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Greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain

Updated on January 9, 2008

Who was the greatest NBA player of all time? Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain?

It honestly depends on your criteria. If we're talking about overall all-around talent, the answer is neither. Such a player would be Magic Johnson, who regularly played all 5 positions on the floor, and well. Magic could rebound, take the short jumpers, hit the long shots and 3's, play solid defense, run the offense from the point guard spot and elevate his game to carry the team when needed. And, needless to say, he was one of the key players, if not THE key player, on those Showtime Lakers teams that won several championships. If not for his HIV infection forcing his retirement, his career would have lasted several more years than it did.

But the criteria fans often use isn't just basketball skills. Context plays a big role, and this is where the two names above stand out, even over Magic and his all-around game.

At Wilt Chamberlain's time, the idea of a big man dunking over everybody and dominating the paint was a fairly new concept. Once you had Wilt scoring points in bunches, including his famous 100 point game in Hershey, PA, this revolutionized the pro game and opened the door for dominating big men like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. He is a big reason (pun intended) why dunking and athletic seven footers are a big part of NBA basketball today.

Wilt's biggest weakness was, ironically, emphasized by his strengths. Because he could use his size to score in bunches by leaping over people and scoring layups and dunks, his shooting skills remained unrefined, and he was a famously bad free throw shooter (career free-throw percentage was 51.1%: a competent shooter should be able to make 75-80%). Consequently, he was a poor shooter, and if he wasn't close enough to the basket, you could neutralize his strengths. Fortunately for Wilt, he was so big, athletic and powerful that few people could keep him away from the basket over his career.

Michael Jordan, at a lanky 6 foot 6, didn't have Wilt's size, but he more than made up for it with his incredible work ethic, athletic talent, competitive drive and marvelous basketball skills. Jordan was a good shooter in his prime, but he was more famous for his great vertical leap and spectacular driving dunks that have been canonized on numerous posters (players who got dunked on by Jordan were often said to have been 'posterized'), earning him several entries into the All Star Game's Slam Dunk Contest, which he made famous and won several times.

Jordan has had numerous great, high scoring games that featured game winning shots. His scoring prowess alone was greatly responsible for the Chicago Bulls' ascension from mediocrity to serious playoff contention in the 80's, and once he received strong supporting teammates like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, the Bulls became one of the NBA's great championship dynasties, winning six championships with Jordan in the 90's.

He is also famous for making big, game winning shots under pressure. One of the NBA's most famous moments was a last second outside shot Jordan made in a playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers as time expired, and featured him leaping high into the air in fist-pumping celebration (and nearly kicking Cleveland's Craig Ehlo in the face). And the 6th and final NBA championship came when Jordan shook Bryon Russell, Utah's best defender, and scored a go-ahead jump shot with 5 seconds left to seal the clinching victory in the NBA Finals. It was his last play as a Chicago Bull. These moments played a huge role in lifting Jordan from mere star to iconic NBA legend.

Jordan's only weakness could be a product not of his ability, but of his ego. Jordan made those big shots and scored all those points in large part because he wanted to take those shots and wanted the ball. Frequently. As a result, he often took too many shots in games, and towards the end of his career, he missed a lot of those shots, wasting valuable possessions for his team. Fans saw 30 point games from Jordan, but often forget that while he, say, made 9 shots, he missed 14-16, and got many of his points from getting fouled and going to the free throw line, where unlike Wilt, he was a capable shooter.

But in that lies another issue: as his star status rose, NBA refs often gave Jordan favorable foul calls, calling frivolous fouls on his opposition for minor physical contact with Jordan on many plays, and allowing him to go to the line and score easy points. Jordan was conversely allowed to frequently make rough contact with opposing players on defense and often escaped getting called on it. In fact, on the aforementioned shot over Bryon Russell, replays show Jordan clearly shoving Russell aside before taking the ball to shoot, the sort of contact that usually draws an offensive foul.

This tilted games in favor of Jordan's teams and inflated his point totals. He still ultimately made a lot of great shots and played well enough to win even if his team received no such help, but he did receive some help that Wilt never received in his era.

Also, Jordan tarnished his image following retirement after his 6th championship. Years after, he attempted an ill-advised comeback with the lowly Washington Wizards, with which Jordan had served as team president and part owner. Jordan was still a solid, talented player, but his skills were greatly diminished from rust and age, seeing him miss more shots than usual. His age (41) coupled with 30-40 extra pounds took a toll on his aging knees and led to injuries hampering his efforts. He retired for good after two relatively mediocre seasons that saw the Wizards perform no better than usual. The ill-advised comeback can only do so much to tarnish his legendary image, however, and his efforts with the Chicago Bulls still cement his legacy as one of the best ever.

It's almost unfair, given the different contexts of the league in their respective times, to try to quantify the greatness of Wilt or Jordan and declare one greater than the other. Both were legendary stars in their time, with trasncendent ability that changed the game and the culture of the game. I'm willing to let their performances in their respective eras speak for themselves, and call this debate a draw.

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      manny 2 years ago

      Sure its hard to compare players at different positions as well.I do know that todays game is alot sloppier.

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      Ruby S. 2 years ago

      Magic, Wilt and Michael are all good basketball players during their own generation.

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      MANNY 4 years ago

      Its hard to compare guys who played differnt positions,Lets just say russell,wilt,and kareem and shaq were the best centers ever.Jordan,big o,jerry wast,magic,cousy,and pistol pete the best guards.And bird,baylor,havlicek,barry,pettit, dr j,mchale,k malone the best forewards.

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      manny 4 years ago

      The guy who played at the highest level longer than any player in nba history was kareem abdul jabbar.Its funny how he gets overlooked,its because people forget that he was a huge star when he was named lew alcindor with the bucks.And he won his first nba title when majic was in grade school.I watched all 20 of abdul jabbars seasons on tv and in person,he was one bad moody dude!

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      manny 4 years ago

      Imagine how good pete maravich would do in todays game with watered down teams due to a ton of expansion,no hand checking,the three point line,and seemingly allowing everyone to travel these days.He would score 40 points a game.

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      manny 4 years ago

      All the great players obviously had their strongest points.Who in history could shoot long long range bombs and handle the ball better than pete maravich?If there were three point shots in his day he would have shattered a ton of records.Yet he never won a title.Jordan was a better defender,winner,and jumper than maravich.But on the offensuve side of the ball wsa jordan better?Frankly no.

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      manny 4 years ago

      Here we go all the guys under 30 are now proclaiming that lebrun james is better than jordan or bryant, or abdul jabbar and chamberlain,its a joke frankly!James is a very fine player but hes no better than alot of great players.What can james do better than rick barry did?Not much.

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      manny in ny 4 years ago

      The most impressive thing jordan did was win it all after he initially retired.That really impressed me!Its like when havlicek led boston to 2 titles without russell.Would have been three but he seperated his shoilder in 73 in think.Jordan was tenacious but there were better shooters and ball handlers than he and havlicek,yet these guye were intense played defense too and never took a night off.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Yes but wilt did play against alot of big guys 610 or taller like kareem abdul jabbar,bob lanier,artis gilmore,nate thurmond,walt bellamy,elmore smith,geoff cromton,brett vroman,dave lattin, willis reed,nate bowman,otto moore,bob rule,tito horford ,cyril baptiste.zelmo beatty,jim mcdaniels,jim davis, jim ard,luther rackley,walt wesley,mel counts,jim fox,hank finkel,etc ,and afew studs who were shorter like wes unseld,elvin hayes, and dave cowens,bill russell, mel daniels ,and bob pettit.

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      paul 5 years ago

      in wilt time no other big man have equal him. because he is to tall that time. but if he face shaq, hakeem, david robinson, or dwight howard and other good center that i did not mention i dont think he can score high. thats my oppinion only. maybe wrong or right. but if jordan played now, he can score like wat he done before.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      So its gonna be the heat and thunder in the finals.King james is red hot now,and guess what? There will be plenty of knuckleheads who will proclaim him the best ever now?Its ridiculous.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Charles barkley was a top 50 player alltime but he should not be a broadcaster.Whenever he talks about the greatest players ever i cringe.Hes a nitwit.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Is jordan the best athlete in any sport,what about jim brown or muhammed ali? The best athlete the nba has ever seen? I dont know maybe?Is he the best clutch shooter or player,well maybe but then larry bird,reggie miller,jerry wast,and john havlicek hit a ton of clutch shots and made a ton of clutch plays at the end of games too.They even called west mr. clutch.

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      Eric 5 years ago

      No one here, not even this writer, would choose Wilt over Jordan, or any other player, for that matter, if his life dependend on a last second heroic. So let us all drop the pretenses. Michael is not only the greatest basketball player ever, he is the greatest athlete ever.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Hi elvis nice chatting with you too.Concening havlicek,im a fan obviously even though he throttled my teams often. I dont know what nba teams you grew up with but i grew up watching the buffalo braves and knicks.I started watching both teams in 1970 and from 1970 until 1978 havlicek ripped my two teams apart!He used to run randy smith ragged and into about 30 picks a game then turn around and hit that 12 foot jumper over and over again or dish it off .The braves tried smith,adrian dantley,jim macmillan,gar heard,jack marin,billy knight,john shumate,and even bob macadoo on him.None could hang with him for long.The knicks tried bill bradley,phil jackson,earl monroe,dave debusschere,walt frazier, dick barnett,and cazzie russell on him and they never could handle him either.He was a clutch,consistant big play guy for so many years.And he was destroying those guys when he was in his thirties.He never won an mvp i dont think,but he was probably the best player alive in the very early 70s except for abdul jabbar.He was alittle younger than robertson and west and in those 2 or 3 years from say 1972 to 1974 he was the best non center in the game.Ive come across afew polls and sites that have tried to compare ginobli and pippen to him.It makes me cringe,as those two guys could certainly play and play very well,but neither is or was even remotely close to what havlicek was.He used to really rip the great elvin hayes apart during those east coast rivalry games too with the bullets.Poor walt frazier always got outplayed by him,he had clydes number i guess?I hated those celtics teams but i grew to respect the hell out of them over the years.I dont think he was quite as good all around as bird but very close.I respect pierce,allen,and garnett alot but frankly none of todays celtics have the all around game as good as havlicek had.Ill talk to you soon my friend.

