Pro Basketballs All-Time All-Stars: Across the Eras
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A dominant two-way player who can take over a game either with his scoring or his passing, Paul isn't a carbon copy of Stockton by any stretch of the imagination. But he is going to retire as a historically great floor general without many rings.
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He might not have any unless the Los Angeles Clippers can exceed the expectations and emerge out of the brutally tough Western Conference. Stockton is historically defined by three traits: his record-setting assist numbers, pick-and-roll play and complete lack of championship rings.
Paul isn't going to challenge for the all-time lead in dimes no one is ever going to get there, as Stockton was blessed with health, a perfect playing partner and an incredibly long career , but he may retire as the all-time leader in PER among point guards. He currently sits at Add in the PnR dominance and his similar lack of playoff success and you can see the basis for this comparison.
Both dunking machines who thrive running pick-and-roll sets, Blake Griffin and Karl Malone get paired together. After all, Synergy Sports subscription required reveals that Blake scored 1. What's scary is just how similar Griffin's current career averages are to Malone's first three years. The following per-game stats come from Basketball-Reference :. It may seem sacrilegious to compare Griffin to a Hall of Famer like Malone this early in his career, but you could actually make a convincing argument that Griffin was better at the start of his professional basketball days.
Problem is, Griffin hasn't been improving at the same rate that the Mailman did. Malone made a big jump in his fourth season, averaging If Griffin can show similar leaps in production, the Los Angeles Clippers will most assuredly be thrilled. I suppose they'd also be quite happy if Griffin can negate the comparison by winning a title in No point guard in the Jordan era combined those two skills more effectively than Gary Payton.
And as for the current era, Chris Paul can give Rajon Rondo a run for his money, but the Boston Celtics floor general still possesses the elite defense-passing combination right now. Rondo isn't the scorer that Payton was in his prime, but that was never what defined the Seattle SuperSonics superstar.
While it was an impressive attribute, it still took a backseat to the point-preventing prowess that earned him "The Glove" moniker. Remember the season when Scottie Pippen led the Chicago Bulls in all five major statistical categories? Well, only if you don't count Michael Jordan's 17 games, as they left him unqualified for all those leaderboards.
Pippen averaged His modern-day counterpart has to be Andre Igudoala, who plays a very similar game thanks to the well-rounded nature of his offense and his fantastic defensive play. Hell, Iggy's biggest weaknesses are the same as Pippen's: three-point shooting and performance at the foul line.
But he's a poor man's version of the former Chicago Bulls standout, and that's about as good as we're going to get from the current set of players. One reason the LeBron vs.
Jordan debate is particularly interesting is that the former is still playing, thus still accumulating new moments and stats for his legacy. Once that career ends, so will the new ways to compare him and Jordan. When he retires, the NBA will be in the unusual position of having no active players vying for that coveted title.
Why are there no clear potential G. His teammate Stephen Curry suffers from playing alongside Durant for some of those same reasons.
Curry and Durant are likely to get into top or even top-five conversations, but the G. Ben Simmons, the Philadelphia 76ers rookie , is the closest to James in terms of skill set. His eight triple doubles last season is LeBron-esque, but his At nearly seven feet tall, he has all the tools for greatness, but he still needs to develop a jump shot and prove he can carry his team deep into the playoffs.
Read: Fight night with LeBron. Probably the best bet for being the top player in the league for the next decade is Anthony Davis.
NBA Stars Who Blew Their Millions | Stadium Talk
The league has never really seen anyone like Davis, who is also almost seven feet tall, can shoot threes, and beat any player off of the dribble while being one of the most disruptive defensive forces. But he still needs to rack up enough championships. Lastly, if we go even younger, no high-school or college players are making headlines or garnering buzz from scouts as James did in There are a few things in the sports world that are basically set in stone. Things are different when it comes to the NBA. A couple of notes before we tip off.
Hall of Famers Pettit career averages of Hudson spent 11 seasons with the Hawks and averaged more than 21 points per game in seven straight campaigns. Mutombo gets the nod at center over Al Horford. Mutombo was named Defensive Player of the Year four times, including and in Atlanta. Our roster and the list of the greatest Celtics of all time completely overlap.
NBA Stars Who Blew Their Millions
Williams was a three-time All-Star during his eight seasons with the Nets, so he definitely makes the starting five. Even though Kidd bounced around the NBA during his career, some of his best seasons happened with the Nets. Birdsong played the majority of his career with the Nets, and he averaged double figures in all but one season with the team. The tough call was leaving Derrick Coleman off the roster, but Jefferson, Williams, and Lopez stand in his way.
Wallace is an undersized center at 6-foot7, but we think he brings more to the table than Emeka Okafor. Having the youngest MVP in league history Rose running point alongside two of the greatest players ever Jordan and Pippen is just part of it.
James, one of the highest-paid NBA players and the man who led the Cavs to their only title, is the centerpiece, but the team quietly has one of the best starting lineups of any squad on the list. Irving edges Austin Carr at shooting guard thanks to stronger shooting percentages. Nowitzki and Aguirre, the latter of whom was much better in Dallas than Detroit, are obvious choices for the Mavericks. We already penciled Jason Kidd at point guard for the Nets, but Harper is a quality choice.
Blackmon, a four-time All-Star with his jersey retired by the team, edges Michael Finley to be the shooting guard. Lever, Thompson, English, and Issel all have their Nuggets jerseys retired; the latter three are all in the Hall of Fame. Diehard fans may not like seeing Anthony make the cut, but the fact is he was a standout star for seven-and-a-half seasons.
25. George Mikan
Chauncey Billups had some of his best seasons in Detroit, including being Finals MVP in , but Thomas and Dumars are two all-time greats that play the same positions. Chamberlain began his career with the franchise and posted five consecutive seasons with averages of more than 30 points and 23 rebounds per game, including Arizin was a solid small forward in his day, but he plays power forward for our team. He was a two-time league MVP with Houston. McGrady, also in the Hall of Fame, could have slotted in with a couple of other teams, but the five-and-a-half years he spent in Houston was his longest tenure in the NBA.
We have to make some tough choices regarding the Pacers ultimate lineup, especially with the bigs. Lewis Hall of Fame, Fleming spent almost his whole career with Indiana and averaged Even though the Clippers are the Cleveland Browns of the NBA a moribund franchise that never seems to get it right , they have one of the best starting lineups on our list.
We have to leave off Blake Griffin to make room for Brand, who has to slide from center to power forward to make room for Hall of Fame McAdoo. Johnson, West, Bryant, and Baylor are obvious choices to start for the Lakers. All four spent their entire careers with the team. Conley and Gasol are with the team for the season, and Randolph is a recent departure.
Miller and Gay bounced around the league, but both enjoyed some of their most successful seasons with the franchise. For a franchise with a shorter history than most, the Heat certainly has one of the best starting lineups of any team on our list. Mourning, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, is already in the Hall of Fame, and Wade is sure to join him when he retires.