Curtley
Last year

Will LeBron retire if the Cavs win?

A few people have suggested to me that LeBron could retire if the Cavs win this year.

If they lose and he stays in Cleveland they'd really need to re-jig the lineup to be competitive again while he plays less minutes in 2018/19 and I can't see any situation where'd he'd switch teams and the team becomes a contender from year one (unless he goes to the Rockets or Warriors or a really loaded team).

Is retirement a possibility?

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LV  
Last year

If he joined Embiid and Simmons in Philly they'd be an instant contender.

And the offense could run through him whenever Simmons was off the court. Brett Brown could ensure one of them is on court at all times- a bit like CP3 and Harden in Houston.

Also, if him and Paul George joined Ball, Ingram and Kuzma in LA then I dare say they'd be contenders too - that's a much better supporting cast than Lebron has this year!

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Isaac  
Last year

He hasn't sounded remotely interested in retirement in anything I've read. He just played 82 games and bulk minutes without an injury. Doesn't seem to be slowing down. With a significant rejig mid-season and weakish supporting cast, he's into the Finals. Got through G7 without his best teammate. If he can take this rabble to the Finals, he can do it with any number of teams.

He averaged 34/9/8 against Boston, 34/8/11 against Toronto and 34/10/8 against Indiana.

I think he's trying to end the Jordan debate.

If he can score 2,000 next season, he'll overtake Dirk, Wilt and Jordan. He'll be getting close to Kobe, and only Malone and Kareem ahead of him.

Wouldn't surprise me if his quiet, personal goal is to reel in Kareem 38k points. 7300 behind. If he can drag his body through 5ish years, tapering down from 30 PPG to 20 PPG, maybe he can do it. He's 34 in 6-7 months. Jordan played until, what, 40? Jordan averaged 20 PPG in his final year.

4 more years. Get the all-time scoring lead. Few more accolades. Starts to tip the GOAT scales.

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Tornado  
Last year

When comparing stats people forget Jordan missed 2 years whilst in the prime and pinnacle of his career.

Also, there are things to consider such as rule changes which makes it easier to play offense in this era.

Lebron is a great player but he is no Jordan.

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MACDUB  
Last year

Big no to retirement. It wouldn't make sense for him to retire coming off his best year and so close to GOAT status (if not already there).

I do however get the feeling from him he's not keen on leaving CLE in FA. I get the impression that he's over it; and although he says winning is everything deep down I get the sense he is content with staying on the Cavs and doing what he is doing i.e. that his legacy might mean more if he can win 1 more with the Cavs or keep them competitive deep into the ECF/Finals, stay there and chase the numbers records rather than going to Houston or Philly.

Anyone want to know why LBJ is so damn good nearing 34? The latest video doing the rounds on FB shows the Cavs celebrating in their locker room. Everyone is still dressed in their game uniform and LBJ is sitting up, has both feet, both knees and his back strapped in ice. Now take that and ask yourself why Carmelo, who is the same age as LBJ, has the apparent body of a guy 5 years older.

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FM  
Last year

Seriously the guy has massive shoulders to carry a whole team. His only game plan this playoffs has been let the team try and learn how to win.

And when that has failed in more games than not:

Hold onto my shoulders boys, I'm taking us all the way to the final round.

As a big fan of Kobe, I enjoy his game. He can carry the whole team but doesn't appear to use as much clock and straight out hog the ball like Kobe use too.

Hopefully still going strong for 2-3 more seasons in the East before a season or two in the West.

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Zodiac  
Last year

Agree Tornado if you saw Jordan in his prime you wouldn't mention LeBron in the same breath as him, LeBron looks like he's headed for #2 all-time but he'll never get to Jordan's level. If people think what LeBron is doing is dominating they should look up what Jordan could do in an NBA Finals series like in '93.

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Melbourne Boy  
Last year

He has stated he wants to play in the league with his son, which will be when Lebron is 38.

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Ben  
Last year

Not sure if this was on record in an interview, but fairly certain I've heard reliable reports that Bron wanted to keep playing until he had a crack at one season with his eldest son. This would put him in the frame for at least another 5 seasons I think.

Simmons mentioned this in one of his recent podcasts, and went on to say it would probs mean Bron having to sign on with a lottery team.

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Anonymous  
Last year

"When comparing stats people forget Jordan missed 2 years whilst in the prime and pinnacle of his career.

Also, there are things to consider such as rule changes which makes it easier to play offense in this era.

Lebron is a great player but he is no Jordan."

