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Gretzky vs. Jordan

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Old
03-23-2008, 12:45 PM
  #101
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And what sport is their with somebody who is the unquestioned greatest?

Babe Ruth? Too fat to field. Could barely run the bases, let alone steal any.
Jordan? Never had games like Wilt did.
Montana? Some call him a product of the system.

There is always a short list in every sport.
Ruth.. one of the better pitchers in baseball while he was beginning his power hitting legend. Ruth is well known to have one of the best throwing arms from the outfield when he played. He was an EXTREMELY aggressive baserunner.. perhaps too aggressive but he was not slow... nor was he "too fat to field". But hey why not totally ignore his legend and just make up what you feel like? Makes it easier to prove a point.

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03-23-2008, 12:56 PM
  #102
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And what sport is their with somebody who is the unquestioned greatest?

Babe Ruth? Too fat to field. Could barely run the bases, let alone steal any.
Jordan? Never had games like Wilt did.
Montana? Some call him a product of the system.

There is always a short list in every sport.
That's true, that's why I don't like threads about " who dominated more " because that's not the case at all.

If people want to argue over who is better, that's one thing, but to make a post about who dominated more when their dominance could be questioned is I think going to far ( although Jordan did dominate because basketball is a sport where like I said 7-8 guys play the whole game so one guy can make a huge difference and carry a team ).

If you were to ask me I'd have to say the only sports where a player can dominate is 1 on 1.

Like Boxing, Tennis etc

In which case what Federer is still doing ( although he may be on the decline, though I don't think so ) is true domination, same with what Tyson did in his prime.

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03-24-2008, 05:58 PM
  #103
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Well, I don't even consider Gretzky Top 5 skaters of all time.

And I've always had an arguement between Wilt The Stilt and Air Jordan as to who was the best NBA player of all time.

Wilt The Stilt statistically was and will always be a monster, this is a guy who one season averaged 50 points a game and 20 rebounds!!!

Also Wilt owns 16 of the Top 20 highest point total in a single game.

He's also the oldest on the list.

In his day remember there was no 3 point line.

However Jordan of course almost single handedly lead the Bulls to not one but two threepeats ( could have been 8 in a row had he not semi-retired ).

But to me this is no question, Jordan by miles.

I would have actually asked who was more dominating, Jordan or Pele? Of course again you're forgetting Wilt The Stilt and how great he was.
What about kareem abdul jabbar, i mean people are looking too much on paper stats. Magic Johnson really doesnt look that great for paper stats, but it still doesnt chagne the fact that kareem has much more hardware than wilt does. Also if Kareem only played 14 seasons like wilt did, his ppg average would have been like 28-30 as well. He has more mvps, he has more rings and he played nearly 9 minutes less per game.

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03-24-2008, 06:02 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
What about kareem abdul jabbar, i mean people are looking too much on paper stats. Magic Johnson really doesnt look that great for paper stats, but it still doesnt chagne the fact that kareem has much more hardware than wilt does. Also if Kareem only played 14 seasons like wilt did, his ppg average would have been like 28-30 as well. He has more mvps, he has more rings and he played nearly 9 minutes less per game.
Well Jabbar was recently on the Colbert Report..... he gets the "Colbert BUMP" and thus is better than Jordan, Wilt or Magic.

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03-24-2008, 06:06 PM
  #105
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Gretzky - the record book speaks for itself.

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03-24-2008, 06:07 PM
  #106
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Gretz and its not even close

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03-24-2008, 06:36 PM
  #107
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gretzky

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03-26-2008, 12:51 PM
  #108
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Don Bradman, technically, if you look at dominance relative to his peers, was the most dominant athelete.

We're also forgetting players like Pele in football.

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03-28-2008, 04:27 PM
  #109
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Jordan is a God in Basketball. Gretzky isn't even the conensus best player ever.

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03-28-2008, 04:39 PM
  #110
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Jordan is a God in Basketball. Gretzky isn't even the conensus best player ever.
He is as much as Jordan is in Basketball.

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03-28-2008, 04:52 PM
  #111
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He is as much as Jordan is in Basketball.
No way, Jordan's impact on basketball is unmatched by anyone in any sport imo.

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03-28-2008, 06:15 PM
  #112
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I can't believe there is even a discusion on this. Wayne dominated hockey, and Jordan was a minor league baseball player...at best.

