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Monday, May 14, 2012

LeBron James Joins Elite Three MVP Club

LeBron James just won the 2012 NBA regular season MVP, his third such honor in the past four seasons--and he really deserved the 2011 award as well, so he easily could have become the first player in professional basketball history to win four straight MVPs. Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and Larry Bird are the only players who won three consecutive MVPs. The NBA has recognized an MVP each season since 1955-56; Erving achieved his MVP three-peat from 1974-76 (sharing the 1975 honor with George McGinnis) in the ABA--which existed from 1968-76 but is wrongly ignored in most discussions of pro basketball records/accomplishments--and then he added an NBA MVP in 1981.

Pro basketball's three MVP club is an elite group that includes just nine players, each of whom--except for James--won at least one championship; in fact, the members of that club are better known for their playoff heroics than for their regular season productivity and they are instantly recognizable to all serious basketball fans by shorthand descriptions of their postseason greatness:
  1. Bill Russell: 11 rings, 10 fingers
  2. Wilt Chamberlain: Dominant player on two of the NBA's greatest single season teams
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Captain of the Showtime Lakers also led the expansion Milwaukee Bucks to the franchise's first (and only) title
  4. Julius Erving: Led one of the youngest championship teams in pro basketball history (1974 Nets), authored arguably the greatest championship series performance in pro basketball history and was an All-NBA First Team performer for the 1983 Sixers team that went a then-record 12-1 in the playoffs
  5. Moses Malone: Fo', fo', fo'
  6. Larry Bird: Led Boston to three titles in six years during the 1980s
  7. Magic Johnson: Five championships, three Finals MVPs, several indelible performances on the sport's biggest stage--including 42-15-7 in the series clincher as a rookie and the "junior, junior skyhook" in game four of the 1987 Finals
  8. Michael Jordan: Teamed with Scottie Pippen to lead the Bulls to a pair of three-peats.
LeBron James has without question established himself as the best regular season NBA player of the past several seasons; he supplanted Kobe Bryant in that regard late in the 2008-09 season (Bryant held the title from 2006-08, though the media only selected him for one of the three MVPs that he should have won): James minimized the skill set weaknesses that previously kept him behind Bryant, while a succession of injuries and the accumulation of heavy mileage prevented Bryant from consistently dominating an entire regular season the way that he used to and the way that James now does. However, during that same time span Bryant consistently raised his game in the postseason, leading the Lakers to three straight NBA Finals and earning two Finals MVPs as the Lakers won back to back titles.

James has also had many fine playoff moments but he has disappeared in key situations against elite teams several times and his glaring lack of any championship hardware separates him from the other triple MVP winners. James deserves each of his regular season MVPs but when a multiple MVP winner annually plays for a championship caliber team it is reasonable to expect for him to lead his team to at least one championship. If James fails to do so then his glittering Hall of Fame resume will contain a significant, indelible smudge--or, depending on which analogy you prefer, a prominent empty space; even the greatest players don't win a championship every year and some of the greatest players of all-time only won one championship but if James does not win a title then he will fall short of the standard set by every other triple MVP who came before him.

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Further Reading:

Pro Basketball's Most Decorated Players

The Accelerated Growth Curve of LeBron James

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posted by David Friedman @ 1:02 AM

21 comments

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21 Comments:

At Monday, May 14, 2012 8:58:00 AM, Anonymous DanielSong39 said...

The three MVP Club should definitely have a couple more names - most prominently, George Mikan (played before the MVP award existed) and Julius Erving (3-time ABA and 1-time NBA MVP, whom you rightly included).

While Lebron James clearly has the ability to accomplish what the other players on this list have done, at this point the only reasonable conclusion is that he still has a ways to go before he catches up to any of these names.

Then again, the number of MVP awards is an imperfect measure of a player's greatness, as Steve Nash has as many MVP awards as Shaq and Kobe combined.

 
At Monday, May 14, 2012 2:53:00 PM, Anonymous boyer said...

It's nearly impossible for lebron to never win a title, given the teammates he has had and will have for the next few years. Yes, he's 0-3 for the last 3 years, and we'll see what happens this year, but he's going to have a good team around him for years to come probably. But, you could replace lebron with joe johnson, and after 3-4 years, the heat will win at least 1 title most likely.

The east is a joke right now. The heat can sleepwalk to the finals. And rose will be out for half of next year, so the bulls probably won't have much chance next year. And even at full strength, they just don't have enough to beat the heat probably. Wade was mostly terrible in the bulls series last year, and the heat still won 4-1. If lebron and the heat play hard, then the bulls would have no chance against the. It's a big if, but that's what happened last year. While I would've liked to pick the bulls against the heat this year, it's really hard to see them winning against the heat.

