Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The List of Greatness - Active Players

In anticipation of the return of the NBA as well as the (probably to a much lesser extent) my List of Greatness posts, I thought I'd let everyone take a sneak peak at how the active players stack up so everyone can kind of keep track of them throughout the year. I was thinking about putting up who the closest candidates were for making it in 2012, but that'd give too much away for the future 2000 onward posts of who gets in and who doesn't. (Although you can probably guess, anyway.) Also, as a side note, the "Ultimate Season" will happen, it's just slow going figuring out how to make it work in this format. Anyway, on to the rankings.

Keep in mind that the only players who get ranked in this system are players who have made an All-NBA team, All-Star game, received an MVP vote, or won at least three championships. But my full list has every player that fits every one of those categories. (I think.) So if you're wondering why a particular player on your favorite team isn't listed below, it's probably because he doesn't fit one of those categories. If he does and he's still not listed, let me know and I'll get him added. (Also keep in mind these numbers are reflective of where the player ranks historically - basically a measure of their entire careers up to this point in time, not their current value in today's league.)

7. Tim Duncan - 678.1
8. Kobe Bryant - 669.4
17. Kevin Garnett - 463.3
21. Dirk Nowitzki - 435.8
27. LeBron James - 386.0
29. Jason Kidd - 331.9
36. Steve Nash - 301.1
43. Dwyane Wade - 269.0
46. Chauncey Billups - 252.2
50. Ray Allen - 243.9
54. Paul Pierce - 228.5
55. Pau Gasol - 226.5
58. Dwight Howard - 223.0
63. Tracy McGrady - 212.0
65. Ben Wallace - 208.3
69. Grant Hill - 204.2
81. Manu Ginobili - 182.2
90. Amar'e Stoudemire - 173.8
103. Vince Carter - 156.8
105. Shawn Marion - 155.2
119. Chris Paul - 143.1
126. Richard Hamilton - 136.1
141. Tony Parker - 126.4
142. Chris Bosh - 126.1
149. Peja Stojakovic - 119.3
153. Elton Brand - 116.7
154. Jermaine O'Neal - 115.8
167. Kevin Durant - 102.8
177. Rashard Lewis - 96.0
179. Carmelo Anthony - 94.5
193. Joe Johnson - 82.7
196. Deron Williams - 81.3
202. Derrick Rose - 78.9
208. Gilbert Arenas - 76.7
212. Zydrunas Ilgauskas - 75.8
213. Antawn Jamison - 75.2
221. Derek Fisher - 71.9
222. Brad Miller - 71.9
233. Antonio McDyess - 67.9
237. Carlos Boozer - 67.5
241. Rajon Rondo - 67.0
252. Brandon Roy - 62.7
255. Baron Davis - 60.8
274. Metta World Peace - 55.0
291. Andrei Kirilenko - 50.7
297. Juwan Howard - 48.8
298. Mehmet Okur - 48.5
301. David West - 47.5
303. Marcus Camby - 47.1
316. Michael Redd - 45.1
320. Kenyon Martin - 44.0
329. Caron Butler - 42.1
338. Zach Randolph - 40.2
346. Mike Bibby - 38.3
351. Gerald Wallace - 37.0
353. Al Horford - 36.0
354. Theo Ratliff - 35.8
355. Josh Howard - 35.3
356. Russell Westbrook - 35.3
364. David Lee - 31.6
370. Danny Granger - 30.0
372. Jameer Nelson - 29.8
375. LaMarcus Aldridge - 29.3
381. Devin Harris - 27.6
397. Mo Williams - 25.3
402. Stephen Jackson - 24.2
407. Andrew Bogut - 22.4
408. Jamaal Magloire - 21.9
422. Kevin Love - 17.8
432. Chris Kaman - 15.6
441. Blake Griffin - 9.9


  1. The system seems to overrate a few players (Billups...Gasol, Howard, etc), but is pretty good...I'd put a lot of the presennt players lower than they are now. But that's just me. I overrate older players and demean present ones.

  2. Well, that's the beauty of numbers, for me anyway. They're completely objective. Billups is high because he was in something like 6 straight conference finals or better. Gasol is high because he had to excellent postseasons for championship teams. Howard has a lot of MVP votes, 4 All-NBA 1st Team selections, a Finals loss, and a Conference Finals loss.

    Personally, I hate Chauncey Billups and hate the fact that he's so high, but the numbers don't lie.

