Originally Posted by guy
First of all, you're really underrating those Knicks, second of all, Derrick Rose did have one of the best supporting casts in 2011. Jordan clearly had the better 2nd option, but the game isn't played 2 on 2. The top 3 players out of the two teams in 92 and 93 were clearly Jordan, Ewing, Pippen, but after that, in 92 you could argue that the Knicks had 5 of the next 6 best players in Starks, Jackson, Xavier, Oakley, and Mason and in 93 you could argue that they had 4 of the next 5 best players in Starks, Oakley, Mason, Rivers. All of those players I mentioned made all star games at some point of their career and at that time on the Knicks were in their mid-20s to early-30s, the most relevant ages for most players at the time. After the top 2 players, the Knicks were clearly a better and more talented team. Now obviously, having the more talented top 2 is much more impactful then having a more talented 4-5, but Patrick Ewing being completely outmatched as far as help goes is revisionist history. Ewing couldn't beat Jordan mainly cause Jordan was better.
I'd like to point out that Jordan had a very rough series overall vs the Knicks in '93. If Pippen didn't step up and play some superb allround basketball, the Knicks win that series. Pippen was the MVP of that series, not Jordan.
It is no coincidence that Jordan struggled against that team though. As soon as the Knicks started bulking up after the 91 season, Jordan started having much less success against them. Up until that point, he had dominated them both in the regular season and playoffs. The 92 and 93 version of the Knicks were the only team that could physically stand up to Jordan IMO in all their championship runs. They had (somewhat) athletic guards, and a great, intimidating frontline. Still, the Bulls supporting casts were no slouches either. Pippen, Horace Grant (allstar in 94), BJ Armstrong (also allstar in 94) and Bill Cartwright were quality players, not to mention their specialist crew of Levingston, Scott and Paxson.
Originally Posted by DMAVS41
But you just touched on the difference....or at least the difference from my point of view.
I don't view Kobe as the clear cut best like MJ was when he was winning titles.
Which is why when you say "nobody cares"...it's a little misleading because certain players played at higher levels or perceived higher levels. Nobody cares about Lebron winning with a stacked team because he's clearly the best player in the game right now.
I think that is the difference Kobe fans fail to see...Kobe never separated himself from all the other players the way some of the guys he's compared to did...
Look, what I think some Kobe fans are upset about is the fact that Kobe seems to be held to a double standard. You say that Kobe wasn't perceived as the clear cut best when he was winning titles, but then that only puts him in the same category as for example Magic Johnson. Magic won 5 titles, but only two as the arguably the best player in the league. Bird, not Magic, was considered the best player in the league in the mid 80s, as proven by his three straight MVP's. Magic on the other hand, got his infamous nickname Tragic Johnson during this time. Then Magic arguably took the best in the league crown in 87 to 90, before Jordan overtook him. Yet I don't hear much complaining from people that Magic, for the larger part of his career, was not considered the best in the league. The competition was tough, but still.
Now if we analyze the competition further, we see that Jordan faced considerably weaker opposition than Kobe did during the latter part of his career. Jordan never faced any team like Boston 08, even Boston 10, during his second threepeat. Not only was the level of competition in the West far toughter than the competition MJ faced in the East from 96-98, but the whole league was just more talented. Where are the quality perimeter players from Jordan's era? I can only think of a handful, and the best ones were too young or did not have teams to even make a little noise in the Playoffs. This is exactly what you hold against Kobe during his 08-10 run, yet it's perfectly fine for Jordan from 96-98? The only time Jordan faced a quality defensive guard in the Playoffs in this period, he struggled (Payton, 96 Finals). Yet all these things are ok for certain all time greats, while Kobe are being killed for having a bad game 7, while arguably facing a better team than Jordan ever did from 96-98.