NBA's 25 Greatest Players Ever: The Perfect Formula

Marcel SmithSenior Analyst IJuly 11, 2009

2 May 1991:  Guard Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls (left) and guard Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers fight for the ball during Game One of the NBA finals at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  The Lakers won the game, 93-91. Mandatory Cred

The majority of sports fans always debate and argue with each other about which player in certian sports were/are better and who is the best player in each sport both currently and all time. Personally, this is one of the best parts of being a huge sports fan as I love arguing and trying to convince my friends why certain players/teams/coaches are better than other ones. 

One of the major topics that is usually discussed on sports lists is the all time greatest NBA players. The reason why the list of all time basketball players is more popular than all time football or baseball lists is because it is too difficult to compare over 100 years of baseball and defensive and offensive players are so different in football. 

Nearly a year ago, I wrote an article showing my all time top 25 greatest NBA players of all time, which you can read here. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/66751-nbas-top-25-greatest-players-of-all-time 

However, even though I felt the list was accurate, I decided to form a formula to determine the best basketball players of all time. This article will describe the formula in detail and in the next few days I will write another article showing the results of the top 25 players ever using this formula.

The following shows the categories that I counted in my formula and the amount of points each award/accolade is worth and how the total of a player's point total occured. The reason for the quotient number is to take a little bit of credit from players before 1970 because players simply weren't as good and it was easier to win titles because there were only 8 teams in the league at the time. 

MVP Award: 1st Place - 10 pts; 2nd - 7 pts; 3rd - 5 pts; 4th - 4 pts; 5th - 3 pts

NBA Championship: 10 pts   Runner Up: 5 pts      Finals MVP Award: 4 points

No Championship:  -3 points     NBA/ABA All - Star Appearance: 1 point

DPOY Award: 3 points   All - Defensive Team: 1st team: 2 pts;  2nd team: 1 pt  

ABA MVP: 7 pts    ABA Championship: 5 points     ABA Runner Up: 3 points

All - NBA Team: 1st team - 4 points;  2nd team - 3 points;  3rd team - 1 point

All Time Points/Rebounds/Assists Leaders: 12 points;   Steals/Blocks: 8 points

Quotient Number: Career Before 1970 - 5.5;  Career After 1970 - 5.0

Overall Formula: Total of Above Categories Multiplied by Player's Career PER, Then Divided By Quotient Number Equals Player's Point Total

Example Player (Clyde Drexler):

Drexler finished 2nd and 5th in the MVP & won 1 championship while being the runner up twice for a total of 20 pts. He was also a  ten time All Star, an All NBA 1st Team member once, 2nd Team member twice and 3rd Team member twice totaling another 22 pts, giving him a total of 42 points. His Career PER is 21.1, so when you multiply 42 and 21.1 it equals 886.2. Finally, Drexler's Quotient is 5.0 because he played his entire career after 1970 so when you divide 886.2 by 5.0, it equals 177.2, which is Drexler's final point total. 

I would like to know your opinions on this formula I made up and what you like about it and what you don't like it about. I would also like to see who you think will be number one using this formula as I will release the top 25 players of all time using this formula in a few days as I still need to complete it. I will look forward to hearing your comments and opinions about this formula. 


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.