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      Jesus, it's "error" and not "era"! I better quit now. Take care!

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      Oh, and I forgot one more misspelled era... it's "Joe Louis", not "Joe Lewis"! I either need spell check or an editor!

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      Well, I felt the same thing about you at first but I've changed my mind as well. It's been good talking to you too. Also, just as much as you get annoyed with your typos, I not only get annoyed with that myself but it really irritates me being in a hurry and misspelling things! It's "Erving" and not "Irving" and it's also "root" and not "route". Lol! I hate communicating this way sometimes. I do much better in person. As you've given me credit with certain points, I will give you credit as well. The more I have studied up on Havlichek, the more I agree that he has to be in the top 15! Thanks to you, I got motivated to educate myself more on this man. He was a great player! I'm going to check out for now but I'll be keeping up on the debates that continue and will probably resurface at some time when I see something that's too irresistible not to dispute!

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      I cant argue with these points elvis so i wont,some points well made.Alot pf people dont realise what a great defense player he,dr. j was and a smart passer.He and bobby jones made a nice duo in philly,great d and intelligent offensive play.As his knees deteriorated his game changed but he was still very effective.I watched a game once where erving guarded an aging john havlicek all dy in the late 70s,they traded baskets and made huge plays on each other all day fun to watch!In the end havlicek scored 7 points in the last few minutes and boston won so they interviewed him post game.He was asked how he seemed to guard erving with some sucess while no one else could,and his reply was something ill never forget.He said when a man of ervings ability gets the ball in his hands no one on earth can guard him,so the trick is to make it real difficult for erving to get the ball in his hands!Ill talk to you more later.You are smart i just wasnt sure after your very first posts or two way back,you have a good understanding of sports.Its a pleasure conversing with you now.

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      By the way, I'm really enjoying this debate now that it's civil!

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      I never said that I favored the 90's fighters over all of those other generations, especially the heavyweight division in the 60's and 70's which was the "golden era" in boxing. What I said was, no fat and out of shape club fighter like Tony Galento could have made to the #1 spot as a contender in 1990. Not when you had fighters like Tyson, Bowe, Holyfield, Lewis and then Foreman making a come back. Can you honestly see Galento taking those guys out to fight for a championship bout? I don't think so! In the 40's when Joe Lewis was champion, they had what was called the "bum of the month club". This was referring to his weak opponents and they weren't saying that for no reason! That was not a good era in the heavyweight division despite of their work ethic in those days. The divisions to watch at that time were at middleweight and welterweight. Robinson, Gavilan, Bell, LaMotta, Zivic, Graziano, Zale, Olson, Fulmer, Basilio, Turpin, etc. Now that was talent! I do agree with you that today's fighters suck but the 90's actually did have a decent heavyweight division.

      I don't think that LeBron James will ever be mentioned in the same breath with those guys that you listed, especially Dr.J. Julius Irving is my second favorite small forward of all time and it's sad how forgotten he is and that no one even has him near their top 10 list. I think the reason is because he gets penalized for playing in the ABA but if you add his stats from those days with what he accomplished in the NBA, he has over 30,000 points, had 3 championship rings and was the Godfather of the slam dunk competition! Not only that but if it wasn't for him and his creative vision, guys like Byant, Rose, Wade, James, etc. wouldn't even exist today. At least not in the exciting way that we're seeing them. Dr.J revolutionized the league and carried it for quite some time as its ambassador. He was so loved during his time that even though fans would route for their teams, they would also route for Dr. J when he came to town! I thought he was a great, great player. As for LeBron James, sure he can score, rebound, pass and play defense but the deficiencies in his game are stronger than his strengths are. Phil Jackson once said "You're only as good as your weakest link". If that's the case LeBron is in trouble! He has no clutch gene to speak of which is really keeping him from success. He doesn't show up during pivotal times of the game like late in the 4th quarter, he's a regular season dynamo but he falls apart in the finals when it really counts, he has very little to no low post game, his mid-ranged jump shot is suspect and he's not very good at the foul line with around 74% for his career. These are huge holes in his game and he has a lot of things to work on if he ever wants to be a champion or assume the title of the greatest player in the game!

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Some points well made elvis but ill have to disagree on what you intimated in that you feel that boxers of the 90s compare favorably to fighters of the 40s.In my opinion the fighters of the 40s, 50s,60s,70s and earlier were well superior to todays fighters and ones in the 90s for afew reasons.Fighters at the turn of the century up to the 1970s fought alot more often for alot less money,as where modern fighters get rich quicker and most never fight 90 or 100 fights like many of the guys of the past did.Todays guys are alittle bigger,but bigger does not mean better by any means.As far as your basketball points i cant disagree much with what you said.Your three centers were all terrific,shaq,hakeem and malone,but the three red likes were 3 of the best 5 or 6 players ever.I remember watching abdul jabbar when his name was lew alcindor and he always scored 30 points,or so it seemed every game when he played for the bucks.Those bucks teams were fun to watch they had a weak bench but with oscar,kareem,lucius allen,bob boozer,bob dandridge,and jon mcglocklin who was a steve kerr type of shooter they were tough to beat.They had problems with boston because cowens always played kareem tough,and bob dandridge who was a tough underrated player always had trouble trying to guard havlicek.But the bucks seemed to beat up on everyone else.Abdul Jabbar at age 22 and 23 was scary good and i remember it.Frankly, as great as abdul jabbar was im surprised he did not win more titles.Lebron james? Nice player,talented,good kid but id take alot of guys over him.The scary thing is that hes getting better,and hes right in the top 2 or 3 players still active but there are alot of better guys than him in the games history.Who is more dangerious with the ball and facing the basket james or rick barry? Who shot the rock better james or pistol pete?Barry is the forgotten man everyone hated,but he had mad skills.James should watch some highlight reels of dr. j too.

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      How can I forget, Jordan also had the best fade away jumper of all time which was almost as indefensible as Kareem's sky hook! One final thing I want to point out is that Jordan not only had twice the rings that Bird did but he did it with half the talent on his team! Not only that, but with the exception of Scottie Pippen, he did it with two entirely different teams. He's also the only one who led a dynasty team to multiple championships without a dominant center. This just shows how incredible he was and how much he willed his teams to victory. The guy was nothing short of amazing! This is taking nothing away from Bird but Jordan was a one of a kind.

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      #1. Tyson was NOT in his prime. Most fighters reach their prime between the ages of 28-32 which is when their mind and body come together at their peak. Tyson was different. His prime was much earlier because his mind was already deteriorated by the age of 24. He was having problems with Robbin Gibbons, his management team, Don King, etc. and his personal life was in shambles. This is why he lost focus and his interest in boxing went to the waste side. When a guy doesn't train properly and his mind is not into the fight, he has a good chance of getting knocked out by someone who has some skill and determination. That was not Tyson in his prime.

      #2. Buster Douglas was also not a club fighter. He was a skilled heavyweight and as I said before, he always had a problem maintaining his weight and conditioning. That's why he was never a big name until he beat Tyson. Also, this did not take place in the 1940's when Joe Lewis took on "Two ton" Tony Galento who was an actual club fighter. In the early 90's fighters like that would never have made it anywhere close to becoming a #1 contender. You have to give Douglas more credit than that for getting there.

      #3. If you understand that Foreman was exhausted and basically knocked himself out, then how come you can't see the similarities in Tyson's fights? You're right, most fighters do get knocked out early but that was never the case with Tyson. He was always in the same condition that Foreman was when he would get pummeled and then Ko'd.

      #4. You're right, that would be a fantastic 7 games series but I totally disagree that Shaq and Olajuwon would get destroyed against those guys. Shaq was one of the most dominant big men ever and I don't see even Wilt keeping him away from the rim. Also, Olajuwon DID play against Jabbar several times during the 80's and outplayed him. Granted, Kareem was out of his prime but he was still playing at a high level and no one can say that he would have ever dominated that match up even if he was at his best. Olajuwon was the most skilled center ever. He's in the top ten in every single major category including #8 all time in steals along with only guards who are on that list and #1 in blocked shots. He was a force to be reckoned with both offensively and defensively. I realize that they didn't keep some of those records in the 60's but I can just imagine him playing back then and those guys trying to stop him! Also, I'll take Dominique off the list and add Moses Malone. Now, we have a better center match up!

