Friday Oct 20


Written by Ben Pogany
Shaq Diesel has finally run out of gas. Luckily, short of pulling an Antoine Walker, the newly deemed Big 401k is set for several lives to come.  In a now classic bit, Chris Rock quipped “Shaq is rich.  The white man who signs his checks…is wealthy.” Maybe its just me, but I gotta think that distinction dissolves somewhere around the quarter-billion mark.  This is a guy who made more in his NBA career than Jordan, Bird, Kareem, Wilt and Russell combined.  And that’s not even counting all that Shaq Fu paper. 

Other than teammate Kevin Garnett, Shaq is in another stratosphere when it comes to career NBA earnings.  Kobe might have an extra ring, but the Shaqtus has an extra $70 million.  Seriously.  Shaquille O'Neal has made 70 million dollars more than the third highest paid athlete in the history of the NBA.  Anyway, with all this talk of money, it seemed like a pretty good excuse to put together a list of the highest career earners in NBA history.

------------The $100 Million Club (Updated through 2013-2014 season) 
  1. Kevin Garnett — $315,372,398
  2. Shaquille O’Neal — $292,198,327
  3. Kobe Bryant — $279,738,062
  4. Tim Duncan — $224,709,155
  5. Dirk Nowitzki — $204,063,985
  6. Jason Kidd — $187,675,468
  7. Paul Pierce -- $184,819,552
  8. Ray Allen -- $184,356,410
  9. Chris Webber — $178,230,697
  10. Jermaine O’Neal — $168,794,021
  11. Elton Brand — $165,338,631
  12. Tracy McGrady — $162,978,278
  13. Vince Carter — $161,663,315
  14. Rasheed Wallace — $158,110,581
  15. Pau Gasol -- $156,574,396
  16. Rashard Lewis - $155,332,815
  17. Allen Iverson — $154,494,445
  18. Juwan Howard — $151,465,633
  19. Stephon Marbury — $151,115,945
  20. Joe Johnson -- $150,571,837
  21. Baron Davis - $147,692,983
  22. Alonzo Mourning — $143,906,333
  23. Dikembe Mutombo — $143,666,581
  24. Antawn Jamison — $142,545,596
  25. Amar'e Stoudemire -- $142,287,721
  26. Grant Hill — $140,879,650
  27. Gilbert Arenas -- $140,714,721
  28. Michael Finley — $138,576,839
  29. Carmelo Anthony -- $135,865,275
  30. Shawn Marion -- $133,488,272
  31. Marcus Camby --  $129,397,940
  32. LeBron James -- $129,155,913
  33. Zach Randolph -- $138,624,765
  34. Steve Nash -- $137,235,620
  35. Carlos Boozer -- $129,309,736
  36. Zydrunas Ilgauskas — $124,487,723
  37. Chris Bosh -- $123,404,753
  38. Dwight Howard -- $123,289,952
  39. Dwyane Wade -- $121,321,666
  40. Tyson Chandler -- $120,482,385
  41. Anfernee Hardaway — $120,469,142
  42. Patrick Ewing — $119,943,120*
  43. Allan Houston — $117,556,500
  44. Antonio McDyess -- $116,638,859
  45. David Robinson — $116,500,123*
  46. Lamar Odom -- $115,967,658
  47. Scottie Pippen -- $109,192,430
  48. Richard Hamilton --$109,166,043
  49. Antoine Walker -- $108,142,015
  50. Tony Parker -- $107,446,521
  51. Chauncey Billups -- $107,227,720
  52. Hakeem Olajuwon -- $107,011,426*
  53. Mike Bibby -- $107,093,621
  54. Richard Jefferson -- $106,607,314
  55. Gary Payton -- $104,367,619
  56. Karl Malone -- $104,133,378*
  57. Steve Francis -- $103,501,131
  58. Jalen Rose -- $102,438,250
  59. Michael Redd -- $101,991,325
  60. Reggie Miller -- $101,311,748
  61. Eddie Jones -- $101,254,222
  62. Manu Ginobili -- $101,225,615

All earnings are according to and do not include endorsements or outside endeavors.  In addition, all figures are to date and do not consider future earnings, even if contractually guaranteed. 

