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Miami Heat shouldn't count their titles before winning a game

Heat1_600

There's no doubt that the Miami Heat should be a formidable foe this season. But like most of you, I was a little taken aback when Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh had their introductory love-fest and started using two hands to count the number of NBA championships they'd bring to Florida.

We all know how difficult it is to win one title, let alone several in a row. The fact that the Lakers are seeking a three-peat for the second time in less than 10 years is remarkable, as in only Michael Jordan and the Bulls have accomplished that feat since the Bill Russell-led Celtics dominated the 1960s.

There have been great trios in the past that couldn't get it done: the Elgin Baylor-Jerry West-Wilt Chamberlain Lakers, the Julius Erving-Charles Barkley-Moses Malone 76ers, the Hakeen Olajuwon-Clyde Drexler-Charles Barkley Rockets come to mind. I'm sure you might be able to think of others.

While Wade, James and Bosh have familiarity with one another from their days on the national team when they won the 2008 Beijing Olympics (with Kobe Bryant, of course), they will be playing alongside each other with an entirely new cast of supporting characters. And therein lies the biggest hurdle they will have to clear.

While the Heat have some nice pieces to put around them -- retaining power forward Udonis Haslem, who does all the dirty work, signing a sharp-shooter in guard-forward Mike Miller and bringing in serviceable if not spectacular 7-3 center Zydrunas Ilgauskas -- the team's depth and cohesiveness will be their Achilles' heel. While pint-sized Eddie House has a title under his belt with the Celtics from 2008 and he can light it up from time to time, does anyone really think he's going to be a vital role player? And reserve point guard Carlos Arroyo? Not a difference-maker. They do have quite a collection of aging big men: IIgauskas, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magliore. Combined age? About 100. Not good.

Miami does have rookie DaSean Butler, a silky smooth swingman from West Virginia who should have a very good NBA career, starting in about three to four years. And there's third-year guard Mario Chalmers , a solid reserve, but skinny shooting forward James Jones is a liability anywhere but the three-point line. The rest of the roster? Forgettable.

Now, the triumverate of Wade, Bosh and James should be good for 50 wins on their own. They are that talented, although there is only one ball and I'm not the only one that sees that as a problem. In fact, there's plenty of reasons floating around on the Web as to why the Heat will fall short.

Which brings us to this conclusion. The Lakers are two-time defending NBA champions that have actually improved their roster and all challengers should fight their way to the top of the standings and into their respective conference finals before talking about multiple championships. Wait, maybe they should win one before talking about it.

--Dan Loumena

Photo: New Miami Heat teammates (from left) Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James greet the masses during an introductory celebration at American Airlines Arena on July 9. Credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images

 
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That is one hideous picture...

In other news, Eric Gordon has been pretty impressive from what I've read about Team USA this summer. He seems to be like a Joe Dumars type...a guy who can light it up on the offensive end while playing tough defense as an undersized SG. If Blake Griffin is as good as advertised, the Clips can make some noise this season.

CyberCosmiX - well written piece on Bleacher Report...but tell us, what do you really feel about the Cheat...lol

Regarding the number of Kareem's weapons...
He had a fine soft jumper, and could of course dunk, which he seemed to choose to do less and less as he aged, and was a damn good free throw shooter for a big.
But the sky hook remains the most deadly and undefensable shot in the history of the game.
As a tall (for my age in my pre-teen and early teen years)white boy I developed a fairly effective, and never blocked pseudo semi-running baby sky-hook that I used alot, especially against taller boys. Alas i stopped growing after hitting a mere 6'3", had the dreaded disease (couldn't jump) and got passed by in high school.
But in the supple hands of Kareem, one of the most gorgeous shots to look at was also one of the most high-percentage deadly.
And it is a major wonder nobody since has developed anything like it since.
'cept Magic lol.

Here is a under achieving trio dedicated to Sonny Belfast...

Vlade Divacs, Chris Webber, Peja Stojaković...

And to Dan Loumena...

Rasheed Wallace, Arvydas Sobonis, Scotty Pippen

I agree with EJK - I'm petitioning the injury bug to "take his talents to South Beach" and out of LA for this coming season.

(And if the Clips can stay healthy, without Dunleavy they could be the league's Most Improved)...

DAN DON'T GO! (sniffle sniffle)

Here is a under achieving trio dedicated to Sonny Belfast...

Vlade Divacs, Chris Webber, Peja Stojaković...

And to Dan Loumena...

Rasheed Wallace, Arvydas Sobonis, Scotty Pippen
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 06, 2010 at 01:52 PM

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Common Denominator in both trios???

The Lakers were the reason both trios were underachievers...

PETE MAGUIRE… It’s been great seeing your posts again. Top notch stuff as usual, although I do take exception with your characterization the other day of Andrew Bynum as a bust. While he has developed into the beast that some of us were hoping for, I don’t think we would have won the last two championships without him. I expect him to emerge as the 3rd leg of our Big Three this year.
~!
You’re spot on with your comments about the Warriors. I always have had a kind spot in my heart for the Warriors because they were the first NBA team that I followed due to Wilt even though I grew up in SoCal and was an avid Chick Hearn fan who listened or watched every Lakers game. That Warriors 1975 sweep over the favored Bullets is still my favorite non-Laker NBA Finals.
~
The key to that team was the great Rick Barry, whom I still consider to be one of the greatest if not the greatest power forward to ever play the game. Barry averaged close to 35 points per game and was the series MVP. For young fans who never saw Rick play, he could do it all, great scorer who had range and could attack the basket with best as well as a superb defender and passer. Often belittled because of his “tell it like it is attitude,” Rick had a championship level drive and BBIQ.
~
The plays that still stand out to me when I think of that series were a couple of left hand drives and dunks by right handed guard Phil Smith (something I had never seen in the NBA before) and coach Al Attles running onto the court to start a fight with Mike Riordan who had just flagrantly fouled Rick Barry to prevent Barry from starting the fight and being ejected. After Attles and Riordan’s ejections, Barry went on a tear dropping shot after shot to choruses of boos and epithets from the angry Bullets crowd. It was a Kobe-esque performance by a great superstar who dominated.
~
Obviously, I have been a long time lover of the underdog and supporter of young players with great potential Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Rick Barry, Kobe Bryant – all great players who were lightening rods for the bashers and haters throughout their careers but whom history has clearly shown were great championship level NBA super stars. You can add another name to that list because if he can stay healthy, Andrew Bynum will become the next great Lakers center
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TOM

Three things:

1.) Wade and the 2009-2010 Heat roster won 47 games this past season. Their roster wasn't that great, but still managed to pull 47 wins. Average at best.

2.) The Miami Heat's 2010-2011 roster for this upcoming season is stronger than last season's roster. Better players, more experience, better talent; period. So who's to say they can't pull an extra 20-25 wins with the addition of Lebron James and Chris Bosh? I wouldn't bet against it.

