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A Portrait of the Artis as an Old Man (was: DuPree's Rankings)

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  • Michael Tamada
    ... From: john1974@u.washington.edu [mailto:john1974@u.washington.edu] Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 5:39 PM On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Mike G wrote: [...] ... The
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 4, 2003
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: john1974@... [mailto:john1974@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 5:39 PM


      On Mon, 3 Nov 2003, Mike G wrote:

      [...]

      >> I feel the burden is on others to explain why the rebounds and
      >> points that Cummings got are not due the consideration of the same
      >> points and rebounds gotten by a more glamorous player. I'm never

      The explanation is analogous to the Jerome Kersey vs Bob
      Love question: lots of stats accumulated over a long but not
      outstanding career are not as good as the same quantity of stats
      accumulated over a shorter period of time. Because it's MUCH easier
      to find a player (or players) who can give you 10 points a game for
      1,200 games than it is to find a player who can give you 20 points
      a game for 600 games.

      >> I don't think I'll ever be convinced that Artis Gilmore isn't
      >> deserving of the Hall of Fame. He was never in an NBA Finals;

      [...]

      >This is certainly something deserving of more intense scrutiny, I'll agree with that much. My
      >take on Cummings and Gilmore, based only on personal observation (more in Top Cat's case than in >Gilmore's) and reading/hearing analysis of his play is that they're sort of basketball

      Gilmore's different from Cummings; Gilmore was a franchise player for several years. He was the ABA MVP in 1972 and an 11-time All-star; even if we discount his ABA accomplishments totally, he was a 6-time NBA All-star compared to two for Cummings.

      Cummings' last 8 seasons, during which he scored over 3,000 of his career points and got over 1,900 of his career rebounds, were marked by highs of 9.1 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, and 1,777 minutes played in a season. He was in other words a backup player. A nice role player, but an easily replaceable one. Which is exactly what teams did six times during those 8 years: replace him, as he played for 6 different teams.

      Gilmore even in his 3rd-to-last season was still getting 16.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 62%. Not all-star numbers, but legit starting center numbers. Even his next season was not too bad, especially compared with any of Cummings' last eight: 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2,405 minutes played. It was only in Artis' final season that he became truly decrepit.

      During those final two seasons, Artis accumulated fewer than 1,200 points and 800 rebounds; the rest of his career stats were accumulated by an Artis who was at worst a starting quality center, and most often an All-star or even MVP caliber player. That's a lot of all-star points and rebounds.

      In short, although I've never bothered to sort through exactly who I would vote in and who I would not vote in, you'll get no anti-Artis arguments from me as far as the Hall of Fame goes.
      He was a heck of a player. Like Moses, limited in his skill-set, but still effective at what he could do.

      Cummings on the other hand was a very good player who had a long career. But it's supposed to be the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of the Very Good.

      >equivalents of Jim Kaat, Rusty Staub, Tommy John, or Jerry Reuss (more valuable than Reuss, but >you get the idea). That is, they had very long careers of being 2nd tier stars. Is that kind of >player HOF worthy? I don't know. It's a good question. Certainly they aren't as famous as a Bill >Walton type who is incredible for a couple years and then gets hurt.

      Walton of course is at the opposite extreme; based on his NBA career (and I recognize that his college career alone merits the Hall of Fame for him, but I don't follow college basketball so I'm focusing solely on his pro stats) I'd tend to vote against him, due to his extreme shortness of career.

      A value-over-replacement calculation, despite the uncertainty over what exactly that replacement level should be, would I think show both Walton and Cummings falling well short of the Gilmores of the world.


      --MKT
    • Mike G
      ... These guys have similar career totals, it s true; and also true that Love got most of his credentials in a 7-year span -- and outside of that, very little.
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 5, 2003
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        --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>
        wrote:
        > the Jerome Kersey vs Bob
        > Love question: lots of stats accumulated over a long but not
        > outstanding career are not as good as the same quantity of stats
        > accumulated over a shorter period of time.

        These guys have similar career totals, it's true; and also true that
        Love got most of his credentials in a 7-year span -- and outside of
        that, very little.

        I still feel compelled to consider per-minute rates as well as per-
        game and per-season. Kersey's prime years were when he was on a
        very deep and top-tier Blazers unit; while Love averaged 40+ minutes
        with the Bulls, Kersey only got 32-36 minutes at best.

        But the real separation between the two is in their playoff
        careers. Kersey had a huge playoff portfolio.


        >
        > [..Cummings' last 8 seasons, during which he scored over 3,000 of
        his career points and got over 1,900 of his career rebounds, were
        marked by highs of 9.1 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, and
        1,777 minutes played in a season. He was in other words a backup
        player. A nice role player, but an easily replaceable one. Which
        is exactly what teams did six times during those 8 years: replace
        him, as he played for 6 different teams.]

        I'm not sure about using frequency of trades to determine value to a
        team; I know he was always diminished by his devastating knee injury
        of 1992; and always at risk for dying of the same thing that took
        Reggie Lewis.

