Episode 160 – A Podcast About NBA Centers

The NBA Center position, once as pivotal to the game as quarterbacks in the NFL, has changed a lot over the years. The 5 spot has arguably changed more than any other position in the sport, which bodes well for us as we detail our five (but really six) fundamental somethings about our favorite Centers in NBA history. Not the best mind you, but our favorite. Trust us, our taste is impeccable! We touch on all aspects of the position as we make our choices, from unbelievable stats to game changing strategies.

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Full Episode Transcript Available Below:

Kalvin 0:07
Each week we dive deep into whatever it is we find interesting. I’m your host Kelvin and joining me with hopefully not a cracking voice to your co host, Nick Richardson.

Nick 0:18
Yeah, it’s Nick beneath the rim here blocking shots.

Kalvin 0:23
I couldn’t even my voice crack so bad. I couldn’t even give you a fun place to come from.

Nick 0:27
Honestly, I didn’t even notice it until you said something.

Kalvin 0:30
My mind went completely blank. My voice may crack tonight. I have a bit of a cold getting through it. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me. But if the voice cracks, that’s where it’s coming from. He’s gone through puberty.

Nick 0:45
He’s a warrior folks. Like a lot of these folks we’re going to talk about

Kalvin 0:49
so probably not an actual Golden State Warriors. Not a not a team known for the great centers. Yes. You got your Andrew Bogot’s. Your who was there before? Julius. Oh, God

Nick 1:08
Who? Who was that? Dick hit those ready to go, bear? That’s Rico. Bear.

Kalvin 1:14
Yeah. From the jazz. Yeah. So we’re talking NBA centers today. You can tell? Yeah, this is the last in our NBA series, where we covered every position. And I should have written down all the episodes and I didn’t but they’re in there. Just search NBA on our feed.

Nick 1:32
You’ll find them. We did one pretty recently.

Kalvin 1:35
Yeah, we did power forwards like two months ago. So if you go to that, I think we listed them all the other ones in that one. So go listen to power forwards from like two months ago, and then you’ll figure out where the rest of them are. Yeah, I’ve been sick. So my PrEP is not on point. Like it took all I could to watch these horrendous center highlight videos all week.

Nick 1:56
I mean, there’s quite a few bad ones, their hobbies are not there.

Kalvin 2:00
They’re not bad. They’re just like, uneventful would be a good way to put it. Let’s Let’s boil it down so many dunks. You can watch.

Nick 2:08
It’s mostly really tall people jumping a few inches off the ground. Yeah, in scoring

Kalvin 2:14
points. And there happens to be some other smaller person underneath

Nick 2:17
them, right with a small ball, you know, compared to their hand to us. It’s large to them. They’re like palming that shit. I know. It’s ridiculous. You just pull them your fucking head and toss you most of these guys.

Kalvin 2:32
Those are the guys we’re talking about. today. We’re talking specifically NBA point guards. The NBA is the National Basketball Association, which is the premier professional basketball league in the world. And a center is the five position on the floor, usually your biggest guy, not always, I guess you’re powerful. It could be a little bigger here or there. But it’s usually your biggest guy takes up space in the middle should be good at scoring inside and either blocking or altering opponents shots just by kind of standing there.

Nick 3:01
Yeah, usually someone that can contribute on the pick and roll or, you know, basically just to get me that ball. Usually the tougher cats to let us use are known for being just straight bruiser. So there’s a lot of fucking pussies out there to the

Kalvin 3:18
well nowadays, they the position as we’ve talked about in a lot of these positions has evolved over the past few years. And what we see a lot today is more. Let’s call them triangle offense centers where they’re standing at the elbow and making great passes. So that’s always fun to watch.

Nick 3:37
Yeah, they’ve evolved a lot of good pastors out there. Yeah. underrated facet at the center game.

Kalvin 3:43
Definitely. Before we get into our favorite centers throughout history. I got one question. Is the center position actually really relevant to anymore?

Nick 3:56
That’s, I mean, it’s a really tough question. I think it depends on the team. It’s all like scheme fit now. I don’t think you have a standard blueprint I think it really depends on the scheme the coaches or you know, whoever’s managing that offense runs

Kalvin 4:13
right we see a lot more you take the best available player in the draft or through free agency and you fit your offensive scheme around the the five best players you have rather than okay our shortest guys our point guard, our best years the shooting guard, the three and four in the middle or you know, somewhere in the middle there and then our big guys the center, we’re just gonna stick them in their spots and they’ve got to learn our offense. I don’t care. Coaches nowadays have become much more flexible and can move players around and like we’ve said all the other ones we’re seeing a lot more position less basketball where your biggest guy is big, but he doesn’t necessarily need to be standing on the block anymore.

Nick 4:50
No, he doesn’t need to have his arms straight up in the air fucking just smashing full right.

Kalvin 4:55
And I’m kind of in the same boat. I think big men are necessary. I think you need to have these big dudes out there. But someone whose job is to just stand in the middle and clog up the paint. I think that idea is a little outdated and mostly useless. I think the other players on the court are just too quick nowadays that if you just stick your big guy down there, he’s gonna get beat off the dribble or is going to get turned around in some way where the ball handler is going to get an easy pass to a cutter or out to the wing or something like that or he’s going to lose his guy and all of that who can now stretch the floor and make a three

Nick 5:30
I think senators have definitely gotten a lot more shifty they’ve transitioned from being usually bigger dudes. I think it started with Yeah, no, no, there’s a lot of skit relatively skinny centers out there and I mean, you do need the tos to do it like snatching boards occasionally. But I think the old you know guy that’s there to draw five files and you know be willing to be thrown out of the game because it’s often doesn’t really contribute I think that’s a definitely a thing in the past

Kalvin 5:59
your bit lamb beers your Antonio Davis’s those types of guys.

Nick 6:03
Yeah, Brian’s counseling.

