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Top Ten NBA Point Guards

12 Sep

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10. Kevin Johnson - People seldomly realize how good Kevin Johnson really was in the NBA. He was Stephon Marbury before he went crazy and left for China. He was Tony Parker with more assists and more flash. Kevin Johnson’s had a little bit of Isaiah Thomas in his game and a little bit of John Stockton. He also had one of the quickest first steps in the NBA in the 80′s and 90′s which helped him get to the rim constantly. He dribbled the ball between his legs and suddenly he was past his defender. Johnson regularly challenged big men at the rim, and Hakeem Olajuwon is not the only center/power forward that he dunked on. He threw down dunks on tip-ins, on fast breaks, and right through the middle of traffic. He learned to shoot the basketball from 15 feet out and was unstoppable during the early nineties. He, Charles Barkley, and Dan Majerle took the Suns to the NBA Finals before being defeated by the Bulls in six games. Johnson was the only player who could not be stopped for the entire series.

17.9 ppg., 9.1 apg., 3.3 rpg., 3 time All-Star, 4 time All-NBA, 0 rings, Most Improved Player Award

9. Bob Cousy - Bob Cousy was about three generations ahead of his time in terms of ball-handling. He could dribble the basketball behind his back when players were still patting the basketball. He threw passes over his shoulders to his teammates when everyone else only was using the fundamentals. Cousy was a magician with the basketball and he lead one of the most dominant teams in NBA history. He initiated offense, directed traffic, and dribbled between defenders for the historic Boston Celtics.

18.4 ppg., 7.5 apg., 13 time All-Star, 12 time All-NBA, 6 rings, 2 time All-Star MVP

8. Tiny Archibald - Nate “Tiny” Archibald was Allen Iverson before he ever picked up a basketball. He brought streetball to the NBA. He broke down his defenders, scored, and embarrassed them. He may have had the quickest first step in NBA history. He is one of only a few point guards to lead the NBA in scoring and he was the only man to lead the league in assists and scoring in the same season with 34.0 points and 11.4 assists per game in the 1972-73 season. His biggest weapon was his amazing speed and quickness with the basketball.

18.8 ppg., 7.4 apg., 2.3 rpg., 6 time NBA All Star, 5 time All-NBA, 1 ring, 1 All-Star MVP

7. Jason Kidd - Jason Kidd made the New Jersey Nets relevant. He took the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals by leading one of the fastest teams that the NBA has seen. He turned the New Jersey offense into one big, extended fast break. And, he made each one of the players a little better with his precise passing. He is one of four people on this list that regularly added two to six points to their teammates points per game averages by getting them easy baskets that could not have gotten themselves. Every team that he was added to, in his prime, gained 5-23 wins. He changed the culture of the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns, and the New Jersey Nets. His trademark high dribble and baseball pass helped him dominate the NBA without an excess of scoring the basketball, though he has always been a good scorer. Kid also became an excellent defender in his latter years and covered the opponent’s best wing nightly. He was a complete guard with a high basketball I.Q., and his impact goes well beyond his statistics.

13.2 ppg., 9.1 apg., 6.5 rpg., 10 time All-Star, 6 time All-NBA, 0 rings, 9 time All-Defensive team, Rookie of the Year

6. Walt Frazier - Walt Frazier was cool. He was a big guard during his era, but was quick, and a good passer too. He is greatly underrated as an NBA star because he played with Willis Reed. In Game 7 of the NBA Finals, he had 36 points and 19 assists in a victory. On top of his offensive prowess, Frazier was a great defender too. He played the passing lanes well and made on-ball steals with his lateral quickness and quick hands.

18.9 ppg.,  5.9 rpg., 6.1 apg., 7 time NBA All-Star, 6 time All-NBA, 2 rings, 7 time All-Defensive team, 1 All-Star MVP

5. Isaiah Thomas - Isaiah Thomas was deadly with the basketball in his hands. He had the basketball on a string and regularly put on dribbling exhibitions that would have made the yesteryear’s Harlem Globetrotters and today’s AND 1 players proud. He could not be guarded at the end of games, because he was one of the best clutch shooting points in NBA history. Though he did not win the NBA MVP, he does own two Finals MVP’s that he won in two years consecutively while winning two championships for the Detroit Pistons. He was always among the league leaders in scoring, assists, and steals. In fact, he lead the league in steals for several years in a row.

