Point Guard Swap Headlines Blockbuster Trade

kyrie trade

The NBA has become the gift that keeps on giving. Just when you think the NBA is going to fade into the background, BAM (yes that was an Emeril Lagasse reference) they’re right back in the news. Tuesday evening, the Twitter machine blew up, thanks to a massive trade. Two Eastern Conference juggernauts pulled off a blockbuster deal:

Cleveland Cavaliers get:

Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 1st-round pick (via the Brooklyn Nets)

Boston Celtics get:

Kyrie Irving

 

There are so many storylines here my head is spinning, but let’s get a hold of ourselves, and make a to-do list:

  1. Kyrie Irving gets what he wants
  2. We finally get the answer to the question: When will Danny Ainge make his move??
  3. With the impending departure of Lebron James in 2018, can the Cavaliers make 1 last run at the Warriors??
  4. Last, but certainly not least, who won the trade??

 

Kyrie Irving got what he wanted. He got traded off the team run by the best player in the world, so he can be the man. Forget his little, 4-team wish list (Spurs, Timberwolves, Heat, and Knicks), Irving landed in the best situation possible!!  Not only will he be the man in Boston, but he still has a cake walk to the Eastern Conference Finals. Until then, we can talk about the potentially awkward, pre-game handshake between Lebron James and Kyrie Irving….

Danny Ainge had to make a splash eventually, right?? After accumulating multiple 1st-round draft picks and young talent, the basketball world impatiently awaited the day Danny Ainge would cash-in. Well, that day was yesterday. The question is, was this the right move?? Relax, we’ll get there!! Didn’t you read my to-do list??

The entire upcoming NBA season will be spent talking about Lebron James. Will he stay in Cleveland?? Will he leave again?? Where will he go?? This is inevitable when you sign 1-year contracts. Now the question will be, will Lebron AND Isaiah stay?? They’re both free agents after this season, so it looks like the Cavaliers are taking 1 last run at the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers are better than they were yesterday, but they’ll still come up short in a grudge match with the Warriors. Sorry Cavs fans.

And finally, who won the trade?? This is a mega-deal between the 2 best teams in the Eastern Conference. This trade makes sense for both teams on multiple levels, but the Cavaliers won the trade. Yes, Kyrie Irving is great. Yes, Kyrie Irving is under contract for 3 more years. Yes, I’m hungry. Oops, I mean, yes, Kyrie Irving is only 25. But, the Cavaliers still got the better end of the deal. Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving are the same player. Outstanding, score-first point guards who play VERY little defense. So, the Cavaliers obviously got the better deal in the short-term. But they also got the better deal in the long-term.

They received a 7-foot, 20-year old prospect in Ante Zizic. If you want to learn about the big fella, just click on his interesting name. They also received the Nets 1st-round pick in 2018 (which will be a very good pick). And being completely overshadowed by the little guys, is Jae Crowder. I like Jae Crowder. He’s a strong (6’6″, 235 lbs.), versatile player, who plays both ends of the floor. And the best part about Crowder is his contract; 5-years, $35 million (runs through 2020). That’s a bargain!!

I tip my cap to you Koby Altman. Altman is the newly hired, Doogie Howser General Manager (36 years old) of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and this was his 1st major move. Nice work sir!!

 

What do you think of this trade?? Who do you think got the better end of the deal?? Tell me all about it in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

What A Wild Wednesday!!

aaron judge 3

Who knew a Wednesday in August could provide so much entertainment?? From idiot doctors to MONSTER home run blasts, Wednesday provided as much fun as one guy can handle.

Misdiagnosis

There’s being bad at your job, and then there’s being BAAAAAAADDDD at your job. As the orthopedists for an NFL team, your only job is to properly diagnose players’ injuries and occasionally perform surgery — that’s it! Apparently, New Orleans Saints’ orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri couldn’t even do that. Jones and Suri misdiagnosed an injury to Saints’ #1 cornerback Delvin Breaux. Their official diagnosis was Breaux was dealing with a bone bruise, when in fact he FRACTURED HIS FIBULA!!!! WOW!! I mean, just WOW!! That’s like the school nurse sending you back to class with a  bag of ice, when you have a bone sticking out of your arm.

Needless to say, Jones and Suri were promptly fired. Now, Jones and Suri are also the team doctors for the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA, so it’ll be interesting to see what route they take with these 2 geniuses.

