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View Full Version : Favorite Player Poll - Shelden vs. Heyman



JasonEvans
10-24-2007, 11:11 AM
In an effort to speed things along a tiny bit, and because both active polls today are total blowouts, I am going to post a third poll that may be a bit closer.

This one pits our #13 seed versus the #20 seed and is a classic battle between the 2nd-youngest play in our poll (JJ is about one year younger than Shelden) and the 2nd-oldest player still around (Groat turns 77 next week).

It is 24-year old Shelden Williams (he just turned 24 3 days ago) against 66-year old Art Heyman.

--Jason "can Art pull the upset?" Evans

JasonEvans
10-24-2007, 11:27 AM
We all know Shel's impressive credentials and watched his amazing career, but I think it only fair to post some info about Art for the newcomers...

He is one of the very few people to ever win the Most Outstanding Player award in the NCAA Tourney without having his team with the tourney title. The year was 1963 and it was the same year Art won pretty much every award a player could including all the national Player of the Year awards. He was an unanimous first-team All-ACC selection all 3 seasons that he played basketball (freshmen were not elligible back then).

His stats are ridiculous-- he was a double-double machine averaging more than 25 points and 10 rebounds per game every year of his career. Had there been freshman elligibility back then, JJ's quest to be the all-time leading scorer in Duke history would have been a bit harder to achieve.

His teams finished in the top ten all 3 years he played and they made the Final Four his senior season... the first time a Duke team made it to the last weekend of the college hoops season.

Perhaps most importantly, Art single-handedly took the Duke-UNC rivalry to legendary heights with his fist-fight with Larry Brown in 1961. you can read more about his legendary career: here, in his profile at the Jewish Hall of Fame (http://www.jewsinsports.org/profile.asp?sport=basketball&ID=160).

--Jason "I am torn... I love Shel and he was THE LANDLORD but Art was such a great player and such a fighter!!" Evans

RepoMan
10-24-2007, 11:32 AM
Perhaps most importantly, Art single-handedly took the Duke-UNC rivalry to legendary heights with his fist-fight with Larry Brown in 1961.

To me, this is the clincher. Heyman has to win.

EarlJam
10-24-2007, 11:44 AM
Perhaps most importantly, Art single-handedly took the Duke-UNC rivalry to legendary heights with his fist-fight with Larry Brown in 1961.

'nuff said. Vote Heyman!

-EarlJam

Lord Ash
10-24-2007, 11:47 AM
25 and 10 every year?

Those are ridiculous numbers. Art has my vote.

DukieInKansas
10-24-2007, 12:25 PM
To me, this is the clincher. Heyman has to win.

Got my vote for that also - but did enjoy watching Shelden play.

SilkyJ
10-24-2007, 12:29 PM
Sheld was just such a force inside. We would leave him on island to guard the other teams big, and also help out when we would get beat on the perimeter. He won countless games through blocking/altering would be layups.

I am also torn b/c Art was one of the all-time greats, and what Jason left out about the fight with Larry Brown is that two used to be buddies (and teammates I think) in High School.

In the end, sheld was my classmate I watched 95% of the games he played in Cameron, so PAY YOUR RENT!

dukeENG2003
10-24-2007, 12:30 PM
As much as I like how Heyman went after Larry Brown (I'd like to too!), I've gotta go with the nice guy here. Shelden is simply one of the nicest young men to come through Duke, was overshadowed in his career here, accomplished incredible things, and did so with great humility. I was about to vote for the old guy again, since I was worried they lose out, but in this case, I think too many people are voting for the old guy. Shel was a force, a true showcase of Coach Wo's teachings to his big men, and the greatest shot blocker in the history of the ACC. He was part of the reason our on ball defense was so poor last year: people were spoiled, they were used to shel bein there to bail them out

JasonEvans
10-24-2007, 12:43 PM
After what I wrote about him earlier in the thread, I was all set to vote for Heyman, but then I looked at the question in the poll and the aim of this thing and I reconsidered.

This is not for the best Dukie (and Heyman would very much be in the running were that the case), it is for my favorite Dukie. Shelden wins that matchup for me. Aside from some numbers and some stories written about him, I have very little connection to Art Heyman. I witnessed Shelden Williams sweat and bleed and battle for Duke University for 4 years.

