RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan)

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#121 » by trex_8063 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:51 am

MyUniBroDavis wrote:Im not really involved in the project cuz i feel my criteria are really different from most people on the board (not saying mine our better cuz its all subjective) and i get the mikan pick for in era dominance stuff, but at the same while its def fair for him to be that high in terms of greatness, its kind odd for me to see someone thats prolly not better than our USC center last year in the top 20 lol


The last line MIGHT be disrespectful (it's been so long ago obv I cannot say for sure). I'd probably peg George Mikan as closer to an Al Horford or Marc Gasol level player in the modern era.

Obviously neither of those guys is sniffing my top 20 (or top 50, for that matter), BUT.......one has to realize that those guys [or this USC center you refer to] may not have been anything relevant to basketball in the circa-1950 BAA/NBA had they been born ~1925 due to the mentoring, game-modelling influences, resources, facilities, etc etc that would have been available to them at the time.

There's this myth that Mikan ONLY dominated because he was playing against "a bunch of white midgets" (a very literal quote I have heard on this and other boards). While the "white" part is mostly true, the other is far from it: in fact, the average height of an NBA player in the early 1950's was actually only about 2" shorter than it is today.

And Mikan wasn't the only "giant" of the time. Picking a year in the [roughly] middle of Mikan's career ['52], and looking at the other players who were within at least 2" of Mikan or taller (bearing in mind this is in a mere 10-team league):

Noble Jorgensen (6'9")
Red Rocha (6'9")
Dolph Schayes (6'8")
Ed Macauley (6'8")
John Mahnken (6'8")
Herb Scherer (6'9")
Connie Simmons (6'8")
Neil Johnston (6'8")
Ed Mikan (6'8")
Jim Slaughter (6'11")
Arnie Risen (6'9")
Lew Hitch (6'8")
Larry Foust (6'9")
Don Otten (6'10")
Chuck Share (6'11")

There was only ONE team (of 10) in '52 that didn't have at least one player 6'8" or taller; and on average teams have 1.6 players 6'8" or taller. Three other players in a 10-team league were 6'10" or taller at that time. But I'd ask anyone who has the "white midget" opinion how many of these other guys he's heard of.
And more generally, how many of these other guys dominated the league to the degree G.Mikan did?

Mikan's height advantage was less than what Kareem, Wilt, or Joel Embiid enjoyed, and is no larger than that of Nikola Jokic.
Clearly it took more than merely being tall. There's absolutely no question, imo, George Mikan was a special player in an historic sense. And I say this as someone who did not cast a vote for him, nor side with him in the runoff.


EDIT: btw, don't let differing criteria keep you from the project. There's no stipulation on criteria you must follow, and only a little overlap from poster to poster. If we tried to limit it to only those whose criteria roughly matched, we'd have a panel of <10 (half of whom would fall out of the project by the midway point).
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#122 » by frica » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:57 am

MyUniBroDavis wrote:Im not really involved in the project cuz i feel my criteria are really different from most people on the board (not saying mine our better cuz its all subjective) and i get the mikan pick for in era dominance stuff, but at the same while its def fair for him to be that high in terms of greatness, its kind odd for me to see someone thats prolly not better than our USC center last year in the top 20 lol

There were a few 50s players who did well well into the 60s... And Mikan was clearly a lot better than them.

So even if he's clearly no Bill, or Wilt. Top 20 doesn't seem that much of a stretch.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#123 » by Dr Positivity » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:00 am

Wow, impressive showing for Mikan. I credit it to a greater recognition of 47 and 48 as valid years, it makes his longevity a little more competitive at this stage. I'll be interested to see if Davies makes top 100 this time, personally I'm a fan.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#124 » by MyUniBroDavis » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:08 am

trex_8063 wrote:
MyUniBroDavis wrote:Im not really involved in the project cuz i feel my criteria are really different from most people on the board (not saying mine our better cuz its all subjective) and i get the mikan pick for in era dominance stuff, but at the same while its def fair for him to be that high in terms of greatness, its kind odd for me to see someone thats prolly not better than our USC center last year in the top 20 lol


The last line MIGHT be disrespectful (it's been so long ago obv I cannot say for sure). I'd probably peg George Mikan as closer to an Al Horford or Marc Gasol level player in the modern era.

