there are currently so many things that can complete with one sport for anyone's attention, but that's actually a point in Jordan's favor as it's virtually impossible these days for anyone to command the level of fandom he inspired in his heyday. Also you seem to think MJ could've been replaced by another random NBA star and things wouldn't have changed much. That's obviously a counterfactual which is impossible to answer and I may not be the most objective observer here, but as @-NN- (who's not a basketball maven) noted earlier it's unlikely LeBron, Kobe, Shaq or whoever could've filled in MJ's role as Mike had this extraordinary combo of skill, athleticism, intensity and charisma that I've yet to see from any other basketball player, or any other athlete period. You could say Fed could've done the same under similar circumstances, but like I said I don't think that kind of idle talk is helpful in these comparisons.

As for MJ vs. Bradman I know next to zilch about cricket but it seems to me that Don occupies a similar place in his sport as Babe Ruth in baseball: statistically peerless (nobody in MLB history has excelled both as batter and pitcher to the same extent as did Babe), but questionable competition (no black MLB players in Babe's heyday, and from my limited understanding relatively few nations in Bradman's time). There are still many who vouch for Ruth as the baseball GOAT and I tend to agree with it, but I'm guessing Don's supremacy in cricket isn't as airtight as you present it.
Re Asia, depends where in the most populous continent. In India, Federer gets prominent coverage on the sports pages. During slams, it's not unusual for an entire page to be taken up for tennis coverage. Only soccer gets that kind of coverage here (other than cricket, of course). Becker writes columns during slams which are reproduced in our dailies. I am talking about the no.1 English newspaper in India by the by. I have never seen basketball get that kind of coverage though Jordan was popular here. Jordan appealed more to the yuppies aspiring to migrate to America and following basketball made them cool whereas tennis had and has a solid following. I would say soccer has eclipsed it in recent years so neither Fed nor LBJ can compete with Messi or CR7. And Michael Jackson was a bigger legend than all of them. You may have interacted with people from China or Korea which unlike India do not have a tennis tradition.

I agree about Bradman and made the same point earlier, too limited competition to make a fair comparison. Steve Smith is running up Bradman like numbers against more varied competition.
 

titoelcolombiano

Hall of Fame
It's hard to say between sports - each has it's own that has transcended the sport (Pele, Maradona, Bolt, Phelps, Jordan) - even within tennis itself you've got Serena Williams who has a fair bit of impact. He's certainly put his hand up though. His only setback is that tennis has limited appeal in certain parts of the world.
 

Man of steel

Hall of Fame
One Venus compared to Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Roddick, Hewitt. Only in the Serena fanatic universe is the former tougher competition than all of the latter put together.
Yeah serena definetly had better competition on grass.
Venus, Davenport, Hingis, Mauresmo, Henin, Young sharapova, Kvitova later on as well as Muguruza.

Venus is basicly Nadal + Djokovic.
Which leaves Murray...Roddick and Hewitt

I'd consider Davenport, Hingis, Mauresmo, Henin, Young sharapova, Kvitova and muguruza better competition than Murray Roddick and Hewitt.
7 wimbledon championships vs 3.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Universally loved.

No other current sportsperson has a broadly positive appeal - not Lebron James, not Brady, not ant footballer. Effectively Federer's only detractors are Nadal fans under the age of 30 and a few salty former players who are now 2rd tier pundits (Cash).
And you know this how? Also why should anyone care whether an athlete is loved or not, and by whom? That's right, because the polls told you so.

Look, these polls and similar top-xx lists are slanted to begin with, not to mention far from scientific. That's the point I tried to make, and if you can't even acknowledge that then I don't see the point of continuing here.

I'm guessing you based that on the usual metrics they trot out for this kind of thing.

If the shoe fits. Worse in your case because you're just playing the me-and-my-circle-of-influences card. Perhaps even worse than that if your circle of influences is as limited and biased as it is for most Americans.
Dude, most of my extended family lives in Asia and I still go visit them almost every year. And I know full well I'm offering merely anecdotal evidence, so yes, guilty as charged if you insist. The reason why I keep doing it is because I keep hearing the same predictable moaning about American/Western bias from people who pretend to speak for an entire country/continent when it's clear they have no clue what they're talking about.

The truth of the matter is that we're all biased. The problem is some of us admit it while the rest pretend they know what other people think.

