While I was away on a recent trip, I kept up with all of the happenings in the sports world by watching SportsCenter. And there was plenty to keep up with in the world of basketball. I want to address two hoop subjects now: Allen Iverson and Yao Ming.
Let's start with Mr. Iverson. I've said it before and I will say it again: Pound for pound, inch for inch, there isn't a more competitive or fiercer player than the Philadelphia 76ers guard. This guy is absolutely focused when the ball is in his hands. He's fearless and has that unbelievable will to get to the winner's circle. Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics, with the Sixers needing a win to keep their postseason alive, Iverson took over the game late, making big play after big play.
That's why Philadelphia will play Boston on Friday in a deciding Game 5. Iverson's iron will helped coach Larry Brown's team to the NBA Finals last season. Never count the Sixers out with Iverson battling and scrapping in crunch time.
Then there is Mr. Ming. He was in Chicago for a special workout for NBA scouts and team executives. The 7-foot-5 wonder was put through drills by former coach P.J. Carlesimo. Let me tell you something -- you can ask a big man with skills to shoot jumpers, drop-step and make moves to the basket. But it's a whole different world when you play five-on-five and go head-to-head against Shaquille O'Neal and company. It's one thing to work out individually, but it's quite another to run the court for the better part of 48 minutes.
Ming looks like he has a world of potential. Still, if I were drafting the No. 1 pick, I would take Duke guard Jason Williams. He can flat-out play and will contribute immediately. Nobody in this draft can make the kind of impact Williams will make from day one of his rookie year. I believe he will still be the No. 1 pick despite the great upside and future of Yao Ming.
Two players, with a huge difference in size, yet both are big names in the hoop world, baby -- and those names will only get bigger.