Jul 14

Sabonis: Heads Above The Rest

By caseyholdahl

As I'm sure you're aware, Lithuanian superhuman and former Trail Blazer Arvydas Sabonis is set to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame on August 12. It's a much deserved honor. In terms of his international career and influence, Sabonis is an unquestioned "first ballot" hall of famer (or at least he SHOULD have been a first ballot HOFer). No discussion is necessary.

I suppose, if you were the argumentative type, you could claim Sabas' relatively short and injury-slowed NBA career, along with the lack of top-flight European competition during the late 80's and early 90's when Arvydas was making his bones overseas, precludes the bigman from hall of fame consideration. I don't know anyone in their right mind who would make such a declaration, but anything is possible.

My answer to that strawman would to simply show the first two plays, both no-look, over-the-head passes, from the video above. I can't really think of any center other than Sabonis who had the skill and willingness to make those passes. Maybe Bill Walton? Even then, Walton's head was about half the size of Sabonis', making the pass that much easier for Dollar Bill.

(If you haven't figured it out by now, this post is really just a somewhat clumsy excuse to post that video. After all, it's my offseason too.)


  1. Mr. Casey:

    It would be nice to have that passing skills today. Do you suppose Greg can learn more of that. I can think of no one that Greg could pattern his game after then Sabby.

    If not for injury and that incident with Wallace throwing that towel in his face, he would have been one of the all time greats and OF COURSE a HALL of FAMER

    by Hg on 7/14/2011 10:57 AM
  2. Best passing big man. Ever. But not only could he pass, he was a threat from distance, had a sweet baby hook and even found a way to posterize a few people in his day!

    by DHawes22 on 7/14/2011 12:37 PM
  3. All I can remember during those telecasts was Walton yelling "Throw it down, big man! Throw it down!" when Sabas would rumble down the lane for a one-hand slam.

    by ClydeFrog on 7/14/2011 2:04 PM
  4. My only complaint (which is really picking nits) is that are too many Sabas "dunks" and way too few Sabas assists. There should be 10 minutes filled with nothing but Arvydas throwing no-looks and wrap-arounds.

    by caseyholdahl on 7/14/2011 2:07 PM
  5. HG: I'll say this: I think passing skills like those Arvydas has/had are large part instinct.

    by caseyholdahl on 7/14/2011 2:10 PM
  6. Sabonis could have been awesome for the Blazers if he came over in the late 80's.

    by mbmurr1 on 7/14/2011 8:05 PM
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