3.) Their "Welcome" party was mostly hype; I can admit that being a Miami resident and fan since the days of Rony Seikaly. They will not win 7 championships. Three or four rings are likely. They were all caught up in the moment, nothing more.

4.) (I lied. There are four things.) Who is Hakeen Olauwon? Probably a typo, but his name is Hakeem...with an 'M'.

4.) (I lied. There are four things.) Who is Hakeen Olauwon? Probably a typo, but his name is Hakeem...with an 'M'.

Posted by: MiamiDudeLol | September 06, 2010 at 02:58 PM

I think you would've been better off stopping at three. Who's Olauwon? Pointing out other people's spelling mistakes is dangerous business...

@EJK - You're right. I am now living in fear. Dan Loumena, I apologize.

When I said superstar trios who failed to win the title, I meant Hall of Famers. I'm not sure the Blazers ever had three Hall of Famers on a team in the 1990s through early 2000s.

The Bullets had Earl Monroe-Wes Unseld-Phil Chenier (two HOFers and an All-Star) and eventually won after Monroe left for the Knicks and Elvin Hayes arrived. The Phoenix Suns had some outstanding talent, including a couple HOFers such as Sir Charles, that couldn't win it all

But, yes, my beloved Blazers as I've said before have featured a couple of the greatest teams to never win a title, including the early '90s when there was a five-year run where they had the best record in the NBA but got beaten in two NBA Finals by the Bad Boy Pistons and Jordan's Bulls and twice were eliminated in the conference finals by the Lakers. And, of course, the late '90s/early 2000s club that literally had a 12-man roster that included at least 9 guys that could have started -- wait, some did reserves did -- for most other NBA teams.

I shall now hide under my desk so my colleagues can't see me weep.

Will have another post this evening when I get a chance.

Later

ZAIRA… Thanks for great welcome back. Your words and heart are as beautiful as your namesake flower. What a great way to send a smile. I am going to have to steal that one for my repertoire and use it to brighten up Mrs. LakerTom’s day as she struggles through a year of rehab for her knee. It’s always wonderful to see your posts. Makes me want to return to Italy and long for younger days.
~
I have a recipe for a true Miami Meat burger. Obviously, it’s a double – one layer of ground beef (that’s Dwayne Wade, NBA champion only by referee default) and one layer of Vegi-Burger (that’s obviously LeBron James, a befuddled faker trying to pawn himself off as the real thing) – with a slim piece of smelly limburger cheese in between (that’s Chris Bosh, the third wheel that will fall off and turn the Meat’s superstar trio into a duo when the real contenders front courts dominate him.
~
Congratulations on your engagement and pending marriage. I have missed the announcement. Karim is one lucky guy. May you enjoy a long and prosperous partnership fueled by great love. There is nothing greater to hope for than finding your soul mate for life. Bon voyage, Zaira.
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TOM

Are we really suggesting that Gasol is a better center than Kareem? What, for some random 3 min run?

Gasol is a very good center, Kareem is probably the greatest center of all time. We aren't really making this argument, are we?

Just off the top of my head how many MVPs does Kareem have vs. Gasol? Is it 6 to 0? 5 time defensive 1st team and what, 19 all star games?

Please people, that's like calliing Nick Jonas the greatest songwriter of the rock era.

Wes

Dan - didn't Scotty Pippen make the HOF...

And if that was the criteria...never mind my dedications to you and Sonny...lol

MAMB A… First, thank you for the Welcome Back Bandwagon. You are a blog legend already with a future ahead of you as great as that of young Andrew Bynum. There should be a perpetual Thank Mamba24 Bandwagon. You are without doubt a big part of the heart and soul of this blog.
~
And thank you to all of you on the bandwagon for your kind words and thoughts. It meant the world that you cared enough to post. One of the greatest things about this blog is the virtual friends you acquire who share your passion and love for the Lakers. It’s wonderful to be back.
~
Mamba, please add me to the Dan the Man Bandwagon. As I told Dan when he welcomed me back, I hope he continues to drop in from time to time and help MM out. It’s people like Dan who can change the downward atmosphere that prevails with the LA Times and the newspaper industry as a whole by finding ways to build and maintain readers. Like any entertainment and information business, you need to know and engage your audience. That is exactly what Dan Loumena did.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Hey LEWSTRS,

Scottie Pippen went into the Hall of Fame this summer. And Arvydas Sabonis might, but mostly because of his international play. People forget when the Lithuanian giant played for the Soviet team that he used to school the likes of Patrick Ewing and David Robinson. But I don't think a third member of those Blazers teams is in the HOF or will make the hall. Rasheed Wallace? Maybe.

Nice catch EJK, obviously a typo on Hakeem.

MiamiDudeLol, you're absolutely entitled to your opinion and the Heat could prove you, and all the hype, correct. But more often than not, superstar trios in the NBA struggle just like every other team to win a title.

Ah, those late 90's/early 00's Blazers were incredibly deep. I still remember the LAT headlines before the epic WCF series started: Two Deep v. Too Deep. Classic.

@MiamiDudeLol
" The Miami Heat's 2010-2011 roster for this upcoming season is stronger than last season's roster. Better players, more experience, better talent; period. So who's to say they can't pull an extra 20-25 wins with the addition of Lebron James and Chris Bosh? I wouldn't bet against it."

Same 2 PGs, Chalmers and Arroyo. If one of them starts, only 2 returning starters. Same 2 backup centers, only this year Joel Anthony is projected to start.

If everything goes perfectly, 20 more wins (67) isn't out of the question - but would be a true miracle with a 6'9" starting center and the probable rebounding deficit they will face vs most teams. I will bet any sum you care to wager that they will NOT win 72 - or even tie the 2nd best of all time (69) in their first season. If they are that good, why would they go all out after clinching HCA (unless one of the teams with more continuity pushes them for best record)?

Have you noticed a bit of unusual karma hitting the team already? I believe we will see that continue...

MAMBA… “I don't know, Mamba24. I'm thinking you're gonna be in the virtual doghouse a little while longer.... Posted by: justanothermambafan | September 06, 2010 at 10:57 AM
*
ROOF, ROOF!! …Posted by: MAMBA24 | September 06, 2010 at 11:07 AM
~
ROTFLOL, Mamba. That was just a “perfect” response. But like most intelligent men, if given a choice, I would prefer to be in the cathouse rather than the doghouse. LOL! Another reason why cats are totally superior to dogs. Don’t get me wrong, every dog has its day but cats really rule.
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TOM

It is hard to imagine the Heat losing to anybody except the Lakers and the Celtics this year. Miami is going to win a lot of games. This group if they stay long enough can win a few championship. Without the Lakers (injury to Bynum, Gasol or Kobe), they can take anybody in the West.


An aging Lakers and a PRIMED TRIO in Miami can also be a factor down the road.


Lebron 2 time regular season MVP, Wade experience FINALS MVP with a championship you put them together, what do you think will happen? This is like MJ and PIPPEN starting in their prime!


