So Where is KD in the all time great ranking now? MVP checked, NBA finals MVP check, multi scoring champs checked, championship ring checked
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nevitt_smrek
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
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SuperboyReformed wrote:
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activeverb wrote:
It's no coincidence that virtually everyone on the GOAT short list was surrounded by strong teammates and coaches for most of their careers. You don't get on the GOAT short list without winning, and you don't win without good teammates.


Great teammates and coaches inflate how great a player is though. History is filled with awesome players who'll never sniff a top 50 list because their teams sucked: George Gervin, Pistol Pete, Sidney Moncrief and Dominique Wilkins to name a few.

OTOH, guys like Hakeem Olajuwon are elevated higher than they should because MJ took 2 years off in the 90s.

Hakeem is really unique, love watching him. Not just the Bulls, but a solid 10 years earlier, his team knocked off the super Lakers. I'll never forget Coop's collapse.


Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem is a fantastic player. But was he better than David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley or Karl Malone just because he won a ring while the others didn't?

Or was Kareem better than Hakeem because he won more rings? If Hakeem and Kareem swapped teams in the mid 80s, would Houston have more rings than the Lakers? Probably not.


If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Cap is a legit candidate for the #1 spot. Very short, exclusive list.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:41 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
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activeverb wrote:
3. In the long run, all that matters is the outcome on the court. If someone wins a ring, some people will always complain that it shouldn't count as much or at all for some reason. Over time, those arguments tend to bring about shrugs and glazed eyeballs, especially from people who have no emotional investment in the players involved.


If it were all about rings and court outcomes, Bill Russell would be the GOAT. Followed by the stiffs that won 8+ titles him. Next would be
Robert Horry.

But obviously it's not. Which is why everyone debates the relative contributions of the player, the competition, and a billion other debatable factors.



Russell and Horry are unique cases.

Horry won a lot of rings, but he was a supporting player on those teams. There is a huge difference between the #1 guy on a team who wins a ring and the #5 guy on the team. You have to attain a high enough personal status before ring count matters. We all know that Horry isn’t MJ and Steve Kerr isn’t magic.

Russell confuses people. He won a lot of rings a long time ago when the league was very different. People are skeptical of his rings because they were in the early days of the league, and his personal stats don’t look that impressive.

What I’m talking about is different. I don’t find fans differentiate between rings unless they have a vested interested in bashing or praising a guy. People who don’t like Duncan put an asterisks on his strike-shortened ring; to everyone else it’s just a ring.

And criticism fades with more rings. Lots of people bashed Lebron when he won his first ring in Miami. That changed significantly when he won a second. By the time he won his third in Cleveland, the criticism seem limited to people who disliked him and would have criticized him no matter what happened.


Ultimately, people elevate players with rings higher than they should. And vice versa. Neither Dirk Nowitzki nor Kevin Garnett become better players because they finally got a ring.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:49 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Hakeem won his second ring (and NBA Finals MVP) because Mario Elie drains a last second 3 to force OT during an elimination game. If that didn't happen and Houston never got their 2nd ring, Hakeem wouldn't be a worse player. He'd still be the same. Which is why it's ridiculous to measure greatness on rings where so much is dependent on role players.

Or if MJ never retired and Chicago won 8 straight titles, that doesn't make Hakeem worse either. He's still the same great player.

Kareem does have a ton of individual accomplishments. But if he didn't get all those rings, I could see his reputation of being a stat-stuffer. And if Hakeem got a lot more rings during the late 80s, I could see him elevated to a list of GOATS, somewhere around top 5 or so.

Ultimately, there's a limit to all the "what-ifs" of course. But my point is that rings are given for the TEAM winning and that's based on so many factors outside even a great player's control. Which is why rings shouldn't be factored as much when measuring individual greatness.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:24 pm    Post subject:

composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Hakeem won his second ring (and NBA Finals MVP) because Mario Elie drains a last second 3 to force OT during an elimination game. If that didn't happen and Houston never got their 2nd ring, Hakeem wouldn't be a worse player. He'd still be the same. Which is why it's ridiculous to measure greatness on rings where so much is dependent on role players.

Or if MJ never retired and Chicago won 8 straight titles, that doesn't make Hakeem worse either. He's still the same great player.

Kareem does have a ton of individual accomplishments. But if he didn't get all those rings, I could see his reputation of being a stat-stuffer. And if Hakeem got a lot more rings during the late 80s, I could see him elevated to a list of GOATS, somewhere around top 5 or so.

Ultimately, there's a limit to all the "what-ifs" of course. But my point is that rings are given for the TEAM winning and that's based on so many factors outside even a great player's control. Which is why rings shouldn't be factored as much when measuring individual greatness.


Sure, rings are a team accomplishment, but players make up the team. And if you are the #1 guy on a team you get a disproportionate amount of credit for winning or losing -- that's just part of being the top dog.

And you can argue in basketball there are no truly individual accomplishment. You can't get an assist if your teammate doesn't make a shot. You need teammates to set picks to get off shots. Better teammates can reduce the defensive pressure and let you get off better shots -- or they might be so good they take away some of your shots and reduce your scoring average. And so forth. The quality of your teammates can affect your personal performance, stats, and awards for good or bad.

Anyway, it can be a fun academic debate if and how much rings should affect a player's reputation. However, in the real world, it's undeniable they do.

And you know, I've seen other people state that rings should have no bearing on individual rankings, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone who says this put Barkley, Malone, or other ringless guys near the top of their rankings. Their top guys always have a bunch of rings.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:08 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Hakeem won his second ring (and NBA Finals MVP) because Mario Elie drains a last second 3 to force OT during an elimination game. If that didn't happen and Houston never got their 2nd ring, Hakeem wouldn't be a worse player. He'd still be the same. Which is why it's ridiculous to measure greatness on rings where so much is dependent on role players.

Or if MJ never retired and Chicago won 8 straight titles, that doesn't make Hakeem worse either. He's still the same great player.

Kareem does have a ton of individual accomplishments. But if he didn't get all those rings, I could see his reputation of being a stat-stuffer. And if Hakeem got a lot more rings during the late 80s, I could see him elevated to a list of GOATS, somewhere around top 5 or so.

Ultimately, there's a limit to all the "what-ifs" of course. But my point is that rings are given for the TEAM winning and that's based on so many factors outside even a great player's control. Which is why rings shouldn't be factored as much when measuring individual greatness.


Sure, rings are a team accomplishment, but players make up the team. And if you are the #1 guy on a team you get a disproportionate amount of credit for winning or losing -- that's just part of being the top dog.

And you can argue in basketball there are no truly individual accomplishment. You can't get an assist if your teammate doesn't make a shot. You need teammates to set picks to get off shots. Better teammates can reduce the defensive pressure and let you get off better shots -- or they might be so good they take away some of your shots and reduce your scoring average. And so forth. The quality of your teammates can affect your personal performance, stats, and awards for good or bad.

Anyway, it can be a fun academic debate if and how much rings should affect a player's reputation. However, in the real world, it's undeniable they do.

And you know, I've seen other people state that rings should have no bearing on individual rankings, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone who says this put Barkley, Malone, or other ringless guys near the top of their rankings. Their top guys always have a bunch of rings.


I think that's why guys like Lebron and KD decide to join superteams. However unfair, if you're judged by the rings you have, why not join a team with the best supporting cast possible? Especially if salaries are capped and you can't make more $$ elsewhere anyway. Plus, endorsements far exceed salary for guys like Lebron and KD.

Heck, this very thread on a random Lakers-oriented message board talks about whether KD has increased his stature by winning a ring and the Finals MVP. Imagine what the general NBA fanbase thinks. And how much endorsements would increase with winning.

Personally, it wouldn't surprise me if Lebron took a paycut and joined GSW in '18. GS will turn into the Dream Team II.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject:

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I think that's why guys like Lebron and KD decide to join superteams. However unfair, if you're judged by the rings you have, why not join a team with the best supporting cast possible? Especially if salaries are capped and you can't make more $$ elsewhere anyway. Plus, endorsements far exceed salary for guys like Lebron and KD. .


I think every superstar in NBA history wanted as much talent around them as possible. I don’t think any of them – from Russell to Wilt to Magic to Dr. J to MJ to Kobe to Lebron – would be bothered in the least by having an unfair amount of talent around them. After winning rings, Bird and Magic were happy to add a former MVP to their bench (Walton, McAdoo).

The only thing different with Lebron and Durant is that they play in an era where it is easier for players to orchestrate that kind of move themselves rather than depend on GMs to do it for them, and where media coverage, endorsements, and other benefits of stardom aren’t as dependent on the physical location of the team. Also, the pretense that players care what team they are selling their services to has diminished.

Lebron and Durant are only getting grief because this phenomenon is still relatively new in our collective thinking (though Moses Malone did the same thing 35 years ago).

And from a player's standpoint why not? I am sure playing on Golden State is a total blast, and I am sure Durant is every bit as proud of his ring as any player who has ever won one.

