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HoF 2010: Malone, Pippen, Johnson Among Biggest Winners Ever

Posted by Neil Paine on August 13, 2010

When Scottie Pippen, Dennis Johnson, Karl Malone, & Gus Johnson get enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this evening, it will represent not only the culmination of a lifetime's hard work and dedication by four great players -- it will also establish the greatest collection of winners to ever enter the HoF at once.

Or at least, according to my calculations it will. Recall that in posts like this, I estimated the W-L record of a player's team when he played thusly:

"...take the team's winning percentage in all games ... and multiply by the player's games played for wins, then subtract that from his games for losses."

It's a kludge, I admit, but in the absence of pre-1991 playoff gamelogs, it's the best we can do -- and it's not too inaccurate for such a simple solution. Anyway, according to that method (and combining regular-season + postseason wins), Malone, Pippen, & D.J. are all among the 20 winningest NBA players to ever lace up a pair of sneakers:

Player Wins Losses WPct
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1223 574 0.681
Robert Parish 1113 682 0.620
Karl Malone 1043 626 0.625
John Stockton 1038 648 0.616
Scottie Pippen 939 447 0.677
John Havlicek 926 516 0.642
Robert Horry 912 439 0.675
Gary Payton 904 585 0.607
Sam Perkins 903 550 0.621
Clifford Robinson 895 626 0.588
Shaquille O'Neal 891 494 0.643
A.C. Green 881 550 0.616
Paul Silas 865 552 0.610
Horace Grant 864 471 0.647
Reggie Miller 847 687 0.552
Dennis Johnson 827 453 0.646
Danny Ainge 824 411 0.667
Kevin Willis 823 701 0.540
Terry Porter 820 578 0.587
Michael Jordan 812 439 0.649

Not only that, but the Class of 2010 boasts the most combined playing wins of any group of enshrinees ever:

Class Player Wins Class Player Wins
2010 Karl Malone 1043 2008 Hakeem Olajuwon 791
2010 Scottie Pippen 939 2008 Patrick Ewing 743
2010 Dennis Johnson 827 2008 Adrian Dantley 503
2010 Gus Johnson 288 Total 2037
Total 3097 2006 Charles Barkley 699
1993 Julius Erving 647 2006 Joe Dumars 644
1993 Calvin Murphy 483 2006 Dominique Wilkins 587
1993 Walt Bellamy 462 Total 1930
1993 Dick McGuire 414 1990 Elvin Hayes 699
1993 Dan Issel 404 1990 Earl Monroe 534
1993 Bill Walton 287 1990 Dave Bing 443
Total 2697 1990 Neil Johnston 244
2009 John Stockton 1038 Total 1920
2009 Michael Jordan 812 1980 Oscar Robertson 658
2009 David Robinson 742 1980 Jerry West 653
Total 2592 1980 Jerry Lucas 491
2003 Robert Parish 1113 Total 1802
2003 James Worthy 713 1987 Walt Frazier 533
2003 Earl Lloyd 314 1987 Rick Barry 481
Total 2140 1987 Bobby Wanzer 306
1982 Hal Greer 670 1987 Pete Maravich 297
1982 Slater Martin 512 1987 Bob Houbregs 82
1982 Frank Ramsey 499 Total 1699
1982 Willis Reed 405 1995 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1223
Total 2086 1995 Vern Mikkelsen 436
Total 1659

I typically don't advocate blindly assigning wins & losses to players just because they happened to be on a team that won or lost, but in this case you really have to give props for the sheer amount of winning that went on under these guys' watch. I mean, in 36 combined seasons by Pippen and Malone, their teams only missed the playoffs once (Pippen's Bulls sat out in 2004, his final season)... How insane is that?

So when you watch the proceedings tonight, keep in mind the ridiculous win totals this class racked up. If winning is truly the only thing we should be concerned about, then this is the greatest HoF class of all time.

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30 Responses to “HoF 2010: Malone, Pippen, Johnson Among Biggest Winners Ever”

  1. P Middy Says:

    Am I seeing this correctly? 12 of 16 guys of the list played a majority of their careers in the 90s?

