r/nba 19h ago

Daily Discussion Thread - August 14, 2022

28 Upvotes

Use this thread to post trade ideas, free talk stuff, fantasy sports, content that doesn't need it's own thread


r/nba 10h ago All-Seeing Upvote Wholesome Silver Take My Energy Helpful Gold

Andrew Bogut says Kevin Durant could get away from the Joe Tsai owned Nets with a simple "Free Hong Kong" tweet

20.3k Upvotes

An easy way for KD to get out of Joe Tsai's @BrooklynNets that no NBA analyst is discussing.
A simple tweet: "Free Hong Kong, Free Taiwan".
Gone the next day.....

Andrew Bogut says that KD tweeting "Free Hong Kong" would get Joe Tsai and the Nets to move him quicker.

Tsai is a Taiwanese born Hong Kong and Canadian citizen. He cofounded one of the biggest Chinese companies in Alibaba. During the Morey Hong Kong fiasco, he supported China and went against Morey in a letter.

Imagine this happens and KD tweets out "Free Hong Kong", how do you imagine everything goes. How would Tsai react, how would the NBA react, how would China react.


r/nba 7h ago

News [Charania] Sources: NBA’s 2022 Christmas Day schedule: Bucks at Celtics 76ers at Knicks Suns at Nuggets Lakers at Mavericks Grizzlies at Warriors

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1.5k Upvotes

r/nba 16h ago Snek

Kevin Durant takes to Twitter to defend himself after a user claims he ruined the game

7.7k Upvotes

After a user tweeted out saying KD left the game in a worse state than before he came, KD defends his moves to Golden State and the Nets

Full interaction:

Without a doubt @KDTrey5 this yo legacy dawg. Left the game in a worse shape than you found it smh Source

KD: I #ruinedthegame? Source

Na, but all this team hoppin after a little bit of adversity is kinda tainting your legacy Source

KD: It’s all a matter of perspective my g. U say it’s tainted, I say it’s never been stronger. Source

Bro face it, people don’t want you to succeed lmao, because as soon as you get a team where you’re not triple team all game you ruin the league 💀 Source

KD: Aye I be wanting people on twitter to realize that they just can’t stand to see me do well in life lol. But to acknowledge that would make them haters so they won’t ever admit but it’s still fun trying ti get them to accept it Source

That’s SUPER false fam. We all loved you in OKC, wanted to see y’all run the West after the Spurs were done. But instead you joined the team that you choked a 3-1 lead to & then you get swept by the team that the Warriors beat without you. Now you’re team hopping. Clock’s ticking Source


r/nba 7h ago

Trae Young Reacting to the Christmas Game Schedule: "👎🗑😂😂😂😂"

665 Upvotes

Tweet

👎🗑😂😂😂😂

Shams Tweet on the Schedule

Sources: NBA’s 2022 Christmas Day schedule:

Bucks at Celtics

76ers at Knicks

Suns at Nuggets

Lakers at Mavericks

Grizzlies at Warriors

Last Season's Schedule

  • Hawks at Knicks

  • Celtics at Bucks

  • Warriors at Suns

  • Nets at Lakers

  • Mavericks at Jazz

Season Before's Christmas Schedule (Also 2nd/3rd Game of the Season)

  • Pelicans at Heat

  • Warriors at Bucks

  • Nets at Celtics

  • Mavericks at Lakers

  • Clippers at Nuggets


r/nba 7h ago

[Smith] It’s notable that the Brooklyn Nets aren’t playing on Christmas Day. Clearly the NBA doesn’t feel comfortable giving a marquee slot to a team that could be in at least semi-rebuilding mode come Christmas.

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588 Upvotes

r/nba 5h ago

Dennis Schroder with a lot on his mind talking about fellow German Dirk Nowitzki

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404 Upvotes

r/nba 13h ago Helpful

LeBron defends Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the same possession to close out the game

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1.8k Upvotes

r/nba 10h ago Silver Helpful

Jeanie Buss: Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time

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947 Upvotes

r/nba 5h ago

News [McMenamin] The L.A. Clippers will tip off their regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 20, a source told ESPN, in what will be a designated ‘road’ game for LAC. The Clippers currently have a seven-game winning streak versus their http://Crypto.com Arena cohabitants

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315 Upvotes

r/nba 11h ago Wholesome

The NBA is a family affair: 10% of every NBA player ever is directly related to another NBA player.

