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View Full Version : Best Player of All-Time At Their Peak (#23)



valade16
03-14-2018, 04:27 PM
So we do a “top 25 greatest players of all-time list” here on PSD, but I wanted to do a best, not greatest list.

What is the difference?

This is NOT a list that measures a players career or accolades, it is simply a list of, if all the players were in their peak/in their prime/at their best/etc. and all in a draft, who would you take first on your team.

Current List

1. Michael Jordan
2. LeBron James
T3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
T3. Wilt Chamberlain
5. Shaquille O’Neal
6. Magic Johnson
7. Larry Bird
8. Hakeem Olajuwon
9. Tim Duncan
10. Kobe Bryant
11. Steph Curry
12. Moses Malone
13. Tracy McGrady
14. Bill Walton
15. Kevin Durant
16. Jerry West
17. Dwyane Wade
18. Oscar Robertson
19. Kevin Garnett
20. Dirk Nowitzki
21. Charles Barkley
22. Karl Malone

FlashBolt
03-14-2018, 04:48 PM
Should be D-Rob. If including ABA, I think Julius has a case.

valade16
03-14-2018, 04:59 PM
Should be D-Rob. If including ABA, I think Julius has a case.

Remember this is just them at their best (however you perceive that). It's not based on accolades or accomplishments.

FlashBolt
03-14-2018, 05:03 PM
Remember this is just them at their best (however you perceive that). It's not based on accolades or accomplishments.

That's what I'm saying. If we include ABA, Julius had his best performances there. Competition and rules were different but I think it's worth mentioning. If not including that, might be time to start making an argument for Bill.

KnicksorBust
03-14-2018, 05:25 PM
Drob

WaDe03
03-14-2018, 05:30 PM
Peak Anthony Davis is better than Bill Russell.

FlashBolt
03-14-2018, 05:37 PM
Peak Anthony Davis is better than Bill Russell.

A lack of playoff history hurts AD. Gotta show something more than regular season dominance, IMO.

valade16
03-14-2018, 06:09 PM
Does anyone want to make the argument that peak AD is better than Barkley/KG/Malone/Dirk?

FlashBolt
03-14-2018, 06:10 PM
Does anyone want to make the argument that peak AD is better than Barkley/KG/Malone/Dirk?

I think every single one of those guys have had equally or better regular seasons and have led their teams to better success in terms of wins.

KnicksorBust
03-15-2018, 11:44 AM
Does anyone want to make the argument that peak AD is better than Barkley/KG/Malone/Dirk?

The better question would be Anthony Davis or Bill Russell.

WaDe03
03-15-2018, 11:55 AM
The better question would be Anthony Davis or Bill Russell.

I think AD is the far more skilled player of the 2.

FlashBolt
03-15-2018, 12:12 PM
I think AD is the far more skilled player of the 2.

Oldies won't like this...

WaDe03
03-15-2018, 01:35 PM
Oldies won't like this...

They definitely won't but let's be honest, it's clear as day.

KnicksorBust
03-15-2018, 02:34 PM
I think AD is the far more skilled player of the 2.

imo it's not close on either end of the ball... the question is how much more you value things like offensive production vs. defensive production and how much you value intangible things like leadership and heart that numbers may not answer.

ewing
03-15-2018, 09:57 PM
imo it's not close on either end of the ball... the question is how much more you value things like offensive production vs. defensive production and how much you value intangible things like leadership and heart that numbers may not answer.

If you value “intestinal fortitude” you have to go Russell


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valade16
03-16-2018, 01:13 PM
Went D-Rob but strongly considered CP3.

Chronz
03-16-2018, 03:27 PM
Drob and Malone should be right next to each other imo. Bill Russell should've had tmacs spot

valade16
03-16-2018, 03:40 PM
Drob and Malone should be right next to each other imo. Bill Russell should've had tmacs spot

Even in a debate about actual ability and not accolades? You would take Bill Russell if he were standing next to David Robinson, Moses Malone, Kevin Garnett, Dirk, etc. if they were all standing next to each other to draft a team right now (if they were all in their primes)?

