Overrated Innovators #2 - Elgin Baylor

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:45 pm
Baylor is thought by many to be one of the top legends. One of the ten best of all time (that's where he went in our draft) and to be a purely unstoppable scorer. However, this is going purely by stats and not taking chucking into account.

Elgin Baylor was the Kobe Bryant before Kobe Bryant. in his famous 38 ppg year he took 6 more shots per game than kobe ever has and shot a worse percentage. He was an awful chucker and despite having west on his side never won anything.

"But you can be like Karl Malone and be a great player without winning a ring"

Yes, but baylor wasn't even that great an individual player. If he took the same number of shots as kobe (who is a chucker) he'd have never broken 30 ppg at his % and would.

And his rebounding was overrated. Only four seasons did he do a good job rebounding (which was expected of a forward with hops, kobe would have gotten just as many rebounds).

How can you list a player who never won ANYTHING and never led the league in ANYTHING, who has no team accomplishments and no individual accomplishments as top ten all time?
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:12 pm
From the NBA's legends page:

"He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known," Baylor's longtime teammate Jerry West told HOOP magazine in 1992. "I hear people talking about forwards today and I haven't seen many that can compare with him."


Bill Sharman played against Baylor and coached him in his final years with the Lakers. "I say without reservation that Elgin Baylor is the greatest cornerman who ever played pro basketball," he told the Los Angeles Times at Baylor's retirement in 1971.


Tommy Hawkins, Baylor's teammate for six seasons and opponent for four (and later a basketball broadcaster) declared to the San Francisco Examiner that "pound for pound, no one was ever as great as Elgin Baylor. Elgin certainly didn't jump as high as Michael Jordan", Hawkins told the San Francisco Examiner. "But he had the greatest variety of shots of anyone. He would take it in and hang and shoot from all these angles. Put spin on the ball. Elgin had incredible strength. He could post up Bill Russell. He could pass like Magic [Johnson] and dribble with the best guards in the league."



Guess these people know a bit about basketball, don't you think?. A bit more than us, at least.

tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:And his rebounding was overrated. Only four seasons did he do a good job rebounding (which was expected of a forward with hops, kobe would have gotten just as many rebounds).


Baylor averaged 13.5 rebounds for his CAREER. He averaged 19.8 rebounds the 1960-61 season.

So 20 boards per game are overrated... sure.

tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:How can you list a player who never won ANYTHING and never led the league in ANYTHING, who has no team accomplishments and no individual accomplishments as top ten all time?


Then KG shouldn't even be in the draft. He can't even make the playoffs.

btw, Baylor was a 10 times ALL NBA first team and 11 times All Star. He went to the finals... I wouldn't say he doesn't have team and/or individual accomplishments.



So, in essence, what you're saying lately is that Baylor and Dr. J are overrated and Bill Walton is underrated?. RIIIIIIIGHT...
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:42 pm
TMC wrote:From the NBA's legends page:

"He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known," Baylor's longtime teammate Jerry West told HOOP magazine in 1992. "I hear people talking about forwards today and I haven't seen many that can compare with him."


Bill Sharman played against Baylor and coached him in his final years with the Lakers. "I say without reservation that Elgin Baylor is the greatest cornerman who ever played pro basketball," he told the Los Angeles Times at Baylor's retirement in 1971.


Tommy Hawkins, Baylor's teammate for six seasons and opponent for four (and later a basketball broadcaster) declared to the San Francisco Examiner that "pound for pound, no one was ever as great as Elgin Baylor. Elgin certainly didn't jump as high as Michael Jordan", Hawkins told the San Francisco Examiner. "But he had the greatest variety of shots of anyone. He would take it in and hang and shoot from all these angles. Put spin on the ball. Elgin had incredible strength. He could post up Bill Russell. He could pass like Magic [Johnson] and dribble with the best guards in the league."



Guess these people know a bit about basketball, don't you think?. A bit more than us, at least.

tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:And his rebounding was overrated. Only four seasons did he do a good job rebounding (which was expected of a forward with hops, kobe would have gotten just as many rebounds).


Baylor averaged 13.5 rebounds for his CAREER. He averaged 19.8 rebounds the 1960-61 season.

So 20 boards per game are overrated... sure.

tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:How can you list a player who never won ANYTHING and never led the league in ANYTHING, who has no team accomplishments and no individual accomplishments as top ten all time?


Then KG shouldn't even be in the draft. He can't even make the playoffs.

btw, Baylor was a 10 times ALL NBA first team and 11 times All Star. He went to the finals... I wouldn't say he doesn't have team and/or individual accomplishments.



