Not One...Not Two...Not Three...: LeBron Ring Discussion

BigSoxFan

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LeBron just got his 4th ring. Turns 36 in December but has a young AD to carry the load for several years. Will continue to be a FA destination for ring chasers over next few years.

So, how many rings does LeBron end up with before he calls it quits?

I say he gets to 5 but can’t match MJ’s 6th.
 

Seels

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Even if he did reach 6 I'd be critical of them. The entire Lebron path to success is going to free agency, finding a team that has a guy on a rookie deal and having them trade assets for a super star, then bailing when that team runs into inevitable bench or cap issues. I mean, I guess it's a cool thing to do if you're the best player in the world, but could you imagine Jordan just deciding to go to the Lakers or Spurs in 98?

Lebron's great, but the system the NBA has in place is pretty stupid. It's absurd that the Lakers get rewarded for being dogshit for a decade merely because they're the most requested destination for stars.

Let's say that Lebron plays at this level until 40. Is there anyone that thinks he wouldn't do this same exact thing in 2-3 years once the AD contract and lack of draft picks cripples the ability of the Lakers to grab depth? Good for him really. But it's a stupid system.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Lebron stays with the Lakers a few more years and wins another championship, then finishes his career playing for whichever team drafts his son Bronny.
 

Kliq

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Even if he did reach 6 I'd be critical of them. The entire Lebron path to success is going to free agency, finding a team that has a guy on a rookie deal and having them trade assets for a super star, then bailing when that team runs into inevitable bench or cap issues. I mean, I guess it's a cool thing to do if you're the best player in the world, but could you imagine Jordan just deciding to go to the Lakers or Spurs in 98?

Lebron's great, but the system the NBA has in place is pretty stupid. It's absurd that the Lakers get rewarded for being dogshit for a decade merely because they're the most requested destination for stars.

Let's say that Lebron plays at this level until 40. Is there anyone that thinks he wouldn't do this same exact thing in 2-3 years once the AD contract and lack of draft picks cripples the ability of the Lakers to grab depth? Good for him really. But it's a stupid system.
What system would be better? Through the super max, the NBA has incentivized elite players to remain with the teams that drafted them . If players like Davis are willing to turn down millions of additional dollars because they'd rather play in LA, or form a super team, they are going to make that sacrifice. I agree that I think the constant movement from the leagues best players is a negative, and it is certainly frustrating that the Lakers are prime beneficiaries, but ultimately the players have the freedom and the power to force those moves. I'm not sure what the NBA could do that wouldn't come across as limiting the freedom of its star players. With LeBron having paved the way for star players to be consistently on the move, it has become the defacto norm for the current generation and likely for generations to come.
 

lovegtm

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Even if he did reach 6 I'd be critical of them. The entire Lebron path to success is going to free agency, finding a team that has a guy on a rookie deal and having them trade assets for a super star, then bailing when that team runs into inevitable bench or cap issues. I mean, I guess it's a cool thing to do if you're the best player in the world, but could you imagine Jordan just deciding to go to the Lakers or Spurs in 98?

Lebron's great, but the system the NBA has in place is pretty stupid. It's absurd that the Lakers get rewarded for being dogshit for a decade merely because they're the most requested destination for stars.

Let's say that Lebron plays at this level until 40. Is there anyone that thinks he wouldn't do this same exact thing in 2-3 years once the AD contract and lack of draft picks cripples the ability of the Lakers to grab depth? Good for him really. But it's a stupid system.
So you're taking points away from LeBron because Cleveland didn't have Scottie Pippen?

If Krause doesn't draft Pippen (and Horace Grant), Jordan isn't winning those rings. Conversely, if Cleveland drafts a Pippen equivalent, LeBron probably wins some rings earlier and probably stays longer. He would likely leave eventually for lifestyle reasons, but that's a different part of the story.

