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TTHopeful
12-17-2015, 02:39 PM
Ma Long has had a great year winning all 3 major events, the World Champs, World Cup and the World Tour Grand Finals. We are all aware if Ma Long wins the Rio Olympics he will become a grand slam champion matching Zhang Jike's achievements.

My question is, if Ma Long wins Rio will he go down as the greatest player of all time?

I want to add a poll but I can't find the option.

abbass
12-17-2015, 03:35 PM
He will !!!!!

Sali
12-17-2015, 03:44 PM
Ma Long is a great player, but we will see for how many years he can be on top. IMHO Waldner is the best player of all time, he was on top for about 20 years. Still few years ago while he was not active like pros he did some problems to Ma Long. So we can say ma long is on top for about 10 years, let's see if another 10 years he can be in top 10 - I really doubt it.

anchorschmidt
12-18-2015, 12:44 AM
Ma Long still needs another World Championships to match Waldner and Zhang Jike. Waldner had a really long and successful career (also an Olympic silver and a World's silver) We must not forget that Waldner achieved so much without the resources and the training of the Chinese National Team. The other Swedes were also very strong but they didn't match Waldner in terms of achievements or longevity.

However, it probably can be argued that Ma Long has been consistently at the top, probably more so than Waldner but Waldner's style was so unique and eye-catching that I always tip in Waldner's favour.

UpSideDownCarl
12-18-2015, 01:29 AM
To me this sounds like all the people who were asking if Zhang Jike was the best ever after his 2013 win in the WTTC singles event.

Ma Long is a darn good player. Let's let history unfold.

Before Mike Tyson lost his first fight, when he still had that air of invincibility so many people were predicting he would be the best boxer ever. But when he hit a few speed bumps in his career he sort of plummeted. He was a champion. But also a circus act and I doubt anyone would call him the best ever these days.


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TTFrenzy
12-18-2015, 06:29 PM
Well the greatest of all time is just a big word thrown away by journalists. In terms of total titles no one can surpass waldner. But in waldner's era the game was much less physical so we cant compare really.

If wang hao had better mentality he could be compared to waldner no matter how weird this statement sounds.

3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.

Judging by the whole package and excluding waldner out of the equation cause his era was very different I would say

1. zhang jike 2. wang hao 3 ma long 4.wang liqin 5. ma lin . If ma long clinches the next olympic games and one world champ final more then definitely he is on par with zhang jike and better than wang hao.

Its pointless to compare but judging by overall results waldner is for sure still the best and his records cannot be broken

2 gold in wttc 2 silver and 2 bronze . In 1997 gold he didnt lose a single set, with the 11 point system its almost impossible to break that record by any chinese top player when their level is so damn close

1 gold in olympics 1 silver 1 4th place. Tons of europe top 12 golds when europe was dominating TT. 1 gold 1 silver in european single championships. 1 gold 1 silver 1 bronze in world cups.

For me TT is divided in two eras, before and after 2002, so in the end you cannot really compare. There are only if's and would's. Imagine if ma long had won 2011 wttc, he would probably clincth all the titles after, same thing goes for wang hao

anchorschmidt
12-18-2015, 11:52 PM
[QUOTE=TTFrenzy;130824]Well the greatest of all time is just a big word thrown away by journalists. In terms of total titles no one can surpass waldner. But in waldner's era the game was much less physical so we cant compare really.

If wang hao had better mentality he could be compared to waldner no matter how weird this statement sounds.

3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.
/QUOTE]

Ma Long lost against Timo Boll in the WTTTC in 2010.

UpSideDownCarl
12-19-2015, 12:12 AM
3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.

Love your post. But didn't Ma Long get beaten by Timo Boll in WTTC teams? I think it may have been 2012 or 2010. Can't remember which.

[Edit: well, I just saw anchorschmidt beat me to that piece of info.]



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necax007
12-19-2015, 02:01 AM
Sorry for my ridiculous opinion. But for me the best player is the one that is most enjoyable to watch and with the most refine technique. And in that department, in my opinion no one beats Zhang Jike.

