Rank #1: Kobe vs. Shaq: The Lakers from 1997-2004
Mar 17 2015
Rank #2: NBA’s 50 Greatest Players: Final arguments
Share your thoughts with us on Twitter by using the hashtag #ob50.
Oct 15 2015
Rank #3: Favorite What If Scenarios In NBA History
Aug 22 2017
Rank #4: 21 questions about Kevin Garnett
We also delve into Garnett's role in the 1999 lockout, the breakdown in relationship between Stephon Marbury and Garnett, whether the Timberwolves could have won an NBA Title while Garnett was there, how the Boston Celtics Big 3 was formed, Garnett's reputation prior to win an NBA Championship with Boston, whether or not KG had the best pre-game warmup in history as well as thoughts, comments and quotes from fellow teammates. Last but not least, our favorite instances of Garnett being a loon.
Sep 28 2016
Rank #5: No. 1 picks: Sometimes you get LeBron James, sometimes you get Anthony Bennett
We discuss Anthony Bennett's recent release from the Brooklyn Nets and how he looks like the latest No. 1 overall pick to be a complete bust, how there are a wide range of outcomes for No. 1 overall picks, from some of the greatest players of all-time (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James) to the biggest disappointments (LaRue Martin, Pervis Ellison, Michael Olowokandi, Kwame Brown, Andrea Bargnani and Greg Oden).
We also talk about what is fair to expect from a No. 1 overall pick, a run of mid-1970s players who ran into injury or drug issues (Doug Collins, Bill Walton, David Thompson and John Lucas), an impressive crop of 1980s big men for five straight drafts (Ralph Sampson, Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Brad Daugherty and David Robinson), players who were very good but fell short of greatness (Cazzie Russell, Mychal Thompson, Mark Aguirre, Derrick Coleman, Larry Johnson, Glenn Robinson and Andrew Bogut) and much more.
Jan 13 2017
Rank #6: 50-point games in the Michael Jordan era
May 16 2019
Rank #7: 50-point games in the ABA era
Mar 20 2019
Rank #8: Basketball Mysteries of the 70s: Mystery #1 - Who were the best players?
Jul 18 2016
Rank #9: Was Kareem vs. Walton the great lost rivalry?
We consider the parallels between Abdul-Jabbar and Walton with Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, look at the head-to-head matchups between Walton and Abdul-Jabbar from 1975 through 1978 (thanks to this fabulous research at InsideHoops.com) as well as the Blazers' sweep of the Lakers in 1977, punctuated by a Walton poster dunk over Abdul-Jabbar that was seen by many as the passing of the torch of the greatest big man in the NBA, and wonder how a healthy Walton and the Blazers could have challenged the Lakers in the early 1980s. We also look at how each player produced during that time and why the numbers seem to give Abdul-Jabbar such an advantage. Then we discuss Abdul-Jabbar's late 1970s seasons with the Lakers in part of a previously recorded episode.
Oct 10 2016
Rank #10: The 23 Worst Games of Michael Jordan’s Career
Rich Kraetsch and Jason Mann look at Jordan’s performances in each game and tidbits from each situation. While this might seem like an exercise in player-hating from notorious Jordan skeptics, it’s actually impressive how few out-and-out bad performances Jordan had in his career.
1:45 Jordan comes off pretty well, even in his 23 worst games
3:45 "Now, let’s trash Michael Jordan."
4:55 The Bulls with Jordan lost a 1990s playoff series. Wait, what?
7:50 There’s no reason to put asterisk on the 1995 Bulls
8:30 Why we didn't include more Wizards years
11:50 A sad 1986 Bulls-Cavs playoff race as Jordan is recovering from injury and feuding with the Jerrys (Reinsdorf and Krause)
13:15 Jordan is laughed at by Raptors crowd after missing a breakaway dunk
15:25 MJ wears Penny Hardaway's shoes
16:20 Jordan ends his 866-game double-digit scoring streak
18:30 What Jordan did six days after The Shot
22:50 Jordan has nine turnovers vs. the Bulls, and why are everyone’s jerseys so darned baggy?
24:35 Jordan schooled by Dr. J (and was possibly almost traded for him)
26:35 Was Jordan scared of dinosaurs? Or other reasons he performed poorly vs. the Raptors
28:10 Iverson’s infamous crossover and what he said after the game
30:20 Patrick Ewing outplays Jordan in a big game
33:25 Jordan’s second-ever Christmas Day game. Larry Bird plays poorly, too.
