40 Best Careers in NBA History
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The Juggernaut
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:01 pm    Post subject:

I’ll take that bet. Those guys will all be HOFers and we’re in their prime with Bron
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject:

The Juggernaut wrote:
I’ll take that bet. Those guys will all be HOFers and we’re in their prime with Bron


Cool -- let me know the odds you're offering My guess is at least one of them won't make it. We'll have to check back in a decade or so to see which of us is right.
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The Juggernaut
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject:

Any odds you want
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:36 pm    Post subject:

^
Also it's important to put something in perspective. Even if we buy your belief that all four of those guys will become Hall of Famers, they weren't all on the same team at the same time.

I'd put it this way: Lebron had a 7 year stretch where, by your reckoning, he played with two Hall of Fame teammates every year.

Even if we accept your guess of who will become Hall of Famers, lots of players could say that – Duncan, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, Magic, Bird.

So, again, he's had a lot of talent on his team, but most of the top 10 players have. And, of course, not all Hall of Famers are equal, so you can't just count them (just like you can't just count up all-stars) and say that represents the quality of teammates a player has had. Because with that approach, you're saying a prime Kareem, Magic, or Pippen as a teammate is no better than having Bill Bradley or Calvin Murphy as a teammate.

And honestly, I hate this is a Lebron thing, because I think that detracts from the discussion of how to evaluate a player's teammates (I am more interested in the concept that the particular players).
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:09 pm    Post subject:

The fact that Kevin Love and Chris Bosh are likely HoFers says more about the Hall of Fame than it does about Lebron.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:45 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The fact that Kevin Love and Chris Bosh are likely HoFers says more about the Hall of Fame than it does about Lebron.


No it doesn't. Both of those guys were 20+ 10+ players on their own. People need to stop under valuing Lebron's teammates just to boost him up.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:19 pm    Post subject:

The Juggernaut wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The fact that Kevin Love and Chris Bosh are likely HoFers says more about the Hall of Fame than it does about Lebron.


No it doesn't. Both of those guys were 20+ 10+ players on their own. People need to stop under valuing Lebron's teammates just to boost him up.


You're doing the same thing in reverse. For you, this is really all about Kobe. Meanwhile, we have a separate thread in which CC is trying to convince everyone that Pau Gasol was nothing without Kobe.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:37 pm    Post subject:

The Juggernaut wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The fact that Kevin Love and Chris Bosh are likely HoFers says more about the Hall of Fame than it does about Lebron.


No it doesn't. Both of those guys were 20+ 10+ players on their own. People need to stop under valuing Lebron's teammates just to boost him up.


LeBron had great teammates and arguably the most supporting help in the league every year he won, just like every player in the modern era not named Duncan (and only for one season), Hakeem (and only for one season) and Dirk. Counting HOF teammates is silly. Kobe and Jordan both had arguably the most help in basketball for 5 of their titles even though they only had one HOF teammate alongside them.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:39 pm    Post subject:

vanexelent wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
LeBron James at #3

There's nothing surprising here, though this guy is a little more impressed with Lebron's defense than most.


Yeah, I think Lebron get's a little to much credit for his defense against "all 5 positions". Even in this guys video, his example of Lebron guarding a Center was when he switched on Al Horford. Most Forwards can guard Al Horford. And Lebron doesn't exactly guard PG's very well.


Agreed, but that credit is pretty much warranted for positions 1-4 and his versatility overall.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:21 am    Post subject:

Michael Jordan at #2

I expected the analysis to be uninteresting, given that MJ gets discussed to death around here. But in fact the discussion of how MJ changed under Phil Jackson is interesting, as is the lengthy analysis of MJ's defense and how it evolved over time.

So Kareem winds up at the top of this guy's list.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:58 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The Juggernaut wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The fact that Kevin Love and Chris Bosh are likely HoFers says more about the Hall of Fame than it does about Lebron.


No it doesn't. Both of those guys were 20+ 10+ players on their own. People need to stop under valuing Lebron's teammates just to boost him up.


