Shawn Respert is the original splash brother. This guy had just as much range as anyone else does in the NBA today and that includes Stephen Curry. People thought Respert was crazy because he would take a 3-pointer on a fast break or would pull up 10 feet away from the 3-point line when nobody back then did that stuff. Today, that happens every single night in the NBA. Respert would have easily been an All-Star now because of his ability to score from anywhere.
Manning was one of the original point-forwards of the NBA. The Clippers drafted Manning first in the NBA draft and saw him as a rare 6-10 forward that could put the ball on the floor. Back then, the only big men putting the ball on the floor were named Magic Johnson. Coaches back then absolutely hated it when big guys wanted to dribble and play point guard. Manning had a decent NBA career, he was not really a bust, but he also didn’t reach the superstar status people expected after his superb NCAA showing. In todays NBA, the coach would give Manning the ball and tell him to run the offense as he pleased. Manning would be playing to his strengths (putting the ball on the floor and passing) and not like he did in the 1990s where he was forced to play in the paint. Maybe one of the reasons he didn’t reach expectations is because he was playing out of position for his entire career.
Petrovic was an NBA All-Star in 1993 before his death, and for certain he would be one in todays NBA. A guy that could flat out shoot the lights out. And this was during the hand checking days, so guys could block him with their arm before he even caught the ball. In todays wide open NBA, it would be like shooting free throws for him. Before Steph came along, many considered Drazen to be the greatest shooter of all-time. Guess what? That wasn’t an understatement, he really could shoot the lights out like that.
You may have forgotten about this, but Glenn Robinson did average 20 points per game during his NBA career. Now, Big Dog was a college All-American and first draft pick, so he did fall a little short of expectations. He still had a solid over all career, making the All-Star game two different times. In Robinson’s day, the lane was clogged with big men, the offense had to run through the big man and iso- ball was frowned upon if you weren’t Michael Jordan. This dominant scoring power forward would have feasted on today’s NBA players. With Robinson’s handles and perimeter post moves, he could easily average 30 points per game.
Alex Dillard would pull up from ANYWHERE. We mean, ANYWHERE. You know how guys today pull up from the logo and people think that’s a little nuts? Dillard was doing that in the 1990s. Dillard played on the famed Arkansas Razorbacks in 1994, and was the best shooter on that championship team, if not the entire NCAA. Dillard’s range was practically the entire court and would up from near half court all the time. Dillard did not make the NBA in 1995 (some scouts thought he was too small), but in todays NBA with his confidence and range, would be one of the elite long distance shooters. If you have never heard of him, you have to go see his YouTube videos, they are simply awesome.
Chris Jackson/Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
For those of you who have never heard the name Chris Jackson or Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Rauf was basically an earlier version of Stephen Curry. If Rauf played in today’s NBA, he would be allowed to shoot 25 times per game, would be allowed to dribble as much as he wanted and even his political opinions (Rauf refused to stand for the national anthem back in 1996) would be more accepted than it was back then. Here is a quick run-down on Rauf’s career in case you didn’t know: he was a scoring machine in high school, was two-time state player of the year and a high school All-American. In college, he was first team All-American as a freshman and sophomore (just the second player to ever do that as a freshman) and was drafted top 5 in the NBA Draft. He led the NBA in free-throw shooting percentage, was the NBA’s most improved player and scored a career high 51 points in a game in 1995. Rauf in today’s NBA would average 25 points per game, would be shooting 90% from the line and would be a major part of a of a contending team.