Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves

Moderators: Quotatious, Clyde Frazier, trex_8063, penbeast0, Doctor MJ, PaulieWal

User avatar
Baski
Starter
Posts: 2,399
And1: 1,682
Joined: Feb 09, 2017
   

Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#1 » by Baski » Mon Sep 9, 2019 8:03 pm

I'm interested in stories of a player suffering a huge loss, going back to the drawing board, and coming back to take the league by storm. I'll get the two most obvious out of the way:
1. Lebron had an epic choke in 2011, went and worked on his post game and changed his playoffs routine, and killed the league the next year
2. Jordan consistently got beat up by the Pistons, went and hit the weight room, and the rest is history

So give your stories. Doesn't have to be a superstar. Any scrub will do. And it doesn't have to end in a title. Just a feel good comeback story preceded by a Rocky-style training montage. Also if there's any context I missed with the above two, feel free to add it.

I'm particularly interested in the following guys. Did they do something different the next season, or did they just run it back?:
1. 2006 and 2007 Dirk. 2010 maybe?
2. 2004 and 2008 Kobe
3. 2017 and 2018 Harden
4. 2007 and 2008 Lebron
5. 1995 and 1999 Shaq
6. 1966 Wilt
7. 2018 Damian Lillard

Again it could be anyone. Just gimme enough to picture that player jogging or hitting a bag with "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background.
Funniest Nicknames for NBA players I've ever heard on realgm:
1. Nicholas Kaboom
2. Lasoftus Aldridge
3. Glass
4. LeBaby
5. Zaza Pacheapshot
6. Stone Cold Steve Adams
7. Rapestaps Rapezingis :lol: :lol: :lol:
8. Yawnnis Icantshootthough
SHAQ32
Veteran
Posts: 2,983
And1: 1,838
Joined: Mar 21, 2013
 

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#2 » by SHAQ32 » Mon Sep 9, 2019 8:19 pm

Hakeem's rep wasn't the best before he won those 2 championships

Image
Rich Michmond
Rookie
Posts: 1,062
And1: 1,778
Joined: Jan 24, 2013
Location: российско-немецкий кондоминиум под еврейским доверительным управлением

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#3 » by Rich Michmond » Mon Sep 9, 2019 9:13 pm

Bruno Caboclo was a meme during his first four seasons (2 years from 2 years away), now he's been balling during the FIBA tournament and his 2018/2019 was very promising (especially as regards shooting). I believe he can be a very productive player for a long time.
Gordon Haywood, Dwayne Wade, JJ Reddick, Derek Rose, Derrick Fisher, Lenny Wilkins, Kirk Heinrich, Oscar Robinson, DeMar DeRozen, Andre Iguadola, Pascal Siakim, Malcolm Brogdan
penbeast0
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Posts: 21,201
And1: 3,697
Joined: Aug 14, 2004
Location: South Florida
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#4 » by penbeast0 » Mon Sep 9, 2019 10:49 pm

I would say Jordan got Phil Jackson as a coach who convinced him that a spacing based offense where he gave up the ball sometimes was more likely to win than the hero ball he had been playing earlier; not the weight room. He was great from the get go as a scorer; just needed to get more out of his teammates rather than try to do it all himself.

I was thinking guys like Bob McAdoo and Spencer Haywood who had been superstars, then burned out, then came back as valuable reserves for the Lakers. Or someone like Connie Hawkins who destroyed his knee in the ABA, came to the NBA and reinvented himself as more of a jump shooter, less of an athletic post scorer, then destroyed his knee again, but made a career as a reserve despite being immobile with high post passing and the occasional trip down memory lane. More recently, Grant Hill was a superstar wing who could do it all despite relatively limited range, injuries too away that great atheticism, and he reinvested himself as a 3 point shooting supporting player.
[quote="Nivek"] This post could come only from a Wizards fan. It somehow combines delusional optimism with soul-crushing pessimism.
User avatar
Ainosterhaspie
Sixth Man
Posts: 1,709
And1: 1,431
Joined: Dec 13, 2017

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#5 » by Ainosterhaspie » Mon Sep 9, 2019 11:36 pm

Hassan Whiteside comes to mind. In the league a couple years. Does nothing. Out of the league a couple more years. Gets a chance, really impresses, earns a nice contract.
My GOATs 1.LBJ/2.Jordan/3.KAJ/4.Duncan/5.Magic
Russell and Wilt grandfathered in at 6 and 7.

Yes I watched Jordan live, started paying attention to basketball in the bad boys era.

I respect Jordan way more now than I did when he played.
User avatar
henshao
Junior
Posts: 443
And1: 159
Joined: Jul 29, 2018

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#6 » by henshao » Mon Sep 9, 2019 11:48 pm

SHAQ32 wrote:Hakeem's rep wasn't the best before he won those 2 championships[/img]


Yeah, Akeem Olajuwon was quick with those hands and not exactly a prolific passer
TroubleS0me
Assistant Coach
Posts: 4,142
And1: 2,958
Joined: Dec 17, 2014

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#7 » by TroubleS0me » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:43 am

18-19 D-Rose
User avatar
Baski
Starter
Posts: 2,399
And1: 1,682
Joined: Feb 09, 2017
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#8 » by Baski » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:37 am

penbeast0 wrote:I would say Jordan got Phil Jackson as a coach who convinced him that a spacing based offense where he gave up the ball sometimes was more likely to win than the hero ball he had been playing earlier; not the weight room. He was great from the get go as a scorer; just needed to get more out of his teammates rather than try to do it all himself.