Russell, Bird, Magic, etc. sure didn't think their rings were diminished by being surrounded by all those Hall of Famers.

However, I don't see LeBron joining Golden State. First, I don't see him taking a huge pay cut. Second, the only way he goes to Golden State would be if Curry, Durant, and the rest did what they did with Durant, assure him he would be the main guy. That's the thing with superstars going to already loaded teams. They want to get paid and be sure to be seen as the big dog
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject:

A big part of answering questions like this, at least for me, comes down to how the player was regarded while they were actually playing. Durant, realistically, has never been the consensus best player in the league. Not even once. Not even for one year. He's been consensus Top 2-5 for the better part of a decade, though. That's still incredible.

With a few exceptions in random one-off years, these were (almost) unarguably the best players of each generation:
60s: Wilt or Russell
70s: Kareem
80s: Magic or Bird
90s: MJ
00s: Kobe, Shaq, or Duncan
10s: LeBron


For me, I really can't put Durant ahead of any of these players unless/until there is a true passing of the torch moment where he becomes obviously better than LeBron (and everyone else). Unlike many participants in this thread, I honestly thought LeBron was better in the Finals despite having to shoulder a much heavier load for his team than did Durant.

I can't find room in my Top 10 for players who were never even the best of their own generation let alone All-Time. I think Durant belongs in that second tier of guys who won a singular MVP or ring as the best player on their team. He belongs in that second tier of guys who might have been debatably the best player in the league once or twice.

Like I already said, I'd never put him Top 10 unless he is able to surpass LeBron and hold the league's top spot for at least a few consecutive years. I don't see that happening, honestly. I think he'll cement himself as easily a Top 20 player over the next few years as the Warriors' success continues to mount.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject:

nevitt_smrek wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
It's no coincidence that virtually everyone on the GOAT short list was surrounded by strong teammates and coaches for most of their careers. You don't get on the GOAT short list without winning, and you don't win without good teammates.


Great teammates and coaches inflate how great a player is though. History is filled with awesome players who'll never sniff a top 50 list because their teams sucked: George Gervin, Pistol Pete, Sidney Moncrief and Dominique Wilkins to name a few.

OTOH, guys like Hakeem Olajuwon are elevated higher than they should because MJ took 2 years off in the 90s.

Hakeem is really unique, love watching him. Not just the Bulls, but a solid 10 years earlier, his team knocked off the super Lakers. I'll never forget Coop's collapse.


Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem is a fantastic player. But was he better than David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley or Karl Malone just because he won a ring while the others didn't?

Or was Kareem better than Hakeem because he won more rings? If Hakeem and Kareem swapped teams in the mid 80s, would Houston have more rings than the Lakers? Probably not.


If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Cap is a legit candidate for the #1 spot. Very short, exclusive list.


Yes, but their perception would be slighted if it weren't for his 6 rings. But half of those rings were won during his declining years from 85-88 after he was 35+.

If he only had 3 rings, people wouldn't consider him as strongly as the GOAT. Which makes no sense.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject:

composite wrote:
nevitt_smrek wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
It's no coincidence that virtually everyone on the GOAT short list was surrounded by strong teammates and coaches for most of their careers. You don't get on the GOAT short list without winning, and you don't win without good teammates.


Great teammates and coaches inflate how great a player is though. History is filled with awesome players who'll never sniff a top 50 list because their teams sucked: George Gervin, Pistol Pete, Sidney Moncrief and Dominique Wilkins to name a few.

OTOH, guys like Hakeem Olajuwon are elevated higher than they should because MJ took 2 years off in the 90s.

Hakeem is really unique, love watching him. Not just the Bulls, but a solid 10 years earlier, his team knocked off the super Lakers. I'll never forget Coop's collapse.


Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem is a fantastic player. But was he better than David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley or Karl Malone just because he won a ring while the others didn't?

Or was Kareem better than Hakeem because he won more rings? If Hakeem and Kareem swapped teams in the mid 80s, would Houston have more rings than the Lakers? Probably not.


If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Cap is a legit candidate for the #1 spot. Very short, exclusive list.


Yes, but their perception would be slighted if it weren't for his 6 rings. But half of those rings were won during his declining years from 85-88 after he was 35+.

If he only had 3 rings, people wouldn't consider him as strongly as the GOAT. Which makes no sense.


This would be a better argument against, say Robert Parish when he won a finals ring sitting on the bench for the Bulls at the end of his career.

