We know about the classic gamers of the hardwood -- Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, among others. They were the players that could be counted on to produce, night in and night out. When a game winner was needed, the clutch ballers came through -- think Michael Jordan and "The Shot" that downed Cleveland in 1989.

Just as there are kings of the basketball court, there are superstar stocks as well. We know their names: FedEx (NYSE:FDX), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). Recently, Motley Fool staff writer Seth Jayson took a look at some of the players that are trying to bring their A-game to the sports retail market. In it, Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) was highlighted as the largest of such retailers.

Dick's has established quite a track record while being followed by Fool analysts. As it steps up to the line once again, let's see whether it has what it takes to make another bucket.

What sticks out most from its latest earnings report is that the impact of the Galyan's acquisition can be seen throughout. Although the Galyan's effect was not included in its comparable store sales figures, it was included in its overall revenues that put up a big jump shot with a 43% increase to $2.1 billion for fiscal 2004.

From its sales, Dick's reined in $66.9 million of net income, bringing its year-end earnings per share (EPS) to $1.26. Its earnings would have been substantially higher, but the costs associated with the merger accounted for $12.2 million on the year, hitting its EPS by $0.23.

As expected, the merger also weighed on the company's operating margins. For the year, its operating margins came in at 5.1%, down 12% year over year. There will be additional merger costs going forward into 2005, so it will be interesting to see whether Dick's can manage to stabilize its profit margins.

Given the possibility of continued deteriorating margins, there is substantial risk in buying this stock while it trades at 28.7 times its earnings. Dick's may indeed be the big dog in the sporting goods paint, but there's a bigger Shaq in its way -- a rich valuation -- that makes a slam-dunk investment here unlikely.

Check out these articles to read up on other retailers in the sporting goods market:

Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.