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Old 05-13-2013, 08:01 AM   #91
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

whomever labels bird as era specific is one of those young cats who think basketball is all about pick & rolls, shooting threes 6 seconds int the clock, fancy ball handling and becoming over excited when lebron dunks. most of today's game is nothing but an athletic clusterfluck.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:02 AM   #92
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

They were both amazing, which is why they respected each other so much, but Larry... is better. Even Magic knows that.

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Old 05-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #93
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

Nah, you can't go by Magic. Magic is a sweetheart. Doing the humble thing. Just got to look at their comparative play. Both of them excelled at their positions. Jordan is still GOAT. LeBron gonna be No. 2.

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They were both amazing, which is why they respected each other so much, but Larry... is better. Even Magic knows that.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:16 PM   #94
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

It's clear that Magic was the better alltime player


Bird was a high volume scorer, all time clutch player who gave you a glimpse of great vision/passing every now and then

I can think of about 5 small forwards who were poor man's/bootleg larry birds..who gave you some of what larry brought to the table.....rick barry had the scoring and clutch shooting....sidney moncrief gave you the court awareness/vision and clutch playmaking, chris mullin gave you the scoring and the passing/court sense

small forward position is FULL of high scoring guys who either were clutch shooters or great playmakers....Bird combined all three elements..



Name another point guard comparable to Magic ...


I'll wait

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Old 05-13-2013, 12:36 PM   #95
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaqAttack3234
He may have gotten the award, but I've always thought Bird was clearly the more valuable player in that series. His shot wasn't falling, but his impact was still greater than Maxwell's.

Hey homeslice, I couldn't find that thread again but I find it really funny we were in the same hood and both played the same instrument!

Max, was making clutch shots that year. The thing that makes it foggy was that Max was very timely with his defensive plays as well. Bird was missing key shots as well. I do think it was very close. Hard call because Bird does so many things.

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Kareem was definitely the man in 1980, and I'd say through at least Magic's first 4 years. He was league MVP and for good reason, and the offense at that time revolved around Kareem in the post. Magic pushed them over the top(as well as some other nice additions) but that doesn't mean it was his team from the start.
The look and feel was different once Magic arrived. Kareem was still great for sure. While Kareem did beast for LA for four years prior, good teams never had a problem with them. LA would usually get beat 4 to 1 in playoff series while never getting too deep into the playoffs. Wilkes and Kareem both looked sharper and played in a more alert manner once Magic arrived. The LA team looked like Washington (beginning of this year) in the 1970's vs a Golden State team now, after Magic arrived. While Kareem was the better individual player, he didn't mean more to the team. Kareem himself was transformed and now had a bigger impact than he did in one of his best years three years prior. Magic knew how to make Kareem key in winning ways. It was not something you can really say Kareem knew how to do himself. Wilkes was the same.
Quote:
Kareem pretty much did as much as he could for LA. He carried them, but the team was flawed, especially in '77 when he dragged them as far as they could possibly go. Obviously when you add a player of Magic's caliber they're going to get better, but the 1980 Lakers would have gotten a hell of a lot worse if you just took Kareem off too so what does that mean? The '80 Lakers don't sniff a title without Kareem.

That Philly team was far better than any team Kareem faced the previous four years. Their defense was on a whole different level than those teams.
So without Magic they don't sniff a title either. It was Magic's wild card play (you really couldn't prepare for Magic because his play affected everybody on the court and he was not playing in a traditional manner). Magic always had a winning way about himself.

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I'd call Bird's '84 and '86 championships dominant.
Without question

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I'd say Bird was pretty dominant even early on. He wasn't as good as '84-'88, but even during his first 4 years, he was leading his team to about 60 wins every year, had already won a title, was always one of the top MVP candidates and led that remarkable turnaround as a rookie.

I've always thought it took Magic longer to become dominant than it took Bird. Though that makes sense since Bird was 3 years older and the man on his team right away.
Yeah, Bird was built around. And Magic had to squeeze himself into the team as he was really not playing a position for a minute there. A few things were very definite from his arrival tho: every Laker could depend on Magic hitting them in their sweet spots, easy baskets came in droves, they controlled the tempo, they kept coming at you, they had a winning way about them, they would pick apart your weaknesses, they were among the best in the post game and the running game, Magic would adjust to all personnel changes on both sides, he could make something out of nothing, if you lost concentration for a moment you paid for it, they really played to win 81 games (1 game sacrificed to basketball Gods), positional play was mastered, and if you turned the ball over you were dead. And Magic could make split second decisions better than anybody. The team before Magic wasn't like that.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:53 PM   #96
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

All-time? Magic. He had both the impact and the accolades to back it up. He's the more decorated player and will probably be seen as higher on most GOAT lists due to this as well as longevity.