Exactly. Also not just the years missed but Jordan played three years of college whereas LeBron played zero. That's already five seasons of difference.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Anyone want to know why LBJ is so damn good nearing 34? [...] Now take that and ask yourself why Carmelo, who is the same age as LBJ, has the apparent body of a guy 5 years older."

LBJ is doing what he did when at 19 first years at the Cavs where he also had no one and had to carry them all.

So to be doing what he did at 19 at 34 seems fishy.

Some have suggested PEDs.

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Anonymous  
Last year

2017-18 was the first season LBJ played all 82 games. At 34.

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snooch  
Last year

LeBron reportedly spends $1.5 million a year on his body - hyperbaric chamber in his house, cryotherapy, personal chefs, trainers etc. He's probably ahead of the curve when it comes to the sports science side of things, which might be why he's ahead of other guys his age.

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Zodiac  
Last year

I've never bought the PED smear that has always circled LeBron. He might not be as good as Jordan but he is certainly one impressive physical specimen the likes the NBA has never seen before. Some people win the genetic lottery it's as simple as that.

LeBron is willing himself to greatness right now giving it everything he's got because he knows he's probably only got a couple of years left at this level before he declines dramatically.

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AngusH  
Last year

I saw Jordan in his prime, and he's probably the reason I started playing basketball. Would Jordan take this squad to the NBA finals though? I really don't think so. To me that's the big difference between the two, and why I think LeBron is the GOAT. Jordan was the best scorer, no question, but LeBron has him beat in nearly every other category IMO.

I think marketing-wise Jordan will always be the GOAT though. I don't know how many times I've seen the same shots of Jordan winning a game with a jumper, but I do know he's made less of them in the playoffs over the length of his career than LeBron has in this season's playoffs so far. Jordan became the sporting world's version of Alexander the Great.

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Zodiac  
Last year

To me the big difference between the two is how dominant Jordan was both offensively and defensively. LeBron will never win a defensive player of the year award like Jordan he just wasn't as complete a player as Jordan was.

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snooch  
Last year

Almost impossible to compare though because of the vast difference in eras - from things like advancements in sports science down to the rule changes.

LeBron would have been monstered by opposition teams in the 80s and 90s unlike anything he's had to put up with in today's game.
It was called the "Jordan rule" for a reason.

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Anonymous  
Last year

"Not sure if this was on record in an interview, but fairly certain I've heard reliable reports that Bron wanted to keep playing until he had a crack at one season with his eldest son. This would put him in the frame for at least another 5 seasons I think."

Yeah I remember reading a similar thing a few months ago, from memory it was pretty legit/reliable and possibly on the record.

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MACDUB  
Last year

So this thread has descended into another MJ vs. Lebron discussion..

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Anonymous  
Last year

LeBron better than MJ? HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

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Curtley  
Last year

Talk about LeBron putting pressure on his son. What if he suddenly prefers ballet or ice hockey?

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Anonymous  
Last year

Yes opinions are like arse holes every one has got one, for what it's worth I think LeBron is the man.

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Anonymous  
Last year

LeBron's son from what I've seen of his game footage looks pretty decent. Would be an amazing story if father and son play together.

Although they can't claim a record for it - Darryl McDonald and his son Derrick played together at the Tigers. Who can forget the alley oop father threw to son that missed. What a shame.

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Isaac  
Last year

LeBron reportedly spends $1.5 million a year on his body - hyperbaric chamber in his house, cryotherapy, personal chefs, trainers etc. He's probably ahead of the curve when it comes to the sports science side of things, which might be why he's ahead of other guys his age.
I think the budget is likely hyperbole, BUT there's no doubt that small influences would have an impact over an extended process.

Let's say he's just a little bit more motivated that a peer. And just a little bit more responsible with his post-game routine or preparation for training or whatever it might be. Then you play hundreds of games and train thousands of times with that tiny factor each time - it's not going to hurt.
That's already five seasons of difference.
And if LeBron also plays until he's 40, that's 7 more seasons he could potentially play.

I grew up during the Jordan era, but I also don't think any pedestal is unbreakable. Except Stockton's assist record for a while yet...

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Yinka Dare  
Last year

Lebron has got cavs to playoffs with a bunch of scrubs. Even love isn't that good since he lost his muscle/bulk.

Jordan had an all-star cast.
Pippen - all star
Grant - all star
Rodman - all star
Armstrong - all star

Only time Jordan wasn’t supported by all stars was at wizards.

