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ManRam
07-11-2014, 10:28 AM
Voting for #7 has concluded and PSD's Official #7 NBA Player of all time is....

Hakeem Olajuwan

21.8 PPG | 11.1 RPG | 2.5 AST | .513 FG | 3.1 BPG | 23.59 PER

Achievements:

12 time All-Star
2 NBA Championships
1 Time MVP
2 Time Finals MVP
2 DPOY Awards
6 Time All-NBA First Teamer
5 Time All-NBA Defensive First Teamer
Led in Rebounding 2x
Led in Blocks 3x
Most Blocks Recorded in NBA History for the Season
Most Career Blocks Recorded in Playoff History and Highest Blocks Average

Voting

Hakeem Olajuwon 33
LeBron James 26
Larry Bird 23
Kobe Bryant 20
Bill Russell 4
Oscar Robertson 1
Charles Barkley 1
Kevin Garnett 0
David Robinson 0
Elgin Baylor 0
Karl Malone 0
Moses Malone 0
George Mikan 0
John Stockton 0
Jerry West 0

The List:

1. Michael Jordan (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?868731-PSD-s-Official-1-Player-of-All-Time)
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?868922-PSD-s-Official-2-NBA-Player-of-All-Time)
3. Wilt Chamberlain (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869144-PSD-s-Official-3-Player-of-All-Time)
4. Magic Johnson (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869307-PSD-s-Official-4-Player-of-All-Time)
5. Shaquille O'neal (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869509-PSD-s-Official-5-NBA-Player-of-All-Time)
6. Tim Duncan (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869984-PSD-s-Official-6-NBA-Player-of-All-Time)
7. Hakeem Olajuwan (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870218-PSD-s-Official-7-Player-of-All-Time)


To compensate for the lack of nominations, and some poor ones, in the past I've re-shuffled the list a tad. We didn't need 20 people on this, especially some guys who will go in the late-20s. Nominating will continue to be hugely helpful though, so please keep doing it.

Please vote, explain and nominate...per the usual.

Also, I will start the official Top-50 List thread sometime in the near future for carryover debates. Like this one (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?635088-PSD-s-Top-50-List-of-the-Greatest-NBA-Players-of-All-Time)

ManRam
07-11-2014, 10:29 AM
I think I have to go Russell here. I'm happy he's fallen to a more fair position, but 8 is probably about right. I'm sure the Kobe/LeBron crowd will steal all the votes, again. But Kobe absolutely isn't above Russell, and Lebron still has some work to do. But I'm gonna let it all marinate before I vote.

InRoseWeTrust
07-11-2014, 10:37 AM
The fact that Hakeem lasted until 7 is just wrong.

XpLiCiTT
07-11-2014, 10:55 AM
The fact that Hakeem lasted until 7 is just wrong.

The fact that Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James are going after him is just wrong.

chi-townlove1
07-11-2014, 10:59 AM
I'm just looking at this. Omg I can't believe your all so naive to vote shaq anywhere near the top 20 players of all time. He was a TERRIBLE fundamental basketball played. He was big. That's it. You can't stop him because he was just born as a massive man. That doesn't make him a good basketball player. Unbelievable how ludicrous this is. Shaq should have fouled out in the first half of every game he played in.

XpLiCiTT
07-11-2014, 11:04 AM
I'm just looking at this. Omg I can't believe your all so naive to vote shaq anywhere near the top 20 players of all time. He was a TERRIBLE fundamental basketball played. He was big. That's it. You can't stop him because he was just born as a massive man. That doesn't make him a good basketball player. Unbelievable how ludicrous this is. Shaq should have fouled out in the first half of every game he played in.


I'm gonna assume you're just kidding.

chi-townlove1
07-11-2014, 11:09 AM
I'm just looking at this. Omg I can't believe your all so naive to vote shaq anywhere near the top 20 players of all time. He was a TERRIBLE fundamental basketball played. He was big. That's it. You can't stop him because he was just born as a massive man. That doesn't make him a good basketball player. Unbelievable how ludicrous this is. Shaq should have fouled out in the first half of every game he played in.


I'm gonna assume you're just kidding.

Not at all. I can name AT LEAST 15 players that I would take before Shaquille. Just my opinion.

ThuglifeJ
07-11-2014, 11:11 AM
Pathetic. Pathetic pathetic pathetic. BIRD should have gone 3rd, 5 or 6 latest. Absolute garbage by PSD he's not even picked at possibly 8 yet.

Solidifies my belief in him being the most underrated player on this site.

Lol lebron and Kobe voting too since 1 spot. Ruining this list for good

XpLiCiTT
07-11-2014, 11:13 AM
Not at all. I can name AT LEAST 15 players that I would take before Shaquille. Just my opinion.

Name them.

ManRam
07-11-2014, 11:14 AM
I'm just looking at this. Omg I can't believe your all so naive to vote shaq anywhere near the top 20 players of all time. He was a TERRIBLE fundamental basketball played. He was big. That's it. You can't stop him because he was just born as a massive man. That doesn't make him a good basketball player. Unbelievable how ludicrous this is. Shaq should have fouled out in the first half of every game he played in.

It doesn't matter how you're good, it just matters that you are. Doesn't matter to me if you're getting by on skill, talent, size, strength, athleticism or whatever combination of it. Results and production are all that matters.

And the foul thing is a joke. The guy got clobbered on offense all the time...and just because he was so big it was often let go.

You can take your 15 skilled guys over Shaq, but I'll take Shaq and he'll still destroy most of them. And if it's purely because of his massive size (it wasn't solely because of that) so be it.

SLY WILLIAMS
07-11-2014, 11:25 AM
Pathetic. Pathetic pathetic pathetic. BIRD should have gone 3rd, 5 or 6 latest. Absolute garbage by PSD he's not even picked at possibly 8 yet.

Solidifies my belief in him being the most underrated player on this site.

Lol lebron and Kobe voting too since 1 spot. Ruining this list for good

I have given up trying to explain to people how ridiculous the Bird voting is. I just assume it reflects the age of many PSD posters, misconceptions about Bird's abilities, and a lack of posters that saw him play in his prime. That is why I find the Magic pick at #4 interesting. The irony for me is as a Knicks fan I absolutely hated Bird but his greatness is undeniable for people that watched him play in his prime or people that played against him. He could dominate games without scoring because he was such a great rebounder, and passer. He also was a pretty good defender despite some misconceptions. He could score inside and outside. He could score with both hands. He literally showed that by playing a game by shooting left handed. He was arguably one of the 2 clutchest players of all time and probably the most fearless player of all time. His compete level was off the charts.

valade16
07-11-2014, 11:28 AM
Pathetic. Pathetic pathetic pathetic. BIRD should have gone 3rd, 5 or 6 latest. Absolute garbage by PSD he's not even picked at possibly 8 yet.

Solidifies my belief in him being the most underrated player on this site.

Lol lebron and Kobe voting too since 1 spot. Ruining this list for good

Agreed. No way should Magic be that much higher than him. He won 3 STRAIGHT MVPs.

Ridiculous he's so low.

FlashBolt
07-11-2014, 11:33 AM
Probably going down to Bron vs Bird on this one. I'm still bothered by Kobe being on this list still. You would think his longevity would take him to top 5. How many points is he away from being the third all time scorer?

ThuglifeJ
07-11-2014, 11:49 AM
Pathetic. Pathetic pathetic pathetic. BIRD should have gone 3rd, 5 or 6 latest. Absolute garbage by PSD he's not even picked at possibly 8 yet.

Solidifies my belief in him being the most underrated player on this site.

Lol lebron and Kobe voting too since 1 spot. Ruining this list for good

I have given up trying to explain to people how ridiculous the Bird voting is. I just assume it reflects the age of many PSD posters, misconceptions about Bird's abilities, and a lack of posters that saw him play in his prime. That is why I find the Magic pick at #4 interesting. The irony for me is as a Knicks fan I absolutely hated Bird but his greatness is undeniable for people that watched him play in his prime or people that played against him. He could dominate games without scoring because he was such a great rebounder, and passer. He also was a pretty good defender despite some misconceptions. He could score inside and outside. He could score with both hands. He literally showed that by playing a game by shooting left handed. He was arguably one of the 2 clutchest players of all time and probably the most fearless player of all time. His compete level was off the charts.

Yup. It makes me almost embarrassed to have an account here!

chi-townlove1
07-11-2014, 12:00 PM
Not at all. I can name AT LEAST 15 players that I would take before Shaquille. Just my opinion.

Name them.




Not at all. I can name AT LEAST 15 players that I would take before Shaquille. Just my opinion.

Name them.



Not at all. I can name AT LEAST 15 players that I would take before Shaquille. Just my opinion.

Name them.

Jordan
Bird
Kareem
Hakeem
Wilt
Kobe
Lebron
Magic
Tim Duncan
Oscar
Bill Russell
Garnett
Robinson
Karl Malone
Julius Erving
Dirk

FlashBolt
07-11-2014, 12:04 PM
Jordan
Bird
Kareem
Hakeem
Wilt
Kobe
Lebron
Magic
Tim Duncan
Oscar
Bill Russell
Garnett
Robinson
Karl Malone
Julius Erving
Dirk

I'll let some slide because of their reputation but what the hell? Garnett, Erving, Dirk? Those are absolutely no-no's... Shaq wasn't great because he had skill or talent. He was great because he was just bigger, stronger, and more ruthless than everyone else. How he got it doesn't make it any less valuable.

Chronz
07-11-2014, 12:06 PM
Why should Bird go in before Kobe? What does he have on him ?

chi-townlove1
07-11-2014, 12:14 PM
Jordan
Bird
Kareem
Hakeem
Wilt
Kobe
Lebron
Magic
Tim Duncan
Oscar
Bill Russell
Garnett
Robinson
Karl Malone
Julius Erving
Dirk

I'll let some slide because of their reputation but what the hell? Garnett, Erving, Dirk? Those are absolutely no-no's... Shaq wasn't great because he had skill or talent. He was great because he was just bigger, stronger, and more ruthless than everyone else. How he got it doesn't make it any less valuable.


So you can make a case for shaq as top 15. But top 6 or whatever it was. Come on people

ManRam
07-11-2014, 12:14 PM
Yup. It makes me almost embarrassed to have an account here!

Hey. No one is asking you to stay!

FlashBolt
07-11-2014, 12:19 PM
So you can make a case for shaq as top 15. But top 6 or whatever it was. Come on people

Not understanding you here. I think Shaq is placed a couple of more spots than he should be in but he's certainly easily top 8... and that is not even worth debating. To say you can choose 15 players you'd take over Shaq is some James Dolan level of horrible decisions.

chi-townlove1
07-11-2014, 12:20 PM
Lol then call me James Dolan

Bruno
07-11-2014, 12:58 PM
Kobe.

Longhornfan1234
07-11-2014, 01:06 PM
This has to be a joke. Bird has a top 5 peak. He won three MVPS and won three rings as the man in the GOAT era and GOAT coference.

KnicksorBust
07-11-2014, 01:11 PM
Kobe Bryant.

5× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2009–2010)
2× NBA Finals MVP (2009–2010)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
16× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2014)
11× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)
2× All-NBA Second Team (2000–2001)
2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003–2004, 2006–2011)
3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001–2002, 2012)
2× NBA scoring champion (2006–2007)

Look at that resume. He has the 2nd most all-star games behind only Kareem. He is tied with Kareem for most All-NBA selections and tied for the most all-nba 1st teams. He is 2nd most all-time in NBA All-Defensive teams. He is 4th all-time in scoring and will pass MJ this season. He has 5 NBA Titles. He's done it all from playing 2nd option, to leading a team of scrubs to respectability, to being the alpha dog of two title teams. He's got the rings, he's got the longevity, it's time for Kobe Bryant.

KnicksorBust
07-11-2014, 01:12 PM
sidenote: my gut says the LeBron wave will swing this vote...

JLynn943
07-11-2014, 01:26 PM
So you can make a case for shaq as top 15. But top 6 or whatever it was. Come on people

If this was a most skilled players list, he'd be lower for sure, but it's not. It's not like he was only size and strength (even if that was a huge piece of it). At the very least, you're shorting him on his passing ability.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 01:52 PM
If this was a most skilled players list, he'd be lower for sure, but it's not. It's not like he was only size and strength (even if that was a huge piece of it). At the very least, you're shorting him on his passing ability.

Hey JLynn943,
What clinches it for me about Shaq is how he utterly manhandled TWO OF THE TOP 20 GUYS EVER: TD & DRob - he DOMINATED THEM REPEATEDLY. (Sure he had tons of help from Kobe being on the floor; but, down in the trenches those two all-time greats could NOT stop him at all AND, he, relatively, did stop them.

People also fail to mention his quickness - he could really move!

Could he have done more, much more, with his physical gifts? ABSOLUTELY. The guy, imo, BLEW his chance to be GOAT 1A or 1B (if only he had come into each season in shape!; AND have stayed with Kobe. That team would have won 6-8 Chips in 10 Years; Shaq would have gotten the first 4 fMVP's and Kobe the remaining ones; and THE debate would be just between the two of them!)

Still, Shaq was THE most dominant guy since Wilt. And he was that at the toughest position for a very long time!

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 01:58 PM
Kobe Bryant.

5× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2009–2010)
2× NBA Finals MVP (2009–2010)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
16× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2014)
11× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)
2× All-NBA Second Team (2000–2001)
2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003–2004, 2006–2011)
3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001–2002, 2012)
2× NBA scoring champion (2006–2007)

Look at that resume. He has the 2nd most all-star games behind only Kareem. He is tied with Kareem for most All-NBA selections and tied for the most all-nba 1st teams. He is 2nd most all-time in NBA All-Defensive teams. He is 4th all-time in scoring and will pass MJ this season. He has 5 NBA Titles. He's done it all from playing 2nd option, to leading a team of scrubs to respectability, to being the alpha dog of two title teams. He's got the rings, he's got the longevity, it's time for Kobe Bryant.

Hey KnicksorBust,
My heart says Kobe (only KAJ beats Kobe's "never-ending" 15-year PRIME, TD ties it); but my conscience says:
LeBron James

LeBron ALREADY has as many Great Years as MJ, Bird, Magic, and everybody else left on this list NOT named Karl Malone or Kobe Bryant. (Well he may be one-short of a couple of guys; but then ...)

LeBron's PEAK IS STILL ON! His run of 4 MVPs in 5 years speaks a bit to this. For me, though I emphasize LONG-LASTING PRIMES, his near 10-year PEAK trumps Kobe's amazing 15-year PRIME, and Bird's PEAK+Career, and Hakeem - who was only the best in the League at Center 6 times; LeBron's got 8 ALL-NBA 1st-Teams already.

LeBron IS THE MOST COMPLETE PLAYER OF ALL-TIME. His offensive game continues to expand towards utter perfection. His D makes him the closest ever to being able to defend 4.5 positions (all but the best Centers). His BBIQ, and his Teamwork are in my GOAT Top 5 TEAM-work list.

P.S. I know this is 0% germaine to this thread; but I BET that this coming year gets LeBron his 5th MVP in 7 years (rivaling, if not beating, any 7 year stretch ever); and ENDS any debate (except for those dominated by irrational hate) about him belonging in the GOAT Top 5.

ThuglifeJ
07-11-2014, 02:02 PM
This has to be a joke. Bird has a top 5 peak. He won three MVPS and won three rings as the man in the GOAT era and GOAT coference.

You can argue him ANYWHERE on the top of the top of the list. Even 1 cuz you can claim he was a better player than MJ . dudes so underrated on here its sad. I voted him 3rd and figured no way he'd drop past 5... Especially after Magic got voted they usually go hand In hand



#voteBird

ThuglifeJ
07-11-2014, 02:05 PM
Yup. It makes me almost embarrassed to have an account here!

Hey. No one is asking you to stay!

Hey thatd be easier for you wouldnt it? Not having another person around here who challenges your pretentious bs.


I garuntee all your professors said on your papers to stop using big filler words to sound smarter

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 02:08 PM
Why should Bird go in before Kobe? What does he have on him ?

Hey High Horse,
I marveled at his "totality" of work-ethic and TEAM-play through-out his career. But Bird's got NOTHING on Kobe, nothing!

jerellh528
07-11-2014, 02:10 PM
Maybe now that lebron has chose cleveland, all the fake miami fans will stop voting for him until the last spot at earliest.

ricky recon
07-11-2014, 02:14 PM
Pathetic. Pathetic pathetic pathetic. BIRD should have gone 3rd, 5 or 6 latest. Absolute garbage by PSD he's not even picked at possibly 8 yet.

Solidifies my belief in him being the most underrated player on this site.

Lol lebron and Kobe voting too since 1 spot. Ruining this list for good


I have given up trying to explain to people how ridiculous the Bird voting is. I just assume it reflects the age of many PSD posters, misconceptions about Bird's abilities, and a lack of posters that saw him play in his prime. That is why I find the Magic pick at #4 interesting. The irony for me is as a Knicks fan I absolutely hated Bird but his greatness is undeniable for people that watched him play in his prime or people that played against him. He could dominate games without scoring because he was such a great rebounder, and passer. He also was a pretty good defender despite some misconceptions. He could score inside and outside. He could score with both hands. He literally showed that by playing a game by shooting left handed. He was arguably one of the 2 clutchest players of all time and probably the most fearless player of all time. His compete level was off the charts.

It is so puzzling indeed.

It's almost racist to an extent.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 02:18 PM
Voting for #7 has concluded and PSD's Official #6 NBA Player of all time is....

Hakeem Olajuwan

21.8 PPG | 11.1 RPG | 2.5 AST | .513 FG | 3.1 BPG | 23.59 PER

Achievements:

12 time All-Star
2 NBA Championships
1 Time MVP
2 Time Finals MVP
2 DPOY Awards
6 Time All-NBA First Teamer
5 Time All-NBA Defensive First Teamer
Led in Rebounding 2x
Led in Blocks 3x
Most Blocks Recorded in NBA History for the Season
Most Career Blocks Recorded in Playoff History and Highest Blocks Average

Voting

Hakeem Olajuwon 33
LeBron James 26
Larry Bird 23
Kobe Bryant 20
Bill Russell 4
Oscar Robertson 1
Charles Barkley 1
Kevin Garnett 0
David Robinson 0
Elgin Baylor 0
Karl Malone 0
Moses Malone 0
George Mikan 0
John Stockton 0
Jerry West 0

The List:

1. Michael Jordan (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?868731-PSD-s-Official-1-Player-of-All-Time)
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?868922-PSD-s-Official-2-NBA-Player-of-All-Time)
3. Wilt Chamberlain (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869144-PSD-s-Official-3-Player-of-All-Time)
4. Magic Johnson (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869307-PSD-s-Official-4-Player-of-All-Time)
5. Shaquille O'neal (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869509-PSD-s-Official-5-NBA-Player-of-All-Time)
6. Tim Duncan (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?869984-PSD-s-Official-6-NBA-Player-of-All-Time)
7. Hakeem Olajuwan (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870218-PSD-s-Official-7-Player-of-All-Time)


To compensate for the lack of nominations, and some poor ones, in the past I've re-shuffled the list a tad. We didn't need 20 people on this, especially some guys who will go in the late-20s. Nominating will continue to be hugely helpful though, so please keep doing it.

Please vote, explain and nominate...per the usual.

Also, I will start the official Top-50 List thread sometime in the near future for carryover debates. Like this one (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?635088-PSD-s-Top-50-List-of-the-Greatest-NBA-Players-of-All-Time)

Hey ManRam,
Fine Work You've Been Doing So Far In THESE GOAT Threads

There are so many aspects / examples of fine work, especially on such a contentious subject.
You've been fair, guided a decent minimum; adjusted (for example, after the first few threads, lengthening the time each of thread gets - these top ones DO deserve considerably more time than the lower ones will).

Two "criticisms":
1) I'd avoid anything provocative (paraphrased: "no one will miss you"); seeing as you're both OP (for a whole series of threads) and NOT mod. Keeps you "above" the battle (though you certainly have every right to post your own opinions; most of which, btw, have been quite knowledgeable imo.)

2) Please put Elgin Baylor back in the Poll. I don't care about the apparent fact that he won't get voted IN until the 20s; he was a Great Great player (I have him in around GOAT#16 .) The Big "O" considers him the GOAT, imagine that. I've recently seen a video of him - what a brain-full of memories came back. He invented Hang-Time (in the video they correctly explain HOW he did it - he not only hung where nobody before him ever had, but he had tremendous arm and WRIST strength, so, after the other guy(s) had "touched down", he was still in the air and able to flick the ball up and in. He was an absolutely transcendental talent.

Many experts have him EASILY in the GOAT Top 20. imo, he was the 4th best guy of the 60's, almost but not-quite equal to West and "O"; but FAR MORE COMPLETE than Russell.

Elgin Baylor video, LINK:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjNS_oYE92E
Title: Elgin Baylor - Most Underrated Player in NBA History
From: WiltChamberlainArchive YouTube Channel (imo, THE Best Video Presentations of NBA Greats)

RocketLoc80
07-11-2014, 02:35 PM
Maybe now that lebron has chose cleveland, all the fake miami fans will stop voting for him until the last spot at earliest.