That Ball Went Reeeaaalllyyy Far!!

The game was tied at 1. It was the top of the 4th inning. Mets’ pitcher, Robert Gsellman, actually looked like a MLB starter through 3 innings of Game 3 of the Subway Series at CitiField. And then Aaron Judge happened. Aaron Judge hit a home run to left field that may be in orbit at the moment. Judge has struggled since the All-Star Break, but his power remains undeniable. “My logic is undeniable.” $20 bucks to anyone who knows what movie that’s from…..

Anyway, you have to see this blast to fully appreciate it, so click here and enjoy. HOLY CRAP!! Right?? ESPN measured that bad boy at 457 feet, but I’m calling for a re-measure. The best part of the video, depending on your team-allegiance, is Yoenis Cespedes’ reaction. Re-watch the video and you’ll notice Cespedes doesn’t move an inch or even turn around. He simply knew that baseball was destined for space travel.

Not My Kind Of Record

Aaron Judge’s evening wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Despite hitting a monstrous home run, and going 2 for 5, Judge landed on the wrong side of the record books. Judge has now struck-out in 33 consecutive games. This is the longest streak, by a non-pitcher, in MLB history. He surpassed strikeout machine, Adam Dunn.

The question is, how many more games in a row will Judge strikeout??

Screw You Trevor Rosenthal

As a Yankees’ fan, I know how important the outcome of Boston Red Sox games are, especially in August. With a Yankees’ W firmly in the books Wednesday evening, my attention turned to the Red Sox game. They trailed the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th inning. Here comes Cardinals’ closer, Trevor Rosenthal. A 1-2-3 inning would have been too much to ask for, right?? Instead, Rosenthal thought it would be a better idea to give up 2 runs without recording an out. Yay!! So rather than the Yankees cutting a game off the Red Sox’ lead in the AL East, they remain 4.5 games back. Thanks Mr. Rosenthal. Ya jerk!!

 

What were you watching on Wednesday night?? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

NBA Installs Pillows On Every Team’s Bench

lebron-james-rest

It’s Saturday night. Dinner’s ready. Beer’s in hand. And I settle in to that a** groove in the couch directly in front of the TV. I flip to ABC to watch the highly anticipated match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, ya know, the game ESPN selflessly promoted for weeks, only to find that the game’s 8 best players were “scratched”. Angry, but still happy to have my feet up on the couch next to my wife, we found a movie, and the NBA lost my viewership for the evening.

This is known as the Resting Epidemic. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has acknowledged it is the NBA’s biggest problem, and he feels they have a solution. Their solution is highlighted in the NBA’s schedule for the upcoming season. Here are the most notable changes to the schedule:

  • The season will start 8 days earlier (a move from Oct. 25 to Oct. 17)
  • A record low back-to-back games (an average of 14.4 per team)
  • Elimination of 4 in 5’s (4 games in 5 nights)
  • Protection of Marquee Matchups on National TV

Allow me to elaborate on that last one. Marquee Matchups, such as Warriors vs. Spurs, are broadcast on ABC (National TV). These games carry higher ratings, which brings more advertisers, ergo everyone involved makes more money. So when millions tune-in to check out Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol and NONE of them are playing, yeah, I’d say there’s a problem.

Well this year, the NBA will cater to the babie..ahem..I mean NBA players who feel they don’t get enough days off throughout the season. Ya know, the NBA players who get paid millions to play a game for a living. Yeah — those guys. This is the part when I talk directly into the camera….

Listen, I understand playing in the NBA is taxing on your body. You play thousands of minutes, travel thousands of miles, and probably have odder sleeping habits than me. BUT, you have professional trainers at your beckon call. You have personal chefs. You fly on private planes. And you stay in the nicest hotels imaginable. What the hell do you have to complain about?!?! Playing 4 basketball games in 5 days?!?! Boofreakinhoo!! Try working a 12-hour shift, just to race to your 2nd job where you work another 6-hour shift, to make just enough money to put food on the table for your kids (who you barely see). Then come back to me and tell me you still want to complain about playing in the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Spare me….

The fact that resting is the NBA’s biggest problem, is a sad reflection of our society. And the NBA’s response is even sadder. Rather than coming down hard by fining teams and players, they are coddling their superstars, proudly preparing them for nothing that closely resembles real life. So, when you tune-in to ABC this year for any of the Warriors’ 6 National TV games, they will be well rested. In fact, no team playing on ABC this year will be playing in the 2nd of a back-to-back.

