Hey, as a Bulls fan, I could have included Scottie Pippen and his 6 rings.
I would actually sign off on that as well to be honest.
Throw a few more names out there - as MHoops said there are certainly arguments to be made for Bill Russell and Hondo. I’d also say Kareem, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor are right there as well.
The Celtics were lucky to get those 2008 finals. The Lakers had injuries to Bynum and Vujacic and were starting Farmar and Vujacic, didn’t have Fisher yet. And the Lakers let themselves get distracted by Pierce’s wheelchair schtick. Kobe/Gasol/Odom >> Pierce/Allen/Barnett, as was shown over the next couple years.
And I don’t buy the argument that Jordan would’ve had 8 straight. First, he played in 95 and lost – may not have been as sharp or whatever, but he had a bunch of games to get his game back. More importantly, mental toughness is an aspect, and for whatever reason MJ couldn’t keep it up in 94 and and 95. Everyone has injuries or doesn’t get along (a la Shaq and Kobe) or whatever. And who knows, the counterfactual could be that he played, they lost, and never could retool completely like the did with him leaving. I think 6 is plenty fair for MJ, he had fine luck in all kinds of ways.
I don’t think there is any doubt I’m the biggest Laker fan on this board, and perhaps the only Laker fan on this board. That said, I wouldn’t call the Celtics 08 Finals victory over LA lucky. Truth is the Lakers had an epic collapse in Game 4 (which I experienced in person unfortunately), and the Celtics just played exponentially harder during that game. The series turned in the 2nd half of that game from a mental standpoint and Boston was the tougher team in that regard. I HATE Boston but they were the better team that year. If I have one sticking point from the 08 Finals it’s the 31-10 FT attempt discrepancy during game 2 of that series in Boston. It was insane watching it real time and the calls were just as bad as I’ve rewatched it through the years. The Lakers outplayed Boston that game and got robbed - point blank. BUT they had opportunities to gain control when they went back to Staples for 3 straight and failed to do so. Boston was the better team
Maybe lucky was the wrong word. I was replying to the idea that the Celtics “smoked” the Lakers and that the Pistons would’ve beat them. The Celtics did play harder and smarter consistently that series. I just don’t think that the Pistons would’ve beat the Lakers, or certainly not that we should think that was the probable outcome. The Lakers dismantled a Duncan/Parker/Ginobli team in Western Conference Finals.
If I were a betting man, I would place my money on LA in 5 over DET in 08. I think most people other than Piston fans would certainly agree LA would win that series and a majority within that group would most likely think LA would win the series rather easily to be honest. For LAW to be the self imposed ‘rational’ guy around here, that’s a rather ridiculous stance IMO
I’d take Detroit in that series, absolutely.
Boston won 66 regular season games, LA 57 (and Detroit 59). I doubt LA was favored. Boston outscored Detroit by 11 over 6 games, and LA by 50 over 6 games.
Kobe was a great, great player, but Jordan was 6-6 in the NBA Finals, and probably goes 8-8 if he doesn’t take two years off. Even if Kobe had won 6, he didn’t dominate at the level Jordan did, and for the first three he was the second best player on his own team (albeit by a slim margin, and Shaq himself at the peak of his game was awesome too).
Once again, selective memory, and failure to provide full context. Sure, Detroit won 59 games, while LA won 57. But what you fail to mention is that Pau Gasol didn’t arrive until Feb. 1 2008, at which point the Lakers were 29-16, not shabby at all. Post Gasol, the Lakers finished the season 28-9, good for a .757 winning percentage. A .757 winning percentage over an 82 game season translates to 62 wins compared to 57 for the Pistons.
With the aggregate point discrepancy over the series, Boston won Game 6 by 39 points, so a single game really weighs on the aggregate while failing to paint the true picture. Through the first 5 games, Boston outscored the Lakers by a total of 11 points, whereas Boston outscored the Pistons by 2 points through the first 5 games. You’re literally talking about a difference of less than 2 points per game.
No doubt in my mind that LA would’ve handled the Pistons had they matched up in 08, they had more talent, more depth, and more youth.
