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Throwback Basketball Almanac

Let’s do the timewarp again!

In the process of moving Jesse came across this gem. The 1995-96 Basketball Almanac.

Reading this turned out to be a barrel of laughs for me so I thought I’d share by hand-picking journalists predictions on the upcoming season (95-96).

So get ready to travel back to a time when they bothered to print a 608 page book with a relevant shelf life of a few months. Enjoy.


Atlantic Division

Boston – Soft Rick Fox and Xavier McDaniel, no longer the imposing force he once was, fill the small-forward slot.

Tell us what you really think of Rick’s manliness.

Miami – Khalid Reeves looked like an exciting creator by the end of last season and appears to be the point guard of the future.


New Jersey – Despite a roster with some all-star talent on it, New Jersey has been mismanaged and victimised by some of the league’s most selfish players.

Everyone copped it.

New York – Starks is an emotional scorer whose production can swing as dramatically as his moods.

He needed to wear a mood ring so Don Nelson could substitute him accordingly.

Orlando – O’Neal may still shoot fouls like Wilt Chamberlain, but he does a lot of other things like Wilt too.

Loving the Big Fella.

Philadelphia – Stackhouse will apprentice behind Jeff Malone, provided Malone’s cranky heel is healthy. Add in point guard Dana Barros, the Sixers will have a high scoring backcourt. They won’t, however, have too much in the passing department.

Rodney” Hoggs.

Washington – Don MaClean has a soft touch from the outside but little stomach for the rough stuff.

In other words, “Stick to singing ,Cupcake”.

Central Division

Atlanta – By the end of last season, the Omni was a Mausoleum, and the Hawks fans were yawning through boring basketball. Speaking of trouble, how does an Andrew Lang/Jon Koncak pivot tandem sound to you? We thought so.

This review should help them sell tickets.

Charlotte – Hawkins/Gill trade doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The Hornets get back a guy who grouched about playing time when he was with them before and really isn’t more talented than Hawkins.

This Journo obviously would have been more positive if Johnny Gill was the return on this trade.

Chicago – Bulls fans must really appreciate Bill Cartwright now that they’ve watched Perdue, Longley and Wennington add up to a journeyman pivot.

This Journalist mysteriously found $50 with a note attached reading “Thanks, B.C.”.

Cleveland – Veteran Michael Cage is a rebounding machine in reserve.

Soul Glo.

Detroit – Hill’s future is incandescent, thanks to his multifaceted game and tremendous off-court charisma.

This guys in love, awww.

Indiana – If the Pacers want to reach the Finals, it must find some more scoring up front and get more pop from its backcourt reserves. Haywood Workman is a tough point guard who can’t score.

But a great umpire.

Milwaukee – By acquiring Shawn Respert from Portland on draft day, the Bucks may have finally found themselves a real shooting guard.


Toronto – If he could shed 50 or 60 pounds, Oliver Miller could be an active force in the middle. That’s not likely, given his track record.

Imagine if Jenny Craig was this negative.

Midwest Division

Dallas – Jamal Mashburn has proven he can score. Now he must show some maturity and restraint. He launched the second most shots in the league last year, and though plenty fell, it’s time to become more efficient.

Black Hole Mashburn.

Denver – McDyess has a bright future ahead of him at the four position, but he plays the same position as LaPhonso Ellis.

So position obsessed back then.

Houston – It’s hard to believe the Rockets won an NBA title with the tandem of Mario Elie and Robert Horry, but that just proves Olajuwon’s talent even more. The ‘X factor’ is mercurial Vernon Maxwell, a great scorer with some big personal problems.

Mario and Bob were feeling down until they read the full article (poor Max).

Minnesota – If Isiah Rider would just concentrate on playing basketball and not mouthing off or getting into trouble with civilians, he might just become a great off guard.

This Journalist wanted to go to Teacher’s College but his parents made him pursue Journalism.

San Antonio – It’s still amazing that the Spurs posted the best record in basketball with a starting backcourt of Avery Johnson and Vinny Del Negro.

That is amazing.

Utah – This year’s pick, plodding Kansas rookie center Greg Ostertag, isn’t exactly the best foundation for the future. Ostertag may even be slower than Felton Spencer, but he gives the Jazz six more fouls inside.

High upside there.

Vancouver – The Grizzlies will accomplish at least one thing this season; making the Clippers feel good. Reeves developed into a solid pivot. Benoit Benjamin, a career dud, will form the other half of the center tandem.

This reads like ‘career dud’ is Benoit’s occupation.

Pacific Division

Golden State – Off guard Sprewell sulked through most of last year but should respond well to new GM Twardzik and Coach Adelman.

You would think Sprewell was of Primary School age the way this is written.

Los Angeles Clippers – The fact that Jerry Stackhouse didn’t want to have anything to do with the Clippers says it all for this sad-sack franchise.


Los Angeles Lakers – That really was Elden Campbell tearing it up during the playoffs, and you can’t blame the Lakers for wondering whether it was just a tease. should he come to play every night, he could become one of the NBA’s best power forwards.

Yes, that was Elden.

Phoenix – This should finally be Barkley’s final season, and he would love to go out a winner.

He was right, probably should’ve been his last.

Portland  – Clifford Robinson scores like the big time force he claims he is, but he isn’t particularly dependable in the clutch and launches a lot of shots.

Tickets on yourself, Cliff.

Sacramento – Now that Walt Williams has found a home at the three spot, he can concentrate on unleashing his multiple skills every night.

Unleashing. Sounds ominous.

Seattle – With two first round playoff losses looming over their heads like an eager guillotine, the Sonics enter 1995/96 as the best team never to accomplish anything in NBA history. Sam Perkins continues to light it up from the outside, but that isn’t exactly what you want a center to do.

Tad overdramatic, also how thoughts have changed regarding centres.


This kind of writing has inspired me, can’t wait to do our predictions this year.

1 thought on “Throwback Basketball Almanac”

  1. Ah, Khalid Reeves, Shawn Respert and Walt Williams were locks for the Hall of Fame reading this. Great find! To get through the offseason, I might go digging next weekend and find some more 90’s gems.
    Oh, and those jourmeyman Bulls pivots kind of make the author look a bit silly when you fast forward a few years. With a 3-peat in the book, I guess it borderline worked for them??

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