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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mark Aguirre: Dropping Knowledge

Mark Aguirre earned three All-Star appearances and played on two championship teams during a golden age of NBA small forwards, the 1980s. During that decade, legends like three-time MVP Larry Bird and 1981 MVP Julius Erving headlined a group of forwards that included Adrian Dantley, Alex English, Bernard King, Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy. Aguirre could score from anywhere: on the post, facing up or bombing away from outside. He also was an excellent passer, very capable of making teams pay for double-teaming him. Now he works as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks, tutoring their big men on the finer points of post play.

Here is a link to my article about Aguirre:

Mark Aguirre: Dropping Knowledge

posted by David Friedman @ 10:07 PM


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At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 10:57:00 PM, Blogger illest said...

As good as he was, he should have been better.

At Wednesday, February 14, 2007 11:37:00 PM, Blogger vednam said...

I agree with illest. Aguirre was incredibly skilled on offense, but he had a reputation for being a headcase and not delivering for his team when it counted (in addition to not being much of a defender).

The enduring image I have of him is from a highlight reel of the 1988 season which shows footage of Aguirre on the bench pouting during the end of Game 7 of the WCF (which his team lost while Aguirre couldn't play through a minor injury). Having said that, this reputation is probably a bit exaggerated. I've heard Aguirre is a nice guy, and the work he's done with big men in New York and Indiana is commendable.

Remember how after the 1986 season the Lakers (under the urging of Magic Johnson) were prepared to trade James Worthy for Aguirre and Roy Tarpley? Jerry West shot down the deal, but I wonder how that would have turned out.

At Thursday, February 15, 2007 12:05:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Aguirre and McAdoo are two players who at various times were labelled as malcontents or underachievers. The reason that I did not dwell on such things in my profiles of them is that I think that their play on the court did a nice job of refuting such accusations. Each of them played key roles on multiple championship teams. If they were truly malcontents or underachievers then they would not have helped teams to win titles. I think that some of these labels derive more from how fans perceive body language and how certain players interact with the media. Unless you believe that these players underwent complete character transformations after they were traded, it seems clear that they were unfairly criticized earlier in their careers; perhaps their desire to win was misinterpreted by outsiders as "pouting" and perhaps they were wrongly branded as losers for the inadequacies of their teammates. Is Peyton Manning more of a winner now or has he always been a great player but this year he had a better all around team than in previous years?


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