Greatness: Is a ring the thing?

Admittedly it’s a fun topic, if for no reason than to poke a stick at our big cuddly bear of a buddy Charles Barkley and listen to him growl.

In fact, of all the great comedy routines ever done on TNT over the years, my favorite has always been Kenny Smith manning the velvet rope outside the “Champions Club” and laughingly taunting the well-known partier Sir Charles about his lack of credentials to get inside the door.

Occasionally, Smith would push open the door to let the sounds of dance music come and poke his head inside.

“Hey, Charles!” he would call out. “Look, it’s Mark Madsen! And Zan Tabak! Oh, Charles, look! It’s Jack Haley! Can you believe it? Jack Haley!”

It was a fantastic skit and all Barkley could do was shake his head and laugh, because, of course, after 16 often-mind-blowing seasons, he left the NBA ringless.

So here we are just hours from the start of the 2011 NBA Finals that feature LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki as unfulfilled stars, pondering again the question for the ages: Does greatness require a ring?

Before you use your 36-inch vertical leap to come to a slam dunking conclusion, consider what might happen if I showed at the playground with my team to take on all challengers. I’ve got Barkley at power forward, Elgin Baylor at small forward, Patrick Ewing at center, George Gervin as my shooting guard and point guard John Stockton directing everything. And, oh yeah, sitting over there on the bench are former MVPs Karl Malone and Allen Iverson.

Are you really gonna tell me I can’t call my team “The Greats?”

Drew Davison of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram does a fine of pulling together a larger list of ringless candidates.

Charles Barkley
Years: 1984-2000
Teams: Philadelphia, 1984-92; Phoenix, 1993-96; Houston, 1997-2000
Honors: Hall of Fame (2006); MVP (1993); 11-time All-Star; five-time All-NBA first team; one of 50 greatest players (1996)
Closest call: 1993. Led the Suns to the Finals, where they eventually fell to the Bulls in six games. Still averaged 26.6 points and 13.6 rebounds in Finals.
Elgin Baylor
Years: 1958-72
Teams: Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers, 1958-72
Honors : Hall of Fame (1977); 10-time All-NBA first team; 11-time All-Star; Rookie of the Year (1959)
Closest call: He led the Lakers to the NBA Finals eight times, and came closest in 1962. The Lakers lost to the Celtics in overtime of Game 7 110-107. In 1966, the Lakers fell to the Celtics in Game 7, too, 95-93.
Patrick Ewing
Years: 1985-2002
Teams: New York Knicks, 1985-2000; Seattle SuperSonics, 2001; Orlando Magic, 2002
Honors : Hall of Fame (2008); Rookie of the Year (1985); 11-time All-Star; All-NBA first team (1990); six-time All-NBA second team; one of 50 greatest players (1996)
Closest call: 1994. Led the Knicks to the Finals, but they fell in seven games to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets.
George Gervin
Years: 1972-1986
Teams: Virginia Squires, 1972-73 (ABA); San Antonio Spurs, 1974-76 (ABA); Spurs, 1977-85 (NBA); 1986,
Chicago Bulls
Honors : Hall of Fame (1996); five-time All-NBA first team; nine-time All-Star; one of 50 greatest players (1996)
Closest call: 1979. The Spurs had a 3-1 lead over the Washington Bullets in the Eastern Conference Finals, but couldn’t close it out. Gervin never played in the Finals.
Allen Iverson
Years: 1996-2010
Teams: Philadelphia 76ers, 1996-2006; 76ers/Denver Nuggets, 2007; Nuggets, 2008-09; Memphis Grizzlies/Philadelphia 76ers, 2010
Honors : MVP (2001); Rookie of the Year (1997); three-time All-NBA first team; four-time NBA scoring leader; 11-time NBA All-Star
Closest call: 2001. Iverson led the 76ers to the Finals, but they lost to the Lakers. He scored 48 points in a Game 1 victory, and then scored 23-35-35-37 in the next four losses.
Karl Malone
Years: 1985-2004
Teams: Utah Jazz, 1985-2003; Los Angeles Lakers, 2004
Honors : Hall of Fame (2010); two-time MVP (1997, 1999); 11-time All-NBA first team; 14-time All-Star; one of 50 greatest players (1996)
Closest call: Reached back-to-back NBA Finals in 1997-98, but lost both in six games to the Bulls. In ’98, the Jazz were on the verge of forcing a Game 7, but Michael Jordan hit a shot at the buzzer for an 87-86 series-clinching victory in Game 6.
Pete Maravich
Years: 1970-80
Teams: Atlanta Hawks, 1970-74; New Orleans Jazz, 1975-79; Utah Jazz/Boston Celtics, 1980
Honors: Hall of Fame (1987); two-time All-NBA first team; five-time All-Star; one of 50 greatest players (1996)
Closest call: 1980. Relegated to a contributing role, he helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
Reggie Miller
Years: 1987-2005
Teams: Indiana Pacers, 1987-05
Honors: Five-time NBA All-Star; three-time All-NBA third team; retired as all-time leader in 3-pointers (2,560) that has since been broken; scored 25,279 points
Closest call: 2000. Led the Pacers to the Finals, but they lost to the Lakers in six games. Miller scored 33 and 25 points in Games 3 and 5 victories. He averaged 24.3 points for the series.
John Stockton
Years: 1984-2003
Teams: Utah Jazz, 1984-03
Honors: Hall of Fame (2009); six-time All-NBA second team; 10-time All-Star; one of 50 greatest players (1996)
Closest call: Reached back-to-back NBA Finals in 1997-98, but lost both in six games to the Bulls. In ’97, he hit a memorable 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Jazz past the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals for their first trip the Finals.
Dominique Wilkins
Years: 1982-99 (played overseas in 1995-96 and 1997-98)
Teams: Atlanta Hawks, 1982-93; Hawks/Los Angeles Clippers, 1994; Boston Celtics, 1995; San Antonio Spurs, 1997; Orlando Magic, 1999
Honors : Hall of Fame (2006); All-NBA first team (1986); nine-time NBA All-Star; two-time slam dunk champion
Closest call: 1988. Wilkins and the Hawks had a classic seven-game series against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, falling in Game 7 by two points.

So how much does winning a championship go toward defining an NBA career?

Certainly it will be a theme played out — and maybe beaten into the ground — over the course of the best-of-seven series. Dirk Detractors will ignore all those All-Star efforts and his 2007 MVP award to say he’s never won the Larry O’Brien Trophy. LeBron Loathers will overlook back-to-back MVP awards until he slips one of those gaudy rings onto his finger.

Is neither of them as worthy of praise as role-playing Robert Horry with his seven titles?

Depending on the outcome of one more series, will the reputation of either James or Nowitzki continue to be diminished as they’re forced to stand outside the velvet rope of the “Champions Club” with Sir Charles?

Hey look, Jud Buecher’s in here! And Bill Wennington! And Speedy Claxton!

137 Comments

  1. DIRK'S REVENGE!!! says:

    All I gotta say is GAME 2 4th Q!!!

    He did the same in OKC … this year his performances are just great and rising to another level.

    I hope all his teammates in Dallas can come through for him and smack Miami with a little HUMILITY!

  2. Lol says:

    I personally think that both Dirk and Lebron are great, and I think that both deserve a ring. But the Dallas vs. Heat matchup consists of more people. Firstly, Cuban. He has been a very supportive owner, and regardless of what he has done that people dislike, he is still a good owner. Because he cares for the team. Secondly, Kidd. I really don’t think that he has much time left to get a championship ring, and he has proven himself to be really, really outstanding. And has continued to contribute consistently and significantly. Thirdly, Bosh. Bosh has been criticized by many for his apparent lack of toughness, but this year’s playoff has shown that he does have the required ‘toughness’ to play playoff basketball. And he doesn’t have that much problems off the court. Lastly, there’s Wade, who has been inspirational for the Miami Heat the past few seasons, and is also developing to become the leading SG in the league. Maybe some people already consider him to be the best (in the league), maybe more people don’t. I don’t know. However, I think most people would agree that he does seem to have a very enviable and fruitful future, be it because of others in his team or himself, and most of these people would think that he deserves the ring(s) (if any) that he might get.
    However, since I am a lakers fan, I would really rather both don’t win and let the lakers win instead. (But which fan won’t want their team to win?) Anyway, I hope that the mavericks will win, not because they have suffered the heartbreak of losing before, but actually just because I think Kidd really deserve a ring. And this would probably be his last few seasons. I’m wishing the other deserving teams also have a fighting chance to win the championship too, like these two teams, and not so much hoping for an impractical lakers sweep of championships until I die. Unless maybe I die next year. Or soon. So, to sum up, I think that individuals who have been truly great and have tried their best should win at least a ring in their career, so I hope both Lebron and dirk gets one. But really, to those who just happened to be on a championship team and yet have not been of much help to achieving the ring, they showed us something. That these rings do not define a single person’s greatness, but rather a team.

