The Power of Independent Trucking

Every single day, everywhere I go, from the samosa joints of Devon to the Burberry boutiques of Michigan, from the liquor stores of Cottage Grove to the day spas of Clark, from the car dealerships on Western to the blue collar bars on Cermak, everybody keeps asking me:

"Yo...Dr. Lawyer IndianChief. What's it gonna take....
We know Bethlehem Shoals n them, The Esquire n them...
We know y'all aren't happy. What's it gonna take...
What's it gonna take for this season to be redeemed for y'all?"

Someone on the blog asked about The Suns winning the finals. Ok, I'm interested. I could also go for Raymond Felton winning ROY, Dalembert winning DPOY, or Sam Mitchell winning COY. Lebron James chewing his sorry ass team out. Vazquez joining the Magic so we could preview a Darko-Fran-Dwightbeast frontcourt with Jameer running the point. The Clippers winning a playoff series. Steve Francis and Marbury fighting each other at The Rucker. KG robbing a Denny's. Larry Brown mic'd up and caught, during the last game of a season in a timeout, saying, "I just want you to know, I love you guys." Krstic and Good Vince bumping chests. Stephen Jackson declaring himself "The Mayor of Indiana." Antonio Davis joining the Spurs for a final playoff run.

All of this would range from mildly to extremely enjoyable...But I want something more. I want to see Ron Artest play center.

This is the only thing that could redeem the season for me at this point, and it makes perfect sense. Now before you start griping about me not understanding the Princeton Offense or trying to be outrageous, hear me out. Kenny Thomas is a small forward, not a PF. Brad Miller is a big guy who loves to pass and take the step back jumper. Miller now becomes the Webber of four years ago. Ron Artest is built like no other human and could probably harass and wear down any big man in the league for 48 minutes. The guy isn't that much smaller than Ben Wallace. Artest is the human embodiment of a mountain, a volcano if you will. With no beginning and no end. Barkley, but more wily. Oakley, but smoother. Unseld, but less classic.

I have grown sick of all the positions being redefined over the past few years. Big men don't want to play big, point guards want to shoot instead of pass, and 6-8 guys don't want to do anything great; they just want to do it all. KG, Dirk, Darko, Arvydas, Franchise, Harrington, Odom...they're all guilty. Yet I am giving in now once and for all. I cannot beat them, so I have joined them...imploring Coach Adelman all the way: Let Ron Artest play center so that the season can be saved.


At 3/27/2006 11:04 AM, Anonymous T. said...

It makes perfect sense. How many centers in the league are you scared of hurting you anyways? Yao and Shaq - really that's it. Maybe Big Z, Kristic and on a good day Primoz.

And what we've learned in the last 4 years - if we're learned anything - Yao vs. small fast guy = bad for Yao (see his matchups vs. Diaw). Yao vs. any 7-footer = good for yao (see yao killing it the last three months).

The only thing I'd see is it takes Artest away from guarding that wing-guy. (see first round match-up of either Marion or Ginobili or Dirk)

What would redeem the season for me (other than pressing reset and healing TMac's back) - I'd like to see any non-San Antonio/Detroit team win it. Miami would be good (so we could hear Shaq rap again) - but what would really float my boat would be the Clippers. Can you imagine? Super Maggette, Brand, Cat Mobley? Kaman in a victory parade? It boggles the mind.

At 3/27/2006 12:04 PM, Anonymous b. peter said...

I realize that Felton has come on strong of late and Chris Paul's numbers have dipped a little recently, but is Felton somehow more FD than Paul who, aside from his solid numbers, has his team winning games?

At 3/27/2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Jeff Reguilon said...

Artest would be an interesting look for the Kings at center. He's brick wall-girthy enough to take up plenty of space and make people second-guess drives into the lane more than Brad Miller does. Plus, it would encourage him to work in the post more on offense and take fewer jumpers, which is good, because his shot still isn't back. I would estimate he would up his scoring average somewhere between 5-10 points a game if he completely stopped popping threes.

A more controversial move, though, would to play Bonzi at the 4. Either the groin injury or cheeseburgers make him too slow to get after quick guards on D and he gets all his offensive juice on the block. Plus, he's arguably the Kings' best rebounder. If they use a secondary lineup that includes Kenny Thomas and Bonzi at the 3 and the 4 respectively, they might not get killed on the boards as much as they do now.

Oh, and speaking of dudes playing out of position, Francisco Garcia has done a surprisingly good job spelling Bibby at the point. If you haven't watched this kid lately, you should make it a point to do so. In spots, he embodies the spirit of Free Darko (as I understand it, anyway).

