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Gretzky & Kurri = Jordan & Pippen?

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01-06-2012, 03:37 AM
  #1
mikko1995
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Gretzky & Kurri = Jordan & Pippen?

I love both hockey and basketball, and I thought it was pretty interesting, that Gretzky-Kurri duo was somewhat similar to Jordan-Pippen duo in basketball. Both were one of the most feared duos in the respective sports during their heyday. Even both of the teams formed a dynasty with those two being the core (well, you could argue that Kurri wasn't that big of a centerpiece to the Oilers when compared to Messier, Coffey and maybe Fuhr).

As for why they were similar in my eyes, it is because of the individual skills the player had.

Gretzky and Jordan. Considered as the Greatest of All-Time in their own sports, most profilic scorers in their game, every time they stepped to the ice, or the court in Jordan's case, the opposition would instantly be worried and would most likely sacrifice their offense just so they can keep Gretzky/Jordan in control. Now, Gretzky was a better team player, he used his teammates more than Jordan in my opinion. Neither of them were no slouches defensively either. Jordan relied more in his athleticism in his prime, while Gretzky used his unmatched vision and Hockey IQ. As Jordan became older, he started playing more like Gretzky, using his vision and IQ. Okay, now that I've said that, maybe I am wrong, they weren't similar, but the reason I found this interesting is because both of them are considered the best player to ever play the game in their own sport.

Kurri and Pippen. Both really good all-around players, Pippen was in the Defensive 1st Team 10 times in a row, and Kurri was top-5 in Selke voting two or three times IIRC, but back then it was considered as a truly defensive forwards trophy as in today it is more of a two-way forward's trophy, correct? Both had chemistry with their teammate, Gretzky and Jordan, both could score by themselves if it was needed. Sure their stats were inflated a bit because they played with the Greatest of All-Time. I think both Pippen and Kurri sacrificed their some of their offensive abilities to be more of a team player and help their teammates in defense. You could argue that Kurri is a top-50 player All-Time, he is close to it at least in my opinion. Pippen is closer to top-30 than top-50.

So, they played their primes playing together, except for almost two seasons when Jordan was in his first retirement, even though Jordan's highest scoring season came one season before Pippen joined the Bulls. What do you think? Is this a valid comparision or am I just pulling stuff out of air and making things to be like I want them to be?

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01-06-2012, 09:54 PM
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Big Phil
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It is a very valid comparison in my opinion. If you don't believe me, you can even check on one of the lists of "Best Damn Sports Show" did when they counted down the top 50 duos in sports history. This is a U.S. show and hockey is definitely the 4th major sport on this show but Gretzky and Kurri fared very well on the list.

I can't remember exactly how it ended but to jog my memory they ranked the highest duos like this:

#1 - Jordan/Pippen
#2 - Montana/Rice
#3 - Ruth/Gehrig
#4 - Magic/Kareem
#5 - Shaq/Kobe
#6 - Gretzky/Kurri

I remember watching it and specifically remembering them rated at #6 and not being too upset by it. Can't really argue with the names above them, I guess you could have slotted them in 4th and it wouldn't have mattered either. I personally think Ruth/Gehrig is the most dangerous duo out of that combo. The only problem is that Jordan and Pippen won 6 championships together while Ruth and Gehrig won just three together. I think that cinched it for them. I just think you could put Ruth no worse than Jordan as a comparable and Gehrig is definitely better than Pippen. Jordan is better than Montana but Rice is better than Pippen. Gretzky is at least as good as Jordan (better from a statistical perspective) and Pippen and Kurri are pretty similar. But they won just 4 times together and people think of Messier probably even more than Kurri when it comes to the Oilers dynasty even though they didn't play on the same line. By the way I remember Gretzky and Messier being among the top 50 duos too.

So in reality, even a U.S. show recognized the significance of Gretzky/Kurri.

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01-06-2012, 11:23 PM
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I'm not much of a basketball fan, however being from Chicago I know quite a bit about the Bulls dynasty and I will without question say that Jordan is no comparison to Gretzky....

I suppose Jordan would have to average 60 points a game to be a valid comparison to Gretzky..

Jordan was just an ultra clutch player, one of the best - if not the best clutch athletes in sports history.

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01-07-2012, 04:54 AM
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Allen Degenerate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawksfan2828 View Post
I'm not much of a basketball fan, however being from Chicago I know quite a bit about the Bulls dynasty and I will without question say that Jordan is no comparison to Gretzky....

I suppose Jordan would have to average 60 points a game to be a valid comparison to Gretzky..

Jordan was just an ultra clutch player, one of the best - if not the best clutch athletes in sports history.
If anything, Jordan was more dominant than Gretzky. And Pippen was an MVP calibre player on his own.

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01-07-2012, 05:45 AM
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If anything, Jordan was more dominant than Gretzky. And Pippen was an MVP calibre player on his own.
this and both Pippen and Jordan were dominant on both ends on the court (Jordan off course more so on offense then Pippen)

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01-07-2012, 11:14 AM
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vadim sharifijanov
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in an all-time sense, kurri is a distant fourth in this cohort. but one thing he has that pippen doesn't is a championship without his alpha dog. pippen led the bulls without michael and showed he was a franchise guy all on his own, but he wasn't in the echelon of championship franchise guys. (not to say, of course, that kurri was.)

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01-07-2012, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
in an all-time sense, kurri is a distant fourth in this cohort. but one thing he has that pippen doesn't is a championship without his alpha dog. pippen led the bulls without michael and showed he was a franchise guy all on his own, but he wasn't in the echelon of championship franchise guys. (not to say, of course, that kurri was.)
When did Pippen win anything without Jordan? Kurri won without Gretzky (but with Messier) in 1990.

