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Old 08-04-2012, 05:29 AM   #31
WillC
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Without a shadow of a doubt, Oscar Robertson is one of the top 10 players in NBA history. It's insulting to suggest otherwise.

Meanwhile, Bob Pettit clearly belongs in the top 20.

Some real revisionist history going on in this thread.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:37 AM   #32
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by StateOfMind12
Wade at his absolute peak was better than Dirk at his absolute peak but Dirk's peak lasted longer. Dirk has just simply put up more dominant seasons than Wade has so far in their careers.
That's true. But Wade's 2nd ring and much better play on the defensive end gives him the clear edge over Dirk in my opinion.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:40 AM   #33
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

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Without a shadow of a doubt, Oscar Robertson is one of the top 10 players in NBA history. It's insulting to suggest otherwise.

Based of what criteria, exactly ?

Just curious.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:54 AM   #34
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
Based of what criteria, exactly ?

Just curious.

Based on basketball talent.

He was the Michael Jordan of his era. His peers and experts at the time held him in high regard - the debate about the best player ever was between him, Wilt and Russell.

In the years since, fans look at his relative lack of team success and hold it against him. They conveniently forget that this is a team sport.

I recommend reading the 'Biographical History of Basketball' (Bjarkman). It is arguably the most in-depth book examining basketball history. The author - who knows the game better than most - makes a very convincing argument that Oscar Robertson is the best basketball player of all-time.

The guy absolutely dominated college (arguably the best college player ever, perhaps behind only Lew Alcindor), he is the best all-around player ever (LeBron is right up there too) with no weakensses, and played for arguably the most dominant team in NBA history (his Bucks championship team with Kareem is statistically the best team ever according to 'The NBA From Top To Bottom' book which ranks every NBA team).

At the very least, he is without a doubt in the top 10 ever.

It is an absolute insult to see him ranked 16th in some people's lists. At the turn of the century, Oscar Robertson was voted the 2nd best player of the century by the Associated Press.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course. My opinion is that he is one of the top 7 players ever:

1 Michael Jordan
2 Bill Russell
3 Wilt Chamberlain
4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5 Magic Johnson
6 Larry Bird
7 Oscar Robertson
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:11 AM   #35
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillC
Based on basketball talent.

He was the Michael Jordan of his era. His peers and experts at the time held him in high regard - the debate about the best player ever was between him, Wilt and Russell.

Umm how was he the Michael Jordan of his era again? last i checked Jordan won multiple rings as the lead dog, last i checked Jordan was the consensus best player in the NBA for the most part of his career. Oscar on the other hand got carried to his ring, and was always behind wilt in terms of statistical dominance.

Talent wise though, you are right, he should be top 10 of all time. but if stats was the primary criteria then Wilt would be GOAT and Russell would drop a few spots on peoples list...but like you said, everyone is entitled to their opinions
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:14 AM   #36
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

lilblingy, I meant that Oscar Robertson was revered like Jordan was in his era.

Experts at the time put him on a pedestal as the most talented basketball player ever.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:26 AM   #37
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Based on basketball talent.

Well talent alone can be hard to guage and I can see a reason why he gets overrated, if that's one of the cases (considering era's have evolved).

Quote:
He was the Michael Jordan of his era. His peers and experts at the time held him in high regard - the debate about the best player ever was between him, Wilt and Russell.

I've heard before Cousy getting this type of talk too... but I think that was before those 3 players entered the league.

Wilt and Russell were considered better than Oscar for pretty much their entire career, yes ? So I don't see how people thought there was a case for Oscar over them.

Quick Edit - Saw what you meant about Jordan.

Quote:
In the years since, fans look at his relative lack of team success and hold it against him. They conveniently forget that this is a team sport.

That works both ways, though... Robertson could have won titles as he man too, but he also missed the playoffs even though he had good help on his team.

Quote:
I recommend reading the 'Biographical History of Basketball' (Bjarkman). It is arguably the most in-depth book examining basketball history. The author - who knows the game better than most - makes a very convincing argument that Oscar Robertson is the best basketball player of all-time.

