Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stats of Seasons Past: The Best Years From Players That Have Faded In Time - Part 1 (2000-2001)

It's humbling to think back on the past.  My aunt stocking up on rations for Y2K and the 9/11 catastrophe are still very fresh memories for me, but the 2000-2001 NBA season was 12 years ago!  That's roughly half of the time I have spent experiencing things on this planet.

Associating the passage of time with the NBA is something I've always done, but I also have a bedroom plastered with 90's Bulls memorabilia so maybe I'm just stuck in a perpetual state of nostalgia.

In the 2000-2001 season, Kobe Bryant was a spry, young 22 year old with a full head of hair in the middle of a historic dynasty.  This makes me feel all existential and shit.  So much time has passed between then and now even though it only feels like a few years ago.  Think about how many random breakout seasons there were and how the NBA landscape has completely changed since then (i.e. No more hand checking, new CBA, the stretch 4 becoming prevalent)

I decided to go back and search for some of these seasons in the Basketball Reference database.  I chose 2000 as a starting point because it's roughly the past decade, and the 1990's are a whole different post.  Most of these findings weren't exactly shocking, but it's nice to look back and see just how good some of today's aging veterans used to be.  This journey will feature way too many players spanning from the year 2000 - 2009 and will be split into multiple posts.


Detroit Pistons, SG: Jerry Stackhouse 26 Years Old

40.2 Minutes, 29.8 Points, 3.9 Rebounds, 5.1 Assists, 1.2 Steals, 21.8 PER

Best Game: 57 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists

'00-'01 Rankings: PPG (2nd), FGA (1st), FTM (1st), TO (1st), FTM (1st), All Star Selection
Season Highs: Points (57), Rebounds (12), Assists (11), Steals (5), Blocks (4), 3PM (6), FTM (18), TO (11)

Here's some context as to how good of an offensive season '00-'01 was for Stackhouse:

  1. Kobe Bryant
  2. Allen Iverson
  3. Tracy McGrady
  4. LeBron James
  5. Dwyane Wade
  6. Kevin Durant
  7. Jerry Stackhouse
That is, obviously, excellent company to be in.  I doubt that anyone would mentally place Stackhouse in with these other players without first seeing that stat.  That season also included Stack posting an enormous 35.2% usage rate which puts him in even slightly rarer company.  Kobe owns the highest mark with 38.7% during the year he put up 35 points a game.

Stackhouse finished the season scoring 30+ points in an unbelievable 44 of 80 games, including 8 games of 40+.  He also got to the foul line 10.1 times a game shooting 82.2% along with 5.9 3PA at a 35.1% clip.

The Bad News

Stackhouse shot an abysmal 40.2% overall and Detroit finished 5th in the Central Division with a record of 32-50.  I'm sure a lot of these huge seasons will also be on bad teams, so don't sweat it, Stack.

Where is he now?

Now with his 5th different team in the last 5 seasons, Stackhouse (38 years old) has played 27 games and averaged 4.8 points in 14.4 minutes for the Brooklyn Nets this year.  He had a season high of 17 points against the Celtics on November 28th.  Keep on keepin' on, brother.

Golden State Warriors, SF: Antawn Jamison 24 Years Old

41.4 Minutes, 24.9 Points, 8.7 Rebounds, 2.0 Assists, 1.4 Steals, 19.0 PER

Best Game: 51 Points, 13 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Blocks

'00-'01 Rankings: Minutes Played (3rd), FGM (2nd), FGA (3rd), FTA (10th), OReb (5th), Points (7th), All Star Selection
Season Highs:  Points (51), Rebounds (19), Assists (7), Steals (5), Blocks (3), 3PM (4), FTM (13), TO (8)

Antawn Jamison is the founding member of the "We Spell Our First Name Wrong Organization" that also includes Dwyane Wade as the Vice President.  '00-'01 was his highest scoring year in a career full of 20+ point seasons.

Jamison's 2000-2001 campaign is probably not as good as what the GOAT Jerry Stackhouse put up, but it is an undeniably hefty line to produce nightly.  There are currently only 4 players in the NBA this year averaging more than 20 points and 6 rebounds.  The only one that crosses the 24/8 threshold is LeBron James.  Today's NBA is unquestionably different than it was back in '00-'01, but just let stat sink in a little bit.


Good.  It is sunk.  2001 also saw Jamison set career highs in:
  1. Minutes Played Per Game (41.4)
  2. Field Goals Made Per Game (9.8)
  3. Field Goals Attempted Per Game (22.1)
  4. Free Throws Made Per Game (4.7)
  5. Free Throw Attempts Per Game (6.5)
  6. Steals Per Game (1.4)
  7. Usage Percentage (27.9)

The Bad News

Antawn had one of the worst shooting efficiency years of his career with a near career low 45.9% effective field goal percentage.  Golden State also finished with an appalling 17-55 record finishing dead last in the Pacific Division and 2nd to last overall to the Chicago Bulls.

Also some dude named Danny Fortson averaged 33.8 minutes, 16.7 points, and 16.3 rebounds in 6 games that year.  Who the fuck is that and why was he so awesome in those six games?  

Larry Hughes had his patented solid statistical year on an absurdly bad team and I have a Vonteego Cummings basketball card from that team.

Antawn's middle name is Cortez.  Most of this section is not relevant at all to anything I'm trying to convey with this post.  It was just more of an FYI.

Where is he now?

Jamison (36 years old) is currently coming off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers averaging 21.5 minutes, 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds.  He had a season high of 33 points and 12 rebounds on November 30th.  He's also had 14 games of 15+ points in 57 games played.  Dude can still kind of ball.

Philadelphia 76ers, C: Theo Ratliff 28 Years Old

12.4 Points, 8.3 Rebounds, 3.7 Blocks, 16.3 PER

Best Game: 22 Points, 12 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Steal, 8 Blocks

'00-'01 Rankings:  Blocks per game (1st), All Star Selection
Season Highs:  Points (22), Rebounds (17), Assists (4), Steals (3), Blocks (9), FTM (9), TO (7)

When I hear the name Theo, all I can think of is that scene in Breaking Bad where Tuco is really fucking high on meth in that desert shack with Walt and Jesse and he kept asking his uncle Theo what was wrong because he was ringing his bell furiously because Walt had just poisoned Tuco's burrito.  Now that we've got that run on sentence out of the way, let's talk about Theo Ratliff blocking some shots.

3.7 blocked shots per game is tied for the highest since 2000 with the season Serge Ibaka produced last year.  Theo Ratliff had to play 9 more minutes per game to average the same numbers, but Serge Ibaka is a beast so shut up.

Even though Theo only played 50 games that season, he put up career highs in the following categories:

  1. Points Per Game (12.7)
  2. Rebounds Per Game (8.3)
  3. Assists Per Game (1.2)
  4. Blocks Per Game (3.7)
  5. Free Throws Made (3.3)
  6. Field Goals Attempted Per Game (9.1)
  7. Field Goals Made Per Game (4.6)
  8. Defensive Win Shares (3.5)

The only Theo Ratliff videos on YouTube were of him getting dunked on, so instead watch this video of him checking out a pair of huge tits.

The Bad News

There really isn't any!  Maybe that it was his last year with the 76ers until he had a farewell season there in 2008?  His actual name is Theophalus?  That's all I've got.  Theo Ratliff had 16 long, productive years in the league.  I love happy endings.

Philly finished 1st in the Eastern Conference with a record of 56-26 and eventually lost to the Lakers in the Finals in 5 games.

Where is he now?

Theo (39 years old) retired after the 2010-2011 season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He currently owns the Rome Gladiators, a team based out of Rome, Georgia that plays in the World Basketball Association, which is apparently a thing.

Also, follow him on Twitter @shotblocker42 I guess.

Miami Heat, PF: Anthony Mason 34 Years Old

40.7 Minutes, 16.1 Points, 9.6 Rebounds, 3.1 Assists, 1.0 Steal, 17.4 PER

Best Game: 23 Points, 18 Rebounds, 1 Assist

'00-'01 Rankings: Minutes Played (4th), Defensive Rebounds (9th), Defensive Win Shares (5th), All Star Selection
Season Highs:  Points (29), Rebounds (18), Assists (9), Steals (4), Blocks (2), FTM (12), TO (7)

While not nearly as impressive as the above seasons, Anthony Mason did this when he was 34.  That is like 60 in normal human years.  Imagine doing anything for 40 minutes at a time when you get to be 60.  Your lower back probably hurts just thinking about it.

After two decent years in Charlotte, Mason bounced back in a big way with his first year with the Heat.  He was .1 points per game off of his career high which he set 4 years prior, but if you adjust for age like you adjust for inflation then it ends up being his best scoring year I guess. He also was a huge part of a 50 win team.  Not bad.

Anthony Mason set the following career highs:

  1. Age Inflation Adjusted Points Per Game (16.1)
  2. Free Throws Made Per Game (4.6)
  3. Free Throw Attempts Per Game (5.9)
  4. Free Throw Percentage (78.1%)
  5. Field Goals Attempted Per Game (11.9)
  6. Defensive Rating (98)
  7. Defensive Win Shares (5.6)
  8. Win Shares (11.6)

Apparently there are no Anthony Mason fans dedicated enough to create a 2000-2001 season mix tape, so instead you have to settle for this shit.

The Bad News

After this stellar campaign, Mason was out of the league in two years.  He signed with the Milwaukee Bucks after his only year with the Heat.  Even though he continued to get heavy minutes, he fell of a fucking cliff averaging 9.6 and 7.2 points per game in his last two seasons. 

"Chemistry problems plagued the Bucks, who had reached within one game of the 2001 NBA Finals just prior to the acquisition of Mason, and the blame largely fell on Mason, who, according to ESPN, had entered training camp 30 pounds overweight and openly criticized fellow Bucks players on and off the court" - Wikipedia.  

 Such a graceful exit from the league.

Where is he now?

His hobbies include evading taxes, eating food, and shaving weird designs onto his head. 

He also was hired by the Knicks to try and get Eddy Curry back in shape for the 2010 season.

Boston Celtics, PF: Antoine Walker 24 Years Old

41.9 Minutes, 23.4 Points, 8.9 Rebounds, 5.5 Assists, 1.7 Steals, 18.9 PER

Best Game: 47 Points, 5 Rebounds, 13 Assists, 4 Steals, 1 Block

'00-'01 Rankings: Minutes Played (2nd), Field Goal Attempts (5th), 3 Pointers Made (1st), 3 Pointers Attempted (1st), Steals (9th), Turnovers (2nd)
Season Highs:  Points (47), Rebounds (19), Assists (13), Steals (6), Blocks (3), 3PM (9), FTM (9), TO (8)

'Toine, owner of the single greatest answer to a question in the history of human civilization.  I can find no official source for this, but it is a very wide spread story within the NBA fan base.  It goes something like this.

Antoine Walker being interviewed during All-Star weekend

Reporter: "Antoine, why do you shoot so many 3 pointers?"

Antoine: "Because there aren't any 4 pointers."


That exchange is best put into context after viewing this stat.  Walker is only 1 of 20 players in history to average 7 or more 3 point attempts in a season.  Antione has the 2nd most of such seasons (3) behind Ray Allen (5).  He accomplished this feat in 3 straight years, starting with the season we are talking about in this post.  Only 6 players have had 7+ attempts per game in 2 more more seasons.

Walker, fresh off a year that saw him grace the cover of NBA Live '99, unleashed his full force upon the NBA in '00-'01 setting the following career highs:
  1. Points Per Game (23.4)
  2. Fields Goals Made Per Game (8.8)
  3. Field Goals Attempted Per Game (21.2)
  4. 3 Pointers Made Per Game (2.7)
  5. Assists Per Game (5.5)
  6. Steals Per Game (1.7)
  7. Turnovers Per Game (3.7)
  8. Player Efficiency Rating (18.9)
  9. Assist Percentage (26.8)
  10. Offensive Win Shares (2.7)

The Bad News

Paul Pierce joined Walker as the only other player on that Celtics team to average double digits.  That is not a good thing.  Rick Pitino had his famous "Larry Bird isn't walking through that door" rant the prior year due to shit like that.

Boston finished the year with a record of 36-46.  They were 5 games out of the playoffs and 5th in the Pacific Conference.

Where is he now?

Antoine Walker played only 2 more seasons in Boston after this.  He then made stops in Dallas, Atlanta, Boston again, Miami (CHAMPIONSHIP!), and finally ended his career in Minnesota in 2008 at the age of 31.

He played in only 2 preseason games in 2009 after being dealt to the Grizzlies (in a trade that dealt the rights to Kevin Love) and was then waived.

2009 also saw 'Toine get arrested for a DUI and accrue around $800,000 in gambling debts.  He then had 3 felony charges filed against him for writing bad checks.

Walker filed for bankruptcy in 2010 with a debt total of $12.7 million.  Not the best two year stretch.

He then made attempts to play for the Mets de Guaynabo and the Idaho Stampede in 2010.  He played 2 years for the Stampede in an attempt to stage a comeback to the NBA, but instead officially retired after the 2012 season.


Houston Rockets, PG: Steve Francis 23 Years Old

39.9 Minutes, 19.9 Points, 6.9 Rebounds, 6.5 Assists, 1.8 Steals, 21.6 PER

'00-'01 Rankings:  Minutes Played (9th), Steals (8th), Turnovers (4th), Offensive Win Shares (5th), Win Shares (7th)
Season Highs:  Points (36), Rebounds (15), Assists (13), Steals (5), Blocks (4), 3PM (6), FTM (11), TO (9)

Steve Francis was a player ahead of his time.  He would have fit in perfectly in today's game.  A 6'3 point guard who is strong, can score, distribute, and rebound?  Yes please.  His career and physical prime were dwindled due to injuries, but we all got to experience how good he could be.

How about some statistical context to quantify how good he was?  Sure!

Players to average 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists since 2000-2001

  1. LeBron James (9 Times)
  2. Steve Francis (3 Times)
  3. Kevin Garnett (1 Time)

Francis is also the shortest person since Alvin Robinson in 1990 to average 6+ rebounds a game.  Pretty neat stuff.

Steve Francis set the following career highs that season:
  1. Field Goal Percentage (45.1%)
  2. 3 Pointers Made (1.7)
  3. 3 Point Attempts (4.2)
  4. 3 Point Percentage (39.6%)
  5. Offensive Rebounds (2.4)
  6. Steals (1.8)
  7. Win Shares (12.2)
  8. Offensive Win Shares (9.2)
  9. Offensive Rating (113)
  10. Total Rebound Percentage (10.0%)
  11. Offensive Rebound Percentage (7.1%)
  12. Effective Field Goal Percentage (50.6%)
  13. Player Efficiency Rating (21.6)

The Bad News

Houston finished 2 games out of the playoffs in the West with a record of 45-37.  It was also Hakeem Olajuwon's last year in Houston and 2nd to last year in the NBA.

But not really much else!  Francis went on to average 21+ points in 3 of the next 4 seasons and made the All-Star game 3 times.

Where is he now?

Stevie was out of the league by the time he was 30, after having averaged just 11.3 points for the Knicks and 5.5 points for the Rockets in his last two years.  Don't feel bad for the guy though.  He made over $100,000,000 in his 8 year career.

He had a brief stint in 2010 with the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball league, but left the same year.

He now looks like this

Stay tuned for part 2 of this needless series coming later this week.

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