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Author Topic: Magic Johnson alternate universe
A Gene Wilder Somersault
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quote:
Originally posted by tamalie from MN:
Magic still had some elite to near elite seasons left in him, but the 1990-91 Lakers were the #3 seed in the West that year, behind the Blazers and the Spurs while not finishing too far ahead of the Suns and Jazz. This was a last hurrah type of team. I don't see any NBA Finals appearances in their future had an HIV free or HIV positive but unaware of it Magic stayed on for a few more seasons.

The 1990-91 Lakers had the third best record in the NBA (58-24) behind only Portland and Chicago and were in their first year under a new head coach. I honestly see no reason why they couldn't have improved in 1991-92, especially considering that Worthy and Scott produced good numbers even without Magic in 1991-92.
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merc
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quote:
Originally posted by Pbhero:
Bird complained...LeBron complains...Barkley...Duncan....Robinson...Isiah Thomas...Magic...Kareem....Stockton....

Name one superstar that DOESN'T complain almost every time?

Probably another thread.

They all complain they were fouled...and complain that they didn't commit a foul...it's just some are more publicized than other...or complain too loudly.

It's gotten worse...much, much worse. The palms up, wide eyed stare of disbelief started in the Jordan era. Could have been Magic and his magnetic personality, but somewhere in there.

Watch a late 70/early 80 game, those behaviors were met with one vertical hand and one horizontal hand both from a man in black & white stripes who brought them together with a death stare. Rudolph, Garetson, Strom...they thought they were part of the show.

[ 03-16-2017, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: merc ]

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HEN from MS
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quote:
Originally posted by chgowolvs44:
quote:
Originally posted by Herd72:
An interesting story, I attended UNC grad school while Jordan was there and am a huge Jordan fan, that being said ... I heard an interview once with Bird and Magic post playing days where the announcer asked them who the greatest player ever was ... Their answer after some discussion was it is some guy no one ever heard of on an inner city playground or a farm lot that will never be "discovered" and go to college or the NBA. They both said they had played against guys in pick up games that beat them soundly. A very interesting perspective I thought.

I've heard the "unknown Rucker Park type guy" thing before. It may be true, we'll never know.
Just for clarification, Earl Manigault, for example, is a real person. That said, a lot of incredibly talented basketball players are never seen by the right people because their high school play or exposure is limited or they never play college basketball.

On the original topic, I really like Curt Injurker's initial analysis. I agree that having a productive and continually evolving and game-revolutionizing Magic on the roster affects internal personnel and external free agency decisions. Just imagine how Magic would have changed his game and evolved again if Charles Barkley joined the Lakers roster. He was that great. And I think that would have likely cut into one or more of the Bulls or Rockets championships.

As for the topic about greatest of all time, which is completely separate because I think it's an individual recognition, not always reflected in team success - Michael Jordan is still the best player I have watched.

--------------------
"Yip!" -- Jumpin' Jeff Farmer

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chgowolvs44
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quote:
Originally posted by HEN from MS:
quote:
Originally posted by chgowolvs44:
quote:
Originally posted by Herd72:
An interesting story, I attended UNC grad school while Jordan was there and am a huge Jordan fan, that being said ... I heard an interview once with Bird and Magic post playing days where the announcer asked them who the greatest player ever was ... Their answer after some discussion was it is some guy no one ever heard of on an inner city playground or a farm lot that will never be "discovered" and go to college or the NBA. They both said they had played against guys in pick up games that beat them soundly. A very interesting perspective I thought.

I've heard the "unknown Rucker Park type guy" thing before. It may be true, we'll never know.
Just for clarification, Earl Manigault, for example, is a real person. That said, a lot of incredibly talented basketball players are never seen by the right people because their high school play or exposure is limited or they never play college basketball.

On the original topic, I really like Curt Injurker's initial analysis. I agree that having a productive and continually evolving and game-revolutionizing Magic on the roster affects internal personnel and external free agency decisions. Just imagine how Magic would have changed his game and evolved again if Charles Barkley joined the Lakers roster. He was that great. And I think that would have likely cut into one or more of the Bulls or Rockets championships.

As for the topic about greatest of all time, which is completely separate because I think it's an individual recognition, not always reflected in team success - Michael Jordan is still the best player I have watched.

I meant "that guy" might be the best basketball player ever, but we'll never know. Not that "that guy" didn't actually exist.