How many of you wanted Chris Bosh for the Lakers and why?

hey ricky don't tell me but i guess you are form spain huh?

Ricky how you dare to call Pau gasol the best center in laker history.He is a great player don't get me wrong but please don't EVER, EVER AGAIN call him that.I GUESS you are in your 20's or early 30's but the Lakers had MIKEN/WILT/KAREM.by the way they are hall of famers.Pau may be the SECOND best power forward in lakers lore after BIG GAME JAMES WORTHY

ROTFLOL, Mamba. That was just a “perfect” response. But like most intelligent men, if given a choice, I would prefer to be in the cathouse rather than the doghouse. LOL! Another reason why cats are totally superior to dogs. Don’t get me wrong, every dog has its day but cats really rule.
Posted by: LakerTom | September 06, 2010 at 04:10 PM
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OH SWEET JESUS, And you want to know why this man is my idol. Right out the box Laker Tom is back, no warm up practice shots, just 3 pointer after 3 pointer!! WELCOME BACK MY BROTHER!!!!

Please people, that's like calliing Nick Jonas the greatest songwriter of the rock era. Posted by: wes | September 06, 2010 at 03:36 PM
*
You mean he's not?

Eric Gordon has been pretty impressive from what I've read about Team USA this summer. He seems to be like a Joe Dumars type...a guy who can light it up on the offensive end while playing tough defense as an undersized SG. If Blake Griffin is as good as advertised, the Clips can make some noise this season.

Posted by: EJK | September 06, 2010 at 01:24 PM
-
I like Gordon a lot. And yes, Griffin is a beast, saw him playing for OU several times. Of course, everything can happen, maybe he lost his bball, who knows...But I expect the guy to really rock, not good news for any team besides the Clips.

SHOW MAMBA24 SOME LOVE FOR ALL HE DOES FOR US...
==-------====--- -------==========
[_|___|__|___|__|__|__|__|__|__\
|__THANK YOU MAMBA24 _\__\__
l__________________________--|
\_(O)-(O)_____|_|_____(O)-(O)___/

LEWSTRS
justanothermambafan
Magic Phil
PsychedLakerGirl
wes
LakerMike (and MrsLakerMike)
Don't Blame Del Harris!
CyberCosmiX
JohnnyV
LakerLass
Noah
KobeMVP888
Jon K
LakerTom
LakerPeace
LAKER TRUTH
D(erek)J(eter)
KB Blitz
Art - FL Lakers Fan
iheartkb24
CornerJ (shotgun)
utzworld - the BANNER HOLDER
HalosAnt
LakerFanInCowTown
Seely_Iggy
LRob
Caliphilosopher
JohnnyP
Troy B
ZairaAmaterasu

@LEWSTRS, sir please park the bus! Park it now! Thank you so much but it only attracts trolls. And especially thanks for the earlier posts my brother. Lewstrs always remember...You're The Man, I'm here to assist you. Happy end of Holiday, Thank you and carry on sir!

Pete Maguire - I gotta agree with you on Jerry West tenure as a coach. But I must beat the drum one more time for Sharman. He may not have been Red or Phil, but his coaching credentials are great. Three time champion (ABL-Cleveland, ABA-Utah, NBA-Lakers) also three time runner up (NBA-SF, ABA-LA Stars, NBA-Lakers). As far as I can tell he only lost once when favored and that was 73 Laker team...which probably shouldn't been favored anyway since Hairston was injured. Oh yeah...Sharman was elected to HOF as a coach. He's one of only three to make it as a player and coach (Lenny, Wooden and Sharman).

Also thanks for bringing up that 75 Warriors team. That was a special team. Of course, loved Rick Barry but my favorite was George Johnson. With the afro flowing and the knee pads on he was blocking shots left and right that year.

Wildone,
Regarding the number of Kareem's weapons...
He had a fine soft jumper, and could of course dunk, which he seemed to choose to do less and less as he aged, and was a damn good free throw shooter for a big.
But the sky hook remains the most deadly and undefensable shot in the history of the game.
As a tall (for my age in my pre-teen and early teen years)white boy I developed a fairly effective, and never blocked pseudo semi-running baby sky-hook that I used alot, especially against taller boys. Alas i stopped growing after hitting a mere 6'3", had the dreaded disease (couldn't jump) and got passed by in high school.
But in the supple hands of Kareem, one of the most gorgeous shots to look at was also one of the most high-percentage deadly.
And it is a major wonder nobody since has developed anything like it since.
'cept Magic lol.

Posted by: wildone | September 06, 2010 at 01:43 PM

------------
I agree and if memory serves me right, NCAA banned dunking because of Kareem. That helped him learn more shots like skyhook etc that he became unstoppable.

Happy Labor Day all.

James Worthy and Rick Barry were not power forwards.

LRob, 63 footer, Pete M and also Lakertom:

Can you describe these hof'ers:

Pete Maravich
Dave Bing
Elvin Hayes
Dave Debusschere
Earl Monroe
Walt Frazier

How come they are not as popular as the Lakers and Celtics players when the Lakers had only one championship in the 70's except for Magic era? I have not seen them play but heard a lot about their athleticism across the ocean.

BTW, welcome back LT, I knew you're back because I hear the Bynum cheer in the air. Say hello for Mrs. LT's knees will heal first faster than Drew gets to a Superstar stature. lol!

Erratum: forgot the word "her knees" can't say hello to a knee. LMAO!

Obviously, I have been a long time lover of the underdog and supporter of young players with great potential Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Rick Barry, Kobe Bryant – all great players who were lightening rods for the bashers and haters throughout their careers but whom history has clearly shown were great championship level NBA super stars. You can add another name to that list because if he can stay healthy, Andrew Bynum will become the next great Lakers center
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM


Posted by: LakerTom | September 06, 2010 at 02:47 PM

---------------
Staying healthy is the key. Two freak injuries and one probably caused by over compensation for the other two.
But what really added to my backing of young Bynum besides the ones mentioned was the fact that his name was up there in numbers with Howard and Yao. What made that impressive is that AB was a reserve and Howard and Yao were starters.

Justa

justa - from one to another - I guess you've been unbanned. Good stuff - hope you're having a great day.


justanotherjusta


Dan, PERFECTLY SAID! I couldn't have said it better myself. You are 100% correct! How about the heat win 1 championship before talking about winning multiple ones. LAKERS WILL 3-PEAT!

Mamba - that Fuzz song...now that's what I call Classic Soul. Take me back to the days of the Stylistics, Delfonics...etc

Sonny Belfast - Art's 4 point explanation on why the Lakers are perennial champions was superb. In the words of your own Kings announcer (Grant Napear) "If you don't like that then you don't like NBA basketball."

Dan - I don't think Chenier played with Unseld and Monroe on those early Bullet teams. But with the recent election of Gus Johnson in the Hall they did have three HOF players...Wes, Gus and Pearl. However, by the time they won it in 78 their big 3 was probably Hayes, Unseld and Dandridge.

