All right, everybody.
SportsCastr! Welcome back.
Good to be here today, Matt Brooks with Adam.
Are Brecht doing a little bit of reacting Stream as we tend to do over here, talking a little Jalen Rose.
LeBron James Magic Johnson.
Three of the best players ever.
Just two of the best there.
Uh, Jalen Jalen Rose, of course, on ESPN had some some comments on maybe the perception of where these guys are listed in the hierarchy.
So I'm just going to read this quote, get us into it, sort of ease us into it, and then we'll get into the actual meat itself.
Here's what Jalen Rose had to say about LeBron.
I don't think they really crossed over that much.
Maybe the I guess his 1st 2 or so years.
But how? LeBron James leapfrogged number number two.
When you start talking about all time greatness, you start splitting ears amongst these players and I'm gonna name four guys on my Mount Rushmore that haven't achieved Mawr accomplished more than LeBron James.
We need something other than Mount Rushmore, by the way.
We got to do like some other rankings thing.
That's ah, your heads right.
Why I always because it's only It's only got four heads.
Or what a weird number.
Yeah, we should do something else.
We gotta figure out a different thing that Mount Rushmore that have been more dominant.
Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Russell.
All of those guys have things that LeBron James hopes to achieve hopes to achieve.
And then finally, I know he has a chance to win a championship with the Lakers, and if he does so, he will suppress this guy.
But when did LEBRON passed Magic Johnson? Am I missing something? I know He made nine finals in 17 years.
Magic made nine and 12 years.
LeBron has three championships yet three championships.
Magic is the NBA's all time leader in assists, and he was a freak of nature as the only six foot nine point guard in the history of basketball.
Uh oh, yeah, the greatest to ever play that position.
So those are the things that jumped out to me when I saw this list.
How dare you slander the great Michael Carter Williams? He's what, 68? Come on.
Um, yeah, I, uh, very colorful comment just from Jalen Rose.
I like that he's trying to question the narrative of like, Why do we all have the exact same list? It feels like we're always just debating the number one and two.
I think right now the biggest thing just off the jump for me is the longevity thing.
Magic Johnson's career obviously got cut short by the HIV thing, but you know, and that is really outside of its control.
But whether it's fair or not, LeBron James has been so dominant for 17 years.
There's just he's been really unparalleled on this in that way, maybe other than, like a Kareem or, I guess, like a Karl Malone, Carmela never got to this level of being the best in the league.
So, you know, I think that that is something that I think kind of separates these two.
I like the idea of throwing Kareem in the mix there, Um, but that's the only one I would really entertain right now as better than LeBron.
I don't think that much separate.
I mean, I think that he separated himself just with longevity and the success of being the best in the league for so long it argues the best play in the league right now.
Jalen Rose played until I was like, I looked him up real quick here.
He played into the UNWTO 607 But at 33 34 though, he was only giving you.
He only gave you 46 26 29 games over the last three seasons Toronto, New York and Phoenix.
So they overlapped a little bit, but not necessarily in the in the way that Jalen Rose is probably hoping you don't like, though the weird thing to be is these conversations, I guess.
Like like when Kobe was playing, Yeah, right.
Like that was like a C, the Air parents and Michael Jordan.
And then it's kind of like, Well, what pointed? Did Kobe Bryant gets swept? Gets swept out of this type of sweepstakes for this for this possibility.
Now, when you talk about I think LeBron James, a longevity piece, some of it feels like if you stay in front of people's eyes, if you're if you're in eternity the spotlight long enough, then that also extends your credibility.
Um, and when you think about when Magic played right. So Jalen Rose.
He's a little bit older than us.
Obviously, I'm a little bit older than you.
So that's that's a shame as well.
But you know these guys.
They remember Magic Johnson in a different way that I look at mattress and I didn't I didn't remember watching Magic place.
So his perception of him and where he looks at Magic Johnson's different than how I look at Michael Jordan.
By the way that I look at LeBron James, you brought upon Jeffrey and I want it on that for a second.
Like, do you think that longevity Does that mean something, that ad to value? Or do you still think I Yeah, I think you have a runny nose.
If you're on a high level, it's like one thing.
Like I mean, sure, there's a guy that was a net not too pretty long ago.
But Vince Carter cod this back end of his career, where he's been in elite forever.
But he's been basically like of role players since you could even say like since, like, Orlando, I mean, he really liked just hasn't been a huge contributing piece that really especially started, like in Dallas.
