Zeke's place in History

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by MotownPride, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    I agree with Bill Laimbeer. The guy who left Isiah off the list is a hater. I wouldn't trade Isiah for any of them. Objectively, I'd probably place him behind Magic and Oscar, and probably right ahead of West and Frazier. Certainly ahead of Stockton and the rest.

    Tyskillz: I think you were kind of rough on that guy. He only asked a question.
  2. Zoso

    Zoso First Round Draft Pick

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    Tyskillz

    Your post was going a little overboard. You have to keep in mind that not everyone that posts in or reads the forum is a life long fan for 20 years. Some people who are fans now aren't even old enough to know who Thomas was. And there are new fans coming on every year, who may or may not know the Pistons' history.

    The last thing we want to do is scare off some other folks from wanting to post, for fear of being jumped on as well.
  3. Tyskillz

    Tyskillz First Round Draft Pick

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    Hindsight...

    Indeed Zoso and a few others have made your point, I should not expect everyone to know their Pistons homework/history so astutely & accurately. So perhaps I did come off a bit harsh, but for a die hard like myself it just seems like being a Pistons fan and not knowing who Zeke is, is rather ridiculous.... Especially on a thread discussing the man's place in history amongst the greatest PG's to ever play, SHEESH (lol)! Anyway I truly don't wish to scare off any TRUE Pistons fans new or old (only trolls, ignorant naysayers, and haters), so I guess it's sort of the job of us vets/more enlightened posters to school those not so up to speed yet.

    GO PISTONS!!!!!

    p.s. Keep in mind folks I never called the dude out of his name, and did indeed welcome him to the board (after informing him of how far out of the loop he was).
  4. Big C

    Big C First Round Draft Pick

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    I find it hard to believe

    That not one person feel like Nate "tiny" Archibald is top 5. The only guy in the history of the game to lead the league in scoring and assist in same season. One of the 50 greatest players of all time. NBA champ, numerous all star's and and all NBA teams. Tiny was the total package.
  5. DANCUTTY

    DANCUTTY Second Round Draft Pick

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    Ty

    Your post shows some class, my friend.
  6. 1989

    1989 First Round Draft Pick

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    Kind of late to the discussion, but I only just arrived.... :)

    Charley Rosen's list of point guards doesn't make any sense to me. I don't begrudge him any of his choices, even if some of them are a bit unusual (DJ) or completely out of leftfield (Ralph Beard, who I'd never heard of until reading the column). But I really don't understand how someone can draw up a list like this without Isiah being part of it.

    Interestingly, Cousy doesn't make the list either, and Nate the Skate doesn't even get a mention. Nor does GP (I've always liked GP). Even though he's not one of the all-time greats, Kevin Johnson was pretty spectacular in the early 90s. If you include AI as a point, I think he should not only get a mention, but actually be on the list itself.

    Anyway, back to Isiah. He was so fierce, so determined, so scrappy, and such a wizard on offense -- an unstoppable scorer when hot, and a fantastic passer as well. He was the heart and soul of an Indiana team that won the NCAA title, and of a Pistons team that put an end to the Celts' run of 19 Finals appearances in 31 seasons, that put an end to the Lakers' run of 5 championships in 9 seasons, and that held off an up-and-coming Bulls team for three consecutive years, winning two championships of his own along the way. How do you argue with that? Obviously, I'm a Pistons fan and I'm anything but objective, but I simply don't understand how anyone can fail to acknowledge Zeke's place in the history of the game.

    As for where he fits in exactly, I don't know. I don't think it matters really, as long as he's part of the discussion. Personally, I'd take him before anyone, just for his fire, for the way he played the game; you can certainly argue that [insert name of fave PG here] was the better player -- and I might even agree with you -- but there's nobody I'd rather have running my team.

    A note on Stockton: he was a great, great player. His numbers speak for themselves of course -- it might be decades before anyone breaks his all-time assists and steals records -- but more than that, he was such a tough, night-in-night-out, relentless player, and as good as anyone at running an offense.

    I can still recall the 1999 Western semis, when the Jazz needed a basket late in the 4th Q to tie the game against the Blazers; Stock drove the lane, and was completely engulfed by all three members of the Blazers' frontcourt; somehow, Bryon Russell ended up with the ball for an easy layup a few feet away from the basket. On slowmotion replay, all I could see was John's hand, which had somehow materialized under the basket after the rest of him had disappeared from view, depositing the ball into Russell's expectant pair of hands.

    Although he was rarely that flashy, that kind of prowess at running the O was Stock's bread and butter, especially in the halfcourt but also on the break. He was a pretty clutch shooter too, when it was required of him. I miss watching him play.
  7. buddahfan

    buddahfan Retired from Forum

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    Michael Was The #1 Point Guard of All Time

    My top five would be:

    1. Michael (Lets not get into this argument again. He was the Bulls point guard because he controlled the ball on offense over 70% of the time and he was a guard, not a point forward like Grant Hill)
    2. Magic
    3. Cousy (Anyone on this board except for me old enough to remember him?)
    4. Oscar
    5. Zeke

    2.
  8. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Not a point guard

    Not even Michael would consider himself a point guard. Greatest player of all time, but definitely not a point guard.
  9. Tyskillz

    Tyskillz First Round Draft Pick

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    GREAT player, just not a pg

    THANK YOU very much BL.... Indeed mj was one of (if not thee) baddest cats of ALL TIME to ever grace the court, but he was never a point guard... It's just a fact. It's really not anything to even debate on this one folks.
  10. MSU Spartan

    MSU Spartan Second Round Draft Pick

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    Why Zeke is the greatest

    Let me first start by saying that I am a huge Zeke fan.. Probably the biggest of all time.. not only is he one of the two ( Magic) greatest point guards of all time I honestly think he was one of the greatest players of all time… The # 1 goal of a point guard is to make your teammates better and no one did that better than Zeke.. we are truly fortunate in Detroit to have witnessed the careers of two of the greatest team leaders in the HISTORY of sports Zeke and Yzerman..
    More on Zeke…. Chuck Daily said it best.. “if Isiah were 5 inches taller he would have been regarded as the best to ever play the game”
    Isiah revolutionized the game as a small guard with his ability to score, handle the ball, and break down the defense… that’s just his physical abilities.. when you get into leadership and heart this is what separates Zeke from the rest of these guys that are mentioned in all of these so called top 5 lists
    So here is mine
    1A. Magic- This guy in his prime was a freak of nature 6’9, passing, ball handling, scoring, rebounding, leadership, and on top of all that he is a Spartan!
    1B Zeke.. for all the reasons I mentioned above plus these ( back to back Championships, 3 strait trips to the finals (almost 4 if not for Bird Stealing the ball), and the only person who can say they defeated Magic, Bird, and, Jordan in their prime..
    2. Jerry West- though I am not old enough to have seen him play personally I have seen classic footage, and the guy is the symbol of the NBA.. nuff said
    3. Oscar Robertson- Averaged a Triple Double for an entire season.. I am not a huge stats person because they only tell half the story… but even if he was padding his stats that is amazing.. and not duplicated by anyone else
    4. Stockton- Truly a great point guard… but could never close the deal and lead his team to any real victories…he and Malone took turns choking when they had their chances..
    5. No one else is really even worth mentioning with these guys I mean there are some good ones left but I would only be adding them to have a fifth guy ( not needed) they all get honorable mention
  11. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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    Bill Simmons Take

    10. Tiny Archibald
    Positives: Three first-team All-NBAs, two second teams ... only player to lead the league in scoring and assists in the same season (1974) ... blew out his Achilles in 1977, then rejuvenated his career in Boston and helped them win the '81 title (note: the '82 team was even better, but Tiny separated his shoulder in the Philly series) ... the last great New York City point guard who actually delivered the goods in the NBA: he could always beat his guy off the dribble and knew exactly how to run a team ... don't you miss the days where point guards were named "Magic" and "Tiny?"
    Negatives: Played on five teams in all (never a good sign) ... put up his biggest stats during some weak NBA years (1972-76, when the ABA was stealing young talent from college and high school) ... only played 47 playoff games total ... a hero to New York point guards like Kenny Anderson, Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair, and that sentence is scary enough in itself.