Kalvin 6:05
Yeah. And another thing that I think you bring up is a good point is the center’s are much more versatile. Now they can move around the court, they can make their own shots. They can either excellent passers, and they a lot of them can stretch the floor. A lot of them can defend out on the out on the perimeter a little bit. If you look at the Warriors, in crunch time, their centers Dream on greenies, six, nine, but

Nick 6:31
66 is a listed Wait I saw for him. Oh, Jesus. Yeah,

Kalvin 6:35
yes. But he’s very good at using his body to get rebounds and get in the way of of people slashing to the basket. He’s super tough. Sometimes he does it a little more aggressively than he probably should inspire, you know, dirty. They don’t necessarily need a seven footer in there at all times. You know, maybe I come on Looney also, who’s usually in there, but he’s usually out stretching the floor more so and Dre mons, the guy that’s inside and he’s still grabbing rebounds and and getting in the way of people just out of sheer tenacity. So I think that’s kind of interesting and how one of the better teams in the league doesn’t necessarily need. Okay, we’re gonna get our seven footer and we’re gonna stick them in the pain.

Nick 7:19
Well, I just don’t think you can with a fast paced offense. Like it just right. You got to have people that can fucking move and then we’ll just

Kalvin 7:27
leave him on defense, right? Pretty much.

Nick 7:29
They’ll just slowly get that they’ll give you the same effort that login. What’s his name? Our Washington Redskins.

Kalvin 7:39
That’s not their name anymore. Alfred Morris,

Nick 7:42
Alfred Morris. No, that’s running over haynsworth Yes, there you go. You can’t have the effort of Albert Haynesworth out there. The Washington football team. I

Kalvin 7:51
apologize. I’m a big ass contract and then just do nothing

Nick 7:54
yet super fat. But we’re not talking about that it like I don’t know just with how easy refs call shit. Now in the prevalence of flopping. I think the old bruiser has just gone from the NBA. There’s no one I really view as an enforcer anymore. Someone who’s there to clog up the lane and you know, pick up because you’ll just have these point guards jumping blasting you and then drawing the and one. It happens

Kalvin 8:21
also have James Harden. Yeah. And Russell Wilson basically, Russell Westbrook.

Nick 8:26
Goddamnit I got football on my mind, man. Yeah, I got football in my mind. Yeah, it’s,

Kalvin 8:33
I mean, the closest thing to a bruiser, I would say is somebody like Draymond Green who is not so much a bruiser as a dirty, dirty player? You know?

Nick 8:44
I think anytime you take those cheap shots after the fact that’s, that’s dirty, it doesn’t only once Calvin it’s like doing math.

Kalvin 8:53
So one of the things I noticed when I was watching all these highlight packages of all these guys we’re going to talk about or I’m going to talk about today is they’re only like four or five minutes long. And that’s a lot to do with you can only watch so many dunks and rebounds for the other positions. They’re all at least like 10 minutes.

Nick 9:08
Good music.

Kalvin 9:09
That’s kind of all I need to know about what centers bring to the game, or what people who are watching YouTube highlights want to see out of highlight packages centers just don’t have it. Especially historically.

Nick 9:21
Right. It’s the unload position of the sport. Not unload. I think it’s just the under glorified

Kalvin 9:29
Yeah, it’s the right guard of the NBA

Nick 9:33
pretty much

Kalvin 9:34
need them out there but it’s the nickel corner of the nobody’s looking at it. I was going for one of the fat guys but you know what

Nick 9:42
i got i got a couple right guards I really do enjoy.

Kalvin 9:47
Alright, so let’s get to our five but really six fundamental some things about NBA centers. These are each pick three centers. These are perfect our personal favorites to either watch or emulate. These are not Not necessarily the best centers ever otherwise, we just be here talking about Bill Russell versus Wilt Chamberlain the whole time. Which I don’t think that’s the conversation we’re

Nick 10:07
gonna have. No, I really tried to stick with players. I’ve watched plays like live ball instead of, you know, some from that I’ve previously used that I’ve just watch a lot. Lot of hours of YouTube. I know what I’m talking about. I’m a fuckin expert. I learned from YouTube man.

Kalvin 10:26
I picked two of my three are fairly they’re both retired, but they’re fairly recent. Actually. One might still be active, but not really. And the others like, peak late 80s, early 90s, mid 90s so like, I’ve seen them all play

Nick 10:41
router. Sure. That makes it a lot more fun in my eyes.

Kalvin 10:44
Yeah. Yeah. I don’t want to sit here and talk about what I think about Bill Russell because I never thought

Nick 10:49
the stats are outrageous, but

Kalvin 10:51
Well, yeah, they’re like nine teams in the league, and he was the only seven footer.

Nick 10:57
This is why you need a tall guy. Specifically for Bill Russell. Fuck, how did God dammit he got us again? stropping 50 every night.

Kalvin 11:08
Alright, so who is your first favorite center?

Nick 11:12
My first favorite center. Also my first favorite human being? That’s a goddamn lie. Sorry.

Kalvin 11:19
I never played center neck. Sorry.

Nick 11:20
Oh my god. I got your back though. Man. I was I was that guy. If you found my point. I’m gonna fuck you up. When I was like, 12 Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do much then. Anyway. Joking, Noah.

Kalvin 11:37
Okay, I’ll move him up in my list because he was my number two. But I yeah, I got an on there too.

Nick 11:42
Let’s fucking fanboy about joking. No from it. Yeah, this cat is ugly as fuck. And he had the same so clear is because the small farmer model Oh my god. His mom is beautiful. his dad’s decently handsome.

Kalvin 11:57
Yeah, he was a professional tennis player and his mom’s a supermodel and he turned out looking like he is but he’s got those good athletic jeans. that’s for damn sure.

Nick 12:04
You’re goddamn right. He does. This cat can ball. I mean, coming to a new country, especially moving in New York when he was 13. I think that helped with his grittiness a little bit because a lot of people think France is just a bunch of pussies. Definitely not. Definitely. Cultures got a lot of pride and stuff like that and then going to New York, but that do fall like I don’t know. I’m gonna I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that dude for a shitload of people. He’s

Kalvin 12:34
He’s a scrappy guy. And so the reason I picked him is because he’s a Florida Gator.