Chronz
03-16-2018, 04:55 PM
Definitely above drob and kg. Moses is alil harder for me but I might be underselling just how influential Russell was defensively and overrating Moses on d.

I'm actually wondering if we're beginning to overrate bigs in general simply because they tend to be the anchors. It takes allot to build an elite defense, not just in the league but historically. Whereas with dominant offensive players, they can basically lead a great offense much more readily on their own

I've seen some studies that suggest even the best of defenses don't really slow opposing offenses as much as we would expect. Been awhile since I've looked in to it, especially in this guard driven league now.

Chronz
03-16-2018, 04:59 PM
Who are other guys with outlier seasons or short blips of peak play.

I'm wondering if McHale could be next in line since he did have that mvp caliber year where he just ate people up AND covered for bird defensively. What was Ewing peak stretch? It's still hard to separate team success completely but his could be an example of peak coming early when he was losing more

Chronz
03-16-2018, 05:07 PM
Ok maybe not kg. Gotta do my own ranking system right now

valade16
03-16-2018, 05:51 PM
Who are other guys with outlier seasons or short blips of peak play.

I'm wondering if McHale could be next in line since he did have that mvp caliber year where he just ate people up AND covered for bird defensively. What was Ewing peak stretch? It's still hard to separate team success completely but his could be an example of peak coming early when he was losing more

I was just trying to think of guys who had a very short but dominant peak.

For PGs I'm wondering where Penny and Derrick Rose deserve to go. I mean, peak Stockton vs peak Penny, am I positive I'd take Stockton? No, I'm not.

PFs, where does Elton Brand rank? Or Amare? Or further down the list, what about guys like Kevin Love or Antonio McDyess?

Center's I wonder about Artis Gilmore, Bob Lanier and Bob McAdoo. Or just older guys who are forgotten in general.

Chronz
03-16-2018, 07:10 PM
I was just trying to think of guys who had a very short but dominant peak.

For PGs I'm wondering where Penny and Derrick Rose deserve to go. I mean, peak Stockton vs peak Penny, am I positive I'd take Stockton? No, I'm not.

PFs, where does Elton Brand rank? Or Amare? Or further down the list, what about guys like Kevin Love or Antonio McDyess?

Center's I wonder about Artis Gilmore, Bob Lanier and Bob McAdoo. Or just older guys who are forgotten in general.


The penny what if is an interesting one. If by peak you mean what is the longer sustained stretch of peak play, as in if I'm in a playoff series, who's the guy I want on my squad, then shouldn't it be as easy as looking to their most impressive series? Sample size is important, lots of bad series can be a highly contextualized result of factors beyond the players control, but there are still meanings and trends that we might pick up.

We can always look at an entire regular seasons worth of games but another problem emerges in that there can still be some level of variance regardless of health from year to year. Roster changes or simply the motivations of players who plan to endure during the most important phases of their careers. The loffs

Penny is abit like tmac lite in that he has that one season that stands out so much you would've loved to see if he could have sustained it if not for various other factors. That year he carried the magic without Shaq got everyone wondering who's team it was. Tbh, I always thought the numbers underrated pennys influence on his teammates too.

With tmac, his 03 season stands out but I honestly believe I witnessed a peak tmac in his first series in Houston. By then he wasn't as athletically gifted but his control of the game and his overall production given the situation suggest peak play .

Just the same, I really believe the best penny I ever saw play was in that series against Miami after injuries had just barely begun to sap him of that full bore mentality of his youth. His overall RS wasn't on par with his peak season but it was of similar calibre to his other fantastic seasons and it was as if he was saving the best he had left of himself for the games that truly mattered. Whichever penny you love best, I think the answer is somewhere in the middle of that condensed level of peak play.





Here's another comp regarding how we're defining this peak business. Which was peak bosh?

GREATNESS ONE
03-16-2018, 07:29 PM
The Admiral