You're doing the same thing in reverse. For you, this is really all about Kobe. Meanwhile, we have a separate thread in which CC is trying to convince everyone that Pau Gasol was nothing without Kobe.


Gasol in Memphis was pretty much Chris Bosh before the Heat. But Kobe didn't have another guy on Wade's level to go along with it. Lebron essentially had the same dynamic with Love and Kyrie.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:10 pm    Post subject:

vanexelent wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The Juggernaut wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The fact that Kevin Love and Chris Bosh are likely HoFers says more about the Hall of Fame than it does about Lebron.


No it doesn't. Both of those guys were 20+ 10+ players on their own. People need to stop under valuing Lebron's teammates just to boost him up.


You're doing the same thing in reverse. For you, this is really all about Kobe. Meanwhile, we have a separate thread in which CC is trying to convince everyone that Pau Gasol was nothing without Kobe.


Gasol in Memphis was pretty much Chris Bosh before the Heat. But Kobe didn't have another guy on Wade's level to go along with it. Lebron essentially had the same dynamic with Love and Kyrie.


As you know, you can wear yourself out on that sort of argument. You end up chasing your tail. Because there has been an ongoing Kobe vs. Lebron argument on this board, there is a tendency among some people to build up Lebron's teammates and to trash all of Kobe's teammates. This was true all the way back before Lebron went to Miami. I can remember people talking about how Larry Hughes was a stud.

You don't win a title without a strong supporting cast, whether it consists of a couple future Hall of Famers or just a bunch of high quality role players. The team has to fit together well, and that often has nothing to do with the individual quality of the players. Our last couple title teams were built around having the best front line in the league -- Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. Is that better or worse than having Wade and Bosh, or Love and Irving? For the most part, people around here will answer that question based on what they already believe.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:31 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
vanexelent wrote:


Gasol in Memphis was pretty much Chris Bosh before the Heat. But Kobe didn't have another guy on Wade's level to go along with it. Lebron essentially had the same dynamic with Love and Kyrie.


As you know, you can wear yourself out on that sort of argument. You end up chasing your tail. Because there has been an ongoing Kobe vs. Lebron argument on this board, there is a tendency among some people to build up Lebron's teammates and to trash all of Kobe's teammates. This was true all the way back before Lebron went to Miami. I can remember people talking about how Larry Hughes was a stud.

You don't win a title without a strong supporting cast, whether it consists of a couple future Hall of Famers or just a bunch of high quality role players. The team has to fit together well, and that often has nothing to do with the individual quality of the players. Our last couple title teams were built around having the best front line in the league -- Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. Is that better or worse than having Wade and Bosh, or Love and Irving? For the most part, people around here will answer that question based on what they already believe.


I'm not using it as an argument in whether Kobe or Lebron were better players (Lebron overall is the better player imo). I think Lebron had more individually talented teammates in Miami and his 2nd go around in Cleveland, but I think Kobe had the better team with Gasol and Odom.

Perhaps that has more to do with Phil Jackson, considering it's widely held that Lebron is the ultimate team player and Kobe is the ultimate individual iso-player.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:07 am    Post subject:

vanexelent wrote:
Perhaps that has more to do with Phil Jackson, considering it's widely held that Lebron is the ultimate team player and Kobe is the ultimate individual iso-player.


I don't know about the team player/iso player distinction. To use this guy's jargon, Kobe showed himself to be a lot more scalable than a lot of people thought. The '06 and '09 versions of Kobe had more differences than many people remember. But yeah, what you say is indeed the prevailing narrative.

There is definitely a Phil Jackson factor that is hard to measure. The same thing is true for Popovich.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject:

vanexelent wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
vanexelent wrote:


Gasol in Memphis was pretty much Chris Bosh before the Heat. But Kobe didn't have another guy on Wade's level to go along with it. Lebron essentially had the same dynamic with Love and Kyrie.


As you know, you can wear yourself out on that sort of argument. You end up chasing your tail. Because there has been an ongoing Kobe vs. Lebron argument on this board, there is a tendency among some people to build up Lebron's teammates and to trash all of Kobe's teammates. This was true all the way back before Lebron went to Miami. I can remember people talking about how Larry Hughes was a stud.

