I have no idea how to rank this guy, and most analysts don’t.
He played in an era that was just so different. No shot clock, no goaltending (those came about due to Mikan’s influence). Black basketball players were very very few.
But, resume wise, Mikan is arguably a top 10 player of all time.
-He averaged 28 PPG in the pre-shot clock era and to show you guys how insane that is, most games in that era averaged 60–80 points total. That means Mikan was responsible for 40% of a game’s total points. that would be equivalent to a player averaging 40 PPG today.
-From 1949–1954, Mikan reached the Finals every year and won every year except in 1951. He 3-peated from 1952–1954 and was both the first basketball star and the first to 3-peat.
-Mikan’s advanced stats are crazy. 27 PER. 0.249 WS/48. 48.3% TS% (very good for the 50s).
-He won 5 rings. That’s the same amount of rings as Magic and Kobe and Duncan. What’s crazy is he did this in 6 years.
-He would have 5 Finals MVPs if they were awarded back then.
-He would also have a few MVPs, I’m not sure if he would have them all 6 years of his career, but he would have at least 4 I’m guessing.
-He lead the league in scoring 3 times and rebounding twice.
-He lead the league in defensive win shares every year as well, and would be All-Def and DPOY if those existed.
So yeah… how do you rank a guy who was basically the combined Wilt + Russell of his era… yet played so far back that the game feels incomprehensible today? A game where the total score was just 60 points? It’s hard to imagine.