June 23, 2005

Dallas Maverick's center Shawn Bradley to retire after 12 years in the game.:
7' 6" Dallas Mavericks center Shawn Bradley will call it quits after 12 years. Many in the game may question this long-fabled warrior's decision to bow out of the game, on the precipice of immortality. Bradley retires just 31,635 points shy of Jabbar's scoring record, and a mere 18,656 rebounds shy of Chamberlain's long-standing record.

posted by hincandenza to basketball at 10:26 AM - 37 comments

Okay, maybe I'm being mean, but this is our last chance to rip on one of the biggest draft-day flops in history. Jesus, this guy was awful. Or perhaps I'm just jealous that I'm not 7'6" or taller myself, so I could be a multi-millionaire simply for existing. I'm not sure, but I'm betting he has the highest career stats for any player 7'6" or taller (disregarding the still going career of Yao Ming).

posted by hincandenza at 10:33 AM on June 23

Okay, maybe I'm being mean, but this is our last chance to rip on one of the biggest draft-day flops in history. Worse than "Big Country" for the Grizzlies? And I know it's early, but Darko is building up a nice resume of suck.

posted by grum@work at 10:42 AM on June 23

And let's not forget Michael Olowokandi.

posted by cobra! at 10:51 AM on June 23

Yeah. The Kandi-man is up there - especially considering that his year was one of the all time best. But even Bradley was better than Sam Bowie. Quick impression of a Sean Bradley block: Bradley in defensive posture, ball hits him on the back of the head. Bradley turns and swipes at the path the ball took.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:55 AM on June 23

Bradley is retiring!! I thought he quit years ago. That goes to show you the impact he has on the league!! Wait, bring him to the Clippers, they need to burn more cap space with bad players.

posted by jtrainhoopster at 12:17 PM on June 23

Here's a list of comparable players via basketballreference.com's Similarity scores: Similar Players (Career) George Johnson (909) Theo Ratliff (888) Wayne Cooper (887) Alton Lister (874) Tree Rollins (863) Terry Tyler (854) Mark West (851) Benoit Benjamin (842) Bo Outlaw (833) Caldwell Jones (832) It's a veritable Encyclopedia Stiff-anica!

posted by lilnemo at 12:18 PM on June 23

Tree Rollins, the name just makes me laugh. I'm going with Darko for worst draft all-time.

posted by mayerkyl at 12:37 PM on June 23

It's not easy being 7'6". Trust me, I know. (And where's his HoF consideration thread? Come on, people, these windmills won't fall by themselves!) And hey, Theo Ratliff? Benoit Benjamin? Tree friggin' Rollins? Who wouldn't love to have those guys in their prime, whenever that was? I know the Atlanta Hawks, just as a frinstance, would kill to have that lineup now. Ciao, Shawn. May you retire to your Utah farm to live out your years in your XXXXXXL easy chair. Maybe you'll even gain some of the weight you never put on when you needed it as a player.

posted by chicobangs at 12:37 PM on June 23

I would wager Shawn Bradley is on more NBA posters and highlight reels than any other player ever. ESPN must be deeply saddened by this news.

posted by pivo at 12:42 PM on June 23

Haterz.

posted by justgary at 01:02 PM on June 23

Two Words: Space Jam. Heh, heh....

posted by LostInDaJungle at 01:07 PM on June 23

I think everyone forgets that Bradley was drafted for height, not skill. I don't think that he was recognized as a well-developed player coming into the league (in fact, he had not even really played for a while when he was drafted); he was just so tall. Over the years, he was used primarily as a defensive presence, because it was clear he was not every going to be a scoring threat. Looking at his scoring and his rebounds only is misleading. Though he will be recognized as a bust, I think the telling statistic is 2119 blocks, 10th overall in NBA history.

posted by graymatters at 01:28 PM on June 23

Go easy on that guy. He has 10 wives to support.

