El Loco’s NBA Rankings & Predictions

By
Updated: February 25, 2011

* Team Records accurate as of Friday morning, 8:39 A.M.

The hyped hoopla of the NBA all-star break is long gone (thank God). Now as we push through the final eight weeks of NBA regular season play, it is fitting to look forward to the postseason.  This article is as objective as possible. What I mean by this, is that no matter how much I hate the Lakers(this is true..want to be honest), they are a legitimate champion with the fire power to win championships for the next two to three years.

Before I continue with the rankings, I want to answer some of the questions the average fan has mused over this season:

1) Are we seeing the decline of Kobe Bryant? Yes and No. Kobe is 32. Whether we want to admit it, the guy has played professional hoops for fourteen years.  There has been a lot of wear and tear on the knees, which can be atributed to the lack of lift on his jumpshots, explosions toward the hoop, and that tired look in the closing stretches of big games. Nonetheless we are talking about one of the greatest this league has ever seen, and like MJ or Magic, Kobe is smart and should be able to find ways to turn it on come playoff time.

2)  Can the Heat beat the elite teams (top 5)? It should be noted that as of today, the Heat are 0-6 against the top five teams in the NBA.  Yet I think we can all admit that when a lineup boast the likes of Bron, Wade, and Bosh, the likelihood of that zero remaining in the win collumn come playoff time, is a silly assertion.

3) Is a power shift occuring from West to East? Yes. The East is the strongest it has been in quite sometime with the “mighty 3” in Miami, a healthy Boston, Chicago’s flowering from young promise to seasoned reality, Atlanta’s firepower, Orlando’s depth, and now, the rebirth in New York.  I believe that the biggest shift is occuring with the Knicks resurgence. Two superstar faces like Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony joining the Eastern Conference not only enhances the Knicks as a team, but switches some popularity from West to East. Not to mention the trade of Deron Williams to the Nets, continues in a trend of big name stars exiting  the Western Conference.  The West from seeds 6-8 in the postseason is still legitimately stronger, but that gap is closing.

NBA Rankings

1. L.A. Lakers (40-19): I know, I know, this seems cliche. But like the Bulls dominated stretches in the 90’s, the Lakers have been nearly as dominant in the 21st century’s first decade. The last ten years the Lakers have won five titles, been in seven finals, and are built with a team now that can find ways to win come playoff time. This year’s team has underachieved, no doubt.  Yet how dominate is a team that underachieves at 40-19? They remind me of the first three-peat Bulls team that limped to a 57-25 finish and a #2 seed in the East. No Kobe is not Michael, but Michael never had the likes of Pau, Odom, Artest, and Bynum.

2a. Boston Celtics (41-15): This team wins when it matters most.  This is the best this team has looked in three years, as each of their “big-3” are healthy and playing the best ball of the season. Pierce has increased his shot production–which was down the last two years–attributing to his increase in points per night by nearly two. Allen is smooth as silk and KG is playing with the fire necessary to drive this unit. Add in dime dropping Rondo, a somewhat motivated Shaq, bench sparks like Big Baby, and this team will be tough to beat at home this postseason.

2b.San Antonio Spurs (47-10): The most fad and cliche pick this season is San Antonio. Why? Their dominate start at 47-10, does not spell championships.  Having three guys like Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili leading the way is huge. They have won three titles in the Century’s first decade, and have the poise necessary to help their young stars stay calm in the postseason. At the same time, this team has relied on the thirty three year old Ginobili like never before. With Duncan having his least productive scoring season of his career (13.6), the Spurs have become more of a run n’ gun team with isolation sets for the aging Ginobili. Ginobili has been brittle for most of his career, which scares me come playoff time. But with Pop at the helm,  three guys hungry for their fourth ring, and the best record against the top ten teams this season (.688),  I have to give them the cred necessary.

3. Miami Heat (42-16):  If this was a ranking for most intriguing and dramatic, then the Heat would rank atop this list.  The league learned a huge lesson in 2004, when the Lakers, boasting the likes of Shaq, Kobe, Malone, and Payton, lost to a group of role guys — the Pistons. The inconsistency of this method makes me question whether or not the Heat’s big three will know when and where to demote their shot to one another. I also wonder whether or not the lack of a post presence will burn them when facing a team that plays tough perimeter defense.  Who scores inside? Until that is answered, I cannot in good faith put a team with no post presence and an 0-6 record against the top 5 teams at the top of this list.

