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Showing results for tags '3-Time National College Player of the Year'.
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I think what you say is perfectly reasonable. Ironically, I remember, or at least think I remember (visually remember), Walton better from college than I do the pros - I have this film in my mind of him running in to receive an alley-oop pass, jumping up, catching it in mid-air, and laying it in off the board. (At some point, weren't alley-oop passes illegal somewhere?) Also ironically, it was Walton who first gave LeBron James so much hype - he was the on-court commentator for James' nationally televised high-school game, and I distinctly remember him saying, "[LeBron James] is the best high school player I have ever seen." Perhaps most interesting of all: I bet that if you asked self-described "NBA fans" which team(s) Bill Walton played for, the majority of them - perhaps the vast majority of them - would say "Portland" (where he won his championship) "Boston" (where he played with Bird and won his second championship, and how do we not have a thread on Larry Legend?) or "Portland and Boston." In reality, the team he spent the most time with was the Clippers which is doubly amazing because they ended up being right there, in Los Angeles, where he rose to stardom. Bill Walton's NBA stats are incredibly mediocre: 13.3 points per game, 10.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 blocks. He *never* averaged more than 18.9 ppg. But man, did he come out (forgive me) Blazing, averaging 13.5 rebounds per game over his first four seasons, and winning it all in 1976-1977. That's when he began suffering from chronic injuries so severe that he couldn't overcome them - this is a good article: "The Ecstasy and the Agony" by Shaun Powell on sportsonearth.com I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for his college career, Bill Walton would not be in the Hall of Fame - what he did in college was so extreme that it sort-of "carried over" into the pros, and his reputation tagged along with it. He was great in the NBA, but it was for such a preciously brief period that few remember, but man oh man was he good in college - first-team all-time college player for sure (you'd have to move him to power forward to let Alcindor play center). This would make a great thread - who else would be on it? Maravich for sure. Christian Laettner? Oscar Robertson? Adrian Dantley? This would be one heck of a tough team to fill based *exclusively* on the players' college record, and completely ignoring what they did in the pros. Dave, you should start a thread and see what you come up with. "When Healthy, How Good was Bill Walton?" on basketballforum.com
What do you say about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Not much. You just bow your head in thanks that you got to live during his lifetime. 03/29/15 - "Why I Converted to Islam" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on america.aljazeera.com