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All-time Lakers versus all-time Celtics ... guess who wins?

Kobe_400 The Celtics may have a slight lead over the Lakers in NBA championships, 17-16, but which of the two storied franchises would win if their all-time best players and coaches squared off?

According to the Bleacher Report, it's the Lakers.

After comparing each team's all-time best players (at their peak), position by position, and doing the same with the coaches, the site gave the Lakers a 4-2 advantage.

The Lakers edge the Celtics at center ("Shaq playing at his peak level would be the most dominant force. Boston would have no one that could effectively stop him one-on-one"), shooting guard ("Behind Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Jerry West are the best shooting guards in the league's history"), point guard ("A great aspect of the Lakers' backcourt is its versatility. Besides Goodrich and Magic, Kobe and West would be perfectly adept at running the point") and coach ("While Auerbach is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, Phil Jackson is arguably the best. ... Perhaps right behind Jackson and Auerbach in the annals of NBA coaching greats is Pat Riley.").

Boston gets the edge at power forward ("The power forward position is one of the weaker areas on the all-time Lakers team. By default, Pau Gasol is the best pure power forward in the team's history") and small forward ("Although the talent on the Lakers' side is impressive, Boston has a better counter punch. Larry Bird may be the best premier shooter in NBA history. ... Paul Pierce is another excellent all-around player for the Celtics").

Just some interesting summer reading ...

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Kobe Bryant celebrates as the game clock ends and his team defeats the Boston Celtics to win Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 17. Credit: Mike Blake / Reuters

 
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Okay time for big question...drum roll please....

Can Bynum suplant Divac for 5th place for Laker centers?

Ed,

Read it again. Garnett wasn't playing for the Celtics in his prime. He was playing for the Timberwolves.

Best line up of the Lakers: Kobe, Jerry West, Magic, Shaq and wilt. this beats celts anyday

Pau beats Garnett in the 4. and i think elgin baylor beats larry bird in the sf position. So Lakers win all

Chris Simoneau,

You're absolutely right, 3-10. But to put it in better perspective, 3-2 Lakers since MAN WALKED ON THE MOON. The next thing you'll probably claim that you used to walk barefooted 10 miles to a log cabin for elementary school.

Is instapost back on???!?!

arghh!!! i had hope for a second then that hope was squashed like a puny, ill-informed argument about how present day speed and athleticism beats old school fundamentals even in the presence of a legitimate time machine

lrob,

re: Hakeem vs. Shaq.

http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=145959&page=6

"If I can't beat you, I'll be a man and say I can't beat you. I'm not going to [cry about it] ... I'm the first guy to say that somebody is better than me. I was the first guy to say Hakeem Olajuwon beat me in the [1995] NBA finals. He killed me. He dominated me. I didn't go, 'Oh, he's traveling. They had experience. Wah-wah-wah.' I'm a man. Hakeem Olajuwon dusted my butt."

+++++++++++++++++

And before you go there, no ... this is not the best source. However, this info
has been posted enough that I took one of the first links that a search showed
up.

You can argue that Nick Anderson was the main culprit. I don't necessarily
disagree. I will say that with Shaq's *COLOSSAL* ego, I'm going to lay it
on his meaty shoulders.

Justanothermambafan,

Fess up. You do have a riding crop, don't you? :)

lrob and justa - i think i know the source of the confusion. I said something like "sorry, man" to justa and she replied "you mean, sorry woman" then I mumbled thought an apology about using the word "man" in the now politically incorrect gender neutral sense...blah blah. can't remember what i said exactly. Anyone, I had my foot in my mouth first so let's just forget about it.

phred - god, if I had to pick one I'd say cowtown, but boy that's like choosing between slim and none and slim just left town...(hail chick!) L-Ficked sounds too much like a french term for those who gets screwed over all the time (Le F$#cked)

ok, allow me to play devil's advocate about this today vs. yesterday argument a little longer.

caveat - only been watching bball consciously for 25 years so never watched Wilt or Kareem in their prime

would you guys agree that popularity of bball has gone up? That would mean that the number of people trying to get into limited spots in the nba has gone up which would mean the overall talent level of the nba has gone up. Therefore, a superstar now has to play again teams and defenders that are overall more talented and more athletic than they were before. Sure, the number of teams has gone up, but I think the number of people trying to get into the NBA per spot has still gone up over time.

This is why I argue that you can't just judge how a great player does against his contemporaries - I don't think that's a fair comparison. Which is why you need...drum roll...a time machine! Only way to adequately compare players in their prime.

