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How great were these players in their prime?

blazer_fan_forever
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How great were these players in their prime?

Derrick Coleman.
Larry Johnson.
Shawn Kemp.
Alonzo Mourning.
Steve Smith.

Just trying to get some opinions...


BasketballGuru24
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Derrick Coleman- Pretty

Derrick Coleman- Pretty Solid 3rd option
Larry Johnson- Team Leader
Shawn Kemp- If his career was more like his prime he would be pretty great ....For 10 years he was averaging more then 17 ppg
Alonzo Mourning- Legend. (PERIOD)
Steve Smith- Mediocre role player

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Yeah

Man...Shawn Kemp was so amazing...I didn't get a chance to watch him play during his prime years (not old enough lol). But, from the footage I've seen, when he had his head in the game he was as good as a PF in the league. He was so athletic and had a really good post game.

bigbusiness
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Steve Smith..

Was Buckets!

NBAjunkie81
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Before Larry Johnson wrecked his back he was Super Star material

people don't remember this b/c it happened when he was so young...... But L.J. was one of the most explosive big men I have ever seen.... & when I say "big man" I don't mean in the traditional NBA 7 foot center sense....... I mean this man was sculpted....... He was built a lot like Lebron James......

L.J. was 6'6'' 250 + & he was built like a Mack truck..... He was the #1 pick of the 91' Draft & as a Rookie he averaged 19 pts & 11 reb - a 6'6'' Rookie Averaging 11 rebounds a game as Rookie! He was such an explosive leaper.....

One year later expansion Charlotte drafts Alonzo Mourning #2 overall (Shaq was #1 in 1992)...... & "Zo" is another NBA great that people forget how good he really was.....

In Mourning's rookie campaign he Averaged 22 pts 11 Reb & 3.5 Blocks!!!

That Charlotte franchise looked locked & loaded for greatness,,,,, Just to give an idea, in Mourning's rookie season playing w/ Larry Johnson (in his 2nd season) - they combined to average 43 ppg; 22 rpg; 4 blocks; Both shot over 50% FG% & got to the FT line Constantly.....

Johnson began to have Back issues in Only his 3rd season..... & to his credit he was still a good player, but he was Never the Super Star he should have been b/c he Never regained that explsoiveness...

Coleman & Kemp were both Very good to great players..... Kemp was one of the most explosive players Ever seen & if not for Michael Jordan - Kemp & Gary Payton probably win at least One ring..... Kemp listed at 6' 10'' was one of the most powerful, explosive dunkers the game has ever seen...... & I mean "In Game" dunks that changed the entire momentum of the game.... he & Peyton were a Great tandem.....

Coleman, also 6'10'' was So unique, this was before the European influx so a Big man w/ Coleman's skill set was really amazing...... He was a 20 ppg & 10 rpg guy who could handle the ball, pass, run the floor, block a few shots..... But he was so naturally talented, many people belive he never gave 100%

Smith was drafted #5 overall the same year as L.J. & I know he was not a "Great" player but he def was a very good player & outstanding scorer who had many great years in the NBA..... Smith was an excellent #3 option on a really good team... He could consistently score 15+ ppg & he was not afraid to take the big shot....

Apologies for the long post, you brought me back to my childhood..... These guys all entered the League right in the middle of the 6 expansion teams that were added (89' - 95') & it's fun to remember....

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I watched all those guys in

I watched all those guys in their prime:

Derrick Coleman-Ton of potential that was never really tapped. He was a 20-10 guy in his prime who could post and shoot the deep ball. Very strong and was hard to move around on the low box. But he was kinda lazy and didn't get the most out of his career.

Shawn Kemp-superstar in his prime. Crazy athelticism. Could shoot from out to 20 feet and attack the basket. Ran the court and blocked shots. Didn't really overpower guys around the basket, was more of a finnese player even though he had some crazy highlights.

Larry JOhnson-all star, but not really a franchise player imo. Great perimeter skills for a pf. Could dribble, and pass and his 3's. More of a team player then a take over and get out of my way type.

Alonzo Mourning-best player on this list. Absolute warrior on both ends. Was a top 5 mvp candidate at one point with Miami. A littel mechanical offensively and was only 6-10 for a center.

Steve Smith-Excellent shooter and very crafty. Never a takeover the game type, more of a guy who just fit in with the rest of team. Good ball handler for sg. Lots of post moves. I like his work a lot on NBATV, even though he always looks stoned.

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STEVE SMITH HAD A MOVE THAT

STEVE SMITH HAD A MOVE THAT EVERYONE IN THE LEAGUE 'TRIED' TO COPY A LITTLE STUTTLE STEP..THAT ALLOWED HIM TO GET BY DEFENDERS..PLUS HE WAS A GOOD BALL HANDLING....HE WASN'T A HALL OF FAMER BUT HE HAD A SOLID CAREER....HIS M-TOWN HOMIE DERRICK COLEMAN..COULD DO IT ALL ..A 6'10 POWER FORWARD WHO COULD REBOUND, HAD A GOOD POST GAME,RUN THE FLOOR,BLOCK SHOTS,HAD A MIDGAME...IF I HAD TO COMPARE HIM TO ANYONE PLAYING TODAY IT WOULD BE RASHEED WALLACE.......LARRY JOHNSON AKA GRANDMAMA..WAS A EXPLOSIVE 6'7 FORWARD..WITH A GREAT ALL AROUND GAME..DESPITE BEING UNDERSIZED HE AVERAGED 20-10 DURING HIS 1ST 2 SEASONS..AND 16 POINTS AND 7.5 REBOUNDS DURING HIS CAREER...SHAWN KEMP AKA 'THE REIGNMAN' WAS A BREATHTAKING FORWARD..NO BIG MAN EVER RAN THE COURT AS FAST AS KEMP..DESPITE NOT ATTENDING COLLEGE..TO HONE HIS SKILLS..HE BECAME AN ALLSTAR & FAN FAVORITE RIGHT AWAY..HE AND GARY PAYTON FORMED 1 OF THE BEST COMBOS IN LEAGUE HISTORY....THEIR ALLEY-OOPS WERE THE BEST...ALOZO CAME FROM GEORGETOWN CENTER UNIVERSITY SOME CALLED IT. EWING, MUTOMBO, HIBBERT...ALL OF THEM KNEW IN ORDER TO BECOME A GREAT BIG MAN..IT HAD TO START AT THE DEFENSIVE END..AND MOURNING RELISHED IN THAT ROLE....

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I LOVE STEVE SMITH'S JOB AT

I LOVE STEVE SMITH'S JOB AT NBA.TV..HE DOES A GREAT JOB..UNLIKE ERIC SNOW..HE PLAYED WITH LEBRON AND DOESN'T GIVE MUCH INSIGHT ON THE CAVS OR LEBRON...

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Eric Snow sucks on NBATV. He

Eric Snow sucks on NBATV. He acts too uptight and know it all like. Smith is one of my favorites because he seems so humble and he jokes around.

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Agreed

Snow does suck...Anyhow, thanks for the input guys...What made Alonzo so good? I mean, he was only 6,10 (listed at 6,9) and never had great post moves...Just curious cause I only saw him when he was well past his prime.

NBAjunkie81
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"Zo" was one of the best shot blockers & naturally instinctive

Defensive centers to ever play,..... & he STILL averaged 22 & 11..... I remember when Alonzo Mourning was invited to Team USA training camp as a High School player & it was a big controversy b/c John Thompson was using that invite recruit him to G'town (supposedly)....

But Mourning was a HUGE man.... very long arms, & 6'10 or 11" but he was an explosive leaper who was meaner than hell & he LOVED to play defense..... He averaged 3.5 blocks per game his rookie year - we foam at the mouth if a Rookie center can Average 2.0 blocks a game now days..... & Mourning added 21 ppg & 10 rpg his Rookie season....

