2021 NBA Season Thread aka The James “Corona Club” Harden Victory Tour

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Giannis still hasn't gone to sleep, last I heard, throwing shade on joining a super team, saying Milwaukee is his city, getting 50 chicken mini's at Chick-fil-A and letting people see and take videos with the O'Brien and his Finals MVP 🏆🏆. I love it, every Greek family I knew could party like rock stars and Giannis is very likeable and his happiness is infectious, do u, Giannis, do u
 

Unimane

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Uh, no. Sorry, Stephen. I'm a Wisconsin boy and love my Bucks and those two, but Middleton isn't the closer like Kobe was. You have to have some good pieces to win a title and a solid sidekick is absolutely one of them. However, Middleton and Holiday aren't in the top 20 in terms of NBA players. Middleton is, possibly, top 25, but this is in no way close to what the Lakers, Clippers or Suns are doing with top 10 players at multiple positions. I think there's a little bit of a space between a "superteam" and "a whole bunch of d-leaguers".
 

n_huffhines

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Uh, no. Sorry, Stephen. I'm a Wisconsin boy and love my Bucks and those two, but Middleton isn't the closer like Kobe was. You have to have some good pieces to win a title and a solid sidekick is absolutely one of them. However, Middleton and Holiday aren't in the top 20 in terms of NBA players. Middleton is, possibly, top 25, but this is in no way close to what the Lakers, Clippers or Suns are doing with top 10 players at multiple positions. I think there's a little bit of a space between a "superteam" and "a whole bunch of d-leaguers".
Kobe wasn't that good in the 3peat years. They had average offense in the 4th quarter when he was closing and the #1 offense in the first 3 quarters as Shaq was building a big enough lead for Kobe to protect. It's actually a pretty good parallel.

Suns have 1 top 10 player and he's 35 and might not be top 10. Booker is maybe top 20. He didn't even make an all star team until this year when some dudes dropped out. He had some great moments in the playoffs, but overall, he didn't even play like a top 30 player. He disappeared at times, didn't facilitate well, turned the ball over a lot, and didn't get to the line. All the skills are there to be great he's just gotta make better choices and break bad habits.
 
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Unimane

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Kobe wasn't that good in the 3peat years. They had average offense in the 4th quarter when he was closing and the #1 offense in the first 3 quarters as Shaq was building a big enough lead for Kobe to protect. It's actually a pretty good parallel.

Suns have 1 top 10 player and he's 35 and might not be top 10. Booker is maybe top 20. He didn't even make an all star team until this year when some dudes dropped out. He had some great moments in the playoffs, but overall, he didn't even play like a top 30 player. He disappeared at times, didn't facilitate well, turned the ball over a lot, and didn't get to the line. All the skills are there to be great he's just gotta make better choices and break bad habits.
Kobe averaged 30 and 27 in the last two years of the 3peat playoff runs. He was really damn good, already, a top 5 player in the league by 2000. Maybe one could say he was just alright in their first title, but certainly not for the entirety of the 3peat. Again, I love Midds, but he ain't that.

I agree the Suns aren't a superteam, similarly to the Bucks, and I'll be happy if they are able to take down the manufactured squads of the west again next year.
 
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n_huffhines

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Kobe averaged 30 and 27 in the last two years of the 3peat playoff runs. He was really damn good, already, a top 5 player in the league by 2000. Maybe one could say he was just alright in their first title, but certainly not for the entirety of the 3peat. Again, I love Midds, but he ain't that.

I agree the Suns aren't a superteam, similarly to the Bucks, and I'll be happy if they are able to take down the manufactured squads of the west again next year.
He was shooting more than Middleton and only matched his efficiency once and was way below average efficiency twice. He also scored 15 ppg in the Pacers final, was really off shooting in the 76ers final, and missed everything in the Pistons final with an all-time choke job. Middleton just had a better final than all 3 of those with a great defender on him all series.

Kobe wasn't a top 5 player until like 2006 or so
 
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Unimane

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He was shooting more than Middleton and only matched his efficiency once and was way below average efficiency twice. He also scored 15 ppg in the Pacers final, was really off shooting in the 76ers final, and missed everything in the Pistons final with an all-time choke job. Middleton just had a better final than all 3 of those with a great defender on him all series.

