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  1. #1
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    When ranking players, how do you resolve paradoxes ?

    Not sure how many of you actually put forth effort when attempting to rank the pantheon of the NBA. But every so often I come across these rock, paper, scissors comparisons, where I struggle making sense of how a player can be better than another, but arguably inferior to a guy you've already established as a tier below.

    Its impossible to rank players if you cant come to a decision on what to do with these examples.

  2. #2
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    using big words like "paradox" on PSD will net you zero replies.
    at least include the definition to help some of these folks out, naw what I'm sayin'.
    peace out homes.

  3. #3
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    Can you provide examples? I'm pretty lost as to what you're asking.
    I'd understand it as, players at one position being ranked against players at another position.

  4. #4
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    One example which I think fits is the Wilt vs. Russell, Kobe vs. Lebron argument. I take Russell over Wilt and Lebron over Kobe, which almost seems like a paradox. Statistically, Wilt and Lebron are clearly better players, but Russell and Kobe have the rings to prove otherwise. My sole reasoning for Russell over Wilt is that the two men played the same position and Russell dominated Wilt on a regular basis in the postseason and went on to produce the greatest string of success in the history of professional sports. In Kobe and Lebron's case, there was no team even close to the talent level of those early 2000s Lakers, while Lebron never had anything resembling a talented supporting cast until he came to Miami.

    The rings vs. stats argument is a tough one, but I try to use context as much as possible, because every situation is different.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by king4day View Post
    Can you provide examples? I'm pretty lost as to what you're asking.
    I'd understand it as, players at one position being ranked against players at another position.
    In a nutshell, sure.

    Say you have Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem. You can see an argument for either side claiming the superior case in any combination of these "head 2 head" arguments. What you cant do is have conflicting rankings, if Shaq is better than Hakeem, and Hakeem is better than Duncan, then Shaq MUST be better than Duncan. But lets say you honestly didn't feel that way. In your book, Duncan is better than Shaq but not better than Hakeem. Somehow... hope that makes sense.



    My personal comparison would be the Kareem-Shaq-Wilt debate I usually struggle with.

    Kareem > Shaq in my book.
    Shaq > Wilt in my book.
    BUT Wilt is also > Kareem in my book.

    Im a big Wilt fan so acknowledging my bias is usually how I resolve the issue, by placing him a tier below those.
    Last edited by Chronz; 02-19-2013 at 05:45 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    One example which I think fits is the Wilt vs. Russell, Kobe vs. Lebron argument. I take Russell over Wilt and Lebron over Kobe, which almost seems like a paradox. Statistically, Wilt and Lebron are clearly better players, but Russell and Kobe have the rings to prove otherwise. My sole reasoning for Russell over Wilt is that .....In Kobe and Lebron's case, there was no team even close to the talent level of those early 2000s Lakers, while Lebron never had anything resembling a talented supporting cast until he came to Miami.
    Im not seeing what makes it different from Wilt-Russ.

  7. #7
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    Engleesh Pleeze.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronz View Post
    Im not seeing what makes it different from Wilt-Russ.
    I just explained it, but there are essentially two main differences:

    1. Wilt and Russell played the same position and Russell's teams dominated Wilt's in every single postseason counter with the exception of one. Russell's squad even won the title in 69 when he was coaching and they were facing a superior Lakers team. Lebron has never once faced Kobe in the postseason, so there's no real argument to be made that Kobe ever dominated Lebron in the playoffs.

    2. Prior to coming to Miami, Lebron had never had anything close to a competent supporting cast. Wilt played with multiple Hall of Fame guys in Philly (Hal Green, Billy Cunningham) and a stacked team in LA (Jerry West, Elgin Baylor), but only beat Russell once. Also, Wilt's second title came as a third or fourth option on that Goodrich, West Lakers squad. Were the Celtics teams genuinely better than Wilt's teams? Probably, but not by a wide margin, and I wouldn't argue that for the 68-69 team.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronz View Post
    Say you have Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem. You can see an argument for either side claiming the superior case in any combination of these "head 2 head" arguments. What you cant do is have conflicting rankings, if Shaq is better than Hakeem, and Hakeem is better than Duncan, then Shaq MUST be better than Duncan. But lets say you honestly didn't feel that way. In your book, Duncan is better than Shaq but not better than Hakeem. Somehow... hope that makes sense.

    My personal comparison would be the Kareem-Shaq-Wilt debate I usually struggle with.

    Kareem > Shaq in my book.
    Shaq > Wilt in my book.
    BUT Wilt is also > Kareem in my book.

