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April 22, 2010

SVG: Jordan greatest? Not automatic

The Orlando Magic practiced Thursday, while the Charlotte Bobcats took the day off. The Orlando Sentinel asked Magic coach Stan Van Gundy about Bobcats owner Michael Jordan, and SVG said he doesn't default to calling Jordan the best player ever.

Van Gundy says Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain belong in that discussion.

“(Jordan’s) certainly right there with anybody and he may be (the greatest). But the people who say it’s obvious and everything else….. I think maybe don’t know enough history,” Van Gundy said.

“I think one of the really tough things is to compare players from generation to generation. The game has changed a great deal. He’s the best player by far since I’ve been in the league. I came in the early 90’s when he was in his prime. I think in the last 20, 25 years, he’s the best.

“But to me, the two other guys I think of are Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain… the things they did.”

Van Gundy said television helped make Jordan an icon:

“We didn’t have the saturation on TV and that,” in earlier generations. “I don’t even know how many times Oscar Robertson was on national TV his entire career….Michael Jordan, people saw him from college and all the way through.”

By the way, Jordan would have no problem with Van Gundy's appraisal; he;'s never been caught up with being singled out as best-ever. 

Posted by Observer Sports on April 22, 2010 at 08:50 PM | Permalink


Stan is right, the game has changed. Throw Wilt in todays NBA and he'd be almost as good as Roy Hibbert. Wilt had the luxury of playing almost his entire career against stiff white guys, no coincedence that he never beat Russell.

Posted by: David | Apr 22, 2010 9:16:10 PM

yea no i'm sorry....michael is levels above and beyond everybody else. you want to talk about supporting cast around lebron or kobe? michael didn't need a supporting cast. bill weddington. luc longley. john salley. steve kerr. john paxon. pete myers. he made BJ armstrong look like steve nash. he made scottie pippen look like james worthy. he made dennis rodman look like dennis rodman but more normal and more credible. he made phil jackson into the zenmaster. he made toni kukoc look like dirk nowitzki.

oscar robertson is my favorite player all time. jordan was the best. the footage of big O is just so fun to watch its just incredible but he wasn't better.

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 22, 2010 11:36:18 PM

You honestly think Roy Hibbert could score 100 pts in the 60s? He couldn't even do that in a week.

Christ some people are so delusional.

Like the guy above who thinks that MJ somehow made Toni Kukoc look like Dirk Nowitzki. That guy must still believe in Santa Claus.

Posted by: Brian | Apr 22, 2010 11:46:39 PM

Wow, Stan. I knew you were out there on some of your ideas, but this is just plan dumb. Stan, your opinion will hold value when you get 1/6 the number of rings Jordan has.

Posted by: Yo | Apr 22, 2010 11:50:39 PM

Does it really matter?

Posted by: Shane Douglas | Apr 22, 2010 11:53:35 PM

He's right. TV told me over and over as a kid that Magic and Bird were the best ever. Then the guys on TV told me that MJ was the best ever. Now the idiots on TV are telling me the King James is the best ever. I didn't get to see Bill Russell play but I know he's got two college national championships, 1 USA gold, 11 NBA Championships and 8 of them in a row with 3 of them as a player coach. And he was "The Man" on all of those teams. Sounds like the best to me.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 12:18:38 AM

When SVG opens his mouth, he should shove another jelly donut in it instead of providing his pearls of wisdom. The guy will argue any point just to do it.

Why don't you bitch about the schedule some more, Stan.

Posted by: ScottNC1 | Apr 23, 2010 3:16:22 AM

SVG talks out his a*s anyway.MJ was the greates of all time.Could any player in history constantly hit more game winning shots than MJ,fadeaways that were unblockable even to God.Hit jaw dropping shots in the midst of the the other 5 players he was playing against.

Posted by: RufusDufus | Apr 23, 2010 4:49:06 AM

"Could any player in history constantly hit more game winning shots than MJ,fadeaways that were unblockable even to God."

I can think of two players off the top of my head that cold hit gaming winning shots over and over again. And did. Larry Bird and Kobe. Is that what it takes to be the best?

It's possible that MJ is the best. I know he has to be top 3 easy. But many of you just accept the hype without really thinking. It's not so easy to just pick him.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 8:33:41 AM

Calm down kids. I think SVG was very pragmatic and logical in his answer. As he said, its very difficult to dissect who is the best generation to generation. He stated that yes, Jordan has been the best since he's been in the league, but its hard not to talk about people like the big 'o'. HE AVERAGED A TRIPLE DOUBLE!!! I dont care who you are playing against, thats impressive.

Posted by: Reeelax | Apr 23, 2010 9:59:36 AM

What makes a player the best?

Being the MAN on 6 NBA Championship teams, having a game in the paint, having a mid-range game, as well as playing outside the arc. Constantly scoring on people who are 4 and 5 inches bigger than you. Making the big shot over and over again. And lastly DEFENSE,DEFENSE,DEFENSE. Jordan had all of this.

Other players didn't chase Reggie Miller around screens for 40 minutes then turn around and SCORE 40.

Posted by: Smitty | Apr 23, 2010 10:15:55 AM

6 isn't as much as 11.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 11:20:23 AM

Yeah,and Russell of cause got all those 11 FMVPs,right?Ron harper win 5 rings too,is that means he is much better than barkley,reggie miller and those guys playing in the 90s?
6 difinitely doesn't equal 11,but what makes MJ so unique and the greatest of all time is that he can win championships and lead in the league in scoring the same time.

