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Saturday, August 11, 2007

One comeback = good, two or more = bad ...

The report of Reggie Miller returning to the NBA to play for the Boston Celtics struck me as a perfect fit. The key word is fit. Reggie remains one of the most top flight, best-conditioned athletes of our day and his build and 'game' rely on running and conditioning. His problem, of course, would be defending the opponents' quicker off guards or small forwards.

Doc Rivers would have to hide Reggie in a zone.

Reggie would need more than the lanky KG to help out when he is beaten off the dribble.

Now, the continuation of the story - Penny in Miami, Dallas-based rumors of Allan Houston's return - and Bob Ryan's great blog quote - "You mean Hal Greer wasn't available?" make me wonder why we always seem to take the ideas to the extreme?

In the link above, ESPN's Marc Stein created a list, as have others, and they have included everyone from Hakeem Olajuwon to Tim Hardaway to Vin Baker to Chris Anderson to Charles Oakley, god forbid. I can state, without hesitation, that at the 2000 Olympics, it was obvious to all that Tim Hardaway and Baker were done. In 1996, when Penny was in his prime, the national team practices showed the break in Penny's so-called armor and in his confidence and overall gamesmanship. The then-All-Star guard couldn't keep up with the Gary Payton's of the world at that point in time, nevermind today.

People tend to remember the 'comebackee' at his best. Visions are conjured up of Hakeem's pump fake vs. David Robinson in the '95 Western Conference playoffs when Hakeem outscored The Admiral right after his MVP season. The more realistic comeback vision? Hakeem sitting on the bench for the Toronto Raptors in his final season.

So, my take on the story for the NBA? One Reggie Miller comeback story is all that is worthy of the airwaves. Oak couldn't play with Patrick Ewing, nevermind attempting to complement Eddy Curry. Penny will see the Pat Riley waiver wire by Nov 1. Hakeem will stay retired in Jordan, much the same way that Michael Jordan will stay retired in Charlotte and Al Gore will stay retired from politics. The rest is a waste of time.

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