Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Who's Better, Who's Best in Basketball?: Mr Stats Sets the Record Straight on the Top 50 NBA Players of All Time Paperback – November 19, 2003
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
.,."a book that any hardcore basketball fan can savor."
From the Back Cover
"Whatever the issue or debate in sports, 'Mr. Stats' has more than just the facts."
"For NBA fans, there is no one better at what he does than Elliott Kalb--he's simply the best."
Should Michael Jordan really be ranked #1? Is Dennis Rodman a Hall of Famer? Who's better--Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain? Who was the best point guard in NBA history: Cousy? Stockton? Kidd? How good was Julius Erving in the ABA? These are only a few of the questions that have launched a thousand heated debates among NBA fans--and you can find the answers here, from the one and only "Mr. Stats."
"No one is more qualified, more of an NBA historian, more opinionated than I am," writes Elliott Kalb in this tremendously satisfying book--and he's right. Known to TV viewers as "Mr. Stats," Kalb is the ultimate authority in armchair athletes' disputes. Here, he gathers together the informed opinions of coaches, players, broadcasters, and super-fans, interweaving numbers, facts, and anecdotes to flesh out the central question in basketball: Who's the best?
Along the way, Kalb revises the list of the fifty greatest players in NBA history, presents eye-opening essays on all-time greats, and puts today's stars in context with the legends. This ultimate behind-the-numbers story will provide powerful ammunition for your next debate--and who knows, in the end, Mr. Stats may even convince you that Jordan really isn't #1.
Top Customer Reviews
I didn't have high expectations for this book. Mark Twain said there are 3 types of lies: lies, d@mn lies, and statistics, so calling himself "Mr. Stats" was not a selling point. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I decided I wouldn't rate the book based on how the list agrees with mine. If I was that much of an egomaniac, I would write my own book and give it more than the maximum rating. What I wanted was a well-thought out list with convincing arguments for each man's place. Even if I didn't buy the argument, because I have a different method of rating the players, I wanted to see someone who could hold up his criteria with consistency and passion. He does so. To prove that I don't like the book because he confirms everything I believe, here is how far apart we are on ranking the top 8 players:
Elliott Kalb's rankings: My rankings:
Shaquille O'Neal Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain Oscar Robertson
Michael Jordan Larry Bird
Bill Russell Magic Johnson
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Michael Jordan
Larry Bird Bill Russell
Magic Johnson Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Oscar Robertson Shaquille O'Neal
He lists his methods for ranking players in the introduction, using measuring sticks such as MVPs, Championships, All-Star appearances, first and second-team All-NBA honors, outside opinions, and to break ties, he takes big over small, new over old, and winners over losers. He also places heavy value on how well a player peaked versus how he played over the long run (which gives the nod to a guy like Bill Walton over Robert Parish).Read more ›
a) Shaq is listed #1 of all time in the book, though I see no reference to the amazing number of times Shaq led teams were SWEPT in the playoffs or the fact that he played with complete dedication for a short number of years, and instead lost interest but gained weight. In general I (so far) do not see any evidence to a methodology using statistics to rank players. Mr. Kolb includes quotes and opinions from writers and former players and not surprisingly many of the older writers and players rank the older players better. My favorite example: Ernie Vandeweghe says it is "close" who was better: George Mikan or Shaq. Holy Toledo! Video inspection of Mikan shows he was a creature of his times: slow, white and lumbering. His teammates would wait for him to arrive down on the offensive end, where he might jump over a slice of bread to score a bucket. Mikan could not survive in the current NBA.
b) Oscar Robertson receives praise, but this is not tempered by key facts which are: 1) Robertson entered the league when the NBA was mainly white with roughly 25% of the players black. Examine the players he competed against during his first few years. The players are often a "Who's Who of Who are They?' In addition Robertson led teams failed to QUALIFY for the playoffs 4x during his stay with the Royals, even with Jerry Lucas; his sole NBA title came when he teamed with a far superior player: Jabbar. 2) Kolb says that the Olympic team with Robertson, Walt Bellamy, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas would have given the 1992 Dream team a game. Holy Toledo, part 2!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great book for basketball lovers. great idea for gift for Xmas or birthday. my husband loved this book from Elliott Kalb.Published on July 21, 2013 by South2Midwest
This was a great read for me because I can never get enough stats and basketball information, I will be glad when this book is updated, I want to see what conclusions the author... Read morePublished on May 17, 2012 by martez detroit
I hate the book because the lists are silly. I did not get the feeling that "Mr. Stats" poured over hours of research and careful analysis. Read morePublished on July 25, 2011 by stematwork
If you consider yourself a connoisseur of the NBA and its history, reading this kind of material gives you energy and ammunition for your own opinions. Read morePublished on December 29, 2010 by seattlesportswriter
This is a very good overview of the greatest players in basketball history. It is dated since it was written in 2003 and hence ranks current players and players who had retired... Read morePublished on January 8, 2010 by Omar Masood
When I first saw this book on the shelves I was very interested. It has alway's been a hobby of mine to rate players especially from different generations. Read morePublished on January 1, 2010 by D. Auer
Too often baseball has a stanglehold on statistical analysis among the major sports. Did you ever see a Bill James book on hoops? No ... until now. Read morePublished on December 28, 2009 by Timothy R. Sullivan
The book lacks objectivity. The chapter on Jordan strives to justify putting him down the list at #3 by citing his absence from the game while arguments for putting Shaq at #1... Read morePublished on June 20, 2009 by Mr. Mark D. Renoden