Nick 12:38
That’s my homie Nick years. He was the face of the franchise forever.

Kalvin 12:41
Oh, absolutely.

Nick 12:42
Yeah, that’s two seasons in college basketball.

Kalvin 12:45
It really is forever. He’s named most outstanding player in the 2006 final four and a sophomore year. He ranked third nationally with 62.7% shooting from the field set NCAA championship game record was six block shots in 2006 verse UCLA, which was just like, I remember watching that. And that was one of the craziest things to watch is how often he got in front of those players. That’s Darren Collison, Russell Westbrook, Jordan Farmar, Luca Garmin bamu. Tight like these are good players on UCLA. Most of them ended up in the NBA. And he’s just out there tanking all of them. He’s ranked 26th in the nation and third in the sec with 2.44 blocks per game. ranked ninth in the sec was 7.1 rebounds per game in 2006. So in 2007, they run it back for his junior season. And he’s named second team all AP all American and he averaged 12 points and 8.4 rebounds per game which is kind of insane in college basketball because like they just especially that season that they ran the floor with everybody they came against in the regular season so like they have the stars didn’t play that much. Because they were just killing everybody heard. Yeah, Horford Brewer, turning green Lee Humphrey like that. That was a nasty

Nick 14:04
fucking lineup, especially in college. I mean, I thought it was pretty dope that they came back to school everyone thought they were going to go to the NBA.

Kalvin 14:13
So let’s talk about his actual NBA career. But what do you have on him that stands out so much to you?

Nick 14:19
Really. So he never really struck me as an all around amazing player. Like I never thought of joking. No is like genuinely elite. Even though he’s got a shitload of accolades, All Star 13 and 14 Defensive Player of the Year and 1414 all NBA first team to time all defensive first team dude was a lot a lockdown player, but he reminded me more of like Michael Singletary, going back to the NFL here. Yeah, just fucking Yeah. A baller, who’s gonna get those boards Get those tackles and, you know bring you a toughness a graininess. And at the same time he paired so well with Luol Dean Kirk Heinrich Derrick Rose like

Kalvin 15:13
Taj Gibson like that. Those are so much better than they ever actually were like they made a couple runs in the playoffs in that like 2010 to 2014 range. They never got over the hump cuz they didn’t like they didn’t have that fifth guy. They didn’t have the spot up shooter or anything like that

Nick 15:32
they did but they traded Kyle Korver traded his us and they never made it as far

Kalvin 15:37
as the team in the league has traded Kyle Korver, we can’t hold that against the bulls.

Nick 15:41
And he was pretty solid at that time. So it was Kirk Heinrich, and we just let him walk. But I think really that was a scheme fit thing. I think joking. No, would have been a lot better as you know, roaming a little bit, but that goddamn Tom tibideaux is just rigid as

Unknown Speaker 15:57
shit.

Kalvin 15:58
Yep. He was one of those stuck in his ways. Guys, he’s he’s grown a little bit. He’s a little bit better now. But somebody that knows that. And this is stuff that I noticed more at Florida than you would probably ever notice in the NBA just because of those typical offenses. And the way everybody on the court is so much better. But he’s deceptively quick. And he’s a relatively good ball handler. So at Florida, a lot of times he could grab a defensive rebound, and run the break. And you know, watching these highlight packages, that’s something he still was capable of doing in the NBA, and he would do it every so often. And when you add that, to his tenacious nature, he would really lead to some like monster face up and attack the rim moments that are really cool and fun to watch. I have so much more fun than his jump shot

Nick 16:45
is jumping out as ugly as

Kalvin 16:47
it goes. Like he’s a solid mid range shooter.

Nick 16:51
Nice. He can hit up the open shot for sure.

Kalvin 16:54
But at 940 9% from the field over his career,

Nick 16:58
that a bow, but I mean, you really can’t argue that dude was a heart and soul of the bowls for a long time. And he’s a momentum shifter. That’s that’s another thing what I mean by like, do can make big plays, or just at least scream at the top of the top of his lungs in the camera. You’re like, yeah, that’s sick. This is fucking dope.

Kalvin 17:18
I mean, there’s a great defender to

Nick 17:20
amazing different game. Yeah, he just got those long arms and it gets real real fucking low and squat. He’s got those shifty feet. He’s, he’s a little crab Walker. Very good. And he solid too. I mean, he

Kalvin 17:34
has excellent timing, with like, blocking shots and things like that, which, that’s something again, that you saw Florida, with, you know, leading the league with with his block shots and setting a record in the NCAA Tournament like that was, he just knows when to go up for the ball and to get it. He knows what the other what how the opponent is going to shoot and how they’re going to release it and how to maximize his ability to jump and get a handle on the ball.

Nick 18:01
He’s got great instincts.

Kalvin 18:02
He’s a disrupter Oh,

Nick 18:05
is he ever we just kind of a bit of a dick at times? Yes, even his teammates voted unanimously to suspend him for a for a bit and oh eight because he’s being a bit of a shit

Kalvin 18:20
yeah he started out with a bronze he you know we talked about it on the power forwards episode there was shit between him and kg which seems like maybe kg started it but you know, I wouldn’t put it past Noah to be in there starting shit to somebody that I always like to compare him to from the same era is that the we’re going back to football here. Florida Gators football player, Reggie Nelson. He was a free safety on those championship. The Football Championship gators teams. And the way Urban Meyer ran that defense is he would just pretty much lurk Reggie Nelson like 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage and just let him sit in survey and then attack whenever the balls left and he got so many interceptions and and broken passes and everything like that. And they call them the eraser just because he would come out of nowhere, because he’d be so far back. You’d have no idea where it is. And then all of a sudden he’s disrupting this play that’s on the line of scrimmage somehow when he started out 20 yards back and that’s kind of always how I saw Noah was the same way as just you know the Russell Westbrook has an open lane to the to the rim in a national championship game and then No, it comes out of nowhere and just beat the shit out of it. Yeah. Whoa, he I will say that into his NBA game as well.

