Number 41

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
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Great analysis, Steed :) Having not watched any basketball of late, I wouldn't know about his D at the moment - but I think you gave a pretty good picture of the current situation.

I don't think anyone is going to hit 100 any time soon - look at how long Wilt the Stilt's record has stood up - makes you wonder why they don't invent a new term like Stiltian like they did for the Babe (Ruthian proportions)!

And yes, you got the key word - fire. Kobe has always had fire, and this is what makes him a winner. Many players never live up to their talent because their fire simply isn't strong enough. LeBron is still early in his career, you could see his fire become stronger, one never knows.

Speaking of fire, both Cheryl and Reggie had fire. And both of them were great at offense and defense. When Cheryl rejected a shot, she did it big-time, with a big swat instead of just putting a hand in the way, like many good NBA pros do. I don't know of any other woman player that has shown that ability.
 

johnsteed

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Some passing thoughts on Mario...

***


Spearmaster

Speaking of fire, both Cheryl and Reggie had fire. And both of them were great at offense and defense.

Long time no speak people :) . Where's the dUck these days?

I wanted to tackle this one first off. While I would agree with you Spearmaster, that Cheryl was indeed a great two-way player on the court, I cannot endorse Reggie earning that same honor though. Reggie (over time) had become a good "team defense" player, and was slithery enough to get in front of his man. But when it came to transition defense (on the fly) and for defending pick-and-rolls, m'man Reggie was lost. I was JUST watching some old tapes of the '98 CONFERENCE FINALS (remember... I'm visiting "home" these days), and surprisingly, Jalen Rose had done a better job of defending in the half-court sets. And to be clear, as much as I like any Fab-5 of Michigan player, J-Rose is NOT a good defensive player. Now, Reggie was a better defender than Rose over their careers (although Jalen's still got a ways to go), but it was more geared towards the fundamental rules of basketball. Which are:

- Never leave your feet.

- Stay in front of your man.

- Be alert for steals.


Side note: While Miller only averaged 1.1 steals per game, he like Bird, not considered good defenders, seemed to be able to get their thefts in crunch time at the end of the game. Their anticipation and being able to read the play in critical situations, would leave the armchair fan wondering why they couldn't do that all the time. :confused:

If you were an NBA coach, you'd pray that at the very least, the players you put on the floor would at least abide by those rules - to which they don't. Reggie did just that, and he was active, but just because he did those 3 things, he could not do a lot of other important things that would have taken him to another level. Which are:

- Defending the pick-and-roll.

- Switching players/whom you're defending/rotation (although, he wasn't that bad at this either... he wasn't a bad help-defender).

- Screens (Reggie was great offensively working with screens, but he had a difficult time reading screens defensively... I believe so...).

- Transition defense (Reggie would sometimes get his steals here, but more often than not, he would lose his man).

- Muscling-up and hounding your man (most of what Reggie COULD do here, was annoy the opposition and their fans... that was his GREAT gift).

I think it's important to keep in mind though, that Miller had to conserve his energy (sporadically throughout a game) for crunch time in the 4th quarter. As Jordan got older, he too was a master at that. Also, while Miller was relatively tall for an off-guard (6'7"), he was far too thin (listed at 185 lbs!!!). Although, despite being ultra-lean, I do think he was more wiry-strong than he would appear to be.

All-in-all, Miller was (I think) the greatest 3-point marksman, one of the greatest clutch shooters, an annoyance, a great team player, a winner, a great ambassador for Indiana and the community, a bright man, but not necessarily a great defensive player.


***


I'm surprised no one talked about Mario Lemieux announcing his retirement earlier this week. While I'm not surprised (as I'm sure no one really is either), it was nice to see that the announcement itself, got more attention this time around. I was surprised to see lots of programs, honoring Mario "Le Magnifique", as they should have done more of when he first retired a good number of years ago.

A few weeks ago, I posted some thoughts on where Mario would sit amongst the elite of the elite in the realm of the NHL's All-Time greats. I would have to rank him 2nd with Bobby Orr. No one is in 3rd. If neither one had ever succumbed to so many injuries (and career ending ones at that), there might very well be a 3-way tie for the greatest (similar to Ruth/Mays/Bonds... and if you don't like Bonds, substitute him with Aaron) in their sport. Depending on your mood, any of the 3 could be your best on any given day.

What seperates Wayne from the others was longevity and durability. And because of that, hitting all the great milestones and trailblazing (and setting) new records, while winning some 4 Stanley Cups along the way, will undoubtedly garner the title as being the greatest to have played the game.

But Gretzky, might not have been any more talented than the other two.

I've heard many hockey insiders comment about how Lemieux, Orr, and Gretzky could slow the game down to their level (with their minds + vision racing WAY beyond what the others on the ice could see). That is true to an extent, but Lemieux was the best at this. If you watched the Oilers back in the day, I'd think that Gretzky played more of a speed game. Messier, Kurri, Anderson, and Coffey were rushers down the ice. Sure, Gretzky was known for setting-up shop behind the oppositions net, but the rest of the ice, he was slick and speedy. Orr, like the other two, had 3-speeds at which he'd operate. He could be at speed-1, and then when he recognizes the opposition reads that he's at level, BOOM!!! He'd crank it up to that 3rd-speed. Orr was the best at this only because he was faster than Mario and Gretzky (who were both fast players... and although Mario looks slow, he was fast in long strides).

But Lemieux was at his best, being in the attacking zone, slowing the game down to a crawl, and then he's do his tape-to-tape passes to Jagr, Recchi, or Stevens (or Warren Young, Rob Brown, Kovalev, Straka, Naslund, Tocchet, Francis, Coffey, Larry Murphy, Trottier, Joe Mullen, ect...), and they'd generally score. If you watched the Penguins in the early-mid '90s, that's precisely how they'd execute. It would look too easy, therefore making it boring to watch, but in retrospect, it's pure genius. None of the opposing team's players would rush at the Penguins (hey, it''s Jagr and Mario they're dealing with), and if they did get too impatient, the right pass would slip past them to the right guy in the slot.

Gretzky in his Oilers days would rush-rush-rush. It wasn't until he was with L.A., that he'd slow his game down and master the art of working behind the net.

Orr could just blow past an entire team trying to set-up in transition.

I've also been reading that while Gretzky and Orr played on loaded teams (although Gretzky's Oilers were likely THE most loaded team of All-Time), and that Lemieux played on some pretty lousy teams. Now, in the '80s, I would agree with that.

But in the early '90s, it was disappointing that the Penguins couldn't win every year based on the amazing line-up they had at that time. To see what I'm saying, here's a list of players who played for the Oilers ('83-88) and for the Penguins ('90-95) in their glory days.

Oilers

Forwards: Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Esa Tikkanen, Dave Hunter, Ken Linseman, Craig MacTavish, Dave Semenko, Craig Simpson...


Defensemen: Paul Coffey, Kevin Lowe Steve Smith, Charlie Huddy, Lee Fogolin, Randy Gregg, Marty McSorley, Craig Muni, Reijo Ruotsalainen...


Goaltenders: Grant Fuhr, Andy Mood, Ron Low, Bill Ranford...


Penguins

Forwards: Lemieux, Jagr, Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens, Rich Tocchet, Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Martin Straka, Marcus Naslund, Bryan Trottier, Phil Bouque, Randy Cunneyworth, Bob Errey, Randy Gilhen, Dave Hannan, Shawn McEachern, Tomas Sandstrom...


Defensemen: Paul Coffey, Larry Murphy, Doug Bodger, Greg Hawgood, Chris Joseph, Norm Maciver, Craig Muni, Jim Paek, Kjell Samuelsson, Ulf Samuelsson...


Goaltenders: Tom Barrasso, Ron Tugnutt, Ken Wregget...


Side note: I'd list John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski, and Rob Brown, but they were traded away to get Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelson.


The players I highlighted in red, and those who were great while they played for those teams. Heck, Bryan Trottier might be one of the best on either team, but he was on the downside of his career when he caught-on with the Penguins. And guys like Straka and Naslund, who would certainly become good/great players, hadn't really hit their stride while with the Penguins (Straka in some ways yes, but it took Naslund to go to Vancouver to realize his talent). If you matched up both teams on paper, I'd give Edmonton the edge in goal-tending, and perhaps defensively... although I'm not 100% sure about that. I just happen to think that the Oilers defense corps of the '80s were great and underrated. Sure, Coffey was like a 4th forward, but the rest of them were stay-at-home defense-men, who were great stay-at-home defense-men (and were all big).


But looking at the forwards, I might have to give the Penguins the edge. If you remember how good Kevin Stevens was at that time, to have him and Rich Tocchet on the same team was too much. They were the top power-forwards in the game at the time (at least 2 of the Top-3). Lemieux at his peak was equal to Gretzky at his (and remember there were more goals scored during the '80s relative to the '90s). While Messier is certainly a Top-10 All-Time great (maybe Top-5), I would have to think Jagr might be a Top-5 player when all is said and done. Remember, Jagr is still relatively young, he's been a great scorer at a time when people weren't scoring, and he almost has 1,400 points (ALREADY!!!). What the Oilers didn't have that the Penguins did have, was a Ron Francis. The Oilers players became stars together (over a short period), whereas half of the Penguins players at that time were already All-Stars plucked away from their teams. Hence, they were already legitimate (in terms of star status).

So again, what I'm saying is that when people say that Lemieux wasn't surrounded with the same talent that Gretzky had, that's not necessarily true. What is true though, was that Lemieux had played on teams that were absolutely terrible (Gretzky almost always played on teams that had the potential to make the playoffs).


***


While some are perplexed as to why Mario wasn't more famous, to me, it's easy to understand why.

He's boring. If he wasn't boring, he was too shy. He carries himself like a thorough bred who comes off as arrogant (not necessarily true though). People loved Gretzky too much, they didn't want Mario to come along and knock him off. And that makes perfect sense, because Lemieux is only about 4-years younger than Wayne, and it took the general public quite some time to adore Gretzky (many hated him originally... he reminded me of Princess Diana when he first came around) The hockey fans weren't ready to jump-in with two feet and accept Mario so readily. Remember, Lemieux is 6'4", and Gretzky is 6'0" and thin, people generally pull for the smaller guy. When he was drafted back in '84, he didn't go down to the Penguins table, because he only wanted to play in the Province of Quebec (the opposite of Lindros I guess). Lemieux (like Sidney Crosby now), at times, was a bit of a Ryan Leaf (or so it would have appeared), who earlier on in his career, was known to complain a lot in his dressing room. And most importantly, Lemieux made the game look so easy (and that gift to making the game look VERY slow), that people thought he wasn't trying. He used to get criticized about that by none other than Don Cherry.


Side note: While it's true that Lemieux complained a lot (not like Roenick or Brett Hull though), his complaints were well deserved and precise. He used to talk about the game having too much clutching and grabbing, and that the game would eventually become too boring. And, it had (up until this year). It was awful. Although Gretzky is an ambassador, he always backed-up the way the NHL had been played. I also admired Lemieux for getting on the NHL to make changes (one of the few who had been outspoken about it for a long time).


Oh well, long live Mario Lemieux. :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy


Steed


***
 
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johnsteed

Ueber Meister
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Apr 24, 2005
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***


I thought with the All-Star game taking place in Houston (in the dUck's general vacinity), and another weekend with no cable (resorting to watching highlights/updates on ESPN.com... sigh), I thought it best to keep my brain "percolating" (famous Walt Frazier saying... not mine) by coming up with an "All-Time Top-50 Greatest Player's List".


Criteria for such a list would be:

- Achievements

- Career Averages

- Points/Rebounds/Steals/Assists/Blocks ect...

- Reputation

- Defense/Offense

- Longevity

- Did they introduce something new to the year, something unique...




So, who's #1? Well, that's just too easy.



#1

Michael Jordan​


View attachment 2172


:notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy​



Actually, if I had to complite a "Greatest List of Pro-Athletes", it would still be Jordan... and I don't think it's that close. To sum him up best, watching the Bulls on NBC ('96-98) during the BULLS last 3-peat, specifically Jordan, was like watching SUPERMAN. You know who's going to win at the end. There will always be some dramatics to keep you on the edge of your seat, but you know who'll ultimately prevail. In what would be "Seinfeld's" final season, would ultimately be The BULLS final (great) season as well. NBC, in '98, had 5 of the top rated shows on television. FRIENDS, E.R., FRASIER, SEINFELD, and The "Michael Jordan" show. Literally, 15% of all commercials (prime-time/evening schedule that is...) in '98 (on NBC) had some form of Michael Jordan in them that year. That same year, the BULLS had their most challenging playoff run. They were taken to 7 hard-fought games versus the Indiana Pacers, in what was probably the most difficult series that Michael Jordan's BULLS had won. After having to play a 7th game (a press conference immediately after a tough and close loss to the Pacers that night), Michael Jordan, with FIRE in his eyes (and no reporters saying anything), kept repeating... "Indiana... Utah... still gotta' come through Chicago... still gotta' come through Chicago... Indiana... Utah... still gotta' come through Chicago...", he kept repeating the same thing for something like 3-minutes (which means FOREVER on live TV). He kept repeating it for so long, that I had enough time to call my friend long-distance, in hopes that he was seeing what I was seeing (to which he was). I think if they would have played back-to-back games that night, Jordan would have gone off for 150 points. IF he played Superman a game of 1-on-1 that very night, Jordan may very well have won.

Side note: Jordan only uses that intense look during games. The way he conducts himself in interviews, he's calm and articulate, and works the room like no one else. But the look he had in that specific press-conference, I've only seen on Barry Bonds face. Not when Bonds is loafing (or acting as if the game is too easy for him... which may be true), but when Bonds' teams are trailing, and he starts chewing sunflower seeds, and he's no longer blinking (or roll-his-eyes as to how everyone is beneath him in Little... er... the Major Leagues), and sitting there, no saying boo, but you can see that his mind is racing, and seeing things we're not. A "crazed look", that he's going to murder the ball. Well, if you know what I'm talking about (as I'm unsure why the baseball commentators never say... "Bonds" has got that "crazed" look, he's going to murder the ball next at bat), Jordan had that very look in the press conference.

Once you get past the career numbers, averages, MVP's, FINALS MVP's, All-Star game MVP's, the 1st-Team All-Star and 1st-Team All-Defense squads, the dunks, the challenges, the commercials, the interviews, the off-season conditioning, SNL, "Come-Fly-With-Me" video, the retirements, the coming-out-of-retirements, and to do it all as a 2-guard, he's the greatest player ever.


#2
Bill Russell​




I used to think that Russell was overrated, because his greatness only stemmed from his being a cog in probably the greatest Dynasty in all of pro-sports (the Yankees, Montreal Canadians, 49ers, and Manchester United are just as great as the Celtics in the context of their respective sports... but Russell won 11 Championships in only 13 seasons!!!). I used to wonder why some (not all) considered him equal if not greater than the "Big Dipper" (Wilt C.), or "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar". He never averaged 50-points per game for an entire season (like Wilt), he wasn't a giant (he's probably about 6'9"), and getting back to scoring... he never even averaged 20-points per game in any season of this 13-career. So how can he be #2?

He's a winner, and something lost of most basketball player these days, he played team-ball. Wilt didn't. Kareem did, but what about those crappy Lakers of the late '70s (they were so bad, they were fortunate enough to land Magic Johnson)? Kareem and Wilt made their teams better (Kareem moreso than Wilt) because of their sheer greatness, but Russell sacrificed everything with the only thought of helping his team win. Actually, playing "team-ball" would be considered "sacrifice" to 90% of basketball players, but one would have to think that Russell didn't see it as a sacrifice. Imagine Bill Russell on the Pistons team this year (and over the last 2). They'd probably win 75 games a year.

There are no records of blocks or steals prior to the early '70s, but if there were, I'd have to think that Russell would be the All-Time blocked-shots leader (though in fairness... Wilt was also a great shot-blocker), and he'd probably rank right up there in steals. In case you didn't know, Russell's career averages were:

42.3 minutes per game/22.5 rebounds per games/4.3 assists per game/15.1 PPG

Like Dr. J and MG, they're great ambassadors for the game.



#3
Magic Johnson​

I had no problem with #1 and #2 picks, but it gets MUCH harder now.

I'm going with Magic at #3, because of his being a winner as well. He won 5 Championships, to Bird's 3. If Bird won more, than I'd list Bird as #3. There numbers are quite similar. If Bird scored more, than Magic racked-up more assists. But really, if you compare their numbers, they're both triple-double-type players. Magic is a player who could have averaged 10 rebounds a game (he averaged 7.2 per game), but he had to direct the offense more than concentrating on that element of his game. He was and probably is the greatest distributor the game has even seen (although John Stockton was a GREAT distributor as well... tough call). He wasn't a great 3-point shooter, yet when it mattered, he made his shots. Magic was so great at the offensive part of the game, that people (or critics) rarely go on about his not-so-great defense. Like Bird, he was a great anticipator on defense when the game was close. Regardless (even though I'm BIG on defense), he's my #3 choice.

Side note: Had Johnson continued to play (instead of retiring in mid-career), he would have easily recorded (and well over) 20,000 points/10,000 rebounds/10,000 assists. Actually, he may have gotten closer to 30,000/14,000/16,000 based on the fact that he probably could have played for another 7-8 years if he had wanted to, and surely another 3-4 great seasons.



#4
Larry Bird​

On par with Jordan, Bryant, and Reggie Miller when the game came down to the last few seconds. Rather, they're on par with him. Brilliant scorer, distributor from the wing, rebounder, and again... anticipator. It's surprising that Bird and Johnson are so similar in vision and reading the plays, and they came up at the same time. They were about the same size in height and weight (although Johnson was about 3-years younger). Magic Johnson was clearly more athletic (or quicker), although Bird was probably the smarter player at picking his spots. When comparing the two though, while both equally respected, Bird may have been the more feared of the two. When the "white-hpye" label is thrown around, it's quickly waved-off by people like Jordan. Those who played with and against Bird, knew that he was the real deal.



#5
Kareem Abdul Jabbar​


If you were an expansion team, and you could pick any player in the history of the game, I'd have to think that a great percentage of GM's would want to build their teams around Jabbar. His credentials are great. He's probably the greatest NCAA player of All-Time, one of the brightest (if often misunderstood) players to have played the game, hold various NBA records with the most important being All-Time leading scorer with 38,387 points (although Jordan has the highest points-per-game average). He was a very good defensive center (if not great), he had great-great hands, and he was probably the most fundamentally-sound centers to have played the game (with the possible exception of Hakeem and yes... Bill Walton). He has what is often considered the deadliest offense weapon in the history of the game... his patented "Hook-Shot", or "Sky-Hook". He was a 6-Time MVP, and by various observers, is considered the greatest center AND player of All-Time.

Alcindor (his previous name) is/was often criticized because he looked as though he wasn't giving it his best efforts. He made the game look too easy (similar to Barry Bonds), which turned people off. Also, many (like me) will point to his not making those Lakers teams of the late '70s better, and that he needed Magic (and a loaded Lakers team) to win. Regardless, he was a winner, and he has 6-rings to prove it (1 with the Bucks).



#6
Jerry West​


"Mr. Clutch" is often regarded as the games greater gunner. What is often overlooked though, was that he was a great defensive stopper, and that he played the whole game. He could do everything. Steal, pass, rebound, and even block (as I've been told) the occasional shot, and most certainly score.

What always puzzles me though, is that he's called "Mr. Clutch" for his scoring efforts when the games mattered most (and when Elgin Baylor would disappear), yet, those Lakers teams were defeated 7-times in the NBA Finals in a row, before he won it for the 1st time in '72. It's not necessarily his fault they lost, but you'd think that he ALWAYS won with that name.

A great GM, a classy personality, and although it's never confirmend, most likely the silhouette on the NBA emblem.



#7
Oscar Robertson​




Confidence supreme, he still thinks he's the greatest player of All-Time. While I don't think so, maybe he is/was. He's quite often regarded as the games greatest guard (point of shooting), and hey, he's "Mr. Triple-Double". He narrowly missed averaging a Triple-Double for 5-years straight ('61-65)!!! While LeBron James certainly looks like he's the next Robertson (statistically, and by sheer power), Robertson was also a great and fearless defender (often forgotten aspect of his game).

It would have been great though (like West), if he could have won more than 1-Championship. Some of those Bucks teams (with Alcindor) were the greatest in the history of the sport (on paper). They should have won at least 3.



#8
Wilt Chamberlain​

What?! How can Chamberlain be this low. Various experts have him as their #1 player of All-Time. He's generally #1-3 on most people's lists. Not on mine.

Look, like Shaquille O'Neil, he was scary and changes the entire complexion of the game when he's playing. He was probably the most athletic centers to have played the game (like David Robinson), actually, he was well-known for being great at many sports (a great Beach Volleyball player... actually... GREAT GREAT Beach Volleyball player). He was an athlete with tons of talents. He averaged over 50 points per game for an entire season!!! He scored 100 points in a single game!!! He led the league in assists one season, and he's a center!!! He's stats are AWESOME!!!

That's all true. It's EASY to make a case that he's the games greatest player. He was probably the greatest force the game has ever seen (Shaquille is right there also).

But, for all of that... he won 2 Championships. He generally was on the 1st All-NBA squads ahead of Russell, yet, he only won 2 Championships. Look, if you're Charles Barkley or Dominique Wilkins, and you weren't able to win a Championship, it's more than understandable. It's hard to do that from the 3 and 4 positions. But Chamberlain was a center, and to most, the greatest center to have played. And... he played on lots of teams with loaded line-ups (not at the beginning of his career though), yet his teams records weren't so brilliant.

Chamberlain, could be great whenever he wanted to be (like Shaq). But the desire wasn't always there. Better yet, he was NOT a coach's dream (like Russell). He's a GM's dream though.

I think he put himself ahead of his teams, and that's where he loses so many points to Russell and even with Jabbar.



#9
John Havlicek​


VERY underrated player. A great role-player (coming off the bench for many years), and a great leader and go-to-guy (later on in his career). Very athletic, or if he wasn't athletic, he could sure run-run-run-and-run (like Richard Hamilton or Clyde Drexler in that regard). Did everything well, and was also a terror on the defensive side of the game.

