J.R. Rider Against Everybody
Its been more than a week since ESPN opened voting on (and we gave some rather capricious consideration to) the greatest Wolves teams of all time. The results, so far, are decisive enough that I think we can declare some winners:
Point Guard: Stephon Marbury (64.3%). This is not really surprising considering a) how much more fun to watch Stephon was than Terrell Brandon and b) my guy isn’t even on the ballot.
Shooting Guard: Isaiah “J.R.” Rider (82.2%). All the people that voted for both Stephon and J.R. should be punished by being forced to actually coach that terrifying team for a year. Call it the McHale treatment. Impossible to imagine without deep, healing meditation.
Small Forward: Tony Campbell (55.8%). This is the closest of all the races, and it isn’t even that close–Wally Szczerbiak trails Campbell by more than 20 percentage points. That reminds me, didn’t Tom Gugliotta play more three than four? All things being equal, I might consider taking Googs over Campbell, Wally and even my original choice, Sam Mitchell (although it hurts me a little and doing so would immediately make this team significantly less good defensively. One to think on.)
Power Forward: The Pharoah (98.8%). At least one of you hilarious people voted for Christian Laettner.
Center: Al Jefferson (95.2%). On this squad, KG would have to guard all five positions simultaneously.
Incidentally, ESPN is also curating a little popularity contest/tournament between those greatest teams of all time. The Wolves drew the Jazz (featuring John Stockton, Karl Malone, Pete Maravich, Mehmet Okur and Adrian Dantley) in the first round and lost by an overwhelming 85 percentage points.
Now, I would agree that the above roster (the one featuring Steph, J.R., no defense and tons of terrible shot selection) would get handled by those all-time Jazz. But I just might give my bunch (KG, Billups, Mitchell, Big Al, West) a fighting chance. Ah, who am I kidding.