posted by rcade at 01:32 PM on June 23

I think everyone forgets that Bradley was drafted for height, not skill. That may very well be the case, but like it or not, being the #2 pick in the draft leaves a player open to criticism should they perform poorly in the eyes of the fan. And the oft repeated pre-draft mantra "you can't teach height" is a load of crap, any scout who touts a player because he is tall above all else should be shot. I don't think that he was recognized as a well-developed player coming into the league... He may have been coming off a 2 year Mormon mission but he shot over 50% and grabbed just under 10 rebounds a game. At his heighth, with those numbers, I think most scouts believed that he was still developing. There was no way of knowing that those numbers would be his ceiling. But if your going to draft a player who projects to be the "next Mark Eaton", draft him accordingly. In the 4th round.

posted by lilnemo at 01:50 PM on June 23

Hey, give him credit for lasting 12 years, aight? Especially without a lot of ability or (comparatively) desire to be The Best, he did okay for himself. And height ain't everything. Look at George Muresan, or (hee hee) Frederick Weis, to name two. He didn't get injured too much, he kept his head down, and he understood his role on most of the teams he was with, whatever that role may have been at the time. He did fine when he wasn't asked to be the next Shaq or Kareem, and he could just stand in front of the basket and wave his arms. Good on him for lasting as long as he did.

posted by chicobangs at 02:06 PM on June 23

Shawn Bradley in a nutshell was fair, and thats being nice. Face it, the guy looked like a giraffe running up and down the court. He was fair in the half court set, I guess. So long Shawn Bradley, to bad you didnt play like Bill Bradley.

posted by Rage Rod 74 at 02:48 PM on June 23

Jesus, this guy was awful. Hal...you can't be awful and last twelve years in the NBA and make it to #10 on the shot block list (credit to graymatters) In 12 seasons he played for only three teams...the last 9 years with the same team...that isn't an easy thing to do. Guys who are 'awful' get waived...traded...cut or signed to 10 day contracts. No he isn't a HOFer but he deserves some credit. Saying he was the biggest bust in draft history is also completely wrong. Kwame Brown anyone? I don't even think he is the biggest bust from his own draft. It wouldn't take long to come up with a long list of high draft picks that didn't accomplish anything near what Bradley did.

posted by stofer71 at 03:11 PM on June 23

I don't even think he is the biggest bust from his own draft. I don't know about bust or not, but I looked at that draft list and thought "don't make me live through another Isaiah Rider era..."

posted by chris2sy at 03:46 PM on June 23

Hal...you can't be awful and last twelve years in the NBA I gotta agree with this. Bradley was not the most graceful gazelle to bound across a parquet floor, but in a mutli-billion business, talent evaluation is very Darwinian. Without Bradley, videogame basketball will be a little bit poorer.

posted by yerfatma at 04:12 PM on June 23

Without Bradley, videogame basketball will be a little bit poorer. Amen.

posted by lilnemo at 04:15 PM on June 23

Quick impression of a Sean Bradley block: Bradley in defensive posture, ball hits him on the back of the head. Bradley turns and swipes at the path the ball took. You forgot the part where he falls to the floor and by the time he gets up, the Mavericks have already shot the ball. Twice. All I know is that myself and my fellow Mav fan friends have been giddily text-messaging each other all day. We've played a game the past few seasons where if Shawn logged more fouls than minutes in a given game, and we were at a bar, we'd all take a shot at the end of the game. Cheers, Shawn. Thanks for the laughs and the memories. My liver thanks you for retiring.

posted by Ufez Jones at 04:46 PM on June 23

Ok, to consider the calls of "bust" on Bradley let's look at the last 25 number 2 picks. 1980 Darrell Griffith 1981 Isiah Thomas 1982 Terry Cummings 1983 Steve Stipanovich 1984 Sam Bowie 1985 Wayman Tisdale 1986 Len Bias 1987 Armon Gilliam 1988 Rik Smits 1989 Danny Ferry 1990 Gary Payton 1991 Kenny Anderson 1992 Alonzo Mourning 1993 Shawn Bradley 1994 Jason Kidd 1995 Antonio McDyess 1996 Marcus Camby 1997 Keith Van Horn 1998 Mike Bibby 1999 Steve Francis 2000 Stromile Swift 2001 Tyson Chandler 2002 Jay Williams 2003 Darko Milicic 2004 Emeka Okafor The picks in that slot since him have generally had better careers than Bradley but he measures up to a few on the list. He's at least better than Stipanovich, aliver than Bias and healthier than Jay Williams.

