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NBA Offseason Reading

Any Basketball fan gets really bored each year at this time as our main leagues take their hiatus for the off season. As always, we all go searching for some articles or features to read and share with others, or just get comfy watching the Classic NBA games on!!

This off season, I’ve been keeping tabs on a Yahoo! series about “Whose NBA Career is Better?” and the latest post last week tipped my interest over the edge leading me to create this post to just ensure that:

a. I can easily share it with all of you!!
b. I get a chance to add any comment of my own I feel relevant!! I won’t go into such depths as the chaps at Yahoo! have done, but happy to add a one or two liner to round these out.

Shaquille O’Neal vs Hakeem Olajuwon

I think this is the toughest to pick of them all. Olajuwon played during a truly great era for the Centre position and as such, perhaps some of his achievements are slightly restricted. Whereas Shaq had run of the C position for nearly a decade after Olajuwon, Ewing and Admiral all started to decline. Still I agree with Yahoo! in finding Shaq had the better career, more Championships and he truly did force rule changes in the league to combat his size and style of play.

Patrick Ewing vs David Robinson

Robinson wins here, with a bit of a gap back to Ewing. MVP’s and Championships rule and Ewing unfortunately came up empty. Great career and generational Centre, pity there were three of them in their prime at the same time for Ewing.

Pau Gasol vs Manu GinoBILI

Gasol for me. Another slightly one-sided comparison I think as Gasol has a big advantage in All-Star appearances which show he was more a cornerstone on the franchises he played on compared with Ginobili being more a component player. Getting 4 rings is great for Ginobili but in this case Gasol’s 2 were harder earned as he was a ‘Robin’ on those Laker teams compared with Ginobili being third or fourth wheel.

Chris Paul vs Isiah Thomas

Isiah is the winner here for me. CP3 has had a great career for sure, but the leadership to Championships over the Showtime Lakers and keeping a youthful MJ at bay help give Thomas the edge for me.

Kobe Bryant vs Tim Duncan

Tough one as I’m a bit of a Kobe-basher, but his career was certainly awesome. However I still go with Duncan here even if trying to be more diplomatic to Kobe’s body of work. Duncan was truly the #1 option on all his titles, where Kobe was definitely a “Robin” on the first 3 of his next to Shaq.

Carmelo Anthony vs Vince Carter

Somewhat surprisingly to some I’ll opt for Melo here. I’m very critical of his later career where he hasn’t recognised the need to defer to other younger teammates at the right time. Perhaps this is a reflection of the years Carmelo spent being awesome while aligned with other stars who were past their prime. In the end, he turned into the one past his prime trying to work with stars being awesome! But compared with Carter, Melo’s career has been better. He was truly a force in the league for over 10 years where Carter probably only had that mantle for up to 5 years before injuries took away his athleticism. To Carter’s credit he’s now altered his game an continued playing and being valuable to teammates – so maybe if you were to value a longevity career of adding value, Vince wins out. But for mine, It’s still Melo – just.

Dwayne Wade vs Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk wins here. Wade certainly had an awesome career, with the 3 titles. You probably argue on paper he was a “Robin” to Shaq in ’06 but a closer analysis of the stats show Shaq was starting to wind down and hence Wade nabbed the Finals MVP. In ’12 and ’13, Wade was part of the infamous big-3 so his wins there are shared with LeBron and Bosh. Conversely, Dirk was constantly “Batman” on the Mavs until that finally reached the pinnacle in ’11 for which he was Finals MVP, plus his league MVP in ’07 means he wins here.

Now I suspect the series of these comparisons is yet to end, so I’ll update this post and repost it back to the site as further articles are added.

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