The all-important question still remains: Will caving and pandering to every need of NBA’s superstars solve the NBA’s Resting Epidemic?? Or will NBA teams continue to rest players at inopportune times?? Only time will tell. My guess is it won’t help one bit….

 

What do you think?? Do you agree with the NBA modifying it’s schedule to get NBA players more rest?? Will it solve the Resting Epidemic?? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

A Thursday For The Ages

brett gardner

Beware of Flying Helmets

“See ya!!” No 2 words have ever been more recognizable in the world of baseball. Just after 11:00 p.m. on Thursday night, Yankees’ announcer Michael Kay’s voice carried through a humid, Summer night alongside a Brett Gardner long-drive. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Gardner took an Andrew Kittredge breaking-ball deep to right field. And the celebration was on!! A dramatic, walk-off victory (6-5) over the division rival, Tampa Bay Rays is reason to celebrate. Someone, however, should teach the Yankees to exercise caution when jumping up and down on home plate.

In the midst of the raucous celebration, rookie sensation, Aaron Judge, took some friendly fire. Judge caught a helmet right in the kisser, which resulted in a chipped tooth. You can check out the video of the celebration here. It appears that Gardner’s helmet grew legs and jumped off Austin Romine’s back directly into Aaron Judge’s mouth. Judge can be seen immediately grabbing his Michael Strahan-esque smile as he head straight for the locker room. Judge should be fine, but it’s the condition of his signature, gap-toothed smile I’m worried about.

Oh Football

It is insane Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have a job in the NFL. Now, before you jump down my throat, listen closely. You don’t have to agree with Kaepernick’s actions over the past year. Hell, you don’t even have to like him. But, you can’t deny that Kaepernick is qualified to play in the NFL. Forget the fact that he’s better than a portion of the STARTING quarterbacks in the league, but at the start of training camp, most teams carry 4 or 5 quarterbacks. So you’re telling he’s not better than ALL 160 quarterbacks entering NFL training camps?! If you believe that, you’re not being honest with yourself.

Now, just as Kaepernick has the RIGHT to kneel during the National Anthem, NFL owners have the RIGHT not to hire him. This would be all well and good, except for the fact that NFL owners are the biggest hypocrites in the world (thanks to public perception of course). NFL owners have no problem employing murderers, rapists, wife-beaters, dog killers and drug addicts, but ohhhhh nooooo, there is no way we are hiring this protester.

Again, I understand both sides of the debate here, but isn’t it wild how selectively forgiving our society is??

In other football news, Odell Beckham Jr. thought Day 1 of training camp was a good time to tell the world he wants to be the highest paid player in the NFL. Good for you buddy. Now shut up, and go do your job!!

At least Beckham showed up to training camp, unlike fellow NFL star LeVeon Bell. Bell, one of the NFL’s top rushers, is holding out for a lucrative, long-term contract. Yeah, this should end well….

The Rich Get Richer

This is scary. As dominant as the Golden State Warriors were last season, they’ve somehow improved. It’s true. They spent this offseason re-signing every important role player (Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala), and they brought in new reserves in the form of Nick Young and Omri Caspri. As if that wasn’t enough, they spent Thursday re-signing Javale McGee to a veteran’s minimum contract (1-year, $2.1 million). So let’s grab that remote from Adam Sandler’s blockbuster-flop, Click, and fast forward through another NBA season. Barring a major injury to 1 or 2 of the Warriors’ core players, they will, without a doubt, be hoisting the trophy next June.

Why watch if you already know the outcome??

 

What was the most exciting story from Thursday?? Tell me all about it in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

Legendary Sportscaster Bob Wolff’s Unrivaled Legacy

Unmatched. Unparalleled. Unbelievable. The impact legendary sportscaster Bob Wolff made, not only on the sports world, but on society, will live on for generations. Wolff passed away Saturday night in his Nyack home, leaving behind a legacy that is second to none. The iconic sportscaster was 96 years old.

Wolff stood as the record holder for longest running broadcaster (78 years). His work dates back to 1939, when he was on WDNC Radio as a student at Duke University. His most recent work, in 2017, sports commentary for News 12 Long Island. Over the last 78 years, Wolff accomplished more than most could ever dream of, compiling the most impressive broadcasting resume in the history of sports.

Every accomplishment of Wolff’s is more impressive than the last, so I will list the major ones in no particular order:

  • Called the only perfect game in World Series history (Don Larsen in 1956)
  • Did TV play-by-play for both New York Knicks’ championships (1970 and 1973)
  • Called “The Greatest Game Ever Played” (1958 NFL Championship Game — Baltimore Colts vs. New York Giants)
  • Called Jackie Robinson’s last major league hit (game winning hit in Game 6 of the 1956 World Series)
  • Interviewed Babe Ruth

The list is endless, as Wolff seemingly did every broadcasting job known to man. He is the only sportscaster to call play-by-play of championships in all 4 major sports (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL). Throughout his career, he even found time to become the TV play-by-play voice for 8 different teams across 5 sports:

  • Baltimore Colts, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns
  • New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons
  • New York Rangers
  • Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins
  • Tampa Bay Rowdies (Soccer)

How is this even possible?? Broadcasters are fortunate to become the voice of 1 team, in 1 sport. Wolff managed to conquer multiple sports, in multiple cities, across the country. Wolff also served his country. He served as a supply officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

All of his hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed. Wolff was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 as well as the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, becoming only the 2nd sportscaster to be inducted into both Halls of Fame (Curt Gowdy). Bob Wolff’s life and career should be endlessly applauded. He was a pioneer, and without his efforts, it is unlikely you’d be reading this article right now. Thank you Bob Wolff, for paving the way.

 

What is your favorite Bob Wolff memory?? Please share it in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M EST.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

Top 10 NBA Players Of All-Time

lebron finals

Upon Lebron James’ arrival to his 7th consecutive NBA Finals, I began brainstorming. If Lebron won the Finals (which no one in their right mind thought he would), where would he rank on the all-time list?? Lebron lost, however, his career accomplishments still rank amongst the greatest to ever play the game. Naturally, this leaves us with only 1 thing to do. Make a list of the top 10 NBA Players of All-Time. This list will consider everything these players have accomplished until present day. Since Lebron is still active, you must read this list as if the NBA were to cease to exist tomorrow. Do not take into account the potential for the rest of Lebron’s career, as that would create a bias. He’s not done climbing the list Lebron fans..relax.

Since the association became the NBA (National Basketball Association) in 1949, there have been a host of amazing players to grace the hardwood. However, a small group of living legends stand out from the rest. Why do they stand out?? What makes them the best?? It is a combination of their physical skills, ability to win, and intangibles (heart/leadership/will to win). I will take all of these factors into account. I will be looking at the complete makeup of each player and what made/makes them great.

Any list must start with honorable mentions. We must pay homage to the men just outside the top 10, for their contributions also brought the game to new levels.

Honorable Mentions

  • Oscar Robertson
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • Karl Malone
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Julius Erving
  • Jerry West

Oscar Robertson not making the list was the toughest decision I made today. The “Big O”‘s numbers speak for themselves, as he is the all-time leader in triple-doubles (181). Hakeem is next on my tough decision list. There are only 10 spots!! It’s not my fault!! Hakeem “The Dream” had the smoothest skillset we’ve ever seen from the center position. Combine that with amazing shot-blocking ability, and you’re looking at a top 5 center of all-time. Elgin Baylor and Karl Malone fall into the same category, no championship..no list. Sorry. The “Mailman” is 2nd on the all-time scoring list thanks to his scoring ability and longevity (19 seasons), however he had the unfortunate pleasure of playing at the same time as Michael Jordan. Baylor was one of the most talented players you never saw play, however was also unfortunate to play against the likes of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Baylor made 8 NBA Finals appearances and came away empty handed. Julius Erving (“Dr. J”) could have made the list had he not played 5 seasons in the ABA. He was an innovator and should not be overlooked when discussing the history of the NBA. Jerry West IS the NBA logo. Enough said.