820 Upvotes

As of the 2021-2022 NBA season, 456 of the 4500 players to have ever played in the NBA are directly related either as brothers, as father and son, as cousins, as grandfather and grandson, or as uncle and nephew.

There have been 90 sets of brothers, 80 sets of fathers and sons, 31 sets of cousins, 18 sets of uncles and nephews, and 5 sets of grandfathers and grandsons. (Note: Some sets have more than two individuals, such as the three Barry brothers, the three Antetokounmpo brothers, etc.)

This topic piqued my interest during the 2022 NBA finals, in which there were quite a bit of players whose fathers played in the NBA (such as Curry's, Thompson's, Payton's, Wiggins', and Horford's).

You can see the full list here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Z6E-3PDL61xL70YAK92Q5iDKLId3rLDg12QeLviXUIQ/edit#gid=0

Edit: At the suggestion of u/El-bufalo20, added cousins Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander


r/nba 8h ago Wholesome

Highlight [Highlight] Knicks fans in New York trash talking Trae Young

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380 Upvotes

r/nba 19h ago

Chris Paul has helped set franchise regular season records for 4 separate franchises.

2.5k Upvotes

Chris Paul has set franchise records for best regular season records on 4 separate franchises: 2007-2008 Hornets (56-26); 2013-2014 Clippers (57-25); 2017-2018 Rockets (65-17); and 2021-2022 Suns (64-18).

For comparison to another active player, Kevin Durant only has 1 such record for the Nets-- 2 if we ignore the Seattle Supersonics' record before they became OKC.

Is there any other player in NBA history that has accomplished this more times than CP3?


r/nba 16h ago

KD replies to fan who says he's a great talent but doesn't have an all-time great legacy: "And that’s fine. Enjoy that perspective my man. Not mad at u for it."

1.5k Upvotes

r/nba 5h ago

NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo partners with Israeli startup for affordable US healthcare

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199 Upvotes

r/nba 15h ago

Melo dunk after the whistle

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1.2k Upvotes

r/nba 18h ago Got the W Take My Energy Quality OC Wholesome Helpful

Original Content [OC]: Some of NBA history's lesser-known lost greats: Players with All-Time Great talent that fell short in the eyes of history due to extraordinary circumstances

1.7k Upvotes

(added TLDRs below player names, ended up writing a ton. Feel free to skip your way through to the parts you're interested in)

I tried to avoid well-known what-if stories such as that of Len Bias, or even players that suffered injuries like Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, and Brandon Roy/Greg Oden, and stuck to some names that are rarely discussed. Here they are in order of the first decade they could have dominated.

1950s:

Maurice Stokes-

Stokes was the first black superstar in NBA history. The all-time leader in NCAA rebounds per game, Stokes came into the league and was immediately a superstar. He would go on to lead the NBA in total rebounds over his first three seasons, and was second in assists behind Bob Cousy, despite being a power forward. To this day, he is the only player to accomplish this statistical feat. He was also elite defensively, and finished seventh, sixth, and fifth in MVP voting over his three seasons.

Tragically, in the last game of the 1957-1958 regular season, Stokes was knocked unconscious after he drove to the basket, drew contact, and struck his head as he fell to the court. He needed to be revived with smelling salts, but returned to the game. Three days later, after playing in the Royals' opening-round playoff game against the Detroit Pistons, he became ill on the team's flight back to Cincinnati. Stokes suffered a seizure and was left permanently paralyzed. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury that damaged his motor-control center.

