The 100 Best Players in Basketball History, Part II

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The previous installment is here.

We’re looking for a list of the 100 best basketball players ever.  The starting position was the top 150 career win share totals (all possible win shares combined).  Right now we’re through the 80 win share players from the top 150 (not all the 80 win share players made it, including some active players who would fare very well were they included – once they crack the top 150 overall they will be eligible).  Here’s how we stand.

1.       Marques Johnson
2.       Harry Gallatin
3.       Peja Stojakovic
4.       Tim Hardaway
5.       Tiny Archibald
6.       Lou Hudson
7.       Dan Majerle
8.       Cedric Maxwell
9.       Calvin Murphy
10.   Marcus Camby
11.   George McGinnis
12.   Rod Strickland
13.   Lamar Odom
14.   Earl Monroe
15.   Nate Thurmond
16.   Byron Scott
17.   Dale Ellis
18.   Don Nelson
19.   Gail Goodrich
20.   Paul Silas
21.   Tom Chambers
22.   Kevin Willis

In this installment are the 90 win shares players.  Take a look at the previous installment if you’re unsure what these numbers reference.

128. Jimmy Jones 90.05 PG 775 .116
Almost his entire value comes from the ABA, and we’ll consider that when the time comes, but here is a 90 win player whose wins/game match Johnson’s – he goes to the top of the list. 

127.Chris Webber 90.09 PF 911 .99
The overall value difference between Webber and Gallatin is pretty large, CWebb squeezes in at third overall. 

126. Amare Stoudemire 90.2 PF 731 .123
Stoudemire’s the first player on the list still in the playoffs at the time of this writing; as it stands now he moves to the top of the class with the most wins/game yet. 

125. Antawn Jamison 90.85 PF 1107 .082
Still active is Jamsion, his per game equals Majerle’s, so that’s the lowest he can go…his overall value gets him ahead of Hudson, right behind Tiny. 

124.Bobby Dandridge 91.3 SF 937 .097
Very similar career to Webber, Dandridge is slotted just above.

123.Steve Smith 91.41 SG 1032 .089
So, obviously above Jamison…above Hardaway given the career value difference…but not Peja.  

122. Glen Rice 91.71 SF 1055 .087
Slightly behind Smith, very, very slightly.

121.Cliff Robinson 91.83 PF 1521 .060
Lowest wins/game on the list so far; that’s going to make Uncle Cliffy a challenge to slot. Ahead of all the other guys in the .060s, that gets him up to Thurmond…nah, that’s as far as it goes. 

Ten more down.  Here’s the list.

1.       Amare Stoudemire
2.       Jimmy Jones
3.       Marques Johnson
4.       Bobby Dandridge
5.       Chris Webber
6.       Harry Gallatin
7.       Peja Stojakovic
8.       Steve Smith
9.       Glen Rice
10.   Tim Hardaway
11.   Tiny Archibald
12.   Antawn Jamison
13.   Lou Hudson
14.   Dan Majerle
15.   Cedric Maxwell
16.   Calvin Murphy
17.   Marcus Camby
18.   George McGinnis
19.   Rod Strickland
20.   Lamar Odom
21.   Earl Monroe
22.   Nate Thurmond
23.   Cliff Robinson
24.   Byron Scott
25.   Dale Ellis
26.   Don Nelson
27.   Gail Goodrich
28.   Paul Silas
29.   Tom Chambers
30.   Kevin Willis

120. Bill Sharman 92.06 SG 789 .117
Jones will be controversial, but Sharman won’t – and it seems unreasonable to say the quality of play on the NBA in the 50s was superior to the ABA two decades later.  That’s why they’re both included – Sharman slots right above him.

119.Michael Finley 92.1 SF 1232 .075
I think the right answer here is between Murphy and Maxwell as we balance out career vs. per game value.

118.Derek Harper 92.3 PG 1296 .071
The Mavs go back to back and that’s how they’ll get slotted.  Harper right behind Finley
117.Vern Mikkelson 92.6 PF 784 .118
The old Laker steps right in front of the old Celtic, Sharman, on the overall list.

116.Isiah Thomas 93.19 PG 1090 .085
When I first started working with win share combinations, I based everything on Isiah, with his being #101 on the list of the top 100 – Thomas as gatekeeper for the list.

He won’t be that high this time.  He slots behind Peja.  Isiah Thomas was not as good as Peja Stojakovic.  That is the claim I’m making, yes. 

114.Neil Johnston 94.32 C 539 .175
We have a solid jump in per game value with Johnston, who steams to the top.

113.Sam Cassell 94.32 PG 1129 .084
Just about exactly the same value as Isiah. 

