If you could have watched any NBA Player to ever play the game at his prime, who would it have been? I'm talking about people you never saw that you regret not getting to see them in their primes.
I would have loved to see The Big O and Wilt in their primes. I just can't imagine a player averaging a Triple Double and i want to see how he did it. And of course, i want to see the most Dominant big man to ever play (no offense to shaq, you just dont average 50 points a game and not be considered that) And if not i would like to have seen MJ and Magic..
I always wanted to see Hakeem Ollajuwon in his prime..that dream shake was impressive
Connie Hawkins, George Iceman Gervin, and Oscar Robertson. Maybe Tiny Archibald as well. @stf616
In respects to Wilt he was really one of the only big men at that time. His only Rival was Russell who was about 3 or 4 inches shorter. SHAQ had to face Ewing, Mourning, Mutumbo, Hakeem, and Robinson. Not to mention solid big men like Rik Smits, Brad Daughtery (when Healthy) and a declining Robert Parish.
Shaq played against these guys and dominated these guys mostly. Most of whom were great centers.
Yeah, Hakeem was great. I was watching some games a couple days ago of the 95 finals where he completely dominated a young shaq (didn't shaq say that Hakeem was the greatest player he had every played?) And one other game against the Knicks against Patrick Ewing
@NJHooper95 i know, but still averaging 50 points a game is unbelievable. Manute,Muresan,Yao,Bradley or whoever else never dominated or became superstars because of their height and being taller by like 5 inches against other centers, so i don't really put much in the height discussion. The average height wilt played with was 6'10 while the average big men now is 6'11 so thats a one inch difference (and even though an inch is big in basketball it is not that much)
I never saw Dominique Wilkins in his prime, wish I he could play today and see how he matches up against today's athletes.
Tracy Mcgrady was my favorite player to watch when he was in his prime. Whitout his injuries and the fact he never had a good team. We maybe now talk more about mcgrady than Bryant
I really wish I could have watched Pete Maravich, ive barely seen any game film or highlights of him, but my dad said he was the most electric and entertaining player in the NBA during the time he played.
To everyone that missed Hakeem's prime you missed the greatest center in the history of the game in my opinion, he could do everything at an elite level and he is argueably the most disruptive defensive presence the NBA has ever seen, dude had the quickest hands, great timing and elevation for shotblocking, extremely high iq, he was way faster than any other center during that time, and was much stronger than he looked. He also played and dominated some of the top centers in NBA history Ewing, Shaq, Robinson, Mutombo, Mourning and Ratliff.
I really wish T-Mac's prime could've lasted longer, cuz I was too young to really remember how great he was. He could've been the best to ever play if he had any kind of work ethic.
I would really liked to see how high David Thompson could really get.
And The Big O, would've been nuts to see someone average a triple double. It's near impossible to do it today
Agreed, t-mac is my favorite player and i was like 6 when he averaged 32 points a game, i started really watching the NBA when i was around 7 or 8 t-macs last year with the magic and first year with the rockets.
@subzero TMac was incredible during this prime, but at no point do I ever remember people questioning his work ethic, so to say he could have been better than Jordan if he had a work ethic is kinda crazy
Wilt has to be at the top of the list for me. Followed by Dr J.
Honorable mention to Oscar Robertson, Nate Archibald and Jerry West.
And I have always wished that we had the chance to see a prime Arvydas Sabonis in the NBA. Likewise with Drazen Petrovic.
Pistol Pete Maravich. love PG's that are pass frist mind set.
I don't agree with Pistol Pete Being a Pass First. He was a Creative passer for sure, but he was a scorer imo. He averaged 31 points in his prime (he averaged 5.4 assists that season) the most assists he averaged was 6.9 and for his career he was a 5.4 assist guy with 24.2 points. He was definately a creative passer, but a score first player.
I honestly can't say where I remember seeing this, but his agent or trainer (one of them) said he was the most talented player he's ever seen. He would be the last one in and the first one to leave, he wouldn't do anything during the offseason and still come in and dominate. This was pre-injuries
Again, I don't remember where I saw this so don't hold me to it. I just like to think it's true lol
Workethic wasn't the issue with TMac, it was injuries that derailed his career. Yes he had god given talent, but he also worked hard on his game, you don't become a perennial 30PPG scorer just by talent alone. At one point, there was an argument as to who was better, TMac or Kobe.
It was Jeff Van Gundy. Jeff Van Gundy said that T-Mac was the most talented player he had ever coached and had he practiced more he could have been the Best. T-Mac did agree saying he could've did better in practice and "he wasn't the best practice player" but also said you cant last 14 years in the league without working hard. Agree with mess.ee T-Mac did work hard though. And if not for the injuries, t-mac would still be at his prime right now.
Maybe it was'nt his work ethic that was questioned it was more like his drive to be the greatest. He did'nt have that "I WILL NOT ALLOW MY TEAM TO LOSE" mentality like Jordan or Kobe have. He is still one of my favorite, if not my favorite player to watch. At the time T-Mac and Steve Francis were the most entertaining players in the league IMO.
