For me, Fed has surpassed Jordan, Brady and Gretzky

BorgTheGOAT

Professional
I’ll give you the dream, drexler and the glove but as for the rest
barkley never showed up in shape
Malone couldnt score without the whistle and when he faced the jazz they were old. Yes jordan was too but dont forget he took almost 2 yrs off and saved mileage on his body
Isiah had a terrible injury that ended his career short
magic and bird were both in their 30s with a ton of playoff wear and tear when Jordan won his first ring
Shaq and kobe while not the pinnacle were lethal when paired together.
And when jordan was back Hakeem was 33 so not sure he had much left.

Jordan is goat and maybe goat of all sports the way he ushered in the sports into the mainstream world in north america. And I will admit jordans advanced stats even compared with todays players and rules are still on the top but to not recognize that he benefitted from a weaker (not bad)competition is unfair to the other guys.
In my opinion actually Wilt Chamberlain is basketball GOAT with Jordan a close second. His era might not have been as strong as the 80s but definitely stronger than the era Lebron is playing in.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
It's hard to judge the whole longevity thing at the moment because it's difficult to know if it's a trend or an exception. What Federer is doing might not seem so extraordinary in five years time if and when Nadal and Djokovic are achieving similar exploits. There's still a lot that can be said in this ongoing era whereas by an equivalent time MJ had totally wrapped it up, unquestionably the greatest of his era. MJ doesn't have incredible longevity even for his sport and could have sustained a near league best level for much longer still but he'd had enough. I wouldn't say I count it against him, such was the intensity and edge he carried and the success it wrought.
I personally don't put much stock in longevity so MJ's (relative) lack thereof is far from a deficit in my book. But that does bring up the perennial Q, namely whether MJ's 30+ avg or Kareem's career total is the greater achievement. I'd easily go with MJ, but certainly can see why another might lean towards KAJ.

I haven't come across many naysayers of MJ but I don't hang around basketball fans or forums that much, but we're so post-Mike now that the upcoming generations are going to have a certain ignorance toward him. We'll never be truly post-Mike though, such is his legacy, and so the naysayers will be the minority for a very long time. I think LeBron had the raw tools to be as good as MJ, but (as I keep repeating from time to time here) he does too much himself—he's too much of the system. For many that makes him amazing (he can do everything!) but for me it raises some questions, that along with other aspects of his temperament and his actual record means that it's unlikely he'll ever catch Mike. I keenly await the next player who could really be on that level in terms of the raw skills, the mentality and the success. I might be dead before the day comes.
Trust me, I gave up on bball forums a long time ago. For one nugget of wisdom you'd have to scroll past endless rubbish. There are some smaller forums that do attract genuine contributions, but their traffic is so low they're just not worth regular visits. One benefit of having fewer forums in a more niche bourgeois sport like tennis is that chances of coming across useful comments/contributors are higher. And truth be told, most of the posters write at least somewhat intelligibly.

As for LBJ's true potential or his capacity to match MJ at any rate... gotta disagree with you on that one. Of course LeBron's got the size and power advantages but they come with several disadvantages as well which are rarely acknowledged. For one thing he was never as quick as MJ or Kobe for that matter, hence his tendency to get burned by the quickest guards and his relatively inferior D to both (I'm sure LBJ defenders would love to throw out stats right now). In fact both MJ and Kobe were able to pull up either way much better, and while LBJ's left hand has improved he's still nowhere near as ambidextrous.

Ah, but with these supposed advantages they still weren't able to shoot a higher %, you say? There are several reasons why this is a misleading comparison, but to wit:

- As a PF LBJ is SUPPOSED to shoot a higher % than guards like MJ and Kobe.
- By a similar token (you knew this was coming), both of these guys unlike LBJ played in Jackson's triangle which being a shooter's offense limited their drives to the hoop.
- Even with that difference LBJ's edge in career shooting % over MJ is fairly minuscule, which speaks volumes for MJ's shooting prowess. (Those biiiiiig hands sure helped. Kobe's own paws aren't so small either but MJ's were ginormous. Of course Mike was also more explosive.)
- Shooters get into a groove by shooting more, which today's small ball and lack of hand-checking encourage. (I know I don't need to tell you Mike was constantly hand-checked in his pre-DC years.) Also reflecting this change today's officiating is awfully generous to any shooter who initiates contact, hence LBJ's frequent layup drills which boost up his #s further.

I'll give LeBron credit for improving his perimeter shooting and also admit both MJ and Kobe were never elite perimeter shooters themselves (prime for prime Bean was better, if by a hair), but it's a near certainty these two would be posting better %s under today's conditions. And I hate to keep belaboring this point but they were also the biggest a-holes I've seen in any sport (I know I say this a lot but Kobe is the only one I can think of who could match MJ in sheer egomania), while LBJ's ego is of a more fragile kind which seems to need constant outside validation to keep burning.

You could say LBJ's edge in size, power and versatility overrides whatever advantages Kobe might have, but I don't think they're enough to cancel out MJ's. I'm something of a defense fetishist and the fact that LBJ is a good but not great defender while MJ's one of the all-time elites all but clinches it for me. I don't think LeBron with all the motivation and training in the world could overcome Mike's leaner mass and lower center of gravity. It may be a cliche but you could hardly build a more perfect basketball specimen than Jordan.

On your other points I have nothing to add, and certainly agree with your considerations.
Cool. :cool:

Could be, actually a very tough coice, therefore I said that in my opinion Hakeem was a little better, fully understandable if someone else prefers Kareem. Old Jabbar handled young Kareem quite well in their playoff encounters, however in my opinion the Dream was a little more versatile. He was good in every stat category, no wonder he reached a quadruple double and 6 five-by-fives. Kareem was better in scoring and a slightly better rebounder, Hakeem the better shotblocker and by far better in steals. Really close call, but i would give it to the Dream.
The correct answer is Kareem, for one reason: in that skyhook he had the most stoppable weapon in the sport's history. You're quite right that Hakeem was the better athlete, but that's not enough to override Kareem's superior O as Hakeem's Dream Shake would be rendered mostly ineffective by the very best defensive centers like Russell.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Rubbish. Since 2009 Nadal has been the dominant player. 14 majors with Djokovic on 12. No excuse for Federer to be so far behind. Most people in the Western Hemisphere have Nadal as GOAT.
:confused::confused:
Counting from the AO 2009, Rafa's got 11 majors. As does Djokovic in that time frame. If you mean counting from AO 2010, Djokovic has 11 to Rafa's 10.
Counting from the AO 2008, Rafa does lead Djoko 13 to 12 with Fed being at an absolutely horrible 8 slams - inexcusable :mad:.
You're welcome.
Nadal wasn’t peak until 2008, any player is not peak until 21. Nadal and Djokovic have dominated last 10 years, Federer not even close. It’s a fact that cannot be ignored. Federer was 26 in 2008 so should have been dominatin g 2008-2012 yet he was third in that period.
Fed was 2nd together with Novak in that period if you base it on slams and WTF wins.
Rafa: 8, Fed: 5, Novak: 5 (each 2 WTF wins)

Also, let's compare years.
Fed's 2008-2012 compared to Rafa's 2013-2018 - is Rafa really that much better in his 26+ years? I fail to see it. And unlike Fed it wasn't mostly 5-6 years younger ATG's who stopped Rafa at the slams.
You are clutching at straws. Nadal was nowhere near a great player until 2008,it’s just that Federer was poor on clay over 5 sets that allowed a teenage Nadal to win FO. I’m sorry I appreciate it Is disappointing but it’s not debatable that Nadal and Djokovic are both ahead of Federer in terms of greatness. Federer fan logic dictates this as Federer fans said Djokovic nole slam was in a weak era and his AO wins weren’t meaningful as it’s the least important major. Well karma has come back to bite I’d say
Don't get what you're trying to say here, sorry
 
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JackGates

Hall of Fame
:confused::confused:
Counting from the AO 2009, Rafa's got 11 majors. As does Djokovic in that time frame. If you mean counting from AO 2010, Djokovic has 11 to Rafa's 10.
Counting from the AO 2008, Rafa does lead Djoko 13 to 12 with Fed being at an absolutely horrible 8 slams - inexcusable :mad:.
You're welcome.
Yeah, Fed did underachieve a lot. He won 0 majors in 4.5 years, it's quite bad yeah.

But, I think that's mostly his racket and as a result he couldn't change the backhand.

Now we all know that peak Fed with the new racket would destroy anyone.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
You are just salty Nadal was the best of 2017 and for the 10straight year had a better year than Federer. Fact not opinion.
some new user you are.
So Rafa was better in Fed in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016? The latter is debatable, the rest aren't really.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
You are proving the point...the whole silly goat discussion can only take place when careers are over!! That is effectively what I am saying in a cheeky way! Why can’t people just enjoy the moment.
Really, is that what you're trying to communicate with the statements below? Then I have a comprehension problem
Nadal is undoubtedly the best of all time. The statistics back it up. Federer only winning 7 majors in the last decade during the Nadal era is damning for him. Hi sorry lack of any USO is also a problem.
Rubbish. Since 2009 Nadal has been the dominant player. 14 majors with Djokovic on 12. No excuse for Federer to be so far behind. Most people in the Western Hemisphere have Nadal as GOAT.
You are just salty Nadal was the best of 2017 and for the 10straight year had a better year than Federer. Fact not opinion.
You are clutching at straws. Nadal was nowhere near a great player until 2008,it’s just that Federer was poor on clay over 5 sets that allowed a teenage Nadal to win FO. I’m sorry I appreciate it Is disappointing but it’s not debatable that Nadal and Djokovic are both ahead of Federer in terms of greatness. Federer fan logic dictates this as Federer fans said Djokovic nole slam was in a weak era and his AO wins weren’t meaningful as it’s the least important major. Well karma has come back to bite I’d say
You're welcome :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 
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D

Deleted member 742196

Guest
Really, is that what you're trying to communicate with the statements below? Then I have a comprehension problem



You're welcome :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Yip. Good catch. It’s more important than ever people remain consistent in the things they say.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
You are just salty Nadal was the best of 2017 and for the 10straight year had a better year than Federer. Fact not opinion.
You mean Nadal ended the year #1 but that doesn't always equate to being the best player. Statistically, Federer is had better numbers and achieved more.

Winning percentage
Federer 52-5(91%)
Nadal 67-11(86%)

Single titles
Federer 7
Nadal 6

Record against top 10
Federer 14-2
Nadal 11-6


And even if they were equally accomplished, the H2H tie-breaker is massively in favor of Federer.

H2H
Federer 4
Nadal 0
 

zagor

Bionic Poster
I'm sure a few Rafaelites have something to say about that. ;)
Yeah, they always do.

But yeah, what Fed (and Rafa) has done in their 30s is just amazing. I used to second Bud Collins' prediction of 17-18 majors for Fed but now I'm beginning to think he might pass Rosewall with the most generous accounting (what was it now, like 23?). Still would bet against it but then I've never seen such a dearth of young talent before (there I said it) so maybe it's more doable.
You said it and I agree with it. It's not that they lack ATG potential (not every gen has to necessarily have one) but they're so far behind 2nd/3d tier guys (Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Chang, Courier etc.) that it's baffling at times. I don't really buy the game is so physical and 25 is the new 20 excuse given that not that long ago 20 year old Delpo stormed to a slam title beating Fedal back-to-back.

Needless to say. I'm also not a big believer in the theory that tennis gets better and better and better in every way every year (that is preached by so many TW posters and embraced by the mainstream tennis media) when the guys that are supposed to be the future of the sport have more holes in their games than Swiss cheese. Shapovalov has potential though and I'm hoping Zverev will eventually improve that pedestrian FH and learn some forecourt tennis from his bro. Oh and maybe the South Korean kid will learn to serve in the meantime, Thiem will grow a brain (or hire a good coach) and Kyrgios will find it in himself to commit to the game and talk with his racquet for a change, you never know.

Regarding Fed, the wheels are gonna fall off at one point of course but at this point I'd mostly given up making predicitons for either him or Nadal.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
I personally don't put much stock in longevity so MJ's (relative) lack thereof is far from a deficit in my book. But that does bring up the perennial Q, namely whether MJ's 30+ avg or Kareem's career total is the greater achievement. I'd easily go with MJ, but certainly can see why another might lean towards KAJ.



Trust me, I gave up on bball forums a long time ago. For one nugget of wisdom you'd have to scroll past endless rubbish. There are some smaller forums that do attract genuine contributions, but their traffic is so low they're just not worth regular visits. One benefit of having fewer forums in a more niche bourgeois sport like tennis is that chances of coming across useful comments/contributors are higher. And truth be told, most of the posters write at least somewhat intelligibly.

As for LBJ's true potential or his capacity to match MJ at any rate... gotta disagree with you on that one. Of course LeBron's got the size and power advantages but they come with several disadvantages as well which are rarely acknowledged. For one thing he was never as quick as MJ or Kobe for that matter, hence his tendency to get burned by the quickest guards and his relatively inferior D to both (I'm sure LBJ defenders would love to throw out stats right now). In fact both MJ and Kobe were able to pull up either way much better, and while LBJ's left hand has improved he's still nowhere near as ambidextrous.

Ah, but with these supposed advantages they still weren't able to shoot a higher %, you say? There are several reasons why this is a misleading comparison, but to wit:

- As a PF LBJ is SUPPOSED to shoot a higher % than guards like MJ and Kobe.
- By a similar token (you knew this was coming), both of these guys unlike LBJ played in Jackson's triangle which being a shooter's offense limited their drives to the hoop.
- Even with that difference LBJ's edge in career shooting % over MJ is fairly minuscule, which speaks volumes for MJ's shooting prowess. (Those biiiiiig hands sure helped. Kobe's own paws aren't so small either but MJ's were ginormous. Of course Mike was also more explosive.)
- Shooters get into a groove by shooting more, which today's small ball and lack of hand-checking encourage. (I know I don't need to tell you Mike was constantly hand-checked in his pre-DC years.) Also reflecting this change today's officiating is awfully generous to any shooter who initiates contact, hence LBJ's frequent layup drills which boost up his #s further.

I'll give LeBron credit for improving his perimeter shooting and also admit both MJ and Kobe were never elite perimeter shooters themselves (prime for prime Bean was better, if by a hair), but it's a near certainty these two would be posting better %s under today's conditions. And I hate to keep belaboring this point but they were also the biggest a-holes I've seen in any sport (I know I say this a lot but Kobe is the only one I can think of who could match MJ in sheer egomania), while LBJ's ego is of a more fragile kind which seems to need constant outside validation to keep burning.

You could say LBJ's edge in size, power and versatility overrides whatever advantages Kobe might have, but I don't think they're enough to cancel out MJ's. I'm something of a defense fetishist and the fact that LBJ is a good but not great defender while MJ's one of the all-time elites all but clinches it for me. I don't think LeBron with all the motivation and training in the world could overcome Mike's leaner mass and lower center of gravity. It may be a cliche but you could hardly build a more perfect basketball specimen than Jordan.



Cool. :cool:



The correct answer is Kareem, for one reason: in that skyhook he had the most stoppable weapon in the sport's history. You're quite right that Hakeem was the better athlete, but that's not enough to override Kareem's superior O as Hakeem's Dream Shake would be rendered mostly ineffective by the very best defensive centers like Russell.
You give me too much credit for seeing things coming as I'm no basketball guru.

I was basing the view roughly on a mixture of eye-test and stats, in that LeBron is the only guy since Mike who has comparable efficiency and VORP ratings. We can compare Mike and Kobe a bit more directly on this front given the systems they played in under the same coach, and as such I see Mike as being obviously better in terms of raw impact on the game. Kobe certainly has some of his own quirks going for him and as a deadly scorer has had some stupendous patches of sustained brilliance which he can claim all to his own, but overall he wasn't as athletic as MJ. He made up for some of that with the sheer wealth of his skill-set—not that it was better than Mike's but that he had such a variety to his arsenal to befuddle opponents with. LeBron though in terms of his full skill-set, all your points taken, overall translates his specific skill-set into comparable sustained average impact on a game. Some of this could be attributable to the way LeBron is utilised and how he is the system (which yields some curious problems, because if he falls everything falls) and so the surface stats are not necessarily a fair reflection of how close he might be to Mike or how much better on the surface he seems than Kobe.