Stop it please you are a herd man you should be banned just like amos1er

jerellh528
07-11-2014, 02:37 PM
Stop it please you are a herd man you should be banned just like amos1er

what's a "herd man"?

KnicksorBust
07-11-2014, 02:41 PM
null

This is the second straight thread someone tried to convince me LeBron is better bc of a hypothetical. Do I think he will win a 5th MVP and make more all-nba teams? Sure and when he does I will move him up. But for now I can only go one what has actually happened.

Chronz
07-11-2014, 02:45 PM
A few thoughts, because we are talking about the very best in history, you have to nitpick on something in order to justify any ranking. Accolades, stats and rings are all fun to look at but ultimately, we aren't just voting for the most decorated player, but the one we feel got the most out of his situation. Someone who won just enough to offset certain disadvantages elsewhere.
That means we dont just look at the raw accumulation of these things, we have to look at how all these players fared in similar situations whenever possible. For Bird, Im focusing on his playoff resume.








Case against Bird

The case here is simple, he came into the league at a late age, declined at an early one, the guy really only had a few years that are worth mentioning in an All-Time sense (nitpicking, remember). Not so much because they were epic years but because many of his seasons ended in disappointing fashion. By that I dont mean its because his team didn't win it all, I never hold the teams ultimate success on 1 player, I only gauge his individual performance as best I can. And I truly believe Bird was capable of being locked down more than any star on this list. But I also feel hes the one player who best helps his teammates offensively even when hes not producing. So its a hard thing to gauge but hear me out.



With Bird, we can break down his career into 3 neat segments. His ascension, his peak and his subsequent injury ridden years.






1. The Comeback years (1989-1992)
You can toss everything he accomplished after age 31, out of the debate. His return from injury to All-Star form for about 2.6 seasons was in itself impressive, but thats like pointing out Shaq's years after Miami as some sort of distinguishing factor. We expect these great players to not only play at a high level, but sustain it for an impressive duration. Im starting at the end of his career because it clearly cuts his legacy making time down to age 23-31. Hes got 9 years to let his game do the talking.

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.6 Usage% , 110 ORTG (.150WS48)
Playoffs: 22.8 Usage%, 110 ORTG (.084WS48)
Accolades:
1 All-NBA 2nd Team , 3-All-Star Selections



2.The Ascension (1980-1983)

His rookie season was impressive, he himself wasn't overly productive but his team had a massive turnaround. These were the years where he was much more active on defense and was a master at doubling post players. However, keep in mind he was a 23 year old rookie, his tremendous regular season ended with a humbling performance and an *** whoopin by Doctor J. Its usually downplayed by Bird supporters as the growing pains of a rookie, but its still a weakness not shared by many others here, including Magic, who at a younger age, wound up having that historic game 7 against the very same team that limited Bird to 12PTS(5-19) in his elimination game 5. Bird's team had HCA but no one will doubt that the Sixers had the better roster overall so you cant hold this too much against Bird, just pointing out that he didn't thrive despite those odds. This is what I call, a regular season chapter, as in, the noteworthy events all came in the regular season. Which is fine but something to keep tabs on depending on the performance/competition.

-1




YEAR 2 was a championship winning season, the addition of Robert Parish put a contender over the top. People will see that Bird was their best player and assume he led them as such but this wasn't peak Bird yet people. This wasn't the kind of championship run that puts a stamp on a players legacy, its sort of like how Duncan won his most recent championship. I know Bird was the best player on his team, but Kobe Bryant was arguably more impressive as a #2 in some of his Shaq runs. It was honestly a down year for the NBA, the Lakers imploded because of Magic and the Celtics added the playoffs most productive player (an MVP in his own right) in Parish and while Bird set the table for him, Cedrix Maxwell was the Finals MVP, point being, he had plenty of help. Coach Bill Fitch felt Parish was his teams MVP. This still gos down as one of Bird's better overall playoff years, so for the sake of the argument lets say this is the beginning of what I call his "Distinguishing years".

+1





Y3+Y4 ....
Were disasters for Bird. He was clearly improving as a player, he was far more assertive in taking over his teams offense, be it getting to the line or creating more for others, statistically speaking both his usage and efficiency were increasing. The Celtics added more talent (namely, one Kevin McHale) so the team itself was far superior to even the year priors. But the playoffs rolled around and the team couldn't replicate its success and Bird himself struggled to produce.

He averaged 18.3PPG on 41% shooting vs the Sixers in his 7 game series defeat and wasn't much better the following year in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee. I say 3 games because Bird missed a game(fever), which just so happened to be the closest game of the series. If your the type to make excuses, some key Celtics were in full blown tank mode. Bill Fitch had worn out his welcome and the "Ditch the Fitch" campaign began. Still, these 2 years were negative marks on Bird's "Playoff Resume". Both he and his teams underachieved given their talent/health. A rare combination that doesn't matter as much as actual successes but should still be considered. This was around the time when people started to criticize Bird. He took only 5 shots in the 2nd half of his G7 loss to Philly, kept saying he could contribute in other ways (like he had done the year prior).

-2

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.0 Usage% , 111 ORTG (.192WS48)
Playoffs: 23.6 Usage%, 105 ORTG (.166WS48)
Accolades:
4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 1 Ring






3.The Peak (1984-1988)

I hope by now I've some what convinced you that of the 8 years detailed in the 2 sections above, only 1 really stands out in a historical sense and even that would be putting it kindly.

When people make Bird's case, these are the years they hang their argument on, this is not only Bird at his absolute statistical best, but the years he began to rack up MVP's and Finals MVP's.


Year 5 was Bird's breakout season, his first RS MVP but the performance he put up in the playoffs is truly one of the best of All-Time. There really is very little that needs to be said, while it only counts as a +1 here, its obviously much more legacy stamping than that. Which is something I'll address at the end of this career synopsis.

+1



Year 6 Bird makes the Finals again, but his performance isn't up to sniff. In the year prior and after this one, Bird pretty much dominate everyone in sight, but he shot 40% in the Final 8 games of the post season, the reason is his own damn fault. He got into a bar fight with Mike Harlow and injured his hand enough to hurt his shooting touch. To some of you its a result of injury, but in Classic Bird fashion, the man owns up to the mistake. He hurt his team with his decision, but most people will be dismissive of this sort of struggle when compared to stars choking . In his defense tho, Bird played much better than he had in his prior struggles.

Year 7 is a carbon copy of Y5, except that the Celtics are even more stacked (adding 6MOY Bill Walton, in his final productive campaign) and Bird does what we expect of stars handling a smaller burden, he lights you up more efficiently than he ever has before and the Celtics win in far more convincing fashion as a result. This would be the last MVP season.

+1





Year 8 didn't end with a championship, but it was probably the teams most heroic run yet. The entire team was banged up, and the path to the Finals itself was arduous. They met a vastly healthier and completely rested/untested Lakers team. They pushed them to 6 games, but Bird was rather pedestrian in the Finals.

+1(For the effort alone)






Year 9 was Bird's most grueling, he had never carried a team throughout a regular season like he had this year. In fact, its the only year in which his usage% goes above 30% but his efficiency doesn't suffer for it, statistically, it a was arguably his finest season. The Celtics are top team but its based on the fact that KC Jones drove his starters to the ground. Bird's playoff showing was absolutely embarrassing, his teams held leads into the 4th of every game vs Detroit but they couldn't get over his no shows. After an impressive duel vs Nique in the Semis, Bird shot 35% vs Detroit for less than 20PPG. He admitted to being tired, so how you grade this season depends on how much weight you give to an inhuman regular season load and how consistent you are for other players in similar situations.

Year 10 INJURED



Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 28.1 Usage% , 119 ORTG (.237WS48)
Playoffs: 25.6 Usage%, 118 ORTG (.191WS48)
Accolades:
3MVP's, 2FMVP's, 4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 2 Rings





So out of 13 seasons, the final 4 were inconsequential, 3 of his first 4 were pretty much par for the course seasons of any great player (the 1 championship being rather pedestrian as well). Then during that 5 year peak run, he was a very inconsistent playoff performer due to various reasons.

Statistically speaking (yes I know, stats arent everything) Bird really only had about 5 great playoff runs as an individual, 2 of which were ultimately hindered by injuries, so only 3 really great runs (his championship runs).


So any vote for Bird has to be acknowledged as a vote for regular season supremacy, because if we look solely at a regular season peak run, Bird ranks very highly. I just hope you guys are as forgiving to other stars in their playoff lapses.

RocketLoc80
07-11-2014, 02:48 PM
A few thoughts, because we are talking about the very best in history, you have to nitpick on something in order to justify any ranking. Accolades, stats and rings are all fun to look at but ultimately, we aren't just voting for the most decorated player, but the one we feel got the most out of his situation. Someone who won just enough to offset certain disadvantages elsewhere.
That means we dont just look at the raw accumulation of these things, we have to look at how all these players fared in similar situations whenever possible.








Case against Bird

The case here is simple, he came into the league at a late age, declined at an early one, the guy really only had a few years that are worth mentioning in an All-Time sense (nitpicking, remember). Not so much because they were epic years but because many of his seasons ended in disappointing fashion. By that I dont mean its because his team didn't win it all, I never hold the teams ultimate success on 1 player, I only gauge his individual performance as best I can. And I truly believe Bird was capable of being locked down more than any star on this list. But I also feel hes the one player who best helps his teammates offensively even when hes not producing. So its a hard thing to gauge but hear me out.



With Bird, we can break down his career into 3 neat segments. His ascension, his peak and his subsequent injury ridden years.






1. The Comeback years (1989-1992)
You can toss everything he accomplished after age 31, out of the debate. His return from injury to All-Star form for about 2.6 seasons was in itself impressive, but thats like pointing out Shaq's years after Miami as some sort of distinguishing factor. We expect these great players to not only play at a high level, but sustain it for an impressive duration. Im starting at the end of his career because it clearly cuts his legacy making time down to age 23-31. Hes got 9 years to let his game do the talking.

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.6 Usage% , 110 ORTG (.150WS48)
Playoffs: 22.8 Usage%, 110 ORTG (.084WS48)
Accolades:
1 All-NBA 2nd Team , 3-All-Star Selections



2.The Ascension (1980-1983)

His rookie season was impressive, he himself wasn't overly productive but his team had a massive turnaround. These were the years where he was much more active on defense and was a master at doubling post players. However, keep in mind he was a 23 year old rookie, his tremendous regular season ended with a humbling performance and an *** whoopin by Doctor J. Its usually downplayed by Bird supporters as the growing pains of a rookie, but its still a weakness not shared by many others here, including Magic, who at a younger age, wound up having that historic game 7 against the very same team that limited Bird to 12PTS(5-19) in his elimination game 5. Bird's team had HCA but no one will doubt that the Sixers had the better roster overall so you cant hold this too much against Bird, just pointing out that he didn't thrive despite those odds. This is what I call, a regular season chapter, as in, the noteworthy events all came in the regular season. Which is fine but something to keep tabs on depending on the performance/competition.





YEAR 2 was a championship winning season, the addition of Robert Parish put a contender over the top. People will see that Bird was their best player and assume he led them as such but this wasn't peak Bird yet people. This wasn't the kind of championship run that puts a stamp on a players legacy, its sort of like how Duncan won his most recent championship. I know Bird was the best player on his team, but Kobe Bryant was arguably more impressive as a #2 in some of his Shaq runs. It was honestly a down year for the NBA, the Lakers imploded because of Magic and the Celtics added the playoffs most productive player (an MVP in his own right) in Parish and while Bird set the table for him, Cedrix Maxwell was the Finals MVP, point being, he had plenty of help. Coach Bill Fitch felt Parish was his teams MVP. This still gos down as one of Bird's better overall playoff years, so for the sake of the argument lets say this is the beginning of what I call his "Distinguishing years".

+1





Y3+Y4 ....
Were disasters for Bird. He was clearly improving as a player, he was far more assertive in taking over his teams offense, be it getting to the line or creating more for others, statistically speaking both his usage and efficiency were increasing. The Celtics added more talent (namely, one Kevin McHale) so the team itself was far superior to even the year priors. But the playoffs rolled around and the team couldn't replicate its success and Bird himself struggled to produce.

He averaged 18.3PPG on 41% shooting vs the Sixers in his 7 game series defeat and wasn't much better the following year in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee. I say 3 games because Bird missed a game(fever), which just so happened to be the closest game of the series. If your the type to make excuses, some key Celtics were in full blown tank mode. Bill Fitch had worn out his welcome and the "Ditch the Fitch" campaign began. Still, these 2 years were negative marks on Bird's "Playoff Resume". Both he and his teams underachieved given their talent/health. A rare combination that doesn't matter as much as actual successes but should still be considered. This was around the time when people started to criticize Bird. He took only 5 shots in the 2nd half of his G7 loss to Philly, kept saying he could contribute in other ways (like he had done the year prior).

-2

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.0 Usage% , 111 ORTG (.192WS48)
Playoffs: 23.6 Usage%, 105 ORTG (.166WS48)
Accolades:
4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 1 Ring






3.The Peak (1984-1988)

I hope by now I've some what convinced you that of the 7 years detailed in the 2 sections above, only 1 really stands out in a historical sense and even that would be putting it kindly.

When people make Bird's case, these are the years they hang their argument on, this is not only Bird at his absolute statistical best, but the years he began to rack up MVP's and Finals MVP's.


Year 5 was Bird's breakout season, his first RS MVP but the performance he put up in the playoffs is truly one of the best of All-Time. There really is very little that needs to be said, while it only counts as a +1 here, its obviously much more legacy stamping than that. Which is something I'll address at the end of this career synopsis.

+1



Year 6 Bird makes the Finals again, but his performance isn't up to sniff. In the year prior and after this one, Bird pretty much dominate everyone in sight, but he shot 40% in the Final 8 games of the post season, the reason is his own damn fault. He got into a bar fight with Mike Harlow and injured his hand enough to hurt his shooting touch. To some of you its a result of injury, but in Classic Bird fashion, the man owns up to the mistake. He hurt his team with his decision, but most people will be dismissive of this sort of struggle when compared to stars choking . In his defense tho, Bird played much better than he had in his prior struggles.

Year 7 is a carbon copy of Y5, except that the Celtics are even more stacked (adding 6MOY Bill Walton, in his final productive campaign) and Bird does what we expect of stars handling a smaller burden, he lights you up more efficiently than he ever has before and the Celtics win in far more convincing fashion as a result. This would be the last MVP season.

+1





Year 8 didn't end with a championship, but it was probably the teams most heroic run yet. The entire team was banged up, and the path to the Finals itself was arduous. They met a vastly healthier and completely rested/untested Lakers team. They pushed them to 6 games, but Bird was rather pedestrian in the Finals.

+1(For the effort alone)






Year 9 was Bird's most grueling, he had never carried a team throughout a regular season like he had this year. In fact, its the only year in which his usage% goes above 30% but his efficiency doesn't suffer for it, statistically, it a was arguably his finest season. The Celtics are top team but its based on the fact that KC Jones drove his starters to the ground. Bird's playoff showing was absolutely embarrassing, his teams held leads into the 4th of every game vs Detroit but they couldn't get over his no shows. After an impressive duel vs Nique in the Semis, Bird shot 35% vs Detroit for less than 20PPG. He admitted to being tired, so how you grade this season depends on how much weight you give to an inhuman regular season load and how consistent you are for other players in similar situations.

Year 10 INJURED



Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 28.1 Usage% , 119 ORTG (.237WS48)
Playoffs: 25.6 Usage%, 118 ORTG (.191WS48)
Accolades:
3MVP's, 2FMVP's, 4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 2 Rings





So out of 13 seasons, the final 4 were inconsequential, 3 of his first 4 were pretty much par for the course seasons of any great player (the 1 championship being rather pedestrian as well). Then during that 5 year peak run, he was a very inconsistent playoff performer due to various reasons.

Statistically speaking (yes I know, stats arent everything) Bird really only had about 5 great playoff runs as an individual, 2 of which were ultimately hindered by injuries, so only 3 really great runs (his championship runs).


So any vote for Bird has to be acknowledged as a vote for regular season supremacy, because if we look solely at a regular season peak run, Bird ranks very highly. I just hope you guys are as forgiving to other stars in their playoff lapses.


Who are you going for number 8

Chronz
07-11-2014, 03:01 PM
Who are you going for number 8
Kobe. Dont see why I would take anyone else.

Bron, Bird, Russ are in the next tier that I cant decide from. Bron should shoot up this list very quickly for me, I could see why many feel he should have gone already. I just dont think hes separated himself enough outside of regular season exploits and a 2-4 dominant playoff runs. Hes right there tho, which is impressive considering hes still enjoying his prime/tail end of his peak. Its gonna be much harder to make the next pick once Kobe is off the board.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 03:02 PM
Hey High Horse,
This post of yours is:
Probably THE Most Remarkable Post I've Seen In My First Full PSD Year. WOW !

I am just absolutely stunned by your "work", your analysis, here. I loved Bird from before he entered the League; because of his previous MONSTER year & how he battled TWO great college players (Magic &, iirc, Kessler) so WORTHILY. I was SO looking forward to continued battles between the two guys' opposite-coast teams - and he and they never disappointed.

What you describe here is a virtual exact replica of my "eye-test" of the Great Bird.
BRAVO!


A few thoughts, because we are talking about the very best in history, you have to nitpick on something in order to justify any ranking. Accolades, stats and rings are all fun to look at but ultimately, we aren't just voting for the most decorated player, but the one we feel got the most out of his situation. Someone who won just enough to offset certain disadvantages elsewhere.
That means we dont just look at the raw accumulation of these things, we have to look at how all these players fared in similar situations whenever possible.








Case against Bird

The case here is simple, he came into the league at a late age, declined at an early one, the guy really only had a few years that are worth mentioning in an All-Time sense (nitpicking, remember). Not so much because they were epic years but because many of his seasons ended in disappointing fashion. By that I dont mean its because his team didn't win it all, I never hold the teams ultimate success on 1 player, I only gauge his individual performance as best I can. And I truly believe Bird was capable of being locked down more than any star on this list. But I also feel hes the one player who best helps his teammates offensively even when hes not producing. So its a hard thing to gauge but hear me out.



With Bird, we can break down his career into 3 neat segments. His ascension, his peak and his subsequent injury ridden years.






1. The Comeback years (1989-1992)
You can toss everything he accomplished after age 31, out of the debate. His return from injury to All-Star form for about 2.6 seasons was in itself impressive, but thats like pointing out Shaq's years after Miami as some sort of distinguishing factor. We expect these great players to not only play at a high level, but sustain it for an impressive duration. Im starting at the end of his career because it clearly cuts his legacy making time down to age 23-31. Hes got 9 years to let his game do the talking.

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.6 Usage% , 110 ORTG (.150WS48)
Playoffs: 22.8 Usage%, 110 ORTG (.084WS48)
Accolades:
1 All-NBA 2nd Team , 3-All-Star Selections



2.The Ascension (1980-1983)

His rookie season was impressive, he himself wasn't overly productive but his team had a massive turnaround. These were the years where he was much more active on defense and was a master at doubling post players. However, keep in mind he was a 23 year old rookie, his tremendous regular season ended with a humbling performance and an *** whoopin by Doctor J. Its usually downplayed by Bird supporters as the growing pains of a rookie, but its still a weakness not shared by many others here, including Magic, who at a younger age, wound up having that historic game 7 against the very same team that limited Bird to 12PTS(5-19) in his elimination game 5. Bird's team had HCA but no one will doubt that the Sixers had the better roster overall so you cant hold this too much against Bird, just pointing out that he didn't thrive despite those odds. This is what I call, a regular season chapter, as in, the noteworthy events all came in the regular season. Which is fine but something to keep tabs on depending on the performance/competition.





YEAR 2 was a championship winning season, the addition of Robert Parish put a contender over the top. People will see that Bird was their best player and assume he led them as such but this wasn't peak Bird yet people. This wasn't the kind of championship run that puts a stamp on a players legacy, its sort of like how Duncan won his most recent championship. I know Bird was the best player on his team, but Kobe Bryant was arguably more impressive as a #2 in some of his Shaq runs. It was honestly a down year for the NBA, the Lakers imploded because of Magic and the Celtics added the playoffs most productive player (an MVP in his own right) in Parish and while Bird set the table for him, Cedrix Maxwell was the Finals MVP, point being, he had plenty of help. Coach Bill Fitch felt Parish was his teams MVP. This still gos down as one of Bird's better overall playoff years, so for the sake of the argument lets say this is the beginning of what I call his "Distinguishing years".

+1





Y3+Y4 ....
Were disasters for Bird. He was clearly improving as a player, he was far more assertive in taking over his teams offense, be it getting to the line or creating more for others, statistically speaking both his usage and efficiency were increasing. The Celtics added more talent (namely, one Kevin McHale) so the team itself was far superior to even the year priors. But the playoffs rolled around and the team couldn't replicate its success and Bird himself struggled to produce.

