Top 5 Favorite NBA Players

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by linwood, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    Not the best. But your favorite. Explain why. I'll start.

    1. Dr. J.

    I lived outside of Philadephia for a couple years when I was 9-11 years old. The Doctor was huge. He had local commercials, made the evening news, was in the papers, and on local, rabbit-ear TV 3 or 4 nights a week. I loved the guy. I bought made my parents buy me Chapstick and Converse, and I drank Dr. Pepper exclusively. I know Jordan became famous for launching from the free throw line, but Irving was doing that for almost a decade before Jordan laced up in the pros.

    2. Ben Wallace

    The playoff block that put Shaq on the ground. Watching Jason Kidd celebrate losing by 20+ points because they scored 70. Fear the Fro. The instead cred he brought to the Pistons team that had been in the cellar for years. The Blankman glasses to build morale. The quiet swagger. The Ford F-150. The way Ron Artest ran away after the hard foul. The Championship.

    3. Dennis Rodman

    For a while, it seemed like the Worm grabbed almost every rebound. The putback score on the offensive side. The endless, tenacious D. When Rodman went to the Bulls and put on the wedding dress. He brought a bit of David Bowie to the NBA. He got weird, but he backed it up on the court I don't remember him ever phoning it in. He may have... but I don't remember it.

    4. George Gervin

    When I was 9, The Spurs beat the 76ers, in the coference semi-finals, and the Iceman was outrageous. Just as good as the Doctor. I've been a fan every since.

    5. Allen Iverson

    My height and weight. 1,000,000 times more badass than me. his crossover was unbelievable. There was a decade when no one could stop him. I was excited when the Pistons picked him up. I was really bummed that it wasn't the same guy they got.



    Of course, there are a bunch more that I could easily swap out. It's tough picking just five. But there's a start.
     
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  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Moved thread.

    In no particular order;

    Isiah Thomas - He was a warrior. In his prime, he was as good as Magic but played a more traditional small guard style.

    Bill Laimbeer - The toughest man to ever play basketball. A winner who hated losing.

    Hakeem Olajuwon - There have never been better post moves. He was like a ballerina around the hoop.

    Ben Wallace - A player who maximized everything he was capable of. A classic underdog story.

    Patrick Ewing - A throwback big man in the 90s, a guy who could play a finesse game and a power post game during the beginning of the Shaq era.
     
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  3. TWOTIMESRALPHI

    TWOTIMESRALPHI Team Captain 3x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Grant Hill - made me become a Pistons fan. Seemed to be so complete (except for shooting treys); alley-oops, nice midrange j, good off the dribble, good rebounder, good passer. I was always on his side in the heated "who is the better SF - Hill or Pippen- debate" and admire him for his strengt during the endless ankle sage and for managing to remain competitive for so long despite all his setbacks.

    Dennis Rodman - the anti-Grant Hill, who openly criticised him for being the League's poster boy in his books. Read both of them at young age and I sometimes did not know how to deal with the sex-related passages :D Still, loved his story, regardless whether he exaggerated or not. Also loved him for being openly different in a league full of Machos. And obviously his game. It seemed like he could defend everyone. Big C's, quick guards, didn't matter. And, probably more important given my age back then, his hair colour changed from game to game in the various NBA video games I played back then :D

    Ben Wallace - for all the reasons given by roscoe and linwood.

    Alonzo Mourning - he was a beast. Strong as hell, he had to pay with his kidneys for it (seriously, he must have been on roids), unbelievable shot blocker despite his lack in height for his position.

    Hakeem - the Dream Shake. 'nough said.

    and, of course, Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught, Don Reid, Grant Long, Jerome Williams, and Bison Dele (just think of his weird career-end) for being part of the Pistons Roster in my initial phase as a Pistons fan.
     
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  4. Nemo

    Nemo Fantasy-Football Snub Forum Donor

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    Dave Bing - He got me to watch the NBA in a baseball/football household. Undisputed leader of his team.
    Guy could pass, dribble, and shoot. He's had a stellar career AFTER basketball too.

