There seems to be a trend right now where a mid-major star to emerges into one of the best players in the country. Who’s this year’s Scott Machado (Iona College), CJ McCollum (Lehigh) or Damian Lillard (Weber State)?
This should be no surprise, but Creighton’s Doug McDermott has a chance to be really good. I don’t think people realize how big he is or how good he is. He could be like a Kyle Korver but with an even better skill set. The parallels are there: he’s from the same school, has a similar style of play, but he has a lot more tools and has a chance to be a good pro on the next level.
Also, I like Treveon Grant at VCU because he can score and uses his body well, and New Mexico’s Alex Kirk. If Kirk gets in a good pick and pop system in the NBA he’ll be a solid pro, because he’s so strong and can really shoot the basketball.
Recently you had coach Phil Jackson on your show and you asked him for a pretty direct answer about whether Kobe ran Shaq out of town. So as a Kobe apologist, I have to fire back.
Ok, go ahead.
Did that question come from more of just what you believed or observed and does Phil’s answer kind of put that part of their legacy to an end?
Well first off, I’m a Kobe fan. He’s a great player and you have to admire his will to get better and compete. But it’s pretty much historical fact that he ran Shaq out of town. There’s a detailed scenario In Phil’s book that proves this is a historical fact. His exact line was “I’m tired of being second fiddle to Shaq.” That’s why Shaq and Kobe didn’t talk for so long.
Well yeah, that’s true but I think Kobe looked at it like if he had to be in a duo, he wanted to go down as unquestionably the best duo of all time. He wanted to shatter anything that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did, anything that Magic and Kareem did and when Shaq came in to training camp out of shape and wasn’t really at his apex until February or March, Kobe couldn't respect it.
You can make the case that the Lakers had to choose between the two of them and they chose the right one because Kobe was younger and they won two more championships with him. The reason I brought it up to Phil was because it speaks well of Kobe to realize he needed him to win and to not be angry after reading what Phil wrote in the book. Phil did make the point that Kobe was upset that Shaq came in to training camp without getting his toe taken care of before the season, so you have a point there.