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View Full Version : O.S.Q.O.T.D.: How would Bird's game translate to today's game?



JasonJohnHorn
04-07-2014, 02:18 PM
Despite getting a number of steals, Bird was considered by many to be a weak defender. Some forward looked forward to playing Boston because they knew they could score a little more.

Bird's lack of athleticism may have impacted his ability to defend successfully, but his high basketball IQ allows him to get a number of rebounds (like Zach Randolph), despite not being able to jump over an envelop, his court vision allows him to be the best playing-making forward ever and snag more than his share of steal, while his hard work and practice paid off on the court, making him one of the greatest shooters ever.

Today there is a huge emphasis on defense, but defensive abilities like Steve Nash and Kevin Love have still gotten a lot of minutes.

If Bird were playing in today's NBA, how do you think his skills would translate? Would he put up number similar to those in the 80's (though a little lower given that there are fewer possessions), or would struggle to be an elite forward?

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 02:28 PM
ok, this plays perfectly off the Harden thread. You know why Bird was actually an above average defender? Because he had absolutely exceptional defensive awareness. He knew where the ball was, where his man was, and was very good at reading teams offensive sets, and being able to disrupt them. Whether that meant making his man go under a pick he was supposed to go over, whether it means he deflects a pass going into the interior while he is chasing his man cutting away to create space, and how he was able to not give ground physically anywhere on the floor.

Offensively, pretty sure he would be the modern Durant type. In the free flowing 80's, he didn't deal with a lot of contact, and today, perimeter guys are more protected, so Bird's offensive game would be absolutely elite.

He would be a top 3-5 player right now, if he were in his peak. For sure.

abe_froman
04-07-2014, 02:29 PM
it would translate quite well actually,with the growth of the stretch 4 and all.

Bruno
04-07-2014, 02:32 PM
ok, this plays perfectly off the Harden thread. You know why Bird was actually an above average defender? Because he had absolutely exceptional defensive awareness. He knew where the ball was, where his man was, and was very good at reading teams offensive sets, and being able to disrupt them. Whether that meant making his man go under a pick he was supposed to go over, whether it means he deflects a pass going into the interior while he is chasing his man cutting away to create space, and how he was able to not give ground physically anywhere on the floor.

Offensively, pretty sure he would be the modern Durant type. In the free flowing 80's, he didn't deal with a lot of contact, and today, perimeter guys are more protected, so Bird's offensive game would be absolutely elite.

He would be a top 3-5 player right now, if he were in his peak. For sure.

Harden gets beat on back door cuts almost every time I put on a Rockets game. i feel like I'd have to intentionally try to be as unaware has Harden is on defense if I were out there in his place. goggle vision on defense for sure.

Bird would be in discussion for best player in the league right along with James and Durant.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 02:32 PM
it would translate quite well actually,with the growth of the stretch 4 and all.

very true as well. Bird would most likely slide to PF in the current league, though he would still be utilized outside, ala, Love, or Dirk.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 02:34 PM
Harden gets beat on back door cuts almost every time I put on a Rockets game. i feel like I'd have to intentionally try to be as unaware has Harden is on defense if I were out there in his place. goggle vision on defense for sure.

Bird would be in discussion for best player in the league right along with James and Durant.

maybe, but those 2 are still more efficient than Bird ever was. Course, Bird played in the era where they jacked a lot of long 2's, and the three point line was just coming into it's own. Had he grown up in this era, he would probably see a jump across the board in his offensive metrics, which would put him up there with Durant/James.

mRc08
04-07-2014, 02:49 PM
I have no idea really, just hard to imagine a white guy who cant jump having as much success now a days. I look forward to seeing what people say with this thread/back up with stats.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 02:56 PM
I have no idea really, just hard to imagine a white guy who cant jump having as much success now a days. I look forward to seeing what people say with this thread/back up with stats.