In one of those "declining" years kareem won the finals MVP; in another of those years he average 20 points. So it's not like he was some old player just sitting on the bench.

So, if anything, to me his high level of play past age 35 which contributed to couple of rings is just a greater testament to his talent. This was a guy who was impacting championships from his early 20s to his late thirties
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:45 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
nevitt_smrek wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
It's no coincidence that virtually everyone on the GOAT short list was surrounded by strong teammates and coaches for most of their careers. You don't get on the GOAT short list without winning, and you don't win without good teammates.


Great teammates and coaches inflate how great a player is though. History is filled with awesome players who'll never sniff a top 50 list because their teams sucked: George Gervin, Pistol Pete, Sidney Moncrief and Dominique Wilkins to name a few.

OTOH, guys like Hakeem Olajuwon are elevated higher than they should because MJ took 2 years off in the 90s.

Hakeem is really unique, love watching him. Not just the Bulls, but a solid 10 years earlier, his team knocked off the super Lakers. I'll never forget Coop's collapse.


Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem is a fantastic player. But was he better than David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley or Karl Malone just because he won a ring while the others didn't?

Or was Kareem better than Hakeem because he won more rings? If Hakeem and Kareem swapped teams in the mid 80s, would Houston have more rings than the Lakers? Probably not.


If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Cap is a legit candidate for the #1 spot. Very short, exclusive list.


Yes, but their perception would be slighted if it weren't for his 6 rings. But half of those rings were won during his declining years from 85-88 after he was 35+.

If he only had 3 rings, people wouldn't consider him as strongly as the GOAT. Which makes no sense.


This would be a better argument against, say Robert Parish when he won a finals ring sitting on the bench for the Bulls at the end of his career.

In one of those "declining" years kareem won the finals MVP; in another of those years he average 20 points. So it's not like he was some old player just sitting on the bench.

So, if anything, to me his high level of play past age 35 which contributed to couple of rings is just a greater testament to his talent. This was a guy who was impacting championships from his early 20s to his late thirties


Kareem was valuable in the late 80s. But he wasn't as dominant as he was throughout the 70s and early 80s where he was virtually unstoppable. And if he were on the Sonics, Nuggets, Spurs or plenty of other teams -- anyone other than the Lakers -- there's no way that late 80s Kareem could've won 3 more titles.

If a more talented, younger Kareem had problems getting to the Finals after 1971 and before 1980 (w/ weaker teammates), there's no way that an older Kareem would've.

But yet, Kareem's the same player. And should be arguably considered the GOAT whether he won 1 or 6 rings. So again, there's lots of individual measurements for greatness: MVPs and other awards, scoring titles, etc. which probably make a more accurate measurement of greatness than rings.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject:

composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
nevitt_smrek wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
It's no coincidence that virtually everyone on the GOAT short list was surrounded by strong teammates and coaches for most of their careers. You don't get on the GOAT short list without winning, and you don't win without good teammates.


Great teammates and coaches inflate how great a player is though. History is filled with awesome players who'll never sniff a top 50 list because their teams sucked: George Gervin, Pistol Pete, Sidney Moncrief and Dominique Wilkins to name a few.

OTOH, guys like Hakeem Olajuwon are elevated higher than they should because MJ took 2 years off in the 90s.

Hakeem is really unique, love watching him. Not just the Bulls, but a solid 10 years earlier, his team knocked off the super Lakers. I'll never forget Coop's collapse.


Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem is a fantastic player. But was he better than David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley or Karl Malone just because he won a ring while the others didn't?

Or was Kareem better than Hakeem because he won more rings? If Hakeem and Kareem swapped teams in the mid 80s, would Houston have more rings than the Lakers? Probably not.


If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Cap is a legit candidate for the #1 spot. Very short, exclusive list.


Yes, but their perception would be slighted if it weren't for his 6 rings. But half of those rings were won during his declining years from 85-88 after he was 35+.

If he only had 3 rings, people wouldn't consider him as strongly as the GOAT. Which makes no sense.


This would be a better argument against, say Robert Parish when he won a finals ring sitting on the bench for the Bulls at the end of his career.

In one of those "declining" years kareem won the finals MVP; in another of those years he average 20 points. So it's not like he was some old player just sitting on the bench.

So, if anything, to me his high level of play past age 35 which contributed to couple of rings is just a greater testament to his talent. This was a guy who was impacting championships from his early 20s to his late thirties


Kareem was valuable in the late 80s. But he wasn't as dominant as he was throughout the 70s and early 80s where he was virtually unstoppable. And if he were on the Sonics, Nuggets, Spurs or plenty of other teams -- anyone other than the Lakers -- there's no way that late 80s Kareem could've won 3 more titles.

If a more talented, younger Kareem had problems getting to the Finals after 1971 and before 1980 (w/ weaker teammates), there's no way that an older Kareem would've.

But yet, Kareem's the same player. And should be arguably considered the GOAT whether he won 1 or 6 rings. So again, there's lots of individual measurements for greatness: MVPs and other awards, scoring titles, etc. which probably make a more accurate measurement of greatness than rings.



For me, the bottom line is on 2 of the 3 ring teams you’re talking about, Kareem was an all-star, a 20 ppg scorer, faced a Hall of Fame center in the finals, and won the finals MVP one of those years. He wasn’t as good as he was earlier in his career, but I don’t see a rational for saying those rings shouldn’t count.

However, some people certainly do make a case that some rings should count less because of a player’s lesser participation. For example, some people will say Kobe’s first two rings don’t count as much because he was a second banana to Shaq, or Duncan’s last ring doesn’t count as much. (However, I don't find woulda coulda shoulda arguments convincing; try hard enough and you can use them to award or take away any accomplishment; ultimately, I can only evaluate players based on what actually happened.)

As far as your other point, when I measure players rings are part of the mix with awards, stats and everything else. I don’t have any precise formula though. That said, the point of playing the game is winning. And it’s hard to imagine a player being considered the greatest ever if he was only able to carry his team to 1 ring.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:56 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
nevitt_smrek wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
SuperboyReformed wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
It's no coincidence that virtually everyone on the GOAT short list was surrounded by strong teammates and coaches for most of their careers. You don't get on the GOAT short list without winning, and you don't win without good teammates.


Great teammates and coaches inflate how great a player is though. History is filled with awesome players who'll never sniff a top 50 list because their teams sucked: George Gervin, Pistol Pete, Sidney Moncrief and Dominique Wilkins to name a few.

OTOH, guys like Hakeem Olajuwon are elevated higher than they should because MJ took 2 years off in the 90s.

Hakeem is really unique, love watching him. Not just the Bulls, but a solid 10 years earlier, his team knocked off the super Lakers. I'll never forget Coop's collapse.


Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem is a fantastic player. But was he better than David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley or Karl Malone just because he won a ring while the others didn't?

Or was Kareem better than Hakeem because he won more rings? If Hakeem and Kareem swapped teams in the mid 80s, would Houston have more rings than the Lakers? Probably not.


If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Cap is a legit candidate for the #1 spot. Very short, exclusive list.


Yes, but their perception would be slighted if it weren't for his 6 rings. But half of those rings were won during his declining years from 85-88 after he was 35+.

If he only had 3 rings, people wouldn't consider him as strongly as the GOAT. Which makes no sense.


This would be a better argument against, say Robert Parish when he won a finals ring sitting on the bench for the Bulls at the end of his career.

In one of those "declining" years kareem won the finals MVP; in another of those years he average 20 points. So it's not like he was some old player just sitting on the bench.

So, if anything, to me his high level of play past age 35 which contributed to couple of rings is just a greater testament to his talent. This was a guy who was impacting championships from his early 20s to his late thirties


Kareem was valuable in the late 80s. But he wasn't as dominant as he was throughout the 70s and early 80s where he was virtually unstoppable. And if he were on the Sonics, Nuggets, Spurs or plenty of other teams -- anyone other than the Lakers -- there's no way that late 80s Kareem could've won 3 more titles.

If a more talented, younger Kareem had problems getting to the Finals after 1971 and before 1980 (w/ weaker teammates), there's no way that an older Kareem would've.

But yet, Kareem's the same player. And should be arguably considered the GOAT whether he won 1 or 6 rings. So again, there's lots of individual measurements for greatness: MVPs and other awards, scoring titles, etc. which probably make a more accurate measurement of greatness than rings.



For me, the bottom line is on 2 of the 3 ring teams you’re talking about, Kareem was an all-star, a 20 ppg scorer, faced a Hall of Fame center in the finals, and won the finals MVP one of those years. He wasn’t as good as he was earlier in his career, but I don’t see a rational for saying those rings shouldn’t count.

However, some people certainly do make a case that some rings should count less because of a player’s lesser participation. For example, some people will say Kobe’s first two rings don’t count as much because he was a second banana to Shaq, or Duncan’s last ring doesn’t count as much. (However, I don't find woulda coulda shoulda arguments convincing; try hard enough and you can use them to award or take away any accomplishment; ultimately, I can only evaluate players based on what actually happened.)