So, in essence, what you're saying lately is that Baylor and Dr. J are overrated and Bill Walton is underrated?. RIIIIIIIGHT...


First let me adress the quotes - quotes, especially by players from other eras, are very unreliable. Jordan said that Bill Cartwright was better than Karl Malone. I think he knows a little more about basketball than we do. Does that make it true?

As for his rebounding, 13.5 rebounds per game today is exceptional. In the sixties? average for the primary rebounder on a team.

He went to the finals and made all NBA first team in an EIGHT TEAM LEAGUE. And had Jerry West on his team. And Wilt Chamberlain later on. The fact that he didn't win it all shows that he was certainly not one of the ten best players of all time.

I'll take a guy like KG (who made the conference finals the only time he had decent supporting cast and made the playoffs with YWCA teammates) over Baylor (who played longer and never won it all despite superstar teammates and had the second worst team in the league before west arrived) in terms of team success.

I'll also take a guy like KG (who won an MVP, led the league in many things, and was efficient) over a guy like baylor (who only won all nba first teams because he had ZERO competition, who never won an MVP, and who never led the league in anything) in terms of individual success.

Baylor was a cancer, a volume shooter who shot a horrible % and only could grab 10 rpg (the equivalent of seven today) when he actually had a decent rebounding teammate. After he retired the team improved.

I'm not saying he's not a great player, but to say he's top ten all time when he never won a ring in an eight team league, an MVP, or led the league in anything indicates that he is SEVERELY overrated

Your quotes from guys who think that happy hairston is better than KG amplify my point that he's overrated.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:57 pm
:shock:


Those quotes TMC are definately supporteive but I know where Pest is coming from. It is difficult to evaluate but the fact that Baylor was very athletic and had alot of moves, to go with the stats and accomplishments, he has to be seen as an alltime great, not sure about top 10 alltime but alltime great at the very least. You can't just palm off a great career like that and because the Celtics were so great, Baylor never won a championship (valid reasoning).

I say the guy was great but compared to other alltime greats, it is hard to compare, like the rest of them!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:01 pm
you know what would be helpful to clarify this debate? TMC, you should rent the dvds of celtics dynasty from 1969 or lakers from 1972 which shows the final game of the championship each of those years. watch it and see if the game they are playing looks as remotely skillful as what the players do today...a lot of times they look like they are playing in slow motion. I fimrly believe that if the greats of yesterday had the training, competition and conditioning and innovation of today's games they would be stars, but if you were to transplant them with their existing skills, very few of them would even be in the league, that's how much play, athleticism and skill has improved. Watch and see if you don't agree. Probably in 1971, pre Dr. J, MJ, Lebron, Dwade, etc, etc...Baylor was the best, but they simply did not have the skills, conditioning or athleticism then...it's like if you asked Louis Armstrong to hang with a modern jazz group. Obviously he was an unbelievable musician, but the music has evolved so much, that there is no way he could hang with it, barring major study and immersion.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:45 am
You said it right colt which is why it is so hard to compare players from different eras. It is hard to say that older players are as good because, as far as I'm concerned, they are nowhere near as good as the modern day players. It has to be looked at as a "how good compared to the average player of that era" comparison and if we use that criteria, Baylor does look great
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:55 am
migya wrote:You said it right colt which is why it is so hard to compare players from different eras. It is hard to say that older players are as good because, as far as I'm concerned, they are nowhere near as good as the modern day players. It has to be looked at as a "how good compared to the average player of that era" comparison and if we use that criteria, Baylor does look great


Yep. Everyone has to be looked on in his historic context. That's why players from different eras are so hard to compare. Would Baylor be so good today?. Maybe not... but then again, he would have been raised in a totally different system, a system that would try to maximize his potential. He MAY have been even better than he was at the time. Hence, it comes down to opinion... and you what opinions are like. :wink:

About personal accolades... he played in the same era Wilt, Big O and Bill Russell did. And we all agree he was worse than them. What was he supposed to win?

And, btw, I think Jerry West opinion has a bit more importance than any other. It's not just a player from other era, but one of the best GMs of the current era.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:38 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:You said it right colt which is why it is so hard to compare players from different eras. It is hard to say that older players are as good because, as far as I'm concerned, they are nowhere near as good as the modern day players. It has to be looked at as a "how good compared to the average player of that era" comparison and if we use that criteria, Baylor does look great


Yep. Everyone has to be looked on in his historic context. That's why players from different eras are so hard to compare. Would Baylor be so good today?. Maybe not... but then again, he would have been raised in a totally different system, a system that would try to maximize his potential. He MAY have been even better than he was at the time. Hence, it comes down to opinion... and you what opinions are like. :wink:

About personal accolades... he played in the same era Wilt, Big O and Bill Russell did. And we all agree he was worse than them. What was he supposed to win?

