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(ESPN)   The Miami Heat won only two NBA titles when LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. Why only two?   (espn.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, National Basketball Association, 2007-08 NBA season, 2008-09 NBA season, Miami Heat, 2005-06 NBA season, 2009 NBA Playoffs, Shaquille O'Neal, Toronto Raptors  
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312 clicks; posted to Sports » on 09 Jul 2020 at 8:45 AM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-07-09 8:37:05 AM  
Because LeBron is overrated.

We have this belief in society that overrated means bad. That's simply not true. Overrated is not bad. It just means not as great as previously thought to be.

LeBron is a first-ballot HOFer. But everyone wants to compare him to Jordan & I'm sorry, but he's nowhere close. I'm not sure he was even as great as his contemporaries like Duncan who didn't have nearly the surrounding talent in San Antonio that LeBron had in Miami. Manu & Tony Parker are fine players, but compared next to Wade & Bosh? Please.

Maybe it's just time to acknowledge what LeBron really is. He's about 6th or 7th greatest player ever to play basketball, not the best. That doesn't mean he sucks. It just means he's not as great as the media perception says he is.
 
2020-07-09 9:42:27 AM  
I think we got it in one.  Good job.
 
2020-07-09 9:53:51 AM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: Because LeBron is overrated.

We have this belief in society that overrated means bad. That's simply not true. Overrated is not bad. It just means not as great as previously thought to be.

LeBron is a first-ballot HOFer. But everyone wants to compare him to Jordan & I'm sorry, but he's nowhere close. I'm not sure he was even as great as his contemporaries like Duncan who didn't have nearly the surrounding talent in San Antonio that LeBron had in Miami. Manu & Tony Parker are fine players, but compared next to Wade & Bosh? Please.

Maybe it's just time to acknowledge what LeBron really is. He's about 6th or 7th greatest player ever to play basketball, not the best. That doesn't mean he sucks. It just means he's not as great as the media perception says he is.


Never thought about it that way, but you're right.  In most any other arena, being perceived as greater than you actually are is a positive.

I really blame ESPN (which is really blaming ourselves, because ESPN gives us what they think we really want and they're usually right).  They hyped up Bronbron since his senior year of high school.  And the guy seems like a model citizen off the court.  It's like Tebow, if Tebow had actually been a really really good NFL quarterback.
 
2020-07-09 10:05:59 AM  
Any answer to a popular culture question, can be found within popular culture.

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size
 
2020-07-09 10:12:43 AM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: Because LeBron is overrated.

We have this belief in society that overrated means bad. That's simply not true. Overrated is not bad. It just means not as great as previously thought to be.

LeBron is a first-ballot HOFer. But everyone wants to compare him to Jordan & I'm sorry, but he's nowhere close. I'm not sure he was even as great as his contemporaries like Duncan who didn't have nearly the surrounding talent in San Antonio that LeBron had in Miami. Manu & Tony Parker are fine players, but compared next to Wade & Bosh? Please.

Maybe it's just time to acknowledge what LeBron really is. He's about 6th or 7th greatest player ever to play basketball, not the best. That doesn't mean he sucks. It just means he's not as great as the media perception says he is.


Bosh career PER, bearing in mind he never had a past-his-prime: 20.6
WS/48: .159
VORP: 31.1

Ginobili career PER: 20.2
WS/48: .190
VORP: 47.6

This fantasy that the Spurs didn't have an absurd amount of talent is pure buffoonery. Ginobili had a better PER, WS/48, and VORP in 2013-14 than Bosh did, FFS.

The last title, Duncan had future MVP and two Hall of Famers that were more valuable than Bosh.
 
2020-07-09 10:19:10 AM  
Because two is not three, not four, not five...
 
2020-07-09 10:25:15 AM  
To be honest they almost only had one.
 
2020-07-09 10:28:29 AM  
They really should have only won one.. can't believe the Spurs choked away that game 6. I was so pissed.

I don't think Lebron is overrated at all. I think his game is very hard to pair with and the Heat showed this.

You keep trying to smoosh stars together and your end up with the sum less than the individual parts.

MJ wasn't much different. So ball-dominant that you only really had room for Pippen.

Kobe & Shaq were different enough that they didn't cancel each other out.

If I had to build a realistic starting line-up for a Big 3 + 2 for Lebron in his prime... let's say 2008-09

PG - Jameer Nelson
SG - Ray Allen
SF - Lebron
PF - Hedo Turkoglu
C - Pau Gaso
 
2020-07-09 10:39:21 AM  
MugzyBrown: They really should have only won one.. can't believe the Spurs choked away that game 6. I was so pissed.

I don't think Lebron is overrated at all. I think his game is very hard to pair with and the Heat showed this.

You keep trying to smoosh stars together and your end up with the sum less than the individual parts.

MJ wasn't much different. So ball-dominant that you only really had room for Pippen.

Kobe & Shaq were different enough that they didn't cancel each other out.

If I had to build a realistic starting line-up for a Big 3 + 2 for Lebron in his prime... let's say 2008-09

PG - Jameer Nelson Mario Chalmers
SG - Ray Allen
SF - Lebron
PF - Hedo Turkoglu
C - Pau Gaso

Fixed that for ya.
 
2020-07-09 10:48:49 AM  
Two is the right number here. They should've lost one to the Spurs, but they really should've beat the Mavericks that first year. That's one of the biggest stains on Lebron's legacy, along with the Boston series the year before in Cleveland when they blew that 3-1 lead.

These things seem to work themselves out. Like with Golden State - three seems to be the right number. They could've won the two other years but ran into bad luck, but a couple of those other years they had great luck with other teams' injuries.
 
2020-07-09 11:02:26 AM  

coolio mack: Two is the right number here. They should've lost one to the Spurs, but they really should've beat the Mavericks that first year. That's one of the biggest stains on Lebron's legacy, along with the Boston series the year before in Cleveland when they blew that 3-1 lead.

These things seem to work themselves out. Like with Golden State - three seems to be the right number. They could've won the two other years but ran into bad luck, but a couple of those other years they had great luck with other teams' injuries.


I think the Dallas win was the universe realizing what a travesty Wade's previous freethrowpalooza win against Dallas was, and making a correction.

The Spurs were a great band, and great bands are always better than supergroups.  Should've beaten them twice.  And Duncan's style and demeanor will always leave him underestimated, but in terms of greatness post-Jordan, he's #1.

Not hating on Lebron; to be called The Chosen One since high school, hold it together and be as great as he is, it's an amazing accomplishment.  And he didn't have the kind of familylife/socioeconomic background that is typically associated with handling fame well at an early age.

And anyone would've blown that Celtics series after Delonte hooked up with their mom.

/last bit's a joke, folks.  I think
 
2020-07-09 11:11:33 AM  

Naido: And anyone would've blown that Celtics series after Delonte hooked up with their mom.


Those first Cavs teams were total garbage. Lebron going to the finals with them, even in a weakened east, was amazing.
 
2020-07-09 11:19:05 AM  
Basically, I think of the Big 3 kinda like Barry Bonds.

LeBron had to watch everyone celebrate Boston, which amassed a ton of Hall of Famers. He had to watch Kobe deified after threatening to go to the Clippers, quitting on his team in the playoffs, and being rewarded with Pau Gasol. He had to be excellent with the trash they surrounded him with in Cleveland and watch lesser players be celebrated, year after year, for winning with more.

So of course he wanted to skip the years of building.

To be the Spurs you have to have great management. Great coaching. Great organizational consistency. Great scouting. Consistently get great value.

That's way more difficult to try to reproduce than "throw a bunch of stars together and try to patch the holes in the roster with the little money you have left."

In retrospect, Miami could never have been a long-term thing, even if Bosh doesn't get blood clots and Wade doesn't completely deteriorate. There just wasn't the ability to create a lasting institution given what they'd given up to acquire the Big 3.

And Christ, that 2014 Spurs team in the Finals...sh*t, no one's beating a team that's shooting like that. They hit 46% of their threes, and shot 53% from the field for the series.

LeBron had the highest game score for the series...the Spurs had 6 of the next 7 highest.

LeBron
Kawhi
Duncan
Parker
Ginobili
Bosh
Diaw
Mills
Wade
 
2020-07-09 11:22:09 AM  

IAmRight: Straight Outta Wells Branch: Because LeBron is overrated.

We have this belief in society that overrated means bad. That's simply not true. Overrated is not bad. It just means not as great as previously thought to be.

LeBron is a first-ballot HOFer. But everyone wants to compare him to Jordan & I'm sorry, but he's nowhere close. I'm not sure he was even as great as his contemporaries like Duncan who didn't have nearly the surrounding talent in San Antonio that LeBron had in Miami. Manu & Tony Parker are fine players, but compared next to Wade & Bosh? Please.

Maybe it's just time to acknowledge what LeBron really is. He's about 6th or 7th greatest player ever to play basketball, not the best. That doesn't mean he sucks. It just means he's not as great as the media perception says he is.

