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Which case of a Legend being robbed from the game, do you find most severe?

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Chronz, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Chronz

    Chronz Member

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    It happens atleast once a decade, a potentially historical shattering player is lost..... which did you find to be most disheartening?


    BY ERAS......


    50's-60's


    OK so Im reading The Rivalry and they talk about this behemoth of a man with the athleticism to match it. He was either too big or too quick for everyone in the league. He was among the first to break the color barrier, the rebounding champ Russell's rookie year, made an All-NBA Team every year, a HOF, and the first black Rookie of the Year. His career was cut short due to a debilitating fall in the last game of the regular season. Oddly enough the man was able to get a double double in a playoff match (an off game), it wasnt till a few days after that the injury really begin to show its symptoms. He spent the rest of his life a paraplegic, and died of a heart attack not long thereafter. His name was Maurice Stokes.

    What could've been;
    This was such a different time that the historical context of things are bit fuzzy but heres what I can gather. Assuming Stokes stayed with the team (which is a pretty sure fire bet at the time) it would be 3 seasons before the time Big O joined. At which point he wouldve been 27, the prime of his career and in the ensuing years playing with Big O at the peak of his powers. You dont think that 7 game series against the Celtics tips in their favor now? If the Royals win even 1 championship that changes the fortune of 2 franchises and 2 of the games 8 or so best players. Bill Russell and Kareem (Big O probably stays put and in winning finally earns the respect he deserved).





    70's


    Bill Walton - This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Big Red Pothead was lost to injury year after year. As a result we had finals with two mid 40 win teams, the uninteresting era of the 70's and if not for the merger, wouldve surely killed the league.

    What could've been;
    In the prime of his career he couldve been the Russell to Kareems Wilt, the era suddenly doesnt need Magic/Bird to save it, but I see no reason why they dont raise the games popularity to greater heights.





    80's


    Len Bias - Coke killed him, the equivalent of a SF version of Michael Jordan or poor mans current Bron, at the very least another Dominique Wilkens type talent added to Larry Bird's Celtics. Thats like the Lakers getting Worthy while already possessing a championship squad, you know how that turned out.

    What could've been;
    The Celtics remained competitive regardless, but they maxed out the HOF'ers. A healthy Bias to carry the load keeps Larry and McHale from rushing back too soon from their injuries. Prolongs their window of opportunity another half decade. We miss out on some classic Bulls-Celtics ECF's and the East of the 90's is strengthened.





    Late 80's - Early 90's

    Arvydas Sabonis - Ive already gone to great lengths explaining my hard on for Sabonis game. So I wont write too much here but even if we were to say hes overhyped, at the very least hes an All-Star Center, and dominant big for sure joining a team that most definitely couldve used his presence. Thats like adding Ewing in his prime to a team that already made the Finals without him. I think Ive said enough, we all know how well MJ's Bulls did against dominant C's.




    MID 90's- Early 00's


    Grant Hill & Penny Hardaway

    Dont need to rehash, its still fresh in our minds. But what makes it hard with Penny is that he repeatedly tried to come back at different phases of his career and it effected his decision to leave to Phoenix. If he stays in his peak form he probably stays in Orlando so that alters Kidd's legacy. At the same time Orlando lands Grant Hill because Penny is no longer on the team, perhaps they keep Penny and sign Hill, leaving Tmac to sign in Miami. It really gets twisted when you start thinking too much about it so I just let it go. We all know what they meant considering it was like yesterday.

    2000's


    Alonzo Mourning - Our generation has generally consisted of bits and pieces of great players being taken away, and not so much of any 1 players entire career. Tmac and Grant Hill, Vince Carter, Yao. Its hard to say which is least a result of their own doing and their strengths as players, but losing Alonzo at the peak of his career to a kidney problem is pretty unfortunate IMO.

    Its not like Zo never had a chance to win he was 30 when it all began crumbling down, but its more like the timing in which his absence came. I liken it to Willis Reed (Honorable Mention) being lost to injuries. Zo absence came at a time when the East was totally up for grabs and lacking a true contending team.
     
  2. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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  3. ibm

    ibm Member

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    hill should not have played that playoff series. everything could've been different, incl. mcgrady's career.

    and did zo have some drug issues that caused the kidney ailment?
     
  4. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    I'd add another to the 90's...Hank Gathers. I thought he was really going to be a great one.
     
  5. Chronz

    Chronz Member

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    Who was that
     
  6. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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  7. wekko368

    wekko368 Member

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    Magic Johnson.
     
  8. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    Len Bias never even had a chance to make any kind of mark on the NBA so I would vote for him
     
  9. Sirton

    Sirton Contributing Member

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    Like to add a HM in the 80s-90s. Ralph Sampson.
     
  10. The Hunted

    The Hunted Member

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    Honestly how did they miss this? He had just led his team to the NBA Finals the year before.
     
  11. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    Good post...
     
  12. Patience

    Patience Contributing Member

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    How about Ralph Sampson? The story of the 1980's Houston Rockets would be very different if he had never gotten hurt...

    [edit]

    oops, Sirton beat me to it:

     
  13. RocketMadness

    RocketMadness Member

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    John Lucas, it was sad that he had suffered from a drug and alchohol problem.
     
  14. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    Lucas was the #1 pick and had a world of potential to be one of the best PGs that played the game. Drug did him not once, but twice.

    And yes, Sampson should be mentioned. In my opinion, his potential was better than Bias, especially having seen what he could do in real NBA games.
     
  15. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Along with Sweet Lew Lloyd and Mitch Wiggins. In the baseball, etc. forum, there's a thread asking if Houston has a sports curse. Besides Bud Adams (obvious Houston curse), there was one on that team. Even the Dream was cursed with mediocre teams for several years afterwards. Very, very, very frustrating. :(
     
  16. alex09xu

    alex09xu Member

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    Shaun Livingston
     
  17. hjg877

    hjg877 Member

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    Randy Livingston




    =====

    Eddie Griffin
    Jason Williams
    Bobby Hurley
    Drazen Petrovic
     
  18. AggieRocketsFan

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    I saw a pretty good part on ESPN about Jason Kidd and Penny Hardaway on the Suns. They were supposed to form the best backcourt of all time and they were called "BackCourt 2000" but they couldn't get it together due to injuries, Stephon Marbury, and other problems.
     
  19. leebigez

    leebigez Contributing Member

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    The grant hill thing is spot on. Thats why i think players should always look out for players. Grant hill was on his way to the hall before he took one for the team. You can see how good he is at 37 and just picture his iq ,athletic ability and skills at 27. He was lebron light to me.

    Zo played through alot of pain due to being kinda undersized and took pain killers that eventually took out his kidney. Thats why guys like shaq don't take those pain shots because they're hard on your kidneys.
     
  20. verse

    verse Contributing Member

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    IIRC, it was a prolonged overusage of Ibuprofen that debillitated Zo's kidneys. NSAIDs taken at a max level (1000mgs per day is the Dr recommended max dosage...1200mgs in extreme cases) for a decade or so is hell on the body.
     

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