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Original Poster
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Kobe Bryant, fourth or fifth best player of his generation.
Nov 8, 2014 9:06 AM
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Duncan, Dirk and KG are better. Who's the other option for fourth? I think Kobe is clearly better than Nash and Kidd.
Nov 8, 2014 9:11 AM
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Does Shaq count as his generation?  Because Shaq was better.
Nov 8, 2014 9:12 AM
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1. LeBron James
2. Shaquille O'Neal
3. Tim Duncan
4. Kobe Bryant

The fifth player I was mainly thinking of was Kevin Durant, but I do think Dirk Nowitzki deserves consideration.
Nov 8, 2014 9:20 AM
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I'd count Lebron as the next generation that just happens to overlap.

Dirk is simply not better than Kobe. 

Of his generation, I'd put Duncan and KG ahead of Kobe. That's it. Shaq has a higher peak, but is easy to forget how brief it was. 

Kobe is virtually every bit as good as Jordan was, both offensively and defensively, and Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time. I think Kobe's decline is messing with people's perception of him. 
Nov 8, 2014 9:29 AM
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Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the best player of all time, though. Those people who say Jordan are wrong.

Jabbar was a rebounding beast and all-time great defender in the early part of his career. I think people forget that because of how strong the memory of his 80's Lakers years are. 
Nov 8, 2014 9:33 AM
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Esoteric AllusionI'd count Lebron as the next generation that just happens to overlap.

Dirk is simply not better than Kobe. 

Of his generation, I'd put Duncan and KG ahead of Kobe. That's it. Shaq has a higher peak, but is easy to forget how brief it was. 

Kobe is virtually every bit as good as Jordan was, both offensively and defensively, and Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time. I think Kobe's decline is messing with people's perception of him. 

1) If Kobe plays out just these final two years, then he would have been in the league for LeBron's first FOURTEEN years.  So you're 0-1.
2) I don't think Dirk is better than Kobe.  But they're in the same neighborhood.
3) This third point of yours is just fucking awful.  0-2.
4) Now you're just being an asshole.  No fucking way to this.  This is by far the worst fucking point you've made.  0-3
Maybe take another year off, EA.
Nov 8, 2014 9:33 AM
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Esoteric AllusionKareem Abdul Jabbar is the best player of all time, though. Those people who say Jordan are wrong.

Jabbar was a rebounding beast and all-time great defender in the early part of his career. I think people forget that because of how strong the memory of his 80's Lakers years are. 

And........... 0-4.  
Nov 8, 2014 9:34 AM
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Esoteric Allusion
Kobe is virtually every bit as good as Jordan was, both offensively and defensively, and Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time. I think Kobe's decline is messing with people's perception of him. 

This is utter nonsense.  Jordan won 5 MVPs. Kobe won 1.  End of discussion.
Nov 8, 2014 9:48 AM
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I don't even care about MVPs.  There was probably one skill that Kobe was better than Jordan at from the beginning of their careers to the end.  And Kobe's at the end, for reals.  And that's jump shooting.  

Jordan was a better scorer.  Better driving the basket.  A better passer, a better rebounder, and a far, far better defender than Kobe. 
Nov 8, 2014 9:55 AM
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HoboJoe
Esoteric Allusion
Kobe is virtually every bit as good as Jordan was, both offensively and defensively, and Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time. I think Kobe's decline is messing with people's perception of him. 

This is utter nonsense.  Jordan won 6 MVPs. Kobe won 1.  End of discussion.

Well I would argue that that is a poor argument. Just look at Kobe's all-defensive team awards or Jeter's Gold Gloves to show that awards frequently go to the wrong person, and should not be used to ascertain greatness.
That being said I think Kobe deserved only 0-2 MVPs and Jordan deserved 6+. Jordan was a vastly better player than Kobe. The statistical evidence supports this, and my eyes, faulty though they may be, certainly confirm this.
Esoteric Allusion, if you want to make incredible claim you should attempt to back them up with evidence. Otherwise they will be dismissed out of hand.
Nov 8, 2014 9:59 AM
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1) Lebron entered the league in something like the 8th year of Kobe's career after Kobe was well into his prime. There's considerable overlap primarily because Kobe has had an atypically long career. An NBA generation is approximately a 10 year span. The generational overlap is minor. Would you say Charles Barkley and Chris Webber are part of the same NBA generation? I wouldn't, but that's seems to be a close equivalent to what you are doing here. 