So, lebron is going to be in the finals every year for a few years most likely, and you'd think he'd win at least once. The talent level around lebron is right up there as jordan, magic, bird, kareem, russell, and wilt teams had, and maybe even more. The heat have 3 top 10-15 players all in their primes plus several quality role players. Too bad they don't have to go through the spurs and the thunder, but yet only one of them.

 
At Monday, May 14, 2012 4:36:00 PM, Blogger Matt said...

"The talent level around lebron is right up there as jordan, magic, bird, kareem, russell, and wilt teams had, and maybe even more."

The Heat have as good a chance as anyone if they play hard but let's not get carried away.

 
At Monday, May 14, 2012 4:50:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Daniel Song 39:

Mikan easily would have won more than three MVPs if the award had existed during his career.

As a regular season performer James already ranks among the greatest players of all time but if he finishes his career without a ring despite annually playing for a contending squad then this will be a significant hole in his resume; he is not Pistol Pete Maravich toiling away for inferior squads.

I agree that "the number of MVP awards is an imperfect measure of a player's greatness" but each of the members of the three MVP club is indisputably great and it will look very odd 10 years from now if James is the only one who did not win a championship--particularly since James could very well challenge Abdul-Jabbar's record total of six MVPs.

 
At Monday, May 14, 2012 4:55:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

It is not "impossible" for James to never win a title; he has already failed at least three times--twice with the deepest team in the league in Cleveland and then once with the most talented team last year. James also did not distinguish himself in the 2007 Finals, though it is clear that the Spurs had the superior team on that occasion.

If you replace James with Joe Johnson the Heat would not win a championship; JJ and Wade play the same position, so that "trade" would make no sense.

Injuries are always a factor but that cuts both ways; Bosh's injury could threaten the Heat even in this round and could be a bigger concern if the Heat advance to face tougher competition. That is why it was the height of arrogance for James to talk about winning "five, six, seven" titles. Win one first; that will be a big challenge. James taunted the basketball gods with his arrogance and this may come back to bite him. The Heat may have blown their best chance last year and they may never return to the NBA Finals--and James may have blown his best chances in 2009 and 2010 when he played for the deepest team in the league.

 
At Monday, May 14, 2012 11:01:00 PM, Anonymous boyer said...

It's really hard for me to believe that his team right now won't win a title in the next 2-3 years. They're the most talented in the league in over a decade. I know he's had 3 good chances and come up short each time, but most of the all-time greats had to come up short several times before winning it all, but probably not with 3 teams as good as lebron has had from 09-11.

I'm not saying to trade james for jj. And jj is 6-7, he has a SF's body. All I'm saying is that the heat are so stacked that it's really hard for me to believe they won't win a title soon, though I hope I'm wrong.

Individually and statistically, lebron was great this season. But, even with 2 top 10-15 teammates, his team had to settle for the 4th best overall record, so I guess I'm not that high on him for this reg. season. His team's w/l record should be better, given that his team is stacked, if he was truly that great during the reg. season.

It's hard for me to take the mvp award seriously much anymore. Players get blackballed sometimes. And it's all relative, too, to who's your competition during your era, and how the voters vote, which seems to change yearly. It's really stupid that Kobe only has 1, and the voters have obviously disliked him overall, but duncan and shaq were shafted some, too.

 
At Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:02:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

Your comment is kind of all over the map. On the one hand you find it hard to believe that James won't win a title because the Heat are stacked but then you say you aren't impressed with James' performance this season because the Heat did not even have the best record in the league. James had a great season individually and he deserved the MVP but the fact that he cannot lead this Heat team to the best record--and that he failed to lead a deep Cleveland team to a title--suggests that he may very well never win a championship. Each season is a different entity. Cleveland twice had a great chance to win a championship but did not pull it off. The Heat had a great chance last year but James quit in the Finals. Injuries to Rose and Howard seemingly opened the East up for the Heat this year but now Bosh's injury may doom the Heat. Wade has been injury-prone throughout his career and his style of play will not likely permit him to be dominant as he gets further into his 30s. James may very well have already had his best chances to win a title. I'm not saying that he can't or won't win a title but it is far from the certainty that so many people believe it to be. The other great players who had to fail before they succeeded were continuing to develop as players and their teams were continuing to improve. James is about as good as he ever will be and it is not at all obvious how the Heat can improve either internally or by making personnel moves (their cap situation means that their roster is not likely to change much). James, Wade and Bosh will either stay at the same level or decline in the next 3-5 years, while teams like OKC and Chicago will continue to improve because their core players are still very young.

