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Thread: Jordan vs James: Breaking down and Deep Diving the eras

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    Default Jordan vs James: Breaking down and Deep Diving the eras

    Still today the debate rages on who is better even though both are and will be HOF'rs.

    But seeing how the Laker thread is starting once again a debate about how great LeBron is i decided to do a little digging. I know for myself and few others that Jordon will always remain the greatest player i have seen in the NBA. This coming from a guy who loved Clyde Drexler growing up. While i really have no hate for LeBron and can respect what he has done in his career i just dont see the same greatness and dominance that i saw in Jordan.

    Granted, i havent been as invested in the NBA for quite some time aside from the casual score watching throughout the season. Even now the Nuggets look
    to be on their way to their first ever finals which is exciting for that franchise. But this is also all coming against a player in James that is quite old and not the
    young buck he once was. But it is what it is as they say.

    Before i get into a couple of articles on the subject of how to compare players of different eras one thing that never really gets mentioned and should is the technology available to said players of any era.

    Arguments about taking a player to and from different eras also have to consider the type of sports medicine, athletic training and conditioning that existed in those eras. It would be far easier for a player from the 60's 70's, 80's and 90's to adapt to technology in todays game than in the past.
    Now, onto some of the breakdown provided by https://www.bruinsportsanalytics.com...ra-comparisons

    -3 Point Shooting

    The style of play in the NBA has undergone drastic changes throughout history due to significant rule changes, technological advancements, and new players and teams that have revolutionized the game. One major rule change was the introduction of the three-point line in the 1979-80 season, which has dramatically changed the game of basketball. While the game didn’t see drastic changes right away with everyone having to adapt to the new rule, the three-point shot now dominates today’s game. The following graph shows the steady increase in three-point volume over time, with the increase becoming more significant in recent years.
    Teams like the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors have generated a lot of success within the past decade by running small-ball lineups and shooting a high volume of three-point shots, which has inspired other teams to follow suit.




    -Offenses are faster now


    As the game became more controlled and pace naturally declined, it eventually reached a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s that was known as a “dead-ball era” characterized by physical defense and grind-it-out offense. There was a lot of isolation basketball where teams sought out one-on-one opportunities. One reason for this was because of illegal defense rules that made it such that defenders had to be near the offensive player they were guarding, making zone defense impossible and restricting help defense. Because of the slow pace and physical brand of basketball, games during this time were extremely low scoring.
    As pace increases and there are more possessions in each game, the games become higher scoring, as depicted by the following graphs.
    (See article Link)


    -Adjusting stats from players of different eras

    Because we cannot directly compare the stats of players who played in different eras due to changes in the style of play, we have to find a way to adjust each player’s stats based on the season they played in such that they are all generalized.
    True shooting percentage effectively assesses a player’s efficiency shooting the ball by adjusting for three-pointers and free throws.








    While the adjustment does not significantly alter a player’s stats, it makes the stats comparable with other players from different eras to account for changes in pace and style of play. From the first graph, it looks like the player stats all become relatively close despite how different some of the eras were in terms of play style.


    -Klay Thompson vs Reggie Miller argument

    Klay Thompson was a notable snub from the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team and many people argued that Klay deserved Miller’s spot on the list because Klay boasts a higher career scoring average and higher career shooting percentage to go along with his four championships. However, Miller played much of his career during the dead-ball era, so his real performance is much more impressive than what his general statistics may suggest, especially compared to the numbers that modern-day players are putting up day-in and day-out.

    -Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James

    Another way we can compare players from different eras is by analyzing how much a player dominated their respective era and comparing different players’ level of dominance. The way we can do this is by finding the league average player stats for a given season and finding the standard deviation for each of the stats,


    This graph suggests that Kobe Bryant scored the most, LeBron James was the most well-rounded, and Michael Jordan was the most efficient scorer.

    Using this method, let’s compare the age-27 seasons of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant. Between Jordan, LeBron, and Kobe, there’s a lot of debate about who is the “GOAT” but it’s hard to reach a consensus decision because they played in different eras.

    -Conclusion

    While the comparison between players across eras will never be perfect, we can attempt to make them as accurate as possible by adjusting their stats to account for changes in the NBA’s style of play or comparing their relative dominance by analyzing how much a player dominated their respective era. However, much more should be taken into consideration than just points, rebounds, assists, and shooting percentages. Ideally, we would dig into more advanced stats and consider other factors like defense and team contributions to make these comparisons even more in-depth. Still, the two analysis methods we performed can provide a lot of additional insight about how players from different eras stack up. The next time a new record is broken or a cross-era comparison emerges, it’s important to first consider the evolution of basketball before jumping to conclusions.


    -John Wall's Take on the current NBA

    He admits a big difference is a switch-everything mentality that now prevails across the entire NBA, which makes it easier for everyone and is in some way the most prominent sign for the "positionless" basketball that everyone started talking about a few years ago.
    Wall has seen it all during his time in the NBA and noticed the change in how basketball is played, where versatility is the key attribute most coaches and GMs are looking for in players on their team.

    Wall doesn't take anything away from the players from this era but believes things are much easier for them nowadays than for his generation. In that sense, he is not only reflecting on the NBA players but college players as well, who are just copying what they see from the pros, and both of these systems are aligned more than ever before.

