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Saturday, July 27th, 2013 at 1:01 pm  |  123 responses

Suns Trade Luis Scola to Pacers


by Ryne Nelson / @slaman10

One of the League’s best frontcourts just got better.

According to Yahoo, the Pacers are on the verge of adding a veteran big man Luis Scola to their frontcourt in exchange for Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green and a 2014 lottery protected first-round pick.

Reports surfaced late Friday night, and final terms of the deal were revealed Saturday afternoon:

The trade addresses the Pacers’ greatest need at backup power forward, while increasing their bench’s offensive potency with Scola joining Danny Granger, CJ Watson and Chris Copeland.

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  • spit hot fiyah

    haven’t seen him play a whole lot for the suns, but his last season with houston was very solid. if he has anything left this is a really good move by the pacers

  • mllanos

    Suns are getting talent slowly but surely

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    One of the best frontlines in basketball gets better. Heat, Pacers and Bulls matchups will be dog fights. And if Danny Granger is going to come off the bench and be cool with it, even better for Indiana.

  • spit hot fiyah

    please define talent

  • spit hot fiyah

    last thing i heard vogel said that granger would start, i think it would serve them to have him of the bench though. and i would throw the nest into the dog fight group

  • Isaiah B.

    Scola is a very talented offensive big, this just gives them more depth and the ability to challenge Miami with better post-up play.

  • Yep

    If Pacers get Scola, they are winning the East over the Heat and Bulls. Even though I have been a LeBron fan before all of the hype (thanks in large part to slam when Bron was a junior in high school), I think the Heat have been vastly overrated as a superior team. Sure, they are winning, but the only reason they win or are even in games for the most part is that they have LeBron. People can say “super-star team…etc.” just by the names, but they don’t look at the injuries/severe lack of production on the Heat squad.

    The Heat are either average or in the lower echelon of championship contending teams since the Bulls days. The Heat would get smashed by the Lakers 3peat b/c shaq, would lose to the Celtics and prime Spurs. The Heat 2006 would be close, but the post game too tough (and the refs maybe). The Heat would probably beat the pistons and the mavericks 9/10 times, though. The Heat against the Bulls would be 4-1 or sweep NOT because of Jordan vs. LeBron, but Jordan had suitable, really good to great complementary pieces around him, who actually supplemented his game (pippen = defense/all around game to clean up mess, Rodman = boards/defense, Paxson Kerr = shooters, etc.) Bron has inconsistent shooters/ ton of shooters at best as only pieces.

    if Bron went to Bulls instead of Heat, the Bulls would be indisputable best team in the league. They’d be sweeping playoffs and finals if not losing 1-2 games probably. We’d be talking about “Celtic-like” dynasty, but the mavs series kind of made Bron who he is today maybe.

  • Yep

    The Heat vs. 2009 and 2010 champs would be close. Fisher was better than chalmers and cole. Kobe vs Wade, I’d go with Kobe. If Wade healthy, still Kobe but slightly individual matchups. Artest would’ve been good on LeBron, but LeBron still would’ve been best player on the floor easily. Frontcourt is no question Lakers with Gasol and bynum. Idk about the role players

  • TR

    LeBron prime > Kobe prime

  • Ugh

    Of course, if LeBron had signed with Wilt’s Philly team in ’62, they’d have beaten the ’96 Bulls if the Bulls had signed Bill Walton instead of Luc Longley, but not the ’86 Celtics if they’d drafted Allen Iverson over Oscar Robertson.

    A.k.a HEY GUISE LETS MAKE ARBITRARY LISTS AND COMPARE THEM time!

  • Ugh

    “Can jump. A lot.”

  • RKJ92

    LOL you think the Pacers are winning the east? are you f*cked? they’re getting Luis Scola, not Michael Jordan.. show some respect; the Heat are the champs of not only the east, but the LEAGUE until things change. The season hasn’t even started yet and your already claiming Pacers winning the east.. smh that’s such a ridiculous statement.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    If LeBron had chosen Chicago in 2010, the Bulls would easily be the best team in the league. Doesn’t matter what any other team did. Rose probably wouldn’t have made the leap he made to an MVP level because he would’t have had to do as much as he did offensively, but he would still have improved. And he wouldn’t have torn his ACL or had the other injuries he had in 2011-2012 before that injury because he wouldn’t have been doing so much work offensively. That was the better long term option for Bron to me. Rose is only 24. He and James together would have been a nightmare. Plus, they still would have been able to get another big time free agent to join them because the Bulls had the money. But he has 2 championships and he’s had two of the best all-time seasons a player has ever had since losing to the Mavs. So it’s not like he made a bad decision. But I still think about what he and Rose could have done if he had made that move. Would have been a lot of fun to watch.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    I agree on both points. Granger should come off the bench because neither Chicago, Miami nor Brooklyn would be able to match that. But either way, Indiana’s going to be tough to beat 4 times in a series.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    What they’re doing is getting 1st round draft picks for the 2014 draft which will be a great draft.

  • melvo

    Roy Hibbert, David West, AND Luis Scola. Monstrous.

  • MZ

    I’ll take Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, Andray Blatche, and Andrei Kirilenko.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    0-82 baby

  • Yep ye

    Bro…Pacers were a game (some say possession) from winning the east. Look at the moves they made and look at the moves the Heat made. The pacers got significantly better. Their benc used to be Weak. Now it could be a starting line-up almost…easily one of best second strings in the game accounting for the fact that some to mosy of players started before…by the way, I have made a substantiated PREDICTION an use some reason and rationale in a basketball sense as to why the Pacer could beat the Heat…idl maybe because they have the stronger TEAM. The only reason Heat’ll win if they do is simply b/c Lebron. It only matters about the 10 guys playin on the court and if you have Bro on your squad healthy playing nearly the whole game you have a chance pf winning. But (I am a huuuuuuuge Bron fan and say he is arguably top player of all time to notably top 3) to bet 1 player against a team an take the player is outrageous, particularly when that team almost beat the one player in conf finals. I said this before the media…the Heat is not that much of a significant upgrade to the Cavs and Lebron prolly has the least help (with Kobe having the most help to the point where ppl are implausibly blinded to say Kobe led his team) ever for a superstar this past season

  • no excusez

    why mike miller =`(

  • Conor

    They replaced Hansbrough with Scola. Incredible.

    Miami’s hopes for a fourth consecutive Finals may have received its death knell with this trade, imo.

  • Conor

    Not ridiculous by any stretch. Indiana, who just got one of the best power forwards in the League, who took Miami to seven games without Danny Granger, and who now possess a confident, in-their-prime core are logically serious candidates to dethrone Miami.

    You’re a ridiculous statement of the consequences of conception.

  • Conor

    *is logically a

  • Conor

    Do you even remember how good the 2009 Lakers were? They would have embarrassed Miami more quickly than Dallas, at any point of the modern Heat’s era.

    As for 2010, it would have been much closer, but Miami wouldn’t even have defeated the 2010 Celtics to reach the Finals, imo. The Lakers’ and Celtics’ respective defences that postseason were suffocating. Offensively, LA was far superior to Miami.

  • Conor

    Good one.

    I’ll enjoy watching what James does once his denouement is complete and he goes into Post-Prime, which is what Kobe has been for four years now. He isn’t skilled enough at dribbling/footwork to handle fast, intense defenders as it is, so he’ll probably become more of a traditional power forward.

  • yep

    What arguments can you make for prime kobe over prime LeBron or for prime LeBron over prime-Kobe? Just curious.

  • FuTangClan

    I’d still take the Heat with a healthy Wade? But that’s just me. Upgrade from Hansbrough offensively but lacks the toughness, grittyness on defense.

  • yep

    True True True…Agreed Agreed Agreed.