Nick 19:37
Absolutely. I don’t think it fared as well in the NBA. I just I don’t think he had enough way to really do that.

Kalvin 19:43
That and people are just in general more athletic, right. Well,

Nick 19:46
more athletic, bigger, stronger. You know him going against Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard manhandled him. Every time Noah tried as hard as he could, but Howard just he had maybe 1015 pounds on him. But he had the strength to really just out push him. And it definitely hindered him in his career. He was injured all the fucking time. And we played two full seasons. I’m get twice

Kalvin 20:11
no injuries at games, but he 74 and oh 708 He probably wasn’t injured. 667 Yeah, yeah, yeah. And he was Those were his all defensive years. Right. And all their years. Yeah. Makes sense. Yeah, so joke him. No, our first pick off the board. Nice. Alright, so who’s your second center that?

Nick 20:36
Who’s my second center? Excuse me. I thought we were doing four. So I got no, I got all right. I’ll have to be my second pick. I’m guessing you probably

Kalvin 20:47
joking. No.

Nick 20:48
motherfucking Shaquille O’Neal.

Kalvin 20:51
I figured he’d pick him so I didn’t. Nice.

Nick 20:55
Nice is Shaquille O’Neal is that dude. I don’t even care. Everybody knows. Shaquille O’Neal for the most part. He He’s got damn Shaq. Yeah, dude is worth a tremendous amount of money.

Kalvin 21:06
He was a genie for a while. He was in good burger.

Nick 21:09
He’s all over the place, man. That’d be he he does so much steel. Yeah,

Kalvin 21:15
I have live action steel. Come

Unknown Speaker 21:16
on. Now.

Nick 21:17
I have steel number one. Very pumped about it. But I mean he first overall pick in the NBA Draft. A lot of these guys are pretty high picks. drafted by the magic and in his rookie season dude was averaging 23.4 points a game on 56.2% shooting 13.9 rebounds a game and 3.5 blocks per game. This dude came in and was just people had never seen a person like this 367 foot one. That’s I don’t know if he’s 360.

Kalvin 21:50
And I don’t think not in the beginning. He was slender, like relatively slender in his rookie season. Like if you go back and watch those highlights from those years. Oh, he

Nick 21:58
definitely is. But that was probably his strongest point. Or just most like most raw power because he’s yanking down rims. They had to bolt that shit to the floor after after he came into the game. And you got it. We got to give it to him though. 56.2%. That’s purely because I do was dunking on literally everyone. He still missed dogs.

Kalvin 22:20
He’s not taking many jump shots

Nick 22:23
now.

Kalvin 22:24
And if he is they’re not going or Yes. Shaq was always great to watch and especially in those early Lakers years first like that. When Kobe first teamed up it was so much fun to watch in to see what they were capable of together. And it was the same thing with Penny Hardaway in Orlando is just Orlando wasn’t they were never going to get there. And you know, he wanted to do other things with his time he wanted to act he he wanted to rap music and do all this.

Nick 22:54
He has a platinum album for ours. dude’s got a platinum album. It’s unreal.

Kalvin 22:59
He’s a rapper. He’s a cop. Yeah. And so and he got when he went to Miami that first year and they won the championship Miami, he was revitalized a little bit there. And you could see like playing with Dwayne Wade, it felt a lot like that 2000 2001 Lakers team. And then he kind of just fell off a cliff when he started going to Boston, in Phoenix, Cleveland, Cleveland. He just couldn’t do it anymore. In Him joining the seven seconds or less Phoenix team was probably the dumbest thing in the world. Like, I don’t know why they would want him and I don’t know why he would want to go there.

Nick 23:29
His knees were fucked.

Kalvin 23:31
Yeah. And I think that was I think that was right after Omari left too. So I think they were a little bit desperate to just to get some more Star Power other than Nash at that point.

Nick 23:41
Put a big dude in there and hope for the best. Yeah, they try to can’t run Yeah, do they cannot switch positions at all.

Kalvin 23:50
way past his prime Shaq slow Boris DL. Aging Shawn Marion and Steve Nash. Let’s go.

Nick 23:57
I can’t believe someone sat there with a straight face and pitch that

Unknown Speaker 24:03
let’s turn Yeah.

Kalvin 24:06
That’s not a good squat. Anything else to soundcheck?

Nick 24:10
Oh, yeah, I got some things. I mean, do play it almost 20 years in the NBA. So that might speak to his his slow down pneus later in his career. I mean, Oh, 708. He came in, in the 92 draft. He went to the fucking the magic. So he had, yeah, anyway, he played along as fucking career. He’s also a DJ, I thought that was pretty cool. Like, I was looking up all the lists of like what Shaq did. And very busy guy, and if you’ve ever seen his wife, it’s just like, luck. Ah, she’s very, anybody’s fucking small. And we’ve all seen the little, you know, the little water bottle in his hand. That’s just hilarious. Kevin Hart’s Yeah, I’m attacking my face compared to his dick. Like what the fuck do you that’s terrible because I am love that movie too.

Kalvin 25:10
I’ve watched it recently it’s terrible not great.

Nick 25:13
Yeah, yes I just it’s not

Kalvin 25:16
it’s not as bad as some movies from the 90s

Nick 25:19
that’s not saying much the 90s mid range

Kalvin 25:21
90s camp you know?

Nick 25:24
Yeah when he made like candy bars rain I was like fuck I love the sky.

Kalvin 25:28
Yeah, so that so he’s not even that bad and because am it’s more like that kid is a reason that the kid needs a genie the kid is bad and the reason he needs a genie and what he’s making the genie do all that stuff is bad. Yeah, fuck it was just my opinion.