posted by gspm at 05:13 PM on June 23

In 12 seasons he played for only three teams...the last 9 years with the same team...that isn't an easy thing to do. Guys who are 'awful' get waived...traded...cut or signed to 10 day contracts. ... or get themselves stuck on teams with contracts no other team is stupid enough to take on. Bradley's longevity seems more about the salary cap than anything he did on the floor.

posted by rcade at 05:37 PM on June 23

Bradley wasnt the best player around. Yes, he was a huge bust in the Draft. You can make fun of how bad he was or of his Morman faith. In the end he spent alot longer in the NBA than any of us could have ever hoped for. He got that opportunity because he was tall. I have known many tall people who didnt play BB because they couldnt walk and chew gum at the same time. I admire Bradley, and anybody else that makes it to the NBA despite their talant.

posted by daddisamm at 05:47 PM on June 23

In the end he spent alot longer in the NBA than any of us could have ever hoped for. If he's not 7-6, he's not in the nba. I admire him for (I guess) not overreacting when he became a running joke. Not much else.

posted by justgary at 06:13 PM on June 23

What is up with all the Bradley hating?? ... or get themselves stuck on teams with contracts no other team is stupid enough to take on. Bradley made around 4mil the last year...hardly big money by NBA standards. The Mavs could have gotten rid of him if they wanted to. Do you think that maybe they were happy to have a shot blocking specialist to come off the bench for that money? FYI...he had a player option for next year, so he passed on 4.8mil to hang out and block some shots. My admittidly limited research shows that nobody who produced more for the Mavs earned less then he did. Near as I can tell Abdul-Wahad didn't log a minute and brought in a cool 7mil. if Shawn logged more fouls than minutes in a given game, and we were at a bar, we'd all take a shot at the end of the game. I would think that Mav's playoff performances would be enough to send you to the bottle. (sorry...that was too easy) I have seen so many strings on SpoFi that bash the idiot rich jerk athlete (deservedly). Bradley is, by all accounts, a good guy who did what he could (wasn't much to be sure). Can't we just reach up real high and give him a pat on the lower back?

posted by stofer71 at 06:44 PM on June 23

Bradley's job was to be tall. He did that pretty well.

posted by graymatters at 06:53 PM on June 23

I would take him on the Celtics next year for 4 million per, if someone would take the Corpse of Mark Blount.

posted by yerfatma at 06:55 PM on June 23

Bradley made around 4mil the last year...hardly big money by NBA standards. The Mavs could have gotten rid of him if they wanted to. Do you think that maybe they were happy to have a shot blocking specialist to come off the bench for that money? FYI...he had a player option for next year, so he passed on 4.8mil to hang out and block some shots. My admittidly limited research shows that nobody who produced more for the Mavs earned less then he did. Near as I can tell Abdul-Wahad didn't log a minute and brought in a cool 7mil. Some of that hatin' may stem from the fact that Don Nelson held him up as the panacea for the Mavs losing ways. In fact when Bradley was brought in he was among, if not, the highest paid player on the Mavs from 98-02, check it. Maybe Shawn felt he owed it to the squad to hang on at a "reasonable price" these last few years to make up for all that money he stole. :p Not that I blame him one bit. Aloha Shawn.

