OT: Would Jordan have won 6 in a row today?

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KembaStepback

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Yeah not arguing he wouldn’t be among the best athletes in the NBA today. Just saying that the difference in athleticism wouldn’t be as obvious as it was in the 80s and 90s. Instead of going up against SFs like Bird he’d be going up against SFs like Kevin Durant. No disrespect to Larry Bird, but Durant is a different level athletically.
Also no rim protecting Centers like there were then.
 
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Also no rim protecting Centers like there were then.
Yeah, it’s tough to compare them being from different eras. I would agree that Jordan was more dominant in his era than LeBron is in his era. But I’d also say after watching The Last Dance, I think LeBron easily averages 30/10/10 in the 80s and 90s. His toughness, or lack thereof, would hurt him but his athleticism would set him apart.
 

caw

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The hardest part for Jordan to win 6 isn’t the rule differences, or the changes in the style of play.

The hardest part would be the Salary Cap and the way players move around. I can’t imagine any of Pippen or Jordan stay on the Bulls with their relationship with management (esp. Pippen, who also wouldn’t have signed that absurd contract).

People may harp on the league being watered down then vs now, but that plays both ways. Jordan theoretically could have better teammates now 3-15 (he would have to team with Leonard, James or Giannis to have 2 be better than Pippen, IMO).

Jordan at the worst would be like a better, taller Westbrook. Better defender at the least.

It is interesting that the league has shifted to more threes and yet the three best players James 35%, Leonard 37% and Giannis 30% are not really lights out shooters. Not to mention none of them really came into the league as shooters but got better because the league shifted. I have to imagine Jordan would adjust some as well if he entered the NBA as a rookie now.
 

tzznandrew

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Not arguing that, but they were by far the best team in the league for five straight seasons.
And if not for a Durant achilles injury they'd have 4 in 5. They might have done it even without him if Klay were healthy.
 
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I don't think Rodman translates well. A 6'7" guy who'd essentially get tossed out all the time and would be a guy whose defender sag off of?

As good a rebounder and defender as Rodman was, he would really struggle. Everyone guarding him would essentially pack the paint. He was a net negative most years on offense, and he was guarding PFs who weren't as mobile. He was also far more physical than they allow now, and he'd absolutely get suspended way more. In a world where he's chasing mobile 4s or 5s, his rebounding comes down by necessity. And it'd be hard to play him at the 5, though you can imagine him as a Draymond-esque center. The difference there, though, is that Dray could at least keep the paint clear on the offensive end.

Pippen was obviously great. I'm less of a Pippen fan than many on the board, but I obviously think he is a great player.
Rodman would need the exact right spot now just like he did then. Remember Rodman 1.0 came off the bench for the Pistons and that was easily the best use and version of him as an all-around basketball player. He found a niche with the Bulls as his idiosyncrasies (I need attention & rebounds) perfectly fit the circus of a team with Jordan at such a high usage rate and MJ+Pippen accounting for so much of the scoring load. Today he could fit on a team with Westbrook and Harden (ala whathisface) or fulfill the defender role player rebounder off the bench for 20-25/night for a playoff team.
Rodman couldn't be the #3 guy for a team today, but he was only that in terms of attention on the Bulls. And there was plenty of talk back then about how can you play a guy that doesn't score and outright refuses to shoot (answer again only if he's playing with a prolific scorer).
 

KembaStepback

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Yeah, it’s tough to compare them being from different eras. I would agree that Jordan was more dominant in his era than LeBron is in his era. But I’d also say after watching The Last Dance, I think LeBron easily averages 30/10/10 in the 80s and 90s. His toughness, or lack thereof, would hurt him but his athleticism would set him apart.
Lebron is great but he wouldn't score MORE than he does now. And his assists would go down as well. Slower game with fewer possessions. That's the whole point with Jordan. Going to this era he would have even more inflated #s
 
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Was Expansion a myth? I could have sworn 6 teams joined the NBA between 1988 and 1995.
So what? 2 of those teams were in the west btw. Jordan in his time in the East during the playoffs had to face Milwaukee,Boston,Detroit,Indiana,Cleveland,New York and yes an expansion Orlando team that was absolutely loaded. Who exactly did LeBron have to go through? Youre expansion point is irrelevant because its nullified by a weak Eastern conference in the 2000s. Of the last 20 NBA champions 7 came out of the east and of those 7 team 3 were teams with LeBron. That means the West has won 13 of the last 17 NBA titles with 6 coming at the expense of lebron led teams.
 
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nelsonmuntz

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So what? 2 of those teams were in the west btw. Jordan in his time in the East during the playoffs had to face Milwaukee,Boston,Detroit,Indiana,Cleveland,New York and yes an expansion Orlando team that was absolutely loaded. Who exactly did LeBron have to go through? Youre expansion point is irrelevant because its nullified by a weak Eastern conference in the 2000s. Of the last 20 NBA champions 7 came out of the east and of those 7 team 3 were teams with LeBron. That means the West has won 13 of the last 17 NBA titles with 6 coming at the expense of lebron led teams.
Those teams, especially Charlotte, Miami and Orlando, sucked a lot of talent out of the existing teams. If there was no expansion, where would Shaq and Alonzo have ended up? What about all the other players I listed in the earlier posts.