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03-28-2008, 06:17 PM
  #113
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I can't believe there is even a discusion on this. Wayne dominated hockey, and Jordan was a minor league baseball player...at best.
It must be noted that Space Jam >>>>>>> Wayne's Saturday Night Live debacle

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03-28-2008, 06:25 PM
  #114
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Michael Jordan is the prototype for an athlete that attract non-fans to a sport and drives its popularity insane. Gretzky is an example of it. So is Tiger Woods. Julius Erving and Greg Louganis are a couple of others that spring to mind.

The only guy touching Jordan in that respect is Babe Ruth but his sport was already the dominant team sport in America and it was in a far less commercial era for sports.

What Michael Jordan did for basketball's popularity was more or less permanent. Even though the ratings and shoe sales aren't as high as they were when he played, they are much higher than before he played. The same cannot be said of Gretzky, he attracted a lot of viewers along with a particularly high-scoring era for his sport but today the TV ratings are lower than ever and the sport has limited visibility outside of dedicated fans who come to the arenas.

In terms of dominance, well, Gretzky played in a more team-oriented sport and while there is no questioning the Oilers' dominance, it continued even after his departure and pretty much extended until the Edmonton greats had been picked clean by bigger markets.

Conversely, a pretty strong and very well-coached Bulls team failed to make the NBA Finals after Jordan retired the first time, was unable to return again after he missed about 70% of the following season and plummeted into the depths of the NBA standings after his second retirement.

Apart from Tiger Woods--a tough comparison--Jordan is the most dominant male athlete in the past 35 years. Where Gretzky had a good deal of physical talent and a truly unbelievable mental game, Jordan was other-worldly in BOTH regards. Imagine if Gretzky had Mario's God-given talent and his own mental fortitude, that'd be Jordan.

That said, I do believe the most dominant athlete to ever play a team sport was Wilt Chamberlain, who played in the nascence of pro basketball's popularity. Ruth is right there with him, hence the "Babe Ruth of basketball" remarks.

In terms of individual dominance, Woods, possibly Federer (just a bit longer run from him), Marvin Hagler (an insane number of title defenses), Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Edwin Moses and Carl Lewis are all right there. None but Woods is on Jordan and Gretzky's star power level though IMO.

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03-28-2008, 06:34 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
What about kareem abdul jabbar, i mean people are looking too much on paper stats. Magic Johnson really doesnt look that great for paper stats, but it still doesnt chagne the fact that kareem has much more hardware than wilt does. Also if Kareem only played 14 seasons like wilt did, his ppg average would have been like 28-30 as well. He has more mvps, he has more rings and he played nearly 9 minutes less per game.
There is no comparison between Jabbar and Wilt, and that is saying something considering that Jabbar easily ranks in the top 5 centers and top 5 players of all-time. Chamberlain was considerably more dominant on defense and, stunningly, he did not foul out of a single game in his career. He may have played fewer seasons but he played a helluva lot more minutes and his playing career was actually cut short by a contract dispute or he'd have starred in the ABA as well (long story involving the San Diego Conquistadors).

Like two more historically underrated players (read: the two best guards ever), Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, the rings and MVPs of Wilt were diminished by the dominance of the Celtics. It was almost unfair how stacked they were, no one was beating them. The two players who led the teams that did were Bob Pettit and Wilt, Pettit catching them at the beginning of their run and Wilt toward the end. Only then was he on a team even close to formidable with Boston and it was only for three seasons. In one year, his Sixers prevailed, in the next they stumbled after a series of injuries (Luke Jackson and Billy Cunningham being the biggest; that was the rest of their frontcourt). The final year was the biggest slap in the face to Wilt as he was benched due to a personal dispute for nearly the entire fourth quarter of the seventh game of the NBA Finals as Russell's Celtics improbably captured the title as a four seed (the lowest seed in the playoffs at that time)

I won't drone on but the point is that while the earliest Chamberlain numbers of 50 and 27--ridiculous averages that will NEVER be duplicated--may only tell a part of the story, so too do his lower MVP and NBA title numbers. Jabbar was always compared to Wilt and always will be, that's a knock against him, it's an HONOR.

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03-28-2008, 08:03 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by SmoothWithTheBiscuit View Post
There is no comparison between Jabbar and Wilt, and that is saying something considering that Jabbar easily ranks in the top 5 centers and top 5 players of all-time. Chamberlain was considerably more dominant on defense and, stunningly, he did not foul out of a single game in his career. He may have played fewer seasons but he played a helluva lot more minutes and his playing career was actually cut short by a contract dispute or he'd have starred in the ABA as well (long story involving the San Diego Conquistadors).

