Asteroid surfing, castor-oil burping

On Tuesday, Shoals mentioned that ESPN's ongoing "NBA 2010" series of articles was like "FreeDarko done badly," but yesterday's installment was just bad. I'm not hating on the general premise of Association soothsaying, which Shoals accurately observed was very in keeping with the FreeDarko mission of writing about "obscure players full of potential," but that shit was just awful. If you're going to get all sci-fi, at least be nice with yours. Claiming Yao, Darko, and the Greek Baby Shaq for your 2010 all-star squad is about as dope as picking MC Paul Barman, Mr. Lif, and Sean Ono to guest on your future-rap masterwork. It's not.

When picking the foreign stars of the future, it's no fun to pick Yao, who was already a dominant force at the end of last season, and picking Our Hero is trendy and boring. But, Marc Spears picking Sofoklis Schortsanitis? I know it's funny that a giant black man has such a Hellenic name, but he'd be lucky to even crack the starting line up of the worst NBA team. Of all the ways to misinterpret the U.S. loss to Greece (and there are a lot), that's got to be the dumbest. Making point blank, wide open layups does not make one a can't miss NBA prospect. There's a reason the Clippers haven't brought him over since picking him in the second round of the 2003 draft.

To make matters worse, Spears then claimed in an Insider chat that Tony Parker "could be one of the best PGs in NBA history," that OJ Mayo is too small to dominate the NBA, and, most problematically, that the reason that Americans are losing in international competition is that we only teach post players how to play in the post. What basketball has he been watching? I love KG as much as McCants seems to, but by creating the prototype of the seven foot small forward, he may have irreparably damaged the sport in this country. A few weeks ago, in this very space, there was a discussion of what American centers should be on the U.S. team, and the best we came up with was Brad fucking Miller, who was on the team and never played. I'd venture that what American basketball needs more than anything is post players who have refined post moves and countermoves on offense and who understand the nuances of positioning when rebounding and playing defense. The back-to-the basket game is very different, and young players need more fundamentals, not less. (To his credit, Spears did pick J.R. Smith as his breakout player for 06-07.)

Also, for those keeping track, Rex Grossman is not a Jew, but former UVA quarterback George Allen is.


At 9/21/2006 3:07 PM, Blogger buffaloT said...

What the US Basketball needs is spot up shooting, particularly of the three point variety. As far as big men are concerned, I agree that a dynamic post game is crucial (see Elton Brand). But the ability some big men have to stretch the floor makes them that much more valuable and it shows in international play.
I thought it was interesting that you ripped the picks for next internat'l star and then offered none of your own. How about Sefolosha?
I've heard great things about this blog and I've checked it out a couple of times. Today this is the first thing that comes up on the page? It had some funny moments, but didn't offer much past criticism of others' thoughts.
KG did not create the "Prototype of the seven foot small forward." No wise GM believes that when there are less than a handful of remotely effective "prototypical small forwards." How many championships has that prototype yielded? Irreparably damaged the sport? All he's done is proved he's great player with rare physical gifts and only one run deep into the playoffs in ten years.

At 9/21/2006 3:17 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

as for int'l stars, pau gasol is still underrated, but he's pretty established at this point. it's too early to call sefolosha or bargnani. i guess i'd say that there won't be another dirk. he's a top 5 player, i don't see any int'l players attaining that status except maybe yao.

also, there are a lot of 6-11 guys who refuse to say they're centers, like jermaine o'neal, dwight howard, chris bosh, darko, lamarcus aldridge, etc. all children of KG.

also, what would you like we have come first on the page?

At 9/21/2006 3:31 PM, Anonymous seezmeezy said...

other than the dig at lif, i agree with the post. i think these lame articles are indicative of a larger problem with espn: the majority of espn's stuff (including the tv/print/radio) presents mind-numbingly obvious information with no valuable insight. listening to mike & mike is like eating dinner at macdonalds: you get the basics but feel guilty for subjecting yourself to mass-marketed mediocrity. you also want to puke and or/shit immediately after finishing.

At 9/21/2006 3:36 PM, Anonymous Henry Abbott said...

buffaloT shooters weren't the problem. The US led the tournament in field goal percentage, and points scored, while giving up the fewest turnovers. The offense was mega-effective, and far better then any other team could produce. The problem was the defense--both individual and team.

