Full disclosure time: I had no idea Wednesday was #LeftHandersDay.
Had I known in advance, I would have plotted a totally new and improved and ornate All-Lefty Team to trot out for the occasion and honor southpaws everywhere, since I think I haven’t had one on the site since 2009. If I had to scramble one together, it would likely look a little something like this:
C – Chris Bosh
PF – Zach Randolph
SF – TBD (It’s a stretch to classify any of the other top lefties in the league -- DeAndre Jordan, Thaddeus Young, David Lee, Josh Smith or Josh McRoberts -- as an out-and-out wing man. Smith would presumably make the most sense, but it doesn’t feel quite right highlighting him here after a season like last season. So I’ll need more time to ponder this one.)
SG – James Harden
But I’m vowing here and now to unveil an updated (and maybe even interactive) version during the season and invite you all now to start lobbing in your suggestions via Twitter at @ESPNSteinLine. In the meantime ...
Knowing how important left-handed-ness is to me, ESPN.com’s ace researcher Adam Reisinger has helped me whip up a few lefty superlatives to make sure the holiday is properly observed in this space.
So here goes:
The all-time leading left-handed scorers in pro basketball history, combining both NBA and ABA stats, are as follows:
C – Artis Gilmore (24,941)
PF – Sam Perkins (15,324)
SF – Chris Mullin (17,911)
SG – Gail Goodrich (19,181)
PG – Lenny Wilkens (17,772)
(Note: Miami’s Chris Bosh will pass Perkins this season, which is fitting since they’re both power forwards who became known for their floor-spacing capabilities.)
David Robinson (20,790 career points) is the only lefty to top the 20,000-point mark in NBA history. Gilmore, of course, scored a large bulk of his points -- 9,362 to be exact -- in the ABA.
Last season, only two lefties made it to the All-Star Game: Houston’s Harden and Miami's Bosh.
The legendary Bill Russell holds the lefty record for most All-Star appearances (12), NBA championships (11) and MVPs (five).
The highest single-season PER registered by any lefty (with enough games to qualify) was David Robinson’s 30.7 in 1993-94. (I know I’ve told this story more than once, but I can’t resist mentioning again how I covered Robinson’s 71-point game for San Antonio at the Los Angeles Sports Arena as a rookie Clippers beat writer for the L.A. Daily News.)
The highest single-season scoring average ever recorded by a lefty was Tiny Archibald’s 34.0 PPG in 1972-73 for the Kansas City Kings ... and I can’t resist mentioning again how much it saddens me that the one and only Tiny, as I recently tweeted, lost his only season as a Buffalo Brave to a horrendous Achilles tear.
Did you know LeBron James eats and writes with his left hand? (That tidbit was unveiled in the All-Lefty Team column in 2009.)
And in the most obscure bit of lefty trivia Reisinger found, Steven Hill (2008-09 Thunder) and Randy Holcomb (2005-06 Bulls) are the only two lefties to play in the NBA and never miss a shot. Both went 1-for-1 from the field in brief careers.
I repeat: I’m gonna bust out a fully refreshed All-Lefty Team at some point this season, at the behest of loyal longtime reader Ace Feltman in Dallas, and I want your submissions at @ESPNSteinLine. And because Basketball-Reference.com is so good, I can pass along this link featuring the 39 southpaws who played at least one game in the NBA last season.