Obviously neither of those guys is sniffing my top 20 (or top 50, for that matter), BUT.......one has to realize that those guys [or this USC center you refer to] may not have been anything relevant to basketball in the circa-1950 BAA/NBA had they been born ~1925 due to the mentoring, game-modelling influences, resources, facilities, etc etc that would have been available to them at the time.

There's this myth that Mikan ONLY dominated because he was playing against "a bunch of white midgets" (a very literal quote I have heard on this and other boards). While the "white" part is mostly true, the other is far from it: in fact, the average height of an NBA player in the early 1950's was actually only about 2" shorter than it is today.

And Mikan wasn't the only "giant" of the time. Picking a year in the [roughly] middle of Mikan's career ['52], and looking at the other players who were within at least 2" of Mikan or taller (bearing in mind this is in a mere 10-team league):

Noble Jorgensen (6'9")
Red Rocha (6'9")
Dolph Schayes (6'8")
Ed Macauley (6'8")
John Mahnken (6'8")
Herb Scherer (6'9")
Connie Simmons (6'8")
Neil Johnston (6'8")
Ed Mikan (6'8")
Jim Slaughter (6'11")
Arnie Risen (6'9")
Lew Hitch (6'8")
Larry Foust (6'9")
Don Otten (6'10")
Chuck Share (6'11")

There was only ONE team (of 10) in '52 that didn't have at least one player 6'8" or taller; and on average teams have 1.6 players 6'8" or taller. Three other players in a 10-team league were 6'10" or taller at that time. But I'd ask anyone who has the "white midget" opinion how many of these other guys he's heard of.
And more generally, how many of these other guys dominated the league to the degree G.Mikan did?

Clearly it took more merely being tall. There's absolutely no question, imo, George Mikan was a special player in an historic sense. And I say this as someone who did not cast a vote for him, nor side with him in the runoff.

EDIT: btw, don't let differing criteria keep you from the project. There's no stipulation on criteria you must follow, and only a little overlap from poster to poster. If we tried to limit it to only those whose criteria roughly matched, we'd have a panel of <10 (half of whom would fall out of the project by the midway point).


So i bolded the part where i wanted to emphasize, like my thing im not comparing mikan to if he was born today with todays training and all that, im saying that if you time travelled him in his peak to today and you told him, btw here r the new rules you have a year to prepare, he prolly wouldnt be too great

Itd be a bit late for me to join now tbf, and Okongwu also kinda nice lol.

I know height wasnt really the thing but it just seems to me the level of talent late 40s early 50s wasnt all too great, esp since mikans time was before black players really joined iirc.

I think the 1948 globetrotters beat the 1948 lakers right? I think its fair to say the 2020 globetrotters would decimate the 1948 globetrotters, more so than they would a college team

On criteria and stuff, people on here very much rate players in the sense of, if they had a 10/10 season and no title its better than a 9.9/10 season and a title assuming theres nothing clear for why player A won the title instead of B. Ofc winning bias comes into play for all of us, but if they were given that info theyd take the 10/10 guy, and I get that and its perfectly valid, but i do personally give an arbritary value to titles they contributed to and as much as something like "X needs ___ titles to surpass Y" doesnt neccessarily make sense i think considering its the end goal its fair to give players a boost for actually pulling it off, but otoh i dont really care about era and rules as much as others so while i recognize mikan was great in his era, incredible actually, and i do think he has to be in the top 100 out of respect i couldnt put near top 20 when i genuinly dont think hed make the usc team if you pluck him in his prime to today.

Obviously its a difference in criteria but because my views are so unaligned with the majority while i actually agree with the analysis for alot of players i feel like sven if i contributed to the discussion i shouldnt really vote lol
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#125 » by MyUniBroDavis » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:16 am

frica wrote:
MyUniBroDavis wrote:Im not really involved in the project cuz i feel my criteria are really different from most people on the board (not saying mine our better cuz its all subjective) and i get the mikan pick for in era dominance stuff, but at the same while its def fair for him to be that high in terms of greatness, its kind odd for me to see someone thats prolly not better than our USC center last year in the top 20 lol

There were a few 50s players who did well well into the 60s... And Mikan was clearly a lot better than them.

So even if he's clearly no Bill, or Wilt. Top 20 doesn't seem that much of a stretch.



I get trying to use that kind of reasoning but based off the film we have of the 40s and 50s



Like its pretty blatant that neither of those teams are beating a D1 college team if you transport them to todays era.

Theres a level of stiffness in the nba back then thats because of the rules, but because they were taught that way because of the rules, if you told them "hey palming is done" they arent gonna be nba level ball handlers even if you gave them a few months of prep

I think [quote=heej][/quote] would be able tp explain this better since im pretty sure he plays alot but ball handling isnt about ball control at above a competetive middle school level its about the ability to sell and be shifty and have like, effective sauce or whatever. Thats ridiculously hard to train compared to ball control and most guys during the palming eras didnt have that level os shiftyness because of the rules, at the same time you cant expect them to suddenly get it because they were pros.

I think its fair to say because of this as a whole wings and guards in the 50s arent really near the level of D1 college players, and even if it was a situational thing and if they rew up today itd be different, thats not really the point im making.

While theres merit to the argument that if you time travelled them back to the 1950s, they wluldnt have the same success dribbling, im still fairly sure theyd look way better and we are limiting their skillset to make it a fair comparison, and reallstically the product in 2000-2020 is way better than late 40s early 50s anyway (i get some people enjoyed the 60-90s more thats fair. Not late 40s tho lol)

Even just in terms of touch around the rim and especially defense theres just a huge gap, you dont see people using english on the backboard, crossing over their feet on defense when someone is blowing by.

Theres such a massive gap in terms of the skillsets between guards and wings today vs the ones in the 40s and 50s, and while i get the value of stats and all that at times when comparing accross eras esp ones as far apart as this that gets lost, i get mikans a center but you kind of get my point.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 

Post#126 » by colts18 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:33 am

LA Bird wrote:
colts18 wrote:
LA Bird wrote:Here are the same numbers in year by year on/offs:

Malone vs Stockton (Regular season)
1994: +17.4 vs +7.3
1995: +9.6 vs +6.4
1996: +13.5 vs +14.5
1997: +21.9 vs +7.6
1998: +17.4 vs +12.4
1999: +13.0 vs +10.5
2000: +14.4 vs +14.6
2001: +6.2 vs +18.5
2002: -0.6 vs + 6.9
2003: +2.5 vs +6.2

Malone vs Stockton (Playoffs)
1997-99: +19.0 vs +3.1
2000-03: +12.3 vs +17.7

Malone had the better numbers when both were in their primes and the Jazz were at their best.


First off, both of them weren't in their prime at that time. Stockton's prime was 88-92 when we don't have data. However, those years were Malone's prime. It's no shame for Stockton to be behind Malone during that timeframe. Those were Malone's best years. He won 2 MVP's during that span. He won an MVP over frickin Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan. So having impact stats 95% of the guy who finished ahead of MJ is not a bad thing. That shows just how good Stockton was.

You literally wrote in the previous page that Stockton's prime lasted until 1997:
colts18 wrote:During his prime years of 1988-1997, He averaged 16-12-4, 57.4 TS%, 2 stl, 6.6 BPM. Those are pretty good numbers.

You are just changing the definition of Stockton's prime now so you can dismiss the on/off data as non-prime. Stockton was never a top 5 player in the league so if he really only had a 5 year prime as you said, he has absolutely no business being discussed within the top 20 all time.

And secondly, Stockton does not have 95% of the impact stats of Malone from 94-99. If you take a plain average of the on/offs, it is +15.5 for Malone vs +9.8 for Stockton. In the specific year you mentioned when Malone won MVP over Jordan, it was +21.9 vs +7.6. You are making it sound like these Stockton on/off numbers show him to be close to Jordan-level when they weren't even better than Mookie Blaylock's during the same time span.


Yes. Stockton's impact was like 95% as good as Malone. We have RAPM data for 7 years that Stockton and Malone played together (97-03) and Stockton finished ahead of Malone 6 out of 7 years. Even during Malone's MVP season in 1999, Stockton finished ahead of Malone.

And yes Stockton's on/off numbers were near Jordan level. He finished ahead of MJ in 1998 RAPM.


Lol @ saying Stockton was never a top 5 player. We have plenty of data that says Stockton was top 5. He finished Top 5 in RAPM in 1998 and 2001. He finished Top 10 in both 1999 and 2000. And we don't have any data from any of the 9 seasons he lead the league in Assists (88-96).