4.Chicago Bulls (39-17): The Bulls are like a wine that has finally fermented to a perfect age. Plenty of tannin: 3rd in team defense, Robust flavors: increased scoring, Flowering nose: go to guy like Derick Rose, and Complexities: better depth–Boozer, Deng, Noah, Brewer. The ascension of Derick Rose from semi-star to a top 3 point guard in basketball, has legitimized the Bulls come playoff time with a serious scorer who has the ability to put this team on his back. When you add in a healthy Boozer (19.9 pts a night), and the comeback of defensive minded Joakim Noah, this team has the components to challenge anyone. The addition of Carlos Boozer has given the Bulls a legitimate 2nd scorer and the post offense they have lacked the last three years.  One concern? 25-4 at home, but just 13-13 on the road.

5. Dallas Mavericks (41-16): This is where things get murky.  I know the Mavs are arguably the most disappointing franchise of this Century’s first decade. Their collapse against the #8 seed Warriors in the 1st round of 2007 still lingers in many peoples minds. But this is not 2007. The Mavs have the 2nd best record against the ten best teams in the league, 4th best against the top five. They are the most balanced team at Home (22-8) and Away (19-8), which means they can beat anyone, anywhere. They are in the top-5 defensively and can score, ranking top-10 offensively. Add in a winner like Jason Kidd, a go to guy like Dirk, sparks like Marion, Terry, and Stojakavic, and this team realistically could make a deep run in the playoffs.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (36-20): The trade for Nate Robinson and Kendrick Perkins from Boston, gives the Thunderdepth on their bench and solidifies a struggling defense. With Perkins now in the front court, the Thunder can defend any big in the postseason. One question though, is who scores besides Durant and Westbrook? Trading Jeff Green to the Celtics, proves the Thunder were not willing to continue giving  the underachieving Green a shot. Yet without Green, the Thunder will look for scoring from Jeff Harden, who has yet to develop into the scorer we thought he would be in the pros.  At the same time, this team thrives on defense. Their dip in this area is the reason for the trade and should re-center them defensively come postseason. Not to mention they are confident, after nearly knocking off the #1 seed Lakers last season in the 1st round.

7. Orlando Magic (36-22): It seems the Magic are once again lost in la la land. After losing in 1995  to the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals, the Magic splintered and went into a fourteen year drought. Now nearly two years later since losing to the Lakers in the Finals, the Magic are the worst they have been in three years. They are still very good defensively (top 5) , but struggle offensively at times. Why? Their reliance upon the defensive-minded Dwight Howard proves such. Despite Howard’s career year (22.4 pts), the Magic are scoring nearly seven points lower this season and shooting the three-point shot eight percent lower than last season. Attempting to run a post offense has never been who this team is; a run and gun, fast paced, three point shooting team. Incredibly deep, it seems the Magic are deep with the wrong players: shoot first, oft injured point guards in Gilbert Arenas and Jameer Nelson, a one-hit wonder forward in Turkoglu, and an erratic scorer in J-Rich. I argue that the move for Vince Carter a year and a half ago set this team back a few years.

8. Portland Trailblazers (32-25): Despite Brandon Roy’s banged up body, the Blazers continue to stay afloat with great defense (top 7), an emergent star in Lamarcus Aldridge, and a group of roll guys like Rudy Ferndandez, Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Mathews and Marcus Camby.  They are tough to beat at home, and play with a poise necessary to win tough games on the road in the postseason. The trade for Gerald Wallace from Charlotte, should take pressure off of Roy offensively and gives the Blazer another  facet on a dangerous unit.

9. Atlanta Hawks (34-23): It seems every year, we wait for the Hawks to become a dominate force in the Eastern Conference. This year is not the year. Once again, they are a middle of the pack team with the elements  to beat anybody. The trade for Hinrich from the Wizards is silly, considering they lose a talented veteran point guard in Mike Bibby for a disappointing, aloof point guard in Hinrich. Nonetheless a lineup withguys like  Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and a bench with the likes of super- sub Jamal Crawford, gives this team the ability to beat much of the top teams comes postseason. Unfortunately ability is not reality, and I don’t think Joe Johnson is right star to lead them to greatness.

