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By Dylan Barmmer
It has been a fascinating and intriguing journey for James Ennis. With quite a few miles traveled along the way.
Over the past three years, the ultra-athletic, cat-quick Ennis has gone from under-the-radar college star at Long Beach State to champion and league MVP candidate in Australia to his current role – an intriguing and versatile component of the HEAT’s rotation.
Now that he’s been with the HEAT for several months, coaches, teammates and fans alike are beginning to see more and more of what made the dynamic 24-year-old swingman so successful in previous programs.
The 6-foot-7, 208-pound Ennis grew up in Ventura, California, and went on to basketball stardom at Ventura High School before splitting his first two college seasons between Oxnard College (2009-10) and Ventura College (2010-11). Ennis moved on to Long Beach State in 2011, and found great success in two seasons as a starter for the 49ers.
As a junior in the 2011-2012 season, Ennis averaged 10.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and helped lead the 49ers to the Big West Conference title. The explosive Ennis also garnered All-Big West Conference honors in his first season at Long Beach State.
As a senior in the 2012-13 season, Ennis really came into his own, averaging 16.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while leading the 49ers to a second consecutive Big West Conference title. Ennis was also named Big West Player of the Year and an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American.
That season gave Ennis added buzz among NBA personnel people. The Atlanta Hawks selected Ennis in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, tabbing him with the 50th overall pick. His draft rights were then immediately traded to the HEAT – but Ennis would spend his first professional basketball season not only miles away from Miami, but far away from the NBA as he signed with the Perth Wildcats of Australia’s National Basketball League prior to their 2013-14 season.
Ennis wasted no time starring in and at times dominating the NBL, averaging 21.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 31.7 minutes a game over 33 games. Ennis started all but one of those games for the Wildcats at the small forward spot, and shot 46.6 percent from the field, including 35.5 percent from behind the three-point arc.
More importantly, Ennis helped lead the Wildcats to victory in the 2014 NBL Championship. He finished third in NBL MVP voting, and won a handful of other league honors, including Forward of the Year and Import Player of the Year. He was also named All-NBL First Team and awarded the Gordon Ellis Medal as the Wildcats’ team MVP.
Not satisfied with dominating the competition in Australia, Ennis then immediately moved on to Puerto Rico, where he averaged 16.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks in 33.6 minutes over 12 games for Piratas de Quebradillas. Ennis started all 12 of those games for Piratas, shooting 47 percent from the field.
In June of 2014, Ennis left Puerto Rico to return to the continental U.S. – and pursue his ultimate dream of an NBA career. Playing for the HEAT’s entry in the NBA Summer League for the second straight summer, Ennis dazzled with his leaping ability, quick hands, ferocious dunking and accurate outside shooting, prompting the HEAT to officially sign Ennis to an NBA contract on July 15, 2014.
Ennis got his first taste of NBA action in the HEAT’s 2014-15 season opener, scoring five points and grabbing two rebounds in 15 minutes of action as the HEAT posted a 107-95 win over the Washington Wizards on Oct. 29, 2014. Ennis’ most talked-about moment in his debut was a thunderous fourth-quarter dunk over former HEAT swingman Rasual Butler – an explosive and vicious jam that made numerous highlight reels.
With an array of injuries slowing starters Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Luol Deng, and key reserve Chris Andersen also battling assorted ailments, Ennis factored heavily into coach Erik Spoelstra’s rotation from mid-November through late-December. Given the opportunity to showcase his still-expanding skill set, Ennis flashed moments of excellence and suggested he could serve as a powerful sparkplug off the HEAT bench in the months and years to come.
Over a 20-game stretch from Nov. 16 through Dec. 23, Ennis saw 12 minutes or more of game action 14 times – including 22 minutes or more in six of those 20 games. He scored seven or more points in seven of those 20 games, including a 10-point outing in a 95-83 win at Brooklyn on Nov. 17 and a career-high 16-point outburst in a 100-84 victory over Boston on Dec. 21. Ennis also showcased his rebounding abilities during this run of games, pulling down a career-high eight rebounds in that win over the Celtics and posting an eight-point, eight-rebound performance in a 114-97 loss to Golden State on Nov. 25.
Ennis fell out of the HEAT playing rotation over the final week of 2014, but nagging leg injuries to Wade and Deng provided the high-energy reserve with additional opportunities in much of January. Given the chance to provide and produce more, Ennis once again delivered.
Ennis logged at least 15 minutes of floor time for the HEAT six times in January and scored seven or more points in three different games. Overall, he appeared in 10 games in the first month of 2015, averaging 4.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.5 steals over 17.1 minutes per game. Ennis’ finest January performance came in a 93-72 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 30, when he scored 15 points and hauled in four rebounds in 32 minutes of action. Ennis nailed 6-of-12 shots in that game, including 3-of-5 from long-range. His most emphatic basket came on a sensational, powerful alley-oop dunk on a pass from Mario Chalmers, and the tomahawk jam ignited the AmericanAirlines Arena crowd.
Two days later in Boston, Ennis again showed strong against the Celtics, recording eight points, three rebounds and a steal in an important 83-75 road win on Feb. 1. Ennis played 24 high-energy minutes in that game, and connected on 3-of-6 shots from the field. He also hit both of his free throw attempts, and his scoring output off the HEAT bench ended up being the difference in the eight-point victory.
Ennis would go on to appear in seven more games in February, and averaged 3.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game for the month. The HEAT went 4-4 in the eight games Ennis appeared in during the month. When the HEAT signed gritty veteran Henry Walker towards the end of February, the still-learning Ennis faced an even tougher climb back into Spoelstra’s regular rotation.
Ennis has appeared in just six games in March, but he’s made a major impact in all but one of those games (and he only played one minute in that one). With the HEAT battling for a playoff spot down the season’s stretch and Wade, Deng, Andersen and Hassan Whiteside all missing varying amounts of time due to injuries, Ennis has done a little bit of everything when presented with the opportunity to again showcase his skills. And he’s done it while being asked to sit out eight consecutive games in between those opportunities.
Ennis appeared in three of the HEAT’s first four games in March, posting an 11-point, five-rebound performance during a tough 99-97 loss at Washington on March 6. Then came the eight consecutive stints on the sidelines, before Ennis reemerged as a strong cog off the HEAT bench over the past three games.
Ennis has delivered on Spoelstra’s decision to once again re-insert him into the rotation, scoring at least six points in each of those three games and pulling down six rebounds in two of them. His six-point, six-rebound, two-block performance helped key a crucial 93-86 victory over the Celtics on March 25, and on March 29, Ennis tied his career-high with 16 points and pulled down six rebounds in a 109-102 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Ennis has averaged 7.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per game in his six March appearances. He’s also shot a sizzling 56.5 percent from the field, including a remarkable 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from behind the three-point arc. Most importantly, the HEAT are 4-2 in those six games.
All told, Ennis has appeared in 53 games for the HEAT in his first NBA season. He’s averaging 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 15.2 minutes per game. He’s shooting 40.7 percent from the field, including 34.8 percent from long-range, and an outstanding 83.6 percent from the line.
Ennis has scored seven or more points in 15 of those 52 games, and grabbed three or more rebounds 20 different times. Ennis has scored at least 10 points in five different games, and grabbed six or more rebounds eight times.
Ennis has also thrilled HEAT fans and ignited teammates with a handful of high-flying, eye-popping, rim-rocking dunks – with the jam against the Mavericks and the season-opening stuff over the Wizards both gaining national acclaim.
As he begins to develop more experience, confidence, insight and savvy on the HEAT practice court and in critical NBA game situations, Ennis only figures to become an even more valuable, versatile and exciting option for Spoelstra to utilize off the HEAT bench. With the HEAT challenged by injuries this season, Ennis has even made a spot start, with that lone start coming just nine games into his first NBA season.
