Mo vs. Bolt

An environment where you can be open & frank about your quest for speed

User avatar
La
Kevin Sullivan
Posts: 47990
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:11 pm
Location: Lesleyville!

Mo vs. Bolt

Postby La » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:51 am

I looked, but I don't think anyone has started a thread on this yet. It seems as though Mo Farrah and Usain Bolt have agreed to a head-to-head race over a 600m distance. A few things to consider (debate, discuss): Is that the right distance? Can there even BE a "right" distance to compare them? Assuming it is, who will win?

Here's Alex Hutchinson's take on it: http://www.runnersworld.com/elite-runne ... physiology
ETA: and Canadian Running's article on it: http://runningmagazine.ca/sections/news ... venue-set/
"Maybe I will be my own inspiration." - UltraMonk (Laura)
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have enough time." - Steven Wright

User avatar
Jwolf
Kevin Sullivan
Posts: 37476
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:02 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby Jwolf » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:53 pm

I think it's awesome. :) Should be fun to watch.

600m seems reasonable-- I would have guessed 800m but it looks like that would give Mo a slight advantage.
Support me in my fundraising for the Boston Marathon, Boston Public Library team:
https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign ... iferwolf11

User avatar
MichaelMc
Bill Crothers
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:07 pm
Location: Calgary

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby MichaelMc » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:03 pm

Shorter: 500 to 550 would be an even matchup.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/

Frankly I doubt it will happen, and if it does it'll be done as a bit of a joke. Can't see Bolt taking it seriously.

User avatar
turd ferguson
Ben Johnson
Posts: 28512
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:11 am
Location: It's a funny name
Contact:

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby turd ferguson » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:16 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bailey%E2% ... metre_race

I've watched enough of this for one lifetime
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." - Douglas Adams

User avatar
ian
Jerome Drayton
Posts: 5973
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:44 pm

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby ian » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:20 pm

I'll be surprised if Bolt follows through on this because it is a significant departure from his typical training, even taking into account his relative comfort with 400m. Nevertheless, the near-consensus that Mo will run him down by about 500m sounds about right to me. This has the potential to be great exposure for endurance runners, as a number of casual track fans are probably going to be surprised at just how fast "one of these skinny guys" can run a short race and that they can maintain 80-some percent of this pace for a couple hours.

User avatar
dgrant
Lynn Williams
Posts: 13854
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Down by the river

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby dgrant » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:12 pm

I don't think you can really apply any aerobic/anaerobic analysis or whatnot based on whole populations of elite runners... not where Bolt is concerned. Farah is the man of the hour (but not nearly the greatest that ever was at his disciplines), but Bolt is by himself in uncharted territory of human achievement. You can't plot him on a graph. Maybe if it were Farah vs. Gatlin or Farah vs. Dix you could say "this is where sprinters excel and this is where distance runners excel", but until he returns to Earth no hypotheses apply to Bolt.

What we should really focus on is pooling all of the world's money into a prize purse to get Bolt and Lebron James to drop everything and compete in a Superstars or American Gladiator type competition for title of Most Athletic Human Who Ever Lived.

User avatar
MichaelMc
Bill Crothers
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:07 pm
Location: Calgary

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby MichaelMc » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:31 pm

dgrant wrote:I don't think you can really apply any aerobic/anaerobic analysis or whatnot based on whole populations of elite runners... not where Bolt is concerned. Farah is the man of the hour (but not nearly the greatest that ever was at his disciplines), but Bolt is by himself in uncharted territory of human achievement. You can't plot him on a graph. Maybe if it were Farah vs. Gatlin or Farah vs. Dix you could say "this is where sprinters excel and this is where distance runners excel", but until he returns to Earth no hypotheses apply to Bolt.

What we should really focus on is pooling all of the world's money into a prize purse to get Bolt and Lebron James to drop everything and compete in a Superstars or American Gladiator type competition for title of Most Athletic Human Who Ever Lived.


