"The '06 NBA Playoffs"

johnsteed

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I have some random thoughts on the "2006 NBA Playoffs". :)


I'm pretty surprised that certain things didn't fall into place for the Spurs, as they were knocked-out by the Dallas Mavericks tonight. More specifically:


a) "Big Shot Rob" (a.k.a. Robert Horry) never had one of his annual big games, as he always does to earn a paycheck EACH and EVERY playoffs since his joining the league. I don't think he knocked-down one clutch shot this year. While Horry has talent in various facets of the game, he's been living off his being able to through in clutch situations. Well, he had two rounds to do so... he didn't, and I'm not sure why he's getting paid this year. Put him in mothballs for another 11 months, and the Spurs ownership can pray that he'll be able to return next season at crucial times. He's under contract still...


b) Manu Ginobili became a great role-player last year, and a completely overrated one at that. At this time last year, you'd think he were the second coming of Jerry West, when really, he's oh-so-much closer to Jeff Hornacek... actually, he'd fall between somewhere in between a Hornacek and a Danny Ainge. Again, fine role-player, but not a savior.


c) Everything that is Tony Parker the past 2 years, can finally take a backseat now. He's a great player, and although he's been in the league for a few years now, he's still exceptionally young (roughly 24-years old). He already has tons of experience. He's got great athleticism, he's speedy, and like Dwayne Wade (who's the same age) he can drive to the basket with reckless abandon AND score. He knows how to get through the holes. But he's still not an exceptional passer, mid-level; probably in the Mike Bibby range, his defense is questionable, the desire is there, but I'm not always convinced that his mindset and mental toughness are properly aligned. I think this is the summer that his well-publicized relationship with Eva Longoria hits a snag. Why is that? Well, it's just a hunch. But, she's known to disappear when things aren't perfect (with her men). Sounds like Tony Parker's game in crunch time.


d) While I feel for Michael Finley, because I was hoping that he could stick it to his old team for basically giving him away, and making him feel worthless in the process. That's the thanks he gets for being the first piece at turning around the hopeless MAVS of the '90s into a legitimate 2nd round playoff team. Unfortunately for him, Mark Cuban is grinning, and he joined the SPURS (and their bloated bench) in the wrong year. I also can't understand the logic with Greg Popavich, under-utilizing Finley during the regular season. If he was trying to save he and Van Exel for the playoffs, he was already doing so with Robert Horry. And Brent Barry seemed to be just as likely to get the nod in the regular season, as was the case with Finley and Van Exel. I think they have too many players who do similar things on that bench. Sure, in each their own way, they're exceptional talents. A deep bench will work wonders in the postseason, but not this year. For all of this team's strength in depth, I didn't like how their rotations in-and-out of the line-up worked this year.


e) It's hardly his fault, but Duncan was not the Duncan of last year and before. Actually, even last year, Duncan was still playing on the same injured foot. He needs to address this in the off-season, even if it means missing time next season. Duncan is only 30-years old, and this should be a time where his overall game should be hitting climatic proportions. You need look no further than to see the exceptional difference between Yao Ming first 4-seasons in the league, compared to the last few months of this year. He finally acknowledge and succumbed to the idea that he needed to let his foot heal. Duncan needs to do the same for the Spurs to be the Spurs. No Duncan at the power-forward/center positions, and the rest of this line-up would be lucky to win 50% of their games.


Duncan, although played effectively at times, was not his dominating self. There's no way that a Dallas Mavericks' team knocks of the defending champions with such an inferior squad. But, lo and behold, they did it.


f) With all the upgrades from last year's roster to this year's version, I personally think that they took a step back. They got too many pieces, and there are only so many legitimate roles that can go around. And again, having Van Exel coming off the bench sporadically is pointless. He's not a starter at this point of his career, but he's a guy who needs lots of minutes in order for him to keep his head in the game. He's a prickly character.


Having a 33-year old Mike Finley also play sporadically throughout the season, didn't help matters either.


I knew with the way that the press was making such a big deal out of all of these additions last year, that it was bound to fail. Miserably? No. But it wasn't successful, and the line-up was built on winning now (and for next year). We'll wait and see if this line-up can gel at this point next season.


You know, the Spurs are still probably viewed as the best team in the league, and I think most smart observers have them ranked slightly higher than the Pistons, and certainly higher than the surprising (and well-coached) Mavericks. Their run is not over, but they seem to have a hard time winning back-to-back championships.

***

I'm not a Spurs fan, nor am I a Mavericks fan. There are only a small number of teams that I generally root for. Having said that, last summer/fall, when the Spurs were making all of their upgrades after coming off another Championship, I didn't buy into the idea that it was game over after making all of those moves. When you add too many pieces, it never works. Look at the Trailblazers of the late '90s/early '00s.


I remember when they had a great thing with an already deep and well-spread-out Blazers line-up in '98-99 with Isaiah Rider, Jimmy Jackson, Rasheed Wallace, Damon Stoudamire, Avydas Sabonis, Brian Grant as basically, the starting six, with a very exceptional key 2nd unit of Walt Williams, Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, and a young Jermaine O'Neil & Bonzi Wells coming off the bench. That very team, loaded on 2 units, making it to the Conference Finals (who were on route to their first ever Championship), was dismantled (in part), bringing in more All-Stars who were basically near-or-at the peak of their respective careers. Compare that already deep line-up of '98-99, and compare to '00-01 line-up which consisted of:


Rasheed Wallace (All-Star in '00/'01)

Bonzi Wells (2001... 2nd in FG% with .533, for a big guard!!!)

Arvydas Sabonis (Europe's greatest basketball player... EVER!!! Too many knee injuries, could have been one of the greats... played Shaq well... was very effective with passing and nailing the outside shot... and he was 7"2"!!!)

Steve Smith (All-Star in '98/came in exchange for I. Rider & J. Jackson)

Shawn Kemp (All-Star '93/94/95/96/97/98 and was only 20-years removed from averaging +20 ppg w/9 rebounds per game with the Cavs)

Damon Stoudamire ('96 Rookie Of The Year/put up approx. 20 ppg/9 assists in his 3-year stint with a starless Raptors squad)

Scottie Pippen (All-Defense 2nd team in '00, coming off a streak of 10-consecutive season wherein he was either 1st or 2nd team)

Greg Anthony (played some of his more inspired b-ball with the Blazers)

Rod Strickland (All-NBA 2nd team in '98... never made an All-Star squad, but really should have at least a couple of times... underrated)

Dale Davis (All-Star in '00)

Stacey Augmon (rebirth as a "D" stopper on the 2nd unit)

Detlef Schrempf (2-time "6th Man Of The Year" and 3-time NBA All-Star)


Although I do believe that every one of these players was still effective at this point of their respective careers, I highlighted those with red who were around their peak form, and those in green slightly-off that mark. Out of all of those players mentioned, I feel that Rasheed Wallace is still at his peak, and will still be for the foreseeable future. If there's any indication as to what Bonzi Wells was able to do in this years playoffs, I think he's still there (after floundering for the past few seasons), and Damon Stoudamire even looked rejuvenated before succumbing to a season-ending injury this year (although including him at 33 is a bit of a stretch).


