The Official Criteria Thread (2017-20)---PLEASE CONTRIBUTE if participating in top 100 project! (read OP)

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Post#61 » by wojoaderge » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:15 pm

In the further interest of explaining some of my choices, I'd like to introduce another maxim, theorem, or what have you to go along with Kiki Vandeweghe>E.C. Coleman. This one is called second banana<first banana
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Post#62 » by Hornet Mania » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:24 pm

I consider two factors most:

-Peak level of play (how good was this player at their absolute best)
-Longevity (did the player sustain peak level for a decent amount of time, did they provide bonus value late in career)

I also tend to favor:
-Playoff performance/success (winning titles is the ultimate goal, and opponent strength is highest in the postseason. If they sustain success en route to rings that matters. If they fall off, that matters too. If you play well but lose, well, that's not a negative because it wasn't their fault. I would say I give playoff performance 60/40 weight above regular season performance in spite of lower samples size)
-How much did this player contribute to winning? Did they seem to significantly improve their team's chances (whether in terms of making a bad team good, or a good team great)?

I also tend to believe that there is more of a psychological element in sports than analytics can account for. Some people handle stress better than others, I suspect that changes outcomes even at the highest level of professional basketball. I like players whose confidence doesn't waver even after they lose, the ones that compete fiercely and don't seem to get flustered. Even in a losing effort I value the confident, composed player.

Might add a bit more later, but that's the bare-bones thought
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Post#63 » by wojoaderge » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:35 pm

Yet another addition to my criteria - any guard who can only be strictly defined as a "point guard" or a "shooting guard" has no business being in the Top 50 (this goes along with my second banana<first banana theorem).
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Post#64 » by Quotatious » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:53 pm

Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.
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Post#65 » by wojoaderge » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:56 pm

Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.

In my book, heck no
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Post#66 » by Quotatious » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:05 pm

wojoaderge wrote:
Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.

In my book, heck no

The reason why I'm asking this question, is that one of the metrics I'm tinkering with, has Kareem as worse than Jordan, LeBron and Wilt based on 1-year peak, 5-year prime and 10-year prime, but way ahead of them in terms of overall career (because of how many all-star level years KAJ had in his 11th to 20th best seasons).
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Post#67 » by wojoaderge » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:11 pm

Quotatious wrote:
wojoaderge wrote:
Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.

In my book, heck no

The reason why I'm asking this question, is that one of the metrics I'm tinkering with, has Kareem as worse than Jordan, LeBron and Wilt based on 1-year peak, 5-year prime and 10-year prime, but way ahead of them in terms of overall career (because of how many all-star level years KAJ had in his 11th to 20th best seasons).

You said "clearly inferior" though.
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Post#69 » by Clyde Frazier » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:30 pm

Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.


This is something i'm still figuring out how to tackle (essentially current star players who've played less than 10 seasons). Ultimately i think after this season it would be hard to rate parish over curry, but i'm not sure. I like you value longevity very highly. Still a work in progress for me.
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Post#70 » by The-Power » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:36 pm

Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.

Personally, I don't treat 'value added' as a linear function for which we just need to add up each year of a player's career. With growing impact its value increases disproportionally in my eyes. It's more difficult to increase your level of impact the further away from replacement level you get, which makes it more rare, and given the nature of basketball (limited number of players on the court, strategic choices can be made etc.) there is real value to having high-impact players beyond the mere sum of the parts on a team.
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Post#71 » by Eddy_JukeZ » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:37 pm

General career impact/career story/legacy
Peak/prime
Value RS, but value playoffs even more(as an example, I'd probably rank 17 Curry over 16 Curry because of Curry's improved playoff run despite an inferior RS)
durability
Ability to be the best player on a championship team
highlights/low-lights considered

Something like that is the criteria I'll use.
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Post#72 » by Eddy_JukeZ » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:40 pm

Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.


I'm not that high on longevity, so I'd probably say no.

As an example

Player A: 5 superstar seasons(MVP candidate), then 5 seasons inferior to player B, sub-all star play

Player B: 10 all star seasons(never MVP candidate), never approaches player A's high level

I'd rather have player A, because I feel for those 5 seasons, my chances of winning are enhanced.
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Re: The Official Criteria Thread (2017)---PLEASE CONTRIBUTE if participating in top 100 project! (read OP) 

Post#73 » by Jaivl » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:18 pm

The-Power wrote:
Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.

Personally, I don't treat 'value added' as a linear function for which we just need to add up each year of a player's career. With growing impact its value increases disproportionally in my eyes. It's more difficult to increase your level of impact the further away from replacement level you get, which makes it more rare, and given the nature of basketball (limited number of players on the court, strategic choices can be made etc.) there is real value to having high-impact players beyond the mere sum of the parts on a team.

