Comments on: 2011 NBA Finals Series Win Probability After Game 2 NBA & ABA Basketball Statistics & History Mon, 21 Nov 2011 20:56:04 +0000 hourly 1 By: cort Fri, 10 Jun 2011 02:36:11 +0000 kareem was also not nearly as friendly with fans and media as johnson, and thus got much worse publicity. he rarely smiled, was muslim and vaguely militant at times, and very serious/touchy. johnson was happy go lucky, never met a camera he didnt like, and enjoyed being the center of attention. lived for it actually. kareem is far more introspective, articulate and intelligent. and publicly surly.
i was thinking of the same passage about johnson and kareem in the macmullan "WTGWO" book too, sean. spot on.
he also had some great battles vs. LA and wilt with milwaukee early in his career, but still played more years for LA than johnson (14-12). sure jabbar "deserves" a statue when compared to some who have gotten them and since they are giving them out a lot nowadays, but i find griping publicly about not having one a bit childish. especially in these times.
one of main the reasons kareem has been passed over for coaching jobs and other NBA positions was his poor PR skill/personality. i think he is still bitter about a lot of things, which is silly when one considers he got to play a game for a living, became rich and famous, got a college scholarship, and had hundreds of people helping him achieve his goals (coaches, trainers, media, PR workers, etc.) who never get a sniff of a statue. i doubt jabbar has never held a "real 9-5" job.
and as great as he was, he isnt even an NBA star if he is 6-7, or even an NBA player if he is 6-4 instead of 7-2. yes he suffered discrimination for his height and skin color, but come on, he has lived a rather charmed life in most respects.

sort of reminds me of how bill russell refused to sign autographs for anyone, even teammates, as a principled player. but long after he retired, he would sign autographs and memorabilia at shows for money. hmm. i know he didnt make the huge money when he played, but i guess he must have needed it badly later in life.
or how guys like hank aaron and oscar robertson dwell on the negatives and seem bitter years later about ill treatment 40-60 years ago. they forget they played a game for a handsome living, benefited greatly from the unheralded grunt work of others (trainers, coaches, fans, media/PR people, etc.), and basically never had to work at a real job. and that they got far more positive treatment than negative. aaron got a lot of positive mail too in his pursuit of ruth's record. yet all you hear about are complaints about some crappy letters he got.
larry bird got death threats at the 1985 finals in LA. did he complain about it ad nauseum? no. i bet 99.99999% of people dont even know that he received the threats.

By: sean Tue, 07 Jun 2011 03:52:36 +0000 I think the Lakers HAVE TO put up a statue of Kareem (and I believe they are)... Getting the statues is a lot to do with politics-----and Kareem doesn't do himself any favors in the personality department, and it's cost him in more ways than one (whether it's appropriate or not).

In 'When the Game Was Ours', it was stated that Kareem wanted to get into business like Magic did after their playing days. Kareem went to Magic for guidance and told Magic that he 'wanted to be like him'...and Magic told him 'no you don't... you have to be on all the time/ you have to be nice/ approachable'... then Magic told Kareem a story about one of his clients and said that the guy years earlier had come to a Lakers game with his son and asked Kareem to take a photo---which Kareem gruffly declined. Magic (who admittedly was NOTHING next to Kareem---might have been his rookie year---offered to pose for a pic. 20 years later, the man is doing business with Magic and says that his kid still has that picture in his home. Magic told Kareem this story and basically said 'that shoulda been YOU... but you're not nice to people'.

I think perhaps it was easy to bypass Kareem in favor of others and that much of the 'bypassing' wasn't rooted in basketball legacy necessarily.

Kareem is getting older, perhaps less surly and more of a sympathetic (with an emphasis on pathetic) character and now maybe they'll throw him a bone.

I think the jerk factor has delayed the statue to this point, though. It happens.

By: huevonkiller Mon, 06 Jun 2011 18:47:32 +0000 I was referring to the early parts of the Laker dynasty, not just Magic's rookie season. Magic was better by his junior season, and from then on he got most of the glory. Jerry West is a scrub compared to Kareem but he has a statue, LA doesn't appreciate Kareem enough and that's because he arrived at the wrong time.

I recognize Kareem had a career before Magic, but Magic is more popular and ranked higher overall. People remember him more because he contributed the most during their dynasty.

If you force someone to have a logical discussion then things change, but people are enamored with the younger superstars in Dynasties.

By: Nick Mon, 06 Jun 2011 17:03:47 +0000 "They may have started as equals but they clearly weren't at the end. "

They didn't start as equals. Kareem was the league MVP Magic's first year. And at the end Kareem was at the end of a career that was played half before Magic ever played a game. The guy had already won championships and MVPs before Magic was out of high school. If you just count the years they played together, Magic was overall better (from about his 4th year on). Kareem's career had a lot more to it than just the time with Magic.

