100 Best Careers in the NBA (2 of 5)

Last time, you saw the rules and how I calculated these players. Yes, I always take in consideration the intangibles like the rebounds and the assists more than the points. Scoring is easy if you are an NBA player. However, NBA players have the ability to disrupt other NBA players in making their baskets! Most of the players here are the types that can defend and disrupt the flow of the game to make it theirs.

Game starts now!

Missed the first part? Get it here at http://sydrified.blogspot.com/2009/08/100-best-careers-in-nba-part-1-of-5.html

The rules, guidelines, and other things you need to know why I made this article and why you could dispute this can be seen in this thread.

So I’ll stop talking now so you can see the things that I wrote.

80 Ray Allen: The guy’s game is easy to watch. While he doesn’t showboat as often, his shots are extremely accurate. The 2-time All-NBA member knows when to get his teammates involved and could read his opponents thoughts to change his tactic. The 9-time All-Star is a good person… to good that the only bad thing I can say about him is that he seems to be overshadowed by the rest of the league. Sure, playing in Milwaukee and Seattle… he was the star. But the evidence was seriously seen in Boston when even Rajon Rondo is stealing away his spotlight and Allen… just… lets him. And yeah, in He Got Game, he starred in the Spike Lee flick alongside Denzel Washington as Jesus Shuttlesworth. He is that good, nice, polite, and yes… good.

79 Bill Sharman: While he was the only major league player to get ejected despite not playing a single baseball game (as part of the Brooklyn Dodgers), alongside Bob Cousy, they were considered as one of the greatest backcourt duos of all time. As the team’s resident shooter, Boston won four championships during his stint. He was also a 7-time All-NBA member and an 8-time All-Star… where he was once cited as an All-Star MVP.

78 Adrian Dantley: A.D. is player that could surely pile up the points. Blessed with a trigger to torment, he entered the NBA with a gold medal around his neck (this came from the 1976 Montreal Olympics). He was then drafted by the Buffalo Braves where he became the batch’s top rookie. While he played most of his years with Utah, he was basically a superstar journeyman. The 2-time All-NBA player was also a 6-time All-Star and a 2-time scoring champion. He almost won a title but he was traded by Detroit to Dallas for Mark Aguirre… a season before the Pistons won a championship.

77 Shawn Marion: Before the Matrix bounced off from team to team, he alongside Stoudemire and Steve Nash comprise the Big Three of Phoenix. Despite his lack of size, he is blessed with the ability to become productive in both forward spots. At small forward, the 2-time All-NBA player can hit the three and overpower the competition. At power forward, brings quickness, range, and unmatched rebounding ability in this spot. Like I said, his first years were great. However, his current years say otherwise. He is in his fourth team in four years. I am not sure how he’ll shrug this slump but the Matrix needs to return to his superstar status if he doesn’t want to go to the route of Penny Hardaway.

76 Walt Bellamy: In 1962 he was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award. Why? How many players could average 31.6ppg in their rookie season (Wilt Chamberlain had more with 37.6ppg). Called Big Bell, this 4-time All-Star would register career averages of 20.1ppg and 13.7rpg, listing the Chicago Packers, Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets, Knicks, Pistons, Hawks, and New Orleans Jazz as his teams. The problem with him was he unfortunately played in the league when the only big men capable to dominate were named Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. As consolation, he did win a gold medal in 1960 Rome Olympiad.

75 James Worthy: Big Game James is an awesome compliment for Magic Johnson. The “other” goggled guy (besides Kareem) frustrated a lot of foes with his finesse and wiliness. Who could ever forget his one hand fast break dunks which more or less came from his awesome defensive play! He was a key ingredient to Magic Johnson’s Showtime but he alone couldn’t bring the Lakers up top, which was evident during the early 90’s. When he retired, the former North Carolina Tar Heel owned 3 championships, won a Finals MVP Award, gaining two All-NBA citations, and starred in seven All-Star games.

74 Marques Johnson: This 5-time All-Star was the third pick overall in the 1977 Draft. He earlier led UCLA in winning the tenth and final championship of legendary coach John Wooden. Playing in the majors, he was a prolific small forward. Actually he was one of the first players to be hailed as a point-forward. He led Milwaukee to numerous division titles (when the team was still playing in the Western Conference) but he can’t seem to lead them to the NBA Finals. While you might not know him, you could have probably seen him act in such films like Wesley Snipes’ White Men Can’t Jump, Shaq and Nick Nolte’s Blue Chips, and Billy Crystal’s Forget Paris.