Love and Dirk haven't been awesome in the role Bird would play? The league was mostly black when he played, as much or more so than now when you start including all the foreign players we have the last 10 years.

dhopisthename
04-07-2014, 02:58 PM
I have no idea really, just hard to imagine a white guy who cant jump having as much success now a days. I look forward to seeing what people say with this thread/back up with stats.

dirk has done pretty well for himself

ewing
04-07-2014, 02:59 PM
Despite getting a number of steals, Bird was considered by many to be a weak defender. Some forward looked forward to playing Boston because they knew they could score a little more.
Bird's lack of athleticism may have impacted his ability to defend successfully, but his high basketball IQ allows him to get a number of rebounds (like Zach Randolph), despite not being able to jump over an envelop, his court vision allows him to be the best playing-making forward ever and snag more than his share of steal, while his hard work and practice paid off on the court, making him one of the greatest shooters ever.

Today there is a huge emphasis on defense, but defensive abilities like Steve Nash and Kevin Love have still gotten a lot of minutes.

If Bird were playing in today's NBA, how do you think his skills would translate? Would he put up number similar to those in the 80's (though a little lower given that there are fewer possessions), or would struggle to be an elite forward?

no they didn't

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 03:01 PM
it seems to me that Bird's defense is pretty underrated by most. Not that anyone should take all defensive teams that serious, considering the inconsistency over the years, but Bird did make 3 all NBA Defensive teams.

ewing
04-07-2014, 03:02 PM
he'd be awesome (is this a real question? Its Larry Bird)

ewing
04-07-2014, 03:05 PM
it seems to me that Bird's defense is pretty underrated by most. Not that anyone should take all defensive teams that serious, considering the inconsistency over the years, but Bird did make 3 all NBA Defensive teams.


As is his athleticism. The myth that had Brain Scalbrinie type athleticism is laughable. Before the back Bird got up and down the floor as quickly as any 6'10 guy in the league, was faster off the dribble then just about every 6'10 dude in the league, had elite hands, was physically strong enough to battle inside, had remarkable balance and body control. "hick from french lick" is a myth, Larry was gangster

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 03:07 PM
As is his athleticism. The myth that had Brain Scalbrinie type athleticism is laughable.

Bird wasn't fast, and couldn't jump, but his hands were lightning fast, he had great balance, and his anticipation skills were off the charts.

Bruno
04-07-2014, 03:17 PM
maybe, but those 2 are still more efficient than Bird ever was. Course, Bird played in the era where they jacked a lot of long 2's, and the three point line was just coming into it's own. Had he grown up in this era, he would probably see a jump across the board in his offensive metrics, which would put him up there with Durant/James.

thats what i think too.

i mean with bird were talking about a guy who cracked .600 a couple times and hovered right at .600 over a four year period from '85-'88. let him with his brilliant IQ adjust to todays league and I'd probably throw the discrepancy in efficiency out the window.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 03:21 PM
thats what i think too.

i mean with bird were talking about a guy who cracked .600 a couple times and hovered right at .600 over a four year period from '85-'88. let him with his brilliant IQ adjust to todays league and I'd probably throw the discrepancy in efficiency out the window.

the one thing that would hold Bird back from being on those 2 players level, potentially, is they are both elite defenders. LeBron apparently decided to take this year off on defense, but has shown elite ability for years, and Durant was really good on defense last year, and excellent this year.

Really the only thing that could keep them slightly above Bird imo. But then again, if we compare era's, defense was not as preached when he came into the league, it was more of an up and down league. Would he be a better defender today? He certainly is capable. He is a far better athlete than most give him credit for, and maybe the smartest non-PG to ever play the game when it comes to basketball IQ.

JasonJohnHorn
04-07-2014, 05:59 PM
no they didn't


I remember Barkley specifically saying that he looked forward to playing Boston because Bird would usually guard him and he knew he'd have a good night. So yes, guys who worked the post LOVE having Bird defend them. They just did.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 06:02 PM
I remember Barkley specifically saying that he looked forward to playing Boston because Bird would usually guard him and he knew he'd have a good night. So yes, guys who worked the post LOVE having Bird defend them. They just did.

Bird rarely, if ever guarded Chuck (this is why they had McHale (who Chuck claimed gave him more problems than anyone). And are you really going to take something Barkley said literally? Crap falls out of his mouth just as much as facts do.

