LeBron James The GOAT?: The Definition of Greatness pt.1

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In the last 10 or so years there have been many debates in basketball about Lebron’s status among the greatest. Where does he rank among the greatest NBA players of all time? Is Lebron top 10 as of right now? Is he top 5 or even the Greatest of All Time? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section upon reading.

A few years back the idea of Lebron being the greatest of all time wasn’t a serious thought simply due to the fact that he needed to build and stack his resume. Now that Lebron James is entering his 13th year in the NBA a case can be made that he at least deserves a top ten spot amongst the Greatest NBA players of all time.

To call Lebron James one of the Greatest we must first define what greatness is. Greatness is measured not only by an individual’s skill and physical talent, but also by what I define as “tangibles.” The literal definition of tangible is something that can be physically touched, like an award. In basketball certain tangibles are MVP awards, Scoring title awards, All-Star MVP awards or of course an NBA Championship, to name a few. The most important tangibles are NBA Championships, Finals MVPs, MVPs, and Scoring Titles. Also there are certain honorary tangibles like All-Star Game participation, All NBA first Team, All Defensive First Team, etc.

By setting these standards it is easier to list your top ten Greatest of all time. Lets take a look at mine for example.

Top Ten w/ Lebron James:

  1. Michael Jordan; 6 Championships, 6 Finals MVPs, 5 MVPs, 10 scoring titles, etc.

  2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar; 6 Championships, 2 Finals MVPs, 6 MVPs, 2 scoring titles, etc.

  3. Magic Johnson; 5 Champions, 3 Finals MVPs, 3 MVPs, 4 time assist leader, etc.

  4. Shaquille O’neal; 4 Championships, 3 Finals MVPs, 1 MVP, 2 scoring titles, etc.

  5. Bill Russell; 11 Championships, 5 MVPs, 4 time rebounding champion, etc.

  6. Kobe Bryant; 5 championships, 2 Finals MVPs, 1 MVP, 2 scoring titles, etc.

  7. Larry Bird; 3 Championships, 2 Finals MVPs, 3 MVPs, 1 All-Star MVP, etc.

  8. Tim Duncan; 5 Championships, 3 Finals MVPs, 2 MVPs, 1 All-Star MVP, etc.

  9. Wilt Chamberlain; 2 Championships, 1 Final MVP, 4 MVPs, 7 scoring titles, etc.

  10. Lebron James; 2 Championships, 2 Finals MVPs, 4 MVPs, 1 scoring title, etc.

  11. Hakeem Olajuwon; 2 Championships, 2 Finals MVPs, 1 MVP, 3 time block leader, etc.

By looking at the top ten list you can see that the players are not listed necessarily based on their awards and NBA championships, but by their Greatness. From a brief look at each player’s career you can understand the reason behind their spot on the list (even if your list might be different). Michael Jordan in addition to his overall dominance in the 90s he was considered, by most, the most skilled player playing in the NBA from 1987-1998, even during the period he was playing baseball. Now Jordan is still considered, by most, the best to ever play the game. Kareem Abdul Jabbar dominated in the 70s and continued to help his team win championships in the 80s. He also might be the only player in the history of the NBA who developed an unstoppable shot, maybe besides Dirk Nowitzki. Magic Johnson was one of the main reasons basketball was revived in the 80s his skill and showmanship sold out arenas throughout his career. In addition to that he was not only a triple double machine, but also, in my opinion the greatest passer of all time. The list goes on until we arrive at ten, Lebron James.

