Top 10 what-if? careers in NBA history and unluckiest NBA franchise

Top 10 NBA (hall of fame) what-if careers:

1. Bill Walton
2x champion, 1x mvp, 1x finals mvp, 2x all star, 2x first team. What if Walton was healthy is the biggest what if in hall of famer history because he only had 2 healthy seasons when he was in the NBA. during those 2 healthy seasons, he won 2 rings, an MVP, a finals mvp, 2x all star and 2x all-NBA. That’s as good a 2 year stretch as any of the greatest players ever. He had various foot and ankle injuries after 1978, that season was also his best season averaging 19/13/5 the most Russell like stats out of any center in recent memory. Had he not been injured? Maybe he would be considered on par with Kareem who is one of the top 3 greatest players of all time.

2. Arvydas Sabonis
Considered one of the best European players of all time, he was never able to play for the NBA in his prime due to the Soviet Union restricting him. By the time he came to the NBA in 1995 (he was drafted in 1986) he was a shell of himself due to many injuries. We will never know how good a prime Sabonis would have been in the NBA, but his best season was in 1998 averaging 16/10/3. If he hadn’t been injured? Maybe he would have become a top 5 center of all time.

3. Maurice Stokes
3x All star, 3x All NBA, HOF the most tragic story on here, Maurice stokes led the league in rebounds in 1958, and only played 3 seasons before suffering a career ending head injury and stroke thus becoming permanently paralyzed on his last regular season game in 1958. one could only imagine how good he could have been. his average was 17/18/6 in 1958 before the injury. Maybe he could have ended up a top 20 or top 15 player of all time.

4. David Thompson
4x All star, 2x all NBA, HOF the player who stopped UCLA’s 88 game winning streak. Had 73 points in a game before and was considered Michael Jordan’s idol. never got injured but had a drug problem. Because of his cocaine habits, he was averaging 27/5/5 a game in 1978 his best season before those stats steadily declining since. He wasn’t even in his prime yet, and who knows? He could’ve been a pseudo-Jordan if he didn’t do drugs.

5. Grant Hill
7x All star, 5x all NBA, was a triple double machine and considered the next Magic or Oscar when he was playing with the Pistons. Right after he got traded to the Magic he had various ankle injuries and was never the same again. best season was in 1997, averaging 21/9/7/2. Maybe he could’ve been a top 5 SF of all time if he wasn’t injured.

6. Drazen Petrovic
Never an All star or all NBA, but was a rising star on the Nets before his untimely death at age 28 in a car accident. the previous season in 1993 he was averaging 22/3/3.5. Maybe he would’ve been a top 15-20 shooting guard if he didn’t die.

7. Tracy McGrady
7x All star, 8x all NBA, was scoring champion 2x, since 2006 suffered recurring injuries and never was able to sustain his excellence. Was considered on par with Kobe for being the best shooting guards at that time before those injuries. Best season was in 2003 averaging 32/6.5/5.5. Maybe he would have been a top 10 shooting guard if he wasn’t injured.

8. Bernard King
4x All star, 4x all NBA, HOF was the 1985 scoring champion when he tore his ACL which at that time was a career ending injury. He was averaging 33 points a game before this injury. best season was in 1985, averaging 33/6/4. Could have been a top 10 SF if he wasn’t injured.

9. Derrick Rose
3x All star, 1x all NBA, 1x MVP – No one will know what Derrick Rose could have been if he didn’t suffer his ACL tear in 2012 during the playoffs; he was considered one of the best players in the league before then, and won an MVP before in his best season in 2011, averaging 25/4/8 a game. Could’ve been similar to Russell Westbrook, a top 15 point guard, if he wasn’t injured.

10. Penny Hardaway
4x All star, 3x all NBA, had persistent injuries from the 1998 season onwards. Was considered then next Magic Johnson due to his combination of size and passing ability. Best season was in 1996, averaging 22/4/7. Maybe would have been a top 15 point guard if he wasn’t injured.

Honorable Mention: Yao Ming
8x All star, 5x all NBA, HOF, had persistent ankle foot injuries during 2006 and never was fully healthy again. only had 3 full healthy seasons in the NBA, best season was in 2007 averaging 25/9/2. Maybe would have been a top 15-20 center if he wasn’t injured.

The Blazers have to be most unluckiest NBA franchise:

1972 – Larue Martin, possibly the biggest #1 draft pick bust of all time
1975 – Bill Walton – only had 1.5 healthy seasons for the Blazers
1984 – missed Jordan and picked Sam Bowie who was also injured his whole career
1995 – got Sabonis who was far past his prime and also injured
2006 – Brandon Roy, had to retire from degenerative knee condition
2007 – Greg Oden, another one of the biggest draft busts ever

has there been an unluckier NBA franchise?

Top 15 greatest offensive players + Top 15 greatest defensive players in NBA history

I wrote a post a while back about the greatest offensive scorers in NBA history using criteria as the # of seasons scoring over 25 points a game, number of scoring titles, best season scoring average, etc.

Now today, I want to go back and revise that and also give you the top defensive players in NBA history, using criteria as # of seasons with more than 3 blocks + steals a game (stocks), number of defensive player of the year awards, number of all defensive 1st team selections, etc. Of course I know this isn’t fair to old players who didn’t have blocks, steals or DPOY but I will rank them accordingly to what their contemporaries said about them.

Top 15 greatest offensive players of all time

1. Michael Jordan
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 12/15
Number of scoring titles: 10
Best season scoring average: 37.1 (1987)

Doesn’t get better than Jordan. 10 scoring titles, most ever. 37 points a game at his peak. He has the single game playoff record of 63 points. A whopping 80% of his career he scored over 25ppg. His 33 points per game in the playoffs is the best playoff scoring average all time. The GOAT.

2. Wilt Chamberlain
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 9/13
Number of scoring titles: 7
Best season scoring average: 50.4 (1962)

The Big Dipper. 70% of his career he scored over 25 ppg, but 7 scoring titles is second most all time. And a peak of a whopping 50 ppg is the highest scoring average in NBA history. He also holds the single game scoring record at 100 points.

3. Kobe Bryant
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 12/20
Number of scoring titles: 2
Best season scoring average: 35.4 (2006)

The Black Mamba. 60% of his career scored more than 25 ppg. 2 scoring titles, and a beastly 35 points a game at his peak, he was one of the most dominant scorers of all time. Also holds the second greatest scoring game at 81 points.

4. Jerry West
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 11/14
Number of scoring titles: 1
Best season scoring average: 31.3 (1966)

The Logo. A whopping 78% of his career he scored over 25 points a game while also dishing out 7 assists a game. He was truly one of the most versatile players ever. A peak scoring average of 31 points a game, and holds the playoff scoring record for a series at 44 points a game.

5. Allen Iverson
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 11/17
Number of scoring titles: 4
Best season scoring average: 33.0 (2006)

The Answer might have been the best small shooting guard ever, scoring over 25ppg, 65% of his career. He has 4 scoring titles, tied with Gervin and Durant for third most all time, and topped out at 33 points a game in 2006. He has the second highest playoff scoring average all time at 30 points a game.

6. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 10/20
Number of scoring titles: 2
Best season scoring average: 34.8 (1972)

The NBA’s all time leading scorer has 2 scoring titles, scored over 25ppg over 50% of his career, had the most unstoppable move in basketball, and topped out at a pretty impressive 35 points a game back in 72.

7. Karl Malone
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 12/19
Number of scoring titles: 0
Best season scoring average: 31.0 (1990)

The Mailman doesn’t have any scoring titles thanks to MJ, but he is the second all time leading scorer in NBA history, and 63% of his career averaged over 25ppg. He topped out at 31 ppg back in 1990.

8. Dominique Wilkins
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 11/16
Number of scoring titles: 1
Best season scoring average: 30.3 (1986)

In an era of lots of scoring SFs like Adrian Dantley, Alex English and Bernard King, Dominique Wilkins scored more than all of them. 69% of his career he scored over 25ppg, and his best season average is 30ppg back in 86.

9. George Gervin
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 8/15
Number of scoring titles: 4
Best season scoring average: 33.1 (1980)

Tied for third most scoring titles all time. 53% of his career scored over 25ppg, and his best ppg average coming at 33 points a game back in 1980.

10. Lebron James
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 12/13
Number of scoring titles: 1
Best season scoring average: 31.4 (2006)

People might not think of Lebron James as a scorer, but he’s scored over 25ppg over 92% of his career. There’s only one season where he averaged less than that. He does this while also being a great rebounder and assister as well. He won the scoring title once, and he topped out at 31ppg back in 2006.

11. Kevin Durant
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 8/9
Number of scoring titles: 4
Best season scoring average: 32.0 (2014)

Right behind Lebron is Durant, who can score just as well as he can but is much better from range. He has the third most scoring titles of all time, tied with some other guys I mentioned earlier, and 88% of his career he scored over 25 ppg, topping out at 32ppg back in 2014.

12. Elgin Baylor
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 8/14
Number of scoring titles: 0
Best season scoring average: 38.3 (1962)

Elgin Baylor doesn’t have any scoring titles, but he does have the third highest career scoring average of all time at 27.4 points a game. And his peak is just ridiculous. 57% of his career he scored over 25ppg, his best season being a whopping 38 points a game back in 62. He scored over 71 points in a game before, and his 61 points in a Finals is still a record that stands today.

13. Oscar Robertson
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 9/14
Number of scoring titles: 0
Best season scoring average: 31.4 (1964)

The Big O could do everything, including score. 64% of his career he averaged over 25ppg, with his best coming in 1964 at 31 points a game. He was basically Lebron back in the 60s, able to score, rebound and assist as well as anyone.

14. Rick Barry
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 8/14
Number of scoring titles: 1
Best season scoring average: 35.6 (1967)

Rick Barry was one of the most lethal scorers back in the day. 57% of his career he scored over 25ppg, and in just his second season in the league he topped out at 36 points a game. He has one of the highest playoff scoring averages at 27 points per game.

15. Bob Pettit
Number of scoring seasons of 25 points or greater: 7/12
Number of scoring titles: 2
Best season scoring average: 31.1 (1962)

Big Bob Pettit was one of the most lethal scoring and rebounding big men back in the day, along with Wilt. 58% of his career her averaged over 25ppg, and he never averaged under 20 points a game in his whole career. He has 2 scoring titles, and his best scoring average at 31 points a game back in 62.

Top 15 greatest defensive players of all time

1. Bill Russell
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: N/A
Number of DPOY titles: N/A
All defensive 1st team selections: 1

How could it not be? Russell is acknowledged by many as the greatest defensive presence ever, even if blocks and steals weren’t tracked back in the day. But you can see from available archive footage how great a defensive player he was. He blocks the ball to start fast breaks, and many times in the footage he would block over 10 shots a game. That’s just incredible. No one made a more defensive impact than Russell did.

2. Wilt Chamberlain
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: N/A
Number of DPOY titles: N/A
All defensive 1st team selections: 2

The NBA’s all time rebounding leader, and also the second greatest offensive player is also the second greatest defensive player, proving how great Wilt was on both ends of the floor. Like Russell, blocks and steals weren’t tracked back in his time, but from archival footage that exists, you can see how many games he blocked over 10 shots, and even one game he blocked over 20 shots! Possibly the greatest all around player not named Michael Jordan.

3. Hakeem Olajuwon
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 15
Number of DPOY titles: 2
All defensive 1st team selections: 5

The Dream was a defensive beast. He’s the NBA’s all time leader in blocked shots, he had over 3 steals + blocks 15 seasons in his career. He’s also a 2 time defensive player of the year. One of the greatest two way players ever along with Wilt and Jordan.

4. Dikembe Mutombo
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 11
Number of DPOY titles: 4
All defensive 1st team selections: 3

Tied for the most number of DPOY awards at 4, and 11 seasons in his career he had over 3 steals+blocks a game. He’s also second all time in blocked shots.

5. Ben Wallace
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 9
Number of DPOY titles: 4
All defensive 1st team selections: 5

Ben Wallace coming up this high might be a surprise to some of you, but don’t be. He was a 4x DPOY, tied for most all time. 9 seasons he had over 3 steals+blocks a game. He’s the reason why the Pistons were a powerhouse in the mid 2000s.

6. Michael Jordan
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 9
Number of DPOY titles: 1
All defensive 1st team selections: 9

One of the greatest two way players in NBA history not only was Jordan the best offensive player of all time, he’s a top 10 defensive player all time as well. 9 time All-Defensive 1st team + 9 seasons with over 3 steals+blocks a game. He’s the best defensive guard of all time.

7. David Robinson
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 11
Number of DPOY titles: 1
All defensive 1st team selections: 4

David Robinson is an all time great two way player, kind of like a lesser but still great version of Hakeem. He had 11 seasons with over 3 steals+blocks a game.

8. Nate Thurmond
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 2
Number of DPOY titles: 0
All defensive 1st team selections: 2

Nate Thurmond is considered one of the all time great defensive centers, with Wilt and Kareem considering him on par with Russell on defense.

9. Tim Duncan
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 10
Number of DPOY titles: 0
All defensive 1st team selections: 8

Tim Duncan doesn’t need a DPOY award to prove how great defensively he was. He was an 8 time all defensive team selection, and is still blocking shots at a high level into his 40s. He has 10 seasons with over 3 steals+blocks, and 1 of those seasons came when he was 36 years old, which is crazy.

10. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 10
Number of DPOY titles: 0
All defensive 1st team selections: 5

Kareem was like Wilt, a great defensive player in addition to being a great offensive player. 10 times he had over 3 steals/blocks a game which is very impressive when you consider for the first 4 seasons of his career steals/blocks weren’t even tracked. Plus the 5 time all defensive 1st team, Kareem was a great all around player, though not to the same level Hakeem or Wilt was.

11. Kevin Garnett
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 6
Number of DPOY titles: 1
All defensive 1st team selections: 9

Kevin Garnett has a DPOY award unlike Duncan, and he was just a great a defender, but I put him below because he has just 6 seasons with over 3 steals/blocks compared to Duncan and unlike Duncan is not playing at a high level into his old age. But he is still one of the greatest defenders especially at the PF position.

12. Dennis Rodman
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 0
Number of DPOY titles: 2
All defensive 1st team selections: 7

I debated over whether Pippen or Rodman was a better defender but went with Rodman. He’s a 2x DPOY, and could defend any position. He’s one of the greatest rebounders of all time. He doesn’t have any seasons with over 3 steals and blocks, but he didn’t need to, he was one of those players that had defensive intangibles.

13. Scottie Pippen
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 6
Number of DPOY titles: 0
All defensive 1st team selections: 8

Even though Pippen didn’t have any DPOY awards, he had 6 seasons with over 6 steals+blocks and just like Rodman, could defend any position. His 8 time defensive 1st team selections is a testament to that.

14. Dwight Howard
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 6
Number of DPOY titles: 3
All defensive 1st team selections: 4

Dwight Howard was a dominant defensive presence for most of the 2000s. He is a 3x DPOY, that’s second most all time, and one of the great rebounders in recent history. He has 6 seasons with over 6 steals+blocks.

15. Walt Frazier
Number of seasons with over 3 stocks a game: 1
Number of DPOY titles: N/A
All defensive 1st team selections: 7

That he only had 1 season of over 3 steals+blocks is misleading. Most of his career, blocks and steals weren’t tracked, and Frazier was one of the best defenders in the guard position in NBA history. He would have a lot more career steals if they had been tracked back in the day. His 7 time defensive 1st team selection proves that.

Honorable Mentions
Offensive: Adrian Dantley, Alex English, Shaquille O’Neal, Carmelo Anthony, Bob McAdoo
Defensive: Gary Payton, Alonzo Mourning, Sidney Moncrief, Bobby Jones, Alvin Robertson, Mark Eaton

Basketball videos and 3DS vs Vita in retrospect

I’ve been on a basketball video roll recently, making some rants worthy of being an ESPN analyst.

In these videos, I give my commentary on the ESPN greatest players rank, which I felt ranked older players too low, and modern players too high. As well as my thoughts on the most underrated players of all time (50s players and ABA players), debate about Russell/Wilt, talk about the next 20 players that should be part of the NBA anniversary team, and the All-NBA players I would choose for each decade (1950s to 2010s).

Also, I did a popular video on New Nintendo 3DS vs PS Vita slim comparison

In this video I said that 3DS was favored because it had better games. Well, after owning both consoles for about a year now, I can say that both have fairly addictive games, but I’ve played my PS Vita more, due to its larger cache of Japanese RPGs and Visual Novels, which I prefer to Mario/Zelda/Pokemon/etc games. The Vita is really underrated, because it has a fair amount of good games, alot of them recent. Here’s my favorite games on each console:

New Nintendo 3DS: Codename STEAM, Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (I love the whole Fire Emblem series, it has the best story of out any tactical RPG), Yokai Watch, Mario & Luigi Paper Jam

PS Vita: Steins;Gate (absolutely one of my favorite stories of all time), Persona 4 Dancing All Night (surprisingly good story), Digimon Cyber Sleuth, Xblaze: Code Embryo, Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus, Akiba’s trip: Dead and undressed

There’s just way more variety in the Vita games than 3DS games, which tends to stick to the usual Nintendo suspects: Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons), etc

so yeah.. I might do a retrospective video, but Vita actually wins it for me. If I was forced to choose between Fire Emblem (my favorite Nintendo series) and Steins;Gate or Persona 4, it would be difficult but I would still go with Persona/Steins Gate. And yes, I know Persona Q exists on the 3DS, its just not the same as Persona 4 Golden / Dancing all night on the Vita.