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Lebron vs. Jordan

Originally posted by vrabbit:
you mean Pete pwns at basketball? Huh, the sky is blue

however it's only a matter of time 'til SD and JC get on here and find something to disagree on with that post
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
They're difficult to compare because they had different responsibilities on their respective teams. LeBron has always been the de facto PG offensively, whereas after Phil Jackson took control of the Bulls, he made Pippen the de facto PG and MJ operated off of the ball. MJ often established scoring position on the wings, behind the first line of defense. He was actually the SF in the triangle offense, with Pippen as the PG and Armstrong/Kerr/Paxson/Harper were the SG. By contrast, LeBron primarily operates with the entire defense in front of him, handles the ball MUCH more than MJ did, and sets plays in motion the way that PGs do.

Just as LeBron is the de facto PG, MJ was the de facto post presence on his teams, and was devastatingly effective either from the pinch post (where Kobe or Dirk primarily operate from), or in the low post when he got older. Him being such a tremendous post up player spaced the floor for teammates in a way that allowed for easier shots. That being said, having Pippen taking care of the PG duties allowed him to establish scoring position in a way that wouldn't have been possible without a legitimate initiator. So MJ was fortunate in this respect.

Conversely, LeBron isn't nearly as good at his responsibility (initiating) as MJ was at his (post presence). For years there's been a huge disconnect between the fan's/media's opinion of LeBron and that of NBA talent evaluators, and it's largely because he breaks off plays and freelances so often that where his teammates were originally supposed to be is no longer valid, because he went somewhere else with the play. I know that folks here may think that I'm just hating on the guy, but there's a reason that as recently as the beginning of this year, a panel of current and former NBA coaches, scouts, GMs, and players picked Kobe as the best player in the NBA ahead of LeBron, and by a significant margin.

This is a quote from a Western Conference scout that speaks to what I'm talking about with LeBron...

Quote:
“Every year, we look for ways that he has lost a step and you look for ways that younger guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant have caught up to him -- and maybe in the middle of January, you can find some of those. But Kobe is always going to make a smart play, he is always going to find a way to get a good shot, no matter what stage of the game or how deep in the playoffs, and I don’t think the younger guys in the league are there yet.”

Until LeBron starts making the smart play and getting his team a good shot on a consistent basis, his team isn't going to be anything remarkable on the offensive end, despite having remarkable offensive talent.

Now, obviously James offers a lot of positives offensively as well. He's the best transition player in NBA history, and it's not even close. He goes from one end of the floor to another as fast as anyone ever has, and is so big and strong that the only question is whether or not it's gonna be an And-1 or not. He's also a phenomenal "pocket passer" on the pick and roll, where he delivers the pass to the roll guy in between the two defenders. His court vision, in terms of direct passes that lead to assists, is tremendous. He's also great at drawing contact in the lane, and getting easy points from the FT line as well. There's certainly plenty of meat on his offensive game.

On the defensive end, LeBron's been absolutely incredible in these playoffs, and I do think the Pippen comparisons are valid...this year. And that's the rub. MJ was a consistently great defender over the course of 10 years, whereas LeBron was an average defender (at best) until the 08-09 season, was superb over the last two seasons, and has been Pippen-esque during this playoff campaign. If he sustains this over the course of a fews years, he deserves a ton of praise and recognition, and he'll have the advantage over MJ, Kobe, or anyone aside from Pippen in this respect.

That being said, even the greatest perimeter defenders can only impact the game so much, simply due to the fact that they spend a good portion of the game 20 feet away from the hoop, and away from where the play's being made. A perimeter defender can't single-handedly take a game over the way that a big man can, or the way a perimeter guy can by having the ball whenever he wants to on the offensive end.

Ultimately, this is also an unfair comparison because part of greatness is longevity. I've never seen a better player than Shaq from 2000-02, but he's never mentioned as the best player ever because he didn't sustain that level of excellence for long enough. LeBron's still writing his story, and if he ever starts playing chess on offense, he has a chance to be the GOAT.


Post of the NBA season!!! The most informative and honest post on this subject I've read or heard this whole weekend anywhere. Liked the way you broke down their roles, their strengths and weaknesses, and I never saw or considered certain things the way you described, and it makes a LOT of sense. This is why I love the webzone, and hearing from certain members. Not only they know what they're talkin' about, they know how to explain themselves.

MJ owes his success to this man
Nice post LA... right on point.
  • TX9R
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 8,206
Originally posted by sacniner:
Nice post LA... right on point.

