The NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list: 2017

 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: The NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list: 2017

BY MIKE WISE AND THE UNDEFEATED STAFF

50 Greatest Players (1996–97)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Nate Archibald
Paul Arizin
Charles Barkley
Rick Barry
Elgin Baylor
Dave Bing
Larry Bird
Wilt Chamberlain
Bob Cousy
Dave Cowens
Billy Cunningham
Dave DeBusschere
Clyde Drexler
Julius Erving
Patrick Ewing
Walt Frazier
George Gervin
Hal Greer
John Havlicek
Elvin Hayes
Magic Johnson
Sam Jones
Michael Jordan
Jerry Lucas
Karl Malone
Moses Malone
Pete Maravich
Kevin McHale
George Mikan
Earl Monroe
Hakeem Olajuwon
Shaquille O’Neal
Robert Parish
Bob Pettit
Scottie Pippen
Willis Reed
Oscar Robertson
David Robinson
Bill Russell
Dolph Schayes
Bill Sharman
John Stockton
Isiah Thomas
Nate Thurmond
Wes Unseld
Bill Walton
Jerry West
Lenny Wilkens
James Worthy
* Players cut in our new list

50 Greatest Players Remix (2017)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Ray Allen
Paul Arizin
Charles Barkley
Rick Barry
Elgin Baylor
Larry Bird
Kobe Bryant
Wilt Chamberlain
Bob Cousy
Billy Cunningham
Stephen Curry
Tim Duncan
Kevin Durant
Julius Erving
Patrick Ewing
Walt Frazier
Kevin Garnett
George Gervin
Hal Greer
John Havlicek
Elvin Hayes
Allen Iverson
LeBron James
Magic Johnson
Michael Jordan
Jason Kidd
Jerry Lucas
Karl Malone
Moses Malone
Kevin McHale
George Mikan
Reggie Miller
Earl Monroe
Steve Nash
Dirk Nowitzki
Hakeem Olajuwon
Shaquille O’Neal
Bob Pettit
Paul Pierce
Scottie Pippen
Willis Reed
Oscar Robertson
David Robinson
Bill Russell
John Stockton
Isiah Thomas
Nate Thurmond
Dwyane Wade
Jerry West
* New players added to our list
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Last edited by 32 on Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject:

Ya beat me to it, 32! Will hand over the reins to this thread, but my argument about Big Game remains the same!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject:

Eh. The idea was 50 at 50. Make it 70 at 70. I don’t like the idea of excising players from the past who are already in danger of being forgotten.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Eh. The idea was 50 at 50. Make it 70 at 70. I don’t like the idea of excising players from the past who are already in danger of being forgotten.


That's great idea.

Just reposting my original post so we're all on one thread:


Some additions: Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, etc.

Some of the folks dropped: Walton, Unseld, Sam Jones, Big Game James.

Couple of thoughts: When I had the chance to interview Bob McAdoo few years ago he was still quite befuddled and upset that he hadn't been named to the original list. He was the only former MVP not on it. He wasn't added this time but he's also no longer the only former MVP not on it, as Unseld and Walton were dropped. I can see him not being on updated list but it remains absurd he wasn't on that original one. Three time scoring champ, former MVP (and totally deserved, no matter what revisionists who think Barry deserved it think), is the Knicks all-time ppg scorer (the Knicks! Who remembers Doo with the Knicks?). And hugely important reserve on 2 title teams and four finalists. Doo is so unappreciated.

The other thing, with Big Game. I definitely see argument for dropping him. But this line: "But the decision came down to this: Worthy was never more than the third-best Laker after Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

That annoys. From 1986-87 season through 1991, Big Game was second-best Laker. Kareem was still pretty tough in '87 when needed, but was not the Kareem of even 1986. This is also why I get annoyed when people talk about the Hall of Famers Magic played with. The 87-91 teams had two guys playing Hall of Fame level, Magic and Worthy. Yet they won two titles. So for five years in Showtime, Worthy was the second-best Laker; that means something. But again, with all the other guys who have come since 1997, not that outraged he was dropped. Just don't give that reason.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:07 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Eh. The idea was 50 at 50. Make it 70 at 70. I don’t like the idea of excising players from the past who are already in danger of being forgotten.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:46 am    Post subject:

spflakers wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Eh. The idea was 50 at 50. Make it 70 at 70. I don’t like the idea of excising players from the past who are already in danger of being forgotten.


That's great idea.

Just reposting my original post so we're all on one thread:


Some additions: Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, etc.