73 Gus Johnson: In an era where hoop stars have yet to evolve as above-the-rim players, Honeycomb was the exception to the rule. In the 60’s, this 6’6, 235-lb. power forward was a lethal scorer and a furious open court operator. He was also flamboyant, with a gold star drilled into his teeth as proof! Despite his incredible leaping ability (see Gus Johnson’s nail) the only achievements he could bring are his four All-NBA citations, five All-Star appearances, and the 1964 Rookie of the Year Award. Honeycomb was injury-prone especially in his career’s latter parts. This prompted Washington to release him before the 1972-73 NBA season after sticking with the team since 1964. He did win a championship – as an Indiana Pacer in the ABA.

72 Robert Parish: Despite NCAA’s refusal to recognize his existence (see Parish’s stint at Centenary), The Chief was hailed as one of the elite centers of all time. As part of the most dominating frontline of the 80’s, his offense and defense proved vital in making Boston 3-time champs. How did he get to Boston? The 2-time All-NBA player was given up by Golden State alongside its third pick of the 1980 Draft for the Celtics’ number one overall draft pick. The first pick turned out to be Joe Barry Carroll, one of the biggest busts in NBA history. The third pick? Well… it was Kevin McHale. While he did win another title with his stint with the Bulls, the 21-year vet’s average diminished when the 9-time All-Star stuck in the league (he also had a tenure with the Charlotte Hornets).

71 Tim Hardaway: Do you know what a UTEP-Two Step is? This is what broadcasters call Timmy H’s devastating crossover dribble! You can count a lot of flaws in his career (like failing to win a championship) but he made a lot of great things as well. At one point, he was considered the best point guard in the league. He was thrice included in a USA team but twice missed it. Dream 2 he missed due to injury and the 98’s world championships he missed because of the NBA lockout (but he was part of the 2000 Sydney Olympics). He played in five all-star games and was cited in the All-NBA Team five times (while playing for Golden State and Miami), and he is the second fastest player behind Oscar Robertson to get 5,000 points and 2,500 assists! At the end of his career, he was criticized for his discriminatory remarks against homosexuals (the John Amaechi story). He has since been a friend of the gay society.

70 Nate Thurmond: Why is he here? Well, he is the first player to record a quadruple double! While sure, unlike the 3 other players that accomplished the feat, Nate the Great acquired this with an extra five minutes… but back then, it was the first official recorded quadruple-double! Anyway, the 1964 Rookie of the Year played most of his career with the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors. His record 18 rebounds in one quarter remain unbreakable. He is known as an excellent dish man and was once hailed as one of the best screen setter in the league. While he twice had 20 points and 20 rebounds seasons, the 7-time All-Star never got a ring. He also failed to win an All-NBA citation despite his skills because he played in a position where Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain dominated.

69 Yao Ming: In the 70’s, a pure Asian NBA player is like a South American jiu-jitsu master – it can happen… but no. Then Wang Zhizhi graced the spotlight… followed by Bateer Mengke… but these guys are barely token players. Chairman Yao is basically the most important basketball player in Asia. His entry got Asia to love hoops. Since his entry, Asian countries evolved. Anyway, he entered the league as a top pick, but the 3-time FIBA-Asia MVP isn’t really heralded as a top find. With Steve Francis leading Houston, Yao barely gets touches. But in the course of his career, he gradually improved to the point of being a massive superstar. He is an All-NBA member five times and is a 7-time All-Star. He is an active player which means his stats could evolve but sadly, he is currently sidelined with the fear of early retirement.

68 Alex English: After Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left Milwaukee, the Bucks pinned their hopes on this young talented player from USC. Milwaukee found no use for this small forward and was sent to the Pacers where he saw his potential. However it was in Denver where he became an offensive powerhouse. His game is described as smooth and elegant. He is not a banger, he had his moments through his finesse. Before Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets to their first Western Finals in a very, very long while, English was getting the team division titles and scoring accomplishments. In fact, he is the first player to string eight 2,000-point seasons. Yes, if you see the Denver colors in the 80’s his Number 2 is bar none one of the more popular jerseys of that era. However, like Dominique Wilkins, this 3-time All-NBA team member and 9-time All-Star drifted out of the spotlight when he was cast away from the Nuggets.

67 Dwight Howard: Stand back! Here comes the Daily Double! He is a 3-time NBA All-Star and a 3-time All-NBA member. Despite his still short stint in the majors, the Atlanta native is prepping up to one of the league’s most important players. When he was picked first, critics feared the worse on whether he’ll be a high schooler top pick a la LeBron James or a high schooler top pick a la Kwame Brown. Luckily, he was neither (but more of the LBJ success story). He is the youngest player to average a double-double in a season (he did this during his rookie year). Actually, he averaged in double-doubles every season since his NBA debut. He is the youngest player to lead the league in rebounds and blocks. He also led the Magic to their first NBA Finals… win (as the Shaq-led Magic was swept by the Houston Rockets during their first final stint). Barely 25, he’ll likely be the NBA’s future as well as the US Team’s future where he recently got a gold medal in the Beijing Games.