      #5. I never argued the greatness of Larry Bird. In fact, I think that he's the greatest small forward ever! People keep ranting and raving about LeBron James who by the way doesn't even have one ring, but what they forget is how great Bird was in his prime. LeBron averages around 28 point a game, about 7 1/2 rebounds and 7 1/2 assists and those are his strengths. Because of this, some people have the nerve to call him the greatest baller ever! Meanwhile, Oscar Robertson averaged 30 plus points per game, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for 5 solid years! All except for one year when he actually did average a triple double, he was only one rebound or one assist off from doing it every year in his prime. How is LeBron better than that? Then what people don't know about Larry Bird is that he had three consecutive years in his prime where he averaged 28 points a game, 10 rebounds and seven assists which are also better than LeBron's numbers. Then add 3 championship rings and 3 consecutive MVP's to the equation! Bird was great and there were some things he did even better than Jordan like rebounding, passing, pure shooting and his percentage at the foul line. However, Jordan could still do all of those things that Bird could do but not quite as well. Then add his athleticism, his creativity, his ability to drive to the hole better than anyone else, his incredible use of one hand because of how large they were, his tenacity and his defense. This is why I would take Jordan over Bird.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Getting tired forgot to correct some typing errors.Im sure many of you will get upset when i maintain that there was really very little difference in production between jordan and bird.If we all say jordan is the man that would get picked first or ranked higher or the best ok,but really larry bird was right up there with him.Jordan was a better athlete,but so what,that means very little as i noted earlier.

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      sensi manny 5 years ago

      Tyson was what 24 when he got clobbered by douglas,thats a man in his prime or at least he should be in his prime at 24 or 25 until 30 or so? Douglas fought 46 fights,i looked it up against mostly nobodys,id call him a journyman.If you think he was more than that,ok,but he was really a nobody before the fight,and his win over tyson was all he really ever did in boxing.In the ali foreman fight,foreman punched himself out and indeed exaustion led to his knockout,but thats not indicative of most knockouts.Alot of guys get knocked out in a round or two or three and they often arent tired yet,just outclassed in the ring.Concerning norris i remember john mugabi,he hit really hard,so he,norris, did fight some top guys as was leonard of course.Now basketball time.Yes all those guys you mentioned felt that jordan was the best ever,but if we dig real hard im sure alot of former players and coaches would choose other people as best ever, and many others would chose jordan too ill readily admit.Just for fun ill bite,lets match up your top 11 guys with reds,mind you red probably would cut thre of his 11 and add bird,johnson,and jordan if he was picking a top 11.He elimanated them to make a point as he was asked to compare players of different eras.Jabbar, chamberlain, and russell would totally destroy shaq and oljuwon.And thats not to knock them because they were both great.Bird ,bryant,mchale,worthy,and wilkens would i imagine outplay erving,pettit,schayes,and baylor.That brings us to guard jordan,johnson,iverson,and thomas would go up against havlicek a swingman,west,robertson and cousy? Those 4 guys you mentioned are darn good,but would they outplay reds 4 guards,maybe, but im not too sure?It would be an interesting 7 game series!You would probably have to cut a forward and add another center to your eleven maybe,but it would be real tough to beat reds three big men.Ill agree that jordan was probably the best ever,but abdul jabbar would be number two in my book also, and one could make a case for him as best ever certainly.And chamberlain or rusell as best player ever too,it depends on your criteria.As i said in one of above posts,besides play superior defense jordan did not do anything better than larry bird did.Obviously gurds and forwards have different ballhandling and rebounding skills,but bird did everything very well just like jordan did.So if someone made a case for bird as best ever,i would not scoff at the idea like some of you guys might.

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      Point #1. George Foreman got knocked out because of poor conditioning, not because of a poor chin. That nullifies your point that those two assets don't go hand in hand unless you can prove that he got knocked out for any other reason.

      Point #2. Not only was Buster Douglas not a "journeyman fighter" but he was a very skilled heavyweight who just happened to be in top condition for that fight against Tyson. His problem was always maintaining his weight and conditioning, not his skill. As for Mike Tyson's age at that time, that's irrelevant. Different fighters reach their prime at different ages and Mike Tyson's prime was in his early 20's.

      Point #3. Red Auerbach DID say that Michael Jordan was the greatest player ever and that he would have chosen him over Bill Russell. However, since I'm not educated on the remarks that you said he made, I can't dispute them. However, go ahead and give him those 11 players and then give Phil Jackson... Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Isaiah Thomas, Shaq, Allen Iverson, James Worthy, Dominique Wilkins and Kevin McHale and we'll see who wins!

      Point #4. Out of all of those people I mentioned who are in Jordan's favor over Kareem's statement, "red" was the only comeback you had and that wasn't a solid argument! He still thought M.J. was the best!

      Point #5. Terry Norris never fought Roberto Duran. Sugar Ray Leonard did. Terry Norris beat Leonard, John Mugabi, Meldrick Taylor, Donald Curry and Simon Brown. He had ridiculous talent and unmatched hand speed at that weight and he would have been one of the all time greatest if he could have maintained his focus.

      Point #5. As for your last comment, I think that a list of the greatest players of all time should be gauged on these things...

      A. Their personal accomplishments.

      B. Their team accomplishments.

      C. Their tangibles.

      D. Their intangibles.

      E. Their competition and how they would survive in any era.

      Add all of these things things together and that's simply why I have Michael Jordan 1st of all time and Kareem Abdul Jabbar 2nd. The rest of the list is up for debate!

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Lets assume for a moment that those 17 guys auerbach mentioned are the best ever.Who would rank as 18 19 and 20 alltime? We would get dozens of different opinions?Certainly shaqs name would come up as would pistol petes.How about a guy like rick barry?Spectacular player,he was larry bird before there was larry bird.Moses malone,akeem, there were so many great players over the years.I always liked patrick ewing he was underrated,too bad he never got that title.I did not see dolph schayes play or pettit, and rusell except on film,but i watched all the other guys play on tv and in person that red picked.Schayes used to coach my buffalo braves and he retired a long time ago,but auerbach ranked him up real high on the alltime list?I remember watching cousy play afew games for the sacremento kings because he was coaching them and he was upset by how they were playing so he activated himself for afew games in the 1970s,lol, but at that point he was too old and out of shape to play.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Some good points elvis.Your actually pretty intelligent.But i dont know if i can equate a tough chin with conditioning though.A well conditioned body can absorb body shots better of course,but how a man handles a shot or shots to his face has little to do with physical conditioning.Sure foreman was shot in that ali fight,totally exausted.His total exaustion led to him get sloppy and although ali was not a crushing puncher he hit hard enough to hurt you if you got sloppy against him.As for tyson i think he was still young and in his prime when buster douglas a journeyman club fighter destroyed him,i cant remember his age during all his losses,but he clearly never threw any combinations in the lennox lewis fight,which would indicate poor prefight training in that one.Of course as you noted tyson was older then.Your right elvis, auerbach and the others said that they felt jordan was the best ever,and auerbach was a basketball genious.No doubt.He was the man.Heres what else red said.He said he would take bill russell,wilt chamberlain,kareem abdul jabbar,julius erving,elgin baylor,oscar robertson,jerry west,john havlicek,bob cousy,bob pettit,dolph schayes,michael jordan,magic johnson,and larry bird.He said those 14 guys would beat any other team or teams or allstar teams from any nba era,any combination of stars of all eras,or any country,or team from mars if he coached them.Then he said hed even give the opposing team bird,johnson,and jordan and still beat anyone with the first 11 i listed.Was he a moron? Was he living in the past? He was involved with the celtics and nba up until his death.Watched hundreds of games up until his death,or so he claimed.He was the greatest coach slash gm ever in my opinion.Those 11 guys were all old timers? Then the broadcaster asked him who he would add to those 14 guys if he was going to add three more guys to build an alltime great 17 man roster.He picked karl malone,kobe bryant,and kevin mchale.Interesting? Yes it was quite amazing that jordan left the game and still had lots of game when he returned.And yes abdul jabbar played on the higest level the longest so one could vote for either of those guys as best ever.And yes jordan certainly played against some of the best teams and players ever,but he missed alot of the best teams and players who would have been huge stars in any era too.Incidently i do remember terry norris and saw him fight once or twice but i dont remember alot about him,did he fight roberto duran? Don mentioned magic johnson and alot of people could certainly make a case for him as best ever,great player, ,but he often shot the ball poorly.I think jordan and bird were better shooters which made them more dangerious.

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      Don 5 years ago

      Magic Johnson

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      As for boxing, I'm going to firmly stand by what I said earlier. There is a big difference between having a good chin and being well conditioned but they also go hand in hand. What I mean by that is, it wouldn't matter how well you trained if you had a weak chin. You still wouldn't be able to take a punch. On the other hand, you can have a superb chin but step into the ring without adequate training and get knocked out! Take George Foreman for instance...

      Anyone who says that he didn't have an elite chin is just plain stupid and isn't even worth arguing with! Yet, he got knocked out by Muhammad Ali. Why? Because he was exhausted by the 5th round and his conditioning failed him from that point on. Everyone knows that Ali did not have a heavy punch and if George's chin couldn't stand up to what was considered to be mediocre power, I think we know that there is only one explanation for that and I already explained it!

      Another example is involves one of my favorite fighters of all time at 154 when he was in his prime. His Hay day was short lived because of his problems outside of the ring and his name was Terrible Terry Norris. He had tremendous talent but his chin became suspect when he got knocked out cold by Julian Jackson. Then several fights later, he got battered around and knocked down by Simon Brown. He was hurt by almost every punch that Brown connected with. I couldn't believe it! That was a very disappointing fight for me but he regrouped, came back in terrific shape and literally embarrassed Simon Brown in the next fight! Suddenly, he was able to take everything Brown could throw at him. Punches that were devastating to him in the previous fight. Did he grow a new chin at his training camp in the meantime? I don't think so! Once again, conditioning proved to be the difference.

      Those are examples of two guys who had trouble standing up to the punches in their respective fights. One had a great chin but with poor conditioning and the other had a suspect chin with poor conditioning. The results were the same. Then you have guys like Marvin Hagler who were rock solid all the way throughout their careers because they not only had a great chin but they were never out of condition either.

