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Walt Coogan

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  • Ben Leibowitz posted 370 days ago

    Ben Leibowitz

    "his defense on Jordan proved so ineffective" Let me stop you right there... This is Michael Jordan we're talking about. The greatest basketball player in the history of mankind. Yes, Dan Majerle was moved off of Jordan as his defensive assignment. But the man who took over those duties (your main man Kevin Johnson), surrendered 44 and 55 points to MJ in games 3 and 4 after he was given that responsibility.

    Nobody could stop Jordan, but Majerle did just as good of a job as KJ did and still put up solid all-around stats on both ends.

  • Ben Leibowitz posted 371 days ago

    Ben Leibowitz

    It's not surprising that you're so upset with my ranking when you decide to completely discount advanced metrics and the individual accolades of players. Are Amar'e Stoudemire's individual accolades overblown because he played beside Steve Nash? I'd agree that yes, they are. In fact, that's why I have him below Shawn Marion on my list even though accolades alone suggest that Stoudemire was a vastly superior player when compared with Marion.

    I say that Stoudemire was part of "arguably" the most competitive era in Suns basketball. The word "arguably" means you can argue against that fact and I wouldn't discount your opinion (which you are choosing to do). However, I think it's fair to say that the NBA during the mid-to-late 2000's was far more competitive than the late 80's early 90's.

    For example, during the 1989-90 season, six separate NBA teams in a 27-team league finished with 23 wins or fewer. Four of those teams didn't even hit 20 wins.

    In 2005-06, only two teams finished with 23 wins or fewer in an expanded 30-team league (which suggests the talent level should be more diluted), and the lowest win total was 21 wins by the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Top to bottom, I'd argue that the talent level of the league during Stoudemire's stint in Phoenix was better than when KJ was in Phoenix.

    In my opinion, KJ only ranks behind Nash (two MVP awards, arguably should have won a third), Barkley (MVP award, first-team All-NBA, led the Suns to the finals as the best player) and Westphal (three-time All-NBA first team who arguably should have been voted to more and led the Suns to their first NBA Finals as the best player).

    I'd love to see how you would rank the top 15 Suns of all-time. I laid out specific guidelines with regards to how I ranked players and took stock in a variety of different categories. Obviously not everyone will agree, but I think the approach I took is better than simply listing players without any guideline as to why.

  • Ben Leibowitz posted 371 days ago

    Ben Leibowitz

    You are aware that I ranked Kevin Johnson fourth on my all-time list, correct? You spent the time to write what appears to be a 20,000 word rant based on a ranking I didn't decide to stick with (and only had for a matter of minutes over the course of writing the piece for weeks).

    Also, to call Bill Simmons a "fake journalist" is completely laughable in my opinion. He spent years researching his book (a best-seller by the way) by reading numerous books, watching film, talking to various NBA legends, pouring over stats, etc. No matter how you slice it, Johnson choked in the first two games of the NBA Finals. Does that negate a tremendous career and other playoff accomplishments? No, and I say as much, but it is significant.

    You make a big point to discount Barkley and say that he choked as well (his numbers were lackluster as he tried to become more of an outside shooter), but the Suns never reached the NBA Finals until he arrived. And he was VERY clearly the best player on the 1993 Suns team. Their stats during that season:

    Barkley: 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.0 blocks, 52 percent field goal shooting, 30.5 percent three-point shooting.

    Johnson: 16.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.4 blocks, 49.9 percent field goal shooting, 12.5 percent three-point shooting.

    Even though Barkley was a power forward, he was still a better three-point shooter than Johnson (who was a terrible outside shooter throughout his entire career).

    I appreciate your thought-out response, but to call me "ignorant" for ranking K.J. behind Steve Nash, Charles Barkley and Paul Westphal? Let's just say I stand behind my ranking and where I locked guys in.