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  1. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    I mean, a lot of guys like my Dad have that opinion, but they stopped watching 20 years ago. I get many of us when young are victims of the moment, and when we get old everything was better back in my day, but sports are sports man. They never change. They evolve, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but to say a stud today wouldn't be a stud 30 years ago is laughable.
    It also goes against common sense. Can anyone think of physical skills where people today in general aren't better at then those that did it before? Like, we jump higher, run faster, run farther, etc. today than 30 years ago. So apparently people managed to get better at every physical skill except basketball, where we somehow got worse. It just doesn't make sense.

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    And if LeBron played in the 80's and Larry Bird played today, NYKalltheway would be arguing about how LeBron is better because of the era Larry Bird plays in.
    That is based on your assumption that Lebron James playing in the 80s would have given him a legendary status.

    I feel that it wouldn't. He'd have a great career, but his legacy would depend on which team he played for.

    Now I know that both Magic and Larry Bird fell into great teams, especially Magic. But they were their leaders from their second season there already and actually Larry Bird's impact on the Celtics was spectacular. Probably was their best player from his rookie season even.

    The way Lebron was playing basketball in his first 5 seasons I am having doubts about his legacy projection. I feel he'd be someone of the equivalence of Marques Johnson, who was an immense player but nowhere near anyone's top whatever list unless you're really fond of that era. That's not a knock on Lebron, that's a knock on everyone else who doubts that someone who's not remembered as an all time great would probably be called an all time great if he played in the current era. Lebron is in my opinion (and everyone else's no doubt) a more versatile and complete player. And thus, a better one. But there is so much talent in the past that people don't even know about that would completely dominate this era. This is why I'm not jumping on every bandwagon there is, which is usually 2-3 different ones every season.

    The players that enter the NBA these 15-20 years belong to a few groups:
    - Players that solely rely on their athleticism. These guys usually lack fundamentals, travel all the time but it goes uncalled because that's how the NBA plays now and basically they are either straight from high school or are one+done guys who never really get to witness the college ball which is essential for several things. First of all, it builds character, it promotes team play and team devotion and an essential asset is that it actually teaches basketball to these players. Because we all know that the US high school system seriously lacks this and it's a "give it to our best player and let him do the work". These guys are usually offense-only players unless they get a serious coach early on that forces them to play defense. And people are now amazed that some players can play both offense and defense!! That was not even a question 30 years ago. You didn't make the NBA if you couldn't play defense.

    - International players. These are now either highly fundamental, yet not very athletic players that are guards/small forwards who can shoot the ball, dribble, pass and generally possess what was sometime a basic skill but is now considered an "extraordinary talent". The other type of international players is the stretch 4 or shooting big. We all know who these guys are and that there's a new intake every year.

    - "Specialists". These are the guys that wouldn't really make the NBA unless they could compensate for a lack of skillset from a more important player. These guys are defense-only players(they used to exist always but not to this level), shooters that cannot really do anything more than that or just really tall guys that a team needs to have to add length (this is the typical 'roster hold' in the NBA since its inception and it's always going to be there).

    Now every couple of seasons, there is going to be some extraordinary talent that can do everything (score, pass, rebound, lead the floor, control the tempo, hustle and defend) to a very satisfying extent. But these people are rare. In the past, only some of the mental aspects weren't there. Players now can do the basics. Score, pass, rebound. Some can also defend. Some can also hustle. A very few can also control the tempo. And even less can do all that and control the tempo. I would agree that Kawhi Leonard can do most of those things. But the level is not all-time elite. Just because there's a severe lack of adversaries who possess all the relevant basketball skills doesn't mean squat. You can tell if the guy is there.

    In other sports, especially individual ones like the 100m sprint race, you can have an objective criterion.

    Carl Lewis is one of the best sprinters of all time. I think we all agree on that sentiment. Why? He has two Olympic Gold medals to show for. This is the (wrong) NBA metric that people are using all the time. Rings matter in the perception of people. Barkley has no rings, Garnett has a couple, thus Garnett > Barkley. It's not really how it works. But even in the 100m race, one would consider Carl Lewis a greater sprinter than Justin Gatlin. Gatlin only has 1 gold medal and 2 other medals that aren't gold. But Gatlin was competing against the greatest of all time. You cannot hold that against him. His time was even greater than Carl Lewis' but he didn't win. The time of a sprinter can be paralleled in a way with the quality of a basketball player since it is not correct to compare team accolades between players. If you do that, you just have to assume that if player A was in player B's position if the same result would occur.