Kobe wasn't a top 5 player until like 2006 or so
I conceded the 2000 series, but Kobe did sprain his ankle there in Game 2, missing Game 3 altogether. Yet, he still closed out Game 4 in OT when Shaq fouled out. Kobe's shooting percentage against the 76ers was on par with Middleton's this past series, outscoring Middleton, plus helped on defense against Iverson and an important play maker late in most of those games. Phil Jackson noted Kobe was the key to this series at the time and Kobe was additionally the closer on many of the 2001 and 2002 playoff games for the Lakers as Shaq would often get in foul trouble and struggle at the free throw line. You failed to mention the 2002 Finals, as well, where Bryant was killer and closed out the Nets in the 4th of both Games 3 and 4. The Pistons series wasn't part of the 3peat and the Kobe-Shaq feud was in high gear by then.

Sorry, Jackson trying to argue Middleton is like 3peat Kobe is silly, no matter the attempted angle. Kobe was inarguably a superstar by 2001. I'll agree the Lakers weren't a "superteam", either, since they built that squad with Kobe as a draft pick and no sort of collection of loose stars. They didn't try this until 2004, but Karl Malone and Gary Payton were pretty washed up by then, especially the Mailman.
 

n_huffhines

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I conceded the 2000 series, but Kobe did sprain his ankle there in Game 2, missing Game 3 altogether. Yet, he still closed out Game 4 in OT when Shaq fouled out. Kobe's shooting percentage against the 76ers was on par with Middleton's this past series, outscoring Middleton, plus helped on defense against Iverson and an important play maker late in most of those games. Phil Jackson noted Kobe was the key to this series at the time and Kobe was additionally the closer on many of the 2001 and 2002 playoff games for the Lakers as Shaq would often get in foul trouble and struggle at the free throw line. You failed to mention the 2002 Finals, as well, where Bryant was killer and closed out the Nets in the 4th of both Games 3 and 4. The Pistons series wasn't part of the 3peat and the Kobe-Shaq feud was in high gear by then.

Sorry, Jackson trying to argue Middleton is like 3peat Kobe is silly, no matter the attempted angle. Kobe was inarguably a superstar by 2001. I'll agree the Lakers weren't a "superteam", either, since they built that squad with Kobe as a draft pick and no sort of collection of loose stars. They didn't try this until 2004, but Karl Malone and Gary Payton were pretty washed up by then, especially the Mailman.
Kobe was an all star before he was a starter. He was completely overhyped until he hit his prime years. He was a "scorer" who couldn't reliably score with efficiency.

This version of Middleton could have won titles next to Shaq, no question. He actually spreads the floor more for Shaq because he's a way better shooter than Kobe.
 
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Unimane

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Kobe was an all star before he was a starter. He was completely overhyped until he hit his prime years. He was a "scorer" who couldn't reliably score with efficiency.

This version of Middleton could have won titles next to Shaq, no question. He actually spreads the floor more for Shaq because he's a way better shooter than Kobe.
Kobe shot 47, 46 and 47% the three peat years and Middleton has shot 44, 50 and 48% the last three years. Middleton is better from three, but Kobe's shooting was, overall, right there with Middleton's and Bryant's all-around game was significantly better. The Lakers probably don't make it out of the West in, at least, a couple of those years replacing Kobe with Middleton. Bryant was very much the real deal by 2001 and had shown the potential for being an alpha star the prior few years.
 

n_huffhines

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Kobe shot 47, 46 and 47% the three peat years and Middleton has shot 44, 50 and 48% the last three years. Middleton is better from three, but Kobe's shooting was, overall, right there with Middleton's and Bryant's all-around game was significantly better. The Lakers probably don't make it out of the West in, at least, a couple of those years replacing Kobe with Middleton. Bryant was very much the real deal by 2001 and had shown the potential for being an alpha star the prior few years.
Yeah, so a better FG% shooting twice as many 3's. No comparison as far as efficiency goes.

Middleton shot a ts% of .588 this year, and that's not even his best. Kobe never did that.
 
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I need a link. Divac is the one who threatened to not play for the Hornets. Kobe was a 13th pick and had little leverage
He threatened to play in Italy instead of Charlotte and his agent wouldn't let him work out for certain lottery teams, including Charlotte. Look up Charlotte Observer articles about Kobe. "Once again, Charlotte didn't kick Kobe out the door". I think that's the name of the article, I couldn't link it for some reason, I will try again. Mostly going on memory of watching the draft live and I thought he didn't have any leverage, too. That's why I couldn't stand him until I drafted Vince Carter and Kobe in my 2000 or 2001 fantasy draft and dominated my league. Became a Kobe fan that year
 

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