19.2 ppg., 9.3 apg., 1.9 spg., 12 time All-Star, 5 time All-NBA, 2 rings, 2 All-Star MVP’s, 2 Finals MVP’s

4. Steve Nash - Steve Nash is a bit of an enigma. He has two National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player awards, but no trips to the Finals. Granted, the Suns looked primed for a trip to the promised land until Robert Horry instigated a bench clearing skirmish by hip-checking Nash into some courtside advertisements boards. The NBA suspended several Phoenix players, including Amar’e Stoudamire, one of their best players, and the momentum of the series swung. Nevertheless, Steve Nash has never competed on the highest stage of basketball which is a detriment to his legacy. He did make basketball exciting again, though. Basketball had been bogged down by staunch defenses and methodical post play during the 90s. Nash lead a full court offensive attack that had not been seen since the Lakers’ Showtime offense. He probed the paint, and made dazzling passes to his teammates. He was an incredibly efficient shooter, and he is one of six people in the 50/40/90 club, having shot 40 percent from the 3 point line, 50 percent from the field, and 90 percent from the free throw line in a single season. He is one of two people to have achieved it more than once, and the only player to have done it more than twice (four times in five years). Steve Nash is an enigma, but he is also one of the most talented point guards in NBA history.

14.6 ppg., 8.5 apg., 3.0 rpg., 7 time All-Star, 7 time All-NBA, 0 rings, 2 NBA MVP’s

3. Oscar Robertson - He was the only man in NBA history to average a triple double over the course of one full season with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game until the 2016-2017 season when Russell Westbrook achieved the feat. However, if you average his statistics for his first five years, he would have averaged a triple double over that time period too. He was unstoppable in the post with his one-handed jumper. Robertson was the first big guard, and paved the way for guys like Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, and Magic Johnson. He controlled the basketball by scoring himself or making plays for his teammates. He is one of three people in NBA history to average 30+ ppg. over a season. He did that in six of his first seven seasons. He is the first player to average 10 assists in a season and the only guard to average 10 rebounds in a season, which he did three times. When he was placed beside fellow Hall of Fame player, Lew Alcindor, he won the NBA championship. He was known as one of the most cerebral guards of his era, in addition to being one of the most athletic point guards to ever play in the NBA. Plus, he is the all-time leader in triple doubles which shows his extreme versatility.

25.7 ppg., 7.5 rpg., 9.5 apg., 12 time All-Star, 11 time All-NBA, 1 ring, 1 NBA MVP, 3 All-Star MVP’s, Rookie of the Year

2. John Stockton - John Stockton was the model of consistency during his NBA career. He rarely made a mistake by turning the basketball over. He took care of it and founded his career in making the smart pass and the easy play. He is the all-time leader in assists and steals as a result. Stockton ran the pick-and-roll to perfection with fellow Hall of Fame player Karl Malone. He was an efficient scorer despite having a little hitch in his jump shot. Stockton and Malone took the Utah Jazz to two consecutive Finals where they lost to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the Chicago Bulls in both years. He shot 51.5 % for his entire career, which is unheard of for a guard in today’s NBA and is spectacular for a point guard. He is one of the six players that went 50/40/90 for an entire season.

13.1 ppg., 10.5 apg., 2.2 spg., 10 time All-Star, 11 time All-NBA, 5 time All-Defensive team, 0 rings, 1 All-Star MVP

1. Magic Johnson - In addition to being one of the league’s better athletes, Magic Johnson also had a extremely high basketball IQ. He always knew where everyone was on the court, and he was such a good leader that he would direct and encourage his teammates throughout their mistakes during the game. He is one of three players to have averaged a triple double in multiple postseason series. He left the game of basketball as the all-time leader in assists and is still the leader in assists per game. He is second all-time in triple doubles in the regular season and first all-time in career playoff triple doubles. More so than that, Magic Johnson was best player on the basketball court when it counted the most. He is one of the rare players in NBA history that made whatever play that needed to be made to win every time the game was on the line. On one play, he would score himself. On the next, he would get his teammates involved. He could grab a rebound and go coast to coast for the score or throw a bounce pass from half court to a streaking big man. His versatility was never more apparent than in his first Finals in his rookie season. His center, Hall of Fame player Kareem Abdul Jabbar, went down with an injury and Magic filled in for him with a move from point to center. He finished with 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals including the game-winning hook shot. He is the only rookie to win Finals MVP. At 6’9″, Magic could see the entire basketball court on each play. When he entered the league, he was an explosive point guard that could blow by smaller defenders, post them up, or jump over them. After he injured both of his knees, he became even more cerebral and utilized his teammates on every play. He was the biggest point guard in NBA history and its greatest facilitator of the basketball. He lead the league in assists 4 times.