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Isaac  
Last year

LeBron would have been monstered by opposition teams in the 80s and 90s unlike anything he's had to put up with in today's game.
You don't think the physical specimen that is LeBron couldn't have played through that? Is Joe Dumars going to body up on him? He's got a stronger build and he's not exactly inexperienced at carrying a team.

Not convinced LeBron has him yet, but he's getting there.

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Anonymous  
Last year

"Even love isn't that good since he lost his muscle/bulk."

Speaking of which WTF has happened to this guy?

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LV  
Last year

Jordan is still the GOAT.

But as many have pointed out- this was possibly Lebron's best season ever. Winning games 6 and 7 with the second best player on your team being...George Hill?

There’s still time- Lebron could easily have 5 elite seasons left in him.

On the PEDS thing- I dunno. Lebron has played smarter as he’s aged. If you compare him to a decade ago, his passing and jump shooting have both gone up a level. His raw athleticism is still impressive but not what it once was- or perhaps it hasn’t dropped off as much as it seems, but he just doesn’t fully utilise it as often because he’s conserving energy.

Clevelands’ cap situation is dire, with major $ locked up by Tristan Thompson, JR Smith and George Hill. My guess is Lebron will go to LA- it just seems like a very Lebron thing to do.

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snooch  
Last year

True Isaac, the current LeBron with his current physique would - but that's the point of difference. He's got that physique based on the advancements in sports science, training, diet, rest etc (on top of genetics) which he otherwise wouldn't have had in the 80s or 90s.

Dumars might not have bodied him up, but you can sure as shit be assured Laimbeer and Aguirre and Salley etc would have flattened him every time he tried to drive the lane.

Jordan and LeBron are 1 and 2 - it's almost flip of a coin now. I still believe Jordan was the better pure basketball player. LeBron is the superior athlete.

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MACDUB  
Last year

KLove hasn't exactly fallen off a cliff. Still averaged 17 & 10 this year.

He sounds like he is having quieter seasons because of LBJs dominance i.e. Love could still have 25 & 10 but no one really notices it because everyone is noticing Lebrons triple double etc. Same thing kind of happens with Klay in GSW.

Love has being so much more important over the past few years thay what people realise.

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Melbourne Boy  
Last year

If you had to pick one player at their peak to defend player X who is yet to be revealed behind a curtain, could be Iverson, could be Olajuwon, could be Durant, who would you pick to defend to save your life in that game of mystery 1 on 1? Answer is Peak Lebron.

In the 90s you only had to guard your position, so MJ got to defend a bunch of 6'4 shooters, Reggie Miller was known as a huge SG at 6'7.

Imagine Lebron only ever had to defend the opposition small forward every night? In this era or the past. Defense and the level of athleticism is just different now. Peak defensive Lebron was when Derrick Rose was MVP running point at Chicago, and Lebron absolutely shut him down.

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Manu Fieldel  
Last year

Isaac, $1.5mil is probably right.

That's a bit over $4k every day and that's fair enough. High-end chefs, high-end personal trainers/masseuse (plural) on salary, high-end equipment. He has crazy equipment

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Anonymous  
Last year

I remember that series that lebron shut down mvp rose. It was a great watch

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Anonymous  
Last year

"Even love isn't that good since he lost his muscle/bulk."

Wasn't he the one with depression/anxiety attacks. Seems to have off court issues after arriving to Cavs since moving from TWolves where he was the man.

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AngusH  
Last year

@ snooch; what makes you think LBJ wouldn't be of an equivalent advantage in physique over players from that era than he is of today's - today's players also have full access to the same technology/knowledge/etc. He's a unicorn, and would be in any era.

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Anonymous  
Last year

"I still believe Jordan was the better pure basketball player. LeBron is the superior athlete."

Great way of describing the distinction between the two. MJ just flowed.

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Matt  
Last year

No chance, Lebron is addicted to big money, he's only 34, he should try and play for six more seasons and retire in 2023-2024 season conclusion when he's 40, he could bring in another 200 million bucks after 40, why retire you need an incentive to retire.. Only injury or massive form decline will stop Lebron retiring before 38 if not 40..

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Woody  
Last year

Lebron will be the Tendulkar of the NBA no one will ever break the records he would have set after he retires which will be in his early 40's

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Melbourne Boy  
Last year

Matt, I agree that he'll go for 20 seasons, retire at age 39-40, but he won't be relying on the contract money, he'll be making more off the court by then. He'll sign for 1 year veterans minimum wherever his son gets drafted as his swan song.

