Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The List of Greatness - 1969

This post will finish off the 60's for the List of Greatness inductees. (I'm thinking I may do a recap/breakdown of those inducted so far for the next post instead of moving right on to the 1970.) This also marks the end of the most epic dynasty in sports history: the 1957-69 Boston Celtics. Winners of 11 titles in 13 years. Perhaps we'll start seeing some more, um... diversity... on the List from here on out. That's not a comment on race at all, I just mean there are seven (soon to be eight) Celtics inducted so far. Since the Celtics only win five from 1974-86 (and I use the word "only" there in a strictly relative sense) and then one in 2008, there's bound to be a much more varied group of teams represented coming up.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

2011 NBA Finals Preview/Analysis/Predictions

The most entertaining NBA postseason that I can remember is coming to a close within the next two weeks, and we're closing it out with one of the most exciting potential Finals matchups: Dallas's "Dirk Nowitzki and the Virile Veterans" Experience vs. Miami's "Why, Yes, We Are Bigger/More Important Than Jesus" Ego All-Stars. (I loved that Joseph Kimberly Noah just referred to Miami as being "Hollywood as Hell." It was fairly apt, and I'm going to steal it when referring to egotistical jerks from now on, but c'mon Joseph Kimberly, give Hollywood some credit...) And while I did rate this particular matchup as the most potentially exciting and enthralling, I still would've rather seen Chicago here. I just can't stomach the thought of Miami hoisting the trophy.

Anyway, I'm going to do the "Which team has the edge?" concept with this, but instead of comparing each team's specific position players and bench against each other, I'm going to try to look at which team has the better "best player," the better "second best player," the better "third best player," and so on. How am I going to decide the difference between 2nd and 3rd best on each team (or 3rd and 4th, or 4th and 5th, etc.)? With my old standby: win shares. Specifically playoff win shares. Keep in mind, the win share totals aren't going to necessarily decide which team's player is better, they're just used to sort out the rankings on each side. (And I'll try not to let my blatantly obvious anti-Miami sentiments color this too much.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Finals Preview

Okay, that's a bit of a tease, but it should be up tonight. Then a List of Greatness post tomorrow, and since that'll finish up the 60's, I'm thinking of doing some sort of analysis of the members to date on that list for another post. I should have some extra time since I've got a long weekend and no basketball to watch.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Statue and Legacy

There was a bit of a dustup last week regarding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his status within the Lakers organization. Now, most of these stories got boiled down to "Kareem's upset because he doesn't have a statue," which isn't exactly accurate or fair. Yes, he does seem to be ticked off about that, but that seems to be more of a tipping point thing than the actual issue. The fact that he doesn't have a statue was the proverbial "last straw" in what he feels is a continual lack of respect from the Lakers organization - and probably from fans and the NBA in general.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Today's Superstars

I'm watching "The Best of Mike & Mike in the Morning" right now (for my money, M&M is the best show ESPN currently airs), which is actually "Mike & Jalen Rose" today because Golic is out for some reason. Anyway, they're discussing what an NBA "superstar" is, how many there there are in today's league, and who they are. Before they gave their answers, I paused the show and wanted to come up with my own list. Here's who I've got, in no particular order:

Kareem Fallout & Site Update

I'm sure everyone's heard the commotion/scuffle between Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Lakers by now. I have some definite thoughts on this, and I was going to post them now, but I think I'm going to do a little research after I get off work tonight and see if I can get some extra stats and stuff to back up my claims. My initial premise, though, is that Kareem is absolutely the most underrated superstar in NBA history. That's probably a weird thought to some people, since everyone, even non-basketball fans, know he is, but I'll explain myself in more detail in my actual post about it. So, look for that and the List of Greatness - 1969 post this weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The List of Greatness - 1968

Okay, things are going to start getting complicated now. Why? It's all the fault of the American Basketball Association. One of the toughest parts of putting the Greatness Equation together was figuring out how much value to give players for their ABA accomplishments. This is a list of the greatest NBA players of all-time after all. But there were enough great players that missed NBA time to play in the ABA that those years had to be accounted for in some way. I had ABA accomplishments set at 25% for a long time, but ultimately that didn't give enough credit to guys who did quite a bit in the ABA. So now it's set at 40%, which seems to work much better overall. In other words, 1 ABA Win Share is worth .4 points instead of 1, 1 ABA All-Star Team is worth 2 points instead of 5, 1 All-ABA 1st Team is worth 6 points instead of 15, etc. You get the idea. The only accomplishment this doesn't work perfectly with is the ABA MVP. The ABA doesn't have voting results for its MVP awards, so I can't give points for MVP Award Shares, instead, winning an ABA MVP is worth the full 25 points - which at 40% puts it at 10 points. It's all or nothing for the ABA MVP. Anyway, you won't see any ABA stats on this year's top ten list, but they're going to start coming. On a separate note, this year's inductee is probably a complete surprise to absolutely everyone.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Potential Finals Matchups

Now that the Grizzlies Cinderella run is over, here are the matchups I'm rooting for, least to most, to happen in the Finals. Both in terms of entertainment value and historical impact.

