Thursday, August 17, 2006

Over/Under

One more vacation-type question and then we have what I think is a very interesting (and perhaps controversial) Guest Spot Friday on a topic that I've never heard broached before.

Question of the day:

Who do you think is the most underrated Blazer of all time? Who is the most overrated?

As usual you can use any criteria you want but please keep in mind that underrated and overrated DON'T mean "good" and "bad" respectively. A lot of people would probably name Clyde as the all-time best Blazer, but it'd be hard to argue that he was underrated. Similarly (as heretical as it might seem to some) folks might think Terry Porter was a really good player but got more credit than he was due on those early 90's teams, especially when compared to Buck, Jerome, etc. (I wouldn't say that, but I could see where someone could make that argument.) That doesn't mean that they think he was a bad player.

I almost hesitate to comment on this one because being on shore leave I haven't researched very thoroughly, so understand that I'm shooting from the hip here. But I'll try anyway.

I have about four candidates for underrated. I'm going to choose one and see if anybody names any of my other three. I'm going to go with Geoff Petrie. I know he was big in his day, but when you list all-time great Blazers now his name barely ever gets mentioned. His career was only six seasons long, but in those six seasons he topped 24 points per game three times. He also gave you around 5 assists and 3 boards. He shot over 45% for his career too. To put things in perspective, we're all excited about Zach's offensive potential because he once averaged 20 points for a season. Petrie averaged that for his career.

Overrated is much harder. I think I'd have to go with Billy Ray Bates though. He set our imaginations on fire, that's for sure. And there was that one, glorious alley-oop. But he wilted as soon as the league figured him out and even in his great year had more flashes of brilliance than substantial contributions. He's one of the great quirky characters from our team's history and our mythology would be poorer without him, but probably more is made of him than his play strictly warranted.

Your candidates?

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

23 Comments:

Blogger Scott R said...

wow...that is really a tought question. I normally have an answer pop into my mind, but for this one i've really had to strain.

Underrated: I'd have to go with Jumpin Jerome Kersey. He was absolutely all hustle and made the little plays necessary for a win. He didn't get the recognition around the league I think he deserved for the type of player he was.

Overrated: I guess i'll go with Zach right now. He has shown his flashes of brilliance, but sure hasn't shown he is worth that $80Million paycheck. I don't think we've had very many players at all come in here through the years that were supposed to contribute more than they actually did. I guess any of the whitsitt era blazers could qualify as well. JR Rider really comes to mind quickly from that group...Derek Anderson is standing out like a sore thumb as well.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

Underrated for me is easy. Damon Stoudamire. The kid had all the signs of being a star in the league and I really feel that he sacrificed a lot of his game over the years trying to be what his coaches wanted him to be.

Of course, I know he spent an inordinate amount of time trying to sabatoge his own life and career, but that is another topic. I will also allow that if he had been allowed to become Allen Iverson (and I think he could have) he might have ended up on the overrated side of the coin.

Overrated is tougher. Kemp springs to mind. I'm going to say that the jury is still out on Zach. How about Uncle Cliffy?

The man was supposed to be the next Clyde and didn't really end up being the next Thorpe. I loved the guy, but he was stuck trying to be a leader of a team when he was better suited to being a second or third guy. Woah, that sounds familiar.

6:34 AM  
Blogger BLAZER PROPHET said...

My underrated player is Larry Steele. He played hard, smart and was a genuine leader. He was everything a "pro" should be.

My overrated player is clearly Zach. HIs stats really don;t tell the whole truth about his late game turnovers, refusal to play defense, zero leadership abilities... and yet he's got a max deal.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous brian said...

Two guys the spring to mind for me in the underrated category are Rod Strickland and Danny Ainge. Strickland's image was tarnished by unseating TP as the starting point guard and by his problems with PJ Carlesimo. However, I remember him lighting it up on many occassions and averaging around 8 or 9 assists per game to boot. It's even more noteworthy when you consider that by the time he took over as a starter, the Blazers were an aging team that was headed into rebuilding mode.
IMO Ainge was every bit as valuable as TP or Kersey on the team that went to the finals against the Bulls. He was amazing coming off the bench to lead the 2nd unit and hit key 3's at crucial moments in big games.
Most overrated would have to be Derek Anderson. I had such high hopes for him when we snatched him away from San Antonio, but he really never did anything noteworthy in his time here.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous The Man Who Loved Two Teams said...

My favorite underrated player -- actually probably my favorite Blazer of all time -- is Lloyd Neal, who was winning every single game for the team that season right before he ripped up his knee. Reading about his injury was the first time I ever cried about sports.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous TP43 said...

Not sure about the criteria, but I would think you have to consider Bowie overrated in that he never really produced for us and was the #1 pick.

Underrated is much tougher because as Blazer fans we tend to love the end of the bench hustle guys. Maybe a Calvin Natt? I used to love his physical, scrappy play.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fat Lever.
The guy would come into a game settle things down, do everything perfect and know one would ever seem to notice. That's underrated.

12:23 PM  
Blogger lyle said...

overrated:

depends on how you look at it. you could make a case for duckworth, as he was playing on a team that was, talent-wise, WAY over his head. and it didn't stop him from getting LOTS of respect. i think people realized his short-comings and still appreciated him, to his credit.

i know he took up space, added some muscle, etc. but imagine how much better we could have been with sabonis.

the real overrated players are the guys who maybe have more talent than duck, but are black-holes in terms of personality and commitment.

rider springs to mind, kenny anderson springs to mind, miles obviously. i mean, you're taking one step forward and nine steps back. what's the point?

underrated:

jerome kersey.

can you imagine how much respect he would have gotten had he been on the lakers or bulls during the late 80's, early 90's?

12:28 PM  
Anonymous fatty said...

overrated-"als'fatbo for the
obvious reasons blazer fans
underrated-b.williams nobody
showed more toughness in the
scarlet-black-white,b.grant
a close 2nd for all the reasons
that fatbo is not heart*desire...

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Dave said...

Overrated?...Scotty Pippen. I realize we got him on the downside of his career but I always felt he left his heart in Chicago. Yes, he is rated in the top 50 all-time and rightly so, but I was underwhelmed with his contribution as a Blazer.

Underrated?...have to agree with BP: Larry Steele or maybe Pinball. The consummate blue collar professional and the human Energizer Bunny.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Underrated: I'd say Kiki Vandeweghe (sp?). I remember going to my first NBA game in the sixth grade and watching Kiki light up the opponent for 51 points. Then he signed my program after the game. Class guy.
Also, Clyde Drexler. When I was a senior in high school I was the editor of my high school paper and had an opportunity to attend a Blazer practice and interview players. I showed up late and everything was locked up. I thought I had blown it when out walked Clyde Drexler. I explained my situation, and he gave me a twenty-minute interview, even telling me I was more prepared than most real reporters. I know he was being nice to a kid, but this makes him underrated in my book as well. I know everyone knows he is a great guy, but the few moments he took with me sincerely changed the way I approach my life today.
Overrated: Kemp, Miles, Zach, and endless others. But are they overrated if the consensus is that they are blights on the team? Kind of hard criteria to reconcile.

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