There has never been a more apropos nickname for a Dukie than The Landlord. He owned the paint and you PAID YOUR RENT if you came in there. Look at how his play changed and evolved over his 4 years at school and you see how hard he worked on all aspects of his game. By the time he was a senior, he had mastered being aggressive while not picking up fouls. And, he was a double-double machine in an era where such things just do not happen very often anymore.

So, I voted for Shel. I have a feeling that after an inital burst for Art, there is going to be a bit of a Shel battle-back from the masses. This one will be a close one!!

--Jason "I am having sooo much fun with this!!" Evans

EarlJam
10-24-2007, 12:54 PM
I know I'm likely to get killed for saying this but I always felt Shelden just lacked, to use K's term, the "mother f@#$er" instinct. If he had that, combined with J.J., I think Duke could have won it all with that team.

It's not a slam on Shelden. He was awesome, and I love the guy. It just seemed to me that he lacked consistent (key word) intensity and a "refuse to lose" attitude.

Anyone else share this view?

-EarlJam

DevilCastDownfromDurham
10-24-2007, 12:55 PM
Agree 100% Jason. The historian in me wants Art to win. He comes off as such a great character in every interview/discussion I've seen, (even the sissy-blue bible "To Hate Like This...") and he's an integral part of Duke history that is too-often ignored.

That said, I never saw him play, met him, or even knew anyone who spent any significant time with him. I did watch/meet/etc. Shel and he was one of the nicest and most courageous players we've had. Dogged with some truly horrifying allegations, he showed everyone his true character in four amazing years. On the court he was without equal (at least that's what the record books say) but he was even better off the court. He played on an island and was mostly overshadowed for all four seasons, but rejected NBA $$ twice to guard the Duke basket.

My head says Heyman, but my heart, and my vote goes to Shel.

CameronBlue
10-24-2007, 01:44 PM
I know I'm likely to get killed for saying this but I always felt Shelden just lacked, to use K's term, the "mother f@#$er" instinct. If he had that, combined with J.J., I think Duke could have won it all with that team.

It's not a slam on Shelden. He was awesome, and I love the guy. It just seemed to me that he lacked consistent (key word) intensity and a "refuse to lose" attitude.

Anyone else share this view?

-EarlJam

I do. This is a vote about your favorite player, subjective almost by definition so perceptions figure more prominently than they might ordinarily. But to look up into the rafters or walk down the Hall of Fame in Cameron and compare Shelden to others whose numbers have been retired--well something just seems to be missing. Whether it's toughness or comparable talent I'm not certain. Shelden was a workhorse, he did what was asked, he was a formidable force in the paint. But Laettner, Williams, Hurley, Hill Battier et al, distinguised themselves in moments when leadership, initiative and innovation was needed. Those moments are not just about executing a play called from the bench, doing your part. It's rising above what's expected and being a leader. It's about Laettner and The Shot and a hundred other moments, Hurley keeping Duke in the game during the first half against Indiana when Laettner had been neutralized and his 3 against UNLV, Battier's backhanded tip-in and his crafty defensive adjustments, Williams role in "Gone in 54 seconds", JJ abusing Texas in the Garden, JD the entire 86 season...there are no moments frozen in time that live in the imagination and solidify Shelden's personage as a giant among men. Not to disparage his contribution to Duke's success in the least, but I was a little surprised his number was retired. His accomplishments to me just don't stand out above many others like Banks, Alarie, Boozer, Chief (think of his importance to the 94 title run)..I'm sure there are others.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
10-24-2007, 02:11 PM
Someone smarter than me (so just about anyone) noted that Shel was either going to be the greatest player without his jersey retired or the least great player with his jersey retired. That about sums it up for me.

He was REALLY good, set a bunch of records, and was, IMO, very underrated/overshadowed for his entire career (some guy named "John Clay" or something playing at the same time...) I agree with others, however, that he was never really transcendent.

I don't really know the answer to the jersey issue, but I do know that, however "great" he was as a player, he was unquestionably one of the great people to suit up for us. He improved every season, sacrificed his numbers and star for team success, and played with pride and passion every second he was on the court. As such, he's one of my favorites.

throatybeard
10-24-2007, 02:26 PM
I would say very few players truly possess the MoFo instinct.

