But logging a whopping 3,681 minutes over the course of 80 games and hoisting 2,106 shots from the field — without the benefit of a 3-point line to pad his scoring totals and spare him some of that painful contact — definitely “took a toll on me” in the words of the 6-foot-1, 150-pounder. “You pay for that, too,” Archibald says. Not that he has similar fears for Harden or Westbrook. “These guys are bigger and stronger than me,” Tiny says. “And the technology is different. The medical technology is different. Bernard King, who tore up his knee, he would be back quicker nowadays. He wouldn’t have to wait a year and a half or two years to come back. Everything is much better and I think that’s why guys last longer. These guys are equipped with a different century than we were.”
Tiny Archibald Rumors
Isaiah Thomas, with his ascension to one of the best guards in the NBA, is drawing comparisons to some of the game’s great little men, including former Celtic and Hall of Famer Nate Archibald, with whom he has developed a bond. The two began talking basketball when they were signing autographs at a sports collectible show. “Me and him talked, and we weren’t really talking about the size thing,” Archibald said. “We know he can play. He came from another team out West [Phoenix], could score and do all those things, but the transition is learning a new coach and new players.
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Nate “Tiny” Archibald, one of the best players in NBA history and arguably the greatest little man ever, talked for an hour last week in a small auditorium/cafeteria to a group of captivated middle school students at the innovative Imagine Charter School. Not once did he mention basketball. Didn’t need to. Didn’t plan to. Doesn’t even like to. That’s not his message anymore. That ticket to fame flamed out long ago. At age 62, Archibald continues to reinvent himself through a slow but startling transformation, from a Hall of Fame player who retired in 1984 into one of the most educated, most academically driven ex-athletes in America today.