Thank you for the recommendation.

I don't think I'll be convinced about Oscar being the greatest basketball player, but perhaps I've taken my stance to Oscar's career incorrectly.

Quote:
The guy absolutely dominated college (arguably the best college player ever, perhaps behind only Lew Alcindor), he is the best all-around player ever (LeBron is right up there too) with no weakensses, and played for arguably the most dominant team in NBA history (his Bucks championship team with Kareem is statistically the best team ever according to 'The NBA From Top To Bottom' book which ranks every NBA team).

All very good things, although that Bucks team... should have more credit going to Alcindor, just saying.

Quote:
At the very least, he is without a doubt in the top 10 ever.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course. My opinion is that he is one of the top 7 players ever:

1 Michael Jordan
2 Bill Russell
3 Wilt Chamberlain
4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5 Magic Johnson
6 Larry Bird
7 Oscar Robertson

I think that's debatable and I just don't see Oscar that high, but I won't disagree with your opinion.

Quote:
It is an absolute insult to see him ranked 16th in some people's lists. At the turn of the century, Oscar Robertson was voted the 2nd best player of the century by the Associated Press.

Yeah, I don't think he's Top 20... he's more in the Top 15 range. Career wise, there are players that have cases over him.

As a player ? It really gets tricky, but I think you have to factor in regular season/playoff dominance/team success/accolades/achievements, etc... I feel there were players who dominated more and much longer as well... though, we can disagree there.

That actually is very interesting that he was voted the 2nd best.

Can I have link to that article ?
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:43 AM   #38
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBull
He is easily top 20.

He's probably not even one of the 20 Greatest players I've ever seen play (don't quote me on that, I'm generalizing, I'd have to sit down and think about it, it could be alittle less than 20) and I didn't start watching basketball until the 80's, that leaves alot of guys from the era's before hand as well. If Dirk Nowitzki is considered Top 20, then he is easily the most overrated player in NBA history.

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Old 08-04-2012, 06:59 AM   #39
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Legends66NBA7, I won't answer each of your points ad verbatim because, like you said, most of this is just opinion. However, I find this discussion very interesting, so I wanted to share some articles, quotes and opinions with you.

I hope you'll take the time to read them.

"Many began to refer to Oscar as the best basketball player the human race had yet produced. The argument: who would you rather have to start building a team, Wilt or Oscar, began to while away many an hour" ('24 Seconds to Shoot', by Leonard Koppett)

"Oscar Robertson may have been better than Michael Jordan, except Cincinnati was not Chicago and the 1960s were not the 1990s" ('Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball?' by Elliot Kalb)

"Thirty years after his retirement, a strong case could be made for him to be called th best player in NBA history" ('Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball?' by Elliot Kalb)

"Anything Jordan could do, Robertson could do better. He could shoot better, defend, pass better, and he was two inches shorter" (Leonard Koppett)

"Nobody could match the 'Big O' for pure artistic grace, for single-handed control of the playing floor he inhabited, or for all-around shooting, passing, and playmaking abilities. In brief, there was never a more complete package for a basketball player put together within a single human frame" ('The Biographical History of Basketball', by Peter Bjarkman)

"Oscar Robertson...performed at a higher level (and for a longer period) in more vital areas than any other player of any other epoch" ('The Biographical History of Basketball', by Peter Bjarkman)

"For those that still respect versatility, there seems to be little debate. Oscar Robertson indeed remains the greatest basketball player ever invented" ('The Biographical History of Basketball', by Peter Bjarkman)

"Oscar Robertson is without a doubt the all-time everything basketball player" (Dave Bing)

"Oscar was the best player I ever played against. The guy did not have a weakness" (John Havlicek)

"Oscar is without a doubt the greatest basketball player I have ever played against. To me he is the closest player I have ever seen to being perfect" (Jerry West)
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:49 AM   #40
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillC
I hope you'll take the time to read them.

