So why didn’t he make the cut? Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated was one of, to be fair, many voters to leave Howard off his NBA Top 75 list — so be nice — and this week, he hopped on my show to discuss his reasoning for that decision, the start to the Lakers’ season, the weirdness in Brooklyn and plenty more.
As promised, though, we start with a discussion not just about Dwight, but about the pitfalls of the entire exercise of listing the top 75 players in NBA history, especially given the ambiguous guidelines (i.e., no guidelines whatsoever) the NBA provided. If the intended purpose was to generate conversation, congrats, I guess, although I think the general approach was pretty flawed.
It led to a fascinating side-topic having to do with centers focusing on aspects of the game that makes them less valuable than they maybe could be. No specific reason we discussed that whatsoever, and I definitely didn’t allude to any current Lakers centers who might be dealing with any of that at all. Nope nope nope nope nope.
From there, we segue to the Lakers (again, for no other reason than I wanted to ask about this season, and not because a current Laker center might offer a natural segue) as I was curious what people around the league are saying about their iffy start.
And the Lakers aren’t alone: The other betting favorite this season is also off to a suboptimal start, as the Brooklyn Nets might be derailed by YouTube addiction and foul rule changes. Given the length of time Beck has spent around the league, I asked if he think we’ll ever see a more weird start to a season than this one.
So this was a really fun conversation covering all kinds of topics. Shouts to Howard for being so game to discuss everything, and being one of the few voters brave enough to speak about their reasoning and stand behind their choices on the record.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.