always dude your best! said: the other day my friend slipped up and said "amar'e stoudemizer." i think this is the best place to start appreciating that nickname.

Your wish is granted. Here’s a possible example: Amar''''''s' defense will Stoudemize the Knicks' playoff hopes this season. And next season. And the season after that…

Kody said: Does the Javaris Crittenton murder situation change your opinion on Gilbert Arenas at all?

Not really. Agent "Now Plain" Zero still behaved like an idiot before, during, and after the incident, culminating in the idiotic finger guns that (in many ways) led to his exile from Washington and devolution into a low-grade role player.

Still, it makes me wonder: Did the NBA actually barely avoid a true -- and truly damaging -- tragedy? We don't have all the facts yet, and it's possible that Crittenton is innocent. But if he isn't innocent, then he's capable of killing in cold blood. What would have happened if he had gunned Arenas down in the Wizards locker room?

Can you even imagine? Would David Stern have canceled the season in response? Or at least part of the season? That’s one possible repercussion. Beyond the fact that Arenas could have ended up dead. It’s chilling on so many levels.

So I guess the only thing it changes regarding my perception of Arenas is that he's lucky to be alive.

-Josh said: There are some plays that are absolutely bawful for everyone because of the nature of the play, but I'm curious about what is your most personally bawful single play or possession.. I'm a blazers fan, so for me it's got to be the most recent time Greg Oden's knee shattered into a million glittering pieces. Like a disco ball (seems appropriate given his age). First off, it wasn't some big important play or a big important game. He wasn't laying it all on the line. There was no villain giving him a flying dragon kick to the knee. There was nothing even remotely redeeming about this injury. Just sheer tragedy. Things were finally turning around, he was putting together some good performances, the blazers were looking good then ...

Wow. It's hard (read that: impossible) for me to choose just one. So I won't. Here are five in chronological order:

1. Magic Johnson's junior skyhook in Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals. It is impossible to quantify how hard I was rooting for the Celtics back then. Seriously, I'm still battling massive internal injuries from it. The Celtics were ridiculously injured and probably would have lost those Finals to the Lakers no matter what. But had Boston won that game, it would have tied the series, and who knows what would have happened? Instead, Kevin McHale bobbled the rebound off a missed free throw, losing the ball out of bounds and giving Magic a chance to steal the game. Which he did.

To make matters worse, he hit the shot over McHale, Robert Parish, and (sorta) Larry Bird, making the shot even more immortal. And, therefore, I have to relive it over and over and over.


2. Seven games into the 1987-88 season, in Cleveland of all places, Larry Bird attempted a behind the back dribble and strained both Achilles tendons. Bird would go on to have his best statistical season...but his legs where never right after that. By the time the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals, Bird's mobility was shot and he suffered through the worst playoff series of his career. And his problems became even more apparent the following season, during which he lasted only six games before having dual Achilles surgery. Larry never was the same again.

3. Yes, I blog about the Bulls, but in the 1998 NBA Finals, I was rooting all-out for my man Karl Malone -- and John Stockton and Jerry Sloan -- to win their first NBA title. And the Jazz were so close to forcing a Game 7...then Michael Jordan pushed off Byron Russell and hit the most replayed shot in league history. But it wasn't just that play. There were a whole sequence of painful plays that led to that final, fatal, nut-shriveling shot.

For the record, I'm still pissed at Stockton for passing that ball to Malone when Jordan was so obviously lurking behind him.



4. Larry Johnson's freaking four-point play in Game 3 of the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals. This one still kills me. I will probably die thinking about this damn shot.

