Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (2022)

Progressive GOAT Rankings

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (1)

The debate rages on.

Many consider either LeBron James or Michael Jordan the greatest player in NBA history—the GOAT, as the title is widely abbreviated in sports circles. Some want to put Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the conversation, while others seem determined to include Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

None of these answers are inherently correct or incorrect. Realizing that is vital.

We’re not going to fall into the trap made by other GOAT rankings and insist our order is the only acceptable one, since everyone values different legacy components uniquely. That’s what makes this conversation so difficult in and of itself: How much are you swayed by championships, longevity, era translations and every other possible piece of the argument?

Our rankings here are intended to tell you who produced the most on both ends of the floor relative to his peers. The longer the high-level production was sustained, the better. But team-based results like deep playoff runs and championships don’t have any bearing in this particular article.

Sections

  • Methodology
  • Flaws
  • GOAT Progression
  • Per-Season GOAT Standings
  • Top-Ranked Seasons
  • Best Rookie Seasons
  • Best Seasons by Positions

Methodology

Our rankings are centered around the accumulation of GOAT points, which are calculated using the following steps:

  1. Isolate all TPA scores earned during any given season from 1951-52 through 2017-18. From 1973-74 through the present, both regular-season and postseason numbers were combined to give players credit for postseason runs to which they contributed heavily as an individual—their individual component, not a team-based result. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible prior to that aforementioned starting point due to a lack of pace information.
  2. Calculate the average and standard deviation of the data for the relevant season.
  3. Convert TPA scores to Z-Scores (standard deviations above or below the average).
  4. The Z-Scores then function as GOAT points, but only the top 25 scores for any given season are included. We’re not rewarding consistent goodness, but instead only allowing greatness to contribute toward the all-time conversation. Yes, this intentionally discredits players who were slightly above-average contributors for well over a decade, since that’s a feat that should matter more in different conversations.
  5. Sum GOAT points from all seasons to find career scores.

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Flaws

This is by no means a perfect examination of basketball history, so treat it as a baseline if you desire.

Flaw No. 1: TPA isn’t a Perfect Stat

Since TPA is derived from box plus/minus, we’re looking only at box-score stats and failing to give players proper credit for solid defensive switching, beneficial picks at the top of the key and so much more. Scores before 1973-74 are estimated through a correlation with win shares, which allows for some variance as well. A few players (see: Westbrook, Russell) even see their scores boosted by extreme interaction effects between assist percentage and usage rate, as BPM was never intended to handle such high numbers.

Flaw No. 2: The Postseason Conundrum

As mentioned in the methodology section, the playoffs were irrelevant before 1973-74 because we don’t have the numbers necessary to calculate impact in the same manner. This doesn’t prevent early-era players from operating on the same scale as modern contributors because they’re still only being compared to other men from the same season, but it does keep ring-earning stalwarts such as Bill Russell from rising as high as they otherwise might.

Flaw No. 3: Arbitrary Cut-Offs

In the interest of only rewarding “great” seasons, we looked at the top 25 scores from each given campaign. But that decision was made arbitrarily and wasn’t adjusted if the gap between Nos. 25 and 26 was minimal. If a player finished mere percentages points outside of the top 25, he still received zero GOAT points for that year.

Flaw No. 4: No Anecdotes

Memorable shots don’t matter here. Nor do performances that came in crunch-time scenarios. The stories told by these players can’t necessarily be quantified, even though they largely color our perception of these contributors.

Not a Flaw: Higher Scores for Modern Players

Because the league has more players these days (deeper rosters and more franchises), the standard deviation naturally shrinks. That makes it easier for modern standouts to earn higher Z-Scores, and thus higher numbers of GOAT points during a single go-round. This isn’t a flaw, so much as a purposeful part of the design.

Deviating from the pack in a positive fashion is harder in the modern Association, as back-end players who sit on the pine for large portions of contests have improved drastically. The supply/demand curve is the only justification necessary; the NBA has a finite number of roster spots and far more qualified players looking to earn them, which forces the level of those end-of-bench contributors to undergo an upward progression.

The league as a whole improves every year.

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The GOAT Progression

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (2)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (3)

  • Season Leaders: George Mikan (4.101), Vern Mikkelsen (3.634), Paul Arizin (3.254), Ed Macauley (3.126), Bobby Wanzer (1.952), Dolph Schayes (1.793), Harry Gallatin (1.727), Al Cervi (1.408), Arnie Johnson (1.347), Paul Walther (0.945)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: George King (0.938), Red Rocha (0.891), Joe Graboski (0.866), Bob Lavoy (0.837), Noble Jorgensen (0.808), Dick McGuire (0.782), Don Otten (0.7), Bob Cousy (0.673), Bob Donham (0.663), Jim Pollard (0.606)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Everyone
    • Entered the Top 20: Everyone
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: George Mikan’s score wouldn’t be topped by another player other than himself until the next decade.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (4)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (5)

  • Season Leaders: George Mikan (4.102), Dolph Schayes (3.175), Neil Johnston (3.137), Ed Macauley (3.137), Vern Mikkelsen (2.998), Harry Gallatin (2.729), Bill Sharman (1.696), Carl Braun (1.542), Ernie Vandeweghe (1.341), Arnie Johnson (1.307)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: George King (2.008), Ernie Vandeweghe (1.912), Bill Sharman (1.696), Slater Martin (1.628), Carl Braun (1.542), Red Rocha (1.401), Larry Foust (1.141), Paul Seymour (1.082), Arnie Risen (1.033), Bob Davies (0.98)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Neil Johnston
    • Entered the Top 20: Neil Johnston, Ernie Vandeweghe, Bill Sharman, Slater Martin, Carl Braun, Larry Foust, Paul Seymour, Arnie Risen, Bob Davies
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Paul Walther
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Paul Walther, Joe Graboski, Bob Lavoy, Noble Jorgensen, Dick McGuire, Don Otten, Bob Cousy, Bob Donham, Jim Pollard
  • Fun Fact: Both Ernie Vandeweghe’s brother-in-law (Mel Hutchins) and son (Kiki Vandeweghe) played in the NBA, but his score of 1.341 in 1952-53 was the best mark ever earned by a member of the family.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (6)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (7)

  • Season Leaders: Neil Johnston (3.802), Dolph Schayes (3.735), George Mikan (3.335), Ed Macauley (2.845), Harry Gallatin (1.981), Larry Foust (1.634), Bill Sharman (1.553), Bobby Wanzer (1.404), Paul Seymour (1.367), Arnie Risen (1.2)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Arnie Johnson (2.654), George King (2.525), Carl Braun (2.477), Paul Seymour (2.449), Arnie Risen (2.233), Bob Davies (2.178), Al Cervi (2.069), Ernie Vandeweghe (1.912), Slater Martin (1.628), Odie Spears (1.445)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Bill Sharman, Larry Foust
    • Entered the Top 20: Odie Spears
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Arnie Johnson, Al Cervi
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Red Rocha
  • Fun Fact: At this point in NBA history, the gap between No. 1 George Mikan and No. 2 Ed Macauley was larger than the gap between Macauley and No. 5 Neil Johnston.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (8)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (9)

  • Season Leaders: Neil Johnston (3.69), Larry Foust (3.355), Dolph Schayes (3.1), Vern Mikkelsen (2.325), Bob Pettit (2.149), Chuck Share (1.957), Clyde Lovellette(1.52), George Yardley (1.191), Ray Felix (1.191), Harry Gallatin (1.18)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Chuck Share (3.293), Paul Seymour (2.663), Arnie Johnson (2.654), Clyde Lovellette (2.636), George King (2.525), Bob Davies (2.495), Carl Braun (2.477), Arnie Risen (2.233), Bob Pettit (2.149), Al Cervi (2.069)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Chuck Share, Clyde Lovellette, Bob Pettit
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Ernie Vandeweghe, Slater Martin, Odie Spears
  • Fun Fact: The MVP award wasn’t established until the next season, but Neil Johnston would’ve had a convincing argument. Not only did he lead the league in GOAT points, but he almost carried the Philadelphia Warriors to a .500 record (33-39) despite his teammates nearly combining for fewer win shares (17.2) than he earned individually (15.4).

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (10)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (11)

  • Season Leaders: Bob Pettit (3.477), Neil Johnston (3.419), Dolph Schayes (2.992), Larry Foust (2.795), Paul Arizin (2.446), Chuck Share (2.074), Bob Houbregs (1.473), Clyde Lovellette (1.05), Bill Sharman (1.038), Maurice Stokes (1.024)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bill Sharman (4.97), Bobby Wanzer (4.516), Clyde Lovellette (3.686), George Yardley (2.849), Paul Seymour (2.663), Arnie Johnson (2.654), Ray Felix (2.544), George King (2.525), Bob Davies (2.495), Carl Braun (2.477)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Bob Pettit, Chuck Share
    • Entered the Top 20: George Yardley, Ray Felix
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Bobby Wanzer, Bill Sharman
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Arnie Risen, Al Cervi
  • Fun Fact: Maurice Stokes finished 1955-56, his rookie season, with the campaign’s No. 10 score. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t build much upon that promising start after a head injury led topost-traumaticencephalopathy, which left him paralyzed and prematurely ended his career.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (12)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (13)

  • Season Leaders: Neil Johnston (3.207), Dolph Schayes (2.715), Bob Pettit (2.58), Bill Sharman (2.408), Paul Arizin (2.294), Bob Cousy (1.927), Bill Russell (1.616), George Yardley (1.56), Jack Twyman (1.527), Harry Gallatin (1.497)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Chuck Share (6.674), Clyde Lovellette (4.942), Bobby Wanzer (4.911), George Yardley (4.409), Bob Cousy (3.751), Ray Felix (3.319), Arnie Risen (2.717), Paul Seymour (2.663), Arnie Johnson (2.654), George King (2.525)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Bill Sharman
    • Entered the Top 20: Bob Cousy, Arnie Risen
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Chuck Share
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Bob Davies, Carl Braun
  • Fun Fact: Though Bob Cousy is a Hall of Fame point guard with a stellar resume, our numbers don’t favor him. The 1956-57 season gave him the best score of his career, but he still trailed five other players.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (14)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (15)

  • Season Leaders: Bill Russell (3.023), Dolph Schayes (2.924), Frank Ramsey (2.47), Neil Johnston (2.381), Bob Pettit (2.255), George Yardley (2.229), Cliff Hagan (2.077), Clyde Lovellette (1.737), Jack Twyman (1.684), Bill Sharman (1.652)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Clyde Lovellette (6.679), Chuck Share (6.674), George Yardley (6.638), Bobby Wanzer (4.911), Bill Russell (4.639), Bob Cousy (4.336), Ray Felix (4.094), Jack Twyman (3.84), Frank Ramsey (3.325), Carl Braun (3.194)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Bill Russell, Jack Twyman, Frank Ramsey, Carl Braun
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Arnie Risen, Paul Seymour, Arnie Johnson, George King
  • Fun Fact: At this point in NBA history, the gap between No. 2 Neil Johnston and No. 3 Ed Macauley was larger than the gap between Macauley and No. 13 George Yardley.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (16)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (17)

  • Season Leaders: Bill Russell (3.32), Bob Pettit (3.123), Kenny Sears (2.763), Paul Arizin (2.536), Cliff Hagan (2.117), Bob Cousy (1.837), Dolph Schayes (1.484), Elgin Baylor (1.247), Red Kerr (1.232), Clyde Lovellette (1.163)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bill Russell (7.959), Clyde Lovellette (7.842), George Yardley (7.695), Chuck Share (6.674), Bob Cousy (6.173), Kenny Sears (5.623), Bobby Wanzer (4.911), Frank Ramsey (4.214), Cliff Hagan (4.194), Ray Felix (4.094)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Kenny Sears, Cliff Hagan
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Jack Twyman, Carl Braun
  • Fun Fact: Bob Pettit and Paul Arizin broke into the top five, marking the first changes to that group since Harry Gallatin was present in 1953.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (18)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (19)

  • Season Leaders: Wilt Chamberlain (4.244), Bill Russell (3.447), Elgin Baylor (1.909), Cliff Hagan (1.85), Bob Pettit (1.784), Tom Gola (1.68), Clyde Lovellette (1.61), Bill Sharman (1.518), Paul Arizin (1.427), Kenny Sears (1.372)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Harry Gallatin (9.784), Clyde Lovellette (9.452), George Yardley (8.98), Bob Cousy (7.455), Kenny Sears (6.995), Chuck Share (6.674), Cliff Hagan (6.044), Bobby Wanzer (4.911), Frank Ramsey (4.81), Tom Heinsohn (4.517)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Bill Russell
    • Entered the Top 20: Tom Heinsohn
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Harry Gallatin
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Ray Felix
  • Fun Fact: Hello, Wilt Chamberlain. During the big man’s rookie season out of Kansas, he not only paced the NBA in GOAT points but set what was then the record for a single season, displacing 1952-53 George Mikan’s score of 4.102.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (20)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (21)

  • Season Leaders: Wilt Chamberlain (3.799), Bob Pettit (3.114), Bill Russell (2.827), Elgin Baylor (2.794), Cliff Hagan (1.798), Oscar Robertson (1.668), Sam Jones (1.551), Bailey Howell (1.475), Clyde Lovellette (1.448), Larry Costello (1.29)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Larry Foust (10.14), Harry Gallatin (9.784), George Yardley (8.98), Bob Cousy (8.568), Wilt Chamberlain (8.043), Cliff Hagan (7.842), Kenny Sears (6.995), Chuck Share (6.674), Elgin Baylor (5.95), Frank Ramsey (5.771)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Clyde Lovellette
    • Entered the Top 20: Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Larry Foust
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Bobby Wanzer, Tom Heinsohn
  • Fun Fact: Though he still trailed Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit and Bill Russell, this was the best single-season score of Elgin Baylor’s impressive career.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (22)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (23)

  • Season Leaders: Wilt Chamberlain (5.153), Bill Russell (3.717), Walt Bellamy (2.693), Oscar Robertson (2.32), Jerry West (1.904), Sam Jones (1.758), Tom Heinsohn (1.733), Richie Guerin (1.46), Bailey Howell (1.407), Frank Ramsey (1.244)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Larry Foust (10.14), Harry Gallatin (9.784), Bob Cousy (9.576), George Yardley (8.98), Cliff Hagan (8.361), Tom Heinsohn (7.21), Elgin Baylor (7.079), Frank Ramsey (7.015), Kenny Sears (6.995)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Wilt Chamberlain
    • Entered the Top 20: Tom Heinsohn
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Vern Mikkelsen
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Chuch Share
  • Fun Fact: Toppling his mark from 1959-60, Wilt Chamberlain established a new single-season high in GOAT points.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (24)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (25)

  • Season Leaders: Wilt Chamberlain (4.51), Bill Russell (3.361), Oscar Robertson (2.9), Bob Pettit (2.788), Elgin Baylor (2.523), Bailey Howell (2.517), Sam Jones (1.949), Walt Bellamy (1.742), Tom Heinsohn (1.261), Jerry West (1.196)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Harry Gallatin (9.784), Elgin Baylor (9.602), Cliff Hagan (9.39), George Yardley (8.98), Tom Heinsohn (8.471), Sam Jones (7.947), Kenny Sears (7.384)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Sam Jones
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Frank Ramsey
  • Fun Fact: Take note of Bailey Howell, who doesn’t get talked about nearly as much as the other Hall of Famers from this era but managed to post a score comparable to those of his leading contemporaries.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (26)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (27)

  • Season Leaders: Wilt Chamberlain (5.427), Bill Russell (4.36), Oscar Robertson (3.638), Bob Pettit (2.254), Jerry West (1.925), Walt Bellamy (1.839), Jerry Lucas (1.576), Sam Jones (1.437), Terry Dischinger (1.355), Tom Sanders (1.158)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Oscar Robertson (10.526), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Harry Gallatin (9.784), Cliff Hagan (9.619), Elgin Baylor (9.602), Tom Heinsohn (9.396), Sam Jones (9.384), George Yardley (8.98)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Oscar Robertson
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Kenny Sears
  • Fun Fact: Dolph Schaye’s reign atop the historical leaderboard came to an end in 1963-64. He held down the No. 1 spot for nine seasons after displacing George Mikan to become the second standard-bearer in the league annals.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (28)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (29)

  • Season Leaders: Bill Russell (5.08), Jerry West (3.271), Oscar Robertson (3.195), Wilt Chamberlain (3.119), Sam Jones (2.788), Zelmo Beaty (1.668), Terry Dischinger (1.559), Walt Bellamy (1.337), Bob Pettit (1.277), Tom Sanders (1.195)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: George Mikan (11.538), Clyde Lovellette (11.435), Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Cliff Hagan (9.98), Tom Heinsohn (9.785), Harry Gallatin (9.784), Elgin Baylor (9.602), George Yardley (8.98)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Oscar Robertson, Sam Jones
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: George Mikan, Clyde Lovellette
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: This was the first time in six seasons someone other than Wilt Chamberlain paced the league. Moreover, Bill Russell became only the second player in NBA history to earn five GOAT points in a single campaign.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (30)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (31)

  • Season Leaders: Wilt Chamberlain (5.648), Jerry West (3.643), Oscar Robertson (3.351), Bill Russell (2.74), Sam Jones (2.213), Rick Barry (1.473), Bailey Howell (1.308), Zelmo Beaty (1.242), Larry Siegfried (0.999), Hal Greer (0.879)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Jerry West (11.939), George Mikan (11.538), Clyde Lovellette (11.435), Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Cliff Hagan (9.98), Tom Heinsohn (9.785), Harry Gallatin (9.784), Bailey Howell (9.617)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Jerry West, Bailey Howell
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Elgin Baylor, George Yardley
  • Fun Fact: After a brief down season while he transitioned from the San Francisco Warriors to the Philadelphia 76ers, Wilt Chamberlain jumped back up to the top of the heap by setting a new single-season high in GOAT points.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (32)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (33)

  • Season Leaders:Wilt Chamberlain (6.013), Oscar Robertson (3.659), Rick Barry (3.26), Bill Russell (2.864), Bailey Howell (2.731), Jerry West (2.303), Bob Boozer (1.741), Chet Walker (1.693), John Havlicek (1.27), Sam Jones (1.098)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bill Sharman (12.498), Bailey Howell (12.348), George Mikan (11.538), Clyde Lovellette (11.435), Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Cliff Hagan (9.98), Tom Heinsohn (9.785), Harry Gallatin (9.784)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Jerry West
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Bill Sharman
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Wilt Chamberlain one-upped his own single-season record for GOAT points again, this time for the second consecutive campaign. That allowed him to take over the No. 1 career spot for the first time, ending Bill Russell’s reign after just three seasons.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (34)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (35)

  • Season Leaders: Wilt Chamberlain (6.621), Walt Bellamy (2.383), Jerry West (2.342), Oscar Robertson (2.304), Zelmo Beaty (2.188), Bailey Howell (2.045), Hal Greer (1.98), Bob Boozer (1.689), Willis Reed (1.68), Bill Russell (1.588)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Ed Macauley (12.844), Bill Sharman (12.498), George Mikan (11.538), Clyde Lovellette (11.435), Walt Bellamy (11.009), Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Cliff Hagan (9.98)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Bailey Howell
    • Entered the Top 20: Walt Bellamy, Elgin Baylor
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Ed Macauley
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Tom Heinsohn, Harry Gallatin
  • Fun Fact: For the third consecutive season, Wilt Chamberlain established a new single-season record for GOAT points. Spoiler alert, but this would be the best mark of his impressive career.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (36)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (37)

  • Season Leaders: Willis Reed (3.64), Wilt Chamberlain (3.062), Bailey Howell (3), Walt Frazier (2.897), Bill Russell (2.759), Wes Unseld (2.688), Bob Boozer (2.342), Jerry West (2.312), Don Nelson (1.947), Oscar Robertson (1.776)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Ed Macauley (12.844), Bill Sharman (12.498), Walt Bellamy (12.357), George Mikan (11.538), Clyde Lovellette (11.435), Elgin Baylor (11.034), Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Cliff Hagan (9.98)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: If you’re convinced the legendary centers of yesteryears never faced off against players capable of giving them battles, just consider how many bigs populate the top 10 this season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (38)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (39)

  • Season Leaders: Walt Frazier (4.342), Willis Reed (4.34), Jerry West (3.858), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2.881), Wes Unseld (2.385), Oscar Robertson (2.35), Billy Cunningham (1.876), Happy Hairston (1.719), Chet Walker (1.706), Don Nelson (1.691)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Ed Macauley (12.844), Elgin Baylor (12.592), Bill Sharman (12.498), Walt Bellamy (12.357), George Mikan (11.538), Clyde Lovellette (11.435), Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35), Larry Foust (10.14), Willis Reed (10.043)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Willis Reed
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Cliff Hagan
  • Fun Fact: Walt Frazier was the first player in NBA history to lead a season in GOAT points without playing power forward or center.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (40)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (41)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6.726), Walt Frazier (3.865), Jerry West (2.73), Willis Reed (2.416), Oscar Robertson (2.392), John Havlicek (2.305), Wilt Chamberlain (2.131), Tom Boerwinkle (2.111), Wes Unseld (2.077), Johnny Green (2.063)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Ed Macauley (12.844), Elgin Baylor (12.592), Bill Sharman (12.498), Willis Reed (12.459), Walt Bellamy (12.357), George Mikan (11.538), Clyde Lovellette (11.435), Walt Frazier (11.104), Vern Mikkelsen (10.963), Bob Cousy (10.35)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Walt Frazier
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Larry Foust
  • Fun Fact: Wilt Chamberlain’s reign on the single-season leaderboard could only last so long. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar jumped to the top of the heap in his second year removed from his illustrious UCLA career.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (42)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (43)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6.594), Wilt Chamberlain (3.606), Chet Walker (3.288), Jerry West (2.751), Walt Frazier (2.725), Clifford Ray (2.18), Gail Goodrich (2.11), Jerry Lucas (1.946), John Havlicek (1.901), Paul Silas (1.795)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Paul Arizin (14.794), Walt Frazier (13.829), Ed Macauley (12.844), Chet Walker (12.814), Elgin Baylor (12.592), Bill Sharman (12.498), Willis Reed (12.459), Walt Bellamy (12.357), George Mikan (11.538)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    • Entered the Top 20: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chet Walker
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Paul Arizin
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Vern Mikkelsen, Bob Cousy
  • Fun Fact: Prior to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971-72, the last person to jump from outside the top 20 to inside the top 10 was Neil Johnston in 1952-53.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (44)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (45)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6.039), Wilt Chamberlain (4.519), Paul Silas (2.964), Dave Cowens (2.683), Walt Frazier (2.502), John Havlicek (2.37), Jerry West (2.154), Chet Walker (2.104), Wes Unseld (1.968), Clifford Ray (1.858)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Walt Frazier (16.331), Chet Walker (14.918), Paul Arizin (14.794), Willis Reed (13.397), Ed Macauley (12.844), Elgin Baylor (12.592), Bill Sharman (12.498), Walt Bellamy (12.357), John Havlicek (12.236), George Mikan (11.538)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: John Havlicek
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Clyde Lovellette
  • Fun Fact: Throughout the pre-merger portion of league history, players seldom earned a top-25 single-season GOAT score for one go-round but never again made the cut-off. During the 1972-73 campaign, both Don Chaney (1.586) and Mike Riordan (1.31) did so.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (46)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (47)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6.72), Bob Lanier (4.916), Walt Frazier (3.646), Bob McAdoo (2.967), Rick Barry (2.964), Clifford Ray (2.46), John Havlicek (2.386), Sam Lacey (2.303), Rudy Tomjanovic (2.164), Dave Cowens (1.989)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Sam Jones (16.712), Chet Walker (16.277), Paul Arizin (14.794), John Havlicek (14.622), Willis Reed (13.397), Ed Macauley (12.844), Elgin Baylor (12.592), Bill Sharman (12.498), Walt Bellamy (12.357), George Mikan (11.538)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Walt Frazier
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Sam Jones
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Bob McAdoo averaged only 18.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists as a rookie for the Buffalo Braves in 1972-73. One year later, he earned the No. 4 score in GOAT points while posting 30.6 points, 15.1 rebounds and 2.3 dimes per contest and winning the scoring title.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (48)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (49)

  • Season Leaders: Rick Barry (4.343), Bob Lanier (4.288), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4.127), Wes Unseld (3.82), Walt Frazier (3.725), Bob McAdoo (3.459), Dave Cowens (2.681), Elvin Hayes (2.585), Sam Lacey (2.523), Sidney Wicks (2.097)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Sam Jones (16.712), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Paul Arizin (14.794), Rick Barry (13.614), Willis Reed (13.397), Wes Unseld (12.938), Ed Macauley (12.844), Elgin Baylor (12.592), Bill Sharman (12.498)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Rick Barry, Wes Unseld
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Walt Bellamy, George Mikan
  • Fun Fact: George Mikan finally dropped out of the top 20, ending a reign that began when he jumped to the No. 1 spot in our inaugural season back in 1951-52. Meanwhile, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar posted his worst score of the 1970s and still finished third on the season’s leaderboard.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (50)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (51)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6.248), Alvan Adams (3.804), Dave Cowens (3.689), Bob Lanier (3.129), Wes Unseld (3.095), Bob McAdoo (3.037), George McGinnis (2.925), John Drew (2.527), Rick Barry (2.407), Randy Smith (2.23)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Sam Jones (16.712), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Wes Unseld (16.033), Rick Barry (16.021), Paul Arizin (14.794), Bob Lanier (13.724), Willis Reed (13.397), Ed Macauley (12.844), Dave Cowens (12.783)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Bob Lanier, Dave Cowens
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Elgin Baylor, Bill Sharman
  • Fun Fact: A No. 2 finish from Alvan Adams wasn’t too shabby, considering the Phoenix Suns center was only a rookie.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (52)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (53)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7.28), Bill Walton (4.03), Bobby Jones (3.911), Julius Erving (3.822), Bob Lanier (2.9), Artis Gilmore (2.568), Alvan Adams (2.451), Bob Gross (2.432), George McGinnis (2.278), Elvin Hayes (2.165)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Rick Barry (18.043), Bailey Howell (17.393), Sam Jones (16.712), Bob Lanier (16.624), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Paul Arizin (14.794), Willis Reed (13.397), Ed Macauley (12.844), Dave Cowens (12.783)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Wes Unseld
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Bailey Howell
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the first player in NBA history to earn seven GOAT points in a single season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (54)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (55)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4.693), Wes Unseld (3.341), Bobby Jones (3.183), Dave Cowens (3.147), Bill Walton (3.027), Artis Gilmore (3.007), Julius Erving (2.994), George Gervin (2.943), Marques Johnson (2.703), Adrian Dantley (2.685)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Neil Johnston (19.636), Bob Lanier (19.289), Bailey Howell (17.393), Sam Jones (16.712), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Dave Cowens (15.93), Paul Arizin (14.794), Bob McAdoo (13.686), Willis Reed (13.397)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Rick Barry
    • Entered the Top 20: Bob McAdoo
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Neil Johnston
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Ed Macauley
  • Fun Fact: The benefits of a deeper league after the ABA-NBA merger? The No. 25 finisher from 1977-78 (Sam Lacey at 1.594) earned more GOAT points than all but seven players in 1951-52.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (56)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (57)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5.668), Wes Unseld (3.489), Artis Gilmore (3.074), Marques Johnson (3.054), Walter Davis (2.833), Moses Malone (2.783), Cedric Maxwell (2.768), Alvan Adams (2.626), Rich Kelley (2.571), Julius Erving (2.56)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Neil Johnston (19.636), Bob Lanier (19.289), Bailey Howell (17.393), Sam Jones (16.712), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Dave Cowens (15.93), Paul Arizin (14.794), Bob McAdoo (13.686), Willis Reed (13.397)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: At the end of the 1970s, the only members of the original top 20 from 1951-52 left were Paul Arizin and Dolph Schayes.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (58)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (59)

  • Season Leaders: Kareem Abul-Jabbar (5.161), Julius Erving (4.823), Magic Johnson (4.204), Larry Bird (3.454), Cedric Maxwell (3.35), Gus Williams (3.011), Marques Johnson (2.751), Wes Unseld (2.594), Dan Roundfield (2.384), Micheal Ray Richardson (2.318)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bailey Howell (17.393), Sam Jones (16.712), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Dave Cowens (15.93), Paul Arizin (14.794), Julius Erving (14.199), Bob McAdoo (13.686)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Bob Lanier
    • Entered the Top 20: Julius Erving
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Rick Barry
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Willis Reed
  • Fun Fact: And so ends Wilt Chamberlain’s lengthy run at No. 1, which dated back to him surpassing Bill Russell in 1966-67. We also can’t overlook Larry Bird and Magic Johnson experiencing so much success as rookie superstars.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (60)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (61)

  • Season Leaders: Julius Erving (5.315), Larry Bird (4.522), Marques Johnson (3.668), Cedric Maxwell (3.382), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (3.328), Adrian Dantley (3.065), Robert Reid (3.057), Artis Gilmore (2.957), Moses Malone (2.906), Micheal Ray Richardson (2.861)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Julius Erving (19.514), Bailey Howell (17.393), Sam Jones (16.712), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Dave Cowens (15.93), Paul Arizin (14.794), Sam Lacey (14.139)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Sam Lacey
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Bob McAdoo
  • Fun Fact: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had paced the league in GOAT points during each of the past five seasons, but Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Marques Johnson and Cedric Maxwell ended that streak. In doing so, Erving joined Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as one of only four men to top five GOAT points in a single go-round.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (62)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (63)

  • Season Leaders: Magic Johnson (6.227), Julius Erving (5.498), Larry Bird (4.988), Sidney Moncrief (3.313), Adrian Dantley (3.08), Moses Malone (2.993), Alex English (2.771), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2.749), Gus Williams (2.679), Jack Sikma (2.646)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bob Lanier (22.358), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bailey Howell (17.393), Sam Jones (16.712), John Havlicek (16.28), Chet Walker (16.277), Dave Cowens (15.93), Bobby Jones (15.496), Alvan Adams (15.296)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Julius Erving
    • Entered the Top 20: Bobby Jones, Alvan Adams
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Bob Lanier
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Paul Arizin, Sam Lacey
  • Fun Fact: Julius Erving joining the five-GOAT-points club? “That’s cute,” says Magic Johnson, who follows Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar into the exclusive fraternity comprised only of those who managed to rack up six GOAT points in a single season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (64)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (65)

  • Season Leaders: Magic Johnson (5.4), Larry Bird (5.209), Julius Erving (3.569), Sidney Moncrief (3.425), Alex English (3.289), Marques Johnson (3.105), Larry Nance (2.791), Moses Malone (2.695), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2.664), Jeff Ruland (2.505)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bob Lanier (22.358), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Magic Johnson (18.526), Larry Bird (18.173), Bobby Jones (17.548), Bailey Howell (17.393), Alvan Adams (16.98), Sam Jones (16.712), Artis Gilmore (16.517)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Artis Gilmore
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: John Havlicek, Chet Walker, Dave Cowens
  • Fun Fact: Isiah Thomas is one of those players who gets undersold by our methodology, but he did make the first top-25 appearance of his career in 1982-83.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (66)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (67)

  • Season Leaders: Larry Bird (6.842), Magic Johnson (4.488), Sidney Moncrief (3.616), Julius Erving (3.358), Adrian Dantley (3.284), Larry Nance (3.263), Isiah Thomas (2.942), Jeff Ruland (2.936), Bernard King (2.639), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2.612)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Magic Johnson (23.014), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bobby Jones (19.224), Marques Johnson (17.489), Bailey Howell (17.393), Alvan Adam (16.98), Sam Jones (16.712)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Larry Bird
    • Entered the Top 20: Marques Johnson
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Dolph Schayes
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Artis Gilmore
  • Fun Fact: Welcome to the club, Larry Bird. After 1983-84, he, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players to accumulate six GOAT points in a single season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (68)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (69)

  • Season Leaders: Larry Bird (6.321), Michael Jordan (5.236), Magic Johnson (3.887), Isiah Thomas (3.813), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (3.45), Micheal Ray Richardson (3.204), Clyde Drexler (2.98), Sidney Moncrief (2.788), Paul Pressey (2.706), Larry Nance (2.304)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bos Lanier (23.727), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bobby Jones (19.224), Alvan Adams (18.887), Marques Johnson (17.489), Bailey Howell (17.393), Sam Jones (16.712)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Magic Johnson
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Walt Frazier
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Well that didn’t take long. Michael Jordan was only a rookie in 1984-85, but he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson and Bill Russell as one of only seven men in NBA history (to this point) who earned five GOAT points in a single season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (70)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (71)

  • Season Leaders: Larry Bird (7.269), Charles Barkley (5.562), Magic Johnson (4.079), Alvin Robertson (3.848), Hakeem Olajuwon (3.772), Paul Pressey (3.142), Kevin McHale (2.928), Adrian Dantley (2.786), Clyde Drexler (2.749), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2.725)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings:Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bobby Jones (19.224), Alvan Adams (18.887), Adrian Dantley (18.491), Sidney Moncrief (17.718), Marques Johnson (17.489)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Adrian Dantley, Sidney Moncrief
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Bailey Howell, Sam Jones
  • Fun Fact: Not only was Larry Bird’s score the best mark of his Hall of Fame career, but it also left him trailing only 1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar up to his point in NBA history.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (72)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (73)

  • Season Leaders: Larry Bird (6.02), Magic Johnson (5.546), Michael Jordan (5.143), Charles Barkley (4.748), Hakeem Olajuwon (3.894), Clyde Drexler (3.521), Fat Lever (3.323), Kevin McHale (3.204), Dominique Wilkins (2.691), Larry Nance (2.572)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bobby Jones (19.224), Alvan Adams (18.887), Adrian Dantley (18.491), Sidney Moncrief (17.718), Marques Johnson (17.489)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Fat Lever continues to function as one of the most underrated players of all time. During this age filled with Hall of Fame guards and wings, he still managed to throw up the season’s No. 7 score during his breakout year with the Denver Nuggets.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (74)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (75)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (7.606), Larry Bird (5.316), Charles Barkley (4.866), Clyde Drexler (4.254), Fat Lever (3.788), Magic Johnson (3.326), Hakeem Olajuwon (2.872), Doc Rivers (2.588), John Stockton (2.573), Isiah Thomas (2.462)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bobby Jones (19.224), Alvan Adams (18.887), Adrian Dantley (18.491), Michael Jordan (18.075), Sidney Moncrief (17.718)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Michael Jordan
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Marques Johnson
  • Fun Fact: Michael Jordan takes over the best single-season score from 1976-77 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (76)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (77)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (8.007), Charles Barkley (5.166), Magic Johnson (5.105), Clyde Drexler (4.022), Karl Malone (3.135), Hakeem Olajuwon (2.941), Fat Lever (2.824), John Stockton (2.643), Ron Harper (2.601), Patrick Ewing (2.483)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Charles Barkley (22.405), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Bobby Jones (19.224), Alvan Adams (18.887), Adrian Dantley (18.491)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Michael Jordan
    • Entered the Top 20: Charles Barkley
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Bob Pettit
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Sidney Moncrief
  • Fun Fact: Michael Jordan one-ups himself, setting a new one-year high while becoming the first player in NBA history to earn at least eight GOAT points in a single season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (78)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (79)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (7.023), Charles Barkley (5.397), Magic Johnson (5.068), Clyde Drexler (4.558), David Robinson (3.705), Karl Malone (3.457), Hakeem Olajuwon (3.272), Larry Bird (3.054), Fat Lever (2.901), Patrick Ewing (2.628)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Charles Barkley (27.802), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Clyde Drexler (22.084), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Isiah Thomas (19.536), Bobby Jones (19.224)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Clyde Drexler, Isiah Thomas
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Alvan Adams, Adrian Dantley
  • Fun Fact: With his third consecutive season cresting seven GOAT points, Michael Jordan owns three of the five highest single-season scores to this point in NBA history.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (80)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (81)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (6.855), Magic Johnson (5.045), Charles Barkley (4.715), David Robinson (4.656), Clyde Drexler (4.619), Scottie Pippen (3.99), Karl Malone (3.431), Terry Porter (3.255), Chris Mullin (2.886), Alvin Robertson (2.788)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Wes Unseld (28.971), Clyde Drexler (26.703), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Hakeem Olajuwon (21.215), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636), Isiah Thomas (19.536)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Charles Barkley
    • Entered the Top 20: Hakeem Olajuwon
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Wes Unseld
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Bobby Jones
  • Fun Fact: Michael Jordan couldn’t hit seven GOAT points for the fourth consecutive season, but he still did enough to own four of the top six single-season scores to this point in NBA history.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (82)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (83)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (6.018), Clyde Drexler (5.294), Scottie Pippen (4.623), Horace Grant (4.511), David Robinson (4.441), Charles Barkley (3.628), Karl Malone (3.537), Larry Nance (3.204), Jeff Hornacek (3.028), John Stockton (2.936)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Jerry West (30.389) Wes Unseld (28.971), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Hakeem Olajuwon (23.483), Larry Nance (21.716), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Clyde Drexler
    • Entered the Top 20: Larry Nance
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Jerry West
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Isiah Thomas
  • Fun Fact: Bill Russell finally dropped out of the top five after originally entering that elite quintet during the 1960-61 season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (84)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (85)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (6.563), Hakeem Olajuwon (5.794), Charles Barkley (5.734), David Robinson (4.412), Karl Malone (4.362), Dan Majerle (3.043), Derrick Coleman (2.789), Scottie Pippen (2.75), Brad Daugherty (2.73), Larry Nance (2.518)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Jerry West (30.389), Hakeem Olajuwon (29.277), Wes Unseld (28.971), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Larry Nance (24.234), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), Rick Barry (20.127), Neil Johnston (19.636)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: This was Michael Jordan’s sixth consecutive season leading the league in GOAT points—a feat no one else had managed to this point in NBA history.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (86)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (87)

  • Season Leaders: David Robinson (6.489), Hakeem Olajuwon (5.851), Scottie Pippen (4.575), Karl Malone (4.556), Shaquille O’Neal (4.066), Shawn Kemp (3.352), Mookie Blaylock (3.199), Patrick Ewing (3.186), Charles Barkley (3.152), Horace Grant (2.838)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Oscar Roberts (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Larry Nance (24.234), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727), David Robinson (23.703), Karl Malone (22.478)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Hakeem Olajuwon
    • Entered the Top 20: David Robinson, Karl Malone
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Oscar Robertson
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Rick Barry, Neil Johnston
  • Fun Fact: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, David Robinson. Those are now the only players to earn six GOAT points in a single season.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (88)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (89)

  • Season Leaders: David Robinson (5.927), Scottie Pippen (4.984), Clyde Drexler (4.437), Hakeem Olajuwon (3.942), Shaquille O’Neal (3.922), Charles Barkley (3.632), Karl Malone (3.601), Mookie Blaylock (3.268), John Stockton (3.163), Vlade Divac (3.141)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), David Robinson (29.63), Wes Unseld (28.971), Karl Malone (26.079), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Larry Nance (24.234), Dolph Schayes (23.872), Bob Lanier (23.727)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Scottie Pippen was a bit more than a pure Robin.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (90)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (91)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (6.052), David Robinson (5.737), Karl Malone (5.109), Scottie Pippen (4.837), Anfernee Hardaway (4.136), Gary Payton (3.808), Charles Barkley (3.176), Grant Hill (3.056), Mookie Blaylock (3.042), Jeff Hornacek (2.989)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Karl Malone (31.188), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), Scottie Pippen (27.603), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Larry Nance (24.234), Dolph Schayes (23.872)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: David Robinson
    • Entered the Top 20: Scottie Pippen
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Julius Erving
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Bob Lanier
  • Fun Fact: Pour one out for Dolph Schayes, who graces the top 20 for the final time. After debuting at No. 6 in 1951-52, he made the cut after each and every season until deep into the ’90s.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (92)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (93)

  • Season Leaders: Michael Jordan (5.047), Karl Malone (4.961), Grant Hill (4.479), Scottie Pippen (4.436), Mookie Blaylock (4.408), Gary Payton (3.749), Chris Webber (3.624), Tim Hardaway (3.354), Charles Barkley (3.213), Kenny Anderson (3.015)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (35.367), Julius Erving (35.065), Scottie Pippen (32.039), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), Bob Pettit (25.941), John Stockton (25.935), Walt Frazier (25.559), Larry Nance (24.234)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Karl Malone
    • Entered the Top 20: John Stockton
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: David Robinson
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Dolph Schayes
  • Fun Fact: Had ankle injuries not messed with Grant Hill’s career, there’s no telling how high his stock might’ve risen. Only a third-year player in 1996-97, he was already competing for one of the very top scores in GOAT points.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (94)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (95)

  • Season Leaders: Karl Malone (5.36), David Robinson (4.214), Michael Jordan (3.936), Tim Duncan (3.771), Gary Payton (3.464), Kevin Garnett (3.261), Eddie Jones (3.148), Grant Hill (3.12), Scottie Pippen (2.992), Tim Hardaway (2.958)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (39.581), Julius Erving (35.065), Scottie Pippen (35.031), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), Bob Pettit (25.941), John Stockton (25.935), Walt Frazier (25.559), Larry Nance (24.234)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: This was the first time Michael Jordan had been healthy for the majority of a season, not played baseball and failed to earn the league’s top score since 1986-87.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (96)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (97)

  • Season Leaders: David Robinson (5.063), Tim Duncan (4.648), Karl Malone (4.545), Grant Hill (4.071), Shaquille O’Neal (4.01), Jason Kidd (3.714), Kevin Garnett (3.587), Gary Payton (3.426), Allen Iverson (3.402), Charles Barkley (2.997)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (37.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), John Stockton (27.803), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Larry Nance (24.234)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: David Robinson
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Bill Russell
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Our methodology doesn’t exactly favor Allen Iverson, given the diminutive scorer’s inefficient habits. But he still posted the second-best mark of his career in 1998-99 while winning the NBA’s scoring title.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (98)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (99)

