Tag Archives: Gary Payton

Pac-12 Alumni Teams – Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA

Yesterday, I started our quest to predict a Pac-12 alumni basketball tournament winner.  In case you missed it, I’m taking 10-12 of the best alumni each Pac-12 schools have and placing them on a hypothetical basketball team.  These teams would be playing today, so there aren’t  any old legends in them.  Most of the players I’m placing on the teams are playing professionally somewhere.  

I assembled the first four teams (alphabetically) rosters yesterday.  Today we have Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA.  Once we’re done with all of the teams rosters, we will make a bracket and go from there.  Let’s get to it!


G Malik Hairston – Hairston was drafted in 2008 and currently plays in Spain.
G Luke Ridnour – Ridnour was drafted in 2003 and is playing for Minnesota currently.
G Aaron Brooks – Brooks was drafted in 2007 and plays for Houston. 
F Luke Jackson – Jackson was selected in the 2004 draft and played through last year professionally.  He accepted a coaching job in a small college in Oregon.
C Tony Woods – Woods graduated this year from Oregon and hopes to catch on to an NBA team.
F Arsalan Kazemi – Kazemi graduated this year and hopes to get drafted.
F E.J. Singler – Yet another guy from this year who is hoping to catch on in the NBA.
G Tajuan Porter – Porter plays in the NBA D-league after finishing at Oregon in 2010
F Joevan Catron – Catron finished at Oregon in 2011 and plays in a Japanese basketball league.
C Michael Dunigan – Dunigan finished at Oregon in 2010 and is playing in the Philippines and has been very successful there.

Oregon Overview:  Oregon has a decent group here.  There aren’t a ton of NBA guys but there are a bunch that are very close.  The Ducks have one of the youngest teams that has been assembled so far.

Oregon State:

G Jared Cunningham
F/C Joe Burton
F Roeland Schaftenaar – Schaftenaar played his final season at OSU in 2010 and is now in a European league.
G Calvin Haynes – Haynes graduated in 2011 and has played in the D-league but is now in a European league.
F Marcel Jones – Jones graduated in 2008 and now plays in an Australia league.
F/C Sasa Cuic – Cuic graduated in 2008 and now plays in Europe.  He played in Morocco last year.
F Nick DeWitz – DeWitz played at Oregon State in 2006 and most recently played in a Portuguese league.  Yep, I’m really struggling to find guys here.
F David Lucas – Lucas graduated in 2005.  He has played everywhere and is currently in IBL playing for the Portland Chinooks.  Yeah…
F Omari Johnson – Johnson graduated in 2011 and is now playing a Canadian League.
G Gary Payton – Yeah, it’s come to this.  By far the oldest guy in the tournament, Payton was drafted in 1990 and is now 44 years old.  If anyone thinks there are better qualified guys, do the research and get back to me. 

Oregon State Overview:  We have an early contender for the number 12 seed here.  They aren’t particularly young, there is only one NBA player and there are basketball leagues here that I didn’t know even existed (Canada? Japan?).  This team has about three guards, and one of them is 44.

Stanford Cardinal

C Robin Lopez – Lopez was drafted in 2008 and plays for New Orleans.
C Brooke Lopez – This Lopez has had more success in the NBA and plays for Brooklyn.
F Landry Fields – Fields was drafted in 2010 and played in Toronto last year.
C Jason Collins – Collins was drafted in 2001 and is now a free agent (if he doesn’t retire).  He’s had a long NBA career and is another 7 footer on this team.
G/F Josh Childress – Childress was drafted in 2004 and played in Brooklyn last year.
F Josh Owens – Owens graduated in 2012 and is now playing in the D-league for the Idaho Stampede.
G Chris Hernandez – Hernandez finished at Stanford in 2006 and retired from professional basketball last year after winning a championship in Spain.
F Taj Finger – Finger graduated in 2008, and is most recently playing in Japan.  He also runs a basketball camp in New York during summers.
G Jeremy Green – Green was left Stanford in 2011 and is playing in Europe.
G Matt Lottich – Lottich graduated in 2004 and is now running a basketball camp.  The team is low on guards so Lottich makes the cut.

Stanford Overview:  Stanford doesn’t have the depth of some teams but they have a lot of talent.  There are three seven footers who are still in the NBA.  Stanford will pose some match-up problems for other teams.