Something I've never understood about the topic of Havlicek, was that he (as far as I know) didn't seem to gain the same respect from Red Auerbach, that Auerback would thrust on Bird (his great prize). I would never argue that Havlicek was as great as Bird, because that may very well be true. Havlicek was a great icon, and someone to look up to. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe Auerback loved Havlicek, but I've yet to read or come across anything that would suggest that.

Havlicek is just as important as Russell and Bird in Celtics lore.



#10
Hakeem Olajuwon​


I could understand if you may think that I've ranked Olajuwon too high, but actually, I would rank him higher if I had a little more confidence.

I'll say this also, with all the centers ranked ahead of him on this list, or amongst his peers including Shaquille O'Neil, I have a hard time believing that any center in the history of basketball could have been better than Olajuwon was from '93-95. Why?

Nevermind the obvious, that he led those Houston Rocket teams to 2 Championships (back-to-back), or how he did it (by destroying David Robinson, and making O'Neil and to a lesser extent... Patrick Ewing... look silly and inept).

It was a combination of the following:

- His defense was AWESOME at that time... the best in the league... consisting of a great number of steals, blocks, rebounds, but more importantly, an intimidating presence, and an understanding as to how to stop centers ranging from the graceful Robinson to the powerful O'Neil. He adapted to each center/power forward, and beat them on EACH challenge. I bet that's how Bill Russell or a Nate Thurmond were at their peaks, but I imagine that even they weren't on par with Olajuwon at his peak.

- His offense was DEVASTATING at that time... the best in the league... consisting of some of the most devasting post-moves from the center position EVER!!! Similar to how Kevin McHale used to dominate the post from the power-forward position. He was so graceful and quick on his feet, athletic, everything. Robinson may have been a better sprinter (and have a great body), but Hakeem was uber-athletic as well, and he could have been a great dancer at that time (for a man his size... not a Barishnakov). Actually Michael Jordan said it best, "He's a small forward." The "Dream-Shake" will never be as famous as the "Sky-Hook", but it's just as unstoppable.

- His presence offensively, defensively, and in his abilities on and off the court were at their strongest. He was a great leader. He wasn't a yeller, he was someone who would just do it. And like Russell, although Olajuwon scored more, was a great team player. While there's no question that Olajuwon could always do everything on the court, it was never what it would become 10-years into his career. He was (only) slightly raw when he first came into the league (most players should so lucky to be that raw and THAT good coming into the league), and after summers of playing against Moses Malone and learning how to be "tougher", he would "get it".

If I could take any center in the history of the game at their peak, Olajuwon would be my selection (and I'd get him at an underrated discount).



#11
Shaquille O'Neil​


Shaq could be #1 on the list before he's done, but at this point, it probably won't be happening (unless his HEAT can reel off a dynasty while his maintaining his current production for another few years).

Shaq puts the scare into opposing teams (like Wilt), but not like a Jordan does. Shaq is not JUST size. Shaq is an extremely athletic and talented player for his size. He's intriguing in that sense. Players have bulked-up like him (although probably never as big... although his old LSU teammate Stanley Roberts comes to mind), and there are other 7-footers in the league, but combining his weight and height, no one has his quickness in the box. And he has hops (he doesn't need them though). He's a pretty good (at times very good) passer. He's developed quite a few nice post moves (more than people and critics realize), and his arsenal is sufficiently diverse. His power moves are unstoppable. His reflexes are never dull, and despite how he looks, sounds and what he choses to say, Shaq is quite bright as well.

What always bothers me about Shaq, is his massive ego that confuses his perception on what (really) "IS". What that entails, is that even during the Jordan era (even though he has a tremendous amount of respect for Jordan), he would always proclaim himself as the games best player. And despite all that Duncan has done (in the most boring fashion), he STILL thinks he's the greatest playing now (and to have ever played the game). He's still right up there, no doubt, even with his declining abilities (mostly physical).

Also, I've found that with Penny Hardaway, as well with Kobe Bryant (and although doubtful... you never know with Dwayne Wade), is that they got the brunt of the heat for Shaq's leaving both clubs. Now, Hardaway and Bryant are the easiest guys to like either, but I have a very easy time seeing that Shaq's massive ego made him a cancer in both clubhouses. Shaq can and has made his teammates better. But, I'm convinced that he's a part of the problem more often than not.

Shaq is a great player. He's not a disappointment, but with having been part of those Magic and Lakers squads, and being who he is, one would have to have imagined that he'd have at least 5 Championships by this point of his career.



#12
Julius Erving (a.k.a. Dr. "J")​


The face of the ABA. Apparently, the most respected former NBA player by the way he carries himself. Articulate, slick, stylish, smart... the Sidney Potier of the NBA.

Renowed as the greatest "practice" dunkers. An ABA, NBA, and street-ball legend. The giant 'fro that made him look like a 7-footer (and Artis Gilmore was a 7'2" GIANT who had an even bigger 'fro that made him look 7'8"). Finally won it all, with a very deep and talented 76ers squad ('83). Actually, he was a part of MANY talented 76ers squads. That just happened to be the only one that won it all.



#13
Rick Barry​


Actually, I can easily reverse Barry with Dr."J", because while their games are completely different, they're both ABA and NBA All-Stars who excelled in most facets of the games. Barry was a better passer, and I think at his peak, was hungrier. Barry usually loses points with people because of his absolute arrogance (still does). Although, I could listen to him forever, because he speaks what's on his mind, and he's quite brilliant as far as his basketball I.Q. is concerned.

While Dr."J" is the symbol of the ABA, I think that Rick Barry might have been just a tiny bit better, comparing both players against each other in their early '20s. Barry was a great college player, and he was the best scorer in the NBA prior to bolting to the ABA, where he would be then become the ABA's best scorer (and best player for his brief stay there).

Dr."J" wins out, because he played for a longer period, and was still quite good his last year. Barry fizzled-out with the Rockets, and I think his heart was no longer in it either. He WAS the Golden State Warriors' team that won it all in '05.



#14
Bob Pettit​


The games first great power forward. Actually, the games best power forward until Tim Duncan (arguably Karl Malone... maybe even Elvin Hayes).

Retired a bit early (as far as I'm concerned), because he was still scoring around his career averages per 40 minutes.

Was voted on the 1st Team All-NBA squad his 1st ten years in the league, and made the 2nd All-NBA squad his last (that year, he had his minutes reduced).

I think that by the time Duncan is finished (if not already), he'll easily be the greatest power forward to have played the game. But I'd argue that within the context of when Bob Pettit was playing, he's the 2nd greatest.



#15
Elgin Baylor​


One of the most explosive scorers in the history of the game. Maybe the most explosive scorer, when driving to the hoop. I've heard many times, that Baylor is a Top-5 All-Timer, and even I used to have him as my #3 guy! But, I've gained a lot of perspective on those Lakers teams, and from what I know, Baylor was a floater on defense. And he was a choker in crunch-time (wonder why the Lakers were able to lose all of the 7 Finals that he reached).

Nevertheless, he was a great player. Great rebounder, and I imagine that despite not being tall, he was like a rhyno running the lanes.



#16
Dolph Schayes​


One can only hope that historians will remember that he was nothing like his son on the court (though his son was okay, had a long career, and was valued as a reserve). Schayes, with Mikan, Arizin, and Cousy, was amongst the 1st wave of superstars in the game. Great rebounder, soft-hands, and quite durable. He had set many records prior to his retirement. People don't like to vote the old-timmers this high, but in the context of when he was playing, he was awesome.



#17
John Stockton​


Behind the curtain that was Karl Malone, is the wizard of Utah... John Stockton. Fearless in crunch-time, and clutch, AND could have been a 20 point-per-game scorer if he wanted it. But, that wasn't his game. He was there to do a little bit of everything, and most importantly, direct and set-up the offense as best he could.

Stockton seemed to accurate in everything he did. Nothing was wasted. It must really eat him up these days, that he didn't take the ball more often in those 4th quarters of those big games. I mean... he still did shoot. But, he should have been the go-to-guy more times than he was.

Great steals guy. A very good defensive player, knew when and how to draw fouls, and exceptional at setting up the offense even when not carrying the ball (setting picks). His off-the-ball movements, and positioning were ahead of the competition. A master at quite a few tricks. Great, great, player. Coaches dream, because he executes, and doesn't bitch. Could still be coming off the bench for 20 minutes a game. Durable.



#18
Moses Malone​


Like Ewing, was always sweating, even before tip-off. Tenacious rebounder. Like Sir Charles. Good defender, though despite being an excellent rebounder (best in the league for a few years), could have been an even better defender. Ball goes in, it's never coming back out. Hustle offense. Grinding, always grinding, never tiring (although always sweating). Scored a ton of points (5th All-Time NBA), but not necessarily gifted offensively like you'd expect from those numbers. He REALLY worked for those points. For every 2-points he scored, the other team probably gained an extra 4-5 bruised on the play. Hard points. Well respected player.



#19
Scottie Pippen​


I used to think that Pippen was SOOOOOO overrated. Boy, was I wrong on that one. Way off. Actually, even when I was watching him in his prime, I knew he was great. I just assumed that he WAS that great because he was Jordan's teammate. I didn't appreciate Pippen enough, for what he brought to the table. He was exceptional at everything, and could play all 5-positions (yes, he'd play center on occasion, for brief spells). His defense was as great as Frazier's, as was his scoring. He may be the best passer from the wing position, certainly at directing the offense.

Pippen probably lost lots of fans for being perceived as a baby for the "migraine" that kept him on the bench at the end of a critical BULLS vs. KNICKS (sans M.J.) game 7. For whatever reason, not the guy I want taking shots at the end of a game. If you don't understand why, all you need to know is 2000 Conference Finals, Portland carrying a 17-point lead in the 2nd half versus the Lakers, Portland misses (I believe) 15-shots in a row (thank you Bonzie Wells and Scottie Pippen). Unlike Jordan, got rattled too easily. Sensitive.

Nevertheless, the BULLS were great because M.J. and Pippen could feed off each other. Underrated because he'll forever be in M.J.'s shadow. May have been better with Jordan... but that's crazy for those who'd believe that. Jordan ALWAYS challenged Pippen... made him stronger, and greater.



#20
Isiah Thomas​


The greatest dribbler I've ever seen (even more than Pete Maravich). Great scorer when it mattered most. Underrated assist man for some reason. Not a great defender, but better than he was bad (IOW, he was solid). The guy never ages, despite being about 45, looks like he could still play (even after being in New York as the GM!!!... you'd think he'd look 80). Quick player, darted-in-and-out like no one else (though Kenny Anderson once had that ability). Confidence was great, as was his ego. Deadly smile. Dumars probably gets more respect in Detroit these days, and was a GREAT defender, but Thomas made those Pistons teams go.



#21
Walt Frazier​


Just like Scottie, but mentally stronger. Could rank ahead of Pippen, but I think Pippen's career was greater, longer, and I think that Scottie was a better scorer (for the 1st 3-quarters that is) who could have scored more had he been the featured player. Frazier is probably the most loved Knick in Knick lore (although the do love Ewing). Great commentator. Personified the '70s New York scene.

Great defense, wonderful passing ability, very silky smooth player.