Lebron isn't even the best BASKETBALL player who ever lived. Wilt Chamberlin, easily.

User avatar
dgrant
Lynn Williams
Posts: 13854
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Down by the river

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby dgrant » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:06 pm

MichaelMc wrote:
dgrant wrote:I don't think you can really apply any aerobic/anaerobic analysis or whatnot based on whole populations of elite runners... not where Bolt is concerned. Farah is the man of the hour (but not nearly the greatest that ever was at his disciplines), but Bolt is by himself in uncharted territory of human achievement. You can't plot him on a graph. Maybe if it were Farah vs. Gatlin or Farah vs. Dix you could say "this is where sprinters excel and this is where distance runners excel", but until he returns to Earth no hypotheses apply to Bolt.

What we should really focus on is pooling all of the world's money into a prize purse to get Bolt and Lebron James to drop everything and compete in a Superstars or American Gladiator type competition for title of Most Athletic Human Who Ever Lived.


Lebron isn't even the best BASKETBALL player who ever lived. Wilt Chamberlin, easily.


Wilt Chamberlain? He got dominated by the only other credible big man of his era (Bill Russell), and the rest of the time padded his stats in an era when half the guys still smoked two cigarettes at halftime. C'mon man... Lebron is the greatest finisher-at-the-rim who ever lived (cannot be argued), the most intuitive mover-without-the-ball who ever lived (cannot be argued), the greatest defender who ever lived (both on the ball and team defense, against bigs and smalls, cannot be argued), an above average shooter, an elite passer and an elite rebounder.

If he suited up tomorrow Lebron would be the greatest defensive end who ever played football and the greatest fly half who ever played rugby. With lessons, he could dominate pro tennis (imagine that serve, and his footwork and agility are already unbelievable). Bolt might beat Lebron at soccer (but who cares?) and equestrian events, unless the horse is allowed to ride Lebron. We don't know how each of them are as swimmers or fencers, which is why this needs to happen.

History's greatest tragedy is that we never got Bo Jackson and Matt Biondi to do this in the last 80s... this is our chance to right a wrong.

User avatar
ian
Jerome Drayton
Posts: 5973
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:44 pm

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby ian » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:05 pm

dgrant wrote:I don't think you can really apply any aerobic/anaerobic analysis or whatnot based on whole populations of elite runners... not where Bolt is concerned. Farah is the man of the hour (but not nearly the greatest that ever was at his disciplines), but Bolt is by himself in uncharted territory of human achievement. You can't plot him on a graph. Maybe if it were Farah vs. Gatlin or Farah vs. Dix you could say "this is where sprinters excel and this is where distance runners excel", but until he returns to Earth no hypotheses apply to Bolt.

True about Bolt, but I think you're selling Farah short on the other end on account of his freakish finishing kick relative to his rivals. Put a prime Geb against Bolt over 600m and I might lean toward the sprinter but Farah is within a second or two of being a world class 800m runner. Is Bolt?

(I agree with you on Wilt's shortcomings on the court. I'll need to see another 5+ years of dominance from Lebron to push him to the top of the all-time heap, though.)

User avatar
drghfx
Abby Hoffman
Posts: 9781
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:49 pm
Location: Halifax, NS

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby drghfx » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:39 am

dgrant wrote:
MichaelMc wrote:
dgrant wrote:I don't think you can really apply any aerobic/anaerobic analysis or whatnot based on whole populations of elite runners... not where Bolt is concerned. Farah is the man of the hour (but not nearly the greatest that ever was at his disciplines), but Bolt is by himself in uncharted territory of human achievement. You can't plot him on a graph. Maybe if it were Farah vs. Gatlin or Farah vs. Dix you could say "this is where sprinters excel and this is where distance runners excel", but until he returns to Earth no hypotheses apply to Bolt.

What we should really focus on is pooling all of the world's money into a prize purse to get Bolt and Lebron James to drop everything and compete in a Superstars or American Gladiator type competition for title of Most Athletic Human Who Ever Lived.


