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Found 80 results

  1. Manu Ginobili has been one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA basketball over its long history, and coincidentally has a career which overlaps with Dwayne Wade's. Interesting ballplayer. While he has been a starter he's been a 6th man most of his career. He's played on one of the dominant franchises in NBA history; The San Antonio Spurs during the 2000's to this year, 2014, and similarly strong from 1990. That franchise has had 21 seasons of 50 wins or more since 1990, a truly astounding record of strength, competitiveness, dominance at times, and sustained long term excellence. Ginobili started his professional basketball career in South America and Europe, was drafted in the 2nd round by the spurs but stayed a few more years in European leagues before coming to the NBA. He ends up being one of the true international basketball stars, playing with dominance in several leagues. Ginobili has been a cog inside the San Antonio powerhouse basketball teams, being one of three stars with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker over their long run through the last dozen years. Ginobili primarily took a 2ndary role but has had astounding single game performances and many clutch games and moments. This long video shows his highlights in a number of areas, dribbling, passing, shooting driving, defense, etc. Another player with long term spectacular skills.
  2. The points per game say it all: 2003-2004: 21.0 2004-2005: 20.8 2005-2006: 26.9 2006-2007: 28.5 2007-2008: 25.7 2008-2009: 22.8 2009-2010: 28.2 2010-2011: 25.6 2011-2012: 22.6 2012-2013: 28.7 2013-2014: 27.4 2014-2015: 24.2 2015-2016: 21.4
  3. Yeah, Elvin: got to watch him while he was with the Bullets. Elvin had a variety of skills that contributed toward winning. While he played here the Bullets were in the NBA finals 3 times winning once. He shared big man responsibilities with Wes Unseld and those two made that team one of the best in the league over that era. Elvin was also a “black hole” as a shooter. Get him the ball in that down low position and he never passed back- shooting all the time. IIRC he was also “indestructible” virtually never missing games. Come to think of it. if he didn’t play with Unseld so long he would have accumulated lot’s more rebounds. So much for pure stats, in that case, as the two were a formidable big man tandem that made the team strong. Here is a link to tremendous research on Hayes, his development, his “prickly” personality, and life provided by a a hard working DC sports fan. Great research: I pulled that “black hole” comment from memory, but the article gives it perspective of which I was unaware. Interesting that Hayes and Unseld were a phenomenal historically strong big man combo but their personal relationship was far less than ideal.
  4. The first time I saw LeBron James play was on the nationally televised high school game against Oak Hill Academy. Before the game, then-announcer Bill Walton came right out and said that James was 'the best high school player he had ever seen.' In that game, James scored 31, with 13 rebounds and 6 assists; yet, only went 12-25 from the field. There were moments of greatness, but the incredible pressure of national TV had clearly compromised his performance. No longer. "History! LeBron Nets 61, Heat Top Bobcats, 124-107" by Tim Reynolds on abcnews.com In a career-high scoring effort, James shot 22-33 from the field, including his first *eight* 3-point attempts. He scored 25 points in the 3rd quarter alone. James makes greatness look easy - he dominates without looking like he's dominating. Who do you go with right now, James or Durant? It's so nice having both to see, to witness. Career stats
  5. In the midst of the NBA playoffs, the Warriors have beaten the Houston Rockets twice; once in which Stephen Curry played only 20 minutes, lit up the scoring, then got hurt and sat for the rest of the rout(game). In the 2nd match up, Curry didn't play due to injury...opening up tremendous opportunities for Houston. Didn't pan out though as the Golden State Warriors won again, even without Curry. Of course there could be a variety of reasons for the results...but one suggestion is that James Harden's defense is simply not that stellar. Below a video of some of his shining moments on defense: "Great Moments in James Harden Defensive History" on espn.go.com
  6. You often hear - generally derisively - when someone scores a "triple-double" (10+ points, rebounds, and assists) in the NBA these days, an old-timer (like me!) say, "Big deal. Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double for an *entire season*!" Well, that's true, he did, in the 1961-1962 season, but while looking at his statistics, I noticed something else: he averaged a triple-double for his first FIVE seasons. All it took was a little simple arithmetic - click here and you can see for yourself. And, he came a gnat's eyelash away from averaging a triple-double for his first SIX seasons (after his sixth season, his rebounds per game average went down to 9.95+ ... if he had gotten just 4 more rebounds per season, he would have done it for six years). All this, *and* he averaged over 30 points per game during those seasons - his first six in the NBA! That's unbelievable. "The Big O" has got to be on the short list of greatest basketball players ever, with serious consideration as *the best* guard in history. People talk about how tall Magic was, but Robertson was 6'5" fully fifty-five years ago and playing point guard! "Kareem Says Oscar Robertson Better Than Jordan Or LeBron" by Kurt Helin on nba.nbcsports.com Google "How good was Oscar Robertson?" There's a lot of interesting reading. You know, even I've gotten sucked into thinking "Jordan's the greatest ever," but you can't say that if you didn't see Robertson, Chamberlain, Russell, Baylor, and Abdul-Jabbar in their primes. You just can't!
  7. Curry is far and away the best shooter I have ever seen. Maravich is on the fringe of being "before my time" but I have seen no one better in my time. I'll take Magic over Larry. They are the 2 best I have ever seen though and the game was never better than Magic's Lakers vs Bird's Celtics- greatest team sports rivalry of my lifetime.
  8. Stephen Curry: His unique version: Float Like a Butterfly Sting Like a Bee Stephen Curry has surprisingly risen to the very upper echelon's of professional basketball. Last year he led his team, the Golden State Warriors to a tremendous regular season record and an NBA championship. He was the league MVP. His play epitomizes the changing nature of the pro game of basketball-> more outside in than inside out. His ascendancy is surprising. While he was a relatively high draft choice, he had been a very slight shooting guard from a small school. He only played point guard in his last year of college so he was not an accomplished ball handler. His father, though, was a noted NBA sharpshooter before him. Curry's improvement is spectacular. He is clearly one of the premier, most important, most valuable players in professional basketball at the moment. With all that Curry is extraordinarily fun to watch. He really seems to float, not run. Its as if his feet and coordinated extraordinary ball control are moving in a different dimension but all in sync and only he knows where he and the ball are going. On top of that he has the deadliest outside shot, with a quick release. He is dangerous. And to top it off, he is a "dancing celebrating athlete in his prime". Watch him play and dance. Entirely different but reminiscent of Mohammed Ali in his fighting, floating, stinging prime. "Best of Steph Curry's Incredible Start" on espn.go.com
  9. Admittedly I'm a basketball junkie. Its nice to have an outlet like this section of DR.com. I can rip off a quick piece without the need to create my own blog, be an editor, research, write, rewrite, edit, find and place pictures, and spend an enormous amount of time on each piece. This is easier, quicker. Thanks, Don. But I found this article, "Kevin Love: Overrated, Underrated, or Properly Rated?" about the ongoing Kevin Love trade, written by Bill Simmons to include a wonderful piece that completely captures the unique basketball brilliance that made Barkley one of the signature players of the NBA. Simmons is the editor of Grantland a repository of smart and clever writers about sports. Simmon's expertise is basketball. He is an unabashed junkie, a fan, a Boston Celtics homer, and combines love of the game with research and wonderful writing. In the above referenced article he strives to dissect the Kevin Love trade to Cleveland matching Love up with LeBron James. Its a high risk trade on behalf of both teams. Cleveland is giving up someone who could develop into an all-time all star, Andrew Wiggins before he ever plays a game in the NBA. Love is a current star, but is not an all-time transcendent player. Wiggins might develop into one of those unique players. Wiggins almost assuredly couldn't pair with LeBron at this point and contribute the strengths that Love can provide right now. The trade offers drama and its consequences or who made out best won't be decided for years to come. Meanwhile matching Love with Lebron today creates the possibility of an instant top of the line contender for NBA championship honors for next season and possibly a couple of seasons. Simmons' articles often include long discourses on NBA history and various stars. He has an inimitable style of writing with catchy phrases and thoughts. I thought he hit a home run in this one especially as he compared Love to Barkley when Barkley was traded in his prime. Simmons acknowledges Love is no Barkley and here are his thoughts on "Sir Charles" when he was at his best...... (my bolding of certain lines below) I agree with Simmons. During Barkley's early years in Philadelphia I often purchased packages of games to the Wizards/Bullets. The Bullets and 76ers played often. Barkley was a magical player with a magical dimension. Nobody has played quite like him before or since. When Barkley grabbed a rebound on the defensive side and turned to race down the court on a drive, the seas would part. No player would dare to get in his way. No player has had so much bulk, racing at so much speed, hell bent toward the basket. I sat in the stands and wanted to get out of the way. He was SCARY. Scary good and talented. But forget what I write. Reread Simmons above. "Barkley a tornado with legs"....."F---this I'm getting out of the way" That is exactly as I recall him. Never seen anything like it, before or since.
  10. In this post, I justifiably poked fun at the sports media for proclaiming every "next great thing" as "The [X] Jordan" - Harold Miner was "Baby Jordan," Tamir Goodman was "Jewish Jordan," etc. Len Bias could have been the next Michael Jordan, and was quite possibly the only player I've ever seen in my life who was *that good*. Like when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, I remember exactly where I was, and exactly what I was doing, when I heard the news of Len Bias's tragic death - the two events happened only six-months apart. To young people today: I realize it's premature to even infer such a thing, but Len Bias was one of the greatest college basketball players I've ever seen. When he was drafted by the Boston Celtics, and then died from an overdose of crack cocaine, none other than Red Auerbach (who said he'd been planning for *three years* to draft Bias for the Celtics), said the city of Boston had not been so shocked since the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Larry Bird, who had urged the Celtics to select Bias, and who had uniquely made plans to attend the Celtics' rookie camp to work with him, said, "It's horrible. It's the cruelest thing I ever heard." At 6'8", Bias was bigger and stronger than Jordan, and had everything you could possibly ask for in someone of that height. He had no weaknesses that couldn't have been fixed in short order, and when I'm in my old age, I will be telling this same story. Len Bias had all the tools he needed to be one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived. It isn't so much that he would have been the *next* Jordan; it's that he would have been Jordan's primary competition: Just as we had Bird and Magic, we would have had Jordan and Bias - he *was* *that* *good*. "Remembering Len Bias 30 Years After His Death: 'He Was It.'" by Cindy Boren on washingtonpost.com
  11. Bill Russell is best-known for his defensive skills and rebounding. But then there's this: And here's an ESPN "SportsCentury" documentary: There's an incredible statistic on that documentary that I'd never heard before: In a career total of 30 games in which Bill Russell's team (including the NBA playoffs, the NCAA's, and the Olympics) faced elimination, his record was 28-2. When Russell left McClymonds High School for the University of San Francisco, one of his teammates became McClymond's new leading scorer - the kid in the center of this photo (also shown here). Ahmad Rashad interviews Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell in 1997:
  12. As discussions swirl around the GS Warriors, the Cleveland Cavs and other teams, I keep going back to my favorite basketball "dynasty" (really meaning mini dynasty) of all time; the Kniicks from 69-70 to 72-73. Four years in the playoffs, three years in the NBA finals and two NBA championships. Very long ago. I realize that. I suspect that Steve R has memories of this mini dynasty. Any others? Here are some interesting elements to that team: For 3 of those 4 years they allowed the fewest points per game in the league. In the 4th year I think they allowed the third fewest points. They won championships with defense. They might have been the greatest passing team of all time; and did so while spreading the ball to the entire team with every player being a potential shooter and with no player dominating the shooting stats by any stretch of the imagination. Possibly the most balanced scoring of any championship team of any period. Completely unusual and even more balanced in that regard than other teams that approached ball distribution (thinking 2014 Spurs team as the most recent example and the 2004 Detroit Pistons before them). The Knicks of that earlier era simply spread the shots around more evenly than either of these two teams. Shooting stats from the team in the 69-70 season: (see below) The 69-70 team developed as a result of what had to be one of the great trades in the history of the NBA from the previous season, (68-69). Midseason the Knicks dealt the big talented but erratic Center Walt Bellamy and their starting point guard, Howard Komives to the Detroit Pistons and the Pistons sent forward Dave Debusschere to the Knicks. Reed became the starting center, Debusschere was the starting power forward and Walt Frazier became the starting point guard. From mid season on the Knicks developed into a league power. The enigma and missing piece was who would be the small forward, Bradley or Cazzie Russell. Cazzie was the better offensive player and scorer. Bradley fit Coach Red Holzman's scheme better. Holtzman put Bradley in the starter's role and it clicked. The 69-70 team was the epitome of this spread it around type offense, but it continued to operate in the same manner over the next 4 seasons; (through 72-73 another championship season and one additional year, as Debusschere, Reed, and Lucas remained with the team). It wasn't until Reed, Debusschere and Lucas left that shot attempts skewed more toward Frazier, Monroe, and thirdly Bradley. Remarkably when Earl the Pearl first joined the Knicks he changed from one of the leagues leading offensive weapons and leading shot takers, to the fifth option. He sacrificed his offensive orientation to be part of the team concept. I was lucky to watch them a fair amount. I moved to Baltimore for college and got to see Bullets/Knicks games in Baltimore. Possibly the greatest, most fierce mano a mano matchups in NBA history. Reed vs. Unseld, two height deficient Centers who were muscular physical brutes. (they must have crushed one another every game). Even more ferocious were the man on man battles between Debusschere and Gus Johnson two of the most rugged players in the league with Johnson additionally being one of the early skywalkers. Watching Bradley and Jack Marin play was fascinating in a different way. Those two guys covered a lot of ground from one side of the court to the other, moving out to the perimeter for outside shots. Man, those two guys were always grabbing and clutching. The creme de la creme matchup was the artistry between Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier. Mr offense vs Mr Defense. The Bullets emphasized offense, being one of the highest scoring teams in the league, the Knicks emphasized defense, being the league leaders. Over the course of a season neither team dominated, while the matchups and games were always fascinating. Everyone on those old Knicks could pass. Every player. The only starter who might not have been a stellar passer was Reed...but when you watched those games the Knicks always had a teammate in Reed's eyesight. He became a good passer and that coach and the teammates helped him become one. Well its over 40 years later...so who cares? Possibly Steve R, who related this great tale that I'm sure every star struck kid who idolized pro's would love to experience. (Steve R Schooling Earl the Pearl on the Playgrounds) As the current NBA season moves along, the Warriors with their great scorers also face defensive problems: players such as Harden, DeRozan, Westbrook, and Davis, all averaging over 30 pts a game, are monopolizing the ball; the Spurs play this Knicks type game, though nobody has ever distributed the ball like the Knicks....and the Cavs have the remarkable Lebron James..who admittedly makes his teammates a stellar team....I still yearn for those Knicks. PS (undoubtedly if one looks at old tapes of those games and that era today's players are more athletic. Still I maintain that Reed would be a star in today's game. He has a midrange jumpshot. How many of today's centers can do that? Uh...maybe one or two. He was amazingly tough against one and all including the giants of that time such as Chamberlain and Kareem. I can't see how anyone could control Monroe. His offensive moves were remarkably different and defied defensive efforts. If there was anyone who was as rugged and indefatigable as Debusschere he would probably be the all time best linebacker in all of football. I'd love to see Frazier play against today's guards. Besides passing his shooting was based on a sense of how to beat the defense, not just pure athleticism (like Larry Bird in a way). That team would be strong today. ....and getting back to Earl the Pearl. I defy anyone to come up with any player who could successfully defend against Earl the Pearl at any point in basketball history...
  13. I think it's time to accept the fact that these kids are looking for the shortest and most efficient path to the NBA, and I don't blame them - the halcyon days of Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, etc. etc. etc. are over, I'm afraid - it's only fair (who are we to deny these kids their wealth and fame before they get injured?), but a part of my youth has gone away. That said, there's LeBron James.