I guess then you know that that's a different longevity than what LeBron's doing right now and being in the M V P. Hunt in your 17.
It's like it's kind of unparalleled, honestly so.
But that's okay.
So then, because think about I was thinking about Kobe Bryant at the end of his career, right? Theoretically, and he wouldn't have been.
LeBron James is still doing it.
Aren't like you said, Arguably, could be the best player in basketball right now still, but Kobe could have held on for another few years if he wanted to.
And you would've been somewhere, I think, well below what LeBron is currently doing, but also higher than what Vince Carter has done for the last four seasons.
And then, like, you know, if he goes from I don't know how many years he played 12 or 13 years to 16 years and was still giving you 17 points a game.
So you're talking about possibly, you know, you're patting out your stats by a few 1000 more points and your system rebounds and everything.
Uh, you you forget what the quality of play was for those years once his career is done and you just look at Stax, right? And I got a stats guy like I often I always go toe I go, Let's take a look like how many points did you know? What's his point total First career what? The average procedure, those kind of things.
And I guess, depending on what they're of basketball, you grew up watching cause all I can really think about for magic, especially like I looked at the numbers.
And then that's kind of what I'm going like.
OK, I see what your numbers are, and I've seen enough highlights of him.
But Will Chamberlain's a great example, right? How much? How much tape have you really watched? Ah, Wilt Chamberlain to know what he was.
She was at the highest level of his game, relatives of Michael Jordan relative to LeBron James to Kobe Bryant.
All these guys, you know that.
That to me, I think, is something that in today's age is going to be a lot easier now to qualify, because everything will be do***ented as opposed to 2030 40 years ago.
You just don't have the film data to be able to reference in the same way. Sure, yeah.
And I think that I mean, it's really like I These all time debates air so hard for me because I just like I'm 26 like, I've only I've seen basketball since.
Like what? Do you even know what? I really know? Kobe, LeBron Durant, Kawai.
I mean obviously very good players in this era, but you know, like just like a I when it gets into this sort of a topic like this is something I'm just like I just like me talking about the n b.
A draft like this is just me reacting to YouTube clips because it's not even be giving you real ****ysis, because I think there's something that you lose if you don't watch these guys.
Like, maybe Jalen Rose is right.
And Magic Johnson had that level of control on a game where, you know, I feel like if if a Siri's goes to six games in LeBron James is whether he's on the home floor, the away floor, I think he's gonna win that game 71 of thes.
Arguably, I actually think the stats will tell you that he is the best game seven player in terms of points and efficiencies and stuff like that.
So, um so I think that, like that level of dominance, is like what I think really, really resonates with people is just like feeling like this guy is just unstoppable.
No matter what you really put him in.
The only guy that I think really beats him in that at least that I've seen it now, looking back at it, I'm living through it retroactively, obviously.
But the way that Jordan like, I mean, you look at like the series that they lost.
And I've been listening to a lot of podcasts and stuff like that and watching the do***entary, obviously, that when they lost against the magic, I mean the reaction that you look at the magic they are acting like this is like a championship.
I'm like, That's great right there.
Like that is what I think is is the great ones.
And I think that's where even Jordan separates himself from from LeBron.
But LeBron's in that class where it's like if you beat LeBron, it's a big freakin deal like that's huge.
So what is it? Yeah, well, isn't announce you that, and they talk about.
I feel like we got conversations around after the do***entary as well about because you changed teams now, right? So it's not beating LeBron's Cavs, or even when he first went to Miami, if he had stayed there, and it was just like beating LeBron and even Dwayne Wade.
But, like you're beating the Heat, that is a benchmark for the team in the East.
Say they kept coming up against them and couldn't get over the hump.
We talked about all these great battles between, you know, the Pistons were in the way and then the Bulls come up.
And then the Knicks are trying to knock it their tail a t least the same relative core of players on those teams that are trying to overcome that ******* at the very least, the same superstars on each, everyone of the Patrick you, and every single time, right, you know, it's, Ah, it's Isiah Thomas with the Detroit Pistons.
You don't have that as much now.
And even if you come up, it's like right now in the West, Okay, if you're a team that ends up having to go through LeBron James and leakers, even if you knock him off.
I think it's a big deal because it's LeBron James and he tends to get to the finals when he's in the playoffs.
Obviously, more often than not, but it won't be on the Golden State.
