Why Lebron, Duncan is better than Kobe, why Magic is the greatest Laker

I previously made a post on how I felt Kobe Bryant was overrated. And I would like to add on to that, why Lebron and Duncan are better than Kobe, and why Magic is the greatest Laker ever. I am doing this because this is Kobe’s last season in the NBA, and he’s getting a whole deal of attention and the leading vote getter in the All Star game.. because he’s clearly the most popular player in the world. So let’s begin:

Kobe Bryant is overrated
-Career average: 25/5/5 45% 2P FG 33% FG 3P 83% FT. That is just average percentages for a guard.
-81 point game yes but also against the raptors
-Kobe in general takes a lot of FGA, 9 times in a game took over 40 shots
-Selfish player, ball hog, drove Shaq and D12 away from LA as well as other free agents, wouldn’t take a pay cut in his later years
-1 MVP only, and 2 Finals MVPs
-Had good teams for most of his career despite what people say: only 2005-2007 and 2013-present he has crap teams
-5 championships but he won all 5 coached by Phil Jackson and his first 3 rings with Shaq who dominated the playoffs with 30/14 averages
-Lebron has never played with a team as good as Kobe had except when he was in Miami. Duncan played with a washed up Robinson and some late round picks. -He had good role players but so did Kobe. Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry. Plus hall of famers like Pau Gasol, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Shaq, D-howard, Nash. Neither Lebron nor Duncan has had the arguably greatest coach of all time, Phil Jackson.
-closest to MJ but very far away from MJ still in terms of everything, stats, awards etc 8 less scoring titles 1 less ring 4 less MVPs/FMVPs lower career stats in every category
-lost 2 finals, one on a team full of hall of famers against detroit and one against the celtics losing by the biggest margin in NBA finals history.
-Statistically not clutch despite the popular perception that he is

Why is Lebron hated so much?
-Because he left to go a team full of other stars? In the salary cap era its hard to start on a team already full of good players like Magic and Bird did. Furthermore, only a few championship teams have ever had only one hall of famer. the 77 Blazers with Walton, 79 supersonics with Dennis Johnson and 94 Rockets with Hakeem come to mind. You could make a case for the 75 Warriors, 04 Pistons and 11 Mavericks as well.
-Kobe and Duncan didn’t have to do this because Kobe did start on a very good team with Shaq and Duncan started on a team with Robinson. Lebron started with nothing and had nothing in the years to come. The cavaliers management gave him nothing.
-His 2-4 record in the finals. first of all, we don’t count finals losses. Jerry West had 8 finals losses and no one calls him out for that. Second of all, only one of those finals is really Lebrons fault. the 2011 finals he should have won and came up short. That was his fault. But the 07 Cavaliers he carried that team to the finals, remember when he scored 29 of the last 30 points against Detroit that year? and the ’14 Finals D-wade was injured and the Spurs team was just superior that year. Same with last finals, Kyrie irving and kevin love were injured and Lebron took the Warriors to 6 games with averages of 36/14/9. We can’t really say Lebron didn’t try in the finals, cause he did. (except in 2011)
-Statistically beats Kobe in every way, FG%, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, except for FT% the only area where he trails Kobe.
-Kobe has more rings but I already covered that it wasn’t Lebrons fault he lost 3 of those Finals. And he never had anyone like Prime Shaq or Phil Jackson to help him. He does have 3 more MVPs than Kobe does. There are those people who say that MVPs mean nothing and Kobe was robbed of MVPs when I say this, and imo thats just trying really really hard to be a Kobe fanboy. Kobe never even deserved the 2008 MVP; it should have gone to CP3. At no point in his career was Kobe actually the best player in the game if we look at WP48 and win shares. Duncan, Shaq and Lebron have held that title throughout Kobes career and arguably even Tmac and Dwade were better than Kobe at some point in their careers.
-More clutch than kobe; stats bear this out
-Finally, Lebron attracts free agents to play with him (ray allen mike miller etc) whereas Kobe drives away free agents (melo,aldridge, etc) and took a huge salary increase despite the fact that he was injured which gave the Lakers less salary cap to sign free agents; conversely Lebron took a pay cut while in Miami to play with Chris bosh and dwade