As far as individual all-around play...it's still pretty debatable. Bird was clearly the better shooter and rebounder, but the rest is pretty much up for grabs. I'm more of a Magic guy myself, but then again, i'm a Lakers fan. He's the greatest playmaker of all-time in my opinion, a brilliant leader/basketball mind, and probably the world's greatest team-player.

Personally, I don't mind if someone picks either one. One of the most subjective debates in all of basketball history.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:16 PM   #97
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1987_Lakers
Magic had a more successful career & has the edge in longevity, but I believe Bird was the better player when both were at the top of their game.

Magic was a better transition player, ball handler, & passer (Bird was a fantastic passer as well), but that is where the advantages end for Magic.

Bird was a better shooter, he was a better scorer, better post game, better rebounder, he is the best passing forward in history, and he was a better overall defender than Magic. Bird could simply beat you in more ways.

Don Nelson brought the term "point forward" into sports lexicon when he coached the Bucks

I think he night disagree...paul pressey would disagree..

and surely lebron james would disagree


Bird made some great passes, that are run over and over on highlight reels but that wasn't what he was asked to do night in and night out
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:45 PM   #98
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

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Originally Posted by Nero Tulip
I was born after all that but seems to me Magic was pretty much better in every way

I just don't see the argument for Bird. People saying stuff like "Bird was the better player" but there's absolutely nothing to support it.

Passer: Magic was more flashy, but he wasn't substantially a better passer. But Magic by a margin.
Shooter: Bird, no contest.
Man leader: equal
Clutch:equal
Defense: Bird
Rebounding: Bird
Charisma/flashiness: Magic

Overall: equal. Bird was better until 1987 and Magic after.

Both would shit on everyone today, just like they did in their primes.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:21 PM   #99
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by K Xerxes
People who don't think it was Kareem's team in the early 80s are seriously underestimating how good Kareem was back then. He was the consensus best player in the league in that time, particularly 1980, and the last 10 years, no question. While Magic's game 6 is constantly flaunted as being one of the greatest performances of all time - and deservedly so - Kareem was undoubtedly the best player in that team in the regular season and playoffs. He averaged 32-12-3-4 in the post season; Magic had 18-10-9. Kareem had 33-14-3-5 in the finals; Magic had 22-11-9. There's a valid argument that Kareem should have won finals MVP but his performance was obviously forgotten when he was injured for the closeout game and Magic dropped 42-15-7.

I wonder if the Showtime dynamic would have been looked at in a different light historically had Kareem won the finals MVP in 1980.

While Kareem won the MVP in 79-80, he was arguably not even the best center in the league. Moses completely overwhelmed the NBA in 78-79, and while he slipped in the MVP voting in 79-80 (primarily because he had absolutely no help), his numbers were close to the previous season's. In fact, from the 78-79 season on, until Kareem retired after the 88-89 season, Moses had higher scoring and rebounding seasons...every year in those 11 seasons. And h2h in that 79-80 season, as always, he badly outscored Kareem. In their two h2h's, he outscored Kareem by margins of 32-24 and 29-15. And if this was just an isolated instance, I wouldn't have brought it up. The fact was, Moses was "the Kareem Killer." And from then beginning of the 78-79 season, thru the end of the 82-83 season, Moses was the most feared player in the league.

I won't post their h2h numbers now, but he badly outscored, and outrebounded Kareem, in their 40 h2h games from '78 on. And for those that question Mose's defense, he held Kareem to .462 shooting in the '80-81 playoffs, and routinely held his FG%'s down.

From the late 70's thru the mid-80's, Moses just murdered every center in the league. Someone challenged me on that a while back, stating that Robert Parish outplayed Moses. I completely shredded that argument. Parish took his brutal spankings just like every other center in the league in that period. In fact, he seldom even played a decent game against Moses...while Moses was routinely pouring in 30+ ppg games against parish, and just pounding him on the glass.

And it would get worse. From the early 80's on, Moses owned Kareem. It was only in Moses last couple of seasons, from about '86 on, that Kareem could play on his level. And in the post-season, it was even more one-sided. My god, Moses went 6-1 against Kareem in their post-season h2h's, and easily outscored him (with a couple of huge games...38 and 37 points), while just blasting Kareem on the glass (in fact, using basketball-reference, in the game's in which they recorded rebounds, Moses went 16-0 against Kareem.)