During the years that followed, Stokes would be supported and cared for by his lifelong friend and teammate, Jack Twyman, who became Stokes' legal guardian. Although paralyzed, Stokes was mentally alert and communicated by blinking his eyes. He adopted a grueling physical therapy regimen that eventually allowed him limited physical movement, and he eventually regained limited speaking ability. Stokes' condition worsened through the 1960s, and Twyman continued to regularly visit his former teammate, lauding him for his perseverance. It is this relationship that inspired the NBA's Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. In 1970, Stokes passed away from a heart attack at just 36.

TLDR: First black superstar in league history, one of best all-around players of his time. Lack of understanding of how concussions worked led to him tragically becoming paralyzed.

Worth A Mention: Alex Groza- Most efficient and arguably the best offensive big in the game as a young player caught for point shaving, and banned from the league forever, was on the cusp of being the best player the young NBA had ever seen. Still the only player to be All-NBA first team every year of his career. Ralph Beard, former college teammate of Groza who won two NCAA championships alongside him. In his second season in the league, right before he was banned, he was an All-NBA first team selection, and touted for a Hall of Fame career, as he was already one of the most talented guards that basketball had seen. Marques Haynes (brilliant Globetrotters basketball player, chose to barnstorm for money instead of playing in the league. Was offered the second highest salary in the league behind Mikan, but turned it down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wJxY2RkLwY. Sherman White (broke the record for point scored in a collegiate season, also banned for point-shaving), Jack Molinas, the orchestrator behind the worst of basketball's corruption, can read more about him here https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/wlxfjj/oc_jack_molinas_the_1950s_nba_future_superstar/

1960s:

Connie Hawkins and Roger Brown:

“I just thought Jack (Molinas) was a nice guy,” Hawkins once said. “He'd buy us food, drive us home from the beach, lend us his car. One time he told me he knew how difficult it was for poor kids in their first year at school, and if I needed help or money, just let him know. He said he liked me.”

After brilliant high school careers vying against each other in Brooklyn (with Brown usually having the edge), Hawkins and Brown were both implicated in a Jack Molinas point-shaving scandal, despite committing no crime, before they had played a minute of college basketball. While Hawkins accepted $200 from Molinas, as he was a poor kid trying to get through his first semester and thought Molinas was a nice guy, Brown's only crime was associating with Molinas at all. Both claimed to have no idea that Molinas was banned from the NBA seven years earlier for the same stunt (but in the NBA itself), or that he was running a giant point-shaving operation in the college game. Hawkins and Brown were two of 50+ collegiate players implicated in the scandal. At that point, they were both unofficially banned from the NBA for what ended up being eight years.

Hawkins would win the MVP in another professional basketball league (featuring recent past and future legends) at 19 before joining the Harlem Globetrotters, who were becoming better equipped to entertain than compete at a professional level. When the ABA was formed and sought their services, Hawkins and Brown immediately became arguably the league's best two players.

In the ABA's inaugural season, Hawkins won the league's MVP and Finals MVP award, leading the league in scoring and then averaging 30-11 in the Finals. In the next season, he looked even better. Prior to a knee injury halfway through the season, Hawkins was averaging 33.7 points and dominating the league. After returning, he was not quite the same player, averaging 20 in his last 12 regular-season games, and losing in the first round of the playoffs.

That offseason, Hawkins finally won a multi-year lawsuit against the NBA, aided by a Life Magazine article highlighting the unjust nature of his ban, and could finally play in the league. In his very first season, he finished fifth in MVP voting, and led the Suns to a 23 win improvement over their inaugural season, averaging 25-10. However, further knee injuries ensured that the NBA never got to see the best of Connie, who could have been one of the NBA's greatest legends of the 1960s.

Brown, who had likely stunted his basketball development from playing in lower level Dayton, Ohio leagues, still instantly became an ABA legend. While he was consistently a top player in the regular season, and considered by many to be the single best one on one scorer in the league, he really made his mark in the postseason. He won 3 ABA championships with the Indiana Pacers and averaged 32 points in the 1970 ABA Finals en route to the Playoffs MVP award, making a strong case to win the award again in 1972. It is hard to know just how good he could have become if some of his prime years hadn't been wasted.

TLDR: surefire legends of the game banned for no crime, went on to become legends in the ABA. Here are some Hawkins highlights from limited film available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj2tXnFhYpc

Reggie Harding:

Was seen as basketball’s next great big man after Wilt and Russell after he was the first player to be drafted out of high school, but was too much of a headcase to approach anywhere near that level. Threatened to shoot his teammate once, and was finally done playing after he threatened to kill his GM. In 1960, he allegedly raped a woman at knifepoint. He was shot to death in 1972, and his son has been in prison since 1988 for murder.

Worth a mention: Doug Moe (elite ABA player also banned for Molinas point-shaving scandal), Tony Jackson (averaged 20 and won the NIT as a 16-year-old college player, held the U.S. record for most three-pointers made in a professional game from 1962-2017. Also caught up in the same Molinas scandal).

1970s:

Raymond Lewis:

All of the credit goes to VintageNBA for this one, I never would have known who he was otherwise, as he never played an NBA game and fell to the 18th overall pick. After averaging 33 points per game as a freshman in college (well sophomore, but freshmen still weren't allowed to play varsity ball), it was widely reported that Lewis scored 60 points in the first half in a full game scrimmage going against number one pick Doug Collins, causing the practice to be cancelled to preserve Collins' confidence.

As the story goes, when he demanded more money from the Sixers, they refused, so he left the team and was black-balled from the league. He would go on to achieve a variety of scoring exploits in Pro-Am games against top players: here is a trailer to a recent Raymond Lewis documentary: https://vimeo.com/92586014

The elderly man in the video is Hall of Fame collegiate coach Jerry Tarkanian, and it also features Michael Cooper, who Lewis was said to have once dropped 56 against in a Pro-Am game.

Marvin "Bad News" Barnes:

He was a top player in college and the ABA, but was only able to display a fraction of his talent in the league due to drug addiction and late-night partying. Below are some of the most iconic Marvin Barnes recollections and quotes coming from Terry Pluto's book about the ABA Loose Balls, taken from an old reddit post https://old.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/fwvtpe/theres_players_and_theres_playees_the_playees_are/

So much of what Marvin did was counterproductive to his career. He disdained practice. He stayed up all night. He didn’t listen to anyone about anything, but then he’d come out and play a great game. You’d see that and know that the gods had touched this man and made him a great player, only he had no idea what he had.

​Marvin just figured that everybody would take care of him. “Everybody loves News,” which was what he called himself. Time meant nothing to him. Rules meant nothing. Money meant nothing. For being late, they started fining him $1 a minute, then $5, then $10. I think it got up to $50 a minute, but he didn’t care. They’d take the money out of his paycheck, but he knew that he’d usually get it back.

​Marvin would walk into a game 20 minutes before it was time to start. People would be taped and ready to go out for warmups, and Marvin would stroll into the dressing room with all this food— steak and gravy, black-eyed peas, greens, mashed potatoes. He would be eating it while someone taped his ankles, then he’d tell the ballboy, “I got some women coming in tonight. I need five tickets—and get me some body lotion, too.”

Once, he spent the entire pregame layup drill in full uniform, sitting in the stands and talking to this girl. MacKinnon ripped into Marvin for that and didn’t start him. Then he brought Marvin off the bench and Marvin went for 40 points and 20-some rebounds. That was the kind of talent he was. He thought he was Superman, and for a while, he was.

​Before one of the playoff games, Marvin ate a huge helping of nacho chips in the dressing room while he was changing into his uniform. Most guys would throw up doing that, but he went out and played like King Kong against us.

This was a guy who said just out of college, “If I don’t get paid a million dollars, I’ll go to work in a factory.” Later, he would say, “I’m a basketball player, not a monk. I play the women, I play the clothes, I play the cars, I play everything I can play. There’s players and there’s playees. The playees are the ones who get played on by the players. I’m a player.” Barnes also said, “I’m 22 and a 22-year-old kid ain’t no genius.” And he said, “I don’t want to act like an old man of 30 when I’m 22. But they keep telling me, ’You can’t make any more mistakes, Marvin. Don’t miss any more planes. Be on time, Marvin. Drink your milk, Marvin. Eat your vegetables, Marvin.’ I’m tired of being ’the franchise,’ and all those responsibilities.”

