Well, since we're doing some friendly bragging, I'll just stick with the city I'm from - Muhammad Ali (that's kinda hard to top), Wes Unseld, Pee Wee Reese, Paul Hornung, Phil Simms, Darrell Griffith and the Louisville Slugger bat and Kentucky Derby. It's funny - Muhammad Ali almost ran over my Dad one day. My Dad grew up in the West End of Louisville, where Ali lived. Dad was going through a crosswalk and Ali screeched up to the intersection, rolled down his window and yelled "Hey kid get out of the street!" Dad still kinda holds a grudge on that... :)
posted by BobbyLove at 08:51 AM on July 13
Well, what was Ben Wallace doing on that list? He's overrated as the Defensive champ? He's overrated as the rebounding champ (which would be hard as that is a statistical award)? I would agree that the criteria slid around a bit to have Vince Carter and Antoine Walker on the list. ESPN's Web content can be pretty seat-of-the-pants, though. I've heard of Walker because I don't like UK (where he played in college), and because I watch Detroit now. I do think shooting percentage is more important than experts make it out to be - it's awful to have to play with someone who shoots a lot and doesn't hit a lot. Walker has to be a drain on team morale. But I agree with Bernreuther, it's hard for him to be overrated when he's hardly 'rated.' In the NBA, I would nominate... I can't find an All-Star roster from last year, so this will have to wait...
posted by BobbyLove at 09:39 PM on June 24
Johnny Dawkins! Or that William Avery kid! Actually, Dawkins had a decent pro career...
posted by BobbyLove at 03:12 PM on June 22
Hey don't forget DeJuan Wheat's time with the TWolves and then Lakers! Also being a UofL fan, I'm often disappointed with how they do in the pros. Cliff Rozier comes to mind as someone who was bust-ish at Louisville and then kicked around the pros a bit (although he apparently has a psychological illness of some kind - so I try not to go too hard on him). Maybe Reece will work out..?
posted by BobbyLove at 12:43 PM on June 20
You know we often say the great players like Jordan, Magic, Bird, Isaiah, make the players around them better. Because it is a team game. I think Rodman did that. Anybody who can be 6'9" or so and guard Shaq (which he did) has to be considered darn good, especially with the gaudy rebounding numbers he had. He was also quite adept at the triangle offense. His passes often were a bit too hot for the recipients, but his angles and anticipation were good. As for Wallace, check out the Sports Guy's column. He is pretty good with the NBA except for his Boston love and Detroit and LA hate. He lists Ben Wallace as the 17th best player in the league. I'd maybe put him up a few more notches than that. If the Paul Pierces of the league were really the best players why did Team Usa do horribly at the World Championships?
posted by BobbyLove at 07:30 AM on June 02
Here's Mitch Albom's take and Drew Sharp's. They are the lead sports columnists for the Detroit Free Press. Albom you probably know. Basically the word is that Carlisle was too rude and contrary with the administrative side of the Pistons. In part, too, important players like Chauncey Billups, Chucky Atkins, Tayshaun and others made their feelings known that the team had to run more. Kevin Garnett would like to be reunited with Billups, and so Detroit is wishing on a star a bit, too, and thinking they could maybe get Garnett... which it would help to have a high profile coach. As for Van Gundy, I'm no Van Gundy fan, but he did take a very weak New York Knicks team to the NBA finals, in part on a lucky Allan Houston shot...
posted by BobbyLove at 07:05 AM on June 02
Oh, and on the earlier point - I think the Converse example is good... While you could maybe say if Lebron were the last player to ever sign a shoe deal, that it would be better for Reebok or Adidas to lose money on him (as far as Nike's concerned). But what happened to Converse, who had Bird and Magic, was that Nike got Jordan. And even if they had overpaid for Jordan, that move allowed them to sew up the league. Think of all the players who had Nike shoes in the Jordan prime - Barkley, David Robinson, Jordan, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Scottie Pippen, etc. Plus every schmoe wore Nikes. Remember part of the start of the playoffs used to be the Bulls coming out with black Nike shoes. SHOES would signal the beginning of the playoffs. Only with Jordan leaving the league (the first two times) have other companies been able to get in the door. That's what Nike is thinking with Lebron. They think he'll be the marketing superstar with which to snare a bunch of other current and future players. Kobe and Shaq are not 'real' enough, TMac doesn't have enough charisma ('Big Sleep' anyone), Garnett is in Minnesota. So Reebok has the only decent pitchman (for shoes anyway) in Allen Iverson. Nike doesn't want them to combine Illy and Lebron.
posted by BobbyLove at 12:15 PM on May 23
But hey you've got Adonal Foyle! He writes poetry! It might make an interesting column to discuss how the NBA has left behind traditional centers... Now you need TMac or Kenyon Martin or Dirk Nowitzki... The prototype player is now 6'9" and can shoot the three.
