1. Leaders of the 00s: What do we call the decade from 2000 to 2009? Calling it “the 2000s” makes it sounds like we’re referring to the whole century and the aughts, the technical name for the decade sounds a little silly. Perhaps the 00s makes the most sense? Not really sure but we’ll stick with the 00s today. In any case, this decade is coming to a close and I was debating with a friend who exactly is the team of the 00s? The first thing to determine is when this decade actually started. Because each NBA season encompasses parts of two calendar years it isn’t totally clear. Did the 00s being in 1999-00 or 2000-01? Arguably 1999-00 is the first year of the 00s, as the title technically was won in the year 2000 and slightly more than half of the regular season was played after January 1, 2000. In my mind, however, there is something cleaner about the decade starting in with the first year of the decade (i.e. 2000-01 rather than 1999-00).
Roy Tarpley’s NBA career has been closed for 14 years and his subsequent lawsuit against the NBA was also recently closed. What is forgotten was how great a player Tarpley was when he was healthy. I thought we could take a look back at Tarpley and his lawsuit against the NBA and see what exactly happened before, during, and after Tarpley’s fall from the NBA and see if a re-examination now yields some new perspective.
The College Years
Tarpley started out as a center at college with Michigan in the mid-1980s. Tarpley first really looked like a potential star when he helped Michigan win the NIT in 1983-84 as a sophomore. Tarpley didn’t win the NIT MVP (future solid pro center Tim McCormick did) but Roy looked like a key player for the next Wolverine teams.
A Quick Sidebar to the NIT
As an aside, have you ever wondered what the NIT ever offered in the way of pros? Since the NCAA expanded the tourney to 64 teams in 1984-85, the NIT has been the place to find the 65th (and now 66th best) team in the country. That’s not exactly the truth but certainly the tournament has stench of also-ran to it and you wouldn’t expect huge stars to participate in it. To test his notion, I thought we could take a look at all the NIT MVPs since 1984-85 to see how may serious pros we have. Let’s break down the group into the following categories: (1) NBA Hall of Famers, (2) very good NBA players, (3) solid NBA players (starters or bench guys who play), (4) fringe NBAers (including both busts and guys who only had cameos), and (5) the non-NBA guys. Here’s how the the 25 MVPs of the NIT since the NCAA expanded sort out: Continue reading The Roy Tarpley Saga…
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