Nothing gets the blood flowing and the hype percolating like a conversation about the greatest basketball players ever. At this point, it’s not fun anymore to debate the G.O.A.T. We all know the main suspects – MJ, Wilt, Bill Russell, Magic – and everyone’s arguments have been driven into the ground so many times, we don’t want to hear them anymore. Plus, if you go against the gospel of Michael Jordan, you’re basically committing basketball heresy. But go a little further down in the top 50-100, and it starts to get interesting. Former NBA point guard and current Golden State coach Mark Jackson stepped into the fray yesterday when he said Reggie Miller was as good as any two guard ever as long as you discount Jordan and Kobe. We’re all for former teammate homerism. It helped create some of the most memorably stupid comments of all time. But this is just off the wall for these reasons: Reggie Miller is one of the most overrated great players of the past 25 years, and out of every modern All-Star of the last few decades, he benefitted as much as anyone from things like NBA TV, NBA Entertainment and the whole American obsession with “clutch.” Let’s throw a few numbers out there. In 18 seasons, Miller made the All-NBA Third Team only three times, which is just hilarious when you think Jackson is calling him the third-best ever, and Miller was only third best in his own era in three of his 18 years. Miller also made five All-Star teams. To put that in perspective, Kobe will make his 15th midseason classic this year. Dwyane Wade‘s (Jackson actually thought his answer over and later tweeted that Wade was the third two guard who was definitely better than Reggie) career scoring average is 25.2; Miller’s is 18.2. Clyde Drexler‘s postseason rebounding (6.9) and assist (6.1) averages dwarfed Miller’s (2.9 and 2.5, respectively). Allen Iverson won a Rookie of the Year and an MVP. Reggie won… um… nothing. Jerry West scored over 25 points a night for 11 straight years. Miller’s career-high was 24.6. Add all that up and Miller looks like someone who might be able to slide into the top 10. The only mark that stands up to the hype is his three-point shooting where he’s second all-time in triples made. Other than that, no way is this man the third-best shooting guard ever. We love Reggie. Don’t get it twisted. But c’mon now. Mitch Richmond is out there somewhere burning Reggie Miller jerseys and hating his bad luck … Did you catch the piece we did yesterday on the top 10 NBA tattoos of the past 12 years? No. 1 probably won’t surprise you, and depending on your view, it’s either the greatest thing ever or the dumbest … And The Los Angeles Times is reporting Reeves Nelson is going to the Lakers on an non-guaranteed deal. For those of you who have absolutely no clue who Reeves Nelson is (Everyone, raise your hand), he’s a former UCLA player who was once painted by a reporter as a cross between Charles Oakley and Sid from Toy Story. It’ll be interesting to see if he lasts in training camp – Nelson was once thought to have NBA potential, and the Lakers are probably looking for any reason at all to fill out their roster with minimum salary players … Keep reading to hear where The Answer may be playing next year …
In yesterday’s Smack, we mentioned a few former stars who were still looking for work, and Allen Iverson‘s name wasn’t on the list. That probably says more about his perceived stance in the game than anything else – that no one even considers him a perspective NBA player anymore. It’s not all talent either. But he’s burned so many bridges, there’s really no chance of him ever getting back in. The Answer is now telling everyone if he can’t play in the NBA, then he’s probably going to go to China. He probably needs to start packing then. Hoopshype translated a report from the Chinese publication NetEase where Iverson said: “China is still one of my choices, but the team that wants me to join has got to show me that they really mean it, like ‘hey we really need you’.” We will always love AI, but we’re not sure any team is saying that anymore … One player who did make that list from yesterday of washed-up stars was Tracy McGrady. He might be working out for the Bobcats soon, according to The Charlotte Observer‘s Rick Bonnell. It’s informal, but he could sit out the year entirely rather than play for Charlotte and still have just as good of a chance at ending that first round streak … Taj Gibson told ESPNChicago.com that he’s still very optimistic about the Bulls this year even without Derrick Rose. Gibson believes his role will be expanded – it must if they want to replace Omer Asik‘s production – and that Chicago can survive as they did last year without the former MVP. During the regular season, their defensive philosophy should still carry them to a top-5 seed. But once the playoffs hit and the games are close and it comes down to the final minutes, they still have no clue who’s getting the ball … The Rockets might be straight up awful this year, and their front office might’ve taken home an “F” in their offseason report card, but at least they can say this: they’ll have the nicest big screen in the game. Houston’s official team site announced they’re introducing what they’re calling “the largest indoor center-hung scoreboard in the United States” during their home opener against Portland. The screen will measure 25 feet high by 58 feet wide and the two end panels will measure 25 feet high and 25 feet wide. Then, all of the boards will have a full HD signal with 1080 lines of resolution. We need one of those for our living room … And Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle is reporting the Rockets will also sign Scott Machado to a partially guaranteed, three-year deal this week. We called the former Iona guard the draft’s biggest sleeper in Dime #70, and he’ll get every opportunity to prove that this year behind Jeremy Lin … We’re out like Iverson.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook