Who is Matt Goukas, you ask? Well, he's the normally measured Orlando Magic color commentator that once upon a time starred as Marv Albert's co-partner on the NBA on NBC. In other words, he's one of the last guys you'd expect to say something completely homer-ish.â†µ
So does this mean we should listen to him when he says Dwight Howard is a better defensive center than Bill Russell? No, no it doesn't, because the opinion is still crazy. But let's listen to him explain himself anyway.â†µ
The other day, I called Guokas and gave him a chance to recant the statement he made about Dwight being better defensively than Russell, but he refused to budge.â†µ
He did, however, add an obvious qualifier: "Dwight has not accomplished the things Bill Russell did. Dwight has not been a part of 11 championships in 13 years. That's the big difference. What I was talking about when I made the statement is Dwight's sheer ability and skill as compared to Bill Russell's."â†µ
In Guokas' opinion, Howard has more overall athleticism than Russell. He's bigger and stronger. He's better-conditioned. He runs faster and jumps higher.â†µ
Goukas is technically right, but then again, everyone's more athletic now, so it's kind of like saying Radiohead is better than the Beatles because Radiohead has more complicated music. As far as Dwight being better than Russell - get back to me when Dwight revolutionizes the way the entire game is played. He'll be better than Russell as soon as the NBA decides to raise the rims to 12 feet to prevent Howard from swatting away every shot.