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View Full Version : Best Player of All-Time List (#6)



valade16
01-16-2018, 01:11 PM
So we do a "Top 25 greatest players of all-time list" routinely here on PSD, but I want to do an all-time list of best, not greatest.

What is the difference?

This is not a list that measures a players accolades or career, it is a list of simply, if all the players were at their peak/in their prime/at their best (however you describe it) and all in a draft, who would you take first to play against each other in a draft?

Who are the best players throughout NBA history. You can use stats or accolades to back up your opinion, but this is about who is best, not who made the most All-NBA teams, or who scored the most points, etc. If you think player A is better than player B despite them having a shorter career, vote for player A.

If you wish to vote for someone else, please vote for other and post who you voted for in the comments. If you wish to nominate someone (or multiple people) for the next poll, post in the comments and I will add them if there are at least 2 nominations for that player.

In the event of a tie vote, they will both be listed at that number and the next player will begin where that is left off (for instance, T-6th, T-6th, 8th)

Current List

1. Michael Jordan
2. LeBron James
T3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
T3. Wilt Chamberlain
5. Shaquille O'Neal

valade16
01-16-2018, 01:13 PM
Also, remember to nominate players who you think should be an option!

KnicksorBust
01-16-2018, 03:12 PM
Give me Bird. Absolute stone cold killer. Good for 28 points 9-10 boards 6-7 assists, could score from anywhere on the floor 50-40-90 guy. Probably top 2 clutch players in NBA history with MJ.

valade16
01-16-2018, 03:19 PM
Give me Bird. Absolute stone cold killer. Good for 28 points 9-10 boards 6-7 assists, could score from anywhere on the floor 50-40-90 guy. Probably top 2 clutch players in NBA history with MJ.

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking Bird here. He's my favorite player so I'm trying to discern whether I want him here because of that or because he is genuinely the best player left lol.

I imagine more people will think Duncan, Hakeem or Magic was better.

tredigs
01-16-2018, 03:37 PM
There's an argument for Olajuwon, Bird, Duncan and Curry imo. But ultimately I'll go with the guy who was known as the consensus best player in the league (and 3X consecutive MVP) at a time that had players like Hakeem, Magic and young Jordan to name a few. Had 7 seasons of being 1st or 2nd in the MVP voting between 81-88 (each were ALL NBA 1st Teams). A 4 year playoff peak of 27/10/7 on 49/37/90 (led the playoffs in Win Shares 2 of those times, VORP all 4, and notched 2 Finals MVP's). GOAT tier as both a playmaker and a scorer. Agreed with KOB and Valade, give me Larry Legend.

Chronz
01-16-2018, 03:43 PM
Why Bird over magic? Aside from hakeem and Tim.
Why not Oscar, west or Moses?

valade16
01-16-2018, 03:51 PM
Why Bird over magic? Aside from hakeem and Tim.
Why not Oscar, west or Moses?

I'll add Big O, West and Moses to the poll for next round. I needed someone to nominate them.

tredigs
01-16-2018, 04:00 PM
Why Bird over magic? Aside from hakeem and Tim.
Why not Oscar, west or Moses?

Better scorer, rebounder/defender, and still an incredible playmaker. It's not a big gap for me in the least (I completely forgot to list Magic with my other 4 guys up top), but peak versus peak I think Larry Bird is the more imposing talent. And I don't think the majority of those watching at the time had Magic>Bird until the very late 80's when Bird was in his 30's and having the back issues. Until Bird was 30 there wasn't a single season Magic finished ahead of him in the MVP voting. I think that's very telling of the impressions of them as players at the time (especially considering both were on stacked contenders).

Chronz
01-16-2018, 04:07 PM
Better scorer, rebounder/defender, and still an incredible playmaker. It's not a big gap for me in the least (I completely forgot to list Magic with my other 4 guys up top), but peak versus peak I think Larry Bird is the more imposing talent. And I don't think the majority of those watching at the time had Magic>Bird until the very late 80's when Bird was in his 30's and having the back issues. Until Bird was 30 there wasn't a single season Magic finished ahead of him in the MVP voting. I think that's very telling of the impressions of them as players at the time (especially considering both were on stacked contenders).
Focusing on magic till I get my phone to connect to my key board/ tv in about an hour (fml, no pc for awhile now).

