Yeah, that was not really my intention. Clearly West is at the top outside of Red. Just pointing out that many star players flopped miserably and only a select few really excelled at it. Dumars was a great add. He had a spectacular run.Selling West a little short here with the question mark. Dude built the Showtime Lakers and the Kobe-Shaq Lakers. He had a strong run in Memphis before going to the Warriors and helping them reach incredible heights. And now his fingerprints are all over the title contending Clippers. All told, that’s 8 championships and the all-time season wins record for the Logo.
I’d rank West as the second greatest executive in history. Clearly, no one will ever catch Red - the number of championships over multiple team building eras is astounding plus he was a key leader in integrating the league. But over the past 50 years, no one has been able to consistently identify and recruit complementary talent - players and coaches - like West. He’s incredible.
Ah, ok.Yeah, that was not really my intention. Clearly West is at the top outside of Red. Just pointing out that many star players flopped miserably and only a select few really excelled at it. Dumars was a great add. He had a spectacular run.
Just re-watched Ep 5 and noticed a small correction here. He wasn't referencing beating Ewing in college. Jordan said "I had to go back all the way to '84 to whip y'all ass." He meant that he wore his rookie year Air Jordans while beating his Knicks that night.It’s in the little moments like when Ewing comes into the locker room after Jordan’s last game at MSG.Jordan quickly pokes at Ewing about the NCAA championship 16 years after the fact. And Ewing just gives a resigned, practiced “Don’t start that shit.” MJ is an all-time dick.
I asked my kids (14) who, for them, was the most famous person in the world. They named some youtube and tik-tok users. They could pick Obama out and could probably guess on the pope. But no movie stars (maybe the Rock?) or musicians would make the cut.Not to nitpick, but would a 14-year old today have a sense for the Pope? Or even Obama? My wife is 32 and while not a huge sports fan, she can hold her own. Trying to explain Jordan to her these last few Sundays has been pretty much impossible.
I thought the year and a half thing was referencing the fact that Magic had been out of basketball since '91 but Jordan also said something referencing Magic never fouling out.It's so great watching Michael joke around with Bird and Magic during the '98 All-star Game. From 2 saviors of the sport to the next. Jordan was an elder at that point and had earned his place with them.
Also, I know this footage isn't new with this documentary, but I'll never not laugh whenever I see the clip of Jordan, Brid, and Magic posing for Dream Team USA promotional photos, and Magic says "You can't get too close to Michael. It's a foul." And then MJ responds with "You haven't committed a foul in almost a year and a half." It's hilarious seeing these guys acknowledge the superstar rules.
good catch. What struck me was Ewing’s weary response.Just re-watched Ep 5 and noticed a small correction here. He wasn't referencing beating Ewing in college. Jordan said "I had to go back all the way to '84 to whip y'all ass." He meant that he wore his rookie year Air Jordans while beating his Knicks that night.
Michael Jackson dwarfed Jordan.I would put peak Michael Jackson up against MJ. He didn’t sustain it as long as MJ but he was every bit the star for a stretch in the 80s. Plastered on MTV, which was huge in the 80s, all over the radio, a mega star in basically every country, etc. There was no Nike merchandise or anything but if you’re going with the “larger than life” criteria of a megastar, I think he matched MJ for a few years.
Agreed. I think the real MJ is getting undersold here. He was everywhere and the biggest star of my lifetime.Michael Jackson dwarfed Jordan.
Jackson was literally the biggest, most famous, star ever. In anything. They built statues of Jackson all over the world for no real reason except because he was so famous. "Thriller" was the best selling album in the US for two consecutive years, 1983 and 1984, back when album sales were still mega and up against commercial heavyweights like "Purple Rain" and "Born in the USA". 37 weeks at #1.
It's follow-up, "Bad", was viewed as a commercial disappointment. It only sold 5 Million copies its first week and 18 Million its first year, and was the best selling album worldwide in 1988 and 1989. A disappointment. It's only the 11th best selling album ever.
Oh and in the 90s, when he was deemed passe by the cool kids and all that, 1991's "Dangerous" only became the 13th biggest selling album ever. It, not Pearl Jam, not Nirvana, was the biggest selling record in the world in 1992.
Hell, the album before "Thriller", "Off the Wall", sold more copies than Britney Spears "Oops, I Did It Again." So imagine Britney at the peak of her popularity (and she was everywhere for 2 years) and then double it, and have it last for 15 years. That's about how big Jackson was.
