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Bill Simmons: Larry Bird Would Love to Play with Kobe Bryant (2/8/12)

As you well know, we here at Chasing 23 have had several discussions about Kobe and Lebron’s place in the NBA as compared to the greats, including one article that compares their game winning shots that has proven to be quite the lightning rod for discussion.  But nothing gets the discussion going more then some of the former greats who give their opinions on the current NBA stars and their place alongside the greats.  Bill Simmons B.S. Report recently sat down and had an interview with Larry Bird, who had the following to say when asked which of the 2 players he would prefer to play a season with:

“Well, probably Kobe, because of the fact that … well, of course he wouldn’t have been shooting as much as he does now … but his desire to win, his dedication, to always get better, uh, and he’s just, he’s just tough,” Bird said. “He’s just a tough cat.

“But, if you want to have fun, like I did with Bill Walton, play with LeBron. It would have probably been more fun to play with LeBron, but if you want to win and win and win, it’s Kobe. Not that LeBron’s not a winner, just that [Kobe's] mindset is to go into every practice, every game, to get better.”

ESPN Excerpt of Bill’s Interview with Bird

As of this posting, the ESPN excerpt has been up for about 5 hours and already has over 5000 comments so safe to say Bird’s comments on the 2 players have certainly struck a nerve with many.

Related posts:

  1. Bill Simmons: The 2011 NBA Finals Game 6 Diary (6/16/11)
  2. Bill Simmons: The Meltdown of Lebron, Part II (6/8/11)
  3. Bill Simmons: 2011 NBA Playoff to the Wire (5/3/11)
  4. Bill Simmons: Evaluating the Contenders (4/8/11)
  5. Bill Simmons: How to End the NBA Lockout (7/8/2011)

Discussion

91 Responses to “Bill Simmons: Larry Bird Would Love to Play with Kobe Bryant (2/8/12)”

  1. Expected to see some listing of Lebron’s regular season record vs Kobe’s to somehow refute Bird’s claims of Kobe being more of a winner.

    Kobe has contributed heavily (unlike, say, a Robert Horry), either as the leader in the Finals, or a leader in the playoff run, to 5 championship teams. He also lost a Finals when Karl Malone was gimpy, giving the bulk of his minutes to be played by Luke Walton and Slava Medvendko. He also lost a Finals against the Celtics with a Lakers team missing Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza.

    Lebron got to the Finals with a very bad team, but got swept, shooting 35.6% in the process. He almost made it to the Finals as a heavy favorite, with another Top 5 player, and an All-Star forward. And lost, again.

    These are incontrovertible results. The individual stats leave much to be interpreted, but the team outcomes are indisputable.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | February 8, 2012, 1:29 pm
    • “These are incontrovertible results. The individual stats leave much to be interpreted, but the team outcomes are indisputable.”

      More assigning an entire team’s credit of a championship to one individual.

      Stay rational, Kobe fans.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 8, 2012, 1:43 pm
    • Also, funny how you’ll bring up the rings to Kobe’s credit, yet you also decide to bring his “old” or “missing” teammates into the picture to explain those Lakers Finals losses…

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 8, 2012, 1:47 pm
      • I also mentioned that Lebron had a very bad team in 2007. He had far, far, fewer excuses for not leading the team to a victory in 2011.

        Staying rational as can be.

        Posted by Gil Meriken | February 8, 2012, 3:40 pm
        • Gil, I would also add that just because you play on a tram with other all-stars doesn’t necessarily mean that if your team doesn’t win that it’s YOUR fault; your teammates still need to do their job! Playing alongside Bosh and Wade doesn’t mean they don’t need to make shots anymore. Gasol and Bynum are all-stars for the Lakers, and there are plenty of people who think that Gasol was deserving of Finals MVP in 2010 (and he clearly outplayed Kobe in the game 7 of that series). Do we blame Kobe for the Lakers getting swept by the same Mavs team LBJ “choked” against? Do we say that it’s Kobe fault that the Lakers are 14-11 now with those same players? I hear Lakers fans “make excuses” for Kobe and talk about how the guys around him aren’t playing like all-stars; but LBJ always gets the blame if his team loses, whether he scores 10 or 60 points.

          Heck, people think Wade is “the man” in Miami, but all people talk about is how he played well against the Mavs – except “he” lost the Finals! Where’s his blame? Are we still giving him pass for what he as half a decade ago?

          Posted by The Realist #2 | February 9, 2012, 9:04 am
          • Give it up realist 2 people just hate on Lebron so much that they are unwilling to look at things from an objective standpoint.

            That being said I will throw my 2 cents into this whole thing.

            Miami didn’t lose the finals because Lebron played below his standards. Miami lost because it didn’t play anywhere near the TEAM defense it had shown to be capable of playing(like they played the first 3 rounds of the playoffs). Add that to the fact that Dirk had one of the best playoff runs by any player in the history of the NBA and one can see reasons other then Lebron why Miami lost. Did Lebron not playing well hurt Miami? Yes it did. Did it cost them games? No it didn’t. Lebron didn’t blow any of the games, the Heat defense did. It wasn’t Lebron that blew a 15 point lead with 7 minutes to go in game 2.

            And I say this as a Heat fan btw. I would think that I know my team better then outside fans would know them considering that I watched/listened/attended every Heat game last season(and this season so far).

            People focus too much on stat sheets and offense and neglect the role that team defense plays in winning titles.

            Posted by nightbladehunter | February 10, 2012, 12:06 pm
    • you really can’t count Kobe as the leader in either the Finals or the playoffs in 1999-00; that was undeniably Shaq.

      Shaq played 1000 to 857 minutes, and had 30.7/15.4/3.1 to Kobe’s 21.1/4.5/4.4

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | February 9, 2012, 12:22 am
    • Gil,

      James didn’t “almost made it to the Finals. . ”

      Miami actually made the Finals.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | February 9, 2012, 9:25 am
  2. Okay Gil; thanks for clarifying. The spirit your post is still flawed, however. Even the best player on a basketball team could “contributes heavily” to a team cannot win a championship by himself, it’s still primarily a team sport (if he Lakers would just send Kobe out on the court by himself LBJ certainly could’ve played better for his team to win. Or…

    1) Wade could’ve played better
    2) Bosh could’ve played better
    3) The Heat defense could’ve played better
    4) The Mavs could’ve missed more shots
    5) Better luck

    etc, etc. Any, some, or all of these things could’ve taken place, the Heat would’ve won their title, and it wouldn’t change the fact that LBJ played crappy in the series. Only teams win (or lose) games, not single players. Both LBJ and Kobe have played brilliantly in games and series in the past where their respective teams around them didn’t pick up the slack.

    Kobe is right now playing one of the better seasons in the entire league for the 2012 Lakers, how could someone “blame” him for the Lakers mediocre start? Because the TEAM doesnt have a bunch of wins? The Lakers have no depth outside of Kobe, Pau and Andrew. It ain’t just one player who can win you games, no matter how much the typical basketball fan values “winning”.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 8, 2012, 4:34 pm
    • Or if james just gave full effort, then the heat could’ve won their title, too. Playing crappy is one thing, not giving full effort is a whole different thing.

      Nobody is saying ‘one player’ except you.

      The 2011 mavs were one of the weakest champs in recent memory. It should’ve been a cakewalk for the ‘advanced stat king,’ right?

      Posted by boyer | February 8, 2012, 5:18 pm
      • “Nobody is saying ‘one player’ except you.”

        Well when you tell me about a player’s “ring count”, that’s what you’re doing. Giving all/most of the credit to one player.

        And it’s whether or not a player gave his “full effort”. The people ripping LeBron (or ANY player) would continue to do so whether or not he gave a “full effort” and still shot 9-35 in a Heat loss.

        “It should’ve been a cakewalk for the ‘advanced stat king,’ right?”

        Seems I’m not the only one talking about “one player” after all…

        Posted by The Realist #2 | February 8, 2012, 5:33 pm
        • I’m mocking lebron, if you didn’t catch that. I’m not the one who looks at these advanced stats, and declares he has to be the best player according to most stat gurus, and then makes up a myriad excuses for why he still can’t win, despite having the best reg. season team 2 years in a row with cleveland, and then with wade/bosh last year.

          Nobody is blaming him for losing 2007, though he was awful in the finals, but once he got the players around him, starting in 09, then that’s a different story. You don’t win 66 and 61 games with just one player. That’s what his sycophants want to tell you, but it’s just not true.

          Are you complaining about the rippings of lebron? Compared to Kobe, he’s had it easy. Just think about that for a sec. Do you understand the obsession of most of the media, fans, and internet over every shot Kobe takes? Kobe’s being selfish, he’s shooting too much, etc, etc. The lakers should run their offense their bynum. Have you ever heard of people complaining about lebron shooting too much or running their offense their bosh? Of course not, that’s idiotic, but yet it somehow makes sense about Kobe, go figure. A fun fact: Lebron has averaged more FGA/game than Kobe for their careers, but yet Kobe shoots too much.

          Posted by boyer | February 8, 2012, 7:16 pm
          • I’m not here to discuss who was “ripped more” by the public during his career. Just to state that it’s a team game. Win or lose. Regardless the player. Regardless of individual performance.

            Its not an excuse for him “not winning”; it’s simply a fact that’s been a part of the sport since they decided to utilize 12-man rosters. An it’s a fact that applies to every player – including one Kobe Bryant, who I’ve also aptly defended since the days he was dragging a roster comprised of Kwane Browns and Smush Parkers to the playoffs (and who was also bashed by the public for not winning a “ring” post-Shaq). And still defend, after people bash him for his team’s 14-11 record.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 8, 2012, 8:01 pm
          • Boyer,

            The raw totals do have LeBron at 20.5 FGA per game and Kobe at 19.5 per game, but as you have so often pointed out, Kobe did not really get many minutes or starts his first two years.

            When you use the per 36 minutes rate, Lebron is 18.4 and Kobe is 19.2

            If you look at the past three years and this season the FGA per game looks like this:

            LeBron 19.9, 20.1, 18.8, 19.0
            Bryant 20.9, 21.5, 20.0, 24.0

            Is it any wonder why people conclude Kobe shoots more? It is because he shoots more!!!

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | February 8, 2012, 11:58 pm
      • You mean the weakest champs that swept the feared lakers including one game where they lead by 40 at one point? I don’t see anyone blaming Kobe for choking in that series. If Lebron choked in getting to the finals and winning 2 games then Kobe chocked even worse by allowing his team to get swept. But of course you and others are going to give Kobe a pass and not Lebron. Thats a double standard.

        Posted by nightbladehunter | February 10, 2012, 12:08 pm
  3. By the way,

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 8, 2012, 8:51 pm
  4. By the way, when are people actually gonna give CREDIT to the Mavs for playing well against star players instead of simply blaming Bron for not playing well? The Heat at least got to the Finals and won some games; the heavily-favored Lakers and Kobe Bryant were swept in the 2nd round. Two of those losses were in double-digits; one was a near 40-point blowout. In today’s “what have you done for me lately/let’s assign wins and losses to the team’s most popular player” world, if LBJ is a “choker” then what does that make Kobe? A “SUPER choker”?

    (Not a viewpoint I adopt at all. Just showing the stupidity of the “rings” argument.)

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 8, 2012, 9:02 pm
  5. You know it’s hilarious how you guys get mad, because LeBron. if your the best on your team you take the blame for failures and glory for successes. That’s how it’s been forever in basketball. And yes basketball is a team sport, and ring don’t make you a better player but if you were a huge part of the team and have five compared to 0 both having two losing finals appearances. The one with five is a better winner period.

