FD Guest Lecture: Ode to Quiet Stars
A brief history of my basketball verse feud with author Sherman Alexie: First, Sherman wrote a poem for TrueHoop on his reluctance to see Iverson start in the All-Star Game. Then, I hit back with a pro-AI bucket of rhymes. Now, here's his response to my response. The Monta stuff hurts!
Let me sing for Saint Thomas Aquinas,
Who believed truth is found through faith
And reason. He would not have been afraid
Of the Adjusted Plus-Minus
Or any number that contradicts
What we see and what we think we know.
The numbers tell us Anderson Varejao
Is a quiet star, setting vicious picks
And destroying the offensive schemes
Of every team. I’d take that Brazilian
Maniac over a million
Vince Carters and Tracy McGradys.
The numbers tell us that Kobe is not
The most clutch at the end of games
(LeBron is Mr. Clutch’s real name,
Though you’d be okay with a Dirk jumpshot
Or just a simple pick-and-roll).
Some folks think that Monta Ellis
Is a star, but the numbers tell us
His team suffers when he’s got the ball.
Why do hoops fans believe what they see
When there’s no sense weaker than sight?
Why do hoops fans take such delight
In crossovers and dunks, those simple dreams,
But hardly ever reward those players
Like Joe Johnson or Shane Battier,
Who have complex and strange games---
Whose skills have layer upon layer?
I’m sick of it! I’m tired and pissed!
Well, no, I’m not mad. I’m just bored
By those fans who keep track of the score
But never realize what they’ve missed.
And why do we give these fans such power
When they choose All-Stars without reason?
Here’s the tragic truth: This season,
Iverson isn’t even better than Luke Ridnour.