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How Great Does Michael Jordan Look Now?


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After the Lakers lost last night for the 4th straight game and lost their 11th game of the season, I started reflecting back on 1997 and the Chicago Bulls team that went 72-10 (best regular season record in NBA history). The one thing that stands out most in my mind is that the Bulls did not have a dominate big man like Shaq. They did not have a defensive dominating point guard like Gary Payton, they did not have a scoring power forward like Karl Malone, and this also was Michael Jordan's first full season back in the NBA. Interesting, but wait...

For those of you who follow the NBA closely, there has always been the question whether Kobe can win without Shaq and Shaq can win without Kobe. With Shaq sitting out the past 3 games with an injury and Karl Malone out as well, all of the offense has had to flow through Kobe, with Payton shouldering the load as well. Obviously, Kobe CANNOT win without Shaq. But, back to the point of this thread, does this mean that Michael Jordan's greatness is enhanced even more?

No doubt, the Western Conference is big man central, and I would probably have to bet against MJ for pulling off the same feats he did in the Eastern Conference, BUT, after all, the Bulls did play each West team twice that year, and then had to beat the Western Conference champions (the Sonics, with Gary Payton).

To make a long story short and to put this simply: Michael Jordan HAS to be the greatest player to have ever played. When he retired the first time, the Rockets won back-to-back titles using Hakeem Olajuwon, one of the greatest scoring centers ever. Then Jordan came back, won 3 more titles and retired again. This time, the Spurs won with Tim Duncan and David Robinson leading the way. After that, it was Shaq and the Lakers; no team that won was led by a guard. I just thought this to be interesting and was wondering if anyone else has the same or different viewpoint.

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Wow... Great insight... :wacko:

Haha, sorry for the length. There's probably nobody that really cares about this, but being at the end of a 12-hour night shift, I probably also could have shortened it to one or two sentences. Or, not have typed it all...

Also, the title is probably misleading, as anyone who reads this is probably assuming it's concerning Michael Jackson.

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no, its true all what you said, I don't understand.

the Lakers got this dream team , but it always seems to me like they got always like a hard time just to win a game :blink:

i mean c'mmon! they got even Phil Jackson

about the title.. yes :happy: i thought it was about him

post-91-1073573467.jpg

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Your post is dead on. I remember back when the Lakers only had 3 losses or something and people were talking about breaking the record and what not. The Bulls wen't 72-10 and could've easily gone 74-8 from what I remember about the losses. I still remember MJ playing with the flu, scoring like he always did, but more importantly winning like he always did.

Second, soloredd who's the firl in your sig?

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i think what it shows is that basketball is too much of an individual sport. one or two players can make a huge difference in a team's play. michael jordan probably was the best to play the game, but after a while, it gets old watching the same teams win over and over because they have the best player in the league

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i think it proves that mj and all those guys really cared. and mj was a real leader. i don't ever remember the bulls having the attitude that the lakers have. the lakers have looked like a complete joke the past 2 nights, and they don't even look like they are trying. nobody compares to mj.

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i dont think anyone will be as great of a player and athlete as MJ. There may be better players in the future, but none of them will be able to contribute to the league and to the fans as MJ did.

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about the title.. yes?:happy::? i thought it was about himi>

LMAO RauL! That's what i thought too.

But seriously, i dont care if the Lakers win or not. i didnt pay much attention to the fact they could go 75-7 or not. all i wanted to see was Shaq sometimes dumb comments in the post-game conference and kobe getting into a fight with Shaq. but then i am going to watch for the T'wolves. i think this has to be Garnett's season. and the bucks beat Lakers yesterday. heard Kobe was booed so much in the game.

at the end, i think the lakers might have a 63-19 record. but that's just me.

i must say that when Jordan started playing for WW, I was really unhappy because i kept cringing that he was leaving Chicago. but in hindsight, i dont think continuing with Chicago would have been good for him. simply becasue Pippen was saying that he wanted to be with Michael. but was it just becasue he could get another championship with him and not with any other team? i think that is where lies MJ's greatness.

true to an extent,

Pippen, Grant, and a lot of the other players Jordan played with were very good players without Jordan around
but the team revolved around Jordan and you could count on him to make the big plays when needed. Edited by bonobozoot
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i think what it shows is that basketball is too much of an individual sport. one or two players can make a huge difference in a team's play. michael jordan probably was the best to play the game, but after a while, it gets old watching the same teams win over and over because they have the best player in the league

I was going to say the exact opposite. I thought the Bulls always worked so well because they had such great support around their key player. Modern teams seem to focus too much on NBA Jam like teams, two guys and the rest just make a few points. Pippen, Grant, and a lot of the other players Jordan played with were very good players without Jordan around. When you drop the greatest basketball player into that team, of course he's going to do well.

IMO, Shaq is by far better than Kobe. People just always like the the guy who has some flair, and Shaq doesn't. But Kobe really can't do a whole lot without him.

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Title Edited for clarity and to keep people who think we are talking about the freak to talk about that freak.

lol ha whatever you say man :D :p

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no doubt mj is the best ever..ever..

but i think what helped him become the best and is mostly overlooked (because of his tremendous offensive skills) is that he was a consummate team player..early in his career, he clearly was not, and resulted in elmination from the playoffs..shortly before his first three championships he played more 'team ball'..and the addition of pippen just made it easier for him..

i was surprised that pippen wasn't even mentioned in your analysis..i truly believe, there was no way mj would win without a caliber player like pippen (and perhaps the genius of phil jackson)..as evident in their 6 rings together (and countless convictions by mj saying he would not play without pippen or phil)..

so mj definitely did not do it alone, and him recognizing that is what 'enhances his greatness'... and concluding he did it alone would not only rob him of his 'unselfish' play, but his supporting casts throughout those years (pippen, grant, cartwright, paxson, kukoc, rodman, kerr)..

