When trying to determine the greatest players of all time, a certain type of comparison often comes up, and it’s probably one many Spurs fans are used to hearing: the player at his peak vs. that player as a whole. YouTube channel Thinking Basketball is currently doing a series looking to help determine who the all-NBA greats are by breaking down what made them so dominant at the peak of their careers.
Recently, he covered David Robinson primarily from 1993-1996 (with some 1998-2000 sprinkled in), making the case for The Admiral being one of the most valuable players ever. (Not be confused with the “best ever”.) The video covers his two-way impact and above average passing abilities for a big man well before it became appreciated, as well as the load he carried on Spurs teams not quite as deep as the other title contenders of the era.
Some weaknesses are also addressed, like a lack of handles and lateral quickness, but one of the most mindboggling stats to back it all up actually comes from after his “peak” years: his postseason on-off numbers from 1998 through 2000. During those three playoff runs, those defense-centered Spurs were a whopping 16 points worse when Robinson wasn’t on the court vs. 11 points better when he was. That 27-point turnaround is the highest of any player over a three-year span since the stat was introduced in 1997! Considering the Spurs were less deep before that, it’s not hard to imagine his pre-1997 numbers were similarly staggering.
These stats, along with his two-way impact, makes him without a doubt one of the top centers of all time, and certainly one of the most valuable players.
Thinking Basketball has plenty more enjoyable basketball content to watch, and there are already some other entries in the “Greatest Peaks” series, so be sure to go check it out. It looks like the series is going chronologically, and it appears Duncan will have an episode as well, so keep a lookout!