10. New Orleans Hornets (34-25): Yes the Hornets are renewed after their disappointing 09-10 season. But they still lack a true post presence with the a more defensive minded Emeka Okafor. Disappointments like Trevor Ariza, have caused the Hornets to take a step back offensively, after being one of the top teams two years ago.  The leagues top team defensively, the Hornets cause a bunch of turnovers and can get in the open floor. Chris Paul and David West drive this team, but they lack the cohesiveness on offense to make a  run.

11. Memphis Grizzlies (32-27): I love this team. They are still two years away from really competing. But when you boast a lineup with a star in Rudy Gay, an up- and- coming point guard in Mike Conley, a front court with two tough nosed guys in Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol, you’re destined to be really good.  I like the Battier trade, because it further strengthens their defensive prowess and gives them the veteran necessary come playoff time.

12. New York Knicks (29-26): The Carmelo trade makes things interesting out East. Melo gives this team the star wing player they’ve been lacking. Add in a veteran winner like Chauncey Billups, and return- to- dominance Amare Stoudamire, and this team has the trio necessary to bounce a higher seed early. The Knicks are my definite dark horse come playoff time.

13. Utah Jazz (31-27): Did I like D-Will in Utah blue? Absolutely. Do I think the Jazz made out well in the trade? Yes. I am never a proponent, as most of you aren’t, for sending your franchise guy in a flash trade. But the Jazz got a looming star point in Devin Harris, a project talent in Derrick Favors, two first round picks, and a nice pod of  three million. With bigs’ like Al Jefferson, and Paul Milsap, this team has the players to compete for the next five years.

14. Philadelphia 76ers (28-29): The Sixers are balanced: middle pack offensively and defensively. They have an exciting crowd pleaser in Andre Igoudala, and a nice blend of veterans–Elton Brand, with young talents–Thad Young. No point guard, and the disappointing rookie season of Evan Turner have this team looking on the outside in when it comes to seriously competing.

15. Phoenix Suns (28-27): Steve Nash just gets better and better with age. But who are we kidding? You have no shot when it comes to tired and old Vince Carter, and shoot first role guys like Channing Frye and Jared Dudley. And why trade for another bomber in Aaron Brooks?

16. Denver Nuggets (34-25): “Who needs Melo?”. Okay Denver, I loved that chant last night in a win over Boston. But…you went in the opposite direction with a trade that brought you an nonathletic wing in Galinari and a me-first wing in Chandler.  Your two central figures for the future should be Felton and Nene.

17. Golden St Warriors (26-30): The Warriors will not make the playoffs. And I don’t think the more you shoot the more you win. Except for Monta Ellis and Steph Curry, this team is awash in no-namer raw talents.

18. Indiana Pacers (26-30): What is the hype with Indiana? I cannot figure it out. Collison is not a franchise point guard, and just because you have a seven footer in Roy Hibbert averaging 13.3 pts, 9.0 reb, does not mean you are going in the right direction. Is it just me, or is the streaky shooting Danny Granger becoming the most overpaid wing in hoops?

19. Houston Rockets (28-31): This team is multi-talented and can win without a guy like Yao. But that was when they had a point guard–trading Aaron Brooks to the Suns for Goran Dragic is silly, and a wing like Ron Artest. I also think the trade of Battier to Memphis is perplexing, considering Battier was their defensive heart and soul. Sorry Scola, you are now stuck in a bad situation.

20. Los Angeles Clippers (21-37): Finally this team is going in the right direction, with two franchise players in Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin. Ditching Baron for Mo Williams and JamarioMoon was smart. Davis was overpaid and screwed with the Clippers chemistry. Watch out next year, when they get Chris Kaman back from injury and gel for an entire off-season.

21. Charlotte Bobcats (25-32): They start Kwame Brown–nuff’ said.

22. Milwaukee Bucks (22-35): I am a fan of the Bucks. They are a team of role guys who make it happen. Things caught up to them this season with the injury to Bogut and Jennings innability to rise into a star point.

