Sunday, September 24, 2017

My Favorite Players

I started watching the NBA in the late seventies. I have had many players who I admire for a variety of reasons, but I thought I'd list my 10 favorite players over the years. I am not listing them by who I think is better, but rather who I enjoyed watching play the most.

1- Michael Jordan. I watched Jordan's entire NBA career and was always in awe of the crazy moves he pulled off and his desire and ability to win. He dominated and could have done even more had he not toyed with playing baseball. I enjoyed watching his dominance (except for the 2 titles he took from my Jazz.)

2- Dr. J. He was my first man crush. I remember watching The Sixers take on the Lakers in the playoffs and watching his behind the backboard swoop shot live. Julius truly changed the game with his exciting play and showmanship.

3- Lebron James. I have been watching him and the hype behind him since he was in high school and he has lived up to it. I am baffled that he has haters. I love his solid game. He can do it all. He could move to any team and I would cheer for him. I regularly track his stats each season as he continues to move up in the record books as one of the greatest players.

4-Karl Malone- When the Jazz drafted Malone I was upset they didn't take better known players at the time, but he has impressed me with his efforts since his rookie year. His work ethic and ability to stay in amazing shape year round is impressive. I would have loved to see him play a couple more years and surpass Kareem's all time scoring record. I think he could have kept playing even after his knee injury with the Lakers.

5- Charles Barkley- I loved watching him as a young player. He defied physics with what he did at his height and weight. I have enjoyed him even more as a commentator. I know he is opinionated and can be controversial but I find myself agreeing with him most of the time and I just really like the guy and what he has done for the game.

6-Vince Carter- Vince was the greatest in game dunker in NBA History. He constantly amazed me with his leaping ability. I still enjoy watching him play even though he is now one of the currently oldest players in the league.

7-Dominique Wilkins- Dominique was one of the first to pull off dunk contest caliber dunks in close games. He was the king of the power windmill dunk. I loved watching his highlights.

8- Magic Johnson- Magic was a great all around player and one of the first multi-dimensional players that could do so much. He was the man behind showtime. He was a great competitor with a great smile.

9-John Stockton- I loved his hard nosed no nonsense style of play. He quietly became the all time assists and steals leader by a long shot and he did so without ever drawing any attention to himself. I admire his work ethic and humility just as much as his game. He was a very refreshing contrast to a league of prima donnas.

10- Shaquille O'Neal- Shaq has been dominating and owning the paint since he came into the league.
I imagine watching him is the closest thing to watching Wilt Chamberlain play. Shaq was also a funny character.

Honorable Mentions:
Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, Clyde Drexler, Isaiah Thomas, Darryl Dawkins, Moses, Malone,

Friday, September 1, 2017

Jimmer in China

I have enjoyed watching Jimmer Fredette play basketball since he caught everyone's attention at BYU and winning the NCAA player of the year in 2011. I could not believe the shooting range he had and was shocked at some of the deep threes he made in games.

It was frustrating watching him at the next level in the NBA. I think he could have done better with certain teams or in different systems than the ones he had a change to play with but I also I understand it's a challenge to continue to perform at the same level when he has to guard bigger or faster players who expose his weakness on defense.

It has been interesting to see how he struggles in the NBA but dominates when he has gone down to the D-League or over seas. He had a great year in China leading the CBA in scoring and winning the import MVP award. I'm just glad to see he's doing so well with the Shanghai Sharks and hope he can continue to have success there. I'm sure he'd prefer to be competing in the NBA but he's on top of the world in Asia for now.