Marvin had a great night, 48 points. After the game, I saw him in the dressing room and he started giving me his State of the Spirits speech. He told me, “Bro, you know what’s wrong with this team? We don’t have any team play*.* We don’t care about each other.”

I thought, “Maybe Marvin is starting to see what the problem is—this team has no unity.”

Then Marvin continued, “Let me give you an example. Tonight, I had 48 points with two minutes to go. Did anybody pass me the ball so I could get 50? Huh? No, they just kept the ball to themselves and I got stuck at 48. Stuff like that; that’s what’s wrong with these guys.”

Once, he got the itinerary for that trip and noticed that the flight was exactly one hour. Because of the change of time zones, our return flight would leave Louisville at 8 A.M. and arrive in St. Louis at 7:59. Marvin looked at that and announced, “I ain’t goin’ on no time machine. I ain’t takin’ no flight that takes me back in time.”

TLDR: Marvin Barnes was awesome

Worth a mention: Spencer Haywood was one of the most talented bigs in history, and laid the groundwork that allowed NBA players to enter the league instead of going to college. His career did not pan out as it could have, as discrimination that he faced in his childhood and adulthood led him on the path to severe addiction. Here is a good youtube video about the situation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYMsfcDLQ-Q

1980s-1990s:

Thompson highlights (from relatively a small sample of available games): [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6OsKy1c5A0&t=54s](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6OsKy1c5A0&t=54s))

David Thompson- Don't know if he really qualifies as lesser-known, but I felt I had to put him in here anyway as he may be the NBA's greatest what-if. MJ before MJ, a collegiate legend who popularized and perfected the alley-oop. Immediately after joining the ABA for one season and the NBA thereafter, he was one of the best and most exciting players in the league.

However, before his first NBA season, he started using cocaine regularly, and it quickly turned into a $1,000 a day problem (equivalent to over $3,000 today), curtailing his career. Cocaine would go on to completely flip Thompson's life upside down. However, he managed to quit post-retirement and get his life back together. Was Jordan's idol growing up, and presented Michael during his Hall of Fame speech. Claimed to be able to touch the top of the backboard, and likely wasn't far off. In an attempt to secure the scoring title on the last day of the 1977-1978 NBA season, Thompson scored 73 points, which is the most anyone not named Wilt or Kobe has scored in a game.

Micheal Ray-Richardson-

Drew numerous comparisons to the all-time greats and was seen as a Magic Johnson/Walt Frazier hybrid. Was one of the NBA's all-time greatest ball thieves, but managed to do so without compromising his overall defense/gambling too much. In his four full seasons as a starter, overlapping with (relatively) tame periods of cocaine abuse, Micheal had averages of 17.4 points, 8.3 assists, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.9 steals.

Despite problems with drug abuse that led him to be banned from the NBA (he would actually credit the decision with saving his life), he was among the best all-around players in basketball. In 1984, Richardson carried the Nets to a shocking upset over the defending champion Moses Malone/Dr. J 76ers, and averaged 20-8-3 steals in his next season, only one year before he was banned from the league.

Arvydas Sabonis (long as hell):

“He could do everything. He had the skills of Larry Bird and Pete Maravich. He had the athleticism of Kareem, and he could shoot the 3-point shot. He could pass and run the floor, dribble. We should have carried out a plan in the early 1980s to kidnap him and bring him back right then.”- Blazers legend Bill Walton, on seeing the 19-year-old play in 1984

For most of those that are aware of the mid 80s version of Arvydas Sabonis (born Dec. 1964 in Soviet Lithuania) he is more myth than man. At 7'3 and 260 pounds, he moved like a guard, but was always the strongest player on the court (he's 19 here, would get stronger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqxRL7Svt7Y&t=208s), and he could dunk on anyone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQbkDRZaI5w.

However, his physical attributes paled in comparison to his skills; he was already perhaps the world's best passing big man as he was entering his twenties, and he could score from anywhere on the court with ruthless efficiency.