Currently, Lebron is at the ten spot, which is pretty good considering the fact that he is not done with his NBA career yet. It was hard for me to put him over Hakeem, but he earned that spot. Lebron James have been known for having the individual skills for years and he has continued to improve his skill. The only thing he was missing was the most important “tangible,” an NBA Championship. Now that he has two championships he no longer be considered subpar or overrated and he has earned the right to be mentioned in the same breath as the All-Time greats.. Not only has he proved to be the most dynamic forward the game has ever seen, he also has a unique combination of strength and speed, not to mention his size at 6’ 8” 250 lbs. And to top it off he now has the accomplishments; MVPs, Finals MVPs, and of course 2 championships. Not to knock Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, he had any accomplishments, too, however, it pains me to say Lebron’s skill and his resume gives him a small edge over Hakeem “The Dream.” Another fact that helps Lebron’s case, is that he was able to take his team to the finals 6 times. Having lost four of them, the fact that he was able to get there counts for something, not to mention his tremendous effort in the road to the finals and in the finals (with the exception of 2011).

Now, this section is for those out there that believe Lebron James as of right now 2015 is he greatest of all time. In one brief statement your wrong. In my opinion, to call the Lebron James we watch right now the Greatest of all Time is disrespect to those other 8 or 9 people on the list, especially the Greatest of all Time; Michael Jordan. However, if you think Lebron James is the most skilled and talented player of all time (your still wrong in my opinion) then you have a debate.

Tune in for my next article about Lebron skills in comparison to the rest of the Greats. As for now, feel free to comment on the article; your likes and dislikes; your opinions about the Greats; or even share your top ten list.

Article By: Hashim Ashimi

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47 thoughts on “LeBron James The GOAT?: The Definition of Greatness pt.1”

  1. Also, no way is Kobe ahead of Duncan just based off of the criteria you listed. Duncan has one more (should be two more) Finals MVP’s and one more MVP. Gimme Tim any day over Kobe.

    1. By my criteria Kobe belongs right where he is at. Remember I factor in skill along with “tangibles.” In my opinion Kobe is a more skilled player than Duncan. You may have a different opinion, however Kobe has proven his skill time and time again; with or without Shaq, injuries or no injuries, through good and bad times. I’m interested on your top ten list feel free to post it on a comment.

      1. Again your criteria makes no sense
        Sure Kobe has more 60 point games and all that good stuff, but Duncan’s all around game is better.

        Duncan- only player in history to lead his team in Points Rebounds assists steals blocks and fg% at least once in a Finals

        Duncan- only player in history to score/assist in 40+% of his team’s points while averaging 5+ blocks per game in a Finals

        Duncan- only player in history to lead his team in Rebounds assists steals blocks simultaneously in a Finals

        Duncan- led his team in 4/5 of the basic statistical categories in two different finals

        Kobe- never did this

        Duncan- nba record 5.9 win shares during the 2003 playoffs

        Duncan- owns 3 Finals records

        Duncan- leading scorer in 4/6 of his Finals appearances
        Kobe- leading scorer in 3/7 of his Finals appearances

        Duncan- 8 playoff series leading his team in 4/5 categories
        Kobe- 1

        Duncan- only PF in history to lead his team in all 5 basic statistical categories in a playoff series
        Kobe- never led his team in 5/5

        And this last one is the icing on top as to who the more skilled player was

        Duncan led his team in 4/5 categories during an entire playoff run. Kobe never did this.

      2. My criteria makes perfect sense; your pulling up facts that clearly favor Duncan over Kobe, however Duncan hasn’t had any adversity throughout his whole career. Duncan has consistently had a Popovich, he had two up and coming All-Stars in Parker and Ginobili, not to mention the defensive guys he had (Bowen and Kawahi), or the tremendous shooters (look at the 2014 NBA Finals performance). Kobe has been the only consistent thing on the Lakers. He had performed at a high level with adversity, and he has consistently been a top five player through his career when he was in his prime. To build a franchise you might pick Duncan over Kobe, however if you think about it Kobe will pack your stadium every night, because of his high level of skill and the excitement he brings to the game.