I'll throw out a few more threesomes...Atlanta had Pistol, Bellamy and Hudson (2 HOF and an all-star) and Denver had a few (Thompson, Issel and Bobby Jones (2 HOF and an all-star) and English, Issel and Kiki (2 HOF and an all-star)

Although power is hardly a word used when describing Pau Gasol, he does seem to be the Lakers best power forward all-time. Can anyone name a contender?

Now if the Lakers could only get themselves a center . . . .

@JustanotherMambaFan, I think your previous post gives me a get out
of the dog house free card. Lol! Have a nice evening mam.

@LRob, Man!!! Is there nothing you don't know about Music! Kudos my brother good pick-up I had forgot about those groups.

*____________________________________________________________________*
THANKS DAN LOUMENA FOR ALL YOU DO – BANDWAGON
*_____________________________________________________________________*
"
(01) ZAIRA AMATERASU – GODDESS - wanna really really thank Dan L. for the awesome job he has provided to feed us all. Even when I was just lurking, I was enjoyin the way he kept everyone in check and interested. I also love your humor, Dan: you'd be an excellent part of this blog... and I actually wish you will write along us a bit whenever you could feel like to. I know I'd love it for sure.
(02) PHRED – OWNER - Dan Loumena, kicking ociation and taking names. Much love, thanks for sticking by us.
(03) WES- DRIVER - Dan, Thanks for writing an article Laker fans might have an interest in. Since Dan is again writing something we Laker fans might find interesting, I thought I'd drop in and give a word of support. Thanks Dan. Great job Dan. Way to keep the troops from killing each other.
(04) PUDDLE – RIDING SHOTGUN - Dan, I'm a little late to the praise bus, but I also wanted to add that I think you've done an admirable job filling in for Mark, whom we've come to fully embrace. We're a tough crowd and you've survived us. Thank you for your efforts
"
"
(37) REDBLUFF-PETE - Good job, Dan Loumena, despite all your other duties while Times staffers other than Mark Median were on vacation.
(38) LAKERTOM - Please add me to the Dan the Man Bandwagon. As I told Dan when he welcomed me back, I hope he continues to drop in from time to time and help MM out. It’s people like Dan who can change the downward atmosphere that prevails with the LA Times and the newspaper industry as a whole by finding ways to build and maintain readers. Like any entertainment and information business, you need to know and engage your audience. That is exactly what Dan Loumena did.
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Edwin Gueco - man, don't get me started on "Clyde" Frazier or Pistol Pete - and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. Man, they were all amazing. Maravich could handle the ball like no one's business, and score as pretty as you please. He died waaaay too young from a heart thing, I think. He had a leg injury that cut his career short. He was like Gail Goodrich crossed with Bob Cousey, but 6' 5". If he had been in NYC or LA, he'd have been much better known.

Frazier - a point guard's point guard and a defensive demon. He wasn't a physical in a rough-you-up defender, but would be tricky and super-quick hands (as I recall). He could dish out the assists. 7th game of the hated 70 series against the Lakers (where West hits the 63 footer and the Lakers lose for God's sake!) - Clyde had 36 pts, 19 assists and 7 rebounds. I think Frazier was plenty big at the time, being in NYC, etc.

Earl Monroe - Black Magic, him and Wes Unseld on the Bullets is all I remember. 56 pts against us in his rookie season I believe. Screw that! Flashy as all get-out with some amazing trick shots. His knees were his weak points like Elgin Baylor. Him and Pete Maravich both kinda changed the game (I'd put Elgin in there too) - made it flashy and smooth. Add Dr. J, and you suddenly start to get Showtime, etc.

I'll let others talk about Bing, Elvin and Debusschere (hated him on the Knicks, not because he was a bad player, but he'd make us pay).

OMG !!! Zaira is getting married !!!???? OMG how lucky is that fella? What of Maroon 5 and Kobe? Will your love for them fade?

CONGRATULATIONS !!!!

GOOOooooooOOOOOOO ZAIRA !!!

OTIS… “James Worthy and Rick Barry were not power forwards.”
~
At 6-7. Rick today would be a small forward. On that Warriors team, Jamaal Wilkes was the small forward and Rick WAS the power forward. The only true big men on the team were centers George Johnson and Clifford Ray. Almost a forgotten man when people discuss great NBA players, here is his entry from the NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition:
~
“Hall of Fame forward Rick Barry is the only player ever to lead the NCAA, NBA, and ABA in scoring. His name appears near the top of every all-time offensive list. He scored more than 25,000 points in his professional career and in four different seasons averaged more than 30 points. He was named to 12 All-Star teams, four All-NBA First Teams, and five All-ABA First Teams. Barry was a nearly unstoppable offensive juggernaut, a passionate competitor with an untempered desire to win.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

OTIS… “James Worthy and Rick Barry were not power forwards.”
~
At 6-7. Rick today would be a small forward. On that Warriors team, Jamaal Wilkes was the small forward and Rick WAS the power forward. The only true big men on the team were centers George Johnson and Clifford Ray. Almost a forgotten man when people discuss great NBA players, here is his entry from the NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition:
~
“Hall of Fame forward Rick Barry is the only player ever to lead the NCAA, NBA, and ABA in scoring. His name appears near the top of every all-time offensive list. He scored more than 25,000 points in his professional career and in four different seasons averaged more than 30 points. He was named to 12 All-Star teams, four All-NBA First Teams, and five All-ABA First Teams. Barry was a nearly unstoppable offensive juggernaut, a passionate competitor with an untempered desire to win.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Miami will melt in the heat of competion, then Pat Riley has the reason to kick out Erick on the bench.

Rick Barry was not a power forward.

Andrew Bynum is not a beast.

And LakerTom is back again.

63footer, thanks for the reply

Here are the Finals during the 70's

1979 Seattle SuperSonics Washington Bullets 4-1 Dennis Johnson, Seattle
1978 Washington Bullets Seattle SuperSonics 4-3 Wes Unseld, Wash.
1977 Portland Trail Blazers Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Bill Walton, Portland
1976 Boston Celtics Phoenix Suns 4-2 Jo Jo White, Boston
1975 Golden State Warriors Washington Bullets 4-0 Rick Barry, G.S.
1974 Boston Celtics Milwaukee Bucks 4-3 John Havlicek, Boston
1973 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 Willis Reed, Knicks
1972 Los Angeles Lakers New York Knicks 4-1 Wilt Chamberlain, LAL
1971 Milwaukee Bucks Baltimore Bullets 4-0Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bucks
1970 New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers 4-3 Willis Reed, Knicks

My point is how come Pistol Pete was not able to carry his team to the Finals? Of course, this is Lakers Blog, I don't hear much about Clyde or the Pearl, Big E of the Rockets together with Calvin Murphy going to any Finals. Knicks had three Finals and two rings while Lakers had only one yet they dominated the discussion of the best of the 7o's. Is it because of the consecutive wins record? Of course, Dr. J is another enigma, he should have dominated the end of the seventies with his flashy dunks yet he has only one Finals. What seems to be lacking with these superstars?

