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Old 05-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
t-rex
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Default The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Here is a list of the supporting casts for the all time great NBA players over the last 30 years. (Of course this is subjective.) I pulled out the all time great player from each team and then listed the teams starting lineup. This can be used to debate how much help each all time great player had from their supporting cast when winning an NBA championship. The list is starting regular season lineups only. And it does not take into account bench play or a change of a starting lineup for the playoffs .For example, Kevin McHale clearly helped Bird win a championship in 1984 although he came off the bench.



I broke the Lakers of the 1980s up into two teams because most believe that both Jabbar and Magic are all time great players. For the first 3 Laker championships of the decade (80, 82, and 85) I considered Jabbar the best player and Magic a member of the “supporting cast.” For the last 2 Championships (87, 88) I reversed the order because Jabbar was no longer in his prime and there was no debate by then that Magic was the better player.



This same criteria could have been used with Bryant and O’Neal for the Laker championships from 2000-2002, but I left Bryant as the teams best player because of all of the Lebron/Kobe ongoing debates.



Bulls (Jordan)
1991-Pippen, Cartwright, Armstrong, Grant
1992-Pippen, Cartwright, Armstrong, Grant
1993-Pippen, Cartwright, Armstrong, Grant
1996-Pippen Longley, Rodman, Harper
1997-Pippen, Longley, Rodman, Harper
1998-Pippen, Kukoc, Longley, Harper


Lakers (Bryant)
2000-Fisher, Fox, O’Neal, Green, Rice
2002- Fisher, Fox, O’Neal, Walker
2001- Fisher, Fox, O’Neal, Harper
2009-Fisher, Gasol, Ariza, Bynum


Spurs (Duncan)
2007-Parker, Ginobli, Bowen, Oberto
2005-Parker, Ginobli, Bowen, Nesterovic
2003-Parker, Ginobli, Bowen, Robinson



Rockets (Hakeem)
1995- Horry, Smith, Drexler, Maxwell
1995- Horry, Smith, Thorpe, Maxwell


Heat (Wade)
2006- Haslem, Oneal, Posey, Williams


Other notable all time great supporting casts

Lakers (Magic)
1987-Jabbar, Worthy, Scott, Green
1988-Jabbar, Worthy, Scott, Green

Lakers (Jabbar)
1980-Magic, Wilkes, Nixon, Chones
1982-Magic Wilkes, Nixon, McAdoo
1985-Magic, Worthy, Scott, Green


Celtics (Bird)
1986-Mchale, Parish, Johnson, Ainge
1984-Maxwell, Parish, Johnson, Henderson
1981-Maxwell, Parish, Archibald, Ford


Sixers (Dr. J)
1983-Malone, Toney, Cheeks, Ivaroni


Here is the 2009 starting lineup for the Cavaliers. How does it stack up to the other championship lineups?

Cavs (James)
2009-Jameson, O’Neal, Parker, Williams

Last edited by t-rex : 05-15-2010 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Switch Kobe with Shaq and Kobe as the supporting players (wtf!)

Switch Drexler for Thorpe in 95 Rockets.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-rex
Here is a list of the supporting casts for the all time great NBA players over the last 30 years. (Of course this is subjective.) I pulled out the all time great player from each team and then listed the teams starting lineup. This can be used to debate how much help each all time great player had from their supporting cast when winning an NBA championship. The list is starting regular season lineups only. And it does not take into account bench play or a change of a starting lineup for the playoffs .For example, Kevin McHale clearly helped Bird win a championship in 1984 although he came off the bench.



I broke the Lakers of the 1980s up into two teams because most believe that both Jabbar and Magic are all time great players. For the first 3 Laker championships of the decade (80, 82, and 85) I considered Jabbar the best player and Magic a member of the “supporting cast.” For the last 2 Championships (87, 88) I reversed the order because Jabbar was no longer in his prime and there was no debate by then that Magic was the better player.



This same criteria could have been used with Bryant and O’Neal for the Laker championships from 2000-2002, but I left Bryant as the teams best player because of all of the Lebron/Kobe ongoing debates.



