The view from this corner is that:
Cap is, once again, ‘nothing but wet’, when using his patented weaponry:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar questions Scottie Pippen’s argument that LeBron James ‘may be the greatest player to ever play’
How Soon They Forget: An Open Letter to Scottie Pippen
I have nothing but respect for you my friend as an athlete and knowledgeable basketball mind. But you are way off in your assessment of who is the greatest player of all time and the greatest scorer of all time. Your comments are off because of your limited perspective. You obviously never saw Wilt Chamberlain play who undoubtedly was the greatest scorer this game has ever known. When did MJ ever average 50.4 points per game plus 25.7 rebounds? (Wilt in the 1962 season when blocked shot statistics were not kept). We will never accurately know how many shots Wilt blocked. Oh, by the way in 1967 and 68, Wilt was a league leader in assists. Did MJ ever score 100 points in a game? How many times did MJ score more than 60 points in a game? MJ led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons for 10 years but he did this in an NBA that eventually expanded into 30 teams vs. when Wilt played and there were only 8 teams.
Every team had the opportunity to amass a solid nucleus. Only the cream of the basketball world got to play then. So MJ has to be appraised in perspective. His incredible athletic ability, charisma and leadership on the court helped to make basketball popular around the world — no question about that. But in terms of greatness, MJ has to take a backseat to The Stilt.
In terms of winning, Michael excelled as both an emotional and scoring leader but Bill Russell’s Celtics won eight consecutive NBA Championships. Bill’s rebounding average per game is over 22.5 lifetime, MJs best rebounding years was eight per game (1989). But we will never know exactly how many shots Bill Russell blocked because again, they never kept that statistic while he played. However, if you ask anybody that played against Russell, they will just roll their eyes and say he blocked all the shots he wanted to block in the crucial moments of a game.
Bill played on a total of 11 championship teams and as you very well know, Scottie, the ring is the thing, and everything else is just statistics. So I would advise you to do a little homework before crowning Michael or LeBron with the title of best ever. As dominant as he is, LeBron has yet to win a championship. I must say that it looks like Miami has finally put the team together that will change that circumstance. Its my hope that today’s players get a better perspective on exactly what has been done in this league in the days of yore.
NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer
while KD is the member of the on-line hoops community who, unfortunately, comes across …
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s nasty open letter to Scottie Pippen
Stats that, 21 years later, Kareem can’t get enough of. Stats that, even with Jordan flashing six rings to Wilt’s two, are enough in Kareem’s eyes to hold Wilt in higher regard over MJ.
Stats that, as we’ve known for years, can’t really be trusted.
Because not only were Chamberlain and Russell playing a different game back then, acting as modern era athletes (hell, both Wilt and Russell to a lesser extent would be modern-era dominant all-world athletes even today) in an ancient game, but they were playing a different game amongst a different game.
There were often 30 or 40 more possessions per game back then, as shots caromed off the rim (on average) 60 percent of the time, and teams endlessly raced up and down the court as a result. It was a cherry-picking time for stats even amongst the guys who didn’t have Wilt and Russell’s athletic gifts, modern timing, and smarts. But for those two? With that package? It’s you against a 5-year-old on a Nerf hoop, and you’re allowed to shoot from wherever you want.
But that’s not really the point here, is it? Kareem, obviously, is arguing on his own behalf. A classic passive/aggressive move that sees him arguing with a stats-based stance for players who scored less, rebounded less, and blocked fewer shots than Kareem.
And of course Abdul-Jabbar isn’t going to point out the difference in competition and pace in his argument, or point out how the game grew significantly in the 1970s. It’s the reason he averaged nearly 10 points per game fewer in his athletic prime in the late 1970s (before Magic Johnson came by, mind you, to take a bunch of shots) then he did at the young age of 24 while in Milwaukee. He knows, and it’s slipping away. He’s probably been doing nothing but watching cable TV and listening to talk radio over the last week, he’s not even being mentioned amongst the top-five players in NBA history on some occasions, and it’s clearly set him off. So much so that he’s embraced the “legacy” (his word) of a former unfriendly combatant in Chamberlain.
It’s all a sad show.
as the “embittered” lost soul, holding a child’s balloon which has just been popped.