I was thinking guys like Bob McAdoo and Spencer Haywood who had been superstars, then burned out, then came back as valuable reserves for the Lakers. Or someone like Connie Hawkins who destroyed his knee in the ABA, came to the NBA and reinvented himself as more of a jump shooter, less of an athletic post scorer, then destroyed his knee again, but made a career as a reserve despite being immobile with high post passing and the occasional trip down memory lane. More recently, Grant Hill was a superstar wing who could do it all despite relatively limited range, injuries too away that great atheticism, and he reinvested himself as a 3 point shooting supporting player.

This is what I'm looking for. Thank you. Any thoughts on the players I listed in the OP? Did they just run it back?
Funniest Nicknames for NBA players I've ever heard on realgm:
1. Nicholas Kaboom
2. Lasoftus Aldridge
3. Glass
4. LeBaby
5. Zaza Pacheapshot
6. Stone Cold Steve Adams
7. Rapestaps Rapezingis :lol: :lol: :lol:
8. Yawnnis Icantshootthough
User avatar
Joao Saraiva
RealGM
Posts: 10,657
And1: 3,719
Joined: Feb 09, 2011
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#9 » by Joao Saraiva » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:55 am

Bill Walton is an obvious case. After all the injuries he still came back to be really useful for the Celtics in 86.

I'd say D-Rob to a certain extent. He let Tim Duncan be the star and never caused any trouble about it.

Dennis Rodman had all the troubles in the world and was seen as a very bad teammate in San Antonio and PJ made it work with the Bulls on the 2nd 3-peat, being actually a super important player in the 96 finals against the Sonics.
“These guys have been criticized the last few years for not getting to where we’re going, but I’ve always said that the most important thing in sports is to keep trying. Let this be an example of what it means to say it’s never over.” - Jerry Sloan
penbeast0
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Senior Mod - NBA Player Comparisons
Posts: 21,201
And1: 3,697
Joined: Aug 14, 2004
Location: South Florida
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#10 » by penbeast0 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:58 pm

I wouldn't consider any of the players in the OP to have "failed hard" in the greater sense; they had a bad playoff series or a weakness they improved but were never seen as anything less than great. Many of the other greats (other than Russell) did so too . . . remember "Tragic Johnson?" You can take that kind of shot at most players; I thought I'd go for guys whose careers crashed and burned completely but then they remade themselves.

Ron Harper is another who came back from brutal injury to remake himself from high flying high scoring wing to defensive specialist for 3 championship teams in Chicago.
[quote="Nivek"] This post could come only from a Wizards fan. It somehow combines delusional optimism with soul-crushing pessimism.
Dr Spaceman
General Manager
Posts: 8,069
And1: 9,548
Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Location: Praha
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#11 » by Dr Spaceman » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:31 pm

Baski wrote:I'm interested in stories of a player suffering a huge loss, going back to the drawing board, and coming back to take the league by storm. I'll get the two most obvious out of the way:
1. Lebron had an epic choke in 2011, went and worked on his post game and changed his playoffs routine, and killed the league the next year
2. Jordan consistently got beat up by the Pistons, went and hit the weight room, and the rest is history

So give your stories. Doesn't have to be a superstar. Any scrub will do. And it doesn't have to end in a title. Just a feel good comeback story preceded by a Rocky-style training montage. Also if there's any context I missed with the above two, feel free to add it.

I'm particularly interested in the following guys. Did they do something different the next season, or did they just run it back?:
1. 2006 and 2007 Dirk. 2010 maybe?
2. 2004 and 2008 Kobe
3. 2017 and 2018 Harden
4. 2007 and 2008 Lebron
5. 1995 and 1999 Shaq
6. 1966 Wilt
7. 2018 Damian Lillard

Again it could be anyone. Just gimme enough to picture that player jogging or hitting a bag with "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background.


Dirk is the easiest and clearest one. Don Nelson shocked the world by guarding him with perimeter players and he wasn’t quick enough to blow by them off the dribble. From then on he became obsessively focused with developing his mid-post iso game until he was arguably the best all-time at it.
“I’m not the fastest guy on the court, but I can dictate when the race begins.”
Dr Spaceman
General Manager
Posts: 8,069
And1: 9,548
Joined: Jan 16, 2013
Location: Praha
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#12 » by Dr Spaceman » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:33 pm

Baski wrote:I'm interested in stories of a player suffering a huge loss, going back to the drawing board, and coming back to take the league by storm. I'll get the two most obvious out of the way:
1. Lebron had an epic choke in 2011, went and worked on his post game and changed his playoffs routine, and killed the league the next year
2. Jordan consistently got beat up by the Pistons, went and hit the weight room, and the rest is history

So give your stories. Doesn't have to be a superstar. Any scrub will do. And it doesn't have to end in a title. Just a feel good comeback story preceded by a Rocky-style training montage. Also if there's any context I missed with the above two, feel free to add it.

