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A Space City extensive interview with former Rockets guard Terry Teagle

Terry Teagle (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Terry Teagle (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Who are you taking in the Houston Rockets’ James Harden vs. Tracy McGrady debate?

That’s a tough question because they’re really two different types of players. They’re both dynamic scorers, but Harden is also a dynamic passer. He’s got more passing skills than Tracy McGrady but Tracy could really put the ball in the hoop.

Who do you think is the greatest player of all time?

That’s such a hard question to answer for me because I played with some of the older guys like George Gervin. So I don’t like to pick a single best player, but if I were doing that, it would be hard to pass on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I played against him for a lot of years and the things he did were just unbelievable.

That’s a fair point. It’s tough to pinpoint the greatest ever because of the different eras and different skillsets. So, how about if you were to put together your Mount Rushmore of the five greatest ever?

Well, that’s hard too but I would say Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Kobe Bryant. Again, I hate to leave out Gervin but those would be my five best ever.

What are your thoughts on this year’s Rockets team?

The Rockets have some good players. I think Russell Westbrook coming over gave them another shot in the arm and a good chance at competing for a title, and especially with the small man game. But Russ can play any style of ball, which helps James a lot.

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The concern I have with small ball is that it wears you down physically because you have to rebound with those bigs constantly.

You played in the EuroLeague in the 1992-93 season. What do you think about how the EuroLeague style of play differed from the NBA?

The EuroLeague was more of a college style, because they played by college rules. So for me, it was like being back at Baylor. But they had some really dynamic international players, such as Arvydas Sabonis, Toni Kukoc and a lot of other good players over there. Not to mention the NBA players who were playing over there too, like Daryl Dawkins and Michael Ray Richardson.

You played with Toni Kukoc during that season and Kukoc was one of the first European stars to play in the NBA. Now that the league has become more accepting of international players, do you think he paved the way?

I think he did. He should have been in the league a lot earlier than when he joined. He and I had a lot of late night conversations when I first got there. He wasn’t sure if his skills were good enough to play in the NBA and if he could play in the league. I told him that he could, and what do you know?

He left and went to Chicago that next year. But he should’ve gotten a shot far before he did. Him and Sabonis both, actually, because Sabonis was very skilled too.

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I’ve spent a lot of time asking you a lot of questions, so is there anything you would like to ask or add?

Well, my son Terry Teagle Jr and my daughter Mikala Teagle wanted me to give them a shout out because they keep up with you guys quite a bit. They both grew up watching the league also, and are Rockets fans.

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