112.Anthony Mason 95 PF 978 .097
Better than he’s appreciated is the enforcer Mason.  Nearing 100 career wins and not far from .1/game.  He’s better than Webber.  I’ll say he slots above Marques Johnson. 

111.Bob McAdoo 95.28 C 946 .101
Better than Mason is McAdoo – and that gets us to the update.

111. Chris Bosh 95.4 C 786 .121
Still in the playoffs, CB4 – and he’s the best player on the board. 

1.       Neil Johnston
2.       Chris Bosh
3.       Amare Stoudemire
4.       Vern Mikkelson
5.       Bill Sharman
6.       Bob McAdoo
7.       Jimmy Jones
8.       Anthony Mason
9.       Marques Johnson
10.   Bobby Dandridge
11.   Chris Webber
12.   Harry Gallatin
13.   Peja Stojakovic
14.   Sam Cassell
15.   Isiah Thomas
16.   Steve Smith
17.   Glen Rice
18.   Tim Hardaway
19.   Tiny Archibald
20.   Antawn Jamison
21.   Lou Hudson
22.   Dan Majerle
23.   Cedric Maxwell
24.   Michael Finley
25.   Derek Harper
26.   Calvin Murphy
27.   Marcus Camby
28.   George McGinnis
29.   Rod Strickland
30.   Lamar Odom
31.   Earl Monroe
32.   Nate Thurmond
33.   Cliff Robinson
34.   Byron Scott
35.   Dale Ellis
36.   Don Nelson
37.   Gail Goodrich

We’re almost to the top 100 for career value.

110.Rashard Lewis 95.7 SF 1057 .091
Still in the league – still in the playoffs, sitting on the Heat bench is Lewis. He goes in between Mason and Johnson.

109.Dale Davis 95.66 C 1131 .085
Same per game value as Isiah; so Davis goes in right ahead of Cassell. 

108. Dave Cowens 95.72 C 855 .112
Balancing the career advantage and the per game detriment finds Cowens in between the two active players, Bosh and Amare. 

107. Dennis Johnson 95.78 PG 1280 .075
Same per game value as Finley, so DJ will go in somewhere between Harper and Isiah – narrowing further, he’s between Hudson and Hardaway – Archibald is super close, given the disparities in both metrics…he’s definitely ahead of Jamison…hmmm….DJ gets him. I reversed, giving it to Tiny’s per game. 

106. Cliff Hagan 95.98 SF 934 .103
Over 95 wins, over .1/game, he’s in between Jones/Mason.

105. James Worthy 96.01 SF 1069 .90
Worthy and Lewis had very similar careers.  Worthy

104. Joe Dumars 96.32 SG 1130 .085
And the guy Dumars looks a lot like, weirdly, is Dale Davis.

103.Chris Mullin 96.88 SF 1057 .092
Right above Worthy.  Mullin

102.PJ Brown 97.16 PF 1195 .081
Right below Davis. 
101.Alonzo Mourning 97.24 C 933 .104
Zo ahead of Hagan, then it gets closer, but I think it’s Zo ahead of Mikkelson, but behind Amare.

We’re looking for a Top 100 and considered 50 outside of the career value 100.  Here’s where we stand.

1.       Neil Johnston
2.       Chris Bosh
3.       Dave Cowens
4.       Amare Stoudemire
5.       Alonzo Mourning
6.       Vern Mikkelson
7.       Bill Sharman
8.       Bob McAdoo
9.       Jimmy Jones
10.   Cliff Hagan
11.   Anthony Mason
12.   Chris Mullin
13.   James Worthy
14.   Rashard Lewis
15.   Marques Johnson
16.   Bobby Dandridge
17.   Chris Webber
18.   Harry Gallatin
19.   Peja Stojakovic
20.   Joe Dumars
21.   Dale Davis
22.   PJ Brown
23.   Sam Cassell
24.   Isiah Thomas
25.   Steve Smith
26.   Glen Rice
27.   Tim Hardaway
28.   Tiny Archibald
29.   Dennis Johnson
30.   Antawn Jamison
31.   Lou Hudson
32.   Dan Majerle
33.   Cedric Maxwell
34.   Michael Finley
35.   Derek Harper
36.   Calvin Murphy
37.   Marcus Camby
38.   George McGinnis
39.   Rod Strickland
40.   Lamar Odom
41.   Earl Monroe
42.   Nate Thurmond
43.   Cliff Robinson
44.   Byron Scott
45.   Dale Ellis
46.   Don Nelson
47.   Gail Goodrich
48.   Paul Silas
49.   Tom Chambers
50.   Kevin Willis

In the next installment we reach the 100 best players ever for career value, get to the 94 players who have 100 career win shares, and continue to shape our list of the 100 greatest basketball players who ever lived.  

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