 
At Tuesday, May 15, 2012 11:20:00 AM, Anonymous boyer said...

I fully understand he has already had great chances to win and hasn't. And maybe my views on the heat are somewhat from public perception, as they still seem like overwhelming favorites to most people.

Yes, I can see where my comments are contradictory, but I don't think so. I guess I've never been that high on lebron. Sure, he's a great player, but he's missing a big something so far in being able to carry a team through 4 rounds of playoffs.

If he was truly as great as we keep hearing throughout this reg. season, his team should've been better and he should've been able to play with wade better, even if their skills aren't complimentary of each other, they're still 2 top 10 players in the league.

What I'm saying is that the heat are basically guaranteed to make the finals in the east this year and at least for the next 2-3 years should they keep their core together and unless another eastern team somehow gets several great players, which I don't see happening. The bulls will be a worthy opponent for several years, but they've shown no inclination of being able to beat the heat in a 7-game series. Like I said before, Wade was terrible in that series last year, and the heat still dominated the bulls. But, obviously teams change personnel, so we'll see.

But, if you're almost guaranteed to make the finals for 4-5 years in a row, your chances of winning the finals is greatly increased. They'll most likely be able to win at least once. It's much like the yankees in mlb. They're basically guaranteed a spot in the playoffs for the past 15+years. It's nearly impossible for them not to win it all at least a couple of times.

Rose is always banged up and has to do too much with that bulls roster. Boozer is on the decline and has a terrible contract. Noah and deng have peaked. The rest of the bulls are all role players and probably won't get much better. It's up to Rose, and he's too small and injury prone to have to carry the entire offense throughout much of the game. I hope I'm wrong. But, now Lebron knows he can easily beat the bulls, which they did last year, so I don't think he'll quit against the bulls in future years as he's done against other teams. And rose will miss about half of next year, and take additional time to get back in rhythm. Hard to see the bulls doing much next year.

But, I think this year is big. If the heat fail to win a title this year, then they'll probably make some changes, and then the pressure on lebron might be too much for him.

 
At Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:11:00 PM, Anonymous DanielSong39 said...

I think the Heat has one surefire way to improve: trade Bosh and Wade for Howard and either Turkouglu or Nelson. If James/Howard combination can't win a title I think Lebron would be completely out of excuses.

Not sure whether Miami has the guts to do it, however.

As for Oklahoma City their window is probably much shorter than you think. Harden and Ibaka will both need to be paid within the next 2 seasons, and I don't know how they'll have enough room for 2 more contracts that will surely be have to be at least 80% of max. If Harden goes, Ibaka could follow and the Thunder will have to make some great moves to replace them.

Chicago has a slightly longer window so let's see if they can keep Rose healthy for the next ~3 years.

However, all 3 teams are in much better position than the Lakers - not sure what they can do, except trade Bynum, sign Howard, or tank and hope to get lucky with the draft.

 
At Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:31:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

You are still all over the map: you say that the Heat are virtually guaranteed to win a title but if they don't win it this year then they will make changes and the pressure might be too much for LeBron.

LeBron James has been the best, most consistent regular season performer the past four seasons and that is why he deserved four MVPs. He has been less consistent in the playoffs and that is why his teams have not won it all despite having the most depth or the most talent.

Rose only missed five games in his first three seasons so you are wrong to suggest that he has always been injury prone. This season was very rough for him, of course, culminating in the serious knee injury that will keep him out of the lineup past the start of next season. He is young, though, and the surgery reportedly went well so the Bulls should be back to contending status in time for next year's playoffs.

 
At Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:37:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Daniel Song 39:

I agree with those who suggest that if the Heat fail to win the title this season it is conceivable that they will break up the Big Three--not necessarily probable, but definitely conceivable.

James and Wade simply do not have complementary skill sets, particularly in the half court offense, and that is why the Heat generally perform worse without Bosh then they do without Wade. If the Heat could trade Wade for Howard or another top notch center so that James could stay at SF and Bosh could stay at PF then the Heat would have a better chance to win a title than they do with their current squad.

I don't believe that the Magic would want a 30-plus year old shooting guard in exchange for Howard, though. If the Heat get rid of Bosh they will be much worse off--and you can forget about trading Bosh for Howard; the Magic will either get Bynum or another big man in exchange for Howard or else they will use that salary cap space to completely alter their roster.