Ennis can play both the small forward and shooting guard positions, and his quickness, energy, leaping ability and overall athleticism are the kind of assets any team would welcome. As the HEAT launch full sprint into the stretch run of this intriguing and eventful 2014-15 season, Ennis stands ready to provide a serious jolt of energy, excitement and athleticism off the HEAT bench.
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ONCE AGAIN WE FIND OURSELVES IN THE SAME POSITION. WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO STAND TOGETHER AS A TEAM ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL FIGHT HARD THIS BROTHER WILL NOT BE SHAKEN. WE WILL NOT LET THE SPURS PLAY WITH US OR THEIR SILLY ANTICS. WE NEED TO TO KEEP ARE IDENTITY BLAZING. WE ARE ONE TEAM WE WILL WIN PLAY KILL THEIR HOPES TONIGHT SHOW THEM PASS THE BALL, REBOUND, SCORE STARTERS AND THE BENCH PLAYYYYYYYYY TO WINNNN WE WILL BE CROWNED
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Lebron james ( candidate for 5th mvp) is on his way ro another mvp with an eastern conference player of the month. Going to win a threepeat does not mean you cant do it in style
B) B) B) B) B) B) B)
Every so often in the world of basketball a new "King" is crowned.
The "King of Basketball", in my mind, is the guy who is considered the greatest player in the game at that time.
There's been a few cats who could make the claim; Mikan, Cousy, Wilt, Russell, Oscar, Kareem, Larry, Magic, MJ, Hakeem, Shaq, Duncan, Bryant, and now LeBron.
But the man who truly sits on the "throne", is the "King of Kings".
This is the individual who the world generally regards as the greatest player of All-Time. Some call it the GOAT... It's a very small fraternity.
While many players can claim to have held the crown as the best in the game, I just named 14 and may have missed a few, less than a handful have ever spent time on the proverbial "throne".
.Considering many factors, there may be only two worthy names.
Wilt Chamberlain was that guy from around his rookie year in '59 when the world had never seen anything like him. And Michael Jordan probably finally assumed the title not long after he'd put in around 10 seasons in the early 90's, and has held the title for a quarter century since. So it was Wilt for 30 years and Mike for 25.
Because most of us watching basketball today never actually witnessed Wilt, and many of us did see MJ in all his glory, most of us tend to believe Mike is the all-time greatest. I felt that way until now. And there is some data to back that notion up. Perhaps the data weighs in Wilts favor a bit, but not overwhelmingly so.
That may be the case for the games newest greatest of All-Time. The data may not weigh in his favor over MJ in every comparison, but the entire picture may allow us to see past that, just as we have in MJ's case as we've elevated him past Wilt.
I believe that time is upon us.
Just as it took Mike around a decade before we crowned him the GOAT, it has taken Lebron James a decade to pass him up.
So essentially, Mike's just been keeping the throne warm until King James took his rightful seat...
Yeah, I realize it may sound like basketball blasphemy, but there is ample evidence to support this assessment.
Below are 10 examples of how Lebron has surpassed MJ as the greatest to ever do it...
EXHIBIT A: BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER.
Obviously MJ was an undeniably phenomenal athlete in his own right. 6'6" & 205 lbs. of incomparable tenacity. In his prime, he was reported to be able to cover 40 yards in under 4.4 seconds and had a vertical jump of nearly 45 inches. So MJ was certainly no slouch.
This kid LeBron as an athlete? In the history of athletics on this planet, it's possible Lebron reigns supreme as the best athlete ever, with a never before seen combination of speed, strength, size, jumping ability, vision, elusiveness, dexterity, understanding, etc, etc, etc... You get the point...
Here's the raw data... 6'5 and a half inch MJ versus 6 foot 9 inch James. At least an extra 3 inches for James and it may actually be closer to 4...
Consider this, at 240 pounds when he came into the league at 18, Bron was 20 pounds more than Mike as a 39 year old when he played in Washington at around 220.
Now what James weighs after a decade of maturation and weight room exposure is anyone's best guess. DWade's old personal trainer worked with James a few off-seasons back and leaked his reported weight to be 267. It looks to me like he's played a bit slimmer the past couple seasons but to believe he weighs every bit of 260 is no stretch of the imagination. Two Hundred Sixty pounds with a 40 inch vertical jump...
I have basketball cards of MJ where his weight was 198, 200, and 205. So for the sake of comparison we'll say 205 for MJ to 260 for Bron Bron. +55 pounds. Or if you have a little brother, probably about the difference in weight between you two... Mike was small...
Back then to be honest, everyone was. Turn on an old school game on NBA TV or Classic Sports. Dudes were skinny. Even the guys who we thought back then were diesel! Weights didn't become a norm in the world of hoops until the 80's, and when Mike was in high school and college the Nautilus system and leaper machine may have been all that was available. As a result, we didn't see him bulk up a bit until the early 90's after Detroit was killin' him and the league was letting them get away with it.
So bigger and stronger obviously go to James in a landslide. As for faster, although MJ was reported to have a near 4.3 40 time, I never once heard a player or announcer call him the fastest man in the league. I have heard that for James numerous times. And with the ball or without he's shown flashes where it's hard to argue. But it's not just the speed in which the man runs, it's also the unbridled energy he builds in the process. I'm not sure the league has ever seen any thing like it. Certainly not at this size...
When the argument of who would win in one on one comes up, you tell me who's posting up whom, the 6'6" guy posting the 6'9" or vice-versa. Who's winning the rebound battle the shorter slower guy or the bigger faster man? And who's contesting on jumpers better, the little guy or big guy? So why again would MJ win 9 out of 10 Mr.Barkley??? Forget the intangibles. Anyone go out and play a guy who's equal in skill to you, but much bigger and a little faster, and tell me how that turns out...Bron would have his way with Mike due to the massive size disparity and athleticism gap.
EXHIBIT B: AGE SCENARIO
Age is a factor that doesn't receive much consideration by basketball fans but it should. GM's are always mindful of a players age understanding players over 23 years old in the draft never tend to fare so well. On the other hand, the NBA has an age limit that trespasses on the rights, to some degree, of young players because the league understands the pitfalls of owners drafting too young as well. So age is an ever present factor. Just as it has been in LeBron James' quest for Michael Jordan's top spot.
James came into the league as an 18 year old kid fresh outta high school, albeit a 240 lb. one.
Jordan came into the league after three years of high quality college ball at 20 years old.
In the history of the NBA and ABA, there have been numerous players go straight from high school to the pros. Some of the bigger names are Moses Malone, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tracy MacGrady, Jermaine O'Neal, Tyson Chandler, Eddie Curry, Kwame Brown, Dwight Howard, Darius Miles, Amare Stoudamire, DeShawn Stevenson, Sebastian Telfair, Josh Smith, JR Smith, Shaun Livingston, Gerald Green, etc...
Then there's LeBron.
He came in like no other high schooler ever. Moses was the best up to that point putting up 18 and 16 at 19 years old playing against men, but he played in the hyper paced ABA.
KG had the best rookie year as a HSer before Bron in the NBA and he only averaged 10.4, or half the points per game as the young James at 20.9...
Only two players in the history of the game had ever averaged at least 20 points 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game as a rookie. Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan. Lebron became the third--one year removed from high school. (side note: Since then a 4th man has done it but his game is ugly, his career has spiraled in the wrong direction, and he really doesn't deserve mention in this article so I'll spare you. If you know who it is, I'm sorry for bringing up the thought of comparing him to these three legends. If you don't know who it is, good. Let's move on...lol)
So both cats came into the league as phenoms with expectations and they exceeded them.
LeBrons expectations compared to Jordans were ten-fold. Bron was being called the greatest high school player ever and was waiting to enter the league really since his junior year in high school. Bron was the first pick as a result.
