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Kstat
04-11-2006, 03:35 AM
I was thinking back on the fact that a lot of NBA draftees get compared to a current or former NBA star, to describe that player's potential (NBAdraft.net is maybe the biggest recent culprit of this).

Going off memory, I'm going to do some hindsight analysis of the more memorable draft comparisons. Here's a sample:

1991: Billy Owens/Magic Johnson

This might be one of the most impactful draft comparisons of all time. Owens was a good all-around player at Syracuse. Notice I said good, not great. He could do a little of everything. Of course, his size and ability to handle the ball led people to compare him to Magic Johnson. Well, unfortunately scouts neglected to mention that Magic could pass the ball.

Of course, that all didn't matter, because most NBA GMs were so naive that the mere mention of Magic turned Owens from a mid-1st rounder into a blue chip prospect. The Sacramento Kings took Owens with the 3rd pick in the draft, ahead of guys like Dikembe Mutombo....Steve Smith....Terrell Brandon....Dale Davis.... you get the idea. Never one to be outdone in the realm of draft-day stupidity, the Golden State Warriors traded Mitch Richmond, the 9th leading scorer in the league for him.

Owens went on to have an injury-riddled career, and never proved anything close to either a #3 pick or Mitch Richmond. He also went down as a glaring example of what happens when you buy too much into pre-draft comparisons.

1992:Shaquille O'Neal/Wilt Chamberlain

The irony of this one is: this is both one of the loftiest comparisions ever made, and it may very well be on of the most accurate.

Coming out of LSU, Shaq was a beast and everybody knew it. He was the most physically dominant college player to come out in over 30 years. He dunked on most everybody, he had quickness to match his size. The obvious comparison was Wilt, and it went a long way towards making him the big name of the 1992 draft.

In hindsight, it was one of the few #1 picks in the last 20 years where the best player actually was taken first. Shaq's proven to be every bit as dominant by NBA standards as Wilt was, despite lesser stats. His impact on the game is similiar. Wilt has 2 more MVPs and 5 fewer scoring titles, but Shaq more imprtantly has one more ring and 3 finals MVPs in 5 tries, while Wilt was 1-4 in this area.

The bottom line, Shaq panned out. I think we can all agree Wilt and Shaq are similiar players.

Alonzo Mourning/Bill Russell

Just as Shaq is unquestionably the best player from the 1992 draft class, Mourning is just as surely the 2nd-best player. However, the comparison is far less accurate.

At first glance, it doesn't look so bad. Both Mourning and Russell were defensive-minded big men who were both a little short for the position, but made up for it with moxie and intimidation. Both are among the best shot-blockers of all time.

However, this is where the comparison ends. Russell was, above all, a winner: 11 rings in 13 seasons. As for Mourning? He has yet to even make a finals appearance in the same amount of time. One could argue that this has more to do with Russell's teamates than Mourning's lack of leadership, but Mourning has repeatedly allowed himself to disappear in the biggest games, against both Chicago and NY. You can't tell me that Russell wouldnt have found a way to get to ONE finals, even on Mourning's mediocre teams.

That, and I've never seen a picture or video of Russell flexing for the crowd after tying his shoelaces correctly. That alone is enough to kill this comparison.

Tom Guggliotta/Larry Bird

Maybe the most overused cliche in draft day history is the tall white guy with a nice shot that is compared to Larry Bird.

What is it, anyway? We don't have enough average white scrubs to look back on for comprarisons? Larry suddenly becomes the one white guy in NBA history when people try to drum up comparisons?

In fairness to Googs, he was actually a good player at NC St, and was probably worth the 6th pick in the 1992 draft. In his prime, Googs was a 20/9 guy, a fringe all-star, before injuries killed his brief stardom.

The problem here isnt with Googs, but with people that insist on saddling a kid with expectations he can't hope to meet, just because Larry Bird is a nice name to throw out there. Larry Bird was not just a shooter or a rebounder. He was as extremely gifted passer, he was one of the greatest clutch players of all time. He was a 3-time MVP, and he has 3 rings to back it up.