TTFrenzy
12-19-2015, 02:21 AM
Sorry for my ridiculous opinion. But for me the best player is the one that is most enjoyable to watch and with the most refine technique. And in that department, in my opinion no one beats Zhang Jike.

Yeap zhang has the most effective technique close to the table. No weaknesses whatsoever, the rallies he has played close to the table are phenomenal and only him and fan zhendong can display such a perfect technique and explosiveness without getting off balance.

One could say that zhang is the evolution of kong linghui which was the modern all round chinese player with exceptional rallying ablities. Fan zhendong and zhang are the only players so far in history that countertopspin so fast close to the table. WAng hao was also very good, but a notch slower

TTFrenzy
12-19-2015, 02:22 AM
[QUOTE=TTFrenzy;130824]Well the greatest of all time is just a big word thrown away by journalists. In terms of total titles no one can surpass waldner. But in waldner's era the game was much less physical so we cant compare really.

If wang hao had better mentality he could be compared to waldner no matter how weird this statement sounds.

3 olympic finals 3 wttc finals 6 world cup finals (4 consecutive!!) and I think he is the only chinese undefeated in world team championship along with ma long.
/QUOTE]

Ma Long lost against Timo Boll in the WTTTC in 2010.

Yeap my bad, he was actually winning 2-0 but Timo fought back hard and of course ML choked a bit at the end. It was a great game

necax007
12-19-2015, 02:25 AM
Actually if you see the last final between FZD and Ma Long you will see that Ma Long is very good in countertopspin close to the table. The difference is that he doesn't seem so balanced as Zhang Zike.

Tinykin
12-19-2015, 10:22 AM
Ma Long has had a great year winning all 3 major events, the World Champs, World Cup and the World Tour Grand Finals. We are all aware if Ma Long wins the Rio Olympics he will become a grand slam champion matching Zhang Jike's achievements.

My question is, if Ma Long wins Rio will he go down as the greatest player of all time?

No No No No never!

There's no TT player that can ever match the achievements of one Victor Barna. There's a very strong argument that he's the one person why we are all playing TT today. He popularised the sport way beyond its roots. He's the only TT player that was on the back and front pages of newspapers all over the world. Think Tiger Woods and golf. Think Ali and boxing. That's how important he was.

Tinykin
12-19-2015, 10:30 AM
To me this sounds like all the people who were asking if Zhang Jike was the best ever after his 2013 win in the WTTC singles event.

Ma Long is a darn good player. Let's let history unfold.

Before Mike Tyson lost his first fight, when he still had that air of invincibility so many people were predicting he would be the best boxer ever. But when he hit a few speed bumps in his career he sort of plummeted. He was a champion. But also a circus act and I doubt anyone would call him the best ever these days.


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Agreed. Same for Jiang Jialing, Yue(?) Zhang Zedong, Kong, Guoling etc
Wang Liqin for a long time was invincible. Plus his game like Waldner was so uniquely entrancing. I never quite took to the others before his era.
MaLong is child of the internet/YouTube/TT-forum age. We have watched and dissected his every match since he was about 17yo.

Tinykin
12-19-2015, 10:36 AM
Yeap zhang has the most effective technique close to the table. No weaknesses whatsoever, the rallies he has played close to the table are phenomenal and only him and fan zhendong can display such a perfect technique and explosiveness without getting off balance.

One could say that zhang is the evolution of kong linghui which was the modern all round chinese player with exceptional rallying ablities. Fan zhendong and zhang are the only players so far in history that countertopspin so fast close to the table. Wang hao was also very good, but a notch slower

I assume that you never saw Gatien or even Kreanga at their best. They played in the 38mm ball era when speed glue was at its nastiest and fastest.

TTFrenzy
12-19-2015, 11:23 AM
I assume that you never saw Gatien or even Kreanga at their best. They played in the 38mm ball era when speed glue was at its nastiest and fastest.

I saw all of them, actually was a great fan of gatien! the smaller ball had big differences, there is no comparison, still zhang and fan have better rallying abilities CLOSE to the table. Kreanga is a mid distance looper and gatien a one shot killer. Gatien's footwork though was ahead from his era

p.s. by close to the table I dont necessarily mean just staying close and taking the ball at different times. close to the table means striking the ball as early as possible. The modern BH of zhang wang hao was not even existent in the speed glue era.