19.5 ppg., 11.2 apg., 7.2 rpg., 12 time All-Star, 10 time All-NBA, 5 rings, 2 All-Star MVP’s, 3 Finals MVP’s, 3 NBA MVP’s

Fantasy Football Is Stupid

5 Sep

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To the casual observer of professional sports, fantasy football is a welcome activity that makes watching professional football more palatable. In the average National Football League game, there are a lot of commercial breaks, the play starts and stops continuously, and to someone that does not comprehend the game, it can be dry in between the big plays. For someone that does not understand football, fantasy football is great. For the real NFL fans though, fantasy football is awful. Fantasy football complicates a great sport by adding meaningless statistics. It makes fans of people who generally would not watch the game, and forces money-hungry NFL executives to change the game of football to make it more appealing to a wider audience. Fantasy football sucks.

The first reason that fantasy football is a horrible game is because being a fan of football gives you no real benefit in your fantasy league. People that really love football understand the complexities of the game. They know that any offense only works if all eleven men are on the same page. If the wide receiver cannot get open or runs the wrong route, then the play is wasted. If the quarterback is late on a throw or does not have the arm strength to get the pass to his wide out, then the offense stalls. When the offensive linemen do not protect the quarterback or make running lanes for the running back then the team suffers as a whole. Theoretically, knowing these things, having a better understanding of offensive strategy, and possessing more general knowledge of the game of football should help a football fan that plays fantasy football to perform better in their league. However, there is no differentiation between the scores of guys that watch football regularly and the people that watch games only to see the player that is on their fantasy team. Now, there are fantasy websites (not Dungeons and Dragons or lingerie sites, football you pervert), fantasy books, and television shows about fantasy football. Therefore, people that do not regularly watch football are just as likely or more likely to succeed at picking a fantasy team because they are also more likely to research their players thoroughly. That’s right, the guy that played college football and watches football all day will inevitably lose a game to the guy that eats chips all day next to his computer. And, any game that gives no advantage to the more knowledgeable player is worthless.

This guy is going to beat you.

Fantasy football also gets people into completely pointless conversations about their fantasy teams. Here’s a little tidbit that you might not know about fantasy football. Be informed. The only person that wants to hear about your fantasy team is you. No one cares about your team. They only care about their own. No one is impressed by your wherewithal in benching your starting running back for some nameless guy from a small college. They care about their mid-season trade in their fantasy league. The people that play fantasy football could not possibly care less about your team. The people that watch football, but have never played fantasy football are annoyed that they have to talk to you about some loser from a crappy team. The people that do not play fantasy football or watch the games on television have no clue what you are talking about. And, everybody in the office, at your house, or in your life is completely exasperated with football talk about your fantasy players. By talking about your fantasy football team, you have effectively alienated yourself from the rest of the world. Good job, loser.

In addition to fantasy football alienating you from society by making you a rambling pariah, it also insures that you spend every waking hour of your life from September to January checking your roster to see who you can replace. Fantasy football owners spend countless hours trying to find the best lineup for each Sunday. That entails checking the waiver wire for hidden gems, switching players in and out of their starting lineup, and making horrible trade offers in hopes that some idiot will accept them. The average fantasy team owner spends between 20 minutes and two hours everyday on their fantasy team. By the end of football season the average fantasy player has spent from 60 to 180 hours engulfed in an inconsequential competition.

The worst thing about fantasy football is that it can corrupt even the most steadfast fan of football. Having a fantasy football team forces you to watch meaningless games, and ultimately sucks the enjoyment out of watching football. The heart of football is in the strategy. Coaches move their players in a close chess match trying to isolate their best players and hide their weakest players. There is real art and beauty in watching a well-coached offense execute their plays. The offensive line shuffles in unison flowing into the defenders and then ushering them away from the quarterback. The quarterback feels the pocket that is made by the offensive line and shifts subtly to avoid the pass rush. Then, he sets his feet and fires the football to his target. The wide receiver has just faked the opposing corner into running in the wrong direction and is now open to catch the well-placed ball that the quarterback has thrown and races down the field for twenty yards. All this takes place in 6 seconds or less. Fantasy football shrinks that entire play down into, ‘Did my guy catch the ball? Great! Two more points.’ And, in order to know how many points that your players have accumulated, you have to watch them play. The best fantasy football players do not only have players from good teams. The best fantasy guys draft players from good, mediocre, and terrible teams which means that the real football fans that engage in fantasy football have to watch quite a few bad games. Bad games wear on fans, and focusing on one player in those games hides the limited successes of the teams. Football is about the big play. Fantasy football is about the points, and that undermines the beauty of the real game.

