• First: Self says Bragg is a “legitimate” 6’9" tall. No more fudging Height. Except ESPN has him at 6-8.

    Second, Self leaves an impression that Bragg has been adequately coached and mentored to step in and play.

    Third, was Snacks reputedly Cliff’s mentor?

    Fourth: Norm gets the cred for Bragg.

    Fifth: where is Snacks?

  • I think Bragg is a legit 6’9 and he has very long arms. We are spoiled to have him. Just hope we get another big to complement him.

  • As long as he’s not really 6’6" …

  • @HighEliteMajor

    That was the first thought in my head, too. I don’t care if he is 6’8" or 6’9"… just don’t say he is 6’9" when he is 6’6"!

  • What is a class III in Ohio? After seeing the video’s on him it seemed like he dominated the other kids and there was very little defensive resistance. He was dribbling around people like they weren’t there. He seems to have speed and agility and gregarious was one of the adjectives used to describe him. My observation is that he is a Perry opposite.

  • @KU-Flyer guessing it’s the size of school, like we in ks are 1a- 6a.

  • @KU-Flyer I’m thinking maybe a Perry Opposite was Giddens.

  • Div. III looks kind of small – Ohio classifications

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Bragg plays for Villa Angela-St. Joseph in Cleveland, a private Catholic school and like most private Catholic schools it is small. However, like most private Catholic schools it has an excellent basketball program. If you look at the National HS ranking you will see that Catholic schools representation is orders of magnitude larger than enrollment. Likewise, if you look at the top ranked players in the country, you will see a huge number coming from Catholic schools; no doubt that Catholic schools/Leagues are at the top.

    Also and regardless of school size, Bragg is part of the All-Ohio team and the top ranked prospect in the state; the #2 prospect, Luke Kennard is headed to Duke.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Bragg’s coach is darn good too!

  • @drgnslayr

    The trouble with lying about height, as the trouble with lying about anything, is credibility, when you want to be believed. We know there is a question about him being 6-9, because ESPN has him at 6-8 and we know that ESPN often carries guys at exaggerated heights. How do we know he is not 6-7, like Cliff and Perry turned out to be? We don’t.

    One thing Self is making very clear. Bragg cannot step in and play a 5.

    And this nonsense about playing without 5s on the roster has to end.

    Whether the true 5 starts, or rides the bench for specific situations, you have to have one to seriously propose to win a ring. Kaun got to the point that he could not jump a lick and became a back up for the '08 team, but he was absolutely indispensable as a banger, when the situation called for knocking a true 5 off his spots.

    And while I liked the Greek footer Pappagianis (sp?) 3pt touch (shades of Kaminsky), I am not sure he could guard the post in D1 without a year of development. Better than nothing? Yes. But a 7 foot 2x4 would be better than nothing.

    Self has to sign a center that can play next season, even if Landen makes a nice improvement into a credble starter. Landen will require a 15-20 minute banger behind him–not just a 7 foot 2x4.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    OMG! Self isn’t going to have to hire Bragg’s coach to get Bragg, is he?

    OMG! You don’t suppose Self is going to S-Can Snacks to hire Bragg’s coach to get Bragg?

    I was hoping Self would keep that ace up his sleeve for a 5!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 nooooo, just a good program.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    The trend in the NBA is to get away from true Centers. If you look at the rosters, most players you would consider Centers are listed as PFs. Maybe the trend is moving to college

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think we’ll see a quiet exit by Snacks that will be announced right after recruiting is over. Hopefully, we can get an x and o guy to replace him.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I agree… don’t you think this has happened because more big men try to develop a better balanced game (like handles and perimeter shooting) instead of just focusing on back to the basket skills?

    What big man coming up has heavily invested in back to the basket moves?