 
At Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:22:00 PM, Anonymous boyer said...

I said Rose is always banged up, not necessarily injury prone, which there is a difference. Rose can now be considered to be injury prone after his ACL tear. I can't remember a time when I could actually see Rose's legs, since he wears those leg sleeves. He will most likely be continually banged up since he is small and crashes recklessly into others while driving to the hoop, but hopefully he can be relatively healthy when he does come back.

Sure, lebron's been great in recent reg. seasons. But, when you play on the most talented team in the league, and if you're supposedly the reg. season mvp, then your team should've won more games than they did. And he should be able to play better with wade in the halfcourt, regardless of their non-complimentary skill sets. Individually, sure, but he's playing in a team sport, and if the media is consistent in how they overhype him and the heat, then no, he hasn't lived up to mvp status in my book with the heat. Maybe with the cavs for 1. Though, there's no disputing Kobe outplayed him in the playoffs in 09 and 10.

Well, don't you think the pressure will continue to mount for lebron if he fails this year, and that the heat will start to make changes? He's always had great spotup shooters around him, and this is no different. Not really sure how much more help he needs though. He certainly hasn't been lacking in support. But, like I said before, his teams are almost guaranteed a spot at the table, especially in the weak east. It'll just be surprising to me that he wouldn't win eventually, and not necessarily because he's all that, but because his teams have been so good are around him, that eventually I think they'll break through.

 
At Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:59:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

Was Michael Jordan "injury prone"? He missed almost his entire second season because of a broken foot. By your standard that would make him injury prone, even though he never had a serious injury before or after that.

Many players wear various sleeves on various body parts, sometimes for preventative reasons and sometimes as a fashion statement. The presence of those sleeves neither proves nor disproves that a particular player is injury prone.

Your predictions just seem contradictory to me; you say that James is "not all that" yet you predict that he will win a championship. I say that James is the best regular season player in the NBA but even though his teams may annually contend for titles in the next few years I don't think that he will win a championship. He is certainly capable of doing so but I think that he will fall short.

 
At Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:24:00 PM, Anonymous boyer said...

At that moment in jordan's career, you could make a case that he was indeed injury prone. But, at the end of his career, obviously not. Jordan rarely had even minor injuries that wouldn't keep him out of games. He was one of the healthiest players in history.

There's something often bothering Rose. He's been able to not miss many games until this year, but he's had a lot of nagging injuries, which he had in the last year's playoffs, too, which affected his play some. He's much smaller and much more reckless than jordan was, so it's safe to assume that he will be injury prone as his career progresses. Time will tell.

I might be wrong, but I remember that the nba outlawed sleeves as a fashion statement. Players wear them a lot less now. Kobe only wears them when he is banged up. I didn't say the sleeves are evidence of being injury prone, but they are evidence that the player is hurting, obviously playing through the pain, but you can't just wear them to wear them.

The reason why I think james will eventually win is because his teammates around him have been great for 4 years now, and I don't see that changing for the next few years. It just seems inevitable to me that he'll win a title, regardless if he plays that great or not or even still quits again. He was still playing at a low AS or near AS caliber level in last year's finals even while quitting in several games. The heat were still very close to winning that series, too. And this is the primary reason why I don't buy the hype of lebron. For the long haul, sure, but when it's winning time, where is he? And while you have made excellent pts. about putting the ball in lebron's hands instead of wade's hands late in games, lebron often doesn't want the ball, but wade does. And this is one reason why spoelstra probably lets wade have the ball on final possessions more than he lets lebron have it.

I agree that we're seeing a trend with lebron now after several instances in how he often mopes around on the court and shies away from big moments, last night being the latest.

 
At Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:51:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

Rose has been wearing sleeves on his legs his whole career and I don't think that both of his legs have been injured for his whole career. A sleeve or compression shorts (worn under the regular shorts) do not prove that a player is hurt. If you think that Rose blowing out his knee at the end of a compacted lockout season proves that he is injury prone, OK. I am not going to argue that point; the guy has hardly missed any games until this season but you are free to exist in your own reality and believe whatever you want to believe. I don't like to argue about nonsense for the sake of arguing.

I don't understand the "logic" behind your belief that because LeBron has failed to win a title for four seasons (by your count) despite having great teams that he will inevitably win a title. Maybe repeatedly failing to win when he should have won proves that he is unlikely to ever win. Doesn't that seem more logical? LeBron is missing something in clutch situations against top level competition. Some of it relates to his skill set (free throws, outside shot) and some of it relates to mind set (not always wanting the ball, not driving in situations when he should drive). We agree that LeBron will likely have an opportunity to win a title in the next three-four seasons but I see no reason to say that he is likely to do so. The Bulls had the best team in the East all season and then Rose and Noah's injuries led to a first round loss. That just shows how unpredictable sports can be sometimes; we expect the Heat to be a contender for the next three-four years but injuries or other unexpected factors could change that. Also, the Heat have yet to establish themselves as the best team in the East in the regular season or to prove that they can beat elite teams in the playoffs.

 
At Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:45:00 AM, Anonymous boyer said...

Given the fact that Rose is continually banged up, was slowed by injuries in last year's playoffs, and now is out for nearly a year with an injury, it would only seem logical that he is indeed injury prone, but we're each entitled to our own opinions. Wearing sleeves don't prove someone's necessarily injured, but they're not exactly fully 100% either.

Well, you think the same that the lebron's had 4 great chances to win a title. I don't consider him not winning a title prior to 09 a failure, but the last 4 years, yes. Yes, nobody can win every year, but it is reasonable to assume that someone as great as the public says he is, should've been able to win by now. This is why I don't think he's anywhere near as good as everyone thinks he is. But, this year isn't over yet either.

West failed to win a title over and over and over having great teams, but he eventually won a title. If a great player has 7-8 or more consecutive years of having a great team, it only seems logical that that player's team will eventually win a title. Even with lebron melting down, he still played at a low AS level, and he has other great players around him that could pick up the slack. This is why I think one of his teams will eventually win. Just because it hasn't happened, doesn't make it nonsense for saying that it might happen. Every player has growing pains, lebron's have just lingered longer than most players.

The bulls are built for the reg. season, not the playoffs, as we've seen the past 2 years. I understand that there's a lot of unpredictable things that could happen, and the heat likely missed their best chance last year. However, I disagree that the heat haven't established themselves as the best east team. They actually did establish that last year, running roughshod over the bulls, even while wade was playing terribly. The heat beat an elite team in the bulls last year, so they have proven they can do that. Now, you usually have to beat at least 2 very good teams to win a title, however, the heat will only have to beat 1 such team this year. Maybe this year is their best chance as it turns out.

 
At Thursday, May 17, 2012 3:16:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

Rose hardly missed any games until this season. He played more than 3000 minutes in two of his first three seasons and he averaged well over 40 mpg in each of his first three playoff campaigns. He has always worn the same sleeves/padding. Dwight Howard also wears various compression sleeves. Guys wear this stuff to keep their joints warm and/or to look cool. It has nothing to do with being hurt (unlike, for instance, the brace that Bynum wears on his chronically unstable knee). The assertion that Rose lacks durability is questionable to say the least.

Rose was injury prone this season but not the previous three. It is far too soon to know whether or not this season represents a trend or is just a fluke. Apparently, you can see the future and you know that Rose will keep suffering injuries for the rest of his career. If he plays 78-81 games each year for the next 10 years (like he did in his first three) then your statement will look pretty foolish but maybe you are some kind of injury Nostradamus.

West's failures had nothing to do with quitting when the going got tough. James quit against Boston and Dallas the past two seasons. We'll see how he reacts to adversity (Bosh's injury, losing home court advantage) this season.

James is an MVP level player in the regular season but in the playoffs his effort level and productivity are more variable. That is why he deserves three (actually four) MVPs but has yet to win a ring. I don't expect either his regular season or his playoff resume to change substantially; "growing pains" don't usually last for nearly a decade. West did not have to "grow" in order to win a title; he needed to play alongside a dominant center and he needed for Russell to retire so one team was not monopolizing all of the titles. James plays in an era with only one dominant center--and Dwight Howard is not on a championship caliber team--and no dominant team that can be compared with Russell's Celtics.

The Heat have benefited tremendously from the fact that their rivals have been hit with injuries and/or the aging process but they have yet to post the best record in the East or win a title. They hardly look like a team inevitably marching toward the greatness that you are predicting for them. You assume that the path will forever be easy for them but I think that they may have already blown their best opportunities.

 
At Thursday, May 17, 2012 6:47:00 PM, Anonymous boyer said...