Fantasy football is a waste of time and brain activity. Knowledge of the game of football does not offer any advantage in it, it causes awkward, fruitless conversations, sucks up all your time, and it eventually will cause you to hate football. Now, let me go change my roster and check the waiver wire.

What If Tim Tebow Was Black?

30 Aug

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With the impending restart of Tebow’s football career as a quarterback in the National Football League, we at decided to run the this article again. From September 20, 2012, we give you what would happen if Tim Tebow were a Black man.

Very rarely is it a good idea to broach the subject of race in any public forum, but this question was posed by a few readers who regularly read the “Ask A Black Guy” columns. Rather than referring this one to one of our resident African American correspondents, decided to ask one of our Caucasian writers the same question. Somehow, he arrived at the same answer about Tim Tebow.

Let me start by saying that I am a fan of Tim Tebow. Though I do not like how often religion is thrown around a sports arena whenever Tebow is present, I definitely respect any man with the type of conviction that Timothy Richard Tebow has displayed regularly since his college days at Florida. And, the man is a winner. Yes, winning is a function of how talented and productive the rest of your team actually is, but in the waning moments of any game Tebow makes the necessary plays.

However, the question that was posed was, “What if Tim Tebow was Black?” or more to the point, “How would Tim Tebow’s career be different if he was Black?” I firmly believe that Tim Tebow would have a completely different career if he was a Black man. He has some major shortcomings as a NFL quarterback though he continues to get chances to play that position. Tim Tebow is not an NFL quarterback. He is too inaccurate. He is too unsettled in the pocket. He is too far along in his football maturation to change the parts of his game that can make him a good quarterback. The only reason that Tim Tebow is still being given a shot as a pocket passer in the league is because he is a very handsome, very Christian White man.

America by and large is a conservative, Christian nation. We believe in the God, we believe in hard work, we believe that everyone is special, and we believe that every man, woman, or child has the right to pursue his or her dreams. And, Tim Tebow is the embodiment of the American dream. He is chastened to his morals. He is a dilligent worker with immense talent. And, he is following his dream. Americans, especially most White Americans, see themselves in him. And, I see a little bit of him in me. Older men and women remember the purity of their career goals when they first began their adult lives. They see a man that they would want their daughters to marry, and a man that they would want their sons to emulate. Children see a role model who always tries to do the right thing regardless of how difficult it may seem, and a person who chases his dreams with wild abandon. Tebow’s peers know him as a tireless worker and a fierce competitor on the football field. He represents the ideals of the working class, the aspirations of the middle class, and carries himself like a superstar without the attitude and self-absorption. By all accounts from which people are measured, Tim Tebow is a great man.

However, Tim Tebow is not a great quarterback. Tim Tebow has a career pass completion percentage of 47.3% ,and no starter in NFL history has thrown for a completion percentage under 48% since the 1965 season. Only 5 players have ever passed the football at a lower completion rate than Tebow. JaMarcus Russell, a strong armed Black quarterback who could not get his receivers the ball in the league was out of the NFL after three seasons. Tebow’s race plays a large part in his public perception and his acceptance in the NFL. Michael Bishop, a prolific, strong-armed Black quarterback from Kansas State entered the NFL as an athlete because no one believed he could be a NFL QB. He was out of the league in a year. One of the better wideouts in NFL history, Hines Ward, was converted from quarterback once he left Georgia. Pat White of West Virginia completed 64.8% of his throws in college, passed for 56 TD’s, and ran for 47, but has been a gimmick player at best for his one year in the NFL. People compare Tim Tebow to Kordell Stewart (another Black quarterback) when they want to validate his position as a running quarterback, but there is no comparison. In his worst season as a pro, Kordell Stewart completed 50.2% and scored 7 touchdowns in 7 starts. In his best season, Tebow completed 46.5% of his passes with 12 touchdowns. Kordell Stewart has two seasons of 3,000+ passing yards, and in his best season he was an All-Pro,  completing 60.2% of his passes with 14 passing TD’s not including his rushing scores. Kordell Stewart, an All-Pro, spent his first few seasons playing running back because no one believed that he could be a NFL quarterback. Warren Moon of the Houston Oilers spent the early years of his career in the AFL because no one believed that a Black quarterback could lead a team. Moon went on to have a Hall of Fame career as a quarterback, and is one of the most prolific passers to ever play the game professionally. Though Tim Tebow is one of the most public figures in football over the last two years, he does not even compare favorably to an average quarterback in league much less a Hall of Fame guy. His pass completion percentage is the lowest since Akili Smith’s 44.2% for the Cincinnati Bengals in the year 2000.  Who is Akili Smith, you ask? Akili Smith is who Tim Tebow would be if he was black. Akili Smith is a quarterback that could not get his receivers the football, and was kicked out of the league in two years. He was woefully inadequate in the pocket and the Bengals removed him from the field despite taking him with their first pick. Unfortunately for Akili, he does not have Tebow’s skin color or personal convictions.