Tinykin
12-19-2015, 12:01 PM
The clue is in your statement "the smaller ball had big differences"
TT goes through all styles at different times. Yes the BH emphasis is the big thing at the moment. But many players had BH like that but with the greater speed and spin of the 38mm ball there was no time to play the BH/FH game as it is today.
Eg. I am a craaap level player, but even me can be Flipping most serves (at my level) with my BH. This tactic would have been match suicide in the nineties.
But in the fifties/sixties it was well used tactic.

TTFrenzy
12-19-2015, 12:53 PM
?eap it was a whole different game, the hidden serves the spin and speed of the ball made it almost impossible to always attack the serve. Besides with so much speed from the glue, it was essential that you back of the table and play mid distance loop

UpSideDownCarl
12-19-2015, 01:41 PM
When you take a snails eye view of history, it is easy to make naive assumptions. I mean, heck, Ma Long fans were clamoring for him to be given the title of Best Player Ever before he ever won a WTTC. He is a great player in spite of how often he has choked on the larger stages. I mean, 3 WTTCs in a row (2009, 2011 and 2013) he lost in the semi-finals to Wang Hao, and all three of them looked more than a little like big time choking. Wang Hao pulled the short game and the jedi mind-tricks out of his sleeve, and Ma Long fell apart.

If Ma Long fans wanted to crown him with the title of Best Ever when he was falling apart in the big tournaments, then, of course they would want to crown him Best of All Times now that he finally won something substantial. The guy is great. He is fun to watch too. But come on, nobody can be called the best ever until you can look at their entire career from start to finish and measure ALL OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

So lets not get too carried away. And just wait till the Ma Long fans start being Fan Zhendong fans, when FZD passes ML and is beating everyone. We will see if they start asking if FZD is the best ever after he wins his first Olympic Gold or WTTC title. Or, will they start clamoring for that title before he wins anything like they did for Ma Long!

TTFrenzy
12-19-2015, 01:55 PM
When you take a snails eye view of history, it is easy to make naive assumptions. I mean, heck, Ma Long fans were clamoring for him to be given the title of Best Player Ever before he ever won a WTTC. He is a great player in spite of how often he has choked on the larger stages. I mean, 3 WTTCs in a row (2009, 2011 and 2013) he lost in the semi-finals to Wang Hao, and all three of them looked more than a little like big time choking. Wang Hao pulled the short game and the jedi mind-tricks out of his sleeve, and Ma Long fell apart.

If Ma Long fans wanted to crown him with the title of Best Ever when he was falling apart in the big tournaments, then, of course they would want to crown him Best of All Times now that he finally won something substantial. The guy is great. He is fun to watch too. But come on, nobody can be called the best ever until you can look at their entire career from start to finish and measure ALL OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

So lets not get too carried away. And just wait till the Ma Long fans start being Fan Zhendong fans, when FZD passes ML and is beating everyone. We will see if they start asking if FZD is the best ever after he wins his first Olympic Gold or WTTC title. Or, will they start clamoring for that title before he wins anything like they did for Ma Long!

Yeap, I think his flashy forehand has made many fans enthusiastic about him and too much hype than he actually deserved, which Im sure it created some pressure on him. Good aesthetics does not necessarily mean that you are the greatest or deserve to be world champion. Wang hao's short game is maybe the best along with ma lin's, only zhang could counter it with the BH flick which ma long never really developed .

atek2015
12-19-2015, 02:32 PM
He will for sure !

NextLevel
12-20-2015, 12:29 PM
Maybe I am a fan boy, but I thought Ma Long was the best player of the modern era before he won the WTTC and I think that the emphasis on *winning* the Majors is a bit overdone so the argument could not be made. After all, I consider WLQ the other greatest player of the modern era (and a real competitor to Waldner) and he had no Olympic Games gold or World Cup gold. Ma Lin is also much higher than people give him credit for, only that he is clearly behind WLQ. It's really about the amazing level of consistency and dominance over a long period. Ma Long thankfully has won his WTTC gold so that people can put all those losses to Wang Hao in perspective. Overall dominance of peers is something people don't rate highly enough, especially in the cutthroat CNT.

