Friday, May 27, 2011

LeBron Reaches Second NBA Final -- How Does That Compare to Other Greats?

I am going to just use the "most MVP shares" list from basketball-reference.com to list the 64 greatest players of all-time. My head hurts when I try to parse the rankings of, say, Moses, KG and David Robinson.

My verdict -- LeBron with a championship could make a good argument that he belongs at the bottom of the top 10 group, displacing Karl Malone.

So here goes -- LeBron, 2 finals, 0 titles so far.

1. Michael Jordan* 8.138 -- 6 finals, 6 titles.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 6.203 -- wow, er, I think it is like 8 finals and 6 titles, but I am not gonna look it up.

3. Larry Bird* 5.693 -- 5 and 3, I think.

4. Magic Johnson* 5.129 -- 7 and 5?

5. Bill Russell* 4.827 -- 10 and 10?

6. Shaquille O'Neal 4.380 -- 6 and 4, I am pretty sure

7. Karl Malone* 4.296 -- 2 and 0

8. Wilt Chamberlain* 4.269 -- I would guess 5 and 2, might be like 6 and 2

9. Tim Duncan 4.205 -- 4 and 4, right?

10. Kobe Bryant 3.763 -- 7 and 5


Top 10 -- guy who stands out like a sore thumb -- Karl Malone. Everyone else has at least 2 titles and at least 4 finals appearances.



11. LeBron James 3.502 -- 2 and 0

12. David Robinson* 3.123 -- 2 and 2

13. Moses Malone* 2.873 - 2 and 1

14. Kevin Garnett 2.752 -- depends if you count the year he was hurt, so either 1 and 1 or 2 and 1

15. Bob Pettit* 2.628 -- I know he has a title, so I am guessing 4 and 1 since he played against Russell's Celts but I imagine St. Louis was in the East

16. Hakeem Olajuwon* 2.611 -- 3 and 2

17. Oscar Robertson* 2.479 -- 1 and 1?

18. Charles Barkley* 2.438 - 1 and 0

19. Steve Nash 2.423 -- 0 and 0

20. Jerry West* 2.090 -- 6 and 1, maybe?

21. Dirk Nowitzki 1.801 - 2 and 0 so far -- win would really help his historical value.


It is really interesting -- this second group (which I will put as 11-21) has an ENORMOUS drop off from the top group. These are all great, great players, but their career playoff success is light years behind the first group of 10 (except Karl Malone) leading one to the conclusion that Karl Malone.......really does not belong in the top group....

22. Elgin Baylor* 1.659 -- was Baylor around for 1972? I will guess 1 and 1

23. Allen Iverson 1.567 - 1 and 0

24. Bob McAdoo* 1.494 -- 2 and 2? Was benching for Lakers at the time.

25. Patrick Ewing* 1.424 -- 1 and 0

26. Julius Erving* 1.407 -- 3 and 1

27. Dave Cowens* 1.338 -- 3 and 3? Maybe 2 and 2?

28. Dwight Howard 1.239 -- 1 and 0


29. Willis Reed* 1.073 -- 2 and 1?


30. Derrick Rose 0.977 -- 0 and 0


31. Alonzo Mourning 0.968 -- 1 and 1, right? He was a Heat in 2006 I think.


Let's stop here -- in this group the only guy to LEAD his team to the title was Cowens. The other guys with titles were not the stars of the team when they won.

32. Jason Kidd 0.933 -- 3 and 0 so far -- Kidd has a chance to move up a group.

33. George Gervin* 0.911 -- 0 and 0


34. Bob Cousy* 0.882 -- 8 and 8?

35. Chris Paul 0.866 -- 0 and 0

36. Tracy McGrady 0.855 -- 0 and 0

37. Dominique Wilkins* 0.849 - 0 and 0

38. Gary Payton 0.823 -- 2 and 1

39. Dwyane Wade 0.784 -- 2 and 1

40. Clyde Drexler* 0.778 -- 3 and 1

41. Scottie Pippen* 0.716 -- 6 and 6


A group of very good players, some great talents, but guys who either were falling just short, or guys who were second bananas. Wade, if he goes up to 2 titles, has to really be considered as moving up a group.


42. Sidney Moncrief 0.695 - 0 and 0

43. Dolph Schayes* 0.690 -- no idea

44. Kevin Durant 0.652 - 0 and 0

45. Wes Unseld* 0.639 -- 2 and 1

46. Bernard King 0.625 - 0 and 0

47. Rick Barry* 0.592 - 1 and 1

48. Chris Webber 0.588 -- 0 and 0

49. Elvin Hayes* 0.571 - 2 and 1

50. Grant Hill 0.529 - 0 and 0

51. Bill Walton* 0.522 - 2 and 2

52. Bob Lanier* 0.504 - 0 and 0

53. Paul Arizin* 0.495 -- no idea

54. Tiny Archibald* 0.465 - 1 and 1, I think

55. Jermaine O'Neal 0.425 - 0 and 0

56. Dave Bing* 0.386 - 0 and 0

57. George Yardley* 0.382 -- no idea


This is a pretty bleak stretch -- 16 guys, I can only remember 8 finals apperanaces and 6 titles.



58. Chauncey Billups 0.375 -- 2 and 1? 1 and 1? Yikes, I am losing my mind.

59. Nate Thurmond* 0.370 -- no idea

60. Anfernee Hardaway 0.341 - 1 and 0

61. Kevin McHale* 0.339 -- same as Bird

62. Tim Hardaway 0.336 - 1 and 1, he was a Heat, I think?

63. Lenny Wilkens* 0.323 -- no idea

64. Isiah Thomas* 0.318 -- 3 and 2


This group actually had more success than the prior group. How about Isiah having .318 MVP shares for his whole career!!?!?! gary Payton and tracy McGrady, way, way higher.

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