Stockton finished All-NBA first team twice. Another indicator he was top 5.

Statistically, Stockton had many Top 5 seasons.
# of Top 5 finishes in the following stats:
BPM: 12
VORP: 8
WS: 8
WS/48: 8

The man finished top 5 in TS% 8 times, Top 5 in Steal% 11 times (most in history), Top 5 in Assist% 18 times (most in history) all while playing 82 games 17 times (An NBA record).

During Stockton's career, the Jazz finished Top 3 in SRS 6 times, and had 9 Top 5 finishes. Is it a surprise that one of the star players from a top 3 team who had a great box score statistical profile that was backed by impacts stats is a top 5 player?
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#127 » by Clyde Frazier » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:40 am

MyUniBroDavis wrote:Im not really involved in the project cuz i feel my criteria are really different from most people on the board (not saying mine our better cuz its all subjective) and i get the mikan pick for in era dominance stuff, but at the same while its def fair for him to be that high in terms of greatness, its kind odd for me to see someone thats prolly not better than our USC center last year in the top 20 lol


For the record, everyone having different criteria is fine. The goal of the project is for each person to stick to their criteria the best they can when voting.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 

Post#128 » by trex_8063 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:28 pm

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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#129 » by trex_8063 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:20 pm

MyUniBroDavis wrote:
I get trying to use that kind of reasoning but based off the film we have of the 40s and 50s



Like its pretty blatant that neither of those teams are beating a D1 college team if you transport them to todays era.

Theres a level of stiffness in the nba back then thats because of the rules, but because they were taught that way because of the rules, if you told them "hey palming is done" they arent gonna be nba level ball handlers even if you gave them a few months of prep



Ya think?

I mean it's a totally different game today than what they were playing back then. In many ways you're asking them to start from scratch. And for that you're magnanimously offering them......a few months?

You ever notice how most NBA perimeter players tend to peak somewhere in the 27-29 years age range---occasionally even later [e.g. Steve Nash]---even though their actual physical peak was generally years earlier?
And these are guys who have, in most instances, been playing basketball [more or less as it's played today] intensively since they were kids. But it STILL takes until that period of their lives to hone their skills to a degree where they peak as a player.

But these guys you'd offer just a few months?
It's like giving a famed rock/metal guitarist a banjo and saying "I'll give you 2-3 months to practice"......and then if he's not a world-class banjo player by the end of the time, you conclude "See? he's not really a great musician/player."


And fwiw, you mentioned how "rigid" and awkward players of these early early eras look. But consider this was a small-time team sport at the beginning; facilities were not well-kept, and people were daily allowed on to the courts with street shoes, etc.

Imagine the dirty and scuffed floors that results in. Now imagine you're playing on that scuffed floor in one of these:
Image
Image

How quick do you think you can take off from a stop, or change directions without slipping or having a potential safety concern? The experience would rank somewhere in the middle of playing on modern shoes/floors and playing on ice.
Do you think Russell Westbrook is going to want to take one of his ultra-fast and high-flying forays at the rim while wearing those^^^? Or do you think he might err a bit on the side of caution (playing a bit more "rigid")?

Further, how would he be able to move that fast with the ball anyway when he's not allowed to put his hand on the side of the ball to propel it forward to keep up with the rest of him?

Likewise Steph Curry isn't going to be confounding old-era defenders with a startling cross-over [well....he could, but it's only going to result in a turnover]. And the ball might especially take some unpredictable bounces pre-'53, when the ball was still a rubber bladder inside a leather case with an actual prominent sewn seam:
Image

Beyond that there's a myriad of other realistic considerations (regarding how skills were spread in a pre-television/pre-internet era, other mentoring/coaching/training factors, etc) that has to go into it.
Once you realize that humans haven't evolved so far in a mere two generations to make feasible the idea that there was literally no human capable of doing certain modern skills back then......you then realize it's these other external factors that are primarily at play.

That doesn't mean players aren't intrinsically better [on average] today; they are.
But it does mean one shouldn't be so quick to blithely dismiss all these guys as basketball nobodies. And also, the "time machine transport" method is a fairly useless mental exercise.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#130 » by MyUniBroDavis » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:35 pm

trex_8063 wrote:
MyUniBroDavis wrote:
I get trying to use that kind of reasoning but based off the film we have of the 40s and 50s



Like its pretty blatant that neither of those teams are beating a D1 college team if you transport them to todays era.

