7.15.2005

That's my boy



I don't really follow the EBC, since pretty much every detail out of there threatens to set my hoops/hip-hop/city fixated mind reeling for days on end. But this little anecdote is almost too good to be true. Arenas really is the Iverson of weird (as distinct from the weird Iverson, which he also might prove to be).

Not saying that the Rucker is basketball gangland, but only someone as spacey as Arenas would arbitrarily decide to switch teams in what, after all, is called street ball for some reason. Or there's the other angle, which is that he simply forgot that he'd promised two of his better-known running buddies that he'd go for bragging rights with them this summer. Because you know Arenas wasn't planning to pull a Kobe and just show up for an afternoon of cred-establishing highlights.

Still not sure how enthusiastic to be about the Kwame signing, if only because the expectations are so cautious. I still think he has star potential (plenty of GM's agree with me), but on a team that wants to win, Phil might just focus on getting him to perform solidly in the post. But whatever; if he finds his rhythm, he'll make an impact. He's still got a whole career ahead of him to aspire to more than mere Joe Smith-dom.

Oh, and for me, this summer's biggest basketball side-plot is remembering that the Nets didn't draft Warrick.

11 Comments:

At 7/15/2005 12:01 PM, Anonymous hugeupside said...

Apparently Arenas has been playing streetball in some of the most notoriously bad areas of DC all summer... the guy is truly a man of the people.

As for Kwame, as a Wizards fan, it pains me to see him traded to LA, a situation where he won't be under pressure to be a savior, and Phil will have the opportunity to reclaim him. The Kwame Era in DC has just been incredibly frustrating, and he basically did not have a chance to ever improve in DC.

I don't expect that he'll become Jermaine O'Neal (too passive, never showed enough even in 30mpg, small hands, can't shotblock), but he NEVER would have improved in DC -- too much bad blood. I'm happy to get Caron and Chucky in return, though.. should help the team. With the rumored signing of Donyell Marshall, the Wizards still sound like a playoff-caliber team.

 
At 7/15/2005 12:38 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

who is arenas's sneaker contract with? i think his eccentricity has gone from a professional liability to a myth-making asset.

the amazing thing about him is that there's really no overall rhyme, reason or plan to his madness. he just does whatever the hell he feels like doing, no matter what the implication/implications.

i know kwame's hands are small, but seriously, how small can they be? they said that culpepper's small hands were the cause of his fumbling—the only pair of small hands i've heard as often discussed in sports-dom—but he seemed to figure that out okay. something like small hands isn't a flaw that would only get exposed on an nba level. if they were such a problem, his game would have had hands-induced weaknesses in it since high school, and his stock wouldn't have been so high on that fateful draft night.

i don't he'll ever be as rugges as o'neal, but he could be a more skilled player. i envision him as (deep breath-and utter scouting tomfoolery) a combination of o'neal, rashard lewis, and michael finley, minus of course the 3-point range.

when he had that brief run of achievement during the first month of his sophomore year, he had no problem using his athleticism to make defensive plays.

does atkins make dixon expendable?

the hurricaine here reminds me that butler was originally supposed to play point forward for the heat.

throw in marshall and that team might be better than last year's.

 
At 7/15/2005 1:02 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

Ben Wallace's hands are often discussed as small.

 
At 7/15/2005 1:14 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

THC, are you sure you don't mean rasheed wallace? he has small hands, that's the reason he can shoot so well. from what i understand, big hands help you catch the ball, rebound, and handle to some extent (see elton brand and shaq as examples of the former, jordan as an example of the latter). small hands only help you shoot better, apparently.

i don't think hand size affects shot blocking as much as height, length (!), jumping ability, and timing.

all that said, i don't see why kwame can't develop a jumper and block a shot a game. he also has an uncanny ability to handle the ball, which is why he was drafted so high. if he develops a decent post game and a reliable jumper (okay, those are big if's), he should be unstoppable on offense.

hey, fuck you guys, i'm an old school laker fan trying to find a way to like this team again.

 
At 7/15/2005 1:15 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

no, i'm definitely referring to ben. they are often blamed for the reason he misses dunks. i wonder if the pistons have the collectively smallest hands in the nba.

 
At 7/15/2005 1:31 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

well, if big ben has small hands, then all this hand size shit is definitely overrated, because few can rebound like ben wallace, and he can't shoot. puts the lie to the big hand/small hand skillset correlation right there, doesn't it?