+1. As an example, "my" polynom based on ElGee's work, which I use in making my ATL (not sure if I can call it mine, I just used Simpson's Method on ElGee's data):

Image
Maf wrote:I'd undestand if anyone had KG outside top ten PF's. Having him top five all-time? Often I jokingly rank Kyle Korver as the GOAT but I never try to fake serious discussion about it.

ShawnKemp96 wrote:Infact he made a lot more steals than the statisticians think.
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Post#74 » by Texas Chuck » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:18 pm

wojoaderge wrote:Yet another addition to my criteria - any guard who can only be strictly defined as a "point guard" or a "shooting guard" has no business being in the Top 50 (this goes along with my second banana<first banana theorem).

For clarity, does this mean a player like melo is a lock to be above a player like pippen? And players like Paul, Nash, and Stockton as well as Kobe, drexler, and wade are ruled out?

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Post#75 » by wojoaderge » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:46 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:
wojoaderge wrote:Yet another addition to my criteria - any guard who can only be strictly defined as a "point guard" or a "shooting guard" has no business being in the Top 50 (this goes along with my second banana<first banana theorem).

For clarity, does this mean a player like melo is a lock to be above a player like pippen? And players like Paul, Nash, and Stockton as well as Kobe, drexler, and wade are ruled out?

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When I say "banana" I really mean "option" on offense. Right now I have Pippen just above guys like Dantley and Nique so I guess I have him as close to the GOAT second banana. As for the rest, all of them could legitimately be a first option or "banana" on offense other than Stockton.
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Post#76 » by Winsome Gerbil » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:16 pm

1) "greatness" through prime. Just how special was the guy at his best?

2) number of prime seasons/length of prime. That's my "longetivity" factor.

3) Peak seasons, if they are outliers, are not of major interest by themselves.

4) Notoriously I don't think the long lingering careers should bump guys very far on a "greatness" scale. When their prime begins to wind down, then they've proven what they are going to prove as far as greatness. Playing for 10 years in decline after that at a lower level achievable by the mere mortals around the league is only a slight bump above retiring instead after only 2 more years or 5 more years. You don't prove "greatness" by just refusing to quit or chasing a little more money/a last contract.

5) Seasons/careers as their team's #1/as "the man" are more telling than seasons as a #2/#3/being somebody's gopher. How many seasons did you carry the load and define your team and/or the league?

6) When in doubt, I ask myself what would Winsome Gerbil think?, and vote accordingly because the guy's a genius.
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Post#77 » by micahclay » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:58 pm

Jaivl wrote:
The-Power wrote:
Quotatious wrote:Question to all you guys - can a player who has a clearly inferior peak and prime, still be ranked higher on your all-time list than a player with a clearly superior peak and prime, because the former has outstanding longevity? For example, Robert Parish vs Stephen Curry.

Personally, I don't treat 'value added' as a linear function for which we just need to add up each year of a player's career. With growing impact its value increases disproportionally in my eyes. It's more difficult to increase your level of impact the further away from replacement level you get, which makes it more rare, and given the nature of basketball (limited number of players on the court, strategic choices can be made etc.) there is real value to having high-impact players beyond the mere sum of the parts on a team.

+1. As an example, "my" polynom based on ElGee's work, which I use in making my ATL (not sure if I can call it mine, I just used Simpson's Method on ElGee's data):

Image


I'll third this one. It's almost a logarithmic scale of sorts. If the impact over a peak/prime/career is pretty comparable, I'd side with the guy with greater longevity (one particular example would be Duncan/Kareem > Jordan). If there's a clear difference in impact, I'd side with the high impact player (Curry vs Parish is a good example - Curry's impact is so much higher that his 4/5 years of otherworldly impact beat out Parish's 21ish years - however, Parish vs someone like McGrady, I would pick Parish).

It might be interesting for me to try to make a general sliding scale for impact vs. longevity. I could maybe use hypothetical RAPM estimates for those that don't have it (then again, could just use the SRS, and not have to estimate the RAPM). I donno, at this point I'm thinking out loud (and really off topic, but alas).
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Post#78 » by rebirthoftheM » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:42 am

I’ve gone back and forth on the criteria for greatness, in large part because of the numerous interesting and well thought-out posts/threads on this sub-forum. Some of my newer/more developed thoughts:


Utilizing teammates effectively: A heavy emphasis on a #1 offensive option who effectively utilises his talented team with the end goal being a well-oiled offensive machine. I highly value a #1 who gets the best out of his teammates, ranging from dudes who can create their own shots to other guys who rely on the creation of others. This “skill” heavily relates to the specific offensive scheme a player/team runs, their particular skill-set and their area of operation on the court.