Quite the contrary. Modern adventurers (last 100 years) are downplayed because they exist in an era where information is so easily obtained, when seemingly world-changing discoveries or inventions are proclaimed almost weekly. This is a disadvantage to them through clutter - just as Federer is seen in the light of the modern clutter compared to Jordan who competed in an era when there was comparatively less clutter, not to mention the US sports media machine was hitting its stride and biasing virtually the entire global news landscape with pro-American sports stories despite most of the rest of the world not caring about those sports beyond highlights and viewing them. That is where Jordan made his biggest mark - he was a living highlight reel.
In case you haven't noticed I've already acknowledged this "disadvantage" on Fed's part. My point is, that's no basis for diminishing the role Jordan did play in revolutionizing his sport, marketing and pop culture at large because everyone's fortune is shaped by his circumstances, hence my Columbus analogy.

Aside from Federer you mean, who also competes in a more major, global sport than basketball regardless that a couple of the most populous countries boost basketball's numbers/stats for viewership (US and China).
I'll give you credit for including China, but here's an incomplete list of other countries/continents where most would acknowledge basketball is a major sport:

- Europe (much of it at any rate)
- Latin America (ditto)
- Philippines (a Filipino friend once confirmed it's easily the #1 sport there in both participation and viewership)
- Japan (firsthand experience)
- South Korea (ditto)
- Turkey
- Australia (your own, I believe)
- Several African countries including Angola, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria

That's at least two extra continents plus a significant part of a third one, in addition to the individual countries listed. And I'm all but certain that basketball eclipses tennis in participation rates pretty much across the globe (which has been my own experience in both America and Asia). If you've got anything authoritative that shows tennis to be more globally popular than bball I'd like to see it, but until then color me skeptical.

Jordan was several degrees of intensity ahead in the playoffs? So the very high level defense that LeBron led teams played in the playoffs in 2012 and 2016 that were instrumental to winning the rings came from where exactly? LeBron slacking off and world beating defenders like hobbled Wade, hobbled Bosh, Kyrie, and JR locking things down? Or was it Chalmers, ancient Battier/Allen, and Iman Shumpert doing the heavy lifting?

Point with bringing up Rodman/Pippen is to say that the defensive pressure on Jordan was far less with those guys on his team. Jordan's first 3 peat defense was very good, his 2nd three-peat defense on the whole is generally overrated. He was more of a dynamic defensive playmaker with the steals than a high level defender possession in and possession out because he didn't have to be. That team was loaded to the brim with high level defensive role players in addition to Pippen/Rodman. LeBron was forced to be the best offensive player and best defensive player on his team pretty much every year, and he won 2 championships doing that (2013 playoffs he wasn't quite as good defensively as 2012 and 2016). Jordan never did, and I doubt he would have if he was tasked with being the best defender on his team simply because he wouldn't have protected the rim and rebounded well enough and elite perimeter defense can only go so far, especially in an era where the balance of power was not on the perimeter.
All that really doesn't mean a thing unless you can show me that MJ actually slacked off on the defensive end in clutch games/moments. Why do you think MJ detractors often resort to petty nitpicking when asked to provide such examples? That's right, because there aren't many.

The MJ you describe sounds more like Kobe in his carefree days and he still was a better defender than LBJ unless you put an awful lot of stock in chase-down blocks. To wit, MJ's D had no holes, LBJ OTOH has trouble with elite guards because his high mass and low center of gravity don't allow him to change direction as quickly. Even if we ignore the effort/intensity factor that should clinch it in MJ's favor.

Like I said, Jordan's superiority over LeBron comes down to being a bit steadier force offensively in his prime and never having a series as bad as 2011 (and the two of those basically go hand in hand). But I think in terms of pure offense+defense impact, LeBron is the better player. But actual performances can't be ignored, so I still have Jordan 1 and LeBron 1a or 2. LeBron still has a few more years to atone for 2011 though.
Let's disagree. I've already explained my reasons, you have yours.

