Welcome Back NBA fans to another Roundtable discussion regarding the latest in the NBA. Is Russell Westbrook in the same conversation as Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan? Is Shaquille O’Neal the most dominant player ever? All this and much more!
Last week Brandon Jennings stated that he would rather have Robert Horry’s career over Reggie Miller’s career. Do you agree with him?
Steve: Reggie Miller was probably my favorite player growing up watching the Indiana Pacers, what he did to the New York Knicks really got me in to basketball. However, you want to win championships as a player, so if you are going to define one career Horry is going to take this with 7 Championship rings, compared to the goose egg for Miller.
Dan: The goal for all players is to win Championships. While Horry was a great piece to all seven championships, he wasn’t a Hall of Fame-type player. And that’s perfectly fine. Some players would rather win and never be a Hall of Famer while others would rather be known as one of the best ever and reach the Hall of Fame even if they didn’t win a Championship. I agree with Brandon Jennings’ comments. I’d rather have a career where I played a long time in the NBA, was a solid piece to each team I played for, and retire with seven rings. I’m known as a champion. How great is that?
Chad: We define legacies by rings. Miller was a very good player in his era but Robert Horry won 7 rings and Reggie Miller made it to one NBA Finals. I’ll take Horry too.
Agree or Disagree. Shaq has been called the most dominant player ever.
Steve: It depends on how you would define dominant. If you are talking about mere presence, then yes Shaq has to be on the top of the list. However, if you are comparing him to a better player than MJ or Magic, then Shaq honestly is not in my top 10 of all time. His size and stature makes him the most intimidating player in the game, but most dominant? No.
Dan: I disagree. While I think Shaq was a fantastic player, I just don’t think he was the most dominant. I think there are other choices that would fit best, like Michael Jordan. Or Kobe Bryant. But I don’t think Shaq was the most dominant.
Chad: Shaq was an overwhelming force in the paint but I would not say he is the most dominant in the history of the league.
Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat has stated that he is on pace for a return at the start of the season. How far can Bosh take the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference?
Steve: I think Bosh can put the Heat in the playoffs, but this is now his team now that Wade is gone. He had his own team in Toronto where he was the go to guy, and if he can stay healthy, he will be able to put Miami back in the playoffs, without him though, Miami is on the outside looking in. Bosh alone, can lead his team to a 5 seed at best.
Dan: I think the playoffs are a realistic goal for the Heat. Depending on their match-up, they can get to the second round, but I don’t think they’re getting to the Championship and they’re not getting to the Finals. Bosh, if healthy all season, can lead the Heat to the playoffs. After that, Miami is going to need more ammunition to lead them.
Chad: He and Whiteside can be a good interior pair but without Wade the Heat will appear in the playoffs and that is about it.
Max Kellerman of ESPN’s First Take said recently of Russell Westbrook “in many ways its Westbrook is the inheritor of that Jordan/Kobe lineage” Do you agree that Westbrook can be in the same conversation of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant?
Steve: While I respect the play of Russell Westbrook, he is no where among the same playing field as a Michael Jordan, he may be close to Kobe, but still barely in the topic of conversation. Westbrook can score, rebound, and is not afraid to pass the ball either. He is a great player, probably going to be a Hall of Fame player, but I am not ready to put him in the same discussion of Michael or Kobe. Maybe if he can lead the Thunder to a title on his own, I could get there, but not yet.
Dan: Yes, I do. Russell Westbrook is a triple-double machine. We’ll see how he does this season without Kevin Durant and Victor Oladipo taking Durant’s place, or attempting to. But I really think Westbrook is one of the best players in the game today and he can definitely be in the same conversation as Kobe and MJ when it’s all said and done. Only thing that he’ll miss, if he doesn’t change teams or OKC improves, is a ring. His play is there, his championships aren’t, but I think his play will bring him into that conversation.
Chad: Westbrook got Triple-Doubles with Kevin Durant let’s see how he does as the guy in OKC before we compare him to Michael and Kobe.
What are your thoughts an opinions on Gregg Popovich being named the new head coach of the United States Basketball team?
Steve: It is a good move for Team USA, you go from probably the best in the College ranks, to arguably the best coach in the NBA? He led the Spurs to a dynasty over the past 16 years, and can bring a lot to Team USA. He is already familiar with how the Olympics works, and the style of play, as he was the Assistant Coach. Now that he has the lead, I think you may see Team USA return to dominance.
Dan: This is great news for the US men’s basketball team. While Coach K is a fantastic coach and one of the best ever in college basketball, I think that Popovich will be a fantastic coach. He helped out at this past Olympics and they won a gold. Poppovich is one of the best coach’s in all of basketball, has a winning mindset and every player has loved playing under him. His practices are great and they cater to what the players all need. This is going to improve the US men’s team to even greater heights.
Chad: Nothing but a positive for team USA.
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