    How are you just gonna take away what someones huge contribution to a championship team. LeBron hasn’t won a ring it’s a fact. While Kobe never won one on all by himself and LeBron never lost one by himself. Kobe has proven he can win one and LeBron hasn’t it’s just a fact you have to get over. Like me being a huge Laker/Kobe fan has accepted LeBron is a better player than Kobe.

    But to just ignore championships is well stupid to be real. And I like how so many people put Bill Russell in their top ten yes he was a great defender and rebounder but not much else, but his ring count is why he is in people’s top ten and why people put him over Wilt in cases. But ring counting for Kobe oh you can’t do that why I have no idea.

    All Larry said was he’d rather play with Kobe because he is tough, a winner. He has always done what it takes to win. He’s failed and succeeded, but has always thrown it all down. LeBron has been suspect when it comes to his heart and yeah LeBron fans say heart isn’t real blah blah.

    Now I am a LeBron hater i won’t lie but i respect his talent, but i have no respect for his work ethic compared to Kobe. I think that is what Bird was getting at you get 100% from Kobe every game. Will he take bad shots? Yes. But you won’t get a lazy performance from. For example the game 7 against the Celts that everyone points to how Kobe choked. He at least grabbed what 15 rebounds. He put his heart in the game.

    The reason why people blame LeBron for losing the Finals last year isn’t because it was literally all his fault. It’s because it seemed like he didn’t care on the court he was so bleh on the court. Coming from me I wanted them to lose, but I wanted the best Finals possible and he was a let down in effort plain and simple. He didn’t choke, he just didn’t show up at least not at his usual level of energy.

    The rings argument haha. No one is saying Kobe’s a better player right now, because he has more rings calm your asses down. That’s like saying I think Duncan’s a better player right now. AT least when I bring it up it’s that Kobe has had a better career, has proven he can win a step up in the finals. He is also still an elite player top five or so. And of the players anyone would wanna have on their finals team why not the guy who putting up almost 30 points a game. Carrying an underacheving team who doesn’t have a legit starter in two positions through grinding season. While playing over 38 minutes a game with a seriously messed up wrist in his 16th season at 33 yrs. old. He hasn’t missed a game all year, hasn’t complained about his injuries. Fans made excuses last year for him about his injuries being why we sucked in the playoffs and he didn’t. He a tough dude no matter what you say. All while going thru a divorce which I don’t know much he really cares, but I’m sure LeBron would’ve retired if he went through as many injuries. In the end winning a championship is all about being able to overcome adversity and no one has done that better than Kobe in recent seasons. He is the best current winner and LeBron is the best current player suck it up and accept it.

    Posted by J | February 10, 2012, 11:43 pm
    • “And yes basketball is a team sport, and ring don’t make you a better player but if you were a huge part of the team and have five compared to 0 both having two losing finals appearances. The one with five is a better winner period.”

      Crappy logic. Even if you want to arbitrarily assign a huge portion of a win/championship to one player (which, by the way, you don’t even have to do; you can directly figure out a player’s contribution to a team), you’re still not accounting for the remaining portion contributed by teammates. That could make all the difference in a win or loss.

      If a player on a 5-man team that plays a game to 11 scores 7 of the 11 points with a good % and plays good defense, I’m sure he contributed a large portion to his winning squad. But is he better than than the player who scored 10 points on the other team on perfect shooting and kept his man from scoring, but whose team loses because his runningmates could not guard anyone else on the floor nor make a shot? Saying yes would be to disregard the performance of the other eight players on the floor, and you can’t do that in any objective assessment of the game.

      Of course, Kobe fans are THE FIRST ONES to talk about the importance of teammates whenever the Lakers don’t win games or win a title (see last year vs. the Mavs and the Lakers from 03-08). But when it comes to anyone else – especially players who outperform him – teammates don’t matter anymore and the “rings” argument comes into play. Yikes.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 11, 2012, 9:45 am
    • Also, the psychoanalsysis of players needs to stop:

      “All Larry said was he’d rather play with Kobe because he is tough, a winner. He has always done what it takes to win. He’s failed and succeeded, but has always thrown it all down. LeBron has been suspect when it comes to his heart and yeah LeBron fans say heart isn’t real blah blah.”

      Listen, it’s NEVER about “heart” or anything like that. Because when LeBron averages near 40 in a series against the Magic in 2009, Kobe fans didn’t care if he “played hard”. When he and the Cavs got to the Finals in 2007, they also didn’t care if he “played hard” – they only talk about how HE (and not the team) didn’t win a ring, “heart” or not. Why should “heart” come into play now?

      But hey, when the Lakers didn’t win a title from 03-08 and last year, it’s not about the rings anymore because “Kobe “plays with heart!”…

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 11, 2012, 10:06 am
      • Wow so no matter what it’s just LeBron is flat out the best okay I see. You’re hard headed man, a huge Kobe hater. Don’t know if you’re a LeBron fan but Shaq and Kobe were a dynasty and until LeBron has one he will be taken second by legends until Kobe completely falls off. Sorry. Plus why get all butt hurt by what Bird said LeBron agreed and he said it about him. And seriously it was hypothetical.

        And I told you I definitely respect him for getting the Cavs to the finals in ’07. He showed great heart in that year. He did some amazing stuff and I don’t blame him for losing that finals his team was vastly over matched by the Spurs.

        And what does Kobe literally have to win the title every year to be considered a winner ’05-’07 you know that wasn’t gonna work. Kobe and Shaq’s chemistry was horrible the last couple years. Not to mention Kobe was a very immature player, I will admit his ego got in the way, but Shaq is as much to blame. It could have been a smoother transition to the younger star, but those are the two most hard headed cocky players of all time. And ’08 Gasol’s first time out of the First Round. Going against a better a tougher Celtic team with no real center come one. Game 6 was embarrassing though, but again Kobe played hard the whole game. Funny how that worked.

        Props to LeBron he’s shown toughness at times but has always fizzled at the worst times, just is what has happened. Really I’ve been waiting for Kobe & LeBron to meet in the Finals for years and LeBron let me down. It’s being real I wanted him to succeed to a point so I can finally see this rivalry be one. And Kobe let me down last year.

        Now in ’09 and ’10 the Cavs should have made it to the Finals at least they were the best team in the league. That’s what cracks me up during those years people said the Cavs were one of the deepest teams. They were one of the best defensive teams in the league. No one player makes a team the best defense. Then he leaves and yes they did horrible (no one ever mentions they were injury riddled on top of losing their best player), but then his supporting cast were d-leaguers.

        Plus I never brought 03-08. I said he showed heart in his title against the Celtics. The psychoanalysis needs to stop huh. How many times have you heard people say bball is a mental game as much as a physical many, many, many times right. Because it’s true. Well whatever there is no reasoning with you man. When LeBron, Wade and Bosh can’t win a title much less 7 or 8, because the Bulls, Thunder, and Lakers with Dwight and Deron (Dreaming I know) keep them from winning, because LeBron just can’t get over that mental hump we’ll see who the better winner was and no one will be able to blame his cat not being good enough.

        By the way Kobe is the reason we lost in ’04. I can say that, because I am a Kobe fan not a rider. And LeBron is the reason the Heat lost last year, because Wade played amazing and Bosh did what he needed to there was one missing piece the biggest one. It could’ve offset their d faltering, which according to Heat fans LeBron is the anchor of. hmm coincidence.

        Posted by J | February 11, 2012, 11:47 am
        • “And I told you I definitely respect him for getting the Cavs to the finals in ’07. He showed great heart in that year.”

          So why didn’t he win a ring then? Better yet, why didn’t Kobe Bryant (aka the most “driven”, “determined”, “cutthroat” player in NBA history) didn’t win one from 03-08? Or last year? Did he not have “heart” all those seasons too? Or is it that he showed “heart” from 00-02, didn’t show “heart” from 03-08, showed “heart” again from 09-10, and didn’t show “heart” last year? Is that it?

          For people who care about “heart” instead of simply putting the best teams on the court – the only things that can win titles, not individual players – that’s an awful lot of absurdities to answer…

          Posted by The Realist #2 | February 11, 2012, 1:40 pm
    • This is by far the most sane post here. Thanks J. You restore my faith in basketball fans.

      These so-called “advanced stats gurus” are so whacked out that they couldn’t grasp the simple concept that superstars win and lose basketball games in the NBA.

      And you’re right. The impact of superstars is way more than what has been made “quantifiable” at this point. The “advanced stats” aren’t really advanced…they simply basic ratios, regressions and normalized indices that attempt to quantify a player’s skill set and impact on team play. But they aren’t fool-proof. This I know, since I have been working on system modeling since I was in high-school…I have used regressions, methods-of-lines, parallel coordinates, transformations, etc. Models are just that…models. They attempt to explain reality. But they hardly contain ALL its elements. It’s not possible since typical minds are only able to understand linear models, or at best 2nd order ones. Anyway, no stat has fully quantified the totality of a superstar’s impact on team play. For one, this is a very hard task since a superstar could make his impact off-the-court as well and even during practices. That’s why Bird choosing Kobe over Lebron has weight, especially when he mentions the intangibles…the kind of stuff that has not been satisfactorily measured yet.

      Lebron is statistically better than Kobe. He is a better basketball player overall. But is he the better leader? Is his impact on a team more positive overall than Kobe? Does he inspires excellence? Does he make his teammates better? not just through assists but rather by inspiring them to elevate their individual games as well? These questions remain open until Lebron starts bringing home the bacon, and bringing it home again and again. I hope he does because that would really make a good story. And I like good stories.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 5:39 am
  6. Sorry my post are long but Kobe been hated for 8 years now LeBron for 2. They both brought it upon themselves one has used it to drive them, while the other has used it as an excuse.

    Posted by J | February 11, 2012, 11:49 am
    • First off Kobe’s not the most determined, driven and cutthroat player in history Jordan is. Don’t put words in my mouth it’s not the second grade. Second he’s showed all his career like Barkley and like Iverson did in 2001. When Iverson carried his team to the Finals with a similar roster to the ’07 Cavs. Iverson’s was slightly better, but he at least won a game against one of the best dynasties in history. And before you say anything no Iverson did not have heart his entire career.

      I’m not saying LeBron has never showed it. It just seems like he expects things to be handed to him sometimes. He’s a great player, but hasn’t put his entire self on the court every time.

      Yes the best teams win titles and LeBron had the best team last year and lost. You can’t tell me the Mavs were flat out better than the Heat. They played harder where the heart comes in, have you never heard the saying “He’s got the heart of a champion”. It’s been around for a while. There are always three or four teams that can compete for a championship. Yes there is usually a favorite, but these teams usually have a shot at knocking the other out by outplaying them, out hustling them, playing with more heart.

      Yes this ‘heart’ is a real thing you can tell, because there is a pattern of champions. In that all of them have a very hard worker on that team Kobe, Duncan, Jordan, D-Wade, etc. It also is no coincidence that half the championships in the last decade have gone to a team with Kobe on them. The rest went to Duncan a guy who has the most polished post game a very hard worker and professional. D-Wade who had probably the greatest NBA Finals performance in history. And an all around team with the Pistons with one the best team defenses and great herd working leader in Chauncey Billups. I’m not saying any of these teams won it by themselves but they helped push these teams through the hard times the came across on their journey to the title.

      You can’t just look at stats and predict who will the title there is something beyond just numbers that makes a champion. If there weren’t LeBron would be going for his fourth straight ring right now, but he’s not, because he just hasn’t been able to get his team over the top.

      Obviously heart will only get you so far you need a great team and a lot of other players are driven too. Dirk Nowitzki determination rubbed off on his teammates and they beat the not so mighty Heat. It’s just impossible to call LeBron a better winner than Kobe when he hasn’t won anything period. I really don’t get what hard to understand. And just like Bird said, I’m not saying LeBron isn’t a winner he just hasn’t shown a capability to win it all. Conference Championship only make you happy for about three weeks.

