Michael Cage, Scottie Pippen, Joe Johnson … Fat Lever? Top 8 NBA “Arkansans” In Statistical Categories

Where does he rank against Sidney, Joe, Derek, Alvin et al? Courtesy Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Where does he rank against Sidney, Joe, Derek, Alvin et al? Courtesy Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Ever wondered how NBA Arkansans stack up against each other in terms of career statistics? Wonder no more: below is the first and only comprehensive list including both native Arkansans and non-natives who played college ball in Arkansas.

You’ll notice Scottie Pippen is the only player in each Top 8 list, followed by Alvin Robertson – who ranks in all categories except rebounds and blocks per game.

For fun, I’ve boldfaced the non-natives who played college ball in Arkansas. They are all Razorbacks.

STEALS

This, by far, is the category in which NBA Arkansans excel the most. Three of the top 12 ball thieves in NBA history rep Arkansas by birthplace (Lever), college (Robertson) or both (Pippen).

Total

Per Game

Scottie Pippen

2307

Alvin Robertson

2.71

Alvin Robertson

2112

Fat Lever

2.2

Fat Lever

1666

Scottie Pippen

2.0

Derek Fisher

1282

Michael Conley, Jr.

1.6

Darrell Walker

1090

Darrell Walker

1.51

Michael Cage

1050

Derek Fisher

1.50

Sidney Moncrief

924

Ronnie Brewer

1.29

Joe Johnson

850

Sidney Moncrief

1.2

POINTS

Total

Per Game

Scottie Pippen

18,940

Joe Barry Carroll

17.7

Joe Johnson

15,850

Joe Johnson

17.6

Joe Barry Carroll

12,455

Archie Clark

16.3

Sidney Moncrief

11,931

Scottie Pippen

16.1

Archie Clark

11819

Sidney Moncrief

15.6

Alvin Robertson

10,882

Alvin Robertson

14.0

Caldwell Jones***

10,241

Fat Lever

13.9

REBOUNDS

Total

Per Game

Caldwell Jones***

10,685

Caldwell  Jones

8.2

Michael Cage

8,646

Nathaniel Clifton

8.2

Scottie Pippen

7,494

Wil Jones

7.7

Wil Jones***

5,560

Joe Barry Carroll

7.7

Joe Barry Carroll

5404

Michael Cage

7.6

Fat Lever

4523

Bryant Reeves

6.9

Nathaniel Clifton

4469

Jim Barnes

6.5

Alvin Robertson

4,066

Scottie Pippen

6.4

N.B. Oliver Miller averaged 5.9 rebounds and Alvin Robertson averaged 5.2 in his NBA career. 

*** The Jones brothers’ stats include their seasons in the American Basketball Association, which merged with the NBA in 1976. I list the total of the NBA and ABA statistics. 

ASSISTS

Total

Per Game

Scottie Pippen

6,135

Fat Lever

6.2

Fat Lever

4,523

Mike Conley , Jr.

5.5

Joe Johnson

3,933

Scottie Pippen

5.2

Alvin Robertson

3929

Alvin Robertson

5.0

Derek Fisher

3,640

Archie Clark

4.8

Archie Clark

3498

Darrell Walker

4.6

Darrell Walker

3,276

Joe Johnson

4.4

Sidney Moncrief

2793

Sidney Moncrief

3.6

BLOCKS

Total

Per Game

Caldwell Jones

2297

Caldwell Jones

1.8

Charles Jones

1134

Joe Barry Carroll

1.59

Joe Barry Carroll

1121

Charles Jones

1.77

Andrew Lang

1099

Oliver Miller

1.54

Scottie Pippen

947

Andrew Lang

1.49

Oliver Miller

758

Scottie Pippen

0.80

Michael Cage

725

Bryant Reeves

0.76

Alvin Robertson

323

Michael Cage

0.64

 

Yep, "Big Country" Bryant Reeves was born in Ft. Smith.

Yep, “Big Country” Bryant Reeves was born in Ft. Smith.

Win Shares Per 48 Minutes (regular season)

This high-falutin’ stat is one of the best ways to determine how much a player actually helps his team win games, as opposed to just filling up the box score. It’s an estimate of the number of wins contributed by that player per 48 minutes, which is one game’s duration. The average NBA player contributes 1/10th of a win per 48 minutes. (Only those who have played in at least three NBA seasons are ranked in this particular list.)

 

Career Average

Sidney Moncrief

.187

Jeremy Evans

.180

Scottie Pippen

.140

Archie Clark

.132

Fat Lever

.123

Michael Cage

.120

Mike Conley, Jr.

.109

Alvin Robertson

.101

Semi-obscure Arkansas connections -

Lafayette “Fat” Lever – Born in 1960 in Pine Bluff, his family moved to Tuscon, Arizona when he was in the fourth grade. After starring at Arizona State, he became one of the best guards in the NBA in the late 1980s. Lever made  two NBA All-Star teams and became one of only three players in NBA history to record 15 plus points, rebounds, and assists in a single playoff game (the others being Jason Kidd and Wilt Chamberlain), according to Hoopedia.

Here’s a nice feature on Lever via ProHoopsHistory.com.

Archie Clark: Born in 1941 in Conway, then moved to Ecorse, Michigan – a suburb of Detroit. After starring at Minnesota, he played 10 seasons in the NBA and made two All-Star teams. One of the early practitioners of the crossover dribble.

Joe Barry Carroll: Born in 1958 in Pine Bluff and one of 13 children. His mother moved the family to Denver in 1971 to train to become a nurse’s aide. Carroll, a seven-footer, was a devastating post presence at Purdue and was the first overall pick in the 1980 draft. He never did live up to that status but put in a solid 11-year career.

Mike Conley, Jr: The Memphis Grizzlies’ point guard grew up in Fayetteville. The son of the Razorback All-American track star Mike Conley, he played in the same AAU basketball circles as Ronnie Brewer. As children, they often spent the night at each others’ house, Ronnie told me. Young Mike also practiced often at Bud Walton Arena with Mike Anderson, Jr., said Pat Bradley, who recalled seeing him shoot around during Hog practices in the late 1990s. In middle school, Conley, Jr. and his family moved to Indianapolis.

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5 Comments on “Michael Cage, Scottie Pippen, Joe Johnson … Fat Lever? Top 8 NBA “Arkansans” In Statistical Categories”

  1. Evin,

    I’m curious to know, who was the tallest player from Arkansas?

  2. […] a McGehee natives is the third-best Arkansan rebounder in NBA/ABA […]


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