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(pippen, grant, cartwright, paxson, kukoc, rodman, kerr)..

Aww man, that's the short list what about Craig Hodges, BJ Armstrong, Bill Wennington, Luc Longley, Dickey Simpkins, Jason Caffey, Dennis Hopson, Stacey King, Ron Harper, Cliff Levingston, Will Perdue, Scott Williams, and most importantly Jud Buechler.

(That's all I could remember right now, but I'm sure there are more)

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Aww man, that's the short list what about Craig Hodges, BJ Armstrong, Bill Wennington, Luc Longley, Dickey Simpkins, Jason Caffey, Dennis Hopson, Stacey King, Ron Harper, Cliff Levingston, Will Perdue, Scott Williams, and most importantly Jud Buechler.

(That's all I could remember right now, but I'm sure there are more)

you're absolutely right..there should be an 'etc' at that end of that list...i dunno about hopson though ;)

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Although I agree somewhat with what you say. I think the reason why Michael was so great is that he was the last player from the old school way of playing, unfortunately he also is the main reason why play is so poor in the NBA as well. Today BBall is a sport exclusively about individuals. You can see it in the style of play. You can see it in players foregoing years in College, or even College all together. For those who think avoiding College isn't affecting play in the NBA, check out Tracy McGrady some weeks ago talking about how he doesn't recognize basic defensive sets when he's coming down the floor. Jordan revolutionized the game alright, but now every player thinks they must make the impossible shot, that they must take on the entire team, drive the length of the floor, go one on one and make a tongue-wagging monster dunk like Jordan did. Or take a shot with the whole team hanging on them like MJ did.

They can't do that because MJ was a one of a kind, and the last of the old school players. The three greatest players of the last 25 years (MJ, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird) all had one thing in common. An almost unnatural dedication to making their game better, no matter what the cost. I remember when Magic came into the league, he was only a decent free throw shooter. However, after blowing some games based solely on his only adequate free throw shooting, he spent several off seasons until making the charity shots became a dangerous part of his reportoire. Bird and MJ also worked tirelessly on perfecting their games in the off-season. I don't see that kind of dedication with the majority of the players in the NBA.

As a result, for me I become less and less interested in the NBA as each year passes...

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Thanks to all for making this thread a decent read. Everyone has had good points...and thanks for changing the title hahaha :D

I agree with the statement about Tracy McGrady and how he doesn't know how to react to different defenses (other than straight up man to man). I think it's sad actually that these teams cannot figure out what type of offfense works best against a particular defense. I'm pretty sure if the zone was in effect during the Bulls glory years, you would have seen guys like Steve Kerr, Craig Hodges, John Paxson - guys who could shoot actual perimeter shots - become even more of a factor. I believe Jordan's point average would have dropped a little, but his assist total and rebounds would have been increased. And before I forget, Jordan was an extremely good outside shooter during his career. If I remember correctly, he was pretty close to 50% for his career.

And to the guy who commented on Kevin Garnett and the TWolves; although I'm a big Warriors fan, there's not a team I'd like to see win it more, or a player I'd like to see win it more than them. Kevin Garnett is the consumate professional - he constantly improves his game, he has an unmatched passion for winning, and he makes his teammates better (look at Troy Hudson last year in the playoffs). But the best thing about KG is he never EVER gets into trouble off the court. The only court I see him appear on (or in) is the basketball court. Same with Tim Duncan.

Thanks again for the comments/other insights. It should be an exciting 2nd half and playoff year for the NBA (something that has been lacking lately, I think).

edit: Oh yeah, the girl in my signature is Gabrielle Richens ;)

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I think another thing that sets MJ apart from the Kobe's, TMAC, etc; Is that MJ was/is a hard-a$$. I mean, he would not tolerate failure, from anyone. He had no issues chewing someone out, or yelling at them at practice, etc. If he didn't like your performance, he would ride you until you either got better, or wanted to get traded or quit. I honestly thought that Kwamie would quit because michael rode him soooo much. But, to me, that sets him apart. While Shaq, and Kobe bicker about silly nonsense. MJ Commanded respect. Commanded that you play well.

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mj = greatest basketball player in the history of the sport IMO! i used to watch some of his games (you dont get many here in uk crappy soccer everywhere) anyway he was just extraordinary sometimes.... heres a couple of pics of his airness... ;) :D :ninja: :whistle: :rolleyes: :D :o :D :D

mj_knicksjam.jpg

jordan_lg-01.jpg

031_3085.jpg

jordan1.jpg

michaeljordan.gif

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Thanks fellas: a damn fine example of a great thread on Neowin. Great discussion, keep it up guys!

From someone who used to watch c4's excellent, but sparse, coverage here in the UK I gotta say that yeah, Jordan is the best ever for all the reason that people have already mentioned.

I think you have to question whether the off court environment; celebrity, movie 'roles', endorsements etc is condusive to the development of talents such as Bird et al. Nowadays society tends to want the most explosive, the biggest, the most amazing shots etc etc. Great team play won't necessarily won't get you a big fat sneaker deal I guess.

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