Bill Walton - Best Passing C Ever?

Other centers (notable Wilt) had put up better assists numbers at various points in their careers, but out of the players I've actually watched play, Walton seemed to have the best court sense and peripheral vision for a center. Was Big Bill the best passing center of all-time?

UWE

Walton was just an assist-hog. Anybody can get good assist numbers if they pass the ball as much as he did. ;)

LOL@JCT

"Walton was just an assist-hog"So Walton was too unselfish and spent too much time getting his teammates into the flow of the offense? Interesting.

I was just joking when I said that, but looking at his stats, he averaged almost 1 turnover for every assist he got, according to basketballreference.com. So maybe some of those passes shouldn't have been made.

"imagine how Orlando would do if TMac gave the ball too much or Iverson for the Sixers. "

Allan Me-verson is a preposterously selfish ballhog, scoring more than 30 PPG in 01-02 while shooting UNDER 40%!!! Frankly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger ballhog than Alan Me-Verson!

UWE

"yeah and the sixers would be hard pressed to find 20 wins in a season without him."

Ballhogging and shooting under 40% doesn't win games. George Gervin would have averaged 40PPG if he was selfish enough to shoot until his shooting percentage dropped to Iverson-esque levels. Imagine if Wilt was a ballhog like Me-verson! 75 PPG sounds about right, doesn't it?

"until you get different personel on that team Iverson scoring 30 a game on under 40% shooting is their best chance at winning "

Spoken like a true ballhog-lover - Alan Me-verson shoots more than 30 percentage points LOWER than the team average, and you want to say he's hogging the ball for the good of the team! I bet the Sixers would win more if Keith Van Horn (16 PPG on 48% shooting) wouldn't shoot so much and let Alan (27 PPG on 41% shooting) get his shots! BWAHAHA!

Welcome to the new face of the NBA - The National Ballhog Association!

UWE

For those who knock on AI, he is more than a scorer. That dishes the rock so well, its just that his teammates can't capitalize and he gots robbed of an assist. Also, he provides the flow for that offense. Watch when he sits out the whole chemistry of the team is whacked

Bounce is correct, but I think Iverson could stand to pass more - but it's true he can pass. In the last all-star game he was playing much more like a true point guard, I don't remember how many he had but it was a lot.

But he is correct - when Iverson is not on that team, they have no one else to fill the void. Iverson sat out a couple times early in the season as I recall because he broke his fingers or something - Van Horn didn't step up and fill the void because he couldn't. Van Horn is not the kind of guy that can create a lot of shots for himself. No one could get a shot off, the team went 0-3 in that stretch and looked terrible as I recall.

Up With Evil, I have a question for you - if Allen Iverson is so bad for his team as you claim, why is it that Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown uses Iverson the way he does? He's built that offense around Iverson.

Calling soujacker a ballhog-lover is ridiculous. Souljacker's first action upon arriving in the NBA forum was to start more than one thread bashing the NBA for having too many ballhogs and isolation plays.

Up With Evil, instead of immediately labeling someone a "ballhog-lover" and launching into attack mode every time sometime disagrees with you, perhaps you could simply ask them to explain their reasoning. They might suprise you. You may be used to arguing with dittoheads on the OG, but here on the NBA forum we have many of what I consider to be intelligent posters.

"Up With Evil, I have a question for you "

OK.

"if Allen Iverson is so bad for his team as you claim, why is it that Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown uses Iverson the way he does?"

Iverson is an exciting player who sells tickets. The NBA has catered to the "superstar fan" who identifies with one player - a direct offshoot of David Stern's 1980s NBA plan to market individual players rather than teams. If Iverson were happy scoring only 20PPG and shooting 46%, he'd be Sam Cassell. You think fans pay money to see Sam Cassell?

"Calling soujacker a ballhog-lover is ridiculous"

He seems to have no shortage of excuses for why scoring 30PPG and shooting under 40% is acceptable in the NBA. I'd call that ballhog-loving.

"Up With Evil, instead of immediately labeling someone a "ballhog-lover" and launching into attack mode every time sometime disagrees with you, perhaps you could simply ask them to explain their reasoning. "

I think we've seen the reasoning right here - see, the 76'ers are so terrible that Iverson shooting 40% is preferable to anyone else. Keith Van Horn doesn't deserve more shots because he requires somebody to pass him teh ball in a team offensive set.

"You may be used to arguing with dittoheads on the OG, but here on the NBA forum we have many of what I consider to be intelligent posters."

Let's see how true this is.

Alan Iverson is a selfish ballhog - shooting under 40% while throwing up enough bricks to average 30PPG is an abomination to the game, and the excuses offered by ballhog-apologists who condone such selfish play only encourge a further decline in the level of play in the NBA.

UWE

"That dishes the rock so well, its just that his teammates can't capitalize and he gots robbed of an assist. "

An offshoot of the old-fashioned, "he's not a ballhog, his teammates just stink" argument. Great players make their teammates better. Selfish ballhogs make excuses for why their teammates aren't deserving of getting the ball.