Era portability: Increasingly I’m downgrading players who it appears are only as successful as they are because of the particular era they are in. This does not mean I believe they would fall off the cliff in other eras, but they wouldn’t be considered as great if they played in multiple other eras. A key example is James Harden, whose dominance in large relies on the 3-ball/elite spacing/non-hand-checking ticky tack foul driven league. I don’t think his particular skill-set would transfer as well in other eras, because he wouldn’t be able to draw as many fouls as well as him lacking a strong post/mid-range game. Even his driving game in large part is accentuated by the 3-ball spacing era. His ability to create off the dribble is inferior IMO is inferior to a bunch of dudes, and would be an issue for him in other eras.

RS v PS performance: I’ve always been higher on the latter, but my thoughts on this have developed. I won’t equate players on contenders v players on non-contenders/borderline playoff teams. Take RW for example.. without his superhuman efforts in the RS, his team wouldn’t have made the playoffs at all. He had a solid to good PS performance, but not the best. Because of his super-human RS efforts, I will emphasise this. But if RW has numerous years of super-human RS play and consistently disappointing 1st rounders then I might seriously consider whether his approach to the game of basketball is flawed.

• As for players on contenders, their RS performance to me borders on close to irrelevant (unless they was actually hurting his team- this is an issue), because in effect their RS performance only impacts the seeding of their respective teams. The goal of any contender is to win a ring, and the real season for contenders begins come playoffs. I will therefore judge the given player by his PS performance, because it is this performance that has a direct bearing on the ability of his team to win.

• I also find the PS in general a more accurate reflection of true greatness, as teams study game-tape in depth, produce great strategies in the PS, and in general up their defensive energies and are given more leeway in this respect. Counter-moves are especially important in the PS, and part of greatness is the ability to adapt your game to the changing strategies of your opponent. Also in the PS, we see less talented/valuable players getting less minutes, and in general the play is at its highest. To produce at a high level in such a climate IMO is far more valuable than RS performances for a dude on a contender.

Box score stats: I have always been suspicious of the value of box score stats/based metrics in large part because they tell you little about the value of a given player and this has only increased in recent times. Kobe obviously has always been a poster child of this problem, and again his play has driven home this point. I had a quick look at his box score numbers/based box score metrics from the 06 and 07 playoff series v the Suns, and shockingly one would conclude he had a better series in 07 despite this not being even close to the case. These stats said nothing about pace control, positioning of your teammates to make them effective, conjuring up an offensive/defensive strategy to exploit the weaknesses of the opponent, all of which made 06 Kobe’s performance much better than 07. There are many more examples to drive home this point (Like the numerous illuminating posts about Wilt+ Bill Russell+ Duncan recently), but suffice to say I do not find box scores important in considering value. +/- based metrics help bridge the gap, but most importantly analysis of game-tape and understanding of a specific team structure/era is required.

Measuring of defense: At this point in time, I believe the most accurate, and indeed the only credible judge of defense is the eye test, specifically the eye-test judgement of people who understand proper defense (and there are many around here who qualify here). Many people dislike SVG because of his erratic behaviour and rants at the Sloan conference, but his particular points about defense and analytics was very enlightening. Box score defensive stats have always been suspect, and the +/- whilst improving on it (particularly with respect to judging bigs), have not solved the issues of judgement. At best, these numbers should only be used to support well explained eye-test judgements.
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Post#79 » by TrueLAfan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:39 am

Criteria—
Seasonal impact—How much—and what--did this player do to make his team better in a season? How much credit should he get for his team’s play/record?
Career impact—Add together season impact and include the following. How much—and what--did this player do to make his franchise better across multiple seasons? How valuable was that?
Playoff/Title Impact—Did this player provide enough of a boost to help get a team into the playoffs? Into the finals? To the championship? How big were the boosts and how often did that happen?
I wish I could point at a single criteria that qualified/quantified all of those. I can’t. I’ll note that more in methodology. A player can make his team better by being a scorer, a rebounder, a distributor, a defensive standout, a glue player, a “second coach on the court,” a great practice guy/mentor, a respected voice in the locker room and on the road, a rallying point for other players in the league. Great players do more of those things.