Also, I can easily imagine Jordan forcing his way out to a better team in that no-Pippen hypothetical. The Bulls were talented enough by the late 80s that everyone could see light at the end of the tunnel.
 

tims4wins

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What system would be better? Through the super max, the NBA has incentivized elite players to remain with the teams that drafted them . If players like Davis are willing to turn down millions of additional dollars because they'd rather play in LA, or form a super team, they are going to make that sacrifice. I agree that I think the constant movement from the leagues best players is a negative, and it is certainly frustrating that the Lakers are prime beneficiaries, but ultimately the players have the freedom and the power to force those moves. I'm not sure what the NBA could do that wouldn't come across as limiting the freedom of its star players. With LeBron having paved the way for star players to be consistently on the move, it has become the defacto norm for the current generation and likely for generations to come.
Remove individual player max, keep team salary cap, no super teams. That’d suck for all non stars though they’d make zero money.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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What system would be better?
Actually enforcing tampering rules, so the Lakers and their representatives can’t just woo the likes of AD while he‘s still under contract with another team with zero repercussions.
 

Devizier

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The owners are the cause of the super teams. They wanted salary restrictions and player maxes are part of that. Until you lift the restrictions the super teams will continue.
 

BaseballJones

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But then you get the situation where you're forced to pay Glenn Robinson $100M before he steps foot on the court.
Not if you're smart you're not. You let someone else blow $100M on Glenn Robinson and you spend your money more wisely. If ridiculously huge dollars are going to the elite players, then there's going to be a pool of all-star players available to you for very cheap. Is a team of LeBron, AD, and fluff (because that's what would be left...a lot less than what they currently have) going to be better than a team with three underpaid all-stars and four other high quality non-all-star-level players?

It's possible the answer is yes. It's also possible the answer is no. I'd happily take my chances with the latter.
 

lexrageorge

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Regarding Glenn Robinson: getting rid of the max doesn't mean we have to throw out the rookie scale.

Star players change teams in every sport, so not sure there's much to be done to "fix" the same in the NBA. Teams that draft star players get 8 years to build a winner. Part of the problem is that in the NBA, experience matters in the playoffs. We saw that with Jimmy Butler and the Heat; at the end of the 4th quarter, it was Butler, not Tatum, who was exerting his will on the opponent. Tatum will certainly get there, and likely soon. But the Celtics are on the clock to some extent, as in a few years Tatum will be in the same situation that Giannis is now. The good news is that Kyrie will be a vet min player by then, but the timeline is still something that will influence Danny's thought process over the next few years.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Not if you're smart you're not. You let someone else blow $100M on Glenn Robinson and you spend your money more wisely. If ridiculously huge dollars are going to the elite players, then there's going to be a pool of all-star players available to you for very cheap. Is a team of LeBron, AD, and fluff (because that's what would be left...a lot less than what they currently have) going to be better than a team with three underpaid all-stars and four other high quality non-all-star-level players?

It's possible the answer is yes. It's also possible the answer is no. I'd happily take my chances with the latter.
Yeah, the problem is that I was talking about Robinson's rookie contract, which was 10 years, $68M. Sure, maybe if you're super smart you can skip Robinson for Kidd (9 years, $54M) or Grant Hill (8 years, $48M), but what if you have the first overall pick in 1995? You have the #1 pick; Robinson set the market the previous year, and you have to figure out who to invest $70M or so among Joe Smith, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, and Rashead Wallace? Or maybe you're willing to roll the die and spend that kind of money on a super confident 18 year old kid who barely knows how to run a NBA drill? :)

It's Sam Bradford all over again.

Or maybe you'll argue (edit: as Lex just did) that you keep the rookie scale but not have a maximum for vets. I don't know if that changes really makes things better. For one, that means a team that signs the wrong guy to a 9 figure deal is going to be bad for years, maybe even decades. Second, that makes productive players on rookie contracts even more valuable, meaning that you get even more teams that will be doing everything to get draft picks. Plus, as noted, non-superstar vets will be getting almost nothing so if that system is in place, I guess the Cs sign Jayson for the moon and maybe get Jaylen to take slightly less than that but Marcus would certainly be gone and there'd basically be room for no one else.