*Due to incomplete data from the late 1980's, figures marked with an asterisk may be slightly off.

Written by Ben Pogany
1) Celtics- Founded in 1946. 17 championships and 21 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2008 (1 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .589 (3rd)
All-Time Wins: 3,274 (1st)
Playoff Appearances: 54 (2nd)
Hall of Famers: 31
Defining Voice: Johnny Most
Defining Coach: Red Auerbach
Legends: Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Paul Pierce
2) Lakers- Founded in 1946. Formerly the Detroit Gems and then the Minneapolis Lakers (Hence the name Lakers from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes.") 16 championships and 31 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2010 (6 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .598 (2nd)
All-Time Wins: 3,261 (2nd)
Playoff Appearances: 60 (1st)
Hall of Famers: 21
Defining Voice: Chick Hearn
Defining Coach: Phil Jackson
Legends: Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor
3) Bulls- Founded in 1966. 6 championships and 6 conference titles.
Last Championship: 1998
All-Time Winning %: .522 (8th)
All-Time Wins: 2,107 (13th)
Playoff Appearances: 35 (tied for 8th)
Hall of Famers: 9
Defining Voice: Johnny Kerr
Defining Coach: Phil Jackson
Legends: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bob Love, Artis Gilmore, Derrick Rose
4) Spurs- Founded in 1967 as the Dallas Chaparrals (Chaparral refers to a type of shrub land).  Became Texas Chaparrals in 1970 before taking present name in 1973. 5 championships and 6 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2014 (4 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .603 (1st)
All-Time Wins: 2,445 (9th)
Playoff Appearances: 45 (tied for 5th)
Hall of Famers: 7
Defining Voice: Terry Stembridge
Defining Coach: Gregg Popovich
Legends: Tim Duncan, George Gervin, David Robinson, Tony Parker, Avery Johnson
5) Warriors- Founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors before moving to San Francisco in 1962.  Took their present name in 1971. 5 championships and 8 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2017
All-Time Winning %: .461 (22nd)
All-Time Wins: 2,657 (6th)
Playoff Appearances: 33 (tied for 9)
Hall of Famers: 14
Defining Voice: Tim Roye
Defining Coach: Al Attles
Legends: Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Chris Mullin, Steph Curry, Nate Thurmond, Paul Arizin
6) 76ers- Founded in 1939 as the Syracuse Reds before changing their name to the Nationals in 1946.  They took their present title in 1963, after the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.  3 championships and 9 conference titles.
Last Championship: 1983
All-Time Winning %: .511 (11th)
All-Time Wins: 2,754 (3rd)
Playoff Appearances: 47 (3rd)
Hall of Famers: 14
Defining Voice: Marc Zumoff
Defining Coach: Billy Cunningham
Legends: Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Hal Greer, Dolph Shayes
7) Pistons- Founded in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Pistons. 3 NBA championships and 7 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2004 (1 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .487 (18th)
All-Time Wins: 2,653 (7th)
Playoff Appearances: 41 (7th)
Hall of Famers: 16
Defining Voice: George Blaha
Defining Coach:
Chuck Daly
Legends: Isiah Thomas, Bob Lanier, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Dave Bing
8) Knicks- Founded in 1946. 2 championships and 8 conference titles
Knicks is short for knickerbockers, referring to a men's trouser popular in New York City in the early 20th century.
Last Championship: 1973
All-Time Winning %: .492 (17th)
All-Time Wins: 2,732 (4th)
Playoff Appearances: 42 (6th)
Hall of Famers: 17
Defining Voice: Marv Albert
Defining Coach: Red Holzman
Legends: Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Patrick Ewing, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere
9) Heat- Founded in 1989.  3 Championships and 5 Conference titles.
Last Championship: 2013 (3 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .520 (10th)
All -Time Wins: 1,211 (24th)
Playoff Appearances: 19 (23rd)
Hall of Famers: 1
Defining Voice: Tony Fiorentino
Defining Coach: Erik Spoelstra
Legends: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway
Rockets- Founded in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets before moving to Houston in 1971. 2 championships and 4 conference titles.
Last Championship: 1995
All-Time Winning %: .520 (9th)
All-Time Wins: 1,955 (13th)
Playoff Appearances: 31 (13th)
Hall of Famers: 10
Defining Voice: Bill Worrell
Defining Coach: Rudy Tomjanovich
Legends: Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Clyde Drexler, Calvin Murphy, Elvin Hayes

