I don't understand why people look at win lost record in the finals to grade the best players in the world

cardsunsfan

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What is better, to make it to the finals 5 times and only win 3 championships or go to the finals 3 times and win three championships? It seems like a player's legacy is actually rewarded if they fail to make it to the finals as long as they don't have a loss in the finals. This is true across other sports as well and something I never understood. It's like their careers were only the finals. I would much rather have my team or favorite player make it to the finals and lose then never make it to the finals at all. I'm still not sure who I think is better Lebron or Michael Jordan. Looking at the cast of players it's difficult to know if Lebron wouldn't have done better with Jordan's teammates, I think overall they were better, but Jordan being undefeated in the Finals really seems to help his case. Would Lebron's legacy be better if he had never made it to the finals in the years he lost?

In the NFL I think Joe Montana was a really good QB, but his biggest claim was that he went 4-4 in the Superbowl. He played for 16 seasons so 12 seasons he didn't make the superbowl... It seems like his legacy would have been tarnished in many eyes if he had gone to the superbowl one or two times more and lost which seems better to me than losing in earlier rounds.
 
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Pokinmik

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It’s the context within that matters. I personally have lebron number 2 ever behind jordan. But the East was absolute dog poo for the first 15 years of his career. He coasted to the east finals every year. It’s not surprising his finals record is so bad. Still impressive of course, then factor in the longevity and career numbers which is why I have him right behind MJ.
 

Proximo

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What is better, to make it to the finals 5 times and only win 3 championships or go to the finals 3 times and win three championships? It seems like a player's legacy is actually rewarded if they fail to make it to the finals as long as they don't have a loss in the finals. This is true across other sports as well and something I never understood. It's like their careers were only the finals. I would much rather have my team or favorite player make it to the finals and lose then never make it to the finals at all. I'm still not sure who I think is better Lebron or Michael Jordan. Looking at the cast of players it's difficult to know if Lebron wouldn't have done better with Jordan's teammates, I think overall they were better, but Jordan being undefeated in the Finals really seems to help his case. Would Lebron's legacy be better if he had never made it to the finals in the years he lost?

In the NFL I think Joe Montana was a really good QB, but his biggest claim was that he went 4-4 in the Superbowl. He played for 16 seasons so 12 seasons he didn't make the superbowl... It seems like his legacy would have been tarnished in many eyes if he had gone to the superbowl one or two times more and lost which seems better to me than losing in earlier rounds.
I agree with you that championship wins being counted to heavily.

However you are wrong if you are trying to make a case for Lebron being the goat. Jordan was way way more talented and clearly is the best ever, and I don't think anyone that watched a lot of both of them would disagree with that.
 

GatorAZ

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I agree that players shouldn’t be rewarded for losing BEFORE the finals instead of losing IN the finals…. Regarding Jordan/Lebron, MJ never lost a series that the Bulls should’ve won whereas Lebron probably has 2-3 that hurt his legacy. Legacy vs skill set are two different arguments. I don’t have issue with someone saying Lebron is the greatest player but he’s 2-3 in all-time legacy.
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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Except the east was really strong when MJ wasn’t making the finals and really weak when LeBron was losing in the finals. Not to mention they are not even equal in titles anyways 6>4.
 

Hoop Head

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Last time this debate was brought up I did a little digging and made these posts, I'll just quote them here as they're applicable.

Its not just that MJ's record in the Finals is perfect, its that he never even allowed their opponents to force a game 7. Like the outcome was never in doubt during those finals. That's crazy, IMO. Not once could the 2nd best team in the league get 3 wins in a 7 game series against him.

Sure, winning your conference a lot is neat but no one ever talks about Jim Kelly as being the GOAT for losing 4 Super bowls in a row. He's not even in the conversation. You have to win a good percentage of the times you've been there, having a 30-40% winning percentage in the championship round isn't enough to be amongst the greatest of all time.

MJ had 6 trips, 5 of them the Bulls won 4-2 and once 4-1

24-11

LeBron has been to he finals 10 times.

He's been swept twice 0-4, lost 4-1 twice, lost 4-2 twice.
Won 4-3 twice, 4-2 once, and 4-1 once.

That's 20-33 in the finals overall.

