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Here are the Top 12 Wizards of all-time according to Basketball Reference

Do you agree?

Washington Wizards v Sacramento Kings
Both Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas are among the Wizards’ Top 10 all-time greats according to Basketball Reference.
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Basketball Reference is one of the best stat resources around for NBA basketball outside of the league itself. Before the NBA started putting in advanced stats, Basketball Reference was the go-to for fans. Even today, it remains a go-to source!

The site has a section for the Washington Wizards franchise, going back to its days as the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets and the Chicago Packers/Zephyrs. Here are the Top 12 players of all-time that you see on the page. Rankings are based on win shares:

  1. Wes Unseld — 110.1
  2. Elvin Hayes — 80.0
  3. Walt Bellamy — 57.0
  4. Bradley Beal — 52.2
  5. Greg Ballard — 48.6
  6. John Wall — 44.3
  7. Gilbert Arenas — 41.5
  8. Antawn Jamison — 41.4
  9. Jack Marin — 41.3
  10. Phil Chenier — 39.3
  11. Gus Johnson — 36.0
  12. Brendan Haywood — 35.8

In general, this is a good metric to track how players do within one season. And I can see why career win shares would be a metric to value the best players of all-time for a franchise. It values players’ longevity and the players who have stayed the longest generally are among the best anyway.

However, these win share stats only measure regular season performance. The Wizards have made 30 playoff appearances, four NBA Finals appearances and won one championship in 1978 as the Washington Bullets. Most of the players in the Top 12 weren’t on that team. Second, there are some players (like Russell Westbrook in 2020-21) who had phenomenal short runs with the Wizards, but they would never gather the win shares needed to be considered among the best of all time.

What are your thoughts on the use of regular season win shares in a career as a metric to determine who the best player is of all-time? Let us know in the comments below.