In preparation for the Green Bandwagon Summer Book Review Series (GBSBRS for short, coming Monday!) I've been reading a lot. And in the process I've learned a lot more about Bill Sharman. That combined with Jackie MacMullan's stellar profile of Ray Allen helped me come up with the following comparison. I'm pretty proud of it.
1. Bill Sharman was the MVP of the 1955 All Star Game. Ray Allen took home the honor in 2008.*
2. Sharman invented the shootaround. Allen took the shootaround a step further by shooting from both baselines, both elbows, and the top of the key prior to every game.
3. NBA.com starts Sharman’s biography as follows, “Arguably the greatest shooter of his era…” People name their first-born children after Allen’s jump shot. That does not make sense but you get the idea.
4. Sharman owned the free throw line, connecting on 88.3% of his freebies. Allen’s career percentage currently sits at 88.9%. I couldn’t make that up. Well I could but the stats would eventually betray me. The point is they’re eerily close in that category.
5. Sharman adhered to a strict diet, went through a stretching routine before every game (unheard of at the time), and did not smoke. Allen is meticulous about his diet (white rice and chicken before every game) and pre game routine (see #2). On top of that he does not drink alcohol.
6. Bob Cousy and Bill Russell overshadowed Sharman on the four championship teams he played for. Similarly Paul Pierce and KG hogged the spotlight in 2008.
7. Sharman brought discipline and conditioning wherever he coached. Allen tried to do the same with his painfully young Sonics teammates and in his personal life through his borderline OCD ways.
* In reality LeBron James somehow robbed Allen of his MVP award. I choose to ignore the facts in this case.