Alonzo Mourning

Born: February 8, 1970
Position: Center
Professional Career:
Charlotte Hornets (NBA): 1992-’95
Miami Heat (NBA): 1995-’02; 2005-’07
New Jersey Nets (NBA): 2003-’04

Alonzo Mourning (danielbrenda.blogspot.com)
Alonzo Mourning (danielbrenda.blogspot.com)

Few defenders come as fearsome and intimidating as Alonzo Mourning. It didn’t matter his age, his team, or his condition, if he was on the court, he was bound to swat your shot, patrol the paint, and protect the rim. Unfortunately, staying on the court proved to be the most difficult task of Mourning’s NBA career.

409 of 492
From 1993 to 1998, Alonzo was a fresh and brash presence in the NBA. And although he’d have a bit of trouble in the latter part of this period staying on the court, he wound up playing 409 of a possible 492 games (83.1%). Drafted by the Charlotte Hornets, Mourning teamed with Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues for one of the NBA’s most exciting and endearing teams of the 1990s. The stylish haircuts, teal uniforms, and emphatic blocks, dunks, and passes by the three respective men entranced fans.

The Teal Madness got off to a rollicking start in Mourning’s rookie year. The Hornets won a franchise-best 44 games that season and reached the playoffs for the first time. Mourning was instrumental in leading the #5 seed Hornets over the #4  seed Boston Celtics. The Hornets center averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks a game. In Game 4, he scored 33 points and nailed the game-winning, series-clinching shot.

The Hornets were summarily defeated by the New York Knicks in five, hotly-contested games in the second round. Indeed, no team won by more than six points in any game. With such a hot start, it seemed the Hornets were a team destined to challenge for Eastern Conference supremacy for the rest of the 1990s. Unfortunately, Mourning and Johnson weren’t entirely on the same page. After Johnson received a huge contract extension. Mourning wanted one of his own. The Hornets balked at his asking price of $13 million annually, then offered him $11 million annually, to which Mourning balked, and so Zo was traded to Miami shortly before the 1995-96 season.

Under the tutelage and guidance of Pat Riley, Mourning blossomed, amazingly, into an even more terrifying defender. With Tim Hardaway helping carry the offensive load and men like P.J. Brown a partner in defensive crime, Zo’s Heat ascended the Eastern Conference.

125 of 132
The Heat reeled off an impressive 61 wins in the 1996-97 season. Normally, that’d be good enough for a #1 seed, but the Chicago Bulls had dropped 69 wins on the league. Meeting in the Conference Finals, the Bulls easily dismissed the Heat in five games. Despite that clash, Miami’s main rival in this era would turn out to be the New York Knicks. From 1997 to 2000, the clubs met every postseason in some of the most bruising and physical playoff series ever played. Mourning got into a fight with his former teammate Johnson, who was now a Knick. New York coach Jeff Van Gundy famously held onto Zo’s ankles like a rag doll trying to futilely break up hostilities. Each series went to a do-or-die game, which the Knicks won all but once.

The general failure to upend the Knicks doesn’t detract from this period as the peak of Alonzo’s prowess. In 1999 and 2000 he missed only seven games, led the NBA in blocks per game both seasons, was named Defensive Player of the Year both seasons, and in 1999 finished second in MVP voting.

304 of 656
From that apex, Mourning quickly descended. Kidney disease struck in 2000 knocking him out for all but 13 games in the 2000-01 season. A brief return to form came in 2002, but the disease worsened and he missed all of the 2002-03 season. Mourning signed as a free agent with the New Jersey Nets in the summer of 2003. A successful kidney transplant saved his life, but only allowed him to play about two dozen games with New Jersey. The Nets traded Zo to Toronto in December 2004 as part of a deal to land Vince Carter. The dismayed Mourning never reported to Toronto and eventually was bought out of his contract. That opened up a return to Miami in March 2005, where Mourning would spend the rest of his career. A tear of his patella tendon in December 2007 – exactly four years after his life-saving transplant – finally struck down the mighty Zo and forced his retirement.

Zo Flex

By that point Mourning wasn’t quite the offensive force he could once be. From 1993 to 2000, he had averaged 21 points on 52.5% shooting. However, Zo found a measure of redemption in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Mourning only scored eight points in 20 minutes of action a night. His defense, however, never quite dissipated. In that limited action, he turned up the defensive heat and averaged a remarkable 2.5 blocks.

His presence was indispensable to the 2006 Miami Heat. With the lumbering Shaquille O’Neal often in foul trouble and generally incompetent on defense, Mourning was the paint-patrolling safety valve to prevent opponents from overrunning the Heat. The title Miami won that season was well-deserved and earned for Mourning. In Game 6, which Miami won to earn the NBA title, Alonzo put together eight points, six rebounds, and five blocks in just 14 minutes. In his limited playing time that game, the Heat had a +11 scoring edge over the Dallas Mavericks, while Shaq’s 30 minutes of play produced a -7 scoring margin for Miami. Seeings how the final score was 95 to 92 in favor of Miami, it’s a darn good thing Mourning was there to intimidate, block, and swat.

Honors

NBA –
2x Defensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000)
2x All-Defensive 1st Team (1999, 2000)
All-NBA 1st Team (1999)
All-NBA 2nd Team (2000)
7x All-Star (1994-’97, 2000-’02)

Statistics

Regular Season Career Averages (838 games):
17.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 0.5 SPG
.583 TS%, .527 FG%, .692 FT%
21.2 PER, .166 WS/48

Playoff Career Averages (95 games):
13.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 0.5 SPG
.570 TS%, .512 FG%, .649 FT%
19.2 PER, .139 WS/48

Clyde Drexler

Born: June 22, 1962
Position: Shooting Guard
Professional Career:
Portland Trail Blazers (NBA): 1983-’95
Houston Rockets (NBA): 1995-’98

Clyde Drexler (Manny Millan/SI)
Clyde Drexler (Manny Millan/SI)

To pull out an old, cliched writing trick… Webster’s Dictionary defines “glide” as the following:

: to move smoothly, continuously, and effortlessly

: to go or pass imperceptibly

It’s a term that connotes ease, that signifies freedom from agitation. Clyde Drexler as a basketball player encapsulated these attitudes and mores. Despite being one of the more exciting players in the NBA during the 1980s and 1990s, it was quite often an understated excitement, if possible.

His dunks came about in such a gliding ease. He rose majestically and flowed seamlessly through the atmospheric fluid flushing home the jam. Seemingly lacking even less effort was the way Drexler could extend  and wind his way into gorgeous finger rolls and scooping layups that no man should ever have any business of taking, let alone making.

Well, after viewing Drexler’s highlight package, it’s kind of clear that not all of his dunks were done devoid of invigorating passion. The man could throw down a hammer on opponents.

There was so much more to Drexler’s game than the dunks and flashy layups though. He was an extraordinary passer from the big guard spot, was great on cleaning up the defensive glass, and was magnificent at anticipating woeful passes to steal. Combining all of those traits with his flair for dunking and Drexler became perhaps the most feared player on the fastbreak during his era.

He possessed beguiling dribbling handles for a man 6’7″ tall, even if he did dribbled with his head down. The tunnel vision drive, though, just made the ultimate outcome of his forays even less in doubt. He was going to glide in stride and leave you embarrassed at the end of the occasion.

The full package of skills for Clyde took a little bit to unveil itself. During his first few seasons in Portland he shared time on the wings with Jim Paxson and Kiki Vandeweghe – both All-Star players in their own right. The glut of wing depth in Portland famously caused the Blazers to pass on Michael Jordan in favor Sam Bowie, which over time would fuel comparisons between Drexler and Jordan. They had similar – though by no means not exactly the same – playing styles. And they’d eventually meet in the NBA Finals.

Drexler’s full emergence pushed aside Paxson and Vandeweghe by 1988. He averaged a sensational 27 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.5 steals that season as Portland finished with 53 wins. It was their best regular season since 1978. A brief regression in 1989 was corrected with the addition of burly power forward Buck Williams.

Drexler, Buck, Kevin Duckworth, Jerome Kersey, and Terry Porter steered Portland to a three-year reign as the Western Conference’s dominant team with 59, 63, and 57 wins respectively in the 1990, 1991, and 1992 seasons. The Blazers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 Western Conference Finals, and succumbed to the Detroit Pistons in the 1990 NBA Finals and Jordan’s Bulls in the ’92 Finals.

Grueling hamstring injuries to Drexler helped to undue the run of Blazer glory. By 1995, the Oregon squad was almost completely turned over and Drexler was shipped off to the Houston Rockets. Although Houston was average with Drexler during the final stretch of the 1995 season, they caught fire in the playoffs thanks to Hakeem Olajuwon’s undeniable brilliance and won the 1995 NBA title.

Although not up to the heights of his Portland days, Drexler was instrumental in the title run. In a must-win Game 4 against Utah in the 1st Round, Drexler poured in 41 points, nine rebounds, and six assists while making 12 of his 18 shot attempts. In the must-win Game 5 of the same series he produced 31 points and 10 rebounds. In Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns, Clyde the Glide soared his way to 29 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

Three more seasons with the Rockets followed before Drexler retired in 1998. As his career wound down, Clyde continued to be productive averaging about 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists per game each year. Not bad for a shooting guard in his mid-30s.

His assortment of abilities led him to play in the NBA Finals three different times  and delivered a membership on the Dream Team in 1992. He’s one of just five retired players to have averaged over 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists for a career. However, when it comes to naming great shooting guards in the NBA’s history, Drexler’s name can often glide by without notice.

Well, let this serve as a reminder to always remember the magnificent ride of Clyde the Glide.

Honors

Champion (1995)
All-NBA 1st Team (1992)
2x All-NBA 2nd Team (1988, 1991)
2x All-NBA 3rd Team (1990, 1995)
10x All-Star (1986, 1988-’94, 1996-’97)

Statistics

Regular Season Career Averages (1086 games):
20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG
.547 TS%, .472 FG%, .318 3PT%, .788 FT%
21.1 PER, .173 WS/48

Playoff Career Averages (145 games):
20.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.7 BPG
.532 TS%, .447 FG%, .288 3PT%, .787 FT%
19.7 PER, .134 WS/48

 

Robert Parish

Born: August 30, 1953
Position: Center
Professional Career:
Golden State Warriors (NBA): 1976-’80
Boston Celtics (NBA): 1980-’94
Charlotte Hornets (NBA): 1994-’96
Chicago Bulls (NBA): 1996-’97

Robert Parish (Celtics Pride)
Robert Parish (Celtics Pride)

Robert Parish’s NBA career lasted longer than any player in history. He strung together 21 seasons and played in 1795 games between the regular season and playoffs. Naturally, luck plays a role in anyone being able to play for that long, but also credit Parish’s stringent training, yoga, and vegetarian diet for keeping him spry year after year.

Most of those years, of course, were spent with the Boston Celtics. From the 1980-81 season through the 1993-94 campaign, the Chief called Boston home. His presence alongside Larry Bird and Kevin McHale created what many think is the best frontcourt trio in NBA history. They have a good case given the trio of titles they captured together.

Parish, no doubt, was the lowest key of the three. He didn’t say much to begin with and his game was perhaps even quieter. He wasn’t prone to dazzling displays of athleticism, he never averaged over 20 points a game, and he didn’t swat shots into the 5th or 6th row.

But what Parish delivered certainly was constant and consistent. In his second NBA season (with the Golden State Warriors) in 1978, Parish scored 12.5 points per game. 16 years later in 1994, Parish at the age of 40 was still scoring 11.7 points a night. His defense and rebounding followed a similar ever-ready suit. Opposing centers rarely got the upper hand on the Chief who resolutely patrolled the paint and registered stifling resistance night after night.

For another perspective on Parish’s triumphant longevity, He was just a year younger than Bill Walton, his teammate on the 1986 Celtics. Walton entered the NBA in 1975, Parish in 1976. By the time Parish retired in 1997, Walton had been retired from the NBA for a decade and was in the midst of broadcasting playoff games that Parish was still appearing in. Parish was also just a year younger than George Gervin. Imagine the Ice Man still on an NBA roster in ’97. That’s the longevity of Parish.

Robert Parish schools Kareem

If there was anything “flashy” about Parish it was his insanely high-arching turn-around jumper. Already 7’0″, Parish lofting a shot from such a perch was impossible to block and he hit the shot an absurd amount. That shot enabled Parish to have games like a 31-point demolition of Detroit in the 1987 playoffs while making 10 of his 12 field goals, plus 11 of his 12 free throws.

The other patented Parish move was his one-handed, always-in-stride dunk. The Chief was an underrated finisher on the break since he never ran that fast, but he never stopped running so he could get down the court and finish with authority.

Notice how unfast Parish was running in that clip, but he kept a-movin’ and got the jam.  And at the age of 43 Parish was still doing his unfast floor trot to slam home dunks…

That’s the kind of ceaseless determination that defined the career of Robert Parish.

 

Honors

4x Champion (1981, 1984, 1986, 1997)
All-NBA 2nd Team (1982)
All-NBA 3rd Team (1989)
9x All-Star (1981-’87, 1990-’91)

Statistics

Regular Season Career Averages (1611 games):
14.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 0.8 SPG
.571 TS%, .537 FG%, .721 FT%
19.2 PER, .154 WS/48

Playoff Career Averages (184 games):
15.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 0.8 SPG
.547 TS%, .506 FG%, .722 FT%
16.6 PER, .121 WS/48

Sam Cassell

Born: November 18, 1969
Position: Point Guard
Professional Career:
Houston Rockets (NBA): 1993-’96
Phoenix Suns (NBA): 1996
Dallas Mavericks (NBA): 1996-’97
New Jersey Nets (NBA): 1997-’99
Milwaukee Bucks (NBA): 1999-2003
Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA): 2003-’04
Los Angeles Clippers (NBA): 2005-’08
Boston Celtics (NBA): 2008

Sam Cassell

Sam Cassell enjoyed a lengthy career as an NBA point guard, but only after an arduous college basketball journey. At age 20, he began playing junior college ball with San Jacinto College outside Houston. Then, at age 22, he transferred to Florida State. After two successful seasons there, Cassell was finally drafted into the NBA at age 24.

And nearly everywhere he went in the NBA, Cassell catalyzed improvement for his teams.

Selected by the Houston Rockets, the geriatric rookie immediately made a huge impact for the Rockets. No one doubts Hakeem Olajuwon was the primary fuel for the Rockets that won back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995, but Cassell’s role as backup point guard and big game performer helped pull Houston out of some tough fixes. In the 1994 Finals, Cassell hit a huge three-pointer in the final moments to win Game 3. He finished that game with 15 points on 4-6 shooting. Not bad for a rookie who averaged 7 points in the regular season. In the 1995 Finals, Cassell exploded for 31 points on 12 shots leading Houston to a 2-0 series lead over the Magic.

These huge playoff performances paid dividends for Cassell. By his third season, 1995-96, he was averaging 14.5 points and 5 assists per game off of Houston’s bench. Following that season, however, Cassell was traded to the Phoenix Suns and thus began his wandering days.

Over the next three seasons, Sam played for the Suns, Nets, and Mavericks before finally settling in Milwaukee. Not that he wasn’t productive. Cassell averaged 18 points and 6.5 assists in this span, but no club seemed to truly appreciate what he offered. The Nets were particularly foolish. They made their lone postseason between 1994 and 2002 while improving from 26 to 43 wins in their one full season with Cassell.

With the Bucks, though, Cassell found a home and exploited his talents to the max. His biggest assets, oddly for a point guard, were his abilities to post-up and generate lots of free throws. Milwaukee lacked a power forward or center capable of scoring, so Cassell’s production of 19 points and 7 assists per game while making 87% of his free throws was sorely needed. In 2001, teaming with Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen, Cassell’s Bucks narrowly missed out on the NBA Finals losing to the 76ers in a tough 7-game series.

Ever the wanderer, though, Cassell’s time in Milwaukee finished in 2003. Still, Cassell had a couple of curtain calls left.

The Timberwolves in 2004 enjoyed their best season in franchise history after Cassell’s acquisition. Indeed, it was a career year for Cassell who finally made the All-Star Team and was named to the All-NBA 2nd Team at the tender age of 34. With Kevin Garnett as league MVP and Cassell riding shotgun Minnesota made the Western Conference Finals. An unfortunate back injury to Sam kept the Wolves from mounting a full challenge to the Lakers, though, and they lost the series in six games.

In 2006, after an injury-plagued 2005 season, Cassell helped lift the Los Angeles Clippers from their wretched depths. Yes, the Clippers, a franchise that hadn’t won a playoff series since 1976 as the Buffalo Braves. Cassell’s savvy, leadership, and still potent skills mixed beautifully with another superb power forward (Elton Brand) as the Clippers won 47 games. In the playoffs, Sam’s Clippers advanced to the Western Conference Semi-Finals where they lost to the Suns in seven games. From that point on, Cassell was severely limited by injuries, but managed to snag a final NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

With his ebullient energy, pull-up jumpers, fearless forays to the rim, and confidence Cassell improved every team he appeared with. The Rockets, Nets, Bucks, Timberwolves, and Clippers were all demonstrably better with the services of Cassell. Even if those teams’ appreciation for Cassell usually proved very short-lived, that kind of track record is no accident, but proof of his prowess. In a career that was anything but short-lived, you can see that prowess almost from the get-go.

Honors

3x Champion (1993-’94, 2008)
All-NBA 2nd Team (2004)
All-Star (2004)

Statistics

Regular Season Career Averages (993 games):
15.7 PPG, 6.0 APG, 3.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG
.544 TS%, .454 FG%, .331 3PT%, .861 FT%
19.5 PER, .141 WS/48

Playoff Career Averages (136 games):
1.2 PPG, 4.4 APG, 2.6 RPG, 0.8 SPG
.525 TS%, .414 FG%, .363 3PT%, .847 FT%
15.9 PER, .093 WS/48

Grant Hill

Born: October 5, 1972
Position: Small Forward
Professional Career:
Detroit Pistons (NBA): 1994-2000
Orlando Magic (NBA): 2000-’07
Phoenix Suns (NBA): 2007-’12
Los Angeles Clippers (NBA): 2012-’13

Grant Hill
Grant Hill

What Grant Hill’s career could have been is something of joyful imagination mixed with sorrowful reality. The prodigious talent was mixed with demoralizing foot injuries, the endless rehabs, the near-fatal staph infection he suffered… it’s all enough to dash the fantastic dreams we had of Grant Hill leading the Detroit Pistons or the Orlando Magic to potential title glory.

It surely was enough to dash what should have been the middle portion of Hill’s career.

From the 2000-01 season to the 2005-06 season, Hill played in just 135 of 492 potential games. And half of those 135 came in the 2004-05 season. He also missed all of the 2003-04 season. His sojourn in Orlando was just rife with pain. But taking a step back from the sorrow, we do realize that Hill’s career was its own brand of magnificent.

He was co-Rookie of the Year in 1995 for the Detroit Pistons. In just his second season, he was approaching triple-double territory with regularity averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. He kept up a similar pace through the 2000 season. This era was undoubtedly the apex of Grant Hill. Amongst all NBA players of this era, Hill ranked 9th in PPG, 15th in APG, and 24th in RPG fully displaying his versatility.

But his final games for Detroit were played on an injured ankle that should have been rested. Hill’s impending free agency, however, cast an unfair pall. If Hill wisely sat out the playoffs to heal his ankle, accusations would have arisen claiming he was unfairly putting himself above his team. Yet another selfish millionaire athlete. If he played, he’d be a “team player”, but he’d put his health in jeopardy. Which is exactly what happened. To keep alive the season for a middling Pistons squad, Hill practically sacrificed five years of his career.

After finally emerging fully healthy in 2006, Hill enjoyed a surprising rejuvenation. Over the next five years – one with Orlando, the rest with Phoenix – Hill would average a respectable 13 points and 5 rebounds. Clearly, not what he once was, but after what he had experienced, these twilight years were glorious for Hill.

Only three other players (Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, and Larry Bird) had replicated Hill’s 1996 season of 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. But his season at age 38 in 2011 was nearly as remarkable. His 13 PPG that season was the 11th highest ever for a player that age or older. And he did it shooting nearly 40% from three-point range, quite the change from his early days. Nearly 20 years before, Hill happened to have the world’s best spin-cycle on his drives going to the hoop… but he couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn from downtown.

Nonetheless, he did what he had to do as time went on to remain an effective basketball player. Truthfully, he did what he had to do just to simply remain any kind of basketball player. He easily could have given up at any number of points without any complaints. But his perseverance is astounding.

Don’t sleep on Grant Hill’s actual talents, though. Few small forwards ever handled the ball like Hill. Few have ever passed like Hill. Few have ever encapsulated so many grand qualities with such grace like Hill. He’s a Hall of Fame type talent and an astounding one at that.

Honors

Rookie of the Year (1995)
All-NBA 1st Team (1997)
4x All-NBA 2nd Team (1996, 1998-2000)
7x All-Star (1995-’98, 2000-’01, 2005)

Statistics

Regular Season Career Averages (1026 games):
16.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.6 BPG
.551 TS%, .483 FG%, .769 FT%
19.0 PER, .138 WS/48

Playoff Career Averages (39 games):
13.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG
.531 TS%, .469 FG%, .781 FT%
18.1 PER, .102 WS/48

Reggie Miller

Born: August 24, 1965
Position: Shooting Guard
Professional Career:
Indiana Pacers (NBA): 1987-’05

Reggie Miller (Indianapolis Star)
Reggie Miller (Indianapolis Star)

Reggie Miller possessed a career predicated more on longevity than overwhelming dominance. He made a respectable five All-Star Games in his 18-year career. He also garnered a decent three selections to the All-NBA 3rd Team. His career-high in PPG (24.6) came in his third season and on only one other occasion did Miller surpass the 22-point per game plateau. He averaged a mere 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. He only grabbed one steal per game.

The early part of his career, 1987-88 through 1991-92, saw his Indiana Pacers muddle around 40 wins a year as he and a quirky mix of Chuck Person and Detlef Schrempf slogged in a powerful Eastern Conference dominated by the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, and Chicago Bulls. However, as those franchises succumbed to age and premature Michael Jordan retirements, Miller’s persistence, and the retooling of the Pacers allowed for a superb second act in Miller’s career.

Reggie’s remarkable consistency allowed for such a retooling. Sure, he never had breathtaking scoring averages, but from 1990 to 2001, he never fell below 18 PPG. That steady scoring did come on breathtaking percentages, however. He routinely led the NBA in free throw percentage, or came very close. That tends to happen when you shoot 88.8% from the line for your career.

Rik Smits, Dale Davis, Antonio Davis, Derrick McKey, Byron Scott, and Mark Jackson highlighted the first Pacers run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1994 and 1995. Each of those series ended in seven games with Indiana on the losing end. Then, after another regrouping, the Pacers enjoyed another run of greatness making the ECF in 1998 and 1999 and, finally, the NBA Finals in 2000 with additions of Jalen Rose, Chris Mullin, and Travis Best. Yet another rejuvenation occurred in 2004 with Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, and Al Harrington leading the way to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.

Reggie Miller was the only link between all these different teams, and all these coaches and players that came through Indiana.

In addition to the remarkable free-throw shooting, his three-point shooting was absolutely prodigious. Bounding off of screens and picks galore, Miller could curl, catch, and shoot faster than just about any player in NBA history. To make matters worse for defenders, Miller had a habit of extending his leg while shooting to catch the opponent and draw a foul. So even if he didn’t knock down the shot, he was going to receive two free throws that he was assuredly going to make.

Miller also chose the best times to unleash torrential scoring when it comes to remembering outstanding performances. 25-point quarters in Madison Square Garden tend to sear memories. As do 8 points in 9 seconds. Or whirling three-point shots that miraculously bank in. And shoving Michael Jordan to break free for a three.

Reggie lived for the stage of the postseason and thanks to his dramatic performances – and his incredible endurance – he carved out a memorable place in basketball history.

Honors

3x All-NBA 3rd Team (1995-’96, 1998)
5x All-Star (1990, 1995-’96, 1998, 2000)

Statistics

Regular Season Career Averages (1389 games):
18.2 PPG, 3.0 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.1 SPG, .471% FG, .395 3PT%, .888 FT%
18.4 PER, .176 WS/48

Playoff Career Averages (144 games):
20.6 PPG, 2.5 APG, 2.9 RPG, 1.0 SPG, . 449FG%, .390 3PT%, .893 FT%
19.5 PER, .180 WS/48

Tim Hardaway

Born: September 1, 1966
Position: Point Guard
Professional Career:
Golden State Warriors (NBA): 1989-’96
Miami Heat (NBA): 1996-2001
Dallas Mavericks (NBA): 2001-’02
Denver Nuggets (NBA): 2002
Indiana Pacers (NBA): 2003

Tim Hardaway (Hoops Vibe)
Tim Hardaway (Hoops Vibe)

Yes! Yes!… YES! In your face!

That’s the kind of bravado that defined the career of Tim Hardaway. Hard as it is to believe, his game did speak louder than his words. The brash pinball whirled and barreled his way into a decade-long all-star sojourn in the NBA. The bravado and talent persevered despite a treacherous ACL tear that robbed him of his most brazen athleticism midway through his career.

Luckily for Hardaway and basketball fans, the least brazen of his  athleticism was still pretty brazen.

The 6’0″ (on a good day with thick socks on) guard was an electrifying sensation when he burst into the NBA with the Golden State Warriors in the 1989-90 season. Hardaway completed the fabled, but short-lived, triptych of Run-TMC with Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin. Warriors coach Don Nelson drove those players to push the ball at insane speeds and to score at any given opportunity.

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