The Book of Basketball (continued…)

8 11 2009

It’s November 8, and I’m on page 160. That’s 131 pages from a week ago. In fairness, I’ve had an incredibly busy last few days with freelance stuff and studying HTML + CSS and, well, drinking.

A few thoughts (SPOILER ALERT)

I dug the section on Isiah Thomas and The Secret. I feel bad for Isiah in a couple ways. He’s known to an entire generation of younger sports fans as an aloof, ego-centric mess after completely tanking with the Knicks. (And some people might remember the scalding Sports Illustrated story almost a decade ago about how Isiah blew up the CBA.)

What people don’t realize is the guy was not just a great player but also a decent judge of talent. Remember, he drafted Tracy McGrady, Damon Stoudemire (a very solid PG for seven or eight years) and Marcus Camby (struggled out of the gate but became a dominant rebounder and shot blocker) when he was with the Raptors. And he chose, among others, Trevor Ariza during his Knicks tenure. A lot of people forget about that pick, since Ariza’s Knicks career was overshadowed by Larry Brown’s cantankerous handling of young’ns, which resulted in Ariza getting traded to Orlando.

Anyway, Thomas also was a great player. He’s probably top 25 at least, maybe top 20. I haven’t made it to Simmons’ top 100 player rankings, which I’m assuming is somewhere in the 500s. But Thomas was one of the seven or eight most important NBA players during the ’80s, the league’s Golden Age, and he deserves the proper recognition for being such an incredible player and teammate. (Though not an respectable opponent, as his walking out on the Bulls in ’91 without shaking hands and myriad of other slimey tactics should have forewarned people with how poorly he would work as an executive. Because, you know, you have to actually communicate and get along well enoughwith people to get stuff done at that level.)

I plenty more thoughts but that’s enough for now. More along the way.

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