G Russell Westbrook – Westbrook was drafted in 2008 and plays for Oklahoma City, currently.
G Shabazz Muhammad – Shabazz declared for the NBA draft this year, and is expected to be a first round pick.
F Luc Mbah a Moute – Mbah a Moute was drafted in 2008 and plays for Milwaukee. 
C Kevin Love – Love was drafted in 2008 and plays for Minnesota currently. 
G Malcolm Lee – Lee was drafted in 2011 and plays for Minnesota. 
F Tyler Honeycutt – Honeycutt was drafted in 2011 and played for Sacramento sparingly last year and also played in the D-league. 
C Ryan Hollins –
Hollins was drafted in 2006 and now plays for the Clippers.
G/F Jrue Holiday –
Holiday was drafted in 2009 and has played for Philadelphia.
G Darren Collison
– Collison was drafted in 2009 and played for Dallas last year. 
F Matt Barnes
– Barnes was drafted in 2002 and has had a long NBA career.  He played for the Clippers last year. 
F Trevor Ariza
– Ariza was drafted in 2004 and played for Washington last year. 
G Arron Afflalo –
Afflalo was drafted in 2007 and played for Orlando last year.

UCLA Overview:  The Bruins are obviously one of the most talented schools and always will be.  All of the guys listed above are or will be in the NBA.  The Bruins are definitely in contention for the top seed.  They also are pretty versatile in their positions.

That’s all for today.  If you have any different guys that I should add, put them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.  Thanks!



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The Most Important Reason to NOT Trade Felix Hernandez

A decent argument can, and has been made (almost weekly) for trading Felix Hernandez. I think we’ve all heard the basic elements of the discussion, but let’s review.

Trade Felix:
Felix is the most valuable chip the M’s have, and the likelihood of competing for a World Series before his contract expires after 2014 looks bleak (thanks to Tex and LAA). The national assumption is Felix will land in a big market the next time he hits free agency, because one can only handle so much rain, lack of offense, and of course, losing. And oh by the way, the Mariners offense is not so hot if you’ve tuned in this past decade, and there aren’t many top tier bats in the pipeline to change this. Speaking of top tier prospects, the M’s do have them, but they are pitchers. This side says trade your best asset to acquire offense (Pineda for Montero part 2), rather than stay this depressing course.

Do Not Trade Felix:
The argument I hear for not trading Felix mainly comes, naturally, from Mariner fans. This side says to be successful, you need an ace, which Felix is, and trading him for 1-2 MLB ready players plus a handful of prospects is not equal value. Furthermore, re-signing Felix may not be impossible based on his steadfast comments about the city and organization, and his desire to be a Mariner. Check out his comments from just two days ago:

“I’ve got two more years to go on my contract,” said Hernandez. “It’s not my decision. But I would love to stay. I love Seattle. I love the organization, and the city. I would be disappointed [to be traded],” Hernandez added. “I don’t think they will do that. I love them. And I think they like me, too.”

Lastly, what’s the rush to trade him now? Whether Seattle can contend before 2015 remains to be seen, but if two years from now the team is still struggling, and a trade must be made, Felix will still demand a nice package in return.

If you just consider the main points of each side, from 30,000 feet trading Felix looks logical, and inevitable. The trade Felix side has a compelling case. But let’s land this plane in Seattle, and dissect the lesser discussed, but most important reason the M’s should not trade Felix Hernandez: The Mariners needs an ace, yes, but more importantly, they need a face.

As a long suffering Seattle sports fan, I (and the other Good Guys) have insight and a pulse of the sports community that national writers and transplant Seattleites just don’t have. This town has seen too much losing, both in the record column, and in seeing it’s homegrown stars depart at the peak of their career. This list is long, headlined by the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Kevin Durant, Rashard Lewis, Joey Galloway, and Steve Hutchinson. These are the superstars that began their pro career in Seattle, then for various reasons left in their prime, leaving fans wondering what if? The other list is short, most notably Edgar Martinez, Ichiro, Shaun Alexander, Walter Jones, and old timers Steve Largent and Fred Brown. Adding Felix to this list would mean so much more than a couple prospects that may or may not become MLB players.

Losing Felix via trade or free agency would not only hurt on the baseball diamond, but the morale blow and symbolic loss would be felt for years. To this day I wonder what Kemp and Payton could have been had they stayed in Seattle another 5 years. Or those mid-90’s Mariners that had the best core in baseball, could Jr., A-Rod and Randy have brought Seattle a World Series? I tend to think yes. The Mariners especially can ill afford to lose a superstar, given its history of doing so, and also its current public relations state. Felix has made clear time and time again his desire to be a Mariner, and he backed his words by signing a 5 year extension. The Mariners owe the fans to put up a fight to keep Felix in Seattle past 2014, rather than trading him. He is too unique, too special, too important to this city, both in the short and long term. He is the king, our ace, our face.


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