I dunno. I understand the thought behind lifting the max salary but I'm not sure it would make basketball better. To me, the biggest problem is that there's about 15 guys who deserve the 9 figure contract but there'd be about 30 guys who would have that contract at any point in time.
 

dixoncox

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Anthony Davis has shown that money doesn’t matter. Really you would need some type of franchise tag.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Not if you're smart you're not. You let someone else blow $100M on Glenn Robinson and you spend your money more wisely. If ridiculously huge dollars are going to the elite players, then there's going to be a pool of all-star players available to you for very cheap. Is a team of LeBron, AD, and fluff (because that's what would be left...a lot less than what they currently have) going to be better than a team with three underpaid all-stars and four other high quality non-all-star-level players?

It's possible the answer is yes. It's also possible the answer is no. I'd happily take my chances with the latter.


The problem is that you don’t know who is going to be Glenn Robinson or who is going to be Kevin Durant. Draft picks are far from an exact science and the market is going to be the market.
 

BaseballJones

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The problem is that you don’t know who is going to be Glenn Robinson or who is going to be Kevin Durant. Draft picks are far from an exact science and the market is going to be the market.
Agreed. But maybe you adopt as a team philosophy that you won't pay out the huge contracts, period, and constantly seek undervalued all-star or near all-star caliber players. I dunno...it's tricky.
 

Kliq

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I suppose that dumbasses like Bayless and knuckle-draggers on Twitter would criticize LeBron, but last night when LeBron said "I want my damn respect," like, who is he talking about? Outside of blatant trolls, who are never going to give LeBron "respect" by their very nature, who wasn't giving him his respect? I'm known to offer some criticism for LeBron, but I will never argue that he isn't one of the very best NBA players (and overall athletes) to walk the earth.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I suppose that dumbasses like Bayless and knuckle-draggers on Twitter would criticize LeBron, but last night when LeBron said "I want my damn respect," like, who is he talking about? Outside of blatant trolls, who are never going to give LeBron "respect" by their very nature, who wasn't giving him his respect? I'm known to offer some criticism for LeBron, but I will never argue that he isn't one of the very best NBA players (and overall athletes) to walk the earth.
I wonder if the popularity of The Last Dance plus all the love for Kobe is weighing on James.

It seems preposterous on its face but its conceivable that James, who likely lives an alternate reality to most average people in terms of how he engages with the world, perceives all the MJ and Kobe adulation as shade towards him or something like that. Or he is simply motivating himself by concocting imaginary haters.

Regardless, James brilliance is undeniable. We take it for granted but what he is doing at his age and NBA milage is unprecedented.
 

Kliq

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I wonder if the popularity of The Last Dance plus all the love for Kobe is weighing on James.

It seems preposterous on its face but its conceivable that James, who likely lives an alternate reality to most average people in terms of how he engages with the world, perceives all the MJ and Kobe adulation as shade towards him or something like that. Or he is simply motivating himself by concocting imaginary haters.

Regardless, James brilliance is undeniable. We take it for granted but what he is doing at his age and NBA milage is unprecedented.
Who is taking it for granted?
 

BigSoxFan

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I wonder if the popularity of The Last Dance plus all the love for Kobe is weighing on James.

It seems preposterous on its face but its conceivable that James, who likely lives an alternate reality to most average people in terms of how he engages with the world, perceives all the MJ and Kobe adulation as shade towards him or something like that. Or he is simply motivating himself by concocting imaginary haters.

Regardless, James brilliance is undeniable. We take it for granted but what he is doing at his age and NBA milage is unprecedented.
Yeah, I think it’s respect vis-a-vis MJ. That’s who he’s always measured himself to and MJ people have always tried to stop that debate before it could even begin.

With 4 titles and all his other accomplishments, MJ vs LeBron is a real discussion.
 