Is there a case to be made that magic had yet been given the keys and would have eventually made it a no contest, bad back or not.

Magic gifted Bird a title and even then holds the edge in the matchups.

Who was more productive and on better teams during what you consider their peak run? Trying to see how we can separate these 2. Do you dock Bird any points for his defensive shortcomings during his offensive peak whereas magic was always sort of a bad defender?

Chronz
01-16-2018, 04:09 PM
Moses was winning mvp during the days of bird and magic and doing it with ****** teams mind you. Then when he got the squad he was still winning mvp and had a FAR more dominant playoff showing than either.

Career wise it's no question but at their apex, Moses deserves to be in the running. Is there a poll going on or something cuz I haven't ever voted. Maybe I could have broken the tie

GREATNESS ONE
01-16-2018, 04:29 PM
Kobe!!!!

tredigs
01-16-2018, 04:57 PM
Moses was winning mvp during the days of bird and magic and doing it with ****** teams mind you. Then when he got the squad he was still winning mvp and had a FAR more dominant playoff showing than either.

Career wise it's no question but at their apex, Moses deserves to be in the running. Is there a poll going on or something cuz I haven't ever voted. Maybe I could have broken the tie
Yeah I gotta agree, Moses really does have a great case if we're going straight peak play. My reservations with him are the relatively weak Center play overall in the late 70's + early 80's when he had his heyday, but I might be short changing him. Yeah, that's a good inclusion to the debate.

valade16
01-16-2018, 05:17 PM
Yeah I gotta agree, Moses really does have a great case if we're going straight peak play. My reservations with him are the relatively weak Center play overall in the late 70's + early 80's when he had his heyday, but I might be short changing him. Yeah, that's a good inclusion to the debate.

This is sort of the same argument against Shaq right? Shaq didn't start to truly dominate as the clear cut best player in the league until all the other great C's died out.

valade16
01-16-2018, 05:23 PM
I take it from the lack of serious argument for Duncan that people rank him so highly on traditional lists because of his winning and longevity? Couldn't a strong case be made for peak Duncan to be the best remaining?

Also, and I hate to do this lol, but how much consideration should Curry get here? Has anyone left put up a season as good as Curry in 2016?

Chronz
01-16-2018, 05:25 PM
Here's what irks me. Just try to imagine Oscar in magics shoes. Oscar won a title his first time with kaj, just like a rookie magic. Both might've been around similar levels with the edge to magic but that only shows that Oscar could've won when younger. Unfortunately, he doesn't get that narrative. How much are we still allowing titles to dissuade us?

Chronz
01-16-2018, 05:27 PM
Btw, someone installed an rf tower near my house, now I hear ringing when not thinking.

Chronz
01-16-2018, 05:29 PM
This is sort of the same argument against Shaq right? Shaq didn't start to truly dominate as the clear cut best player in the league until all the other great C's died out.

When do you say that happened cuz I would say he dominated to a larger sustained degree

valade16
01-16-2018, 05:38 PM
When do you say that happened cuz I would say he dominated to a larger sustained degree

Who dominated to a larger sustained degree?

Shaq has the head to head numbers to show he wasn't some product of a weakened Center position individually, but he didn't become the unstoppable monster who dominated the league and won title after title and was considered clearly the best player until guys like Hakeem and Ewing got old and D-Rob got hurt. Heck, even Alonzo got hurt too.

As crazy as it seems, Shaq didn't make an All-NBA 1st team until 1998 and he didn't start becoming a 1st team mainstay until 2000.

mngopher35
01-16-2018, 06:13 PM
Here's what irks me. Just try to imagine Oscar in magics shoes. Oscar won a title his first time with kaj, just like a rookie magic. Both might've been around similar levels with the edge to magic but that only shows that Oscar could've won when younger. Unfortunately, he doesn't get that narrative. How much are we still allowing titles to dissuade us?

More than they should and it is even tougher when you haven't really seen them play very much (compared to guys today who we all have/can watch any game of). I'm no different as it gets really tough and they obviously do matter but I suspect if we could just change situations for these guys around we would view them differently. Maybe not drastic but Oscar and Magic could be flipped? KG/Duncan? Not sure it's to the same extent but I do think we generally underrate players in lesser situations due to the lack of team success.

mngopher35
01-16-2018, 06:18 PM
Bird/Magic/Duncan/Hakeem for me here. I see Curry mentioned but I think I will put him in that next tier tbh, it's not out of the question with his RS play for sure though. Moses is interesting, I think I likely underrate him on the whole with how some more informed talk about him.