    [​IMG]
    AP/Ty Russell
    If Nash wins back-to-back MVP awards, you have to consider him one of the best points guards ever.


    9. Steve Nash
    Positives: Has an excellent chance to win back-to-back MVP's, a sentence that looks so unbelievable in print, my eyeballs just popped out of my head Allan Ray-style ... exceptionally fun to watch on the offensive end ... helped bring back three dying art forms this decade: passing, fast breaks and crappy hair ... following the Janet Jones betting scandal, replaced Wayne Gretzky as the most popular athlete in Canada ... this ranking could go up or down depending on how the next few years pan out, but the bottom line is this: not only are Cousy, Oscar, Magic and Nash the only point guards that ever won MVP's, but Bird, Magic, MJ, Russell, Wilt, Duncan, Moses and Kareem were the only ones that went back-to-back. Yikes.
    Negatives: Only made two third-team All-NBAs and two All-Star teams before last season ... struggled with injuries for his first five years (missing 73 games) ... an atrocious, ATROCIOUS defensive player ... looks like Jackie Earle Haley and James Blunt ... everyone forgets this now, but the Suns were ridiculed by nearly everyone (not me) for spending $60 million two summers ago on a guy with a bad back who couldn't play D ... definitely lucked out by peaking for consecutive seasons without a true dominant player in the league.
    8. Jason Kidd
    Positives: Five All-NBA first teams (1999-2002, 2004), one second team (2003) ... easily could have won the 2002 MVP (he finished second to Duncan) ... still playing well, which will move him up on this list if he can keep it going for 3-4 more years ... turned flawed guys like Rex Chapman, Keith Van Horn, Kerry Kittles, Todd MacCulluch and others into assets ... single-handedly dragged a ho-hum Nets team into the Finals for two straight years ... averaged an Oscar-esque 20-9-8 in the 2002 playoffs ... maybe the only person alive who could have salvaged Vince Carter's career ... made every All-Star Game 30 percent more watchable ... with the notable exception of Magic, nobody grabbed a rebound, turned on the jets, went coast to coast and got to the rim like J-Kidd.
    Negatives: Traded an astonishing three times before he turned 29 ... a career 40-percent shooter (39 percent in the playoffs) ... failed to stick his wife and son in a suite during the 2002 and 2003 playoffs, leading to roughly 300,000 shots of them in the crowd during that time ... involved in the famous Toni Braxton Love Triangle with Mavs teammate Jimmy Jackson that ended up leading to the dissolution of that roster (although it did lead to countless Brandon/Dylan/Kelly jokes) ... once traded straight up for Stephon Marbury ... you could argue that the "J-Kidd" moniker was partly responsible for the whole sports/acronym craze that spiralled out of control and eventually led to Linda Cohn calling Pudge Rodriguez "I-Rod."
    7. Walt Frazier
    Positives: Two All-NBA first teams, four All-NBA second teams, two rings ... one of the great big-game players of his generation, as well as one of the best defensive players ever ... played one of the single greatest games ever (Game 7, 1970 Finals -- 36 points, 19 assists, 5 steals) and was totally overshadowed by Willis Reed (justifiably, but still) ... pulled off mutton-chop sideburns, mink coats, Rolls Royces and everything else in the '70s and probably had more sex than any New York athlete short of Joe Namath ... had one of the great nicknames ever ("Clyde") ... none other than my father (a 33-year Celtics season-ticket holder) believes that Frazier and MJ were the two best guards he's ever seen in person.
    Negatives: Surprisingly short career (only nine quality years) ... gave up 68 points to Pete Maravich during the '77 season ... it's tough to know how great he was in the '70s because of the ABA factor ... also tough to evaluate former Knicks because old-school New York fans continue to brainwash everyone into believing that A) the '70 Knicks were the greatest team ever (even though they followed a Celtics team that had won 11 out of 13 titles and beat them the previous season); and B) Monroe, Frazier, Reed, DeBusschere and Bradley were five of the greatest 15 players ever ... seems to be intentionally trying to shatter the Unintentional Comedy Scale with his announcing (which I can't condone).