So in a loose sense I was saying that LeBron's raw output and skill-set sees a comparable play-to-play effectiveness but that he can't come close to Mike in the end because of all the stuff that isn't readily traceable through all the numbers, such as the will, intensity, killer instinct. I think LeBron is sold short in these areas and does come plenty good in crunch time for the most part, but he doesn't fit the typical paradigm of the best most awesome player on the planet, who we tend to like to have that extra "alpha dawg" or whatever in them. I do think that LeBron as a raw specimen with his skill-set is comparable to Jordan, but that it is those extra things that hold him back a bit in comparison to Mike, regardless of his own particular circumstances (no all-time great coach) and his atypical paradigm which doesn't seem very "GOAT" like (or so many say). Like you said, there's a certain fragility in the LeBron psyche.

Kobe has all that extra vague stuff but isn't quite the same physical specimen that Mike was and lacks the degree of sixth sense that Mike had. LeBron to my mind—I appreciate you disagree—is comparable as a physical specimen and in the general aggregate of his nuts and bolts skill-set, but lacks all that extra vague stuff. Mike had the best of both worlds.

When it comes to Kobe and LeBron, I do think LeBron is a little bit better but am open to any compelling further arguments you may have. Besides, you're the real expert between us here.


A few acknowledgements:

- As a PF LBJ is SUPPOSED to shoot a higher % than guards like MJ and Kobe.

That's indeed true, and Mike's overall efficiency as a scorer given his position is just incredible. LeBron too is highly efficient and uses his size and power to great effect for those easy scores.

- By a similar token (you knew this was coming), both of these guys unlike LBJ played in Jackson's triangle which being a shooter's offense limited their drives to the hoop.

True again, though overall I think LBJ, even if not as good a finisher as Jordan or maybe Kobe (not sure) when he reaches the rim in terms of options, has more effectiveness overall driving to the rim due to his unique physicality, which he utilises so often in his typical fashion - like a freight train. However this is to be expected, and your point stands.

- Even with that difference LBJ's edge in career shooting % over MJ is fairly minuscule, which speaks volumes for MJ's shooting prowess. (Those biiiiiig hands sure helped. Kobe's own paws aren't so small either but MJ's were ginormous. Of course Mike was also more explosive.)

Absolutely.

- Shooters get into a groove by shooting more, which today's small ball and lack of hand-checking encourage. (I know I don't need to tell you Mike was constantly hand-checked in his pre-DC years.) Also reflecting this change today's officiating is awfully generous to any shooter who initiates contact, hence LBJ's frequent layup drills which boost up his #s further.

Again there is truth to this. It's hard to fully judge because players are made by their era, but in the absence of evidence it makes sense to err on the side of the versatility of players who had to be more canny to break down defences.

I think the main thing in LeBron's aid for 'stuffing the stat sheets'—as one infamous pundit often likes to remind us—is that so much of the game runs through him all the time and that he exercises his will on the game in such a thorough way. This is why teams fall apart generally when he leaves. Now, I don't want to generalise too much. LeBron has remained tremendously efficient and effective even when often deferring to Kyrie during recent years, but nonetheless as a general LeBron credo it appears that he has to be the system, and teams live and die by him.
 
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metsman

G.O.A.T.
I personally don't put much stock in longevity so MJ's (relative) lack thereof is far from a deficit in my book. But that does bring up the perennial Q, namely whether MJ's 30+ avg or Kareem's career total is the greater achievement. I'd easily go with MJ, but certainly can see why another might lean towards KAJ.



Trust me, I gave up on bball forums a long time ago. For one nugget of wisdom you'd have to scroll past endless rubbish. There are some smaller forums that do attract genuine contributions, but their traffic is so low they're just not worth regular visits. One benefit of having fewer forums in a more niche bourgeois sport like tennis is that chances of coming across useful comments/contributors are higher. And truth be told, most of the posters write at least somewhat intelligibly.

As for LBJ's true potential or his capacity to match MJ at any rate... gotta disagree with you on that one. Of course LeBron's got the size and power advantages but they come with several disadvantages as well which are rarely acknowledged. For one thing he was never as quick as MJ or Kobe for that matter, hence his tendency to get burned by the quickest guards and his relatively inferior D to both (I'm sure LBJ defenders would love to throw out stats right now). In fact both MJ and Kobe were able to pull up either way much better, and while LBJ's left hand has improved he's still nowhere near as ambidextrous.

Ah, but with these supposed advantages they still weren't able to shoot a higher %, you say? There are several reasons why this is a misleading comparison, but to wit:

- As a PF LBJ is SUPPOSED to shoot a higher % than guards like MJ and Kobe.
- By a similar token (you knew this was coming), both of these guys unlike LBJ played in Jackson's triangle which being a shooter's offense limited their drives to the hoop.
- Even with that difference LBJ's edge in career shooting % over MJ is fairly minuscule, which speaks volumes for MJ's shooting prowess. (Those biiiiiig hands sure helped. Kobe's own paws aren't so small either but MJ's were ginormous. Of course Mike was also more explosive.)
- Shooters get into a groove by shooting more, which today's small ball and lack of hand-checking encourage. (I know I don't need to tell you Mike was constantly hand-checked in his pre-DC years.) Also reflecting this change today's officiating is awfully generous to any shooter who initiates contact, hence LBJ's frequent layup drills which boost up his #s further.

I'll give LeBron credit for improving his perimeter shooting and also admit both MJ and Kobe were never elite perimeter shooters themselves (prime for prime Bean was better, if by a hair), but it's a near certainty these two would be posting better %s under today's conditions. And I hate to keep belaboring this point but they were also the biggest a-holes I've seen in any sport (I know I say this a lot but Kobe is the only one I can think of who could match MJ in sheer egomania), while LBJ's ego is of a more fragile kind which seems to need constant outside validation to keep burning.

You could say LBJ's edge in size, power and versatility overrides whatever advantages Kobe might have, but I don't think they're enough to cancel out MJ's. I'm something of a defense fetishist and the fact that LBJ is a good but not great defender while MJ's one of the all-time elites all but clinches it for me. I don't think LeBron with all the motivation and training in the world could overcome Mike's leaner mass and lower center of gravity. It may be a cliche but you could hardly build a more perfect basketball specimen than Jordan.



Cool. :cool:



The correct answer is Kareem, for one reason: in that skyhook he had the most stoppable weapon in the sport's history. You're quite right that Hakeem was the better athlete, but that's not enough to override Kareem's superior O as Hakeem's Dream Shake would be rendered mostly ineffective by the very best defensive centers like Russell.
Jordan a better defender than LeBron? You can't be serious. LeBron has anchored elite level defense numerous times in his career. Jordan did it maybe once. But I am still skeptical because it is just about impossible for a guard to anchor elite defense. LeBron was the best offensive and defensive player on 3 different championship teams (and was on that level in 09/10 as well if his team wasn't terrible), Jordan never was. LeBron's overall help defense, ability to guard multiple positions, and ability to disrupt plays anywhere along with his rebounding is stuff Jordan simply can't do. The level of defense LeBron played in the 2012 and 2016 playoffs for example is a level above anything Jordan ever did against teams of that quality. 2016 finals is by far the GOAT defensive performance from a non-big, and one of the GOAT defensive performances overall.

What Jordan has over LeBron is being a little bit more consistent offensive player in his prime and peak, especially in the playoffs due to his more reliable jumper. But I do think LeBron at his best, when the jumper is falling, is the best player.

Also, do you seriously think LeBron is getting the benefit of calls today with how few free throws he shoots compared to jump shooters? Jordan looked like he had the rulebook specifically written for him in the 90's with all the calls he got, so I really don't friendly officiating is close to a factor here. Also, I surely don't have to tell you that the only reason Jordan's FG% is close to LeBron is because LeBron takes 2.5 times as many threes. His 2P% is over 30 points higher. Of course this doesn't matter, no one really matches MJ as an overall scorer anyways. But the argument for LeBron is that at his best, he approaches that level while also bringing a little more playmaking and defense.
 
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-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Jordan a better defender than LeBron? You can't be serious. LeBron has anchored elite level defense numerous times in his career. Jordan did it maybe once. But I am still skeptical because it is just about impossible for a guard to anchor elite defense. LeBron was the best offensive and defensive player on 3 different championship teams (and was on that level in 09/10 as well if his team wasn't terrible), Jordan never was. LeBron's overall help defense, ability to guard multiple positions, and ability to disrupt plays anywhere along with his rebounding is stuff Jordan simply can't do. The level of defense LeBron played in the 2012 and 2016 playoffs for example is a level above anything Jordan ever did against teams of that quality. 2016 finals is by far the GOAT defensive performance from a non-big, and one of the GOAT defensive performances overall.

