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Old 11-20-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
jlip
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Default The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

This is a followup to my 80's Larry Bird GOAT Conversation thread. As with the Bird thread, the purpose is not to attempt to make a case for Kareem, but simply to provide a glimpse into the conversation that people were having regarding his GOAT status/ potential during his career. I picked the 1974 season as the starting point because by then both Russell and Wilt had retired. 1986 is when the Bird GOAT discussion became pervasive.


Seattle SuperSonic Coach Bill Russell predicted Wednesday that the Milwaukee Bucks will beat his old team, the Boston Celtics, to win the NBA championship.

The main reason, Russell said, is that Buck center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar “is playing the best basketball I’ve ever seen a basketball player play.”
…Russell carefully qualified his praise for Jabbar by saying that, of course, he had never seen himself play.

But when asked whom he considered the best center of all time, Russell replied, “This year, Russell is. But if Jabbar makes as much progress next year as he has this year, he’ll be the all-time best… Jabbar has started doing the subtle things that a good center must do.

04-18-74


Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke announced the trade in a news conference on the floor of the Forum. Lights were extinguished and a spotlight placed on Abdul- Jabbar as he entered the arena…

“In my opinion, he is the best basketball player in the world today and as far as I know he could be the best basketball player of all time, Cooke said.


06-17-75



Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the man who put Milwaukee on the pro basketball map, makes his first appearance in his old city tonight wearing an opponent’s uniform…

Kareem is the greatest player I’ve ever seen and I don’t think that anyone can stop him one-on- one,” Costello [Bucks’ coach] said.

10-28-75


In six seasons as a pro, Kareem's soft "sky hook," as his unblockable shot has come to be known, helped earn the Bucks their first championship in 1971. Now, back in Los Angeles where he spent four years at UCLA, the 28-year-old star has been called the best player active today—and perhaps the best player of all time—and few dispassionate observers would demur.
11-24-75



“Kareem is the outstanding individual in the game today, possibly the best who’s ever played.” Coach John Wooden
05-24-77



“I think that Kareem is the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball.”
Lakers head coach, Jack McKinney
06-31-79



Jabbar the NBA Most Valuable Player a record six times, is perhaps the greatest player of all time. His career average of 28.3[ppg] is second only to Chamberlain’s and his 30.4[ppg] playoff average is the highest ever. His impact has never been surpassed.
01-15-81



“Kareem is the greatest player to ever play this game,” said [Utah head coach Tom]Nissaalke
12-03-81




I got into a debate last weekend over who was the best player ever in pro basketball history. I have always argued for Wilt Chamberlain. Others say Bill Russell. But after a few days to ponder things, I’m starting to wonder if it really should be Kareem.

Russell stood for great defense. Chamberlain was an intimidator and a machine that produced points. But Abdul-Jabbar can do both things so well. He has been so consistently good ever since he broke into the NBA with the Bucks, and remains such a dominate force at age 37.

Neil Caldwell
06-14-84



“I was not out there trying to elbow people, particularly not Abdul-Jabbar,” [Danny] Schayes said. “He’s the greatest player that ever lived.”
05-01-85



Gretzky and Abdul Jabbar have been called the greatest to ever play their sport. Both are six time Most Valuable Players of the regular season. Each took his team to a title after suffering a disappointing loss in the final the year before. And most important, each shares a burning desire to win.

06-18-85




Los Angeles Laker center Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the greatest basketball player ever, according to a 60-member panel of experts polled by the Dallas Morning News.
Eighteen of the panelists voted Abdul Jabbar, playing in his 17th National Basketball Association season, the greatest player in the history of the game.

02-8-86
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Like I always say. Compare Jordan's playoff numbers to Kareem's, and theirs your answer. When you look at Jordan's stats, just remind yourself, that a guard is putting up those %'s.

Not a knock on Kareem. If you wanna say 1a and 1b, i'd be completely fine with that.

Last edited by tikay0 : 11-20-2012 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

cool thread idea...I'll have to rep you tomorrow (I'm 24'd atm)
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Quote:
Originally Posted by tikay0
Like I always say. Compare Jordan's playoff numbers to Kareem's, and theirs your answer. When you look at Jordan's stats, just remind yourself, that a guard is putting up those %'s.

Not a knock on Kareem. If you wanna say 1a and 1b, i'd be completely fine with that.

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Quote:
Originally Posted by tikay0
Like I always say. Compare Jordan's playoff numbers to Kareem's, and theirs your answer. When you look at Jordan's stats, just remind yourself, that a guard is putting up those %'s.

Not a knock on Kareem. If you wanna say 1a and 1b, i'd be completely fine with that.
Jordan played 12 full seasons for Bulls and in 1998 playoffs he was 34.
At the end of 1983 playoffs, Kareem was 36 and completed his 14th full season.

