NBA  > General NBA  > Modern era's NBA greatest players: 1) Michael Jordan, 2) Kobe Bryant, 3) LeBron James
June 22, 2013, 10:58 PM
Can we agree on this? Michael Jordan was the best player in NBA history, that is an undeniable fact.

Not only did he play the game at a level no one had ever achieved but he also took the NBA into every corner of the world.

His impact on the NBA was similar to Tiger Wood's take over of Golf. Just amazing. I can't think of any other NBA player who has been able to basically own the NBA fans, unlike Mr. James everybody loved Michael Jordan.

Can we agree on that?

Michael Jordan the greatest ever, no contest, period.

Kobe Bryant has to be the second best player of the modern era, multiple
championships and MVP's, a great -can't stop me player- a legit money player when needed, not a 50/50 clutch type player like the other gentleman IN Miami.

A hand full of rings, including on his thumb, he worthy of his name "BLACK MAMBA"

Last but not least Mr. LeBron James, a great basketball player, a better gentleman, a community hero and a very generous man with the money he has earned, that's undeniable, to put it simply he is a great human being.

Having said that, as of 2013 he is the third best player of the modern era. I'm not saying he won't be the greatest down the road but right now he is not even close to MJ folks.

I believe the media is so hungry to relive the Michael Jordan ratings bonanza that they over hype everything LeBron does.

Is that a fair statement?

Look folks, Mr. James disappears from games, I understand everybody has bad days but he does it with such consistency that it has become part of his game, people actually ask if he is going to show up at game time.

Am I wrong?

As always this is a fans opinion and from what I understand everybody has one and I'm thankful for that.

Enough said.
Comment #1 has been removed
June 23, 2013  11:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Your first statement is wrong.Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest player of all time, and it is not even close...

He was not surrounded by an entire roster of HOFers. Therefore Bill Russell is better.

Comment #3 has been removed
June 23, 2013  05:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Wilt Chamberlain did not play with a roster full of HOFers until he got to the Lakers and he was over 30...Bill Russell played with at least 6 HOFers, and won all those titles...plus Red Auberach was not the racist that the rest of the league was, so he got the best players, regardless of color, he wanted to win.Bill Russell is the greatest Champion of all time, in all sports...but Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest of all time...it is not even close...numbers do not lie

Wilt's numbers are truly astounding.
His numbers remind me of Babe Ruth's numbers in baseball or Wayne Gretzky's numbers in hockey.

June 23, 2013  08:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Wilt's numbers are truly astounding.His numbers remind me of Babe Ruth's numbers in baseball or Wayne Gretzky's numbers in hockey.

Good point....The Babe could not hit vs todays pitchers and the "great one" was given a pass by other player cause he was the ticket.

Comment #6 has been removed
Comment #7 has been removed
June 23, 2013  09:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

But that does not explain Wilt Chamberlain...at 7'1 320 pounds, with a 50 inch vertical leap, and the ability to bench press over 500 pounds...he was just to big and to strong for any other player to deal with...you act like he played against punks, plus in his era, basketball was a contact sport.Wilt Chamberlain was a All-American in track, he participated in the Long jump, high jump, triple jump and ran the 400 in less than 49 seconds...He would dominate in any era.It was not a mistake during the playoffs, that when all of the legends were ask to pick their top five of all time...that 100% of them started with Wilt Chamberlain as their first pick.Michael Jordan could only dominate a game by scoring...Wilt Chamberlain dominated by just being on the floor. Michael Jordan may be the best that you have ever seen...but the Big Dipper is the greatest of all time without doubt, it is not even close..it is like comparingMJ top rebounding game in his career was 18, four less than Wilt Chamberlain's career average...Wilt Chamberlain has not played in over 40 years and is the the leading rebounder in NBA history, with nobody close to breaking that record and once had 55 rebounds in one game...that would be unfathomable in today's game.

Nice job.

June 23, 2013  09:31 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

But that does not explain Wilt Chamberlain...at 7'1 320 pounds, with a 50 inch vertical leap, and the ability to bench press over 500 pounds...he was just to big and to strong for any other player to deal with...you act like he played against punks, plus in his era, basketball was a contact sport.Wilt Chamberlain was a All-American in track, he participated in the Long jump, high jump, triple jump and ran the 400 in less than 49 seconds...He would dominate in any era.It was not a mistake during the playoffs, that when all of the legends were ask to pick their top five of all time...that 100% of them started with Wilt Chamberlain as their first pick.Michael Jordan could only dominate a game by scoring...Wilt Chamberlain dominated by just being on the floor. Michael Jordan may be the best that you have ever seen...but the Big Dipper is the greatest of all time without doubt, it is not even close..it is like comparingMJ top rebounding game in his career was 18, four less than Wilt Chamberlain's career average...Wilt Chamberlain has not played in over 40 years and is the the leading rebounder in NBA history, with nobody close to breaking that record and once had 55 rebounds in one game...that would be unfathomable in today's game.

Ok here is what I'm going to do. I'm going to look up all those figures about his weight, his leaping ability and his bench press than ill give your comment a response...

Comment #10 has been removed
Comment #11 has been removed
Comment #12 has been removed
Comment #13 has been removed
June 24, 2013  06:41 PM ET

Well LBJ at 28 is MORE accomplished than Jordan at 28 (more MVPs, more Finals MVPs, more championships)...

Take it for what it's worth.

June 25, 2013  03:29 PM ET

Well anyone today is most likely going to destroy their counterparts of yesteryear. If that is your methodology, if you put the best in their prime against each other, well your average backup PG of today would likely be a hall of famer had he played 50 years ago.