What's interesting to me about this particular year, was if you divided this team into two, you could have two teams who'd make the playoffs. This team was overloaded, and may be the most deep line-up I've yet to see in the history of the NBA. Problem was, there's only so many minutes to go around, and no one could have been happy with this situation, outside of say, Rasheed Wallace and maybe Scottie Pippen (great team players, well, at times that is).


Most of the players on this squad, were only a year (if only a couple of years) removed from being All-Stars. Even the 12th (13th) men were still exceptionally great role-players, that had they had enough exposure in the right situation, would have received more credit for what they were still able to bring to the table (UNLV "D" stoppers Anthony and Augmon).


Another problem with this team, was that the two primary offensive threats (Wallace and Pippen), were and have always been (even today with Wallace) reluctant game-ending heroes. They'd rather give the ball up. Unfortunately, who was to get the ball at the end of close games? Bonzi Wells shot them out of the playoffs in '00 in the Conference Finals vs. (eventual champions) the Lakers. Even Schrempf could be added, making a threesome of players who'll score big through 3 quarters, but will give it up at crunch time.


Getting back to the Spurs, when a team is trying to build on success and adds too many pieces to an already good thing, it only gets worse. Chemistry in those situations, unfortunately takes a back seat to names with talent. Names don't win basketball games, leadership, talent, and especially chemistry make it all happen.


In many ways, look at all the names (which were all pretty much considered very talented at one time not so long ago) in New York, and think of how awful they are. If someone would have told me that this would be the Knicks line-up in '06 back in '03, I would have assumed that they would be one of the best teams in the league. What's good on paper rarely translates to what's good on the court.

***

Final thoughts on the Clippers making it this far. Well done, and I hope that they can improve on this year's run, and keep building on their newfound success. I'm pleased as punch for Steve Nash making it to the Conference Finals. Please, destroy Mark Cuban's MAVS. Cuban has publicly dissed Nash in his own way on a good number of occasions, and this is as good of a time as any for Stevie to stick it to his former (obnoxious and occasionally interesting) owner.


Steed

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tennis_balls

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i thought Nowitzki was the best ever from Europe?

Steed. I dare you to paste this up on the living room wall while your wife is out of the house!
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I was a fan of Michael Finley until I heard him interviewed a few years back. The guy talked about himself like he was the 2nd coming of Jordan. I suspect he was a prig in the clubhouse and therefore expendable.

I must admit I'm happy the Spurs are out. They're a great team, but Dallas-Phoenix will be a lot more fun to watch.

I like your analysis on Tony Parker & Dwayne Wade. While they have some similarities, Parker seems to know how to keep from getting injured. Wade goes so hard and jumps so high that I can't see his career lasting very long unless he alters his style. And Pat Riley doesn't care if Wade's career is shortened so long as he gives him 130%.

Go Suns! That said, I do find Mark Cuban to be one of the few mega-rich people that are enjoyable to watch. (CM would be another :D ) Cuban's blog is pretty good too.
 

johnsteed

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tennis balls

i thought Nowitzki was the best ever from Europe?


Looking into the crystal ball, he's right there now, and will grab that status soon enough. :)

Remember though, that Sabonis was IT in Europe for quite a long time, prior to coming over to the NBA (when he was already about 31-years old).


I would have scoffed if I was presented with Sabonis over Nowitzki even a couple of years back, but I've read enough on the subject of Sabonis to know how great he truly was in his early years, and what he could have been in the NBA.


Sabonis is not like a Shaq, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, or Hakeem. His style was revolutionary from the center position. Although I used to laugh at the thought of Bill Walton being placed amongst the 50 Greatest NBA Players back in '96 (NBA 50th Anniversary), those who really know the game would know how great he was, and what he didn't become as well.


Sabonis, like Walton, manned the center position like an octopus, creating as much offense in every way possible. Great post-game, soft-hands, can hit the mid-range shots if need be, set wonderful picks/screens, perfected the art of the give-and-go in the half-court sets, and acted as the main filter of the offense. They could both pass like no other big man ever could. And I'll say this, that Sabonis is the greatest passing center of All-Time, with Walton coming 2nd, and I would have to consider Wes Unseld with Bill Russell in their own way (although Russell would make long passes that would be an integral part of the legendary Red Auerbach's "fast-break").


Had Sabonis come over to the NBA in his prime, prior to all the knee injuries, we would all have witnessed something magical. I read countless times that the man could run like a small forward, hardly what we saw when he eventually decided to come over in '95 with the BLAZERS.


Actually, even in logging reduced minutes and playing on two bum knees, the man could still stand-out. Watching him go long-distance (when it was in the flow of the game) was a sight to behold, only because he was so HUGE by that point. And yes, he had a very soft-touch. He still had the ability to make the game look incredibly easy. Shaq has gone on record and said that Sabonis is one of the very few players who's given him a hard time when matched-up. But again, that's a player at the end of his career, NOT the player who was the man in Europe all of those years.


Believe it or not, Sabonis never had to play in the NBA to be considered one of the greatest centers of All-Time. That is a fact.


Nowitzky will eventually surpass Sabonis, and likely very soon. But at their peaks (which Nowitzky is going through now), I would have to think that Sabonis was more dominant. I know that it's hard to guage such a comparison, but that's how I see it.


Nowitzky is (as they say) the best big man shooter in the league, at least for those over 7 feet in height. Unquestionably! He's an okay passer, not as good as is often suggested. He's a good rebounder, in the Antoine Walker mold though. Meaning: they seem to get tons of rebounds by being in the right place at the right time, which makes a very good rebounder, but they seem to collect the "softest" 9-10 rebounds per game as you're ever going to see. Big Dirk is quite hideous of a defensive player. They say he's better, and that may be, but I don't see it. I have him right there with Adam Morrison, flapping his arms acting like they're playing defense only because they're expending energy bouncing around. I don't want to take too much from him though, because he's an awesome offensive player, and even if it's wrong to compare stars to superstars, he reminds me of Bird without the passing ability (and a notch behind in a couple other areas as well).


If there are other significant European players worth considering, Drazen Petrovic springs to mind. He was just getting going (3rd All-NBA team in '93) when his life was taken. A wonderful and underrated defensive player, one of the games great shooters as well.


Nick Galis also jumps out at me as well. He once played for Seton Hall (where he set numerous team records that stood for quite a long time), and was drafted by the Boston Celtics. Few know who he was, so if it helps, I'll quote this excerpt.


Galis was among the 2 or 3 best European players with Drazen Petrovic. Most of the European people who know about basketball would claim at least that and probably rightly so. Who was better between them (Galis, Petrovic, Sabonis) is a subjective thing anyway. I cannot hide my preference for the first, even though the second was a much better shooter. But Galis could "balance" his body close to the basket in a unique way so he could shoot successfully most of the times in front of anyone, regardless of how tall he was going to be. No one else could and cannot do that at least in Europe.

Saraunus Marcsulionis once said when they asked him after his NBA experience (because he was a very good player in defense) with whom did he have major problems to defend and after quoting a couple of names in the NBA (probably one of them was Jordan) he mentioned one of them that the journalist in the US didn't know. As you can guess it was Nikos Galis. Most of the European players that have made a great job in the NBA have played against Galis, but they were never as good as he was. And they still remember him. Also when Jordan was playing in North Carolina State alongside with Sam Perkins and Daugherty they played against the Greek national team. Galis was making fun of their defense (I have the video tape), even though the game was just a friendly one.

-Gousguonis


I'll still go with Sabonis though. He was playing pro-ball when he was 15, and he was already dominating the league when he just 19-years old.


cont...


I was a fan of Michael Finley until I heard him interviewed a few years back. The guy talked about himself like he was the 2nd coming of Jordan. I suspect he was a prig in the clubhouse and therefore expendable.


I seem to recall getting a bad 1st impression of Mike Finley myself, back when he did that (not-so-pretty) cartwheel-dunk in the All-Star Dunk competition back when he had first started out with the MAVS (via trade with the SUNS). He initially struck me as cocky, but this is the NBA we're talking about, and everyone who's stepped into the league since Derrick Coleman has broken-in with that unnecessary chip-on-their-shoulder'esque type of attitude.


For EVERYTHING I've read about Finley though, he's today's version of Joe Dumars in terms of how he carries himself on and off the court. He's still friends with Nowitzky and Nash (and probably will always be), he was great in the community while he was in Dallas, and he's probably one of the most respected (and unassuming) players in the NBA over the past several seasons (while still making an All-Star appearance). He's probably like a Mitch Richmond in terms of his abilities, minus the long-distance ability with better hops. Neither one will be a HOFer, but both will have decent stats when glossing through the NBA history books 20-years from now.

cont...

And Pat Riley doesn't care if Wade's career is shortened so long as he gives him 130%.


Brilliant observation. I felt that Riley had used every last drop with players like Tim Hardaway, Mourning, Brian Grant, P.J. Brown, Eddie Jones, (maybe) Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and a great numbers of other names that aren't coming to me right now. I'll say this though, I don't think those players would ever complain about grinding-it-out while playing 40 minutes per game. Each in their own way, are/were warriors who played-all-out anyway, but the Riley factor couldn't have helped. Only Hardaway seemed to be extremely pissed-off with Riley after he eventually left the HEAT.


Imagine if Riley managed starting pitchers? All their arms would fall off after 3-4 seasons, of logging +280 innings per year. :eek2:


cont...

I must admit I'm happy the Spurs are out. They're a great team, but Dallas-Phoenix will be a lot more fun to watch.


I agree, because I actually think that the SUNS will take them in 7 games. It's good that the MAVS changed their style of game in order to overcome the SPURS, and it'll be interesting to see that they could get knocked-out by an all-offense oriented team. I think that the MAVS were built too much with the intention of knocking off the SPURS. They survived and conquered who they were going after, but I feel that they're going to be in for a surprise this round. Nevertheless, like you, I feel that this will be a great series.


cont...

Go Suns! That said, I do find Mark Cuban to be one of the few mega-rich people that are enjoyable to watch. (CM would be another ) Cuban's blog is pretty good too.


Oh, he's certainly entertaining. I'll watch his interviews, and I'll get a kick out of his gawking on the sidelines during a game. If I were a player though, I'd grow REAL tired of his act. He's a great businessman, an extremely tough fan, and he's great for the city of DALLAS. He's a wonderful owner, and I would never want to work for him. His style is too rah-rah, getting into people's faces, and it'd drive me nuts. It works for others, but it wouldn't work for me.


Glad to read your post "tennis balls"! :)


Steed

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johnsteed

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tennis balls

Steed. I dare you to paste this up on the living room wall while your wife is out of the house!


Oh boy, I need to address this one. I'm not married. :D But if the woman on my left in my avatar shall ever become single, I'll settle on nothing less than soulmates.


Old Attachment (Invalid)
:notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy​


No, I'm afraid even I, "John Steed", am not worthy enough for Mrs. Peel. Excuse me, I have to be somewhere... :(

[edit out pages and pages of crying and going-back-and-forth about whether or not Steed will jump off the roof of his apartment block... this man has issues...]


Steed

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johnsteed

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Two thoughts on what transpired in the NBA today.


Thought #1

The Toronto Raptors win the NBA Lottery Draft. Who will they take, well, here's a look at the Top #10 courtesy of ESPN.com.



Tyrus Thomas PW 6-9 229lbs

LaMarcus Aldridge PF 6-10 240lbs

Andrea Bargnani PF 7-0 225lbs

Adam Morrison SF 6-8 205lbs

Brandon Roy SG 6-5 195lbs

Rudy Gay SF 6-9 222lbs

Randy Foye SG 6-4 205lbs

Ronnie Brewer SG 6-7 220lbs

Marcus Williams PG 6-3 205lbs

Rodney Carney SF 6-7 205lbs


Well, I will admit that I am a Toronto Raptors fan. Not because they're a CANADIAN team, but, well... just because. I like their present management, and their GM is tops in my book.


I would absolutely NOT go with Adam Morrison, although I am a fan of his (and I hope that he has a long and productive NBA career... despite what the analysts say). I say, go with LaMarcus Aldridge. I know that the Raptors already have two young studs down low (Charlie V. and CB-4), but Aldridge is the best player in the draft, and they'll have the best front-court in the league for the next 10-years... well, the potential is there anyway. He's not just a big guy, he's extremely talented, and I'm not too crazy about the other guys in this draft.


Thought #2


I don't see the PISTONS winning this series against the HEAT. Okay, sure they're already down 1 game, so it's easy to be swayed by that. However, I think that the HEAT are playing their best basketball of the year. The PISTONS (who I REALLY like as a team), are too full of themselves at this point, too proud, and won't be able to contain SHAQ the way SHAQ is playing (and I'm typing SHAQ in BIG LETTERS because he's playing like the old SHAQ over the past week or so).


Steed

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tennis_balls

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Are issues of health the reason you're shying away from Adam Morrison? He has diabetes though I must admit I'm ignorant as to how this will affect his NBA career.

I thought for a moment that the above pic was of Eva Longoria.

I do remember watching Sabonis play on TV for Portland. He did make some of the sweetest passes. I think it was hard for his team-mates to comprehend how this huge 7 foot guy could hit them with a behind the back pass as they cut to the hoop.
 