33.4/6.4/5.7/1.8 vs. 28.8/14.0/3.7/3.4

Much more closer than you think. Huh?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Odinn
If 1985-86 season would be Kareem's last season;

His career numbers;
35108 points (all-time scoring leader until 2002-12-18)
16105 rebounds
5248 asissts
1025 steals
2915 blocks
2087 turnovers

26.4 ppg
12.1 rpg
4.0 apg
1.0 spg
2.9 bpg
3.0 tpg

0.562 fg%
0.720 ft%


His playoff numbers;
4912 points
2168 rebounds
676 asissts
161 steals
393 blocks
339 turnovers

27.3 ppg
12.0 rpg
3.8 apg
1.2 spg
2.8 bpg
3.0 tpg

0.541 fg%
0.732 ft%


His accomplishments;
6x MVP (6.203 total MVP share, only 2 times left out top5)
2x FMVP
4x NBA Champion (in 1971 and 1980, clear-cut best player on a championship team and "arguably" best player in 1982 and 1985)
16x All-Star
10x All-NBA First Team
5x All-NBA Second Team
5x All-NBA Defensive First Team
6x All-NBA Defensive Second Team
NBA Rookie of The Year
3x NCAA Champion
3x NCAA MOP
Naismith College Player of the Year

In conclusion; his last 3 years only lowered his career averages. He still would have a legitimate case for GOAT if he was retired after 1985-86 season.


I rank both of MJ & Kareem as #1. More like your "1a-1b". But there is a reason for Jordan's career playoff #s looking better.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

As mentioned in the OP, the thread was not a player comparison thread. Neither was it an attempt to make a case for Kareem. It was simply about the conversation being held about his GOAT status during his career, much of which took place before MJ even played one game. It was designed to be more informative than persuavive. I did the same thing for Bird last year.

Last edited by jlip : 11-21-2012 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlip
As mentioned in the OP, the thread was not a player comparison thread. Neither was it an attempt to make a case for Kareem. It was simply about the conversation being held about his GOAT status during his career, much of which took place before MJ even played one game. It was designed to be more informative than persuavive. I did the same thing for Bird last year.

Some people are unable to simply take it for what it is. As soon as they see some other player's name and "GOAT" in the same sentence, they just automatically react.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Michael Jordan's Wizard years didn't lower all of his career stats???
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

It's very hard to compare the GOAT at different positions, especially SG v center. Kareen FG % is better than Jordan, therefore if he took as many shots his PPG through out his career would be statistically comparable with Jordan.

Jordan is my GOAT, however that's my own personal bias- all fans basically go from personal experience, I watched MJ growing up and didn't watch Kareen because he didn't play in my generation.

Fans don't base there GOAT on stats, people don't work that way, its about emotion.

It's the same reason why, I put MJ over lebron, even if Lebron finished with multiple rings, MJ would be my GOAT. Just like every student of the game or fan, I am bias.

There needs to be some objective formula, or statistician who could answer the question of GOAT, but even then, there are a number of immeasurable in basketball, which don't show up on statistics.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Quote:
Michael Jordan's Wizard years didn't lower all of his career stats???

No, they only lowered his regular season stats. From the point of view, it's a good thing he missed the playoffs with the Wizards.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #11
jlip
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaRegul8r
Some people are unable to simply take it for what it is. As soon as they see some other player's name and "GOAT" in the same sentence, they just automatically react.

Yeah. It definitely seems that way, and I must say the very first reply was the most predictable.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #12
jlip
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharmer
It's very hard to compare the GOAT at different positions, especially SG v center. Kareen FG % is better than Jordan, therefore if he took as many shots his PPG through out his career would be statistically comparable with Jordan.

Jordan is my GOAT, however that's my own personal bias- all fans basically go from personal experience, I watched MJ growing up and didn't watch Kareen because he didn't play in my generation.

Fans don't base there GOAT on stats, people don't work that way, its about emotion.

It's the same reason why, I put MJ over lebron, even if Lebron finished with multiple rings, MJ would be my GOAT. Just like every student of the game or fan, I am bias.


There needs to be some objective formula, or statistician who could answer the question of GOAT, but even then, there are a number of immeasurable in basketball, which don't show up on statistics.

This is one of the most honest posts I've ever read regarding someone's opinion of the GOAT.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Kareem is indeed one of the only 3 candidates who deserved GOAT status, the others being Jordan and Russell.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:36 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Kareem GOAT Conversation 1974-1986

Quote:
Seattle SuperSonic Coach Bill Russell predicted Wednesday that the Milwaukee Bucks will beat his old team, the Boston Celtics, to win the NBA championship.

The main reason, Russell said, is that Buck center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar “is playing the best basketball I’ve ever seen a basketball player play.”
…Russell carefully qualified his praise for Jabbar by saying that, of course, he had never seen himself play.

But when asked whom he considered the best center of all time, Russell replied, “This year, Russell is. But if Jabbar makes as much progress next year as he has this year, he’ll be the all-time best… Jabbar has started doing the subtle things that a good center must do.

04-18-74

When Russell made this comment about Kareem's GOAT potential in '74 I'm wondering whether he was subliminally slighting Wilt by leaving his name out of the conversation. I do think that he and Wilt were not particularly on speaking terms at the moment.
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