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My 2011 MLB All Star Rosters. All 68 Players. Every team represented.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The season's now half over, my Giants play game 81 today. My ballot at the 60 game mark is here.

Here are the requirements:

Each league has 34 players.

Each position player has a backup, each league has a DH, each league has at least 3 relief pitchers, every team is represented.

I'll only pick 3 relievers for each league, as that's all the spots relievers warrant, but they'll want up with twice that many spots on the actual teams, all the big save guys will get spots, and that will be the biggest difference between my rosters and the ones actually selected.  They only have to pick 3 relievers, however, so that's all they get.  Edit - I'm a pitcher short, I gave both sides 13, turns out, I need one more.  I'll make it a reliever.  That means I'm taking out a position player for both squads; if you wonder, "hey, he just said X made the team, but where is he" I took him out for this purpose.

It's Sunday, the rosters have been announced, I'll edit them in for comparison in bold. 
American League

                                                                                                Lineup:
C Avila            (Avila)                                                           3B Rodriguez
1B Gonzalez    (Gonzalez)                                                    CF Ellsbury
2B Zobrist        (Cano)                                                          RF Bautista
SS Cabrera        (The late Derek Jeter)                               1B Gonzalez
3B Rodriguez    (Rodriguez)                                                DH Ortiz
LF Granderson   (Granderson)                                            LF Granderson
CF Ellsbury     (Hamilton)                                                   C Avila
RF Bautista      (Bautista)                                                    2B Zobrist 
DH Ortiz         (Ortiz)                                                          SS Cabrera

C Santana, Martinez (Wieters, Martin)
1B Cabrera, Konerko (Cabrera)
2B Kinsler, Pedroia (Kendrick)
SS Hardy, (Cabrera)
3B Youkilis (Beltre, Young)
OF Gordon, Jones, Joyce (Ellsbury, Quentin, Cuddyer, Joyce) 

SP Weaver
Beckett, Shields, Verlander, Jackson, Masterson, Gonzalez, Pineda, Hernandez, Baker
(Beckett, Gonzalez, Hernandez, Verlander, Price, Shields, Weaver, Wilson)
RP Papelbon, Robertson, Santos, Perez (Perez, Valverde, Crow, Rivera, League)

I'm screwing the Yankees a little bit, Cano could go over Pedroia; Gardner could go over Span; Sabathia could go over Masterson/Hernandez.  It's not done intentionally.  I've replaced Span with Jones given the injury. That meant Baker had to get picked, which is fine.

I took Peralta because he could play short or third, Aybar would be an alternative, as would Beltre.  Replaced this spot with the 14th pitcher.

Martinez would give the Tigers two catchers on this team, he's really a DH, but has caught enough to be the emergency all-star catcher.  Walden has pitched himself out of the game.

National League

                                                                         Lineup
C McCann     (McCann)                                 SS Reyes  
1B Fielder      (Fielder)                                   LF Braun
2B Weeks      (Weeks)                                    1B Fielder
SS Reyes        (Reyes)                                     CF Kemp
3B Headley     (Polanco)                                 DH Votto
LF Braun        (Braun)                                    C McCann
CF Kemp         (Kemp)                                   RF Upton
RF Upton        (Berkman)                              3B Headley
DH Votto                                                        2B Weeks

C Montero, Iannetta (Molina)
1B Sanchez (Votto, Sanchez)
2B Phillips, Espinosa (Phillips)
SS Tulowitzki (Castro, Tulowitzki)
3B Roberts (Jones)
OF Holliday, McCutchen, Berkman, Pence, (Upton, Bruce, Pence, Beltran, Holliday,

SP Kershaw
Jurrjens, Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Zimmerman, Stauffer, Lincecum, Vogelsong, Lohse
(Kershaw, Hamels, Jurrjens, Cain, Halladay, Lincecum, Vogelsong, Lee)
RP Kimbrel, Axford, Marmol, Hanrahan (Venters, Hanrahan, Bell, Wilson, Clippard)
You could replace Iannetta with Hernandez; there's not another SS/3B you'd take over the 8th OF, although it would be better roster construction. Headley's the weakest starter on either team. Too many outfielders for Stubbs to make it; you could swap in Bourn for Pence if inclined.  You could also take Pujols over Ethier pretty easily, and absent the injury, I would. Ethier now was replaced by the 14th pitcher.

Pitching is a strength; Niese, Arizona's Hudson, Zambrano, could all make the club if you wanted just to take one Giant; given that Bochy is managing, you're likely to see lots of not really deserving Giants make the club. This does not break my heart.  On the merits, if you tell me only one from Vogelsong/Lincecum is really deserving over Hudson, I'd say Vogelsong and leave Timmy off the club.  But I'm not doing that.  Cain will probably make the real team; I'd listen to an argument that Bumgarner is who deserves that spot. Until this week, I would have taken Venters over Kimbrel.

I don't think I missed anyone.

Final Five AL: Gordon, Jones, Konerko, Martinez, Zobrist
(My vote would be Zobrist)

Final Five NL: Morse, Victorino, Ethier, Helton, Kennedy)
(My Vote Would be McCutcheon.  Where the hell is McCutchen?  Did I miss him?)

My spring training picks were here.

I had Boston and the Yankees as the best teams in the AL and still do.  One wins the division and the other the WC.  I had CWS winning the central, today I'd take the Tigers.  And Texas to win the west, and they still will.

I had Phils/Braves both going to the playoffs from the east, and still do.  I had Milwaukee and the Giants in the other two divisions, and still do.

I suggested a few win total over/unders in those picks.  I had Tampa and Baltimore both going over, I still like Tampa, Baltimore a little less.  I solidly liked the Phillies to go under, and it's gonna be close, but I still think it comes in the right way.  I had the Astros to go under, and that's going to win for me.  I had the Dodgers to go over, and that's going to lose.

My Giants need a bat to make any October noise.  I expect Belt to get regular playing time and hit by the stretch, but that isn't enough.  I would be interested in what the Mets would want for Reyes.

TBOR Athlete of the Month - June, 2011 +2007 Athlete of the Year

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last month is here.



Rory McIlroy  Runners-up: Rafael Nadal, Jason Terry, Tim Thomas

The year's half over.  Here are the current nominees for Athlete of the Year.

Nick Fairley
Aaron Rodgers
Kemba Walker
Danielle Adams
Dirk Nowitzki
Rory McIlroy

The Athlete of the Year for 2007 was Tom Brady

January: Roger Federer (Chris Leak, Deuce McAlister, Peyton Manning)
February: Bob Sanders (Dwight Howard, Kevin Harvick, Dirk Nowitzki)
March: Michael Phelps (LeBron James, Sidney Crosby, Kobe Bryant)
April: Alex Rodriguez (Al Horford, Zach Johnson, Barry Bonds)
May: Floyd Mayweather (Baron Davis, Tim Duncan, Quinton Jackson)
June: Tim Duncan (LeBron James, Rafael Nadal, Magglio Ordonez)
July: Venus Williams (Bernard Hopkins, Roger Federer, Tony Stewart)
August: Barry Bonds (Tiger Woods, Brandon Webb, Tyson Gay)
September: Tom Brady (Clay Bucholtz, Justine Henin, Andre Woodson)
October: Josh Beckett (Mike Hart, Manny Ramirez, Adrian Peterson)
November: Randy Moss (Adrian Peterson, Tim Tebow, Darren McFadden)
December: Chris Johnson (Terrell Owens, Floyd Mayweather, Dwight Howard)

The Weekly Tendown June 19-25 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Internet:


Nothing but links this week.  I'm on a tight schedule.  It's Tendown 82.

1. The One Piece You Need to Read This Week
This is absolutely my professional life; perhaps it's yours too.

It's called speedup - employers who ask for more and more and more work without an increase in pay; absent union protection, many find themselves in the position of being driven into the ground by their employers. If you feel as if you're being ridden increasingly hard at work and wonder how long you'll be capable of maintaining your output - if you find yourself saying "they can't possibly ask any more of me; I'm working twice as hard as five years ago" - and then, sure enough, increased duties are dropped on your lap.

Then  this is the piece to read.

SOUND FAMILIAR: Mind racing at 4 a.m.? Guiltily realizing you've been only half-listening to your child for the past hour? Checking work email at a stoplight, at the dinner table, in bed? Dreading once-pleasant diversions, like dinner with friends, as just one more thing on your to-do list?
Guess what: It's not you. These might seem like personal problems—and certainly, the pharmaceutical industry is happy to perpetuate that notion—but they're really economic problems. Just counting work that's on the books (never mind those 11 p.m. emails), Americans now put in an average of122 more hours per year than Brits, and 378 hours (nearly 10 weeks!) more than Germans. The differential isn't solely accounted for by longer hours, of course—worldwide, almost everyone except us has, at least on paper, a right to weekends off, paid vacation time(PDF), and paid maternity leave. (The only other countries that don't mandate paid time off for new moms are Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Samoa, and Swaziland. U-S...A?) 


2. 92,000



The median household income is 50 grand.  If it had kept pace with the rest of the economy, it would be $92,000 a year.

3. Opposite Science



Yes, it matters that of the 51 contestants for Miss USA, only two (including the winner) expressed that evolution should be taught in schools.  These are graduates (or at least students) of universities in the 21st century; look for Miss Alabama in the below clip, she's an Elementary Education major. Evolution's not something you can "disbelieve" any more than you can disbelieve gravity or that the earth revolves around the sun.  It's a theory like 2+2=4 is a theory; that religious conservatives have been able to push the idea that there's a debate about evolution to the point where only 2 of 51 university educated women believe it should be taught in school is insightful.

Watch the video.

4. Yes, You Should be Watching Keith
Olbermann returned this week; here's his Rolling Stone interview.

Also in Rolling Stone, Taibbi's piece on crazyass Michele Bachmann.

5. The Best Wrestler in the World
One of the greatest wrestlers who ever lived has done a PSA for PETA.

To balance that out, in case you think that an overly positive snapshot of professional wrestling, here are wrestling's ten most racist moments.

That's really just a way to get into the 4 star wrestling matches I saw this week; one actually was this week, it was last Sunday's Punk v. Mysterio at the WWE PPV.  The others are older; a ROH main event 4 way elimination from a couple months back that was 4 1/4; the Edwards/Daniels rematch from ROH was 4 1/2, I liked it a little bit less than their first match, the one without a real finish, although I also went 4 1/2 for that one.  And the two best tag matches I've seen in 2011, both 4 3/4: Generico/Ricochet v. Young Bucks from April in PWG and the American Wolves v. Haas/Benjamin from Wrestlemania weekend in ROH.

All of the 4 1/2 star and up matches can be found in my best matches of 2011 post, which I don't feel like digging up right now.

6. My Favorite New Phrase of the Week.
When I was an undergrad, I'd write down phrases, quotes, ideas that particularly struck me and stick them in a grey folder that I'd carry with me wherever I went.  They mixed high and low culture, but more representative than not would be something like Thoreau's "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" or Adlai Stevenson's "it hurts too much to laugh and I'm too old to cry" - I've used some of those lines throughout my life; when you talk for a living, its helpful to have a bag of thoughts to dip into.

I'm 489 months old now, so now, when I write something down, it's usually from a reality show.

For example - a lyric in Real Housewives of Atlanta Kim's follow up to (Don't be) Tardy for the Party was "click them keys" - as in, if you want to know who I am, just search me online.  "Click them keys."

I like that - I haven't used it yet, but there's a standard teacher type response whenever you want students to research an answer as opposed to your just telling them, "well, that's something you need to find out for yourself."  I may consolidate that response to "click them keys."  I don't know if I can swing that amount of sassy.

This week, there was a cooking show, I've forgotten which one, but its a show that focuses on street carts; there was a segment with a Scotsman who made fish and chips from a cart.  He talked about how the Scottish version is different than what one might otherwise get in the US, the batter is lighter - and he isn't a big fan of tartar sauce; in his reasonably thick accent, he, with a weary Scottish dismissiveness said:

                                              tartar sauce is basically gherkins


That's gonna go right there with "Don't lie to me like I'm Montel Williams" in my rotation; I know you like tartar sauce, I know you want tartar sauce - but look, it's basically gherkins, and really not worth putting on my menu.  There's just less there than meets the eye; the actual content isn't worth all the fuss. If, in fact, I pass away during one of my back to back 15 hour days I have to put in at the shop next quarter, someone will presumably offer some platitude like "he's in a better place" - and I'd really appreciate it if the response to that could be "religion is basically gherkins."

That's another good name for a fantasy football team.  Basically Gherkins.

Or maybe I should rename this blog - the original conceit "I'm the decider, I tell the truth, blah, blah, blah" feels a little played out to me.

What if I renamed the blog:

                                                 (This Blog is) Basically Gherkins.


Where would we be on that?

7. I Write the Stories

I wrote this week.  Talked some hoops.  Told some jokes.  Here was my look at back NBA Drafts.  Here was my look at this week's NBA Draft.  Read if you are inclined.

8. One Nation Under Wal-Mart
My Governor has multiple times favorably compared the way Wal Mart is run to the way government is run; an example of which is here.