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johnsteed

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tennis balls

Are issues of health the reason you're shying away from Adam Morrison? He has diabetes though I must admit I'm ignorant as to how this will affect his NBA career.


No, his diabetes has nothing to do with it. :) I don't foresee that being any kind of a problem in the future (with whatever he can do on the court). Hey, maybe he'll be a great pick, and perhaps he'll be taken 1st overall. If he is, I'm excited because I happen to like the guy, and again, I want him to do well.


But... he's a popular choice, being a MEGASTAR this past season in the NCAA. With all the comparisons between he and Bird, not enough are actually realistic. Morrison is not a gifted passer, as was Bird. Morrison showed little indication that he'll ever be a 1st or 2nd rate rebounder, which Bird was. And although Bird wasn't a good defender, when the games were on the line, he seemed to know where to be at the right time (giving the impression that he in fact was a great defensive player... despite NOT being a very good defender). Morrison, is awful defensively. Too many people assume that becoming a great defensive player is secondary to scoring, and that it's something players will eventually improve at down the road. Well, I'm sorry, but being a great defender is not easy to learn, and it generally doesn't get enough focus when looking at a person's potential.


Morrison could very well become a 20 ppg player, chipping in with 3.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. This is what I see from him. Which is great! But No. #3-6 pick seems for him seems about right for me.


Morrison is not Bird, and there's not enough there (never-minding his look) for him to become the next Larry "Legend". I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see it.


I thought for a moment that the above pic was of Eva Longoria.

It's not the greatest "Emma Peel" photo, but it still pleases me. :D


I do remember watching Sabonis play on TV for Portland. He did make some of the sweetest passes. I think it was hard for his team-mates to comprehend how this huge 7 foot guy could hit them with a behind the back pass as they cut to the hoop.


Precisely!

And that's the important thing regarding him. He was only a shadow-of-the-player he once was in his prime. I loved watching him to, because everything with him looked odd, because it came from someone who's 7'3"!!! His launching and nailing timely 3's were absolutely amazing. Whenever he'd set-up, it took forever, but no one ever challenged it. Why? The centers would never go out that far, and the closest defenders were generally guards. They could try to sky and block his shot, but he was so large, that it would probably result in a 3-point play (possibly a 4-point play if he got fouled AND nailed the 3). He made great picks, and he was so wide and thick when he was with Portland.


He looked so slow, yet everything he did was still smooth and never clumsy. If you looked at his averages based on 40 minutes of play (he barely played more than 20 min. per game), you'd see that he was right there with the best centers in the game. His passes were just awesome. I'm not just saying that, they really were. Chris Webber is probably the only big of the past few seasons who's able to make it look so easy... similar to Sabonis. I know Garnett racks up the assists, but he's not in that Webber/Sabonis, sometimes Divac or Brad Miller level of passing.


"tennis_balls", who would you go with if you were the RAPTORS?

Who are some of your favorite players in the league now, and in the past?


Steed

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tennis_balls

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Raptor's pick

I have to plead ignorance since Morrison and Randy Foye are the only names on your list that I recognize.

Toronto is a progressive town, but a white star will still put butts in the seats so I'd go with Morrison.
 

tennis_balls

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oops

I have seen Brandon Roy as well which I now recall, but I don't think he was #1 material. (must admit I was rooting against him though)

from a business perspective, the Warriors should pick that "Gay" guy
 

johnsteed

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I have seen Brandon Roy as well which I now recall, but I don't think he was #1 material. (must admit I was rooting against him though)

from a business perspective, the Warriors should pick that "Gay" guy


Oh boy, I think you're confusing this team with the Warriors of the Nate Thurmond era. Golden State is not that type of city (a.k.a. Oakland). Frisco on the other hand... ;)


Even if the Warriors got the #1-10 spots. Chris Mullin would somehow find a way to screw that up. And to think, maybe NBA insiders thought that Baron Davis would be a savior? Hmmm... :cool:


Steed

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johnsteed

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tennis_balls

amen to that.......Mullin isn't even qualified to run FEMA


Hahaha!!! :D


I listen to "KNBR680" quite a bit, and Mullin makes himself available for interviews ALL the time. I like Chris Mullin. Chris Mullin was a great basketball player, and has become slightly underrated since his peak playing days. Chris Mullin in some ways, is the best GM for that type of a team, because he stands by his decisions, and he doesn't publicly knock his players. He always looks at the bright-side, when his teams continually under-produce.


Having said that, if you've ever listened to him, he's in denial of many things that hurt his team. I'm not a WARRIORS' fan (although I did like them when Sprewell was great), but this is the major problems with that team.


1) Baron Davis. Actually, take Baron Davis out of the picture, and it'll have a trickle-down effect, wherein the rest of the team would be THAT much better. Baron Davis is talented, but he's already getting close to 30, which isn't old by any stretch of the imagination, BUT he always has health problems. One year, he's built like a running-back, another year he's lean, another year he changes into something new. Literally every year, something is holding him back from 100% health.


In Davis' mind, whenever he does play, he's one of the best players in the game. He's not. Oh sure, he sure seemed like something special in his earlier years with the HORNETS, but to those paying close attention to him since that time, know that he's a team killer. He looks for his own shot first, he can't run the offense consistently, he doesn't know how to work the clock, and he takes stupid low-percentage shot all-the-time. When he's at the top of his game, he can be explosive, and he can do lots of great things. He's very talented, but he's misguided. Even though Mullin denies it, I think that Davis is an absolute coach killer. He should go first.


2) Mike Dunleavy Jr. is not as bad as he seemed this year. If Davis gets tossed-out of the picture, Dunleavy could be the teams point forward (like Boris Diaw or a Scottie Pippen... w/o Pippen's "D" on the wings). Dunleavy is talented, he has a nice shot (which completely abandoned him last year), and I think he's a good team player.


But here's the but... he's not that great either. If you listen to Mullin go on about the talents of Dunleavy, you'd think that he were the second coming of Rick Barry. Yes, Barry was an exceptional passer, a phenomenal scorer, and over time, became a consistently good "team" defender. He played to win. Overlooking his temper and HUGE ego (which doesn't bother me in the least), was fierce and was completely confident in his ability. Dunleavy doesn't have that type of make-up. He's a nice guy, a smart man, and a player with some nice talents, but he's not that type of player that can put a team on his back and absolutely dominate a game.


Mullin says that it's just a matter of time before this man realizes it. Great support from the GM, but unrealistic expectations. I root for Dunleavy, but I know he's probably not much more than a better passing version of Keith Van Horn (and neither one can play a lick of defense).


3) Too many talented pieces without a specified role. I look at the WARRIORS line-up, and although few would agree, I see tons of young talent. Players like Ike Diogu, Mickael Pietrus, Chris Taft and Monta Ellis all could be potential starters, and even have the potential to be go-to-guys. I've seen them all a number of times, and they're all impressive. Unfortunately, they won't get enough time to develop their skills and take it to the next level. Call this the Baron Davis effect, making everyone fall in order. I can't imagine how incredible this team would be with Steve Nash guiding the offense. It would be awesome, but they don't ave Nash and they never will.


This is a team, that has lots of nice players (I really believe that), but these players will never realize their potential in this line-up.


Mullin can keep reloading this team with more potentially great young players, but he needs to address leadership first and foremost because all that talent will be a complete waste. He was right for bringing in a talented PG in Davis (last season), but, he just brought in the wrong one.


4) Derek Fisher and Adonal Foyle are probably the most wonderful people you can ever find in the NBA. Foyle in particular. It's a shame that he ever gets put down for being a lousy center, because he's bright, upbeat, and completely different than what you see on the court. He's just not a basketball player. He was a great shot-blocker in the NCAA, and that's all he is in the NBA.


Fisher on the other hand, is a quality all-purpose PG. He's a fairly good passer, he has hit timely shots in his career, he plays hard and leads by example. But... he has an unreasonably large contract (like Foyle's), and although he's a great team player who'll do many things to win, he's still NOT good enough to be a team leader. I think that Mullin had the right idea when he signed him away from the LAKERS, but again, Fisher is a nice option coming off the bench, nothing more.


5) Troy Murphy seems to have been traded 20 times in the past 2 seasons. He's a nice player, hardly great, but nice. He can rebound well enough (although I think he's one of those "soft" rebounders who collects high totals), he can shoot the 3 (although I'll never understand why coaches want their power-forward shooting 3's!!!), and he has a nice touch. But he's like the white version of Armon Gilliam with better long-distance shooting ability. He's a numbers guy in two categories (scoring and rebounding), and not much else.


Others around the league know this, as it's not hard to figure-out. The WARRIORS may never get someone gullible enough to take him away, at least not for fair enough value (whatever that means in this case).


The only reason I bring up Murphy, is because I believe that Mullin has disinterest in keeping Murphy on board, but has not moved him. Mullin loves all of his other players, finds excuses for them, but not with Murphy. For the one guy he's legitimately trying to move, why go on record by stating that he's expendable? All he did was kill any interest other teams would have in Murphy. At least, that's how I see it.


Things I like about this team. Well, I always love lots of talent. If they get the right PG in the mix, this could be a very fun team to watch. I like the fact (a plus in Mullin's favor) that they're going to stick with Mike Montgomery. I often think that it's just too easy getting rid of coaches all the time. Montgomery is still learning how to coach in the NBA, he made some mistakes, but he's was a proven college coach, and if nothing more, if the team recognizes stability in management down to the towel boys, maybe they'll embrace what vision Mullin has.


Jason Richarson is one of the top big guards in the league. He really is. His only weakness is consistency. It's always been his problem, but each year, he seems to be getting better at staying focussed. He works hard in the offseason, he's built like a lean tank, he's got great hops, he can shoot it better, and more than anything, he shows improvement in his all-around game each year. His defense is highly underrated as well (Michigan State players seem to be very good at "D"... thank Tom Izzo). He's the franchise player, without question.


Steed

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tennis_balls

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i hate to focus so much on the Warriors as this thread is not supposed to be about the D-league, but I digress.

As I watch many of the Warrior games on TV, I guess I've become a bit of a fan as much as it pains me to admit that.

Richardson I would trade in a heartbeat. The guy is a highlight freak-show, but takes a lot of dumb shots and makes too many mistakes.

Murphy is, well, just good enough to get himself into trouble. He's a horrible finisher, but might do well with a team like the Spurs where he could spot up for 3s.

My favorite player is Michael Petrius. This kid has amazing potential, and I expect his game will blow-up soon, and he'll be an all-star.

I'm not sure what to make of Baron Davis. When he came to Golden State, they went on a tear and were dishing out beat-downs to good teams as that season wound down, but I guess the league adjusted. He's one of the most skilled players in the league, but he's in the lower half of the league when it comes to hoops intelligence.

As for Dunleavey, well, this is not your father's Mike Dunleavey. I disagree with you that he can shoot, but he'd be a nice addition to a running team.

Foyle is a great guy and a good fit for the Warriors as he gives the fans a few thrills each game and makes them feel good about blowing $100 to watch a loser.

Warriors rant over.

Last night's game was awesome. I was screaming "Get it to Diaw" at my TV and I was shocked when they actually did go to him with a few seconds left. If Raja Bell didn't get hurt, I would say this series is over, but the Suns could finally run out of gas without him. I never could stand Adrian Johnson, but it's amazing how well he has coached this Mavs team.

still no blog entry from Mark Cuban today......poor guy.
 

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tennis_balls


As I watch many of the Warrior games on TV, I guess I've become a bit of a fan as much as it pains me to admit that.


Oh, you must have a high threshold of pain. Yes, they're quite awful, but I've always routed for perennial losers. The days of winning with Rick Barry are so long gone now (31 years and counting).


I'm always interested in how they're doing though.


Richardson I would trade in a heartbeat. The guy is a highlight freak-show, but takes a lot of dumb shots and makes too many mistakes.


I wouldn't disagree with this point, although I am a fan of his. I still feel that he's getting better each half of each season, but I know he does some things that will drive his supporters (and non-supporters) nuts. Still WAY better to have on this team, than Baron Davis.


Murphy is, well, just good enough to get himself into trouble. He's a horrible finisher, but might do well with a team like the Spurs where he could spot up for 3s.


Sounds about right. Actually, they could move Duncan to the center spot, and Murphy can bloat his soft rebound totals even higher. Not a bad idea, but he may already have too much of that "loser" mentality, and that won't cut it with Greg Popovich.


My favorite player is Michael Petrius. This kid has amazing potential, and I expect his game will blow-up soon, and he'll be an all-star.


I agree completely on this one. I'd mention Ike Diogu as a player with potential All-Star capabilities, but Petrius literally has everything, he just needs more playing time (and better health).


As for Dunleavey, well, this is not your father's Mike Dunleavey. I disagree with you that he can shoot, but he'd be a nice addition to a running team.


I do think he's one of the most natural shooters in the game (BIG words... I know), and I do think last year was an aberration. This guy's confidence didn't help him get out of that funk he was in for the whole year. We'll agree to disagree on this one, but I'm with you on the idea that he would be a great fit with the SUNS (but who wouldn't...).


Foyle is a great guy and a good fit for the Warriors as he gives the fans a few thrills each game and makes them feel good about blowing $100 to watch a loser.


He'd better make them feel good about blowing $100 a pop, because he's making HUGE bucks for essentially doing little outside of blocking a couple shots per game. That's his only talent. I really like him in interview's, but for a man who has such a good head-on-his-shoulders, how come he doesn't do anything to improve his game? He's no better than the Benoit Benjamin in that regard. Heck, I'd hope that Foyle could at least shoot for being the next Olden Polynice!!!