Now, if Chuck is talking about being guarded by Bird later in Bird's career, when his back was going out, I can understand that. Remember, Barkley didn't enter the league until about the time Bird was in his absolute peak.

JasonJohnHorn
04-07-2014, 06:03 PM
it seems to me that Bird's defense is pretty underrated by most. Not that anyone should take all defensive teams that serious, considering the inconsistency over the years, but Bird did make 3 all NBA Defensive teams.


You've made some great observations about Bird's defense. What he lacked in athleticism, he more than made up for with awareness and a high BB IQ. "The Steal" is a perfect example of that. It wasn't so much his quickness, as his ability to lull the offense into a state of comfort by making it seem that he was going up court and then anticipate when the pass was coming in.

He reminds me of Stockton, who was much quicker and more athletic, but Stockton's defense relied on knowing how to guard the passing lanes and being where he was supposed to be and anticipating where his guy was going.

That said, if a SF was going iso on Bird, or a bigger forward were posting him up, he struggled to defend those 1-on-1 situations.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 06:05 PM
http://hoopshype.com/blogs/johnson/too-much-love

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20140304/showtime-excerpt-michael-cooper/

two of my favorite Bird articles. It took quite a lot for a white boy to get the respect of the mostly black star league. And Bird did it in spades, and then some.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 06:07 PM
You've made some great observations about Bird's defense. What he lacked in athleticism, he more than made up for with awareness and a high BB IQ. "The Steal" is a perfect example of that. It wasn't so much his quickness, as his ability to lull the offense into a state of comfort by making it seem that he was going up court and then anticipate when the pass was coming in.

He reminds me of Stockton, who was much quicker and more athletic, but Stockton's defense relied on knowing how to guard the passing lanes and being where he was supposed to be and anticipating where his guy was going.

That said, if a SF was going iso on Bird, or a bigger forward were posting him up, he struggled to defend those 1-on-1 situations.

right, and I said that he would struggle to defend like LeBron or Durant, but he was an amazing team defender, and Boston was built to be able to withstand his one-one defensive shortcomings. But as a team defender, he was awesome, and that many times is much more important than being a good one on one defender, because that has proven to be the most inefficient type of basketball anyways.

torocan
04-07-2014, 06:09 PM
Let me see... Larry Bird, one of the best jump shooters in history playing without Hand Checking, no 2 hand defense, no touching a jump shooter in the air, and ticky tack block fouls?

No, I can't see that translating at all... not at all...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULvo7__wwBU

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Some of the younger kids really need to go back and appreciate exactly how ridiculously good some of the Greats truly were...

jerellh528
04-07-2014, 06:16 PM
I would consider birds game one of the more timeless of the past greats. His style would be good in any era because it wasn't dependent on background factors such as speed of the game or rules. His game was all skill.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 06:19 PM
Let me see... Larry Bird, one of the best jump shooters in history playing without Hand Checking, no 2 hand defense, no touching a jump shooter in the air, and ticky tack block fouls?

No, I can't see that translating at all... not at all...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULvo7__wwBU

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Some of the younger kids really need to go back and appreciate exactly how ridiculously good some of the Greats truly were...

sure, but Birds career came during the wide open 80's. The defense played back then was very soft compared to the decades following. Like I said earlier, if he was raised in the modern era, his efficiency might be even better right now.

Look, the dude would have been an all-timer no matter what era he played in. I don't know if anyone can reasonably argue against that.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 06:20 PM
I would consider birds game one of the more timeless of the past greats. His style would be good in any era because it wasn't dependent on background factors such as speed of the game or rules. His game was all skill.

that, and he was 6'9'' with lightning quick hands, and one of the highest basketball IQ's ever seen by a non-PG.

Totally agree.

amos1er
04-07-2014, 06:46 PM
Honestly, he would be the best player in the NBA hands down. The competition in the 80's was much greater and there were a good amount of years where he was the best in the league then. Remember how Dirk owned up Lebron in the 2011 finals... Imagine Dirk on steroids... That's how good Larry was.

amos1er
04-07-2014, 06:49 PM
sure, but Birds career came during the wide open 80's. The defense played back then was very soft compared to the decades following. Like I said earlier, if he was raised in the modern era, his efficiency might be even better right now.