He averaged 18.3PPG on 41% shooting vs the Sixers in his 7 game series defeat and wasn't much better the following year in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee. I say 3 games because Bird missed a game(fever), which just so happened to be the closest game of the series. If your the type to make excuses, some key Celtics were in full blown tank mode. Bill Fitch had worn out his welcome and the "Ditch the Fitch" campaign began. Still, these 2 years were negative marks on Bird's "Playoff Resume". Both he and his teams underachieved given their talent/health. A rare combination that doesn't matter as much as actual successes but should still be considered. This was around the time when people started to criticize Bird. He took only 5 shots in the 2nd half of his G7 loss to Philly, kept saying he could contribute in other ways (like he had done the year prior).

-2

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.0 Usage% , 111 ORTG (.192WS48)
Playoffs: 23.6 Usage%, 105 ORTG (.166WS48)
Accolades:
4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 1 Ring






3.The Peak (1984-1988)

I hope by now I've some what convinced you that of the 8 years detailed in the 2 sections above, only 1 really stands out in a historical sense and even that would be putting it kindly.

When people make Bird's case, these are the years they hang their argument on, this is not only Bird at his absolute statistical best, but the years he began to rack up MVP's and Finals MVP's.


Year 5 was Bird's breakout season, his first RS MVP but the performance he put up in the playoffs is truly one of the best of All-Time. There really is very little that needs to be said, while it only counts as a +1 here, its obviously much more legacy stamping than that. Which is something I'll address at the end of this career synopsis.

+1



Year 6 Bird makes the Finals again, but his performance isn't up to sniff. In the year prior and after this one, Bird pretty much dominate everyone in sight, but he shot 40% in the Final 8 games of the post season, the reason is his own damn fault. He got into a bar fight with Mike Harlow and injured his hand enough to hurt his shooting touch. To some of you its a result of injury, but in Classic Bird fashion, the man owns up to the mistake. He hurt his team with his decision, but most people will be dismissive of this sort of struggle when compared to stars choking . In his defense tho, Bird played much better than he had in his prior struggles.

Year 7 is a carbon copy of Y5, except that the Celtics are even more stacked (adding 6MOY Bill Walton, in his final productive campaign) and Bird does what we expect of stars handling a smaller burden, he lights you up more efficiently than he ever has before and the Celtics win in far more convincing fashion as a result. This would be the last MVP season.

+1





Year 8 didn't end with a championship, but it was probably the teams most heroic run yet. The entire team was banged up, and the path to the Finals itself was arduous. They met a vastly healthier and completely rested/untested Lakers team. They pushed them to 6 games, but Bird was rather pedestrian in the Finals.

+1(For the effort alone)






Year 9 was Bird's most grueling, he had never carried a team throughout a regular season like he had this year. In fact, its the only year in which his usage% goes above 30% but his efficiency doesn't suffer for it, statistically, it a was arguably his finest season. The Celtics are top team but its based on the fact that KC Jones drove his starters to the ground. Bird's playoff showing was absolutely embarrassing, his teams held leads into the 4th of every game vs Detroit but they couldn't get over his no shows. After an impressive duel vs Nique in the Semis, Bird shot 35% vs Detroit for less than 20PPG. He admitted to being tired, so how you grade this season depends on how much weight you give to an inhuman regular season load and how consistent you are for other players in similar situations.

Year 10 INJURED



Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 28.1 Usage% , 119 ORTG (.237WS48)
Playoffs: 25.6 Usage%, 118 ORTG (.191WS48)
Accolades:
3MVP's, 2FMVP's, 4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 2 Rings





So out of 13 seasons, the final 4 were inconsequential, 3 of his first 4 were pretty much par for the course seasons of any great player (the 1 championship being rather pedestrian as well). Then during that 5 year peak run, he was a very inconsistent playoff performer due to various reasons.

Statistically speaking (yes I know, stats arent everything) Bird really only had about 5 great playoff runs as an individual, 2 of which were ultimately hindered by injuries, so only 3 really great runs (his championship runs).


So any vote for Bird has to be acknowledged as a vote for regular season supremacy, because if we look solely at a regular season peak run, Bird ranks very highly. I just hope you guys are as forgiving to other stars in their playoff lapses.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 03:16 PM
This is the second straight thread someone tried to convince me LeBron is better bc of a hypothetical. Do I think he will win a 5th MVP and make more all-nba teams? Sure and when he does I will move him up. But for now I can only go one what has actually happened.

Hey KnicksorBust,
You say this in response to my post; but I end that very post with these exact words:
"P.S. I know this is 0% germaine to this thread; but I BET that this coming year gets LeBron his 5th MVP in 7 years (rivaling, if not beating, any 7 year stretch ever); and ENDS any debate (except for those dominated by irrational hate) about him belonging in the GOAT Top 5. "


I don't know HOW I could have made that last point, starting with a "P.S. I know this is 0% germaine to this thread;... more clear - that IN NO WAY WAS/IS THIS AN ARGUMENT for LeBron being ranked wherever.

I am trying to convince axactly NO ONE of this hypothetical.

I agree, I too: "But for now I can only go one [sic] what has actually happened."
I believe that what has actually happened already in LeBron's career puts him at least as high as GOAT#8 - which is the subject of this thread - and for which, I think I made an adequate case.

ThuglifeJ
07-11-2014, 03:33 PM
Pathetic. Pathetic pathetic pathetic. BIRD should have gone 3rd, 5 or 6 latest. Absolute garbage by PSD he's not even picked at possibly 8 yet.

Solidifies my belief in him being the most underrated player on this site.

Lol lebron and Kobe voting too since 1 spot. Ruining this list for good


I have given up trying to explain to people how ridiculous the Bird voting is. I just assume it reflects the age of many PSD posters, misconceptions about Bird's abilities, and a lack of posters that saw him play in his prime. That is why I find the Magic pick at #4 interesting. The irony for me is as a Knicks fan I absolutely hated Bird but his greatness is undeniable for people that watched him play in his prime or people that played against him. He could dominate games without scoring because he was such a great rebounder, and passer. He also was a pretty good defender despite some misconceptions. He could score inside and outside. He could score with both hands. He literally showed that by playing a game by shooting left handed. He was arguably one of the 2 clutchest players of all time and probably the most fearless player of all time. His compete level was off the charts.

It is so puzzling indeed.

It's almost racist to an extent.

Lol see?! Manram should close the poll and just announce Bird as winner and stop supporting racism

RocketLoc80
07-11-2014, 03:35 PM
Kobe. Dont see why I would take anyone else.

Bron, Bird, Russ are in the next tier that I cant decide from. Bron should shoot up this list very quickly for me, I could see why many feel he should have gone already. I just dont think hes separated himself enough outside of regular season exploits and a 2-4 dominant playoff runs. Hes right there tho, which is impressive considering hes still enjoying his prime/tail end of his peak. Its gonna be much harder to make the next pick once Kobe is off the board.

How does Kobe have an argument over Lebron in any case much more dominant and all around better player. This list is gonna be kinda garbage if Kobe finishes ahead of Bird,Lebron and Russell

Chronz
07-11-2014, 03:55 PM
How does Kobe have an argument over Lebron in any case much more dominant and all around better player. This list is gonna be kinda garbage if Kobe finishes ahead of Bird,Lebron and Russell
Ill break down Bron vs Kobe next. Who knows, I might just vote Bron but I dont see how Bird or Russ are in the conversation. Russ made his teammates worse on offense but covered for them defensively, because I didn't get to see much of Russ and because statistics on that end are extremely limited for his era, I dont have much to go by. Simply bringing up his rings ignores the massive roster support he had in a league with very little player movement. He simply had ever advantage known at the time, I give him credit for never relenting but not enough to look past his offensive liabilities in a top-10 ranking.

FlashBolt
07-11-2014, 04:00 PM
What kind of top 10 player isn't great offensively/defensively? Who else? Bill Russell was not a great offensive player. Sorry, offense is half the game and if you're treated as a top 10, you should be elite in both aspects of the game.

Bruno
07-11-2014, 04:38 PM
A few thoughts, because we are talking about the very best in history, you have to nitpick on something in order to justify any ranking. Accolades, stats and rings are all fun to look at but ultimately, we aren't just voting for the most decorated player, but the one we feel got the most out of his situation. Someone who won just enough to offset certain disadvantages elsewhere.
That means we dont just look at the raw accumulation of these things, we have to look at how all these players fared in similar situations whenever possible. For Bird, Im focusing on his playoff resume.








Case against Bird

The case here is simple, he came into the league at a late age, declined at an early one, the guy really only had a few years that are worth mentioning in an All-Time sense (nitpicking, remember). Not so much because they were epic years but because many of his seasons ended in disappointing fashion. By that I dont mean its because his team didn't win it all, I never hold the teams ultimate success on 1 player, I only gauge his individual performance as best I can. And I truly believe Bird was capable of being locked down more than any star on this list. But I also feel hes the one player who best helps his teammates offensively even when hes not producing. So its a hard thing to gauge but hear me out.



With Bird, we can break down his career into 3 neat segments. His ascension, his peak and his subsequent injury ridden years.






1. The Comeback years (1989-1992)
You can toss everything he accomplished after age 31, out of the debate. His return from injury to All-Star form for about 2.6 seasons was in itself impressive, but thats like pointing out Shaq's years after Miami as some sort of distinguishing factor. We expect these great players to not only play at a high level, but sustain it for an impressive duration. Im starting at the end of his career because it clearly cuts his legacy making time down to age 23-31. Hes got 9 years to let his game do the talking.

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.6 Usage% , 110 ORTG (.150WS48)
Playoffs: 22.8 Usage%, 110 ORTG (.084WS48)
Accolades:
1 All-NBA 2nd Team , 3-All-Star Selections



2.The Ascension (1980-1983)

His rookie season was impressive, he himself wasn't overly productive but his team had a massive turnaround. These were the years where he was much more active on defense and was a master at doubling post players. However, keep in mind he was a 23 year old rookie, his tremendous regular season ended with a humbling performance and an *** whoopin by Doctor J. Its usually downplayed by Bird supporters as the growing pains of a rookie, but its still a weakness not shared by many others here, including Magic, who at a younger age, wound up having that historic game 7 against the very same team that limited Bird to 12PTS(5-19) in his elimination game 5. Bird's team had HCA but no one will doubt that the Sixers had the better roster overall so you cant hold this too much against Bird, just pointing out that he didn't thrive despite those odds. This is what I call, a regular season chapter, as in, the noteworthy events all came in the regular season. Which is fine but something to keep tabs on depending on the performance/competition.

-1




YEAR 2 was a championship winning season, the addition of Robert Parish put a contender over the top. People will see that Bird was their best player and assume he led them as such but this wasn't peak Bird yet people. This wasn't the kind of championship run that puts a stamp on a players legacy, its sort of like how Duncan won his most recent championship. I know Bird was the best player on his team, but Kobe Bryant was arguably more impressive as a #2 in some of his Shaq runs. It was honestly a down year for the NBA, the Lakers imploded because of Magic and the Celtics added the playoffs most productive player (an MVP in his own right) in Parish and while Bird set the table for him, Cedrix Maxwell was the Finals MVP, point being, he had plenty of help. Coach Bill Fitch felt Parish was his teams MVP. This still gos down as one of Bird's better overall playoff years, so for the sake of the argument lets say this is the beginning of what I call his "Distinguishing years".

+1





Y3+Y4 ....
Were disasters for Bird. He was clearly improving as a player, he was far more assertive in taking over his teams offense, be it getting to the line or creating more for others, statistically speaking both his usage and efficiency were increasing. The Celtics added more talent (namely, one Kevin McHale) so the team itself was far superior to even the year priors. But the playoffs rolled around and the team couldn't replicate its success and Bird himself struggled to produce.

He averaged 18.3PPG on 41% shooting vs the Sixers in his 7 game series defeat and wasn't much better the following year in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee. I say 3 games because Bird missed a game(fever), which just so happened to be the closest game of the series. If your the type to make excuses, some key Celtics were in full blown tank mode. Bill Fitch had worn out his welcome and the "Ditch the Fitch" campaign began. Still, these 2 years were negative marks on Bird's "Playoff Resume". Both he and his teams underachieved given their talent/health. A rare combination that doesn't matter as much as actual successes but should still be considered. This was around the time when people started to criticize Bird. He took only 5 shots in the 2nd half of his G7 loss to Philly, kept saying he could contribute in other ways (like he had done the year prior).

-2

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.0 Usage% , 111 ORTG (.192WS48)
Playoffs: 23.6 Usage%, 105 ORTG (.166WS48)
Accolades:
4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 1 Ring






3.The Peak (1984-1988)

I hope by now I've some what convinced you that of the 8 years detailed in the 2 sections above, only 1 really stands out in a historical sense and even that would be putting it kindly.

When people make Bird's case, these are the years they hang their argument on, this is not only Bird at his absolute statistical best, but the years he began to rack up MVP's and Finals MVP's.


Year 5 was Bird's breakout season, his first RS MVP but the performance he put up in the playoffs is truly one of the best of All-Time. There really is very little that needs to be said, while it only counts as a +1 here, its obviously much more legacy stamping than that. Which is something I'll address at the end of this career synopsis.

+1



Year 6 Bird makes the Finals again, but his performance isn't up to sniff. In the year prior and after this one, Bird pretty much dominate everyone in sight, but he shot 40% in the Final 8 games of the post season, the reason is his own damn fault. He got into a bar fight with Mike Harlow and injured his hand enough to hurt his shooting touch. To some of you its a result of injury, but in Classic Bird fashion, the man owns up to the mistake. He hurt his team with his decision, but most people will be dismissive of this sort of struggle when compared to stars choking . In his defense tho, Bird played much better than he had in his prior struggles.

Year 7 is a carbon copy of Y5, except that the Celtics are even more stacked (adding 6MOY Bill Walton, in his final productive campaign) and Bird does what we expect of stars handling a smaller burden, he lights you up more efficiently than he ever has before and the Celtics win in far more convincing fashion as a result. This would be the last MVP season.

+1





Year 8 didn't end with a championship, but it was probably the teams most heroic run yet. The entire team was banged up, and the path to the Finals itself was arduous. They met a vastly healthier and completely rested/untested Lakers team. They pushed them to 6 games, but Bird was rather pedestrian in the Finals.

+1(For the effort alone)






Year 9 was Bird's most grueling, he had never carried a team throughout a regular season like he had this year. In fact, its the only year in which his usage% goes above 30% but his efficiency doesn't suffer for it, statistically, it a was arguably his finest season. The Celtics are top team but its based on the fact that KC Jones drove his starters to the ground. Bird's playoff showing was absolutely embarrassing, his teams held leads into the 4th of every game vs Detroit but they couldn't get over his no shows. After an impressive duel vs Nique in the Semis, Bird shot 35% vs Detroit for less than 20PPG. He admitted to being tired, so how you grade this season depends on how much weight you give to an inhuman regular season load and how consistent you are for other players in similar situations.

Year 10 INJURED



Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 28.1 Usage% , 119 ORTG (.237WS48)
Playoffs: 25.6 Usage%, 118 ORTG (.191WS48)
Accolades:
3MVP's, 2FMVP's, 4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 2 Rings





So out of 13 seasons, the final 4 were inconsequential, 3 of his first 4 were pretty much par for the course seasons of any great player (the 1 championship being rather pedestrian as well). Then during that 5 year peak run, he was a very inconsistent playoff performer due to various reasons.

Statistically speaking (yes I know, stats arent everything) Bird really only had about 5 great playoff runs as an individual, 2 of which were ultimately hindered by injuries, so only 3 really great runs (his championship runs).


So any vote for Bird has to be acknowledged as a vote for regular season supremacy, because if we look solely at a regular season peak run, Bird ranks very highly. I just hope you guys are as forgiving to other stars in their playoff lapses.

great read.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 04:38 PM
Ill break down Bron vs Kobe next. Who knows, I might just vote Bron but I dont see how Bird or Russ are in the conversation. Russ made his teammates worse on offense but covered for them defensively, because I didn't get to see much of Russ and because statistics on that end are extremely limited for his era, I dont have much to go by. Simply bringing up his rings ignores the massive roster support he had in a league with very little player movement. He simply had ever advantage known at the time, I give him credit for never relenting but not enough to look past his offensive liabilities in a top-10 ranking.

Hey High Horse,
I maintain that Russell's team was THE greatest collection of All-Stars (absolutely in terms of numbers of guys; and relatively too, in terms of: compared to the rest of the All-Stars spread across all the rest of the teams).

PLUS, he had RED. It is difficult to picture just how important Red Auerbach was back then. As GM, RED BUILT THOSE ALL-STAR TEAMS. How much is that worth?

As COACH, RED (who I both: totally despised and totally respected - genius is genius, and he was that, the arrogant sob!) ...

As Coach, Red was EASILY worth 3-5 points every game. Why? Because he was FAR, FAR, FAR ahead of ALL the other coaches at that time. No coach has ever been so far ahead of his contemporaries as Red was.

Think of the regular season average margin of victory for Championship squads: it must be around 6-7 ppg (with the outliers being 12 at the tops and 4-5 at the bottom). 3-5 points a game, FROM YOUR DAMNED COACH, is HUGE. Then in the Play-Offs, where the C's frequently were taken to 7-Games, and frequently won games by less than 5 points or even in OverTime; how much was Red's contribution to that???

In other words, Take RED away from the C's and Russell gets no where's near 11 Chips in 13 years.
Put RED on Wilt's Teams: and Wilt is universally regarded as greater than Russell, NOT ONLY because he thoroughly dominated Russ in some 140 head-to-heads (this is UNDENIABLE); but also because Wilt would have had more Chips!

OR, just replace Russell with Wilt or even Nate The Great: That C's All-Star Team still gets at least 10 Chips! It was NOT Russell, absolutely great as he was, that was the KEY. It was the All-Star Essence of that team that was KEY PLUS RED and, OF COURSE, Russ.

OR, Put Russell on half the NBA teams back then (or half of the NBA teams since then). What do you get? Few if any Chips for Bill Russell.

I watched, avidly, his entire career - I started watching at the side of a knowledgeable NBA fan (and avid Mikan lover) my dad. I recognized Russell's greatness. I watched LIVE Russell do phenomenal stuff at the Gaaaden, probably 4 times a season for 4 years. Russ was not only a great player, phenomenal athlete, he was a GIANT of a dignified man.

But, no way is he GOAT Top 10.

By the way, barnwell, an absolute NBA-fanatic (just like me, and for almost as long) but a C's fan; agrees with this evaluation. Having lived just outside of Boston for four years, I can honestly say I have NEVER "known" an avid Celtics fan who had the character to take such a stand.

Heck, even RED himself, who had sworn by Russell for like "forever"; come to regard Bird as greater than Russ!

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 05:03 PM
Ill break down Bron vs Kobe next. Who knows, I might just vote Bron but I dont see how Bird or Russ are in the conversation. Russ made his teammates worse on offense but covered for them defensively, because I didn't get to see much of Russ and because statistics on that end are extremely limited for his era, I dont have much to go by. Simply bringing up his rings ignores the massive roster support he had in a league with very little player movement. He simply had ever advantage known at the time, I give him credit for never relenting but not enough to look past his offensive liabilities in a top-10 ranking.

Hey High Horse,
I am SO looking forwards to anything you'd put serious effort into regarding these GOAT discussions, particularly AFTER that absolutely brilliant Bird analysis.

Another thought about Russ.
Bill Russell is pretty much universally regarded as THE greatest defensive player of all time; and he has a HUMONGOUS lead in All-Time career Defensive Win Shares to back that up. BUT ...

I saw him and Wilt play their entire careers and there's three specific things I feel I have to point out:

1) BLOCKS: They didn't keep track of blocks back then. Everybody knows that Russ was a master shot-blocker and blocked-shot-director (to a team mate). What most people don't know is that Wilt was far superior athletically to Russ (quicker, stronger, faster, more stamina) and he was blocking TONS of shots per game. His contemporaries claim he averaged 10+ BLOCKS A GAME (think about that). It is sworn to that he had one game where WILT BLOCKED 26 SHOTS! Shot-blocking IS a huge part of Defense; and NO ONE has ever out shot-blocked Wilt Chamberlain ("and it ain't even close")

2) SHOT-INTIMIDATION: NBA players attempted shots over Bill Russell's defense. NBA players FREQUENTLY passed on shot attempts over Wilt Chamberlain's defense. I know of no proof of this; but I saw it EVERY GAME I watched (LIVE or on TV). People were absolutely intimidated to try to shoot over Wilt. How much of defense is that???

3) HEAD-TO-HEAD, THE GREAT BILL RUSSELL NEVER STOPPED WILT CHAMBERLAIN!
Wilt averaged 29+ ppg and 29+ rpg vs Russell; just a small amount less than Wilt averaged against ALL the other Centers. Yet, Bill Russell consistently, easily, had the best all-around Defensive teams backing him up and helping him ACTIVELY trying to slow Wilt down. On the other hand, Wilt hampered Russell's Offense FAR MORE than the average center did; and far more than Russell "hampered" Wilt's O.