Aloha

Back from hot ponds, a pool that the Hawaiians had dug out right on the ocean that is heated by the volcano. Just a few random thoughts that popped up while catching up with the blog.

Again I just can not see the Heat winning it all. It will come down to size and toughness inside which they just don't have yet. Remember the 23 offensive boards we had in game 7? It would be the same against the Heat. Plus they only have 2 guys you would consider good defenders.

Hey Laker Tom

I remember that Rick Berry led warrior team. I was living in the bay area at the time and actually played some pick up canes against a few of the guys. Rick was amazing in that series. The cliche is that one player can't win in their own. That series was as close as I have ever seen to it happening. It would be like Kobe winning a ring before we got Pau.

And alas more Bynum. Seriously, just having him gut out some minutes in the finals changed the whole dynamics of that series. It shifted the matchups in our favor and created driving lanes for Kobe that were not there in 08. Now if he can spend an entire year healthy and learning to play more with Pau, we will repeat easily. Keep in mind, that last year after a slow start together, pau and Andrew really started to click, before Andrew got hurt.

MH

Ah, Dave DeBusschere, one of my all-time favorite players. He was the key ingredient to elevate the Knicks from a very good team to a championship team. In fact, the 1969-70 Knicks could be one of the greatest TEAMS to ever grace a basketball court. In December, 1968 the Knicks pulled off one of the ballsiest, smartest trades in NBA history when they traded 4 time all-star center Walt "Bells" Bellamy, who was still only 29, and tough nosed point guard Howard Komives, to the Pistons for this rugged, 6'6" power forward. The trade accomplished several things (as I recall). First, it allowed Frazier, who was 24 and in his third season to completely take over the lead guard position and man did he thrive! Second, it allowed Willis Reed to play center, his more natural position. He had a sweet mid range game to compliment his rugged inside play and consequently won the league's MVP that season. Third, with sharpshooters Bill Bradley, Dick Barnett, Clyde, Cazzie Russell and now DeBusschere, Red Holzman's offense resembled the triangle offense when run at its optimum. The logjam in the low post of Reed with Bellamy was gone, Clyde asserted his leadership, and Reed played to his maximum potential. This was ALL because of the trade for DeBusschere, who was an all-star with the Pistons, a great outside shooter like Bradley, and an enforcer even at 6'6". Phil Jackson was a reserve on the great Knicks teams from 1970-73, although his was injured for the 1970 championship.

What we witness from Phil's coaching today is a blend of what he learned from Red Holzman, who was a big believer in the 2 guard offense (as opposed to a point guard and a shooting guard), movement without the ball and learning your spots on the floor. You will recall that he was able to blend the talents of Clyde with Earl "the Pearl" Monroe, although it took about a season and a half before the Pearl stopped moping about not having the ball ion his hands enough. Red benched him for the better part of his first season with the Knicks. Philip refined the knowledge he gained from Holzman and incorporated these concepts within the triangle which he learned from Tex Winter. In fact, 2 years ago, Bill Bradley said that watching the Lakers reminded him of the old Knicks teams. But I digress .....

Back to DeBusschere, if you look at his numbers he was a model of consistency from his rookie season until he retired at the age of 33, averaging 16 and 11. His average would have been higher because he could shoot the long ball and he never had the benefit of the 3 point shot. He was an 8 time all-star from 1966-74, missing only the 1969 game (although he was 1st team NBA all-defense that season). Also, his basketball IQ was through the roof. He is truly an underrated all-time great power forward.

Here are DeBusschere's numbers:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/debusda01.html

As for the great Dave Bing, one of the great shooting guards in NBA history in the mold of Ray Allen, and the great Elvin Hayes, I defer.

Edwin - Pete was on some crappy teams: Atlanta (right after the move) and New Orleans. It was like Oscar Robertson... couldn't win with Cincinnati, etc. because he had no help. Wasn't until the Bucks got Lew that the Big O could get a ring. Pete was the same way: nuthin' around him.

The Knicks at the beginning of the 70's were a really good team, but the 71/72 Lakers with the 33 wins... were amazing and always in consideration for greatest team of all time. The 70's were all over the place in terms of who was good, who was bad. And remember: some of the greatest were playing in the ABA at that time. Truly, if Dr. J and Artis Gilmore (let us not forget Zelmo Beaty) and all the rest of the flashy amazing players were folded into the 70's NBA, we might remember things differently. (Spencer Haywood, Connie Hawkins, the Iceman, Moses - they all got into the NBA, but some of their great years were in the ABA.)

Anyway, that's just my take on it. The Lakers were competitive (especially at the beginning and the end of the 70's), and we got Cap to come over, but it wasn't the Lakers' most consistent decade (as say, the 80's were).

As for Andrew Bynum, beast or no beast (whatever), he's a winner and the Lakers are a better team with him. I don't want to hear about the minutiae. He's 2-0 in the NBA Finals. Throw all the numbers and comparisons you want at me with past and present NBA centers and I DON'T CARE. He passes the ultimate litmus test as far as I am concerned.

2-0

KobeMVP888 - I still hate DeBusschere... but with the greatest respect. He was a rock and would eat us alive doing all the "little" things and a lot of the big.

Michael H, aloha. Bynum will be a great center with an (*) only if he will be healthy throughout the season and playoffs. Bynum should play it smart and imitate his teacher's longevity and manner of playing.

As an insurance guy I suggest Jerry Buss should get a Keyman Insurance at Lloyds, I'm sure he has one already one but get some more even at high premium. Bynum is a good product of win-win situation, the odds of winning is higher for JB because Bynum's season will either be black or red and the knees will go even or odd.

Can you describe these hof'ers:
Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 06, 2010 at 06:55 PM

Edwin - Well fall is in the air and school is starting back so there's nothing like that first homework assignment...lol. I'll take a stab.

Pete Maravich-one of the earlier NBA showman. Prolific scorer in college probably avg over 40+ for a his college career. Could do stuff with the bball only a few others could do. The ball was like part of his hand. Think Harlem Globetrotter, Magic Johnson, and Sacramento "White Chocolate" in terms of creativity and flair. Had a very good NBA career (although there's are others with more impressive numbers that aren't in). Once dropped 68pts on Walt Frazier...I loved that because it help shut up a few Knick lover friends of mine. Pistol was worth the price of admission. He always did a couple of plays that you couldn't believe. A college legend that didn't live up to his hype in the NBA. Ultimately more style than substance. Only got out of the 1st rd of the playoffs once in his career.

Dave Bing - grew up watching him and Bob Lanier play on some very mediocre Piston teams. Very good all around player. Not a great shooter, defender or assist man...but good in all areas. Not a pure pg or sg, but a good combo guard. I'll struggling to find anyone to compare Bing with. He was a high riser in his early days. Did one of the best dunks I've ever seen when he dunked on the great Nate Thurmond. Never made it past 2nd rd of playoffs.