And, btw, I think Jerry West opinion has a bit more importance than any other. It's not just a player from other era, but one of the best GMs of the current era.

I hear you. The point is, AS IS, the players transported from those eras would not be as good. You talk to virtually everyone who played then and they say the same thing. Obviously if they had the training and conditioning and the advantage of all the innovations, sure, they would be great in any era, but if we took Elgin Baylor as he played he would not be a great in today's game...
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:45 am
coltraning wrote:I hear you. The point is, AS IS, the players transported from those eras would not be as good. You talk to virtually everyone who played then and they say the same thing. Obviously if they had the training and conditioning and the advantage of all the innovations, sure, they would be great in any era, but if we took Elgin Baylor as he played he would not be a great in today's game...


Then those players shouldn't be picked in the draft til the last rounds... if ever.

I mean, I understand your points, but, if we're going to compare players of different eras, let's do it basing the comparison on the talent level, not on how developed their abilities are. Let's give them a common ground to have a fair comparison. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and supposed they would have evolved the same way. If not, we should only compare them with the contemporary players. They don't have a chance otherwise.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:11 pm
TMC wrote:
coltraning wrote:I hear you. The point is, AS IS, the players transported from those eras would not be as good. You talk to virtually everyone who played then and they say the same thing. Obviously if they had the training and conditioning and the advantage of all the innovations, sure, they would be great in any era, but if we took Elgin Baylor as he played he would not be a great in today's game...


Then those players shouldn't be picked in the draft til the last rounds... if ever.

I mean, I understand your points, but, if we're going to compare players of different eras, let's do it basing the comparison on the talent level, not on how developed their abilities are. Let's give them a common ground to have a fair comparison. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and supposed they would have evolved the same way. If not, we should only compare them with the contemporary players. They don't have a chance otherwise.

I wasn't talking about the redistro thread, which is an awesome idea, btw, props to Pest! Probably the only truly fair way is to compare levels of dominance within an era, so the fact that Nash is averaging 20% more assists than anyone else in the game today is a level of dominance unequaled by any other player in the game. That said, it is clear to the naked eye that players and the game are at a higher leve today than 30 years ago...so Shaq never came close to dominating his era the way Wilt dominated his, but Shaq would have outplayed Wilt head to head...probably the most dominant players of their eras, sport by sport were Babe Ruth, Wilt, Gretzky and Pele - I don't really have one for American football...maybe Montana? Jim Brown?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:26 pm
coltraning wrote:probably the most dominant players of their eras, sport by sport were Babe Ruth, Wilt, Gretzky and Pele - I don't really have one for American football...maybe Montana? Jim Brown?


Yep, Jim Brown. I liked Walter Payton better, but that's just a personal preference. I don't think anyone dominated the sport as Jim Brown did (or so I've read. I haven't seen much of that time).

And Pele... well, that's a tough one, as he never played in Europe and his national team was much better than any other team ever assembled. He's a myth, but a myth with a * near his name.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:59 pm
I don't know about these threads, Pest. I've read them both... and I think they're unfair. You can't purely judge a past player's performance by his statistics.

Without Elgin Baylor or Julius Erving, the game would never have elevated to a higher level. It's just that simple. Michael Jordan has even gone so far as to say, "If there were no Julius Erving, there'd by no Michael Jordan."

I thought you said you read Michael Jordan's interview in SLAM 100, right? Did you read the part where Michael slightly got into this topic; I believe he said something to the likes of, "I don't like being told I'm the greatest because, really, I just used a lot of the things that players before me inspired me to use. I didn't come up with a lot of that stuff. I just wish people would respect my (and other players) individual contributions to the game."

I think Jordan makes a really good point. Without the previous generation, the current one would have nothing to build on. If Bob Cousy never threw the ball behind his back, how long would it have taken for someone else to come up with that trick? How long before it was perfected and used daily in NBA games all across the country? Cousy brought a lot to the game, as did Russell, as did Baylor, as did Erving, as did Magic, Larry, Michael, and a host of other legends who all stood on the shoulders of their favorite players to become a better, overall, performer.

