Saturday, February 27, 2016

Numbers 37 through 100 of ESPN's 2016 all-time #NBARank (Not a Click Through)

I will make a note when I think a pick is clearly 10+ spots too high or too low.

37. Rick Berry (I had him at #27, so yes, too low)
38, Walt Frazier
39. Bob Cousy
40. Elvin Hayes
41. Gary Payton (I had him at #35)
42. Bill Walton

The selection of Bill Walton at #42 is more than a little baffling.  He is not in the top 100 in either Win Shares or WS/48.  In fact, even his 120 great games as a starter did not involve any sort of great WS or WS/48 performance.  His 120 great games as a starter did not involve great raw numbers.  His positioning at #42 places him only 10 spots behind George Mikan, who won 5 titles, had 3 20 WS seasons, and who was so dominant as a player that they literally changed the rules of the game to hurt him.  It cannot be both.  Either Mikan is a top 10 player (as I would say) or Walton is out of the top 100 or somewhere down in the 90+ range (as would also befit someone whose career WS arc was similar to that of Marcus Camby and who has one MVP like Derrick Rose).

43. James Worthy
44. Dominique Wilkins
45. Paul Pierce
46. Allan Iverson

(Iverson, a very similar player to Isiah Thomas, falls here while Isiah is #26?  I think that the answer (pardon the pun) is that Isiah is WAY WAY WAY too high, while AI is just a little too high.)

47. George Gervin
48. Willis Reed
49. Russell Westbrook

(Russ is an odd case.  If you consider that he has had only a couple really good years, you'd place him lower, but how do you reconcile that Steph Curry, whose advanced stats are very similar, is way up at #23?  As will be noted later, Harden, Curry and Russ have roughly the same stats.  One is at 23, one is at 49 and one is at 97?  Is it graded on likeability?)

50.  Ray Allen (way too low, I had him at #28 overall, Ray Allen has had a worse career than Westbrook?  As far as.....titles?  Longevity?  What?)

51.  Reggie Miller (again, way too low, I had him at #34). Reggie, barring a miracle finish by Kobe, will end up with more career WS than Kobe and a better WS/48.  While he toiled in Indiana, and never got to play with Shaq or be coached by Phil Jackson, Reggie deserves better treatment than this.

52.  Bob McAdoo
53. Wes Unseld
54. Bernard King
55. Dave Cowens
56. Pau Gasol
57,  Robert Parish
58. Tony Parker
59. Carmelo Anthony - he is neither objectively nor subjectively a top 80 player. He has never been first-team all-NBA.  He has cracked the top 10 in MVP balloting twice.  He just recently reached the top 100 in Win Shares.  He has never played on a title team, never reached a finals, only once reached one conference finals (2009) and that team's best player in the playoffs was Chauncey Billups, not Melo.  The Myth of Melo appears to derive from the fact that he CAN be a great scorer and he CAN play well when he exerts full effort.  But he does not regularly play hard.  The only other explanation for his constant overrating is that he has a cool name and was drafted the same year as LeBron James.  LeBron James has DOUBLE Melo's career WS and has been 9X first-team all-NBA.  If George Clooney were my neighbor, I doubt anyone would say "Oh and HM must be good looking as well, remember, he lives by Clooney"

60.  Earl Monroe
61. Manu Ginobili
62. Alex English
63. Tracy McGrady
64. Dennis Rodman
65. Alonzo Mourning
66. Chris Webber -- I agree that this is around where he should fall, but he is viewed by many as a borderline HOF player, so how can he be #66?  Mind......blown....

67.  Dwight Howard
68.  Bob Lanier
69.  Vince Carter -- I don't see it.  Again, I think ESPN tends to favor guys who COULD be great if they played hard all of the time.  Well, that must be a great attribute to have.  "HM is the 12th best looking guy in Minneapolis."  Huh?  "Well, I have seen him when he loses 40 pounds and dresses well.  Great looking guy.  Um, O....K.

70Artis Gilmore --  way too low.  Look, I will not belabor the point, but he has more career WS than LeBron James right now (as of the date of this entry).  Look it up.

71.  Pete Maravich
72.  Adrian Dantley
73. Dikembe Mutombo
74. Dolph Schayes -- the ESPN panel seemed to basically forget that guys had to play basketball in the early days of the NBA and that some were awfully good and stood out from their peers.  ESPN apparently feels capable of simply stating, "Well, so what, the Bird Era guys are way better".  Well how do we know?  We keep stats across generations, we know how many times he was 1st team all-NBA (6), we know where he stands on today's stats (PER, WS, WS/48) -- all top 36.   For seasons above .200 WS/48, Schayes has 7, tied for 16th best all-time.  Yet here he is, 15 spots behind Carmelo Anthony, who would need 52 more WS to pass him.

75.  Blake Griffin
76.  Nate Archibald
77.  Joe Dumars -- I love Joe Dumars as a player; love, love, love.  But pull out his stats.  He is no way a top 100 player of all-time.   Love you, Joe D, but no.  The constant overrating of Pistons by ESPN is, no doubt, caused by the fact that they ended Bird's run.  Anything associated with the 1980s Celts got a huge ratings boost from ESPN.

78. Sam Jones
79. Jerry Lucas
80. Grant Hill
81, Sidney Moncrief
82, David Thompson  -- little note here, David Skywalker was a fave of mine.  He had 4 great years (2X first-team all-NBA).  He is someone it is very hard for me to rate. 
83.  Chris Mullin
84. Dennis Johnson - No.  Not a top 100 player.  Similar to Dumars.
85. Dave DeBuscherre
86. Chris Bosh
87. Chauncey Billups -- sit down and review Chauncey's regular season and post-season stats against Isiah's.  Then tell me why one is 60 spots higher.  There is no way that Vince Carter or Earl Monroe has even a plausible argument that they had a better career than Chauncey.

88.  Billy Cunningham
89.  Yao Ming
90. Paul Arizin
91. Mo Cheeks - never really an outstanding player.  you never said, "Oh no!  We have to play against Mo Cheeks!"
92. Nate Thurmond
93. Lenny Wilkins
94. Mark Price -- seems hard to imagine that Mark Price, who really only had 4 really good years in the NBA, would be in the top 100.  Is it really worth getting very upset about?  Probably not.  But it seems odd.

95.  Marc Gasol

96.   Bobby Jones - I have come around to being OK with this selection.  One of the greatest defenders of all-time.  It was hard for me to stomach at first because he never finished top 23 in MVP balloting and was 2nd team all-NBA only once, but if you look at his many 1st team All-defense awards and his ranking of around 100 for WS and WS/48, OK, fine.

97.  James Harden -- poor James Harden.  Now I know he has the stupid beard, but geez, his stats are similar to Curry's and Westbrook's and if he could have flipped a few MVP votes, he'd have an MVP.  You could say maybe it should go 40-45-50 for all 3 guys, but you cannot justify where they are now.  There is no way you can look at the career of James Harden and say it is not as good as the career of David Thompson (#82) and that is giving Harden exactly ZERO credit for the fact that he is going to play 5-10 more years.

98.     Gail Goodrich
99.  Kevin Love - I fear he may not ever play well enough again to warrant this position
100.  Shawn Kemp -- kinda sketchy pick but he is a personal fave, so I am not gonna argue real hard down here at 100.  I will note that when you look at best NBA player careers, he may not even be #1 in "Shawn"s  -- (Marion).

No comments: