Rambis

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Postby Robert Bradley » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:45 pm

I'm sure Rambis is a legend at Santa Clara too.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:51 am

Keith Ellis wrote:
Robert Bradley wrote:I'm sure Rambis is a legend at Santa Clara too.


Albeit not for a team that won 60 straight before sending him out to win an Olympic gold medal, too. Stats don't tell the full story -- but thanks as always for the good info, MikeG!



i'm sure playing alongside Bill Russell had a little to do with that.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:37 am

Keith Ellis wrote:I'm about to give up, but will note first that in LA Jabbar needed a player much like KC Jones -- Michael Cooper -- to win all five of his titles. Did Russell need a non-shooter like Rambis? Satch & famed hatchet-man Losky shot twice as often as Rambo did, remember.


Michael Cooper played in Milwaukee?
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Postby meej » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:43 am

Keith Ellis wrote:Did Russell need a non-shooter like Rambis?


Bill Russell was not the scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was.

The arrival of Magic Johnson created a well documented tension between the established star and the talented newcomer, specially as the Lakers featured a long list of capable scorers (Nixon, Wilkes, Worthy, Scott, McAdoo etc). During the first half of the decade the Lakers struggled to balance all this firepower, and one of the critical spots was the power forward position. Maybe the Spencer Haywood fiasco had more to do with drugs than actual basketball issues, but the fact remains that Jabbar clashed with Haywood and then Jim Chones, and I think it is justifiable to assume he would have clashed with a full time starting Bob McAdoo as well. Maurice Lucas never clicked, either. The Lakers needed a player who would help cover Kareem's developing weaknesses (physical defense and rebounding) without cramping his style offensively.

A good trooper like Mitch Kupchack would have been a great match, but when he went down injured they found just the player they needed, a guy who would play hard and contribute in limited minutes without demanding the ball in offense.

The Hawks did something like that the first season with Moses Malone when Kevin Willis went down with a season-ending injury. Early on I assumed they would be fine as they had two capable forwards off the bench, Cliff Levingston and Antoine Carr. However, they ended up starting Jon Koncak and going off in an insane winning streak.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:44 pm

meej wrote:
Keith Ellis wrote:Did Russell need a non-shooter like Rambis?

Bill Russell was not the scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was.

The Russell Celtics were the antithesis of the prevailing notion that a team should put it's 5 best players on the floor as much as possible. There's only one ball to be shot, and there are 5 opponents to try and stop. So an ideal lineup was found to be 4-5 good defenders and 2-3 good scorers. A good 2-way player got more minutes.

In 1960, the Celtics had 5 of the league's 20 players who averaged at least 20 pts per 36 min. (Minimum 1000 minutes) In 1961, they had 5 of 19 such players. Everyone else had 1, 2, or 3 such scorers.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/pla ... i?id=5OBql

Sort the above list by Minutes Played (MP), and see these 5 Boston Scorers -- Cousy, Sharman, Ramsey, Heinsohn, Sam Jones -- take 10 of the bottom 20 spots in the interval.
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Postby meej » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:55 pm

I'd suggest that they did try and play their five best players as much as possible, only they did not define "best players" exactly the same way as other teams did, i.e. "best scorers period".

One can't help but wonder "what if" Bill Russell had ended up at any other place.
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Postby Keith Ellis » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:36 pm

Robert Bradley wrote:
Keith Ellis wrote:I'm about to give up, but will note first that in LA Jabbar needed a player much like KC Jones -- Michael Cooper -- to win all five of his titles. Did Russell need a non-shooter like Rambis? Satch & famed hatchet-man Losky shot twice as often as Rambo did, remember.


Michael Cooper played in Milwaukee?


As noted above, Kareem won five titles in LA, not Milwaukee. And no, the Bucks didn't enjoy a Don Chaney's services. But the dynastic Celts are better compared to the dynastic Lakers than to the one-year-wonder Bucks.


meej wrote:The Lakers needed a player who would help cover Kareem's developing weaknesses (physical defense and rebounding) without cramping his style offensively.


Bingo. Jabbar's abandonment of Rebounding was unprecedented for a big man who'd shown himself capable of leading the NBA in boards. He set an example followed in midsizer-laden Milwaukee by Bob Lanier, who'd once proven able to grab 33 caroms in a game, followed prominently by non-Rebounding big bodies Kevin DuckWorth & Rik Smits on contending clubs. These non-Rebounding Centers were taken further to experimenting w/ players like Koncak's wholly stunted games. Bill Cartwright morphed from a slack-defending Scorer into a non-shooter w/ sharp elbows, in an era in which a shotblocking Center didn't seem to matter anyway.

Rambis' role in ending the Big Five ideal that extended at least from the Original Celtics thru (as MikeG says) the Russell Celtics to the Knicks/Pacers/Lakers of the early Seventies influenced more than just the non-shooting frontliners like Iavaroni, Rodman, Ben Wallace, & Bruce Bowen who'd follow on championship clubs. His unprecedentedly shy shooting also helped justify increased reliance on the HR. Marketing campaigns of the Nineties openly boasted that "chicks dig the long ball."

During Rambo's glory years the Lakers made Michael Cooper the first Designated 3-point-Hitter w/ some success. This developing mindset eventually allowed newly-chic Steve Kerrs & the lesser Leglers/Leses/Sundvolds to achieve catch-&-shoot god status. As the Star System gave way from a hired gun's hook shots to The Man's juking & jiving en route to the hoop or a FT opp, the rest's roles became to either stand at the perimeter or set picks & never create shots despite their conventional training as collegians-turned-professionals.
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Postby meej » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:46 pm

I am far from sure about how "unprecedented" Rambis was. Marc Iavaroni was a started on the championship Sixers, and before that there was Caldwell Jones, once considered the second-best center in the ABA who was instructed to dismiss any offensive inclinations to complement Erving, McGinnis, Collins & Co.
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Postby meej » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:07 pm

I've read it, but I still think that Iavaroni follows the link from Caldwell Jones - who may not have won a title, but he started in three finals. The Sixers did not just start Iavaroni, they went from a Jones-Jones starting lineup to a Iavaroni-Malone setup. Iavaroni went to play a similar role in the Jazz, starting for Thurl Bailey.

I think that Rambis belongs in the "designated starter" tradition, as he averaged around 20 mpg and was usually replaced by Bob McAdoo in crunch time.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:09 pm

Keith Ellis wrote:
meej wrote:I am far from sure about how "unprecedented" Rambis was. Marc Iavaroni ...
...
Comparing Rambis to Westley Unseld or Bill Russell, as was also done earlier in this thread, can't hold water. Those two guys were MVPs ...

So compare to KC Jones, Ira Harge, Clifford Ray, Kim Hughes, and others who shot less because they had teammates who scored aplenty.

Team-building is an art as much as it's a science. The aging Kareem got a lot of extra mileage by 'specializing' in scoring, rather than doing-everything-forever. No one manages that.

Unseld and Russell (and Wilt) reduced their shot attempts in order to win titles. There's nothing unmanly about that. It's what their situations called for.

Iavaroni couldn't have started next to Caldwell. Next to Moses: perfect; Bobby off the bench.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:19 pm

Keith Ellis wrote:... it's intellectually lazier & easier to sign New Rambos rather than develop New Magics. ..

Laziness (and sloth) have to be the explanation. Otherwise, we'd be cloning Magic Johnsons right and left.
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Postby meej » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:16 pm

Actually, I'd argue both Magic and Bird were point-forwards despite the difference in their respective games. The 6-9 or taller forward who can dribble, pass, shoot, take decisions etc is actually quite frequent these days.

Marc Iavaroni played in Italy before returning to the US. He played briefly in Spain after his NBA days were over, but he was physically in decline and had to retire.

