Number 41

paul1

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Nov 19, 2002
Pinababy69 said:
How about great racehorses? Don't know how you guys feel, but I consider them athletes as well. And what about the jockeys? Pound for pound, some of the most well-conditioned athletes of all, IMO. Anyone who has ever galloped a thoroughbred can attest to that.

Horses, in no particular order - Affirmed (last Triple Crown winner in 1978), Secretariat, Northern Dancer (Canadian :) ), Cigar (truly amazing specimen, he won 16 consecutive races, different distances, different tracks, different surfaces). He even won the race in Dubai and came back home to race again...most horses who race over there finish their careers there. Actually, my list could be endless, but I'll start with that.

Jockeys - Angel Cordero, Pat Day, Jerry Bailey, Shane Sellers (if you knew what this guy has gone through, you'd be amazed he's still walking), Sandy Hawley (another Canuck) and Julie Krone (before she had her 2nd bad accident and started riding scared). Again, I have an endless list of modern day nominees, but this is a beginning.

A.P. Indy

Laffit Pincay
 

suzecat

Dormant account
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Location
California
Pinababy69 said:
Jockeys - Angel Cordero, Pat Day, Jerry Bailey, Shane Sellers (if you knew what this guy has gone through, you'd be amazed he's still walking), Sandy Hawley (another Canuck) and Julie Krone (before she had her 2nd bad accident and started riding scared). Again, I have an endless list of modern day nominees, but this is a beginning.

What about the Shoe? Willie Shoemaker is the most successful jockey in history. He won his first race at 18. By the time he retired in 1990 he had won 8,833 races, including four Kentucky Derbies, five Belmont Stakes, and three Preakness Stakes. He was the first jockey to win over $100 million.

And special kudos to Alidar, not just as sire of Alysheba, but in memory of a true champion who left this world as a result of an owner with horrible greed.
 

Pinababy69

RIP Lisa
Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Location
Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Yup....to both of you. Shoemaker for sure, thought I had included him, oops!! And Laffit Pincay also a definite (knew there was someone I was missing). :)
 

johnsteed

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NHL's All-Time Greats...

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johnsteed

Watching the Oilers at that time, it was disappointing if they didn't score at LEAST 6 goals in a game (the league on team-per-team basis could barely muster up more than 2 goals per game... yuck!). But my point is that he played when there were so many players registering 100 points per season.

My mistake, the part detailed in red is about the league as a whole prior to the recent lock-out of '04-05. The NHL as a whole over the past 10-years, had slowed-down-to-a-crawl with too much clutching and grabbing, and points per games where down by a heavy margin (compared to the '80s when Gretzky was at his prime).


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Spearmaster

Reggie will always have the brighter star, because he established himself in the NBA with little effort and is a sure Hall of Famer. I don't think there will ever be another Cheryl though - the women's games at USC had a FAR better turnout than the men's games because of Cheryl - and strangely enough, USC actually had a decent men's basketball team during those years...



There's no doubt that Reggie is the bigger name, because it doesn't matter what Cherly could have done, Reggie is an NBA star and played in so many huge matches, and making so many clutch shots that were viewed around the world (think the Knicks, Jordan's Bulls, Shaq's Lakers, ect...). What I had meant about Cheryl being the brighter star, was that I believe in the context of her own sport, she was the greatest, to which Reggie isn't (although I'm a big Reggie Miller fan). Cheryl WAS women's basketball. Reggie Miller is borderline Top-50 All-Time in NBA lore. Cheryl is #1 without question in her sport.


cont...

Speaking of which, we forgot the Williams sisters, who were simply invincible for a time, when they had to beat off each other more often than not... if we're talking athleticism, these two win hands down (and before anyone starts calling them men, they should meet Amelie Mauresmo first).


You're right, they're too good to be overlooked. Something bothers me about them though, the same thing that bothers me about Shaq, the same thing with a Manny Ramirez (what once could be said of Andre Agassi but not anymore). I love all their talents, and they know that they do. But this is the thing that bothers me about each one of them.


I don't like Shaq because of his preparation, and his lack of conditioning. When you go from the Jordan era, and accept the next as the Shaq era, it's tough to swallow. Jordan gave it his all (he was a killer at all times), with a fire I've not seen since (although Kobe comes the closest to this... and perhaps Dwayne Wade... not so much Lebron). They'll fight to get better, just for an inch. Shaq on the otherhand, talented, enormously big, very quick and agile for a man his size, is prone to being too lazy (just look at his defense). I know that when the game is on the line, he's giving it his all, but what about the rest of the time? He's guaranteed to miss a solid 20 games per year, nursing things that generally could have been avoided had he taken better care of his body.


Ramirez is another prime example, coasts on defense. Out-of-shape, complains about this and that, has wanted out of his having to play in Boston literally EACH winter over the past 3 years. I'm certain he works on his batting, but the rest of his game? Doubt it. If he trained and conditioned himself well-enough, he could play for many years after. I just can't help but think his body is going to break down in the next couple of years. And it's a shame, because he's been the second greatest hitter in baseball over the past 15 years (behind Bonds, but in the same league as Albert Belle and Frank Thomas).


And now the Williams sisters. Okay, so they do train hard (or they once did). They're SO athletic, more athletic than 90% (if not more) of the male population. They could probably eat KFC for a year, without ever leaving the sofa, and still gain muscle mass. But, shouldn't they still be at the top? Aren't they blessed enough athletically to be ranked #1 and #2 (flip-flop every so often) from '00 up until another few years? Where are they? Are they quitting, or are they playing? They want to go out on top, yet they're still quite young!! There's nothing that they can't do on the court. It's like they focus on playing tennis every so often, and then they lose focus and don't care (similar to Agassi a long time ago). I think if Steffi Graf or a Martina Navratalova had the Williams' sisters focus, they'd have won a half as many Titles as they were able to win. I hate it when talent is being misguided and wasted.


That's the thing about Jordan (which I'll touch upon very soon), he never wasted time not trying to improve (or get an edge). He had tons of talent, and he worked hard at exceeding any expectation thrust on him. A true gladiator, never afraid of anyone (although everyone else was afraid to play him).


cont...

Back to Steffi's competition - Monica was always great fun to watch, but still not quite on the level of Steffi. If only Jennifer Capriati had realized her potential, things might have been different - Arantxa was never any real competition except on clay (what a surprise) - but even then Steffi had to deal with Martina, who was still pretty solid, Lindsay Davenport (who I also believe never reached her full potential until she started shedding weight - too little too late), a prodigy named Martina Hingis (again, distracted by an overbearing mother and a golfer named Sergio LMAO - though Steffi had to deal with her father, much like Jelena Dokic now ignoring her father).


I have to stop you there Spearmaster, because I REALLY know that you adore tennis (as do I). But, Monica Seles was beating Steffi on a regular basis prior to the stabbing incident. Seles was on her way to being the greatest. I hated it at the time, because I was a Graf fan. And I hated Seles for constantly grunting every single time she returned a shot. My best friend was in love with her (and apparently STILL is... I don't get him :what: ), and would never stop talking about her. He was in tears with the whole stabbing incident... and he's STILL thinking that it's just a matter of time before her game recovers (just to clarify, Seles is 31 years old). :confused: But what I'm saying is that he was right, because Seles was so great at that time... well, we'll never know.


I really like Hingis, and I'm glad she's coming back. She's still young enough to vault up the standings. She may very well have the greatest tennis IQ, and it was unfortunate that her body broke-down on her a few years ago. She may not be the most athletic player, but she could have given the Williams sisters a big challenge. I root for her, because despite rubbing EVERYONE the wrong way, her critiques of other players are generally bang-on.


By the way, great story about you being in 2 of Cheryl Miller's classes. That's classic stuff. :thumbsup:


***


Pinababy69

Ahhh, JS, now I know you are a true Canuck. And we definitely agree!! Bobby Orr, Bobby Orr, Bobby Orr, they don't make em like that anymore.


;) My favorite player would have to be Dale Hawerchuk, and I certainly love Steve Yzerman, as well as Ron Francis. All terrific players. But who was/is the greatest, I guess since he owns most of the records, it's got to be Wayne Gretzky. The sport couldn't have a better ambassador.


Having said that, Gretzky may be the greatest hockey player (for his career), but he wasn't better on the ice than Bobby Orr. I'd say they're about equal (with Lemieux). Orr really revolutionized his position, Gretzky just made his a little more dynamic. Orr's only competition was Brad Park (I'd say Denis Potvin, but he really came on a little bit later), and Park is VERY underrated All-Time, but there was no question that Orr was better than him (although Park was just as important to the Rangers as Orr was to the Bruins). When Gretzky got going, Dionne was quite dominant offensively, but not on the same level. Peter Stastny was great as well, but not in the league. The closest at that time would have been Bryan Trottier, who may not have scored like Gretzky, but played both ends of the rink better than anyone at that time.


You want to talk about a player who was great, there was Mike Bossy. Okay, his defense wasn't so good, and he wasn't tough to say the least, but he may have been the most blessed natural goal scorer the league has ever seen. Guy Lafleur, could really fly, and was VERY clutch in the mid-70s. I have a hard time chosing who's better, though I might have to go with... Nope, still can't decide (lol). Okay, Bobby Hull trumps them both!!!


If we're talking, the best line-ups (3 deep at each postion), this is what I come up with:

1st Team

G- Patrick Roy
D- Bobby Orr
D- Denis Potvin
F- Bobby Hull
F- Gordie Howe
C- Wayne Gretzky

2nd Team

G- Terry Sawchuk
D- Eddie Shore
D- Ray Bourque
F- Mike Bossy
F- Guy Lafleur
C- Mario Lemieux

3rd Team

G- Dominique Hasek
D- Brad Park
D- Chris Chelios
F- Rocket Richard
F- Jaromir Jagr
C- Mark Messier

People I left off (although I don't want to leave them off), were...

G- Jacques Plante
G- Martin Brodeur
D- Paul Coffee
D- Larry Robinson
D- Scott Stevens
F- Phil Esposito
F- Jari Kurri
F- Brett Hull
C- Bryan Trottier
C- Steve Yzerman
C- Ron Francis


Why I chose certain people/while leaving others off?


Hasek gets on because he was the most dominant hockey player in the '90s. Yes, that may seem odd, because Lemieux played in the '90s, but Lemieux had retired for a number of years, and also missed lots of time. To be honest, at their best (speaking of all defensemen, not Lemieux), I'd have to think that no one has been better than Hasek (who won 2 MVP's and many Vezina's along the way). For a goalie to win the Hart Trophy 2-years in a row, means a great deal. By the time Martin Brodeur's career is over, he'll most likely be the greatest goalie (his numbers are fantastic), but he's just past the mid-point of his career.


To date, Hasek is the best goalie I've seen with own eyes (Fuhr at his finest is also right there).


Francis is very underrated, and while I'm a big fan of his, and his career numbers are very high, remember that he played forever without missing many games. I'd think that out of players who came out of the '81 Entry Draft, Chelios was better, and in the '80s (although Francis was VERY good in the '80s), I'd think that Hawerchuk and Grant Fuhr were better. Yzerman should be on the list, but he's not a natural winger. And you can't take Messier off of that list. Messier is pretty much on par with Howe, although you rarely ever hear that. In another way, Gretzky was playing with Howe (in Messier), and Lafleur (in Kurri... although while Lafleur was slightly better offensively, Kurri was better defensively).


Brett Hull has the best one-timer of All-Time. Really? What about Bossy? Both great, Hull learned to be better defensively, Bossy didn't. But... Bossy was a sure thing for 50-65 goals a season during his 10-year run. Amazing. Paul Coffey would make most people's lists, and he should. And he would have been on my 1st team about 10-years ago... but... over time we learned that Coffey wasn't so great in his own end (and the game is played in both ends). Coffey was about as offensively gifted as Orr (I think so), but Orr did everything. Coffey, while certainly strong, didn't play that way. Coffee is probably the most gifted skater I've ever seen, with considerations to Mike Gartner, Lafleur, Sergie Federov, Pavel Bure, Teemu Selanne, Phil Housley, and Al Iafrate. Coffey and Orr are about even in the regard (maybe slight edge to Coffey). A Phil Housley or a Gartner somehow looked faster, but Coffey had long and powerful strides (that he made look so easy) that were difficult to guage (as far as how fast he was actually going... deceptive).


