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Posts Tagged ‘Lebron James’
Unfortunately, every once in awhile, someone in the on-line hoops community will attempt to assert that the best basketball player on the planet earth today is someone other than Kobe Bean Bryant, based on some type of logical, or statistical-based, evidence.
At this point in time, there is no clear-cut way to determine if Player X is better than Player Y. Some may rely on PER, others will rely on the eye test, and the vast majority will count the rings.
As with any argument, though, there is a golden rule that should be followed to a tee: if you’re going to use it in debate, at least be consistent.
Main reason average basketball observers cannot properly evaluate who the best players actually are, at a given point in time, however, is because they are incapable of making an accurate assessment of the array of inter-related basketball skills [i.e. both, "hard" and "soft"] that actually need to be considered when making a judgment about the quality of a specific player in relation to the abilities of his/her peers.
What you see below is a brief sample of the myriad “basketball skills” which SHOULD be used to develop an accurate appraisal of a specific player’s actual ability, relative to his peers:
|BASKETBALL PLAYER, PHASE SPECIFIC SKILL-SET EVALUATION, BY POSITION|
|01||Fills transition lane quickly||Gets back in transition||Boxes out check|
|02||Transition drives, R||Denies check ball||Goes to get ball|
|03||Transition drives, L||Defends vs cutter||Reads ball coming off rim|
|04||Half-court drives, R||Defends vs ball w/out a pick||Energy & will to retrieve misses|
|05||Half-court drives, L||Hedges vs Pick||Consistent awareness and effort|
|06||Perimeter catch & shoots||Switches vs Pick||SUB-TOTAL|
|07||Perimeter shot fake & drives, R||Traps vs Pick|
|08||Perimeter shot fake & drives L||Vs post-ups|
|09||Mid-range catch & shoots||Rotates to help|
|10||Mid-range shot fake & drives, R||Rotates to help-the-helper|
|11||Mid-range shot fake & drives, L||Rotates to block a shot|
|12||Pull-up jump-shot, right||Rotates to draw a charge|
|13||Pull-up jump-shot, left||Blocks shots from off ball|
|14||Consistent finish at the rim||Blocks shot, on ball|
|15||Draws fouls||Vs ball in switch mismatches|
|16||Free throw scorer||Deflections|
|18||Perimeter passer||Recovers loose balls|
|19||Interior passer||Checks 1.5 positions off ball|
|20||Lay-off passer||Physically tough|
|21||Drive and kick passer||Mentally tough|
|22||Passer out of post||Emotionally tough|
|23||Creates shot for teammate||SUB-TOTAL|
|24||Drives off pick, right|
|25||Drives off pick, left|
|29||Uses screen[s] to get open|
|30||Gets open without screen[s]|
|OFFENSIVE SUB-TOTAL||Out of 150||X .33|
|DEFENSIVE SUB-TOTAL||Out of 110||X .33|
|REBOUNDING SUB-TOTAL||Out of 25||X .33|
If you complete this simple evaluation form for any current player in the NBA … using whatever specific measuring tools you prefer for each individual category … according to the position he plays, and then compare his overall score to the same evaluation form you also complete for Mr. Bryant, you should be able to see for yourself that the LA Lakers’ No. 24 is still, actually, “The best basketball player on this planet.”
Go ahead, NBA, and cancel the first few weeks of the regular season.
Better yet, go ahead and cancel the whole damn thing.
Knock yourselves out.
Lock yourselves out.
Do us a favor.
Do yourselves a favor.
Take the year off so you will comprehend what everyone on God’s green earth should comprehend at one time or another: That in the grand scheme of things, we just aren’t that important.
David Stern and LeBron James and the rest of the smug, arrogant, rich, pampered, greedy, spoiled, self-indulgent NBA needs to learn its lesson. And the lesson is this: America has had it with sports leagues and their so-called fiscal problems.
In this economic climate, the NBA labor dispute is a disgusting affront to those who have real jobs or, worse, have lost real jobs.