Some of the folks dropped: Walton, Unseld, Sam Jones, Big Game James.

Couple of thoughts: When I had the chance to interview Bob McAdoo few years ago he was still quite befuddled and upset that he hadn't been named to the original list. He was the only former MVP not on it. He wasn't added this time but he's also no longer the only former MVP not on it, as Unseld and Walton were dropped. I can see him not being on updated list but it remains absurd he wasn't on that original one. Three time scoring champ, former MVP (and totally deserved, no matter what revisionists who think Barry deserved it think), is the Knicks all-time ppg scorer (the Knicks! Who remembers Doo with the Knicks?). And hugely important reserve on 2 title teams and four finalists. Doo is so unappreciated.

The other thing, with Big Game. I definitely see argument for dropping him. But this line: "But the decision came down to this: Worthy was never more than the third-best Laker after Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

That annoys. From 1986-87 season through 1991, Big Game was second-best Laker. Kareem was still pretty tough in '87 when needed, but was not the Kareem of even 1986. This is also why I get annoyed when people talk about the Hall of Famers Magic played with. The 87-91 teams had two guys playing Hall of Fame level, Magic and Worthy. Yet they won two titles. So for five years in Showtime, Worthy was the second-best Laker; that means something. But again, with all the other guys who have come since 1997, not that outraged he was dropped. Just don't give that reason.


1. Magic really did win most of his rings with a stacked teams. Even when Kareem was 39 in 86-87 he was putting up 18-7 on 56% shooting (and 22-7 in the finals). I don't diminish Magic because of it; but I don't pretend it isn't true either. He had the luxury of great teammates from the beginning to end of his career.

2. I have no problem leaving McAdoo off the all-time 50 team. At the time the team was picked, I'd rank him in the mid-40s to mid-50s so he could have gone either way with me. Sure, he won an MVP at age 23, but he got traded shortly after that ... and then traded ... and then traded .. and waived .. and traded ... so he had a pretty checkered career. For a long time, it looked like he would be the only MVP to not make the Hall of Fame, but I guess that honor will be reserved for Derrick Rose.

3. Worthy is a hard guy to judge. Was he a superstar who was held back playing with all-time greats, or was he simply a very good player who seemed better than he was because he had the cover of Magic, Kareem, etc.? We'll never know that one.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:38 am    Post subject:

>reggie miller, allen iverson, ray allen, paul pierce, dywayne wade instead of Worthy

LOL
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:04 am    Post subject:

spflakers wrote:
The other thing, with Big Game. I definitely see argument for dropping him. But this line: "But the decision came down to this: Worthy was never more than the third-best Laker after Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

That annoys. From 1986-87 season through 1991, Big Game was second-best Laker. Kareem was still pretty tough in '87 when needed, but was not the Kareem of even 1986. This is also why I get annoyed when people talk about the Hall of Famers Magic played with. The 87-91 teams had two guys playing Hall of Fame level, Magic and Worthy. Yet they won two titles. So for five years in Showtime, Worthy was the second-best Laker; that means something. But again, with all the other guys who have come since 1997, not that outraged he was dropped. Just don't give that reason.


Eh. We quit winning titles after '88. I wouldn't say that Worthy was playing at a Hall of Fame level at that point. In fact, I'm not sure that he ever played at a genuine Hall of Fame level. I can't think of any other Hall of Famer whose standing is based so much on one game.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:02 pm    Post subject:

I'm fond of celebrating NBA history, not denigrating past greats whose game get deemed in the media as less "great" due to the evolution of the game forty years hence. Not fond of any cut-line wherein Walton, Archibald and Worthy get skipped so as to include the supposedly preferred talents of Ray Allen, Iverson or Wade.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:55 pm    Post subject:

James Worthy > Ray Allen & Paul Pierce
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject:

Is this 50 Greatest NBA or 50 Greatest Basketball? If it's the latter, you simply cannot remove Walton...sorry, you just cannot do it.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:06 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
spflakers wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Eh. The idea was 50 at 50. Make it 70 at 70. I don’t like the idea of excising players from the past who are already in danger of being forgotten.


That's great idea.

Just reposting my original post so we're all on one thread:


Some additions: Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, etc.

Some of the folks dropped: Walton, Unseld, Sam Jones, Big Game James.

