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Look at your favorite team, now back to mine, mine
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I still don't think people understand truly how great Lebron really is. Not the people on this board, but basketball fans in general.
 

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Will of Chilltown
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They will realize once he's gone. His playoff performance was historically in ALOT of catagories. Next year he is going to be 28 (absolute prime) with that monkey off his back.
 

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Better Call Saul
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Eh. I don't think he's that under appreciated. He is what he is, which is far and away the best player currently in the league. He's pretty much shut the door on passing guys like Jordan, Magic, or KAJ, but everyone else is fair game.

If he doesn't surpass Kobe and Bird he will have been a disappointment.

On the bright side for 'Bron fans, it looks like he's put it together. He was incredible last year.
 

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Eh. I don't think he's that under appreciated. He is what he is, which is far and away the best player currently in the league. He's pretty much shut the door on passing guys like Jordan, Magic, or KAJ, but everyone else is fair game.

If he doesn't surpass Kobe and Bird he will have been a disappointment.

On the bright side for 'Bron fans, it looks like he's put it together. He was incredible last year.
If he winds up with another 2 MVP's and another 2 titles and continues putting up dominant runs like he did last year could he not enter the conversation with the guys outside of MJ? I'd estimate he has another 4-5 years of prime play. I know those are a lot of "ifs" but I don't think it's outside the realm of reality that he accomplishes those things. It looks like he "figured it out" last year.

I guess my question is what gets him into that upper echelon?
 

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Look at your favorite team, now back to mine, mine
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Eh. I don't think he's that under appreciated. He is what he is, which is far and away the best player currently in the league. He's pretty much shut the door on passing guys like Jordan, Magic, or KAJ, but everyone else is fair game.

If he doesn't surpass Kobe and Bird he will have been a disappointment.

On the bright side for 'Bron fans, it looks like he's put it together. He was incredible last year.
Not sure I'd go that far. He's only 27, MJ won his first title at 28 and was retired for two years after winning his first three.

I doubt he'll actually be as great as MJ, but if he keeps this up he will go down as one of those special players like MJ or Magic or Kareem, and he will definitely be a top 5 all time player if he continues to play like he did last season. At this rate though he will definitely surpass Kobe and Bird.
 

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Better Call Saul
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Not sure I'd go that far. He's only 27, MJ won his first title at 28 and was retired for two years after winning his first three.

I doubt he'll actually be as great as MJ, but if he keeps this up he will go down as one of those special players like MJ or Magic or Kareem, and he will definitely be a top 5 all time player if he continues to play like he did last season. At this rate though he will definitely surpass Kobe and Bird.
Y'all both essentially said the same thing so I'll just reply to both of you.

I say that he's pretty much shut the door on that top tier because he's only 27 and he's already got major black marks on his record. None of those guys ever were in a finals and played as poorly as LeBron did in 2007 or 2011, (and before anyone brings up Tragic, it wasn't on that level of suckage, and Magic made up for it by winning 5 titles in the toughest era of basketball) and that is something that needs to be considered. I think that everyone else is fair game for LeBron though.

And I wouldn't say that he will "definitely" surpass Bird and Kobe, those guys were incredible and deserve respect. But James is talented enough so that he should pass both of them. We'll see what happens over the next few years.
 

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Y'all both essentially said the same thing so I'll just reply to both of you.

I say that he's pretty much shut the door on that top tier because he's only 27 and he's already got major black marks on his record. None of those guys ever were in a finals and played as poorly as LeBron did in 2007 or 2011, (and before anyone brings up Tragic, it wasn't on that level of suckage, and Magic made up for it by winning 5 titles in the toughest era of basketball) and that is something that needs to be considered. I think that everyone else is fair game for LeBron though.

And I wouldn't say that he will "definitely" surpass Bird and Kobe, those guys were incredible and deserve respect. But James is talented enough so that he should pass both of them. We'll see what happens over the next few years.
Hilarious. Here is some perspective for you...

Player A at age 22 - bounced out of first round, has won 1 playoff game in 3 playoff trips including two consecutive first round sweeps, has yet to have a season record of >.500.
Player B at age 22 - single handedly drags a terrible team to the finals, but loses in the finals in his second time to the playoffs, coming off his second consecutive 50 win season.