      Posted by J | February 11, 2012, 4:01 pm
      • Agree with you. These quants would dismiss the “heart” since they don’t have a stat for that…like reality has to conform to their stats, and not the other way around. Nuts! haha

        Russell was a great champion. And his numbers were boring. Oh, Realist would argue that Celtics won as a “team”. Now, ask him which “team” this year will win it all and he’d probably offer a myriad of excuses not to answer it. The truth is they’re playing a circular argument.

        1. Championships are won by good teams
        2. Good teams are the ones that win championships

        “Good teams” couldn’t be defined ‘a priori’ or before the fact. Not at this time. We don’t have a very accurate model that could readily say which team is ‘good’ and which team would win the championship. Stats couldn’t predict the winner at all.

        Which brings the question of why. Why can’t we predict the winner? It’s because of the “heart”, or whatever that unquantifiable X-factor that impacts team play. The interesting thing is that this X-factor indeed appears consistently in champions. That’s the fact. So yeah, I agree with you. And I thank you big time since I was almost losing hope with the pure nonsense that I read comparing NBA basketball to baseball.

        Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 5:54 am
  7. “Obviously heart will only get you so far you need a great team and a lot of other players are driven too.”

    So basically, you’re making my argument for me.

    Hey, if you want to talk about the players who have “heart” and who don’t have “heart”, good for you. But when you state that winning a game or title takes more than one’s “heart” and what one individual does on a court, you’re actually admitting that comparing two individuals by using rings – which encompasses many other significant factors outside of an individual’s play, “heart”, or whatever you want to call it – is fallacious.

    So don’t tell me that Kobe is better than LBJ because “he has 5 rings and LeBron has none”. And before you falsely accuse me of being a “Kobe hater”, I truly don’t care whether you compare Kobe and LBJ, MJ and Kobe, MJ and Bird, Russell and Wilt, Adam Morrison and LBJ, young Kobe and old Kobe, Kobe’s kid and LBJ’s great-great-great grandson – the argument still stands.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 11, 2012, 5:37 pm
    • Again I never said Kobe was better than LBJ . But he has had a better career. LeBron has time to catch up. But until he wins a ring he won’t be one of the immortals. LeBron has had his chances and him and his team have failed everytime. He’ll be the greatest player to never win a championship. But he won’t have the Jordan excuse like Barkley, because he was the best player in the league for a while.

      Again never said Kobe’s better he’s just proven himself, while LeBron has underachieved and if you can’t agree with that you are a Kobe hater. And are you seriously telling me if Jordan never won a ship he would be considered the best. Don’t you think Wilt would be considered the best if he won 11 championships instead of Russell. Rings do matter to a point you can’t just throw them in people’s face as the only stat, but you add them to the player’s career and it makes a huge difference.

      The best team doesn’t always win that’s what this heart argument I’m bringing up is. It’s a combination of hard work and not giving up. If the best team always won their be no reason to watch games, but entertainment. The outcome would be known already, but the harder working team wins combined with talent and chemistry.
      In other words the best three or four teams are usually left. They’re usually pretty closely matched it usually comes down to execution and how hard these teams wanna play. Pretty much the rest of the Heat squad played hard and LBJ didn’t it’s what happened everyone saw it. Some choose to ignore it cuz LBJ is great and people feel bad that everyone hates him. Bird said he’d rather play with Kobe because he’s tough and well he is and LeBron hasn’t been all that tough and thick-skinned. Well when he Heat fail again or when LeBron finally becomes Pippen to Wade’s Jordan and they win a title. Let me clarify that before it starts an argument too. Wade should be the primary scorer while LeBron does anything else that’s needed scoring, distribution, defense like Pippen did with Jordan. Yes LeBron would probably be the main guy still, but it’d would benefit the team much more. LeBron’s more versatile obviously, but Wade is more one dimensional not totally 1d but not the all around player James is.

      Comparison’s between the two, Kobe and LeBron that is, are stupid yes they play very different styles and positions. But really there is always a scapegoat for a team losing always will be. I don’t care for the comparisons, but there has to be everyone wants to make lists of the best players in the NBA’s history. I’m just happy my favorite player has the chance to sneak his way into the top 5. Still a ways to go, but there is an outside chance. Until LeBron wins a ring he can’t crack the top ten in my opinion, but who knows how they’ll change the rule for him. But no one in the top 20 players all time hasn’t won a ship. But I’ll say this no one puts up stats like LBJ, but he’ll have a championship quality team for a while if he can’t win one Bird will and me will be right.

      Posted by J | February 11, 2012, 9:22 pm
      • “He’ll be the greatest player to never win a championship.”

        Not exactly a knock on LBJ, because the greatest player of all time (MJ) never won a championship either. Those Chicago Bulls teams did.

        Posted by The Realist #2 | February 11, 2012, 11:46 pm
        • Look man your very emotional about this ring counting thing. Yes teams win championships, not one player, but it takes a certain type of player to lead his team to a championship. You are the only person that thinks that rings have no say at all in how good a players career was. I’m not saying you can throw a ring number out and say this guy was better than that guy because of his championships. But if you couple Kobe stats with his championship totals he has had a better career than James SO FAR. James will most likely win a few, I just give Heat fans shit, because they run there mouth too much. If James can win more than one he’ll have a better career than Kobe that’s right LeBron would only have to prove he could LEAD his team to multiple championships to overthrow Kobe in this generations best player argument. Even tho theyre in two overlapping generations. This cahnges if Kobe wins a few more rings, which unless these Dwight and Deron Williams trades go through it doesn’t seem so. This is just my opinion wait ten years and see people are saying about these guys careers. There still won’t be an obvious answer unless LeBron wins some by the way.

          Posted by J | February 13, 2012, 12:53 pm
          • “Yes teams win championships, not one player, but it takes a certain type of player to lead his team to a championship.”

            Moot point. If only teams can win titles, then don’t talk about just one player. You could put Superman himself on your team; if the guy next to him can’t shoot a lick or play defense, his team will lose to one that is better overall.

            By the way, full disclosure: when you say that you’d pick Kobe over LBJ for their respective careers (if both players were to retire today), I absolutely agree with you. I’d also still pick Kobe over LBJ even if LeBron gave the same production for his career on teams that won a championship every year since his rookie season – because I’m not picking between teams here.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 13, 2012, 2:19 pm
  8. You are correct in that Kobe has had the much better career than LBJ, and also when you state the LBJ has time to catch up.

    I have written previously that historically, a player with LBJ’s skill set has always won a title.

    It will likely happen this year and likely for more years to follow.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | February 11, 2012, 10:20 pm
  9. If I am picking a single player and not a team, I would pick Lebron over Kobe in his prime for one reason only…Lebron has a vastly better all around skill set. Tnats the type of player I would want to build a team around. Its not a knock on Kobe, its just a question of who brings more to the table and thats Lebron.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | February 14, 2012, 6:46 am
  10. Perfect example of the fact that once again, TEAMS win games and not single players: adjusted for opponent and era, Bryant played one of the most atrocious offensive games of his career. He did play some good defense, but when you factor in his offense he was an overall below-average player last night. Gasol, Bynum, and World Peace all outplayed Bryant on his own team…

    …and yet the Lakers still won the game by 8. Now imagine if this was the Finals, and the Lakers won four straight games this way in a sweep of the EC Champion Hawks. The Lakers – er, um, Kobe, sorry; forgot to some people one player wins rings by himself – would win a title with Kobe playing worse than LBJ did in last year’s Finals. But I guarantee the irrational media would jump on the Kobe bandwagon and hail him for a “great” performance even though he played like anything BUT a great player.

    That’s the mindset of our basketball culture, and we’re definitely behind baseball and even football fans in the intelligence department.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 15, 2012, 8:10 am
  11. I don’t know why LBJ apologists would defend Lebron against what Larry Bird had said even to the point of arguing that “teams win championship, not individuals”

    The fact is it was JUST an opinion…that just happened to come from a known WINNER.

    Truth be told, LBJ has produced better individual stats than Kobe when normalized using accepted practices. But that’s not what Larry is after…he was asked about WINNING. And winning is indeed more than just individual stats.

    Larry is a great player so naturally adding another great player to HIS team greatly increases the chances of winning it all. Now, I could only surmise that he chose Kobe over Lebron simply because he found Kobe a better complement than Lebron. Larry is known to be a no non-sense guy as a player and as a coach in Indiana. So it is not surprising at all that he would chose a guy who fundamentally has a similar mindset to him, or at least perceived to be such. Bird put premium on character over skills, and if he believes that could ‘win, win, win’, then so be it.

    Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 5:36 am
    • “And winning is indeed more than just individual stats.”

      You’re right! Because it’s about more than one individual in the first place!

      …thanks for making my point for me.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 6:30 am
      • Yeah, it’s more than that. It’s abt a collection of 2-3 great individual stats on a team that would increase its chances to win it all, and then win again.

        The fact is Larry was already a great player. He was asked who he thought could win it all with him. He chose Kobe over Lebron and it’s as good as anybody’s guess to say whether he is wrong or right. So quit the drama abt ‘team wins’ because you’re arguing a non-issue (in technical terms, you are offering a strawman)…Larry didn’t say he’d pick 3 losers to play with him and Kobe. I think it was a safe assumption that Larry would have assumed that NBA-caliber role players would fill up his team with Kobe as his SG.

        Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 7:07 am
  12. But pls…enough of the “team wins” blah blah…

    Basketball is NOT baseball. Basketball is NOT football.

    How many times have you watched a baseball game that had an equivalent 30-pt turnaround in under a fourth of the game clock? How about football? American or otherwise?

    Is there anything in baseball that remotely resembled the one-man show where LBJ willed his team to win against the Pistons in that historic Game 5? The mechanics of baseball don’t allow this kind of singular effort at all. Baseball, to its very core, is a team sport. A pitcher couldn’t be the catcher, who couldn’t be the first baseman. Contrast that to basketball where LBJ could rebound the ball, dribble it coast-to-coast, throw it to himself, and then dunk it.

    similar to American football…it’s just impossible for the QB to do it all. By design, football plays too much emphasis on ROLES. QB throws, wide receiver receives, guards protect the QB. In basketball, Pippen had guarded all 5 guys in one defensive sequence in a game.

    How abt real football? well, the court’s just too huge that it’s humanly impossible to consistently win games through singular effort.

    so please, enough of the “team wins” and we’re not as intelligent as baseball fans”. It’s STUPID to assume that basketball is on the same level as baseball, or football.

    Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 6:07 am
    • “so please, enough of the “team wins” and we’re not as intelligent as baseball fans”. It’s STUPID to assume that basketball is on the same level as baseball, or football.”

      The fact that you would assume just because one player can help his team more in basketball than in other team sports means that A GOOD TEAM IS NOT NEEDED AT ALL is absurd. If LBJ (or any other player) is truly a “one-man show”, then fine then – sit his teammates down and put him out there by himself against a Detroit Pistons team in ’07 and let’s see what happens.

      Yes, Jourdan; these are the kind of posts that make you look like an idiot.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 6:24 am
      • Again, a strawman…it was NEVER a fact that i said that you don’t need a good team to win. I was merely mocking your over-emphasis on ‘team’ to a fault of removing or downplaying the individual contributions of players, specifically superstars/first-tier talent. I am attacking your point whereby you compare the game of basketball to baseball just to ‘hype up’ your ‘team wins’ BS.