I dunno, this just strikes me as strange. It's as if a Jordan-inspired player averaged 60 PPG in 20 years and somebody made a thread to discounting what Michael did for the league when, in actuality, said 60-PPG-scorer wouldn't be the player he is today WITHOUT Michael.

Just my take.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:08 pm
Yeah, I think that they were neccesary to the game, but so was pistol pete (he innovated as much, if not more) and he isn't considered top ten all time. So did joe fulks and he isn't considered top ten all time. I just think that sometimes people confuse innovation with dominance and if somebody invented the hookshot but never did all that much in the league then they shouldnt be considered top ten all time.

there are multiple ways you can succeed in sports. dominance. inovation. value. skill. You can exceed in multiple ones of these but they are not mutually inclusive which is the point I'm trying to make.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:37 am
TMC wrote:
coltraning wrote:I hear you. The point is, AS IS, the players transported from those eras would not be as good. You talk to virtually everyone who played then and they say the same thing. Obviously if they had the training and conditioning and the advantage of all the innovations, sure, they would be great in any era, but if we took Elgin Baylor as he played he would not be a great in today's game...


Then those players shouldn't be picked in the draft til the last rounds... if ever.

I mean, I understand your points, but, if we're going to compare players of different eras, let's do it basing the comparison on the talent level, not on how developed their abilities are. Let's give them a common ground to have a fair comparison. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and supposed they would have evolved the same way. If not, we should only compare them with the contemporary players. They don't have a chance otherwise.



Said it beautifully TMC :D
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:52 am
#32 wrote:I don't know about these threads, Pest. I've read them both... and I think they're unfair. You can't purely judge a past player's performance by his statistics.

Without Elgin Baylor or Julius Erving, the game would never have elevated to a higher level. It's just that simple. Michael Jordan has even gone so far as to say, "If there were no Julius Erving, there'd by no Michael Jordan."

I thought you said you read Michael Jordan's interview in SLAM 100, right? Did you read the part where Michael slightly got into this topic; I believe he said something to the likes of, "I don't like being told I'm the greatest because, really, I just used a lot of the things that players before me inspired me to use. I didn't come up with a lot of that stuff. I just wish people would respect my (and other players) individual contributions to the game."

I think Jordan makes a really good point. Without the previous generation, the current one would have nothing to build on. If Bob Cousy never threw the ball behind his back, how long would it have taken for someone else to come up with that trick? How long before it was perfected and used daily in NBA games all across the country? Cousy brought a lot to the game, as did Russell, as did Baylor, as did Erving, as did Magic, Larry, Michael, and a host of other legends who all stood on the shoulders of their favorite players to become a better, overall, performer.

I dunno, this just strikes me as strange. It's as if a Jordan-inspired player averaged 60 PPG in 20 years and somebody made a thread to discounting what Michael did for the league when, in actuality, said 60-PPG-scorer wouldn't be the player he is today WITHOUT Michael.

Just my take.



I understand your point 100% and it is very valid! Jordan saying what he said is very humble and also right!

One thing I will say is that it is humanly very difficult for the level to get much higher than it is right now in the nba! There is not much more moves to be invented and the level of condiotioning and athleticism is incredibly high


tHe_pEsTiLeNcE wrote:Yeah, I think that they were neccesary to the game, but so was pistol pete (he innovated as much, if not more) and he isn't considered top ten all time. So did joe fulks and he isn't considered top ten all time. I just think that sometimes people confuse innovation with dominance and if somebody invented the hookshot but never did all that much in the league then they shouldnt be considered top ten all time.

there are multiple ways you can succeed in sports. dominance. inovation. value. skill. You can exceed in multiple ones of these but they are not mutually inclusive which is the point I'm trying to make.



Yes Maravich was great!

I understand where you're coming from Pest and both points are right. An innovator who was a top player in an era is a great player and should be seen as that across all eras for what he came up with and the level of dominance he had.

The only way to properly evaluate greatness is to go by dominance, stats and average player ability in an era, comparitive to how it should be (ie. The average skil level of a player should increase every era, if not every 5 years). The list criteria is a difficult one to evaluate but dominance in an era and stats are easier to see.

We can honestly say that if Wilt Chamberlain was so much better than every other player in his era (which he wasn't miles ahead of some but it is said he was), then he should be seen as the greatest player ever. Most of us, me certainly, will say Jordan is the best ever but he wasn't quite as ahead of everyone else as Wilt was (though I reckon he was because he won so much and was ALWAYS the best player, not counting his 2 seasons in Washington)
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