I don't even like Jackson, but man, if you weren't around in the 80s and early 90s, you can't possibly have any idea how famous and popular he was. He was like Microsoft.
He also had the lead up of being the young sweetheart in the Jackson 5, and had been in the public eye since he was 5 or 6. He had a huge running start. But agreed; music touches more people than sports. Him and Elvis are the two biggest celebrities possibly ever.Agreed. I think the real MJ is getting undersold here. He was everywhere and the bigger star of my lifetime.
The Beatles have a little bit of a gripe here.He also had the lead up of being the young sweetheart in the Jackson 5, and had been in the public eye since he was 5 or 6. He had a huge running start. But agreed; music touches more people than sports. Him and Elvis are the two biggest celebrities possibly ever.
Maybe with the Elvis claim (although Elvis, as an individual, was more famous than any of the individual Beatles, a claim that might also be held by some others at one point or another, including Sinatra, Marilyn, and Charles Lindbergh), but Jackson was Beatles-level popular with both white and black audiences.The Beatles have a little bit of a gripe here.
Yeah, I can attest to this. I spent part of my childhood somewhere in the African countryside. Virtually everybody knew Michael Jackson. Nobody knew Jordan (and I'm a big Jordan fan).Agreed. I think the real MJ is getting undersold here. He was everywhere and the biggest star of my lifetime.
I remember my friends and I had to make sure we were in front of the TV for the world premiere of that video on MTV. That was back when they announced the time something like that was actually premiering.Just to accentuate the MJ versus MJ point. By 1992, Jackson's star is beginning to wane and Jordan's is at its zenith, but Jordan is showing up, and being taught to dance, in Jackson's video for Jam ("what are the kidsfrom Kriss Kross doing in there?" is an uncomfortable question in 2020; p.s., always liked the Heavy D part):
I bagged groceries for Robert Parrish once. Well, I tried. He bought 3-4 oranges that were already in a produce bag. When I tried bagging the bag of oranges he told me that was pointless and left.
This would have been a better story if you’d delivered his weed. Just sayin...I bagged groceries for Robert Parrish once. Well, I tried. He bought 3-4 oranges that were already in a produce bag. When I tried bagging the bag of oranges he told me that was pointless and left.
I feel like your post is meta in that this scenario, which brought a smile to my face, is also an anachronism.I bagged groceries for Robert Parrish once. Well, I tried. He bought 3-4 oranges that were already in a produce bag. When I tried bagging the bag of oranges he told me that was pointless and left.
2 for 18 will be on his tombstone.I feel like your post is meta in that this scenario, which brought a smile to my face, is also an anachronism.
Also, Starks was a fun flawed NBA player whether you loved or hated him. He was just another speed-bump for the Bulls and the dude could build homes in some games. But Starks played hard and got the game at a more grimy level.
Unfortunately grimy can't overcome reggie's ferocious frozen north defense.
It was in an 6'4 and under league called the WBL. He and Mario Ely played for Easton. Later I was about 20 feet behind him in transition when he dunked one and he told me to get my ass back on D. He was insanely fast, but not very big.
The Rockets did quite well against MJ’s Bulls. Think they won 5 out of 6 games from 91-93 against MJ. Obviously SSS but indicative that the Bulls did not fare well against them. Rockets in 94 or 95 absolutely could have taken them down.Bulls six title seasons by SRS:
Rockets two title seasons:
Those two Rockets teams were clutch when it mattered ... but then so was that Jordan guy. Depending somewhat on what kind of roster Chicago would have been able to build in the two “lost” seasons — and assuming Jordan would have figured out a way to get his head right and recharge his batteries without the layoff — the logical assumption is that Jordan+Pippen at the absolute peak of their powers would have beaten those Rockets teams pretty handily, plucky and gutsy as they were.
Put another way (I know some don’t like these alt realities, so apologies in advance) ... if not for the Jordan retirement and the cheating Stros, the city of Houston, 4th biggest in the country, might still be without a major sports title.
Interesting, did not not know that (or had forgotten).The Rockets did quite well against MJ’s Bulls. Think they won 5 out of 6 games from 91-93 against MJ. Obviously SSS but indicative that the Bulls did not fare well against them. Rockets in 94 or 95 absolutely could have taken them down.
Absolutely favored but probably like a 60/40 proposition of something like that, IMO. Would have loved to see that matchup and 1999 Bulls vs. Spurs.Interesting, did not not know that (or had forgotten).