Couple of thoughts: When I had the chance to interview Bob McAdoo few years ago he was still quite befuddled and upset that he hadn't been named to the original list. He was the only former MVP not on it. He wasn't added this time but he's also no longer the only former MVP not on it, as Unseld and Walton were dropped. I can see him not being on updated list but it remains absurd he wasn't on that original one. Three time scoring champ, former MVP (and totally deserved, no matter what revisionists who think Barry deserved it think), is the Knicks all-time ppg scorer (the Knicks! Who remembers Doo with the Knicks?). And hugely important reserve on 2 title teams and four finalists. Doo is so unappreciated.

The other thing, with Big Game. I definitely see argument for dropping him. But this line: "But the decision came down to this: Worthy was never more than the third-best Laker after Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

That annoys. From 1986-87 season through 1991, Big Game was second-best Laker. Kareem was still pretty tough in '87 when needed, but was not the Kareem of even 1986. This is also why I get annoyed when people talk about the Hall of Famers Magic played with. The 87-91 teams had two guys playing Hall of Fame level, Magic and Worthy. Yet they won two titles. So for five years in Showtime, Worthy was the second-best Laker; that means something. But again, with all the other guys who have come since 1997, not that outraged he was dropped. Just don't give that reason.


1. Magic really did win most of his rings with a stacked teams. Even when Kareem was 39 in 86-87 he was putting up 18-7 on 56% shooting (and 22-7 in the finals). I don't diminish Magic because of it; but I don't pretend it isn't true either. He had the luxury of great teammates from the beginning to end of his career.

2. I have no problem leaving McAdoo off the all-time 50 team. At the time the team was picked, I'd rank him in the mid-40s to mid-50s so he could have gone either way with me. Sure, he won an MVP at age 23, but he got traded shortly after that ... and then traded ... and then traded .. and waived .. and traded ... so he had a pretty checkered career. For a long time, it looked like he would be the only MVP to not make the Hall of Fame, but I guess that honor will be reserved for Derrick Rose.

3. Worthy is a hard guy to judge. Was he a superstar who was held back playing with all-time greats, or was he simply a very good player who seemed better than he was because he had the cover of Magic, Kareem, etc.? We'll never know that one.


Bob McAdoo was a bit of a difficult guy: to coach, to interview, to motivate so as to get real buy-in to a team concept if it meant reduction in his stats lines. I think that all that showed up in his club-to-club-to-club patterned career, and ultimately, in the media's valuations of his place in NBA history.

Personally, I would not put active players on top 50 list at all, if it meant to displace a name of someone who was already named to it and had completed his career. Enlarging the list past the arbitrary "50" name limit feels far more appropriate to me.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:04 pm    Post subject:

Wilkes52 wrote:
activeverb wrote:
spflakers wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Eh. The idea was 50 at 50. Make it 70 at 70. I don’t like the idea of excising players from the past who are already in danger of being forgotten.


That's great idea.

Just reposting my original post so we're all on one thread:


Some additions: Kobe, Duncan, Garnett, etc.

Some of the folks dropped: Walton, Unseld, Sam Jones, Big Game James.

Couple of thoughts: When I had the chance to interview Bob McAdoo few years ago he was still quite befuddled and upset that he hadn't been named to the original list. He was the only former MVP not on it. He wasn't added this time but he's also no longer the only former MVP not on it, as Unseld and Walton were dropped. I can see him not being on updated list but it remains absurd he wasn't on that original one. Three time scoring champ, former MVP (and totally deserved, no matter what revisionists who think Barry deserved it think), is the Knicks all-time ppg scorer (the Knicks! Who remembers Doo with the Knicks?). And hugely important reserve on 2 title teams and four finalists. Doo is so unappreciated.

The other thing, with Big Game. I definitely see argument for dropping him. But this line: "But the decision came down to this: Worthy was never more than the third-best Laker after Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar."

That annoys. From 1986-87 season through 1991, Big Game was second-best Laker. Kareem was still pretty tough in '87 when needed, but was not the Kareem of even 1986. This is also why I get annoyed when people talk about the Hall of Famers Magic played with. The 87-91 teams had two guys playing Hall of Fame level, Magic and Worthy. Yet they won two titles. So for five years in Showtime, Worthy was the second-best Laker; that means something. But again, with all the other guys who have come since 1997, not that outraged he was dropped. Just don't give that reason.


1. Magic really did win most of his rings with a stacked teams. Even when Kareem was 39 in 86-87 he was putting up 18-7 on 56% shooting (and 22-7 in the finals). I don't diminish Magic because of it; but I don't pretend it isn't true either. He had the luxury of great teammates from the beginning to end of his career.

