Friday, June 25, 2010


Sorry its been a while, its a pretty slow season and I am not ready to bite off the Top Baseball Players at each position yet.

-From now on, I would like to be referred to as "World Wide Jabe"

-The NBA draft went pretty much as scripted - which meant every player I wanted to fall to the Milwaukee Bucks was taken before them. Hopefully this guy who used to have an HBO show can develop into something.

-The Bigger NBA story is of course free agency - less than a week a way. Chicago keeps making the moves to be the front-runner for LeBron - now enough cap space to get Bosh or Stoudemire too. I think it would be funny if they didn't get LeBron.

-Typical Clippers....Chris Bosh on Mike and Mike says "yeah the Clippers have some good pieces, but they don't have a coach, so it would be tough to sign there".

-This just in, The Celtics came back to beat the Lakers in stoppage time!!

-The "Buzzer-Beater" Goal by the USA was great, but lets keep in mind that for the other 90 minutes they just kicked the ball back and forth. They should at least allow picks to be set.

-Stephen Strasburg should be an All-Star.

-Ubaldo Jimenez is human.

-The match ending 70-68 in the 5th at Wimbledon is of video game proportions.

-It isn't an "Instant Classic" though, because who wants to sit and watch a 12 hour tennis match. Its not like it was the first "I Love the 80's" Marathon on VH-1 where that 10 hours just flew by.

-About one month until Training Camps start, unless your name rhymes with Trett Gavre. Then yours will start once two-a-days are over.


-My career will read the same number of U.S. Open victories as one Phil Mickelson.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top 10 Centers - 30 Years


10. Robert Parish - "The Chief" starts off the list after a stellar career with the Boston Celtics. The man who made wearing "00" cool, averaged 14.6 PPG and 9.0 RPG post-1980. Parish is 19th on the all-time NBA list in points scored and 7th in rebounds. He won three titles with the Celtics and got a fourth with the Chicago Bulls, another little trivia piece for you.

9. Dwight Howard - Howard starts a string of the next 3 centers that were more dominant on the defensive end then the offensive side. Howard will ascend up this list if he continues his current career path, but his 6 seasons of 17.5 PPG and 12.7 RPG land him here for the time being. Howard has played in one finals and is a 2-time Defensive Player of the Year. Howards current 57.5 FG% ranks #4 all-time.

8. Dikembe Mutombo - Mutombo was a game-changer without much offensive game, garnering 4 Defensive Player of the Year awards. He averaged 9.8 PPG and 10.3 RPG over his career, which included one finals appearance with Philadelphia and no titles. Dikembe is #2 on the all-time blocks list and will be most remembered for spear-heading the first big upset in the current NBA playoff format.

7. Alonzo Mourning - Yes Alonzo Mourning, notta Christian Laettner. Dikembe's college teammate gets him by a spot. "Zo" averaged 17.1 PPG and 8.5 RPG over his career, which included one title with the Miami Heat. Mourning was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and is 6th on the career list of blocks per game. His career numbers would in all likelihood have exceeded these if not for the mysterious illness that caused him to retire for

6. Moses Malone - Who would have thought that Moses played 15 seasons post 1980? His averages of 20.5 PPG and 11.3 RPG land him at #6 on the list. Malone won one title and Finals MVP with Philadelphia, and 2 Regular Season MVP's. A monster on the low-block, he is #6 all-time in points and #5 in rebounds in NBA history.

5. Patrick Ewing - He went to the Knicks, some believe, because their lottery card was in a freezer. Once he got there, Ewing was a dominant force in the league. Patrick averaged 21.0 PPG and 9.8 RPG over his career, which yielded one Finals appearance and no titles. Ewing checks in #16 all-time in points, #23 in rebounds and #6 in blocked shots in NBA history.

4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - The former Lew Alcindor was a tough call, but he was less dominant in the 80's than he was in the 70's. The NBA's all-time leading scorer averaged 20.2 PPG and 7.2 RPG post-1980, but did win all 5 of his titles in that span (the first coming in 79-80). The master of the sky-hook, Kareem won one League MVP and one Finals MVP, while totaling the 3rd most rebounds and blocks in NBA history. He is also up for best actor on this list vs the guy from Blue Chips.

3. David Robinson - The "Admiral" suffered through the "Jordan Years", but hung around long enough to get two titles to go with his League MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Robinson averaged 21.1 PPG and 10.6 RPG over his career and ranks 5th on the all-time blocked shots list. His signature left-handed jumpshot was extremely effective, as was his sportsmanship and off-court contributions.