As for your argument on the '80 FMVP. Had Kareem played in the game six win, and even put up ordinary numbers, I could see giving him the award. However, he didn't play...and Magic stepped up bigtime (like he almost always did in the post-season.) The fact was, and everyone in the league knew it...Magic ould have scored considerably more in his career. His 42 point outburst was an example of that. (Incidently, you forgot to post Magic's FG% in that series...he shot .573..while Kareem was at .554.) And, LA proved that they could win a playoff game without a still very-good Kareem. They would not win a playoff game without Magic in his entire career.


As for the rest of the 80's...how about the '82 post-season? In fact, in the Finals, McAdoo pretty much equalled Kareem's numbers, and playing considerably less minutes. Magic had a dominating Finals, probably topped by only his overwhelming dominance in the '87 Finals.

True, Kareem bounced back from the dead in game two of the '85 Finals, and played brilliantly, and deservedly won the FMVP, but LA's true post-season MVP was Magic. And people forget, that from his second season, on, Magic was the equal of KAJ in rebounding, and in fact, outrebounded him in five of their Finals.


And Pointguard explained it as well as anyone. Kareem played in a relatively weak NBA, and on stacked teams in the late 70's, and the Lakers were a huge under-achiever. Magic took over team from day one, and the Lakers never looked back. In his 12 years in the NBA, their worst record was 54-28 (and Magic missed a ton of games that year.) LA averaged nearly 60 wins per season in that span, went to nine Finals, and won five titles.

And once again, Kareem was basically worthless in '88, and was easily replaceable in '87. And without Magic in the '89 Finals...swept. Hell, in Kareem's last season the Lakers went 57-25. He retired, and what transired next? The Lakers jumped to 63-19...which was their second best mark in the decade of the 80's. And then Magic took an injury-riddled, and over-the-hill "Showtime" team to another Finals a year later.

What happened after Magic retired? The Lakers fell to 43-39, and then topped that the next season with a 39-43 mark. That 43-39 record was about the same record he inherited as a rookie, and immediately led them to a 60-22 mark and a world title.

None of the above was coincidence...

Last edited by LAZERUSS : 05-13-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:33 PM   #100
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by get these NETS
It's clear that Magic was the better alltime player


Bird was a high volume scorer, all time clutch player who gave you a glimpse of great vision/passing every now and then

I can think of about 5 small forwards who were poor man's/bootleg larry birds..who gave you some of what larry brought to the table.....rick barry had the scoring and clutch shooting....sidney moncrief gave you the court awareness/vision and clutch playmaking, chris mullin gave you the scoring and the passing/court sense

small forward position is FULL of high scoring guys who either were clutch shooters or great playmakers....Bird combined all three elements..



Name another point guard comparable to Magic ...


I'll wait
The thing is, you broke all these skills out and gave them to different guys. Bird had ALL of them.

There's lots of ways you could do that with Magic's skillset. Rondo has the assists and court vision. CP3 has the driving.
I mean what's the point of that?
None of those guys were as good as Bird, and none of these guys are as good as Magic.

It's not right to say one is "clearly" better than the other. There's a lot more to it than that.
But if that's really what you think you should make a better effort than to just splinter Larry Bird and dole out the pieces to a bunch of other guys.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #101
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

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Originally Posted by La Frescobaldi
The thing is, you broke all these skills out and gave them to different guys. Bird had ALL of them.

There's lots of ways you could do that with Magic's skillset. Rondo has the assists and court vision. CP3 has the driving.
I mean what's the point of that?
None of those guys were as good as Bird, and none of these guys are as good as Magic.

It's not right to say one is "clearly" better than the other. There's a lot more to it than that.
But if that's really what you think you should make a better effort than to just splinter Larry Bird and dole out the pieces to a bunch of other guys.

Rondo definitely doesn't have Magic's court vision. I agree with the rest of your post though.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:54 PM   #102
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DatAsh
Rondo definitely doesn't have Magic's court vision. I agree with the rest of your post though.
Yeah I shoulda made a better effort lol

Pistol, then. Pete had plenty of court vision
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:22 PM   #103
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

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Originally Posted by pauk
This.

lol. So now peak > career is not the deciding factor?

Lebron fans are getting ahead of themselves.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:12 PM   #104
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

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Originally Posted by Shade8780
I'd have to go with Larry. Back in the 80s, he was always considered the better player of the two and was being called the GOAT back then before MJ. My All Time list goes MJ, Kareem, Russell, Wilt, Bird, Magic.


I am a bigger Larry fan, but Magic gets the edge.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:15 PM   #105
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Default Re: Larry Bird vs Magic Johnson - Who was the better player All Time?

Celtics 33 for life nikkkaaaaas!!

suck on dat.

Lakers 32 is to die for toooooooooooooooooooooooo
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