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Revised NBA 50 All-Time Greatest

Old 05-19-05, 01:41 PM
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Revised NBA 50 All-Time Greatest

Here's a link to the original list made back in 1997 of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Our task today: update this list by including some of today's best players.

The rule: if you add in somebody, then someone else has to go. Explain both the reasons for both.

My top three? Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and Kevin Garnett. Duncan is an obvious choice -- he became only the fifth player to be named All-NBA in each of his first 8 seasons, and he is a consistent MVP threat. Iverson has picked up the 76ers and carried them on his back more times than I can count, and has the heart of a lion. And Garnett has been so good on both ends of the floor for so long, it's hard to believe he's not even 30.

Several other players are just a year or two away... Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Amare Stoudemire... but I'll stick with my top three for now.

As for who has to go: I'll take off Scottie Pippin, Charles Barkley, and... I'm sorry, I've just gotta subtract Robert Parrish. He was never a significant MVP threat, he never made the All NBA first team, and he only was an All-Star for 9 of his 21 seasons. Don't get me wrong, I know he was a crucial cog in the Celtics championship machine... I just don't think he should be on this list.

But maybe I'm an idiot. Who would you choose, and why?
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Old 05-19-05, 01:52 PM
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Wow, tough choices on whom to take off. Personally, I would take off Robinson, Thurmond, Ewing, Drexler, and Maravich before I would take off Barkley. Pippen and Parish would be right in that group, so I can't really argue with their names.
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Old 05-19-05, 01:55 PM
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I would take off Pippen. I'm not as familiar with a lot of the players from the 60's and 70's, so it would be difficult to pull out players from that era without being very familiar with them. Duncan is an easy in.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:00 PM
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I'd take off Dave Cowens before I'd take off Robert Parrish, but I agree that Parrish might not deserve to be on the list either.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:27 PM
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Take off Paul Arizin, Dolph Schayes, Sam Jones, Robert Parish, Hal Greer, Dave Bing replace with Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson, Lebron James. I wanted to add Reggie Miller over Lebron but couldn't; I tried to rank them in order.

Edit: Cross off Lebron, put Kobe.

Last edited by cleaver; 05-20-05 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Pharoh
Wow, tough choices on whom to take off. Personally, I would take off Robinson, Thurmond, Ewing, Drexler, and Maravich before I would take off Barkley. Pippen and Parish would be right in that group, so I can't really argue with their names.
I'd be happy to swap Drexler and Barkley. How did Clyde the Glide ever get into such select company?

Barkley is such a tough call. On the one hand, he was a warrior -- undersized, but with a lot of heart; a matador on defense, but he could make the big steal. Not a great shooter, but clutch, and an amazing rebounder. But I can't help thinking that if the 50 Greatest NBA Players ever did meet up on some heavenly court, Barkley would end up being the waterboy. Good for what he was, and yet not quite in this select company.

And yet, and yet... there's this nugget from NBA.com: there are four players in NBA history that have compiled 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley.

That's one heck of a list.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:30 PM
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Uhh.. LeBron James has had 2 seasons. I'd say you need at least 8 before getting on this list. I don't care what the numbers are like. You need to prove longevity of some kind.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:31 PM
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Pippen was only good because of that other guy...
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Old 05-19-05, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by El Scorcho
Uhh.. LeBron James has had 2 seasons. I'd say you need at least 8 before getting on this list. I don't care what the numbers are like. You need to prove longevity of some kind.
Agree 100%. Hey Scorch, what do you think about Clyde being on the list?
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Old 05-19-05, 03:36 PM
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I'm extremely biased but I'd add Reggie on there. Look how well his teams have done with the talent he's played with. Nearly 40 years old and he still managed to play against the teenagers and guys in their low-20's.

I would take off Parrish too though. And please no Lebron comments. He hasn't even been able to take his teams to the playoffs. If anybody in their second year should make the list (and IMO still shouldn't) would be Dwayne Wade. He played with pretty much Kobe's team last year and did what Kobe couldn't, take them to the playoffs.

To be on this list, you should at least play in 7 or 8 seasons.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:40 PM
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I'm far from the biggest Pippen fan but he's one of the greatest on the ball defenders of all time. If the Bulls don't have him Indiana probably has 1 or 2 of the Bulls last 3 NBA Championships. Him shutting down Mark Jackson killed Indiana.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MrX
I'm far from the biggest Pippen fan but he's one of the greatest on the ball defenders of all time. If the Bulls don't have him Indiana probably has 1 or 2 of the Bulls last 3 NBA Championships. Him shutting down Mark Jackson killed Indiana.
Pippen was an extremely versatile player, especially on defense. He could go inside or outside, and he was great on help defense.