Just single game winning percentage in the finals, its no contest comparing the two. LeBron has been 10 times but he still doesn't equal the total number of wins that MJ accumulate in 6 trips.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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What is better, to make it to the finals 5 times and only win 3 championships or go to the finals 3 times and win three championships? It seems like a player's legacy is actually rewarded if they fail to make it to the finals as long as they don't have a loss in the finals. This is true across other sports as well and something I never understood. It's like their careers were only the finals. I would much rather have my team or favorite player make it to the finals and lose then never make it to the finals at all. I'm still not sure who I think is better Lebron or Michael Jordan. Looking at the cast of players it's difficult to know if Lebron wouldn't have done better with Jordan's teammates, I think overall they were better, but Jordan being undefeated in the Finals really seems to help his case. Would Lebron's legacy be better if he had never made it to the finals in the years he lost?

In the NFL I think Joe Montana was a really good QB, but his biggest claim was that he went 4-4 in the Superbowl. He played for 16 seasons so 12 seasons he didn't make the superbowl... It seems like his legacy would have been tarnished in many eyes if he had gone to the superbowl one or two times more and lost which seems better to me than losing in earlier rounds.
Man your math is all messed up
 

Finito

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Jordan’s fist championship he had to go through Ewing’s Knicks, Barkley’s 76ers, Isiahs Pistons and Magic’s Lakers.

Let that sink in.

Lebron was going through Joe Johnson’s Hawks and Roy Hibberts Pacers. GTFOH.

Mike never got swept in the finals, Mike never curled up and lost a series he was heavily favored in.

The Dallas series sealed it for me. 3 hall of famers vs Dirk and Dirk just said I’m better than all of you watch this.

Lebron has 4 rings and in 2 of those finals his teammate bailed him out. It was Kyrie hitting every big shot and Anthony Davis went nuclear in the bubble.

Lebron is great no doubt but he ain’t Mike
 

Muggz

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Jordan’s fist championship he had to go through Ewing’s Knicks, Barkley’s 76ers, Isiahs Pistons and Magic’s Lakers.

Let that sink in.

Lebron was going through Joe Johnson’s Hawks and Roy Hibberts Pacers. GTFOH.

Mike never got swept in the finals, Mike never curled up and lost a series he was heavily favored in.

The Dallas series sealed it for me. 3 hall of famers vs Dirk and Dirk just said I’m better than all of you watch this.

Lebron has 4 rings and in 2 of those finals his teammate bailed him out. It was Kyrie hitting every big shot and Anthony Davis went nuclear in the bubble.

Lebron is great no doubt but he ain’t Mike

Yep Jordan was playing with straight up THUGS. LeBron gets calls if you stand to close to him.
Gotta give props to Lebron for his longevity not surprised he beat the record he's been in the league for 45 years.
Jordan made Pippen look good, people still think that guy deserved to be in the NBA, because of Jordan.
 

DJ Tabooh

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I agree with you that championship wins being counted to heavily.

However you are wrong if you are trying to make a case for Lebron being the goat. Jordan was way way more talented and clearly is the best ever, and I don't think anyone that watched a lot of both of them would disagree with that.
I do think Jordan’s peak was better than LeBron’s peak but LeBron’s peak lasted much longer even though he won less. I mean 30 points a game at 38 is insane.

I think Jordan was a better scorer which was his job as a SG but LeBron averages 27 for a career and is top 4 all-time in assists. I think Jordan was a better defender 1 on 1 but LeBron could guard 1-4 effectively at his peak.

Jordan was more graceful that’s for sure but LeBron is a freight train that passes like Magic lol. We’ll never see anything like him.
 

95pro

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Yep Jordan was playing with straight up THUGS. LeBron gets calls if you stand to close to him.
Gotta give props to Lebron for his longevity not surprised he beat the record he's been in the league for 45 years.
Jordan made Pippen look good, people still think that guy deserved to be in the NBA, because of Jordan.

Even with all the physicality MJ still remained injury free (except the knee towards the end).

Now LBJ just sandbagging, he's been sitting out the tougher teams while getting points on the lower teams.

Side note, MJ, also missed about 2 seasons. Realistically, and i'm being real, he could have had 7 or 8 rings if he didn't.
 

Finito

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Yep Jordan was playing with straight up THUGS. LeBron gets calls if you stand to close to him.
Gotta give props to Lebron for his longevity not surprised he beat the record he's been in the league for 45 years.
Jordan made Pippen look good, people still think that guy deserved to be in the NBA, because of Jordan.

Go watch those playoffs and see Jordan just get hammered and keep coming.

