Next week, the 2010-11 NBA season will officially begin. Drafts are hot off the presses or hours away from taking place and the soft, wispy tufts of hair belonging to the league’s 64th season smell downy fresh. But Razzball thought it would be important to look back at classic top 10 picks of yesteryear written by former Razzball writers.  All week we’ll thumb through our old fantasy rosters and revisit our top 10 picks from each of the seasons that introduced us to a new decade. We already reflected on the top 10 picks from your 1959 and 1969 NBA fantasy drafts. Today, we look at the season that introduced us to the ’80s. BHouston’s Moses Malone was the reigning MVP, the Seattle Supersonics were league champions and two young rookies named Ervin and Larry would join pro teams on opposite ends of the country … and form a rivalry for the ages over the next two decades.. And now, we review your 1979-80 fantasy basketball top 10:


Welcome, welcome sports fans. The Razz is arriving to you in glorious Georgia typeface to bring you the hottest picks for your fantasy basketball draft. So grab a pencil and get ready to explode your competition like a Ford Pinto, because we’ve got the inside scoop. And soon, so will you. I love the smell of fantasy basketball in the morning! Or afternoon! Or night! And now: The best bets for your 1979-80 fantasy all-stars!

10. Robert Parish, GSW – This beanpole of a fella averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks a game last season, which is fine for your fantasy team, but for how long? He may truly be a warrior, but he’s no leader. If he doesn’t get in with a few guys who can take pressure off of him, Mr. Parish will – ahem- parish.

09. Rich Kelley, NOJ – Forget government cheese. Presdent Carter oughta start doling out andouille and jambalaya. Just look what happened when New Orleans fed Rich Kelley some soul food.  In his first three seasons, he averaged a lowly 8 points and 8 rebounds. Then last year, the Jazz big man finally heard the music and averaged 18 and 13. He’ll start the season as Truck Robinson’s backup but I bet that lasts about a week.

08. Earvin Johnson, LAL – I don’t like suggesting rookies in these season-opening roundups. Guys like Kelley and Parish have played and proven themselves and one just never knows with rookies. Most rookies. Not this rookie. Boston’s new rookie, Larry Bird? Who knows? But there’s no question with Johnson. Combining Kareem, Wilkes, Nixon and now Johnson will be … I dunno, magical, I guess. The kid’s gonna average a triple-double this season.

07. Julius Erving, PHI – Find me a hole in the Doctor’s game. Go ahead, I’ll wait. He’ll cough up the pill a little too much (4 turnovers per game), but he’ll make up for it with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and at least 2 steals. It’s a big man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing (nothin!) without a woman or a Dr. J finger roll.

06. World B. Free, SYR – Dr. J should probably be in this slot, but Lloyd Free didn’t rename himself World B. or grow out those mutton chops so he could be considered the seventh-best in the league. No sir. This game is about scoring and Lloyd Free does it better than any other guard in the league. There are better all-around players (just check out the next five), but few who will drop points on you like Free.

05. Marques Johnson, MIL – If Free is a gunner, Johnson’s a marksman. Last season he ranked in the top 10 in points, field-goals and field-goal percentage. Similar to Parish, Milwaukee just doesn’t have other bullets to fire at opponents, so Johnson should have his fill. Good for your team, bad for fourth-year Bucks coach Don Nelson, who I don’t see as being able to hack it as a head coach much longer.

04. George Gervin, SAS
– I have a friend named Gerfin. In college I nicknamed him “Iceman” ’cause I thought his name was Gervin. After I realized my mistake, I stopped calling him “Iceman.” I made two mistakes on that occasion. The first was on my friend’s name. The second was thinking there could be two Icemen in the first place. There can be only one. What else do I need to say about the league’s reigning two-time scoring champ?

03. Artis Gilmore, CHI – The Bulls have put together a few dyn-o-mite teams in the last decade, but still never had a super-duper-star. Solid talent, yes. But nothing that could really blow your hair back. Thank goodness the A-Train rolled into town with his 24 points, 13 grabs and darn near two blocks per game. Not bad for the 117th pick in the ’71 draft, eh? Would it be crazy to suggest that, say, five years from now, this team will have something really special going for it?

02. Moses Malone, HOU – Between Dr. J and Moses Malone, the only thing left untouched in the ABA is the multi-colored basketball. Big Mos has already been in the league five years and he’s only 24. I’m still shocked that high schoolers can make it in this league, something I wonder if we’ll ever see again … especially after this guy’s body gives out in about five years. Ride last year’s MVP until he gives.

01. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LAL – It’s no accident that the top three players in this league are big men. This is a big man’s game and L.A.’s big man plays that game more proficiently than anyone else. If Kareem goes anywhere other than first pick in your draft, drop out ’cause the league has at least one sucker in it and sucker-filled leagues aren’t any fun. And now that he’s got that Johnson kid feeding him the bean … oh doctor. Cap was top 5 in field-goals, rebounds and blocks. He would have been top 5 in points had he not improved his assist numbers by 1.2 a game … frankly, I’m still upset Malone got that MVP award.  