How I look at it, is dominating your peers of your era. Wilt dominated his peers like no other.


Jordan was dominating too though, but not like wilt. Lebron is doing that today (2 titles, 2 MVP's, 2 finals MVP's, 1 gold medal in the past 13 months).

As for the best between them? Lebron is the most skilled all around player I've seen in the NBA (never saw Oscar Robertson play). But Jordan wouldn't let you lose. He'd step on your throat. And Wilt made it look like they should find a better league to put him in.

I've got Wilt as the best, Jordan as the greatest since he retired (and greatest NBA star), and Lebron currently working on passing Kobe as the greatest since Jordan left the Bulls.

Comment #16 has been removed
July 9, 2013  04:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Wilt Chamberlain did not play with a roster full of HOFers until he got to the Lakers and he was over 30...Bill Russell played with at least 6 HOFers, and won all those titles...plus Red Auberach was not the racist that the rest of the league was, so he got the best players, regardless of color, he wanted to win.Bill Russell is the greatest Champion of all time, in all sports...but Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest of all time...it is not even close...numbers do not lie

Numbers don't lie?

Many basketball experts and fans rank Wilt Chamberlain as one of the greatest (top 10 all-time) but not The Greatest of All-Time. You emphasize "numbers don't lie" as the reason why Wilt is G.O.A.T. But if you compare Wilts numbers to another center, named Kareem Abdul Jabbar, his numbers fall a little lower.

KAJ: 38387 pts / 17440 rbs / 5660 ast / 19x All-Star / 6x MVP / 6x Champion
Wilt: 31419 pts / 23924 rbs / 4643 ast / 13x All-Star /4x MVP / 2x Champion

Michael Jordan is the Greatest of All Time.

Another category in which you try to justify Wilt's GOAT title is by stating his size, strength, and impressive athleticism. If size, strength, and athleticism are variables in determining who the GOAT is in the NBA, then MJ wins by a landslide.

At 6'6" and about 215 MJ accomplished the following numbers in an era against superior athleticism than either Wilt or Kareem played against:

32292 pts / 6672 rbs / 5633 ast / 14x All-Star / 5x MVP / 6x Champion

July 9, 2013  04:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Well anyone today is most likely going to destroy their counterparts of yesteryear. If that is your methodology, if you put the best in their prime against each other, well your average backup PG of today would likely be a hall of famer had he played 50 years ago. How I look at it, is dominating your peers of your era. Wilt dominated his peers like no other. Jordan was dominating too though, but not like wilt. Lebron is doing that today (2 titles, 2 MVP's, 2 finals MVP's, 1 gold medal in the past 13 months). As for the best between them? Lebron is the most skilled all around player I've seen in the NBA (never saw Oscar Robertson play). But Jordan wouldn't let you lose. He'd step on your throat. And Wilt made it look like they should find a better league to put him in. I've got Wilt as the best, Jordan as the greatest since he retired (and greatest NBA star), and Lebron currently working on passing Kobe as the greatest since Jordan left the Bulls.

You make a good point about players dominating their eras.

Jordan dominated during his era (80s-90s) against modern athletes and would have dominated even more back in Wilts era with his athleticism and basketball skills.

I'm not so sure Wilt's career numbers would be where it is or what it is had he played during MJs era (80s-90s). Where would Shaq's career numbers be had he played during Wilt's era? Probably the same or better.

So yes I agree with you about taking into account eras when comparing numbers of players which makes MJs numbers that much more impressive.

Comment #19 has been removed
 
July 9, 2013  04:33 PM ET
QUOTE:

Can we agree on this? Michael Jordan was the best player in NBA history, that is an undeniable fact.Not only did he play the game at a level no one had ever achieved but he also took the NBA into every corner of the world.His impact on the NBA was similar to Tiger Wood's take over of Golf. Just amazing. I can't think of any other NBA player who has been able to basically own the NBA fans, unlike Mr. James everybody loved Michael Jordan.Can we agree on that?Michael Jordan the greatest ever, no contest, period.Kobe Bryant has to be the second best player of the modern era, multiplechampionships and MVP's, a great -can't stop me player- a legit money player when needed, not a 50/50 clutch type player like the other gentleman IN Miami.A hand full of rings, including on his thumb, he worthy of his name "BLACK MAMBA"Last but not least Mr. LeBron James, a great basketball player, a better gentleman, a community hero and a very generous man with the money he has earned, that's undeniable, to put it simply he is a great human being. Having said that, as of 2013 he is the third best player of the modern era. I'm not saying he won't be the greatest down the road but right now he is not even close to MJ folks.I believe the media is so hungry to relive the Michael Jordan ratings bonanza that they over hype everything LeBron does. Is that a fair statement?Look folks, Mr. James disappears from games, I understand everybody has bad days but he does it with such consistency that it has become part of his game, people actually ask if he is going to show up at game time.Am I wrong? As always this is a fans opinion and from what I understand everybody has one and I'm thankful for that.Enough said.

At first glance MJ is the greatest.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Irving: Fans don't deserve the Cavs
    Views
    16467
    Comments
    682
  2. 2
    Red Sox dodged two injury scares
    Views
    3240
    Comments
    503
  3. 3
    D'Antoni's newest 'blunder'
    Views
    741
    Comments
    183
  4. 4
    Trump taking a legit run at the Bills
    Views
    2583
    Comments
    109
  5. 5
    Baseball's top 2015 free agent
    Views
    904
    Comments
    85

SI.com

SI Photos