Thursday, November 15, 2012

Well Traveled

Former Syracuse star forward Hakim Warrick was traded from the New Orleans Hornets to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday per the Post Standard. He had been traded to New Orleans in the off season, and played only one game with them before moving on to Charlotte. This will be Warrick's 6th team in his 8th NBA season, starting in 2006. He has played for Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Phoenix, New Orleans and now Charlotte.
That is not unusual for NBA players to move around, and particularly not unusual for former Orangemen.  Of the 41 Syracuse basketball players who have played in the NBA, only ten played their entire career for one team, and those were mostly very short careers: Billy Gabor, Donte Greene, Jack Kiley, Andy Rautins, Frank Reddout, Bill Smith, Bob Shaddock, Lou Spicer, Kris Joseph and Dion Waiters.  Joseph and Waiters are of course in their rookie seasons, so who knows what their future holds.  Shaddock has the distinction of the shortest NBA career for an SU alum with 2 games, though Kris Joseph currently has just one game in his very young career. 
Many of the players had short careers of two or three seasons, where they played for two or three teams, hoping to catch on, but never quite getting there.
Others such as Carmelo Anthony made a big switch in free agency, or Dave Bing who wound down his Hall of Fame career with Detroit in two short stays in Washington and Boston.
Damone Brown went four for four; four different teams in a four season career with stints in Philadelphia, Toronto, New Jersey and Washington.
Marty Byrnes showed Brown up by sneaking in five teams in four seasons: Phoenix, New Orleans, the Lakers, Dallas and Indiana.  Byrnes also has the distinction of the only former Orangeman to win an NBA Championship (in 1980 with the Lakers).
John Wallace also made five stops in seven seasons, with the Knicks, Toronto, Detroit, Phoenix and Miami. Wallace liked the Knicks so much he had two tours there.
Sherman Douglas had a good career over 12 seasons. He also covered five franchises during his NBA tour, with Miami, Boston, Milwaukee, New Jersey and the Clippers.
Billy Owens looked destined for stardom until knee injuries derailed his career. He would play for 6 teams over a 10 year career from 1992- 2001 that included Golden State, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle, Philadelphia and Detroit.
Danny Schayes seemed to play for everyone in the NBA. He had the longest career in the NBA for any Syracuse Orangeman with 18 seasons and 1,138 games. Schayes was never a great player, but he was a 7 foot player who could shoot well, make his free throws, handle the ball, and get some rebounds. That made him an ideal back up center, and teams were always in the need for guys like him. Schayes would play from 1982 to 1999 and would call the following seven franchises 'home':  Utah, Denver, Milwaukee, Lakers, Phoenix, Miami and Orlando.
So that brings us to the conclusion. Which former Orangemen played for the most franchises in his NBA career?  That would be Jason Hart who squeezed in 9 teams in a 9 year career from 2001 to 2010. Hart would play for Milwaukee, San Antonio, Charlotte, Sacramento, the Clippers, Utah, Denver, Minnesota, and finally for New Orleans.  Though he played nine seasons, he would play in only 341 games. His best season by far was 2004-2005 where he had career highs in all categories averaging 9.5 points and 5.0 assists per game.

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