Hey guys, I will be starting a new series called NBA’s Forgotten Stories. You are probably wondering why I started this. Well now that Bleacher Report’s Thaddues Yeiser has started NFL’s Forgotten Stories, I decided to do NBA’s. Mine is a little different, though. In Thaddues’, he talks about the players that are retired while I talk about the players that are active and retired.
Then you say, “What about your series called Does Anyone Remember….?” I do that, too. But now for Does Anyone Remember…., I do only NFL and MLB players. So that is that. Let’s get on with the first player for NBA’s Forgotten Stories. Here is Erick Dampier, a center that deserves so much more attention than he is getting.
Erick Dampier was born on July 14, 1975, in Jackson, Mississippi. But that was just when he was born. Here was where the real basketball career started:
It all started out at Lawerence County High School in Monticello, Mississippi, where Dampier played very competitively. He led his rural county to two state championships. After doing great in high school, he earned a scholarship to play basketball at Mississippi State University. While at there, he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi.
After his junior season, he became an early member of the 1996 NBA Draft. In his junior season, though, he led MSU to the Southeastern Tournament championship and the Final Four! In the Draft, Dampier was drafted by the Indiana Pacers.
Dampier started 21 of the 72 games he played in. He finished the year with five points and four rebounds per game. But on August 12, 1997, Dampier and Duane Ferrell were traded to the Golden State Warriors for Chris Mullin.
He spent the next seven years at Golden State, making it to his best year in the 2003-2004 season. He had averaged twelve points, twelve rebounds, and close to two blocks per game.
With those great numbers that year, he became criticized in the 2005 NBA Playoffs by facing centers like Yao Ming and Amare Stoudemire as he became a fouling-king against them.
With that said, you might say Dampier may be a horrible center. No way!
All around, Dampier is a solid center. He is a pretty good rebounder, averaging seven rebounds per game in his career but he is especially good when it comes on the offense as he rebounds three per game in his career. Dampier also applies a great combination of good footwork, physical toughness, and sheer aggression.
Erick is not really the guy that you always want him to shoot the ball because he averages close to nine points per game in his career. He is also a guy an NBA coach can count on when he wants someone in fast because Dampier rarely misses a game, having to be playing 311 of 328 games in the last four years.
The thing that messed him up was his inconsistency. In his final year with Golden State, he was the double-double man by averaging twelve points and twelve rebounds per game. But ever since that, he is now a one-one player, having to have all single-digit numbers in rebounds and points now.
In the 2006-2007 season, though, Dampier lost his job to DeSagana Diop. But he was much better coming off the bench. Then in the 2007-2008 season, Dampier played quite well and earned back his starting job. He played a great role that year as a starter, playing the defense so well and having to have help from Dirk Nowitzki.
In the 2008-2009 season, Dampier had started 80-of-80 games and only missed two. See what I mean by “rarely injured?” Dampier had one of his best years with Mavericks and he and many other Mavericks made it to the second round of the NBA Playoffs, but ended up losing to the Nuggets in a series of four-to-one.
In some games, the announcers observe that Dampier plays great defense and is such a key player to the team. I just wish Dampier deserved so much more credit than he deserved.
Don’t you think so? This is a forgotten story to many NBA fans, but for me, it will stay.