Tag Archives: nba

Top 10 greatest NBA number one #1 draft picks of all time

I’ve done so many rankings of NBA players, now its time for draft picks as well.

Edit: I’ve made a video about it here
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnIyxm_xrVE

For those who don’t know, every year the NBA goes through a lottery process for teams to select players, either high school or college, that want to play in the NBA. Because NBA teams are world renowned, the first draft pick usually tends to be the best player out of all available players in the world. So its kind of a big deal, and while most number one picks end up busting, there are alot that lived up to the hype too. So here’s the top 10 number one draft picked players of all time!

1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Selected in 1969 by the Milwaukee Bucks

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the NBA's all time leading scorer

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is the NBA’s all time leading scorer

Kareem is greatest #1 pick of all time and arguably the greatest player ever. He won 6 MVPs, 6 Championships, 2 Finals MVPs, Rookie of the Year, the NBA’s #1 in points scored, #3 in rebounds and #3 in blocks. He won Rookie of the Year and led the Bucks to a championship in his second season. That’s what I call instant success.

2. Lebron James
Selected in 2003 by the Cleveland Cavaliers

Lebron James is the most dominant player in the game today

Lebron James is the most dominant player in the game today

Lebron is either the best small forward or second best small forward of all time depending on where you rank Larry Bird. But either way he’s one of the greatest players of all time. 4 MVPs, 3 championships, 3 Finals MVPs, and Rookie of the Year, he’s the modern day Oscar Robertson, able to score, rebound and pass well. Cleveland definitely didn’t mess up this pick.

3. Magic Johnson
Selected in 1979 by the Los Angeles Lakers

Magic Johnson is considered by many to be the greatest passer of all time

Magic Johnson is considered by many to be the greatest passer of all time

Magic is a top 5 player of all time. How many rookies can say that they won Finals MVP? He won 3 Finals MVPs in his career, 3 MVPs, 5 championships, and led the Lakers to NINE NBA Finals. All he did was win, be the greatest point guard of all time, and average 20/8/12 in the playoffs. Yeah, he lived up to the hype.

4. Tim Duncan
Selected in 1997 by the San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan has won championships in 3 different decades

Tim Duncan has won championships in 3 different decades

The greatest power forward of all time, Duncan has led the Spurs to 5 championships split between 3 different decades, the 1990s,2000s & 2010s. He’s just a winner. 5 championships, 2 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, Rookie of the Year, Needless to say, the Spurs made a good pick on this one.

5. Shaquille O’Neal
Selected in 1992 by the Orlando Magic

Shaq was the most dominant center in the 2000s

Shaq was the most dominant center in the 2000s

Shaq was the most dominant center to play since Wilt Chamberlain. He was Rookie of the Year, beat Jordan’s Bulls and led the Magic to the Finals in his third season. He also had 4 championships, 1 MVP, 3 Finals MVPs, including a dominating 3-peat with the Lakers later in his career.

6. Hakeem Olajuwon
Selected in 1984 by the Houston Rockets

Hakeem Olajuwon is the all time leader in blocked shots

Hakeem Olajuwon is the all time leader in blocked shots

Even though the 1984 draft had Michael Jordan in it, Hakeem wasn’t a bad pick either for Houston. He ended winning 1 MVP, 2 championships, 2 Finals MVPs, and the all time leader in blocked shots. Probably the most versatile center ever, he also had a quadruple double once and is the only center who is top 10 in steals.

7. David Robinson
Selected in 1987 by the San Antonio Spurs

David Robinson led the Spurs for 10 years

David Robinson led the Spurs for 10 years

David Robinson was one of the greatest centers of all time, captaining the Spurs for 10 years until he teamed up with Duncan. He won 2 championships, 1 MVP, Rookie of the Year, scored 71 points in a game before, and had a quadruple double in a game before.

8. Allen Iverson
Selected in 1996 by the Philadelphia 76ers

Allen Iverson has the second highest playoffs scoring average in NBA history

Allen Iverson has the second highest playoffs scoring average in NBA history

Along with Isiah Thomas and Tiny Archibald, the greatest 6 footers to ever play the game, Allen Iverson won an MVP and led the Sixers to the Finals almost by himself. He also had Rookie of the Year, 4 scoring titles, and holds the second highest playoffs scoring average in NBA history at almost 30 points a game, second only to Michael Jordan.

9. Elgin Baylor
Selected in 1958 by the Los Angeles Lakers

Elgin Baylor captained the Lakers to 8 Finals appearances

Elgin Baylor captained the Lakers to 8 Finals appearances

This Rookie of the Year was one of the most dominating players of the 60s along with West, Oscar, Russell and Wilt. He averaged 27/13.5/4.5 for his career, which is astounding, and shot 61 points in a Finals game before, still an NBA record. He led the Lakers to 8 Finals appearances, co-captaining the team along with Jerry West.

