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  #1  
Old 04-04-06, 01:42 AM
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MySA: Bowen's defense inspires, irritates

Bowen's defense inspires, irritates
Web Posted: 04/04/2006 12:00 AM CDT
Johnny Ludden
San Antonio Express-News

SALT LAKE CITY — As the Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers lined up to begin their final meeting last season, Kobe Bryant smiled and knocked fists with Bruce Bowen. Then he leaned over and offered a few kind words for the man who would be hounding him.

"I want to be the first to congratulate you," Bryant said, "on being defensive player of the year."

The NBA had yet to announce the award, and when it did nearly a month later, Detroit center Ben Wallace won for the third time in four seasons. Bowen finished second.

But not in Bryant's mind.

"Because of our competitive nature, he respects me, and I respect him," said Bowen, whose Spurs play at Utah tonight. "He understands what I do out here."

Whether Bowen has to settle for the respect of (some of) his peers — the league's coaches also are expected to name him to one of the two all-defense teams for the sixth consecutive season — remains to be seen.

After finishing fourth in 2004 voting and as the runner-up last season, Bowen figures to do no worse this season.

Sacramento forward Ron Artest, one of the few perimeter defenders considered in Bowen's class, missed nearly a third of the season when Indiana suspended him. Wallace's rebounding and blocks have dipped slightly, but he ranks fourth and eighth, respectively, in those areas and is 11th in steals.

Only twice, however, in the previous 17 seasons has a perimeter defender won: Artest in 2004 and Gary Payton in 1996.

The NBA has done its best to make perimeter defenders an endangered species. To boost scoring, the league outlawed hand checking, then nearly all other perimeter contact.

Bowen has countered by showing his hands more and moving his feet quicker. Almost 35, he still ranks as one of the best at beating opponents to their comfort spots.

"He takes pride in taking on the best offensive player and making it a tough night for him," Michael Finley said. "When you have that mentality, refereeing can't do much about the way you play."

Bowen also has shown versatility. Despite giving up nearly 6 inches, he successfully fronted Toronto's Chris Bosh. During one six-day stretch, Bowen helped force Bryant into making only 9 of 33 shots; limited Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki to 14 points on 3-of-13 shooting; and held Philadelphia's Allen Iverson without a basket in the third quarter of a come-from-behind victory.


USA Basketball officials recognized Bowen's defense enough to invite him to try out for the national team this summer.

"If they're really serious about having a team approach, which I'm sure they are," said Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni, who will serve as an assistant for Team USA, "then Bruce should have a heck of a chance to make it."

Not everyone, however, is so eager to praise Bowen. A recent Sports Illustrated players' poll had him ranked as the league's second-dirtiest player behind Seattle's Danny Fortson.

Said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: "I don't know how a 175-pound guy could be called dirty."

Bowen also didn't help his image last week when he was fined $10,000 for kicking Seattle's Ray Allen in the back. Bowen apologized, but Allen called the incident "coward's basketball." The following day, Allen called NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson to lobby for Bowen's fine.

While Bryant and Miami's Dwyane Wade, among others, seem to embrace the challenge of facing Bowen, Allen has been his biggest critic.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson has jumped in as well, calling Bowen "Edward Scissorhands." Bowen's reputation as one of the league's best defenders, Jackson said, allows him to "whack away at you."

"He's had a license for about four years now," Jackson said. "Prior to that, he was a spot player, and it was difficult for him to get those kind of calls."


Though Bowen long ago tired of the criticism, in part because he worries the complaining would influence officiating, he rarely offers a rebuttal.

"What am I going to say about a coach?" Bowen said. "Especially one of (Jackson's) caliber."

Bowen flails his hands in what he calls "short movements" because he can disrupt an opponent's shot even if he doesn't touch him. He also has been accused of stepping under players but attributes that to trying to crowd or block out his man. Or beat him to a spot.

Is that dirty? No more so, Bowen said, than when the same player jams a forearm into Bowen's chest while driving to the basket.

"What about Michael Jordan's push on Byron Russell (in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals)?" Bowen said. "We don't get to say those things as defenders because (the officials) will look at us as crazy."

Allen's comments didn't frustrate Bowen as much as his game-winning shot. After springing loose from Bowen, he buried a 3-pointer to beat the Spurs.

Allen finished with 33 points, and Bowen understands there will be nights like that. Or like Saturday against Washington, when Popovich had him shuttling between Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison depending on who had the hotter hand, then ripped him for not keeping Jamison off the 3-point line.

In those instances, Bowen has learned it's best to have a short memory.