23. Detroit Pistons (21-38): Hey,  how bout them Tigers?

24. Toronto Raptors (16-42): All I can say is that I like Calderon and their young prospect DeMar DeRozen.

25. New Jersey Nets (17-40): Things in Jersey are sad. Yes they just acquired Deron Williams from the Jazz, but they gave away their entire team doing it.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (13-45): I know it sounds far-fetched but this team does have three good pieces to build around in Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, and Johnny Flynn.

27. Washington Wizards (15-41): The only bright side to things is that I truly believe John Wall will be a top five point guard in two years.

28. Sacramento Kings (14-41): Tyreke….ahhhhhhhhh…how can a multi-talented guy like you play so awkward?

29. Cleveland Cavaliers (10-47): It is comical when your biggest franchise face is Baron Davis. Bron Bron–bad on you.

Most Valuable Player: LeBron James over Derick Rose, though my heart believes it is Rose’s to win this year. Imagine the Bulls without Rose. Now imagine the Heat without James. Nonetheless it is more economical for the league to give James his third MVP in a row.

Rookie of the Year: Can you say Mr. Griffin in L.A.? Wow.

Most Improved Player: Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers. Numbers have doubled from last season, and he is now considered an up-and-coming franchise center.

Coach of the Year: Gregg Popovich. Hard to argue with his team’s 47-10 start, considering they hardly cleared 50 wins the last two years. Their evolution proves Pop’s ability to quickly route a franchise into the right direction.

Playoff Darkhorse Eastern Conference: New York Knicks. It will be interesting to see if this team gets into a four v five matchupin the first round. With Melo, Amare, and Billups, they have the veterans and star power to surprise someone.

Playoff Darkhorse Western Conference: Portland Trailblazers. They fly under the radar because of the injury to Brandon Roy. But this team has enough without a healthy Roy to upend a conference elite. With Aldridge playing like he is, and the addition of Gerald Wallace, the hard nosed Blazers could make some noise come playoff time.

Finals Prediction: It will be an L.A. Lakers v. Boston Celtics rematch. Boston will have home court, which is huge. Series goes seven. I say it is a toss up. What do you think?

15 comments
Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

Cuz Del Loco: You know I love you right? But.... 1) If this response is aimed towards me it shouldn't be. I stated a fact when I said Kobe has a great group of guys around him. This comment is in celebration of what type of team Jerry Buss has built. A team that can withstand the aging elements of Kobe's game, and still win championships. 2) Why have Andy and you, both ignored what I said regarding Kobe in the earlier part of the article? "Kobe is one of the greatest this game has ever seen...." 3) In order to be great, you have to be compared to the greatest. This is a sad fact of life. We do not know who can achieve something more, unless we have the ability to see others with a B, C, D, or F. 4) The best thing Laker fans can do is shut it. If you all are confident about Kobe's legacy, then what is there to defend? Bingo. Lots of love Cuz del Loco

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

I will say I think you are being bias with your love for the Lakers. Odom is ten times the player Toni Kukoc ever was. Look at the numbers. Scottie was good, not great, and Pau if he wins one or two more easily is a top 50 player of all time. When it is said and done Pau will be in the list of the 5 best PF of all-time. Artest is to Rodman as Rodman is to Artest. That's a wash. And, Armstrong? Come on dude. When you say Derek Fisher..people know who you are talking about. When you say Armstrong...who? As for Kerr, great role player, but nothing like the Shannon Brown's coming off the bench. Shoot. This was not supposed to be a legacy argument. I think Kobe is a top 10-15 players of all time. Which is fantastic. O, here we go again..damn.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

You took that statement the wrong way. Yes, I do not believe Kobe is MJ, you and I have already discussed that. But that statement also was not a dissection of Kobe's legacy. I was simply stating a fact. Come on, read my bit on Kobe aging...."one of the greatest this league has ever seen.."

Tony Tone Toni!
Tony Tone Toni!

Hi......me again.......just wanted to say that TIM SALMON is the greatest Angel of all time. PS: You must be going centimental re: Wally World....Though I am old enough to appreciate your using Joyner and not Guerrero......Vlad's numbers were far better......both played 6 years for the Angels.......Tim Salmon, Garrett Anderson and Troy Glaus also had better numbers than Wally World......all 4 of them (includes Guerrero) won a WS with the Angels.....Salmon won ROY and is the franchise leader in HR, Glaus was the WS-MVP, and Garrett Anderson is 2nd in HRs for the franchise. So who's the greatest of the Mets? :)

Tony Tone Toni!
Tony Tone Toni!

