I left out Russell not for personal opinion but because I think most of the basketball world had Cousy over Russell the first few titles in that period. Both Bobs made more money than Bill and probbaly got more credit. Bill never got paid till Wilt came along and got 100,000 a year and Red gave Russell 100,001 just to support Bills case as the most valuable bigman and player. Red himself has said they didnt really understand the value of what Bill did back then. Players did im sure. They voted him MVP in one season. Players voted on MVP back then(the two Bobs got the other 3 in that 4 year period). Fans were slow to see his impact though.
If its by my opinion Russell was the GOAT from his rookie year till Wilts but going by what they people probably thought? It may have been Cousy getting the love after Petitt and not Bill.
Bill Russell was MVP his second season (1957-58). He was MVP 4 times after that (while Chamberlain was playing). But, yeah, the players voted. People noticed who the MVP was, though.
And I though Bill Russell was paid higher than Cousy rather quickly. His rookie season I think he was paid more per game than Cousy. I'm not too sure between that and the 100,001. Auerbach knew who was more important.
A lot of fans and media were racists, so that explains much of the Cousy/Pettit over Russell sentiment.
I was going by something Wilt mentioned in a book. He said he got to the league and he was told hed have to take less money than the 65K a year cousy and Pettit got since they were proven great players and made more than anyone in the league. He didnt say what Bill made just that his team said he couldnt be paid like the two Bobs who were tied for best paid in the league.
The 80's and 00's need a coin flip, because both are way too close to make a definite decision
explain how is it even close between shaq and kobe?
especially during their 3peak years, shaq was clearly the most dominant play in the league, kobe was the second guy
and did you flip a coin between jordan and pippen?
if you say russel for the 50's era, wilt for the 60's era, kareem for the 70's era, bird + magic for the 80's era, jordan for the 90's era, then id say it would probably be duncan for the 00's era, Shaq is sort of stuck between the 90's and 00's, duncan has 2 MVP's, 3 Rings, all NBA and defensive team every year of the 00's, he probably deserves this title...
Because as we speak, it's Kobe Bryant who is being compared to the greatest ever. It's Kobe Bryant who has won back to back scoring titles. It's Kobe Bryant who most consider the best player in the game.
It's Shaq who is missing 20-30 games back to back seasons. It's Shaq who is WAY past his prime.
You are out of your mind if you don't think a serious argument can be made as to why Kobe is the best player of this era.
Kobe is top 3 of this era, but not the best. That would be Shaq/Duncan in whatever order. Kobe has only had a legit case as the best player in the league the last two seasons, and even that is in dispute, with many picking Duncan or Lebron. I'm not sure if Kobe will ever really be the defining star of a generation, because from Shaq it went to Duncan, and TD looks to have at least a few more good years in him. At that point Kobe will be 31-32 and Lebron/Wade etc. will be a lot better than they are currently and making playoff noise. They might take the mantle from Duncan.
But if you're suggesting that Kobe is or should be ranked ahead of Duncan and Shaq for this era (2000-present), then you're insane.