Looking back at the Lakers' 2000-01 championship squad, it's tempting to assume that Mark Madsen or Slava Medvedenko were the least deserving ring recipients.
That dishonor goes to none other than Isaiah "J.R." Rider.
In case you're not familiar with Rider's background, allow me to provide a history lesson. Isaiah didn't catch on with a major NCAA program coming out of high school. Instead, he became a standout at Allen County Community College in Lola, Kansas, where he managed to get a GED before flunking out...but after pleading no contest to a battery misdemeanor and serving a probationary sentence. Following his flunkout, Rider moved on to Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California, where he had to "earn" eligibility by taking seven units of physical education in summer school just to get his GPA up to 1.91. That was still below the minimum of 2.00 needed for eligibility, but an appeal was made to the state board of community colleges, which ruled that Rider eligible.
His academic efforts notwithstanding, Rider's fat stats earned him a spot on Jerry Tarkanian's squad at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
While he was at UNLV, Rider became a Second Team All-American during his senior year. He was also dogged by allegations of academic dishonesty and attitude problems. The latter came to a greasy, pus-filled head when he was arrested and spent a night in jail for assaulting a drive-through attendant at Jack in the Box. The exact nature of the crime? He threw a milkshake in the dude's face. Because it was vanilla instead of strawberry.
Still, Rider was an amazing athlete and had enough raw talent for some crappy team to take a wild gamble on him. Sure enough, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. (I almost can't blame the T-Wolves for this one...it was a pretty lousy draft.)
Believe it or not, things started out pretty well for Isaiah, who won the Slam Dunk Contest and made the All-Rookie First Team. Here's the classic between-the-legs jam that won him the dunk contest and freaked out Charles Barkley the hell out:
"This was a great opportunity to get an experienced and very talented player and we're happy to have Isaiah join our team. His explosiveness and ability will help take some of the pressure off our other players, and with his youth and skills, he could be a great addition to this team for years to come."For his part, Rider was excited about his latest new beginning:
Rider said he was grateful to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, coach Phil Jackson and owner Jerry Buss for "having the faith in me to give me this opportunity."In his "new start," Rider played 67 games, starting in six of them, and averaged 7.6 PPG while shooting 42 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc. He added 2.3 RPG and 1.7 APG while compiling a Player Efficiency Rating of 11.8. His Offensive Rating was (gak) 97 while his Defensive Rating was (double gak) 108. He finished the season with 0.8 Win Shares.
"I'm looking forward to a new start in my career," Rider said in a statement released by the Lakers.
"I've been a Lakers fan since I was a kid growing up in Oakland watching Magic and those Showtime teams," Rider said. "Now I'm excited to play with Shaq (O'Neal), Kobe (Bryant) and the rest of the guys and to hopefully get a championship ring next spring."
In January 2006, Rider was arrested on kidnapping charges in Marin City, California for taking a female friend in his car against her will. He was charged with domestic violence and ordered to stay out of Marin City.That's right, kids. Rider has more arrests for kidnapping than rings.
Despite this court order, he was spotted in the area a few weeks later. A Marin County sheriff's deputy confronted him, and while fleeing, Rider hit another car. He was arrested in Alameda County in late 2006, and transferred to the Marin County jail after three judges in that county issued bench warrants against him. In February 2007, Rider pleaded guilty to several charges, including felony cocaine possession and evading an officer.
He was sentenced to seven months in jail, 120 hours community service and three years' probation. He will also have to complete a drug education program. At sentencing, Rider admitted to a longstanding problem with marijuana; he'd also begun lacing it with cocaine.
On January 6, 2008, Rider was again arrested, this time in Berkeley, California after a confrontation with a taxi driver upon a no-bail warrant for unlawful firearm possession and separate $5,000 warrant for grand theft issued by the Oakland Police Department.
On March 5, 2008, Rider was arrested and was held in the Marin County Jail in San Rafael, California. He was charged and pled guilty for possession of a controlled narcotic substance, disobeying a court order, evading a peace officer, providing false information to a peace officer, and driving on a suspended license.
On early Saturday morning, March 29, 2008, Rider was arrested in the Skid Row district of Los Angeles for investigation of auto theft and was released from Los Angeles County jail in the afternoon. He was scheduled to appear in court on April 23, 2008.
In October 2009, Rider signed with the North Texas Fresh of the American Basketball Association. Rider played one game for the North Texas Fresh, and then was cut in early January from the team.
