ESPN Ranks Their All-time 74 Greatest Players
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Black20Ice
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 2:12 pm    Post subject: ESPN Ranks Their All-time 74 Greatest Players

Lakers on the list
2. LeBron James
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5. Magic Johnson
6. Wilt Chamberlain
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Shaquille O’Neal
16. Jerry West
17. Karl Malone
22. Elgin Baylor
34. George Mikan
45. Anthony Davis
51. James Worthy
53. Gary Payton
59. Bob McAdoo
62. Dennis Rodman
65. Pau Gasol

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29105574/ranking-top-74-nba-players-all-nos-74-41
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nomoreshaq
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject:

That's a solid top 10.

Jordan
Lebron
KAJ
Russell
Magic
Wilt
Bird
Duncan
Kobe
Shaq

Personally, I'd swap Kobe with Duncan but whatever, it is a fine top 10.
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Baron Von Humongous
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 5:59 pm    Post subject:

What a great, Lakers-centric top ten. No complaints from me, ESPN.
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 6:26 pm    Post subject:

Man love seeing all those Lakers in that top 10 list. They were scattered all over the top 74
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venturalakersfan
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 6:29 pm    Post subject:

Probably more than half the people at ESPN never saw Kareem play.
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 7:26 pm    Post subject:

MJ
Kareem
Kobe
LeBron
Magic
Shaq
Duncan
Wilt
Bird
Hakeem / Russell

That's mine but to each their own
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SuperboyReformed
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 8:40 pm    Post subject:

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Day
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 11:06 pm    Post subject:

I have a problem with any list that includes Bill Russel but doesn't put him #1.

The main problem with these lists in general is their subjective nature, this one is called the "top" players of all time, but what does that even mean? Or you see lists of the "greatest" of all time, but that's so subjective. Are you going by accomplishments? Overall career? Skill?

In lists that include Russel it must be heavily weighted by accomplishments while not taking into account competition. If that's the case he should be #1 on every single list that includes him because otherwise he's probably no where close to top 10.

Then let's look at how they justify putting LeBron #2 when his accomplishments aren't anywhere close to some of the others on the list. If you're doing most skilled then Russel shouldn't even be on the list and Kobe would be way higher.

--

Something else that's reaching an infuriating level is people trying to put Duncan over Kobe. I think Duncan was underrated for a long time and now it seems people are overcompensating by putting him so high on lists. Duncan was 2-4 against Kobe in the playoffs. He came into the league on an elite team with one of the best Centers to ever play the game in David Robinson. He never played a year without an elite team around him with elite coaching. He played his entire career with one of the best coaches ever and his career, IMO, wasn't as impressive as Kobe. Kobe had more first team all NBA, more first team all defense, more all star appearances, etc. The only accolades that Duncan had more of were MVP and finals MVP.

He shouldn't have won MVP over Jason Kidd in 02 and anyone who thinks Kobe was only MVP once doesn't deserve to have an opinion on the subject. The MVP award is just a popularity contest anyways and subjective in nature. The fact that Kobe is getting slighted because he didn't receive as many votes from journalists and media is just ridiculous. As for finals MVP's ... that's not really fair either. In each of the three championship runs in the Kobe/Shaq days, if you had to pick an MVP of the playoffs it would be Kobe each year. Shaq FEASTED on the Eastern conference teams in the finals because they were weak and had literally no answer but who, ironically, was the MVP against the Spurs in each of their battles? It's Kobe.

I remember seeing a clip of Chauncey Billups saying "This might be controversial, but Kobe is the most skilled player to ever play this game". Everyone on the panel agreed and said it wasn't even controversial, even Paul Pierce agreed. How is it that someone revered as the most skilled player, the closest possible thing anyone's seen to Michael Jordan ( who is almost unanimously atop every list ) isn't consistently ranked higher? It's just foolish.
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activeverb
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 12:04 am    Post subject:

Day wrote:
I have a problem with any list that includes Bill Russel but doesn't put him #1.

The main problem with these lists in general is their subjective nature, this one is called the "top" players of all time, but what does that even mean? Or you see lists of the "greatest" of all time, but that's so subjective. Are you going by accomplishments? Overall career? Skill?

In lists that include Russel it must be heavily weighted by accomplishments while not taking into account competition. If that's the case he should be #1 on every single list that includes him because otherwise he's probably no where close to top 10.

Then let's look at how they justify putting LeBron #2 when his accomplishments aren't anywhere close to some of the others on the list. If you're doing most skilled then Russel shouldn't even be on the list and Kobe would be way higher.

