If stats, rings, and accolades are what determines greatness, then no. Russell with 11 rings would be the goat, or wilt with his statistical dominance would be the goat. Maybe Kareem and Jordan have a case with their superior mix of both. (Of course that raises the question...what is the correct mix and etc.)
On the other hand, using the "eye test", it's hard to say that KD can NEVER become as dominant in today's league as the aforementioned 4 were during their respective generations. Similarly it's hard to say Lebron isn't already as dominant in today's league.
Basketball is a team sport and thus it's invariably difficult to precisely measure one player's contribution to his team and his team's success across different circumstances. Ultimately, though obviously not entirely, sorting players in the upper echelon of talent really becomes an exercise in picking a personal favorite and making a case for him by selecting flattering, although ultimately arbitrary, criteria for measuring "goatness" and then providing confirming evidence, allthewhile disregardging evidence to the contrary, that suggest said player was the best according to the criteria chosen.
But um...it's not so clear why any one criteria should undoubtedly be the measuring stick of a players greatness. Great arguments can be made for any of the criteria but lets be aware that similar arguments do exist for other criteria as well.
Ultimately, it might be a better exercise to just pick one's favorite player and simply say "x is the goat and better than y because I like x better". It's obviously not sound reasoning but at least it's truthful.
Going around saying "x is better than y because...( insert rings and/or mvps and/or ppg and/or win-loss..etc)" is really just dressing up the former sentence to make it sound as if it the choice is based on clear, rational deliberation....and frankly, delusional.
If it can't even be established to a logical certainty what criteria is clearly "correct" for evaluating players...how can anyone ever hope to convince others beyond any doubt that "the goat is x"?
I consider durant right now as good as 2nd 3 peat jordan. Which was the most mature and calm and rarely forced anything whereas the young jordan was a statpadder thats why that jordan wasnt a winner. Its the reason why young durant is already successful compared to jordan. He is just so mature for his age. He has the same maturity as the russell or duncan coming into the league thats why this guy has a chance to become GOAT. The 2nd 3peat jordan is the one I consider the best coz of maturity and won 72-10. And if you compare his stats to durant, it looks the same.
Not Goat but he easily has top 10 all time potential with a chance at top 5 if he wins enough rings. It's crazy because until this year when he took a huge step in his all around game I never thought I'd be saying this.
Before this year he was 24 and had lead the league in scoring 3 times and you never thought you'd be saying this?
I consider durant right now as good as 2nd 3 peat jordan.
Which was the most mature and calm and rarely forced anything whereas the young jordan was a statpadder thats why that jordan wasnt a winner. Its the reason why young durant is already successful compared to jordan. He is just so mature for his age.
Originally Posted by knicksman
He has the same maturity as the russell or duncan coming into the league thats why this guy has a chance to become GOAT. The 2nd 3peat jordan is the one I consider the best coz of maturity and won 72-10. And if you compare his stats to durant, it looks the same.
No they don't. The only players who have ever had GOAT potential are in the ones who are in the argument for GOAT. Look right outside that top 5 or 6... who else had it?
The only one is Shaq.
Durant doesn't have it and he won't be in that conversation.
I have a feeling Lebron will join Shaq. He just can't actually hit that very top tier unless his jumpshot undergoes a complete transformation.
Now, all that said, anyone who doesn't think Durant can't be right near the top of that second tier is missing something. I don't see him surpassing Duncan, but I don't see why he can't surpass Ewing and the Dream and Karl Malone and Jerry West. Remember, he's got 8 more years playing at this level or higher. Maybe more. There is no reason to suppose he won't retire with 3-5 finals MVPs, 3-5 regular season MVPs, and 6 to 8 scoring titles. You think anyone will credit ringless Karl Malone with being better? The Heat are getting over the hill, the Lakers are done, and the Clippers are a move at least away from being serious competition. Durant's all alone at the top of the league in 2 or 3 years.
LeBron? He has a great jumpshot this year. His 16 ft to 3pt area is better than Durant this year, and he took more shots. And his 10-15th is good too.
His jumpshot started to improve since 09. Ever since he joined the Heat, it's been elite really.