At 17, four years after first picking up a basketball, he went to the United States to play a game against that year's number one pick, the 22-year-old Ralph Sampson, and outscored him 21-13. By twenty, he was the 2x reigning Euroscar award winner, which is given out annually to the best European player.

He had just led Žalgiris to their first title in the Soviet Basketball League since 1951, ending a CSKA Moscow run of 9 straight titles. The next season (1985-1986), he would lead Žalgiris to a repeat, and drag his team to the final of what is now called the Euroleague.

Below is a video of his highlights playing in that final against a stacked KK Cibona team, which was led by the late great Dražen Petrović among other European stars. While Sabonis punched a guy in the face early in the second half, and the team fell apart without him on the court, he was completely dominant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVw1vFZyJa8&t=39s. He had 27 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks, and a couple of gorgeous assists.

That year, the Blazers selected Sabonis with the 24th overall pick in the 1986 draft. While that may seem low, one has to take a couple of things into account. Firstly, only one player had ever been drafted by the NBA after playing internationally, and that was Sabonis the year prior (even though he was too young to be eligible to be drafted, the Hawks hoped David Stern wouldn't notice).

Secondly, as a player in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, hidden behind the Iron Curtain, it was unknown whether he would ever have the opportunity to play in the United States. At the time, NBA players were excluded from playing in the Olympics, and there was no way that the Soviet Government would have allowed him to come to the United States at the expense of representing them in international competition. However, this was just the beginning of Sabonis' problems; he was being sabotaged by those who managed him.

The Soviet Union national basketball team did whatever they could to win games in the short-term, and this ultimately derailed Sabonis' career. Since he started playing professionally at 16, he was given almost no time off between playing for Žalgiris and the Soviet national team. Alexander Gomelsky was the coach of both the Soviet national team and CSKA Moscow at this time, the same team that Sabonis-led Žalgiris had overtaken as the dominant team in the Soviet League. This conflict of interest had Gomelsky willing to sacrifice his star player to win on the international level, while also helping his interests at home with his club team.

Others close to Sabonis at the time have said that Gomelsky received some of Sabonis’ paycheck and had financial incentive in keeping him away from the NBA. Gomelsky, according to the sources, also told Sabonis he would be putting his family in harm’s way if they moved to America https://grantland.com/features/arvydas-sabonis-long-strange-trip/.

In the Spring of 1986, some time between the early April European final and being drafted in mid-June, Sabonis injured his achilles (I cannot find specifics for the life of me), an injury that he has blamed on overtraining by the Soviet National Team. That Summer, from July 5th to the 20th, he was forced into playing in what is now the FIBA World Cup instead of giving the injury a chance to recover.

The Soviet Union fell by two points in the final to a U.S. team led by the college versions of David Robinson, Sean Elliot, Kenny Smith, Charles Smith, Muggsy Bogues, and Steve Kerr. However, a hobbled Sabonis was named the the All-Tournament First Team alongside fellow Hall of Famers Robinson, Petrović, and Oscar Schmidt. Below is Sabonis, playing through pain. While he struggled a bit to start out the game, he gave The Admiral the business down the stretch, posterizing him twice while nearly leading a 16 point comeback https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pznGvQ4PTWY.

Sadly, this was the last time that the basketball world would see Arvydas at close to his best. Months later, after continuing to play through injury without a break, he would tear his achilles, and he would make the recovery process much more complicated when he went on to fall down a flight of stairs.

Sabonis' rehab efforts in Lithuania were yielding few results, so the Soviet Union permitted him to travel to Portland, where team doctors would work with him and try to get him back to full health https://vault.si.com/vault/1988/06/13/courting-a-big-red-soviet-basketball-star-arvydas-sabonis-is-visiting-portland-where-the-trail-blazers-are-assiduously-wooing-him. In this article from June of 1988, the Trail Blazers' physician, Robert Cook, said that it would be another three to six months before he'd be ready to play competitive basketball, signifying that Sabonis would not be ready to participate in the 1988 Olympic Games.

