No time for precision
This is possible the deadest quadrant of the entire NBA cycle, making it exceptionally difficult to blog with abandon. I'm also technically on vacation, which places at least a few ethical barriers in front of the usual FreeDarko activity. That said, I have been bugged for the past few days by something I heard on the radio before leaving, so much so that I put off heading to the airport so I could start a post on it.
I happened to be listening to Sporting News radio when word first came down that Isiah was pursuing Jared Jeffries. The Saturday shows are populated by the most generic, nasal quack at the beginning of each phrase wankers imaginable, so I wasn't expecting any in-depth analysis. I was a little astounded, though, to hear one of them absolutely assail Zeke for going after another SF. What's more, this king of the airwaves also took supreme issue with Jeffries's '05-06 averages, taking them as an indication of J Double's absolute worthlessness as a player.
My first draft went the way of the burning carpet because it went too far out of its way to praise Jeffries. The truth is, his postmodern dirty work isn't so deft that it can quietly make up for minor team deficiences (see Balkman, Renaldo). The Knicks probably could stand to overpay for someone like that, since being fucked capwise with an unlivable roster is a lot worse than being slightly more fucked with a mildly viable one. Jeffries, though, is not that guy; yes, he technically can guard three positions, handles and passes extremely well for his size, and doesn't mind relative anonymity. Yet as anyone who has followed the Wizards knows, his defense is hardly definitive, he's not a consistent rebounding presence, and he's capable of missing any shot known to man. I agree that he's the kind of presence Isiah (and the Wizards, apparently) want; he's just not particularly good at it.
But what prompted this in the first place, and what angered me so fully that it stuck with me for days, was the radio guy's stat-hawking. I will never understand how it is that ignorant-ass pundits supposedlt watch the game enough to discount Kobe or Iverson's scoring, but apparently haven't paid enough attention to understand what someone like Jeffries is all about. Either numbers don't tell the whole story or they do; it's especially galling that someone whose impact on a game supposedly works in terms of non-glory-seeking, the kind of player you'd think an anti-numbers fan would embrace, could be trashed in this manner. "Right way," or at least "non-selfish" player would be definition not show their accomplishmens in stats, since only a vainglorious ass would worry about his rote output. Apparently, though, with some people NBA'ers are damned if they produce, damned if they don't; I'm only guessing that these watchers watch games to deflate stats without thinking about how an athlete could bolster his rep through in-game subtleties.