Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Legacy of Yao Ming

*Update: I had an idea for this that turned out to take longer than what I was originally going to do. I'm going to test out my "player's peak" formula with Yao and see how it stacks up against some of the all-time great big men. It's taking a bit more time than I anticipated to work the kinks out of that, but I'd guess it'll be up by the end of the week.

Basically, I was just going to look at how his career measured against the careers of other greats, but since Yao's career was "injury-plagued" at best, I decided to look at his "peak performance" of his best year, his best three year stretch, and his best five year stretch, and compare those to the following centers:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Bill Russell
Wilt Chamberlain
Shaquille O'Neal
Hakeem Olajuwon
Moses Malone
David Robinson
George Mikan
Patrick Ewing
Robert Parish
Bill Walton

(These are currently the top ten centers according to my Greatness Equation, plus Bill Walton, who, like Yao, was an amazingly gifted big man whose body just couldn't do what he wanted/needed it to do in the long run.)

Any other centers you'd like to see in this test run of my Peak Performance Equation?


  1. :P How many times do you do that.... :P

  2. Ha, I know. But to be fair, I think this is only the second time I've done this, and both times I ended up getting lost in the research and it took far longer than I anticipated. So I should probably try to refrain from that. It was basically supposed to just be a quick update to let everyone know I hadn't forgotten about the blog and was just working on some research since I hadn't posted in a while.

  3. No....can't think of any others.

  4. Maybe, but just maybe: Cowens and Unseld?

  5. Ahhh...good catch with Cowens... (crap I'm a Celtics fan too). Didn't look very closely....You can put Zo maybe...

  6. Sure thing. Cowens, Unseld, and Mourning should be good test subjects. Those guys all had pretty impressive peak years without having all-time impressive careers.

  7. I'm also going to add Willis Reed, Bob McAdoo, and Walt Bellamy to the mix, just because I just thought of them now.

  8. Good idea...

    For kicks, you could add Paul Mokeski or Greg Kite :)

  9. Might be fun to see him compared to some other super-tall players - Eaton, Smits, Bradley and Sampson perhaps.