Friday Fire: Kareem or Michael?

Which all-time great had a more difficult time reaching their six championships?

26 Responses to “Friday Fire: Kareem or Michael?”

  1. thebrotherreport Says:

    I would say The Captain had a tougher road because he was a celebrated player since high school and these things were expected of him.

    He did win his first title early in his career – but it took a trade and 9 seasons before he won again and if the Lakers don’t draft Magic Johnson who’s to say that he wins anymore.

    I will go out on a limb and say that Jabbar played in a better NBA. Each team had talent prior to the ABA/NBA merger. Once that happened it seemed to enhance the League.

    Not to take anything away from Mike and the Bulls though. I would’ve liked to see how they would’ve fared against the two Rockets championship teams and the first Spurs title team.

  2. Alcinder had the rougher time. They actually were allowed to play real defense back in his championship run. Jordan had the rules changed for him so he could continue his dominance.

  3. GrandNubian Says:


    I don’t know bruh….you can make the same or similiar arguments for MJ. He didn’t win his first until his 7th year, earning his stripes going through the “Bad Boys”. Also, Kareem never “Three-peated”, which Jordan did twice. Also, an di don’t know if this is revelent to the discussion, but if the Bulls don’t make a trade for Pippen in 1987, who’s to say that he wins any?

    I will have to disagree with Kareem playing in a better NBA era. When Magic and Bird came into the league in 1980, we saw the dawning of a new and better era in my opinion.

    Two three-peats? Bad Boys? “Jordan Rules”? The Knicks? “Jordan Rules II”? Gambling accusations? The death of his father?

    I would have to say that Jordan had the tougher time getting his 6.

    Heri Za Kwanzaa (Happy Kwanzaa!)

  4. Realize also Kareem played with 2 of the greatest point guards of all-time. Arguably the 2 greatest all-around players of all-time.

    Magic and Oscar were walking triple doubles.

    People always get on shaq saying that he was lucky to play with some of the greatest guards of this generation. But fail to mention that when talking about Kareem.

  5. I have never heard anyone say Shaq was lucky to play with certain guards. I always hear the opposite, those guards were lucky they had Shaq to work off of, and that is true. A big man is going to make any guard look good, and a good guard look great.

  6. I am going to completely ignore the question and make another point. How the hell did ABC not interview Kareem during the Lakers/Suns telecast? I’m hoping they asked him for an interview and he politely declined, because there is simply no excuse to pass a up a chance to talk to the Captain. He is a Hall of Famer, he is the league’s all time leading scorer, and dammit he’s way more interesting than Lebron’s mother or Ice Cube.

  7. thebrotherreport Says:

    I believe the NBA was better during Kareem’s time with the Bucks and years with the Lakers prior to Magic’s arrival. In the West you had Portland (Walton, Lucas, Hollins), Seattle (Williams, Sikma, Johnson, and Brown), San Antonio (who I still believe were in the East but they had Ice and Gilmore) Kansas City with Tiny, Houston with Moses. In the East you had Philly (Doc, McGinnis, Dawkins) Boston, New York (King, Birdsong, Cartwright), Washington (Hayes, Unseld), Atlanta (Drew, Maravich), Detroit (Thomas, I believe Kelly Tripuka was there).

    The only serious threat to the Bulls in the East was Detroit and New York. The West it was always L.A. Utah, Houston and maybe San Antonio.

  8. thebrotherreport Says:

    On the personal side Kareem lost his home in a fire and was a close friend of the leader of the Hannafis Muslims (forgive my spelling – he purchased the home for his family) who lost his family at the hands of the Philadelphia Black Mafia.

  9. Rashad

    The better question would be why Kareem is never considered a serious candidate for a head coaching job in the ASSN? Also wondering how come former centers are never considered viable head coaches. Off the top of my head the last centers who were head coaches were Bill Cartwright in Chi and Herb Williams in NY and both were gunboated while building some serious foundations. The Knicks have been worse than awful since they demoted Herb and the Bulls don’t scare anyone on either end in the low post.

