All Time Blazers Team…Part 1: Small Forward

Over the next 7 weeks we here at Blazersog are going to assemble the “All Time Blazers Team.”  This team will consist of the “best” player at each position, one coach, and one 6th man.

This topic can be taken in a variety of ways, so here is the manner in which we will be discussing this topic:  We are going to assemble, to the best of our ability, the best Blazer as a Blazer for each position.  That means Scottie Pippen would not qualify for the SF position because his years in Portland do not rival those of longer standing Blazers. 

We also are not taking into account team chemistry.  We are not attempting to assemble a team to play, but assembling a team that has a great body of Blazer stats and on court contributions.  Thus, Zach and Sheed are in the running for PF even though they were not the best community or locker room guys.

Also, the 6th man will be based off the principle of “best of the rest” NOT the best 6th man the Blazers ever had (Cliff Robinson).  This gives very good players like Mychal Thompson, Zach, Sheed, LaMarcus a chance even though their position is stacked.

The first position revealed is Small Forward

We wont lie, along with the PF position, SF is the hardest.  When looking at this position four names came to the top immediately (in no specific order):

Geoff Petrie

Larry Steele

Kiki Vandeweghe

Jerome Kersey

Of this list, the two finalists are Kersey and Petrie.  Now, Petrie played both the off guard and small forward position.  However, most of his minutes came at the SF position, thus is eligible for this debate and not at shooting guard.

Lets compare the stats as a Blazer:

                        Kersey                                               Petrie

PPG:                 12.1                                                   21.8

RPG:                 6.1                                                     2.8

AST:                 2.1                                                     4.6

All Time Blazer Stats comparrison:

Games Played: Kersey ranks 2nd (831), Petrie is not in the top 10.

Minutes Played: Kersey 3rd (21,400), Petrie 10th (16,787).

Points: Kersey 4th (10,067), Petrie 6th (9,732).

Assists: Kersey 8th (1,762), Petrie 5th (2,057).

FGs Made: Kersey 4th (3,981), Petrie 5th (3,970).

Total Rebounds: Kersey 2nd (5,078),Petrie not in top 10.

Blocked Shots: Kersey 4th (621),Petrie not in top 10.

Steals: Kersey 3rd (1,059),Petrie not in top 10.

Petrie was knows as a sharp shooter, and played at a time when the 3 point line was not part of the NBA game yet.  Kersey has a much lower PPG average, but Kersey also played with a stacked early ’90s squad that will dot this all time list.  However, when it comes down to it looking at all time Blazer stats it is clear the Jerome Kersey is fitting to be named to the All Time Blazers Team.  Petrie only has a better all time record in one area (assists) and 4 times Kersey is in the top 4 of all time stats when Petrie does not even appear in the top 10.

Couple in Kersey’s roles with the Blazers in recent time we can see that Jerome is a true Blazer even after retirement.  Adding to Kersey’s impressive stats as a Blazer are his records that stand 2nd all time for fouls (2,638) and disqualifications (38).  Those records will put a smile to the face of Bill Schonley who coined the famous phrase, “Mercy, Mercy, Jerome Kersey!”

Congrats Jerome, the All Time Blazers Small Forward!

What do you think?  Did we give the edge to Kersey simply because he played longer?  Did we forget someone who you think is better suited for this position?  We look forward to your comments.


9 Responses to “All Time Blazers Team…Part 1: Small Forward”

  1. Well, don’t want to burst your bubble, but Petrie was a shooting guard. 6-5, he was big, especially for his day, but he was a shooting guard. When Bill Walton joined the blazers in ’74-’75, the starting line up was Petrie, Lenny Wilkens at the guards, Sidney Wicks and John Johnson at forwards and Walton (when he wasn’t hurt). I still have old basketball cards that say GUARD on Geoff Petrie cards, I’m sure of it.

    But atleast you didn’t pick him for the greatest blazer SF ever!

