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July 10, 2006

Comments

basketbawful

I think it's something of a misnomer to refer to Ha as "the Korean Gheorghe Muresan." People forget this, but Gheorghe actually had a few reasonably productive seasons, apexing during the 1995-96 season at nearly 15 points, 10 rebounds, over 2 blocks, and almost 60 percent shooting. Sure, his "peak" was pretty brief, but it's still 500 times better than what Ha's accomplished (if you can call it that so far) so far. I mean, Gheorghe got 10 and 7 his sophopmore year, compared to Ha's 1.6 and 1.8.

Second, Gheorghe was a fan favorite almost immediately. Somehow -- and don't ask me how, exactly -- the guy had charisma. He was funny. He was featured in SportsCenter and Snickers commercials. He had a value that transcended his court skills. He was something of a folk hero. Wheras Ha...well, even a lot of diehard NBA fans don't even know who he is. But EVERYone knew who Gheorghe was.

I also have to disagree with your assessment of Mark Eaton as a "project." The guy was Ben Wallace before Ben Wallace was Ben Wallace. He couldn't lob a basketball into the ocean, but he crashed the boards and was an extraordinary defensive presence. During the 1984-85 season, Eaton averaged a staggering 5.56 blocked shots per game (for some perspective, the Akeem Olajuwon finished second in the league that season with 2.68 BPG). He also had multiple seasons with over 4 BPG and 3 BPG. But he was always criticized for his lack of offense. Ben Wallace really isn't any better than Eaton, but Wallace was second team all-NBA this season. Hmph. (And Eaton was a career 65 percent shooter from the line...much better than Big Ben.)

Craig

I agree with you that Gheorghe was waaayy better than Ha will ever be, but I don't think too meny people will understand it of I called him "The Korean Kurt Nimphius" or Chuck Nevitt, which is what he's more like.

The one similiarity that Gheorghe and Ha have is their "radio faces".

(And don't go breaking out stats telling me how good Nevitt or Nimphius, though Nimphius had that weird redneck-do in Detroit)

BTW - Eaton was a project right out of UCLA. Remember Frank Layden's joke about Eaton's college highlight tape only showing him putting on and taking off sweats?

I'll give the Utah Jazz front office a lot of credit, they drafted Eaton and put him is the perfect role, one-man zone. This is the same front office that drafted Stockton, Malone and Thurl Bailey so they obviously had a plan (unlike 80% of NBA GM's today).

Sounds like your itching for a point-counterpoint post. We'll have to start one up soon, as long as it's not: Mark Eaton: Stiff or Star.

basketbawful

See, I would have totally accepted the Kurt Nimphius analogy. But I'm a dork.

I think part of the issue is our relative definitions of the term "project." In today's NBA, the term "project" basically means this guy is a wash. I can't think of a single project that has developed into a legitimate NBA player. In other words, someone who tangibly contributes to his team in accordance to how the team expected said player to develop.

Take Tyson Chandler for instance. With his physical capability, he should be a 20/10 guy, right? That's certainly what the Bulls thought, and I'm sure the Hornets think he could develop into that someday. He's tall and athletic -- things you can't teach -- and he's young. Thus he's a project. But I've watched him play. He has no sense of the game. He might one day be capable of getting 10 and 10, but that's about his max. He'll never reach his imagined potential. He'll remain a project until he crosses that age threshold where people stop expecting him to develop, and instead want "veteran leadership" out of him.

Sean

Peter "Party" John Ramos vs Ha 1-on-1 in NBA Live '06 is good fun

Smack_Adams

"And while we're at it, who's the last "project" center that played key minutes on a playoff contender?"

Um...that Ben Wallace fellow?

Craig

That depends upon your definition of "project". I agree that Ben Wallace far exceeded expectations coming out of college, but I define project as more like a freak.

Shawn Bradley, Kirt Nimphius, Chuck Nevitt, Manute Bol all were the type of "projects" that I am referring to.

E-Double

Possibly Thabeet if Memphis ever becomes a contender...HA!

vga

i think part of the issue is our relative definitions of the term "project." In today's NBA, the term "project" basically means this guy is a wash. I can't think of a single project that has developed into a legitimate NBA player. In other words, someone who tangibly contributes to his team in accordance to how the team expected said player to develop.

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