The right wing, corporate mouthpiece that is the US Supreme Court protected Wal Mart from a sex discrimination suit this week; here's a good op-ed, about Wal Mart's authoritarian culture.

Remember - that's how the right wing thinks everything should work.  Are you working harder, without more pay, without union protection?  That's just the free market at work.  Capitalism.  Ain't it great?

Last year, these 32 corporations paid more money to their executives than they paid in taxes.  And what the right wing wants is less tax burden on these corporations.

Perhaps this is why a third of workers want to quit their jobs.  And why US life expectancy continues to fall relative to advanced nations.


When compared to the international frontier for life expectancy, US counties range from being 16 calendar years ahead to more than 50 behind for women. For men, the range is from 15 calendar years ahead to more than 50 calendar years behind. This means that some counties have a life expectancy today that nations with the best health outcomes had in 1957.


9. Why Hasn't Clarence Thomas Resigned Yet?
It's an Abe Fortas situation.

10. Why New York Matters
Civil rights advanced this weekend.  Andrew Sullivan explains why that matters.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim

26 Thoughts About the 2011 NBA Draft

Friday, June 24, 2011

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23:  Kawhi Leonard from San Diego State greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was selected #15 overall by the Indiana Pacers in the first round during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jer

I watched the draft.  Now I talk about watching the draft.

1. Maybe “can finish with either hand” needs to be retired as a basketball talking point. I'm not saying its not impressive. 

2. Mark Jones is standing with the picks just off the stage. Jones asked Irving about how important his dad had been in getting him here, Irving’s response “I’m looking forward to the NBA.” When you read the “Irving and his dad haven’t spoken since draft day” article from Scott Raab down the road, don’t be surprised. Also don’t be surprised if Raab eventually roots for a career threatening injury for Irving.


3. Kanter’s fine third, I don’t know if there’s enough data to reasonably project. If I’m on the clock, I take Kemba Walker. Kanter apparently wants to wrestle after his career; he’d get a developmental deal just based on size alone, Were you doing a similarity score he’s not entirely unlike the recent Tough Enough winner who no sold the Stunner. (maybe we should call what he did "selling it short" - as he got up too quickly as opposed to reacting like Hawk after a pile driver.  I recognize with every word I'm talking to an increasingly nonexistent audience.  I don't care about this.) More obviously, when thinking about big Euros, it would be Vladimir Kozlov to whom Kanter is most similar – not sure I need another boxy Euro on the WWE roster.

4. Tristan Thompson’s fourth-the guy I publically wanted my Warriors to get at 11th.  Cleveland's going after me for my LeBron fandom. The battle is joined. Seems curious, right, that the Cavs wound up with the top -pick the year after losing LeBron depite not having the worst overall record?  THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS.  NONE.  Highest Canadian ever drafted. Stu sings some O Canada and then the sound goes out.

5. My best available: Walker, Leonard, Biyambo, Burks. Jones asks the Lithuanian, "How is your game like Chris Bosh?" “I don’t know – I have not so strong body.” Your fifth overall pick, Toronto.  Stuck in Eastern Europe for another year with his not so strong body. 

6. Veseley’s like my next rent check - an overdraft. Jeff Van Gundy complimented him on his girlfriend; that's gonna be a popular sentiment today. JVG says Charlottes trying to get bad, which is absolutely right. You rarely hear an announcer say that a team should be trying to get worse.  But he's absolutely right; if you aren't contending for a title you should be contending for the number one draft pick.  It's the middle that buries you. They should take Walker. They took Biyambo, don’t know if its their need, but he’s value. Fran Fraschilla hit him with “can’t play any offense at all” and “allegedly 18 years old”. I slam draft telecasts for happy talk all the time, so this is refreshing. All of the foreign players have said “I don’t know” to at least one of Jones’s questions.

7. Please someone take Klay Thompson away from me.  Word is Jerry West has the big pants for Klay Thompson, who wouldn't be in my top ten remaining players.

8. That’s the second time today there’s been talk on TV about Brandon Knights AP coursework in high school; when a football player scores an 8 on the Wonderlic, all you hear is how ridiculous it is they give an intelligence test at the combine, but somehow Brandon Knight’s analysis of the Canterbury Tales when he was 17 means he’s going to be a better pro than Kemba Walker.

9. Walker’s a bad fit for GSW, but Leonard’s not, and I want him if he’s there at 11.

10. Stu didn’t understand the Sac/Charlotte trade, thinking the Kings would ‘really” be picking at 9; it’s less his fault (I mean it’s his fault, I understood it, and I spent the day giving an Ethics final; you want to see my AP scores? I’ll tell you all about first person perspective in The Yellow Wallpaper) than that the NBA draft rules aren’t pointed toward transparency. It’s a basketball draft, craft a rule that allows everyone to understand when Sacramento picks 7th they’re really Charlotte.  All NBA rules must be three pages or less!  Maybe Herman Cain for deputy NBA commissioner.

11. Here’s the headline for the 2011 Draft – Michael Jordan won it. Biyambo and Walker. Terrific job. The player he’s most similar to is DJ Augustin, who he goes to backup this year in Charlotte. Walker’s mother says this is like the day he was born. The circumcision will bring a new meaning to the kiss and cry area.

12. Kings took Jimmer, which was expected after the trade. Fine with me. GSW is next. Take Leonard and not Thompson. I’d be really pleased with Leonard. Pleased enough with Burks. Irritated with Klay Thompson. I am a 30+ year GSW fan and I am asking you nicely not to take Klay Thompson.

13. Don’t draft Klay Thompson. There’s enough data on Thompson to know he’s not athletic enough to be more than a 9th-10th man. Don’t want him. Don’t do it.

14. We suck.

15. He won’t be better than Leonard or Burks. If he winds up better than both Leonard and Burks, my apologies to Jerry West. Check back in five years. We've got two kids of former players now, leading to the musical question - who was better, Klay's dad or Steph's dad.

Dell Curry had 42.6 Win Shares, regular season+playoffs, in a little over 1100 games. 
Mychal Thompson had 64 Win Shares in a little over a thousand games.

Thompson was better.

16. And then Burks and Leonard go straight away. Grumble.

17. A dollar says Singleton’s better than Vesely.

18. My board after the Tobias Harris pick – Honeycutt, Faried, Hamilton, Williams, Motiejunas, Johnson, Brooks.

19. The Pacers are dealing Leonard for George Hill. I would not make that deal. The reaction of the announcers is pro-Pacers on the deal (outside of JVG; I hope GSW didn’t take the wrong member of that announce team) I believe them to be wrong.

20. Fraschilla and Stu are killing Motiejunas. Easier to do that to a guy who isn’t there. Bilas doesn’t have Honeycutt in his next ten best players available; this is a good challenge as I like Honeycutt more than Klay Thompson.

21. Nolan Smith? The Blazers took a backup college point guard with the 21st pick in the draft.

22.Stu asks dopey question about Karl’s cancer motivating the Nuggets; JVG corrects him. Come be Jackson’s defensive assistant, JVG.  You say smart things that confirm my worldview.  I feel about Jeff Van Gundy like stupid people feel about Glenn Beck.

23. Faried was an easy pick for Denver – the two dozen people still at the draft continue to boo Stern before every pick; I appreciate the fortitude.

24. Houston just boosted Johnny Flynn from the Wolves.  Kahn shouldn't take Morley's calls.

25. Sac got Honeycutt. Let’s see if he’s better than Jimmer. The Nets took Jordan Williams; Stu called it “karma” that they took Buck Williams 30 years ago. I’m not entirely sure what karma means, I’m guessing drafting two guys named Williams isn’t it.

26. We bought Jeremy Tyler. Then drafted Charles Jenkins. “the first New York City public school graduate…or he would have been…drafted in the first round since Sebastian Telfair. “

It’s the second round, see.  But Stu had a note about Jenkins that applied had he been taken in the first round and he decided to read it anyway.

I like Tyler and Jenkins well enough as second round guys. Had we taken Leonard instead of Thompson I’d feel terrific about the new regime.

NBA Draft Recaps: 1993-98 (Plus, Please, Please, Please Draft Tristan Thompson)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My plausibly live look at the 2010 NBA Draft was here.

My recap of the 1982-91 NBA Drafts was here.

My most recent look at the greatest players in NBA history was here.

I love old NBA drafts; when time permits, I like to watch a few during draft season and offer commentary.  Sometimes there are jokes, but I'm not as funny as was I before all the juice was squeezed from my brain by a draconian courseload.

Can someone please remind me that Draconian Courseload is a good fantasy football name?  And Fromage a Trois.  I will forget.

I've got 4 this year, '93, '95, '96, '98.  Let's get it poppin' with the 30th pick in the 1993 NBA selection draft. Yeah, your friend and mine...



1993 draft
The 1993 draft was in the Palace – they treated Webber, who was leaving Michigan early after that supposedly life altering time out call, like he were Alcindor graduating after three titles. I don't know what Webber's current relationship is with Detroit, but there he was, headed out the door after only two years in school as a national lightning rod who theoretically blew the title game, and the crowd went bankers for him.

That Webber trade is coming for my Golden St. Warriors.  I'm a Warriors fan.  I'll take whatever level of condolence you feel is appropriate.  

CWebb Win Shares, regular season+playoffs with GSW = 8
Penny with Orlando – 52.6

Hell of a trade, Nellie.

I loved both of them, full disclosure; but we had Timmy coming off his age 26 season running the point, Mullin, Spree, Marciulionis all on the perimeter.  Billy Owens was only 23, too early to call a bust – so looking at:
PF Webber
SF Owens
PG Hardaway
SG Mullin
…with the kid Sprewell off the bench, or more likely we go small and play Owens at the 4 and Webber at the 5; we’re just going to run it up and down the floor.  I was 22 in the summer before my second year of law school during the 1993 NBA Draft; in the dying days of what, to that point, was the most significant relationship of my life and I was investing all of my emotional hopes into sports.  The 49ers were in their late dynasty; the Giants had the best record in baseball at the All-Star Break led by a decidedly un-PED aided best player in baseball by a billion miles Barry Bonds, and I was convinced GSW was about to join the party and CWebb was going to be the piece that put us over the top.

But Sarunus got moved and then Hardaway got hurt, and Mullin’s off year the season previous turned out not to be a blip but the beginning of his decline (he lost half his value between ages 28 and 29).  Owens just never progressed at all;   Webber was strong, 8 Win Shares, same as Spree – it’s less the trade during the ’93 draft that kills us than the one the next year with the Bullets.  The Giants won a hundred three games but didn't make the playoffs; I didn't much like law school and would like being a lawyer less, the Niners won one last Super Bowl and have spent the past fifteen+ years paying for the previous decade of success.  And I got all kinds of dumped in '94, "I sort of met someone else, so...." dumped.  

I blame Nellie for all of that too.  

I’d like to do a search for “checkered past” and “nba draft” – as Bob Neal just hung that phrase on JR Rider (who, a few minutes later, called himself a “perfect man in society” right before predicting victory in the slam dunk contest).    

I did the search.  9900 results.  For example:

Jamar Smith, the former Illinois player, has gone through so much more. In 2007, he crashed a car into a tree while driving under the influence and eventually left the scene of the accident -- with his teammate unconscious in the vehicle. Smith was dismissed from the Illini months later for continuing to use alcohol.

Not for leaving an unconscious teammate in the car?  Jesus - next time you hear Bruce Weber on some crappy coaches show talk about team being the most important thing in Illinois ask how many teammates you have to leave for dead before they ask you to turn in your meal card.

Lee Benson
College: Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) | Ht: 6-11
2001-02 Stats: 35 ppg | 13.6 rpg
Andy Katz's take: Benson is an intriguing draft pick. He's older, has a checkered past that he's trying to recover from (spent eight years in prison before arriving at Brown Mackie),


8 years in the house!  Maybe we need to tighten up the phrase “checkered past.”


"Hey, mom - I'd like you to meet the new fella in my life; his name's Joel - sure, he's got a bit of a checkered past..."


  


Craig Sager’s blowing Bobby Hurley nice and sweet like.  When you hear someone like Jalen Rose talk about hating the Dukies back in the day.  Interviews like this are why.  


Bobby Hurley just plays so hard every minute on the floor.
Bobby Hurley just wins, everywhere he goes.  Junior high.  High school.  College.  Everywhere he goes. He’s so dreamy.  Like a basketball playing Joey McIntyre. Only guy on the Dream Team who could guard him in those scrimmage games was Jordan.  In fact, if Jordan ever retires early under mysterious circumstances to go play minor league baseball - it's almost certainly not some type of gambling related vanishing - it's fear.  Banana yellow stripe running down his back.  'Cause he don't want none of Bobby Hurley


 



Kendall Gill’s a restricted free agent in Charlotte, to Doug Collins that means “he’s got them in a very difficult spot.”  Good class consciousness there, Doug.  Way not to forget from whence you came.


"NBA Draft" + "whence" = 33,000 hits.    


Hubie describes Greg Graham: “he can score big points in big bunches in big games.”


Career WS – 1.3, in just a little over 200 games, none of them big enough, presumably.


