Looking Back, Looking Forward

By Jerald L. Hoover, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 29, 2010

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NEW YORK (BASN) — This is absolutely the very first and hopefully the very last time that I pen a sports story in first person, so bear with me my peeps.

I sat at the Theater at Madison Square Garden this past Thursday for three hours before the Knicks picked their players in the second round.

They had the 38th and 39th picks and took Syracuse Orangeman combo guard, Andy Rautins and Stanford’s swingman, Landry Fields.

There’s a chance that the Knicks have also secured Milwaukee’s second round pick (44th overall), center Jerome Jordan. And no, he’s not (at least from the initial looks of things) the second coming of Jerome James.

There’s an outside chance that all three will make the opening night roster as the club only has four players under contract at present.

These three seem to have talent and desirable skills that the Knicks need. Rautins is a deadeye shooter while Fields is an athletic wing. Both players were seniors and have been through the wars of college ball.

The soon to be 24-year-old Jordan is an athletic seven footer that can rebound and block and or alter shots. He however hasn’t been playing basketball for too long as he started when he was 17 years old.

What I found so amazing on the day before the draft at the media gathering was so many reporters asking these kids how they felt about LeBron and free agency.

I’m wondering, ‘are you serious?’ Why would you ask a kid that’s not even in the League constant questions about something that they really don’t have a clue about?

As the picks were being called during the actual draft you can get a sense that almost each and every selection with the exception of probably the first two picks: Kentucky guard, John Wall going to the Washington Wizards and Ohio State’s small forward, Evan Turner heading to the Philadelphia 76ers there’s an underlining theme or a free agent match up in mind with the pick.

That’s the conspiracy thing that is making the free agent class the noisiest of all classes. Speaking of this free agent class, there’s no way on this earth do I think this 2010 class is the best ever.

I sort of remember the 1996 Free agent class that had the likes of: Michael Jordan, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, Juwan Howard, Dale Davis, Horace Grant, Allan Houston just to name a very select few.

At last count, James, Dwayne Wade and Joe Johnson are great players but neither is better than Michael Jordan. Chris Bosh is great, but he’s no Shaq. So you can do the proverbial math on which class is actually better in my eyes.

Now for the way that some of these so called ‘experts’ are trying to size up where LeBron is going, let me see: Sources say that Miami with Wade is a done deal.

Reliable sources say, ‘it’s the Bulls of Chicago’. More reliable sources say, it’s the Knicks or the Nets. The way that I feel, I’m almost thinking that some (if not all) of all these sources were actually on the sauce.

In my humble opinion, New York holds the highest challenge of what’s at stake. The have a great shooter in Danilo Gallinari; and he’s getting better and better.

There’s a great wing player in Wilson Chandler and he also plays defense. Then there’s the point guard, Toney Douglas who will not hog up the ball while dribbling too much.

Whereas, Chicago’s point man, Derrick Rose is a ball dominator supreme; I would bet if LeBron and Wade and Bosh all went to just one team, one of them will be wanting within 3 years to get out of there.’

In all of my years watching and covering NBA basketball, I’ve hardly yet to see at team with three or four superstars come together and win titles. Now wait for all of those that may say Magic Johnson had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Byron Scott; and Larry Bird had Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson. Wait, Parish and Jabbar were older type players and Worthy was brilliant but it was Magic that made that all go. Same with Bird, as prevalent of a scorer as he was, he was just as Picasso like when passing the ball to an open teammate. Bird and Magic’s favorite stats were in the win and lose columns. Can this crop of superstars do the same things?