Whenever people make these lists of ‘greatest players for each franchise’, Dr J is inevitably considered (either him or Jason Kidd) as the best Nets player.
(there are many articles that have Dr J for the Nets but here’s some examples):
In other rankings, Jason Kidd comes out as the best Nets player, and I don’t have a problem with those rankings because at least they are being consistent.
However with the articles that have Dr J ranked as the best Nets player, they are including ABA achievements to make that decision since Dr J only played for the Nets in the ABA, not the NBA.
And if they are, then Dr J is almost certainly the Net’s best player with a Nets resume of 3x MVP, 2x Champion, 2x Finals (playoffs) MVP, 4x All ABA, 4x All-star, 3x scoring champion.
Yet inevitably for the Pacers, Reggie Miller is always considered their best player. I understand that Reggie Miller is a 5x all star, 3x all-nba, an all time great shooter and all time clutch player and played for the franchise 18 seasons.
But accolades seem to matter more than longevity for the franchise, else Dr J or Jason Kidd would not be considered the best Nets player – it would be Buck Williams.
Reggie Miller unfortunately never won a championship for the Pacers, and only went to 1 Finals in his career.
Since Dr J’s Nets career comes from the ABA, we are allowed to consider the Pacer’s ABA players as well. There are three Pacers players in ABA history who could be considered more worthy than Reggie Miller – Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, and George McGinnis.
-Mel Daniels is a 7x All Star, 5x All-ABA, 2x MVP, 3x Rebounding leader and 3x Champion for the Pacers
-Roger Brown is 4x All Star, 3x All-ABA, 1x Finals (playoffs) MVP and 3x Champion for the Pacers
-George McGinnis is a 3x All Star, 3x All-ABA, 1x MVP, 1x Finals (playoffs) MVP and 2x Champion for the Pacers
All of these guys have better Pacers resumes than Reggie Miller – they won championships for the franchise and MVP or Finals MVP (or both) for the franchise. Personally I feel Mel Daniels has the strongest case out of these three guys.
If we’re going to count ABA awards and stats then Mel Daniels should definitely be considered the greatest Pacers player ever, over Reggie Miller.
Why there is this inconsistency with ranking all time greats? even NBA 2K left out Roger Brown and Mel Daniels (and other ABA Pacer greats like Freddie Lewis and Bob Netolicky) off of their all time team, which is a travesty.