Look, the dude would have been an all-timer no matter what era he played in. I don't know if anyone can reasonably argue against that.

At least we agree here.

bagwell368
04-07-2014, 08:51 PM
Bird's on ball defense is overrated after 1986. He lost what speed he had. But he had the awareness, the jump the passing lane for a steal timing, and his technically excellent defensive rebounding still in his bag. But he always had one foot in the paint, and McHale always got the tougher scorer to hide Bird's D.

Was then and still is the greatest passing forward of all time. Still has the outside shot and still going to get his lay-ups and backboard shots in close off of rebounds and his drive.

Easily top 5 today in his prime in the here and now.

GoldDustTwin
04-07-2014, 09:27 PM
sure, but Birds career came during the wide open 80's. The defense played back then was very soft compared to the decades following. Like I said earlier, if he was raised in the modern era, his efficiency might be even better right now.

Look, the dude would have been an all-timer no matter what era he played in. I don't know if anyone can reasonably argue against that.

I generally agree with much of what you've said, except the bolded bit.

While they did score more during the '80's, there's nothing about that time that I would call "soft". These were pre-flagrant 1 / flagrant 2 days and a whole lot more went. Think only of McHale's clothes-lining of Kurt Rambis during the '84 finals. A brutal, dirty, potentially career-ending foul by McHale that doesn't so much as result in a technical.

If you watch the clip online you can hear Tommy Henisohn (doing play by play) that what McHale did is a 'strategy today in the NBA. Some teams don't want to give up a layup'. Not at any point do either announcers call it dirty or dangerous........

So, yes, there were lots of points scored in the '80's, but it wasn't soft.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 09:33 PM
I generally agree with much of what you've said, except the bolded bit.

While they did score more during the '80's, there's nothing about that time that I would call "soft". These were pre-flagrant 1 / flagrant 2 days and a whole lot more went. Think only of McHale's clothes-lining of Kurt Rambis during the '84 finals. A brutal, dirty, potentially career-ending foul by McHale that doesn't so much as result in a technical.

So, yes, there were lots of points scored in the '80's, but it wasn't soft.

don't confuse the flagrant fouls or random hard fouls with tough defense. The 80's was wide open, score, score, score. The defense today is absolutely better than it was during the 80's. There is no argument to prove otherwise.

I really don't get how people truly believe that today's defense isn't the most sophisticated, well researched and prepared for defenses we have had. And it will only get stronger. People simply confuse hard fouls with "great defense".

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 09:34 PM
Honestly, he would be the best player in the NBA hands down. The competition in the 80's was much greater and there were a good amount of years where he was the best in the league then. Remember how Dirk owned up Lebron in the 2011 finals... Imagine Dirk on steroids... That's how good Larry was.

question. Would he have been the best player, hands down, from 2003-2008?

GoldDustTwin
04-07-2014, 10:12 PM
don't confuse the flagrant fouls or random hard fouls with tough defense. The 80's was wide open, score, score, score. The defense today is absolutely better than it was during the 80's. There is no argument to prove otherwise.

I really don't get how people truly believe that today's defense isn't the most sophisticated, well researched and prepared for defenses we have had. And it will only get stronger. People simply confuse hard fouls with "great defense".


There's no confusion here - I (still) disagree with your use of the word "soft".

I never took issue with quality of defense - you can go back and actually read my post and you'll see that I said I agree with most of what you've said.

The defense wasn't as good - they weren't as athletically gifted. So they made up for it by beating the **** out of each other around the basket.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 10:17 PM
There's no confusion here - I (still) disagree with your use of the word "soft".

I never took issue with quality of defense - you can go back and actually read my post and you'll see that I said I agree with most of what you've said.

The defense wasn't as good - they weren't as athletically gifted. So they made up for it by beating the **** out of each other around the basket.

I can live with that. The defense, throughout the regular season, was soft per say. But there were some hard hits, and in the playoffs obviously the defense ramped up, as good as it could.