    The only weakness the Pacers had was a bench last year. Now their bench can be a starting 5 for some squads if Granger accepts role to be 6th man.

    The Heat haven’t done anything significant and are chasing a low-risk high-reward player whose reward won’t necessarily be that significant and is simply based on potential. Wade is getting old and injured. LeBron is logging more minutes. Bosh has and probably will still severely underperform. The frontcourt for the Heat still is garbage relative to contending teams. The Heat have no bench. The heat have a ton of shooters, which is a dumb concept because what happens when none of the shooters who are playing are on…which has happened more times than not.

    It’s basically gonna be two solid, deep, great defensive, bruising teams (pacers and bulls) vs. 1 player (LeBron), ill-conceived small ball that only works with LeBron, and some shooters. No rebounding, no post game, no bench, no guard play…and still people who think they know basketball say the Heat is a great team…YEAH RIGHT. If you take Bron off that team, they probably drop to 6-7 or maybe not even make playoffs.

    Just another another testatment to Bron being arguably the GOAT already…fact = no superstar has had less help than Bron in winning a chip. If he didn’t ditch cleveland, he’d be like KG before the celtics, wasted, diminished legacy. If KG had been playing on spurs right now instead of duncan, who knows what may have transpired.

  • spit hot fiyah

    then yes

  • mike

    troll

  • Conor

    Better scorer, dribbler, post player, & defender. James is better at passing and rebounding.

    Essentially, I ask you to watch the 2005-2006 season, from tip-off to final buzzer, and tell me with a straight face/write me with an honest hand that that wasn’t one of the five greatest seasons in NBA history.

  • Conor

    The dude took teams whose points guards were named Smush and Shammond & whose starting centre was named Kwame Brown to the Playoffs, in the West.

    People truly don’t factor in how horrific the East has been over the past decade. I mean, comically poor.

  • Conor

    Stop.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Paul George isn’t in his prime yet. Neither is Hibbert. West is past his prime. And Scola isn’t one of the best power forwards in the league unless you think someone who’s in the bottom half of the top 20 being one of the best.

  • RKJ92

    How am I a troll? I posted a legitimate statement; infact you posting troll is just you trolling me…

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Kobe isn’t a better dribbler or defender. LeBron is a more efficient player, period. Scores easier. Better passer. Better rebounder. More athletic. Bigger. Stronger. Faster. Makes the best plays at the end of games whether it’s taking the shot or passing to an open teammate. All Kobe has on him is offensive skills. But even without them, LeBron still scored 31 a game in 05-06…with a jumpshot that he used to change throughout a game. He actually changed his shooting form during games. You can’t point to one season Kobe’s had that matches either one of LeBron’s last two seasons. 27, 8 and 7 on 57% shooting. And 27, 8 and 6 on 53% shooting.

    You can’t just look at a scoring average and say that it was one of the five greatest seasons in NBA history. One of the best scoring seasons? Yes. But not one of the best overall seasons.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Explain being up 3-1 and losing a series like Kobe did in 06.

    People do factor in how bad the East is, but it doesn’t mean much when you look at how average and below average LeBron’s teammates were when he took them to the Finals.

  • yep

    Defender goes to lebron that’s really inarguable. People have hyped Kobe to be super awesome at D (while he was great) no one has shown the versatility Bron has…Bron has locked up countless guards (Rose, Parker.etc) and guards bigs… “Oh Bron is just athletic and big, that’s why” is probably what you would say. Fine, but wasn’t kobe super athletic? Double standard at the least.
    Kobe has nice midrange post moves but does not play in the post so that goes to LeBron who is more effective in the post…Kobe does smash bron in post up game but Kobe usually would shoot wild, contested fadeaway midrange jumpers that as stats show would not go in nearly as many times as people like to believe just by seeing him shoot (numbers don’t lie)…scoring in terms of sheer volume of points or efficiency, fg%, reproducibility, dominance in scoring…Bron is a better scorer by the more effective, reproducible, efficient measurements while, yes, Kobe did score more points, however, 1) it was his mindset to try to score as much while it’s not for LeBron’s who still is virtually a top 3 lock every year in leading the league in scoring and has surpassed all of kobe’s milestones at similar points in career. Just because Bron doesn’t have as many 50 60 80 pt games as Kobe does not really mean anything…Darius miles and jamal crawford probably have more 50 pt games than Bron and Durant. Its how you get those points, how they benefit your team and teammates when getting those points. I think when actually diving deep into the surface of the scoring issue, most people will acknowledge Bron is a better scorer even though his jumpshot (even though might be more effective) does not look as pretty.
    Dribbling is purely aesthetic the way you’re looking at it. I could easily say that Bron’s dribbles are quick efficient because he has great first step and dribbles only once or twice to get to the lane (economical dribbler) while kobe has to use a lot which means there is more likelihood to get ripped. Go with turnovers as a possible measurement to assess dribbling skills…even though bron is more of an economical dribbler…what the heck does dribbling have to do with anything? Crawford got the nicest, arguably, handles in the game but he aint better than Dirk. Curry got handles but handles can lead to wasted energy, inefficiency, more turnovers, ballstopping…

    The East sucked. But seeing how the cavs dropped to arguably the statistically worse team ever to play before the bobcats came, the drop in w-l (even factoring in other changes), the lack of talent in the Cavs (Mo williams should’ve never been a 1 time all-star aka benefitted from 1 40 pt game right before all-star break and LeBron), and seeing how LEBRON LEADS THE MIAMI HEAT…if Kobe could get to the 5th seed then okay that argument about Bron carrying the cavs to 66-16 records, optimized playoff success (bron gets blamed for losses when he put up 38 8 8 or drops massive triple doubles 27 19 10 in elimination games where people say he didn’t try). But Kobe couldn’t even carry that squad to anything…

    Even on shaq days, the team had better record without Kobe and with shaq and worse record with Kobe and without shaq. Lakers have been proven to do better without Kobe playing or shooting nearly as much shots as he does…

    you’re only rebuttal will be the “you only look at stats…stat heads don’t know anything about real basketball”…that’s sooooooooooo misinformed of a statement. I do factor in different variables to their games than “stats” like dictating tempo etc, dominance, etc. But the thing is, when we talk about great players we talk about those who help their teams win, who are reliable and reproducible, and who we would want on our teams for best chance of success, who is most skilled etc…stats for the most part show this more than the “eye-test” which has failed many.

  • yep

    you posted a statement bashing my prediction. Did you really factor in basketball reasons as to why the Heat will win (besides Lebron being on the Heat) or did you just say that since they won last season they will win again even though they have done nothing to improve, actually seemed to regress with wade’s injury and bosh’s continued underperformance and lebron’s heavy minutes while the Pacers now legitimately have a bench in which the 2nd string could be a starting 5 for a squad and is arguably now one of the best 2nd strings that come to mind in the league?

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Not sure how he is once he’s past his prime will matter. If he continues to go like this, by the time he’s 32, he’ll be a top 5 all-time player. And he’ll move Kobe behind him on that all-time list. MVPs, championships (none as a sidekick like Kobe…no hate, just stating facts), Defensive First team selections (already at 5, 4 more will be done easily), Finals MVP awards, etc. Also have to remember that unlike Kobe, he’s a physical freak. So no one knows if he’ll break down the way Kobe did before he went to Germany for that knee procedure.

  • yep

    Not only below average…objectively look at what LeBron has done for the Miami Heat. He leads them in pts, reb, asst, and steals. He is crazy efficient. He has always been “clutch” except for a series. People just want to hate on the dude for no valid basketball reasons…

    “Oh he left cleveland. It’s dwade’s town. He can’t hit a game winner with .1 second left on the clock. He is not a killer etc.” are all cliche inaccurate statements stemming from FAIRWEATHER FANS who have NO PLACE talking about real basketball…bring something to the conversation besides these media created terms to make the game “more interesting” with more storylines like WWE.