Pete, FWIW I think you have a kobeslant, but you definately have a knack for making me look at things in a different perspective, maybe even reevaluate it. Which is a LOT more than I can say about 99% of the people who get paid to write about the NBA. You should really consider paying for a domain name and putting your insight out there.
Originally posted by TX9R:
Originally posted by sacniner:
Nice post LA... right on point.

Pete, FWIW I think you have a kobeslant, but you definately have a knack for making me look at things in a different perspective, maybe even reevaluate it. Which is a LOT more than I can say about 99% of the people who get paid to write about the NBA. You should really consider paying for a domain name and putting your insight out there.

That's a huge compliment...thanks, TX. I might find myself as a stay at home dad in the next couple of years, and I've thought about doing something along those lines. I just don't have the time with my job the way it is these days.

I was actually glad that this topic came up in the way it did, because I think the board perceives me as knocking both MJ and LeBron for the purpose of propping Kobe up, and conversations can go sideways as a result. So when they're compared to each other, I can just post my perspective on each guy without the perception that I'm pushing some agenda.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
They're difficult to compare because they had different responsibilities on their respective teams. LeBron has always been the de facto PG offensively, whereas after Phil Jackson took control of the Bulls, he made Pippen the de facto PG and MJ operated off of the ball. MJ often established scoring position on the wings, behind the first line of defense. He was actually the SF in the triangle offense, with Pippen as the PG and Armstrong/Kerr/Paxson/Harper were the SG. By contrast, LeBron primarily operates with the entire defense in front of him, handles the ball MUCH more than MJ did, and sets plays in motion the way that PGs do.

Just as LeBron is the de facto PG, MJ was the de facto post presence on his teams, and was devastatingly effective either from the pinch post (where Kobe or Dirk primarily operate from), or in the low post when he got older. Him being such a tremendous post up player spaced the floor for teammates in a way that allowed for easier shots. That being said, having Pippen taking care of the PG duties allowed him to establish scoring position in a way that wouldn't have been possible without a legitimate initiator. So MJ was fortunate in this respect.

Conversely, LeBron isn't nearly as good at his responsibility (initiating) as MJ was at his (post presence). For years there's been a huge disconnect between the fan's/media's opinion of LeBron and that of NBA talent evaluators, and it's largely because he breaks off plays and freelances so often that where his teammates were originally supposed to be is no longer valid, because he went somewhere else with the play. I know that folks here may think that I'm just hating on the guy, but there's a reason that as recently as the beginning of this year, a panel of current and former NBA coaches, scouts, GMs, and players picked Kobe as the best player in the NBA ahead of LeBron, and by a significant margin.

This is a quote from a Western Conference scout that speaks to what I'm talking about with LeBron...

Quote:
“Every year, we look for ways that he has lost a step and you look for ways that younger guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant have caught up to him -- and maybe in the middle of January, you can find some of those. But Kobe is always going to make a smart play, he is always going to find a way to get a good shot, no matter what stage of the game or how deep in the playoffs, and I don’t think the younger guys in the league are there yet.”

Until LeBron starts making the smart play and getting his team a good shot on a consistent basis, his team isn't going to be anything remarkable on the offensive end, despite having remarkable offensive talent.

Now, obviously James offers a lot of positives offensively as well. He's the best transition player in NBA history, and it's not even close. He goes from one end of the floor to another as fast as anyone ever has, and is so big and strong that the only question is whether or not it's gonna be an And-1 or not. He's also a phenomenal "pocket passer" on the pick and roll, where he delivers the pass to the roll guy in between the two defenders. His court vision, in terms of direct passes that lead to assists, is tremendous. He's also great at drawing contact in the lane, and getting easy points from the FT line as well. There's certainly plenty of meat on his offensive game.

On the defensive end, LeBron's been absolutely incredible in these playoffs, and I do think the Pippen comparisons are valid...this year. And that's the rub. MJ was a consistently great defender over the course of 10 years, whereas LeBron was an average defender (at best) until the 08-09 season, was superb over the last two seasons, and has been Pippen-esque during this playoff campaign. If he sustains this over the course of a fews years, he deserves a ton of praise and recognition, and he'll have the advantage over MJ, Kobe, or anyone aside from Pippen in this respect.

That being said, even the greatest perimeter defenders can only impact the game so much, simply due to the fact that they spend a good portion of the game 20 feet away from the hoop, and away from where the play's being made. A perimeter defender can't single-handedly take a game over the way that a big man can, or the way a perimeter guy can by having the ball whenever he wants to on the offensive end.