Lebron isn't even the best BASKETBALL player who ever lived. Wilt Chamberlin, easily.


Wilt Chamberlain? He got dominated by the only other credible big man of his era (Bill Russell), and the rest of the time padded his stats in an era when half the guys still smoked two cigarettes at halftime. C'mon man... Lebron is the greatest finisher-at-the-rim who ever lived (cannot be argued), the most intuitive mover-without-the-ball who ever lived (cannot be argued), the greatest defender who ever lived (both on the ball and team defense, against bigs and smalls, cannot be argued), an above average shooter, an elite passer and an elite rebounder.

If he suited up tomorrow Lebron would be the greatest defensive end who ever played football and the greatest fly half who ever played rugby. With lessons, he could dominate pro tennis (imagine that serve, and his footwork and agility are already unbelievable). Bolt might beat Lebron at soccer (but who cares?) and equestrian events, unless the horse is allowed to ride Lebron. We don't know how each of them are as swimmers or fencers, which is why this needs to happen.

History's greatest tragedy is that we never got Bo Jackson and Matt Biondi to do this in the last 80s... this is our chance to right a wrong.

Ha! Lebron couldn't hold a candle to Mary Lou Retton on the balance beam and don't even get me started on the vault!
"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children." - John James Audubon

"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"I was watching the London Marathon and saw one runner dressed as a chicken and another runner dressed as an egg. I thought: 'This could be interesting'." - Paddy Lennox

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast!" - author unknown

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3420
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby Dstew » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:15 pm

ian wrote:I'll be surprised if Bolt follows through on this because it is a significant departure from his typical training, even taking into account his relative comfort with 400m. Nevertheless, the near-consensus that Mo will run him down by about 500m sounds about right to me. This has the potential to be great exposure for endurance runners, as a number of casual track fans are probably going to be surprised at just how fast "one of these skinny guys" can run a short race and that they can maintain 80-some percent of this pace for a couple hours.



Does not matter because the vast majority of sport and exercise is about sex. So the only true question is going to the beach or the gym, Mo or Bolt's body. Bolt would win by a landslide.

User avatar
Jwolf
Kevin Sullivan
Posts: 37476
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:02 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby Jwolf » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:51 pm

Dstew wrote:
ian wrote:I'll be surprised if Bolt follows through on this because it is a significant departure from his typical training, even taking into account his relative comfort with 400m. Nevertheless, the near-consensus that Mo will run him down by about 500m sounds about right to me. This has the potential to be great exposure for endurance runners, as a number of casual track fans are probably going to be surprised at just how fast "one of these skinny guys" can run a short race and that they can maintain 80-some percent of this pace for a couple hours.



Does not matter because the vast majority of sport and exercise is about sex. So the only true question is going to the beach or the gym, Mo or Bolt's body. Bolt would win by a landslide.


huh?
Support me in my fundraising for the Boston Marathon, Boston Public Library team:
https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign ... iferwolf11

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3420
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby Dstew » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:14 pm

Jwolf wrote:
Dstew wrote:
ian wrote:I'll be surprised if Bolt follows through on this because it is a significant departure from his typical training, even taking into account his relative comfort with 400m. Nevertheless, the near-consensus that Mo will run him down by about 500m sounds about right to me. This has the potential to be great exposure for endurance runners, as a number of casual track fans are probably going to be surprised at just how fast "one of these skinny guys" can run a short race and that they can maintain 80-some percent of this pace for a couple hours.



Does not matter because the vast majority of sport and exercise is about sex. So the only true question is going to the beach or the gym, Mo or Bolt's body. Bolt would win by a landslide.


huh?



I was somewhat disagreeing with the assertion that if Mo beat Bolt that it would really change anything. It might make skinny fast guys feel better about being skinny fast guys but for the lion's share of people, they would just write it off as a fast "Kenyan" doing the one and only thing they do well but who cannot open a jar of pickles given his weak and skinny body. Mud and Spartan runs are being advertised as true athletic tests as opposed to races where skinny guys with no upper body strength pound out mindless miles. I was at a gym where some sprinters were working out and everyone would stop and see what they were doing. And those guys were ripped. A skinny fast guy would get no attention. So Mo beating Bolt would probably not surprise a lot of people nor would it really mean anything.