But yeah, when I hear people say the players from the 80's would just dominate left and right now, I chuckle. Sure, the superstars would still be superstars. But we need to put into perspective the numbers, and level of defense in general.

jerellh528
04-07-2014, 10:23 PM
question. Would he have been the best player, hands down, from 2003-2008?

Larry would be great but I wouldn't say best player. I'd still put lbj, kd, and cp3 ahead of him. And from 03-08 I'd add Kobe, Duncan and maybe kg too. And shaq

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 10:50 PM
Larry would be great but I wouldn't say best player. I'd still put lbj, kd, and cp3 ahead of him. And from 03-08 I'd add Kobe, Duncan and maybe kg too. And shaq

oh, no, we are on the same page (sort of, he is better than KG and CP3), I am asking you know who to see what his answer is.

freejimmer
04-07-2014, 10:57 PM
For one, it doesn't matter how good you are if you're not given an opportunity. I can guarantee you that Bird would shti on this entire league, but he may not get that chance due to politics. His teammates might become jealous and stop playing hard with Bird getting all the recognition. This sort of thing has gotten worse over time, not better. Sometimes great players never get a chance to shine due to politics. There are players all over the world that could play in this league, but they will never sniff a chance.

Fact is, if given the chance, Bird would absolutely murder this league. He would easily be the best player in the league.

GoldDustTwin
04-07-2014, 10:59 PM
From '03 - '08 Bird and Kobe is the conversation.

Bird's a better rebounder and (much) better passer. Kobe far exceeds Bird as a defender and is a better scorer.
When it comes to "intangibles" you won't find to harder competitors or hard-nosed players.

Duncan, as a C, I can't begin to compare. At least Kobe and Bird are SG/SF which is an easier comp.

I don't see CP3 in the discussion.

ewing
04-07-2014, 11:15 PM
I remember Barkley specifically saying that he looked forward to playing Boston because Bird would usually guard him and he knew he'd have a good night. So yes, guys who worked the post LOVE having Bird defend them. They just did.


If Bird is checking you, guess who are checking. People did not look forward to being matched with Larry Bird. Chuck might have said that in 91 when he won MVP. In bird's prime is was a 6'10 small forward and had two of the longest dudes in the world on the front line with him plus he routinely made guys look foolish on the other end.

ewing
04-07-2014, 11:32 PM
don't confuse the flagrant fouls or random hard fouls with tough defense. The 80's was wide open, score, score, score. The defense today is absolutely better than it was during the 80's. There is no argument to prove otherwise.

I really don't get how people truly believe that today's defense isn't the most sophisticated, well researched and prepared for defenses we have had. And it will only get stronger. People simply confuse hard fouls with "great defense".


That is all true but Larry wasn't kiki vandeweghe. He could play in space or in a phone booth. He would be more crowded and maybe bothered by some of the length but he would draw ton of whistles.

ewing
04-07-2014, 11:37 PM
From '03 - '08 Bird and Kobe is the conversation.

Bird's a better rebounder and (much) better passer. Kobe far exceeds Bird as a defender and is a better scorer.
When it comes to "intangibles" you won't find to harder competitors or hard-nosed players.

Duncan, as a C, I can't begin to compare. At least Kobe and Bird are SG/SF which is an easier comp.

I don't see CP3 in the discussion.


i don't know about that

beyourself
04-07-2014, 11:45 PM
Larry Bird was efficient decades before efficiency became en vouge. He could very well be the top player in the NBA today.

beyourself
04-07-2014, 11:49 PM
From '03 - '08 Bird and Kobe is the conversation.

Bird's a better rebounder and (much) better passer. Kobe far exceeds Bird as a defender and is a better scorer.
When it comes to "intangibles" you won't find to harder competitors or hard-nosed players.

Duncan, as a C, I can't begin to compare. At least Kobe and Bird are SG/SF which is an easier comp.

I don't see CP3 in the discussion.

If you read Phil Jackson's book he exposes Kobe Bryant's game. Including his defense, but he uses Jordan as his comparison which is a tough comparison to stack up favorably to, but I'm not so sure Kobe's on ball defense is that awesome. And I think as an overall player Bird is superior to Kobe.