Sidenote: Al Iafrate might have been one of the greatest physical specimens to have played the game of hockey (no joking). He had an awesome shot (maybe the hardest and fastest of all-time), he was one of the games fastest players, he was very strong, he was solid in his own end, and gifted in the offensive end. He was listed at "6'3" 215-225 lbs. But... he was a headcase. He loved his METALLICA, and forgot to it off in his head come game time. He loved to party, did his drugs (and he looked gone while he was playing) always had some kind of relationship problems that found it's way into the mainstream, and he was an avid biker (motorcycle). I don't know what happened to him, because he just kind of disappeared when he was around 30-years old. He had everything, but he just loved to do too much of everything as well.


Jagr, although still in mid-career, has put up amazing numbers, with and without Lemieux. Although he's at times considered a "ME"-player, his numbers speak volumes about what he's been able to do. He may have the strongest legs of any player that has played the game. He's actually better defensively than people give him credit for (although he once was softer in that area). By the time he's finished, he may finish #2 All-Time behind Gretzky. And just think, that Jagr put up these amazing numbers when goals were at a premium.


Chelios and Park make the list, because they were just as important to their respective teams as Bourque and Coffey were to theirs, as Orr was to his. Chelios could score when needed, but he did more for his teams than either Bourque or Coffey. Chelios fought, got under player's skin, played dirty, played maybe the best defense since Eddie Shore (Rod Langway, or Bill White... although Scott Stevens was about the same), and played big in big games. Although Bourque was better offensively, Chelios was much better defensively. I hated him up until a few years ago. And then I decided to admire him, because of what he does every game. Great physical condition, and still playing.

Park was tough, and like Chelios, could be considered one of the best in his own ends. He had a wicked slapshot, and he was a great leader (albeit quiet). Had he come around at any other time than the "Orr" era, we'd know more about him. Fantastic player.


I could probably go either way between Gretzky and Lemieux, but Gretzky's numbers will forever be "the greatest". I can also go either way between Shore and Potvin. Potvin and Shore may not be remembered like a Bourque, but they were the anchors for their respective dynasties.


A couple of players who are great, and can't really be considered yet, are Sergie Federov and Peter Forsberg. Both players play both ends of the rink flawlessly. Forsberg has missed a significant number of time, and it's too bad. Like Trottier, he is a great two-player, but I'd say this, he's the most complete hockey player I've ever seen (ignoring fighting of course). He's strong on the puck, he's got great vision, and his hockey IQ may be the highest. Lemieux and Gretzky are the greatest offensive players, but they could never play the full-game like Forsberg. Joe Sakic, considered a much better goal-scorer, is a shade below him.

Federov is a shadow of his former-self this year. Although I ignored his play (while focussing on Yzerman, Lindros, Selanne, Bure, ect...) in the '90s, prior to Forsberg's real emergence, it was Federov who was the slickest of the centers. Like Forsberg, without having to fight, was amazingly gifted and smart. I spent too much time focussing on Sakic vs. Yzerman, when perhaps the "real" match-up was actually Forsberg vs. Federov.

Sidenote: Steve Yzerman never ages. He somehow looks as good as he did 23-years ago when he first started.


... Up next, I'll tackle my NBA list.


Steed

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spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Geez people, slow down! LOL... I wake up in the morning, nothing to respond to - I get back from work and half the world has posted in this thread :)

Jockeys - Pincay is a must, as is of course the Shoe. In my opinion Chris McCarron also deserves credit. Cordero too. And Julie Krone representing the females. Never watched Pat Day so don't know much about him or the others. And this doesn't include a multitude of jockeys from Ireland, South Africa, and Australia which were also masters of the sport.

Horses - I'll leave that to you horse lovers, but Secretariat and Affirmed are enshrined in horse racing history... as are Alydar and Alysheba... Cigar... Northern Dancer... all one needs to do is look at the Racing Form and check out the sires and mares... LOL... But yet again, there were horses in other parts of the world which were equally astounding.

What I had meant about Cheryl being the brighter star, was that I believe in the context of her own sport, she was the greatest, to which Reggie isn't (although I'm a big Reggie Miller fan). Cheryl WAS women's basketball. Reggie Miller is borderline Top-50 All-Time in NBA lore. Cheryl is #1 without question in her sport.

Gotcha - and I fully agree.

Aren't they blessed enough athletically to be ranked #1 and #2 (flip-flop every so often) from '00 up until another few years? Where are they?

Frankly, they've both had major injury problems all last year. And it's also possible that they've become a bit lazy. But let's give them this year to reestablish themselves. When either of them is on form, nothing can touch them with a ten-foot racket... except the other of the two sisters :)

As for feeling uncomfortable, I can sympathize. Shaq is NOT an athlete - in my opinion he just knows how to throw his weight around. If he's an athlete, then so was the Refrigerator.

Monica Seles did indeed have the weapons to beat Steffi on occasion - but Steffi was still the better of the two. The period you are talking about is summarized as follows:

1992: Missed the Australian Open due to injury. Lost in the finals of the French Open 2-6, 6-3, 8-10, to Monica Seles, but beat Seles 6-2, 6-1 in the finals of Wimbledon. Won a Silver Medal at the Olympics in Barcelona, losing to Jennifer Capriati in the finals.

1993: Lost in the finals of the Australian Open to Monica Seles in 3 sets. Went on to win the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Regained the #1 ranking on June 7. Became the only person to win all 4 Grand Slams in the '90s and one of very few people to win all 4 Grand Slams in 2 different decades. Her victory at Wimbledon was her 13th career Grand Slam title, moving her into 5th place on the all-time list, and her 20th career Grand Slam final. Graf won at least 3 Grand Slams for the 3rd time in her career, setting a new record. Won her 600th career match on March 14.

Note that in 1992 she didn't perform well because she was clearly hampered by an injury early in the year. But how does she respond the next year? :)

Ok, Seles was stabbed in April - and I remember feeling very sorry for her because I also liked her, along with Steffi. I thought to myself just how crazy it was that she could be stabbed on court... and Seles definitely was dominant in 1992.

In grand slam finals, they won 3 each against the other. But in overall head-to-head stats, Steffi won 10 on 15 matches.

Things could have different if not for that tragic day, this I will definitely agree with - but as it stands Steffi is still ahead of Monica in my books at least :)

Hockey was not my game, but I definitely remember some of the greats that Steed mentioned, like Orr, Hull, Trottier, Messier... in fact, many of the ones on your list :) Mike Bossy too... LOL... your first team is superb and right on the mark... although personally I'd have Hlasek there in goal and shuffle the other ones down a notch.

You're not just a baseball man, my friend :)
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Speaking of tennis, I was a ballboy at a couple of Masters events in Hong Kong, and got to meet Connors and Lendl. This was just after Connors married Patti McGuire the Playmate, and they had just had a baby - I got to see all of them up close - that was an exciting moment :) Had both of their autographs as well but no idea where that's gone to... I also remember when Connors and Evert were an item, and I was quite sad when they broke up - but Patti McGuire was a damn good replacement!

I was so enamored with Connors I even owned a Wilson T2000 racket at one time - remember the racket with the little rubber vibration dampener on the end of the handle? :)

Also remember watching the Battle of the Sexes on TV, where Billie Jean King decimated Sugar Daddy Bobby Riggs... I wish they'd do that again sometime.
 

johnsteed

Ueber Meister
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***


Spearmaster, my good man, I HAD to copy this text...


1992 was an equally dominant year. She successfully defended her titles at the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open. She also made the final at Wimbledon, but could not manage to break Graf's one remaining area of dominance on the grass court surface and lost 6-2, 6-1.

During the period from January 1991 to February 1993, Seles won 22 titles and reached 33 finals out of the 34 tournaments she played in. She compiled an astounding 159-12 win-loss record (92.9% winning percentage), including a 55-1 win-loss record in Grand Slam tournaments. In the broader context of her first four years on the circuit (1989-1992), Seles had a win-loss record of 231-25 (90.2% winning percentage), and collected 30 titles. Only Chris Evert had a better first four years in terms of winning percentage (91.1% from 1971 to 1974) and titles (34) in the Open era.

Despite the blip at Wimbledon in 1992, Seles had clearly dethroned Graf as the dominant player on the women's tour heading in to 1993. And there was every reason to believe that this would continue to be the case for some years to come, especially when Seles beat Graf in the final to claim her third consecutive Australian Open crown in January 1993.


Spearmaster

In grand slam finals, they won 3 each against the other. But in overall head-to-head stats, Steffi won 10 on 15 matches.


Well, that is true, but I'd have to figure that lots of those matches came after the stabbing incident. Well never know the true greatness of Seles, but I think she was giving Graf a good-run-for-her-money. I would think that in early '93, the feeling was that Seles was figuring-out how to defeat Graf (and I do believe that she was ranked #1 at that time).


Funny how Seles couldn't win on grass, and Sampras couldn't win the French, but Graf and Agassi have titles at all 4 Grand Slams. Their baby WILL be something special all right. I wonder how much GoldenPalace would have to pay to buy their baby? :D

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Spearmaster

Speaking of tennis, I was a ballboy at a couple of Masters events in Hong Kong, and got to meet Connors and Lendl.


Lucky you again... :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy

Lendl was so quite awesome for a long stretch, it seems people forgot about him too quickly (with Edberg and Boom-Boom). At one point, he had the greatest all-time winning percentage.

Jimmy Connors vs. John McEnroe offered the best in entertainment. For the game in itself, most definitely. For their antics and posturing... most absolutely positively!!! Connors certainly is a BIG rah-rah guy, and McEnroe (my favorite) is certainly a wah-wah guy. Both great (though I'll give the ever-so-slightest edge to McEnroe), and while Agassi vs. Sampras could be regarded as the best pure games (based on the actual tennis played), McEnroe vs. Connors would have to be the best event. ;)


Steed

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spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Jimmy Connors vs. John McEnroe offered the best in entertainment. For the game in itself, most definitely. For their antics and posturing... most absolutely positively!!! Connors certainly is a BIG rah-rah guy, and McEnroe (my favorite) is certainly a wah-wah guy. Both great (though I'll give the ever-so-slightest edge to McEnroe), and while Agassi vs. Sampras could be regarded as the best pure games (based on the actual tennis played), McEnroe vs. Connors would have to be the best event.

Agreed. Sadly, McEnroe didn't play in Hong Kong.

Jimmy Connors won in 1979.
Ivan Lendl won in 1980.

I got to ballboy both finals, in 1979 at the net, and in 1980 at the back because I could barely stand up after pulling a muscle a day earlier. Was a real thrill - sadly, the Masters was pulled from Hong Kong the next year. But then they created a Classic which had both men's and women's tournaments, but by that time I had other things to do.

Your quote is duly noted... LOL... but remember that Graf was injured in the year that Seles dominated, and still beat Seles at Wimbledon.

This was Seles at her best - and damn, damn good, no question about that - against a previously-injured Graf who missed the Australian Open in 1992 and had spent much of 1991 injured and with personal problems as well (issues with father, what else?).

I think that, had Graf not been injured and distracted, she would probably still have dominated Seles - who was easily the best of the other players on the Tour at the time.

You might even compare this to Andre's annus horribilis in 1997 where he dropped right off the map and had to start qualifying again from a lowly ranking of 141... and then what does he do? Go right back up to #6 in 1998... LOL... and who was HE distracted by? Pretty Baby Brooke Shields...
 
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Daffy

Experienced Member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Location
Dallas,TX
Bruce Sutter(300 career saves) elected today as sole enshrinee class of 2006.

No Jim Rice...no Rich Gossage(310 saves)...no Andre Dawson...no Bert Blyleven.

*******************************************************
Vince Young has declared for the NFL. Ironic...he's probably going to the Titans(used to be the Oilers)...Houston fans are PISSED...Bud Adams stole the Oilers away...now he's got their hometown boy(Young).