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01-07-2012, 04:44 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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When did Pippen win anything without Jordan? Kurri won without Gretzky (but with Messier) in 1990.
that's exactly what i said.

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01-07-2012, 05:22 PM
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Yeah both duos are equal to each other. Gretzky and Jordan where the best players all time in their respective sports. Kurri and Pippen where great as well but where made better by Gretzky and Jordan being their teammates.

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01-07-2012, 11:45 PM
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Montana and Rice are the best duo because they are both top 5 all time in thier sport. Jari Kurri and Scottie Pippen are not much compared to rice, the gap is enormous.

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01-08-2012, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Montana and Rice are the best duo because they are both top 5 all time in thier sport. Jari Kurri and Scottie Pippen are not much compared to rice, the gap is enormous.
Indeed. Both are the best at their respective positions.

Imagine Gretzky and Orr on the same team. That is what Montana and Rice was like.

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01-08-2012, 05:54 AM
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Gretzky & Kurri = Jordan & Pippen?
And...

Tikkanen = Rodman

The Checking Agitator = The Pesty Rebounder





Last edited by VanIslander: 01-08-2012 at 07:43 AM.
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01-08-2012, 10:26 AM
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TheMoreYouKnow
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Montana/Rice is the best duo, but Montana isn't the best QB ever by any means.

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01-08-2012, 10:34 AM
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Big Phil
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
Montana/Rice is the best duo, but Montana isn't the best QB ever by any means.
On a lot of lists, Montana is still considered #1. In fact, he's still considered the best QB of all-time on most lists. The ones in the minority are the ones that don't have him #1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Montana and Rice are the best duo because they are both top 5 all time in thier sport. Jari Kurri and Scottie Pippen are not much compared to rice, the gap is enormous.
Ruth and Gehrig are pretty close to top 5 in their sports too. Ruth is #1 in my book but Gehrig would sneak in among the top 10 with me.

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01-08-2012, 11:48 AM
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TheMoreYouKnow
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On a lot of lists, Montana is still considered #1. In fact, he's still considered the best QB of all-time on most lists. The ones in the minority are the ones that don't have him #1.
Yes, but this is a sport where a majority of commenters still think a QB who throws for 80 yards and 1 TD with less than 50% completion but whose team wins 17-12 had a better game than a QB who throws for 450 yards and 5 TDs with 70+% completion but whose team loses 42-45.

Montana gets overrated to some extent in my opinion, and I mean some extent as he was a great QB just not the best, because of the massive importance of team success to how QBs are perceived in the U.S. and the Niners won four Super Bowls with him and he was pretty much the face of the league over a decade that most of today's 35-50 year olds remember very fondly.

Of course, Montana had a star-studded supporting cast and the Niners' D of that era doesn't get the credit it deserved. But for some reason people think in football that one guy who spends half the game on the bench and isn't a relevant factor on usually at least 40% of offensive plays solely affects whether a team wins or loses.

Now, aside from that, you have to consider that the Niners' WCO was based around fairly "easy" passes with lots of yards after catch potential and having weapons like Rice, Clark and Craig helped Montana in this system quite a bit. And at this point the WCO was still fairly new and not something Ds would have been super familiar with. Montana mastered this system, no doubt, but I'd take Unitas, Marino and Manning over him with guys like Favre, Brady or Tarkenton kind of a wash.

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01-08-2012, 01:38 PM
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Hockey and Basketball are hard to compare. Because in Basketball there are essentially 8 or 9 players and stars play 90% of the game. Pippen is better by far defensively then offensively. Kurri was a great two way player but he was a goal scorer first of all.

I LOVE the Tikkanen comparision to Rodman though. Esa was crazy.. though a much better team player then Rodman. Tikkanen became a presence after the loss to the Flames in 86 and was huge in 87 and 88. Like Rodman coming to the Bulls for the final three Championships.

Tikkanen is very underrated. I think he is a near HHOF caliber player. Look at what he did after Gretzky left the Oilers in the playoffs. He was in my opinion almost the equal of Kurri and Messier after Gretzky left. He showed he could literally carry the team and games on his back... and not just be third fiddle on the best line in hockey history. (Yup the best line ever IMO is Tikkanen-Gretzky-Kurri!)

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01-08-2012, 02:27 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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thinking about this comparison a little more, i think an argument can be made that what gretzky and kurri were offensively-- which is the most dominating offensive duo ever, with chemistry even surpassing identical twins with ESP-- jordan and pippen were defensively. the way those two guys played off each other defensively, and how much of the court they covered, was something i don't think we'll ever see again.

rodman and tik? rodman was more of a specialist. couldn't score to save his life, though in his best detroit and chicago years he was one of the great smothering super-athletic defenders of all time, just killing guys like karl malone (which sometimes goes unnoticed because his gaudy rebound numbers and his tendency at times to juice his rebound stats to the detriment of his defensive assignments overshadowed his excellent all-round defensive play). but, as stated above, what tik did at both ends of the ice after gretzky left was phenomenal. i'd argue that in the playoffs he was the third most important oiler of the post-gretz years after messier and ranford. yes, that includes kurri. tik's '91 playoffs were masterful; when i saw what zetterberg did in the '08 playoffs, it reminded me of '91 tikkanen.

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01-09-2012, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
And...

Tikkanen = Rodman

The Checking Agitator = The Pesty Rebounder
I was wondering who was the Rodman of the Oilers.....good choice.

Does that mean John Paxson was Charlie Huddy, BJ Armstrong was Paul Coffey, Horace Grant was Glenn Anderson, Luc Longley was Mark Messier and Will Perdue was Dave Semenko?

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