Caldwell Jones claimed he was asked by the Sixer coaches to stop scoring, and eventually ended up in a similar arrangement with Dawkins as Rambis with McAdoo. I find it particularly relevant as Caldwell had shown he could score, and in fact he would still display some very effective moves to the basket.
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Postby meej » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:56 am

I do not think Rambis taught a lesson that Caldwell had not, specially as Philly defeats were often attributed to a surplus of shoot-first players. I was too young to follow sports back then, but the Warriors won in 1975 after trading Nate Thurmond for Clifford Ray. Thurmond was no longer the scorer he once was, but his reputation made it a controversial trade according to reports.
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Postby thehef » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:46 pm

Keith wrote:
BTW the T-Wolves, like the Grizzlies, currently stand 1-5 -- yet the pundits aren't calling for Rambo's head as they are, strangely, blaming Allen Iverson for Memphis' woes.

Is anybody actually blaming Iverson for Memphis' woes? As I recall, Memphis was lousy last year and I don't think too many expected AI to change that. If anything, Allen Iverson is being blamed for Allen Iverson's woes.

Robert wrote:
As for the Timberwolves, I've only seen them play once this year, but Jefferson is still getting the rust off his game so I'm going to reserve judgment until he does. They didn't look to bad the one game I saw them play (against the Suns), so I can see them being improved over last year.

In the only game I saw (against the Celtics), they also looked good. So, yeah, once Big Al's rust is off, some of the new guys mesh, etc., I, too, would expect to see improvement...

That said, I don't think anybody expected Rambis to come in and turn them into a contender this year. He's part of a rebuilding project that actually started under McHale, with the 2nd big wave ocurring this past summer. It's too soon to say that Rambis has exceeded any expectations, but it's also way too soon to say that he has not met them, since - in terms of wins & losses - they are likely pretty low for the immediate future.
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Postby thehef » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:48 pm

Keith, I can understand and admire Iverson's frustration at not winning. However, he put himself in the position of having to prove that he was capable of being a contributor, and not The Man. He had to have known that signing with Memphis was going to lead to more losses than wins. His attitude should've been that he was going to prove something to everyone (by being a good teammate, good influence, willing to do whatever is asked, and possibly improving the Grizz to some degree) in order to improve his standing, and thus maybe land on a contender next season.

Either that, or he shouldn't have signed with the Grizz and instead should've signed for less dough (vet's minimum?) for a contender (assuming that was an option, which it might not have been... Who knows: It may yet be an option at some point this season...).

While he has likely shown (or reaffirmed) that winning is very important to him - a good thing - he has also shown, IMO, that he doesn't really know what it takes. He thinks he knows, however: To him, it means he's The Man.
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Postby MCT » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:00 pm

Keith Ellis wrote:What did Iavaroni do for those four long years -- CBA or EuroLeagues?

meej wrote:Marc Iavaroni played in Italy before returning to the US. He played briefly in Spain after his NBA days were over, but he was physically in decline and had to retire.

A little more detail on Iavaroni’s travels, with help from Google News (at least its excerpts, since most of its articles are at pay sites), a 1989-90 NBA Register, and Legabasket’s web site:

In 1978-79 and 1979-80, Iavaroni played in Italy for Pinti Inox Brescia, averaging 13.2 and 13.4 ppg, respectively. As I understand it, Italian pro teams in those days were allowed two foreigners. In 1978-79, Iavaroni’s fellow foreigner was Al Fleming, who had a little bit of prior NBA experience (2nd round pick of the Suns in 1976, spent part of 1977-78 season with the Sonics). In 1979-80, it was Bill Laimbeer, in his first pro season after having been a 3rd round pick of the Cavaliers in the ’79 NBA Draft (Laimbeer would begin his NBA career with the Cavs the following season).

In 1980, Iavaroni returned to the U.S. to try out for the Knicks again. He made it to training camp, and was actually one of the last players the team cut before the start of the regular season. Iavaroni did not play in Italy in 1980-81. I’m not sure if he played anywhere; a Google News excerpt suggests that he worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Virginia, his alma mater.