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2 sport-Deon Sanders, Bo Jackson, Chuck Conners (was the Rifleman also)

Longevity with excellence-Gehrig, Ripkin, Ryan, Julio Franco

Racing-Richard Petty, Mario Andretti

Basketball-Chamberlain, Russell, Johnson, Jabbar, Gerwin, Byrd

Boxing-Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Roberto Duran

Horses-Always heard Man O' War was good...Secretariot (Big Red) was the best I've ever seen.

the dUck
 

Daffy

Experienced Member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Location
Dallas,TX
Lendale White(USC) has requested a press conference for today...insiders say he will opt for the NFL over his senior season.

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Pete Rose had his 15th ballot opportunity yesterday...now the veteran committee would be his only chance. Rose argues he has never been on the ballot...how could he be removed??? Rose has received a 3.5% write-in vote over the past 15 years.

the dUck
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Saw where Vince Young declared for the draft... UT might be disappointed... but Houston more upset because he will probably be going to the team that used to be theirs...

If LenDale White has called a conference, it's almost a certainty that he's also going to declare. There would be no reason for him to call for a press conference otherwise.

Boxing - many good athletes. Your list is good, even if one of them did "No Mas" once... LOL... You might want to add Chavez, Hearns and Hagler there... I still remember the fireworks from Hearns vs Hagler... that was one of the best boxing matches I ever saw even if it did only last three rounds...

Auto racing - don't forget there were some great Formula 1 champions as well... Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost...

Baskeball - nice list :)

Your 2-sport list members are great hopes which were never fully realized... only Jordan from the moden era really made something of his talents.

I think Pete Rose isn't going to get in until he's at least 65... LOL... then out of the kindness of their hearts, the collective brain trust known as the MLB Commissioners will finally agree he should be forgiven....
 
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Daffy

Experienced Member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Location
Dallas,TX
15 finalist for Class of 2006 (between 3-6 will be chosen)

Troy Aikman - Quarterback - 1989-2000 Dallas Cowboys
Harry Carson - Linebacker - 1976-1988 New York Giants
L.C. Greenwood - Defensive End - 1969-1981 Pittsburgh Steelers
Russ Grimm - Guard - 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Claude Humphrey - Defensive End - 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles (injured reserve - 1975)
Michael Irvin - Wide Receiver - 1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys
Bob Kuechenberg - Guard - 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins (injured reserve - 1984)
John Madden - Coach - 1969-1978 Oakland Raiders
Art Monk - Wide Receiver - 1980-1993 Washington Redskins, 1994 New York Jets, 1995 Philadelphia Eagles
Warren Moon - Quarterback - 1984-1993 Houston Oilers, 1994-1996 Minnesota Vikings, 1997-1998 Seattle Seahawks, 1999-2000 Kansas City Chiefs
Derrick Thomas - Linebacker - 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Thurman Thomas - Running Back - 1988-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Miami Dolphins
Reggie White - Defensive End/Defensive Tackle - 1985-1992 Philadelphia Eagles, 1993-1998 Green Bay Packers, 2000 Carolina Panthers
Rayfield Wright - Tackle - 1967-1979 Dallas Cowboys
Gary Zimmerman - Tackle - 1986-1992 Minnesota Vikings, 1993-1997 Denver Broncos

*********************************************************
Reggie White and Troy Aikman are suppose to be "locks".

Rayfield Wright and John Madden were nominated by the Veteran Committee (thanks for overlooking Bob Hayes...again).

Wonder if Doug Flutie will get in some day...wonder if he'll ever retire...lol.

the dUck
 

johnsteed

Ueber Meister
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Location
N/A
All-Time NBA greats...

***

I've been pondering over my All-Time list of great NBA players over the course of this week. I've got it, so here we go...


1st Team All-Time

C - Bill Russell
F - Bob Petit
F - Larry Bird
G - Michael Jordan
G - Oscar Robertson

2nd Team All-Time

C - Kareem Abdul Jabbar
F - Tim Duncan
F - John Havlicek
G- Jerry West
G- Magic Johnson

3rd Team All-Time

C - Wilt Chamberlain
F - Karl Malone
F - Scottie Pippen
G - Walt Frazier
G - John Stockton


1st Team Analysis


I'm taking Bill Russell over the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neil, and Hakeem Olajuwon, because he was a champion, was the key to probably the greatest team sport dynasties. Bill Russell never put up gaudy numbers like Chamberlain, and he didn't posess the games most deadly weapon "The Skyhook" (or is it Olajuwon's "Dream Shake"?), but he was unquestionably the games greatest defensive center, and most likely the games greatest leader. If this was a game of 1-on-1, I'd take another center, but it isn't, it's a team sport. And he was the ultimate team player. Like Michael Jordan, he never took a night off.


Bob Petit was fortunate enough to have won one a championship ('58) during the Cousy/Russell dynasty (to which Baylor and West never could do). He averaged 26.4 pts/16.2 reb. per game. He was probably the games greatest force until Wilt Chamberlain showed-up. Great player, who was still great when he retired after only 11 seasons.


Larry Bird was all clutch. He was a fantastic passer, he was cocky, he could rebound with the best of them, he score-at-will, and he was the leader of a great Boston team. Some will say that Bird is the Celtics greatest player over Russell or a John Havlicek. Maybe... I'll give the edge to Russell though. While Bird was not a very good defensive player, it was widely known that he played great defense when it mattered most. He knew how to anticipate what the other team was going to (hello Isiah Thomas... thank you very much for the steal...).


Michael Jordan is the games greatest player. He might not have been the leader that Russell was (Russell got along well with his teammates, and they adhored him), and he had one helluva'n anger problem... which worked to his advantage. No one was more talented on the court as Jordan, and there was, it didn't matter because he would out-work them. He was all fire. Watching him on NBC, was like watching an episode of Superman. You know who's going to win in the end. There was never any doubt. Jordan is very well known for his amazing dunks, but his defense was so overwhelming. What made Jordan the greatest, wasn't just that he could score 30 points per night, it was that he could shut down his man (almost completely), and shatter a teams confidence.


Sidenote: If you ever want to see how amazing Jordan was when he first came into the league, check out "Come Fly With Me". On one specific play, he literally goes through a Hawks team of 7-foot towers. In a split second, it's ridiculous, because it looks as though he takes off from the 3-point line and in a flash he goes up-and-over-and-through Tree Rollins, Dominique Wilkins, Antoine Carr, and Kevin Willis to dunk. The play was so fast, that all the players were still looking forward, as if none of them have realized that Jordan had passed them. To watch it in slow motion, he's STILL going fast. I've seen some pretty magnificent things in sports, but that specific play (by no means famous), still gets me 20-years later.


Oscar Robertson was not the flashy player that Magic Johnson was, and people never really got to see him back in the day (although Lebron James minus the defense is pretty darn close), but he was the games best all-around player (with Jerry West) in the mid/late '60s. A triple-double waiting to happen. But while Lebron James (Jason Kidd and at one time Magic Johson and Larry Bird) is becoming more and more of a threat to challenge Robertson's numbers, he's not even close in terms of defense. Robertson (like Jordan) played the whole court, and didn't take days off. It's a shame that he didn't win more than he had. But, there were some pretty GREAT teams playing back in his days.


2nd Team Analysis

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, like Russell, like Chamberlain, is variously viewed as the best center of all-time. Why do I place him second amongst this trifecta of greatest centers? And can't put him first because Russell was always a champion, with Abdul Jabbar, that wasn't always the case. Probably the best player in the game during the '70s, he'd only won one championship prior to Magic Johnson's (amongst a great supporting cast) arrival (and that was with Oscar Robertson and an excellent Bucks line-up). I view Jabbar as the in-between of Chamberlain and Russell. He was more of a winner than Chamberlain and he could score better than Russell. Actually, he probably had the best post-moves in the paint, until Hakeem Olajuwon came around. Jabbar was always smart, very smart, and VERY well coached by John Wooden (in College's greatest dynasty with UCLA... along with Bill Walton's teams as well). But it's often said, that he didn't always play with the heart-and-determination of a Russell. So, he's on the 2nd team.


Tim Duncan. Too soon you say. Yes, I suppose so. But he already has 3 championships, and is sure to win another 1 (likely more than that) before his career winds-down. Over Karl Malone? Yup, no problem. I was a Karl Malone fan, and I'm not a fan of Tim Duncan, but Duncan is completely sound in his game. He doesn't need to score 30 points a game, like Russell didn't need to do so. Malone was a great power-forward, and he's the NBA's second all-time scorer (behind Kareem), and while his defense was fine, it wasn't that good either. And he choked so many times. It must have pissed John Stockton off completely. Malone worked his ass-off, was a great power forward, but I believe that Stockton was the greater part of the equation in the Stockton-Malone relationship.


Back to Duncan, he plays very good defense (although I think Rasheed Wallace is a much better defender), and like Jabbar, always plays with his head (and generally makes the best decisions). He's got a great post-up game, he's an underrated passer, and works well within the team concept (more than Shaquille ever will). He's a champion. If Duncan never came to San Antonio, they'd never have won a championship.


John Havlicek is an easy choice. People think of his as just someone who carried the torch between the Russell/Bird era, but that's hogwash. Havlicek was probably just as great as Bird. He played great defense (his advantage over Bird), and always made the most of his ability. He always ran. He could be the 6th man, or he could be the cornerstone of a franchise. He did everything well (and I'm wondering why I'm not putting him ahead of Bird... hmmm... :rolleyes: ).


Jerry West could replace Oscar Robertson on that 1st team, and quite a number of people from that era would rank him higher. West, another great-great defender, was clutch (although it puzzles me that he's always referred to Mr. Clutch considering how many times his teams came up short against the Celtics in the NBA finals... MANY times at that), and was one of the games greatest snipers (until Rick Barry came along). A great passer, he could do everything, and he did do everything.


Magic Johnson probably ran the break almost as great as Cousy once did, and what Steve Nash is doing now. I'd say Kidd, Kevin Johnson, and Stockton were great at that as well, but it's not at the speak of which Cousy and Nash do it. Johnson was built like a power-forward, but had the court-vision (and awareness) of a Wayne Gretzky (different sports... I know... but they have that same vision). Johnson was a champion. If he had a weak element to his game, his defense would be it. If he were a greater defender, he's be with or ahead of Oscar Robertson. Steve Smith, Lloyd Daniels, Lebron James, and Penny Hardaway were/are supposed to the next great tall (or long) point guard, similar to Johnson, but it'll never be the same.


3rd Team Analysis


Wilt Chamberlain to many, is the game's greatest player. In many ways, that would be accurate. As the same could be said for Shaquille O'Neil, he's the games greatest force. The only player that could ever really stop them was them (apologies to Russell and Olajuwon). But as I've read countless times, Chamerlain was not a winner. Sure he won, and he SHOULD have won more than DID, but it's hard being a winner when you're a ball-hog.


Chamberlain, actually played on quite a few great teams. He played with Paul Arizin, but honestly, those Warriors' teams weren't that great (Philadelphia and San Francisco). But after he was traded to the 76ers, he went to a team that was VERY loaded. Hal Greer was an amazing player (VERY underrated), Chet Walker was great, ditto Billy Cunningham, Lucious Jackson (not the band), and Larry Jones. Surely, they SHOULD have won more than 1 championship, and I think they didn't because Chamberlain was too focussed on Wilt Chamberlain. What about with the Lakers? Well, they did lose twice in the finals, but here's one that gets to me. Willis Reed came out in probably the most famous moment in Knicks history to put up about 2 points, and that was it. The Knicks won that game. What the HELL was Wilt Chamberlain doing? He didn't have any sort of challenge, and they lost. What a dog!!! What about against Russell in his last game? Crappola again... Chamberlain is an awesome talent, he did some great things, but he should have won a lot more championships than he had. That's why he's 3rd.


