Friday, November 9, 2007
Irish Warriors Hall Of Fame: Nate Thurmond
The 4th inductee of the 6 man list into the Irish Warriors Hall of fame after Eric Sleepy Floyd , Chris Mullin and Rick Barry is the only man who could shut down Kareem Abdul Jabaar regulary Nate Thurmond.
Thurmond truly deserved credit for excelling at the Defensive end of the court. He also had an explosive Offensive game with his career day coming at Atlanta where he averaged a quadruple double 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocked shots. Such an achievment would be broadcasted endlessy on SportsCenter but back then there was no ESPN and very little media outlets so in the midst of recent achievments Thurmonds Quadruple double has more then likely been forgotten about. Before his career pinnacle he started at akon centeral playing at Akon Central with former NBA Star Gus Johnson. Thurmond earlier displayed the athletiscm and quickness that made him an NBA prospect and the then San Francisco Warriors quickly drafted him in the 1963 draft. It is safe to say part of the reason he became the Center he was was because he had the greatest statisitical Center to play the game Wilt chamberlain. Thurmond learned a lot quickly from Wilt the Stilt and was named to the All NBA rookie team in 1968 a considerable feat when you have Wilt ahead of you.
When Chamberlain was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers Thurmond quickly was the starter. Not only did Nate make the all Star game his RPG avrerage went up to 21 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game. Now days grabbing 15 in a game would mean lot and it's the type of player the Warriors sure could use now. The main problem was because this was before Rick barry;s arrival Golden State never looked like making a serious playoff challenge so Nate went to the Windy city for clifford Ray but despite his quadruple double he didn't make much of an impact and went to Cleveland leading them to a first playoff appearance in 1975.
So the final chapter on Big Nate reads a little bit like this: Nate Thurmond was All-NBA Rookie team in 1964, NBA All-Defensive first team in 1969 and ’71, NBA All-Defensive second team in 1972, ’73, ’74, Golden State Warriors All-Time leading rebounder with 12,771 boards, NBA All-Star seven times (1965, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’70, ’73, ’74), his number 42 is retired by two teams (Cleveland and Golden State), he was honored as one of the greatest 50 players at 50 of NBA history, and was enshrined to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. Such achievements defintely merit an inclusion into the Irish Warriors Hall Of Fame