2) Dirk has always been a sketchy defender. Kobe, during his prime, was one of the best defensive players in the league. Kobe was also a better scorer, better at creating his own shot, and positionally superior in complimentary stats. They're really not in the same neighborhood. Dirk is at least a tier beneath Kobe, probably more. There is no universe in which I would draft Dirk's career arc over Kobe's.  

3) Shaq was an all-time great for a handful of years. It happened during the time he still had his explosiveness from his early career but also had developed more moves around the basket and a decent passing out of the post game. His peak lasted about 5 years, cut short by some injuries. Kobe's peak was about double that. 

It's very normal to take into account duration of peak when talking about the greatness of players. 

4) No, that's right on the money. Kobe compares statistically quite favorably to Jordan. He comes up a little short here and there, primarily in eFG%. He's nearly right there. Jordan played during a more physical era, which is a little more difficult to control for. The refs cheated more for Jordan, so let's call that a wash.
Nov 8, 2014 9:59 AM
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Bigwig
Jordan was a better scorer.  Better driving the basket.  A better passer, a better rebounder, and a far, far better defender than Kobe. 

Kobe was essentially equivalent to Jordan in terms of passing and rebounding. His numbers in that area are slightly off of Jordan's, but you can easily chalk that up to Kobe playing with Shaq. Jordan certainly was a better scorer, but the difference isn't a gaping chasm. 

Kobe was a brilliant defender for quite some time. He never played with a Pippen and so got the toughest wing defensive assignment for a longer period than Jordan did. 
Nov 8, 2014 10:07 AM
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Bigwig
Esoteric AllusionKareem Abdul Jabbar is the best player of all time, though. Those people who say Jordan are wrong.

Jabbar was a rebounding beast and all-time great defender in the early part of his career. I think people forget that because of how strong the memory of his 80's Lakers years are. 

And........... 0-4.  

No Jabbar had the best NBA career of all time due to longevity. And his peak value favorably compares with any player in league history bar Wilt Chamberlain (who was more of a physical freak relative to his time-period.) For his position, which is naturally more valuable than an sg, he was the best at all facets of the game at one point or another. He even passed extremely well. His most impressive statistical seasons significantly outstrip Jordan's in terms of raw numbers and are superior even trying to control for era-effects. 

People remember Jabbar from his thinner, older days when he shied away from contact, but early in his career Jabbar was as defensively good as anyone ever has been. Olajuwon good for a more modern comparison. And as good as Jordan was defensively, he could never alter the court with the kind of impact an elite defensive center can.

All else being equal, you simply win more if you draft Jabbar than you do Jordan. 
Nov 8, 2014 10:29 AM
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Plus, I'd take the sky-hook, which Jabbar could hit once he got in position at a very high % all over the place no matter the defense, over anything in Jordan's offensive skill-set. It's just inherently harder to scheme for.  
Nov 8, 2014 10:44 AM
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FalcoDuncan, Dirk and KG are better. Who's the other option for fourth? I think Kobe is clearly better than Nash and Kidd.

I don't think Dirk was ever a better player than Kobe.  He's had a much more graceful decline phase, though.
Nov 8, 2014 10:56 AM
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Esoteric Allusion
3) Shaq was an all-time great for a handful of years. It happened during the time he still had his explosiveness from his early career but also had developed more moves around the basket and a decent passing out of the post game. His peak lasted about 5 years, cut short by some injuries. Kobe's peak was about double that. 

Shaq had 10 seasons with a PER of 27.0 or greater, including 3 above 30.  By comparison, your 'all-time great' Kareem had 6 seasons with a PER of 27.0 or greater, including none above 30.

There are some issues with PER and older players, but I think this still refutes most of your borderline trolling points about Shaq.
Nov 8, 2014 10:58 AM
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Ozmatic

Shaq had 10 seasons with a PER of 27.0 or greater, including 3 above 30.  By comparison, your 'all-time great' Kareem had 6 seasons with a PER of 27.0 or greater, including none above 30.

There are some issues with PER and older players, but I think this still refutes most of your borderline trolling points about Shaq.