Methodology—
Mine will be fluid, probably dealing more with intangibles and contemporary assessment than some others’ might. In a recent thread, I posted about Kareem vs. Duncan. I have Kareem very slightly over Duncan—but it’s close. And when players are that close, you have to look at small things, often non-statistical things. Kareem was an aloof guy—did that hurt his teams? TD was the cornerstone of a franchise that won 5 titles during his career—but, OTOH, TD had the stability of a good coach and great GMs. Should individual players that reap the benefit of those things get some/a little/virtually no credit for that? Kareem had to have an Oscar or Magic to win a title—is that knock on him? Or is the fact that Oscar and Magic never won a title without Cap proof of Kareem’s value? And there’s other types of value that is clear but not necessarily quantifiable. Again, in a recent post, I posted about Bob Lanier. Lanier’s Detroit teams were often lousy. But they had absurdly bad management in the 70s, even by that era’s lower standards. His impact on the Bucks when he was traded to them in 1979 was a lot like Dave DeBusschere’s impact on the Knicks when he got traded there. (And is it a coincidence they both got traded by Detroit? Just askin’.) Sometimes it’s team based … Some players are great on certain teams because they do things that make it easier for better players to maximize value on the court (Unseld and Silas are my two favorite examples). What about respect/reputation? When Doctor J won an NBA title, I can’t tell you how happy people were … I’m talking about players on other teams. Same with Jerry West. When you’re comparing players that are close together, those things matter.

I’ve always loved statistical analysis, and I’m going to use it—everything from WS and WS/48 to On/Off Court data to, well, everything—but I’ve always felt that the majority of analyses give an idea of things rather than making a definitive statement. It’s people that make statistical anlysis definitive, sometimes when they shouldn’t. I was trying to talk/argue with a guy several weeks ago about issues I have using pace/possessions across eras to compare volume scorers. I had a hard time thinking that Larry Bird in 1985 was an equal or lesser scorer than Andrew Wiggins was last year. But if you use scoring per 100 possessions, they run a dead heat. Bird was a 50-40-90 (okay 52-43-88) guy that led an all time great team. Now, if you want to think that 2017 Andrew Wiggins—who is a fine player and scorer—was anything like the scorer Bird was in 1985, that’s your right. And the guy I was talking to really, really thought that—he used scoring per 100 possessions to answer his question. (And. That Was. It.) But I really think that‘s a case of asking the wrong question. I’ve said this before—this is a case where we shouldn’t be asking, “What is wrong with Larry Bird?” We should probably be thinking “Am I using this tool properly?” So I’ll be using some types of analysis—and some of those more than others—but have a healthy dose of eyeballing players and contemporary analysis in there too.

And, yeah, contemporary analysis—I’m a believer in MVP voting. Always have been. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it rarely botches things badly. I wish I could find that (brief) analysis/comparison I made between our Retro POY voting and that of MVP voting—but they were a lot closer than even I thought they would be. When we can find contemporary newspaper clippings or league summaries or SI articles or whatever that discuss players … including non-statistical things—that has value.

The peak/career debate is a tough one. I’ve always sided with peak. But sometimes something as simple as determining peaks can be a funny thing … ask Bernard King. Or Artis Gilmore. They have broken up peaks of varying levels where they sometimes did different things on the court. How do you fuse that? I’ll just stumble my way through that one. In terms of the value question—as in, is Alex English more valuable than Bernard King because, even though he was a slightly lesser player, he had a longer peak? You have to weight the value and length of peak there, IMO. It’s going to be customized every time players are compared depending on how you define “value”—and I’ve said enough about how I do that.
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Post#80 » by Tesla » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:42 am

Criteria

Regular season impact: What did each player do? What was their production like compared to their peers? What was their role in making their team better and how often did they do it. It will be important for me to see not only excellence but sustained over longer periods of time.

Wins, wins and more wins: These are rankings of the 100 greatest players to lace them up, if you were not a part of helping win games and a lot of them, I really don't think you belong. How much of a role did you play on your teams success and how successful was it and how often.

Playoffs/Championships: How much value did the player show value in getting to the ultimate goal? What was their role? How often?

"Greatness" - I suppose this will be more evident in the first 30 or so slots more than when we are getting towards 100... but It is important for me as to how the player was regarded by their contemporaries: other players, coaches, fans, media, etc. What they did on the court; was it just great play and great numbers, or did it transcend something magical, something more? There are going to be so many close calls with classic logical criteria that I feel like I will use this as a bit of a tie breaker.

Methodolgy:

Statistical analysis - I am not a huge stats guy; however, I do believe they are very useful and important for analysis of impact, value, production etc. I will absolutely use them as a foundation and I am open to reading others use of stats in forming or changing my opinion.

While stats paint part of the picture for me; I more so like to look at the big picture with each player. What actually happened? What did they actually do? How often? What role did they play in their teams successes and failures? I am a big proponent in these kind of rankings of not looking at what could've happened in different circumstances, but I will focus my rankings on what actually occurred. I also have general "greatness" as a criteria, If things are close enough I want to look at their legend, their impact in their era.
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