Do you think that some of your memories regarding the greatness of these players is clouded by nostalgia? I watched a replay a few months ago of an old lakers game from the 80s and it just looked sloooooooow....so I think there is some merit to the argument that an all star caliber player now could hold their own and potentially beat a hall of fame player from the 60s IF we had a time machine and could actually have them play in their primes.

just a few points of rebuttal:

hobbit - don't think shaq was in his prime in the mid 90s when his teams were losing to hakeem

all you guys are picking kareem over shaq. sure the sky hook was indefensible but so was 350 lbs barreling with speed down the lane carrying 3 guys on his back

lrob - funny, i remember that quote from walton. also, thanks for the stuff about magic - so cool that you have those memories

Mr Lazenby - respect the point of view, but until Shaq of 2000-2002 didn't get blocked much (maybe i'm being nostalgic). If you tried to block him, he took your butt too the rim and dunked the ball with you holding it. also again, when rodman was playing shaq in 96, i don't think that was his prime.

again, I'm not a shaq fan.

108 down, 892 to go. Lrob, you're up all night, keep it coming! jk

Oh boy, yet another what-if scenario. Mental masturbation at its finest...

MM, pls come back soon and rescue us from these frivolities...

What are some of the best movies about singers? Here's my ranking...

1. Lady Sings the Blues (Billie Holiday)
2. Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)
3. Ray (Ray Charles)
4. What's Love Got to do (Tina Turner)
5. Yankee Doodle Dandy (Cohan)

Honorable mention:
Coal Miners Daughter (Loretta Lynn)
Buddy Holly Story
Purple Rain

Beyond the Sea (Bobby Darin) was also good. Never saw The Rose (Janis Joplan). Also enjoyed Salena. I was a little disapointed in the Doors although I though Val Kilmer was excellent.


Posted by: LRob | August 26, 2010 at 08:12 PM
-
Hold on there, LRob...Maybe is the vodka and/or percocet...But you forgot to mention Round Midnight. It's not official, but it was totally Lester Young's life. And Dexter Gordon as the main character is simply AWESOME! The soundtrack, etc...I can stay here talking about this movie for hours...

Lester was not a singer, but you get it!

LRob, regarding the center trios, I remember very well about a center duo, but it was like a trio, Ralph Sampson e Hakeem Olajuwon. The 2 dudes were MONSTERS, it was impossible to get inside...Happens that Sampson had a bad knee and retired early. Hakeem, we all know...But this guy Sampson was a beast. Sad (or not, he played for Houston) that his career was very short.
Cheers.

Hakeem x Shaq?
Yao.
Smart as Hakeem and strong as Shaq.
If Yao can overcome his knee problem, problems ahead.
My favorite center, I like Bynum too, but he needs a full season, for the love of God!

lrob,
re: Hakeem vs. Shaq.
http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=145959&page=6

"If I can't beat you, I'll be a man and say I can't beat you. I'm not going to [cry about it] ... I'm the first guy to say that somebody is better than me. I was the first guy to say Hakeem Olajuwon beat me in the [1995] NBA finals. He killed me. He dominated me. I didn't go, 'Oh, he's traveling. They had experience. Wah-wah-wah.' I'm a man. Hakeem Olajuwon dusted my butt."

Posted by: hobbitmage | August 26, 2010 at 09:58 PM
+++++++++++++++++

Hobbit - I'll give Shaq credit for showing humility. He really respected Dream's game and always treated him with class. Even when Hakeem slowed down in his later years it didn't seem like Shaq went at him like he did Ewing, Mourning, Duncan or Divac.

I agree that Dream def had the upper hand but when you say "schooled" I think dominate like Olajuwon did MVP David Robinson that year in the conference finals:

Dream 35pt/13reb/5asst/4 blks
DRob 24pt/11reb/3asst/2blks

Now that's what I call a schooling. Compare with the Finals stats vs. Shaq

Dream 33pt/12reb/5.5asst/2blk (48% fg)
Shaq 28pt/13reb/6.3asst/2.5blk (60%fg)

When watching those games I definitely gave Dream the upper hand because he made more big plays with the game on the line. No suprise there with Hakeem's experience and Shaq's youth. But if this was boxing I would've scored it a decision....not a KO.

LFICT - If you want me to keep it coming you gotta give me something on the movies I mentioned. C'mon...didn't you see any of those or maybe some others I didn't mention? Amadeus? Work with me here.

Do you think that some of your memories regarding the greatness of these players is clouded by nostalgia? I watched a replay a few months ago of an old lakers game from the 80s and it just looked sloooooooow....so I think there is some merit to the argument that an all star caliber player now could hold their own and potentially beat a hall of fame player from the 60s IF we had a time machine and could actually have them play in their primes.

Posted by: LakerFanInCowTown | August 26, 2010 at 10:22 PM
--------
I don't think I'm really clouded by nostalgia. I've been watching BBall since seriously since 1970. But I'd still take Duncan and KG at their best...over any of the other PF's I've seen including Big E, McHale and K Malone. I'd take Shaq over Dream and Moses. And I moved Kobe over Magic for my GLOAT.