      My final comment on this is a repeat of what I said earlier. Mike Tyson was never even knocked down in his prime let alone, knocked out. By the the time he started getting knocked out, it was towards the twilight of his career and even then, no one was able to get him out of there in the early rounds. It was always after he became exhausted and his conditioning failed him. Guys with weak chins get knocked out by one punch which Tyson never did and they also get knocked out in the early rounds when they're fresh which Tyson never did. He had an iron chin but poor conditioning. That's all there is to it! If he was well trained like Joe Frazier to go 15 rounds, no one ever would have knocked him down. I'm done with the boxing debate because this is a blog about basketball!

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      No one ever said that Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a moron just because he has an opinion. In fact, I respect him enough to put him 2nd on my all time list right behind Michael Jordan. His NBA resume is very similar to M.J.'s and the only reason why I have him at #2 instead of #1 is because what took him 20 years to accomplish in the NBA, Jordan did in just 14 full seasons. You also have to consider that Michael Jordan was out for 3 years either close to or in his prime (86, 94 & 95) and then he retired early. That's just remarkable and I can't imagine what his stat line would have been like if he played during those years. He probably would have added 2 more championships as well! Kareem also had a much better supporting cast with the Lakers. I do feel a need to balance out the scale when you have players like Kobe, LeBron, Shaq, Magic, Isaiah, Bird, Miller, Barkley, etc. who all say that Jordan was the greatest of all time. Then you have sports casters and analyzers like Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Steven A. Smith, Skip Bayless, etc. that all claim the same thing. Then you have current and former NBA coaches like Phil Jackson, Lenny Wilkins, George Karl, Red Aurbach, Pat Riley, etc. who concur as well. There are many more names I can add to that list too. As great of a player as Jabbar was, I think he had a minority opinion and I'd take these other guy's word over his!

      My point of the 80's and 90's is simply this...

      The old timers claim that the players of the 60's and 70's were more fundamentally sound and that their basketball I.Q. was superior to today's athletes. The young kids today say that the NBA is much more athletic now and the players are more talented than they were back then. I have to agree with both sides and that's exactly why I think that Jordan not only played against some of the best players but the best teams the NBA has ever seen as well. That was a crossroads period where everything came together. When you combine the fundamentals and the basketball smarts of yesteryear with the talent and athleticism of today, you've got what you saw in the 80's and 90's. That era had it all!

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Me personally id rather have jordan on my team than oscar but thats his opinion.Todays athletes train all year instead of just during the season.Weight training extends careers and is more accepted today for afew reasons.Can you imagine a 240 pound guy like dick butkus who had superb sideline to sideline lateral quickness on steroids and lifting? He was a maniac and dirt mean without steroids,he would have killed someone with them in his system.Give some of these oldtimers the same training regimen as today and look out!

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      I used havlicek as my example of a great oldtimer who played against some great centers,i could have substituted 20 guys for him but he played 16 years which is higher than normal, so i used him as an example.Some of the guys he faced played a long time and played with the more modern guys like robert parrish and kevin willis.The one superstar who has been on record as saying that jordan probably was not the best ever was abdul jabbar and he played 20 years.Hes been on record as saying in his mind oscar robertson was the beat player ever?Is kareem a moron,does he not know the game?He seems like an intelligent guy to me?As i said its quite subjective really.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Who said james was better than jordan and bird and everyone else? Was it pippen? Not quite scottie.James could learn a ton from a guy like pete maravich.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      One more point about jordan and james they are or were great athletes but you cant assume they would have or could have made it in pro football.Lets talk about james for a second hes as great an athlete as the nba has ever seen.Not better than all but as good as any as an athlete goes,but his game still needs alittle work in my opinion.I think id rather have kobe bryant,havlicek,rick barry or several other guys on my team than james.At least right now,but he has the talent and time to get alittle better if he works hard enough.For one thing james has to work on his outside shot alittle.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      First off i dont have the top 50 player list in front of me that was compiled afew years ago, but ive read it over acouple times and generally agree with most of it,and even if you add 10 modern guys of your choice to that list the guys i mentioned played against more top 50 players than your guys did.Secondly all those players you mentioned were good or great but i could easily name 80 or 100 great players from the 60s and 70s or early 80s who were great and could play today no problem.The 50s were alittle different as there were not enough black players in the league yet and the players were not nearly as skilled as the 60s 70s and 80s guys.As i said i could make my list really long, i left off dozens of big stars i just mentioned afew guys.Look at my above posts for big stars of the past that i mentioned and i never mentioned the underrated terry cummings in all those old posts.You mentioned centers? Some of the centers that havlicek played against or with in 16 years were kareem abdul jabbar,wilt chamberlain,nate thurmond,dave cowens, walt bellamy,wes unseld,bill walton,moses malone,mel daniels,zelmo beatty,willis reed,bob lanier,bill russell,artis gilmore,caldwell jones,darryl dawkins, leroy ellis,bob macadoo, and bob rule to name just afew. As for being physically gifted,well basketball is a great example of how fundamentals are sometimes more important than physical gifts.Thats why the physically inferior teams like spain and puerto rico beat us in the olympics recently ,because they were more fundamentally sound.The nba was loaded with great physical specimens who never did much at this level in the past 40 years.Guys like travis grant,pearl washington,austin carr, benoit bejamin,steve downing,johnny nuemann,rick mount, howard porter and dozens of others who never did much in the pros because physical skill is not all you need.Lets eliminate havlicek for a second because he was a great athlete.How about bob petitt he was clumsy not very athletic but he would be tough for alot of these great specimens of today to handle for afew reasons.Lets turn to boxing for a second.Great boxers or martial artists arent just in great physical shape thay have to be in great mental condition to fight 12 or 15 rounds.Guys like marciano,duran,ali,frazier and sugar ray robinson could fight for 15 rounds and not even breath hard as where tyson could not.Why? Tyson was a great physical specimen in great physical shape in his prime,but he was not relaxed enough in the ring,he was pysically trained well,but his handlers did not train his mind very well.His mind was always cluttered.Examples of mentally trained fighters were ali,frazier,and duran,mickey ward,carmen basileo,dick tiger,joey giardello,and jake lamotta.As for taking a punch,thats not learned with training like being more relaxed in the ring and learning how to breath deeper and slower.You can either take vicious shots like ali,lamotta,and marciano could or you cant and tyson could not.

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      ELVIS 5 years ago

      Okay, thanks for acknowledging that.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      I will address these points by you elvis tonight,and some are actually decent points ill admit?

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      Let's compare lists and see if you're anywhere near accurate with your comments. I'm going to paste and copy the guys you mentioned that Jordan didn't play against versus a list of top players that he DID play against. I'll just stick to forwards and guards since that's what you did. These guys will either be top 50 players and/or future Hall Of Famers whether you like them or not!

      Your list...

      1. John Havlicek

      2. Dr. J

      3. Elgin Baylor

      4. Jerry West

      5. Oscar Robertson

      6. Pistol Pete

      7. Rick Barry

      8. Walt Frazier

      My list...

      1. Magic Johnson

      2. Karl Malone

      3. Larry Bird

      4. Isaiah Thomas

      5. Clyde Drexler

      6. Reggie Miller

      7. Kobe Bryant

      8. Kevin McHale

      9. Dominique Wilkins

      10. John Stockton

      11. Paul Pierce

      12. Tim Duncan

      13. Allen Iverson

      14. Charles Barkley

      15. Kevin Garnett

      16. James Worthy

      Your players were better than 90% of these guys and Jordan never played against the elite? What's wrong with you? My list is twice the size of yours and I'm sure I left some out! This is not to mention that during Jordan's career, the influx of talent in the center position was at it's peak as well. His game was to drive inside in a very physical era and when there was no 3 second rule. Here are the guys who were waiting for him at the rim...

      1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

      2. Moses Malone

      3. Bill Laimbeer

      4. Robert Parish

      5. Bill Walton

      6. Hakeem Olajuwon

      7. David Robinson

      8. Shaq

      9. Dikembe Mutombo

      10. Patrick Ewing

      11. Alonzo Mourning

      I don't want to hear that Jordan didn't have to face elite talent. He went up against some of the best in NBA history. Case rested!

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      As for Basketball, all of those white players that you mentioned are among the all time greats stat wise but what you also need to remember is that John Havlicek DID get cut from Cleveland because he couldn't make it as a wide receiver even back in the 60's. That's why he went to the NBA where he actually excelled. What should that tell you? What it tells me is that the best athletes back in those days went to other sports. Now a days, they can play in multiple sports. Take LeBron James or Michael Jordan for instance. Those guys could have played in the NFL and prospered just as easily. Your boy got cut, plain and simple. The athletes in today's game are way more physically gifted and a lot of that is a tribute to how popular the sport has become and how much money they can make. That draws in the best athletes. Being a sensei and everything, you should know that!

      As for boxing, give it up already. Out of the guys you mentioned, only George Foreman would have had a chance of knocking Tyson out in his prime. Marciano was only 184 pounds in his prime, he was slow and had no defense. A prime Tyson would have knocked him out in the first round. Jack Dempsey was about the same size and would have came storming right at Tyson which would have been his demise. Joe Frazier had a style that was tailor made for Tyson and since he obviously couldn't handle Foreman's punch, what makes you think he could handle Tyson's?