  3. Timothy Bladel says:

    If James was the greatest, he wouldn’t have needed wade and Bosh. Yea Jordan had pippin, but no way is he wade, and Bosh is way better scorer than rodman or horas grant. When did Jordan ever have a number two who put up 30 plus a game, or 26 while playing with Jordan, never, When did Jordan ever have a power forward who put up thirty twice in the play offs, never. Jordan stayed with chicago until he made them champions, James had to go somewhere else. James promised Cleavland he would get one for them, he knew he had to be with wade and Bosh, cause he is no Jordan or Magic, or Kobe, or Bird, all who had number two, but james has three number ones. So no way is James the best ever, he is a over hyped oscar roberson, nothing more than a great player. There is Jordan, then there is the rest, james is on the rest team.

  4. Usuck says:

    1-0… LOL

  5. Joren Van Spitael says:

    my prospect another game 5 win for heat their just too athlethic for Dallas heat’s defense will make dallas turn the ball over too much and we all know what happens then…. on both sides of the court heat will dominate bron will finally finally have a ring .

  6. letsgetreal says:

    kobe has 5 rings but pippen didnt even mention kobe…..he compared lebron to mj…..

    what does that tell you?

    RINGS ARE OVERATED WHEN EVALUATING PLAYERS.

    LEBRON JAMES IS FLAT OUT BETTER THAN KOBE BRYANT…BUT HOW MANY RINGS DOES LEBRON HAVE TODAY? NONE… THAT SHOULD TELL YOU HOW MUCH RINGS MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO EVALUATING EACH INDIVIDUAL PLAYER…

  7. Joren Van Spitael says:

    first off all let’s make one thing clear, offense wins games, defense, wins championships. i saw miami defense and it’s amazing, the way they contest shots, fill up the lane an don’t let teams shoot from the perimiter is fantastic. we all know that dallas has an improved defense (tyson chandler) but if jason terry isn’t going to defend better d-wade is going to finish them. Dallas defenitly deserves a ring, veterans like kidd and dirk should have a championship to complete their legacy . and not only as a fan but as a 17 year old european you should all just shut up about lebron joining the heat. he couldn’t get a ring in cleveland so he switched teams so what i think we all would do the same. an comparing a point forward with MJ isn’t fair. it’s just not the same style of playing. the pl

  8. stupidhaters says:

    hate lebron. hate dirk. hate whoever. stupid friggin and complainin band wagoners. you need to understand that basketball is a team game. you “may” have a leader but w/o the help from team mates, you think you can win? just sit tight and watch the game. if you hate lebron or whoever so much, don’t watch nba. watch something else for god’s sake. you act like cry babies.

  9. Alonso Zamarripa says:

    Fran, Fran… Isn’t Fran a girls name?

  10. Heat of this Decade says:

    This decade will be the Heat’s decade just like last decade was Spurs’ and LA’s. The Heat just need to stay healthy. If not they will face the same faith as Boston. If Boston managed to stay healthy, they would have gotten multiple championship. Now no one can stop the Heat. Be aware of the Heat people. It’s gonna be hotter than sun for years to come.

  11. MvP says:

    hey, by the way, ALL LEBRON HATER!!!!why don’t you try joining the NBA and play on that court before judging someone. well, that’s quite impossible, i think it would be better if you guys face me one on one. what ya’ think about that huh?

  12. letsgetreal says:

    it’s more amazing what iverson and lebron did taking lottery teams to the finals all by their self…that shows how great you are…because nobody else has done that…kobe for instance got put out in the first round 3 straight years after shaq left…

    kobe quickly saw he wasnt carrying anybody anywhere without a GREAT TEAM around him.

    ALSO IS KG REALLY ANY BETTER THAN HE WAS FOR THE TWOLVES NOW THAT HE HAS A RING….NO HE’S ACTUALLY WORSE…HE WAS A BETTER PLAYER WHEN HE DIDNT HAVE A RING.

    the media has made rings the definition of greatness…

    and everybody has jumped on the bandwagon…

    THIS IS NOT BOXING.

    IN A TEAM SPORT ONE PLAYER CANNOT BE DEFINED BY HOW WELL HIS TEAM DOES..

    IF YOUR TEAM IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN A TITLE, ITS JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH…PERIOD.

    JUST ASK BARRY SANDERS.

  13. robert says:

    @SIMPLE TRUTH:great article man
    Lebron haters are just clueles and foolish. He did his best when he was still a cavalier but he just doesn’t have great teammates to count on when it mattered most. Look, basketball is not a one man show,its a team game. Its just a matter of hours till you see how the the heat dominates this series

  14. Lakersfan5 says:

    This is BASKETBALL, not 1 on 1 on the park. Of course rings are the thing!!!!!!!!!111

  15. AL says:

    Stop crying like a B**ch……..

    Lebron is the best player in the league…….

    Is a adult….i can do what he want…….

    He owes you nothing……

    Go Heat Go…..

  16. Joshua Remo says:

    I don’t particularly like both teams but I think Heat will win in 6. I don’t see anyone in the mavs that can stop both Lebron and Wade.

  17. Lakersfan5 says:

    I dont personally like the heat, but I know that they will sweep the Mavs. They are just too fast for the mummies playing in Dallas. Also, Jason Terry’s good luck in 3 pointers will end. I hope Dallas wins but Miami are too fast and talented for the Mavs. GO LAKERS!!!!

  18. Joshua Remo says:

    I’m not buying Dirk and Lebron are top ten players at the moment. the simple truth is that you need to win rings to be in that categpry. My top ten(in no particular order) is Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Micheal Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Tim Duncan, Jerry West, Julius Erving, and Shaq.

    • Francisco says:

      ignorant statement, you have to win rings,bla bla, bla , blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  19. Semi Kalosi says:

    If Nowitzki never wins a ring, his legacy will still be intact and not tainted in any way. Lebron on the other hand, well let’s just say his legacy is already tainted and no matter how many rings he wins, he will always be remembered for tarnishing #23 and leaving Cleveland the way he did.

    One ring in Cleveland, will always be better than five in Miami…

    P.S – I am in no way a Cleveland fan and was a huge Miami and Wade supporter before Lebron and Bosh joined Wade.

  20. sketchkilla says:

    I have been reading all the comments on here from everyone and here is my opinion:

    Lebron James: A great player. If he dosen’t get a ring this finals it will be soon. Just because he teamed up with Wade does not automatically give them the ring. Look what the Bulls did to them in the first game of the series. With that being said I think even if Lebron had not went to Miami he still would have a ring evetually. Any man who can score 25 points in the 4th quater of a playoff game and signle handedly put his team in the finals has nothing left to prove to anybody. As for him leaving Cleveland the way he did, some could say it was a little bogus but look at it this way: Kendrick Perkin was told he was no longer a Celtic hours before the trade deadline while he was sitting in a hotel room on the road? Is that fair to him? And he is not a buster he is a valuble addition to any team. And probally the reason why the Celtics lost this year is because they did not have him in the post.

  21. fgsgds says:

    George Gervin before AI? Seriously?

  22. Rory Harrigan says:

    Definitely can’t take anything away from these great players. But there’s a distinct line that separates these players from the likes of MJ, Bird, Magic.

    Lebron’s time will likely someday come. He’s too good
    As for Dirk, this is his opportunity to really make a name for himself amongst the greatest of all time.

  23. Mark says:

    Teams win rings. Individuals have the opportunity to make a different in crunch time but if you’re the only option, no matter how good (Rose), your chances at titles are diminished.

  24. asdf says:

    great great article. there are some very deserving players that are just end up ringless.. but they are all considered greats.. although i’d love to see dirk win one i think he’ll go ringless.. but he is a great. Lebrion will at least win this year, so he’s fine. but anyways i think to be considered of the elite players on league history, you need at the very least two rings.

    Ring players starting 5:
    Magic johnson
    Michael Jordan
    Larry Bird
    Bill Russell
    Kareem Abdul Jabbar/Wilt

    and on the bench: Kobe, Shaq, and Isiah Thomas.