Nick 25:47
And I’ll say some more about Shaq later, but dude was just unreal. I mean, he rebounding machine defensive beast couldn’t shoot a free throw to save his life. He’s He’s like the last breath of the old breed. And he was fucking fantastic. Him and Coby were unreal together. Him and Dwayne Wade run reel together that that he team was really fun to watch two. Young Dwayne Wade

Kalvin 26:13
Yeah, needless to three years in Really? Well, he

Nick 26:15
had no one like Shaq prior to that. No, that’s all I’ll say about Shaq. I mean, everybody knows Shaq don’t want to beat him to death, but I loved watching that dude play with Shaq today. You literal motherfucker

Kalvin 26:31
wouldn’t be able to do it.

Unknown Speaker 26:35
Next

Kalvin 26:37
is the one and only Jermaine O’Neal. Oh.

Nick 26:43
Jermaine O’Neal, the malice in the palace second man himself.

Kalvin 26:50
I’d say he was the third because Steven Jackson was the second dude. But Steven Jackson was all over the place. He wasn’t he wasn’t second longest suspension off of that

Nick 27:02
Jermaine because he was the second dude in your stance. Jermaine O’Neal knock like two dudes out on the core. Yeah,

Kalvin 27:10
we go back and listen to our mouse in the palace episode for more on that, because we did a full episode on it. He’s just he was so masterful in the low post and I’m watching all these highlights of them. They haven’t a lot of these highlights show him doing this kind of long drop step into the middle. And he just does this kind of short to mid range fade away. And he just didn’t miss if he was going up within 1515 feet. If he pulled up, the ball was going in or he was drawing a foul. I’m watching all these highlights and kind of remembering his play. And he was he was exceptional at drawing and ones on these pull up shots and going to the basket, because defenders would always assume he’d be going to the basket. And so they’d overplay him and then he’d kind of pull up into them, which you see a lot of guys doing like three point shots now but he was kind of doing it from this mid range game. And he was just so big and long that the shot would be up before the defenders could disrupt it. And then they wound up hitting him anyway so the ball would go in and he’d get the foul every time and he also had this deceptive power to them. So he had this kind of finesse mid range game, but he had a way of kind of clearing everybody out and just dunking funk gadea

Nick 28:24
let’s be real this man had a powerful

Kalvin 28:27
ass Yeah,

Nick 28:28
you gotta have a powerful is in the NBA and he fucking had I remember him boxing people out like crazy bash boy, turn around him dropping in

Kalvin 28:39
his Yeah, he was very quick and powerful rebounder. And this goes a lot to all those drop steps that he does to his he looks really slender. But he and he was he was kind of like a tall or skinny guy kind of in the kg Chris Bosh mold, but maybe a little bit thicker, but not too much. And he was just great at creating a wide base with his legs and his ass to block out and make space against like for rebounds or on offense with those drop steps either middle or baseline he was just so good at using his legs and is asked to create this wide base to give himself space to do whatever the hell he wanted on offense.

Nick 29:16
Yeah, he could move people and I mean if you got like I said about joking No, he was very very stout. His lower body was definitely built a hell of a lot more than his upper body. Yeah, like you said slender guy. He could definitely move but I never really ever saw him have to fight someone in the paint all that hard for a board Oh

Kalvin 29:38
because he would just clear him out so easily.

Nick 29:41
But dude had humongous hands to incredibly. I’m not what he had.

Kalvin 29:46
But he had great control over the ball with is huge. And so somebody like Shaq who has huge hands and he struggled with jump shots yes and free. No dexterity and Jermaine O’Neal was so smooth. had so much control over everything he wanted to do in his prime and those Indiana years in his early Portland years. Yeah, I mean even even a little bit Miami.

Nick 30:12
I think that’s that really fucked up his career was afterwards he was just viewed as a straight up bully. He’s played quite a few years.

Kalvin 30:20
Yeah, I mean, the malleson pals. Oh 304 he didn’t retire till 2014

Nick 30:24
Yeah, that was a I never heard a lot after that. That was a bad deal.

Kalvin 30:31
So yeah, six time All Star three time all NBA Most Improved Player in 2000 excuse me in 2002 and just in immaculate right cross he’s running from across the court and you see that fuck down.

Nick 30:46
I’m running the other way. Fuck no, man. He I remember watching that live. We talked about a bunch we beat that horse dead but immaculate right hook. He has incredible. You know hand placement when it comes his great vision, great court vision and great face vision. really knows where to put those hands.

Kalvin 31:07
I really liked it. So going back to that that bulls team that never lived up to potential these early 2000s Indiana Pacers teams could have been so much better to they got Reggie Miller Jamal tins Lee. People like Jonathan Benner came in and out. Danny Granger was there for a little while run our tests there. Obviously Steven Jackson, all these good players that they just never quite put it together.

Nick 31:27
Now who had someone else to

Kalvin 31:32
Brad Miller?

Nick 31:33
No. Austin Crozier. You get blown in the bronzier.

Kalvin 31:38
Oh, Lance Stephenson later. Yeah. Yeah, that was later.

Nick 31:42
I was fun to that dude. He’s a little bozo sign him I was so happy and then they didn’t

Kalvin 31:50
have a big Lance Stephenson fan. Alright, so your last center? Was your honorable mention that you had a cut from the list?

Nick 32:01
we’ve we’ve talked about him already. And that’s Draymond Green. Okay. Well, he’s really a center. I mean, I think his best performances have been at center. I think that’s what he’s been the most valuable especially, that’s when I say scheme fit. I’m thinking Draymond Green for the Warriors, is he was just unreal in 2014 through 2016 play in his center, and they’re just

Kalvin 32:23
a basketball reference. They’ve got Melissa’s powerful word small forte. Yeah,

Nick 32:26
I saw that but on Wikipedia, it’s powerful word center.

Kalvin 32:30
And yeah, he I mean, he definitely is their de facto center

Nick 32:34
a lot of the time. I mean, they were talking about him being the best center in the league for a bit there.

Kalvin 32:40
I don’t know who’s talking about that. That’s that take?

Nick 32:44
I bet you Stephen A. Smith said it.

Kalvin 32:47
Skip Bayless out there. Yep. Skip. We’re coming. We’re coming for killers take guys.

Nick 32:52
I hate that show. So much. Both those guys can suck. What?

Kalvin 32:56
Yeah. Alright, so who’s your last one?

