On the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast, hosts Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan discuss the staff’s Top 75 all-time player rankings, including the Michael Jordan and LeBron James debate for the best player ever. Plus, how the Lakers dominated the list and notable players snubbed.
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:40 Michael Jordan versus LeBron James debate for the top NBA player all-time
Scotto: In our rankings, Jordan got the nod over LeBron. The argument for Jordan over LeBron is he’s undefeated in six Finals appearances, and he’s won Finals MVP in each of those appearances. He had a higher career scoring average, was a 10-time scoring champ, he shot free throws a little bit better. Jordan also won a Defensive Player of the Year award, he’s been on more All-Defensive Teams, and he’s won one more MVP than LeBron. LeBron is a better rebounder and a passer in comparison to Jordan.
3:10 Six Lakers make the Top 10
Scotto: The list features six players who played for the Lakers at some point in their career in the Top 10. You talk about the Showtime Lakers living up to their billing. Within the Top 10, six players who played for the Lakers are LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal.
4:37 Differentiating eras
Scotto: When I was looking back at the stats of older players, you look at guys like Bob Pettit and George Mikan, who were considered elite in their generation and their era. They had worse shooting percentages. Pettit shot 43 percent for his career. Mikan only played seven seasons and shot 40 percent. There were also fewer teams in the league years ago, and they were more stacked like the Celtics in the 60s.
10:00 New entries to the Top 75 list
Scotto: In our Top 75 rankings overall at HoopsHype, there are 33 new entries out of that 75 (compared to the NBA’s 1996 list). These are the 33 new entries: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, Stephen Curry, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chris Paul, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Kawhi Leonard, Jason Kidd, James Harden, Gary Payton, Dominique Wilkins, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, Bob McAdoo, Damian Lillard, Ray Allen, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Dennis Rodman, Chris Bosh, Tony Parker, Vince Carter, Alex English, Bernard King, and Tracy McGrady.
13:07 Giannis Antetokounmpo
Gozlan: We had him just within the Top 25. It surprised me how high he was as we’re doing the ranking. He’s a two-time MVP. He has a ring. He’s won Defensive Player of the Year. He’s only been in the league eight years now. By the time his career is said and done, he’s probably going to double his ranking, at least.
Players with two MVPs and one ring are Pettit, Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Moses Malone, Bird, Magic, Jordan, Duncan, LeBron, Stephen Curry, and Giannis.
Players with one MVP and one Defensive Player of the Year (same season) are himself, Jordan, and Hakeem Olajuwon.
15:05 Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, Stephen Curry, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade talk
20:10 Tracy McGrady
26:25 Chris Bosh
28:45 Pau Gasol
29:58 Reggie Miller
32:32 Top 75 snubs
Scotto: Some notable omissions that didn’t make the HoopsHype Top 75 that some might try to make a case for are Yao Ming, Ben Wallace, Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Paul George, Chris Webber, Dikembe Mutombo, and Manu Ginobili.
37:05 Players from the NBA’s original Top 50 list who were snubbed
Scotto: Some players made the NBA’s official Top 50 list that didn’t make this Top 75 list on our HoopsHype rankings. Bill Walton, Earl Monroe, Nate Thurmond, Sam Jones, Jerry Lucas, Dave Bing, Bill Sharman, Billy Cunningham, and Dave DeBusschere.
MORE: HoopsHype’s Top 75 greatest NBA players
You can follow Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) and Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) on Twitter.