Of course, Gomelsky and the Soviet Union had no interest in adhering to this timeline, deciding for Sabonis that he would be practicing with the team in August in preparation for the Olympic Games (https://www.nytimes.com/1988/07/07/sports/sports-people-sabonis-at-risk.html). That year, the Soviet Union pulled off a massive upset in beating David Robinson, Mitch Richmond, and the United States. However, Sabonis was not the same player as before, and he was outplayed individually by Robinson, who outscored him 19-13 while looking far more quick and nimble than the now lead-footed Sabonis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEydL75tWWA.

Directly after a 1989 decision that allowed NBA players to participate in olympic basketball for the first time, there was an influx of European stars that went on to be All-Star caliber players in the league, including Vlade Divac, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, and Dražen Petrović.

While the Trail Blazers were optimistic that they could convince Sabonis to take the same route (https://www.newspapers.com/clip/25905971/sabonis-pro-player-approval/), outside influences such caused Sabonis to choose otherwise, continuing to play through pain until he was nearly a broken player.

By the time he finally joined the Blazers in 1995, Clyde had left to go to the Houston Rockets, where he went to accomplish what he may have many times if the NBA had ever seen a prime Arvydas Sabonis.

TLDR: Sabonis was widely considered the best player in Europe by the time he was 19, and there are those that believe a pre-injury version of Sabonis would have competed with MJ for the best player in the game, or at the very least take a Trail Blazers team that was already the best in the West to an NBA championship. While his NBA career fell well short of what it could have been due to injuries, it fits the mold of extraordinary circumstances because his career was sabotaged by those that were managing him.

Dražen Petrović:

Rick Adelman did very little wrong as the head coach of the Blazers, immediately taking them from mediocrity to championship contention. However, he did have one colossal fuckup.

"Let's be realistic. Here's a guy who averaged seven points a game last year. This is not an all-star player. We have a lot of guys playing ahead of him who are very good players. Who's to say that won't happen to him somewhere else, too?- Trail Blazers coach Rick Adelman in 1990

Along with Sabonis, the Trail Blazers went on to select Dražen Petrović with the 60th pick in the 1986 draft. It was a strategy that should have paid enormous dividends. While the Blazers would have to wait on their main prize, in 1989, a scorer of a similar caliber landed in their lap.

Dražen is well known for being one of the best shooters of his generation, but he was also elite from all three levels, an unbelievably efficient scorer, and similarly to Sabonis, he made a mockery of European competition in the 80s.

From 1984-1989, he averaged over 30 points per game every year in the Euroleague, leading KK Cibona to championships in 1985 and 1986. He was the Euroscar award winner in 1986 and 1989, scoring 62 points in the 1989 European Cup Winners' Cup Final. Albeit in dubious circumstances (the other team consisted entirely of youth players), he once scored 112 points in a Yugoslav League game, breaking the all-time record by 48 points.

The Trail Blazers' front office clearly had grand visions of what an elite scorer like Petrović could bring to the Blazers; in 1989, they paid $1,500,000 to Real Madrid to buy him out his contract, and gave him a 3 year, $3,840,000 contract to make him one of the highest paid players on the team (very different time).

However, the Blazers refused to give him minutes even in the face of elite talent. Adelman's quote came early in Petrović's second season when the Blazers had begun to limit him to garbage time minutes, and Dražen had demanded a trade.

What he said, and how he thought about Dražen's game made no sense even with context. Yes, Dražen had averaged 7.6 points as a 25-year-old rookie, but he had done it in just 12 minutes per game, and he had done it on .485-.459-.844 splits.

The Blazers determined that Petrović would never be much of anything as a player, that he did not deserve minutes off the bench, and traded him away for half a season of a 36-year-old Walter Davis.

In the next two years, Petrović would immediately prove Adelman and the Trail Blazers to be way off base. Averaging 22.3 points on .518-.449-.870 splits, he made his first All-NBA team in 1993, leaving the Trail Blazers to imagine what might have become of a Drexler-Sabonis-Petrović big three, surrounded by an incredibly deep roster. With the three point line moving forward in 1994, Dražen would only be more dangerous.