The next time a white guy with some skill comes into the NBA, the draft should ban any and all uses of the word "Bird." It's embarrassing, and its unfair. Instead, names like Kerr, Ferry, Dudley and Ehlo should be substituted. They're not flashy names, but they're actually guys who can be passed up...

Clarence Weatherspoon/Charles Barkley

Ah, "Little Barkley." One of my favorite comparisons. Clarence was a 6'7" 250 lb PF coming out of Southern miss. He could rebound and score in bunches, and shared Charles's short, stocky build. He was already being compared to Sir CHarles coming out of college, and when he was drafted by the Sixers, the name "little Barkley" stuck.

My problem with this? Well, the same problem I had when Dallas drafted Randy White, Karlm Malone's protoge, in part because they had passed up Malone himself 4 years earlier. If Philly wanted Charles Barkley, they should have kept Charles Barkley. I don't get it, they just traded the guy, and now all of a sudden they try to vicariously re-aquire him?

The sad thing is, Waetherspoon was a terror in the paint, averaging about 17 and 9 over his first four season. But when word got out that, unlike Barkley, Spoon's range didn't extend outside the paint, and he had zero passing skills, it suddenly became very easy to take him out of a offensively, and like Charles, Spoon wasn't going to dominate defensively as a 6'7" fat guy.

The sad irony is, like Charles, Spoon was run out of Philly as well. However, while Barkley won an MVP post-philly, Spoon pretty much dropped out of the league.

Harold Miner/Michael Jordan

The only nickname more laughable than "Little Barkley?" "Baby Jordan." Of course, in retrospect, this might not be as bad a nickname as it seems, since Miner in his prime was probably about as gifted as Jordan was in 7th grade...

Like Bird, Jordan got the same comparison stigma. For a good 5-6 year period, any rookie that came into the NBA and flashed some cool dunking skills was almost immidiately compared to Jordan. At USC, Miner was a mini-highlight reel. Unfortunately, Miner became a poster-boy for why NBA GMs should never, ever judge a draftee based on a 30-second clip of his highlights. An NBA game is 48-minutes long. Highlight plays last a few seconds. You do the math. That's 47+ minutes left in the game that you have to do fundamental things. Miner didn't get that, nor did the Miami Heat when they took Miner 12th overall.

In Miner's defense, he delivered in the NBA exactly what he delivered in college. I wouldnt even call him a disappointment. He supplied multiple spectatular plays, won two dunk contests, and generally was an effective scoring punch off the bench, which was probably what his talent level afforded.

Unfortunately, the name "Baby Jordan" turned him into a punchline. Because people were shocked and disappointed that a 6'4" 2-guard with poor handles and no shot whatsoever couldnt suddenly step in and dominate like Jordan, Miner was almost blacklisted by GMs who didnt want to have the name "Harold Miner" on their rosters.

I contend that in the right situation, Miner could have been an excellent 6th man. Unfortunately, "Baby Jordan" killed his career before he was ever given the chance.

Kaufman
04-11-2006, 04:19 AM
George McCloud... Magic Johnson was one that stuck in my head for years... What a waste of everything. The man who sprained his ankle by talking on the phone.

Harold Minor as Baby Jordan... yikes.

Kstat
04-11-2006, 04:22 AM
Harold Minor as Baby Jordan... yikes.

Miner added. :D

Bball
04-11-2006, 05:01 AM
pens when you buy too much into pre-draft comparisons.

[b]1992:Shaquille O'Neal

Coming out of LSU, Shaq was a beast and everybody knew it. He was the most physically dominant college player to come out in over 30 years. He dunked on most everybody, he had quickness to match his size.

Yet in their one and only meeting, Matt Nover bested Shaq. Obviously Nover should've been up there with Wilt too!











:devil:

-Bball

Kaufman
04-11-2006, 05:06 AM
Are we talking sweet sixteen here, or Blue Chips??

Bball
04-11-2006, 05:08 AM
Are we talking sweet sixteen here, or Blue Chips??