  • heybrother

    Um…wow. You got’em brother. No way someone can rationally state Kobe is better than LeBron James

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    In Cleveland, his teammates were average or below average especially when they got to the playoffs. He was basically playing by himself in the postseason. He’s had one bad series where he disappeared and one game against Boston where he disappeared. Other than that, he’s come through so many times in the playoffs in clutch moments. In his first playoff game ever, he had a triple double and a game winning layup.

    In Miami, he led one of the best regular season teams in the history of the league with that 27 game winning streak. But in the playoffs, they were not that team. Not last season or the season before. Wade got hurt again last season. And Bosh, now a jumpshooter more than anything in that offense, averaged a terrible 12 points. Wade only averaged 16. LeBron at times had to play like he was back in Cleveland…and they still won. The Pacers were close to beating them and if they had a point guard, they may have. But let’s not forget that the biggest reason why they didn’t wasn’t what they didn’t have, it was what Miami had which was the best player in the league. So many people said that if it got to Game 7, LeBron was going to get it done. And he did. Both in the Conference Finals and the NBA Finals. Don’t know what else people want from him.

  • Yep

    Put Bron on the Lakers with that squad and put Kobe on the cavs…

    You’d be saying “the dude took teams whose point guards were Williams and centre was ilgauskas”…

    GOT EM

  • yep

    Agreed Agreed Agreed

  • RKJ92

    Why don’t you come back to me April next year, and when the Heat win (which they will) I will say hey! yep, remember me? the guy that told you the heat will win because it isn’t whats on paper that makes you elite, its your team chemistry, and overall performance, and the fact that they’ve been on the big stage the last 3 years in a row. That’s when you will feel stupid, and know that it’s not because the team looks pretty to you and wins your heart over it’s because the team needs to have the complete package. but seriously.. i’m gonna save this page today bookmark it, and when the Heat win next year i’m gladly gonna post is just to make you look stupid because you call my basketball knowledge out and actually tried to make a case against the nba champs (which hurts my head).

  • RKJ92

    This is why I find this argument funny, and to add to all that they have 4-5 new pieces that are going to have to gel with the team, so by no stretch would I take the pacers over the Heat, not now, not in the future. These younger guys need to learn.

  • RKJ92

    see below..

  • RKJ92

    LOL this man said “better dribbler” get off this site bahaha

  • yep

    Couldn’t you also flip the argument and say that because they played on the big stage last 3 years that they will be have been playing so many games that has taken a toll on Miami, especially considering they are one of the oldest teams in the league and have not made any moves to pick up legit players like the pacers.

    I agree that it isn’t what’s on paper that makes you elite (i.e. 2012-13 Lakers), but to predict the Heat will downright win and the pacers won’t be able to contest (when they were in serious contention to win the conf finals this year) doesn’t make sense.

    The Pacers drastically improved (watson, granger back, copeland, scola) on the one weakness that prevented them from reaching the finals while Miami has not at all improved its roster and may have hurt it by losing one of their shooters who actually played (Miller)

    I want the Heat to win because thanks in large part to slam I’ve been a lebron fan before the hype…but give reasons as to why the Heat will beat the pacers? Actually basketball reasons.

  • Reedo

    09′ Fisher was not be better than Norris Cole and Chalmers now. I’m sorry I respect all the big shots he’s made. But he’s been a liability on D since Utah days. I’m not going as far as saying Chalmers is a top 10 PG as he self proclaims but I have watched the man go for 20 in 2 finals in a row against REAL top 10 PG’s. And there’s no way Fisher can stay in front of Cole in transition

  • yep

    good point. It’s safe to say then that both teams had poor guard play, but how was brain shaw?

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Granger, whether he comes off the bench or starts, isn’t going to just play exactly like he did before he got hurt. There will be an adjustment period for him. He’ll have to adjust to George being the man on that team. He’ll have to get used to taking less shots and probably being 3rd in line as far as touches go behind both George and Hibbert. And if he does come off the bench, I’m guessing that won’t be the easiest thing for him to do. They’re a great team, the 2nd best in the East when it comes to having a chance to win the championship. They’re the team that could knock Miami off. But going into next season, until someone knocks them off, it’s Miami’s conference to lose and it’s their championship to defend.

  • LametoFame

    It will come to a point where people will use this argument, “Kobe played more seasons than LeBron or Kobe has more total points than LeBron” when both have retired. That’s how bad it could get for people who overhype Kobe sooooooooooooooo much.

  • RKJ92

    LOL how does being in the finals the last 3 years take a toll on you? IT MAKES YOU HUNGRY TO STAY CHAMPIONS DURRR, listen to me, and listen carefully.. The pacers replaced a TOUGH Tyler Hansborough with a great per 36 minute eff, with a 34 year old Scola who you don’t even know if he will be the same player given this year, or even next year because he’s an old post player. You see, the Heat resigned everyone but Miller, they know there roles, they don’t have to gel, and god help the league if they sign Greg Oden on Monday this argument will laughable. The only player I would see as a threat against the heat is Granger and even then Miami has LeBron, and Battier like your argument is null for every weapon Indiana has Miami has that weapon, AND more name the matchups at every position, the only one Indiana wins is center and a slightly better bench, that will NOT be enough.

  • RKJ92

    Thank you, well said!

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    LeBron’s played a ton of basketball the last 18 months. But this is the first summer he’s had time to catch his breath and rest. So if he can have the kind of season he had in 2012-2013 without any rest after playing in the Olympics, think about how he’ll be coming back after a summer off.

    The Pacers best player is 23. He’s good and will be great within the next 1 or 2 seasons probably. But he’s just 23. LeBron is the biggest threat to Indiana. He’s at a point now where if he’s going to be stopped, he’s going to have to stop himself. Because there isn’t a team that can contain him especially now that his jumpshot is no longer a weak spot in his game. Also have to be weary of Wade because no one knows when he’s going to show up and have vintage Wade games like he had against the Spurs. They lost Miller, but James Jones and Rashard Lewis are still there. They weren’t even in the rotation but they’re snipers just like Miller is.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Kobe’s great but his fanatics talk about him like he’s untouchable at times. They have nothing to say except that he has 5 rings and has scored a lot of points. I could make better arguments for him than they do and I’m not even obsessed with him like they are.

    The main point is LeBron may end up doing what Kobe did, if not more, as far as team accomplishments go within 3 seasons. He’s just a different breed of player. That’s not a knock on Kobe at all. I’ve loved watching him play since the 96 Rookie Game and kept up with him since he got drafted. But it is what it is. LeBron’s style of play makes it easier for him and his team to be successful. If he wins 4 titles as the best player on his team along with the individual awards, those fanatics will lose their minds because that will put him ahead of Kobe on that all-time list. What argument can be made against a dude who puts up 27, 8 and 7 during the regular season and 26, 10 and 7 in the Finals?

  • Conor

    George is an All-Star at 23, thus his present capacity is that of a Prime player.

    Hibbert dominates regardless, and historically, centres’ averages don’t vary extensively so we can pretty much expect what he did during the Playoffs last season as the status quo against Miami.

    West is still in his prime.

    Scola is Top 15, so yes, he is one of the best. And that is significant coming off of the bench.

  • Conor

    Bryant was a better dribbling, that’s not even a question. And it’s kind of hilarious you think otherwise.

    Bryant’s man-to-man defence was incredibly superior to James’ during his prime than at any point of James’ career. Also unquestionable. James is a slightly better help defender.

    The 2006 season was about much, much more than scoring… He scored many points, but he also elevated Brown, Parker, Farmar, Vujacic, Cook, Walton, and Odom to levels they had never approached before, let alone reached.

    The aforementioned group were one rebound away from securing a six-game victory over Nash’s Suns. Think about that.

  • Conor

    *was better at dribbling (still is)

  • Conor

    Yes, yes. A fantastic accomplishment once again made in the East.

  • Conor

    I didn’t realize Kobe played every position on the court, at once, for LA. Are you joking?

  • Conor

    You’re basically arguing that I’m wrong because you don’t interpret the game in the same way I do.

    Who cares if James can guard all five positions? Can he lock down all five positions? No. I also noticed you omitted Rondo, Irving, Paul, Jennings, and Williams from your list. Why? Because it would be a joke for him to try to guard them, which Kobe does – effectively still – at 34.

    James is a better help defender, not a better individual defender.

    James didn’t score more because he didn’t want to? I guess I could just say that Kobe would have had more assists if he passed more and that would make him a better passer, right? No.

    Evidently you care about dribbling enough to write a paragraph about it… if you can’t just say that Kobe is a better dribbler, you have no business making other points. It’s a simple fact.

    If Larry Bird, Dr. J, and MJ all picked Kobe, who are we to disagree?

  • Conor

    I’m not hating… James is the best, today. But in something known as The Big Picture, Kobe is inarguably the better player. Skills, accolades, and certain stats.

  • Saleem Rainman

    *SLUUUUURPPPPPPPPPP*

  • daBiz

    “Sure, they are winning, but the only reason they win or are even in games for the most part is that they have LeBron.”

    Exactly. They have LeBron; he’s a member of their team. You can’t separate his teammate’s performance from his. And you shouldn’t discount the Heat’s championships simply because they have a single extraordinary player. If you do, recognize that every championship team from the past 30 years, minus the ’04 Pistons, had at least one all-time singular force.

    Further, you probably shouldn’t stop be a LeBron fan now; you shouldn’t assume that any of those championship teams from the past — or the current pacers (!!!) — could roll him. The dude has legitimately entered the top 5 all-time conversation. Usually, those guys figure out how to win playoff series, regardless of how overmatched their teams appear to be — ask the ’98 pacers.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    LeBron made the All-Star team in 2005…was he in his prime? Kobe made it his 2nd season in the league when he wasn’t even starting on the Lakers…was he in his prime? See how silly that is?

    Hibbert isn’t dominant offensively. He’s good, but he’s not catching the ball in the post and dominating games. Until he puts up 17 and 10 for a season, not just in the playoffs, he’s just a good center. One of the best in a league with very few good centers.

    David West is 32 years old. His prime years were with Chris Paul in New Orleans when he was a 20 and 9 guy…that’s not who he is now.

    Top 10 is being one of the best…nothing lower than that really deserves to be discussed in that “one of the best” conversation. No one says DeMar DeRozan is one of the best shooting guards in the league. Per 36 minutes, his numbers are identical to Marreese Speights…no one says Speights is one of the best power forwards in the league. See how silly that also is?

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    You’re right…it’s not a question because it’s obvious that LeBron is a better ballhandler. LeBron can play 4 positions and play them well. Kobe, at his best, was a shooting guard capable of making plays for teammates although he never was as interested as he should have been in making those plays for his teammates.

    LeBron locked down maybe the best attacking point guard in the league in D-Rose in the 2011 Conference Finals. Kobe was great, but did he guard Iverson in the 2001 Finals? If he was so great, why wasn’t he placed on the MVP of the league to try to contain him? I remember Tyronn Lue and Derek Fisher on him, but not Kobe too much.

    He elevated those guys? He elevated them so much against the Suns didn’t he? Same series he decided not to shoot? Same series they lost 3-1 to a Suns team playing without Amar’e Stoudemire? That group was one game with Kobe deciding to play away from advancing. One game. All he had to do was shoot the ball. You think about that.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Foolishness all over the place. James not scoring more and Kobe not passing more have nothing to do with each other. No comparison there at all. Passing more was better for the Lakers. LeBron not shooting more is better for the Heat. And that’s the difference. Kobe didn’t pass more because he didn’t want to. LeBron doesn’t score more because he knows it’s better for his team if they play as one team…not one guy doing what he does and hoping the other guys can score whenever that one guy passes them the ball.

    Bird, Dr. J and MJ can say whatever they want. That doesn’t end any discussion. I can throw some other legends out there who take LeBron. Barkley, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    The accolades that you’re talking about are the ones Kobe has only because he’s been in the league 7 years longer than LeBron has. Defensive first team selections, All-Star teams…The big picture is about who does more in their prime. The biggest individual accolade is MVPs…LeBron has 4 in 5 seasons…Kobe has 1. LeBron’s 2 Finals MVP awards already match Kobe’s. In his prime, Kobe was a great scorer and defender. LeBron, in his prime now, is a great scorer, defender, passer, and rebounder. This is so simple.

    The only two stats you can point to are points and free throw percentage where Kobe has an advantage. There are more stats than points. There are no other stats that you can look at and say that Kobe, at his best, was better than LeBron is now. Not one. Rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, three point percentage, blocks, steals. LeBron is equal to Kobe in career three point percentage, but better with all of those other stat categories I mentioned.

  • GetOuttaHereBro

    1) you’re argument about hunger is stupid. How many teams besides old celtics went to 4 consec finals? Im pretty sure none; is it they weren’t hungry enough?

    2) you must not have seen the playoffs this year. George hill vs. chalmers is a wash if not in favor of hill. Chalmers aint even a top 15 pg in the league. Stephenson was light years ahead of wade in playoffs. Even if Born Ready didn’t score, he as a SG still pulled 10+ boards. Lebron vs Paul george easily goes to Bron but dont act like PG wasnt a problem and did well against Bron. West manhandled Bosh even when West was sick in one of the games with fever. Hibbert vs. any of the heats centers is Hibbert all day. The benches both sucked for both teams. Ray Allen was aight, hansborough mahimi were big bodies.

    The only debatable matchup is @ point…but damn it still favors the pacers. The pacers had #1 D in league and ate up Miami on boards. The only reason Miami won was b/c pf Lebron. Now that the pacers have a significantly better bench and granger (who is a lil overrted but still solid) comin back while the heat gave up mike miller and might sign

  • TR

    My dude, do you even look at advanced stats? I’m not entertaining these kobe over lebron myths anymore.

  • burnt_chicken

    Conor would know. He’s been watching the NBA as a hardcore fan since at least, what? 2003? 2004? He has every right to an absurd request like that with the historical perspective of the L that he brings to the table. Word.

  • yep

    ishmael…you along with a few others are the best commenters on slam…you shockexchange nbk drop duh hate and maybe lakeshow

  • greg

    Miami NEEDS Oden

  • StatingtheFacts

    Ishmael…I’ve been following the conversation and you sir have effectively thoroughly out debated Conor.

    Well played sir, well played

  • StatingtheFacts

    You sir are severely incorrect. Skills = no. Accolades = have you been alive for the last decade. Certain stats = inefficiency in ppg and FT% THAT’s IT.

    G’day to you.

  • OG

    MAH NICCUH ISH TO THE MA EL YOU DUN DUNNIT CUH GREAT DEBATER LIKE UZE DENZEL MAH G… CONNOR YOU SEEM PRETTY CHILL MAH DUDE BUT REALLY THO, COME TO THE TABLE WID BETTER ARGUMENTS MY BROTHA CUZ YO ISH WAS TURNED BACK ON YO HEAD MAH NICCUH…AND YOU PROLLY STILL THINK YOU WON.