JBDuke
10-24-2007, 03:17 PM
We all know Shel's impressive credentials and watched his amazing career, but I think it only fair to post some info about Art for the newcomers...

He is one of the very few people to ever win the Most Outstanding Player award in the NCAA Tourney without having his team with the tourney title. The year was 1963 and it was the same year Art won pretty much every award a player could including all the national Player of the Year awards. He was an unanimous first-team All-ACC selection all 3 seasons that he played basketball (freshmen were not elligible back then).

His stats are ridiculous-- he was a double-double machine averaging more than 25 points and 10 rebounds per game every year of his career. Had there been freshman elligibility back then, JJ's quest to be the all-time leading scorer in Duke history would have been a bit harder to achieve.

His teams finished in the top ten all 3 years he played and they made the Final Four his senior season... the first time a Duke team made it to the last weekend of the college hoops season.

Perhaps most importantly, Art single-handedly took the Duke-UNC rivalry to legendary heights with his fist-fight with Larry Brown in 1961. you can read more about his legendary career: here, in his profile at the Jewish Hall of Fame (http://www.jewsinsports.org/profile.asp?sport=basketball&ID=160).

--Jason "I am torn... I love Shel and he was THE LANDLORD but Art was such a great player and such a fighter!!" Evans

While I happily agree that Heyman is one of the greatest players in Duke history, and I celebrate the fact that he spurned Carolina to attend Duke, hit that little pipsqueak Brown, and put up some flat-out amazing numbers for a guy his size, I can't consider him a "favorite".

Heyman's career at Duke was over before I was born, and my only knowledge of him comes from a few clips of film, some photo stills, and written descriptions of his play and his life. I'd love to shake his hand, buy him a drink, and sit for hours to hear him tell stories about the glory days.

In contrast, I saw every game of Shelden's Duke career. From even before he enrolled, when there were questions about his character and whether or not he'd even end up in a Duke uniform, all the way through to his stellar senior year when he was an All-American, a dominant interior force that set Duke career records for rebounds and blocked shots, and a young man that had proven his character on and off the court. I spent many, many hours in Shelden's virtual presence.

Maybe it's just the illusion of closeness that TV brings, or maybe it's my own delusion of still being part of the Duke team, but whatever the cause, I feel much more connected to Shelden than I ever did to Heyman. (Notice, I even refer to one by first name, the other by last...) No matter how great the player, in a poll of "favorites", Shelden wins over Heyman.

micah75
10-24-2007, 03:39 PM
I would say very few players truly possess the MoFo instinct.

And there's a lot to be said for the quiet, but steady, work-horse type of player who does all the dirty work down low which enables guys like JJ put up the great numbers and receive the brunt of the limelight. Tim Duncan is sometimes branded as an "emotionless" player, but he's living proof that you don't have to be a screamer or a showboat in order to be TOUGH. And make no mistake, Shelden was TOUGH even if it seemed he didn't wear his heart on his sleeve. I guess being flashy will buy you extra credit in the eyes of some, but the lunch-pail work ethic of a guy like Shelden shouldn't be perceived as a negative, IMHO.

greybeard
10-24-2007, 03:58 PM
Sheld was just such a force inside. We would leave him on island to guard the other teams big, and also help out when we would get beat on the perimeter. He won countless games through blocking/altering would be layups.

I am also torn b/c Art was one of the all-time greats, and what Jason left out about the fight with Larry Brown is that two used to be buddies (and teammates I think) in High School.

In the end, sheld was my classmate I watched 95% of the games he played in Cameron, so PAY YOUR RENT!

They actually were fierce rivals in high school, and started duking it out back then, with Art playing for Oceanside and Larry playing for Long Beach, neighboring towns. The amazing thing about Heyman was that he scored all those points even though he was not a particularly good shooter. Came home to haunt him in the pros. Incredibly strong, great dribbler, especially for a man of his size, and he was indeed a man among boys.

Watched him shoot around one afternoon when I was a freshman in high school and did not believe what I was seeing. I'd take Heyman without blinking.