It's the same attitude he has when asked about the one defensive honor that's eluded him.

"I have two championships right now and a reputation in this league for being a hard-nosed player," Bowen said. "If it doesn't happen, I can't be deflated. I still have a job to do."

Coach honored: Popovich was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month after the Spurs finished 12-4 in March.

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Old 04-04-06, 01:51 AM
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Barring some ridiculous miscarriage of justice - Bowen should get his due this year.

I might be a bit biased because he's maybe my favorite player on the team - but I think Bruce Bowen is as good at 35 as he's ever been.
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Old 04-04-06, 02:24 AM
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He's overdue, he deserves it and to be honest. I really think he had a better year than Wallace last year. Too many coaches I think make snap judgements on DPOV and then they think of Bruuce later and go "I forgot about that".

I hope you're right RB.
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Old 04-04-06, 02:36 AM
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"What about Michael Jordan's push on Byron Russell (in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals)?" Bowen said. "We don't get to say those things as defenders because (the officials) will look at us as crazy."

Amen Bruce, gotta love those stones man !!

Props to Kobe as well for being one of the only superstars that doesn't whine and gives Bruce the Props he deserves.
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Old 04-04-06, 03:18 AM
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I don't think that LeBron or Wade whine about Bowen. It seems that that there are only two players who "publicly" whine and they are RayRay and Vincey.

Bowen deserves to get DPOY. I don't know who votes on that, whether it is media or coaches, but would almost guarantee that any coach would want Bruce on their team if they could get him.

Maybe with the added exposure of Team USA, Bowen will have a chance to win the DPOY. He certainly deserves it, IMO.
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Old 04-04-06, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: "I don't know how a 175-pound guy could be called dirty."
*COUGH*John Stockton*COUGH*
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Old 04-04-06, 07:55 AM
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Bowen isn't dirty, just player want to play like they are the local YMCA.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-06, 08:39 AM
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Bowen's defense inspires, irritates

Bowen's defense inspires, irritates

Web Posted: 04/04/2006 12:00 AM CDT
Johnny Ludden
San Antonio Express-News

SALT LAKE CITY — As the Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers lined up to begin their final meeting last season, Kobe Bryant smiled and knocked fists with Bruce Bowen. Then he leaned over and offered a few kind words for the man who would be hounding him.

"I want to be the first to congratulate you," Bryant said, "on being defensive player of the year."

The NBA had yet to announce the award, and when it did nearly a month later, Detroit center Ben Wallace won for the third time in four seasons. Bowen finished second.

But not in Bryant's mind.

"Because of our competitive nature, he respects me, and I respect him," said Bowen, whose Spurs play at Utah tonight. "He understands what I do out here."

Whether Bowen has to settle for the respect of (some of) his peers — the league's coaches also are expected to name him to one of the two all-defense teams for the sixth consecutive season — remains to be seen.
After finishing fourth in 2004 voting and as the runner-up last season, Bowen figures to do no worse this season.

Sacramento forward Ron Artest, one of the few perimeter defenders considered in Bowen's class, missed nearly a third of the season when Indiana suspended him. Wallace's rebounding and blocks have dipped slightly, but he ranks fourth and eighth, respectively, in those areas and is 11th in steals.

Only twice, however, in the previous 17 seasons has a perimeter defender won: Artest in 2004 and Gary Payton in 1996.

The NBA has done its best to make perimeter defenders an endangered species. To boost scoring, the league outlawed hand checking, then nearly all other perimeter contact.

Bowen has countered by showing his hands more and moving his feet quicker. Almost 35, he still ranks as one of the best at beating opponents to their comfort spots.

"He takes pride in taking on the best offensive player and making it a tough night for him," Michael Finley said. "When you have that mentality, refereeing can't do much about the way you play."

Bowen also has shown versatility. Despite giving up nearly 6 inches, he successfully fronted Toronto's Chris Bosh. During one six-day stretch, Bowen helped force Bryant into making only 9 of 33 shots; limited Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki to 14 points on 3-of-13 shooting; and held Philadelphia's Allen Iverson without a basket in the third quarter of a come-from-behind victory.

USA Basketball officials recognized Bowen's defense enough to invite him to try out for the national team this summer.

"If they're really serious about having a team approach, which I'm sure they are," said Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni, who will serve as an assistant for Team USA, "then Bruce should have a heck of a chance to make it."

Not everyone, however, is so eager to praise Bowen. A recent Sports Illustrated players' poll had him ranked as the league's second-dirtiest player behind Seattle's Danny Fortson.

Said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich: "I don't know how a 175-pound guy could be called dirty."