Jordan was the third pick behind Hakeem and Bowie after having his college career highlight come in his freshmen season when he hit a buzzer beater in the championship, then failed to match that level of clutchness again, failing to advance his team past the Elite 8 the next two seasons, so he entered the draft early.
Had Jordan entered the NBA straight out of Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina after one season of national level acclaim but only local competition, there's no telling how he would have fared in the NBA, but we can probably say with a good level of certainty that he wouldn't have done as well as he did after learning from Mr. Smith. Nor would he have done as well as LeBron did coming out of SVSM in Akron Ohio...
EXHIBIT C: COACHING SCENARIO
Intertwined with the age scenario that gave Jordan a leg up on his younger competitor, he also enjoyed a considerable advantage when it came to the coaches he was handled by throughout the years.
Because Bron came in as a youngster out of grammar school, the best coach he ever had as a young man was Dru Joyce, his childhood friends father and high school coach. He didn't go to college and benefit from the tutelage of the likes of a Dean Smith or Coach K or Roy Williams or Larry Brown or a Bobby Knight type of guy. He had his little buddy Dru Jr.'s dad coaching him up! No disrespect to Coach Dru because he obviously did a fantastic job handling the kid, but I think we can all agree he's no Dean Smith...
Obviously Mike was coached by that Legendary coach at the equally Legendary North Carolina University.
That kind of foundation served Mike well, just as it did numerous other NBA players. In fact Coach Smith prepped players for the NBA better than he built championship caliber teams. Go back and check his record, he had copious players get drafted and play in the league, but only won 2 championships in 36 years of coaching at Carolina with all of that talent. It took him 21 years to win his first...
After Mike left NC he went to Chicago and was coached by longtime NBA guys in Kevin Loughery, Stan Albeck and Doug Collins. Some might even say Doug Collins is a better coach than any coach LeBron has had in his 10 year career. I wouldn't go that far, but we all can agree he was never coached by the likes of Phil Jackson. Mike benefited nearly immediately from their relationship, winning a title in their second year together and would go on to get 6 with Phil and only Phil. Just like Kobe Bryant. Only Phil was able to take their style of gunner/prolific scorers and integrate it into the team concept with out disruption.
In the meantime, LeBron having been coached by Paul Silas, Brendan Malone, Mike Brown and Eric Spoelstra begged the question; was he being helped or hurt by coaching? The last two are both terrific defensive coaches but most would agree, overall they lack the pedigree or understanding that Phil Jackson could offer a player.
In short, we should all agree that Lebron was the loser in the coaching scenario.
EXHIBIT D: PRIOR TO NBA ACCOLADES & OLYMPIC SUCCESS
Since the topic of young age is still fresh on your mind, lets explore what each player meant to their teams outside of the NBA and how they were perceived nationally.
Because Bron didn't play college ball we can't compare what they did collegiately. I like to look at how much more complete of a player James is versus Durant, as indicated by a gap in PER of over 3 points, and how Durant totally dominated in college. He made it look so easy...I can only think James would've made it look something like that. I do think LeBron may have had more success as a team then Durant as well, and may have been more like Greg Oden in that regard.
Mike was nice a freshman and hit the game winner but the best player in the country was his teammate James Worthy.
His sophomore year he lost to Georgia, (without Dominique who had left a year early to enter the draft with Worthy) and was 1st team all NCAA, but the best player in the country was Sam Perkins, his teammate.
In his Junior year when he was the nations best player, NC lost in the sweet 16 to Bob Knight and Uwe Blab. Remember him? Yeah, he was tall but kinda garbage...
So Mike was a great college player but I can't envision LeBron playing more than one season had he gone, nor him averaging 13 points and 2 assists per game as a freshman like Mike. Bron probably would've projected out to something like an average line of 23ppg, 9 reb, and 6 ast with 2 steals and 5 Sportcenter highlights per game...
In high school, the overblown story of MJ being cut as a Sophomore has become legendary.
I always considered it irrelevant storyline material. He played JV as a sophomore, so what? Many of us had to earn our ropes back in those days. No biggie. But...
LeBron averaged 25, 7 and 6 with 4 steals while shooting 58% against varsity competition as a 10th grader...Those crazy varsity numbers versus a dude who his coach wasn't even sure was gonna make a difference on his varsity squad is quite a gap...
Brons HS stats...
Bron was named 1st team All-American as a Sophomore playing a National schedule in 10,000 seat arenas winning Naional Championships. He was the only player to be named a 3 time 1st team All-American in the history of SLAM magazine and only he and Greg Oden have been named Player of the Year twice.
So the argument of best high school player between Bron and Mike is clear.
LeBron ALL DAY...
Had Bron played college ball, based on the Durant one year model, it's safe to assume he would have been the superior collegian as well.
And in the Olympics, while MJ paved the road for modern basketball globally with the Dream Team, Lebron has proven to be the greater Olympian as well. Both have 2 Golds and LeBron also has a Bronze because old school Larry Brown refused to make a 19 or 20 year old James the face of the team. James is also the only man in the history of the US Olympic team to ever have a triple-double. A feat Jordan didn't even accomplish versus much weaker comp...
As for Olympic team play, the competition really isn't comparable. While Jordans teams rarely saw NBA players while playing internationally, the Olympic players of Lebrons era encountered teams with an average of 5 or 6 NBA players per team, raising the possibility for failure that much higher.
The Dream Team played no NBA comp and won by an average of 43 PPG- 117 to 74
The 2012 Team played much NBA comp and won by an average of 33 PPG- 116 to 83
2012 yielded more points per game due to way better comp,but scored the same regardless of better comp.
Pat Riley was quoted as saying he believed the 2012 team would've ran the '92 team off the court for numerous reasons like age and health conditions of Bird and a newly announced HIV infected and retired player in Magic Johnson. He sighted better shooting all-around for today's Olympic team and also proclaimed LeBron to be the BOAT (Best Of All Time)...
We have a thread on the forums about it here... http://fans.heat.nba.com/community/index.php?/topic/20486-hey-guess-what-i-found/#entry211146
So outside of the NBA, LeBron James has been the superior performer in comparison to Michael Jordan.
When we say the greatest player of All-Time do we mean the greatest to ever play the game? Or do we just mean the greatest to play in the NBA? If it's the game overall, then not only does Lebron have a solid argument, then I may need to write a million page blog about Kareem Abdul Jabbar as well...
EXHIBIT E: TEAMMATE SCENARIO
We've touched upon the fact the Michael was the beneficiary of the superior coaching having had Dean Smith and the NBA's reputed best ever in Phil Jackson.
Now we'll analyze each players teammates to see who was receiving greater assistance and who was doing the heavy lifting.
The season before LeBron popped onto the Cleveland scene the Cavaliers had won 17 games. They were 17-65.
The season before MJ got to Chicago, the Bulls were 27-55.
So both teams were in desperate need of a savior. The Cavs even more-so.
Upon joining their new teams they each elevated their franchises. Mikes team won 38 games his rookie year, or +11 from the year before him, and James team won 35 games. 18 more than they had won the previous year, so they more than doubled their success when he arrived. Advantage Bron...
MJ's team did make the playoffs his rookie year, which James didn't until year 3, but their records were close, which we'll analyze later, and it's rare that a team gets into the playoffs with fewer than 40 victories.
Additionally, in year two, MJ injured his foot and only played in 18 contests. His team still made the playoffs with 30 wins despite that! So that speaks to the strength of the Eastern conference back then, if not the entire NBA. Only LA, Boston and Philly were strong...
Jordan came back and set an all-time playoff scoring record of 63 points versus Boston in round 1 of a playoff sweep that had much to do with his Legend then and now. The record still stands, but his team got swept!