    If you change Michael Jordan with Clyde Drexler in the 90s, do the Bulls win or do the Blazers win? Probably Blazers win the first three peat but then maybe the Bulls with Drexler win. It's not really a "fo sho" answer. But remove Jordan altogether from the NBA and put Drexler in Chicago and you probably have a multi-year favorites. Obviously not with the same success rate, but their chances are very high to be the dominant force of the 90s.
    Now swap Michael Jordan with someone like Klay Thompson and you definitely have your answer that the Bulls wouldn't even sniff the Conference Finals back then. Surely you can argue that this can be done with everyone out there and that the response is subjective (ie if you swap Pippen for Kawhi you may say that the results would favor the 90s Bulls, which I personally would disagree with and it is exactly my point here)

    The main reason why you think Kawhi is an all time great is because he has the necessary tools to be considered a proper basketball player in all (recorded) eras. But that should be more of a knock against his competition than anything else.
    Is Kawhi really a better individual player than Paul Pierce, John Havlicek, Dominique Wilkins, Elgin Baylor, Bernard King Scottie Pippen, Julius Erving and those guys? If you say no to at least 1 of those, then you probably wouldn't rank Kawhi in the top 30. If you say no to at least 3 of those, then he's out of your top 50 as well. I mean if you cannot even consider him a even top 5 SF (I didn't mention Bird, Lebron and Durant which I assume is the consensus top 3 SFs), then how can you claim he's a top 20-25 player when the bigs alone with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson overshadow anything else? And that's even ignoring the great point guards.

    I don't even think he's a great player than a prime Mark Aguirre to be fair, but he is lucky to have been part of teams that have highlighted his skillset. And even luckier to play in an era where everything is exaggerated through mass media and even more by social media. I don't think Mark Aguirre comes up in the top 10 of most people's best small forwards ever. Probably a marginal entry for those who do have him there. But if you look at him and then look at his stat sheet which I know you're a big fan of, you'll start reconsidering your views about him.

    I know how people love to throw a number all the time next to everything as if it gives them greater insight. But when you are challenged about this number and then are forced to remember that there's like 100 players that maybe deserve "top 30 status", you just have to nod and say that it's not really objective discussion to start rating these guys as top of all time. Celebrate them all you want, but when you want to compare, do it fairly. There's a reason why the NBA did a list of the 50 greatest players and not a ranking. And it wasn't to avoid controversy, the NBA thrives on that. It was genuinely the only way to see this.

  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by valade16 View Post
    It also goes against common sense. Can anyone think of physical skills where people today in general aren't better at then those that did it before? Like, we jump higher, run faster, run farther, etc. today than 30 years ago. So apparently people managed to get better at every physical skill except basketball, where we somehow got worse. It just doesn't make sense.
    Yes, this is a sign of the times.

    Better physical conditioning (a hurt knee in the 60s meant goodbye career, in the 90s it meant good luck running again and now some of them are routine surgeries with a relatively long recovery period).

    Better equipment.

    More attention to the body. Athletes NBA weren't actual professionals until the late 70s so they weren't in their best possible shape. They didn't have the star focus of today. Imagine a notable NBA star every day going out to a fast food chain having dinner. It'd be all over the news. Back then it was extremely possible to have what is considered bad lifestyle for an athlete.

    Game changed with the 3 point line. Kids back in the old days would learn how to post up, try to dunk or lay up and evade defenders in the paint. In the last 30 years or so, the three point line became an integral part of playing the game as it was "cool" to shoot a three. Especially for those who couldn't dunk or barely reach the net. This translated to what we now call 'bad shot selection' when we look back at games but everything was really worth just 2 points back then, or even in their minds the three point line wasn't there because they didn't grow up with it. And it's a game of instict at crunch time no matter how many X and Os the coach will draw for the final plays. Which coaches were also even older so even they never really bothered to draw a play with a 3pt shot until the mid 90s.

    Are you implying that if Lebron or Kawhi were born in 1948 they'd be as strong, have the same shoes or same shooting practice as they had now? Or that if Bill Russell was born in 1995 he'd have no jump shot? All these questions are ifs of course, but please be sensible here...

    All these parameters just lead to the same direction. We can only judge the basketball talent which is the only constant.

  4. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye15 View Post
    sure there is. But reading your opinions of the game the last couple of decades, for you, there isn't any basketball left really? If the best league in the world (most talent) isn't for you, that's cool.
    But I'm only commenting on the NBA and its rule changes. If you want my opinion on the rest of it, I can offer it, it's no biggie. I just cannot comment on the College game which iirc has also underwent some changes lately since I stopped following it a couple of years back. I think they changed the three point line as well as some other things, no?