What Jordan has over LeBron is being a little bit more consistent offensive player in his prime and peak, especially in the playoffs due to his more reliable jumper. But I do think LeBron at his best, when the jumper is falling, is the best player.
I thought that it was pretty much accepted by even most LeBron fans that Jordan has an edge in defence - but they are very different so it's not straight forward to pin down. LeBron marshals the court, which is more or less what you described. Though it's not like Mike didn't have a consistent eye for that stuff, and he was prolific at stealing the ball.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
You give me too much credit for seeing things coming as I'm no basketball guru.

I was basing the view roughly on a mixture of eye-test and stats, in that LeBron is the only guy since Mike who has comparable efficiency and VORP ratings. We can compare Mike and Kobe a bit more directly on this front given the systems they played in under the same coach, and as such I see Mike as being obviously better in terms of raw impact on the game. Kobe certainly has some of his own quirks going for him and as a deadly scorer has had some stupendous patches of sustained brilliance which he can claim all to his own, but overall he wasn't as athletic as MJ. He made up for some of that with the sheer wealth of his skill-set—not that it was better than Mike's but that he had such a variety to his arsenal to befuddle opponents with. LeBron though in terms of his full skill-set, all your points taken, overall translates his specific skill-set into comparable sustained average impact on a game. Some of this could be attributable to the way LeBron is utilised and how he is the system (which yields some curious problems, because if he falls everything falls) and so the surface stats are not necessarily a fair reflection of how close he might be to Mike or how much better on the surface he seems than Kobe.

So in a loose sense I was saying that LeBron's raw output and skill-set sees a comparable play-to-play effectiveness but that he can't come close to Mike in the end because of all the stuff that isn't readily traceable through all the numbers, such as the will, intensity, killer instinct. I think LeBron is sold short in these areas and does come plenty good in crunch time for the most part, but he doesn't fit the typical paradigm of the best most awesome player on the planet, who we tend to like to have that extra "alpha dawg" or whatever in them. I do think that LeBron as a raw specimen with his skill-set is comparable to Jordan, but that it is those extra things that hold him back a bit in comparison to Mike, regardless of his own particular circumstances (no all-time great coach) and his atypical paradigm which doesn't seem very "GOAT" like (or so many say). Like you said, there's a certain fragility in the LeBron psyche.

Kobe has all that extra vague stuff but isn't quite the same physical specimen that Mike was and lacks the degree of sixth sense that Mike had. LeBron to my mind—I appreciate you disagree—is comparable as a physical specimen and in the general aggregate of his nuts and bolts skill-set, but lacks all that extra vague stuff. Mike had the best of both worlds.

When it comes to Kobe and LeBron, I do think LeBron is a little bit better but am open to any compelling further arguments you may have. Besides, you're the real expert between us here.


A few acknowledgements:

- As a PF LBJ is SUPPOSED to shoot a higher % than guards like MJ and Kobe.

That's indeed true, and Mike's overall efficiency as a scorer given his position is just incredible. LeBron too is highly efficient and uses his size and power to great effect for those easy scores.

- By a similar token (you knew this was coming), both of these guys unlike LBJ played in Jackson's triangle which being a shooter's offense limited their drives to the hoop.

True again, though overall I think LBJ, even if not as good a finisher as Jordan or maybe Kobe (not sure) when he reaches the rim in terms of options, has more effectiveness overall driving to the rim due to his unique physicality, which he utilises so often in his typical fashion - like a freight train. However this is to be expected, and your point stands.

- Even with that difference LBJ's edge in career shooting % over MJ is fairly minuscule, which speaks volumes for MJ's shooting prowess. (Those biiiiiig hands sure helped. Kobe's own paws aren't so small either but MJ's were ginormous. Of course Mike was also more explosive.)

Absolutely.

- Shooters get into a groove by shooting more, which today's small ball and lack of hand-checking encourage. (I know I don't need to tell you Mike was constantly hand-checked in his pre-DC years.) Also reflecting this change today's officiating is awfully generous to any shooter who initiates contact, hence LBJ's frequent layup drills which boost up his #s further.

Again there is truth to this. It's hard to fully judge because players are made by their era, but in the absence of evidence it makes sense to err on the side of the versatility of players who had to be more canny to break down defences.

I think the main thing in LeBron's aid for 'stuffing the stat sheets'—as one infamous pundit often likes to remind us—is that so much of the game runs through him all the time and that he exercises his will on the game in such a thorough way. This is why teams fall apart generally when he leaves. Now, I don't want to generalise too much. LeBron has remained tremendously efficient and effective even when often deferring to Kyrie during recent years, but nonetheless as a general LeBron credo it appears that he has to be the system, and teams live and die by him.
The teams fall apart because the teams weren't that good to begin with. Bosh and Wade were killed by injuries, and besides that all they had was a bunch of 3P shooters in decline by the end of LeBron's Heat run. You expect that team to be good? You expect Mo Williams and whatever other garbage he was playing with in Cleveland to be good?

The only teams he's played with in the playoffs that you can say were good are 2011, 2016, and 2017. He at least had a legit second option those years. 2012 is on the fence because Bosh was injured, Wade wasn't playing his best, and besides that it was just shooters. But even then, in 2011 the Heat had zero depth, although that finals were LeBron's fault, and in 2016 and 2017 Love was a non-factor against the Warriors and the 2017 Cavs had one of the worst benches for a finals team. 2016 is the only time he had a good second option and role players pulling their weight, and he pulled off the impossible despite his 3rd option being useless. The 12-14 Heat also played great team ball because they had a good coach with a system and a reliable secondary playmaker with Wade (at least in the regular season). It's tough to understate just how horrific the coaching has been in LeBron's Cleveland stints. There was no system whatsoever besides, "let Lebron save our ass". The best bet they had was playing LeBron-ball, and even then LeBron deferred to Kyrie more than he should have.

LeBron is a terrific off ball player. Most of the numbers bear this out, and anyone who says he isn't simply was not paying attention in the Heat years. The problem is that he's very rarely played with someone who's worth giving the ball to and who is capable of finding him off ball. Wade was capable of that, but with Wade's injuries that team never reached its ceiling in the playoff. With Kyrie, he just gave him the ball and stood on the other side while Kyrie dribbled 8 million times and threw up a shot. Of course in the first Cleveland stint there were 0 people who could create for themselves so LeBron did everything and had to pretty much from Day 1. It's tough to understate how trash that Cleveland franchise was from top to bottom.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
The teams fall apart because the teams weren't that good to begin with. Bosh and Wade were killed by injuries, and besides that all they had was a bunch of 3P shooters in decline by the end of LeBron's Heat run. You expect that team to be good? You expect Mo Williams and whatever other garbage he was playing with in Cleveland to be good?

The only teams he's played with in the playoffs that you can say were good are 2011, 2016, and 2017. He at least had a legit second option those years. 2012 is on the fence because Bosh was injured, Wade wasn't playing his best, and besides that it was just shooters. But even then, in 2011 the Heat had zero depth, although that finals were LeBron's fault, and in 2016 and 2017 Love was a non-factor against the Warriors and the 2017 Cavs had one of the worst benches for a finals team. 2016 is the only time he had a good second option and role players pulling their weight, and he pulled off the impossible despite his 3rd option being useless. The 12-14 Heat also played great team ball because they had a good coach with a system and a reliable secondary playmaker with Wade (at least in the regular season). It's tough to understate just how horrific the coaching has been in LeBron's Cleveland stints. There was no system whatsoever besides, "let Lebron save our ass". The best bet they had was playing LeBron-ball, and even then LeBron deferred to Kyrie more than he should have.

LeBron is a terrific off ball player. Most of the numbers bear this out, and anyone who says he isn't simply was not paying attention in the Heat years. The problem is that he's very rarely played with someone who's worth giving the ball to and who is capable of finding him off ball. Wade was capable of that, but with Wade's injuries that team never reached its ceiling in the playoff. With Kyrie, he just gave him the ball and stood on the other side while Kyrie dribbled 8 million times and threw up a shot. Of course in the first Cleveland stint there were 0 people who could create for themselves so LeBron did everything and had to pretty much from Day 1. It's tough to understate how trash that Cleveland franchise was from top to bottom.
Plenty of truth in this, though one has to wonder why things have transpired in such a fashion so chronically. Is LeBron now entrenched or do you think that in apt circumstances every hunch you have would immediately bear out? Do you see him fitting in easily to some more organised system (also being "coachable" which is something which comes up a lot) and if so what move do you suggest he make within his power at the end of the season and beyond?
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
I thought that it was pretty much accepted by even most LeBron fans that Jordan has an edge in defence - but they are very different so it's not straight forward to pin down. LeBron marshals the court, which is more or less what you described. Though it's not like Mike didn't have a consistent eye for that stuff, and he was prolific at stealing the ball.
Don't think anyone who looks at more than just steals thinks that. LeBron has anchored elite defenses in the regular season and playoffs multiple times. Jordan wasn't the best defender on his team most of his career and the 2nd 3-peat Bulls had an embarrassment of riches defensively. They were the best defense in the league, and you seriously think that an older Jordan was anywhere near the defender he once was? Look at what happened to the Cavs defense after 2016 when LeBron no longer had the motor or stamina to go hard on both offense and defense. The amount of defensive responsibility they have had on their elite teams is simply not comparable. Jordan is an elite perimeter defender, but the key word there is perimeter. He simply is not capable of LeBron's overall defensive versatility and impact due to his size. LeBron is nearly as mobile as he is and might have even been faster in the open court and his significantly bigger. He can just cover much more ground in transition, defending the PnR, as a weak side help defender, and as a rebounder. Not to mention that he can guard both guards and forwards down the stretch. Those things matter a lot more than getting a couple steals.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Plenty of truth in this, though one has to wonder why things have transpired in such a fashion so chronically. Is LeBron now entrenched or do you think that in apt circumstances every hunch you have would immediately bear out? Do you see him fitting in easily to some more organised system (also being "coachable" which is something which comes up a lot) and if so what move do you suggest he make within his power at the end of the season and beyond?
The Heat years prove that sufficiently. They had a great system with a solid coach, and LeBron fit in beautifully, posted his best years efficiency wise in part due to all the off ball movement and easier baskets, and made that whole thing work. The Cavs have a puppet for a coach and no playmakers on Wade's level so LeBron is forced to do his traditional drive and kick style.

I seriously don't think LeBron actually wants to play LeBron-ball for the rest of his days because it takes a tremendous physical toll, and he knows he can't handle that as he gets older. So it'll be interesting to see what he does after this season and if he goes to a team with an established system where he won't have as much responsibility and can focus more on defense.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
Don't think anyone who looks at more than just steals thinks that. LeBron has anchored elite defenses in the regular season and playoffs multiple times. Jordan wasn't the best defender on his team most of his career and the 2nd 3-peat Bulls had an embarrassment of riches defensively. They were the best defense in the league, and you seriously think that an older Jordan was anywhere near the defender he once was? Look at what happened to the Cavs defense after 2016 when LeBron no longer had the motor or stamina to go hard on both offense and defense. The amount of defensive responsibility they have had on their elite teams is simply not comparable. Jordan is an elite perimeter defender, but the key word there is perimeter. He simply is not capable of LeBron's overall defensive versatility and impact due to his size. LeBron is nearly as mobile as he is and might have even been faster in the open court and his significantly bigger. He can just cover much more ground in transition, defending the PnR, as a weak side help defender, and as a rebounder. Not to mention that he can guard both guards and forwards down the stretch. Those things matter a lot more than getting a couple steals.
I see your points, though I'm not saying Jordan was just about a couple of steals, but that he had great game awareness and used his athleticism to defend hard, able to lock a man down. LeBron definitely is that field marshal on defence and has great vision in pretty much any circumstance on the court and when he needs to be on full alert can guard pretty much anyone and can be this overwhelming force who accounts for a total defence with a tremendous coverage and radar. Nonetheless, it is a novel view. You present compelling arguments and points forcefully as always and perhaps there's a general bias for the sort of consistent lock-down and perimeter defence guards who are DPOTY candidates tend to produce, and LeBron is caught in a sort of no man's land paradigm because he's not an out and out overwhelming "big man" defensive force and he doesn't align to the guard archetype. It's true that Draymond Green as a roaming field marshal type SF won DPOTY last time out but it's a rarity for that to be rewarded or respected to the same degree as a guard type defence (and Kawhi as SF with guard defence archetype) and especially the big man defence which dominates the award. These days of course LeBron can't give that full intensity on defence as to win such an award anyway, saving it for when it matters.

I would be very interested to hear @NonP 's thoughts on this discussion. Besides, he'd actually be on your level.
 

-NN-

G.O.A.T.
The Heat years prove that sufficiently. They had a great system with a solid coach, and LeBron fit in beautifully, posted his best years efficiency wise in part due to all the off ball movement and easier baskets, and made that whole thing work. The Cavs have a puppet for a coach and no playmakers on Wade's level so LeBron is forced to do his traditional drive and kick style.

I seriously don't think LeBron actually wants to play LeBron-ball for the rest of his days because it takes a tremendous physical toll, and he knows he can't handle that as he gets older. So it'll be interesting to see what he does after this season and if he goes to a team with an established system where he won't have as much responsibility and can focus more on defense.
One hopes.
 

JasonZ

Semi-Pro
Who are these jordans, bradys, gretzkys? Nobody cares about them outside north america.

Federer should be compared to real legends like pele or maradona. I doubt he can ever surpass them though
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Platini, Cristiano Ronaldo, George Best.

Messi is certainly in that group but it is a bit of stretch to suggest he is #1.

Like saying Sampras is #1 in a group that comprises Laver, Borg, Nadal, and Federer.
Messi is above all of those.

Pele played vs pub league players. Maradonna spent half his career coked up and cheated for that 1986 win. Nowhere near Messi’s numbers.

Some of his CL wins (especially 09 and 11) are up there with any top World Cup win.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Let me lay it down: Messi is by far the best footballer ever and is without a doubt a top 3 great in his sport (in my mind he is number 1). While football is a team sport, it’s hard to blame Messi for the final losses (he has ten other players on his team). But the fact that he hasn’t really played at his absolute best in those finals and proved to be a leader, he can’t be the GOAT athlete. Messi still needs the sort of moment Federer had against Nadal in last year’s AO final.
He does... 09, 11 CL finals spring to me. Not to mention he demolished R Madrid in the Semis.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
Again, Roger is one of the greatest athletes ever (the greatest in his sport by all means)
Nadal and Borg are far superior to Federer in terms of pure athleticism. Their Roland Garros records alone demonstrate that. And Borg won French Open and Wimbledon Titles in the same year three times. An incredible athletic effort that is unique.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
A guy named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants to have a word with you about Olajuwon.
What word would he like? He was lead dog in only 2 title runs, missed the playoffs dead in his prime, and only had one title *with Oscar, before Magic came along.
He dominated in the pre-merger and was a perenial loser before Magic came along. He then sulked and whinged when magic won the finals mvp in his rookie year.

He played a role in all the championships but this contributions towards the end were easily replaceble by any other top centre. 7,4, and 5 points in game 7s in his last 2 seasons.
4 points in the finals game 7 against Detroit. That was beyond wretched.

Lebron's got a better case than Kareem does. Nothing against the guy, but besides cumulative totals,he's got no argument. He didn't peak anywhere near as high as Jordan,Shaq, and LeBron did (just a discussion of peaks.)
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
Could be, actually a very tough coice, therefore I said that in my opinion Hakeem was a little better, fully understandable if someone else prefers Kareem. Old Jabbar handled young Kareem quite well in their playoff encounters, however in my opinion the Dream was a little more versatile. He was good in every stat category, no wonder he reached a quadruple double and 6 five-by-fives. Kareem was better in scoring and a slightly better rebounder, Hakeem the better shotblocker and by far better in steals. Really close call, but i would give it to the Dream.
Moses obliterated Kareem. H2hs are just that - h2hs. Basketball is a 5 on 5 sport and Hakeem offered a lot more than the direct matchup at centre. This was a centre who could get close to double digit steals if he decided to lock down the perimeter.
He could lock up everyone from centers to pointguard.

Also worth noting is that Hakeem didn't get his head straight until the early 90s with his conversion. He was at his athletic peak in the 80s but was a headcase who didn' make the most of his talent.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
No it wasn't. Now people can watch Federer for free on youtube and you can't judge just using TV ratings. There is also pay per view.

