I saw some of you choppin it up in the NBA thread about Duncan somehow passing Kobe recently. I wasn't gonna get dragged into that, but please allow me to help some of you for future reference.
First, all the narratives NT tries to use. Remember the Kobe/Bron arguments? Can't use TEAM success for Kobe, because he played with Shaq, and Phil, and Bron didn't have that. However, now, for some reason, it's ok to use TEAM success to hype of Tim Duncan, the guy gettint 4 points in a playoff game, and winning by 40+.
OKB and JD, two of NT's brightest NBA minds, also have a factor, you take the prime of a player over the longevity. IE, Kobe has played in 19 seasons, Magic only 11. You would take Magic's best 9-10 years, and match those with Kobe's best 9-10 years, not give credit to Kobe for all 19 seasons. Some agree with that, some don't, I personally am sort of on the fence on it. Guys certainly should get some credit for lasting longer, but I also agree, it shouldn't be the overall main factor either.
Why was Magic better than Larry Bird? Magic won 5 titles in the 80's, Bird 3. Magic beat Bird 2-1 in the Finals. (Magic also had the college title if you wanted to use that) Magic went to the Finals 8 times in the 80's. Bird went 5 times. The reason we use, 80's? Their primes. Magic was taken from us in 91. Bird was done basically in 92, give or take half seasons worth of attempts they gave. But their primes, their "era" was from 1980, to 1990. Bird never repeated, Magic did.
Kobe played his first two years as a teenager, off the bench. In the strike year, he played for Kurt, Rambis.
In 2000, when Phil came on board, that's when Kobe became a full time starter, entered his "prime/peak years" and had a real coach. From 2000 to 2010 (like 1980 to 1990) Kobe and the Lakers went to 7 Finals. Won 5 titles. The Spurs went to 3 Finals. Won 3 titles. Kobe's Lakers beat Duncan's Spurs 4 times in 5 tries. Duncan never repeated, Kobe did, multiple times.
Everyone begs for the Kobe rode Shaq stuff, k, well, Duncan's last two Titles, TWO DIFFERENT players won Finals MVP. Those two players, ALSO play with ANOTHER Hall of Famer in Manu Ginobili. And when he won his 2nd title, in 2003, he also had HOFer David Robinson. And Pop has coached every, single, game. So yes, Kobe played with the great Shaq, for 5 years of that run, whereas Tim has never, ever been lonely on the Spurs.
(Note, some people will demand to include the 99 title for Duncan, if they do, that's fine, considering it was Kobe's first year starting, switching between SF and SG, after just turning 20 years old, with Rambis as the coach, that would still only bump the totals to 4 Finals, 4 Titles, and 2-4 vs Kobe for the Spurs. Still less than the 7 Finals, 5 titles, and 4-2. Either way, still Kobe comes out on top)
Longevity. Kobe has missed the last two years. The Spurs have been reborn during that time. Somehow, that elevates Duncan in some eyes, when he isn't even half the player he was. Just 24 months ago, Kobe averaged 2.3/6.0/5.6 at almost 39 minutes a game, for 78 games. The last time Duncan played 39 minutes a game? 2002-03, at age 26. Kobe was 34 when he did it.
PER. Player rating system. People factor it heavily at times. Duncan't last few years, of TEAM success, Duncan's PER has been 19.8, 21.1, 21.3, 22.9, 15.5, 19.7 back to 2008-09 when his PER was 27.3 (He was beat in the first round that year, in 5 games)
Kobe's last few years in the playoffs? 24.4, 20.6, 24.7, 26.8, 25.0, 24.1 (that year, Kobe also lost in the first round, in 5 games)
The last time Duncan played 40 minutes a night, in the playoffs, 2003-04. That was his last year doing so, his 6th overall such season. He was 27.
Kobe had 9 years of that number, the last time being 2010, when he was 31, during his 3rd straight Finals run. (Oh by the way, his last playoff season, he was at 39.7, at age 33)
So, somehow the narratives don't add up. Kobe has all this help, but we just dismiss Duncan playing with multiple Finals MVP's, and HOFers. Or his entire career with one elite coach.
But Kobe had Shaq, and Pau and Phil, only he had Phil for 10 years, and Shaq/Pau for half that.
Duncan is somehow the GOAT of this era, even tho another player, in the same conference as him, won the West more times, beat his team head to head more times, and won more titles during their prime years.
****, look at it deeper, Spurs won in 99/03/05/07/14. Phil Jackson didn't coach in 3 of those years. (99-05-14) Kobe was injured in 2 of them. (05 and 14)
But when Kobe and Phil won the West 7 times, Pop and Duncan were there, each and every year, together.
How are you the best of your era, when another guy in your conference won more than you did, despite being injured 3 different years, and without a legit coach for a good 7-8 of those seasons?
So, next time the issue comes up, please refer to this post and ask people why they move and change their qualifications to fit their agenda without broaching these subjects.