Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mike Gminski

New Jersey Nets
6-11 270 Center

Signed 4-year, $2.6 Million contract before last season after missing some of training camp... Hardly missed a step, however, leading club in scoring with 15.5 ppg and finished second in rebounding at 8.2 rpg... Had career high 41 points and 22 rebounds in late season game against Celtics, then had 35 points and 15 rebounds in next game against Hawks... After Daryl Dawkins went out, this Duke product averaged 21.8 ppg and 10.2 rpg... In last 12 games, his figures were 25 ppg and 11.3 rpg... Broke Mike Newlin's franchise freethrow accuracy of .888 by forging .893 mark, third best in the league... Had streaks of 44 and 42 in a row from line... Wife Stacy is a stockbroker, prompting him to say, "She should be reaching six figures by the time I'm falling out." Has nearly unstoppable jump hook... Born Aug. 3, 1959, in Monroe, Conn.... Nets chose him 7th overall in 1980 draft.

Relevant Stats:
16.5 ppg, 51.7 FG%, 8.2 rpg

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Buck Williams

New Jersey Nets
6-8 215 Forward

Failed to become first forward in NBA history to grab 1,000 rebounds in each of his first five seasons, finishing with 986 last season... Had great start on offense and off boards in first half, then tailed off when teams began double-teaming him after Daryl Dawkins went down. "He never had to contend with that before," said coach Dave Wohl... "Heck," said Williams, "my first couple of years in the league, nobody paid any attention to me on offense at all. Now I've got two or three guys on me."... Began picking his spots to play hard for the first time in his career... Has base salary of $1 million this season, the last on his contract... Despite occasional lapse, he remains league's best power forward, although few casual fans know it... "If he had my mouth," said Dawkins, "he'd be the best known, most-respected player in the league."... Born March 8, 1960, in Rocky Mount, N.C.... Nets made him third overall pick in 1981, out of Maryland.

Relevant Stats:
15.9 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 52.3 FG%

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Mike O'Koren

New Jersey Nets
6-7 210 Forward

Confidence dipped again last season, when he missed 15 games and averaged only 15.3 minutes when he did play... North Carolina product working on last year of contract that paid him $400,000 last year and will only pay him $300,000 this time around... Suffered most from first-year coach Dave Wohl's struggle to find combination of players he liked... Never complains, but deserves more time than he is given... Was sixth player chosen overall, one spot ahead of Mike Gminski, by Nets in 1980... Born Feb. 7, 1958, in Jersey City, N.J.... Was told by Wohl that he would play more in playoff series against Bucks, but was used for only seven minutes in opener and did not play in second game.

Relevant Stats:
5.2 ppg, 47.6 FG%, 59.0 FT%

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Albert King

New Jersey Nets
6-6 190 Forward

Signed disputed five-year, $3.3 million offer sheet with Knicks, including cash bonus of $960,000, that Nets matched to keep him... League won appeal when it claimed offer sheet circumvented salary cap, voiding terms of deal and making him free agent... Contract didn't make him any more consistent... Still a streak shooter... Ended season by making only 27 of 92 shots in final eight games... Denies he's not as tough as brother Bernard, but that's part of his problem... Born Dec. 17, 1959, in Brooklyn, N.Y.... Nets drafted him 10th overall in 1981, out of Maryland.

Relevant Stats:
14.3 ppg, 45.6 FG%, 5.01 rpg

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Daryl Dawkins

New Jersey Nets
6-11 275 Center

His back gave out for the second straight season, although last year's injury was in a different place than the one that limited him to 39 games in 1984-85... Was injured Feb. 4 against Pacers... Missed 15 games, played 5 minutes in one, then sat out last 16... Missed first playoff game, scored 10 points in second, and sat out finale... Problem manifested itself in groin area, but emanated from back... Saw battery of physicians, who finally decided he needed surgery... Started three games, then came off the bench, with Mike Gminski becoming starter... Flourished in new role, averaging 15.3 ppg and 4.9 rpg while shooting .644 from floor... Field-goal accuracy would have won league crown, but he didn't have enough baskets to qualify... Has one season left on contract, so it's no play, no pay... Born Jan. 11, 1957, in Orlando, Fla.... Nets can't win without him: they were 10-21 when he sat and 29-22 when he played... Drafted out of high school as No. 5 overall by Philadelphia in 1975... Dealt to Nets for first-round pick and cash prior to 1982-83.

Relevant Stats:
15.3 ppg, 64.4 FG%, 4.92 rpg

Friday, December 28, 2007

Coach Don Nelson

Milwaukee Bucks

Another member of the tortured soul set... Just can't cool out... Highest paid coach in the league at $400,000 annually... Donated playoff earnings to help Milwaukee farmer who was losing his spread to the bank... His Bucks captured seventh straight division title and won 50 or more games for sixth thime in row with 57-25 finish... Still yearns for first NBA championship ring as coach after winning five as a forward with Celtics... Has 490-314 regular-season record since joining Bucks as head coach in 1976-77 season as replacement for Larry Costello... Born May 15, 1940, in Muskegon, Mich.... While stress of job ate away at him, he just ate, gaining great deal of weight... Planned to take it off during summer and solicited monetary pledges for each pound dropped, with proceeds going to Wisconsin farmers... A master coach and superior strategist who needs to relax.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jerry Reynolds

Milwaukee Bucks
6-8 200 Forward

Averaged fewer than 10 minutes in 55 games after being drafted 22nd overall in 1985, out of LSU... Born Dec. 23, 1962, in Brooklyn NY... Animated when he was on the floor, which wasn't often... Didn't play in 11 of final 23 games, but did get 17 points and 10 assists in Game 79 against Chicago... May be sacrilegious, but his nickname is "Ice" and it has been since sixth grade... Certainly got the cold shoulder from Don Nelson, who hardly ever uses rookies very much.

Relevant Stats:
3.7 ppg, 44.4 FG%, 55.8 FT%