    The players' mindset has changed as well, and most guys, according to Wall, couldn't adapt if they had to sit on the bench and get limited minutes on the floor. Everyone wants to play, and now teams use more players per game, unlike before, when coaches would play 8,9 players max.
    If you regularly watch the games, you can see that players often ask for a pick-n-roll to get a favorable matchup because that gives them the biggest chance to exploit the defender. Even teams that have good defenders often just decide to switch everything because it's much more manageable.

    That brings us to the point of why some fans believe defense is no longer played in the NBA, and there is a notion that it's much easier to score now than ever before in the league's history. Trends in basketball change every decade or so, and it will be interesting to see how long we'll see this system in place before something else comes along that will switch the paradigm that is now in play for most teams in the NBA and college as well.
    https://www.basketballnetwork.net/la...nto-the-league
    Last edited by Northman; 05-21-2023 at 02:47 PM.

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    Jordan is the GOAT, there is no debate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davii View Post
    Jordan is the GOAT, there is no debate
    This is the worst take regarding this debate. Obviously there is a debate, because it's literally the most hotly debated sports topic that exists. Just because you feel sure it's MJ doesn't mean it's not a debate. It's clearly a debate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoWave View Post
    Obviously there is a debate, because it's literally the most hotly debated sports topic that exists.
    I'll keep looking, but this was the first google hit.

    https://www.presentationskills.me/de...-about-sports/

    MJ vs. LeBron doesn't appear on the top 25 debate topics about sports.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Otoh, Bleacher circa 2011 has at #8 of 30

    "Will LeBron Ever Touch Jordan?"

    But that's not the same. It points to debate, though.

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/...ates-in-sports
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Aite, LWOS sports has it on a shortlist. (circa '22)

    "LeBron vs Jordan

    Ahhhhh… You didn’t think I’d leave out what many consider is atop the best sports debates of all time, did you? Another comparison that isn’t fair to either involved, the Michael Jordan vs LeBron James debate has polarized even the most knowledgeable basketball fans."

    https://lwosports.com/2022/07/14/bes...o-one-can-win/
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Deadspin from 2023 has it as the headline...

    https://deadspin.com/great-debates-b...ime-1850224801
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    I'll keep looking, but this was the first google hit.

    https://www.presentationskills.me/de...-about-sports/

    MJ vs. LeBron doesn't appear on the top 25 debate topics about sports.
    According to this writer who thinks two of the top 3 sports debates are "should genetically modified athletes be allowed?" and "should natural grass fields be mandatory?" Yeah those are definitely the hot sports debates I see happening daily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoWave View Post
    According to this writer who thinks two of the top 3 sports debates are "should genetically modified athletes be allowed?" and "should natural grass fields be mandatory?" Yeah those are definitely the hot sports debates I see happening daily.
    OMG #6: "Is There Too Much Emphasis Placed on Winning in Sports?"

    Yeah this person has 100% never watched sports or discussed sports with a sports fan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoWave View Post
    According to this writer who thinks two of the top 3 sports debates are "should genetically modified athletes be allowed?" and "should natural grass fields be mandatory?" Yeah those are definitely the hot sports debates I see happening daily.
    Take it up with Google? Your claim that it was the hottest sports debate struck me as one that needed support, so I looked. That first hit is a list of more cerebral ones, like college essay prompts, and not 'hot' so I agree.

    Is there too much emphasis on winning in sports? That's actually a damned good question.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting
    "You know cos I just lost my parents--both my parents died in the same year...to this day, people come up to me and say 'my dad died and that album really meant a lot to me,' which is very nourishing {pats heart} for a songwriter to hear that your songs have a utility beyond just their own solace, that it actually helps other people."

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    The bigger crime was Chris Mullin not being on the 75th anniversary team.
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    All must hail NostraTimmy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoWave View Post
    According to this writer who thinks two of the top 3 sports debates are "should genetically modified athletes be allowed?" and "should natural grass fields be mandatory?" Yeah those are definitely the hot sports debates I see happening daily.
    The only people I know that think there is a debate on MJ vs LBJ are here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Take it up with Google? Your claim that it was the hottest sports debate struck me as one that needed support, so I looked. That first hit is a list of more cerebral ones, like college essay prompts, and not 'hot' so I agree.

    Is there too much emphasis on winning in sports? That's actually a damned good question.
    That seems debate worthy. Have you started the thread yet? I say no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy! View Post
    The bigger crime was Chris Mullin not being on the 75th anniversary team.
    Valid point but funny thing about that 75th Anniversary team also is that some people wanted Thompson over Miller instead of Pippen. While Scottie was good i didnt think he was as good or as valuable as Reggie was to the Pacers. So i mean if they were going to sacrifice a player on that list it probably would have been Pippen for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Take it up with Google? Your claim that it was the hottest sports debate struck me as one that needed support, so I looked. That first hit is a list of more cerebral ones, like college essay prompts, and not 'hot' so I agree.

    Is there too much emphasis on winning in sports? That's actually a damned good question.
    I'm basing my stance here on real world experience, not on which website paid the most for SEO.

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