I’ll be that guy too - MJ is the greatest player of all time, hands down in my mind. But, Kobe is the more skilled player if that makes sense. The difference in production is based on shot selection. MJ was determined to get to the rim until his body wouldn’t allow it after his first retirement. Kobe’s shot selection has always been incredibly difficult, and thus his percentages have reflected that, although he is probably the greatest ‘difficult shotmaker’ in the history of the NBA. MJ is 6/6, and there is no disputing that, end of story.
You thought he was more skilled?
Easily to be honest. Always had a better jumpshot, better footwork on the perimeter, better ballhandling. Though MJ was a better athlete and better defender, although it is tough to measure because MJ played in a much more physical era whereas Kobe played in a much more athletic era. But in terms of skill, Kobe was superior in my opinion, and by a reasonable margin.
Will say this - would pay to see the 72 win Bulls vs. the 01 Lakers that went 15-1 in the playoffs. That would’ve been an epic battle.
I don’t know. Jordan was very efficient in his movements. He didn’t need to show off his handle and skills as much because he understood how to get the look he wanted and usually quickly. He had great foot work I felt, and understood how do use his body wonderfully. Much more fundamental than one would think.
That sort of supports what I said above, he was able to do that because he was much more athletic in relation to defenders. Think about it, Dennis Johnson was considered a lockdown defender in that era. I don’t think Dennis Johnson in his prime would even be an average defender in today’s NBA. But in MJ’s defense, while it was much easier to gain an initial step, it was much more difficult to finish with the likes of Laimbeer and Mahorn types beating the shit out of you with every attempt at the basket. Kobe probably has the greatest footwork of all time for a perimeter player, it is simply superb.
Now MattD you are way out in left field on this one. Kobe was great but more skilled than Jordan. Nah. What skills would that be. Jordan didn’t have to prove it most of the time and Kobe had to work harder for his.
By the way Gasol’s nick name back in 2008 was Ga soft. He got punked by the Celtics and the same would have happened with the Pistons. You can talk about how only Detroit fans would think this or that but the same goes for Laker Fans. You are delirious.
Lopez - honestly, how old are you? Kobe’s shooting has always been FAR superior to MJ. His ballhandling has always been better, and his footwork has always been better as well. If you want to say MJ is a superior athlete, you get no argument from me. But in terms of skill, Kobe is better.
You have to be realistic - if you took a poll back in 08 of the Lakers v Pistons, what do you think a national poll would’ve looked like man? C’mon, get real. It would’ve probably been 75% Lakers and you know it. You are delirious if you think otherwise.
I challenge ANYONE on this board to present footage of MJ ballhandling or footwork superior to this, especially you youngins lol. Not gonna happen. You wanna talk athleticism, fine, but no way in hell MJ was more skilled than Kobe Bean Bryant.
Not a youngster. Been around for a while. Watched George Gervin, Jimmy Walker, Dave Bing, Spencer Haywood, Magic Johnson and many others all play at St Cecilia in Detroit starting in the early 70’s.
Must just be your Midwest bias. Most Midwesterners are bias without knowing due to lack of exposure. Generally speaking, people in the Midwest only see LA teams in the playoffs due to late starts on eastern standard time. I too am familiar with St. Cecilia, so familiar that I played there in the early 90s vs Jalen, Webber, and anybody else worth anything during that era. Back to the topic at hand, I know its an uphill battle here because lets face it, Pistons fans hate the Lakers, and generally hate everything that the city of Los Angeles stands for in general. But the truth is, Kobe was more skilled than MJ in basically every attribute.
Shaq was always the guy who Detroit had trouble defending. He was very good in 2004 despite Ben and Rasheed’s defense. Prince would have shut down Kobe in 2008 just like he did in 2004.
Honestly, for me, the only area where I think Kobe was more skilled than Jordan was three point shooting. Jordan, over his last 4-5 years, didn’t really go to the rim as much. But he was absolute money on that elbow jumper, and also never missed those baseline turnarounds. And he was just absolutely spectacular in the NBA Finals. As I recall, Kobe’s career averages in the finals is about 25 a game on around .450 shooting, whereas I believe Jordan is more like 35 per game and close to .500 shooting, which is just nuts.
And I think Jordan was a bit more athletic than Kobe, too.
But Kobe was awesome. Tough call on him versus Magic. I’m inclined to go Magic - just as many titles, and did it in an era where, when he lost, it was to absolutely great teams (Philly, Boston, Detroit). But I can see the arguments for Kobe over Magic, too.