Are the Lakers the best team ever?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Dec 2, 2001.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Dating back to last year, including the playoffs, they are 38-2. They are steamrolling quality opponents as if they were college teams. They have who I consider the best coach ever (Jackson -- and his assistants are legendary as well), the best center ever (O'Neal), the most exciting player in the league (Bryant), and a bundle of other talent. And what's nice is that most of that supporting talent are not crybaby primadonnas with huge multiyear guaranteed contracts. They are simply pieces that fit well in Jackson's system.

    I still say the 72-win Chicago Bulls are the best ever, at least until we see what the Lakers do this year. Wouldn't that have been a great matchup? O'Neal and Bryant vs. Jordan and Pippen. The edge might have gone to whichever team had Jackson as coach.
     
  2. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

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    As a team they suck; in my opinion. Sure Shaq and Coby and maybe a couple others a great players but it takes everyone to make a team. Their success is due to the coach. His formula seems to be to take a couple great players and mold everyone else around them. I wish Portland would do that. All we have is a team of whiners, sex offenders, drug addicts etc... People in Portland are tired of the crap and are starting to show it by not buying tickets.
     
  3. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    I'm a huge Laker fan but I don't think this Lakers team is the best ever. I have one problem with the Lakers. They play as if they can "turn it on "whenever they want to. The Bulls were always full on, start to finish. No mercy, every single night.

    As much as I love the Lakers I would never say they could beat some of the 80's Celtic teams and I absolute hate the Celtics mostly because they were excellent and beat my Lakers several times but I have no problem giving credit where credit is due. As much as I love the Lakers I would never say they could beat some of the 80's Laker team, but the one team I would really have to choose as the hardest to beat would have to be one of the back to back Detroit teams. Just too many weapons and the strongest, best defense in basketball, ever. If I were a betting man, I would never bet against those Pistons in a 7 game series, home court advantge or not, no matter what. Great defense can make a great offense look very average. As good as the Laker's are, their level of team work especially on the offensive end is pretty lacking when compared to those older Laker/Celtic/Detroit teams, where any night, one of 4 to 7 guys could be the guy that beats you. Against the Lakers, there's usually "only" 2-3 guys that can really hurt you. But those 2-3 guys can put a major hurtin' on ya. There just too many things to take into account before you can deem a team the greatest. I think a little too much value is put into the 72 wins season. That's a helluva accomplishment but I would say beatin it doesn't automatically makes you better nor would I exempt a team that only won 68-72 games. It's fun to talk about it though. The funny thing about basketball is everything is match ups and adjustment. Find the mismatch, take advantage of it. When they adjust, you adjust. Etc. etc. That's one reason basketball is such a great game.
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  5. Dheiner

    Dheiner Gazoo

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    No.

    Well, wait.

    Maybe the early 70's Lakers are.
     
  6. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

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    RobertR, I don't see how you think anything in my post was contradictory. I wasn't saying Jackson's method is anything but a winning method and did not intimate I wanted Jackson as a coach in Portland at all. I said I wished Portland would take a couple of our players and do what has been done in LA.

    Without Jackson, Shaq and/or Coby, I think the Lakers would be no more than average and probably win less games than Portland does season to season. And there's no way the Lakers are the best BB team ever. IMHO, currently that moniker would belong to the Celtics from back when Red Auerbach (sp) was coach. He put on a team clinic.
     
  7. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Dennis:

    If you're saying you wish Portland did the kind of things Jackson does, you're clearly saying you wish Portland would adopt Jackson's winning ways. And since you do acknowldege Jackson is a winner, why wouldn't you want him?

    I think it's redundant to say that a team wouldn't be as good without its best players and its great coach. What you said about the Lakers also applies to Auerbach, Russell, and ANY other team.
     
  8. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

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    RobertR, You're trying to put words into my mouth a second time. I DIDN'T say Portland couldn't use him or that I didn't want him. I made an opinionated statement about the Lakers winning ways. That was all. You Laker people must be touchy. Say ANYTHING negative about them and it's defense time.
    Right now the Lakers are healthy and are playing excellent ball. However, if Coby broke an ankle or Shaq tripped on his piles of money and jammed that huge ring into his eye and couldn't see, things would probably be different.
    Now I suppose you'll tell me I want them hurt. I don't, but it would make for a more interesting season.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Dennis:
    I'm not being touchy at all. All I'm saying is that I hear a Portland fan who wishes his team had a coach who knows how best to take advantage of his great talent to produce championships. [​IMG]
     
  10. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

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    That's just what I said in my first post on the subject. You said everything else.
     
  11. Robert G

    Robert G Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you must take into consideration the competition. To me the Lakers are very good but not great. Even the Jordan led bulls did not have the competition that the teams of the '80's had. Imagine if the Celtics or Lakers of the '80's did not have one another to compete against. Throw in the Pistons, Sixers, and many others and you had to "come to play" every night.

    The real test for the current Lakers will be when another team with a dominant (or at least competent) center steps up to the plate. The Bucks with a good to great center now there’s a good playoff series.
     
  12. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Bill Russell's Boston Celtics were the best ever.

    Period.
     
