I know, I know.
Comparing living Celtics to dead Celtics is never a good idea.
So this post has a chance to be both ridiculous and controversial (sort of like when I argued that Paul Silas was more deserving than Reggie Lewis to have #35 retired).
Oh well. At least I can't get banned from my own site...
So I've been reading up on one Mr. Justin Ray Giddens, and a common thread among many of the articles is what the authors perceive as an unorthodox shooting style by the former New Mexico star. I’m not quite sure what is unorthodox about it, but it does seem strangely familiar.
I kept getting the feeling that I'd seen it before.
Then it dawned on me where I'd seen it.
It’s been 22 years and the video is kind of grainy, but if you go out to YouTube and pull up a few Len Bias videos, you’ll see what I'm talking about.
Both Bias and Giddens place the ball in about the same position before they shoot and then release it from roughly the same spot. Even more intriguing, however, is the fact that each player’s jumper exhibits an unmistakable hop instead of a jump.
The only other player that comes to mind with this style is David Thompson.
The Bias and Giddens pre-draft bios also bear a few similarities. Both players were thought to have monstrously long arms, freakish verticals, and off-the-charts athletic ability.
Granted, Bias was the second pick in the entire draft and Giddens was #30. But as Giddens' coach Steve Alford said below, Giddens had the talent to have been a top lottery pick until his head got in the way (sort of like Bias' poor judgment got in his way). Bias also had three inches on Giddens, and that's a significant difference.
At the same time, I'm not saying Giddens is as good as Bias was on draft day. I'm just saying I see some striking similarities. I'm also saying I’ll be curious to watch the first round pick play for the World Champions in the coming season just as I would have been excited to see what the first round pick had to offer the World Champions in 1986.