--

Something else that's reaching an infuriating level is people trying to put Duncan over Kobe. I think Duncan was underrated for a long time and now it seems people are overcompensating by putting him so high on lists. Duncan was 2-4 against Kobe in the playoffs. He came into the league on an elite team with one of the best Centers to ever play the game in David Robinson. He never played a year without an elite team around him with elite coaching. He played his entire career with one of the best coaches ever and his career, IMO, wasn't as impressive as Kobe. Kobe had more first team all NBA, more first team all defense, more all star appearances, etc. The only accolades that Duncan had more of were MVP and finals MVP.

He shouldn't have won MVP over Jason Kidd in 02 and anyone who thinks Kobe was only MVP once doesn't deserve to have an opinion on the subject. The MVP award is just a popularity contest anyways and subjective in nature. The fact that Kobe is getting slighted because he didn't receive as many votes from journalists and media is just ridiculous. As for finals MVP's ... that's not really fair either. In each of the three championship runs in the Kobe/Shaq days, if you had to pick an MVP of the playoffs it would be Kobe each year. Shaq FEASTED on the Eastern conference teams in the finals because they were weak and had literally no answer but who, ironically, was the MVP against the Spurs in each of their battles? It's Kobe.

I remember seeing a clip of Chauncey Billups saying "This might be controversial, but Kobe is the most skilled player to ever play this game". Everyone on the panel agreed and said it wasn't even controversial, even Paul Pierce agreed. How is it that someone revered as the most skilled player, the closest possible thing anyone's seen to Michael Jordan ( who is almost unanimously atop every list ) isn't consistently ranked higher? It's just foolish.


Their method was very clear. They got a bunch of Voters. And the voters we're presented pairings of players. And they picked one over the other. They did this over and over and over and over and over and the results we're based on all those cumulative choices. It's a fairly standard way of ranking people. And yes it's completely subjective, and not based on any single explicited criteria.


Last edited by activeverb on Thu May 14, 2020 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: ESPN Ranks Their All-time 74 Greatest Players

Black20Ice wrote:
Lakers on the list
2. LeBron James
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5. Magic Johnson
6. Wilt Chamberlain
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Shaquille O’Neal
16. Jerry West
17. Karl Malone
22. Elgin Baylor
34. George Mikan
45. Anthony Davis
51. James Worthy
53. Gary Payton
59. Bob McAdoo
62. Dennis Rodman
65. Pau Gasol

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/29105574/ranking-top-74-nba-players-all-nos-74-41


And no love for Steve Nash
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activeverb
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 12:18 am    Post subject:

nomoreshaq wrote:
That's a solid top 10.

Jordan
Lebron
KAJ
Russell
Magic
Wilt
Bird
Duncan
Kobe
Shaq

Personally, I'd swap Kobe with Duncan but whatever, it is a fine top 10.


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dries
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 4:13 am    Post subject:

Kobe 9? Why?? Lebron 2? Why??
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LakersChamps04
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 5:23 am    Post subject:

Bird ahaed of Kobe, TD & Shaq is a crime.

jordan
kareem
Lebron
Kobe
Magic
Shaq
TD
Bill
Wilt
Bird
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danzag
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:32 am    Post subject:

Duncan ahead of Kobe lol
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Black20Ice
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 7:50 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
Duncan ahead of Kobe lol


It’s not clear cut. It’s close. No PF was better in the history of the game than Duncan and Kobe is only second to Jordan at the two spot.

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15× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015)
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activeverb
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 8:53 am    Post subject:

danzag wrote:
Duncan ahead of Kobe lol



My sense is that when you look at everything Kobe, Duncan and Shaq had equivalent careers. Like this survey, I tend to rank them as a block, and I don't get too worked up how the three of them are ranked within that block.

In terms of tangible accomplishments, you can make a case for any of them above the other, depending on what criteria you decide is important.

I think this mostly comes down to the style of play people like.


Last edited by activeverb on Thu May 14, 2020 9:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 9:04 am    Post subject:

LakersChamps04 wrote:
Bird ahaed of Kobe, TD & Shaq is a crime.

jordan
kareem
Lebron
Kobe
Magic
Shaq
TD
Bill
Wilt
Bird



I disagree. Bird was an amazing player. The big knock on him was longevity, since he played in an era where he didn't start until age 23 and his career was ended by back injuries.

In terms of peak impact, I had no trouble with anyone ranking him above Kobe, Shaq and Duncan.

In fact, I think as a rookie Bird had the single biggest impact in NBA history. With no other significant additions to the roster, Boston improved from 29 wins to 61 wins in his rookie season.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject:

venturalakersfan wrote:
Probably more than half the people at ESPN never saw Kareem play.