Drafted #2 in 92' after Shaq, "Zo" was a beast, a team leader & a tone setter.... & as I mentioned earlier, pairing him w/ Larry Johnson - who had Super Star wriiten all over him - who was also physically imposing, explosive & meaner than hell on the court was Crazy for an expansion team......

I feel that Johnson's terrible back injury - that Ruined "LJ's" potential really robbed fans of what could have been one of the Great NBA duo's of All time & when we think about how Especially back then, the NBA playoffs were a Half Court Grind - that Charlotte team with "LJ" & "ZO" could have been All Time great.....

(So Sorry for these long posts)

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What I thought

I really enjoyed watching the NBA in the 90's. This is what I thought about these players

Derrick Coleman, good 3rd option in his prime??? His 76ers' days where he was fat and would shoot jumpers was not his prime. He was a pretty impressive player his first couple years in the league. I agree with llperez. He had a ton of potential, was very strong, and paired with good agility. But yeah, he got complacent, and was fine with winding down his career being a fat jump shooting big man.

Larry Johnson was similar to Coleman in his prime IMO, but he was shorter so that made him a little less effective as a shot blocker and rebounder, but was more of a bruiser. He had a better work ethic and was more of a team player than Coleman. I think Johnson would have had a much better career if he hadn't blown out his knees.

Sean Kemp was a great athlete, and a pretty polished post player, who really could run the floor and light it up. He played with a few really good Sonics teams, and made it to the finals once. I always thought he was an underrated defender too. I think he had the best career and most potential of all of these guys listed except for Zo.

Zo was great because he could change a game on defense. He was an amazing shot blocker and low post defender. He was only 6'10'' but even when he was young he was a solid 260 plus. He was able to put up 20+ ppg in his prime because of put backs and he did have a good drop step and baby hook. Losing a kidney really changed his game but even in his last couple years with the Heat was really a tribute to his defense and shot blocking ability. A 35 year old man with one kidney blocking 2 shots per game in the NBA is downright amazing.

Steve Smith in my opinion was a lot like Allan Houston, only he wasn't rewarded with a contract that payed him way more than he was worth. He was a really good shooter and #2 option, a tall shooting guard with a good outside shot and mediocre defensive abilities.

esperanzafleet69
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"Derrick Coleman, good 3rd

"Derrick Coleman, good 3rd option in his prime??? His 76ers' days where he was fat and would shoot jumpers was not his prime. He was a pretty impressive player his first couple years in the league. I agree with llperez. He had a ton of potential, was very strong, and paired with good agility. But yeah, he got complacent, and was fine with winding down his career being a fat jump shooting big man."

very well said derrick coleman was a 20/10 player since his first day in the league.... if he had a good head on his shoulders he could have been an all time great at PF....

basketballguru24 u are a complete moron if u think he was a 3rd option at best......

blazer_fan_forever
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Yeah

But what was really shocking is that he thought Steve Smith was a "mediocre NBA player".

I don't know anybody who was an all-star and a part of the dream team that was a mediocre NBA player.

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Here

Here are some mixes of the mentioned players. Please be warned that some of the words in the music that is playing in the videos are pg-13. I'm just posting this as a visual so feel free to turn the volume down or mute it.

Derrick Coleman...

Larry Johnson...

Shawn Kemp...

Alonzo Mourning...

Steve Smith...

Plus Steve Smith Dunking on MJ...

Plus DC dunking on Shaq...

marcusfizer21
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The Players

Here's my take on the players:

Derrick Coleman - I have been wanting to talk about this guy for awhile. He is definitely one of the most underachieving players ever. He was a talented physical specimen who has a knack for scoring. He has the talent and potential to be the greatest power forward to ever play the game but he only played well enough to get his paycheck. I looked at his game when he was with the Nets and I could definitely say this, He is a lot more talented and could have been better than Karl Malone! Yes... I saw Coleman block a couple of Malone's shot and he could not dominate against Coleman at that time. He is more talented but the work ethic wasn't there and when you look at Karl, he worked harder than anyone else that's why at the end of their careers, Karl Malone is a thousand miles away from Derrick Coleman's "legacy".

Larry Johnson- a definition of a bruise power forward... He was the inaugural cover for the SLAM Magazine. Why? Simply because he was the hottest ticket at that time. With MJ retired, and no other players that produced much hype, LJ was the answer. The thing that hurts the most from him was when he bust his knees and was never the same again. He could have been more than just a solid player. He could have been "the Face"...

Shawn Kemp- a 6'10 PERFECT combination of power and finesse. He just has that athleticism that rocks the house. If not for the alcohols and drugs and weight problems, he could have been much more than an All-Star. By the way, my most favorite Shawn Kemp moment was the tomahawk slam on Alton Lister of the Warriors where he slammed it over Lister, who was trying to get a charge but fortunately didn't, and then pointed at him... That was the sickest dunk by Shawn Kemp EVER!

Alonzo Mourning- Such a terrific center and a great leader... No doubt that he is definitely a legend. One of the greatest shot blockers of his generation and has the knack for changing the game on defense! I am glad he won a title... I think if the kidney problems weren't there, he could have been even more dominating... I tell ya...

Steve Smith- mediocre? Did I here you right? Come on man... You know better than that... One of the players that I like to pattern my game is Steve Smith... He has a beautiful shooting stroke and is just an amazing scorer... When he played for the Hawks, he was a beast. He has a quiet demeanor that you would never noticed that he already scored 25 or 32 points already. By the way, he is a lot better than Eric Snow on analysis... Snow is somewhat reluctant to speak but Smitty has that confidence that I really like....

doubledribbler
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Nice

This is a nice group of players, other than DC who should have been a lot better. He was still a pretty good player despite his lack of effort. The guy could really shoot the ball and knew how to score. LJ was a really powerful guy that had a lot of athleticism and some really nice post moves, which helped because he was undersized. After his knees were destroyed he really started showing a pretty nice ability to shoot the ball from distance. Shawn Kemp was a ridiculous athlete. He could do a lot of things on the court. The thing I liked about him is that he would actually dunk on people and do it hard.I'm sure Bill Walton would have been saying throw it down big man if he had been doing those games. You really don't see that much now. Alonzo reminds me a lot of Dwight Howard (but shorter and less athletic), but he did develop a little bit of a jumpshot that served him well. I always liked the way he played because he put it all out there every night. Also, he could block the guy he was guarding. A lot of guys today are good weakside shot blockers. Lots of people can do that. I'm not impressed unless you can do it on your own man as well. The guy was a big time intimidating force. Steve Smith was nice. He had a great shot and nice handles. He was pretty automatic from 3. In 2001-2002 he shot 47% downtown on 246 attempts. He wasn't flashy but he knew how to play and made great decisions.

Michael.S.
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Fizer got it right with

Fizer got it right with Smith, Mediocre? You dont make a USA team if your mediocre my man

joecheck88
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alonzo mourning was like

alonzo mourning was like dwight howard before dwight howard. yes he is a little shorter and doesnt jump as high but both werent great offensive players but got 20 ppg. both are great rebounders and shot blockers. and both have been top 5 mvp candidates. and they have similar bodies. dwight can be better but as of right now they are similar.

derrick coleman was a decent player that never lived up to what he could have been. but he was a really good player for a long time. michael beasley is similar in many ways from the kind of game they play and beasley at this point is having problems that may limit his potential.

shawn kemp was a monster when he was in seattle. an amare stoudemire type of game, a little flashier but not as powerful.

larry johnson i didnt see play much

steve smith was a good player. not spectacular but he got the job done.

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beautiful writing about you aglama gotmak I keep track of your site. gaci I'm talking to you from my own site

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For the youngins' these are

For the youngins' these are my comps...

Derrick Coleman - Demarcus Cousins

Larry Johnson - Paul Millsap

Shawn Kemp - Blake Griffin

Alonzo - this is a tough one. Maybe Derrick Favors but with more offensive skill.

Steve Smith - also a tough one cause was 6'8 with PG skills and decent shot and some post moves. Maybe what Dante Exum could be one day.

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