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Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 at 4:55 pm  |  192 responses

Links: Why The Hawks Aren’t Trading Josh Smith

Plus, Pearl Monroe’s greatness?

by Lang Whitaker

• A couple of days ago, ESPN Insider Chad Ford, my former arch-nemesis, reported the following on his ESPN.com blog:

The big trade rumor flying around (if you’re already tired of the Shaq-to-Cleveland talk) centers on the Hawks’ Josh Smith. Several league sources told ESPN.com that the Hawks have been working hard the past few weeks to see whether they can find a taker for Smith.

The Hawks have some financial issues coming into the summer. Two key players, Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams, are free agents. So are a few others on the roster — Josh Childress, Zaza Pachulia and Ronald Murray. Although the Hawks would like to keep those players, they can’t afford to pay all of them. That has opened the door to the possibility of trading Smith, who, although talented, has a reputation as a difficult player to coach.

The Hawks have had no problem finding teams interested in Smith. The issue is the whopping $6 million trade kicker attached to his contract. The trade kicker essentially would require the team that trades for Smith to pay him the $6 million immediately. In this economic climate, many owners will balk at the payment.

“You are going to see very few owners willing to do things like that anymore,” one GM said. “I’m not saying he’s impossible to trade. There are a few owners like Paul Allen, James Dolan, Mark Cuban and maybe Daniel Gilbert who would pay the money. But there aren’t many.”

So that’s Chad’s report. Since then, I’ve been reporting the heck out of this. I spoke to multiple sources today and yesterday, and there’s a couple of things to address here:

1) Josh’s trade kicker is more like $7 million, not $6 million. (It’s actually a percentage of the money owed under the contract, not a set amount.)

2) Because the Hawks matched an offer sheet from Memphis to retain Josh, they can’t trade him for one year unless they get the consent of the player. So discussing trades and all that stuff right now would be a moot point unless Josh was the one who wanted to be traded. And I don’t believe that’s the case.

jsmith3) If the Hawks were to do a deal to shed Josh’s contract, in the interest of reducing overall team salary, they’d presumably want an expiring contract to make the deal work and, more importantly, draft picks, right? That way they’d use the picks to draft a couple of younger guys that they’d have for the next 3-4 years at the slotted rookie minimum salary.

But because Josh was a restricted free agent last summer and the Hawks matched his deal, he is a Base Year Compensation player. Because he signed last year in the middle of August, the Hawks could not trade him until the middle of August this year without all sorts of crazy financial permutations affecting the deal.

Which would make acquiring Draft picks in exchange for him rather difficult, if not impossible.

4) Basically, a “trade kicker” works like a no-trade clause. To have a no-trade clause as an NBA player, you have to have 8 years of service with the same team. Josh does not have that much service with the Hawks, but the kicker basically works like a no-trade, as far as the player is concerned.

But let’s say the Hawks worked out a deal to move Josh to, say, Minnesota. The T-Wolves might have a deal worked out where salaries matched up, but maybe they don’t have an extra $7 million cash sitting around. (And according to NBA rules, the team has to write one check to the player for the entire amount within 30 days of the trade happening.)

So the Wolves would have to come to Josh and say, Would you be willing to pass on part of that $7 million bonus to come play for us? And Josh could say no, effectively vetoing the trade.

(Also, I’ve been told a player can’t pass on the entire amount of the kicker.)

Conversely, if, say, the Lakers worked out a deal and came to Josh with the same proposal, he might say yes to skipping some money, figuring he could make up that amount in local marketing deals. Or maybe he’d just rather play for Phil Jackson than Mike Woodson.

5) If the Hawks are really interested in keeping all of the players Chad mentions above but don’t have the cash to do it, one way around that might be NOT PAYING THEM AS MUCH AS THEY PAID THEM LAST YEAR. Mike Bibby was a key player last season, but he also made $14 million. He’s not going to make that much this year, not from Atlanta, not from anyone else. (Unless maybe Olympiakos becomes involved.)

6) In talking to people about this deal, an interesting question came up that nobody had a concrete answer for: Say Josh got traded today. He made $10 million last season — and from what I was told, it would still be last season’s salary that would be his trade number, at least until July 1, when free agency starts. So his value in a trade would be $10 million.

Or would it? Because even though it’s not his salary, with the trade kicker involved, the team he would be traded to would be responsible for paying him not $10 million, but $17 million. Right? So is his trade number, for lack of a better term, $10 million or $17 million? I think it’s $17 million, at least that’s what I was told by one exec. Which would make trading him now even tougher.

OK, now that we’ve cleared the factual stuff up…

As a Hawks fan, would I be upset if the Hawks traded Josh Smith? Well, that depends. I like Josh, as a person and as a player, and I’m glad that he’s on my favorite team. But if trading Josh could make the Hawks a better team, then I understand the need to move him. I really don’t care whether or not they trade him, I just care about who or what they would trade him for.

That said, to me it’s going to be tough to find anything resembling equal value for a 23-year-old who averaged 15.6 and 7.2 last season and is under a very reasonable contract for the next five years. More importantly, from what I understand, the Hawks really like Josh Smith.

So put all that together and what do you get?

The Hawks aren’t trying to trade Josh Smith right now.

Or maybe I’m wrong. In which case I’m going to start a blog with crazy trade rumors.

• Someone emailed me last night saying they’ve loved The Links lately, although they didn’t understand why I hate Kobe.

Sigh.

We’ve been through this before right? I don’t hate him. I voted for him for MVP last year, for goodness sakes.

And just to show all of you Kobe fans out there that I don’t hate him, here’s a link to a Kobe-inspired shirt from our friends at K1X. You can cop it here.

kobe_tee_front

• Steve Nash is hosting his all-star soccer match again.

• The Big Lead did a post about our recent Top 50 issue (which we’re going to run here on SLAMonline on Friday), and some of the commenters over there had some issues with our list. To answer a few queries…

– Couple of people didn’t understand having Gary Payton at 38. He was arguably the second-best point guard of his era, he’s the only PG ever to win Defensive Player of the Year, he was a 9-time All-Defensive First Team guy, he went to the Finals twice and he won a ring with Miami.

– Steve Nash at 50? Yep. We talked about Nash forever in our meeting for that issue, but when it came down to it, can you leave a two-time MVP off the list of the top 50 players in League history? We decided we couldn’t. At least not this time.

– What the difference between Reggie Miller and Clyde Drexler? Championships. Or at least, a championship.

– Why was Wes Unseld ranked only 32nd? Wes was/is known as a tough interior player and a brilliant outlet passer, but he had career averages of 10 ppg and 14 rpg. He did win a title with the Bullets (and was Finals MVP), but are 10 and 14 necessarily better than, say, Willis Reed’s 19 and 13? Not to me, no.

– “Pearl Monroe behind McAdoo, Gervin, Cowens, Wilkins, Drexler and AI?”

Um, yes. Look at their stats:
Monroe: 17,454 career points, won 1 ring, ROY, HOF
McAdoo: 18,787 career points, led League in PPG three times, ROY, MVP, won 2 rings, HOF
Gervin: 26,595 career points (ABA and NBA), five-time All-NBA first team, led NBA in PPG four times, 12-time All-Star, HOF
Cowens: 13,516 career points, ROY, MVP, won 2 rings, HOF
Wilkins: 26,668 career points, led League in PPG, seven times made an All-NBA first/second/third team, HOF
Drexler: 22,195 career points, went to Finals three times, won 1 ring, HOF
Iverson: 23,983 career points, ROY, MVP, led League in steals twice, led in PPG four times, led in MPG seven times, went to Finals once

– “LeBron over Nique?” Yep, and there wasn’t even any arguing about this. Hey, I might be the world’s biggest Nique fan of all time, but right now LeBron is already a more complete player than Nique ever was.

• A couple of years ago, I wrote on the Links about battling a cold, and my father-in-law suggested I take something called Zicam. It was over-the-counter medicine sold on swabs that you rub inside your nose. Sounds weird, but I gave it a shot and it seemed to work pretty well. Turns out it might work a little too well.

• Finally, don’t know if you guys have followed this, but apparently Gov. Sarah Palin took umbrage at a joke David Letterman about her daughter. She said Letterman should apologize, and Letterman did apologize, twice.

And then a revolt! A bunch of people decided to protest outside Letterman’s show last night and demand he be fired. New York magazine has a great video from the protest (via SNL’s Seth Myers):

And Letterman himself had a pretty funny Top Ten list last night:

Top Ten Things Overheard At The “Fire David Letterman” Rally    
10. “David who?”
9. “Well, it was nice of CBS to provide the catering”
8. “We should have done this years ago”
7. “What idiot turned Broadway into a pedestrian mall?”
6. “Isn’t there always a crowd demanding Letterman be fired?”
5. “March around the potholes, people”
4. “Can we also get CBS to bring back ‘Gunsmoke’?”
3. “When does Cheney get here with the waterboarding gear?”
2. “He should apologize for that hairpiece”
1. “Thanks for coming, Regis”

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  • Papou

    HE IS A VERBAL PEDOPHILE! hahahahaha

  • Joe

    first

    trade him to pheonix for shaq, smith and claxton for shaq and their 1st round, makes sense for both teams and its a win win

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Ive loved the Links lately…although I don’t understand Shaq as the fourth best player of all time.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Joe, you might want to read the post. IT’S PRETTY MUCH IMPOSSIBLE TO TRADE HIM RIGHT NOW!

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    Not sure if anyone can help me out here but here goes:
    I’m coming to NYC for a week from June 29th to July 4th. Any advice for where I could catch some top level streetball? Is the Rucker league gonna be hapening around then?

    Thanks in advance.

  • BP

    Lakers should take a run at Josh Smith. Ditch any and all dead weight necessary. Walton, Farmar, Sasha, Odom. PR nightmare but would totally help the team. Josh would turn into a grown up stud with kobe and jax around.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    Wasn’t Alvin Robertson a point guard (once a DPOY)?
    And this Letterman thing is getting way out of control; but that’s coming from a person who thinks you can joke about almost everything. It’s almost hypocrite that people are demonstrating and yelling he should be fired. Are you kidding me? Even if you would call the joke a mistake – the man has been on TV for ages, doing a show night in and night out, and now he should be fired for one joke that went wrong? Some people are just crazy.

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    I actually think Smith and Kobe would be in a fistfight before the all star break if he landed in LA.
    Nice breakdown on the Josh Smith tade rumor, it looks like moving him now would basically be an impossibility. I LOVE Al Horford, the guy is one of my favorite players in the L, but he’s really a PF and has struggled against legit seven footers so I can understand the Hawks considering moving Josh in order to keep Marvin and Horford together in the frontcourt giving them a great combo of scoring, rebounding and defense.
    Josh is an amazing talent and one of the most entertaining players in the L, but he’s also one of the most frustrating. The bad shots, beefing with coaches, poor decision making and inconsistent energy and effort. He’s not a team cancer or anything, and as you stated his deal is reasonable, but I think the Hawks are leaning towards Marvin as their SF of the future and Horford as their PF, and I tend to agree with them.
    If they could land an upgrade over ZaZa at center and maybe a mid first round pick I could see them pull the trigger.

  • Susan Kishner

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Dennis Johnson > Steve Nash.

  • http://slam Allenp

    Shaq at four shocked me.
    And how did y’all judge Bob Petit’s game? Did somebody really watch tape?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Isiah Thomas > Karl Malone.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Clyde Drexler > Allen Iverson.

  • niQ

    Do they really care that much over Marvin Williams? I’d keep josh smith in a heartbeat.

  • Word of God

    letterman is a dumbazz

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  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    I don’t think there was tape when Pettit played. And Myles, stop commenting so much, you’re ruining the comments section.

  • http://slam Allenp

    Myles
    The only one of your comments I have a problem with is Allen Iverson.
    I respect Clyde’s game, but was he really good at anything other than scoring?
    And was he better at scoring than Iverson?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Ruining the comments section < Ruining the…forget it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Not so much, and probably not. But he still was a more efficient and accomplished player with a better legacy. Its a toss up for sure, but thats the way Im leaning.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    ciolk, we’ve got a Rucker Preview running early next week on the site; games will definitely be happening while you’re here. Myles, Lang is a hater. Comment all day long (and tell your friends, too).

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Things could get really interesting here Friday.

  • Bro. D

    The league leader in assists and steals deserves a little better than 22.

    Idea: Dennis Rodman as an NBA ref, greatest thing ever? Discuss.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Lang… You can’t compare Pearl solely based on individual stats. THE MAN REVOLUTIONIZED BASKETBALL AS AN ART FORM. Not everything translates into solid 1′s and 0′s.

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  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Myles: Ummm nah, Iverson > Drexler.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    “I only watch Fox news,” pretty much sums up the entire crowd in that protest video. They’re just a bunch of ignorant snobs. How in the world does “Fire David Letterman” translate into “socialism is evil”? That one made me laugh, especially since that idiot probably doesn’t even know what socialism is.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Reggie Miller > Clyde Drexler.

  • Izzo

    Wouldn’t it have been smarter to do a ‘in living memory’ top 50?Like 1980-2009 or something similar.I think we’ll agree that comparing players from different eras is impossible and can get silly.That’s why I’ve never been too into all time lists.
    Hope this was a successful issue,btw.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    “I only watch F0x news,” pretty much sums up the entire crowd in that protest video. They’re just a bunch of ign0rant snobs. How in the world does “Fire David Letterman” translate into “soci@lism is ev!l”? That one made me laugh, especially since that idi0t probably doesn’t even know what soci@lism is.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I had to use a bunch of miscellaneous symbols because my comments kept getting deleted…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Izzo: Good idea. Or maybe a best players of each decade. That would be pretty awesome.

  • Izzo

    Or,if SLAM were to pick a top five from each decade based on position.Then take the best player at each position of all decades,and put it to a commenter vote so we’ll eventually come up with an all time top five.Something to think about if SLAM is struggling with content for the summer.

  • Khalid Salaam

    Just clicked the big lead link. thats actually the 1st time i’ve ever gone to that site. so correct me if i’m wrong but the site it basically like the links right? not saying that they copied the links but the format is the same. do they do any reporting? just curious

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Yeah, they mostly just link to stuff.

  • larrylegend

    ha ha, kickz champ shirts are the best, even i liked last years more…i think i was one of their 1st customers back in 1993…keep it up, k1x people!

  • Marcos

    Lang, GP went to 3 Finals, not two.

    Seattle, L.A. and Miami.

  • Sploff

    All I know, there can´t be enough stupid jokes about Sarah Palin..
    the dumber they come the better they fit

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Good call, Marcos.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Reggie Miller is one of the most overrated player in history. Look at his numbers. + he can’t even claim the championship pedigree. ray allen > reggie.

  • kevin K

    get rid of Joe Johnson and Mike Dumbass please!!!!

    try to get Ricky Rubio to work with Josh Smith, Marvin, and Al Holford in an uptempo system.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    co-sign myles on shaq tho. magic, kareem and td are better than him. i’d say dream too but i’m way biased on this one. stockton and zeke are better than malone. i’m realizing that pat ewing is way better than i remember him being. ny media is TOUGH. and he was never the best center in the game either. STILL 29-11 with 4 blocks is nothing to eff with. i didnt know that pat had that in him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Id imagine that wed agree on a lot more if we didnt talk about “him”. Or “him”.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Yeah, I’m just gonna drop the topic since I agree with about 95% of what you write in here. As long those two are not being discussed. ‘he’ did knock out jerry west of the top 10 though, we can all agree on that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    *Shakes hand*

  • Garett

    I’ve been reading the Big Lead for a while and I think it’s safe to say basketball isn’t their strong point. Baseball, football and posting random hot pics of babes are their specialties. Random good interviews with sportswriters, but basically seems like a side project of either J-or-just-out-of-J-school dudes

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Z: No offense, no offense, but that Reggie Miller comment was probably the stupidest comment I’ve ever read, especially from you. I expected better…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Oh yeah, and about Patrick Ewing’s awesomeness: don’t say I told ya’ so, but I told ya’ so…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Z: Watch this video if you have ANY doubts about Reggie’s game. The dude outplays Jordan here: IT AIN’T SP@M.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YpBP2mJe2s&feature=channel_page

  • knock knock

    Lmao bron has a more complete game than nique?? Hilarious that these guys are all over brons nuts. He has no shot, absolutely no d, and hasn’t accomplished anything. When its all said and done, Lebron will have a very similar career to nique. no rings.

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  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    I had an issue with the top 50 which wasnt mentioned above: Dream got seriously slighted. 2 ‘chips, MVP, DPOY, a couple of freakish statistical seasons, and the all time NBA shot blocking lead (with an asterisk). He won one of those titles (95) on the road in every single series. He won the other title (94) as the ONLY ALL STAR ON HIS TEAM, surround by role players and rookies. The 2nd leading scorer on that team was Otis Thorpe and his workmanlike 14 per game. People don’t appreciate how difficult it is to win without another all-star caliber player. Dream’s total dominance of the game in 94 would be like if Kobe lead the 06 lakers to a title–absolutely, positively insane. The closest analog is Duncan in ’03…who still had FAR more help than Dream. Oh, and he also played in the best era ever for centers, and dominated every single one (including–by his own admission, the Diesel, who stands #4 on your list) on the biggest stage. Haters.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    lang, you just showed that you used contradictory basis for arguments. you used career stats to show why pearl is behind mcadoo, cowens, etc. then you said lebron is a more complete player to explain why he is ahead of nique. pick one method and go with it, damn. and nash??? hahahahahahahaha, he is no doubt one of the best shooters ever, but thats it. put kirk hinrich and his defense on those suns teams, and they win rings. dwade should have been 50, not steve, cuz he has the mvp trophy that means something

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    and i agree with nick, hakeem was the best center ever

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    If I learned one thing during the playoffs, it’s the TRUE list of the worlds greatest players:

    1. My homie from queens, but he got caught up, you know, in some things on the streets.

    2. Brandon Roy

    3-50. Irrelevant

    Caveat: Jordan might give me 50.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    Thank you Tarzan. I will also point out that Hakeem was 5-1 against the Bulls during their first 3-peat, once (and almost twice) had a quadruple double, felled the Berlin Wall with a particularly potent dream-shake, and personally aprehended OJ Simpson during game 5 of the 94 finals.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    teddy, i stand 100% behind that comment. go check ray and reggie’s page on basketball ref. i’ll wait. you remember reggie for the 3s in that game at the garden. if that doesn’t happen, reggie is not that dude. what did he offer besides 3 point shots? only 5 all star games. never 1st team nba, or even 2nd. no D, couldn’t dribble. low rebounding numbers at his height.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    co-sign nick. when i think about it, dream has to be in the top 10. knock knock has obviously never watched nique play to ask why bron is more complete.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Z: I’ve seen the stats. I stand by my comments. What did Reggie bring to the table? HE WAS MAD CLUTCH. Besides Michael Jordan, has anyone else in the league hit THAT MANY clutch shots in a career? His level of play in the last stretch of games transcends his statistics, THAT’S WHY he’s the man. Again, watch that video I posted, if you haven’t already. Reggie Miller was GREAT. This coming from a huge Shuttlesworth fan.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    i’ll go further: even someone like mitch richmond compares very favorably to reggie miller. the difference is what was around them.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I agree about Dream, though. One of my favorite centers ever. In my book, Dream > Shaq. Team Hakeem with Kobe and you possibly have a bigger dynasty than Kobe had with Shaq.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    i don’t see a link.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Z: Reggie is great, because he was literally unstoppable in crunchtime. Ask Michael Jordan and Spike Lee.
    Oh yeah, and don’t forget just how good of a leader and team asset Miller was, too. The year the Bulls went 72-10, the Pacers were the only team to beat them twice, led by REGGIE. However, Reggie was injured during the playoffs and the Bulls crushed the Pacers.
    THAT’S how valuable Reggie Miller was.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Z: Snap, hold on man.
    (http://)www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YpBP2mJe2s&feature=channel_page
    Ignore the parentheses… I don’t want to be confused with spam. Hope this works.

  • Josh

    Hakeem> Shaq

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    i remember those pacers team and they were far from a one-man show. reggie would get his 20 and everybody else would chip in. he never could take command of a game and will his team to victory. he didn’t have the skillset necessary to do that. reggie couldn’t create. now, he was absolutely cold blooded. that’s undeniable. but so are freaking derek fisher and rob horry! (not comparing their game, just the fact that they are clutch) he’s got a lot of intangibles going on for him but when you actually take a look at his game… it’s not top 50. it just ain’t. we will always remember reggie at the garden and it was indeed a memorable moment but thats besides the point.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    Thank you Z and Teddy for not being haters.

  • http://fjdkslf.com Jukai

    My big problem with the list was (as you guessed) Julias Erving and Rick Barry being too low. Dr. J downright dominated leagues! Plural (Walsh tried to justify Dr. J’s placement to me by saying it was an NBA only list, but ! Rick Barry won a championship, he averaged 35 points a game! Someone explain that to me.
    I’m a huge Steve Nash slurper and even I don’t think the dude deserved to be on the list.

  • http://fjdkslf.com Jukai

    Reggie Miller may indeed be overrated thanks to his highlight moments overpowering his actual abilities in people’s minds, but he’s way better than Ray Allen and Mitch Richmond. C’mon now.

  • Tommy Vercetti

    Reggie Miller is easily top 5 greatest shooting guards of all time. You can’t deny someone who is arguably the greatest 3-point shooter in NBA history and one of the clutchest players ever.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Yes, thank you for Rodman – loved what he brought in every tooth n nail series. If you want to laugh so hard you cry, you need to see this (at least 2 min worth) – either turn the sound wayyyy down or use headphones – massive hilarity and eff bombs – youtube.com/watch?v=koMIQipNbeA

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    The Fiver does not approve of some of the comments in this post.

  • dutch Rob

    Ray allen in my book is the best 3 point shooter ever

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    this little piggy would so love to participate in the discussion centered around an issue HE STILL HASN’T RECEIVED in the mail yet. Issue’s out in the shops/bookstores of the ‘Pore, Ben. Sadly, distribution to yours truly hasn’t come through! Aargh. (oh and Hakeem > L’il warrior. No doubt in my mind)

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    As much as i hate the Kob’s, that new Nike Tee out, the one with the Puppet hand having 4 rings on it? Genius! An amusing way to display vindication for Kob’s and his fans tied perfectly to the best sports ad campaign this year. Nike rules (fo eva, and eva, times infinity. Amen). K1x Tee? Meh.

  • Young Preston

    Lang, I like reading your stuff, but what exec is giving you this information. If you are going to call out Ford, at least get your facts right my man. (1) Josh is a base year player, but this expires on June 30, 2009; (2) any trade that is agreed to prior to or on draft day can just be consummated after July 8, 2009, when restrictions on certain trades expire (i.e., there can be two separate trades – a draft pick for a Hawks conditional second rounder, and then Josh Smith for the player after the draft when his base year expires); (3) His trade bonus is 15% (thus, $7.2 million); (4) a player cannot choose to just waive a portion of his trade bonus because he feels like it (i.e., to join the Lakers), as the CBA only permits a reduction in a trade bonus to the extent that it would make the salaries match and the trade work; (5) his salary for trade purposes will not be $17 million as the trade bonus is allocated amongst all remaining seasons in proportion to the guaranteed compensation in each of such seasons (it is true that the bonus must be paid in full right away). Thanks.

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  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Old School Baller

    Ciolkstar come to City College on June 27-28 and you will see some of the top travel teams in the area. NYC comp and swag that you have only heard about.

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    Thanks for the heads up Ben, and Old School.
    I don’t think I’ll be there on that weekend of the 27-28th, but it looks like my trip will be extended past the 4th of jUly so probably about June 29th – July 5th/6th.

  • empollon

    Josh Smith = overrated
    Nique = underrated
    LeBron = overrated
    Gasol = underrated
    Kobe = well rated

  • http://slam Allenp

    If you don’t think Lebron is more complete than Nique, than you don’t know ball.
    There can be no argument about this.
    I didn’t scan the whole list, was ‘Bron higher than Scottie? Cause that would be an argument worth having.
    Also, I’ve been thinking about the top five players I would pick if I had to choose a team to play in a tournament against other NBA greats. Kind of like an all-time fantasy league.
    Here is the team I settled on.
    Stockton
    Jordan
    Pippen
    Olajuwon
    Russell
    I say that five rides on anybody. I think that might be an interesting discussion to have. Thanks.

  • Myung

    I’m with all the people on here who think Hakeem is rated too low. Granted, SLAM acknowledged that people will disagree with the list, and let’s be honest, other than the guy ranked #1, there will always be debates on who should be ranked where. But having Hakeem below Shaq bothered me too. Not only was he a more complete player than Shaq ever was or will be, but he played in an era where there was more talent (he played for 5 seasons pre-expansion) and better big men. During Shaq’s prime, there weren’t many good young centers challenging him. And most importantly, during the time I’ve been following hoops (since the mid 80′s), no superstar has ever carried a team to the ring the way Hakeem did in 1994. If you look at the rest of the Rockets roster that season, his 2nd and 3rd best players were probably Otis Thorpe and Vernon Maxwell. These guys aren’t exactly Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen, Joe Dumars, David Robinson, Tony Parker, James Worthy, or Kevin McHale (notable championship “sidekicks” of the past 25 years or so). He won his 2 rings without having to face the Bulls, but Shaq’s rings came against the Pacers, Sixers, Nets, and Mavs (none of them being close to the level of MJ’s 90′s Bulls either). I actually like Shaq a lot, but I don’t see how he’s ranked above Hakeem on any comprehensive top 50.

  • Myung

    I hate commenting on players I’ve never seen play so I personally couldn’t/wouldn’t have Bill Russell on my 5, Allen. I respect what the older generation accomplished and how they paved the way for the players I grew up watching, but it’s so tough to include them on any list I make if I’ve never seen them play. If I picked players I grew up watching, I’d go with Nash, MJ, Bird, Malone, and Hakeem. I’d take that starting 5 over anyone.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Amen to Myung’s statement on Hakeem. Preach!

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Allenp & Myung: I gotta go with Magic, MJ, Bird, Duncan and Chamberlain.
    I get why you’d pick Nash and Stockton over Magic, more team-oriented passing, but you have so much mismatch with Magic, it’s not even funny. Pippen over Bird is… logical, you have the defense and a guy who will defer to others, but I gotta go with the spot up shooting… without Bird, the defense can camp in a little, plus Bird is great at both setting picks and running around them, I like that on my team.
    The four and five are interesting. If I can grab Hakeem at the four spot (he did play the four with Sampson, right?), then I’ll have Jabbar at the five spot, so we can have some low-post, high-post combination here. If I gotta pick a legit power forward, I’ll go with Duncan, and then have Chamberlain secure it down low.

  • Khalid Salaam

    I love top 50 comments (whether intelligent or ignorant). Keep em coming!

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    ok, it’s getting really annoying to post on slamonline with all this server problems.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Hakeem Olajuwon just might be the best center ever. He could play in any offense in any era. Hes mobile, postmoves for days, has range and was an excellent passer. On the other end of the floor he was phenomenal. I havent seen enough of Russell to make a fair comparison, but I cant imagine him doing anything Dream couldnt. If he had any weaknesses, Id like to know what they are. Shaq, on the other hand was a horrid defender and was swept out of the playoffs six times in his career. How he was in front of Dream, Cap and Duncan is an explanation Id love to hear.

  • Myung

    Myles, I can understand Shaq being ahead of Duncan. It’s a close call, but Shaq deserves the higher ranking there. Same # of rings. Shaq has better career #’s (which happens when a guy comes into the League in 1992 as opposed to Duncan in 1997). Maybe in abut 5 years, we might put Duncan ahead of Shaq? But as of 2009, I’m OK with Duncan being lower.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Myles, do you think Hakeem is better than hayday Jabbar and hayday Chamberlain? Personally, I think Russell is a bit overrated, considering the dude wasn’t great at scoring on his own, became a TERRIFIC help defender because he had trouble playing one-on-one defense, and rarely passed the ball in a game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Like most other folks I cant comment with any certainty about anyone I havent seen extensively, which would be anything pre 80. I just think Dream was the total package at center. There was nothing he couldnt do and he was a humble yet effective leader on top of that. Other players may have been as good, but when youre dealing with complete players such as those, it seems to be more a matter of preference that whos ‘better’. I agree on Russells scoring though. And its hard for me to consider Shaq better than Duncan when looking at Shaqs well known weaknesses. And it does need to be taken into consideration that while the Shaq/Kobe argument will continue through a nuclear holocaust, its undeniable that Duncan was the leader of every chip he won and made everyone around him better.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    For me, it goes Hakeem > Duncan > Kobe > Shaq, so it seems we are in agreement, mostly.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Hakeem > your favorite center.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Yes. Yes we are.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    It’s hard for anyone to imagine Hakeem as ‘underrated’ considering he’s universally in everyone’s top 10 or top 15… but he is underrated. I mean, no one blames Houston for passing on Jordan and picking Hakeem. No one! What does that say?

  • Izzo

    I think we’re pretty much all in agreement here.

  • http://slam Allenp

    Jukai
    I selected my team based on the idea that a team is more than a collection of talented cats. Here’s my logic.
    On every team there must be an established and undisputed alpha dog scorer. I chose Jordan because of all the great scorers in NBA history, he is arguably the most clutch, the most athletic and the best defender. So, he’s my alpha dog.
    Jordan and Pippen formed one of the most fearsome tandems at the 2/3 in the history of the league. Their defense was so stifling, they intimidated teams before they took the floor. Since I’m a firm believer in the power of defense, I want those two guarding arguably the most talented two positions in the history of the game. Plus, I lose NOTHING with Pippen on offense. As he proved in 95, he’s a legit 20+ point scorer, a great facilliator and he wants the ball.
    Now, Hakeem and Russell. Everybody has already listed the greatness of my favorite player of all time, so I’ll defer to y’all. But, I will add that his versality on both ends of the floor was the key to me selecting him because he detracts nothing from the strength I already have on defense or offense. He can score even without a huge amount of shots, he can hit jumpers and he humble enough to play a supporting role.
    I agree that it’s hard to judge Russell’s greatness. But, from what I can tell, he was Dennis Rodman, only better and less crazy. Ridiculous rebounder and arguably the greatest defender in the history of the league. Plus, he’s all about TEAM, so he has not problem deferring when it comes to scoring to Dream and Jordan. True, he’s not an offensive force, but that works to my advantage. You can’t just leave him alone because he will kill you on the glass, plus he understands enough about basketball and scoring that he will get buckets if ignored. He’s rangy, quick and strong, so he also builds on the defensive foundation I’ve already established.
    Finally, Stockton. This was a tough choice. The popular answer is Magic. My heart told me to pick Isiah.
    But, in the end, on a team built around defense and selflessness, Stockton is the right choice. Gritty, tough defender, perfect at setting up a team, and, most importantly, he only needs limited touches and opportunities to be successful. So many great players need the ball in their hands an inordinate amount of time to really shine. Stockton was probably the most efficient player in league history.
    Can y’all imagine that team on defense?
    Jordan, Pippen and Stockton playing stifling on ball defense, with Hakeem and Russell cleaning up the mess and the glass. My goodness. And on offense, everybody has clearly defined roles that exploit their strengths.
    We the best.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    Just a random thought inspired by Khalid asking for more regardless of thoughtlessness/intense debatable thought on it. A top 50-75-100 whatever Draft idea would be nice but also very ambitious. Who do you take over who to draft your Starting 5, or complete team of 12? Or simply placing players into the favorite ways we generally end up debating them. Top 5 in the build around, Franchise foundation 1st overall pick bracket, your MJ/Wilt/Oscar/Hakeem or highly debated into whomever(Does Magic get in there? LeBron? Dr.J? Bird? All opinion on that unlucky #2 drafter after MJ plus someone may not necessarily draft MJ but another equally legendary winner like Bill Russell). 5 best sidekicks, your Scottie/Kareem/Drexler/McHale/anyone with the pedigree (Kobe/Shaq?!). So MJ is gone, who is your #2 that you would take to start that team tomorrow, eras and timelines be damned. I suppose you could get one player from each of the brackets at once, but that complicates it further. And adding the “Best avail” to “Best ever” lists would be more than P double (or Lang double!), but exponentially more confounding to debate and draft. Getting over on the guy whom overlooked and made his picks too fast is pretty fun, making him regret taking one player and leaving another legend to be picked – Dodgeball style. Me and the older bro did a smaller version of this in the last NBA Live that had Michael Jordan in it. Fantasy team drafting, even though that old NBA Live, I’m gonna say 2004, can’t translate legendary moves and such well. Everyone moves the same.

  • http://slam Allenp

    Blinguo
    My brother and his friends used to have whole leagues on Live based around fantasy drafts. It was interesting.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    True, but once again, limited outside shooting, a bit undersized (especially at center). After listening to you speak, though, I am wondering about grabbing Stockton instead of Magic, because you are right, he’s much more effective without the ball.
    I’d easily choose Chamberlain over Russell though. Russell’s real value comes from his drive, his willpower and his leadership. If you have Jordan, Stockton, and Hakeem, you really don’t need that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Sub out Russell for Duncan and we’d have the same team. I especially like the Stockton pick. Zeke is underrated and his career as a player has become a complete afterthought, but it needs to be acknowledged more often that he beat the best of the best to win back to back titles. Bird, Magic and Jordan. Thats beyond impressive. And Ill go to my grave saying that Stockton & Zeke > Malone.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Young Preston, I’ll respond to your comment tomorrow in The Links. Some of the stuff you’re saying I was wrong about is wrong, at least according to an agent and an NBA GM I spoke with yesterday.