    To me that squad would breeze by the ringless, so i think you need it.

  25. SimpleTruth says:

    TO THE LEBRON HATERS…YOU PEOPLE ARE CLUELESS…
    FACT: HE DID EVERYTHING FOR CLEVELAND AND CARRIED THEM TO NBA FINALS APPEARANCE AND BEST RECORD IN THE LEAGUE AND GOT NO HELP IN THE PLAYOFFS HENCE HE NEVER WON. GOOD FOR HIM HE LEFT, HOW MANY MORE YEARS WAS HE GOING TO BE DISAPPOINTED
    FACT: DIRK HAS ALWAYS HAD BETTER TEAMMATES IN DALLAS AND NEVER WON, INCLUDING CHOKE JOBS IN NBA FINALS 06 AND FIRST ROUND LOSS TO GOLDEN STATE WHILE HAVING BEST RECORD IN THE SEASON. REALLY???
    FACT: EVERY CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM HAS HAD MORE THAN 1 STAR TO WIN…
    FACT: LEBRON IS NO KOBE? ARE U KIDDING ME?!?! HOW MANY RINGS DID KOBE WIN WITHOUT EITHER SHAQ OR PAU GASOL? YEA… END OF THE ARGUMENT.. THANK YOU

    MAIN POINT: LEBRON IS EASILY THE BEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE RIGHT NOW. HE DOES MORE FOR HIS TEAM THAN ANYONE ELSE. HE DID EVERYTHING FOR CLEVELAND AND NOW EVEN WITH WADE AND BOSH ON HIS TEAM, HE STILL PUT UP MVP NUMBERS.

    ALL THE HATERS ARE GONNA DISAPPEAR ONCE HE WINS… THEY WILL BE TOO BUSY CRYING IN THEIR CLOSETS BECAUSE THEIR POINTLESS HATE FOR LEBRON WILL NEVER GO AWAY… SAAAAD!

  26. Sparky says:

    Reading this article, pondering those names, I guess my answer is no. No it doesn’t matter that those players do not have rings- their careers were rich and long lasting. Those were the days when players stayed with the teams that drafted them almost their entire careers, they didn’t bail and run to a team stacked with superstars (until the end anyway). As a result they should be looked at with greater respect, ring or not.

  27. ddddd says:

    The biggest thing that is missing from Lebron’s game is the abilty to inflate mediocre players’ stats into awesome future contracts. Jordan had that. Kobe has that when his head is on straight. (It doesn’t always happen unless a coach like Phil keeps Kobe’s head on straight) Most of the great centers had that (Wilt, Hakeem, Shaq when he was young etc…) I could go on but I won’t right now…. Instead… Time to elaborate…
    MJ got Steve Kerr that final contract in San Antonio that bought him an extra championship. Kukoc got an awesome contract from Milwaukee after his days with the Bulls were done. Kobe turned Shannon Brown into a decent Baller when he was almost practically on his way out of the league before Brown was traded to the Lakers. Shoot the opportunities that Horry created for himself were because he had greats that inflated his worth… such as Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Kobe and so on…. Not because Horry was consistant…. He just was able to step in at the right times and develop the Big Shot Rob personna.
    Which player on the heat squad can you say that about when it comes to Lebron (or Wade to a lesser extent)???? James Jones is the only player that I can think of who’s game was even somewhat elevated from the attention the stars recieve. Now detractors may say it doesn’t matter because the big 3 will just do it all…. It might work for Miami also… You never know… But when it comes down to it the thing thats missing from Lebron’s game is making the players around him better. not worse! Not the ball on a string thing he did in Cleveland under Mike Brown…..

    Other than that Lebron should be good to go for tonight, but I don’t think that he will quite be enough to plow through the mavs TEAM…. as in TEAM! We will see though. Which sum of the whole is bigger? The mavs TEAM?? or the heat Big 3 plus stragglers.

  28. JoJo20 says:

    mavs will win in 5. they are better all around

  29. fgsgds says:

    No, it’s not the thing. Allen Iverson. Period.

  30. J.J Ñeettttaaaa says:

    hakeem was the only player to win a ring without the help of another great player but that was just the first ring and he had a bunch of really good players . Second he got help from clyde. Im not a lebron fan but it bothers me how people talk about him moving to miami to win a ring. What? did you guys forgot when he battling for himself against, garnet, pierce and allen. oh but thats not unfair Right? and whats amazing is he manage to push them to 7 game series. When he was in cleveland there was lebron and a bunch of role players thats it.BTW Go Mavs!!!!! Im just being fair.

  31. KTH30WI says:

    @- Here’s to you Mr. Heat Hater, 1. You probably either live in Cleveland spending your life trying to devote it all to one of the 2 worst teams in the NBA, or you are another LeBron wannabe. If he has no rings, so what? Like people said before, if you have more than half of the responsibility of carrying your team to the finals, it ain’t happening. Previous part of lineup for the Cavs back in 09- Mo Williams-Zydrunas Iglauskas-Delonte West, here’s the thing, they all are Deserved-to-be bench players. I know that the Cavs had no better starters, but seriously? Iglauskas can make shots, but not when needed and if he’s your defensive player, even an 80 year old version of Shaq could beat him. Mo Williams, he can make some great depth shots, a great player no lie, but when you tie that up to plenty of career misses and a low amount of points, you got really a Speedy Claxton kind of guy there. Don’t let me even get started on Delonte. 2. Delonte did something very inappropriate with LeBron’s mom, that’s a major reason of leaving, plus, if you have Anderson Varejao-type players, just shoot yourself and get it over with. So what if LeBron has no rings, he’s still one of the best. Examples of players who are great but have no rings(current)- Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Andrew Bogut. They’ve all been All-Stars(maybe not Bogut, don’t trust me on that one) at one point. They all got close, but fell, I’d like you see you try and win a pickup game against a D-League player, maybe even the worst one, even they have heart. So stop being a lock-up-in-your-bedroom-Star-Wars-collecting-sit-on-your-computer-all-day-nerd. Thanks, and to all Heat haters- get a life, cause you’ll be laughing when any team that tries to beat them loses.
    This is coming from a Mavs fan who, has 2 jerseys of all starters- Kidd,Butler,Marion,Chandler,Nowitzki, and I have 3 of Terry’s jerseys, and one of Peja’s when he was on the Kings.

  32. DIRK'S REVENGE!!! says:

    Lebron put himself in this position by bragging he would bring Miami more than 4 titles.

    So I don’t hate him, I don’t feel sorry for him about all the press because he brought it on himself by celebrating in Miami at the BEGINNING of the season … just not a smart move.

    Dirk is determined, focused, wants to win. He has been overlooked, criticized but he never said any unwise statements to get controversy or criticism.

    I really don’t care about all of this, I just want to see great play in the finals without refs stacking one team at the foul line.

  33. Will B says:

    Every Great player had other great players supporting them when they won a championship. Jordan had Pippen and a great coach in Jackson, Magic had Worthy and Kareem, Bird had Mchale and Parish and then there’s the Shaq+Kobe. No one can win a championship on their own not even LeBron who is probably the best overall player in the NBA. He had a very good solid supporting cast in Cleveland, but he didn’t have a real number 2 guy he could turn too, he carried that team too much and the Cavs missed their chance to get someone to support him (Amare was the popular choice at the time I think)
    But what makes people dislike LeBron is because he left that team and went to Miami to team up together with Bosh and Wade. If LeBron had gone to Chicago there may not have been much of a fuss because no one realised how good Rose was going to become. He also didn’t do himself any favours by doing the whole decision rubbish on TV.
    Lebron was always respected in Cleveland by most civilised NBA fans, but I think he lost a lot of respect from a lot of people.

    On the topic argument. You don’t need to win a championship to be considered great as an individual player. But if you don’t win one and you are a great player then you will always be remembered for not winning one.

  34. Bron All the Way says:

    You’re about to witness greatness from heat. Heat in 6

  35. REAlness says:

    real superstars dont run away from a good team . Bron didn have to leave to b on someone elses ship. not a true captain. and u can ask any navy person. he abandoned the team to get son someone elses ship. not a true king. sorry thngs like loyalty and being true are the morals i was raised on and obviously bron did take the easy way out. he was freakn MVP for two years straight n now he wen to run and jump on another ship instead of seeing his ship out in Cleveland and then how he did it just made him look like a total coward. a tv special. not a lakers or a heat fan or whoever didn get lebron james on their team fan. i just like to watch bball but lebron i dont like because he abandoned his team and did it in a selfish foolish way.