Nick 32:59
Yeah, man. Okay,

Kalvin 33:01
I almost picked out I went with a different Houston rocket, but we’ll get there in a minute.

Nick 33:06
Oh, I already know you picked. That was before my time though. Yao Ming was prime of my lifetime. I remember just him and Shaq duking it out so much as a kid. I mean, he did not really win those matches all that much. No. But this guy, really incredible journey. He’s pretty much forced to be created by the Chinese government. Don’t come after me China is

Kalvin 33:34
Ivan Drago of basic Chinese basketball.

Nick 33:37
His dad was six seven. His mom was six three and they both played professional basketball. He was killer in China his last season before he came over to america he averaged. Now this is China 38.9 points and 20.2 boards a game as a seven foot six 310 pound man while shooting 76.6 from the field which is unreal I think that’s really where he beat out Shaq in you can say anything.

Kalvin 34:10
So I’m saying the Chinese basketball he he’s not taking too many mid range or long range jumpers. Like he’s getting to his spot on the block wherever he wants in the Chinese Basketball League.

Nick 34:19
Are they the same height hoops?

Kalvin 34:22
Yeah. But I can’t imagine that offenders are the same height.

Nick 34:26
No. Well, I mean, one of the big things that he he was like 11 pounds, which was almost double what a normal newborn Chinese baby weighed at the time, which is unreal. drafted first overall once again, and I remember watching this because my dad made me sit down and watch it with him and I was super thankful. It was his first meeting with Shaq in January of oh three. And Shaq was talking all that racist bullshit. I’m not gonna say he could Wikipedia he Not to say it was he was playing and that’s racist as fuck. And another thing I gotta mention about our shelling out for China. Yao Ming was a humble cat. Yeah, he was great. He really was like a genuinely good dude. Like people tried to fuck with him.

Kalvin 35:17
Charity work in Houston and stuff, too. Yeah, I mean, he’s still because of y’all mean Houston has become like China’s team.

Nick 35:24
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And they all have gear, and I’m sure that brought in a ton of Chinese audience into the MBAs demographic. Because not only was he a Chinese player, he was a great Chinese player. Often injured, but

Kalvin 35:43
you don’t have to sell me on these early 2000s. Rockets teams. Oh, yeah. When we did way back when I pick Steve Francis is one of my favorite point guards.

Nick 35:52
Oh, nice. This these were just really fun teams to watch. And like I said, though, yo, was really the only dude that anyone flocking stand with Liz Shaq, but still, I mean, the first game they played Shaq was kind of balling

Kalvin 36:07
outrageous. Yeah, well couldn’t stand

Nick 36:10
at first six points, you know, first six points of the game and blocked Shaq twice. And then basically, you know, he ended up taking the game to overtime, but Shaq ended up killing it with 31 points, 13 boards, zero blocks while Biao had a measly 1010 and six? Yeah. Which is just 61 guy. Yeah, that is fucking nuts. And all around. Yeah, I had some misconceptions. As a kid when he first came into the league, I was just like, I don’t see it. I really thought sinners had to be really like thick dude like Shaq? Exactly, you know, just kind of plotting tough guys. Losers was that.

Kalvin 36:54
I said Vin Baker types,

Nick 36:56
right. And he’s just a score. I mean, he’s still a dense as dude but skinnier guy who just had a sweet, sweet jumper when he got outside, but it’s like, you can probably cut him off at three feet, four feet from the rim. That’s really where the accuracy starts going down. Which is so even though you can literally like put it in from five feet away.

Unknown Speaker 37:19
Yeah, I mean, he he

Kalvin 37:20
was solid from inside 15 feet. Not great. He’s no Jermaine O’Neal, you know, but they never needed him to do that. No. They always had enough guys to space the floor. And at the time in the NBA, your center wasn’t there for that he was there to be in the paint and block shots and dunk. Get right. And he was good at those things. Yeah, he’s,

Nick 37:41
I mean, he’s huge. And he was fast enough.

Kalvin 37:45
I always felt he was slow. But I think that’s more of like, because he was so big and long. He just looked slow.

Nick 37:51
Yeah. Well, I watched ironically, I watched a funny video. It was like a five foot tall, you know, 125 pound woman running 14 miles an hour on a treadmill and then a six five, like 285 pound man. And they look dramatically different. But he’s running the same speed as her same speed and does not look like he’s moving very fast. It was it was a pretty cool video. And I think yeah, it was definitely that way. Not very good feet. But he was just so big. He can really recover off that good hips. You know, you can kind of show them one time. I remember that. Yeah, Nate Robinson was a freak of nature can jump like five and a half feet off the ground? Yeah. You know, right. But uh, he just injured too much. I mean, 240 games missed in his final six seasons. That’s that’s kind of shitty.

Kalvin 38:43
Yeah, he had a rough go of it. Over the last few years

Nick 38:46
just so fucking tall. Like I think his bones just could not keep out.

Kalvin 38:52
So another guy who was so fucking tall Hakeem vo dream a larger one a large 112 time All Star three time blk champ. Was that me? Oh block block champ. Two time total rebounds. champ two time NBA champ 12 time all NBA nine time all defensive Rookie of the Year in 1985, two time Defensive Player of the Year two time Finals MVP. We got to note that those championships and finals MVPs were in the years that Michael Jordan was not in the league and the MVP of the league in 9394. So good job capitalizing on Michael Jordan’s absence.

Nick 39:31
Slide right in here.

