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View Full Version : How would NBA history have changed had these players lived?



Ticket Guy
08-23-2010, 06:20 AM
Drazen Petrovic - NJ
Drazen was one of the greatest shooters in the history of the NBA. Only 28 when he died and avg 22.3 ppg in his final season while shooting 52% from the field, we can only dream of what amazing things he would've done. One thing is for sure the NJ Nets would've been a team to reckon with from 1994-1999.

Len Bias- Bos
Reggie Lewis- Bos
I would suspect the Pistons would not have won 2 Championships. I also wonder if Bias lived up to expectations, the amazing rivalry between the Celtics & Bulls from 1990-1994. Perhaps the Celtics with Lewis & Bias would've caused the Bulls not to 3 peat. There survival would've more than likely allowed the C's to be a very very good team from 1990-1998 as well. Perhaps 1 or 2 Championships? In 1994 with Jordan retired and 1995 you could imagine that the Celtics would've been a 50 win team. Also with Bias playing from 87-92, Larry Bird maybe with less min and demand could've played longer?


Malik Sealey- Minnesota
As good of a player as he was. I doubt NBA wise there would've been a drastic alteration in the landscape of the NBA.

Hank Gathers- Would've more than likely been drafted #1 or #2 by New Jersey or Seattle.
He would've more than likely been a better player than D. Coleman however G.Payton's career was quite spectacular. Would Seattle have still drafted Kemp? Interesting to think. If Gathers ended up in NJ you could possibly suspect the Nets would've improved even more. Imagine in 1992-93 Gathers & Petrovic on the same team. Though as sports fans we all claim NJ as a second class to NY, realistically it is just over the river and would've been quite appealing to many FA.

Thoughts?

bigsams50
08-23-2010, 06:36 AM
The Celtics would have won at least one more ring if Bias and Lewis never died

Hellcrooner
08-23-2010, 09:37 AM
celtics win anothe r ring. or two wich means that probably out of despair Jordan would have bolted chicago and joined New York or Houston or Even Los Angeles /( he was reportely fed p of losing the year they finally won and thinking on going away)


Petrovic? The nets woudl have been better for the decade and he would have been an allstar.

Gahters'? dont know really.

todu82
08-23-2010, 09:51 AM
Had Bias lived then the Celtics would have been a more dominant team during the late 80's and early 90's. Truly one of the bigger what if's in NBA history.

whitemamba33
08-23-2010, 11:27 AM
I think Bias would have been a bust.

whitemamba33
08-23-2010, 11:32 AM
..also, I think Drazen was going to leave NJ.

DCSportsIsPain
08-23-2010, 11:33 AM
I think Bias would have been a bust.

On what basis? :eyebrow:

mikealike305
08-23-2010, 11:36 AM
how would music be if tupac, biggie, and bob were all still alive? todays music sucks so i'd guess it would be alot better if they were still here..... off topic i know but im bored and i happend to be listening to a tupac biggie freestyle while i was reading this thread

whitemamba33
08-23-2010, 11:52 AM
On what basis? :eyebrow:

He obviously had a drug problem. That was going to catch up with him at some point.

Other than that, I think his turnovers were a little high at the College game, and his assists totals were WAY too low.

I'm not saying he wouldn't have been a decent or even "good" player, but he would have never lived up to being #2.

DCSportsIsPain
08-23-2010, 11:56 AM
He obviously had a drug problem. That was going to catch up with him at some point.

Other than that, I think his turnovers were a little high at the College game, and his assists totals were WAY too low.

I'm not saying he wouldn't have been a decent or even "good" player, but he would have never lived up to being #2.

All evidence, medical and otherwise says that was the only time Bias had ever done cocaine. That would directly refute the "drug problem" theory. It is also rather evident you didn't see Bias play firsthand. Bias was LeBron before LeBron.

whitemamba33
08-23-2010, 12:14 PM
All evidence, medical and otherwise says that was the only time Bias had ever done cocaine. That would directly refute the "drug problem" theory. It is also rather evident you didn't see Bias play firsthand. Bias was LeBron before LeBron.

A little premature on the ending of my drug problem theory.

Personally, I'm not naive enough to believe this was the first time he ever did cocaine. You can, if you'd like. But that's not the road I'm going to take. Medical evidence would have mostly likely just proven that he hadn't done cocaine recently. There were reports at the time that said the coach at Maryland ordered players to remove drugs from Bias' room. Like I said, i'm not naive enough to believe this was the first time.

EVEN if it was the first time: it could have easily been the start. He was surrounded by it. If this was the first, I don't think it would have been the only.