I would love to have seen Big O, Pete Maravich, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe in action........ and I would have loved to have seen what Dajuan Wagner could have turned into (I think he could have been a bigger stronger Iverson)
@subzero Are you crazy, he could've been the best if it wasn't due to injuries such as chronic back problems , and knee problems that slowed him down, you don't average 32 ppg and lead your team to the playoffs with no work ethic.
To answer the question Shawn Kemp
You do realize that coming from "his agent or trainer"...they might have some interest in building hype under McGrady's name as well.
Take everything you hear with a grain of salt...especially when it comes from a source within the player's own camp.
I really wish I could watch T-Mac in his prime. I think amost people were even saying he was better than Kobe in his prime.
McGrady was a great player, but I'm just wondering if the people saying this then ever saw Michael Jordan.
That guy was pretty good.
@Stf616 I just said that becuz he made the pass's that not alot of other player would try in the game. Your right he's a points man, but he always made a crazy pass if he felt like it.
@21_21_42 Yeah i understand lol thats why i said he was a creative passer but not a pass first dude
@M-DYMES it was Jeff Van Gundy that said that a couple months back. I love T-Mac and i like Van Gundy but you know how he is.. sometimes getting a "little" too excited
Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russel, and Michael Jordan
He WAS better than Kobe in his prime! I feel very fortunate to have watched them LIVE head-to-head 4x during T-Mac's Orlando days, and 1 more on opening night 07-08 When he was a Rocket. The guy was flat out unguardable, and we remember how sorry his Orlando teams were...but he'd beat the Kobe/Shaq Lakers with that supporting cast. I'll never forget the night when him & Kobe went for 37 & 38 respectively in an OT game(T-mac hit the game winner as time expired in regulation, but they took it back after review) probably my best basketball experience.
& I would've loved to see Dr. J in his prime.
In the first half of the 2000's I firmly believed T-Mac was better than Kobe they were very very close but I gave the edge to T-Mac because he was a better and more Willing passer, he was averaging more points(but he was on a bad team), and he was a better rebounder. It was hard for T-Mac to knock Kobe off his throne seeing how Kobe had 3 rings at the time and T-Mac had never left the first round.
i remember i had the t-mac kicks back in like 9th grade they were the siz. almost eveybody i knew had a pair.
i didnt really start watchin basketball until 06 soo i didnt get to see the young ai :(
I would pick...
Wilt...Everyone has seen the stats, just never got to see him in action.
Oscar...Another HOF, curious to see he stacks against some of the guys I have seen since I have been alive.
Arvydas Sabonis...Saw him play, but it was the broken down old version. While very impressive it makes me wonder what he looked like at his peak because I have seen clips of him in his younger days and he's one of the few guys that played a complete game along with a ridiculous combination of height, strength and agility.
Mcgrady was not better than Kobe at any point. I saw Mcgrady in his prime. Mcgrady in an interview was asked who was better between him and Kobe and Mcgrady said Kobe. They asked him why. He said because Kobe had a killer instinct that he and many people didnt possess. I will say Mcgrady was definitely in the conservation no doubt, when he was on top of his game he could score on anybody. And I would say he was the better all-around player offensively. Yet, I would still give Kobe the nod over him.
It would have to be Reggie Miller but it would also have to be in New York.
I would have liked to see MJ, Bird, Wilt, Pistol Pete, Dr. J, and Bernard King (the Knicks version) in their primes. I was fortunate enough to have seen some good guys play in exhibition games. I watched Dominique in 1989, Magic in 1992, Pippen, Kemp, and Payton in 1994, Shaq and Penny in 1995, and Dajuan Wagner at Midnight Madness during his freshman year at Memphis which was probably really close to his prime.
In 1992 Magic made a comeback during the exhibition games before retiring again. But he put on a show against the Washington Bullets and I am pretty sure he had a triple double or close to it.
elgin baylor and oscar robertson
Tmac may not have been a great pratice player but neither was Iverson, both guys gave it their all and worked relentlessly on their games though, I could see why people didnt think he had a great work ethic, he was just so smooth is didnt look like he was trying. Tmac was a great player during his peak but he was never better than Kobe because Mamba was an excellent defender and Tmac was never better than a good defender, that is the deal breaker for me, however I believe Tmac was a superior offensive talent and a better rebounder.
After giving this thread a little more thought I wish I had also mentioned seeing Walt Frazier, dude invented swag, he used to cruise around NY in a white bentley decked out in white furs pull up to Rucker and ball out. He is considered the finest defensive pg prior to GP, he was the mayor of rip city because he had the fastest hands and incredible defensive instincts, someone famously said he could steal the hubcaps off a moving car because his hands were so fast. He also was supposedly silky smooth on offense hence the nickname "Clyde the Glide," he pocessed a great midrange game and got to the hole when he wanted to. He also was the driving reason behind the early 1970's Knicks dominance and was teh unquestioned king of NY.