    Dr. J - He really looked good handling the old ABA ball. Smooth, loads of finesse around the hoop, and
    could Glide....before Clyde........

    Kareem Jabbar - Unstoppable with his "sky hook". He had to bang inside during his whole career against guys like Lanier.
    Kept in shape to have a long HOF career.

    Vinnie Johnson - Had the coolest nickname I've ever seen...next to the fabled "Nemo" of course.
    His jumper, which never arched higher than 12-13 feet...were things of beauty.

    Bill Laimbeer - Was the image of swagger from the Bad Boys. I remember when the series was 1 to 1 against Portland, and
    we had to play 3 in their house. Duckworth said the series wasn't going back to Detroit. Laimbeer made sure it didn't.....
    His game face could make paint peel..........
     
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  5. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    Cool thread idea L-wood.
    This is interesting to me because it gives us all some insight into how each of us views the game from a fan perspective. This is totally subjective and there are no right or wrong answers (like there would be in a Top-5 BEST players list). There aren't any stats that can be used to argue against a "favorite" player.

    This is tough to pick just 5 and put them in order. Here's my best attempt:

    1. Joe Dumars - I'm not sure why but the "quiet Piston" always resonated with me for some reason. His sweet-ass jumper, lock-down 'D' and ability to always be in the right place to grab a loose ball or intercept a pass were key for the success of the BadBoys. Mistake-free basketball isn't boring to me. I appreciate it just as much as seeing a cross-over, dunk or blocked-shot.

    2. Rasheed Wallace - I had the pleasure of attending some games and sitting pretty close to the court during the "Goin' to Work" years. Being able to hear Sheed's running commentary during a game is priceless! If they allowed Rasheed Wallace to wear a mic during games, they could produce en endless supply of HBO comedy specials from the audio. Combine this with the fact that Sheed's turnaround jumper in the post is a thing of beauty and is almost un-stoppable. Even with his faults, to me Sheed was the most entertaining player that I ever saw.

    3. John Starks - Hustle, ...heart, ...effort, ...fearlessness. Watching Starks play made me want to grab my rock and head to the rec center or the 'Y' gym. His classic dunk over Horace Grant and Mike Jordan ranks among the coolest plays that I've ever seen. I sorta adopted the Knicks as my Teal Era surrogate team to root for during the playoffs while Pistons sat at home watching during those down years. I guess guys like Anthony Mason and John Starks just brought up fond memories of the Bad Boys for me.

    4. Isiah Thomas - When I was a kid, I was a PG and the Pistons were my favorite team. Isiah was the NBA dude that I most identified with and I wanted to play just like him. My dad (RIP) would tell me to focus on him when I watched Piston games on TV. Zeke was the bravest player that I ever saw and in my opinion, he's the greatest Piston of all time. In high school, I had Isiah in the back of my mind when I'd drive the lane knowing I was going to get absolutely knocked on my ass by some huge dude like Reggie Britt.

    5. I really want to make #5 a tie between Rodman and Laimbeer but that's cheating. I absolutely love these two dudes and if I let my love for the Pistons take over, these guys would replace the non-Pistons on my list. I'm gonna go with Charles Barkley though. I always remember my friends would totally freak-out about what Jordan did the night before on Sportscenter. For me, I was always more stoked to watch Barkley highlights. Each night, you could check-in on Charles and see him dunk harder than anyone in the league, steal the rock and take it the length of the court, block a shot into the upper deck, ridicule an opposing coach/player/mascot, and provide a hillarious soundbyte in his postgame interview. The dude was simply fun to watch.
     
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  6. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    Cool choices!

    I'm too young to have really seen Bing play. The other guys listed here almost made my list too.

    Kareem was unbelievable. Dude banged in the post for 20 seasons, and rarely got hurt. His hook was really predictable and still completely unstoppable.

