Kind of a random post, but it's the off-season and every now and then I look at players of the past on basketball-reference.com. Ron Harper's one of the more intriguing players to me because of his statistics before he played for Chicago. In eight seasons as a Cavalier and Clipper, Harper averaged a line of 19-5-5 with two steals per game. That includes his rookie season where he averaged 22.9 points, although he took 19.7 attempts per game.
Basically, what I'm curious about is:
What was his game like before he suffered his major knee injury?
If you could compare his game pre-Bulls to a modern day NBA player, who would it be?
I was actually looking at his stats a few days ago because I was watching the classic Michael Jordan games on NBA TV and saw ron harper on the cavs and was curious what his stats were... but once he went to the bulls.. he stats dipped a crap ton I think due to injury
He had a very good game all-around pre-Bulls. I don't say pre-injury because he actually recovered enough from his knee injury to average 20.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 4.6 APG in 1994. He had a silky smooth game for a 2 guard, with good playmaking and defensive ability. He's a good example of how stats (especially scoring numbers) are not always a great indicator of how good a player is but rather an indicator of how good the team and the system around him is.
As far as his best modern day comparison...I hate to do comparisons and there really aren't any 2 guards in the league at the moment like him. The closest resemblance I can see is a poor mans Kobe. Really good mix tape of him, the first 3 minutes are awesome
dayuuuummm he looks niceee... Those layups in the start of the video were sick and yea did actually remind me of kobe.
Awesome link, thanks.
What about Andre Iguodala as a comparison? Eh? Eh? Harper scored more in his early years though.
he was that good his stats where 19.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.9 apg, 2.1 spg... Harper actually sustained a knee injury which robbed him of much of his speed and jumping ability, In 1994, Harper signed a lucrative free agent deal with the Bulls, who were rebuilding following the first retirement of Michael Jordan. After a tumultuous initial season in Chicago, Harper found his niche with the Bulls upon Jordan's return
he changed his game, becoming a fan favorite by reinventing himself as a big perimeter defender, ballhandler, and midrange scorer. Although he suffered an injury late in Chicago's record-setting 72-win season in 1996, he returned to the starting lineup during the 1996 NBA Finals, helping the Bulls win the NBA title. Harper would play a key role on two more Chicago championship teams in 1997 and 1998
This is so copy-pasted off of Wikipedia lol
Sums up his time in Chicago nicely though.
1 of the most underrated players of the past 27 yrs.. But Harper was a great all around player,great perimeter defender and 1 of the few rookies to average 20pts/4rbs/4asts.....I felt a couple of years with the Cavs and Clippers he should've made the All Star team.....Hard to say if he would've been a Hall of Famer if he hadn't gotten injured..Becuz even though he was a good player,he didnt have that extra gear that the great 1s had...
I remember when the Cavs traded him for the rights to Danny Ferry,who alot of people said game was similar to Larry Bird..Even though i was young at the time the trade happened.......I didnt see the comparision to Bird,besides both being white guys and good passers, and thats where the comparision ended......Bird outsmarted his opponents on the court,played with more savvy and was much more competitive.......
I have to give him props for adjusting his game going from being a 20 pt a game scorer his last season with the Clippers...To focusing on defense and team play...
why did you pick "of the last 27 years"?
He is always dismissed when people talk about those Bulls teams. I remember him bringing the ball up the court a lot of the time and doing a lot of the dirty work for those teams. Totally underrated.
Ron Harper was also on Mike & Mike in the morning when Doug Gottlieb was filling in and he had a really bad stuttering problem. I don't know if he always talks like that or nervousness/anxiety brought it on, but it was hard to listen to. I give him props for having the heart/courage to go on a national radio show and talk knowing that could happen. Says a lot about the man.
The closest player in today's NBA that he resembles is Andre Iguodala, but that is a little bit of a stretch even. Both are excellent on-ball defenders, who can play point guard and and pass the ball. The are both mediocre outside shooters.
Their career statlines are somewhat similar-
Andre Iguodala .460 fg pct, .329 3 pct, .724 FT Pct, 15.1 ppg, 1.7 spg, 4.9 apg, 5.8 rpg
Ron Harper- .446 fg pct, .289 3 pct, .720 FT pct, 13.8 ppg, 1.7 spg, 3.9 apg, 4.3 rpg
Iggy just hasn't reached the latter stages of his career yet in which his stats will inevitably decline.
Does anybody know what type of knee injury Ron Harper suffered?
He tore his ACL in his first year in LA. But I just want to make it clear (since a few people on this thread seem to think his numbers went down after/as a result of the knee injury) that he made a fantastic recovery from it and put up a few really nice seasons with the Clippers after it happened. When his numbers went down it was primarily because his role had changed with the Bulls.
The real question is how good was he before he was on the Keenan and Kel show and tore his ACL after slipping in orange soda
Harper was a huge factor for those Bulls teams. Crazy to think that those Bulls teams didn't traditionally use a PG yet they really had 3 PGs on the floor together in Jordan, Pippen, and Harper. All could initiate the offense and not to forget Kukoc occasionally bringing the ball up court. Closes I've seen in comparison to that is the Heat teams who have had James, Wade, and Chalmers all capable of initiating the offense.
I Doubt if there have ever been a team with 4 great defenders like Jordan,Pippen,Rodman and Harper in the starting lineup at once...