  • Season Leaders: Shaquille O’Neal (7.54), Gary Payton (4.907), Karl Malone (4.276), Kevin Garnett (4.066), Chris Webber (3.934), Tim Duncan (3.398), Kobe Bryant (3.207), Eddie Jones (3.097), Bo Outlaw (3.089), Scottie Pippen (3)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), Shaquille O’Neal (28.929), John Stockton (27.803), Reggie Miller (26.105), Bob Pettit (25.941)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Walt Frazier, Larry Nance
  • Fun Fact: Not only did 1999-00 Shaquille O’Neal earn more single-season GOAT points than anyone other than Michael Jordan at this stage of NBA history, but he also set the high-water mark for centers that endures to the present day.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (100)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (101)

  • Season Leaders: Shaquille O’Neal (5.05), Vince Carter (4.694), Ray Allen (4.383), Steve Francis (3.997), Tim Duncan (3.982), Kevin Garnett (3.798), Allen Iverson (3.681), Tracy McGrady (3.547), Kobe Bryant (3.276), Dirk Nowitzki (3.262)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Shaquille O’Neal (33.979), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), John Stockton (27.803), Reggie Miller (26.105), Bob Pettit (25.941)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Back-to-back season titles from Shaquille O’Neal allowed him to join a club populated by only Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Neil Johnston and George Mikan.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (102)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (103)

  • Season Leaders: Tim Duncan (5.856), Shaquille O’Neal (4.424), Kevin Garnett (4.394), Jason Kidd (4.23), Paul Pierce (3.973), Tracy McGrady (3.783), Elton Brand (3.725), Ben Wallace (3.689), Chris Webber (3.512), Brent Barry (3.469)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Shaquille O’Neal (38.403), Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Wes Unseld (28.971), Reggie Miller (28.036), John Stockton (27.803), Gary Payton (27.723)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Gary Payton
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Bob Pettit
  • Fun Fact: Bob Pettit’s time in the top 20 lasted for a whopping 47 years, dating all the way back to 1954-55.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (104)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (105)

  • Season Leaders: Tim Duncan (6.459), Tracy McGrady (5.835), Kevin Garnett (5.585), Jason Kidd (4.777), Kobe Bryant (4.239), Shaquille O’Neal (3.644), Dirk Nowitzki (3.577), Shawn Marion (3.57), Ben Wallace (3.452), Steve Francis (2.87)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Shaquille O’Neal (42.047), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Gary Payton (29.499), Wes Unseld (28.971), Tim Duncan (28.114), Reggie Miller (28.036)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Tim Duncan
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: John Stockton
  • Fun Fact: Say hello to Tim Duncan, the new single-season leader in GOAT points among all power forwards.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (106)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (107)

  • Season Leaders: Kevin Garnett (7.431), Andrei Kirilenko (4.69), Ben Wallace (4.341), Tim Duncan (4.159), Shaquille O’Neal (3,909), Kobe Bryant (3.77), Baron Davis (3.384), Tracy McGrady (3.166), Elton Brand (2.782), Manu Ginobili (2.719)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Tim Duncan (32.273), Kevin Garnett (32.122), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Gary Payton (29.499), Wes Unseld (28.971)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Shaquille O’Neal
    • Entered the Top 20: Kevin Garnett
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Hakeem Olajuwon
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Reggie Miller
  • Fun Fact: Well, that was nice while it lasted. Kevin Garnett overtook Tim Duncan for the top single-season score among power forwards, also recording the No. 4 mark to this point in NBA history.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (108)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (109)

  • Season Leaders: Kevin Garnett (5.941), LeBron James (5.621), Tracy McGrady (4.689), Manu Ginobili (4.29), Shawn Marion (3.733), Dirk Nowitzki (3.728), Tim Duncan (3.435), Dwyane Wade (3.426), Chauncey Billups (3.264), Paul Pierce (3.154)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Kevin Garnett (38.063), Tim Duncan (35.708), Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Gary Payton (29.499), Wes Unseld (28.971)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: LeBron James finished second in GOAT points during the 2004-05 season, and it’s still the worst score of his career—excluding his rookie campaign, during which he fell outside the top 25.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (110)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (111)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (6.52), Dwyane Wade (5.641), Dirk Nowitzki (4.571), Elton Brand (4.436), Kevin Garnett (4.237), Gilbert Arenas (3.893), Shawn Marion (3.863), Kobe Bryant (3.656), Ben Wallace (3.402), Jason Kidd (3.322)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Kevin Garnett (42.3), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Tim Duncan (38.624), Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Gary Payton (29.499), Wes Unseld (28.971)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Rarely do you see this type of stability. Of the men who finished within the season’s top 10, every single one registered top-25 scores at least three times in their careers. The nine not named Gilbert Arenas all made at least six such appearances.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (112)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (113)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (6.134), Tim Duncan (4.861), Shawn Marion (4.048), Jason Kidd (3.83), Dirk Nowitzki (3.812), Manu Ginobili (3.656), Ben Wallace (3.57), Tracy McGrady (3.384), Kobe Bryant (3.157), Dwyane Wade (3.13)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Kevin Garnett (45.281), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Tim Duncan (43.485), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Jason Kidd (32.626), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Jerry West (30.389), Gary Payton (29.499)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Jason Kidd
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Wes Unseld
  • Fun Fact: Winning MVP doesn’t guarantee you a good score here. Steve Nash didn’t even make the top 25 in GOAT points during his first such season in 2004-05, and his combined efforts in 2005-06 (2.46 while completing his back-to-back MVPs) and 2006-07 (2.348) barely outpaced what Shawn Marion did in 2006-07 alone.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (114)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (115)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (7.506), Chris Paul (6.213), Kobe Bryant (4.531), Kevin Garnett (4.358), Manu Ginobili (3.712), Paul Pierce (3.252), Chauncey Billups (3.137), Dirk Nowitzki (2.891), Tim Duncan (2.78), Marcus Camby (2.737)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Clyde Drexler (47.543), Tim Duncan (46.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Jason Kidd (32.626), Oscar Robertson (31.984), Kobe Bryant (31.634), Jerry West (30.389)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Kevin Garnett
    • Entered the Top 20: Kobe Bryant
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Clyde Drexler
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Gary Payton
  • Fun Fact: LeBron James topped 1985-86 Larry Bird for the top single-season score by a small forward.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (116)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (117)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (9.221), Dwyane Wade (6.429), Chris Paul (6.08), Pau Gasol (4.079), Kobe Bryant (3.979), Dwight Howard (3.562), Brandon Roy (3.139), Rashard Lewis (3.135), Rajon Rondo (2.925), Jason Kidd (2.904)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Tim Duncan (48.523), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Kobe Bryant (35.613), Jason Kidd (35.53), Julius Erving (35.065), LeBron James (35.002), Oscar Robertson (31.984)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: LeBron James
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Jerry West
  • Fun Fact: LeBron James obliterated the previous single-season high (Michael Jordan’s 8.007 in 1988-89) while becoming the first player in NBA history to earn more than nine GOAT points in one go-round.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (118)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (119)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (8.644), Dwyane Wade (5.837), Pau Gasol (3.85), Dwight Howard (3.606), Josh Smith (3.468), Kevin Durant (3.41), Manu Ginobili (3.191), Kobe Bryant (3.135), Rajon Rondo (3.081), Tim Duncan (2.928)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), LeBron James (43.646), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Kobe Bryant (38.748), Jason Kidd (38.307), Julius Erving (35.065), Oscar Robertson (31.984)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: Tim Duncan
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: Shaquille O’Neal
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: After the 2009-10 campaign, LeBron James owned the top two single-season scores in NBA history.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (120)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (121)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (7.218), Dwyane Wade (4.951), Derrick Rose (4.638), Chris Paul (4.44), Paul Gasol (3.625), Russell Westbrook (3.43), Dwight Howard (3.143), Manu Ginobili (3.046), Paul Pierce (3.012), Ray Allen (2.76)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (50.488), Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Kobe Bryant (41.105), Jason Kidd (40.999), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Dirk Nowitzki (32.051)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: LeBron James
    • Entered the Top 20: Dirk Nowitzki
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: David Robinson
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Oscar Robertson
  • Fun Fact: This was the only top-25 mark of Derrick Rose’s injury-marred career. But oh, how special it was.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (122)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (123)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (9.288), Kevin Durant (5.046), Chris Paul (4.853), Dwyane Wade (3.556), Joakim Noah (3.098), James Harden (3.048), Paul Pierce (2.879), Andre Iguodala (2.83), Blake Griffin (2.796), Marc Gasol (2.759)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (50.488), Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Kobe Bryant (41.105), Jason Kidd (40.999), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Julius Erving (35.065), Dwyane Wade (32.97)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Dwyane Wade
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Dirk Nowitzki
  • Fun Fact: Down goes 2008-09 LeBron James. In his place? We’ve got 2011-12 LeBron James, which gives this small forward the three best single-season scores to this point in NBA history.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (124)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (125)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (8.79), Kevin Durant (5.846), Marc Gasol (4.071), Chris Paul (4.001), Stephen Curry (3.983), James Harden (3.757), Paul George (3.517), Russell Westbrook (3.12), Kobe Bryant (3.011), Mike Conley (2.934)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (50.488), Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Kobe Bryant (44.116), Jason Kidd (42.831), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Dwyane Wade (35.346), Julius Erving (35.065)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Yes, that makes the top four single-season scores in NBA history for LeBron James.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (126)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (127)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (6.699), Kevin Durant (6.488), Kevin Love (5.031), Stephen Curry (4.69), Chris Paul (4.213), Joakim Noah (3.759), Paul George (3.615), Kyle Lowry (3.541), James Harden (3.49), Kawhi Leonard (3.272)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (50.488), Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Kobe Bryan (44.116), Jason Kidd (42.831), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Dwyane Wade (35.346), Julius Erving (35.065)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Kevin Love wasthat goodduring the best season of his career, becoming one of the few power forwards in NBA history to earn five GOAT points during a single season. Even more impressively, he did that during the regular season alone.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (128)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (129)