Bulls (Jordan)
1991-Pippen, Cartwright, Armstrong, Grant
1992-Pippen, Cartwright, Armstrong, Grant
1993-Pippen, Cartwright, Armstrong, Grant
1996-Pippen Longley, Rodman, Harper
1997-Pippen, Longley, Rodman, Harper
1998-Pippen, Kukoc, Longley, Harper


Lakers (Bryant)
2000-Fisher, Fox, O’Neal, Green, Rice
2002- Fisher, Fox, O’Neal, Walker
2001- Fisher, Fox, O’Neal, Harper
2009-Fisher, Gasol, Ariza, Bynum


Spurs (Duncan)
2007-Parker, Ginobli, Bowen, Oberto
2005-Parker, Ginobli, Bowen, Nesterovic
2003-Parker, Ginobli, Bowen, Robinson



Rockets (Hakeem)
1995- Horry, Smith, Thorpe, Maxwell
1995- Horry, Smith, Thorpe Maxwell


Heat (Wade)
2006- Haslem, Oneal, Posey, Williams


Other notable all time great supporting casts

Lakers (Magic)
1987-Jabbar, Worthy, Scott, Green
1988-Jabbar, Worthy, Scott, Green

Lakers (Jabbar)
1980-Magic, Wilkes, Nixon, Chones
1982-Magic Wilkes, Nixon, McAdoo
1985-Magic, Worthy, Scott, Green


Celtics (Bird)
1986-Mchale, Parish, Johnson, Ainge
1984-Maxwell, Parish, Johnson, Henderson
1981-Maxwell, Parish, Archibald, Ford


Sixers (Dr. J)
1983-Malone, Toney, Cheeks, Ivaroni


Here is the 2009 starting lineup for the Cavaliers. How does it stack up to the other championship lineups?

Cavs (James)
2009-Hickson, O’Neal, Parker, Williams
nice list. but why is jamison not on the cavs list instead of hickson? and kukoc should be on the 96-98 bulls list in place of longley same with rodman

Last edited by 97 bulls : 05-15-2010 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Why is Hickson listed over Jamison?
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Thanks guys! I was going largely from memory. I think all of the corrections are in place.

I think the overall point is that all of the great players who have won championships (that I have seen/last 30 years) had significant supporting casts.

Bird had

Mchale-HOF (Probably among the top 3 greatest PFs in NBA history)
Parish-HOF
Johnson-HOF
Cedric Maxwell was the MVP of the 1981 finals/not Bird


Magic had

Jabbar-HOF (Perhaps the greatest Center of all time and even as late as 1985 was voted the MVP of the NBA Finals)

Worthy-HOF-MVP 1988 Finals

Wilkes-Among the most underrated players in NBA history. On the night Magic played center and scored 45 points in game 6 of the 1980 NBA finals, Wilkes had 42 points himself! Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe to this day calls it the quietest 40 point NBA finals performance in pro basketball history.


With Shaq and Kobe you can't even make a determination who the best player on the team even is!


The point of this thread is to highliight for players like Dirk and Lebron that no great player wins without help. And this notion that they are not great players because they don't have rings is a falsehood.


If Dirk or Lebron had Jabbar or Shaq in his prime at center, or Mchale in his prime at PF, they absolutely would have a champonship by now.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 bulls
nice list. but why is jamison not on the cavs list instead of hickson? and kukoc should be on the 96-98 bulls list in place of longley same with rodman


Thanks for the compliment. Just to make sure my memory wasn't completely failing me, I went back and looked at the Bulls of the late 1990s. And Kukoc came of the bench until 1998.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

If you're going to call Kareem the "alpha-dog" in the first half of the 80's (which I gree with) then you've got to do the same with Shaq in teh first half of this decade. The 3 peat lakers from earlier in the decade were Shaq's team. Kobe was his super start supporting player. Much like Magic was KAJ's in the early to mid 80's.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

I feel like the star players should be to blame for not having a cast that gets it done.. We all saw how Kobe demanded a better team, we saw how Garnett demanded one... I refuse to believe that a player like Dirk or Lebron can not demand a trade to make the team better, and the reasons they don't do it is why they are lower on the all time list IMO. Not because they don't have rings, but because they didn't do everything they could to win one.

edit that is a response to this: "
The point of this thread is to highliight for players like Dirk and Lebron that no great player wins without help. And this notion that they are not great players because they don't have rings is a falsehood."
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-rex
Thanks guys! I was going largely from memory. I think all of the corrections are in place.

I think the overall point is that all of the great players who have won championships (that I have seen/last 30 years) had significant supporting casts.

Bird had

Mchale-HOF (Probably among the top 3 greatest PFs in NBA history)
Parish-HOF
Johnson-HOF
Cedric Maxwell was the MVP of the 1981 finals/not Bird


Magic had

Jabbar-HOF (Perhaps the greatest Center of all time and even as late as 1985 was voted the MVP of the NBA Finals)

Worthy-HOF-MVP 1988 Finals

Wilkes-Among the most underrated players in NBA history. On the night Magic played center and scored 45 points in game 6 of the 1980 NBA finals, Wilkes had 42 points himself! Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe to this day calls it the quietest 40 point NBA finals performance in pro basketball history.


With Shaq and Kobe you can't even make a determination who the best player on the team even is!


The point of this thread is to highliight for players like Dirk and Lebron that no great player wins without help. And this notion that they are not great players because they don't have rings is a falsehood.