  3. One thing numbers do do is sometimes paint an inaccurate picture. But that's basketball...totally objective too. Billups may have been on numerous conference finals teams....But in a definite weaker era than almost any time (bar the mid 70s NBA). One thing the numbers don't do is take into account competition. Which is impossible.

    That's one thing that numbers can't do. THey can't adjust because of era. While you could say that stars of today are better than yesteryears stars, I'd say that that is false. Look at all the teams in todays NBA. 30. More competition? No. More losing teams. More opportunities for someone to look better compared to tougher eras. I'm not totally crushing this era. Tim Duncan is definitely top 10 all time....and maybe Kobe too. (Maybe....). But Gasol top 60? Howard top 60? Even McGrady top 65 is too much. That is one thing that numbers cannot prove. One interesting idea would be to take the difference in the best team and worst and implement that into the forumla...Just a thought

  4. The flip side of that coin is that, taking 1960 as a random example, there were 8 teams and a total of 96 players in the league. In 2011 there were 30 teams and 452 players.

    From a strictly statistical standpoint, in 1960, a team had a 12.5% chance of winning the Finals, a player had a 25% chance of making the All-Star Team and a 10.4% chance of making the All-NBA team. In 2011, a team had a 3.3% chance of winning the Finals, a player had a 5.3% chance of making an All-Star team, and a 2.2% chance of making an All-NBA team.

    So of course there's far more bad teams now that a player can rack up win shares against, but it's much much harder now to stand out from the crowd and win individual awards.

  5. This semi-debate we're having also has me thinking on different "eras" of the NBA. I tend to view them all equally because they all have their advantages and disadvantages. It gave me an idea to try and identify the different eras and what exactly the differences are. Future post idea, anyway. (One major negative for the really early eras just off the top of my head - some teams not allowing black players, or limiting the number of blacks on their teams... Yikes...)

  6. Yes, and not only that, but the general talent was better back in the 60s for example. Oscar, Russell, Wilt, West, and Baylor were the most identifiable stars, not to mention lesser stars like Jack Twyman, Sam Jones, Jerry Lucas, Willis REed, etc etc....very strong league...I don't think it compares to now at all.

    40s/early 50s issues: No shot clock, pretty much unathletic (and no blacks), and a lack of strong bigs

    50s/60s: I guess you could say scoring was way high, and littler D was played than in the late 90s

    70s: Disorganized, jumbled game (in a PR view: too many blacks), selfishness, and drugs. EXPANSION

    80s: Again, little D, but one hell of a league.

    90s: Maybe too good defense, weaker league than before, over expansion

    00s: Lack of elite bigs later...

    50s were probably the easiest era looking at rules. But look at the stars

    40s/50s: Arizin, Johnston, Schayes, Pettit, Mikan, Cousy, Fulks, George Yardley, Vern Mikkelsen, Jim Pollard, Slater Martin, Easy Ed, Bob Davies, Bobby Wanzer, Jack Twyman, what the hell, Maurice Stokes.

    60s: Russ, Wilt, Oscar, West, Baylor. That's really all you need to know. But there was Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Jerry Lucas, Willis Reed, Bob Pettit, etc etc

    70s: Doc, Walton, Kareem, Wilt, Reed, Thurmond, Barry, ICeman, David Thompson, Artis Gilmore, Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Jo jO White, Pete Maravich

    80s: Bird Magic Kareem, Jordan, Isiah, Laimbeer, McHale, Parish, Drexler, Hakeem, Sampson, Barkley, Erving, Moses, Mo Cheeks, Tom Chambers, Walter Davis, mark Aguire, Wilkins, etc

    90s: Jordan, Barkley, Ewing Hakeem, Shaq, Drexler, Magic, Bird, Payton, Kemp, etc

    00s: Shaq Kobe, Webber, James, Wade, Billups, etc

    In my opinion, the top eras are the 60s and 80s (tie...probably the 80s are better), then the 50s, then the 70s/90s, then present day. Just based on talent.

    NBA eras are fasinating. I love watching old 50s/60s/80s games the most. Those are my favorite times. (In my opinion, Jordan is overrated. Russ is the best ever in my book ((and my opinion is changing and changing. Russ is the definite 1st on my list. I don't really think Kareem is THAT great of a player (((not 1st or 2nd))), and I think that MAYBE Bird/Magic are ahead of him ((I have Magic ahead of Bird...yet I call myself a Celtics fan.)). Jordan is behind them definitely, but ahead of Wilt, who is out of the top 5. West above Oscar, with Duncan right in the mix there, and Moses/Hakeem fighting it out.

    Very interesting