Theres a level of stiffness in the nba back then thats because of the rules, but because they were taught that way because of the rules, if you told them "hey palming is done" they arent gonna be nba level ball handlers even if you gave them a few months of prep



Ya think?

I mean it's a totally different game today than what they were playing back then. In many ways you're asking them to start from scratch. And for that you're magnanimously offering them......a few months?

You ever notice how most NBA perimeter players tend to peak somewhere in the 27-29 years age range---occasionally even later [e.g. Steve Nash]---even though their actual physical peak was generally years earlier?
And these are guys who have, in most instances, been playing basketball [more or less as it's played today] intensively since they were kids. But it STILL takes until that period of their lives to hone their skills to a degree where they peak as a player.

But these guys you'd offer just a few months?
It's like giving a famed rock/metal guitarist a banjo and saying "I'll give you 2-3 months to practice"......and then if he's not a world-class banjo player by the end of the time, you conclude "See? he's not really a great musician/player."


And fwiw, you mentioned how "rigid" and awkward players of these early early eras look. But consider this was a small-time team sport at the beginning; facilities were not well-kept, and people were daily allowed on to the courts with street shoes, etc.

Imagine the dirty and scuffed floors that results in. Now imagine you're playing on that scuffed floor in one of these:
Image
Image

How quick do you think you can take off from a start without slipping or having a potential safety concern? The experience would rank somewhere in the middle of playing on modern shoes/floors and playing on ice.
Do you think Russell Westbrook is going to want to take one of his ultra-fast and high-flying forays at the rim while wearing those^^^? Or do you think he might err a bit on the side of caution (playing a bit more "rigid")?

Further, how would he be able to move that fast with the ball anyway when he's not allowed to put his hand on the side of the ball to propel it forward to keep up with the rest of him?

Likewise Steph Curry isn't going to be confounding old-era defenders with a startling cross-over [well....he could, but it's only going to result in a turnover]. And the ball might especially take some unpredictable bounces pre-'53, when the ball was still a rubber bladder inside a leather case with an actual prominent sewn seam:
Image

Beyond that there's a myriad of other realistic considerations (regarding how skills were spread in a pre-television/pre-internet era, other mentoring/coaching/training factors, etc) that has to go into it.
Once you realize that humans haven't evolved so far in a mere two generations to make feasible the idea that there was literally no human capable of doing certain modern skills back then......you then realize it's these other external factors that are primarily at play.

That doesn't mean players aren't intrinsically better [on average] today; they are.
But it does mean one shouldn't be so quick to blithely dismiss all these guys as basketball nobodies. And also, the "time machine transport" method is a fairly useless mental exercise.


But like again thats not what im saying here lol.
I recognize that external factors are the main reason for players being better today. Ive never disagreed with that

Ive never said humans have evolved, training has evolved, and interest in the sport increased. These are external factors, maybe the talent pool increased but thats about it

If lebron was born in 1940 and mikan in 2010 this convo would be completey flipped, id say mikan>lebron.

But the fact that the situation is from an external perspective rather than an internal one doesnt change much for me at all.

Sure mikan might have been a good player if he was born today, maybe he would have been the greatest ever who knows

At the same time, that doesnt really change my early statement that I think the Okongwu is better raw. Im not saying peak mikan relative to his time is worse, even accounting for the talent pool.

Im saying that the player mikan was is worse than the player okongwu is. We're in agreement that its because of eexternal circumstance.

The main issue people have is this is unfair to older players because they dont have the same opportunity/access to things that modern guys do. Thats true

But im not really making an argument for whats fair and not though. When comparing accross eras ill give some benifit of the doubt, particularly with threes since thats more of a strategy change at least since it became a thing.

Like if 50 years from now theyve found a golden routine to make the average joe more athletic than lebron and more skilled than curry then those guys are gonna be represented alot on my all time list if i had one

Like im not doing it 1000% like this, like even though i genuinly do feel mikan isnt as good as our center was i still have him too 50 whereas if i rated the way im saying
I wouldnt have him in my top 5000, but i def am unfair to older players because of this

I get that this is a weird pov for alot of people but thats just how i view it. I respect older players but because of the external circumstances, when it comes to guys like mikan, they are in they arent nearly as good as modern ones are for the reasons you stated.