In fact, he played Bird twice in the playoffs and went an astounding 0-6! We forget that part, but fondly remember the 63 piece and Mike going between the legs 4 or 5 times in an iso vs. Larry...That's the power of television...
And I'm afraid our standards have changed. If LeBron were to have an unbelievable night in any type of playoff loss in this era, we'd have three days of Skip and Stephen A. telling us how he lacked the Clutch gene, and every minion in America chiming in on social media telling us how MJ or Kobe woulda got it done...
On top of Mike's team making the playoffs without him in '86, they also won 55 games the year he retired in '94. In contrast, LeBron's Miami Heat team went on to win 66 games in year 3 of his arriving on South Beach, while his former team the Cleveland Cavs have won 64 combined in the 3 years since his departure...That should speak volumes but for some reason we don't hear much about it. It's very relevant when comparing the abilities and strengths of the two players teammates...
So team impact advantage apparently goes to James as well...
It's important to establish the fact the league was weaker in the early eighties when MJ came in, and his teams had more success without him than Brons did without his presence. By the late 80's the league had solidified, then was hit with a wave of expansion that watered it down for a decade. MJ's decade...
In regards to teammates, it's hard to make the argument that Jordan played with better individual talent. Mike played with some serious bums in his early days and he carried those dudes.
In his first two seasons, his best teammate was Orlando Woolridge and Quentin Dailey was second. O had a PER of 19.5 the first two seasons with Mike, and Dailey was around 15. The year MJ was injured Chicago brought in the Iceman, George Gervin, and he picked up some slack with a near 17 PER season.
As a rook, Bron played with the best "top of the roster" talent he did his entire time in Cleveland. A young, up and coming Carlos Boozer was playing at a 20.8 PER level and Biq Z was going strong at 20.2. It wasn't until he got to Miami that he was able to enjoy another pair of teamates who played such efficient NBA games. But Booz opted out in free agency the next year and Bron was left with Big Z as his best teammate for the rest of his time in Cleveland.
Z was no slouch now...his PER's went like this, 20.2, 19.5, 21.9, 18.0, 18.7, 18.0 so he was serviceable, even if less than dynamic. When they brought in Shaq he helped but played about at Z's level with a 17.9 season in his one year there and suffered an injury that affected the team negatively in the playoffs. Jamison was at a 16.7 level...And Mo Williams was a nice fit with LeBron in the regular season. But the talent around James in Cleveland was pretty ordinary.
Jordans best sidekicks some years were some pretty average dudes as well. Sedale Threat, Charles Oakley, John Paxson, Dave Corzine. Brad Sellers.
When Chicago brought in Horace Grant and Scott Pippen, things started to get interesting. Those two really pushed each other for three years until Pippen started to get some separation as the 2nd most important player on the Bulls and the PERs showed. In his 4th year his PER jumped to a 20.6 and it basically stayed at or better than that level for the better part of a decade. In comparison Grant had one season in his career over 20 PER.
The only other time when MJ had two teammates pull a 20+ PER in the same season was when Kukoc had 20.4 seasons in the first two of the second three-peat years. It could be said that as a trio, MJ, Pip, and Grant or Kukoc was better than any trio LeBron had played with until coming to South Beach...
DWade is clearly the best player either Jordan or James had ever played with as he functions around a superstar like 25 PER even with James on the court. This last season was the first time in Miami that Bosh was at a 20.0 level after seeing those numbers regularly while in Toronto. His 19.4, 18.9, and 20.0 in his 3 Miami seasons would indicate that he is the best third cog that either MJ or Bron was ever able to play with as well.
Unfortunately, age isn't on the side of the Miami trio like it was for the Bulls Big 3's, so winning 6 in this more parity laden league would likely seem impossible if some type of moves aren't made or Wade's health doesn't suddenly improve miraculously.
When Jordans advantage for teammates got strong was with the second three peat group. They replaced Grant with a young, crisp passing Toni Kukoc and added the games best rebounding force in then 2 time Champ, Dennis Rodman. They also signed quality Bigman Bison Dele for a hot minute and had a savvy veteran in Ron Harper. Steve Kerr was the games best shooter ever by the numbers until Steve Nash recently clipped him, so the Bulls were stacked late in the 90's.
And it didn't hurt that the league had added 6 teams in nine years, 4 in the Eastern Conference, which made the route Chicago needed to navigate that much easier.
In the long run the teammate argument may be a push or even an advantage for James now that free agents are making it their business to get in on the King's annual pageants. We'll have to watch this one going forward...
But for now we'll give the slight advantage to MJ for getting to play with the best rebounder ever by percentages in Rodman, the most versatile small forward ever until James in Pippen, and the best shooter ever in Steve Kerr.
The fact that they complimented his game style so well, as compared to Wade and Bron having closer playing styles, tips the advantage to Jordan for me. But this one's close...
EXHIBIT F: LEAGUE STRENGTH & PEER COMPETITION
We just touched on the fact that the NBA added 6 teams in a nine year span during the middle of MJ's career. The first expansion proved to be most beneficial for the Bulls.
In 1988 there were 23 teams in the league. In '89 they added Miami and Charlotte. The next year, 1990, they added Minnesota and Orlando. Three of the four original expansion teams of MJ's era were in his conference meaning his teams faced those fledgling squads at least 12 games per year for the first 3 or 4 seasons of their existence. This is when the Bulls started averaging around 60 wins a year.
The next expansion came in 1996 bringing the league total to 29 with the addition of Toronto and Vancouver, and we saw a 72 win team in a highly watered down league.
There are 15 roster spots per team. 15x6=90. 90 extra players who had previously not qualified for playing in the NBA were added in a 6 year period. Some to the end of teams benches or moved around in trades, others as starters on new squads. As a result play suffered.
This isn't a new phenomenon. When the league added 4 teams in the early 60's there was an explosion of league wide and individual scoring that led to Wilts 50 ppg season, Elgins 38ppg season, and Oscars triple-double average season all in 1962...
If you had a 24 ounce bottle of Vodka and added 6 ounces of water to it, would it still have the same potency? That's essentially what happens in sports expansion and Mike benefited big time.
On the other hand there has only been one team added to the league since James came in. That was in 2005 when Charlotte got a team back. They have been horrible and James teams have beaten up on them just like Jordan did expansion clubs back in the day, but the irony of it all is that this time, Jordan actually owns this horrible franchise!
Individually, we all love to glorify our spots heroes from our youth, but when we look at the numbers objectively with every player being subjected to the same standards, we find our memories may serve us poorly.
I utilize PER for most comparisons because it's the most simple, understandable, all-in-one type of metric we have at our disposal that indicates what type of overall effect a player had in the game.
Based on PER metrics we find some things that might be surprising.
We find that while LeBron and Jordan have been in the league only three other players have had seasons with a PER of 30.0 or better. Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and David Robinson. Jordan never played against 67% of those guys...
In fact, Paul is the only PG ever with a 30 PER season under his belt, and David Robinson had his 30+ season the year that Michael Jordan sat out, so technically, Mike never played against any peers who were truly playing at his super elite level.
Likewise, there were only three players during MJ's era that averaged 30 ppg, while 5 of the LeBron era guys have done it and Melo is knocking at the door...
Another shocker for a lot of people is that David Robinson was the best player MJ played against in his entire career, despite the lack of fanfare he has received for it. Win shares and PER backs it up...
The Admiral had a 30.6, a 29.13, and led the league with a 29.41 in the same year MJ was second at 29.35. No other player Mike ever played against even played at a 29.0 level... Funny how the media shapes our perceptions isn't it?? Now maybe if David had played in LA or NY things may have been different...
