View Full Version : Sam Cassell

12-22-2006, 02:17 AM
Am I the only person here who thinks Sam Cassell is one of the most underrated NBA players in league history? This guy has ALWAYS been a winner.

In his rookie season/Sophmore season with the Houston Rockets he won 2 NBA championships. Sure he was brought into a good situation playing with Hakeem Olajuwon and company but he played a major role in their championship run, Not only did he bring instant energy and effiency off the bench, he hit some MAJOR clutch shots in the playoffs and the NBA finals. Remember the back breaking shot he hit against New York in the finals? To hit such a major shot as a rookie is an amazing feat in my book, He came up huge for Houston.

I am actually going to go out on the limb and say Houston would NOT have beat New York in 94 to win the title without Cassell on the roster. He ended up winning 2 championships with the Rockets.

He then got traded to Phoenix in the Charles Barkley deal. Not long after he journeys to Dallas. I am not going to go into depth about his play in Dallas/Phoenix because he spent less than 30 games with Dallas and Phoenix combined. He didn't play enough games to make an impact.

The 1996 season comes around and Sam Cassell is now a New Jersey Net. He was traded midway through the season, didn't really have time to adjust to the Nets system. The Nets miss the playoffs by a few games. However they were still vastly improved with Cassell running the offense.

Finally 1997 rolls around and Sam Cassell gets a chance to play a full season with New Jersey team. What do ya know? He takes them to the playoffs in his 2nd season. He carried a bad team to the playoffs and a 2nd place seed in their division.

That is amazing considering the players he had around him.The team was full with underachievers like Keith Van Horn,Kerry Kittles- Chris Catling, Jayson Williams, ect. Not to mention coach John Calipari is a pretty bad coach overall. Sure he lost to the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs but who hasn't lost to the Bulls?

New Jersey decided to ship him over to Milwaukee despite the success he had in Jerseys turnaround. The year before Cassell arrived in Milwaukke the Bucks did make the playoffs. However, it was during the shortened season and they were only 28-22. Not that impressive of a record. Sam Cassell took them to the playoffs and keeps them alive against the tough Indiana Pacers for 5 games. He hit some major shots throughout that whole series. Im sure Reggie Miller would remember, right Reggie?

The very next season. His first full season as a Buck he takes them to the Eastern Conference Finals to play the great 76ers team that went on to to the NBA finals to lose to the Lakers. The Bucks pushed the 76ers to the full 7 game series. You can make the case that Ray Allen was the leader of this team but if you watched the finals you would know why I am saying this. Sam Cassell is the only reason the Bucks pushed the 76ers to a game 7 matchup. He hit 5-6 huge 4th quarter shots just in that series alone.

They did miss the playoffs the following season, Although They come back strong only to lose to the eventual Eastern Conference champs.

Cassell is on the move again as the Bucks shipped over to Minnesota. Before he arrived the Timerwolves have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for 7-8 straight seasons! His FIRST season as a Timerwolve he not only led them to the best record in the Western Conference, He took them all the way to the Western Conference finals. Keep in mind the Wolves were always getting the early ticket out in the playoffs. And this guy takes them to Finals his first season? That my fellow readers is amazing.

Finally in 2005, he signs with the LA Clippers. A team who before he arrived has been one of the worst NBA franchises in league history. They had not made the playoffs in over a decade. Cassell shows up and and all of a sudden the Clippers start winning games. They went from one of the worst teams in league history to first round playoff winners. He is the main reason for the Clippers steller season. I am not jumping on the Elton Brand bandwagon just yet, I stick to my opinion that Sam Cassell is the reason for this teams sudden success.

My main point for this entire post was to show that not only has Cassell always been a winner. He has led every team he has ever played for to a top seed.

It's NOT a coincidence that when he arrived in NJ the horrible Nets team made the playoffs. It's NOT a coincidence he led the previous Bucks team who had not made the playoffs the previous season before he arrived to the Eastern Conference finals. It's NOT a coincidence that he led a Minnesota team who has never been out of the first round of the playoffs to the Western conference finals his first year with the team. It's NOT a coincidence that he led the Clippers team who has not sniffed the playoffs in ages to a second round playoff contest.

It is a shame this guy has only made one All star team his entire career. He has led some huge turnarounds in the NBA. Call him every name in the book, He gets paid millions of dollars to be a winner. Thats far more imporntant then his looks. Sam Cassell is one of the most underrated NBA players in HISTORY.

12-22-2006, 02:51 AM
Great post detailing Cassell's history. I agree that he has always been vastly underrated. He has played huge roles in his teams' successes and has long been one of the top point guards in the game.