Also, if the 80's/90's hand checking made this big a difference, why was offense (before these last couple years) at an all time high from around 84-96? Maybe because while one on one defense was more physical, defensive schemes were much less complex, there was no zone/strong side overload, as a result it was much easier for star players to get favorable one on one matchups instead of defensive pressure forcing the ball out of their hands. The early 00's was actually the toughest era defensively by pretty much all accounts before the 7SOL Suns and easier defense rules changed everything. But offense was higher in the late 80s and early 90s than it was in the early 10's and by quite a bit too. The zone and strong side overload/help defense principles had a much bigger impact than hand checking did.
That's the usual explanation, that zones have made defense tougher and more sophisticated despite no hand-checking (which is not all I had in mind BTW but let's leave that aside), but it's bunk. Take a gander at this:

https://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_stats.html

A few points here:

1) The game used to be a lot faster. More possessions, more points.
2) Notice the number of 3-point attempts, which has increased dramatically in the last few seasons. More 3s, more points. And also slower pace (at least until recently as it slowly became the norm) as you wanna wait for a good opening for the shooter.
3) More elite bigs and more big-centric gameplans in MJ's heyday, which explains the relatively high FG%s.
4) Recent FG%s have remained more or less the same in the past 10 years or so despite more 3s, which suggests today's defense has indeed gotten lax.

In short the offensive ratings were high back then because they were shooting closer to the basket. Nowadays teams tend to shoot more jumpers because 1) there are few elite bigs and 2) the current rules don't favor them (of course these two are closely intertwined).

You'll probably counter that this wouldn't affect LBJ much because of his size, but considering how easy it is for him to power his way to the rim these days I say his #s indeed would fall under Jordan-era rules. And that's assuming he'd get to dominate the ball as much, which again is a luxury you generally don't have in the triangle.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
Re Asia, depends where in the most populous continent. In India, Federer gets prominent coverage on the sports pages. During slams, it's not unusual for an entire page to be taken up for tennis coverage. Only soccer gets that kind of coverage here (other than cricket, of course). Becker writes columns during slams which are reproduced in our dailies. I am talking about the no.1 English newspaper in India by the by. I have never seen basketball get that kind of coverage though Jordan was popular here. Jordan appealed more to the yuppies aspiring to migrate to America and following basketball made them cool whereas tennis had and has a solid following. I would say soccer has eclipsed it in recent years so neither Fed nor LBJ can compete with Messi or CR7. And Michael Jackson was a bigger legend than all of them. You may have interacted with people from China or Korea which unlike India do not have a tennis tradition.
Yes, mainly East Asia. Didn't mean to imply all of Asia. Should've clarified earlier.

And of course I knew cricket was tops in India :D (though @abmk did confirm it for me I think a year or two ago). Not too surprised that soccer/football is the #2 sport there, though I am surprised to hear that it was even that close until recently. I can say it's the yuppies who seem to follow tennis most closely in East Asia, but I suspect that's the case in most countries anyway so it's not much of an observation.

But you might find this tidbit interesting. Back in school I once had a roommate from Ghana, and one day our conversation turned to a variation on this very topic, namely a random ranking of the most famous people (still living) in the world. Naturally the names of both MJs (Jackson and Jordan) came up so I added that Bush (this was around 2002-03) and Pope John Paul II had got to be up there, too. At which point my roomie proceeded to tell me, to my amazement, that many people in Africa don't even know what POTUS or the pope looks like, while pretty much everyone knows about Jackson, Jordan or Madonna. I'm still somewhat doubtful my bud was correct 'cause other Africans I've spoken with since then were more guarded in their assessment, and of course Bush was followed by two successors who are almost certainly more famous if for different reasons (how's that for savoir-faire?), but that still was a formative experience for me. Definitely made me rethink my Western bias a little.

But then I've also met at least two Brits who knew Jordan only by name. It might be relevant here that they weren't from continental Europe and I might add both were women, but yeah, Mr. Moonwalker > His Airness or pretty much anyone else. :D Of course Michael Jackson is a rather unique case because in addition to his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer he was such a troubled, unorthodox, fascinating and ultimately tragic individual who enjoyed the peak of his career before the emergence of the Internet/social media. Like I said I doubt there has ever been anyone more famous or recognizable, and I do think he'd dwarf the likes of Timberlake, Gaga (whom I love, BTW), Taylor, Kanye and Drake if he were to thrive in this era (I agree with Robert Christgau that MJ at least as a musician will end up outliving his father-in-law Elvis), though obviously he wouldn't be as big which BTW wouldn't be such a bad thing, given what unimaginable fame did to him.

