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Old 01-02-2007, 03:21 PM   #1
geeWiz15
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Default why are titles so important when ranking players all time?

this is kind of in response to the "if AI wins a title where does he rank all time" thread. but its more of a response to threads like these in general.

if Michael Jordan was stuck on a mediocre team his entire career, without Pippen, without Phil, without killer roleplayers, he'd never get a ring. he didn't get a ring in the first place until he was what? 28?

my question is, how would that make him any less of a player? his DNA are the same. his work ethic is the same. his desire to win is the same. his dominance overall and in the clutch are the same. he's still one of the best defenders ever, and he's still the best scorer ever, and he's still one of the best passers, rebounders, and shot blockers at the 2 spot EVER. he's the exact same player. but without a GREAT SUPPORTING CAST, he wouldn't have a ring, ESPECIALLY in the 90s which featured more sources of competition than probably any other era.

I consider Larry Bird the second greatest player to ever play. but he retires ringless if he doesn't have 2 of the best frontcourt players ever helping him out plus DJ. and the Lakers and Pistons were too good even if he did manage to scrap something together.

but does that change who Larry Bird was as a player? his infinite skillset, his ballsy demeanor, his contagious hustle and his iron clutch presence in every game he played in? no. still the same player. minus the accolades.

so how come we need hardware to believe in a player?

my favorite one, I think by far, is, "if Duncan gets 2 more rings and 1 more MVP, he'll get into my top X all time list." what? anyone else starting to see the nonsense here? 5 rings doesn't mean Duncan all of a sudden became a greater individual player than when he had 3. it means he continued to do what he does and his supporting cast was good enough to help him get those rings. if Manu and Parker had career ending injuries right now and Pop retired Duncan probably wouldn't see another conference Finals for the rest of his life (especially the way the West is shaping up). doesn't change a thing; he's still a legend. but Duncan has shown you his prime. take what you've seen of it and evaluate from there.

another great one: "if Lebron doesn't hurry up and get a ring, he'll never enter GOAT status." don't even get me started on that.

I do think "being a winner" is a HUGE factor in ranking players all time. but you cannot convince me for a second that Chuck Barkley, John Stockton, Reggie Miller aren't winners. I don't care what hardware they lack. just like you couldn't convince me Jordan at 27 wasn't a winner, isiah before 89, David Robinson before 99, hakeem before Drex, Shaq before the three peat, etc, were not winners. and they didn't just become winners the second they brought home that trophy. they were winners in the first place that finally had a contending squad and the rest of the league wasn't good enough to stop them. that's it. rings are too circumstantial to hold such cut-and-dry value with fans.

Allen Iverson is a winner. period. his spirit, his competitiveness, his out and out TALENT, are not to be ****ed with. we've seen enough of him to figure this out for ourselves. he's a legend. now, if he completely clashes with Melo and the Nuggets become a lottery team... then we can talk about moving him down. but if they reach the conference finals and get knocked off by Dirk, it's not going to change who Allen Iverson is to me by itself. same if he wins a title. if he does something spectacular while winning that title, like pull 40ppg in the Finals and hits 3 game winners and wins in 6 or something, then we can talk, but the ring itself won't sway me.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:23 PM   #2
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leave it to a wizard fan to ask that question. you just can't understand, wiz...you just can't understand.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:23 PM   #3
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"Whats the point of the great numbers and talent if you dont have a ring"

-Ken Griffey Jr.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JordanPippenRodman
leave it to a wizard fan to ask that question. you just can't understand, wiz...you just can't understand.
JPR'S BACK!
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:26 PM   #5
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Simply put because the duration of the NBA season all the way to the Finals is so long, it usually separates the pretenders from the contenders. The fact that Jordan for example was able to weather an entire season, maintain his level of play in the playoffs and still have enough left to dominate in the finals is a testament to greatness. The fact he did it multiple times speaks even more volumes IMO.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:27 PM   #6
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Titles seperate the best from the best. Everyone cant say they are a champion. Some can say they avg this and that, they scored this and that in a game/playoff. But can you sit there next to another great and say "I have a ring?". Not many can. There are exceptions however.


Quote:
I consider Larry Bird the second greatest player to ever play. but he retires ringless if he doesn't have 2 of the best frontcourt players ever helping him out plus DJ

Anyone who is a fan of Bird and rates him as highly as you do doesnt believe that. Bird was a winner. To sit there and say if he didnt have McHale, Parrish and DJ he wouldnt have won a ring in his career is RETARDED.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:33 PM   #7
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it shows that a player can step up to major levels of the game and step up in clutch moments
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaKid
it shows that a player can step up to major levels of the game and step up in clutch moments

a player? but getting a title involves a TEAM. the whole team needs to step up for them to get a title

Personally i thought it was a pretty good question
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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Simple really. It has nothing to do with ability. But everything to do with career and legacy. If you rank people by the ability they seem to have you run into a lot of people who are as good as it gets. If you somehow could rank talent 1-100 you have a few guys who are all gonna be in the 95-99 range. Too close to call.

However....when you factor in rings and such it helps break the tie for people who choose to consider legacy more important than ability.

Being a "How good is he?" guy I consider 6 players to be basically equal as nearly flawless players who you cant really be more effective than. Cant seperate well by anything but rings/winning. Its the easy way out. The simple way to reach an answer thats hard or impossible to say for sure any other way.

