Jokic: All-timer — NBA parity — Team Canada

Thurs, June 15th, 2023

  The Opening Tip

  • Quick Spencer Dinwiddie vibe check
  • Team Canada is coming for us
  • We're in the age of NBA parity 

1. Our GOAT list now includes Jokic

Obviously, you remember the simple but effective equation we have for deciphering the greatest NBA players of all-time.

If not, it’s

  • Total number of MVPs + Finals MVPs + Titles. 

Before Monday night, the MFT club had 19 members. Today it has 20, and *no one* is more thrilled about that than new entrant Nikola Jokic, who dropped a ridiculous 30.2-14.7.2 in the five-game Finals win over Miami.

The updated list, which now slots Jokic as the 16th, 17th or 18th best player ever:

  1. Michael Jordan, 17 (5 + 6 + 6)
  2. Bill Russell*, 16 (5 + 11 + 0) 
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 14 (6 + 6 + 2)
  4. Magic Johnson, 11 (3 + 5 + 3)
  5. LeBron James, 11 (4 + 4 + 3)
  6. Tim Duncan, 10 (2 + 5 + 3)
  7. Larry Bird, 8 (3 + 3 + 2)
  8. Kobe Bryant, 8 (1 + 5 + 2)
  9. Shaquille O’Neal, 8 (1 + 4 + 3)
  10. Steph Curry, 7 (2 + 4 + 1)
  11. Wilt Chamberlain, 7 (4 + 2 + 1)
  12. Moses Malone/Hakeem Olajuwon/Kevin Durant/Willis Reed, 5 
  13. Nikola Jokic/Bill Walton/Giannis, 4
  14. Dirk/Wes Unseld, 3 

The updated list, in graph form:

You can nitpick the list if you want (Bill Walton, Wes Unseld and Willis Reed probably aren’t top 20 all-time), but it puts Jokic in a reasonable place: An all-time great already with a chance to enter the top 10.

*Bill Russell never won a Finals MVP because it wasn’t around when he was winning his rings, but the award is named after him, so he’s making the list.

[READ: Where does a title put Nikola Jokic all-time?]

2. Daily GIF: Tough look for our guy

Spencer Dinwiddie vibe check: He’s getting crossed up and scored on in China.

3. Trivia time

With Denver’s win, there are now 10 NBA franchises without a title. How many can you name?

Answer at the bottom.

4. The Canadians are coming for us

The 2024 Olympics are more than a year away, but Canadian annoyances toward Americans are on the mind.

That said, watching Jamal Murray reminded us how good the Canadian national team can be.

If everyone participates, their 10-player roster could looks something like this: 

  1. NBA champ Jamal Murray
  2. All-First teamer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 
  3. Defensive ace Luguentz Dort
  4. NBA champ/All-Star Andrew Wiggins
  5. Solid big man Brandon Clarke 
  6. RJ Barrett
  7. Kelly Olynyk 
  8. Dillon Brooks
  9. Chris Boucher 
  10. Bennedict Mathurin

That’s exactly the type of collection our soulless All-Star team could lose to. It also doesn’t help that our U-16 team just beat their U-16 team by 82 points. There could be a revenge factor, if Canadians are into that.

5. Our golden age of parity, by the numbers

3 newcomers

Three of the last eight champs (Cavs, Raptors, Nuggets) were first-time champs, while the Bucks won their first in 2021 in 50 years.

From 2000-2015, there were two first-time title winners: The ‘06 Heat and the ‘11 Mavs.


5 years, 5 teams

The last five champs (Raptors, Lakers, Bucks, Warriors, Nuggets) have all been different. That hadn’t previously happened since 1976-80.


1979

This sounds impossible, but: The Nuggets are the first team from the Western Conference to win the title outside the states of California and Texas. The last team to previously do it was Seattle in 1979.

6.  Quick Hits

  • It sounds like the Pelicans are definitely down to trade Zion
  • The Wizards are finally ready to face reality with Bradley Beal, too.
  • Pat Bev thinks someone who isn’t the best big man in the league is the best big man in the league. 
  • Brian Windhorst thinks Jaylen Brown is the Celtics’ priority this offseason.
  • Random fact: Before last year’s Finals, a 53-win team in the regular season had never won a title. Now there have been two in a row.

7.  Reads

  • Nikola Jokic’s tiny adorable daughter is an NBA champion [Defector]
  • Why was Jokic the 41st pick? [ESPN]
  • Behind the scenes with the NBA's championship champagne squad [GQ]

Trivia answer: Nets, Hornets, Pelicans, Clippers, Suns, Jazz, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Magic, Pacers.


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