Can we agree on a "rule" for ranking people historically?

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I always see posts about "who is the best ever" and people include players like Bob Pettit and Jerry West and Bill Russell. Their opinions are probably correct, but how many of us really saw these people play? Very few. So we're just going off what other people say about these players. Again, those people are probably right, but it's still all second hand. It's not too different from someone saying "Evans is better than Curry and Jennings" without having seen any of their games. You might be right, but your opinion is hollow.
So I think a good rule for ranking people historically would be to exclude anyone that played at any point earlier than 1979 or so. Maybe George Mikan was great, but he played in a white-washed league against a bunch of average Joes with second jobs. Maybe Bill Russell was fantastic, but he still played in an era in which the quality of the game and the athletes was way lower than today. Once you get to Magic and Bird, you can start to judge people against something similar to today's level of competition. 

Thoughts? 
 
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all i know is nobody else in NBA history even came close to putting up 54 & 20 or whatever Wilts numbers were. if it were that easy for any athletic big to do, you would think there would have been at least one other dude that was able to come close during, before, or after the time Wilt was in the league to those numbers.

if you don't have him in your top 5 centers of all time you're buggin
 
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Originally Posted by nYcHipHopHippo

all i know is nobody else in NBA history even came close to putting up 54 & 20 or whatever Wilts numbers were. if it were that easy for any athletic big to do, you would think there would have been at least one other dude that was able to come close during, before, or after the time Wilt was in the league to those numbers.

if you don't have him in your top 5 centers of all time you're buggin
Yeah, but who was he playing against? Could you say with much confidence that a player like Brook Lopez couldn't have dropped 50 a game in 1962? 
I guess if by "best ever" you mean "most dominant against competition of their time", Wilt would have to be there, but if you mean "best at playing basketball", you can't convince me that Wilt was better than Brook Lopez. 
 

kdawg

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Yeah, but how many games did you see Larry or Magic play?

I'm older than most people on this board and I've only seen a few - and that was later in their careers. Nowadays most people only remember MJ on the Wizards.

You would only get votes for players in the past decade which is just a waste of time. It's just a debate that will never have a solution.
 
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Originally Posted by nYcHipHopHippo

all i know is nobody else in NBA history even came close to putting up 54 & 20 or whatever Wilts numbers were. if it were that easy for any athletic big to do, you would think there would have been at least one other dude that was able to come close during, before, or after the time Wilt was in the league to those numbers.

if you don't have him in your top 5 centers of all time you're buggin
wilt is definitely top 5 centers maybe top 5 overall,but its alot easier getting rebounds over short white guys then it is to get them over 6'5+ guys with 30+ inch verticals.
 
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Originally Posted by kdawg

Yeah, but how many games did you see Larry or Magic play?

I'm older than most people on this board and I've only seen a few - and that was later in their careers. Nowadays most people only remember MJ on the Wizards.

You would only get votes for players in the past decade which is just a waste of time. It's just a debate that will never have a solution.
But I can still compare Larry and Magic based on how they did against someone like Jordan. They are still connected to our generation through actual competition, even if we didn't see them play. There is no way to measure how Wilt or Russell would have done against today's centers, but we have pretty good evidence of how Bird would have done against today's players because he played some of the early Bulls teams and whatnot. 
 

do be doo

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why don't you post your top 12 OP...
This could get good....



Originally Posted by PersiaFly


I guess if by "best ever" you mean "most dominantagainst competition of their time", Wilt would have to be there, but ifyou mean "best at playing basketball", you can't convince me that Wiltwas better than Brook Lopez. 


 
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Originally Posted by PersiaFly

Originally Posted by nYcHipHopHippo

all i know is nobody else in NBA history even came close to putting up 54 & 20 or whatever Wilts numbers were. if it were that easy for any athletic big to do, you would think there would have been at least one other dude that was able to come close during, before, or after the time Wilt was in the league to those numbers.

if you don't have him in your top 5 centers of all time you're buggin
Yeah, but who was he playing against? Could you say with much confidence that a player like Brook Lopez couldn't have dropped 50 a game in 1962? 
I guess if by "best ever" you mean "most dominant against competition of their time", Wilt would have to be there, but if you mean "best at playing basketball", you can't convince me that Wilt was better than Brook Lopez. 
i dont know about brook lopez and wilt being on the same level but what your saying is true.i'd say wilt and someone like david robinson are about the same level.
 
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Originally Posted by Do Be Doo

why don't you post your top 12 OP...
This could get good....



Originally Posted by PersiaFly


I guess if by "best ever" you mean "most dominantagainst competition of their time", Wilt would have to be there, but ifyou mean "best at playing basketball", you can't convince me that Wiltwas better than Brook Lopez. 


All from the book Tall Tales. 