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Anonymous  
Last year

LeBron has said on the record he wants to be worth a billion dollars so he will need to keep playing to keep his brand as current for as long as possible and then end his career with all the records which will enhance his legacy and equity. Dollar bills yo.

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Anonymous  
Last year

His lifetime Nike contract is worth that apparently

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AKA  
Last year

LeBron is the G.O.A.T for so many different reasons although no one did more to make the game global than MJ.

I don't see any possible scenario where James retires after these playoffs. It would be an interesting dynamic if he lands in Philly with the alpha dog Embiid there and the dominant ball handler in Simmons playing the point. It would however prolong his career considerably not having to shoulder the load as he has these past 4 seasons in Cleveland. No one in the history of the game has had to do as much as LeBron to get his team success. That must be tiring.

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Anonymous  
Last year

MJ is the GOAT.

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Melbourne Boy  
Last year

At this moment...

MJ is the greatest player of all time.
Lebron is the best player of all time.

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Isaac  
Last year

True Isaac, the current LeBron with his current physique would - but that's the point of difference. He's got that physique based on the advancements in sports science, training, diet, rest etc (on top of genetics) which he otherwise wouldn't have had in the 80s or 90s.
He'd still be an absolute bull and freak athlete for his strength/size.

He's getting his numbers in an era of extreme stats analysis too.

If you're picking teams from an all-time list, I think there's a strong argument for picking LeBron ahead of Jordan.

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Anonymous  
Last year

The Eastern Conference of the 2000s is the weakest of all time. Put him in any other conference the streak of Finals appearances and him single handedly being able to pull his team through doesn't happen. Imagine the Cavs going through the West. Let's acknowledge this please. Everyone is getting way too carried away.

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Melbourne Boy  
Last year

Because Jordan's East in the 90's right after the expansion teams diluted the league's talent were so much better.

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Bear  
Last year

Lebron can still play at the highest level, he still has points to prove, he still has people saying he isn't number one, he is still fit and strong enough to carry a team and he isn't playing for the money, so no!

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Zodiac  
Last year

I don't know how anyone can make an argument for LeBron to be quite honest, Jordan's career averages are better than LeBron's and Jordan not only missed 1.5 years in his prime to improve those averages he also played the last two years of his career form age 38-40 seriously hurting his averages. Even putting aside the fact Jordan played in a tougher era against better talent.

Jordan - 30.1 ppg @ 49.7% fg (32.7% 3pts), 6.2 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.3 spg, 0.8 bpg

LeBron - 27.2 ppg @ 50.4% fg (34.4% 3pts), 7.4 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.8 bpg

If like Jordan LeBron plays until age 40 those numbers will come right down too.



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AKA  
Last year

If you want to use averages and not totals in your Jordan vs LBJ argument and you also want to give Jordan concessions for playing at ages 38-40 then the same concessions must be made at the other end of the scale for James. MJ played 3 years of college hoops and entered the NBA as a 21 year old where as James was only 18, just a kid. To say Jordan's individual career averages are better than James is also incorrect. Jordan averaged more PPG and SPG only.

The 'Jordan played against better competition’ theory is a myth just like the gender pay gap.

Jordan had MUCH better teammates and never had to do the amount of work as LeBron which is evedint by the teams records when they left.

The last season of the first 3 peat (92-93) the Bulls went 57-25 in the regular season. The following year Jordan left and in the 93-94 season the Bulls went 55-27. A drop off of 2 games.


LeBron’s last year in his first stint in Cleveland (09-10) the Cavs went 61-21 in the reg season. The following year when James was in Miami the Cavs went 19-63. A drop off of 42 games.

I used to be a Jordan ‘homer’ too and wouldn’t hear of anything about Kobe or James being better than him. I’ve put my bias aside and concede that LeBron is the best ever. The only people that would still have Jordan as better than LeBron are those that say ‘but nobody will ever be better than MJ’ which is a flawed argument. I get that Jordan may be your favourite hoops player ever, as he is mine, but he is not the G.O.A.T.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Yes, he is. MJ six titles, LeBron three.

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Anonymous  
Last year

^^^^^
Very well put aka, LeBron makes crap teams win.

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Zodiac  
Last year

AKA

LeBron may do better with lesser talent but Jordan was an absolute winner. Jordan never had the talent LeBron had in Miami in his 4 years there he only won 2 titles. Jordan unlike LeBron never got beaten in a Finals series, a perfect 6-0 and won 6 Finals MVP's too. LeBron has lost more Finals series than he wins.