Warriors Couldn't get over the hump of the Houston Rockets.
Couldn't get over the hump of LeBron James.
They haven't seen him seven evenly.
17 years uses never had to go through LeBron James to get anything done.
So you know, I don't know if it'll feel that same way and then on the and then it's also the perception of things off.
Well, now, if you're excused and say you beat the Lakers, would that be the same accomplishment? Because I know LeBron still playing in a high level, but he is in his 17th year and he is more reliant.
You know, all those factors started commented.
I just think it's it's really it's just funny how you can.
You can water down or build something up just based on on how you look and sure, Yeah, exactly what is your perception of it if I if I say that because Michael Jordan only played only played for the Bulls, only the Wizards out of it.
But you know, on Lee played for the Bulls, and even though he has 23 B championships in X amount of time like that's what makes him so valuable. That's what makes it so incredible.
He could have done so much more.
And I wonder if a guy like LeBron ends up even though it's a little high level.
I think it's diminished the ability to compare him to Michael Jordan.
You know, if LeBron it come out when he's able to win shape.
But it's very early in his career, even including the Miami ones, and you get the in Cleveland.
But if you did it over a seven or eight year stretch, it was like That's it.
Even if it was only three or four championships just said, that's That's my legacy Now, Every year that you go and you don't win another championship, it's just another year where that's like we will pivot into excitement.
I'm a numbers man.
Yeah, when we look at the head to head comparison between the between LeBron James and Magic Johnson, so you go season MVP's four for LeBron three for magic.
Okay, but Magic got that.
In 12 seasons, LeBron took him 17 to accomplish it.
Finals MVP's three apiece.
LeBron went to a lot.
Want to love or finals that Magic did not a lot more than actually being in the same boat on the same footing there from upstate.
Uh, I don't have that sort, of course, but yet you're championships or 5 to 3.
Magic Magic does that in 12 seasons.
In 17 years, LeBron's accomplished that.
Ah, you know, playoff playoff periods.
Play the playoffs.
Please excuse me. 13 apiece.
Magic, when every single season of his career never missed an opportunity to go when he was when he was playing All Star games or 16 to 12.
Okay, that you know, that's tit for tat there.
When you start to get some of the other categories because of LeBron's longevity, I will say some notable differences if you want to.
If you want to go.
Jalen Rose's route a realistic debate about when did he overtake Magic? I would point to all defensive first team.
Magic never appears.
They're all defensive team total 60 scoring leader 10 And then you get to the other categories where it's it's magic.
Four times was the assist leader in the league, also the steals leader twice.
You know, those are the back and forth you kind of go with.
But even though LeBron doesn't do it as much as he used to, those defend the defensive side of the court is probably, If you're gonna make that case, maybe where you look to to say now, not in the Mount Rushmore, but just in this long line of MBA greats.
Baby LeBron has just incrementally got himself out ahead of Magic Johnson, even if only for the fact that he's been around long enough to check a couple more boxes.
Yeah, I think that's important.
Like the defense, I guess. A little bit of the scoring.
They mean Selena LeBron developed into a solid three point shooter and was able to like space the floor in that way.
Like I think the other thing like would that really helps a war on is that he's had, like, you almost feel like like Kobe had to define stages.
Young Kobe in the championship, Kobe, uh, where you know they win two years with him and power and guys like that.
LeBron almost had, like three generations of it.
You get LeBron in, you get all this.
You get really long. Young calves.
LeBron, who is just like more physically dominant than anybody.
You get Miami LeBron, who still got that athleticism, but he's also a 20.
These are all separated by him, switching teams.
So maybe that's kind of what we have the lines.
But, um, you have the Miami version of LeBron, whose really, really great from the three point line.
That's the best he's been really, ever is.
When he was shooting that way and look in Miami and he's athletic and he is controlled, the game is really going to come along.
Calves LeBron, which is, you know, he's got great two way moments he control.
The game is getting better and better.
He started to slow the pace on do exactly what he wants and then Lakers LeBron this here.
It's like he's playing out of the post.
He's like, all pick and roll on and just like it's like so many different stages.
He changes game to sort of work and honestly like account for the fact that he's going to lose at least 1/2 a step over time.
You know, he's obviously not running it injuries, but I think that is the case for him.
Do you think that? Do you think that, um, that that is a benefit of having changed teams as he has throughout his career? Because, you know, as opposed to saying Kobe, who stayed there now Kobe is game of all.