Karl Malone is quite often viewed as the greatest power-forward to have played the game. Well, his numbers would suggest that that's in fact true. There's no questioning that he was great, but I think he seemed greater than he was. I wanted to put Kevin McHale in Malone's spot, because, truth be told, he was a greater power-forward. It's very hard to see that if you only look at something like points-per-game and games played, but believe me, McHale was probably the best post-player the game has ever seen. He had so many moves (which is why I don't understand why he's never taught more of them to Kevin Garnett), he was probably the greatest defensive power-forward, and he was JUST as important to those Celtic teams as Larry Bird ever was (ditto always underrated Dennis Johnson). Had he played longer than he had, I'd have no problem ranking him higher.


Scottie Pippen amazes me more the further we get away from the Bulls glory days. I had underrated Pippen a great deal during the Bulls dynasties. Pippen was the 2nd best player in the game (from '90-98), although it was almost impossible to see that at THAT time. Hakeem Olajuwon, could be 2nd as well. Clyde Drexler in the early '90s was also right there. Regardless, when you already had Jordan as your main man (probably of all-time), it's easy to be overlooked.


Pippen did EVERYTHING. His defense was awesome, like Jordan's and (cough-cough) Rodman's (yes, Dennis was a super-great defensive player). I spent too much time watching Jordan, I hadn't really noticed Pippen. Pippen could never be Jordan, because he's not that type of player. He's not the clutch player that Jordan was, and he didn't need the spotlight (although I think at times he may have wanted it). Pippen was the main playmaker on those Bulls teams, which would allow them to use a big point guard for defensive purposes (hello Ron Harper... another great role-player/once great leaper and scorer). In a nutshell, Pippen was greater than people think.


Walt Frazier is with Pippen on the 3rd team, and frankly, I think they're the same player. Smooth, great defense, do-everything, winners. Whatever I said about Pippen, you can use it with Frazier.


People I left off, but were close...


Rick Barry - (sigh) I'm a HUGE Rick Barry fan, I get a kick out of his egotistical side. He's quite right about most observations he carries with him. Probably the games greatest shooter, if not, he's right there. He did everything well also, and while his defense wasn't up to par, he did become a better defender over the years. Great player (Jerry West -.00001).


Julius Erving - Wow, how could I leave him off. Perhaps it's a huge error on my part, but I can't take Pippen off. Erving is a big name. He's the player people will identify with the '70s. He's become such a wonderful ambassador for the game. He should be on the list, but if he's not, it's in part because of his defense (it wasn't horrible... but it wasn't very good either). He also played on great teams that choked (before he won it all).


Hakeem Olajuwon - I'm not confident enough to put Hakeem ahead of Chamberlain, but in all honesty, I'm sure that he could hang with any of the greatest centers. And in the paint, he could out-perform any of them with his assortment of back-to-the-basket moves. I've seen Shaq dominate, and I've seen some great things from Duncan, Robinson, Ewing, Garnett, Webber, ect... but in '93-95, Olajuwon (with Jordan out) was absolutely awesome. He embarassed David Robinson, Ewing, and Shaq with all of his moves... embarassed them silly (in monster games). Especially David Robinson!


Dominique Wilkins - Great scorer, great player, but not very good defensively. Also, some of those Hawk teams (late '80s) were pretty loaded, and did nothing. Some great series though, especially with Bird. He could still score right up to the end.


Moses Malone - Was a black-hole. Pass to Moses, that's where it ends. Great scorer, fierce rebounder, so-so defender. Worked hard to score and rebound, not necessarily to cover his man. I did like him though...


Elvin Hayes - I always wondered why NBA purists don't like him more than they do. He was a part of a great Washington Bullets team during the '70s. He was the player that took down Kareem down in college (in one of the greatest college games of all-time), back when UCLA was invicincible (as was Lew Alcindor). Scored great, rebounded great, blocked well, but it's often said that he was a difficult player, and like Moses Malone, was a so-so defender who was a hog with the ball (include Andrian Dantley and Bob McAdoo to that list as well).


Gary Payton - Could be on that list. Gary was a great defensive player, up until his days with the Lakers. Not necessarily a great position defender, but great transition defender with great anticipation and great hands (hence the nickname... "The Glove"). Gary scored more than people had noticed, and he was a better playmaker than people noticed. A great player, who can still occasionally come up with big games.


George Gervin - Great scorer. Should be called "The Ice-Man" because he only played one end of the court (IOW not sweating). Defenseless...


Bernard King - Ditto. The best scorer in the NBA before Jordan came. Impossible to stop. All heart, but his defense could have been so much better, and he could have passed a bit more...


Alex English - Slightly better defense than Gervin (not hard to do), and great all-around numbers. Very underrated player.


Patrick Ewing - My favorite player with Michael Jordan during the '90s. Wasn't as great as I had believed. Better than some feel though. Hard worker, played in lots of big games, and before he was labelled a loser, he was a winner in college (defeating University of Houston which included Hakeem and Clyde Drexler, while Ewing was with the Hoyas). Funny, how Jordan always defeated the Knicks (very good teams) in the '90s, killing Ewing's chances of ever winning a championship. But remember, Jordan made a name for himself in college based on a game-winning shot while he was with North Carolina. Against who? Ewing's Hoyas!!!


Charles Barkley - I'd have to say that while Malone put a lot of distance between he and Barkley, based on his longevity, but at their peaks, I might give the slight-edge to Barkley. Barkley was a much better rebounder (than Malone), and although not build like a God like Malone, tougher, and stronger down low. Malone had more muscle, but he never had Barkley's BIG 'ol ASS to back down his opponents. Great at running when he was with the 76ers.


Shaquille O'Neil - Could very well be the greatest center. Certainly the biggest. Most initimidating? Tough call. Chamberlain was extremely intimidating as well. Shaquille has a wide-assortment of weapons, aside from just his bulk, and he is/was an athlete. Believe me, men at that size, to be able to do spin-around dunks at blinding speed like him, need MAJOR athleticism to do so. Shaq is athletic. Shaq is a great player. What Shaq is not, is a player that takes care of his body as well as he should. Shaq is a player who should dominate the glass and the paint everyday, every single game he plays, and he doesn't. Alonzo Mourning, who is much smaller, is a greater defensive player. As was Hakeem. As is Ben Wallace, who's 4 inches and probably 100 lbs lighter. As is Rasheed Wallace (gee... I wonder why Detroit is so awesome). As is a fair-sized list of others as well.


Clyde Drexler - The reason Jordan didn't end up with the Blazers in the '84 Entry Draft. Drextler, regardless, was a great player. I loved watching him push the ball up the court, and ending with one of his sweet dunks. Jerry Stackhouse has a very similar game (and talent) to Drexler, but Drexler has done more with his talents (and got along better with his coaches).


David Robinson - Was thought to have been the games best center in the early-mid '90s... but we learned that Hakeem was better. Nevertheless, you'll likely never see another 7-foot basketball player posess so much athletic ability. He was awfully soft though, for a man with so much definition. If Robinson had Ewing's heart and warrior-mentality, I'd believe that Robinson would be amongst my Top-3 (although neither he nor Ewing had good back-to-the-basket moves).


Sidenote 1: Dennis Rodman wanted to give-up on San Antonio after a couple of years, because he came to believe that the Spurs would never win a Championship with Robinson (at least playing the way he did).

Sidenote II: David Robinson once said that Rodman was a much greater rebounder than Tim Duncan.

Sidenote III: I guess while most don't appreciate Rodman, and merely view him as a circus act, he was a great defensive player.


Isiah Thomas - He was the best ball-dribbler that I've ever seen. Maybe better than Pistol Pete Maravich. Great clutch player, warrior, killer, solid passer, great penetrator. Decent defender (thank God for Joe Dumars)... another man who never ages (owns the same fountain of youth used by Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt).


***


Most talented players who never materlialized​
:

J.R. (Isaiah) Rider - All the talents in the world. Could have been awesome if he could have tweaked his mind (rather than his game). Great handle, great defense (yes, when he wanted to play), great moves in the low-post (for a shooting guard yet), and when he was on, he was really on. If anyone remembers the Portland team from '98-99, with he and Jimmy Jackson (and a very deep bench), he was amazing in the playoffs. It's a shame they traded him away that summer, they were really on to something with that line-up. Maybe Rider would have grown-up had he stayed there.

Shawn Kemp - The "Rainman" was supposed to be the next great power-forward, and although he never did score like a Karl Malone, it can be argued that with his limited minutes (a la George Karl) and his desire to be a very good "team player" (yes, he was a very good team player), he may very well have been the best power-forward in the mid-'90s. Super athletic, great-great-great hops, great second step (like Shawn Marion), a very good defensive player, very strong, good post moves, he was a heavily gifted player. But, then came the drugs, the women, and getting traded, and later putting on too much weight.

Sidenote - Phil Jackson said that after the '96 NBA finals (Bulls vs. Sonics), he had never seen a power-forward play as well as Shawn Kemp. He said that he was an absolute bull, and they had nothing to stop him. With Dennis Rodman having played a long-list of great power-forwards in his days, it was Shawn Kemp who he claimed gave him the hardest time.

Derrick Coleman - Throughout the '90s, what Shawn Kemp was supposed to be for the West, Coleman was supposed to be for the East. Well, that became partly true. Although Coleman would eventually become a well-grounded person (in part), he was a major-ego-gone-wild in the early-mid-late '90s. He once confessed that he was better than Karl Malone, because 'ol Karl couldn't dribble behind his back (to which Coleman could). But Coleman, like Kemp, would fight weight problems, which only helps to erode their skills. Coleman had all the tools, but he didn't want to keep working for whatever skills he had, and he always thought he was the greatest (so there was nowhere to go but down I suppose). I could include Kenny Anderson on this list as well, but I'd be wasting words.

Roy Tarpley - Drinking and drugs. Big man was just starting to emerge in the late '80s, when reality hit him. Made a couple of comebacks, and looked good in his '94-95 return, but little to talk about after that.

Glenn Robinson - A scorer who only wanted to score. And he did that very well. Over 20 points-per-game for a good 10-years, and then people started to REALLY notice that players need to play two ends of the court. To which, Robinson didn't do. But, he could sure hit that mid-range jumper with great ease. Many assumed that he was an instant all-star (me too).

Vin Baker - Traded for Kemp, and after both players being good for a couple of years (after the trade), Baker would just plain-lose-his game. With the Bucks he as good for 20 points/10 rebounds. He battled many personal problems after that, and would never fulfill the promise he showed in his early years.


***


Great Scorers/No Defense Top-10

1. George Gervin

2. World B. Free

3. Pete Maravich

4. Michael Adams

5. Glenn Robinson

6. Bob McAdoo

7. Reggie Theus

8. Peja Stojakovic

9. Glen Rice

10. Antoine Walker


Sidenote: The worst defenders I've ever seen, have got to be Jason Williams, as well as Wang Zhizhi. Well, I'll give Wang Zhizhi this, at least he tried flapping his arms.



Steed

***
 
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spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
What an amazing piece of work - thanks, Steed!

Many, many memorable names in your list, all the way down to the "almosts"!

The only one I even questioned was the one you thought might be questioned - Tim Duncan. I think it's way too soon :)

Oh yeah - and Shaq. I don't believe he is a franchise, nor a great player - but certainly one that any team would love to have.

Mark my words - ten years from now, you won't be talking about Shaq - you'll be talking about Yao Ming. Lots of people talked shit about him when he got drafted - but I knew they would soon be eating crow. You will have a hard time separating him from any of your top three centers.

Hakeem came damn close, mind you - and they talked the same shit about him the first year he was in the NBA.

And oh, how I dearly wish Ewing had lived up to his potential *sigh*...

Reggie White is a lock. Aikman is a near-certainty though personally I don't believe he is as great as that. I'd put Art Monk and Warren Moon over him, with Michael Irvin just a bit behind - and Madden should go in as a broadcaster LOL... and definitely Bob Hayes deserves another chance.
 

Daffy

Experienced Member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Location
Dallas,TX
1st Team All-Time

C - Bill Russell (fine choice)
F - Bob Petit (2nd team)
F - Larry Bird (no brainer)
G - Michael Jordan (no brainer)
G - Oscar Robertson (2nd team)

2nd Team All-Time

C - Kareem Abdul Jabbar (holding Shaq's place)
F - Tim Duncan (1st...when he's done)
F - John Havlicek (no place to put him...'sniff')
G- Jerry West ( I concur)
G- Magic Johnson (maybe best floor presence ever-1st)

3rd Team All-Time

C - Wilt Chamberlain (3rd for now)
F - Karl Malone (good player...wish he had more help)
F - Scottie Pippen (very underrated in MHO)
G - Walt Frazier (3rd for now)
G - John Stockton (see Malone)

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Wow...super group!!!