IMO, LeBron has a fair way to go still to be genuinely compared with Jordan. The gap in success is too great at this point.

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Anonymous  
Last year

People are being too biased in the moment. Deep breath guys, relax and rethink. Zodiac well said.

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UseTaHoop  
Last year

LeBron will retire if the Cavs win...

and MJ admits that LeBron is the real GOAT.

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AKA  
Last year

I disagree with most of what you say Zodiac but a good healthy discussion. My opinion differs from yours but neither of us can prove categorically that we are right. No one can. I think we can agree that they are 1 and 2 with our orders differing.

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Zodiac  
Last year

Yep we can agree on that they're the Top 2.

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Anonymous  
Last year



"The 'Jordan played against better competition' theory is a myth just like the gender pay gap. “

What a terrible argument.

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Melbourne Boy  
Last year

Once the people who grew up watching MJ in the 90s are replaced in the media with millennials the narrative will swing towards Lebron being the greatest.

No one talks about Leigh Matthews being the greatest AFL player now like they used to, it's an era too far gone. Matthews made the comment himself that for 15 years after retirement players are spoken of even higher than before, then over the next 15 years they slowly fall out of favour.

Same thing in the NBA for Russell, Chamberlain, Oscar, Kareem... Jordan will be next and Lebron will be known as the GOAT for a number of years until his reign ends.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Isaac touched on it, but putting aside all the numbers, if you had every HoF player in his best season available to pick teams for a must-win game, wouldn't you take Lebron over MJ? I'm not a Lebron fan, mostly because I find his sheer physical dominance boring, but I'd take him over MJ in a pick-teams scenario.

I'd take MJ's six championships at this point when compiling the GOAT list though. I agree with #519 that Lebron's dominance of a ridiculously weak East puts an asterisk next to all the finals appearances IMO.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Yeah the fact LeBron is built like a brick and just plows down people isn't as good to the eye as MJ's finesse game.

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LV  
Last year

I remember after 2016, I first started entertaining the possibility in my mind that Lebron could one day become the GOAT.

Right now, it seems as though he's inching closer to MJ by the year. The 2018 playoffs so far have definitely gotten him closer.

For mine, Jordan is still easily ahead. Lebron has a few years left to close the gap- and to be fair, he’s only 33.

Jordan did indeed have great teammates. Check out the YouTube video of Ron Harper posting 36 points against MJ on the first game of the 1989-90 season. In the 1989 playoffs, Harper shot 22 points in Game 5 but all anyone remembers is MJ hitting the game winner over Craig Ehlo. Ron Harper was a legit gun- one of the leading scorers on playoff teams in both Cleveland and LA before joining Chicago. After leaving the Bulls, he then won another two championships as the starting point guard for LA Lakers at the age of 36 and 37. Pippen, Rodman, Harper, Kukoc- a quality group. The earlier group with Horace Grant etc, as has been stated above, made the second round of the playoffs in 1994 with essentially the same team who won the previous 3 titles with Jordan.

But Lebron had peak Dwayne Wade in 2011, along with Chris Bosh and some decent role players. And they didn’t win the championship.

I think in 2013 and 2014 Wade was in decline, but was still a superstar and Bosh was still an All Star. And again- only 1 championship. And a lucky one at that- with the Spurs giving up two straight offensive rebounds, allowing Ray Allen to steal game 6 in 2013. Lebron only winning 2 championships in 4 years in Miami is perhaps the biggest knock on his career.

Jordan, on the other hand, came up big. When Lebron has come up against legends like Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki in the Finals, his teams have been beaten. When Jordan came up against legends like Barkley and Malone, Jordan’s teams won.

That’s still the difference.

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LV  
Last year

And to elaborate on my post above, I'm not just tallying championships. I think it’s utterly ridiculous to say "Jordan 6, Lebron 3. Game over".

The circumstances of the losses matter. I don’t hold 2015 against Lebron for example- playing the Warriors, without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving and the Cavs made it a competitive series with Lebron putting up insane numbers.

But if there are two events that differentiate Lebron from Jordan, and show clearly why Lebron is nowhere near as great as Jordan in my mind, it’s the 2011 Finals and the 2014 Finals. 2011- Miami had the two most talented players on the court- Lebron being number one, and they were beaten soundly. In 2014, it was a reckoning- Miami got SMASHED.

(Go Spurs :-) )

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MACDUB  
Last year

IMO, the only time Lebron legitimately "choked" and lost a playoff series which he should have won was 2011. That in my view is his only "choke job". (people on social media will have you believe he should have won all 8 regardless of who he was playing).

In 2011, he was the best player in the world, he had a 29 year old Wade and a healthy 27 year old odd Bosh. As good as Dallas were, he severely under-performed.

All the other years I believe he was simply beaten by better teams (2007 Spurs team were great and LBJ had a rubbish team, 2014 Spurs shot the absolute lights out and would have bet any team that playoffs, 2015 he lost to a GSW team that went 67-15 and he was without Kyrie and Love for most part, 2017 he lost to perhaps the greatest NBA team ever).

Perspective is key.

Frankly, I think anyone who criticises LBJ for those non-2011 finals losses is only disrespecting the Spurs and the Warriors and undermining the quality of those teams.

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Bear  
Last year

The comparison to Leigh Matthews (AFL legend) and how the next generation always appears to focus on the more recent champion is a valid one, however that just exposes the game itself and how statistics and legendary status can be so subjective if you want to paint it that way.

No one disputes Donald Bradman as the greatest and best test batsman of all time because his average may never be beaten, however the game has changed so much and champions in sport can only be judged on the era in which they have played if we want to talk about their status as legends or the greatest.

When it comes to statistics, yes we can compare them, but once again there are many variables, like rule changes, equipment improvements, changes in athleticism and the way the game is played, so on and so on...

To label one player the greatest or the best of all time is becoming folly and serving little purpose other than a sporting debate worthy of a few good beers at the bar IMHO!

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Anonymous  
Last year

It's interesting how in bat sports (Babe Ruth in baseball and Donald Bradman in cricket) the consensus doesn't change but in ball sports everyone hops on the bandwagon of the latest player. Hmmm..

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Bear  
Last year

So, my point is to start a counter argument to the GOAT or Best Ever discussion by suggesting that there has to be some quantifier or at least some reasonable effort to even up any comparisons by adopting a qualifying set of rules or guidelines.

Say MJ has the most rings and he is the best in that category, say he is the best in whatever category you like but then accept LeBron also has his best categories. They are among the best and greatest, too hard to sit there and formulate all the variables, then peoples own opinions and judgements.

That will take quite a few beers...

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Zodiac  
Last year

No one disputes Donald Bradman as the greatest and best test batsman of all time because his average may never be beaten


That isn't quite right towards the end of Tendulkar's career there were plenty of Indians and even some non-Indian commentators who tried to argue he had now surpassed Bradman as the GOAT after he brought up his 100th international century (Test & ODI combined). They were wrong.

A lot of people get sucked into the 'now' we've had a range of excuses put forward to defend LeBron's poor Finals record (good Spurs teams/good Warriors teams etc) at 3-5.

Those late 90's Jazz teams were every bit as good as those Spurs teams if not better, the Suns in '93 were the hype team of that era much like GSW are now and Jordan destroyed them in the Finals averaged 40+ ppg including a 55 point game.

That is the difference between the two Jordan was 6-0 he willed his teams to victory in every Finals series even when they weren't the favourites.

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Anonymous  
Last year

Loving reading the arguments for both cases guys! Good to hear different perspectives. I for one am looking forward to the release of the MJ 10 part 30 for 30 series in 2019, hopefully this will show the people who never got to see MJ play during his era how incredible he was. personally I remember watching MJ play when I was 6 years old, blew me a way and I had a basketball in my hand everyday since that moment till I left high school. Still play once or twice a week in my mid 30's. The effect MJ had on my and prob millions of ppl around the world is priceless, and I'm sure plenty have a similar story with Kobe and Lebron, but I can't imagine it would be on the same scale as MJ. Enjoy these superstars for what they are and what they do!

Reply #690720 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

No Spurs disrespect here MACDUB- I'm a long time Spurs fan. That 2014 effort was phenomenal. It remains my favorite basketball moment of all time.

But point is, if Lebron was the GOAT then he would've done a bit more to stop the rout. His individual numbers weren't bad, but you can't claim to be better than Jordan and let your team lose 3 straight finals games with a foregone conclusion by 3 quarter time.

Yes, the Spurs played the best team basketball I've ever seen (notwithstanding that the Warriors later took the same style and arguably improved it by adding improved 3 point shooting), but Jordan I still can't believe that Jordan would've let his team get humiliated like that on the grandest stage of all.