Bowen also didn't help his image last week when he was fined $10,000 for kicking Seattle's Ray Allen in the back. Bowen apologized, but Allen called the incident "coward's basketball." The following day, Allen called NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson to lobby for Bowen's fine.

While Bryant and Miami's Dwyane Wade, among others, seem to embrace the challenge of facing Bowen, Allen has been his biggest critic.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson has jumped in as well, calling Bowen "Edward Scissorhands." Bowen's reputation as one of the league's best defenders, Jackson said, allows him to "whack away at you."

"He's had a license for about four years now," Jackson said. "Prior to that, he was a spot player, and it was difficult for him to get those kind of calls."

Though Bowen long ago tired of the criticism, in part because he worries the complaining would influence officiating, he rarely offers a rebuttal.

"What am I going to say about a coach?" Bowen said. "Especially one of (Jackson's) caliber."

Bowen flails his hands in what he calls "short movements" because he can disrupt an opponent's shot even if he doesn't touch him. He also has been accused of stepping under players but attributes that to trying to crowd or block out his man. Or beat him to a spot.

Is that dirty? No more so, Bowen said, than when the same player jams a forearm into Bowen's chest while driving to the basket.

"What about Michael Jordan's push on Byron Russell (in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals)?" Bowen said. "We don't get to say those things as defenders because (the officials) will look at us as crazy."

Allen's comments didn't frustrate Bowen as much as his game-winning shot. After springing loose from Bowen, he buried a 3-pointer to beat the Spurs.

Allen finished with 33 points, and Bowen understands there will be nights like that. Or like Saturday against Washington, when Popovich had him shuttling between Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison depending on who had the hotter hand, then ripped him for not keeping Jamison off the 3-point line.

In those instances, Bowen has learned it's best to have a short memory.

It's the same attitude he has when asked about the one defensive honor that's eluded him.

"I have two championships right now and a reputation in this league for being a hard-nosed player," Bowen said. "If it doesn't happen, I can't be deflated. I still have a job to do."

Coach honored: Popovich was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month after the Spurs finished 12-4 in March

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  #9  
Old 04-04-06, 08:44 AM
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So thats why Bruce and Kobe were laughing before tipoff at last weeks game in LA.

Mavs Trolls should read this article since it talks about how dirty Bruce is.
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Old 04-04-06, 09:01 AM
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i've always admired bowens defense. he should've won DPOY. but no player alive can stay in front of kobe. kobe might have gone 9-33 that one game a while back, but you have to remember that the spurs have two 7-footers. so it doesnt matter if bowen gets burned off the dribble. im sure more than half of those 33 shots kobe took had to be jump shots because of duncan and mohammed lurking in the paint.
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Last edited by magnificent; 04-04-06 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 04-04-06, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnificent
i've always admired bowens defense. he should've won DPOY. but player alive can stay in front of kobe. kobe might have gone 9-33 that one game a while back, but you have to remember that the spurs have two 7-footers. so it doesnt matter if bowen gets burned off the dribble. im sure more than half of those 33 shots kobe took had to be jump shots because of duncan and mohammed lurking in the paint.
Its called TEAM defense. Get some.
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Old 04-04-06, 09:03 AM
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Bowen also didn't help his image last week when he was fined $10,000 for kicking Seattle's Ray Allen in the back. Bowen apologized, but Allen called the incident "coward's basketball." The following day, Allen called NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson to lobby for Bowen's fine.
Are you kidding me?

I didn't have any problem with the fine, in retrospect. Although, Bowen should've really gotten his money's worth.

But knowing that Allen *himself* went crying to Stu Jackson is unbelievable. AFAIK, it's usually the coaches, GMs and team owners who lobby to the NBA on behalf of their players, when something like this goes down. The players themselves make some candid remarks to the media and then let the rest sort itself out. But not Ray Allen, apparently. Nope. He had to run down to the principal's office himself with the taped evidence. Couldn't wait for the league to get to it themselves.
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Old 04-04-06, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpurInDallas
Its called TEAM defense. Get some.
we just did. his name is ron artest. before the trade the kings gave up 100ppg. now the kings are only giving up 93ppg. i think that's top 7 in the league pal.