I'll take a proven NBA player (LeBron) over a proven college player (Bias) any day. Plenty of players can't make the transition. It's my opinion that Bias would have been one of them. You obviously disagree, but the man is laying in a graveside somewhere, so there really is no answer.

Ishkabibble
08-23-2010, 12:31 PM
Hank Gathers would've gone 1st or 2nd in the draft? Has he lived, that may have occured but it'd be hard to envision him as a "dominant" 6'6" forward at the next level. I mean, sure, he put up huge numbers in college but so did Bo Kimble...and no one ever heard from him again.
Bias was the death that rocked the college landscape and in the process, genuinely destroyed a dynasty. I recall one of Bias' ACC opponents (a guard @ Wake Forest, I believe) describe him as a " '6'8" Michael Jordan." because he'd played against both numerous times. He predicted he would be superior to Jordan in the NBA.
Bias had an NBA body, a 41" verticle and a smooth, effortless jumpshot. And oh yeah; if he'd actually made it to Boston, he woulda learned how to play NBA forward from Larry Bird & Kevin McHale. Boston wins at least 1 more championship in the '80's with him.

whitemamba33
08-23-2010, 12:40 PM
There are a bunch of players that were thought to be favorably compared to MJ...it's pretty obvious how that worked out.

Carey
08-23-2010, 12:45 PM
Hank Gathers would've gone 1st or 2nd in the draft? Has he lived, that may have occured but it'd be hard to envision him as a "dominant" 6'6" forward at the next level. I mean, sure, he put up huge numbers in college but so did Bo Kimble...and no one ever heard from him again.
Bias was the death that rocked the college landscape and in the process, genuinely destroyed a dynasty. I recall one of Bias' ACC opponents (a guard @ Wake Forest, I believe) describe him as a " '6'8" Michael Jordan." because he'd played against both numerous times. He predicted he would be superior to Jordan in the NBA.
Bias had an NBA body, a 41" verticle and a smooth, effortless jumpshot. And oh yeah; if he'd actually made it to Boston, he woulda learned how to play NBA forward from Larry Bird & Kevin McHale. Boston wins at least 1 more championship in the '80's with him.

I've heard the same about Bias, im only 26 so ive never seen him play or been able to see tape of him but ive gotten vivid accounts from older guys in my family, friends, etc. and they say he was ever bit as good as Jordan and probably better at the time.

Hawkeye15
08-23-2010, 12:47 PM
Gathers wouldn't have been a top pick guys. But he may have been a good player in the NBA.
Bias is the biggest loss. He was an awesome player. Drazen was incredible as well

bringinwood
08-23-2010, 12:50 PM
A little premature on the ending of my drug problem theory.

Personally, I'm not naive enough to believe this was the first time he ever did cocaine. You can, if you'd like. But that's not the road I'm going to take. Medical evidence would have mostly likely just proven that he hadn't done cocaine recently. There were reports at the time that said the coach at Maryland ordered players to remove drugs from Bias' room. Like I said, i'm not naive enough to believe this was the first time.

EVEN if it was the first time: it could have easily been the start. He was surrounded by it. If this was the first, I don't think it would have been the only.

I'll take a proven NBA player (LeBron) over a proven college player (Bias) any day. Plenty of players can't make the transition. It's my opinion that Bias would have been one of them. You obviously disagree, but the man is laying in a graveside somewhere, so there really is no answer.


The fact that he OD'd should give people some insight as to how often Bias did use cocaine...

People don't overdose on drugs unless they use more than their tolerance will allow them too...

Obviously, your tolerance goes down with time or you have very little tolerance when you use for the first time...

He was using with his friend who was a known drug user/dealer... If you try to keep up with people who have used for a long time and you are a first time user, you will OD...

Rafer17
08-23-2010, 01:21 PM
Bill Simmons wrote that if Len Bias had lived then they could have another dynasty on there hands. He said at least three championships I think

Hawkeye15
08-23-2010, 01:23 PM
Bill Simmons wrote that if Len Bias had lived then they could have another dynasty on there hands. He said at least three championships I think

he was drafted by Boston, and Simmons is so far up Boston's rear, I can never take anything he says seriously on any subject involving them

That being said, yes, Bias was an incredible college player, and would have been at the very least, a really good NBA player

BOSTON617
08-23-2010, 01:53 PM
bias could be one of the biggest losses in sports history...he was an unbelieveable player a lot of hype made a wrong decsion that changed not only his life a lot of players lives and he would of made a huge impact if he played a nba season

Hangtime
08-23-2010, 02:09 PM
In the case of Bias. He was not only about to join a team who was fresh off a dominant season and NBA championship but would have been learning from seasoned veterans and future HOF like Bird, Mchale, Parrish and Walton. The man was already an intelligent and gifted physical specimen who had vast potential to get better. The Celtics would have made more noise for years to come. It was a winning system he would have been in. Obviously at this point in 1986 he would have already been miles ahead of Jordan who was still in building mode and on a team that was still owning the Pistons.

