Sunday, December 24, 2006

Random Thoughts

My favorite team in the NBA, the Denver Nuggets, have recently acquired my least favorite player and the embodiment of all that is wrong in basketball, Allan Iverson. Ever since the rumors began to float about a trade to the Nuggets, I was sure the end of my favorite team was around the corner. However, I must admit that I think the Nuggets made a decent deal, if they had to make it. While I still think making the trade at all was bad for the long run, I can see a benefit for the playoffs by adding someone else who can score, especially from the outside. Better yet, they did not have to trade future star, Nene. By only giving away a mediocre starter who could not hit long jumpers and a bench player who is worthless, the team avoided killing the franchise. I wish they could have kept at least one of the first round picks, but I guess they are willing to bet the team they have now is going to win the West. Anyway, the trade was still a bad idea, but at least I still have hope for the team overall.

On a more serious note, The video a Girl Like Me repeats the doll test of Brown v Board of Education with results that have cause a bit of a stir. It has made many think that racism and stereotypes are still rampant in this country. I want to state up front that segregation was an evil most foul, lest anyone try to twist my next words. I think ABC and those reacting to this test are overreacting and failing to ask a basic question. What everyone would be saying if those kids in Harlem had picked the white doll as the bad doll and black doll as the good doll? Would that indicate that people were being taught to hate those who have different skin color than themselves? Perhaps it is time we realized that this test has no right answer because it demands a value judgment based on skin color. Both answers are racist answers. I do pray for the day when racism ends, but this test means little to nothing.

5 Comments:

Jay said...

Iverson may be your least favorite player, but I disagree that he embodies what's wrong with basketball. As Bill Simmons' December 13 espn.com column points out, Iverson plays hard every night and is beloved by his teammates. Since he got to the NBA, he's had fewer off-court problems than numerous other players, including Carmello (you've heard about the "snitch" video, right?). Anyway, check out the Sports Guy's column and tell me if it changes your mind, at least a little, about AI.

Lee said...

Well one thing is obvious from the Simmons article, Bill Simmons does not like basketball too much. Sure AI may not have off court problems like my least favorite person playing basketball, Kobe Bryant, but he is still throwing up 31 shots and hitting 12. Sure that works out to 24 points without free throws and three pointers, but it is also a joke. If Pistol Pete put up 31 shots, he would have averaged 50 a game. If Wilt Chamberlin put up 31 shots a night, well, he would have scored a lot more than 12 of them. The list of players provided to AI were good enough to make the NBA finals when the coach made Iverson back off his game and play the point guard position. The players like Jerry Stackhouse and Tim Thomas and others have prospered under systems where they actually get the ball in the flow of the game. Andre Iguadala set a career high in the first game away from Iverson and the Sixers have not lost since the trade. No, he got a coach fired, demanded a trade, makes an outrages amount of money, is a point guard who refuses to pass, and thus he embodies all that is wrong with the NBA. Even Bill Simmons admits he ushered in the Hip Hop age.

Jay said...

According to databasketball.com, Pistol Pete's career FG% was .441. Iverson's is .421. So if Pistol Pete were to shoot 31 times a game, he'd make 13.67 shots (that's only 27.3 points per game from the field). If Iverson does the same, he makes 13.05. Plus, I'm assuming that the Pistol's career FG% would be lower if there had been a three point line, which is an incentive to take riskier shots. Wilt, who is over a foot taller than Iverson and played center, is not a good comparison.

Point being, I'm inclined to agree with Simmons that Iverson's stats would look a lot different if he ever played with decent players. That theory should get tested, once 'Mello comes back from his suspension for brawling (I don't recall Iverson ever receiving such a suspension).

Lee said...

First, Carmello's suspension was a joke. He did not start the fight, but got the longest sentence. Crazy. They are punishing him because he was a better fighter than everyone else. His sentence is almost as long as Stephen Jackson who beat up fans.

Second, Pistol Pete did shot long range shots, but the main difference between Pete and AI was the passing. AI never passes and Pete made great passes. Did Pete ever play with anyone good? No. But he passed and got assists anyway. AI cries about it.

You are right once Melo comes back then we will see for sure whether or not AI can play basketball, cares about winning, or is just a big ball hog.

Jay said...

So far, Iverson's assist numbers with Denver are 10, 13, 10. The last one included 44 points. He's shooting well over 50%. It's just three games, but I won't be at all surprised if he ends up averaging 25-30 points and 9-10 assists. Now if we could just do something about those powder blue uniforms . . .