77devil
10-24-2007, 04:11 PM
One could argue that the Bubas era first put Duke on the national stage and Art Heyman was the key, big time recruit. The fight with Larry Brown, the biggest whiner of all time among a long list of Carolina complainers, seals the vote for me

dw0827
10-24-2007, 04:14 PM
I would say very few players truly possess the MoFo instinct.

My brother was at Duke during Heyman's reign and, to hear him tell it, Heyman was absolutely full of MoFo instinct. Loaded with it. Tough. Hard as nails. Nasty. It's what made him so productive . . .

mapei
10-24-2007, 05:04 PM
I'm going with Shel. Career leader in rebounds and blocks, hey, that's a big deal. And such a nice guy. One would rather not have to make the choice but, if I have to, I'm paying the rent.

Not to mention Candace Parker!

Turtleboy
10-24-2007, 05:29 PM
He was part of the reason our on ball defense was so poor last year: people were spoiled, they were used to shel bein there to bail them outWhat does "people [being] spoiled" have to do with our defense being bad? Even granting that, how in the world is that Shelden's fault?

Johnboy
10-24-2007, 05:47 PM
This is a terrible choice to make, but I gotta go with Art. He put Duke on the basketball map in many ways. If you haven't read Pat Conroy's "My Losing Season" there's a great description of Art Heyman in that book.

Hate to vote against Shel, though. Tough choice.

Olympic Fan
10-24-2007, 06:57 PM
This is a tough one for Art ... how can he be the favorite player for the 90 percent of voters on this poll who never saw him play?

As I noted in my Carrawell/Brand comments, this isn't a poll to pick the BEST Duke player ... as good as Landlord was, Heyman was better. He was the first ACC player to win any legitimate national player of the year awards (UNC claims one for Rosenbluth, but all he won was the bogus Helms Foundation Award -- Chet Forte won all the legit awards in '57). Heyman swept every major award -- AP, UPI, Basketball Writers, Sporting News and Helms.

And for the person that noted the Shelden is Duke's all-time leading rebounder ... well, he did end up with more career rebounds than Art -- 1,262 to 833. Of course, when you realize that Shelden played in 139 games to Art's 79, you might understand that Heyman actually averaged 10.9 rebounds a game for his career -- significantly more than Shelden's average of 9.1.

Plus his three year scoring averages of 25.2, 25.3 and 24.9 rank as the 4th, 6th and 7th best season averages in Duke history ... his career average of 25.1 ppg. is the best in Duke history -- and more than five points a game better than J.J. Redick, the "leading scorer" in Duke history.

We only have sporadic assist and blocked shots stats from Heyman's era. He was actually the team's best playmaker -- a sort of point forward in the Grant Hill, Danny Ferry mold. They did keep assists in ACC Tournament games in those days, so we know that Heyman recorded the first triple double in Duke history when he had 21 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in a 1963 tourney win over Virginia.

You've got to appreciate what Heyman meant to the Duke-Carolina rivalry. When he switched from a UNC commitment to a Duke commitment, he became the target of a brutal campaign of character assassination orchestrated by UNC's Frank McGuire. When Heyman played as a freshman against the Tar Babies, he was showed by anti-semetic curses and late in the game, he was cold-cocked by a jerk named Dieter Krause. As a soph in 1961, before the fight with Brown, Heyman was spit on several times by Doug Moe ... as for the famed fight itself, he was merely defending himself. Films showed that Brown threw the first punch ... Heyman responded and while he and Brown were dueling, UNC reserve Donnie Walsh (the future GM of the Indiana Pacers) came up from behind and slugged him.

The ACC suspended Brown and Walsh ... but also suspended Heyman the rest of the season for defending himself.

Later, McGuire hired a private detective to shadow Art on spring break ... ah, it still makes me angry. Nice to recall that Art got his revenge. He never lost to UNC again after the fight, and he finished his career with a career-high 40 points in his senior day game against the Heels.

Again, I don't expect this to change anybody's mind. And I'm not sure Art ever was as popular as his teammate, Jeff Mullins (everybody -- even opposing fans -- loved Mullins).

Art was a fun-loving guy (he and Verga were the two biggest party animals of the 60s) and he was a MF on the court. He and Laettner were probably the two most aggressive, take-no-prisoner style players in Duke history.

I certainly don't blame any of you young guys who want to vote for Shelden. I just want to make sure that you understand that Heyman was a great, GREAT player -- even if his image does seem to fade over the years.

CameronBlue
10-24-2007, 07:21 PM
That's one of the better posts I've read on this board for quite a while. Thanks.

jipops
10-24-2007, 08:37 PM
I should vote for Shelden since I actually saw him play, but Heyman's contribution to the rivalry is enormous and has actually had a huge trickle down effect on the rivalry and it's perceptions. It's probably had a huge effect on our lives in that regard. Have to recognize that. I love Shelden, he's easily one of my favorite Dukies, but have to give Heyman the vote here.

Wow, this vote is like my personal national semi-final for favorite Dukie.

JasonEvans
10-24-2007, 09:14 PM
People, we have another nail-biter on our hands. With just 12 hours until the polls close, the two warriors in this poll are seperated by just 4 votes.

It has been a classic see-saw battle. Hayman jumped out to an early lead. I saw him up as much as 10 votes at one point when about 35 or so votes had been cast. Then Shelden came storming back and I saw him with at least a 12 vote lead with about 80 votes cast. Now Shel's lead has dwindled to just 4 with about 130 votes cast.

Can the Landlord hold on? There figures to be little voting overnight but the early morning polls pushed Duhon over the top yesterday. Will the early morning voters again turn the tide or confirm what is already happening?

--Jason "I just hope no one files a lawsuit for a re-count" Evans

Teton Jack
10-24-2007, 09:28 PM
Too many of DBR posters never saw an earlier generation play. While some may see us as "fuddy-duddy's", many of us have a perspective based on years of following Duke. Heyman, Mullins, Vacendak, Kennedy, Vandenberg, Lind, Denton, Billerman - there a host of people that made Duke great. That doesn't take away from more recent players, but it doesn't mean more recent players were better.

Teton Jack

CameronBlue
10-24-2007, 10:01 PM
My sister, much, much (much) older than I matriculated in the early 60s. I can remember straining to the pull the names of Dave Golden, Rick Katherman, Steve Vacendak, Dick Divenzio, Bob Fleischer, Mike Lewis, Bob Verga, Hack Tison and Randy Denton from out of the background static and 100,000W station bleedover on my scratchy little transistor radio. Those names were of mythical proportions to a 4 year-old, bigger than Mantle and Maris. It was Randy Denton facing down Dan Issel of Kentucky and Bob Lanier of St. Bonaventure, Marin and Mullins ripping it from 22, Verga driving the lane like a madman. It's sad that this poll diminishes what those stars contributed to the Duke tradition and fanbase. Predictable, but a little sad.

CBDUKE
10-24-2007, 10:11 PM
I love Shelden, but, I was 15 in 1963 and Heyman was The Man. I saw him play on TV and in person. Met him later in life and he is a great person. My all time Duke favorite.

Wander
10-24-2007, 10:16 PM
Too many of DBR posters never saw an earlier generation play. While some may see us as "fuddy-duddy's", many of us have a perspective based on years of following Duke. Heyman, Mullins, Vacendak, Kennedy, Vandenberg, Lind, Denton, Billerman - there a host of people that made Duke great. That doesn't take away from more recent players, but it doesn't mean more recent players were better.

Teton Jack

That's 4 of the 7 polls with this complaint. I think my prediction of 12 of 16 may be a little bit too high, but not by much.

heyman25
10-25-2007, 12:05 AM
I met him in Durham and he had Thanksgiving at our house on Urban Ave and brought Jeff Mullins and 2 hot Duke women.I saw his final game at Duke Indoor stadium against Billy Cunningham. He scored 40 points and had 24 rebounds. That final game on his home court will never be matched by any Duke basketball player. I think he connected with Frank McGuire's lower region's in the Larry Brown fight.I would love to go to his bar in Manhattan. I am surprised that someone doen't make a film on his over the top behaviorwhile at Duke.Eddie Cameron didn't like him and that is why it took so long to retire his jersey.

JBDuke
10-25-2007, 12:30 AM
Too many of DBR posters never saw an earlier generation play. While some may see us as "fuddy-duddy's", many of us have a perspective based on years of following Duke. Heyman, Mullins, Vacendak, Kennedy, Vandenberg, Lind, Denton, Billerman - there a host of people that made Duke great. That doesn't take away from more recent players, but it doesn't mean more recent players were better.