The NBA took the same amount of talent, and split it over 29 teams instead of 23. For all those great players of that era, most of them did not have much of a supporting cast, because the depth and even some of the starters were playing on expansion teams.
 
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The big thing missed in these MJ debates is his speed and strength. He was so explosive and quick for 6’6’ guy. At the same time he was very strong and his body control was amazing. I just don’t see it in anyone else at that high of a level.

Also, I think giving him a penalty for having Harper and Rodman is a little unfair. Both were getting older. Dennis was unreliable. Harper was way past prime. He was slow and always having pain from one thing or another. He was not the old Ron Harper and wouldn’t have been the best player, or even second best, on any team at that point.
 
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There is something that has changed that is also overlooked. Today, it's normal for a star player to leave a city high and dry. Jordan is anything but stupid. He'd be in Boston or Houston and with his charisma, make top dollar in endorsements and still winnning rings left and right.
The ability to build the super teams with 3 stars through free agency just didn't happen back then. And as it was posted before, if the 3 point line was as much as a big deal, he would have worked on that earlier.

Until his athletic peak he was always getting better. He was always working to be better, and obsessively at that.

Today, these rules, no one could guard Jordan. Not that anyone could in his day either.
 
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The legalization of the zone, the evolution of the modern athlete, the luxury tax, and increased ability for players to join forces makes 6 straight nearly impossible.

Golden State looked unbeatable just two seasons ago. This season, they will be a lottery team.

So no.
 
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Crazy to think there was no interest in MJ going into the 98 offseason, sure the lockout had a lot to do with it. Today things would be a lot different could have seen MJ retiring and then pulling a Favre and after a month into retirement.

If he came back with a different team I could see NY, I could also Pat Riley trying to get him on the Heat (has his number retired by the Heat), the Heat were trying to get Sprewell btw. I could also see Dallas going after him. Im thinking big market, going to a contender or a young up and coming team. Wouldve been funny if he went to Utah, the Spurs couldve used him too but I dont see him wanting to play in those markets.
 
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No he wouldn't have unless LeBron did another "The Decision" show and hooked up with Jordan. The GSW teams with Durant are among the greatest of all-time. The way players could force trades and how FA is-- Much more Free Agency teams would've built up until they knocked him off.

Jordan would still be GOAT - the superstars have more power than in the past and they would force Management to load up or force a trade. For example LeBron wouldn't have went back to Cleveland until he won.
 

nelsonmuntz

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There is something that has changed that is also overlooked. Today, it's normal for a star player to leave a city high and dry. Jordan is anything but stupid. He'd be in Boston or Houston and with his charisma, make top dollar in endorsements and still winnning rings left and right.
The ability to build the super teams with 3 stars through free agency just didn't happen back then. And as it was posted before, if the 3 point line was as much as a big deal, he would have worked on that earlier.

Until his athletic peak he was always getting better. He was always working to be better, and obsessively at that.

Today, these rules, no one could guard Jordan. Not that anyone could in his day either.
Actually, the opposite is true on stars coming and going. A player's current team has a huge advantage in re-signing him.

The reason super teams didn't happen back then was that there were not enough star players to do it. Houston tried in the 90's, but Barkley and Drexler were past their prime by that point. Star players like Ewing were making too much bank on their team to leave to go somewhere to build a super team. Shaq did go to be on a super team with Kobe, but that was after Jordan's Bulls were done.


Expansion was a HUGE factor in Jordan's 6 titles. If the NBA added 5 more teams in the next 2 years, and then another 3 teams in 5 years, any Top 5-6 team in the NBA that could hold their core together during that period would become a powerhouse. That is essentially what happened to the Bulls when the NBA added 4 then 2.
 
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Actually, the opposite is true on stars coming and going. A player's current team has a huge advantage in re-signing him.

The reason super teams didn't happen back then was that there were not enough star players to do it. Houston tried in the 90's, but Barkley and Drexler were past their prime by that point. Star players like Ewing were making too much bank on their team to leave to go somewhere to build a super team. Shaq did go to be on a super team with Kobe, but that was after Jordan's Bulls were done.


Expansion was a HUGE factor in Jordan's 6 titles. If the NBA added 5 more teams in the next 2 years, and then another 3 teams in 5 years, any Top 5-6 team in the NBA that could hold their core together during that period would become a powerhouse. That is essentially what happened to the Bulls when the NBA added 4 then 2.
You almost never saw players leaving in their prime then. Players have a lot of power today. They 'force' trades and are able to join other players in their primes. In Jordan's day, teams often sign verterans who were past their prime and hoped for a revival. The Knicks were not the only ones. The 'opt' out clause has contributed to this, too.
 

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