The media has been a big part of every player’s career. There’s always a debate if who is the greatest. ESPN’s and others had a huge role in how they ranked. Of course, the player who played in the big market like the Lakers, Knicks or Celtics. On my watch, there are guys who they list ahead of Duncan. LeBron James, Shaquille Oneal, and Kobe Bryant.
Both in the finals multiple times, won multiples MVP and titles. They also lost the series. Let’s break down how they play in every final they had.
Most of the media personalities hype as the greatest. Maybe better than Michael Jordan because of the numbers he put. Played in the finals nine times, but just won three times only. On his first trip, he averages 22 points with almost 6 turnovers in four games swept by the Spurs. Add to the insult his field is worst that any of his teammates.
James also tastes the won’t defeat on his career in the Finals when Dallas upset the Heat in six games. LeBron’s hesitation to take over the game ruin their chances to win. The next is a win for them and he wins the finals MVP. They had the best run in the history of the final when they upset the Warriors and came back from a 3-1 deficit. LeBron had always a caked walk to the finals in a much weaker Eastern Conference. But the media praise him that he is a winner. Even James Harden can put that numbers and led the Cavs to the finals.
He went to the Finals six times and win four of it. Three of it he was named finals MVP in the Lakers uniform. Oneal was beast and unstoppable on the series. But he looks like a toddler when he faced the Pistons in 2004 even he put huge numbers. Oneal and the Magic got swept by the Rockets in 1994 and he had no idea how to stop Hakeem.
A five-time champion with the Lakers. Two time MVP in 2010 and 2011. He leads the Laker to come back in a devastating loss over the Boston Celtic in 2008. Kobe Bryant may be the only MVP who shot 25% in a Game 7. He takes almost 30 attempts against the Pistons made only 30% of it. His numbers aren’t great among the list here. They suffer two huge losses in the Finals because of him.
Five-time champion in six tries with three finals MVP. Duncan put numbers consistently he is a force in the middle. In a game-clinching game six of 2003, Duncan almost had a quadruple-double. In a must need game seven of 2005 Finals, he stepped up. Even in a loss in 2013, Duncan had good numbers. If they only secured a rebound after LeBron miss the game-tying three.
Duncan had never done and experience this humiliating loss on the Finals. In every level of competition, he shows up without taking the spotlight.