Bosh career PER, bearing in mind he never had a past-his-prime: 20.6
WS/48: .159
VORP: 31.1

Ginobili career PER: 20.2
WS/48: .190
VORP: 47.6

This fantasy that the Spurs didn't have an absurd amount of talent is pure buffoonery. Ginobili had a better PER, WS/48, and VORP in 2013-14 than Bosh did, FFS.

The last title, Duncan had future MVP and two Hall of Famers that were more valuable than Bosh.


What were their roles, though? Bosh had to sacrifice his role from Toronto to make it work in Miami. Manu was a sixth man.

Not to say Manu wasn't great, but their roles & what they were asked to be were two different things.
 
2020-07-09 11:35:19 AM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: What were their roles, though? Bosh had to sacrifice his role from Toronto to make it work in Miami. Manu was a sixth man.

Not to say Manu wasn't great, but their roles & what they were asked to be were two different things.


Those are career stats. Manu was worth more wins as a sixth man than Bosh was being the star for a team that always got crushed in the first round of the playoffs in a sorry East.

I like Bosh and think he didn't deserve the criticism he got during the era, but to say he was better than Parker and Ginobili...there's no real justification for it. Both Parker and Ginobili have made more All-NBA teams. Bosh just had free passes into the All-Star game every year because...name a PF in the East (other than KG starting in 2008).
 
2020-07-09 11:44:06 AM  
Chris Bosh's very best WS/48 was .200

That would be Ginobili's 8th-best season.

Just doing straight win shares to benefit the starter:

Bosh's best season would be Manu's 4th best. (Admittedly, Manu was well down from his best in 2013-14, although part of that was missed time).

But in the playoffs that year, Manu had more WS than Bosh and a better WS/48 in the playoff than Bosh EVER had in a playoffs (even though it was Manu's 5th-best playoffs).
 
2020-07-09 12:02:45 PM  
The Spurs had a deeper team. Lebron is not over rated. He should have more League MVPs by now. I do think he benefited from being in the East. Portland would be in the Eastern Finals every year if they were an eastern team. Anthony Davis's Pelicans would've been in the Eastern FInals. I'd see more folks with Memphis jersey's if they were an eastern team.  Lebron faced a fanstastic Detroit team early in his career. He also faced Boston, the Pacers, and Dwight Howard's Magic, but he didn't face a gauntlet of contenders on his way to the finals every year. The Warriors, Spurs, and Lakers had to face a higher caliber of teams to reach the finals.
 
2020-07-09 12:08:53 PM  
because only one team wins the title in any given season and the Heat, with LeBron, were that one team only twice
 
2020-07-09 12:22:57 PM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: Because LeBron is overrated.

We have this belief in society that overrated means bad. That's simply not true. Overrated is not bad. It just means not as great as previously thought to be.

LeBron is a first-ballot HOFer. But everyone wants to compare him to Jordan & I'm sorry, but he's nowhere close. I'm not sure he was even as great as his contemporaries like Duncan who didn't have nearly the surrounding talent in San Antonio that LeBron had in Miami. Manu & Tony Parker are fine players, but compared next to Wade & Bosh? Please.

Maybe it's just time to acknowledge what LeBron really is. He's about 6th or 7th greatest player ever to play basketball, not the best. That doesn't mean he sucks. It just means he's not as great as the media perception says he is.


I agree with your assessment of the talent on LeBron's Miami teams vs San Antonio.

Now make the same comparison with LeBron's Cleveland teams.

Yes, those Miami teams underachieved. But replace LeBron with any other player in NBA history, and some of those Cleveland teams that lost in the finals wouldn't have made it past the first round.

But in general we agree. Top 10 player. Not really in the conversation for #1. We'll see how the rest of his career plays out (if there is a rest).
 
2020-07-09 12:32:10 PM  

mcmnky: op 10 player. Not really in the conversation for #1. We'll see how the rest of his career plays out (if there is a rest).


Lebron is easily the most talented player to ever play in the league. Obviously the league has changed a lot, but there's nobody else who can do all of the things he can do.

In the top 10 ever seasons for Win shares:

Lebron has 4
Jordan has 2
Duncan has 1
Dirk has 1
Kawhi has 1
Wade has 1

He also has 6 of the best 25 seasons.

If you want to use VORP, he has 4 of the top 7, though Jordan would beat him for the number of times in the top 25.

You can hold some minor things against him, but to say he's not in the conversation for GOAT is just dumb. He's pretty much Karl Malone who can play point like Magic and shoot better than Jordan.
 