    • Usuck says:

      these are basketball players not voyagers…
      you’re just jealous of what the Heat will accomplish this time.. :)

  36. bertail says:

    I think u forgot that AI played for the Pistons

  37. arda says:

    all these great players have an excuse named ‘michael jordan’. no one can blame karl molone and stockton because they couldn’t be the champions, same goes for nearly all the players up there, they maybe the best players ever played the game, but there were better players and better teams at the time. but right now miami heat has the best roster in nba, and ‘the best’ player in nba, so if they can’t win against dallas, i think we can say that lebron is not the chosen one after all. how ever i believe they will win 4-1 or 4-2 at most.

  38. BoB says:

    Okay, let me just put it like this. For all of those who believe that either team has players who are not great, they are misguided. While I dislike the heat, and love the mavericks, I can openly say that the heat have a better squad, and for all intensive purposes should win the title. But how many times have you seen the better team lose. It happens frequently, it happened in the mavs vs gsw series, it happened spurs vs grizzles. And I believe it will happen again, here in the finals. The Mavericks wont have much longer to win a title. They are the stories of aging stars, they have the veterans who have gone all the way and lost to this very team. They won’t let it happen again.

    Mavericks in 6. First 2 split, 2-1 mavs at home, and the mavs win game six.
    All but one game is decided by 10 points or less.

  39. BoB says:

    Okay, let me just put it like this. For all of those who believe that either team has players who are not great, they are misguided. While I dislike the heat, and love the mavericks, I can openly say that the heat have a better squad, and for all intensive purposes should win the title. But how many times have you seen the better team lose. It happens frequently, it happened in the mavs vs gsw series, it happened spurs vs grizzles. And I believe it will happen again, here in the finals. The Mavericks wont have much longer to win a title. They are the stories of aging stars, they have the veterans who have gone all the way and lost to this very team. They won’t let it happen again.

    Mavericks in 6. First 2 split, 2-1 mavs at home, and the mavs win game six.
    All but one game is decided by 10 points or less, 2 g

  40. Martin says:

    Well, if Lebron doesn’t win a ring…..I personally think that it definitely says something because if you’re such a great player and are surrounded with the players he is now in Miami and not win a ring.
    Just to make a comparison….if dirk would take his place in the Miami line up they would def win at least one. So if lebron ends up ringless in his career i think it says he doesn’t have the greatness in him to elevate a team like the Heat to a champion!

    • @ says:

      Even if he did win a ring he still sucks. Look what he had to do to get a ring. Not respectable at all.

      • lol says:

        such a bitter BAs+ard. maybe you love lebron that much that you cant admit to yourself that they left you behind without a ring. read all your comments fag. bitter butter.

      • DR.heatclub says:

        @ @: i see that the best player gonna always attracts haters… ur juz another sad lebron hater not a game fan, cuz u woulda admire lebron’s game, which is for sure in the top 5 best player of all times!! good teams wins championships, not a superstar by himself, sooo that said, if kobe wants to win anotha ring he should go to the heats bench now haha… kobe’s era is over!! i think that was the best decision ever in sports, players needs big markets cities (la, ny, mia, chi… not cle, mill, golden state) to win championships.

  41. DR.heatclub says:

    i dont think a ring describe a player as greats! players dont win rings, TEAMS wins championship which gives players rings… jordan didnt win by himself (pippen, rodman), so didnt kobe (shaq, horry or gasol, odom), so didnt duncan (parker, ginobili)…. sometimes u juz gotta be lucky (james posey onws 2 rings lol)… i think lebron, wade or bosh have nuttin to prove to this league or the wolrd, theyre one of the best player to ever play this game, specially lebron and wade… the juz gotta make a great team to win championships, and eventually get rings!

    • @ says:

      Your right, teams do win championships. But your superstar is suppose to carry the team. Something lebron is not capable of. Which makes him garbage. You heat and lebron fans can make all the excuses you want, try and find ways to make him seem like hes better than jordan and kobe. Reality is, once again, 7 seasons with the cavs, no rings. Two seasons that team won 60 + games. No reason why the shouldnt have won a championship one of those two seasons. Then when lebron realizes hes garbage and he cant carry a team to a chamionship, well we all no what came after that, the decision. Lebron=garbage.

      • John says:

        That is such a biased statement it isnt funny, lets look at “garbage” LeBron’s numbers THIS postseason, after a season of over hyped drama the media played up. LeBron has looked excellent, He and Wade have been swapping the closer role each series it seemed, you cannot look at the series against the Bulls and say that about LeBron, if you do then you must be blinded by your dislike for the player that you cant SE what he is doing so well.

      • DR.heatclub says:

        lebron garbage?? HAHA… i see u dont kno about basketball that much… he beats kobe’s stats like by 2 YEARS!!! he has done wat kobe have done and much more in only 8 seasons… nooooo superstar can carry a team to championship by himself, if not go ask kobe when shaq left him, and he got sweep by the pistons in the finals!! its as simple as, if u put kobe in the cavs, he wouldnt got a single ring eitha, he wouldnt even won 60+ lol… juz look, if u made 45pts, grabbed 15rbs, give 13asts, and 5stls AND ur team still losses by 10pts, something is wrong wit ur team(lebron and the cavs)… kobe juz gotta put 20pts and his team still gonna win (kobe and the lakers), for me kobe = super-overrated as a player, like the lakers dont need kobe to be a great team, gilbert arenas can make that job to the lakers!!

      • Usuck says:

        @@ your just a Cavs fan who can’t accept the reality…
        Maybe your Dan Gilbert???
        sore LOSER.. haha

  42. petJo says:

    Its the Fullfillment for their career

  43. i think says:

    nobody realizes that James did not choose to be with Kobe, or Pierce, or Howard, or any other superstar who was HIS competition, but with Wade, who was one of the best friends. I read other day that Jordan said about The Desicion, that he never have teamed up with Bird or Magic (or smth), but there’s a difference when James decided to team up with Wade. And when we talking about James, he needs to win, MIAMI needs to win, caz they choosed to make a dynasty! Nowitzki will always be HERO (especially in Europe). Overall my personal thought is, great-great players win championchip(s). If players are smart, they will choose their path to the history! Nobody cares in 25 years that James won the title with Wade and Bosh.. as long as he plays his heart out every single game, we as fans can never judge him and his decisions.

    • Lucky Lady says:

      well said!!

    • arda says:

      cavs lead nba in most wins the last season lebron was in the roster. so the fact that he needs to win is not a good enough reason. wade won the championship with shaq but he was the star of that series. i don’t remember a final series where pippen was the finals mvp, do you? so getting teamed up with a superstar lessens his value in my eyes as a nba fan. but i don’t think he will care about that when he celebrates his championship. i just wanted to say by going to miami, he showed the world that he can’t replace the greatest sportsman in the world.

      • Francisco says:

        do not downgraded pipen value , it is real stupid , when Jordan left to play baseball , the jordanless bulls won 55 games, and lost
        in a seven games series , they were an elite team without Michael, if pipen had left instead of jordan they had lost also.

    • @ says:

      @i think i think nothing you said made any sense. And Lucky Lady must be as dumb as you are if she agrees with you.

      • Usuck says:

        @@ you are the dumb one dude….
        just can’t accept the Heat is winning????
        stop watching the games
        it will just break your heart.. lol

  44. Hakeem says:

    Lebron James left the team to have a chance to win. Only a handful players won a championship without another All-Star. Derrick Rose led the Bulls to the League best record and is the MVP but he didn´t win against a team with more than one player at a high level

  45. Francisco says:

    it depends , who you ask. basketball fans are usually low intellect people who are very influenced by hollywood,many believe than brat pit is the greatest actor ever.Basketball is a collective game, a ring is a collective achivement, individual stats has far more to do with greatness even when they do not reflect all what happens.a team is like a puzzle there are different pieces to complete the picture, you have a big piece(lebron) another big(wade) but the other pieces need to match to complete the frame, detroit pistons were made of fair size pieces which matched and they won.there is not superstars or stars that is plane stupid to create division and it is very subjective.kobe greatness has nothing to do with rings, but with his stats, he did not win last year based in his game 7 performance however he got the ring.is bill rusell the greatest ever with 11 rings?NOOOOOO.NOW you have a guy like lebron who is destroying kobe stats and the lakers fan can do nothing about it , only talk about rings.