Ultimately, this is also an unfair comparison because part of greatness is longevity. I've never seen a better player than Shaq from 2000-02, but he's never mentioned as the best player ever because he didn't sustain that level of excellence for long enough. LeBron's still writing his story, and if he ever starts playing chess on offense, he has a chance to be the GOAT.


Post of the NBA season!!! The most informative and honest post on this subject I've read or heard this whole weekend anywhere. Liked the way you broke down their roles, their strengths and weaknesses, and I never saw or considered certain things the way you described, and it makes a LOT of sense. This is why I love the webzone, and hearing from certain members. Not only they know what they're talkin' about, they know how to explain themselves.


Great Posy
Originally posted by WillistheWall:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
They're difficult to compare because they had different responsibilities on their respective teams. LeBron has always been the de facto PG offensively, whereas after Phil Jackson took control of the Bulls, he made Pippen the de facto PG and MJ operated off of the ball. MJ often established scoring position on the wings, behind the first line of defense. He was actually the SF in the triangle offense, with Pippen as the PG and Armstrong/Kerr/Paxson/Harper were the SG. By contrast, LeBron primarily operates with the entire defense in front of him, handles the ball MUCH more than MJ did, and sets plays in motion the way that PGs do.

Just as LeBron is the de facto PG, MJ was the de facto post presence on his teams, and was devastatingly effective either from the pinch post (where Kobe or Dirk primarily operate from), or in the low post when he got older. Him being such a tremendous post up player spaced the floor for teammates in a way that allowed for easier shots. That being said, having Pippen taking care of the PG duties allowed him to establish scoring position in a way that wouldn't have been possible without a legitimate initiator. So MJ was fortunate in this respect.

Conversely, LeBron isn't nearly as good at his responsibility (initiating) as MJ was at his (post presence). For years there's been a huge disconnect between the fan's/media's opinion of LeBron and that of NBA talent evaluators, and it's largely because he breaks off plays and freelances so often that where his teammates were originally supposed to be is no longer valid, because he went somewhere else with the play. I know that folks here may think that I'm just hating on the guy, but there's a reason that as recently as the beginning of this year, a panel of current and former NBA coaches, scouts, GMs, and players picked Kobe as the best player in the NBA ahead of LeBron, and by a significant margin.

This is a quote from a Western Conference scout that speaks to what I'm talking about with LeBron...

Quote:
“Every year, we look for ways that he has lost a step and you look for ways that younger guys like LeBron or Kevin Durant have caught up to him -- and maybe in the middle of January, you can find some of those. But Kobe is always going to make a smart play, he is always going to find a way to get a good shot, no matter what stage of the game or how deep in the playoffs, and I don’t think the younger guys in the league are there yet.”

Until LeBron starts making the smart play and getting his team a good shot on a consistent basis, his team isn't going to be anything remarkable on the offensive end, despite having remarkable offensive talent.

Now, obviously James offers a lot of positives offensively as well. He's the best transition player in NBA history, and it's not even close. He goes from one end of the floor to another as fast as anyone ever has, and is so big and strong that the only question is whether or not it's gonna be an And-1 or not. He's also a phenomenal "pocket passer" on the pick and roll, where he delivers the pass to the roll guy in between the two defenders. His court vision, in terms of direct passes that lead to assists, is tremendous. He's also great at drawing contact in the lane, and getting easy points from the FT line as well. There's certainly plenty of meat on his offensive game.

On the defensive end, LeBron's been absolutely incredible in these playoffs, and I do think the Pippen comparisons are valid...this year. And that's the rub. MJ was a consistently great defender over the course of 10 years, whereas LeBron was an average defender (at best) until the 08-09 season, was superb over the last two seasons, and has been Pippen-esque during this playoff campaign. If he sustains this over the course of a fews years, he deserves a ton of praise and recognition, and he'll have the advantage over MJ, Kobe, or anyone aside from Pippen in this respect.

That being said, even the greatest perimeter defenders can only impact the game so much, simply due to the fact that they spend a good portion of the game 20 feet away from the hoop, and away from where the play's being made. A perimeter defender can't single-handedly take a game over the way that a big man can, or the way a perimeter guy can by having the ball whenever he wants to on the offensive end.