    Barkley almost made my list instead of Iverson. Man, that guy was great to watch. Thunder dunks, rebounds, taunting, he brought it all. Like Iverson, he's another guy that never seemed to take a minute off while he was on the court, and like Iverson, he brought style and swagger to the game, and backed it up with stellar play.

    Rasheed Wallace. Damn. I can't believe I didn't put Rasheed on the list. He should definitely be in my top 5, but who would I leave off?

    Honorable mentions go to Hakeem, Shawn Kemp, Drexler, Mutumbo, Stackhouse, Hill, and Will "teen wolf" Bynum.
     
  7. Lee356

    Lee356 All-Star

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    I'll keep my list to Pistons.

    Lanier. Extreme talent. Shooting, posting up, rebounding, defending. Was for a long time the 2nd best center in the League. Sorry Laim, nowhere near this level of talent.

    Rodman. Awesome perimeter D, could rebound like only a couple of people in these last 25 years. But the most awesome, totally unrivalled thing he could do, dunk at the end of a fast break. Rodman could rebound the ball at the baseline, dish the ball off, run down the sideline, cut to the basket, catch the pass and dunk the ball. Maybe somebody else on the floor managed to get past the half court line during all this. Rodman's speed was truly amazing.

    Thomas. True leader. Could do anything he was called upon to do to get the team a win. Fine D, ran the plays, and scored readily when he had to. Awesome player.

    Bing. Totally awesome offensive game.

    Dantley. The Teacher. Possibly nobody ever has had his knack for drawing the foul when driving to the basket. Defensively, he was lacking, but not because he was actually bad at defense, but rather he was kind of short for the position he played for us, small forward. With a three man guard rotation of Thomas, Dumars, and Vinnie, well, he had to play somewhere. His drives in were awesome to watch, smooth as you can possibly imagine, and always just a bit too quick, and bit too crafty, for the defender to deal with.

    Stackhouse. He was the hero 'round these part when here. A truly deserving hero. Sure, Stack could nail a three. But when you had to have points, when a missed 3 would be a disaster, you would not find Stack taking a 3. You would see him barrelling into the paint area, getting hammered, shaking off the dust, and making his free throws. And he would do it again and again, game after game, and possession after possession in each tight game until the Pistons came out victorious. To me, trading him for Hamilton was a serious downgrade, but the trade worked out great for us since Stack turned out to have hip problems and needed surgery.

    Billups. For three things. One, he was a tough defender who could guard the opposing shooting guard well. (Worked out well since Rip could guard the point guard just fine.)Two, great three point shot. But most of all, his signature really, was his quick passes off his fakes inside. In a moment, he would take the first step or two toward the basket, watch the opposing team react, and make the perfect pass to set up someone for a score. And if they did not react right, he would continue inside for the score - often ending up very effectively posting a guard up and scoring.

    Honorable mentions. Ben Wallace. He did lots of things very well. He could keep a player in check to the last moment, often blocking the shot, but when the shot went up, he switched to rebounding mode and got the bound. Great timing on that. Area defense. You just could not plan to run any plays on Ben's side of the floor. Ben would knock the ball away on you or steal it. Just wasting your time trying. Why not on my favorite player list? Too many deficits. No shooting ability. No ability to hit a free throw. No post up talent. Just a general liability on the offensive end save of course his offensive rebounds. He did generate offense by good D too, but overall, way too many plays where the Pistons could not score the ball, at least partially because Ben was out there on the floor.

    Hamilton. Great shooter. Great at coming off picks to nail the midranger. Great on defense of both shooting guards and point guards. If he had any handles, he would be on my favorites list.

    Afflalo. He plays, we win. Fine outside shooter, excellent perimeter defender. Last guy we had this good on perimeter defense was Rodman (who was a lot better.) I'd take Afflalo over Hamilton any day.

    Dumars. Very tough defender. When we won the championships with him, he was not a great 3 point shooter. What he was very good at though was the midrange shot. You did not have to run plays for him though. Very unlike Rip. Dumars created his own shots with his excellent handles, using his body to shield the defender away from blocking his shot. In addition, Dumars was our backup point guard to Thomas. Can't stress enough just how much better a player that makes Dumars over a player like Hamilton with no handles.

    Salley. He was awesome at denying the other team any chance at scoring inside. A one man tornado of arms come playoff time. We talk about the no fly zone of the Wallaces. But that is two guys. Salley did it all by himself.

    Sheed. About the most well rounded player you can imagine. A fine 3 point shooter, but could post up just fine too. Great D. Just knew the game. For this season, hey, I say let our trainer work his magic, and get him back out there playing. If he could give us anything, it would be better than any other emergency big I can think of.

    Laim. Very sound player. Nothing spectacular though. Without Rodman on the team, his rebounding numbers would of course be even better than what it was, which was good enough for a couple of rebounding titles.

    Vinnie. As spectacular as he was in some games, he was just as bad in the next. But some of those spectacular games of his translated into playoff wins for us, (and major fan going craziness) and so he will always be a fan favorite.

    Mahorn. The toughest player we had.

    Edwards. The guy who would start the game scoring double digits around the basket, game after game for two championship seasons. We tend to overlook him since he so often was the forgotten man in the 4th quarter- but think of this - as the opposing coach having to spend major time in practice trying to get your team to be able to stop Edwards come game time, wouldn't you just hate the fact Edwards was on the team? And if you were Daly, would you not love Edwards no end since that was basically a quarter of play you knew what was going to be run, so you only had to plan for 3 quarters per contest.

    Others of note. The combo of Corliss, Barry, and Jones. Barry and Jones would pass the ball back and forth to each other. And magically it seems, all the sudden the pass would go into Corliss just as Corliss had his man locked up. Easy layup. Again. and Again. Best bench in the league that year. Zelly has to be mentioned too, our other very awesome post up threat. And Zelly could do one thing nobody else has done better for us - box out. He so often managed to box out two players whereas so many players so often fail to block out even one.

    Got to mention Cliff next, as he was the fifth guy in what was known as the Alternatorz. Cliff could shoot the 3, had a fine midrange and some post up game. Two things he did the very best ever. Set picks. He would set a pick for every pick the rest of the team set. And they were darn good crisp ones. Two, defending post up players. The one thing he could not do was rebound. If he could, he would be right up there on the favorites list. We got Cliff at the age of 35. And note, he had played small forward before we got him. So to ask him to rebound was a bit of a stretch. But hey, some coach was too busy starting Curry at small forward so obviously there was no room to experiment with Cliff at the 3.

    There are some more players I want to mention. But getting tired of typing for now.
     
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  8. S.J.

    S.J. All-Star Forum Donor

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    You guys know my story, know I'm not from the States, I'm young (I'm 24) so All I've watched about the NBA in the 70's, 80's, 90's is submitted, attached to documentals, stories I've read and some games I've watched. (yes, I downloaded a few games from the 90's.. epic games.. playoffs, finals games.. etc)

    My list in no particular order:

    - Ben Wallace - being 12 years old when I knew what basketball was and this man is rejecting everybody, as I always says, Billups, Hamilton coming out of screens against Miller, that whole series against Indiana, Prince's awesome block, Rasheed attitude, and what Ben Wallace represented (and also VIDEOGAMES), were the things that made me fall in love with the Pistons at first and with the city later. (I consider myself a Detroit loyal guy even I've never been there! Crazy, I know!)

    - Bill Russell - For all I've read and seen about this guy, he was a game changer, a great person too. (I got that defensive thing in my DNA, it seems, lol)

    - Pattrick Ewing - A Do-everything Big man, like Chamberlain and Russell, in the Shaq era, that was so close to win a title than, when I read about him years back, felt really sorry for him. He deserved a ring.

    - Rasheed Wallace - My love for him grew a few years back.. I've to say I insult him very badly when in the last year as a pistons he keeps shooting nonsense threes and all... but I'll say, I was young and dumb, also, history help me realize who that man was. All the funny and serious things he did. I wish his legacy can keep up now as an assistant coach.

