The Instigator
MadSammyboy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Kennycash
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Do championship rings define the greatness of individual NBA players?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,704 times Debate No: 30411
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

MadSammyboy

Con

"Five beats one every time I look at it." -- Michael Jordan, on why he would take Kobe Bryant over LeBron James

Recent comments by the great Jordan (and responses by James and Bryant, respectively disagreeing and agreeing with him) have revived the enduring debate over how important championship rings are in determining the legacy of NBA players.

My position is that, while they're certainly an important factor, championship rings should not be the final (or even the most important) element in evaluating individual greatness.

I shall keep my points simple:

1.) Rings are commemorations of an individual's contribution to an NBA title.
2.) NBA titles are TEAM accomplishments; they're the result of the sustained collective effort of many: a roster of players, a coaching staff, a training staff, a medical staff, a scouting staff, and a front office.
3.) It is illogical to evaluate an individual based on the success or failure of a group, regardless of how pivotal that individual is to the group's operation.

I shall save my efforts at expanding on these points until someone accepts my debate. I look forward to a challenge!
Kennycash

Pro

First off I am sure you are a Lebron James fan, because only a Lebron fan would argue this case. The point about the whole TEAM sport thing doesn't fly in the NBA. This isn't baseball where teams like the St. Louis cardinals have a chance for a championship. It's the most superstar driven sport there is that's why teams like the Thunder play the Heat for the title. Compared to the MLB and NFL these superstars have the say on the entire game. If anything it is the one sport that championships should define a player.
Debate Round No. 1
MadSammyboy

Con

"First off I am sure you are a Lebron James fan, because only a Lebron fan would argue this case."

I'll not address this except to point out that it's an ad hominem. The debate is on what factors determine individual player greatness, not on whether I'm a LeBron James fan. If I were a fan of the color green and I observed that grass is green, my observation wouldn't be any less correct just because I'm a fan of the color. My position is either true or it isn't; who I'm a fan of has no bearing on my position's correctness. (For what it's worth, I'm not a Miami fan or a LeBron fan; I'm a basketball fan and an NBA fan, and my preferred team is San Antonio.)

"The point about the whole TEAM sport thing doesn't fly in the NBA... It's the most superstar driven sport there is..."

The NBA is a team-sport league. Titles are awarded to teams, not players. The only way for you to carry your line of reasoning through successfully is to demonstrate that a title has been or can be won entirely by the efforts of an individual. While it's arguable that individual NBA players have a more dynamic impact on the outcomes of games than in other sports, such an argument is moot. I submit usage rate(1) (which calculates the percentage of offensive plays an individual player participates in) and offensive win-sharing(2) (which provides an overall metric for evaluating how much responsibility player has in his team's success) as evidence that no individual player is ever entirely responsible for his team's success. Simplifying, though: a player would need to produce a 100% usage rate and/or a win-share of one (or three, depending on whose system you prefer) in order to be fully responsible for his team's success. This doesn't even address defensive success (for which a usage rate metric doesn't exist, as far as I know), but simply put, a player would need to be responsible for all defensive success on every opposing player for the entirety of every game in order to take full credit for total defensive success. This, of course, is absurd.

However, none of the above discussion is even really necessary. I'm going to give my opponent, as well as those reading this, enough credit to assume they are already aware that team success is the result of a team effort. As one example, however: In 1993, Michael Jordan averaged a remarkable 32.6 points for Chicago in the playoffs. That's a phenomenal number, but Chicago's playoff opponents averaged 98.9 points. It suffices to say that Jordan's 32.6 points alone wouldn't have been enough for Chicago to win many games against its opposition; fortunately, the rest of Chicago's players added 72.6 points per game to Jordan's contribution, for a team total of 105.2 points per game. Jordan was Chicago's best player in those playoffs, but he was by no means the only reason for the team's success.(3)

Since you offered a weak opening counter and no evidence in support of it, and since I've negated this counter, I shall repeat my original argument and hope you offer a more substantial response in this round of our debate.

1.) Rings are commemorations of an individual's contribution to an NBA title.
2.) NBA titles are TEAM accomplishments; they're the result of the sustained collective effort of many: a roster of players, a coaching staff, a training staff, a medical staff, a scouting staff, and a front office.
3.) It is illogical to evaluate an individual based on the success or failure of a group, regardless of how pivotal that individual is to the group's operation.

SOURCES:
(1) http://www.nbastuffer.com...
(2) http://www.basketball-reference.com...
(3)http://www.basketball-reference.com...
Kennycash

Pro

Even though the debate is on rings and NBA greatness. You are simply wrong again! What team and players you are attached to does cloud certain debating subjects. Have you ever debated with a fan or player of a certain team, sometimes anything you say doesn't get through. I figured you to be a Lebron fan because I have a couple Lebron lover friends (Jordan haters) and after he said some things about Kobe having 5 rings and Lebron having 1 they went on this rampage about how rings are not everything. It's kind of hard to believe a SPURS fan is saying rings don't define players, but I guess I will have to take your word on that.

ANYWHOO! I know you just didn't post a team or players Points Per Game avg equates to wins. It means nothing. In your theory the Denver Nuggets would win it every year. Even worse to try and sell people that a superstar wouldn't draw more wins and put a team over the top. Look at this years Chicago Bulls. It's a decent team but with no superstar the fans don't even expect greatness. If you add Derek Rose their PPG stays the same and there wins go up, because chuckers like Nate Robinson would never play again.