  46. drills says:

    @sbfern:: NOOOOO the Cavs would still be the worst team in the league. Big Z and West were good and effective role players alongside Lebron, take him away and the outcome of the Cavs season would still be the same…the WORST! Note, I am not an fanatical Lebron fan, but he has been crucified foolishly. You speak of him taking the “easy way” to win, yet endorse CP3 going to the Knicks and Howard to the Bulls or Lakers, confused??? The Hornets and Magic have built there franchises over the past few years with these 2 players at its focal point respectively. The Knicks and Bulls have 2 Allstars, and the Lakes 2-3, yet Lebron going to Miami to play with better talent is wrong??? Pure faulty logic!! He wants to win period! He did not sell his soul to the devil or all that foolishness, he made a decision that puts him in the running to be a champion multiple times. Players have done it before and weren’t crucified as much: Ray Allen, Garnett, Melo, Boozer… they want to win and the standard for winning is a championship, nothing more, nothing less!

  47. boom says:

    This is like Allies versus the Soviets.

  48. long memory says:

    Before I make my prediction I want to acknowledge ALL those people who said Miami COULDN’T get to the place where they are right now. A prediction can go either was and I’m not mad at all those who predicted Boston or predicted Chicago throughout the season all the way up into the playoffs. Because Those were good teams and they had a good shot at being in the finals. What I was upset about was those of you said Miami “COULDN’T” be here. See what I believed happened was ….You guys let your dislike for Lebron, Your dislike for the Heat and the media microscope on this team CONFUSE your basketball knowledge. Imean Here’s one example ; After watching Miami take out phili and boston and the WAY they did it – then watching the Bulls have some problems with Indiana and Atlanta what do you think the “prediction” would be?? I said Miami but Barkley, Kenny Smith, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Many here on nba.com, All picked the Bulls!!?? why? Because they WANTED the Bulls to win. This has been happening all year.. Even some of the Best basketball players past and present let their hate TWIST their knowledge of the game. They said. MIami needs a new coach. Miami’s bench doesn’t have enough. Lebron and Wade are too alike. Miami is too weak at the Point guard and Center. The list goes on and on about -not miami “Wouldn’t” but why Miami COULDN’T get here. You got writers talking more about the scottie pippen quote after game 5 then How AMAZING game 5 was. You got analyst given a hundred reasons why the Bulls lost without Miami being mentioned AS the reason. Alot of people want to Crawl away or talk around the fact that they’ve been eating Mud these playoffs!! They will be Rooting for the Mavs SO HARD! – If Dallas wins the new hate will be “Told you they “Couldn’t” win a championship – If Miami wins the hate will be “well thats what they were supposed to do” (like LA Boston wasnt supposed to either) SO here are just a few Mud eaters

    Sekou Smith (read all of ya articles.)
    David Aldridge
    Steve Aschburner
    Fran Blinebury
    Charles Barkley (The commerical was funny but the Finals makes Charles feel more stupid)

    Bloggers Lakers 2011-3peat -keitho-lol heat is a bust -mjbehancourt-HEater-Ruben-medula-LAW064-mikelaw-karmababy-belmont-thegreatone-mamba-simplythebest-derriso-ctran-afafgsghf-sarkies-angela-grant-enrique-ritanielson-mustang720-L337-Shaun-tata-heatsuck-yanick-lakeshow and many others. (funny how alot of these people had L.A too lol)
    your hoping dallas wins (and they have good shot) But Miami just being in the Finals makes yall wrong.

  49. boom says:

    But in all seriousness, Dirk i believe deserves a ring more than anybody. From that skinny small forward back then with the nick carter haircut to the force that he is today. He is a testament to those who wasn’t born a lebron in school or a lebron in art or a lebron in life in general that you can still be great if you keep pushing yourself. Though still, much respect for lbj and the rest of the heat. I can’t wait to watch it all unfold.

  50. 2pacalypse says:

    Not for dirk. Lebron on the other hand, his career is already tainted.

  51. DWADE says:

    still, no ring no pride…

    you are still outside the Champions Club….

    NBA Championship is every player’s ultimate goal…

    regardless if you are the star player or the 15th man on the bench

    YOU NEED THOSE RINGS TO CAP OFF YOUR CAREER…

    and the list of players who doesn’t have a ring at the end of their
    career will just grow…

  52. The Phat Mack says:

    ok Magic had what 4 hall of fame players
    bird played wit like 4 hall of fame players
    kobe had shaq to carry him for 3 rings
    and then wanted to get traded cause shaq left and he didnt want to carry a team by himself then they got gasol in a trade
    jordan had pip,rodman
    nobody can do it alone
    and the heat benh is suspect all they have is 2 GREAT players 1 good player and a bunch of role players
    so i dont see the problem
    please tell me 1 nba great that has a ring that didnt have another hall of famer OR 3 or 4 all stars together on the same team

  53. boom says:

    Can’t they just give dallas this one? I mean it would give a lot of all stars rings that they deserve if they win this one.

    • DIRK'S REVENGE!!! says:

      It’s not THIER’S to GIVE!!! Both teams still have a shot to EARN IT!!!

      The Title is something they EARN … why has everyone forgotten that fact.

      Don’t BUY the HYPE!!!

  54. LebronisKingButNotHigherThanGod says:

    iverson played with detroit too. they forgot that.

  55. tae says:

    Basketball is still a team game. And no matter how great you can become individually, this sport is still all about leading your team (or playing your role) to WIN IT ALL. Its about being the BEST TEAM in a full year and just outlasting everyone else.

    It wouldnt be fair to compare Barkley to Robert Horry… but how would Horry fare against let’s say Bryon Russel? or Steve Kerr against Howard Eisley? With playing almost the same roles in their teams, Horry and Kerr would far more be remembered because of how they played to championship teams. And these two aren’t just sitting and waiting for their rings, they did great roles to make their teams (and not just one each) be CHAMPS.

    Of course Dirk, Lebron and the others in mind are still winner’s, the HOF is already waiting for them.

    But it is still about Basketball… where it is always about a TEAM striving to win it all.

  56. Law064 says:

    I feel the ring does define a true superstar/leader however guys like Jack Haley who people called the highest paid cheerleader never even suited up in the playoffs but was on the roster. You can never compare these guys to the likes of John Stockton or Karl malone who were great players and never got over the hump(Jordan era). Robert Horry was a great role player and made big shots but he was not the star of the team or the leader on the floor. He just made big shots and earned his ring unlike the Jack Haley’s who just watched the game and cheered but got a few rings.@Daniel your 100% correct MJ did have a great obstacle to hurdle the Pistons, even in his younger days facing the Celtic’s with Larry Bird the Bulls were not good enough but MJ played as best as he can he did put up like 63 on them. I also agree that Malone and Stockon even Ewing and Barkley were just facing the wrong opponent (MJ) and it was bad timing.

  57. Joe buck says:

    I agree with you if when its all said and done and Lebron has no rings then his legacy will be tarnished a lot more than dirk’s he teamed up with wade and bosh. he has to deliver mutiple titles there is no longer any excuse

  58. LA steve says:

    i think you have to win it all. if you don’t you’re in a category of greats but you aren’t as legendary as you would be had you won.

    the ring boosts you up a notch or two in terms of greatness no question.

  59. The Rocker says:

    this is gonna be a close one but i think the Mavs might be able to slip past the Heat (& that’s coming from a Heat fan)

  60. letsgomavs25 says:

    every1 with an MVP trophy is a true great

    • Lakersfan5 says:

      No man… the playoffs are when the real players show their leadership and composure. MVP is a popularity contest at the regular season. Its about who has HUEVOS (heart, leadership, and composure. Its a soccer thing). That is something LeBron never had and is having this season. Lets see if he doesnt chicken out in the Finals though

      • Gary says:

        Haha it would be a Laker fan downplaying the MVP title. No buddy MVP’s measure player greatness and championships measure a team, but there is definatily more to be said about those who have both.

  61. Ken says:

    Awesome! A Zan Tabak reference!

    Anyway, Lebron and Dirk are greats either way. Just like Ewing, Malone, Barkley, etc. Ewing and Malone most definitely would have had rings if not for a guy named Michael Jordan. But Lebron NEEDS one to back up all the hype. Dirk came into the league with little to no fanfare (traded for Robert Traylor RIP on draft night) and has proven to be one of the top scorers in the league consistently. As much as I like Wade, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and the Heat more than Dirk and the Mavs, seeing Lebron retire ringless would provide me with a little solice; that basketball is a team sport. For every Jordan or Wilt there are a hundred Iversons, Steve Francises, or Marburys. As much as the NBA profits and pushes the SUPERSTAR talent to the forefront, I prefer to see team-oriented players and markets win rings. The Spurs, Pistons, and the Shaq-Wade Heat were good examples. Even Kobe couldn’t win a ring without a quality big man (Gasol).

