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Back Picks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History


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#1 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 05:26 PM

http://www.backpicks...in-nba-history/

 

I came across this because the person behind this website and list, Ben Taylor, was on the Dunc'd On podcast (very good nerdy NBA pod) recently discussing the list and its criteria. 

 

Anyway, the top 8 will be revealed over the next few weeks, but it's an interesting list with some strong analysis in the write-ups. And it's not just based on nerdy stats as this guy does a lot of video analysis, which he shows some of in the write-ups. 

 

The criteria of the list is really interesting as well. He articulates a point that I've tried to make before in my top 25 players of the last 25 years article and elsewhere, which is that certain players are more portable and scalable than others. What that basically means, is some great players can excel more in a wider range of scenarios, and some great players are better at elevating a good team to a championship team than others.

 

I think most people realize this to some extent, but it doesn't get as much attention as it should IMO.

 

For instance, this was why I didn't have Iverson as high as some think he should be. AI was a superstar and could therefore provide a high floor for a team during his prime, but I don't think he's an ideal guy to have if the goal is to win championships. Russ is basically a larger modern day version of AI IMO. 

 

Anyway, I haven't read through most of the profiles yet, but I'm impressed with the work and think people who care about such things should give it a look.


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#2 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 05:52 PM

So far he's changed my mind quite a bit about two players...

 

Wilt in a negative way and Reggie Miller in a positive way.



#3 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 01:27 PM

Here is the list so far with 40 starting at the top:

 

Ray Allen
Clyde Drexler
Kevin McHale
Elgin Baylor
Artis Gilmore
 
Paul Pierce
Jason Kidd
Walt Frazier
Stephen Curry
John Havlicek
 
Bob Pettit
Reggie Miller 
Rick Barry
Patrick Ewing
Kevin Durant
 
John Stockton
Moses Malone
Scottie Pippen
Dwyane Wade
Chris Paul
 
Charles Barkley 
Steve Nash
Dirk Nowitzki 
Jerry West 
Julius Erving 
 
David Robinson 
Kobe Bryant 
Karl Malone 
Oscar Robertson 
Larry Bird 
 
Magic Johnson 
Wilt Chamberlain 
Kevin Garnett 
March 22
March 25
 
March 28
April 2
April 5
April 9
 April 12
 
Obviously Wilt, Magic, and Bird being down at #9-11 is controversial, KG at #8 is higher than most seem to have him. Kobe is lower than most would have him as is Moses. Reggie and Ewing are higher than usual. 
 
The profiles, at least the longer ones, do a really good job of putting their careers in perspective and showing their strengths and weaknesses.


#4 bnickle

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 01:35 PM

Looks like Bill Russell is Top 7.Ahead of Wilt. Waiting for Pedro's hot take.

 

 

Also like that he's gonna have Olajuwon and Duncan so high. Most people dont give them enough respect.



#5 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 01:45 PM

Looks like Bill Russell is Top 7.Ahead of Wilt. Waiting for Pedro's hot take.

 

 

Also like that he's gonna have Olajuwon and Duncan so high. Most people dont give them enough respect.

 

I think almost everyone has Russell and Pippen too high for Pedro.

 

I think most have Duncan in the top 7, but Hakeem generally seems to be a little lower.

 

The top 7 will be these guys in whatever order: Jordan, Kareem, LeBron, Russell, Shaq, Hakeem, Duncan.



#6 bnickle

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 01:48 PM

The issue I have is this guy is setting himself up to put Lebron #1. I feel it. When that happens this thread gets hijacked. 



#7 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 02:03 PM

The issue I have is this guy is setting himself up to put Lebron #1. I feel it. When that happens this thread gets hijacked. 

 

It's entirely possible based on this criteria / methodology, but I would think that LeBron falls a little short since he doesn't yet get a ton of longevity credit.

 

Also, he's using the term best career rather than best player, which to some may be one in the same, but I'm assuming that's a big distinction to some.

 

Anyway, so far, there isn't much of a thread to hijack. 



#8 BSLSethBondroff

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 02:03 PM

I love Olajuwon, well deserved wherever he ends up. 

 

I think about that podcast we did a few years back. Good times. 


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#9 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 03:23 PM

Lol at anyone on Earth thinking Bill Russell was a better basketball player than Wilt.

 

It's just laughable and not even worth debating.  


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#10 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 03:55 PM

Lol at anyone on Earth thinking Bill Russell was a better basketball player than Wilt.

 

It's just laughable and not even worth debating.  

 

I used to feel similarily about Russell, but I've really come around on him the more I've read and seen.

 

The profile on Wilt on the site that I link here does sour me on him some too. Lots of good points and evidence IMO. 



#11 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 10:49 AM

Duncan comes in at 7th.



#12 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 11:25 AM

Hakeem is 6th.

 

Leaves MJ, Kareem, Russell, Shaq, and LeBron for the final 5.



#13 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:44 PM

Shaq is 5th and Russell is 4th.

#14 bnickle

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:45 PM

Lol at anyone on Earth thinking Bill Russell was a better basketball player than Wilt.

It's just laughable and not even worth debating.

And Shaq!

#15 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:56 PM

He makes a compelling case for Russell.

 

I've always thought Russell was quite overrated, but I have come around a lot on that based on various sources, including this one. 

 

Anyway, regardless of your thoughts on the rankings, these profiles are excellent and well worth checking out, even just for the videos. 



#16 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 10:58 AM

LeBron comes in at 3rd. 

 

Kareem and MJ remain.



#17 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 07:40 AM

I'm sure Nickle would love how Taylor concludes his LeBron profile:

 

In total, Jordan is the only comparable perimeter peak in history, although James’s defense was slightly more impressive at its apex. Eight of LeBron’s last nine seasons are all-time level campaigns, pairing either good or great defense with transcendent offense. He’s logged enough mileage to challenge Jordan; this will be his 14th season on the All-NBA team, whereas MJ only made 11. Like the other great megastars who excel in non-scoring phases of the game, I do wonder if I’m undervaluing LeBron, given the unique shape of his offense.

 

In a few weeks, he will likely move to No. 2 on this list. If I had fewer reservations about his ball-dominance scaling (and his lack of spot-up shooting), he’d be a spot higher already, and I do think he has an outside argument as the highest-peak player in NBA history. And, barring injury or premature retirement, James will likely retire with the most valuable career ever. For now, he’s etched on the Mt. Rushmore of the sport at No. 3.



#18 BSLSethBondroff

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 03:41 PM

I'm sure Nickle would love how Taylor concludes his LeBron profile:

More than "an outside argument" in my opinion, and it doesn't look like he's close to finished.

 

I respect his honesty in the first paragraph that he might be undervaluing LeBron, which seems crazy considering he has him at #3 all time. Is it conceivable that he could make the All NBA team 20 times? 

 

insane stuff. 


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#19 BSLMichaelWeber

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 03:51 PM

Yep. He's had an amazing career. I really thought we'd see more signs of decline by now, but he's still playing at an absurd level.

Btw, one key to remember, which I stated earlier, is this list is basically best career value, which is generally not considered the same as best player.

#20 BSLSethBondroff

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 03:55 PM

Yep. He's had an amazing career. I really thought we'd see more signs of decline by now, but he's still playing at an absurd level.

Btw, one key to remember, which I stated earlier, is this list is basically best career value, which is generally not considered the same as best player.

He might be a robot!

 

Fair point. 


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