Sunday, July 31, 2005

Gene Banks

Chicago Bulls
6-8 225 Forward

Played all 82 games after being acquired from Spurs for Steve Johnson and second-round pick prior to 1985-86... San Antonio drafted him No. 28 overall in 1981... Huge letdown for one of most highly recruited schoolboy players ever... Born May 15, 1959, in Philadelphia... Deserves to shoot more, given his lifetime percentage... Deep-thinking sort and he has political ambitions... A Christian who has delved deeply into study of Hebrew... One of seven siblings... Made only $193,000 last season before becoming free agent... Led Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring during senior year at Duke with 18.3 ppg... Has never missed more than two games in a season since entering NBA.

Relevant Stats:
10.9 ppg, 51.7 FG%, 4.4 rpg

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Steve Colter

Chicago Bulls
6-3 175 Guard

Became a Bull after the second round of the 1986 draft when the Trail Blazers traded him for the rights to Larry Krystkowiak (28th pick) and second-round picks in 1987 and 1992... Doesn't look like much... Maybe that's why so many teams passed on him in the 1984 draft and allowed the Blazers to grab him with the No. 33 pick... A good wind would blow him him away... If he turns sideways, you can barely see him... All right, enough of the funny stuff, this toothpick with legs is a solid point guard, Needs work on his shot... Better from three-point range than from in close... But he can run the offense and finished with 113 steals last season, ranking second on team... Born July 24, 1962, in Phoenix... Had a quietly effective four-year career at New Mexico State... Invited to the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1984... It was his rapid development at the point-guard spot that pushed Darnell Valentine to the bench and eventually allowed the Blazers to ship him to the Clippers... A real bargain at $112,500.

Relevant Stats:
8.7 ppg, 1.4 spg, 45.6 FG%

Friday, July 29, 2005

Sidney Green

Chicago Bulls
6-9 210 Forward

Finally got chance to play and showed at least a glimpse of what could be a bright future... Was wasted by former coach Kevin Loughery... Started 68 games last season... One of 10 children... As senior at New York's Jefferson High, he averaged 35 ppg, 25 rpg and six blocked shots per game... All-time leasding rebounder and second-ranking all-time scorer at Nevada-Las Vegas... Fifth player picked overall by Bulls in 1983... Born Jan. 4, 1961 in Brooklyn, N.Y.... Will earn $400,000 on final year of contract... Finished second on Bulls in rebounding... Might as well have missed playoffs for all the impact he had, shooting 30 percent from field... Only way he'll develop is if he's turned loose regularly.

Relevant Stats:
13.5 ppg, 46.5 FG% 8.2 rpg

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Orlando Woolridge

Chicago Bulls
6-9 215 Forward

Became free agent after making $300,000 last season... Wants huge raise, but went about seeking it in strange way, missing some regular-season games to press demands... A few teams soured on him after that... Quality offensive player who rebounds like someone half his size... Should take some lessons in fortitude from cousin Willis Reed... Born Dec. 16, 1959, in Mansfield, La.... Not counting injured Michael Jordan, he led team in scoring and had single-game high of 44 points... Would thrive on a team that needs his scoring, like the Nets... Might continue to get overlooked and sulk if he continues to play in Jordan's shadow in Chicago... Bulls drafted him sixth overall in 1981, after brilliant career at Notre Dame.

Relevant Stats:
20.7 ppg, 49.5 FG%, 5.0 rpg

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Charles Oakley

Chicago Bulls
6-9 240 Forward

Chosen No. 9 overall by Cavaliers in 1985, he was dealt with Calvin Duncan for Ennis Whatley and Keith Lee... Exploded during second half of season, grabbing season-high 26 rebounds in overtime game vs. Bucks March 15... Led Bulls in rebounding... Had single-game scoring high of 35 points... Needs to be reacquainted with fact that free throws are supposed to be free... Born Dec. 18, 1963, in Cleveland... NCAA Division II Player of the Year in his senior season at Virginia Union, when he led team to 31-1 record by averaging 24 ppg and 17.3 rpg... Makes $325,000 this season... Has degree in business administration... Don't miss Chicago-Philadelphia games, when this guy goes against Charles Barkley.