Believe it or not a superstar does more than PPG. He controls the 4th quarter, leads a team in the huddle, knows when to shoot and when to pass. There is a lot of games Jordan passed it off in the playoffs when he needed to. Watch every superstar in the finals or playoffs in general and you will see greatness from time to time, it happens every year. It is how you earn your respect.
Debate Round No. 2
MadSammyboy

Con

"What team and players you are attached to does cloud certain debating subjects."

Obviously, this CAN happen, but unless you"re accusing me of being biased in this debate, I don"t understand why you keep bringing it up. Frankly, even if I AM biased (which I"m not, and which you need to demonstrate if you think I am), it"s still irrelevant. The debate topic is whether individual greatness for NBA players is defined by rings.

"Have you ever debated with a fan or player of a certain team, sometimes anything you say doesn't get through. I figured you to be a Lebron fan because I have a couple Lebron lover friends (Jordan haters) and after he said some things about Kobe having 5 rings and Lebron having 1 they went on this rampage about how rings are not everything."

Your friends aren't part of this debate. They sound like clowns, but this is all way, way off the subject. Sorry.

"I know you just didn't post a team or players Points Per Game avg equates to wins. It means nothing."

I can't respond to your comment that "it means nothing", because you haven't presented any reasons for why you don't think it means anything. I've already demonstrated why this data is significant.

"In your theory the Denver Nuggets would win it every year."

I don't know how to respond to this. My "theory" as regards offensive win-shares and usage rate is that those statistics help to illustrate both how individual players help their teams" success and that they aren't solely responsible for it. All you've done is reply with variations on "no, you"re wrong." You're not giving me anything to work with. Also, I don't know how you manage to conclude that my reasoning yields a Denver champion every ear.

"Even worse to try and sell people that a superstar wouldn't draw more wins and put a team over the top."

I never said that. I said the opposite, in fact; did you read my section on the 1993 Bulls?

"Look at this years Chicago Bulls. It's a decent team but with no superstar the fans don't even expect greatness."

Fan expectations don't have anything to do with this topic.

"If you add Derek Rose their PPG stays the same and there wins go up"

You can"t make this statement because Derrick Rose hasn't played this season.

"Believe it or not a superstar does more than PPG. He controls the 4th quarter, leads a team in the huddle, knows when to shoot and when to pass. There is a lot of games Jordan passed it off in the playoffs when he needed to. Watch every superstar in the finals or playoffs in general and you will see greatness from time to time, it happens every year. It is how you earn your respect."

You haven't demonstrated how these comments relate to the topic. I seriously don't mean any offense, but you're all over the place. The topic is whether or not rings are the sole or primary factor in determining individual player greatness.

In any case, you've not really addressed my argument or the topic, so we'll have to see what the voters think of our exchange, if they vote at all. Thanks for the discussion!
Kennycash

Pro

"Believe it or not a superstar does more than PPG. He controls the 4th quarter, leads a team in the huddle, knows when to shoot and when to pass. There is a lot of games Jordan passed it off in the playoffs when he needed to. Watch every superstar in the finals or playoffs in general and you will see greatness from time to time, it happens every year. It is how you earn your respect."

I find it funny how you claim I am off topic and you are not. What does a PPG-Win Loss share have to do with championships. I have been trying to explain to you Greatness of a individual player comes out and is seen in CHAMPIONSHIP runs. FOR EXAMPLE: If Chris Paul kills it in the playoffs and wins a title he will be looked at as a winner and his greatness will elevate. Look through your topics again and see if you can find ANYTHING that relates to "Do championship rings define the greatness of individual NBA players?". Outside your 93 Bulls win-loss-ppg statement that makes no sense I cant find anything.

Guys like Jordan are combined with greatness because he went out and won 3 championships in a row, then retired a year because of the death of his father, then came back and won 3 more. There is a good chance he could have won 7 YEARS STRAIGHT. That is pure DOMINANCE. Anyone that watches sports knows how hard it is to win a championship, let alone 6 in 7 years.

Now lets look at Lebron. He was constantly criticized that he can't win the big game. All people talked about is "When is he going to win one", "Is he going to win one". Look what happened when he lost in the finals, it was the end of the world. Think about it. Last season when they won people got off his back, reporters got off his back, he even said he was relieved.

How can anyone say rings do not define greatness in the NBA. Guys like Malone, Stockton, Dominique, and DR. J are not talked about like Jordan, Magic, Bird, and Wilt. If Larry Bird had NO CHAMPIONSHIPS he would be just another NBA ALL STAR. You cant have a Legacy without a Championship that much is for certain.

P.S. I seen you did not even write a closing argument.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by kingdavid3000 4 years ago
kingdavid3000
Pro was random throughout this debate. Had nothing credible to say, his only sources were his "friend". Con however provided a well balanced argument using stats and knowledge to back up his view. Pro spoke only in generalities, showing no idea what he was talking about. I hope con wins this debate, but people these days go off MSM hyperbole and exaggerations about certain things. Question for those who believe rings define a players greatness: is Derrick Fisher better than Steve Nash( cut to foolish Lakers fans nodding their heads yes), is Luc Longley better than Charles Barkley, and is Metta World Peace better than Carmelo Anthony? Watch the players people, rings are an overrated way of judging individual success. Going by your logic, Bill Russel is the best player to play in the NBA hands down, none of you hypocrites are saying that today.
No votes have been placed for this debate.