HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #1 Michael Jordan

HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #1 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, the fan labelled GOAT. Six Championships in eight years, in order Jordan and the Bulls sent home; Magic and the Lakers, Clyde and the Blazers, Barkley and the Suns, Payton and the SuperSonics, Malone and the Jazz x2, and last but not least the Monstars. There are infinite ‘what if’s’ with Jordan, the big one being what happens if Jordan doesn’t leave to try his hand at baseball over the 94 and 95 seasons. However he’s here at number one on our list regardless. Jordan won five MVP awards, he also finished in the top three of voting on five other occasions. Jordan sits 42nd all time in assists, 3rd all time in steals, and 4th all time in points. There are numerous cool little records, stats, and numbers that further depict the brilliance that was Jordan on a basketball court. To name a few: One of three players in history to win MVP, All-Star MVP, and Finals MVP in the same season. (Shaquille O’Neal and Willis Reed are the other two.) Highest regular season and post-season scoring averages. 6-0 in the Finals. Never lost a playoff series with home court advantage. Scores 63 points in a single playoff game, which is still the playoff record. However, the bulls still left with a loss that night, Bird and the Celtics were ultimately too much. The Resume: Third Overall Pick 1984 – Chicago Bulls 14x All-Star 11x All-NBA 9x All-NBA Defense Rookie of the Year 3x All-Star MVP 5x MVP 6x Finals MVP 6x Champion Hall of Fame How did the guys rank him? The Flag Bearer: 12 tied,...
HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

We know who is coming tomorrow, we knew he was coming when we started revealing this list way back on August 18th, I knew he was coming before I tallied the ballots. That being said, if you had to argue one players greatness over his airness, it’d be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. His resume might be greater, it’s a very feasible argument. He won the same amount of rings, and he was recognized as the league MVP on more occasions. No one had more MVP’s than Kareem, nobody. Greatest Laker ever? Even if we take away the three MVP’s he won with the Bucks, his three in the Lakers purple and gold are still one more than Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant have combined. He walked into the league as its best player in 1969 and rode that wave for nearly two decades. On nine occasions he finished in the top five of MVP voting. That means for 15 years, there were people who believed he was the leagues best player. Kareem unsurprisingly sits first all time in scoring, third all time in blocks, and fourth all time in rebounds. His 38,387 career points are nearly 6,000 more than the closest active chaser (Bryant). The Resume: First Overall Pick 1969 – Milwaukee Bucks 19x All-Star 15x All-NBA 11x All-Defense Rookie of the Year 2x Finals MVP 6x MVP 6x Champion Hall of Fame How did the guys rank him? The Flag Bearer: Justin Termine (1). The Barn Burner: Marc Griffin (8). How did the other guys rank Abdul-Jabbar: Josh Eberley (2), Adi Joseph (2), James Holas (2), Lang Greene (2), Brian Geltzeiler (2),...
HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #3 Magic Johnson

HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #3 Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, the former Spartan and former Laker comes in at number three on the list. Magic was a mismatch, a unique combination of size and speed. His ability to match up with virtually anyone on the floor gave the Lakers an ace each and every night. Although Magic was far from an elite scorer, he did play on a team that featured one of the two individuals still not listed thus far. Aside from the three MVP awards Magic owns, he finished in the top five of the voting on six other occasions. Magic was a primo player from the moment he stepped on the court, until the moment he stepped off it in 1991. Despite a shortened career Magic sits 5th all time in assists, 20th all time in steals, and 1st all time in assists per game. The Resume: First Overall Pick 1979 – Los Angeles Lakers 12x All-Star 10x All-NBA 2x All-Star MVP 3 MVP 3x Finals MVP 5x Champion Hall of Fame How did the guys rank him? The Flag Bearer: Shane Young and Justin Salkin (2). The Barn Burner: James Holas (6) and Justin Termine (6). How did the other guys rank Johnson: Adi Joseph (3), Robert Littal (3), Marc Griffin (3), Jacob Noble (3), Brian Geltzeiler (3), Will Reeve (4), Josh Eberley (5), Matt Drappel (5), Justin Rowan (5), and Lang Greene (5). Average vote: 4.1     #2 Tuesday, October 6th.   Don’t like it? Think we got it wrong? Maybe, just maybe we got it right? Let us know using the #HCHot50 hash-tag. Or give the contributors hell, contact info below....
HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #4 Bill Russell

HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #4 Bill Russell

  The resume won’t do Bill justice, many of the accolades we lean on today simply weren’t available during Russell’s run. We can safely assume he would have 10+ All-NBA Defense honours had they been distributed in his day. He’d undoubtedly own multiple Defensive Player of the Year Awards and I think it’s also safe to say he’d own a few of his namesakes (The Finals MVP award). Accolades be damned, nobody collected the hardware Bill Russell did. Say what you want about the league he played in, the horrid efficiency, his stacked teams, or any other deterrents you can think of, winners win. It’s hard to rank Russell, clearly, three voters had him in the top two, and three voters had him outside the top 10. You see the confusion in pub discussion, message boards, and on social media. Some see the 11 rings and high regard his teammates had for him, enamoured with his ultimate winner status they place him up top. Others have shamelessly claimed he’d be Ben Wallace in this generation, that’s a tad bonkers. No offense to Big Ben. At the end of the day, we know Russell bested the leagues top talent again and again. He did everything asked of him as a leader and player, if you were a Celtics fan what more could you ask for? Russell delivered. The Resume: Second Overall Pick 1956 – St. Louis Hawks 12x All-Star 11x All-NBA 1x All-NBA Defense All-Star MVP 5x MVP 11x Champion Hall of Fame How did the guys rank him? The Flag Bearer: Jacob Noble, Justin Termine, and Marc Griffin (2). The...
HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #5 Wilt Chamberlain

HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #5 Wilt Chamberlain

  He scored a 100 in a single game, he averaged 50 points per game in a single season, and yet his rival Bill Russell still finishes ahead. Chamberlain had no weaknesses, the guy almost led the league in assists because he felt like it. Arguably the most dominant player in NBA history, if you place your stock in individual numbers there’s a real case for Chamberlain to be higher on this list. Chamberlain’s shortfalls as a teammate have been documented, however, he still won twice. And we all know his trophy count would be much higher if he didn’t play against the most dominant team in history half his prime. Chamberlain obviously played long before my time, but there have been several people who did watch him,  a few of whom spoke up claiming he was the GOAT during the proceedings of this project. The numbers are there. . . Wilt the Stilt sits fifth all time in points and first in rebounds. His 100 points in a single game may stand forever, four-point line, or no four-point line. The Resume: 13x All-Star 10x All-NBA 2x All-NBA Defense Rookie of the Year All-Star MVP 4x MVP Finals MVP 2x Champion Hall of Fame How did the guys rank him? The Flag Bearer: Robert Littal (2). The Barn Burner: Justin Rowan (12). How did the other guys rank Chamberlain: Jacob Noble (3), James Holas (3), Justin Termine (3), Lang Greene (3), Will Reeve (3), Brian Geltzeiler (5), Matt Drappel (6), Shane Young (6), Josh Eberley (7), Adi Joseph (7), Justin Salkin (8), and Marc Griffin (11). Average vote: 5.6...
HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #6 Larry Bird

HoopsCritic Hot 50 – #6 Larry Bird

  For at least one more year Larry Legend holds his ground above LeBron James, the GOAT small forward if you will. Larry Bird missed on an expanded run in part due to a bad back, but injuries aside, I could definitely argue him further up this list. Larry Legend was feisty, gritty, and the best shooter of his generation. A perfect mix of toughness and finesse. Bird had the all around package, he rebounded, scored, defended, and he is one of if not the best play-maker ever to play the three. Bird sits top 50 in assists (39), rebounds (50), and points (31). The 50-40-90 efficiency, with MVP output, and a Finals resume to boot. From the 1979-1980 season all the way through to the 1987-1988 season Larry Legend finished in the top five for MVP voting.  That includes his three-peat of MVP awards from 84-86. The only other players to accomplish that feat are Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. (Both yet to come on the #HCHot50). The Resume: Sixth Overall Pick 1978 – Boston Celtics 12x All-Star 10x All-NBA 3x All-NBA Defense Rookie of the Year All-Star MVP 2x Finals MVP 3x MVP 3x Champion Hall of Fame How did the guys rank him? The Flag Bearer: Josh Eberley, Adi Joseph, and Marc Griffin (4). The Barn Burner: Will Reeve (10). How did the other guys rank Bird: Jacob Noble (5), Justin Termine (5), Justin Salkin (5), Justin Rowan (6), Brian Geltzeiler (6), Robert Littal (7), James Holas (7), Shane Young (7), Lang Greene (8), and Matt Drappel (9). Average vote: 6.2     #5 Saturday, October...