    [​IMG]
    Getty Images/Stephen Dunn
    Payton could, dish and play D -- he made nine straight All-Defensive first teams.


    6. Gary Payton
    Positives: Two All-NBA first teams, six All-NBA second teams, five top-six finishes in the MVP voting ... one of the best defensive players ever (nine straight All-Defensive first teams) ... best player on a '96 Sonics team that won 64 games and took two in the Finals from the 72-win Bulls ... legendary trash-talker ... helped make the "shaved head" thing popular in the early '90s, then stuck with it through thick and thin ... should have been nominated for an Oscar for his turn in "Eddie" ... on a personal note, I watched Kidd, Stockton and GP in their absolute primes and thought GP was the best player of the three (he just had no holes as a player) ... if Shawn Kemp hadn't self-destructed, GP would have won at least one ring.
    Negatives: Only played at a high level for 12 years (not as long as Stockton) ... shockingly traded by Seattle in 2002, which was strange because franchises normally don't trade signature guys ... his last three seasons (Los Angeles, Boston and Miami) have been shockingly bad, to the point that I suggested changing the name of "jumping the shark" to "pulling a GP" after the 2004 Finals ... the Celtics once turned down a "GP for Dee Brown" offer in 1992, which continues to bum me out 14 years later.
    5. John Stockton
    Positives: Astounding durable and prolific ... almost Ripken-esque in that he played every regular-season game in 17 of 19 seasons (and missed a total of 22 in the other two seasons) ... one of the underrated clutch players of his era ... affected Karl Malone's career to the point that it's almost impossible to evaluate Malone's career accurately .... looked like David Duchovny ... made a valiant attempt to keep the whole Tight Shorts thing going in the mid-'90s despite mounting opposition.
    Negatives: Only made two All-NBA first teams and never placed higher than eighth in MVP voting ... was only the undisputed "best point guard alive" for two seasons ('94 and '95) ... one of the dirtiest players of his era; everyone was thrown off by his Lego Man haircut ... never won a title ... couldn't guard anyone in the league during the last 5-6 years of his career ... gets partial blame for all those Jazz teams that were so methodical and appalling to watch.
    4. Isiah Thomas
    Positives: Best pure point guard ever ... three straight All-NBA first teams (1984-1986) ... sacrificed his own stats (and probably a few records) to get everyone else on his team involved ... unstoppable at the end of games ... the best player on a team that won two titles in a row (and should have won three) ... had an overcompetitive/nasty/tenacious side that was almost unparalleled ... got the absolute best out of flawed players like Kelly Tripucka, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards, John Salley, Rick Mahorn and others ... along with Moses Malone, the most underrated superstar of the past 30 years ... completely killed the Knicks as a GM to the point that their fans might start rioting soon ... only player on this list to threaten me on a radio show.
    Negatives: That overcompetitive/nasty/tenacious streak also made him the poorest sport of that era ... disgraced the Pistons and their fans by leading the walkout before Game 4 ended in the 1991 Bulls series ... inexplicably kissed Magic before every game in the 1988 Finals ... one of the five worst color analysts of all time (in any sport) ... once choked his own trainer during a game ... destroyed the CBA to the point that he could have invited all the players and executives into one building, then dropped an atom bomb on that same building and not done as much damage.
    3. Bob Cousy
    Positives: The greatest pure point guard for the first 35 years of the sport ... 10 All-NBA first teams, one MVP, three top-four finishes, six rings ... revolutionized the game with his passing ... got robbed with his career stats because, back in the '50s and '60s, you could only earn an assists on passes that directly led to a basket ... Holy Cross grad ... as an announcer, had a phenomenal French/New York accent in which he couldn't pronounce "R's," leading to the outstanding scenario in 2002 when he had to call Rodney Rogers "Wodd-ney" for three months ... broke down during Bill Russell's "SportsCentury" episode, which remains the most emotional moment in ESPN history that didn't involve Jim Valvano.
    Negatives: As time passes, his statistical resume looks worse and worse because of the low field-goal percentages (even though everyone was in the 35-40 percent range back then) and the low assists (not his fault) ... never won a title without Russell ... born in France.
    2. Oscar Robertson
    Positives: Just about every relevant guy from the '60s (Russell, West, Havlicek, Wilt, Baylor) maintained that Oscar was the best player of that decade ... nine straight All-NBA first teams from 1961-1969 ... the 1964 MVP ... averaged a triple-double in 1961 ... won a ring with the '71 Bucks ... cool nickname ("The Big O") ... called rebounds "ball boards."
    Negatives: The triple-double in 1961 was a little overrated because all the offensive stats were completely skewed that season (it was like a steroids year in baseball) ... famously intense and rough on his teammates, almost to a fault (like a miniature version of KG) ... by all accounts, he was about as fun to hang out with as a viper snake ... was more of a guard than a point guard, much like Dwyane Wade now ... traded by Cincy in 1970, which seems strange because teams don't usually trade one of the greatest players of all time.
    1. Magic Johnson
    Positives: Nine straight first-team All-NBAs, five rings, three MVPs in four years (1987, 1989, 1990) ... played one of the greatest single games ever (Game 6, 1980 Finals -- 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists) ... cracks the starting five of any "Greatest Team Ever" discussion ... along with Bird, helped bring back the art of passing in the early '80s ... shattered the Unintentional Comedy Scale with "The Magic Hour" ... launched his own line of movie theaters ... once said the quote, "There will nev-ah, ev-ah, ev-ah be another Larry Bird."
    Negatives: Magic's HIV announcement in 1991 scared everyone in my generation from casual sex (which just happened to coincide with my senior year in college and my early 20s; thanks, Magic) ... three embarrassing comebacks (two as a player, one as a coach) ... inexplicably kissed Isiah before every game in the 1988 Finals ... wasn't even the best player on his own team until 1987 ... you couldn't hide him on defense ... one of the five worst color analysts of all time (in any sport) ... proudly held up a Three-Ball trophy three years ago.