    And the rest of you who enjoy arguing this top 50 stuff, make sure you’re on the site tonight just after midnight EST.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    Top 5 meaning in those categories, clearly have to stretch that into 10, maybe more. Especially seeing how the #1 overall turned into I left out Bird and super fan faves Magic and Dr.J. Mos Def on a common track on the winamp had a line that made me add him I suppose – strange timing and just a little line: “Why did Dr.J go and shave his beard and moustache?” But 5 as examples off the top, it was what my train of thought was to show those categories & how they work. LeBron might break those up badly as AllenP above I think wrote, does Bron go in the better than Pippen archetype skillwise, or all the jaded fanboys who say he’s a supreme leader make him in that #1 slot, or is he even in the distributors/floor leaders category where a Magic and Stock go. Or are those just the added bonuses to justify your picks in the starting 5 discussion regularly whenever it comes up, how you add credentials and cover team weaknesses with these all around super skilled packages.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Myles: Once again, I agree with you… Stockton & Zeke > Malone. I would always think “wow, Malone got a really easy two points on that Stockton pass…” and never “wow, Stockton got that cheap assist because Karl Malone hit a really hard shot!”

  • http://slam Allenp

    Myles
    My homeboy made the Duncan argument, and honestly, that might be a flub on my part. My feeling was that if I’m not feeding Duncan consistently, I’m almost wasting him because it takes more time for him to get his rhythm. Plus, I felt Russell was a superior defender, which is what I was looking for at that spot. I only need so many scorers, having too many causes problems. Players who don’t really want the ball, but still know what to do with it, is important.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Hey, here’s a REAL difficult one for you guys… Stockton or Isiah… really, I change my opinion everyday on this. Stockton is obviously the superior POINT guard, Isiah is more of a franchise mold player… Who would you pick if you had the first pick in the draft and those guys were both in it?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Jukai, exactly. Furthermore, while Malone may have scored more than practically everyone, Stockton and Hornacek made practically all of the big baskets in that teams history. And AP, I think Duncan is exactly the kind of guy youre talking about in terms of not needing the ball. Plus hes still an exceptional defender and is bigger than Russell.

  • http://slam Allenp

    isiah
    No question. With Isiah, you have more options. You need less to make your team great.

  • Izzo

    Jukai:If I was a team drafting on talent,it would be Isiah.All day.But if I was a team drafting on need and already had a franchise scorer,it would be Stockton.

  • Tommy Vercetti

    Wow, that’s a tough one Jukai. I would go with Stockton though because he was as pure as it got point-guard wise and if the Utah Jazz don’t go against the Chicago Bulls in those finals, he arguably has a couple rings to his name.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Izzo: You know, that thing that Blinguo suggested is ultra interesting. Would you do something like that for SKO?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Yeah, that Zeke/Stock convo is essentially a draw. Completely dependent on what you need. Both excellent players. And Blinguos suggestion is solid. Might have to dig into that.

  • Myung

    Stockton is one of my 10 favorite players of all time. I don’t particularly like Steve Nash… yet I’d still put Nash in my five over Stockton. I find him to be a more consistent shooter, and an equally gifted passer.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    Thanks guys, go ahead and expand on the idea on your own blogs if you wish if you deem it cool enough for content among your other work. It was simply just as a spur the moment thing, hence bad one liners and a lot of Mos Def coincidence filtered in there. I was trying to post irregardless of whom was around me, but glad to get the recognition and confidence of those debating around me already. As such I didn’t halt the ongoing debate but even added to it as a bonus side convo/idea. Plus its no doubt just extras added onto the regular everyone does it to death, “Who is your top 5 All Time” especially say, a wrap up after the Finals sports show, out on the West Coast NorCal Channel 7 newscast. Nate Thurmond, Steve Silas (son of Coach Paul), Keith Smart were guests and they closed the show with them. Allowing 3 reserves also, a nice addition to the hackneyed and limited to 5 starters only debate. For ref. sake, Big Nate picked Kobe in his 5, at 3:SF. Keith Smart went with Dr.J in that 5 and got ribbed by it by the cheeky announcer, but we got a nice introspective to him being the man he admired most. Keith went with his 80′s heros from posters and watching games with pops every night back in the day.

  • http://slam Allenp

    Myung
    Where did you get the idea that Stockton wasn’t a consistent shooter?
    And you’re ignoring the HUGE difference in defense between Stockton and Nash.

  • http://slam Allenp

    For most of his career, Stockton was over 50 percent from the floor, and over 40 percent from three.
    And he had 10 seasons with 10+ assists per game.

  • Izzo

    Jukai:I like the idea.It seems like a lot of work though.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Allenp: I think Nash is a considerably better shooter. Passing? Ehhhh… I’d actually have to go with Stockton on that one.
    The difference in defense is as big as Myles’ hatred for Lebron: GIGANTIC.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Izzo: what do you really do? C’mon now…

  • Izzo

    Nothing.I intend on keeping it that way…..

  • Myung

    Allen, I love John Stockton. You’re jumping on me like I said something bad about the guy. I didn’t take issue with your team, my friend. I just happen to prefer Nash over Stock. We’re all just playing “make believe” here anyway. Stockton was a more EFFICIENT shooter than Nash, since he rarely ever took bad shots. But anyone who’s seen Stock play (like you and I have) know hat he’s not a 3 point shooter. 2,203 3-point attempts in 19 seasons? To give you an idea of how few that is, JR Smith attempted 453 this past season alone. Steve Nash is a 3 point shooter. And I agree that Nash is way worse at D than Stockton, but dude, we’re picking a MAKE BELIEVE team here. Why so serious? And besides, I have defensive stoppers in MJ and Hakeem and a solid defender in Malone. That’s why I chose Bird and Nash at my other 2 spots.

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Izzo: Just have a list of 150 people, get 7-10 people to be in the draft, pick names out of the hat on who has the first picks, have a constantly forwarding e-mail with people picking the next name. Have seven to ten write ups when it’s done. That sort of seems like an awesome idea. A good way to revitalize SKO too.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Eboy and the members of hate inc, that t-shirt is for you.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I smell a guest-star spot from Jukai…………..

  • http://dsjklff.com Jukai

    Oh hell yeah, but only if you do the draft thing. I love sh*t like that.
    Although I’m thinking a “do this or else I wont write for your blog” may backfire tremendously.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Um, i don’t like all of that work. I’m lazy.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    In that regard, I suppose I agree with Izzo.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Well, that idea lit on fire and crashed into the ground rather quickly. Back to talking about how Bernard King could totally pwn Bob McAdoo.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    It’s a great idea, but you would have an issue with coordinating a good time for everyone considering overseas folks and all.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    And back to being mad at Jukai about misreading me in the Nash salary started out bad when the agents are putting words into the words of the article of whomever’s mouth thingy post up. Hibachi blogospheredomination 2 point-O did a quick “make a list of new age players whom remind you of players of the past.” Everyone participated. Plus they have J.Walsh who won’t let you down with replies ever. And my idea is a more of a long term thing, or a blog dedicated only to that concept I think. Or again, a big SKO summer project so you don’t have to think about the 2009 drafts everyday for hoops talk. I’ve seen too many blogs this morning alone, I’m burned out on blogs and their weird O’sphere to start any of my own myself.

  • IndyB

    How is the Big O not in any of these all time Point Guard debates?

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    TADOne: Well, I envisioned it as a constantly forwarding e-mail. Let’s say Eboy gets the first pick, he picks and e-mails it out to everyone. You got the second pick, so you pick and e-mail it out to everyone, and then the third pick responds, fourth, etc.. How long would that take, a week, two weeks?
    The other idea, as Blinguo stated, would be to make an entire blog dedicated to it. Of course, if we reveaeld each pick a day at a time, it would take 120 days to full complete with ten people competing. Two months if it’s two updates a day, a month if it’s three. The issue is adding an actual writeup immediately after someone picks their guy.
    Blinguo: What was I mada bout Steve Nash?

  • Young Preston

    Thanks, Lang. Your site and writing is awesome. I’m not trying to call you out, just want to make sure we are all on the same page with this stuff. You are right that Josh cannot be traded for one year without his consent, but I think this is much different than when his base year expires (either six months after it comes about or June 30, the later of the two is used in the CBa). For trade purposes, the new team uses his salary with the pro-rated part of the $7.2 million trade bonus, i.e., $12.6M for a trade after July 8 (it is allocated equally to the remaining years of the contract, or including 08-09 if he is traded before June 30) while the Hawks will use his normal base compensation (i.e., 10.8M for a trade after July 8). This creates problems to match the 125% rules. As far as Josh giving up part of his trade bonus, the language clearly states that “for the sole purpose of enabling an assignee Team to acquire a Player Contract by trade, the player and the assignor Team may agree to waive all or any portion of a trade bonus, but only to the extent necessary to make the trade permissible in accordance with the rules set forth in Section 6(h)”, which is the 125% rule. Keep up the great work. I am still in college, just trying to work hard, gain knowledge and I love hoops.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I’m all for it, Jukai.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    If Bernard King never got injured, he’d slap LeBron James in the face… just for fun! That man was baaaaad.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Well, that’s two. It would be pretty quick if it’s just you and me, Eboy.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Random list… Not my pick, but this would be an awesome lineup:
    Big O
    Michael Jordan
    Dr. Erving
    Tim Duncan
    Hakeem the Dream

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Good idea, Jukai. About the write-ups or whatever.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Bernard King is a top 50 greatest player. Sure his career was kind of short, but he was TOO nice. Bernard King owning every player in sight is what comes to mind of when you picture opening up a can of whoop@ss.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    And to suckle at the teat of greatness for a top five squad none, of ya’ll’s can fu*k with this one:

    Mike
    Magic
    Shaq
    Pip
    Barkley (I know, I know, he’s a huge load of shi*t today, but he was ridiculously good in his prime and this is a fantasy list, yes?)

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Teddy: I actually said the same thing to Walsh. I was upset Bernard didn’t make the cut.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    All the support for dream post my 9:07 makes me warm and fuzzy inside. Z, Tarzan, Myung, and myles have it right–Dream is the center GOAT. He gets slept on because the many of the Rockets teams he was on were poorly managed, poorly coached, hamstrung by injury, or completely addicted to cocaine. Dream, in my mind, also takes the “Best 2 way player of all time” title over Pippen.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    You thought I was petitioning Steve needs more bling digits in his contract. When I simply said the opposite first, then tried a satire sarcasm way which got misread, then a 3rd that highlighted how Nash can probably profit well off his already built bank. You told me to stop it as Steve Nash needs to actually be worth a bigger salary and not just get it for philanthropy ideas.

    Link! > recap after the fact

    http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2009/05/steve-nash-wants-a-raise/

  • Myung

    Nick, I’m in full support of everything you wrote except… I think the best 2 way player of all time is, in my opinion, also the best player of all time. That Jordan guy.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    My starting five:
    PG: Magic,
    SG: Jordan,
    SF: Pippen,
    PF: Duncan,
    C: Dream.

    The only starter below 6’9″ is Jordan, they would be unstoppable in the open court with Jordan and Pippen filling lanes and Dream trailing, no one could match up with them defensively in the half court and the starting lineup includes four players who could be top ten ALL TIME defensively. They would rock Eboy’s team.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Jukai: Honestly, all of SKO is up to do it. I haven’t heard back from Tariq, but I would imagine he could knock this out in his sleep.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    If Scoop was still with SLAM Bernard would have made the cut as to him, King > MJ. In who gave him the “love of the game” 1st, or even since there can never be another quite like the 1st, MJ didn’t do it for Scoop. BK is well repped by SLAM throughout the years though already. An omission in a quick to press 50, with hustle work compiling it all by Tzvi-T is fine he’s not in this time.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    Myung: you’re likely right, and i’m likely biased. All I base that on is the fact that a center can change a game more than a perimeter defender, but remembering the way the Bulls defended when they actually tried to defend, I think you might be right.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    Comment link to Nash story is in moderation.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    TADOne, my e-mail is njl4515@gmail.com and if you use AOL Instant Messanger, I’m KingsCupGuru if you really want to get this rolling. Hell, I can come up with a list of 150 players to choose from in five minutes.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    A brave man is one who posts his email on a public message board. Either that or a complete fool.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Sorry to break it to you, but for a 5-7 year period in his prime, Shaq was unstoppable/unguardable and culminated in 3 rings because of that ability…..Hakeen could never sniff that accomplishment (of that length of domininance and I loved the dude’s game too. He was never an unstoppable offensive presence, moreso incredibly gifted with his footwork and making use of his extreme talent level.

  • Fat Lever

    Did no one catch the end of the video, around 2:00 those 2 guys pretending to hook up? That was hilarious, I think that’s Sal from the Stern show, not sure though.

  • Piggy

    No Worthy?

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    I’ll admit on the same coin that I love Shaq, but I think you’re underating Hakeem as an offensive player. He had a similar span of dominance (early to mid nineties) where he basically was the Rockets offense. Here’s the difference though: although the numbers Shaq put up are slightly more impressive, the competition he put those numbers up against during the MDE period didn’t compare to the competition and defense Dream saw. What centers did Shaq go through to get his titles…Rick Smits? 40 year old Sabonis? While Dream took on and dominated Ewing in his prime, Robinson in his prime, and Shaq during what was arguably his best statistical season…during an NBA era with superior team defense, and dominated all of them. So I still take Dream… without even mentioning that Dream is the obviously superior defensive player.

  • Myung

    SKO guys, if you guys do get this thing rolling, I’d be interested too. I won’t post my e-mail address here, but Tad, Izzo, and eboy know how to get in touch with me…

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Co-sign Nick!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Shaq must have been quite stoppable if hes been swept out of the playoffs six times.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    In fairness to Eboy, he did say 5-7 years. Yet, that’s a big knock on Shaq… He WAS Only dominant for less than half his career. Tracy McGrady was on Kobe’s level for a good two and a half years in the league, does that mean McGrady is as good as Kobe? Even if Shaq WAS better offensively than Hakeem (and he still is less valuable because he wasn’t as good defensively), the fact that he was only at that level for such a short period because of his lack of physical fitness should be a knock on him.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    If we take Nash’s last four years, your damn right he deserves to be on that Top 50 list, he was insane. Unfortunately, that’s really only part of the equation.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    What Myles said. And if the excuse is a lack of help, well…I’d venture to say that the 94 Rockets were, Dream aside, quite possibly the least talented team ever to win an NBA title.

  • http://slam Allenp

    Thanks Myles.
    It’s also easier to be unstoppable when you’re playing with Kobe, DWade and Penny Hardaway.
    Don’t even mentione Nick Van Exel and Eddie Jones.
    Shaq had better talent then Hakeem his entire career.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ nick: I would take Hakeem over Shaq, yes. BUT, in my opinion the greatest center of all time might have to be Wilt Chamberlain….. Tough call because I like Dream, but Chamberlain is like THE behemoth of basketball. He’s a player you only hear legendary stories about, a player many people doubt ever existed. ;)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I understand but when was that 5-7 years period? Because it mostly likely ended in a sweep.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    If Shaqs prime was from 95-03, then he won three chips and was swept out of the playoffs four times.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    Plus Jesse Dunn wears Hakeem Spaldings, not Shaq brand for his budget priced footwear for traveling the world like Johnny Appleseed, spreading his magical mythical level of ball around the world. Since we’re so far from it now, it would be good to ask did Kareem place above Hakeem? Both set records, both had a signature move, but hey Hakeem did do a lot of what was said above, on very untalented teams with a huge burden. Plus he did have an arguably cooler nickname of which was included in his signature “Dream Shake” which does get referenced as often as the Sky Hook does today even when players barely emulate it and the announcer of the game goes insane by remembering it and conjuring up images and such of the OG versions and players whom held down those moves. That could be a bullet point for Lang’s #2 go round of why didn’t X place higher (than Y player).

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Young Preston: Don’t want to get into this here, but Josh’s BYC status expires in mid-August because the Hawks have his Bird rights.

  • http://nba.com tealish

    HAHAHA, “HE’S A VERBAL PEDOPHILE! GO HOME AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDS — THEY COULD BE NEXT!” –all this said with a straight-face. These people are precious.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The best power forward of all time would have bee a combination of Charles Barkley and Anthony Mason, had they been 1 whole person, because they were just sheer awesomeness.

  • Caleb

    “What the difference between Reggie Miller and Clyde Drexler? Championships. Or at least, a championship.”

    Much more than that. Clyde was a better scorer, better rebounder, better playmaker… just better at everything except long-range shooting. Its a bit of an insult to Clyde and the great all-around numbers he put up to compare him to Reggie.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    SKO peeps, I’m possibly in if you need another guy to participate in the top 5 picking + write-up. ITS SUMMER!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.clutchfans.net nick

    Bilinguo–Kareem was above Hakeem on the list…which is more defensible than Shaq being ahead of Hakeem. I mean, Cap’n did dominate in college and then win 5 titles and break every scoring record ever, and also carried some mediocre teams (the bucks). I still take Dream for my “fantasy team” because I think, individually, he’s the better player, but it’s hard to denigrate Kareem’s resume.

  • Caleb

    “Tracy McGrady was on Kobe’s level for a good two and a half years in the league, does that mean McGrady is as good as Kobe?”
    Kobe’s had the better career, but there’s no question that T-Mac at his peak is better than Kobe at his peak.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Blinguo: E-mail me if you want in.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    This particular debating population on this thread is civil and mature enough that simply saying Shaq #4 Kareem 7 Kobe 12 Hakeem 13 as it stands in the mag won’t set this topic on fire in a rapid death of flames and insults. Thanks for supplementing Kareem more while still having your opinion on your pick regardless of the ranked players as it stands. And really, the NBA sort of did it right, 50 Greatest. No list. Any one of those guys is glad to be on that 50 Greatest. In hindsight Shaq snuck in there very early in his career huh? ’97 was it? Wonder off the top, when the NBA will ever have the next rounded anniversary if not 75 years and add to that historic crew.

  • http://nba.com tealish

    Now after reading the comments, I’m glad others feel the same about Shaq’s high ranking and Hakeem’s underratedness. Cosign Myles!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Caleb: I’m not so sure about that. Kobe at his peak was dropping 60 point games left right and center.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Jukai: Where is this top 5 draft thing going to happen?

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Tedd: Not entirely sure yet. Will tell you soon.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    See, the problem I have with ranking LeBron ahead of Nique has nothing to do with having a more complete game or not.
    The problem I have with that is it kind of undermines what Nique did and accomplished his entire career. Nique sweat and fought other legends his entire career, only to be placed behind LeBron on a Greatest 50 List? Come on now.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Jukai: Sounds good.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    GP at 38? I haven’t got the latest issue yet but I’d argue that he should be easily *higher* than that. He’s the best perimeter defender EVER not named Jordan. There’s NOBODY in the league right now who plays at both ends of the floor like he did (though Wade comes close, but in a wholly different fashion).

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    teddy, mac was doing the same thing, when tmac was healthy, no one could mess with him

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    On a new note: Anybody else think Yao is better than Dwight? Offensively at least?

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    yep, Glove was a bad man on the court. Baaaad. When Karl switched him onto Mike during the Seattle/Bulls Finals, dude made MJ look fairly pedestrian for the rest of the Series. Shocked the hell out of me.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Great comments so far. I like Eboy’s Shaq-Hakeem argument. I also hope everyone will read the words that go with the rankings (if they haven’t already in the mag); some nice stats and I think very crisp writing. It goes live at 12:01…

  • gabuckeye

    hey lang you still wish you could of seen just a little playing time when you were at north fulton – but all you got to do is play with the bench players – the celtics.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Yeah, but we woulda beat most team’s starters.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    shaq dominated, near retired sabonis, rick smits, vlade, and jason collins, ooooooo, what formidable opponents. hakeem son’d drobinson, ewing, and shaq. dont forget 86 either.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens Borges

    @ about 1:34 on the Letterman video. Why is Sam Rubenstein protesting?

  • benedict john

    it’s not that easy to trade josh smith. Smith and Joe are the picture of the francise so it will be a sad turn around if they will be traded to other team

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