    All that being said, in 20 years we probably won’t be talking about guys like Francis, Marbury and Iverson, but we will still talk about Malone, Barkley, Ewing, Lebron & Dirk. So, is the ring the thing? Yes, but you don’t need one to achieve greatness stature.

  62. Tae says:

    Basketball is still a team game. And no matter how great you can become individually, this sport is still all about leading your team (or playing your role) to WIN IT ALL. Its about being the BEST TEAM in a full year and just outlasting everyone else.

    It wouldnt be fair to compare Barkley to Horry… but how would Horry fare against let’s say Bryon Russel? or Steve Kerr against Howard Eisley? With playing almost the same roles in their teams, Horry and Kerr would far more be remembered because of how they played to championship teams. And these two aren’t just sitting and waiting for their rings, they did great roles to make their teams (and not just one each) be CHAMPS.

    Of course Dirk, Lebron and the others in mind are still winner’s, the HOF is already waiting for them.

    But it is still about Basketball… where it is always about a TEAM striving to win it all.

  63. Rings says:

    Basketball is still a team game. And no matter how great you can become individually, this sport is still all about leading your team (or playing your role) to WIN IT ALL. Its about being the BEST TEAM in a full year and just outlasting everyone else.

    It wouldnt be fair to compare Barkley to Horry… but how would Horry fare against let’s say Bryon Russel? or Steve Kerr against Howard Eisley? With playing almost the same roles in their teams, Horry and Kerr would far more be remembered because of how they played to championship teams. And these two aren’t just sitting and waiting for their rings, they did great roles to make their teams (and not just one each) be CHAMPS.

    Of course Dirk, Lebron and the others in mind are still winner’s, the HOF is already waiting for them.

    But it is still about Basketball… where it is always about a TEAM striving to win it all.

  64. GuestList says:

    Umm… I like that list which has been posted with the great ringless-es… But I don’t recall any one of these players being called “The King”. Lebron played 8 seasons with this nickname without a ring. I think it would be highly traumatic for him and his “legacy” to retire without one (although he’s going to get one in the end of this series).

  65. Lakers SUCKS! says:

    lets see whats happen this season if jason kidd or james will have a ring. good luck both of you! anyways lakers sucks!!!

  66. asd says:

    stockton and malone are the greatest demonstration that a ring doesn’t mean anything to enstablish the value of a single player… those guys are recordS holders!

  67. KObeSUCKS says:

    Dirk has become more than just an amazing player. An inspiration to anyone trying to achieve anything through his dedication and patience,will soon pay off. Unlike Lebron James who left his first team just to be with a all-star team. Only proves that he cant win without being with other all-star caliber player. If miami wins this series, it’s like Voldemort winning over harry potter,.. only few believed in Mavs, when nobody else did.. We will bleed blue, We die blue. Lets Go MAVS Nation..

    • Blueprint says:

      “only proves he can’t win without being with other all-star caliber players”
      Smh. It still makes me laugh that people think that’s a bad thing. The only person I can think of off the top of my head that won a championship without an all-star level teammate(s) is Hakeem Olajuwon, and even then the Great Wall of Jordan had to retire for that to happen.

    • HeatWave says:

      Dallas – Five players who have been NBA All-Stars at least 2x, NBA sixth Man, and a Olympic Champion.
      Miami – 3 All-Stars and still killing teams.
      BTW Harry Potter, WTF?

    • sbfern says:

      HAHAHA i love how this person’s “NAME” has nothing to do with what he wrote! if you are such a Mavs fan, you should at least come up with a “PRO MAVS name” instead of hating! Dirk is the MVP right now and deserves to win the championship. Any team that can beat THIS lakers team in a 7 game series is by far the best team in the league. Sure Dallas had to play perfect basketball, but they are smart enough to get great looks. For DANIEL K…Horry happens to be the greatest clutch shooter of all time, Jordan nor Kobe have done what Horry did thus far. So to say he is not great is just wrong and deserves those rings as much as the stars of the team. I DO have to agree with you on the timing part on winning a champinship, Dallas was always a great and feared team, but Spurs and Lakers were slightly better every year until now.

      • MJ the GOAT says:

        HAHAHAHA, please tell me what Horry has done that MJ hasn’t in the finals or payoffs?? And you are talking to someone that has every single game Mj played in the finals and playoffs bar 2 games from 1985 against the bucks!!!!! And don’t talk about Kobe like he has achieved anything like MJ in the playoffs & finals he has only ever hit 1 yes 1 SINGLE winner in his whole playoff career and has missed Many so stop talking a dumb laker fan!! Like I said I think you will find that MJ has WAY yes WAY more winners/tieing buckets in the clutch than Kobe and Horry put together so stop talking BS

      • sbfern says:

        @ MJ the Goat: Jordan IS the best player EVER, yes better than Kobe, but who is second? Kobe. and he has proved rightly so so dont come with your Jordan mancrush and tell me Kobe shouldnt be spoken to at the same level. Cause apparently you have not seen many Lakers game. And you are talking to one that has seen him since he was traded for Vlade. And Horry did not get the ball as much as Jordan or Kobe did towards the end of the ball game because he cannot create his own shot and IS/WAS the best player on the court. But you can definitely bet he was by FAR the most clutch shooter in history MORE THAN JORDAN i repeat MORE THAN JORDAN. Now i am not saying that makes him better than jordan, cause it would be silly what i am saying is that Horry deserves every single ring he has got!

      • Usuck says:

        Kobe sucks he is already gone fishing… lol

    • Francisco says:

      very stupid comment

    • blah says:

      id like to agree with u since your name says it…
      and yes, no one can win it all without an allstar back up, not even lebron nor MJ nor kobe.
      so with everything said and done, lets just enjoy an upcoming EPIC series in about a few hours.
      lets go Heat!

  68. Daniel K says:

    I personally think that winning a championship is overrated when it comes to deciding if you’re an all time great. Winning a championship is more about the timing. You have to have a good team with all around talent and a deep bench. A good coach and a good coaching staff. Then you have to have the luck to not play during an era dominated by let’s say Boston Celtics during the 60’s. If Michael would have been playing back then he would never won those rings! Because the C’s where simply too good! That’s the same thing with the C’s in the 80’s. Michael didn’t win there either. Until the 90’s began. Phil Jackson and all the good players surrounding Michael came along, and there and then Michael could win. And lets say if Michael would have been picked no 1 in the draft. And he would have played in either Portland or Houston his entire career. Would he have won those rings then?

    Stop all the talk about that all the greatest players have rings. LeBron could have stayed in Cleveland for his entire life, and never would have got the talent to surround him. He would still dominate ALL THE PLAYERS in the NBA, but still falling short thanks to the bad sircumstances with his supporting cast.

    Personally, I think Stockton is one of the best pg’s of all time. And Malone one of the 2-3 best PF’s of all time. They just happened to play for the wrong team, at the wrong time, against the wrong opponent.

    And just because Robert Horry has seven rings doesn’t make him an all time great. He was just lucky to play for the right team, at the right time! Like I said. It’s all about timing!

    • JazzMania says:

      Horry is one of the greatest contributors to those teams. He definitely wasn’t the reason they won but he was a key to a solid team. He hit sooo many big shots when they needed them. I started liking the guy because he shined when the team needed someone to step up.

    • Vijay says:

      Firstly, as I mentioned in another reply, Robert Horry didn’t just get lucky. Hard Work + Opportunity = Luck. In other words I am aware that it is a make or miss league but when a guy makes in a high percentage in practice and makes one in the game when he needs to, it is not all luck.

      Secondly, Lebron at that time I respected, would have eventually, this not to say like 300 years down the road, but eventually won multiple titles in Cleveland. I always told folks, a team does not win 60+ games back to back seasons by accident or by luck. Cleveland at the time made two bad moves especially in the last year he was there in adding a slow and immobile shaq and an all offense no defense Antawn Jamison. The only other problem Cleveland had was of Lebron’s own doing, if he had committed in the early the Cavs would’ve had a much easier time luring talent their way. No one wants to play on a losing team, combined with the fact that it’s also in a small market with cold weather to boot.