10. Dwight Howard
Selected in 2004 by the Orlando Magic

D Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals

D Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals

While he didn’t win a championship yet, Dwight Howard is the greatest Orlando Magic player, their all time leading scorer, and one of the greatest defenders ever. a 3 time defensive player of the year, 5x rebounds leader and 2x blocks leader.

7 out of the top 10 #1 draft picks of all time won Rookie of the Year. Note that I left out Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson because they were territorial picks, but could’ve been number one as well

ABA players are underrated, top 10 underrated basketball players

Another basketball post! yay! In this post I want to talk about just how underrated ABA players.

Edit: I made a video about the top 10 underrated players here:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z9tVTAuHHA

For those of you who don’t know, the American Basketball Association or ABA, was founded as an alternative league to the NBA and at that time alot of players who felt that the NBA wasn’t paying them enough or too traditional took to the ABA which had a lot of modern rules like the 3 point range, a colored ball, etc

However, the ABA eventually merged with the NBA in 1976, but the NBA refuses to merge ABA player’s career records with the NBA, which is a disservice to former ABA players who later went to the NBA. As a result, several former great ABA players are underrated by the public both because ABA games were not readily televised back in the day, and because their career totals are not fully accounted for in the NBA.

Some of these great players include:

1. Mel Daniels

Mel Daniels

Mel Daniels

Has anyone ever heard of Mel Daniels? Well before I looked him up I haven’t. Probably the most underrated ABA player ever. He was a 6’9 Center that played for the Indiana Pacers, his awards include:
7 time ABA All Star
3 time ABA champion
2 time ABA MVP
1 time ABA all star game MVP
4 time All ABA first team
ABA Rookie of the Year
and his career averages: 18.4ppg/14.9rpg/1.8apg

Now tell me how someone like that could be forgotten? A 3 time champion and 2 time MVP and averaged 15 rebounds a game?? My awards based ranking places him as the 30th best player of all time (!!), right between Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Arizin.

2. Artis Gilmore

Artis Gilmore

Artis Gilmore

Along with Julius Erving, probably the greatest ABA player of all time. And yet he wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame until 2011. How is this possible? His awards:
11 time ABA/NBA All Star
3 time ABA champion
1 time ABA Finals MVP
1 time ABA MVP
1 time ABA all star game MVP
5 time All ABA first team
ABA Rookie of the Year
and averaged.. 18.8ppg/12.3rpg/2.4bpg

My awards based ranking places him as the 36th best player of all time (!!), right between Isiah Thomas and Dwight Howard. This guy should be a top 10 center of all time, but its always left out of conversations.

3. George McGinnis

George McGinnis

George McGinnis

He was one of the most important players in the ABA along with Julius Erving, yet he isn’t even in the Hall of Fame yet! How is that possible? His awards:

6 time ABA/NBA All Star
2 time ABA champion
1 time ABA MVP
3 time All ABA first team
and averaged.. 20.2ppg/11.0rpg/3.7apg

How can a former MVP and 2 time champion who averaged 20/11 be forgotten?? My awards based ranking places him as the 39th best player of all time, right between John Stockton and Willis Reed.

4. Rick Barry

Rick Barry

Rick Barry

Rick Barry does get acknowledge as one of the great small forwards, but I think not enough as he deserves. Look at his awards and stats:

12 time ABA/NBA All Star
2 time ABA/NBA champion
1 time NBA Finals MVP
9 time All ABA/NBA First Team
NBA All Star game MVP
NBA Rookie of the Year
1 time NBA scoring champion
and averaged.. 24.8ppg/6.7rpg/4.9apg

Rick Barry doesn’t get the credit he deserves. His stats and awards using my ranking makes him the 19th best player of all time, right between Karl Malone and Elgin Baylor. He has better stats than Kobe Bryant. He averaged 27 points a game in the playoffs. He lead the ABA AND NBA in scoring. He lead the Golden State Warriors to their only championship in 1975 almost by himself. He is one of the greatest players of all time, period, yet gets left off the all time nba fantasy draft. He is hardly ever mentioned by modern players. Most players place Scottie Pippen over him. Why??

5. Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins

Connie Hawkins was basically another Julius Erving, except not remembered as much. Why not? He started kind of late in the NBA, due to the NBA banning him for a scandal that he wasn’t a part of, but his awards include:

5 time ABA/NBA All Star
1 time ABA Finals MVP
1 time ABA MVP
3 time All ABA/NBA First Team
and averaged.. 18.7ppg/8.8rpg/4.1apg

My awards based ranking places him as the 41th best player of all time, right between Willis Reed and Chris Paul. Again, no one talks about him or mentions him but the dude averaged 25/12 in the playoffs.

