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Friday, January 26, 2007

Brad Daugherty: From the Court to the Race Track

Brad Daugherty and Mark Price might have become Cleveland's version of "Stockton-to-Malone" if a back injury had not ended Daugherty's career at the age of 28. Daugherty had three straight 20-10 seasons before his back went out in the 1993-94 season; he did not officially retire until 1997 but he never played again. While Daugherty set the screens, grabbed the boards, made good passes and showed a soft shooting touch, Price pushed the ball up the court, shot an excellent percentage and was a very good distributor. In 1988-89, he shot better than 40% from three point range, better than 50% from the field and better than 90% from the free throw line, a feat only matched by Larry Bird, Reggie Miller and Steve Nash; Price finished 10th in MVP voting that year even though, as I noted a couple weeks ago, his numbers were in the same ball park with what two-time MVP Nash has done the past two seasons--but don't just take my word for it. Johnny Bach, who has seen six decades of NBA players and was the de facto "defensive coordinator" of the Bulls' first "three-peat" team, told me this about the Daugherty-Price pick and roll combination: "They were the best in the business. Cleveland was the best in the business because of Price; he could get across that screen and make that pass. He actually probably shortened his career because he used to love to make the change (change of direction move) in between the screen and the defender who came up. He was knocked down a lot of times.”

Daugherty is a life-long racing fan and he has found an outlet for that passion as the newest member of ESPN's NASCAR broadcasting team. I recently spoke with Daugherty about Michael Jordan, NASCAR--and the pick and roll play he ran to perfection with Mark Price:

Brad Daugherty: From the Court to the Race Track

posted by David Friedman @ 10:29 PM

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