“Gheorghe does not speak English” from the podium after Muresan was selected. 
And he never learned.  


1995 draft

I hate Joe Smith.  My apologies to those who care for him.

Sager asks him what it means to be picked first overall.

“It’s a great accomplishment for myself.”

Know what else would be a great accomplishment?  More than 13 WS with GSW. 

Question: Who was the best number one overall pick ever for the team that picked him?  

Make your selection.  Go.  I'll wait.

Okay, here are your options:

Baylor  129.6 WS in 980 games, all with the Lakers. 
Oscar – 148 WS with Cincinnati in about 700 games. 

“They say emotionally he may not be ready, but what sophomore in college is ready? – Pitino about Rasheed Wallace.  15 years later he might have said something like "They say emotionally he may not be ready, but what 35 year old father of four is ready?'

Kareem – 123.4 WS with Bucks in a little over 500 games.

Jesus God – Kareem with the Bucks; he’s far enough behind that you’d take Oscar, but Kareem with only the Bucks had almost as much value as Baylor his whole career.  Kareem with just the Bucks would be one of the Top 50 players of all time.  That’s how good Kareem was.  Kareem with just the Lakers played about 1200 games and had 185.6 WS;  that would put him in the top 20 of all time.  Kareem with just the Lakers has about the same value as Olajuwon; he did it in 300 more games, so you’d take Hakeem – but that’s still more WS than Kobe, although a tick fewer than Magic and West, if you’re thinking about the greatest Lakers ever.  Kareem – good enough for 2 spots in the 50 greatest players of all time.



Reeves went next, I racial profiled him hard before this draft, like he pulled out a sajjāda at a LaGuardia terminal.  My animus proved correct given the 13 Win Shares Reeves accrued during his career.  Stu Jackson called him “BC” – taking his nickname “Big Country” – and turning it into another nickname.  That’s the kind of executive decision that gave Stu his next career.

Lanier’s at about a hundred WS for the Pistons.

Magic’s your new leader, for those of you playing at home, 188.4, all with the Lakers, in about 1100 games.

Olajuwon’s got 185.4, almost 1400 games; David Robinson at 196.19 in about 1120 games passes Magic; of the articles of faith I’d like you to accept if you aren’t familiar with basketball metrics – David Robinson was better than you think, about the same value as Bill Russell. 

And you think he’s going to win our little competition – but then comes Duncan.  198.8 WS and counting in 1230 games – so, today, right now, in the summer of 2011, the answer would still be Robinson, the tiny Duncan value advantage outweighed by the number of games extra it took him to get it, but that won’t be forever.  Duncan wins for total value, when considering games played, you’d say Robinson was the best number one pick for his team. 

“Fortunately for me I’m watching TV one night, Benny Dees is in the playoffs and Frankie King is throwing up a storm."

You know how occasionally someone says “okay, living or dead, what’s your ideal 4 person dinner party?” or some much hypothetical.

From now on, mine includes Hubie Brown. 

1996 draft


Starts at end of 1995 draft, ‘cause its impossible for NBA TV to cut these drafts in a way that fits a TV schedule, with Hubie saying about Don Reid “a lot of teams liked his package” – and we’re off.

’95 was the Joe Smith draft; I made a talk radio phone call about it, I think to Pete Franklin; my argument was it didn’t matter who my GSW picked, it would be a mistake.

Smith was a Warrior for 200 games, earning 13 Win Shares. 

Hey, NBA TV has added some new graphics; I was just told that Iverson won the Rookie of the Year; that’s the first time, to my knowledge, there’s been new content in any of these old drafts.  I’m entirely in favor.  Unless they start telling pop up video like jokes, as that’s my beat.

’96 was still the era of big suits; Craig Sager and Iverson are both in oversized grey suits in the kiss and cry area.  Ernie Johnson, Jr. is your host, he reminded us of Don Reid being the last pick in ’95, as meaning that Hoyas have gone back-to-back. Hubie missed the opportunity to discuss his package.

Marcus Camby went second – I met him when doing the game show in 2000; I met Jack Sikma in a men’s room at O’Hare airport in 1985.  Who was the best basketball player Jim Jividen ever met?  Let’s go to the Win Shares videotape:

Camby’s played 960 games, regular season+playoffs and has 83.4 Win Shares.
Sikma played 1200 games, and had 120.4 Win Shares, that’s the 52nd highest combined total ever.  Sikma was better than Camby and remains the best ballplayer I ever met in a men's room.  Dude took a curiously wide stance.   I assume its being seven feet tall, no other stance one could take.  

Vecsey just told us who picks 3-5 were going to be; I don’t know who we blame for the inability of those covering drafts to keep their goddamn mouths shut, but we can’t watch an NFL draft anymore without watching the guy about to be picked on the phone beforehand.  I don’t want to know – why is it the NFL can tell ESPN to yank Playmakers but can’t tell them not to spoil who the Bills are about to take?  If Maria Menounos popped up on the Oscar telecast to say, "I've been talking to my sources inside Price-Waterhouse, here's who's about to win Best Live Action Short", my guess is Tom Shales would find that worthy of critique.  It's a draft - don't tell me who gets picked until they get picked.  

Craig Sager Does Wildly Inappropriate Things:
Craig Sager almost took Stephon Marbury’s hat off; Marbury’s sobbing, just bawling about being the brother who finally busted through to the Association, and Sager reaches over, “can I take this off?” – and almost grabs the cap off Marbury’s head.  We’re a little more personal space sensitive in 2011, I think – if Stuart Scott is yanking hats off this week I’d be surprised. 

Vecsey got the fifth pick wrong, he had Antoine Walker going to Minnesota, they took Ray Allen.  With 145 Win Shares, Allen was the best player in the ’96 draft.  Scott Hastings is breaking the Allen/Marbury deal – Vecsey corrects him about Allen’s destination, “I suspect it’s to Portland for Rod Strickland.” 

Who will be right???

Has Lorenzen Wright passed away?  Am I thinking about that correctly?  Yes.  In 1996 Ray Allen/Antoine Walker/Lorenzen Wright could not have more closely been at the same place at the same time; literally just five minutes apart.  Ray Allen has the 27th most combined Win Shares in NBA history; Antoine Walker is bankrupt; Lorenzen Wright is dead.  

Rick Pitino just said the Nets should pick Kerry Kittles instead of Kobe Bryant because John Calipari needs to win next year.  That’s the kind of foresight that might lead a man to bang his equipment manager’s future wife on the floor of a Louisville restaurant. 

How quickly was Kobe better than Kerry Kittles?
Rookie Year Win Shares: Kittles 6.9, Kobe 1.9
Year 2 WS:                      Kittles 10,   Kobe 6.5

And that was it.  Kittles got hurt in year 3 and Kobe went by him; come year four, Kobe was Kobe.

Right after the Allen for Marbury deal was made official (sorry, Pete), GSW  drafts Todd Fuller and not Kobe Bryant.

That’s my team!

Hubie:  You’d have to say the Warriors were very high.

He may have added “on Fuller” right after that, but my construction is more accurate.
As loud a sports radio campaign as I ever went on, they may have been the last sports radio calls I ever made, was against the idea that GSW should take Todd Fuller, who became the consensus “hey, we sure do need some bigs” choice as draft day neared.  It could be that the success of my loud "Bryant Reeves can't play" rants emboldened my Pat Buchanan like assault on the next big white, major conference stiff. I wish I could say I wanted us to take Bryant instead...

Oh, wait, I did.  Somewhere, perhaps there is a digital archive of about a dozen phone calls to various KNBR hosts in the spring of 1996 with an angry young lawyer fervently arguing that we should look beyond the seeming needs of today and swing for the fences.  I’m not always right. I thought David Robinson would bust and he did not.  But I was right about this.

Kobe called the NBA a “step up” from high school.
One hopes.

Peja, name given as “Predrag” goes after Kobe – Predrag has an LGBT connotation in 2011 that went unappreciated in 1996.  Sager asks if he likes Sacramento – Peja, from some war torn Baltic republic, is one of the few tonight who could honestly say yes.

Kid Canada thanks his junior high, and since he looks like a rising 9th grader, that makes sense.

Knicks fans chanting “We want Wallace” – as their unerring basketball savvy leads them to want John Wallace.  The Knicks have 3 of the next 4 picks; the broadcast is certain they can’t fail with whomever they pick.  It is an incredibly exciting time, apparently, to be a Knickerbocker.

18.  Wallace
19. “McCarty and Wallace could be projected late lottery picks.  I think the Knicks are doing great.” – Pitino
20. The Cavs take Ilguaskas.  EJ, Jr. says the Cavs now lead the league in syllables.  Heh.  Silly foreigners. 

John Wallace WS as a Knick = 1.6, career total = 6.3
McCarty WS as a Knick = 0, career total =15.1

21. Donate Jones = WS as a Knick=0, career total -.3

Ilgauskas – 63.3 as a Cav, 66.3 overall.  Syllables.  Funny, funny stuff.  


1998


Vecsey once again gives us the first 5 picks before pick one.  Thanks Pete.  Way to break a story about the telecast you’re on.  Neil Patrick Harris should open episode 4 of the next season of How I Met Your Mother by telling us who Ted is going to wind up marrying.  

Michael Olowokandi owns the national hop step and jump records in Great Britain, thanks Hubie.

Let's hear from Clipper GM Elgin Baylor about his first overall pick “Olowokanda – problem with the name.”

When you mispronounce the name of your first overall pick, that probably doesn’t speak well for either of you.

His career WS was 2.3 in over 500 games played.  -.1 with the Clips.  Is he the worst player in NBA history?  Is there a worse combination of few WS and more games played?  Is the Kanda man the absolute worst basketball player in the history of the NBA?

Here’s where GSW made the Jamison for Carter trade, I liked them both coming out of school, like most people, at least judging from the broadcast team, I preferred Carter.

Jamison = 83.4WS, 25.3 in GSW
Carter = 108.9WS, 50.1 in Toronto

They won the trade.  Jamison was a good GSW and had a really good career; VC probably won’t make it, but he should go to the HOF.  100+ WS and 3 seasons over 10WS. 

Tractor Traylor goes next.  Career WS 13.6. RIP

Craig Sager Does Wildly Inappropriate Things:
Sager asked Traylor’s grandmother where they went shopping for their clothes.  And asked Traylor why he wasn’t in better shape in college.  And hoped Traylor could stay off grandma's peach cobbler.    

Craig Sager Does Wildly Inappropriate Things:
Larry Hughes little brother had a heart transplant which is why Hughes played college ball in St Louis; he died in 2006.

“Did you ever worry you wouldn’t make it through the operation?”  Sager said to a 12 year old boy on live television about a surgery he had when he was like 9 years old.  And he followed up with something like "and then you wouldn't have ever seen your brother again."  Like he was going for a Roy Firestone moment.  Then he yanked the hat clean off his head.

Dirk and Pierce go back to back at 9-10.
Pierce WS =137.2  thats 34th , I've got him as the 12th man of my all time 2nd NBA team
Dirk WS=183.4 thats 17th, Dirk starts on my all time NBA Team at SF

Majerus about Doleac, picked 12th by Orlando “there’s a lot better players in the draft, I don’t think there’s a better kid.”

When your college coach is saying as you are drafted “there’s a lot better players in the draft” – and thinks he's paying you a compliment, that’s a stay away.

Doleac's career= 600 games 12.9 WS

“You make a deal with the devil” – Doc Rivers, John Thompson, Majerus, Hubie all think HS early entry is terrible idea.  Bad for the kids.  The kids!

To that point, 4 high schoolers had been drafted in the modern NBA under the current rules:

Garnett, he's going to the HOF
Jermaine O’Neal, WS=64.5 in 970 games; he's had Ilgauskas's career.  
Kobe, he's going to the  HOF
TMac 100.2 WS, in 920 games; he won't make it, but he's a borderline HOF on the merits.
Rashard Lewis, who hadn't yet gone when they had this conversation, but went later in the evening=  94.1 WS in 960 games.

Now, Korleone Young sat around forever that night and he busts, not unlike Michael Doleac, who was, I'm told, a helluva good guy, so its error to say "every high school kid who enters the NBA Draft goes to the Hall of Fame," but its accurate to say "at the time these experts had their discussion, every high schooler who had been picked in the NBA Draft went on to have a fabulous, if not historic NBA career."

As for the 2011 draft - I've totally fallen in man love with Tristan Thompson, if he's there at 11 and GSW passes, we riot.

I don't want Klay Thompson; I'd rather have Alec Burks if we draft a perimeter guy; I really don't want a Morris twin.  I'll settle for a better version of Udoh, the guy we took, against my advice, instead of Greg Monroe last year, in Biyombo.  But PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if Tristan Thompson is on the board, take him.  Thankyou.

Okay - here's Dampier in his big red coat from '96.  Enjoy the draft.  Go Warriors.  Keep the faith.

The Weekly Tendown June 12-18 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Internet:


Here's Tendown 81.

1. Lil' Oprah




Over the shoulder of Oprah's executive producer, from this week's episode of one of the best shows on television in 2011, the behind the scenes reality show of Oprah's final season, is what I've decided to call Lil' Oprah.