Never said Rose will continually get hurt in future years, but if I had to guess, I would yes. But, if he doesn't, up to now for his career, I would say he's injury prone. Let's say he plays 25 games next season, could be less or could be more, but that seems like a rough estimate. He will only have played in 77% of his team's games through 5 years, which amounts to only 63 games/season, that's a lot of games missed. But, I wouldn't look any more foolish than you would with your predictions if Rose does indeed play 78+games/season for 10 years. I would be wrong, but it's all speculation, and most of the signs point to Rose being banged up a lot given that he's small and reckless on the court and has had a major injury. His ACL injury is just the latest this season among many injuries he's had. That's a major injury and often will lead to increased injuries in the future and less mobility.

I understand West's failures are different than lebron's failures, or are they? How much do we know about player's mental approaches to the game back then? And you don't have to quit to be mentally inept either. But, the logic you were trying to use was that lebron has had 3-4 great chances now, and has no titles. Now, using West, who had 7-8+ great chances with no titles, before finally getting one. If we use your logic, West would never have won a title, but he eventually did, and this is the same thing I feel about Lebron and his current/future teams. I don't think lebron will necessarily be the best player on his team when/if they win a title, but I still think he will at some pt.

I don't quite understand why you think the heat have to have the best reg. season record in the east? The heat were the best team in the east last year, and they look like the best team in the east this year, despite posting the top reg. season record for either season. They showed last year that the bulls have nothing on them, and the heat's roster has improved.

Now that the bulls are out of it, we're down to 3 elite teams, and the heat don't have to face either of them until the finals, should they make the finals, so a huge advantage for them. It's hard enough taking down one elite team, but taking down 2 is another thing. It's not that the heat are necessarily the best team in the league right now, I have to go with thunder, but it's often how the seedings/pairings shape out to be.

 
At Friday, May 18, 2012 3:48:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

This article is about James joining the three MVP club. Why are you still talking about Rose and injuries? That actually has nothing to do with what I wrote.

West never quit in the NBA Finals (or on any other occasion) and he is still the only player from the losing team to win the Finals MVP. His teams just were not as good as Russell's Celtics. James' teams keep losing playoff series when he is the best player on the court and his team is either deeper or more talented than the opposing team. That is the difference between West and James. If we had this discussion in the 1960s and you told me that West's career would extend past Russell's retirement and that West would still be playing at a high level then I would have said that West would have a good chance to win a ring. James' teams look like they will be among the best in the NBA for the next few seasons--though we don't even know that for sure, because trades, injuries or other factors could change things--but my opinion is that James lacks something that is necessary for him to lead a team to victory against elite competition. He will keep on being the best regular season player--barring injury--but I would not be a bit surprised if he fails to ever win a ring.

 
At Friday, May 18, 2012 11:52:00 AM, Anonymous boyer said...

I eventually brought up Rose's injuries to explain to you that that's one reason why the bulls aren't as good as you think they are, and that the heat aren't too as worried with the bulls as you make it seem. While yes, the bulls could beat the heat in a 7-game series with a completely healthy rose, which is a big if, the fact remains that the bulls have no shown no sign of being able to do this, regardless of who has the best reg. season record. The best reg. season record really did a lot for the bulls the past 2 years, and the spurs last year, oh wait, it didn't. And rose was more or less at or near full strength by the miami series last year. Lebron didn't quit in that series, and never seemed scared of the bulls, and even came through with wade playing terribly.

And this goes back to what I was saying initially. If lebron plays hard and is aggressive, his teams would've won by now and will at some pt. in the future. But, even if he doesn't, his teammates are still so good, that I think they will be able to play his weight eventually. Wade was great in the finals last year, and could be the best player on a title team, and that series like many series was a matter of a couple pts. here or there, even with lebron quitting. And even with wade playing subpar in the bulls series last year, the heat's supporting cast was so strong that they could fill in the gaps and, which they did and beat the bulls easily, and the heat are better this year than last year. However, you're right about bosh being more important than most of the media/fans realize. If he's out, then I don't like the heat's chances.

All of this goes back to what I'm saying that lebron doesn't deserve some of these mvps. He has all kinds of talent around that these last 2 teams should have a better reg. season record, but yet the heat were only 4th this year. I understand that individually he was the best this reg. season, but when incorporated into the team sport of basketball, he doesn't quite get it, as is evidenced by his playoff blunders.

 
At Friday, May 18, 2012 2:21:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Boyer:

So your point is that one serious injury in a lockout-shortened season after previously missing hardly any games in three years "proves" that Rose is injury-prone, regular season records mean nothing because the Bulls and Spurs did not win the championship last year and James should have won fewer MVPs because his team did not win more regular season games even though regular season games are meaningless.

OK. I'm speechless.

 

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