Lebron literally rolled around on the floor like a child throwing a tantrum. Got on his knees and begged for a call because he got hit on the wrist!

Just two completely different men
 

Finito

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I do think Jordan’s peak was better than LeBron’s peak but LeBron’s peak lasted much longer even though he won less. I mean 30 points a game at 38 is insane.

I think Jordan was a better scorer which was his job as a SG but LeBron averages 27 for a career and is top 4 all-time in assists. I think Jordan was a better defender 1 on 1 but LeBron could guard 1-4 effectively at his peak.

Jordan was more graceful that’s for sure but LeBron is a freight train that passes like Magic lol. We’ll never see anything like him.

Playing in by far the softest era in the history of the sport. You can’t even touch guys now the way the rules are.

What would Jordan average in this era?
 

Pokinmik

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Jordan and Kobe would easily average 40 in this current nba. They’d be having 50/60 point games once a week.
 

DJ Tabooh

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Playing in by far the softest era in the history of the sport. You can’t even touch guys now the way the rules are.

What would Jordan average in this era?
Can’t control when your birthday is lol. That’s why it’s hard to compare eras. Is the game softer? Yes. Are players more skilled? Yes. Basketball is so wide open now. Remember we used to see games in the 80’s. Now teams are scoring 120-140. It’s entertainment.

I just try to enjoy players for what they are vs. comparing them to the past.
 

Pokinmik

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It is silly to try to imagine a reality where players could jump eras, they’re all just too different in dozens of aspects. I do like breaking it all down simply based on best of generation. Jordan was the best then lebron then someone else will definitely come along.

It’s just crazy that 12 years ago only 9 players averaged 20 and now there’s 45 averaging that. When the suns were SSOL amare would average like 24-25 and we thought that was amazing and high up.
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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It is silly to try to imagine a reality where players could jump eras, they’re all just too different in dozens of aspects. I do like breaking it all down simply based on best of generation. Jordan was the best then lebron then someone else will definitely come along.

It’s just crazy that 12 years ago only 9 players averaged 20 and now there’s 45 averaging that. When the suns were SSOL amare would average like 24-25 and we thought that was amazing and high up.
SSOL is a by product of the freedom of movement rule changes that took place in 2004. Once the NBA cut out physical contact on the perimeter it made way for guards to dominate the game and the 3 point shot and the era of spacing and no one in the lane to take over. This along with shortening the shot clock reset to 14 are the main reasons the scoring has gone up so significantly. It's also the reason a guy like LeBron who is so clearly not the athlete that he once was can still manage to average 30 per game. You teleport this LeBron back to those Cavs teams in like 2005 or so he would not come close to 30 per game.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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It is silly to try to imagine a reality where players could jump eras, they’re all just too different in dozens of aspects. I do like breaking it all down simply based on best of generation. Jordan was the best then lebron then someone else will definitely come along.

It’s just crazy that 12 years ago only 9 players averaged 20 and now there’s 45 averaging that. When the suns were SSOL amare would average like 24-25 and we thought that was amazing and high up.
Good lord is that right? That seems not right.

It’s not right. There were 12 20pt/game scorers in 2011, but that’s still minuscule compared to what I expected. And looking at the top 10 scorers it paints a picture of a league that just doesn’t look all that talented in that year.
 

Pokinmik

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Good lord is that right? That seems not right.

It’s not right. There were 12 20pt/game scorers in 2011, but that’s still minuscule compared to what I expected. And looking at the top 10 scorers it paints a picture of a league that just doesn’t look all that talented in that year.
oops my bad I meant 2012-2013 and ten years ago. B Lopez was tenth in scoring at 19.4
 
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cardsunsfan

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Man your math is all messed up
How is my math messed up? I was just stating some people would actually think less of a player that went to the finals 5 times and only won three, vs a player who only went three times but won three because that player would be undefeated in the finals. I think I was accurate on Montana. Played 16 seasons, went to the superbowl 4 times and won all 4 thus did not make it 12 times.

I probably would go with MJ as the best player but it would be fun to see if Lebron would have done better with the Bulls team. I found even the Miami teams inconsistent.
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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Either way it’s nuts what we get used to in different eras.
It ebbs and flows. 1984/85 for instance had 28 players averaging 20+ and slowed down in the mid to late 90s. The real question is at what point will the league make some rule changes that maybe slow the scoring down a bit, if they do it at all.
 
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