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Thread: who are the best 5 GM's?

  1. #1

    Default who are the best 5 GM's?

    I remember when Brad was traded, dealt or whatever non-offensive term should be used for the transaction there was some debate on how good Brad really was.

    I believe it was Peck who said Brad was a top 5 center and challenged anyone to name 5 better. (Oddly enough I seem to think that the ones named were O'neal, Yao and Curry. Its funny what a half of a season will do.)

    So in the wake of yesterdays disappointment at the non-trade that went down I would like to know who people think are the top 5 GM's (or organization's with the best front offices since the GM isn't always the person who makes the desions and DW isn't even a GM for that matter.)

    I believe that Donnie is in the top five. I believe that any executive placed under the microscope that many place Donnie under will come out just as badly--and it is worse for Donnie than say Dumars because Joe hasn't had as many years to make mistakes or looked back upon as what could have been.

    My list would be Sac, San Antonio, Detriot, Indiana and Dallas in no particular order.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  2. #2
    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    I think Zeke deserves honorable mention.

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    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    (1) Jerry West
    (2) Donnie Walsh
    (3) Joe Dumars
    (4) Gregg Popovich
    (5) the guy in Sacremento that keeps winnng the award just because his owners have bottemless pockets.

    Honorable Mention: Mitch Kupchek and Isiah Thomas (their franchises make it easy for them to be good.)
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    I know alot of people are unhappy with DW because of the Brad miller deal and the lack of a deal at the deadline this year....but he is considered among the top executives in the league and rightly so....

    To completely rebuild a small market team that was in the finals only a few years ago...without missing the playoffs is quite astounding really... our team is young, deep and talented and will be a contender for the forseeable future.

  5. #5

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    Billy Knight
    Larry Bird
    Danny Ainge
    Bernie Bickerstaff
    John Paxson
    Jim Paxson
    Donn Nelson (Yes, 2 n's.)
    Kiki Vandeweghe
    Joe Dumars
    Garry St. Jean
    Flip Saunders
    Jerry West
    Randy Pfund
    Carroll Dawson
    Elgin Baylor
    Mitch Kupchack
    Larry Harris
    Rod Thorn
    Isiah Thomas
    John Gabriel
    Billy King
    Bryan Colangelo
    John Nash
    Geoff Petrie
    RC Buford
    Bob Bass
    Rick Sund
    Glen Grunwald
    Kevin OíConnor
    Ernie Grunfeld

  6. #6

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    5 Best:
    West, Bird/Walsh, Dumars, Petrie, Pop/Buford

    Honorable mention:
    Thomas, Vandeweghe, Nelson

    5 Worst:
    Ainge, St. Jean, Knight, Gabriel, King

    Dishonorable mention:
    Colangelo, Grunwald

  7. #7
    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    5 Best:
    Bird/Walsh

    Worst:
    St. Jean
    And people wonder why I thought a Pacers/Warriors trade might go down?

  8. #8
    tdeltdot
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    5 Worst:
    Ainge, St. Jean, Knight, Gabriel, King

    Dishonorable mention:
    Colangelo, Grunwald
    What about Rod Thorn? He hasn't exactly had much success on the free-agent market lately - i.e. Mutombo, Mourning and Griffin. Which is, what, $48-50 million worth of salary over the next 2 years?

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    Member PaceBalls's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    Donnie Walsh has to be one of the best ever, since the late 80s

  10. #10

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    What about Rod Thorn? He hasn't exactly had much success on the free-agent market lately - i.e. Mutombo, Mourning and Griffin. Which is, what, $48-50 million worth of salary over the next 2 years?
    I considered Thorn but his team has been successful and he's made a couple of nice deals (Griffen for Houston's 3 first round picks of which Jefferson was one; not maxing out KMart when he can match a market offer this summer; getting Kidd to re-up). The Mutumbo and Morning deals were bad but I think he's more of a middle of the road guy right now. Some good moves, some bad.

  11. #11
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    The answer to this would depend on your criteria. The 5 top guys you might pick from to get you a championship might not be the same 5 guys you'd choose to get your salary under control.... or who'd you pick to bring a perennial bottom feeder up to a respectable status.


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    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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  12. #12

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    Come on, Bball, don't skirt the issue with philosophy. Name the 5 you would want by your criteria.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    I'm just going to say this about who is the best. Jerry West.

    It would have been easy over the years to say that Jerry really wasn't that good but he was lucky because he had the Lakers & an owner who would pay.

    But he has gone to Memphis & totally turned that franchise around.

    Hands down, best G.M. Probably ever.

    Now here is where I want to step in & make another statement.

    I think it's only fair to evaluate G.M. abilities based on what their circumstances are.

    By that I mean how is their ownership, how is the local press, how demanding are the local fans, what did they have to work with to begin with, etc., etc.

    In Indiana everybody lines up to Walsh & he deserves a lot of it.

    But to be honest, would he have had the time to work with the club if he were in say N.Y. or Philly or even Chicago. The local press here is mashmellowey soft & those markets are like great white sharks.

