Posted on: February 3, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 3:45 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver, Matt Moore and Royce Young
Earlier this week, Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James and Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin treated the NBA worlrd to two of the best dunks you'll ever see.
James completedly hurdled Chicago Bulls point guard John Lucas III to finish a one-handed alley-oop pass from Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Griffin flew up and over Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins to throw down one of his power/speed/brute force specialties.
That got the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Staff thinking: What are the best dunks of all time? We kicked it around in a panel discussion.
So Griffin's abject demolition of Perkins and his dignity has set off a huge discussion of dunks this week. The big debate of course is how this one stacks up against Vince Carter over Frederic Weis. (Via YouTube user Supra2K8)
Everyone keeps coming back to the fact that he cleared a seven footer, which is obviously impressive. But for me, there are a number of things that make Griffin's RIPerkins better. Most importantly, Weis was trying to take the charge. Carter clears him (kind of, with some manipulation of Weis' head with his hand between his legs), but Weis isn't defending. On the other hand, Perkins is full-on trying to block, and if not block, foul Griffin. The dunk is a monumental clash of an elite shot challenger and the offensive player driving straight through his soul.
I always think a dunk being completed through a challenge is better than just dunking over a tall dude. If I wanted props I'd go to the dunk contest. That's why I tend to like this one as my second favorite of all time. (Via YouTube user DJNajeem)
I mean, come on, now. That's Anderson Varejao, an annual defensive player of the year candidate. Weis was a fine defender... but not at the NBA level. I'd still put Carter as the best dunker of all time (in-game, dunk contest, your mom's house, anywhere). But Griffin's abject annihilation of Perkins has to be considered the best. In a related story, Amar'e Stoudemire over Anthony Tolliver. (Via YouTube user TheBrosBros)
You know what dunk gets criminally overlooked? J.R. Smith's two-handed "We just saw a man fly!" finish over Gary Neal. Three things that make that dunk amazing: 1) It was with two hands 2) It was darn near a buzzer beater and 3) Kevin Harlan's call. (Via YouTube user Huff99)
See, I think that's the type of stuff that can distinguish one great dunk from another -- the little things. Because all dunks over someone are pretty incredible when you think about it. But the details like how good the call of it was, how the ball went through the net (was it a splashing flush or did it rattle in, like Griffin's?), who it was over, the significance of it and stuff like that. On that, you've got to have Pippen's destruction over Patrick Ewing. It has all of the above. Great call, major significance and it was over a seven-footer. For my money, it's the best ever. I mean, that's a total humiliation of Ewing. Pippen took Ewing's manhood and disrespect his family tree. He didn't just dunk over Ewing, he dunked through him. (Via YouTube user Funk2Dunk)
One more that I have to mention is LeBron's over Kevin Garnett in the 2008 playoffs. "With no regard for human life!" might be the all-time best dunk call. And it was over KG, which is big time. (Via YouTube user Marszall87)
Reading your responses, I basically was just nodding continuously. I guess I'm not wired for the "Best Dunk" debate. I approach YouTube more like a wine collector approaches his cellar: collect all the greats, then keep collecting, then collect some more and then collect even more. I care more about experiencing all the greats than about ranking the cream of the crop.
Similarly, I'm partial to the classics. The first one that comes to mind when I think of a dunk is Michael Jordan over Ewing.(Via YouTube User ESPN)
This one just wraps up Jordan the offensive weapon so perfectly. Incredible handle, vision, instincts, quickness, power, fearlessness and total authority. The physicality at the end is just icing on a flawless cake.
You probably guessed that Julius Erving's cradle dunk over Michael Cooper would be next on my list. (Via YouTube user diegoris23)
It didn't quite have the man-on-man violence of some of these other dunks but the beauty is in how natural and in-the-flow this one came about. It was as if Dr. J was just walking down the street, saw a basketball lying on the ground, didn't even stop to bend over and picked it up, scooped it in rhythm and then tossed it on a very good defender's head in one brilliant, swooping motion. Iconic.