Tony C

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I suppose that dumbasses like Bayless and knuckle-draggers on Twitter would criticize LeBron, but last night when LeBron said "I want my damn respect," like, who is he talking about? Outside of blatant trolls, who are never going to give LeBron "respect" by their very nature, who wasn't giving him his respect? I'm known to offer some criticism for LeBron, but I will never argue that he isn't one of the very best NBA players (and overall athletes) to walk the earth.
Yes and no. Granted Bayless is a special type of moron, and I guess Max Kellerman, too (though less so -- and he was even more vociferous in terms of LeBron being washed). I saw a video yesterday compiling all the negative comments about LeBron, the Davis trade, and the Lakers chances to win a championship (check out 538 on that) and while that was obviously compiled by a very bitter, obsessive Laker fan, you'd be wrong to think that's just a lame Bayless fringe. We have a poster here who for the last two years only uses the name LeBron in combo with a comment on his supposed decline, Bill Simmons was one of many who called the deal for AD a robbery by the Pelicans, and I'd go so far as say it was close to consensus that the Lakers lacked the depth around LeBron and AD to win the championship.

So, sure, everyone "respected" LeBron -- no one is saying he's anything less than really really good -- but often in very passive aggressive ways. There was a pretty good article on the Athletic today about how fights over LeBron pro/con are a reflection of our national polarization. For whatever reason there are a lot of people who like to denigrate greatness.
 

ManicCompression

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Even if he did reach 6 I'd be critical of them. The entire Lebron path to success is going to free agency, finding a team that has a guy on a rookie deal and having them trade assets for a super star, then bailing when that team runs into inevitable bench or cap issues. I mean, I guess it's a cool thing to do if you're the best player in the world, but could you imagine Jordan just deciding to go to the Lakers or Spurs in 98?

Lebron's great, but the system the NBA has in place is pretty stupid. It's absurd that the Lakers get rewarded for being dogshit for a decade merely because they're the most requested destination for stars.

Let's say that Lebron plays at this level until 40. Is there anyone that thinks he wouldn't do this same exact thing in 2-3 years once the AD contract and lack of draft picks cripples the ability of the Lakers to grab depth? Good for him really. But it's a stupid system.
I remember the narrative about NBA players used to be, "If you want better teammates, well maybe you should sacrifice money and let your team have the ability to sign them."

Lebron James has elected to do that to ensure that he is always surrounded by another elite level player. He's not taking the most money and leaving himself at the mercy of GMs who lock themselves into mediocrity (a la what Danny Ferry did to those 2000s Cavs teams). He's taken it upon himself to sacrifice cash in order to play with Wade and Bosh, or leaving an unstable Cavaliers franchise to make less money with the Lakers. It's not like he joined the 2016 Warriors when he went from Miami to Cleveland - he took an awful team, made them championship caliber, and then bounced when it was obvious that Dan Gilbert was ready to make the same mistakes all over again (letting go of David Griffin, hiring a yes man, hiring a new coach every year, etc).

If anything, what Lebron did is more impressive than what Jordan did. He had to think three steps ahead in order to put himself on a championship contender every year. MJ never had to do that because he was surrounded by competence in Chicago (until the Last Dance). And it's not like Lebron is riding coattails on these teams - he's the focal point of them and the reason they're contending in the first place.

Yeah, Lebron's annoying with the ref whining, he makes short-sighted decisions from a franchise perspective, etc. But the dude knows how to get to the finals better than anyone in his generation. I was on this board a year ago thinking this Lakers team was in trouble (comparatively) because they had no depth and the locker room looked like a soap opera in the making. I gotta eat crow because Lebron knew a hell of a lot better what's important to a championship than I did (and predictably so). Hats off to them - they certainly earned it with all of the insanity that happened this season.
 

Saints Rest

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I remember the narrative about NBA players used to be, "If you want better teammates, well maybe you should sacrifice money and let your team have the ability to sign them."