My Own Personal Conclusion: Wilt Was The NBA's Greatest Defender, Better Than Russell
No slight to Russ; I've got him #2 (by a humongous amount); but Wilt was by far the greater intimidator AND Russell's great individual and team-help defense did NOTHING exceptional against Wilt.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 05:30 PM
Russell Sweat Profusely In Anticipation Of Facing Wilt, Why? "He Might Get 100 Pts!"

Bill Russell admits freely that before EVERY Wilt-game he sweat profusely. When asked why, he responded, "I was afraid he'd get 100 points on me!"

What does this mean? Bill Russell was near-universally recognized as being, unquestionably, THE Greatest NBA Defensive Player ever. And, near-universally, that he was backed up by a Celtics historically-great Defensive TEAM. Further, Heinsohn admits that they "roughed" Wilt up (they "had to" and the refs let the rest of the League just go off on Wilt "he could take it; and he had unfair advantage being so utterly dominant").

What does it mean that Russ always feared Wilt going off for 100 points on him????

P.S. And what does it mean that Wilt got the All-Time Record for rebounds in one game: 55, FIFTY-FIVE against ....
Bill Russell. !

What was the greatest defensive player of All-Time doing in that game; ALL GAME LONG???

Wilt is more proud of that 55-rebound game (against Russ) than he is of his 100 point game. I agree with Wilt - it was MORE impressive because of who he did it "to".

todu82
07-11-2014, 06:13 PM
Bill Russell

Iggz53
07-11-2014, 06:21 PM
Bill Russell, for the 4th time in a row

Iggz53
07-11-2014, 06:25 PM
What kind of top 10 player isn't great offensively/defensively? Who else? Bill Russell was not a great offensive player. Sorry, offense is half the game and if you're treated as a top 10, you should be elite in both aspects of the game.

In that case, Magic is nowhere near Top 10

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 07:08 PM
In that case, Magic is nowhere near Top 10

One-Sided Magic VS One-Sided Russell: Was One Of Them Much More "Transferrable"?

Hey Iggz53,
No doubt your point raises a legitimate question: How can a clearly one-sided Great Player be rated way lower than another clearly one-sided Great Player?

My ONLY answer: "Transferability". Meaning: Put both on other teams and/or in other eras and what happens?

For me, you put Magic ON ANY OTHER TEAM, IN ANY ERA, HIS OR ANOTHER, and (with the possible exception of a John Stockton-led team) that team is decidedly better DESPITE Magic's mediocrity on defense. Why because the addition of Magic to the Offensive side adds much more to that team than any reduction he causes on the defensive side.

Put Russell ON ANY OTHER TEAM, IN ANY ERA, HIS OR ANOTHER, and, imo, in totally depends on that team whether his addition improves the team or not. For example: Put Russell in the place of:
1) Wilt
2) KAJ
3) Hakeem
4) Shaq
5) Walton (for those 1.9 Great Years)
6) Moses
7) DRob


and, for me, I have no doubt those teams are NOT as good!

OR Put ANY of those Great Centers on that Celtics All-Star Team; and they still win at least 10 Chips.

So, for me, Magic's Offense (AND TEAM-work, the ability to bring out the best that your given teammates are capable at that particular time in their careers) is so hugely positive that it overwhelms his mediocre (though by no means BAD) defense.

Whereas, with Russell it's just the opposite. Russell's Offense (he had a BAD shooting percentage from very close to the rim) overwhelms his incredible Defensive talents.

Heck, Russell was NOT even the best center in his own era - Wilt beat him out for ALL-NBA 1st-Team Honors most of those years. Russell was only the best Center in the League 3 times! (And the 3 times he was 1st, he was NOT first by much!)

On the other hand, Magic was the best at his position 10 times! And he was always a run-away 1st in all those years.

That's a humongous difference.

FlashBolt
07-11-2014, 08:14 PM
In that case, Magic is nowhere near Top 10

Magic was good enough on defense and superb on offense. Bill was horrid on offense compared to the other top 10 big men.

Bruno
07-11-2014, 08:39 PM
In that case, Magic is nowhere near Top 10

i have magic in the second half of my 10 for that reason. along with short career.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 08:49 PM
i have magic in the second half of my 10 for that reason. along with short career.

Hey Bruno,
A respectable position to take.

What do you say to people (like me) who claim that Magic was "magical" in bringing out the best in teammates and that, in a TEAM sport, where ONLY 4 other guys are playing with you at any one time, that counts for a lot?

Just wondering.

Chronz
07-11-2014, 09:05 PM
The way I look at it, Bill Russell's career is what KG's would have looked like if every year was like his championship one in Boston. Only I think KG might have been better, just like Russell he was the DPOY of the stingiest defense of his era but unlike Russell, he was actually a very complimentary offensive player who could hit the mid range J with consistency.

And as good as KG was that year, Im not sensing this truly transcendent play like a few other guys. Still, I respect the sheer longevity, enough to have him in my top-11, just not ahead of Bron-Bird-Kobe.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 09:20 PM
The way I look at it, Bill Russell's career is what KG's would have looked like if every year was like his championship one in Boston. Only I think KG might have been better, just like Russell he was the DPOY of the stingiest defense of his era but unlike Russell, he was actually a very complimentary offensive player who could hit the mid range J with consistency.

And as good as KG was that year, Im not sensing this truly transcendent play like a few other guys. Still, I respect the sheer longevity, enough to have him in my top-11, just not ahead of Bron-Bird-Kobe.

Hey High Horse,
For perfect-clarity's sake: you are referring to KG (and not Russ) regarding "in my top-11", right?
I've got KG around 16th; but the gap, for me, between 11th and 20th is not very big at all - so any place in that range I can "live" with easily.

ricky recon
07-11-2014, 10:14 PM
I will literally laugh at all the sabermetric **** sticks, in pity, if Bird is not voted in the top 10.

All the statistics in the world can't tell the entire story, and Bird is flat out being disrespected any way you try to cut the cake.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 10:25 PM
I will literally laugh at all the sabermetric **** sticks, in pity, if Bird is not voted in the top 10.

All the statistics in the world can't tell the entire story, and Bird is flat out being disrespected any way you try to cut the cake.

Hey ricky_recon,
Mind explaining why / how your first sentence related to / explains your second sentence (or vice versa).
The way they read to me is that they dis-agree with each other; so obviously there's something wrong with either the way I'm reading them; or they way you wrote them could use a bit of additional clarity.

Would you mind explaining / expanding?

bucketss
07-11-2014, 11:15 PM
so bird is gonna fall all the way to #10?

Chronz
07-11-2014, 11:20 PM
I will literally laugh at all the sabermetric **** sticks, in pity, if Bird is not voted in the top 10.

All the statistics in the world can't tell the entire story, and Bird is flat out being disrespected any way you try to cut the cake.

Strawman arguments dont get you anywhere.

Chronz
07-11-2014, 11:21 PM
so bird is gonna fall all the way to #10?
Why not? Are his 3-5 elite seasons really enough to sway you?

FlashBolt
07-11-2014, 11:22 PM
People act if Bird was great his entire career and as if he played against peak competition with no supporting cast. Short career, not enough to surpass an accomplished and consistent career.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 11:51 PM
I will literally laugh at all the sabermetric **** sticks, in pity, if Bird is not voted in the top 10.

All the statistics in the world can't tell the entire story, and Bird is flat out being disrespected any way you try to cut the cake.

Hey ricky_recon,
I'd be very interested, given your strong pro-Bird stance, to your reaction to Chronz super-lengthy, very-detailed analysis of the entirety, phase-by-phase, of Bird's career.

LINK: http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870493-PSD-s-Official-8-Player-of-All-Time
Post #38 (the page right before this page we're on now, btw).

Have you read it? If so, would you mind pointing out what and why he got his analysis wrong? (For myself, I found it exquisite - but I don't consider myself any sort of expert on Bird - I DID love him and did pay lots of attention to his career.)

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 11:53 PM
How interesting; as of right now we've got a virtual 3-way tie:
Larry Bird 13,
Kobe Bryant 13,
LeBron James 14
with the only other votes to
Bill Russell 5.

Pablonovi
07-11-2014, 11:56 PM
Hey ManRam (or anybody else),
Any idea if this number of votes (45) is about average, so far, for how long this Poll has been open.
It kind of seems to me that we're already witnessing a lessening of both quantity and quality of argumentation, even though we're still in the GOAT Top 8.

If there is a lessening (might not be); would this mean people think that the gaps are already small enough that they don't care nearly as intensely as previously about who wins the vote?

5ass
07-12-2014, 12:04 AM
A few thoughts, because we are talking about the very best in history, you have to nitpick on something in order to justify any ranking. Accolades, stats and rings are all fun to look at but ultimately, we aren't just voting for the most decorated player, but the one we feel got the most out of his situation. Someone who won just enough to offset certain disadvantages elsewhere.
That means we dont just look at the raw accumulation of these things, we have to look at how all these players fared in similar situations whenever possible. For Bird, Im focusing on his playoff resume.








Case against Bird

The case here is simple, he came into the league at a late age, declined at an early one, the guy really only had a few years that are worth mentioning in an All-Time sense (nitpicking, remember). Not so much because they were epic years but because many of his seasons ended in disappointing fashion. By that I dont mean its because his team didn't win it all, I never hold the teams ultimate success on 1 player, I only gauge his individual performance as best I can. And I truly believe Bird was capable of being locked down more than any star on this list. But I also feel hes the one player who best helps his teammates offensively even when hes not producing. So its a hard thing to gauge but hear me out.



With Bird, we can break down his career into 3 neat segments. His ascension, his peak and his subsequent injury ridden years.






1. The Comeback years (1989-1992)
You can toss everything he accomplished after age 31, out of the debate. His return from injury to All-Star form for about 2.6 seasons was in itself impressive, but thats like pointing out Shaq's years after Miami as some sort of distinguishing factor. We expect these great players to not only play at a high level, but sustain it for an impressive duration. Im starting at the end of his career because it clearly cuts his legacy making time down to age 23-31. Hes got 9 years to let his game do the talking.

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.6 Usage% , 110 ORTG (.150WS48)
Playoffs: 22.8 Usage%, 110 ORTG (.084WS48)
Accolades:
1 All-NBA 2nd Team , 3-All-Star Selections



2.The Ascension (1980-1983)

His rookie season was impressive, he himself wasn't overly productive but his team had a massive turnaround. These were the years where he was much more active on defense and was a master at doubling post players. However, keep in mind he was a 23 year old rookie, his tremendous regular season ended with a humbling performance and an *** whoopin by Doctor J. Its usually downplayed by Bird supporters as the growing pains of a rookie, but its still a weakness not shared by many others here, including Magic, who at a younger age, wound up having that historic game 7 against the very same team that limited Bird to 12PTS(5-19) in his elimination game 5. Bird's team had HCA but no one will doubt that the Sixers had the better roster overall so you cant hold this too much against Bird, just pointing out that he didn't thrive despite those odds. This is what I call, a regular season chapter, as in, the noteworthy events all came in the regular season. Which is fine but something to keep tabs on depending on the performance/competition.

-1




YEAR 2 was a championship winning season, the addition of Robert Parish put a contender over the top. People will see that Bird was their best player and assume he led them as such but this wasn't peak Bird yet people. This wasn't the kind of championship run that puts a stamp on a players legacy, its sort of like how Duncan won his most recent championship. I know Bird was the best player on his team, but Kobe Bryant was arguably more impressive as a #2 in some of his Shaq runs. It was honestly a down year for the NBA, the Lakers imploded because of Magic and the Celtics added the playoffs most productive player (an MVP in his own right) in Parish and while Bird set the table for him, Cedrix Maxwell was the Finals MVP, point being, he had plenty of help. Coach Bill Fitch felt Parish was his teams MVP. This still gos down as one of Bird's better overall playoff years, so for the sake of the argument lets say this is the beginning of what I call his "Distinguishing years".

+1





Y3+Y4 ....
Were disasters for Bird. He was clearly improving as a player, he was far more assertive in taking over his teams offense, be it getting to the line or creating more for others, statistically speaking both his usage and efficiency were increasing. The Celtics added more talent (namely, one Kevin McHale) so the team itself was far superior to even the year priors. But the playoffs rolled around and the team couldn't replicate its success and Bird himself struggled to produce.

He averaged 18.3PPG on 41% shooting vs the Sixers in his 7 game series defeat and wasn't much better the following year in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee. I say 3 games because Bird missed a game(fever), which just so happened to be the closest game of the series. If your the type to make excuses, some key Celtics were in full blown tank mode. Bill Fitch had worn out his welcome and the "Ditch the Fitch" campaign began. Still, these 2 years were negative marks on Bird's "Playoff Resume". Both he and his teams underachieved given their talent/health. A rare combination that doesn't matter as much as actual successes but should still be considered. This was around the time when people started to criticize Bird. He took only 5 shots in the 2nd half of his G7 loss to Philly, kept saying he could contribute in other ways (like he had done the year prior).

-2

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.0 Usage% , 111 ORTG (.192WS48)
Playoffs: 23.6 Usage%, 105 ORTG (.166WS48)
Accolades:
4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 1 Ring






3.The Peak (1984-1988)

I hope by now I've some what convinced you that of the 8 years detailed in the 2 sections above, only 1 really stands out in a historical sense and even that would be putting it kindly.

When people make Bird's case, these are the years they hang their argument on, this is not only Bird at his absolute statistical best, but the years he began to rack up MVP's and Finals MVP's.


Year 5 was Bird's breakout season, his first RS MVP but the performance he put up in the playoffs is truly one of the best of All-Time. There really is very little that needs to be said, while it only counts as a +1 here, its obviously much more legacy stamping than that. Which is something I'll address at the end of this career synopsis.

+1



Year 6 Bird makes the Finals again, but his performance isn't up to sniff. In the year prior and after this one, Bird pretty much dominate everyone in sight, but he shot 40% in the Final 8 games of the post season, the reason is his own damn fault. He got into a bar fight with Mike Harlow and injured his hand enough to hurt his shooting touch. To some of you its a result of injury, but in Classic Bird fashion, the man owns up to the mistake. He hurt his team with his decision, but most people will be dismissive of this sort of struggle when compared to stars choking . In his defense tho, Bird played much better than he had in his prior struggles.

Year 7 is a carbon copy of Y5, except that the Celtics are even more stacked (adding 6MOY Bill Walton, in his final productive campaign) and Bird does what we expect of stars handling a smaller burden, he lights you up more efficiently than he ever has before and the Celtics win in far more convincing fashion as a result. This would be the last MVP season.

+1





Year 8 didn't end with a championship, but it was probably the teams most heroic run yet. The entire team was banged up, and the path to the Finals itself was arduous. They met a vastly healthier and completely rested/untested Lakers team. They pushed them to 6 games, but Bird was rather pedestrian in the Finals.

+1(For the effort alone)






Year 9 was Bird's most grueling, he had never carried a team throughout a regular season like he had this year. In fact, its the only year in which his usage% goes above 30% but his efficiency doesn't suffer for it, statistically, it a was arguably his finest season. The Celtics are top team but its based on the fact that KC Jones drove his starters to the ground. Bird's playoff showing was absolutely embarrassing, his teams held leads into the 4th of every game vs Detroit but they couldn't get over his no shows. After an impressive duel vs Nique in the Semis, Bird shot 35% vs Detroit for less than 20PPG. He admitted to being tired, so how you grade this season depends on how much weight you give to an inhuman regular season load and how consistent you are for other players in similar situations.

Year 10 INJURED



Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 28.1 Usage% , 119 ORTG (.237WS48)
Playoffs: 25.6 Usage%, 118 ORTG (.191WS48)
Accolades:
3MVP's, 2FMVP's, 4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 2 Rings





So out of 13 seasons, the final 4 were inconsequential, 3 of his first 4 were pretty much par for the course seasons of any great player (the 1 championship being rather pedestrian as well). Then during that 5 year peak run, he was a very inconsistent playoff performer due to various reasons.

Statistically speaking (yes I know, stats arent everything) Bird really only had about 5 great playoff runs as an individual, 2 of which were ultimately hindered by injuries, so only 3 really great runs (his championship runs).


So any vote for Bird has to be acknowledged as a vote for regular season supremacy, because if we look solely at a regular season peak run, Bird ranks very highly. I just hope you guys are as forgiving to other stars in their playoff lapses.

Very convincing. Just thought I should quote it again because it deserves the recognition.

FlashBolt
07-12-2014, 12:05 AM
Everyone who says Bird deserves it, please send a convincing reply to Chronz's post. If not, we rest our case.

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 12:10 AM
Very convincing. Just thought I should quote it again because it deserves the recognition.

Hey 5ass,
His post came out of the blue like a thunderclap; how often does that happen?
Remarkably thorough; if somebody CAN refute it; they might be able to have a major impact on this extremely close vote.

FlashBolt
07-12-2014, 12:12 AM
Hey 5ass,
His post came out of the blue like a thunderclap; how often does that happen?
Remarkably thorough; if somebody CAN refute it; they might be able to have a major impact on this extremely close vote.

The reason it was a beautiful post is because it's undeniable. It's a checkmate post.

DR_1
07-12-2014, 12:45 AM
Russell, then Kobe

ricky recon
07-12-2014, 12:57 AM
Hey ricky_recon,
Mind explaining why / how your first sentence related to / explains your second sentence (or vice versa).
The way they read to me is that they dis-agree with each other; so obviously there's something wrong with either the way I'm reading them; or they way you wrote them could use a bit of additional clarity.

Would you mind explaining / expanding?

Translation(1): I will laugh at the people who are using statistics to somehow try and validate their stance on Bird not being a top 10 player.

Translation(2): Statistics are not the be all and end all. Not by a mile.

Conclusion:

Someone who thinks Larry Bird wasn't a top 10 player, and rationalizes their argument with strictly numbers, is one in the same with a blind man telling a healthy one that the sunset isn't as beautiful as people might be led onto because the colors don't completely contrast.

I understand that might have been an off the wall comparison, but surely you understand my opinion on the matter. Bird's greatness is well documented from players to coaches to writers, and to have a group of fans (albeit extremely small group) **** on his legacy is relatively laughable in the given context.

It's like, when I go on a car forum and talk about which standard transmission would be best for a performance 455 rocket and you listen to the peoples' input because their opinions are validated, you respect what they say (post).

Whereas you have a group of people who fail to vote Larry Bird as a top 10 player in the history of the National Basketball Association, you feel the people discussing these various issues are a large part ignorant.

Just my my opinion / 2 cents.

ricky recon
07-12-2014, 01:00 AM
Hey ricky_recon,
I'd be very interested, given your strong pro-Bird stance, to your reaction to Chronz super-lengthy, very-detailed analysis of the entirety, phase-by-phase, of Bird's career.

LINK: http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870493-PSD-s-Official-8-Player-of-All-Time
Post #38 (the page right before this page we're on now, btw).

Have you read it? If so, would you mind pointing out what and why he got his analysis wrong? (For myself, I found it exquisite - but I don't consider myself any sort of expert on Bird - I DID love him and did pay lots of attention to his career.)

As you wish, since I have the time.

ricky recon
07-12-2014, 01:33 AM
A few thoughts, because we are talking about the very best in history, you have to nitpick on something in order to justify any ranking. Accolades, stats and rings are all fun to look at but ultimately, we aren't just voting for the most decorated player, but the one we feel got the most out of his situation. Someone who won just enough to offset certain disadvantages elsewhere.
That means we dont just look at the raw accumulation of these things, we have to look at how all these players fared in similar situations whenever possible. For Bird, Im focusing on his playoff resume.








Case against Bird

The case here is simple, he came into the league at a late age, declined at an early one, the guy really only had a few years that are worth mentioning in an All-Time sense (nitpicking, remember). Not so much because they were epic years but because many of his seasons ended in disappointing fashion. By that I dont mean its because his team didn't win it all, I never hold the teams ultimate success on 1 player, I only gauge his individual performance as best I can. And I truly believe Bird was capable of being locked down more than any star on this list. But I also feel hes the one player who best helps his teammates offensively even when hes not producing. So its a hard thing to gauge but hear me out.



With Bird, we can break down his career into 3 neat segments. His ascension, his peak and his subsequent injury ridden years.






1. The Comeback years (1989-1992)
You can toss everything he accomplished after age 31, out of the debate. His return from injury to All-Star form for about 2.6 seasons was in itself impressive, but thats like pointing out Shaq's years after Miami as some sort of distinguishing factor. We expect these great players to not only play at a high level, but sustain it for an impressive duration. Im starting at the end of his career because it clearly cuts his legacy making time down to age 23-31. Hes got 9 years to let his game do the talking.

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.6 Usage% , 110 ORTG (.150WS48)
Playoffs: 22.8 Usage%, 110 ORTG (.084WS48)
Accolades:
1 All-NBA 2nd Team , 3-All-Star Selections



2.The Ascension (1980-1983)

His rookie season was impressive, he himself wasn't overly productive but his team had a massive turnaround. These were the years where he was much more active on defense and was a master at doubling post players. However, keep in mind he was a 23 year old rookie, his tremendous regular season ended with a humbling performance and an *** whoopin by Doctor J. Its usually downplayed by Bird supporters as the growing pains of a rookie, but its still a weakness not shared by many others here, including Magic, who at a younger age, wound up having that historic game 7 against the very same team that limited Bird to 12PTS(5-19) in his elimination game 5. Bird's team had HCA but no one will doubt that the Sixers had the better roster overall so you cant hold this too much against Bird, just pointing out that he didn't thrive despite those odds. This is what I call, a regular season chapter, as in, the noteworthy events all came in the regular season. Which is fine but something to keep tabs on depending on the performance/competition.