    - Michael Jordan .. yes, I know that he is "Persona non grata" in Detroit... but I think he changed the game, he make what the NBA is today. All the stars today, almost everyone of them was looking up to Michael Jordan while growing up. I enjoyed so much the Pistons beating him.. I've watched those games, and I really liked him, all the hype around him. I didn't enjoy watching him destroying us in the early 90's but well, that didn't keep me away from seeing that he was one of the greatest ever to play this game.
    Again, to understand my feelings you have to remind what I wrote in the first lines of this post.

    ______________________

    I'm leaving some guys behind like Laimbeer, Isiah, Joe D, Kobe, Garnett, Dr J.... I liked all of them, short it down to 5 it's though... I guess it depends on the day i'm having, maybe other day I'd put Dr J in there, or Kobe over there, who knows.
     
  9. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    Hey S.J.,

    Who are your personal favorites? It's cool if they aren't all-time greats. Just curious about the guys you've seen play that make you love the NBA!
     
  10. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    Eresun"Detroiter" miamigo!

    We are all from different parts of the world and have different connections to the Pistons & the city of Detroit.
    I consider EVERYONE in this forum a Detroit local and a valued member of our tribe.

    The fact that someone from Argentina, Malaysia, Sweden or Australia would learn about and become a fan of the Pistons is pretty freaking cool to me! I love the Pistons because they were my "home" team when I was a kid. I never had a choice. The Pistons chose me.
    You guys could have chose any team to follow and it would have been justified. The fact that you selected the DETROIT Pistons over 'NBA darlings' like Jordan's Bulls, Shaq's Magic, Magic/Kobe/Shaq's Lakers, or whoever LeBron plays for means a lot to me. To me, it means that you appreciate team basketball over superstars and hard work over highlights.

    Allthough I no longer live anywhere near the state of Michigan, when people ask me where I'm from, I tell 'em Detroit. It's the state/city with the environment that made me who I am today. I identify with it even though I've never actually lived within the city limits.
     
  11. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

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    Ok, first some background. As I was growing up, there was no NBA coverage in my country. But, we did spend an inordinate amount of time playing EA Sports' Lakers vs Celtics. I first learned the names of many legendary NBA players playing that game.

    Later when we moved to the U.S., I started watching the games. Sadly, those were the teal years and I actually was following Sacramento Kings and their neverending, never successful quest for dethroning the Kobe-Shaq Lakers. We were living in Michigan at the time, and I really wished that Pistons were better.

    Then one morning I was driving to work on I-94, and I saw a huge billboard that was "the Fro". There was no writing on the billboard, and all you could see was the headband and the Fro. I thought that was the coolest thing. It made a bold statement without using any words. That was the moment when I became a lifelong Pistons fan.

    So, my list would be:

    1. Ben Wallace. By a mile. No, by a million miles. He's my favorite player to ever play the game. He is the reason why I'm a Pistons fan. He has an amazing story, an amazing career and a great personality. The things he did on the court were unbelievable. Nobody instilled the type of fear on guards driving to the hoop more than him. What he has achieved is truly inspirational.

    2. Tim Duncan. One of the best to ever play the game. He quietly gets the job done. That bankshot off the left elbow is a thing of beauty.

    3. Rasheed Wallace. "Guaransheed"

    4. Bill Laimbeer. Even though I never watched him play live, he is the baddest of the bad boys. He is a winner. Everybody in the league hates him, and that is why I like him so much.

    5. Dirk Nowitzki. Those insane fadeways. This dude can ball. He always gave 110%. He had one of the most dominant playoff performances ever when Mavs he won it all. He changed the league.


    Other favorites: Manu Genobili, Deron Williams, KG (Timberwolves version), Tayshaun Prince, David Robinson, Kevin Durant, Reggie Miller, Lindsay Hunter.
     
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  12. McQuack

    McQuack Bench Warmer

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    This is pretty much my list aswell, but maybe not in that order. Other favourites for me is Steve Nash, Dennis Rodman, Manu Ginobili and The Dream.
     