I'm particularly interested in the following guys. Did they do something different the next season, or did they just run it back?:
1. 2006 and 2007 Dirk. 2010 maybe?
2. 2004 and 2008 Kobe
3. 2017 and 2018 Harden
4. 2007 and 2008 Lebron
5. 1995 and 1999 Shaq
6. 1966 Wilt
7. 2018 Damian Lillard

Again it could be anyone. Just gimme enough to picture that player jogging or hitting a bag with "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background.


Harden is another good one. In 2017 the Spurs started planting big men right outside the charge circle on his drives and he struggled to finish over them. So he went and developed arguably the most dangerous floater in the league. Also became mega-jacked so he could jsut push people out of the way.

I don’t think there was much of a difference between 18 and 19 in terms of playstyle but he started taking way more 3s and shot them better as well.
“I’m not the fastest guy on the court, but I can dictate when the race begins.”
User avatar
henshao
Junior
Posts: 443
And1: 159
Joined: Jul 29, 2018

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#13 » by henshao » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:30 pm

Stephon Marbury seems to have risen from the ashes in China.

https://www.tiebreaker.com/stephon-marbury-saves-career-china/
Cavsfansince84
Lead Assistant
Posts: 5,378
And1: 4,205
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#14 » by Cavsfansince84 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:33 am

I think the one player who truly fits this concept is Wilt. He reinvented himself as a more defense and playmaking type of player basically twice and won titles that way after failing prior to that. I don't know that I'd say MJ or LeBron truly did that. They just added to what they already had rather than truly reinventing themselves. MJ did so more within the triangle and then by adding a post game. LeBron became more defense oriented while also adding more of a post game to go with it as well. Very few nba players truly reinvent themselves because its very hard to do.
User avatar
_Game7_
Starter
Posts: 2,240
And1: 1,054
Joined: Sep 05, 2011
Location: CT raised me-WA saved me
     

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#15 » by _Game7_ » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:47 am

Jason Kidd comes to mind, he really reinvented himself as a knock down 3pt shooter, great defender and leader. Was a starting point guard on a championship team.
Exodus wrote:I think Kyrie Irving in the best player on the team to be honest
User avatar
Baski
Starter
Posts: 2,399
And1: 1,682
Joined: Feb 09, 2017
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#16 » by Baski » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:24 pm

Cavsfansince84 wrote:I think the one player who truly fits this concept is Wilt. He reinvented himself as a more defense and playmaking type of player basically twice and won titles that way after failing prior to that. I don't know that I'd say MJ or LeBron truly did that. They just added to what they already had rather than truly reinventing themselves. MJ did so more within the triangle and then by adding a post game. LeBron became more defense oriented while also adding more of a post game to go with it as well. Very few nba players truly reinvent themselves because its very hard to do.

Maybe reinvented wasn't the right word choice. The idea is that they failed and came back stronger than before, ready to put to bed whatever weakness caused the earlier failure.

I'd say MJ and Lebron qualify under that criterion.



I don't like the Kidd mention though. He just did it to stay relevant, as opposed to as a response to an epic failure
Funniest Nicknames for NBA players I've ever heard on realgm:
1. Nicholas Kaboom
2. Lasoftus Aldridge
3. Glass
4. LeBaby
5. Zaza Pacheapshot
6. Stone Cold Steve Adams
7. Rapestaps Rapezingis :lol: :lol: :lol:
8. Yawnnis Icantshootthough
DavidSterned
Assistant Coach
Posts: 3,929
And1: 1,972
Joined: Feb 18, 2010
         

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#17 » by DavidSterned » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:22 pm

Billups
User avatar
bledredwine
RealGM
Posts: 10,563
And1: 2,761
Joined: Sep 17, 2010
   

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#18 » by bledredwine » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:48 pm

Jerry Stackhouse

Rules changed and he was re-invented into a 30 ppg scorer for a season!

On a more serious note, a lot of perimeter players were able to evolve their games after those rule changes and got spikes of 5-7 ppg on average (Star perimeter players). That said, Grant Hill is an answer.
SpreeS
Bench Warmer
Posts: 1,343
And1: 803
Joined: Jul 26, 2012
 

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#19 » by SpreeS » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:18 pm

Sprewell was banned from the league in 98, came back next year and was the best NY player in the PO/Finals
User avatar
nate33
Forum Mod - Wizards
Forum Mod - Wizards
Posts: 54,160
And1: 8,403
Joined: Oct 28, 2002

Re: Players who failed hard and reinvented themselves 

Post#20 » by nate33 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:55 pm

Ron Harper was a 20 PPG 1st/2nd option scorer for the Clippers while the team was a perennial loser. He got signed as a free agent by Chicago and went on to average 7 points per game as a low usage defensive role player. He won 3 rings with Chicago.

Return to Player Comparisons