Kalvin 39:32
Yep. And so the main reason I like to keep alive one is the dream shake the dream shake

Nick 39:38
film in elaborating or seeing the dream shake. That’s it’s

Kalvin 39:41
a signature move. It’s Hey,

Nick 39:43
Joe. I just never connected the two Yeah,

Kalvin 39:45
he does like he’s very good at using his shoulders and his arms to do ball fakes. It’s one of the few Signature moves for like these NBA players that that’s actually based on ball fakes. He can maybe put like dirt head fake up there. dirt. really solid head fake that he nasty by and then definitely Rajon Rondo’s fake pass under the hoop that was more or less the next evolution of the dream shake. This is just he gets you on the block. And he had this magical low post game where he could do anything with the ball and defenders had no idea what to do. Because it’s not just the dream shake, it’s not just I’m gonna fake right and then go left or I’m gonna fake left and then go right it’s I’m gonna fake left then we’re gonna fake right then I’m gonna fade away then I’m gonna fake like I’m fading away then I’m gonna go to the basket. And if you watch these highlight packages, the defenders are just dumbfounded trying to keep up with them because he had so many low post moves that he would just unleash at a moment’s notice on these guys, it’s it’s really fun to watch.

Nick 40:46
See, I never got to watch a whole lot of them but I’ve heard nothing but great things about him.

Kalvin 40:54
Yeah, just just watch some of the YouTube videos just look up like a key allies one highlights and and click on like one of the seven minute videos or whatever. He’ll drops that middle he’ll drop step baseline he can face up and blow by he’ll fake one way and spin the other. Or he dream shakes. He doesn’t lose a step on any of these moves. He’s got arms like Michael Jordan in the last scene of Space Jam, where they just looked like they stretch forever. Yes, great at blocking shots and huge block shots in play. He’s He’s everything that like Chris Bosh should have been in more

Nick 41:29
than saying a lot. Chris Bosh should have been unreal.

Kalvin 41:33
Or God Chris Bosh is really good. And was really good for a long time, especially in Toronto. He just he just never made that lean. He never had it. Right. And the weird thing is so a large ones last couple years he was playing in Toronto. I believe Bosch should have been there at the same time. Oh, no. He would have just left before Bosh got there. Ross was shown Boston moves.

Nick 41:58
showed him the shimmy shake dream shape. Yeah, I mean, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve seen that moved on a million times in the league by people copycatting and what I imagine is chemo.

Kalvin 42:10
Yeah, it’s so beautiful and illogical and does it though?

Nick 42:13
I mean, it’s poetry in motion.

Kalvin 42:16
Yeah. There we go.

Nick 42:21
Centers baby. Yeah. Love to the senators. I love it.

Kalvin 42:25
Well, yeah, we had to get to all the positions. Next week. We’ll be doing six men. Get out here. Jamal Crawford takes ready

Nick 42:31
James Harden.

Kalvin 42:37
Oh, yeah. Jeremy Lin. linsanity, baby. Yeah. So Nick, what would you do? Who is your favorite current NBA center?

Nick 42:50
Not gonna lie. I have not been paying too much attention to NBA basketball the past year.

Kalvin 42:56
I mean, just go with us. No, I

Nick 42:58
mean, I could, but I got I don’t like Draymond Green breaking ball. But so I got to go with vucevic with whoever came to the bowls recently from the wizards what I know about him, do the double double machine. Like 10th double double in his first 18 games as a bowl. That’s that’s pretty solid. And yeah, just out here. Good.

Kalvin 43:24
He’s pretty good player. Well,

Nick 43:26
I I never really liked the window Carter pic or the otter Otto Porter trade. I just didn’t really think they fit with the pieces we already had. But I think vucevic vucevic I would like to know how to say as I shouldn’t say vucevic Okay. I think him comboed with Laurie marketing. I’d love to see Tony Snell come back and then Zack Levine in our newest man I think he’s a powerful from like, Florida. No, it wasn’t a Florida Gators. He’s a newer kid but he can ball to I’m excited for

Kalvin 44:04
a bulls game right now. Sorry. No,

Nick 44:06
I mean, I’m a bulls fan. And I’m not necessarily they’ve been terrible for years is so frustrating to watch. So yeah, can imagine I’m excited to have someone who can score and snag boards in the bank is Laurie marketing, ain’t it

Kalvin 44:22
now and butcher Mitch? He played for the magic for a while that’s that’s he was drafted by the magic. He was always really solid. He was like a solid starter always in Orlando. It was like him and Aaron Gordon and and Orlando was just bad because they put their team together terribly and had no shooters and no scores outside of Aaron Gordon who can get to the basket but he can’t do anything else and with vucevic like he can get you a rebound and put it back but he’s not taking anybody off the dribble to the basket either, you know? Yeah, I

Nick 44:53
don’t imagine he’s very nimble.

Kalvin 44:56
He can hit a jumper though. which is which is good nowadays. I have a huge blind spot for big men coming out of college. To me, they all always look like they’re going to be the next kg and most of them end up being the next Kwame Brown. So I am terrible at judging centers and like big men talent.

Nick 45:15
I think so is the rest of the NBA. Yeah. Do not do a good job of I mean these. There was a couple senators. I mean, fuck nerlens knows the first one that comes to mind. Yeah, there’s been several senators in the past 10 years who have just been next right now, is he? I mean, dude, like 28 now. I like john bead. Yeah, he’s, he’s really good.

Kalvin 45:40
I liked how he trolls people on Twitter, mostly. But he’s also a great player that can kind of do it all. He’s incredibly smooth, but also powerful and dominant. At the same time. It’s really weird to watch. He’s an excellent finisher and he draws these ends ones kind of in the same way Jermaine O’Neal does from anywhere on the court. Like any time he pulls up, he’s trying to draw that foul on in the shots a lot of times go in.

Nick 46:03
Imagine if that dude started playing basketball at a young age.

Kalvin 46:07
Yeah, he could be nasty. Yeah. Well, I still think he he’s pretty nasty. Anyway.

Nick 46:13
He just wanted I think he’s a little clunky sometimes. You still learn in a bit.

Kalvin 46:18
I like Myles Turner for the Pacers? Yeah, I think See, he should have been the next Chris Bosh, this kind of hybrid guy that can can do it all from from anywhere on the court. He just hasn’t quite lived up to that potential yet. He’s got the size speed. He’s got skill. He should be an all star by now. And he’s just not and I think he kind of just gets lost in the shuffle in Indy. Because those teams aren’t very good. And nobody thinks well, okay, miles turns out they’re putting in 20 and 10. But what does that really mean?