He started fast with 23 points in the first quarter and was 9-for-9 on free throws.  He also made his first six jump shots as his team jumped to a 19-3 lead.  to reach the century mark, Chamberlain scored 31 points in the fourth quarter, 12-for-21 from the field and 7-for-12 from the the foul line.  He played all 48 minutes in the Warriors' 169-147 win.  While Chamberlain took 63 shots, the rest of  his teammates combined for 52.  Chamberlain's 63 shots and 21 in a quarter are both NBA records.  In NBA history, there have been eight games in which an NBA player has scored at least 70, and six of those eight belong to Chamberlain.



By the fourth quarter, the Knicks were waiting until the 24-second shot clock was about to expire before they shot.  When we had the ball, they were fouling everyone except Wilt so he wouldn't get 100.  So we would take the ball out-of-bounds and throw high lobs directly to Wilt near the basket.  When Wilt wanted the ball, he was big enough and strong enough to go get it.  Guys were hanging on his back, and he was still catching the pass and scoring.  I knew it was going to happen when with about five minutes left Wilt dunked one and nearly threw two New York players into the basket with the ball, and Dave Zinkoff yelled over the PA, "Dipper Dunk for 86!"

they can complain about us fouling people, but Frank McGuire sent some subs into the game and they were fouling us immediately to get the ball back and give Wilt some more chances.

Frank McGuire told Wilt, "You bring the ball up the court."  Wilt liked to think he could play guard, so he loved it.  But Frank did that down the stretch so that if New York wanted to foul someone, it had to be Wilt.

Darrell Imhoff started at center against Wilt, but he fouled out and played only about half the game.  By the end of the game, all of their big men had fouled out.

[Chamberlain was guarded by Cleveland Buckner, who was listed as 6-foot-9 but was closer to 6-foot-7.  Chamberlain scored his 98th point with 1:19 left]

 But that game was not played as it should have been played.  The second half was a travesty.  I don't care what the Philly people say, I'm convinced that during the half they decided to get Wilt 100.  He took nearly every shot.  In the normal flow, Wilt would have scored 80-85 points which is mind-boggling when you thing about it.  I'm sorry, this may be basketball history but I always felt very bad about that game.  I got so sick of it that I intentionally fouled out.
All from the book Tall Tales. 




People were literally hanging off his back but he was still so much bigger and better than everyone that he scored. Even Shaq at his beastliest could never have done this because there was always an opposing player that had the strength to hack him and stop him from scoring. Also, the Sixers were intentionally fouling the other team, who was getting blown out, to get the ball back to him. Could you imagine this happening today? You don't think someone like Brook Lopez could have scored that much 50 years ago against a team whose tallest player was 6'8"? 
 
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This era has just as many problems too.

You cant come up with a "rule" to compare generations.
 

do be doo

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Originally Posted by PersiaFly

All from the book Tall Tales. 



People were literally hanging off his back but he was still so much bigger and better than everyone that he scored. Even Shaq at his beastliest could never have done this because there was always an opposing player that had the strength to hack him and stop him from scoring. Also, the Sixers were intentionally fouling the other team, who was getting blown out, to get the ball back to him. Could you imagine this happening today? You don't think someone like Brook Lopez could have scored that much 50 years ago against a team whose tallest player was 6'8"? 
Nope because....



Bill Russell would have not let that happen....

Bill is 6'9
 
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Well this is NT so none of this will matter and the kids will continue with their outlandish claims. But...

We dont have a starting point. Even 1979 is too "old" for NT. And who's to say Magic/Bird era is the true start for us to use? The 70's had just as good of players than the start of the 80's, and many could play today. Kareem, Doc, Moses, Pistol, Elvin Hayes, Hondo, etc.

It's sports....we're never going to get a true consensus. The game changes and so do the athletes. And so do the RULES. Ranking players means nothing cause we will never know. We also know one day our grand kids are likely to say "Naw Mike Jordan couldnt have played in the NBA today" and we will all laugh.
 
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Originally Posted by Do Be Doo

Originally Posted by PersiaFly

All from the book Tall Tales. 



People were literally hanging off his back but he was still so much bigger and better than everyone that he scored. Even Shaq at his beastliest could never have done this because there was always an opposing player that had the strength to hack him and stop him from scoring. Also, the Sixers were intentionally fouling the other team, who was getting blown out, to get the ball back to him. Could you imagine this happening today? You don't think someone like Brook Lopez could have scored that much 50 years ago against a team whose tallest player was 6'8"? 
Nope because....



Bill Russell would have not let that happen....

Bill is 6'9
Oh I didn't know Bill Russell played for every NBA team in my hypo. It only takes one game to score 100. At least in 1962. 
 
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IMO Brook Lopez could have scored 100 if he was in Wilts time (srs)

Wilt was 7 ft and probably the the tallest to even give Wilt trouble was B. Russell and he was what, 6'9"?
 
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