    MAH G WHEN YOUR POSTS GET SHORTER YOU/MORE IRRELEVANT YOU KNOW YOU LOST…

    REALLY THO, ITS GOOD TO SEE 2 YOUNG BUX WRESTLE TALKIN BAUGHT DEM HOOPS BABY AND DOIN SOMETIN MODERATELY PRODUCTIVE RATHUH THAN BE AUGHT IN DEM STTTTTTTREEEETZ DOUGH RUFF RIDIN CLIQUE MAH BOAAUCE

  • yep

    Bron has entered top 2 all time to b exact

  • King David

    he wouldnt be hated either if he went to
    Bulls…..

  • Tim Johslen

    What?!?!

    Is Scoop Jackson writing this piece?

    Finally, a great comment that has no flaws.

    Lebron is the GOAT.

    His teams always have sucked. But his skills elevate.

    Grat commenting. Slam hire this cat.

  • Conor

    I didn’t realize Youtube was a fantasy. Are you serious?

    I’ve taken the time to actually survey the styles of play of Cousy, Russell, West, Chamberlain, McAdoo, Petit, Frazier, Pearl, Robertson, KAJ, Walton, Goodrich, Dr. J, Magic, Bird, Gervin, Wilkes, Thomas, Worthy, Jordan, Barkley, M. Malone, Cooper, Dumars, Olajuwon, Ewing, Payton, Maravich, Stockton, Rodman, K. Malone, O’Neal, Hill, Penny, Pippen, Grant, Mutumbo, Bias, Wilkins, McHale, Parish, KG, Bryant, Allen, Duncan, McGrady, Carter, Nash, Kidd, Williams, Paul, James, Wade, Durant, Westbrook, Parker using their teams’ respective principles and how they have performed within the contexts of their teams’ respective schematics.

    I research these things not only to learn their history, but to apply what I have learnt to my own game. And as someone who has achieved some success at basketball with Team Ontario, I believe I have both a natural understanding of the game and a good idea of what “good” is. To envision playing against or with any one of the aforementioned players, I believe I would learn the most from Kobe Bryant. The guy has learnt literally everything you can the game. His complete knowledge and the consequent physical manifestation of that mastery is unsurpassed in the NBA’s history.

    In other words, I agree with Larry Bird, Julius Erving, and Michael Jordan instead of your dumb ass, burnt_chicken

  • Conor

    MVP is media-based. I prefer peer-evaluation, like SI’s player polls which, for ten consecutive seasons elected Kobe as the best player.

    What would Kobe do with Shane Battier, Ray Allen, Wade, Chris Bosh, etc? Does James make their shots for them? He has always been surrounded by efficient shooters. Kobe has not.

    Kobe wasn’t a great rebounder or passer in his prime? Is that what you’re arguing? Do you even understand basketball?

    As for career stats, which you are using, they cannot compare because Bryant was a bench player during his first three seasons. The statistics are skewed.

  • Conor

    Read my recent point, you drunkard.

  • Conor

    He traveled and stepped out-of-bounds on two of those postseason game winners against Washington. Nice one, though.

    Miami’s streak ended twice. Once at the fifteenth game against Sacramento; twice against Orlando, but the officials found their way.

    What? Are you trying to garner support for James by making him some sort of sympathetic, misunderstood player? It’s basketball, man. James has done well. One of the best, most well-advertised players in history (which clearly works to “inform” the opinions of most “fans of the game” who come on here in a historical context). Kobe’s better. You can read all of the lists you wish, but when Jordan, Bird, Erving, Magic, and KAJ change their opinions, I will admit I was incorrect.

    However, I am not.

  • Conor

    LeBron not shooting more is better for the Heat… but they only won the past two Finals because he scored more… excellent logic, sir. Kobe can average as much or more assists than James whenever he wants to. The difference between the two is that Kobe’s designated snipers have been Rice, Fox, Fisher, Horry, Vujacic, and now, old Nash. James has had the likes of Williams, Parker, Allen, and Battier. You’d better be able to garner more assists passing to the latter group.

    You can throw those legends in, but you’ll just have company in fallacy. Barkley’s wrong anyway, since he has stated the he believes Kobe is Top Five, historically. Again, good attempt.

  • RunNGun

    So, uh, is a Kevin Love foot print included in the trade? LOL

  • Conor

    Their talents were in line with star players in their primes. George is 23. Kobe began winning championships at 21.

    Hibbert was dominant against the Heat. That is what I wrote.

    32 isn’t twilight. West is still capable of scoring 20 points in a single half against Miami, so he isn’t too far over the hill.

    If he is amongst the top fifteen of thousands of professional basketball players – including the dozens of PFs in this League – then yes, Scola is considered one of the best.

    No one is talking about DeRozan or Speights. We’re talking about Scola.

  • HakanK

    All due respect, and love to King James, give some credit to Heat organization to get two rings for James. Why did not he able to get even one before Miami Heat?
    Miami Heat have not make its move yet. Just wait, you haters! There is a saying “If My grand mother had beard, she would be my grand father”..If LJ went to…….

  • RKJ92

    The fact that you said Stephenson was lightyears ahead of Wade in the playoffs A) warrants your basketball knowledge, and B) warrants no other responses from me but this.

  • Feez_22

    Adding Scola to this team is big. the heat have enough problems as it is defending the paint. However, the pacers still have not adequately addressed the problem of turnovers. I do not think that Earl Watson solves that problem. I think that as long as the pacers continue to have the problem of turnovers, they will continue to be vulnerable to a heat team that is not done in terms of making moves. The pacers will still have to count on wade being injured, the heat not adding size or a random addition (like the birdman) who vastly improves the versatility of the team and have to count on not turning the ball over a million times a game.

    The heat are still in the drivers seat in the eastern conference but i do think that the pacers are at the very least riding shotgun. If the pacers can find a backup set up man point guard then i would consider them as a true undeniable threat because that is the pacers main weakness. they just turn the ball over way too much.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Kobe began winning before he was in his prime. He didn’t hit his prime until Shaq got traded.

    Hibbert was dominant defensively against the Heat. Not offensively. Not that hard to score when you’re the tallest player on the floor going against Miami’s frontline.

    West isn’t the same player he was in New Orleans. Watch him play once in a while. Would he be talking about retiring once his new contract is up if he was still in his prime?

    No one talks about a guy being one of the best if he’s in the bottom of the top 15 or 20. That’s just ridiculous. Not my fault if you can’t understand how stupid that is. That’s reserved for the top 10 guys at their position.

    You didn’t catch the comparison. Flew right over your head. Not surprised.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Those Jordan comparisons would be wild if he went to Chicago. Not sure how much he’d be hated, but he’d be playing with that Jordan statue outside the United Center and all of his accomplishments everywhere he turned.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    LeBron averaged less PPG against the Spurs than he did in the regular season. And he averaged the same amount as he did during the regular season against the Thunder in 2011-2012…so exactly what are you talking about? He didn’t score more in the Finals. He rebounded more. Scored the same amount. Had the same amount of assists.

    The fact that Kobe didn’t want to be a more complete player during his prime says a lot about his mindset and not in a positive way. Especially when Gasol and Bynum were at their best. Phil Jackson wanted him to play more like Scottie Pippen, but he didn’t want to do it. They won despite him not giving Gasol and Bynum as many shots as they deserved.

    Barkley is wrong because he disagrees with you and the legends you mentioned? Yeah, because that’s the measuring stick everyone should use. If he says that LeBron could be as great as Michael, that would put him above Kobe obviously in his mind. And he has a right to his opinion like anyone else. You disregarded Oscar Robertson who is talked about as being the best player ever along with Jordan, Magic, and Kareem. His opinion holds as much weight as anyone else’s.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Hilarious. Here we go. So now the officials were the reason why their winning streak continued? You sound like a complete buffoon.