      It has a little bit to do with timing, for eg, Kenny Smith and the Rockets cashing on the years Jordan retired, however the Best rise to the top no matter what and comparing decades is never really sensible. Jordan dominated the 90s, Celtics dominated the 80s, that’s just the way it was.

    • Jake says:

      Well said, championships are a poor indicator of a player’s ability because there are simply too many other factors that go into winning a championship.

    • Francisco says:

      smart comment

    • MJ the GOAT says:

      MJ’s Bulls couldn’t compete with 80’s celtics LOL err not when he didn’t have one all-star to go aginst BIRD and the other 4 yes 4 all stars!!!! LOL MJ’s bulls with Rodman, Harper, Kerr, Kuckoc, Pippen, MJ, and Salley could definately compete and beat (not every time) but definately beat at times the 80’s lakers!!! He nearly beat their best team ’86 team, on his own in game 1 dropped 63 on them and it went to 2 overtimes LOL You really think a prime stronger more experienced MJ with pippen and co couldn’t beat that team then you are crazy!!! and clearly have no clue about the game! I have over 800 of MJ’s games and over 200 bird celtics games, and it is clear who was the better team. CLue for you it aint the celtics FACT

  69. The Phat Mack says:

    both of them NEED a RING(S)
    but i say LeBron more than dirk and i hope he gets it cause its crazy how people are so upset that he got out of cleveland HAS ANYONE SEEN THE CAVS THIS YEAR WITHOUT HIM thats right WORST TEAM IN BASKETBALL BY FAR
    so why would he want to continue to play for a team that wsnt helping him when it mattered most IN THE PLAYOFFS
    NOW HE GOT help JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER GREATS HAD
    MAGIC PLAYED WIT LIKE 4 HOF PLAYERS SAME AS BIRD
    JORDAN PLAYED WIT 2 OTHERS
    so waht lebron didnt tell the fans he was leaving first so what he was a FREE AGENT!!!!!!!!!
    and do owners tell the fans when they cut a player NO they just cut them
    the HEAT are now LEBRON’s team and anyone who says its not didnt watch the heat this season at all cause it was clear who the leader of the HEAT is
    so go LEBRON win those rings and make your haters even more mad

    • Usuck says:

      right! owners just cut players which they think is already useless …
      so owners don’t also have the right to force the player to play for them …
      right Mr. Gilbert??

      • TRIBINSKI says:

        @THE PHAT MACK.. I THINK YOU WILL BE A GREAT WRITER… YOU KNOW CORRECT FORM OF SENTENCE…

      • Wanna Trade? says:

        How bout trading all the guys you mentioned in Dallas, for Dwayne wade. I am not a Dallas fan nor Heat hater, the Dallas guys you mentioned are not scrubs, but none of them is at superstar level or allstar level anymore. Even Bosh is at better level than any of those guys.

    • sbfern says:

      The Cavs whole team changed, not just Lebron. So do not say that only Lebron left and now they are the worst team. West, Big Z, were a crucial part of that team also! Lebron doesnt deserve anything! he has the potential to be the greatest player EVER, but he chose to team up and just win the easy way! i know this will not last long because the Knicks will get CP3 and Lakers or Bulls will get Howard. Then Miami is DONE! FINITO!

      • Jake says:

        West and Big Z were crucial? I’m no Lebron lover, but he left and the Cavs went from first to worst. There were other changes to be sure, but they were insignificant compared with Lebron leaving.

    • Ken says:

      The Heat is Wade’s team. Has been since he joined. I didn’t see Dwyane Wade begging to get traded to the Cavs.

      • ... says:

        Well ya obviously. Any rational person would pick hot Miami beaches over stinky Cleveland hahah. I’m sure if Bron was in Miami and Wade was in Cleveland it’d be the other way around.

      • HEAT in 6 says:

        he did not begged to be traded to the cavs but he recruited lebron james and bosh..if the hate did not sign lebron james or bosh he would transfer to the bulls.

    • blaze says:

      The difference is, Kareem was already there when Magic was drafted and they then drafted Worthy. The Celtics had Parrish, drafted Bird and then McHale. The Bulls had Jordan, drafted Pippen later, and Rodman was brought in via a trade. LeBron actively sought out Wade and Bosh, so hopefully you see the huge difference here. Regardless of how many titles Lebron gets or does not get in Miami, it should be remembered that he did not get it done in Cleveland with the leagues best record two years in a row and with a very solid supporting cast.

      • VM says:

        SOLID SUPPORTING CAST?!! PLEEEASE tell me you’re joking. He probably had the weakest supporting cast out of any star. Mo Williams was his second best option….no offence to him but that says it all. During a Cleveland game one of the broadcasters even said that they could probably be beat by a DLeague team this year.

      • Eddie says:

        I don’t know about that, i read somewhere that Lebron was responsible for more than 52% of the Cavs output during the postseason. For me, that’s too much for one player to handle for the length of time that he managed it. I can understand people’s frustration at LeBron, but he’s just one man! He made what he thought was the right decision for him to achieve from basketball the things he wanted. The level of negative attention that he tends to accrue now is a bit unfair in my eyes.

      • Lucky Lady says:

        Yeah, and u know why, because Boston’s big three was there to kick them out and its funny because their team was formed just like the Heat and nobody said half as much about it.
        Also the Magic kicked them out the year prior and they had Dwight, Hedo, Rashard and Jameer, a supporting cast that
        Clevend did not have, and your point is?

      • @ says:

        @blaze very very very well said. Too bad these moronic heat fans lebron ball sack gobblers cant see this guy is flat out garbage. And its amazing to me how anyone can compare him to true greats. And we all knew Scottie has had some finanical troubles. Maybe that has something to do with his crack use. Becasuse that boy has got to be on something with that comment he made not too long ago.

    • @ says:

      Even IF lebron won a ring this year, he still aint s**t. You gotta be the MAN or your team, carry your team to a title. I know you heat and lebron fans want to act like hes done that. But the facts speak for themselves. The guy cant stand on the same stage as the real great ones. Good example, Dirk carried his team to the finals in 06. Ya they got beat, but thats what a real superstar does, carries his team to the finals. Oh, and look, Dirks back in the finals. So thats twice he was able to carry his team to the finals. How many times has your lebron done that?

      • arda says:

        of course every team which won the championship had great players, but this miami heat team can’t be compared to lakers team, or the jordan’s chicago bulls (why anyone compares lebron to mj is beyond me), because you have a guy who scores 25.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.6 asists and who already won a ring, and became the finals mvp, so if you compare dwanye wade to scotty pippen then go ahead and compare jordan to lebron james, this is really silly.. i had some other points to make but this is pointless, if you think this heat team can be compared to the jordan’s bulls there is no way you can understand simple logic..

      • Lucky Lady says:

        ha ha..twice and in less years..just Witness

      • Nobody says:

        If you’re expecting none, FYI Lebron did carry the Cavs to the finals once in 07. He also carried the Cavs further in the playoff compared to Dirk carrying the Mavs since 07 (correct me if I’m wrong). Lebron carried the team to win the most games in regular season in 09 and 10. I don’t know how much more do you want him to do.

        And he carried the Heat to the finals this year. I know Wade and Bosh did a lot in the playoffs, but Lebron was the main reason they finished Celtics and Bulls in 5 games.

      • Nobody says:

        BTW, Steve Nash deserves a title more than anyone in the league right now.

  70. dirk45 says:

    Dirk’s greatness would not be tarnished by being ringless. He decided to stay in Dallas and a big part of his greatness comes from his humble behaviour. LeBron on the other side has a team of superstars surrounding him. It’s more do or die for him.

    But I think that every player may have bad luck, bad refs or whatever keeping him from a title. The times are over where a Wilt Chamberlain would have led nearly every team to a title. You cannot determine greatness by looking at rings or ppg anymore.

    • HeatWave says:

      Team of superstars? You mean like the Former but still great All-Star pg Jason Kidd, one of the best defensive 7 footers Chandler, NBA six man Terry, 2x Three point champion 3x All-Star Peja, 4x All-Star Shawn Marion, 2x All-Star Caron Butler. Yeah Dirk simply has some mediocre players along side him…

      • sbfern says:

        hahaha! good point…and this is the same reason Dallas is going to take this Championship! there is no depth in Miami! they are DONE!

      • u mean “all past their prime” stars? c’mon man.. Bron, Bosh & Wade are not even in their 30s yet to team up.
        Chandler – not great, just defensively good.
        Kidd – 38 years of age.
        Marion – 33 years of age.
        Terry – 33 years of age.
        Stojakovic – 33 years of age
        Nowitzki – 32 years old.

