Truman’s Twelve Part IV
Long shots who beat the odds
The clock is ticking down.
The defense has been impenetrable.
You need a perimeter shot.
If you were the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks and could call the number of any member of the Bucks’ all-time roster (in his Bucks prime) to fire the clutch shot from long distance, whose number would you call?
In the fourth installment of a series,“Truman’s Twelve” presents the second half of the dozen players Truman Reed would draft to get the job done.
Which players would you choose?
Curry is one of basketball’s greatest shooting success stories. As a youngster, he shot the basketball with two hands before breaking his left wrist when he was 9 years old. Forced to shoot with one hand and develop proper shooting form, he developed into a standout at Fort Defiance (Va.) High School, helping lead his team to a state championship.
Curry became a four-year starter at Virginia Tech, leading the Hokies into the National Invitation Tournament in 1983 and 1984 and into the NCAA Tournament the following two seasons. The 6-foot-5-inch guard was a three-time all-Metro Conference selection and was named the league’s Player of the Year in 1986 after leading the conference in scoring at 24.1 points per game. He was named a first-team All-American by The Basketball News and finished his career as Virginia Tech’s all-time leading scorer with 2,389 points without the benefit of the 3-point shot. He became the first Hokies basketball player to have his jersey retired in 1986 and was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Curry was selected 15th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played for the Jazz and the Cleveland Cavaliers before being chosen by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1988 Expansion Draft and played ten seasons for the Hornets. He currently ranks among the franchise's all-time statistical leaders in points, games played, 3-point field goals made and attempted, and 3-point field goal percentage and was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year following the 1993-94 season.
Curry played 42 games for Bucks during 1998-99 season after being signed as a free agent, made 69 of 145 3-point attempts (.467) and averaged 10.1 ppg. He played his final three seasons for the Toronto Raptors and holds career averages of 11.7 points per game and 40.2 percent from three-point range. He is the all-time leading scorer for the Charlotte Hornets with 9,839 points. He totaled 12,670 career points and shot over 40 percent from 3-point distance in nine different seasons. His career 3-point percentage of .402 ranks second only to Dale Ellis among players who played for the Bucks. He is the father of the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Duke University guard Seth Curry.
Robinson’s rise to prominence began in Gary, Ind., where he led Roosevelt High School to victory in the 1991 Indiana state championship game over Brebeuf Jesuit and future college and NBA rival Alan Henderson. Robinson was named Indiana Mr. Basketball, competed in the McDonald’s All-American Game and was named co-MVP of the Dapper Dan Classic.
The 6-7 forward redshirted in his first year at Purdue University, then burst upon the collegiate basketball scene to average 24.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game the following year and was named first-team all-Big Ten Conference and a second-team All-American.
Robinson bumped his averages to 30.3 points and 11.2 rebounds as a junior and became the first player since 1978 to lead the Big Ten in both scoring and rebounding. He led the Boilermakers to the Big Ten title and an Elite Eight appearance and was named Naismith College Player of the Year.
When the Bucks held the No. 1 pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, they were in desperate need of a scorer. They picked Robinson and he led all NBA rookies in 1994-95 with an averaging of 21.9 points a game and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Over eight seasons in Milwaukee, “The Big Dog” became the second all-time scorer in Bucks franchise history, totaling 12,010 points and averaging 21.1 points per contest. He was an NBA All-Star in 2000 and 2001 and was selected to the 1996 United States Olympic Team, but was unable to play due to injury.
One of the best midrange, catch-and-shoot players the NBA has seen, Robinson also hit 494 3-pointers (third-most in team history) during his Bucks career. He went on to play for the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs and retired after 11 seasons with 14,234 career points.
Allen, the son of a military man, grew up on several military bases before becoming recognized for his basketball prowess at Hillcrest High School in Dalzell, S.C., leading his team to a state championship.
He went on to play at the University of Connecticut from 1993-96, earning All-American status in 1995 and 1996 and being named Big East Conference Player of the Year in 1996. In three seasons, he finished third all-time among UConn scorers with 1,922 points and set a single-season school record by connecting on 115 3-pointers in 1995–96.
In 2001, the 6-5 guard was named honorary captain of the 25-member UConn All-Century Basketball Team. On February 5, 2007, his name and number were honored at Connecticut's Gampel Pavilion during the "Huskies of Honor" ceremony.
