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Old 07-16-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Long Island,New York
8,163 posts, read 13,186,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
I mentioned Bird in another thread about the top 10 players. I think he's a fantastic player......but.....things have changed A LOT at the 3 position.

-Guys have 7 foot wingspans, 40 inch verticals. There's more athleticism in general at the 3 spot. There are more young guys in the league than when Bird was playing (i.e. straight out of highschool, or limited college).

Right now,

Lebron - 26
Durant - 22
Melo - 27

I think you can boil it down to, Bird has an athletic disadvantage, at a time when there are younger, quicker player coming in the league. I think the Josh Smiths of the world would neutralize much of Birds advantage. More so than Nash.

I think there's a bigger difference between putting Bird in the 2000's vs Lebron, Melo or Smith than Nash in the 80's, vs Isiah, Mark Price or KJ. The 80's pg's weren't really explosive, they were playmakers with great court vision (like isiah). Very similar to Nash.

Was there anyone in the 80's who could cover Bird the way Josh Smith would today? Probably not. King, English, Nique were completely different defensively. There are more problems for Bird now, even with a high IQ and fundamentals. Players with Durants wingspan use to be power forwards or centers.

Would you agree, there are more "freakish" wingspans in the league now, vs Bird? (I.e. Rudy Gay, 7'3 wingspan, 6'8). Conseratively, I think his numbers would get knocked down at least a few points.
Can't agree with the wingspan comment. Stanley Roberts had a wingspan a while back of 7'7" and he wasn't a 7 footer either.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:38 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancet71 View Post
Can't agree with the wingspan comment. Stanley Roberts had a wingspan a while back of 7'7" and he wasn't a 7 footer either.
How many guys who would have guarded Bird in the 80's had a large wingspan? Its hard to believe with their vertical leaps, blocking ability, they wouldn't be able to contest more of his shots. There was no one like lebron or 6'9 smith covering bird in the 80's. It would be interesting to watch.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:12 AM
 
4,749 posts, read 3,609,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
How many guys who would have guarded Bird in the 80's had a large wingspan? Its hard to believe with their vertical leaps, blocking ability, they wouldn't be able to contest more of his shots. There was no one like lebron or 6'9 smith covering bird in the 80's. It would be interesting to watch.
I think you're focusing too much on perceived size and athletic differences. Due to more year-round physical training in all pro sports, I think there's probably some increase in size and strength, but I still think that Bird would have found a way to be a highly effective player. He was an extremely intelligent player, who would have worked well with the teammates around him to get open and hit three points or triple pump fakes. The guy worked the court like a chess player, and he was always a step ahead of his defenders.

If you want to raise questions about how Bird would do in today's game, shift the focus elsewhere. As I mentioned earlier, one question is, how well would Bird do on another team, though I think that was rebutted pretty well by one of the previous posters. Another legitimate question is, how would Bird perform in an era when there was a lot more emphasis on defense. Michael Jordan and Pippen were able to break down defenses during the era when defense may have been its fiercest. Bird probably would have been able to do the same, if he had the right complement of players and coaching. Would he have won three titles? Hard to say. If he didn't win three titles, would he still be remembered as being as great as he was? Hard to say.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Long Island,New York
8,163 posts, read 13,186,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
How many guys who would have guarded Bird in the 80's had a large wingspan? Its hard to believe with their vertical leaps, blocking ability, they wouldn't be able to contest more of his shots. There was no one like lebron or 6'9 smith covering bird in the 80's. It would be interesting to watch.
Considering who guys like Lebron cover, they would have a hard time covering Bird. Bird could hit from anywhere and was solid from the line. Nowadays good players go to the line more, so Bird's numbers might have been better in todays game.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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Yall act like Bird was the greatest of all time.

Sure he would be better than most today but I don't think he would be the best in the whole league.

A bunch of Bird fans in here.

Bird was a better shooter than Magic but Magic was and will always be a better passer than Bird.