        Basketball is unique in a sense that the court dimensions, game play, rules, and the no. of players on-court give players the creative freedom to singularly impact the game. The court, esp with the player sizes these days is not as physically imposing as a football field. The game play itself allows players and coaches to mix and match players with roles, even during a single game sequence – something that you can’t do with baseball. The rules and the no. Of players on-court also give enough space for players to create on-the-fly. These make the game of bball very dynamic compared to other team sports, and lend the game to a higher level of influence by individual players.

        I don’t discount ‘team effort’. But I will never accept that it’s primarily the reason why teams win. Championship teams become lyk that simply bec they have champions – your superstars who could create for themselves and in so doing, force the other team to react, which then frees up a creative space for the lesser teammates to take advantage of. A series of good fortune for the superstar(s) and the beneficiaries of their game play, i.e., their teammates, lead to the birth of a ‘good team’. The truth is team chemistry in basketball cannot be manufactured. It is a by-product of playing together and more importantly winning together. You can’t set out to ‘create a team’…groups of individuals naturally grow into teams over time. And as in any org, u accelerate the building process by having key people – in bball speak these are your superstars. They are your multipliers – their abilities allow a young team to multiply the team’s chances of winning games and building confidence and trust. This isn’t some wishy-washy fantasy that I conjure…this is an organizational truth. Any good book on organisational design will tell u this. Teams are not faceless abstracts – they are made up of individuals. High-calibre teams can’t be comprised of lesser talents. They oftentimes have multiple top-tier alpha dogs.

        So there you go, ubuntu or ‘team wins’ is a myth. It’s nothing but a whimsical construct that’a not definable a priori. Truth is u label the teams ‘good’ only after they’ve won and claim that they’re flawed when they don’t. What’s the defensible fact? Teams with superstar talent wins…and teams loaded with superstars win multiple championships. It’s the level of talent that makes the teams look good, and win championships.

        Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 7:54 am
      • And oh the name-calling hahaha. Calling me idiot won’t take back the stupid notion that basketball is remotely comparable to baseball.

        And please, stop licking LBJ’s ass. LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s.

        And oh yeah, I said it -.HE’d be the loser, same with Wade, Bosh, Mike, Shane, et al. It’s not the faceless Miam team that’d lost…rather, all the guys wearing the Miami uniform would be the losers, and the biggest loser of them all would be LBJ.

        Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 8:10 am
  13. “I was merely mocking your over-emphasis on ‘team’ to a fault of removing or downplaying the individual contributions of players, specifically superstars/first-tier talent.”

    Funny you’re taking about strawmen, because I don’t downplay individual contributions either. If I watch Kobe score 50 points with good shooting, get his teammates good looks and also plays good defense, I’m praising him. Every time. I WANT a player like that on my team over an average player to increase my chances of winning. Every time.

    The difference is, that praise DOESN’T CHANGE if the Lakers win or lose games, because it ultimately takes more than one person to win a game in a team sport. And for all your rambling about the importance of one player, you STILL can’t construct a sentence without saying this:

    “Teams are not faceless abstracts – they are made up of individuals.”

    You read that last word in your own sentence? It says INDIVIDUALS. That’s plural. As in more than one. As in it’s a collective effort that ultimately wins games, not the single effort of an individual player, regardless of how Herculean it is (or lack thereof). Superstars can only HELP your team win titles; they don’t win championships strictly speaking.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 8:22 am
    • I thought you are analytical, given your fascination with numbers….what a smokescreen! You can’t grasp a simple argument.

      1. Teams are not faceless abstracts. They are not gooey 5-in-1 homogenous blob.

      2. Teams are made up of individuals. Those individuals have specific personalities, skill sets, talent levels.

      3. Basketball, as unique as it compared to other team sports, allows more degrees of freedom on individuals’ creativity and talent to singularly influence the game.

      4. Given the above, individuals with high-calibre talent, i.e., your superstars, disproportionately dictate team play, and with it the likelihood of winning games.

      5. Winning breeds winning. Humans respond stronger to positive reinforcement than negative. More wins lead to the formation of self-belief and from there the team-wide confidence and trust…this is the tine when the collective turns into a TEAM, where the whole exceeds the sum of parts.

      Is this all-clear now? Superstars are praised for the wins and blamed for the losses simply bec they are the cornerstones on which ‘team play’ is built. They have a bigger responsibility, a command responsibility, to make the team better, regardless of the circumstances. They could fuck up their stats, go 1 for 10, and yet be rewarded for ‘willing their team’ to victory IF by their efforts, body language, verbal cues, etc., they could find a way for lesser teammates to step up and pick up the slack. These are the intangibles that quants want to capture through plus/minus numbers, which to me aren’t even close to defining exactly the contributions of spectacular talent/ personality that you have in certain individuals – your winners like MJ, Magic, Bird, Russell, etc, who seemingly are able to make their teammates perform better than what their talents and skill sets say.

      So in parting, I don’t share your apologist take on Lebron. The Cavs couldn’t win bec Lebron failed. Miami didn’t win because Lebron failed. 2-up and then losing 4 is not the stuff of legends. Not showing up in the 4th quarters isn’t on anyone but Lebron. Some say it was bec the team defense evaporated. Wow! That again is a chicken-or-the-egg thing. Miami is made up of supertalents. When shots aren’t falling for them, they don’t exactly get too excited for defense. That’s the nature of the beast. Failures on the offensive end generally snowball to failures on the defensive ends when it comes to superstars. They are not role players. So when the Mavs ‘shocked’ Miami with doses of zone defense and Lebron couldn’t perform, the whole cookie crumbled. Look at the tapes – Miami’s defensive lapses came when they couldn’t run in transitions, when their offense had been forced to half-court games where the Heatles were challenged to bust the zone and its variants. Truth is, Carlisle outsmarted Spoelstra, the Mavs veterans like Terry punked Lebron and co, and delivered their performances of a lifetime.

      And the silver lining to all that came after…Spoelstra admitting that their offensive schemes are wanting. Lebron admitting that his lack of post-up game severely limit the team’s effectiveness in methodically breaking down tight, well-coached, defenses. The fact that Miami now is winning consistently with better offensive schemes with a back-to-the basket/inside-the-paint LBJ is a testament of INDIVIDUAL contributions (by a player and a coach) significantly impacting team play and directing the team’s fortunes. Team play is a RESULTANT of individual successes. Leadership makes a difference. And Lebron, as gifted a bball player that he is ryt now, doesn’t have that yet. The fact that winners, past and present, won’t pick him over Kobe, who is statistically inferior, is telling. He needs to develop that aura of leadership, or defer to Wade for Miami to win it all.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 3:36 pm
  14. So Jourdan, you want me to believe that I got you all wrong, and that you DO recognize the important of a team when you say this:

    “it was NEVER a fact that i said that you don’t need a good team to win.”

    “I don’t discount ‘team effort’.”

    And then follow up with this:
    “LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s.”

    Liar, liar…pants on fire.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 8:44 am
    • There’s no incoherence in my statements, only the lack of comprehension on your part.

      Superstars disproportionately dictate team play. But obviously, you need 5 guys to play. You need role players to play theirs. I’d summarise it for you: superstars to LEAD their teams. Role players to FOLLOW the drumbeat of their leaders. If the role players wouldn’t fall in line and buy the bull, it’s on the leader. Always was, always is, always will be.

      So I don’t discount team effort. But I don’t see it as the root cause of success or failure of a team. The manifestation or lack of team effort is a symptom, not the cause. But definitely, the lack of it creates a negative feedback loop and therefore must be addressed. How? By preaching ubuntu? No. Rather, by addressing the root causes – lack of leadership and direction from the team’s alpha dogs.

      I hope you understand my point now. If not, give me ur email address and I’d email a flow chart or a pseudocode.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 3:52 pm
    • Also, I am amazed that in the course of your nitpicking expedition, you have been selective at avoiding a central element of my argument, which is the fact that basketball is a less rigid sport than baseball or football. Why sheepishly ignore this? Hmm, is it bec you come to your senses that a batter could only bat once in a batting order while Lebron could virtually have the ball in his hands possession after possession? Or that a batter needed to have all other 3 asses on all bases to score a grand slam making it all too impossible to singularly score tons of runs when you’re way behind after six innings? Tsk tsk tsk. Ignorance. And shame that you don’t want to acknowledge your boo-boo.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 4:27 pm
    • “There’s no incoherence in my statements, only the lack of comprehension on your part.”

      Not at all. At the core of your verbose and long-winded posts is the erroneous thinking that stars exclusively win and lose games. It ain’t rocket science.

      And it also doesn’t refute any of my points. Steve Kerr defintely benefits from MJ creating good looks for him, but at the end of the day STEVE KERR (not MJ) is the one who needs to put the ball through the hoop. His ability to do so (along with other players in the team, in addition to defense) is what helps get MJ and every other superstar in history all those shiny rings. If they don’t also do their jobs ALONG with star doing his, no wins and no rings.

      Stars can make your life on the court easier. But you still need to perform and execute your OWN job in order to complete the team task of getting a win. Other people aren’t doing that for you, unless some scout somewhere comes across a superhuman player who can regularly score 100+ points by himself and guard every position on the floor at once.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 7:38 pm
  15. Your both wrong so stop it please. Teams do win titles, HOWEVER, teams with superstars(as in more then a single superstar) tend to win more then a single title. Just look at NBA history and(as has been said before on this site) you see teams that have won titles(as in more then one) have had at least 2 superstar players. Thats why Lebron left to go to Miami, because he didn’t have a second superstar to play with.

    Miami has no excuse for not winning the title last year, none. But neither do the Lakers and they get a pass from most because they only made it to the second round. Somehow this is not Kobe’s fault, but its Lebron’s fault that Miami lost in the finals.

    As a Miami fan I can tell you thats BS. Its not ALL his fault. The team screwed up, especially on the defensive end. They played a subpar series in that reguard. Had Miami played even good defense chances are they would have won the title.

    People look at Lebron and say “if he had played at the level he plays at in the regular season then Miami would have won the title, but he didn’t so he choked.” People who say that don’t understand how basketball works or they just hate Lebron to the point that it clouds their mind.

    If Lebron had taken more shots to score more points he would have taken those shots away from someone else(likely Wade), its not like Miami would have magically gotten more shot attempts then they ended up getting. Yet people look at stats and treat it that way.

    But in the end it was Miami that failed not Lebron.

    Lebron deserves some of that blame, but so does Wade and so does Bosh, and so do the role players around them, who together made up the team that Miami had.

    While we as fans need to stop pinning the blame to a single player, we also need to understand that yes having superstars allow teams to win titles. So they are the most important part, it is talent over the system the talent plays in. In basketball at least, you need talent first and formost. Teams pay superstars to produce the amazing efforts such as what Lebron and Wade did in game 5 vs Chicago, a game that Chicago should have won BUT the talent of Wade and Lebron brought Miami back and carried them to victory. That victory at the end had nothing to do with Miami as a team and everything to do with the play of Lebron and D-Wade.

    So to wrap it up….
    1. To win titles teams need superstars(at least 2)
    2. Those superstars need to play in a system that suits their style of play.
    3. They need a coach that gets them most possible out of them.
    4. They need role players around them that make up for whatever weakness those players have(such as 3 point shooting for example).
    5. The team as a whole needs to play great defense to win titles.
    6. Everyone important needs to stay healthy and not get hurt.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | February 24, 2012, 10:54 am
    • Don’t see how anything I said differed from anything you just said.

      Either stars can win games by themselves, or they can’t. I say they can’t – doesn’t mean that the stars aren’t more important than other players on their team for wins.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 11:23 am
    • The lakers don’t get a pass. What world do you live in? However, the lakers made the previous 3 finals, winning 2 of them, and were attempting to reach 4 straight finals, something jordan never did, and were only accomplished twice in the past 30-35 years or more. Kobe’s ankle was shredded up. But, most importantly, Pau decided to play like a pansy throughout the playoffs, much like the way lebron played during the finals. If one of your top guys isn’t going to give full effort, your team has virtually no chance of moving on in the playoffs.