"Hey, Hugh Jackman, you left your toothbrush at my house!  Hey, J-Hud, you lose your ability to tell time with those 75 pounds?  Hey - that's Tyra Banks, fool!"


One of the shows being shot during this week's Oprah Behind the Scenes was a "legendary lady rock star" episode (Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett).  In an introduction, Oprah was to say that these are the "greatest" women rockers ever, or some such description.  It was a line that she did not like, specifically because Tina Turner was not there, and she did not want to say that there was a group of the greatest women rockers that didn't include Tina Turner.  Oprah went into the control room during the taping and said something approximating, "look, you get to go back to the suburbs, or wherever it is you all live, but I'll be at a cocktail party with a shrimp in my hand having to explain why I left Tina Turner off the list."

It could have been a joke, but its kidding on the square.  Oprah's saying "I got rich people problems that you all do not have."

Which was tremendous, particularly in the context of what has been a lurking story all season long that really reached a head in this episode - the only person not sorry to see the Oprah show end is Oprah.  There was a great commercial the week of her final episodes showing clips of the canonical "last episodes" in TV history (Mary Tyler Moore, Cheers, Carson) and you could not help, when watching her final shows, of considering the emotion even in those old clips and contrasting how bloodless the final Oprah episodes were.  The final episode of Boy Meets World would choke you up more than the last episode of Oprah's show.  What will happen to Topanga?  Will she be okay?  Will she get her own show on the Style network?



Hell, the last episode of the Dish was more emotional than the last episode of Oprah.

The reason for that is clear in watching Oprah Behind the Scenes - Oprah is absolutely done with that show; she is counting down the minutes like a high school senior.  Her final episode, in which she spoke to camera for the hour, was a valedictory address.  She's dumped her boyfriend, told off her calculus teacher, and is headed to Dartmouth to double major in Rhetoric and Renaissance Studies.

                        You can stay here in the suburbs.  I've got to seize my day.


I thought about this episode of Oprah when later that same night, LeBron James said this:

All the people that were rooting for me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before. ... I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live. ...
"They can get a few days or a few months ... on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point."  

Hope you enjoy feeling good about my 8 point Game 4.  Have a good day in the suburbs.

I liked all of that - Oprah told the truth; LeBron told the truth - hell, let's go 3 for 3:



And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Which might be the most true thing Obama's said.

If Oprah proclaims three white women as the greatest female rock stars ever, she will have to answer why that is.  The real answer "I've heard one Joan Jett song in my life; I'm just reading a script and running out the clock until I can go take a bath in thousand dollar bills" isn't one well understood by her staff, whose entire lives, by necessity, are the Oprah Winfrey Show.

The United States government, in the same decade that saw it preside over the greatest upward transfer of wealth from working and middle class people to millionaires and billionaires in the history of western civilization, spent upwards of 70 million dollars to convict Barry Bonds of using prescription drugs without a prescription (I'm sorry, that's not charitable; he was convicted of giving a poorly constructed answer to a question regarding his use of prescription drugs without a prescription).  The Congressional steroid hearings were widely supported by the general public, and my guess is were you to ask something like "what is more immoral - our two decade long middle eastern wars that drove up the federal deficit that we decided to care about once the Republicans were out of office and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians or professional athletes who use drugs to aid their performance" the result would be to hit the athletes.  I'm guessing if you were to ask, "what gets you angrier, this proposal":


"Or...professional basketball players who leave their hometowns to take their talents to South Beach" the answer would similarly condemn LeBron.

There's an element of class consciousness in all of that - Oprah, LeBron, Obama, there's an element of "there are people with small lives" to their thoughts - and we, who have the small lives (Tony Kornheiser calls us "the littles") feel that instinctively, feel a sense that we are being put down based on financial status - and we respond to perceived rhetorical slights.

Where we don't respond are to actual slights.  Like the last 30 years of right wing economics.  Or the last 10 years of Bush tax cuts.  Or to the current economic proposals on the floor by the Republican candidates for President.  Cut taxes for millionaires.  Raise taxes for working class.  Perhaps that's because we don't understand what's happened to us; we buy into the right wing class warfare line that our real enemies are those of social classes lower than us and our own personal failings.  Perhaps that's because the evil of right wing economics, the evil of handing over our country to large corporate shareholders is just so immense that we turn to something that makes more sense - we cling to our hatred of LeBron James in difficult times.

Who hates LeBron the most are Ohioans - as reflected this week in this executive pronouncement:

   Ohio’s Legislative Dick Move: Mavs Honored For Taking Down LeBron


That's the Governor of Ohio saying - you know what real Ohioans do?  They stay with their employer no matter what.  Loyalty!  That's what James lacked.  He was drafted by the Cavaliers; therefore it is, according to the state of Ohio - officially disloyal to ever leave.  It's John Kasich, rabidly "free market" right wing governor of Ohio saying that LeBron James shouldn't have freely chosen to move from one employer to another.  That choice was an immoral choice.  Now, had the team, presumably, chosen to trade him to Miami - that would be fine.  The appropriate place to put power is in the hands of corporations.  Not people. 

Here's what else is going on in Ohio.

Under that same Governor's recently passed budget, half of the funding for local governments would get cut.

That's probably going to result in some job loss, right?  About 51,000 Ohioans would lose their jobs.

School districts and local governments will, of course, do everything possible to avoid laying people off. But they’ve already made the easy cuts and pared their budgets dramatically. So when the Governor proposes to cut school funding by $3 billion and local government funding by 50%, firing workers or raising local taxes are the only realistic choices they have left. By stubbornly insisting that an $8 billion deficit must be closed through cuts and one-time money alone, Gov. Kasich is intentionally pursuing a policy that will cost tens of thousands of Ohioans their jobs.

Now - can they move to Miami?  Or would that also make them disloyal?

Education's cut 11% under that budget; state universities in Ohio get cut 13%.  Do these cuts model the "loyalty, integrity, and teamwork" model that the Governor so admires in the Dallas Mavericks?  How about cutting the state's consumer protection agency in half? Is that a decision to benefit the "proud city of Cleveland?"  Meanwhile, the estate tax goes away in Ohio in 2013, which would have been great for James had he kept an Akron mansion - but won't do a thing for over 90% of Ohioans who don't have enough wealth to pay taxes on their estates upon their deaths anyway.

Further, there's a tax cut in 2011 for all Ohioans - if you make less than 40 grand a year, you'll save anywhere between 0 dollars and 27 dollars in 2011.  If you make between 40 and 80 thousand dollars, you'll save 80 bucks.  And if you make over 200 grand a year, you'll save a thousand dollars.

Hey, you people in the suburbs can really use that 80 bucks.  That's a couple of good trips to the Chili's.  Get some of those Southwestern Eggrolls.  Maybe a BigMouth Burger or two.  Am I right?

The Governor's budget got passed last week.  The Governor responded to critics who asked why it disproportionately seemed to target the middle and working classes while benefiting the wealthy.  He was very specific.

"What we've been doing is driving successful people out of Ohio, which has put Ohio in a ditch," Kasich said. "I don't know why we would want to punish success in Ohio."   


Read it again.

Apparently, all LeBron would have had to have done is say "To avoid the punitive Ohio estate tax, which unfairly targets the most successful of us, I'm taking my talents to South Beach.  Now, if instead, you were to fire some schoolteachers and let me keep more of my money, I'd reconsider" then that would have earned him his own commendation from the Governor's office.

Don't ever leave Ohio, says the right wing Governor.

Unless it's to avoid paying taxes on your estate.  Then - we understand.

I'd cling to my LeBron hate too, Ohio.  Otherwise, you have to face the reality of life in America in 2011.

2. One In Four
Here's a reality of life in America in 2011.  One in Four state representatives don't have college degrees.

Which explains a lot.

3. On Our Knees



The Governor of Texas is hosting a day of Christian prayer and fasting, designed to guide the United States through its "unprecedented struggles."

"There is hope for America," the site explains. "It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees."


The goal of the rally according to a spokesman is conversion.

A lot of people want to criticize what we’re doing, as if we’re somehow being exclusive of other faiths. But anyone who comes to this solemn assembly regardless of their faith tradition or background, will feel the love, grace, and warmth of Jesus Christ in that assembly hall, in that arena. And that’s what we want to convey, that there’s acceptance and that there’s love and that there’s hope if people will seek out the living Christ.


I live in West Palm Beach, where a prolonged drought has left the city with less than 2 weeks of drinking water left.  Presumably, I should spend less time working my now 3 jobs it takes to pay my monthly bills and more time praying to the living Christ.

Oh yeah, the Texas governor already suggested that.

Apparently, there are many in Texas who dislike their Governor, perhaps because, you know, that his public policy solutions come out of the Middle Ages.  His response.

                                 a prophet is generally not loved in their hometown


Now, if I asked, who said "a prophet is generally not loved in their hometown", LeBron James or the Governor of Texas, which would you have picked?

And shouldn't we get at least as angry at a Governor who says that as we'd get at a basketball player?

Because if LeBron said that - it would be six months before Skip Bayless stopped talking about it.


4. Why Does God Hate Us?
If its the Christian God to whom we need to turn to...what....lower the Ohio estate tax....or make it rain; it stands to figure that He's been awfully mad at us this year.

There's been a heat wave that's broken nearly 3,000 all time records and killed 8 people already this year.

And clearly the living Christ hates Joplin, Missouri:

Looking eastward at the tornado's path.

More than 500 people dead this year because of tornadoes.  Deadliest year in the US in over half a century.

Fortunately, Glenn Beck is around to tell us who God is mad at.  It's Obama.

And - liberals like me, and perhaps, you too.

5. The One Article to Read This Week:
The 10 Scariest States to be an Atheist.

6. Hey, Has David Vitter Quit Yet?


Anthony Weiner didn't survive the week.

In an unrelated story, family values conservative David Vitter remains a US Senator.

Here's Greenwald, correctly contextualizing the Weiner story.

7. Remember When Willie Horton Was an Offensive Campaign Ad?
Here's what the right wing is doing to a California Congresswoman.

8. Did the Bush White House Try to Smear Juan Cole
The story is here.

9. Why I Won't Watch Sarah Michelle Gellar's New Show


I like Sarah Michelle Gellar; I won't watch her show that starts this fall, I think on the CW.

It's because she's playing two different characters.  And that's a dealbreaker for me.

My Lady Type Friend (who now, at her request, will be referred to as my Ladygal) and I have been together more than 3 years, but it wasn't until this week that we realized we had a mutual dislike for films or television shows where actors play multiple roles.  It takes us instantly out of the world, reminding us that this is an actor displaying versatility.  This disinterests me.  Outside of Adaptation, I don't think there's an occasion where I didn't find myself thinking about the performance (even if it was a good one, like Kevin Kline in Dave) as it's happening, which really limits engagement in that performance.  Hard to be immersed if you are standing outside of the pool.

As I was having this conversation with my Ladygal, I stood outside of it, as I wondered (1) how many other people dislike it when actors play multiple parts and (2) how many other things we believed this strongly that we had never discussed, even after 3 years and (3) what it says that I was having these thoughts about the conversation as I was having the conversation - and if it was similar to thinking about an acting performance while watching the performance - and if that meant I was not as engaged, not as present for this conversation as I should be - and to what degree I should express these thoughts to my Ladygal as they were happening, and if the expression of those thoughts would be more harmful (as now I'm hijacking the conversation, making it about what's going on in my head as opposed to the content of the conversation, something of which I've occasionally been accurately accused of doing) than keeping them inside and essentially having a conversation with myself while I was having it with her (4) and to what extent I'm always doing that, to what extent every single interaction I have with everyone is really subordinate to my internal monologue I'm having about that interaction as its occurring - and, increasingly, over the past five years as I've been regularly blogging and mining my real life for material (5) said monologue includes thoughts about how that interaction and my accompanying monologue might be reformatted into this space; and if thinking about that reformatting as the original conversation is taking place changes the substance of that original conversation - in the same way that Oprah, in her own control room, will speak differently to her producers because of the presence of the documentary cameras, not even intentionally, necessarily - but the act of observing something can change it, and to some degree my observation of myself, much like my observation of two Sarah Michelle Gellars, alters the experience even as its happening and (6) at what point I'll no longer be able to hold six simultaneous thoughts before I'm completely incapable of relating in any way to other people and (7) that, obviously, that happened 30 years ago, this is what it means to live entirely inside my own head which is why I've spent most of my life estranged from other people (8) except for now, that I have a Ladygal who also dislikes when actors play multiple roles, and she doesn't seem to mind that I have 8 thoughts in my head as we have a conversation and (9) perhaps that also means that she also does, that she's carrying on her own 9 dimensional discussion with herself and does that mean that I am insufficiently interesting to capture her attention, if perhaps my fragmented performance in our relationship is not unlike an actor playing too many roles, that it causes her to grow disinterested and want to turn the channel to instead perhaps watch the new Zooey Deschanel show instead (10) and that's the best reference that I'll end this piece with when I turn it into a blog Sunday.

And that's why I won't watch Sarah Michelle Gellar's new show.

10. Monday - Keith.


Don't forget, Keith's back Monday.

That's all for this time.  A rousing Tendown 81.  I'll be back next time, if there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim
Yeah I was on Oprah in My Photos by Lil Penny Hardaway

All Time Chicago Bears 53 Man Roster

Friday, June 17, 2011

Part of a series.  Previous post is here. Updated through the 2016 season.




QB Sid Luckman
      QB Jay Cutler
      QB Jim McMahon
RB Walter Payton
RB Bronko Nagurski
      RB Red Grange
      RB Matt Forte
      RB Gale Sayers
WR Harlon Hill
WR Johnny Morris
      WR Devin Hester
      WR Alshon Jeffery
      WR Bill Hewitt
TE Mike Ditka
      TE Emery Moorehead
C Jay Hilgenberg
G Mark Bortz
G Stan Jones
T Keith Van Horne
T George Connor
   OL George Musso
   OL Joe Stydahar
   OL Ollie Kreutz  
   OL Bulldog Turner

DE Doug Atkins
DT Steve McMichael
DE Richard Dent
    DL Dan Hampton
    DL Fred Williams
    DL Mike Hartenstine
    DL Jim Osborne
    DL Alex Brown
    DL Julius Peppers
OLB Lance Briggs 
ILB Mike Singletary
ILB Brian Urlacher
OLB Joe Fortunato
   LB Dick Butkus
   LB Bill George
   LB Doug Buffone
   LB Otis Wilson
   LB Larry Morris
CB Charles Tillman 
S Richie Petitbon
S Gary Fencik
CB Bennie McRae
    DB Rosey Taylor
    DB Dave Duerson
    DB Mike Brown
    DB Mark Carrier
    DB Doug Plank
PK Robbie Gould
P Bobby Joe Green

QB - Fundamentally, my view is we overrate players from all previous generations, viewing them through a nostalgic prism; if I have to err, I do so on the side of today.  This is particularly so when we start seeing leather helmets.  Luckman still starts.

OL - Roberto Garza is knocking on the door.  

DL - How about Dan Hampton being a rotation guy in the all time Bear defensive line?  That's a good line.  

LB -   4 HOF middle linebackers.

K Gould makes the team after 2012.

The 100 Greatest Players in NBA History

Tuesday, June 14, 2011



As composed by taking each player's combined Win Shares from the NBA regular season and playoffs.  To my knowledge, this is a list of first impression.

There are methodological weaknesses.

1. I prefer to combine multiple forms of career aggregation, such as in my baseball lists.  Here, although I'm using both regular season and playoffs, the only number used is Win Shares.  If the other computations of total value become available to the extent of Win Shares, I'll reconsider this ranking.
2. Pre-82 game seasons are not adjusted.  Pre playoff round/game expansion totals are not adjusted.  If you played fewer games, you get less credit.
3. This penalizes older players and players on bad teams.

This bothers me less than it might; Shaq retired the week I'm composing this, and when ranking all time centers, Michael Wilbon on PTI placed Shaq below George Mikan.  I believe this is true in all sports; our fetishizing of the past is largely a fiction that allows us to make lists like this.  One can say Jesse Owens is the greatest sprinter of all time, but there's a clock that is evidence to the contrary.  We undergo some mental gymastics to argue that smaller, slower, weaker athletes of the past are really superior to today's athletes.

I do it too - Babe Ruth's number one on my baseball list - but if Babe Ruth, who didn't face a flurry of relief specialists, didn't face a fraction of the best athletes in the world, who played an athletically embryonic version of today's baseball - were dropped into the middle of the Yankee lineup today, he'd hit .225, punch out some kid taking cell phone video of him coming out of a strip club, and wonder why all the black players got to stay in the team hotel.

LeBron James outweighs Bill Russell by 30 pounds; you put them both on the floor and there's not a person in the world who says Russell's a better basketball player.  It's fiction.  It's useful fiction, because it allows for listmaking, but it's fiction.

I try to accommodate what I think is that clear truth in my methodological consequences; its a list largely skewing modern, largely skewing toward winning players (and it doesn't include ABA stats, which is also a big hit for a few players who you'd subjectively rank higher.)

It's also just career, cumulative value, without some type of leavening for peak.  Play more=worth more.  Throughout the list, I keep a running all time roster that reflects peak; its more of a subjective, "well, if you consider all time value plus peak value, I am deciding this is who is better" calculation being made there.

Let's start like this.

101. Isiah Thomas  G  Detroit 1981-94 93.2 Best Season: '84-5 (12.4 WS combined, reg+play)
Zeke is in a clump with a dozen guys who might be 101; I put him here just to point out that Isiah Thomas isn't  on my list of the hundred greatest players in NBA history.  Think of his career, 979 regular season games, 111 playoff games, a total of 93.2 win shares as the bar that must be cleared to enter the list.   Zeke had two years where his combined regular season and playoff total Win Shares passed 10.  Throughout the list I'll be comparing players to Isiah in terms of games played - so, if they have as much value as Zeke in fewer games played, its indicative that they were better players.  The longer it took to accumulate value, the less value they were able to accumulate in any particular year, and maybe you want to think of that player in a diminished way.


Now let's do this - here are active players not on the list, but they can see it from their homes.  Some, who are closer, have perhaps less value left - some, who are further away, have a little more.(I'm editing in the 2011-12 results now)


Andre Miller 92.4
Antawn Jamison86.5
Jason Terry 96.6 - so this ties him with Cousy for overall value at 90th; Terry's at the Isiah number of 1100 games played, so you should think of him in that group
Marcus Camby87
Manu Ginobli 101.55 - in 300 fewer games than Isiah; for overall value he's between Barry and Rodman.  7 seasons with 10+ WS.  
Amare Stoudemire87.4
Dwight Howard 95.8 - he goes just ahead of Cowens for overall value at only 680 games played, that's gonna stick him well up the subjective list, I'll edit that in below)
Chris Paul94-almost 600 fewer games than Isiah.  5 seasons with 10+ WS; I'll edit him into the subjective rosters below)
Lamar Odom83.1
Tony Parker89.7

If there's a full NBA season in 2011-12 and if Manu Ginobli (who is now past Thomas, and should be thought as such with essentially the same career value in 300 fewer games; if he never plays another game, you should absolutely think of Manu Ginobli as having been a better basketball player than Isiah Thomas.) duplicates his 2010-11, he not only cracks the top 100, he cracks the top 75, that's how closely grouped guys are at this end of the list.  We'd have to knock off the current bottom 20 guys on the list to get there - but having every player with a combined 100 Win Shares would fulfill my sense of purpose for this project.

Here's the list, the most representative teams are the ones listed, not each team.


100. George Gervin       G/F 1976-86  San Antonio 93.9, Best season '78-9 (13.7)
If you add in his ABA totals Gervin's in the top 50; you cant straight add them, the quality of competition isn't the same; once we go down that road it opens up Europe - hell, it opens up college, if a 4 year college player who didn't hit the NBA until he was 23 is competing for career value with Kobe Bryant.  NBA totals only. Gervin had 7 NBA seasons with WS of 10+ if you want to jigger the formula to take into account peak; we'll see how far we have to go through the list to get someone with more than 7 seasons over 10 WS.  Gervin's got 200+ fewer NBA games than Isiah and the same amount of career value.  Subjectively - if you said "George Gervin is the 50th best basketball player who ever lived" I wouldn't disagree, but that's the highest you could put him.


98. Anthony Mason    F  1989-03    New York/Charlotte 95 Best season: '95-6 (12)
Mase was 10 years of solid; the heart of his career was a decade averaging just shy of a double/double every year.  He had 4 seasons over 10 WS, he deserves his spot.            

97. Bob McAdoo   F  1972-86    Buffalo/Los Angeles Lakers   95.4 Best season: '74-5 (18.9)
Buffalo, of course, is now the Clips; I'm unlikely to do a "best players in Clips franchise history" thing anytime soon, but McAdoo would be on the list.  His '74-5 might have been the best season they ever had, and it's the best season on the list so far.  He had 4 seasons over 10WS; he was done as an elite player at the age of 26.  

96. Dale Davis     F     1991-07   Indiana/Portland  95.7  Best season '99-00 (9.4)
Now, Davis wouldn't make a subjective top 100; not any years over 10 Win Shares; unlike Mason his value is really focused on consistent accumulation.  Steady is good, but without even one year as good as Mason's 4 best years, I'll take Mase.   

95. Dave Cowens     C   1970-83   Boston  95.7  Best season '75-6 (13.4)
Cowens is similar to Ice; two hundred fewer games than Isiah; a half dozen 10+ WS seasons; if you're drafting, you bump him up.  If you see Cowens ranked say in the 60s on a subjective list, I'd understand that.      

94. Dennis Johnson  G  1977-90  Seattle/Phoenix/Boston 95.8 Best season '80-1 (9.3)
I know important Boston-centered 1980s protective hoops opinion makers would like you to believe otherwise, but DJ is the equivalent of Dale Davis; Johnson played 150 more games than Isiah; he never had a 10+ WS season; he was a career full of steady.  That's good; you should think of him as good, but he shouldnt be in your subjective top hundred; he wouldn't get my HOF vote.  I liked him too.  

93. James Worthy    F   1982-94  LA Lakers  96 Best season '85-6 (12.2)
DWade's turning 30; that's when Worthy fell off the cliff; he was a consistent all star, 10WS type player every year - right up until he wasn't; the first bad year of his career was his age 30 season, and his age 32 year was the end of his career.  Worthy had 5 10+WS years, really taking advantage of 3 strong playoff performances in the mid 80s to push him over the top. Maybe you'd tick up Worthy a notch higher subjectively, but I wouldn't put him any higher than the very back of the top 75, in fact, he'd probably be just outside.      

92. Joe Dumars       G   1985-99  Detroit  96.3 Best season '90-1 (11.7)
So, was Dumars better than Isiah?  Not really, no - Dumars had fifty more games to accumulate essentially the same value; two 10+ seasons like Zeke, his best season approximates Isiah's.  You'd like them both right about here, at the bottom of the 100 best players list; if you wanted to put Isiah on and kick Dumars off, or put them both on ahead of DJ, that makes sense to me.

91. Dwayne Wade G 2003- Miami 106.7 Best season '05-06 (19.2)
Wade turns 30 next year, after his 30th birthday, Gervin, just for reference, had 30 WS left, and that's how many it will take for DWade to crack the top 50. That's the new best season on the list; Wade now has 5 10+ WS seasons. 400 fewer games than Isiah through 2010-11. Updated through 2011-12, Wade goes all the way past Iverson for career value with 330 games fewer than Thomas.

90. Bob Cousy        G  1950-70   Boston 96.6 Best season '56-7 (10)
Cousy's got 50 fewer games than Isiah to have the same career; in a list with he and Dumars and Zeke and Cassell, you'd probably put Cousy first, but you should think of them all together

89. Chris Mullin     F   1985-01   GSW  96.9  Best season '90-1 (13)
Mullin's my guy; not many Warriors on this list, and he's the only one from my NBA watching lifetime, as I really caught the very tail end of Rick Barry.  Mullin had four big years, right in the middle of his 20s, 4 10+WS years without the help of any playoff boost at all.  Worthy is a good comparison; wherever you want to slot Worthy, put Mullin right next to him; I think it's fair for a Warriors fan to put him the space ahead, and right about here is reasonable.  If you were to say that subjectively Mullin's the 75th and Worthy the 76th best player of all time (or flip it) I think that makes sense.  

88. PJ Brown        F  1993-08      NJ/Miami/Charlotte  97.1 Best season '02-03 (10.8)
Not as good as Anthony Mason, you'd rank PJ subjectively right next to Dale Davis, probably somewhere just outside the top 100.  

87. Alonzo Mourning C  1992-08   Miami  97.2  Best season '99-00 (14.6)
Zo or Cowens?  Approximately the same number of games, approximately the same value - Zo only has two 10+WS seasons, and that's where Cowens gets him, his best was better than Zo's best.  This is a good slotting for Mourning.  

86. Terry Cummings F  1982-00   Milwaukee/San Antonio 98.1  Best season '84-5 (11.9)
2 10+ seasons with a ton of games played; he and PJ Brown had very similar aggregate careers.

85. Hersey Hawkins G  1988-01   Philadelphia/Seattle 98.2 Best season '96-7 (12.4)
Who was better, Hawkins or Mitch Richmond?

As a GSW fan, I would instantly say Mitch, and during their careers, I thought of it in those terms. 

Let's go to the tape.

88-9 - Their rookie year goes to Mitch. 6 to 3.7
89-90  Year 2 was Hawkins, 8.9 to 5.2                 
90-1  Year 3 was Hawkins, 11.2 to 7.5
91-2  Year 4 was Hawkins, 7.8 to 4.9; Mitch was now in Sacramento
92-3  Year 5 was Hawkins, 8.5 to 3.1
93-4  Year 6 was a flat tie; each was 6.4, Hersey was now a Hornet.