    The NBA is basically all about 3s now. Spread teams out and try to score 3 pts instead of 2. And with that strategy take the 2 when it is a gimme. Pull the other team’s center out from the paint and then he is the absolute worst rebounder out there because to rebound from the perimeter you need horizontal skills not vertical skills. It’s the x-axis basketball philosophy.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    The height issue is crazy. All of this energy around D1 basketball and there is no applied standard to measuring height. Remember 6’9" Cole Aldrich? I bet he would love to have those extra inches now…

    Yes… we need someone who can bang in the post. Otherwise… we give up too much scoring in bad match ups. I’m not saying we need a footer. But a big body footer can come in handy if he can play a bit aggressive and not foul out. I would kill for a 6’5" Sir Charles Barkley guy who is ready to be the next rebounding champion in the NBA. A Barkley type right now in college basketball would eat holes in opposition faster than acid on rice paper.

    The problem is coaching… developing… executing… getting these kids to execute!

    I’d like to spend the summer with Landen Lucas. I’d take him to a couple of boxing gyms. One in the US and one in Europe. He’d get his butt kicked until he learned to fight. He’d come out of there with so much swagger and spunk… He’d finally put all those fundamentals he knows to good use next year. We wouldn’t need or want anyone else. The timid child would be gone from his system. He’d be a man playing in a game with mostly boys. Too bad that kind of scenario didn’t happen to him when he was a young kid. He could have had all his developmental years being ahead of the game instead of fighting to keep up. The skills are there… he just needs an edge.

  • @drgnslayr

    Players do not want to bang inside anymore as it shortens careers; they now have become stretch 4 or stretch 5 type of players

  • The NBA is moving away from true centers because true centers are difficult to find. Look around the NBA right now and you see just a handful of true centers - Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Roy Hibbert, Brook and Robin Lopez, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond… maybe a couple others. You could probably convince me that there were less than 10 credible centers in the entire NBA.

    In college, there probably weren’t a dozen legitimate centers in the country last year, fewer than that if you really looked at the size and skill of guys.

    At the high school level, you probably couldn’t find more than a few dozen actual centers at any given time, if that many. There just aren’t many Shaquille O’Neal or David Robinson type of players out there. There are a lot of tall, lanky, Kevin Garnett types, guys that can protect the rim, score, rebound, etc, but they aren’t really true centers.

    More guys are developing their ball handling and shooting range because they have learned from guys in the past. How many times have we seen a kid have an early growth spurt, get stuck on the block as a 6-2 12 year old, then end up being a 6-4 player in high school and end up being frustrated and disappointed because he didn’t keep growing. Everybody learns guard skills now. That was the European model for years, and that model has crossed the Atlantic into the US, where more and more big kids are hoisting jumpers and handling the basketball in the open floor.

    Ultimately, that’s better for the game because you end up with a 6-9 guy like Bragg that can handle the ball, is a great athlete and could end up being a really super player because of his versatility. If he was purely a back to the basket player, I wouldn’t be nearly as high on him as I am right now.

  • How many times have we seen a kid have an early growth spurt, get stuck on the block as a 6-2 12 year old, then end up being a 6-4 player in high school and end up being frustrated and disappointed because he didn’t keep growing.

    Subtract 2 inches and that’s the story of my life. I was probably the only 6’2" center in my league in HS and I still can’t dribble worth a darn to this day.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Interesting point.

    I agree with you that the NBA players have wised up quite awhile ago and figured out that their careers probably lasted longer if they all run around shooting treys at a slow tempo with good defense, instead of transitioning, and banging and driving inside.

    The NBA is a game of a player’s union trying to improve working conditions and career length for its members, given the rules. The NBA not only emphasizes treys, but its tempo the last 20 years or so has been pretty slow.

    At the same time, there is also intermittently a minority movement starting to try to try to push the ball up court faster to get better looks before the defense locks in. it is a return to Red Auerbach’s running game adjusted to get treys instead of lay ups. George Karl kept the up tempo game going for awhile. D’Antonni restarted it, but won no championships with it. Now Kerr is picking up the flag and trying it with Golden State. Here is a nice concise link on the speeded-it-up phenomenon I had to look up, because I have not been keeping up with the NBA much the last five years.