    We could do that all day. That’s like saying Jordan’s shot against the Jazz in 98 didn’t mean much because he shoved Byron Russell before he took it. I’m sure you can find a Jazz fan who believes Jordan fouled Karl Malone on that steal before he hit that shot over Russell. Or a Suns fan who thinks Kobe’s dunk over Steve Nash in 06 shouldn’t have counted because Nash was set and it was a charge in some people’s minds. Or Smush Parker fouled Nash on that steal in Staples in 06 so neither Kobe’s shot after that play nor his game-winner should have counted. The word is overused but you’re a prime example of a hater. Give it a rest.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but bringing up those guys just because they agree with you means absolutely nothing at all. And it doesn’t end arguments when Oscar Robertson, who was better than Bird and Dr. J without question and is talked about as being the best player ever with Jordan, Magic and Kareem, has a different opinion.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    If Kobe had more MVPs, you wouldn’t be here saying it’s just media based. And of course you had to bring up SI because that poll agrees with your opinion. Everyone knows who has watched that LeBron has been the best individual player in the league since 2008-2009. But we know, whatever you can find that agrees with you, you bring it up as if it’s supposed to be definitive and nothing else matters, correct? Doesn’t work that way.

    Since you brought up Wade…what would LeBron have done with prime Shaq in LA? That question pretty much destroys anything you have to say about the teammates they’ve played with. Because Shaq wouldn’t have had to leave LA. They may have won 8 championships in a row. And Wade isn’t a shooter, he’s a scorer. Don’t know why you brought him up in that category with those other guys…but that shows exactly how little you know about the game. Kobe’s not a facilitator by nature so he wouldn’t have done any differently with Battier, Allen, Miller, and Chalmers than he did with Fox, Rice, or Fisher.

    Kobe has averaged 7 rebounds just one season in his career. James has averaged less than 7 rebounds in a season just once…his rookie season. And Bryant’s just two inches shorter than James is. That means he was never a great rebounder.

    The stats aren’t skewed. They are what they are. All they show is that LeBron was much better coming out of high school and more ready to play immediately. Kobe came off the bench behind Eddie Jones because he wasn’t ready right away. But you can’t say that because you can’t talk truthfully about your dude.

  • Pok Chow

    And just to add on, when Granger comes back, he has to adjust to not being “the man” on his team. In the past, he could touch the ball so many times, so he can get a feel and produce in games. Now, with reduced minutes and possibly coming off the bench, he has to become efficient. If he’s not efficient, he could do more harm than good for the team.

    Also, whether he’ll come back to his original level after that injury is still a coin toss.

    And Scola is one of the best PF? Please withdraw your statement, It’s not even close.

    I DO love what the Pacers got going on. Next season’s gonna be awesome to watch.

    I AM a Heat fan. I think if miami’s other two “big three” don’t do anything about their obvious degression, their 3rd title run will stand a lower chance.

  • GetOuttaHerebro

    Light years wa an exaggeration on my part; my fault. However, in the pacers vs heat series, I, as well as ppl who watched the series, would easily go with stephenson over wade simply b/c wade showed absolutely no effort which hurt the team b/c he would not get back on D and would take lazy early in the shot clock long 2′s. Whereby, stephenson was putting up double digit boards the heat needed, energy the heat needed, toughness the heat needed, etc. on the break, stephenson has shown he ha the potential to be right up there with the best like wase and bron on the break. Steph did have his bad moments which you could expect since he is on the come up but Wade didn’t have any good moments (maybe a few) in that series. When i look at ball, i focus on present situations to determine who is better i dont simply rely on names or resumes.

  • RKJ92

    Well unfortunately statistics is what matters, and not what you see. I commend you for putting up an argument though.

  • Lloyd

    Sure the Heat are the reigning champs, but let’s not act like their championship next year is a foregone conclusion. Most of the top teams in the East have improved their rosters this off season. The Heat definitely will have to step their game up because the supportive play by anyone not named Lebron James was way too inconsistent to be relied on again.

    Just a little add on…what if I told you it’s possible to disagree with someone without being completely obnoxious about it? The fact that you said that the Heat potentially acquiring Greg Oden makes the matchup with the Pacers laughable shows that you’re not as smart as you think you are, so maybe take it down a peg. Or continue to think you’re a genius but at least debate someone rather than being an ass.

  • GetOuttaHereBro

    IMO, its a bit of both. Someone could average 10 pts but what If it really came in garbage time or really inefficiently where it urts team by not setting up others or breaking momentum or just stupid shot which leads to easy buckets down the end. You could average assts without really setting up your teammates or helping them. However, for the most part stats are accurate.

    But when you say stats, are you simply saying you’d pick wade over steph in that 7 game PO series b/c their lifetime stats? I hope not…i sincerely hope that you did not just do that because that is completely irrelevant and proves my point that the media has hype names ao muvh that people now look the present time only by a players name. It was clearly evident for the games stephenson outplayed Wade and was a force. Sure he had his downs but statistically I wouldn’t doubt stephenso dis better particularly on boards. The only problem with stats for a 7 game sample is that 1 game can skew a series greatly. For instance a guy could drop (hypothetically) 30 and 20 in 1 game but go 0 and 0 the next and still average 15 and 10. Also, if lance had 1 awful performance and had great others while wade had one great game but awful others stats would say they would balance out and b equal, however id rather have thr guy who did well 6/7 games than 1/7…its called consistency…please reply eith some sense.

  • Conor

    There was no initial comparison between Scola and another player. You cannot invent a comparison midway through the debate and patronize someone for not understanding how you conceived of the moronic comparison.

    He’s a Top 15 power forward coming off of the bench. They replaced Hansbrough with Scola. If that isn’t a massive, evident upgrade to you, I don’t know what is.

  • Conor

    Hibbert wasn’t dominant because it was easy for him? Do you understand what dominance is? LOL

  • Conor

    I’d enjoy playing against you one-on-one to unveil how much we really know about basketball.

    NBA players’ opinions hold more clout than yours, Ishmael. I’m sorry.

    Shaq’s weight would have remained the same and James had a worse ego than Bryant did at the same age (hence, almost being removed from Team USA in 2008 before brass concluded to have Jason Kidd “babysit” him; what a quintessential teammate, though! You know so much!). So, no, eight consecutive championships was not likely.

    Kobe’s rebounding is a product of his position on the court. He rebounds as well as anyone when he wants (Finals 2010), he serves as a conduit to LA’s offence whenever he wants (WCF 2009 & 2010, Finals 2009) – (Jackson once said Bryant was the best playmaker he ever had). I guess you’re right because I never make points which align identically with yours, though. That seems to be your argument.

    Anyway…

    “I’ve taken the time to actually survey the styles of play of Cousy, Russell, West, Chamberlain, McAdoo, Petit, Frazier, Pearl, Robertson, KAJ, Walton, Goodrich, Dr. J, Magic, Bird, Gervin, Wilkes, Thomas, Worthy, Jordan, Barkley, M. Malone, Cooper, Dumars, Olajuwon, Ewing, Payton, Maravich, Stockton, Rodman, K. Malone, O’Neal, Hill, Penny, Pippen, Grant, Mutumbo, Bias, Wilkins, McHale, Parish, KG, Bryant, Allen, Duncan, McGrady, Carter, Nash, Kidd, Williams, Paul, James, Wade, Durant, Westbrook, Parker using their teams’ respective principles and how they have performed within the contexts of their teams’ respective schematics.

    I research these things not only to learn their history, but to apply what I have learnt to my own game. And as someone who has achieved some success at basketball with Team Ontario, I believe I have both a natural understanding of the game and a good idea of what “good” is. To envision playing against or with any one of the aforementioned players, I believe I would learn the most from Kobe Bryant. The guy has learnt literally everything you can the game. His complete knowledge and the consequent physical manifestation of that mastery is unsurpassed in the NBA’s history.

