Where would you rank Lebron James alltime

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:04 pm
Well, Blackfoot, I see winning as a tangible accomplishment whose directly attributable means are a bit more intangible than what we're used to.

Certainly, it can't be the only factor. It's not even a defining factor, as Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Karl Malone prove (they can all argue that they are the best of all-time at their respected positions). Likewise, a surplus of winning doesn't guarantee accolade; Bill Russell has more rings than fingers and no one would call him the best center of all-time above Wilt or Shaq or Hakeem. But that intangible allure is definitely a contributing factor in one's greatness. Leading his team to a title is something Scottie Pippen, James Worthy, and Dominique Wilkins never did, so I give LeBron dab on that accomplishment. But, as you said, it isn't the only factor, so a player like Elgin Baylor, who revolutionized the game by expanding the whole concept of the drive, is still a better all-time player in my opinion. Elgin averaged 13.5 rebounds per game on his career; that's 9th all-time, above Dennis Rodman, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Dwight Howard. And he had a season where he put up over 38 points a night. Generational gap in talent or not, those are elite numbers on an all-time scale. If LeBron drags his team to another title, however, that needs to be taken into account. Securing a W for your team is the hardest thing a player can achieve and, in the end, it's all that matters.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:05 pm
It is not an easy topic, ranking players alltime. It does come down to more than one or two factor. Individual accomplishments and team accomplishments are very important, but it goes on an individual player basis. Bill Russell does have alot of championship rings, but truth is he also was on the best team of his era, with the most talent, almost every season. In contrast, Lebron had a total pathetic team in Cleveland. They improved marginally most seasons when he was there, adding Mo Williams first, a pretty good PG but not top 10 at the time even, then adding Jamison, another pretty good player but again not top 10 at his position either. Lebron took the least talent to the most wins I've ever seen a player do, even Jordan. The season they acquired Mo Williams, Lebron's second last season there, they won 66 games, then Lebron's last season there, they got Jamison and they won 61 games. The fact they made it to the nba finals in 2006-07 with Lebron's only decent teammates being Ilgauskas and Gooden, shows that Lebron took very low talent very far. To me, even without championships, Lebron is rated very highly alltime. Now with a championship, he is definately among the greats alltime. If he gets just one more MVP and two more championships, he has to be considered at the very least top 10.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:22 am
Yeah, Lebron has a completely insane win-loss impression. I would take that as much more of a measure then playoffs, which can be very fluky. A lot of the times, the best team does not win in the playoffs.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:14 pm
Sure. But when discussing all-time players, even though you can't give the franchise guy 100% of the credit or blame, like it or not, how far he drags his team is a huge factor. That's why Isiah is so high on my all-time list. His Bad Boys Pistons squad were easily a full-level below the Celtics, Bulls, and Lakers dynasties, yet he still won a title in a period of time where winning it all was reserved for one of the three greatest all-time players.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:33 pm
I mean, come on. The fact that Lebron is in the conversation as being one of the greatest ever means that he is one of the greatest ever, right? Isn't that what this topic is about?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:18 pm
jraso wrote:I mean, come on. The fact that Lebron is in the conversation as being one of the greatest ever means that he is one of the greatest ever, right? Isn't that what this topic is about?

Totally. There's no denying the skills.

Buuuuut... There's something to be said for the Jordan expectations prior to even playing an NBA minute. If one were to err on the side of over or under selling LeBron, one must admit that he has been vigorously over hyped almost since day 1. It's a chicken or egg argument; whether the hype was impossible to fulfill or whether he created the buzz himself and just failed to live up to it, but the fact is that many of us would be shocked in 2003 to hear that it took LeBron 9 seasons just to secure 1 NBA title. So how far up he is on that all-time list is where the debate comes in. I touted him as the man who would someday dethrone Jordan... And I wasn't the only one. For him to waste an entire decade and end up with only a maximum of 2 rings (assuming he repeats) immediately takes him out of that Michael-Magic conversation.

Now, if King James rattles off another 4 or 5 banners before his career is up, we can start comparing him to Kobe, but Jordan? LBJ definitely biffed on living up to that.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:24 pm
That's like saying Jordan really isn't the greatest of alltime and isn't as good as Magic and Bird, because it took him seven years to get his first championship. It took Lebron nine years, it took Jordan seven. What do those two men have in common in relation to this fact = They both arrived on very bad teams and had to perservere and wait for talent to be placed around them to be able to get a championship. The difference is the Chicago Bulls FO of that time managed to put together proper players around Jordan, especially Pippen, who himself became a superstar. The Cleveland Cavalier FO did not manage to do the same for Lebron and he never had any fellow superstar sidekick next to him. He does now in Miami in Wade. Wouldn't be a surprise if Lebron and the Heat reel off six straight championships or six in eight years themselves.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:18 pm
I try not to get caught up in the excuses of star players; its what, likewise, stems my lack of appriciation for someone like, say, Allen Iverson. LeBron James was given lesser known role players, such as Zydrunas Ilgauskaus, Ricky Davis, and Carlos Boozer, to begin his career. Overtime, it was clear that he needed more help, so the Cav's turned to Shaquille O'Neal and Antawn Jamison; more ball-dominant sidekicks that wanted their share of shots alongside James. It became the argument at that point that players like Jamison and O'Neal were taking too many possessions away from LeBron, so Cleveland brought in Mo Williams (who quickly made himself an all-star). Still, LeBron (and his sympathizers) tried to blame the lack of success on his teammates.