      3. You clearly are a big fan of Tim Duncan, and I respect that. I’m not the biggest Kobe fan, however I do understand how great he was at both ends of the floor. Being the better player doesn’t require Kobe to lead in all five categories or in four of the five. Being well rounded is nice but production and results are nicer. Kobe has production and his results ultimately, through all his adversity, turned out to be about the same as Duncan’s. @ryanfort hop on this, what you think Kobe or Duncan?

      4. Kobe wasn’t about to lead his team in rebounding when Gasol, Bynum & Shaq were his bigs. He’s a guard. Not a forward or Center so I don’t expect him to lead his teams in the rebounding category or blocks category. And to your “more skilled point” Duncan’s offense isn’t/wasn’t as skilled as Bigs like Gasol etc. when you talk about his skill it’s really on the defensive side. Kobe is a better passer, scorer, ball handler & honestly if he were an actual big he’d be a better post player:

      5. Ok and how has Kobe produced more? Duncan has one more Finals MVP and one more MVP. Duncan has produced more.

        People point to Kobes all star selections and that is incredibly invalid as that is a popularity contest. Of course a flashy Guard playing in the number two tv market is going to have more fans and more exposure than a Big whose nickname is the “Big Fundamental” who plays in a bottom 5 TV market.

        So again I ask, how has Kobe produced more? The stats/eye-test say otherwise. Duncan has one more of each MVP award and has as many titles despite being in a small market. Duncan made the Spurs. Kobe didn’t make the Lakers.

        Now if you want to say Kobe has produced more revenue then I wouldn’t disagree. But on the court it’s Duncan.

        Lol @ Ryan fort Duncan isn’t as skilled offensively as Gasol? Lmao are you high bro? What a joke. How many seasons does Gasol have averaging 20 ppg? His footwork is nowhere near Duncan’s. You clearly never watched Duncan play outside of the past few years.

      6. Tim Duncan is the best player of his generation and thus is better than Kobe. Let’s find out why:

        Only 25 other players in NBA history won five titles during their careers. Fifteen of them are Hall of Famers. Just two of them amassed more win shares than Duncan—Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Only one of them has more career playoff win shares than Duncan (Jordan).

        Duncan is the all-time playoff leader in Blocks, Double Doubles, and minutes played. Kobe is the all time leader in missed shots in the playoffs and finals.

        Only one player in NBA history made the all defensive and all NBA teams in each of his first thirteen seasons: Duncan.

        To Kobe’s credit, he has more All-defensive first teams than Duncan does (9-8). However, Duncan has more overall All-defensive team selections (15-12). In fact, Duncan’s 15 is #1 All-time in NBA history.

        Now let’s talk more stats:

        Career Points per game:
        KB: 25.5
        TD: 19.9

        Career FG%:
        TD: .506%
        KB: .454%

        3 FG%:
        TD: .176%
        KB: .336

        FT %:
        TD: .694%
        KB: .833%

        True Shooting %:
        TD: .551
        KB: .553

        Let’s take a look at some advanced statistical categories:

        Defensive Win Shares:
        Tim Duncan; 102.6, #2 all-time
        Kobe Bryant: 50.59, #44 all-time
        http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/dws_career.html

        Regular Season Win Shares:
        TD: 201.4, #6 all-time
        KB: 174.2, #14 all-time

        Playoff Win Shares:
        TD: 37.5# 2 all-time
        KB: 28.3, # 8 all-time

        Career Offensive rating:
        TD: 109.6
        KB: 111.46

        Career Playoff Offensive Rating:
        Duncan: 110.2
        Kobe: 109.56

        Career Defensive rating:
        TD: 95.56, #3 all-time (The lower, the better.)
        KB: 105, #210 all-time (This truly emphasizes that Bryant is an overrated defensive player and that Duncan beats him far and wide on Defense.)

