The GOAT Index ("Greatest of All Time") is a system used in sports to rank the best performers in any given role. The concept/name was created by author and analyst Ben Hinson and first used in a 2016 study Hinson created to rank the best NBA players from the mid 1970s - early 2000s. In 2017, ESPN published their first GOAT Index, ranking the best quarterbacks in the NFL from 1978 to 2017.
Hinson's GOAT Index
Hinson's GOAT Index, first published in December 2016 was designed to rank the best NBA players based on calculated "GT Scores." Hinson's GOAT (GT) Scores account for pacing and rotation minutes as each metric used is assessed on a per 36 minute basis (the only exception being Win Shares, which is assessed on a per 48 minute basis). Unlike Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating and Game Scores, GT scores apply equal weight to each metric used, the idea being that no basketball performance metric is more important (or less) than others. By evenly applying defensive, offensive and contribution metrics, no particular player profile is favored. Metrics in the GT index are a combination of general stats like PPG and advanced stats like Win Shares and Usage Rates. Also, the GT Index is not based on a league average, but rather indexes the selected players against themselves, creating an "elite" and holistic way to evaluate performance. As it adjusts for rotation minutes, the GT Index rewards players who make the best use of their time on the court across all facets of the game. The GT Index also factors in effective shooting rates (eFG%), turnovers and personal fouls as weighted metrics, a key difference from Hollinger's PER and Game Scores. Hinson also maintains that traits like a players heart, ability to motivate teammates and other "soft/unmeasurable" traits factor into the Win Share metric.
GOAT Score (GTS) Calculation (Basketball)
The formula for Hinson's basketball GT (GOAT) Scores is as follows:
Total GTS, which represents the full performance rating for an NBA player. This score combines selected regular season and playoff paced metrics and applies weights to reflect the difference in importance between regular season and playoff games:
Playoffs GTS, which focuses on the performance rating for an NBA player over the playoffs (can also be applied to regular season):
- PTS/36 = Points per 36 mins
- eFG = Effective Field Goal %
- FT/36 = Free Throw % per 36 mins
- TRB/36 = Total Rebounds % per 36 mins
- AST/36 = Assist % per 36 mins
- STL/36 = Steals % per 36 mins
- BLK/36 = Block % per 36 mins
- TOV/36 = Turnovers per 36 mins
- USG = Usage Rate
- PF/36 = Personal Fouls per 36 mins
- WS/48 = Win Shares per 48 mins
Note: For Total GTS, 6.05 equates to 0.06045455 rounded to one decimal place.
Note: For Total GTS, 3.05 equates to 0.03045455 rounded to one decimal place.
Note: For Playoffs GTS, 9.1 equates to 9.090909 rounded to one decimal place.
Note: totals in denominators refer to the selected player pool totals/averages, not league
From Hinson's 2016 GOAT Index, Hakeem Olajuwon edged out Michael Jordan by a fraction of a point to be the "GOAT" from the eras used in the study.
ESPN GOAT Index
In July 2017, ESPN published their first GOAT Index aimed at ranking the top NFL quarterbacks in modern history. The ESPN GOAT Index like Hinson's earlier study also considered players from the 1970s, and utilized a voting panel consisting of NFL coaches and executives (all Super Bowl winners), each of whom voted on their top ten quarterbacks. The final quarterback rankings were determined based on how frequently any quarterback outranked his peers across all voting ballots. The ESPN voting panel consisted of Pete Carroll, Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren, Howard Mudd, Wade Phillips, Mike Reinfeldt, Ray Rhodes, Mike Shanahan, Al Saunders and Norv Turner.
Footnotes and Citations
- Hinson, Ben (December 18, 2016). "The G.O.A.T (GT) Basketball Index: Mid 1970s – Early 2000s". Hickam’s Dictum. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- Hinson, Ben (June 16, 2017). "G.O.A.T Scoring FAQs". Hickam’s Dictum. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- Hinson, Ben (June 25, 2018). "The G.O.A.T Basketball Index (All Star Edition vol.1)". Hickam’s Dictum. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- Sando, Mike (July 19, 2017). "The GOAT Index: NFL coaches, execs rank best QBs since 1978". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- Bleacher Report, "Tony Dungy Ranks Tom Brady No. 6 on His List of Best QBs Since 1978." July 19, 2017.
- NBC Sports, "To Tony Dungy, Tom Brady is No. 6 on list of modern QBs." July 19, 2017.
- CBS Sports, "Tony Dungy and Bill Polian keep refusing to give Tom Brady and Bill Belichick credit." July 19, 2017.
- USA Today, "Tony Dungy ranking Tom Brady sixth in his GOAT QB rankings makes perfect sense." July 20, 2017.
- SB Nation, "Joe Montana, Steve Young on ESPN ranking of 10 best QBs since 1978." July 19, 2017.
- Arizona Sports, "Former Cardinals QB Kurt Warner lands outside top 10 in ESPN GOAT Index."July 20th, 2017.
- SB Nation, "Study: Hakeem Olajuwon is the greatest playoff player ever." March 23rd, 2017.
- Forbes, "This player edged out Michael Jordan as the greatest player of all time." June 15th, 2017.
- Space City Scoop, Daily Rocket Science: The Goat and the Beard." April 2, 2017