"Also, he provides the flow for that offense. Watch when he sits out the whole chemistry of the team is whacked "

LOL, the entire team revolves around his ball-hogging, and you're SURPRISED that they are out of synch when Me-Verson is sitting out? Iverson is taking a full *29%* of ALL THE SHOTS for the 76'ers this year! Looks like Alan found the "I" in "TEAM" after all!

UWE

"Iverson is an exciting player who sells tickets. The NBA has catered to the "superstar fan" who identifies with one player - a direct offshoot of David Stern's 1980s NBA plan to market individual players rather than teams."

Yes, that's true - but David Stern doesn't coach the Sixers, Larry Brown does. You still haven't answered my question.

"I think we've seen the reasoning right here - see, the 76'ers are so terrible that Iverson shooting 40% is preferable to anyone else. Keith Van Horn doesn't deserve more shots because he requires somebody to pass him teh ball in a team offensive set."

That's not the reasoning, that's your dismissive and contemptuous summary of the reasoning. You seem to have this mathmatical breakdown of basketball offense that consists of taking the total number of shots taken by a team and divvying them up according to field goal percentage, and whoever shoots the highest percentage should get more shots and their FG% will remain constant.

It's not a matter of whether Keith Van Horn "deserves" more shots. I think every sixers fan probably WANT to see him shoot more. You act is if there's some constant number of shots available and the only question is who gets to take them. Shots aren't just there for the taking, they have to be made!

Just because we disagree with your reasoning does not make us ballhog-lovers.

I'll try another method.

Suppose Iverson were injured, or killed in a plane crash, or joined the peace corps, whatever, and wasn't on the team anymore. Do you think the Sixers would be a better or worse team without him?

Oh yeah, in case anyone doubts my "Iverson vs Cassell" comparison (this year's numbers used, but last year's would have served the point as well):

__________PPG_____FGA/game______FG%________Asst/G

Iverson___27.4_____23.6_________.417______5.3

Cassell___19.6_____14.8_________.470______5.8

Iverson's ballhogging is what makes him a "superstar" in the NBA. Without all those extra bricks, he's a 20PPG point guard - just like Sam Cassell. Fat scoring numbers are where the shoe contracts are - don't think Iverson doesn't know that.

UWE

"Yes, that's true - but David Stern doesn't coach the Sixers, Larry Brown does."

Larry Borwn WORKS for the 76ers, and the goal of the team is to make money. Having a "superstar" on the team makes money. Scoring 30PPG makes you a "superstar" (even if 60% of your shots are bricks, as was the case with Me-verson). Iverson is given carte blanche to hog the ball because his ballhogging is what puts fans in the seats - if he wasn't hogging the ball, he MIGHT be as good as Steve Nash. You think people pay money to see Steve Nash run a balanced offense?

"You seem to have this mathmatical breakdown of basketball offense that consists of taking the total number of shots taken by a team and divvying them up according to field goal percentage, and whoever shoots the highest percentage should get more shots and their FG% will remain constant"

I haven't seen such an ugly straw man since the local Baptist church put on their version of "The Wiz". The amount of baloney that gets slung in an effort to justify taking 30% of a team's shots and missing 60% of them is just awe-inspiring.

The common justification for ballhogging is that nobody else on the team would be capible of scoring if the ballhogging wasn't taking it upon himself to monopolize the offense. Since Alan Me-version (the current ballhog being discussed) shoots some 30 percentage points lower than the team average, and indeed shoots one of the lowest percentages of any starting PG in the league, I find this argument to be pure comedy.

"Suppose Iverson were injured, or killed in a plane crash, or joined the peace corps, whatever, and wasn't on the team anymore. Do you think the Sixers would be a better or worse team without him? "

Depends who replaced him in the lineup. If Sam Cassell replaced him, the 76ers would be a better team. Who did you have in mind?

UWE

Just to continue the comparison between ballhog Alan Me-Verson and the better point guards in the league:

__________PPG_____FGA/game______FG%________Asst/G

Iverson___27.4_____23.6_________.417______5.3

Cassell___19.6_____14.8_________.470______5.8

Nash______17.7_____13.6_________.465______7.3

Payton____20.6_____18.6_________.455______8.4


Iverson has little in common with the true elite point guards in the NBA - better comparisons would be to fellow ballhogs like Paulhog Pierce and Jerry Brickhouse, putting up lots of points with a low shooting percentage. He's really just a more-shameless version of Jason Williams, shooting a low percentage like Williams but taking 250% more shots (Williams, of course, being the better passer of the two but shooting an Iverson-esque .395, which is dreadful).

