Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NBA Playoffs Nuggets...

A few playoff Nuggets as Game 3 of the Finals is about to top off...

It's amazing to me that since Seattle won the NBA title in 1979 that only 8 franchises have won NBA titles. That's 8 different teams in almost 30 years and the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, and Spurs all look strong for the next few years as well. Almost all of them have 2 or more players from the 50 greatest list.

Boston had Bird, McHale, and Parrish
LA had Magic, Worthy, and Kareem
Philly had Dr. J and Moses
Chicago and Michael and Scotty
Houston had Drexler and Olajuwon

Even the champs of the new millenium, had Shaq and Kobe (on the 60 greatest). Seems like that is the key to winning an NBA title - Boston certainly did it before this season - get 2 or 3 Hall of Famers and let it ride with a few role players. Maybe that is why all the NBA experts instantly put Boston at the top of their power rankings after the KG trade.

Only the Pistons seem to be able to get away with just all-stars and role players - and they did it that way in the 80's and in 04 when they won it all.

The fact that LA and Boston met so much in the 80's is what made that rivalry so much fun to follow. There were so many all-time players in the series that were so good and talented, but they were all "smart guys" as well. That's a lot of what made that series so fun - it was great basketball played at the highest level. Look at all the guys that played for Boston and LA in the 1980's that ended up with General Manager or Coaching gigs after their playing career:


Magic Johnson - Head Coach of the Lakers 93-94
Michael Cooper - Head Coach LA Sparks 99-04
Kurt Rambis - Head Coach of the Lakers 1999
Eddie Jordan - Head Coach SAC/Was 1996-present
Kareem Adbul Jabaar - Asst Coach Seattle/LAC
Mitch Kupchak - Current GM of the Lakers
Byron Scott - Current Head Coach of NO Hornets


Larry Bird - Head Coach Indiana Pacers 1998-2000
Kevin McHale - Head Coach Minnesota 2004-2005
Sam Vincent - Head Coach Charlotte 2007-2008
Rick Carlisle - Head Coach Indiana/Detroit 1997-2007
Dennis Johnson - Head Coach LAC
Danny Ainge - Head Coach Phoenix Suns 1996-1999
ML Carr - Head Coach Boston Celtics 1995-1997
Quinn Buckner - Head Coach Dallas 1993-1994
Chris Ford - Head Coach Bos/Phi/LAC/Mil 1990-2004

Looking at some of the past NBA Finals also produced another nomination for the "Jaren Jackson Award." Phoenix's own Richard Dumas - averaged 16 pts and 5 rebounds on the Western Conference Champion Phoenix Suns. Remember him?


rampant26 said...

Jeff, you make some great points. I think the next team to win the championship is the Hornets. With a backcourt like Mugsy Bougs and Chris Paul and then you have Larry "Gran Mama" Johnson down low. They will be a force to be reckoned with for the next few years.

Beezbo said...

Good point on all those ex-Lakers and ex-Celtics getting head coaching and GM gigs later on. However, other than Scott, Bird, Carlisle, and maybe Eddie Jordan, the rest have been average to below average coaches. Vincent lasted 1 year. ML Carr and Quinn Buckner were absolutely terrible. Rambis lasted one year. McHale was basically doing mop-up work before he hired a new coach. I don't even remember DJ coaching the Clips. Ainge got a towel in his face courtesy of Robert Horry. These guys were great on the court, but for the most part overmatched on the sidelines.

Beezbo said...

By the way, I hope that was your last WNBA reference. Coop did coach for Denver on an interim basis to finish a season.

There were 10 future NBA head coaches playing in the '84 and '85 Finals. Sick.