Posted by: catsfan | Apr 23, 2010 11:47:45 AM

I can't believe it - Coach Ron Jeremy makes a very smart and astute statement. Didn't know he had it in him.

I define the best by who fundamentally changed the way the game is played. No one who has ever lived did that more than Bill Russell. Others who completely changed the way the game is played are Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

MJ dominated his era more than any other person has dominated their era. That makes him an all-time elite player, but not the best. Also, he changed the way the game is played for the worse. Now every kid in the world thinks he can go 1-on-1 and do the stuff Jordan did. There is almost no team basketball anymore, just 5 guys on the floor all trying to pad their own stats or performing some individual act that will make them the first highlight on SportsCenter - all because of watching MJ. That has made the NBA product much harder to watch.

So, sorry, all you UNC-CH groupies - MJ is an all-time great, but he doesn't even make first team all-time NBA in my book.

Posted by: J | Apr 23, 2010 11:51:14 AM

mj won 6 rings with a bunch of jokers. russell won 11 rings with the greatest dynasty of all time. not to mention there were all of 2 other guys that could even remotely matchup with him during that time.

this mfer won rings with will purdue. yall gotta understand I was one of the biggest mj haters of all time when he was playing in the nba. but i'm not an idiot. i hated him because he was so much better than everybody else. oscar robertson put up any 72 win seasons with kareem?

Posted by: charlottean | Apr 23, 2010 11:53:01 AM

I wonder if Ron Jeremy told his team the Bobcats have no gawd-daym respect for the Magic?

Posted by: J | Apr 23, 2010 11:56:33 AM

Yes, and MJ got all those wins in a watered down NBA with not team to really go at him ever year other than the Knicks. Some of the other names in this post had to do it year after year against good teams. The NBA had less teams and the talent wasn't spread out as far as it was in the 90's. And lets face it, they changed rules to make it easier for MJ to score. They changed rules to make it more difficult for the big guys back in the day.

Oh, MJ didn't have chumps on his team. And Bill Russell won at every level regardless of the people around him. It was HIM that made the difference.

I'd take Magic over MJ anyway. He could and DID play every position in the NBA. He won one less ring against WAY better teams then MJ ever saw. What Magic did was WAY more impressive then anything Jordan did. And I'm a Larry Bird fan so that's hard to say.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 1:03:38 PM

Haha,and you foget who's beaten by MJ when he won his first championship?

Posted by: catsfan | Apr 23, 2010 1:48:45 PM

Yes, he got him one time. When he was old and past his prime. You forget how MJ got his tail handed to him for years before that by Magic and others.

Jordan could be the greatest ever. But even IF he is it's not by the margin that all you knuckleheads think it is. Guy like Russell, Kareem, Bird, Magic, Oscar and even Kobe can be in the conversation too.

MJ came in at just the right time. Bird and Magic had made the NBA big and he used that to sell himself. And he did a great job at it. But you kids forget how great others had been before him.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 2:01:56 PM

Before MJ got his championship he was beaten by pistons not lakers or celtics.and once he overcome pistons,lakers could no longer be a competitor.You say magic was old then,but why don't you say it was because MJ's teammates were much worse than magic's in those days,magic got worthy,Jabbar,and when MJ came into league,bulls was nothing but a lottery team.
Don't get me wrong,I do respect Magic and Birds,but I don't think they are greater than MJ.

Posted by: catsfan | Apr 23, 2010 2:22:19 PM

The Lakers and Celtics didn't crush MJ? What about that 60 point game MJ had on the Celtics? You know, the game he still lost and his team got swept in 4? And the next game after the big one he was shut down. None ever talks about that.

He played the Lakers and Celtics and got his rear handed to him. He also got it handed to him by the Pistons.

Now Magic won 5 in the 80's playing against Bird and the Celtics and Dr J and the 76ers. He even played center one time and dominated. Please tell me one team that MJ went up against as good as the ones Magic played?

It's not important. Russell is still the best ever. Won more in college. Won less gold but could only play one time. And won more in the NBA. You can say what you want but winning is the only thing that matters.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 3:04:25 PM

Joshua STFU you terd


Posted by: RufusDufus | Apr 23, 2010 6:31:35 PM

Larry or anyone else for that matter never hit as many game winning shots than MJ get your facts right idiot.

Posted by: RufusDufus | Apr 23, 2010 6:32:24 PM

They didn't have to hit game winning shots. Their teams won by 10.
And I hate him, but I think Kobe is probably right with MJ with game winning shots. And he sure will be before it's all over with.

Sorry MJ swingers. He was great. I even said he could be the best. But he's not that much better if any at all.

You must hate that some people don't suckle from the teat of MJ.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 6:54:45 PM

Ok, did a little searching. Because game winning shots = best player ever with you guys. Do you know who is the all time leading game winning shot person..... drum roll............. Kobe Bryant.

There you have it. Kobe Bryant is the greatest NBA player of all time.

Posted by: Joshua | Apr 23, 2010 7:00:39 PM

hey, I love Wilt, Big O, Russell, all those guys. Saw them play, but Jerry West has gone on record as MJ being the greatest. That's goo enough for me.

Posted by: Bobby | Apr 23, 2010 9:39:22 PM

@david dude u r retarde scottie pippen is levels above james worthy. 2nd/3rd (aruguably) best small forward of all time. get with the program or go home

Posted by: Sam | Apr 24, 2010 12:31:59 AM

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