Greatest NBA players discussion and maybe a nomination thread IDK

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inspired by kareem who i've started to have greater appreciation for as the GOAT

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told @TheUndefeated his thoughts on the NBA GOAT debate.

— ESPN (@espn) July 31, 2018

so i've been trying to think of ways to compare the all-timers since the whole context thing is important. hard to use pts, rebs, etc because different eras have different paces, depth of talent, etc.

ive been thinking all-nba team selections and mvp awards are probably the best since they tell you who were the most dominant players of their times, but they suffer their own problems. ex. baa/nba starts in the mid-40s but mvp isn't a thing until like '55 or so. also making all-nba in the 50s and 60s when there's like 8 teams is easier compared to now where there's 30. there's a bunch of guys like stockton, ewing, hal greer, nique and others who rarely (if ever) made the first team but made 2nd team quite often and were definitely major players in their day, albeit a step below the era-defining superstars of their time. how do you compare their achievement to the guys in the old school who were the best of their time but had less competition and less skill? LIFE IS HARD.

anyway, i have half a mind to start an ILH top [x] nba players of all time poll for funsies, but that might be a bit more than i'm willing to do during the school year.

feel free to post your top 10 so we can argue over minutia and bullshit, friends!!!!!!!!

21st savagery fox (m bison), Friday, 3 August 2018 15:38 (one year ago) link

btw i have...a spreadsheet

21st savagery fox (m bison), Friday, 3 August 2018 15:39 (one year ago) link

ive tried out a couple of formulas. one is (2*MVPs + All-NBA 1st team selections + RINGZ) which is still mostly individual achievement but both MVP and all-nba selections are heavily influenced by regular season wins so it avoid guys who amass big counting stats on bad/mediocre team. top 20 is interesting:

1. kareem
2. jordan
3. russell
4. lebron
5. magic
6. duncan
7. bird
8. kobe
9. cousy
10. wilt
11. karl malone
12. bob pettit
13. shaq
14. oscar
15. havlicek
16. moses malone
17. jerry west
18. george mikan
19. KD (tie)
19. hakeem (tie)

giving ringz that much weight def helps out russell and cousy more than is probably due (and kobe for that matter) but it's also a function of cousy's long run as the league's best PG and russell's 5 mvps (btw he only had 3 all-nba first teams despite winning 5 mvps which is fucked up so maybe i shouldnt give mvp's the weight that i do but fuck it)

21st savagery fox (m bison), Friday, 3 August 2018 15:52 (one year ago) link

if you subtract out the ringz, you get:

1. kareem (same)
2. MJ (same)
3. lebron (+1)
4. wilt (+6)
5. magic (same)
6. larry (+1)
7. karl (+4)
8. duncan (-2)
9. pettit (+3)
10. russell (-7)
11. kobe (-3)
12. bob cousy (-3)
13. oscar (+1)
14. moses (+2)
15. shaq (-2)
16. jerry logo (+1)
17. elgin baylor (+4)
18. KD (tie) (+1)
18. hakeem (tie) (+1)
20. nash (+7)

21st savagery fox (m bison), Friday, 3 August 2018 15:57 (one year ago) link

For starters I think 2 x MVP is too heavy. Especially in close years and years where we now argue the wrong choice was made (Shaq not getting MVP more than once for example). Maybe 1x MVP and 1 x top three in MVP voting? Appreciate that is significantly more work but I think the results would feel better.

I will play around after the weekend.

Minister of the Pillow (fionnland), Saturday, 4 August 2018 09:17 (one year ago) link

yeah i def want to tweak with it bc my soul cannot have kobles in the top 10

21st savagery fox (m bison), Saturday, 4 August 2018 14:37 (one year ago) link

i think i was trying to account for near-dominance with the all-nba first team selections (assuming in most cases that top 3 mvp vote getters would for the most part earn all-nba first team selections).

21st savagery fox (m bison), Saturday, 4 August 2018 14:44 (one year ago) link

i agree that there are some players who probably should have more or fewer mvps tho. i'd argue nash and rose shouldnt have any. jordan deserves at least one of malone's or barkley's or maybe both. guys like bill russell and dave cowens who somehow got mvps but not all-nba first team probably dont deserve from those yeares.

21st savagery fox (m bison), Saturday, 4 August 2018 14:46 (one year ago) link

also... *whispers* AI should never have won mvp either, shaq was a monster that year

21st savagery fox (m bison), Saturday, 4 August 2018 14:53 (one year ago) link

MVP is not for the best player, but for the most valuable. Shaq should have more MVPs, and was amazing in 2001. However, AI made that dogshit 76ers team contenders; the Lakers would have been damn good (but not champions) without Shaq. I wouldn't have complained if he got the MVP, though that doesn't make Iverson any less deserving.

HOWEVER, Derrick Rose can fuck right off.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 4 August 2018 15:44 (one year ago) link

my test in these matters is "what would happen if you switch those players?" (and if they play different positions, sub that spot with a replacement-level player) and you can't convince me that a shaq-led sixers wouldn't have made an iverson-kobe lakers team quake. i dont wanna relitigate "what does valuable mean" here tho bc this is a family restaurant.

21st savagery fox (m bison), Saturday, 4 August 2018 17:50 (one year ago) link

Yet those teams were built around those special talents. What compliments AI doesn't compliment Shaq. So it's apples and oranges as they were both great that year.

HOWEVER, Derrick Rose can fuck right off.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 4 August 2018 18:21 (one year ago) link

agreed about d rose, im just saying allen iverson was a worthy 2nd that year and u cant convince me otherwise

21st savagery fox (m bison), Saturday, 4 August 2018 18:23 (one year ago) link

Fair enough. Shaq was the most dominant player of the era, which is more important for this discussion than whether or not he won MVP in 2001.

I also admit to AI bias as he's the only NBA player I ever faced on a court.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 4 August 2018 18:41 (one year ago) link

I think kevin pelton has a system like this right? championships added -- I don't have insider anymore so I can't see the methodology

k3vin k., Saturday, 4 August 2018 19:16 (one year ago) link

i mean im not a person who would say go to insider2text dot xyz but that is a thing some people might say in that situation

21st savagery fox (m bison), Saturday, 4 August 2018 19:18 (one year ago) link

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