Keep in mind that Bird's greatness was also due to being in a great system in Boston.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post


I think there's a bigger difference between putting Bird in the 2000's vs Lebron, Melo or Smith than Nash in the 80's, vs Isiah, Mark Price or KJ. The 80's pg's weren't really explosive, they were playmakers with great court vision (like isiah). Very similar to Nash.
Isiah was explosive..have you seen that guy's speed? Kevin Johnson was explosive, so was Tim Hardaway. Payton was a great athlete....I think we're thinking of 'explosive' in terms of guys who can jump out of the gym like a Derrick Rose. The 90's saw quite a few explosive point guards who Stockton played against, especially in terms of speed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIP72 View Post
I'm trying to figure out how guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony are dramatically more athletic and skilled than guys like Julius Erving and Dominique Wilkins.
They really aren't....Durant and Melo, or Pierce, Deng, Granger, and the like don't touch Dr.J or Nique athletically. The only elite small forward on the level of those guys is Lebron....Rudy Gay maybe.... Josh Smith is a great athlete too.... skills and IQ are several notches below though. I think people forget that 40 year old Michael Jordan was scoring on guys younger and more athletic than him. Bird, mentally, is AT least on Jordan's level in terms of his mastery of the game.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:06 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 3,609,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Jack22 View Post
Yall act like Bird was the greatest of all time.

Sure he would be better than most today but I don't think he would be the best in the whole league.

A bunch of Bird fans in here.

Bird was a better shooter than Magic but Magic was and will always be a better passer than Bird.

Keep in mind that Bird's greatness was also due to being in a great system in Boston.
I don't think Bird was the best in the game even in his time, but he was definitely among the best. It's actually hard to say who the best was when Bird was playing. In the years before Jordan's arrival in 1984-1985, we had Dr. J and Kareem AbdulJabbar but both were at the end of their careers, and you can't really compare KAJ to Bird anyway.

Magic is probably the best person to put up against Bird, and I would agree that Magic probably had a slight edge on Bird in terms of quickness, but the difference is slight. Both Magic and Bird were great, great players.

Once MJ arrived, the discussion changes. The first few years Michael was a scoring machine but not necessarily a killer. But around 1989 and 1990, the transformation began. By 1991, Michael was the undisputed best player in the game. By the time of his second retirement in 1998, he was arguably the best non-center man ever to play basketball.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
2,295 posts, read 2,150,025 times
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Even today there is a lot more to being successful than being the better athlete. Look no further than the 2011 NBA Finals? Which team had the better athletes? Which team dominated?
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,180,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenfriedbananas View Post
I think you're focusing too much on perceived size and athletic differences. Due to more year-round physical training in all pro sports, I think there's probably some increase in size and strength, but I still think that Bird would have found a way to be a highly effective player. He was an extremely intelligent player, who would have worked well with the teammates around him to get open and hit three points or triple pump fakes. The guy worked the court like a chess player, and he was always a step ahead of his defenders.

If you want to raise questions about how Bird would do in today's game, shift the focus elsewhere. As I mentioned earlier, one question is, how well would Bird do on another team, though I think that was rebutted pretty well by one of the previous posters. Another legitimate question is, how would Bird perform in an era when there was a lot more emphasis on defense. Michael Jordan and Pippen were able to break down defenses during the era when defense may have been its fiercest. Bird probably would have been able to do the same, if he had the right complement of players and coaching. Would he have won three titles? Hard to say. If he didn't win three titles, would he still be remembered as being as great as he was? Hard to say.
Some of the perception is reality. Josh Smith, is already the youngest player to reach 500 blocks and 1,000.

The wingspan issue is very legitimate. How many guys like Tayshaun prince were in the league when Bird was playing? Not very many. Not like now.

Guys with strength can run much faster now...the whole training, conditioning aspect has changed. Who were the most athletic forwards in the 80's? Tom Chambers? Detlef Schrempf? Compare that to Dwight Howard. Some of the guys from the 80's would get run out of the building today.

-I think Isiah and Nash's court vision and playmaking abilities are very similar. KJ and Hardaway were fast, I dont know if you'd call them explosive by todays standards...i.e. derrick rose, or a guy who almost jumps out of the building. Mark price wasn't explosive.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
2,295 posts, read 2,150,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
Guys with strength can run much faster now...the whole training, conditioning aspect has changed. Who were the most athletic forwards in the 80's? Tom Chambers? Detlef Schrempf? Compare that to Dwight Howard. Some of the guys from the 80's would get run out of the building today.
Again, being the most athletic player does not mean being the most successful.

I once again introduce into evidence the 2011 NBA Finals. Which team had the better athletes? Which team won?
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