I agree about Bradman and made the same point earlier, too limited competition to make a fair comparison. Steve Smith is running up Bradman like numbers against more varied competition.
I thought Bradman's main GOAT rival was Tendulkar? Sorry it's hard to keep up with these things for a complete novice like me. :oops:

I'd love to learn more about cricket someday if only to be able to understand what makes these guys so great. Theoretically that should be easier for guys like me as I grew up playing and watching baseball. (You probably know this already but baseball is huge in Japan and South Korea. Not sure if it's the #1 sport in the latter now as SK's football/basketball leagues seem to have grown, but definitely still tops in Japan.) And though the usual knock against baseball is that it's much more fun to play than to watch I still enjoy the MLB postseason. Having said that... I think I remember @dominikk1985 (who's actually from Germany, go figure) saying there's no greater feeling in sports than hitting a home run in baseball... and he had a point there. :D I'm told "sixes" are the loose equivalent of a HR in cricket but suffice it to say I still have no clue what that means. :confused:
 
Yeah serena definetly had better competition on grass.
Venus, Davenport, Hingis, Mauresmo, Henin, Young sharapova, Kvitova later on as well as Muguruza.

Venus is basicly Nadal + Djokovic.
Which leaves Murray...Roddick and Hewitt

I'd consider Davenport, Hingis, Mauresmo, Henin, Young sharapova, Kvitova and muguruza better competition than Murray Roddick and Hewitt.
7 wimbledon championships vs 3.
Hingis whom Serena never played at Wimbledon? Boy you are really grasping at anything you can find. So how about I add Pete Sampras to the list of Fed opponents at Wimbledon? After all, he WAS the defending champ when Fed beat him in 2001. 7 Wimbys more in one go, case closed. ;)
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
And you know this how? Also why should anyone care whether an athlete is loved or not, and by whom? That's right, because the polls told you so.

Look, these polls and similar top-xx lists are slanted to begin with, not to mention far from scientific. That's the point I tried to make, and if you can't even acknowledge that then I don't see the point of continuing here.



Dude, most of my extended family lives in Asia and I still go visit them almost every year. And I know full well I'm offering merely anecdotal evidence, so yes, guilty as charged if you insist. The reason why I keep doing it is because I keep hearing the same predictable moaning about American/Western bias from people who pretend to speak for an entire country/continent when it's clear they have no clue what they're talking about.

The truth of the matter is that we're all biased. The problem is some of us admit it while the rest pretend they know what other people think.



In case you haven't noticed I've already acknowledged this "disadvantage" on Fed's part. My point is, that's no basis for diminishing the role Jordan did play in revolutionizing his sport, marketing and pop culture at large because everyone's fortune is shaped by his circumstances, hence my Columbus analogy.



I'll give you credit for including China, but here's an incomplete list of other countries/continents where most would acknowledge basketball is a major sport:

- Europe (much of it at any rate)
- Latin America (ditto)
- Philippines (a Filipino friend once confirmed it's easily the #1 sport there in both participation and viewership)
- Japan (firsthand experience)
- South Korea (ditto)
- Turkey
- Australia (your own, I believe)
- Several African countries including Angola, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria

That's at least two extra continents plus a significant part of a third one, in addition to the individual countries listed. And I'm all but certain that basketball eclipses tennis in participation rates pretty much across the globe (which has been my own experience in both America and Asia). If you've got anything authoritative that shows tennis to be more globally popular than bball I'd like to see it, but until then color me skeptical.



All that really doesn't mean a thing unless you can show me that MJ actually slacked off on the defensive end in clutch games/moments. Why do you think MJ detractors often resort to petty nitpicking when asked to provide such examples? That's right, because there aren't many.

The MJ you describe sounds more like Kobe in his carefree days and he still was a better defender than LBJ unless you put an awful lot of stock in chase-down blocks. To wit, MJ's D had no holes, LBJ OTOH has trouble with elite guards because his high mass and low center of gravity don't allow him to change direction as quickly. Even if we ignore the effort/intensity factor that should clinch it in MJ's favor.



Let's disagree. I've already explained my reasons, you have yours.



That's the usual explanation, that zones have made defense tougher and more sophisticated despite no hand-checking (which is not all I had in mind BTW but let's leave that aside), but it's bunk. Take a gander at this:

https://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_stats.html

A few points here:

1) The game used to be a lot faster. More possessions, more points.
2) Notice the number of 3-point attempts, which has increased dramatically in the last few seasons. More 3s, more points. And also slower pace (at least until recently as it slowly became the norm) as you wanna wait for a good opening for the shooter.
3) More elite bigs and more big-centric gameplans in MJ's heyday, which explains the relatively high FG%s.
4) Recent FG%s have remained more or less the same in the past 10 years or so despite more 3s, which suggests today's defense has indeed gotten lax.

In short the offensive ratings were high back then because they were shooting closer to the basket. Nowadays teams tend to shoot more jumpers because 1) there are few elite bigs and 2) the current rules don't favor them (of course these two are closely intertwined).