    Our owners, God love them, are not what you would call demanding. He is a very good stewart of their money & for that I'm sure they are gratefull. But he doesn't have a Cuban or Reinsdorf standing over his shoulder demanding success.

    Our fans are not what you would call demanding by any sense of the word. In fact one could argue that we are one of the easier markets in the world.

    If a fan makes any form of remark suggesting that something should have happened or should not have happened, there are a gaggle of attack dogs that will swoop on them to accuse them of not being a fan.

    The apologist for this franchise are legandary.

    Now having said all of that I will say this.

    Walsh is probably in the top 15 G.M. (I know he's not the G.M.) spots of all-time.

    But, like Reggie, longevity has equalled success.

    Now the question still remains would he have had this long if he were most other franchises?


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  14. #14
    Member PaceBalls's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    Still, Donnie has always had this club in playoff contention ever since Reggies first few years. That's with many different players and core guys. That's quite a feat. When is the last year they didnt make the playoffs anyway?

  15. #15

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    Kiki Vandeweghe has been most impressive.

    I know he has only been on the job three years or so, but the results of his decision making has been spectacular.

    His only blemish might be the drafting of Skita, and that story has not nearly played out.

    Drafting Carmello was being in the right place at the right time. But not so in acquiring the rights to Nene.

    And the decision to unload all the salary in VanExel, LaFrentz, McDyess, Wahad makes him look like a genius.

    Dumars and Pop seem to have a real handle on the realities of the luxury tax and the cap.

  16. #16
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    Kiki Vandeweghe has been most impressive.

    I know he has only been on the job three years or so, but the results of his decision making has been spectacular.

    His only blemish might be the drafting of Skita, and that story has not nearly played out.

    Drafting Carmello was being in the right place at the right time. But not so in acquiring the rights to Nene.
    Just think if he'd have done what I wanted him to, and drafted Stoudamire to go with Nene. A frontline of Stoudamire, Nene, and Carmello?

    Simply unreal. I'd like him more, though, if he'd trade for Croshere.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    I just want to point out that out of the 29 GM's out there Donnie/Bird is in most people top 5. I think that it is telling that no one in the anti-Donnie camp has suggested that he shouldn't be there. I would like to this as evidence to make this statement--Donnie has done better as Pacer GM than most would have and that the next Pacer GM will most likely not be as good as Donnie.

    I am not suggesting that we should worship Donnie or even stop bemoaning this summers transaction or any other move or non-move--that's all about being a fan. But let's give Donnie his due.

    It seems to me most criticisms are based on that Donnie hasn't made the right decision everytime without holding in mind the decisions which were very good. Which isn't fair because it judges him only on what he has done wrong without considering his record or what his peer's have achieved.

    by the way, Peck, how did you decide on the top 15 all time front office people(gms). That is an odd number. Are there 10 gm's who are solidly placed in the top ten of all time?
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

  18. #18

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    Still, Donnie has always had this club in playoff contention ever since Reggies first few years. That's with many different players and core guys. That's quite a feat. When is the last year they didnt make the playoffs anyway?
    Exactly. Although my top pick would have to go either to Popp or West. Walsh is in the top 3 at least, in my unbiased and humble opinion.

  19. #19
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    I just want to point out that out of the 29 GM's out there Donnie/Bird is in most people top 5. I think that it is telling that no one in the anti-Donnie camp has suggested that he shouldn't be there.
    I think what it says most is nobody is in the mood or has time to debate it all over again.

    Also, it is silly for Pacer fans to debate Walsh's inclusion on the list as long as things are 'working'.... A Walsh Warrior surely won't have his mind changed or look at any other angles right now. And I am sure the 'Anti-Walsh' crowd (as you named) has their concerns but see point #1 (things seem to be working out).

    By standing pat in the face of some perceived needs we let some Eastern Conference teams close the gap on paper. We also didn't do much in the way of closing any perceived gaps with the West. But maybe those worries are silly? Maybe we have so much in place we had more to risk than to gain? I am fairly sure Walsh would say something like that. That's the fun/frustration of watching this all play out. It is also why they play the games.

    I personally like Dumars' style and think it can pay dividends. It is a risk/reward scenario. I am not even sure it is 'high risks' he is taking. He's keeping the team flowing forward and keeping the fan base energized. That can't hurt the box office. As a matter of fact, IS Walsh keeping the fan base energized in Indy?

    How can anyone argue against's West's inclusion on the list? I can't.

    The Spurs have won a couple of recent championships and kept salaries in check. Can't argue with that.

    Walsh has gotten the team to the playoffs and apparently kept the team self-sufficient (a prerequisite of the Simons?). He has some loyal followers (not hurt at all by a media that rarely sees the negative in any situation). Keeping the media happy is probably something else he's been able to do thru skill and personality. As long as fans aren't clamoring for rings or else and are happy with making the playoffs even if it means saying "Wait 'til next year" then he's been excellent.


    In closing.... the stretch run should be fun... or frustrating... probably both.

    -Bball
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    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

  20. #20

    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    By standing pat in the face of some perceived needs we let some Eastern Conference teams close the gap on paper. We also didn't do much in the way of closing any perceived gaps with the West. But maybe those worries are silly? Maybe we have so much in place we had more to risk than to lose? I am fairly sure Walsh would say something like that.

    Really, what were we going to do as far as trades go? Management knew Ron was injured, so they couldn't trade Al, who was seemingly our only viable trading piece to net someone of considerable worth in return. But let's say Ron wasn't injured. We were (are) sitting on top in the East with the 2nd best record in the league at the time of the trade deadline. Despite some obvious weaknesses, do you tamper with that or do you see how it plays out? I don't know the answer to that. No one does. If Ron weren't injured and we traded Al and came up short in the playoffs, Walsh detractors would forever blame the "Harrington debacle" as a key factor. I'm still looking forward to seeing how they factor Brad's absence into this year's playoffs should we not get very far. I wouldn't be surprised if some already have their posts written and waiting.

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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    I would say Hear Hear to Sixthman comments. I MIGHT also add West...and yes DW too. But...I wish to also point this out in DW's resume...

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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    I would like to know who people think are the top 5 GM's (or organization's with the best front offices since the GM isn't always the person who makes the desions and DW isn't even a GM for that matter.)

    My list would be Sac, San Antonio, Detriot, Indiana and Dallas in no particular order.
    I don't think you can make a definitive list of who's best in numerical order. The best you can do is name a group at the top like you did.

    Everyone has different parameters. For instant the Pacers are only interested in good characters whereas other teams, like Portland was, seem to go after whoever they think best without regard for character issues.

    Another for instant, whoever is evaluating talent for the Clippers (Baylor?)seems to be very good, but because they have penny pinching Donald Sterling as an owner they have different parameters than Isiah Thomas has in NY.

    An organization needs several things to be successful. Good ownership is first, then you need someone to run the organization. Then you need a talent evaluator and a good coach.

    Plus old fashioned good fortune has a lot to do with it. For instant San Antonio had the luck to get the number 1 pick in the collage draft twice. And both times the #1 pick was a no brainer. (David Robinson and Tim Duncan)

    All that said, I would add Denver, Utah, and Minnesota, to your list.

  23. #23
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?

    By standing pat in the face of some perceived needs we let some Eastern Conference teams close the gap on paper. We also didn't do much in the way of closing any perceived gaps with the West. But maybe those worries are silly? Maybe we have so much in place we had more to risk than to lose? I am fairly sure Walsh would say something like that.

    Really, what were we going to do as far as trades go? Management knew Ron was injured, so they couldn't trade Al, who was seemingly our only viable trading piece to net someone of considerable worth in return. But let's say Ron wasn't injured. We were (are) sitting on top in the East with the 2nd best record in the league at the time of the trade deadline. Despite some obvious weaknesses, do you tamper with that or do you see how it plays out? I don't know the answer to that. No one does. If Ron weren't injured and we traded Al and came up short in the playoffs, Walsh detractors would forever blame the "Harrington debacle" as a key factor. I'm still looking forward to seeing how they factor Brad's absence into this year's playoffs should we not get very far. I wouldn't be surprised if some already have their posts written and waiting.
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  24. #24
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: who are the best 5 GM's?


    Really, what were we going to do as far as trades go? Management knew Ron was injured, so they couldn't trade Al, who was seemingly our only viable trading piece to net someone of considerable worth in return. But let's say Ron wasn't injured. We were (are) sitting on top in the East with the 2nd best record in the league at the time of the trade deadline. Despite some obvious weaknesses, do you tamper with that or do you see how it plays out? I don't know the answer to that. No one does. If Ron weren't injured and we traded Al and came up short in the playoffs, Walsh detractors would forever blame the "Harrington debacle" as a key factor. I'm still looking forward to seeing how they factor Brad's absence into this year's playoffs should we not get very far. I wouldn't be surprised if some already have their posts written and waiting.
    I'd argue that as long as the trade made sense on paper then most would understand if it didn't pan out. There is a big difference trading your '6th starter' who doesn't exactly fit (is a bit redundant in face of bigger needs) for a known commodity that would seem to fit in better but in the end just doesn't pan out.. as opposed to trading him for a draft pick and then taking the biggest unkown in the draft.... especially in the middle of your championship window.... and for a position that had the least need.

    As for the part about an early playoff departure and Brad's absence.... mine starts: "What did you expect?"

    If we do get bounced does anyone really doubt it will be because of lacking things that BMiller brings to the table? We know what our Achilles heel is. So does Detroit who set out to take a shot at exploiting it. But coaching and execution can sometimes minimize weaknesses.... OTOH... the same can sometimes exploit them.

    But right now the playoffs are in front of us and homecourt throughout is in our grasp. So, that pretty much negates harping on the coulda/shoulda's.

    -Bball
    O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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