The Diesel vs The Dream
This battle comes down to the most physically dominant center of the last 30 years, Mr. Shaquille O'Neal and the best all-around center of the last 30 years, Mr. Hakeem Olajuwon. Shaq Daddy averages 24.1 PPG and 11.0 RPG, along with 2.3 BPG and numerous bad raps. Olajuwon averaged 21.8 PPG and 11.1 RPG, adding 3.1 BPG and 1.7 SPG. O'Neal has 4 titles to Hakeem's 2, although Olajuwon took the only head-to-head finals match-up between the two. Shaq is 5th all-time in points, 14th in rebounds, 7th in blocks while Hakeem is 8th in points, 11th in rebounds, 1st in blocks and 8th in steals all-time. Shaquille O'Neal has been the biggest inside force of these past 30 years, from the brute power of his game, to the way teams needed to change defenses and strategy to stop him. Olajuwon was so smooth for a big man, faking and twirling his way past opponents like an artist. Once again, you could argue either way, although in this case, power and titles win out.

2. Hakeem Olajuwon
1. Shaquille O'Neal

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Top 10 Power Forwards - 30 Years

The small forward list may have been deeper, but the decisions at both the top and bottom of the power forward list may have been the most difficult. Chris Bosh is the player of note left off this list. Despite very good numbers, Bosh still has a lot to prove in my estimation from a team elevation standpoint. He will eventually get on this list, but for now the top 10 stands as follows.

10. Buck Williams - Yes, that is right, Buck Williams at #10. I could not leave off one of 5 power forwards to average a career double-double (12.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG) and the #12 all-time in total rebounds. Williams was also a career 54.9% FG shooter and the part of his game most overlook is that he was one of the best post defenders of the era. Williams made one Finals appearance with the Blazers tasting some playoff success.

9. Pau Gasol - Gasol has been underrated his whole career, but that is what happens when you play in Memphis and then under Kobe's shadow. Gasol has career averages of 18.8 PPG and 9.0 RPG, with an overall RASB of 14.4. Gasol got his championship ring and my get a 2nd in his 3rd straight Finals appearance. While Gasol is not option numero uno on these Finals teams, he is definitely playing the Robin role.

8. Alex English - Honestly, I did not know what to do with English on this list. He played a part of his career in the 70's and was originally a Milwaukee Buck (another good trivia piece). English was a smooth scorer, averaging 21.5 PPG and is #13 on the all-time scoring list. His RASB of 10.7 is very low and he never played in an NBA Finals. English was an 8-time all-star and unlike the previous two on this list, he was the unquestioned #1 on his teams.

7. Kevin McHale - Here is another one that gave me trouble. At no time was McHale the go-to-guy on his team, but he was an integral piece of 3 NBA Championship teams. His 17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and RASB of 11.1 are solid, but do not stack-up with the remaining players on this list. His best statistical trait is his 55.4 career FG%, good for #12 all-time.

6. Chris Webber - "C-Webb" is known most for his infamous timeout at Michigan, but the former Wolverine put together a solid, if not spectacular NBA career. Webber averaged 20.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG and had an overall RASB of 16.8. Webber, like English, did not play in an NBA finals, although one could argue that officials had a lot to do with that. Webber's career coincides with the boom of power forwards and so despite his gaudy stats, #6 is Webber's place on the list.

5. Dirk Nowitzki - The remaining five players have all won at least one league MVP award and have played in at least one NBA finals. Dirk meets these minimum requirements, but is the only player of the 5 that is not averaging a career double-double. Nowitzki checks in at 22.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and a RASB of 13.1. Dirk sits as the 27th leading scorer in NBA history and is an uncanny shooter for a big man, evidenced by his 87.6 career FT%, which is good enough for 14th all-time.

The Mailman vs KG vs Sir Charles vs The Big Fundamental
4 Power Forwards, all-deserving of being in the discussion for #1. All four average(d) a career double-double. All four rank in the top 33 all-time in points, top 25 in rebounds and the top 20 in either blocks or steals. 9 NBA Finals Appearances, 5 Championships (maybe 6), 6 MVP's and 50 All-Star games. This group is loaded. Differentiating between them is difficult if not dangerous. Here are the stats - Karl Malone (19 year career)averaged 25.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, RASB of 15.9 and ranks #2 all-time in scoring, #6 in rebounds and #10 in steals. Malone has also played the 2nd most games in NBA history. Kevin Garnett (15 yrs) averages 19.8 PPG, 10.8 RPG, RASB of 17.9 and ranks #22 in points, #20 in rebounds, and #19 in blocks. Garnett has one, possibly two NBA Championships. Charles Barkley (16 yrs) averaged 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, RASB of 17.9, ranking #18 all-time in points, #16 in rebounds and #18 in steals. Tim Duncan (13 yrs) averages 21.1 PPG, 11.6 RPG, RASB of 17.9 and ranks #33 all-time in points, #25 in rebounds and #11 in blocks. Duncan has won 4 NBA championships and 3 Finals MVP's. You can't lose, no matter which way you go, but if I must....

