And Eliot Spitzer thinks HE has problems............look at the option in the Sudan!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Proposition: Other than Perennial NBA All-Stars, Shane Battier is the greatest basketball "winner" of our time (and possibly of all time).
So, I am excluding guys like Jordan and Kareem and Bird and Magic and Duncan, etc. Let's look at the stats and you can correct me if I am missing a player who could compete with Battier:
1. At Duke: record the last three years before he came: 13-18, 18-13, 24-9. So 55 and 40. Winning percentage -- around 58%
Record for Battier's 4 years at Duke: 32-4, 37-2, 29-5, 35-4. So 132 and 15. Around 90%.
Change by having Battier at Duke: average winning percentage goes up from 58% to 90%.
(Note, the next 4 years after Battier, Duke went 115-23, 84%, but still down 6% from Battier's days)
2. At Memphis. Prior three years -- 8-42, 22-60, 23-59 -- So, 53-161. Winning percentage about 25%
With Battier for 5 years -- 23-59, 28-54, 50-32, 45-37, 49-33. So, 195-215. Winning percentage about 48%
Change by having Battier at Memphis: average winning percentage goes up from 25% to 48% (almost doubles)
(Note -- after Battier? 47-108. About 30%, down from winning marks in each of Battier's last three years).
3. At Houston -- With Battier 95-50. About 62%.
Two Years Pre-Battier -- 85-79 (including missing the playoffs the year before he arrived and going 34-48). About 52%
Average winning percentage goes up from 52% to 62%.
I imagine that there COULD be some similar story somewhere to tell, but I find it hard to believe that there is anyone else who satisfies all of these six criteria:
1) Not a multiple-time NBA all-star.
2) Playing time per game has always been at least half the game (20+ in college, 24+ in the pros) on every college and pro team he has ever been on.
3) College team increased its winning percentage substantially when he was in school.
4) Every pro team he has played for has increased its winning percentage substantially while he was playing for them versus the years before he got there.
5) Every team he has left (college or pro) has become WORSE immediately after he left them.
6) Career in the NBA came after the NBA/ABA merger.
Until someone can identify someone who meets all 6 criteria, I believe that the proposition is correct. Shane Battier is the greatest winner for his talent level in recent history.