Last but not least, I think Kevin Durant's dunk over Brendan Haywood during the 2011 Playoffs will wind up standing up to the test of time. It's more recent than my other two picks but I predict massive staying powero on this one. (Via YouTube user NBA).
I see this as a future classic because Durant is on track for true greatness and because this dunk shows his amazing length, probably his most obvious stand out physical attribute. It shows his handle, his hops and his swagger. This will be the dunk that Durant enthusiasts point to in 30 years when detractors try to argue that Durant was "just a shooter" or that his slim frame held him back him from becoming a top-20 type of player. The extension on this one was amazing. The replays just make it better and better.
Posted on: August 29, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 12:50 pm
Posted by Royce Young
With a vital meeting taking place soon between the owners and players, the NBA's labor situation is about to get tense. Not just tense in terms of actual negotiating. It's already there and has been there for months.
But in terms of public relations, that battle's just about to get started. Nobody looks good in a lockout to fans, media and casual onlookers. It's billonaires and millionaires arguing over who gets what. We don't care. We just want the game to be played. But keeping the public on your side is pretty critical because if you have them, it puts a lot more pressure on the other side. A valuable negotiating tool.
And the players union is looking to stay on top of this. Kind of remarkable really that nothing has come out to make the players look all that bad, especially when you consider all the Twitter accounts littered throughout the league. At least one slip-up surely will happen, right?
“It was a huge emphasis,” Derek Fisher told the New York Times. “The reality is, we’re in a great position, where guys have worked to put themselves in this place where they can potentially earn millions of dollars.”
One thing the players' union has done, via the New York Times, is distribute a handy lockout handbook. Included in that: Don't go around telling people how poor you are now.
At Fisher’s direction, the union last fall distributed a 56-page lockout handbook to its 400-plus players. Tucked between tabs on “budgeting” and “player services” is a section devoted to “media,” with talking points on everything from the N.B.A.’s financial losses (“vastly overstated”) to franchise values (“Warriors just sold for $450M”).As the Times' story mentions, back during the 1998 lockout, this was kind of an issue.
On the first day of that lockout, the union president Patrick Ewing declared that players were “fighting for our rights” — a modest overstatement that invited ridicule and presaged the public-relations nightmare to come.
We all know how much players make. It's right there on the Internet in about 20 different places if you want to see how much Samuel Dalembert made last year. And even players on the low end -- guys with the veteran minimum -- still probably make a lot more money than you and I. It's a fortunate life and because of it, can afford to spend a lot of it on cars, houses, boats, parties and whatever else.
But Fisher and the union and taking a smart step because they know that we don't care. We don't care if a player had to get a 2011 Maybach instead of a 2012. We don't care if he had to buy a cheaper bottle of champagne at dinner. We don't care if instead of vacationing in Rome, he had to go to Mexico. When real people are out of real jobs trying to feed families, it's kind of hard to have any sympathy for a millionaire that's trying to "rough" it right now.
Not to say some players have already went into that territory. Dwyane Wade joked on Twitter "Any1 hiring" the day after the lockout started. George Hill pondered if he could file for unemployment. As the Times mentions, Landry Fields joked about going "dutch" with his date during dinner and Anthony Tolliver tweeted about shopping wisely at the mall. Delonte West on the other hand, appears to actually be applying for jobs.
And it's no secret why players are signing up to play overseas: money. They want to maintain that bank account. That's how the owners are trying to hurt them by altering their otherwise lavish lifestyles.
Joking on Twitter about being unemployed is almost crossing a boundary. Hill's tweet about filing for unemployment definitely irked some people. But it's not quite the issue the players had in 1998. Just think if there was Twitter then. Would've taken a whole lot more than a handbook.
Here's a pro tip though: You want to win this PR battle? Come to an agreement and play ball. We'll definitely be on your side then.
Posted on: July 8, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 10:19 pm
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has retired. Here's a roundtable discussion about what it means. Posted by EOB staff.
Matt Moore: Is Yao Ming a Hall of Famer?