    But the story indicates that it is still a minority phenomenon.

    Could it spread around the league? It depends on two things IMHO. First it has to prove it can win a championship. But there is a second criterion in the NBA, now that NBA players make so much and want to play as long as they can and stay as healthy as possible to milk the cow as longs as they can. Which way of playing the game puts the least strain on players and so lengthens their career? This is the union’s agenda, as it should rightly be. My hunch is that the pro game has slowed, because defense wins championships. So: teams have figured out that you might as well have most of your team spend most of its energy on defense and rely on a just a couple players to be great scorers. By slowing the game down, everyone is playing more under control and there are fewer health risks–fewer sacrificing body plays in a slow tempo game. But there are health risks to half court m2m defense. Defensive sliding is one of the toughest wear and tear items on a player. Self defense wrecks the pop in half his players by their second,or third seasons just in college. Professional players have recognized this for decades and only played defense during the play offs. And then reintroduced zone defense to further reduce the need for sliding in the playoffs.

    Where is this headed then?

    One idea I see confusing board rats some is the idea that the NBA is getting away from centers. I think this is a somewhat misleading take. The NBA drafts every footer and near footer it can find. And though I can’t document it, I suspect the NBA probably has more footers and near footers on its rosters than ever before. And it is very shortly going to have as many as 20 more on its rosters, since UK, Duke, UA, Louisville, and Gonzaga have four each. Oh and Utah had 4, or so. Plus some more always turn up from overseas. What is happening is that the NBA is starting to use footers and near footers differently. They are probably running less offense through them and more through their trey ballers. But the more trey balls they take the more long length they need to grab long boards and stop stick backs. And the more footers and near footers they find they more of them turn out to be able to shoot the trey, which means the more these footers have to be able to range out to guard the trey. And so on. So: it is not at all that footers and near footers are scarce. Quite the contrary. It is the rising number of footers and near footers that forces more and more outside shooting, which puts a premium on the footers that can range outside to guard the trey stripe.

    I think the push the ball approach makes sense in the NBA, because it produces a quick shot before the footers and near footers get locked in and the perimeter guys overplaying because of those footers behind them. And it does this with as little defense being played as possible. Couple push ball with settling into zones for any half court defense needed after a miss and you’ve got just about the least wear and tear you can put on an NBA player over a career. Note that push-ball is not really running basketball like Red Auerbach’s Celtics, or George Karl’s kamikaze kids used to play. Push ball NBA style is not aiming for a drive to iron, It is aiming for a quick open look trey. Players are not running full speed, they are just releasing early and striding out comfortably for a long sideline pass and an open trey. During the regular season, when the emphasis is on entertainment and not on winning, this style is perfect for letting most of the players loaf and every so often letting the super star have an uncontested running dunk that doesn’t look quite as fake as it is. All one team has to do is just not release defenders up the floor every 5th or tenth drip in January and let the superstar make his highlight dunk in which no one has to run at all.

    So: yeah, the tempo is going to speed up to striding out, but there is going to be none of the balls to walls running of the old days. And the beauty of push ball will be that there will be even less of what you are describing–back to basket banging in half court. This combination of benefits should lengthen careers and reduce injuries in the L. The union will be happy and so will management.

    That being said, they will still draft as much length as they can find to rebound the long missed treys. And during the playoffs, the height will make ACTUAL driving against a zone difficult enough to justify 3 point shooting in the playoffs. The bigger you are in a zone the less slides you have to make to cover ball movement; that’s good for the bigs. And the more treys you take the less stress on the ligaments and tendons on your back court guys.

    Now, with the above context, consider what we are seeing shape up in D1.

    Footers are being stacked and played as few minutes as possible at the stack schools, until they absolutely HAVE to play their best two footers. Since the ShoeCo-Agency complex appears to running the whole show now, the stacking works perfectly to minimize wear and tear on their product endorsers and fee generators. It would be stupid NOT to reduce wear and tear on the footers now that stacking is feasible to do, because of informal institutionalizing of the recruiting space by the ShoeCo-agent complexes. When everything used to depend on head coaches and players having a meeting of the minds, there was no way to control talent distribution. Now that the coach and school are just a pit stop, it is the long term relationship with the Shoeco-Agent complex started in middle school, or early high school, that shapes choice by players and their families. The ShoeCo Agency complex apparently gives the cream of the crop players a list of schools to choose between. The idea is for you to go where ever you can not be overworked and have your joints jeopardized with injury BEFORE you generate a fee to the agents that have been shepherding you since 9th grade or so. Most of the top footer players that don’t have affluent parents go to the stack schools, where their minutes can be limited until the Madness. They can’t afford to say no to the shoeco-agent complex. The occasional exception like Zimmerman announces he is taking no risks so it doesn’t matter where he plays, as long as he does not play unnecessary minutes, and does not have to dive for 50/50 balls. Of course I am speaking hypothetically in all of this.

    Notice that UK, Duke, UA, Louisville, and Gonzaga each had 4 footers and they all went a long way.

    Notice that the only non stack school to make a dent this season was Wisconsin, which had one stretch 5 footer, the rarest bird in the aviary.

    You are right. The future of D1 is probably not back to the basket post men.

    The future of D1 is 4 footers rotating two at a time taking dishes from drivers, sticking back drivers misses, and long rebounding missed treys.

    My hunch is that we are going to see more and more footers in the college game playing less and less pure back to basket, now that you’ve got me thinking this through.

    The amount of reliance on three point shooting will depend heavily on the refereeing.

    So long as referees increasingly favor home teams on foul calling during the regular season and stack teams the last ten minutes in the Madness, I think the driving perimeter player becomes indispensable, because you will always have a higher PPG driving and shooting FTs than three point shooting, given a favorable whistle.

    And if you are a non stack team, like KU appears destined to be until it resigns with Nike, you have no choice but do what Bo Ryan, Rick Pitino and Mark Few have done, and what I believe Bill Self is in the process of shifting over to.

    You have to have get rid of your long trey ballers that cannot drive it, and stock up on driver/trey ballers on the perimeter. And at the same time you have to get as long as possible in front court to rebound the long treys, and limit your opponent to shooting outside. You also want at least one of your bigs to be able to be a stretch 4, or a stretch 5, that can ding the trey. Finally, you want to tailor your offense to push ball as much as possible. You want your footers releasing the rebound to a wing defender and then rifling it up the sideline to someone to take an open trey the way the pros do, or else, settle into a little action ending in a drive.

    Or so it seems written in a hurry and on the run myself.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I think your analysis is correct on some points, but misses a critical aspect of why the game has changed.

    In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, George Mikan was able to dominate the slower game because basketball was played on only one axis. No one had really demonstrated that you could play basketball in the air. Bill Simmons does an excellent job in his Book of Basketball talking about the transition.

    It happened when Bill Russell entered the league. Russell brought athleticism to the center position in a way that it had never been done before. There was no more of just trotting the big man down to the block and dumping it inside. Russell’s speed and athleticism (remember, he was only 6-9, but very quick and agile) changed the game completely. Then Wilt came in and rewrote everything.

    Wilt was a guard with a center’s power and size. Literally no one was ready for Wilt. It was like dropping an alien into the game. Wilt was a true center in that he could go down on the block and use his power, but, especially in his early years, he could also get up and down the floor. There’s a reason that he was averaging over 20 rebounds a game. He was just a force of nature that no one could stop.

    No one, except Russell, who flustered Wilt with his quickness. Russell was the only guy Wilt faced during the season that was as quick as him. Wilt could overpower Russell whenever he wanted, but Russell’s quickness and intelligence kept Wilt from getting to his spots and overwhelming Russell’s Celtics. That’s why Russell has more rings than fingers. He was the only one that could neutralize Wilt.

    Meanwhile, something else started happening. Out on the perimeter, Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robertson had begun showing that big, athletic ball handlers could dominate games in their own way. Robertson did it all - rebound, pass, score, defend - and he did it to a level that got some people wondering whether you could win without a great big man. Just when some thought we might find out with Russell and Wilt aging, a new giant emerged.

    Kareem had changed college basketball. They outlawed dunking for a time just because of him. But Kareem was more than a dunker. He could move away from the basket. Where Wilt was about power, Kareem glided. He showed that you could be a center and yet not rely on your brawn to get your points. His signature sky hook is still one of the most balletic moves in basketball. But Kareem was still a true center. Age took things away from him, but he was effective into his 40’s because he wasn’t dependent on brawn.

    While he wasn’t dependent on brawn, the revolution that Baylor, Robertson, West and others like Rick Barry, Pistol Pete and David Thompson had started was coming full circle. A new crop of perimeter guys - Dr. J, Magic, Larry, Isiah, Michael - they had already decided that it wasn’t a big man’s game any more. The early key - elevation - was now accompanied by a rule change - the three point line.

    From 1981 until 1993, the best player on every NBA champion but one was a perimeter guy - Magic’s Lakers, Bird’s Celtics, Isiah’s Pistons, Jordan’s Bulls. The lone outlier was Moses Malone’s Sixers.

    When a big man reached the throne again, it wasn’t a bruising guy. Instead it was former soccer player Hakeem Olajuwon, who was so light on his feet he would put Fred Astaire to shame. He was a center, but not in the fashion of Wilt or Russell, or even Kareem. He was a center that could fake and stutter step like a much smaller player. He beat two traditional centers (Ewing and Shaq) to claim his two titles.

    Just before the doctors were able to pronounce the center position dead, a new king rose to the throne - Shaquille O’Neal. No one was as strong. And yet, for all his size and strength, O’Neal was also surprisingly fleet. He was a one man wrecking crew. 4 titles from 2000-2006. Throw in the Spurs in 1999 and 2003 and you had big men leading the way again.

    Still, the best players in the league were more and more on the perimeter. James, Wade, Anthony, Bryant, Iverson, Carter, the list was long. Not only that, European’s like Dirk Nowitzki had introduced something new - a 7 footer that could drain threes at will.

    That’s where it changed for good. Guys like Chris Webber and Kevin Garnett had always been anomalies, big men that could handle the ball, run the floor, pass, shoot from the perimeter - they were always the outliers. But now it was okay for a 6-10 guy to step out and nail a 19 footer one possession, then rock the rim with a dunk on the next.

    Something else changed along the way, t00. Kids started having later growth spurts. Anthony Davis was a 6-3 guard heading to Cleveland State to play basketball right up until he grew 8 inches and became a skinny power forward. Davis will never be a true center. His guard tendencies are too deeply ingrained. But he’s nearly 7 feet tall. 40 years ago, a coach would have parked him on the block and made him become a traditional center. Now, a coach knows that a 7 footer with that agility and ball handling skill is a match up nightmare every night, and he doesn’t have to be on the block to cause problems.

    But this increased athleticism across the board has come with a price - the floor is more clogged than ever. That’s why NBA teams shoot so many threes. You can’t get a good look at a midrange jumper anymore! A guy like Anthony Davis can challenge any shot within 10 feet of him. Add in long agile perimeter defenders and that 17 footer is not such an easy shot anymore. Watch an old basketball game sometime, and notice how many shots go up relatively open from 16-18 feet. Then watch a game today and notice how much less airspace there is to take that shot.

    So you have two options - Run and Gun (the Warriors) or Grit and Grind (the Grizzlies). To Grit and Grind, you have to have lots of size. To run and gun, you need skilled players. Guess which is easier to find now? There are athletic 6-7 guys everywhere. Literally every single D1 roster probably had at least one guy fitting that description, if not two. There were maybe 5 guys with the size and skill to Grit and Grind effectively in the NCAA last year.

    That’s where the game is headed because those are the athletes we have.

  • @justanotherfan

    Very entertaining and factual post. Bravo! I really like how you connected all the dots with players in their eras.

    Good insight on the midrange jumpers being pinched out because tall players have more mobility to go block those shots.

    We should also address the speed of the game, and how NBA teams score so much off of secondary breaks. It has largely become a game of getting a shot up before the defense sets because defenders are out of position and also unable to apply hedges. With a push in the pace the perimeter is where there is minimal traffic. More scoring space. So why not try a 3 instead of a 2? And since the defense isn’t set neither are they in position to seal off the boards.

    I’ve been noticing how many college teams are starting to realize they should be pushing pace, even if they take a bad shot. Especially if they think a quicker pace favors them on both sides of the ball. College coaches are very slowly coming around to understanding pace and how to change it to their advantage. The problem has been (IMHO) that they just need to let go of some of their teaching philosophy and just try to go out and win ballgames. Too many college coaches want to teach instead of win. They don’t realize it as the truth because they believe their path to victory is through regimented structures based on historic philosophies. Sometimes they need to realize their current situation and become more opportunistic. For example… you got one guy that no one can stop, build offense around him and the heck with “team concept”… instead you are going to burn the shot clock down to 5 and then start looking for the rim? Team concept?

    There is a reason why the games of players like Jordan and Wiggins took off when they hit the NBA. They were freed from the structure and all the lessons and just got to play ball and take their man one-on-one. I remember catching a bunch of this back in the documentary on the '84 draft. Jordan set free from Dean Smith. It was said that Dean Smith was the only human on earth that was capable of shutting down Jordan’s offense. OH SO TRUE!

  • @konkeyDong

    “Subtract 2 inches and that’s the story of my life. I was probably the only 6’2” center in my league in HS and I still can’t dribble worth a darn to this day."

    I was blessed with an early growth streak and played center until the 8th grade. Then I was cursed with a slow growth streak that later said I should be on the perimeter. Problem was, I couldn’t shoot the broad side of a barn. Dribbling… medium. So what was a guy my size supposed to do after that? My entire youth was spent perfecting post moves, mostly all the “back to the basket” stuff no guys know how to do any longer. I had no choice but stick to where I could offer something so I stuck it out in the post. Built body strength and played the closest thing I knew to “Sir Charles basketball.” That is why I laugh today when people make excuses for poor post defense or rebounding because the lack of size. Phew! It is the size of the fight in the dog not the other way around. Don’t give up floor space and make a guy shoot over you and you are already a better defender than 90% of the post players out there, regardless of their height!

  • @justanotherfan

    It was a nice walk down memory lane. Made me feel kinda old though, since I was remembering watching back to Wilt and Big Russ!

    You are right that all types of players come in clumps.

    25 footers and near footers are a LOT of footers coming available to the L this year and next just based on last year’s roster stacks. Add Zimmerman and Labissierre and that’s 27. And that doesn’t include probably another 3 or so from overseas. Call it 30!

    There are 34 teams and probably 20 to 30 footers and near footers in the L already. If we think space is congested now, we ain’t seen nothing yet!!!

    And as you rightly note these 60 May increase by a few late growth spurt types!

    If the NBA doesn’t expand, we may not be far from our first starting five of footers and near footers. Imagine a 1-3-1 zone of all athletic footers. They could basically stretch to the half court line and choke off 3 point shooting.

    Where this seems to be heading to me is a return of the set shot only from ultra long range. Say 45-50 footers. It sounds fantastic, but shooting accuracy from 3pt range with a two hand set could drastically improve PPP from Trey balling and long rebounding would become a new dynamic.

  • @justanotherfan

    Good read, however I respectfully disagree with this statement:

    "No one, except Russell, who flustered Wilt with his quickness. Russell was the only guy Wilt faced during the season that was as quick as him. Wilt could overpower Russell whenever he wanted, but Russell’s quickness and intelligence kept Wilt from getting to his spots and overwhelming Russell’s Celtics. That’s why Russell has more rings than fingers. He was the only one that could neutralize Wilt."

    Wilt outplayed Russell in just about every game they played. Yes Russell won more games and had more championships but this was due to the fact that his supporting cast was always much better than Wilt’s. They had 142 head to head matches including the regular season and playoffs and these are the numbers:


    • Total Pts.: 4077
    • Average: 28.7
    • High: 62
    • Total Rebds.: 4072
    • Average: 28.7
    • High: 55
    • Wins: 57


    • Total Pts.: 2060
    • Average: 14.5
    • High: 37
    • Total Rebds.: 3373
    • Average: 23.7
    • High: 40
    • Wins: 85

    I am obviously biased but there is no question that head to head, Wilt owned Russel. Just my opinion.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I don’t think it is just your opinion. The numbers don’t lie. Wilt owned Russell. And everyone else. Personal stats.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You have to remember that Wilt averaged over 30 per game during his career in scoring. He and Russell faced off over 140 times, which is statistically significant. Russell held him a point and a half below his average.

    Wilt dominated, but notlike he dominated everyone else. That’s why Russell has the rings.

  • @justanotherfan Your post above was terrific. A point and a half though? That is significant if we’re dealing with a guy averaging 7 points a game. But a guy averaging 30? Stated another way, Russell was only a point and a half better than the other schmucks guarding Wilt. Anyway, @nuleafjhawk posted it before I could, “@JayHawkFanToo I don’t think it is just your opinion.” But again, @justanotherfan, excellent post – we’re just a little Wilt biased. Russell clearly brought the intangibles you mentioned.

    @JayHawkFanToo great post as well. The numbers really are astonishing, Makes me wonder if there ever was a more dominant athlete in any sport than Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt was obviously ahead of his time.

    @jaybate-1.0 You said, “Imagine a 1-3-1 zone of all athletic footers.” – you know me, I’m always imagining a 1-3-1 zone. Heck, playing it with a bunch of midgets … er, little people … would excite me. The best defense in all of basketball, in my humble opinion.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You might be right on the 1-3-1 being the best defense today. Probably because no one knows how to attack on the baseline any longer. Those days are long gone. I’m always amazed how players today seem to fear the baseline and they let themselves get pushed right out of bounds… ball out and a turnover. The baseline is not an area for the timid players…

    Russell vs Wilt - Russell we truly one of the greats, and he was positioned as a distant second to Wilt. The match-up I enjoyed was that skinny kid from NYC, Kareem (Lew Alcindor) and Wilt. Every time those two played it seemed the game was televised. It is too bad they weren’t from the same era because we only got to taste the slight overlap in careers. These guys were polar opposites and it was very exciting to watch them in head-to-heads.

  • @justanotherfan

    Wilt had the misfortune of playings for bad teams that he had to put on those huge shoulders of his and carry them. Russell had the fortune to play in perhaps the best dynasty in sports and while he was very good, his teams were also outstanding and hence he ended up with more post-season hardware than Wilt and every other player in the sport, and sport historians often have him ranked a head of Wilt, which is grossly unfair since Wilt really dominated Russell…but as Wilt himself said… nobody roots for Goliath…except Jayhawk fans. 🙂

  • @JayHawkFanToo Thats a good point. Wilt was better that Russell in many ways/ stats.

    Here is my current NBA MVP problem. Curry vs Harden. I think Curry should get it. Best player on the best team, completely likable, super talented, nigh unstoppable on the court. Then there is Harden. Equally as unstoppable, but he can be a capitol A hole. Should Harden get MVP for taking his lowly team as far as he has?

    I know, way off topic but something I am thinking about more often now that College ball is done.

  • @Lulufulu

    I am with you and while at it you can throw Westbrook in the mix, although he is a volume shooter and first option on a depleted team. IMHO, the off-the-court issue should not be a heavy factor, but all things considered, I would go with Curry…and I thought he looked too fragile in college to make it in the NBA. I sure was wrong on that one he sure is a complete player.

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