On April 9, 2010, Rider was arrested near his home in Mesa, AZ for assaulting his fiancé and stiffing a cab driver, after having been involved in three separate incidents in five days.
On April 14, 2000, he was again arrested for allegedly kidnapping his one month old son the previous evening. Rider was released after questioning with the police stating they would submit the details to the county attorney's office for a possible custodial interference charge.
The trade almost fell apart because Rice feared his scoring opportunities would diminish with L.A., reducing his value as a free agent. But the deal was finally consummated, according to Rice's agent, David Falk, when the Lakers agreed to ignore the 1999-2000 option year of the contract Rice had signed with the Hornets.During his first partial season in L.A. -- the crappy crap lockout year -- Rice got enough shots (14.7 per) to average 17.5 points while knocking down 39 percent of his treys. Unfortunately, the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs by the Spurs. And things went downhill from there.
Falk says Los Angeles owner Jerry Buss informed him an hour before the 1999 draft that the Lakers would pick up Rice's option year, and under the terms of the contract they paid him $7 million last season. "Glen had had an operation [to his right elbow, in January 1999], and we wanted to see him play before we made any commitment," says Buss.From that point, it became a war of words. Rice and his agent insisted that Buss had lied to him and thereby cost him countless millions, while Buss maintained he had never promised Rice anything. Meanwhile, some rumors had it that the Rice fiasco played a big part in West's decision to retire from the Lakers' organization. (Other rumors had it that Falk started those rumors.)
Rice had ended his interview session with these words: "If people don't think I can be out there doing things to get this team a win, then ... I shouldn't be here."But it didn't end there. Oh no. After that, Rice's wife got involved.
An NBA public relations official quickly ended the interview, hustling Rice away after he had spent the better part of 15 minutes explaining his frustration with being benched and offering insight into his less-than-rosy relationship with Jackson.
Meanwhile, beneath the stands at Conseco Fieldhouse, Jackson was sounding like another coach from down the road in Bloomington as he explained why he and Rice were supposedly on the same page.
"I play whom I want to play when I want to play them, and how they play and what I think is best for the team. That's it," Jackson said.
The Rice controversy is "not a distraction to us," Jackson said. "That's nothing to us."
Rice didn't agree, admitting "it plays with your head a little bit."
He was asked: Had he talked to Jackson about it?
"No, I have not."
Did he plan to talk to Jackson about it?
"No, I do not."
What harm would it do to simply discuss it with the coach?
"I've been down that road before. The best way is to go out there and let my actions speak for themselves."
In an article published Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times, she claimed Rice was being used as a pawn by Jackson in his dealings with Lakers owner Jerry Buss and team president Jerry West.That's right. Mrs. Rice inferred she would have choked Jackson down had she been her husband. And...Mr. Rice backed his wife.
"Jackson has never wanted Glen, he's always wanted somebody like Scottie Pippen, and this is his way of getting back at management for not letting him make a trade," she said. "This is Jackson's way of showing the people on top of him who is in control. It's crazy.
"It's all a mind game. It's all about control. Jackson did not get his way with the general manager or the owner about trading Glen, so who pays for it? Glen does."
Rice's wife, Christina Fernandez Rice, said she has counseled her husband to keep quiet about the situation until she thought it was hurting the team.
"How many players would have stayed as quiet for as long as Glen has? But finally, when the team is affected, you have to say something," she said. "Now if it was me, I would have already been Latrell Sprewell II."
Asked about his wife's comments, Rice said he agreed with them.Holy fuck. But wait, there's more.
"Definitely. Why not?" he said.
Rice admitted he would not be 100 percent focused in Game 4 but said he would dedicate himself to addressing the deficiency in his game that Jackson said was the reason he removed Rice in favor of Fox in Game 3.Oy.
"I'm going to come out and be very aggressive on the defensive end," Rice said. "If I get beat, I never claimed I was the best defensive player on this team individually. Jalen's a great player, and when I get beat I expect the help to be there."
That's right, Rice said "when" he gets beat.