    In other words, I agree with Larry Bird, Julius Erving, and Michael Jordan instead of your dumb ass…”

    Go to Ottawa, Canada some time and challenge me to a basketball game. Like I said, I’d enjoy teaching you about basketball, Ishmael.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Read closely. DeMar DeRozan is a top 15-20 SG. Speights is a top 15-20 PF. No one talks about them being one of the best at their position. It’s the same with Scola. Such an easy comparison to follow.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Competition wasn’t up to par against him. Not because of how great he was, but because of how little the Heat had to go against him. That’s not domination worth talking about or making a big deal out of.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    That’s where you want to take it? NBA players opinions hold more weight than yours too then lol. It goes both ways dude. Barkley, the Big O, Jerry West…their opinion means more if that’s where you want to take it. But the discussion continues. It doesn’t just end when you find a few players who agree with you because I can find some who agree with me which I did. And one of the legends who favors LeBron over Kobe (Robertson) is seen as being better than most of the legends who hold the same opinion you hold.

    One guy is rumored to have been a problem in 2008 with the Olympics. The other guy said out of his own mouth that he wanted to prove that he could win without the most dominant player of a generation. He broke up a dynasty just so that he could unsuccessfully chase Jordan. He struggled accepting Phil Jackson’s coaching. He shot his team out of the Finals against the Pistons. He didn’t shoot in a regular season game to prove some kind of point. Then he did it again in a playoff game when his team was one win away from advancing. Kobe wins the ego battle.

    You lost. Give it up. The stats are there. Google them. You have no ground to stand on with this. You don’t need to copy and paste that gibberish that you responded to someone else with. I don’t care about any of that. Could care less about your “research”. I’ve watched Jordan, Kobe and now LeBron all in their prime years. This is very simple. Either you watch or you don’t. Even without watching, like I said, you can look up stats and see that LeBron is poised to end up having a better career and be seen as a better individual player than Kobe. It is what it is.

  • RKJ92

    Ok put it this way..
    .
    Wade averaged 15.4ppg on 44% shooting – 5.1rpg – 4.3apg – 1.4spg – 1.1bpg
    .
    Stephenson averaged.. 9ppg on 36% – 6.7 – rpg – 3.3apg – 1.4spg – 0.1bpg
    .
    Wade is a better defender as well there is no argument there.
    .
    Wade is a major scoring threat keeping defenses honest, and spacing the floor, or they double team him, and he gets easy assists.
    .
    Wade shoots a better %
    .
    averages more assists (even if it is by 1, that’s still 2 points contributed).
    .
    Wade is also a shot blocking presence even at 6’4
    .
    As well wade can explode at any time for 28-5-5
    .
    That is why you take Wade, over Lance Stephenson.

  • RKJ92

    I’m not trying to be an ass but listen to me, the Heat have one weakness, and that is interior defense; if they manage to sign Greg Oden, Roy Hibbert would not be a scoring threat anymore, ergo the only way they would score is in the crunch is either Paul George, or Danny Granger, and I trust LeBron James’, and Wades defense on both of those 2. To add as well I highly doubt they would go to David west in clutch scoring possessions just because they have PG, and DG, so I don’t think that would even be an argument and even then Bosh is still a decent defender so I wouldn’t be too worried.. that’s why I would find the matchup laughable, like they ARE the 2012-13 NBA champions for a reason not some old washed up team, adding Scola isn’t going to change much other then their regular season wins. For the record though i’m not trying to be an ass some comments I just find outrageous, and it burns me.

  • RKJ92

    My apologies

  • King David

    Lebron is NOT the GOAT nor is he top 5 yet

  • Conor

    Re: dribbling. I hope for the sake of basketball that you’re joking. No one who actually understands what dribbling is would seriously believe that James is better than Kobe.

    What did James do against Rondo?

    Kobe’s locked down Tracy McGrady and Dwyane Wade, both of whom are more difficult to guard than Allen Iverson or Derrick Rose.

    Did you watch the series? He scored 50 the previous game and they lost because Odom and Brown missed their box-out assignments. It was over by halftime during Game VII. You’re actually a comedian if you think that any of those Lakers performances were because of Bryant, the guy whose peers elected as the best basketball player in their League for ten consecutive seasons, per SI. I’m wrong, though.

  • Conor

    I’m talking about his contemporaries, not legends. For ten consecutive seasons, Bryant’s CONTEMPORARIES elected him as the best. I could care less if Barkley changed his mind, he’s an imbecile. West has since reneged and Robertson was NOT better than Bird. Maybe Erving, but not Bird.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Provide a link to that poll where peers still thinks Kobe’s the best player in the league as you said. I’ve heard of no such poll. And even if it exists, it doesn’t mean much because I’ve heard quite a lot of players say that LeBron is the best and they’ve said it since 2008-2009 when he won his first MVP. Even Jordan said that LeBron’s the best now.

    Heard quite a lot of people talk about Robertson being maybe the best player of all time. Never heard anyone mention Bird in the conversation. And what did West renege on? In 2009, he said LeBron had passed Kobe as the best in the league and he said he has the potential to be the best to ever play. He hasn’t taken that back. The logo. Also add Magic Johnson to that list of guys who take LeBron over Kobe. Magic is, like Robertson, often discussed as being maybe the best ever. LeBron can control games without scoring 30 depending on how his teammates are playing and that’s what separates him more than anything from Kobe. And that’s what Magic loves. Kobe absolutely has to shoot.

    You think Barkley’s an “imbecile” only because he disagrees with you. Admit it. You have nowhere to go with this. You lost. LeBron is the best player now and has been since 2008-2009. He’s capable of affecting the game in more ways than Kobe in his prime. All it takes is watching the game to see that. I’m done. Because you have no longer have a response worth reading. All you have is “Bird, Erving, and Kareem”. Unless you can provide a link to each poll from each season where most players say Kobe’s still the best

  • Lloyd

    You’re assuming a lot.

    1. That Greg Oden stays healthy. Dude’s played 88 games in the league TOTAL (that’s playoffs included). I can’t see that knee holding up for an entire championship run.

    2. That he’d be able to stop Roy Hibbert who seems to be improving and gaining confidence each season

    3. That they wouldn’t go to David West who’s got one of the most reliable mid-range games of any PF in the league and has shown that he can be clutch

    4. That Scola’s age is going to be a problem. First, dude’s only 33. Secondly, if you’ve ever watched Scola play he doesn’t rely on his athleticism. He’s all footwork and post moves. He’s not going to be playing heavy minutes coming off the bench regardless. He’s going to be a great boost coming off there and who does Miami have that can really defend him off their’s?

    5. That they’re old and washed up. Indiana only has 3 guys on their roster 30 or older (Scola being the oldest at 33). Know how many the Heat have? 8. Indiana definitely isn’t “old”. As for washed up, they’re a young team on the up and up. I don’t know where you even got washed up from to be honest.

    6. That the Heat’s only weakness is interior defence. The Heat aren’t as invincible as you may think they are. The biggest problem is that everyone not named Lebron James or Dwyane Wade rely heavily on 3s. I mean it’s generally worked, but we saw how dangerous that it is when they’re inconsistent. That’s their biggest problem: inconsistency. On a team of all-stars, Lebron is the only one who shows up every night.

    Saying that Indiana’s moves this post season isn’t going to change much is the biggest assumption. Sure the Heat are the reigning champs, but Indy’s been their biggest problem in the East for the past two seasons. With the tweaking of their bench and the return of Granger, they’ve drastically improved their team without changing the SAME starting 5 that’s been a problem for Miami. No bench was the biggest problem for Indy in that series in my opinion. Sure Miami is the team to beat at this point because they’re the reigning champs, but you’re crazy if you don’t think Indiana may be the team to do it.