      It’s not hating on lebron to say that he choked. It’s one thing to give full effort, and have a bad game or 2, but it’s a totally different thing to just mope around the court, looking disinterested, and letting Jason Terry trash talk you and then let him deliver on it.

      You and others make all the excuses you want, but when the finals is in the supposed greatest player on the earth’s hands, and he decides to not give full effort, then it’s going to be on him. Part of it is the media hyping up lebron, true, but part of it is lebron hyping up himself and celebrating himself constantly, yet he still has no rings, so when he fails, he does bring a lot of it on himself, deservedly.

      I disagree with all 6 pts. above. You don’t necessarily need any of those to win a title, those all of those things help. Take dallas last year. They only had 1 superstar. I wouldn’t say their defense is great. Actually, their defense is great this year, and they don’t have Chandler and they struggled early during the season, so what does that tell you about Chandler? And they had serious injuries during the playoffs: were without butler/beaubois, and barely had a gimpy haywood.

      Posted by boyer | February 24, 2012, 11:28 am
      • “Part of it is the media hyping up lebron, true, but part of it is lebron hyping up himself and celebrating himself constantly, yet he still has no rings, so when he fails, he does bring a lot of it on himself, deservedly.”

        Not that I care at all about a player’s personality, but doesn’t Kobe also celebrate himself? Doesn’t he want to get those “rings” so people can give him all the credit for those titles and put him ahead of other legends – and yet when the Lakers don’t win, he whines about management, “lack of depth”, “lack of talent”, “Shaq’s out of shape”, “no Jason Kidd”, “trade Andrew Bynum”, “Smush Parker sucks”, “no Chris Paul”, “I need Dwight Howard”, “my bigs are soft”, etc. etc. Heck, didn’t he make a point to not shoot the ball in game 7 of a Suns series from way back to make a point about needing a team playing well around you to win?

        Like I said, not that I care about his personality, but those actions don’t exactly scream “humility”.

        Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 11:48 am
        • Did Kobe have a 1 hr. special on espn completely trashing his former team, and then have a huge celebration before he even played a game with his next team? Does he call himself a king or the chosen one? No, he doesn’t do any of that stuff. 2nd, Kobe actually has 5 rings, so if he celebrates after winning a title(s), then it’s warranted. He’s earned it.

          Kobe just wants to win. He could care less about being a side show in the process or what others think about him. Lebron is very sensitive and needs to be liked, and clowns around a lot. Suure, part of that is his personality, but it seems obvious that that has been somewhat of a detriment to his potential success so far.

          I’m confused why you don’t think it’s ok to be frustrated and vent some when your team isn’t winning. Kobe has always been about winning. His team and management were a joke for a years, when he was in the middle of his prime. How stupid it would be for him to just sit back and accept losing? But, obviously you think that’s what he should’ve done. Well, as it turned out, he put the pressure on management, and they finally did something, and it worked. All he needed was a few competent players, and then he led them to 2 titles.

          Uh, back to game 7 against the suns, huh? If you think Kobe’s going to sacrifice the playoffs to make some petty point, you’re so far gone, you’ll never come back. Kobe was lighting up the suns in the first half, and the lakers were getting blown out. Phil told him to get everyone involved in the 2nd half because that was the only way they would have a chance, and if you look back at the first 6 games, the lakers did better with kobe not gunning. They lost their only game when Kobe went off. In the 2nd half, the lakers were continually getting great scoring opponents, but were sucking, but defense was their main problem.

          If you want to whine about Lebron haters, you should look at kobe bashing. There’s no comparison. Lebron is loved by the media compared to kobe, it’s ridiculous, and quite tiresome. He’s already won 1 more mvp than kobe, that should tell you a little about the media having lebron’s back. Until you win your first ring, there’s always going to be lots of questions that if you can do it or not. And the heat totally tanked game 2. Lebron hasn’t been able to carry a team through 4 rounds of playoffs, it’s a tough task, true, but he hasn’t done it yet. And given his lack of effort in his last 2 playoffs, how can you truly trust him in the playoffs ever again?

          Posted by boyer | February 24, 2012, 12:39 pm
          • “Did Kobe have a 1 hr. special on espn completely trashing his former team, and then have a huge celebration before he even played a game with his next team? Does he call himself a king or the chosen one? No, he doesn’t do any of that stuff.”

            You’re right. Instead, he gives himself HIS OWN NICKNAMES and specifically bashes one of his own teammates on camera.

            But you see, it’s perfectly okay for Kobe to do this because, according to the irrational Kobe fan, he “just wants to win”.

            “Uh, back to game 7 against the suns, huh? If you think Kobe’s going to sacrifice the playoffs to make some petty point, you’re so far gone, you’ll never come back.”

            Just like I would think LBJ didn’t get all the way to the Finals with the Heat only to not play well on purpose, but according to the irrational Kobe fan, “LBJ quit”.

            “Until you win your first ring, there’s always going to be lots of questions that if you can do it or not.”

            Why should the nonsense logic stop there though? Kobe didn’t win his six ring last year, why didn’t he do it? Isn’t it fair to ask that question? How are you going to be as good as MJ if you don’t win six? But, according to the irrational Kobe fan, in all Lakers losses and failures, it ain’t Kobe at all.

            Only when his teams win.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 1:32 pm
          • And did Jordan and Bird or many other greats not bash their teammates before? I’m failing to understand why you think that’s a bad thing. If your teammates are sucking, then you better try to get them to play better. It’s like the Pau black/white swan stuff. Kobe was angry that bynum was taking forever to develop and some random dude came up to him the parking lot and kobe went on rant, it’s not like kobe was going out of his way to bash bynum, and obviously it worked, since bynum started playing better right away. Talk about someone(you) bashing a player(kobe) at any little thing possible. Quite contradictory yourself when you say that lebron isn’t being treated fairly. What’s wrong with giving yourself a nickname? Black Mamba’s a good nickname. The problem with self imposed nicknames like king or chosen one greatly imply that that player is above everyone else. Black mamba doesn’t imply that.

            You’re putting words into my mouth for a lot of your bs here. It’s the self celebrating stuff from lebron that puts people off, and nba legends have admitted this. Until he actually wins a ring, his doing this type of stuff is utterly ridiculous.

            I’ve heard several people involved in game 7 in 2006 say Kobe played hard. He and Phil admitted what the game plan in that game, and Kobe was committed to it and did it, so why would anyone blame him for supposedly quitting. Just go back and look at the game tapes. Make your own conclusions. Kobe is damned if he does, damned if he doens’t, always been the case with him. Barkley rips him for shooting too much in the first half, then rips him for not shooting enough in the 2nd half. Which one is it?

            Can you really not tell a difference in lebron’s effort level in the 2010(2nd round) and 2011 finals for some of the games? He’s just moping around the court, standing in the corner doing anything for large stretches of games. What’s that all about? And both of his teams were favorites to win titles both years, and probably would’ve if he gave full effort. That’s not being irrational. Being irrational is thinking what you want to think(you) and arguing something that actually didn’t happen.

            Posted by boyer | February 25, 2012, 2:05 pm
          • Also, I’m not the one speculating as to why Lebron didn’t play hard. You speculated as to why you think Kobe didn’t play hard as to him making a point for some unknown reason, which in fact if you actually to listen to the people involved in the game and watch the game yourself, Kobe did play hard and constantly got his team easy looks in that game.

            I have no idea why lebron quit on his teams 2 years in a row when they were favorites to win it all each time(2006 lakers were lucky to even make the playoffs) nor do I care. All I know is that it’s obvious to see that he didn’t play anywhere near his regular effort level and he bailed out on his teams. I’m surprised you don’t have a problem with this, but that’s what happens when you blindly follow ‘the chosen one.’

            Posted by boyer | February 25, 2012, 2:19 pm
    • And case in point that summarizes the self-contradictory stance of LBJ haters – before the Mavs even won the Finals and the Heat were up 2-1 in the series, there were people still bitching about LBJ’s play in the Finals EVEN THOUGH THE HEAT WERE UP IN THE SERIES. Instead of merely giving him credit for the wins, they were asking questions like “If the Heat win the series, is it Wade’s ring because LBJ didn’t play well?” The tired adage “It’s all about the W no matter how the player played” went out the window, and the same idiots who ripped LeBron for “not winning” started ripping LeBron’s individual play EVEN IN HEAT WINS.

      O

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 11:35 am
    • I agree that it was Miami that failed…but to absolve individuals of their culpabilities by way of conveniently putting the blame on the ‘team’ doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t resolve anything. Who is ‘team’? What is ‘team effort’? These are just meaningless abstracts. This is my point against NBA Realist.

      Now, I also am saying that whilst it was Miami that failed, one of the majot root causes is Lebron’s failure to play the way that he was capable of playing. He choked, just as Malone choked. Let’s not try to rationalise that because LBJ himself had acknowledged that. In fact, he worked on his primary weakness in the off-season. He accepted that he needed to add a reliable post-up game in half-court sets. That’s how teams improve – superstars owning up to their shortcomings and then addressing them.

      You mentioned he need not be blamed for not taking shots because that would have robbed Wade of his. Well, that’s probably true. But if stats would be relied on, Lebron was a better clutch/4th quarter player than Wade. So don’t u think robbing Wade of some shots bec Lebron could make more of them in the 4th could have better served Miami?

      You also mentioned that Miami had not played defense the same way as it did in the eastern conf playoffs. But don’t you think it had to do with the fact that the Mavs have more offensive options and savvy than what Miami faced in the east? The Mavs won that series bec they executed well and made better defensive adjustments than Miami. It’s not lyk they just won bec Miami suddenly sucked on defense. Plus if you watch the tapes, you could see the trend that Miami’s defensive lapses happen they started having offensive woes. That happens even this season. When Miami offense stagnates, they become sloppy in defense. And it spirals downwards bec their offense is predicated on defenses creating more offensive opportunities in transition. That’s why Miami is a streaky team…when they’re good, they’re really good at both ends. If they suck, they suck at both ends as well. It’s bec of the composition of that team. They don’t have a lot of role players would come to a game with the mindset that they’d be there just to scrap it out, get bruised, and do the dirty laundry.

      In parting, true that Miami failed. But the story doesn’t end there. Miami failed bec Lebron failed. No excuses. Even he himself offered none.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 7:40 pm
      • “Who is ‘team’? What is ‘team effort’? These are just meaningless abstracts.”

        Stop with the pseudo-philosophical mumbo jumbo. You can’t tell what a team is in team sports? You think they’re just trotting LBJ out there to compete for a title?

        By the way, we’re not saying that LBJ played a great Finals at all, nor are we “excusing” him for not playing better. We’re simply saying it’s not THE reason why they lost; there were other important factors in the series. The Heat had a 2-1 series lead with LBJ playing poorly in two of those three games; clearly there’s more to wins and losses than what one player does.

        Also, there’s little correlation between offense and defense in basketball.

        Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 7:56 pm
        • Have yoy done regression on Miami? We weren’t talking abt generalities here…specifically, we are talking abt a Miami team that lost in the Finals last yr. If you have the stats showing that Miami’s offense and defense have little to no correlatiom at all, then I’ll rest my case. True enough, my opinion is borne of anecdotal observations of the Heat. But I haven’t seen them play good offense where they have sucked at defense. Conversely, I have not seen them play great defense when they aren’t making shots.