Quick Facts:
--The Timberwolves trail all teams with a .391 winning percentage.
--The Clippers are by far the most career games under 500 with an all-time record of 1520-2286.
--The Kings suffer the longest championship drought in the league, having not won a title since the 1950-51 season (as the then Rochester Royals).
--Five teams were established prior to the '89 expansion and have yet to win a title: the Nuggets, Jazz, Suns, and Clippers.
--Two teams have an all-time winning record and have yet to win a championship: the Suns (.541) and Jazz (.537).
--Four teams remain from the ABA: the Spurs, Pacers, Nuggets, and Nets.
--The Knicks and Celtics are the only two teams present at the NBA's founding to remain in their original city.  Teams that have retained both their original name and city since their founding include the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, and Charlotte Bobcats.
1) UCLA- Established: 1920--11 championships (10 in 12 years) and 18 Final Four appearances
Wins: 1,821  
Winning Percentage: .689
Last Championship: 1995
Defining Coach: John Wooden
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  2. Bill Walton
  3. Reggie Miller
  4. Gail Goodrich
  5. Russell Westbrook
  6. Jamaal Wilkes
  7. Kevin Love
  8. Marques Johnson
  9. Baron Davis
  10. Sidney Wicks
2) Kentucky- Established: 1903--8 championships and 17 Final Four appearances
Wins: 2,206  
Winning Percentage: .764  
Last Championship: 2012
Defining Coach: Adolph Rupp 
Illustrious alumni: 
  1. Dan Issel
  2. Cliff Hagan
  3. Frank Ramsey
  4. Anthony Davis
  5. Antoine Walker
  6. John Wall
  7. Rajon Rondo
  8. DeMarcus Cousins
  9. Jamal Mashburn
  10. Karl Anthony-Towns
  11. Louie Dampier
*also Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley
3) UNC- Established: 1911--6 championships and 20 Final Four appearances
Wins: 2,168  
Winning Percentage: .737 
Last Championship: 2009
Defining Coach: Dean Smith 
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Bob McAdoo
  3. James Worthy
  4. Larry Brown
  5. Billy Cunningham
  6. Vince Carter
  7. Rasheed Wallace
  8. Walter Davis
  9. Jerry Stackhouse
  10. Sam Perkins/Antawn Jamison/Brad Daugherty
4) Duke- Established: 1906--5 championships and 16 Final Four appearances
Wins: 2,085  
Winning Percentage: .707 
Last Championship: 2015
Defining Coach: Mike Krzyzewski 
Illustrious alumni: 
  1. Grant Hill
  2. Elton Brand
  3. Jeff Mullins
  4. Carlos Boozer
  5. Shane Battier
  6. Kyrie Irving
  7. Corey Maggette
  8. Luol Deng
  9. Mike Gminski
  10. Mike Dunleavy
5)Indiana- Established: 1901--5 championships and 8 Final Four appearances  
Wins: 1,778
Winning Percentage: .639  
Last Championship: 1987 
Defining Coach: Bob Knight  
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Isiah Thomas
  2. Walt Bellamy
  3. George McGinnis
  4. Dick Van Ardsdale
  5. Tom Van Ardsdale
6) Kansas- Established: 1899--3 championships and 14 Final Four appearances. 
Wins: 2,183  
Winning Percentage: .723  
Last Championship: 2008
Defining Coach: Phog Allen 
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Wilt Chamberlain
  2. Clyde Lovellette
  3. Paul Pierce
  4. Danny Manning
  5. Jojo White
  6. Andrew Wiggins
7) Louisville- Established: 1912--3 championships and 10 Final Four appearances
Wins: 1,778 
Winning Percentage: .666
Last Championship: 2013
Defining Coach: Rick Pitino
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Wes Unseld
  2. Junior Bridgeman
  3. Jack Coleman
  4. Rodney McCray
  5. Butch Beard
8) Connecticut- Established: 1901--4 championships and 5 Final Four appearances 
Wins: 1,609

Winning Percentage: .6
Last Championship: 2014
Defining Coach: Jim Calhoun 
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Ray Allen
  2. Richard Hamilton
  3. Clifford Robinson
  4. Caron Butler
  5. Rudy Gay
  6. Andre Drummond
  7. Kemba Walker
9) Michigan St- Established: 1899--2 championships and 9 Final Four appearances 
Wins: 1,635  
Winning Percentage: .606
Last Championship: 2000
Defining Coach: Tom Izzo 
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Magic Johnson
  2. Kevin Willis
  3. Zach Randolph
  4. Jason Richardson
  5. Draymond Green
  6. Steve Smith
10) Florida- Established: 1921--2 championships and 5 Final Four appearances
Wins: 1,363  
Winning Percentage: .559 
Last Championship: 2007
Defining Coach: Billy Donovan 
Illustrious alumni:
  1. Mike Miller
  2. Al Horford
  3. Joakim Noah
  4. Bradley Beal
  5. Chandler Parsons
  6. Jason Williams
  7. David Lee
  8. Vernon Maxwell

*The tournament to determine a national champion began with 8 teams in 1939, expanded to 16 in 1951, 32 in 1975, and 64 in 1985.
* Alumni are ranked according to eventual success on the professional level.
Written by Ben Pogany
Here’s a look at the 30 “can’t miss” #1 picks who turned out to be exactly that.

  1. LeBron James ('03)
  2. Magic Johnson ('79)
  3. Lou Alcindor ('69)
  4. Shaquille O'Neal ('92)
  5. Oscar Robinson ('60)
  6. Hakeem Olajuwon ('84)
  7. Tim Duncan ('97)
  8. Elgin Baylor ('68)
  9. David Robinson ('87)
  10. Patrick Ewing ('85)
  11. Allen Iverson ('96)
  12. James Worthy ('82)
  13. Bill Walton ('74)
  14. Kyrie Irving ('11)
  15. David Thompson ('75)
  16. Yao Ming ('02)
  17. Elvin Haynes ('68)
  18. Walt Bellamy ('61)
  19. Bob Lanier ('70)
  20. Ralph Sampson ('83)
  21. Dwight Howard ('04)
  22. Anthony Davis ('12)
  23. Chris Webber ('93)
  24. Danny Manning ('88)
  25. Larry Johnson ('91)
  26. Brad Daugherty ('86)
  27. Elton Brand ('99)
  28. John Wall ('10)
  29. Blake Griffin (09')
  30. Derek Rose ('08)/Derrick Coleman ('90)
Written by Ben Pogany

Celtics/Lakers is not the longest-standing rivalry in sports, nor is it the most hate-fueled.  But purely in terms of two teams coming together to fight for the top prize in their sport, nothing even comes close.  (To give some perspective, the Cardinals and Yankees have met an MLB-leading 5 World Series', while the Cowboys and Steelers have met in a league-high 3 Superbowls.)  Celtics-Lakers on in a whole other hemisphere, a rivalry all the more compelling for having spanned three distinct eras.  With the Celtics out ahead 9-3 in the finals, the Lakers likely won't be tipping the all time rivalry balance any time soon, that is, unless we break it down into eras.  Russell & co dominated era 1, Magic edged out Bird in era 2, and in the current era, a 1-1 ties means we'll have to wait for the rubber match of the rubber match.

