Many of today’s power forwards in basketball, are hybrid big men.
Take Joel Embiid for example. The Philadelphia 76ers forward, has posted a healthy 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 blocks per game this season while shooting 34.8 from downtown.
He’s quite athletic and his footwork is amazing. I’ve been vocal this season about the similarities in footwork between Embiid and NBA Hall of Famer, Hakeem Olajuwon.
Embiid also reminds me of a couple of power forwards from the 90s in Chris Webber and Derrick Coleman.
Appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, I chatted with Coleman’s New Jersey Nets teammate, Kenny Anderson who gave his two cents on the comparison between Coleman and Embiid.
Check out a snippet from our Q&A dialogue below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’Robinson: When I look at today’s NBA, Joel Embiid is literally a power forward who’s considered a big man that has crafty footwork, can take the jumper, can post you at times, and has had synergy at the point guard position that is Ben Simmons. When you look at your former teammate Derrick Coleman, do you see any similarities between he and Joel Embiid?
Kenny Anderson: Yeah. You know I was just talking in a bunch of interviews and Derrick Coleman was the BEST player I ever played with in my career. At 6’10” he could do everything. Period. And Joel Embiid can basically do everything. Now, what the game needs he has to figure that out. Certain games they need him for inside play. He has to get away from shooting jumpers and he has to be demanding. You know, he pulls double teams. He has to go down there and get it. Derrick Coleman did those things – making him Rookie of the Year and the playoffs, and he did ‘em when he had no choice. But Derrick Coleman is one of the top – I would say, power forwards ever to play the game
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You back in the 90’s, you did not want to go to the Toronto Raptors after they acquired you from the Portland Trailblazers. I remember there was rumors back in the late 90’s with Kendall Gill and the Toronto Raptors. He made it known that he didn’t want to go because the taxes in Toronto were too high…
Kenny Anderson: That was the ONLY reason!
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: That was really the only reason?
Kenny Anderson: That was the only reason and people want to discuss stuff and everything; That was at the time when we had to pay two taxes. We had to pay double taxes. You had to pay Canada and you had to pay the U.S.! And we had like, twenty games left, so I was like, ‘Nah I ain’t going up there’ I’m just not going and that was the ONLY reason. But now they have they have something they do when they change it – there is something where they can double it – I forgot what it was, but it’s something about taxes that they can straighten it out. But that’s the only reason why I didn’t play with Toronto. Because of the taxes. It had nothing to do with the team. They were going to trade me. Hey, that’s the media and that’s what they do, so I just ignored it and moved on.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Yeah, I always wondered that. I remember that was a thing.
Kenny Anderson: That was the only thing c’mon now…why would I not want to play in Toronto? Toronto is a lovely city. But it was just the taxes.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Scoop B Radio on the line with Kenny Anderson. A two time 1st Team Parade All-American in high school, Consensus First Team All-American in 1991 in college, with an illustrious career with the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, the Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trailblazers… you got a lot of teams — the Seattle Supersonics, New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Hawks and Clippers etc….
Kenny Anderson: Yeah when you say that, you just have to put New Jersey, Boston and Portland. Had eleven strong years there. After that, I was just hangin’ on and chillin’ [laughing]. I played eleven strong years in the NBA I like to say, but it was three years of just hanging on. That’s what I call it. That’s real and I’ll be honest with you.