          And it’s not me who’s going all-too philosophical. You guys do! Claiming that a ‘team’ lost but oh-no, that wasn’t due to their leaders failing to deliver. It’s not them, it’s the team! It’s funny that you absolve Lebron of the blame when he himself pointed the finger squarely at himself. That’s not pseudo-philosophical BS. That’s a fact.

          And you’re not excusing him? What a psycho-babble shit! You just said ‘he played poorly’ but it’s not him, rather the team? Wow! Tsk tsk. Ass-wipe. Lebron went MIA in the Finals. When your captain does that, the whole boat naturally shrinks.

          Let me get this straight:
          When you say the ‘team’ lost, who is that ‘team’?
          When you say it’s ‘team defense’, what made up that defense? Isn’t the individual guys manning their own man while helping othey guys from time to time? Now, are those not INDIVIDUAL tasks? Poor ‘team defense’ is caused by poor defense by certain players! Someone committed the error. SOMEONE blew their defensive assignment. You’re fucked up to say that team defense magically grow like mushrooms. Behind good team defense are great defensive players! Behind good team defense are the efforts of the INDIVIDUALS. So the way I see it, when someone says Miami lost bec of poor defense, I see that as Miami lost bec player A or B sucked at the defensive end. This ain’t college basketball. Defenses are predicated more on individual skills than a band-of-bros effort. Man-to-man defense takes precedence over defending zones and spaces on the court. Geesh, NBA game play puts premium on individual skills on both ends of the floor. Tsk tsk, and I am the one who doesn’t understand the game?! Wow….this coming from someone who compared NBA basketball to baseball! Wow! Amazing

          Posted by Jourdan | February 24, 2012, 9:07 pm
          • “You just said ‘he played poorly’ but it’s not him, rather the team?”

            Yes, because it’s not JUST LeBron James on the floor playing basketball.

            If you can’t even remotely recognize that fact, then no; you know nothing about the sport. Wade played terribly in the ECF (and I’m sure if you were to ask him, he’d tell you himself that he played poorly in the series) and yet the Heat won. Wade has conversely been brilliant in several playoff series (the 2011 Finals being a perfect example of this!) that the Heat DIDN’T win. Clearly, a team win isn’t necessarily indicative of one player’s performance, but only a fool such as yourself is unable to tell the difference.

            Pity.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 10:00 pm
          • Also, if according to your own posts LBJ “doesn’t know how to win”, then obviously you would have to designate Wade as the “natural leader” and “captain” of the team, not LBJ. After all, he’s the one with “the ring” already. And he played well in the Finals. And the Heat lost. Where’s his blame?

            But wait, if it’s anyone else but LBJ, it isn’t a one-man team anymore and teammate performance matters again, right?

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 10:12 pm
          • @ The Relaist # 2

            name-calling. again! but i’m not going to engage you on that.

            I know nothing? again? wow! laughable!!!

            Again, Miami lost the Finals. The team lost the finals…from the 1st to the last guy sitting on the bench. I got that. But unlike you, I wouldn’t stop at that. No cop out statement like “team defense failed Miami” or “all guys had a hand in one way or another”. These are matter-of-fact statements that don’t contain any relevant information.

            The way I look at game play, poor team play is always a result of INDIVIDUAL FAILURES at both ends of the court. In that series, it was evident that LBJ FAILED to be play at par with his OWN standard. Wade played like how you expect Wade to play. Bosh as well. But Lebron was a letdown, especially after showing what he was capable of during their eastern conference playoff run. He didn’t play well. And that led to a Miami loss. He admitted that himself. It amazes me that you know better than Lebron himself. Who are you? His alter-ego?

            Now, you offer Miami winning the ECF with Wade playing poorly. How is this relevant? Did it ever occur to you that Lebron played very well during the ECF and that’s the reason why Miami won despite Wade’s poor play? Again, individuals make a difference. Had Lebron not pick up the slack, Miami wouldn’t even reach the Finals.

            If I analyse that ECF, these would be my conclusions:

            1. Lebron played very well, which was good enough to cover for Wade’s poor play

            2. Chicago was a flawed team that has over-achieved because of Tom’s brilliance. They lack another consistent superstar to help D Rose get over the hump.

            There you go…I wouldn’t simply say “Oh, it was a team win”. I leave that empty BS to your kind.

            And your “Clearly, a team win isn’t necessarily indicative of one player’s performance” doesn’t even CLEARLY follow from your preceding statements. You argue poorly.

            Let me walk you through logic:
            1. You talked abt Wade not playing well and yet Miami won the ECF

            2. You then said Wade was brilliant like in the Finals, and yet Miami didn’t win.

            3. So the right conclusion was this: “Clearly, one player’s performance isn’t necessarily indicative (that) a team (would) win”.

            Tsk tsk tsk. Study logic. You need it.

            And oh yeah, Wade played brilliantly in the Finals yet Miami lost, which pointed to these:

            1. The Mavs are really good because Miami couldn’t win with a brilliant Wade and the Frozen One.

            2. It highlighted even more that Miami’s road to championship glory goes through Lebron.

            Lastly, I don’t need your pity. I wasn’t the one who thinks basketball is the same as baseball.

            Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 3:23 am
  16. @Jourdan I can tell you are one of those fans that watches a couple of Heat games and thinks that you know everything about them. See I am a basketball fan but the team I follow the most is the Heat because thats my home town team. I have watched most of the NBA teams play this year but I don’t pretend that I know everything about each of their systems, I simply haven’t seen them enough. You pretend that you know everything about Miami, their system and their role players.

    So lets go point by point…

    “You also mentioned that Miami had not played defense the same way as it did in the eastern conf playoffs. But don’t you think it had to do with the fact that the Mavs have more offensive options and savvy than what Miami faced in the east?”

    No. When you blow a 17 point lead at home in game 2 thats your defense not the other team’s offense. And they blew big leads in a number of games as well. Thats defense not the other teams offense. Offense gives you leads, defense protects it. Miami failed to protect its leads and that cost them the series.

    ” Plus if you watch the tapes, you could see the trend that Miami’s defensive lapses happen they started having offensive woes. That happens even this season. When Miami offense stagnates, they become sloppy in defense. And it spirals downwards bec their offense is predicated on defenses creating more offensive opportunities in transition. That’s why Miami is a streaky team…when they’re good, they’re really good at both ends. If they suck, they suck at both ends as well. It’s bec of the composition of that team.”

    That is a lot less true this year then last year because the offense is a lot different and because the players around the big 3 are vastly better. Miami has one of the top offenses in the league. Does their defense feed that? Of course it does, but if you watched them game in and game out(and I can tell you don’t by your comments) then you would notice that Miami scores a lot on the fast break even after makes by the other team because they push the ball up the court and use the speed that they have on the team. So thats different. They now have very few set plays now. And I have seen times when the defense has totally sucked(recently vs the Kings till late in the game) and they have counted on their offense to keep pace. Thats different from last year. This team is really really good, far better then they were last year.
    Speaking of which you said…

    “They don’t have a lot of role players would come to a game with the mindset that they’d be there just to scrap it out, get bruised, and do the dirty laundry.”

    Again just showing your judging off of last season and not this season, Miami out rebounds and out scores most teams in the paint despite not having a true center. Miami out hustles most teams as well. Again if you WATCHED the games instead of just assuming things aren’t any different from last season you would see that the effort and energy that Miami’s second unit brings. I can tell you that Miami would have had no shot beating a decent Atlanta team last season with Wade and Lebron sitting on the bench. Wade got hurt and Miami kept on rolling. That wouldn’t have happpened last year. Its because Miami has a real bench this year.

    You say that the final loss is Lebron’s fault, I say its not ALL his fault. To sum up what I mean consider the Chicago series, Wade played horrible, but Lebron and Bosh picked up the slack. Where was the player to pick up the slack for Lebron in the NBA finals? Is he not allowed to have a bad series?

    Tell me why Kobe gets a pass for having a bad series, when the Lakers fail its never Kobe’s fault, but when Miami failed(vs the same team no less) it ended up being Lebron’s fault. At least Miami made the finals. Remind me what happened to the Lakers in the playoffs? What they lost a game by almost 40 points in the mist of being swept? Guess Kobe didn’t want to be a winner bad enough to win that series.

    See the double standard now?(Btw I am not blaming Kobe for losing that series, but Lebron and Heat haters blame Lebron for everything).

    Posted by nightbladehunter | February 24, 2012, 8:11 pm
    • “@Jourdan I can tell you are one of those fans that watches a couple of Heat games and thinks that you know everything about them.”

      You’re giving him way too much credit. Anybody who thinks that the star is THE reason the team wins or loses games (and dont be fooled by the language of his posts; since Jourdan believes that the Heat magically becomes LeBron James then apparently no one else is important to the Heat’s success) doesn’t know a damn thing about the sport.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 24, 2012, 8:26 pm
      • “Anybody who thinks that the star is THE reason the team wins or loses games … doesn’t know a damn thing about the sport.”

        I didn’t say that at all. What I said was SUPERSTARS are your reasons why team wins or loses the games. It was always plural. It is just in the case of Miami during the Finals, the other 2 superstars did what were expected of them. Lebron froze. So he took the blame.

        Anyway, lest I confuse you, let me remind you of my main points:

        1. Teams with at least one superstar could win a championship

        2. Teams with multiple superstars could win multiple championships

        3. Teams lost because their superstars FAIL to lead them. It’s NOT only abt what superstars can do with the ball in their hands, but rather their ability to lead their team on and off-the-court… being the models for the rest to follow, be the first ones to walk-the-talk when they say “stats mean nothing, winning is everything”.

        4. Teamwork happens because individuals CHOSE to make it work…and owing to the nature of basketball game, teamwork only happens when superstars CHOOSE to buy into it. When superstars get the lion’s share on possessions and touches, you need them to buy into the team. Otherwise, it wouldn’t happen.

        I hope I made myself clear. So please, kindly avoid the strawman. It just screams desperation.

        And I don’t know a damn thing abt the sport? Coming from someone who compared basketball to baseball? I’d take that as a compliment hahaha.

        And this? “Jourdan believes that the Heat magically becomes LeBron James then apparently no one else is important to the Heat’s success”

        when did I say this??? Care to share??? tsk tsk tsk. Everyone contributes to a win. But not everyone contributes the SAME share. Superstars contribute more, and the brightest of them all contributes the most. When LBJ went missing in action, the gaping hole that he left couldn’t be simply plugged by any other. In basketball (not baseball), superstars could singularly change the complexion of the games, and the best of them could do so magically (pun intended). Anyone who doesn’t get this simple fact doesn’t know basketball. Ah, maybe bec they were watching too much baseball.

        In parting, I’d share a few quotes from people who KNOW basketball

        “There is no “I” in team but there is in wIn” – MJ.

        “I never walked onto a basketball court when I didn’t feel like I was as good as anyone else out there. Except once. Game 2 of the 1993 NBA Finals in Chicago. We had lost Game 1, and I had made up my mind that I would do anything — anything — to lead my team in Game 2. I scored 42 points and Michael simply would not let me win…” – Barkley on MJ

        and do you want a run-down of championship teams that had multiple superstars? I think you can google them. Try it.

        There, in the NBA, teams live and die by their superstars. This is NOT baseball. This is NOT football.

        Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 5:05 am
    • Why is that when people got chased to a corner, they’d yell an ad hominem or two??? That’s too cheesy.

      Anyway, moving on…

      You said “Offense gives you leads, defense protects it. Miami failed to protect its leads and that cost them the series”

      My take: This is stupid on many levels.

      1. Leads are “protected” not just by defense alone. That’s just one-dimensional and no sane coach would ever adopt that approach. Leads are often lost because the other team starts scoring points (indicating a defensive meltdown) AND the team FAILING to score (indicating a scoring drought).