Well, if ratings dropped after Jordan retired, it means he didn't have all time greats in his era, so it was a weak era, if when he was gone, there was nobody left.

If Fed retires, I think Djokovic and Nadal would be able to carry on tennis.
Yes it was Jack. They did a 23 rating in game 6 and 18 overall. That dropped precipitously overnight.
The 2nd sentence is a non-sequitar. The fact that Jordan was the most popular player of all time doesn' mean there weren' all time greats in his era.
It means that he was a larger than life figure in the sport who got a higher share of the adulation/intrigue (yes, higher even than Roger gets, which is crazy to think about.)
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
And I know they're going gaga over LBJ's longevity right now but that's also what they were saying about Kobe before injuries (as you know he was posting some of the best shooting %s of his career before the first of his two big injuries) ended his career for good. But then given today's small ball (and no hand-checking) maybe LBJ's 33-34 will become the new normal, too. Guess we'll find out soon enough.
Kobe was playing in a D'Antoni2 offense with Nash,Howard, Pau, and Artest.
Every guard's numbers go up playing under MD. Nash immediately became the best offensive point guard of his generation. Harden went from a relative disappointment to a guy who puts up 50 and 60 point triple doubles.
Having said that, Kobe STILL struggled to make half his shots. He played 20 years and never once made so much as 47% of his shots. The year before he went down,he was at 46.7% iirc which was great by his standards but woeful compared to many of the top stars in the NBA. LeBron was shooting nearly 8% better. Durant was shooting better. Pretty much everyone was.

I'm with you in rega4ds to your last point. The 3 ball league is going to help LeBron stay dominant as he ages. He'll transition to the 4 and find himself playing in the post. He's already got 30k points. Who knows how many he ends up with?
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
Of course I watch football, and I believe that the achievements of Maradona (single-handedly dragging mediocre Argentina and Napoli teams to victory), Pele (three World Cups and over 1,000 career goals) and Di Stefano (5 consecutive European Cups, inventing the club game as we know it) surpass those of Messi.

Btw, the greatest footballer of all time should be able to single-handedly inspire his team to victory, yes. Maradona did this for Argentina in 1986. Messi can do it when surrounded by the likes of Xavi and Iniesta at Barca but cannot do it when placed in a mediocre side for Argentina. Funny that eh?

Fair play to you for digging up all the quotes of those who have been hoodwinked by the hype of the Champions League, though.
You really cannot ask me to show you examples of people anointing Messi the greatest only to dismiss quotes from Maradona's own teammates as "being hoodwinked by hype."

You might not agree but a lot of people feel that way and there's a reason for it. If we are to say that Messi wasn't and hasn't been able to replicate Maradona's 1986 exploits,then it's also worth pointing out that Maradona never dominated the European scene at club level the way Messi has for the past decade.

International tournaments are cup competition. In a one-off, anything can happen. If Higuain had put away his sitters and Maradona's strikers hadn't it, should that really change the way we view the Argentines' performances? It really shouldn't because neither has a say about how his striker finishes a move. It's officially out of their hands at that point. The details are really small.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
Agree with this statement. Jordan would have certainly been a significant part of the NBA’s collective growth but in no way does he get the credit for what was already a popular mainstream sport (in the West at least). Showtime Lakers? Bird Celtics?

Jordan did more for Nike than anyone, I’ll admit. Heck, he did more for a brand’s rise. But not the sport.
Magic and Larry resurrected a dead sport but even they would admit he took it to heights it had never seen before. Ratings and viewership were record high during his time and we still haven't gone back to the popularity of the NBA during his peak. In that sense, he deserves some credit.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
I thought that it was pretty much accepted by even most LeBron fans that Jordan has an edge in defence - but they are very different so it's not straight forward to pin down. LeBron marshals the court, which is more or less what you described. Though it's not like Mike didn't have a consistent eye for that stuff, and he was prolific at stealing the ball.
Jordan might have been the best perimeter defensive player ever. The late 80s Jordan was a cut above anything LeBron has ever got close to as a defensive player.
Lebron's arguments would be his leadership and his ability to make his teammates better. Attempting to even argue that LeBron was close to Jordan as a defensive player is fool's gold. It's something that would get someone laughed out of a forum and is only sokmething you'd hear from Lebon fanboys who didn't watch Jordan.

Jordan was single handidly destroying offensive schemes. Don't look at a highlights package. Go ahead and watch a full game and that would give a more accurate picture. It wasn't a few possssions, here and there. He put the shackles on and absolutely smothered a lot of the all time greats.

Even when he wasn't assigned to a player, he'd be a threat. Case in point is the steal from Malone (the 2nd best player on the planet) in the final seconds of game 6 to set up his title winning shot. He wasn't waiting for or counting on a teammate for a stop. He made it happen. As was nearly the case with him.
 
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Deleted member 716271

Guest
Don't think anyone who looks at more than just steals thinks that. LeBron has anchored elite defenses in the regular season and playoffs multiple times. Jordan wasn't the best defender on his team most of his career and the 2nd 3-peat Bulls had an embarrassment of riches defensively. They were the best defense in the league, and you seriously think that an older Jordan was anywhere near the defender he once was? Look at what happened to the Cavs defense after 2016 when LeBron no longer had the motor or stamina to go hard on both offense and defense. The amount of defensive responsibility they have had on their elite teams is simply not comparable. Jordan is an elite perimeter defender, but the key word there is perimeter. He simply is not capable of LeBron's overall defensive versatility and impact due to his size. LeBron is nearly as mobile as he is and might have even been faster in the open court and his significantly bigger. He can just cover much more ground in transition, defending the PnR, as a weak side help defender, and as a rebounder. Not to mention that he can guard both guards and forwards down the stretch. Those things matter a lot more than getting a couple steals.
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.
 

Mr Feeny

Hall of Fame
Jordan a better defender than LeBron? You can't be serious.
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.
 
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Deleted member 716271

Guest
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.
I think its debatable man Lebron is just more versatile as a defender, hes a jack of all trades because of his size.

I agree with your overall point though that Jordan is definitely better than Lebron as a whole. Much better scoring and almost as good in other facets and equalish on defense.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
You said it and I agree with it. It's not that they lack ATG potential (not every gen has to necessarily have one) but they're so far behind 2nd/3d tier guys (Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Chang, Courier etc.) that it's baffling at times. I don't really buy the game is so physical and 25 is the new 20 excuse given that not that long ago 20 year old Delpo stormed to a slam title beating Fedal back-to-back.

Needless to say. I'm also not a big believer in the theory that tennis gets better and better and better in every way every year (that is preached by so many TW posters and embraced by the mainstream tennis media) when the guys that are supposed to be the future of the sport have more holes in their games than Swiss cheese. Shapovalov has potential though and I'm hoping Zverev will eventually improve that pedestrian FH and learn some forecourt tennis from his bro. Oh and maybe the South Korean kid will learn to serve in the meantime, Thiem will grow a brain (or hire a good coach) and Kyrgios will find it in himself to commit to the game and talk with his racquet for a change, you never know.
Yeah, that's really the thing. The usual counterpoint that the Big 3 are such elite players they've all but neutralized their competition would be easier to accept if the next generation could at least match their 2nd/3rd-tier predecessors, but the youngsters can't even do that consistently. Of these guys I still think Nick has the most potential if he can somehow grow up fast. I was also impressed with Chung at this AO and you're right, once/if he develops a serve on par with the rest of his game he'll be a serious threat to anyone, as the kid is obviously a gifted athlete.

You know what I'd really like, though? I want Novak to surpass both Fed and Rafa. Not necessarily in Slam counts 'cause that's most likely out of his range at this point, but close enough so that he'd have a strong case over both as his H2H advantages would probably have grown by then and he's got his own historic achievement in that 4-peat on 3 separate surfaces. Plus the tooth-gnashing among Fedal fans would be absolutely delicious. :D

But this is more a wish than a prediction on my part, and not even my own view at that. I've said this before but Pete and Fed are the two best tennis players I've ever seen (Roger is my pick if we're talking all year long, but for big matches especially against other ATGs I go with Pistol), and though I've rooted for Novak harder than I ever did for these two (believe it or not I didn't come to like Pete all that much till the near end of his career) I do think he (and Rafa) is a slight notch below in sheer all-court brilliance and firepower.

