Admittedly, I stole this idea from The Score’s “Basketball Jones” podcast. One day one of their fans asked who they would induct into their “Hall of Very Good” – a collection of players who put up some numbers, may or may not have been an All-Star in their day, but wouldn’t necessarily make the real Hall of Fame. So I decided to chime in, instead of going with East and West teams, I took the approach of retired and current players.
G – Brandon Jennings
G – Vince Carter
F – David Lee
F – Amare Stoudemire
C – Al Jefferson
Bench: Joe Johnson, Rip Hamilton, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Marcus Camby and Chauncey Billups
Bench: Bench: Rod Strickland, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Allan Houston, Charles Oakley, Larry Johnson, Michael Finley and Nick Van Exel
I figure it would be easy enough to check ESPN for the current players, so I attached the retired players’ career stats because we sometimes forget how good they really were. If I did an article like the Dream Team one this past summer, it would be very difficult to call who wins this game, or a best of seven.
Looking at the current team, the biggest debate will be Vince Carter. No real playoff success, his numbers are up there in terms of all time points, and had about a three year run where he was a bigger star than Kobe Bryant. Is that enough for the Hall? It’s tough to say, and it’s one of the hardest things to determine when inducting somebody. As much as it’s about the basketball court, how much is hinged on league impact off the court? Jennings, Johnson, Jefferson, and Lee are all great players, but unless they get traded to a high profile team or make a couple playoff runs, they’ll be lost in the mix like their retired counterparts. Chauncey and Lamar are interesting as well; they have the rings and longevity, but no stats or accolades that blow you out the water. The thing that gives them merit is that every single teammate they’ve played with likes them and has respect for them (except for Lamar in Dallas).
On the retired team, do me a favor and watch fifteen minutes of Rod Strickland and Abdul-Rauf, two of my favorite players to watch growing up. We’ll consider B Diddy retired at this point and matching him up with Penny at their peaks would have made for one of the greatest back courts in history. Davis had Westbrook’s athleticism with Artest’s build. Rik Smits for obvious reasons (no flash or charisma) was one of the most underrated Center’s of the 90’s, because of guys named Olajuwon, Ewing, O’Neal and Robinson. Allan Houston had the smoothest shot before Ray Allen showed up, Larry Johnson was in more than just commercials before getting hurt, Michael Finley was Mr. Consistent, and Van Exel was a cold blooded killer (also my favorite Laker). That leaves us with Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who for those of us in Vancouver have a soft spot for, never complained, rarely got hurt and played his butt off every night. 18.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1 SPG, with 48% from the field and 81% from the line. Unfortunately he was stuck his whole career on mediocre teams, and sometimes it just comes down to opportunity, I’ve always said swap him with Webber on those Sacramento teams, they do just as well if not better.
The 12th Man (Quick notes so far on the 1st half of the 2013 NBA Season):
1) Leaning more and more towards actually thinking GSW can make a run after seeing a healthy Bogut back.
2) It’s really really fun to watch the MANIMAL, Kenneth Faried’s non-stop energy and passion.
3) Chris Paul has been out almost three weeks with a “bruised knee”? Something fishy about that.
4) Liked the Rudy Gay to Raps trade, just boils down to what they get for Bargnani now.
5) Gotta wonder if the Wizards could make the playoffs with a healthy John Wall all year.
6) WTF is up with Deron Williams? He took no shots in the last seven minutes against the Lakers and just seems in a weird funk. He wears it all over his face too, would bet anything it’s because he has to hang out with Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, and Kris Humphries all day, can you picture how quiet that game of poker is on the plane?
7) Paul George is legit. Won’t get ahead of myself, but reminds me a lot of Pippen.
8 ) Do your thing Nate Robinson, playing very well, and most importantly, playing with patience.
9) Was cool to see the 90’s throwbacks lately, Bulls/Hawks/Pacers/Suns = Winners, Kings/Bucks/Heat = Losers.
10) Because you always forget and never care, the SPURS are the best team in the league AGAIN!!! SPURS SPURS SPURS. Even I don’t get around to talking about them… I will fill the quota next time, 100%.
11) Happy Brook Lopez made the All Star team, well deserved and co-title holder for the swipe-the-ball-across-your-body-and-draw-a-foul move with KD and Harden… even if it was at the expense of …
12) …. Rajon Rondo. The Celts are winning, but without him, we (yeah I said “we”) don’t have a ceiling, just a temporary band-aid. Get better Rajon, get better.