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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

. I'm reminded of Elvin Hayes, and the way he banked it in from the side of the key, at about 15 feet ... but Hayes also averaged 12.5 rebounds-per-game over his career; Anthony's scoring wasn't enough, at least not enough to justify his Hall of Fame status (and I agree he'll be in the Hall of Fame). He was a niche player, and his niche happened to be mid-range scoring.

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.

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When Don referenced Elvin Hayes....


 I'm reminded of Elvin Hayes, and the way he banked it in from the side of the key, at about 15 feet ... but Hayes also averaged 12.5 rebounds-per-game over his career

I was hit by a flood of DC sports memories.

Elvin Hayes, now retired from basketball, for 34 years, was one of the all time exceptional pro athletes in Washington DC history.  He was part of the extended run of Washington Bullets/Wizards excellence when they regularly were one of the NBA's best teams, in total played in 4 NBA championships, (Hayes was part of 3 of those 4 NBA championship attempts) won 1 of them, had several regular seasons when they won 50 or more games (60 wins in one of them), was part of the greatest big men duos in NBA history, and he was widely recognized as one of the most miserable Pain In the Ass (PITA) teammates of league history.  By the time he retired he was 3rd overall in points and rebounds in NBA history, and is acknowledged as one of the all time great power forwards in the game.  His scoring, rebounds, games played and minutes are still among all time leaders.  

If they quantified all time PITA teammates he would probably rank at or near the top.  There are some unbelievable comments about his disruptive personality by coaches, team personnel and players that reveal a miserable personality.  What a combination and enigma, but still as an athlete a player that helped the Wizards/Bullets attain their only championship, and one whose play while in Washington pushed him into the record books for all time play.

The Wizards/Bullets have never been great at retaining talented players over all or most of their careers.  Wes Unseld, the team rock is the exception.  Hayes played  9 of his 16 seasons for the then Bullets.  In that time he set team records for points, shots, baskets made, free throws and blocks.  He ranks second to Unseld in rebounds, games, minutes played and ranks high in other team categories.   He and Unseld shared the rebounding load.  As many as both secured were they not teammates they both would be higher ranked among all time greats  in those categories.

While Don made the logical connection between Carmelo Anthony and Hayes, one element that is different is that while Hayes played with the Bullets/Wizards, he also played with other good scorers, (Phil Chenier, Bobby Dandridge, etc).  Consequently Hayes was the recipient of somewhat fewer shots (and points) per game.  All time totals for items such as points, rebounds, or other stats, are often a function of the teams and personnel with whom one plays.

On the PITA Side.....

Hayes must have been unbelievable as a teammate.  (Its a testimony to the players and coaches of the Bullets that they played so well during his tenure and put up with his disruptive nature)

A well researched piece on the Bullets history and the Hayes/Unseld relationship includes some of the critical descriptions including including the following excerpts:


Hayes and Unseld appear on three lists together:

  • List: IT TAKES TWO (Odd Couples)
    #2, Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes: “Off the court, they plain didn’t like each other, but put them on a hardwood floor and they made sweet hoops music.”
    #14, Elvin Hayes: “Not the best loved by his teammates off the floor, but a tireless worker on it.”
    #2, The Fat Lady Sings: “Ironically, the two men (Hayes and Unseld) despised each other off the court, but put their differences aside to help secure the title.”

“For some players and coaches, being around Elvin every day is like a Chinese water torture,” John Lally, a trainer with the Washington Bullets when Hayes was with the team, told the Washington Post. “It’s just a drop at a time, nothing big, but in the end, he’s driven you crazy.”

and the most pointed criticism:


One does not have to go far to find people who dislike Hayes intensely. Alex Hannum, who coached him in San Diego during Hayes’ most turbulent years, calls him to this day “the most despicable person I’ve ever met in sports.” 

Well, you can't satisfy all the people, all the time!!  

In any case Hayes deservedly ranks as among the most accomplished athletes in Washington DC history as an essential member of the greatest era in Wizards/Bullets history.

Below is a video of one of Hayes' better statistical games, albeit in a losing cause:  I like the second play of the video.  It highlights one of the strengths of the Unseld/Hayes combination:  Unseld sets one of his impenetrable screens, Hayes perfectly plays off it, loses the defense, and dunks on an easy lob pass:


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