Other forgotten former ABA players include
6. Spencer Haywood, a former ABA MVP, averaged 20/10 yet isn’t in the hall of fame.
7. Roger Brown, an all but forgotten ABA star that averaged 17/6/4 for his career.
8. Billy Cunningham isn’t mentioned that much either, even though he is a former ABA MVP, 21/10 player, and one of the top 50 greatest of all time.
9. David Thompson, a former ABA player who averaged 22/3/4, scored 73 points in a game before, and one of the greatest dunkers of all time, is often forgotten.
10. Dan Issel, a 22/9 ABA player who helped Gilmore win his championship but isn’t mentioned amongst the great power forwards.

Awards based ranking of NBA players all time

Since stats don’t tell everything lets use an awards based ranking of the top 50 NBA players.

1) I’m going to start from the 1950s which means there’s no such awards like defensive player of the year, sixth man of the year, all nba third team, blocks leader or steals leader so I don’t count those.

Edit: I realize this will skew the numbers in favor of offensive players, but there’s simply no way to account for defensive statistics when they weren’t recorded back in the day. No blocks, no steals from such defensive players as Russell, Wilt, West, Frazier, 4 years of Kareem, Thurmond, etc. It wouldn’t be fair to those guys to record it for modern players but not them.

2) I’m going to give some imaginary Finals MVPs to players before 1969 so that Finals MVPs can be properly accounted for.
1955 – Dolph Schayes
1956 – Paul Arizin
1957 – Bill Russell
1958 – Bob Pettit
1959 – Bill Russell
1960 – Bill Russell
1961 – Bill Russell
1962 – Bill Russell
1963 – Bill Russell
1964 – Bill Russell
1965 – Bill Russell
1966 – Bill Russell
1967 – Wilt Chamberlain
1968 – Bill Russell

3) And some MVPs as well
1955 – Bob Cousy

4) the following rules:
All star selections are worth 1 point.
All star MVPs are worth 2 points.
All NBA second team selections are worth 1 point.
All NBA first team selections are worth 2 points.
Rebounding/Scoring/Assist titles are worth 3 points
Rookie of the Year is worth 2 points
Championships are worth 3 points
MVPs and Finals MVPs are worth 5 points
ABA awards will be treated as NBA awards to be fair to ABA players

The results are, surprisingly, very close to what you would expect, except some players (like Bob Cousy and Bob Pettit) are vastly underrated by the public, and some players (like Reggie Miller and Patrick Ewing) are overrated by the public. The scores range from a measly 5 (Reggie Miller) to a staggering 146 (Michael Jordan).

Surprisingly, it also lets us see which players are essentially equal with each other. Oscar Robertson is about as good as Bob Pettit in terms of greatness. Rick Barry, Jerry West and Karl Malone are about equal. Allen Iverson and Sam Jones are about equal. Or Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. Or Willis Reed and Isiah Thomas. Or Dave Cowens and Wes Unseld. Or Charles Barkley and Dwayne Wade. These sound about right to me.

You can download the results here:

awards and stats based ranking

Top 25 scoring results (top 25 players all time)
1. Bill Russell
2. Michael Jordan
3. Wilt Chamberlain
4. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
5. Magic Johnson
6. Bob Cousy
7. Kobe Bryant
8. Tim Duncan
9. Julius Erving
10. Shaquille O’Neal
11. Lebron James
12. Bob Pettit
13. Larry Bird
14. Oscar Robertson
15. Moses Malone
16. Jerry West
17. Hakeem Olajuwon
18. Karl Malone
19. John Havlicek
20. Rick Barry
21. George Mikan
22. Allen Iverson
23. Kevin Garnett
24. Dolph Schayes
25. Elgin Baylor

This is somewhat what people expect, besides Cousy being ranked so high possibly due to his championships, and surprisingly, Julius Erving over Bird/Lebron possibly due to his ABA credentials.

Going by these, results who are the All-NBA teams of all time?
All time All-NBA First Team
1. Bob Cousy
2. Michael Jordan
3. Julius Erving
4. Tim Duncan
5. Wilt Chamberlain

All time All-NBA Second Team
1. Magic Johnson
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Lebron James
4. Bob Pettit
5. Bill Russell

All time All-NBA Third Team
1. Oscar Robertson
2. Jerry West
3. Larry Bird
4. Karl Malone
5. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

All-NBA 50s/60s Team:
Guards: Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson
Forwards: Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor
Center: Wilt Chamberlain
Combined points: 829

All-NBA 70s Team:
Guards: George Gervin, Walt Frazier
Forwards: Julius Erving, Rick Barry
Center: Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Combined points: 681

All-NBA 80s Team:
Guards: Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas
Forwards: Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins
Center: Moses Malone
Combined points: 645

All-NBA 90s Team:
Guards: Michael Jordan, John Stockton
Forwards: Karl Malone, Charles Barkley
Center: Hakeem Olajuwon
Combined points: 706

All-NBA 00s Team:
Guards: Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson
Forwards: Tim Duncan, Lebron James
Center: Shaquille O’neal
Combined points: 735

So 50s/60s > 00s > 90s > 70s > 80s which is interesting considering most people think the 80s is the most competitive decade.

Again, more or less what you would expect. If you have any feedback about these rankings please comment!