And yet, player B is the one with the "black mark".
 

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Look at your favorite team, now back to mine, mine
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Luke keep in mind that those guys all had help. I mean lets look at the 2007 finals shall we? The Spurs had one of the best PF's of all time, a team filled with veterans who knew what it was like to be in the finals before and a excellent coach. The Cavs however were a team that should have never been able to get 50 wins that season, let alone make the finals. Hell the only reason they got there was because Lebron put on one of the greatest finals performances of all time, a performance that many people overlook due to the fact that the Cavs lost the finals that year anyways. Their entire offensive plan was based around Lebron because he was pretty much all they had going for them. And unlike the Pistons, the Spurs knew how to take advantage of that. Above all of that, he was only 22 at the time. You can't put all of this blame on him. I'm not going to call his bad performance understandable, but I will say that it should've been at least expected at the time.

Now as for 2011 finals, you couldn't be more right. Dallas did have a great defensive scheme but Lebron still blew large chunks in that series.
 

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Better Call Saul
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Hilarious. Here is some perspective for you...

Player A at age 22 - bounced out of first round, has won 1 playoff game in 3 playoff trips including two consecutive first round sweeps, has yet to have a season record of >.500.
Player B at age 22 - single handedly drags a terrible team to the finals, but loses in the finals in his second time to the playoffs, coming off his second consecutive 50 win season.

And yet, player B is the one with the "black mark".
Who is player A? Because it isn't any of the three players that I mentioned.

The Cavaliers beat exactly one good team in the playoffs that year - the declining Pistons who had been getting progressively worse for three years. LeBron was phenomenal in that series; it's arguable that his '07 ECF is his best series ever, but that doesn't exempt him from his play in the finals. He was awful in against San Antonio, and that's a black mark. Especially since it was not a single occurrence (see: Boston series 2010, Dallas 2011).

LeBron is the shit, don't get me wrong, but he has a lot of catching up to do before he can be mentioned in the same breath as those three.
 

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Better Call Saul
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Luke keep in mind that those guys all had help. I mean lets look at the 2007 finals shall we? The Spurs had one of the best PF's of all time, a team filled with veterans who knew what it was like to be in the finals before and a excellent coach. The Cavs however were a team that should have never been able to get 50 wins that season, let alone make the finals. Hell the only reason they got there was because Lebron put on one of the greatest finals performances of all time, a performance that many people overlook due to the fact that the Cavs lost the finals that year anyways. Their entire offensive plan was based around Lebron because he was pretty much all they had going for them. And unlike the Pistons, the Spurs knew how to take advantage of that. Above all of that, he was only 22 at the time. You can't put all of this blame on him. I'm not going to call his bad performance understandable, but I will say that it should've been at least expected at the time.

Now as for 2011 finals, you couldn't be more right. Dallas did have a great defensive scheme but Lebron still blew large chunks in that series.
Yes, they had help. Absolutely.

The Spurs had the best power forward of all time and a really great complimentary team around him. No sane person picked the Cavs to win that series. It would have been a ridiculous prediction. My problem with LeBron's '07 campaign wasn't that he lost to a better team, my problem is that he played terribly en route to losing to a better team. And no one can play the "Spurs had a historically great defense" card, because LeBron was literally days coming off of destroying a Pistons squad that was known for their defense. The fact that LeBron sucked in that series is on him, and no one else.

And that's fine. He was young, and every great player has a huge series that they suck in, (Magic in '84, Kobe in '04, etc.) but, until this past season LeBron was notorious for flaming out in the playoffs. In 2008 he was terrible for the better half of a Boston series that gets forgotten because he had a great game 7. In 2009 he lost to a good but not great Magic team despite being heavily favored with home court. In 2010 we all remember the LeBacle, no one picked the Celtics in that series. 2011 needs no explanation. Last year was the first year that LeBron was consistently incredible, and I'm giving him all the credit in the world here. The dude is probably going to end up as one of the five best basketball players to ever step on the court, but he will probably never reach that Jordan/Magic/Kareem level. He's done too much damage to himself already.
 