As I once wrote about this traveshamockery: This was the game that finally convinced me: God hates the Pacers. Maybe Reggie sacrificed a newborn baby after every game-winning shot, or maybe the team was cursed by gypsies for trading away Chuck Person and Detlef Schrempf. I don't know. But nothing short of Satan's dark power can explain what happened that day. Michael Jordan had retired (again). The Bulls were gone. This was to be Year 1 of the Pacers Dynasty. They were even leading the game 91-88 with five seconds left. But Larry Johnson, best known for dressing up as his own elderly grandmother, got fouled by Antonio Davis, dribbled once, took three steps, and then hit a 3-pointer. Unbelievably, referee Dick Bavetta (known around the league as "Knick Bavetta") ruled it a continuation. Johnson hit the free throw to complete a 4-point play, and the Knicks won 92-91. Instead of eventually going up 3-1 (they won game 4), the Pacers never recovered and lost the series 4-2.

Because I hate myself, here's a documentary about that shot:



5. Robert Horry wiping out Steve Nash in Game 4 of the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals. Look, I don't care what anybody says, the Suns were ready to beat the Spurs that year. They were. It was gonna happen. I'm telling you. Then Horry checked Nash into the scorer's table, Nash put a little mustard on the fall, and Steve's teammates Stoudemire and Boris Diaw (STAT's backup) stood up to see what happened...and got suspended for Game 5. Which the Suns lost by three points.

The Spurs went on to sweep the Cavaliers in the Finals and Nash has (gak) joined Malone, Stockton, Charles Barkley, et al. in the list of great players to never win an NBA title. And he (double-gak) leads the list of great players never to make the Finals.


Lord Kerrance said: What effect (if any) do you see the lockout having on your personal enjoyment of NBA basketball? And how will a strike change your day-to-day since you won't have to watch all those games?

Honestly, after the lockout is over, I'll enjoy the NBA as much as I ever did. I'm an NBA lifer, and whatever naivety I had about the sport died during the last lockout, probably between the time Patrick Chewing said, "Sure, we make a lot of money, but we spend a lot, too," and Kenny Anderson complained that "I was thinking about selling one of my cars. I don't need all of them. You know, just get rid of the Mercedes. ... But it's like they say: the more you make, the more you spend. And right now, without my check, I have to start getting tight."

(For the record: "John Stockton was shouted down at a players' meeting in Las Vegas for suggesting there should be any limit to the percentage of league revenues that should go to the players.")

As for how the lockout would change my day-to-day life? I guess it would be similar to right now. I don't have to get up at 4 a.m. every day. I get to do recreational things like watch movies, read books, train for the Tough Mudder in November.

I have to admit, it's kind of nice. I also have to admit, I would kind of miss doing Worst of the Night and so forth.

Dr Brian said: I'd like to know...who would win in a frosting eating contest?

A) Shaquille O'Neal

B) Eddy Curry

C) Oliver Miller

D) Latrell Sprewell, since all of his money goes to raising his dozens of kids.


Wow. That contest would put a serious hurt on the world's frosting supplies. Children everywhere would have to eat frosting-less birthday cakes for years during the recovery. Here's my take: Shaq could get injured a few minutes into the contest and have to withdraw. After taking a surprising but substantial lead, Curry would inexplicably disappear without a trace. Sprewell is just too small. So the Frosting Contest King crown goes to...Oliver Miller.

Sjoerd said:

Who is the B.O.A.T? (Bawfullest Of All Time)

Greg Ostertag. I don't have the numbers to back that up. It's just a gut feeling.

Which ref is the personification of bawful officiating?

Ooooo. Tough one. Here are my "Worst NBA Ref" picks:

1. Dick Bavetta

2. Joey Crawford

3. Bennett Salvatore

I have to admit, it was hard to put anybody over Joey "I will eject you for laughing from the bench" Crawford, but if anybody deserves a lifetime achievement award for officiating bawfulness, it's "Knick" Bavetta. As for Salvatore, he's just plain old lousy. I'll probably do a post about worst refs soon, so more on this later.

Who is your prediction for new member(s) of the 20-10-50 club?

First, I'd like to say a belated congratulations to Blake Griffin and Kevin Love for joining the 20-10-50 club last season. Bravo, boys.

