Prior to the 2021-22 season, the NBA announced it 75th Anniversary Team to honor the greatest 75 players in league history. In anticipation of that moment, my son and I developed an algorithm to create our own list of all-time greats. The NBA relied on a panel of “expert” voters who likely utilized the “eye test” while this site relied purely on objective measures such as stats, awards, and titles. There was significant overlap in the names on both lists, but this post provides a ranking to make the debate that much more interesting. Who’s the GOAT? Who got snubbed? Who didn’t quite deserve the honor? It’s all in here. Read and enjoy.
While the NBA generally has relied on the principle that “worst picks first” when determining draft order, the league has always altered this principle with assorted gimmicks. As described in my previous post, the NBA originally allowed teams to declare a territorial preference as a way to trump draft order. After eliminating this preference in the mid-1960s, the league began using a coin toss to award the #1 overall pick to the worst team in the East or the West. The draft order for the remaining teams was determined strictly based on the inverse order of how each team finished in the prior season regardless of division (or conference). The coin toss system was considered acceptable for almost 20 years, but NBA Commissioner David Stern decided to scrap it before his first anniversary on the job. This post will review the NBA Draft during the “Coin Toss” Era.