Carmelo makes NY top 5 in the East this year.....add CP3 next year and it's on!!!!! Go Mets!!!! Ahhhhhh F88k......dropped my waffles...... BTW Loco.....I find the Eggo waffles to hold their crunch better under duress of syrup than any other brand. Halleluja waffles!

Andrew Stevens
Andrew Stevens

Michael never had Pau, Odom, Artest, Bynum? Scottie is a top 50 all-time player, Pau is not and probably will not be. Scottie was way better overall than is Pau. Toni Kukoc was a better shooter than Odom albeit not as good on the boards. Push. Rodman did more for the Bulls in any one year than Artest has done thus far, which is close to nothing. Names don't matter, production does. Bill Cartwright, Will Perdue and Luc Longley all contributed more in any 2 years of the Bulls playoffs' run than Andrew Bynum has in his 2. It is closely comparable as to the numbers, but any Bulls center had way more experience than Bynum. Not even to mention, most unbias people would take B.J. Armstrong or Steve Kerr over Derek Fisher. Yes, the Lakers' first three-peat team was more talented overall than either three-peat team of the Bulls. Ok. But this most recent Lakers back to back team is not as talented overall as either three-peat team of the Bulls. Kobe has less now than Michael had at any time. I think you underestimate how well Michael's role players played their roles effectively - some of the best of all-time no doubt. Kobe is winning rings with guys that aren't necessarily conforming even close to as well. Artest? Comon. Yes he had one big shot and one big steal in the playoffs last year, but that's all. He shot like 30% from the field and like 15% from 3. No one on any of the championship Bulls teams ever came close to that kind of futility.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

I also want to say, the move by the Thunder could help them crawl these next few weeks up this ranking list. I have always admired the horse of a Center, Perkins, and believe adding a shot in the arm offensive spark in Nate Robinson will be bigger than expected. Watchout for the Thunder. Plus, they will have homecourt for the first round or two and are dominate at home. They are the team I think the Lakers are truly afraid of out West.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

Yes, agreed. He will take pressure off of Brandon Roy. Roy is healthy enough to look dominate for a few minutes at a time, but is not able to withstand a workload of 35-40 minutes a night. So guys like Aldridge, and now Wallace will be invaluable come the postseason. Also, I think the Knicks are dangerous with their mix of veteran stars and exciting young athletes like Landry Fields.

owenmain
owenmain

G Wallace in Portland will be a bigger acquisition than people realize. Dude is a BEAST and Portland has a really good coach. Don't want to play them in the first round... Interesting thing in the SportsGuy on ESPN.com today about the Kings... I guess their owners are pretty much broke...

Chad Lerette
Chad Lerette

You are absolutely right! To be the greatest you must be compared to the greatest. Well if Jordan is your NBA Almighty then no other player has been compared to him more than Kobe Bryant. So that would mean if we both agreed Jordan was the best then Kobe would most certainly have to be second. Then why do you rank him only in the top 15? It's a bit disrespectful and in my opinion you purposely do it to get rise out of your nemesis Laker fans. I love you too cuz and no disrespect intended, but top 15?! Give me a break!!! Big Love, Cuz Del Loco