Relevant Stats:
9.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 51.9 FG%

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Michael Jordan

Chicago Bulls
6-6 200 Guard

Didn't like the Bulls' plan to dump the regular season so he dumped on management types until they changed their minds... Missed 64 games with broken bone in foot, then had to verbally fight his wayback into prominent spot in lineup... Management wanted him to stay out until this season, figuring Bulls would miss 1985-86 playoffs and make draft lottery... He won and Bulls lost, gaining playoffs berth and losing three straight to Celtics despite his incredible 49-point and 63-point efforts... NBA Rookie of the Year in 1984-85 was third player chosen in 1984 draft after brilliant career at North Carolina... Larry Bird says, "He's God disguised as Michael Jordan."... Including pro-rated share of signing bonus, he'll make $710,000 this season... Born Feb. 17, 1963, in Wilmington, N.C.... Reportedly triples his basketball salary with outside endorsements... Barring reinjury, he should enjoy a sensational basketball career.

Relevant Stats:
22.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.9 apg (18 games)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Coach K.C. Jones

Boston Celtics

All he does is win... Most successful coach ever over a three-year period with 192-54 record (.780) since coming to Celtics... His career mark is 347-145 (.705)... Took rap when his Washington Bullets were bounced in four straight by Warriors in 1974-75 and was canned after the following season... Member of 1956 Olympic team... San Francisco product played on eight NBA title teams during nine-season career with Celtics... Had career .387 shooting percentage... Was Celtics' second-round pick in 1956... Rams took him on 30th round of NFL draft in 1955... Ever afable, he loves to play self-depreciating role, laughing all the way to the bank and probably the Hall of Fame... Only coach in history to post 60-plus victory seasons with two teams... Low-key demeanor is vital to Celtics' success... An accomplished singer, he loves to entertain in lounge settings... Born May 25, 1932, in Tyler, Tex.... Initials stand for nothing... His father was fond of legendary railroader Casey Jones... Truly one of the game's nice guys... No one begrudges him his success.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sam Vincent

Boston Celtics
6-2 185 Guard

Part of Boston's "Learn While You Earn" program for most rookies... Was drafted 20th overall in 1985, out of Michigan State, but averaged fewer than eight minutes per game and sat out 25 altogether... Salary this season is only $75,000... Received $37,000 bonus to sign last season... He'll get total of $380,000 next year... Was 65 of 70 from free-throw line for .929 mark... Takes streak of 22 straight into this season... Born May 18, 1963, in Lansing, Mich.... considered the best point guard in 1985 draft, he has plenty of time to develop, if he doesn't get impatient... Thinking about guaranteed playoff share every year might help.

Relevant Stats:
3.2 ppg, 36.4 FG% 1.21 apg

Friday, July 22, 2005

Greg Kite

Boston Celtics
6-11 255 Center

He's 83 inches of insurance policy against injuries to Robert Parish, Kevin McHale or Bill Walton... doesn't play much and plays raggedly when he does... Star of first magnitude as Houston schoolboy... Attended Brigham Young... Celts drafted him 21st overall in 1983... Born Aug. 5, 1961, in Houston... Averaged only 1.3 ppg, lowest mark on team... Ejected on April 8 in Milwaukee for throwing ball at official Lee Jones... Becoming known around league as thug... Earned $150,000 last season... Had season-high 10 rebounds twice... Celts will replace him if they can.

Relevant Stats:
1.3 ppg, 37.4 FG%, 38.5 FT%

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

David Thirdkill

Boston Celtics
6-7 215 Forward-Guard

Should have dropped to his knees in thankful prayer when Celtics claimed him off waiver list Dec. 5... Just the 12th man... His playoff share of about $40,000 was more than half his salary... Doesn't figure to be in league this season... Certainly doesn't project as Celtic... Did have 20-point, eight-rebound effort against Warriors Jan. 24... Born April 12, 1960, in St. Louis... Suns drafted him 15th overall in 1982, out of Bradley... Has played for five teams in four years.

