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King Taharqa

#6 LeBron James

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Kareem had already won a title in Milwaukee with HOF PG Oscar Robertson. He was already a 4 time MVP and had numerous scoring titles before Magic got there. It was CLEARLY his team. In 1979 when LA drafted him, they were a 2nd round playoff team and got the #1 overall pick in a trade with bottom feeder NO Jazz. It'd be the equilivant of last year's Lakers getting the #1 overall pick and drafting Kyrie Irving. Magic was privileged enough to be drafted by a playoff team full of all stars like Kareem, Norm Nixon, Wilkes. Magic never had the heart or desire to lead a team from scratch like a LeBron and be the man. He's on record as saying if the Bulls had won the coin flip that year (over LA) he would've went back to school.

As stated, he has 6 total rings and 6 MVPs. Thats more than 2 times as many MVP awards as Magic. Kareem is the ALL TIME LEADING SCORER in NBA history. Let me repeat that, he is the ALL TIME LEADING SCORER in NBA history as a big man. Dont think that helped Magic out a bit?

Magic should've never got Finals MVP in 1980. Kareem was averaging 33.4 points and over 12 boards a game thru 5 games. Had it not been for Magic being more "media friendly" he wouldnt've got it. Look at Kareem's #'s that series than Magic's and tell me why the "sidekick" won MVP?

Shame on me for looking at Magic for what he is. A HOF PG that would be titleless had he not played with HOFers and all stars his whole career. He never took a bottom feeder to the Finals. He never took a sorry team and made it great. He was blessed to play on great teams and a great organization his whole career. How many NBA players can say that? Not many. The one Finals he played in without Kareem he won 1 game at age 32.

Kareem, in my opinion, is the 2nd greatest player of all-time. However, you're going too far to try and discredit Magic. Magic was the most important player on the Lakers during the Showtime era. Besides his skyhook, Magic is the main reason that Kareem remained such an offensive treat well into his late 30s.

Also, I have watched every game of that 1980 NBA Finals series, and there is no doubt that Magic deserved MVP. He averaged a near triple-double (22, 11, and 9) while shooting nearly 60% from the field. Kareem got TONS of easy baskets during that series because of Magic. And while Kareem was sitting on the sideline injured during game-6, Magic started at center and scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists in a series clinching win to give the Lakers the championship. How are you going to give Finals MVP to Kareem when his team won game-6 despite him not playing? I could see your point had Kareem played in game-6 and the Lakers still won.

And I love how you try to downplay the fact that Magic lead the Lakers back to the Finals without Kareem in '91. His Lakers only won 1 game against Jordan's Bulls. So what...no one expected that Lakers team to knockoff the Bulls. No one even expected the Lakers to make it to the Finals. Portland was the favorite to come out of the west.

Magic never had the heart or desire to lead a team from scratch like a LeBron and be the man.

This is a ridiculous statement and you know it, KT. Magic played in an era when it was rare for players to leave college after only 2 years. Had Chicago landed the number 1 pick, Magic would have stayed in college, but not because he didn't have the desire to lead a team, but because he loved college. By all accounts Magic had no intentions of leaving college early. Then the Lakers unexpectedly landed the number 1 pick and he seen a Golden opportunity to play with Kareem. I'm sure that MJ would have left college sooner if seen the same opportunity. It had nothing to do with Magic not wanting to be "the man". Magic proved that he was the man time-and-time again.

Unfortunately, I'm probably wasting my time responding to you with a serious reply.

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Kareem, in my opinion, is the 2nd greatest player of all-time. However, you're going too far to try and discredit Magic. Magic was the most important player on the Lakers during the Showtime era. Besides his skyhook, Magic is the main reason that Kareem remained such an offensive treat well into his late 30s.

Kareem would've been a great center and produced with any PG. He had already won a title and numerous scoring titles before Magic arrived. Without having an MVP type presence in Kareem, Magic wouldnt've gotten by Philly, Boston, & Detroit front courts in the Finals.