Been wondering where you were...now I see...lol.

It's so hard to compare eras in sports...the players always get bigger and faster.

I'm thinking Shaq and Duncan will be very high on the all-time when they're done...like Spear said. Possibly Iverson, James and Bryant...even though they're ball hogs...and I love when they miss the playoffs...lol.

I admire the players who excel within the "team" concept...Russell, Duncan, Stockton, Nash, even Rodman ( a rebounding phenom). Wish there was a spot for Dave Cowans...lol.

When I think of Chamberlain...I think "freak"...Russell was really his only competition.

I also think most people would rate Johnson ahead of Robertson...but I like them both. Johnson was more important to the Lakers than Jabbar in MHO.

Very happy to see Havlichek...one of my favorites...great jump shot.

No "Dr J"...shame on you...lol...I agree...no room.

Good list and good work!!!

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Spear you need to get over that UCLA connection (Aikman)...lol.

Tell you the truth...regarding the "triplets"...Irvin was more valueable than Smith or Aikman. The guy got open more often than Largent...he was also very good at reading the blitz and adjusting his route. When he retired (neck injury), Boys went downhill fast.

the dUck
 

johnsteed

Ueber Meister
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Location
N/A
***

Daffy

Wonder if Doug Flutie will get in some day...wonder if he'll ever retire...lol.


I hope so. He did a lot for football. Seriously. His work alone in the CFL was huge, his "Hail-Mary" pass is most likely the single greatest play in college football history, he was on a Wheaties box, he NEVER should have been taken-out (replaced) by the Bills AFTER getting them into the playoffs BECAUSE of his work. He a great player, but people ALWAYS wanted to go in a different direction. Flutie is/was forever viewed as a band-aid until the real help would arrive. Unfortunately, no one had the vision to see whatever Flutie was doing, was working. Oh well, I think football has to be the cruelest of the major sports. Give me one good year, c'ya!!!


***


Spearmaster

The only one I even questioned was the one you thought might be questioned - Tim Duncan. I think it's way too soon :)


Fair enough, I kind of second guess myself with that pick as well. Actually, power-forwards was the hardest one to decide on. I went with Tim Duncan, because IF he were to die tomorrow, his accomplishments are already full. He's a champion. He's boring to watch, he's even more boring in interviews, but I've learned to (VERY) reluctantly appreciate Duncan the player. He already has 3 rings, and I'm certain he'll get at least another one before he's finished. The only great power-forwards that were good enough to get their respective teams a championship, are none other than Bob Petit and Kevin McHale (and Rodman). Most of the other great teams, had other great players at other positions, not necessarily at their PF position. Duncan has already done so much for San Antonio, and he's probably still in early/mid career at this point (scary thought). Will he get better? Not so sure, although, I'm certain he'll be getting smarter.

Regardless, Malone at his peak was great, but Duncan at his peak IS the best player in the game. I'll root for Kobe, Webber, R. Wallace any day before I root for Duncan, but I respect his greatness. It may very well be that once the dust settles, they'll say Duncan was greater than Shaq (that's what I believe).


cont...

Mark my words - ten years from now, you won't be talking about Shaq - you'll be talking about Yao Ming.

With no great center on the horizon, it would appear that this will eventually become a realitiy. I hope for Yao Ming's sake, that he takes more summers off, relaxing and preparing for the upcoming seasons. Spending too much time (minus this past summer) with the Chinese national team only stumps his growth (game-wise). Only two things will haunt Ming in the future, his arms aren't very long (look at Chris Webber, his arms are like a giant squid's), and while he has VERY strong legs, he's not very agile. It's like he's playing on flat feet, or that he resembles too much of A. Sabonis AFTER his knees were gone. Having said that, when I look at Yao Ming, I see greatness. I think it won't happen this year or the next, it'll happen when people shift their attention away from him. He'll be much greater than Rik Smits, and he has lots of physical gifts that could enable him to be great.

For the most part, it's his mental approach that's holding him back. People say he's not tough, but I don't buy into that. I think he's trusting himself to be more selfish and dominant. Steve Nash had that very problem, when way back in '96, he was buried behind a deep backcourt of Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson, and Rex Chapman, and then... he becomes a starter in Dallas. He sucked his first couple of years in Dallas. It took Don Nelson (who I think would be good for Yao Ming actually) quite some time to get on him (Nash) to shoot the ball more. I took a few years of constantly progressing, but Nash has turned himself into a great player. I think Yao Ming needs to try to bust-out on his own.

All-in-all, once Yao figures that stuff out, he'll become a MUCH better center.


cont...

And oh, how I dearly wish Ewing had lived up to his potential *sigh*...


Me too. I always liked Ewing and I still do. I'm not sure if many would agree, but at one time, it would seem that Ewing was considered the higher prospect (despite that he and Akeem didn't come out of the same draft... Akeem in '84... Ewing in '85...). Ewing was once thought of as a Bill Russell type actually. A beast on the defensive end. Actually, I think Rick Patino was good for him his first couple of years, with the college running game. It seemed that Ewing was far more active defensively in his early days.

Not all completely his fault though. Once Riley became the head coach, they had so many great defensive players on that team (Oakley, Harper, Starks, Mason, Bonner), Ewing didn't have to dominate in that area as much as he had to be able to produce offensively. While he was always very good offensively (even posting 28 points per game one year), he didn't really have many back-to-the-basket moves. He was more of a McAdoo-type, 15-feet away from the basket type-shooter, a great one at that. I'll give Ewing this though, he matched-up quite well with all the centers. During Shaq's first few years in the league, or Mourning's, Ewing played them well.

Another way I've trying to approach Ewing, is what were people (namely sportswriters) really expecting from him anyways? Why were they so disappointed? He still was a very-good/great center for 15-years. If it's just the championship that eluded that team, thank M.J. :D If not him, thank Pat Riley for not slapping John Starks silly after missing XXXXXXX amount of shots and benching him prior to the 4th quarter of that game 7 in the '94 finals (vs. Houston).

If Ewing SHOULD be blamed for something, two things come to mind. They are:

- Pulling a Mark Messier and saying you're going to win the next game... and lose... :confused:

- Leaving the bench (to join in the battle) against a team (the Miami Heat) that you had beat. That was probably best Knicks team of the '90s (with their '94 squad... maybe better), and the best chance they were going to have at dethroning Jordan's Bulls. Ewing kissed that opportunity goodbye with his poor judgement on that one. Frankly, the Bulls still would have won (if you ask me), but it could have been a good series. Oh well, we'll never know...


***


Daffy

I admire the players who excel within the "team" concept...Russell, Duncan, Stockton, Nash, even Rodman ( a rebounding phenom). Wish there was a spot for Dave Cowans...lol.


I agree with you here Daffy. These are all great players who play within a team concept.

Actually, over the past 2-3 years, I've started to let go of my love of the big scorers (although I love their stats). I think that's coincided with the Pistons coming of age. That team is made-up of people that were essentially dumped on their doorstep. Rasheed Wallace, always talented, never scored 20 points per game like people thought he would with Portland. Me too, I hated him because he couldn't reach those levels. What I hadn't noticed though was that he was a great team player (minus his lame technicals). He's the best defensive power-forward/center (when shifted... slightly better than Ben Wallace IMPO). With Ben Wallace, he was dumped on them in the Grant Hill deal. Well, GREAT!!! Richard Hamilton. They just wanted Jerry Stackhouse out of town, and (although I love him) Jordan and Wes Unseld couldn't see the value in Richard Hamilton (myself included to be honest). Chauncey Billups was forever moving around, and it didn't help him that Rick Patino never gave him his endorsement before being jettisoned-out of Boston. Only Tayshaun Prince was drafted by Detroit, a late pick though (23rd overall). While I couldn't see it happening, Joe Dumars has assembled a great team. Together, they work so well together. And by keeping them together for years to come (which teams don't do enough of), and seeing that they already trust each other and work together well, individually, their emerging into great players (specifically Hamilton, Billups, and Prince). Great team concept (moreso than even the Spurs). I can't see them not winning it all this year.


As far as Dennis Rodman is concerned, I think after a good 15-20 years, he'll be in the HOF. He should be. Ignore the antics, and he's got a great resume. 2-time Defensive Player of The Year, 8-time 1st Defensive Team, 2 time 3rd All-NBA team, and from '92-98 he led the league in rebounds per game... AND he has 5 rings!!! He could shut down any power-forward (except the "Reign-Man"), and even get in M.J.'s head (lol).


Another note I wanted to make, while I'm happy with my list, those aren't necessarily my favorite players. I would have Elvin Hayes and Patrick Ewing starting in my frontcourt if I could have my way.


Daffy


Been wondering where you were...now I see...lol.


Thanks for caring duck! Actually, I'm getting ready to visit my folks next week. I haven't been back home in 4-years. Looking forward to that, and ESPN straight for a week. Hmmm, English Television 24-hours....



Steed


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spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Spear you need to get over that UCLA connection (Aikman)...lol.
Actually, that has little to no bearing on my opinion of him - I truly think he wasn't all that good. Unlike the other famous Bruin (Reggie Miller) whose place in the HOF is assured.

I would almost agree with you on Irvin, who was amazing - but I gave an edge to Aikman because I think his job was much tougher :)

With no great center on the horizon, it would appear that this will eventually become a realitiy. I hope for Yao Ming's sake, that he takes more summers off, relaxing and preparing for the upcoming seasons. Spending too much time (minus this past summer) with the Chinese national team only stumps his growth (game-wise). Only two things will haunt Ming in the future, his arms aren't very long (look at Chris Webber, his arms are like a giant squid's), and while he has VERY strong legs, he's not very agile.

LMAO. I think he needs to spend summers playing street ball... as for agility, I think it's pretty damn good for a giant like him :) Plus he's got great shooting from outside as well.

For the most part, it's his mental approach that's holding him back. People say he's not tough, but I don't buy into that.
I fully agree. He needs to spend summers playing street ball :) I thought he would get more aggressive after his first year in the NBA, and so far he hasn't shown that. Maybe he and Kobe and Shaq should do a cross-country tour together or something... with all the experience he'd get from keeping the other two apart, I think he would finally learn what it means to get aggressive :)

I would say I was disappointed with Ewing because I thought he could be a franchise player, much like Shaq is considered to be. He was definitely a great center but one who also clearly underachieved.

Yao Ming is very much like Patrick Ewing. I sincerely hope he achieves more, though.
 

johnsteed

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More thoughts on Patrick Ewing...

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Spearmaster

I would say I was disappointed with Ewing because I thought he could be a franchise player, much like Shaq is considered to be. He was definitely a great center but one who also clearly underachieved.

Yao Ming is very much like Patrick Ewing. I sincerely hope he achieves more, though.


I think therein lies the problem whenever the subject of Patrick Ewing comes up... the fact that many feel that he underachieved. Spearmaster, I tend to think that he didn't underahieve, but he was always burdened with too many (unrealistic) overexpectations. What he'd shown at the college level, or at least what he'd projected, was a bit off for what he would ultimately become, a star center who put up consistently very good/great numbers. And no one ever questioned Ewing for not giving it his all. Only similar to Russell in that regard, he always worked hard.


If you remember, the most sought-after player to be drafted in the '80s was Ralph Sampson. He was supposed to redefine his position. It sure seemed like he was on his way to doing that after his first couple of years. I think Ewing was the second most sought after (college-to-pros) player drafted in the '80s (debatably with Akeem, and all 3 moreso than David Robinson). With expectations that he was going to be the next Bill Russell, well, that's REALLY unfair. Russell scored when needed, but was ultimately the greatest defensive frontcourt player to have played the game (with considerations going to Rodman, Hakeem, and Nate Thurman... and Bill Walton when he was healthy). And Russell earned 11 rings as a player.