I mean, Ma Long has dominated Asia just as comprehensively as Waldner dominated Europe, even more so. The level of internal CNT competition is so much higher than what Waldner faced over time in Sweden. And despite this, Waldner had man years where he seemed to be on relative vacation. Ma Long shows up to dominate when he is not on vacation.

OF course, Ma Long's desire to always dominate has the problem that he thinks playing badly at any time is always a big problem. While people like Waldner and Zhang Jike are called big match players, players who play at a high level all the time like WLQ or Ma Long get called chokers for not winning {certain} majors. For me, their high finishes at those events make such comments moot. They weren't losing early like the big match players.

UpSideDownCarl
12-20-2015, 07:25 PM
I am happy to say that Ma Long is the best player right now. And the best small tournament player I've seen. He's darn good. You can say he's great. But best ever???? Come on. He would have to earn that with more than winning small tournaments. With more than winning one WTTC.

Best right now, sure. Pretty soon that won't be the case any more. Right now he is the best.

And, truthfully, what Wang Hao did was expose a weakness. Did he fall apart? Yes. But the tactics caused the mental collapse in those three MAJOR loses.

Wang Hao was even pretty kind to ML in games 4 and 5 of 2013 WTTC semi-final. He stopped doing the short game tactics. He tried to take the last game going toe to toe with Ma Long and couldn't. So in game 6 he went back to the tactics that ML couldn't handle and, after playing darn well and winning two games, he fell apart and lost big in the 6th game.

Has he fixed that? To some extent. But there is also, right now, nobody who can exploit his weakness as long as Zhang Jike is playing as badly as he is.

But, anyway, Wang Liqin should be under consideration as one of the best ever. And I would actually list him over any of the guys around today.

You can't ask someone from a previous era to have the techniques that were only adapted recently. But you can judge when someone does completely dominate their era. And Wang Liqin did get 3 WTTC singles titles.

Another thing to understand. Watch Ma Long's Quarter Final match with Oh Sang Eun in the 2011 WTTC. He destroyed OSE. Completely crushed him. And was playing well against Wang Hao before Wang Hao moved to the center of the table and pulled out the short game tactics and those Jedi mind-tricks that ML could not handle.

Another thing to understand with Ma Long. He is much better when he runs out to a big lead at the beginning than he is when someone really fights hard against him. His recent win against FZD in the Grand Tour Finals is a good sign that he is getting better at fighting when he is down.

To be viewed as the best ever, which I think is possible, he would have to win a few more WTTCs. An Olympic Gold would help. But it wouldn't mean as much as the WTTC Titles in my book. Why the number and broadness of the competition. The World Cup, the Grand Finals and even the Olympics don't have as much competition in the tournament once you qualify. The World Championships has so many more high level players to get past.

As far as Walder, I personally don't like titles like best ever. He was definitely among the best of his era and one of the best ever.

There are really too many great players.

But one thing he did, as part of that team from Sweden, he led the Swedish team to end the Chinese dominance of that era. That was no small accomplishment. China was the best as they are now. And Waldner was a good part of how the Swedish team succeeded in taking over that title for a good part of a decade.


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NextLevel
12-20-2015, 07:52 PM
Carl, your arguments are at least as reasonable as mine if not far more so.

UpSideDownCarl
12-20-2015, 08:27 PM
You know, I think there are plenty of good arguments to say Ma Long will go down as One of The Greats of All Time. He is darn good.

And at a certain point it may start being like arguing about who was better between Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield. Both were great. Both had cannon arms. Both were great at the plate.

Day in, day out, Winfield produced, was rock steady, was a great player. The stats show that he was one of the best players of the day. In the World Series each time he got there, he did not. His stats in the World Series were totally anemic. In the last World Series he played in, he got a few hits and they made a big deal that he got the monkey off his back. But even with those hits his batting average in the World Series was still worse than terrible.