Three big things hurt Pippen: his career outside of Chicago (oft-injured, never dominant), his surly attitude (remember him pouting when Kukoc was set up for the game-winning shot instead of him?)... and Michael Jordan playing alongside him.

And yet, Scottie Pippin had all the talent in the world. When MJ was off playing baseball, Scottie rose from second-banana status to become the focal point of the team and an MVP-candidate. When MJ returned, Scottie went back to being the other guy.

Michael did not win a championship, as great as he was, until he was joined by Scottie Pippin. I dunno. Maybe he was one of the 50 Greatest.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Agree 100%. Hey Scorch, what do you think about Clyde being on the list?
I'd leave Clyde off the list. Top 100 but not Top 50.

I'd put him on the Top 50 if he had continued his run from 87-92 a few more years. There's simply too many great players who performed at a high level longer than Clyde did to include Clyde on the list.

I'd definitely put him on the Top 50, hell probably the top 10 classiest players of all-time list though. I met him and chatted with him when I was 11 years old. A great guy.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
Pippen was only good because of that other guy...
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Old 05-19-05, 04:06 PM
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Actually that's the thing, ESPN was showing the NBA Films things for the Bulls championships a while back, and one of the things that struck me was how good Pippen was. I realize those are highlight clips, but he really looked amazing. It makes it all the more puzzling about his career post-Chicago. He showed he could win without Michael during the baseball years, and he had all the talent and athleticism is the world. I don't consider him a top 50 player anymore, but man under different circumstances he sure had a chance to be.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Several other players are just a year or two away... Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Amare Stoudemire... but I'll stick with my top three for now.
Why do you consider 2 second-year players and 1 third-year player "a year or two away" from the 50 greatest players of all-time list and not consider Kobe Bryant, who has 3 championships already and about 8 or 9 all-star appearances?
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Old 05-19-05, 04:12 PM
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I wouldn't put Reggie Miller in the top 100, much less top 50.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:15 PM
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At the time they picked this team, Shaq had only played 4 or 5 years.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:15 PM
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A lot of people don't realize that a lot of Drexler's stats parallel Pippens:

Drexler
1987: 27.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 5.8 apg, 2.51 spg, 50.6% FG
1988: 27.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 5.8 apg, 2.73 spg, 49.6% FG
1989: 23.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.99 spg, 49.4% FG
1990: 21.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 6.0 apg, 1.76 spg, 48.2% FG
1991: 25.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 6.7 apg, 1.82 spg, 47.0% FG

Pippen
1990: 17.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 spg, 52.0% FG
1991: 21.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 7.0 apg, 1.9 spg, 50.6% FG
1992: 18.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 6.3 apg, 2.1 spg, 47.3% FG
1993: 22.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, 2.9 spg, 49.1% FG
1994: 21.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.9 spg, 48.0% FG

But Drexler often gets cast aside as being inferior to Pippen
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Old 05-19-05, 04:21 PM
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Well Pippen had a lot more exposure because of his nose, his superior defense, and because he won 6 championships compared to Drexler's one.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:27 PM
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Drexler wins more than one if Jordan and Magic don't exist.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Aphex Twin
Why do you consider 2 second-year players and 1 third-year player "a year or two away" from the 50 greatest players of all-time list and not consider Kobe Bryant, who has 3 championships already and about 8 or 9 all-star appearances?
Well, the list of "players who are a year or two away" would not include Kobe, would it? By now, he either makes the Top 50, or he doesn't. I don't think he's going to grow that much more as a player in the next year or two.

What Kobe has to do to get into the GOAT club is revamp his image. Right now, he is the consumate me-first, prickly ego superstar... and that doesn't even begin to touch upon the aftermath of his trial in Colorado.

I think three years ago, he had a really strong case -- the Lakers were world champs, he was at the top of his game, and his image remained relatively untarnished. How far has he fallen? Consider that he didn't receive a single MVP vote this year... although he did make the All-NBA 3rd team.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Well, the list of "players who are a year or two away" would not include Kobe, would it? By now, he either makes the Top 50, or he doesn't. I don't think he's going to grow that much more as a player in the next year or two.


What are you talking about? I didn't say he was a "year or two away" or for you to include him in that list. I was asking why you didn't include him at all, but include those much younger players with your qualification.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:47 PM
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Garnett, Duncan, and Iverson should all be added to the list. I think LeBron and Wade will make it one day, but ask me again in 10 years. Not sure who I'd take off the list.
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Old 05-19-05, 04:48 PM
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And...it's not the greatest player this year....it's the greatest players of all-time.
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