2 titles would probably get Lebron borderline top 10 on my list, probably 11th. I have him around the top 15 range now. But it depends on his performance. Only two top 10 players don't have more than 2 rings, and they are Hakeem and Wilt. I see quite a few parallels between Wilt's career and Lebron's so far, except Lebron doesn't have the rings now that Wilt did, or a season as complete as Wilt's '67 season.
Hakeem vs Lebron would still be pretty clear cut for me. Hakeem was the better player, imo, the far more consistent playoff performer and he clearly had less help on his championship teams while facing better competition(particularly in '95) than Lebron will face this season when he has a really easy path to the finals. Hakeem is right around my top 5, though. Just using him as an example since he'd be one of the only 2 top 10 players Lebron would be tied with.
But quite a bit will depend on performance, that's a big factor for me with rings, how well you play to get them.
Even so, Lebron would have the most help of anyone since the 80's, and one of the easier paths to the finals this year.
Originally Posted by Ne 1
Why dosen't anyone discredit Magic for winning with Kareem?
He was as clear of a sidekick in 1980 as Kobe was in 2000. And if you look at 1982 objectively< Kareem was still the best player and in 1985, it was atleast 1.A/1.B. Yet nobody says Magic has only 2 or 3 rings or puts a qualifier on them. Why the double standard?
True, I hate that Kareem's 1980 run is forgotten. It was one of the best playoff runs ever, imo. Luckily, I've seen almost every game from that playoff run. It seemed to be forgotten when Magic had his game 6(winning finals MVP for being more valuable in 1 game rather than the other 5
And yeah, Kareem was still better in '82. Magic had more responsibility than he had during the first title, and the gap had closed a bit. But Kareem was still easily their best scorer, and their 1st option in the half court, he was also blocking 3 shots per game giving him a significant defensive advantage over Magic.
Magic still hadn't developed much of an outside shot then, and certainly didn't show the post game he did from '87-'91. That made him a more limited half court player.
Kareem was clearly their best player from '80-'83, imo, and by '84, '85 and arguably '86, they were 1.A/1.B in that they're close enough that it's tough to decide. By '84 or '85, around there, Magic was adding the outside shot which improved his game.
It was still "Kareem's team" until the '86-'87 season when Magic took over.