GoldDustTwin
04-07-2014, 11:52 PM
If Bird is checking you, guess who are checking. People did not look forward to being matched with Larry Bird. Chuck might have said that in 91 when he won MVP. In bird's prime is was a 6'10 small forward and had two of the longest dudes in the world on the front line with him plus he routinely made guys look foolish on the other end.

As usual, Chuck is good for bombast, short or accuracy.

Up until 1986 Bobby Jones would have checked Bird and vice-versa.

After 86, Bird would have guarded Rod Anderson, or whatever stiff was playing SF for the 76'ers. Barkely would have had McHale checking him.

GoldDustTwin
04-07-2014, 11:56 PM
If you read Phil Jackson's book he exposes Kobe Bryant's game. Including his defense, but he uses Jordan as his comparison which is a tough comparison to stack up favorably to, but I'm not so sure Kobe's on ball defense is that awesome. And I think as an overall player Bird is superior to Kobe.

I'm about as big a Bird fan as there is, but if I had to choose Kobe or Bird to check my opponent's 6-7-ish scorer, there's no doubt I use Kobe. Quick, rangy, dirty - two over three on Bird there.

As for Jackson's using Jordan as his comp - everyone, even LBJ - is going to come up short on that comparison.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 11:56 PM
That is all true but Larry wasn't kiki vandeweghe. He could play in space or in a phone booth. He would be more crowded and maybe bothered by some of the length but he would draw ton of whistles.

I don't disagree with that at all. His IQ would have taken advantage of any era.

Hawkeye15
04-07-2014, 11:58 PM
As usual, Chuck is good for bombast, short or accuracy.

Up until 1986 Bobby Jones would have checked Bird and vice-versa.

After 86, Bird would have guarded Rod Anderson, or whatever stiff was playing SF for the 76'ers. Barkely would have had McHale checking him.

exactly

IndyRealist
04-08-2014, 12:41 AM
Well, there's this story:http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/paul-george-talks-time-larry-bird-shooting-form-191723730.html

SLAM: I believe you had talked about seeing Larry shoot in the gym.

PG: He picked a ball up that had rolled over. He rolled up his sleeves and made about 15 in a row and just walked out like nothing just happened. It was the craziest thing Iíve seen.

SLAM: How did you and the rest of the team react?

PG: We were speechless. We didnít know whether to keep shooting or just to end practice. It was sweet, man.

And this anecdote from a fan (not confirmed)

It reminds me of a story from Reggie about Larry being the coach.

And that Larry holds a shooting contest with Bender and Harrington. Which he won easily.
And then those two young profs were astonished, and Reggie couldn't stop laughing because he knew that Larry has been shooting with his wrong hand the whole time.

FlashBolt
04-08-2014, 12:56 AM
I really fear that the way the game is played today and how athletic everyone is that he wouldn't be able to be as good. Some modes fit different players and I just don't think it would be his fit. Would he be a top 5? Probably. Definitely not better than KD or LeBron, though.

IndyRealist
04-08-2014, 01:05 AM
I really fear that the way the game is played today and how athletic everyone is that he wouldn't be able to be as good. Some modes fit different players and I just don't think it would be his fit. Would he be a top 5? Probably. Definitely not better than KD or LeBron, though.

He is 6'10" and was a double digit rebounder for his career. He was a stretch 4 before such a thing existed, and would play PF in today's game instead of SF.

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 01:08 AM
I really fear that the way the game is played today and how athletic everyone is that he wouldn't be able to be as good. Some modes fit different players and I just don't think it would be his fit. Would he be a top 5? Probably. Definitely not better than KD or LeBron, though.

I don't know if he would be on Bron/Durant level, but his athletic ability was so underrated. Offensively, he would have been arguably the best in the game. I just don't know if his defense would have put him with Durant/LeBron. But he would be in the discussion regardless.

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 01:10 AM
and I still feel that if Larry was born in 1988, and played under the more modern game through his development, his offensive efficiency would have risen. Way less long 2's, more 3's, and scoring in the paint and getting to the line.

FlashBolt
04-08-2014, 01:13 AM
He is 6'10" and was a double digit rebounder for his career. He was a stretch 4 before such a thing existed, and would play PF in today's game instead of SF.