Last night's game was awesome. I was screaming "Get it to Diaw" at my TV and I was shocked when they actually did go to him with a few seconds left. If Raja Bell didn't get hurt, I would say this series is over, but the Suns could finally run out of gas without him. I never could stand Adrian Johnson, but it's amazing how well he has coached this Mavs team.


Avery Johnson is annoying (he reminds me of that guy in the prison who helped-out Ed Norton's character in American History X). He's very annoying. And he's the perfect coach for that team. I think he'll be the most coveted coach in basketball this time 10 years from now. Just a hunch. He's never had it easy coming through the ranks of the NBA, and that will always mean something to the players. He doesn't bullshit, and players MUST respect that about him as well. He's always serious, but in this case, it'll work to his advantage. I'm starting to like him... :p


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tennis_balls

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Heat vs. Pistons

I grew up in Detroit and was a Piston fan in the Paul Mokeski, Kelly Tripuka era. (This would prepare me for my current status as a Warrior fan)

I've always loved to root against Shaq, Pat Riley, the city of Miami and most of all the Heat's moronic P.A. announcer.

I'm enjoying the Western Conference so much more this year. I think the Finals will be anti-climactic this season.
 

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tennis_balls

I grew up in Detroit and was a Piston fan in the Paul Mokeski, Kelly Tripuka era. (This would prepare me for my current status as a Warrior fan)


Ouch, not exactly the greatest era in PISTONS' history. I laugh every-time I see the name Kelly Tripuka. He was a pretty good player around that time, and even when it appeared that his game was done, he had a nice rebound year later on with the expansion CHARLOTTE HORNETS. To me though, out of anyone who's ever averaged around 20 PPG at points in their career, he looks the most unlikely to me. He looked as though he played in the George Mikan era!


I've always loved to root against Shaq, Pat Riley, the city of Miami and most of all the Heat's moronic P.A. announcer.


I'm not a Shaq fan, and I've never found anything he has to say to be interesting in the least. The media always claims that he's a funny quote machine, and I've always thought differently. He always thinks of himself as being the games greatest player, which was a joke considering that Michael Jordan was in the league for a good part of his career. I could never root for Shaq, because he's never taken the game too seriously. He's never trained like a superstar, and if he would have, maybe we'd be talking about the #1 All-Time greatest player. He didn't, and he shouldn't even be discussed in that category. Top-10 All-Time? Maybe. Top-5? Forget about it.


I've always liked Riley. The role of Gordan Gekko (no joke) in Wall Street was actually made for him. Oliver Stone wanted him to play the part, and when he refused, THEN it went to Oscar Winner Michael Douglas. Mike D certainly had the hair down! :notworthy


I'm enjoying the Western Conference so much more this year. I think the Finals will be anti-climactic this season.


I'd agree on this point, IF the SUNS don't make it there. If it's DALLAS, it'll be a slower game than what we're seeing, albeit slightly interesting. More than anything, I'm hoping that it won't be a DALLAS vs. HEAT series, because I happen to believe that would be the worst, even if it went 7 games.


Did you used to live in Detroit "tennis_balls"? Who are your favorite players (All-Time)? :)


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tennis_balls

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johnsteed said:
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Did you used to live in Detroit "tennis_balls"? Who are your favorite players (All-Time)? ***


1. Joe Barry Carroll.............oh.....SNAP!.....i cracked myself up with that one......JB could still suit up and come back to the Warriors as a mascot though

....ok.....now my real list of favorites

1. John Starks......I've never seen another player as inspiring as Starks when he played with Patrick Ewing and coach Riley (I liked Riley back then) I was a big Knicks fan during this era. I remember taking a week-long vacation in Vegas and proudly wearing my Knicks hat and some of the dealers would jibe me since I clearly wasn't from NYC nor was I a gangsta rapper. (I paid for that trip with one huge bet on Stanford over Purdue.

2. Brian Cardinal a.k.a. "The Custodian" (by sheer coincidence, Cardinal was the go-to guy on that Purdue team that paid for my trip)......I only know Cardinal from the year he played with the Warriors. I've never seen a slow, balding white guy that could create that much excitement on the hardwood. He had a sweet 3 point jumper as well. I haven't followed his career since he left town though. I just checked and saw he only played 7 mpg in the play-offs this year with Memphis so maybe he's used up his already slow wheels?

3. Bob Love.......I lived near Chicago until I was 12, so I do have a few sweet memories sitting near the back of the lower level under the overhang in thick smoke and watching Bob Love and Jerry Sloan do their thing. Plus he has a good story as I think he was down and out and illiterate until he got some help and became a community figure again a few years back.


4. Patrick Ewing.......I don't identify with the big men, but Ewing's game was so sweet in his prime. He such an affable guy too. He seems like he'd be a cool guy to hang out and shoot some pool with.

5. Gary Gatewood........who?.......Gary Gatewood.....shooting guard with the Oregon Ducks during the year I attended U of O. 1979 i think. Honestly, I was fairly schnockered by the time most of the games got underway, but this guy was a heck of an athlete. He got drafted, but didn't quite have NBA stuff. He later got a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys though he never played football in college. The Ducks were pretty good that year as they had Blair Rasmussen who later played for Denver. Their big rival of course is Oregon State so I got to watch A.C. Green roll into town and dominate. How a gifted big-man like A.C. can go to a hayseed school like that and avoid getting laid in college in beyond me. He claimed he wasn't gay in an interview I saw when he was with Dallas and still a virgin.

those are the players that first come to mind....i'm sure i'll think of more
 

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tennis_balls

1. Joe Barry Carroll.............oh.....SNAP!.....i cracked myself up with that one......JB could still suit up and come back to the Warriors as a mascot though


Hahaha! I will add this though, "Joe Barry Carroll" had a nice pair of hands for a big man. His two main problems were these:


a) Above any excuse he could ever find, he was just plain lazy. Why is it that so many big men throughout the history of the game were so lazy? He was never a big game player, and I think that Golden State's record throughout the '80s is a reflection of that. He'd drive coaches such as Al Attles and John Bach mad! Actually, George Karl seemed to get the most out of him - a talent that Karl has at working with malcontents - where they made it to the second round of the '87 playoffs, losing to the eventual champions the L.A. LAKERS.


b) It wouldn't have mattered, even if he did bust his ass everyday, because he was traded for Kevin McHale AND Robert Parish. These are 2 of the Top-50 greatest players ever, and personally, McHale is one of the most underrated players of All-Time. I can't think of a player who had a greater repertoire of moves down low, AND who could do a better job at containing the opposing team's power-forwards and centers. The fact that Carroll was content hovering about 20 PPG during his tenure with Golden State, was never good enough. And his defense. Moahahahaha!!!


