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  1. Among the great athletes of the 20th century Julius Erving, Dr. J, deserves mention among the most famous, most relevant, best and most impactful. He played professional basketball from 1971 to 1987, 11 years in the NBA for Philadelphia, five years in the ABA for two different teams. Dr J, who has been referenced here quite a bit, albeit without a thread, introduced artistic soaring, starting from the outer edge of the court slam dunking to the NBA. He was certainly not the first, but he elevated it and turned it into a "thing", now, and for 3 decades one of the most commented and rev
  2. Selected in the 2013 NBA draft with the #15 pick in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo is a name you may not yet know, but may be forced to learn to spell and pronounce sometime in the near future. Born in Greece to Nigerian immigrant parents, Antetokounmpo is more commonly known by his American nickname, an embarrassing term which speaks more about Americans than him (you can find it easily on the internet; I refuse to go along with it even though it's more laziness than malice). This is a very obscure statistic, and it's surely one that was made up to demonstr
  3. 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 h
  4. 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
  5. David Thompson was at NC State right around the time when I became a sports fanatic. My uncle was a professor at the University of Maryland, and my aunt was Assistant Superintendent of schools in Howard County - bottom line: free season tickets to University of Maryland basketball games for several years, dating all the way back to the Jim O'Brien years and continuing through their "three-guard offense" years (remember that?). At my age, Thompson, by sheer reputation and from the couple of times I saw him play in college, was essentially a space alien. I didn't really follow pro basketball bac
  6. On Kobe Bryant's final game of his career, he tosses in 60 points on a career-high 50 shots. Yes, the Lakers were feeding him the ball and telling him to shoot, no the Jazz weren't playing their best defense, but who cares. All people will remember 50 years from now is 60 points in his final game. Congratulations on a legendary career, Black Mamba!
  7. 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 point
  8. I had no idea James Brown ever played basketball, much less played for DeMatha. 1969 was Adrian Dantley's freshman year (I don't know if freshmen played varsity back then) - Dantley is #9 on the NBA all-time scoring list. Just as DeMatha ended Power Memorial's 71-game winning streak, a Dantley-led Notre Dame ended the Bill Walton-led UCLA's 88-game winning streak.
  9. *Nobody* beats Clemson 60 times in a row! "Clemson Stuns Host UNC after Going 0-for-59 in Chapel Hill" on espn.com
  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 prematur
  11. 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 defe
  12. 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
  13. 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 scorin
  14. "It's Showtime: Why The Cavs and Warriors in the NBA Finals is the Best Thing for Basketball" by Anthony J. Fredella on straighthoops.com
  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
  16. 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 las
  17. 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 playe
  18. Lonzo Ball, I fear, is somewhat overrated, has too much baggage, and might be a disappointment in the NBA. Look at his stat line this year: 14.6 points, 6 rebounds, 7.6 assists. That's very impressive, especially for a freshman, and especially in the assists category. However, his shooting technique is extremely flawed, and he's not mature enough to tell his father to back off. Yes, he can shoot an open 3, but his free-throw percentage this year is 67.3% - think about that for a moment. He's big and quick, he can jump, and he can pass very well, but he is a big risk - my d
  19. Who is the person that: * was co-NBA Rookie of the Year in 1970-1971 along with Dave Cowens? * is the only eligible NBA player ever to average over 21 points-per-game for his career, and not be in the Hall of Fame? * is generally credited as the first player, certainly the first major player, to switch from Converse to Nike shoes? Think hard before you mouse over the answer ... Geoff Petrie
  20. Sometimes, when I'm watching a basketball game, I get bored, and decide to focus on a single player - not looking at the ball; just that one, single player ... it sounds wacky, but I get quite a bit out of it, and learn a whole lot about how that player operates. In the past few minutes, it has been #5 for the Portland Trail Blazers, Rodney Hood, who has also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Utah Jazz - in college, he played for Duke after transferring from Mississippi State. My initial impression of Hood is that he's very big (he's 6'8"), and also a step too slow for playi
  21. I'm running out the door, and don't have time to read your post right now (much less the article), but I'm glancing at the Bucks-76ers - I've come to the sad conclusion that I no longer particularly like watching NBA basketball - and I don't know what else it could be than the 3-point shot. Steph Curry was a pioneer in beating the system (and ruining the game). However, I don't blame him at all - he just maximized his advantage based on the current rules - Grinnell College started it all. PS - Joel Embiid just this second had one of the best individual efforts I've seen in quite awhi
  22. Don: I think this is the ONLY great 17 year run characterized by a single coach and a single starter. The ONLY one. Simply unprecedented. One other remarkable thing about this run of coach/player/superstar and many many changing parts: Their style of play has changed ...and changed dramatically over this run. In the early years Duncan was the hub of the offense and was a "twin tower" with David Robinson. Robinson, who had been a huge star in his own right graciously moved from being the offensive highlight of the team and put even more effort into defense...and Tim Duncan was the of
  23. It's been a fantastic first day. Two major upsets. Plus the vast majority have been close games, including multiple 1-point games.
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