Ultimately, this is also an unfair comparison because part of greatness is longevity. I've never seen a better player than Shaq from 2000-02, but he's never mentioned as the best player ever because he didn't sustain that level of excellence for long enough. LeBron's still writing his story, and if he ever starts playing chess on offense, he has a chance to be the GOAT.


Post of the NBA season!!! The most informative and honest post on this subject I've read or heard this whole weekend anywhere. Liked the way you broke down their roles, their strengths and weaknesses, and I never saw or considered certain things the way you described, and it makes a LOT of sense. This is why I love the webzone, and hearing from certain members. Not only they know what they're talkin' about, they know how to explain themselves.



IMO, the thing that has Jordan above LBJ (and another point for the "debate" with Kobe) for at least the forseeable future is not just his championships (after all, I doubt Jordan would have won with LBJ's Cleveland cast and I'm sure if LBJ had a Pippen he could have won a bunch), but WHO Chicago beat; that 2nd 3peat really elevated him to another level beating Stockton/Malone twice and Payton/Kemp. Nobody has prevented legends from winning it all the way Jordan did and it's not close. Barkley, Malone, Stockton, Payton (with a significant role, not piggybacking off D-Wade and the Diesel as a reserve), Ewing, R. Miller, etc. all likely end their career with some hardware if it weren't for Jordan. Those Jazz and Sonics teams are arguably in the top 10-15 single season teams of all time. Gary Payton was like a combination of Chris Paul and Deron Williams offensively and Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd defensively. And Kemp was maybe one of the top-5 most freakishly athletic players ever...essentially Blake Griffin. They won 64 games in the regular season and took a 72 win bulls team that had only lost 1 game previously in the postseason to 6 without a healthy Nate McMillan who was instrumental to their defense. Schrempf, Hawkins, etc. really solidified that team. Those Jazz teams won 126 games in 2 years, had a top-5 PG ever and a top-3 PF ever AND real nice role players like Hornacek and Russell. Two AMAZING teams. We'll see if LBJ can do something similar. Of all the Finals' the lakers have made since 2000, only 3 were against legitimately Finals-caliber teams. '04 Pistons, '08 Celtics, and '10 Celtics. They went 1-2 there and they were very fortunate to say the least to get that 1. '00 Pacers, '01 Sixers, '02 Nets (though obviously should have been Sacramento playing them anyways), and '09 Magic were pretty weak for Finals teams. So Kobe never prevented legends from winning. If LBJ goes on a tear and prevents guys like Rose or Durant (and Nowitzki for that matter) from ever getting any hardware, THEN it becomes a serious discussion I believe.
[ Edited by andes14 on May 30, 2011 at 1:10 AM ]
Originally posted by TheG0RE49er:
Originally posted by vrabbit:
you mean Pete pwns at basketball? Huh, the sky is blue

however it's only a matter of time 'til SD and JC get on here and find something to disagree on with that post

Originally posted by andes14:
IMO, the thing that has Jordan above LBJ (and another point for the "debate" with Kobe) for at least the forseeable future is not just his championships (after all, I doubt Jordan would have won with LBJ's Cleveland cast and I'm sure if LBJ had a Pippen he could have won a bunch), but WHO Chicago beat; that 2nd 3peat really elevated him to another level beating Stockton/Malone twice and Payton/Kemp. Nobody has prevented legends from winning it all the way Jordan did and it's not close. Barkley, Malone, Stockton, Payton (with a significant role, not piggybacking off D-Wade and the Diesel as a reserve), Ewing, R. Miller, etc. all likely end their career with some hardware if it weren't for Jordan. Those Jazz and Sonics teams are arguably in the top 10-15 single season teams of all time. Gary Payton was like a combination of Chris Paul and Deron Williams offensively and Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd defensively. And Kemp was maybe one of the top-5 most freakishly athletic players ever...essentially Blake Griffin. They won 64 games in the regular season and took a 72 win bulls team that had only lost 1 game previously in the postseason to 6 without a healthy Nate McMillan who was instrumental to their defense. Schrempf, Hawkins, etc. really solidified that team. Those Jazz teams won 126 games in 2 years, had a top-5 PG ever and a top-3 PF ever AND real nice role players like Hornacek and Russell. Two AMAZING teams. We'll see if LBJ can do something similar. Of all the Finals' the lakers have made since 2000, only 3 were against legitimately Finals-caliber teams. '04 Pistons, '08 Celtics, and '10 Celtics. They went 1-2 there and they were very fortunate to say the least to get that 1. '00 Pacers, '01 Sixers, '02 Nets (though obviously should have been Sacramento playing them anyways), and '09 Magic were pretty weak for Finals Teams. So Kobe never prevented legends from winning. If LBJ goes on a tear and prevents guys like Rose or Durant (and Nowitzki for that matter) from ever getting any hardware, THEN it becomes a serious discussion I believe.