34:20 What NBA player’s career best fits Jordan’s averages in his worst 23 games?
Oct 27 2016
Rank #11: Larry Bird's last great game
We discuss a thrilling game with two buzzer-beaters from Bird and Kevin Gamble, how rare it is for two teams to score more than 148 points in the same game, time catching up to the Bird-McHale-Parish Celtics, how the early 1990s Blazers are a bit underappreciated, Bird managing to remain great even with major back trouble, and how both teams enjoyed the running game. We also share some thoughts on Terry Porter, Clifford Robinson, Danny Ainge, Reggie Lewis, and a young Rick Fox.
We also discuss Ben's recent Top 40 Best Careers in NBA History series (http://www.backpicks.com/2017/12/11/the-backpicks-goat-the-40-best-careers-in-nba-history/): ranking Kobe Bryant outside the top 10, LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan, and Reggie Miller and Patrick Ewing being better than perhaps you remember, and talk about some of his other projects.
Check out Ben's new Patreon (www.patreon.com/ThinkingBasketball/) and his book Thinking Basketball.
Aug 07 2018
Rank #12: NBA's 50 Greatest Players: Introduction
Over the offseason, Over and Back will examine the careers of every possible Top 50 candidate, past and present, with historians, writers and basketball experts. At the end, we'll make our picks for a new Top 50 list.
Jul 07 2015
Rank #13: NBA's 50 Greatest Players: Who was snubbed?
Jason Mann and Rich Kraetsch are joined once again ProHoopsHistory.com‘s Curtis Harris (@ProHoopsHistory) who joins the guys to discuss centers from the original 1996 list — the cases of Patrick Ewing, Robert Parish, Willis Reed, David Robinson, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton and more are discussed in great detail!
Other topics include snubs left off the original list and whether they would retroactively make the new list as well as a issues with how the NBA conducted the top 50 vote and the year when they decided to celebrate their anniversary as a league. It's a fun show as always so make sure you check it out and follow the progress of our NBA's 50 Greatest Players project.
Aug 03 2015
Rank #14: NBA trade deadline: Best, worst and wildest deals ever
Adam McGee of Behind The Buck Pass joins Jason Mann to talk about some of the most fascinating trade deadline deals in NBA history: Dikembe Mutombo going from the Atlanta Hawks to Philadelphia 76ers in 2001, the Utah Jazz acquiring Jeff Hornacek from the Sixers in 1994, Steve Francis being sent from the Orlando Magic to New York Knicks in 2006, the Boston Celtics trading Joe Johnson to the Phoenix Suns in 2002, Ray Allen and Gary Payton switching teams between the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle Supersonics in 2003, Stephon Marbury for Terrell Brandon for Sam Cassell in 1999, and the Sacramento Kings sending Chris Webber to the 76ers in 2005 to kick off their rebuild (still ongoing).
They also discuss a couple of complicated swaps: Cleveland Cavaliers acquiring Delonte West, Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak and Joe Smith in 2008 in an effort to better build around LeBron James (it kind of worked), and the New York Knicks acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in 2011 in a trade that involved nearly half the league (and somehow Richaun Holmes, Dario Saric and Jamal Murray).
Check out Adam's Fansided articles on the best NBA trade deadline deals ever (http://fansided.com/2017/02/14/the-5-greatest-nba-trade-deadline-deals-ever/) and the worst ones ever (http://fansided.com/2017/02/15/5-worst-nba-trade-deadline-deals-ever/).
Feb 20 2017
Rank #15: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1970s
Nov 19 2014
Rank #16: Manu Ginobili's greatest games and memories
We talk about how Ginobili's creativity and craft helped redefine the NBA, how odd the Spurs will seem without any of their Big Three for the first time in 21 years, Ginobili's place among the all-time greats, how his low minute total affects how we will be remembered, how many Sixth Man of the Year awards he probably should have won, his dramatic 2004 Olympics game-winner vs. Serbia and his role in Argentina dethroning the U.S., his run-in with a bat, multiple playoff game-winners, and making a dramatic sacrifice for his time.
We also look at his six best games: outdueling LeBron James in Cleveland in 2009, breaking the hearts of Suns fans (on multiple occasions), and stepping up time after time when Tim Duncan or Tony Parker were injured or ineffective.
Sep 04 2018
Rank #17: Best By Age 25: Players Who Peaked Early But Missed Greatness
Players discussed include early NBA star Ed Macauley, territorial pick in the last BAA draft before the BAA and the NBL merged to form the NBA. Jason and Rich discuss Macauley's early career, the trade he's most famous for and what he did in his post-playing career.
Dwight Howard: one of the NBA's shining stars in his early years that has fallen out of favor recently, Jason and Rich look at his injury history as well as his attitude and whether or not he will be considered an all-time great when he finally hangs it up.
Tracy McGrady: T-Mac put together one of the NBA's greatest seasons in 2003 but just a few years later was unable to get on the court. McGrady was a star that shined bright but ultimately left many underwhelmed.
Elton Brand: Mr. Reliable put together an impressive resume in his early 20s but never reached the next level.
Gilbert Arenas: One of the NBA's best stories turned into one of its worse as Arenas rose up from anonymity to become a star on the Washington Wizards, ultimately though, his career will be remembered for one unfortunate incident.
Luol Deng: The do-everything, jack of all trades for the mid 2000 Chicago Bulls, Deng teamed with fellow youngsters Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon to led the Bulls back to the playoffs.
In addition to examinations into each of the players above, Jason and Rich also delve into players who accumulate a high percentage of stats in their first five years of the league.
Feb 20 2018
Rank #18: Sailing into LA Clippers history
Mick Minas, author of The Curse: The Colorful & Chaotic History of the LA Clippers, joins Jason Mann to talk about how much the Clippers' historical woes can be traced back to bad luck and how much were from the poor ownership and ineptitude of Donald Sterling. They discuss the Buffalo Braves moving to San Diego in 1978, wooing the oft-injured Bill Walton, how Sterling was nearly exiled from the NBA early into his ownership tenure, how the team drafted talented young players but weren't patient enough to keep them, relocating to Los Angeles, the streak of season-ending injuries to top players and how the lackluster Benoit Benjamin typified those years for the Clippers.
They also talk about how Elgin Baylor finally put together a talented young team, finally making the playoffs in 1992 and 1993 under Larry Brown, putting scares into heavily favored Utah and Houston in consecutive years, and how that era came to a screeching halt. They chat about the team's attempts to rebuild in the late 1990s, the bizarre Antonio McDyess trade and the fateful decision to draft Michael Olowokandi. They also dig into early 2000s teams with Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, Darius Miles, Quentin Richardson and Corey Maggette and why those Clippers never quite reached their potential.
Then finally they discuss the Clippers reaching the second round under Mike Dunleavy in 2006 with Brand, Maggette, Sam Cassell, Chris Kaman and Shaun Livingston before it all went awry with Livingston's devastating injury. They also talk about Dunleavy seizing front office power, Elgin Baylor suing the franchise, Baron Davis joining the team while Elton Brand leaves, and eventually finally sustained success with Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and new ownership.
Mar 01 2017
Rank #19: How did the Pacers win more than anyone else?
Topics discussed include: how the team was built around Roger Brown, Freddie Lewis, Bob Netolicky and Mel Daniels, how coach Slick Leonard got the team to play together, a wild brawl vs. the Kentucky Colonels in 1969, rallying down from a 3-1 deficit, their disappointment in the 1969 Finals and vindication in 1970, why things worked out for Billy Keller and not for the more heralded Rick Mount, Brown and Rick Barry dueling in the 1972 Finals, Warren Jabali tearing off a teammate’s underwear, adding young superstar George McGinnis to an already established great team, what Darnell Hillman brought to the team, how the 1973 team succeeded despite some unhappiness in the locker room, Daniels and the Pacers’ love of the cowboy lifestyle including bringing guns to the locker room, the Pacers nearly drafting Larry Bird ahead of the Celtics, a Pacers promotion hanging the refs in effigy, how the team nearly went broke in 1975, and McGinnis carrying a underdog 1975 team to its last ABA Finals.
Aug 18 2016
Rank #20: One-Year Blunders: Notable One-Year NBA Stints That Didn't Work Out
Oct 03 2018