Also, I have watched every game of that 1980 NBA Finals series, and there is no doubt that Magic deserved MVP. He averaged a near triple-double (22, 11, and 9) while shooting nearly 60% from the field. Kareem got TONS of easy baskets during that series because of Magic. And while Kareem was sitting on the sideline injured during game-6, Magic started at center and scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists in a series clinching win to give the Lakers the championship. How are you going to give Finals MVP to Kareem when his team won game-6 despite him not playing? I could see your point had Kareem played in game-6 and the Lakers still won.

Thats 1 game. Kareem was the reason they won the first 3. He had a 40 point game that series and averaged more than 10 points a game more than Magic. 12 boards and a few blocks a game is secondary to 22, 11, & 9? Dont think so.

And I love how you try to downplay the fact that Magic lead the Lakers back to the Finals without Kareem in '91. His Lakers only won 1 game against Jordan's Bulls. So what...no one expected that Lakers team to knockoff the Bulls. No one even expected the Lakers to make it to the Finals. Portland was the favorite to come out of the west.

Thats a cop out. In the article I posted that came out at the time of that series you can clearly see Magic expected to win. He wasnt in awe of a Bulls franchise and a ringless Jordan at that point. Magic already had 5 rings and had been in numerous Finals, Jordan had 0 and 0 Finals appearances at that point, and you telling me as a competitor he didnt expect to win? Its very telling that when Kareem broke down/retired Magic was only able to win 1 Finals game in the last 2 he appeared.

This is a ridiculous statement and you know it, KT. Magic played in an era when it was rare for players to leave college after only 2 years. Had Chicago landed the number 1 pick, Magic would have stayed in college, but not because he didn't have the desire to lead a team, but because he loved college. By all accounts Magic had no intentions of leaving college early. Then the Lakers unexpectedly landed the number 1 pick and he seen a Golden opportunity to play with Kareem. I'm sure that MJ would have left college sooner if seen the same opportunity. It had nothing to do with Magic not wanting to be "the man". Magic proved that he was the man time-and-time again.

My article link contradicts that statement. He didnt mention anything about "loving college", he had already won NCAA title. He did mention he wanted to go to a specific team and shuddered at the thought of some of the others had he stayed in school. Thats fine and dandy, he wanted to play for an established playoff team featuring perhaps 1 of the 3 best centers of all time. Nothing wrong with that. Just dont hold him in the same esteem as say a Larry Bird or a Kevin Garnett or a Kyrie Irving or a LeBron James. You know guys who actually went to sorry teams and either tried or are trying to turn them around to be contenders. You have to take that into account when looking at the success in Magic's career. As soon as the talent around him dwindled, Magic wasnt the same player nor had the same success.For perspective, Magic's teammates his first 7 years...

Two first team All-Rookie selections (Byron Scott, James Worthy)

11 All-Star appearances (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar seven times, Norm Nixon twice, Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes)

Four All-NBA first team selections (Abdul-Jabbar)

Two All-NBA second team selections (Abdul-Jabbar)

Five All-Defensive first team selections (Michael Cooper three times, Abdul-Jabbar twice)

Four All-Defensive second team selections (Cooper three times, Abdul-Jabbar once)

One MVP Award (Abdul-Jabbar)

In addition, Abdul-Jabbar, Worthy, Wilkes, Nixon, and Cooper all got votes for MVP at one point in time or the other during Magic's first seven years, and Cooper won defensive player of the year in Johnson's eighth year.

LeBron James teammates his first 7 years...

Zero first team All-Rookie Selections

Two All-Star game appearances (Mo Williams, Zydrunas llgauskas)

Zero All-NBA first team selection

Zero All-NBA second team selections

Zero All-Defensive first team selections

One All-Defensive second team selection (Anderson Vareajo)

Zero MVP Awards

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The Lebron thread about the greatest organization in basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers.