        Career Player Efficiency Rating:
        TD: 24.6, #12 all-time
        KB: 23.4, #19 all-time

        Box Plus Minus:
        TD: 5.5
        KB: 4.3

        Value Over Replacement Player:
        Duncan: 86.9
        Kobe: 72.3

        MVP’s:
        TD: 2
        KB:1

        Rookie of the Year:
        Duncan: yes
        Kobe: no

    2. Lol Duncan never faced adversity? Yeah, neither of you guys ever followed the Spurs. Duncan dragged a bunch of old veterans as a 23 year old to a championship in the toughest decade of basketball to a championship. Very few people know this but the 99 Spurs set an nba record for lowest ppg by a winning team in the Finals. Duncan’s teammates combined for 57.4 ppg in the 99 Finals, which is the Lowest amount of ppg for a winning supporting cast in NBA history. Duncan straight up carried that team. In the deciding game 5 Duncan put up 31 points on 55.5% shooting while his teammates put up 47 points combined on 15-45(33.3%) shooting. Kobe never had this little help in an NBA Finals.

      In 2003 Duncan won with 0 all stars (Kobe never won without an all star by his side). Robinson was 37 and washed up, Parker averaged 14 ppg in the Finals on a garbage 38.6% shooting, Ginobili averaged 8.7 ppg on a garbage 34.8% shooting, and Stephen Jackson averaged 10.3 ppg on a garbage 37.7% shooting. 3 of Duncan’s top 4 teammates in that finals got shut down and put up terrible numbers, yet Duncan won. How’s that for overcoming adversity? Kobe never had to deal with that little help in a Finals.

      Honestly, put Duncan on the 2005-07 Lakers and he leads them to a winning record and the playoffs every year. This is why tangibles can only get you so far.

      Duncan would have encouraged his teammates and pushed them to be better instead of whine and complain like Kobe did in 2005-2007. I even learned in middle school that in sports you need to stop whining about your circumstances, man up and get the job done.

      Duncan’s supporting cast after the 99 championship was mediocre until Ginobili and Parker started to mature in the 2005 season . And Duncan was able to keep those players in place because of his positive attitude and work ethic.

      “He’s uncoachable and selfish.” -Phil Jackson on Kobe
      “He’s the most selfless person I’ve ever seen. I tease Tim all the time that had he played on another team he would have averaged 30 and 15”.
      -Popovich on Duncan in their NBA tv special last year.

      Tells me all I need to know.

      1. The Spurs played the Nets in the Finals in 03 that team is not scary. 05-07 I’m guessing Kwame & Smush are as good as any of the guys TD had. Outside of Phil what coach has Kobe had that was over Pop?

      2. Again bringing up subjective stats. The stats are in favor of Kobe if you look at anything that is not the finals. Duncan faced the Knicks without Ewing and their best player being Camby, the Nets which everyone knew was going to lose no matter what, the Pistons were a solid opponent but then there is the LeBron Cavs that never ever had a chance. And honestly I do not believe Kobe should have had an MVP the year he averaged 30+ but if you look at 2003 he should have won it. And that was with Shaq on his team no less. Tim Duncan is a wonderful player on both sides of the ball but no he had David Robinson a top 5 defensive center ever in that first run.
        I’m not in the mood to pull up the random ass stats you are pulling up that people get pissed off at ESPN doing with LeBron but no Tim Duncan should not have had any more MVPs or Final MVPs than he has. Tony Parker was scoring 24 points on 56% shooting as a guard. That is beyond crazy then in 2014 you really want to say Tim should have won that? How? Kawahi was giving the best player in the world hell while shooting 62% from the field and 57% from 3 point land.

      3. Oh and also do not bring their personalities to the table in a debate about who was a better player. “Kobe was selfish uncoachable… Tim Duncan was selfless do anything to win” first of all that has nothing to do with what actually happened on the court it is irrelevant. 2nd of all if that is the case then why should MJ be number one? He bitched and complained about his teammates and hell even punched them in the face, but since we’re bringing in things such as “selfishness” into the mix I guess MJ is no longer a top 5 player.

