In response to the debate going over at Khandor’s regarding whether Phil Jackson would take Yao Ming or Andrew Bynum, the following is my response:
Essentially, the argument is “As a center in the NBA, at 20 years of age, Andrew Bynum is superior to Yao Ming in every statistical category with the following career averages:
At 20 years of age
Bynum: 163 games played | 78 games started | 7.2 points | 57.1% FG | 5.6 rebounds| 1.3 blocks
At 22-27 years of age
Yao: 5-time All-Star | 404 games played | 394 games started | 19.0 points | 52.0% FG | 9.2 rebounds | 1.8 blocks”
Since Bynum has shown a higher “rate of progress” in his first three seasons — ie. 1.6 points per game to 13.1 points — it is reasonable to expect Bynum to surpass Yao.
I mean, Bynum is scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 boards at 20 years old. Yao, at 22, was only scoring 13.5 points and grabbing 8 boards. Clearly, we can ordain a promising big man that posts a 13 and 10 average in 35 games (which is exactly 42% of a full regular season).
Similarly, I will make the argument that Stephen Curry is greater than Kobe Bryant. Allow me…
In the NCAA
[2006-2007] 30.9 minutes | 21.5 points | 46.3% FG | 40.8% 3PT | 4.6 rebounds | 2.8 assists
[2007-2008] 33.1 minutes | 26.9 points | 48.3% FG | 43.9% 3PT | 4.6 rebounds | 2.9 assists
Kobe Bryant: N/A
In the NBA
Bryant: 866 regular season games | 718 games started | 25.0 points | 5.3 rebounds | 4.6 assists
Since Curry has shown a higher “rate of progress” in his first three seasons of amateur play – ie. 0.0 points per game to 26.9 points, even with the necessary NCAA-to-NBA conversion rate – it is reasonable to expect Curry to surpass Bryant.
I mean, Curry is already scoring 20 points per game. At the same age, Bryant was scoring only 7.6 and 15.4 in the NBA. Bryant didn’t even play in the NCAA. Clearly, we can ordain a promising little guy that posts 26 points against a different kind of competition, in a vastly different role within a relatively small sample frame.