Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!
Today: The five best NBA players ever to come out of Massachusetts.
Jake Layman, Kaleb Tarczewski and Rene Castro are all standout basketball recruits who are likely headed to D-I colleges — and possibly beyond. Massachusetts has sent its share of school players to the NBA. But who’s been the best? Here’s our list of the five best players from Massachusetts to play in the NBA.
5. Michael Beasley
This is blatant cheating, as Beasley was a Maryland kid who played for six high schools in four states, but his final stop happened to be Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg. As a senior, Beasley averaged 28 points and 16 rebounds per game, earning McDonald's All-American honors. After one brilliant college season at Kansas State (26.2 points, 12.4 rebounds), Beasley was drafted No. 2 overall by the Miami Heat in 2008. In three NBA seasons, Beasley has averaged 15.9 points and 5.8 rebounds.
4. Vinny Del Negro
A feared shooter during his time in the NBA, Del Negro is a product of Springfield (though he played his high school ball at Suffield Academy in Connecticut). Del Negro played 12 seasons in the NBA, peaking from 1994-97, when he averaged between 12.3 and 14.5 points per game. He also had three seasons where he hit more than 40 percent of his 3-pointers.
3. Dana Barros
Finally, a true Massachusetts native on the list. Barros was born in Boston and played at Xaverian, then moved on to Boston College. The 16th overall pick in the 1989 NBA draft, Barros averaged 10.5 points per game for his career and made the 1994-95 All-Star team by posting 20.6 points per game for the Philadelphia 76ers. Barros also played five productive seasons for the Celtics from 1995-2000. He finished his career as a 41.1 percent 3-point shooter.
2. Bill Laimbeer
More blatant cheating, and a dagger in the back of Boston sports fans. Laimbeer was born in Boston, but was raised in Chicago and played his high school ball in California. But his birth certificate reads "Born in Massachusetts," so he makes the list. A physical big man, Laimbeer helped the Detroit Pistons win back to back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. He was a four-time All-Star and and an all-time great villain — just type "laimbeer + fight" into YouTube and enjoy.
1. Patrick Ewing
Ewing was born in Jamaica, but moved to Massachusetts at age 11 and attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin. One of the greatest players in NCAA history at Georgetown, Ewing was the No. 1 pick of the 1985 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. The 7-foot center made 11 All-Star teams and averaged 21.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game for his career. A 1998 Hall of Fame inductee, Ewing was also named one of the 50 Greatest Players of All-Time by the NBA. Unfortunately, many people remember Ewing more for moments like this. And this. And this.
Tomorrow: Wild Card! Check back tomorrow to find out what our list is.