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Look at your favorite team, now back to mine, mine
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You're spot on with both of the Celtics series but the Magic? I don't think I agree with you on that. "He lost to the Magic" No, HE wasn't the reason for the Cavs losing to the Magic if that's what you're implying here. Lebron had his highest scoring playoff game in game 1 with 49 points, and he would go on to score 40 points in three more games in that series, and he got the game winning shot in game 2 that tied the series up and got a triple double I believe in game 5. Lebron was dominant in that series apart from game 6. The supporting cast disappearing and the match up problems are the reason the Cavs lost that series. I mean hell we had Delonte West covering Hedo for good portions of the game, and I don't need to tell you had badly that turned out for us.

And about no sane person picking Cleveland, man, you should've been down here when we went to the finals. It was such a weird feeling. Everyone was excited when we were in the finals, and then after about a day of being happy and excited, everyone was suddenly in a down mood because we all knew there was no way in hell the Cavs could win. And then afterwords the city was freakin insane about the future that the Cavs potentially had with Lebron getting to the finals at 22 years of age, it was at this point that we had people in Cleveland saying he would be better then Jordan.

Yep...those were the days...back when you could at least make an argument that Lebron could pass Jordan because he was always playing at an unreal rate. Oh how the tides have turned...
 

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Better Call Saul
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You're spot on with both of the Celtics series but the Magic? I don't think I agree with you on that. "He lost to the Magic" No, HE wasn't the reason for the Cavs losing to the Magic if that's what you're implying here. Lebron had his highest scoring playoff game in game 1 with 49 points, and he would go on to score 40 points in three more games in that series, and he got the game winning shot in game 2 that tied the series up and got a triple double I believe in game 5. Lebron was dominant in that series apart from game 6. The supporting cast disappearing and the match up problems are the reason the Cavs lost that series. I mean hell we had Delonte West covering Hedo for good portions of the game, and I don't need to tell you had badly that turned out for us.

And about no sane person picking Cleveland, man, you should've been down here when we went to the finals. It was such a weird feeling. Everyone was excited when we were in the finals, and then after about a day of being happy and excited, everyone was suddenly in a down mood because we all knew there was no way in hell the Cavs could win. And then afterwords the city was freakin insane about the future that the Cavs potentially had with Lebron getting to the finals at 22 years of age, it was at this point that we had people in Cleveland saying he would be better then Jordan.

Yep...those were the days...back when you could at least make an argument that Lebron could pass Jordan because he was always playing at an unreal rate. Oh how the tides have turned...
He played a great five games from an offensive standpoint. But that team lost because Hedo and Dwight went off. Instead of covering Orlando's primary perimeter threat, James guarded Rafer Alston for the majority of the series and got torched because of it. He was outplayed by Dwight Howard (who was considered to be an inferior player to James) who dominated the series offensively and defensively. It's certainly his least significant playoff falter, but a slight falter nonetheless.

I didn't think I needed to specify that Cleveland fans picked the Cavs. Of course they did, it's their team. What fan base picks against their home team? But rational unbiased fans knew that the Cavs were overmatched, and LeBron did absolutely nothing in a four game sweep. That is a black mark. When Magic was 20 he posted arguably the greatest performance in NBA history while closing out a Sixers team that had multiple HOFers. When Jordan was 22 he put up an NBA record 63 points against arguably the greatest team of all time. When Kareem was 22 he threw up 35/17/4 through 10 playoff games. Age can be used as an excuse when talking about good players, even great players, but not the best players of all time. They do not get the benefit of the doubt.
 

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Hilarious. Here is some perspective for you...

Player A at age 22 - bounced out of first round, has won 1 playoff game in 3 playoff trips including two consecutive first round sweeps, has yet to have a season record of >.500.
Player B at age 22 - single handedly drags a terrible team to the finals, but loses in the finals in his second time to the playoffs, coming off his second consecutive 50 win season.