Certainly, you know, every I think every player as they start to lose their you know, their legs a little bit starts to transition.
It's a little bit, maybe more of a shooting gamer crevices on it.
But you know, when he goes when LeBron goes to Miami, obviously with Chris Bosh and Dwayne, Well, that's a whole another situation that you're in.
Even when you had briefly had ah shack in Cleveland, rightly, you're forced to make adjustments there.
You go back to Cleveland, then you have Kevin love and you have the other pieces.
So now how do you best serve? You know, the entirety of the team.
Now you go out to the leakers and you have a D, and I think it becomes very easy to say, Oh well, this younger guy who's physically dominant, another level that I that I am, You go ahead and be the bull.
You know, that takes care of things in the paint more, and I'll do some things a little bit differently.
And I just wonder if that's actually to the benefit of the total body of work for LeBron because he has just kind of said Okay, what's the next thing for me? And I also have any personality days can.
I don't know if if a Kobe or a Michael Michael chose to get physically stronger to be the Pistons, but I feel like those guys had a similar mentality and they approach.
My game is my game.
Where is LeBron? Seems very flexible, right? He's very valuable.
If it's better for me to be an assist leader, that's what I'll be If I need to get bowled dominant in a specific game, I'll do that thing that has to come down to his approach to the game.
I don't think he ever he ever came into the league the way Michael did off.
I'm here to take it over.
I think that LeBron is very much a team first oriented kind of guy.
No one is coming out with stories about about LeBron and, you know, and punching people in practice like Wilton that way, which is sort of, I mean, will.
It was like, I don't know if he was doing it as much of a, uh, hard to tell if it was like for the team or if it was just like, Hey, look, I could do everything, but yeah, I think that you because you look at, like, how much one like they didn't win as much, But, uh but no, I think that what you said is important, like he just he change his game over time and like also like in having teams like that's like moving from Team A team.
He's getting a shake up like a completely new roster of year in the way that you don't really get that if you stay with only one team yet you could move around bench pieces, but your main piece, they're going to the same.
The students had, like three different star cores that he's worked with, obviously not as much early on for the cows, but yeah, like in that later Cavs team. They have.
You know, Kyrie and Kevin Love.
And then you have Chris Bosh and and Wade and even e.
I wouldn't call Ray on a star, but he's at least a big name that they added later on.
Then you know a D this year.
So it's He's kind of getting different.
Those are all guys like, If you look at it, there are crazy, different skill sets.
Um, one like Wait is an explosive guard to play next to who honestly, kind of overlaps a little bit.
It's interesting that they need it work together because I do over lack overlap in certain things.
Kyrie is this three point shooting glamorous, whatever, like an one almost player on and then a D is like the guy that I think a lot of people feel like He always never really got the chance to play with this guy.
That could just kill as a role man.
So it's interesting how that's just worked out for him, and I think it's it's also helped him change his game and try different things.
I think that maybe and I I have to do more of a deep dive on magics rosters year to year.
I know that they were made of incredibly talented teams.
And that is probably the is the last caveat that I would throw out there.
When you think about if I want to put LeBron ahead of magic, well, I'll do it and I'll base it on the fact that you mentioned Cleveland.
Those weren't teens early in his career, right? You know, when Michael came into the league, they were like, Okay, you know, we need to do is we're going to get some of the highest level of talent to put him with.
We're gonna give We're going to give Michael Jordan a top 50 all time n b a player to play alongside of him, and then we're going to get a defensive specialist in the second run.
If Cleveland was doing that, even if you just gave Imagine getting the Kevin Love hiree Irving incarnation with LeBron immediately.
Right? What was the 1st 5 to 6 years of that career look like for them relative to what they had there with the Oh, jeez.
Trickled away. That mission.
You think these are the guys that he had to play with.
So and any time that he's been in a situation where he's had some of the higher talent in the league, you seen him Wayne Championship? Yeah, exactly.
And they never been in position for the most or even in those finals appearances, wins or losses.
You've also never been the the one who was expected to win.
And if you go back to the Bulls and you go back to the to the Lakers with magic more often than not, they were the expected champions of league.
It was never really like who this is gonna be, you know, its height matchup for them or 10.
They overcome it.
There were challenges along the way there, but that's also you know, I think a factor to LeBron probably has seen himself on farm or underdog teams than than favorites, as opposed to some of the other Mount Rushmore.
About the perfectly well reference the start of this.
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