2020-07-09 12:55:10 PM  
Because Dirk got the flu?  DNRTFA
 
2020-07-09 12:57:24 PM  

MugzyBrown: mcmnky: op 10 player. Not really in the conversation for #1. We'll see how the rest of his career plays out (if there is a rest).

Lebron is easily the most talented player to ever play in the league. Obviously the league has changed a lot, but there's nobody else who can do all of the things he can do.

In the top 10 ever seasons for Win shares:

Lebron has 4
Jordan has 2
Duncan has 1
Dirk has 1
Kawhi has 1
Wade has 1

He also has 6 of the best 25 seasons.

If you want to use VORP, he has 4 of the top 7, though Jordan would beat him for the number of times in the top 25.

You can hold some minor things against him, but to say he's not in the conversation for GOAT is just dumb. He's pretty much Karl Malone who can play point like Magic and shoot better than Jordan.


How many rings does he have? Just wondering.
 
2020-07-09 1:01:25 PM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: How many rings does he have?


Bill Russell is the GOAT.
 
2020-07-09 1:17:12 PM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: How many rings does he have? Just wondering.


Same as Larry Bird, more than Wilt and Oscar Robinson.
 
2020-07-09 1:22:46 PM  

MugzyBrown: Straight Outta Wells Branch: How many rings does he have? Just wondering.

Same as Larry Bird, more than Wilt and Oscar Robinson.


That's my point. None of them are regarded as the GOAT. They are all 1st ballot, Pantheon level players, just like LeBron, but just a notch below GOAT.

Want to be the GOAT? Simple. Win more titles.
 
2020-07-09 1:27:00 PM  
None of these guys are playing 1 on 5.  

I don't think the "titles are everything" folks understand how sports work, or sport works if you're English.
 
2020-07-09 1:27:57 PM  
But I do like the Bill Russell love being shown here, so I won't argue too strongly.
 
2020-07-09 1:50:44 PM  
Boring story somewhat related...

Around 1999/2000 (after MJ, before LJ) I'm flipping through a friend's sport almanac, and there's a list of the top NBA players of all time. And it describes the ranking process. Not the exact equation, but general description of taking all the good things a player did to help their team (score points, make steals, get rebounds) add those up and subtract the thing a player did that hurt the team (miss a shot, give up a steal, commit a foul), somehow normalize for careers of different length, and come up with a single number to rank players.

Who do you think was #1? (Remember, about 20 years ago, so no Lebron, Kobe and Shaq hadn't won any championships yet)

I know I was surprised.

My point? I guess my point is, numbers matter. And despite what some people say, statistics don't lie. But people do lie, or can be wrong, and it's people who chose the statistics and choose the numbers. Whether it's rings won or WS or VORP, someone is choosing to use that number. Doesn't make it the right number.

So I guess my real point is, whatever numbers you have, I still don't think Lebron is #1.

/in case I forget to come back before the thread is locked, here was that almanac's #1 best NBA player of all time as of around 2000
// https://tinyurl.com/y8w7cy4x
///for the record, the correct answer is Bill Russell (but that's not where the link goes)
 
2020-07-09 1:53:47 PM  
I THOUGHT I SAID EARLIER WE GOT IT IN ONE, PEOPLE.
 
2020-07-09 2:30:16 PM  
They spell it out in the last dance. Jordan understood that being the best player won't win against a better team. So he figured out how to make his team better. I've yet to see LeBron do that. His leadership style is passive aggressive at best.
 
2020-07-09 2:33:22 PM  

Intone: Jordan understood that being the best player won't win against a better team.


Unless you count the Cavs taking that title from a stacked GS.
 
2020-07-09 4:17:49 PM  

Intone: They spell it out in the last dance. Jordan understood that being the best player won't win against a better team. So he figured out how to make his team better. I've yet to see LeBron do that. His leadership style is passive aggressive at best.


His way to make the team better was to have a great organization that got him the best supporting cast and strongest team in the league.

He also played in a mediocre East when all the best teams were in the West, and he played during an era of crazy expansion, diluting the league.

But I do like the "The Jordan-financed movie about Jordan told you why Jordan was the best" argument.
 
2020-07-09 4:18:24 PM  
Because LeBron kept passing the ball back to Wade.
 
2020-07-09 4:27:58 PM  

Intone: They spell it out in the last dance. Jordan understood that being the best player won't win against a better team. So he figured out how to make his team better. I've yet to see LeBron do that. His leadership style is passive aggressive at best.


In fairness (and I also rank Jordan #1), Jordan didn't seem to know that for the first few years of his career.  Lebron seemed to know it when he arrived; he was very good at getting (mediocre-to-bad) teammates involved
 
2020-07-09 4:35:11 PM  
Fun weird alternate timeline: If the Sonics are owned by someone NOT trying to move the team, maybe none of this ever happens.

After acquiring Kevin Durant, they worked to tank to build around a young core for their new city, since "hey, f*ck the fans in Seattle". So they got rid of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, who played key roles on the teams that eliminated LeBron from the playoffs from 2008-2010.

And, funnily enough, the Big 3 era might not have happened and that Miami team wouldn't have been there to defeat OKC in their Finals appearance (of course, maybe OKC doesn't get there if they didn't have three consecutive top-4 picks themselves).
 
2020-07-09 4:47:29 PM  

medius: None of these guys are playing 1 on 5.  

I don't think the "titles are everything" folks understand how sports work, or sport works if you're English.


Sportswriters and fans watch sports as a story. Most articles you read are already talking about how things and players will be mythologized after they do something or after something happens -- or will happen, as these stories are cranked out well before.  

The actual athletic competition is secondary to our understanding and enjoyment of the show. But it is primary to the people involved.  

When fans talk about the greatest, they mean who they felt was the greatest in that narrative structure they put over the sport, not who did what and when in the field of play during the matches and the seasons.  

Even stats are just a way of reframing that outside-in view as something fact rather than feeling-based, but I think that's just another lens of self-deceit to allow us to discuss what we think happened.

The process of appreciating sport is much more complex than the simple things the athletes are asked to do. Ironically, at the other end of that process we simplify things into neat little categories, while the simple things the athletes are asked to do interplay with the field of play, the props, and objectives, and other players in variations of possibilities approaching the infinite.

Uh ... I mean: LeBron GOAT.  Like mighty Hector or gods blessed Achilles, he towers above other men and yet is destined to fail, to stumble, on the ultimate stage when all eyes are upon him, then reach the impossible heights that our heroes of bygone eras supposedly reached in their prime.
 
2020-07-09 5:02:42 PM  

IAmRight: Fun weird alternate timeline: If the Sonics are owned by someone NOT trying to move the team, maybe none of this ever happens.

After acquiring Kevin Durant, they worked to tank to build around a young core for their new city, since "hey, f*ck the fans in Seattle". So they got rid of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, who played key roles on the teams that eliminated LeBron from the playoffs from 2008-2010.

And, funnily enough, the Big 3 era might not have happened and that Miami team wouldn't have been there to defeat OKC in their Finals appearance (of course, maybe OKC doesn't get there if they didn't have three consecutive top-4 picks themselves).


I didn't realize they had Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. I imagine KD might want to stay a bit longer in a place that isn't OKC. How did they give up Harden? In a different Timeline the Seattle Super Sonics have 4 titles right now. The Seattle and SF/Bay area NFL/NBA rivalry would be bonkers.
 
2020-07-09 5:17:54 PM  
Devo:

I imagine KD might want to stay a bit longer in a place that isn't OKC

I don't know.  KD seemed to genuinely appreciate the 'small town' aspect.  He definitely enjoyed the sycophantic local media, and has acknowledged being aware of such (in much less derisive terms than I used).  I think that atmosphere was actually one of the main reasons *not* to leave
 
2020-07-09 5:34:30 PM  

Devo: IAmRight: Fun weird alternate timeline: If the Sonics are owned by someone NOT trying to move the team, maybe none of this ever happens.

After acquiring Kevin Durant, they worked to tank to build around a young core for their new city, since "hey, f*ck the fans in Seattle". So they got rid of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, who played key roles on the teams that eliminated LeBron from the playoffs from 2008-2010.

And, funnily enough, the Big 3 era might not have happened and that Miami team wouldn't have been there to defeat OKC in their Finals appearance (of course, maybe OKC doesn't get there if they didn't have three consecutive top-4 picks themselves).

I didn't realize they had Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. I imagine KD might want to stay a bit longer in a place that isn't OKC. How did they give up Harden? In a different Timeline the Seattle Super Sonics have 4 titles right now. The Seattle and SF/Bay area NFL/NBA rivalry would be bonkers.


Well, they probably don't get him if they have those guys 'cause with them and Durant, they're not #3 pick bad.

But they traded him to Houston because they couldn't make enough money in OKC and small-market boo-hoo.

/THAT'S WHAT YOU ASKED FOR
 
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