      An ineffective offense will impact defense. How? Sloppy offense leads to transition points for the opposing team. Stagnant offense likely would lead to bad shots or shot-clock violations, which give defensive rebound opportunities and more possessions for the opposing team. Ineffective offense (like guys resorting to tons of jump shots) would not expend the opposing team’s energy level on defense, which then give them more energy on the offense.

      So there, lost leads aren’t just bec Miami’s defense was failing. It was their offense going nowhere and guys happily settling for jump shots and dribbling the clock.

      In fact, I dare say that Miami lost the Finals because they focus too much on defense. The Mavs just have too many weapons for Miami to shut down. Carlisle is too good a coach to allow the Mavs to wimp against the Miami defense.

      Miami lost the Finals because the Mavs made adjustments on defense that disrupted Miami’s offense. They got punked by different faces of zones and physical defense that the Mavs played. Miami’s offense is too limited. In fact, it was painful to watch Miami play that time because their game play isn’t anywhere as smooth and free-flowing as you would expect from athletic and talented scoring machines.

      And Spoelstra realised this. Pat Riley too. That’s the reason why they adopted the ‘spread offense’ this year. Miami’s defense isn’t their weakness. It’s their offense. And it still remains to be seen in the playoffs whether this ‘read and react’ offense will work in a 7-game series when teams could have film sessions in-between games and make defensive adjustments over the course of the series.

      And oh, the rest of your post just confuses me. I was talking largely abt LAST YEAR and Miami’s playoff run LAST YEAR, which ended in failure against the Mavs.

      I see their improvements this year. In fact, I said in my earlier posts that the INDIVIDUAL failures last season are being addressed INDIVIDUALLY this year.
      1. Spoelstra is working on expanding Miami’s offensive schemes.
      2. Lebron is working on his post-play.
      3. Pat Riley acquired better role players.

      And I do know that Miami pushes the ball after a make, which is a good way to take advantage of their athleticism.

      So I am bemused that you accuse me of assuming things. Another strawman I guess. tsk tsk tsk.

      And to answer your questions:

      1. Where was the player to pick up the slack for Lebron in the NBA finals? NONE. Lebron is THAT good. And when you’re that good, you better play the part. Or else, you bring the whole team down.

      2. Is he not allowed to have a bad series? NOT in the FINALS. Not on the biggest stage. He could have a bad series against NY, or Philly, or Indiana, even Atlanta and Miami could still pull off a win. But NOT when you’re facing the BEST TEAM from the other conference. Miami won’t win the Finals without Lebron playing like Lebron.

      And please, why pull a Kobe on me??? I’m not kissing Kobe’s ass. Kobe won’t get a pass from me if he failed to bring his A game and the Lakers lost. I don’t have double standards at all. I call a spade a spade.

      Lastly, I am a Heat fan way back when it was Wade’s team. I like Lebron and I honestly think he’s the best player right now. He’s a player that could singularly change a game, even a series. He just need to get it done.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 4:20 am
  17. “Clearly, one player’s performance isn’t necessarily indicative (that) a team (would) win.”

    “And oh yeah, Wade played brilliantly in the Finals yet Miami lost, which pointed to these:

    1. The Mavs are really good because Miami couldn’t win with a brilliant Wade and the Frozen One.”

    Yes Jourdan. When Wade plays basketball and his team loses, I’m supposed to care how his other teammates performed to explain the loss…

    “LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s.”

    …but with LeBron, its all on him and his teammates no longer matter.

    Between that, your college essay length posts explaining your sorry logic, your belief that LBJ wins/loses games by himself, and your rejection of stats because they don’t predict a winner with perfect accuracy, you have solidified your position as the idiot of the Internet.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 25, 2012, 7:09 am
    • “I’m not kissing Kobe’s ass. Kobe won’t get a pass from me if he failed to bring his A game and the Lakers lost. I don’t have double standards at all.”

      But, when LBJ pays basketball,

      “LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s.”

      Dance for me, clown. Your double-standards amuse me.

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 25, 2012, 7:18 am
    • And, in addition to your double-standard (because I guarantee you that if Kobe plays well in a Laker’s loss you WOULD be kissing his ass), you stated this earlier:

      “The interesting thing is that this X-factor indeed appears consistently in champions.”

      LBJ in your eyes is”not a winner”, but Wade got his “ring”. He’s a “champion”. He’s supposed to have the “X-factor” to make his team “winners”. He’s supposed to be the actual “leader” of the team.

      And yet the Heat lost. Where was the “X-factor” Jourdan? Where’s Wade’s blame? How are you going to talk about “Wade playing well in the Finals” when the “X-factor” didn’t get the job done?

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 25, 2012, 7:30 am
      • Wow, you really are fired up! Guns blazing! Hahahaha

        Again, you had to take a line out of context! You’re really something hahaha.
        Let me repost it in FULL context:

        “Which brings the question of why. Why can’t we predict the winner? It’s because of the “heart”, or whatever that unquantifiable X-factor that impacts team play. The interesting thing is that this X-factor indeed appears consistently in champions. That’s a fact.

        All that I said here was that there’s an X-factor that IMPACTS team play. Did I say it guarantees a title? Wow! The observation abt the x-factor and champions was a factual, historical one. It was an invitation to further investigate and define this x-factor using the historical data to develop an accurate predictive model. Did I ever say that since this guy’s a champion, he therefore has x-factor, and since he has x-factor, there’a no fucking reason why he should lose in the Finals ever again. Did I? Where?

        That’s just stupid. If I believe that all it takes is a player with x-factor to win a championship, then it followed that I have Bird winning in all the Finals he played in. Or Kobe. Or Shaq. Even Magic. I would have gone mad to know that they lost. But nay, I never arguef that it’s the all, be-all ingredient to winning. True, I believe it impacts team play positively. By how much, I don’t know.

        So there, stop the bitching pls and argue properly. We’re not in the school yard. Grow up.

        Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 9:09 am
    • “Where was the player to pick up the slack for Lebron in the NBA finals? NONE.”

      “Wade played like how you expect Wade to play.”

      No he didn’t; the Heat lost the finals! He’s supposed to be the “champion”! The “X-factor”! He’s supposed to make LBJ better and carry him! The champions are supposed to “transcend stats”! True greats are SUPPOSED to single-handedly win titles! Where’s my ring, guy? Where’s the BACON?

      “What I said was SUPERSTARS are your reasons why team wins or loses the games. It was always plural.”

      “Where was the player to pick up the slack for Lebron in the NBA finals? NONE. Lebron is THAT good.”

      “LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s”

      Wait, superstarSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS (plural, more than one) win and lose games, yet LeBron HAS to win that “ring” single-handedly?

      Posted by The Realist #2 | February 25, 2012, 8:13 am
      • Ad nauseam. You just repeat your strawman over and over again. Tsk tsk. Pitiful. I advise you to really switch to baseball. Your level of intelligence is appropriate for following baseball hahaha

        And oh, with your propensity to nitpick, it’s truly fascinating that you avoided touching your basketball-baseball comparison like a plague. Says a lot abt your emotional intelligence haha. You see mature people would squarely correct themselves when in error, not develop selective amnesia

        Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 9:18 am
    • Wow. Putting words in someone’s mouth is indeed your cup of tea!

      Ad hominem
      Ad baculum
      Strawman
      Ad nauseam
      Red herring

      The list of your fallacies goes on and on!

      Anyway, I enjoy exposing you so I will repeat “Teams lost bec their superstars failed them”. In Miami’s case last Finals, the loss fell on LBJ alone bec the other 2 performed. Here’s the math for you:
      1. Miami has 3 superstars – Lebron, Wade, Bosh. These are the guys to be blamed if the Heat fails to win
      2. 2 out of 3 showed up in the Finals – Wade and Bosh.
      3. The remaining one of the 3, Lebron, choked

      So who’s to blame then? Wade, Bosh, and Lebron still? Wow. To say that would be stupid especially when you had just crown Lebron as the king of PER. Who could ever pick up the slack when the king goes fishing? By virtue of yor vaunted stats, that would mean no one, since none besides Lebron could put up crazy stats. Ryt? It’s amazing how you crown him your king and yet offer the whole town to be burned when the shit hits the fan.

      College essay length? Ah you mean my posts that:
      1. Expose your stupidity to compare NBA basketball to baseball
      2. Expose your cult-like ass-kissing ways on Lebron
      3. Expose your lack of logic and propensity for fallacies

      Oh yeah, college essay my ass!

      Lastly, i love how you nitpick and desperatel try to make a story out of disparate posts! I’d repost that bit in full…
      ——–
      And please, stop licking LBJ’s ass. LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s.

      And oh yeah, I said it -.HE’d be the loser, same with Wade, Bosh, Mike, Shane, et al. It’s not the faceless Miam team that’d lost…rather, all the guys wearing the Miami uniform would be the losers, and the biggest loser of them all would be LBJ.
      ——

      Where in the above did I ever convey “… but with LeBron, its all on him and his TEAMMATES NO LONGER MATTER”? In fact I said ALL 12 would lose. But since Lebron disproportionately dictates his team’s fortunes, he’d be the BIGGEST loser. Where you get that idea that no one else could fuck up besides James is beyond me. Again, study logic. Quants should have that as a pre-req before they start dishing out analyses on numbers.

      And no, I wasn’t remotely suggesting a double-standard at all between Wade and Lebron. What I am conveying has always been to examine the INDIVIDUAL performances, opposing team’s make-up, match-ups, etc. behind the ‘team play’ to see the ROOT CAUSES for a team win or loss. In the ECF, Miami won despite Wade’s lackluster play bec LBJ saved Wade’s ass against a flawed Chicago team. Miami lost in the Finals, despite their relative superiority in skills and athleticism compared to Mavs, bec Lebron choked. Lebron himself acknowledged that his poor play cost them the Finals and worked on his game. If you can’t accept your king’s own asssesment, then you have seriously deluded yourself with stats to the point that you willingly deny reality.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 8:43 am
  18. “That’s just stupid. If I believe that all it takes is a player with x-factor to win a championship, then it followed that I have Bird winning in all the Finals he played in. Or Kobe. Or Shaq. Even Magic. I would have gone mad to know that they lost. But nay, I never arguef that it’s the all, be-all ingredient to winning.”

    Oh my, does this read as a built-in excuse for Bird, Magic, Kobe, etc. Wade for NOT winning? Didn’t you also say this earlier:

    “LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s.”

    It’s all about the W’s, Jourdan! You said it yourself! Why are you making excuses for other stars when they DON’T get the job done???

    “Where in the above did I ever convey “… but with LeBron, its all on him and his TEAMMATES NO LONGER MATTER?”

    “You just said ‘he played poorly’ but it’s not him, rather the team?”

    You seemed to be a bit confused with the teammate concept with this one. And my favorite damning quote from you:

    “Where was the player to pick up the slack for Lebron in the NBA finals? NONE. Lebron is THAT good.”

    Gee, Jourdan. You wonder “how is it not LBJ, but the team” that lost the Finals and also expect no one else to pick up LBJ’s slack because “he’s that good” – then have the audacity to ask that question?

    Oh, and this gem of a line: “We’re not in the school yard. Grow up.”

    “Wow! Tsk tsk. Ass-wipe.”

    My, I hope you weren’t talking about me with THAT one, “intellectual”. You’re supposed to be “above” that! Cursing and name-calling needs to be left in the schoolyard – or does that standard apply to everyone else but yourself?

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 25, 2012, 9:57 am
    • I was not making excuses for anyone but Lebron. Wow, comprehension these days seems like diamonds! The problem with you is that you conveniently cut lines from posts, and then tie them up to make a storyline, and then argue against your own conjured argument.

