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Wake Up Macon

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By: Amanda Smith



     Our criteria are simple: statistics, championships and influence on the game.


     We did not recruit any basketball great or call any expert to give us their opinion.  We did our own research, primarily on and, to ascertain our findings. is the league’s sanctioned website, complete with relevant stats and information. is a website that takes statistical information and processes to create a list of the greatest basketball players of all time.  We surveyed the information, threw in a little common sense and some old-school memories.


1)   Karl Malone – Selected in 1996 as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.  Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (1996-97, 1998-99); one of only nine players inNBA history to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy more than once.  Karl Malone is a revolutionary power forward.


2)   Kevin McHale – If ever there were a player who possessed the ideal physique for the game of basketball, it was Kevin McHale.  With his incredibly long legs, McHale presented an unforgettable image on the hardwood.  He used his physical gifts to excellent advantage during his 13-year career with the Boston Celtics, becoming one of the best inside players the game has ever seen and forming, with Larry Bird and Robert Parish, one of the greatest front lines the game has ever seen.


3)   Tim Duncan – David Robinson turned the San Antonio Spurs into playoff contenders.  Tim Duncan brought them to the Promised Land.  Whether or not you and Phil Jax wanna put an asterisk next to their ’99 title, you can’t deny the value of their MVP.  They call him boring, discrediting him because he opts for consistency over flash.  But Tim is only the second player in the history of the League to be named All-NBA and All-Defensive in each of his first five seasons.


4)  Elvin Hayes - One of the most talented power forwards ever to play the game, Elvin Hayes used his trademark turn-around jump and aggressive defense to win a secure place in the NBA record books.  Fifth on the all-time list in games (1,303) and third in minutes played (50,000), he missed only nine contests in his 16 years in the league, a tribute to his durability and conditioning.


5)  Kevin Garnett - At the age of 27, your average NBA 

      player is just beginning to get acclimated to the league. 

      Their collegiate years are recent memories.  They've

      either just begun to carve their spot in the league or just

      earned a consisyent role as a squad.  Kevin Garnett is

      27.  He never went to college.  In 1995, when most ballers

      his age were trying to impress recruiters, he was trying to 

      make Kevin McHale proud.  He's been an All-Star every

      year since his rookie season.


6)   Jerry Lucas – Lucas wasn’t particularly tall or bruising, nor was he a great leaper, but his name can be found at the top of any list of great rebounding forwards in NBA history.  The 6’8” Lucas hauled down 12,942 rebounds for an average of 15.6 per game, the fourth-best career mark in NBA history.  Playing for three teams in his 11-year career, the Cincinnati Royals, the San Francisco Warriors, and the New York Knicks, Lucas tallied 14,053 points (17 ppg) and finished with a lofty .449 career field-goal percentage.


7)   Dave DeBusschere – Nicknamed “Big D” for defense, DeBusschere was a hard-nosed, tenacious forward – one of the game’s all-time best defenders.  He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in each of the award’s first six years of existence.  DeBusschere was average in size at 6’6” and 225 lbs., but he possessed a work ethic that was second to none.  During his 12-year NBA career he represented the epitome of the blue-collar basketball star.


8)  Spencer Haywood – On the court, Spencer Haywood was such a devastating force in his prime that no opponent could defend him or keep him off the boards.  Off the court, he had a lasting effect on the game of basketball, largely because he provided the 1970 legal test case that opened the NBA to undergraduate college players.  At his best, Haywood was as dominating as they come.  As a 20-year-old rookie in 1969-70, he led the American Basketball Association in both scoring and rebounding.


9)   Chris Webber – People like to say that Chris Webber is soft when it counts the most.  In doing so, they seem to skip over the fact that Cwebb can get his on anyone in the League.  They say that he should pound the ball into the paint and stop with all the finesse jump shots; that he’s not enough of a past presence, even if he’s always among League leaders in rebounds and flirts with a triple-double virtually every game.  So ask yourself: Of all the new-school power forwards who combine inside strength with a consistent jump, who does it better than him?


10) Dennis Rodman – This was not a popular choice. 

       Judging from some staffers' reactions, you'd think they

       were being asked to consider Dennis Rodman as their

       next-door neighbor, not as one of the 75 greatest NBA

       players of all time.  Thing is, a lot of people wouldn't pick

       him for either, for many of the same reasons: the hair the

       tattoos, the piercing, and the partying.  What all that crap

       distracted everyone from was the '60s-era rebounding

       numbers, the tireless work ethic, the airtight man-to-man

       D and the five rings.  You needed to look deep to see

       the real Rodman.

You are Visitor #  Hit Counter   Updated Wednesday April 05, 2006 12:40:42



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