  2. AYC Says:

    Not surprising. Modern players play longer. Also, this list seems to include combine postseason and reg season games. Teams play alot more games in the playoffs now than they used to; in the 60's you could win a title in 8 games; starting in the 80's it was up to 15 wins (now it's 16)

  3. ScottR. Says:

    Pippen's legacy seems to be improving among NBA fans. To call him a "second banana" just doesn't do him justice. The guy was an amazing all-around player. Sure he had that infamous moment when he wouldn't go into the game, but that doesn't detract from fact he was a helluva player. MJ acknowledged his greatness in his HOF speech and is doing so again by speaking for him. That's the ultimate seal of approval.

  4. Neil Paine Says:

    Sorry Middy, I put 20 on the list instead of 16, so it's 12 of the top 20. Still, it's impressive, although pretty much explained by what AYC said in #2. Players are healthier and stay productive longer now than they used to (many of the guys on the top 20 list are downright notorious for hanging around into their dotage), and the extra regular season (since 1968) and playoff (since 1984) games don't hurt, either.

  5. Mart J Says:

    Just for the heck of it can we get the top 20 losingest players?

  6. Nick Says:

    How crappy was the 1995 class other than Kareem? I mean, Kareem alone was 476 wins short of making the second list by himself.

    Also, Shaq is the only active player on the entire first list, and should be #5 by the end of the next season, yet has virtually no chance of getting above #3.

  7. Neil Paine Says:

    Here are the 20 losingest players:

    Player Wins Losses WPct
    Kevin Willis 823 701 0.540
    Elvin Hayes 699 700 0.500
    Johnny Newman 509 690 0.425
    Reggie Miller 847 687 0.552
    Robert Parish 1113 682 0.620
    Johnny Green 414 663 0.384
    Otis Thorpe 674 661 0.505
    Mark Jackson 769 658 0.539
    Buck Williams 759 657 0.536
    Derek Harper 643 653 0.496
    John Stockton 1038 648 0.616
    Moses Malone 776 648 0.545
    Charles Oakley 786 640 0.551
    Dikembe Mutombo 657 640 0.507
    Herb Williams 523 637 0.451
    Eddie Johnson 654 636 0.507
    Reggie Theus 408 635 0.391
    Michael Cage 561 632 0.470
    Alex English 631 630 0.500
    Juwan Howard 515 630 0.450

    Here are the players with the most games below .500:

    Player Wins Losses WPct G>.500
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim 280 556 0.335 -138.0
    Doug West 204 475 0.300 -135.5
    Johnny Green 414 663 0.384 -124.5
    Pooh Richardson 206 439 0.319 -116.5
    Lamond Murray 261 489 0.348 -114.0
    Reggie Theus 408 635 0.391 -113.5
    Jerome Whitehead 233 456 0.338 -111.5
    Bryant Reeves 88 307 0.223 -109.5
    Lee Mayberry 140 356 0.282 -108.0
    Eric Piatkowski 296 511 0.367 -107.5
    Tom Van Arsdale 358 572 0.385 -107.0
    Benoit Benjamin 307 519 0.372 -106.0
    Rory Sparrow 330 536 0.381 -103.0
    Clarence Weatherspoon 364 569 0.390 -102.5
    Jamal Crawford 242 445 0.352 -101.5
    Ben Poquette 262 460 0.363 -99.0
    Grant Long 426 619 0.408 -96.5
    Geoff Huston 152 344 0.306 -96.0
    Phil Hubbard 244 429 0.363 -92.5
    Brevin Knight 281 463 0.378 -91.0
  8. Chuck Says:

    Not taking anything away from this year's inductees, but looking at this by average wins per inductee, we get this:

    2010 - 774.25
    2009 - 864
    2008 - 679
    2006 - 482.5
    2003 - 1070
    1993 - 449.5
    1990 - 480
    1987 - 339.8
    1982 - 521.5
    1980 - 600.66

    Still impressive comparatively speaking.

  9. Neil Paine Says:

    This is officially one of the best images ever:

    "Remember, Karl... The Mailman don't deliver on Sundays."

  10. Luke Says:

    Can we get a list of winningest and losingest players based on win percentage? It's bugging me that Kevin Willis is on both lists.

  11. merl Says:

    To say nothing of John Stockton and Robert Parish

  12. Anon x 2 Says:

    I'm a bit perplexed as how Tim Duncan and Kobe aren't on the winningest list.