I really don't know how to handle those 4 but if we are going favorites it is probably Bird haha. Ill wait a little bit and see if there are any really strong arguments for someone. cmon homers, convince me.

Chronz
01-16-2018, 06:23 PM
More than they should and it is even tougher when you haven't really seen them play very much (compared to guys today who we all have/can watch any game of). I'm no different as it gets really tough and they obviously do matter but I suspect if we could just change situations for these guys around we would view them differently. Maybe not drastic but Oscar and Magic could be flipped? KG/Duncan? Not sure it's to the same extent but I do think we generally underrate players in lesser situations due to the lack of team success.
What's the method tho.

KG and Duncan have been on many similarly talent laden squads and I would argue Duncan always exceeds kg.

What's our mechanism? Impossible answer but gimme

Chronz
01-16-2018, 06:26 PM
Who dominated to a larger sustained degree?
Shaq. Defenses were better equipped to hande a Moses type, its just Shaq was the next step up. It's as if evolution out did unnatural selection

Chronz
01-16-2018, 06:28 PM
Bird/Magic/Duncan/Hakeem for me here. I see Curry mentioned but I think I will put him in that next tier tbh, it's not out of the question with his RS play for sure though. Moses is interesting, I think I likely underrate him on the whole with how some more informed talk about him.

I really don't know how to handle those 4 but if we are going favorites it is probably Bird haha. Ill wait a little bit and see if there are any really strong arguments for someone. cmon homers, convince me.

Yeah currys name is built on the rs compared to these guys, which is unfortunate but he knew the sacrifice he was making when he allowed kd to join after already having so many questions left to answer. Dude was basically earning mle money when he won.

mngopher35
01-16-2018, 06:39 PM
What's the method tho.

KG and Duncan have been on many similarly talent laden squads and I would argue Duncan always exceeds kg.

What's our mechanism? Impossible answer but gimme

Well we don't really have one. I believe there was only 2 times in KG's career where he had similar talent to TD pre knee injury and it was 04 (Cassell injured for the Lakers series, we end up losing) and 08 Boston (yes TD had better individual runs than this one). I think Duncan was better overall but it was closer than perceived and if they swap I think their team success changes a lot even if not the exact same.

I am not completely sure how to judge it. With KG I can regularly point to how he was used by Flip (we actually had him guard Nash or at top of zones because no one else could stop penetration), had to create for others more than he should have, his on/off and RAPM numbers crushing in comparison to almost everyone. These all kinda show his individual value to his teams but aren't perfect and also just signal that he was on bad teams as much as that he is closer to Duncan. These types of stats won't give us an answer always on HOW good but can at least signal the situation being lacking. For Oscar it gets even tougher in this sense too without that data available too.

I just think it really comes down to having a basic understanding of the game, context, stats and being able to see when someone is in the perfect situation as opposed to someone being asked to do far too much and/or things they shouldn't be doing. You won't ever get an exact way to measure this and honestly it becomes opinion based moreso than an accolades or stats based look probably which is why people stick to the easier methods.

LOb0
01-17-2018, 02:07 AM
Here's what irks me. Just try to imagine Oscar in magics shoes. Oscar won a title his first time with kaj, just like a rookie magic. Both might've been around similar levels with the edge to magic but that only shows that Oscar could've won when younger. Unfortunately, he doesn't get that narrative. How much are we still allowing titles to dissuade us?

Actually getting that job done is extremely hard. I know you feel players are some interchangeable stat piece. But it's more than that. Titles are rated highly for a reason. Look at the hell Bron went though despite being far and away the best.

Anyway. Magic gets my vote easily here.

LOb0
01-17-2018, 02:09 AM
What's the method tho.

KG and Duncan have been on many similarly talent laden squads and I would argue Duncan always exceeds kg.

What's our mechanism? Impossible answer but gimme

KG shied away from the big offensive moments where Duncan didn't. That's what clearly separated them to me.

KnicksorBust
01-17-2018, 09:02 AM
Here's what irks me. Just try to imagine Oscar in magics shoes. Oscar won a title his first time with kaj, just like a rookie magic. Both might've been around similar levels with the edge to magic but that only shows that Oscar could've won when younger. Unfortunately, he doesn't get that narrative. How much are we still allowing titles to dissuade us?

But who cares about titles? It's one season. At their absolute best. That's why I want Bird.

I can put him anywhere on the floor. He can play on the perimeter with two bigs. He can play in the post with one big. He can create for teammates. He can do everything I want offensively and he's not even my point guard. I love players like that. Plus he's one of the greatest closers in NBA History.

KnicksorBust
01-17-2018, 09:02 AM
Way too early to be talking about KG imo.

mngopher35
01-17-2018, 11:47 AM
Way too early to be talking about KG imo.

That convo is specifically related to how we generally judge people, kg is not in this tier of players though. He is just an example of someone I think looks much different to people if in a great situation like the Spurs from the start (and Duncan lacks similar success on the wolves compared to Spurs).

I was just responding to the idea we can overrate/underrate due to situation. I think that's true in a general sense.

KnicksorBust
01-17-2018, 12:50 PM
That convo is specifically related to how we generally judge people, kg is not in this tier of players though. He is just an example of someone I think looks much different to people if in a great situation like the Spurs from the start (and Duncan lacks similar success on the wolves compared to Spurs).

I was just responding to the idea we can overrate/underrate due to situation. I think that's true in a general sense.

Okay so I don't have to worry about you bringing up Jimmy Butler in here right? ;)

That would be a cool thread though debating those situations impacted their legacies the most... like Pippen/Worthy/Horry/Frazier/etc. I think it may have already existed once before.

mngopher35
01-17-2018, 12:56 PM
That convo is specifically related to how we generally judge people, kg is not in this tier of players though. He is just an example of someone I think looks much different to people if in a great situation like the Spurs from the start (and Duncan lacks similar success on the wolves compared to Spurs).

I was just responding to the idea we can overrate/underrate due to situation. I think that's true in a general sense.

Okay so I don't have to worry about you bringing up Jimmy Butler in here right? ;)

That would be a cool thread though debating those situations impacted their legacies the most... like Pippen/Worthy/Horry/Frazier/etc. I think it may have already existed once before.

No promises lol.

Not sure I remember that thread but it might lead to good conversation (thinking once we get done with this).

valade16
01-17-2018, 12:56 PM
Magic came storming back. Also still surprised Hakeem and Tim Duncan haven't gotten a single vote.

Chronz
01-17-2018, 01:59 PM
Actually getting that job done is extremely hard. I know you feel players are some interchangeable stat piece. But it's more than that. Titles are rated highly for a reason. Look at the hell Bron went though despite being far and away the best.

Anyway. Magic gets my vote easily here.
You misunderstand me, BOTH got it done, only one gets to take advantage of being Kareems teammate whereas the other got to sneak in 1 year of healthy prime play before retiring.

I don't know if titles mean as much as you think tbh. You can't win without the squad

AntiG
01-17-2018, 04:36 PM
Prime Bird was pretty much the most insane player I've ever seen outside of prime Shaq and prime LeBron, and unlike the latter two, Bird did it with pure skill and aggressiveness without the dominating physique.

dhopisthename
01-19-2018, 12:17 PM
I think I am going magic here. honestly I think curry has a case here, but I do think curry's stats are inflated a touch playing in this era. imagine if Bird played in this era of flinging 3's. as for bird vs magic since I didn't really get to watch them i think that stats slightly favor magic.

europagnpilgrim
01-19-2018, 12:41 PM
This is sort of the same argument against Shaq right? Shaq didn't start to truly dominate as the clear cut best player in the league until all the other great C's died out.

That's the thing when I rank/judge players, Shaq was clearly dominant day 1 and put the league on notice and did it for at least a decade

that's how I rank players, those who were just that dominant, and age only stopped them down the line like fathertime always does

the ''best'' players are just that, until the media hype gets involved which can sway either way depending on how the media want to either lift up or tear down that certain player, but game is game and Shaq was clearly in the discussion after rookie year, same as with Jordan who didn't win no titles in the 80's but the league was on notice his rookie year and validated by Bird calling him the most high disguised as Jordan, that's what the best players do, dominate day 1 and forward for years

Shaq gave those guys the business regardless of what stage they were at, Shaq was I think runner up MVP 2nd year in the league so I don't know where you are getting this notion from, Dream won title that season so he was still there at his apex, far from dying out