If Tim Tebow was not White, he would not be a backup quarterback in the NFL. He would be forced to play tight end or running back where he could utilize his skills and actually flourish. Tim is big and athletic. He is quick and decisive on his feet. But most of all, he is difficult to tackle. He has the talent to play in the National Football League, but he does not have the arm to do so. And, if Tim Tebow was Black, the rest of America would have realized that already.

What It Takes to Go Pro

26 Jul

*Nov 25 - 00:05*

By William Bixby

Getting to the professional level of any sport is a difficult, but attainable goal for many athletes. However, there are certain qualities, both physical and mental, that are necessary in order for that goal to be reached. The athlete must have the requisite amount of size and talent, they must have a good enough work ethic, and they must choose the right path to get to the highest level of their sport. Many athletes fail in one or more of these categories and thus never fulfill the accomplishments that their natural ability should afford them. Only through strict adherence to these guidelines can any athlete achieve their goals in sports.

This may seem fairly obvious, but in order for any person to become a professional athlete in any sport, they must have at least the minimum amount of natural talent and size in order to compete in the sport. Basketball players generally have to be well over six feet tall, strong, very coordinated, and quick on their feet. Football players sometimes have less height and coordination than basketball players, but have to be stronger and just as quick as basketball players. Baseball players are usually either average athletes and great hitters, or great athletes and average hitters. Their athleticism depends solely on their position (short stops and center fielders have to be athletic). Professional track athletes rarely get smaller than 5’7″ or taller than 6’4″, but their explosiveness is unrivaled in most sports. In general, the more size that an athlete has in any sport other than track, the less athleticism they have to possess. For example, a seven footer on the basketball court does not have to have a 40″ vertical leap or be extremely agile because his size gives him natural advantages, but a guy who is 5’7″ has to have blinding speed and quickness and an above average vertical to compete. In football, a man who weighs 300+ lbs. does not need to run as fast as the smaller guys who play skills positions. Having the appropriate size and talent is the first precursor to making the pros.

Being in close proximity to a former professional athlete or someone who had the talent to play professionally but failed, is the second prerequisite to playing sports at the highest level. Great amateur players usually have great role models. The media would have you believe that all of the professional athletes that you see on television come from single parent homes where their strict mother worked three jobs while putting her children through school. While the publicized cases of successful single parents who raised professional athletes are admirable, they are not the norm amongst professional athletes. Most athletes who are paid to play sports came from a two parent home where they had rules, role models, and direction. The structure that these players received in their homes produced a work ethic that fueled their improvement in their sport. According to Malcolm Gladwell, in order to become an expert in anything, you have to spend a minimum of 10,000 hours performing the act. A lucrative pro career is completely dependent on a strong work ethic which is instilled by good role models.

The final deciding factor in whether an athlete will play professionally is his path to the league. Talent by itself is not enough to play in the highest leagues unless you are a seminal talent like LeBron James or Alex Rodriguez. Most athletes have to follow the proper course in order to get the right exposure to their dream job. Most players have to play four years of high school ball, then play at least three years of college ball in order to be drafted by a franchise in football. In sports like baseball and basketball, the way that they choose candidates has completely changed. Whereas the conventional rule for MLB and NBA general managers regarding the drafting of talent was to find the most productive players from big conferences and draft them, management now leans towards finding physical gifts and intangibles in players instead of only using the players’ current production. The GM’s of today value potential over production. However, the path to the pros is still through the big programs. Division one athletes play on television more which gives them more exposure, they have better teammates which draws the attention of scouts, and they play against better competition which hones their skills. Any athlete that wants to go pro should consider their school carefully. Even when athletes enter a great Division one school, there are other factors that they must consider to be successful. Does the style of play at the school match their style of play? Rajon Rondo idled under Tubby Smith at Kentucky and almost missed his chance to play in the NBA. But, he has become one of the best young stars in the NBA under Doc Rivers. Tubby’s teams played slow. Doc preferred a faster pace. Some coaches stifle the play of their students. Some coaches have a reputation of sending overrated players into the next level. All these things must be considered when choosing the right path for an athlete.

If a player is talented enough to excel at sports and adheres to these basic tenets, he or she should eventually be paid for his or her profession. The path to the pros is not impossible, but it is filled with obstacles. Learn your craft, put in the hours to hone your skills, choose the right school for you, and you could become a pro.