User avatar
MichaelMc
Bill Crothers
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:07 pm
Location: Calgary

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby MichaelMc » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:03 pm

dgrant wrote:
MichaelMc wrote:
dgrant wrote:I don't think you can really apply any aerobic/anaerobic analysis or whatnot based on whole populations of elite runners... not where Bolt is concerned. Farah is the man of the hour (but not nearly the greatest that ever was at his disciplines), but Bolt is by himself in uncharted territory of human achievement. You can't plot him on a graph. Maybe if it were Farah vs. Gatlin or Farah vs. Dix you could say "this is where sprinters excel and this is where distance runners excel", but until he returns to Earth no hypotheses apply to Bolt.

What we should really focus on is pooling all of the world's money into a prize purse to get Bolt and Lebron James to drop everything and compete in a Superstars or American Gladiator type competition for title of Most Athletic Human Who Ever Lived.


Lebron isn't even the best BASKETBALL player who ever lived. Wilt Chamberlin, easily.


Wilt Chamberlain? He got dominated by the only other credible big man of his era (Bill Russell), and the rest of the time padded his stats in an era when half the guys still smoked two cigarettes at halftime. C'mon man... Lebron is the greatest finisher-at-the-rim who ever lived (cannot be argued), the most intuitive mover-without-the-ball who ever lived (cannot be argued), the greatest defender who ever lived (both on the ball and team defense, against bigs and smalls, cannot be argued), an above average shooter, an elite passer and an elite rebounder.

If he suited up tomorrow Lebron would be the greatest defensive end who ever played football and the greatest fly half who ever played rugby. With lessons, he could dominate pro tennis (imagine that serve, and his footwork and agility are already unbelievable). Bolt might beat Lebron at soccer (but who cares?) and equestrian events, unless the horse is allowed to ride Lebron. We don't know how each of them are as swimmers or fencers, which is why this needs to happen.

History's greatest tragedy is that we never got Bo Jackson and Matt Biondi to do this in the last 80s... this is our chance to right a wrong.


Wilt dominated Bill Russell season by season and head-to-head. The Celtics dominated the era, but I didn't think the question was who was on the best TEAM.

Wilt was a national shot put champion in college, high jump 6'6, long jump 22ft, 10.9 second100m dash, 440 yards in 49 seconds, 880 in 1:58.3 and triple jumped 50+ft. He benched 550lbs in college (when he was significatnly smaller than he became). Legitimate claim to best athlete in history: what do you have on Lebron?

Pat Menzies
Bill Crothers
Posts: 1434
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:27 am
Location: Ontario

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby Pat Menzies » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:29 pm

Dstew wrote:
Jwolf wrote:
Dstew wrote:
ian wrote:I'll be surprised if Bolt follows through on this because it is a significant departure from his typical training, even taking into account his relative comfort with 400m. Nevertheless, the near-consensus that Mo will run him down by about 500m sounds about right to me. This has the potential to be great exposure for endurance runners, as a number of casual track fans are probably going to be surprised at just how fast "one of these skinny guys" can run a short race and that they can maintain 80-some percent of this pace for a couple hours.



Does not matter because the vast majority of sport and exercise is about sex. So the only true question is going to the beach or the gym, Mo or Bolt's body. Bolt would win by a landslide.


huh?



I was somewhat disagreeing with the assertion that if Mo beat Bolt that it would really change anything. It might make skinny fast guys feel better about being skinny fast guys but for the lion's share of people, they would just write it off as a fast "Kenyan" doing the one and only thing they do well but who cannot open a jar of pickles given his weak and skinny body. Mud and Spartan runs are being advertised as true athletic tests as opposed to races where skinny guys with no upper body strength pound out mindless miles. I was at a gym where some sprinters were working out and everyone would stop and see what they were doing. And those guys were ripped. A skinny fast guy would get no attention. So Mo beating Bolt would probably not surprise a lot of people nor would it really mean anything.