I'll stop now, but you see the point.  Hawkins was better, and solidly underrated - 4 10+WS seasons in a the same number of games as Isiah; this is right - Hawkins is one of the 100 best basketball players who ever lived, and he should be thought of right about here.  

84. Sidney Moncrief G  1979-91  Milwaukee 98.2 Best season '82-3 (14.1)
Two hundred fewer games than Zeke; Moncrief was absolutely better - absolutely.  6 10+ WS seasons; he's right there with Gervin.  If you're drafting from this bottom 20, you take Wade, then Gervin, then Moncrief, and then the guy coming next - the guy coming next you take before Cowens.  True fact.  

83. Elton Brand       F    1999-        LAClippers/Philly  98.6 Best season '05-06 (17.2)
Elton Brand was more Frank Thomas than anything else; just blasting out big years in relative anonymity; 4 10+ WS seasons; he's got 300 fewer games than Isiah, as he's a victim of adding playoff performance to the calculation.  As far up the list as you want to subjectively push Cowens - he wasn't better than Elton Brand.

Here's where we are when thinking subjectively.

C CowensEdit - after 2011-12, it's now Howard, he had the same overall value as Cowens in a couple hundred fewer games.  Howard was solidly better.  
F Brand
F Gervin
G Wade
G Moncrief(CP3 is better than Moncrief)

Sure, there's no real point guard on that team; Wade's gonna be the ball handler.  That's the five you'd pick if you were choosing sides from the list so far.  

82. Shawn Kemp F  '89-03  Seattle/Cleveland  99  Best season '95-6 (14.2)
Aw, yeah - the Rainman.  5 straight years with 10+ WS.  Kemp is on the heavy side, pun intended, of games played, but with the heavy peak - you'd subjectively toss him ahead of Davis/Brown, and just ahead of Mason - but behind Elton Brand.  Kemp's one of the top 100 of all time.  

81. Lenny Wilkens G '60--75 St Louis/Seattle 99.8 Best season '67-8 (10.6)
About fifty games played north of Thomas; you'd think of him in that group with Dumars and Cassell; this is his only 10+ year.  

80. Mark Jackson  G  '87-04   NY/Indiana   100.1  Best season '92-3 (8.4)
Jackson's on the extreme end of compiling numbers; he never had a season particularly close to a great season; it is a long career, 400 games north of Isiah, and you just would not put him on a subjective list.

79. Tracy McGrady F '97-      Toronto/Orlando/Houston 100.2  Best season '02-03 (17.3)
In '02-03 the best offensive player in the NBA was TMac; his isn't a story of wasted potential; he was a great player from the ages of 21-27 and by the time he turned 29 he was done.  He's no cautionary tale of the pampered modern athlete; he had 4 10+ seasons; he's halfway in games played between Isiah and Elton Brand; he's one of the hundred best basketball players who ever lived, think of him right alongside Mullin and Worthy.  

78. Charles Oakley F '85-04   New York  100.9  Best season '93-4 (13.6)
Like Mark Jackson; here because of longevity, but he had the one standout year that Jackson didn't have - a year better than any for Cummings or Mason.  He might be subjectively the 100th best player who ever lived, you could say his top end season gives him the advantage over Mason, if one were in and one were out.    

77. Grant Hill           F '94-       Detroit/Orlando/Phoenix       102.7 Best season '96-7 (14.8)
4 10+ seasons; he ranks right there with TMac and Worthy and Mullin in a small forward clump.  

76. Dennis Rodman F  '86-00   Detroit/Chicago      101.5  Best season '91-2 (13.1)
Only 2 10+ seasons, but he didn't compile either, he played almost an exact number of games as Isiah; he's in the top 100 players of all time; subjectively, he's not better than Elton Brand - when you're thinking about power forwards on this all time list so far, it's fair to slide him ahead of Kemp/Mason, but he's after Brand.  

75. Rick Barry F   '65-80         Golden St.          101.7  Best season '66-7 (16)
Recall back when we met Gervin I asked how long it would be on the list before someone topped his 7 seasons of 10+ Win Shares?  It still hasn't happened, but Barry is the first to match him; they were the same player, almost exactly the same number of games - with the ABA stint depressing their overall rank on this list.  If you added Barry's ABA totals - he'd be in the top 30.  That's probably too high; I said Gervin was probably like the 50th best basketball player who ever lived - Barry's probably the 40th.  I'm gonna say that if you're picking a squad, you still pick DWade first of the guys so far, but Barry's second and complaining about it.    

74. Paul Arizin   F/G   '50-62    Philadelphia Warriors   102  Best season '51-2 (16.5)
Arizin is Wade, at least so far - he's got 350 fewer games than Isiah. the only guy on the list so far with fewer is Wade, and 5 seasons of 10+, just like Wade.  If Gervin/Moncrief are, say 50th/51st best basetball players who ever lived and Barry is 40th, then Wade/Arizin are 30/31.  Take those 5 guys, then Brand/Cowens, say at 60/61, then that Mullin/Worthy/Hill/TMac group from 75-80.  

73. Kevin Johnson G  '87-00   Phoenix 102.2     Best season '88-9 (14.2)
KJ was absolutely a better basketball player than Isiah; more value in 240 fewer games.  A better best season, and more 10+ seasons (5).  Put him in that Brand/Cowens group, say before both of them - maybe halfway between Moncrief and Brand.  He's the best PG we've met so far.  

72. Jerry Lucas F  '63-74    Cincinnati/New York  103.3 Best season '71-2 (13.6)
5 10+ seasons in a couple hundred fewer games than Isiah; he and KJ should be ranked next to each other; if KJ is the 55th best basketball player who ever lived, Lucas is 56th.  

71. Vlade Divac C  '89-05   Los Angeles/Sacramento  105 Best Season '94-5 (10.2)
2 10+ WS seasons; ton of games played - he's the top so far of the Terry Cummings/PJ Brown group.


So - 30 players in:

C Cowens (Howard)
PF Lucas, Brand
SF Barry, Gervin
PG Johnson(CP3 over KJ)
SG Wade, Arizin, Moncrief(Ginobli over both Arizin and Moncrief)

If you were picking 3 more to get to 12; you'd take any from Mullin/Worthy/TMac/Hill.  That would probably be my order for them, but they could be slotted any way you like.

70. Allen Iverson G  '96-10       Philadelphia  106.3  Best season  00-01 (14.5)
Ninety fewer games than Zeke, but that means 150 more than KJ; 4 10+ WS seasons, which is one fewer, although his best year was just a tick better than KJ's.  KJ was better than AI, not by a lot, but he was a better basketball player.

69. Alex English F   '76-91        Denver     107.2  Best season '84-5 (11.3)
3 10+ WS seasons.  English played a lot of games; hundred fifty more than Zeke; in that list of small forwards, my inclination is to rank him behind all 4 in that Mullin group.  

68. Sam Jones G/F  '57-69        Boston    107.5  Best season '64-5 (14.8)
5 straight 10+ WS seasons; he's got 50 fewer games than Isiah, but that puts him with way more games than the rest of those shooting guard types; my inclination is to put him behind Moncrief.

67. Ben Wallace F/C  '96-         Detroit   107.5   Best season '03-04 (13.8)
5 straight 10+ WS seasons; he's got 50 more games than Isiah.  Not as good as Lucas (but better than Rodman, absolutely); I'd still take Elton Brand - but if Iverson is now the backup PG on the all time team from the list; Wallace is the backup center to Cowens.  Make Mullin the third small forward, and a third of the way through the list - here's who you pick if you're picking sides.

C Cowens, Wallace(Howard)
PF Lucas, Brand
SF Barry, Gervin, Mullin
PG Johnson, Iverson(Still CP3)
SG Wade, Arizin, Moncrief(Still Ginobli)

66. Eddie Jones G    '94-08   LA Lakers/Miami   107.9  Best season '97-98 (11.8)
40 fewer games and more value - Eddie Jones was a better basketball player than Isiah Thomas.  5 10+ WS seasons; just like all those other 2 guards; Eddie Jones and Sam Jones had just about identical careers when you add it all up.  

65. Vince Carter G  '98-11   Toronto/NJersey  108.9   Best season 00-01 (14.9)
100 games less than Zeke; 4 10+ WS seasons.  Toss him in the group with Jones/Jones in whichever order you prefer.


64. AC Green F      '85-01     LA Lakers/Phoenix 109.3  Best season '88-89 (10.4)
2 10+ seasons, some 350 more games played than Isiah; he approximates Vlade.  

63. Hal Greer G/F   '58-73   Syracuse/Philadelphia    109.9  Best season '67-8 (12.9)
150 more games than Zeke, that's his only season over 10 WS; his best comparison here is Lenny Wilkens.  

62. Artis Gilmore '76-88      Chicago/San Antonio    110.1  Best season '78-9 (12.7)
Guess how many seasons of 10+ WS.  Guess.  7.  And you knew that because he's the third ABA guy, and, through curious coincidence, Gervin, Barry, and now Gilmore each had the same number of elite NBA seasons, in addition to all the ABA value that didn't count.  How much value for Gilmore that doesn't count?  He'd be in the top 10 if you added in the ABA.  Now, he'd have hundreds more games than Isiah then, and without counting the ABA, he's about 130 fewer.  He's now the best big, going by Lucas/Brand/Cowens - and I'm going to say he's the best player, now - gun to my head, I'd pick Wade - but if Wade never plays another game, my subjective ranking would have Gilmore ahead.  Gilmore's the best player currently on the board.  In three years, I assume I'll have a different Wade/Gilmore view.  

61. Pau Gasol  F/C   '01-11   Memphis/LA Lakers   110.7  Best season '10-11 (15.6)
250 games fewer than Isiah; 5 10+ WS seasons, including the last 3, which, as you note, culminate in his just completed best season ever.  Gasol just finished his age 30 year, so it's fair to look for his decline to start - but he's the second best big on the list so far, sliding in just ahead of Lucas.

40 down.  60 left.  And here's our current roster.
C Gilmore/Cowens(Howard's got 300 fewer games than Gilmore and 20 fewer wins...I'll slot him just below Gilmore for one more season)
F Gasol/Lucas/Brand
F Barry/Gervin
G Johnson/Iverson(Still CP3)
G Wade/Arizin/Moncrief(Ginobli)

60. Otis Thorpe F  '84-01       Houston   111.9  Best season '93-4 (12.2)
2 10+ seasons, a couple hundred games more than Zeke; Thorpe's at the top of the AC Green/Vlade/Terry Cummings list.  

59. Sam Perkins F/C   '84-01   Dallas/Seattle   115.9  Best season '90-1 (10.3)
Basically the same career as Thorpe; lot of games to accumulate a lot of value.  You'd rank him just a little ahead. 

58. Detlef Schrempf F  '85-01  Dallas/Indiana/Seattle 116.2 Best season '94-5 (13.2)
Now residing, curiously, in Pawnee.  4 10+ WS seasons; he'd rank just ahead of Alex English somewhere in that Mullin group - he might be first in that group; if you said Detlef's total value advantage over Mullin/Worthy is enough to put him first in that group I wouldn't disagree.  


57. Bill Laimbeer C   '80-94    Detroit    116.3  Best season  '89-90 (12.7)
Hundred games more than Zeke; a half dozen 10+ WS seasons.  Cowens is his best comp; you'd rank Laimbeer just ahead of Cowens - I think also ahead of Lucas/Brand.  That's my inclination, to say it's Gilmore/Gasol/Laimbeer in the list of bigs.  It's not by an enormous margin - but I would say Laimbeer is the best player from those Pistons teams; you can rank Rodman/Zeke/Dumars any way you like - but I'd say those teams were Laimbeer's.  

56. Maurice Cheeks G  '78-93   Philadelphia   116.6  Best season '85-6 (12.1)
5 10+ WS seasons in about a hundred fifty more games than Zeke.  Just below the KJ/AI PG team currently on the all-time roster.  

55. Larry Nance F   '81-94       Phoenix/Cleveland 116.7  Best season '91-2 (14.2)
A hundred fewer games than Isiah; a half dozen 10+ WS seasons; Nance was a great player almost up until retirement; I'll tell you what - it's Gasol who is the best comp on the list so far; Larry Nance was a better basketball player than Jerry Lucas - a better player than James Worthy and Chris Mullin.  On the all time roster, Laimbeer knocks off Cowens and Nance slides past Lucas and knocks off Elton Brand.

54. Shawn Marion F  '99-        Phoenix   118.7  Best season '06-6 (17.3) 
A hundred fewer games than Isiah; 5 10+ seasons; I'll tell you what - you gotta say Shawn Marion was better than Moncrief, and is maybe better than Gervin.  

53. Elgin Baylor F   '58-72     Los Angeles Lakers  119.6  Best season '60-1 (17.2)
A hundred fewer games than Isiah; 5 10+ seasons.  He's right there, just about exactly with Marion and Nance; Baylor's gonna knock Gervin off the list and become Rick Barry's backup at the 3.  

52. Rasheed Wallace F/C '95-10  Portland/Detroit   119.7 Best season '99-00 (11.5)
150 more games than Isiah; 3 10+ seasons; better than Thorpe and Perkins, not as good as Wallace, Ben.

