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Manu, Tim and Tony Climb the All-Time Playoff Kings List

Which NBA player has the best record in playoff games? If you go by winning percentage, as I do, then the answer is clear. The greatest playoff performer in NBA history is Kawhi Leonard. He sports a perfect 100% playoff winning percentage (8-0 right now). Unbelievable!

Wait, not enough games played you say? Okay, you could limit it to 50. Then, the greatest playoff performer in NBA history is, you guessed it, Stacey King! He won 72.5% of playoff games he appeared in. Of course there were only about 60 games from 4 seasons playing with the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls. And King played less than 12 minutes a playoff game. But you should have seen him during those minutes!

Okay, for this to work we need to impose some more realistic limits. It's my list and I say you need to have played at least 100 playoff games. Sorry George Mikan, Jim Pollard and somebody named Jim Loscutoff. You missed the, uh, cutoff. And here's an even crueler cut. In order to eliminate the lucky role players who would otherwise make this list we are setting a 30-minute average playoff game limit. Sorry John Salley, B.J. Armstrong, Kurt Rambis, Dennis Rodman, Michael Cooper, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr (sorry!), Will Perdue, Rick Fox and Robert Horry (really, I am). Not sorry about cutting you, Derek Fisher. Maybe if you weren't so slow you'd have played a few more minutes. Yes, I know Dennis Rodman is in the Hall of Fame. He played less than 30 minutes a game because he was kind of one dimensional.

Follow along for the list of the top 20 (hint: Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker make appearances)...

This list was kind of hard to research. Here are my sources: This site helped, and this and especially this one. And I had to crunch the recent numbers by hand. Now, without further ado, the top players by playoff winning percentage are:

1. Magic Johnson, 67.4%

2. James Worthy, 66.7%

3. Michael Jordan, 66.5%

4. Tom Heinsohn, 66.3%

5. Scottie Pippen, 65.4%

6. K. Abdul-Jabbar, 65.1%

7. Bill Russell, 64.8%

8. Manu Ginobili, 64.6%

9. Sam Jones, 64.5%

10. Horace Grant, 64.3%

11. Isiah Thomas, 63.1%

12. Bill Laimbeer, 62.8%

13. Tim Duncan, 62.5%

14. Jamaal Wilkes, 62.2%

15. John Havlicek, 61.8%

16. Kobe Bryant, 61.4% (reflects Monday's season-ending loss)

17. Tony Parker, 61.0%

18. Joe Dumars, 60.7%

19. Larry Bird, 60.4%

20. Shaq O'Neal, 60.1%

and just for fun, the next on the list would be (and he did average enough minutes):

21. Bruce Bowen, 60%

Some notes on this. There is weird disagreement on Magic's precise number. If you check the sites I linked above some have him listed at 74% for playoffs which is plainly wrong. The most accurate site listed him at 67.0% but I ran through it season by season and got 67.4% which matches the number some of the sites list as his regular season percentage. Somebody made a notation error. At any rate, he's on top. Teammate James Worthy is next. As the third best player on the Showtime Lakers, he's "worthy" of inclusion here. Jabbar is just down a ways from them. Oddly, Magic likely benefited from his forced retirement as a lower winning percentage would likely have resulted from a few more years.

Ginobili, Duncan and Parker have climbed nicely this year due to the 8-0 start. Kobe, out of the playoffs now, has dropped from the 11 spot just two post seasons ago. One more bad postseason might drop him off this list for good.

Some of these players are more deserving of recognition for playoff winning percentage than others. What's your take?

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