-1




YEAR 2 was a championship winning season, the addition of Robert Parish put a contender over the top. People will see that Bird was their best player and assume he led them as such but this wasn't peak Bird yet people. This wasn't the kind of championship run that puts a stamp on a players legacy, its sort of like how Duncan won his most recent championship. I know Bird was the best player on his team, but Kobe Bryant was arguably more impressive as a #2 in some of his Shaq runs. It was honestly a down year for the NBA, the Lakers imploded because of Magic and the Celtics added the playoffs most productive player (an MVP in his own right) in Parish and while Bird set the table for him, Cedrix Maxwell was the Finals MVP, point being, he had plenty of help. Coach Bill Fitch felt Parish was his teams MVP. This still gos down as one of Bird's better overall playoff years, so for the sake of the argument lets say this is the beginning of what I call his "Distinguishing years".

+1





Y3+Y4 ....
Were disasters for Bird. He was clearly improving as a player, he was far more assertive in taking over his teams offense, be it getting to the line or creating more for others, statistically speaking both his usage and efficiency were increasing. The Celtics added more talent (namely, one Kevin McHale) so the team itself was far superior to even the year priors. But the playoffs rolled around and the team couldn't replicate its success and Bird himself struggled to produce.

He averaged 18.3PPG on 41% shooting vs the Sixers in his 7 game series defeat and wasn't much better the following year in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee. I say 3 games because Bird missed a game(fever), which just so happened to be the closest game of the series. If your the type to make excuses, some key Celtics were in full blown tank mode. Bill Fitch had worn out his welcome and the "Ditch the Fitch" campaign began. Still, these 2 years were negative marks on Bird's "Playoff Resume". Both he and his teams underachieved given their talent/health. A rare combination that doesn't matter as much as actual successes but should still be considered. This was around the time when people started to criticize Bird. He took only 5 shots in the 2nd half of his G7 loss to Philly, kept saying he could contribute in other ways (like he had done the year prior).

-2

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.0 Usage% , 111 ORTG (.192WS48)
Playoffs: 23.6 Usage%, 105 ORTG (.166WS48)
Accolades:
4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 1 Ring






3.The Peak (1984-1988)

I hope by now I've some what convinced you that of the 8 years detailed in the 2 sections above, only 1 really stands out in a historical sense and even that would be putting it kindly.

When people make Bird's case, these are the years they hang their argument on, this is not only Bird at his absolute statistical best, but the years he began to rack up MVP's and Finals MVP's.


Year 5 was Bird's breakout season, his first RS MVP but the performance he put up in the playoffs is truly one of the best of All-Time. There really is very little that needs to be said, while it only counts as a +1 here, its obviously much more legacy stamping than that. Which is something I'll address at the end of this career synopsis.

+1



Year 6 Bird makes the Finals again, but his performance isn't up to sniff. In the year prior and after this one, Bird pretty much dominate everyone in sight, but he shot 40% in the Final 8 games of the post season, the reason is his own damn fault. He got into a bar fight with Mike Harlow and injured his hand enough to hurt his shooting touch. To some of you its a result of injury, but in Classic Bird fashion, the man owns up to the mistake. He hurt his team with his decision, but most people will be dismissive of this sort of struggle when compared to stars choking . In his defense tho, Bird played much better than he had in his prior struggles.

Year 7 is a carbon copy of Y5, except that the Celtics are even more stacked (adding 6MOY Bill Walton, in his final productive campaign) and Bird does what we expect of stars handling a smaller burden, he lights you up more efficiently than he ever has before and the Celtics win in far more convincing fashion as a result. This would be the last MVP season.

+1





Year 8 didn't end with a championship, but it was probably the teams most heroic run yet. The entire team was banged up, and the path to the Finals itself was arduous. They met a vastly healthier and completely rested/untested Lakers team. They pushed them to 6 games, but Bird was rather pedestrian in the Finals.

+1(For the effort alone)






Year 9 was Bird's most grueling, he had never carried a team throughout a regular season like he had this year. In fact, its the only year in which his usage% goes above 30% but his efficiency doesn't suffer for it, statistically, it a was arguably his finest season. The Celtics are top team but its based on the fact that KC Jones drove his starters to the ground. Bird's playoff showing was absolutely embarrassing, his teams held leads into the 4th of every game vs Detroit but they couldn't get over his no shows. After an impressive duel vs Nique in the Semis, Bird shot 35% vs Detroit for less than 20PPG. He admitted to being tired, so how you grade this season depends on how much weight you give to an inhuman regular season load and how consistent you are for other players in similar situations.

Year 10 INJURED



Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 28.1 Usage% , 119 ORTG (.237WS48)
Playoffs: 25.6 Usage%, 118 ORTG (.191WS48)
Accolades:
3MVP's, 2FMVP's, 4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 2 Rings





So out of 13 seasons, the final 4 were inconsequential, 3 of his first 4 were pretty much par for the course seasons of any great player (the 1 championship being rather pedestrian as well). Then during that 5 year peak run, he was a very inconsistent playoff performer due to various reasons.

Statistically speaking (yes I know, stats arent everything) Bird really only had about 5 great playoff runs as an individual, 2 of which were ultimately hindered by injuries, so only 3 really great runs (his championship runs).


So any vote for Bird has to be acknowledged as a vote for regular season supremacy, because if we look solely at a regular season peak run, Bird ranks very highly. I just hope you guys are as forgiving to other stars in their playoff lapses.

Although this entire post is theoretically logical, as pure communism or pure capitalism are both theoretically logical (sorry again for the 'off the wall' comparison, but it was the first thing that came to mind), they completely and utterly fail to distinguish or, for that matter, recognize, what greatness or "best" is.

Why do people compare how many championships players have, when in reality, basketball is a team sport?

Although someone who has one more championships than another, obviously, doesn't make them a better player, winning is the ultimate statistic. All these statistics such as, PPG, FT%, PER, ORtg, TS%, USG%, WS/48, etc., etc. are actually part of a bigger formula: Winning. Because if you have the team with the best statistics across the board, but you fail to win an NBA championship, it's really besides the point. That's because the goal isn't to be efficient, the goal is to win. The key is efficiency is a formula to winning, but it isn't one and the same.

So where exactly am I going with all this? Numbers have a place, for instance:

How many times did Shaq obtain 15 win shares? Twice.

Bird? Four times (consecutive years mind you).

So in that sense, statistically, Bird had was more responsible for winning at that level (15WS+) more often than Shaq did. Statistically, Bird could do more. Bird(4) led the league in DWS more times than Shaq(1) did (albeit they both have 3 all defensive second teams), which is even more rare for a forward. Bird was not only a better passer, but he was genuinely one of the greatest, craftiest, and legendary passers the game has ever had. Shaq averaged less than a rebound game more than Bird. Bird, for his position, was a much better rebounder, end of story.

So you have a better rebounder, defender, passer, arguably the greatest shooter of all time, whose TS% is damn near what Shaq's is (keep in mind position averages) which is again, ridiculous.

Bird won three MVPs in a row. Two of those years Boston won it all, and he was the Final's MVP, and led the league in most of the major statistics. That is domination. 12 all stars in a 13 year career is domination.

But to be honest, all of the accolades and statistics aside, the real truth is that Bird changed the game. He and Magic saved the game of professional basketball, and Bird was the face of the NBA. Shaq was phenomenal and all, but he never really made the impact that Bird did. And when you talk about the best of the best in the history of the NBA it comes down to the impact they made on the league, and what they accomplished as an individual in regards the goal of the game. Scoring, defending, rebounding, passing, entertaining, and most importantly: Winning.

Bird had an impact that only a couple other guys can really match. He was a top 5 player, and to say that there were ten other players (or currently 7/8) that were 'better' is just beyond me. It's inaccurate.

Of course, just my opinion.

Chronz
07-12-2014, 03:38 AM
Why do people compare how many championships players have, when in reality, basketball is a team sport?

Agreed.


Although someone who has one more championships than another, obviously, doesn't make them a better player, winning is the ultimate statistic.
You just admitted that winning isn't an individual statistic, so it being the ultimate statistic doesn't add up to me. We already know that a player can win a title despite being a better overall individual in years he doesn't, we've seen this phenomena with Bird himself. Thats why clinging to blind glances at win/loss tallies without taking into account the performance of his teammates/competition is so hallow.


All these statistics such as, PPG, FT%, PER, ORtg, TS%, USG%, WS/48, etc., etc. are actually part of a bigger formula: Winning. Because if you have the team with the best statistics across the board, but you fail to win an NBA championship, it's really besides the point. That's because the goal isn't to be efficient, the goal is to win. The key is efficiency is a formula to winning, but it isn't one and the same.
I dont get this post, the most efficient team has won every game, 100% of the time. If you mean regular season success doesn't always translate into post season success, I would agree. In fact, thats my main argument against Bird, that his regular season play hasn't translated into the post season. More than any other player that has gone before him, hes let down come playoffs. And its not just because Bird lost despite HCA and superior teammates, but because he got his country *** locked down more often than I prefer out of my absolute All-Time best.


So where exactly am I going with all this? Numbers have a place, for instance:

How many times did Shaq obtain 15 win shares? Twice.

Bird? Four times (consecutive years mind you).

So in that sense, statistically, Bird had was more responsible for winning at that level (15WS+) more often than Shaq did.
Thats why I focus more on how that regular season play translated into the post season. For Shaq, sure he wasn't as durable as Bird in some seasons, but come playoffs, what kind of WS rate did they post? Shaq posted most of the best post seasons by that metric. He certainly finished his career with far many more WS (both reg+ps) so I dont think this is the comparison you should be making. WS is but 1 statistic anyways.

Since you brought up Shaq, in this comparison it would boil down to what means more to you, a few additional wins in the regular season (via WS) or more wins when the games matter most (again via the same metric you tried to apply here).


Statistically, Bird could do more. Bird(4) led the league in DWS more times than Shaq(1) did (albeit they both have 3 all defensive second teams), which is even more rare for a forward. Bird was not only a better passer, but he was genuinely one of the greatest, craftiest, and legendary passers the game has ever had. Shaq averaged less than a rebound game more than Bird. Bird, for his position, was a much better rebounder, end of story.
End of story if we ignore the difference in their respective eras. Total rebound% favors Shaq by a landslide so I would disagree with your theory. Shaq had his weaknesses defensively but Bird was outright hidden in every possible matchup the Celtics could get away with. Thats why once Kevin McHale was no longer able to check the SF that Bird couldn't, their defense collapsed. Shaq was a DPOY caliber defender at his absolute apex, Bird was a liability that needed to be hid throughout the majority of his career. A great team defender but not enough to be deemed a DPOY caliber one.


So you have a better rebounder, defender, passer, arguably the greatest shooter of all time, whose TS% is damn near what Shaq's is (keep in mind position averages) which is again, ridiculous.
He was an inferior deferender, rebounder, scorer and post season performer. He had it easier given his era lacked the athletes and sophisticated zone schemes. Shaq didn't go ghost like Bird throughout his prime.


Bird won three MVPs in a row. Two of those years Boston won it all, and he was the Final's MVP, and led the league in most of the major statistics. That is domination. 12 all stars in a 13 year career is domination.

I never denied that Bird "Dominated", Im just not seeing how someone with more Championships, more Finals MVP's, more major statistics, more All-Stars (all the major accolades you've been able to cite thus far) is less dominant.


But to be honest, all of the accolades and statistics aside, the real truth is that Bird changed the game. He and Magic saved the game of professional basketball, and Bird was the face of the NBA. Shaq was phenomenal and all, but he never really made the impact that Bird did. And when you talk about the best of the best in the history of the NBA it comes down to the impact they made on the league, and what they accomplished as an individual in regards the goal of the game.
I disagree, that is a matter of timing and circumstance. I focus solely on what the players can control , their own play. Had Bird played in the 90's instead of the 80's, I would still focus on what he accomplished given his surroundings. Its a difference of opinion, I dont give extra credit for popularity, just performance.


Scoring, defending, rebounding, passing, entertaining, and most importantly: Winning.
He did most of that at a less impressive rate to me than the main guy you've compared him to. So what exactly are you saying here?

The FACTS are, he scored less than Shaq did All-Time, he rebounded less than Shaq did all time, he did accrue more assists and was arguably as entertaining, but Shaq was no slouch in that irrelevant department (my opinion), and most importantly, he won LESS than Shaq and he won in less impressive fashion (again my opinion).


Bird had an impact that only a couple other guys can really match. He was a top 5 player, and to say that there were ten other players (or currently 7/8) that were 'better' is just beyond me. It's inaccurate.

Of course, just my opinion.
You're entitled to your opinion. What doesn't add up is you making preemptive excuses for Bird's very real shortcomings. Other players have an impact beyond their initial statistical rankings, that Bird needs a bigger crutch to explain his lack of production (comparatively speaking) is'nt something someone like Shaq has to apologize for. Shaq had the most dominant stretch of play from anyone not named MJ. No one else in the modern era required rules to slow down his dominance. Even when MJ was dominating, the main complaint that Wilt had against him was that the league only looked to preserve his dominance, whereas they tried to minimize his. The same held true for Shaq when the league FINALLY allowed zone defenses. So when you talk about the dramatic impact a player has on the game in general, keep in mind that illegal defense was disallowed because giving the ball to Shaq 1 on 1 with absolutely no zone coverage was deemed too unfair.

Chronz
07-12-2014, 04:07 AM
1) BLOCKS: They didn't keep track of blocks back then. Everybody knows that Russ was a master shot-blocker and blocked-shot-director (to a team mate). What most people don't know is that Wilt was far superior athletically to Russ (quicker, stronger, faster, more stamina) and he was blocking TONS of shots per game. His contemporaries claim he averaged 10+ BLOCKS A GAME (think about that). It is sworn to that he had one game where WILT BLOCKED 26 SHOTS! Shot-blocking IS a huge part of Defense; and NO ONE has ever out shot-blocked Wilt Chamberlain ("and it ain't even close")
Everything you said about Wilt was true, he was a more prolific shot blocker than Russ, but he was not necessarily a better shot blocker. Wilt was more athletic overall, definitely faster, he just wasn't quicker. Many of Wilt's contemporaries noted that Wilt needed a split second longer to gather himself, whereas Russel could double jump at whim. Also, for someone who blocked so many shots, its odd how little he changed his teams fortunes defensively. You get the sense that many of his blocked shots were of the hallow variety (aka volleyball spikes out of bounds).


2) SHOT-INTIMIDATION: NBA players attempted shots over Bill Russell's defense. NBA players FREQUENTLY passed on shot attempts over Wilt Chamberlain's defense. I know of no proof of this; but I saw it EVERY GAME I watched (LIVE or on TV). People were absolutely intimidated to try to shoot over Wilt. How much of defense is that???

Quotes that I have relied on over the years that paint a different picture;

Walt Frazier: When you drove on him, you waited for the squat; then, if you timed it right, you could get your shot off. That was the main difference defensively between him and Bill Russell. Russell would stand straight up and you didn’t know when he was going to make his move and block your shot. When Wilt wanted to block you, he had to get ready first and set himself.

Sam Jones:
"I’d rather drive against Chamberlain than Russell. Chamberlain doesn’t gather himself as quickly and you can throw it up there easier."


Elvin Hayes
"With Russell,you never know what to expect. He has such great lateral movement. He's always got an angle on you. He told me that he can take just two steps and block a shot from any position on the court. I remember the first time I was matched up against him. I was out in the corner and he was under the basket. I figured it was safe to shoot. But as I went up, there he was, tipping the shot.

Pete Newell
“When you analyze them defensively, you have to consider the style of defense each has played. Russell’s San Francisco team played a pressing man-to-man defense which forced opposing teams to drive past the front men and right into Russell’s arms. Bill’s great mobility enabled him to block jump shots all over the court.

“Chamberlain plays the middle man in a 1-3-1 zone defense. His movements are restricted to an arc that doesn’t extend beyond the free-throw line. He doesn’t move out very far to try to block shots because he wants to be in position for rebounding.

“But where Russell had a big edge was that he was more defensive-minded. He was a much quicker thinker on defense than Wilt,”




My Own Personal Conclusion: Wilt Was The NBA's Greatest Defender, Better Than Russell
No slight to Russ; I've got him #2 (by a humongous amount); but Wilt was by far the greater intimidator AND Russell's great individual and team-help defense did NOTHING exceptional against Wilt.
I cant support that stance. The numbers (however limited they are) show us that Russell had an immensely greater defensive influence. If you look at the Celtics defense before/after Russell, you get about a 6PT difference in the aggregate. Thats on par with providing Michael Jordan type offensive value. MJ was of course, a better defender than Russ was on offense, but it does highlight why Russ is considered the best defender of All-Time. And I actually think his defensive impact is something that is more transferable than people realize. I just think Wilt's overall game was more transferable and definitely more impactful given team circumstances.

Redrum187
07-12-2014, 05:49 AM
It was tough to decide... LeBron James, Larry Bird, then Kobe Bryant for me...

SLY WILLIAMS
07-12-2014, 09:36 AM
I was just reading an article for the reason Lebron choose the Cavs. The implication that the reasons were a lot more about smarts than going home. The Cavs have a few good young pieces. In the article Doug Collins told a story about a game where Bird was not happy going against his Bulls in Chicago. Something about the Bulls messing up a Bird ticket request got the ball rolling. Those Bulls had a guy named Jordan. In this game Bird scored 41pts 7reb and 7 assists and I think Jordan scored 23pts-7reb-7 assists. The stats were not what caught my eye. Bird made things look so easily. Like he was playing in slow motion yet his shot was so pure that he kept scoring. What caught my eye though was that Jordan tried to guard him 3 times in the clip. Bird scored on Jordan as easily as scoring on a 10 year old kid. Now Jordan was a great defender. I had seen him guard guys from Kevin Johnson to Magic, to Patrick Ewing at times and not give an inch. Yet he looked defenseless inside in this clip vs Bird.

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 12:04 PM
I was just reading an article for the reason Lebron choose the Cavs. The implication that the reasons were a lot more about smarts than going home. The Cavs have a few good young pieces. In the article Doug Collins told a story about a game where Bird was not happy going against his Bulls in Chicago. Something about the Bulls messing up a Bird ticket request got the ball rolling. Those Bulls had a guy named Jordan. In this game Bird scored 41pts 7reb and 7 assists and I think Jordan scored 23pts-7reb-7 assists. The stats were not what caught my eye. Bird made things look so easily. Like he was playing in slow motion yet his shot was so pure that he kept scoring. What caught my eye though was that Jordan tried to guard him 3 times in the clip. Bird scored on Jordan as easily as scoring on a 10 year old kid. Now Jordan was a great defender. I had seen him guard guys from Kevin Johnson to Magic, to Patrick Ewing at times and not give an inch. Yet he looked defenseless inside in this clip vs Bird.

A Tiny, ONE-GAME, Sample Size Tends To Tell Us Next-To-Nothing Beyond That Game

Hey SLY WILLIAMS,
There's few NBA commentators whose opinions I respect more than Doug Collins (I wish, during the Play-Offs they had just turned off Bill & Jalen's mics and let Doug really have the time to go into full detail - brilliant analyst.)

Otoh, according to the article, this is a sample size of exactly ONE GAME; AND Bird was ticked off about something (so he played more intensely, one would assume, than average); AND, in the clip, MJ guarded him ALL OF THREE TIMES! Talk about small sample size! I'd be surprised if Bird didn't try to guard MJ at least three times in that same game and get burned worse!

I was privileged to watch the Bulls-C's Play-Off game where, afterwards, Bird called MJ "God". MJ dismantled that All-Time Great Boston Defense like they were playground kids. He scored AT WILL from outside against every one of the C's and against double & triple teams. He scored AT WILL at the rim, working and weaving his way thru that righteously vaunted Defense like their tennies were glued to the ground. (Only time I've even seen such individual game-long dominance, both inside and outside, were Dr J. games (especially ABA games when he was other-worldly in his offensive skills - and had a green light (and the team absolutely needed every one of those scores).)

If we want to go by a "hand-selected" sample size of ONE GAME EACH; MJ utterly destroys Bird here. For me, this means just a tiny bit more than zero.

In other words, Bird, like ALL great players (and many, many others; but with a good deal less frequency) could get in a "zone" where the basket was, figuratively, the size of the ocean. That tells us he had a monster game; the high frequency tells us he was a monster player. But absolutely NONE of this tells us how his CAREER compared to anybody else's who's already in or is a candidate to be in the GOAT Top 10 or Top 15. Right?

SLY WILLIAMS
07-12-2014, 12:23 PM
A Tiny, ONE-GAME, Sample Size Tends To Tell Us Next-To-Nothing Beyond That Game

Hey SLY WILLIAMS,
There's few NBA commentators whose opinions I respect more than Doug Collins (I wish, during the Play-Offs they had just turned off Bill & Jalen's mics and let Doug really have the time to go into full detail - brilliant analyst.)

Otoh, according to the article, this is a sample size of exactly ONE GAME; AND Bird was ticked off about something (so he played more intensely, one would assume, than average); AND, in the clip, MJ guarded him ALL OF THREE TIMES! Talk about small sample size! I'd be surprised if Bird didn't try to guard MJ at least three times in that same game and get burned worse!

I was privileged to watch the Bulls-C's Play-Off game where, afterwards, Bird called MJ "God". MJ dismantled that All-Time Great Boston Defense like they were playground kids. He scored AT WILL from outside against every one of the C's and against double & triple teams. He scored AT WILL at the rim, working and weaving his way thru that righteously vaunted Defense like their tennies were glued to the ground. (Only time I've even seen such individual game-long dominance, both inside and outside, were Dr J. games (especially ABA games when he was other-worldly in his offensive skills - and had a green light (and the team absolutely needed every one of those scores).)

If we want to go by a "hand-selected" sample size of ONE GAME EACH; MJ utterly destroys Bird here. For me, this means just a tiny bit more than zero.

In other words, Bird, like ALL great players (and many, many others; but with a good deal less frequency) could get in a "zone" where the basket was, figuratively, the size of the ocean. That tells us he had a monster game; the high frequency tells us he was a monster player. But absolutely NONE of this tells us how his CAREER compared to anybody else's who's already in or is a candidate to be in the GOAT Top 10 or Top 15. Right?

Maybe I did not word myself well in my post or maybe you missed the point I was getting at in my post. My point was not to compare Bird to MJ or say Bird was better than MJ. My point was not to look at stats in that game nor how Bird defended Jordan. My only point was that I was impressed at how easily Bird scored on those 3 possessions against MJ because I have seen Jordan play great defense against players of all sizes inside and out. With that said you can have the last word.

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 12:40 PM
An Open Appeal To All GOAT Posters, Especially The Young Majority

The ONLY All-Time Greats I did not have the privilege of watching play their entire careers were:
George Mikan and Bob Pettit (I did see the 2nd half of his career). What "plugged that gap" for me was that I grew up at the side of a huge fan of the NBL and earliest NBA/BAA, my dad. As we watched the Greats of the 60's; he "compared and contrasted" them with the earliest Greats.

It makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE to have actually SEEN all these Greats do their thing. I see THREE BIG CHALLENGES IN THESE GOAT DISCUSSIONS:

1) Homerism (I know of no real fix-it for this; just encouraging all of us to try, as much as possible, to put that to the side in these particular discussions AND, that those who are able, write the most-informative posts & rebuttals - so we can all be a little less "blinded" by our "own heroes".)

We've had many posts that start (or include) comments like: "My God, shame on PSD, we're the laughing stock of ...." "The voting so far is so ridiculous it's obvious that most PSD posters ..."

These broad and NEGATIVE GENERALIZATIONS AND "SLANDERS" are not, in fact, based on OBJECTIVE judgments; but instead, driven by "homerist subjectivity". And, imo, they do far more to injure PSD's reputation than the actual voting results. Think about that, please.

2) Defense Of Publicly Long-Held Stereotypes & Images:
A couple of examples:
a) That Bill Russell automatically deserves a spot near the very top of the list (without taking into consideration that his teams were easily THE most-stacked teams (compared to the rest of the League) of All-Time AND that their GM & Coach (Red) was easily THE most ahead-of-his-competitors);

b) That MJ was so great that he will (supposedly) ALWAYS be the GOAT. That, on the face of it is ridiculous - what, in 100 years, there's absolutely NO possibility that some Wilt-Like Once-In-A-Century Freak Of Nature will come along who also happens to play on a multiple Chip-winning team??? This type of thinking, super-prevalent here on PSD (and beyond) CLEARLY shows thinking BLINDED BY HYPE (and "my generation was/is the best" type thinking).

To even suggest that MJ's career was NOT the Greatest ever is to be subjected to ferocious ridicule!

These are NOT the only players whose publicly long-held images tend to over-influence our evaluations.

3) Lack Of Familiarity With Most Of Or Even The Entire Careers Of Some Of These Guys:
We have a list of GOAT candidates WITHOUT The "Almighty" Elgin Baylor and Dr. J.! We have tons of posts clearly showing a deep LACK of familiarity with others, even of KAJ and Wilt, for example.

MY APPEAL: Please do what you can to "fight these biases"; generally, by not taking things so "personally" with regards to one's own favorite player(s); and, in particular, try to track down videos (that are longer than 3-5 minutes) that encapsulate the careers of the "before-your-time" Greats.

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 01:03 PM
A Suggestion To Help Guide Your GOAT Vote: Treat Each Decade's Greats As ~Equals

Preface: I consider the NBA (-ABA-NBL) to have had 3 major eras:

1) 1938-1947: The Earliest, "Pre-Mikan", Era. Mikan changed "everything". It was he who took professionalism on the hardwood to a WAY higher level AND put the Center on Center Stage (where they remained for almost 60 years) - thus, it was he who defined the Center-Dominated Nature of the NBA. I include his first "season" 1947 in the "Pre-Mikan" Era because he only joined the NBL almost half-way thru that 46-47 season, playing only 25 games; and during that block of games; his import was not yet realized and reacted to.

2) 1948-1959: The "Mikan / Pre-Wilt / Pre-Full-Integration" Era:
Mikan dominated this era like no other player before or since. But those were the pre-full-integration days (integration spread slowly thru the 1950s); and Wilt had not yet "re-Mikan-ized" the level of play.

3) 1960-now: The Modern NBA Era:
With Wilt's first year, 59-60, the NBA was "muscled" into the modern era. His presence and utter dominance, much like Mikan had before him, revolutionized every aspect of the game. That, imo, was THE last time, that the level of play throughout pro-b-ball took a huge step upwards (and on both sides of the ball).

It is my opinion that it's true: the Top 5 Guys from any decade would have still be Great Players in any other decade (only serious POSSIBLE exception: Bill Russell, because of his super-weak scoring for a Center).

My Concrete Suggestion (based on the above):
Treat The Greats Of All The "Modern" Decades (60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's, 10's) As Relative Equals:

What this would mean, is that, while your individual GOAT Top 1, or Top 5 or Top 10, might have more players from one decade than another;

In your GOAT Top 25-30, try to have about 5 players each from the 5 full-decades, plus 2-3 players who are (still) playing/PEAKing in the 00s and, perhaps, Mikan (as the ONLY, pre-1960, player worthy of any consideration at this super-high level of All-Time Greats)

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 01:09 PM
Having LOVED & Avidly Watched/Studied Both Their Careers, I Firmly Believe That:
Dr J's Career Was Better Than Bird's Career

Personally, having loved both players, and having watched every game I could of both's careers (while they were playing); I rate Dr. J. over Bird.

Dr. J's ABA days were All-Time PEAK Top 5, maybe #1 - he was THAT phenomenal (grabbing a rebound, spotting no teammate ahead to pass to, driving the length of the court THRU the entire other team, dribbling between his legs FORWARD and without losing speed, and "taking it home".) This was a very frequent occurrence. One of pro-b-ball's All-Time great Defenders, Bobby Jones, was absolutely shreaded by Dr J in the last ABA Finals - it was astonishing what Dr J did then and every year, early in his career.

Then, head-to-head vs Bird, Dr. J came out ahead the majority of the times in the early 80's.

Here's a LINK to a David Friedman's blog: "20-Second TimeOut". In the right-hand column, relatively near the top, he has an entire Dr. J. section. I've read all those articles (and 100s more at his site - few people, imo, have been more "right" about NBA-ABA-NBL history: eras, teams, players, careers, games than this guy!)

http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.mx/

Please, in particular, check out this article, specifically (and THOROUGHLY) addressing the Bird VS Dr J, early 80's match-ups (individual and team):

http://20secondtimeout.blogspot.mx/2009/03/best-of-rivals-julius-erving-versus.html

I was "there" (watching those games, series, battles. THEY WERE as D.F. describes them).

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 01:20 PM
Maybe I did not word myself well in my post or maybe you missed the point I was getting at in my post. My point was not to compare Bird to MJ or say Bird was better than MJ. My point was not to look at stats in that game nor how Bird defended Jordan. My only point was that I was impressed at how easily Bird scored on those 3 possessions against MJ because I have seen Jordan play great defense against players of all sizes inside and out. With that said you can have the last word.

Hey SLY WILLIAMS,
It's not infrequent to find oneself in a contradictory position of trying to address / "correct" something specific in a post while NOT appearing to under-appreciate the overall quality of the post and/or poster.

I have quite a lot of respect for your "work", your thinking in your (many) posts (not to mention the fine job you do as a mod). I would not want to leave the impression at all that I think that:
a) I supposedly know the game better than you do; or that
b) I think of myself as somehow better than you (or anybody else generally for that matter).

In instances where a poster will question whether I either missed their point and/or over-reacted; I tend to question my posting FIRST (did I screw up, again?).

I'll "go with" that I did over-react. You tried to make a certain point; and you did, indeed, make it. I too had seen the Great Bird dominate other All-Time Greats, both in individual games and Play-Off Series.

My only "excuse" (I'm not into making excuses for my mistakes - it's a kind of "suicide"; never worth it imo); is that we're here in the middle of a GOAT thread AND, very specifically, addressing Bird's merits vis-a-vis the GOAT #8 position. Given that, I "drew" more out of your post than was there.

Please accept my apologies
(and my kudos for your graciousness throughout your paragraph & specifically: "...you can have the last word").

RocketLoc80
07-12-2014, 02:32 PM
Even though I voted for Lebron in a close one I am glad to see Bird winning this poll now I hope it holds up

Kaner
07-12-2014, 02:58 PM
A Suggestion To Help Guide Your GOAT Vote: Treat Each Decade's Greats As ~Equals

Preface: I consider the NBA (-ABA-NBL) to have had 3 major eras:

1) 1938-1947: The Earliest, "Pre-Mikan", Era. Mikan changed "everything". It was he who took professionalism on the hardwood to a WAY higher level AND put the Center on Center Stage (where they remained for almost 60 years) - thus, it was he who defined the Center-Dominated Nature of the NBA. I include his first "season" 1947 in the "Pre-Mikan" Era because he only joined the NBL almost half-way thru that 46-47 season, playing only 25 games; and during that block of games; his import was not yet realized and reacted to.

2) 1948-1959: The "Mikan / Pre-Wilt / Pre-Full-Integration" Era:
Mikan dominated this era like no other player before or since. But those were the pre-full-integration days (integration spread slowly thru the 1950s); and Wilt had not yet "re-Mikan-ized" the level of play.

3) 1960-now: The Modern NBA Era:
With Wilt's first year, 59-60, the NBA was "muscled" into the modern era. His presence and utter dominance, much like Mikan had before him, revolutionized every aspect of the game. That, imo, was THE last time, that the level of play throughout pro-b-ball took a huge step upwards (and on both sides of the ball).

It is my opinion that it's true: the Top 5 Guys from any decade would have still be Great Players in any other decade (only serious POSSIBLE exception: Bill Russell, because of his super-weak scoring for a Center).

My Concrete Suggestion (based on the above):
Treat The Greats Of All The "Modern" Decades (60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's, 10's) As Relative Equals:

What this would mean, is that, while your individual GOAT Top 1, or Top 5 or Top 10, might have more players from one decade than another;

In your GOAT Top 25-30, try to have about 5 players each from the 5 full-decades, plus 2-3 players who are (still) playing/PEAKing in the 00s and, perhaps, Mikan (as the ONLY, pre-1960, player worthy of any consideration at this super-high level of All-Time Greats)

I recently watched a 1950s NBA finals game between Minneapolis Lakers and Syracuse Nationals, and it's pretty clear from the video that NONE of those guys would make a D1 program let alone a nba team today. Mikan was an important piece to popularizing basketball and a hall of famer but he isn't 1 of the top 30 or even 100 best players to pick up a basketball.

FlashBolt
07-12-2014, 03:30 PM
Kobe vs Bron. This will be fun.

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 03:38 PM
I recently watched a 1950s NBA finals game between Minneapolis Lakers and Syracuse Nationals, and it's pretty clear from the video that NONE of those guys would make a D1 program let alone a nba team today. Mikan was an important piece to popularizing basketball and a hall of famer but he isn't 1 of the top 30 or even 100 best players to pick up a basketball.

Hey Kaner,
Please notice just a few things:
1) I specifically said: "perhaps, Mikan ... worthy of any consideration.." (Notice the words: "perhaps" and "any").

2) I thought I saw Mikan's name in an earlier (and thus even-higher "stakes") thread in this GOAT series.

3) His name WAS included by the NBA itself for its "50 Greatest Players" First 50 Years Celebration.

On the other, I do not include Mikan in my Top 40. I tend to include him around 50th, just because it seems "sacrilegious" to NOT include him in the Top 50. (I know that's, at best, an "iffy" proposition.) Mikan did have 8 totally-dominant years (including his NBL days when the NBL was clearly far-superior to the infant BAA).

btw, GOT A LINK TO THAT MIKAN VIDEO? Boy would I die to see that (see how it matches the memories my dad gave me; he was a huge Mikan fan back IN Mikan's days).

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 03:49 PM
Kobe vs Bron. This will be fun.

Hey FB,
Maybe we shouldn't quite yet "jump the gun"? This poll's got a day and a half (spread over this weekend) still to register more votes; and Bird does not have much of a lead over LeBron (2 votes) or Kobe (4 votes).

Otoh, no doubt a Kobe vs LeBron thread would be "hot" in every sense of the term.
For myself, since it became clear, earlier this past season, that LeBron would get another All-NBA 1st-Team selection, I've had them:

GOAT #5 (LeBron, ahead of Hakeem, Bird & Russell) and
GOAT #6 (Kobe, in a virtual tie with Shaq & Duncan; with all three of them ahead of Hakeem, Bird & Russell);

I feel strongly that LeBron's 10-11 Great Years have had just enough increased quality or "PEAK-ness" to barely overcome "my" Kobe's incredible 15 Year PRIME Run. BUT, I could live with either order (and pretty easily at that).

More generally, I don't get agitated by most GOAT #s 5-12 lists. (Even less so, the further down the list we go).

My only truly powerful "concerns" were/are that these four guys: KAJ, Magic, MJ & Wilt end up in the GOAT Top 5 (with the order NOT being that important to me; I do have them in that exact order).

Kaner
07-12-2014, 03:49 PM
Hey Kaner,
Please notice just a few things:
1) I specifically said: "perhaps, Mikan ... worthy of any consideration.." (Notice the words: "perhaps" and "any").

2) I thought I saw Mikan's name in an earlier (and thus even-higher "stakes") thread in this GOAT series.

3) His name WAS included by the NBA itself for its "50 Greatest Players" First 50 Years Celebration.

On the other, I do not include Mikan in my Top 40. I tend to include him around 50th, just because it seems "sacrilegious" to NOT include him in the Top 50. (I know that's, at best, an "iffy" proposition.) Mikan did have 8 totally-dominant years (including his NBL days when the NBL was clearly far-superior to the infant BAA).

btw, GOT A LINK TO THAT MIKAN VIDEO? Boy would I die to see that (see how it matches the memories my dad gave me; he was a huge Mikan fan back IN Mikan's days).

Here's the link let me know what you think after cause I was pretty blown away at how bad players were in that era.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkD4GRGdCZI

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 03:52 PM
What to make of the fact that since Chronz's fabulous post analyzing Bird's career (and making a very strong case for Bird NOT being GOAT #8; since then, Bird's moved ahead of both LeBron and Kobe.

hmmmmm

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 03:54 PM
btw, For some reason I have it in my head that Bird himself, some time relatively recently, "admitted" / acknowledged that LeBron's career had passed his. Can anybody definitively confirm/dis-prove this? LINK?

I am sure that a number of public people who previously had Bird higher than LeBron have, more recently, switched their positions (based on the additional evidence of another Great Year from LeBron).

Pablonovi
07-12-2014, 04:13 PM
Everything you said about Wilt was true, he was a more prolific shot blocker than Russ, but he was not necessarily a better shot blocker. Wilt was more athletic overall, definitely faster, he just wasn't quicker. Many of Wilt's contemporaries noted that Wilt needed a split second longer to gather himself, whereas Russel could double jump at whim. Also, for someone who blocked so many shots, its odd how little he changed his teams fortunes defensively. You get the sense that many of his blocked shots were of the hallow variety (aka volleyball spikes out of bounds).


Quotes that I have relied on over the years that paint a different picture;

Walt Frazier: When you drove on him, you waited for the squat; then, if you timed it right, you could get your shot off. That was the main difference defensively between him and Bill Russell. Russell would stand straight up and you didn’t know when he was going to make his move and block your shot. When Wilt wanted to block you, he had to get ready first and set himself.

Sam Jones:
"I’d rather drive against Chamberlain than Russell. Chamberlain doesn’t gather himself as quickly and you can throw it up there easier."


Elvin Hayes
"With Russell,you never know what to expect. He has such great lateral movement. He's always got an angle on you. He told me that he can take just two steps and block a shot from any position on the court. I remember the first time I was matched up against him. I was out in the corner and he was under the basket. I figured it was safe to shoot. But as I went up, there he was, tipping the shot.

Pete Newell
“When you analyze them defensively, you have to consider the style of defense each has played. Russell’s San Francisco team played a pressing man-to-man defense which forced opposing teams to drive past the front men and right into Russell’s arms. Bill’s great mobility enabled him to block jump shots all over the court.

“Chamberlain plays the middle man in a 1-3-1 zone defense. His movements are restricted to an arc that doesn’t extend beyond the free-throw line. He doesn’t move out very far to try to block shots because he wants to be in position for rebounding.

“But where Russell had a big edge was that he was more defensive-minded. He was a much quicker thinker on defense than Wilt,”




I cant support that stance. The numbers (however limited they are) show us that Russell had an immensely greater defensive influence. If you look at the Celtics defense before/after Russell, you get about a 6PT difference in the aggregate. Thats on par with providing Michael Jordan type offensive value. MJ was of course, a better defender than Russ was on offense, but it does highlight why Russ is considered the best defender of All-Time. And I actually think his defensive impact is something that is more transferable than people realize. I just think Wilt's overall game was more transferable and definitely more impactful given team circumstances.

Hey High Horse,
Another high-quality, well thought-out, thoroughly researched post from you.
On to specifics.
1) BLOCKS: We muchly agree about Wilt's advantage in terms of blocking (I'll "grant" that Russell was the better blocked-shot "director", an important consideration);

2) BETTER SHOT-INTIMIDATOR: I think you've probably trumped me with your excellent research/analysis OVER my "eye-test" stretched over half-a-century of fading memory. It may very well be the case the jump-heights Wilt reached and his "sky-high" blocks impressed me too much compared to Bill's steady and more-effective shot-defending; *

3) HEAD-TO-HEAD: You haven't (yet) addressed this. I feel like it is quite important and perhaps the most important indicator of just how great Russell's D was against Wilt who he faced some 140 times (that's almost two full seasons worth of head-to-heads; or, put another way, about 1/7th of ALL of Russell's games were against Wilt's teams. IF Russell's D was not that great, on average, in that large set of games; wouldn't that say something important about Russell's overall D being some significant among less Great than people have characterized as.

4) MY STANCE THAT WILT'S D WAS BETTER THAN RUSSELL'S D: We clearly disagree (perhaps not hugely as far as how big a gap we might be speaking of). But, without out your response to #3 ...

I'd put it this way. I've been waiting a good 50 years for someone to "convince" me that Russell's D was indeed better than Wilt's. You taken me part of the way. I imagine if you make a decent case about my "3)" (head-to-head); that you'll win me over.

Hope you address it.

* About the "testimonials:
1) Sam Jones - it's hard to accept his opinion on this particular subject seeing as he was Russ's teammate.
2) About Newell: Isn't he just comparing their college careers here? If so, that might not necessarily apply to what they did as they "matured" into All-Time Great NBA Players, no?
3) Hayes: he doesn't even mention Wilt. Perhaps if he had, he would have said even more glowing things?

so vis-à-vis their NBA careers that only leaves one (hopefully impartial) guy: Walt Frazier. I'd sure like to "hear" from more of their contemporaries before making a judgment here.

P.S. Here (for convenience's sake) is what I said about that point "3)" (head-to-head):
"3) HEAD-TO-HEAD, THE GREAT BILL RUSSELL NEVER STOPPED WILT CHAMBERLAIN!
Wilt averaged 29+ ppg and 29+ rpg vs Russell; just a small amount less than Wilt averaged against ALL the other Centers. Yet, Bill Russell consistently, easily, had the best all-around Defensive teams backing him up and helping him ACTIVELY trying to slow Wilt down. On the other hand, Wilt hampered Russell's Offense FAR MORE than the average center did; and far more than Russell "hampered" Wilt's O."

ThuglifeJ
07-13-2014, 05:27 PM
Lol WHAT?? Bird drops AGAIN!?

hahaha I'm taking note of everyone who voted Lebron here just so I know who has any good sense with this subject here..

mightybosstone
07-13-2014, 05:54 PM
This was a very interesting vote. I wished I had been more involved with the discussion, but free agency has dominated most of my PSD time. I wonder how the Lebron decision impacted the vote here. If he picks Miami, would the haters from the last four years come out in full force to vote against him? If he still hadn't decided, would he still be in the lead?

For what it's worth, Lebron obviously would have been my pick again with Bird and Russell a toss up right behind him. If this vote holds, I'm not quite sure yet who I'll pick in the next round. That should be a highly contested battle between Bird, Kobe and Russell voters.

5ass
07-13-2014, 06:02 PM
Lol WHAT?? Bird drops AGAIN!?

hahaha I'm taking note of everyone who voted Lebron here just so I know who has any good sense with this subject here..

Look back for chronz's post for the case against bird. I really wanted to go with bird, but really LeBron doesn't have to do much to pass him if he hasn't already. If you can counter his argument with something more than "hahaha lololol" I might just change my vote.

Hawkeye15
07-13-2014, 06:15 PM
LeBron here for me. He has passed Bird as the top SF guys. Bird may not be able to help a shortened career, and injuries, but they are facts.

Raps18-19 Champ
07-13-2014, 06:58 PM
A travesty that Lebron slipped to 8th.

Pablonovi
07-13-2014, 07:12 PM
Lol WHAT?? Bird drops AGAIN!?

hahaha I'm taking note of everyone who voted Lebron here just so I know who has any good sense with this subject here..

Hey ThuglifeJ,
There are STILL 15 hours left; nothing's been decided. Last time I had checked (yesterday late) Bird was ahead; almost "anything" could still happen.

Otoh, comments like "who has any good sense" make YOU look bad, like you don't have much sense (notice I didn't say "any" which is far more derogatory and underserved in all directions, usually). If you DO check out who did NOT vote for Bird; I think you'll find that their average NBA post is MORE knowledgeable than the average post by those who did vote for Bird. (At the least, I'd pretty much guarantee it isn't decidedly worse - so "any good sense" is Unjustified).

Pablonovi
07-13-2014, 07:19 PM
Bird & Co. BEATEN By Dr. J. (& Co.) & By KAJ-Magic (& Co.): Bird = NOT #8 GOAT
We've seen a lot of focus on Bird's Greatness during the Regular Season.
Focusing instead/again on the Play-Offs:
Bird had one of the All-Time Greatest TEAMS (THE Greatest FrontLine: Bird, McHale, Parish (with Bill Walton one year - who might have been better than Parish; Cornbread Maxwell who was good enough to beat out all of them for fMVP one year); he had QUALITY guards: Dennis Johnson (D for Dennis), Danny Ainge, others. He had good-quality coaching.

YET:
Dr J's teams outplayed Bird's teams.
The Magic-KAJ teams outplayed Bird's teams.
If he's an All-Time GOAT #8, he & his great TEAMS win rather than lose the majority of those series. But he and they did NOT.

ThuglifeJ
07-13-2014, 07:23 PM
Lol WHAT?? Bird drops AGAIN!?

hahaha I'm taking note of everyone who voted Lebron here just so I know who has any good sense with this subject here..

Look back for chronz's post for the case against bird. I really wanted to go with bird, but really LeBron doesn't have to do much to pass him if he hasn't already. If you can counter his argument with something more than "hahaha lololol" I might just change my vote.

We've tried in the past voting threads. It gets tiring at this point. Ppl will vote how they vote

Pablonovi
07-13-2014, 07:55 PM
A travesty that Lebron slipped to 8th.

Hey Raps,
I just "posted" a longer thing - but it didn't post.
Here's a short version:
LeBron has already had a better career than Hakeem:

ALL-NBA 1st-Teams (means you were THE #1 at your position for 1 entire year):
LeBron 8, Hakeem 6

ALL-NBA 1st+2nd Teams (means you were either the #1 or the #2 best at your position for 1 entire year):
LeBron 10, Hakeem 9

MVP's: (which I consider LESS valid but still quite useful)
LeBron 4, Hakeem 1

MVP Shares *:
LeBron 3rd All-Time (right behind KAJ)
Hakeem 17th All-Time

More Complete Player:
LeBron = maybe most complete player ever (for years could lock-down 4.5 positions on D; can score from almost anywhere, great passer, TEAM-first attitude, super BBIQ)
Hakeem = not as complete and for not as long

Positionally Speaking:
LeBron = arguably best SF ever
Hakeem = probably 4th Best Center ever

* MVP Shares (All 21 Players with at least 2.0 MVP Shares):
1. Michael Jordan* 8.138
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 6.203
3. LeBron James 6.100
4. Larry Bird* 5.693
5. Magic Johnson* 5.129
6. Bill Russell* 4.827
7. Shaquille O'Neal 4.380
8. Karl Malone* 4.296
9. Tim Duncan 4.278
10. Wilt Chamberlain* 4.269
11. Kobe Bryant 4.206
12. David Robinson* 3.123
13. Kevin Durant 3.005
14. Moses Malone* 2.873
15. Kevin Garnett 2.753
16. Bob Pettit* 2.628
17. Hakeem Olajuwon* 2.611
18. Oscar Robertson* 2.479
19. Charles Barkley* 2.438
20. Steve Nash 2.429
21. Jerry West* 2.090

mngopher35
07-13-2014, 10:04 PM
My list has Kobe, Lebron, Bird, Russell at 8-11 so that is the order I will be trying to vote them in.

Pablonovi
07-13-2014, 10:42 PM
My list has Kobe, Lebron, Bird, Russell at 8-11 so that is the order I will be trying to vote them in.

Hey mngopher,
Given only those 4 to chose between: LeBron, Kobe, Bird, Russell.
But I have LeBron #5 and Kobe #6-8 (with Shaq & T.D.); Jerry West #9, Dr. J. #10 (I count his incredible ABA years; and he was better than Bird both individually and team-wise in the early 80s - and they battled often).

Then, Bird 11-15 (with "O", Hakeem, Stockton & K.Malone)
Then, Russell in the 16-20 range.

Chronz
07-13-2014, 11:09 PM
3) HEAD-TO-HEAD: You haven't (yet) addressed this. I feel like it is quite important and perhaps the most important indicator of just how great Russell's D was against Wilt who he faced some 140 times (that's almost two full seasons worth of head-to-heads; or, put another way, about 1/7th of ALL of Russell's games were against Wilt's teams. IF Russell's D was not that great, on average, in that large set of games; wouldn't that say something important about Russell's overall D being some significant among less Great than people have characterized as.
I havent memorized the numbers but IIRC, Russell was the only guy (save for Nate Thurmond) to best "contain" Prime Wilt. But 1 on 1 D isn't the sole barometer of defensive impact. I dont know if you recall the 68 series between the Sixers and Celtics, when Russell made the decision to take himself off of Wilt and onto the hot Chet Walker, he extinguished that flame in victory. Now the move was only possible because the Celtics did have a big body in Embry but also because Russell had the ability and intelligence to seek out that flame and extinguish it. He could have stuck to Wilt and done a better job than Wayne, but he put a bigger emphasis on containing the Sixers as a team. But in terms of man 2 man defense, I wouldn't doubt Wilts superiority, as a team defender, hes CLEARLY a peg below IMO.


4) MY STANCE THAT WILT'S D WAS BETTER THAN RUSSELL'S D: We clearly disagree (perhaps not hugely as far as how big a gap we might be speaking of). But, without out your response to #3 ...

I'd put it this way. I've been waiting a good 50 years for someone to "convince" me that Russell's D was indeed better than Wilt's. You taken me part of the way. I imagine if you make a decent case about my "3)" (head-to-head); that you'll win me over.

Hope you address it.

* About the "testimonials:
1) Sam Jones - it's hard to accept his opinion on this particular subject seeing as he was Russ's teammate.
2) About Newell: Isn't he just comparing their college careers here? If so, that might not necessarily apply to what they did as they "matured" into All-Time Great NBA Players, no?
3) Hayes: he doesn't even mention Wilt. Perhaps if he had, he would have said even more glowing things?

so vis-à-vis their NBA careers that only leaves one (hopefully impartial) guy: Walt Frazier. I'd sure like to "hear" from more of their contemporaries before making a judgment here.
True, there are alot more quotes tho. I dont have the time to rummage them up right now, since it would be pointless considering that debate was over a few polls back.


P.S. Here (for convenience's sake) is what I said about that point "3)" (head-to-head):
"3) HEAD-TO-HEAD, THE GREAT BILL RUSSELL NEVER STOPPED WILT CHAMBERLAIN!
Wilt averaged 29+ ppg and 29+ rpg vs Russell; just a small amount less than Wilt averaged against ALL the other Centers. Yet, Bill Russell consistently, easily, had the best all-around Defensive teams backing him up and helping him ACTIVELY trying to slow Wilt down. On the other hand, Wilt hampered Russell's Offense FAR MORE than the average center did; and far more than Russell "hampered" Wilt's O."
I'd have to check out the numbers but in the playoffs is where I would imagine Russ having a strong influence.

FlashBolt
07-13-2014, 11:09 PM
If people are constantly saying Bird, I have yet to see a legitimate argument towards Chronz's and Pablonovi's post against Bird. If you think Bird is #8, you have to have some legitimacy to back up your theory. Perhaps, many of you are just falling for his reputation more-so his actual game; which is a shame because this is actually a criteria that people base players on. Didn't expect the James votes to boost up. He probably received 8 votes straight? Seems like Kobe is out of contention. Surprisingly, there were only 4 players who received votes, so it's probably going to be Bird vs Kobe vs Russell next vote? Think James gets this one, btw. The amount of voters are dwindling and it's been going James way.

Raps18-19 Champ
07-13-2014, 11:12 PM
Hey Raps,
I just "posted" a longer thing - but it didn't post.
Here's a short version:
LeBron has already had a better career than Hakeem:

ALL-NBA 1st-Teams (means you were THE #1 at your position for 1 entire year):
LeBron 8, Hakeem 6

ALL-NBA 1st+2nd Teams (means you were either the #1 or the #2 best at your position for 1 entire year):
LeBron 10, Hakeem 9

MVP's: (which I consider LESS valid but still quite useful)
LeBron 4, Hakeem 1

MVP Shares *:
LeBron 3rd All-Time (right behind KAJ)
Hakeem 17th All-Time

More Complete Player:
LeBron = maybe most complete player ever (for years could lock-down 4.5 positions on D; can score from almost anywhere, great passer, TEAM-first attitude, super BBIQ)
Hakeem = not as complete and for not as long

Positionally Speaking:
LeBron = arguably best SF ever
Hakeem = probably 4th Best Center ever

* MVP Shares (All 21 Players with at least 2.0 MVP Shares):
1. Michael Jordan* 8.138
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 6.203
3. LeBron James 6.100
4. Larry Bird* 5.693
5. Magic Johnson* 5.129
6. Bill Russell* 4.827
7. Shaquille O'Neal 4.380
8. Karl Malone* 4.296
9. Tim Duncan 4.278
10. Wilt Chamberlain* 4.269
11. Kobe Bryant 4.206
12. David Robinson* 3.123
13. Kevin Durant 3.005
14. Moses Malone* 2.873
15. Kevin Garnett 2.753
16. Bob Pettit* 2.628
17. Hakeem Olajuwon* 2.611
18. Oscar Robertson* 2.479
19. Charles Barkley* 2.438
20. Steve Nash 2.429
21. Jerry West* 2.090

He's already ahead of Hakeem in terms of talent and accolades so not sure why Hakeem went in from of him.

Talent wise, he's pretty much top 3. Accolade wise, he's up there (unless you are one of those people who discredit his acheivements, the way they do with Russell (though Russell talent wise brings him down))

FlashBolt
07-14-2014, 12:31 AM
Hey Raps,
I just "posted" a longer thing - but it didn't post.
Here's a short version:
LeBron has already had a better career than Hakeem:

ALL-NBA 1st-Teams (means you were THE #1 at your position for 1 entire year):
LeBron 8, Hakeem 6

ALL-NBA 1st+2nd Teams (means you were either the #1 or the #2 best at your position for 1 entire year):
LeBron 10, Hakeem 9

MVP's: (which I consider LESS valid but still quite useful)
LeBron 4, Hakeem 1

MVP Shares *:
LeBron 3rd All-Time (right behind KAJ)
Hakeem 17th All-Time

More Complete Player:
LeBron = maybe most complete player ever (for years could lock-down 4.5 positions on D; can score from almost anywhere, great passer, TEAM-first attitude, super BBIQ)
Hakeem = not as complete and for not as long

Positionally Speaking:
LeBron = arguably best SF ever
Hakeem = probably 4th Best Center ever

* MVP Shares (All 21 Players with at least 2.0 MVP Shares):
1. Michael Jordan* 8.138
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 6.203
3. LeBron James 6.100
4. Larry Bird* 5.693
5. Magic Johnson* 5.129
6. Bill Russell* 4.827
7. Shaquille O'Neal 4.380
8. Karl Malone* 4.296
9. Tim Duncan 4.278
10. Wilt Chamberlain* 4.269
11. Kobe Bryant 4.206
12. David Robinson* 3.123
13. Kevin Durant 3.005
14. Moses Malone* 2.873
15. Kevin Garnett 2.753
16. Bob Pettit* 2.628
17. Hakeem Olajuwon* 2.611
18. Oscar Robertson* 2.479
19. Charles Barkley* 2.438
20. Steve Nash 2.429
21. Jerry West* 2.090

This is just insane.
http://speedcap.net/sharing/files/49/81/4981e0386baa9ae0ac010e04e7f18437.png

How many of the players on this list played under 11 seasons? LeBron, KD, and Chris Paul. Asides from KD and CP3, who realistically only KD can surpass James, no one else here has a chance. 11 seasons and he's third in MVP win shares compared to players who have had 17+ seasons and are in the borderline 5.0 range - with Shaq, Malone, and Duncan being examples of players who are on the 4.3 range. James has 6.1... I hate having discussions with James statistically and numerically because he's so good that only MJ can be comparable to it. Let's take CP3 out because he has no chance. Only one player can realistically challenge him.. Insane!

James is 2 whole points under Jordan. Assuming he has another two years of elite level, he will surpass him. He has at least 3 elite years and 4 really good years in his career.

mrblisterdundee
07-14-2014, 12:34 AM
I'm just looking at this. Omg I can't believe your all so naive to vote shaq anywhere near the top 20 players of all time. He was a TERRIBLE fundamental basketball played. He was big. That's it. You can't stop him because he was just born as a massive man. That doesn't make him a good basketball player. Unbelievable how ludicrous this is. Shaq should have fouled out in the first half of every game he played in.

Actually, I've heard that being big does help you at basketball. Kind of like Andre the Giant and wrestling.

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 01:19 AM
Actually, I've heard that being big does help you at basketball. Kind of like Andre the Giant and wrestling.

P.S. You wrote this in response to somebody scandalized that Shaq could be "anywhere near the top 20" (Yikes to that guy!)

Her mrblisterdundee,
Amazing, I've just rewatched a Wilt-related video. In it Arnold Schwartzeneggererzen relates how he went with Wilt to Wilt's first experience in a weight room. Wilt, naturally, had bad form; but still lifted WAY more weight and more times than ANYBODY else including the strongest regulars around. But the main thing I'm supposedly trying to say (if I would only stop interrupting myself - sucks I should know) was that Arnold was laughing about how Wilt and Andre The Giant were taking turns lifting him up WITH ONLY ONE HAND! (like a light-weight doll!)

Wilt was an absolute monster of strength (and so many other near-world-class attributes).

What's this got to do with Shaq? Are you asking me, or am I asking ???

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 01:33 AM
I havent memorized the numbers but IIRC, Russell was the only guy (save for Nate Thurmond) to best "contain" Prime Wilt. But 1 on 1 D isn't the sole barometer of defensive impact. I dont know if you recall the 68 series between the Sixers and Celtics, when Russell made the decision to take himself off of Wilt and onto the hot Chet Walker, he extinguished that flame in victory. Now the move was only possible because the Celtics did have a big body in Embry but also because Russell had the ability and intelligence to seek out that flame and extinguish it. He could have stuck to Wilt and done a better job than Wayne, but he put a bigger emphasis on containing the Sixers as a team. But in terms of man 2 man defense, I wouldn't doubt Wilts superiority, as a team defender, hes CLEARLY a peg below IMO.


True, there are alot more quotes tho. I dont have the time to rummage them up right now, since it would be pointless considering that debate was over a few polls back.


I'd have to check out the numbers but in the playoffs is where I would imagine Russ having a strong influence.

Hey High Horse,
Thanx for taking the time and putting in the serious effort in response to me.

Which reminds me, I don't know if it's really true, or where I heard it first (or if I just made it up???); but somehow/where/when I might have heard that Russell (with help?) paid a lot of attention to "reading" Wilt's mind and to "psyching" him out; i.e., playing mind-games with him; and "outmaneuvering" him on the court.

About the Head-To-Head. IF you have the time and energy to check out their Play-Offs encounters - much appreciated, I/we can count on you to report back objectively (objectively report back?; non-subjectively?)
Be that as it may / may not; having not looked at / analyzed such numbers; I wonder if there was a significant difference. Those 140 or so head-to-heads is a HUMONGOUS number in which Wilt's O DOMINATED the NBA's ALL-TIME Greatest Defender, Russ.

You say, "I havent memorized the numbers but IIRC, Russell was the only guy (save for Nate Thurmond) to best "contain" Prime Wilt."

Well, here's the thing. I "knew" this beforehand, but bagwell "confirmed" that Wilt basically averaged the same ppg and rpg vs Russell (in those huge number of games; so it's the exact opposite of a small sample size; it's about the biggest sample size ever existing in the NBA). Give THAT, Russ was NOT defending Wilt any better than the average center was. Not very impressive. AND, it is well-known that those C's All-Star Teams were master-defensive squads AND helped Russ a lot on Wilt. Yet, still, no significant reduction in Wilt's numbers.

I'm still very open to being convinced (on account of I care about the truth; don't care much at all about any of my previously strongly-held opinions if they can be trumped by better facts/analysis). I'm just trying NOT to give in too quickly to yours (or others') worthy points and arguments.

I feel so privileged to go "back-and-forth" with you about points we don't completely agree about; because you are one of the few who does so on the basis of: well-researched facts, well-reasoned analysis, and principled debate.

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 02:37 AM
Here's the link let me know what you think after cause I was pretty blown away at how bad players were in that era.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkD4GRGdCZI

1954 NBA Finals, Gm 1, Minneapolis Lakers Vs Syracuse Nats = Memories, WOW!

Hey Kaner,
Wow, my head is just chock full of reactions to this video. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

1) My dad loved Mikan - he saw this very game - there were a couple of moments when I remembered (for the first time in 50 years) some comments my dad had made about it. My dad "raised" me on the NBA; I started watching the very few televised games so young, I remember nothing about then, nor do I claim to have been watching or a fan back then. Russell's entry into the League, 58-59, found me paying attention & recognizing the Greatness he brought with him. Baylor's entry the next year just "lit me up" (He stayed my favorite thru-out his career because, among many things, of his amazing, original hang-time scoring abilities).

2) YES, every aspect of the game (except perhaps one); was definitely "primitive". This is how I remember my dad describing it. Half or more of the shots were not JUMP shots, but "set" shots, feet/toes still on the floor; "push-shots" looking plenty awkward in retrospect. Dribbling looks amateurish. (btw, it "hurts" a bit to address the primitiveness; but "them's the facts"). The one aspect not so "primitive": the preponderance of underhanded free throws - (Rick Barry famously shot 90% with that shot years later). I've always wondered why the poor ft-shooters didn't switch to that. I've seen a scientific study that showed it had a higher chance of success.)

3) The "original" "sky hook". Mikan took a number (a few other bigs took some too). (I remember my dad, again for the first time in a half a century, reminded me that Lew Alcindor / KAJ did NOT originate it.)

4) Only one black guy (unfortunately with an injured hand) plays any minutes. He's Earl Lloyd (a name we should all "memorize".) He was THE FIRST black guy to play in the NBA. (The NBA "broke the color barrier long before MLB's Jackie Robinson; actually the NBL did that for an occasional game way before that. They did when too many white players were away during WWII, and players from the Harlem Globetrotters (and other all-black, barn-storming teams, were temporarily recruited - didn't know that, did you?)
LINK: http://www.nba.com/pistons/news/bhm_sixwhopavedtheway.html

Not surprisingly, and despite his injury, Earl is one of, if not THE, smoothest looking ("more fluid") player out there.

5) No Wonder I've been claiming that there's been 3 eras; and that in that, Mikan's era (my "second" one) the All-NBA Selections should only be worth half/value of their later, post-1959, counterparts.

6) Minor points: Crowd = overwhelmingly white (dressed for Minneapolis cold evening). This "announcer" is reading, later, from a script. But it reminded me that, iirc, announcing then was done solo: one guy did both play-by-play and color-announcing.
- - - - -
7) OVERALL: This 22 minute video ROCKED ME BIG-TIME. I don't much care about the "primitiveness" of the play. Remembering HOW they played back then makes this so incredibly moving to me.

