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Favorite NBA Player

May 23, 2012

Last night, our team had a practice game with another local high school and the boys put in a great performance. One of the players came away with 32 points (in 4 ten minute quarters) and was what I would call, King Under The Ring. At the end of the night, I gestured to hand him the MVP trophy, but I had nothing to hand over. The team understood and we all smiled. It was a cool moment and it got me thinking that it would be fun to get some figures of some of the finest in the NBA, that I can present (and reuse) for outstanding performances. Dennis Rodman is on the top of my list, and will be awarded for most rebounds and/or best team player. Some of the other personalities I am considering are:

Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, Scottie Pippen, and of course, Michael Jordan.

I want to represent a variety of skills/positions and I need to be relatively current and high profile or some of the meaning will be lost on the students. They don’t regularly watch NBA games here. Perhaps I can change that for next year. πŸ˜‰

Any suggestions for addition or exclusion would be gratefully received. I would like to place an order within the next couple of days. πŸ˜€


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16 Comments
  1. May 23, 2012 7:36 pm

    Loved “the Worm” when he was a Piston.

    Loved Isaiah Thomas. He had some amazing games.

    Larry Bird was my nemesis.

    Magic. Dr. J.

    And Jordan will always be the Greatest.

    πŸ™‚

  2. Blankman permalink*
    May 23, 2012 8:34 pm

    Gotta go with #23. There may never be a player in the echelon of Jordan. Don’t even get me started on the Kobe comparisons to Jordan. Kobe is a hater; always has been, always will be. Dr. J was a player before his time. His hang time & finger rolls were ridiculous. Much of his playing time was before the slam dunk was allowed in the game.

    It figures that Suns would go with a fellow Canuck (Steve Nash). I’ll admit that the guy has skills, but one of the greatest? Hmmm? And to think that soccer was his first sport!

    IMO, Dwight Howard is a joke & Scottie Pippen rode the coattails of MJ. Look what he did when MJ left. That’s right, nothing. KG is good, but not worthy for the all-time list. Even though Tim Duncan is a snoozefest, you can’t sweat his credentials. He’s a winner without any flash. That’s the only reason why no one’s on his bandwagon except San Antonio fans.

  3. May 23, 2012 9:24 pm

    Then there is the discussion regarding “great teams”.

    80’s Celtics, Lakers and Pistons. Till they all bowed down to #23…

  4. 3Suns permalink*
    May 23, 2012 11:20 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, guys! Great to hear from you and get some insights. Sincerely, I had never heard of Steve, Dwight, Kevin, or Dwyane, until yesterday! LOL But their figures were plentiful and cheap on Amazon. LOLOL

    Then, when I looked into their stats, I saw that each one of them had several major accomplishments under his belt. Steve caught my eye more because he is one of the rare 3 point shooter breed – the best who was probably Bird. Dwight caught my eye because he won the Defensive Player of the Year 3 times. That can’t be a joke unless the whole frickin’ league is a joke (though I suspect he is kind of like the Teebow of the NBA which may serve to stoke the hater fires). Anyway, you make me double think some of my choices, though I cannot afford some of the classic legend/rare dolls. πŸ˜‰

    P.S. After I posted this, I realized that part of it was a little like our FOD “Awards”. hee hee hee

    • Blankman permalink*
      May 24, 2012 6:22 am

      BTW: The league is a joke, Mike. You can count the teams that actually play as a “team” on one hand. That’s why the Pistons beat the Lakers “Dream Team” for their fourth championship because Detroit played team ball in ’03-’04 season. The game today is nothing more than primadonnas showboating and one-trick ponies. Dwight Howard is one of those ponies. Who can’t block a grip of shots when they’re 7′? Put him on the free throw line & he shoots so many bricks that he could build entire neighborhoods’ chimneys. Seriously.

    • May 24, 2012 10:28 am

      Exactly Blankman. I am a huge bball fan (my natural sport), but I haven’t watched the NBA since the Pistons in 03-04. They played pretty good ball those few years, but still nothing in comparison to the teams from the 80’s-early 90’s that I mentioned above. NBA is dead. Full of Narcissists.

  5. May 24, 2012 10:38 am

    I wouldn’t put Rodman as a team player. He was selfish but in a different area. Going for Defense and Rebounds as opposed to offense, he blatantly didn’t want to score even at the teams expense when he grabbed offensive rebounds. While that might have worked in teams with great scorers, it would have been dismal in teams that didn’t have great scoring.