As far as your other point, when I measure players rings are part of the mix with awards, stats and everything else. I don’t have any precise formula though. That said, the point of playing the game is winning. And it’s hard to imagine a player being considered the greatest ever if he was only able to carry his team to 1 ring.


I think Wilt Chamberlain is the best example that a player could be the GOAT and yet win a few rings (2). And he only got the 2nd ring by forcing himself to be traded to a superteam like the late 60s Lakers that won a then-record 69 regular season games. Without that, he'd have 1 ring.

The idea of 1 player "carrying" teams to a title is virtually impossible. You need great teammates. Lebron/Cleveland in 07 is the closest I can recall where 1 player took an otherwise horrible team to the brink of winning a title and they got swept by San Antonio. Lebron is the best player now and yet GSW utterly destroyed the Cavs during these Finals 4-1 with only 1 win being less than 9 points.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:28 pm    Post subject:

composite wrote:


I think Wilt Chamberlain is the best example that a player could be the GOAT and yet win a few rings (2). And he only got the 2nd ring by forcing himself to be traded to a superteam like the late 60s Lakers that won a then-record 69 regular season games. Without that, he'd have 1 ring.

The idea of 1 player "carrying" teams to a title is virtually impossible. You need great teammates. Lebron/Cleveland in 07 is the closest I can recall where 1 player took an otherwise horrible team to the brink of winning a title and they got swept by San Antonio. Lebron is the best player now and yet GSW utterly destroyed the Cavs during these Finals 4-1 with only 1 win being less than 9 points.


Sure, Wilt is a great example: he's in contention for goat with only two rings; however that required him to get mythical, otherworldly stats in order to do it.

You're focusing too much on one word in my post rather than my sentiment. The word "carrying" is insignificant to me, so read my opinion like this: Ultimately, players are judged on their accomplishments, and winning rings is an important accomplishment, especially when talking the GOAT where a bunch of guys have amazing resumes.

And no question, as I've said many times before, in a team sport a player's personal achievements and reputation are affected by who their teammates are. We can argue whether or not that is fair. But who says life is supposed to be fair?

But also, what is an individual accomplishment? MVP awards -- not really; you won't win one on a bad team. Scoring titles -- even that is questionable. Kobe and Lebron won scoring titles on weak teams; when their teams got better, they spread the shots around and didn't win scoring title. I am hard pressed to neatly separately individual accomplishments from the team.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject:

Hard to say because he's still relatively early in his career, and I tend to not rank guys this early. But there aren't many resumes better than 4 scoring titles, league MVP, ring, Finals MVP.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject:

i dont think this championship increases kd's status in any way. it's more like he just stays the same. had he won with okc, his legacy would definitely had improved. this was a move where if he didn't win a championship, his legacy would have gone down. by winning, he just did what was obvious and expected, its not like he had to fight through adversity or do something unusually difficult.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject:

10-15
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:36 pm    Post subject:

In terms of accomplishments to make a run at the top, KD still has a ways to go.

In terms of pure talent, skill, length and doing things at 7' that NO ONE has done to this level, there's a very few players I'd take ahead of him. I've maintained for a long time that if he had Kobe's voarcious appetite for getting buckets, he'd be annihilating records. Add the fact that's he now a ferocious defender too...
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
In terms of accomplishments to make a run at the top, KD still has a ways to go.

In terms of pure talent, skill, length and doing things at 7' that NO ONE has done to this level, there's a very few players I'd take ahead of him. I've maintained for a long time that if he had Kobe's voarcious appetite for getting buckets, he'd be annihilating records. Add the fact that's he now a ferocious defender too...

if you're saying he's conservative, yes he is. We don't know if he can't or won't. He usually performs well under optimum conditions, and i don't think he has consistently shown he can be special under adverse conditions. whatever he did this year with the warriors was just standard to be expected, nothing too special. his legacy is probably tarnished forever because of this move. i'm not sure he can recover. his chance was to win something big with okc.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject:

L4L wrote:
A big part of answering questions like this, at least for me, comes down to how the player was regarded while they were actually playing. Durant, realistically, has never been the consensus best player in the league. Not even once. Not even for one year. He's been consensus Top 2-5 for the better part of a decade, though. That's still incredible.

With a few exceptions in random one-off years, these were (almost) unarguably the best players of each generation:
60s: Wilt or Russell
70s: Kareem
80s: Magic or Bird
90s: MJ
00s: Kobe, Shaq, or Duncan
10s: LeBron


For me, I really can't put Durant ahead of any of these players unless/until there is a true passing of the torch moment where he becomes obviously better than LeBron (and everyone else). Unlike many participants in this thread, I honestly thought LeBron was better in the Finals despite having to shoulder a much heavier load for his team than did Durant.