    And if someone says a comment that you think is complete BS, give the reason you think it’s BS and basically saying “you’re an idiot, gtfo” isn’t it. If you think they’re stupid and won’t see reason, just don’t even bother responding to them.

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Don’t have to understand what dribbling is. Just watch the games. LeBron is compared to Magic Johnson because of how he controls games without focusing on just scoring all the time. By handling the ball, being the de facto point guard often, and making his teammates better. Kobe is a scorer first, second and third. Even when he was in his prime. It was his scoring that people talked about more than anything. LeBron does it all and that’s what people talk about. Not just one thing. Everything.

    You bring up regular season games when talking about defense? Really? A few regular season games where Kobe outplayed McGrady and Wade and you really believe that proves that he was a better defender than LeBron? Who has Kobe locked down in the playoffs? What superstar? Not Reggie Miller. Not Iverson. Not Jason Kidd. Not Nash. Not Melo. Not Durant. Not Westbrook. Not Harden. Not Pierce. LeBron’s major assignment against the Celtics has never been Rondo…it’s always been Pierce. So asking about what LeBron did against Rondo is a stupid question. And LeBron held Pierce to 19 a game in 07-08 in the playoffs. He had one good game that series and one great game in Game 7 when he and LeBron both went wild for 40 plus. LeBron held him to 14 a game in the 09-10 playoffs. Held him to 20 a game in 11-12 playoffs. Which means that Pierce, a Finals MVP, has been held by LeBron to 17 a game when they’ve met in the playoffs.

    I’d also challenge that comment about McGrady and Wade being tougher to guard than Iverson. One on one, there wasn’t a player better than Iverson with getting to the basket. Not a player faster or quicker. I remember Iverson crossing over Kobe in Philly actually…since you want to bring up regular season games.

    There is nothing you or anyone else can say to dispute the fact that Kobe quit on his team…during the playoffs. And they lost a series against a team whose second best player wasn’t playing. They were up 3-1. Talk about Kwame Brown and Lamar Odom boxing out…I’ll talk about Kobe deciding not to shoot for an entire game.

  • RKJ92

    1) Things can happen and its an unknown, unknown.

    2) Oden is drooled over for his defensive abilities i’m SURE Hibbert wouldn’t cause him issues considering they’re close to the same size other then a 2 inch height advantage on Hibberts part.

    3) They wont go to David west because in order they will rely on RH, PG, DG, and then finally DW and like I said Bosh is still a good enough defender I wouldn’t be worried.

    4) Scola will be outmatched through Miami Heats athletic bigs he’s old losing a step, he still has superior footwork but he’s only a 50% efficiency to begin with and 54% ts, once an athletic big is on him he will only get “sneaky buckets” when the defenses collapse every once in awhile, he will never be a mismatch.

    5) I never once said Indiana is old and washed up don’t put those words in my mouth.

    6) Miami heat has arguably the best defensive back court in the league, they get interior defense the competition will get wrecked bad.. you say the Heat are inconsistent but 3 straight trips to the finals tells me, maybe your only trying to convince yourself that?

    I never said Miami is indestructible I said if you think the Pacers are just instantly considered able to just walk over Miami because of Scola, and Watson you are so very wrong, and I cannot wait for the east finals to show you that.

    Lastly thx dad <3

  • Lloyd

    “Things can happen” is a cop out. You made a definitive statement that the Heat will be a lot better (Pacers vs Heat will be “laughable”) with the potential acquiring of Oden based on little or no evidence, now you can’t stand by it.

    “Drooled over”? Who’s drooling exactly? Dude was waived by the Blazers more than a year and a half ago. Not many teams want a big man who has effectively played one regular season worth of games over 5 seasons in the NBA due to injury. I mean sure, some teams will work him out and give him a shot, but let’s not make him out to be some superstar big man that has a giant list of suitors lined up for a bidding war for him because of his incredible defensive prowess.

    Roy Hibbert has been getting better. Oden has been getting hurt. You shouldn’t even compare the two at this point because Oden hasn’t even stepped on an NBA floor in almost 3 years.

    They’ll go to whoever they want. The fact that you listed so many options for go to plays shows how dangerous Indy can be. David West is a very real option in that discussion.

    Luis Scola is getting overlooked because he was on the Suns. Dude’s skilled. You’re saying Miami’s athletic bigS (plural?) will shut him down? You mean Birdman (who’s 2 years older than Scola btw)? I’ve seen Scola embarrass the likes of Bynum in the post. I don’t think he’s worried about Birdman. And he has a solid mid-range game as well as great post moves. He’s a scoring threat in and out and that’s purely based off skill. Birdman wouldn’t be an issue, and I don’t know what other “athletic big” you think Miami is hiding, but I don’t see any one of the bigs on their roster being as good as Scola.

    Your word choice made it seem like “Miami is the defending champs, not an old washed up team (like the Pacers)” since we’re comparing the two. My mistake.

    You think Chalmers, Cole, Wade, and Allen make up the best defensive back court? And again, they’re not getting much interior defense with Greg Oden. Even if they sign him, dude has had 4 knee surgeries in as many years. He wouldn’t play heavy minutes, even if he can stay healthy for extened periods of time. So far Miami is the same team as last year, just without the option of having Mike Miller come in for a struggling Shane Battier.

    Two years ago, they won because of Lebron, DWade, and other players consistently stepping up. This past season we saw in the post season many nights that Lebron was the only Heat player out there working his ass off to try and win. DWade would disappear any given night and the role players were having difficulty hitting their 3s that they rely on heavily. They won because Lebron carried the team to the point to put them in position to win. That’s what I mean by inconsistency. If Lebron is the only player that shows up any given night, the Heat can be beaten easily.

    You said the Heat are for sure champions again next year. I’m saying the Pacers were a handful for them last year and have made moves to make their roster even better this season. Again, the Heat are the SAME TEAM so far, minus Mike Miller. Indy’s going to be a problem for the Heat.

    Not trying to lecture you, just thought that since your avatar is the Raps logo, you shouldn’t be such an ass since you’re repping Toronto and Canada’s team. But hey if you want to continue that way, more power to you.

  • GetOuttaHereBro

    Stats for the 7 game series…for their whole careers, yes I would take Wade, but for that 7 game sample series, Stephenson had bigger impact than Wade both visually and even statistically if put into perspective. But stats can be skewed heavily in small sample sizes like 7 games and can heavily disfavor players like stephenson who are on the come up because they still may be inconsistent unlike Wade, who have established themselves and need to be consistent. Stephenson was healthy; Wade was not so that was a factor.

    Stats matter only when comparing two large sample sizes (or large for topic at hand).

    look at who had better games by game by game basis…Stephenson most likely had better number of games than did Wade.

  • rkirby

    The Heat just lost a huge piece of their playoff 3 point shooting arsenal in Mike Miller. Also, does anybody remember what happened last time Lebron played with a center of Greg Oden’s size in Shaq? How would the Heat offense adjust to that change? The Pacers have already constructed their offense around the idea of traditional post play and can only get better at executing their sets next year. The Heat would have to essentially throw out this year’s playbook when Oden is in the game.

  • a boy

    the suns are trying to tank so they could win the jabari parker/andrew wiggins sweepstakes

  • Cornbread

    Interesting comment section…

    Some observations: LeBron fans often complain about lakers/KB fans overhyping KB as a payer and 5X champion.

    It seems like Kobe Fans overemphasize his ring count, and discredit LBJ’s personal accomplishments and historical efficiency, while LeBron fans undervalue the historical significance of KB’s championship pedigree . Either way it is interesting to see the bias and hypocrisy that is evident in these arguments.

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