You'll probably counter that this wouldn't affect LBJ much because of his size, but considering how easy it is for him to power his way to the rim these days I say his #s indeed would fall under Jordan-era rules. And that's assuming he'd get to dominate the ball as much, which again is a luxury you generally don't have in the triangle.
Never said MJ slacked off, just that he wasn't as impactful due to his limitations protecting the rim and switching, and didn't have to be because of his supporting cast.

If you think Kobe is in any way shape or form a better overall defender than peak LeBron then I think we're done here. We have fundamentally different ideas of what defense is in that case.

The point of oRTG is that it's per 100 possession, it takes out pace, so that doesn't matter. MJ's era, more points were scored per possession than in most of LeBron's prime despite fewer threes being shot and tons of mid range(inherently less efficient). Heavily suggests that it was easier for stars to get buckets because the amount of pressure a team can put on them is limited, because they will be the source of your most efficient offense when you don't have knockdown 3 point shooters, and easier to finish inside the paint for both bigs and slashers because there's less defensive pressure in terms of help defense. Whatever the case, it suggests that handchecking was not playing any significant part in slowing down offense compared to the impact the zone had. The early 00's still had plenty of high caliber bigs and ISO players, but offense and efficiency was at historic lows because teams were improving their defensive schemes, playing more physically, and the zone was allowed starting 2001. The defense the last couple years has been worse, no doubt about that, but the early 10's defense where everyone started adopting the Thibs Celtics ICE, it was probably harder for stars to get points in isolation than MJ's era. Then, the last few years, teams have countered by putting shooters on the weak side to prevent them from overloading the strong side and spacing the floor more, and offense has gone back up to late 80's/early 90's levels, which was when MJ's peak was. LBJ of today's numbers at the rim would likely fall because he is getting by with a lot of bully ball (but again he's much stronger than most wings so hand checking isn't shutting him down), but peak LBJ who was a menace attacking the rim with both speed and power would shred those defenses just as he did the ones of his time, probably more so because you're not stopping him 1 on 1 no matter how much you handcheck. And good luck handchecking a 265 pound dude moving at that speed.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
There's way more to the game than scoring, and LeBron is better in just about every other department while still being an ATG level scorer.
The defense is debatable, I would say yeah he is probably better due to size but Jordan was an all time great defender.

When you compare offense to defense at an elite level, if the defense is at least good, then the offensive level is by far more important. It's like 70/30
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
I thought Bradman's main GOAT rival was Tendulkar? Sorry it's hard to keep up with these things for a complete novice like me. :oops:

I'd love to learn more about cricket someday if only to be able to understand what makes these guys so great. Theoretically that should be easier for guys like me as I grew up playing and watching baseball. (You probably know this already but baseball is huge in Japan and South Korea. Not sure if it's the #1 sport in the latter now as SK's football/basketball leagues seem to have grown, but definitely still tops in Japan.) And though the usual knock against baseball is that it's much more fun to play than to watch I still enjoy the MLB postseason. Having said that... I think I remember @dominikk1985 (who's actually from Germany, go figure) saying there's no greater feeling in sports than hitting a home run in baseball... and he had a point there. :D I'm told "sixes" are the loose equivalent of a HR in cricket but suffice it to say I still have no clue what that means. :confused:
Bradman is a cut above anyone else in test cricket as a batsman including Tendulkar (and this coming from a Tendulkar fan -- I am as much a Tendulkar fan as I am a fan of Federer). But @Dolgopolov85 is right that Steven Smith is putting up some amazing numbers. Still the quality of bowling/pitches combined is significantly lesser than what Tendulkar faced , IMO.
But Steven Smith's numbers are more comparable to the 5 year runs that Ponting/Sangakkara had, not Bradman.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
The defense is debatable, I would say yeah he is probably better due to size but Jordan was an all time great defender.

When you compare offense to defense at an elite level, if the defense is at least good, then the offensive level is by far more important. It's like 70/30
Comparing guards that is true because no guard can anchor an elite defense. LeBron isn't a guard though, and his defense is capable of anchoring a championship team which is massive. Also the gap between Jordan and LeBron overall offensively at their peak is very small if any. Jordan the better scorer, LeBron the better playmaker, LeBron is still a GOAT-tier scorer though, and Jordan is still an elite playmaker.

Jordan was a bit more steady scoring wise in the playoffs, but a lot of that is due to the 2011 series. And LeBron's 09 playoffs is actually the best scoring extended playoff run either had by scoring/100 possessions.
 
