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Questions, Goorjian – Round 9

Well done Patty, scoring 30 and beating the USA, aiiight. Now come here and give us a big hug, and tell the people how your success is all down to the coaching I gave you. Remember that game? It was that stadium with the purple seats, I know because it looks like nobody turned up. Can’t have been because of my boring style of coaching.

The World Cup starts in China next week, so this week, let’s talk international (that is, non-USA) players/teams.

How this works is I pose a number of questions, and collate everyone’s answers together here. Sounds easy, right?

At the round table today we have Dan Kelly (LAL), Luke Moharich (BKN), Jarrod Cotton (BOS), David Ashman (DEN), Troy Goostrey (IND) and Jesse Cotton (ATL).

Hands up who thinks it’s them?

Who is the greatest player Australia has produced, and who would be your All-Time Aussie starting 5?

Dan Kelly:

Andrew Gaze. Simmons no doubt will become that player, but let’s wait until he has played some more before dethroning Gaze. Honourable mentions to Chris Blakemore and Mike McKay.

Luke Moharich:

Chris Anstey, Tony Ronaldson or Tim Morrissey (I’m sure you thought about it Luke!)

Mills, Gaze, Simmons, Bradtke, Bogut.

Jarrod Cotton:

Andrew Bogut is the greatest Australian basketballer so far. He really, in my mind, has had individual achievements to go along with team success (NBA wise).

If Andrew Gaze had gone to the NBA at the start of his basketball life, I think he is seen in a different light. He was the best Australian player I’ve seen in the NBL.
All time starting 5 is:  Patty Mills, Ben Simmons, Andrew Gaze, Andrew Bogut and Luc Longley.

David Ashman:

Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Ben Simmons, Andrew Bogut, Luc Longley

Troy Goostrey:

Andrew Gaze is our greatest player ever produced.  Burst onto the scene as a teenager, dominated the NBL for nearly 2 decades, nearly won an NCAA title with Seton Hall, made it to the NBA with a short stint on the Spurs roster and went to 5 Olympics including being flag bearer in 2000.  Without question, the greatest we have produced.  Had he come through in today’s era with more globalisation of Basketball in the NBA, he probably would have left our shores for years so we were lucky to see so much of him.
For my All-Aussie team, I’m going with it as an All-Boomers team.  So guys who haven’t yet represented us at World Cup or Olympic level, or skipped doing so, won’t be on my list.  I found the first 4 fairly easy then need to explain a bit for pick 5.
1 – Andrew Gaze – see above!
2 – Patty Mills – has been a stalwart for Australia and has nearly always made himself available for the big tournaments too.  I believe there’s only 1 player in the world who has scored 30 or more vs Team USA since they’ve had NBA players, and it’s Mills….twice now!
3 – Andrew Bogut – another permanent fixture for our teams, although he did have a bit of an absence early on while establishing himself in the NBA.  But he always wears his heart on his sleeve for the country, not to mention leading us to our only Men’s gold with the U19 squad in 2003.
4 – Mark Bradtke – from 1988 to 2000, was a constant force for Australia and while other seemingly more talented, higher profile guys came and went during his time (ie Longley, Anstey, Ronaldson, Rogers) he outplayed them all when taking the whole period into perspective.  Bradtke was so consistent and reliable during that time, constantly getting the 10-12 ppg and 8rpg type averages.  Until Bogut, he’s the premier big we had internationally.
5 – so this will be a tough selection and I’m putting forward 2 offerings.  If we’re going positionless or happy with a 3 guard rotation,  then I’ll pick Eddie Palubinskas.  Our gun player of the 70’s, led us in the Munich and Montreal games, including setting the record for points scored in an Olympics at the time in 1976, avg over 31ppg.
If we need to ensure there is more a slashing SF on the team, then it’s our gun from the 80-86 period, Ian Davies.  6-6 sweet shooter, took the reins from Palubinskas and held it until Drewey was ready, and as injuries slowed his own career.  Davies led us admirably in two Olympics and two Worlds and I often hear people say he was the first Aussie star of the NBL.

Jesse Cotton:

The best Australian player ever has to be Andrew Gaze. He is the Larry Bird of the NBL, looks slow and unathletic but beats you through basketball IQ and long distance shooting. Also, at 6-7, a lot taller than you think. Sure, he never cracked the NBA in his prime, and his defense left a lot to be desired, but the flip side is no import has come to the NBL and dominated the way he did.

All time 5:
PG – Patty Mills 
SG – Andrew Gaze
SF – Joe Ingles
PF – Ben Simmons
C – Andrew Bogut

A weird team, where the PF and C are probably the two best passers. Ingles the last guy selected over names like Longley, Delly, Bradtke and Baynes. I just reckon he’s had a great career in Australia, Europe and the NBA, and makes the most out of his skillset.

Also, I could never vote for Bradtke. Especially so as the first paragraph of his wiki page states “As well as his outstanding play, Bradtke was known in the early part of his NBL career for his mullet haircut” 

Who is the best non-USA player to play for your NBA team, based on their career with your team?