The one thing that bulls team never faced was a dominant Center who had sharpshooters behind the arc. Hey faced Ewing but the Knicks never really had consistent three point shooters. The Pacers gave them hell and were actually robbed of a game 7 loss vs the bulls so I dint think Jordan beats Hakeems Roxkets that had all the ingredients from a dominant center to three poin shooters who also had length in Horry and ball control with Cassell.

I still think Joedns Bulls ended up with the favorable matchups in the Finals. I don't think they beat those Rockets teams.
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by andes14:
IMO, the thing that has Jordan above LBJ (and another point for the "debate" with Kobe) for at least the forseeable future is not just his championships (after all, I doubt Jordan would have won with LBJ's Cleveland cast and I'm sure if LBJ had a Pippen he could have won a bunch), but WHO Chicago beat; that 2nd 3peat really elevated him to another level beating Stockton/Malone twice and Payton/Kemp. Nobody has prevented legends from winning it all the way Jordan did and it's not close. Barkley, Malone, Stockton, Payton (with a significant role, not piggybacking off D-Wade and the Diesel as a reserve), Ewing, R. Miller, etc. all likely end their career with some hardware if it weren't for Jordan. Those Jazz and Sonics teams are arguably in the top 10-15 single season teams of all time. Gary Payton was like a combination of Chris Paul and Deron Williams offensively and Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd defensively. And Kemp was maybe one of the top-5 most freakishly athletic players ever...essentially Blake Griffin. They won 64 games in the regular season and took a 72 win bulls team that had only lost 1 game previously in the postseason to 6 without a healthy Nate McMillan who was instrumental to their defense. Schrempf, Hawkins, etc. really solidified that team. Those Jazz teams won 126 games in 2 years, had a top-5 PG ever and a top-3 PF ever AND real nice role players like Hornacek and Russell. Two AMAZING teams. We'll see if LBJ can do something similar. Of all the Finals' the lakers have made since 2000, only 3 were against legitimately Finals-caliber teams. '04 Pistons, '08 Celtics, and '10 Celtics. They went 1-2 there and they were very fortunate to say the least to get that 1. '00 Pacers, '01 Sixers, '02 Nets (though obviously should have been Sacramento playing them anyways), and '09 Magic were pretty weak for Finals Teams. So Kobe never prevented legends from winning. If LBJ goes on a tear and prevents guys like Rose or Durant (and Nowitzki for that matter) from ever getting any hardware, THEN it becomes a serious discussion I believe.

The one thing that bulls team never faced was a dominant Center who had sharpshooters behind the arc. Hey faced Ewing but the Knicks never really had consistent three point shooters. The Pacers gave them hell and were actually robbed of a game 7 loss vs the bulls so I dint think Jordan beats Hakeems Roxkets that had all the ingredients from a dominant center to three poin shooters who also had length in Horry and ball control with Cassell.

I still think Joedns Bulls ended up with the favorable matchups in the Finals. I don't think they beat those Rockets teams.

I think if the Rockets were good enough to beat the Bulls (with Jordan), they would have been good enough to win the west more than twice
Originally posted by andes14:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by andes14:
IMO, the thing that has Jordan above LBJ (and another point for the "debate" with Kobe) for at least the forseeable future is not just his championships (after all, I doubt Jordan would have won with LBJ's Cleveland cast and I'm sure if LBJ had a Pippen he could have won a bunch), but WHO Chicago beat; that 2nd 3peat really elevated him to another level beating Stockton/Malone twice and Payton/Kemp. Nobody has prevented legends from winning it all the way Jordan did and it's not close. Barkley, Malone, Stockton, Payton (with a significant role, not piggybacking off D-Wade and the Diesel as a reserve), Ewing, R. Miller, etc. all likely end their career with some hardware if it weren't for Jordan. Those Jazz and Sonics teams are arguably in the top 10-15 single season teams of all time. Gary Payton was like a combination of Chris Paul and Deron Williams offensively and Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd defensively. And Kemp was maybe one of the top-5 most freakishly athletic players ever...essentially Blake Griffin. They won 64 games in the regular season and took a 72 win bulls team that had only lost 1 game previously in the postseason to 6 without a healthy Nate McMillan who was instrumental to their defense. Schrempf, Hawkins, etc. really solidified that team. Those Jazz teams won 126 games in 2 years, had a top-5 PG ever and a top-3 PF ever AND real nice role players like Hornacek and Russell. Two AMAZING teams. We'll see if LBJ can do something similar. Of all the Finals' the lakers have made since 2000, only 3 were against legitimately Finals-caliber teams. '04 Pistons, '08 Celtics, and '10 Celtics. They went 1-2 there and they were very fortunate to say the least to get that 1. '00 Pacers, '01 Sixers, '02 Nets (though obviously should have been Sacramento playing them anyways), and '09 Magic were pretty weak for Finals Teams. So Kobe never prevented legends from winning. If LBJ goes on a tear and prevents guys like Rose or Durant (and Nowitzki for that matter) from ever getting any hardware, THEN it becomes a serious discussion I believe.

