Here's the initial results with the Peak Performance Equation and the first 12 (okay, technically 13) players I've tested it with. I still have a bunch of other guys to throw in to the mix to fine tune it (pretty much everyone listed in the comments) but I wanted to get some initial reactions and feedback from my readers first.
First, an explanation of the formula. It's basically the same as the Greatness Equation, with a few tweaks here and there, and I'll highlight the changes in bold. It ends up being (Win Shares + MVP Award Shares*25 + All-NBA 1st AND 2nd Team Selections*12.5 + All-Star Selections*5 + Championship Win Shares*4 + Finals Win Shares*2 + Conference Finals Win Shares)
I ran this formula for every player for each one of their seasons, added together the values for each three year stretch, and identified the highest three year stretch as that player's "peak." I decided on three years because I really felt like a player definitely has more than two years in their "peak" or "prime," but I started to see some really drop off for some players (but not others) once you started going to four and five year stretches.
As for the changes, I dialed down the playoff performances quite a bit compared to career assessments (it's 10/5/2.5 for the Greatness Equation) mostly because it seems like a lot of players spend their primes on bad teams, and that shouldn't necessarily be used against them when trying to determine their individual skill level. Plus, if the values stayed that high, winning a title for two or three years catapults a player to the top of the list almost by default. But I felt like playoff performances should still count for something, so I settled on those values after playing with it for a while.
The other change is for the All-NBA team selections. I changed it from 15 for a 1st Team and 10 for a 2nd Team to 12.5 for making either team. Chamberlain and Russell (or Olajuwon and Robinson for that matter) are a good example of why I changed it. Their peaks were pretty much concurrent, and it felt weird to penalize one of them when they were clearly the best two centers in the league, simply because their peaks happened to coincide.
Okay, on to the results of the first 12 guys I proposed. (Along with Michael Jordan. It's convenient for me to use Jordan as a control, because I know if he doesn't come out on top - or at the very least, extremely close to it - then I definitely need to rework some things.)
Michael Jordan (1996-1998) - 229.4
54.5 WS, 2.752 MVP (2), 3 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 13.4 CWS
Shaquille O'Neal (2000-2002) - 198.4
46.7 WS, 2.016 MVP (1), 3 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 12.2 CWS
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1971-1973) - 187.1
69.6 WS, 2.008 MVP (2), 3 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 3.3 CWS, 1.6 CFWS
Wilt Chamberlain (1966-1968) - 184.9
63.7 WS, 2.000 MVP (3), 3 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 3.8 CWS, 3.5 CFWS
Bill Russell (1961-1963) - 176.1
42.0 WS, 1.985 MVP (3), 3 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 8.0 CWS
Moses Malone (1981-1983) - 163.8
44.2 WS, 1.956 MVP (2), 3 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 2.8 CWS, 3.5 FWS
David Robinson (1994-1996) - 162.8
55.8 WS, 2.089 MVP (1), 3 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 2.3 CFWS
Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-1995) - 151.2
40.8 WS, 1.680 MVP (1), 2 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 7.1 CWS
George Mikan (1949-1951) - 140.6
65.4 WS, 0.000 MVP (the MVP wasn't awarded until 1956), 3 All-NBA, 1 All-Star (the All-Star game didn't start until 1951), 7.9 CWS, 1.1 CFWS
Patrick Ewing (1992-1994) - 103.1
36.7 WS, 0.722 MVP (0), 2 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 3.2 FWS, 1.9 CFWS
Bill Walton (1976-1978) - 80.4
22.4 WS, 0.522 MVP (1), 2 All-NBA, 2 All-Star, 2.5 CWS
Robert Parish (1981-1983) - 73.0
31.7 WS, 0.267 MVP (0), 1 All-NBA, 3 All-Star, 1.4 CWS, 1.5 CFWS
Yao Ming (2007-2009) - 66.3
26.3 WS, 0.001 MVP (0), 2 All-NBA, 3 All-Star
I have a couple thoughts I'll elaborate on about this in my next post, but I want to get some initial feedback from you guys first.