Reply #690722 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last year

Another thing back when Kobe won his first title without riding Shaq's coattails in 2009 some commentators like Mark Jackson & Greg Anthony said Kobe had now surpassed Jordan as the GOAT.

Putting aside the fact those two played on Knicks teams that Jordan routinely knocked out of the playoffs and were clearly still sore about never winning a championship because of him but back then was the 'now' even plenty of Lakers fans were saying Kobe had now surpassed Jordan. It sounds comical even saying this.

Commentators have TV spots to fill and column inches to write to keep their jobs and nothing gets people more worked up than saying Kobe or LeBron has now surpassed Jordan or the almost sacrilege Tendulkar has passed Bradman.

If you're young enough not to know better that's understandable but if you saw prime Jordan not Wizards Jordan and you think LeBron or even Kobe has surpassed Jordan's level you're buying the sports media's rubbish.

Reply #690723 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

Bear..

[To label one player the greatest or the best of all time is becoming folly and serving little purpose other than a sporting debate worthy of a few good beers at the bar IMHO!]

....which is a worthy purpose!

[That will take quite a few beers...]

Not a bad problem to have. Or enjoy :-)

Reply #690724 | Report this post


Bear  
Last year

Your shout then, LV............

Reply #690727 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Not long ago everyone was saying how Kobe was better than MJ. Oh how everyone forgot about that so quickly.

Reply #690728 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last year

Zodiac. You're picking a team from prime players to play in the modern game. Who do you pick first out of LeBron and Jordan? For the advantage in three point shooting and ability to defend each position, I think LeBron has the edge. He's no defensive slouch and can carry a team.

This strikes me as a really questionable point to make:

LeBron looks like he's headed for #2 all-time but he'll never get to Jordan's level.
If LeBron plays another 5 years, and wins it all each time, getting his record to 8-5, is he still at #2? If he knocks off KAJ's scoring total as well? If you're ruling out potentially 5-7 future years, by what metric are you judging them? To never ever lose a Finals series, even if you make it there twice as many times?
Those late 90's Jazz teams were every bit as good as those Spurs teams if not better
1998 Jazz that finished 62-20 obviously had Malone, Hornacek and Stockton. After that, players by games started: Keefe, Foster, Ostertag, Eisley. Russell off the bench. I followed the NBA and I can't even remember Keefe. The Bulls team that year had Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc, Harper, Longley (11+ PPG) and Kerr.

Reply #690732 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Dont forgot Lebron should really be 2-6.

He was bailed out by a lucky bounce (of his miss) and Ray Ray buzzer 3 to force OT.
2-6 This year could be 2-7
Then would we still have these discussions. probably.

Lets be honest the EAST is weak as water.
When you have Boston push you to 7 games and they dont have their 2 best players. Come on.



Reply #690736 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

If he is in the West how many finals do the Cavs make???
I say none.

Reply #690737 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

He doesn't deliver in Finals. Jordan did. Every time. Simple!

Reply #690738 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last year

Isaac,

1. I'd take Jordan because he was elite at both ends of the floor unlike LeBron. Jordan had such a strong will and ferocious drive to win that I don't think LeBron has as much although he's unfairly viewed as flaky and giving up sometimes especially earlier in his career. Jordan was unusually big and strong for a SG too and with his superior defensive nous I think could guard 1-5 too at a pinch.

2. Was that me that second bit I can't remember? But I think I already said earlier in here that I think LeBron's too far back now to catch Jordan. 3-5 is just so much measurably worse than 6-0. I suspect that will be 3-6 too soon and once the Finals series finishes all this LeBron passing Jordan stuff will die down just like it did with Kobe. You can't be expected to be spoken as on the same level as Jordan with only a 33% success rate in Finals.

What would knocking off Kareem's all-time scoring record mean? It's a sign of longevity together with greatness. If Jordan hadn't missed 4.5 years he would've obliterated Kareem's record. Even after only playing 15 seasons he's still 4th all-time, the three guys above him played 20, 19 & 20 seasons each. Jordan missed most of his 2nd year due to injury and most of his first return season too he really did that in 13.5 seasons.

3. Those Jazz teams were obviously led by Malone (arguably best PF ever) and Stockton (best PG ever) secondary guys like Hornacek & Russell and complimentary role players. You don't remember Adam Keefe? I always remember him as being a star in college that was a high pick by Atlanta but never lived up to it. Handy role player. Kukoc & Longley were coming out of their prime and Rodman & Harper were past it.