Shaq was probably MJ's next best peer but their careers really didn't cross paths much. O'Neals three best years were the three years MJ was in his 2nd or 3rd retirement before coming back to Washington. Shaq had three straight 30.0+ PER seasons while Mike looked on from outside.
Shaq did have some strong 28+ PER seasons while MJ was still around and happened to bounce Mike out of the playoffs ending his Cinderella comeback in '95. Mike averaged a stellar 30, 7 and 6 or something gaudy like that and still failed to advance his team past the behemoth known as the Big Aristotle.
Had MJ and the Bulls had to deal with Hakeem in the NBA Finals in '94 and '95 I'm not sure it would've been much different. Remember, right after Shaq did the Bulls and his Airness in in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic were quickly dispensed of in 4 games by Olajuwon's Rockets while Hakeem dazzled like no other big man had in decades. MJ wasn't stoppin' that!
4 guys, Robinson, Shaq, Barkley and Malone are the only players with 28 PER or better seasons during Mikes run. Obviously Magic and Bird were close on occasion and also clear cut elite players. So 6 elite peers total and the real winners, Magic and Bird both suffered from tragic downfalls which ended their ability to compete against Jordan for titles. Birds back gave out in '88 and Magic announced he had HIV in 92...
6 men, DWade, Chris Paul, Durant, Kobe, Dirk, and KG all did it while Brons been in the league, and McGrady, Shaq, Duncan, Dwight Howard have all been close as well. So Bron has seen 10 elite level peers in his 10 years. At least 9 if you don't consider TMac elite...
So when we look at league wide competition the league is better now. Next year no less than 10 teams have a legit argument of why they can win it all...No these teams aren't better than the 80's Lakers and Celtics but neither were MJ's teams. Plus like I mentioned Mike never beat Bird after being swept in the playoffs twice, and he never beat Magic while he and Kareem formed the leagues best tandem ever.
Another little known fact fact, MJ never even beat Magic while he was teamed up with supercoach Pat Riley, because the year that Mike and Earvin faced in the Finals, the highly heralded Mike Dunleavy was at the helm of the Lakers depleted bench. MJ just toyed with the injury riddled Lakers, but Magic still averaged a near triple double of 19 10 and 10 for the series as well...
We remember it the way we do because history is being sold, not told...
Obviously Nike has been the biggest sales force behind the Jordan legend, but I like to look at more than flashy sneakers and highlight videos.
It is interesting to ponder what Converse's fate in all of this might have been had Bird and Magic not been sidelined and continued to dominate Michael Jordan and his one-man show.
Would Nike be what it is today? Would Converse still be a player in the sneaker game? One will never know, but but we do know Nike now owns Converse. Literally...
Nike acquisition In 2003, Nike bought Converse brand name for around $305 million. While Converse dominated the U.S. sneaker market from the 1920s until the 1970s, it began to struggle due to competition and lack of funds
But some hoop fans want to get down to the bare essence of this game we all love. Not just trivial things like sneakers... I assume you as the reader is one of those people or you wouldn't have made it to this point of the piece... Thanks for taking the time...
EXHIBIT G: ACCOLADES
Judging a player based on accolades, All-Star teams, or public awards has some pitfalls we need to address up front.
Firstly, often times the award recipients are picked based on popularity rather than reality. We see this regularly with the media voting for the annual MVP, Rookie, Coach of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year Awards. It's not that they don't get it right most of the time, it's just that there have been clear cut cases where they missed the backboard entirely!
Because the media guys write stories for a living, they tend to gravitate towards voting for the guy with the best story-line rather than best game or most impact.
So sometimes accolades need to be taken with a grain of salt, but in these two guys cases, they're pretty accurate.
Also, Jordan's career spanned the course of 19 years from 1984 up to 2003, so it's reasonable to believe that Lebron, at 28 yrs old, still has a good deal to accomplish. He may have 5 other-worldly years and another 4 or 5 solid seasons left until retirement.
Looking how Kobe has benefited from modern medicine, who knows, we may see Bron for the next 12 or 13 years... He is a tank...
The fact he still has much to accomplish shouldn't be viewed as a deterrent for naming him the best player ever, or calling the GOAT. It's a bonus.
He's already done more than Mike did by the time we had proclaimed Mike the best ever. What he does from now forward will just be evidence that we were right to change our opinions and crown James the games greatest...
Here are some findings in regards to the accolade battle...
In their first 8 playoff attempts, both players had won 2 NBA Finals MVP Trophies.
Mike won 5 total Regular season MVP's and LeBron has won 4 so far.
Mike won his 5 over the course of an 11 year span, whereas James has won his 4 in the past 5 seasons.
Mike won back2back MVP's once, and LeBron's done it twice.
The MVP looks like it's also James' to lose in 2014 and if he does accomplish the award three-peat, he'll join Wilt, Russell, and Bird as the only players to ever accomplish that feat of dominance.
Notice: No Mike on that 3 peat list... But MVP voting can be bogus, that's why this next data matters...
Based on Win Shares per 48 minutes, of the 5 best seasons an MVP has ever had in the NBA, LeBron has had 2 of those 5 years and MJ has had 1.
Kareem accounted for the #1 and #2 seasons ever, while Lebrons' season last year was #3, His 2009 season in Cleveland #5 ever, and Jordans 1st Championship year 1991 was 4th best...
Of the top 10 most dominant MVP years, James has 4 seasons and MJ 3 of the campaigns. Kareem has 2 and Wilt 1...
So James has clearly EARNED his 4 MVP trophies. Perhaps more-so than any multiple winner ever...
MJ won two of his MVP trophies when he put in the 16th and 35th rated win share seasons ever. Those years may have been popularity contests where Mike had the best cologne on or something...
It looks like LeBron will win at least one more MVP matching Jordan and could see 3 or 4 more, so based on the number of MVP trophy's and strength of the season in which he won them, LeBron is the king of the MVP vote.
He also had one MVP where he had a record all but one single writers votes, and that guy musta been paid off by Jordan to vote for anybody but LeBron! Mike never came close to a unanimous vote. Bron should've had at least one and was the closest ever...
Another area where Mike may have benefited, but not nearly as much as Kobe Bryant, was the All-Defensive teams.
Kobe was named 1st team All-Defensive more than anyone ever, and has absolutely no stats to back up the love he received. MJ was rightfully All-D 10 times to Bron's 5 so far. I'd be surprised if James gets more than 10, he may tie that number, but they kept him off a few years that he probably should've been on it. If you compare the advanced numbers of Kobe and Bron on those seasons you'll see what I mean...
Mike was All-NBA 1st team 10 times and 2nd team once. LeBron has 7 1st team nods and two on the 2nd team to this point. I think he'll pass Mike in this area. This is voted for by the coaches so it's a bit more relevant than MVP in some ways.
Mike played in 13 All-Star Games over 19 years and Brons already been in 9 out of 10 years.
In those All Star games, only two players ever have accomplished a triple-double game. MJ and LeBron.
Here's Mikes stat line... 5/14 FG's 14 pts, 11 rebs, 11 ast
Here's Bron's stat line..10/18 FG's,29 pts, 12 rebs, 10ast
I hate to dwell on singular game performances, and they don't hand out awards for one game output either, but this matchup is a bit more comparable as the stage was similar.
SIDENOTE: Much of Mikes Legend was attributed to the handful of individually great games he produced. According to Gamescore he had the #1, 4, 7, 8, 13, 20, 24, 25, 27, 28 and 32nd most dominant individual games ever. Brons best was the 34th top individual game and he's only had 1 in the top 50. Mike had 15 of the top 50...But these are singular games in marathon like seasons...
Both players were named NBA Rookie of the Year.
James had 6 NBA Rookie of the Month Awards to Jordans 3, although during Jordan's era they gave out one rather than one per conference like now.