But one thing I'm absolutely positive about is the best group of teams I ever saw was in the 80's before expansion. The Lakers, Celtics, 76ers & Pistons, were all great teams. The Lakers were bringing Coop and McAdoo off the bench. The 76ers had Bobby Jones and Boston had McHale as a 6th man.
The Pistons had Rodman, Salley, James Edwards and Vinnie Johnson all coming off the bench. A real talented team like Milwaukee couldn't even sniff the finals

all you guys are picking kareem over shaq. sure the sky hook was indefensible but so was 350 lbs barreling with speed down the lane carrying 3 guys on his back
Posted by: LakerFanInCowTown | August 26, 2010 at 10:22 PM
-------
Okay LFICT time for the litmus test. It's one minute to go in the game and you're down two pts. Do you want to throw the ball in the post to Shaq or Kareem?

How good was Kareem?
1. His freshmen team at UCLA beat the varsity team
2. He lost two games in his entire college career
3. He won the MVP his 2nd yr in the league. He won it 6 times and could've won it every year in the 70's
4. He won the finals MVP at age 38. Outplaying a HOF front line of Parish, McHale and Bird. How's Shaq looking at 38?
5. A year later when the Lakers were down 3-1 vs Houston...at 39 yrs old Capt dropped 40pts on Olajuwon and Sampson in that gut wrenching gm 5 lost.

You have to see Kareem in 76-78 to really see him at his best.

Oh yeah KB Blitz...I haven't forgot what you said about Kareem. It's still on my rebuttal "to do list".

He will remain 1 of top 5 players in the game every year he plays until he retires. After 3 or 4 more years if he isnt 1of the top 5players in the league, he doesnt play basketball & will retire.
Posted by: mazzing76 | August 26, 2010 at 09:32 AM

Mazzing76 - I love your passion for Kobe and agree that he may go down as the most amazing bball player of alltime....BUT...Kobe is chasing greatness and he's knows that to cement his legacy he needs rings and numbers. So there's no way on God's green earth that he is retiring just because he isn't one of the top 5-10 players in the game. He will keep playing a til some young dude who's in HS right now...come up 6,7,8 yrs from now and drop 40 on him like he did MJ.

*Doing my best Kane West impression*
{interrupting post}
"LA Times staff doesn't care about blog people..."

Posted by: HalosAnt | August 26, 2010 at 11:49 AM
----
Halos - good one!

What happened to our members profile...
We got LRob, and ZairaAmaterasu...
Thanks for the tease...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | August 26, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Lewstrs - he's doing the profiles on the weekend

Hello..lo....lo...lo.

Hello..lo....lo...lo.

Man its an echo in here.

"American Pop" was interesting, I suppose.
Posted by: phred | August 26, 2010 at 08:38 PM

phred - Not a biography right? But at least you tried. It sounds interesting...may have to check it out!

Didn't get feedback on movies...but I won't be deterred...morning shift I expect feedback when you arise from your slumber. That means you...Mamba, Wes, Art, PsychedLakerGirl, DBDH, MagicPhil,Justa,Johnny V, JonK,Tom Daniels..etc.

What did I learn today....

1. Sometimes you can't fight City Hall.
2. This bunch would've devoured the substitute teacher in school.
3. Don't get Justa riled up.
4. The night shift ain't what it used to be.
5. MM is good!

LRob - you forgot La Bamba...

Given the nature of this list, wouldn't Shaq be playing for both teams in his prime and thus neutralize himself?

I would take russell over any lakers center, i would choose gasol over garnett , even over k. machale, bird in s.forward, kobe without no doubt, and of course magic ( the best pointguard ever )
3-2 for lakers as far as i am concerned...

LakerFan in Cow Town,

you wrote: hobbit - don't think shaq was in his prime in the mid 90s when his teams were losing to hakeem

my response: What is your metric for determining his prime?

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/o/onealsh01.html

he averaged over 29 pts per game in 3 seasons. two with the Magic
& 1 with the Lakers. 3 of his highest rebounding years were with the
Magic. 2 of his top 4 shooting % was with the Magic.

Before you or anyone else starts, no .... stats are not the definitive answer.
However, I argue that playing with Kobe makes a huge difference. HUGE!
Furthermore, I argue that he was quicker/more athletic with the Magic.
I would argue that being quicker allowed him to play a more skilled game
vs. being a big body & being out of shape. Oddly enough, the 1st 3 years in
the NBA he actually played the most regular season games of his career.

So I ask you again, what is your metric for determining his prime?

It'll take forever for LA to even the score with Boston....because Boston won't be getting back to the finals anytime soon.

