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April 2, 2006

More Nique News and Videos

Image from the AJC's story on Dominique.

The Human Highlight Film's actual Highlight film is available via DeadSpin. Pretty cool mix of his work. Deadspin says it best: "Best in-game dunker of all-time. He had a power and explosiveness that allowed him to come out of nowhere and posterize anyone, almost at will. Congrats, ‘Nique." (Hat tip to Lumberdawg on the Porch)

Mark Bradley pays his respects to Dominique. He specifically talks about what a bad rap Nique got for his alleged selfishness. Bradley says:
There are those who believe Dominique Wilkins was selfish. There are on those who believe he was a blight on the pure essence of basketball. There's only one thing to say about those people:

They obviously never saw him play. Dominique Wilkins was about far more than dunking the basketball. If you saw him play, you loved him.

You loved him not because of the whirls he authored and the dunks he delivered and the points he scored, though all those things were part of the charm. But you loved most of all because he played as if every minute of every game was his last. You loved him because he threw himself into his work the way almost nobody in our jaded society does anymore.

On the day in 1990 that Mike Fratello stopped coaching the Atlanta Hawks, someone asked which of the players he was leaving had been his favorite. The guess would have been someone like John Battle, a substitute guard of sunny disposition who needed no maintenance. Instead Fratello named Wilkins, the biggest star among Hawks. Why? "Because he played hard every night."
Tim Tucker also has a new story regarding the Hall of Fame selection.

It looks like he's going into the HOF with Barkley. It should be noted that back in Feb when the finalists were named the first thing that Barkley did was point to Wilkins and say "Dominique should have got in last year." Very cool gesture on Barkley's part.



stick jackson said...

Thanks for the DW coverage, pwd.

Great column by Bradley. And he touches on the most important point -- who acquired 'Nique when he came in to the league. Does anyone seriously believe that if Worthy had gone to the Hawks and 'Nique had gone to the Lakers there would have even been a discussion of who was a better player?

'Nique could have done Worthy's job -- filling a lane on the Showtime break and being one of several options in the half court, with Magic running the show -- significantly better than Worthy did (and obviously, Worthy was pretty darn good at that job). Trying to do 'Nique's job on the Hawks -- receiving passes 25 feet from the basket with 5 seconds on the shot clock and four guys standing around waiting to see what he would do -- Worthy would have been a disaster.

It's like blaming Herschel for getting traded to the Vikings.

all school said...

I COMPLETELY agree with Bradley, and I also completely agree with Stick. Plus, Nique was and is one of the nicest, friendliest guys you'd ever want to see, at UGA, as a Hawk, and now as a retired NBA star.

I was a Hawks season ticket holder for several years in the late 80s and early 90s; the heyday, if you will, of the Fratello era. Anyone who wants to gripe about Nique should look at the Clydesdale that Stan Kasten gave him to work with.

Doc Rivers? Not a point guard. Doc always wanted to be a scorer, except he was a mediocre outside shot. Not exactly Magic or Isiah Thomas. Randy Wittman? Reggie Theus? Two one dimensional guys. Theus actually wasnt that bad, but again...neither a defensive stopper. Neither a reliable outside shooter (Wittman could shoot, he just couldnt get open).

The 4 spot? Kevin Willis? Dont make me laugh. SUBSTANTIAL downgrade from Kevin McHale in talent (but with twice the attitude). Center? An aging Tree Rollins? Moses Malone could play, but cared more about his own stats.

Nique never had a reliable number 2 guy. Magic had Worthy and Kareem. Bird had McHale and Parish and DJ. Isiah had Lambeer and Rodman. Jordan had Pippen, at least, and serviceable PGs.

I cant tell you how many times I saw exactly what Stick described: the Hawks waste most of the 24 second clock, then bail the ball out to Nique on the wing, with 4 seconds left and everyone else with his thumb in his colon, waiting for him to save them. And, he often did.

No one played harder. No one was more explosive. He wasnt the GM, so it isnt really fair to blame him for the fact that the Hawks couldnt win a championship. He was the best, and usually, the only reason to go watch the Hawks. When they dumped him, I hoped they wouldnt win another game until the end of time. Looks like I didnt miss by much.

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