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In my retirement I intend to take on a project that I know will be an exercise in futility, but I’ll have fun doing it nevertheless. I intend to change the vocabulary of the NBA.
At a press conference about a year ago, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski responded to a question about his position players by stating that he didn’t have guards and forwards, he had basketball players. If that’s good enough for Krzyzewski, it’s good enough for me.
I want to change the names of designations such as point guards and power forwards. When the Blazers came into the league, the New York Knicks won the championship that year and their forwards were Dave DeBusschere and Bill Bradley. Neither one was a power forward. Later the Golden State Warriors won it and their forwards were Jamaal Wilkes and Rick Barry. No one will ever convince me that one of those guys was a power forward. One year the Lakers won the title and their guards were Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. Please tell me which one was the point guard.
The year we won the championship against Philadelphia, the 76ers used their center, Caldwell Jones, to bring the ball up the court and initiate their offense. What was he, a point center?
If we retrieve the ball because the other team scored or capture a rebound and one player brings the ball up the court and initiates our offense and you choose to call him a point guard, I won’t quarrel with you. I just think it’s the wrong designation. But I know of no law that says this same guy can’t score 15 or 20 points a game.
I’ve long believed, and experience proves me right, that the really great teams have a 10-man rotation with players who play hard 48 minutes a game and 82 games a year. If we could collect 10 of those guys, we have a chance to win a championship. Especially if they’re basketball players.
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