It doesn't seem like skinny fast guys actually have a problem with their relative strengths. I have never once heard a world class middle or long distance guy lament the fact that he wasn't NBA material.
Most of them likely garner the same respect and adulation in their own country that a lumbering oaf like James gets here.
Top class long distance runners are far stronger than you might imagine by looking at them.
That French steeplechaser who routinely abuses mascots and engages in fistfights after races also likes to dance with his Kenyan rivals after a race and that involves some serious upper body strength.
Image
Check out my site, Bamboo Bikes by Pat Menzies, to see and order my handmade bike frames.

User avatar
dgrant
Lynn Williams
Posts: 13854
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Down by the river

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby dgrant » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:39 am

MichaelMc wrote:
dgrant wrote:
MichaelMc wrote:
dgrant wrote:I don't think you can really apply any aerobic/anaerobic analysis or whatnot based on whole populations of elite runners... not where Bolt is concerned. Farah is the man of the hour (but not nearly the greatest that ever was at his disciplines), but Bolt is by himself in uncharted territory of human achievement. You can't plot him on a graph. Maybe if it were Farah vs. Gatlin or Farah vs. Dix you could say "this is where sprinters excel and this is where distance runners excel", but until he returns to Earth no hypotheses apply to Bolt.

What we should really focus on is pooling all of the world's money into a prize purse to get Bolt and Lebron James to drop everything and compete in a Superstars or American Gladiator type competition for title of Most Athletic Human Who Ever Lived.


Lebron isn't even the best BASKETBALL player who ever lived. Wilt Chamberlin, easily.


Wilt Chamberlain? He got dominated by the only other credible big man of his era (Bill Russell), and the rest of the time padded his stats in an era when half the guys still smoked two cigarettes at halftime. C'mon man... Lebron is the greatest finisher-at-the-rim who ever lived (cannot be argued), the most intuitive mover-without-the-ball who ever lived (cannot be argued), the greatest defender who ever lived (both on the ball and team defense, against bigs and smalls, cannot be argued), an above average shooter, an elite passer and an elite rebounder.

If he suited up tomorrow Lebron would be the greatest defensive end who ever played football and the greatest fly half who ever played rugby. With lessons, he could dominate pro tennis (imagine that serve, and his footwork and agility are already unbelievable). Bolt might beat Lebron at soccer (but who cares?) and equestrian events, unless the horse is allowed to ride Lebron. We don't know how each of them are as swimmers or fencers, which is why this needs to happen.

History's greatest tragedy is that we never got Bo Jackson and Matt Biondi to do this in the last 80s... this is our chance to right a wrong.


Wilt dominated Bill Russell season by season and head-to-head. The Celtics dominated the era, but I didn't think the question was who was on the best TEAM.


Certainly Russell dominated the win-loss column... but also won 5 individual MVPs to Wilt's 4. Since stats from the 50s and 60s are meaningless because of the horrible style of play (guys just running around jacking up missed shots against zero defense), all we can go on is lore. Russell/Chamberlain is one of the all-time fun barroom "Who was better?" arguments, so if there's no consensus on whether Chamberlain was even the best player at his position in his prime, can he be in the discussion as best player ever? Zero people would argue about Jordan being the best shooting guard during his prime, or Lebron being the best 2/3 right now. There isn't even consensus about Wilt being the best ever Lakers center (he's remarkably similar to Shaq in both strengths and weaknesses though Shaq accomplished much more, some people would say Kareem but those people are dumb) or best ever Sixers center (you could find a lot of Moses Malone backers)

Wilt was a national shot put champion in college, high jump 6'6, long jump 22ft, 10.9 second100m dash, 440 yards in 49 seconds, 880 in 1:58.3 and triple jumped 50+ft. He benched 550lbs in college (when he was significatnly smaller than he became).