Instead of trying to ‘put down’ the dynamic duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade [Miami Heat, 2010-2011], by comparing them to the perceived to be ‘less-than’ dynamic pairing of Jack Sikma and Gus Williams [Seattle Supersonics, 1978-1979] …
Bringing it all together
So why were two good players able to team up and win it all when some of the all time greats (Wade and LeBron, Stockton and Malone, Drexler and Porter) have failed to do so? The answer is that they had perfect timing. They were in the league when the requirement to be a top team was much lower and the competitive advantage of a top team wasn’t as high. Additionally the playoffs were easier if you were a top team. Putting this all together let team work prevail! Of course as I’ve chronicled, this is not the way things are any more. And that’s why modern superteams can still fail and why teamwork is no longer enough to win it all.
… what ‘Mr. Dre’ SHOULD really be doing is asking the following question:
|1||PG||Jason Kidd||OG||Dennis Johnson|
|2||PG||JJ Barea||PG||Gus Williams|
|3||SF/PF||Shawn Marion||SF||John Johnson|
|4||PF/C||Dirk Nowitzki||PF/C||Jack Sikma|
|5||C||Tyson Chandler||PF/C||Lonnie Shelton|
|6||G||Jason Terry||G||Fred Brown|
|7||SF||Peja Stojakovic||G/F||Wally Walker|
|8||C||Brendon Haywood||PF||Paul Silas|
|9||G||DeShawn Stevenson||G||Joe Hassett|
|10||F||Corey Brewer||G/F||Dick Snyder|
|11||PF||Brian Cardinal||PF/C||Tom LaGarde|
|12||PF||Ian Mahinmi||C||Dennis Awtrey|
|13||G||Rodrigue Beaubois||F||Jackie Robinson|
|14||G||Dominique Jones||C||Lars Hansen|
|16||HC||Rick Carlisle||HC||Lenny Wilkens|
The answer, on a person-to-person basis, might actually surprise him … when it comes to understanding the construction of a championship-winning TEAM.
As a follow-up to the blog entry below …
You’re invited to expand on your answer more fully in the comments sections.
According to Dennis Velasco:
According to yours truly …
An accurate ranking of the 10 players listed by Mr. Velasco [#] should actually look like the following:
1 Larry Bird  … a legitimate GOAT contender
2 Scottie Pippen  … the best other “all-around” player on this list
3 LeBron James  … in every situation on the court, an inferior player compared to Scottie Pippen
4 Paul Pierce  … under-rated, in general, by non-basketball experts
5 Dominique Wilkens  … over-rated, in general, by non-basketball experts
6 Bernard King  … THE best interior scorer on this list, career unfortunately curtailed by injury
7 Adrian Dantley  … an old school scorer, in the true sense
8 Alex English  … as a mid-range shooter, could fill it up with the best of them
9 Chris Mullin  … most questionable member of this list, however, was a fine [e.g. multi-dimensional] offensive player
10 James Worthy  *
NOTE: * – Does not belong on this list, at all, since he actually played the Power Forward [PF] position.
Will the road to winning the NBA Championship become more difficult, or easier, for the Miami Heat … with Wade, Bosh and James?Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
According to what was written by David Friedman, on Thu-Jul-07-2011, in an article about the Cavaliers:
“ … it will likely only become more difficult for Miami to win a championship, particularly if the lockout wipes out an entire season of James/Wade/Bosh in the prime of their careers.”
According to what was written by yours truly, on Sun-Jul-10-2011 [published by the host at 11:56 PM], in a comment on David’s blog:
If someone was inclined to make you the following wager:
During the course of the next 10 seasons, I say that the Miami Heat will, in fact, win at least 1 NBA Championship with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James on their team.
In contrast, you say that this will not happen.
might you be inclined to accept it?
According to what was written by David Friedman, on Mon-Jul-11-2011 [published by the host at 11:56 PM], in a reply comment on David’s blog:
I said exactly what I intended to say on the subject and I am not foolish enough to wager about hypothetical happenings 10 years from now. We don’t even know if there will be a 2012 season, let alone what the salary cap/financial structure will look like when the NBA lockout eventually ends: there could even be a scenario in which the Heat have to break up the “Big Three” to get under the salary cap, so it is possible that the Heat may never win a championship with the nucleus that they had last season.