"Many began to refer to Oscar as the best basketball player the human race had yet produced. The argument: who would you rather have to start building a team, Wilt or Oscar, began to while away many an hour" ('24 Seconds to Shoot', by Leonard Koppett)

"Oscar Robertson may have been better than Michael Jordan, except Cincinnati was not Chicago and the 1960s were not the 1990s" ('Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball?' by Elliot Kalb)

"Thirty years after his retirement, a strong case could be made for him to be called th best player in NBA history" ('Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball?' by Elliot Kalb)

"Anything Jordan could do, Robertson could do better. He could shoot better, defend, pass better, and he was two inches shorter" (Leonard Koppett)

"Nobody could match the 'Big O' for pure artistic grace, for single-handed control of the playing floor he inhabited, or for all-around shooting, passing, and playmaking abilities. In brief, there was never a more complete package for a basketball player put together within a single human frame" ('The Biographical History of Basketball', by Peter Bjarkman)

"Oscar Robertson...performed at a higher level (and for a longer period) in more vital areas than any other player of any other epoch" ('The Biographical History of Basketball', by Peter Bjarkman)

"For those that still respect versatility, there seems to be little debate. Oscar Robertson indeed remains the greatest basketball player ever invented" ('The Biographical History of Basketball', by Peter Bjarkman)

"Oscar Robertson is without a doubt the all-time everything basketball player" (Dave Bing)

"Oscar was the best player I ever played against. The guy did not have a weakness" (John Havlicek)

"Oscar is without a doubt the greatest basketball player I have ever played against. To me he is the closest player I have ever seen to being perfect" (Jerry West)

Interesting quotes, indeed.

I mostly respect the powerful stance and opinion of Kalb, Bjarkman, and Koppett (RIP). I think there's exaggeration, but I get the point. He was a player ahead of his time, much like Wilt.

I can't really side with Kalb on saying "Cincinnati was not Chicago and the 60's weren't the 90's". Chicago never got to the Finals before Jordan and were one of the worst teams in the league before Jordan got drafted to them. Oscar again, while great, missed the playoffs with more than enough help during his prime.

Jordan 3 peated with 2 completely different rosters and the only player that stayed the same was Scottie Pippen.

I think Kalb is also a Jordan hater of sorts, looking at his old list:

http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48704

I don't if that's like that anymore and while I don't have a problem with Wilt being over Jordan (you can make the case), what's Shaq doing at #1 ?

Anyways, getting back to topic, I really like West's quote the best, considering they were both drafted #1 and 2 in their draft. They were true rivals. I do think he's said Wilt was the greatest players as well, but I think I'm wrong there.

Will, thanks again for the quotes, appreciate it.

Perhaps, at this glance is what I need to look at Oscar differently, as I have to admit in the past, I have been one of those people who have docked him for lack of team success.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:06 AM   #41
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Thanks for reading my post and for the reply, Legends66NBA7.

I agree with you about Elliot Kalb. His rankings are nonsensical in places. However, his reasons for ranking Shaq so high are quite powerful; he argued that his dominance over the second best player in the league at the time (Duncan) was greater than any other player's level of dominance. Of course, the book was written shortly after Shaq's 3-peat and I'm sure he only ranked Shaq first to get a reaction from readers.

Regarding Robertson's lack of post-season success, to save myself time, I copied the following from a truly reliable source - bleacherreport (ha!). However, the writer has clearly done his homework, so it saves me some time.

Quote:
Career on Cincinnati Royals (10 Seasons)

1960—No postseason (30.5/10.1/9.7 on 47% shooting in regular season)
1961—Lost vs. Pistons (averaged 28.8/11/11 on 52% in postseason)
1962—Lost vs. Celtics (averaged 31.8/13/9 on 47% in postseason)
1963—Lost vs. Celtics (averaged 29.3/8.9/8.4 on 45% in postseason)
1964—Lost vs. 76ers (averaged 28/4.8/12 on 43% in postseason)
1965—Lost vs. Celtics (averaged 31.8/7.6/7.8 on 41% in postseason)
1966—Lost vs. 76ers (averaged 24.8/4.0/11.3 on 52% in postseason)
1967—No postseason (averaged 29.2/6/9.7 on 50% in regular season)
1968—No postseason (averaged 24.7/6.4/9.8 on 49% shooting in regular season)
1969—No postseason (averaged 25.3/6.1/8.1 on 51% shooting in regular season)

For starters, in the 1960 season, Robertson virtually averaged a triple-double but his team was not even good enough to qualify for the playoffs. Same for the stellar numbers he had in the 1968 and 1969 seasons.