I/WE OWE YOU DUDE!

GREATNESS ONE
07-14-2014, 03:24 AM
:laugh2:

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 12:23 PM
One Of The Really "BIG 'Crimes' " Of The NBA: "ERASING THE NBL!"

Please think about this for a moment.
We have this marvelous video of the 1954 Finals (then called the "World Series Of Basketball" - I used to think of it as such - because, well, that's what it was always called back then).

Which TEAMS are playing? And why are those TWO particular teams in the Finals? In other words, WHO IS PLAYING IN THIS, THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME???

You look at the Syracuse Nats/Nationals - they've got some of the top talent in pro-b-ball on that team. You look at the Minneapolis Lakers, even without Mr. Basketball Himself, George Freaking Mikan, that's a damned All-Star Team!.

My point?

These two teams were NOT original "NBA" teams. They were not original BAA teams. They came over to the BAA/NBA FROM THE NBL. Most people don't know this HISTORY; and might wonder, what a "old fart" like me is getting all in a huff over.

Well, BEFORE the League that the NBA OFFICIALLY treats as if it was THE ORIGIN OF PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL, there was another League, the NBL. THAT LEAGUE, had BETTER PLAYERS AND BETTER TEAMS THAN THE BAA.

The proof: This very 1954 NBA Finals Series.

Small Sample Size? Well, in this very video, they reminds us that the Lakers were trying to win this "World Series" for the 6th Time In 7 Years - WHAT DOMINANCE; BUT they came from the NBL (where, led by the Great Mikan) they won a Chip too. And Syracuse was from the NBL too, and consistently finished at or near the top of their HALF (the Eastern Division) of the NBA.

In fact, the majority of the most-dominant, the most-winning-est early NBA teams came from the NBL.

Before asking ourselves, why the bleep would the NBA WANT TO ERASE ALL THIS GREAT, ACTUALLY SUPERIOR HISTORIC BASKETBALL: PLAYERS, TEAMS & LEAGUE; we might, naturally, ask ourselves: but how, HOW COULD THE NBL HAVE BEEN SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE BAA?

The NBL started even before it's first "official" season of 1937-1938. (N.B. I virtually always refer to each season/year in the classic form: by its ending-year, when more than half of the Regular Season games are played, when the Play-Offs are played, the Champ is crowned and the Chip! (The Almighty Chip!). So, officially the NBL's first season was '38, and its last was '49 (12 full seasons in all!).

Meanwhile, the BAA's first was '47, and its last was '49 - at which point the two Leagues MERGED. (Again, IF it was truly a MERGER, and it WAS; then how come the BAA is treated as OFFICAL NBA HISTORY WHILE THE NBL IS NOT???

But I've digressed "terribly".

The NBL played in a number of mid-western, mostly small cities/towns. But they had started a decade earlier, so they had accumulated almost ALL the best WHITE players in the country (a few played for "independent" teams, barn-storming teams (notice the word "barn" - that's what they frequently played in!), and/or in smaller, weaker, much-less-organized leagues. The Blacks ALL played in such situations; except when the NBL couldn't do without them - because, as I've said, there weren't temporarily enough white players to even have a game of 5 vs 5!

In one season, one of the NBL teams folded early, and an All-Black TEAM, the Rens, were brought in to take their place for the majority of that entire season. (Oh, if only the NBL had had the guts to continue on with that HUGE, (unprecedented for any major US sports League) racial break-thru! That very-important history is also erased by the NBA!)

Then the BAA is started up; by the owners of NHL Hockey teams - to fill their arenas in the Hockey Off-Season. These teams were virtually ALL situated in the BIG cities.

So, here's how it "came down". The NBL had MOST of the great talent but in small places. The BAA had little of the great talent, but in big places. So the BAA was, INEVITABLY, going to OUT-DRAW the NBL, buy its most talented players/teams and snuff it out. And that's how it played out. First some of the better NBL teams switched leagues and joined the BAA in its 2nd/3rd year. By the end of its 3rd year, the writing was on the wall; and the NBL's remaining teams gladly merged with the BAA.
- - - -
So, (Pablo finally gets to the damned point!)

WHY D-I-D THE NBA COMPLETELY "ERASE" ALL THE GLORIOUS HISTORY OF THE NBL???
I have to admit that I've NEVER seen this OFFICIALLY addressed. But, being the b-ball-whiz (?) (and half human-calculator I was born as), it occurs to me there's a totally obvious explanation:

THE NBA WANTS TO WIPE OUT ALL MEMORY OF ITS OBVIOUS I-N-F-E-R-I-O-R-I-T-Y TO THE NBL.
- - - - -
So, (and I'm NOT the only one by a long shot; serious historians are almost universally promoting this: )

HEY NBA, DO THE RIGHT THING (AFTER 65 DAMNED YEARS) AND RECOGNIZE, AND FULLY, THE NBL!

btw, while the NBA continues to erase some of "its own" history; other organizations and sites do not. For example, www.basketball-reference.com has an entire section on the NBL. (What a terrific site they've got!)
- - - - - - -
N.B. Other BIG NBA Crimes?
A) Pre-1960's nasty racial discrimination;

B) Deprivation Of Retirement Benefits: their decades-long neglect of some of the earliest players (those who "fell thru the cracks" by not having, supposedly, played enough seasons to "merit" retirement benefits; I believe that relatively-recently finally fixed this one?);

C) "ERASING THE ABA" (for very similar reasons they did it to the NBL - punishing a rival league, its teams, its players and all pro-b-ball fans OUT OF SPITE! BOY DID THE NBA PUNISH THE ABA - it's absolutely, disgustingly, PETTY!) (Again, kudos to "basketball-reference" for including all ABA history and stats AND treating them as equal to the NBA's).

D) Covering Up Various Other Nasty Scandals: Drugs, Gambling, Points-Shaving / Game-Throwing...

Chronz
07-14-2014, 12:27 PM
B) Deprivation Of Retirement Benefits: their decades-long neglect of some of the earliest players (those who "fell thru the cracks" by not having, supposedly, played enough seasons to "merit" retirement benefits; I believe that relatively-recently finally fixed this one?);


Im reading "Vintage NBA: The Pioneer Era" and it just breached this subject. Its amazing the kind of **** ball players had to go through to get this game off the ground. When people talk about the love of the game, they talk about players who are willing to forego the security of a full time job for the unstable pittance of what the NBA offered. Its easy to love the game when its making you millions, try loving it when you have to work at a car dealership in the offseason.

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 12:28 PM
:laugh2:

Hey GREATNESS ONE,
I'll take that as a compliment (hehe)
It helps if you really LOVE your subject matter (AND were raised by a super-strict English-Teacher!)

FlashBolt
07-14-2014, 12:32 PM
Hey GREATNESS ONE,
I'll take that as a compliment (hehe)
It helps if you really LOVE your subject matter (AND were raised by a super-strict English-Teacher!)

Hey, Pablo. Just wanted you to know ManRam created #9 already.

http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870796-PSD-s-Official-9-Player-of-All-Time
Would be nice to have your insight on Kobe vs Bird.

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 12:33 PM
B) Deprivation Of Retirement Benefits: their decades-long neglect of some of the earliest players (those who "fell thru the cracks" by not having, supposedly, played enough seasons to "merit" retirement benefits; I believe that relatively-recently finally fixed this one?);


Im reading "Vintage NBA: The Pioneer Era" and it just breached this subject. Its amazing the kind of **** ball players had to go through to get this game off the ground. When people talk about the love of the game, they talk about players who are willing to forego the security of a full time job for the unstable pittance of what the NBA offered. Its easy to love the game when its making you millions, try loving it when you have to work at a car dealership in the offseason.

Hey High Horse,
How absolutely right you are. These guys were "killing themselves" to play - because most had to hold down other jobs (to make enough money to feed their families), some of them full-time jobs.

Heck. John Wooden, who later became one of the All-Time Greatest coaches, could only play for his own NBL team on weekends, because, on weekdays, he, morally, had to be elsewhere, coaching at a lower level.!

The NBA was so NASTY towards those unfortunate old-timers, that MOST OF THEM DIED OFF before the thing was eventually "corrected". Shame on the NBA for such utter pettiness (the cost of those denied benefits would have been MINISCULE!).

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 12:53 PM
Hey, Pablo. Just wanted you to know ManRam created #9 already.

http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870796-PSD-s-Official-9-Player-of-All-Time
Would be nice to have your insight on Kobe vs Bird.

Hey FB,
Thanx a lot for this link.
I keep "getting there late" for these GOAT threads - though I must admit I'm getting there less-later (?) each time. At this rate, by time I get there "on-time" we'll be in the low 100s and nobody (including me) will much care! But, I guess getting THERE on time is better than something? hehe

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 12:58 PM
Hey, Pablo. Just wanted you to know ManRam created #9 already.

http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870796-PSD-s-Official-9-Player-of-All-Time
Would be nice to have your insight on Kobe vs Bird.

Hey FB.
I'm gonna have to have a talk with Mr. ManRam. I can't keep up with thread-after-thread, non-stop GOAT-ing!
hehe

And besides, a few of us might be doing all this great "work" once the Polls are closed; and is anybody else even reading it???

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 02:06 PM
Those old-time players had very tough existences as "pro" (meaning PAID) basketball players. They spent humongous amounts of time on uncomfortable buses! They were on the road tons. They couldn't afford fancy places to stay. They never even knew if the League(s) would survive (ALL the previous (semi-)professional Basketball Leagues HAD folded, one after the other - there was no real reason to expect anything different).

And, compared to the other major sports, Basketball was (rightfully back then) the "little dwarf brother"; in relative infancy in ALL aspects. So even reputation was not a thing those players could really "hang their hats on".

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 02:07 PM
Hey High Horse,
If you keep studying all this NBA History, you're gonna know more than me! Yikes (hehe)

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 05:18 PM
LeBron, Bird, Kobe, Russell & The eFG% Of Some 50 NBA All-Time Greats

LeBron's Ever-Rising Shooting Efficiency (eFG%) i.e.,
LeBron Is Still Improving (A Lot!)

.438
.504
.515 .
.507
.518
.530
.545
.541
.554
.603
.610

The last 3 numbers in this sequence are mind-blowing. He's moved WAY ahead of MJ.
He's now, career-wise just outside the All-Time Top 50 (at 55th place).
N.B. I've bolded our own GOAT Top 8 (Plus Bird & Kobe & Russell - the leading candidates for #9)
Let's look at Some 50 NBA All-Time Greats Including All Our Top GOAT Candidates' careers: :
. 2... .5823 Shaq
. 3... .5820 Gilmore
. 5... .5789 D.Howard
14... .5595 KAJ
16... .5578 Barkley
17... .5556 Nash
18... .5554 McHale
26... .5463 Stockton
30... .5441 R.Miller
37... .5397 Wilt
41... .5367 Parish
49... .5333 Magic
55... .5305 LeBron
58... .5304 Ray Allen
74... .5253 Worthy
89... .5224 KD
92... .5208 Walton
96... .5188 DRob
102. .5178 KMalone
115. .5143 Bird
120. .5136 Dirk
128. .5127 Hakeem
148. .5087 MJ
152. .5086 Dr. J
166. .5067 Duncan
167. .5066 Gervin
182. .5047 Ewing
189. .5038 Pippen
206. .5016 KG

below Top 250th:
.496 Payton
.495 Moses Malone
.495 Drexler
.487 Kobe
.485 "O"
.483 Calvin Murphy
.478 Nique
.474 Jerry West
.470 TMac
.464 J.Kidd
.460 Rick Barry
.452 E.Hayes
.452 A.I.
.440 Russell
.439 Hondo
.431 Baylor
.421 Thurmond
.404 Mikan
.375 Cousy

P.S. Where did this list come from?
1st) I selected GOAT & Other Candidates from the list of the 250 Players with the highest eFG%;
2nd) I selected GOAT & Other Candidates from the list of 141 Players with 30,000+ minutes played.
3rd) I looked up the info for any of PSD's other GOAT Candidates

N.B. I was pretty careful and don't think I've missed any important guys (from any of these 3 lists).

KnicksorBust
07-14-2014, 05:20 PM
sidenote: my gut says the LeBron wave will swing this vote...

.

Pablonovi
07-14-2014, 09:51 PM
This is a re-post of my post in response to Chronz's post about Bird (phew!!)
It first appeared as Post # 38, on page one of the previous GOAT thread:
http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870493-PSD-s-Official-8-Player-of-All-Time&p=28770950#post28770950

The reason why I'm re-posting is because, as I said in Post #41, 3 posts later, in response to it then:
http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?870493-PSD-s-Official-8-Player-of-All-Time/page2

"Hey High Horse,
This post of yours is:
Probably THE Most Remarkable Post I've Seen In My First Full PSD Year. WOW !

I am just absolutely stunned by your "work", your analysis, here. I loved Bird from before he entered the League; because of his previous MONSTER year & how he battled TWO great college players (Magic &, iirc, Kessler) so WORTHILY. I was SO looking forward to continued battles between the two guys' opposite-coast teams - and he and they never disappointed.

What you describe here is a virtual exact replica of my "eye-test" of the Great Bird.
BRAVO!"

[From Chronz (high on his horse)]:
-------------------------------------------------------
A few thoughts, because we are talking about the very best in history, you have to nitpick on something in order to justify any ranking. Accolades, stats and rings are all fun to look at but ultimately, we aren't just voting for the most decorated player, but the one we feel got the most out of his situation. Someone who won just enough to offset certain disadvantages elsewhere.
That means we dont just look at the raw accumulation of these things, we have to look at how all these players fared in similar situations whenever possible. For Bird, Im focusing on his playoff resume.

Case against Bird

The case here is simple, he came into the league at a late age, declined at an early one, the guy really only had a few years that are worth mentioning in an All-Time sense (nitpicking, remember). Not so much because they were epic years but because many of his seasons ended in disappointing fashion. By that I dont mean its because his team didn't win it all, I never hold the teams ultimate success on 1 player, I only gauge his individual performance as best I can. And I truly believe Bird was capable of being locked down more than any star on this list. But I also feel hes the one player who best helps his teammates offensively even when hes not producing. So its a hard thing to gauge but hear me out.

With Bird, we can break down his career into 3 neat segments. His ascension, his peak and his subsequent injury ridden years.


1. The Comeback years (1989-1992)
You can toss everything he accomplished after age 31, out of the debate. His return from injury to All-Star form for about 2.6 seasons was in itself impressive, but thats like pointing out Shaq's years after Miami as some sort of distinguishing factor. We expect these great players to not only play at a high level, but sustain it for an impressive duration. Im starting at the end of his career because it clearly cuts his legacy making time down to age 23-31. Hes got 9 years to let his game do the talking.

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.6 Usage% , 110 ORTG (.150WS48)
Playoffs: 22.8 Usage%, 110 ORTG (.084WS48)
Accolades:
1 All-NBA 2nd Team , 3-All-Star Selections

2.The Ascension (1980-1983)

His rookie season was impressive, he himself wasn't overly productive but his team had a massive turnaround. These were the years where he was much more active on defense and was a master at doubling post players. However, keep in mind he was a 23 year old rookie, his tremendous regular season ended with a humbling performance and an *** whoopin by Doctor J. Its usually downplayed by Bird supporters as the growing pains of a rookie, but its still a weakness not shared by many others here, including Magic, who at a younger age, wound up having that historic game 7 against the very same team that limited Bird to 12PTS(5-19) in his elimination game 5. Bird's team had HCA but no one will doubt that the Sixers had the better roster overall so you cant hold this too much against Bird, just pointing out that he didn't thrive despite those odds. This is what I call, a regular season chapter, as in, the noteworthy events all came in the regular season. Which is fine but something to keep tabs on depending on the performance/competition.

-1

YEAR 2 was a championship winning season, the addition of Robert Parish put a contender over the top. People will see that Bird was their best player and assume he led them as such but this wasn't peak Bird yet people. This wasn't the kind of championship run that puts a stamp on a players legacy, its sort of like how Duncan won his most recent championship. I know Bird was the best player on his team, but Kobe Bryant was arguably more impressive as a #2 in some of his Shaq runs. It was honestly a down year for the NBA, the Lakers imploded because of Magic and the Celtics added the playoffs most productive player (an MVP in his own right) in Parish and while Bird set the table for him, Cedrix Maxwell was the Finals MVP, point being, he had plenty of help. Coach Bill Fitch felt Parish was his teams MVP. This still gos down as one of Bird's better overall playoff years, so for the sake of the argument lets say this is the beginning of what I call his "Distinguishing years".

+1

Y3+Y4 ....
Were disasters for Bird. He was clearly improving as a player, he was far more assertive in taking over his teams offense, be it getting to the line or creating more for others, statistically speaking both his usage and efficiency were increasing. The Celtics added more talent (namely, one Kevin McHale) so the team itself was far superior to even the year priors. But the playoffs rolled around and the team couldn't replicate its success and Bird himself struggled to produce.

He averaged 18.3PPG on 41% shooting vs the Sixers in his 7 game series defeat and wasn't much better the following year in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Milwaukee. I say 3 games because Bird missed a game(fever), which just so happened to be the closest game of the series. If your the type to make excuses, some key Celtics were in full blown tank mode. Bill Fitch had worn out his welcome and the "Ditch the Fitch" campaign began. Still, these 2 years were negative marks on Bird's "Playoff Resume". Both he and his teams underachieved given their talent/health. A rare combination that doesn't matter as much as actual successes but should still be considered. This was around the time when people started to criticize Bird. He took only 5 shots in the 2nd half of his G7 loss to Philly, kept saying he could contribute in other ways (like he had done the year prior).

-2

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 25.0 Usage% , 111 ORTG (.192WS48)
Playoffs: 23.6 Usage%, 105 ORTG (.166WS48)
Accolades:
4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 1 Ring

3.The Peak (1984-1988)

I hope by now I've some what convinced you that of the 8 years detailed in the 2 sections above, only 1 really stands out in a historical sense and even that would be putting it kindly.

When people make Bird's case, these are the years they hang their argument on, this is not only Bird at his absolute statistical best, but the years he began to rack up MVP's and Finals MVP's.


Year 5 was Bird's breakout season, his first RS MVP but the performance he put up in the playoffs is truly one of the best of All-Time. There really is very little that needs to be said, while it only counts as a +1 here, its obviously much more legacy stamping than that. Which is something I'll address at the end of this career synopsis.

+1

Year 6 Bird makes the Finals again, but his performance isn't up to sniff. In the year prior and after this one, Bird pretty much dominate everyone in sight, but he shot 40% in the Final 8 games of the post season, the reason is his own damn fault. He got into a bar fight with Mike Harlow and injured his hand enough to hurt his shooting touch. To some of you its a result of injury, but in Classic Bird fashion, the man owns up to the mistake. He hurt his team with his decision, but most people will be dismissive of this sort of struggle when compared to stars choking . In his defense tho, Bird played much better than he had in his prior struggles.

Year 7 is a carbon copy of Y5, except that the Celtics are even more stacked (adding 6MOY Bill Walton, in his final productive campaign) and Bird does what we expect of stars handling a smaller burden, he lights you up more efficiently than he ever has before and the Celtics win in far more convincing fashion as a result. This would be the last MVP season.

+1

Year 8 didn't end with a championship, but it was probably the teams most heroic run yet. The entire team was banged up, and the path to the Finals itself was arduous. They met a vastly healthier and completely rested/untested Lakers team. They pushed them to 6 games, but Bird was rather pedestrian in the Finals.

+1(For the effort alone)

Year 9 was Bird's most grueling, he had never carried a team throughout a regular season like he had this year. In fact, its the only year in which his usage% goes above 30% but his efficiency doesn't suffer for it, statistically, it a was arguably his finest season. The Celtics are top team but its based on the fact that KC Jones drove his starters to the ground. Bird's playoff showing was absolutely embarrassing, his teams held leads into the 4th of every game vs Detroit but they couldn't get over his no shows. After an impressive duel vs Nique in the Semis, Bird shot 35% vs Detroit for less than 20PPG. He admitted to being tired, so how you grade this season depends on how much weight you give to an inhuman regular season load and how consistent you are for other players in similar situations.

Year 10 INJURED

Efficiency Breakdown:
RS: 28.1 Usage% , 119 ORTG (.237WS48)
Playoffs: 25.6 Usage%, 118 ORTG (.191WS48)
Accolades:
3MVP's, 2FMVP's, 4 All-NBA 1st Team Selections, 2 Rings

So out of 13 seasons, the final 4 were inconsequential, 3 of his first 4 were pretty much par for the course seasons of any great player (the 1 championship being rather pedestrian as well). Then during that 5 year peak run, he was a very inconsistent playoff performer due to various reasons.

Statistically speaking (yes I know, stats arent everything) Bird really only had about 5 great playoff runs as an individual, 2 of which were ultimately hindered by injuries, so only 3 really great runs (his championship runs).


So any vote for Bird has to be acknowledged as a vote for regular season supremacy, because if we look solely at a regular season peak run, Bird ranks very highly. I just hope you guys are as forgiving to other stars in their playoff lapses.