As you've no doubt read, Phil Jackson recently referred to Dennis Rodman as the most gifted athlete he ever coached. I was therefore surprised to read that you omitted him from your list of probable Hall of Famers that Jackson has coached. I trust that wasn't an oversight on your part. If not, why do you feel that Rodman will be snubbed? Brandon Hoffman, Denver; and Wil Moore, Miss. (Note: This entry combines two similar questions.)
For sheer athleticism jumping (both elevation and quickness off the floor), speed, hand-eye coordination, flexibility, anticipation, reaction and instinct Rodman was indeed in a class by himself. Also, his on-court intelligence was vastly underrated. For example, where players like Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Darrell Walker, and several others were never able to grasp the intricacies of the triangle offense, Rodman picked it up in a flash. Plus, Rodman's court awareness was as accomplished as the league's most celebrated point guards. And he led the NBA in rebounding seven times while being an integral part of five championship teams.
However, his out-of-control impulsiveness and his off-the-wall lifestyle will keep him out of the Hall for the foreseeable future. What if Dennis the Menace shows up for the induction ceremonies wearing a wedding dress?
If you were John Paxson, which of the Bulls would you consider to be the keepers, the guys that'd you'd build the future around? My choices would be Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni, Theo Sefalosha, Derrick Rose, Tyrus Thomas, and Joakim Noah. David Jones, Sauk Village, Ill.
I certainly agree with you about Deng. He's a dynamic scorer and, with a little more confidence, could easily blossom into a reliable go-to guy.
I also like Nocioni's skills but even more important, it's his toughness that can set the tone for the entire team.
Sefalosha's extraordinary gifts are worth working with for another couple of seasons.
Rose, of course, IS the future.
It could be, however, that Thomas will always be too young, too irresponsible, and too uncoachable to ever be consistent. I'd give him one more season to get his heads together while, at the same time, explore what he might bring in a trade.
However, I think that Noah's game is too limited for him to ever be a consistent contributor to a winning team. At most he's a 10-15 minute player.
I think there's a place for Kirk Hinrich because of his gritty, unselfish attitude. He'd be a fine fit running the second unit.
Everybody else Ben Gordon (is he still around?), Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Aaron Gray are merely roster filler until more keepers are obtained.
I love the Cavs getting Mo Williams! He's a great player who can handle the ball, score, and relieve LeBron of some playmaking responsibilities. Is this enough to get them over the top in the East? Harley Chosen, Virginia Beach, Va.
For sure, Williams is a terrific talent, but like all NBA players, and all the rest of us civilians, he's not perfect. What worries me most about Williams is his penchant for taking way too many bad shots, for hogging the ball, for passing mostly when he can't find a shot for himself, and for not playing a lick of defense. Since defense is Mike Brown's primary emphasis, this last of Williams' deficiencies could be the most damaging to Cleveland's chances.
Hopefully for Cavs fans, the fact that Williams will be playing with a legitimate superstar (as opposed to a one-dimensional scorer like Michael Redd) will encourage him to make the necessary adjustments. If Williams can do so, and if Brown can devise an offense that can complement the talents of Mo and LBJ, then the Cavs would certainly have the firepower to make the Celtics (at least) sweat.
Now if only Cleveland's frontcourt can step up, they could even make the Celtics cry.