4. Charles Barkley
3. Kevin Garnett
2. Karl Malone
1. Tim Duncan

Top 10 Small Forwards - 30 Years


You will not see Kevin Durant on this list. Durant has put up phenomenal numbers in his first three years, but this may be the hardest position to crack the top 10 in, and you need more than 3 years of greatness. The hardest part about this group is there are players that put up monster numbers and some others with modest numbers that pass the eye test as some of the greatest of all time, making the order very difficult. With that, here are my top 10 small forwards of the past 30 years.

10. Carmelo Anthony - Immediately, you can see the quality of this list with "Melo" checking in at #10. Anthony has two strikes working against him - the duration of his career and his lack of playoff success thus far. Carmelo has a career scoring average of 24.7 PPG (currently 14th all-time in PPG) and a RASB (Rebounds+Assists+Steals+Blocks per game) of 10.8. He will definitely continue his march up this list with continued personal success and some better team results.

9. Chris Mullin - Mullin is one of those players whose career numbers ended up a little lower than I thought, but there can be little argument that he is one of the top players of the past 30 years. Like another player on this list, injuries were not kind to him as his career winded down, but Mullin sports career averages of 18.2 PPG and a RASB of 9.8. Mullin was a terrific shooter, one of only 4 players on this list with a FG% over 50% (50.9), along with a 38.6 3PT% and 86.5 FT% for his career. Mullin does suffer from a lack of team success never making an NBA finals.

8. Adrian Dantley - Dantley's career started in the late 70's, but he entered the 80's with a bang averaging 30 PPG for the first 5 seasons of the leg-warmer decade. For his career, Dantley averaged 24.3 PPG with a RASB of 9.9 and a phenomenal FG% of 54.0. Dantley is 20th on the NBA's all-time scoring list, but alas, his only Finals appearance was late in his career as a role player on the Pistons.

7. Paul Pierce - He was listed as a shooting guard on my All-Celtics team, but Pierce comes in at #7 on this list. Sporting career averages of 22.5 PPG and a RASB of 12.0, Pierce is also #36 on the NBA's all-time scoring list. With one NBA championship and a 2nd Finals appearance (and potential ring) this year, Pierce has backed-up his spectacular career numbers with team success. Pierce's only knock is his career 44.5 FG%, lowest of the ten players on this list.

6. James Worthy - This list is getting good if Worthy can't crack the top 5. Some will argue Worthy's 3 championship rings should place him higher on this list and it would be tough to disagree. Worthy finished his career with averages of 17.6 PPG and a RASB of 9.9 along with a 52.1 career FG%. His career playoff scoring average vaulted to 21.1 and Worthy, like Pierce, was also a Finals MVP. I will remember him most for his last play in college when he tricked Freddie Brown into throwing him the ball.

5. Dominique Wilkins - "Nique" was a human highlight film, but only appeared in 56 playoff games his entire career (In comparison, Kobe Bryant will play in at least 64 over the last 3 years). That lack of team success is the only damper on a tremendous individual career that his Wilkins sitting at #10 on the all-time NBA scoring list, with averages of 24.8 PPG and a RASB of 11.1.

4. Julius Erving - Ok, before the haters come out, "Dr. J" would be higher on the list, maybe even #2, if it was not supposed to be from my basketball lifetime. As is, using his NBA stats starting in 1976, Erving averaged 22.0 PPG with a RASB of 13.9 and a career FG% of 50.7. No one was smoother then Dr. J and its too bad the "finger-roll" has gone the way of the dinosaur. Erving led the 76ers to one NBA championship ring, but mostly played third fiddle to the Lakers and Celtics as his career wound down in the 80's.

3. Scottie Pippen - OK, so I have already referred to him as Robin, but Pippen's career can stand alone as a superhero. 6 NBA championship rings can go along way, and before one argues that he got them because of Jordan, look how many rings Jordan had without Pippen. Scottie averaged 16.1 PPG with a RASB of 14.4 and sits at #48 on the NBA's all-time scoring list and 13th all-time on the NBA steals list.

The Legend vs The King
And then there were two - Larry Bird and LeBron James. The first difference is easy, Bird is a 3-time NBA Champion and 2-time Finals MVP. LeBron has played in one NBA finals. Statistically, King James is averaging 27.8 PPG (3rd all-time) with a RASB of 16.6. Bird ended with a career scoring average of 24.3 PPG (16th) and sits at #25 on the all-time scoring list. Bird's RASB of 18.8 tops the small forward list and he sits 44th in rebounds, 33rd in assists and 26th in steals on the all-time NBA lists. LeBron may one day surpass these numbers, but as of now its

2. LeBron James
1. Larry Bird