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07-30-2014, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
And same with Wilt Chamberlain, who won scoring titles by 18.8 and 10.8 PPG, while Jordan could only manage an 8 point margin at best. So Wilt was a better peak offensive player than Jordan, case closed right?

The fact that Wilt, Ruth, or Howe were bigger, stronger, and/or better at a time when most weren't of the same caliber in those areas is really not relevant, correct?

By the same prinicple, if there were two cavemen, and one was faster than the other in the 100m by a larger % than Usain Bolt, then he was the best sprinter of all time. Because those cavemen were shorter and smaller, and ran in their bare feet on rocky, uneven soil, not in track cleats on synthetic tracks. Any discussion on the matter would seem unnecessary, since Gwar was way faster than his peer Grog. Yep, sounds completely fair and logical.
Agree completely. There is something to be said about being the best or most dominant player for your time period, but using the margins of dominance to compare players "equally" up against completely different levels of competition is simply inane. As time goes on, humans have become better athletes due to advancements in medicine, nutrition, and training techniques, and those aspiring to be professional athletes have to put in an increasing number of hours to achieve their goal. The amount of training, and therefore skill level has increased drastically as there is simply more spare time for young athletes to practice and refine their skills than one growing up in the 30s. Not to mention the exponentially higher financial incentives to pursue a career as an NHL player as opposed to those who also had to work a second job in the offseason, which would again inherently reduce the amount of time to train and improve as a player.

The reason many in this forum like to use the % margin over 2nd place is that it confirms their already decided upon belief that the best players in the past (their idols) are among the very, very best in history and with their logic, they will always remain so.

Usain Bolt is great example of the flaw in this logic. He has ran the best 100m time in history (multiple times, actually). However, other runners have won the world championships by even greater margins than Bolt. Is he therefore not the best sprinter ever, even though he is objectively faster than any other human to ever live?

None of this also mentions that as the talent level rises, it becomes increasingly more difficult to dominate the other players in one's sport. There are diminishing returns for the amount of time training a player does, so as the average level of talent in the NHL rises, it would require significantly more training to separate oneself from the "pack."

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