As for potential new members...well, with all that's changed about the Jazz, I think Paul Milsap could seriously threaten. Additionally, I know David West is due to be a free agent, and I could see him getting overpaid by some crap team and then putting up the required 20-10 in a 50-loss campaign.

By the way, I will always feel somewhat cheated that Chris Kaman could never score, or rebound, or stay healthy enough in a single season to join the 20-10-50 club.

Does "the custodian" remain the doormat of the NBA?

No. I think he finally earned some street cred for thumping every Heat player who walked by him while the Mavericks were ramrodding their way to a championship.

Two potentials for next NBA doormat of note would be Keith Bogans and Joel Anthony. Not because they have bloated contracts, but because they have been thrust into too-big-for-them roles on championship contenders. ANd fans just love blasting those guys.

lordhenry said: One big question: When LeBron was in Cleveland the consensus was that Mike Brown held him back along with the supporting cast. Now that LBJ has the support he wants, and Mike Brown is with LA, who do you think will be more successful this season, providing we have one?

I think that Mike Brown is a terrific defense coach...and an abysmal offensive coach. What's going to happen to L.A.'s offense under Brown as it transitions away from The Triangle? And who's going to pull the reins on Kobe with P-Jax gone? Oh, wait, Brown doesn't pull the reins on his best player. He gives that player the ball and tells him, "Coach yourself, guy!"

Assuming there's as season, I think the Lakers are going to struggle, no matter what Ron Artest says. They'll likely become a much better defensive team, but they'll be a disorganized mess on the other end.

And, anyway, Kobe’s in decline.

Meanwhile, LeBron, D-Wade, and The RuPaul of Big Men are in their primes. The Heat will be better than the Lakers. Probably much better. Which, for me, is like watching Mega Shark defeat Giant Octopus. One terrible monster may be gone, but we're still screwed.

kazam92 said: Which "classic team" are you most excited to use in NBA 2K12?

Obviously, I'm excited to use any team with Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. Beyond that, using the current list, here are the teams I'm most geeked about using, in reverse chron order:

1997-98 Jazz
1993-94 Rockets
1988-89 Pistons
1985-86 Hawks
1984-85 76ers
1971-72 Lakers
1970-71 Bucks
1964-65 Celtics
1964-65 Lakers
Obviously, I loved the 1997-98 Jazz. I was a huge Hakeem fan. Playing as the Bad Boy Pistons is something of a morbid curiosity, plus I want to play Laimbeer 48 minutes per game and see if he gets injured. A Sixers team with Sir Charles, Doc J, and Moses Malone? Are you kidding me? The 69-win Lakers team is a no-brainer. Ditto for Kareem's championship Bucks squad. And I've always wanted to try the 60s era Celtics and Lakers teams. Bill Russell and Jerry West in their primes!

my-eyes-are-dim-I- cannot see said: Should players be allowed to wear different designs and colors on their team shorts? I watch the NBA on TV in Europe - having not been brought up watching basketball, I honestly find it hard to recognize players. Why not allow different colored shorts for guards, centers and forwards? A great opportunity to raise awareness and marketability.

I believe that uniforms should require a certain, well, uniformity. Not only because it just looks better, but for practical reasons as well. A big part of the rationale for common uniforms is so players can quickly and easily recognize teammates. If you play enough pickup ball, you've probably accidentally passed the rock to somebody wearing the same colored shirt as one of your teammates (I know I have...many times). It can also affect defense, if you're expecting somebody to switch with you on a pick but that guy's actually on the other squad.

I could be okay with teams selling a limited number of ads (assuming they were of reasonable size) on the jerseys and shorts, but they would need to be in a specific location that would be the same for all teams.

sixtyeight said: I consider some of the modern nba rules and regulations absolutely bawful and detrimental to the purity of the game, if you could change one to make the nba a better basketball league (and less of a WWE with balls and hoops) what would it be?

You mean other than superstar calls?

Honestly, I would like to see some consistency between how fouls are called inside versus how they're called on the perimeter. Guys like LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade, 'Melo, et al., benefit greatly from the hand checking rules that were instituted several years ago. I think some of the calls are a little ticky-tac, but whatever.

What about the big men, though? In many cases, hand-to-hand combat is still allowed down low. Look at the way the Thunder players were roughing up Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol in the Western Conference Semis. If anybody defended a perimeter player like that, the dude would shoot 30 free throws. It's reduced creativity in the post, becuase players constantly have an elbow in their back and a knee up their ass.

That's the real reason post play isn't what it once was.

DieblerFever said: Who do you like on Dancing with the Stars this year?

If you were trying to bait me into commenting on Ron Artest's impending presence on the show, it totally worked. Is there a better NBA baller to feature on DwtS? Of course not. Let's face it: Whether he can dance or not is inconsequential. Ron-Ron is crazy enough to absolutely throw himself into trying to dance. He has no shame whatsoever, so there's no dance he won't try. And the likelihood that he'll say or do something that's totally off-the-wall is around 100 percent and climbing.

This is gonna be great.

On the subject of Artest, Evil Ted and I were recently discussing Dennis Rodman's emotional HoF induction speech, and I said:

"Do you realize that, 5-10 years from now, Ron Artest will be standing on that stage giving almost the exact same speech? Only he won't be getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, and security will have to remove him on live TV. I can't wait."

I just had to share that.

Editor's Note: What? Your question didn't get answered? It will be. It will be. I plan to use the remaining questions as fodder for another post, or multiple posts, or another mailbag. If you have more questions, or follow up questions to these answers, post 'em.

Labels:

36 Comments:
Blogger -Josh said...
Awesome post! It's good to get a little bawful in these (actual on the court basketball at least) bawful-deprived times. Keep 'em coming!

Oh, yeah, another question for you. If you could put any rule into effect, what would you do to try and stop the rampant flopping epidemic?

My vote? Someone flops obviously in one game, the very next game it's free game. No blood no foul on that player. Obviously that would never make it in, though.

Anonymous allison said...
You haven't heard? No Barkley in 2K12. Boo

Anonymous toT said...
Unfortunately, Barkley won't let his image be used still, so he will be absent from the 76ers team. Sad

Blogger Fishy said...
I like where your heads at Josh 8) how about just a nice fat fine and one game suspension without pay.. that would keep some players from doing it. And the same for the referee who called it :D

It's been too long since I have come around here.. thanks for the continued posts Bawful.

Anonymous JJ said...
Thank you for the post. Very entertaining as usual.

Do you think if Steve Nash could have stayed in Dallas - let's say Cuban gave him the contract he wanted - do you think Nash and Dirk would've ever won a championship (a la Kidd and Dirk)?

At this stage of his career, I don't think Kidd really has much of a rebounding or defensive advantage over Nash. And Nash runs the offense as well as Kidd, while being a way better shooter.

Maybe my question should be rephrased as, "Do you think, if Nash was in Mavs instead of Kidd and everything else remained the same, Mavs would have still beaten Heat?"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
yeah, with regard to the nickname -- my friends and i used to joke that "Sodomizer plays for Poenix!". sadly not so applicable any more

Blogger LotharBot said...
If you really want to see the difference between perimeter and interior foul calls, watch Melo for a whole game. The same player (with the same amount of "star power") gets very different calls based on where he is when he gets contact.

He'll regularly get the ball in the post, get hammered, and not get a call... and then a couple plays later, get the ball on the wing, barely get touched, and get a call.

-----

I second Josh's suggestion: you flop, and not only do you not get the call, but you get penalized on a future call.

Like... the next foul gets whistled, but all it does is stops the clock and provides an inbounds play; it doesn't get you free throws, a team foul, a foul on the player, a reset of the shot clock, or any of the other nice things you get by drawing a foul (and if you bricked the shot and the other team rebounded it, *they* inbound after the whistle; it doesn't save you a possession either.)

