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Insider

Is Isiah Thomas underrated or overrated?

When Magic Johnson weighs in on point guards, people listen. After all, the L.A. Lakers great was voted the best point guard in NBA history by ESPN's #NBArank panel. But Johnson had a problem with how one of his rivals was ranked. He couldn't believe that Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas landed fifth, behind contemporary John Stockton and reigning MVP Stephen Curry.

Magic wasn't the only NBA legend to criticize Thomas' ranking.

Yet Thomas' advanced statistics tell a different story.

On Monday, I introduced my "championships added" metric to evaluate NBA players historically based on their statistical performance. Thomas, who finished 26th overall in #NBArank voting among all players, didn't appear in the top 40 of all time. In fact, Thomas wouldn't have appeared if we expanded the list to 50 players. Instead, he checks in at No. 52, 27 places behind Stockton.

This raises a natural question: Why is there such a discrepancy between Thomas' perceived value and his advanced statistics?