  10. thebrotherreport Says:

    It seems like some of the All-Timers are avoided by the media. Rarely do the networks talk to Jim Brown and if they do the deepest they’ll go is the Amer-I-can foundation, they really don’t go there with him.

    As far as the Captain – it always seemed like he was cast off. Here his is the game’s all-time scoring leader and he gets no love, it’s like they couldn’t wait for him to retire or in their eyes go away. It no doubt has to do with his views on many of todays issues that’s all I can think of.

  11. thebrotherreport Says:

    And when was the last time the media wanted to hear from Hank Aaron before this season. If it was McGwire breaking the record Hank would’ve never been shown this much love because all the majority of the country would’ve been talking about how the record is coming back to “us”.

    But they tried to goad Hank into dissing Barry and he didn’t bite. The message he left for Bonds after 756 spoke volumes about the man.

  12. I don’t think there is anything racial aboul Kareen not getting press. From all reports I’ve heard the dude, just like Bill Russell was an asshole to people while he was in the game. He was an ass to management, other players, and the press. Now that he no longer plays, he is trying to get goodwill from the people he downed when he was a star and they want nothing to do with him.

    Thats life, what goes around comes around.

  13. thebrotherreport Says:

    I don’t think it’s racial, I just think that they don’t care to hear what he has to say about certain things.

  14. If Hank Aaron truly meant what he said to Bonds, he would’ve been in San Francisco. Just like Willie Mays was there… plain and simple.

    Also on Kareem, if you bristle at the media, fans and even teammates who can honestly say that you’d be a good coaching candidate? He may be the #1 scorer all time, but Michael Jordan was the best basketball player of his generation and he is one of the worst judges of talent there is in the game.

  15. @Boney
    I agree with you on Hank. His hate for Barry was eating him up on the inside, good thing he showed class and didn’t go on tv bad mouthing the man over unproven allegations.

  16. thebrotherreport Says:

    I partially agree with that Aaron statement but Mays lives in the area from what I understand.

    Trust me Aaron had every opportunity in the world to crush Bonds but he didn’t – he said Bonds should have the moment to himself. I can respect that.

    I guarantee you no one from Ruth’s family was in Atlanta when Aaron broke his record or asked for the hate mail to stop coming.

  17. @TBR
    That is unfair to say that the Ruth family should have been there. Its one thing for the player, but the family has no obligation to be there, they didn’t set the record.

  18. thebrotherreport Says:

    I stand corrected – Ruth’s widow denounced the hate mail Aaron received and encouraged Aaron to break the record. My apologies on that one.

  19. Aaron could have slammed Bonds, and being the classy guy that he is he didn’t (at least in the media, or in any youtube or voice clips). He should have been in SF though to pass the torch to Bonds… Mays living in SF doesn’t mean a damn thing when the commissioner can drag his old ass out to San Diego to watch Bonds tie the record! I have a lot of respect for Aaron (because of the way he’s supported Vick, and the way he’s handled himself at least in the media), but I do think that he could’ve been in attendance for at least 1 of the games (either the tie or the record breaker).

    As far as us not seeing Hank Aaron, am I wrong in assuming that Aaron has come to just about every home run derby held over the all star break lately? He was front and center in Houston, he was there in Boston, I saw him on the TV this past year in SF. The homerun record was/is important, and Aaron is mentioned in every discussion regarding the greatest ballplayers of all time that I’ve heard.

  20. thebrotherreport Says:

    Aaron doesn’t have to attend any of those events because it’s not mandated by baseball that he do so. Maybe he was bitter that his record was broken, especially under speculation. Aaron doesn’t owe Bonds anything he showed class through the entire ordeal.

  21. Who had it tougher? I dunno…..the championships came late in Kareems career, a little later than for MJ. Kareem though was arguably better supported throughout a longer career than MJ. I don’t know. I’m just glad I got to see at least the latter end of Kareem’s career and then MJ’s run.

  22. anthonycarter Says:

    Let us not forget that the Bulls did not beat the Bad Boys in their prime and they beat a depleted Laker team with a young Vlade Divac at center for their first championship. There were no serious threats other than the Knicks and no one ever considers Riley’s Knicks to be formidable, right?

    And as for Kareem never three-peating, he came close. The 2-time defending NBA Champion Lakers went 11-0 to begin the playoffs in 1989 and Byron Scott and Magic went down due to injury and missed the Finals. Four games later, the three-peat was dead.

    Kareem had it more difficult. He played against nearly every great center in history and beat them all. And, yes, he had Magic and the Big O. But Vlade had Magic too. He won nothing! Mark Jackson had Ewing. It’s about what you do with who and what you have.

    On another note, that’s why Riles is the greatest of all time.

    Kareem got a raw deal for becoming Muslim and changing his name. He also lost all of his money to his business manager who wiped him clean and left the country. Even still, what a genius! How many players had the wherewithal to incorporate a piece of the gate into their contracts? He’s a great coach and that has been overlooked until now.

    He’ll get his shot.

  23. Shit the work he’s doing with Bynum alone is enough for me.

    I gotta go with Kareem. He did the damn thing in Milwaukee against the best and then went west, eased back and threw up dagger sky hooks. Money shot. Anyone ever see him miss one?

    Didn’t seem like he did, does it?

    Michael took out a lot of great individual talent, but like a couple of you have mentioned above, Kareem took out teams. He’s also just that cat who doesn’t like the spot light.

    The manager robbing him blind was unfortunate and many forget that it happened.

    I was shocked to see him at Webb’s event the past couple of years. He’s one of the few athletes who appeared intimidating because of all the bs I’ve heard over the years, but he answered any question I’ve posed to him with class.

    Sixer fan, and hated Kareem on the floor, but dudes game was legend magnificent.

  24. GrandNubian Says:

    The Pistons just got beat by a better Bulls team. They (the Pistons) could’ve very well went on to 3-peat if not for the Bulls. They still had the same team that repeated the previous years. The Lakers probably didn’t deserve to be in the Finals but they found a way to beat a superior Blazers team. But i won’t take anything away from LA; they found a way to win. Granted, it was not the 1987 Laker team but they played in the NBA Finals, which meant they were the best in the West.

    There were threats in every conference but no team was going to beat the Bulls in those years. Why people just can’t admit to this, i have no idea. So let’s not take away what the Bulls did as a team.

    Also, “coming close” to three-peating is not the same as accomplishing the goal. MJ came close twice and accomplished it. Sure the Lakers had a chance but they didn’t make it happen. Injuries are part of the game but there was no way in hell they were gonna beat Detroit that year. By the time Magic & Scott went down with injuries the series was already a “wrap”.

    I’m still trying to figure out how could Kareem have it more difficult with Magic, Worthy, Wilkes, Nixon, McAdoo, Rambis, Cooper, Scott, etc? Also, Kareem NEVER beat Moses Malone in an NBA Finals. Another thing to keep in mind is how long Kareem played. If he had spent all his career in the rough and tough Eastern Conference, there’s no way in hell he would’ve played as long. No one ever brings up that point.

    To say that Kareem beat nearly every center in the game is no different in saying that MJ beat the best in the NBA at the time: Magic, Drexler, Barkley, Kemp, Payton, Malone & Stockton (twice).

    Like i said before:

    ‘ “Two three-peats? Bad Boys? “Jordan Rules”? The Knicks? “Jordan Rules II”? Gambling accusations? The death of his father?” ‘

  25. Brotha everything you say is bond, but the Lakers beat teams. If they didn’t face the Celtics, they had to go through Philly. Yeah they had it easy in the West, but damn.

    Milwaukee was another animal. The kid from Power Memorial was the a unstoppable robot the minute he stepped into the league–after whuppin ass at UCLA. Goodness.

  26. Mike won his string when 4 expansion teams entered the league and diluted the talent pool. ’nuff said…

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