Thursday, January 19, 2012

Exploring NBA Rosters

It's always interesting every so often to comb through some rosters and see who's still playing in the NBA. Here's ten names for you to chew on. First, five guys that you might be surprised are still around, and second, five obscure guys you may never have heard of.

From the Veteran Class:

Jerry Stackhouse - Age 37 - Atlanta Hawks
3rd Overall Pick, 1995
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Once upon a time Stackhouse averaged 29.8 points per game while starting 80 games for the 2000-2001 Detroit Pistons. He's played in just 63 games total since the end of the 2007-2008 season, including 7 games last year for the Miami Heat before getting released in November. He's played in 4 games for Atlanta this season averaging 2.5 points per appearance.

Eduardo Nájera - Age 35 - Charlotte Bobcats
2nd Round Pick, 38th Overall, 2000
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Even though Nájera never turned into a star, I will always remember his performance with Oklahoma against Michigan State in the 1999 NCAA Tournament when he set a pick on Mateen Cleaves - remember Mateen Cleaves? - and got knocked out. Literally. Then, a short while later he reentered the game and immediately tried to set another pick. The guy was as fierce a competitor as I'd ever seen. Nájera last appeared for the Bobcats in March.

Tony Battie - 35 years old - Philadelphia 76ers
5th Overall Pick, 1997
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I remember Battie from back when he was with the Rick Pitino Celtics. Never a superstar, his greatest contribution to basketball came off the court, when he and his brother rushed Paul Pierce to a hospital in September of 2000 following a brutal stabbing and essentially saved Pierce's life. Battie has appeared in 7 games for the Sixers this year including a start against the Knicks.

Jamaal Tinsley - 33 years old - Utah Jazz
27th Overall Pick, 2001
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Tinsley is back in the NBA after sitting out the entire 2010-2011 season. As a rookie in 2001 he had 23 assists in a game against the Washington Wizards, but his poor shooting held him back from ever becoming an elite point guard. For his career Tinsley is just a 39.4% shooter. Tinsley is now the third string point guard in Utah behind Devin Harris and Earl Watson and has appeared in 7 games this season.

Juwan Howard - 38 years old - Miami Heat
5th Overall Pick, 1994
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The last man standing from the original Fab Five, Howard is in his 18th NBA season and second year with the Heat. Once a big time contributor, Howard now plays sparingly, but can still hit the open jumper and rebound a little bit. He has 6 points in 33 minutes this season, but is scoreless in 2012.

And from the 'You Might Never Have Heard of This Guy' Class

Jeremy Lin - 23 years old - New York Knicks
Undrafted out of Harvard
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Think of him as the Ryan Fitzpatrick of the NBA. Lin is the first Harvard player to play in the league since Ed Smith in 1954. Lin has appeared in 5 games for the Knicks since being claimed off waivers from the Houston Rockets.

Trey Johnson - 27 years old - New Orleans Hornets
Undrafted out of Jackson State
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Not to be confused with teammate Squeaky Johnson, the Hornets are his 4th NBA team. Trey has already set a career high this year with 11 appearances entering play tonight.

Larry Owens - 29 years olds - New Jersey Nets
Undrafted out of Oral Roberts
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Owens finally made his NBA debut last season with the Spurs after spending five years in Europe and in the D-League.

Mickell Gladness - 25 years old - Miami Heat
Undrafted out of Alabama A&M
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Gladness made his NBA debut this year and has totaled 19 minutes and 2 points in 5 games. In college Gladness set an NCAA Division I single game record with 16 blocks against Texas Southern in 2007.

Dominique Jones - 23 years old - Dallas Mavericks
25th pick overall, 2010
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Apparently Jones has a ring for his work with Dallas last year. In 27 career games, he is averaging 2.1 points.

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