--------------------
"A spokesman for the NYPD said the police were exercising their right to defend themselves from charging protesters who...were armed with dangerous ideas" Keith Olbermann RE:NYPD over reaction to OWS protests

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tamalie from MN
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quote:
Originally posted by A Gene Wilder Somersault:
quote:
Originally posted by tamalie from MN:
Magic still had some elite to near elite seasons left in him, but the 1990-91 Lakers were the #3 seed in the West that year, behind the Blazers and the Spurs while not finishing too far ahead of the Suns and Jazz. This was a last hurrah type of team. I don't see any NBA Finals appearances in their future had an HIV free or HIV positive but unaware of it Magic stayed on for a few more seasons.

The 1990-91 Lakers had the third best record in the NBA (58-24) behind only Portland and Chicago and were in their first year under a new head coach. I honestly see no reason why they couldn't have improved in 1991-92, especially considering that Worthy and Scott produced good numbers even without Magic in 1991-92.
I'm not suggesting the Lakers with Magic would have been the 43-39 team they wound up being. They'd still have been a low 50s to mid 50s win team. However, I look at that roster the Lakers were heading into the 1991-92 season and to me they didn't look demonstrably better than the year before and the rest of the West was rising. I see a conference semi-finals to finals, and maybe an NBA Finals, but not a title and then diminishing returns into the next few seasons with the Lakers starting to get surpassed by the likes of the Spurs, Suns, the Blazers until Clyde left, and Houston.
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Knoxvillain
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Thirty pounds overweight, hadn't put on the purple and gold in over 4 years, 36 years old. Still dominates.

19pts-10ast-8rbs in 27 minutes.

http://www.lakersnation.com/throwback-thursday-magic-johnson-makes-a-comeback-in-1996/2013/12/12/

If Magic never gets HIV, the Lakers simply retool instead of rebuild. Jerry West works a little front office magic, gives some poor team a royal screwing and they leave thinking they got the better deal.

The real question would have been if Magic's creaky knees could hold up. If they could, the Lakers and Bulls wind up swapping titles in the early 90s. Just like they did with the Sixers, Celtics,and Pistons.

For all the allocades(tm Lex Luger)bestowed on Jordan, people overlook the fact that he never faced another great team in the finals. Not his fault, but the Jazz were the best of the lot and nobody is going to rank them among the all time great teams.

The Lakers had key injuries to Scott and Worthy and were a ghost of the Showtime glory years.


Portland lost the previous WCF to the afforementioned Ghost of Showtime in 6 games and would never make another finals appearance.

Pheonix, Barkley had the game, but he didn't have the attitude needed to lead a team to a title. Another one hit wonder there to do the job for Nike...I mean Mike

94-95- Michael loses his smile and his behind to the bookies/casinos, if you believe that sort of thing. It should be noted that without the undisputed GOAT, the hapless 94 Bulls only won 55 games and came within a hair of making the finals.

Seattle, yet another team comes out of the west to take on the world's greatest sneaker salesman/sports drink merchant. This highly talented, highly volitile team puts up a fight but falls in 6, never to make another finals appearance.

The Utah Jazz, the best team Michael Jordan beat, and he did it twice. Nevermind the fact that they were the very definition of "pretty good". Years of consistency and persistence pay off for Stockton and Malone as they finally make the finals only to be met by a team that was really good......Twice.

To put in a wrestling context the Bulls had 6 world title matches, in which they beat:

A 50 year old Ric Flair
Ronnie Garvin
Razor Ramon
Bad News Brown
Arn Anderson X2

Whereas the Showtime Lakers went 5-4 against Dr. J, Larry Legend, The Bad Boys, and MJ. In wrestling terms, those are Wrestlemania main events vs the Bulls B-show schedule.

Jordan was great, but not the cut and dried, undisputed GOAT. You can make a solid argument for several other players. Jordan benefitted greatly from a league that was watered down by adding 6 expansion teams prior to and during his run. The Nike hype machine and 24/7 highlights on ESPN really picking up in the 90s.

Mostly though, by a league that depended on his popularity to pop the houses/ratings. A few favorable calls here, a couple of rule changes there , no big deal. The NBA had lost Larry, Doc, Kareem and Magic in about a 5 year stretch. They still had Mike, better get him a ring collection on par with Magic and Larry. Keep him from "Pete Rosing" himself by any means necessary, push him to the moon and ride that money train until the wheels fall off.

They did and now most people forget that there was basketball prior to 1991.

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Pbhero
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I hope nobody thinks Drexler could have ever led a team past Jordan....not in a million years....

That guy was the most shook player I've ever seen...after embarrassing himself trying to copy the Air Jordan dunk at the dunk competition...and failing each time miserably...probably one of the biggest mental meltdowns I've ever seen...bigger than John Starks...on the Greg Norman level. He never was seen as a peer of Jordan again...at least not by Jordan...or anyone else.

The Blazers were never going to beat the Bulls with the way the teams were stacked up.

