Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The List of Greatness - Updated

Well, I've finished updating the numbers on the List of Greatness through 1970 (it should go quicker from here, since the updated stats on basketball-reference only affect players who played before 1952) and here's how the updated List shakes out:
One minor change to the induction format, though. Instead of waiting ten years and then just doing two a year until the numbers caught up, I decided to just go ahead and give 1956 an inaugural class of 10 players. Why do it this way instead? First, the list of ten guys featured ten Hall of Famers, so I decided that would work pretty well. Secondly, I was only staggering it originally because I wanted to make sure enough players had had a chance to accumulate a full career's worth of numbers. That didn't really work when I only had 4 years of win shares prior to 1956 before. Now that it's 10 years of win shares, there's enough of a player pool that you don't end up with any flukey results. So here we go with the new List of Greatness:

1956 - George Mikan
1956 - Dolph Schayes
1956 - Bob Cousy
1956 - Vern Mikkelsen
1956 - Ed Macauley
1956 - Neil Johnston
1956 - Jim Pollard
1956 - Harry Gallatin
1956 - Bobby Wanzer
1956 - Bob Davies
1957 - Paul Arizin
1958 - Bill Sharman
1959 - Bob Pettit
1960 - Bill Russell
1961 - Slater Martin
1962 - Elgin Baylor
1963 - Wilt Chamberlain
1964 - Tom Heinsohn
1965 - Oscar Robertson
1966 - Jerry West
1967 - Sam Jones
1968 - Hal Greer
1969 - John Havlicek
1970 - Bailey Howell

So, what are the differences? 4 players made the cut that didn't the first time around.
Now In:
Jim Pollard
Harry Gallatin
Bob Davies
Bobby Wanzer

Now Out:
Larry Foust
Cliff Hagan
George Yardley
Willis Reed (will probably be 1971's inductee, so someone else down the line will eventually get replaced)

Overall, this seems like a pretty solid update to me. Nothing against Foust, Hagan, and Yardley, but I think most people would agree those four other guys are slightly ahead of them in terms of "greatness." I'll have a full breakdown on the updated numbers with the 1971 List and the follow-up recap to that post.


  1. Cliff Hagan should be in....but I'm fine with it. Gallatin made it this time!! Pretty good update, (and yeah, Reed will make it soon, '71 is the year after the 1st title.)

  2. Hagan is actually the second highest ranked not to be inducted so far, right after Reed, so he's probably got a pretty good shot of still making it.

  3. But Kareem may jump him...remember he wins in '71...I don't know where he is now though. He can't have that many though...3rd in MVP voting...and he wins MVP in '71 also.

  4. Do you have plans to update "Can you name the greatest players in NBA history?" quiz on the Sporcle? It would be interesting to track how the standings are affected by updated stats and, of course, 2011 season end.