Steve Nash for the Hall?

Posted on September 17, 2009 by


Henry Abbott – of TrueHoop – linked to an article on Wednesday that argued Steve Nash might be considered by some a Hall-of-Fame player, but a full examination of his career reveals a different story.

The article led me to think about where Nash ranks relative to current Hall-of-Fame players. Complete data on NBA players only extends back to 1977-78.  Looking at all point guards who entered the league since 1977, only three are currently in the Hall-of-Fame: Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and John Stockton.  Of course, other point guards might someday be selected.  So I expanded my search to all point guards who

  • began their career after 1977.
  • were selected at least once to an All-NBA team (first, second, and/or third).
  • have played more than 10 seasons in the NBA.

Given these criteria, I found 15 players (by my count).  And here is how these players rank in terms of career Wins Produced (after the 2008-09 season).

Point Guard Minutes Wins Produced WP48
John Stockton 47,764 311.1 0.313
Magic Johnson 33,245 297.3 0.429
Jason Kidd 41,160 258.8 0.302
Gary Payton 47,117 169.5 0.173
Fat Lever 23,814 137.7 0.278
Steve Nash 29,016 130.9 0.216
Rod Strickland 33,634 125.3 0.179
Kevin Johnson 25,061 108.8 0.208
Chauncey Billups 26,877 98.3 0.176
Tim Hardaway 30,626 92.0 0.144
Isiah Thomas 35,516 85.5 0.116
Sam Cassell 29,813 80.9 0.130
Mark Price 21,560 78.3 0.174
Stephon Marbury 31,886 64.3 0.097
Allen Iverson 36,719 61.3 0.080



Topping the list is John Stockton.  Again, the players are ranked in terms of career Wins Produced.  If we considered WP48 [Wins Produced per 48 minutes], Magic Johnson would lead the way (by a wide margin).

Steve Nash ranks 6th on the list.  He is certainly more productive than Isiah Thomas.  But he trails Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, and Fat Lever.  So if Wins Produced is how Hall-of-Fame players should be judged (it isn’t, but if it was), then Nash would certainly deserve some consideration.  But Kidd, Payton, and Lever might deserve some attention as well. 

If we look towards the bottom of the list we see Stephon Marbury and Allen Iverson.  One suspects that Iverson will definitely be considered for the Hall-of-Fame when he retires. But Starbury? Wins Produced suggests that neither player belongs in the Hall-of-Fame.   But if Iverson is selected, then Wins Produced says that Marbury is just as deserving.

Let me close this brief post by noting that this comment simply serves as a break from the team reviews.  For my next post I am going to focus on the New Jersey Nets.  I am also going to post a list of all the teams that have been reviewed and which teams remain.  Of course, requests will certainly be taken and considered (and other comments are always encouraged).

– DJ

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Our research on the NBA was summarized HERE.

The Technical Notes at provides substantially more information on the published research behind Wins Produced and Win Score

Wins Produced, Win Score, and PAWSmin are also discussed in the following posts:

Simple Models of Player Performance

Wins Produced vs. Win Score

What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say

Introducing PAWSmin — and a Defense of Box Score Statistics

Finally, A Guide to Evaluating Models contains useful hints on how to interpret and evaluate statistical models.