You give me too much credit for seeing things coming as I'm no basketball guru.
You definitely fooled me. ;)

I was basing the view roughly on a mixture of eye-test and stats, in that LeBron is the only guy since Mike who has comparable efficiency and VORP ratings. We can compare Mike and Kobe a bit more directly on this front given the systems they played in under the same coach, and as such I see Mike as being obviously better in terms of raw impact on the game. Kobe certainly has some of his own quirks going for him and as a deadly scorer has had some stupendous patches of sustained brilliance which he can claim all to his own, but overall he wasn't as athletic as MJ. He made up for some of that with the sheer wealth of his skill-set—not that it was better than Mike's but that he had such a variety to his arsenal to befuddle opponents with. LeBron though in terms of his full skill-set, all your points taken, overall translates his specific skill-set into comparable sustained average impact on a game. Some of this could be attributable to the way LeBron is utilised and how he is the system (which yields some curious problems, because if he falls everything falls) and so the surface stats are not necessarily a fair reflection of how close he might be to Mike or how much better on the surface he seems than Kobe.

So in a loose sense I was saying that LeBron's raw output and skill-set sees a comparable play-to-play effectiveness but that he can't come close to Mike in the end because of all the stuff that isn't readily traceable through all the numbers, such as the will, intensity, killer instinct. I think LeBron is sold short in these areas and does come plenty good in crunch time for the most part, but he doesn't fit the typical paradigm of the best most awesome player on the planet, who we tend to like to have that extra "alpha dawg" or whatever in them. I do think that LeBron as a raw specimen with his skill-set is comparable to Jordan, but that it is those extra things that hold him back a bit in comparison to Mike, regardless of his own particular circumstances (no all-time great coach) and his atypical paradigm which doesn't seem very "GOAT" like (or so many say). Like you said, there's a certain fragility in the LeBron psyche.

Kobe has all that extra vague stuff but isn't quite the same physical specimen that Mike was and lacks the degree of sixth sense that Mike had. LeBron to my mind—I appreciate you disagree—is comparable as a physical specimen and in the general aggregate of his nuts and bolts skill-set, but lacks all that extra vague stuff. Mike had the best of both worlds.

When it comes to Kobe and LeBron, I do think LeBron is a little bit better but am open to any compelling further arguments you may have. Besides, you're the real expert between us here.
Eh, I'm far from an expert myself. I'm just smart enough to learn from the best who do know what they're talking about.

For the record I do think LBJ is sold short in the intangibles (though is he really nowadays?) and it's only in comparison with nearly pathological egomaniacs like MJ and Kobe that he suffers a bit. After all we're talking THE GOAT of GOATs here.

We'll agree to disagree on MJ vs. LBJ but LeBron vs. Kobe is indeed trickier cuz the numbers certainly seem to favor one over the other. One thing I forgot to add yesterday, and it's something I've told you before, is how Bean's shooting %s remained more or less the same in the regular reason vs. the playoffs (if anything his %s went up, though his godawful #s in his last regular seasons make this comparison somewhat moot). In fact among backcourt ATGs he's almost unique in this regard, as even Mike's #s seemed to go down slightly in the postseason. If Kobe is (rightly) to be knocked for taking (and making!) too many tough shots then he should also get credit for nailing 'em at the same rate under pressure, no?

I don't have much to add to that old post of mine so I'll just refer you to it. I still rank Kobe and LBJ about the same, though if LeBron manages to keep up his current pace and somehow equal if not exceed Bean's 5 rings even I might have to rethink my current GOAT ratings.

True again, though overall I think LBJ, even if not as good a finisher as Jordan or maybe Kobe (not sure) when he reaches the rim in terms of options, has more effectiveness overall driving to the rim due to his unique physicality, which he utilises so often in his typical fashion - like a freight train. However this is to be expected, and your point stands.
Yes, those near-unstoppable drives to the rim are why I'd rank LBJ a better finisher overall than Kobe and even MJ, but this is where today's lax rules have really helped him. I'll elaborate more later but for now let's revisit Kobe's 2nd block on LeBron in their penultimate ATG:


Of course the LBJ brigade proceeded to dismiss it as an exo play but for me two things about it stuck out:

1) See how Kobe starts tailgating LeBron from the get-go, denying LBJ the momentum that makes his drives so dangerous.
2) Kobe also forces him left and keeps up pressure on his left hand lest he use his surefire left-right spin (you can bet Bean knew LeBron's right-to-left spin isn't as good), and also because LBJ tends to shoot jumpers when going left (you might recall MJ himself made the same point a few days before the game earlier, but again it's almost certain Kobe already knew) and Kobe obviously gives him little room here.

In other words Kobe really, really wanted to show up LeBron. :p And that's actually the right way to play him, though you do need to be choosy in your effort as nobody can play both sides of the court for long.

But the thing is, this was an ATG and in the playoffs or finals the refs would be more likely to blow the whistle on Kobe (or whoever tried the same thing) if LBJ still tried to power his way to the rim. Like I said in today's small ball scorers tend to get the benefit of the doubt (unless they're bigs who like to post up in the old-fashioned way, surprise surprise).
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
I think the main thing in LeBron's aid for 'stuffing the stat sheets'—as one infamous pundit often likes to remind us—is that so much of the game runs through him all the time and that he exercises his will on the game in such a thorough way. This is why teams fall apart generally when he leaves. Now, I don't want to generalise too much. LeBron has remained tremendously efficient and effective even when often deferring to Kyrie during recent years, but nonetheless as a general LeBron credo it appears that he has to be the system, and teams live and die by him.
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.

Jordan a better defender than LeBron? You can't be serious. LeBron has anchored elite level defense numerous times in his career. Jordan did it maybe once. But I am still skeptical because it is just about impossible for a guard to anchor elite defense. LeBron was the best offensive and defensive player on 3 different championship teams (and was on that level in 09/10 as well if his team wasn't terrible), Jordan never was. LeBron's overall help defense, ability to guard multiple positions, and ability to disrupt plays anywhere along with his rebounding is stuff Jordan simply can't do. The level of defense LeBron played in the 2012 and 2016 playoffs for example is a level above anything Jordan ever did against teams of that quality. 2016 finals is by far the GOAT defensive performance from a non-big, and one of the GOAT defensive performances overall.
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.

What Jordan has over LeBron is being a little bit more consistent offensive player in his prime and peak, especially in the playoffs due to his more reliable jumper. But I do think LeBron at his best, when the jumper is falling, is the best player.
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.

Also, do you seriously think LeBron is getting the benefit of calls today with how few free throws he shoots compared to jump shooters? Jordan looked like he had the rulebook specifically written for him in the 90's with all the calls he got, so I really don't friendly officiating is close to a factor here. Also, I surely don't have to tell you that the only reason Jordan's FG% is close to LeBron is because LeBron takes 2.5 times as many threes. His 2P% is over 30 points higher. Of course this doesn't matter, no one really matches MJ as an overall scorer anyways. But the argument for LeBron is that at his best, he approaches that level while also bringing a little more playmaking and defense.
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.

Kobe was playing in a D'Antoni2 offense with Nash,Howard, Pau, and Artest.
Every guard's numbers go up playing under MD. Nash immediately became the best offensive point guard of his generation. Harden went from a relative disappointment to a guy who puts up 50 and 60 point triple doubles.
Having said that, Kobe STILL struggled to make half his shots. He played 20 years and never once made so much as 47% of his shots. The year before he went down,he was at 46.7% iirc which was great by his standards but woeful compared to many of the top stars in the NBA. LeBron was shooting nearly 8% better. Durant was shooting better. Pretty much everyone was.

I'm with you in rega4ds to your last point. The 3 ball league is going to help LeBron stay dominant as he ages. He'll transition to the 4 and find himself playing in the post. He's already got 30k points. Who knows how many he ends up with?
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....

Jordan might have been the best perimeter defensive player ever. The late 80s Jordan was a cut above anything LeBron has ever got close to as a defensive player.
Lebron's arguments would be his leadership and his ability to make his teammates better. Attempting to even argue that LeBron was close to Jordan as a defensive player is fool's gold. It's something that would get someone laughed out of a forum and is only sokmething you'd hear from Lebon fanboys who didn't watch Jordan.

Jordan was single handidly destroying offensive schemes. Don't look at a highlights package. Go ahead and watch a full game and that would give a more accurate picture. It wasn't a few possssions, here and there. He put the shackles on and absolutely smothered a lot of the all time greats.