posted by BobbyLove at 12:04 PM on May 23
Everybody but LA and SA needs an own-the-paint center. I'd rather have a Vlade myself. Somebody who can outlet the ball and who can play all the phases of the game, but who doesn't need to have the ball on every possession. I seem to remember reading that Alonzo Mourning has been cleared to play, but I would be worried (if I were a GM) that he would be a Dikembe - slow up and down the floor, and complaining if he didn't get enough touches. Oooohh... maybe Detroit can get Darko and Vlade! That would rock! I don't know what Vlade's free agency status is, or anything... but that would be a nice pair. Vlade could bring Darko along (maybe play them both at once). One free agent center to consider, too, is Olowokandi.
posted by BobbyLove at 07:03 AM on May 23
Well, as a Pistons fan, and one who is starting to worry about a sweep, I am speculating on their draft choice, too. The problem is, Joe D(umars) is pretty hard to read on draft choices (or free agency, for that matter). Last year, if you had told me, or most any NBA pundit "They're getting rid of Stackhouse and bringing in Richard Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and drafting Tayshuan Prince" I would have cried. When they drafted Prince, I was disappointed. I saw him a lot in college (being a Louisville fan) and was unimpressed. But he's certainly turned out to be an excellent pick. Will probably be an excellent team player (I say a 13 - 6 guy) for a long time. Chauncey and Rip didn't look great to me in free agency. I still saw Chaunce as the Boston guy, and he's a lot better, and Hamilton is becoming one of my favorite players. I saw in some report in the Free Press that Jordan thought he 'stole' Stack from Dumars for Rip. Yeah, okay, MJ... Why don't you steal Don Reid from us for Jared Jeffries (egads! the Wiz roster is horrible!). My guess would be Darko, as most mock drafts seem to be leaning towards. I have not seen a lot of Anthony, but I've seen no D from him, and that would be a requirement. I think they almost more need a stopper who can truly handle a Tracy McGrady of Jason Kidd, than they need a scorer. They need a Bruce Bowen or Doug Christie. But a post scorer would be excellent, as those are always hard to come by, and Darko could dominate the East. Let Memo be the best backup center in the league. I'm almost more interested with who Detroit can dig up with the 25th pick. Has anyone looked at ESPN's mock draft? It takes a lot of the fun out when you don't recognize half of the players...
posted by BobbyLove at 09:30 PM on May 22
Oh, and I'm always amazed at the "talent" rule - that in all walks of life evaluators always pick the person with the most talent as the person most likely to succeed. In hindsight, though, in most endeavours, success is the result of talent, work, luck, perseverance, etc., etc.
posted by BobbyLove at 04:11 PM on May 22
On why Nike would pay so much - I heard an apocryphal story that Coca-Cola continued to advertise (and spent quite a bit on it) to make the market more difficult for rival soft drink companies. By driving up the costs of advertising, they were putting the squeeze on Pepsi. I heard something similar from someone who worked at Anheuser-Busch. One year Augustus, or Adolphus, decided not to advertise, because it seemed like a tremendous waste of resources with all of the Busch brands in the lead. So they didn't advertise and sold just as much beer as the year before. But all of their competitors improved their sales. So they returned to advertising. Nike won't get $90 million in return on LeBron. But they really don't want Reebok or Adidas to have him.
posted by BobbyLove at 04:09 PM on May 22
Oh, and also, I'm not sure why Detroit sportswriters have immediately decided that New Jersey is the better team. They are, of course, but Detroit is, in some ways, playing better this series than they did in the first two (with the exception of actually closing Philly out in Game 6, when most pundits thought Iverson would not lose that game).
posted by BobbyLove at 03:51 PM on May 22
I only saw the first one and, as a Pistons fan, I'm surprised little to nothing has been written about the flagrant foul called on Mehmet Okur at the end of Game 1 (fouling Rodney Rogers on a fast break). I actually missed the play, but saw all the replays that followed immediately afterward. It doesn't seem at all as if he was not playing the ball, which would be the prereq for the flagrant... It seemed to be the final momentum killer. Tom Tolbert TOTALLY jinxed them, though - right when they finished their run that put them up by 10, he said "A 10-point lead is HUGE in a game like this" and they lost the whole thing.
posted by BobbyLove at 03:50 PM on May 22
What just happened to Michigan, and the fact that Harrick is a two-time offender, would probably deter most big-time schools from taking a flyer on him. I think the rules should be adhered to, but when you are punishing a school at which none of the people involved with the infraction are even around anymore, that seems pretty capricious. I think it's pretty fishy how he tends to build his programs on knockout recruits everywhere he goes (I'm thinking about Lamar Odom at Rhode Island, in particular, but also he was always in the running for the superstars at Georgia, too). You could surmise he's a heck of a recruiter, but it looks now like he's a heck of a cheater. Given the way young players think they're all locks for the League, the pitch is probably something like "You come to Georgia, guy, and I will buy you any and everything. By the time allegations come to light, you'll be in the pros anyway!"
posted by BobbyLove at 09:07 AM on May 21
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