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WashPost on Ralph Sampson

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by gravehunter, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. gravehunter

    gravehunter Member

    Washington Post ran a story on Ralph Sampson which I found interesting. Was he a bust?

  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I don't know if he was a bust in the classical sense. Not sure how I'd place his career.

    He did hit one of the all-time playoff buckets, though. Got the Rockets to at least 1 Finals.
  3. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    He did enough that he wasn't a total bust, and we can also factor his chronic bad knees into the equation.

    But Sampson suffered from one thing that always gets people more excited than they should: He was a big man with small-man skills. People think that's a great combination, but in reality it just isn't.

    If I'm a GM, I want my 7-4 guy down on the block hitting little jump hooks or maybe even developing a sky hook. I don't want my 7-4 guy dribbling between his legs at the top of the key and shooting a 20-footer. I can find plenty of guys to do that. I can't find enough guys to score down on the block or draw a double-team and kick the ball out for an open 15- or 18-footer. I also want my 7-4 center averaging more than Sampson's career-high of 11.1 rebounds per game, and Sampson never even averaged double figures after his third season.

    To sum up, I want my big men to have big-men skills.
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yep. Wasn't a total bust. Bring in Olajuwon to play next to him took a bit away from Sampson's development as a low-post big man. And then there were some serious injuries.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    He's not a bust.

    He just never became the player people thought he was going to be, which is significant, because people thought he had the potential to become an all-timer.

    I watched him when he was with the Warriors and Kings late in his career. I still think it's funny that he was traded for Joe Barry Carroll (and Sleepy Floyd). He had one OK season with the Warriors, but was a piece of garbage after that.

    He also attacked a columnist from the Sacramento Bee during his final year there.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    There's a fine line between "bust" and "disappointment" and even more of a line when an injury is involved.

    It's hard to call a four-time all-star a bust. I'm guessing Michael Olowokandi, Kwame Brown, Pervis Ellison, Greg Oden would be considered far bigger busts, but none of them were expected to be the level of superstar that Sampson was.
  7. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    How exactly is bust defined? Guys like Sampson and Danny Manning were all-stars, but after multiple serious injuries weren't among the greatest NBA players of all-time like almost everybody would have guess when they came out of college. Guys like Oden and Raef LaFrentz fit this category to a lesser degree.

    Olowokandi and Kwame Brown were No. 1 picks who turned out to be almost worthless, but how many people really thought they'd be great. Are they busts or examples of front offices that didn't know what they were doing?

    Different sport, but to me Ryan Leaf is the perfect example of a bust. He had the tools to be great, most people thought he'd be great and it was his own fault he didn't amount to anything, not injuries cutting down a career before it reached its potential (I know he hurt his shoulder his second year, but I really don't think that's why his invitation to Canton got lost in the mail.)
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think the difference with Sampson was that he at least got to be great, even if it was just for 3-4 years.

    The difference is, if you listed the expectations of the No. 1 pick every year since 1980, Sampson is near the top, while Olowokandi, Brown and Ellison were near the bottom.
  10. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    In what world is that true?
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Sampson, coming out of college, was expected to be every bit what Olajuwon, Ewing, David Robinson and Tim Duncan became...

    He is one of the most decorated college players in history. It probably goes Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton and then Sampson, at least for the last 40 years...

    Sampson is part of the reason that the draft lottery exists.
  12. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Sampson did not have Nowitzki like skills. In Houston Sampson never hit more than 68% of his foul shots. Notwitaki is an 88% career foul shooter. Notwitzki averages two turnovers a game and Sampson in Houston averaged 3-4 despite not being as big a part of the offense.

    I always thought all the talk about Sampson having small man skills was from people indulging him. Sampson was remarkably agile for someone his size but he did not have the skills an NBA small forward.
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