Friday, February 8, 2008

The Real NBA Top 50

During the 1997 All Star Weekend, the NBA came out with their list of the greatest 50 players of All Time. I agreed with most of the recipients, but I feel that some players got ripped off (Dominique Wilkins, Maurice Cheeks, Gary Payton). Ever since then I have thought about what criteria should be used to determine the greatest players. Is it winning championships, being an All-Star, holding league records or just having a long and successful career? I've been working on this for years and I came up with a formula to help determine who the greatest players are. I used a point system and gave players varying points for each of the following categories: 1) each year they played in the NBA, 2) every year they were selected as an All-Star, 3) each championship they earned, 4) each MVP, and 5) for being in the top all time leaders for Points, Rebounds, Blocks, Assists, and Steals.

As suspected many of the old timers no longer qualify for the top 50 since it has been 10 years and younger players have climbed the ranks and taken their place during this time. I don't mean to disrespect any of the legends who had previously been voted in, but some of them simply did not belong to begin with. Billy Cunningham and David Bing? Come on! As much as I like Pistol Pete, he just didn't have the numbers to justify the honor either. I thought Shaq was awarded the honor prematurely. He has obviously earned it now, but it would be like saying Lebron James is one of the 50 greatest players before he proves anything. After compiling my spreadsheet results I still did not agree with some of the rankings because there are just some intangibles that are hard to quantify. Kareem actually came out with the highest total of all players according to the formula. For anyone interested in seeing the exact number totals and ranks of the top 75 players of all time, I would be glad to share it with you, but in the mean time I have listed my version of the 50 greatest players. The players in bold are new to the top 50 from the original list.

1. Michael Jordan
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Bill Russell
4. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
5. Magic Johnson
6. Larry Bird
7. Hakeem Olajuwon
8. Karl Malone
9. Julius Erving
10. Shaquille O'Neal
11. Charles Barkley
12. Elvin Hayes
13. Oscar Robertson
14. John Stockton
15. John Havlicek
16. Bob Cousy
17. Moses Malone
18. Clyde Drexler
19. Tim Duncan
20. Kobe Bryant
21. Bob Pettit
22. Elgin Balylor
23. David Robinson
24. Scottie Pippen
25. Patrick Ewing
26. Sam Jones
27. Jerry West
28. Isiah Thomas
29. Gary Payton
30. Kevin Garnett
31. Allen Iverson
32. Maurice Cheeks
33. Hal Greer
34. Jason Kidd
35. Dominique Wilkins
36. Robert Parrish
37. Dolph Schayes
38. Lenny Wilkins
39. Steve Nash
40. Kevin McHale
41. Dave Cowens
42. Dikembe Mutombo
43. Rick Barry
44. Alex English
45. James Worthy
46. Bob McAdoo
47. George Gervin
48. Bill Walton
49. Wes Unseld
50. Willis Reed


Gargoyle Express said...

I vote for Dominique Wilkins because he has the coolest name.

MikkSolo said...

I don't see my name, your or Evan's. Are you sure this is the "real top 50?" - Oh I just saw that you spesified NBA only. MY BAD!

Beckalita said...

I can't believe you came up with all of this! Pretty cool!