      So there are your two lessons of the day.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Glad i could enlighten you!I know the difference between poor conditioning and a poor chin,tyson had both.The guy could punch with the best of them though as i said,cant take that away from him.Im glad im old because i was able to watch guys in all sports live or on tv and not just on film.My point is simply this havlicek ,dr j,jerry west,rick barry,elgin baylor,pete maravich,walt frazier,oscar robertson etc,these guys were as good as it gets.I never said they were better than jordan,but they were better than 90 percent of the guys he faced.Jordan was great,the man,but he never played against all the games elite players,which of course is not his fault.So before i praise him so highly as many of you do,i felt it was necessary remind you all of this.

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      There are two Larry Birds? Wow, thanks for that basketball lesson. Also, it's ELVIS not elvie. Thanks for the spelling lesson too. If you knew the fight game then you would know the difference between poor conditioning and a poor chin which is something you're old ass is obviously oblivious to. Finally, I guess there's John Havlicek and then there's the rest of them. I didn't realize that he was such a marvel of modern science but thanks to you, I've been enlightened.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      but ill educate elvie on boxing really quick too.Tyson is definately in the top 10 hardest puncers of any weight class of alltime.But he had a glass jaw and as even you noted poor stamina.Guys like marciano,joe frazier,george foreman,and jack dempsey would all knock him out in their primes.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Your just a punk elvie,trust me i know the fight game.Now for your free basketball lesson!Havlicek did not just play small forward he was a swingman which means he played guard too.There are or were certain white guys who played like black guys and they were as good or better than nearly everyone.Some of them were john havlicek,jerry west,kevin mchale,larry bird,pete maravich,larry bird,dave cowens,bill walton,billy cunningham etc.Of course when i watched those guys play,you were watching mr.rogers and playing with your rattle and pacifier.You can watch them on youtube though.If you think those guys would not be superstars today you really are a dumbass.

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      Sam 5 years ago

      John Havlicek, a true dinosaur!

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      One final thing... I said that Isaiah Thomas and Allen Iverson were better than John Havlicek. That doesn't mean that a 6ft 1 point guard or a 6 ft point/shooting guard could defend against a 6 ft 5 small forward but let's turn the tables. How good would this white wonderdog do chasing Iverson around or stopping Thomas? It would be such a mismatch they would have to sit his sorry butt on the bench and you'd be crying!

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      Sensei? Lol!!!!! You moron. What do you teach? I'm really curious because you obviously can't learn anything so I can't imagine you'd have anything in that hollow brain of yours to teach. God, I do wish we were in the same room together, I'd wipe the floor with your old washed up ass! I also wish Tyson's weak chin was in the room with us so I could watch him squash the remains of what was left over. As I said before, Havlicek sucks and if he didn't have a million hall of famers on his team, a top center and one of the greatest coaches who ever lived which had to do with most of the championship rings that he got, we would have never heard of him. To say that Barkley, Stockton, Garnett, Rodman and Pierce aren't in the same league as this idiot makes you even more of an idiot! Go crawl under a rock somewhere.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      I loved watching those great knicks championship teams with frazier,monroe,bradley, debusschere,jackson,barnett and reed and company.And the one player who always gave them massive troubles was havlicek.None of those guys could guard him very well for a whole game.Isiah thomas could never guard havlicek for very long neither could iverson,and im an iverson fan.

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      sensei manny 5 years ago

      Hey elvis you are one of those smartasses who never saw anything prior to 1984 except your crib and mr rogers playhouse but your good at talking and thats all.I saw all of those guys play including jordan, but you did not or you are blind.How can you even mention stockton,garnett,rodman,pierce, and barkley in the same breath as havlicek?You are a smart mouth little punk who would cry if you were in the same room with me and i was mad at you.And tyson had one of the softest chins in boxing history pal,of course you know nothing about that either.

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      Then one would have to question if John Havlicek was as god as these guys...

      1. Karl Malone

      2. Walt Frazier

      3. Dominique Wilkins

      4. Scottie Pippen

      5. James Worthy

      6. Kevin McHale

      7. Moses Malone

      8. Clyde Drexler

      9. Dennis Rodman

      10. Paul Pierce

      11. David Thompson

      12. Kevin Garnett

      13. John Stockton

      14. Bob Cousey

      15. Pistol Pete

      I can keep going on. Go ahead and push these guys aside too and put your buddy Havlicek in the front of the line Mr. doesn't know Basketball!

      Also, Did you ever even watch Michael Jordan play? If so, then you would know that he was guarded by guys like Michael Cooper, Dennis Johnson, Mad Max, Gerald Wilkins, Joe Dumars, Clyde Drexler, Bryon Russell, Gary Payton etc. All very good to excellent defenders. Plus Jordan was always being double and tripple teamed dumbass!

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      Beat Ali is what I meant to say.

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      Poor little Manny. Someone must have pissed under his skirt and ruffled up his little feathers! Let's see how quiclky I can come up with at least 20 NBA players that were better than your inferior John Havlicek.

      1. Michael Jordan

      2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

      3. Magic Johnson

      4. Bill Russell

      5. Kobe Bryant

      6. Jerry West

      7. Larry Bird

      8. Shaq

      9. Hakeem Olajuwon

      10. Oscar Robertson

      11. Elgin Baylor

      12. Wilt Chamberlain

      13. Rick barry

      14. Julius Erving

      15. Earl Monroe

      16. Isaiah Thomas

      17. George Gervin

      18. Tim Duncan

      19. Allen Iverson

      20. Charles Barkley

      That's just off the top of my head! It's not necessarily in order but if you can put John Havlicek over 8 of those guys and place him at #12 you truly are an idiot!

      Next, Mike Tyson NEVER had a weak chin and that's why no one could knock him out in the early rounds. His conditioning was his weakness and he would become exhausted after 4 or 5 rounds. That's when his opponent could take advantage and put him down. Learn the sport, then argue. Also, I never said that he could be Ali you moron!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Its hard to compare guys who did not play the same position? Moses malone was a spectacular player.As a center id say he was just a notch below wlit,kareem,and russell.But hes got to be in anyones top 25 players ever somewhere?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      You could say that russell was the greatest winner ever.Chamberlain the most dominant ever,abdul jabbar the most consistantly solid over a long period 20 superb seasons,jordan the most gifted athlete who certainly used those gifts,did not waste them.did it all.Bird or jerry west might have been the best ckutch guys,so many intangibles?Then how about havlicek?Was jordan a better athlete,yes you say? Ok,but havlicek was a superb athlete in spectacular condition too, who was in the final cuts of the cleveland browns at wide receiver one year,played on a scary high level for 16 seasons,and was a great clutch guy.You gotta rank him very high too?Russell had what 11 rings?,havlicek 8.On a statistical level no one compares with wilt?No one is even close! Are stats overrated?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Like i said when you compare the best ever in any sport its never clearly obvious.There are lots of intangibles and various points to consider.Was hasek a better goaltender than ken dryden?Was gretsky better than gordie howe or bobby orr? We could debate this for weeks too,and there would be many opinions.If i had to pick a greatest nba player ever id prabably pick jordan?But any knowledgable fan coulg make a case for abdul jabbar or russell or chamberlain or even larry bird,and if you do are you a moron? Shutup with that moron crap.Its easy to talk macho and stupid behind a keyboard?I could make a great case that havlicek was a top ten player alltime.Thats because i saw him play and he was the real deal.I did not start watching basketball when lebron james came out.Was jordan better than kobe,in most ways probably,but if you tell me kobe was not in jordans league on on his level you dont have any crediblity with me.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      I just dug out and reread some of bill simmons book on whos the best nba players ever and where are they ranked.Funny he ranked chamberlain only at number 6 alltime?I agree with you guys wilt should at least be in the top 3 or 4 right? Simmons must be a moron right? He ranked havlicek 14th greatest alltime id rank him at least 12 but we are close there, cool. Its strange that kerr, hornacek, and price were not in his the top 50.Hmm?He ranked tim duncan over jerry west,oscar robertson,john havlicek,and kobe bryant? Come on! Duncan was a nice player but thats alittle off base id say? Its all subjective,thats for sure,or it should be.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Mike mentioned that all superstars or stars in the nba often get calls going their way.I can certainly buy that,its a valid point.Havlicek certainly got alot of calls his way against my buffalo braves when he gave bob macadoo and jim macmillian headaches in the playoffs all the time.Dr j got alot of calls going his way too,and so did oscar.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Tyson got knocked out by anyone who hit him back,and he always got weaker as each round went on.Ali was never ever knocked unconcious,and neither was marciano who also got stronger and stronger as each round came on.Tysons only chance to beat those two guys would be a knockout in the first 4 rounds.Once the fight goes past the first few rounds,iron mike was more like jello mike.Marciano hit acouple guys so hard in the arms that their arms actually got broken in the ring.How long has a moron like evis watched boxing ,probably as long as he has watched basketball,15 tears maybe?Oh boy?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      First of all who says jordan and wilt are the best two players ever only guys who never saw a young abdul jabbar play yhats who? And anyone who ranks havlicek with hornacek,kerr, and price has no idea how great havlicek, was dont even mention them in the same breath as havlicek please! What facts are we missing when we say alot of guys on the all time top 50 team are or were on jordans level pal? Give us some great jordan facts that we missed? Im not anti jordan, im telling it like it is.He would never get off on oscar robertson,rick barry,julius erving, jerry west or havlicek like he did some of those dopes who guarded him.Hey elvis you dipshit,I had a better chin than tyson ever did.Tyson got knocked out by buster douglas.You probably think tyson could beat ali? Not on his best night jack.

