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Video: NBA highlights from Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson

Sep 4, 2012, 8:37 PM EDT

Ralph Sampson is one of the greatest college players of all time, a three-time AP NCAA player of the year. A nearly unstoppable big man. And that certainly is part of the reason he is being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Friday.

But he had a pretty good NBA career as well — he took maybe the greatest shot in Rockets history, he was a four-time All-Star who averaged 15,4 points and 8.8 rebounds a game. And look at the highlights above — this was a mobile and skilled big man who could have played in any era.

Just something to think back on when you see him get enshrined as well this weekend.

  1. cosanostra71 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    it really is incredible how fast and agile Sampson was… at 7’4″! But like Yao Ming- human beings just really aren’t meant to be that big so they are fragile at that size. It’s unfortunate, Sampson had the potential to be truly dominant, just like Yao.

  2. fordmandalay - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    One of the greats from the Age of The Big Men! Boy do I miss real NBA centers.

  3. eventhorizon04 - Sep 5, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Very skilled, very agile. He averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds for his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets – imagine if he stayed healthy and stuck with Olajuwon for the rest of his career?

    That’s a potential Tim Duncan/David Robinson front-court combination derailed by injuries.

  4. rjlink1 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Based on the NCAA years, yes. Based on the NBA career, clearly no. A lot like Bill Walton in that regard. But it’s OK to judge earlier centers by peak and not longevity. Today’s centers, with only one year of NCAA, better have 6-7 dominant NBA seasons minimum.

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