 
At 7/15/2005 2:09 PM, Blogger Ken said...

Kobe has small hands, he can't palm the ball. That's why he always cradles it or uses two hands when he dunks.

Ricky Williams and Tiki Barber suppossedly have small hands and they were big fumblers. (Tiki seems to have gotten his shit together, though)

John Stockton had the hands of a 6'7" man.

 
At 7/15/2005 3:10 PM, Anonymous The Ghost of Len Bias said...

I tend to think that Atkins -would- make Dixon expendable, and considering Susan O'Malley's marketing-driven desire for the best-available-local-player (it stuns me that Kwame wasn't dealt for Sweetney) and Jordan's man-love for Dixon's game (inexplicable), I tend to think he'll probably be around next year -- and I'm a Terps fan! I'm pretty sure that Steve Blake is going to be playing for the Albany River Rats or something next year, though.

I think the Wizards (with Marshall) definitely do have a chance to be better next year -- they're fielding a more balanced team, will allow Jamison to play the 3 instead of getting sledgehammered by the various and sundry tall trees, which led to his playing the end of the season on the knees of a 35 year old left tackle. I'm also loving what i've seen (admittedly, mostly grainy surveillance film that looks like it was pulled from a Brazilian prison -- or MSG, whichever) of the summer league thus far.

Gerald Fitch looks to be a find, and Andray Blatche is discarding the comparisons of a poor man's Kevin Garnett for those of a bong-free Lamar Odom -- and I -adore- Odom's game. Blatche plays with a smoothness and sick handle that was certainly missing off the bench last year. I think he (more than Party John "Big Sexy" Ramos) is going to make an impact on the Wizards next year, rather than in the NBDL. At least I can hope EJ will play him.

But, back to Kwame. The man-child's biggest failing was never physical -- you can look at him and see why MJ loved him so much... huge, athletic, cut, decent handle... but his basketball intelligence (or will, or heart, or whatever) is just GOD AWFUL. Outside of the few games when he dismantled Chris Webber (the PF he was replacing in DC), Jermaine O'Neal (the guy he was supposed to be), and Tyson Chandler/Big Baby Curry (the guys who could have gone #1), he was a no-show.

He never, ever put it all together. Having MJ call you a flaming faggot in practice for 2 years while Doug Collins calls you out to the media would probably be stressful as an 18/19 year old, especially if you had MJ's poster on your ceiling as a kid. Regardless, I'm curious to see what ends up happening. I think his upside at this point is a lot more Elden Campbell than it is Jermaine O'Neal though. To really get a feel for the MJ effect, look at his shotblocking.

Kwame was a huge shotblocker in HS (which, being his height was quite easy), and initially played with that kind of aggressiveness in the L but very, very quickly he got away from it as he learned that the same sort of body bashing he was allowed to perform in HS did -not- go over well as a HS rookie in the NBA, and he constantly got into foul trouble. Collins and Jordan both RODE him about his propensity to foul, and thus... Kwame stopped going for blocks. I'm not sure that he would have ever been a Ben Wallace-level shotblocker in the NBA, mainly because of his lame feel for the game, but he at least should be putting up 1bpg at his height -- in 30mpg he was doing like .75! Inexcusable.

The Lakers will certainly be interesting next year...

 
At 7/15/2005 3:15 PM, Anonymous The Ghost of Len Bias said...

Oh yeah, Arenas is sponsored by Adidas. Dig the kicks from the allstar game...

Skills Competition

Game

 
At 7/15/2005 6:12 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i can't believe i forgot about those arenas kicks. but that does partly explain why he hasn't been more of a sneaker presence.

kwame may be confused a lot, but he's not really raw. he has some post moves and has no problem staying in the flow of a possession if it's not on him to find his way in. . .but the bigger picture usually eludes him and he sometimes seems lost if what he's doing is too removed from the main action. seems like that's easier to work around/coach with in mind than someone who is incompetent on an individual level.

i have been inexcusably lax when it comes to summer league stuff, other than occasionally checking for the statlines. as i've said before, it can weed out who is flat-out doomed, but isn't really much of an indicator of future success.

 
At 7/18/2005 9:40 AM, Blogger emynd said...

I have soft hands.

 

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