Losses in the 1st round:
MJ lost 3 times
Kareem lost 3 times
Bill Russell never
Magic Johnson lost twice
Wilt Chamberlain lost twice
Shaquille O'Neal lost three times
Tim Duncan lost twice
Larry Bird lost twice
LeBron James never
Hakeem Olajuwon lost 8 times (
Just for the sake of it:
Kobe Bryant lost 2 times
As you can see, not losing in the 1st round is one of the hardest achievements one can possibly obtain.
Only two members of the consensus GOAT 11 managed to do it - Russel and LeBron.
As we can see, those two just do not care about the quality of their teammates. They simply try their hardest from the 1st game of the 1st round to the very end, trying to achieve as much as possible with their limited options.
That is very different from the others, who quit in the moment they knew they were not going to win anything.
MJ in '86 knew he could not defeat the Celtics, so he famously quit in Game 3, scoring just 19 points and fouling out of the game on purpose.
Kobe's famous quit in '06. Nothing else needs to be said there.
Should the losing in the 1st round be used against the ranking cases of those that lost?
Is the losing in the 1st round on par with not losing in the Finals?
What would've come of some of those series and subsequently of the whole playoffs , if the quitters tried their hardest?