DOH!... They had two meetings didn't they? I forgot about Blue Chips. ...and I wish I could've kept Blue Chips forgotten! ;)

-Bball

Kaufman
04-11-2006, 05:13 AM
Kevin Arnold had a great line in the Wonder Years - "the people and things you want to forget the most are often the things you remember the longest..."

Chauncey
04-11-2006, 08:50 AM
Yet in their one and only meeting, Matt Nover bested Shaq.

:devil:

-Bball

You mean when Shaq had 36 pts, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks against him?

HulkSmash!
04-11-2006, 08:58 AM
I can't recall Alonzo Mourning ever playing on a team of future Hall of Famers like Bill Russell.

Chauncey
04-11-2006, 08:59 AM
My favorite is another Magic Johnson comparison..and that was for employee #8, Antoine Walker. Big man..can handle the ball, pass the ball, post up, drive....basically it was a legitmate comparison looking on the outside.

He was just missing the part the really counts, the heart. That and work ethic are what separates the greats from the "pretty-damn-good-but-didn't-do-everything-they-could"s

Bball
04-11-2006, 12:14 PM
You mean when Shaq had 36 pts, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks against him?

Sort of... I mean when IU continued playing in the tourney and Shaq went home.

-Bball

Chauncey
04-11-2006, 12:47 PM
Sort of... I mean when IU continued playing in the tourney and Shaq went home.

-Bball

Yes, that was definitely because Matt Nover outplayed Shaq.

Bball
04-11-2006, 12:55 PM
Yes, that was definitely because Matt Nover outplayed Shaq.

I never looked at it that way... good point. ;)

-Bball

Diamond Dave
04-11-2006, 01:16 PM
Jonathon Bender/ Kevin Garnett :unimpress

That is when we got the famous line, "All the comparison's to KG are nice and all, but I'm my own player, I'm Jonathon Bender..."

Oh how right he was.

Chauncey
04-11-2006, 02:23 PM
Jonathon Bender/ Kevin Garnett :unimpress

That is when we got the famous line, "All the comparison's to KG are nice and all, but I'm my own player, I'm Jonathon Bender..."

Oh how right he was.

Indeed..thats the best of them all. I can't remember how many times through the years posters tried convincing me that he'd be just as good as KG because he was just as athletic.

Bball
04-11-2006, 02:38 PM
Bender was just a better Marcus Camby... Better at getting injured anyway...

-Bball

HulkSmash!
04-11-2006, 02:59 PM
Indeed..thats the best of them all. I can't remember how many times through the years posters tried convincing me that he'd be just as good as KG because he was just as athletic.
I'd go as far as to say, if he could've stayed healthy, Bender would've been a more dangerous scorer than KG. Bender was absolutely unstoppable at times.

SwissExpress
04-11-2006, 03:14 PM
Tom Guggliotta/Larry Bird

Maybe the most overused cliche in draft day history is the tall white guy with a nice shot that is compared to Larry Bird.



Was. Now that's Dirk :)
Good work. Is this a draft of some future article, or are you writing that simply for your own pleasure?

Kstat
04-11-2006, 03:15 PM
Was. Now that's Dirk :)
Good work. Is this a draft of some future article, or are you writing that simply for your own pleasure?

Dirk on draft day didn't have any larry bird hype. He was compared to Dino Radja with a better handle. It was actually somewhat of a shock that he went as high as he did.

This is just what I do on my breaks: I'm an NBA historian at heart. I like to cataglog things like this.

SwissExpress
04-11-2006, 03:19 PM
How was Bender in his early days as compared to Granger?
I don't remember much about Bender's early game.

SwissExpress
04-11-2006, 03:24 PM
Dirk on draft day didn't have any larry bird hype. He was compared to Dino Radja with a better handle. It was actually somewhat of a shock that he went as high as he did.


I meant that he himself has become that measuring tool called "the tall white guy who can shoot" in recent years. Today I see less and less of Larry Bird comparisons and more of Dirk (the current one - Bargnani).

