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[sportige.com] The Top Five Prep-to-Pro Players in NBA History (2 rox players)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by TheTruth, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. TheTruth

    TheTruth Contributing Member

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    1 former and 1 "current" Rockets player mentioned

    http://sportige.com/nba-best-high-school/

    With Brandon Jennings (22.3 points, 5.5 assists per game) showing that a year across the Atlantic can do wonders for your career and earning money instead of earning an education (those who actually stay the four years), we honor the best players who also skipped college, but did it in those carefree days (before the 2006 draft), when you could hop from your senior prom to the NBA draft and live your dream of becoming an NBA star/bench warmer – Here are the best players in NBA history coming straight out of high school -

    Honorable Mention – Reggie Harding


    Image: Source
    Reggie Harding didn’t have an impressive NBA career at all – 205 games in four seasons, averaging 9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Nothing flashy at all. But he was the first – the first player to be drafted by an NBA team, the Detroit Pistons, without having to play in college. Harding’s career was cut short due to his constant off-court problems, including drug addictions and jail time. He threatened to shoot Indiana’s GM during a television interview and reportedly other players during the time he spent as a pro. He was shot dead in Detroit, 1972.

    And now for the good guys, the Top 5 straight-outta-high-school players in the history of the NBA -

    Number 5 – Tracy McGrady


    Image: Source
    T-Mac might not be the most popular NBA figure in recent years, and especially in Houston since he hasn’t played since last season and his contract is the most expensive in the league, but he’s still had a great career, individually, to this point. He was named “High School Player of the Year” by USA Today prior to his draft entrance. He could have partnered up with Michael Jordan, but Jordan torpedoed the Bulls’ attempt to trade Scottie Pippen and gain a higher draft pick. After a couple of not too impressive seasons, McGrady became a starter alongside his cousin, Vince Carter, and started showing his stuff. McGrady was traded to Orlando and bloomed, becoming an All-Star in his first season with the Magic. He went on to lead the league in scoring in two consecutive seasons (2003-2005) before getting shipped to Houston, where he still is but no longer playing despite putting up good numbers until 2008-2009.

    McGrady was always considered to be among the most talented players in the league, at times maybe the best in the league (very short times), due to his all-around play and the ability to lead the offense from the Small Forward position and play multiple positions. His inability to be a part of a successful playoff team (never won a playoff series) makes his career look, as a whole, to be disappointing for a man with such talents. He has put 22.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 12 NBA seasons so far.

    Number 4 – LeBron James


    Image: Source
    Number 4? Really? Well yeah, we’re not talking potential, or the way the list will look in 10-15 years, we’re talking about November 2009, and right now, Lebron has the fourth most impressive career for a “high schooler”.

    The “chosen one” came into the NBA after an amazing (3 times Ohio’s Mr. Basketball) high school career at St. Vincent – St. Mary, where he was touted as a future draft pick since his sophomore year. James was the number one pick in the 2003 NBA draft, as the Cleveland Cavaliers took him with the hopes he’ll save Basketball and maybe even sports in this drought cursed sports city. Lebron was still 18 when he began his rookie season, and there was no rookie wall, or second year wall, or rookie ceiling or whatever people want to call it with him. He wasn’t the best player in the league right away, no. He didn’t single handedly lead the Cavs to the playoffs (not in the first two years at least). But he was amazing, and he seems to be getting better, and a better group of players gradually surrounding him. He’s one of three active players (Nash, Nowitzki) to have an MVP but no title but he’s only 24. He’ll get that ring, in Cleveland or somewhere else (Don’t drool, Knicks fans). His career numbers, 14 games into his seventh season – 27.6 points, 7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game.

    Number 3 – Kevin Garnett


    Image: Source
    Garnett broke a barrier (well more like crossed a long-time unused one) and started a tidal wave in1995 (38 Players followed him from 1996 till 2005), becoming the first player to be drafted straight out of high school since 1975. There was Shawn Kemp, but he did enroll into college before he started his NBA career. Unlike Lebron, Garnett eased into his “franchise savior” role, having a decent rookie season with 10.4 points per game, coming off the bench half the time. A year later, it all changed, for him and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Garnett became a full time starter and just a great player, and Minnesota suddenly became a team that won, making it into the playoffs for the first time ever. Garnett improved, he got better players around him but only in 2003-2004, with Sprewell and Cassell, did he break the first playoff round barrier, making it as far as the Western Finals. Garnett won the MVP that season but didn’t make the playoffs again for the next three seasons. He did lead the league in rebounds between 2004-2007. Then came the trade to Boston, Ray Allen also joined him and Pierce, the C’s won their 17th title and Garnett can play in peace. If he avoids injury this season, the Celtics might get their 18th. In his 15th season as an NBA player, one of the best Power Forwards ever (personally Tim Duncan is my #1), Garnett has put up 20.1 points, 11 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game during his career.

    Number 2 – Moses Malone


    Image: Source
    It’s getting boring writing about Malone, who is in so many NBA all time leaders list (including 6th in points and 5th in rebounds), but that just shows what an amazing player he was. Moses Malone started in the ABA, becoming the fifth player ever to jump from high school straight into the pro ranks and joined the NBA in 1976 after the dispersal draft and the “swallowing” of the ABA. Malone played in the NBA for 19 seasons, winning 3 MVP award and one championship ring with the 76′ers in 1983. His career averages are 20.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, leading the league in rebounds six times. He is one of the greatest centers of all-time and certainly the best “small” center ever (only 6-10).

    Number 1 – Kobe Bryant


    Image: Source
    Last year’s title win, his fourth and first one without Shaq, some (including me) thought that Kobe would maybe be slowing down a bit this season, taking it easier. But with Bynum and Gasol in and out of the DL list, Kobe is scoring almost 30 points per game, after two straight 100+ games seasons including the 2008 summer Olympics. So, no rest until he’s considered the greatest ever? Better than MJ? It’s hard to see that happening, but he is among the ten best players ever to play basketball, and he’s undoubtedly the best player to skip college. He’s the best at a lot of things. Kobe wasn’t considered such a super phenom when he came out of high school, at least not like LeBron or Garnett were. He was traded from the Hornets (13th pick in the 1996 draft) to the Lakers for Vlade Divac, which in retrospect is one of the dumbest deals ever, but who knew? Jerry West knew, and after two seasons of coming off the bench, Bryant became a starter at the age of 20. He won his first championship when he was 21, his third when he was 23, forming that amazing 1-2 punch with Shaq, maybe the best the league has ever seen. He’s been constantly the best or among the top 5 players in the league ever since, winning the scoring title twice (2005-2007) and seems like a man on a mission to grab as many titles and accolades as possible till his body can’t take it anymore. Career averages, playing in his 14th NBA season – 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists.

    Honorable Mentions -
    Darryl Dawkins (1975), 14 NBA seasons, 12 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, first high school student to be drafted along with Bill Willoughby.

    Shawn Kemp (1989), 14 NBA season, 14.6 points per game, 8.4 rebounds. Attended Kentucky University but was kicked off.

    Jermaine O’Neal (1996), in his 15th NBA season, 14.3 points, 7.6 rebounds.

    Rashard Lewis (1998), 12th NBA season, 16.9 points per game

    Amare Stoudemire (2002), 8th NBA season, 21 points and 8.6 rebounds per game

    Dwight Howard (2004), 6th NBA season, 17.3 points, 12.5 rebounds per game
     
  2. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    What? No Bill Willoughby? OUTRAGEOUS !

    ;)

    DD
     
  3. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    Apparently the writer never heard of another 6-10 center who played for the Rockets and brought home a couple of trophies while he was here.
     
  4. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    Olajuwon is officially listed at 7'0. So most view him as a 7-footer, even if that's an inch or two over.
     
  5. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    I know some will see me as hater or a Houston homer, but I think Kobe is overrated for being #1 on the list. Yes, he can score, play good defense, and hit circus shots.

    But, I think if it were a draft among these players, I'd take Moses first no questions ask. Over the course of a season, he can average as many points as Kobe, yet he bring outstanding rebounding, good post defense, and etc.

    Again, like Olajuwon or Wilt, I think if you Moses on just about any modern NBA team that team is immediately a contender for a conference title, even the worst ones.

    You put Moses (18-34) on the Rockets, right now...they are instantly one of the best teams in the West and probably could beat the Lakers in a series.
     
  6. jevon3012

    jevon3012 Member

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    You mean the guy who went to the University of Houston and thus ineligible for a list of the best straight from high school to NBA players?
     
  7. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    Also, if Moses played in this era of basketball, he'd certainly have more than 1 title and I'll say he'd be right up there with Kobe and LeBron. Not having to go against those heavyweight 80s teams and teams with extraordinary centers.

    Everyone talks about how great Dwight Howard is, but Moses was 10x the center Dwight is? He would not have let Bynum and Gasol slow him down.
     
  8. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!
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    No Eddie Griffin?

    unfathomable
     
  9. leebigez

    leebigez Contributing Member

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    As much as i like kobe, he cant be above moses. Moses took a .500 team to the finals and took over dr j's team and won the finals. Not to mention 3 mvp trophies. Kobe is a great player no doubt, but when you start you career with shaq, it kinda takes some off of it for me.
     
  10. TheGreat

    TheGreat Member

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    McGrady had potential to be #1 on that list.

    LeBron will take it though.
     
  11. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    That is unfathomable considering he played his freshman year at Seton Hall before declaring for the draft. :cool:
     
  12. AstroRocket

    AstroRocket Member

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    Good lord, at least try to read the part he quoted.


    Soon enough, Dwight will knock T-Mac out of this top 5.
     
  13. Vinsanity

    Vinsanity Contributing Member

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    I like Moses, but saying you'd take Moses Malone over Kobe is pretty much homerism, and it would put you in the minority over most people who follow NBA basketball. If you said Dream, I'd be with you, but even that would be a tough decision, but I'd still take Dream over Kobe, but Moses? Can't say that I would.
     
  14. Easy

    Easy Contributing Member
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    Malone is undoubtedly one of the greatest centers ever. His game was as ugly as effective.

    Griffin went to college.
     
  15. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    The author wasn't talking about high-school-to-pro centers at that point.
     
  16. bloop

    bloop Member

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    you have any clue who Moses Malone is?

    he was a 3 time MVP who could drop 50 points on you, while grabbing 15 boards. not to mention that neither Dream nor Barkley would be the players you know today without his tutelage .

    on that list, there's no way garnett should be above moses. it's not even close. you can also make an argument about moses versus kobe. that crack about homerism is so far off base that it's not even funny. moses was basically Barkley on steroids, that is if Barkley had come to the Rockets in 1996 and actually done something and won a ring like Moses did with the 76ers
     
  17. Rip Van Rocket

    Rip Van Rocket Contributing Member

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    You obviously did not see Moses in his prime. How old are you, did you even see Moses play? I'm serious, when were you born?

    Take a look at the stats Moses posted as a Rocket. I would take Moses over Kobe in a second. Moses seems to always be the forgotten superstar by many fans. Moses was amazing.
     
  18. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    You realize that Malone is in the same stratosphere or near the level of the likes of Kareem, Dream, Wilt, Russell, and Shaq. You had other great centers, like David Robinson, Ewing, Walton, Parish, but I could tell you right now...Malone in decline was probably somewhat better than those guys in that last group in their prime.

    22.4 and 14.0 average in 100 playoff games.

    Also, I know other posters (along with myself) keep harping on this, the guy was a beastly center.

    Most wing scorers aren't going to be as important as a center, they can't really bring the same set of benefits as a center would (and sometimes a superior passing point guard). A team can literally go from being a lottery team to championship contender, if you change who is playing center (or pg) for that team.

    #ell, he took Houston to ECF in his first year he played with the team.

    In 80-81, they knock off the defending champions as 7th seeded and went to the Finals with fair chance of beating Boston.
     
  19. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run
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    seriously? can't write stuff like this and expect to be taken seriously. It's small, but it's an annoyance and stupid
     
  20. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    Maybe so, especially some don't follow the NBA as much as they claim, or are having amnesia about how great and dominant a good big men in the middle of the floor could be. Most of the ones under 30 wouldn't know who Moses Malone, they barely know who some of the players from 80s and 90s are.

    In some cases, some could look at the MVPs and stats of Moses and conclude he was probably a better player ...or more dominant (efficient) player than Bryant.

    I know Kobe fans are often guilty of this or even the MSM outlets, they say if Kobe can somehow surpass some of MJs numbers or out do him in certain regards that would make him the best ever.

    Maybe, but if that's the case then that would make him better than Wilt, Bird, Olajuwon, Magic, and many others. Which I don't think is even a forgone conclusion when they are compared to MJ.
     
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