As it should be.

You measure yourself against greatness. So far Lebron falls well short.

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The Lebron thread about the greatest organization in basketball, the Los Angeles Lakers.

As it should be.

You measure yourself against greatness. So far Lebron falls well short.

Magic's coach is now LeBron's GM. I see multiple titles in LeBron's future.

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Congrats to Lebron James for getting engaged. His fiance now leads the family with 1 ring.

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Kareem would've been a great center and produced with any PG. He had already won a title and numerous scoring titles before Magic arrived. Without having an MVP type presence in Kareem, Magic wouldnt've gotten by Philly, Boston, & Detroit front courts in the Finals.

Thats 1 game. Kareem was the reason they won the first 3. He had a 40 point game that series and averaged more than 10 points a game more than Magic. 12 boards and a few blocks a game is secondary to 22, 11, & 9? Dont think so.

Thats a cop out. In the article I posted that came out at the time of that series you can clearly see Magic expected to win. He wasnt in awe of a Bulls franchise and a ringless Jordan at that point. Magic already had 5 rings and had been in numerous Finals, Jordan had 0 and 0 Finals appearances at that point, and you telling me as a competitor he didnt expect to win? Its very telling that when Kareem broke down/retired Magic was only able to win 1 Finals game in the last 2 he appeared.

My article link contradicts that statement. He didnt mention anything about "loving college", he had already won NCAA title. He did mention he wanted to go to a specific team and shuddered at the thought of some of the others had he stayed in school. Thats fine and dandy, he wanted to play for an established playoff team featuring perhaps 1 of the 3 best centers of all time. Nothing wrong with that. Just dont hold him in the same esteem as say a Larry Bird or a Kevin Garnett or a Kyrie Irving or a LeBron James. You know guys who actually went to sorry teams and either tried or are trying to turn them around to be contenders. You have to take that into account when looking at the success in Magic's career. As soon as the talent around him dwindled, Magic wasnt the same player nor had the same success.For perspective, Magic's teammates his first 7 years...

Two first team All-Rookie selections (Byron Scott, James Worthy)

11 All-Star appearances (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar seven times, Norm Nixon twice, Worthy, Jamaal Wilkes)

Four All-NBA first team selections (Abdul-Jabbar)

Two All-NBA second team selections (Abdul-Jabbar)

Five All-Defensive first team selections (Michael Cooper three times, Abdul-Jabbar twice)

Four All-Defensive second team selections (Cooper three times, Abdul-Jabbar once)

One MVP Award (Abdul-Jabbar)

In addition, Abdul-Jabbar, Worthy, Wilkes, Nixon, and Cooper all got votes for MVP at one point in time or the other during Magic's first seven years, and Cooper won defensive player of the year in Johnson's eighth year.

LeBron James teammates his first 7 years...

Zero first team All-Rookie Selections

Two All-Star game appearances (Mo Williams, Zydrunas llgauskas)

Zero All-NBA first team selection

Zero All-NBA second team selections

Zero All-Defensive first team selections

One All-Defensive second team selection (Anderson Vareajo)

Zero MVP Awards

I knew I was wasting my time with you. You go to such great lengths just to prop up LeBron.

Just dont hold him in the same esteem as say a Larry Bird or a Kevin Garnett or a Kyrie Irving or a LeBron James.

No words can describe how over the top this statement is.

As soon as the talent around him dwindled, Magic wasnt the same player nor had the same success.For perspective, Magic's teammates his first 7 years...

Right... I mean he only averaged 22, 11 and 7 in his first season playing without Kareem. And the very next season he averaged 19, 12 and 7 and lead the Lakers to the Finals. Then was forced to retire early due to AIDS. But then he came back at age 36 and averaged 15, 7 and 6. Sure, he wasn't the same player...

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No words can describe how over the top this statement is.