"I was unhappy with the Lakers and things were so bent out of shape," Rice said. "When I was first traded to L.A. from Charlotte two years ago, I knew right away the big thing was they had Shaq and Kobe. I was coming off the best three years of my career, so I was not trying to slow down. I knew I had to sacrifice but I didn't know I had to sacrifice so much and sometimes be the only one sacrificing."Rice "lit it up" in New York for exactly one season, averaging 12 points as (once again) the third option behind Sprewell and Allan Houston. After that, he was traded to the Rockets for one last shot at being a first option. Unfortunately, plantar fasciitis and a partially torn tendon in his knee ruined his two seasons in Houston. During the 2003-04 season, Rice finished his career by playing 18 games as...a Los Angeles Clipper. His final game was a seven-minute, zero-point "effort" in a one-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Rice said Lakers Coach Phil Jackson listened to him but would not talk to him. He said the Lakers' owner, Jerry Buss, lied to him about his contractual situation. Rice was used sparingly as the Lakers rolled last season.
The ring, indeed, is his, but somehow its circle is not complete.
"Being traded here gave me a chance to show some new things and play in a place I've always loved," Rice said. "I've had great games in the Garden before and I love the rims here. Some people here have told me now I get the chance to light it up for the home team instead of against them."
Labels: Worst NBA Champions
"I feel good -- I feel really good. What I can tell you is the stuff I'm doing now, I couldn't do that when I was playing for New York. I'm going to surprise a lot of people. What people saw in New York, if that's the type of player they think I'm going to be, man, they've got another [sic] think coming."What people saw in New York was an aging volume shooter with diminishing physical skills who couldn't come to grips with his basketball mortality. Whew. I'm sure glad we won't be seeing that this season.
"I'm so used to going 100 miles an hour in the offseason. I came in here the first day and worked out with [Strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander] and I looked at him after the workout and said, 'Is that it?' He said, 'Yeah, that's all you need.' I'm like, what? I'm used to coming into training camp in tip-top shape. He said, 'We don't want you coming in in tip-top shape -- we're going to use camp to get you in that type of shape.' It made sense. He said if you come to camp in tip-top shape, your body is going to break down (eventually). I never really thought of it like that."So the Knee-Mac injury mystery has finally been solved: He was in too good a shape. His body simply couldn't handle being in such good shape. Because when your body is in tip-top shape, it breaks down. Remember how that used to happen to Michael Jordan all the time? And how it happens to Kobe Bryant. Hey, wait...
"I don't care if I don't make the All-Star team."That's a relief. Because I think he's suffered enough crippling disappointments, don't you?
"What I'm saying is I want to get back to that caliber of player that I know I can be, that elevates the team, that gets the team to the playoffs."Can McGrady get back to being the kind of player who leads his team to a first round playoff elimination? I don't know about you, but I believe he can.
"There's no question [I get back to being an elite player]. There is no question. Yes, because my body feels good. I'm in great shape. I'm in better shape than I've been in for the last three years. I'm a lot leaner. I'm telling you, a lot of people are going to be shocked. That's all I've got to say."I look forward to being shocked, Tracy.
Labels: Tracy McGrady
1. Fronts of the Feet - Most of your weight should be on the fronts or balls of your feet and the majority of the weight should be on the big toes. Heel should still be in contact with the ground.Watch your man's midsection: No, not to admire his six-pack abs. This is a follow up to step 8 of a great defensive stance. Watching the midsection is the best way to determine which direction he's moving. That way, you won't get tricked by ball fakes, head fakes or foot fakes.
2. Wide Base & Feet Turned Slightly In - Your feet should be pointing straight ahead or slightly turned in (pigeon-toed). This creates an angle that allows you to provide more force against the ground. In the picture to the right, the feet are bowed out which is improper form.
Your feet should also be slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
3. Hips Back & Knees Bent - Butt should be behind the heels and your knees should be pointing forward, but not past the toes.
4. Knees Inside of Feet - This helps create better push-off power.
5. Butt Down - Staying low helps maintain balance.
6. Shoulders Over Knees - Your shoulders should be over your knees with your chest out and back straight or slightly arched.
7. Hands up - Depending on the tactic (Hands out or hand up to defend shot/dribble).
8. Eyes focused on the player's waist or chest.
9. You should be able to draw a vertical line from the front of your forehead thru the front of your knees thru the front of your toes.
10. All of this should create GREAT BALANCE.
Labels: Kevin Garnett
"He's definitely looking to go into training camp, but he knows it's not going to be a guaranteed contract. He's going to have to go in and make a team, and he understands that. That's where he is in terms of his conditioning. He knows he has to go in there and earn a spot. Nothing's going to be given to him regardless of what he's done in the past. I think the main concern is that this other stuff is going to follow him around. Is that going to be a deterring factor for a lot of teams? Hopefully not because basketball-wise, I still think he has a little bit to give to the game."Shouldn't that first bold-faced sentence read "Nothing's going to be given to him because of what he's done in the past"? During the 2007-08 season -- his last in the NBA -- Walker appeared in only 46 games (starting once) for a 22-win Minnesota squad, averaging 8.0 PPG and 3.7 RPG. His PER of 11.4 accurately qualified him as a "scrounging for minutes" player.
Now as Antoine attempts a comeback in the NBA, he turned to someone he has trusted over the years. Antoine has spent his summer working out at the University of Louisville with Rick Pitino, his coach at the University of Kentucky and on the Celtics, and the Cardinals basketball team.Four to six teams? What YMCA league is Chico talking about? Because I promise you there aren't four to six NBA teams that would hire Walker to hand out jockstraps in the locker room let alone play.
Chico estimates Antoine has dropped between 18 and 25 pounds as he continues to improve his conditioning under Pitino's watch. "Four to six" teams, he said, have already expressed interest in the forward, who is fighting to land an NBA roster spot for the first time since 2008 when he received a buyout from the Grizzlies.
As the smile spreads across his face, you realize that Antoine is a 20-year-old man living a dream, happy just to be here, but not satisfied. Not yet. He's the one rookie that truly wants to run the NBA. He wants to rejuvenate the Celtic legacy. Championships in droves. Winning the jewels last year in Blue Heaven spoiled him. That's the difference. Being a part of an NCAA championships program is something neither [Len] Bias or [Reggie] Lewis were able to claim.Huh. I guess that whole "arrogance" thing doesn't work in Puerto Rico.
He's also got that arrogance. "It's not arrogance, man!" he insists. Yet he's got that arrogance that anybody who's gonna make it, needs in order to make it. The Celtics need it. They miss it. There used to be no such thing as a Boston player without arrogance. That's why you hated them, that's why they were so loved.
Labels: Antoine Walker
"I'm just taking my time with it. Obviously, everybody knows I'm loyal to the Denver Nuggets community and to the Denver Nuggets. I've shown that over my seven-year stint here. I don't think anybody can question that. But at this point in time I have to do what's best for me and my family. I'm just taking my time, figuring out if I want to take that extension or not."Loyalty is a word that gets thrown around an awful lot by athletes...usually right before they mention the welfare of their family. And you know what that means. To wit, let's harken back to what LeBron had to say right before he rammed a knife in the back of every Cavaliers fan both living and dead:
This is tough. This is very tough, because you feel like you've let a lot of people down. You've raised a lot of people's expectations also. But it was a tough decision, because I know how loyal I am.Mind you, this was after he said "I never wanted to leave Cleveland. And my heart will always be around that area." So...yeah.
And one thing my mother told me when I was going through this process and what ultimately helped me make my decision is you have to do what's best for you and what's going to make you happy at the end of the day, because no one can live with the consequences or anything that comes with your decision besides you.
And once I heard that from my mother, the person that I always look to for guidance, [the decision to leave Cleveland] was easy.
"It's tough to play 82 games balls out. It's tough to do that. When I say that, yeah I get criticized. Basketball players know there's a lot of truth to that. I know it's not the right thing to say. I don't care what people think of it. It's the truth if you play basketball."McGrady has finally admitted he doesn't go balls out for 82 games? No shit. Hell, Knee-Mac never even played a full 82 games to go balls out in. So, yeah, not exactly surprised here.
Labels: The Pickup Diaries
"The idea behind MJ: Creating a Legend is that you're going to step into today's NBA with a rookie Michael Jordan," Boenisch says. "He is rated a 79 overall, which gives you plenty of room to improve, but he has all of the physical tools of Michael as a rookie -- the fast speed, the high jumping, the quickness -- but he lacks a lot of the shooting skills and the offensive and defensive awareness. So you're playing with a raw prospect who can do just about anything, but can't deliver in the clutch just yet.Young Michael Jordan? Getting pissed off at inept teammates and punching them during practice? Making ridiculous buckets look stupidly easy? Getting books written about being such a demanding, overcompetitive asshole? Sign me up!
"And the cool thing about this mode is that you're player-locked to Michael Jordan, so you're kind of recreating the career and the legend of Michael Jordan."