      • Mr. eleven says:

        @sbfern
        LET THE BALL DECIDE TONIGHT! Good Luck to all of us. Go Heat!

      • Keith says:

        Butler’s hurt, Marion’s nowhere near the all-star player he was five years ago, Peja hasn’t played starter’s minutes in several years, and Kidd is 38, though still solid. Terry is a very good sixth man and Chandler is solid defensively but, make no mistake, Dirk is the only all-star on that team

      • the Heat you can't beat says:

        That is the same thing they said when the heat went against the Bulls and the Celtics. The Heat is going to take it this year. And maybe the next few years to come, just sit back and watch.

      • HeatWave says:

        @ Josh Matthews, Don’t let the media cloud your better judgment; 33 is not an old age for an NBA All-Star athlete. Especially these ones who haven’t seen this much post season action in awhile. Kidd however is amazing at that age. Forget Lebron, that guy is freak of nature lol.

      • @ says:

        Lebron and this heat team suck. I hate watching three superstars on the same team, it just looks so bad. Lebron James is garbage, and always will be garbage. I guess Scottie Pippen started smoking crack with that silly comment he made the other day. Ever since Kobe was accused of raping the trailer park white girl, the NBA media and some NBA fans have just been dying for someone to be better than Kobe, so they want to turn to Lebron. The problem with that is, 7 seasons, no rings. Bolted for miami and couldnt even bring one championship to Cleveland. Tell me one superstar, that the media and everyone else looked at as a superstar that left his team to join another superstar to chase a chamionship becasue he wasnt good enough to carry his team to a title. It is disrespectful to the game and the real great players of the NBA who won championships for their teams and cities. Lebron couldnt do that and thats what makes him GARBAGE. Lebron wouldnt even be worthy of drinking kobe or jordans piss if he was dying of thirst.

      • AP says:

        Shaq moved to LA as the star of Orlando to get a ring. Then To Miami to get a ring. He then tried phoenix and that didn’t work. So he tried Cleveland, nope. Maybe Boston, not there either.
        What about Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, both superstars of their teams. Carmelo Anthony moved to NY. Tell that is not for a ring. Charles Barkley to Phoenix, but it didn’t work, than to Houston. Drexler went to Houston for a ring. Karl Malone and Gary Payton went to the Lakers. Payton than moved to the Heat with O’Neal, but didn’t stay long enough. Gasol and Odem, both stars in their teams before arriving at the Lakers.
        I’m sure there are more, but I think I’ve made my point.

      • ADN says:

        TO “@” Ur poit is useless, u say Kobe carried Lakers?! when he was with O`Neil the 3times Lakers MVP finals? And when he left the Lakers that was terrible, they even miss the 06 playoff and kobe press the panic button and wanted to left Lakers remember?! so the owners bring Gasol and Odom, that help him to get 2 other titles to them, wasnt Kobe, was the team. In 7 years LeBron make Cleveland appears in the maps and 2 times best NBA Score team 1 finals and they NEVER try to bring a decent player to the team dude, thats why he left… thats why hes great!! what u spect that he gets 33-35 years to move another team to try for a ring?! Come on, look Malone or Barkley!

    • Vijay says:

      Rings define greatness in specific ways, however in my opinion it is not unanimous. What I mean by that is this. Michael was a prolific scorer and dominated the league for many years, before he started winning titles that is, he dropped 63 on the Celtics in a playoff game. If he continued on that path, never getting over those hurdles and teams, he would have gone down as one of the greatest to ever play without a ring, hence putting an asterisk beside his name when talking about greatest of all time. Which leads me to my second point. Rings help define a players legacy in terms of measuring what he does against the result of what he does. In other words Iverson lead the league in scoring for many seasons, reached the Finals once, it doesn’t make sense scoring so many points all for nothing. The league as many players have said before are full of players who can get 30 on a given night but can you get a meaningful thirty, to help your team over the hump, eg Ron Artest points scored in game 7, after having a miserable shooting performance in the 2010 playoffs up to that point.

      Point number three though explains why rings don’t automatically mean greatness. Luke Walton has five rings I believe, Tyronne Lue has one, not to mention some of the names mentioned in the article, players who were just on championship teams, some who didn’t even log a minute in most cases. Some who didn’t even suit up. Robert Horry’s rings though, are not hand me downs or band wagon rings, he earned all of his. Hitting series changing and altering shots from distance, missing one in particular against the Spurs, that helped propelled them to the finals that year. My point is though in terms of rings defining greatness is that it is specific to who you are talking about and what they have accomplished. In other words Luke Walton cannot be considered greater than Lebron at Forward because he happened to be on championship squads.

      I am a Lakers fan, so therefore I dislike the Mavs, however I will be lending them my support as I dislike the Heat, specifically Lebron and his “decision” even more. For all those Kobe haters who always jump quickly to the “Kobe rode Shaq’s coat tails, and Gasol’s coat tails” argument. If that is your argument I don’t know how you can honestly get behind a guy who actively sought out two other all stars to play with to try to win rings.

      • WPG says:

        you are absolutely right (except for some points)… defining greatness i think is about individual acheivement that is topped off by a ring. Scoring championships, league and playoff mvp awards, and individual prowess are what setup a player to achieve greatness in the nba. Winning a ring, however, is a TEAM effort and not an INDIVIDUAL accomplishment. Having said that I honestly dont believe one superstar can win a ring purely by themselves (Lebron in Cleaveland) and not even Jordan was able to do that. Greatness is therefore defined by individual accomplishments and topped off by the number of rings that those accomplishments lead to. This is why guys like miller, barkley, stockton, malone, and baylor are all HOFs whereas Mark Madsen, Luke Walton, Josh Powell, and yes even D-Fish will never be mentioned to have the same caliber that these legends have.

        So when people compare Lebron needing help to win and Kobe needing help to win, the fact that many people have not learned yet is that in order TO WIN AN NBA RING YOU NEED HELP. It doesnt matter who helps, if you get fellow all stars to help than you get all stars to help. But it doesnt matter how great you are, no one superstar (past or present) can create a dynasty without someone in the sidelines shouldering the load.

        Here’s to Nash, Hill, Kidd, and Dirk creating a “superteam” of their own HELPING eachother to win a ring.

      • patcarter says:

        Because of his high basket ball IQ thats why. He is intelligent enough to know what he needs and is unselfess enough ala(magic johnson) to get finishers involved. having said that he was out of high school, already signed endoresements before he even bounced a ball in the NBA,(set finacially for life already),led a team of nobodies to the finals with yearly playoff appearances, grew a franchise’s worth, created jobs/stimulated local business economy for downtown all in his first contract.

        He is intelligent enough to know that Cleveland would have continued to bring in average finishers without nurturing the talent that they had in 2007. (thank God byron scott is there now). Because the owner was all about money and didn’t get to know Lebron, what would make him happy, that much is telling in his post comments. He knew when Lebron chose to not to resign another 5 year contract that/ he needed to get to know his player and get some proven basket ball savy operations in the front office. So why waste these precious years and be like Charles, Karl and others who waited to late to pair up with other vetrans to get that ring. That never happened.

        To further prove my point fans don’t see the big picture, the lakers just hired Mike brown, don’t you thing a sit down talk with Kobe would have been approbiate? Instead of finding out through the media Brian Shaw is not going to get the gig? It’s okaye what owners do but not players? Lebron will be one of the greatest before his body of work is over. Oh please don’t give me the rings because I believe Bill Russell is the standard bearer, we can talk about 2,3, players later with mulitple rings.

    • lb11 says:

      i agree – i hope Dirk/Dallas wins, since it might be the last chance to get the ring. Miami’s future looking brigther, their bench is still suspect.

    • Tenki says:

      I’m looking for the reasons why Miami can’t win:

      1. Dallas is better
      2. Dirk is unstoppable;
      3. Mavs have deeper bench
      4. Barea is too fast for Wade to handle (pffft);
      5. Dallas is hungry for a championship;
      6. Dallas has better point guards and centers.

      Now, Dallas fans have their own reasons (or excuses)

      1. Dirk is the only All-Star in that lineup;
      2. Butler is injured;
      3. Kidd is 38 years old;
      4. Wade has James and Bosh;
      5. Dirk injured his middle finger.

      Guess what, bandwagon Dallas fans: two of my middle fingers aren’t injured. Wanna see it?