51. Jack Sikma C  '77-91           Seattle/Milwaukee  120.4  Best season '81-2 (13.9) 
The second 50 ends with the best NBA player of all time I ever met in a men's room. 130 games more than Zeke; 3 10+ seasons; he should be ranked right with Sheed.

So, halfway home.  Those are the 2nd 50 careers in NBA history in terms of career value.

If you're trying to also think about peak - if you're saying "now, who was the best of those players" - here's who you take out of this 50.



C Gilmore, Laimbeer(Howard over Laimbeer)
PF Gasol, Nance, Lucas
SF Barry, Baylor, Marion
PG Johnson, Iverson(Halfway through the top 100, Wade, Gasol and Paul are all in the starting 5 all time)
SG Wade, Arizin(Ginobli)





50. Dominique Wilkins F '82-99       Atlanta  121.1  Best season '86-7 (12.9)
50 more games than Zeke; 7 seasons of 10+ WS.  I think you wedge Nique between Barry and Baylor, and if you rank him ahead of Barry I don't disagree necessarily; Nique's number of additional games played beyond Barry outweighs his value advantage I think, but I'd accept the contrary position.  That's gonna knock Marion off the team, as he can't take Arizin's spot.  

50. George Mikan C '48-56   Minneapolis  121.9  Best season '50-1 (25.1)
600 fewer games than Isiah, 6 10+ seasons, 3 20+ seasons.  This is an edit-in.


49. Terry Porter G  '85-02   Portland/Minnesota  122  Best season '90-1 (15.2)
300 more games than Isiah, 4 seasons over 10+ WS; ranked with Cheeks, just below KJ/AI.  

48. Bailey Howell F '59-71  Detroit/Boston 122  Best season '62-3 (14.3)
Goddamn - look how good Bailey Howell was.  40 games less than Zeke; 7 seasons of 10+ WS; better than Nance, which knocks Jerry Lucas off the team...and maybe better than Gasol.  Yeah, I'm gonna say Howell goes by Gasol and is the new starter on the all time team.  

47. Julius Erving F '76-87  Philadelphia  122.6  Best season '81-2 (16.3)
About a hundred thirty fewer NBA games than Isiah, as, like Gilmore/Barry/Gervin, he left a lot of his value in the ABA; in the Gilmore comment I said he's be just inside the top 10 if the ABA value counted, Doc would be 6th.  Doc can't break the 7 10+ WS seasons glass ceiling.  Erving's the new SF, Barry backs up and Nique is holding onto the third spot - that knocks Elgin Baylor off the team.  

46. Wes Unseld C/F  '68-81 Bullets  122.8  Best season   '74-5 (13.1)
Just about the same number of games as Isiah, and like Dr. J, Unseld had 7 seasons of 10+WS.  7 matches Gilmore, in more games - but Unseld's got the total value advantage.  Gilmore's ABA value, while not existing in this total ranking, nudges him over Unseld in trying to determine which is them was the better basketball player.  But Unseld kicks Laimbeer off the all time team.  

45. Jeff Hornacek G '86-00   Phoenix/Utah  123.3 Best season '95-6 (13.3)
One of the most underrated players of recent years; about a hundred thirty more games than Isiah, but 7 10+ seasons.  Hornacek...I'm gonna say it's Nance he kicks off, that Hornacek goes past Arizin and becomes Wade's backup, moving Arizin to the third guard; with Wilkens as the third small forward, that means its Nance who is off the club.  

44. Bob Lanier C  '70-84    Detroit/Milwaukee  125.7  Best season '73-4 (15.9)
About fifty games less than Zeke; a half dozen 10+ seasons - just a nightmare now, Lanier/Gilmore/Unseld...I'm going to say Gilmore was better with that ABA value not counting for this career ranking, but hard to ignore when subjectively comparing them as ballplayers.  Unseld's slightly better peak just makes up for Lanier's slightly better career.  Here, it becomes a question of Arizin vs. Lanier...Lanier goes by him and is the new 12th man.  

43. Dikembe Mutombo C '91-09   Denver/Atlanta/Houston  126.9  Best season '96-7 (13.1)
A hundred games more than Zeke; 4 10+ seasons, that's not going to be enough to knock off Lanier.  

42. Chet Walker F/G  '62-75   Philadelphia/Chicago 127.7  Best season '71-2 (14.6)
About 30 games more than Isiah - and 8, count them, Chet Walker is the very first player on the list with 8 seasons of 10 or more Win Shares.  He's your new starting big guard, moving Wade to the bench, and its going to be Hornacek who gets kicked off the team.  One more to get to the top 40. I'm going to say after 2011-12 Wade's gone by Walker.

41. Buck Williams F '81-98  New Jersey/Portland  128.1  Best season '82-3 (11.7)
Couple hundred more games than Isiah, 3 10+ WS seasons, that's not going to make the current roster.

C Gilmore/Unseld/Lanier(Howards off the team now, his overall value isn't heavy enough yet to move him past Lanier, but that won't be true for long; Mikan was edited in to this section and he's solidly the starting center; Howard already has more games played than Mikan did and less value)
PF Howell/ Gasol
SF Erving/Barry/Wilkens
PG Johnson/Iverson(Only 40 left and CP3 is still the starting PG; he turns 27 in 2012-13 and he's a HOF'er right now)
SG Wade/Walker

Fair to question Gasol right now - Unseld could slide into the backup at the 4 and Hornacek could come back to be the third off guard.  I won't do that given the disparity in games played between Gasol/Hornacek, but it's a reasonable swap.  

40. Dolph Schayes F/C  '49-64  Syracuse  129.3  Best season '53-4 (17.1)
Same number of games as Isiah; Chet Walker just broke that 7 10+ ceiling, and now Schayes goes Bonds to Walker's McGwire, as he had 9.  9 seasons of 10+ WS.  Let's make Schayes the starter at PF, and that knocks Gasol off the team.  

39. Walt Frazier G  '67-80  New York 129.4 Best season '70-1 (18.1)
That '70-1 season is the third best (behind Wade/McAdoo's best) of anyone on the list so far; Clyde's a low games played guy, 200 fewer than Isiah to accumulate all this value; 7 10+ WS seasons, all in a row.  Clyde's the new starting PG.

38. Steve Nash G '96-       Dallas/Phoenix  137  Best season '05-6 (15)
Already 120 games more than Zeke, and that means 300+ more than Frazier; he's got 7 10+ seasons and knocks KJ off the team, but he's backing up Frazier.  

37. Elvin Hayes F  '68-84    San Diego/Washington 132.5  Best season '74-5 (14.7)
Two hundred more games played than Zeke; and 6 10+ seasons - Elvin Hayes can't get past Lanier which means he doesn't make the current team.  

36. Kevin McHale F '80-93  Boston   133.7  Best season '86-7 (16.9)
40 more games than Isiah; 7 straight 10+ seasons...he goes by Unseld and knocks Lanier off the club; let's move Schayes to center to start, Gilmore now backs up; Howell starts at PF and McHale backs up; Unseld is the fifth big.  

35. Walt Bellamy C '61-75   New York/Atlanta 134.7  Best season '61-2 (16.3)
Same number of games as Isiah, 7 10+ WS seasons.  Schayes is the best big; Gilmore is next; then Bellamy; then Howell; then McHale - that means its Unseld who loses his spot.  

34. Paul Pierce F  '98-     Boston   145.9  Best season '07-8 (15.4)
About 30 games less than Zeke....9 10+ WS seasons.  9.  9!  Paul Pierce and Dolph Schayes.  Man...I'm gonna say Paul Pierce is the new all time starting small forward.  It's tough to move Doc to the bench, but in the way that Schayes moved past Gilmore, Pierce moves past Doc - and that knocks Nique off the team. Following 2011, Pierce is now in the top 30 for overall value.

33 to go

C Schayes/Gilmore/Bellamy(Mikan over all of them)
PF Howell/McHale
SF Pierce/Erving/Barry
PG Frazier/Nash(CP3 has 400 fewer games than Clyde, but the overall value gap is too great, I haven't done the Nash update yet, but I'll assume he stays ahead of Paul too, so this is as far as it gets for CP3. I've done the update, my thoughts are unchanged.)
SG Wade/Walker

33. LeBron James F '03- Cleveland 157.7 Best season '08-9 (25.1)
LeBron's '08-09 isn't only the best single season by anyone on the list so far, its by leaps and bounds the best season by anyone so far, almost double the value of Nique's best ever year, and Nique was every bit as good as you think he was.  He's 380 games less than Zeke; the fewest games of anyone on the list so far - 7 of his 8 seasons have been over 10WS; two of them over 20, meaning LeBron has the two best seasons of anyone on the list.  James is the new SF, kicking Barry off the list and making Doc the 11th man on the team. After the 2012 season, James moves between GP and the Chief for career value. This was his third season with more than 20 WS; he's now about 290 fewer games played than Isiah.

32. Horace Grant F/C  '87-04   Chicago/Orlando  138.2  Best season: '91-2 (17.4)
230 games more than Zeke; making him 270 more than McHale, the last big on the roster.  5 10+WS seasons, but that's going to leave him short of Kevin. 

31. Chauncey Billups G '97-    Detroit  140.9  Best season: '05-6 (18.2)
40 games north of Zeke, but that's fewer than Nash - with a better top end - and more value - and 8 10+ WS seasons.  Billups knocks Steve Nash off the team and is the new backup point guard.

30 to go.


30. Patrick Ewing C '85-02    New York  140.5  Best season '93-4 (16.3)
7 10+ WS seasons. 220 more games played than Zeke...that's not enough, he stays behind Bellamy and McHale. 

29. Adrian Dantley F/G '76-91  Utah 143.2 Best season '83-4 (16.6)
80 less than Isiah; 8 10+ seasons; Dantley is the new starting off guard, kicking Walker to the backup and Wade to the third spot - which knocks McHale off the team, Schayes comes down to start at PF, with Howell as his backup - and Gilmore is once again starting in the middle.

28. Jason Kidd G '94- Dallas/Phoenix/NJersey 147.4 Best season '02-3 (13.9)
Hundreds of games more than Zeke and 4 10+ seasons - Kidd can't make the team, he wasn't as good as Billups.

27. Ray Allen G  '96-       Milwaukee/Seattle/Boston  151.2  Best season '00-01 (17.3)
Hundred more games than Isiah; a half dozen 10+WS seasons.  Allen's going to fall short of taking Wade's spot. Following 2011, Allen is now in the top 25 for overall value.  

26. Bob Pettit F/C  '54-65  St Louis 147.7 Best season '60-1 (16.6)
230 fewer games than Zeke; Pettit hits double digits in WS seasons, 10 of his 11 seasons hit the number.  In order, here are the bigs: Pettit, Schayes, Gilmore, Bellamy - Howell is who goes, Wade keeps the 12th spot.  Gilmore and Bellamy are the centers, Pettit and Schayes the power forwards.

So, with 25 left - here's the subjective best team ever.

C Gilmore/Bellamy(Mikan is the starter)
PF Pettit/Schayes
SF James/Pierce/Erving
PG Frazier/Billups
SG Dantley/Wade/Walker

Fun to do. 
25. Scottie Pippen F '87-04          Chicago  148.7      Best season '91-2 (15.8)
270 games more than Zeke; 7 straight 10+ WS seasons, straight out of the guts of his career;
Scottie can't crack the roster - Doc is the last small forward on the roster, Pippen has more total value but in a ton, a ton more games, over 400 more, and they had the same NBA peak. 

24. John Havlicek '62-78   F/G   Boston     150.1  Best season '71-2 (13.9)
Same number of games as Scottie, just a truckload of games played.  9 10+ WS seasons. He knocks Wade off the team and settles in as the new last perimeter guy on the roster, he/Walker/Dantley really clumped in together at the off guard.   

23. Clyde Drexler '83-98 G/F Portland 151.1 Best season '94-5 (14.7)
120 more games than Zeke, 7 10+ seasons, that's not quite going to make the roster.

22. Gary Payton '90-07   G       Seattle  156.6  Best season '99-00 (14.6)
380 more games played than Isiah, I think the new leader in quantity.  6 10+ WS seasons.  Love GP, but he wasn't better than Billups and can't make the squad.  One more, then the top 20.

21. Robert Parish C  '76-97      Boston  162.6  Best season '83-4 (12.7)
700 more games than Isiah, we're talking over a thousand more than Wade and LeBron.  9 seasons with 10+_ WS...this just becomes super hard to evalute now; the number of games played is just crazy...I'll split the difference and say Chief was better than Bellamy and not as good as Gilmore, he's the new backup center. 

C Gilmore/Parish(Mikan)
PF Pettit/Schayes
SF James/Pierce/Erving
PG Frazier/Billups
SG Dantley/Havlicek/Wade

20. Larry Bird F  '79-92    Boston  170.6  Best season '85-6 (20)
And now we hit some deeper water.  35 games less than Isiah; 9 10+ WS seasons, the first nine of his career.  Bird joins James as the only guys with a 20+ WS season. (LeBron has two).  LeBron's better - Bird passes Erving and just gets by Pierce, but James has 300 games left to pass Bird's career and peak, and its almost inconceivable he does not.   LeBron James was a better basketball player than Larry Bird, and Dr. J is no longer on the all time team.