If Dirk or Lebron had Jabbar or Shaq in his prime at center, or Mchale in his prime at PF, they absolutely would have a champonship by now.
i like to determine a good team by what theyve been able to accomplish outside of the safety net of playing with an all-time great.

that being said, i dont think that the cavs werent talented enough.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KG215
If you're going to call Kareem the "alpha-dog" in the first half of the 80's (which I gree with) then you've got to do the same with Shaq in teh first half of this decade. The 3 peat lakers from earlier in the decade were Shaq's team. Kobe was his super start supporting player. Much like Magic was KAJ's in the early to mid 80's.

kobe was the 2nd option for the first year but then it was like Shaq 1A , Kobe 1B and the last year was Kobe 1A and shaq 1B. So they were only totally shaqs team in the first year
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Kobe was the 2nd option during the 3peat, not Shaq. Shaq led them in scoring, rebounding, blocks and FG% every year during the regular season, playoffs as a whole and finals. Shaq was the finals MVP each season and finished higher in regular season MVP voting each season, and before some mentions the argument that the WCF was the real finals, Shaq clearly had the better WCF series in 2000 and 2002 and in 2001 when Kobe was the MVP of the WCF, the finals was much more competitive so that doesn't hold much weight.

And Kobe even said Shaq was the main guy back in 2002.

Quote:
"It's all about winning. Nothing else matters," Bryant says. "I toned my game down a lot the last three years. Shaq's our main offensive thrust, and rightfully so. I defer a lot to him and just try to get everyone involved. That is what works for us, and that is why we have been so successful."

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baske...nt-cover_x.htm

By the way, during the 3peat, the Lakers were 25-6 with Shaq and without Kobe and just 13-12 with Kobe and without Shaq. There's no case that can be made for Kobe being the number 1 guy on the Lakers 3peat.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KG215
If you're going to call Kareem the "alpha-dog" in the first half of the 80's (which I gree with) then you've got to do the same with Shaq in teh first half of this decade. The 3 peat lakers from earlier in the decade were Shaq's team. Kobe was his super start supporting player. Much like Magic was KAJ's in the early to mid 80's.


I actually agree with that. I don't know why history credits Magic with all 5 Laker NBA Championships of the 1980s as the "alpha-dog."

That is revisionists history.

In reality Kareem had 3 Championships. And Magic had 2. Infact Kareem might have had 4 "alpha-dog" championships in the 1980s had Magic not played so poorly in the 1984 finals.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RazorBaLade
kobe was the 2nd option for the first year but then it was like Shaq 1A , Kobe 1B and the last year was Kobe 1A and shaq 1B. So they were only totally shaqs team in the first year

Ok, but couldn't you make that same claim for the first 3 Laker titles with KAJ and Magic? I don't necessarily disagree that Kobe was option 1B and not option 2, but while Magic wasn't the same type of scoring option as KAJ, he still left his fingerprints all over games in the early portion of his career. Could Magic have scored more? Yes, but it wasn't until Pat Riley asked him to become more of a scoring threat, that Magic was willing to become a little less of an unselfish player to become more of a scorer, instead of a facilitator.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

This is one of my all time favorite NBA facts.

1992-93-The Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan at the absolute peak of his powers finished 57-25 and won the NBA title.

1993-94- The Chicago Bulls, the very next year and with the same basic roster (minus MJ at the peak of his prime) finished 55-27 and were arguable one horrifically bad call away from reaching the NBA finals without Jordan.


With Jordan (Bulls 1993)-57-25
Without Jordan (Bulls 1994)-55-27



That's how good and underrated Jordan's supporting cast was.


As an example, does anyone here think the Cavs finish 55-27 without Lebron? Do the Mavs finish 55-27 and advance in the playoffs without Dirk?
The Bulls did it without Jordan!
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: The supporting casts of the all time greats...

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-rex
This is one of my all time favorite NBA facts.

1992-93-The Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan at the absolute peak of his powers finished 57-25 and won the NBA title.

1993-94- The Chicago Bulls, the very next year and with the same basic roster (minus MJ at the peak of his prime) finished 55-27 and were arguable one horrifically bad call away from reaching the NBA finals without Jordan.


With Jordan (Bulls 1993)-57-25
Without Jordan (Bulls 1994)-55-27



That's how good and underrated Jordan's supporting cast was.


As an example, does anyone here think the Cavs finish 55-27 without Lebron? Do the Mavs finish 55-27 and advance in the playoffs without Dirk?
The Bulls did it without Jordan!

You still haven't mentioned why you listed Shaq as part of the supporting cast on those Laker teams when Shaq was CLEARLY the number 1 guys on those teams, something Kobe has acknowledged.
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