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      Elvis 5 years ago

      This guy on here thinks that John Havlicek is on the same level as Michael Jordan and that's so stupid, I won't even bother to debate it! He also thinks that Rocky Marciano had a better punch AND chin than Mike Tyson did and yet Marciano got knocked down by a 38 year old Jersey Joe Walcott and then again by a God knows how old Archie Moore who was actually a light heavyweight! How well could he have dealt with a Holyfield or Lewis punch and who did he ever knock out of any significance? MORON!!!

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      B. Valdez 5 years ago

      Havlicek sucks! This a debate about which is greater out of two of the most dominant NBA players of all time. Maybe you should get on another blog or start your own where you can debate Havlicek against guys like Steve Kerr, Jeff Hornicek or Mark Price!

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      Mike 5 years ago

      They changed the rules to enable Jordan? You mean the "Jordan rules" where the whole team would focus on attacking him? The New York Knicks practiced the same philosophy too so it wasn't just the Pistons. I don't know what you're talking about there buddy but I've heard people utter this kind of nonsense before. Bias people who don't know basketball or ever bothered to watch Jordan play. They claim that the 3 point line was shortened for Jordan as well. What? If anything, that would have benefited shooters like Larry Bird and Reggie Miller and then later on, Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen. Guys who shoot 3's. The 3 point shot was very little of Jordan's game. I've also heard that the league was soft on Jordan and he got a lot of calls going his way. That's funny too because the last I checked, ALL superstars in the league got that benefit, not just Jordan. Barkley constantly got away with butt bumping you all the way to the rim which is an offensive foul. Magic got away with leading with his knee out in front of him, Karl Malone got away with elbows, Larry Bird got away with holding onto your jersey to free himself up, Shaq got away with literally running people over in the paint and Dennis Rodman got away with too many things to count! How is this a benefit to Jordan? I'm sick of hearing from you anti-Jordan fans who come up with anything it takes to discredit him from what he was. The G.O.A.T.!!! Get your facts straight.

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      Dan Rivet 5 years ago

      They changed the rules to stop Wilt, Then changed the rules to enable Jordan.Enough said !

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      If chamberlain was having trouble scoring he would revert to defense and rebounding.All the great players had more than one way to beat you.Jordan was not the only guy who could beat you in more than one way.Havliceks last game ever is being shown on youtube now, it was against my buffalo braves,in the first half his shot was off and but he still dealt out some nice assists,then in the secong half his jumper was on.In all of his over 26 ooo points and around 5 or 6 thousand playoff points i can only remember him dunking the ball just once.He could dunk it but he just did not feel that dunks were so important,and i agree.I guess they dunks, maybe fire a crowd up?

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      manny in ny- 5 years ago

      Ok but if larry birds jumper was off he would pass the ball more and pass it quite well.If you think jordan was the best ever and someone else thinks chamberlain was thats fine.As i said abdul jabbar played 20 seasons on a very very high level he might have been the best ever.He did not face rusell,mikan, or shaq but he played against every other historically important big man and his sky hook was almost impossible to block.It was perhaps the single greatest weapon in nba history? Everyone has an opinion on best ever but unless they play each other we will never know for certain.Who is boxings best heavyweight ali,frazier,joe louis,marciano,jack dempsey.george foreman,tyson,we could debate this for days too because we all have opinions.Alot of young guys think tyson could beat ali,i dont.I think marciano had a better chin and punched harder that tyson,but unless they all fight each other at age 28 we will never know?

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      Mike 5 years ago

      Where dunking is significant is when your shot is flat and you're missing. Coaches also like to see you take it to the hole to "be sure" when all else is failing. Ever heard of that? This was one of the beautiful things about Michael Jordan. If he was off with his jumpers he would just change his game and dominate with his athleticism.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      I never said having the most rings means your the best ever but other posters here apparently do Mr. m j boy?So i mentioned the celtics. I look forward to hearing you respond to my other crap mike and i think my points were valid.The dunks are the higest percentage shots i guess your right, unless your john hummer of the buffalo braves and you missed them on a regular basis for years.If a guy like jordan wants to incorporate dunks into his offensive arsenol well they waste alot of energy and everyone else on his team tends just stand around to watch. A good head coach could prohibit dunks from ever happening by banning his team from using them and still win a title.Flashy dunks should be a small part of a guys arsenol,but too many young players are bent on perfecting dunks and neglecting short range jumpers,defense, and other important things.Again im not lumping jordan in this class because frankly his game had no weak points.If he wants to dunk its ok because he perfected the real important aspects of the game years ago.

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      Mike 5 years ago

      First of all Manny, do not talk down to me by calling me "Sonny" and saying that "you're going to educate me" and I won't ask you if you've ever watched basketball. Deal? Secondly, I never said that ALL you have to be able to do is dunk. I said that it was the highest percentage shot on the floor. You just went ahead and assumed that I meant you didn't have to have an all around game to go with it. I'm at work now so I'll respond to your other crap later!

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      M.J. 5 years ago

      Mr. Manny boy, According to you Robert Horry is one of the greatest players who ever lived right along with John Havlichek and Bill Russell because he also has 8 rings!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      You wont hear me knock jordan because he was great,might have been the best ever?, and his game was a combination of hard work,skill and atleticism.But dont tell me he brought this super atleticism to the nba that no one had ever seen before because all the things he did were done years before by guys like julius erving, pete maravich,george gervin,david thompson,connie hawkins,or spencer haywood.Jordan did some things better than these guys,some things not.If you say he might have been the best by combining everything he brought to the table i might not debate that.But when you say no one ever saw anything like him before he got here!Then ill just laugh,because he did not drop down to play from another planet as many of you believe he did apparently?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Lets talk about atleticism for a second,sure some not all of todays kids are alittle better athletically but that does not equate to sucess in basketball does it?How about the olympics afew years back when the us sent lebron james,jason kidd,chris bosh, and allen iverson over there and all the other gifted athletes over there with their fancy dunks and guess what? , acouple very drastically athletically inferior puerto rico and spain teams beat them? Why,because the u s team could dunk the ball real flashy but they shot the rock poorly and there was zero ball movement from that team,they were lacking in fundamentals.Do you guys think for a half a second that if we sent a team with kareem,wilt rusell,west,havlicek,oscar,dr j, jerry lucas,and company over there that they would evet lose?Not a chance jack.When the really complete pros went there like kobe,mullins,bird,jordan,majic etc things were different.That clown steve tried to tell me that jordan was great because he outplayed penny hardaway and kevin johnson!Well guess what we could start an alltime all over rated team and those 2 guys could be the stars of that team right there with vince carter and isiah thomas and chris bosh.Do you guys think for 2 seconds chris bosh could play against bob lanier or dave cowens?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      You sound like an intelligent guy mike and you seem to know the game but dont insult me and ask me if i ever watched basketball because i dont agree with all of your bird vs jordan comparisons.Or you opinion on dunks?Jordan was a great player and his game had no weak spots,but he never played against all the best players,no one has?Jordan never played against oscar robertson,jerry west, pistol pete,havlicek,or walt frazier and these guys were damn good and although to a man they all respect jordan alot none would be intimidated by playing against him.My suspicion is that he would struggle on some nights against these guys and on other nights he would get his game off big.Lets hope you dont think he would waltz in and destroy jerry west like he did isiah thomas or criag ehlo?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Yeah i watched hundreds of games since 1969.Have you? Now ill educate you alittle sonny.First off dunks are a waste of time and energy as i said.A deadly 12 foot jump shooter is much more valuable than a guy who dunks all the time like hawthorne wingo did.Havlicek played 16 years and had 8 titles.Not bad,a title in half the seasons he played,did jordan do that? Two titles without russell.The general consensus is that the celtics would have won it all in 73 too,but havlicek had a shoulder injury and missed the finals.One of russells celtic teams 1962 had 8 hall of famers,it was cousys last year and havliceks rookie season,russell did not play with 8 hall of famers every season!Jabbars point per game totals only dropped as he aged,he played 20 years.When he was in his early 20s he had a ppg game average up with jordans numbers.How many seasons did jordan play he was around almost as long as havlicek was.And like havlicek, jordan played at a high level pretty much the whole time except maybe his last season,ill give him props for that.Your right foot speed can get you some shots and a clear path to the hoop and jordan had a ton more than bird,but bird got his game and shot off so athleticism is overrated.Chris mullin was not very athletic but he had game too.Jordan was a superlative player and he did not have the supporting cast russell havlicek or even bird had,so ill give him props for that too!But he played at a time where there was way too much expansion and far too many teams and against alot of guys who would not have played in the nba with less teams like we had in the 60s and 70s and thats reality jack!The talent is and was watered down because there are not enough good players to fill out 29 or 30 rosters as mrs lickteig noted way up in the thread.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      So how do we determine who the best player was?Longevity well abdul jabbar and havlicek and moses malone would be considered there.Athleticism jordan or majic would be the top guys here probably.Records,well wilt owns nearly all of them? Titles russell had 11 and havlicek 8 so they are tops here.Everyone it seems has a different list of requirements to determine the best ever?If i could pick say 12 guys to go play against a team from mars i know who id pick!Jabbar chamberlain and russell would be on the team without hesitation.Jordan,bird,and magic would be 6 guys.Havlicek,west,and oscar robertson would give me 9.and rick barry,kobe bryant and pete maravich would give me my 12 guys.If i could sneak a 13th guy on the ship to mars it might be shaq?But then id be leaving so many great players off the team,its tough picking out the best of the best because there were so many great players over the years!