Reggie Jackson was a streaky player who sometimes was on and people feared him and when he was off he sucked. His lifetime stats were totally middle of the road. But in the World Series he was a MONSTER.

I am not going to say Jackson was better than Winfield. But I would be happy to have him on my team for when we got to the Big Show.


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Anders
12-20-2015, 09:04 PM
I assume that you never saw Gatien or even Kreanga at their best. They played in the 38mm ball era when speed glue was at its nastiest and fastest.

And not to mention the neckbreaking backhand of Jorg Rosskopf!

Tinykin
12-20-2015, 10:40 PM
You know, I think there are plenty of good arguments to say Ma Long will go down as One of The Greats of All Time. He is darn good.

And at a certain point it may start being like arguing about who was better between Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield. Both were great. Both had cannon arms. Both were great at the plate. .......

I think MaLong will go down as one of the greats of the plastic ball era as the present team is now showing all what's possible. But there's always question marks against the modern CNT players as they are all products of the ...CNT. That's such a big advantage over any opponent. To me each of the modern CNT were technically the best players perhaps of all time up to that point. Guo Yuehua then Jiang then Kong then WLQ then Wang then ZJK, now it's MaLong's turn. But greatness?

I don't think you can compare TT GOAT with Jackson V Winfield as they both came out of the same system more or less. BTW, to show how some players' greatness transcends even their own sport, I've never heard of Winfield until you mentioned him. But Reggie? big yes.

Yes, I've now Googled 'Winfield', very very impressive.

UpSideDownCarl
12-20-2015, 11:04 PM
BTW, to show how some players' greatness transcends even their own sport, I've never heard of Winfield until you mentioned him. But Reggie? big yes.

Yes, I've now Googled 'Winfield', very very impressive.

I think that was part of my point. Year by year, game by game, day in, day out, Winfield put up better numbers. But in the clutch, Jackson was THE MAN. And it earned him the bigger reputation from the twenty-twenty hindsight of a historical perspective.


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GiorgosTT
12-20-2015, 11:12 PM
If Ma Long wins the Olympic Gold, it will be a step closer to be included in the sport's all time greats. Players to be remembered for their achievements, as well as for their style and their attitude. Players like Waldner, Wanq Liqin come to mind, and also Timo Boll, Joo Sae Hyuk and Kreanga even if they didn't win a World or Olympic title. And a bunch of others, and some older ones that you guys mentioned and I haven't even heard before.

To select the GOAT is very hard, considering the different eras, with changes in the rules, equipment and playing styles. I would say almost impossible. Except for Tennis, where Federer is and will be for many years to come, the Greatest Of All Time! :)

ttmonster
12-21-2015, 12:28 AM
Yes Ma Long will be the first "all time great" in the "plastic ball era" :P

TTHopeful
12-23-2015, 12:21 PM
No No No No never!

There's no TT player that can ever match the achievements of one Victor Barna. There's a very strong argument that he's the one person why we are all playing TT today. He popularised the sport way beyond its roots. He's the only TT player that was on the back and front pages of newspapers all over the world. Think Tiger Woods and golf. Think Ali and boxing. That's how important he was.

Of course he was important but Ma Long would defeat him. Perhaps in terms of achievements and changing the world/game Victor was better but Ma Long plays at a higher level, he is simply the better player.

Tinykin
12-23-2015, 05:31 PM
Better in matches in today's form of the game, but certainly not GOAT.

UpSideDownCarl
12-23-2015, 09:19 PM
Of course he was important but Ma Long would defeat him. Perhaps in terms of achievements and changing the world/game Victor was better but Ma Long plays at a higher level, he is simply the better player.

You can't really say something like this. You can't take someone from a different era who did not have the benefit of how history caused the sport to develop and say, take this guy from the 1940s and have him play with a hardbat agains guys from today and see who will win.

Take Ma Long out of today, erase all his training and have him learn to play in the 40s when nobody new how to train and develop their game, and give Ma Long a hardbat, he could be nobody. You can't do that either. The sport develops. Techniques that were used in the 40s helped people build and advance techniques in the 50s. In the 50s sponge appeared. Techniques that began in the 50s were honed and lead to more advanced techniques in the 60s, then the 70s advanced, the 80s advanced on the 70s, etc.