      4. The 2003 nets were 2nd in Points allowed at 90.6 ppg and #1 in defensive rating, it’s not like they were some horrible team. Kobe ran people out of town whereas Duncan kept them in and made them legends.

        How are the stats in favor of Kobe? I’ll post somethings In a second, they might change your mind.

        Duncan faced the Ewing less Knicks but even if he was there the Spurs would have beaten the Knicks anyway.
        Fact: when the Spurs faced the Knicks prior to the 99 Finals, Duncan put up 23 points and 13 rebounds on 60% shooting. Even with Ewing the Knicks had little to no chance of beating the Spurs.

        “Anything outside of the Finals” At the end of the day, the Finals is where it counts the most. End of discussion. However I will prove in a second that even then Duncan has Kobe beat in the regular season.

        Robinson was 33 and past his prime in 99 and washed up from 2001-2003, so it’s not like they shared primes with each other.

        And actually Duncan should have won Finals MVP in the Finals in 2007. Duncan led the Spurs in Rebounds assists steals blocks plus defensive rating. No other player has ever done that. That means he was getting possessions for his team while being the facilitator, in addition to stealing possessions from his opponent and blocking the most shots, all in addition to playing great in between defense. Parker just scored a lot, but again, points are not everything. And I never said he should have won it in 2014.

      5. This goes out to all those who mistakenly believe that Kobe should have won the MVP over Duncan’s MVP years
        2002 basic stats:
        Tim: 25.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.5 blocks on 50.8% shooting, 57.6% True Shooting Pct.
        Kobe: 25.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.4 blocks on 46.9% shooting, 54.4% True Shooting Pct.
        Advanced:
        Tim: PER: 27.0, Win Shares: 17.8 (led league) WS/48 minutes: .257, Offensive Rating: 114 Defensive Rating: 96
        Kobe: PER: 23.2, Win Shares: 12.7 Win Shares per 48 minutes: .199, Offensive Rating: 112 Defensive Rating: 103
        As you can see, Duncan’s numbers were better.
        2003 basic stats:
        Tim: 23.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.9 blocks, 51.3% shooting, 56.4% True Shooting Pct.
        Kobe: 30 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.8 blocks, 45.1% shooting, 55.0% True Shooting Pct
        Advanced:
        Tim: PER: 26.9, Win Shares: 16.5 (led league), WS/48: .248, Offensive Rating: 112 Defensive Rating: 94
        Kobe: PER: 26.2, Win Shares: 14.9, Win Shares per 48: .210, Offensive Rating: 111 Defensive Rating: 103
        As you can see, Duncan’s stats in 2003 were better and his stats for both years were better than Kobe’s. There’s more to the game than Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, and Blocks. Duncan’s advanced stats were better and Duncan’s basic stats were better than Kobe’s in 2002. Also, Kobe was not even the best player on his team from 1996-2004, as Shaq was. Kobe had a great year in 2003 but Duncan’s was better and more well rounded. All statistics courtesy of
        BASKETBALLREFERENCE.COM

    3. Pau is better offensively than Duncan? Let’s look:

      Seasons averaging 20 ppg:
      Duncan: 9
      Pau: 2

      Playoff runs averaging 20 ppg:
      Duncan: 10
      Gasol: 2

      Seasons averaging 3+ assists per game:
      Duncan: 11
      Gasol: 9

      Finals runs averaging 5+ apg:
      Duncan- only PF to ever do it
      Gasol – never did it

      Playoffs averaging 4+ apg:
      Duncan: 2
      Gasol: 2

      Playoffs averaging 3+ apg:
      Duncan: 9
      Gasol: 7

      This is all not to mention that when Duncan was in his prime, he score from anywhere inside the arc. He made his career for a while there off of his trademark 12-18 foot bank shot, had a very solid jumper, and overall was just lethal as sin in the post.

      “He has the best footwork I’ve seen since Kevin McHale.” -Doug Collins, who coached the Bulls.

      Duncan has always been a very smart player. Just look at what he did against best defensive center in the NBA in the first round! Duncan averaged 17.9 ppg on a whopping 58.9% shooting at age 38/39. How can you see that fact and say that Gasol is more skilled offensively? Duncan torched the best defensive center in today’s nba for 4 20-10 games, and became the oldest player in history to do that. If Duncan could do that now as an old man, what makes you think he wouldn’t have been even more capable in his prime ten years ago?

      1. I disagreed with Ryan’s comment about Pau being more skilled completely and I’m happy someone here appreciates advanced stats as much as I do but again you do have to put 2003 into perspective in the fact that Kobe was playing with Shaq at that point and Duncan has never had to play with anyone that took the central point of the offense away from him.
        Also I do not think anyone has tried to say Kobe was better than Duncan defensively but I should add that defensive rating is not the best stat to use when comparing anyone defensively necessarily. The best way to compare players defensively is to show what they hold their match ups to defensively which is easier to find on synergy stats but nonetheless. You make some very good points but like we all said Tim Duncan has a very stable environment he has been in for his entire career. Kobe has had a top 10 player ever leave his team, a top 5 coach ever leave his team, and had Smush Parker and Kwame Brown as starters on his team. Also Duncan if I am correct has had about 9 games with 40 or more points. I think we all know Kobe has significantly more than that and I don’t feel like taking the time to look for that at the moment. I appreciate the argument. I do. But Kobe is significantly better offensively and he’s a tremendous defender as well. He has done all of this with an unstable enviroment. I’m not taking away Duncan’s greatness but I will have Kobe over him definitely

      2. why is chamberlain so low in the top 10 list?scored 100,averaged 50 in 1 season and holds multiple rebounding and scoring records…….1 michael jordan-2 wilt chamberlain-3 kareem abdul jabbar-4 bill russell-5 tim duncan-6 magic johnson-7lebron james-8kobe bryant-9larry bird-10 shaquille oneal

  2. Hakeem is much better defensively it’s not even close.
    Hakeem is the most well rounded player ever – the only guy to lead a team to the title while leading them in 5/5 categories and he did it while playing defense.
    Hakeem has locked down Robinson, Ewing, Kemp, Barkley, and Malone in playoff series.
    Lebron got schooled by Terry Leonard Iguodala
    Marion George Barnes (shot 37% but over 50% on Lebron). Much worse defensively
    And Hakeem won with less – the only guy to win a title with 0 all stars and 0 hall of Famers in 1994.
    Hakeem also was 1 stat short of a 5 by 5 in 4 different playoff games, nobody has ever had a 5 by 5 in a playoff game. 5 by 5 is way harder than a triple double
    And Hakeem beat way better competition – Magic/Kareem, Stock/Malone, KJ/Barkley, Robinson/Rodman, Shaq/Penny, Ewing/Oak/Mason, Kemp/GP
    When he made the finals in 86 he was only in his 2nd year and his only help was Ralph Sampson who didn’t make the playoffs until Hakeem came. Plus he made the finals without his starting guard Lucas who was suspended for cocaine. And he still took Bird to 6 games with a team that was mediocre without him.
    Hakeem had to do more for his teams as well. The only guy to lead his team in averaging 4/5 categories for 9 straight years and 10/11 years.
    If you put Hakerm on Lebrons Cleveland teams they would win multiple rings and he would have won 4 straight in Miami considering how he was able to win with 0 all stars / HoF in 1994 In a tougher conference.
    He can do just as much offensively and way more defensively – a much more complete player.
    LeBron failed in numerous playoff series and Hakeem didn’t. LeBron is way less clutch in the Finals.
    LeBron= 0/5 on game winning or tying shots.
    Hakeem= had a game winning and series saving block on John Starks to save the season in the 1994 Finals. LeBron has never done this.

