The Basketball Thread

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val
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The Basketball Thread

Post by val »

I think Steph Curry has made it into the top 10 of all time. Four titles and changing the way the game is played.

My top 10

1. Jordan
2. Russell
3. Kareem
4. LeBron
5. Magic
6. Bird
7. Wilt
8. Curry
9. Duncan
10. West

Or Oscar. Or The Logo. Or The Big O. I dunno. But I'll go with the Bill Simmons line that Oscar was traded, at the peak of his career, while the Lakers would NEVER have traded West. For anything.

I also don't know what to do with Durant. I don't watch as much NBA as I used to, but Durant is an effortless scorer and in many ways he's the template for where the NBA wants to go from here on out. Again, not a huge NBA watcher, but I've never seen him take over a game like a Bird or a Jordan, or even a Chris Paul or James Harden. I know lots of people think he's a top 15 type player, but I just don't see it.
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bucco boy
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Re: The Basketball Thread

Post by bucco boy »

Only omission I see and maybe it's not is Oscar. He always seems to be overlooked.
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val
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Re: The Basketball Thread

Post by val »

For the purposes of making a top 10 list, I had to pick one ahead of the other. Robertson is my #11. And yeah, they're both all timers, so we're splitting hairs. Interesting thing, they both played the exact same years in the NBA, from the 60-61 season to 73-74. As great as the pair were, between the two of them, they won only a single season MVP (O in his triple-double year.) Oscar started out better -- his first four years were as good as any player's ever -- but after that West, was stronger. After Robertson was traded, he was a 17 ppg scorer his last four years, while West scored 20 as a 35-year old. One idiosyncratic way, for me, for considering one's greatness, is that I have a friend who really hates stats. Yet he knows that Oscar went over 30+ ppg six times in his career.

Some players are perfect for their era, and as Celts fan, seeing Draymond Green as a small-ball 5 was particularly dispiriting this year. But West is a great example of a guy who played at an awful time for him. West scored 25,000 without benefit of the three point line. After Maravich, West is probably the player who would have most benefited from the 3-point shot. (As I understand it, the Lakers were the first team to put down logos on the floor other than at the center circle, just so announcers could say that West had hit a shot from the logo.) While West didn't have the athleticisim of Robertson, because, you know, who did, I just read that he did have a 71" wing span (for a guy who is 6'3") and he made the all-defensive team 5 times. You know, just about every year that award was in existence during his playing career. He scored 25,000 points all the while guarding the other team's best wing player.

I can live with choosing West over Robertson.

West is basketball's Stan Musial.
GreenWeenie
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Re: The Basketball Thread

Post by GreenWeenie »

Lists can be judged by the quality of names left off them.
If a commonly considered superstar is not on the list, it's a good list. To place someone "on", one needs removed. If a Kobe Bryant's not on the list, it's a good list.

The game has evolved. It's neither better nor worse; just different over time. The skillset required in the 60's is quite different from today. I find it it better to judge guys by their peers. There is no possible way to tell how Bill Russell would do against Shaquille O'Neal. It leads to purely emotional arguments and that's all.

In basketball, I would also filter by Position. Telling me that a Center is judged as Guards are is senseless. They're called upon to do different things for a team

I wouldn't place Curry in a Top Ten All-Time list. I'd be more inclined to rank John Havlicek and Julius Erving ahead of him, positions aside. Erving changed the sport more than Curry has, in my opinion. Curry's among the best of the past 20 years, for sure.

Oscar Robinson absolutely belongs on the list. Curry doesn't knock Robertson off.

Bird is on my bubble; not because of his skills or results, but because of longevity. He was hurt enough that it's possible for someone to come along and eventually pass him. This is the reason that Bill Walton's not there.

Jerry West is one of the most important players of all time, no questions asked. I'm not sure that he continues to rank among the best players of all time. This is probably another one where we have the "era" debate.

Factor I consider:

Dominance over peers at their position

Overall quality of teammates- did the player practically "carry" hos team vs. being able to take advantage of their help, too.

Where do they stand on the major records?

Ability to play other positions

Ability to defend against players at other positions

Did opposing coaches need to adjust his team's defensive strategy when playing this guy's team?

How good was his team when he wasn't on it? How good were they when he was there?

Did the NBA change any rules because of the guy?

The guys who test positively on these factors tend to be up there.
GreenWeenie
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Re: The Basketball Thread

Post by GreenWeenie »

Timmons didn't think beyond the end of his nose on the issue of Robertson having been traded.

Had Oscar Robertson been a Laker at the time, he would have remained a Laker, too.

Unlike Jerry West, Robertson played for the......Cincinnati Royals. The Royals lasted a whopping 15 years in Cincinnati, and left for Kansas City not long after dumping Robertson. Now, they're the Sacramento Kings, not exactly the revered and respected franchise that the LA Lakers have been.

That the Royals traded Robertson says far more about the Royals than it ever will about Oscar Robertson.

This just goes to show that a player's surroundings plays some part in how people tend to evaluate the individual. Put Robertson on the Lakers during his era, and I guarantee that he's on everyone's list.
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