I've seen those things batted around the internet too, but never a source. Apart from the high jump number, none of those are remotely conceivable. Those would've been Olympic level numbers in the late 50s, but I've never seen evidence he was even on the Kansas track team. A 250lber bench pressing 550lbs? There are people today who devote their whole existence to nothing but bench press and don't push that... for Wilt to do that casually in an era when lifting weights for basketball was unheard of? That makes me think of his 20,000 women claim.

Lebron is happening right now, in front of our eyes. Rewatch games 6 and 7 of this year's Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals. There's never been anything like him. Not even talking about the basketball-specific skills. Watch his footwork agility, his body control, his explosive first step. Can't you picture him nailing a floor routine in gymnastics, and then karate chopping the pommel horse?

User avatar
ian
Jerome Drayton
Posts: 5973
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:44 pm

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby ian » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:57 am

MichaelMc wrote:Wilt dominated Bill Russell season by season and head-to-head. The Celtics dominated the era, but I didn't think the question was who was on the best TEAM.

Meanwhile, I'm confused as to whether you're arguing that Wilt was the best basketball player ever or just the best athlete who ever played basketball. The former is going to be hard to defend but you can make a compelling argument for the latter.

User avatar
MichaelMc
Bill Crothers
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:07 pm
Location: Calgary

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby MichaelMc » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:55 pm

ian wrote:
MichaelMc wrote:Wilt dominated Bill Russell season by season and head-to-head. The Celtics dominated the era, but I didn't think the question was who was on the best TEAM.

Meanwhile, I'm confused as to whether you're arguing that Wilt was the best basketball player ever or just the best athlete who ever played basketball. The former is going to be hard to defend but you can make a compelling argument for the latter.


Original point was best athlete in history: I believe Wilt is a serious contender to a title that can never be settled without a defined scoring system!

As a "best basketball player in history", again, how is that defined? Since basketball is a team sport, unless we put all the players with the exact SAME supporting cast you can't really settle it. The Cleveland Cavaliers starring Lebron had a pretty bad record, Wilt was also stuck with a poor supporting cast much of his career. Bill Russell had an outstanding group of players around him, as did Larry Bird, Magic, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and (now) Lebron James. How much team success is the best player, how much is "team"? One-on-one at their peak I'd take Wilt over any of the others.

In the end this stuff always boils down to individual judgement: is player "X" selfish because he doesn't pass the ball, or is it the smart choice because he has a better chance taking the shot than any player he can pass to? It can be a fun debate, or feelings can get hurt: not mine because I really don't care that much about basketball!

User avatar
dgrant
Lynn Williams
Posts: 13854
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Down by the river

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby dgrant » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:32 pm

MichaelMc wrote:
ian wrote:
MichaelMc wrote:Wilt dominated Bill Russell season by season and head-to-head. The Celtics dominated the era, but I didn't think the question was who was on the best TEAM.

Meanwhile, I'm confused as to whether you're arguing that Wilt was the best basketball player ever or just the best athlete who ever played basketball. The former is going to be hard to defend but you can make a compelling argument for the latter.


Original point was best athlete in history: I believe Wilt is a serious contender to a title that can never be settled without a defined scoring system!

As a "best basketball player in history", again, how is that defined? Since basketball is a team sport, unless we put all the players with the exact SAME supporting cast you can't really settle it. The Cleveland Cavaliers starring Lebron had a pretty bad record, Wilt was also stuck with a poor supporting cast much of his career. Bill Russell had an outstanding group of players around him, as did Larry Bird, Magic, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and (now) Lebron James. How much team success is the best player, how much is "team"? One-on-one at their peak I'd take Wilt over any of the others.

In the end this stuff always boils down to individual judgement: is player "X" selfish because he doesn't pass the ball, or is it the smart choice because he has a better chance taking the shot than any player he can pass to? It can be a fun debate, or feelings can get hurt: not mine because I really don't care that much about basketball!


This is all why Sports Arguing has become America's #1 pastime!