Ewing in the pros, while very good defensively especially in his first few seasons, was never going to be Bill Russell. And here's some of the reasons why?


- John Thompson

- Pat Riley

- Jordan's Bulls

- His ego


First, John Thompson. Why John Thompson? Well, while he's certainly the face behind the Georgetown product (back in those days), and he certainly has taught a nice list of great centers (that came through the program), he wasn't necessarily a "GREAT" coach. If you look at Mutumbo, Mourning, Ewing (and some of the other centers that went to Georgetown on his watch), you'll see that none of them were ever taught to play a great game down-low and in the post. None of them owns a repetoire of great post moves. Ewing was one of the best shooting centers to have played the game, and while he busted his ass down low, he wasn't a great post-player. Ditto Mourning and especially Mutombo. Their points were earned by dunks, put-backs, tip-ins. The reason that Ewing could score more than Mourning (at their peaks) was that he was a great shooter, to which Mourning was so-so, and Mutumbo was/is awful.


While it could be said that John Thompson players play hard all-the-time (quite correct), they don't necessarily play a smart game. While they're all good/great shot-blockers, all 3 players could have played smarter defensively. Man-to-man positioning (Mourning was the best at covering his man) in the paint, staying on your feet more often may at times be better. I know that they've all won accolades for their defense, and yes, they were all deserving of most of their awards, but if you compared Hakeem Olajuwon's or Dennis Rodman's defense to theirs, the latter were clearly better.


Sidenote: Each of these players continuously challenged Michael Jordan during their games with him, and each one paid the price dearly. He would literally annihilate each one of them with killer/back-breaking dunks. He owned Georgetown centers. :D :notworthy


Pat Riley is next. Why Pat Riley? Well, I'll agree first-off, that Pat Riley makes the most with what talent he has. That much is true. Pat Riley is arguably the greatest coach to have played the game, to which I would probably agree with. Having said that, I think that when Pat Riley was with the Knicks (and with Mourning's Heat), he liked to play a bruiser game (over his finess days with the "Show-Time" Lakers). He had the right men to play tough. Oakley, Starks, Harper, Mason, and Ewing. They'll never cheat you on effort. All good to great defenders. But with those teams, the scorers were Ewing first, and Starks second. And that's the problem. With the Knicks playing a slow-down grind-it-out game to maximize the teams talents, it also exposed Ewing's weakest part of his game, the low-post (but again, he ALWAYS tried, and against weaker defenders, sometimes looked great there).


Certainly, Ewing was bound to get 25 points per game, because he's going to get the ball, and with a great FG %, he would score. Fair enough. But he probably tired himself out, trying to work hard down-low, with almost all of the plays going through him. By the time the shot-clock had expired (2 points scored-or-not), Ewing get his ass to the other end of the court, and play more grind-it-out b-ball. That grind-it-out style, I think, wore on him. He grinded it out more than other centers like David Robinson or a Hakeem, which had coaches that preferred to run more. He did the best he could, but that style is probably more suited for an Arvydas Sabonis (after injuries to the knees) or a Shaquille O'Neil.


Having Starks as pretty much your only other consistent scorer is not going to do it. Starks made the most of his talents, but would play out of control basketball at times. That helped and hurt his teams. I believe had Charles Smith REALLY developed like he was showing while he was with the Clippers, he could have changed that team's dynamics. Derek Harper was a clutch shooter (why wasn't he launching more in that game 7 :what: ), sort of like a Dennis Johnson-type of player (with that great defensive "hand-check"), Anthony Mason was a great passer and rebounder (and defensive/position player), and Charles Oakley was a great rebounder (and like Mason, positioned well defensively). The Knicks had a great team, that worked hard, but they didn't have enough creativity. Ewing was not a great creator, and that's who the ball went to most of the time. It was bound to fail, although they came close to winning it all one year.


Next, Jordan's Bulls. Why? It's often said that the Bulls had Jordan and Pippen and not much else. Bullshit. I know that the Celtics and Lakers teams of the '80s were deep, but so were the Bulls. The Bulls played a GREAT team game. They had great role-players who were specialists. Like 3-point specialists John Paxson, Steve Kerr, B.J. Armstrong and Craig Hodges They had energy players like Jud Buechler, Randy Brown, and Scott Williams. They had great defensive players like Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant and Ron Harper (and certainly Jordan and Pippen). And they were even blessed with having Toni Kukoc, who could do a lot of everything (minus great defense). And while none of the Bulls centers were great, two of them were very good at times (Bison Dele and Bill Cartwright... and you could include Robert Parrish because he DID play for the Bulls for one of those teams... although he was primarily DEEP on the bench), Luc Longley was better than people realized, and people like Will Perdue, Jason Caffey (who should have been greater), and Bill Wennington (great mid-range jumper) did serviceable jobs. They were a very well coach team (with Phil Jackson, Tex Winter and his "Triangle Offense", and Jim Cleamons). Now, there was no way that Ewing could elevate the Knicks past the Bulls (w/Jordan and Pippen playing). The Bulls were much better (as a whole team) than people realized. And yes, they were very deep.


Jerry Krause may be more known for undermining Michael Jordan these days (and then), but he DID assemble the right people to play with Jordan and Pippen. Those were role-players who didn't bitch about not getting the spotlight, and were always prepared.


Patrick Ewing's ego. Why? While he trained-hard, and he worked-hard, he wasn't as smart as he should have been. He should have studied and worked-on improving his low-post game (something that Olajuwon always worked-at). He should have learned how to pass out of double teams, better than he had. While I do think that Ewing was a great team player, and very good leader, I think he also put himself ahead of the team in his later years. Ewing was too proud, and generally thought of himself as being the best center in the game. It didn't hurt that almost everyone was telling him that since he was a teenager. I think Ewing was too proud to admit defeat.


I'm a Patrick Ewing fan, but it took me a long time to come around to the fact that he was a distant second to Hakeem Olajuwon.


One last thing that you mentioned Spearmaster, the part about Ewing not being a franchise player. I think he was, but as we've seen with the Pistons, unless you're Michael Jordan or Hakeem Olajuwon, putting too much into 1-player and making that player the franchise, is dangerous in so many ways. The Pistons don't have a franchise player, but they have great unity. More teams should approach that method in the future. Screw the max. contracts, they aren't worth it anymore (unless, you have Michael Jordan).


Steed

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spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Are you sure you're a baseball statistician? :)

What a superb analysis that was, Steed :) A great read of the Georgetown/Thompson Center Machine... and you're right, Mutumbo was the dog of the lot.

Ewing was a hard worker, no question of that. He had a great touch as well. But in his years with the Knicks, it struck me that he never fully blended in, despite having some pretty good teammates.

Riley was a master - and always able to work with what he had. I hoped his arrival would turn things around - sadly, it didn't. I was thinking "Now we've got a master mechanic, surely he can oil this machine and make it purr" - and he did his best but it wasn't enough.

Re: the Bulls - Jordan and Pippen were the stars, but that was a team who knew how to work together - many great talents and smoothly oiled. I agree with you - without the other parts, Jordan and Pippen could have suffered much the same fate, but Jordan would still been one of the most gifted players in the game.

Ewing wasn't the type of leader I think was necessary for the Knicks to be successful. His ego may well have played an important factor in the ultimate outcome. But no matter who was playing for the Knicks during Ewing's career, that team always seemed a bit disjointed.

Ultimately, a franchise player is the core of the team. No one player will every be successful unless he works with his teammates. And this is where I think Ewing didn't have all the goods.

Yes, he was a franchise player. But he didn't blend in with his teammates, unlike Jordan, or Hakeem, or even Shaq, for that matter. Shaq may fight with his teammates but he still works well with them on court. And they in turn work well with him.

Yao is doing okay. I don't think he has yet reached the stage where he and his teammates are absolutely fluid and blend well together, but he's not doing too badly for someone who literally came out of the sticks in basketball terms.

If eventually he doesn't blend in well, though, he will suffer the same fate.

Oh, and as for Ralph who? ;)

You don't know how happy I was that the Knicks didn't end up with Sampson - maybe one more reason why I was eventually disappointed with Ewing.

I still believe Ewing underachieved. You could say we fans/critics had high hopes - but I believe those hopes were modestly realistic. No one expected Ewing to be a Jordan - though a Hakeem would have been nice. I personally just thought he would be a better leader than he turned out to be.
 

johnsteed

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Who has the best chance of making it into the NBA HOF...

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Daffy

I'm thinking Shaq and Duncan will be very high on the all-time when they're done...like Spear said. Possibly Iverson, James and Bryant...even though they're ball hogs...and I love when they miss the playoffs...lol.


I would think that all of these players will be 1st ballot HOFers. But in terms of cracking the Top-3 All-Time at their respective positions, Duncan yes, Shaq likely/maybe, Iverson no, James too early but likely, and Bryant likely/maybe.


Those who'll surely make it if their careers stopped today are...​


Kobe Bryant - I think that Bryant would make it today, because he has 3 rings, he's still only JUST 27, and he's been a prolific scorer for quite some time. If his career would end today, it would be viewed as tragic (and people would forget about his dark past... at least that's my belief). LeBron may be viewed as the soon-to-be greatest player in the present NBA, but Bryant is awesome at both ends of the court (when he chooses to be). LeBron's numbers look better with his being 7-years younger than Bryant, but to me, Bryant is better (and I have this feeling that Bryant will have had a greater career than LeBron... just a hunch).


Tim Duncan - Also owns 3 Championship rings, 2 MVP's, 3 Finals MVP's, has been on the NBA 1st Team all 8-years he's been in the league, as well as being voted on the 1st (6) and 2nd (2) Team All-Defensive squads each year!!! I have no problem bumping him up to my 1st All-Time great team as I'm writing this (or at the most, just after another couple of years I suppose).


Allen Iverson - The best of the Georgetown Hoyas I suppose, but you know what, he would make it to the NBA HOF if his career were to end today (based primarily for being a HUGE name and for his prolific scoring), but he'll never be amongst the elite of the elite to have played the game. Why? Far too much "World B. Free" in this man to be considered a real team player. He's exciting, probably just as exciting as Pete Maravich back in the day or a Tiny Archibald, but he's a numbers guy 1st, team player 2nd.

IF Iverson would initiate his teams offense better (it's not too late for him to change his ways... although I don't believe he ever will), and get all the players around him more touches, he'd win a helluva lot more games. Iverson is a very good defensive player, he's been named to the 1st (3) and 2nd (3) All-NBA teams so far in his career. He's led the NBA in scoring 4 times thus far. He carried that 76ers team to the NBA Finals back in '01. He could still be a much better player though... :cool:


Shaquille O'Neil - Shaq Diesel probably was a sure thing straight out of LSU. But he made good on his promise (for the most part). While his trophy-case is full, I would have expected SO MUCH more than whatever he did rake-in. I think many people did as well. Oddly enough, Shaq has never been named to the All-NBA 1st Defensive team in his career (although he made 2nd team honors 3 times). Only once named the NBA's regular season MVP, but DID win 3 Finals MVP's.


***


Those who're still a few good years away from making it are...​


Ray Allen - A fine actor, and a great baller. Probably has the sweatest long-range shot in the game (slightly better than Peja and Redd). His scoring averages have jumped in the past couple of years, as has his overall production. He's become a leader (not a perfect one though), and he's distancing himself from just being another profilic scoring shooting guard. If there's one caveat to his game, it's that he doesn't drive-to-the hole like he should. He's a great leaper, and he should use that tool more often.


Vince Carter - I was going to throw Carter on another list I made, of players who've already blown their opportunity at the hall. But, he's still only 29 and there's still some hope with him. Personally, I REALLY dislike Carter. When I like a player, I never turn my back on him. Carter? He's the exception. But, regardless of my likes and dislikes, he's an amazing talent, and probably the games most impressive aerial artist. He can do everything, although he doesn't always do everything. He doesn't always seem to love basketball. For his sake, I'm glad that he's starting to get going again in New Jersey. He can still be a Top-5 player if he wants it bad enough (IF).