    Lakers winning % since he came aboard is 70% during the season (wow, didn't realize it was this high). 717 won games. Add in the playoff games which you calculated in the other post adds in 110 for Kobe + 16 wins this playoff run. That's 243.

    Interesting looking back at that post, Neil. Fisher is now the all-time leader in playoff wins for guards. Horry, Kareem, Scottie, Fisher, Magic, Shaq, Kobe, Michael, Rodman, Scott are the top 10.

    After next season, it's very likely 6 of the top 7 spots played a significant portion of their winning careers as a Laker, with the top 4 being all Lakers! Throw in the top 2 coaches lead everyone were the 2 best Laker coaches, Rodman played a short stint with LA as well as Horace Grant, that only Danny Ainge, Pippen, and MJ are in the top 17 people and never played/coached for the Lakers (though I expect Timmy to crack that next year).

    Still, an impressive note for the Lakeshow :-D

  13. Anon x 2 Says:

    I ran through Duncan's numbers. I see he is still short by quite a bit. Surprised by this.

    Anyway, not shocking to see some of those players on the wins/losses lists. malone, Stockton, Parish, Green etc were workhorses. Malone I don't think missed more than 8 games due to injury until his final season with L.A.

    And Green just might have the unbreakable record. I don't know how he played that many games in a row. To go that long playing basketball without getting too hurt to play even once is quite amazing. Cal Ripken got nothing on A.C.

  14. Dave D Says:

    If Scottie Pippen deserves to be in the hall of fame, I'm Cindy Crawford.

  15. axel f Says:

    Well hello there Cindy. Can I take you out for a drink?

  16. AYC Says:

    Dave D, you and skip bayless agree; congratulations on that... I propose we rename it the "Hall of Scoring", and kick Pippen out... also, Bill Russell and John Stockton

  17. Downpuppy Says:

    2003 doesn't foot - 1826 not 2140.

  18. Neil Paine Says:

    Thanks, Downpuppy, I fixed it -- for some reason, Earl Lloyd had disappeared in the copy-and-paste process.

  19. JTaylor21 Says:

    #15/16 are right. Clowns nowadays just think that scoring is the only way to measure a player's greatness. You can affect the game by playing defensive, rebounding, and passing than someone who just goes out there focusing on scoring. Pippen is the greatest perimeter defender of all-time; that should be more than enough to get him into the Hall

  20. P Middy Says:

    ?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!??! @ Dave D.

  21. P Middy Says:

    Anon X. Word to AC Green. He even played 83 games when he got traded mid season, though technically I think he just hopped in and out of that extra game to keep the record in tact. Never-the-less, he didn't so much as pack his stuff up. He just hopped on the next flight to Dallas and slapped on a jersey.

    Plus, he had a HOF Jheri Curl.

  22. Anon Says:

    Congratulations to one of the top 5 SFs ever and the 2nd best PF ever.

    And just to add to the controversy from #14, Malone is a top 10 player in NBA history. (**Puts flame suit on for "rings argument" crowd**)

  23. Anon Says:

    ^^^And btw, I can make a great case for him. :)

  24. Carlena Maday Says:

    Thanks for the tip, it will help alot!

  25. holden Says:

    Can we get a list of the worst winning percentage of players?!?!

  26. AYC Says:

    Funny that Pippen has gotten most of the publicity, when Malone was clearly the better player... but then I remember Ewing got top billing over Hakeem. The benefits of playing in a big market....

  27. Jason J Says:

    I think part of the reason Pip got more ink than Karl was because there's apparently some controversy about his induction - can't figure that out at all - while Karl is inarguable.

  28. dquinn Says:

    How about Bill Russell's wins and winning %?

  29. Mizznox Says:

    Does Dennis Rodman still have the highest winning percentage of all-time? I'm pretty sure he did, at least... according to his career splits, his teams were 636-275 (.698) in regular season games he played, and 102-50* (.671) in the playoffs. In total, 738-325* (.694).

    * - He missed one playoff game in 1989-90, and with no playoff game logs, I don't know whether it was a game they won or lost. So, the real totals would actually have one fewer win or loss, but it's a minuscule difference.

  30. dquinn Says:

    Regular Season

    KC Jones .737
    Heinsohn .725
    Sam Jones .713
    Russell .705