#22
Elvin Hayes​


It's funny. I always read/hear that Hayes fundamentals were crap. What I mean by that is he wasn't good at some of the basic skills one would need to become a great basketball player. That became evident throughout his teams practices, while running drills. He couldn't do them. He was also known for being too private, and had difficulties with the media (who doesn't?). And lots has been made of these facts.

What is somehow being forgotten though, was that Hayes was a great scorer. He may have done the same exact move to score the majority of his 27,313 points (6th All-Time), but it always worked for him. It was his bread-and-butter. Teams knew what he was going to do, he was predictable, and they could never stop him. How is that bad? Hayes was also a GREAT rebounder (4th All-Time) and shot-blocker (15th All-Time). He was an important part of a great Washington Bullets team, that made it to 3 NBA Finals (and winning 1).

Another important bit that's been forgotten about Hayes, was that he was one of the greatest college players of All-Time. He played in probably one of the most memorable college games ever. University of Houston versus an undefeated UCLA team, with probably the greatest college player of All-Time, Lew Alcindor. Hayes bested the nations greatest player, and the Houston team won. That year, Hayes won College Player of The Year, stealing it from Alcindor.

Whatever negative things that have been written up about Elvin Hayes, he was a great player.



#23
Karl Malone​


Okay, I've waited a long time to put the 2nd All-Time leading scorer on my list. Perhaps he's a Top-10 player, I just don't happen to think so. He routinely looked bad in big games. His numbers are sensational, and maybe I'm being too harsh on him. Malone was a gifted athlete who always worked hard, on and ESPECIALLY off the court. Malone was huge, and he looked huge standing next to HULK HOGAN back in '98 (Hogan and Rodman vs. Malone and D.D.P. WCW match). Malone takes too many hits for being a "white" black man. But that bullshit. He's himself, and he doesn't need to be the "hood" if that isn't him. I respect Malone for that (driving around in a 16-wheeler, being a Mark McGwire fan, owning a ranch, listening to country, and endorsing Rogaine). I don't know if he's a model citizen, but from what I've gathered, I think he happens to be a pretty good role-model (despite the Kobe Bryant debacle in '04).

At the same time, while certainly being gifted, and working hard, I don't think of him amongst the greatest. I think that Stockton made him greater than he was, and certainly made it easier for him to score those points than not. To be fair, Malone certainly helped Stockton as well. I'll just say this, if Elvin Hayes had Stockton, he may have scored more points than Kareem.



#24
Kevin McHale​


Had McHale played longer than he had, or rather, had his peak been longer, I'd have to consider him being #1 amongst power forwards. His arsenal in the post is unmatched. His repertoire was extensive. His long arms on defense, was a nightmare to deal with for the opposing players. While Bird was okay on defense, and Robert Parish was certainly good, McHale was the anchor back there, with Dennis Johnson manning the outside. Great shot-blocker. Teams didn't play the "inside" game against the Celtics at that time, rather taking their chances with mid-range/long-distance games. Fundamentally, McHale is in the Top-5% of all the players who've donned an NBA jersey.



#25
Charles Barkley​


Malone's numbers are great than Barkley's, and he did a bit more. Barkley, though, was more talented and was able to do so much despite being shorter than his listed height of 6'6". Awesome rebounder, relentless at backing that big 'ol ass of his against his defenders at the top of the key, pounding the ball in, and excellent outlet passer when facing double teams. Offensively, despite owning an ugly shot, was a very capable scorer mid-range, and certainly great in the post. So-so defender, but certainly a tough-guy. Jumped Shaq once, and probably could hold his own (raw-hide skin is my guess).

I like Sir Charles, but the more I hear him in interviews, it's become clearer that he's a total racist, rather than an "equal-opportunist" that he thinks he is. I've always liked the fact that he speaks his mind, and doesn't care what others think. But he seems to be going down the Joe Morgan lane, of not being a good analyst (being redundant). Barkley was also a VERY lazy player when it came to conditioning (although his body fat was down to 4% while with the SUNS, although he didn't look it :what: ), hence the fallout with he and Pippen with the ROCKETS.



#26
Bob Cousy​


The first player to electrify. The magician. Worked very well with Bill Russell, long passes, both ways. Master at dribbling. Not a good shooter, at all. Like Iverson, but he was smart enough NOT to always shoot, and make his team better by his willingness to pass and break down the oppositions defense. Good commentator, and the first great face of the Celtics dynasty.



#27
George Mikan​


The 1st great name is NBA history. True or not, maybe debatable. Certainly the 1st great center. Unbelievable that the Lakers have had Mikan, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Shaq, and to a much lesser extent, Vlade Divac manning the middle over 50-years.



#28
Wes Unseld​


Maybe he should be higher. Underrated as time goes on. Great passer. Best quote when desribing him, was that it takes 2 minutes to get around his body. If you see some pictures of him, you'll get it. Round. Barkley is round. Unseld is...



While it's often said that players like Walton and Kareem were great at feeding cutters, and set-up the offense in the key (top of the key that is), and that they had revolutionized that, I'm not so sure that was true. Unself ALSO did JUST that. He was very successful at everything, and scored when he needed to. A better defensive player than he gets credit for, but what was known was that he was a monster rebounder, and unmovable in the paint. He was so big, low to the ground, and he had THE perfect center-of-gravity for basketball. Couldn't be moved.



#29
Nate Thurmond​


Thurmond at his peak, could certainly hold his own against the greats. Widely considered to be the most difficult player to play against (amongst centers and power-forwards). Like Dave Cowens, but better, bigger, and longer. It's a shame that they didn't keep blocked-shots back when he first came into the league. They did introduce that particular stat when he was on the downside of his career, and he still averaged over 2 per game!!! He missed a lot of time, and his numbers could have been greater.

He always worked hard, never taking a night off. At one time, backed-up Wilt when they both played for the Warriors.



#30
Clyde Drexler​


He could still put up great numbers when he decided to walk away. Wonderful at working the lanes. Tireless. Would run 6-10 miles a day in the offseason. Gifted passer on the fly, solid rebouder, good defensively (anticipation of the play), wonderful teammate who always made his teams better. With Olajuwon, also made 3 Final Four appearances with 2 Finals (Phi Slamma Jamma), again with Houston (also in '94-95 Champions). Fast and slick runner. Solid gunner. Wonderful and spectacular open-court dunker. Cutter/slasher... but most importantly, finisher.



#31
Paul Arizin​


Maybe he should rank higher. He the first great small forward. Wonderful scorer, finisher and shooter. Great rebounder despite being slender. Was still putting up big numbers when he called it quits. Teamed with Wilt for a few years. Next to Cousy, the most popular player while he played.



#32
David Robinson​


Physically, light-as-a-feather, and wiry-strong (built like a model). Actually "wiry" is too much. He was bigger than that. Great definition and tone. Naval Officer (I believe), so "Officer & A Gentleman" is quite correct. Pretty good piano player (lol), in the John Tesh mold :)barf: ).

Good post moves, but they didn't look so good against Hakeem (who made him look like Manute Bol on offense). Great all-around game. Seemed as though he was going to become one of the greatest centers of All-Time at one point, that is... until Hakeem schooled him. Seemed to lose a ton of confidence after that. Enter Tim Duncan, and Robinson seemed to want to fade into the background. Although strong, soft. Critical of others, but a hypocrite. Polite yet arrogant. Lots of little injuries.

Regardless (I'm being too negative), he was a sensational center. He was a superb rebounder, scorere, and shot-blocker.



#33
Patrick Ewing​


Actually, I'd rather have Ewing on my team over Robinson. I know the perception is that Ewing is a hog, but what you see is what you get. He ALWAYS worked hard, and was never afraid to mix-it-up with anyone. When Hakeem embarassed Shaq and Robinson, I thought that Ewing did the best against him (even though it was far from enough).

Perhaps he didn't live up to his hype, but he was still a franchise player who could match-up well against other HOFers. Even the HOFers took notice of Ewing.

Side note: I read yesterday that Ewing had very small hands. He certainly had long arms, and physically, he was fine (until the end). If you ever wondered where the scouts went wrong, is that the didn't take notice that he has small hands. Funny, scouts look at these things, I'm surprised they didn't make anything of that small detail. Despite those small hands, he was still a very good shot-blocker, rebounder, and the best mid-range jump-shot artist that was a center (yes, better than McAdoo).



#34
Jerry Lucas​


Averaged a 20/20 (points/rebounds) in '95 and again in '96!!! Strong rebounder, and productive scorer. Key acquisition for those great Knick teams. Maybe the 2nd or 3rd greatest college basketball player of All-Time. Surprisingly, wasn't selected until the 6th spot of the '62 NBA draft.



#35
Hal Greer​


People sometimes think that Hal Greer was just a scorer, much like they would think of Mitch Richmond. A second banana. Yes, well that much is true. But Greer was a very good defensive player, and worked the entire court each second he played. He was tenacious, and it's a shame that his teams almost always finished 2nd to those great Celtics teams of the '60s. Greer perhaps could have had statistics that could resemble a Jerry West (or at least closer to 30 points per game than 20), but he wasn't the featured scorer on a good number of his teams (he played with Wilt for a number of years). He really had no weaknesses, other than he didn't really get as much attention as he may or may not have deserved.



#36
Dan Issel​




Probably considered more of a great ABA player, but his great game did translate to the NBA. Soft hands, although younger fans of the game would think that he was some type of "Bobby Clark" (NHL) player, having all his front teeth missing. He was an exceptional rebounder, and he did most things well.



#37
Dominique Wilkins


Dominique was probably considered the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th most dangerous scorer during the '80s (exceptions being M.J. of course, Bird, possibly Alex English). He was certainly considered the 2nd best scorer by the late-80s/early '90s, 2nd only to Jordan. Great leaper, and ALWAYS a great scorer. Not a good defensive player, but active, and most certainly not bad. He kept his teams competitive, but they were never really great.



#38
Alex English​


Super stats. Believe it or not, as Jack Morris was the winningest pitcher in baseball through the '80s, Alex English scored the most points in the '80s!!!

Although sometimes viewed as someone who shot too much, that just isn't true. His FG% hovered around 50%, which means that he's converting a high percentage of his shots. He was a solid mid-range shooter, he could run and drive (like Richard Hamilton today), as he was a pretty good passer and rebounder. I guess, playing Doug Moe's system, did great things for English's numbers, but he was a very good (All-Star worthy) player. Underrated these days, actually, back then too.



#39
George Gervin​


Hmmm, how could I put one of the games most prolific scorers this low? Well, first things first. Gervin was a great scorer. And he's called "The Iceman" because he looked as though he was always cool, never sweating. I'll counter that by saying that he wasn't sweating because he didn't play defense. His defense was no better and perhaps worse than Glenn Robinson's. He didn't play it. So, he's a 100% scorer. To me, he's a World B. Free-type who was a better scorer than World B. Free, therefore he's considered great. And he is a great "scorer". But as a passer, he was a black-hole. Rebounding? Not really. Forgetting my list though, Gervin is appreciated, and I'd love to see some more of his games on DVD/Cassette. Don't get me wrong, he was an exciting player who people would gladly pay to watch.