"Larry Borwn WORKS for the 76ers, and the goal of the team is to make money. Having a "superstar" on the team makes money. Scoring 30PPG makes you a "superstar" (even if 60% of your shots are bricks, as was the case with Me-verson). Iverson is given carte blanche to hog the ball because his ballhogging is what puts fans in the seats."

Yes, Iverson sells tickets. But what sells even more tickets than Iverson is having a winning team. Do you really think Larry Brown is willingly sacrificing the sixers record so that Iverson can pad his scoring stats?

The argument that Iverson ballhogging = more money for the sixers doesn't make sense if Iverson ballhogging = sixers losing.

"I haven't seen such an ugly straw man since the local Baptist church put on their version of "The Wiz". The amount of baloney that gets slung in an effort to justify taking 30% of a team's shots and missing 60% of them is just awe-inspiring."

Will you please stop insulting me just for a couple of posts? I'm not trying to put up a straw man, I'm trying to get a handle on what your refutation is so I can respond to it! You pointed out that Keith Van Horn shoots a better percentage than Iverson and maybe I misunderstood you, but you seemed to say that Van Horn should get the ball more because of that.

"The common justification for ballhogging is that nobody else on the team would be capible of scoring if the ballhogging wasn't taking it upon himself to monopolize the offense. Since Alan Me-version (the current ballhog being discussed) shoots some 30 percentage points lower than the team average, and indeed shoots one of the lowest percentages of any starting PG in the league, I find this argument to be pure comedy."

It's not completely ridiculous, UWE. Obviously SOMEONE else on the Sixers would score if Iverson left, but the total team scoring would go down, I believe. Iverson's low FG% is an indication of his poor shot selection. Why does it render the above argument "pure comedy"?

"Depends who replaced him in the lineup. If Sam Cassell replaced him, the 76ers would be a better team. Who did you have in mind?"

Greg Buckner usually comes in for Iverson. He shoots .473.

"Iverson's ballhogging is what makes him a "superstar" in the NBA. Without all those extra bricks, he's a 20PPG point guard - just like Sam Cassell. Fat scoring numbers are where the shoe contracts are - don't think Iverson doesn't know that."

You really see no difference between Iverson and Cassell besides ballhogging?

If Cassell took as many shots as Iverson per game, do you think he could score the same as Iverson?

"and you seem to have no capability of looking at anything other than a box score or espn highlight"

Lots of points + low shooting % = good. Fewer points + more balanced offense = bad. I hear ya!

"Also unable to give credit to someone better than your boyhood idiols."

LOL, like Alan Me-Verson is better than any of my boyhood idols! Move over Mo Cheeks, the Ballhog Express is about to blow you off the court! LOL

"If Keith Van Horn could get his own shot he would get more shots."

Basketball isn't all about getting your own shot, otherwise no centers would be able to score, would they? Karl Malone can't get his own shot, but I think he's done OK for himself. Thank goodness basketball is a team sport, and not some gussied-up bastardization of one-on-one, designed for ballhogs and hot dogs.

"Take Reggie Miller, he would have lead the league in scoring for a few years if he was capable of getting his own shot"

Reggie did OK for himself I think. 15 years in the league with a 19PPG average, and a high of 24.6 PPG sounds like he found his shot just fine.

And let's not forget that .475 career shooting %! I'm sure Reggie could have made a few more selfish shots and scored a couple of more points, but Reggie is a team player, not some ballhog looking for shoe contracts.

"Larry Brown is a hall of fame coach if the sixers could win another way Im pretty sure he would do it, selling tickets to brown means nothing"

Yes, I'm sure the coaching gig means nothing to him. That's why Iverson gets to skip practices and still start.

"LOL yeah right, replace Iverson with a slow point gurad who still throws up a lot of shots himself"

I like how Cassell taking 14.8 shots per game is "a lot" of shots, but Iverson taking 23.6 shots per game and barely making 40% is just dandy.

"Iverson creates for all his other teammates"

He creates lots of chances to sit around and watch the Allen Me-Verson show, I'll grant you that.

"but replace him with someone slower and less capably of creating for his teammates and they will win more game."

Slower sure, but also less likely to throw the ball into the stands (Iverson = #8 in the league in turnovers), less likely to throw up terrible shots (53 percentage points better shooting), less likely to take ridiculous 3pt bricks (Cassell = 100 percentage points higher from beyond the arc), less likely to beat his wife, get arrested, etc. Add on Cassell's superior passing and it is clear that Iverson's only real advantage over Sam comes as a direct result of hogging the ball and taking nearly 25 shots per game.

"sound so easy wonder why Larry Brown hadn't thought about that "

Who would sell more tickets - Sam Cassell or Allen Me-Verson? Simple question, give us a simple answer.

UWE

"Yes, I'm sure the coaching gig means nothing to him. That's why Iverson gets to skip practices and still start."

Larry Brown could coach at any number of places, UWE, it's not like he'd be homeless if he left the sixers. There has to be another reason he lets Iverson do what he does besides worries about his job security.