I get the idea is that its unfair to older players but my personal way of looking at it, is that its also unfair to modern players who are technically a great deal better, and even if its because of circumstances, which i agree it is, that doesnt change whose actually better if we pit them in a fantasy matchup and equalized the rules either way.

Realistically we all do this to a degree or else our only criteria would be in era impact + intangibles, i just am more heavily on the end of the spectrum that has a way of evaluating players than isnt fair to older players, i dont think that makes my statement, that okongwu is better than mikan, wrong. I dont view okongwu as a top 50 player ever but i view mikan as one so its not neccessarily oin the sense i only rate players by how good they were period but its def a thing about criteria, and regardless of if its unfair or not how criteria to rank players is subjective anyw lol, someone who ranks them heavily based on titles as the leading man might be someone people disagree withh but he isnt inherently wrong
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#131 » by feyki » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:42 pm

After the pace and space still giving players heights is really a arguement? Unchain the dogmas. Mikan had played toughest era of nba history. Teams were playing with 85 ORTG!
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#132 » by MyUniBroDavis » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:38 pm

feyki wrote:After the pace and space still giving players heights is really a arguement? Unchain the dogmas. Mikan had played toughest era of nba history. Teams were playing with 85 ORTG!


You know, im just gonna out this here, because its fitting, and you can make out what it means lmao

Image
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#133 » by DQuinn1575 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:53 am

MyUniBroDavis wrote:
trex_8063 wrote:
MyUniBroDavis wrote:
I get trying to use that kind of reasoning but based off the film we have of the 40s and 50s



Like its pretty blatant that neither of those teams are beating a D1 college team if you transport them to todays era.

Theres a level of stiffness in the nba back then thats because of the rules, but because they were taught that way because of the rules, if you told them "hey palming is done" they arent gonna be nba level ball handlers even if you gave them a few months of prep



Ya think?

I mean it's a totally different game today than what they were playing back then. In many ways you're asking them to start from scratch. And for that you're magnanimously offering them......a few months?

You ever notice how most NBA perimeter players tend to peak somewhere in the 27-29 years age range---occasionally even later [e.g. Steve Nash]---even though their actual physical peak was generally years earlier?
And these are guys who have, in most instances, been playing basketball [more or less as it's played today] intensively since they were kids. But it STILL takes until that period of their lives to hone their skills to a degree where they peak as a player.

But these guys you'd offer just a few months?
It's like giving a famed rock/metal guitarist a banjo and saying "I'll give you 2-3 months to practice"......and then if he's not a world-class banjo player by the end of the time, you conclude "See? he's not really a great musician/player."


And fwiw, you mentioned how "rigid" and awkward players of these early early eras look. But consider this was a small-time team sport at the beginning; facilities were not well-kept, and people were daily allowed on to the courts with street shoes, etc.

Imagine the dirty and scuffed floors that results in. Now imagine you're playing on that scuffed floor in one of these:
Image
Image

How quick do you think you can take off from a start without slipping or having a potential safety concern? The experience would rank somewhere in the middle of playing on modern shoes/floors and playing on ice.
Do you think Russell Westbrook is going to want to take one of his ultra-fast and high-flying forays at the rim while wearing those^^^? Or do you think he might err a bit on the side of caution (playing a bit more "rigid")?

Further, how would he be able to move that fast with the ball anyway when he's not allowed to put his hand on the side of the ball to propel it forward to keep up with the rest of him?

Likewise Steph Curry isn't going to be confounding old-era defenders with a startling cross-over [well....he could, but it's only going to result in a turnover]. And the ball might especially take some unpredictable bounces pre-'53, when the ball was still a rubber bladder inside a leather case with an actual prominent sewn seam:
Image

Beyond that there's a myriad of other realistic considerations (regarding how skills were spread in a pre-television/pre-internet era, other mentoring/coaching/training factors, etc) that has to go into it.
Once you realize that humans haven't evolved so far in a mere two generations to make feasible the idea that there was literally no human capable of doing certain modern skills back then......you then realize it's these other external factors that are primarily at play.

That doesn't mean players aren't intrinsically better [on average] today; they are.
But it does mean one shouldn't be so quick to blithely dismiss all these guys as basketball nobodies. And also, the "time machine transport" method is a fairly useless mental exercise.