  13. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    I'm sorry guys & gals but the question, "Is team 'X' the greatest team ever?" is just a bogus rhetorical sports question. It can not be satisfactorily answered. The question is moot. You can compare stats and stuff but you can't say one would beat the other on any Sunday or a 7 game series. There are just too many intangibles to consider when comparing cross era match ups. I will say one thing for sure that is a fact. Atheletes today, especially in Football & Basketball are bigger, stronger and faster than those of 20,40,60 years ago. Does that mean if Bill Russell was just coming out of college today he would be bigger, faster, stronger than he was when he did? Probably but you just don't know. Like I said, I hate the Celtics probably more than anyone but I would bet the house that if last years Laker team, Jordan's Bulls or the Detroit back to back team could magically be tranported to the late 50's or 60's, the Boston Celtics would missing quite a few banners, but that is not a fair scenario. To create a fairer one, flip that script. If those same 60's Celtic were born later and became a team in the late 80's or 90's. Would they dominate present teams like they did those of the 60's? My gut feeling is no but, you just don't know. An ever fairer scenario, now what if those present day players had grown up in the same era as Bill Russell and them, would the Celtic's still have won 8 years straight etc.? I don't think so, but to be perfectly honest, I really don't know.

    I think players like Wilt and Russell were so much greater than most other players in their era, hence their successes. I have to admit that I think that if either of them at their peak where in the league today, they would not achive the success they gained in the past. That takes nothing away from them or there legacy. There is just more competition today. Wilt is a perfect example. If there are only 5 people in the entire league (where the entire league consist of less than 16 teams) that are 7' tall, it's much easier to be a stand out super star center than if there are 30 other 7 footers to compete against(in a league of 28 teams). Kinda like Larry Holmes who some say never recieved the respect he was due because he rarely fought anybody any good. That's not his fualt but the fact remains, to be the best you gotta beat the best. To beat the best you gotta play the best. If you don't, the masses will never give you the credit you want and may deserve. You know why Jordan is so easily if not universally considered the best basketball player of all time? One reason. Becuase he won championships while beating more of the other players that are also considered some of the best of all time. You take away a few titles or take away a few of the teams/people he beat and Jordan's star does not shine so bright. Don't even imply that more rings translates into greater player.

    Like I said before, any sport, especially Football & Basketball are games determined by match ups and adjustments. There are just to many intangibles to give anyone such a title as greatest of all time, but it sure is fun to argue for your choice.
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I too agree you can't compare eras. It's pointless.

    Whose rules would you follow? By the older rules, nearly every current NBA player travels, palms (carry the ball over) and fouls on defense. You can thank those Piston teams of the late eighties/early nineties for initiating us to basketbrawl.

    Take this example: Shaq vs. Wilt.

    Old rules: Shaq fouls out for offensive fouls, or he's forced to shoot from 8+ feet out, rendering him ineffective.

    New rules: Really think Wilt can stand the force of a 340 pound man for 48 minutes? Wilt would...wilt.

    And it runs like that across the board (for other player comparisons).

    One thing is for sure though, barring injuries or some unforeseen disaster, this Laker team is the class of the current NBA league...by far. It's just a matter of "can they stay interested" long enough to beat the Bulls single season win-loss record.
     
  15. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    I agree as well. The only sport in which you could even try to make such an assessment is baseball. But even then, it's tough to judge the value of some of the stats relative to the hypothetical matchup.
     
  16. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    One quick thought:

    You could possibly make some reasonable cross era comparisions for Golf, but you better be careful.
     
  17. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Regarding golf, I think there are two points to be made with respect to comparing the new (Tiger Woods) vs. the old (Jack Nicklaus). First, I have no doubt that Jack would be at least Tiger's equal in raw scoring ability if he had had today's equipment in his prime. On the other hand, Tiger's margin of victory in his major tournaments is much better than Jack's. But does that mean Tiger's competition is worse, or was Jack's competition better?
     
  18. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    Exactamundo.

    I threw golf out there because since all players basically play against the same course (although maybe under slightly different conditions), a four round total from 30 years ago can be fairly compared to a four round total from today, but as you so intelliegently interjected, what about equipment changes in the interim. Good point. Bowling could also be considered. If guy "A" bowled 1000 games and averaged 250 per game winning 75 tournaments, and guy "B" bowled 1000 games and averaged 255 winning 72 tournaments, who's the greatest? (Rhetorical)

    Now if for example Tigers' margin was 10 strokes and he finished Augusta at -20 and Jacks' margin was 10 strokes but he finished at -10, I would say you could argue that Tiger is greater than Jack at Augusta,(the equipment thingy not withsatnding). Even that is bogus. I would not make that arguement but some else could. If you compiled every course that the two played in common under similar conditions and Tiger shot 20,000 winning 50 tournament and Jack shot 20,500 and won 60 tournament, who's the greatest?

    I just have a problem with the title "The Greatest". What does that really mean? It's more subjective & ambiguous than "Most Valuable Player". I'd have no problem for example if someone said Jack "Won more tournaments than Tiger per starts" Or "Tiger won more money (adjusted dollars of course)per entry. When two competitor are even close, there is no greatest.
     

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