And even then people want to get picky and count some rings and discount the importance of others. People who might say MJ or Magic types >Wilt due to rings will often say MJ/magic types>Russell too despite the 11 rings. Which doesnt make sense. They throw out the era thing. But they can compare era to era to discredit one guy why cant you compare era to era to prop up another?

Comes down to people thinking what they want to and using any evidence to support it even if it contradicts their opinions of others.

Once you see that you cant exactly rank players by both rings and ability and not contradict yourself somewhere it becomes pointless to bother. Why I stick with my group of "Nobody is better than ____" and leave the rest to other people.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeWiz15
why are titles so important when ranking players all time?

I dont know, But I think that it shouldnt be that way.
I guess I feel that way because I was a Dan Marino fan and he never got his ring. It wasnt his fault, had he been the QuarterBack for any team that won the SB in the 80's or had a Probowl RB to hand the ball of to, he would have gotten his ring. Alot of people like to compare Peyton Manning to Marino but I think that they do Marino an injustice by doing so. If Marino had a HOF WR and Edge to hand the ball of to, he would have had even better #'s and a ring.

But getting back to BasketBall, Most people think Jordan was better than Magic, and their argument most of the time is "He has more Rings" . If that were the case, then...

Bill Russell > Michael Jordan

Yet, most people wouldnt agree with that just cause Bill played way before most of us were even born.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Anyone who is a fan of Bird and rates him as highly as you do doesnt believe that. Bird was a winner. To sit there and say if he didnt have McHale, Parrish and DJ he wouldnt have won a ring in his career is RETARDED.
I don't agree with you often, GoBB, but you've definitely hit the nail on the head here.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeWiz15
this is kind of in response to the "if AI wins a title where does he rank all time" thread. but its more of a response to threads like these in general.

if Michael Jordan was stuck on a mediocre team his entire career, without Pippen, without Phil, without killer roleplayers, he'd never get a ring. he didn't get a ring in the first place until he was what? 28?

my question is, how would that make him any less of a player? his DNA are the same. his work ethic is the same. his desire to win is the same. his dominance overall and in the clutch are the same. he's still one of the best defenders ever, and he's still the best scorer ever, and he's still one of the best passers, rebounders, and shot blockers at the 2 spot EVER. he's the exact same player. but without a GREAT SUPPORTING CAST, he wouldn't have a ring, ESPECIALLY in the 90s which featured more sources of competition than probably any other era..

This is a great point, a very good example would be Dominique Wilkins. If Jordan didn't have Pippen and Horace for his first trepeat and Pippen and Rodman for his second he'd basically remain ringless, and end up being another Wilkins, (maybe slightly better) considering they were pretty close production wise, especially in their primes. Vice Versa if Wilkins had that kind of supporting cast and Phil Jackson's triangle offense in his prime he'd probably end up winning a bunch of titles too. In fact with an obviously less talented and impactful supporting cast Wilkins battled against Larry Bird and the Celtics front court in the eastern conference finals, not too bad at all compared to Jordan's achivements before pippen and phil joined the party.

Don't get me wrong I am not trying to say Wilkins was better individually than Jordan, he wasn't. In terms of numbers they were close sometimes but skill wise Wilkins wasn't all around as Jordan was. However, what bothers me is that some people rank players like James Worthy or even Joe Dumars above Wilkins just because those had won multiple rings and probably finals mvps with a infinitely better team. At the end of the day basketball is a 5 men's team sport, no one can be singlehandedly responsible and credited for anything, I think when comparing two first options it makes much sense to use the number of wins and/or rings as an argument and that's still under the assumption that there isn't a great gap between their supporting casts. However, saying a second or even a third option is even comparable to a individually much better first option just because the former has more wins and titles, is pretty silly imo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geeWiz15
my favorite one, I think by far, is, "if Duncan gets 2 more rings and 1 more MVP, he'll get into my top X all time list." .

Don't bother, a lot of those are the same who would say "if Robert Horry knocks down a couple of more clutch shots in the playoffs and win another ring, i'll consider him a hall of famer".
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:12 PM   #13
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Wiz must've forgotten that there was no McHale, no Parish, and no DJ on the team that Bird single-handedly took from 29-53 to 61-21 the next year before bowing out in the ECF...in his rookie year. Or that McHale was a rookie the year Bird led the team to an NBA chip in his second year in the league.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:15 PM   #14
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I HATE the argument that these great players wouldnt have won rings without this and that. How can anyone on Earth actually think MJ would be ringless if he didnt have Scottie Pippen? Wanna say MJ and the Bulls dynasty doesnt exist if Scottie Pippen were absent? I'l agree. But you fans need to stop taking a great player, a legend and claiming they would be ringless by taking out his teammates. It is retarded. Point blank period.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braden.
Wiz must've forgotten that there was no McHale, no Parish, and no DJ on the team that Bird single-handedly took from 29-53 to 61-21 the next year before bowing out in the ECF...in his rookie year. Or that McHale was a rookie the year Bird led the team to an NBA chip in his second year in the league.

He didnt forget he didnt know. Bird is the 2nd best player ever based on Kblaze making a kewl Bird video.
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