Lebron James has elected to do that to ensure that he is always surrounded by another elite level player. He's not taking the most money and leaving himself at the mercy of GMs who lock themselves into mediocrity (a la what Danny Ferry did to those 2000s Cavs teams). He's taken it upon himself to sacrifice cash in order to play with Wade and Bosh, or leaving an unstable Cavaliers franchise to make less money with the Lakers. It's not like he joined the 2016 Warriors when he went from Miami to Cleveland - he took an awful team, made them championship caliber, and then bounced when it was obvious that Dan Gilbert was ready to make the same mistakes all over again (letting go of David Griffin, hiring a yes man, hiring a new coach every year, etc).

If anything, what Lebron did is more impressive than what Jordan did. He had to think three steps ahead in order to put himself on a championship contender every year. MJ never had to do that because he was surrounded by competence in Chicago (until the Last Dance). And it's not like Lebron is riding coattails on these teams - he's the focal point of them and the reason they're contending in the first place.

Yeah, Lebron's annoying with the ref whining, he makes short-sighted decisions from a franchise perspective, etc. But the dude knows how to get to the finals better than anyone in his generation. I was on this board a year ago thinking this Lakers team was in trouble (comparatively) because they had no depth and the locker room looked like a soap opera in the making. I gotta eat crow because Lebron knew a hell of a lot better what's important to a championship than I did (and predictably so). Hats off to them - they certainly earned it with all of the insanity that happened this season.
I'm no LeBron lover, but I do think he deserves some extra credit for his titles, because he essentially had to be MVP and GM at the same time. When Cleveland couldn't put it together, he forged a championship team in Miami. Miami had DWade, but not much else.

When he went back to Cleveland, there was Kyrie and not much else.

When he went to the Lakers, it wasn't exactly the dream destination that every superstar was running to.

LeBron creates his own gravity drawing good players, both large and small (in ability, not height).
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm no LeBron lover, but I do think he deserves some extra credit for his titles, because he essentially had to be MVP and GM at the same time. When Cleveland couldn't put it together, he forged a championship team in Miami. Miami had DWade, but not much else.

When he went back to Cleveland, there was Kyrie and not much else.

When he went to the Lakers, it wasn't exactly the dream destination that every superstar was running to.

LeBron creates his own gravity drawing good players, both large and small (in ability, not height).
Most amazing thing for me is that LeBron + another top 15-20 player basically guarantees a team a Finals berth. He is that good. The supporting cast almost doesn't even matter since as long as he and his Robin are healthy, they'll give him what he needs. Like, you could put LeBron/AD and then have a random supporting cast generator program from other NBA teams and it'll work.

It's going to be very interesting to see what GS does with the #2 pick. I think they're going to feel a lot of pressure to turn it into an asset that can contribute immediately. The Lakers/Warriors rivalry over the next few years could be awesome. And then you have the Clippers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Rockets, OKC, Jazz, etc. The Western Conference playoffs is going to be an absolute gauntlet to get through. The NBA is in great shape from a competitive balance standpoint.
 

Seels

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Both Bosh and Love would have been seen as top 15 or so players the year before playing with Lebron. This is simply something that no other player in any other league is capable of doing and having teams committing to.

Does Lebron go to LA without knowledge that they can trade for Davis? Of course not. Same with Cleveland and Love, or Miami and Bosh. Good for him for winning anyway, but his franchises simply don't need to invest as they've all been completely fine punting on the short term future for a shot at a title. Like I said, good for him, but this is just not something that players in other eras or of other sports have any ability to do.
 

Average Game James

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Yeah, I’m not sure I get the people who see LeBron winning with multiple teams as a mark in his favor. He goes to a good situation, wins, then when the team deteriorates it runs out of assets/financial flexibility, he leaves to find a better situation. I won’t knock him for it, he was a free agent and therefore entirely in his rights to do what he did, but I don’t give him extra credit for it. He certainly suffered from incompetent management early in his career, but at the same time he has certainly benefited from venue shopping since he left Cleveland the first time.
 

lexrageorge

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Where LeBron deserves the most credit is that he is still able to be that player that can take his team to the Finals in his 17th season. And he was able to adapt his game along the way. This season James had his lowest free throw attempts per 36 minutes since his rookie season but yet led the league in assists.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Agreed. But maybe you adopt as a team philosophy that you won't pay out the huge contracts, period, and constantly seek undervalued all-star or near all-star caliber players. I dunno...it's tricky.
The problem is the that GM making these decisions would need to have long term job security which is rare in that business. Once you pass up a Durant there goes your gig.
 