2. I have no problem leaving McAdoo off the all-time 50 team. At the time the team was picked, I'd rank him in the mid-40s to mid-50s so he could have gone either way with me. Sure, he won an MVP at age 23, but he got traded shortly after that ... and then traded ... and then traded .. and waived .. and traded ... so he had a pretty checkered career. For a long time, it looked like he would be the only MVP to not make the Hall of Fame, but I guess that honor will be reserved for Derrick Rose.

3. Worthy is a hard guy to judge. Was he a superstar who was held back playing with all-time greats, or was he simply a very good player who seemed better than he was because he had the cover of Magic, Kareem, etc.? We'll never know that one.


Bob McAdoo was a bit of a difficult guy: to coach, to interview, to motivate so as to get real buy-in to a team concept if it meant reduction in his stats lines. I think that all that showed up in his club-to-club-to-club patterned career, and ultimately, in the media's valuations of his place in NBA history.

Personally, I would not put active players on top 50 list at all, if it meant to displace a name of someone who was already named to it and had completed his career. Enlarging the list past the arbitrary "50" name limit feels far more appropriate to me.


50 wasn't arbitrary. The list was compiled for the NBA's 50th anniversary. That's why people are saying it should be expanded to 70 for the 70th anniversary.

I don't mind active players being on the list as long as they have played long enough. if you did a top 70 players of all time, it would be ridiculous not to include Lebron, Wade, and Dirk.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject:

Y'all saying 70 just because of the current year, but nah, it will be 75 for the official one...then 100.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject:

R-Tistic wrote:
Y'all saying 70 just because of the current year, but nah, it will be 75 for the official one...then 100.


True, but the 75 one is irrelevant now. In five years, guys who are now rookies, or who aren't even in the league, might make the team.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:08 pm    Post subject:

adkindo wrote:
Is this 50 Greatest NBA or 50 Greatest Basketball? If it's the latter, you simply cannot remove Walton...sorry, you just cannot do it.


Even if it's for the NBA you can't ignore Walton. And Tiny was one heck of a player and led the league in scoring and assists.And putting in Ray Allen and Pierce, really??
Parish and Drexler never deserved inclusion in the original list anyway.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject:

Buck32 wrote:
adkindo wrote:
Is this 50 Greatest NBA or 50 Greatest Basketball? If it's the latter, you simply cannot remove Walton...sorry, you just cannot do it.


Even if it's for the NBA you can't ignore Walton. And Tiny was one heck of a player and led the league in scoring and assists.And putting in Ray Allen and Pierce, really??
Parish and Drexler never deserved inclusion in the original list anyway.


Drexler and Pierce are absolute no-brainers

Allen and Nate are borderline.

Perish doesn't deserve it.

Walton is a special case. Hard to judge. When he was healthy, he was up there with the goat centers; he just wasn't healthy much
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject:

Huey Lewis & The News wrote:
>reggie miller, allen iverson, ray allen, paul pierce, dywayne wade instead of Worthy

LOL


Wade in his prime for the most part was top 3 in the league, and there was even a point in time in 2006, when many argued he was the BEST. Worthy never came close to achieving that level in terms of his personal game. When it was time for him to take over after Magic retired, his numbers DID NOT go up. Injuries had to do with it. Retired early at 33. He was good WITH Magic, but had no longevity. After his 88 Finals MVP at 27 yrs old, he didn't do much after that. He was borderline in the first top 50. He definitely should be bumped in 2017's top 50.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject:

Runway8 wrote:
Huey Lewis & The News wrote:
>reggie miller, allen iverson, ray allen, paul pierce, dywayne wade instead of Worthy

LOL


Wade in his prime for the most part was top 3 in the league, and there was even a point in time in 2006, when many argued he was the BEST. Worthy never came close to achieving that level in terms of his personal game. When it was time for him to take over after Magic retired, his numbers DID NOT go up. Injuries had to do with it. Retired early at 33. He was good WITH Magic, but had no longevity. After his 88 Finals MVP at 27 yrs old, he didn't do much after that. He was borderline in the first top 50. He definitely should be bumped in 2017's top 50.



I always thought Worthy was a little over rated -- the halo effect of being on Showtime. That said, his calling card was being a great playoff performer. The difficult is his career was short and it's arguable whether he was personally held back playing with Magic/Kareem or if they made him look like more than we was.

Wade is no brainer in front of him. Ray is a stretch. Everyone else is reasonable, though I also think Iverson and Miller are overrated.
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