I can't find room in my Top 10 for players who were never even the best of their own generation let alone All-Time. I think Durant belongs in that second tier of guys who won a singular MVP or ring as the best player on their team. He belongs in that second tier of guys who might have been debatably the best player in the league once or twice.

Like I already said, I'd never put him Top 10 unless he is able to surpass LeBron and hold the league's top spot for at least a few consecutive years. I don't see that happening, honestly. I think he'll cement himself as easily a Top 20 player over the next few years as the Warriors' success continues to mount.


I think if he leads the Warriors to something like a 3-peat Durant will be considered to be the best player in the league, especially if he wins another regular season MVP and a couple of more Finals MVPs. He will be getting so much attention and winning so much that it will be hard for a lot of people to claim he is nothing more than just second best. That doesn't mean he would be the best player. It just means the media and fans will call him the best player.

This move to the Warriors shows why despite all the complaining, this was such a great move for him. Over time people will care less and less about how he went to the Warriors, and they will see him as a guy that led his team to multiple rings instead of a guy that couldn't win.

Another advantage of playing on the Warriors is he gets to play in the later rounds of the playoffs more often, gets more opportunities to excel on the biggest stages, and more people get to watch his games and see how good he really is. I never really thought Paul Gasol was that great until I saw him play on the 2008 Lakers and saw how good he really was.


Last edited by Steve007 on Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Hakeem won his second ring (and NBA Finals MVP) because Mario Elie drains a last second 3 to force OT during an elimination game. If that didn't happen and Houston never got their 2nd ring, Hakeem wouldn't be a worse player. He'd still be the same. Which is why it's ridiculous to measure greatness on rings where so much is dependent on role players.

Or if MJ never retired and Chicago won 8 straight titles, that doesn't make Hakeem worse either. He's still the same great player.

Kareem does have a ton of individual accomplishments. But if he didn't get all those rings, I could see his reputation of being a stat-stuffer. And if Hakeem got a lot more rings during the late 80s, I could see him elevated to a list of GOATS, somewhere around top 5 or so.

Ultimately, there's a limit to all the "what-ifs" of course. But my point is that rings are given for the TEAM winning and that's based on so many factors outside even a great player's control. Which is why rings shouldn't be factored as much when measuring individual greatness.


Sure, rings are a team accomplishment, but players make up the team. And if you are the #1 guy on a team you get a disproportionate amount of credit for winning or losing -- that's just part of being the top dog.

And you can argue in basketball there are no truly individual accomplishment. You can't get an assist if your teammate doesn't make a shot. You need teammates to set picks to get off shots. Better teammates can reduce the defensive pressure and let you get off better shots -- or they might be so good they take away some of your shots and reduce your scoring average. And so forth. The quality of your teammates can affect your personal performance, stats, and awards for good or bad.

Anyway, it can be a fun academic debate if and how much rings should affect a player's reputation. However, in the real world, it's undeniable they do.

And you know, I've seen other people state that rings should have no bearing on individual rankings, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone who says this put Barkley, Malone, or other ringless guys near the top of their rankings. Their top guys always have a bunch of rings.


I think a better comparison would be the Jordan of the 80's vs. the Jordan of the 90's. I suspect the Jordan of the 80's would win rings with the teammates he had in the 90's. But I know I've heard people in the media say things like "Jordan figured out how to be a team player and then he started winning."

I actually have wondered if Malone was better than Duncan. Duncan gets more credit for having the rings, but those Utah teams in the late 90s were extremely good and the only team that beat them in 97 and 98 was the Bulls. Unfortunately for Malone, and fortunately for Hakeem, Jordan was playing baseball before those years.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject:

Steve007 wrote:
activeverb wrote:
composite wrote:
activeverb wrote:
If Barkley or Malone had won two rings and two finals MVPs instead of Hakeem, they’d be mentioned on the GOAT short list (near the end of the list) rather than Hakeem. So, yeah, those two rings radically affect how Hakeem is perceived.

Kareem is an entirely different animal. He has a ton of MVP awards and statistical achievements that put him in a different class than Hakeem.


Hakeem won his second ring (and NBA Finals MVP) because Mario Elie drains a last second 3 to force OT during an elimination game. If that didn't happen and Houston never got their 2nd ring, Hakeem wouldn't be a worse player. He'd still be the same. Which is why it's ridiculous to measure greatness on rings where so much is dependent on role players.

Or if MJ never retired and Chicago won 8 straight titles, that doesn't make Hakeem worse either. He's still the same great player.

Kareem does have a ton of individual accomplishments. But if he didn't get all those rings, I could see his reputation of being a stat-stuffer. And if Hakeem got a lot more rings during the late 80s, I could see him elevated to a list of GOATS, somewhere around top 5 or so.

Ultimately, there's a limit to all the "what-ifs" of course. But my point is that rings are given for the TEAM winning and that's based on so many factors outside even a great player's control. Which is why rings shouldn't be factored as much when measuring individual greatness.


Sure, rings are a team accomplishment, but players make up the team. And if you are the #1 guy on a team you get a disproportionate amount of credit for winning or losing -- that's just part of being the top dog.

And you can argue in basketball there are no truly individual accomplishment. You can't get an assist if your teammate doesn't make a shot. You need teammates to set picks to get off shots. Better teammates can reduce the defensive pressure and let you get off better shots -- or they might be so good they take away some of your shots and reduce your scoring average. And so forth. The quality of your teammates can affect your personal performance, stats, and awards for good or bad.

Anyway, it can be a fun academic debate if and how much rings should affect a player's reputation. However, in the real world, it's undeniable they do.

And you know, I've seen other people state that rings should have no bearing on individual rankings, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone who says this put Barkley, Malone, or other ringless guys near the top of their rankings. Their top guys always have a bunch of rings.


I think a better comparison would be the Jordan of the 80's vs. the Jordan of the 90's. I suspect the Jordan of the 80's would win rings with the teammates he had in the 90's. But I know I've heard people in the media say things like "Jordan figured out how to be a team player and then he started winning."

I actually have wondered if Malone was better than Duncan. Duncan gets more credit for having the rings, but those Utah teams in the late 90s were extremely good and the only team that beat them in 97 and 98 was the Bulls. Unfortunately for Malone, and fortunately for Hakeem, Jordan was playing baseball before those years.


Maybe it was fortunate for Hakeem, or maybe it's unfortunate -- for all we know, the Rockets might have beaten the Bulls and then he'd get a lot more credit for those rings.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject:

Steve007 wrote:

I think if he leads the Warriors to something like a 3-peat Durant will be considered to be the best player in the league, especially if he wins another regular season MVP and a couple of more Finals MVPs. He will be getting so much attention and winning so much that it will be hard for a lot of people to claim he is nothing more than just second best. That doesn't mean he would be the best player. It just means the media and fans will call him the best player.


This is certainly a possibility. I'd almost say that he has to repeat or threepeat for perception to truly shift in that manner. If repeating or threepeating coincides with an age-related decline for LeBron, it could cement his place in the Top 10.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject:

L4L wrote:
Steve007 wrote:

I think if he leads the Warriors to something like a 3-peat Durant will be considered to be the best player in the league, especially if he wins another regular season MVP and a couple of more Finals MVPs. He will be getting so much attention and winning so much that it will be hard for a lot of people to claim he is nothing more than just second best. That doesn't mean he would be the best player. It just means the media and fans will call him the best player.


This is certainly a possibility. I'd almost say that he has to repeat or threepeat for perception to truly shift in that manner. If repeating or threepeating coincides with an age-related decline for LeBron, it could cement his place in the Top 10.


There difference between top 20 and top 10 is enormous. It's like walking up a granite cliff at a deep angle: each step is exponentially more difficult than the last step.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:

There difference between top 20 and top 10 is enormous. It's like walking up a granite cliff at a deep angle: each step is exponentially more difficult than the last step.


Absolutely. No disagreement here.

If Durant has a 4-5 year stretch where he's the best player in the league, and his team wins 2-3 titles during that period, that would elevate his resume to the next level, in my opinion.

Right now, regardless of how amazingly rare and unique his particular combination of size, length, and skill, I don't see how you can even consider him in the Top 10 based on his (lack) of accomplishments versus his contemporaries.

Just speaking personally, if he wins another title or two, while James is still clearly the best player in the league, that's not going to be enough for me, either. Virtually everyone else on that Top 10 list was indisputably the best player of their generation for large swathes of time. The only exception might be Kobe or Duncan depending on your personal tastes and affinity for advanced statistics.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject:

L4L wrote:
The only exception might be Kobe or Duncan depending on your personal tastes and affinity for advanced statistics.


And either Hakeem or Oscar depending on who rounds out the list.
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