BaseballJones

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The problem is the that GM making these decisions would need to have long term job security which is rare in that business. Once you pass up a Durant there goes your gig.
True...IF your plan doesn't work. If your plan works, and you win a title even without the next Durant, your job should be fine.
 

ManicCompression

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Yeah, I’m not sure I get the people who see LeBron winning with multiple teams as a mark in his favor. He goes to a good situation, wins, then when the team deteriorates it runs out of assets/financial flexibility, he leaves to find a better situation. I won’t knock him for it, he was a free agent and therefore entirely in his rights to do what he did, but I don’t give him extra credit for it. He certainly suffered from incompetent management early in his career, but at the same time he has certainly benefited from venue shopping since he left Cleveland the first time.
These are the records of the teams before LeBron arrived:
Miami Heat - 43-39
Cavs - 33-49
Lakers - 35-47

He made them into "good situations" and then left when they weren't anymore. I don't see anyone knocking Jordan for retiring in 1998 when he saw that the Bulls were going to become a shitshow. Instead, he's lauded for it. Lebron encountered the same problem, just multiple times throughout his career.

The guy reinvented himself to play with all kinds of players, whether they're ball dominant like Wade and Kyrie or big men for a new era like Bosh and Love. Maybe he doesn't get extra credit, but there should be some context applied when comparing him to Jordan. Like @lovegtm says above, the only real difference is that Jordan found his Pippen during his prime and Lebron had to seek that guy out because the Cavs we're busy supplying him with Donyell Marshall. If that kind of superteam building should be viewed as a "cheat" or a "shortcut", then let's take that same view of the 08 Celtics because KG would've never accepted a trade here if Allen didn't come first.

I think people would have a different perspectives on this if Lebron didn't make an ass out of himself during the decision and Davis wasn't such a jerk when he left New Orleans. In a vacuum, both players making their way out of ridiculously inept organizations would typically be celebrated (see: any free agent who signs with the Patriots).
 

Average Game James

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These are the records of the teams before LeBron arrived:
Miami Heat - 43-39
Cavs - 33-49
Lakers - 35-47

He made them into "good situations" and then left when they weren't anymore.
I think the records completely ignore the context of each situation. Of course LeBron instantly makes any team immediately better - he turns a lottery team into a finals contender by himself. But every time he left a team, it was to move to a team with a better collection of talent/assets/cap space than the previous one. Super team constructed in Miami. Bailed on Miami when Wade lost a step for a Cavs team that had a budding superstar in Kyrie and lucked into the #1 pick. Forced the Cavs to burn all their assets by only signing 1+1 deals and when the assets were spent he bolted for the Lakers and their cap space/young tradable assets/LA appeal and then orchestrated the Davis trade demand. Every time he went somewhere new, it was to maximize his future championship odds. Again, it’s not a knock against him, but I don’t think it makes his achievements in any way more special as some suggest (and if anything, it detracts slightly).
 

Seels

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These are the records of the teams before LeBron arrived:
Miami Heat - 43-39
Cavs - 33-49
Lakers - 35-47

He made them into "good situations" and then left when they weren't anymore. I don't see anyone knocking Jordan for retiring in 1998 when he saw that the Bulls were going to become a shitshow. Instead, he's lauded for it. Lebron encountered the same problem, just multiple times throughout his career.

The guy reinvented himself to play with all kinds of players, whether they're ball dominant like Wade and Kyrie or big men for a new era like Bosh and Love. Maybe he doesn't get extra credit, but there should be some context applied when comparing him to Jordan. Like @lovegtm says above, the only real difference is that Jordan found his Pippen during his prime and Lebron had to seek that guy out because the Cavs we're busy supplying him with Donyell Marshall. If that kind of superteam building should be viewed as a "cheat" or a "shortcut", then let's take that same view of the 08 Celtics because KG would've never accepted a trade here if Allen didn't come first.