NBA Player of the Month Awards MJ 16, LJ 25
NBA Player of the Week Awards MJ 25, LJ 43
So as far as accolades go, it's fair to say LeBron has either surpassed, or is right on the heels of where Jordan ended, and he still has much otherworldly basketball yet to play!
EXHIBIT H: STATISTICS
Statistics should confirm whether the above accolades were actually deserved or not. In the case of the two men in this comparison, the stats speak for themselves, as they should...
The problem with statistics is that they're up for interpretation based on the readers understanding of those stats, and there's often times something lost in translation. People understand more points is better, more rebounds is better, etc., but they don't quite know how to contextualize the numbers.
Advanced statistics can do a better job of creating context then traditional boxscore type stats, but they still leave some room for debate overall. I'll try to use some of each to show where MJ and LJ differ and how those differences can be looked at as a difference in the argument of who was the better player.
To be sure, there hasn't been two players with better all around numbers than Jordan and James, (possibly with the exception of Wilt) in the games history, so a debate about stats could be looked at as a bit trivial.
But when we're talking about a man having to get up and move out of the "throne" he's sat upon for a quarter century, it's paramount we look at all the pertinent information before making a decision about his future. But the evidence is mounting, Mike needs to start looking for new furniture!
Here's the raw data:
Career NBA 1072 1039 38.3 11.4 22.9 .497 0.5 1.7 .327 6.8 8.2 .835 1.6 4.7 6.2 5.3 2.3 0.8 2.7 2.6 30.1
Career NBA 765 764 39.7 9.9 20.1 .490 1.3 4.0 .337 6.5 8.6 .747 1.2 6.0 7.3 6.9 1.7 0.8 3.3 1.9 27.6
Ok so we see it's MJ with an average of 30 pts, 6 boards, and 5 dimes every night while he played 38 mpg and shot 23 times per night.
LeBrons currently at 28 per game with 7 boards and 7 assists per contest while playing 40 minutes per and getting 20 shots off per game.
Both stat lines obviously are crazy. Some things to mention though are again, with LeBron likely being just past the halfway point of his career some of these numbers will improve and others will likely fall. His scoring per game will probably be closer to 26 per when it's all said and done, and I don't think it will matter too much.
The style differences between these two players account for the slight variances in stats, both boxscore and advanced, and it also plays a large part in the perceptions we have of each man. We'll explore that topic in a bit...
What's clear is that kinda like Carmelo this year, and Kobe in the recent past, MJ was always interested in leading the league in scoring, whereas LeBron didn't seem to make that much of a priority. We see that MJ led the league in Field Goal attempts 9 times and was second twice. Bron has never led the league in total attempts in 10 years and doesn't appear he ever will.
On the other hand, LeBron has been in the Top 10 league wide in assists on 6 occasions where Jordan only pulled that off once despite being a skilled passer. So they have had different on court basketball priorities. Bron is the best passing non-guard to ever play and MJ was the most lethal scorer ever. It's kinda apples and oranges, except that each player was very good at the other guys strengths as well...
On the glass we see James has been a shade better despite playing further from the basket than MJ throughout most of his career. Some may say LeBron rebounds better than MJ because he's taller...But, because of where James has played on the court, particularly in Cleveland, it has kind of negated his height advantage when it comes to rebounding. As they begin to utilize his post game more in the next few years and play him at the 4, we may see a season where he actually averages 10 boards.
Both players got to the FT stripe with the best. Mike was top 3 on 7 occasions and LeBron on 6 occasions already.
Mike led the league in scoring 10 times, LeBron just once but has been top 3 on 7 occasions already, showing he can score with the best of them as well...He's just now coming into an understanding of how to best use his body and weapons in the most efficient manner he ever has, so scoring should continue to be as easy as ever too. That doesn't mean he'll attempt to score more, though. Just the same 27 to 30 on less shot attempts. Intelligent basketball...
Advanced wise, it's awful close as well...
Career NBA 1072 41011 27.9 .569 .509 4.7 14.1 9.4 24.9 3.1 1.4 9.3 33.3 118 103 149.9 64.1 214.0 .250
Career NBA 765 30374 27.6 .575 .524 3.7 17.6 10.8 34.4 2.3 1.7 12.1 31.7 116 102 104.8 47.8 152.6 .241
We see the PER's are nearly identical. LeBron will probably pass MJ this year or next and then come back to him towards the end of his run. Mike led the league in PER 7 times and Bron 6 already. They both have 4 seasons with an average of 31 PER indicating that our opinions are correct-- that they stand alone at the top. PER tends to be biased towards scoring but James makes up for it in other areas.
We see what we thought. MJ had a better offensive rating at 118 to 116. Jordans best season was a 125.4 and LeBron was at 124.6 last year. Because James is now playing on better teams his offensive ratings will likely be quite impressive for the foreseeable future. He should catch MJ here...
And defensively we see LeBron with the better numbers. A 102 rating to a 103 rating. It doesn't seem like much but when you glance at the win share totals you see James is creeping up fast on Jordans totals.
Jordans at 149.9 offensive and 64 defensive.
Brons at 104.8 offensively and 47.8 on D,
So there's no question he'll surpass Mike here as well. Also, again, because he's playing with better talent around him his O and D ratings as well as win shares will likely go up as the gaudy win totals mount.
Jordans per 48 minutes Win Share numbers edge LeBrons out for now, but they jumped in a major way after the addition of Rodman had his Bulls go on a 203-43 run over 3 years. In comparison, these Big 3 Heat have been pretty dominant and only have a 170-60 record in 3 years to show for it. More on that later...
But numbers wise, as close as it is, LeBron's digits just edge Jordans out. What he does in the next 6 years could create a larger gap that makes the opinion in this piece seem even more valid.
Mike has the scoring, but Bron has the defense, the boards, the dimes, the shooting percentages, and a few other numbers in his favor.
Mike also has a career USAGE rate of 33.3 compared to LeBrons career 31.7 showing Lebron has done more with less touches. One season Mike had a nearly 40 usage rate. At that rate and the mastery level LeBron has entered at this point of his career, James would average even crazier numbers than Mike did...The highest USAGE season Lebron ever felt was necessary was 33.8 and that was the only year he ever led the league in usage. Mike led that category 8 times...
EXHIBIT I: WIN LOSS RECORD & TEAM SUCCESS
Here's yet another area that says Lebron has been the superior player. Unless wins don't matter...
Through 10 seasons LeBrons teams have a regular season record of 519-285. 64.55%
Compare that to a record of 487-328 for Chicago. 59.75%
In MJ's first 10 seasons the Bulls played in 10 playoffs. Lebrons played in 8 playoffs. Despite that Lebrons teams have won more playoff series than Mike's, 19 to 13 total, and have a better win loss percentage at .638 to .587.
Also in the first 10, Mike went to the Finals 3 times winning all 3 vs LA, Portland and Phoenix. James' teams went to 4 Finals losing to San An and Dallas, and won 2 of them vs OKC and San An.
Like I mentioned earlier, when Rodman joined the Bulls for the second three peat the team went to a whole new level. But the MJ and LeBron team before that were very comparable. Look at this..
Year 1 both players teams are close- 35 to 38 wins.
Year 4 both teams go 50-32. Lebron led his team to the NBA Finals before Mike however...
Year 5 they both take a step back, 47 and 45 wins respectively.
Year 6 they both jump up big. Bron to 66 wins, Mike to 55 wins. So Bron was also on a 60 win team before MJ...
Year 7 both teams go 61-21. That was MJ's first championship year. That was Brons last year in Cleveland...
So there were a lot of similarities with these guys teams, not to mention it's even more comparable when we consider they played in the same Conference and even the same division for much of their careers, seeing similar tempos and game patterns.