This way it's explicit -- "this is the foul call you cost yourself by flopping."

Anonymous Omedee said...
Bawful,

Any chance of you creating an image of Karl Malone doing what he does best for the Mailbag posts?

I have a good idea, but I'm no good with photoshop. It involves his brief WCW stint.

Blogger kazam92 said...
Joel Anthony is OUR Punching Bag/Pariah/Warden. The NBA cannot claim him

Blogger Cortez said...
"For the record, I'm still pissed at Stockton for passing that ball to Malone when Jordan was so obviously lurking behind him."

I disagree, and here's why...

Stockton, as usual, made the right play. Rodman was overplaying Malone HARD on his left shoulder. So much so that there was no question as to what was happening on that side from the defense. Being on the block, Malone's first move was supposed to have been to look over his right shoulder because that was the only area on the court that was not visible. The only place other defenders could have been was BEHIND HIM.

Catch...Chin...CHECK: The first lesson in post play.

Did he really think he was going to go one-on-one at that point of the game?

Plus, Jordan didn't steal the pass. He stripped the ball out of his hands down by his waist.

Catch...CHIN...check.

Malone, and his lack of a refined low post game, caused that turnover.

Never sully the reputation the Stockton's decision making!

Blogger DocZodar said...
When it comes time to write about the bawfulest officials, I hope time hasn't erased the memory of Hue Hollins from everybody's mind. Every year in the 90s it seems like I spent time between playoff games complaining about him to somebody.

Blogger Wormboy said...
LOL @ the Larry Johnson video: the announcer is saying "with a deceptively sharp shot" while the footage shows Johnson banking in a three. Sweet irony!

I've got to contest with you on some of these. Magic's baby skyhook was a thing of beauty and a key part of NBA lore, no matter how it shriveled your young testicles. Likewise with MJ's finish over Russell. Also, you can cringe at Stockton passing the ball to Malone, but every big man knows to keep the ball up with elbows out; what is Malone does with the ball at his waist? If Malone has that up by his forehead, Jordan gets a foul called trying to get it (or more likely doesn't go for it at all). So, Malone's final legacy is ignoring the rule that most high school 4s and 5s know by heart.

Re: Horry on Nash. Sigh. My respect for Horry both went up and went down. Man was one of the smartest ball players ever. Always did the play that would optimize chances for victory. Any play, no matter how scummy. Then again, odddsa re excellent that Pop called that play. Horry strolled away from that check with insouciance, as if he did exactly what he was asked to do. And yes, I agree with your interpretation of the significance, Matt. Nash's only chance scotched by a dumbass league office.

Blogger sixtyeight said...
Loved this one, you really should make the mail a regular or semi-regular feature.

I knew you would mention the hand-check-mess, agree with you on star calls and the mayhem down low (even if I feel some other rules/factors have a direct impact of the downfall of post game). I've said it a few times (maybe even here!), I loved the great centers of old (and I'm NOT looking at you, patrick ewing), I spent hours studying their moves (nature let me down on this one, a 5 10 center ain't working man)...now I could study dwight howard's biceps I guess...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What would be the salary cap implications of one player murdering another?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That would only stop starters from flopping. It doesnt stop "The Custodian" from sweeping the hardwood with his behind trying to draw fouls on all-stars in his 2 minutes a game.

I never thought of how the Suns would've absolutely ROLLED the Cavs that year if they made the Finals. Is that why people get so mad about Horry doing what I wanted someone to do for like 10 years?! BTW, Nash is cool, but being assaulted a right of passage for little guys.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bM-Y4UoiAY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBfvmJIxwPQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0k6VwjZNFE
...and on and on...

Blogger kazam92 said...
Also, regarding 2K12, if you want to play as the 2001 Kings and the 1992 Warriors, you have to pre-order from Gamestop. I hate those bastards, but I want me some Run-TMC

Anonymous AK Dave said...
1) LJ's 4-point shot followed by his silly "LJ" signal was such utter bullshit that I can't believe that it still stands.