It wasn't until James escaped Ohio and landed on a player-made Dream Team alongside Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh that he finally churned out a title. Michael, to his credit, was given Scottie Pippen and made it work. Sure, it took the arrival of Cartwright to fully get them over the hump, but Jordan never blamed his teammates, never gave his front office ultimatums, and never made the excuses LeBron did.

And, in plain black and white terms, Michael had 4 titles by the end of his 10th season. LeBron can win out and still only end up with 2. That's quite a difference. If LeBron ends up with 4 titles in his CAREER, I'll be amazed. But Jordan has 6, including two threepeats, one of which was falling out of the lazy bed of retirement. To argue that James belongs in the same sentence as Jordan based on the merits of 1 NBA title is simply something I can't agree with.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:10 pm
See, I see the comparison between Jordan and Lebron as very similar situations. As I said, Jordan arrived on a bad Bulls team that didn't win half their games until his fourth season, just as Lebron arrived on a very bad Cavs team, worse talent wise than Jordan's Bulls even.

Boozer bailed straight away after Lebron's rookie season and Ilgauskas, one of the best Centers in the nba in previous years, was still quite good, but injuryplagued and regressing. Lebron had pieces around him that really didn't fit. The Cavs, like Jordan's Bulls, improved every year, but then Ilgauskas fell into being mediocre at best. When Mo Williams was added and then Jamison, the Cavs had a couple of good players around Lebron, but again it didn't fit. That Cavs team didn't build a core around Lebron from scratch to be sustained for many years, to become a championship caliber team, like Jordan's Bulls were, with Pippen and Grant added a few years after Jordan arrived and then BJ Armstrong a few years after that. Jordan had a monstrous Oakley and other good players like Woolridge around him in his early years in the Bulls, but the FO there did the right thing in getting rid of those guys to start from scratch, having Jordan as the leader.

Jordan's second threepeat team especially, can be said to be more talented and well built than Lebron's Miami Heat are right now. Rodman would defend Bosh well and likely take him out of any game. Pippen would likely be equal to Wade now, as Wade has let Lebron lead. Longley is better than any other big the Heat have, especially defensively. Ron Harper became a deadly outside shooter and amazing defender, better than anyone else the Heat have. They had Kerr, Kukoc and great role players like Wennington, Brown, Caffey and Buechler.

It is comparable very well, Jordan and Lebron. If Lebron wins another three or four championships over the next eight to ten years, many will definately say that he has a serious case of being named the greatest ever. I think for him to definately be named the greatest ever, he has to win another one or two MVP and more championships overall than Jordanm as then he has more of everything than Jordan has.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:41 am
Well, to me, that point about Ilgauskas was backwards; he was injury-prone and depleted prior to the arrival of James, but put up superior rebounding, shot-blocking, points, and assist totals after the Cav's drafted LeBron, not to mention played in a string of 78 or more games for 5 years in a row, never ending another season with less than 64.

If anything, a center that puts up 15 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks next to a star forward - all the while, miraculously recovering from an unfortunate initial career plagued by freak injuries - is something Warriors fans, specifically, should be able to appreciate after they get a full year of Andrew Bogut next season. Expect his numbers to be in that ballpark; with blocks likely stealing an extra digit from the point category. Golden State can only hope his health follows the pattern of Big Z.

Ilgauskas had court vision, a soft, feathery touch from the elbow, and clogged up the middle of the lane on defense. He's the ideal, role-playing center for a superstar to employ whilst not trying to appear overly selfish, yet doesn't need to look for very often on offense. In fact, James' entire supporting cast on offense - Jamison, Williams, West, Gibson - could all find shots either standing in a prone pet-spot or making difficult plays when LeBron would dump the ball off at the last minute.

Michael Jordan's team, outside of Scottie Pippen, was extremely similar.

Luc Longley was a screen setting big that was used as a passer in high-elbow spots. His main role was being the wall inside the paint; not necessarily blocking everything, but preventing easy buckets and making other teams think about bringing it inside. If anything, Ilgauskas might have been far more dangerous in the triangle than Longley; as I think he was a superior passer.

Dennis Rodman was a rebound hound who played pesteringly annoying defense. Anderson Varejao, anybody? Granted, Andy could play the 5 spot and Rodman was... well, Rodman (the best pound for pound rebounder of all-time), but they were both similar in design and Anderson Varejao was regarded as the league's premiere blue-collar player when he had LeBron James on his team.