By: huevonkiller Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:33:30 +0000 You're wrong, Magic is frequently seen as just a step below Jordan and ranked Higher than Kareem. People often say Jordan, then Bird or Magic.

He's #4 on the ELO player rater. Intelligent people know he's overrated though Neil Paine even stated how Kobe was better. Kareem was a role player during the Dynasty. They may have started as equals but they clearly weren't at the end.

Eventually the same will happen in Miami, and it happened with Kobe too. People don't even remember Shaq and his 36 PPG 14 RPG in three Finals.

By: Nick Mon, 06 Jun 2011 06:51:08 +0000 Magic being more popular and respected than Kareem is probably mostly because Magic is generally regarded as a great guy off the court and Kareem is considered to be kinda a jerk. Kareem was a better player than Magic, he just happen to play half his career in the least memorable stretch in NBA history.

A few years ago, Pro-Football Reference did a blog post about Jerry Rice that argued he could have made the Hall of Fame twice if you cut his career into halves (both Even/Odd year and first half/second half worked IIRC). They also concluded he is the only player in NFL history this is true of.

My mind now being on this track, I'm kinda curious how the same idea would work out applied to the NBA. Kareem is an obvious choice for consideration for that idea, and I think Russell, Jordan, and probably Wilt would make it, but beyond them, I'm not sure.

Any thoughts? Other than this is really more of a post-season blog topic, I guess.

By: huevonkiller Mon, 06 Jun 2011 03:59:24 +0000 #24 Yeah the entire playoff run is probably more important. I imagine the Superstar order won't really change much.

Luke the youth/importance factor isn't a theory, Magic is more popular and respected than Kareem. It is mostly due to being younger, they were comparable before but Magic was simply more important in the Dynasty. Same thing with Shaq. Kobe can have more rings but he has AI stats during the 3-peat (except in 2001).

By: huevonkiller Mon, 06 Jun 2011 03:55:40 +0000 Why do people act like LeBron didn't reaggravate his injury last year?

All he did was move to a team where he's the best player in the league without having to average 30/8/8 every season in order to contend.

It does have an effect on his health, and that's the priority. At that weight and playing style his career might not be as long as Jordan's and he needs to maximize these seasons. If anything he needs to use up less energy in the regular season, and Wade too. Only the playoffs matter.

There's a reason you don't see swing players at 250+ pounds.

By: sean Mon, 06 Jun 2011 03:28:54 +0000 I don't know what is in LBJ's head or heart---but the move to Miami seems to indicate a concession on his part that being PART of a championship is what was top priority.

I'm not saying that since moving to Miami that he hasn't upgraded his wish list to have him be THE man, e.g., MVP of the Finals--------like Burt Reynolds in 'The End' trying to negotiate down with 'the man upstairs' as he swam closer to safety... but to many LeBron assumed a lesser status in the unwritten code of legends as soon as he left for Miami, just as your new car depreciates in value the moment you drive it off the lot.

So LBJ assumedly accepts that he may not be 'the man' on his own team, at least at some level.

Regarding Bird's non-MVP in the 1981 Finals------Bird WAS the best/ most important player on the Celtics in that series. Maxwell was voted MVP because Bird had a tough shooting series and averaged just 15 ppg, whereas Maxwell averaged 18 ppg + (if my memory is correct) on much more efficient shooting. Problem was with that MVP vote, that Bird led all players (both teams) in steals AND assists for the series AND grabbed 15 rpg, nearly as much as Moses Malone for the series lead in THAT category. Maxwell was the nice secondary player that maybe played over his head------and thus got the sentimental vote. They also needed Maxwell to perform that well to win, but would have been in more dire straits had Bird not done what HE did.

By: Luke M. Sun, 05 Jun 2011 23:51:19 +0000 Huevonkiller - So are you saying that regardless of how many titles (if any) LeBron wins, none of them will matter/"count" unless he's the most important/best player on the team? Essentially that the only players who have "legitimate rings" since 1970 are the Finals MVPs who would be Abdul-Jabbar (2), Barry, Billups, Bird (2), Bryant (2), Chamberlain, Dumars, Duncan (3), Dennis Johnson, Magic Johnson (3), Michael Jordan (6), Moses Malone, O'Neal (3), Olajuwon (2), Parker, Pierce, Reed (2), Thomas, Unseld, Wade, Walton, Jo Jo White, and Worthy. And we'll throw West out because he was on the losing team. So that means no rings for Dr. J, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Jerry Lucas, Dave DeBusschere, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, David Robinson, Manu Ginobili, Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Pau Gasol... You get the idea. It's an interesting way to look at things, but I'm not sure I'd call it the correct way.