    Comments????
  12. MotownPride

    MotownPride Starter 2x Fantasy Champion

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    I think I found the "negatives" more entertaining than the "positives".

    I would have to agree with him as it pertains to the color commentary from Isiah and Magic. lol!
  13. ahb

    ahb Bench Warmer

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    1. John Stockton
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. Walt Frazier
    4. Isiah Thomas
    5. Bob Cousy

    I don't consider the Big O a point guard. I really want to put Gary Payton and Tiny Archibald, among a few others, on that list, but can't convince myself to. I know it's heretical, but I never really liked Zeke all that much as a player. :banplease I hate the Jazz - but if I were forming my perfect team I'd take Stockton over Isiah any day. Of course, on my perfect team I'd rather have Michael, Dream, or Kareem taking the five extra shots than my point guard.:nod:
  14. LanierFan

    LanierFan Bench Warmer

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    Simmons never lets reality get in the way of a line. As I recall, Thomas left Mike Abdenour unscathed and actually put his hands around the neck of assistant coach Brendan Suhr.

    Frankly, a lot of these lists are foolish because they impose recent sensibilities on the whole of sports history. "Point" versus "shooting" guard is a distinction that didn't always exist; long ago you had a lead guard on offense and a strong defender to balance him. But if people are so eager for "pure" point guards, what of Slater Martin and Guy Rogers and Bob Davies and Andy Philip? Yeah, I know -- does not compute.

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