#40
Dave Cowens​


I'd like to put Cowens MUCH higher than he is here. He's an MVP, and one of the toughest centers to play against. He was a very good scorer, good passer, fierce rebounder and good at blocking shots. But, his career was too short... too brief. He's a champion, but I can't put him any higher. Greater than English or the Iceman? Please, of course, but longevity and totals do count.



#41
Dennis Johnson​


I suppose that if Johnson played the role of featured scorer, he would be rank higher in the minds of many NBA minds. You may find it hard that he ranks this high, but I think he was a massive contributor to all of his teams (especially come playoff time). Remember, he was a key member (the MVP) of a Seattle team that won it all. He also made a Phoenix team that much better as well. And, most certainly, his work with the Celtics. A wonderful defensive player. Actually, he, Maurice Cheeks, and Sidney Moncrief were probably the two best "small" defenders throughout the majority of the '80s (before Jordan). The bigger the game, the better Dennis Johnson would become.



#42
Willis Reed​


Well never know what a full-career would have looked like. I'd probably rank him ahead of Cowens, but they basically did the same, and Cowens played longer. I think a tad overrated by the NBA historians, but he was the leader of those great Knick teams. And those teams were loaded with leaders, so his being the "leader" must mean a heckuva lot.



#43
Robert Parish​


Parish probably accomplished more than most of the centers on this list. And he was a very good, and highly respected center. A strong work ethic, great career milestones reached because of his dedication (conditioning), and yes, a solid player. He scored a lot of points, and not just because he played the most games in NBA history (although he's 8th All-Time in minutes played). There was a bit of a log-jam, playing in that deep front court for all of those years. Parish was left to jobble-up whatever was left from Bird and McHale. As I'm writing this and reviewing his statistics, and considering that he played on some great Celtic teams, he's pretty underrated. He's known, but he's somehow become an afterthought.



#44
Gary Payton​


The "Glove" is still playing these days, but in a reduced role (sometimes starter). Up until 3-years ago, or essentially prior to joining the Lakers, Payton was still doing everything. He's was an exceptional defensive player (9 time 1st-Team), better distributor than critics give him credit for, and a wonderful scorer. If he's somehow able to keep his career going for another 3-4 years (very doubtful), he could reach 10,000 career assists. If he were to win a Title with the Heat, while raising his game up a level come playoff time, he'd be higher on this list (and maybe he should be higher anyways).



#45
Reggie Miller​


There have been greater scorers in league history, but I don't think (outside of Jordan) I'd rather have anyone else take and make a big shot for my team. While Ray Allen is in hot-pursuit of Miller's career record of 3-pointers made, Miller still stands as the greatest long-range marksman (although Rick Barry and Jerry West were great from deep as well). One of the most hated players in the history of the game (college as well), Miller has an uncanny ability to make his detractors look bad. One of my favorite players.



#46
Artis Gilmore​


Monster with the 'fro. Tall, very tall. Strong, very strong. Wilt/Shaq type of strength. Exceptional rebounder, good shot-blocker (as he should be), and for a man of his height, he had some hops. Like Moses Malone, no college. Like Malone, major coup when the Kentucky Colonels lured him away from entering the NBA, 1st overall selection. Intimidating, and at times, a pretty good scorer. After leaving the NBA, would still play ball overseas in Europe.



#46
Dave DeBusschere​


Relentless defenders, really worked for everything. Was more key to the Knicks becoming a great team, than Earl Monroe was (different teams though). Knicks traded Walt "Bells" Bellamy (almost made my Top-50) to get DeBusschere. When he came, they were instant contenders. Lots of heart, maybe Pete Rose's answer to basketball, minus the longevity (and being a disgrace to game and humans).



#47
Joe Dumars​


I used to think that Dumars was highly overrated. And... again, I was wrong. Jordan has said time and again, that Dumars defended him the best (although Jordan also said the same thing about Doug Christie and Sidney Moncrief). Or maybe it was that he defended him the closest. I don't really know. Regardless, a fine scorer, a super GM (right vision), and great all around player that any team in the history of the game could use.



#48
Dennis Rodman​


I know what you're thinking. Rodman, ahead of Bernard King, Dave Bing, Pete Maravich, Terry Cummings, Truck Robinson, Bobby Jones, Billy Cunningham, Tiny Archibald, Sam Jones, Earl Monroe, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman, Walter Davis, Mark Aguirre, Andrian Dantley, Jack Sikma, Chet Walker, or even a Reggie Theus? Am I mad? Yes, apparently I am.

Ignore what you're thinking about Rodman, or what first springs to mind.

- He was twice voted Defensive Player of The Year in '90 and '91. He probably could and should have won more, but people don't like voting for someone like Dennis.

- He was a 7-time All-Defense (1st) Team member, and once again, a 2nd Team member.

- He led the league in rebounding per game, 7 straight years.

I've read in articles and book, and heard on TV or radio interviews, by people like Bill Russell, that Dennis Rodman is the greatest rebounder he's ever seen. One more that I liked, was David Robinson commenting on his comparison of Tim Duncan to having to work with Dennis Rodman, and Robinson said that Rodman was a much better rebounder.

Rodman was never a scorer, but was a wonderful role-player. If you ignore the antics, he's one of the games greatest defenders. Not just rebounds, Rodman knew how to draw fouls, get under the opposition's skin, and how to get in front of his man. Jordan and Pippen held grudges against Rodman, not because he was a goofball, or that he colored his hair, they despised him because of his tenacious defense.

#49
Bill Walton

I hated the fact that Walton was a member of the NBA's 50-Greatest Players list 10-years ago. He barely played. He was always injured. How could he have made it?

Well, over the years I've changed my mind on Walton. Walton could have been a Top-5 center of All-Time, certainly a Top-15 or 20 player at any position. He didn't. But, when he did play, when healthy, Walton was better than any center I listed here, other than Olajuwon, Shaq, Jabbar, Wilt, or Russell. Actually, if he had an injury free career, he would have revolutionized the game. I know that sounds silly to some, but he was more Russell than any of the other centers I mentioned. Plus, his post skills were phenominal. The only player I can think of, who reminds me of Walton, would Arvydas Sabonis. Now, the Sabonis we saw, was playing on two bad knees. But Sabonis (like Walton) in his prime, was a superstar. He could run, jump (he couldn't jump in Portland), and do everything from the center spot. Walton and Sabonis were like octopuses, directing everything, controlling the entire flow of the game. They were both superb passers (only Webber or Divac as big men can be compared), and both had great post-moves that we rarely got to see.

I'll leave Russell out of this one, but when comparing Walton (and Sabonis) in his prime to the other greats, his (their) game (s) aren't about points being scored, moreso about creative the offense from the top of the key. From that spot, Walton can see his teammates cutting and slashing, who's open for a 3, or to just back-his-man-in, and post-him-up. Walton's vision, and ability to read the plays were ahead of it's time (and still is). Chamberlain, Jabbar, and O'Neil, all have the capacity to do this at times, but there games are made a different way. They're go-to-guys, who want to be option #1. Walton and Sabonis didn't want there to be an option #1, rather select the best option from the best spot on the floor. If that meant them, so be it. Floor generals.



#50
Bernard King​


King, like the "Ice Man", was pretty much a ball-hog. He was an awesome scorer though, and all I've ever read when summing up his career, was that he was impossible to stop, and always bulled his defenders. People hated having to guard him. Why?

a) He'd embarrass you.

b) He'd clobber you.

c) The player may have gotten injured on the same play where he embarrassed AND clobbered you.


It was hard not rooting for King. He came back twice, overcoming two major injuries (career threatening). What could have been... well never know.



I'll post another list of those who just missed the cut, or those who were left off the list because they're still in mid-career (eg. Kobe Bryant)



Steed

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spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
Outstanding, Steed! Must've taken you at least a day or two to put together...

Damn good list too - and yes, I happen to agree with your opinion of Bernard King (well hell, his best years were as a Knickerbocker).

A few on your list I don't know but ultimately they are all before my time...

Jordan as best all-around athlete? Damn good basketball player (duh!), damn good baseball player, not a bad golfer at that. Certainly at or near the top of many lists - but don't forget Jim Thorpe - probably the greatest athlete of Indian blood as well - Ferguson Jenkins (did you know he was also a Harlem Globetrotter?) - and in a strange way, George Plimpton - who may not have been good or great at any sport, but he got opportunities in so many different sports...
 

Daffy

Experienced Member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Location
Dallas,TX
Wow!!! Yet another impressive list from JS.

I would have to re-arrange the order a bit...but of your top fifty...they could all play the game.

Interesting that the teammates you have highest are Johnson and Jabbar (rightly so)...which is in line with my thinking that "team" players deserve extra praise/recognition that their numbers don't always show. (like Russell)

Kobe for instance...he averaged 43 points per game in January...the Lakers went 6-9. Does that diminish his accomplishments??? I think it does...if he were a better teammate...he'd have a better team.

So...to my way of thinking...if you like Jordan...Pippen moves up...if you like Russell...Cousy moves up...Bird/McHale...etc.

I also think that longevity and championships influence our perception of greatness. That brings us right back to the "team" concept.

Superior list JS.:notworthy :notworthy :notworthy

the dUck
 

johnsteed

Ueber Meister
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Apr 24, 2005
Location
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Thank you gentlemen.


Spearmaster

Jordan as best all-around athlete?

I wouldn't necessarily say that. But I would most certainly say that he's the Greatest Pro-Athlete, meaning that the GIANT impact that he had on his game, and his stature in the World. Ali comes close (although I'm not a huge Ali fan), as does Babe Ruth (who I also have a hard time rooting for), Pele, a Pete Sampras, a Graf, all of those people come close. But none have had the impact that Jordan has had on a global spectrum. I know that some will quickly point to Ali, because he is one of the major icons of everything that was going on with all the African American movements during the '60s (and he was certainly outspoken), so it's hard to elevate Jordan ahead of him. Yet, literally everyone in the world (even the youngest of children) has heard of Michael Jordan (and Michael Jackson...:rolleyes: ). The NBA (apologies to Toronto) is played in U.S. cities, yet people all over the world routinely watch NBA games. People outside North America rarely watch NFL football, and although baseball is certainly popular in Asia, it means nothing to most Europeans. Hockey, while certainly big in various sectors of Europe and Russia (anywhere that's cold), still isn't received like basketball is.

Many Americans will thank Magic vs. Bird for bringing the world's level of interest to the NBA, but this isn't quite true. Magic vs. Bird had a MAJOR impact on the NCAA to the NBA, for those in America. Jordan is the player who blew the game up globally. Sure, many people all over the world (who follow sports) knew about Magic, Bird, Kareem, ect... But most people wanted (and want) to be like Mike. No Jordan, no marketing, probably not as great of an explosion world-wide. Maybe, just maybe, there would be no Yao Ming, and second tier basketball still being played in Europe. Now, that's all changed (and changing).