Victor Barna was better than everyone of his time for more than a decade.

Someone from this era would have to do something dramatic and revolutionary to be considered as doing more for the sport.

When someone's achievements stand head and shoulders above their peers, it is worth considering their achievements. But by the argument that Ma Long can beat Victor Barna, we could take an average player from 60 years in the future and he would probably make Ma Long look like he can't play.

Ma Long is great. He has done enough to be considered the best player right now. But he has not quite done enough to be considered the best player of the past 20 years even.

Tinykin
12-23-2015, 11:19 PM
In support of Carl I repeat this from wikipedia:

The best-known use of this phrase was by Isaac Newton in a letter to his rival Robert Hooke, in 1676:

"What Descartes did was a good step. You have added much several ways, and especially in taking the colours of thin plates into philosophical consideration. If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

fais
12-24-2015, 02:24 AM
Before asking if ML can be the greatest player in the world, we must stop and define what it means to be the greatest player in a sport.

Fortunately for statistics, there is a way to measure how much better than others one is in a sport using standard deviations. Is it possible to ask questions like "is Pele better scorer at soccer/football than Michael Jordan is at basket ball?" Is Don Bradman the greatest cricket player who is also the greatest dominator in a sport?" The answers are, yes and yes. By measuring how much better ones than his peers, and comparing across sports, one can find the answer. (Pele has a standard deviation of 3.6, Jordan of 3.4 and Don of 4.4 - this means that for Michael Jordan to be as good in basketball as Don Bradman was in cricket, he would have to average 43 points per game, and he averaged 30.1).

But we are not even comparing across different sports, we are only comparing across table tennis. I imagine it is possible to determine the answer to your question mathematically, unfortunately I don't have the stats nor the formulas ????

UpSideDownCarl
12-24-2015, 02:43 AM
By the way, from the standpoint of innovation of the game, from the CNT, in the last 10 years, there are a few guys who would be high in my list and Ma Long isn't one of them.

First would be Wang Hao. The guy took the RPB to a level I don't think anyone conceived of before him. There still isn't anyone who can do what he did using RPB virtually all the time, going toe to toe and head to head against great backhands and not giving up an inch. Nobody has achieved that level yet but what he did has revolutionized the sport and any young and up and coming Penhold player will be using it. He didn't invent the RPB but he used it nobody before had even dreamed of.

Second would be Zhang Jike. His aggressive return of serve, and his ability to use the banana flick from anywhere on the table as a weapon has changed the sport in a very big way. Every young kid at any level who sees the pros and knows the sport is trying to learn that shot. All the top players have become way more aggressive on serve return because they have to be. You can't win at the highest levels without the threat of punishing your opponents serves.

Again, Zhang Jike did not invent this technique. He just took it to a level that had not been done before and showed people that this was part of the future of the sport.

Ma Long, he is beautiful to watch. I love watching him. It is like poetry in motion, dance. I don't know that anyone looks as good when they play as he does. But I can't think of anything that is new and innovative. Kung Linghui was the first guy with the giant shakehand forehand and a solid backhand. Wang Liqin took what he started a step further. Ma Long is sort of like the progression of that mold. But I don't see much that will change the future of the sport from him.



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UpSideDownCarl
12-24-2015, 04:40 AM
By measuring how much better ones than his peers, and comparing across sports, one can find the answer. (Pele has a standard deviation of 3.6, Jordan of 3.4 and Don of 4.4 - this means that for Michael Jordan to be as good in basketball as Don Bradman was in cricket, he would have to average 43 points per game, and he averaged 30.1).

One flaw in this idea may be that there are certain things a player like Michael Jordan did that don't get put on stat sheets. Earlier in his career he scored more points, was on the highlight reels more, and DID NOT win the big games.

One year in the playoffs he scored 63 points in the deciding game of a playoff series against the Boston Celtics. This tied a record for most points scored against the Celtics in a playoff game (tied with Oscar Robertson). But the Bulls lost that game and Michael Jordan noticed it.