Um, what happened here?

So, apparently my blog reverted back to last how it looked last Wednesday for some random, unexplained reason. I thought for sure I had posted the 1968 List of Greatness results, and I'm almost positive I wasn't drunk enough in the last few days to hallucinate that or to delete it without remembering. I'll try to get it back up today. And if you posted anything on that or any other posts since Wednesday, they appear to be gone forever. Sorry about that, I honestly have no idea what happened there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Retired Jerseys Project

Hey readers, I'm looking for help/advice/suggestions with my next project and wanted to toss it up to you guys to see what you thought. (Don't worry, the List of Greatness will certainly continue and be completed, but the research is done on it and I like to be way out in front on the research for my projects before I type anything up on them. So I want to at least get the framework up for the next one right now.) But my next project, I think, is going to take a look at all the retired jerseys/numbers around the league. Specifically, what each team sets as it's criteria for a player to get that honor - and then using that to predict which jerseys will be retired in the future. That part of the project will cover what jerseys have been and will be retired, but I also want to look at what jerseys should be retired. So here's where I need your help. If you were running your favorite team (or any team) what would you set as the criteria for jersey retirement? And this can be whatever you think is important - years played on the team, a certain number of titles and/or awards won, All-Star selections, Hall of Fame enshrinement, statistical milestones reached, and anything else you can think of. And any combination of those things, too. Are there jerseys your team hasn't retired but should? Are there jerseys they have but shouldn't? Let me know who (and just as importantly, why.) Post your ideas in the comments here or shoot me an e-mail (lucas_ewalt@hotmail.com) and let me know and then I can get this new project off the ground. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The List of Greatness - 1967

Well, it's a bit later than I wanted to put it up, but I'll make it up with a double dose of greatness this week. As always, all stats and accomplishments are as of the end of the 1966-67 season.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki's Legacy

I know I promised a List of Greatness post by tonight, and I'm still going to try to get it up, but there was a recent comment that I can't let slide by without making my own comments on it, because it's exactly the kind of statement this blog is dedicated to analyzing. After the Mavericks just absolutely demolished the no-longer-defending-champion Lakers, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said "In my opinion, he's one of the top 10 players in NBA history because of the uniqueness of his game and how he's carried this franchise on his back for over a decade." Alright, Rick, let's not get carried away here. What's wrong with this statement? Um, several things.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quick Update - Playoff Rooting Index

Sorry for the recent lack of posts, everyone. Things have been pretty busy this last week, but look for another List of Greatness post Sunday or Monday. Possibly Saturday if I get lucky, but don't get your hopes up. Also, the Lakers absolute sucktitude recently has gotten me into kind of a funk basketball-wise. I mean, I knew it was coming, I just hoped it wouldn't be until next year. (I'm a Lakers fan, if you were wondering. You can blame a combination of Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, and my father if you're wondering why I root for the Lakers. I should probably explain that fully in a later post.) If you're wondering who I'm hoping wins this thing, besides "anyone but Miami," if the Lakers don't win, here's the list:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


As you may have noticed, there are now ads on my site. I'm not really sure how I feel about that yet - I hope it doesn't count as "selling out" considering it's almost 100% certain that I won't make any money off of them, but I figured it couldn't hurt to check it out and just see what happens. The smaller, clickable ads probably won't result in any income whatsoever, however, the Amazon link might. If you use the little search box in the upper right corner and then buy something from Amazon, I get a small percentage of however much you spend. I certainly wouldn't ask or expect anyone to buy anything they weren't planning on getting in the first place, but if you're going to buy something from Amazon anyway and you're enjoying what I'm doing here, then I would greatly appreciate it if you'd consider using that link to buy whatever it is you were going to buy in the first place. They really cool/interesting projects do take quite a bit of time to put together, and while I'm sure I'd do them regardless, and will continue to do them regardless, a little extra cash would help offset the time costs. And thanks again to everyone for reading!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The List of Greatness - 1966

If you've been paying attention to the List of Greatness, the 1966 inductee should be no surprise whatsoever. If you haven't, for shame... but you can find out who it is by clicking the little "read more" link there. (Or you can cheat and just look over on the sidebar, but come on, who wants to do that?)