Its the truth. Read up on Bird. Unlike Magic, he wasnt afraid of the challenge of going to a sorry 30 win team and turning it around as a rookie. His first season in Boston he increased their win total 30 games (giving them the best record in the league) and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Keep in mind, this is before McHale and Parrish arrived. Might be a big reason why he won Rookie Of The Year over Magic. And Bird won a title the next season. Its a slap in the face to Bird or any other #1 pick who goes to a sorry ass team to imply Magic did the same thing or had the heart/desire to. He did not. He even told us so himself.

Heat win by 30 tonight. Bounce back strong after the Laker loss. How did those Lakers fare tonight after that huge win on Sunday?

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Its the truth. Read up on Bird. Unlike Magic, he wasnt afraid of the challenge of going to a sorry 30 win team and turning it around as a rookie. His first season in Boston he increased their win total 30 games (giving them the best record in the league) and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Keep in mind, this is before McHale and Parrish arrived. Might be a big reason why he won Rookie Of The Year over Magic. And Bird won a title the next season. Its a slap in the face to Bird or any other #1 pick who goes to a sorry ass team to imply Magic did the same thing or had the heart/desire to. He did not. He even told us so himself.

Heat win by 30 tonight. Bounce back strong after the Laker loss. How did those Lakers fare tonight after that huge win on Sunday?

I don't need to read up on Bird. I'm very aware that he helped turn around Boston. And no doubt that Bird deserved Rookie of The Year. But let's not forget that Celtics team had its fair share of talent, as well. He had the help of veteran Hall of Famers such as Tiny Archibald, Dave Cowens, and Pistol Pete (though Maravich struggled with injuries). Not to mention Cedric Maxwell who was a damn good player. They also had a very solid bench. So no, Bird didn't go to a "sorry ass team". Both Bird and Magic went to talented teams. And both elevated their teams to new levels.

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I don't need to read up on Bird. I'm very aware that he helped turn around Boston. And no doubt that Bird deserved Rookie of The Year. But let's not forget that Celtics team had its fair share of talent, as well. He had the help of veteran Hall of Famers such as Tiny Archibald, Dave Cowens, and Pistol Pete (though Maravich struggled with injuries). Not to mention Cedric Maxwell who was a damn good player. They also had a very solid bench. So no, Bird didn't go to a "sorry ass team". Both Bird and Magic went to talented teams. And both elevated their teams to new levels.

Havlicek had just retired a few years earlier, Cowens was near the end. Tiny was a very good player, and so was Cornbread. But the team itself was not good bro. Cowens even had to serve as player coach in 78 because the C's fired their head coach after a bad start. Bird didnt come into a "great" situation. 29 wins? Contrast that with going to an already made playoff team with the best center in the league. No doubt bringing in HOF PG Magic Johnson got LA over the hump and made them a championship team and he deserves all the credit in the world for that. But as I say, thats different than going to a weak team and making them championship level.

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Havlicek had just retired a few years earlier, Cowens was near the end. Tiny was a very good player, and so was Cornbread. But the team itself was not good bro. Cowens even had to serve as player coach in 78 because the C's fired their head coach after a bad start. Bird didnt come into a "great" situation. 29 wins? Contrast that with going to an already made playoff team with the best center in the league. No doubt bringing in HOF PG Magic Johnson got LA over the hump and made them a championship team and he deserves all the credit in the world for that. But as I say, thats different than going to a weak team and making them championship level.

Exactly, Havlicek had just retired. They were a somewhat older team that was going through a period of transition. They made a few trades and struggled to develop chemistry (coaching didn't help). They also went through an owner change (there were talks about the team moving to the west coast). Players struggled with nagging injuries. But that team had plenty of talent. They were not as bad as their record suggested. All they needed was a young player like Bird to come in and give them a spark (and a decent coach). The Celtics had Hall of Fame veterans, an up-and-coming player in Maxwell, and a solid bench when Bird arrived. Don't act like he took a bunch of scrubs to a 60 win season while Magic rode the back of Kareem to a championship. That's not how it went. Bird was the main reason for the Celtics' improvement, thanks to his unselfishness play and ability to take over games. However, Bird had plenty of help along the way. Then the arrival of Parish/McHale took them to the next level the following season.

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Its the truth. Read up on Bird. Unlike Magic, he wasnt afraid of the challenge of going to a sorry 30 win team and turning it around as a rookie. His first season in Boston he increased their win total 30 games (giving them the best record in the league) and led them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Keep in mind, this is before McHale and Parrish arrived. Might be a big reason why he won Rookie Of The Year over Magic. And Bird won a title the next season. Its a slap in the face to Bird or any other #1 pick who goes to a sorry ass team to imply Magic did the same thing or had the heart/desire to. He did not. He even told us so himself.

Heat win by 30 tonight. Bounce back strong after the Laker loss. How did those Lakers fare tonight after that huge win on Sunday?

Actually Larry did struggle with the challenge both in College and then waiting a year to join the Celtics after his senior season, when he had no where else to go.

Bird found the transition to college life difficult. He started out as an Indiana Hoosier but later left the school and team coached by the legendary Bobby Knight's team. Then he left the local junior college, Northwood Institute. Finally Bird enrolled at Indiana State, which had posted 12-14 records in each of the two previous years and where the pressure was not quite the same as at Indiana, a perennial Big Ten power and national title contender.

Home-game attendance hovered around 3,100 when Bird arrived at Indiana State, but as he had done in Springs Valley, Bird single-handedly packed the house and elevated his team to respectability and more. He averaged better than 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Sycamores during his first campaign. Season-ticket sales tripled. TV stations showed film clips of Bird instead of commercials. Students skipped class to line up for tickets eight hours before tipoff.

"Larry Bird Ball" was the most popular sport in Terre Haute.

The Sycamores went undefeated and reached No. 1 in Bird's senior year--that is, until a Michigan State team featuring a 6-9 guard named Earvin "Magic" Johnson knocked them off in the 1979 NCAA Championship Game, one of the most widely watched showdowns in basketball history. Bird was named the 1978-79 College Player of the Year and left ISU as the fifth-highest scorer in NCAA history. The Sycamores had gone 81-13 during Bird's three-year career. The Boston Celtics had selected him in the 1978 NBA Draft, hoping that Bird, who had become eligible for the NBA after his junior year, might forgo his senior season-but knowing he was worth the wait even if he didn't. In 1977-78 the Celtics had compiled a 32-50 record, their worst since 1949-50. When Bird elected to return to Indiana State for one more year the Celtics dipped to 29-53, but Bird finally came to Boston for the 1979-80 campaign and sparked one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in NBA history.

Oh yeah, there's that horrible Earvin guy mentioned again as well. ;)

http://www.nba.com/history/players/bird_bio.html

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"I'd have stayed in school," he said here Tuesday, standing alone outside Gate 3 1/2 of Chicago Stadium, the house that could have been his. "A coin toss changed the course of my whole life." Chicago called heads in a 1979 coin flip with Los Angeles for the No. 1 pick in the NBA college draft. It came up tails.

Johnson signed with the Lakers after his sophomore year of college and proceeded to win five championships. The Bulls picked second, took UCLA's David Greenwood and have won no championships.

"I wouldn't have played here," Johnson said on the eve of Game 2 of the NBA finals between his team and the team that could have been his. "The only reason I came out was to play with Kareem and the Lakers."

http://articles.latimes.com/1991-06-05/sports/sp-83_1_lakers

Magic, Bird, Michael, Barkley, Malone, etc. All these dudes from the 80s are so lucky they dont play today. On the court they are far superior to today's players, but off the court they werent no different in a lot of ways and a bigger mess in others. Magic's lucky we didnt have a 24 hour sports news cycle/twitter/etc to hold him accountable for such statements and remind people of his and his fans hypocrisy. Magic wanted no parts of going to a sorry 30 win Bulls team at that time. He wanted to be Kareem's "sidekick".