D

Deleted member 716271

Guest
Comparing guards that is true because no guard can anchor an elite defense. LeBron isn't a guard though, and his defense is capable of anchoring a championship team which is massive. Also the gap between Jordan and LeBron overall offensively at their peak is very small if any. Jordan the better scorer, LeBron the better playmaker, LeBron is still a GOAT-tier scorer though, and Jordan is still an elite playmaker.

Jordan was a bit more steady scoring wise in the playoffs, but a lot of that is due to the 2011 series. And LeBron's 09 playoffs is actually the best scoring extended playoff run either had by scoring/100 possessions.
Well I do think Lebron would be thought of to be closer to MJ if he played on better teams and therefore had a better finals record. I will agree some of that is "narrative" not reality.

One of the things I wonder though is while Lebron definitely has had worse teams on average around him, he did have that 4 year stretch in Miami including the infamous '11 playoffs, but also the '14 loss to Spurs. 5 games but also the largest scoring margin differential in finals history. So that's 4 years, only 2 championships with a "super team". And then in '13, he basically needed Ray Allen and a miracle to get past the Spurs. I wonder if there is something about Lebron himself that affect the players around him in a negative way at least relative to Jordan. He's known for getting other people involved and is more Magic than MJ as a passer and with getting everyone involved he can play almost like a point. So it seems ironic, but seems to me there is an issue where the offense has to totally go thru Lebron to function well and this mitigates a bit of the performances of the really talented guys skills around him and puts a cap on how great his teams can be. Whereas MJ had a high usage rate in terms of scoring/fg attempts, but it didn't feel that the whole offense had to go thru and was dependent on him. Part of that was the triangle of course.

Put another way, I think Lebron would be better than MJ for taking scrubby/average players around him to the playoffs/finals every year. But I think for a truly elite championship squad, Jordan was better to maximize the great players around him. Again, it seems like Lebron's teams are too dependent on his play and rhythm and completely fall apart when he's not in the game or not clicking. Not just because of how much better he is than them, but because of how his teams and he run the offense. The Heat and Cavs have less of a rhythmic in flow feel to them than the Bulls because of Lebron's insane ball dominance and it seems he has to play that way to be comfortable.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
I think the lack of footage hinders the Di Stefano's and all others that came before. We get to see Messi week in, week out.

Can still remember the time the Charlton's and some other English players were talking about the best players ever. A whole different conversation obviously. I didn't have any idea who Puskas was. Dad and Granda told me about players, mainly George Best hyperbole since he is the greatest thing to ever come from this land. But anyway, Noel Bailie goat. :)
 

Man of steel

Hall of Fame
Hingis whom Serena never played at Wimbledon? Boy you are really grasping at anything you can find. So how about I add Pete Sampras to the list of Fed opponents at Wimbledon? After all, he WAS the defending champ when Fed beat him in 2001. 7 Wimbys more in one go, case closed. ;)
Omit hingis then. Don't really care. Still doesn't dispute the facts that serena's had better grass court competition.
 
Yes, mainly East Asia. Didn't mean to imply all of Asia. Should've clarified earlier.

And of course I knew cricket was tops in India :D (though @abmk did confirm it for me I think a year or two ago). Not too surprised that soccer/football is the #2 sport there, though I am surprised to hear that it was even that close until recently. I can say it's the yuppies who seem to follow tennis most closely in East Asia, but I suspect that's the case in most countries anyway so it's not much of an observation.

But you might find this tidbit interesting. Back in school I once had a roommate from Ghana, and one day our conversation turned to a variation on this very topic, namely a random ranking of the most famous people (still living) in the world. Naturally the names of both MJs (Jackson and Jordan) came up so I added that Bush (this was around 2002-03) and Pope John Paul II had got to be up there, too. At which point my roomie proceeded to tell me, to my amazement, that many people in Africa don't even know what POTUS or the pope looks like, while pretty much everyone knows about Jackson, Jordan or Madonna. I'm still somewhat doubtful my bud was correct 'cause other Africans I've spoken with since then were more guarded in their assessment, and of course Bush was followed by two successors who are almost certainly more famous if for different reasons (how's that for savoir-faire?), but that still was a formative experience for me. Definitely made me rethink my Western bias a little.