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      Mike 5 years ago

      #1. Larry Bird was not a "much better" passer than Michael Jordan. In fact, Michael Jordan's passing was very underrated. He did pin point accurate bullet passes, no look passes, shuffle passes, behind the back passes, bounce passes, etc. but the best ones were when he was in the air and made last minute decisions. What did Larry Bird do that was so much better than that?

      #2. I said that Larry Bird was the better pure shooter so what are you arguing about? I also said that Micheal Jordan was the better all around scorer. Just look at his offensive arsenal versus Bird's. He was capable of so much more.

      #3. Dunks are a waste of time? What planet are you from? What do you think the object of the game is? Isn't it to get the highest percentage shot possible? What shot can you get from anywhere on the floor that is more guaranteeing than a dunk?

      #4. Footwork is just a defensive tactic? You can't use it against a defender to get open for a shot?

      #5. When I said "one handed", I wasn't referring to the left hand. I was simply pointing out Michael Jordan's extra large hands and all of the things he could do with that advantage.

      #6. Both Havlichek and Jabbar played in the league much longer than Jordan did and neither of them had Jordan's career PPG and especially not his post season PPG so I don't know where you're getting that they were anywhere near as good in scoring.

      #7. I used FACTS, not adjectives or "superlatives" to describe Michael Jordan's superiority.

      #8. Havlichek had 8 championships. In how many of them was he the team leader over Russell? How many times would he have been the finals MVP if they had such an award? Didn't he lose in the finals against Wilt Chamberlain's 76ers in 1967? When did Michael Jordan ever lose in the finals?

      #9. Bill Russell also lost in the finals and had a total of 8 hall of famers on his team throughout his career. Did Michael Jordan have that luxury? How many finals MVP's would he have won? All 11 like Michael Jordan won all 6 of his?

      #10. Have you ever watched basketball?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Bird was a much better passer than jordan,as far as clutchshots go we could give jordan a small edge.Jordan havlicek and west were the best clutch shooters ive ever seen,but bird and reggie miller were right up there with them.I said jordan was better on defense did i not? Was jordan a better shooter inside or out,no,infact bird gets the 3 point shot edge right?We will say shooting was a tie. The word athleticism is pretty much meaningless in basketball.Dunks are a waste of time and energy,great players dont ever really need to dunk the ball do they? Footwork is part of defense so thats redundant.Both played with both hands well,perhaps bird has an edge there though.Jordan was a better ballhandler.lets hope so he was guard bird was a forward.Jordan scored more points but then if add havliceks playoff points to his regular season totals he was over 30 000 and jabbar with playoff points was around what 45000 total.Jordan scored more points ok,how important is that? Bird was pretty damn creative too with two fingers passes and spectacular ball movement.Of course jordan was not expected to outrebound larry.You used alot of superlatives and adjectives to describe how you saw jordan,thats great, but in the end larry bird was nearly as effective id say in some areas and better in some areas.It was damn close.Titles yeah bird had less but then havlicek had 8 and russell had 11?

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      Mike 5 years ago

      Oops! How could I forget? Michael Jordan was also a much better ball thief than Larry Bird was!

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      Mike 5 years ago

      Hmmmm, What did Michael Jordan do better than Larry Bird? Let's see... he was a better overall scorer for one, he was a better lock down defender (and yes, defense counts!), he was a better dunker, he possessed much better athleticism, his shot selection and creativity was far superior, he had a one handed arsenal that Bird didn't, he had better footwork, he was a better ball handler, his lightening quick first step off the dribble wasn't even a contest, he was better in the transitional game, he was even more clutch than Larry bird was, he was a more dominant performer in the post season as well as in the finals and he had 6 championship rings to 3! Need I say more? Larry Bird was such a terrific player that the funny thing is, this is all I could come up with! If I were comparing Michael Jordan to anyone else who ever played the game the list would be longer! To turn the tables, Larry Bird was a better rebounder, a slightly better passer, better at the line and a better pure shooter than Michael Jordan was but I'd take M.J.'s additional qualities over Bird's.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      I know most of the guys i listed are not in the top 50,i dont need the list in front of me to list tons of great players or see who is on it like you do?You like john paxson so much too bad you were too young to see jim paxson play he was better?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      No you are an idiot who never saw 75 percent of the nbas top 50 players ever play,but people tell you what to say so you parrot everyone else?

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      S.M. 5 years ago

      I'm going to shorten this debate with just a few quick pointers and them I'm done with this because you sir are an idiot! First of all, most of the greatest players that you had on your list also played at some point during Jordan's time and how can you possibly use Kareem's age as a way to demean Jordan's accomplishments when that's right when he was winning most of his championships? Also, most of the rest of those guys you mentioned aren't even in the NBA's top 50 so knock it off you it old fart! Secondly, you're using the 80's as part of your example? You mean when Michael Jordan was literally dismantling and embarrassing the league all by himself despite of those great teams and superstars who were playing then? Just take a reference back to the late Chuck daily about that and many, many others who have said the same thing. Finally, just because you're so quick to admit how old you are doesn't mean that younger students of the game aren't equally knowledgeable or even more so. Not only that, but PROFESSIONALS who are actually part of the NBA and are much older than you have agreed that the talent, size and athleticism of the modern era is superior to what we saw when the league was taking off with just a couple of exceptions. So maybe your age isn't a super weapon after all. Maybe it's actually causing you to suffer from Alzheimer's disease! No wonder why the others who proceeded me decided to move on. People like you aren't worth debating with. Bye bye now.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Why do you keeep saying the game was at a faster pace in the past,explain this please?I remember changes in the shot clocks ftom 30 secongs to 24 and the adding of them initially but im not sure what your point is?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      If a guy was born say in 1968 how many of the nbas top 50 players ever did he actually see play?If a person is born in 1973 how many did he see play?Are the young guys annointing jordan the best ever because hes all they saw or are they saying what they think they should say?Because thats what they have read others say? If a young hockey fan says wayne gretsky is the best ever,ok? But what about bobby orr? When you younger guys say todays athletes are alittle stronger because they work out in the offseason ill buy that.But being a touch stronger or able to run alittle faster does not make you a better basketball player,alot of old timers were lightening quick.Walt frazier had lightening quick hands,and got a ton of steals that way.Connie hawkins was as athletically gifted as anyone who ever stepped on an nba floor.Too bad guys like robert parrish do not weigh in more often on these topics he played 20 seasons.I remember when he was a rookie,they said he had attitude problems and wouldnt make it.I dont recall off hand when he was a rookie year wise, without googling it, but i sure remember it.Ask him how good rick barry was or jamaal wilkes.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Cousy was a one handed player so he might struggle alittle in todays nba,and although he was smart with great peripheal vision he was not a great athlete.But guys like west,havlicek,barry,erving,and elgin baylor would be big studs in todays nba too,trust me!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      We all know majic johnson was a superb athlete who even played center in an emergency, the knock on him was his outside shot at times.We all know bob cousy would hit guys with tons of easy buckets,great ballhandler.The knock on him was that he could not jump and was alittle mechanical at times.But with all due respect to steve nash and pistol pete these are the 2 best guys ever at running an offense amd getting easy buckets for teamates.And i have a startling revelation for you guys!Majic would be a star in the 50s and 60s and cousy would be a star today.

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Lets see when jordan entered the league he played against a kareem from age 37 to age 42? Try going to youtube and watch those nba playoff and championship series between the bucks and celtics in the very early 70s and watch a very young kareem or lew alcinder i should say, drop in 30 points every night.Your right alot of the guys you mentioned felt that jordan was the best ever,maybe he was,but then kareem and afew others did not and kareem played 20 years.Its all subjective is it not? We know jordan was a guard and bird was a forward,but aside from defense what did jordan do well that bird could not do?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Now that i think about it the bucks had a really great team put together in the 80s ,didnt win any titles though but terry cummings and sidney moncrief who were great players and superb athletes!Rickey sobers, rickey pierce ,there were alot of sold players all around that dont get mentioned much.Michael ray richardson,roy tarply,and john drew were great players before drugs took over.Id love to see some of todays guys try to guard michael ray richardson before he got hooked on drugs?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Of course i did not add the steals up but as i said i watched all these guys play after 1968 and im telling you west and frazier had more career steals than stockton,i did not just read about these players? If you guys are gonna throw stats into the mix,then lets be clear on which ones were kept and for how long.Three pointers are a a great example of usesless stats because many of the best ever played before the 3 point stripe was in existance.Lets talk about the stars of the 60s 70s and 80s not just underrated guys i like? Elvin hayes,wes unseld,david thompson,walter davis,george gervin darry dawkins,paul wesphal,doug collins,bob pettit,havlicek,west,gail goodrich,hal greer,chet walker,jeff mullins,luke jackson,dave debusschere,willis reed,bill bradley,dan issel,artis gilmore,alvin adams,tom chambers,randy smith,arvidas sabonis.archie clark,kevin porter,phil chenier,barry,julius erving,george mcginnis,mo cheeks,andrew toney, lloyd free,bobby jones,spencer haywood,maravich,jon mcglocklin,bob lanier,calvin murphey,jimmy walker,monroe,bob cousy,joe caldwell,etc i could name a ton more of great players who would be big stars today? To say there was less talent back then is absurd? Teams were alot deeper pre expansion for one thing.I dont know why robertson had so many boards in a 5 year period but to say that they had no great rebounders back then is not true also.Jabbar,chamberlain,and russell are probably the 3 best rebounders ever, and you had bob pettit,bill bridges walt bellamy,wes unseld,nate thurmond,kevin willis although he played about 20 years too,cowens,paul silas,happy hairston, mo lucas,jeff ruland,darryl dawkins,moses malone,etc. You think these guys cant battle your guys on the boards? The players of the past were very athletic they just played under control,ran plays,did not care about dunks,or alley oops? You think james is a better athlete than randy smith was? Do you think todays guys were better athletes than david thompson or walter davis or marques johnson.Better in what way? Is steve nash a better athelete than calvin murphy was? Could your rebound studs of today push tom boerwinkle or bob lanier off the boards,they would shove some of todays guys into the stands.You clainm to have watched all the games in most of the eras at least on film,then you should recognise what im saying?All the guys you mentined were great players too,but they arent better than the players of the past at all.I loved to watch reggie miller,great player but do yo think he could outplay gail goodrich or geoff petrie?