Some Google News excepts suggest that Iavaroni had a tryout with the TrailBlazers in ’81, but the NBA Register has no transaction record of this. It may be that he attended some kind of summer tryout camp but never advanced to the point of being signed to a formal contract. For the 1981-82 season, Iavaroni ended up back in Italy, this time with Recoaro Forli, where he was teammates with former NBA first-round pick Rod Griffin (who after apparently failing to make the NBA due to health issues went on to have a long pro career in Italy). The NBA Register claims that Iavaroni averaged 24 ppg that season! From the stats on Legabasket’s web site, however it looks like the Register editors mixed up Iavaroni’s stats with Griffin’s. Legabasket shows Iavaroni averaging 13.1 ppg.

In 1982, Iavaroni of course tried out for and made Philadelphia’s roster. He would play seven seasons in the NBA with the 76ers, Spurs and Jazz (1982-83 through 1988-89).

At the end of the 1988-89 season, Iavaroni’s contract with the Jazz expired, and he became an unrestricted free agent. The Jazz didn’t appear to have much interest in bringing him back, so he decided to return to Italy for 1989-90, signing with Philips Milano. Unfortunately, Iavaroni was injured in the first game of the season, and that turned out to be the only game he played for his new team. Other players with Milan included Bob McAdoo, Mike D’Antoni and Italian legend Dino Meneghin. Former NBA players Earl Cureton and Orlando Graham also saw action for Milan that season, but don’t appear to have been signed until after Iavaroni got hurt. An interesting sidenote: in the wake of Iavaroni’s injury, Milan considered replacing him with Benoit Benjamin, who at the time was embroiled in a contract standoff with the Clippers (Benjamin had become a restricted free agent at the end of the 1988-89 season). The team held talks with Benjamin, but nothing ultimately came of it, and Benjamin eventually wound up returning to L.A. and signing a new contract with the Clippers.

A couple of Google News articles place Iavaroni in Spain during the 1990-91 season, as meej had indicated. I’m not sure what he did during 1991-92. In July 1992, Iavaroni was hired as an assistant coach at Bowling Green, so he was presumably retired as a player by then.
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Postby Mike Goodman » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:09 pm

In Italy, Iavaroni watched the NBA Finals on TV. He saw Rambis starting for the Lakers and said to himself, "I could do that". So he returned to the US more confident that he could be a contributor, perhaps better suited to a dominant team than to a struggling team.

This was rather a paradigm shift. Traditionally, a marginal player has a better chance to make a marginal team. In recent memory, great teams had good-to-great players starting and pretty-good players off the bench.

Neither Rambis nor Iavaroni was a 'sparkplug' type; no 'high-energy' hustler. Rather, they were low-key, don't-need-the-ball types, who would take the foul their superstar teammates didn't need to pick up. Also capable rebounders who would convert a layup.
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Postby meej » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:00 pm

Basketpedya has Iavaroni playing five games for the Sioux Falls in the CBA, although it could be as a player-coach.

He did not finish the 90-91 season in Spain, as he negotiated an early cancellation of his contract with the club. He was in serious knee pain, reportedly, and decided to put an end to it. It was reported as a professional move by a player who would rather tell the truth than go through the motions to collect a paycheck.

It was the injury in 1988 with Philips Milano that ended his career. He was replaced by Earl Cureton, but Cureton offered a very weak performance. I don't recall Orlando Graham, but it is possible that he replaced Cureton for the domestic league. Back then you could easily replace players in your national league, but Euro cups often forced teams to keep the same roster for the whole competition. Sometimes teams would replace a player for the national league, but would have to keep him around for the Euro competition.

The Italian Lega loved big American centers. They paid big salaries, and many players went back and forth from the NBA to Pallacanestro: Tellis Frank, Charles Shackleford, Russ Schoene etc.

PS: Iavaroni was also mentioned as a potential signing for Real Madrid in the spot ultimately offered to Stanley Roberts.
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Re: Rambis

Postby rlee » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:23 pm

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