You don't win a title without a strong supporting cast, whether it consists of a couple future Hall of Famers or just a bunch of high quality role players. The team has to fit together well, and that often has nothing to do with the individual quality of the players. Our last couple title teams were built around having the best front line in the league -- Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. Is that better or worse than having Wade and Bosh, or Love and Irving? For the most part, people around here will answer that question based on what they already believe.


I'm not using it as an argument in whether Kobe or Lebron were better players (Lebron overall is the better player imo). I think Lebron had more individually talented teammates in Miami and his 2nd go around in Cleveland, but I think Kobe had the better team with Gasol and Odom.

Perhaps that has more to do with Phil Jackson, considering it's widely held that Lebron is the ultimate team player and Kobe is the ultimate individual iso-player.


1. How much individual talent players on a team have is sometimes less important than how well they fit together. As we've often see, it's sometimes better to have fewer stars than more stars. Lots of "superteams" have lost to teams with lesser talent on paper that fit better together.

2. Oftentime, our opinion of a player's game is based on how they performed in a specific period of time, without regards to whether the way they performed was dictated by their teammates and circumstances. We think of Wilt as being nothing but a scoring machine, but he modulated his game significantly when he joined the Lakers.

3. The all-time greats, like Kobe and Lebron, are all-time greats because they have so many aspects to their game, so trying to short-hand them as "the ultimate iso player" or "the ultimate team player" usually does them a disservice and creates less clarity rather than more clarity.

4. If determining how to factor in a great player's teammates into his individual success is difficult, factoring in coaches is nearly impossible. With guys like Jackson and Pops, you'll always get into the circular argument of how much they contributed, and how much they simply benefited from having great players.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject:

Yay, at least a Laker is #1!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:33 pm    Post subject:

[quote="Aeneas Hunter"]There are a number of factors that people consider in making these lists. Stats. Rings. Accolades. Esthetics. This guy is focusing on game impact and ignoring the rest.

Here is what he says:

Quote:
What This List Is Not

This list will not make traditional “arguments” for players. I won’t attempt to balance Kobe’s championships without Shaq, nor do I care about accolades like All-Star teams or the number of Hall of Fame teammates someone played with. I also don’t care how many rings a player won; the very thing I’m trying to tease out is who provided the most lift. Sometimes that lift is good enough to win, sometimes it’s not.

There are no time machines either — it’s not about how players would do today if transported into the past or future. It’s about the impact each had in his own time over the course of a career.

What This List Is

This list also goes far beyond the box score — indeed, the box score is merely a reference for quantifying tendencies — so if you’re used to citing points per game and Win Shares, this will be a bit different.

Instead, this is a career-value, or CORP list; it ranks the players who have provided the largest increase in the odds of a team winning championships over the course of their careers. This means that having great Finals moments or winning the hearts of fans with innovative passes is irrelevant. You can make a great list with those criteria, but that’s not what this exercise is intended to be.


The extent to which he accomplishes his mission is open to debate, and I think he’d welcome the debate. But if you can wrap your brain around what he is trying to do — and it took me some time to do this — his analysis makes more sense than if you view it as a traditional ranking.

Regardless, I find the ranking less interesting than the educated discussion (with video clips) of how these guys played over the course of their careers. There is a lot of great information about the strengths, weaknesses, style, and career circumstances for all of these guys.[/quote]

This is why I'm interested in this list more than anything. The ranking doesn't mean as much to me.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:18 am    Post subject:

Kareem at #1

This is a good reminder of exactly how devastating the younger Kareem was. For most of us, the image that comes to mind is the aging Kareem who played with Magic.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:19 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Kareem at #1

This is a good reminder of exactly how devastating the younger Kareem was. For most of us, the image that comes to mind is the aging Kareem who played with Magic.