Toni Kukoc was Antawn Jamison before Antawn Jamison was Antawn Jamison. A streaky jumper that could fly when it was on, an aptness to making clever drives to the cup and hitting difficult shots, a completely non-interest on the defensive side of the ball. Kukoc was best used as a 6th man and, on a winning team, so is Jamison.

Steve Kerr was a stationary bomber; running through the motions in all other phases of the game, but literally ONLY out there to hit 3's. Is that not Booby Gibson?

Jason Caffey was a frustrating waste of potential; a plus-option in the post who grabbed offensive rebounds, but couldn't put it together in any other aspect of the game... is that a complete scouting report for JJ Hickson?

Literally, LeBron's only obstacle was that instead of a Scottie Pippen, he had to share the ball with Shaquille O'Neal at the end of his rope (who still shot at a 57% clip; 61% for his previous team in Phoenix) and Mo Williams, who made the All-Star team.

I am in no way advocating that the '09 Cav's were even in the same library as the Jordan Bulls.

All I'm saying is that the pieces were pretty similar. Best player in the league. All-Star sidekick. Passing 7-footer who sets screens. Rebound hound. 3-point marksman. Energetic bench big. And a talented wing player than can get his own shot and lead the way in scoring on certain nights.

One guy made it work, one guy needed to cherry-pick 2 other Dream Team players in the most ridiculous era of free agency ever seen in professional sports.

And my previous bottom line, Jordan 4 titles in first 10 seasons, James 1 in his first 9 (making his initial 10-year total redline at 2 if he repeats) just speaks volumes to me about their sustainable greatness. I don't think LeBron is going to win 6 rings, let alone 4. I can see the Heat getting another title or two while the Big 3 remains dominant, but they won't win 6 and the titles won't be as directly attributable to James as they were to Jordan.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:52 am
Blackfoot wrote:I don't think individual success and how good a player was should be predicated on team success. This is a team sport and Lebron lost to Dallas last year not because he just wasn't one of the best, but because of the defensive schemes employed by Dallas and the lack of adjustments by the Heat's coach. Why did he lose to the Spurs, the Spurs were the better team.

When you start judging on team success to rank a player it becomes really subjective. What kind of stats do you need to get past a player with a ring and why is that the arbitrary measure?



I do agree with you, people just have a different perspective and various definition of weighing who is the best, as for me Lebron is a great player and a very talented individual, He's everything that you'd want out of a pro sports role model. He makes the right basketball decision when on the court. James gives 100% every game, he is simply amazing to watch!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:31 am
Now that we are on this topic again. I think Micheal Jordan would still be the greatest of all time if he did not win any championships.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:43 am
Well, our differences go back to our emphasis on stats, Blackfoot.

To me, a player that consistently pulls his team to victories is worth more than a guy who achieves glitzy individual stats on a midrange-awful team. Now, that's not to say that there aren't guys who consistently win by leap-frogging from great team to great team (Horry, Kerr, Fisher), but that's where the term, "pull" comes into play. If you're the engine dragging a team to victory, it's usual obvious. Tim Duncan is an excellent example of a guy who wins and cares little about his individual stats. Kevin Garnett, too. Even our most recent blockbuster (Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut) was a swap of a winning player for a hollow stat guy.

In fact, I believe the most overrated player of all-time (Allen Iverson) was over-valued BECAUSE of rationalizers who used statistics to try and prove his value. Iverson was a 27 and 6 player, by most people's accounts one of the best scoring guards the league had ever seen. But Iverson was a team cancer, he single-handedly took every team he was ever on out of contention simply because one man cannot do it all and Iverson was such a glory hog that he refused to involve his teammates in any pivotal moments. One need only watch him play to see this, but without game footage, his box score was deceiving. The fact that Iverson might be the best one-on-one guard in the history of the game means little to a guy like me that's only interested in W's.

Therefore, LeBron James' crazy across the board averages, 25 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes, the defense, the percentages... They didn't mean a hill of beans to me until he won a title. And now that he's won one, the question becomes how many. Rings matter because they're the ultimate goal. If an NBA player tells you he values individual stats and MVP trophies over winning titles, he's lying.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:41 am
We know how ****ing awesome Duncan And KG are with advanced stats, though. And we know why Ellis is not good for winning and why Bogut is for winning. We know Iverson wasn't a guy who carried bums to the finals, those bums carried him.

The ultimate team goal is a championship. Sometimes there are better teams
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:53 am
Championships do make a difference in a player's career and ofcourse are the aim. Lebron could become the greatest player ever if he wins at least six championships.

As for Iverson, I saw him play plenty of times and he had garbage teams all the time and yet carries one of the to the finals. People have their opinions, but Iverson was a great player and if you could have swapped Kobe and him when the Lakers won three straight championships, they would have won more games during that run.
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