But then I've also met at least two Brits who knew Jordan only by name. It might be relevant here that they weren't from continental Europe and I might add both were women, but yeah, Mr. Moonwalker > His Airness or pretty much anyone else. :D Of course Michael Jackson is a rather unique case because in addition to his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer he was such a troubled, unorthodox, fascinating and ultimately tragic individual who enjoyed the peak of his career before the emergence of the Internet/social media. Like I said I doubt there has ever been anyone more famous or recognizable, and I do think he'd dwarf the likes of Timberlake, Gaga (whom I love, BTW), Taylor, Kanye and Drake if he were to thrive in this era (I agree with Robert Christgau that MJ at least as a musician will end up outliving his father-in-law Elvis), though obviously he wouldn't be as big which BTW wouldn't be such a bad thing, given what unimaginable fame did to him.



I thought Bradman's main GOAT rival was Tendulkar? Sorry it's hard to keep up with these things for a complete novice like me. :oops:

I'd love to learn more about cricket someday if only to be able to understand what makes these guys so great. Theoretically that should be easier for guys like me as I grew up playing and watching baseball. (You probably know this already but baseball is huge in Japan and South Korea. Not sure if it's the #1 sport in the latter now as SK's football/basketball leagues seem to have grown, but definitely still tops in Japan.) And though the usual knock against baseball is that it's much more fun to play than to watch I still enjoy the MLB postseason. Having said that... I think I remember @dominikk1985 (who's actually from Germany, go figure) saying there's no greater feeling in sports than hitting a home run in baseball... and he had a point there. :D I'm told "sixes" are the loose equivalent of a HR in cricket but suffice it to say I still have no clue what that means. :confused:
Thanks for sharing and I am not surprised by what you described about Africa. I too knew about Michael Jackson and Madonna growing up in the 90s but was only vaguely aware of Clinton. I can't tell if I would have heard about Jordan but for the fact that my cousin in the US was crazy about him. In any case, another cousin of mine who lived in India but moved in more affluent circles would get into NBA around the time I was getting into college so one way or the other I would have. For him, Kobe and Shaq were the guys. Don't think he's into NBA anymore.

There was something aspirational about America's cultural exports in the 90s (which probably explains the mega popularity of those pop/sports stars). From the outside looking in, it looks like that has faded somewhat. We began to get TV channels other than the Govt broadcaster in the 90s and many households comfortable with English watched sitcoms like Santa Barbara/Bold and the Beautiful. As opposed to which, a smaller but more affluent set of viewers watch series like Americans/Game of Thrones/Madmen/House of Cards. I have enjoyed the last two as well but they can never have the reach of the earlier feel-good programming. Even Silicon Valley is in essence a very cynical look at an industry that many of our software engineers aspire to be a part of. But we are drifting way off now...

Re cricket, Tendulkar has amazing aggregate numbers like total runs scored and number of centuries. But Smith currently averages something in the 70s and in the 90s/100s in Australia. Bradman finished with an average of 99.94. So in that sense, Smith is putting up Bradmanesque numbers in a tough era.

A six in cricket is the number of runs awarded when the ball gets past the boundary line without ever bouncing. You could say it's like baseball's home run but I suppose there are fewer home runs compared to sixes. In cricket the bowler cannot bowl a full toss above waist height (that is, the stock baseball delivery). So the batsman is in a much better position to line up a huge whack. Used to be that sixes were fewer and Richards clearing boundaries at the huge Australian grounds evoked awe. But bats have improved so much that sixes are a dime a dozen now.
 
Omit hingis then. Don't really care. Still doesn't dispute the facts that serena's had better grass court competition.
Never played Davenport at Wimbledon either. Why do I have to fact check your claims? How about you stop getting over enthusiastic about talking up Serena? It's not that important that you have to make **** up. :D
 

Man of steel

Hall of Fame
Never played Davenport at Wimbledon either. Why do I have to fact check your claims? How about you stop getting over enthusiastic about talking up Serena? It's not that important that you have to make **** up. :D
How does that dispute serena having better grass court competitors. Having a wimbledon champion and finalist in the draw is still competition. Just because they never met doesn't decrease the competition especially when davenport was around for 6-7 years of serena career and was actually a viable threat to win wimbledon.

