We find the correlation between who people collect and the actual performance of NBA players fascinating. Just evaluating performance on the court itself is full of nuances. From traditional stats to the much more involved analytical approach of today, to the good old eye test. There are many ways (often debated) to declare which player is performing better than their peers.

Once performance is determined, how else does a collector want to evaluate a player to collect?
What is the player’s personality like? Are they a hard worker like Jimmy Butler? Are they laid back like Anthony Davis? Do they have a current media/social presence?

So we are making an attempt to evaluate overall how a player is seen. This is done through eight categories that we feel represent collectability the best. We will score each category from A+ being the highest to D as the lowest score.

Now just to confirm we haven’t judged any of this on their actual cards, for example, how rare is their most sought after rookie? Total number of cards or what’s their best insert? We feel this should be evaluated by the sports cards experts and data analysts in the hobby.


Status: From Icons to Allstars, in general how is the player’s status thought of.

Career: Length of career, personal awards, and to a lesser extent success outside of the NBA, college and international play.

Exposure: Does the player get talked about often in media? Are they currently a public presence?

Impact: What impact did the player have on the game on and off the court. Did they change how the game is played or influence decisions about the game off the court.

X-Factor: X-Factor is hard to explain, some players just have it. Often resulting in a cult like following.

Skillset: Pure on court basketball skills, from shooting to post up moves, handles to passing. How skilled was this player?

Stats: A look at their overall statistical performance.

Team Success: From team winning percentage in the regular season to Championships, how much success did the team have while the player was part of it.

So First up we will be ranking the Top 50 retired players, releasing in blocks of 10 players counting down to the number one.

Here’s an example of a player below, who just missed out on the Top 50, number 51, Walt Frazier.

Walt Frazier

Retired Player Rank: 51st

  • Status: Star Player
  • Career: B
  • Exposure: B
  • Impact: B
  • X-Factor: B-
  • Skillset: B
  • Stats: B
  • Team Success: A-

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