    Im a big Wilt fan so acknowledging my bias is usually how I resolve the issue, by placing him a tier below those.
    I guess I sort of understand what you're trying to say, but I'm also very confused. If Shaq is clearly better than Wilt and Kareem is clearly better than Shaq, than Kareem is clearly better than Wilt. In fact, I don't even think it's debatable that Wilt was better than Kareem, so I wouldn't even try to make that argument.

    The Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem argument is a little easier to play with, because they were three relatively different players from essentially the same era. If you valued defense, you could take Hakeem or Duncan first. If you valued sheer offensive dominance, you might take Shaq first. If you argued rings, you could take Duncan or Shaq first. If you valued sheer talent or the ability to win with no help, you might take Hakeem first. There are multiple arguments to be made for each one of the three. But I still don't know that there is necessarily a "paradox" with these guys.


  10. #10
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    I'VE HONESTLY NEVER HAD THIS ISSUE BEFORE.. so idk
    Quote Originally Posted by freejimmer View Post
    Jimmer still being BLACK BALLED by the illuminati/homeboys...
    Quote Originally Posted by freejimmer View Post
    If Jimmer were to be given free reign offensively, the team would basically quit on the organization out of jealousy and envy. The white man is the minority in this game and the black players will be damned if the white man shows him up at his own game. Similar situation happening with Kevin Love, the team has to surround him with foreigners and whites because black players won't succumb to the greatness that is Kevin Love.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahH View Post
    I'VE HONESTLY NEVER HAD THIS ISSUE BEFORE.. so idk
    Was all caps really necessary here? Are you really that passionate about something that clearly isn't a problem for you?


  12. #12
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    it's simple ... are they better than aaron gray? ANSWER: No .... Aaron Gray = the Goat the end
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  13. #13
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    Interesting thoughts. I think, like you said, bias has to be taken out first of all. I used to rank Hakeem much higher than I do now because he's my childhood hero when it comes to basketball. I used to spend hours as a 10 year old practicing Dream Shakes at the bball court at the church across my house. I spent years defending him blindly when people said Shaq was better, or Robinson was better. There is a sentimental quality in ranking him. I don't dwell on his flaws as much as I do a guy like Kobe, Nash, or other guys I always rooted against. So first off, I check myself and realize that.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronz View Post
    In a nutshell, sure.

    Say you have Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem. You can see an argument for either side claiming the superior case in any combination of these "head 2 head" arguments. What you cant do is have conflicting rankings, if Shaq is better than Hakeem, and Hakeem is better than Duncan, then Shaq MUST be better than Duncan. But lets say you honestly didn't feel that way. In your book, Duncan is better than Shaq but not better than Hakeem. Somehow... hope that makes sense.



    My personal comparison would be the Kareem-Shaq-Wilt debate I usually struggle with.

    Kareem > Shaq in my book.
    Shaq > Wilt in my book.
    BUT Wilt is also > Kareem in my book.

    Im a big Wilt fan so acknowledging my bias is usually how I resolve the issue, by placing him a tier below those.
    Head to head arguments are flawed arguments. Because a player matches up well against another player doesn't mean he's a better player and should be valued more, It just means said player has a hard time matching up with that player. Example

    CP3 and D-Will

    D-Will seems to out play Chris Paul more often than not. Is Deron a better player? Absolutely not, but it's clear the Deron's strength and size and set of skills are affecting CP3. But I wouldn't rank Williams above him.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sactown:25427409
    Quote Originally Posted by Chronz View Post
    In a nutshell, sure.

    Say you have Shaq, Duncan, Hakeem. You can see an argument for either side claiming the superior case in any combination of these "head 2 head" arguments. What you cant do is have conflicting rankings, if Shaq is better than Hakeem, and Hakeem is better than Duncan, then Shaq MUST be better than Duncan. But lets say you honestly didn't feel that way. In your book, Duncan is better than Shaq but not better than Hakeem. Somehow... hope that makes sense.



    My personal comparison would be the Kareem-Shaq-Wilt debate I usually struggle with.

    Kareem > Shaq in my book.
    Shaq > Wilt in my book.
    BUT Wilt is also > Kareem in my book.

    Im a big Wilt fan so acknowledging my bias is usually how I resolve the issue, by placing him a tier below those.
    Head to head arguments are flawed arguments. Because a player matches up well against another player doesn't mean he's a better player and should be valued more, It just means said player has a hard time matching up with that player. Example

    CP3 and D-Will

    D-Will seems to out play Chris Paul more often than not. Is Deron a better player? Absolutely not, but it's clear the Deron's strength and size and set of skills are affecting CP3. But I wouldn't rank Williams above him.
    Not that kind of head 2 head

    Ps I don't agree that he gives him trouble either
    Last edited by Chronz; 02-19-2013 at 09:57 PM.

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