Giannis is Having the Best Season by a Bucks Player Since Kareem
The best season ever by a Bucks player is a tough one to top, since it might be the best season by a player ever. Kareem has a few in the all-time discussion, at least.
Therefore no one ever bothers to rank the best individual seasons by Bucks players. The top three, four, maybe five have been all Kareem, from just about the beginning. Now, though, we have a most serious challenge to break into that sacred territory.
The top four individual seasons in Bucks history, probably in order, until now untouchable (admittedly these are rudimentary stats, but the advanced numbers check out):
Tracking of steals and blocks began in 1973-74. Makes these comparisons more difficult. Kareem led the league in blocks four times after they started tracking, though – and it is safe to say he would have been up there toward the top in the first three noted above. He won MVP in 1970-71, 1971-72 and 1973-74 (before winning three more in Los Angeles). The Bucks won the title in 1970-71 and won 56+ games each of these four seasons.
Numbers so overwhelming have always felt incomparable, both regarding Kareem’s singularity and within the context of an era with half as many teams and sans a 3-point line (which did not debut until 1979-80).
Giannis is changing that. He is making a case, with an evolved set of unthinkable numbers.
First, don’t ask who is Johnson. (You have heard of him, you even hear him.) Second, this means Giannis is in top-five territory. Debatable, very. And he needs to finish the season at the same level, yes. This is where we are though.
Kareem rounds out the top-15 with a couple more (drops a couple spots for 1974-75 based on missing 17 games).
(After that, throw in a bunch of Bob Dandridge and Michael Redd, a little Terry Cummings, Ricky Pierce, Bob Lanier, Brian Winters, Glenn Robinson, one year of Andrew Bogut, some Vin Baker, and more Cassell, Moncrief, Robertson, Allen, and Johnson.)
One thing not on this chart is age. Giannis is only 22. But we only have a little more time to talk about how Giannis is “only”. He is a superstar, he is in his prime, his first prime. Kareem, age 22, is on this short list. Johnson, age 22, is on this short list. This is the company he shares. The top-three seasons on this list are Kareem at age 23, 24 and 25. These are the players. These are the years. Many years from now, these are the days that will be the remember back in the day days. Have them.