I was surprised the Bulls got it done again that year and actually agreed with Krause blowing it up, if they had have gone on another year with that crew it would've been one rodeo too many I think.

Reply #690740 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last year

Rodman 15 RPG and past it? Topped the league in rebounding that year. Averaged 11+ RPG for the next two years. Kukoc coming out of his prime? That year he averaged 13.3 PPG. The next season he upped his scoring to 18.8 PPG, then 14.8 then 18. He had four years topping 13.3 PPG after that particular season. That was Longley's best year statistically. Harper's best of the last seven of his career.

And if you want to play the "coming out of his prime" card, that was Stockton's first season of his slide out of double figure assists. Hornacek only played two more seasons. Malone was 34 years old that season.

Reply #690743 | Report this post


AngusH  
Last year

I stopped reading at the part where you said LeBron wasn't elite at both ends.

Reply #690747 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Pls Answer me this
If Lebrons teams were in the WEST how many GF's would he have played in?

If he does leave Cavs again, you can bet it will be another EAST team.

Reply #690749 | Report this post


AngusH  
Last year

I don't know, depends which team in the West he played on yeah

Reply #690753 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last year

Past it as a serious contributor yes or can you not remember all the problems he caused in LA & Dallas? He only played another 35 games in the NBA after that last season with the Bulls.

I misremembered Kukoc as he took years to finally come over to the NBA after being drafted and I remember him bouncing around with teams after the Bulls but yes looking up his numbers I had clearly he forgotten he improved after that. It might've marginally been Longley's best year but he broke down with injuries soon after. Harper had a better year the following year without Jordan & Pippen there.

The end was nigh with that Bulls team which is why Krause blew it up.

Karl Malone averaged 20+ ppg for the next five years after that. I'm not even sure what we're arguing about, both teams were old and right near the end of their runs.

Reply #690754 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Last year

I stopped reading at the part where you said LeBron wasn't elite at both ends.


Elite compared to Jordan okay?

Reply #690755 | Report this post


AngusH  
Last year

At one point during one of his seasons in Miami I saw a story about a computer simulation that could determine the optimal defensive position on a court for all players based on where the offensive players and the ball was as it swung around to simulate an offense. When LeBron on D (again, during his Miami "peak athletic" years) was layered over the simulation based on actual possessions from a playoff game, he was ahead of the simulation - ie. he was getting to his spot ahead of what the simulation considered optimal.

For all the talk about how LeBron would struggle against the defenders of Jordan's era, imagine LeBron being able to play defense in that era. He definitely conserves his energy on the defensive end of the court these days, but with his age and usage rate on the other end that's pretty understandable.

Reply #690760 | Report this post


LV  
Last year

Interesting thread, but I'm sticking with my point that the differentiating factor between MJ and LBJ is the performance of LBJ's teams in the 2011 and 2014 Finals.

Reply #690771 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last year

I for one am looking forward to the release of the MJ 10 part 30 for 30 series in 2019, hopefully this will show the people who never got to see MJ play during his era how incredible he was. personally I remember watching MJ play when I was 6 years old, blew me a way and I had a basketball in my hand everyday since that moment till I left high school.
I'm reminded of a Pablo Hidalgo tweet that appears to have since been deleted: "Aren't we lucky the best things were around when we were young and impressionable?"

Reply #690773 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Last year

Says kr who grew up with Kobe and claimed he was better than MJ on the old board.

Reply #690781 | Report this post


Isaac  
Last year

"Aren't we lucky the best things were around when we were young and impressionable?"
Life lesson in that, even if it's just an adjustment to focus when considering your own viewpoint.

Reply #690794 | Report this post


Hoopie  
Last year

As long as he stays away from Philly, I don't care what he does or where he ends up with regard to Michael Jordan.

He will be one of the all-time greats. HOW great is all subjective speculation.

Reply #690830 | Report this post


MACDUB  
Last year

I'm fine with disengaging the comparision (at least for now) as long as we agree unanimously that Kobe isn't in the LBJ/MJ escheleon.

IMO both players are clearly past him.

Reply #690902 | Report this post


Melbourne Boy  
Last year

Kobe isn't top 10!

Reply #690903 | Report this post


koberulz  
Last year

Says kr who grew up with Kobe and claimed he was better than MJ on the old board
All I said was "some people overrate MJ, therefore it is possible to overrate Loggins." A point predicated on the assumption that MJ is, or was at the time, the best ever.

How that got twisted into "Kobe is better than MJ" I will never understand.

Reply #690906 | Report this post




 

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