Elvin Hayes - great player and scorer, good defender. Nearly unstoppable turnaround bank shot. Duncan shoots his bank shot facing up...Big E shot his banker with back to basket falling away. Again, that shot was nearly unstoppable like Kareem's sky hook. Put up a lot of big numbers, but was known for not playing his best in the clutch. Gave Kareem one of his two loses in college. Person I would compare him to would be Tim Duncan, better scorer, but just not as clutch or quite as good defensively as TD.

Dave Debusschere- A native Detroiter (and local legend) although before my time as far as playing high school and college ball in Detroit. Very good athlete and all around player. Played MLB/Pitcher for the Chicago White Sox for a few seasons. Known for his toughness. 6-6 PF so he's undersized by today's standards. great defender and could hit open jumper out to 20ft. Think Charles Oakley toughness and rebounding with a much better jump shot.

Earl Monroe - a great showman like Pistol Pete. Did things no one ever so before in terms of spin moves and pump fakes. He was slow and couldn't jump any higher than Bill Laimbeer...lol, but still a superb scorer. Great defenders hated guarding "Pearl" cause he would not only score his 25pts, but he would make you look bad doing it. Like Pistol he was worth the price of admission. He similar to Kobe in one facet. He could do a couple of plays a game that would make the opposing fans cheer. Also, like Pistol he was a subpar defender. Some didn't feel his style was best suited for team play...despite taking his 71 Bullets to the finals. But he proved the critics wrong by reducing his game for the good of the team when he was traded to the Knicks. IMHO there has not been a player like Earl Monroe since he left.

Walt Frazier - great all around player. Defense was his calling card, but he could score, distribute and was a leader. He was so proficient at stealing the ball that they nicknamed him Clyde from the great bank robber Clyde Barrow of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame. Great clutch player like Jerry West. The bigger the game the better Clyde played. Comparison...maybe a smaller version of Scottie Pippen. On a side note Frazier was the epitome of cool. A sex symbol for the NBA like Joe Namath was in football. Of course it doesn't hurt to have the play in front of the NY media.

That's my take I'd be interested in hearing the opinion of others.

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63 footer and KobeMVP888 - I loved both of your synopsis. Well done!

LRob - great homework (much better than mine; the teacher only gave me a C+ and pointed to you and said "Why can't you be more like LRob who got an A+?").

I remember Pete used to love to throw length-of-the-court underhand passes for the score, and did "no-look" passes long before Magic, but in similar fashion. Pete was a so-so defender but could get the steal and did hustle.

Yeah, Elvin was a bit lackluster at times. Bing I remember... but not so much.

63 Footer

My dad had season tickets to the "new" Madison Square Garden during those great seasons and I was at the "Willis Reed" game when Clyde went off for 36-7-19. Interestingly, although I was only 14, I actually liked the Lakers because Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain were two of may favorite players since I started following the NBA and I really loved Elgin Baylor because of the magic he performed with a basketball. That 1969-70 Knicks team had some of the most incredible chemistry I have EVER seen. The players were selfless, were constantly moving without the ball and always trying to find the open man. That combined with a quick switching man-to-man defense provided some of the best professional basketball I have ever seen. The 1971-72 Lakers certainly one upped that team, but I also believe that they learned from playing them. I would also put the 1976-77 Trail Blazers in the same "great chemistry" league as the two aforementioned teams.

LRob

It's interesting that you say that Dave Bing wasn't a great shooter because his sweet jump shot is mainly what I remember about him. However, you grew up with him, so I graciously defer and stand corrected.

KobeMVP888 - yeah, credit where credit is due: that Knicks team was a wonderful team with great players with a great coach. Funny, West is my favorite player evah, but I loved the battles with Clyde, who may have been my favorite player not on the Lakers (though Durant is really growing on me, and I had respect for Bird... but disliked him because he was a Celtic. Oh, and I liked Papa Walton, but partially cause he was a Bruin). I am envious you were at that game (though even at my tender years if I had been there I would have probably had to have ripped my own head off in frustration). I was listening on the radio, though.

Clyde also dressed very, very snappy as I recall.

MICHAEL H… Aloha! The greatest thing about that series was how the East Coast media gave the Warriors, who finished #4 seed in the West, any chance against the Bullets with Wes Unseld. But the Warriors proceeded to win the first three games. Then came Game 4 in Washington, where the Bullets finally had been able to curtail Rick Barry until the flagrant foul against Barry that led to Al Attles deliberately getting involved to prevent Barry from getting thrown out. With the crowd screaming epithets, Rick proceeded to take charge of the game as the Warrior won going away. Before MJ and Kobe, the player most dedicated to winning in my mind was Rick Barry.
~
The big issue I am excited about is to hopefully see Drew finally get his hops and athleticism back. It usually takes a full year of play after a major knee injury to make it all the way back. If you watch the Making of the Beast, which I did a couple of weeks ago, you would be surprised at how athletic Drew was and how high above the rim and everybody else he was grabbing rebounds. It’s like most fans have forgotten how dominating Drew was at his best. It was great to see him show heart and play through his injury, doing what the team needed with his size and length. But if we get the Drew with pre-injury hops and athleticism and he stays healthy, the Lakers will be able to take their game to an entirely new level the premier Big Three in the NBA bar none.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Although power is hardly a word used when describing Pau Gasol, he does seem to be the Lakers best power forward all-time. Can anyone name a contender?

Posted by: Otis | September 06, 2010 at 07:24 PM

Nope Pau is the best hands down!

At 6-7. Rick today would be a small forward. On that Warriors team, Jamaal Wilkes was the small forward and Rick WAS the power forward. The only true big men on the team were centers George Johnson and Clifford Ray. Almost a forgotten man when people discuss great NBA players.

Posted by: LakerTom | September 06, 2010 at 07:53 PM
-----------
Thanks for posting abou the greatness of Rick Barry. He was one of those guys with unlimited range. Boy what would his numbers look like if they had the 3pt line in the NBA then? As great as Rick Barry was in putting the ball in the hole, his best trait to was that he was a great competitor. He also enjoyed being the vilian on the road. Like Kobe he was booed at lot, but usually shut the crowd up with his play. Speaking of Kobe, when a lot of the talking heads were talking about how selfish he was, Rick Barry would always defend him and speak highly of him.

Yes, he did play PF on that 75 team about half of the game. He would slide down to SF when Wilkes went to the bench and Derrick Dickey or Bill Bridges would play PF. So if Rick played 42 minutes I'd say 24 was at PF and 18 at SF. Like I've said a few times I don't remember a coach going as deep in his bench as Attles did that year.

