We have had a lot of discussions about Kevin Martin and the pros and cons of various Kings players and what it takes to build a champion. I came across this article a while back and have been meaning to post it for discussion:
In the article written for nbadraft.net, Robert McChesney offers a formula for determining who are the best players in NBA history and how it is almost impossible to win any NBA championship without one.
He also credits Danny Ainge for doing what it took to build the Celtics into a powerhouse. He writes: "What did Ainge understand? What did Ainge do? He understood that the basis for winning an NBA title is having a superstar in his prime. Not an all-star, or a bunch of all-stars, but a superstar. There are only a few in the game at any time so they are almost impossible to get. But he went and got one."
A little later, he adds: "The importance of having a player-for-the-ages in his prime to winning an NBA title, or even contending, is astonishing."
He then develops a list of the best NBA players since the MVP award was introduced in 1956 and awards votes based on how players did in the MVP voting, how many all-NBA teams they made and who made the All-Defense teams. He divides the total points earned by seasons played and comes up with an average points per season that he uses to rank players with.
His top five: Tim Duncan, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
He also lists current players, since this is not a longevity contest but is based on points per season. Top ranked active players after Duncan are Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe, LeBron, Kevin Garnett, all in what he calls the Gold Medal Superstar group. Fourteen other active players are on the list, or 19 of the top 80 since 1952. Other current players in order: Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd, Allen Iversen, Chris Paul, Ben Wallace, Dwayne Wade, Grant Hill, Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Jermine O’Neal, Gilbert Arenas and Chauncey Billups.
Chris Webber is No. 62 on the list.
He makes some other key points in Part 1:
* “If a player fails to make this list by age 25 or 26, it is unlikely they will ever be a superstar.” Kevin Martin turns 26 on Feb. 1. Tick. Tick. Tick.
* The list of superstars is “rarefied air, and this is where you must go if you want to find the key to winning championships.”
* “There were only five times in the past 29 seasons that the NBA champion was not led by a player named Bird, Magic, Jordan, Olajuwon, Duncan or O’Neal.”
The main point of Part 2: “These players, especially the 21 gold medal superstars at the very top, were the best players on every single NBA championship team since 1956-57, and on all but three of the 52 runner-ups.”
Some nuggets from Part 3:
* “Note that seven of the eight NBA semi-finalists in 2008 were led by players on the above list; the one exception, Utah, was led by Deron Williams who almost certainly will be on this list in a year or two.”
* “Forty-seven players since 1956 have made first-team all-NBA by the age of 25, and fully 44 of them are on this list of the 80 greatest players.”
* “All of the gold medal superstars made first-team all-NBA by 25.”
* “In short, if a player goes first-team all-NBA by 25, he is an almost certain superstar. And he has to go first-team all NBA by 25 to be a gold medal superstar. The earlier a player makes all-NBA first-team, the more likely he is to shoot up to gold medal status. It does not take a long time to see who dominant players are.”
* “More than one-half of the gold medal superstars were drafted number 1 overall, as were nearly ¼ of all superstars. Some fifty percent of superstars were top three picks. If the chances of getting a superstar are slim in the top three of the draft, and they are, they virtually do not exist as one goes deeper into the first round.”
* “Six times gold medal superstars have been traded in their primes, and in all six cases the gold medal superstars led their new teams to a title.”
How many superstars or future superstars are on the Kings roster? Is Kevin Martin a superstar (someone on this board actually thinks he’s in the same league as Brandon Roy - that's a hoot)? How do we position ourselves to dump enough of the mules we have to get a superstar?
The article pretty much concludes that tanking and drafting high are the way to go, unless you can find a way to swindle Kevin McHale or someone of his stature.
Does Geoff Petrie have another Chris Webber trade in him, but for someone better than Webber? I’m skeptical. Thank goodness he is doing a great job of playing the tank card.