Yeah, you got me. Last time I take sports radio for gospel without checking my facts.
Your words "the numbers are impossible." But here you're actually agreeing with me. The numbers aren't the problem; they do work with NBA trade rules. Bryant/Brown for O'Neal, solely on numbers, is a valid trade. Toss in Bynum if you want and numbers-wise it still works.
But yes, unrealistic.
I'm standing by this one. The Cav's aren't getting to the finals this year, or anytime soon IMO.
You said championship level. They're tied 2-2 with a great team, so they fit the criterion... but I'd still lean towards the Spurs as the '07 champs.
Jordan's reputation as an individual player was made long before the titles. The Bulls didn't win anything until he changed his focus from the highlight reel to victories AND the supporting cast was given a higher priority. Bryant has yet to make this change, and the new cap-era limits the amount of money you can spend on the bench.
The "Jordan played a team game" argument is circular logic. He played a team game because they won, and they won because he played a team game.
Nobody looks at Michael Jordan's career and says "unselfish." They say "dominant scorer." His scoring and assists numbers in his peak seasons are pretty much identical to Kobe's, but he had a stronger supporting cast.
This only proves my point - it took a friggin' dynasty to accomplish that goal. No other team has even come close with a 2-guard running the show.
Minimalize it all you want with the "one team" comment, but it happened SIX times.
Wade has won one title, and it only happened because of O'Neal opening the holes. Take the aging, fattened O'Neal out of the line-up for an extended period, and what you see is what you get. Not much.
What about Dwyane Wade? Larry Bird? Isiah Thomas? Weren't they swingmen and the premier players on their team? I agree with you that the center is the most important position in the game, and the 2-guard is the most replaceable player... but the "2-guard can't be your best player to win" theory is bunk.
Bird is close to what I was getting at. He was a dominant swingman playing with hall-of-famers at nearly every other spot. The Boston bench was unbelievable. They are close to the exception to my "rule", but even then they had no salary cap to speak of. Role players were lining up to play at the Garden.
Thomas was a point guard. Dumars was their shooter in the back court.
I'm still waiting for another example of a two-guard running the show on an elite-level squad. If your only argument is Jordan, well, then I'll concede that it took the greatest player of his generation (if not ever) to accomplish that goal. Jordan was the recipient of a lot of media hype, but even considering that, you cannot honestly compare Jordan to Bryant can you?