My Top 100 players all time - pic heavy


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I should have started this project/collection a long time ago. Better late than never! This chase has been so damn fun! Whether it be reading books, looking up stats, watching games and highlights – it’s been and continues to be a very rewarding and educational process!

TLDR – Buy meaningful cards whether it be Gold/Hall of Fame/Numbered or have iconic photos and be flexible on the order of the Top 100 given that I didn’t get to watch all players on the NBA 75 list or those in the HOF! Research, learn and have fun doing it!

Shortly after the NBA released their Top 75 players of all time list I decided to come up with my own. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve moved around the order but who cares right? It’s ever-changing anyway. Then I thought – why not get a card of every player so I can have the physical version to re-arrange when I want rather than a spreadsheet or forum post? So I went in search of them – mainly COMC but also ebay to SMC and all back to Australia. A few notes first:

How do I re-organise or even demote a player that I have never seen play?

Research – YouTube, articles, books – draw on historical basketball fans and writers knowledge. I’ve spent hours and hours scrolling through player vs player stats, googled info and read whatever books I have (and bought a few others like Bill Simmons Book of Basketball – a monster 700 plus page book). This seems a good way. Also have to try and weed through a heck of a lot of biased opinions which is tough too and like Chinese whispers, how much has stuff changed over the years as it was passed along pre video and proper complete stat keeping.

I’m also leaving almost every position open to change. I don’t think we can leave say Cliff Hagan in there in 50 years if the people who have come along have had better careers. I don’t like the idea of a fixed 50 in the new 75 that the NBA did. Those pioneers should be recognised in a revamped Basketball Hall of Fame or NBA Hall of Fame. This won’t be done either though. Too hard basket.

I was also trying to think about switching players of different eras and thinking about how their career would have played out. Could Shawn Kemp and Tom Heinsohn have switched times and Kemp end up an 8 time champ instead? What about Allen Iverson and Bob Cousy doing a swap? How about Alonzo Mourning and Wilt Chamberlain swaparoos? Ray Allen and Allan Houston? What about if Mitch Richmond and Jeff Hornacek swapped original teams – would Hornacek be in the HOF and Richmond not? Very interesting to think about isn’t it!

Do I include active players?

Yes – too difficult to leave out players like Curry and Durant when in 25 years time there’s a 99.99% certainty they would appear as one of the Top 100 NBA Players of All Time.

What kind of cards do I chase?

I’m going for numbered or harder to find, gold/hall/champion related as befitting of the status – NBA Champ, Hall of Fame etc

This also goes for the team uniform to get also – what team was their most iconic shot/dunk/play/championship for and what specifically sticks in my memory. This is hard for someone like Shaq – I loved him in Orlando but would think the most iconic card would be a Lakers card. I’ve also steered away from game used cards as I’m a bit disenchanted with that at the moment with what Panini is doing so I think it’s more fun just to look at the card art and not worry about authenticity of the pieces of material within it.

Graded or not?

I went for the Top 75 of My List as ungraded – then expanded to 100.

If the NBA can make mistakes so can I!

Dominique Wilkins left off the Top 50 and Dwight Howard left off the Top 75? How? There’s probably a few others that were deserving over a couple in the Top 75 in my opinion but it looks like the NBA won’t go back and change things but I can do mine as I like.

It’s not about who would win in a one v one game!

I have to factor in greatness, longevity, toughness, clutch factor, awards, peer voting/opinions, leadership abilities, stats and many other things. Allen Iverson seemed to be pretty low or absent from some peoples lists. But his grit and scoring ability at his size has him higher for me. I would want him on my team for sure. Whether I was Eric Snow or Dikembe Mutombo – that dude was a beast. Sometimes on the list I might have Steve Nash above Giannis and think well who has the best career or who would I rather have, but in the end it’s a fine line between even numbers 25 and 75 – there’s been thousands of players come and go through the NBA – all we can do is our best in the ordering of this list.

How could you pick – all being in the same era?

Sam Jones, Manu Ginobili or Earl Monroe – who you got? Put them in the 2010’s – Put them in the 1980’s – compare a bit if possible.
Smoking at half time era or oxygen tank post game recovery era?

David Robinson, Artis Gilmore or Bill Walton – is it the run and gun Phoenix 7 seconds or less era or the 1970’s coke impacted era with terrible shoes? Everything is splitting hairs here – looking at careers, stats, longevity – what could have been?


Finals MVP's


nba50 (2).jpg


Jersey Numbers Retired

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