    1. I’m not arguing that Lebron is better defensively than Hakeem, I said Bill Russell is arguably the best defensively on the list. In my opinion Hakeem is the better(mostly because I have witness his defense), but for you to say it is no question is wrong. Bill Russell was dominating defensively before they recorded defensive stats. He focus on his defense every game. Not to mention he effectively guarded the great Wilt Chamberlain in countless playoff series.

      1. I am still on the fact that Bill Russell is that high. Why? Every player on this list was GREAT on both sides of he ball except for him. He’s not average on offense. He was beyond awful. Bill Russell is the best defensive player ever imo but again I need dominance on both sides. I was inclined to have him in the top 10 before I really look at how awful he was offensively. Wilt’s lack of leadership? He made teams that were awful instant contenders and was the best player in the 60s this is not debatable. Gotta understand that first of all he didn’t even play to all of his strengths because he was genuinely afraid of hurting people. (Broke a guy’s toe on a dunk and dislocated a guy’s shoulder on a block) Also the league hated him and all the stuff Shaq did Wilt could never ever get away with. They made rules in favor of MJ in the 90s and they made rules to hurt Wilt. We gotta understand both of these facts to be true. Tim Duncan in no way shape or form should be over Wilt.

      2. Wilt is one of the most dominant players, and was the best skilled player in the 60s, however Bill Russell was the greatest; look at the results. I put Bill Russell just out of respect for what he did for the game of basketball, to me he is forever one of the greatest of all time.

      3. Also Tim Duncan is over Wilt because of results; Spurs were constantly one of the best teams in the league with Duncan in his prime and even when reaching his prime. Wilt as great as he is; Duncan is a little bit greater in my book.

      4. And again Tim Duncan was not nearly the player or did as much as Wilt end of story. You can look at the records the MVPs whatever. Only thing that will point to Tim is a team accomplishment. Wilt was literally better in every way.

      5. I agree with you indiVidual there is no doubt Wilt is better than more than half the people on the list, but the list is for the Top Ten Greatest of All Time. Wilt is great individually, but not only is he not a winner, he is not a leader. Wilt can lead a team in the stat column, however when it comes to on court leadership he is not the best teammate. Tim’s accomplishments, even though some credit goes to his teammates and coaching staff, are more impressive.

    2. Okay and I love Hakeem more than most but you’re pulling up random ass stats. We’re going to ignore that LeBron had damn near 20 points in game 7 against the Spurs the year they won in the 4th quarter? You’re pulling up game winning shots that hit below 20% of the time so why are you bringing that up as a stat? “Hakeem’s season saving block” hell I could point to LeBron’s defense on KD in the finals in the 4th quarter of the game they won in OKC. And I’m sorry but no Hakeem is not beating the Spurs that final year LeBron lost. (Btw I have Hakeem over LBJ) but you’re bringing up such subjective ass facts. LeBron just faced horrible competition his whole life? He went up against champion Mavs OKC that had 3 SUPERSTARS in the making one of the greatest teams we have ever seen with the last Spurs series and one of the greatest teams whether people like to admit it or not the Warriors. Not to mention Orlando Dwight, Celitcs, Pistons or any of those even.

      1. LeBron had a solid game 7 in 2013, and this was probably his best year as a player. But LeBron’s best wasn’t on Hakeem’s best, I think we can agree.
        LeBron had an alright defensive performance in 2013 but Hakeem shut down all time great legendary center Ewing to 36.3% shooting! That is just insane.
        The Rockets were down 3-2 in Game 6 of the 1994 Finals and Hakeem blocked Starks shot that would have won the championship in 1994.
        LeBron played good defense on Durant? No offense man but I think you got it twisted.
        Durant put up 30.6 ppg on 54.8% shooting in the 2012 Finals and outscored and outshot LeBron.
        LeBron=allows a SF to score 30.6 ppg on 54.8% shooting in his first finals win
        Hakeem= shut down a C to 18.9 ppg on 36.3% shooting
        Not that Durant was some bum, he’s one of the best scorers ever. But, if LeBron was as good defensively as some of his fanboys would have you believe, he could have at least held Durant to 25 ppg on 47% shooting like Kawhi did in Durant’s MVP season.
        Don’t act like that 2012 team was a team for the ages.
        Durant played great, Russell was pretty solid but Harden didn’t even shoot 40%.
        Plus they all were 23 or younger. Here’s a list of first and second options that won the championship at 23 or younger:
        Bird
        Magic
        Duncan
        Kobe
        So, though that Okc team was good, they were incredibly inexperienced.
        Hakeem= lost to the greatest team (arguably) of all time in the 86 Celtics
        LeBron= lost to the 2011 Dallas mavericks with 32/33 yo Dirk and 37 yo Kidd