But like again thats not what im saying here lol.
I recognize that external factors are the main reason for players being better today. Ive never disagreed with that

Ive never said humans have evolved, training has evolved, and interest in the sport increased. These are external factors, maybe the talent pool increased but thats about it

If lebron was born in 1940 and mikan in 2010 this convo would be completey flipped, id say mikan>lebron.

But the fact that the situation is from an external perspective rather than an internal one doesnt change much for me at all.

Sure mikan might have been a good player if he was born today, maybe he would have been the greatest ever who knows

At the same time, that doesnt really change my early statement that I think the Okongwu is better raw. Im not saying peak mikan relative to his time is worse, even accounting for the talent pool.

Im saying that the player mikan was is worse than the player okongwu is. We're in agreement that its because of eexternal circumstance.

The main issue people have is this is unfair to older players because they dont have the same opportunity/access to things that modern guys do. Thats true

But im not really making an argument for whats fair and not though. When comparing accross eras ill give some benifit of the doubt, particularly with threes since thats more of a strategy change at least since it became a thing.

Like if 50 years from now theyve found a golden routine to make the average joe more athletic than lebron and more skilled than curry then those guys are gonna be represented alot on my all time list if i had one

Like im not doing it 1000% like this, like even though i genuinly do feel mikan isnt as good as our center was i still have him too 50 whereas if i rated the way im saying
I wouldnt have him in my top 5000, but i def am unfair to older players because of this

I get that this is a weird pov for alot of people but thats just how i view it. I respect older players but because of the external circumstances, when it comes to guys like mikan, they are in they arent nearly as good as modern ones are for the reasons you stated.

I get the idea is that its unfair to older players but my personal way of looking at it, is that its also unfair to modern players who are technically a great deal better, and even if its because of circumstances, which i agree it is, that doesnt change whose actually better if we pit them in a fantasy matchup and equalized the rules either way.

Realistically we all do this to a degree or else our only criteria would be in era impact + intangibles, i just am more heavily on the end of the spectrum that has a way of evaluating players than isnt fair to older players, i dont think that makes my statement, that okongwu is better than mikan, wrong. I dont view okongwu as a top 50 player ever but i view mikan as one so its not neccessarily oin the sense i only rate players by how good they were period but its def a thing about criteria, and regardless of if its unfair or not how criteria to rank players is subjective anyw lol, someone who ranks them heavily based on titles as the leading man might be someone people disagree withh but he isnt inherently wrong


Very well said. I rated Mikan in this spot, but if he appeared tomorrow as is, I'm not sure if he could make the league. Someone who can judge raw talent way better than me, might see the skills and say he is a project that I can turn into a player someday. The time gap is huge; MIkan played in 54, Wilt and Russell started in 57 and 59, so they played against some of the same guys. Yet Russell and Wilt physically could play today; they could run and jump better than a lot of the guys in the league today.
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Re: RealGM 2020 Top 100 Project: #19 (George Mikan) 

Post#134 » by MyUniBroDavis » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:19 am

DQuinn1575 wrote:
MyUniBroDavis wrote:
trex_8063 wrote:
Ya think?

I mean it's a totally different game today than what they were playing back then. In many ways you're asking them to start from scratch. And for that you're magnanimously offering them......a few months?

You ever notice how most NBA perimeter players tend to peak somewhere in the 27-29 years age range---occasionally even later [e.g. Steve Nash]---even though their actual physical peak was generally years earlier?
And these are guys who have, in most instances, been playing basketball [more or less as it's played today] intensively since they were kids. But it STILL takes until that period of their lives to hone their skills to a degree where they peak as a player.

But these guys you'd offer just a few months?
It's like giving a famed rock/metal guitarist a banjo and saying "I'll give you 2-3 months to practice"......and then if he's not a world-class banjo player by the end of the time, you conclude "See? he's not really a great musician/player."


And fwiw, you mentioned how "rigid" and awkward players of these early early eras look. But consider this was a small-time team sport at the beginning; facilities were not well-kept, and people were daily allowed on to the courts with street shoes, etc.