I think people would have a different perspectives on this if Lebron didn't make an ass out of himself during the decision and Davis wasn't such a jerk when he left New Orleans. In a vacuum, both players making their way out of ridiculously inept organizations would typically be celebrated (see: any free agent who signs with the Patriots).
How are you ignoring that all those teams had added moves?

I'm fine taking the same view of the Celtics. It doesn't devalue the experience of the team. But I just don't care to give him extra credit for it either. He's exploiting a unique niche that only exists in this league at this point in time. As stated before, it wasn't as if Jordan had an option in 1998 of just going to one of these teams that were obviously going to be going on a run, like the Lakers or Spurs.

It's basically the same argument as Durant.

I don't care about Lebron's Miami decision or how Davis was on his way out of New Orleans. Lebron had opportunities to align himself with generational talent on his own terms three different times, frequently while they were on entry level deals. That's not something a player the caliber of Lebron ever naturally gets (as a team they're on will never just be bad enough to draft someone like Kyrie, or Davis, or even Wade Bosh or Love).
 

The Gray Eagle

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What ring discussion? It's a team sport, not an individual sport.

But even if you take team championships and try to turn them into individual championships, you can still take all of Lebron's rings and add them to all of Michael Jordan's rings, and you still don't have as many as Bill Russell won.
 

lovegtm

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How are you ignoring that all those teams had added moves?

I'm fine taking the same view of the Celtics. It doesn't devalue the experience of the team. But I just don't care to give him extra credit for it either. He's exploiting a unique niche that only exists in this league at this point in time. As stated before, it wasn't as if Jordan had an option in 1998 of just going to one of these teams that were obviously going to be going on a run, like the Lakers or Spurs.

It's basically the same argument as Durant.

I don't care about Lebron's Miami decision or how Davis was on his way out of New Orleans. Lebron had opportunities to align himself with generational talent on his own terms three different times, frequently while they were on entry level deals. That's not something a player the caliber of Lebron ever naturally gets (as a team they're on will never just be bad enough to draft someone like Kyrie, or Davis, or even Wade Bosh or Love).
I notice that you don't make any mention of the talent that the Bulls were lucky/smart enough to surround Jordan with. Being able to draft Pippen onto a team with Jordan is a huge anomaly, and completely changed the upside of those teams. Scottie Pippen was really, really f-ing good.

Your Jordan/LeBron contrast seems to be arguing for Jerry Krause as the GOAT, not Jordan.
 

nighthob

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It's basically the same argument as Durant.
One of those guys joined a 73 win team so that he could be sure of beating LeBron, because the 73 win team couldn’t. The other guy kept joining shitshows and taking them over the top. Their career arcs couldn’t be more different.
 

Devizier

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How many games does this Lakers team win without Lebron? I would argue a little better than .500 and a first or second round exit. It’s the same story as Cleveland.
 
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How many games does this Lakers team win without Lebron? I would argue a little better than .500 and a first or second round exit. It’s the same story as Cleveland.
How many games does this team win without Anthony Davis? Probably about 37 And a 10th place in the west would be my guess.
 

johnmd20

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How many games does this team win without Anthony Davis? Probably about 37 And a 10th place in the west would be my guess.
Absurd. Just a poor post without any thought. Davis played a total of 13 playoff games in 7 years without Lebron. He won a total of 1 playoff series in those 7 years.

With Lebron, he played 21 playoff games and won a total of 4 series. And the Championship.
 
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johnmd20

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This is a polished and helpful response. It proves your point unequivocally and I stand corrected.

Before he played with Anthony Davis, Lebron was just a middling player who didn't win much in the playoffs. Thank you for educating me.
You're welcome, any time.

It's not apples to apples. None of this is. My point is just like Anthony Davis was nothing in NO without Lebron, Lebron was nothing in LA without Davis. Davis led the team in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. Most of the advanced stats favor him as well.
 

johnmd20

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You're welcome, any time.

