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Friday, February 04, 2011

Julius Erving Ignored as Kobe Bryant Joins Exclusive 25,000/5000/5000 Club

During the L.A. Lakers' 114-106 overtime win versus the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, Kobe Bryant joined the exclusive 25,000 point/5000 rebound/5000 assist club. Unfortunately, every media account of this accomplishment that I have seen disregarded the fact that Julius Erving accomplished this feat; Erving played five of his 16 professional seasons in the ABA and it is a travesty that the NBA still refuses to admit that ABA Numbers Should Also Count, a point that I have been emphasizing for the better part of a decade (and it sure would be nice if some media members who have been fortunate enough to be blessed with a larger platform than I currently have would use that influence constructively to make that point as well).

Here is the real membership list of the 25,000/5000/5000 Club (in order of career points scored):

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 38,387 points/17,440 rebounds/5660 assists (1560 games played)
Karl Malone: 36,928 points/14,968 rebounds/5248 assists (1476 games played)
Michael Jordan: 32,292 points/6672 rebounds/5633 assists (1072 games played)
Julius Erving: 30,026 points/10,525 rebounds/5176 assists (1243 games played)
Kobe Bryant: 27,061 points/5663 rebounds/5015 assists (1071 games played)
Oscar Robertson: 26,710 points/7804 rebounds/9887 assists (1040 games played)
John Havlicek: 26,395 points/8007 rebounds/6114 assists (1270 games played)
Jerry West: 25,192 points/5366 rebounds/6238 assists (932 games played)

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posted by David Friedman @ 6:47 AM



At Friday, February 04, 2011 1:31:00 PM, Anonymous Gil Meriken said...

I appreciate you keeping us informed about this kind of omission. I wouldn't hear it any where else!

At Friday, February 04, 2011 2:27:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


You're welcome.

At Saturday, February 05, 2011 10:13:00 AM, Anonymous J said...

Thanks David -- it really is a shame that no one else with a media platform seems to care about or remember the ABA.

Somewhat off-topic, here is an excellent site that I am sure you would enjoy, to which Gil actually posted a link over at Tucker's blog (Silver Screen & Roll):


And here is a specific post evaluating several of the flaws in player evaluation metrics such as PER:


I think you would enjoy his brand of statistical analysis, as it appears much more scientific (i.e., recognizing error rates, based on testing and analyzing results, all while also recognizing many of the "inputs" are flawed and not measured accurately or at all, etc).

At Saturday, February 05, 2011 12:39:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Someone provided that link in another comment thread here. Skeptical Sports seems to be on the right track and certainly makes some valid criticisms of Hollinger's PER but Berri's WoW methods are at least as flawed as Hollinger's, though in a different way; Hollinger seems to overvalue scoring, while Berri overvalues rebounding and does not appreciate the importance of being able to create shots for oneself and one's teammates.

At Saturday, February 05, 2011 1:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


dr j grabbed 10,000 boards scored 30,000 points didnt kno that i thought he was just a great dunker before my time tho. people used to say he was mj before mj but i thought it was more oscar robertson than him. but i casme up with mike, kobe those guys shaq i kno bird and magic impact dr was pretty good maybe top 15 players ever. but kobe is better than him i believe and mj as well, but good correction espn dont do they job

At Sunday, February 06, 2011 3:36:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Dr. J was one of the greatest all-around players of all time but that truth is obscured because the NBA and many media organizations ignore ABA stats.

At Saturday, February 12, 2011 12:59:00 AM, Anonymous themojojedi said...

Another great milestone for Kobe. In the playoffs I'll be keeping an eye out for Kobe's 45th assist, which will admit him to the playoff analog of the 25,000/5000/5000 Club: the 5000/1000/1000 Club. Michael Jordan currently stands alone in that club.

At Saturday, February 12, 2011 3:06:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


That is a good point. Except for single game and career scoring, it seems like playoff records do not carry the same fascination or attract the same attention that regular season records do. Bryant's impending ascension to the 5000/1000/1000 Club is a testament not only to his versatility and durability but also to the fact that he has led his teams to a lot of postseason success, because playoff games are earned only by advancing from round to round.

At Sunday, April 01, 2012 6:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with including ABA stats in the caeere numbers of NBA players. Remember that the NBA accepted several ABA teams in the 1976 merger, so why not the stats that came with them? Also, why did the NBA accept BAA and NBL stats from the 1949 merger, but not ABA stats? Seems like a double standard.

At Tuesday, December 31, 2013 7:30:00 PM, Blogger Pablo Novi said...

I was born in the 1940's. My dad was a pro-b-ball fanatic (very knowledgeable; knew/followed Mikan & all the pre-NBA stars). We lived in New Jersey and got NYC TV stations (all 3 of them, with some 8 hours a night off-air; showing "test patterns"). I started watching the NBA in 1957; every game that was televised.

My dad's (& my) 3 biggest complaints against the NBA Officialdom:

1) Failure to recognize & include NBL stats (the NBL played in smaller markets but had better teams than the pre-merger BAA);

2)Same as "1)" for the ABA (how we hate that the top 5-10 ABA-ers get penalized for those years);

3) Overestimation of Russell and Underestimation of Wilt. This was exemplified by the MVP voting (where Russell got 2 MVPs (1961, 1962) when Wilt got All-NBA 1st Teams both years).

Wilt pretty much dominated Russell in their 140 face-to-face meetings. In our opinion, Wilt dominated HIS era MORE than any player since has dominated his. (Only Mikan dominated more; but that was in the pre-integration days; so counts for less).

Yours appreciatively,
Pablo (& now-deceased dad)

At Thursday, January 02, 2014 12:10:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Those are three excellent points. I agree with you completely about the NBL and the ABA. The Chamberlain-Russell rivalry is fascinating on many levels. It is interesting to speculate what might have happened if Chamberlain had played for the Celtics and/or Russell had played for the various teams that employed Chamberlain.

At Sunday, November 06, 2016 9:55:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Every Spectacular move by MJ, Dr.J did in the 1970's. The shot on Craig Elo look at Dr.J's shot over Bobby Jones in ABA championship game. To think that MJ is better than Doc is crazy. There was no ESPN back in Doc's day. The rock the cradle look at first ABA Dunk Contest in 1976. So when we say Mt.Rushmore Doc must be up there. If the fricken TV would show Dr. J with an AFRO people would get a bettet perspective. Do they show MJ as a Wizard No but they Show Doc with a low Cut.

At Tuesday, November 08, 2016 1:24:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Erieke Troy:

Thank you for reading and commenting!

You are correct that Erving is underrated--and once an idea becomes ingrained in people's minds it is difficult to convince them to consider a different idea.


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