Now, without further a due, I present the top 10 NBA Players of All-Time:

shaq

 

10.) Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, Shaq Daddy, Superman)
19 NBA Seasons – 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 58.2 FG%, 52.7 FT%

The Diesel. Enough said?? This nickname speaks for itself. Shaq was the most physically dominant force the NBA has ever seen. He was an unstoppable wrecking ball that could only be slowed (or fouled) but couldn’t be stopped. Watching Shaq, in his prime, was something special. For a man of his stature, he showed an amazing amount of offensive skills. He won a few games along the way too. He won 4 Championships, 1 MVP, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. It is no surprise he won Rookie of the Year in 1993. And who doesn’t want a strategy named after them (?)….’Hack A Shaq’.

history_summary_russell

9.) Bill Russell (Russ)

13 NBA Seasons – 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 44 FG%, 56.1 FT%

Bill Russell will always be the ultimate winner. He led the Boston Celtics teams of the 1950’s and 60’s to 11 Championships in 13 years. While he played with some great teammates over the years, he is regarded as the best defensive center of all-time (Wilt may have something to say about that). He is also one of the best rebounders ever. It was Russell’s intangibles though, such as leadership, that put him head and shoulders above the rest. During Russell’s era, they didn’t keep track of Finals’ MVPs, however, I can safely say he would have won 4 of them (I did my research..don’t worry). In a time where Wilt Chamberlain dominated the NBA statistically, it shows how impressive Bill Russell’s Championship tenure was.

tim duncan

8.) Tim Duncan (Timmy, The Big Fundamental)

19 NBA Seasons – 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 50.6 FG%, 69.6 FT%

Tim Duncan had (shhhh..very quietly) one of the most impressive careers in NBA history. He is without question the best power forward ever (sorry Karl). By they way, his nickname should be “The Bank”. Have you ever seen anyone shoot a better, more effective jump-shot off the backboard than Tim Duncan?? Without dominating the game physically, or landing on highlight reels, Tim Duncan did 1 thing better than most; win. He won 5 Championships, 2 MVPs, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. He also won the Rookie of the Year in 1998. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, “Timmy” was also one of the best defensive power forwards ever.

kobe

7.) Kobe Bryant (Black Mamba)

20 NBA Seasons – 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 44.7 FG%, 83.7 FT%

While there will only be one Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant came pretty close. Kobe emulated Jordan in as many ways as possible. That’s not a knock on Kobe, that’s just plain smart. Kobe was as talented a scorer as you’ll ever see, and was also one of the best on-ball defenders ever. Don’t forget, he jumped straight from high school to the NBA. The only other person on this list to do that is Lebron. Kobe was an assassin. His desire to win and cutthroat attitude was seemingly unparalleled. He liked to win, and did plenty of it. The “Black Mamba” won 5 Championships, 1 MVP (he deserved more), and 2 Finals’ MVPs.

larry-bird

6.) Larry Bird (Larry Legend, The Hick From French Lick)

13 NBA Seasons – 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 49.6 FG%, 88.6 FT%

Magic and Bird. The best rivalry in NBA history, and my personal favorite NBA era. Larry Bird is regarded as one the best shooters the NBA has ever seen (until Steph Curry that is, haha). Bird didn’t just shoot. He possessed a special all around skillset. He is the only player in NBA history to hold career averages of more than 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was also an extremely underrated defender, as his anticipation on the court was unmatched. Just like Magic, his career was cut short. Bird dealt with chronic back problems late in his career (he still averaged over 20 points per game in the last season of his career). His heart and competitive spirit willed his team to victory time and time again. Bird won 3 Championships, 3 MVPs, and 2 Finals’ MVPs. He also won Rookie of the Year in 1980.

lebron dunk

5.) Lebron James (King James)

14 NBA Seasons (Active) –  27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 50.1 FG%, 74.0 FT%

Lebron James entered the NBA straight out of high school. The level of expectations put on his shoulders as a teenager was unparalleled. To say Lebron has simply exceeded expectations would be the understatement of the century. He is one of the most complete players..ever. He can do it all. If he wanted to lead the league in assists, he would. Rebounds, he would. Points, well I think you get the point. He just became the 1st player in NBA history to average a triple-double in the Finals. I don’t have enough paper real estate to list all of his accomplishments, so let’s understand his work in this league is far from done. Lebron has won 3 Championships, 4 MVPs, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. He also has the 2004 Rookie of the Year Award floating around somewhere. Stay tuned….

wilt-chamberlain

4.) Wilt Chamberlain (Wilt The Stilt)

14 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 54.0 FG%, 51.1 FT%

The best center of all-time?? Kareem or Wilt?? It is nearly impossible to definitively answer this question. Wilt Chamberlain was the most dominant force in NBA history. He famously holds the record for most points scored in one game (100), a record I doubt will EVER be broken. Another record that will NEVER be broken: Chamberlain averaged over 50 points in a season (and didn’t even win the NBA MVP – yeah the NBA knows what it’s doing). Oh yeah, Wilt didn’t like being told he couldn’t do something. When the buzz around the league was Wilt was a ball hog, he led the league in assists the following season. It’s a shame in Wilt’s era MVP’s were given to a player on the championship team, because no one knows how many MVP’s Wilt could have won. Even with that obstacle, he still managed to win 4 MVP awards, 2 NBA Championships, and 1 Finals MVP. Wilt was also one of those players who burst right on to the scene, winning the Rookie of the Year in 1960. Wilt was a transcendent talent. If you dropped him in the NBA right now, I’d bet good money he’d still be the best center in the league.

Abdul-Jabbar takes sky hook

3.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Cap)

20 NBA Seasons – 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks, 55.9 FG%, 72.1 FT%

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the centerpiece of the Lakers Championships of the 1980’s.  He was part of their 5 Championships in the 80’s. He also won a Championship with the Milwaukee Bucks prior to playing with the Lakers. He was a true innovator. He perfected an unstoppable move, the sky hook, which helped him become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Kareem was a star from the second he entered the league and was named Rookie of the Year in 1970 (averaging 28.8 points and 14.4 rebounds). Of the long list of Kareem’s accolades, I find a center shooting over 72% from the free-throw line highly impressive. He was an outstanding all around player, showcasing offensive and defensive skills throughout his 20-year career. Kareem won 6 Championships, was MVP a record breaking 6 times, and won 2 Finals’ MVPs.

magic-johnson-lakers-fast-break

2.) Earvin Johnson (Magic)

12 NBA Seasons – 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists, 52 FG%, 84.8 FT %

As the leader of the “Showtime” Lakers, Magic Johnson reinvented the fast break. He revolutionized the point guard position.  Standing 6’9” tall, Magic was a nightmare match-up for anyone who tried to guard him. Well, they didn’t guard him they only slowed him down, sometimes. Larry Bird was his most formidable opponent, but the Lakers got the better of that rivalry. He brought power forward size and strength to the point guard position (and even played center in the 1980 NBA Finals). He is second all-time (to Oscar Robertson) in career triple-doubles (138). It is a tragedy Magic’s career was cut short due to his battle with HIV. Magic won 5 championships, 3 MVPs, and 3 Finals’ MVPs. Just like Michael Jordan, one can only imagine the potential accomplishments if he played another 4 or 5 seasons.

Michael-jordan

1.) Michael Jordan (MJ, Air Jordan)

15 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 49.7 FG %, and 83.5 FT%

What can be said about Michael Jordan that hasn’t been said already?? Michael Jordan is hands down the greatest basketball player to ever walk the face of the planet. He was a one-time Defensive Player of the Year and regarded as the best defender at his position in NBA history. One of his most impressive feats is his perfect 6 for 6 record in the Finals. In each of those finals, he NEVER allowed a series to reach a decisive 7th game. If that is not the epitome of greatness, I don’t know what is. What you also have to remember is Jordan retired TWICE, in his prime, which caused him to miss nearly five full seasons. Imagine if he never retired and played straight through the age of 40 (where he averaged over 20 points)?! I think it’s fair to say he would have won at least 2 more MVPs and 2 more Championships. He won 6 NBA Championships, 5 MVP’s, and 6 Finals’ MVPs. Jordan won Rookie of the Year in 1985. All others can strive to Be Like Mike, but there will always be 1 Michael Jordan.

 

What do you think of my list?? Like it, love it, or hate it?? Either way, get your feelings off your chest in the comment section below. I’ll also be looking for your list, so make sure to post it in the comments as well.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Top Ten NBA Centers of All-Time

Throughout the history of the NBA, the center position has always been vital to the success of an NBA franchise.  As the game of basketball has evolved, the prototypical center has changed.  In today’s NBA, the position is not as important as it used to be.  NBA teams used to build around a center who could dominate at both ends of the floor.  This list is meant to rank the Top Ten NBA Centers of All-Time.

 

Honorable Mention

Patrick Ewing, Dave Cowens, Walt Bellamy, and Wes Unseld.

 

10.) George Mikan (Mr. Basketball)

mikan

6 NBA Seasons – 22.3 points, 13.4 rebounds, 40.1 FG%, 78.4 FT%

4x All-Star, 5 NBA Championships

George Mikan was truly an innovator.  He was Russell before Russell, and Wilt before Wilt.  He was the centerpiece to the NBA’s first dynasty; the Minneapolis Lakers of the 1950’s.  They won 4 NBA Championships in 5 years.  Mikan was known as a hard nosed player on both ends of the floor, and was known to play through broken bones.  As time goes on, his name fades into the background, but we must pay homage to those who helped paved the way for the future.  Without the innovation of George Mikan, there is no telling what superstars the NBA would have missed out on.

 

9.) Elvin Hayes (The Big E)

hayes

16 NBA Seasons – 21.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 45.2 FG%, 67.0 FT%

12x All-Star, 1 NBA Championship

Elvin Hayes was Bret Favre and Deion Sanders wrapped into 1 player.  He did it all.  Over his 16 year career, Hayes only missed 9 games.  He was also a great two way player, with his tenacious defense and consistent scoring.  Hayes is still top 10 in points scored, rebounds, and field goals made.  What’s most impressive about those numbers is that Hayes is the shortest center on this list, standing just 6’9″ tall.

 

8.) David Robinson (The Admiral)

robinson

14 NBA Seasons – 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 51.8 FG%, 73.6 FT%

10x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 1990 Rookie of the Year , 1x Defensive Player of the Year

He was the definition of an all around player and as consistent as they come.  Standing at a lean 7’1″ tall, Robinson posed a threat at both ends of the floor.  If it weren’t for that guy Dikembe Mutumbo, there is no telling how many Defensive Player of the Year awards he would have won.  Robinson made up one half of the twin towers, along side Tim Duncan, en route to 2 NBA championships.  Robinson’s rise to stardom had to wait as he honorably served in the NAVY for 2 years prior to the start of his playing career.  Robinson’s all around talents produced one of the most impressive performances of all time.  On February 17th, 1994, Robinson became only the 5th player ever to record a quadruple double (34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks).

 

7.) Willis Reed (The Captain)

reed

10 NBA Seasons – 18.7 points, 12.9 rebounds, 47.6 FG%, 74.7 FT%

7x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 2x NBA Final’s MVP, 1965 Rookie of the Year

Willis Reed was “The Captain” before Derek Jeter was even born.  Reed proved to be a leader and a clutch performer throughout his career.  As an undersized center, at 6’10”, Reed was able to bang with the best of them under the boards.  Offensively, he showed a rare combination of power and finesse around the rim.  This style of play led to many battles with Wilt Chamberlain and the Los Angeles Lakers.  The first of these battles came in the best year of Willis Reed’s career; 1970.  He was in the prime of his career, he won the regular season MVP, and was carrying his team through the playoffs.  Then he got hurt.  Up until that moment, Reed had dominated the first 4 games of the NBA Finals (averaging 31.75 points per game).  What transpired next turned Reed into a living legend.  Reed famously hobbled from the locker room during game 7 to score 4 of the most courageous points in NBA Final’s history.

 

6.) Moses Malone (Chairman of the Boards)

malone

19 NBA Seasons – 20.6 points,  12.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 49.1 FG%, 76.9 FT%

12x All-Star, 3x NBA MVP, 1 NBA Championship, 1x NBA Final’s MVP

In 1974, Moses Malone became the first player to be drafted to the NBA directly out of high school.  After 2 seasons with the ABA, Malone transitioned to the NBA.  Over the next 19 seasons, Malone proved to be one of the best scorers and rebounders the game has ever seen.  Upon entering the league, Malone was an undersized 6’10”, 215 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from averaging 13.4 rebounds that year.  When Malone retired in 1995, he ranked in the top 10 in points scored, rebounds, games played, minutes played, and free throws made.