And yet, player B is the one with the "black mark".
player a played 18 whole games in the regular season due to injury and with little time for return (he came back with 4 games left in the regular season) and little help wound up facing one the 2 or 3 best teams in the history of the game in the first round

so yeah, a little perspective would be nice because player b never had to face the kind of competition that player A had to deal with, ever

and so what Lebron is the best player in the game, he's still a douche
 

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Look at your favorite team, now back to mine, mine
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Luke I think you misunderstood what I meant about the Cavs fans part. I wasn't telling you "hey no you're wrong, the cavs fans picked the Cavs to win!", actually I was saying that after everyone was done being excited about the Cavs being in the finals, pretty much everyone in Cleveland picked the Spurs to win because they knew that we had no chance, no matter how much they hated to admit it.

Edit: This of course is disregarding the online polls or w/e, I'm sure it'll show that the state of Ohio had the Cavs winning it, but we all knew who was going to win.
 

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Our Sentence Is Up
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I think no one really knows what the future holds, or what his final legacy will be. If he's really figured it out to the extent he showed in last year's playoffs--it's going to be really tough to knock him off the mountain top. The crazy thing is, I think Kevin Durant is a guy who could develop and do it. Which is crazy to have two such players at the same time. While also having established legacies like Kobe and Duncan still playing.
 

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Who is player A? Because it isn't any of the three players that I mentioned.

The Cavaliers beat exactly one good team in the playoffs that year - the declining Pistons who had been getting progressively worse for three years. LeBron was phenomenal in that series; it's arguable that his '07 ECF is his best series ever, but that doesn't exempt him from his play in the finals. He was awful in against San Antonio, and that's a black mark. Especially since it was not a single occurrence (see: Boston series 2010, Dallas 2011).

LeBron is the shit, don't get me wrong, but he has a lot of catching up to do before he can be mentioned in the same breath as those three.
O Rly? You are already backtracking. No doubt Lebron has a long way to go to catch up to those three, but he's done about as well as he can to be one pace to be one of the greatest of all time. You said that the door was closed on him ever being on the top tier of greatest players, because he lost in the Finals twice? And yet, Jordan hadn't even made it to the finals at the same stage in his career. Lebron's "horrible" series against Boston, he averaged 27/9/7. I mean, I guess that's kind of horrible... sort of... I guess? I mean, it doesn't matter that much that the 2nd best player on that team was a 38 year old Shaq, but if Lebron had been a little less horrible, they'd have won a title, right?

Wait for the guy's career to play out before claiming that the "door is closed" or any sort of nonsense like that while the guy is still only 27 years old.

I'm not really sure what puts Magic Johnson on that level with Jordan either. You need two hands to count all the Hall of Fame teammates that guy had over the years in LA.
 

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Better Call Saul
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O Rly? You are already backtracking. No doubt Lebron has a long way to go to catch up to those three, but he's done about as well as he can to be one pace to be one of the greatest of all time. You said that the door was closed on him ever being on the top tier of greatest players, because he lost in the Finals twice? And yet, Jordan hadn't even made it to the finals at the same stage in his career. Lebron's "horrible" series against Boston, he averaged 27/9/7. I mean, I guess that's kind of horrible... sort of... I guess? I mean, it doesn't matter that much that the 2nd best player on that team was a 38 year old Shaq, but if Lebron had been a little less horrible, they'd have won a title, right?

Wait for the guy's career to play out before claiming that the "door is closed" or any sort of nonsense like that while the guy is still only 27 years old.

I'm not really sure what puts Magic Johnson on that level with Jordan either. You need two hands to count all the Hall of Fame teammates that guy had over the years in LA.
I'm not back tracking at all. He was terrible in his two first finals appearances, relative to other greats, and that is a black mark. Jordan didn't make it to the finals until his 7th season, true, but Jordan never had a series as bad as LeBron's against San Antonio in '07 or Dallas in '11. Ever. He was great even in defeat, LeBron wasn't.

And don't defend the LeBacle. I could give a damn what the box score says, I watched that series and he quit.

LeBron is 27 and going on his tenth year in the league. He is not going to get substantially better. I do not think that LeBron at his best is as good as Jordan, Magic, or Kareem. And his resume to this point certainly does not point to the contrary. I think that LeBron will finish as a top five player of all time.

I don't know what kind of hands your counting on. Magic played with the following HOF teammates:

1.) Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
2.) James Worthy
 
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