  2. Steve, check this out:

    Just because a basketball card says he is something does not mean it. Hell, I bet you are one of those guys who thinks Travis Outlaw is Bo Outlaw because ESPN has it that way. The truth is he played both SG and SF. And it looks like whoever wrote this blog entry said that and established that early. I know that Pertrie played both because I have had season tickets since the Blazers came to town….I don’t follow cards.

    To the point, I am actually a Petrie guy. I think he deserves this. I say this understanding that Kersey had more years, stats, etc. But in my mind a “true” SF is a gunner…which Petrie was. I understand how you came to this conclusion, but I like the gun sligners here!

    Nice blog.

  3. I’m pretty sure Petrie played SF, too, but that could just be my memory. Either way, I think they got it right with No Mercy Kersey. You can’t say enough about his passionate play (which translated into wicked tomahawk dunks and tenacious defense). Steele and Vandeweghe weren’t bad either, but fall far short of being in the same category and both Petrie and Kersey. I can’t think of anyone else who could be compared to these 4 though. We haven’t really had a great SF since Kersey, though, and it’s clearly hurt us (though Pip did a decent job as a point-forward when he was like 42).

    Plus, Jerome is still involved with the team. Petrie was for a long time, too, though, and only left when Adelman got canned, which I can respect. This is a really tough one though, maybe even harder than PF (I assume the race there is between Buck, Sheed and Lucas, but I think it’s clearly Maurice….we’ll see what you’ve got to say later, I guess).

    Long live Jerome No Mercy Kersey.

  4. I think that when you’re trying to figure out who is the best of all time you have to look at it in terms of who you would want to put on the court for one game and one game only to get the best result, that’s the same philosophical basis behind how you could put sheed or z-bo on the list even with their amazing ability to screw a team up from the inside out.

    Given that, I think you’d have to go with Petrie. I’ll admit that I’m simply looking at stats and don’t know much about the Blazers before the late 90s, but if I had to just put together a team I’d rather take the nearly 10 extra ppg and 2.5 additional apg. Rebounding from a SF is definitely important, but on a team of all time greats that’s something that I’d be more willing to sacrifice. For a SF I’d rather see scoring and sharing before banging the boards.

    Kersey is obviously a stud, and playing on such a loaded team could have easily shrunk his numbers, but here’s the real question: If Petrie had been with the Blazers as long as Kersey would this decision be nearly as difficult?

  5. Matt,

    Sorry man, but I do know the difference between Bo and Travis. I don’t remember Petrie’s first few years, so he may have been a SF. I know that the first year they had Jim Barnett and Rick Adelman on the team, so it’s possible. I just have always considered him a guard because that is what he played most of the time. The basketball card comment was mainly tongue in Cheek. I do remember going to the MC and watching Petrie go toe to toe with Walt Frazier and Jerry Sloan in the mid 70’s. Now, Larry Steele, I remember as a swingman. Not Petrie. I would venture to say that Clyde Drexler played more SF than Petrie did. I think that for purposes of this discussion, the blog writer just put Petrie into the SF group to even out the positions so to speak, which is fine.

  6. Devo or Jim – get me in on this email chain I’ve been hearing about from Armstrong:

    Also – I sit next to a guy at work that has Kevin Duckworth on his speed dial…he called for free tickets on Friday when I mentioned that I’m going to the Celts game on the 24th – insane. We all need to go to a game soon – PLAYOFFS!!??

  7. Steve,

    Fair enough. Back in the day the SF and SG were almost one in the same. I just felt this entry did a nice job of laying out the specifics for debate on the players and stats not technicaly things like “my basketball card says….” Its not like they said Walton is a PG here!

    By the way, I ran into this blog on oregonlive…this is a good outlet…nice job to whom ever does it.

  8. The man saying SG is correct. I saw him play on many occassions, starting with his rookie year. He was NOT a forward at all. The first year Rick Adelman and Stan McKenzie were the Point Guards and Petrie the shooting guard. I do like your blog however. I would go Mercy, Kiki, Bobby Gross and Calvin Natt, although he was a tweener forward.

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