Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Pondering rookie futures / Top 100

Every year, with every draft class, I wonder what the future holds for the new rookies coming into the NBA. Which will have long careers, becoming icons in the process? Which ones will fail and be out of the league after their rookie contract expires? Which ones will have an average career (the average NBA career being 8 years)? It's hard to guess but it's fun to watch and see how it plays out.

One of the things I love about the Trading Card Database is the copious amounts of statistics they provide. Recently they upped the stats page to show not just the top 100 in your collection but everything. I was looking at my charts and I have come to the conclusion that it will be very difficult for a person to crack my top 10. The most recent player in my all-time top 10 is Tim Duncan, who was drafted all the way back in 1997. He and Kobe Bryant are in fact the only two in my top ten who were not yet in the NBA when I discovered it in February 1996. Even my all-time favorite player, Elton Brand, (1999-00 class) does not crack my top 10 although I have gotten him up to 11th.

The highest player drafted in the 2000s is, unsurprisingly, LeBron James. He ranks only 61st in my collection, tied with Joe Smith. In fact, in my top 100, there are only a scant 6 players drafted in 2000 or later. The others are Kenyon Martin (81st), Jason Richardson (86th), Tony Parker (87th), Pau Gasol (94th) and Darius Miles (98th). Even Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade do not crack my top 100. They are actually tied, with Tyson Chandler, for 132nd.

Granted, a large part of that fact is that the majority of my collection was built between 1996-2006. I took a break from the NBA which I now regret immensely, but I did not come back full time until 2012-13. Of the players drafted in the time period I was not collecting, Kevin Durant is highest...and he ranks 324th in my collection!

The highest ranking player drafted in my NBA Renaissance is Anthony Davis, locked in a 14-way tie for 546th, with players like Dickey Simpkins, Oscar Robertson and others.

My top 10 has been pretty much the same since I entered my collection onto the Database back in 2012. There has been some fluctuations in order but the people in the top ten have stayed pretty much the same. Soon, by the end of 2016, I will have moved Elton into the top 10, and I fully expect him to stay there and climb higher. He's the only player I actively chase singles of. I will add other players of course, but I mostly use the "low hanging fruit" method- I get whatever is cheapest and available. Doesn't matter the player or team, I want them all, so any I get is great for me!

Now, the Database listings and my personal collections don't match. The Database tags team cards and multi-person cards to each person shown, whereas I keep track of how many multi-person, team, league leader cards, etc. The Database also counts college, which I do not. So each person shows as having more cards on the Database than I consider being in my collection. However, as I've mentioned in the past, I lost all my listings in a floppy disk crash circa 2004. I am slowly recreating it, and making it better than it originally was, but it's not a fast process by any means and I don't foresee myself completing it this decade. Someday I will, and then I'll really know what my stats are, but for now the Database listings will have to do.

Just for fun, here are my Top 100, in order, according to the Trading Card Database.
  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Shaquille O'Neal
  3. Karl Malone
  4. Kobe Bryant
  5. Kevin Garnett
  6. Jason Kidd
  7. David Robinson
  8. John Stockton
  9. Tim Duncan
  10. Gary Payton
  11. Elton Brand
  12. Hakeem Olajuwon
  13. Chris Webber
  14. Grant Hill
  15. Reggie Miller
  16. Allen Iverson
  17. Vince Carter
  18. Dikembe Mutombo
  19. Scottie Pippen
  20. Alonzo Mourning
  21. Latrell Sprewell
  22. Ray Allen
  23. Patrick Ewing
  24. Anfernee Hardaway
  25. Stephon Marbury
  26. Jerry Stackhouse
  27. Paul Pierce
  28. Tracy McGrady
  29. Glenn Robinson
  30. Antoine Walker
  31. Shareef Abdur-Rahim
  32. Allan Houston
  33. Dirk Nowitzki
  34. Eddie Jones
  35. Charles Barkley
  36. Jamal Mashburn
  37. Michael Finley
  38. Shawn Kemp
  39. Rasheed Wallace
  40.  Antonio McDyess
  41. Juwan Howard
  42. Tim Hardaway
  43. Sam Cassell
  44. Steve Smith
  45. Mitch Richmond
  46. Vin Baker
  47. Steve Francis
  48. Jalen Rose
  49. Steve Nash
  50. Kenny Anderson
  51. Nick Van Exel
  52. Keith Van Horn
  53. Mike Bibby
  54. Damon Stoudamire
  55. Antawn Jamison
  56. Baron Davis
  57. Terrell Brandon
  58. Shawn Marion
  59. Derrick Coleman
  60. Glen Rice
  61. Joe Smith
  62. LeBron James
  63. Lamar Odom
  64. Clifford Robinson
  65. Jason Williams
  66. Toni Kukoc
  67. Larry Johnson
  68. Tom Gugliotta
  69. Andre Miller
  70. Clyde Drexler
  71. Brian Grant
  72. Jason Terry
  73. Jermaine O'Neal
  74. Peja Stojakovic
  75. Rashard Lewis
  76. Dennis Rodman
  77. Marcus Camby
  78. Vlade Divac
  79. Richard Hamilton
  80. Chauncey Billups
  81. Mookie Blaylock
  82. Kenyon Martin (Tied with Blaylock)
  83. Chris Mullin 
  84. Antonio Davis
  85. Sean Elliott
  86. Jason Richardson
  87. Tony Parker
  88. Rod Strickland
  89. Wally Szczerbiak
  90. Larry Hughes
  91. Mark Jackson
  92. Christian Laettner
  93. Tim Thomas
  94. Pau Gasol
  95. Cuttino Mobley
  96. Ben Wallace
  97. Horace Grant
  98. Darius Miles
  99. Robert Horry
  100. Joe Dumars
The Database shows 2290 people in my collection, but it's well over that as everyone with one card is tied at 2290th. The listings also include non-NBA cards, like college, multi-sport, WNBA, CBA, etc. I only count actual NBA cards. 

I figured now would be a good time to post this as it's between the conclusion of my 20th anniversary season and before the 2016-17 cards start showing up, which, if Panini holds true to how they have done it in past years, is only about a month and a half from now.


  1. Replies
    1. Not very high...197th with 113 cards in my collection. Playing mostly before the 1990s boom really hurt his number of cards available.