Magic is the greatest Laker of all time, period:
-People on the internet seem to argue that Kobe is the greatest Laker, even tho Magic is clearly the greatest Laker ever.
-Magic had 2 more MVPs, 1 more FMVP, shot 52%, while averaging 20/7/11. Kobe has only 1 MVP, 2 FMVP, shot 45% while averaging 25/5/5. The only thing Kobe is better at is volume shooting. Magic even has a higher FT % than Kobe, with 85%, and Kobe has 83%. This despite Magic being 6’9 and taller people having a harder time shooting FTs.
-Magic led the league in steals twice; Kobe never led the league in steals. Magic is a good defensive player despite not being on the all defensive team. Kobe’s defense is overrated.
-Magic/Kareem brought the Lakers to 9 Finals while Kobe only brought the Lakers to 7 Finals. They both brought 5 rings to the Lakers, but Magic did them all while being the leader of his team, while Kobe was a sidekick for his first 3 rings. You would never start a team with Kobe over Magic. If you do, you don’t deserve to talk about basketball anymore.
-Here are more arguments people make on the internet for Kobe: Magic played with a better team. Kobe didn’t so he’s better. This argument doesn’t make any sense. How does playing with a better team make someone less great? Maybe Magic was the reason why his teammates were better. Kobe on the other hand played with Shaq in his prime (Magic never played with prime Kareem), and having Gasol, Bynum and Lamar and Fisher those weren’t bad teammates either. He also played with Karl Malone and Gary Payton one year as well, as well as Nash and Howard one year. Kobe was the reason why the Shaqkobe Lakers couldn’t stay together and thats they couldn’t win any more championships. PLUS Magic had those MVPs during the 80s which validate his individual greatness. So this argument that having a better team DOESNT make that person any less great. Period.
-Kobe’s teams also played in a weaker era; they won against the 2000 Pacers, 2001 76ers, 2002 Nets, 2009 Magic and 2010 Celtics and lost against the 2004 Pistons and 2008 Celtics. The only all time great team there is the 2008 Celtics. Magic’s teams won against the 1980/1982 76ers, the 1985/1987 Celtics, and the 1988 Pistons, and lost against the 1983 76ers, 1984 Celtics, 1989 Pistons and 1991 Bulls. Those are all time great teams.
-Another argument that Kobe fans make: Magic said that Kobe was the greatest Laker so he must be the greatest Laker. Umm, since when did someone’s opinion make it fact? This plus the fact that Magic and Jerry West are known to be humble unselfish players, unlike Kobe, so would they ever say themselves as the greatest Laker? No of course not, they want to help Kobe out, so they said. It would be rude to say themselves as the greatest, when a current Hall of Famer is playing for the franchise and needs to make the Lakers more money. So that argument is stupid as well.
-Finally, how can Magic not be the greatest Laker when he’s ranked in the top 5 of most people’s greatest players lists. I’m not talking about current generation Laker fans who would probably rank Kobe right below Jordan, I’m talking about basketball experts who usually put Magic in the top 5 of all players along with Kareem, Russell, Wilt, Bird and Jordan in some order. Magic is always ranked in the top 5. Kobe however is usually ranked in the lower 5 of the top 10, almost always beneath Magic, so how can Kobe be the greatest Laker when Magic is the greater player?


Comparing Tim Duncan to other big men

Spurs just won the 2014 NBA Finals!! and they beat their opponents (the Miami Heat) by the largest combined margin in NBA history: 70 points. Pure dominance.

The greatest power forward of all time
The greatest power forward of all time

This is Tim Duncan’s 5th ring, and he’s still playing at a high level at 38 years old! Let’s look at some other players who have played for a long time and see how Duncan matches up (I’m using 37 as the threshold age here which was Wilt’s age when he retired):

Name FG% PPG RPG APG Age Year
Tim Duncan 0.502 17.8 9.9 2.7 37 2013
Kareem Abdul Jabbar 0.578 21.5 7.3 2.6 37 1984
Karl Malone 0.509 25.5 9.5 3.7 37 2000
Wilt Chamberlain 0.727 13.2 18.6 4.5 37 1973
Hakeem Olajuwon 0.458 10.3 6.2 1.4 37 2000
David Robinson 0.507 12.2 8.3 1.2 37 2002
Patrick Ewing 0.435 17.3 9.9 1.1 37 1999
Shaquille O’Neal 0.609 17.8 8.4 1.7 37 2009
Moses Malone 0.474 15.6 9.1 1.1 37 1992
Charles Barkley 0.477 14.5 10.5 3.2 37 2000
Robert Parish 0.580 15.7 10.1 1.3 37 1990
Elvin Hayes 0.472 16.1 9.1 1.8 37 1982
Artis Gilmore 0.619 16.7 8.5 1.4 37 1986
Kevin Garnett 0.496 14.8 7.8 1.1 37 2013

As you can see from this table, Wilt Chamberlain was an absolute beast, even in his late years! Aside from that, you can see why Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Karl Malone became the NBA’s all time leading scorer, and 2nd leading scorer respectively – they were putting up 20+ points when they were 37 years old! Tim Duncan actually compares quite favorably to Patrick Ewing when they were about the same age – though Duncan is a much better shooter. He is clearly up there when compared to other long lived big men.


