ESPN's Top 74 NBA players of all-time

Eric15

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ESPN recently released their Top 74 NBA players of all-time list for the league's 74 year history. I was bummed to see no SU players make the list. I thought Melo and/or Bing would have realistically been somewhere in the 65-74 range or so.

I think a very reasonable argument can be made that Melo had a better NBA career than Alex English. Melo had higher career scoring average, rebounding average, All-Star appearances, All-NBA appearances, PER and win shares.

Here's the bottom 10:

65. Pau Gasol
66. Dave Cowens
67. Alex English
68. Pete Maravich
69. Bernard King
70. Tony Parker
71. Bob Lanier
72. Damian Lillard
73. Dikembe Mutombo
74. Artis Gilmore

Curious what others think. Who if anyone would you take off and replace with Melo or Bing, and why?
 

sufandu

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Typical ESPN lack of historical perspective. They include good but not great players that were fortunate enough to play on championship teams with all time greats and omit/place to low great players that weren't fortunate enough to have enough around them to win or were unlucky enough to have to play in an era against the GOAT.

Was Manu Ginobili ever better than the third best guy on his own team? A guy with a career average of 13.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 3.8 apg, never cracked 20 ppg in any one year, and had only above average shooting percentages while never having to be the beat player on his team is one of the top 74 players of all time? The crack they were smoking must've been good.
 

br801

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More thoughts...

Wilt and The Big O are too low on the list. Pistol Pete is way too low.

Bird is a bit too high. McHale is way too high.

Adrian Dantley belongs on the list. Bob Lanier doesn't.
 
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alphaorange

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Curry #13 while Clyde is #39?? Great player but no way he belongs with those guys in that range. And Bernard deserves a better ranking. Recency bias with a lot of these current guys.
 

Eric15

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Typical ESPN lack of historical perspective. They include good but not great players that were fortunate enough to play on championship teams with all time greats
I hear you, but the flip side of that argument is that some "second-best players" could likely have been alphas on other teams and accumulated way more individual accolades, but they sacrificed stats in order to win championships. Examples: McHale, Pippen, Worthy, Klay Thompson.
 

alphaorange

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I hear you, but the flip side of that argument is that some "second-best players" could likely have been alphas on other teams and accumulated way more individual accolades, but they sacrificed stats in order to win championships. Examples: McHale, Pippen, Worthy, Klay Thompson.
Maybe, but you are guessing about something that didn't happen. Put B Kings healthy years with Shaq or Jordan (Different times, I know) and he'd be top 10, IMO. Alas, it didn't happen so we are left with what actually was, not what MIGHT have been.
 

br801

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Agreed, there's some projection involved. And I agree that recency bias is a thing. Bob Pettit is way too low at #38 and is just forgotten about historically for some reason.
Pettit is indeed way too low. Dolph Schayes might belong on that list.
 

alphaorange

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Agreed, there's some projection involved. And I agree that recency bias is a thing. Bob Pettit is way too low at #38 and is just forgotten about historically for some reason.
That is exactly the problem. If you are projecting, you are guessing. This is supposed to be a list based on what the players have done, not what they might have done, correct. If you talk about projecting, you could have put some players on it before they ever played a game in the NBA. IMO, that should be a different list listing players by what might have been. That would be an interesting exercise., but a different one.
 

br801

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Also, if you're putting players who had abbreviated careers on that list, such as Bill Walton, then guys like Yao Ming and David Thompson deserve consideration.
 

NineOneSeven

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Maybe Carmelo jumps in next year when it’s the 75th anniversary and the list grows to 75
 

Eric15

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That is exactly the problem. If you are projecting, you are guessing. This is supposed to be a list based on what the players have done, not what they might have done, correct.
Yes, it’s based on what they have done. But “done” constitutes a combination of both individual success and contributions to overall team success.
 

OrangeAl

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Individual accolades in team sports might just as well be written in salt. ;)
Not to mention trying to compare players from different eras.
They're something to talk about but they don't mean much at all.
 

Cusefan0307

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don’t really care because these lists are subjective, but being the 2nd or third best player on a championship team doesn’t mean you automatically are a top 74 player. If Ray Allen doesn’t get traded to Boston and sign with Miami there’s no way you can tell me his career was as good as Melo’s.

Manu Ginobili didn’t even start most of his career.

Reggie Miller...meh
Pau Gasol...meh
Tony Parker...meh

Looks like a list created by Max Kellerman.
 

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