One of my favorite topics when it comes to sports is player comparison. Was Barry Bonds a better hitter than Babe Ruth? Was Jim Brown the best running back of all time? Who was the most efficient scorer in basketball history?
In a sport such as baseball, questions similar to those above are easier to answer thanks to the detailed statistical history of the game.
But in basketball, we are left with a very incomplete statistical record prior to the mid-1970s. The NBA did not record offensive rebounds, steals, or blocks until the 1973-74 season, and player turnovers were not recorded until the 1977-78 season.*
* It should be noted that the ABA was ahead of the game in this regard. Player turnovers are available for all ABA seasons; offensive rebounds are available for all players starting with the 1968-69 season; and steals and blocks are available for all players starting with the 1973-74 season.by