        Since there was such a clear demarcation between his first 10 years
        and the last 8, I've broken it down to see "what if" TC had retired
        after '92.

        years Gms Min Pct. Sco. Reb Ast - Tot. POG% POG - HOF
        83-00 1285 29 .515 19.3 9.3 2.2 - 30.0 .080 .99 - 6474
        83-92 `829 34 .521 21.2 9.5 2.4 - 33.9 .077 1.01 - 6662

        Tot. is a total (linear weights) that is of dubious value in
        comparing players, but for a player relative to himself, means a lot.

        POG% is the percent of minutes which are in playoff games.

        POG is performance (Tot.) of PO/RS.

        HOF (hall of fame points) is generated by taking the square roots of
        regular season plus playoff equivalent-totals.

        In this analysis, Terry Cummings had a more remarkable career if
        he'd retired in 1992, rather than "hung around" for another 8
        years. Such a conclusion is certainly debatable. But the reduction
        in his per-minute rates is significant (as are the minutes).


        [> Artis who was at worst a starting quality center, and most often
        an All-star or even MVP caliber player.]

        That's right. In fact, I just re-re-did a list of who should've
        been MVP, and guess who tops 1978!

        Walton won it, but he missed 24 games! Kareem also missed a bunch.
        Gilmore's next up; but he played for a dreadful Bulls team.

        I don't rate Gilmore's ABA years as highly as his best NBA years.
        After 1 year of adjustment, he hit his peak and was right up there
        behind Kareem (and later Moses) at his position. Not bad company.


        [> you'll get no anti-Artis arguments from me as far as the Hall of
        Fame goes.]

        When you think about it, Fame is just that. It's hard to create
        Fame for a player, 20 years after the fact.


        >
        [> Cummings on the other hand was a very good player who had a long
        career. But it's supposed to be the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of
        the Very Good.]

        Just as guys are always booted out of any Alltime Top 50, by players
        on the rise, there's some feeling that the Halls of Fame should only
        hold so-many players.

        Not that this is worthy of serious consideration; but if you scan
        the list of members, you might find that many guys'
        apparent "worthiness" is that they played 10 years. Seriously. Try
        to find players from the 50s who played 10 years in the NBA who are
        not in the HOF. There aren't many.
      • Mike G
        ... lot. ... of ... Reading my own post, something is impossible here. Hall of Fame points is more involved than described above. Further, I d changed the
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 5, 2003
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          --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Mike G" <msg_53@h...> wrote:
          > Tot. is a total (linear weights) that is of dubious value in
          > comparing players, but for a player relative to himself, means a
          lot.
          >
          > POG% is the percent of minutes which are in playoff games.
          >
          > POG is performance (Tot.) of PO/RS.
          >
          > HOF (hall of fame points) is generated by taking the square roots
          of
          > regular season plus playoff equivalent-totals.
          >
          > In this analysis, Terry Cummings had a more remarkable career if
          > he'd retired in 1992,

          Reading my own post, something is impossible here.

          "Hall of Fame points" is more involved than described above.
          Further, I'd changed the "Total" formula in one spreadsheet, but not
          the other. Here's the correct comparison:

          (If Terry Cummings had quit in 1992, how I would rate his career)

          years Gms Min Pct. Sco. Reb Ast - Total RegSe PlOf - HOF
          83-92 `829 34 .521 21.2 9.5 2.4 - 32.4 - 5133 2032 - 6340
          83-00 1285 29 .515 19.3 9.3 2.2 - 30.0 - 5328 2503 - 6474

          Total per-36 rate has been amended for the shortened version of his
          career.

          Under RegSe and PlOf are reg-season and playoff credits representing
          the square roots of his 'equivalent totals', multiplied by his per-
          36 total. HOF credits are the sum of those 2, with a versatility
          factor.

          Now it makes sense. Cummings' last 8 years were certainly of value,
          above replacement level, however you wish to describe it. But they
          don't add a huge amount to the assessment of his career.

          While he padded his totals by 25% in that time, his HOF total only
          went up 2%. I think the only guys who actually have their ranks
          drop are like Parish, who just cling to a job for years.

          Here's the milieu in which I have Cummings ranked, and their HOF
          credits. His imaginary abbreviated career is listed as well:

          HOF# rank
          6543 49 Jack Sikma
          6530 50 James Worthy
          6523 51 Alex English
          6474 52 Terry Cummings
          6437 53 Neil Johnston
          6424 54 Larry Nance
          6421 55 Kevin Johnson
          6398 56 Reggie Miller
          6340 57 Terry Cummings2
          6387 58 Jerry Lucas
          6355 59 Walt Bellamy
          6320 60 Alonzo Mourning

          Cummings didn't just hang around; he was a valuable backup. Teams
          that used him didn't lose much while he put in his 15-20 minutes.
          And he was good enough to fill in as a starter, most of that time.
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