Derrick Coleman was among those NBA stars that played in the 1990’s, along with a load of superstars that learned to play their best, with quite soft rules, compared to today’s game.
Coleman, a #1 pick in the 1990 NBA draft, established himself as a talented, all-around big man, who also happened to be the only one who dunked in Shaquille O’Neal in his rookie season.
Coleman, who recently appeared on ESPN personalty Rob Parker’s TV show on WXYZ, the ABC affiliate in Detroit, spoke on various issues, including the NBA’s biggest star today, Stephen Curry.
Coleman was asked if Stephen Curry would’ve been as good (or great) as he is today, if he played in the Derrick Coleman era. Coleman was quick to answer.
“No. For one, you can’t hand check now. You went from the hand-checking guys in my era to now – you can’t even touch a guy.”
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Considering the change in rules, Coleman’s reply isn’t surprising. A decade ago, the NBA was different, two decades ago it was even more different. Derrick Coleman of the 90’s could possibly be averaging 25 ppg and 15 rpg in today’s NBA.
A 1994 All-Star, Derrick Coleman played for New Jersey Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons throughout his career. He averaged 18.4 ppg and 10.3 rpg in his rookie season. Coleman averaged double-double in 11 of his 15 years in the NBA.
Coleman, a member of Dream Team II, averaged career high 20.7 ppg for New Jersey in 1992-93. Coleman holds career averages of 16.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 1.3 bpg in 33.2 minutes of playing time. He appeared in 781 NBA games, starting in 672 of them.
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