A week before the 2010-2011 NBA season kicks off, and after the positional previews, we take a look at some numbers, mostly Jason Kidd and Shaquille O’Neal numbers, checking the active leader in career stats and their place on the all-time lists.
Jason Kidd is the leader among active player with 1187 games and he’ll be kicking off his 17th NBA season in about a week. Kidd has played 80 games in each of the last five seasons (81 in 2008-2009), so we’ll project him having a full season again, probably with reduced minutes. After all, he’ll be turning 38 in March. Still, 80 games will put him at 1267 career games, good enough for an 8 spot leap in the all-time rankings, making it all the way to 18th, flying by Alex English, Dikembe Mutombo, Eddie Jonson, Derrick Harper, Dale Ellis, Hakeem Olajuwon, Paul Silas and Otis Thorpe. The all time leader is Robert Parish, with 1611. Right after Kidd comes Shaq, who has 1170 games under his belt. Unlike Kidd, it’s hard to know if Shaq will play a full season. Chances are he won’t, going 53 last year. He’ll also be playing fewer minutes than ever before this year.
Kidd, again, well ahead of the rest who are still playing. With 44,036 minutes racked up in his career, Kidd is currently 12th on the all-time list. Kidd played 2881 minutes last season, averaging 36 a night. If he plays 35 minutes a night this season he’ll reach 2800, bringing him to 46,836 career minutes, good enough for 8th all-time. He’ll bump down Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Parish and John Havlicek if he makes our projection. Behind him on the active list are Garnett with 41,695 minutes and Shaq, 41,166 minutes.
Lets forget about Kidd for a few lines – this is big-man territory here. Shaquille O’Neal is the active leader in total rebounds with 12921 boards, putting him at 14th on the all-time list. Now, Shaq averaged 6.7 rebounds in 23 minutes a night last season for the Cavs, playing 53 games. I’m putting the over/under on games for Shaq this season at 65. I think the Celtics would like to keep him under 20 minutes a night, but Perkins is out for the early part of the season, and who knows how the Geriatric Park DL list will look like as the season advances, so I guess Shaq will have somewhere between 5.5-7 rebounds a night. Lets put him at 6 a night. With 65 games, that’s 390 rebounds, putting him 13,311 career rebounds, good enough for 12th all-time, passing Buck Williams and Jerry Lucas.
Kevin Garnett, Shaq’s teammate with the Celtics, is the second active player with over 12,000 rebounds (12,188).
Jason Kidd (tired of him) dished out 724 assists last year (9.1 average), placing him at second on the all-time list. That’s where he’ll stay this year as well. John Stockton has 15,806 career assists, and Kidd is at 10,923. I don’t know how much Kidd has left in him, but there’s no way he’s getting by Stockton. Next after Kidd is Steve Nash, 8th on the all-time list with 8397. If Nash is healthy, I expect at least 800 assists from him this season. This will put him at 9197 at least, get him by Gary Payton and Isiah Thomas, good enough for sixth all-time.
Him Again. Jason Kidd. 2343 Career steals, 4th on the all-time list. Last year? 145 steals, 1.81 per game. Lets say he grabs at least 120 this season. That will put him just over Gary Payton (2445), and behind Michael Jordan (2514) and John Stockton (3265). Once again, two healthy and productive years from Kidd will put him at second on the all-time list, but he won’t get by Stockton, who has another pretty much unbreakable record in the foreseeable future.
Back to O’Neal. Shaquille has 2690 career blocks, 7th on the all-time list, and that’s where he’ll stay after this season as well. He averaged 1.2 bpg last year – a total of 62. Lets give him 65 this year, a block per game. Still not enough to catch up with Ewing who’s at 6th with 2894. Trailing O’Neal by 0ver 400 blocks is Tim Duncan with 2235, 11th on the all-time list. Timmy needs 121 to tie with Mourning at 10th. I don’t think he’ll reach it this season (117 in 2009-2010, less minutes planned this year). He will in 2012.
Again, boring. Shaquille O’Neal has 28,255 points, 5th on the all-time list. That’s where he’ll stay. He needs 3,164 points to tie with Wilt, and he scored 636 last season. A optimistic projection will put him at 800 this year. Not nearly enough. And Kobe? Well, Bryant will probably enter the top 10 all time this season. He’s 12th right now with 25,790 points. He needs 878 points to reach Dominique Wilkins at 10th. Kobe, playing 80 games, is good enough for at least 2000 points, which will place him at sixth, right behind Shaq. Another year and he’ll be ahead of the big guy.