Here’s what Kelly Dwyer had to say yesterday, regarding an article by Dan Shaughnessy and:
1. How a proper determination of the GOAT should be made;
2. Whether Tim Duncan might actually fit the bill, or not; and,
3. What qualifies as sound basketball analysis in today’s landscape.
Never mind defense is half the game, that an all-world defender will always be as important and as destructive as a 25-point scorer. Never mind Tim Duncan, in his prime, was both of those things.
Never mind, in the history of the NBA, there have been, perhaps, four of those guys. Wilt, Jordan, Kareem and Duncan (late add-on: Hakeem, too. What was I thinking forgetting him?). Maybe Shaq in 2000-01, definitely not Russell (didn’t score enough), probably not Malone (a fine defender, but not a game-changer).
Never mind pace or changes in landscape or role or minutes allotment or function or form or context …
Here’s the comment which was submitted by yours truly:
3 simple points:
Basketball has 3 distinct phases [i.e. Defense, Rebounding, and Offense], not just 2 [i.e. Offense and Defense.
This means that Defense, properly understood:
A. Does not, in fact, comprise 50% of the game; but,
B. In fact, comprises 33.3% of the game.
Defense [33.3%] and Rebounding [33.3%], in combination [33.3 + 33.3 = 66.7%], comprise a far greater portion of the whole than Offense [33.3%].
i. A Great Player [e.g. Michael Jordan] to other Great Players [e.g. Oscar Robertson], on an individual basis,
ii. A Great Player [e.g. Hakeem Olajuwon] to other Non-Great Players [e.g. Robert Horry], on an individual basis,
Team Wins, Team Playoff Games Won, Team Playoff Series Won, and Team League Championships Won [i.e. categorized as, "Wins"]
must be factored into the evaluation equation, as well … because the game of basketball is, fundamentally, a Team Sport, where winning and losing are important and determined by the final Team scores.
The fact that Bill Russell did not happen to “score points” in prodigous numbers, himself, is simply not a valid reason to exclude him from discussion when considering, “Who is the Greatest Player Basketball of All-Time?”
When the proper categories for evaluation are considered for the small collection of great players in the history of the game, along the following lines:
1. Defense [33.3% of 50%]
2. Rebounding [33.3% of 50%]
3. Offense [33.3% of 50%]
4. Wins [50%]
then, there should be no doubt, whatsoever, who THE SINGLE GREATEST PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF BASKETBALL actually is … according to the facts.
published, initially, and then subsequently removed from the applicable thread at Ball Don’t Lie.