Chad Lerette
Chad Lerette

I would like to start my response by stating your comparing an apple to an orange: Different Competition Different Teammates Different Conferences Different Defenses Different Era The only thing accurately comparable is stats and that is not a very good indication of who is a better all-around player both mentally and physically. That being said I would like to provide some insight to this Jordan vs. Kobe debate: I came across a headline not too long ago while dabbling in sports media, as I often do at work when things are slow, that had "Kobe" and "Overrated" in the same sentence. What ridicule! What makes me even more furious is the fact that Kobe is always being compared to Jordan as a valid argument for his seemingly embellished talents and accomplishments. Hey critics and skeptics! Get over yourselves and your egotistical opinions! Aren't you guys tired of this yet?! How much longer do we have to listen to these barren and absurd juxtapositions between His Airness and The Black Mamba?! I would rather listen to Coors and Budweiser argue over whose light beer has more flavor or how about Allstate and Esurance argue over who has a better ad campaign, President Palmer from the TV series 24 or the fire crotch that gives you discounts for waking up in the morning and wiping your own ass. Does this stuff matter to you? I doubt it! And whether Kobe can win without Shaq, Gasol, Odom, or Daryl Strawberry for the matter doesn't really matter either! Someone posted in a blog one time in response to a posting about Kobe and Shaq. They said, "Why can't Kobe and Shaq just both be great?" As simple as this statement is I feel they hit it right on the nose. I mean why can't they? Why can't Kobe, Shaq and Jordan just all be phenomenal players that brought their own unique and extraordinary talents to the NBA? Why are some people obsessed with comparing individuals with the intention of diminishing one of the two compared's accomplishments and abilities? Isn't it remarkable enough that Kobe even be considered in the same basketball world as Jordan or will skeptics attack that as well and say he isn't? Will Kobe ever climb Jordan's Peak? I'm not sure Kobe even cares to, but he just celebrated his 5th title and is pursuing his 6th and second 3peat with The Los Angeles Lakers. I am confident enough to say I really doubt Kobe's goal is to shut up all the haters out there who look to belittle his every accomplishment. Excuse my French, but even a "tard" can see that Kobe is extremely talented. What cracks me up is how every time Kobe triumphs, the references to Jordan arise to say, "Ok, Kobe, You've won again, but Jordan won more, so ha!" I am certain everyone who reads this can agree that Bird, Magic and Duncan sit at the top of the elite list, but none of them are compared to Jordan the way Kobe is. In fact I don't ever recall reading an article where these 3 were compared to Jordan, but I could wipe my ass in the woods for days with the articles I have read comparing Kobe and Jordan. Hmmmm... Why do you think that is? Because Kobe is the best we have seen since MJ, before and after. Never has a player portrayed the will and leadership ability combined with ultimate skills that Jordan has like Kobe Bryant, period! You think I'm wrong?! Name someone! I challenge you! Here I'll save you the wasted time and energy because the answer is nobody! Not a single one! Look it up! Never in the history of the NBA has a player had to endure the verbal lashings that Bryant has just to be great and no other player has ever been compared to Jordan so fiercely and often. I never hear anyone ever say Kareem, Magic, Bird, Duncan or Dr. J is/was overrated, but Kobe is?! Really?! There is no justification to such a horrible argument! Yes Jordan's stats were slightly higher, but to call Kobe overrated is like calling Stephen Hawking stupid. You lose all credibility when you make that type of ignorant and unproven statement. It's time to just sit back and enjoy the unique talents and abilities he brings to the game. It doesn't matter who is better between Kobe, Jordan or Lebron. They all are supreme to their competition and command more respect than to be called overrated. Very few enter elite status and no matter how you try and explain yourself, calling them overrated is just plain ridiculous!! Sure, you don't have to like them and I don't give a shit if you do! But please at least respect what they've done. Thank you! Chad Lerette aka Cuz Del Loco

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

Oh no, here we go again (not calling out to Owen..ha!)

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

Here is the reason... I can't in good faith rank him above Wilt--Most dominate force in league history Kareem--2nd most dominate force in leauge history, all-time scorer Big O- Team guy who averaged a triple double Larry Legend--Because Larry's numbers are the same, he won an ass load of titles, and did it with less athleticism Magic--Because Magic is Magic. The face of showtime. He ran an offense like Kobe never could. Hakeem--The foot work for a man his size was uncanny. Two titles, most dominate center of his era. Bill Russell--Same as Hakeem or Wilt. Russell won 11 titles in a 13 year career. Shaq--No matter what Laker fans think of Shaq now, dude carried you guys to three titles and is bar none the biggest, most dominate player in his prime. Kobe would then rank from 10-15 (which can go in any order) with guys like Tim Duncan, Elgin Baylor, Jerry WEst, etc.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

And my comment about greatness being compared to greatness was not a reason to rank him #2. Why? MJ was compared to Magic, Bird, Dr. J, etc..... Kareem was compared to Wilt and Russel.... Hakeem compared to Kareem..... LeBron compared to Big O.... Shaq compared to Wilt.... The list goes on. AS I said, greatness is compared to greatness...

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