Who did fed have again?
A clay court player who struggled to even reach past the qf after 6 years and a guybwho only became competitive because wimbledon started to slow it down massively like the major he regularly wins at.
Competition my a**
 
How does that dispute serena having better grass court competitors. Having a wimbledon champion and finalist in the draw is still competition. Just because they never met doesn't decrease the competition especially when davenport was around for 6-7 years of serena career and was actually a viable threat to win wimbledon.
So you mean Edberg was part of Sampras' Wimbledon competition? In that case, two words: Pete Sampras. 7 slams (dunk). If you can inflate Serena's Wimbledon competition by including players she didn't play there, I bloody well shall include an ATG who was defending champ at the event when Fed beat him fair and square.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Well I do think Lebron would be thought of to be closer to MJ if he played on better teams and therefore had a better finals record. I will agree some of that is "narrative" not reality.

One of the things I wonder though is while Lebron definitely has had worse teams on average around him, he did have that 4 year stretch in Miami including the infamous '11 playoffs, but also the '14 loss to Spurs. 5 games but also the largest scoring margin differential in finals history. So that's 4 years, only 2 championships with a "super team". And then in '13, he basically needed Ray Allen and a miracle to get past the Spurs. I wonder if there is something about Lebron himself that affect the players around him in a negative way at least relative to Jordan. He's known for getting other people involved and is more Magic than MJ as a passer and with getting everyone involved he can play almost like a point. So it seems ironic, but seems to me there is an issue where the offense has to totally go thru Lebron to function well and this mitigates a bit of the performances of the really talented guys skills around him and puts a cap on how great his teams can be. Whereas MJ had a high usage rate in terms of scoring/fg attempts, but it didn't feel that the whole offense had to go thru and was dependent on him. Part of that was the triangle of course.

Put another way, I think Lebron would be better than MJ for taking scrubby/average players around him to the playoffs/finals every year. But I think for a truly elite championship squad, Jordan was better to maximize the great players around him. Again, it seems like Lebron's teams are too dependent on his play and rhythm and completely fall apart when he's not in the game or not clicking. Not just because of how much better he is than them, but because of how his teams and he run the offense. The Heat and Cavs have less of a rhythmic in flow feel to them than the Bulls because of Lebron's insane ball dominance and it seems he has to play that way to be comfortable.
This is a common narrative but I addressed it earlier in the thread. How on earth were the 12-14 Heat super reams with Wade/Bosh having injury issues and Wade in severe decline because of his knees? How anyone could conclude they were super teams based on Wade's play in the 13 playoffs or 14 finals? It's truly mind boggling, and why I stay the hell away from most basketball forums. 2012 team in the playoffs was Bosh who was out a lot of games with injuries, a decent but somewhat inefficient Wade, and role players. 2013-2014 team in the playoffs was a heavily declined Wade, good Bosh, and role players. Those aren't super teams. LeBron was doing most of the heavy lifting on both ends of the ball.

The 12-14 regular seasons also provides a pretty large sample of how good LeBron is off ball. That was the only time he played with another competent playmaker and a decent coach with a system, and he thrived off ball. Unless you want to suggest that he should have given Kyrie the ball even more than he did (which was too much to begin with because Kyrie had extreme tunnel vision), or that LeBron should have extended the length of basketball games so that Love and Bosh as a 3rd option were still supposed to be the first 3rd options in history to get enough shots to average 25 instead of "merely" 20 on elite efficiency, or that early Cavs LeBron should have let the offense run more through Mo WIlliams, the dude who banged his mom, and Boobie Gibson, there's really no argument to be made. Who are all these players LeBron mitigated? I don't see one, unless you want to argue that LeBron is the reason that Wade had some stupid knee surgery in college which sent him into terminal decline after 2011.

LeBron has led 3 teams to 60+ wins, two of them with lottery-level supporting casts. Those were insane carry jobs, which speak to both his floor and ceiling raising capabilities. MJ led 4, and yes while on average those Bulls teams were better, his supporting casts and most importantly coaching were also much better. Also, the 2013 Heat would have made a run at 70 wins if Wade hadn't missed 13 games, and if Wade was healthy and not trash in the playoffs, they'd be remembered as one of the greatest teams ever. LeBron's luck with teammate injuries in the playoffs is ridiculous, and he's faced far tougher finals opponents than MJ. I fail to see where MJ is raising the ceilings of all his teams while LeBron is bringing them down. Which isn't to take away from MJ because he truly is a great ceiling raiser, but he also had the perfect blend of teammates and coaching around him. Also, a large part of system is based on coaching. You want to compare Lue to Phil Jackson? Lue X's and O's wise is probably the worst championship team NBA coaches of all time. Spo in Miami was a decent coach, the only one he's ever had, and those Heat teams had a great system that wasn't nearly as reliant on LeBron dominating the ball.
 
Top