It does not mean that Bird comparisons have totally disappeared, though. Morrison was probably the most recent one.

SwissExpress
04-11-2006, 03:39 PM
By the way, there's "little Shaq" in Europe, Greece. I remember that he had some hype in US too. I can't recall if he was already in the draft though. He must be in his early 20s; maybe 21 or 22, 6''10.

Here, I found his foto: http://www.euroleague.net/fotos/noticias/jornada1/gra_1821_77.jpg .

The initial expectations may be too high - even "little Shaq's" career is quite much too expect - but he already had some dominating games in Euroleague this season.

EDIT: maybe it's "the short Shaq", not "the little Shaq". I can't recall that; but his surname starts with "Short-", thus "the short Shaq" might be more plaussible.

Chauncey
04-11-2006, 03:40 PM
I'd go as far as to say, if he could've stayed healthy, Bender would've been a more dangerous scorer than KG. Bender was absolutely unstoppable at times.

See? It still continues.

Slick Pinkham
04-11-2006, 04:04 PM
See? It still continues.

there must be a 12-step program for this.

Pacer ability super-over-estimation-o-philia

beast23
04-11-2006, 04:05 PM
See? It still continues.

Oh god... No kidding.

Unstoppable. One time. And that was on Christmas day. Since Christmas only rolls around once a year, can we presume that Bender would have been unstoppable one day out of the whole year?

Bball
04-11-2006, 04:20 PM
How was Bender in his early days as compared to Granger?
I don't remember much about Bender's early game.

He looked lost. He NEVER looked like he had the makings of a complete game and he always looked like a project with a long way to go.

He NEVER strung together a streak of games where you had anything to latch onto that he was 'getting it' except some overblown hype. He did have a couple of good offensive games (Christmas game and the Kings game (for a half) come to mind) but I don't ever remember anything special about his defense.... nor were those nice offensive games ever followed up. Years separated that Christmas game and the Kings game in 2004.

For the most part, his stock dropped nearly everytime he took the court. OTOH, the legend grew as he stayed glued to the bench. At least in Pacerland.

-Bball

Chauncey
04-11-2006, 04:44 PM
Tyson Chandler - KG

Shaggy
04-11-2006, 05:25 PM
I'm an NBA historian at heart.

If so, then you will probably remember this hype since he briefly played for your beloved Pistons. I clearly remember Gerald Glass being hyped out of Ole Miss as the next Barkley. 6'4" mound of scoring thunder. Or at least he was until the NBA ran past him while he caught his breath. His one minor claim to fame was nearly blowing one of Zeke's mid court bounce-pass alley-oops. The pass was genius, the dunk was nearly all rim but did go in.

Glad to see you hit the Randy White and Karl Malone connection. The sad thing the only connection was their alma mater.

I will search my mental memory banks for a few more.

HulkSmash!
04-11-2006, 05:55 PM
See? It still continues.
Bender was a phenomonal offensive talent when healthy. With his size, athleticism, and range, there's no question he would've been a 20+ ppg scorer.

You need to understand, Benders career was ruint not because of lack of ability, but because of injuries. Untill you understand that you're opinion on him, much like your opinion on a lot of things, is always going to be wrong.

Hicks
04-11-2006, 05:59 PM
Bender was a phenomonal offensive talent when healthy. With his size, athleticism, and range, there's no question he would've been a 20+ ppg scorer.

You need to understand, Benders career was ruint not because of lack of ability, but because of injuries. Untill you understand that you're opinion on him, much like your opinion on a lot of things, is always going to be wrong.

What a lovely attitude. Don't let the fact that Bender had practically a negative basketball IQ, along with no fundamentals, stop you from claiming him the king of offense.

Slick Pinkham
04-11-2006, 06:07 PM
Bender was a phenomonal offensive talent when healthy. With his size, athleticism, and range, there's no question he would've been a 20+ ppg scorer.

You need to understand, Benders career was ruint not because of lack of ability, but because of injuries. Untill you understand that you're opinion on him, much like your opinion on a lot of things, is always going to be wrong.