I feel like eras play a huge part in the Greatest Athlete debate. The reason I would submit Bolt and James as the two greatest athletes ever is that they are both the current best at their respective sports during a time when their sports have never been better. Sprinters are faster and more durable than ever before. You look at the IAAF's all-time fastest times list and it's Bolt/Blake/Gay/Powell forever and ever before you see another name. It's laughable to even think about anyone pre-2000 lining up against Bolt. In basketball, the depth of athleticism right now is unprecedented. I look at the "50 Greatest" list the NBA put out for its 50th anniversary in 1996, and maybe 15 of those legends could excel in today's NBA. (You aren't considered a superstar today without being an elite defender, whereas guys like Bird and Magic barely went through the motions.) The mountaintop James sits on is Everest, not Mont Blanc.

It's tougher in other sports where you can't really say which era was harder to dominate. Who is greater: Spitz or Biondi or Phelps? Viren or Geb or Bekele? Borg or Sampras or Federer. John Daly or Fuzzy Zoeller?

User avatar
ian
Jerome Drayton
Posts: 5973
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:44 pm

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby ian » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:15 pm

MichaelMc wrote:Original point was best athlete in history: I believe Wilt is a serious contender to a title that can never be settled without a defined scoring system!

No arguments here.

The Cleveland Cavaliers starring Lebron had a pretty bad record

Not really; they made the finals once before LeBron had peaked and then had the best regular season record in the league in his last two years there. In the three years since he left, it has become increasingly clear that all of his teammates were bench-caliber players elsewhere, therefore the Cleveland years look increasingly good for LeBron.

In the end this stuff always boils down to individual judgement: is player "X" selfish because he doesn't pass the ball, or is it the smart choice because he has a better chance taking the shot than any player he can pass to?

Or in Wilt's case, being selfish by trying to lead the league in assists for one season instead of shooting easier shots himself. Tons of potential, but unfortunately his teammates didn't play well with him and when the games counted the most, he got worse. (Russell may have had lower season averages than Wilt but head-to-head in their playoff matchups, he more than held his own. Wilt was all about stats, while Russell had a deeper understanding of the game - on defense especially - and only cared about winning.)

It can be a fun debate, or feelings can get hurt: not mine because I really don't care that much about basketball!

As you say, there's no definitive way to resolve this, but insofar as there is a general "consensus" for all-time basketball rankings, Wilt tends to be in the 5-10 range (behind Jordan, Russell, Magic, and Bird for sure, along with perhaps Kobe, Duncan, Kareem, Robertson, Shaq, and West). Lebron is hard to rank halfway through his career but he's got a chance to get right near the top. As an athlete, LeBron is probably the only basketball player I'd consider matching up with Wilt.

User avatar
dgrant
Lynn Williams
Posts: 13854
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Down by the river

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby dgrant » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:48 pm

ian wrote:As you say, there's no definitive way to resolve this, but insofar as there is a general "consensus" for all-time basketball rankings, Wilt tends to be in the 5-10 range (behind Jordan, Russell, Magic, and Bird for sure, along with perhaps Kobe, Duncan, Kareem, Robertson, Shaq, and West). Lebron is hard to rank halfway through his career but he's got a chance to get right near the top. As an athlete, LeBron is probably the only basketball player I'd consider matching up with Wilt.


C'mon Ian, Lebron just finished his 10th season, has played over 900 games, 4 MVPs, 4 trips to the finals, 2 titles. That's a full career right there.

1. Lebron
2. Jordan
3. Russell
4. Wilt
5. Olajuwon
6. Duncan
7. Kobe
8. Moses Malone
9. Shaq
10. Kevin Mchale

Gotta play both ends of the court on my team, so no Bird or Magic. By all accounts Oscar made his teammates worse. I'm holding West's era against him. I want to find a place for David Robinson, but he can't squeeze in there.

