Originally Posted by BoutPractice
Duncan has, I believe, one of the greatest win percentages in collective sports history over a 15 year period. Duncan and Popovich are the only common denominator of those 15 years.
Duncan played most of his time with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili (who only became all-star caliber players in the mid 00s) and decent role players. He carried a very flawed team to the title in 2003.
He won more than say, Bird, with less, and for a longer period of time.
Kobe started his career with Shaq (at one point he had Shaq, Gary Payton and Karl Malone on his team), then his Lakers kept getting handed great interior players - Gasol, and now Gasol AND Dwight at the same time... The only time he had to work with a weak group (and don't get me wrong, they were really weak, much weaker than anything Duncan ever had, I won't argue that), he either missed the playoffs or led them to first round exits.
Kobe's great, no question, but to act like his career totally eclipses everything done by the interior beasts most objective basketball historians would agree dominated the previous decade is a bit much. (And I'm worried it'll get worse and worse, as Kobe has a legion of obsessive fans who would probably donate their vital organs to him while people tend to "appreciate" Duncan. He's basically treated like some kind of boring writer from the 18th century a teacher forced you to read because he's one of the "classics". Oh, a bank shot. Oh, yet another bank shot. Oh, a hook shot *YAWN*)
...Though I just realized this thread was originally about Shawn Marion.
So, Shawn Marion. Great player. Unless you have a LeBron, I tend to think Marion is exactly the kind of player you should play at SF, that's what the position is for: an dynamic, versatile, athletic player who rebounds, defends, runs in transition, and is efficient/opportunistic on offense.
He was always limited by his jumpshot, though I've always wondred how the hell he's able to make so many of those with that ugly release.
Sometimes when kidding around on the basketball court I try to emulate his shot, and it simply doesn't work, it's a scientific wonder.
I hope there are more unorthodox players like him in the future.