Allen was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. Immediately after his selection, Allen and Andrew Lang were traded to the Bucks for the rights to fourth pick Stephon Marbury. Allen became a member of theNBA's All-Rookie Second Team in 1996 after averaging 13.4 points a game. His most successful season with the Bucks came in 2000-01, when he won the 3-point Shootout during All-Star Weekend, was selected to the All-NBA Third Team, and led the Bucks, as part of Milwaukee's "Big Three", alongside Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost in seven games.
Allen played for the Bucks until midway through the 2002-03 season, totaling 9,681 points (19.6 ppg), earning three NBA All-Star selections. He ranks first in franchise history with 1,051 career 3-pointers and second in 3-point percentage at .406.
Allen has since played for the Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. While with the Celtics, on Feb. 10, 2011, he became the all-time NBA leader in 3-point field goals made (2,562), surpassing Reggie Miller's record of 2,560. Now in his 16th NBA season, the 10-time All-Star has scored over 23,000 career points.
Cassell developed into a prime national recruit during his years at famed Dunbar High School of Baltimore, Md., before completing his prep career at Maine Central Institute. He starred at San Jacinto Junior College in Texas before moving on to Florida State University, where he averaged 18.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game and led the Atlantic Coast Conference in steals. Cassell and teammate Bob Sura formed the highest scoring and rebounding backcourt in the nation with 38.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. The 1992–93 Seminoles finished 25–10 record and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Cassell’s jersey was retired by Florida State on Feb. 14, 2008.
The 6-3 guard Cassell was chosen with the 24th overall pick of the 1993 NBA Draft by Houston, and he helped the Rockets win back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. He went on to play for the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets before coming to the Bucks midway through the 1998–99 season in a three-way trade with the Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves. On March 3, 2001, Cassell scored a career-high 40 points against the Chicago Bulls, and during All-Star Weekend in 2001, he won the Fleer Shootout at Jam Session on All-Star Saturday. During the 2002-03 season, he passed 10,000 points for his career. In five seasons with Milwaukee, Cassell averaged 19 points per game and shot .468 from the field, joining Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen to form the highest-scoring trio in the league. Though the 3-point shot was never Cassell’s forte, he was known for making them at crunch time and was one of the league’s most feared midrange marksmen.
Redd began to hone his shooting and scoring skills at Columbus (Ohio) West High School and was an instant sensation as a freshman at The Ohio State University, averaging 21.9 points per game. He averaged 19.5 points as a sophomore, joining backcourt partner Scoonie Penn to lead the Buckeyes to the NCAA Final Four. Redd averaged 17.5 points in his junior before being entering the 2000 NBA Draft and being selected by the Bucks in the second round with the 43rd overall pick.
Redd worked relentlessly to bolster his body and his game during his first NBA season, playing just six games for Milwaukee’s Eastern Conference Finalist team. He emerged as a key reserve the following season, averaging 11.4 points a game, and became only the second player in league history to upgrade his scoring average in six consecutive seasons, topping out at 26.7 points per outing in 2006-07.
The 6-6 left-hander made eight 3-point field goals in the fourth quarter of a Feb. 20, 2002 game against the Houston Rockets to set an NBA record. For the better part of his 11 seasons with the Bucks, Redd was renowned as one of the league’s most proficient long-range and mid-range shooters. He was named an NBA All-Star and made the all-NBA Third Team in 2004, then helped Team USA win the Olympic gold medal in 2008 in Barcelona, Spain.
Redd ranks fourth on the Bucks’ all-time scoring chart with 11,554 points, second in 3-pointers made with 1,003 and fifth in scoring average at 20 ppg. He most recently played for the Phoenix Suns during the 2011-12 season, averaging 8.2 ppg.
Redick’s shooting prowess was already well-known in Roanoke, Va., before he arrived at Cave Spring High School there in 1998. Word of his exploits spread nationwide as he became the state of Virginia’s all-time leading Class AAA scorer with 2,215 points over his four-year varsity career, during which he shot 44 percent from 3-point territory. He averaged 28.5 points as a senior, capping his career by hitting eight 3-pointers and scoring 43 points in leading Cave Spring to victory in the Class AAA state title game.
Redick won the boys 3-point shooting contest during the McDonald’s All-American Game Powerade Jam Fest, then scored 26 points and was named most valuable player of the ensuing All-American Game.
Redick was selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic and averaged 8.4 points over his first six seasons with the team. He was averaging a career-high 15.1 points per game for the Magic this season when acquired by the Bucks in a Feb. 21 trade. Through his first six NBA seasons, Redick had converted 432 of 1,081 3-point attempt, making him one of only 18 active NBA players with a career 3-point clip of .400 or better.