The one thing that bulls team never faced was a dominant Center who had sharpshooters behind the arc. Hey faced Ewing but the Knicks never really had consistent three point shooters. The Pacers gave them hell and were actually robbed of a game 7 loss vs the bulls so I dint think Jordan beats Hakeems Roxkets that had all the ingredients from a dominant center to three poin shooters who also had length in Horry and ball control with Cassell.

I still think Joedns Bulls ended up with the favorable matchups in the Finals. I don't think they beat those Rockets teams.

I think if the Rockets were good enough to beat the Bulls (with Jordan), they would have been good enough to win the west more than twice

It's all about match-ups. Rockets team would have been a bad match-up for the Bulls. I don't know who would have won, but I see what Joe is saying.
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by andes14:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by andes14:
IMO, the thing that has Jordan above LBJ (and another point for the "debate" with Kobe) for at least the forseeable future is not just his championships (after all, I doubt Jordan would have won with LBJ's Cleveland cast and I'm sure if LBJ had a Pippen he could have won a bunch), but WHO Chicago beat; that 2nd 3peat really elevated him to another level beating Stockton/Malone twice and Payton/Kemp. Nobody has prevented legends from winning it all the way Jordan did and it's not close. Barkley, Malone, Stockton, Payton (with a significant role, not piggybacking off D-Wade and the Diesel as a reserve), Ewing, R. Miller, etc. all likely end their career with some hardware if it weren't for Jordan. Those Jazz and Sonics teams are arguably in the top 10-15 single season teams of all time. Gary Payton was like a combination of Chris Paul and Deron Williams offensively and Rajon Rondo and Jason Kidd defensively. And Kemp was maybe one of the top-5 most freakishly athletic players ever...essentially Blake Griffin. They won 64 games in the regular season and took a 72 win bulls team that had only lost 1 game previously in the postseason to 6 without a healthy Nate McMillan who was instrumental to their defense. Schrempf, Hawkins, etc. really solidified that team. Those Jazz teams won 126 games in 2 years, had a top-5 PG ever and a top-3 PF ever AND real nice role players like Hornacek and Russell. Two AMAZING teams. We'll see if LBJ can do something similar. Of all the Finals' the lakers have made since 2000, only 3 were against legitimately Finals-caliber teams. '04 Pistons, '08 Celtics, and '10 Celtics. They went 1-2 there and they were very fortunate to say the least to get that 1. '00 Pacers, '01 Sixers, '02 Nets (though obviously should have been Sacramento playing them anyways), and '09 Magic were pretty weak for Finals Teams. So Kobe never prevented legends from winning. If LBJ goes on a tear and prevents guys like Rose or Durant (and Nowitzki for that matter) from ever getting any hardware, THEN it becomes a serious discussion I believe.

The one thing that bulls team never faced was a dominant Center who had sharpshooters behind the arc. Hey faced Ewing but the Knicks never really had consistent three point shooters. The Pacers gave them hell and were actually robbed of a game 7 loss vs the bulls so I dint think Jordan beats Hakeems Roxkets that had all the ingredients from a dominant center to three poin shooters who also had length in Horry and ball control with Cassell.

I still think Joedns Bulls ended up with the favorable matchups in the Finals. I don't think they beat those Rockets teams.

I think if the Rockets were good enough to beat the Bulls (with Jordan), they would have been good enough to win the west more than twice

It's all about match-ups. Rockets team would have been a bad match-up for the Bulls. I don't know who would have won, but I see what Joe is saying.

And Hakeem was never at that level again. He went down from there.