At 9/21/2006 3:45 PM, Blogger Bret LaGree said...

KG did not create the "Prototype of the seven foot small forward."

And if he did it's because Danny Manning only got to play 12 games in the NBA with his original kness.

MC Paul Barman was funny once.

At 9/21/2006 3:46 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

also, i wasn't saying that there aren't any other problems with team usa, but american post players not learning how to dribble and shoot 3's is the least of our problems.

henry's right that the u.s. reliance on man-to-man was a major problem. players having little college experience doesn't mean they're dumb or selfish, it just means they don't have experience playing that kind of team defense. they just need a good coach to teach them some different schemes and to make it clear when to use them.

At 9/21/2006 3:58 PM, Anonymous ben said...

The reason the Clips haven't brought over Schortsanitis is not because he isn't good but because the Greek team Olympus offered him a larger contract than the Clippers were willing to pay. I agree with the sentiment of the post (that Baby Shaq is quite far from being a dominant NBA player) but his lack of talent now is not the reason he's not in the NBA. Hell, Reece Gaines was in the NBA, and that wasn't because he had talent. It was because a team was willing to take a risk on him if they could properly train him. You'd be foolish to think any NBA team wouldn't be willing to do the same with Baby Shaq - the difference is simply the price tag.

At 9/21/2006 4:04 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

if he was the next dirk, a potential all-star as spears thinks, they'd buy his contract out. that's what i was saying.

At 9/21/2006 5:50 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

I agree with seez; keep Lif out of this. Washitup!

wv: odloe: What white journalists say when something Hungarian happens.

At 9/21/2006 6:15 PM, Blogger Kames the Jelly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/21/2006 6:38 PM, Blogger Kames the Jelly said...

I cannot fathom a reason to upbraid Reece Gaines' talent level while suggesting all he needed was training: intuition says you train a man because of his talent. And, yes, I went to high school with the man -- his mother is wonderful.

Pursuant to thoughts on our international competitiveness, I agree that a dominant force in the post would wreak havoc. While, yes, international skill has augmented greatly, the the number of dominant centers in the U.S. has diminished. Damned that Petrovic and his int'l trailblazing!

At 9/21/2006 8:48 PM, Anonymous jack said...

I'm going to go so far as to say, don't blame the big man for the lack of post fundamentals. I think a lot of big men who traditionally don't post up very much have a reasonably good grasp of the post game (see Rasheed Wallace), but choose not to play it because it is very difficult to get the ball in the post, very difficult to integrate post-up moves into modern offenses. I base this on watching shaq play for a long time; considering he is the best post player in the game, it is surprising how often he would get the ball a little too far away from the block, and have to pass back out, or how often the guards would not be able to get him the ball, even though the triangle offense revolved opening up passes into shaq in the laker days.

I think a lot of forwards and centers develop the alternatives to the post-up game when they are not able to get the ball in the post where they want it. I would claim Tim Duncan as the first player with center skills who decided to be a PF instead, but it's possible he was thrust into the PF slot by D. Robinson.

I would also say, a lot of power forwards are defensive specialists, ie Shane Battier, Robert Horry, Rasheed Wallace, etc, who are very good at keeping their mark away from the post, denying entry passes, staying between their mark and the basket, etc, and then another big man is ready on help, and maybe a guard is ready to come in for the double team.

But what do I know. I just watch the game.

At 9/22/2006 2:45 AM, Blogger T. said...

Does anyone else think the US Women's team losing is as strong an indication to the "US team only had a few weeks together" theory of why the Men's team lost? If anything, the Women's team had far superior talent compared to the rest of the field.

Teamwork and familarity count for quite a bit more than talent in a one-and-done tournament.

(Or was I the only one to even notice the women losing?)

At 9/22/2006 4:04 PM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

Don't want to change the subject but there is a serious FD red alert going on with Jason Whitlock giving his first post-Page2 interview.

He uses the word "bojangling" about 10 times in reference to Scoop Jackson and numerous others and basically calls for a new more internal civil rights movement against an "ignorant 5%" led by W.E.B. DuBois talented 10%. Terms are being pirated and redefined, who knows how this is gonna go.


At 9/27/2006 4:01 AM, Anonymous dajaajun said...

I think there are rules in the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement that set limits on the amount of money a team can pay to buy somebody out, and/or the amount of money you can offer to a league rookie.


Post a Comment

<< Home