Competence, not greatness, good enough for PGs on title teams
And then there's
And he of the four rings.
There's your reality check. At a time when point guards are generating so much attention, a convergence of circumstances from the 2008-09 season into the draft into free agency next month, the reminder note being distributed after the Lakers-Magic series is that it does not take a great talent at the point to win the title. Big men (
No knock on Fisher. Few guys are more respected by peers. Smart. Tough. Mature from the day he hit the NBA. The No. 24 choice in 1996 stands as one of the final examples of
But Fisher has never been in the debate for an All-Star spot, let alone actually made the Sunday game. In his best statistical season, he averaged 13.3 points and 4.3 assists with the Warriors in 2005-06.
Fisher is just part of the story, though: Consider the point guards who have won in the Finals recently, and it's clear teams seldom need great point guards to win a championship, and teams where the best player is a point guard rarely win.
2009 -- Fisher. With the understanding that
Parker and Billups are the only All-Stars among starting point guards on the list. No Hall of Famer was in the role since
It is especially relevant with the storylines of 2008-09 and into the summer. Rose showed star potential; Williams was an All-Star for the Cavaliers and turned in a regular season that gave
The draft and free agency alone will alter the league for years. It just may not deliver a title. Because it doesn't take a dominant point guard to win.
He was the face of the franchise with a losing reputation, and so
But he also drafted Kevin Garnett. Not just drafted Garnett -- drafted him in a gutsy move, about a month into the job as vice president of basketball operations, at a time when taking a high school kid was a rarity. McHale took him fifth, after
If the Timberwolves had passed on KG, almost every other alternative would have been disastrous:
Instead, McHale went with the risk of a skinny 19-year-old. Many regrettable calls would follow, none greater than being taken by the Trail Blazers in the
• Even if he was standing in the back, typically, as Lakers players, coaches and staff members dominated the victory podium, unassuming GM
• The reported discussion of a trade that would have Cleveland sending
• Everything Bryant said at the end of the regular season about handling the demand of the playoff workload turned out to be true. He went from playing all 82 games in 2007-08 to all 21 in the playoffs that season to the Summer Olympics to all 82 games this season to all 23 in the title drive, an exhaustive pace coupled with a dramatic jump in minutes. The 36.1 minutes per game of the regular season turned into 40.9 in the four rounds and 43.8 against the Magic. No player on either team logged more.