Imagine the dirty and scuffed floors that results in. Now imagine you're playing on that scuffed floor in one of these:
Image
Image

How quick do you think you can take off from a start without slipping or having a potential safety concern? The experience would rank somewhere in the middle of playing on modern shoes/floors and playing on ice.
Do you think Russell Westbrook is going to want to take one of his ultra-fast and high-flying forays at the rim while wearing those^^^? Or do you think he might err a bit on the side of caution (playing a bit more "rigid")?

Further, how would he be able to move that fast with the ball anyway when he's not allowed to put his hand on the side of the ball to propel it forward to keep up with the rest of him?

Likewise Steph Curry isn't going to be confounding old-era defenders with a startling cross-over [well....he could, but it's only going to result in a turnover]. And the ball might especially take some unpredictable bounces pre-'53, when the ball was still a rubber bladder inside a leather case with an actual prominent sewn seam:
Image

Beyond that there's a myriad of other realistic considerations (regarding how skills were spread in a pre-television/pre-internet era, other mentoring/coaching/training factors, etc) that has to go into it.
Once you realize that humans haven't evolved so far in a mere two generations to make feasible the idea that there was literally no human capable of doing certain modern skills back then......you then realize it's these other external factors that are primarily at play.

That doesn't mean players aren't intrinsically better [on average] today; they are.
But it does mean one shouldn't be so quick to blithely dismiss all these guys as basketball nobodies. And also, the "time machine transport" method is a fairly useless mental exercise.


But like again thats not what im saying here lol.
I recognize that external factors are the main reason for players being better today. Ive never disagreed with that

Ive never said humans have evolved, training has evolved, and interest in the sport increased. These are external factors, maybe the talent pool increased but thats about it

If lebron was born in 1940 and mikan in 2010 this convo would be completey flipped, id say mikan>lebron.

But the fact that the situation is from an external perspective rather than an internal one doesnt change much for me at all.

Sure mikan might have been a good player if he was born today, maybe he would have been the greatest ever who knows

At the same time, that doesnt really change my early statement that I think the Okongwu is better raw. Im not saying peak mikan relative to his time is worse, even accounting for the talent pool.

Im saying that the player mikan was is worse than the player okongwu is. We're in agreement that its because of eexternal circumstance.

The main issue people have is this is unfair to older players because they dont have the same opportunity/access to things that modern guys do. Thats true

But im not really making an argument for whats fair and not though. When comparing accross eras ill give some benifit of the doubt, particularly with threes since thats more of a strategy change at least since it became a thing.

Like if 50 years from now theyve found a golden routine to make the average joe more athletic than lebron and more skilled than curry then those guys are gonna be represented alot on my all time list if i had one

Like im not doing it 1000% like this, like even though i genuinly do feel mikan isnt as good as our center was i still have him too 50 whereas if i rated the way im saying
I wouldnt have him in my top 5000, but i def am unfair to older players because of this

I get that this is a weird pov for alot of people but thats just how i view it. I respect older players but because of the external circumstances, when it comes to guys like mikan, they are in they arent nearly as good as modern ones are for the reasons you stated.

I get the idea is that its unfair to older players but my personal way of looking at it, is that its also unfair to modern players who are technically a great deal better, and even if its because of circumstances, which i agree it is, that doesnt change whose actually better if we pit them in a fantasy matchup and equalized the rules either way.

Realistically we all do this to a degree or else our only criteria would be in era impact + intangibles, i just am more heavily on the end of the spectrum that has a way of evaluating players than isnt fair to older players, i dont think that makes my statement, that okongwu is better than mikan, wrong. I dont view okongwu as a top 50 player ever but i view mikan as one so its not neccessarily oin the sense i only rate players by how good they were period but its def a thing about criteria, and regardless of if its unfair or not how criteria to rank players is subjective anyw lol, someone who ranks them heavily based on titles as the leading man might be someone people disagree withh but he isnt inherently wrong


Very well said. I rated Mikan in this spot, but if he appeared tomorrow as is, I'm not sure if he could make the league. Someone who can judge raw talent way better than me, might see the skills and say he is a project that I can turn into a player someday. The time gap is huge; MIkan played in 54, Wilt and Russell started in 57 and 59, so they played against some of the same guys. Yet Russell and Wilt physically could play today; they could run and jump better than a lot of the guys in the league today.


Pretty sure wilt and russell would run and jump better than almost all of the guys today lol, esp at their size
oof

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