User avatar
turd ferguson
Ben Johnson
Posts: 28512
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:11 am
Location: It's a funny name
Contact:

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby turd ferguson » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:57 pm

dgrant wrote:
ian wrote:As you say, there's no definitive way to resolve this, but insofar as there is a general "consensus" for all-time basketball rankings, Wilt tends to be in the 5-10 range (behind Jordan, Russell, Magic, and Bird for sure, along with perhaps Kobe, Duncan, Kareem, Robertson, Shaq, and West). Lebron is hard to rank halfway through his career but he's got a chance to get right near the top. As an athlete, LeBron is probably the only basketball player I'd consider matching up with Wilt.


C'mon Ian, Lebron just finished his 10th season, has played over 900 games, 4 MVPs, 4 trips to the finals, 2 titles. That's a full career right there.

1. Lebron
2. Jordan
3. Russell
4. Wilt
5. Olajuwon
6. Duncan
7. Kobe
8. Moses Malone
9. Shaq
10. Kevin Mchale

Gotta play both ends of the court on my team, so no Bird or Magic. By all accounts Oscar made his teammates worse. I'm holding West's era against him. I want to find a place for David Robinson, but he can't squeeze in there.


I'm guessing your NHL team doesn't have Gretzky because he never met Fuhr?

Seriously - I don't disagree with your list, I wouldn't have put Hakeem so high, I would have found a spot for Abdul-Jabbar. I also wonder how to rank a guy like Mikan.
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." - Douglas Adams

User avatar
dgrant
Lynn Williams
Posts: 13854
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Down by the river

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby dgrant » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:24 pm

turd ferguson wrote:Seriously - I don't disagree with your list, I wouldn't have put Hakeem so high, I would have found a spot for Abdul-Jabbar. I also wonder how to rank a guy like Mikan.


I have an irrational disrespect for Kareem. I started watching the NBA in the mid-to late-80s when he was a starter on a marquee team and carried all the weight of a cultural icon... but by then he was horrible and unwatchable. Since I never saw him in his prime, my mental image of Kareem is this supremely overrated finesse center. It's not fair, but life's not fair.

My rationale for having Hakeem up there is he was the alpha male during the golden age of centers. In the mid 90s you had Hakeem, Ewing, and Robinson in their primes... Shaq and Mutombo nearly at their peaks... Mourning, Smits, Divac and Willis were super solid. Hakeem humiliated all of them. In the cases of Ewing and Shaq, he literally tarnished their legacies.

Talkin' bball... this is the best running thread ever.

User avatar
jgore
Abby Hoffman
Posts: 8437
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 5:31 am

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby jgore » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:23 pm

dgrant wrote:1. Lebron
2. Jordan
3. Russell
4. Wilt
5. Olajuwon
6. Duncan
7. Kobe
8. Moses Malone
9. Shaq
10. Kevin Mchale


What? No "Chocolate Thunder"? :lol:

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3420
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Mo vs. Bolt

Postby Dstew » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:52 pm

dgrant wrote:
turd ferguson wrote:Seriously - I don't disagree with your list, I wouldn't have put Hakeem so high, I would have found a spot for Abdul-Jabbar. I also wonder how to rank a guy like Mikan.


I have an irrational disrespect for Kareem. I started watching the NBA in the mid-to late-80s when he was a starter on a marquee team and carried all the weight of a cultural icon... but by then he was horrible and unwatchable. Since I never saw him in his prime, my mental image of Kareem is this supremely overrated finesse center. It's not fair, but life's not fair.

My rationale for having Hakeem up there is he was the alpha male during the golden age of centers. In the mid 90s you had Hakeem, Ewing, and Robinson in their primes... Shaq and Mutombo nearly at their peaks... Mourning, Smits, Divac and Willis were super solid. Hakeem humiliated all of them. In the cases of Ewing and Shaq, he literally tarnished their legacies.

Talkin' bball... this is the best running thread ever.



Clearly the Mo v Bo race is one of the most anticipated Basketball, err, running events of all time as evident by the heated discussions in the thread.


Return to “The Speed Zone”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest