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Monday, September 9th, 2013 at 11:50 am  |  12 responses

Oscar Schmidt Says He Would’ve Been One of the NBA’s 10 Best Players Ever


Hall of Famer Oscar Schmidt never made it to the NBA during his glorious career in the 1970s and 80s. But had he balled in the League, Schmidt is extremely confident that he would’ve been among the very best of all time. Per NBA.com: “‘Yes,’ Schmidt said. ‘Anytime. It was easier, because in the NBA at that time it was one-on-one, always. One-on-one, I’m free. If it comes to two players guarding me, maybe.’ Insert big laugh. ‘I would be one of the best 10 ever.’ Schmidt officially entered the Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon via the International committee as a Brazilian great who played in five Olympics, led the shocking upset of the United States in the title game of the 1987 Pan-American Games in Indianapolis, could score on anybody, and also starred in Italy. But the closest Schmidt got to the NBA was when the Nets drafted him in the sixth round in 1984. Signing with the NBA at that time would have meant being ineligible for the national team, and Schmidt was not willing to make that tradeoff. The Nets pursued him three years in a row, he said, but no way. After the rules were changed to allow the Dream Team to play in the 1992 Olympics, sure, except that Schmidt was 34 by the time of the historic Barcelona Games. It would be different under the current rules. ‘Give me two months of practice, I kill everybody else,’ he said Saturday at the Hall of Fame, the day before the induction ceremony. Another big laugh. ‘There was not a price [the Nets could have offered]. There was national team. That’s it. The national team doesn’t have a price. It’s proud. It’s what you live for. And today, people don’t like to play for the national team. That’s very sad for me.’ Schmidt was a 6-foot-9 scoring machine at small forward in the Larry Bird mold, able to shred defenses without beating many opponents in a race or a jumping contest. He could shoot and he was smart. Perfect, then, that Larry Bird agreed to be his presenter Sunday afternoon at Symphony Hall. Schmidt was asked what he would have averaged in the NBA and said, ‘One point a minute. Twenty minutes, 20 points. Forty minutes, maybe 60.’”

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  • TwoTimer

    Never saw him play. But I heard something in his HOF presentation saying that he is pro basketball’s all-time leading scorer with 49000+ points, so…

  • anon

    Schmidt and Sabonis are my 2 fav international ballers of all time. Luckily, Sabonis came to the L, but he wasn’t in his prime when he did. I’ve always respected Schmidt’s dedication to repping his country. I think Schmidt’s argument carries some weight — if you ask other HOFers like Barkley, they’d agree he would be an all time great. Probably not top 10…but in the neighbourhood.

  • Sergio

    As a Brazilian, I can say he could have been one of the greatest scorers in the League. He could do it all on the offensive end, and was a hell of a shooter. But his defense was weak, and he was a huge ballhog – he didnt have the ability to make plays that great scorers like MJ, Kobe or AI had.

  • spit hot fiyah

    ” ‘One point a minute. Twenty minutes, 20 points. Forty minutes, maybe 60.’””

    math 101

  • spit hot fiyah

    he was amazing offensively, team USA members know about that. top ten all-time sounds a little crazy though

  • LakeShow

    We don’t believe you.

    Save your apologetics people.

    I know what he did.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the issue with his whole opinion about the “one on one” thing…
    .
    Oscar Schmidt played against NBA level defenders once every 2-4 years. He really has no idea how much success he would have had. But we can all pretty confidently say, that with scoring being his only actual above average skill…..that he would have been nothing more than a scorer in the NBA.
    .
    Nobody calls Bernard King / Adrian Dantley / Alex English / George Gervin top 10 players ever.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    a lot crazy

  • bike

    He lost all credibility w/ the average 60 pts./40 min. crack.

  • playa

    He scored 50-something thousand career points,he’s OG& can tell whatever he likes.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Not even close to top 10,,,,,, he was a scorer and was savvy with the ball,,,, but basketball is a two way sport & nobody ever accused him of playing defense. Sorry *shrugs*

  • Ugh

    Barkley is a god-awful scout. Listen to him praising mediocre players and telling coaches to play benchwarmers more night in and night out.

    Also – “Allen Iverson!”

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