  • Season Leaders: Stephen Curry (7.204), James Harden (6.495), LeBron James (5.696), Russell Westbrook (5.422), Chris Paul (5.277), Anthony Davis (3.791), Draymond Green (3.716), Marc Gasol (3.14), Damian Lillard (3.067), Jimmy Butler (3.045)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (50.488), Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Kobe Bryant (44.116), Jason Kidd (42.831), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Chris Paul (40.315), Dwyane Wade (35.346)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Chris Paul
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Julius Erving
  • Fun Fact: LeBron James’ streak of nine consecutive seasons leading the league came to a screeching halt, thanks to James Harden and Stephen Curry, who submitted the best score by a point guard to this point in NBA history. That still didn’t stop him from dethroning Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who’d held down the top spot in the career standings since moving past Wilt Chamberlain in 1979-80.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (130)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (131)

  • Season Leaders: Stephen Curry (7.58), Russell Westbrook (6.92), LeBron James (6.702), Draymond Green (4.542), Kawhi Leonard (4.421), James Harden (4.413), Kevin Durant (4.241), Kyle Lowry (4.16), Chris Paul (3.998), Paul George (2.979)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (50.488), Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Chris Paul (44.313), Kobe Bryant (44.116), Jason Kidd (42.831), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Dwyane Wade (35.346)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Stephen Curry’s record among point guards didn’t last long…but only because he topped his own mark while winning MVP in unanimous fashion.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (132)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (133)

  • Season Leaders: Russell Westbrook (8.562), James Harden (6.269), LeBron James (5.831), Stephen Curry (4.911), Kawhi Leonard (4.33), Giannis Antetokounmpo (4.095), Kevin Durant (3.999), Jimmy Butler (3.548), Chris Paul (3.534), Draymond Green (3.375)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings: David Robinson (50.488), Shaquille O’Neal (48.707), Chris Paul (47.847), Clyde Drexler (47.543), Hakeem Olajuwon (44.549), Kobe Bryant (44.116), Jason Kidd (42.831), Bill Russell (40.63), Scottie Pippen (40.43), Dwyane Wade (35.346)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: None
  • Fun Fact: Though his score was boosted by interaction effects between his historically high usage rate and assist percentage, Russell Westbrook submitted a mark higher than any others earned in the non-LeBron James division.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (134)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (135)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (136)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (137)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (138)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (139)

  • Season Leaders: LeBron James (8.991), James Harden (7.086), Russell Westbrook (5.374), Kevin Durant (4.065), Stephen Curry (3.956), Giannis Antetokounmpo (3.811), Nikola Jokic (3.736), Damian Lillard (3.677), Chris Paul (3.574), Kyle Lowry (3.505)
  • Next 10 Up in Career Standings (Nos. 31-40): Wes Unseld (28.971), Reggie Miller (28.036), John Stockton (27.803), Bob Pettit (25.941), Walt Frazier (25.559), Manu Ginobili (24.959), Tracy McGrady (24.404), Larry Nance (24.234), Ray Allen (24.163), Dolph Schayes (23.872)
  • Notable Movement
    • Entered the Top 10: None
    • Entered the Top 20: Russell Westbrook
    • Dropped out of the Top 10: None
    • Dropped out of the Top 20: Dwyane Wade
  • Fun Fact: Who cares about Father Time? In his 15th professional season, LeBron James again led the league and ensured that he had sole possession of the top five single-season scores in NBA history.

Per-Season GOAT Standings

Perhaps you wish to take longevity out of the equation.

In that case, allow us to reveal the top 30 per-season scores, found simply by dividing total GOAT points by the number of NBA seasons recorded. Do note that injury-shortened campaigns (for example, Michael Jordan’s 1985-86 efforts, in which he played only 18 games while not sidelined with a broken foot) still count the same as full go-rounds. This methodology can also benefit players still in their primes, as they haven’t yet posted twilight seasons that drag down their averages.

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (140)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (141)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (142)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (143)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (144)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (145)

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Top-Ranked Seasons

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (146)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (147)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (148)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (149)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (150)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (151)

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Best Rookie Seasons

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (152)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (153)

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Best Seasons by Position

Point Guards

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (154)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (155)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (156)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (157)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (158)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (159)

Shooting Guards

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (160)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (161)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (162)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (163)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (164)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (165)

Small Forwards

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (166)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (167)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (168)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (169)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (170)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (171)

Power Forwards

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (172)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (173)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (174)

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (175)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (176)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (177)

Centers

Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (178)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (179)Progressive GOAT Rankings | NBA Math (180)

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Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.