According to what was then written by yours truly, on Mon-Jul-11-2011 [sometime after 5:05 AM], in a 2nd reply comment submitted to David’s blog:
re: “I said exactly what I intended to say on the subject and I am not foolish enough to wager about hypothetical happenings 10 years from now. We don’t even know if there will be a 2012 season, let alone what the salary cap/financial structure will look like when the NBA lockout eventually ends: there could even be a scenario in which the Heat have to break up the “Big Three” to get under the salary cap, so it is possible that the Heat may never win a championship with the nucleus that they had last season.”
1. Which is all the more reason someone who holds the opinion that you do – re: the supposedly increased difficulty Miami will have winning the NBA Championship during the next several seasons, with a core of Wade, Bosh and James, than they had this year – might actually be inclined to accept the wagering opportunity I outlined for you in my original comment, that was a follow-up question to the quote from your original article.
2. I asked you a simple question based on the quote from your original article. “What you’ve said” in the original article leads in the direction of the question I asked you and some might consider it disingenuous on your part not to answer it with a straight-forward, A. “Yes,” or, B. “No.”
3. Personally, I think your answer to the question asked might actually be, B. “No” … in which case, the extent to which you actually believe the original observation made in this quotation might be called into question by a thoughtful reader concerned with your own motivation for making it in the first place.
4. The British bookmakers who accepted the wager made by Gerry McIlroy and friends several years ago … i.e. that his young son Rory would actually win the British Open by a specified age, years in the future [somewhere in his mid-20s, IIRC] … were, in fact, MORE committed to their belief than you seem to be to your own observation about the difficulty Miami is likely to have winning the NBA championship with a core of Wade, Bosh and James.
PS. FWIW, at this point, I would not be prepared to bet my own hard-earned money on the threesome of Wade, Bosh and James winning the NBA title together, either, even though I believe that this will actually become EASIER for them to accomplish as each year goes by prior to them moving beyond their prime.
which – interestingly enough – has not yet been published by the host … even though other, more recently submitted comments from other contributors do seem to have been published on his blog.
As each day goes by, it will certainly be intriguing to note, if and when David actually chooses to publish this comment on his blog … with a suitable reply, or not.
PS. FWIW, please be aware that yours truly also happens to believe David Friedman is, in fact, one of the best and most accomplished NBA writers working in the business today.
What was your reaction to the Finals?
I think it was a triumph of great teamwork over great individual play. The Miami team really is not. They weren’t ready to play the team game the way the Mavericks were, and that’s why the Mavericks came out on top.
What about how people react to LeBron James?
I think people just did not like his style, in self-promoting and aggrandizement of himself that ESPN was part of, and the event on ESPN turned a lot of people off. All these things to say about him as an individual. It’s a team game. People seem to lose sight of that pretty quickly.
How does he proceed from here?
That burden, really, is going to fall on the franchise, to get the right players that comprise a good team. He’s always going to be, for his whole career, a dominant and outstanding player. The way that they put the team together and promoted the team really did not do the team any good, and it didn’t do the game any good. It’s a team game and they should promote it as such.
After being in a prolonged ‘slump’, Henry Abbott finally nails one:
James has fairly consistently made about a third of his NBA 3-pointers. Somewhere around that percentage is the point where you’re bad enough that defenses want you to shoot 3s.
As you improve from 33 percent, however, every opportunity you get to take an open 3 is likely to improve your whole team’s offensive efficiency. Open 3s for 40 percent 3-point shooters win games, and defenses know that and go to great lengths to prevent shots like that. Making more 3s would give James a way to move defenders away from the rim — which has the potential to vastly improve the entire team’s offense.
In addition to helping the whole offense, it would simply gift the Heat important points even if you changed nothing else. Had James shot 40 percent from downtown this season the team would have had scored a dozen more points over their 21 playoff games. It’s hard to imagine any other way the Heat could improve results like that without changing anything else.
clear out of the park.
[Courtesy of Jay Smooth]
Pure … internet … gold!