It's not apples to apples. None of this is. My point is just like Anthony Davis was nothing in NO without Lebron, Lebron was nothing in LA without Davis. Davis led the team in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. Most of the advanced stats favor him as well.
You make a great point.

Lebron really never won that much in his career before he teamed up with AD. I guess AD was the secret that unlocked Lebron's ability.
 

HomeRunBaker

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One of those guys joined a 73 win team so that he could be sure of beating LeBron, because the 73 win team couldn’t. The other guy kept joining shitshows and taking them over the top. Their career arcs couldn’t be more different.
Yeah, it is funny to hear how LeBron walked into such a great situation from the same group of people who laughed at his supporting cast one year earlier.
 

ManicCompression

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How are you ignoring that all those teams had added moves?

I'm fine taking the same view of the Celtics. It doesn't devalue the experience of the team. But I just don't care to give him extra credit for it either. He's exploiting a unique niche that only exists in this league at this point in time. As stated before, it wasn't as if Jordan had an option in 1998 of just going to one of these teams that were obviously going to be going on a run, like the Lakers or Spurs.

It's basically the same argument as Durant.

I don't care about Lebron's Miami decision or how Davis was on his way out of New Orleans. Lebron had opportunities to align himself with generational talent on his own terms three different times, frequently while they were on entry level deals. That's not something a player the caliber of Lebron ever naturally gets (as a team they're on will never just be bad enough to draft someone like Kyrie, or Davis, or even Wade Bosh or Love).
I'm not ignoring the moves made afterward, but it's not like he stepped into certain situations. He went to Cleveland before they traded for Love. He did a whole season in LA before they traded for Davis. It wasn't at all analogous to Durant joining a 73 win team. There was risk involved and he could've taken some easier routes to championships in those situations.

And Jordan absolutely could've gone to play with one of those teams - he was signing one-year contracts with the Bulls in the late 90s (just like Lebron) and could've gone anywhere after '98. He did, in 2001, when he went to go play for the Wizards because - shockingly - they had a number one pick and he thought they'd be a good team. Unlike Lebron's teams, they kept the asset and that guy, Kwame Brown, wasn't very good. It's a hypothetical, but I think we can say with confidence that if the Bulls traded Pippen during Jordan's absence and the team sucked, he'd demand a trade to the Knicks or something. He just never had to make that decision until he came back from retirement a second time and it blew up in his face.
 

Tony C

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Yeah, it is funny to hear how LeBron walked into such a great situation from the same group of people who laughed at his supporting cast one year earlier.
Yep. All you have to do is go back to threads from then to read all the laughing at what a pathetic group it was. Now it turns into he just walks into made to order championship situations.

How about Occam's Razor: 1) he's great. 2) he can't win w/out help and no one can. 3) because he's so great, he doesn't need as much help as other "great" (but less great) players.

It's not that complicated.
 

BaseballJones

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This isn't complicated, like Tony C just said. LeBron is an all-time great, maybe the greatest player of all time. He took teams that had no business going to the finals there, and won one against a 73-win juggernaut. Yet last year with the Lakers, they were a sub-.500 team. They add Davis, and they win the NBA title. It's easy to see how Davis was absolutely a key to the Lakers' championship. Saying that isn't taking anything away from LeBron. He knew he needed someone like Davis, which is why he worked hard to make that happen. LeBron is no fool.
 

Euclis20

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You're welcome, any time.

It's not apples to apples. None of this is. My point is just like Anthony Davis was nothing in NO without Lebron, Lebron was nothing in LA without Davis. Davis led the team in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. Most of the advanced stats favor him as well.
Before he got hurt last year, the Lakers were 20-14 and in the middle of the playoff race. After a rough start, they were 18-9 in their previous 27 games and while they weren't a legit title contender, they were looking like that team that no one wanted to face in the playoffs, because of Lebron. If that's nothing, then Davis has been less than nothing for nearly his entire career.