Well, I mean it's more-so a different game back then. Pace was quicker for sure. I mean why do you think there's a decrease in rebounding over the years? I highly doubt Rodman/Barkley would be rebounding at that rate in the current era. With the increased three point activity, not many shots would bounce back to the paint. I highly respect Bird because he played with his strengths and if he had a longer career, he might've been a top 5 player but ultimately there are too many factors that will come into effect. It's easy to say this and that but switching a player from one era to another is a challenge.

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 01:15 AM
Well, I mean it's more-so a different game back then. Pace was quicker for sure. I mean why do you think there's a decrease in rebounding over the years? I highly doubt Rodman/Barkley would be rebounding at that rate in the current era. With the increased three point activity, not many shots would bounce back to the paint.

yeah but great rebounders understand how to rebound. Rodman for instance was on record saying he studied every player in the game. He knew the percentages of where their rebounds went. How would that change today?

FlashBolt
04-08-2014, 01:16 AM
yeah but great rebounders understand how to rebound. Rodman for instance was on record saying he studied every player in the game. He knew the percentages of where their rebounds went. How would that change today?

It wouldn't but he wouldn't be grabbing that many rebounds. They played back to the basket much more and when the ball is rolling off the basket, it's much easier to grab boards. You think Wilt would average 30 RPG? Some people truly think he will but we'll never see those rebounding numbers again. The game is just different.

Hawkeye15
04-08-2014, 02:32 AM
It wouldn't but he wouldn't be grabbing that many rebounds. They played back to the basket much more and when the ball is rolling off the basket, it's much easier to grab boards. You think Wilt would average 30 RPG? Some people truly think he will but we'll never see those rebounding numbers again. The game is just different.

no, cause they dont play 130 possessions a game...

amos1er
04-08-2014, 11:52 AM
question. Would he have been the best player, hands down, from 2003-2008?

It would have been between him and Kobe. I can see Larry taking about half of those years and Kobe taking the other half. It would have been one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history. Probly similar to Magic and Larry, though Kobe and Bird are more alike than him and Magic were. Kobe could do more off the dribble, but Larry was a much better shooter... Probly the greatest shooter in NBA history. I always have trouble between where to rank him and kobe on the all time list. IMO they are neck and neck for the 6 and 7 spot. Kobe needs to have a great final run to clearly move ahead of him. Until then it's pretty debatable. Both were iron tough and ultra competitive and would do whatever it takes to win. Both were skilled beyond belief despite not having the athletic gifts of their contemporaries... Though of course Kobe is the better athlete of the two while Larry had the better fundamentals and shot selection. Two of my favorite players for sure. Certainly the two I respect the most next to Michael and Magic.

torocan
04-08-2014, 12:20 PM
It would have been between him and Kobe. I can see Larry taking about half of those years and Kobe taking the other half. It would have been one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history. Probly similar to Magic and Larry, though Kobe and Bird are more alike than him and Magic were. Kobe could do more off the dribble, but Larry was a much better shooter... Probly the greatest shooter in NBA history. I always have trouble between where to rank him and kobe on the all time list. IMO they are neck and neck for the 6 and 7 spot. Kobe needs to have a great final run to clearly move ahead of him. Until then it's pretty debatable. Both were iron tough and ultra competitive and would do whatever it takes to win. Both were skilled beyond belief despite not having the athletic gifts of their contemporaries... Though of course Kobe is the better athlete of the two while Larry had the better fundamentals and shot selection. Two of my favorite players for sure. Certainly the two I respect the most next to Michael and Magic.

I agree. It's super hard to compare Kobe and Larry Bird since they're such different players. Very much an apples to oranges comparison.

On the one hand Kobe's skill set is crazy in terms of versatility. On the other hand Bird's shooting and passing was ridiculous. I see the shots and plays that Bird makes and 20+ years later I still shake my head. People call Marc Gasol and Noah the best passing big men in the current NBA, but then you see Bird and just end up with a lot of "what if's".

If they were really playing in the same era, I'm not sure who's the #1.

I guess it depends on how much you count efficiency... if it counts heavily, then it's really hard to not give the nod to Bird.