Kevin Garnett - Let's face it, he's a lock for the HOF. And if he were surrounded with a more efficient team, that can play together for a long-time, he'd be as good (or better) than Duncan. Duncan may be more fundamentally sound than literally everyone in the game, but Garnett is just as consistent, works just as hard (if not... maybe harder), is more fierce, and is more creative. IMHO, if we switched teams for Duncan and Garnett (back in '97), I'd think that Garnett would also have 3 rings by this time.


Jason Kidd - I don't like Kidd. Never did, and likely never will. I used to dislike it when his kid was in the front row at the games, making it a side-show. I didn't like Kidd with that whole Toni Braxton fiasco back in his days with Dallas, where he and Mashburn AND Jimmy Jackson all disliked each other. I didn't like the way he left Phoenix, although that wasn't totally his fault (domestic abuse charges reported by the media). And I didn't like his involvement with getting Byron Scott the boot, and playing innocent after-the-fact. I don't like Kidd's shooting, it's atrocious. I wish he'd score more than he has. But... he's awesome. He's a great distributor, probably the best since court vision since Magic. He's a Fat Lever (esque) triple-double waiting to happen. He plays strong defense, and he plays hard all the time. He was probably the best all-around player in the NBA from '02 to early '04, but his shooting sucks (and will continue to suck until the day he's done).


Tracy McGrady - He could soon join my list of players who've suffered too many injuries, therefore couldn't play a full career. But, he's still young, and he could bounce back to greater health. McGrady, like LeBron, Kobe, Carter, Pierce, is absolutely dominant whenever he wants to be. He can play very good defense (underrated in that regard), and like Kobe, when he chooses to do so (can't say that Carter, Pierce, and LeBron are good defensively).


Dirk Nowitzky - Some say he's Larry Bird, and I can see what they're talking about. He rebounds well enough, but he can't play good defense. He's the best shooting big-man, probably to ever play the game (although Arvydas Sabonis pre-knee injuries, might have challenged him for that honor... with possibly Toni Kukoc). I'd say it's Peja, but he's 2-inches shorter. A decent passer as well, he still seems to be getting better. Very confident player these days. Who'd-a-known that getting Nash away from his best friend would turn them both into MVP-type players?


Jermaine O'Neil - The youngest player to have ever played in an NBA game. Lost at the end of the bench in Portland, grew-up quickly and matured greatly after joining the Indiana Pacers. Athletic, solid post-player, good jump-shot, great shot-blocker, always getting stronger defensively. Still getting better, and he's still ONLY 27 years old!!! It's a shame that more of what Bird and Walsh did to help O'Neil, couldn't have been duplicated with Ron Artest.


Paul Pierce - To me, he always seems to be regressing, but that's so not true. He's a great player, who's almost on the same level as Kobe/McGrady/LBJ in terms of "greatness". Gifted scorer, who in the right situation (where he'll always get the green-light to launch), will be able to produce like this for a few more years and get into the HOF. I sometimes think of him as being a part of that Glen Rice/Mitch Richmond category of shooting guards/small fowards, but he's better than I think.


Chris Webber - The media hates Chris Webber, and I love him. Next to O'Neil, Webber was the most sought-after draftee to come out of the '90s. Actually, he was pretty much just as hyped as O'Neil coming out of college. Being a part of the Fab-5 of Michigan will do that. Out of Garnett, Duncan, and Webber, I firmly believe that Webber posesses (or did) the most talent of the 3. Webber's arms stretch-out farther than any other player in the league. Webber out of college, was swift, and was like a shooting-guard who played the power-forward position. Webber had mad-hops. Webber, when up-to-the-task, can be awesome defensively, and yes, better than Duncan or Garnett. Webber is the best passing big-man in probably the history of the game. Those who come close were (former teammate) Vlade Divac, Arvydas Sabonis, Bill Walton, and I suppose to a lesser extent, Wes Unseld. Brad Miller is also looking pretty good right now as well.

Webber... however, hasn't fulfilled his potential. Webber SHOULD be the best PF in the game right now, and probably over the past several years. He came close a couple of years with the Kings. His athletic ability, tools, creativity were off the charts for someone at the power-forward position. For whatever reason, whether it's the media's constant cynicism, his immaturity at times (although there are FAR MORE knuckleheads in the NBA than he), his poor decisions (at critical moments... with the Wolverines, Don Nelson, or with drugs), his game never materialized the way it should have. I was really happy for him in Sacramento, because it revived his game, and the media's interest with him. He's still done enough to be a HOFer, and I hope for his sake, he's able to win a championship before all is said and done.


***


Those who're still way too young to get in, but are clearly on that path are...​


Gilbert Arenas - Once he decides to include his teammates more, and quit trying to prove that he can score 100 points-a-night (and match that intensity on defense), he'll become a borderline superstar. The man is electric, and can score like Iverson.


Chris Bosh - I can't believe the '03 NBA Draft. :eek: All the great players who've already produced, when most of them are barely 20-years old. He's already... already... ALREADY getting 22 points/10 rebounds per game. He's improving every game, better passing, better defense, better shot-blocking, better leadership. The Raptors record may suck, but they're improving. And he looks like a cornerstone piece that most teams would dream for. I've read that scouts had compared him to Tim Duncan at one time, and with a few more pounds added to his frame, they're very accurate in their assessment. This man is a slippery power-forward, who doesn't take a night off. Like Duncan, he's very well grounded as a human being (GM and coach's wet-dream).


Dwight Howard - Wow, what talent!!! Like Bosh and Stoudemire, will be awesome. If Howard has one edge (already evident) over Stoudemire and Bosh, it's his defense. He's already great on defense and will soon become a monster on defense. Once Ben Wallace, Duncan, and Garnett are done winning their defensive accolades, look for Howard to being the #1 guy soon after.


Sidenote - If ever there was a great big-man coach, it would be Clifford Ray. He bleeds basketball and teaching. It was a shame that the Orlando Magic let him go recently (and mind-boggling as to why :what: ).


Lebron James - Awesome numbers. He's as close to a triple-double as you're going to see (like Kidd, Magic, Bird, and especially The Big "O"). He JUST turned 21, and his body is a freak-of-nature. He's so thick, heavy, and toned, yet he's swift, and strong to the hoop. His court awarness is right-at-the-top of the game, with about 3-5 other players. If there's one thing that doesn't impress me about James, it's his defense. He's trying harder, I see that... but it still sucks. Sure, he gets lots of steals, but that's gambling more than anything (the right site to come to mention this :D).


Sidenote - I used to wonder why so many people had mentioned Joe Dumars as being a great defensive player. I couldn't see it, because he barely snagged any rebounds, and he could barely register a steal-per-game. But I was oh-so-wrong. He never gambled, and stuck with his man. Rather than anticipate everything, he made the safe play and played his man hard. I think Joe Dumars' game is carrying-over well to his General Manager duties and the way he carries himself at all times. He commands respect without the need or desire to hog the spotlight.


Richard Jefferson - Underrated defensive player. Does everything well. Reminds me of a Larry Nance. Hopefully, he'll not get hurt and have a full career.


Tony Parker - I'm getting sick of having to see he and his girlfriend ALL-THE-TIME. Annoying. Reminds me of Jason Kidd a few years ago (or Doug Christie). He's made some huge strides this year, and has surprised me completely. I thought his game had pretty much levelled-off a couple of years ago, but my mistake. He's still only 23-years old, and he has gained so much wealthy knowledge up to this point. When Duncan eventually begins to regress in production (not for a long-time mind you), I think that Parker will emerge more than what we see today. A fine point guard, but becoming more of a scorer than an assist-man (unlike Steve Nash).


Sidenote - Parker was born in Bruges, Belgium. I've been to many countries and cities so far in my life, and I think that must be one of the most beautiful/rich places I've yet to see. Underrated city... VERY European.


Jason Richardson - While he may appear to be just another 20-point-per game shooting guard (like Richmond, Rice, ect...), he's not. He has Isaiah Rideresque talents, explosive, great hops, strong on the ball, and frankly, is the best player on that Warriors team (by a long-shot... with the possibility of Ike Diogu emerging). I feel he'll be a great player, despite not doing enough yet to emerge himself as being an All-Star. A little more time...


Corey Maggette - When making this list, I wanted to cut-off anyone who was not born in the '80s. Unfortunately, I would certainly view Maggette as still being young and new to the NBA (even if he's been in the league for a good number of years). Well he's only 26, and his best years are soon coming (overlooking his recent injury woes). He's another player who plays the whole court the way it should be played, and like Jason Richardson, like Kobe Bryant, he's loaded with athletic ability, and a sound game. He may have left Duke prematurely, but he's really come into his own over the past couple of years. Once he gets back in uniform, the Clippers should pick-up where they left off (before their recent slump that coincided with his being out of the line-up).


Yao Ming - Just ask Spearmaster :D ! He'll certainly need to produce more than his comfortable 18 points/8 rebounds per-game pace, in order to win over NBA fans. When and IF he figures these things out, he should be great.


Amare Stoudemire - It's hard to imagine that he's still only 23 (and just turned 23 last November). If he gets over recent knee-operation, and from what I hear, it's looking very promising thus far, he should continue to scale-the-ladder of greatness. If you remember the end of last year, it appeared that it was only a matter of time before Stoudemire would supplant Duncan or Garnett as the best power-forward in the NBA. What a force...


Dwayne Wade - I'll say this, Dwayne Wade right now, and probably in the eyes of others, is better than LeBron James. LeBron just turned 21 last month, while Wade will be 24 this time next week. So, LeBron has the size (muscle) and youth, to eventually beat Wade as to who's the best of the '03 Draft. While the media probably favors James, Wade plays defense, and is getting much better at it by the game. James is also improving in that facet (great gambler... lots of steals), but is nowhere nearly as good as Wade in that regard. James may be slightly better offensively at this point, but Wade remember, plays on a team loaded with players who demand the ball. As it stands, Wade is slightly better at this point in time.


***


Those whom the media expect to get in, but ultimately won't are...​


Carmelo Anthony - Perhaps I'm making a HUGE mistake right here, but intuition tells me that the Anthony story will end on a sad note. He's made great strides this year, and is starting to score like a superstar, but I'm not totally convinced. There's always something crazy that's happening to him. Reminds me of a smaller version of Derrick Coleman with hair extensions. Trouble waiting to happen... and really talented.


Mike Bibby - While I would think that Bibby is one of the best clutch players in the game today, he's not a great distributor, and is surprisingly slow. His defense is weak. If he was going to reach another level of stardom, it probably would have happened already. He's still only 27-years old, and he's been shooting a hot-ball over the past couple of weeks, but he's not assertive enough to get over the hump.


Eddy Curry - Hmmm, I would have thought it would have been Eddy Curry who would one day be the next Shaq :oops: . Hence his nickname, "Baby Shaq". A big man, with soft hands and great agility, is getting too big in proportion. He probably has heart-attack scares because of his weak-conditioning program. And something I'll never get about this guy, how come he's such a shitty rebounder? He's huge, and he can barely get 6 rebounds a game. He's got long arms, and we already know he big enough to clog-up the lane, what's the problem? He's still very young, and to me, he's already a has-been, or a never-was (or will-be).


Michael Finley - It's hard not to like Finley. He's a fine shooting guard, and a class act. He's been a consistent borderline star for a good number of years. But he's not HOF material. Now with his going to the Spurs, he'll probably get his championship (but does anyone remember Rice or Richmond or Rider winning theirs with the Bulls?), but his scoring will plumet, and his days of scoring over 15 point per game will be a thing of the past.


Pau Gasol - He's having a great year (for him at least) this year, and many people are starting to take notice. Having said that, I don't see him becoming a bona-fide star who'll EVER make the HOF. He's still young, and he'll still improve (that much I do expect), but not enough to distinguish himself from the other greats in the game.


Ben Gordon - How can one not love his instant offense off the bench? I thought for sure, being moved into the starting rotation (instead of coming off the bench), he'd score 22-25 points per game. :confused: Didn't happen. He's Ricky Pierce, Eddie Johnson, or a Vinnie Johnson at the most. Electifying scorer, but in reduced minutes. Oh well, maybe he'll get in the HOF (despite what I say) for being the best 6th-man ever!!! Hey, Cooperstown welcomes DH's and relievers now... why not?


Andrei Kirilenko - I was going to add him to my players who were haunted and plagued by too many injuries list, but he might overcome his current ailments. This guy does everything. He will probably never score more than 18-20 points per-game, but he does EVERYTHING. Major blocks, rebounds, steals, defensive plays, maximizing all of his various talents. A coaches dream. But, I feel his play will end with a huge melt-down. He reminds me of a Darin Erstad who can hit; a man who throws his body around too much.


Rashard Lewis - Great long-distance shooter, and borderline star/All-Star. Will probably get 20 points per-game in Seattle for the next several years, provided he plays there for the remainder of his current contract. But, it probably won't matter. He's not a great defensive player (not bad, but not very good), he's a great shooter from long-range, but in tight he's far from good. He's a soft player who doesn't do enough to stand-out.


Kenyon Martin - I think he's one of the most overrated players in all of sports. He calls out Keith Van Horn for his weak defense, yet "soft" Keith Van Horn had out-rebounded him that year in the regular season AND in the playoffs AND KVH is a small forward, whereas Martin IS the teams power forward! :rolleyes: He thinks of himself as the ultimate team-player, but he's a cancer. Works hard? Sometimes. Great defense? Good, sometimes. But from the way he howls and pumps-his-chest after a block, you'd think he was the best in the game. To which, he's not. He's a dog, and he's getting a MAX-contract. Ouch!!!


Darius Miles - Woof, woof, woof!!! 'Nuff said.


Dikembe Mutombo: Should have scored MUCH more than he did. Great shot-blocker, great rebounder, and a very intelligent person (not so much at the intricacies of the game though). A model citizen. But not a HOFer.


Lamar Odom - I suppose if he and Kobe win a championship, that could all change. Will that happen anytime soon? Nope. Odom does many things well, and is quite a talent. I wish he'd be more assertive though. He has the talent and size to be a HOFer, I just don't see it ever happening.


Zach Randolph - Like Truck Robinson (who no one will remember), 20 and 10 and forget about it. Big money, big numbers, big nothing.


Michael Redd - A great shooter, who gets to take lots of shots, and another model-squeeky-clean citizens. He can certainly score, and I may be wrong here, but I don't see a HOFer (and barely an All-Star) when I watch Michael Redd play.


Peja Stojakovic - I had him on par with big Dirk up until last year. Dirk stepped-up his game a couple of notches, DESPITE losing his close-friend and set-up man. Stojakovic, while once being a friend with Webber, wanted him to get out of town. Many assumed that it would be good for Stojakovic, and who would be able to break-out and reach another level... maybe superstardom. Hmmm, guess he needed the double-teams on Webber, not to mention Webber's outlet passes (or passing out of the double-team), more than Dirk need Nash. :cool:


Jason Williams - Pistol Pete Maravich Part II, without the prolific scoring. Both exciting players, great ball-handlers, and both pathetically bad defenders. While Maravich was a brilliant scorer (if anything), Williams may have made his teams slightly better (although a team will never win with Williams as the starting point-guard).


***


Those who were on the path, but had too many injuries are...​


Penny Hardaway - His ego/sensitive-side made it seem as though he was faking his injuries all the time. While everyone has already attacked him already, I lament over his lost greatness. He was on the path to greatness. I'd say that around '96, before the injuries really set-in, I thought that Hardaway was going to be the player who'd eventually replace Jordan (when that time would come). It wasn't. How quickly people forget.


Grant Hill - Still playing, and still battling through injuries and operations. Great all-around player, and with Hardaway, was going to be a torch carrier to the next generation of superstars. Class act, and great role-model.


Antonio McDyess - A thoroughbred when he first came into the league. He had (still has) a Bill Russell-type of figure, and was such an athlete. Again, a shame about all the operations he's had. His explosiveness is almost all gone (I see him sporadically making nice plays), and he had so much of it. While I think that his last season without pre-major injuries (the '01 season) was probably his best, we'll never know if he was ever going to take it to the next level.


***


Those who were destined to be there, but have blown too many opportunities are...​


Shareef Abdur-Rahim - Great scorer, good rebounder, good post-moves, able defender, and honest citizen. And he's probably played on the worst teams in the history of the NBA. I'm not sure if it's his fault or not, but he couldn't be unluckier in terms of who he's played with. His numbers are HOF-worthy, but the numbers don't tell the whole story. Another player who's still only 28-years old despite already playing 10-years in the league!


Ron Artest - I'm sad to say, because I'm a huge "Ron-Ron" fan, but he's really done it this time. When you've got the backing of Walsh, Bird, and Carlisle, and the support of your teammates, AND the backing of an entire city, and then after they stick with you through all of that (despite it being Reggie Miller's final year and last chance to win-it-all... and probably GREATEST chance), and then... after a quarter of the season, to say that you want out? You make me look like an idiot for being a fan of yours.

I don't think there's a better basketball city in all of the NBA than in Indiana. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't think of a better place to play. It's a shame that Artest will waste 2-years figuring his shit-out (maybe), because during that time, and from the way he was playing at the beginning of last year, he was in MVP form. Yes, look up his stats for the '04-05 season to know what I'm talking about (and the Pacers were in 1st place when the debacle in Detroit became a media frenzy). He is super-strong, a mind-boggling defender, a confident scorer who was getting so much better, and an ultimate-team-player WHEN he's on the court. He's a winner on the court, and (sorry) nothing-of-the-sort off of it.


Baron Davis - A running-back playing the wrong sport if you ask me. Strong, interesting, and a very-poor decision maker with the ball. He wants the ball in his hands too much, and the launches premature 3's like they're going out-of-style. I'd be pissed-off too, if I were his teammate. At least A.I. busts his rump on D.


Robert Horry - Big Shot Rob is a dog in the regular season. Clutch in the playoffs in big games will help your HOF credentials, sitting on the pine contemplating retirement for the past 8-years won't. I don't know how he does it.


Juwon Howard - A one time All-Star, has a pretty good post-game, is a good passer, and is a so-so rebounder. When his career stats are left to be tabulated after he retires (when he retires...), his numbers will look impressive. He's kind of like an Armon Gilliam who played for a long-time. To think he once had a 100 Million dollar contract. And Pat Riley wanted him THAT much.


Jim Jackson - Those who saw him in his college days, will say that he was the best player they've ever seen. He was a great talent, who once looked great back in the '94-95 season with the Mavericks. Had Kidd, Mashburn, and he tried to sort-out their differences, that team could have been great. And Jackson could have stayed in one place and become the great player that he was supposed to be.


Antawn Jamison - Great mid-range scorer. Like the other Antoine, somehow gets about 9-10 rebounds per game, although I'm not sure how they do it. A shorter version of Elvin Hayes without being as prolific of a scorer. Too much of a tweener. I'll give him this much though, he can certainly score.


Stephon Marbury - I don't get Marbury. He has all the talents a successful point-guard needs... in fact, he's the blueprint of what a point-guard should look like (without the long-gangsta face). He shoot, and probably is a much better shooter than Iverson. He's a great ball-handler, probably in the top 3% in the entire league... and again, better than Iverson in that regard. He's strong on the ball and rarely get hurt. Unlike Iverson. He's a better passer than Iverson (although neither is great). He's also younger than Iverson, and once was deemed to eventually being better than Iverson. Both players came out of the VERY deep '96 NBA draft.

Somehow though, despite Marbury having superior shooting %'s, despite owning a superior career assist-per-game figure, and despite being more well-built, he's inferior to Iverson by a mile. Amazingly, Marbury is somehow STILL only 28-years old, and recently it seems as though Larry Brown is getting through to him. Maybe, it's not-too-late to turn his career in the right direction. Perhaps he'll finally emerge as a winner, but based on history, I don't see that happening (hope I'm wrong).


Jalen Rose - Great college player, estranged son of Jimmy King, this former member of the Fab-5 of Michigan has been up-and-down so many times. I don't think Rose is a bad guy, I think he's probably just too political behind the scenes. That in itself has hurt him. Rose can do a little of everything, and as I've heard many times, he could be the games most ideal 6th-man (like he was with the Pacers when Bird was coaching them). He seems lost right now in Toronto.


Latrell Sprewell - Lots of people dislike Latrell, and lots of people glorify Latrell. At Sprewell's best, he was a menace on defense, a great scorer, and a dispite what most perceive to be not true, he's a coach's dream. Ignore the choking incident, and all of his coaches praise his efforts. Sprewell is a winner... and a loser. Forget about the choking incident, and think about how he shot himself in the foot last season with that "Got to feed the family..." crap. I know he didn't mean it, but he said it. He could be making more money than he's worth, and be that much closer to 20,000 career points. Sprewell was a great player in his prime, and his prime has passed him (although he can still be effective witht the right team).


Keith Van Horn - Probably too many expectations put-on the wrong person. Fine player who'll never satisfy anyone. Never should have been drafted 2nd overall, although aside from Duncan, that wasn't a great draft. Oddly enough, he DID average 21.9 points/8.5 boards/1.3 blocks per-game for the '99 season.


Antoine Walker - Employee #8 makes baskets, and will always try to make baskets, and won't play defense. Great numbers, really great numbers, but too much all-or-nothing mentality on offense. It's a shame he fell in love with his so-so 3-point shot. He could have been a much more well-rounded player like his numbers suggest. As said for Marbury, could be said for Walker, by which that numbers never tell the whole story.


***


Those who have a very far shot at making it, because they're getting on in years, but playing above their head for a few more years might be enough to get them in are...​


Chauncey Billups - Billups is presently on course to winning the '06 NBA MVP. He was once a throw-away player. Amazing turnaround. Although very good/great over the past couple of years, he's already 29-years old and he needs to continue at his current pace for at least another 5-6 more seasons. He may need less if he keeps winning rings.


Manu Ginobili - Not a big-time scorer, though a very dynamic player. Started late (25-years old), and is already 28-years old. Like Billups, will have to be HUGE in the playoffs while winning championships for him to have any hopes of making it into the HOF. He'll also need to score more than 16 points per-game as well.


Richard Hamilton - Soon-to-be 28 years of age, I suppose his lifetime scoring average is decent enough thus far. If he were to continue doing, as he's doing this year, scoring well-over 20 points per-game while being the featured scorer on a the best team in the NBA, while winning for a good number of years, he could sneak in there eventually. Not what I'd call a superstar, but is very comfortable in his role right now (which is a star player).


Shawn Marion - His numbers are very good, with averages of 19 pts/11 rb/2 blks per game. He could be on my list of players who need a few more years to get there, but I think he has to play above his head for a few years to get there.


Steve Nash - Really didn't get going until he was about 27-years old. An MVP will certainly help, as will making bad teams better. He's a cerebral and eccentric person (not because of his hair, but his interests off the court), and his game reflects some of that creativity as well as his soccer mentality. He need to keep producing like this for a few more years though, or else he's not much more than a Mark Price/Kevin Johnson.


Ben Wallace - Unless people start appreciating Dennis Rodman a little more, Wallace may never be a HOFer. His offense blows, but his defense is superb. Great help-defender, and works oh-so-well with Rasheed and Tayshaun (and Cliff Robinson before them). A man who makes the most of his talents. Keeps his game simple, and works his-ass-off. He's already past 30-years old, and he'll have to keep playing like this for at least another 4-5 years. Not an easy thing to do.


Rasheed Wallace - It's funny to hear, but Duncan, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber, even Shaq at times, have hinted/suggested/claimed that Wallace is the best defender amongst forwards. He's strong, tall, and long. I can go on forever about Sheed's talents... He may very well be the best player in the low-block. He's impossible to stop. If he were to do that each and every game, I guarantee that he'd score anywhere from 24-28 points per game. The thing with Rasheed, is that he can do anything he wants to against any player (although not always with Shaq... pretty tough to move the big guy around unless you have Charles Barkley and Mark Jackson's ass). As I said with Antoine Walker, about how his numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story about his game (that his game isn't very good despite awesome numbers), well, the same can be said about Wallace although at the other end of the spectrum. He's a great player who does everything well, but his numbers at the end of the day don't capture that.


Steed

***
 
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