Nick 46:52
They don’t drive flayer well anymore. I’m gonna say yeah,

Kalvin 46:56
ever. Let’s see what is. I want to see what Karl Anthony towns is pretty solid to Yeah, like Karl Anthony towns. Okay. puts up like 12 and six. Not Yeah.

Nick 47:10
That’s a big fucking difference.

Kalvin 47:12
It is but but he should be better. And I don’t know. Like I’m watching these highlights and everything that I imagined he was going to be. He is in those highlight packages. He’s just not consistent. Just doesn’t Yeah, I guess he’s not consistent. That must be it. It’s easy to put together a highlight package of all his best plays, but when you have to play the other 48 minutes of a game, it doesn’t really work out that way. Right. And I like Nicolas Cage.

Unknown Speaker 47:40
Yeah, yeah,

Nick 47:41
he’s got a sweet shot.

Kalvin 47:44
Oh, yeah. The Joker. But yeah, that’s uh, you know, centers are hard nowadays. I don’t know. And you don’t know what to find that like is Anthony Davis a center Really? Maybe?

Nick 48:00
I mean, it’s really fucking tall.

Kalvin 48:02
Yeah, but he’s got a handle on Yeah,

Nick 48:03
and can shoot beautifully. Exactly.

Kalvin 48:08
It’s not it’s very hard to find a center nowadays and you know, the ones that are even like Joel and beat he’s out there taking threes and making threes a lot. And he’s one of the more prototypical centers that are out there right now. Yeah, Rudy go bear. I guess you know, he’s he’s a somebody who you’d say that’s a center and also Yeah, also a COVID dick. And that’s also all he is. But yeah, Do we have anything else to say about centers for the NBA Playoffs or anything?

Nick 48:39
I’m excited for later round the playoffs watching much we talked about before we started recording I

Kalvin 48:45
I’m hoping that Luca and the Mavs make it past the Clippers because I want to see more of Luca and I just don’t care to watch the Clippers ever.

Nick 48:55
No, I I’m sick of the Clippers, man. They just need to go away or move to a different city.

Kalvin 49:01
Yeah. I hope that because I think the Lakers are in a pretty tight battle with the suns right now and I want to see I’d rather see the Lakers go farther. I like that suns team. I like Devin Booker and those guys. I just it’s not the same without LeBron there.

Nick 49:15
No, no, it’s not.

Kalvin 49:18
I want to see a Lucca versus LeBron seven game series. You know I’ve watched that they get bounced, you know, I would watch

Nick 49:24
I mean, I think LeBron would shut Luca down as long as he can. His conditioning was tight. Lucas really good. Lucas so shifty. He’s a bigger dude than I thought too.

Kalvin 49:37
I also got a hot take that I don’t think the nets are gonna make it to the finals. Who’s not gonna MMA? I thought the Celtics could but that didn’t fucking happen.

Nick 49:47
They can just all stringing it together at once.

Kalvin 49:50
No, the Bucs definitely can’t. Who are the teams out there? I don’t know the boxer. He aren’t going to the heater already out. Yeah, I’m trying to think of who I guess I gotta look it up hawks maybe who are the Hawks playing the Knicks now that will happen next can’t hawks maybe? Yeah Now I don’t see it without the Celtics, the Celtics should have been better

Nick 50:20
and they’re just not. They have great individual players for the most part. The sixers

Kalvin 50:25
could if mbeadh comes back the Sixers can knock them off

Nick 50:28
Yeah, I could see that.

Kalvin 50:31
That would be it so I don’t know what’s going on with him beads injury he’s he’s out for a couple games. So if he’s back by the time they would play the nets, then I think they can take him if he’s not back then then I think the Nets have a pretty easy path through the Hawks and the Bucs.

Nick 50:48
Yeah, if he’s not there to Bali, harden and Darius then it’s not gonna fly.

Kalvin 50:54
Well, they just the whole thing we’ve just been talking about that the Nets don’t have center. You know, they’ve got DeAndre Jordan, but I don’t know that he’s much of a factor at this point.

Nick 51:03
Was he 3433 34 best years definitely behind them

Kalvin 51:09
that Yeah, jump as well as they’ve got Blake Griffin out there who’s looking a little bit refreshed, but he’s still not I mean, are you gonna match up Durant’s on him? During it’s quick enough to stay with him? But I think in between them?

Nick 51:21
Yeah. All the all the?

Kalvin 51:24
That would be definitely that would be pretty interesting. And I think you don’t want you’d want to rant on Ben Simmons rather than on mbeadh. Anyways,

Nick 51:31
you would have to because Kyrie is not going to be able to guard but

Kalvin 51:34
it seems to be. So that would that’ll be the most interesting series in the east if those two teams get matched up somewhere.

Nick 51:41
I 100% agree and would watch that whole series. Yeah. All right. So

Kalvin 51:46
that’s what we’ve got to look forward. There is our NBA Playoffs preview. sixers and Mavericks in the finals. Every rise Yeah, I don’t know how that that would be. That would be fun to watch.

Nick 52:00
I love watching that. For Zynga. Is porzingis still playing? Yeah, no, he’s still doing great. It doesn’t surprise me. I think he his leg is fucked up again.

Unknown Speaker 52:10
Yep. Okay, well, thank

Kalvin 52:14
you to everyone for listening. You can check us out on Twitter. Let us know who your favorite centers are or what you think on the NBA Playoffs and who you think’s gonna come out on top. If you think it’s the nets, you’re wrong, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.

Nick 52:27
I just want to believe that for sure.

Kalvin 52:29
On Twitter, we are at APA something and at alone underscore podcast. You can keep up with all the news on my next show. The magic number is three when it comes to TV at magic three TV pod on Twitter as well. I can check out everything from the URL loan podcast new episode just dropped the other day at you are alone podcast.com Yes, sir. alone. podcast.com check it all out there. Lots of cool stuff. And all the music for podcasts about something is provided by those cats.

Nick 53:00
Yeah, stay sassy.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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