People should have understood when he was at Georgia Tech: Mark Price was a phenomenal talent.
He was not well known coming out of high school in Enid, Oklahoma but quickly established himself as a superb player at Georgia Tech. But he was just 5-11 and there's not a big market for 5-11 white point guards in the NBA.
So he was drafted in the second round by Dallas and immediately traded to Cleveland. People thought he was too slow to be an NBA player, which was mystifying to us. He never looked slow.
There is one play he made against Duke when he was with the Yellow Jackets that really underscores his gifts: Johnny Dawkins drove down the left side of the lane and ultimately sort of cut to the basket at an angle. Price saw him coming, hustled across the court, stripped Dawkins and just kept going toward his basket.
It may not sound that great, but keep in mind that Dawkins was immensely talented, quick and could really jump. To anticipate that, then to strip him in mid-air?
It reminds us a bit of when we knew Kyrie Irving was special: Michigan State tried to triple team him and couldn’t.
In the NBA, Price was respected as a brilliant shooter and a guy who was almost impossible to stop. And for an enduring contribution, he taught the NBA how to split the pick and roll.
Listen to what his former rivals say about him here. It’s pretty impressive when you are compared to Stephen Curry as a shooter.
Incidentally, the first two minutes of this video are just crap. We set the link to start past it but if for any reason it doesn’t work, keep that in mind.