I think that John Starks signified who Pat Riley had become as a coach. He was a coach who thrived at conducting the fast-break of the '80s, and he completely changed as a coach in the grind-it-out tone that was a part of the playing in the EAST. I still see more of that in Riley's coaching now with the HEAT, than anything resembling a high-octane/transition defense mode. Starks was one of the better players at giving Jordan - as best as he could - a hard time, bumping him whenever possible. Starks is one of those players who seemed small, but was actually listed at 6'5" and was relatively thick and strong. He just didn't look it, until you paid real close attention to his physic compared to other big-guards.


Riley should be applauded for finding Starks and Anthony Mason, two great players of the Riley era and beyond. Even the BEASTIE BOYS threw-in a couple lyrics mentioning John Starks and Anthony Mason, on their '94 album "Ill Communication".


Brian Cardinal... interesting. This will be the only time (other than any die-hard Perdue fans or someone who knows him well) that someone will ever mention Cardinal amongst their Top-5. I guess it makes your list all the more fascinating. Nice player who had a good second half a couple years back with the Warriors, and then landed a huge contract with the GRIZZLIES. I'm sure they'd take that contract back though.


Bob Love and Jerry Sloan were basically the only players worth mentioning prior to the Jordan era in Chicago BULLS lore. I liked Love's numbers, and Sloan always played with heart.


With Patrick Ewing, he was one of my 3 favorite players of All-Time until a couple years back. Why did I change my opinion about him? Famous NBA analyst Charles Rosen (Foxsports) completely did a number on me, helping me realize that Ewing was far from great. Although I still AM a big fan of his and what he brought to the NBA, it's true that so much more was expected of him. On the other hand, he's better than his naysayers believe him to be.

Here's a link to a discussion some of the forum members had about Ewing...



I liked you Gary Gatewood story, and that's another one coming from left-field. I will concede that I know absolutely nothing about this man. I had to do a GOOGLE to find out something about him.


If I could add something, I always rooted for Mr. Indiana Damon Bailey (formerly of the Bobby Knight era, sharing the back-court duties with Calbert Cheaney). It had been often said that he was the greatest high-school player of the '80s, and that he would eventually be a can't miss NBA pick. Of all people, Bobby Knight used to drive across the state, to watch him play when he was growing-up. AND Knight always spoke highly of him, often complimenting him on how much he stood-out compared to the rest of the players on the court. That didn't pan-out, although he would eventually play some games with the PACERS in the '90s. I actually got to see him play live in the '99 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. Oddly enough, the US squad he was playing for, lost to Manu Ginobili's Argentina team in the quarter finals, in what was then considered a big upset.


I'd love to hear more about your other favorites, "tennis_balls." :)


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tennis_balls

Norm Van Lear just PM'd me to inquire if I knew where you lived.


Hmmm, I'll get back to you on this one in a moment or two... :cool:


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Some of Norm Van Lier's career achievements with the BULLS...


1971-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1972-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1973-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1974-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1974-NBA-All-NBA (2nd)
1975-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1976-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1977-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1978-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)



He also led the league in assists in '71, although this wasn't with the BULLS, but with the Cincinnati Royals. Everything done with the BULLS (above) is highlighted in "Dark Red".


While defense should gain him BIG props, I don't see him being ahead of Bob Love or Jerry Sloan. Both of them were equally impressive defensive players, especially Sloan.


Jerry Sloan


1969-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1970-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1971-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1972-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1974-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1975-NBA-All-Defense (1st)



Bob Love


1971-NBA-All-NBA (2nd)
1972-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1972-NBA-All-NBA (2nd)
1974-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1975-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)



I can't argue that Van Lier was a better defensive player over Love, Love was a gifted scorer, to which Van Lier wasn't. Van Lier is like Jason Kidd or Gary Payton in their primes on "D", although he was far from ever being a complete player like either one of those. He was kinda' like Bruce Bowen, with point-guard skills. Certainly a great combo.


Because you got me started - and I can't stop once I get started - I'm going to come up with a list of the Top-10 greatest BULLS of All-Time.



#1
Michael Jordan​


I can't go-on-and-on-and-on-and-then-some-more about him, but EVERYONE knows his worth even if they despise him.



#2
Scottie Pippen​


The most balanced player in the early '90s. I used to think that he was totally overrated, and I couldn't have been so wrong. Pippen was not a "winner" in the M.J. sense of the word, but he did alright in the position he was pushed into. Great defensive player, maybe the best All-Time for a small forward. Like Magic Johnson, had the ability to play all 5 positions on the court. Walt Frazier is and was more adored for his ability, but dare I say this, Pippen was AT LEAST his equal. But... thank M.J. for getting in his head and not allowing him to relax and play a soft game. M.J. couldn't motivate Kwame Brown, but he sure brought the best out of Pippen.



#3
Jerry Sloan​


Based certainly on his leadership, tough and hard-nosed defense, and decent scorer to boot. Probably an even better coach than player, certainly any team would have wanted his services. The best compliment I could possibly give him, is saying that he played defense like Bobby Jones, with a scoring touch.



#4
Chet Walker​


He was probably the most terrific scorer in BULLS history, next to M.J. I know how good of scorers that Pippen, Theus, and Love were, but Walker was a premier go-to-guy. To say it best, he falls somewhere between a Jimmy King and a healthy Bernard King. How about this, a more famous version of Charles Scott?



#5
Bob Love​


Anything but a great passer. But a gifted scorer, not far behind Chet Walker, more on the Pippen scale. I think he was a little too 2-dimensional - if he could be called that - although that other dimension was his defense.



#6
Artis Gilmore​


Fantastic ABA player, who had a hard time having that reputation carry over to the NBA. The guy was a 22 PPG/12 RPG player when he first came to the BULLS. Always an All-Star, never really the star. Warrants being in the HOF. Never could win over the Chicago faithful, but he was by far it's greatest center. Often overlooked, might have been the strongest man in the game during his run. Intimidating...



#7
Reggie Theus​


Most BULLS fans will think of Theus, when they think of the pre-Jordan era. He even dated M.J.'s wife, prior to M.J. meeting her (she sure gets around). This one time model has got to be one of the most underrated players the game has even known. An awful defender (like most players in today's game), but everything else was exceptional. A gifted passer, even if he took as many shots as he did. A wonderful jump-shooter/slasher, he retired with 19,050 points and almost 7,000 assists. What's odd about that, was that he was able to average 18.6 PPG in 36 minutes per game with the NETS in his last year!!! I can't understand why he couldn't find any takers for another year, before eventually deciding to play overseas instead.



#8
Horace Grant​


I'm not a Grant fan, so it pains me to include him on this list. He was though, a very gifted defensive player, and a HUGE part of the early '90s BULLS. Most observers will often point to Pippen's emergence as being the reason the BULLS finally got over the hump to win their first championship, but I would argue that it was he AND Grant. No more, no less important than the other. Grant was a wonderful rebounder, although nothing like Rodman. He had some nice low-post skills, and had a good touch 15-feet in.