    The European sport has suffered for other reasons. They tried to 'fix' it by emulating the NBA in some respects which has also made things worse.

    The European game has financial reasons to worry about. The former Yugoslav teams aren't strong enough. In the past they had very good teams but now their top talent is poached by the NBA or US colleges very soon. They offer money or scolarships with the promise of money (plus a degree). So it's a better deal than getting paid garbage money and playing in a lower level since their local teams cannot afford to compete against the top 10-20 European teams.

    Italy has essentially given up in the sport in the last 10 years. They are still semi-relevant, trying to keep things affloat, but truth is that Italy was once the dominant force of the sport in Europe and now it's overshadowed by Spain, Russia and Turkey whilst Greece still probably has a higher level and has been hit even more financialy.

    It's almost exclusively a money issue here now so they're trying to figure out how to maximize profits by copying the NBA, mostly structurally. Which I don't mind as much even if I was against it initially. But the quality of players has dropped since now kids know that they can go to the NBA and be very rich and successful. In the past, it wasn't as easy as the NBA either didn't scout well enough or the players just weren't as good as the domestic players. Now both of these things have changed.

    When Ginobili went to the NBA for example, he was a top 3 player in Europe. We called him either the "white MJ" or the "Argentinean MJ". It was in the early 2000s so you understand the MJ hype was still sky high and it's not as if he hadn't played in ages, it was barely 1-2 seasons after his retirement. And he really was special.

    Now an average player from Europe can have an NBA career if he has the right mentality. Guys like Willy Hermangomez would make the European game much better but they are in the NBA and they're sitting mostly on the bench.

    Mario Hezonja could have been an important asset for a good European team (not an elite star), but instead he's just switching NBA teams all the time.
    Back in the day, these guys wouldn't be options for NBA teams. Now they are. And it hurts the European game and it also shows that the NBA has player quality issues.

    Another example is Porzingis. A very good talent of course and extremely hard to defend, but not someone you really heard about in Europe until a couple of months before the NBA Draft. Sure, he as many others left early at the age of 20, but it's not like he was some guy that everyone was jerking off to since he first appeared.
    That applied only to Doncic, since he was 16. At least I felt that way about Doncic since he was that age, I saw Drazen in him right away. When he was 18, it was the consensus that we're witnessing this once in a 20 year period talent.
    I think you can also check my older posts about Giannis, I think I even said he'd be better than Lebron and probably the next coming of Magic Johnson if he got bigger in terms of muscle mass and physical presence. I also think that the opinion was then mocked But he also was a big if since he barely played at a good level.

    You cannot fault these kids that want to enter the NBA when they are 18-20. There is a demand for them, they're taking their chances and worst case scenario they go back to a decent European team and get a good enough salary to live their lives instead of the NBA millions. Dreams crashed with a pillow for some of them really.

    The game in Europe has become less important, has lower quality than in its golden age (the 2000s actually) and that has disappointed a lot of people. Kids back then watched the local game much more than now. Now they're switching to the NBA. This can be attributed to a better marketing and people in general starting to follow American sports (NBA and NFL in particular growing a lot in Europe in the past 10 years) with social media being a catalyst and then there's the lack of interest over here. With more European players jumping over, from all over Europe - since the top level of basketball is restricted to only a handful of countries - you can see why the game in Europe is in risk.

    Maybe that will also affect the NBA since Europe is an important talent pool in the last 15 years. Most of these kids' heroes are local stars, not NBA players. I think Steph Curry created a trend with his crazy three point shooting that wasn't seen since the Michael Jordan years, but everyone who wants to become a professional player always starts at his local basketball club and usually has a star he watches regularly. Six year olds, ten year olds and even fifteen year olds cannot regularly watch the NBA when it's at 3am every night. Hosting a couple of games in Europe every season is a nice idea but it's not going to do much. The guys who are hyped by that are already in their 20s and 30s and the aim has to be 12 or 14 year olds.

    Just imagine the effect this may have to the NBA where over 100 players are from the rest of the world and I think around 70 from Europe.

  5. #140
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    Fun Guy, Board Man Gets Paid, Load Management, Injury Management, Knee Management Reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard gets his 2019 Toronto Raptors Championship Ring Tonight!



    Wow !

  6. #141
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    I feel a lot of this Clippers talk on here is a Lakers fan trolling. The clippers are build perfect for the playoffs and have proven playoff performers, a lot of this talk could come back to bite you in the ***.

    If the Heat donít win Iím hoping for the Lakers or Blazers (ouch) to win it all myself but this clippers stuff is getting out of hand.

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