I mean, anything can happen in the NBA Finals, and the Rockets were clearly capable. The '95 version swept Shaq's Magic, who had taken down slightly-rusty Jordan in the ECF. I also think the psychological fatigue factor, while unknowable, would have weighed heavily on the '94 and '95 Bulls had MJ not retired. Hunger wanes with each subsequent championship; and the Bulls would have been in years 4 and 5 of their run. It's no coincidence that the last year of each of the three-year runs saw the team at their most vulnerable.
But on paper, I think a healthy Jordan and Pippen at their peaks (30-31 and 28-29) plus even an adequate supporting case should have been favored against Hakeem's Rockets or anything else the league had to offer in that era.
Those two years are the best any center has ever played offensively. Hakeem was just absolutely peaking, and destroyed Robinson in the 95 conference finals.The 94-95 Rockets could have beaten the Bulls. At the very least, they would have been the Bulls toughest test in the Finals. Those Rockets teams were much, much better than the Ewing-led Knicks teams. I'm betting on a split: each team wins one.
Yup. I was living in SA at the time and went to the game where Hakeem pantsed Robinson. The crowd was absolutely stunned by the end of it.Yeah I love love Hakeem. But I love Robinson more, and that WCF was so painful for me to watch. Because Robinson may be my favorite player of all time, and Hakeem just carved him up.
The crazy thing is: Robinson played WELL that series. He didn't suck at all. 23.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.2 blocks a game against an all-time great opponent.
But Olajuwon was just on another level that series: 35.3 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 4.2 blocks a game. Insane.
This is the correct answer, in my opinion. The Rockets would have won at least one of the two series against the Bulls in 1994 or 1995 - the piper eventually has to be paid.I also think the psychological fatigue factor, while unknowable, would have weighed heavily on the '94 and '95 Bulls had MJ not retired. Hunger wanes with each subsequent championship; and the Bulls would have been in years 4 and 5 of their run. It's no coincidence that the last year of each of the three-year runs saw the team at their most vulnerable.
No question. Personally, when I talk about them competing with the Rockets and probably splitting, I'm also assuming that it would come at some degree of sacrifice to the latter 3 championship years as well.As SRN pointed out, winning 8 straight championships is an insane grind and there is a real argument that Jordan needed the time off to recharge for the second three-peat. There is also some revisionist history with the 95' ECSF loss to Orlando, that Jordan was just really rusty and if he had been around all year they would have beaten Orlando. That Bulls team wasn't very good, they had lost Horace Grant and BJ Armstrong was their third leading scorer in the ECSF as Kukoc struggled. They didn't have a credible post threat to handle O'Neal or Horace Grant and that was really the difference. Even if Jordan played the whole season, it is hard to see that Bulls team beating the 95 Rockets if they reached the finals, it was a very flawed team.
Olajuwon would have been a huge handful for Longley and Will Perdue, he would have dominated them worse than Shaq did. The other thing is that Hakeem was such a monster on defense, blocking shots and jumping passing lanes, he would have made it extremely hard for Pippen/Jordan to attack the basket. Someone made the comparison to the Bulls vs Ewing, but Ewing actually peaked as a player before the Bulls really took off. He was still a very good player in the 90s, but he wasn't the dominant presence that he was earlier in his career as his knees wore down and he didn't have that panther-like spring to contest shots at the rim.
Ewing's best season was the 89-90 season: 28-11 with 4 bpg on 55 percent shooting. That was the year he famously cleaned out the Celtics in the first round with a monster Game 4 (44-17-5 with 7 steals and 2 blocks) and then hit a crazy dagger three in Game 5.
Wrong Isaiah. It's Isiah.Very late catching up, but I’ve binged a bunch of it this week. Absolutely riveted now. I’ve always had mixed feelings about Jordan. Hands down the best player in the history of the sport, IMO. But I’ve never found him to be a particularly likeable , or even interesting character, for some reason. I always found Magic, Larry, and Barkley to be more compelling and relatable. But I have to say, watching his blunt honesty, and refusal to sentimentalize any of his feelings towards people as he ages, has me really warming up to him, and kind of admiring his hard edged mentality in way that I hadn’t in the past. Two other little nuggets that time had sort of muted in my mind, that the doc has rekindled: how fucking good Scotty Pippen was. Jesus, was he a good player. And how much I despised those Piston teams. And what a smarmy, insufferable little wannabe Isaiah Thomas was. I’m completely on Team Jordan in that one.