  14. This graphic showing ESPN's Top 10 High School Senior basketball rankings is pretty scary, if you don't pull for Duke:
  15. Here is to the Wizards. They made the playoffs. Do you realize they have had the aggregate worst record in the NBA since 2000. They probably had one of the worst records between around 1980 and 2000. They have been a disappointing team. ....and I've followed them virtually all of that time. I started watching them way back....in Baltimore...When Wes Unseld turned them into a fearsome team and Earl Monroe was a one of a kind unstoppable offensive whirlwind. They had other great players back then including the incredibly powerful Gus Johnson. And then the team got BETTER. They won a championship in the late 1970's had an excellent team....and a couple of dismal decades.... So it is good to see this team with some young stars plus some wise stable veterans finally make the playoffs. The Washington Post has an astonishing statistical look at the Wizards season thanks to 6 cameras attached to the tops of arenas catching every moment of every game. Here is an astonishing little detail one might never know: John Wall basically controls the ball more than any other player on any other team. Lots of other little nuggets in the story. In any case good luck Wizards in the Playoffs. You would have made Abe Pollin proud. --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Wes Unseld (DonRocks)]
  16. Over the majority of the last 11 eleven years Dwayne Wade has arguably been either the best or 2nd best shooting guard in the NBA, with his only real peer or equal being Kobe Bryant, a player who is often matched against Michael Jordan as best ever, or best ever shooting guard. That is how good Dwayne Wade has been. Its rarefied air. He is a little shorter than Bryant or Jordan with fewer distinctive "call it your own signature" moves. He has garnered less overall publicity. Before Lebron James joined the Heat Wade led them to one NBA championship in 2006 playing with an older somewhat over the hill , on a downward career level, but still sometimes dominant Shaq. Regardless Wade is among the best players in basketball history. He has had a unique combination of extraordinary explosiveness, superior body control, an ability to keep the basket in his vision, when his legs were stronger a very effective outside shot, and an ability to attack the basket from any angle that has been at the very highest level of basketball history. Wade has attacked the basket so often and consistently over a decade that he has taken innumerable tumbles and falls and crashes. Its no wonder his body, legs and knees are a "wreck". This year the Heat rested Wade all season long. He kept missing games. They occurred consistently and sporadically. (huh) but throughout the season. Dwayne Wade was not an all star. Over the last three games Wade has played exceptionally well, demonstrating his unique skills. The Heat closed out Brooklyn in a competitive game, Lost to Indiana in the first game of that series, and beat Indiana in the 2nd game, at Indiana. In the latest game really only Wade and Lebron James consistently shown for Miami. If Miami is to once again win the NBA championship, a fragile wounded Dwayne Wade will have to play well throughout the Indiana series and then against whomever they face from the West. Will he or won't he? TBD. A long but extraordinary video of Dwayne Wade highlights over the years. Singular and spectacular attacking the basket, astonishing body control, superb leaping ability, breathtaking defense, moves that embarrass defenders:
  17. "Naismith Hall of Fame Finally Does Right by Lefty and Votes in Driesell" by John Feinstein on washingtonpost.com Brian Magid's Facebook Status regarding the announcement Pam Driesell's Facebook Status regarding the announcement Some insider trivia: The Driesells lived right across the street from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, MD - I went to school with Pam since 5th grade (when they moved up here from Davidson, NC), as well as Chuck (who played for Maryland), but here's the really esoteric, insider trivia: Their house was literally right next door to the family of Harold Solomon. who is the only tennis player from Maryland ever to be ranked in the World Top 10 (excluding Fred McNair in doubles) - the Solomons (with son Harold, and daughter Shelley) were, as incredible as they may sound, the best-of-the-best in terms of Maryland Tennis - now, having been next-door neighbors (although I think the Solomons might have moved to Florida before the Driesells arrived in the early 1970s) these two families can perhaps boast the only next-door homes whose family members are in the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame (although my former tennis coach, rival, and friend, Gil Scheurholz, who was ranked #1 in the United States in the 35-and-over division for several years, has a father *and* a grandfather who are both in as well - if you ever go to Camden Yards, look on the wall - they're both in there, and I assure you that Gi III deserves to be also - he is the most devastating tennis player I have ever faced in person; not the best, but the most devastating).
  18. I grew up reading about Anthony "Jo Jo" Hunter in the Sports pages, watched him win the MVP Award in the 1976 Capital Classic, and then had season tickets to the University of Maryland games, where he was a minor star, but never reached his full potential. Sometime in 2007 - "Set Him Free! - The Jo Jo Hunter Story" by Ryan Thorburn on dcbasketball.com Jan 16, 2013 - "The Comeback" by Dave McKenna on grantland.com Is this true?! If so, why haven't I heard *anything* about it? The only reason I found it is because I was doing some research to start a thread about Hunter. I'm not sure I believe it, because I can't find anything else about it, anywhere. Can anyone verify that Jo Jo Hunter is still with us? I would NOT assume the above link is true, as I cannot find *any* confirmation of it, and the local basketball community would have chimed in. Notice also that the numeric date on that website says 5/23/2017, but the written date says April 23, 2017 - given that I cannot find anything else about it, this almost looks like one of his friends was playing a joke on him (maybe someone beat him in one-on-one on that date, and was taunting him?) More importantly, note that Hunter was absolutely not born in 1962 - if he played in the 1976 Capital Classic, he was born in the late 1950s: I can promise that he's older than I am, and I was born in 1961.
  19. Did we really not have a thread on Wilt Chamberlain? I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, but I'd like to list for everyone Chamberlain's single-season rebounds-per-game average in the playoffs over the course of three different decades: 1959-1960: 25.8 1960-1961: 23.0 1961-1962: 26.6 1963-1964: 25.2 1964-1965: 27.2 1965-1966: 30.2 1966-1967: 29.1 1967-1968: 24.7 1968-1969: 24.7 1969-1970: 22.2 1970-1971: 20.2 1971-1972: 21.0 1972-1973: 22.5 If I had to name five athletes of the 20th century who had the most imposing statistics, in any sport, Wilt Chamberlain would be on that list.
  20. If you have followed local sports for a fairly long time the name Steve Francis rings a bell. He grew up in this area, played 2 years of excellent JR college basketball and then one marvelous season at the University of MD, 1998-99 Following that season he was the 2nd choice in the NBA draft. He had several excellent seasons and then slowly succumbed to injuries and personal issues. At one point though probably stretching from that season at MD through about 5 years in the pros he was simply one of the more exciting dynamic basketball players or more narrowly guards in the NBA and the world. His athleticism was extraordinary and his game was accomplished Problems in his life emerged. He somewhat disappeared from public view. Here is his recent revelatory story of his life from selling drugs in his youth in Takoma Park to college, the NBA, and his life afterwards. It is remarkable: "I Got a Story To Tell" by Steve Francis on playerstribune.com
  21. An all time Knick star is impressed by Porzingis Bernard King was a great player, a great Knick, resucited his game with the Bullets, and always played the game with smarts on top of his tremendous skills. His smarts made his skills better. An encouraging comment from a keen student of the game
  22. Gee this poor guy is in basketball limbo. Jahlil Okafor has only played in 2 games this year and is awaiting a trade or buyout... Just waiting With lots of turmoil in his career he played decently in his rookie year. Playing time diminished in his second year and now he is a guy awaiting a new team. For a micro second I was thinking the Wizards....but nah. He needs playing time to see if he has a decent career ahead of him "76ers' Jahlil Okafor Remains Hopeful for a Quick Resolution" by Adrian Wojinarowski on espn.com
  23. These centers were so dominant that they forced rule changes on the game. Then, they instituted the three-point shot, perhaps as a further deterrent to centers; perhaps as something of a novelty. But regardless of why they did it, I doubt they knew it would change the way the entire game is played. Perhaps the game is better-off now than it ever was, and there's absolutely no reason to undo these rules. Or, perhaps the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and it's time to give centers back some authority. I have no answers, only questions, but it's time someone asked the questions. And yes, Stephen Curry would be added to the above list as someone so dominant that he forced yet another rule change. Personally, I think Wilt Chamberlain's "Free-Throw Plane" rule is the most amazing of them all (he was the Big 8 high-jump champion and could triple jump more than 50 feet).
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