 

5.) Hakeem Olajuwon (The Dream)

olajuwon

18 NBA Seasons – 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 51.2 FG%, 71.2 FT%

12x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 2x NBA Final’s MVP, 2x Defensive Player of the Year

Here’s one #1 overall draft pick that lived up to the hype.  Hakeem Olajuwon possessed a unique skillset that may never be seen again from a ‘true’ center.  His smooth offensive game was a thing of beauty, while at the same time, he became the NBA’s most prolific shot blocker (he is still the career blocks leader in the NBA).  He is also the only player in NBA history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, NBA MVP award, win a championship, and be named the NBA Final’s MVP in the same season (1994).  The only knock on Olajuwon is that he only won a championship when Michael Jordan was on hiatus from the NBA.  Other than that side note, Hakeem The Dream was everything you’d wish for in a center.

 

4.) Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, Shaq Daddy, Superman)

shaq

19 NBA Seasons – 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 58.2 FG%, 52.7 FT%

15x All-Star, 1x NBA MVP, 4 NBA Championships, 3x NBA Final’s MVP, 1993 Rookie of the Year

The Diesel.  Enough said?  Shaq was easily the most physically dominant force the NBA has ever seen.  He was like an unstoppable wrecking ball that could only be slowed (or ‘hack a shaq’d’), but couldn’t be stopped.  Watching Shaq play in his prime was something special.  He showed an amazing amount of offensive skills for a man of his size.  Also, his 58.2% shooting from the field is the third highest mark in NBA history.  But most importantly, he may be the #1 interview of all time.

 

3.) Bill Russell (Bill)

russell

13 NBA Seasons – 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 44 FG%, 56.1 FT%

12x All-Star, 5x NBA MVP, 11 NBA Championships

Bill Russell will always be known as the ultimate winner.  He was part of the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1950’s and 60’s that won 11 championships in 13 seasons.  While he played with some great teammates over the years, he is regarded as the best defensive center of all time.  He is also one of the best rebounders in the history of the game (ranking 2nd all time).  It was Russell’s intangibles, such as his leadership, that made him stand out.  During Russell’s era, they didn’t keep track of NBA Final’s MVP’s, however by my research, I believe he would have won 4 NBA Final’s MVPs.  They also did not record blocks in Russell’s playing days, but it is said that Wilt and Russell would have had double digit blocks every night.  In an era when Wilt Chamberlain was the NBA’s best player, it shows how impressive Bill Russell’s run of championships was.  He continuously went head to head with Wilt Chamberlain and came out on top.

 

2.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Cap)

kareem

20 NBA Seasons – 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks, 55.9 FG%, 72.1 FT%

19x All-Star, 6x NBA MVP, 6 NBA Championships, 6x NBA Finals MVP, 1970 Rookie of the Year

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the centerpiece of the Lakers championships in the 1980′s.  He was part of all 5 of their championship titles in the 80′s, and also won a title with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1970’s.  Kareem still holds the record for winning the most NBA MVP awards (6), while also remaining the NBA’s all time leading scorer.  He was a true innovator to the game of basketball.  During his career, he perfected an unstoppable move called the sky hook.  Kareem was a star from the second he entered the league and was the runaway Rookie of the Year in 1970 (averaging 28.8 points and 14.4 rebounds).  He was an outstanding all around player, showcasing his offensive and defensive skills throughout his 20 year career.

 

1.) Wilt Chamberlain (Wilt The Stilt)

wilt

14 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 54 FG%, 51.1 FT%

13x All-Star, 4x NBA MVP, 2 NBA Championships, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 1960 Rookie of the Year

One of the most difficult decisions I had to make was Kareem vs. Wilt.  It is difficult to definitively state who the best center in the history of the NBA is, but Wilt Chamberlain was one of the most dominant forces in NBA history.  He famously holds the record for most points scored in a game (100), a record that I believe will NEVER be broken.  During the 1961-62 season, Chamberlain averaged over 50 points for the entire season, another feat that will probably never happen again (he didn’t even win the NBA MVP that year!).  It’s a shame that MVPs were usually given to a member of the championship team, because no one knows how many MVP’s Wilt would have won otherwise.  Even with that obstacle, Wilt still managed to win 4 NBA MVP awards.  The different era’s of the NBA vary greatly, but I if you put Wilt in today’s NBA, he would undoubtedly be the best center in the league (sorry Dwight).  And, if all that isn’t impressive enough, Wilt led the NBA in total assists for an entire season!!  Oh yeah, and Wilt just happens to be the NBA’s all time rebounding leader as well.  These things make Wilt the greatest center to ever play in the NBA.

 

Please leave your comments or post your own list in the comment section below.  Thanks!!

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!