Era 1: 1959-1969 
Boston wins 7-0

Boston’s Key 5:
Bill Russell
Bob Cousy
Tom Heinsohn
John Havlicek
KC Jones
Coach: Red Auerbach

LA’s Key 5:
Elgin Baylor
Jerry West
Gail Goodrich
Wilt Chamberlain (68-69)
Rudy Larusso
Coach: Fred Schaus

Era 2: 1984-1987
LA wins 2-1

Boston’s Key 5:
Larry Bird
Kevin McHale,
Robert Parish
Dennis Johnson
Danny Ainge
Coach: K.C. Jones

LA’s Key 5:
Magic Johnson
James Worthy
Kareem-Abdul Jabbar
Kurt Rambis
Byron Scott
Coach: Pat Riley

Era 3: 2007-Present
Tied 1-1

Boston’s Key 5:
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
Ray Allen
Rajon Rondo
Kendrick Perkins
Coach: Doc Rivers

LA’s Key 5:
Kobe Bryant
Pau Gasol
Derek Fisher
Lamar Odom
Andrew Bynum
Coach: Phil Jackson

Written by Ben Pogany

Without a doubt, 1984 will go down as the greatest NBA draft class of all time.  An insane four future hall-of-famers would mount the stage that day roughly a quarter-century ago, smiling for the cameras and embarking upon their new professions for which they would come to forever alter.  And so here is the perfect place to start our ongoing NBA Draft series.  10 draft classes will be broken down, not with the 10 first picks but the 10 best picks of each class.  Rankings will be determined by a combination of both each player's future success in the league and the value that might be garnered from where they were selected.  And so without further ado, the #1 NBA Draft class of all-time, the magical year of 1984.

  1. Michael Jordan-UNC to the Chicago Bulls (3) -"And with the third pick of the 1984 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls select Michael Jeffery Jordan."  And with those words, the Bulls and for that matter the entire league would never be the same.  In the years to follow, "His Airness" would lead his team to six NBA championships, compile 5 MVPs, and ultimately take his place as the greatest man to ever play the game.  And to think, the Trailblazers passed on him for a 7'1'' center named Sam Bowie.  Whoops.
  2. John Stockton-Gonzaga to the Utah Jazz (16) -To think that fifteen teams passed on this guy is downright heresy.  However, when Utah's turn came, they wasted no time in snatching up the Zags senior.  Almost 16,000 assists later and its safe to say that move was the right one.
  3. Charles Barkley-Auburn to the Philidadelphia 76ers (obtained for the LA Clippers) (5) - Sir Charles.  The Ground Mound of Rebound.  The Mouth (okay I made that nickname up) wasted no time in becoming one of the league's top rebounders
  4. Hakeem Olajuwon-Houston to the Houston Rockets (1) -A member of the Phi Slama Jama University of Houston teams (3 consecutive Final Fours alongside Clyde Drexler), its easy to see how the Rockets went with this Nigerian sensation at #1, however ill-advised passing on Jordan might have turned out to be. Hakeem the Dream eventually led his squad to two NBA championships, earning series MVP honors in each.
  5. Kevin Willis- Michigan St to the Atlanta Hawks (11) -In his 23 years in the NBA, the 7 foot center amassed 17, 253 points, 11,901 rebounds, and a ring in '03.
  6. Alvin Robertson-Arkansas to the San Antonio Spurs (7) -Robertson won an Olympic gold right off the bat, and from there went of to become one San Antonio's greatest defenders, twice leading the league in steals and serving in 4 all-star games.
  7. Sam Perkins-UNC to the Dallas Mavericks (4) -Perkins wasted no time in assuming star status, co-captaining the 1984 US team to a gold medal, and getting named to the 84-85 all-rookie team.  "Big Smooth" ended his career with an impressive 15,324 points.
  8. Jerome Kersey- Longwood to the Portland Trail Blazers (46) - Any time you can get over 11,000 career points out of a 46-pick, you've got to count that as a victory.
  9. Michael Cage-San Diego State to the Los Angeles Clippers (obtained from the Supersonics) (14) Nicknamed "Windexman" for his ability to clean the glass ie rebound well (admittedly not the best nickname).  In 15 NBA seasons, Cage amassed over 8,000 points and rebounds.
  10. Otis Thorpe-Providence to the Kansas City Kings (9) -Thorpe would eventually join Hakeem in bringing the Rockets their first championship.

--Olympic legend Carl Lewis was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 208th pick though he never actually played a game in the NBA.
--Current Dallas Maverick coach Rick Carlisle was selected with the 70th pick by the Boston Celtics.  He won a championship with them in '86, though he only averaged 2.2 points a game and served in more of a reserve role.

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