Like two more historically underrated players (read: the two best guards ever), Jerry West and Oscar Robertson, the rings and MVPs of Wilt were diminished by the dominance of the Celtics. It was almost unfair how stacked they were, no one was beating them. The two players who led the teams that did were Bob Pettit and Wilt, Pettit catching them at the beginning of their run and Wilt toward the end. Only then was he on a team even close to formidable with Boston and it was only for three seasons. In one year, his Sixers prevailed, in the next they stumbled after a series of injuries (Luke Jackson and Billy Cunningham being the biggest; that was the rest of their frontcourt). The final year was the biggest slap in the face to Wilt as he was benched due to a personal dispute for nearly the entire fourth quarter of the seventh game of the NBA Finals as Russell's Celtics improbably captured the title as a four seed (the lowest seed in the playoffs at that time)

I won't drone on but the point is that while the earliest Chamberlain numbers of 50 and 27--ridiculous averages that will NEVER be duplicated--may only tell a part of the story, so too do his lower MVP and NBA title numbers. Jabbar was always compared to Wilt and always will be, that's a knock against him, it's an HONOR.
Why are you blantly ignoring the fact that overall the 80s was a more tlanted era. Youre not going to tell me wilt would average those numbers against the more athletic and taller centres of the 80s. How tall were most centres back then, 6'8?

After 14 nba seasons, jabbar averaged 29 points per game and still played 3-4 fewer minutes. So after 14 seasons, jabbar has the higher points per 48 minutes.

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03-28-2008, 08:08 PM
  #117
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The same cannot be said of Gretzky, he attracted a lot of viewers along with a particularly high-scoring era for his sport but today the TV ratings are lower than ever and the sport has limited visibility outside of dedicated fans who come to the arenas.

Well you can say that Gretzky and Lemieux in the 80s could have been more popular if the NHL had the national TV contract with the major channels and great marketing.
This is a weird debate because these double dominating in different ways. Jordan dominated with this sheer athletic ability, overall skills using the rock, and great defense. Gretzky dominated because he has the vision and smarts of a greatplaymaker that few players had. If Lemieux had not had all those health problems he would been a better comparison to Jordan because both had the God given talent and body to dominate their sports. Gretzky although did it with great playmaking and Einstein like hockey smarts and vison.

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03-28-2008, 08:27 PM
  #118
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Why are you blantly ignoring the fact that overall the 80s was a more tlanted era. Youre not going to tell me wilt would average those numbers against the more athletic and taller centres of the 80s. How tall were most centres back then, 6'8?

After 14 nba seasons, jabbar averaged 29 points per game and still played 3-4 fewer minutes. So after 14 seasons, jabbar has the higher points per 48 minutes.
How am I blatantly ignoring that? I didn't think I had to spell it out, obviously that is what I meant when I said Wilt's early numbers did not tell the entire story. Chamberlain was playing against smaller centers in the earlier part of his career, but guess who he grabbed the record 55 rebounds against? None other than Bill Russell, who was 6'9" but had a 7'3" wingspan and dominated every other 7-footer with ease on the glass and defensively (was also an underrated scorer). You can go by the man who beat the man, and, in that way, Kareem is very important. Because Wilt played against Kareem late in his career, we can basically trace his performance up through dominant bigs as late as Ewing, Hakeem and even David Robinson, all of whom Jabbar played. If Wilt at the end of his career held his own against the greatest collegian of all-time and a league MVP in Jabbar, we can pretty comfortably say that he could have competed against any 7-footer at any point in his career and, at his best, been better than them.

That said, I think you hit on something important vis-a-vis the championship argument. Jabbar's best years were actually BEFORE Showtime and all but one of his championships. Actually, in the late 70s Jabbar was considering an early retirement because he felt he was losing his passion for the game and also felt his body declining a bit. This just shows that teams win titles, not individuals, and Boston was the best teams BY MILES until 1965 season when Wilt returned to Philadelphia (this time as a Sixer).

We can agree to disagree if you honestly believe Jabbar is better. I think Jabbar is fantastic, possibly the second or third greatest player of all-time, but Wilt is a truly singular specimen in basketball history.

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Well you can say that Gretzky and Lemieux in the 80s could have been more popular if the NHL had the national TV contract with the major channels and great marketing.
This is a weird debate because these double dominating in different ways. Jordan dominated with this sheer athletic ability, overall skills using the rock, and great defense. Gretzky dominated because he has the vision and smarts of a greatplaymaker that few players had. If Lemieux had not had all those health problems he would been a better comparison to Jordan because both had the God given talent and body to dominate their sports. Gretzky although did it with great playmaking and Einstein like hockey smarts and vison.
I won't play the what if game on TV and marketing. Sure, it helped that the NBA had foresight and Nike marketed Jordan unbelievably well, but those things were already established by the time Jordan REALLY drew in the fans. Gretzky had a long career, tough titty if the NHL didn't have it together. They still have that problem today, with even less TV visibility in the United States and even worse marketing of their stars and the game entire.