NBA’s most dominant players of all time – ranking

I love to crunch statistics and data – and here I’ve compiled the most dominant single seasons of most NBA superstars, calculated by taking the total of the average number of points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game, since 1977. The reason I chose 1977 is because it was the first year after the league consolidated from the NBA-ABA split. And thus the level of competition became higher. Also modern rules started to take effect from that time. So unfortunately, I don’t have players like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Jerry West, Walt Frazier, Oscar Robertson, etc ranked since they played before 1977, and the numbers were exaggerated back then especially for rebounds. And yes, I realize this penalizes players like John Stockton and Tim Duncan who didn’t have a dominant season and were very consistent, but this list is for players who had very high ceilings, but it puts into perspective how many superstars had great single seasons before they got injured (Grant Hill, Bernard King, Tracy McGrady, Chris Webber, Pete Maravich are all prime examples).

But here is the list of most dominant single seasons for NBA superstars since 1977 (columns are in order, name, dominant year, PPG, RPG, APG, position played):

The most dominant single seasons for NBA superstars, ranked
The most dominant single seasons for NBA superstars, ranked

Couple things to note here:
-Shaq was incredibly dominant in 2000, beating even 1987 Jordan. I mean, 29.7 PPG and 13.6 RPG is just incredible. What a beast.
-Chris Webber’s 2001 season and Tracy McGrady’s 2003 season are monstrous: these guys deserve to go into the hall of fame for those seasons alone.
-Some players most people have not heard of: Bob McAdoo, Adrian Dantley, Bernard King, Artis Gilmore, Bob Lanier, Alex English.. there were alot of players back in the late 70s/early 80s who were very dominant offensively, and very dominant defensively, but were lost in the books after Magic/Bird arrived on the scene.
-Bill Simmons considers a score over 42 eligible for ‘Level 4/Pantheon’ level greatness. Of course, thats an average over an entire career.
-Players with no standout season but consistent performance like John Stockton and Tim Duncan are not represented well on here. Doesn’t mean they aren’t fantastic players, just means they didn’t have as high peaks.

Here are the greatest single season performances of NBA players, by position:

Point Guard
1) Magic Johnson (1987) – 23.9/6.3/12.2
2) Isiah Thomas (1985) – 21.2/4.5/13.9
3) Gary Payton (2000) – 24.2/6.5/8.9
4) Chris Paul (2009) – 22.8/5.5/11.0
5) Kevin Johnson (1990) – 22.5/3.6/12.2

Shooting Guard
1) Michael Jordan (1987) – 37.1/5.2/4.6
2) Kobe Bryant (2006) – 35.4/5.3/4.5
3) Allen Iverson (2006) – 33.0/3.2/7.4
4) Dwayne Wade (2009) – 30.2/5.0/7.5
5) Pete Maravich (1977) – 31.1/5.1/5.4

Small Forward
1) Lebron James (2010) – 29.7/7.3/8.6
2) Larry Bird (1988) – 29.9/9.3/6.1
3) Tracy McGrady (2003) – 32.1/6.5/5.5
4) Bernard King (1985) – 32.9/5.8/3.7
5) Adrian Dantley (1981) – 30.7/6.4/4.0

Power Forward
1) Karl Malone (1990) – 31.0/11.1/2.8
2) Charles Barkley (1988) – 28.3/11.9/3.2
3) Kevin Garnett (2004) – 24.2/13.9/5.0
4) Bob McAdoo (1978) – 26.5/12.8/3.8
5) Chris Webber (2001) – 27.1/11.1/4.2

1) Shaquille O’Neal (2000) – 29.7/13.6/3.8
2) David Robinson (1994) – 29.8/10.7/4.8
3) Moses Malone (1981) – 27.8/14.8/1.8
4) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1977) – 26.2/13.3/3.9
5) Hakeem Olajuwon (1994) – 27.3/11.9/3.6

…And just for fun, here’s the pre-1977 statistics too:

Greatest single season performances, pre-1977
Greatest single season performances, pre-1977

Will you take a look at that? How ridiculous was 1962 that five of the greatest pre-1977 players (Russell, Chamberlain, Baylor, Robertson, Bellamy) all peaked in that year??? And just take a look at Wilt/Elgin’s stats… its just ridiculous.