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Discussion Starter #1
My list does not rate players under age 28 and does not rate players whose prime came before Russell's prime. It also presumes that Lebron will finish the Thunder and also is a reflection only of what he's done so far, not of where he projects.

1. Michael Jordan
2. Bill Russell
2. Magic Johnson
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5. Larry Bird
6. Tim Duncan
7. Kobe Bryant
8. Shaq O'neal
9. Wilt Chamberlain
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
11. Lebron James
12. Jerry West
13. Isiah Thomas
14. Oscar Robertson
15. Rick Barry
16. Dirk Nowitzki
17. Walt Frazier
18. John Havlicek
19. Moses Malone
20. Julius Erving
21. David Robinson
22. Willis Reed
23. Kevin Garnett
24. Elgin Baylor
25. Charles Barkley

Honorable mention - Robinson, Pippen, Wade, McHale, Stockton

Lebron proved me wrong, at least for now, v. the 23 year old Kevin Durant. If he doesn't choke, and teams leading 3-1 are 30-0 in the Finals, he will have proven himself to be better. He's changed up his performance and learned to take over in the Finals compared to 2011.

I'm more interested in false thinking regarding guys like Oscar Robertson. I guess, since this forum is pretty much debate on roids, take your best shot lol.
 

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Russell at 2 and Wilt at 9? Also, you like Hondo that much more than Baylor?
 

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Honorable mention - Robinson, Pippen, Wade, McHale, Stockton

Lebron proved me wrong, at least for now, v. the 23 year old Kevin Durant. If he doesn't choke, and teams leading 3-1 are 30-0 in the Finals, he will have proven himself to be better. He's changed up his performance and learned to take over in the Finals compared to 2011.
You mean by doing what he's been doing forever? How is he better by simply holding his pace against Durant, you shouldn't have put him there in the first place which is why I didn't entertain the nook and cranny debate
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Russell at 2 and Wilt at 9? Also, you like Hondo that much more than Baylor?
Yes.

The 69 Finals by Russell when by the admission of Boston's media, the Celtics had no business winning and beat Wilt, West and Baylor would be why combined with Wilt losing the 70 Finals. Russell was gone in 70 and Russell and his "better teammates" were supposed to be the only thing keeping Wilt from winning everything all the time, right?

As for Baylor, he never won a thing and Hondo was the driving force behind at the 74 and 76 Celtics in addition to being the leading scorer on the 69 Celtics.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You mean by doing what he's been doing forever? How is he better by simply holding his pace against Durant, you shouldn't have put him there in the first place which is why I didn't entertain the nook and cranny debate
Well I'm not going to conclude things after the fact that aren't represented by the results. If it were you and Durant had won, and he likely will win at some point, you would be giving every excuse under the sun.

I could point to Brooks' bad adjustments, Thunder players doing stupid things, and the fact that Bosh just has a strikingly better #2 and #3 on his team, but the fact is he won. I'd be a hypocrite to try to rationalize anything because winning is all the matters.

But Durant is 23 years old. He has years to do HGH and roids ERRR train with whey protein to get up to 270 so that he can hold ground against Lebron.

The Pistons beat MJ when they were all in their primes and he was 25 with a 22 year old Pippen. Were they better forever, or just better at that time?
 

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Yes.

The 69 Finals by Russell when by the admission of Boston's media, the Celtics had no business winning and beat Wilt, West and Baylor would be why combined with Wilt losing the 70 Finals. Russell was gone in 70 and Russell and his "better teammates" were supposed to be the only thing keeping Wilt from winning everything all the time, right?

As for Baylor, he never won a thing and Hondo was the driving force behind at the 74 and 76 Celtics in addition to being the leading scorer on the 69 Celtics.
I don't disagree with either decision. I would put Hondo over Baylor, West over Oscar, Hakeem over Moses, and Russ over Wilt just as you have done. The difference is that the pairings would be much, much tighter in my rankings. The gap between those pairs was very, very tight, IMO.
 

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My list does not rate players under age 28 and does not rate players whose prime came before Russell's prime. It also presumes that Lebron will finish the Thunder and also is a reflection only of what he's done so far, not of where he projects.