Yeah, it’s not like he was ever healthy enough to play 78 games in a season, over 21 min per game, with 17 starts…

Oh, wait…

Yes he was, in 2001-2002:

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/jonathan_bender/index.html

So there must be some other excuse why he didn’t just break out all over the place.

Please see out a 12-step program for homeric Pacer player ability super-over-estimation-o-philia

8.9_seconds
04-11-2006, 06:22 PM
Yeah, it’s not like he was ever healthy enough to play 78 games in a season, over 21 min per game, with 17 starts…

Oh, wait…

Yes he was, in 2001-2002:

http://www.nba.com/playerfile/jonathan_bender/index.html

So there must be some other excuse why he didn’t just break out all over the place.

Please see out a 12-step program for homeric Pacer player ability super-over-estimation-o-philia


hehe, sorry, that was great.

For a long time, I wooped all over Jon. Now, I realize that I don't know the truth about him, not at all. I try not to make as many mean jokes, because maybe he did want to come back and play so bad, but just wasn't able to. I Don't know the truth, I won't pretend like I do, but JB's legend did grow on the bench. When he was playing, nobody talked about the Great Jonathan Bender, it was ,'he'll get better', 'he's doing good, and can do so much more, he has so much potetial.' Once he sat a long, long time, he was the amazing Jon Bender, able to dunk on any opponent and rain threes at will.

I'm sorry that he never got the chance to realize his potential, or never wanted the chance, but even though he's gone, his legend won't ever leave. This thread will grow to about 5 pages long, and then fade out; but others will come. Titles like : What if JB were here, would the Pacers be in better shape? or 'Rumor: Great Athlete Jonathan Bender to make triumphant comeback to reclaim major spot' or 'Could JB save the 05-06 Pacers? or 'Was Austin's hair thicker with Jon here?'

It's a never-ending cycle.








EDIT:

PS-BBall, could you please make some more JB jokes, for old times sake? Please?? :)

SwissExpress
05-06-2006, 07:57 AM
Maybe the most overused cliche in draft day history is the tall white guy with a nice shot that is compared to Larry Bird.

What is it, anyway? We don't have enough average white scrubs to look back on for comprarisons? Larry suddenly becomes the one white guy in NBA history when people try to drum up comparisons?


Kstat, looks like you've found yourself a comrade in arms:

http://www.hoopshype.com/columns/nocioni_hans.htm

Nocioni is "the next DeBusschere"
by Dennis Hans / May 1, 2006

http://www.hoopshype.com/nocioni.jpgAn unfair and burdensome label that too often is stuck on talented young white forwards is “the next Larry Bird (http://www.hoopshype.com/general_managers/larry_bird.htm).” Bird is one of the ten greatest players of all time. Chances are we’ll be waiting for decades for anyone of any color to match his immense and varied talents. Today’s white forwards would benefit from a more reasonable and reachable measuring stick, which is why I have launched a search – and found a nominee – for “the next Dave DeBusschere.” As for “the next Larry Bird,” I hereby declare that title open to players of every hue, and below I propose a premium-blend international recipient. But first, “the next Dave DeBusschere.”
As every hoop geezer knows, Dave DeBusschere (DD) was voted in 1996 one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time. The power forward for the 1970 and 1973 world champion New York Knicks (http://www.hoopshype.com/Library/teams/new_york.htm), DD began his career playing for and briefly coaching the Detroit Pistons (http://www.hoopshype.com/Library/teams/detroit.htm) – and pitching in the offseason for the Chicago White Sox. In 1968, early in his seventh season, he was traded to the Knicks for center Walt Bellamy. Coach Red Holzman moved power forward Willis Reed to center and put DeBusschere at Reed’s vacated 4 spot, thus giving the Knicks something unique in NBA annals: a complete, well-rounded player at every position. It’s easy to have great ball movement and shot selection – New York’s new calling card – when everyone can catch, pass, cut, dribble and shoot.
DD was a perennial all-league defender and strong rebounder whose 22-foot range (in the pre-trey era) achieved a similar effect to what Piston power forward Rasheed Wallace (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/rasheed_wallace.htm) achieves with his three-point range: stretching the opposing team’s defense and making it pay when it doesn’t. Both as a Knick and for his career, DD was good for 16 points and 11 rebounds in 36 minutes.
Even in the 1960s and early 1970s, 6-6 was a bit short for a power forward, though DeBusschere was certainly strong and rugged enough at 235 pounds. What he surrendered in height he more than made up for in coordination, quickness and skill – the three areas he generally had an edge on his opponent. Bear in mind, though, that the league was less compartmentalized then, with some teams featuring two all-purpose forwards rather than clearly defined 3s and 4s with separate duties and decidedly different bodies.
My nominee for the “the next Dave DeBusschere” is Andres Nocioni (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/andres_nocioni.htm), the Argentina-born Chicago Bull (http://www.hoopshype.com/Library/teams/chicago.htm) who splits his time at both forward positions and really provides a spark when he’s at DD’s 4 spot.
I confess to two misgivings about my choice. First, though I understand that NBA basketball is not to be confused with choir practice, Nocioni frequently crosses my ethical line with his flopping and cheap shots.
Second, I’ve reluctantly concluded it’s unfair to compare Nocioni to DD because, alas, Nocioni is better. I don’t mean “better” because of all the cutesy stuff he gets away with that helps his team. I mean “better” in the legitimate aspects of the game.
At 26, Nocioni is a better jumpshooter than DD ever was, and DD was quite good. Nocioni is better from mid-range as well as from 20-feet and beyond. He also elevates off the dribble higher than DD – a handy attribute when the game situation requires you to create your own shot.
DD shot .432 for his career; Nocioni this season (his second in the NBA) shot .461 – despite taking 28 percent of his shots from beyond the arc (and sinking them at an impressive .391 clip). At the free-throw line DD, shot .699 for his career; Nocioni this season shot .843.
Nocioni is a better ballhandler and driver than DD was, and DD was no slouch. When he’s at the 4, the Bulls rapid ball movement produces an open shot for a good shooter in the manner of the Knick title teams.
I thought DD might have an edge on the boards, but look at what Nocioni yanked down when his minutes overall and at power forward went up late in the regular season. In consecutive games from March 28 to April 12, he garnered 10, 11, 11, 12, 13, 10, 17 and 11 rebounds. He’s averaging 9.5 through the first four playoff games against Miami (http://www.hoopshype.com/Library/teams/miami.htm), and he’s doing this in an era when rebounds are less plentiful than in DD’s day.
Nocioni is a feisty scrapper on defense – Pat Riley (http://www.hoopshype.com/coaches/pat_riley.htm) likens him to such world-class past and present pests as Keith Askins, Dan Majerle (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/dan_majerle.htm) and Bruce Bowen (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/bruce_bowen.htm) – and the Bulls become very quick and active on that side of
the ball when he’s at the 4 spot. He’s a good on-the-ball defender and an excellent help defender. Granted, as a helper he benefits enormously from the foolish, bad-for-the-game generosity with which NBA refs reward floppers and late-arriving help defenders with bogus charging calls. But Nocioni excels as well at the legitimate aspects of defense. He and guards Kirk Hinrich (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/kirk_hinrich.htm) and Chris Duhon (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/chris_duhon.htm) are the pillars of a Bulls' D that, for a second straight season, held opponents to a lower field-goal percentage than did any other team.
Twenty years from now fans will have forgotten all about DeBusschere as they debate who will be “the next Nocioni.” As for “the next Larry Bird,” that’s an easy call: Dirk Diaw.
Two guys squeezed into one uniform might be a tad cozy, but merely to approach Bird you need a tall guy who shoots like Dirk Nowitzki (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/dirk_nowitzki.htm) and passes like Boris Diaw (http://www.hoopshype.com/players/boris_diaw.htm). As individuals, neither can rebound or pilfer passes like Bird. But as Dirk Diaw – the game’s first four-handed Euro hybrid – all things are possible.