Coming Christmas I know for a fact the Lakers will be overwhelmed by the Miami Heat Offensive Plays... And then again in the Play Offs... How do you stop Wade, Lebron, Bosh, Miller, etc? You can't... Please see this video to show a preview of what you are left to deal with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqxJ2UDgzOA

If after seeing this video you still think it's going to be easy to walk all over the Miami Heat then you must be on drugs or don't know a thing about Basketball

LRob

It's interesting that you say that Dave Bing wasn't a great shooter because his sweet jump shot is mainly what I remember about him. However, you grew up with him, so I graciously defer and stand corrected.
Posted by: KobeMVP888 | September 06, 2010 at 08:59 PM
-------
He was a good shooter - but not a pure shooter in the sense of a Ray Allen, Reggie Miller or Dale Ellis. His jumper was sweet because he got up so high and had great hang time...that made it look even sweeter.

63 footer - Remember that all-star game where Jerry just backed Clyde down and shot about a 20ft jumper at the buzzer to win the game. Classic!

KobeMVP88 - Remember that game that the Kareem and the Bucks were up about 15-17 with 5 minutes to go vs the Knicks. The Knicks kept scoring. And the Garden crowd was giving its standard "DEFENSE" chant. The Knicks ended scored about 20 straight to win it. And it was in classic Knick fashion with everybody contributing...Bradley, Frazier, Debusshere and Willis (not sure who the 5th man was but I think it was in the Monroe years.)

Luis - what's interesting about all the "past great" talks (and kudos again to LRob for some great stuff about Kareem & Wilt) is to put things in perspective and also see what makes winners and losers.

Talent? There's been lots of talent, and has been pointed out repeatedly, talent alone isn't enough (Pete Maravich, Oscar Robertson, etc.). The Heat have some talented stars, but that's never been enough.

A killer instinct: Bill Russell, Walt Frazier, Rick Barry - and of course, our very own Kobe. (I would like to include Jerry West, who always rose to the playoff/finals challenge, only man to win Finals MVP on the losing team. But that's me.) I think DWade has that, as he had that one superb finals. Lebron? Bosh? Not so sure. It was always the knock on Wilt, and Lebron can't even come close to Wilt's regular season statistics. So, the jury's out on that.

Teamwork & coaching: As KobeMVP888 pointed out with the early 70's Knicks, and everyone agrees on the (hated!) 60's Celtics - superstars are nice, but a working unit that's gelled, plays a consistent offense and stifling defense as a TEAM. That's what makes truly memorable winners. The Heat? We don't know. Many teams had talented players over the years and never got the cookie (Sorry Dan the Man, but I am going to point to Portland.). This is the biggest question mark for the Heat, and (barring injuries) the Lakers greatest strength. They've been to the Finals three straight years, won the last two rings and have Phil. Last year, with all the injuries, I didn't even think they played all that great. Our bench has now been revitalized with great, team-first, hardworking players, and with a little luck, our starters are coming back fresh and healthy.

We'll see when the season starts and when the season ends, but a highlight reel has never frightened me. Great teamwork, great D, that scares me. Right now, it's the Lakers who have those things.

I'm going to catch up on the trips down memory lane after deadline tonight.

I came of sporting age at the turn of the '60s into the '70s as a 9- and 10-year-old boy and remember all those guys you've been talking about. Like LRob, I don't remember much about Dave Bing, but I know he was revered in NBA circles. He basically was the Detroit Pistons.

And for those who don't know about Pete Maravich, he was probably the most skilled offensive player of his day. And at this juncture, I'd have to say he's the most underrated of all the Hall of Famers. FYI: He averaged 44 points a game in college at LSU and I believe is still the NCAA's all-time scoring leader.

New post up. Now it's time for our deadline push.

Enjoy.

KobeMVP888 - I didn't realize how bad that Debusschere trade was for Detroit. The Pistons turned around an traded Bellamy to ATL for a bag of balls. No wonder they were so mediocre in the 70's.

LRob - your memory's too good. I'm just trying to remember where I put my car keys most of the time. Good call!

LT

As long as we're on the topic of the 1975 Warriors, did this championship not exemplify sports irony at its best? The 1973-74 Chicago Bulls featured a great team: pg- Norm Van Lier, sg- Jerry Sloan, sf- Chet "the Jet" Walker, pf- Bob "Butterben" Love and none other than young, talented 6'9" Clifford Ray at center. His back up was Tom Boerwinkle. That Bulls team lost to Kareem's Milwaukee Bucks in the WCF (who were ultimately defeated by the Hated Ones in the NBA Finals).

The Bulls did not think they could win with the undersized Clifford Ray at center, so they traded him along with a 1975 #1 pick (who turned out to be none other then Joe "Jelly Bean" Bryant!) for the aging great center, Nate Thurmond. And what do you know! The Warriors, with Clifford Ray starting at center, defeated the Bulls 4-3 in the WCF. It is my recollection (and please correct me if I'm wrong), that Nate Thurmond's knees were so bad that he was ineffective and that Boerwinkle started for the Bulls in that series. Meanwhile, Clifford Ray played his role in that series by playing solid defense, blocking shots, averaging about 10 rpg, and scoring when necessary.

Sports irony at its best, right? And Kobe wasn't even a twinkle in Jelly Bean's eye yet!

63 footer - Remember that all-star game where Jerry just backed Clyde down and shot about a 20ft jumper at the buzzer to win the game. Classic!

KobeMVP88 - Remember that game that the Kareem and the Bucks were up about 15-17 with 5 minutes to go vs the Knicks. The Knicks kept scoring. And the Garden crowd was giving its standard "DEFENSE" chant. The Knicks ended scored about 20 straight to win it. And it was in classic Knick fashion with everybody contributing...Bradley, Frazier, Debusshere and Willis (not sure who the 5th man was but I think it was in the Monroe years.)

Posted by: LRob | September 06, 2010 at 09:26 PM
=====

If that's the game I am thinking of, I was at my synagogue "watching" my mom act in a play and had the transistor radio pinned to my ear. Willis Reed went off for 36 points and 36 rebounds against Kareem in that game (assuming it's the same game)!

KobeMVP888 - I didn't realize how bad that Debusschere trade was for Detroit. The Pistons turned around an traded Bellamy to ATL for a bag of balls. No wonder they were so mediocre in the 70's.

Posted by: LRob | September 06, 2010 at 09:33 PM

Bells was a head case, but at the time Knicks fans thought it was a crazy trade, and it turned out to be one of the biggest steals in NBA history!

My point is how come Pistol Pete was not able to carry his team to the Finals? Of course, this is Lakers Blog, I don't hear much about Clyde or the Pearl, Big E of the Rockets together with Calvin Murphy going to any Finals. Knicks had three Finals and two rings while Lakers had only one yet they dominated the discussion of the best of the 7o's. Is it because of the consecutive wins record? Of course, Dr. J is another enigma, he should have dominated the end of the seventies with his flashy dunks yet he has only one Finals. What seems to be lacking with these superstars?