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Daffy

So...to my way of thinking...if you like Jordan...Pippen moves up...if you like Russell...Cousy moves up...Bird/McHale...etc.
You're quite right, because buying into the team concept is more important than anything a player can accomplish individually. And the only way to be fairly rewarded by being a great team player, is to win championships. I wouldn't mind putting Pippen higher, because he's a great two-way player, and his contributions to those BULLS teams were immense. But, I wouldn't want to elevate Pippen too far. Jordan, really pushed Pippen, and had Pippen not been a teammate of Jordan's, I think he'd have been a high-level version of Derrick McKey. IOW, talented all-around player, who does all the little things right, but needs to be pushed. I think Pippen was/is a sensitive person, and he takes things to heart. When Jordan got on him, he pushed himself in ways to gain Jordan's acceptance (to which he did). The jury is out whether or not Jordan was really the best leader, but he was. Sure, he's not going to coddle his teammates, he's going to scold them whenever they do something wrong. But he was so majestic and greater than those around him, they weren't going to defy him. I mean, that wasn't the same as Iverson versus Stackhouse (who were both 20 ppg players when they were teammates). And Jordan, was a winner. If Pippen didn't have Jordan getting on his all the time, and someone who would have babied him, he wouldn't have developed into what he would later become. Magic Johnson and Jabbar, would have been great even if they weren't on the same team. If someone on those Lakers' teams resembles Pippen, it would have been James Worthy. No, their games aren't alike, although they're about the same size and scored at the same rate.

Worthy embraced the concept of being a team player. Remember, it was he and not Jordan who was the big name on that UNC team that beat Georgetown (way-back-when). Worthy was taken 1st overall in '82 (ahead of Wilkins), and had he been the centerpiece of a team, he may have become a greater "numbers" player. Worthy could make my list, and I'd rather have him in my line-up over a good number of players I mentioned. And I'm not sure that Worthy was any less talented than a number of those mentioned.

Another way of looking at this, would be if you had built a team around Pippen (without ever playing with Jordan), or one around Worthy (without ever playing with Magic), I think that the team with Worthy would have been more successful. Worthy didn't need to be pushed in order to be motivated, Pippen did. Worthy had a strong game coming out of college, Pippen needed more time to develop (and he was very raw coming out of college). Worthy was strong mentally, having been the College Player of The Year, and although scouts liked Pippen, it took him a long time to develop his confidence (by '91 to be honest).

So, I can't put Pippen any higher than I have him, because I left off Worthy altogether, who's either a HOFer or will be.

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Daffy

Cousy moves up...

I can't though, because I don't think Cousy was better than those that I put ahead of him. Actually, I left off Sam Jones who was also a great Celtic. I don't know, maybe Cousy should be higher. He was the one who really got the Celtics dynasty up-and-running, even a few years before Russell came onboard. I just hate his low shooting %, it's awful!!! :puke:

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Daffy

Kobe for instance...he averaged 43 points per game in January...the Lakers went 6-9. Does that diminish his accomplishments??? I think it does...if he were a better teammate...he'd have a better team.
I agree with you here Daffy. But there are signs (at least to me), that Kobe is starting to get respect from those who've hated him for so long (he needed 62 and 81 to do it though), that would be those around the league (not necessarily the fans... though that's also changing). His team, isn't very good, and they do try. Lamar Odom is a wonderful talent, but there's something in him that's too passive. Not like Pippen though, whom I happen to think Odom is just as talented as. But Pippen was a stopper, Odom, though long, isn't. And after Odom, the rest of the team, is very so-so. Cook, Smush Parker, Luke Walton... Decent 10-12 guys coming off the bench, not serious minute players.

More than any other year, Kobe reminds me of Jordan. He's carrying himself better than in years past. Sure, he's always tried to copy Jordan, by the way he chews his gum, to how he mimics his voice in interviews, but his relentlessness, and the way he's attacking the game, reminds me of Jordan back when he averaged 37 points-per-game. Now, we know that Kobe can play great defense, he's still young, he could start developing that other part of the game, where he does that EACH game.

After Kobe gets the AWARDS and accolades he's always longed for, and the confidence is at an all-time high, all that'll be left to do is win. I really think that by the time Kobe reaches 29-30 years old, he's going to reach that same level that Jordan was on during the '90s. I'll always prefer Jordan, but it seems inevitable to me that this will happen. I certainly wasn't thinking that over the past 3-years, but he's REALLY going for it now.

Kobe is still 27 (soon to be 28), and Jordan didn't win his first NBA ring until he was 28. Kobe, in many ways, was spoiled by winning so many Championships so early into his career. The further away he gets from that Lakers' dynasty, the more he'll be hungry to win one of his own. I actually think that had O'Neil never been Kobe's teammate, Kobe would have learned the negatives and positives of his game some time ago. Had he not won yet, he may have bought into the team concept quicker than what he had. Kobe, to me, is greater than LeBron. LeBron, may have great overall numbers. He certainly looks stronger, and he's been blessed in many ways. LeBron isn't scrutinized like Kobe. LeBron doesn't do interviews (odd isn't it). He's already received the mantle as being the games best player (by various writers), yet he hasn't really won anything yet. LeBron is awesome, but there's something about his game that isn't on that Jordan/Kobe level (and Dwayne has this also). It's the way they attack the game when it counts, and how fierce they are about it. They really go at it. They aren't afraid of missing the shot, AND they REALLY want to make that shot. I don't see that in LeBron's body language. I don't get excited watching LeBron. LeBron James, may very well finish his career, with averages of 30 points/9 rebounds/8 assists/2 steals per game, in that Oscar Robertson range, but he just isn't them (Kobe/Jordan). Kobe is a hog with the ball, and when the Lakers get him a Pippenesque teammate (not Odom... he doesn't play stellar "D"), he'll defer to his teammates more...

LeBron James is one of those players, where everything goes through him, therefore his stats are going to be incredible. Heck, he is incredible. But he's predictable. There's too much LeBron in the Cavs, and that will always be that teams downfall. If you ask me, the Cavs line-up this year, is FAR greater than the Lakers line-up. LeBron, although he's trying, is not a great defender (and I don't think he'll ever be one... only on a Magic Johnson level). I hope I'm wrong, but that's how I see it.

When Kobe's career is finished, I think he'll certainly be a Top-5 player, and he's still got lots of time, he could still make Top-3. Actually, there's no limit to what Kobe can and will do, he just has to figure that out. He probably always wanted to score +35 points per game, he's doing that now, I think winning will soon be most important to him.

Last thing about Kobe, it must suck when you're that talented, and have to play the role second banana to an even bigger EGO in SHAQ. I don't blame Kobe for wanting to do it as the #1 guy on the team. I think SHAQ could have stayed, had he accepted that he would have to be become the #2 guy on the team. SHAQ, despite his numbers declining, was too proud to let Kobe be THAT man. I'm sure that Wade is a little more respectful towards O'Neil, as he IS the #1 option in Miami.


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Spearmaster

Ferguson Jenkins

Hahaha, yeah, I knew that one. Odd that a Canadian would have made that "Harlem" team. :)

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George Plimpton
Oh boy, I hadn't realized that he actually played sports. I thought he just wrote about them, acted, and made fun of himself and his IVY-league pretentiousness. I guess I'm going to have to do a Google search.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'd love to hear about how you don't like being on the list, and who should have made the list. I love to discuss these things.

Steed

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johnsteed

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Me...

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'd love to hear about how you don't like being on the list, and who should have made the list. I love to discuss these things.
Clearly, that was a typo. I've been making lots of them in these most recent postings. It should read...


Thanks for the feedback guys. I'd love to hear about who you don't like being on the list, and who should have made the list. I love discussing these things.


I don't know, maybe you were on the list. Maybe the dUck has a wicked jump-shot, and Spearmaster is a Quadruple-Double waiting to happen, I haven't a clue.

Steed

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spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
My own sporting achievements wouldn't even come 10,000th on the list... LOL... but all the same I enjoyed them :)

Plimpton was an Ivy League prat, for sure - but still he went out of his way to play in many of the sports which he actually wrote books about... for example, pitching against the National League, etc... I believe he also tried basketball, hockey, boxing... like I said, don't know if I would call him an all-around athlete, but from a writer's standpoint this is about as good as it gets. Who the heck wouldn't have wanted some of the opportunities he's had... here's a good place to read a short summary...
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johnsteed

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Wow, what a great link Spearmaster.

Actually, nevermind just learning about the travails of George Plimpton, I was also able to learn about my old Mattel's Intellision II video game console. Boy, that brings back some old memories. Actually, one of the most useless peripheral innovations was the IntelliVoice, which I had (blame my father). We only had 2 games for it... B-17 BOMBER and Bomb Squad. It was so bad (good for the time... sorta'), it made Stephen Hawking's voicebox sound clear.

One neat innovation for the unit though, was that for the *NEW Intellivision console, there was an adapter that allowed you to play ATARI games.

I must have spent 2 hours reviewing and researching the old video game consoles of the late '70s/early '80s. I hadn't realized that there was actually a video game "crash" (market) back in '83. I guess too many people were buying Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Pat Benetar, and Culture Club albums :)D ) by that time. Maybe video games reminded them too much of yesteryear's Flock of Seagulls/Haircut 100/Kim Wilde & The Mini-Pops era of music. :confused: Geez, people think things fall out of fashion so quickly today, the early '80s, "IN" for 3 months, "OUT" by the time the GRAMMY's hit.

Steed

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Daffy

Experienced Member
Joined
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Location
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I don't know, maybe you were on the list. Maybe the dUck has a wicked jump-shot, and Spearmaster is a Quadruple-Double waiting to happen, I haven't a clue.

Steed


LOL...I played...that's about it.

I went to a huge high school...over 3300 kids...and I played four sports.

The basketball coach had been All-Missouri Valley in college and he loved to show off his range (gunner). When I was a sophomore...he would grab me and we'd play two of the tallest varsity seniors two-on-two. Guess who would shoot and who would rebound...lmao. Gawd, he would rag their asses if I got the rebound.

Football was the main sport...if you played any other...you had to do the football workout before you went to the current sport's practice.

Basketball was fun...but I was a thug. The coach kept three of us on the team to brutalize the best center/forward on the opposition. Hard fouls and rebounding was our specialty...we would regularly all foul out...lol. Somehow our team would win though...we went to the Texas state quarterfinals my junior and senior years. I think my high game was like 6-7pts. (mostly foul shots)

the dUck
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
LOL... don't get me started on video games... I had "Pong" when it came out... my friends were world-champion video game players in college (and even wrote some of the Atari games)... and I did Dragon's Lair on That's Incredible, which aired Thanksgiving 1983 - too bad it's impossible to find any video of that anywhere.

I still prefer pinball, though... LOL...

Off to Japan for a few days but will be keeping in close touch here!
 

johnsteed

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Daffy

LOL...I played...that's about it... Basketball was fun...but I was a thug. The coach kept three of us on the team to brutalize the best center/forward on the opposition. Hard fouls and rebounding was our specialty...we would regularly all foul out...lol. Somehow our team would win though...we went to the Texas state quarterfinals my junior and senior years. I think my high game was like 6-7pts. (mostly foul shots)

the dUck



Interesting piece dUck.

Hmmm, methinks you're a big man dUck. Is this true? Even to make it as a rebounder in a high school, I'm guessing you were at least 6'4" (at LEAST), 210 lbs.