So what you're really saying is Magic would have done what Larry did do his senior year?

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Actually Larry did struggle with the challenge both in College and then waiting a year to join the Celtics after his senior season, when he had no where else to go.

Oh yeah, there's that horrible Earvin guy mentioned again as well. ;)

http://www.nba.com/history/players/bird_bio.html

Interesting how the NBA allowed teams at that time to draft a player, for example Bird, prior to them declaring. And allowing that team to retain his rights. Imagine if the NFL did that. :eek:

For the record KG, Bird & Magic are 2 of my favorite players. Magic is my favorite PG of all time. And while most people like to mention Mike & Kobe when it comes to LeBron, I've always said he should "chase" Bird. The things he was able to accomplish as a small forward were incredible. He's also had some of the greatest Finals performances from the 3 position.

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=King Taharqa;3601499]Interesting how the NBA allowed teams at that time to draft a player, for example Bird, prior to them declaring. And allowing that team to retain his rights. Imagine if the NFL did that. :eek:

For the record KG, Bird & Magic are 2 of my favorite players. Magic is my favorite PG of all time. And while most people like to mention Mike & Kobe when it comes to LeBron, I've always said he should "chase" Bird. The things he was able to accomplish as a small forward were incredible. He's also had some of the greatest Finals performances from the 3 position.

Ironically, Kobe would agree with you, he doesn't consider the current crop of "NBAers" to be his rivals.

According to Kobe, those who were once considered rivals faded away, and the current crop of stars is too young and haven’t won enough rings to truly measure up. From ESPN: “Despite Bryant’s acknowledging that it’s not just another game, he wouldn’t characterize his relationship with LeBron James as a rivalry. ‘Not for me,’ Bryant said. ‘I get up for everybody just the same, to be honest. It’s hard for me to turn my meter up any higher than it normally is.’ OK, Bryant was asked, how about Dwyane Wade? [...] ‘He’s too young,’ Bryant said. ‘He’s too young. When I came into the league, he was in elementary school.’ Bryant is three years older than Wade, but was already a seven-year veteran when Wade was drafted in 2003. Bryant said it is ‘a little late in the game’ for him to develop a rivalry with any current NBA player, so instead he is chasing names in the record books rather than in box scores from the 2011-12 season. ‘At this point my rivals, in terms of what I have left to accomplish in my career, (left the game) when Magic (Johnson) and Michael (Jordan) retired in ’98,’ Bryant said, referring to the second of Jordan’s three retirements that came after he won his sixth and final championship with the Chicago Bulls. ‘That’s it. In terms of what I’m looking to accomplish, that’s about it.’ [...] ‘What I have left to accomplish, those players retired a long time ago,’ Bryant said. The San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan won four championships to Bryant’s five throughout their shared careers, but Bryant said while the Spurs might have qualified as a team rival to his Lakers, Duncan’s individual rivalry came against Shaquille O’Neal as a fellow big man. ‘He was never in my position,’ Bryant said. ‘He was more Shaq’s rival than mine. As a team, the Spurs were always a team that we had to go through. So from that standpoint, yes, but in terms of personally, no. I’ve outgrown them all, from A.I. (Allen Iverson) when I first came in to (Tracy) McGrady to Vince Carter and so forth and so on.’”]

This is one of the things that made the Celtics/Lakers, Bird/Magic battles so compelling, They had each other at the peak of their careers to carry out their duels on the NBA stage togehter. They live and died beating each other.

They were Ali/Frazier on the basketball court. :)

Lebron is young enough to find his nemesis, maybe Kevin Durant. They just need to show us.

http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/03/kobe-bryant-doesnt-think-hes-ever-had-a-rival-in-the-nba/

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