#9
Norm Van Lier​


Perhaps I'm underrating him here, but it's not for the sake of argument. I love his career defense numbers, and he meant a lot to that Chicago team in '75, that may very well have been the best team in the league that year (although the Golden State WARRIORS were the eventual champions that year). Very impressive few years with the BULLS, but enough to knock-off those mentioned above? I for one don't think so...



#10
Toni Kukoc​


I could have gone with a number of pretty worthy candidates for this final spot. Guy Rodgers comes to mind, although he only played for the BULLS for a brief time. Orlando Woolridge is one of the better scorers who's passed through the BULLS system, and although he was pretty darn good with them, he really became better AFTER his brief run with the BULLS. Dave Greenwood? Decent, but hardly Top-10. So I'm stuck Toni Kukoc in the tenth spot. But you know what, Kukoc was better than he'll be remembered.


First, it's important to note that he's often viewed as being absolutely soft. He certainly wasn't tough, but soft? Nope. He was basically the punching bag for the other BULLS players. Which was a shame, because he was a truly gifted player (and still is in spurts). He could pass very well, shoot like a cheap-man's Dirk Nowitzky, rebound fairly well, and play average defense. He didn't hurt his team by being on the floor. He could play any position, and he was a shade under being a 7-footer. While Jerry Krause certainly saw something wonderful with this talent, the Jordan/Pippen/Jackson regime never cared to find out, and never cared to develop it. It's kind of like a reverse Boris Diaw situation, although Kukoc had a HUGE reputation prior to joining the NBA. Unlike Diaw, Kukoc was given lots of opportunities to succeed in his first couple of years. He began to wilt at times during the BULLS run, because he teammates weren't exactly looking for him. Diaw, was unused in Atlanta, comes to Phoenix, gets the right teammates who want him to succeed, and he makes good on his great strengths.


Kukoc stayed on a couple years after the BULLS dynasty had ended, and was an 18 PPG player in that time. He did enough to be an overlooked contributer to those great BULLS teams. Although it'll never be remembered, he was the 3rd scoring option on those teams, the 3rd main facilitator, and like Pippen, the 2nd do-everything-at-random-positions.


I can easily put Elton Brand on this list, and he may very well finish 2nd All-Time amongst this list, or at the very least finish in the Top-3. I can't though place him here, because he only played 2 seasons with the BULLS. If I included Brand, I'd easily put Dennis Rodman on this list. At least with Rodman, he was arguably still the best defensive power-forward in the game (even if the league didn't want to recognize this fact), and he was a key cog to a winning team.


I could have included someone like George Gervin, because he also had played for the BULLS. I can't though, because he was pretty much done when he played with them at the tail end of his storied career.


Quick story on one of the most dominant players who never stayed with the BULLS. The late Brian Williams - later known as Bison Dele - probably put on one of the most dominating shows I could ever recall from a center the year he played with the BULLS versus the JAZZ in the finals. Although his numbers won't reveal anything, having him on the team at that time, you could see how in his brief spurts of playing, he crushed the JAZZ. I'm not just saying this, I've watched it again on video years after the fact. Aside from all of his head-games, and problems on-and-off the court, the man was amazingly gifted. One of the greatest talents wasted, based purely on the fact that he really disliked playing, and was never a basketball player. Had he loved playing, he could have been a great one.


He was mysteriously murdered by his brother (or so they say), a few years ago at sea. He was often regarded as the games brightest individuals, esoteric and eccentric, and an incredible human being.


Steed

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tennis_balls

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great list, Steed

mine would have the Rodman at #6 though it may be true that without Jordan's intimidation and Phil Jackson's mind games, Rodman would have crashed and burned.
 

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tennis_balls


mine would have the Rodman at #6 though it may be true that without Jordan's intimidation and Phil Jackson's mind games, Rodman would have crashed and burned.


If we're talking about based on these player's career achievements with all the teams they've played for, I'd bump Artis Gilmore up to the 3rd spot, and Rodman in the 4th spot.


I can understand how many NBA insiders could disagree with that sort of move, however Rodman's achievements have been exceptional.


Despite playing in only 2 All-Star games ('90,'91), still did a host of great things.


1989-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1990-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1990-NBA-Defensive Player Of The Year
1991-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1991-NBA-Defensive Player Of The Year
1992-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1992-NBA-All-NBA (3rd)
1993-NBA-All-Defense (1st)

1994-NBA-All-Defense (2nd)
1995-NBA-All-Defense (1st)
1995-NBA-All-NBA (3rd)

1996-NBA-All-Defense (1st)


He also was a key member on 5 Championship teams. He was NOT a scorer, he was aloof at times, and a distraction. But I think on those BULLS teams, he was actually a great distraction, taking some of the spotlight off of Jordan, Jackson, and Pippen at different times. Despite what the media made of him, he really helped that team on so many levels, and I seriously doubt he gutted that team in any way. If anything, he probably centered-it (in a crazy way).


He should be a HOFer, because he was one of the best defensive players (if not THE best) of his era, a winner, a big draw, and a well-respected athlete on the court (just not off of it).


Getting back to why I left Rodman off, was nothing more than his only being there for 3-years. Yes, he was big for them, and maybe I'm wrong on his not making the list, but it's hard knocking down players who weren't in as good of a situation, or in a better position to win.


My question to you "tennis_balls", is do you think of Rodman as a HOFer?


Love the feedback! :)


Steed

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johnsteed

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My question to you "tennis_balls", is do you think of Rodman as a HOFer?


Love the feedback! :)


This question, and one more.


Who would you select as your All-Time greatest starting 5? :)


Steed

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tennis_balls

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johnsteed said:
***
My question to you "tennis_balls", is do you think of Rodman as a HOFer?***

The guy banged Madonna and Carmen Electra!!! (And he worked-in Madonna during a championship series at high-altitude!!!!!) So he's a shoe-in for the shagging HOF! (no word on whether he nailed Emma Peel but I certainly wouldn't put it past the man)

I gotta admit I'm a big Rodman fan so of course I'd vote him in the HOF. I really dug his first book. (and I rarely read anything that doesn't have a banner ad flashing above) I thought his show on MTV was innovative too.

I agree that he sort of galvanized those Bulls teams as he kept the focus on keeping Dennis in-line which kept Pippen's ego from causing problems and probably gave Jordan some breaks from the hounding media.

And I'll be forever grateful to the Bulls for denying that thug Malone, the Utah Jazz and their true-believer fans a championship.

So I say Rodman is a no-brainer for HOF. He's arguably the best defender/rebounder ever and he has the rings to back it up.

I do wish he'd just enjoy it now and go away quietly, but that's never been his M.O.
 
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