NBA Jersey Olympics 6-10
The saga continues.
In this episode, we tackle NBA players who wore jersey numbers 6 - 10 for at least 3 years of their career, and we will have a player get 2 medals today.
Gold - LeBron James: This should come as no surprise to anybody who follows basketball. LeBron James has been the best player in the NBA for over a decade, and is at the heart of debates for best player of all time (I have him 3rd). 15x All-NBA, 16x All-Star, 4x MVP (will get his 5th in 2020). Career averages 27.1ppg, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.4 assists.
Silver - Julius Erving: Dr. J is the reason we have a slam dunk contest. He was a 4x MVP and at times the best player in the ABA and the best player in the NBA. The first guy most of us saw dunk from the foul line. 16x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, and a Hall of Famer. No Celtics player who wore 6 should be ahead of him. Career averages 24.2ppg, 8.5 rebounds, and 4.2 assists.
Bronze - Bill Russell: This may upset some Celtics fans, but despite winning 11 championships, Russel is not a top 10 player in my book. But that’s another blog. He was a 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, and 5x MVP. They named the finals MVP after him. Career averages 15.1ppg, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists.
Honorables: C’mon! Nobody even competes with these 3.
Gold - Pete Maravich: The Pistol was so far ahead of his time. His game was 1995 in the 60’s and 70’s. Killer crossovers, no look passes, and scoring that can’t even be imagined. He is in the Hall of Fame, and was a 5x All-Star, 4x All-NBA. He averaged over 20 points per game 8 times. Career stats 24.2ppg, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.4 assists.
Silver - Carmelo Anthony: Melo gets silver over someone already in the Hall of Fame. He is the most versatile scorer I have ever seen. There is no way that he can’t put the ball in the bucket, and despite not playing a lick of defense, he is an all-time great. 10x All-Star, and 6x All-NBA. Career Averages 23.6ppg, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. In his prime gave you 25-28 every night.
Bronze - Nate “Tiny” Archibald: He is in the basketball Hall of Fame, and rightfully so. Archibald dominated with 2 different franchises, and ended his career with 6 All-Star appearances, and made the All-NBA team 5 times. He won the scoring and assist title in the same season (34ppg and 11apg). Career averages 18.8ppg, 2.3 rebounds, 7.4 assists.
Honorables: Joe Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal, Lamar Odom
Gold - Kobe Bryant: Of course. A top 5 player of All-time, there was no way he would not get the gold here. Even if I only gave him credit for career achievements wearing #8, he’d still get the gold. 81 points in a game. 15x All-NBA, 18x All-Star. 12x All-Defensive team. 2 time scoring champion and a tragedy he only won 1 MVP award. 5x NBA Champion, and 2020 Hall of Fame inductee. Career numbers 25.0ppg, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists.
Silver - Walt Bellamy: Coming in several laps behind Kobe for the silver is Walt Bellamy. A knicks great who is currently in the Hall of Fame, and made 4 All-Star teams. Career averages 20.1ppg, 13.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists.
Bronze - Marques Johnson: A fantastic player for the MIlwaukee Bucks, he made 5 All-Star appearances, and was 3x All-NBA before a neck injury prematurely ended his career. He played 9 seasons, and 6 of them he averaged 20ppg. Career averages 20.1ppg, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.
Honorables: Latrell Sprewell, Eddie Johnson, Rudy Gay, Monta Ellis
Gold - Bob Pettit: Hall of Fame big man from the Atlanta Hawks. He scored and cleaned the glass as good as anyone from his era. 11x All-Star and 11x All-NBA. 2 scoring titles, a rebounding title, and 2x MVP. Career numbers 26.4ppg, 16.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists
Silver - Tony Parker: The Spurs point guard for much of their dynasty, he turned pro at 13 years old and joined the NBA at 19. He made the All-Star game 6 times, and All-NBA 4 times. He is a 4 time NBA champion. Career averages 15.5ppg, 2.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists.
Bronze - Rajon Rondo: If he wasn’t such a hot head, he could have been the silver medalist here. Had a reputation for showing up when he felt like it (national TV games), but when he showed up, he showed up in a big way. Electric passer, and steal machine, and could score even without a jump shot. 4x All-Star, 4x All-Defense, 3x Assist Champ. Career numbers 10.2ppg, 4.7 rebounds, 8.3 assists.
Honorables: DeAndre Jordan, Richie Guerin, Ron Harper, Andre Iguodala
What an event. 4 Hall of Famers minimum don’t get a medal, one player gets his second.
Gold - Walt Frazier: AKA Clyde, he is in the basketball Hall of Fame, like all the medalists here. 7x All Star, 6x All-NBA, 7x All-Defense, and 2x NBA Champ (Knicks used to be good). Career averages 18.9ppg, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists.
Silver - Dennis Rodman: Pound for pound, the best rebounder and defender of all time. He is a 5x NBA Champion, 7x rebounding champ, 8x All-Defense, 2x DPOY, and sadly only made the all star game twice and all-NBA twice. Career averages 7.3ppg, 13.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists.
Bronze - Nate “Tiny” Archibald: Another medal for the little man. He was one of the best in 2 different jersey numbers. Already recapped his stats under #7, but worth mentioning again he led the league in scoring and assists the same season.
Honorables: Maurice Cheeks, Tim Hardaway, Sam Cassell, Louie Dampier, JoJo White, Bob Dandridge