    Scottie Pippen would be a better choice for the ultimate team player. I have to disagree with Blankman. When MJ retired the first time around, the Bulls were really close to a Finals trip. During that year Pippen led them in almost every category, and in the All-Star game he had an “MJ” like performance.

    If you watch youtube games of MJ and Pippen post his first retirement, you can see why the 96′ Bulls were considered the best team of modern basketball. He wasn’t playing second fiddle anymore, he was being just as aggressive as MJ, except he also had assists and a long range game to go along with. Watch the pacers game were they both went 40+ and Rodman had ton of rebounds as well.

    The only reason Pippen didn’t do much afterwards, was age and crappy teams.

    Steve Nash, shouldn’t be in the talk. #1 He can’t play defense. #2 His offensive reads mainly happen on fast break and Pick & Roll scenarios. He is a machine in those situations but if you get him out of that, he is not as effective. Which is what the Lakers and Spurs did to them time and time again.

    The ultimate Point Guard will always be John Stockton. Magic Johnson would be close (but he was more of a freak of nature like Lebron than a true Point Guard). Plus Magic can’t really shoot a jumper. Stockton could run the offense, could kill you in half court, could shoot from anywhere and attack the basket, and nail the clutch shots.

    Larry Bird is kind of a touchy subject. I would say he is a bit overrated. He was playing with Kevin and Robert, so that front court opened up his option both in offense and defense that he normally wouldn’t have otherwise. The other thing is that he wasn’t athletic, which proved he really had one of the best minds in the game, but would he be able to be as dominant in other eras? I really doubt it, I see him like what Dirk Nowitzki did in the past years. Strong and solid offensive performances and shooting but in need of a great supporting cast to win a championship. He is still a legend, but he shouldn’t be in the prime spot for “The Greatest of All-time” as he is avidly put in. The 3 MVPs in a row are great, but over the years the league made sure that no other player got voted that many times in a row.

    Which brings me to Bill Russell, 8 championships. Another player that has a great basketball mind, even coaching while playing in one of those. Would he be as legendary without the Hall of Fame cast around him? Obviously back then he would have been dominant no matter what the team looked like, but he certainly wouldn’t have 8 rings. He is a great player to watch on his battles with Wilt.

    Kareem is another player I think got overrated over time. He did manage to stay healthy and be productive over the years, but then again So did Kobe, and here is were I completely disagree with Blank about Kobe, MJ faded the last two years with the bulls. The team was coming apart, and I am pretty sure that had he played up to the time he played with the wizards, his legacy would have been a lot different.

    Just as the team would have fallen apart sooner had he not retired in 93′.

    Kobe hasn’t retired so he has had to endure something that Michael didn’t have to endure. Rebuilding of your team while in your prime, and now possibly another rebuilding after their loss to the Thunder. Meanwhile Kobe is still in the top 3 in scoring, even after 16 consecutive seasons.

    and Michael himself if you look at the numbers and specially with the new metrics, aside from his steals and scoring, you can see a lot of players having better effectiveness as basketball players. He was like a mix of Kobe and Dwayne Wade.

    and overall if you break down his game, like Phil said, he had the best hands in the business paired with great athleticism and the will to win (The Flu game). He and Bill are the greatest competitors in the game.

    but to me he isn’t the best overall basketball player. Like Pippen said last year, Lebron is still in the chase for that, and even thought he has choked countless of times by now, Maturity is the only roadblock in his path. This year it seemed like he really had it together in his head. If you look at his year now, compare it to MJ on his first championship year, and the stats only go one way by 2-3 digits. All he needs is to not choke this year, and the comparisons will be triggered again.

    The league is just shifting. It is a lot better now than it was a few years ago. A lot of people do not remember but when the Finals was Spurs and Nets, everyone switched channels. Teamwork is great if you are playing, everyone scoring evenly, heck that’s how the 76ers play every game, but it’s “Boring!” as heck to watch.

    Legendary teams like the Pistons in their championships or the Knicks of Ewing’s era. They played tough defense and scoring evenly every night, but man were they hard to watch. I dare you pay a season’s pass or go to every game of a team with no player that scores more than 20 points, and plays the same routine over and over.

    People would rather watch an exciting team lose than a teamwork oriented team win. That would be like pitting Mike Fratello’s Cavaliers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves.