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Knoxvillain
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quote:
Originally posted by Pbhero:
I hope nobody thinks Drexler could have ever led a team past Jordan....not in a million years....

That guy was the most shook player I've ever seen...after embarrassing himself trying to copy the Air Jordan dunk at the dunk competition...and failing each time miserably...probably one of the biggest mental meltdowns I've ever seen...bigger than John Starks...on the Greg Norman level. He never was seen as a peer of Jordan again...at least not by Jordan...or anyone else.

The Blazers were never going to beat the Bulls with the way the teams were stacked up.

The fact that Drexler was not on a Jordan/Magic/Kobe level was established when he was at Houston during the NCAA title game vs NC State.

You put either of those three on that Houston team and the clock strikes midnight on Cinderella/NCSt. Probably by 20 points or more. Clyde comes out, pisses himself and takes himself out of the game with foul trouble early in the first half, leaving his team rudderless. Clyde was an immensely talented player, but he wasn't an assassin. Magic, Kobe, and Jordan were and the bigger the stage, the better.

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Knoxvillain
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quote:
Originally posted by HEN from MS:
quote:
Originally posted by chgowolvs44:
quote:
Originally posted by Herd72:
An interesting story, I attended UNC grad school while Jordan was there and am a huge Jordan fan, that being said ... I heard an interview once with Bird and Magic post playing days where the announcer asked them who the greatest player ever was ... Their answer after some discussion was it is some guy no one ever heard of on an inner city playground or a farm lot that will never be "discovered" and go to college or the NBA. They both said they had played against guys in pick up games that beat them soundly. A very interesting perspective I thought.

I've heard the "unknown Rucker Park type guy" thing before. It may be true, we'll never know.
Just for clarification, Earl Manigault, for example, is a real person. That said, a lot of incredibly talented basketball players are never seen by the right people because their high school play or exposure is limited or they never play college basketball.

On the original topic, I really like Curt Injurker's initial analysis. I agree that having a productive and continually evolving and game-revolutionizing Magic on the roster affects internal personnel and external free agency decisions. Just imagine how Magic would have changed his game and evolved again if Charles Barkley joined the Lakers roster. He was that great. And I think that would have likely cut into one or more of the Bulls or Rockets championships.

As for the topic about greatest of all time, which is completely separate because I think it's an individual recognition, not always reflected in team success - Michael Jordan is still the best player I have watched.

Read up on Joe "The Destroyer" Hammond, turned down a Lakers contract because he was making more slinging drugs.
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Tatsuya
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I think the famous Rucker game that pitted Hammond against Dr. J and the 1992 Dream Team scrimmage are the 2 games non-NBA/non-NCAA games I really want to see. Apparently the video of the entire Dream Team scrimmage is out there according to Jack McCallum.

Went to Jr high with a dude that was of that ilk. Dropped 50 pts in his first HS game (didn't go to same high school as him so never saw him again after JHS but his name was always in the papers as the NY Post had a HS section). According to guys that knew him in the neighborhood, dropped out of HS before his first year was over (it was technically his sophomore year since our JHS had the option to stay in the 9th grade) and ended up in jail. Guy's floor was D1 college and possibly even NBA

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Vulture
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The Bulls almost making the finals after Jordan's first retirement doesn't really say to me that Jordan wasn't the Babe Ruthian player that he was. Who do you think elevated Pippen's game so much? Part of Jordan's greatness was his ability to cultivate and elevate his teammates play. He could also be an ******* and a bully, but those who cracked under the pressure weren't going to stay on the team. Jordan wasn't just focused on his own play, he was doing everything he could to cultivate a winning team.

And much of Jordan's greatness was also his ability to get in his opponent's mind. Barkley freely admits thinking he was the best player in the world until Jordan got in his head and shook his confidence in the finals.

Think of the way Fedor's opponents were never the same after losing to Fedor in his prime. If Jordan doesn't take Drexler and Barkley down a notch, would we still be remembering them and their teams as not on par with the teams the showtime Lakers beat? Or does Barkley have a longer prime?

And the only reason the Jazz aren't remembered as on par with other all time great teams is because they never won a ring thanks to Jordan. Malone was a beast, with his size and strength and finesse, and Stockton is one of the all time greats.

[ 03-24-2017, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: Vulture ]

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Gabba Hey
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Jordan was a total ***** But that's how he got it done. He called wil Perdue "Vanderbilt" cause he wasn't good enough to to play in the Big 10. He got the most out of the players he had. Best ever!

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Im your huckleberry - Tombstone -- Sometimes to beat the bully. you have to be the bully. Michael Jordan. vs the Pistons

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