I sort of agree with your "tough comparison" but the idea is to give it a go and I think you are underselling Jordan's mental prowess. Jordan had a mental edge that no player in basketball can replicate, closest I've seen to it in other sports is Woods in golf. Further, he was not only a great improvisationist but very technically sound. While a layman would marvel at his dunks from the foul line (OK, me, too), a trained eye would be astonished by the fact that no matter how contorted his ascent, his shoulders were ALWAYS square to the rim at the point of release. He was a masterful defender as you mentioned (though, surprisingly, not the best on the Bulls' dynasty teams) and that had a lot to do with his intelligence and competitiveness, too.

Also, I didn't see Gretzky winning any Selkes. Though I won't knock his stupendous overall game, I will offer that Jordan was a more complete player in his sport in addition to be roughly as dominant at least.

I'd say a closer basketball comparison to Gretzky would be Magic Johnson. He was gifted in many, many ways but he was far from a spectacular leaper, was not known for his defense and was the most dazzling playmaker his sport ever knew.

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03-28-2008, 08:43 PM
  #119
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No way, Jordan's impact on basketball is unmatched by anyone in any sport imo.
Unmatched in marketing and selling shoes and Tee Shirts yes... it was.

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03-28-2008, 08:46 PM
  #120
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Michael Jordan is the prototype for an athlete that attract non-fans to a sport and drives its popularity insane. Gretzky is an example of it. So is Tiger Woods. Julius Erving and Greg Louganis are a couple of others that spring to mind.

The only guy touching Jordan in that respect is Babe Ruth but his sport was already the dominant team sport in America and it was in a far less commercial era for sports.

What Michael Jordan did for basketball's popularity was more or less permanent. Even though the ratings and shoe sales aren't as high as they were when he played, they are much higher than before he played. The same cannot be said of Gretzky, he attracted a lot of viewers along with a particularly high-scoring era for his sport but today the TV ratings are lower than ever and the sport has limited visibility outside of dedicated fans who come to the arenas.

In terms of dominance, well, Gretzky played in a more team-oriented sport and while there is no questioning the Oilers' dominance, it continued even after his departure and pretty much extended until the Edmonton greats had been picked clean by bigger markets.

Conversely, a pretty strong and very well-coached Bulls team failed to make the NBA Finals after Jordan retired the first time, was unable to return again after he missed about 70% of the following season and plummeted into the depths of the NBA standings after his second retirement.

Apart from Tiger Woods--a tough comparison--Jordan is the most dominant male athlete in the past 35 years. Where Gretzky had a good deal of physical talent and a truly unbelievable mental game, Jordan was other-worldly in BOTH regards. Imagine if Gretzky had Mario's God-given talent and his own mental fortitude, that'd be Jordan.

That said, I do believe the most dominant athlete to ever play a team sport was Wilt Chamberlain, who played in the nascence of pro basketball's popularity. Ruth is right there with him, hence the "Babe Ruth of basketball" remarks.

In terms of individual dominance, Woods, possibly Federer (just a bit longer run from him), Marvin Hagler (an insane number of title defenses), Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Edwin Moses and Carl Lewis are all right there. None but Woods is on Jordan and Gretzky's star power level though IMO.
Sorry.. Jordan did not remake the NBA. The NMA was in the tank by the late 70's first couple of the years of the 1980's.. then Bird and MAgic came along in 2 of the biggest markets. Basketball already had become huge and extremely popular on TV and in any aspect before Jordan even played... certainly before he became a real star when he started losing to Detroit in the Playoffs.

You can rewrite history if you like but the NBA certainly was boosted by Jordan but a MASSIVE upward movement in popularity was present for 5 or 6 years... before anyone that wasn't a basketball fan knew who Jordan was.

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03-29-2008, 12:29 AM
  #121
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Julius Erving, then Magic and Bird (still the greatest one-on-one rivalry, though Russ-Wilt is awfully close) all had a great deal to do with the NBA's success, that is absolutely true.

However, take this into account. When the NBA first put in its salary cap (while those players were active), the cap was roughly $4 million ... for an entire 12-man roster. In his final seasons, Jordan made $40 million ... alone.

They didn't get that money from smuggling dope, they got it from selling tickets, merchandise and TV contracts.

The game EXPLODED financially after Jordan and as good as the league is getting right now it is STILL longing for another Michael and living off of his success.

