Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kobe vs MJ

Stop it people.  One guy is a super efficient lead dog from day one.  The other has never been the most productive player on a finals team.  Unless you think productive means averaging 30 shot attempts just to average 28 points so the experts can say what a great scorer the guy is.  If Pau takes 120 shots in the first 4 games instead of Kobe, then the Celtics would have been swept in this year's NBA finals.  Alas, Pau only took 60 while Kobe took 120 shots and missed 60% of them.  Get a grip people.  Shot attempts don't make you a great player, points per shot attempt might be a much better indicator.  Your guy Kobe is a little less productive than Allen Iverson, who is a little less productive than Clyde Drexler.  I will go this far: If AI played with Shaq from 1998 to 2004, then the Lakers would have beaten the Spurs in the 1999 and 2003 western conference and won the Chips those years and they would have beaten the Pistons in 2004 (when Kobe quit on the team).  They would have won 6 straight rings.  That, of course, is pure speculation. 

Search for "Wages of Wins" or almost any advance stats website and you will see that AI was a way more productive player than Kobe for most of this time in the league.  You will also see that Drexler was more productive than both, he just didn't take as many ill-advised shots as they did.  So he didn't end up with the high point totals, but as we all know point totals are only one stat.  The most misleading stat, if you ask me, but it is the one that conventional wisdom, and lazy "experts", tells us is the most important.  Too bad there is nothing wise about conventional wisdom. 

MJ was the most productive player since the merger.  Period.  He was also the winingest player.  The two are not related as some very productive players have not won a tittle (including MJ in his early years).  The most decorated is not always the best player because basketball is a team sport.  Meaning, even as Detroit won two in row, Thomas and Dumars were not better/more productive palyers than MJ.  The Chips are owned by the best teams and in MJ's case also the best player.  But please people stop saying Kobe is near MJ because he has 5 rings.  With that logic, I guess Robert Horry has already surpassed the GOAT.

P.S.  The Stats before the merger are not available for all categories, so it would be hard to compare MJ's production with someone like Wilt, West, or Russell.  Unless all you care about is point total, which is misleading if used as your main measure of production.  However, what we do know is that Bill Russell must've been magnificent.

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