This afternoon the Utah Jazz will be visiting the San Antonio Spurs for a TV game. I’m scared. I’m also happy to watch this game because it shows how far this team has come over the last five seasons. An interesting side-note to this game is that we’ll be seeing Pau Gasol and Joe Johnson playing. Why am I pointing this random thing out? Well, both players are approaching the 20,000 points barrier. Joe has 19,945 points and Pau has 19,932. Joe needs 55 points to reach that threshold, and Pau a little more, 68. The Jazz play six more times before this season is over, and the Spurs play seven times. They both need to average a little more than 9 ppg to get there this season.
If they do it that would be cool.
Including the ABA, there have been only 45 players who have crossed 20k in the regular season. Thinking about that had me go down a rabbit hole. I didn’t like how the NBA doesn’t include regular season and playoff stats put together. So I had to do it myself.
Including the NBA, the ABA, and the players who played in both leagues, there have been 359 players who had scored at least 10k points in the regular season, and 221 players who had scored at least 1k points in the playoffs. (About 200 did both.)
When you re-order it for total points, playoffs and regular season combined, and NBA and ABA combined the landscape changes quite a bit.
Sure, Karl Malone is still the #2 scorer in the entire history of basketball, ever. But big regular season scorers like Dominique Wilkins, Adrian Dantley, Walt Bellamy, Mitch Richdmond, Bernard King, Reggie Theus, and many, many others get bumped down.
The opposite also happens, as we get John Stockton, #48 All-Time in regular season scoring, leap over a few guys to be #44 All-Time in this combined thingy I dedicated hours of my life to figuring out by hand.
In this new world Joe Johnson is #49 All-Time in scoring. Pau Gasol is #45. I’m just presenting the Top 30 players by position here, by this new rank value, and their points.
There are a bunch of Jazzy guys here (and Jazz-y means Jazz players, draft picks, picks traded away who became players, and guys who were on the team for a bit in salary dumps before being bought out and/or waived).
The yellow cells here show active players. There are a few active guys to note, but I don’t think many of them are going to really make huge jumps, except for perhaps that LeBron James guy. (And I guess that Russell Westbrook guy is going to keep shooting for the rest of his career to, so I guess he can jump a few guys.)
Also, outside of the Top 30 there are some other players to note. Deron Williams (15k) is a few hundred points off of being Top 30 here in PG-land. Stephen Curry (14k) is right behind him as well. Manu Ginobili (16k) may not have enough time to make it on the SG list. James Harden, at (rounding up) (15k) probably should be in the PG group if he continues to play there, but I didn’t put him in that column.
In the front court Richard Jefferson (16k) is a few hundred away from making the SF list. LaMarcus Aldridge (16k) should get on the PF list sometime next season. (Also Carlos Boozer is at 15k, and really wishes his points in China counted for this.)
With centers you really see that seven of the Top 15 players in total ever points are centers. But the active players really are no where close to the legends. The closest active player who isn’t in the Top 30 is Brook Lopez (10k).
I guess the main message here is that if you are in the NBA History books you really deserve it. One guy that really gets lost in the history books is ABA/NBA guy Ron Boone. He’s not in the Hall of Fame, and a lot of his stats are so fractured between the leagues that his legacy is so overlooked. Did YOU know that The Booner has about as many points as Hall of Famer, and crew cut enthusiast, Chris Mullin?
Also, in other news, Jerry Sloan has more total everything points than Brad Daughtery, Kenny Anderson, Kyle Korver, Blake Griffin, Toni Kukoc, Kevin Love, Kenyon Martin, Brook Lopez, Steve Francis, and so many others.
So, anyway. Today. Jazz. Spurs. A top 10 All-Time scoring PF and a top 15 All-Time scoring SF. They are complimentary players now, but still capable of putting the orange thing though that hoop.
And I hope both get to 20k this season.