Even when he wasn't assigned to a player, he'd be a threat. Case in point is the steal from Malone (the 2nd best player on the planet) in the final seconds of game 6 to set up his title winning shot. He wasn't waiting for or counting on a teammate for a stop. He made it happen. As was nearly the case with him.
Hear, hear!
 

Zverev

Professional
Good question... how do you compare.
Maybe take 10 best athletes in each sport and compare the best to the weighted average of the best 10.
The further the distance the more GOAT he/she would be.
But there is no such comparison, and there are fat sports where fat guys could succeed.
So it's just down to public opinion, a questionnaire.
Then it's got to be across all countries (see Brady sinking into oblivion...)
Here is mine, yes, Federer is the greatest athlete of all times.
 
The GOAT athlete is obviously Bradman. He was nearly twice as good as the 2nd best. It was like a man playing against children the difference in skill level.

Funny how yanks think cricket doesnt matter then proceed to talk about baseball. Baseball is only popular (and fading) in one country, maybe 2 if you include Japan. Cricket is extremely popular in quite a few more countries and is the most popular sport by far in India. Go tell an indian that cricket doesn't matter lol. Also requires more athleticism than baseball. Now grid iron that is only popular in one country so I don't even care to rate the athletes out of that. The more global a sport the higher the potential skill level of the best players.
In a time when the only other major Test team was England and whoever else played Tests like SA or WI were still chumps. Sorry, that's a ridiculous sample size in a sport which barely has double digit Test playing nations (and that's assuming a Test against Zimbabwe is marketable at all). You can't draw up a football (er, sorry, soccer) world cup round robin with the number of Test playing nations, wait, not even if you add the few minnows who qualify for the ODI/T20I world cups. I absolutely agree that cricket matters in more countries than some sports that are so precious to the yanks but it's not comparable to soccer, tennis, badminton, hockey either. It's still spread thin after all these years and withering in countries like Sri Lanka in the time it's taken Bangladesh to become a force to reckon with in cricket.
 
Federer had basicly no competition in the middle of his prime from 2003 to 2007/10 where he won the majority of his slams.
Nadal (only on clay and grass....And i would hardly call Nadal great competition on grass) and especially djokovic became competition at the end of the decade 09/10.
Serena had much better competition from 99-09/10. So Many players that were actual viable threats unlike only Nadal and djokovic.

And don't give me shtick of Federer having better longevity than serena. Serena has been around since 1999. Fed won his first slam in 2003. Serena will be back on tour this season and will probably be back in the top 10 with a slam with a slam which is going on 19 years between her first and last slam wins. Fed is still well behind on that
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.
 
Almost half of the NBA is made up of players not from the US, but because the money is in the US, therefore it's not a global sport?

Do you really want to go to the "ask kids in whatever country if they know Lebron James? Roger Federer?" I don't think you would like the outcome of that one.
I guarantee Lebron is not as popular here as Jordan and not even close to as popular as Federer and I don't even live in a tennis city. I bet more people have heard of Agassi or Sampras (let alone Fed) here than Lebron. Tennis academies use unauthorised photos of Fed to attract adult recs for teaching. Why would that be if people didn't know who he was?
 
You are clutching at straws. Nadal was nowhere near a great player until 2008,it’s just that Federer was poor on clay over 5 sets that allowed a teenage Nadal to win FO. I’m sorry I appreciate it Is disappointing but it’s not debatable that Nadal and Djokovic are both ahead of Federer in terms of greatness. Federer fan logic dictates this as Federer fans said Djokovic nole slam was in a weak era and his AO wins weren’t meaningful as it’s the least important major. Well karma has come back to bite I’d say
Um what, in what universe is a guy with three back to back RGs not a great player (circa 2007 that is)? Even Kuerten hadn't done that. Only one player did and we know Nadal passed him a long time ago.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
It's true that the Barcelona team that Messi played for had more quality players than did the Argentina team he played for.

Which is why he was able to achieve more with the former.

Maradona OTOH single-handedly dragged a mediocre Argentina team to the World Cup in 1986, and single-handedly dragged a mediocre Napoli team to Serie A titles in the early 80s/late 90s.

Messi isn't even the greatest club player of all time - that's Di Stefano.

I see however that Messi has many apologists on this forum though, so I'm probably fighting a pointless battle with my posts on this topic. :rolleyes:
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.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Messi might be the most successful club player ever, but than we have to take into account, that the gap between the clubs is far bigger than ever today with much more money involved. Today all the best players in the world are concentrated in just a handful of teams. If playing in one of those teams, a player will automatically win a lot of titles. Of course Barcelona and Madrid were always favourites in La Liga, but never as far ahead as they are now. The teams Messi played with were way more stacked with great players than any other team we are talking here. During the times of Pele's Santos all great players used to play in their home countries so there is hardly any comparison. The same holds true to Maradona's Napoli which was actually a very mediore team without Maradona. Imagine Prime Ronaldo fenomeno at Barcelona with the likes of Iniesta and Xavi behind him, he would most likely break every existing scoring record. On the other hand, all these greats (Pele, Maradona, Ronaldo) have excelled on International stage as well, something Messi never did, even though that by individual players, the Argentinian squad is by far the best in the world. There is actually no good excuse for him. Messi definitely has to win the World Cup, before he can ever be in any GOAT discussion.
His Argentina squad has a very mediocre midfield/defence and always has done. He’s been superb for them and very unlucky not to win a title.

CL is where it’s at now. He’s dominated the very best teams there - no international team is on the level of the best Barca/Bayern/R Madrid teams of the past decade so he doesn’t need to do anything there.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
You can quote me anyone you want about Messi. The cold truth at the end of the day is that he is a club player who does not step up with his national team.
Compare Messi's Barcelona with Maradona's Napoli and it is a difference so big in level that it is not even funny. Not only that: the competition in Serie A at the end of the 80s (arguably the best league of the world in that moment, not like today). Milan had a decent team in 1987 and in 1990 were a GOAT team with a monster defense plus the 3 dutch guys, Inter with the germans, Juventus with Platini, and dont count out teams like Sampdoria that were full of talent. Compare that competition which was Barcelona and Madrid have had in the last 10 years in spanish league and it is laughable.

I dont like theorical scenarios, but Maradona with teams like those Messi has had in Barcelona, would have had at least the same success as Messi. The guy was not only good but also was a big game player
International football is a step below champions league football. So he doesn’t need to “step up”.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Nadal is the best ever male tennis player. Federer ha simpressive statistics but in the era of Nadal Djokovic and himself he is a distant third as from 2009 which is when all three were peak at the same time age wise, I.e over 21 the major count is Nadal 12, Djokovic 11 Federer 6. That is a significant margin.

To be the best a player has to be the best amongst his rivals.
They’re not his main rivals. They’re both 5 and 6 years younger than him. Why since 2009? That cuts out Fed’s entire peak and many of his prime years. Lol at “peak at the same time” that never happened apart from Fedal 05-07.

Rubbish. Since 2009 Nadal has been the dominant player. 14 majors with Djokovic on 12. No excuse for Federer to be so far behind. Most people in the Western Hemisphere have Nadal as GOAT.
So? Since 2003 Federer has been the dominant player with 20 > 16. He is behind no one.

You are just salty Nadal was the best of 2017 and for the 10straight year had a better year than Federer. Fact not opinion.
10 straight years? Let’s see who was better in each year:

08 Nadal
09 Fed
10 Nadal
11 Nadal
12 Fed
13 Nadal
14 Nadal
15 Fed
16 Neither
17 Fed

So only 5 years as best the previous decade vs 4 for Fed... not so dominant considering Fed was last 30 for 3 years he was better than Nadal haha.
 

TheMaestro1990

Hall of Fame
Why does he need to? He’s taken on the best teams in football and won.
Not to be football GOAT, but to be athlete GOAT. He has to deliver, as a player and as a leader, on one stage where he has previously failed (WC final and/or Copa American final). Like Federer did last year against Nadal at AO17. Federer showed some balls, I haven't seen Messi do that in the same way.
 

KINGROGER

G.O.A.T.
Not to be football GOAT, but to be athlete GOAT. He has to deliver, as a player and as a leader, on one stage where he has previously failed (WC final and/or Copa American final). Like Federer did last year against Nadal at AO17. Federer showed some balls, I haven't seen Messi do that in the same way.
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)
 
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