Teton Jack

Please remember that this is NOT a poll asking who was the better player. It is, instead, a poll asking voters to pick their FAVORITE player. It is a much more subjective answer, and as I described in my earlier post, it is to be expected that younger voters will tend to pick younger players, as they have a much more significant connection to those they saw play.

77devil
10-25-2007, 07:24 AM
Too many of DBR posters never saw an earlier generation play. While some may see us as "fuddy-duddy's", many of us have a perspective based on years of following Duke. Heyman, Mullins, Vacendak, Kennedy, Vandenberg, Lind, Denton, Billerman - there a host of people that made Duke great. That doesn't take away from more recent players, but it doesn't mean more recent players were better.

Teton Jack

Billerman? I would put Gary Melchioni in that sentence but not Kevin Billerman.

gw67
10-25-2007, 07:33 AM
Olympic - Your post on Heyman is terrific. Your description of him as a point forward fits my memory. He was a real load near the basket even though he was only 6-5. In some ways (strength, ability to get shot off against taller players, good passer and an unbelieveable competitor), he reminded me of Elgin Baylor.

You mentioned his "fight" with Dieter Krause of UNC during a freshmen game. My dad was stationed in Norfolk in the late 50's and I attended the same high school as Krause. I played for the JV while he played for the varsity as a junior. He was generally regarded as the top player in the Tidewater area but the varsity coach was always on his rear to be more agressive. He often gave some of us a ride home and he was very soft spoken. Later, after we moved to Northern Virginia I read of the fight and the mention that Krause sucker punched Heyman. I couldn't believe it at the time. Perhaps it was the hate between the schools, the fact that Art was Jewish, or just a stupid mistake. Who knows?

gw67

watzone
10-25-2007, 07:41 AM
Oly makes a great point. I love Shelden, but Art not winning this poll almost seems, well, there is no way Art would have ever been a loser in any first round.

1Devil
10-25-2007, 07:52 AM
This is not a close contest. Heyman by far. In my opinion, Shelden was a very good player who did not rise to the level of greatness. This is not to say he didn't give it his all. Of course he did. But his talent level was certainly not on a part with Heyman's, one of the all-time greats.

JasonEvans
10-25-2007, 08:30 AM
I am going to be busy at 10am, I think, so I may need to close things a few minutes early. If you are waiting until the last minnute to vote... do it NOW!

-Jason

JasonEvans
10-25-2007, 08:52 AM
The arguements on either side were so compelling, but a late surge for Shelden put him over the top. This poll is closed.

grossbus
10-25-2007, 12:45 PM
i sure wish you kept this open a little longer jason. have been away from computer a couple of days and missed several of these things. i would have picked artie.

JasonEvans
10-25-2007, 01:45 PM
i sure wish you kept this open a little longer jason. have been away from computer a couple of days and missed several of these things. i would have picked artie.

Sorry, but we have many polls to go. I simply have to keep them moving along. Plus, the time limit and the race to the finish are sometimes fun in these close races.

--Jason "if it halps, as you can see, one or even two or three more votes would not have mattered here-- unlike the Duhon-Alarie poll" Evans

SoCalDukeFan
10-26-2007, 12:44 AM
I was a freshman when Heyman was a senior.

He was an absolutely GREAT college basketball player.

SoCal

DukeVu
10-26-2007, 10:39 AM
What a great article by Olympic. Art Heyman was simply the greatest. His tenacity and aggression are unparalleled. The closest competitor at Duke was Laettner. He absolutely would not give up. Shelden was a GOOD player but not a GREAT player. I have watched them both in their careers but if you had seen Art you would love him. Shelton could not touch him in rebounding or in scoring. If you are looking for the 'good guy' image then I suppose some could vote for Shelden. However my 'favorite player' is undisputable ART HEYMAN. One great coach remarked about Heyman around the basket (only 6' 5") "--if you tried to stop him from scoring he would put you in the basket with the ball!" That final game against UNC would have made all of you believers. Just my 2 cents worth.

dw0827
10-26-2007, 10:54 AM
Hey, I think I see some hanging chads!

I demand a recount!