  1. sikwitit says:

    Hey Adam,

    Arron Afflalo has been lighting it up in the preseason.. You think he will continue this in regular season? What do you project his numbers will be?

  2. anon says:

    Hondo got snubbed!!

  3. anon says:

    err.. from the 69-70 team!!

  4. Adam

    Adam says:

    @sikwitit: Somewhere between his 9/3/2 averages from last season and the 21/4/2 he’s averaging this preseason.

  5. Adam

    Adam says:

    @anon: Musta been that sub-.420 FG% from the season before.

  6. Rudy Gamble

    RudyGamble says:

    Fun fact: The Nets traded Bernard King to the Jazz in order to get Rich Kelley. The trade marked two momentous events: 1) Rich Kelley never scored more than 10 points a season again and 2) The Jazz never traded a white player for a black player ever again (okay, the second one’s a guess…)

  7. Adam

    Adam says:

    @RudyGamble: … 3) A distraught Rich Kelley quit basketball, entered the professional wrestling circuit and began performing under the pseudonym Jake “the Snake” Roberts.

  8. Imagine being in a draft in a ten team league and you draft Rich Kelley with your 9th pick. Then the Jazz move to Utah and stink. Then he’s traded to New Jersey. He has his worst statistical season until ’84 and you vote for Carter to boot.

    Bad year, man. Bad year.

  9. Fletch says:

    @Adam: I have the 5th pick in my 12 team H2H league (standard CBS scoring league) Who do you like in order out of Williams, Dirk and Curry? I prefer these 3 over Wade, Kobe, Melo & Howard…do you? My thinking is to take Williams, or Curry if Williams is gone, then come back in the 2nd and grab Smoove and then Wall in the 3rd.

    I will say assists are 2 pts and everything else 1 pt & -1 for TO.


  10. Adam

    Adam says:

    @ChrisV82: Welcome to the season, here’s your Rich Kelley and your Three Mile Island!

    @Fletch: With ASTs that weighted, Williams, Curry, Dirk in that order.

    Wall in the third round is a little early, especially considering the amount of TOVs he’s likely going to put up this season.

  11. Fletch says:

    @Adam: Cool…I assume you like Curry and Williams over Wade, Kobe, Howard and Melo too?

  12. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Fletch: Yup. Especially in a league that heavily favors dimes.

  13. brad says:

    Just drafted in my 16 tm h2h points league with funky keeper rules.

    Here’s my team, with round drafted in paren

    PG Jrue Holiday (Keeper)
    PG Steve Nash (2)
    SG Leandro Barbosa (Keeper)
    SF Danny Granger (1)
    PF LaMarcus Aldridge (3)
    C Andrew Bogut (4)
    G Vince Carter (5) – I know. . . but this was like the 110th player off the board, almost had to.
    F Nic Batum (6)
    G/F Marvin Williams (8)
    F/C Channing Frye (7)
    Util Roger Mason (9)

    BN Travis Outlaw (10)
    BN Mario Chalmers (11)

    Whatchu think? I was surprised Granger fell to pick 14 especially since the league favors 3s a little. Even more surprised when Nash made it back to me in round 2.

    Was the Bogut pick too much of a reach? (Turk, Boozer, Richardson, Jamison, Martin, Butler went right after. . . I almost picked Richardson)

    I hated picking Carter, but guys who went after were Flynn, Calderon, Bynum, Dragic, Lou Williams, Terry and Morrow. . . so I guess I got value.

    Anything you don’t like?

  14. gilroy says:

    just finished drafting in my 12 team h2h league.
    Not sure I like the team — anchored by Granger, who I’m a little iffy about, given his injury history. Also, I’m weak in SG.

    comments appreciated. Thanks.

    i had the 7th pick… first round went like this:


    here’s my full team

    PG Rose
    SG E. Turner
    SF Granger
    PF J. Smith
    C Bargiani
    G B. Davis
    F A. Randolph
    Util Turkoglu
    Util Brand
    Util Frye
    BN Calderon
    BN Outlaw
    BN J. ONeal

    Also, not picked were George Hill and Reggie Williams. Should I pick up one or both of those guys? If so, who to drop?

  15. Adam

    Adam says:

    @gilroy: Dump J.O. and Outlaw for Hill and Williams. It’ll strengthen up your SG position while also ridding your team of … y’know, J.O.

    Another tact is to leverage Frye to an owner in need of treys. I’m cold on him this year, but you might find someone who isn’t. You’re going to be short on blocks and FG%. Perhaps there’s a mid-round PF on the block in your league.

  16. gilroy says:

    thanks, will take the advice.
    yeah, i punted on FG as an H2H strategy, but will look to shore that up via trade bait.

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