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View Full Version : Before Magic, Larry, and MJ - How would you have identified the games best?



Chronz
10-23-2012, 03:35 PM
The argument for the GOAT at every position has become ridiculously easy. The reason is also simple, they have all won multiple chips, put up huge numbers, and won every award/accolade there is to get, not to mention the star power to carry the argument. For most people that covers every base....

But in the NBA that existed before them, the argument looked alot more complex, you have to put more thought into what you value in a player.....

Guards
Oscar Robertson - Jerry West - Walt Frazier - Cousy
The Big O averaged a triple double but the Logo had the playoff rep and star power. You could argue neither won their sole championship as the "Main Man", the only guy who could make that claim is Walt Frazier. He doesnt have the same offensive output as these guys but he was the best defender of the bunch and won as many rings as the 2 combined, the only real downside was that his Prime was relatively short in comparison. Then theres the Cooz, winning several titles and assist crowns with Russell.


How do you distinguish between these players?



Small Forwards
Rick Barry - Hondo - Elgin - Doc. J
Do you take the guy who won multiple titles alongside Bill Russell/Dave Cowens in various roles throughout? A man who by all accounts was an All-Around intangibles/glue guy with a drive to win(Hondo). Or the loathed but talented superstar who put up better numbers and won a single title in one of the most impressive fashions ever witnessed, while eventually costing his team other chances in the most selfish manner. Maybe not a diva by todays standards but possibly the biggest enigma ever, a cancer who could make teammates better? (Barry)

Then theres Elgin and Julius, Julius would later become the safe choice but since this is Pre-Bird, hes in the same boat as Elgin. Maybe unfair to him since his career is still going but both put up huge numbers without winning.





Because positions weren't emphasized back then, you could argue these players at different spots without much complaint from me but for this topic I simply listed the Guards and SF (Left out PF because Pettit should win that since he was the Duncan before Duncan). Leaving out Center since there was already a discussion about it but feel free to provide your best bigs if you wish.



So who do you got and what makes them stand out? Im curious to see if people go with the same rationale for both spots.

JasonJohnHorn
10-23-2012, 05:23 PM
Well... I have a lot of respect for Cousy, but frankly speaking, withhis FG%, he wouldn't even make an NBA roster anytime after 1970 (and yes, I know he earned a roster spot in 1970 during an attempted comeback). I know, especially during the 50's, that a low FG% was fairly normal, but still... even in the 60's that was an embarassing number for Cousy.

I put the Big O at PG, and West at SG (though obviously both handled duties of both SG and PG and O played SF as well). I think it is fair to say that West was the "guy" on his title team, and he was the "guy" on a number of teams that made it to the NBA finals. And the fact you can say that about a guy who won his only title at the age of 33 is pretty impressive, especially at his position and in that era. And though Kareem was clearly the best player on O's championship team, The Big O still played at an amazingly high level for a long time.

For me, Baylor would have been the best SF before the 80's rolled around, his rebounding was just so amazing. But obviously Havelicek and Barry are right up there. I think Baylor is under rated and I believe there is a case to be made for him as the best SF the game has ever seen.

Greedy22
10-23-2012, 09:36 PM
Well... I have a lot of respect for Cousy, but frankly speaking, withhis FG%, he wouldn't even make an NBA roster anytime after 1970 (and yes, I know he earned a roster spot in 1970 during an attempted comeback). I know, especially during the 50's, that a low FG% was fairly normal, but still... even in the 60's that was an embarassing number for Cousy.

I put the Big O at PG, and West at SG (though obviously both handled duties of both SG and PG and O played SF as well). I think it is fair to say that West was the "guy" on his title team, and he was the "guy" on a number of teams that made it to the NBA finals. And the fact you can say that about a guy who won his only title at the age of 33 is pretty impressive, especially at his position and in that era. And though Kareem was clearly the best player on O's championship team, The Big O still played at an amazingly high level for a long time.

For me, Baylor would have been the best SF before the 80's rolled around, his rebounding was just so amazing. But obviously Havelicek and Barry are right up there. I think Baylor is under rated and I believe there is a case to be made for him as the best SF the game has ever seen.

I couldn't have said this better myself, especially about Jerry West.

Andrew32
10-23-2012, 10:16 PM
PG : Oscar / Frazier
SG : West
SF : Erving
PF : Hmm...
C : Kareem

Chronz
10-23-2012, 10:33 PM
Well... I have a lot of respect for Cousy, but frankly speaking, withhis FG%, he wouldn't even make an NBA roster anytime after 1970 (and yes, I know he earned a roster spot in 1970 during an attempted comeback). I know, especially during the 50's, that a low FG% was fairly normal, but still... even in the 60's that was an embarassing number for Cousy.
He was a bad shooter even if he improved during his career, and I dont want to get into how his game translates today, just how you value his career accomplishments. All that said, I like him the least.


I put the Big O at PG, and West at SG (though obviously both handled duties of both SG and PG and O played SF as well)
Plz dont cop-out of the challenge. I listed them both under guards..



I think it is fair to say that West was the "guy" on his title team
How? He wasn't the Finals MVP, wasn't the glue who anchored his teams defense and he himself admits how poorly (by his standards) he played in the Finals. He described the feeling of winning as bittersweet for those reasons.


and he was the "guy" on a number of teams that made it to the NBA finals.
Quite a few yes, but Oscar was the guy on a number of comparable teams as well.

So who you got?