Now how about the six times he took his team to the postseason?

His playoff averages in Cincinnati were 29.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 9.4 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor.

So it doesn't look like his level of play exactly dipped in the postseason. What's more telling than those eye-popping numbers is the eye-popping list of teams his squad ran into during those postseason trips.

If you noticed, for five of the six trips to the postseason, his team ran into one of two teams.

Either the Boston Celtics or the Philadelphia 76ers.


The same Boston team that is the epitome of the word "dynasty" in regard to sports, winning a whopping 11 championships in 13 years and making the NBA Finals in 12 of those seasons.

Then there is the Philadelphia 76ers, the one team to put an end to the eight-year streak of championships by Boston.

The same Philadelphia 76ers team that held the best record in NBA history before the 1996 Chicago Bulls broke that mark.

It was a loaded Philadelphia 76ers team, by far the best team Wilt Chamberlain ever played for, and, if it stayed intact, perhaps could have been a dynasty its own right.

Now this isn't to say that Robertson didn't have a supporting cast. But he ran into a couple of the most dominant teams of all time while, again, putting up numbers across the board in an effort to carry his team. Certainly a valiant effort.

But as we can see, there's certainly no rationale to punish Robertson along those lines.

Winning a championship is all about having a cast—something The Big O didn't really have until he went to Milwaukee, which was in the twilight of his career.

Nearly every superstar needed another superstar next to him to win a championship. Jordan had Pippen, LeBron had Wade, Wade had Shaq, Shaq had Kobe, Bird had McHale, Magic had Kareem, Isiah had Dumars, Erving had Malone, Wilt had West, Russell had Cousy, Unseld had Hayes, Frazier had Reed, etc.

Who did Oscar have next to him?

Jerry Lucas was a good player but not a true superstar. He was known for going out of his way to check his statistics rather than worrying about winning games.

That's why Oscar and Kareem won a championship together; they needed each other to win it all. But that was towards the end of Oscar's career.

It's not Oscar's fault that he spent the majority of his career surrounded by relatively weak teammates. Surely it's unfair to hold that against him when evaluating how good he was as a player?

Finally, it's unfair to criticise Oscar for missing the Playoffs. After all, Kobe missed the Playoffs in 2004-05 and he's a player who, according to this thread, many people think was better than Oscar.

Championship success is important. But we shouldn't let that skew our opinion of who the best players were.

John Havlicek has 8 rings but he wasn't a better player than Elgin Baylor.

Elvin Hayes has 1 ring but he wasn't a better player than Karl Malone.

Robert Parish has 4 rings but he wasn't a better player than Patrick Ewing.

Rings only tell you so much. You have to study the player, look at his strengths and weaknesses and make a judgement on the player's ability.

Oscar arguably had more strengths and fewer weaknesses than any player in NBA history.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:31 AM   #42
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Jerry Lucas was a good player but not a true superstar. He was known for going out of his way to check his statistics rather than worrying about winning games.

Now this was the context I was looking forward too.

I knew about Oscar being an ass towards his teammates, but knowing Lucas was stat hunting... that's very interesting. Tells me a lot more about some of Oscar's internal problems, as well.

Quote:
Finally, it's unfair to criticise Oscar for missing the Playoffs. After all, Kobe missed the Playoffs in 2004-05 and he's a player who, according to this thread, many people think was better than Oscar.

Well, to be fair, Kobe missed 1 time (it was a hectic season for Bryant's Lakers) as opposed to Oscar missing multiple times. Though, I understand what your getting at.