At least those 6-7 pts will be memorable. I was so horrible in junior high (middle-school), that my game high was 3 points (they didn't count 3's in junior high, so it was a 2-pointer from 3-pt ranger though... w/converted free throw). Sadly, I used to play that 2pt shot in my head over-and-over again. I made on the high school team, in grade 11. Having practiced like crazy over that summer/fall, I made it on the bench. By grade 12, I made it as a starter. And to boot, I'm only 5'9" (at the most). I was obviously a small guard though. And to clear, Canadian high school competition was boys vs. boys. U.S. high school basketball is men vs. men, with great coaches (that's the general perception). My high school team actually went South for a tournament, against some other Canadian high school teams and high school teams from North Dakota and Minnesota. Needless to say, they WERE basketball. Oddly, it was as though they all had the same shaved crew-cuts, they all ran the same way, and they had that look that they would some day serve their "MISSION" (Utahesque if you're getting my drift... not that I have a problem with that... that's just THAT look that they all had). Compared to us, they were giants, and on average, outweighed us by about 15-20 lbs.

If I could do it all over again, even though I really love playing basketball, I would have tried to have become a baseball player. Not that Canada had developed great players in my specific region (minus 2 Major Leaguers who're in the Majors now). The key word is try. 5'9" guys can make it in baseball (except pitchers), it's literally impossible if they're basketball players (and I don't really consider Spud Webb or Nate Robinson as great exceptions, because they're not really full-time players... although we're only at the beginning of Robinson's career). The best basketball player that I can think of who's under 6-feet in height, would be Damon Stoudamire (roughly 5'10"). People like Isiah Thomas and John Stockton, were 6 feet and taller.


Spearmaster

LOL... don't get me started on video games... I had "Pong" when it came out... my friends were world-champion video game players in college (and even wrote some of the Atari games)... and I did Dragon's Lair on That's Incredible, which aired Thanksgiving 1983 - too bad it's impossible to find any video of that anywhere.

Spearmaster, I REALLY want to know about you're involvement with Dragon's Lair on That's Incredible.

a) Were you a part of the team that designed Dragon's Lair?

b) Were you an "ACE" at Dragon's Lair (Space ACE pun intended), therefore you were on the show?

c) Or did you "film" (direct) a piece on "Dragon's Lair" for That's Incredible?

Regardless of options A-C, that's impressive... or yet, That's Incredible. Geez, I'm kind of hoping you were one of those same episodes that they were talking about the Amityville house. You know, that doll from the movie REALLY freaked me out, when the eyes would flip around to that red glow. Creepy stuff. That's Incredible incredibly always seemed to run something about that house. Always a MUCH better show that REAL PEOPLE (and what was up with using that Kid as the host... the Kid from the Hershey's Chocolate Milk commercials and The Christmas Story... who's the producer of that show?).

Funny thing about "Pong" (which I learned just recently thanks to that link about George Plimpton... which led me to Intellision... and so on...), is that it's generally perceived to be the first home video game system. I believe it came out in late '72, but it was actually released just after Magnovox's "Odyssey" (which had been developed years before... back in '68) which came out towards the early part of '72.

Funny thing about (I know you don't want to be talking about video games... sorry) those who designed Atari games. They never got any credit for their work. IF your college friends were the ones behind the E.T. (game) debacle (of '83), shame on them (I'm sure it's not them though... so I'm obviously joking). The story goes that those who designed that game, had a 6 week deadline to finish the game by Christmas of '82. They DID finish it (in 5 weeks), although it was a piece-of-crap game (generally rated as one of the worst games EVER created in the history of ALL video games). With all the hype surrounding E.T. and Atari back in '82, they were certain that this game would be a masterpiece. They produced about 5 million copies of it, despite that there were only 10 million Atari systems in people's homes. By the time it got out, and word-of-mouth hit, the games didn't sell. All the stores had a recall, and with 14 big-wheelers loaded with the game, they dumped millions of copies in a landfill in New Mexico. There were stories that kids found these copies and had dug them up (which got in the press... and reminded everyone that no one at Atari studied Economics 101), so they apparently cemented the whole area to cover-up their mess (that's just one of the stories). I always wondered why you could find that game in junk bins for $1 (back in the mid-80's). If you ever wanted to know how Japan become SO powerful in the gaming industry, you could point to that specific game as being the end of the Atari/Intellivision/ColecoVision era (American companies). Thus, making it the crash of video games in '83.

Side note: (although this post is one big side note) Atari could have maintained it's power in the gaming industry had they not made the big blunder of NOT agreeing on a contract with Nintendo back in '83. Since the Atari name carried so much prestige in North America, Nintendo wanted to do (I believe) a joint venture with Atari. Basically, Nintendo had just developed their new 8-bit game system (headquarters in Kyoto, Japan), but they felt it would be great to have the Atari name on their product, in hopes of being a success overseas. Needless to say, there was this giant mess concerning Nintendo's rights over the Donkey Kong game. Nintendo agreed they'd only make Donkey Kong (future Kong games) for Atari video game systems. But... while they were negotiating on their new venture, Nintendo allowed Coleco to use Donkey Kong for their new Adam (computer) system. Nintendo argued that the Adam computer (Coleco computer) wasn't a video game system, rather a computer (which it was). Atari was furious, and broke off the deal. Actually, there was (also) a shake-up of sorts with those who worked at the top of the Atari chain, and those who supported the deal were those who lost their jobs (one man in particular), therefore the deal collapsed (or was an afterthought). To be clear, although Atari made systems up until the release of their Jaguar system in the mid-90s, they're now under (as I understand it). To think that they'll ALWAYS have their advertisement show-up in the movie "Blade Runner" in bright NEON colors (who could have envisioned that they would have suck so bad after that movie came out). :confused:

Spearmaster, IF you were a Pro-Gamer, having to become the best player at Dragon's Lair MUST have cost you a fortune at the time. Seeing how that game was a laser-disk game (few coin-op machines used this technology, because it was easily twice as expensive as regular machines at the time), as I recall, it was a .50 cent game where other games were still only .25 cents. Might mean so little now, but in the early '80s, that was bundle of cash just to play one game. That game was simply amazing when it came out, and in fact, other games (graphics) didn't catch-up to that level until the early '90s. The whole laser-disk phenomena never really blew-up like many assumed it would (ditto with laser-disk home theatres), but for what it was, it was ahead of it's time. Actually, if you ever wanted to know what was the reason behind games going from .25 cents to .50 cents, blame Dragon's Lair (AND certainly... inflation). :rolleyes:

Sorry gentlemen, back to sports...

Steed

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Daffy

Experienced Member
Joined
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Location
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Hmmm, methinks you're a big man dUck. Is this true? Even to make it as a rebounder in a high school, I'm guessing you were at least 6'4" (at LEAST), 210 lbs.

LOL...good guess!!! 6'3" , 205:thumbsup:

Basketball-forward
Track-440yd dash
Baseball-right field
Football-tight end

After butting heads with 250lb defensive tackles...pushing 200lb basketballers around was easy...wasn't much "jumping" involved...lol.

Best guard on our team was like 5'7"...great at driving the lane for fouls or easy layups.
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Friend of mine bought the intellevision...we played mattel baseball for hours.

I had atari and sega...I liked "Gain Ground" and "Gauntlet". Kids played "Lalo" and "Mario Bros".

the dUck
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
a) Were you a part of the team that designed Dragon's Lair?

b) Were you an "ACE" at Dragon's Lair (Space ACE pun intended), therefore you were on the show?

c) Or did you "film" (direct) a piece on "Dragon's Lair" for That's Incredible?
b :) I was the one slaying the dragon :) Fran Tarkenton and Cathie Lee Crosby were the hosts then, I won't mention about Cathie Lee's fishnet top and how she played with the joystick...

Also on that show was Minnesota Fats and Willie Mosconi - boy that was a thrill... wasn't the Amityville show though :)

Re: Atari - did you know that Atari is Japanese for "checkmate"? :) And you're entirely right - they checkmated themselves, what a pity... I thought they were destined to be the future of video games until then. And no, my friend wasn't on the ET team as far as I know. He designed an RPG or three... his name was JP Britt.

However - the reason for Japan's rise in the video gaming industry is that, in all truth, they were way ahead of the Americans. Space Invaders marked the entry of Japan into the video game market from a little-known maker called Taito... who by the way is still small, unlike Konami, (remember Track and Field?) who is still a powerhouse today, and are also into casino slots. And strangely enough, the once-powerful Sega is now owned by a company called Sammy, who is arguably Japan's most successful maker of pachislo machines.

And of course, Nintendo revolutionized the home market, though their products first revolutionized the video arcades. I used to play Mario Brothers and Golf and Tennis for ages... Sony's got control of that market now with the Playstation 2, and hopefully the Playstation 3 will be as good as its hype. In the meantime, the new Xbox 360 is *hot*...

IF you were a Pro-Gamer, having to become the best player at Dragon's Lair MUST have cost you a fortune at the time. Seeing how that game was a laser-disk game (few coin-op machines used this technology, because it was easily twice as expensive as regular machines at the time), as I recall, it was a .50 cent game where other games were still only .25 cents. Might mean so little now, but in the early '80s, that was bundle of cash just to play one game. That game was simply amazing when it came out, and in fact, other games (graphics) didn't catch-up to that level until the early '90s. The whole laser-disk phenomena never really blew-up like many assumed it would (ditto with laser-disk home theatres), but for what it was, it was ahead of it's time. Actually, if you ever wanted to know what was the reason behind games going from .25 cents to .50 cents, blame Dragon's Lair (AND certainly... inflation).
Exactly right... it WAS damn expensive! But I had a bit of an advantage, besides good friends who were the real gamers of the lot and taught me everything I knew - not only did I work in the game room, I knew the owner of the machines :) I am a wannabe compared to many of my friends.

As for size, I am not as tall as Duck, but around the same weight LOL - and my career was track and field, starting as a sprinter, and jumper, and finally moving to the throwing events (I guess you know where my nick comes from now). 400 was *NOT* one of my strong events... 59 seconds would not get me into any final anywhere in the world... but I only ran that when I was competing in the decathlon :)
 

Daffy

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Location
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As for size, I am not as tall as Duck, but around the same weight LOL - and my career was track and field, starting as a sprinter, and jumper, and finally moving to the throwing events (I guess you know where my nick comes from now). 400 was *NOT* one of my strong events... 59 seconds would not get me into any final anywhere in the world... but I only ran that when I was competing in the decathlon

Showing my age again...lol.

Our events were 100yd-dash...220yd-dash...440yd-dash...880yd-run...and the mile.

Whoever named the 440 a dash was a saddistic ba$tard...lol.

We were short-handed for one meet and the coach entered me in the 440...the 100 dash...and the effing HIGH HURDLES.

I made the finals in the 440 (big surprise) and the 100 (miracle)...and managed not to fall on the hurdles(ultra carefull...whole team was laughing their a$$es off).

Don't worry...I was toast in the finals on both events.

the dUck
 

spearmaster

RIP Ted
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Heaven
LOL.