Dan Kelly:

I’ve got to go with Paul Gasol for this, kept the dream alive post Shaq era…and Jesse, to think he could have been a Hawk! Honourable mention to Rick Fox (Canadian). I technically could claim Steve Nash, but fair to say his best work was done outside of Staples

Luke Moharich:

Drazen Petrovic

Jarrod Cotton:

Dino Radja for me. He was a key cog for Boston in the post Larry era. 1995/96 regular season was his Celtics peak, close to 20/10 guy at power forward (19.7/9.8). Dino! (Said in a Tommy Heinsohn voice).

David Ashman:

Nikola Jokic (Serbia). A future MVP and a triple double machine at centre. Slightly better than Nikoloz Tskitishvili

Troy Goostrey:

For my Indiana Pacers I’ve got names like Detlef Schrempf, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Domantas Sabonis, and Bojan Bogdanovic amongst others to pick from.
But of course I missed the only real selection here to date – Rik Smits.  From 1988 to 2000 he played nearly 900 games for the Pacers and averaged over 10ppg every one of those seasons.  He did start the trend of Pacers 7-footers being average on the boards though, as he never got over 7.7rpg in a season!! But he was a cornerstone of the franchise through our NBA identity defining era in the 1990’s.

Jesse Cotton:

It’s really down to two – Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo or Alfred Joel Horford Reynoso.

I am going to go with Al Horford due to him playing 9 seasons with the Hawks, as opposed to Mutombo’s 4.5, and being the dependable rock which made each of those 9 seasons successful with playoff appearances in each one. Also he is a much more well rounded player, being good on defense, a good passer and a good shooter. Not as good of a finger waver though.

In a hypothetical tournament of each countries’ All-Time squads, who is getting the silver medal behind the USA?

Dan Kelly: 

Thinking about most of the more popular countries, there are a lot they have 3 to 4 really decent players…so unless I am missing a country, Australia would have to go close. Spain would have the Gasols to build around, ze Germans with Dirk and co….

Luke Moharich:

Spain or Yugoslavia if thats allowed

Jarrod Cotton:

C.C.C.P. – the old Soviet Union?? I love the thought of a prime Arvydas Sabonis (re: previous post).

David Ashman:

It would have to be like a Croatia or Serbia with maybe Spain up there as well. It’s a hard one that question but I believe those countries have had some good teams over the years so I would have to go with one of them based on their past players. I reckon France would be up there as well but have to go with one of the Eastern Block countries in the end. There you go, a simple as a Toni “The Waiter” Kukoc pass.

Troy Goostrey:

Great question indeed Jesse.  I want to say Spain, or Argentina,  but may be getting swayed by recent years there.  It’s also tough in Europe as so many good players played for the USSR or Yugoslavia before they split into smaller nations.  
But I’m going to run with one of the Yugoslavian block countries and pick Croatia.  
Drazen Petrovic
Toni Kukoc
Dino Radja
Ivica Zubac
Dario Saric
Then on the bench you still have Bojan Bogdanovic,  Dragan Bender, Gordan Giricek amongst others.  No true PG but I’m letting prime Drazen and Kukoc handle the rock and carve up opposing defenders. Such a big team too.

Jesse Cotton:

The group of 8 and their projected lineups would be 1st USA, and:

8th Lithuania (all bigs, with Marciulionis not passing to any of them)
PG – Sarunas Marciulionis
SG – Rimas Kurtinaitis (for you Luke)
SF – Donatas Motiejunas
PF – Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Domantas Sabonis
C – Arvydas Sabonis, Jonas Valanciunas

7th Germany
PG – Dennis Schroder, Isaac Bonga
SG – Uwe Blab (okay he’s a big white stiff C but who cares!)
SF – Detlef Schrempf, Paul Zipser
PF – Dirk Nowitzki, Maxi Kleber
C – Chris Kaman, Shawn Bradley

6th Croatia (not a lot of defense here!)
PG – Zoran Planinic, Mario Hezonja
SG – Drazen Petrovic, Bojan Bogdanovic
SF – Toni Kukoc, Gordon Giricek
PF – Dario Saric, Dragan Bender
C – Dino Radja, Ivica Zubac

5th Serbia (great team, apart from the lack of a PG. Also, basically the Sacramento Kings)
PG – Milos Teodosic
SG – Peja Stojakovic, Sasha Danilovic
SF – Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica
PF – Nikola Jokic, Darko Milicic 
C – Vlade Divac, Boban Marjanovic

4th Canada (deep team, but lacking star power outside of Nash)
PG – Steve Nash, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG – Jamal Murray, Cory Joseph
SF – Andrew Wiggins, Rick Fox
PF – Tristan Thompson, Kelly Olynyk
C – Samuel Dalembert, Jamaal Magloire

3rd Spain (Gasols nearly get them there, but being too weak in the SG/SF positions let them down)
PG – Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon
SG – Rudy Fernandez, Alex Abrines
SF – Juan Hernangomez, Nikola Mirotic
PF – Pau Gasol, Serge Ibaka
C – Marc Gasol, Willy Hernangomez

2nd France (2 perennial all-stars in Parker and Gobert, with great role players and depth)
PG – Tony Parker, Frankie Smokes
SG – Evan Fournier, Mickael Pietrus
SF – Nicolas Batum, Tariq Abdul-Wahad
PF – Boris Diaw, Ronny Turiaf
C – Rudy Gobert, Joakim Noah


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