If Miami re-signs the big 3 and adds good talent around them, they're poised to make a run at 200 wins in 3 years, but I'm not sure they can beat the Bulls 203-43 record. Pretty sure we'll never see Bron play on back2back 37 win teams at the end of his career either.
So most likely Lebron will have the superior win-loss record by quite a bit at the end of the day.
As for success. Some deem that only by the number of Championship rings a guy has. I'm not of that mindset. These guys play for 10 months and have to live, travel, confide, sweat, and bleed with each other. If you're going to do this for a period of your life, it's much better to have fun and enjoy the people you do it with. Teams that have losing records don't have fun. So they've both won in that regard.
If rings are the main factor then someone needs to forever answer the question: why is Russell (11) routinely overlooked as best player ever, Sam Jones (10) is totally forgotten as best scoring guard ever, and Jerry West was called "Mr. Clutch" after losing 7 NBA Finals in 8 trips?
With the comparison of rings, there are too many variables to judge individual players on that single area. Mike has his 6 which are again, part of his Legend. 6 for 6. We don't look at the variables around his 6. It's just 6 man!!! Just like it's supposed to be some type of empirical fact that Kobe is better than Bron because he has, like LA fans like to remind people...5 RINGS MANNNN!!!. B S...
I wrote this blog a while back that may have cleared up some of the confusion about this...http://fans.heat.nba.com/community/index.php?/blog/36/entry-31-timing-is-everything/
Bron may or may not get the 6 piece. It doesn't matter. He'll play in more Finals than Jordan and capitalize on that time in the white hot spotlight to carve out a lasting impression with a young generation of fans.
Forget about the ring talk, the league manipulates all of that anyway. It's this last exhibit. Exhibit J, that will truly set LeBron apart from MJ at the end of the day...
EXHIBIT J: STYLE OF PLAY
That's right. Style of play.
You say, "Well Jordan had the most beautiful style of play ever!" I'd say true...
But if you said Jordan had the best style of play, I'd say false.
If you said MJ had the most efficient style of play, I'd say no.
If you said Jordan played a style of play that his teammates appreciated more than Lebrons teammates appreciate his style, I'd say absolutely not.
If you said Jordan played a game that you would rather have young players pattern their games after, I'd say you're delirious...
These are the things that make LeBron the greatest to ever play the game.
From the first time most of us ever laid eyes on the kid from Akron, Ohio, the first thing that was immediately apparent is the kid could really pass the ball. Not an attribute that ordinarily receives much fanfare.
But the fact that this kid could score at will, was a man among boys physically and game wise, yet still had the foresight to include his teammates in the winning process, and looked as though he truly enjoyed doing so, whipping passes around the court to players of less repute than him, is what set him apart from day one.
It's also what will set him apart at the end of the day too...
His style of play is what coaches try to get from players. Make the extra pass... Hit the open man... Engage in the correct basketball play... Share your successes and failures.
He's the ultimate basketball role model for kids to pattern their games after.
The next generation of players will grow up understanding that team basketball beats individual showmanship every time. It took MJ some years before Phil could convince him of that, and even when he did, they still had their struggles on some nights getting Mike to buy into the triangle and move the ball.
LeBron understood the importance of team play from day one. 9 assists on his NBA debut night pretty much foreshadowed what he was all about...
In the history of the NBA there has only been 25 men who have averaged 30 points per game for an entire season. Most of the time it takes a pretty "selfish" mentality to accomplish this feat...LeBron has done it twice. But only LeBron, and perhaps Jerry West and Tiny Archibald, could be considered "unselfish" players on that list of 25 men.
That speaks volumes.
Here we have a guy who can score at will pretty much like the best guy we've ever seen do it, MJ.
Along with that we have a man with the court vision of the best to ever do it, Magic Johnson.
Then you can throw in a player who can guard every player in the NBA reasonably well, like no other player ever.
And that same man is possibly the most athletic specimen the planet has produced?
Then look no further for the best player who ever played the game of basketball--LeBron James.
The man on the throne...
That was the key for the Chicago Bulls in the Michael Jordan/Dennis Rodman era.
It was the key for many championship teams. It was the reason why Dallas beat
Miami in the finals. It was a big reason why the Heat won game 6.
Nothing beats having second chance opportunities. It's a wonderful cushion.
Own the boards baby! Let's go Heat!
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Love it!! Congrats to my #1 Athlete...THE best athlete in tha world. Some say getting MVP don't neccessarily mean that player iz tha best athlete. Only that he/she has done well that year. You know I say, they buggin, Best Athlete baby, especially when it comes to LeBron.
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Although, the Miami Heat have may lost there twenty-seven winning streak from the Chicago Bulls, they had the second longest streak in basketball history. After the game between the Heat and the Bulls, one of the members of the Chicago Bulls said, "The Heat played good, but it took us a lot of effort to beat them."
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Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers game is totally bizarre. The game starts with a quick loan to fix a roof leaking some mysterious substance. The game progresses with the Heat down 27 points in Quarter 3, Cleveland is cheering, but when the Heat realize they drank the cool aide, they regroup with a great comeback. then, just as the Miami Heat gains a lead over Cleveland, a crazy fan runs out on the court. Security grab him by the seat of his pants and escort him away. When that doesn't work to distract the Heat, the Ref calls Mario Chalmers # 15 for a travel but over-looks an obvious walk by Tristan Thompson # 13. LeBron sees the "okee doke" and says "Oh no, I'm not falling in this trap, Pat Riley deserves better.". LeBron steps on the gas and guzzles his motorcade out of there. He throw some magic dust to accelerate his team. He says, "Come on boys let's get out of here." Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers, Chris Anderson, a/k/a Birdman, Shane Battier and the rest of the bench wake up to a 98-95 win over the Cavs. 24 straight wins and still counting. Now, they're gunning for the Lakers.
Happy Birthday Pat Riley! One of the most nuturing coaches of all times, with the ability to gently yank and pull the very best out of a team. We love you we do. "Good Better Best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is the best.
Fans and playmates, come out and play with us, we have 11 more games to win and 15 games to do it. www.MiamiHeatFlorida.WordPress.com
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I have read of the 33 in a row , had forgotten about the 22 (07-08 Rockets really?) and have now witnessed the 20. I am a Heat fan , since day 1. I worked on the commision way back in the days of Parachute Pants, flatops, perms and Miami Vice to try and get a team in MIA. I live and breath each possession, I sit and watch in amazement, a get to go to a a few games as much as the budget allows. I critique , I catch myself expecting perfection...the truth is it has never been better, it has never been sweeter, we are witnessing the apex of a Franchise's day's. This blog is not to rant or object to a coach's move or a player's decision but to put in context what each and every one out there in the Heat Nation is seeing, feeling and experiencing.
Eric has been a Maestro, the rhythym section has been so divine, support from the woodwinds cannot be denied. With Bird in Flight and Allen's plight together the team appears to have no end in sight. From high above , here comes a lob, Wade to James it feels oh so right. Caught up with glee we jump o so high with pulses racing let's take it all in with a giant bite. Don't take for granted instead feel enchanted these days of glory are such a treat , invincible we feel , we can't be beat. But if we should fall on any given cold winter night, we will warm in the glow of this historical streak. One we should never forget and thank the team for giving us more memories yet.
2012-13 Miami Heat...Thanks for the Memories...let's make more
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Miami Heat are on fire 19 straight wins hoping to make it 20. When you have a team with such a long win streak, so much is on the line
<img src="http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/3282/inyofacekobrick.gif" width="9767" height="9253" border="0">[/CODE]
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my name is YiLongTong ,i am a undergraduate from Chian . it's sure that my English is very poor,but i like basketball and Miami Heat is my favorite team in NBA league ! i just want to say 'hello' to everyone in this community . please take care of a lot , thank you.
