I have made it apparent to some people that I would like to become one of the Charlotte Bobcats community leaders. I think it would be a great accomplishment in my life up to this point.
One of my tasks is to create an NBA All-Anything Team. I will chose to create the All-NBA New Jersey team. This is compiled of the best players from New Jersey according to me. I will pick the best five from each position based on statistics—but probably more along the lines of popularity.
Heinsohn was from Union City, New Jersey. He got started with the Boston Celtics and in his first season won the Rookie of the Year. Heinsohn was part of eight Boston Celtics championship teams—only Sam Jones and Bill Russell have won more rings. Heinsohn is a color analyst for Boston, and his number 15 is retired.
Bill Bradley is known for running for President in 2000 and losing to Al Gore in the Democratic primaries. However, before he was a politician, he was a standout basketball player from Princeton University.
Bradley first played in Europe and won a championship there. Then he came back to the U.S. to play for the Knicks. After his stellar career with New York, where he averaged 12.4 points a game for his career, the Knicks retired his number 24. Soon after, he became a New Jersey Senator, and later ran for president.
Another Knick great, Reed was from Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Everyone who knows basketball knows that Reed made a miraculous return in the NBA Finals for New York after an ankle injury. In that game, he scored the first two baskets of the game but would not score again.
He won two championships in New York. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982, and he was part of the 50 Greatest Player Team selection in 1997.
Attles is originally from Newark, New Jersey. Attles won an NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors in 1975 as a coach. Attles is known mostly for being one of the first African-American coaches in the NBA. He was the second African-American coach to win a championship. The first was Bill Russell.
Rick Barry was from Elizabeth, New Jersey, and went to Roselle Catholic High School. Barry was known for his granny-stlye foul shooting, which made him one of the best free throw shooters in the game.
Barry was part of the 1974-1975 Golden State Warriors championship team that was coached by fellow New Jerseyian Al Attles. Barry is the only player to lead the NCAA, ABA, and NBA in scoring. He is also the father of San Antonio Spur Brent Barry and ESPN commentator Jon Barry.
Shaq went to Louisiana State University and was drafted by the Orlando Magic. What most people don't know is that The Big Aristotle is originally from Newark, New Jersey.
He didn't start to actually win until he was in Los Angeles, where and Kobe Bryant dominated with three-straight NBA Championships. He also won one with the Miami Heat in 2006.
He was traded to Phoenix last year in an effort to win another title. However, O'Neal has said he will retire after the end of the 2009-10 season.
It is safe to say O'Neal is one of the most accomplished New Jerseyian basketball players ever, alongside to Tommy Heinsohn.
He is not the greatest, but Mike Bibby is still a pretty good point guard. Bibby is from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, down near the southwestern part of the state. Bibby won a National Title with the University of Arizona under former head coach Lute Olsen.
In 1998 he was drafted to the Vancouver Grizzlies, but didn't thrive until he was traded to Sacramento for Jason Williams. Bibby had great chemistry with Chris Webber, but the Kings could not get to the Finals. Bibby was traded to his current team, the Atlanta Hawks, last year. I believe he is destined for a title.
Now what I am supposed to do is to make a dream team at Whatifsports.com to see how they would fair against other teams. As I was filling the team in, Bill Bradley and Al Attles was not located in the database, so I can't really know exactly how they would do. But I can make a prediction.
If this team played this season, I think they would be good. Even though there are only seven players, I think that Heinsohn and Shaq could have a magnificent one-two combination.
This team would make the playoffs, but likely come up short against the Boston Celtics, since they pretty much have a dream team of their own.