Yeah, I know what you mean about age. I went to the state championships for the 50 yards when I was 12 or 13, but stupid old me passed on that event (which I would have won) because I thought I'd try the 400 for the first time in my life - needless to say I flopped miserably :)

High hurdles were a tall problem for me (pun intended) because I have short legs... so when doing the decathlon at the national championships after moving to Hong Kong (actually did 14 events in two days because I did all the throwing events as well) my task was not how to get over the hurdles, but how to knock them down without ruining my stride too much :) I could do low hurdles fine, but those high hurdles seemed like they were at nose height! :) Pole vault was another miserable flop but I still finished 4th out of 6 entrants overall... managed to win three of the four throwing events though :)
 

Daffy

Experienced Member
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Location
Dallas,TX
Spear,

Sounds like you were a track star...I didn't explain that I was a reluctant draftee.

All "minor" sports at our school were coached by assistants from the football team. Head football coach doubled as the athletic director...he decided the fate of the football players in the off-season. I was allowed to play other sports if I chose...but I was put on the track team.

My sole event was the 440...that's it...that's all I trained for.

The short-handed meet I described above...that morning we were given our additional events on the bus on the way to the track...lol. Thank gawd...I didn't get the pole vault.

They had some hurdles set up on the infield for practice or warmup. I found a long-legged ga-loot from another school and he showed me the steps. Three strides and step over the hurdle. I tried it twice...then we ran the race...lol.

the dUck
 

johnsteed

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Well, thank you kindly (dUck and Spearmaster) for destroying whatever sort of image I had of you, prior to the past page of this thread. I was under the impression that we're all at our computers for too many hours out of the day, hence we're anything BUT athletes (myself excluded... although I'm in good shape from hiking). Goes to show me that one should never stereotype those who post here (lol). :D

I would have to think that both of your biographies would be an excellent read. :notworthy

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I read this article today on SI.com (Sports Illustrated), on my favorite subject, Barry Bonds. This "piece" was written by Steve Hofstetter. One of the many young and dumb writers working over at a revamped (and now 2nd tier) sports website.

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Reviewing some of the most eye-catching excerpts from the article, I had this to add...


S.I. - Turns out Bonds was just talking about whether he'd retire after the season. But I don't like watching Barry Bonds play. I don't think he's good for the game, and I have never found evidence that he is a nice person.


Nice is irrelevant. I wish people would get over that already. He's not "pretending" to be nice. No one is losing sleep over the fact that Barry doesn't get along with the media, and is generally low-key (ignoring that ultra embarrassing Paula Abdul thingy he did yesterday... oy...). It's not new NEWS, so why keep reiterating such useless facts. Next...


S.I. - Remember, this is the same guy whose prenup was voided because his camp had doctored it after it was signed. A prenup between Bonds and a Swedish immigrant who'd only been in the country a month and could barely speak English. Isn't love grand?


It sure is, ain't it? Actually, she was a Canadian immigrant. She was an international model who had been living in Montreal for quite some time (not just a month), so it's not like he picked her up off the street, and forced her into to anything. Secondly, as I understand it, they had met in Montreal when Bonds first started out in Pittsburgh back around '86. Also, she had a reputation of playing around (with other men) and loved the night scene, thus Bonds wanted to get a divorce. She went public about the divorce, not he, and he paid her very well (and is still paying her very well). In fact, aside from their son that they had together, Bonds (it is said) has been known to take care of her other children (her other boy has been spotted numerous times around the GIANTS clubhouse). Next...


S.I. - Let's look at this logically. Bonds started as a base-stealing threat with ho-hum power. Not during his rookie season, but for the first six years of his career. He hit more than 25 home runs once in the first six years he played professional baseball. Hank Aaron hit more than 25 home runs in five of his first six seasons. Babe Ruth did it in all six of his first seasons as a position player. You'll find similar stats for Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Reggie Jackson and every other great home run hitter not named Sosa. Home run hitters don't blossom in their seventh year in the majors. They are genetically engineered.


Geez! How can you look at anything "logically" if you can't even get your facts right (hello editors over at S.I., are you awake... or were you all fired to save money?) about Bonds' public divorce.

Okay, I'll play along... Play "pretend" logic. Bonds didn't start off with ho-hum power. He ALWAYS had exceptional power, even back in college. Sure, it's not what it is today, but that has more to do with his knowledge of the strike-zone, a greater swing (VERY compact), and the best pitch recognition probably since Ted Williams. Hank Aaron has said numerous times, that his pitch recognition was at it's greatest when he was in his late '30s. Some skills need a long time to develop. Now, Bonds could have hit more HR's in his first four campaigns in the League. Why didn't he? Surely it takes some players longer than other to develop. Not every player comes out of the minor hitting 40 HR's a year. But another VERY important reason why he didn't hit more than 30 (until '90), was that he was the lead-off hitter his first few years in the majors. He wasn't approaching his at-bats, with the thought of pulling the ball for homers. He was a singles/doubles/triples hitter back then. Other lead-off hitters like Rickey Henderson, Johnny Damon, and Derek Jeter (to name a few), could also hit 30 HR a year. But that's not their game.



S.I. - If that's not enough for you, common side effects of steroids are aggression and water retention in the neck and head.

No, that wasn't ANYTHING for me actually. I'd be giving you negative reputation points if you were posting here. :cool: Now, uh-huh, the steroids. The knee-jerk reaction of every comedian and sportsbeat writer looking to make a name for themselves in the sports world, bringing up the issue of steroids. You see, the other facts were absolutely useless. He may very well be right, but I hate the arrogance of it all. Bonds has a big head, because of steroids? Maybe. But it's still only a theory without any REAL hard facts.

Even if Bonds started doing them, it seems as though he didn't start doing them until the end of the '99 (injury-riddled) campaign. Are we going to ignore his HOF numbers that he had put up prior to his uber-explosion at the turn of the Century?


S.I. - I don't want Bonds hurt. I couldn't wish physical pain on a human being. But if the effects of steroids push him into retirement, it's only fair. Even if you're rooting for Bonds, you want to see him do this the right way. Or the right-ish way, since it's WAY too late for the right way.


Actually, I'm a greedy fan. I want him to keep playing until he's in his early 50's. :) At least. Leaving now wouldn't prove anything. What's with this "do the right thing and retire for the good of baseball" crap that the media has been throwing out there for the past 3 seasons now? Like everything else in the sporting world is so pure? Like the very people who write articles as lame as this one (redundant and going on about how his head looks like a fruit to make a point) are such "GOOD" people. Please... The world was never an innocent place, and although we can all hope and strive for excellence, it never will be. That has nothing to do with Barry Bonds.


S.I. - Maybe I would. I used Google four separate times in this column.


Really? Well, you obviously didn't search for too much regarding anything about Barry Bonds. My guess is that you visited the Del Monte homepage 4 times!!!


Closing thoughts...

Did Bonds do steroids? Perhaps. Likely. It sure looks as though he did. No argument here. I find it pointless debating it, because despite whatever either party thinks or believes, it's all about biased opinions. There are no hard facts, and enough points that lead us to believe that he did something.

I, being a monster Barry Bonds fan, try to avoid such debates. Sure, I hope that he never took anything. If he did do steroids, being a true fan, I'd overlook it. My weakness? Perhaps.

What I do know, is that Bonds was leaps-and-bounds ahead of every player from his generation ('90-98) prior to his explosion. Bonds worked out 5-7 hours a day, working on reflexes, weight training, cardio, ect... He worked out with Jerry Rice numerous times (on a regular basis up until a couple summers back), and their workouts have been known to be the most demanding out there. Only Mike Jordan's or Karl Malone's regime comes close (and now Kobe Bryant's). He worked his ass off. He put in the work.

If Bonds did do steroids, I believe it was because the rest of the league was doing it (percentages we'll never truly be privy to). Despite all that Bonds was accomplishing throughout the '90s, people lost interest. The year that McGwire and Sosa were getting all the headlines, Bonds was still putting up MVP numbers for a winning team (they just missed making it to the post-season that year, in a 1-game playoff for the wildcard spot against Sosa's Cubbies). Seeing that players of lesser talent getting all of that publicity must have REALLY got to him. McGwire was always a great HR hitter, but he was never as great as Bonds (in terms of all-around ability). You can put together a very good case, that Bonds could have very well been the MVP every year from '90-98.

If Bonds never did do steroids, then he's probably on par with Babe Ruth (although I have Bonds being first already). Now, Ruth could pitch, and might have been a Top-25/50 pitcher (All-Time) had he gone down that road (instead of become arguably the greatest/most valuable position player). But Bonds could do EVERYTHING on the field (sorry, today's game would never allow a pitcher to play the field on off days on a regular basis).

Looking at some of Bonds accomplishments, these are the ones that I believe to be the most valuable.

So far...

- +700 HR/500 SB: Bonds is the only member of the 500/500 club, and in fact is the only member of the 400/400 club!!! His combination of power/speed is unrivaled.

- +2,000 runs scored: 6th All-Time... Bonds has ALWAYS been an exceptionally smart baserunner. Only Larry Walker (that I can think of) is in his league, when it comes to IQ on the basepads. If Bonds plays 2 more seasons, he should own this record as well (thank you Rickey).

- +2,750 hits: Bonds has always been walked (a ton), so despite playing 20 seasons and owning a .300 career BA, he still hasn't reached the 3,000 hits barrier. If he plays 2 more seasons, he'll get there. Amazing actually, considering that Ruth, Ted Williams, and Frank Robinson, never reached that milestone. And they were all great power-hitters, who drew a bunch of walks (although Robinson didn't draw walks like the other 3... still a fair amount though).

- BA .300: Amazing that just a few years ago, he was well below the .300 mark (around .288) and has been able to get it up to .300.

- OBP .442 (onbase percentage): 6th All-Time

- Slugging % .611: 5th All-Time

- OPS (onbase + slugging percentages): 4th All-Time

- 7 MVP's: The next best are players who have won 3. In fact, Bonds finished in the Top-5 in MVP voting another 5 times (finishing 2nd twice).

- 8 Gold Gloves: Not bad for someone playing LF, a position that players are seldomly award a GG.

- 1,853 RBI: Really, he should have a ton more. Why not? That's precisely the moments where he's pitched around, when his teammates are on the bases. There's nothing more frustrating than watching Bonds being pitched around with players on base (and these, EVEN that doesn't matter :rolleyes: ). It's a miracle really, that he's been able to drive-in +100 (RBI) 12 different seasons.

- 2,311 Bases On Balls (a.k.a. Walks): Oddly, once Bonds career is done, this may be one of the hardest records for any other player to break. Perhaps the media doesn't respect his game at times, but the opposing pitchers and managers certainly do. THEY are the ones that would like him to retire (lol).

- 607 Intentional Walks: Funny that Bonds has more than doubled Aaron for this record (Aaron is 2nd All-Time at 293 intentional passes). That's a SURE sign of respect from opposing managers. Actually, Buck Showalter (then the D-Backs manager) gave Bonds an Intentional Walk with a bases loaded situation. The bases were loaded when Bonds came to the plate!!! That's the only time that that had been done in the history of MLB. Actually, it was a good move. The D-Backs only allowed 1-run on the play, and had won the game 8-7 over the Giants.

- 12 Silver Sluggers (Awards): He could always hit for power.

Looking at all of Bonds numbers and accomplishments, you'll never find another player where every statistical category is as good across the board.

I can completely understand people not liking him, but he is great. I've never seen anyone better than Bonds in baseball. Not even close.



Barry Bonds at his all-time worst (although to certain groups, maybe at an all-time high).



Steed

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