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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Interesting Research ... but get me a fact checker

Dallas Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle today on ESPN's Mike & Mike Radio show reiterated his view that Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki is among the top ten players in history of the game of basketball.  He backed up his point, citing that Dirk is among the players who have 10 NBA All-Star Game selections/appearances and have league MVP and Finals MVP awards to their name.  On the air, Carlisle quickly listed the group:

Bill Russell
Michael Jordan
Larry Bird
Magic Johnson
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Moses Malone
*Julius Erving
Wilt Chamberlain
Kobe Bryant
*Oscar Robertson

Carlisle went on to say that Nowitzki is the 11th player to be added to the group.

* = Not really....

As a TL Blog reader pointed out previously, Hakeem Olajuwon accomplished those terrific milestones and awards and added many more.  (gold medalist, two-time NBA Finals MVP, All-Defensive team honors, etc.).  I am not able to devote the time to a ton of additional research on this lofty group and I don't want to minimize Dirk's place in history, by any means.  I believe he is the third best international player to play in the NBA with Tim Duncan the best and Olajuwon being the second-best. But, I quickly checked to see who was the MVP of the 1971 Finals and it was Abdul-Jabbar, so that leads me to cross off Oscar from the list, as he did not win a Finals MVP. Also, Moses Malone was the MVP of the 1983 NBA Finals and '83 was Julius Erving's only NBA title, so cross off another.

As noted above, Tim Duncan who has both Olajuwon and Nowitzki and many of the others beat with 13x NBA All-Star, three NBA Finals MVPs and two NBA regular season MVPs but he is most often grouped with the USA players because of his upbringing in the USVI and the fact he played for USA Basketball.  So, Duncan is in that area of technically being an international player as he was from outside the 50 US States.  (Side note, Hakeem, like Duncan, played college ball in the USA and he represented the US in the 1996 Olympics after becoming a citizen, but make no mistake, Olajuwon is from Nigeria, just as Duncan is from the Virgin Islands.

Amazingly, Rick Barry never won an NBA regular season MVP and fell short on the number of All-Star appearances, as he split time in the ABA.  Willis Reed qualified on the MVPs, but also fell short in NBA All-Star Game appearances.

The moral of the story, don't believe everything you hear/read in the media, even from respected NBA coaches.


Other random thoughts and notes for this Tuesday.

1. From a buddy via twitter.  Can the NY Post ask for anything more from the Anthony Weiner debacle? 
The Post headline writers have been ridiculous.

2. Ask me about

3. Home ice has held in the Stanley Cup Finals, backing that old saying that a series doesn't really begin until someone wins a road game.  Well, we've got quite a series between Boston and Vancouver.

4. For you F-Troop fans out there, think Canucks goalkeeper Dominic Luongo would enjoy his new nickname or L-WRONGO (as in Wrongo Starr?)

5. US Open golf = Retief Goosen.


Anonymous said...

Shaq did it too....Carlisle probably doesn't care about us basketbell geeks correcting him. After i am done typing this i will go back to my life and my problems...

Anonymous said...

15 well spent minutes for the F Troop contingent . . .
"there goes a bird and I think it's a lark"