Tragically, at just 28, Petrović was killed in a car accident after the 1992-1993 NBA season. The basketball world mourned the early death of one of basketball's most beloved players, one of it's great pioneers and Hall of Famers who helped clear the path for all of the international stars that followed him.

TLDR: Petrović was one of the most complete scorers in the game before his tragic death in the prime of his career. A Drexler-Sabonis-Petrović big three could have changed much of what we know about NBA history.

Very much worth a mention: Len Bias (only did not mention because his tragic story is well-known), Roy Tarpley and Richard Dumas (more players whose careers suffered from addiction, had incredible potential).


r/nba 2h ago

Giannis Says One Day He Could Play For Bulls

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81 Upvotes

r/nba 6h ago

Jrue Holiday taking people's cookies for 3 minutes straight

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142 Upvotes

r/nba 8h ago

News [Stein] James Harden seems to be announcing Sixers at Knicks on Dec. 25 …

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194 Upvotes

r/nba 15h ago

Who had the better 4 year Peak? KD(2012-2016) or Giannis(2018-2022)

821 Upvotes

I saw this debate on Twitter and it was pretty even. I think KD takes it by a hair because he was basically making WCF regularly in a stacked west including a finals vs Heatles which I think is slightly more impressive than Giannis 1 ring. As players Giannis is obviously the much better defender but KD had maybe a top 3 scoring peak ever.


r/nba 15h ago

Royce White, former first round pick who was outspoken about fear of flying and criticized the Rockets for their mental health treatment takes to Twitter to...make fun of mental illness by posting a clip from Sound and Fury (hardcore music fest)

666 Upvotes

Link to tweet - https://twitter.com/Highway_30/status/1558480162999750656

Link to clip from Sound and Fury (which I was in attendance for) - https://twitter.com/i/status/1558480162999750656

And I’m the one with a Mental Illness? We are in a spiritual crisis. What in the false catharsis is this? Vegan coke heads getting right up on the edge of physical confrontation to deal with their unresolved despair and angst — Only faith in God can do that. Gloves Off! #Godspeed

Royce White is currently running as a Republican for Congress in MN-CD5 against Ilhan Omar and seems to be taking everything he was for when he got drafted and using it as a weapon

EDIT: As stated by u/MindlessExcuse, Royce White is not currently running for Congress, he lost in the Republican primary to Cicely Davis, she received 4,765 votes to his 3,689


r/nba 8h ago

[Harden] Christmas in the garden!

173 Upvotes

https://twitter.com/JHarden13/status/1558948828576899074?t=OX13waRZfnX3mnjgNiMULA&s=19

So it looks like we have our 4th Christmas day game with the 76ers vs Knicks at the Madison Square Garden.

This is following announcements of

Warriors vs Grizzlies

Lakers vs mavericks

Suns vs nuggets

And now 76ers vs Knicks


r/nba 11h ago

[Singer] After getting bypassed for a Christmas game last season, the Nuggets are slated to host the Suns on Christmas this year according to the initial draft of the schedule, a league source told @denverpost .

322 Upvotes

Tweet

After getting bypassed for a Christmas game last season, the #Nuggets are slated to host the Suns on Christmas this year according to the initial draft of the schedule, a league source told @denverpost .

Third Christmas game announced after Lakers-Mavs and Warriors-Grizzlies.


r/nba 6h ago

Name two players who you view are at a similar talent level. Others will reply of who they think is better and why.

108 Upvotes

Let’s debate tonight cause why not. Simply just put two players you view as equal talent level and we will debate who we think is better and why.

Ex. Embiid vs Jokic

Original thread idea: https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/rzv1h2/name_two_players_who_you_think_are_close_in/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf


r/nba 14h ago

[Question] Can you give me a MUST WATCH basketball matches for someone who is new to Basketball?

457 Upvotes

I have been stepping outside of the usual sport I watch and have been exploring and appreciating other sports, one being Basketball.

After I watched the Michael Jordan documentary I started to obsess over Basketball and watched more of MJ.

I want to watch the biggest basketball games from the past and present if you can help me with that…