If you take his career with the Bucks and don't count LA, he's still in the running for the GOAT.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:17 am    Post subject:

Epilogue

This is just some concluding thoughts from the author. He comes to the conclusion that he had been underrating defense when evaluating players. A lot of people do the same thing. Part of it is that there have been no reliable measures of defense until recent years, and even those measures are imperfect. Part of it the esthetic factor: it is more interesting to the average fan to watch Isaiah Thomas jack up shots than to watch Tim Duncan box out for rebounds.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Epilogue

This is just some concluding thoughts from the author. He comes to the conclusion that he had been underrating defense when evaluating players. A lot of people do the same thing. Part of it is that there have been no reliable measures of defense until recent years, and even those measures are imperfect. Part of it the esthetic factor: it is more interesting to the average fan to watch Isaiah Thomas jack up shots than to watch Tim Duncan box out for rebounds.


I don't agree with everything the guy said, but it really was a great analysis. Very impressive project.

And yes defense is always underrated. That's why we have a DPoY but no Offensive Player of the Year Award -- that's what the MVP is. That's why we have an all-defensive team, but no all-offensive team -- that's what the all-NBA team is.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Kareem at #1

This is a good reminder of exactly how devastating the younger Kareem was. For most of us, the image that comes to mind is the aging Kareem who played with Magic.


That might be because in the many years between his Bucks title and the arrival of Magic, he was a pretty reliable playoff underachiever. It’s intreresting that Wilt with his one title in his first decade is seen as an underachiever in an era where Boston was able to stack their roster, but Kareem gets a pass for his similar first decade in a much more wide open field.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject:

Omar Little wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Kareem at #1

This is a good reminder of exactly how devastating the younger Kareem was. For most of us, the image that comes to mind is the aging Kareem who played with Magic.


That might be because in the many years between his Bucks title and the arrival of Magic, he was a pretty reliable playoff underachiever. It’s intreresting that Wilt with his one title in his first decade is seen as an underachiever in an era where Boston was able to stack their roster, but Kareem gets a pass for his similar first decade in a much more wide open field.


Huh? Kareem had three years with the Lakers before magic where he made the playoffs. He averaged about 30-15 on 57% shooting and 4 blocks. How do you see him as an underachiever?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:55 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Kareem at #1

This is a good reminder of exactly how devastating the younger Kareem was. For most of us, the image that comes to mind is the aging Kareem who played with Magic.


That might be because in the many years between his Bucks title and the arrival of Magic, he was a pretty reliable playoff underachiever. It’s intreresting that Wilt with his one title in his first decade is seen as an underachiever in an era where Boston was able to stack their roster, but Kareem gets a pass for his similar first decade in a much more wide open field.


Huh? Kareem had three years with the Lakers before magic where he made the playoffs. He averaged about 30-15 on 57% shooting and 4 blocks. How do you see him as an underachiever?


Like Wilt, he won only one title in the first half of his career. Wilt has an excuse -- the Celtics dynasty. Kareem does not have that excuse.

I think that's a fair point, but we'll never know whether Kareem would be regarded the same way as Wilt if he hadn't won all those titles in the second half of his career. My guess is that he would, but not to the same extent. Wilt had a lot of other baggage.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:01 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
activeverb wrote:
Omar Little wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Kareem at #1

This is a good reminder of exactly how devastating the younger Kareem was. For most of us, the image that comes to mind is the aging Kareem who played with Magic.


That might be because in the many years between his Bucks title and the arrival of Magic, he was a pretty reliable playoff underachiever. It’s intreresting that Wilt with his one title in his first decade is seen as an underachiever in an era where Boston was able to stack their roster, but Kareem gets a pass for his similar first decade in a much more wide open field.


Huh? Kareem had three years with the Lakers before magic where he made the playoffs. He averaged about 30-15 on 57% shooting and 4 blocks. How do you see him as an underachiever?


Like Wilt, he won only one title in the first half of his career. Wilt has an excuse -- the Celtics dynasty. Kareem does not have that excuse.

I think that's a fair point, but we'll never know whether Kareem would be regarded the same way as Wilt if he hadn't won all those titles in the second half of his career. My guess is that he would, but not to the same extent. Wilt had a lot of other baggage.


I have no trouble with someone who thinks the Bucks should have one another ring or two with Kareem. I was questioning the idea that Kareem underperformed in the playoffs with the Lakers before magic join the team.
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