The next year they had a couple of astounding series wins in the playoffs and then they played the Detroit Pistons. Detroit lost the first game. But then they proceeded to shut Michael Jordan down by double and triple teaming him. The rest of the Bulls team came up short. Then MJ changed. He became a real team leader. He made everyone on the team work harder he made them learn how to improve and get better. He got the same guys who were previously not great players to become great players. He also stepped up his defense, his passing, his assists, his steals. He stopped being a player that just looked for his own opportunities to score. He began looking to create opportunities for his teammates to score.

He won 6 NBA Championships in 8 years and the 2 years he didn't win, one season he didn't play at all, and the second season he only rejoined the Bulls 3/4 of the way through the seasons. And that season the Bulls got one series away from the finals anyway.

6 finals in 6 full seasons of play. I think that it shows he did something special. Was he the greatest basketball player ever. I don't even want to say that. He was certainly one of the greatest. Wilt Chamberlain's 101 point game in a season where he averaged over 50 points a game for the whole season is a monument that stands out and says, maybe there are too many great players for there to be just one best ever. So many greats.

How does he compare to greats from other sports. I would think that would be a mistake to go there. It belittles the different skills of each sport.

So I am not going to compare Michael Jordan to Wayne Gretzky or anyone from any other sport. Lots of greats. Let's enjoy them.


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TTHopeful
12-28-2015, 09:48 PM
When you take a snails eye view of history, it is easy to make naive assumptions. I mean, heck, Ma Long fans were clamoring for him to be given the title of Best Player Ever before he ever won a WTTC. He is a great player in spite of how often he has choked on the larger stages. I mean, 3 WTTCs in a row (2009, 2011 and 2013) he lost in the semi-finals to Wang Hao, and all three of them looked more than a little like big time choking. Wang Hao pulled the short game and the jedi mind-tricks out of his sleeve, and Ma Long fell apart.

If Ma Long fans wanted to crown him with the title of Best Ever when he was falling apart in the big tournaments, then, of course they would want to crown him Best of All Times now that he finally won something substantial. The guy is great. He is fun to watch too. But come on, nobody can be called the best ever until you can look at their entire career from start to finish and measure ALL OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.

So lets not get too carried away. And just wait till the Ma Long fans start being Fan Zhendong fans, when FZD passes ML and is beating everyone. We will see if they start asking if FZD is the best ever after he wins his first Olympic Gold or WTTC title. Or, will they start clamoring for that title before he wins anything like they did for Ma Long!

Good point Carl, in 3 years time everyone will be on the Fan Zhendong team saying he is the best player of all time.

TTHopeful
12-28-2015, 09:52 PM
You can't really say something like this. You can't take someone from a different era who did not have the benefit of how history caused the sport to develop and say, take this guy from the 1940s and have him play with a hardbat agains guys from today and see who will win.

Take Ma Long out of today, erase all his training and have him learn to play in the 40s when nobody new how to train and develop their game, and give Ma Long a hardbat, he could be nobody. You can't do that either. The sport develops. Techniques that were used in the 40s helped people build and advance techniques in the 50s. In the 50s sponge appeared. Techniques that began in the 50s were honed and lead to more advanced techniques in the 60s, then the 70s advanced, the 80s advanced on the 70s, etc.

Victor Barna was better than everyone of his time for more than a decade.

Someone from this era would have to do something dramatic and revolutionary to be considered as doing more for the sport.

When someone's achievements stand head and shoulders above their peers, it is worth considering their achievements. But by the argument that Ma Long can beat Victor Barna, we could take an average player from 60 years in the future and he would probably make Ma Long look like he can't play.

Ma Long is great. He has done enough to be considered the best player right now. But he has not quite done enough to be considered the best player of the past 20 years even.

Thanks for spending time going over this for me Carl and I understand your views. What would it take for Ma Long to be considered the greatest player of all time? Or anyone from the recent time? Perhaps if Wang Hao won all 3 finals in the Olympics he took part in maybe he would have gone down as the all time great?