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RIP, Walt Bellamy

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Colton, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    I'm not old enough to remember him, other than his time with the Hawks, with Maravich and Hudson.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/63724/the-strange-great-career-of-walt-bellamy
     
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    He was probably the NBA's third great center for most of the 1960s, until Abdul-Jabbar arrived (and Russell left). As the article details, he spent most of his career on horrible teams which couldn't really make use of him. Who knows what would have happened if he had gotten traded to the Lakers (to play with West and Baylor) or the Royals (Oscar, Lucas and Twyman).

    Nate Thurmond had a fairly similar career too.
     
  3. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Starman, thanks for the comparison with Thurmond, whom I saw play at the tail end of his career with the 1975-76 Cavaliers. The way he played in the Eastern Conference Finals against Cowens and the Celtics was so impressive and left me feeling if Jim Chones had not broken his foot in the final practice before the Boston series began those of us who hang our hats in Northeast Ohio would not be talking about a half-century of non-championship seasons.
     
  4. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    RIP Walt Bellamy. Starman hit this one out of the park. A Hall of Famer, if this guy had played on better teams, many others would know just how good he was. I was totally shocked that he - and Bob Lanier - didn't make the NBA's 50 greatest players team.
    With a little help from Wikipedia, here's some information about him. A former star at Indiana, he was the NBA first overall draft pick in 1961. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1962. His 31.6 points per game average that season is second all-time for a rookie to Wilt Chamberlain's 37.6, and the 19 rebounds per game he averaged that season is third best all-time for a rookie (to Chamberlain's 27 and Bill Russell's 19.6). Bellamy also led the NBA in field goal percentage in his rookie season, and had a 23-point, 17-rebound performance in the 1962 NBA All-Star Game. Bellamy played with the Chicago Packers, which became the Baltimore Bullets for his first four seasons before he was traded to the New York Knicks a few games into the 1965-66 season.
    Due to trades to teams with offset game schedules during the 1968-69 season when he was traded from the Knicks to the Detroit Pistons for Dave DeBusschere, Bellamy set a still-standing record for NBA games played in a single season with 88 (He played 35 games with the Knicks, 53 with the Pistons). He later played for several seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, and finished his career with the New Orleans Jazz.
    Bellamy ended his NBA career with 20,941 points and 14,241 rebounds, and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. Despite being one of the league's top rebounders, Bellamy never made an All-NBA team.
     
  5. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

    Of course, the obvious catch is that was 1962, the NBA's ultimate statistical bizarro season. It's no coincidence that his statistical production peaked as a rookie, only to steadily decline in succeeding years. Because his rookie year happened to be 62, the same year when it seems like nearly EVERY notable player from that era saw their statistical peak. All the obscene stat records from 62 should be taken with a big ole grain of salt, it's pretty clear something weird was going on that season.

    I don't mean to disparage the deceased, but I'd point out that Bellamy is a classic case of a guy whose HOF resume is primarily the result of era. He put up some obscene statistical numbers his first couple years in the league because he was fortunate enough to 1) enter the League at the peak of that bizarre no defense run n gun early 60s era; and 2) be only the third big athletic African American center to enter the league after Russell and Wit. It was a quite different story for him a few years later after others had entered the League and defenses had become more sophisticated.
     
  6. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Stoney, he still put up good numbers. Bellamy's first team was awful. Many of those players were out of the league the following season. Bellamy was legit. He was like Nate Thurmond, a great center who didn't have a great supporting cast.
     
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    After a game against Bellamy, Dwight Howard would cry at halfcourt and while sobbing like a girl scout who lost her kitten, he would retire. Guys like Bellamy, Thurmond, Lanier would so dominate today that it's sad for the current game. Bellamy would be a Hall of Famer today.
     
  8. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Walt was a very good player, but nobody ever talked about him as a Hall of Famer when he was in his prime.
     
  9. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

    You are stoned. Completely stoned. Possibly as stoned as any message poster has ever been stoned. Only someone who doesn't understand basketball, or is simply unfamiliar with how COMPLETELY different the game was in the early 60s from the modern era, should rationally have this opinion.

    I realize Dwight Howard is an unpopular figure round these parts, but he is still physically and athletically miles beyond anything Bellamy ever was, and could've easily put up better numbers if he'd played in the 1962 NBA (and Bellamy's early numbers are really the ONLY thing supporting his HOF admission). And, yes, I've watched a couple of Bellamy's old games, I have a decent idea what his skill set was, and I must say I came away quite unimpressed. Struck me at as a guy who'd likely be no more than an Eddy Curry style backup if he played today. Of course, even prime Eddy Curry could've rang up huge numbers in the 1962 version of the NBA.
     
  10. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Howard is so soft and such a pussy that guys like Bellamy would box out Howard with such force in the 1st quarter that by the 3 rd quarter Howard wouldn't go near the paint.

    With the speed and ball handling of today's players many HOFers couldn't compete today, but not in the center position. Bellamy would be stud in today's game
     
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    With the 3 point shot and the zone defenses the big man in the NBA is no longer king. Bellamy at best would
    have been Bill Cartwright in his Bulls days.

    In some ways Bellamy was a lot like Dwight Howard in that he never really measured up to what was expected of
    him.

    The best trade The Knicks ever made was Komives and Bellamy for Debusschere. It never worked with Reed and
    Bellamy on the court together.
     
  12. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member


    What possible fiddling-around could have been going on in the NBA of 1961-62? Ball filled with helium? Coaches making a gentlemen's pact not to defend aggressively? Baseball could wind the balls tighter to get more bang off the bat, but I'm wondering what rules tweaks or interpretations were different for that one NBA season? Anything?
     
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