Four of those prime years he was injured for considerable stretches. I had written off mid-90's Shaq due to that. Since he recovered nicely, it's easy to forget that he had a pretty good period where he was shaping up to be another habitually injured quality center. 


Looking over the stats, his early Orlando years are less turnover-prone than I remember (mainly because he turned it over a ton his first year.) He was better in Orlando than I recall. As such, he was better longer than I thought. 

PER obviously has some problems, but there's no gold-standard stat to point to. I don't like that fact that it is primarily a measure of offensive performance and undervalues efficiency.

For a similar aggregation number, Jabbar has the best win-share per season distribution of any NBA player in league history. He has both the highest peak and best career in terms of that calculation. Chamberlain is the only player that is in the same league as him. (They have the similar peak value, Chamberlain is a little better over the medium-term, and Jabbar's longevity takes over at the end.) Both of their win-share numbers are flat superior to Jordan's and Shaq's. 

Nov 8, 2014 11:25 AM
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Esoteric Allusion1) Lebron entered the league in something like the 8th year of Kobe's career after Kobe was well into his prime. There's considerable overlap primarily because Kobe has had an atypically long career. An NBA generation is approximately a 10 year span. The generational overlap is minor. Would you say Charles Barkley and Chris Webber are part of the same NBA generation? I wouldn't, but that's seems to be a close equivalent to what you are doing here. 

2) Dirk has always been a sketchy defender. Kobe, during his prime, was one of the best defensive players in the league. Kobe was also a better scorer, better at creating his own shot, and positionally superior in complimentary stats. They're really not in the same neighborhood. Dirk is at least a tier beneath Kobe, probably more. There is no universe in which I would draft Dirk's career arc over Kobe's.  

3) Shaq was an all-time great for a handful of years. It happened during the time he still had his explosiveness from his early career but also had developed more moves around the basket and a decent passing out of the post game. His peak lasted about 5 years, cut short by some injuries. Kobe's peak was about double that. 

It's very normal to take into account duration of peak when talking about the greatness of players. 

4) No, that's right on the money. Kobe compares statistically quite favorably to Jordan. He comes up a little short here and there, primarily in eFG%. He's nearly right there. Jordan played during a more physical era, which is a little more difficult to control for. The refs cheated more for Jordan, so let's call that a wash.

1) LeBron peaked earlier and higher so it feels like they were competitors.
2) Kobe's defense is more overrated than Jeter's defense.  He has now played >35000 possessions defensively over his career and he has definitively been a negative impact on that side of the ball over that time.  Adjusted for positionality its barely negative but its still negative.  We are talking about him being a below avg defender statistically over the course of his career. Feel free to look into RAPM.  I get a kick out of people saying he was a great defender.  If he was, it was entirely when he picked his moments.  Over the 17 NBA seasons, NO.
3) Shaq avg 29.3 points in taking the 1993/4 Magic to the Finals. He was the second best player on a title team in 05/06. Thats 13 years. Show me a 13 yr span like that for Kobe. I'll help you, it didn't exist.
4) Show me ANY statistic that favors Kobe over MJ.  He comes up short EVERYWHERE.  And when it comes to efficiency he isn't in the ballpark.  And the refs cheat PLENTY for Kobe.  PLENTY.
Nov 8, 2014 11:39 AM
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Ozmatic
Esoteric Allusion
3) Shaq was an all-time great for a handful of years. It happened during the time he still had his explosiveness from his early career but also had developed more moves around the basket and a decent passing out of the post game. His peak lasted about 5 years, cut short by some injuries. Kobe's peak was about double that. 

Shaq had 10 seasons with a PER of 27.0 or greater, including 3 above 30.  By comparison, your 'all-time great' Kareem had 6 seasons with a PER of 27.0 or greater, including none above 30.

There are some issues with PER and older players, but I think this still refutes most of your borderline trolling points about Shaq.

Per is kind of a garbage almagam now.  But it was especially crappy back when they weren't even tracking blocks, etc.  If you want to use it just look at the rankings.  Kareem's first 12 years in the NBA he was 1st 9 times and 2nd the other three times.  Saying it wasn't 30 or higher when it didn't incorporate any of his defensive stats and no other player in the league got above 25.36 during that time rings false.
Kareem as the best player ever is entirely defensible.  Its just that it happened in the 70s when no one was watching the NBA.
Nov 8, 2014 11:47 AM
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