At 3/27/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger mutoni said...

ridiculous idea.

that wouldn't redeem the season; not simply because it doesn't need to be redeemed inasmuch that it's been a truly great and enjoyable season, artest at center would only serve the purpose of making us laugh.

At 3/27/2006 2:28 PM, Blogger Mirabeau Lamar said...

Hear, hear, mutoni. This season is in need of redemption like Kanye needs arrogance. Three top scorers all above 30/game; three teams already with wins in the mid-fifties; the resurgence of the Truth; the resurrection of Amare; Artest born-again in Sacramento; Nash proving last-year's MVP award to be no fluke; how many more "narratives" do you guys need? This year has style, substance and stats! If this is the nadir of the Association, then maybe FD should content itself with commenting on the Hoop-it-Up tourney or deal only in conjecture and what-if scenarios. This season is a fan's delight and no amount of deconstructing the significance of T-Mac's back injury can diminish the shine.

At 3/27/2006 2:41 PM, Blogger there is no you or me without Suomi said...

The title of this post gives me hope that one day a commentator will describe say, CP3, as going through a defender 'like a pavement saw'.

At 3/27/2006 4:20 PM, Blogger emynd said...

I forget if I've said this before in a previous comment section, but CP3 is the fucking worst nickname ever.


At 3/27/2006 5:09 PM, Anonymous Lucas said...

I like it, Artest at center, Brad miller at point. Who would guard Brad Miller? Marbury? Miller could drain a few open 3's (i've seen it done) because the defender is too short to block or obstruct it. Yes Bonzi at PF and bibby at SG.

At 3/27/2006 6:53 PM, Anonymous T. said...

I've been wondering for a while now, what makes a player freedarko . . . is there a scale? points?

Here's one man's stab at it:

* injury prone?: +17
* universally praised and recognized by non-NBA fans: -15
* toils for an obscure team: + 20
* ability to dominante under the radar: + 20
* non-obvious skills (e.g. Yao's passing or Bonzi Wells' rebounding): +15
* non-American: + 12
* Plays for the Spurs: -15
* Clutch: + 8
* Quirky behavioral tics: +27

At 3/27/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm into this. . .we've spent so along throwing fd around as an ethereal concept, we might as well go the other extreme and crank up the quantiatve jets (silverbird, i see you. . ).

by this index:

arenas: 92
gerald wallace: 72

At 3/27/2006 8:41 PM, Anonymous TZ said...

Before the genius "FD Scale" takes over this thread, let me weigh in on Ron-Ron as a center:


That's all.

Actually, the best thing about the era has been Ron's exploits at point. When he, Francisco Garcia (who really needs a good nickname) and Kevin Martin share ballhandling duties when Bibby sits, it's masterful. In fact, Garcia/Martin/Artest/Bonzi/Kenny could be the best lineup ever. Three guys can handle, three guys can pass, four guys can drive, four guys can shoot, three guys can rebound, two guys can fly, three guys can play man D, all five can help effectively on D, three guys can get ejected without anyone in the gym being surprised, five guys can dunk like a 6'10 high school senior. Billy Knight would kill for this roster.

Adelman has been rather loose with the rules of position this season already. Reef has played major minutes at center, and even Kenny has spent some time there. Miller has been at PF only recently when Potapenko got some burn.

At 3/27/2006 11:16 PM, Blogger Pooh said...

Shoals, I think I can derive an accurate equation for Free Darkoness if you add a third played, one Dwyane Wade, as a benchmark.

(Back to the lab)

(and back from the lab)

As an aside, which players in the elite 8 had FD potential?

Kyle Lowry
Rudy Gay (he seemed about one quick hook from busting a dry-erase board over calhoun's head all tourney...)

or are any appeals to predraft FD analysis (a needed counterpoint to Chad Ford) just lost?

At 3/28/2006 9:57 AM, Anonymous T. said...

If Luc Richard Mbah a Moute isn't freedarko, then dang it, no one in this world is.

(And to add another ucla player - Jordan Farmer - my jewish friends are torn between him being the next Danny Schayes and disliking his tatoos - but I think they're going to keep rooting for him)

At 3/28/2006 10:56 AM, Blogger Mirabeau Lamar said...

Would Adam Morrison be FD? His trashtalking and open weeping after their loss to UCLA would make him seem a perfect candidate for FD cannonization, however his throwback game seems too '60s era to merit much consideration.

At 3/28/2006 5:27 PM, Anonymous TZ said...

Tyrus Thomas is too SLAM! to be FD. UCLA's Afflalo, though, is the next Ron-Ron.


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