21 Questions with San Dova: “FINAL(S) Round…Fight!!!”
Plus, some pondering on the 2010 NBA Draft.
If it was good enough for 50 Cent and Nate Dogg, I’m pretty sure it’s exceptionally sufficient for SLAMonline. Regardless of music, 21 Questions with San Dova is taking the task of asking those nebulous questions that seem to revolve around the force of gravity we know to be the NBA. Check for the preguntas at the top of every month or so.
1) If Kobe Bryant wins a fifth NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, will he finally be removed from the cast shadow of Michael Jordan? Will he instead be known as the greatest Laker in NBA history?
2) If swingman Paul Pierce wins a second championship with the Boston Celtics, will that legitimize his tenure as an all-time great among the Celts, or will he be just a really, really, really good player (by reputation)?
3) Who thinks that Shaquille O’Neal will kiss some butt and make a plea to join the Lakers next season as a reserve player?
4) Power forward Pau Gasol as a possible two-time NBA champion: potential international Hall of Famer or legit NBA Hall of Famer?
5) Even though he’s an elite center in the league, will Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard ever commit to develop a full-fledged unstoppable low-post move, that doesn’t need to be assisted (i.e. Hakeem Olajuwon’s “Dream Shake”, Tim Duncan’s bank shot, Patrick Ewing’s fadeaway jump shot) after failing to make good on a second Finals appearance?
6) Wouldn’t LeBron James be a great fit for the Lakers as a facilitating offensive threat at point guard (after all, Scottie Pippen played the point for head coach Phil Jackson, allegedly at 6-9, according to Doug Collins)? (Sign-and-trade for Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar and picks, perhaps?–it’s obvious to me that King James is probably best as an option 1A next to Kobe.)
7) Obviously the Phoenix Suns have found their core in the team’s makeup…does their success in 2010 make null former coach Mike D’Antoni’s former six-man rotations? Shouldn’t current Suns head coach Alvin Gentry get more credit for making great use of the players he was given and improving the “Seven Seconds Or Less” philosophy?
8 ) And even though Suns power forward Amar’e Stoudemire showed that he is at the top of his game, does he really merit a maximum contract for the next six years, especially seeing that he still hasn’t made a firm commitment to playing even commendable defense?
9) Isn’t Suns guard Steve Nash the man? Shouldn’t more coaches tailor their systems more appropriately to the strengths of their star point guards, like Nash has had happen with D’Antoni and Gentry?
10) Phoenix fans: Shouldn’t you be putting pressure on owner Robert Sarver to wisely invest in the team, after he foolishly gave away draft picks that would’ve upgraded the team for cheap (Rudy Fernandez, Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo)?
11) As fellow SLAM contributor Michael Tillery has talked about via Twitter, are Steve Nash’s two MVPs compared to Kobe’s lone award egregious in the context of the talent of the players (Kobe’s clearly the superior player), or are Nash’s MVPs more respectable in the context of the elite ’05 and ’06 Suns teams that he led and Kobe having historically excellent individual seasons on middling Lakers teams?
12) Doesn’t it seem like destiny that Lakers swingman Lamar Odom could win another championship in Los Angeles, being that he was anointed “the next Magic” while in high school, college and with the Clippers by scouts, fans and Pat Riley?
13) DeMarcus Cousins: Zach Randolph/Derrick Coleman or a Moses Malone clone?
14) Why didn’t Oklahoma sophomore guard Willie Warren sell high after his freshman season, when he could’ve been a top-five selection in the 2009 NBA Draft?
15) Had Nevada sophomore forward Luke Babbitt stayed with his commitment and played at Ohio State, would he be an even hotter commodity as a prospect?
16) Considering Georgia Tech forward/center Derrick Favors literally favoring the player profile of Dwight Howard at 18 years old, should Kentucky point guard John Wall really be the lock as the No.1 overall pick?
17) If you were an NBA GM, would you draft Oklahoma freshman forward/center Keith Gallon–the most unpredictable (and currently overweight) talent in the Draft?
18) Despite Georgetown sophomore power forward/center Greg Monroe’s obvious talent and abilities, why does it seem that the university will never install another truly elite big man into its Hall of Fame triumvirate of Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning?
19) Aren’t the first round guarantees that Kentucky freshmen Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton have received from scouts sort of proof that it’s not what you know, but who you know?
20) Even though being older than 21 years of age seems to lower a player’s stock, why doesn’t anyone seem to remember that Mutombo was 25 when he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets as the fifth pick in 1991 (and became a future Hall of Famer)?
21) Who are going to be the next gems that the Oklahoma City Thunder pick up this year?
An extra special thanks to illustrator/cartoonist/writer Michael Cho for the featured illustrations for this month’s “21 Questions”. You can view more of his fantastic work at ChoDrawings.blogspot.com and also on Twitter @Michael_Cho, where he muses consistently about the direction of fine arts and the successes and failures of his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors.
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist and fitness enthusiast, as well as an unyielding Prince fan (for real). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook, Associated Content and Twitter.