Giantwarrior
08-23-2010, 02:14 PM
who cares.

Max Power
08-23-2010, 02:15 PM
Bias would had a career arc similar to that of Roy Tarpley.

xbrackattackx
08-23-2010, 02:16 PM
I think it's hard to call stuff like this, But I could see celtics maybe stealing one ring in the early to mid 90's.

Klivlend
08-23-2010, 02:22 PM
He obviously had a drug problem. That was going to catch up with him at some point.

Other than that, I think his turnovers were a little high at the College game, and his assists totals were WAY too low.

I'm not saying he wouldn't have been a decent or even "good" player, but he would have never lived up to being #2.

Shawn Kemp had a big drug problem and was a phenomenal player. He only started sucking when he stopped using. Just a thought.

Tmath
08-23-2010, 02:28 PM
We will never know

AntiG
08-23-2010, 02:30 PM
A lot of people thought Bias was every bit as good as Jordan or even better. When he was drafted, Bird-McHale-Parrish were all still playing at the top of their games and coming off a championship run. The C's would have had at least another 3 rings with him, at the expense of the Lakers and Pistons.

After the old guys all retired and had Lewis lived, who knows if they would have won another between Bias and Lewis, but they would at least have been contending annually. Then again, had Bias lived, Lewis may not have ended up a Celtic.

Hellcrooner
08-23-2010, 03:56 PM
Bias was drwaing FAVORBLE comparisons to Jordan who btw was just in his 3rd season in the leage.

First time he did coec? makes some sense, thats why he didnt know wat the dose had to be.

BUT if he deeloped a knack for coce his career woudl have end up being Roy Tarpleys at best or Crhis Wasburn / William Bedford /Billy Ray Bates like at worst.

whitemamba33
08-24-2010, 01:28 AM
Shawn Kemp had a big drug problem and was a phenomenal player. He only started sucking when he stopped using. Just a thought.

There was nothing phenomenal about him except his dunking ability. He serves as another example of why comparing players to Jordan doesn't mean they are going to be nearly as good as him.

And i'm not buying the "he was good when he was on drugs and he wasn't good when he stopped" story. You'll have to come at me with some sort of proof on that.

whitemamba33
08-24-2010, 01:31 AM
The fact that he OD'd should give people some insight as to how often Bias did use cocaine...

People don't overdose on drugs unless they use more than their tolerance will allow them too...

Obviously, your tolerance goes down with time or you have very little tolerance when you use for the first time...

He was using with his friend who was a known drug user/dealer... If you try to keep up with people who have used for a long time and you are a first time user, you will OD...

no.

Super.
08-24-2010, 02:03 AM
RIP Reggie and Bias.

A dark era in Celtic history

bringinwood
08-24-2010, 03:01 AM
no.

you should have said, I like cheerios...

That would have been more insightful...

JasonJohnHorn
08-24-2010, 09:02 AM
If Bias and Lewis were still alive, Boston would have extended their dynasty into the 90's and would have been running with the Bulls, and Detroit may be short two titles.

Drazen, I loved the guy, but he was a cardboard cutout on defence, and Coleman didnt work hard enough with Kenny Anderson and him there, so i dont think he would have changed the league much.

Sealy. With all respect, he wouldnt have even been a starter on many teams, so I cant see him having changed the league much.

and Gathers... its hard to say. No clue where he would have went, but Seattle got GP anyways, and NJ got Coleman, so either Seattle would have stuck with who they picked, or grabbed gathers and that would have meant GP likely would have went to Denver and perhaps played with Mutumbo! Mmmm..... defence...... That would have been the best defensive combo in the history of the nba!

And had Gathers not passed away, Bo Kimble likely would not have been drafted so early (I think there was some hype/sympathy in that pick), so the Clippers pick Rumeul Robinson or Willie burton or Travis Mays since they seem to have been looking for a point guard, or maybe would have went big with tyrone hill... but who knows.

But Bias and Lewis....if Bias was going to be as good as people thought... he would have been one of the best forwards in the league and given fresh legs to the Bird/Parish/MacHale trio, letting each take on less minutes and stretch out their playing days, not to mention how picks like Rick Fox and Dino Raja, and dee Brown. Eric Montross and AC Earl may have been busts, but they were legit picks, those guys played great in college, and who knows, with a more talented core both could have been more effective.

JonnyBrav000
08-24-2010, 09:39 AM
celtics win anothe r ring. or two wich means that probably out of despair Jordan would have bolted chicago and joined New York or Houston or Even Los Angeles /( he was reportely fed p of losing the year they finally won and thinking on going away)


Petrovic? The nets woudl have been better for the decade and he would have been an allstar.

Gahters'? dont know really.


LOL I laugh at you, your comments are ridiculous. Assuming Jordan would leave is ********. The Bulls would have won multiple championships regardless if Lewis and Bias would have stayed alive, the Celtics would still not be able to mess with the Bulls. Jordan is the greatest player of all time, so please get that through your big head. Not saying the C's wouldn't have won a ring with both these guys, but probably not the years the Bulls were winning, the beat the Lakers in 91, a team better than the C's had their stars survived, so you obviously need to keep your weak comments to yourself.

Besides Bird was old and Bias would have been old by the time Lewis was getting to his prime. However Lewis was a great talent and it was sad the way he went out. He was definately a player a rooted for though I did not like the C's.

As far as Petrovich, I was sad to hear about him dying, he was a great talent, probably wouldn't have won a championship in NJ, but he was one of the best players in the league and could have possibly have been the best international player in the NBA to date. Deadly shooter, the guy was a beast.

Malik Sealy was a good player.

By the way, now I'm thinking if Bias didn't die early, then the Celtics probably would not have ended up drafting Lewis because they would have been a better team when they drafted him more than likely, so at the same time, nothing changes too much in the early/mid 90's for the C's, because the Bulls would have still been a far superior team.

Khalifa21
08-24-2010, 09:50 AM
Drazen Petrovic: If he had played for longer he would've cemented his status as one of the best shooters of all-time, and would probably be considered the best euro player of all-time (the conversation would be much closer between him and Dirk anyway). The Nets wouldn't have made too much of an impact though.

Len Bias & Reggie Lewis: The Bulls first three peat would have been a lot tougher and the C's my have stopped Hakeem from getting his rings when Jordan briefly retired. They wouldn't have had such a championship drought between Bird and the big three as well.

Hank Gathers: This is really an unknown since it happened before he was drafted. It could've changed the whole NBA landscape if he had been drafted top 5 though.

BoognishMN
08-24-2010, 10:05 AM
All evidence, medical and otherwise says that was the only time Bias had ever done cocaine. That would directly refute the "drug problem" theory. It is also rather evident you didn't see Bias play firsthand. Bias was LeBron before LeBron.

I have to say that given what else was going on in the Country at that time and if you look at the other draft picks of that era, it would have been very likely that he did use drugs and would have ended up like Wahburn, Tarpley, etc.

Many people like to think that this was a one time thing and that it was a freak accident, and that is understandable, who wants to speak ill of the dead. However to believe that someone does that much coke thier first time is a bit naive. From what I've seen and read it sounds like he did anywhere between 3 and 5 grams of coke that night. Now I am not trying to be keith richards or anything, but I've done coke before and I think anyone else who has even been around it knows that five grams isn't something a first-time user, even someone who dables on the weekends would take.

mpickup
08-24-2010, 11:05 AM
Pistol Pete would have stolen a few records if he had more time in the NBA.

Chronz
08-24-2010, 01:03 PM
People overrate Drazen so much. Come on now people, on par with Dirk? Are you guys nuts? Look at the stats, there is NO WAY its even remotely close. Look at their body of work, look at what they did with the talent around them. Look at the accolades and recognition. Was Drazen ever anything more than a 3rd teamer? Would he even have been a perennial all-star?

Hellcrooner
08-24-2010, 01:07 PM
People overrate Drazen so much. Come on now people, on par with Dirk? Are you guys nuts? Look at the stats, there is NO WAY its even remotely close. Look at their body of work, look at what they did with the talent around them. Look at the accolades and recognition. Was Drazen ever anything more than a 3rd teamer? Would he even have been a perennial all-star?

Would have been an allstar after Jordans Left to lay Baseball with Dumars being worn out.

His death has made him kind of Mithical tough he was not better than Sabonis and not better than current euros/internationals like Dirk, Ming,Parker,Pau,Ginobili for ezxmple

Chronz
08-24-2010, 03:16 PM
Would have been an allstar after Jordans Left to lay Baseball with Dumars being worn out.

His death has made him kind of Mithical tough he was not better than Sabonis and not better than current euros/internationals like Dirk, Ming,Parker,Pau,Ginobili for ezxmple
Im sure he wouldve made 1 but I was asking if he would become a regular fixture on the team. If not then people have taken this comparison to a ridiculous level of absurdity.

Still though who do you think he shouldve made it over?