19. Moses Malone C '74-95 Houston/Philadelphia/Atlanta 180.8 Best season '82-3 (17.9)
300 more games than Zeke; so 400 fewer than Chief - but 430 more than Gilmore.  9 10+ seasons.  So, without any question he goes past Parish, there is no argument to the contrary. More value, higher top end, fewer games to get it.  And he gets Gilmore too - the total accumulated value is just so much more for Moses - with 18 players left, we have a new starting center. 

18. Kobe Bryant G  '96-       Los Angeles Lakers 190.9  Best season '08-9 (17.4)
200 more games played than Isiah; Kobe's the new leader in 10+ WS seasons with 11; I'm going to change my mind on Walker/Havlicek and say its Walker who goes as Kobe is the new off guard and Dantley the backup. In overall value he passed West in 2011-12

17. Dirk Nowitzki F '98-    Dallas 191.5  Best season 2005-6 (23.1)
Like 20 games more than Isiah; good to recognize that, right now, Dirk's played about 50 more games than Bird did in his entire career.  Dirk catches Bryant in number of 10+WS seasons with 11 - the most recent 11 of his career as of the end of 2010-11.  Nowitzki's the 3rd player on the list with a 20+ WS season.  Dirk was better than Bird, more total value, better peak value.  If he retired today you'd think of them as close, but Dirk would be better.  And he isn't retiring today.  Dirk's the best player so far on the list; it's gonna be 3 more years at least, assuming Dirk keeps playing, before LeBron might slip past him.  Nowitzki's the new all time 4, Schayes moves to backup Moses at center, and Gilmore's finally off the club. After 2011-12, Dirk went past Russell for career value.  He's already in my all time starting 5, so nothing he'll do in his career changes that.

16. Hakeem Olajuwon C  '84-02  Houston  185.4  Best season '93-4 (18.6)
11 10+ WS seasons, just like Dirk and Kobe.  280 more games played than Isiah; its not by a ton - but clearly Olajuwon was better than Moses.  It's gonna be Havlicek who is off the team, with Schayes beating him out as the 12th man. 

With only 15 players left, here's the all time NBA team.

C Olajuwon/Malone(Mikan over Moses)
PF Nowitzki/Pettit/Schayes
SF James/Bird/Pierce
PG Frazier/Billups
SG Bryant/Dantley

15. Kevin Garnett F '95-   Minnesota/Boston  196.7  Best season '03-4 (21)
KG joins James, Bird, and Nowitzki in the 20 WS in one season club.  200 more games than Isiah for Garnett; "only" 9 seasons with 10+ WS.  There's now a tremendous value difference between KG and Pierce, greater than the difference in their games played - but its going to be Schayes who goes.  Now, where to slot Garnett - behind LeBron, Bird, Dirk.  Behind Pettit too.  In whatever space there is between Pettit and Pierce is Garnett.  The Celtic teammates are 11 and 12th men.  14 to go. Following 2011, KG has the same overall value as Barkley

14. Magic Johnson G   '79-96   Los Angeles Lakers      188.4  Best season '86-7 (19.6)
Almost exactly the same number of games as Isiah, and a tick over twice the value.  11 seasons of 10+ WS, and that's become the new ceiling.  Magic pushes Clyde to the backup spot and a big hand for Chauncey Billups, one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. 

13. Jerry West G '60-74   Los Angeles Lakers  189.5 Best season '65-6 (20.2)
James, KG, Dirk, Bird, and now West with a 20+ WS season (LeBron's had 2, and LeBron's hit 25).  West had almost exactly the same number of games as Isiah and Magic.  West becomes the first man on the list with 12 seasons of 10+ WS.  West was better than Kobe and given the number of games played that separates them already - its unlikely that evaluation will change.  It's Dantley who is off the club.

12. Bill Russell C '56-69  Boston  191.3 Best season '64-5 (20.2)
About 30 more games than Isiah; Russell joins the group with a 20+ season; and the group with 11 seasons of 10+ WS.  He was better than Olajuwon;  that knocks off Paul Pierce.  One more and then the top 10. 
You'll be surprised who is next.



11. Reggie Miller G/F  '87-05  Indiana 194.3 Best season '93-4 (14.5)
About 420 more games played than Zeke; Reggie played forever.  And 13 of those seasons, a new high for the list, were 10+ WS seasons.  That makes this evaluation a pain in the ass - I think, with 10 players left, the all time roster looks like this. 

C Russell/Olajuwon
PF Nowitzki/Pettit/Garnett
SF James/Bird
PG Johnson/Frazier
SG West/Bryant/Miller

I'm not sure KG should stay over Moses; it's close, but KG has value left to get.  I'm not sure Kobe should be ranked over Miller; I'm really not sure Bird should be ranked over Miller.  When its time to start cutting - and with 10 guys still to come, obviously most of the names on this current roster, perhaps all but two, will get cut - we'll see how it works.  Oh - put Reggie Miller in the Hall of Fame.  It's shameful. 

10. David Robinson C  '89-03   San Antonio  196.19  Best season '93-4 (20.3)
6 players now with 20+ seasons.  Robinson hit 10+ in 12 seasons and accumulated his value in about the same number of games as Isiah.  Meaning - he had almost an identical career to Russell.  The Admiral is your new starting all time center.  Its KG who is off the all time team. 

9. Charles Barkley F  '84-00    Philadelphia/Phoenix/Houston  196.7  Best season '92-3 (19)
12 10+ seasons.  A hundred games more than Isiah.  Dirk and Barkley are almost exactly the same; if Dirk never plays another game, you rank him behind Barkley - but he'll play more, and just, by a tick, he stays ahead.  I gotta tell you...it might be Bird who goes.  Pettit was better; it's not - it's Miller who goes, by a nudge he leaves ahead of Bird or Kobe. No - it's Kobe.  Kobe goes, Miller stays.  No - it's Bird.  Bird goes.  Man. 

I changed my mind after sleeping on it.  It's LeBron who goes.  His total value is now last on the list, his number of 10+ WS seasons is last on the list - he's doing it in a ridiculously small number of games, about 800 fewer than Miller, for example, but when we're this thick in the value atmosphere, he has to put in...two more seasons to go by Bird.

8 players left.  At least 4 of the following make the All-time roster.

C Robinson/Russell/Olajuwon
PF Nowitzki/Barkley/Pettit
SF Bird/Miller
PG Johnson/Frazier
SG West/Bryant

8. Tim Duncan  F/C  '97-           San Antonio  206  Best season  '02-3 (22.8)

7 players with a season of 20+ WS.  2010-11 was the first season of his career that Duncan didn't have at least 10 WS; that makes 13 seasons, the same as Miller, but in only about 130 games more than Thomas (or about 300 less than Reggie).  He's the best player on the board thusfar.  Pettit is who goes, really for the same reason as James, a lot fewer games than the rest of the club, but now the value disparity is just too great to keep them.  Duncan's the new PF; Dirk is the new SF.  After the 2011 season, Duncan goes past Oscar for career value.  


7. Oscar Robertson G  '60-74  202.8  Cincinnati/Milwaukee Best season '63-4 (23)
8 players with a season of 20+ WS.  LeBron's the only one with two.  Oscar played about 20 more than Zeke and Magic.  11 seasons of 10+WS, the first 11 of his career. He kicks Clyde off the team, and no, I did  not think of Frazier as a top 5 all time PG before this exercise, and now I do.  Oscar and Magic are almost identical, but Oscar had a little more value in not many more games.  Making the current team:

C Robinson/Russell/Olajuwon
PF Duncan/Barkley
SF Nowitzki/Bird/James (that's the change after 2012, James passes Miller)
PG Robertson/Johnson
SG West/Bryant

6. Shaquille O’Neal C  '92-11    Orlando/Los Angeles Lakers/Miami 212.8 Best season '99-00 (23.6)
9 players with a 20+ season.  LeBron is still the only one with two and the only one to hit 25.  Shaq played a ton of games, 320 more than Isiah.  11 10+ seasons.  So, we have 5 bigs on the squad.  Does he knock any of them off?  Yes, Shaq was better than Olajuwon, more value, just a few more games played; it's close - but you take Shaq.  The games played disparity puts him behind Robinson/Russell.  When I have to decide between Shaq and Barkley I'll cross that bridge. 

5. John Stockton G  '84-93     Utah    229.1  Best season '96-7 (16.7)
580 games more than Isiah and Magic.  Wow.  14 seasons with 10+ WS, like Reggie Miller but better - and that might be important when determing who gets taken off the roster.  Oscar keeps the starting PG job - but now there's a real value disparity between Magic and Stockton, the question - is it greater than the games played difference?  I'm gonna say yes - Stockton and Miller are really similar, its really interesting - and worth comparing them both, say to Bird and Magic; Bird and Magic were better, but Stockton and Miller accumulated more value, and that's a trade the subjective roster is constantly trying to figure.  I'm going to say Stockton gets them both - moves into the backup spot behind Oscar to knock Magic to third string.

C Robinson/Russell/O'Neal
PF Duncan/Barkley
SF Nowitzki/Bird
PG Robertson/Stockton/Johnson
SG West/Bryant

4 to go.  I'm guessing you know who they are. 


4. Michael Jordan G  '84-03        Chicago        253.8  Best season '95-6 (25.1)
9.   So, you know how we've been keeping track of all of the seasons of 20 Win Shares or more?  How 9 players have had a season with 20, but only LeBron's had two? 

Jordan had 9.  He tied the record for best season, 25.1, he did it twice.  Jordan had 11 seasons with 10+ WS in about 160 games more than Isiah.  9. The very best players who ever lived have maybe had one and that's only the very best.  Jordan had 9.  Who goes - Kobe. 

3. Karl Malone F  '85-04          Utah          257.6  Best season '98-9 (16.7)
570 more games than Zeke; Stocktone and Malone are probably still playing together in Uzebekistan.  13 10+ WS seasons.  So, same as Duncan - and he's got a ton more overall value in a ton more games.  I'll say Malone is the new starter at PF, the overall value just too much to turn down.  Meaning - it's time to answer that Shaq v. Barkley question, 'cause one of them is headed off the roster unless it's Miller.  Yeah.  Miller.

C Robinson/Russell/O' Neal
PF Malone/Duncan
SF Nowitzki/Barkley
PG Robertson/Stockton/Johnson
SG Jordan/West

2. Wilt Chamberlain C  '59-73  278.8  Warriors/Philadelphia/Los Angeles Lakers Best season '63-4 (28.8)
A hundred games more than Zeke; that means he had more value in fewer games than Jordan.  His '63-4 season, as a member of the San Francisco Warriors, was the greatest season in NBA history.  13 of his 14 seasons were 10+; Wilt had 7 20+ seasons.  There's Wilt, there's Michael, then there's everyone else.  And its in that order.  The greatest basketball player who ever lived is Wilt Chamberlain.

C Chamberlain/Robinson/Russell
PF Malone/Duncan
SF Nowitzki/Barkley
PG Robertson/Stockton/Johnson
SG Jordan/West

1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar C  '69-89 Milwaukee/Los Angeles Lakers  309 Best season '71-2 (27)
600 more games played than Zeke.  Which is a helluva lot of games.  5 seasons of 20+.  The first 17 of which were 10+  17 10+ seasons.  There's a case that Kareem is better than Jordan.  In fact...yeah, it's a hard trade...yeah, I'm going to reconsider. 

The best basketball player who ever lived was Wilt.  Kareem was second.  Jordan was third.  Karl Malone was fourth, but Duncan and Dirk aren't far behind and still have more game left.  Oscar was fifth.  Stockton 6th.  Duncan 7th, Dirk 8th (so, Rick Carlisle was right).  Robinson 9th and Russell 10th.

1st team
C Chamberlain/Abdul-Jabbar/Robinson
PF Malone/Duncan/Russell
SF Nowitzki/Barkley
PG Robertson/Stockton
SG Jordan/West

2nd team
C O'Neal/Olajuwon/Mikan
PF Pettit/Garnett
SF Bird/James/Pierce
PG Johnson/Frazier
SG Bryant/Miller

3rd team
C Malone/Gilmore/Parish
PF Schayes/Howell/McHale
SF Erving/Havlicek
PG Billups/Nash
SG Dantley/Walker

4th team
C Bellamy/Ewing/Unseld
PF Hayes/Baylor
SF Barry/Pippen
PG Payton/Kidd
SG Drexler/Allen/Wade

SI had a small piece this week in which their writers picked all time rosters, with the idea being setting up your best possible roster for one season.  If, when you think "all time roster" - thats what you think about, a dozen guys at their best, what's the best squad, it's this.

C Chamberlain/Abdul-Jabbar/Mikan
PF Duncan/Garnett
SF James/Bird/Nowitzki
PG Robertson/Johnson
SG Jordan/West

If I were drafting, I'd probably take Jordan first  The depth at center is significant, with Russell/Robinson also worthy of being on this team.

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