Bill Walton's 1977 season is another I wish I could have experienced. He was a revolutionary talent at the time, his package of rebounding, post game, outlet passes, incredibly high basketball iq and defense made him the best player in the league and supposedly that season it wasnt even close. I hate him as an announcer, but I really wish I could have seen him dominate the league that year.
Lastly I wish I could relive the MJ years, I got to see his prime but honestly I wish I could watch every game over again. He is bar none the greatest player to ever step on the hardwood and didnt just dominate opponents he demoralized them and literally crushed their will to play. No one ever toyed with people more, knew when to take over a game better, knew when the momenteum was switching in favor of the other team then made a play or plays that ended the mo shift, no one was a better trash talker, and no one made opposing teams more frightened than him. He did things we didnt think was possible and that most of the league to this day wishes they could do.
I saw some amazing players in their prime, MJ, Magic, Gervin, Olajuwon, B-King.
I wish I couldve seen David Thompson in his prime, although he was around the same time as other guys I saw, I never saw the Nuggets play on television. I saw Dr. J in his Philly years, but he was past his prime then but still pretty good....I wouldve like to have seen him in his ABA days.
@mess.eee Dominique was an athlete of ages, wouldve been just as spectacular today.
Would have liked to have seen Wilt in his prime...probably the most dominant player of any era.
Since im a lakers fan I would have loved to see Kareem Abdul Jabbar throwing those sky hooks from ridiculous angles even seen some highlights were he shot a couple hooks from three that had to be amazing
Another player was Vinny "microwave" Johnson instant offense off the bench i think James Harden is the the new era Vinny Johnson from the old piston games i seen
@Uncle Bucksh0t Wilt was dominant but no one dominated an era like George Mikan, he spawned more rule changes than any other player ever, including widening the paint area, creating a shot clock (they had to create a shot clock because opposing teams would literally hold the ball all game to keep it away from him), and if im not mistaken the 3 seconds in the key rule. Granted he played against the worst talent to ever be in the NBA, but no one dominated like he did.
I would have loved to watch Nique with all his showtime dunks... also would have loved to see Nique and Jordan go at it i am sure those games were crazy one highlight after another
For me probably Magic Johnson,Jordan,Pistol Pete,Wilt,etc..........It sucks being relatively new to basketball:-(
Magic and Larry Bird cause they had to retire when they was entering his prime.Also i would have like to have seen the duo of Malonne and Stockton because apparently they are as dynamic as it gets.
I'm old enuff to been fortunate to had seen Dr.J & Pistol Pete play toward the end of their careers..But i missed seeing them when they were at their best...Those 2 guys might've been the top 2 showmen to ever grace a nba court...If you listen to old school basketball fans talk about basketball..There is a child like, excitable different tone when they talk about Dr. J and Pistol Pete..Much different than any other players...I still here people that about that Dr. J dunk or that Pistol Pete Pass...
Id love to see Wilt Chamberlain in his prime from what i heard he had a 48 inch vertical(wow) also Hakeem with his post moves and shot blocking. Penny Hardaway/Grant Hill were two playerrs who lost their primes to injury.
Bill Russell. I'd love to rewatch games of his during his prime and keep track of blocked shots (which wasn't done by the NBA until the 70's), I bet his BPG would be at least on par with Mark Eaton and Hakeem. Actually because of the faster pace of the games it would probably be even higher. It would be neat to see just how dominant he was defensively instead of just hearing my father rave about him and reading old articles from Sports Illustrated.
Russell would be followed closely by Wilt Chamberlain, I also would have like to see Abdul-Jabbar in his prime. I remember watching him in the mid to late 80's but it would have been neat to watch him play 10 years younger while he was devastating the league.
The entire 72' Lakers. Bill Russell. MJ,Pistol,Entire Showtime. The Big O as well.
Reading this thread makes me really appreciate what I have witnessed. I often forget that alot of you guys on the board haven't had the privilige of seeing MJ, Magic, Bird and Hakeem in their primes. I was really fortunate to be able to witness IMO 8 of the 13 greatest players in history during their prime years (the above mentioned four as well as Kobe, Shaq, Duncan and Malone). Here's hoping that I'll be telling my future kids about Lebron, Dwight and Griffin some day.
How can you hate Bill Walton as an announcer? "The crowd is LITERALLY surging toward the court!", and my favorite, "Olowokandi showing why he is one of the GREATEST big men to EVER pick up the ball!". Everything is tongue in cheek w/ Bill. Relax, have fun! I miss him as the Clips color man.
I would have loved to see Maravich. Got to see Jordan, (H)Akeem, Bird, Magic, Ewing, Shaq, AI, but I would give a whole lot of that up to see Maravich at LSU!
Well I've seen most of the guys I listed, just not in person live. my bad. grew up watchin MJ, caught the tail end of Showtime.