        LBJ is one of the games greats, no doubt. I just can’t see him ahead of Hakeem.

  3. I don’t understand why scoring titles are being used as a determining factor in anything. Yes it is an accolade but Hakeem and Bird both didn’t have scoring titles but still considered in the everyone’s top 12. It seems as if you are using certain arguments only if they fit how you want them to.

    1. To me scoring titles are an important “tangible” to have. The ability to lead the league in scoring and score consistently high on a day to day bases is very important, because after all the game is about putting points on the board.

  4. Wilt at 9 is beyond disrespectful along with Bill at 5 and Hakeem out of the top 10???? I can’t see it. Can’t fathom it. Oh and Duncan as a top 5 player over Shaq Bird and Wilt is absolutely crazy!!(referring “Ry” in the last part)

    1. Bill Russell ability lead and tremendous feat of 11 championships was accounted for when I ranked him as 5. In my opinion his skill is what held him back for being a two or three spot, but his innovation open doors for guys like Shaq and Kareem, who dominated in a different era and their skills were more developed. Wilt to me is a great individual player, he is a scoring machine and a monster on the glass, however his lack in resume and leadership is what placed him at the 9 spot. This list isn’t written in stone it’s just my opinion, I’m interested in what your top ten list is.

      1. My top 10 would be
        1. MJ
        2. Kareem
        3. Magic
        4. Wilt
        5. Shaq
        6. Bird
        7. Hakeem
        8. Kobe
        9. Duncan
        10. LeBron
        11. Oscar
        12. Bill Russell was a 38% scoring big man

      2. Good list, but you gotta remember Bill Russell never really focused on scoring, he was an excellent rebounder and shut down defender. Russell is arguably the best defender on this list (and his defense occurred during a time the NBA didn’t record blocks or steals).

      3. I saw someone say Bill was the best defender on the list…. I disagree completely Hakeem was a better defender

      4. I said arguably, Hakeem defense is elite without question because he has stats to prove it. Bill Russell defense came at a time when blocks and steals where not calculated or put in the stat sheet.

  5. A lot of talk about tangibles when discussing greatness. How about the power to completely reinvent a franchise with one decision to change teams and take a team with the worst record over 4 years and take them back to the conference finals.

    1. It takes skill to do that which is important, but the skills players are capable of doing is not as important as executing. That is why I factored in tangibles and impact on the game itself. Lebron is ranked under guys who not only have “tangibles” but they also their greatness impacted game during and after their career, which it is safe to say Lebron has done and will eventually do when he is done with his career.

      1. lebrin has more than skill. he has more influence than any player ever. he could go to any team and immediately make them contenders

      2. What about Wilt, Shaq in his prime, Kareem, and Magic you don’t think there capable of making a number of team contenders (not to mention Jordan). What is the point of going to another team to make them a contender if the outcome is a lose. The move should be for the ultimate goal of winning a championship. Shaq did it, so did Kareem and Wilt Chamberlain. Are you saying they did not impact there team as much (if not better than) Lebron did.

    1. I agree, he is clearly top five in overall skill. Tune in to my next article which is a head to head comparison of Lebron’s skills and Jordan’s.

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