      1. The Lebron comment was again an hyperbole made to mock your obsession with individual stats to ‘prove’ Lebron’s superiority and then conveniently hide his shortcomings, i.e., failing to show up in the most important series of all, with the cop out statement that it was not him, but rather the ‘team’ that wins and loses. What the post was abt is to dismantle that ‘team’ myth by way of saying that a team is at the very least a collection of INDIVIDUALS…that when a smart-ass lyk you say it’s the team that loses, it means that the team leader to the last guy on the bench loses, and that the proportion of accountability for each win or loss is commensurate to the expected contribution of individuals. With that, the LEADER always take the lion’s share of the blame. This is especislly true in the NBA, where team leaders, i.e., superstars have disproportionately large influence on game play more than any other team sports.

      2. My answer to the question that NBH posted was a satirical punch in the face to Lebron ass-wipes like you, who exalted Lebron as the king of PER. In that regard, you ass-wipes have put LBJ in a pedestal untouchable by not even MJ, winner of 6 rings and widely-accepted by winners-peers as the greatest basketball player ever. Hoe could anyone ever do what your king does? It’s a shame that you can’t understand sarcasm, or is this naivette a desperate attempt to at least put me on the spot? Tsk tsk. Try harder.
      At the same time, it is also my opinion that in that particular Finals series, no one on the Miami team could have picked up the slack left when Lebron made a no-show. All because it was totally unexpected, and that their lineup was paper-thin. Wade as already playing to his capacity, and he’s the only guy who could have stepped up some more, probably to ’06 level. But in my opinion, even an ’06 Wade couldn’t have helped reverse the tide, not against that Mavs team. That Dallas team was just too good to overcome without Lebron being Lebron. But this is my opinion, which I admit isn’t fool-proof unlike your oh-so-’advanced’ stats hahaha.

      The fact remains that Lebron froze and Miami lost. The other 2 superstars with him didn’t. So that one has to be on him.

      It is interestibg why your nitpicking expedition also had not picked up the part where Lebron himself acknowledge that the Dallas loss was on him. Why? Isn’t it that whem the king says something, it should be taken as the truth…after all he’s your king. So why burn the whole town for a fault that the king already admitted?

      Oh yeah, the name-calling. I’ll stop whem you stop. You fire the first shot, I indulged. You can’t punk me.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 4:06 pm
      • “Oh yeah, the name-calling. I’ll stop whem you stop.”

        Oh no. You’re still an idiot; I just found it interesting how you’re also taking shots and then you started to whine about them.

        Anyway, just answer this one question for me: the 2011 Lakers got swept (actually, wrecked wouldnbe a better word to use here) by the same team that LBJ didn’t play well against. Is that Lakers sweep on Kobe? And answer this question “yes” or “no” – no essays, bulletpoints, or 1,000 word posts explaining your point. Just answer the question.

        Posted by The Realist #2 | February 25, 2012, 4:36 pm
        • It’s on Kobe, Pau, Lamar, in that order.

          Lakers lost because Superstars played poorly. Of all their Superstars, Kobe gets the lion’s share since he’s the leader of the wolf pack, the expectations upon him to deliver, and his disproportionate contribution to team play.

          But unlike Miami in the Finals, Kobe wasn’t the only one who fucked up. Gasol did a Lebron in the last playoffs; he went fishing as well. So does Lamar, who looked more involved with the Kardashians than with his team.

          So there, consistent with my arguments, superstars are to blame when things go worse than expected. You analyse EACH superstar’s performance and then you allocate the blame to each one proportionae to the magnitude of their shortcomings.

          Mind you, I’m no Kobe fan. I like Lebron more than Kobe But I call things as they are. Fact no.1: last Finals, it was only Lebron who didn’t show up among the superstars…on both sides. Fact no.2: In the LA-Dallas series, all 3 Laker superstars failed to deliver. Those are the facts backed up not by generalised, normalised stats over the season, career,etc. but by their performances in those specific series. If Lamar and Pau were themselves, then the loss fall squarely on Kobe, just as how it was that the Miami loss is on Lebron.

          That’s objectivity. That’s not misusing stats to support an argument. Something that you need to learn. I heavily recommend that you study logic. You throw fallacied everywhere and the worse part is you don’t even recognise it.

          And let me share this with you and your ‘quant-wannabe’ friends:

          The grestest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the ocean was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge – Daniel J. Boorstin

          Amen.

          Posted by Jourdan | February 25, 2012, 6:07 pm
          • The longest one-word answer ever. Just wanted to see that you’re at least applying your standards for all players and not just with LBJ. Doesn’t mean I agree one bit with (most) of your viewpoints, but at least I’ll be satisfied with the consistency.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 25, 2012, 10:48 pm
          • @ The Realist #2,

            I prefer to be verbose when I’m dealing with people who can’t discern arguments from fallacies.

            And please, I really don’t care whether or not you agree with me. Why would I? You haven’t displayed the kind of rigor that I expect from people who present themselves as quants/stat-geeks.

            You had me at “basketball-baseball comparison”. Smokescreen tsk tsk tsk.

            Posted by Jourdan | February 26, 2012, 12:04 am
          • “And please, I really don’t care whether or not you agree with me.”

            Don’t kid yourself.

            Posted by The Realist #2 | February 26, 2012, 12:38 am
          • Why would I kid myself? Who are you anyway? What gave your opinion any weight over anyone else? Heck, don’t strut your “quant” BS in front of me. You lost cred when you couldn’t discern what’s so unique abt NBA basketball compared to other team sports.

            FYI, I have been with REAL quants. The ones who have done n-factorial experiments, dabbled with ||-coords, have used Laplace/FFT transforms, etc. So quit the shit. ARGUE intelligently and I might have some respect for you.

            Posted by jourdan | February 26, 2012, 1:34 am
  19. “ARGUE intelligently and I might have some respect for you.”

    You may keep your “respect”, because it’s worthless in the first place. Not when you come in here and actually agree with me from the get-go, then go on a quest to disagree with me anyway.

    Me:
    “And winning is indeed more than just individual stats.”

    You’re right! Because it’s about more than one individual in the first place!

    …thanks for making my point for me.”

    You:
    “Yeah, it’s more than that. It’s abt a collection of 2-3 great individual stats on a team that would increase its chances to win it all, and then win again.”

    Me:
    “It’s a collective effort that ultimately wins games, not the single effort of an individual player, regardless of how Herculean it is (or lack thereof).”

    You:
    “Wade as already playing to his capacity, and he’s the only guy who could have stepped up some more, probably to ’06 level. But in my opinion, even an ’06 Wade couldn’t have helped reverse the tide, not against that Mavs team. That Dallas team was just too good to overcome without Lebron being Lebron.”

    and you again:
    “Now, you offer Miami winning the ECF with Wade playing poorly. How is this relevant? Did it ever occur to you that Lebron played very well during the ECF and that’s the reason why Miami won despite Wade’s poor play? Again, individuals make a difference. Had Lebron not pick up the slack, Miami wouldn’t even reach the Finals.”

    Now imagine that. With Wade, there’s no bashing him for his poor play or picking up his “own slack”, nor any naive awe for a singular, historic performance (like the ’06 Finals), nor even any talk of how he “didn’t get it done” or didn’t have “heart” or the “X-factor” because his team loses. You simply agreed with what I stated earlier: regardless of how you play, if you don’t get help around you, YOU’RE NOT WINNING A THING. But LBJ gets none of that from you:

    “LBJ could score 100 pts, grab 50 rebs, dish out 15 dimes, and block 10 shots and still be labelled as a loser if he couldn’t bring home the bacon. It’s all abt the W’s.”

    “Where was the player to pick up the slack for Lebron in the NBA finals? NONE. Lebron is THAT good.”

    I dont care if you were using hyperbole or not. From there, you just made yourself look ridiculous. And for the record, you could use LBJ, Wade, Kobe, MJ, Adam Morrison, or any other player’s name in there; past, present, or future. Doesn’t matter to me. Those things you said were bogus.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 26, 2012, 5:02 am
  20. these were all addressed before and all you are doing is trying desperately to force the issue by repeating them over and over again. Classic argumentum ad nauseam.

    I’d stop here since it’s pointless to discuss with you. You’ve been measured and found wanting. Unless you could offer something new, like how basketball is the same as baseball, you don’t excite me anymore. Now go lick Lebron’s ass.

    Posted by jourdan | February 26, 2012, 6:22 am
    • Would watching that actually excite you?

      Perhaps, you should try elevating the maturity level a bit, yourself.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | February 26, 2012, 1:54 pm
      • Hey Paulie, my apologies…the whole she-bang started when your anal-retentive friends dismiss my arguments by accusing me as a guy who haven’t watched the games or have zero understanding of it. As I said, no one could punk me with ad hominems. If you want a decent argument, then be decent. Don’t spew shit on me coz I’m just gonna shove it down your throat.

        And more importantly, i’d make sure the insults and profanities are ‘in the flow’ of the arguments. Nothing beats the crap out of anyone than getting punked while being exposed as a wannabe as well. Just look at your friend, the Realist…he seemed unable to shake it off.

        But yeah, sorry. I give what I receive so it’s a fair game.

        Posted by Jourdan | February 26, 2012, 8:23 pm
  21. Alright this has been debated to death. Lets just all agree to disagee. I refuse to sink to the level that this debate is starting to sink to.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | February 26, 2012, 5:03 pm
    • Fine by me. But please, you really have to end the whole thing with ala-Pontius Pilate’s washing of the hands? That’s quite telling of your character. You were the one to bash me with ad hominem claiming that you should know better sincd I haven’t watched Miami at all when all I did is to point out Lebron’s no-show as the root cause of a Miami collapse in the final. Real men own up to their shit and then wipe themselves clean. You seem to swallow yours.

      Posted by Jourdan | February 26, 2012, 9:21 pm
  22. Boyer: “And did Jordan and Bird or many other greats not bash their teammates before? I’m failing to understand why you think that’s a bad thing.”

    I’ll clarify this point for you: I don’t care either way what any these stars do. On the other hand, you talked about LBJ “ripping his former team” on TV as if you had an issue with it, but then you used your post to defend Kobe ripping Bynum on camera after I brought it up. And I’m pretty sure he knew he was being filmed. Why is it okay for one player but not the other?

    “What’s wrong with giving yourself a nickname? Black Mamba’s a good nickname.”

    Again, I don’t have a problem with it at all. I just brought it up after YOU talked about LBJ giving himself a nickname. And besides, I don’t even know if it was “self-imposed” – I’ve known other people named James well before LBJ who would sometimes be called the “King” nickname because of the Biblical reference (“King James”). This isn’t some novelty concept.

    And about James being called “King” before a team title win, heck – wasn’t MJ dubbed the royal nickname “His Airness” before the Bulls won any titles? Or Jerry West called “Clutch” before the Lakers won anything during that period?

    “I’ve heard several people involved in game 7 in 2006 say Kobe played hard. He and Phil admitted what the game plan in that game, and Kobe was committed to it and did it, so why would anyone blame him for supposedly quitting.”

    Because it was an elimination game, and in the 2nd half the guy who became famously known for shooting (and also unfairly criticized for it) didn’t shoot the ball. To some people even to this day (again, NOT to me), it seemed like he was doing this out of spite because of his medicore supporting cast.

    But – again! – you see how you have a problem with LBJ “quitting” but then have a “explain it away” narrative for Kobe? In those series, teammates have come out and said that LBJ didn’t “quit”, and in the case of the 2011 Finals, some have said LBJ was playing the facilitator role for a hot-shooting Wade and picking his spots when needed. Some Kobe fans label that off as an “excuse”, yet they have a ready-made story for Kobe in Game 7 vs. the Suns? I just find that interesting.

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 27, 2012, 8:57 am

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