2) Question for next post: Can Shaq and Barkley co-exist on TNT? I mean, a) is it physically possible for the camera to fit them both in the same shot, b) will their personalities collide sending the universe into a spontaneous big-bang event, and c) will Kenny or Ernie ever get in a word edgewise?

Also: what happens when Chuck and Shaq start fighting over Krispy Kreme doughnuts? More of this?

Blogger Cortez said...
"Likewise with MJ's finish over Russell"

Offensive foul. Game 7.

Blogger Czernobog said...
@JJ: Seriously? No defensive difference between Kidd and Nash? Did you even watch the Heat/Mavericks series?

Blogger lordhenry said...
Thanks for answering the question, though in retrospect, I probably should've asked something a little better. Odds are against the Sith rising again in the west, but I will wait and see what the off-season holds before I write off the (former) Lords of the West.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I find it hilarious when after all these years, some very few people still think the Suns were better than the Spurs back in '07. The Spurs were NEVER down overall in the series, while the Suns were down 0-1 and 1-2 before Nash ADMITTED to flopping a bit on the Horry hip check.

The Suns had a chance to try to force Game 7 but got the lights beaten out of them in Game 6. The Spurs were way better defensively than Phoenix that year. Was that a hell of a Suns team in 2007? Yeah, probably the best one they've had since the Barkley years, but they weren't getting past San Antonio that year, with or without the suspensions. The Spurs let their guard down in Game 5 and then the Suns did what they usually do against the Spurs....they choked. Horry was suspended the rest of the series with a Nash flop making it look much worse than it was. D'Antoni was never gonna outcoach Pop.

It's not surprise Nash has never been to the finals, though I wish him the best.

As far as rigged officiating, watch the last 6 minutes of Game 4 of that series and see how many miraculous calls the Suns got and how close they were to being down 1-3 in that series. Horry's hipcheck was more out of frustration at the brutal reffing than anything personal with Nash.

Great blog post otherwise though, keep it up man.

Anonymous jay_uno said...
that hawks team with nique, webb, moses, kevin willis and doc rivers is nasty

also the bad boys, and of course the late bulls teams

Anonymous allison said...
yeah, with regard to the nickname -- my friends and i used to joke that "Sodomizer plays for Poenix!". sadly not so applicable any more

Well, he plays for the *icks now, so...

Blogger Mean1 said...
How much longer do you think the Stern regime will remain in power?

Who do you think would've had a better professional career, Terrell Owens or Randy Moss?

Who do you think initiated the Delonte West/ Gloria James situation (alledgedly)?

Same with Rashard Lewis and Lebron's girlfriend.

Anonymous Mark C. said...
Mailbag question...

If given the choice between $5 billion dollars or having Dirk Nowitzki make sweet sweet love to you which would you choose and why? Before answering take a minute to reflect on a few these two things: $5 billion dollars buys over 5 billion beefy five layer burritos from Taco Bell and Dirk Nowitzki's high post game is so efficient.

Blogger Wormboy said...
MJ's "foul" on Russell? That kind of contact would RARELY get called in a regular season game, and never in the last seconds of a playoff game. Let the players decide and all that. You don't even need to invoke special rules for MJ to see why that one wasn't called.

You might not like it, but that's a different debate.

Blogger Sjoerd said...
thanks for the answers! they enlightend my basketball mind!:D

Blogger lordhenry said...
Wormboy: Totally agree with your take on Horry--It was sad to see one o the all time great clutch performers do something fairly dirty, but I'm sorry, in 1985 that's just a foul on Kurt Rambis, minus the arm across the chest, and the throwing to the ground--actually it's not even that rough....

I find it wildly Ironic that to some here Rambis getting taken out and galvinizing the Celtics is a great moment, but Horry doing a much milder version to Nash makes Horry hated and reviled. It's not Horry's fault that the NBA basically ignored all the Spurs players that left the bench and only suspended key Suns players. It is Bull$hit how the league handled it, but don't blame Horry.

