Tag Archives: Larry Bird

NBA Overload (Stats VS Effect): MoneYBaLL Episode 3

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Stats vs Effect

LeBron vs Kobe

Tim Duncan

And everything NBA!

Enjoy and thank you for the support!

​LeBron James, Top five NBA player of all Time?

By: Opinionated Reezy



There was a discussion on ESPN First Take where the discussion was whether LeBron James is in the Top five all-time NBA Players. This is because LeBron James hit another landmark this season by surpassing Moses Malone in the all-time scoring list, putting him at eighth.  He is also currently sixteenth in assists.

Steven A. Smith gave a very poor answer to the question as there really is not an “it depends” to this questions.  To paraphrase he said:
LeBron James is Top five for 46 minutes
LeBron James is not Top five for the remaining 2 minutes

Now, before we continue let me state for the record that I DO NOT believe LeBron James is a Top five NBA Player of all time YET, but he has earned the right to be in the conversation.  

Let me explain why I feel Steven A. Smith’s answer was poor and then I’ll comment on the Top Five list in general.

After Michael Jordan’s real retirement in 1998 the NBA has been on an unhealthy pursuit to find the heir apparent.  Every time you saw a player that could dunk and exhibit some leadership skill they were measured against the legacy of Jordan.  There have been on two players who have really survived that high mark of excellence, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.  Of the two ONLY Kobe Bryant can truly be compared to Michael Jordan.  He was the heir and overall, we overlooked his greatness until he gave all he could give. Kobe lives for those final two minutes like Michael Jordan did, Kobe has ice in his veins, Kobe is the one kids today should look at if they “wanna be like Mike”, be like Kobe.  LeBron James lives for 36 minutes.  He wants to play the game in such a way where he can prepare for the next one, and that means building the lead and letting the team finish the job. Amongst those are expected to score who are not point guards, he is deliberately on the all-time assist list as he is better suited as an all-around team player.  That sounds more like Magic Johnson, than Michael Jordan.  I would imagine for LeBron James, if he must take the last shot then win or lose the game would be considered a failure to him.

I find Steven A. Smith’s answer to be poor because it is, once again, viewing the world only through the lens of Michael Jordan.

I will repeat Lebron James is not a Top five all-time NBA Player yet.  For me he hasn’t achieved enough moments that would cause pause, He hasn’t really garnered a signature trait that would make you say “uh oh”.  It is coming though.

So, who is currently listed in the Top Five?  Per Bleacher Report:

Michael Jordan (SG)

Bill Russell (C )

Magic Johnson (PG)

Kareem Abdul-Jabar (C )

Larry Bird (SF)

LeBron James (SF)

Wilt Chamberlain (C )

Tim Duncan (PF)

Shaquille O’Neal (C )

Hakeem Olajuwon (C )

Here is where I have an issue.  Where is Kobe?  For all the reasons, I listed above, here is how I would change the list:

Remove Wilt Chamberlain – Great Player, but others have achieved more with less.

Insert Kobe Bryant into the Number 5 spot – symbolic that his airness and rightful heir would end cap the top five.

Drop Larry Bird to 6 and Lebron James to 7.

I am not a fan of lists that heavily laced with Centers so that is my bias however, I believe the list with the adjustments is fair.

What do you think?

​Why LeBron James Should Be In the Conversation As One Of the Greatest Basketball Players Of Our Lifetime


By: Opinionated Reezy




Let me begin with a disclaimer saying this is not, let me repeat, NOT an Anti-Jordan, Anti-Kobe, Anti-Anyone blog, rant, etc. It is a pro Lebron post and once you read till the end, I hope you will at least agree that Lebron James should be in the conversation as one of the greatest Basketball Player of our lifetime.
Let’s first get the stats out of the way. In this case, we will compare the stats for Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James.

Michael Jordan

1072 Games  30ppg  6.2rpg  5.3apg  49.7%fg  32.7%fg3  83.5%ft  50.9%efg  27.9 PER  214 Win Shares

6x NBA Champ, 11x All-NBA, 3x AS MVP, 5x MVP, 6x Finals MVP, 9x All-Defensive


Kobe Bryant

1346 Games  25ppg  5.2rpg  4.7apg  44.7%fg  32.9%fg3  83.7%ft  48.2efg  22.9 PER  172.7 Win Shares

5x NBA Champ, 15x All-NBA, 4x AS MVP, 1x MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 12x All-Defensive


LeBron James

998 Games  27.1ppg  7.2rpg  6.9apg  49.8%fg  34.0%fg3  74.4%ft  53.2%efg  27.6 PER  194.4 Win Shares

3x NBA Champ, 12x All-NBA, 2x AS MVP, 4x MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 6x All-Defensive




LeBron James has a PER on par with Michael Jordan while exceeding in rebounding and assist averages. His scoring is down, but in favor of his assist averages. One thing to keep in mind is that he is still going so I imagine his scoring numbers may drop slightly, but only because his rebounding and assist numbers are increasing. Yes, I am predicting that in the game, LeBron will be changing his style of play once again to increase his longevity, but to also make him even more of a threat on the court. This is not the only reason I am saying he is one of greats, so let’s dig in.

For starters, LeBron James is in great company with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, as it is common place to hate greatness in the moment. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James have each had their fair share of criticism during their rise to greatness. I for one participated in some of it as we all did. Some of the comments were:

Prima Donna

Ball Hog

Can’t be touched without the refs fouling

Over rated

Can’t win without…..

Every time this happened the players shouldered through and proved the doubters wrong. They showed how great they were. LeBron is doing that very thing now and the haters are waiting for him to fail. He will need to embrace becoming the villain in order to completely shoulder through.

Second, LeBron James came into the league in 2004, 7 years after Kobe and 20 after Michael Jordan. LeBron had the blueprint of what to do and what not to do by watching the trailblazers before him light the world on fire, on the court. LeBron is great because he is a student of the game and would have patterned himself after greatness. He also had the ability to watch Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and others whom he would adapt his style of play to. We all know his Basketball IQ is off the charts and because of that he would already have his body prepared to counteract the “Jordan Rules”, he would know at a certain point he would have to adjust his weight like Kobe to make his body respond better, and that he would need to have a consistent team around him like Magic and Bird had. Remember, when LeBron James entered the league from High School the highlight of his game was not his scoring, it was his court vision and passing. His first commercial for Nike had nothing to do with him scoring, but him assisting. The NBA (more so the Cavaliers) forced him to play more like Kobe and MJ. He is not playing as he intended to, more like Magic Johnson.

Third, despite all that was mentioned above you still have to play the game and having all the raw potential won’t prepare you for the actual rigors of an NBA Season and seasoned talent that is there. It took Michael Jordan seven seasons to get to the NBA Finals. Those prior years he was losing and learning, getting better, but more importantly, so was his team. His major benefit, even to his admission, was that he was playing in an ultra-aggressive conference at the time. Once he got there he couldn’t be stopped and it was a sight to see. Kobe Bryant took three seasons to get there and he benefitted two ways. The first was having Shaq who went through hard knock life lessons of playoff basketball in the East and the second was learning in a now ultra-talented western conference that was tired of losing to Michael Jordan and adapted to beat him even though he was gone.

Lebron James had to take his lumps as well. Prior to his time in the NBA he hadn’t really lost or experienced what that felt like. Yes it took him four seasons to get to the NBA Finals and he did that with a team comprised of Boobie Gibson, Mo Williams, Drew Gooden, and Donyell Marshall. Additionally, LeBron was playing in a decimated eastern conference after the void of Jordan’s absence and the NBA’s obsession with finding the heir apparent. LeBron James finally has a team that would be considered on par with what Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had (yes, I am including the Miami years) in terms of consistency and overall synergy. This is not to make excuses for LeBron, but I don’t want to frown on success either.  We love posting memes about Jordan failing X number of times and coming back without realizing that LeBron needs to fail to get better. What is unfortunate for him is that failure only seems to occur when the title is on the line.

Fourth, is the future! LeBron just broke the top ten in career scoring and can easily get to sixth place based on his current trajectory. What is equally fascinating is that he is eighteenth in career assists and is a little over 1000 away from cracking the top ten. With his current trajectory, he is on par to hit that in two seasons. Once that occurs he will be the first player in NBA History to be in the top 10 of both offensive categories (scoring and assists).

There is no denying that Michael Jordan is the best and I believe that his overall contributions to the game would make him a great candidate to replace Jerry West as the logo; however, we should never be afraid to see someone else rise to greatness. If we did that we would still be heralding Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics as the greatest ever and there are a multitude of reasons why that is simply not true. There will come a time when a player will perform on the court and will rightfully be considered the greatest ever. When that happens, we should look at more than just the number of championships they have. We should look at the moments, battles, the moments within a season, all of it. It is for all of that I would say LeBron James deserves to remain in the conversation as one of the greatest players of our lifetime.

WHY THE MARRIAGE OF KD AND THE WARRIORS WILL BE GREAT FOR THE NBA

By: Opinionated Reezy


Let’s take a walk back in time for a moment.  Forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear names Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, and Karem Abdul-Jabar.  I will ask you again to forget how the team is assembled and think about what comes to mind when you hear the names Larry Bird, Danny Ainge, Robert Parrish, and Kevin McHale.  These were the Showtime Lakers and Dominate Celtics teams from the 80’s that dominated the decade and ultimately suffered from old age.  These two teams were dynasty’s both in their depth and starting rosters and would be considered super teams in today’s NBA.

I can’t remember much about that era, but I imagine that people were shocked when either the Lakers and/or the Celtics were not in the finals.  History would show the following (The champion is bold):

·         1979 – 80 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1980 – 81 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1981 – 82 Season: Lakers v 76ers

·         1982 – 83 Season: 76ers v Lakers

·         1983 – 84 Season: Celtics v Lakers

·         1984 – 85 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1985 – 86 Season: Celtics v Rockets

·         1986 – 87 Season: Lakers v Celtics

·         1987 – 88 Season: Lakers v Pistons

·         1988 – 89 Season: Pistons v Lakers

·         1989 – 90 Season: Pistons v Trailblazers

We literally had to go a full decade before we had an NBA Finals that did not feature the Celtics or the Lakers and that forced teams to get better.  It made players think strategically about how they were going to win.  No one was tired of the NBA, in fact being from Detroit, it became a unified front to watch your team develop into a legitimate threat and watch that team rise to greatness.

ALL THAT BEING SAID.  I see it happening again!  Let’s wind back the clock a few years:

·         2010 – 11 Season: Mavericks v Heat

·         2011 – 12 Season: Heat v Thunder

·         2012 – 13 Season: Heat v Spurs

·         2013 – 14 Season: Spurs v Heat

·         2014 – 15 Season: Warriors v Cavaliers

·         2015 – 16 Season: Cavaliers v Warriors

LeBron is the common element in this scenario in that for the past six seasons, LeBron led teams have been in the Finals.  Now a consistent team in the West has a legitimate chance to be consistent.  The last two seasons alone have been exciting for all the plotlines interwoven in the season.  I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE NBA IS SCRIPTED; however, the story is one of note.  The rise of Golden State in the West, the Apology tour of LeBron James coming home and taking a team destined for the lottery to the FInals twice and Championship once.  Many were already anticipating the Trilogy reminiscent of Lakers and Celtics of old and then KD throws his name in the hat and now all we can say is.. IT’S ON!! 

This season may be dull for a moment, that will pass once Golden State faces their first real loss.  You see it now and LeBron sees it with the fevered insistence on bringing the band back together.  The pleas to sign JR is a message that we are going back to the days where teams determined success and not just one or two players.  Owners can no longer gamble on the notion of a star player and a bunch of role players.  Left unchecked, Golden State has the chance to win multiple championships and other teams will be forced to used their resources wisely to counter that.

KD didn’t hurt the league, he probably singlehandedly saved it…