So Doc, Let's just hypothetically say that if we compared the Lakers greatest players to the keltics greatest players position by position, kendric perkins
couldn't even compare to sam perkins in terms of putting gang green over the hump in any series.
But if we did compare entire teams, the Lakers dominate as a dynasty at practically every position while the celtics just find ways to try and compete with mostly slow, nonathletic, dirty-playing retreads.
Stop your coulda, shoulda, woulda talk and just face the facts!
All you Laker haters are just lucky many of our key players were injured in
final series otherwise you would have had to eat crow for many more Laker championships!

Whenever Roland Lazenby posts, I suddenly feel self-conscious because we are truly not worthy as Lakeraholics to be having a dialogue with such a great writer... but it is absolutely awesome that he post occasionally.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!

This thread is interesting, but the rules are vague.


Can the Lakers include Gary Payton, Karl Malone and Bob McAdoo in their primes? How about Mitch Richmond?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!

Really??? Phil Jackson over Red Auerback no way. It is very hard to determine if Jackson is a fan or floating out there on cloud 9. He most definately is one lucky sob getting on teams with decent players. Let's see what play do we call how about "give the ball to kobe" or "how about give the ball to Michael". He is some genius... not.

The thing all you laker fans always forget is the word TEAM. Auerbach utilized the team effort and that is why jackson could never match up. And the Celtics all star team would beat the laker individuals.

>>>KG and Bird are the best forwards on either team.

KG is 1 & 1 vs Pau Gasol in the finals.

Bird was 1-2 vs James Worthy in the finals. (and Elgin Baylor was probably better than Worthy - different era's - hard to compare)

I would argue that neither KG & Bird would be ENOUGH better than Gasol & Worthy to make up for the big advantage that the Laker guard rotation of Kobe, Magic, and West would provide over Cousy, DJ, and Allen.

>>>Best guards are Kobe and Magic. Celtic wins imo"

this is one of the stupidest things i have ever read... laker bias and everythin... are u guys forgettin bob cousy. havlicek.. if your gonna say all time make sure to mention everyone... the ONLY edge the lakers got is MAYBE shaq at center and wannabejordan at shooting guard.. celtics point guard : bob cousy small forward: larry bird power forward: any one the celtics had better den da lakers powerforwards.. hek even antoine walker in his prime

As a lakers fan, i can safely say Bill Russell is far better than shaq ever was, although KG at his peak was playing for the T wolves, not the Celtics

The Buddy Holly Story (Gary Busey outdid the remainder of his career, combined)

Beatles movies (do they count?):

Hard Day's Night over Help! (barely) over Yellow Sub (which had on negligible Beatle participation in)

Scorsese's "No Direction Home" was a (very good doc), but I'm Not There was an original take on the Dylan legend in (constant) formation (and hence better fits your criteria).

Woodstock -- can that qualify?

That Thing You Do (Tom Hanks' tribute to the era)

This is Spinal Tap

I'm sure that there are others . . .

Ah yes :

Lady Sings the Blues (Diana Ross outdoing herself)
The Benny Goodman Story (Steve Allen at his best)
The Al Jolson Story (the racist images/reproduction notwithstanding)

Cheating around the edges:

Fame (the original)
That's Entertainment (a kind of mash-up bio pic, where Hollywood employs evidence of invention to commemorate its history)
Cabaret (a fictitious biography/slice of historicism a la Spinal Tap)

I have to take a break to tax my brain for some more . . .


No no no no no no no no. Bill Russell.. did you forget about the greatest WINNER and defender in NBA history? How about Kevin Garnett in his prime. Arguably the greatest PF in NBA history beside Timmy D. The Celtics are the best team in the history of the NBA and maybe even professional sports. The referees never cheated to win the Celtics any championships like they did for the Lakers. Without the refs and David Stern the history would be 17 championships to 15 or maybe 14. Use your head. Celtics are obviously the better franchise.

I don't see how anyone could take a look at the All-Time Lakers roster and think the All-Time C's would stand a chance. Take the best 12 in each franchise's respective histories, and L.A. has a clear advantage in depth and talent. Any team with Havilcek, Bird, Cousy, Russell, and Pierce will be absolutely killer. But when you're talking Magic, West, Kobe, Cap, Big Game, Elgin, Wilt, Big, et al., there's no contest. When your third center is George Mikan you're pretty doggone good.

Although LA would have a heavier drama quotient!

Can'tCountCorrection Update -- Mikan being the 4th center.

Wilt the Stilt and Elgin Baylor got passed on here? wow. I know you cant have everyone on board but dang...

Folks, please don't waste your time arguing the hypotheticals.

The question isn't who wins, it's could Celtics take a game. Answer, I doubt it.

While he was with us only one season, before Tim Duncan came along, Karl Malone was considered the greatest PF to ever play. You throw in Karl Malone in his prime... and I'd say we'd have better players at every position.

 
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