Also exciting is the news that Jordan's physical appearance will transform as he ages in the game. Adds Boenisch: "When you start out as a rookie, you're going to start out with the short fade, the short little hair. Then as he gets older you're going to see him go with the bald look, then the mustache in the middle years, and his body will bulk up a little bit as he slowly becomes the older Jordan. For fans of Jordan, it's really cool to see the progression and play as Michael and see what it is like to relive that skill that he had to takeover any game."The game will let you play all the way up from Jordan's rookie year until age 40. I guess this means you won't get to wear Hanes t-shirts under your jersey with a weird little Hitler mustache. Also, you don't get to spend a year and a half playing MLB 2k11
Yes, the Nets go back to the '60s, and are one of four remaining links to the ABA days. But a long history does not equal a storied history. Remember that time they had to forfeit a playoff game because the only arena they could get had baskets of uneven height? Remember when they sold Dr. J because they couldn't afford the cost of joining the NBA? Remember those 432 games below .500, in just 34 years in the league?That sounds pretty sad, right? I mean, losing a playoff game by forfeit because your arena sucked? Well, put a protective cover over your shame gland, because it's even more pathetic than it sounds.
1968: The Playoff Game That Never HappenedSo they had a one-game playoff -- thanks to a sparkling sub-.500 record -- and lost it by forfeit. Ouch. And notice that last sentence? That game was supposed to be New Jersey's first ever playoff contest...and they lost it by forfeit. And it was a home game. How utterly perfect. It couldn't be any more Nets-like, even if Brook Lopez travelled back in time to facepalm about it.
New Jersey's 36-42 finish earned the team a tie with the Kentucky Colonels for the fourth and final playoff spot in the ABA's Eastern Division. A single-game playoff was scheduled to determine which team would advance to face the Minnesota Muskies in the first round of postseason play. Unfortunately for the Americans, the Teaneck Armory was booked for a circus on the scheduled date. Owner Arthur Brown scrambled to find an alternate site and managed to reserve Commack Arena in the Long Island, New York, town of the same name.
When the teams showed up for the game, however, they found that the court was in unplayable condition, with floorboards loose, bolts unscrewed, and basket stanchions unpadded. The Colonels refused to play. ABA commissioner George Mikan ruled the game a forfeit, with Kentucky the winner. The Americans' first taste of postseason action had ended without so much as an opening jump ball.
For the first several months of the 1967-68 season, the Americans struggled to keep up in a series of high-scoring shootouts. On November 2, 1967, in New Orleans, the Buccaneers crushed the Americans 141-117. The 141 points for the Bucs established a new ABA high mark. On November 27, 1968, in Louisville, the Kentucky Colonels humiliated the Americans 138-100. And, on December 19, 1967, the Pipers pounded the Americans in Pittsburgh, 146-124. The 146 points for the Pipers set still another ABA high mark. And, Pittsburgh's 80-56 halftime lead also set a new ABA record for most points scored in a half.Wow. Basketbawful before there was a Basketbawful! Let's continue...
In March 1968, the Americans went on a "mini" playoff push. ... Ultimately, the Americans tied the Kentucky Colonels for fourth place in the Eastern Division with a 36-42 record. A special one-game playoff was scheduled between the two teams to decide which team would qualify for the regular playoffs. The game was scheduled to be played at New Jersey. However, the Teaneck Armory was booked by a circus the entire week of the playoff game.No shit, Walt.
The Americans decided to move the game to Commack Arena on Long Island. What followed truly became the stuff of ABA legend.
When players, fans and reporters arrived at Commack Arena the evening of the game, the scene was chaotic. Workers hired by the Americans were feverishly trying to tape new 3-point lines onto the court. Parts of the floor appeared to have gaps and holes. Some areas of the court were unstable. There were numerous player complaints about goal padding, floor marking and even the height of the baskets.
Walt Simon observed: "This floor is a shame. You step on one side and another side comes up. That's dangerous."
Levern Tart recited a litany of obvious problems: "One basket seems a little higher than the other. And the 25-foot arc looks a little crooked. And there isn't any padding on the backboards or basket supports. It looks like things have been put up too quickly."Wait, wait, wait. I thought the point of a Rube Goldberg contest was designing a ridiculously complicated machine to perform a seemingly simple operation. This sounds more like inventing an obstacle course where the winning prize is death.
Colonels coach Gene Rhodes summed up the condition of the court by saying: "It's something out of Rube Goldberg!"