Relevant Stats:
3.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.3 apg

Additional info: Played in the Philippines as Tanduay's import back in the late eighties. Also known as "The Sheriff," IIRC.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Scott Wedman

Boston Celtics
6-7 225 Forward

Started 18 games when Kevin McHale was injured and Boston went 15-3... Very important part of the Celtics... Played only last game in finals due to broken ribs sustained earlier in playoffs against Bucks... Completed third full season with Boston and got his second championship ring... Born July 29, 1952, in Harper, Kan.... Kings chose him sixth overall in 1974, out of Colorado... Hasn't averaged double figures for Boston since arriving from Cavaliers in January 1983 for Darren Tillis, cash and a 1983 first-rounder... Had 10 or more points 14 times as starter... Streak shooter played in more games than he had in any season since 1980-81.

Relevant Stats:
8.0 ppg, 48.1 FG%, 2.4 rpg

Monday, July 18, 2005

Rick Carlisle

Boston Celtics
6-5 210 Guard

Just another pretty face who didn't contribute a whole lot to the Celt's success... Some say he has talent, but he doesn't get much chance to show it... Born Oct. 27, 1959, in Ogdensburg, N.Y.... Celtics chose him 69th overall in 1984... Attended Virginia, where he played with Ralph Sampson... Averaged fewer than 10 minutes per game in regular season... Had game high of 10 points... Missed much of rookie year with injury... Made 5 of 6 shots in Los Angeles when Celtics scored second of two victories over Lakers... Spent most of NBA finas blocking view of fans and reporters by sitting where he didn't belong in the Summit.

Relevant Stats:
2.6 ppg, 1.35 apg, 65.2 FT%

Jerry Sichting

Boston Celtics
6-1 175 Guard

Another of those "outhouse-to-the-penthouse" types who escaped a career on the garbage heap in Indiana and now wears a championship ring... Celts signed him as free agent for $825,000 over four years, including bonus of $125,000... Gave Boston the outside shooting it needed... Was average player with Pacers and would have been that for nearly any team other than Celtics, who needed him only to do what he does best -- shoot -- and for only 19.5 minutes per night... Made 42 of his last 61 shots during regular season, when he was only Celtic not to block a shot... Showed he can take a punch when Houston's Ralph Sampson clocked him twice on the chops in Game 5 of finals. "I didn't know if that was a punch or a mosquito," said Sichting. "My son hits harder than that and he's only three years old."... Born Nov. 29, 1956, in Martinsville, Ind.... Drafted 82nd overall by Warriors in 1979, out of Purdue.

Relevant Stats:
6.5 ppg, 57.0 FG% 92.4 FT%

Friday, July 15, 2005

Dennis Johnson

Boston Celtics
6-4 200 Guard

Where would the Sonics have been without him?... Where would the Suns have been without him?... Where would the Celtics have been without him?... Lost in the expansive shadows of the Celtics' frontline, but DJ was neck-and-neck with Larry Bird for final-round MVP honors until subpar Game 4... Outlived his welcome in Seattle, where coach Lenny Wilkens called him "a cancer" and in Phoenix, where coach John MacLeod said he was disruptive... Hard to believe that about the DJ of today, who is quiet, confident and productive at both ends of the floor... Born Sept. 18, 1954, in San Pedro, Cal.... Drafted 29th overall by Sonics in 1976, out of Pepperdine... Earns $ 782,500 per season... One of 16 children... Was MVP in 1978-79 playoffs.

Relevant Stats:
15.6 ppg, 5.8 apg, 45.5 FG%

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bill Walton

Boston Celtics
6-11 235 Center

The tallest non-7-footer in the world... Looks down at Robert Parish and Akeem Olajuwon, both of whom are listed as taller than he is... Former shyness caused him to refuse to be ranked as a 7-footer... Had a ball last season... Laid groundwork for his trade from Clippers to Celts for Cedric Maxwell... Moments after the Celts beat Rockets for title, he said, "Considering what has happened in my career, this is the happiest moment of my basketball life."... Missed nearly four full seasons due to foot fractures... First pick overall in 1974 draft by Trail Blazers... Had starred at UCLA, leading Bruins to two NCAA titles... Last season, he won NBA's Sixth Man Award, supplanting Kevin McHale, who took it the previous two seasons... Played about 18 minutes a night, spelling Parish and McHale... A force with his scoring, rebounding and passing... Field-goal accuracy of .562 was best of career... As final seconds ticked away in decisive Game 6 against Rockets, he embraced Larry Bird. "I said, 'Thank you, very much,'" said Walton. "I came here to win a title and, these guys, they gave it to me."... Makes $425,000 per season... Born Nov. 5, 1952 in La Mesa, Cal.

Relevant Stats:
7.6 ppg, 52.2 FG%, 6.8 rpg

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Danny Ainge

Boston Celtics
6-5 190 Guard

Improved again.. Made the right move when he abandoned major-league baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays to sign with Celts in 1981... Negotiated his own new contract, worth about $600,000 per year... Had he made two more free throws, he would have own league percentage championship last season... finished with .904 mark, but had only 123 successes, two less than required minimum... Rarely misses an open outside jumper and gets plenty when opponents double-team big men... Still feisty, still hated by most fans outside Boston, still an integral part of Boston attack... Born March 17, 1959, in Salt lLake City... Drafted 31st by Celtics in 1981, even though he was playing for Blue Jays at that time... Brigham Young product will probably always be thought of as a cheap-shot artist, but it's his peskiness that really gets opponents angry.

Relevant Stats:
10.7 ppg, 90.4 FT%, 50.4 FG%

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Robert Parish

Boston Celtics
7-0 240 Center

Signed new contract worth about $1.5 million annually... Will he ever be accepted as a "true Celtic," whatever that is?... Boston press ripped him after he had 3-for-15 shooting effort in Game 3 of finals... Wasn't all that sensational against the Rockets, but did have his moments... Had strong regular season, posting second-best shooting percentage of career with .549 mark... Seemed to mellow a bit last season, answering criticism calmly for the most part, although he did jilt the press for one day in Houston, earning the monicker "Chief Run 'n' Hide" for his efforts... Soft-touch jumper is maddeningly accurate... Stone-faced expression always makes him look like he's apathetic, but neither teammates nor management have any problems with him... Born Aug. 30, 1953 in Shreveport, La.... Warriors picked him eighth overall in 1976... Came to Celtics along with draft choice that became Kevin McHale, for two first-round picks, one of which became Joe Barry Carroll.

Relevant Stats:
16.1 ppg, .549 FG, 9.5 rpg

Friday, July 08, 2005

Kevin McHale

Boston Celtics
6-10 240 Forward

Talented, strong , colorful, articulate, funny, charming, outdoorsy, family-oriented, fun-loving... The complete package of person and player... Second on club to Larry Bird in scoring at 21.3 ppg... Led Celts against Rockets in finals with 25.8 ppg average, forged on .573 shooting from the floor... After Akeem Olajuwon exploded on him in opener of finals, he held Rocket center in check, then shackled Ralph Sampson in climatic Game 6... Always open and witty with media, he gets burned occasionally but never seems to care... Would rather be fishing, with a six-pack beside him, than just about anything else... No. 3 pick overall by Celts in 1980, out of Minnesota... Born Dec. 19, 1957, in Hibbing, Minn.... Secured new deal worth average of $1.6 million, but told agent not to ask for more than that since he felt Bird deserved to be top-paid player on team... Ranked fifth in league in field-goal percentage at .574.

Relevant Stats:
21.3 ppg, 57.4% FG, 8.1 rpg

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Larry Bird

Boston Celtics
6-9 220 Forward

What else can he do?... Another regular-season MVP award, another postseason MVP award, another NBA championship ring... "Well," he said, "I can do it all again." Don't bet that he won't... Struggled until late December, as back and elbow ailments held him to 44-percent accuracy from the field. "I couldn't bend over or anything," said Bird. "But when my injuries went away, I felt there was nothing I couldn't do."... Did it all... Led NBA in free-throw shooting and won three-point field-goal contest during All-Star weekend... Named NBA Player of the Month twice... Born Dec. 7, 1956, in French Lick, Ind.... A future eligible pick by Celtics, who chose him sixth overall in 1978 draft... Last season, Indiana State product was fourth in league in scoring (25.8 ppg), seventh in rebounding (9.8 rpg), fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.423) adn nith in steals (166)... Tied three others for most field goals made in a game with 21... Makes $1.8 million... The best there is and, arguably, the best there has ever been.

Relevant Stats:
25.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 6.8 apg, 2 stls/game, .496 FG, .423 3ptFG