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This Blog is Dedicated to All The Real True Miami Heat Fans:
I am an Independent Hip Hop Artist Double O and I Have the One & Only Radio Station For the Miami Heat. I need All My Miami Heat Fans to Support the Station. I have Created a Commercial to inform the Fans of the Station Please Support it and Spread the Word
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Eastern Conference Power Rankings:
Western Confernece Power Rankings:
Agree or Disagree?? (Probably Disagree) Tell me how much you hate the rankings in the comments below or on Twitter at @ChrisRMachado. I will probably respond faster if you go on Twitter.
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In the just-concluded Houston Rockets' season opener, a rocket with a 105-96 victory over the Detroit pistons. James harden played 44 minutes, 25 voted 14 to be 37 points and 6 rebounds and 12 assists and 4 steals and 1 blocks, 7 items of data in the crown, he and Jeremy Lin combination has already begun to take shape.
Haden joined the Rockets, a direct impact is the ball right allocation changes. Prior to joining in Haddonfield, Jeremy Lin is no doubt the ball control, the entire rocket and nobody can compete with him. But after Harden joins in, we see that, although Jeremy Lin was also present, but Harden can almost half, even more the ball. In the penalty got the first points, harden and cast a vote, and the Omega - Asik send a assists, followed in 8 minutes 33 seconds to hit the jumper, which is also in his rocket 's first goal war movement. 7 minutes and 35 seconds, Haddon once again into the basket, the first shots, but his ball in. In the first 6 minutes before the attack, harden oneself 4, 2 assists, and Jeremy Lin just threw 1 CIC, completed 1 breakthrough, and this breakthrough also assists from haddonfield. The ball distributing dip remarkable.
In the first quarter with 2 minutes left, Jeremy Lin and Harden are next, but Harden at the end of the first quarter ago returned to the field, and in second first half and dominated all the ball. When Jeremy Lin returned to field, rocket will often let harden the ball, as in section second, 8 minutes, Jeremy Lin had come back, but the Rockets back to serve, Jeremy Lin has quickly harden, but turned the ball, eventually harden off the dribble zapatillas baloncesto downfield, but Jeremy Lin falls on the left bottom corner, then, really hard to say what who is the guard, who was the quarterback. The entire first half, harden 15 throw in 8, cut off an amazing 19 points and 3 rebounds and 5 assists 1 cover; Jeremy Lin 8 for 3 to be 6 points and 2 rebounds and 5 assists in 5 assists, 3 steals, two people tied for the team in assists, scoring the Haddonfield crown, and ho steals hegemony.
The second half, Haddon's performance is still not terminated, he and Arab cooperation also more be good to hear or see. The third section there are 9 minutes, harden and Jeremy Lin hit a classic tie, Jeremy Lin causes Jason - Maxiell offensive foul, then dribbling, harden quickly an ambush to right bottom corner, Jeremy Lin marched to the three arc, sudden transverse shifting step to get rid of Brandon Knight pulls open right hand alone, hit the ball, Haddon appreciate sb.'s thought, anti run directly after baseline, just copy the ball up into the sky, his arm is cruel buckle. After landing, Hadden also did not forget to have a look back to back against Rodney Starkey, fundus revealed four points three points two points not provoke excitement and an attack after the climax is over.
In addition to score, Haddon's organizational ability is also quite stunning. Not to mention he first three Guanjue front 7 assists, see section fourth. When the selection is sufficient to explain all: fourth section there are 5 minutes and 18 seconds, the rocket 91-89 lead with 2 points, while Harden first ball to Carlos Delfino hit three points, will expand the score to 94-89 advantage; then Greg Monroe was off the ball after, Harden once again in front of the ball, the virtual point a fool knight, sideways cut into the basket, using personal attack also attracted the attention of Taixiaan - Prince and internal defence staff 's attention, but when everyone thinks Harden is stronger on layup, he suddenly stopped a poor use of time, Doushou arm from the defending players behind the ball along the line to the left bottom corner, ambush the long-awaited Delfino once again a whirlwind into three points, just 30 seconds continuous assists recorded 2 three mark of ball, in which a ball is connected to 3 people across the region's single hand, so Harden, even if pg. is impeccable.
Satisfactory is, Harden and Jeremy Lin with the very smoothly, although is the first play, from Harden's debut rocket training field now but 4 days, but as with many years of lost friend. The entire game, harden 25 voted 14 to be 37 points and 6 rebounds and 12 assists and 4 steals and 1 blocks, Ho 12 voted 5 to be 12 points and 4 rebounds and 8 assists and 4 steals, two people has been a total of 49 points and 10 rebounds and 20 assists and 8 steals! We will have Harden and A Hao with Ginobili and Toni as Parke clone, also somebody will them to Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley reproduction. But from the game, Haddon played very sensible, don't abuse the resources; Jeremy Lin was courteous, to harden up auxiliary; so make good use of resources, and almost no contradiction double guard combination, if must identify the antecedents, so we is it right? Can slightly bold to consider the Isiah - Thomas and Joe Dumars?
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Do you think We are going to Go to the playoffs and win?
OK to some of you this might be a dumb thing to ask,But do you think that we are so caught up about winning this year.But now we have Ray Allen and some others, will they be able to stick with the plan.
Will they be able to take it to top.
But whatever if they win or loose I am still going to be a Die hard Heat fan.
Now, the Heat have Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen. How can we not win another championship? I think the 2012-13 starting line-up should be:
PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Dwyane Wade
PF: LeBron James
C: Chris Bosh
Key Bench Players: Rashard Lewis, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Norris Cole
I just wanted to talk a little about what Miami Heat needs to do to become a more complete team.
Personally,I think that we should start by getting a complete center somebody lilke a healthy Greg Oden,but it wouldnt hurt to have an experienced PG like Steve Nash which is possible to happen.
Ray Allen willl be a great contribution to the team as most everybody probably thinks I mean just imagine what it's gonna be like Lebron drives the lane gets stuffed flicks it out to Ray automatic
three points.This system should work alot better so the lineup should look like this.
Steve Nash<sub>Mario Chalmers<Norris Cole
Dwayne Wade<sub>Ray Allen
Lebron James<sub>Shane battier
Udonis Haslem<sub>Rashard Lewis
Chris Bosh<sub>Joel Anthony
I think it's really important like most other people that we get a center I mean really subing Anthony,Haslem,and Turiaf isn't going to cut it we need someone complete,don't get me wrong Udonis Haslem is a good player and a great rebounder but he's not big enough.Rashard Lewis is also gonna make a great contribution to this team I think Ray Allen will have a better career at Miami but Rashard is still a good player he may even start if he beats out Udonis Haslem for the PF posistion but that still doesn't really solve the center problem,I mean Bosh can play Center but he's not a center he doesn't posses a centers' attributes he's not that strong around the rim he's a pretty good player in the post but we need somebody under the rim,close up Lebron james can post but he can't stay under the goal all day so we need someone to come in that has strength,height,and good hands for rebounding and all the alleys that James and Wade will be throwing to him.and I put Steve Nash there because if we let Ronny Turiaf go we will have room for a vertran and whos better than a Steve Nash or Jason Kidd at PG and thats were we really need a veteran so James and Wade can play off of him.
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Some like it hot,
some hate the Heat.
Rhythm defies defeat,
The multi-urban beat,
seeking truth in a dream,
of unlikely heroes.
amid palm trees.
Diversities and imagined glamour,
Media clamor of clowns,
whoever can’t swim will drown,
More than sneakers.
blinding faith fills bleachers,
in Wade County.
Officials yell foul,
Elusive towel never thrown,
as the throne awaits,
The triumph of rings,
calle ocho sings,
Spainglish meets urban legend in a borderless south.
Oh mono lingual booing mouth,
Non- violent redemption served,
in a basket.
CJ Pascal @2012
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