Others at the game also recall that parts of the court were very slippery. This was apparently the result of condensation from hockey ice directly underneath the court (Commack was the home of the Long Island Ducks of the Eastern Hockey League).Suckers.
Despite the bizarre conditions, most of the Americans players were suited up and ready to play by game time. But, only 3 or 4 Colonels bothered to dress. After Kentucky refused to play, a call was placed to ABA Commissioner George Mikan in Minneapolis. After consulting with Americans and Colonels representatives, Mikan finally ordered the game forfeited in favor of the visiting Colonels. "I just don't want anyone injured," explained Mikan.
A slim crowd of about 400 had showed up for the game. Many of these fans had waited a full hour after the scheduled tipoff, hoping that the game would still go on.
When the forfeit was announced over the P.A. system, many fans in the small crowd gave a sarcastic cheer. To add insult to injury, the Americans had given out numerous free tickets to their one-game playoff, without any special markings. When a line formed for refunds, many of the free ticketholders got in line with paying customers. The arena's ticket crew mistakenly gave refunds on about 80 complimentary tickets.Well, that was $7.28 the New Jersey owner would never see again...
A short time later, Americans owner Brown stormed out of the arena, saying to his own coach, Max Zaslofsky: "Come on, let's get out of this stinking joint."So let's sum this up: the Nets (then the Americans) lost their first-ever playoff game by forfeit because their normal arena was booked by a circus and their substitute arena was like a demilitarized zone. The forfeit happened because commissioner George freaking Mikan's unilateral decision to just cancel the game outright. Then fate squeezed a big, fat lemon all over the wound when the Nets/Americans accidentally refunded money on free tickets. Then they were screwed out of a replay of the game too.
The next day, Brown bitterly complained about Mikan's decision to forfeit the game. He threatened to sue Mikan and the ABA. In response, Mikan told the Louisville Courier-Journal: "I suppose Brown has the right to go to court. That's his opinion. I made this ruling for the good of the league. I don't want to try it in the papers."
For a short time, the league actually considered flying the Americans AND the Colonels to Minneapolis for a special "replay" of the game. The winner would have simply stayed put in Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Muskies in Game 1 of a regular 5-game playoff series. A scorecard was even printed for Minneapolis fans who (for inexplicable reasons) might have wanted to see the game. Eventually the league decided against a replay -- the Colonels started their playoff series with Minnesota and that was the end of the saga.
After the fiasco, Brown was asked by several reporters whether the Americans might move to Commack Arena for their next season. Brown harshly responded: "I cannot see any possibility of negotiating with these people. Anyone in the arena business should know that what's here is inadequate and improper. We definitely won't be here next year!" The manager of Commack Arena, John Steele, shot back: "I wouldn't want Brown here now for all his millions and I told him so."FAIL.
But in the summer of 1968, Brown decided that the Americans could not survive in New Jersey. He announced his plans to move the team into the New York area -where he had intended to base the team in the first place. It would play as the "New York Nets." And where would the Nets play all of their home games for the 1968-69 season? Commack Arena, of course!
"Don't think for one min that I haven't been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!"That's right...everyone.
"I think Paul Pierce, the way he manufactures points is the best player the Celtics have seen thus far. That's saying a lot because you are talking about John Havlicek, [who] was the best offensive player that the Celtics had, the way he manufactures points. But Paul Pierce has them all beat. He’s got the Sam Joneses, the (Don) Nelsons, the Tommy Heinsohns, Jones, Havlicek, (Larry) Bird, (Kevin) McHale, myself. Paul Pierce is the best offensive player the Celtics have seen thus far."That statement is stunning. No, really. I'm stunned. Parish played with Larry Bird. And I'm going to go ahead and assumed he's watched Pierce play at least a few times.
Career Stats: Raw NumbersAs you can see, the raw numbers all favor Larry Legend. Some other random facts:
PPG: 24.3 (16)
3P%: 376 (92)
FTP: 88.6 (10)
APG: 6.3 (41)
PPG: 22.5 (29)
Career Stats: AdvancedPierce has a very slight edge in True Shooting Percentage...and that's it. All the other advanced stats go Larry's way. Some other random facts:
TS%: .564 (95)
eFG%: .514 (94)
ORtg: 115 (50)
OWS: 86.8 (28)
TS%: .565 (91)
OWS: 68.3 (48)