Anonymous Stockton said...
F##K!!!
You just made me search youtube for that Eisley 3-pointer again...

Anonymous Matt said...
First of all the name Knick Bavetta made me fucking lol. Secondly, I'm ready for the season to start so I can go back to the nightly flame wars about how big a douche LeBron is and me being the only one on this blog defending him and the Heat. Damn I miss those nights

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't think that you got the Stoudermiser joke. He is a miser because he is a Jew.

Blogger Cortez said...
"You don't even need to invoke special rules for MJ to see why that one wasn't called."

I think the main reason that a foul wasn't called is because unless the referee isn't standing at the exact angle the the camera was filming then it doesn't look like anything happened except that the "greatest player of all time" changed directions and a lowly, but somewhat effective, mid-tier player lost his balance and fell trying to keep up.

No conspiracy necessary for that to happen.

..but make no mistake, that was a blantent offensive foul.

...combined with a good move and a great finish.

Anonymous CD said...
I think your overall thoughts on the impact of the Horry-Nash thing are a bit overblown. Yes, Nash ate it into the announce table, but that was 20% hard foul and 80% pro wrestling sell on Nash's part. People supporting the Suns in that situation always make it like it was an attempt on Nash's life. No...it was a hard block/bump foul, flagrant 1 at most to me.

At any rate, the more important part of the argument is that losing Amar'e and Diaw for one game singlehandedly caused the Suns to lose 4-2. Not possible. What it does is hypothetically expunge that one game, and put us in a best of three series between two teams that had fought to a standstill up to that point. Did it affect the series? Sure. Did it decide the series? Pfft. No.

Anyways...my question would be, what is your personal criteria for comparing players across hugely different eras? I always hear fans who seem to feel that Bill Russell would just be Ben Wallace at best in today's game, and similar sentiments about 50s-60s players. Personally, I always applied the concept of taking the base talents and intelligence of the old school player and then hypothetically injecting them with the modern basketball developmental system, athletic training, and coaching systems, rather than just flying back in a time machine to drop them straight into today's game.

Blogger David Landon said...
I don't know why everyone acts like Knick Bavetta's 4-point play happened in the deciding game of the series. It didn't. It happened in Game 3. Sure, it put the Pacers in a 1-2 hole, but the series was far from unwinnable for them. They won the next game in the Garden, 90-78, and headed home with the series tied 2-2. Indiana didn't lose that series because Knick Bavetta threw Game 3 to New York. They lost because they lacked mental toughness. They choked.
Don't get me wrong, I liked that Pacers squad, but championship teams do not fold in the face of adversity like those guys did.

Also, I always liked Larry Johnson. The guy was Blake Griffin 1.0 before his back injury killed his explosiveness, but afterward he reinvented himself as a wily post player and outside shooter and remained effective for several more years. He had heart, and I admire that.

Anonymous JJ said...
Czernobog - Sure, I watched every game of the Mavs/Heat Finals. Amd I said, "I don't think Kidd really has much of a rebounding or defensive advantage over Nash." So, I didn't say Kidd is the same as Nash on defense. I said the advantage isn't much.

Kidd has great anticipation and knows the plays so he got some steals here and there. Also, he was decent as a part of the team defense. But, come on, he wasn't exactly playing suffocating defense on anyone. And anyway, my real question was if Dirk could've done it with Nash + same teammates, not whether Kidd = Nash.

Anonymous Tree said...
Question for a future mailbag: in terms of how they treated the fans and the franchise (and not any statistical success they may have enjoyed with said franchise), who is the most 'bawful player in the NBA today? [Note: in case I'm not clear, my immediate examples would be LeBron or Vince Carter ... there must be worse, right? With this lockout primed to get ugly, I'm sure we'll see some additions to the list in the near future]

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