I am not a huge Jordan fan, just a basketball fan. The guy's impact was tremendous, I've never seen another athlete come close.

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03-29-2008, 06:52 AM
  #122
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Julius Erving, then Magic and Bird (still the greatest one-on-one rivalry, though Russ-Wilt is awfully close) all had a great deal to do with the NBA's success, that is absolutely true.

However, take this into account. When the NBA first put in its salary cap (while those players were active), the cap was roughly $4 million ... for an entire 12-man roster. In his final seasons, Jordan made $40 million ... alone.

They didn't get that money from smuggling dope, they got it from selling tickets, merchandise and TV contracts.

The game EXPLODED financially after Jordan and as good as the league is getting right now it is STILL longing for another Michael and living off of his success.

I am not a huge Jordan fan, just a basketball fan. The guy's impact was tremendous, I've never seen another athlete come close.
Well again that was a sign of the times as much as of Jordan. Not that Jordan wasn't a big part of it but take NHL teams at the time.. they likely had a 2-4 million total payroll. There were white boards with no ads... fast forward to the end of the Gretzky era in Edmonton and the first few years in LA and the top players are getting 2-3 million a season or more.

Baseball... same thing. Early 80's the best players were making about 10-15% of what the best players were making a dozen years later.

Jordan was indeed huge but biggger was the fact there were cable channels that could show baseball and baskeball and hockey outside of network TV... where nothing but the NFL got good enough ratings to be on one of the 3 networks very often. Fox became the 4th network and made a huge play in I think all of the sports. Companies sought new marketing methods.... expanding from focussing so intensely on network TV... as network TV ratings dropped year over year from about 86 or 87 or so...

Jordan was a big factor in the hype...but even if Jordan had never existed things would not be that different than today. Jordan was the tool Nike used in a hundred million dollar hype machine... they could have latched onto Malone or Wilkins or hyped Magic and Bird more.. or done a ton of things if Jordan had not existed to sell shoes and tees and hype.

I am not saying Jordan (or Gretzky) were not individuals that hugely influenced the growth of their leagues... but the secondary factors were hugely important.

If Jordan was 10 years younger and making his debut in 1973 or 1974 it isn't like he would have singlehandedly made the NBA popular.. he might have been regarded as the greatest player even but he would not have made the league much bigger or much more popular overall. Dr. J and Kareem were great... they did not lead to the marketting phenomenen like Jordan because Jordan is so famous and hyped due to his era... and the fact Nike made him into the most famous man alive.

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03-29-2008, 09:29 AM
  #123
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If Jordan was 10 years younger and making his debut in 1973 or 1974 it isn't like he would have singlehandedly made the NBA popular..
Idunno man, I think a 1 year old in the NBA would draw a lot of interest

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03-30-2008, 02:27 PM
  #124
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Sens Rule, you are correct that sports as a commercial industry exploded during that era but Jordan's individual salary is STILL staggering.

The next highest-paid players in the mid to late 90s were making about $10-12M ... a quarter of what Jordan made. Gretzky also made huge money but not four times what Brett Hull made. Even after Jordan's departure, Kevin Garnett, Shaq and Juwan Howard all received huge contracts ... that were HALF of what Jordan made. Meanwhile, Jagr was outearning Gretzky in Washington.

Jordan was so important to the NBA that the league should have been paying his salary. Jerry Reinsdorf set the ink on his first 8-figure single-season salary and said, "No man is worth this much money." But Reinsdorf was no moron, he was the one PAYING him that much. He knew he was worth every cent and more to the Bulls over the years and at the time, and what he was worth to Chicago didn't compare to what he was worth to the NBA and, yes, to Nike.

You can't really hold the Nike thing against Jordan's influence. There had been guys with their own shoes before (Clyde Frazier with Puma, Dr. J with Converse, David Thompson with Pony and so on) but nothing compared to the level of marketing for Jordan. And the marketing for Jordan was marketing for the NBA and a blueprint for profiting from guys who reached stardom after him from Charles Barkley to Allen Iverson, a couple of guys I choose because they'd have been difficult to market if being bold, black and freakishly talented were not made fashionable by Jordan. He transformed the league in ways that were not even intentional or foreseeable.

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03-30-2008, 03:45 PM
  #125
Dima87*
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Country: Russian Federation
Posts: 2,071
vCash: 500
Jordan is universally regarded as the greatest basketball player ever. Universally. No other athlete in any major team sport can say that. No Wayne, not Pele, no Ruth, no one. Jordan's impct on basketball is unmatched.

Gretzky's not regarded as the greatest hockey player ever universally. Gretzky dominated in an NHL without European players.

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