might i add that since the trade the kings are also 21-10. they are actually 21-12, but you really can't count his FIRST two games as a king playing on the road!
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Old 04-04-06, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by magnificent
we just did. his name is ron artest. before the trade the kings gave up 100ppg. now the kings are only giving up 93ppg. i think that's top 7 in the league pal.
Woah, you showed me!
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Old 04-04-06, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SpurInDallas
Woah, you showed me!
dam right i showed you. facts are facts.
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Old 04-04-06, 09:26 AM
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Oooooo so we wanna start the trash talk early huh? Might as well, your Kings are pretty much locked into the 8th spot. We gotta warm up game coming up before our first round slaughter, oops I mean meeting...lets see your little queens react to a REAL TEAM defense....for 4 straight games.
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Old 04-04-06, 09:31 AM
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im ready. though i wouldve loved to see a healthy webber, christie, divac and bo-jax in the mix. it wont be the same without these veterans. pounding your team. now we're dealing with all these new faces. but i will still take a great deal of pride if we can push it to 6 games.
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Old 04-04-06, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnificent
im ready. though i wouldve loved to see a healthy webber, christie, divac and bo-jax in the mix. it wont be the same without these veterans. pounding your team. now we're dealing with all these new faces. but i will still take a great deal of pride if we can push it to 6 games.
moral victories. niiiiice
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Old 04-04-06, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnificent
im ready. though i wouldve loved to see a healthy webber, christie, divac and bo-jax in the mix. it wont be the same without these veterans. pounding your team. now we're dealing with all these new faces. but i will still take a great deal of pride if we can push it to 6 games.
I don't think you were able to beat the Spurs with that lineup, either.
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Old 04-04-06, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by RGVSpursFan#1
I don't think you were able to beat the Spurs with that lineup, either.
you're kidding right. no kobe in black and silver. we wouldve definately beaten the spurs.
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Old 04-04-06, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnificent
you're kidding right. no kobe in black and silver. we wouldve definately beaten the spurs.
Kobe or the Queens. Pick one.
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Old 04-04-06, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnificent
you're kidding right. no kobe in black and silver. we wouldve definately beaten the spurs.
In 2002, probably yes. But not in 2003.
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Old 04-04-06, 11:48 AM
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too bad Ray Allen doesnt "get it" like Kobe does
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Old 04-04-06, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SpurInDallas
So thats why Bruce and Kobe were laughing before tipoff at last weeks game in LA.
That was last season

Quote:
As the Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers lined up to begin their final meeting last season, Kobe Bryant smiled and knocked fists with Bruce Bowen.
Anyway, good to see some good words for Bruce after Stupid Allen incident.
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Old 04-04-06, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by magliop
That was last season



Anyway, good to see some good words for Bruce after Stupid Allen incident.
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Old 04-04-06, 11:56 AM
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http://www.spursreport.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=51925 (MySA: Bowen's defense inspires, irritates)
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  #27  
Old 04-04-06, 12:02 PM
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lord, just give us this championship this year.
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Old 04-04-06, 12:03 PM
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lord, just give us this championship this year.
Yes, prayer. Thats about all that can save you now!
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Old 04-04-06, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by magnificent
lord, just give us this championship this year.
No.
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Old 04-04-06, 01:50 PM
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ya'll remember how finley used to cry about bowen's defense? Now he sees the kinda work he puts in and respect him great deal.
How about a trade to bring cry allen in here???
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Old 04-04-06, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Lord Deimos
No.
Well, there you go kid. Better luck next year!
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Old 04-04-06, 03:27 PM
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I have tickets to both the Sacramento and Seattle games. Both will be good (I hope!). The Sac game because of the potential "first round warmup". And, of course, the Seattle game so that we can watch Bruce's first matchup with Ray Allen after the fine.

Last edited by Robofuzz; 04-04-06 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 04-04-06, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
"I have two championships right now and a reputation in this league for being a hard-nosed player," Bowen said. "If it doesn't happen, I can't be deflated. I still have a job to do."
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  #34  
Old 04-04-06, 04:17 PM
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I really hope Bruce gets more consideration for DPOY. With his addition to Team USA, maybe some media will think twice before they automatically submit Ben Wallace or Ron Artest as their pick. Maybe I am too hopeful, but I would love to see Bruce get this long overdue recognition for his work.
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Old 04-04-06, 10:53 PM
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If Ben Wallace gets DPOY, it will be a shame. This should be Bruce's year. But how anyone could vote for Artest after what he did to the Pacers, well, that would be a travesty.
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Old 04-04-06, 11:01 PM
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i think bruce's best chance for winning DPOY is this year. hes been getting so much love from everyone (excluding allen) b-bo is one of my favorites. go bruce!

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Originally Posted by Lord Deimos
No.
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Old 04-05-06, 12:35 AM
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Bruce Bowen should be trying to defend his Defensive Player of the Year this season not earn his first. Ben Wallace did not in any way shape or form deserve to win it last year.
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