I'm leaning towards no. He only had two 20-10 seasons where he played over 60 games. There's the Chinese cultural impact and the fact that he was the best center in the league from 2006-2009. But other than that, I'm having a hard time justifying his entry to the Hall.
Ben Golliver: Definitely not based on his NBA record. Didn't play enough games, win enough playoff series, take home enough individual hardware or influence the game's development. But he will get in like Arvydas Sabonis did on the international side for sure. And more than deservedly so. He was a pivotal factor in both the game's spreading influence into China and China's growing interest in the game.
Royce Young: I'm with Ben. There's no denying the impact he made and how important of a player he was to expanding the NBA's global brand, but in terms of what he did on the floor, I don't think so. His 2006-07 season was outstanding, but a lot of players have had really nice isolated seasons here and there.
No doubt he'd be one if injuries hadn't sidelined him, but that's part of it and the reality is, he just didn't play enough.
But in terms of an international Hall of Famer, absolutely. In terms of an NBA one, he simply didn't play enough. I don't think there's a special exception just because someone had a cultural impact (I mean, he's not exactly Jackie Robinson here). It's about what you did and didn't do on the court.
Matt Moore: Let's say he'd stayed healthy. What would his career ceiling have been?
Ben Golliver: Exactly halfway between Mark Eaton and Shaquille O'Neal.
Royce Young: He played in eight seasons and at his size, I don't really think he would've played more than one or two more anyway. He just would've had really nice numbers. He finished with what, 19-9 for his career? I bet he would've been like 22-10 and been, along with Shaq, one of the most dominant players in the league for a decade. Surefire Hall of Famer if he had stayed healthy.
Matt Moore: If Yao had stayed healthy, would we consider Dwight Howard's career differently? I can see making the argument for Yao being better than Dwight all the way until 2009, which slightly impacts Dwight's overall impressiveness.
Ben Golliver: I think Yao, unfortunately, will always be an overlooked oddity when we talk about the history of big men. Because of his outsider status and unprecedented size/skill set, Yao had Dirk Nowitzki's predicament of needing to win a title to justify (and explain) himself, only taken to a whole new level.
I just don't think he ever would inch his way into the American lineage without a ring or an MVP award (or two). It's just way too easy for history to trace from Abdul-Jabbar to Olajuwon (who gets a pass because he played for a high-profile college here in the States and went on to win rings) to Robinson to O'Neal to Howard. I'm not saying that's fair or how it should be, but I think that's his lot in life even if he had been healthier and 10%+ more productive.
Royce Young: There is an almost irrational thing about if a big man is truly good, he'll lead you to a title. But that's obviously not true. Patrick Ewing taught us that.
I really think if Yao had been fully healthy for 10 straight seasons, he'd have an MVP. Maybe not a title, but he'd have been one of the five scariest matchups night-to-night in the league.
Ben Golliver: Ewing is a great example because I just totally left him out of the lineage (because he didn't win a title when multiple people playing concurrently did?). He's the extraneous one in the Olajuwon/Robinson/Ewing trio, right? And he even had the biggest market team, plenty of deep playoff exposure and a high-profile American college to his advantage, which Yao didn't. Once a dominant center leads a team to a title post-Shaq, I think Yao is even more doomed.
If we're looking to spin a resolution somewhat positively, I think it's best to remember Yao as one of a kind than as one in a line.
Posted on: June 25, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: June 25, 2011 7:03 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Pistons are still coach-hunting after firing John Kuester a couple weeks ago. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com listed a couple candidates weeks ago that Detroit was targeting -- Kelvin Sampson and Lawrence Frank -- and both of those guys have interviewed. Also in the mix is former Piston Bill Laimbeer and former Hawks coach Mike Woodson will interview sometime next week.
Now, a new darkhorse has emerged. According to NBA.com, Magic assistant Patrick Ewing will get an interview as well.
Ewing, 49, has long desired to be a head coach, and has decried what he viewed as pigeonholing him as a “big man” assistant, a role he has undertaken while an assistant coach in Houston with Yao Ming and in Orlando with Dwight Howard. Ewing has said that he does a lot more than just work with bigs and is ready to run a team. He badly wanted to get a shot with the Knicks, the team for whom he became a superstar after being taken first overall in the 1985 Draft.Ewing really wants to be a head coach. For whatever reason, he hasn't been able to move past his type-casting as a big man assistant. Clearly, Ewing has done excellent work where he's been -- Houston and Orlando -- with the big men he's worked with. Dwight Howard has been his top project and he has done an incredible job bringing him along in terms of footwork and ball skills.
“It’s disappointing that I haven’t moved to the next step to getting a head coaching job, but all I can do is keep working hard and keep on preparing myself for whenever that opportunity arises,” Ewing told the New York Daily News recently. ”A lot of people try to pigeonhole me into just a big man’s coach and I’m just not a big man’s coach. I’m a coach.”
Maybe it's time for Ewing to get a shot. Eventually, I'm sure he will. If not now with the Pistons, at some point. Sometimes the best way to break through is to get on a staff where a lame duck coach might be ahead of him and be ready to supplant him as an interim. Maybe that's what it will eventually take, but there will be a job out there for Ewing I'm sure.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 7:43 pm
Dwight Howard has an improved jumper which Stan Van Gundy says is more due to Patrick Ewing than Hakeem Olajuwon.
Posted by Matt Moore
When Dwight Howard revealed he was training with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, the general reaction from NBA media types was "Finally!" Finally Howard would get the offensive training he has so sorely missed in his career. There was even video of The Dream teaching Howard moves like the spin-to-the-middle fadeaway jumper. And when Howard displayed an actual real-life jumper this season, great celebration was given for Howard being willing to work with the great Hakeem Olajuwon and get the instruction he needed.
Well, Stan Van Gundy isn't so cool with that perception.
Van Gundy Wednesday made the following comments to NBA FanHouse:
Van Gundy was asked after the game about the improvement in the offensive game of center Dwight Howard, and his expanded shot selection this season. The question just referenced Howard's workout session this summer in Houston with Olajuwon, the former basketball great.
via Stan Van Gundy Dishes Out Digs on Heat, Hakeem Olajuwon -- NBA FanHouse.
Ewing has been under fire for the lack of Howard's development for years, and people were quick to attribute his improvement to Olajuwon. That's probably in part because of the historic perspective of Olajuwon versus Ewing when they played, particularly the '94 Finals when the Dream worked Ewing over on his way to a championship. But of course that has nothing to do with either's ability as a coach or trainer, and as Ewing is a head coach candidate on a Finals-contending team (kind of), it's probably right to be reasonable about how much Hakeem really contributed to Howard's improvement.
And then there are the numbers themselves. Howard has improved inside ten feet, from 44% to 50%, thanks to that improved jumper. And that's what's important. But it should be noted that his numbers at the rim, from 10-15 feet and from 16-23 feet are all worse than last season. Worse still, Howard is shooting a career low from the free throw line. Something in his mechanics which Ewing works with has to impact that.
The answer to all of this is that Howard seems like he's made significant improvements, scoring a career high (although only .7 points better per 40 minutes better than his previous career mark of 23.1 in 2009. But digging deeper, we're still left wanting, which begs the question of what exactly we're throwing around credit for in the first place.
Posted on: December 31, 2010 1:13 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 9:18 pm
Patrick Ewing hints at talks for Bobcats coaching gig.
Posted by Matt Moore
Patrick Ewing has hinted at discussions with Bobcats chairman and CEO Michael Jordan regarding the head coaching job. Interim coach Paul Silas is 2-0 since taking over the job, but there's an "interim" tag firmly attached to his title. Meanwhile, the New York Post asked Ewing if he had talked to Jordan about the gig.
Asked if Charlotte had called him, Ewing smiled and said, "They might have."
When pressed, Ewing said, "He might have been. I talk to Michael all the time. There definitely was a phone call. It depends on what we talked about."via Ewing in mix to be Bobcats head coach - NYPOST.com .
Ewing has interviewed for several gigs but has never gotten far. There are a number of questions, not the least of which is why he has been unable to coach Dwight Howard into having the kind of post-game befitting a superstar of his stature. Ewing's relationship with Jordan (the two are close friends despite the hurting Jordan routinely put on the Big Fella in the playoffs) may be what he needs to get a foot in the door.
If I'm Ewing however, I'm thinking more about trying to aim for a gig that isn't loaded with huge longterm contracts on declining players, a poor history of drafting, no discernible superstar and a limited budget due to market restraints. But then I'm picky like that.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:52 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:46 pm
Charlotte Bobcats head coach Larry Brown has resigned and his staff has reportedly been fired. Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is reportedly set toname Brown's replacement on Thursday. Who will it be? Posted by Ben Golliver.
Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is obviously frustrated with the direction of his team, which is currently in fourth place in the Southeast Division with a record of 9-19. Jordan has been shopping his two co-captains, Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson, and earlier today we noted that Bobcats head coach Larry Brown resigned, and his entire coacing staff is reportedly departing along with him. So who will Jordan tab as Brown's replacement? Here's a look at seven possibilities, some more serious candidates than others. Paul Silas: Both Yahoo! Sports and CBSSports.com's Ken Berger report that Silas is the early favorite to take the job, and he's an NBA lifer. Silas was LeBron James's first coach in Cleveland, and was also the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets. Back in April 2008, before Brown was hired, Silas called the Bobcats head coaching position a "dream job." According to the report, he lives in North Carolina. His career coaching record is 355-400. Mike Woodson: Again, according to CBSSports.com and Yahoo!, Woodson is another strong possibility. He coached the Hawks from 2004-2010, before departing after a disappointing playoff exit last Spring. Under his guidance, the Hawks made the playoffs each of the last three seasons. His career coaching record is 206-286. Darrell Walker: The former head coach of the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards, Berger reports that Walker is close to Jordan. His career record as a head coach is 56-113, and he is currently an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons. Walker played in the NBA for 11 seasons, and was briefly a teammate of Jordan's in 1992-1993 with the Chicago Bulls. Patrick Ewing: A rival of Jordan's both in college, at Georgetown and in the pros, as a Hall of Fame center for the New York Knicks, Ewing brings no head coaching experience to the table. However, he's served as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic for a number of seasons. His hiring would be quite surprising, however Jordan is known to surround himself with people he trusts, and his relationship with Ewing spans three decades. Yahoo! lists Ewing as "under consideration," while Berger says he is "in the mix." Jeff Van Gundy: Ewing's former coach, who also coached the Houston Rockets, is a regular in NBA coaching carousel chatter. Currently an analyst for ESPN. He's the brother of Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, and boasts a career record of 430-318. He's been rumored to be linked to jobs in the past, and was even rumored to be a potential replacement for Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra if their season continued to go poorly, but he hasn't coached in the NBA since 2006-2007. Mark Jackson: Another former Jordan rival on the court, Jackson is widely considered the best former player who has yet to be given an NBA head coaching job. A point guard for multiple teams, including the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, Jackson is No. 3 on the NBA's all time assists leaderboard, trailing only John Stockton and Jason Kidd. Jackson is Van Gundy's broadcasting partner on ESPN and is known for coining really annoying phrases such as, "Mama, there goes that man!" and "Hand down, man down!" He's also been linked to multiple jobs, but has never taken the bait. Mike Brown: The former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers was let go earlier this summer when Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was trying to do everything possible to retain free agent forward LeBron James. He might be the most talented coach available, but is known for his slow-down style on offense. His career record is 272-138, and he won 50 or more games in four out of his five seasons in Cleveland, including 60+ wins twice. Berger says Brown is not under consideration. Who do you think should be the next coach of the Bobcats? Weigh in on Facebook right now.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:51 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 4:52 pm
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