posted by lilnemo at 06:59 PM on June 23

My admittidly limited research shows that nobody who produced more for the Mavs earned less then he did. Near as I can tell Abdul-Wahad didn't log a minute and brought in a cool 7mil. It amazes me how little love Josh Howard gets nationally. He was easily the 2nd most important Maverick this year, and earns less than a million a season. I would think that Mav's playoff performances would be enough to send you to the bottle. (sorry...that was too easy) Heh. Fair enough. Too bad Finley's still in denial that he's no longer a starter, wounded ankle notwithstanding.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:01 PM on June 23

It amazes me how little love Josh Howard gets nationally... I thought I might be wrong on that one...but in the spirit of being a know-it-all I had to say it. I should be doubly embarrassed by the fact that Howard was on my fantasy basketball team this year.

posted by stofer71 at 09:28 PM on June 23

I submit Les Jepsen and Dwayne Schintzius who both inexplicably played for the '91-'92 Sacramento Kings. It was the post-Ralph Sampson era. The year after having four selections in the draft.

posted by geekyguy at 09:51 PM on June 23

It amazes me how little love Josh Howard gets nationally He gets no love locally because he torches the Celts every time we play them. Dwayne Schintzius, on the other hand, gets mad love: while still in school somewhere in Florida, he once spit on a kid who asked "How's the weather up there?" Dwayne's reply was, "Raining."

posted by yerfatma at 07:06 AM on June 24

This has got to be the longest SpoFi discussion about Shawn Bradley ever...

posted by MeatSaber at 07:30 AM on June 24

I think this is probably more than Shawn's own family talks about him. I liked him, though, just for the sheer alienness of his body. It always looked like Plasticman running down the court.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:34 PM on June 24

I remember reading articles about Bradley the year he was drafted talking about exactly why he wouldn't be a bist.

posted by gyc at 11:32 PM on June 24

I'm glad I inspired some conversation, but I stand by what I said in crafting this thread. Granted, he's been about the most successfully 7'6" or taller man in the NBA (a career far superior to Manute Bol, or Gheorghe Muresan, for example, and with too much Yao left to pass judgment yet). And it does come as a surprise to find he's 10th all time in blocks, although as noted that's about *all* he contributed- and at his size you should expect at least that! So yes, perhaps he is not a complete and total bust. But someone who is

  1. SEVEN feet SIX inches tall
  2. Drafted 2nd in the NBA draft
had better be notable for something! Shot blocking specialist he may have been, but typically a shot blocker like him will end up being a big tree in the middle that the opposing team can easily move around; he'll get 3-4 blocks a night if he puts in the minutes, but little else. Take a look at his career numbers: he had a mediocre career, which is doubly embarassing if you're that tall and a former #2 pick. When a full-time, starting player, he put up about 10/7/3 in points, rebounds, and blocks: those numbers are respectable if he were coming off the bench. But those numbers kept dwindling, until he became an utterly one-dimensional role player. Let's look back to April 7, 1998, Shawn Bradley had a career game: 22 points, to go alongside 22 rebounds and 13 blocked shots. When you're 7'6" tall, that should be far more typical than it was with him. Whenever I saw Bradley, gifted with terrific height but mediocre coordination and no passion, I though "If he just PUSHED himself, like a true athlete with that killer instinct..." he could have been a noteworthy player. Maybe never a true All-Star, but a solid contributor throughout his career. It really boils down to the idea that if he were 7' instead of 7'6", he'd have never gotten a penny from the NBA; that he could squander that size and do so little with it. By comparison, imagine if Shaq had come in the league and ended up with Bradley's numbers- we'd excoriate him! I suspect with any of us SpoFites who love sports, if we woke up tomorrow 7'6" tall, would bust our asses to be the BEST player we could be, because the size alone is a huge advantage if you want it hard enough. Bradley... Bradley never really seemed like he was putting the effort in. It's kind of the frustration I have when watching Yao Ming... you see his size, his basic skills, see some okay numbers, but still think, "Why aren't you putting up 30 a game?! Why don't you have 15 rebounds a night?!" Yao has been good in his NBA career, but has never really been a dominating player, and he actually seems too soft to be successful long term.

posted by hincandenza at 01:13 AM on June 25

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