I'm sure there's lots of people working at ESPN who never saw Magic, Bird and MJ live, and in not too long they'll be joined by coworkers who never saw Shaq, Duncan and Kobe play live.

Time marches on.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 9:41 am    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
danzag wrote:
Duncan ahead of Kobe lol



My sense is that when you look at everything Kobe, Duncan and Shaq had equivalent careers. Like this survey, I tend to rank them as a block, and I don't get too worked up how the three of them are ranked within that block.

In terms of tangible accomplishments, you can make a case for any of them above the other, depending on what criteria you decide is important.

I think this mostly comes down to the style of play people like.

Bingo, I feel exactly the same. Have never seen any sort of argument that separates Shaq, Kobe and Duncan from each other. You can have them in whichever order you like, and it's completely justifiable.

Overall that's a pretty solid top ten from ESPN. Only LeBron seems too high to me. I think he needs another ring before he settles above the Magic/Russell/Wilt level.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 10:05 am    Post subject:

richsmith wrote:
activeverb wrote:
danzag wrote:
Duncan ahead of Kobe lol



My sense is that when you look at everything Kobe, Duncan and Shaq had equivalent careers. Like this survey, I tend to rank them as a block, and I don't get too worked up how the three of them are ranked within that block.

In terms of tangible accomplishments, you can make a case for any of them above the other, depending on what criteria you decide is important.

I think this mostly comes down to the style of play people like.

Bingo, I feel exactly the same. Have never seen any sort of argument that separates Shaq, Kobe and Duncan from each other. You can have them in whichever order you like, and it's completely justifiable.

Overall that's a pretty solid top ten from ESPN. Only LeBron seems too high to me. I think he needs another ring before he settles above the Magic/Russell/Wilt level.


They ranked Russell higher than I would. But he's a tough guy to pin down because his ranking is so heavily dependent on team success, intangibles and defense. The 60s (especially the first half of the 60s) was such a different era than those that came after it that it's hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison.

But the difficulty/subjectivity of the ranking is also the fun of an exercise like this.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 11:26 am    Post subject:

2019 wrote:
MJ
Kareem
Kobe
LeBron
Magic
Shaq
Duncan
Wilt
Bird
Hakeem / Russell

That's mine but to each their own


I agree that fair minded people can disagree a bit on this, and also with VLF's claim that most at ESPN never saw KAJ play.
For me:
MJ
KAJ
Magic
Kobe
LBJ
Shaq
Bird
Wilt
Russell
Duncan
Dream

I can't put LBJ 2nd, at least not yet, though his story is still being written, I have to put KAJ and Magic ahead of him at this point. Kobe too, at least right now, tho one more title and I likely move LBJ up one spot. He'd need 2 more to clip Magic, and be in the GOAT convo with KAJ and MJ.
Also have no problem with anyone putting Kareem first.
Bird was amazing, but Shaq is ahead with more titles, and likely even more dominant at his peak. Bird might've been higher without the back issues.
For me, Kobe and Shaq ahead of Duncan. Timmy was amazing, but never really the best player on the court when he faced either Kobe or Shaq (or both).
And Dream was magnificent, but his 2 titles only came with MJ in minor league baseball. Wilt/Russell is always an interesting argument, and I have no issue with anyone putting them higher or lower. Different eras are tough to compare.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 11:41 am    Post subject:

Robster8989 wrote:

I agree that fair minded people can disagree a bit on this, and also with VLF's claim that most at ESPN never saw KAJ play.


Depends how you define "saw KAJ play." I was around for his entire career and only saw him play in person twice -- but I saw him play countless times on TV. So I don't know that I really "saw" him play much differently than anyone who looks at those old game tapes for the first time today.

I do have the benefit of following him during his playing career and that gives me a deeper understanding and context. But then that may also give me an emotional attachment that skews my opinion. So someone looking at those tapes for the first time today has an advantage over me in some ways.

All this stuff is subjective. So I'm always a little dubious when people argue that their opinion has more worth for this reason or that reason.


Last edited by activeverb on Thu May 14, 2020 11:45 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 11:42 am    Post subject:

1. Kobe Bryant
2. Michael Jordan
3. Magic Johnson
4. Kareem Abdul Jabaar
5. Lebron James
6. Larry Bird
7. Shaq Oneal
8. Wilt Chamberlain
9. Tim Duncan
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
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kwase
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 12:26 pm    Post subject:

Kobe at 9 and lebron at 2. That list isn't even worthy of being used for toilet paper.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 4:09 pm    Post subject:

Bill Russell beating stilt over and over counts for nothing?
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