Id like to take a moment to spread a layer of rich creamy douche on the toast that ISH by pointing out a number of things I feel are true and have little to no respect for your opinion if you disagree with. It has become my custom to pop up and ramble on now and then about issues nobody much cares about and after 8 years im still not tired of it. Perhaps I just love the sounds of a keyboard hard at work....
2 things before I start...
1. I type run on sentences of epic proportions so be prepared for that..
2. It is customary to at some point in my posts get bored and wander off mentally...perhaps physically. So around the time I suspect the brave few who read this to be getting sick of it....I will offer an intermission complete with 4 unrelated things I think might brighten your day.
Now...the issue at hand.
I kinda hate you all. Not individually but what you(and I) have created in the last 10 years.
Internet forums...especially sports related ones...have stopped being about sports as much as about people trying to prove this or that....arguing....repeating themselves...just in general being uninteresting stand ins for basketball fans. And do you know what did it?
Numbers and a need to be proven right.
Now I understand the interest people have in numbers. I bought a basketball almanac every year when I was a kid. No internet...so I had to read books, listen to my uncle and his people, and watch games. Record games. I remember when having a VCR was a somewhat new concept. I used to buy packs of 3 tapes to record on fridays when my mom might give me a couple dollars. A tape never lasted more than 1-2 games because our VCR was cheap and could only record at the speed that made an 8 hour tape record 2 hours.
So id record say...the Celtics/Bulls game and if it was good it went into the "Dont tape over" box and if it wasnt id watch it 1-2 times and tape over it. I watched some of those tapes so many times I can still remember where games that got taped over would be when the first game ended. that was the only way to know what was happening. Who was good and why. That and a blue background segment showcasing a few league leaders at halftime on CBS.
I didint know what anyones point per shot was. PER was 20 years away. Assist to turnover ratio was about as complicated as it got and even that I heard of like 3-4 times before the late 90s.
Ive seen a dozen times on ISH before someone well meaning and usually not an idiot say something along the lines of:
"Thats just your opinion. But *inset numbers* says ___".
Or to get out of the hypothetical...ill show the exact words of someone who will remain nameless:
The point is, your "my opinion blah blah blah" argument is so weak it's not even funny. All it takes is another contrary opinion (which will pop up), and its' gone.
The problem with this and similar lines of thinking....is that talking about basketball is arguing points that cant be proven.
I think the strive for proof is the source of most of problems with people online these days. Unless you want to be an ass and say something like "So I cant prove Jordan was better than Steve Kerr?"...its damn near impossible to prove anything.
All we can prove is who won and who lost. Which numbers a player has. and what awards he was given. Thats it. And every single one of them lie.
Difference between shooting 44 and 50 for a guy who shoots 18 times a game is one make or miss. In a game with perhaps 160 posessions there are people who let something like that decide who they think is a good player and who isnt. Or more likely who is an ok player and who is great. Since 50% is now a magical number that makes you great.
People act like they dont watch games and see what makes these numbers. Jason Kidd for one helped to slaughter his shooting percentages with halfcourt rainbows all the time in his prime. He just didnt give a damn. Same for Sam Cassell for a while. To me its a sign of a winner. I hate seeing guys dribble out the clock instead of shooting it. Never know right?
In a game with maybe 150-160 posessions one missed jumper often a bailout shot for a superstar isnt the difference between being good or bad. You have guys like Lebron, Kobe, and even lesser players like Ben Gordon, Jason Terry, and Jamal crawford taking bail out shots at the end of shot clocks/quarters that just flat out destroy their shooting percentages. It makes their numbers worse...but it does it because they have skills that let their teammates lean on them in such situations.
They are great shooters of often contested shots. have balls enough to take the shots. So their teams feed them the ball in otherwish bad situations. So they miss 1-2 shots a game that lesser skilled guys wouldnt be given....and it greatly impacts their shooting numbers. And its a direct result of a POSITIVE. Being good....gets you bad shots. As I said earlier one miss can take you from 50% to 44%. And a guy like AI? You watch one of his Philly games and hes taking almost EVERY bailout shot. A better indicator of quality shots being taken would probably be...shooting percentage with 3 or more seconds on the clock. But we have prople trying to fix that issue already...
We now have bullshit like true shooting and eFG% or PPS which reward threes and making FTs with no concern for the situation leading to those things. For the most part guys who take a lot of threes(even when they make them) do so for lack of the talents needed to get a better shot. So you can shoot. You take 3s. Have idiots talking about how many 3s you can miss and still produce as many point as you do making less 2s.
Am I the only one who sees the downside of taking a bad shot? you dont get 3 for the shot because its a good shot. You get it because its difficult. And people who take difficult shots dont tend to win when it matters because you cant count on making tough shots. You can however count on running good offense that gets good shots. Often you can take bad shots...and miss more shots...but if they are 3s you get a better rating? Lets not even go into the impact on transition D when you give up long rebounds off threes as opposed to missing a shot in the lane....
True shooting al ltime leaders does include some greats(Bird, Magic, Barkley and others) but any stat that in any way measure a positive(like making shots) will include some great. But really....
1. Cedric Maxwell .6294
6. Reggie Miller .6139
10. Brent Barry .6066
17. Ed Pinckney .6019
18. Steve Johnson .6002
19. Mario Elie .5982
Kevin Martin .5982
And this is perhaps most laughable to me:
25. Steve Kerr .5932
26. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* .5924
Im gonna let that stand on its own...
Factoring in all forms of shooting numbers to make one number to decide something is just a ****ing stupid idea to begin with. For one...your field goal percentage itself is misleading for all number of reasons. your 3 point percentage can be impacted by so many things unrelated to your talent its a joke. And FT percentages? Relevant...but key to greatness?
How how many truly elitep layers shot 85% for their careers? Forget the bigmen like Wilt, Kareem, Russell, Shaq and so on. Few people do at any position. People who matter I mean. Not Jordan. Not Oscar. Not Magic. Not Kobe. Not west. 79 people have done it and 6 of them are or can be expected to eventually be in the HOF.
Being a great Ft shooter would be good for anyone. But fact is its often indicative of a less than complete game. A guy like Steve Kerr can do nothing but shoot because what else is he gonna be doing?
Getting away from scoring numbers...