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.
As described in my previous post, NBA Commissioner David Stern implemented a draft lottery in 1985 as a way to remove the implicit incentive teams had to lose games intentionally in order to improve their draft status. Clearly, Stern was a genius because the accusations of teams tanking have been removed from the game. Actually, not only have the accusations increased over the years, but also the league’s handling of the lottery system has led to conspiracy theories that the process is rigged (e.g. the bent envelope resulting in Patrick Ewing going to the Knicks). Whether fair or not, the NBA has a shoddy reputation regarding the integrity of its draft process. Perhaps more accurately, replace the “odd” from shoddy in the previous sentence with the cousin from the Adams Family (i.e. replace “odd” with “itt”). Either way, the NBA Draft seems to create enough controversy year after year for it to be considered a bust in its own right.