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Chicago Bulls, 1996-1997 edition

I was really bored today, so bored in fact that I surfed over to BYU's NewsNet and I saw this. I put a little emphasis on the point that caught my attention.

KUDOS TO KARL



I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Tuesday's Editorial written on the Mailman retiring with no championship ring. Earning a giant gaudy ring is not all that it is cracked up to be, at least that it what I keep telling myself until the right man comes along. I understand that it is more than just earning a ring; it is proving that your team is the best in the nation. But we all know that the Chicago Bulls were not the best in the nation when they bet the Jazz in 1997. It was pure luck. Despite being robbed of winning the NBA Finals that year, Malone accomplished a great deal during his career and should be praised for his incredible basketball skills. He should not be criticized for the one materialistic thing he was lacking. I can only hope that I will be remembered for the things I accomplished while at BYU, and not for leaving without a "championship ring."



April Leonard



Colorado Springs, CO

I'm all for girls taking an appreciation in sports and I would like to encourage every female out there to at least know the major aspects of basketball and football. But sometimes corrections need to be made, or in this case intense errors reversed.


First the warm-up:

Earning a giant gaudy ring is not all that it is cracked up to be

In a recent discussion I had with several avid basketball fans I asked if there were 5 better players in the history of the game. We came up with this unanimous list:

  1. Micheal Jordan (The Greatest Ever)
  2. Shaq (The Most Dominant Center Ever)
  3. Larry Bird (The Basketball Jesus)
  4. Magic Johnson (A name like Magic says it all)
  5. Tim Duncan (Two rings already)

It is commonly accepted that Karl Malone is the most dominant power forward to ever play the game. He defined the position, and he excelled in it for almost two decades. His play in the Western Conference playoffs last year proved his value, keeping both Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett from exploding into the Finals. But the ONLY reason Tim Duncan will have a greater position in history is because right now Tim has 2 rings and Karl has none.

Now the glaring, egregious error:

But we all know that the Chicago Bulls were not the best in the nation when they bet the Jazz in 1997. It was pure luck.

This statement is nothing short of ludicrous. Michael Jordan has been, and will be the best to ever play the game. There is no luck associated with a person that went 6 for 6 in the Finals series he appeared in. Michael won when it was crunch time. The Jazz had opportunity to win losing games in both of those series, but Michael took control in only the way he could. No luck, just majesty in winning. I'm a huge Jazz fan, and it pained me to see them lose, but in the end, the one person who could own the entire game did what it took to win. And did so in majestic form.

In the end, when the greatest of the greatest assemble, the price of entry into the circle will be that ring. The ring that says "I am a champion" will define that ultimate dream team.

Bulls vs. Jazz? easy one...

Alright...I'm not a Tim D fan, so I won't comment on the 5 greatest to play the game...but I think we can agree that Mark Eaton isn't in there.

As far as luck goes...Hah! The Jazz did have a better team that year...if you take Jordan away from the Bulls. But since Jordan was ON the Bulls, the Bulls were better. It was obvious, not luck. I think I cried that night. Ok, probably not, but if I had been a blogger back then, I would have cried about it online. For now, I'm done.

I love the Jazz. Did you see them play last year? That was my favorite b-ball season in YEARS. 'Course, they had to kill the chemistry with Boozer, etc. this year. But that's business.

Brett

Let's clarify...

Shaq (The Most Dominant Center Ever)

Uh...the most dominant center ever would be Bill Russell. He won 11 NBA titles in 13 years, all the while playing against the likes of Wilt Chamberlain.

It also doesn't hurt to note that he carried San Francisco to back-to-back NCAA titles.

Ummm.... ok...

Are you smoking crack? Seriously... put the pipe away man because it is starting to have some bad bad side effects.

Here's how you determine who is the better player. If you matched up Shaq vs. Bill in each of those 11 series, who would be taking who to school? I'll give you a hint... no way Bill stands up against Shaq in ANY of those series. Not possible at all.

Go to WhatIfSports.com and put any of Russell's teams against Shaq's teams. I did it and the Lakers of '00-'01 took the '66-'67 Celtics to town, 5 to 2. Shaq IS the most dominant center to ever play the game.

WhatIfNothing

Funny that I just went to WhatIf and those Celtics beat those Lakers 6-2...

Interesting...

Did you make sure that both starting lineups were correct? The reason I ask this is because Devan George is supposed to be the starting power forward and Rick Fox is supposed to be in the 3 position... neither where setup the way they were supposed to be with the default set. I guess the starting lineup for the Celtics could be wrong too, but I don't even know where to check that shiz out. By the way, '65-'66 Celtics went down 8 games to 2 against the '01-'02 Lakers. Shaq rules the Center world.