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In opinion game, you win some and lose some

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Charley Rosen

Charley Rosen is FOXSports.com's NBA analyst and author of 17 sports books, the current ones being Bullpen Diaries: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankees and Crazy Basketball: A Life In and Out of Bounds.

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This entry marks my 1,000th story for FOXSports.com, the first one being posted on July 9, 2004. During that time, I've expressed my opinions on a wide variety of people and events that have turned up in the basketball universe. Some of these opinions were right on. Some were way off base.
From that first year, here's a retrospective sampling of both:

Hits

No. 1 — July, 9 2004: Rudy T named Lakers coach

"Rudy Tomjanovich's run-in with The Punch, and his bout with bladder cancer, have generated sincere and well-deserved sympathy, and he's already proved that nice guys can finish first. But it says here that no matter how Mitch Kupchak may reconstitute the roster, Rudy T is too nice and Kobe is too ruthlessly selfish for the Lakers to seriously contend for a championship in the foreseeable future."

No. 5 — July 15, 2004: Shaq traded to Miami

"The Big Mover is in place, but because of the flaws in Shaq's supporting cast, it's much too early to project Miami into the heat of championship contention. As presently constituted, Miami is more of a one-man band than a serious threat to dethrone Detroit."

No. 7 — July 23, 2004: T-Mac traded to Houston

"For sure, T-Mac can fill the basket from very conceivable angle — he can shoot from the outskirts, pull-up left or right, post, penetrate and is routinely spectacular in the shadow of the basket. Nor is he unwilling or unable to share the ball. Too bad that his stupendous ball-in-hand talents aren't enough to make T-Mac a winner."

No. 7 — July 26, 2004: Evaluating trades and free-agent signings

"Kenyon Martin comes with a considerable down-side: He's a chest-beating blowhard who talks the talk, but when a game is on the line, he walks with a limp." "(Etan Thomas is) young, active, and eager to attack the boards. Too bad he can't pass or dribble, and couldn't hit a jump shot to get into heaven. Undersized and overpaid." "(Chris Andersen is) Mr. Excitement off the bench. Can run amok, rebound some and block shots. Capable of changing the energy level for a few minutes at a time, but can't score with a pencil."
"(Steve Nash) is the jewel of the free agent signings. Like (gasp!) Larry Bird, Nash has the ability/instinct for seeing (and moving into) open spaces before they actually open, for being able to play the game a heartbeat ahead of everybody else."

No. 30 — September 3, 2004: Evaluating coaches

"It says here that Lenny Wilkens should walk away while the walking's good. The Knicks will only break his heart and Zeke will eventually run him out of town."

No. 35 — September 13, 2004: Evaluating coaches

"Look for a cold, hard and frequently nasty season as the decertified Doc Rivers tries to perform a miracle cure in Boston."

No. 58 — October 28, 2004: Season preview: Cleveland

"Young player to watch: Who else except LeBron? His inconsistent hand mechanics make every jump shot an adventure. But in his sophomore season, the game-time action should slow down so that his understanding will encompass a wider and deeper view of the court."

No. 63 — November 2, 2004: Underrated players

"(James Posey is) about this far away from being a stopper on defense."

No. 72 — November 17, 2004: Isiah Thomas

"The biggest picture is that Isiah Thomas is a phony, and under his guidance the Knicks are destined to be only good enough to break the hearts of their devoted fans."

No. 81 — December 2, 2004: Cavaliers vs. Suns

"James is obviously a very talented young player, who's fortunate enough to be playing at a time when (for various reasons) the caliber of NBA action is on a downswing. He's also a savvy, unselfish player with an accelerated learning curve. Look for him to be a truly dominant player in the next few years."

No. 103 — January 11, 2005: On Allen Iverson

"The fact is the Sixers will never win a championship as long as Iverson is the Main Line's main Man. Iverson is a flawed genius, who has ready answers for questions he doesn't fully comprehend."

No. 110 — January 20, 2005: On Stephon Marbury

"Marbury is too self-involved to ever fulfill his potential. That's why I think he's a loser."

No. 122 — February 6, 2005: T-Mac and Yao

"...(With) few exceptions, (Jeff) Van Gundy has yet to fully integrate the respective talents of his two primary players. ... This profound lack of synchronization bodes ill for the Rockets' hopes of playing beyond the Ides of March."

No. 135 — March 5, 2005: Howard vs. Okafor

"... (Because) of his superior quickness and anticipation ... in three years Dwight Howard will be a better player than Emeka Okafor."

No. 165 — April 29, 2005: On Avery Johnson in the playoffs

"He sure looks shaky on the Mavericks' bench. Jittery. Over-animated. And he certainly didn't make many effective (or even noticeable) adjustments ..."

No. 190 — May 27, 2005: New coaches

"So Brian Hill returns to Orlando. How long will it be before his nit-picking perfectionism and haughty demeanor alienates his players?"

Misses

No. 6 — July 21, 2004: Jerry West in Memphis

"Has West done an admirable job in resurrecting the fortunes of the Memphis Grizzlies? Absolutely."

No. 7 — July 26, 2004: Trades and free-agent signings

"Hedo Turkoglu is a clunky shooter with a two-bounce handle. He is capable of stinging a defense. Otherwise, his value is extremely limited."

No. 8 — July 28, 2004: Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley to Orlando

"The short-term benefits of the trade will certainly make Orlando more exciting and more competitive."

No. 10 — August 2, 2004: Forecast of Athens Olympics

"Bet on Team USA to lose at least one close contest early, but to win the only game that counts — the last one played."

No. 63 — November 4, 2004: Underrated players

"If he had hops, Gordan Giricek would be too good to be true."

No. 95 — December 28, 2004: Most improved players

"... (Bobby) Simmons has already reached the point where he could be the go-to scorer on the second unit of an elite team."

No. 130 — February 24, 2005: Jiri Welsch traded to Cleveland

"A terrific pickup for the Cavaliers!"

No. 141 — March 13, 2005: On Sebastian Telfair

"Defense is a huge problem area for Telfair. He needs to spend large portions of the offseason in the weight room, and he also needs to refine his jump shot. That said, the kid certainly has the goods and the temperament to run a team and to run it well."

No. 211 — June 17, 2005: NBA Finals, Game 4: Spurs vs. Pistons

"Yogi Berra famously said, 'It ain't over till it's over.' But even though the games stand at 2-2, the series surely does look like it's already over." By the way, this was my last prediction:

No. 968 — May 31, 2009: NBA Finals preview

"Lakers in five."
Tagged: Knicks, Grizzlies, Magic, Dwight Howard, Gordan Giricek, Lakers

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