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      S.M. 5 years ago

      Apparently in your world, the clock has not only turned back, it's seems to have stopped years ago! You have to remember that Kareem also played during Jordan's time. Then add Moses Malone, Artis Gilmore, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Shaq, David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo, Bill Lambier and Alonzo Mourning. These are guys who played in Jordan's time and that's just in the center position! Other big men who played in the power forward position included Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Charles Oakley, Dennis Rodman, etc. Then add James worthy, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, John Stockton, Isaiah Thomas, Penny Hardaway, Dominique wilkins, Reggie Miller, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Mitch Richmond, Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Tim Hardaway, etc. who all played at some point during Jordan's reign. That is a lot of Hall of fame and All-star players. In fact, it's more than double the amount of guys that you mentioned and some of those guys weren't even close to that caliber! I have the utmost respect for the players who brought the league along during the 60's and 70's but come on, man! Be real here. It's no contest to try and compare talents from that era to Jordan's time.

      As for records not being kept until a certain period, you can only speculate what those players might or might not have accomplished. To say that John Havlichek would have definitely had more steals than John stockton is ridiculous. Have you personally added up his steals throughout his career? You can't accurately guess at the amount of 3 pointers certain guys would have gotten either. Finally, in a much smaller league, in a faster paced game and with less gifted players, those numbers back then would have been scewed anyway. Example: Both Wilt and Russell averaged over 22.5 rebounds a game throughout their careers and one would be fooled into thinking that they were the greatest rebounders ever but did you know that Elgin Baylor also averaged 22 RPG in one of his seasons? A small forward? A shooting guard/point guard by the name of Oscar Robertson averaged over 10 rebounds per game over a 5 year period in his prime as well. Was he more athletic, bigger and stronger than LeBron James? Why would he have more rebounds? It just goes to show that very few guys in the league were talented off the boards so if you had any skill in that department what so over, you would own the stat books! Plus, the game was at a faster pace which created a lot more rebounding opportunities. Again, scewed numbers and that's just in one category. It would take forever to debate the rest!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Maybe i am underestimating those bulls championship rosters?,i certainly remember that kerr,pippen, and paxson could play?Toni how do you spell his last name,he was ok too? The celtic championship teams of the 70s had no bill russell? Hmm.Well from 1972 to 1974 havlicek may have been the best player alive except for kareem?Cowens,nelson,white,wesphal,silas,bing,chaney,scott some great players there,but sort of small teams up front? The bulls of jordans years against even the 70s celtics would have been interesting.Cowens was so rugged he guarded wilt and jabbar at 6foot 9 and gave them fits at times?It might be fun to turn the clock back and see that?

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Ill give you guys a list of guys from the 60s and 70s most of you likely have never heard of and all these guys were very underrated players and all would do well in the nba today trust me.Guys like bob dandridge,lou hudson,bernard king,marques johnson,butch beard,bob weiss,dick snyder,bingo smith,john lucas, don nelson,jack marin,gus williams,jojo white,chet walker,bob love, and randy smith.Very solid players and some got into coaching.Its off topic but there were alot of very tough underrated players over the years!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Its great that those guys won defensive player of the year,of course the award was never issued prior to what 1982? Thats why bill russell,john havlicek,jerry west,nate thurmond,norm van lier,jerry sloan,walt frazier,or don chaney never won any such award!Come to think of it havlicek had alot of steals too?How about 3 point shots?Guys like pete maravich,lloyd free, rick barry,jerry west,fred brown,and john williamson would have hit a ton of them if the nba had them back in the old days!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      You do realise that steals were not recorded prior to 1973? Too bad because guys like walt frazier and jerry west would have recorded alot more than stockton.

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      S.M. 5 years ago

      And Jerry Sloan was the greatest defending guard of all time over Michael Cooper, Gary Payton and Michael Jordan who all won defensive player of the year awards? He was better than John Stockton who is the all time steals leader?

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      S.M. 5 years ago

      One more thing to consider... Havlicheck would need help guarding Jordan which means double and tripple teams that would leave guys like Kerr and Paxson wide open.

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      S.M. 5 years ago

      Yeah, that logic sounds great except for Steve Kerr AND John Paxson have both hit pivotal game winning shots in the finals to beat the opposing teams and if Jordan is scoring 50 and Havlichek is scoring 30 then guess who wins? I think you're completely underestimating the rest of the Chicago Bulls. You have to remember, they went to school against some of the best teams of all times in the 80's going against the Celtics, Lakers and Pistons. Then they had to get past those New York Nicks in the eastern conference finals as well. The Bulls overcame all of those teams and that's exactly why they were so dominant in the 90's. It wasn't just one guy who accomplished that either even though he was the greatest of all time!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      I grew up a buffalo braves and knicks fan but havlicek used to come into buffalo and rip randy smith,billy kight,adrian dantley,and bob macadoo apart all the time.Then he would face the knicks and destroy walt frazier,earl monroe,bill bradley and phil jackson.At first i hated it but i grew to respect him alot,and he was clobbering good teams and good players when he was well into his thirties.He was way too quick for the forwards and too strong for the guards.By the way for all you young fans who like defensive players and talk about perimeter defenders, the best defensive guard to ever play,i stress guard was jerry sloan.No one played defense like him!

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      manny in ny 5 years ago

      Well even if havlicek did not run the 40 yard dash as fast as those guys he was just as quick id say and more skilled than all those jordan rivals you mentioned in his all around game except probably kobe bryant.If your saying that guys like richmond and kevin johnson are superior athletically people could buy into that maybe, but id rather have havlicek, west,walt frazier, or oscar on my team if im going in a long series against jordan.Like auerbach said,if you play a guy like jordan or jerry west in a 7 game series you put your best all around player on him like havlicek who would make him work on both ends of the floor.Then if west or jordan still threw in 50 points you would still win because you worry more about shutting down the rest of the team.If west scored 50 thats ok,because havlicek might toss 30 and the celtics make sure the rest of the guys like pat riley,flynn robinson, or keith erickson dont beat you.He would try to do the same with jordan,if jordan tosses in 45 a night in 7 games,but havlicek tosses in say 30 ?,then you make guys like steve kerr,bill cartright,or john paxson beat you.Sounds like great logic to me!Even if i agreed that jordan was the best all around player ever, id still rather have havlicek guard him in 7 games than most of those guys you mentioned,because havlicek would make him work hard when chicago does not have the ball.I dont mean to sound disrespectful to the other fans and you, but im sick of hearing about todays guys who frankly in most cases arent so good at fundamentals.Im not lumping jordan or shack or kobe in this bunch though!Lebron james has so much physical skill but he isnt quite up there with kobe,jordan,havlicek,or west yet partly because he came out of school way too early.If you talk about sheer talent who would top pistol pete,but yet he never acomplished much.Pure talent only gets you so far on this level and james has more work to do on his game still.Like abdul jabbar said we will never really know who the best ever was unless you take the top 60 players ever put them magically at age 28 and let them play each other,and that will never happen.My points were and ill stick by them is that even if jordan was the best ever,its not so cut and dried.And before i lavish tons of praise on him i would love to see him drive the lane against the other top players in history,not kevin johnson.My suspicion is he would have problems against alot of the past players on some nights as would bird and magic.And on other nights jordan would drive baylor,havlicek,and earl monroe crazy too.

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      Steve 5 years ago

      I shouldn't even allow myself to get drawn into this but I will respond.

      First of all, I never said that Havlichek was a slow and unathletic white guy. What I actually said was that he was slower and less athletic than the guys who were guarding Jordan during his career. Gary Payton guarded Jordan, Kobe Bryant guarded Jordan, Clyde Drexler Guarded Jordan, Joe Dumars guarded Jordan, Kevin Johnson guarded Jordan, Mitch Richmond guarded Jordan, Reggie Miller guarded Jordan, etc., etc. Don't try to tell me that John Havlichek was faster and more athletic than those guys were. He was known for his endurance much over his speed and athleticism. Secondly, I never mentioned a thing about the other white players you brought up but I guarantee you this... no one ever accused Bird as being fast and none of those guys had 4.3 40 speed or had anywhere near a 40 plus inch verticle leap! So before you go calling my comment stupid, you might want to take a closer look at what I actually said.

      And last but not least, I don't care what you say your credentials are, they don't put you anywhere where near the caliber of people that I mentioned in my last comment who put M.J. first and don't have John Havlichek in their top ten list which is a clear indication that they aren't in the same class. That's just the simple facts. Take your credentials to those guys and argue with them, I dare you to! Just for the record, I basically have a basketball library at home that ranges from the George Mikan days until now, I've watched hundreds of games as well, I've seen just about everything available on Youtube and I'm 43 years old so you're not talking to a kid here. I seem to know enough to agree with all of the names I mentioned earlier so I'll just be happy with that and wont let myself care what you think! I'm also not going to allow myself to get drawn into this again with you. Good luck!