  13. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    Damn good list Walt! :afro:
    What country are you from?
    (I always thought that you were an ignorant American like me. )
     
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  14. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    In order:

    1) Rasheed Wallace - I admit that I was unhappy about the trade, but boy, did it work out. He remains the most fascinating combination of cerebral and emotional player, of knowing what to do but not always doing it. He nonetheless had a hugely positive impact on the team, and is easily the most entertaining Detroit player of my lifetime. As far as I know, we only have one member of this forum whose name is based off a Sheed quote - BallDontLie. He has my all-time favorite basketball highlight. He's also responsible for this classic. For better or worse, he never seemed to forget that it was a game, and I always loved that about him.

    2) Bill Laimbeer - While they played the same position, Laimbeer was the complete opposite of Rasheed Wallace in many respects. He never seemed to forget that it was a war. I have no doubt that if he was on any other team I would have hated him; I've never seen a basketball player inspire as much out-of-town vitriol as he did. He was talented, smart, and got under other players' skin more than anyone else in the game, and helped Detroit win two NBA finals. I'll never forget him waving to that booing crowd, getting punched by Robert Parrish and Larry Bird, the complete lack of elevation, the basketball game named after him where you get down the court faster by diving (which wasn't all that far from an accurate depiction of his athleticism), and the pouty face. Oh, lord, the pouty face.

    3) Ben Wallace - Again, very different from both of these guys, Wallace put on his boots every day and became the heart and soul of the franchise. He was the face of a championship team, the glue guy superstar. I loved the gong pounds every time he got a rebound. He wasn't charismatic or gregarious, the ultimate "let my game do the talking" kind of leader. He was awesome.

    4) Dennis Rodman - what more can be said about the worm? He gave the game everything he had, and wasn't appreciated for who he was until much, much later.

    5) Buddha Edwards - Some things can't be explained, and the fact that this guy is on my favorites list is one of them. Maybe it was the 'stache.
     
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  15. round

    round All-Star 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Spider and the Worm, Laim, Vinnie, and Isiah from the Bad Boys

    Sheed, Ben, and Prince (his later years don't ruin my love of his early years) from the 04 team


    My top 5 though....

    Rodman

    Big Ben

    Isiah

    Muggsy Bogues (somebody shorter then me that could ball)

    MJ (after the bad boys were faded away.... I could respect his game and with Rodman on the team I did watch them alot)
     
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  16. James D

    James D Second Round Draft Pick

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    5. Jordan/Magic-Two men I loved to hate, but had to respect their games. Bird, I just hated!

    4. Rodman-Possibly the only person with the nickname "The Worm" used as a compliment!

    3. Chauncey-Class act on and off court.

    2. Duuumaaaars-See BA BA Billups!

    1. Zeke-Complete warrior. He also makes my list of childhood Heros that disappoint once you are an adult.
     
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  17. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    I got a thing for little guys too!
    I really enjoyed watching Bogues. ...I was more of a Spud Webb guy though.
    I got to see a lot of Earl Boykins when he played in Denver and dude was amazing when he was in his prime.


    Blasphemy!
    :ban:
     
  18. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    Good List Jimmy-D!
    Welcome to PF.com man!

    As we all used to say to our TVs when we watched Sheed play: "Keep POSTIN' man!!!"
     
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  19. linwood

    linwood All-Star

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    I saw Earl play at Eastern. A friend of mine called me up and said: "Dude... ya gotta go to some Eagles games and watch this kid ball. He's like, 5'2" and just killing it!"

    So I went. He was awesome, so I went a few more times.


    My little dude is Iverson. Watching him and Mutumbo back in the early 2000's was a thing of beauty.
     
  20. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    When Boykins was in Denver, I remember I had a Nuggets game on the TV and I briefly convinced my wife that Earl was an 11-year old kid that the Nuggs signed earlier in the day. He looked so freaking small out there.
     
    McQuack and linwood like this.

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