66 Mitch Richmond: During his prime, this 5-time All-NBA selection and 6-time All-Star is said to be one of the league’s all-time best pure shooters. After his stint with Golden State where he was one of three players scoring in 20 points and more (and was awarded Top Rookie in 1989), he was traded to Sacramento in a move that left the Warriors with… Billy Owens (Ugh). Everywhere Richmond went, his arsenal from the arc is often booming. Every team he went that is not Golden State or the LA Lakers (where he was merely a benchwarmer), were perennial doormats. When he went to a great team, he was just a seldom used guy (Richmond was the last player to hold the ball in the 2002 championship where he logged only 4 minutes in that series), and immediately retired after claiming a ring.

65 Dave Bing: He was the first well-known point guard in the NBA to have a scoring mentality. While he was effective in orchestrating, he will shoot at will when he reads the situation well, which was unusual for point guards at that time. He was well-loved by the Pistons and decades after his retirement the 7-time All-Star became the mayor of Detroit. But it seems life without Detroit was his kryptonite. When he left the Pistons his numbers sagged. While he finished his career averaging always in double digits, it was nowhere near what he had while playing for the Pistons. Also, he was one of those players that never had a taste of victory. Actually, I think he has yet to play in the NBA Finals. When he left the Bullets for the Celtics in his last season, Washington won the title despite owning a dismal 38-44 record. He was also a 3-time All-NBA player, the 1967 Rookie of the Year and the 1976 All-Star MVP.

64 Pete Maravich: In the NCAA, Pistol Pete saw action at LSU, the same college that Shaq played in. Despite not playing in his freshman year and without the benefit of the 3-point area (it has yet to be invented), Maravich averaged 44.2 in his collegiate career. He was a premiere scoring powerhouse that also translated in the NBA. He played ten years in the NBA with pit stops in Atlanta, New Orleans/Utah, and Boston. He is a 4-time All-NBA player and a 5-time All-Star. While fans love his dazzling plays, critics smear some of his antics. He is called a ball hog and his game cannot translate to a finals berth. He is often injury-prone and it is his alcohol addiction that forced his game to stagger which ultimately led to his early retirement at age 33.

63 Kevin Johnson: Are you aware that Kevin Johnson is the first Afro-American and current mayor of Sacramento, California? Anyway he started his NBA career with Cleveland in 1987 where he was seen as the person to take the starting spot away from Mark Price. Well, Price became the team’s heart and soul and KJ was sent to Phoenix. As a Sun, he saw his career skyrocket! He is a 3-time All-Star and a 5-time All-NBA Player. He is the first player to average 20 points, 10 assists, .500 FG percentage, and 2 steals in a season (Chris Paul would follow suit). He is also one of three players to average 20 points and 10 assists in three consecutive seasons (Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas are the other two). In short, he can score and dish out a high number of assists every game! He almost won a ring if not for the Chicago Bulls in the 1993 Finals.

62 Nate Archibald: A playground legend that could kill an opponent’s defense by passing the ball, shooting the treys, and penetrating to the basket, Tiny’s bread and butter is his blinding speed and quickness. Archibald was the only player to win the scoring and assists title in the same season. Injuries and age however resulted for his average to dwindle. Even while being part of the 1981 Boston championship team, his numbers have been dwindling. This was the key for the Celtics to look for a replacement during the Boston-LA era. The 6-time All-Star finished his career though with the Bucks, that back then was a force in the Eastern Division. But still, he is a force despite his size. He became the All-Star MVP while playing for the Celtics and he is a five-time All-NBA member.

61 Neil Johnston: He had a brief career. But in the 50’s he was the one of the dominating names in the hardwood. For eight seasons from 1951 to 1959, the 6-foot-8 Johnston was a “towering” force in the center spot. Well, Bill Russell appeared midway in the 50’s and George Mikan retired in the mid 50’s but Johnston basically played the rest of the era. He led the league in scoring thrice, was an All-NBA selection five times and was an All-Star six times. He also grabbed a rebounding title and alongside Paul Arizin and Tom Gola, they gave the city of Philadelphia a championship in 1956 (this is the Philadelphia Warriors, which were the predecessors of the Golden State Warriors). While could have played more, a serious knee injury forced Johnston to retire before the turn of the era. While people in this generation don’t know him, don’t underestimate his power… especially his ability to sink an always sure-ball right handed hook shot.

In the third installment you’ll finally get a glimpse of the MVP’s. At this point, the HIT or MISS factors will take place. “Hit” means why he is in the rankings and “Miss” meaning why they are ranked lower than what you think they should be in.

Until next time…

Game over.


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