1. Michael Jordan
2. Bill Russell
2. Magic Johnson
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5. Larry Bird
6. Tim Duncan
7. Kobe Bryant
8. Shaq O'neal
9. Wilt Chamberlain
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
11. Lebron James
12. Jerry West
13. Isiah Thomas
14. Oscar Robertson
15. Rick Barry
16. Dirk Nowitzki
17. Walt Frazier
18. John Havlicek
19. Moses Malone
20. Julius Erving
21. David Robinson
22. Willis Reed
23. Kevin Garnett
24. Elgin Baylor
25. Charles Barkley

Honorable mention - Robinson, Pippen, Wade, McHale, Stockton
A certain Mailman is missing. Care to elaborate on that?
 

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It's not a horrible list. Obviously wilts ranking is screwy and Kareem had maybe the most dominant 10 year stretch in history and is 4th (only Jordan's 10 year run comes close actually).

Not sure if I go that high with Lebron already
 

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If i may... he is no Hondo
Sure he ain't. In fact, few players have 8 NBA championships.
I was going to address the fact that he hadn't pick Hondo Top-5 all time, but it seemed more glaring (sp?) the absence of the Mailman on the list...
I guess 1 NBA ring > Karl Malone.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A certain Mailman is missing. Care to elaborate on that?
Well, I don't give great weight to numbers except as persuasion after winning. Say you had 5 guys with a bunch of rings and then the guy with the best numbers didn't have one. I'd have a hard time justifying putting that guy above any of those 5 when the point of the game is to win. Especially since as a Bulls fan I know that in 87, Jordan probably needed to decrease his 37.1 PPG by 3-5 and increase his APG for his team to win. And then by 89 he did that and he was waiting for Pippen to be older than 23 lol.

Now, since I don't give much weight to the numbers Malone put up, because of winning, we usually get to this dialogue.

Me: He never won a ring.
Other guy: Yeah, he lost to Jordan.
Me: He lost to A LOT of teams who weren't the Chicago Bulls with a lot of leading players who weren't Michael Jordan. You should go look it up and get back to me.

And that's usually when I never hear about it again. There's for example, the 1990 playoffs when the Jazz lost 3-2 in the first round to the Phoenix Suns. The five starters for that team were:

Mark West
Kurt Rambis
Tom Chambers
Jeff Hornacek
Kevin Johnson

So I don't view his whole body of work and say "yeah, he's just a guy who lost to Jordan a bunch of times. If not for Jordan he clearly would be a winner."

What if you took the Bulls out and replaced them with the 04 Pistons or 06 Heat. Do the Jazz' playoff results other than 97 and 98 point to a win?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If i may... he is no Hondo
He wasn't. Without even getting deep into it, I can see Hondo was the leading scorer on title teams in 69 and 74.

Was Malone? Oh, no, but he did run the pick and roll and put up unbelievable regular season numbers.

You are aware Malone's FG% dropped an astronomical 5% from regular season to playoffs career, right?
 

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Lebron at 11 is high, if we're just basing it off what he's done to this point(even if we assume that Miami wraps up the Finals). If we're projecting out the rest of his career and saying that he's likely to wind up 11 or greater, then fine, but if he retired next week after winning a ring I'd have a hard time saying that Lebron had one of the 11 best careers in the history of the league. It's the same reason there's no convincing me that Wade's a top 25 ever guy at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think for Chamberlain's rank, he pretty clearly read Bill Simmons' book and decided to take it to an even further extreme.
Not so much. I think Simmons book has great info, but if you take Boston v. anybody seriously from Simmons, you've got problems lol.

My thing is, how do you justify Chamberlain v. anybody above him? Shaq? Shaq has four rings. He never lost as big of an upset as the 69 Lakers v. Celtics. The Celtics weren't even supposed to win the first round that year! In 69, Reed went down and was limping in game 7. In game 5 and 7, Debusschere was on Wilt and the Lakers won. Can you picture Debusschere being on Shaq and Shaq losing?

I hate Bryant with a passion. Can I justify Wilt over Bryant when Wilt has 3 less rings? No...

That's my thing. If I step back, start from scratch and just start trying to justify guys over other guys, what happens? Wilt at 9 lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It's not a horrible list. Obviously wilts ranking is screwy and Kareem had maybe the most dominant 10 year stretch in history and is 4th (only Jordan's 10 year run comes close actually).

Not sure if I go that high with Lebron already
I like Kareem, but the winning just wasn't there until Magic got there. In that 10 year stretch you're talking 2 rings in a league where it was just a weak league. I guess I'll say this. You could rank Russell, Magic and Kareem in any order and not get an argument from me. Fair?
 
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