  6. 3Suns permalink*
    May 24, 2012 3:29 pm

    Great reads, Guys. Thank you!

    Ok, let me ask another question to Kenny. Are McFarlane figures nice? Can I expect when these come in the mail that they will resemble the actual people they model? Or should I just go the cartoony way with the Headliner Big head type caricature stuff (it is definitely more affordable)?

    • Blankman permalink
      May 24, 2012 8:15 pm

      The McFarlane figures are pre-posed which means that they are essentially 6-7″ statues. The athletes’ likenesses are pretty good. No bobble heads here. πŸ˜‰

    • 3Suns permalink*
      May 24, 2012 9:47 pm

      Pre-posed is fine for our purposes. Thanks! πŸ˜€

      P.S. Just went ahead and bought the NBA-TV subscription for the rest of the finals (which includes archives to all games this season – and maybe even some from past seasons). Very slick, and the club will be picking up the tab. This new I-can-watch-American-sports-in-other-countries stuff is fan-frickin-tastic. It makes being far away just that much less painful.

  7. May 25, 2012 10:18 am

    3Suns:

    Stuff I would show your team:

    Reggie Miller or Ray Allen – They are masters at running off screens, getting open, catch and shoot. Especially look for Reggie’s vs. Knicks 95′ Playoff series game 1

    Pick & Roll/Two Man game/ Fastbreak:

    Stockton & Malone

    Post Moves and Blocking:

    Olajuwon

    I don’t remember if his quadruple double game is on video.

    Olajuwon teaching Dwight: http://youtu.be/3NmzOG7r_Mg

    • Blankman permalink
      May 25, 2012 12:43 pm

      I would only show the Miller & Allen vid if you have players that are pure shooters. Their ability to catch & instantly shoot off of screens were what made those two so good. Reggie Miller was a three-point shooting machine who could shoot well past the three-point line. In fact, he could hit almost from anywhere at will. Although I can’t stand Ray Allen because he’s on the Celtics, he gets props. As far as the pick & roll, the tandem of Malone & Stockton can’t be topped. That was their bread & butter which they shredded teams with. The Dream deserves to be on the all-time list because his play was absolutely spectacular. He was one of the reasons why The Rockets were relevant even after Ralph Sampson retired even though Cylde Drexler would join the team years later.

  8. May 25, 2012 10:24 am

    Forgot, I thought about it and a better fit for overall teamwork: Jason Kidd, in his prime he was a triple double machine. Granted he wasn’t tasked to be the defensive assignment each night like Pippen, but he was the complete package in offense and defense. He is #2 all-time in steals, and aside of Oscar Robertson (which is the only guy ever to average a triple double per game), of modern basketball only Lebron is the other player who can impact a game in as many areas and add wins.

  9. 3Suns permalink*
    May 25, 2012 1:23 pm

    You guys are frickin’ awesome! Thanks for the goodies and the info.

    P.S. Like the NFL, the NBA has finally realized that it is in their best interest to start serving up games (including archives) via Internet subscriptions. Got one yesterday and we can move the account to any machine, including the coaches iPad.

    For my own reference (again, thanks for the intros Guys!)

  10. May 28, 2012 11:55 am

    Also my favorite site for stats: http://www.basketball-reference.com/

    Found another good category Sixth Men, role players who are very effective with little minutes on the floor.

    Detlef Schrempf was one of my faves, basically he didn’t start a game, and was basically the head scorer of the second act, and averaged the same as any starter in the league. He did play a good amount of mintues during his sixth man of the year awards. Getting 50% from the field and shooting 80% from the free throw.

    There are other more recently like Manu Ginobili, Leandro Barbosa, etc.

    Manu is the weirdest player, he can be your MVP on a series or a playoff and then just become a bench or role player the next year. I think he is the most inconsistent player that has ever won multiple championships.

  11. June 11, 2012 8:10 am

    Lebron showing signs of more greatness. First player since Shaq to average more than 30 points in a series, including a game that was similar to Wilt’s dominance. If they win it all it will be a remarkable journey of how he was hated last year, was counted as a sidekick to Dwayne Wade and how he wouldn’t get the same credit for teaming up with the if he won a championship. To where he is today, winning MVP regardless of Dwayne and Bosh, and taking over games against the celtics. Regardless Lebron-Durant Westbrook-Wade is probably the best matchup of superstars we have had in a long long time. It’s going to be a great Finals!

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