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.
Going into the 2015 NBA Finals between the Cavaliers (led by 4x MVP LeBron James) and the Warriors (led by reigning MVP Steph Curry), the best series in the 2015 playoffs still has been the first round match-up between the Spurs and the Clippers. That 7-game series ended with the Clippers beating the Spurs by the score of 111-109 on a last-second shot by a hobbled Chris Paul over the outstretched arm of Tim Duncan. Despite that final play, the 39-year old Duncan showed that he still is a superstar who can compete at the highest level. With a style of play based on fundamental soundness instead of flashy highlights, Duncan is often forgotten in conversations regarding the all-time greatest players. The following post was inspired by his enduring dominance, which has only been matched by two other players in NBA history: Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Overlooked too often, Duncan is poised to earn a spot on my personal NBA Mount Rushmore.