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 06, 2010 at 08:19 PM
---------
Edwin - 20 years from now and you're telling someone about the greatness of Dominique Wilkins. They'll ask how come he never won a title or played for the championship? You'll say he was a great player, a walking highlight film, but his team wasn't as good as Bird's Celtics for Isiah's Pistons. He was great but not the ultimate winner type player like those guys. (Disclaimer...I'm not saying Pistol was as great as Nique)

I do think the Knicks are recognized as the best team of the 70's overall, but that 72 Lakers is regarded as one of the all-time great teams.

As far as Dr. J goes I don't think he had a nasty enough personality. If he was more fiery like Kobe or a Rick Barry... his could've won another ring. He also should've been more selfish and demanded the ball more. I felt he deferred to his teammates too much. Also, let's not forget he lost to some great teams...especially in the 80's. But Dr. J deserves credit for winning the one NBA and he also won two ABA titles...so he's a 3 time champion just like Bird. And please don't discount the ABA titles. Those cats could flat out play!

LROB… Great breakdown on Elvin Hayes, Dave DeBusschere, Earl the Pearl, and Walt Frazier. My biggest memories of the Big E were not as a pro but his college matchups against Lew Alcinder and the Bruins, the first being the 1968 Game of the Century when the Houston Cougars broke the UCLA Bruins 47 game winning streak in the Astrodome before 50,000 fans with Hayes posting 37 points and 15 boards while holding Alcindor to 15 points, the second being the rematch in the 1968 NCAA tourney. when Alcinder held him to 10 points and the Bruins got revenge big time 101-69.
~
As for DeBusschere, Monroe, and Frazier, they’re what Knicks fans have been hoping for 30 years. As KobeMVP noted, those Knicks team were the best passing teams in NBA history. The way they moved the ball was a thing of beauty. It was like the ball never stopped until it went into the basket. You could see why Phil was attracted to the share-the-ball style of the Triangle Offense.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

@ Luis, fast forward to Christmas Day, and the heat will be overwhelmed by the defense of Ron Artest, blocked shots by Ratcliff, and Bynum, outplayed and frustrated by one Kobe Bryant, and rattled by the pesky defense of Sasha. Keep listening to the little voices in your head. By the way, go to the Celtics blog, Shaq and Perkins want to holla at ya. Lakers 2011, 2012, 2013 Champions.

KobeMVP888,

You are also one of the dean historians here, now I want to ask how come in the back2back year, the NBA league was dominated by Bullets and Sonics. Their best players were Unseld and Hayes for Bullets and Johnson, Gus Williams and Jack Sickma for the Sonics. What happened with Kareem-led Lakers or the Havlicek Celtics. I also read that Dave Bing was a Celtic at that time. Was this towards the end of his career? In 1979, Bob McAdoo was the Celtics highest pointer yet was not able to beat the Bullets.

KOBEMVP… Nate was over the hill and Clifford Ray was that era’s version of Joakim Noah. Of course, the outcome of the trade might have been completely different were Nate fully healthy. He was another great player with extremely long arms who could defend as well as anybody. Wilt always gave his former Warriors teammate credit as being his toughest defender over Russell.
Everybody loved Clifford but I remember that there was some issue where he refused to play or something like that totally out of character that really hurt his career. Can’t remember what. By the way, great comment the other day on Andrew Bynum. Looking for a breakout year by Drew.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

miami heat have got this.. they'll win the championship and dwyane wade will prove to be better than kobe bryant again...

miami heat have got this.. they'll win the championship and dwyane wade will prove to be better than kobe bryant again...

Posted by: Marco | September 07, 2010 at 01:20 AM
-=-=-

Lol - what year?

Lewstrs......... Put me on Love the Mamba24 bus. He's my blog favorite! It's all good to go when his bandwagon's start the day off!!

OOPS.. I thought that was Lewstrs bus, I mean Raymond42n.. Sorry about that!

KobeMVP888,

You are also one of the dean historians here, now I want to ask how come in the back2back year, the NBA league was dominated by Bullets and Sonics. Their best players were Unseld and Hayes for Bullets and Johnson, Gus Williams and Jack Sickma for the Sonics. What happened with Kareem-led Lakers or the Havlicek Celtics. I also read that Dave Bing was a Celtic at that time. Was this towards the end of his career? In 1979, Bob McAdoo was the Celtics highest pointer yet was not able to beat the Bullets.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | September 06, 2010 at 10:20 PM
======

Those were actually my "dark days" as I was in law school from 1978-1981, but I do recall that Sonics backcourt being one of the greatest in history with DJ (a modern day "Clyde" Frazier) and Gus Williams as the starters and "Downtown" Freddy Brown coming off the bench to add instant offense as the 6th man. Jack Sikma was an underrated big, but you are correct that their frontcourt was comparatively thin for a championship team. Players like 35 year old savvy veteran Paul Silas and 23 year old Lonnie Shelton helped out as well. As for the Bullets, they were an older, savvy team who added pieces like Bobby Dandridge, Mitch Kupchak and Elvin Hayes to the established 1-2 combo of Wes Unseld and Phil Chenier, their star guard who came out of nowhere to be an NBA star. Remember, the NBA and ABA merged in 1976, so teams that had chemistry and continuity like the Bullets benefitted from the changing league. Other teams, like the Blazers who won in 1977, fell victim to injury and Kareem's Bucks, then Lakers were going through transformations and lacked depth. This was also during the era when players started getting paid actual money, so greed came into play as well. At least that's my take. Read David Halberstam's "The Breaks of the Game" for a better understanding of that.

Dan,

Thanks for letting me comment. Don't know how MM will act when he is back but no matter thanks for doing a great job in his place.

Justa

One problem with this argument is the comparison to "great" trios of the past.

The ones mentioned all were great only in the sense that at one time the players named were great. Unfortunately they weren't all great by the time they got to play together. Elgin Baylor - perhaps the single most overrated player of all time - was pretty much done after the '69 season. Dr. J was pretty much finished as a dominant player when Barkey arrived in Philly. Drexler was finished by injuries by the time Barkley showed up in Houston.

Let's look at some great trios in their primes when they played together: Russell-Havlicek-Jones, Kareem-Magic-Worthy, Bird-McHale-Parish, Jordan-Pippen-Rodman, Shaq-Kobe-anybody. Decent results for those guys.

Miami will be a formidable team this season. Barring injury, the Lakers-Heat finals should be awesome.

I love it. Absolutely love it. Phil's motivational strategy for everyone on the team (sans Kobe, who if nothing else is supremely motivated every year) has basically written itself.

Keep on talkin', Threeat.

Please!

PS -- Doc, any more "youhaven'tbeatenourstartingfive" comments you've got are a plus.

@ JR hahah lechoke...even though lechoke led the league the past 2 years in 4th quarter scoring and has been the most efficient scorer in the past 5 minutes of games. then again, youre a laker homer in a laker blog, so no one calls you out

LOL@ everyone praising MAMBA 24 for putting up a post/blog stating Kobe is the GOAT. Homer much?

 
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