Quote:
John Havlicek has 8 rings but he wasn't a better player than Elgin Baylor.

Elvin Hayes has 1 ring but he wasn't a better player than Karl Malone.

Robert Parish has 4 rings but he wasn't a better player than Patrick Ewing.

Well, at least you didn't make a Robert Horry/Derek Fisher/Steve Kerr/K.C. Jones comparison.

. Just kidding.

I agree with the examples. I actually thought Hayes vs Malone wasn't that vague at one point in time, but I knew better.

Quote:
Rings only tell you so much. You have to study the player, look at his strengths and weaknesses and make a judgement on the player's ability.

Oscar arguably had more strengths and fewer weaknesses than any player in NBA history.

Fair points, maybe the last sentence is a bit vague for me, but I can understand. He's was a special talent and perhaps if he did getter better teammates earlier on in his career, were looking at the Big-O in a different spectrum.

I think I did know his playoff averages from before, so I can't say he didn't step up (it's just hard to maintain the numbers he did under tougher defense and better teams in a playoff series).
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:35 AM   #43
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpliii
did this quickly, let me know if there are any glaring omissions

11 Robertson
12 West
13 LeBron
14 Moses
15 Erving
16 Isiah
17 Havlicek
18 Garnett
19 Wade
20 Dirk
21 Baylor
22 Pippen
23 Robinson
24 Rodman
25 Barkley
26 Drexler
27 Pettit
28 Karl Malone
29 Cousy
30 Stockton

(before you ask about Mikan not being on this list at all and Cousy's low placement, I don't count the pre-shot clock NBA in GOAT lists)

Karl Malone is extremely low, under the likes of Rodman? Dirk? Wade?
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:43 AM   #44
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

"Oscar arguably had more strengths and fewer weaknesses than any player in NBA history"

Oscar was above average (or indeed outstanding) in nearly every basketball skill. That's what I meant. He was a truly outstanding shooter, he could create his own shot better than anyone in his era, he was an excellent passer, skilled ball handler, exceptional rebounder and arguably the best post-up guard of all-time. His defense was above average but not exceptional.

Kobe missed the playoffs once when he had a poor support cast. In the majority of his other seasons of his career he had either Shaq or Gasol alongside him. Oscar had a weak support cast for the majority of his career. Had he played alongside someone of Kareem's calibre for his entire career, then he'd never have missed the playoffs.

Maybe a better comparison is Magic Johnson. Let's swap Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. Suddenly Oscar wins 4 or 5 championships in Los Angeles while Magic Johnson struggles to win a championship in Cincinatti. Who's career would be better than? No doubt it would be Oscar's. And yet, that doesn't tell us anything about how good the two players were, but it does tell us how good (or bad) their support casts were.

That's why we need to be more intelligent than to just look at team success. Sure, we need to factor it in, but, when evaluating individual players, looking at team success will only tell you so much.

Tracy McGrady was a phenomenal player on both ends of the court but played for some diabolical Magic teams.

Pete Maravich was one of the most talented offensive players in basketball history but how many of his Hawks and Jazz teammates can you name?

George Gervin was one of the finest scorers of all-time but how many of his Spurs teammates are household names?

All three of those players are underrated by ISH posters.

It's no coincidence; ISH posters (and fans in general) overrate team success when evaluating individual players.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:00 AM   #45
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Default Re: Top 11-20 NBA Players of all time

11. LeBron James
12. Moses Malone
13. Julius Erving
14. Oscar Robertson
15. Jerry West
16. Karl Malone
17. Dirk Nowitzki
18. Kevin Garnett
19. David Robinson
20. Charles Barkley

21. Bob Cousy
22. Bob Pettit
23. George Mikan
24. Isiah Thomas
25. John Havlicek
26. Rick Barry
27. Elgin Baylor
28. Scottie Pippen
29. Dwyane Wade
30. George Gervin
31. Elvin Hayes

Last edited by pauk : 08-04-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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