NBA MVP – Who? (Rivalfish)

25 01 2008
Keeping going with the NBA MVP debate… Andy Kissko, of Rivalfish, offers us this highly entertaining rant…
I’d like to start by saying that this will come off as curmudgeon-ish, whiny and most likely not usable for your MVP thingy. It’s also of the “yeah, but what the hell can anyone do about that?” variety.
Manute Bol
But what I dislike about the NBA (and I don’t know of a way to solve this, and probably, it shouldn’t be solved) is that it’s so physique-oriented and increasingly less talent-oriented. If you’re over 6’11” you ARE getting drafted. Period. Look at Chris Kaman and Joel Pryzbilla, Sean Bradley, Manute Bol, Mark Eaton. In terms of talent they are total wastes of my time. But they still are all (or were) multi millionaires and contributed to their team.
Then you have players that have a lot of talent, but just aren’t either fast or tall (or total whitey bastards) and there is no place for them in the league.
I realize that this sounds like a combination of your mother and a racist for saying “why can’t a Steve Alford or JJ Reddick or AJ Guyton have a place in this league???”… but that really is part of the reason I don’t watch.
Players get drafted based on a combination of achievement and physique (because physique equals potential to scouts), and usually more of just the latter.
I grew up in Indiana in the Bob Knight era (no seriously, I’m sure you couldn’t guess that from this email already), but the NBA has no coaching. There are no schematics anymore, just ego harnessing. If you can’t get your own shot, you’re not usable in the NBA. That sounds like lazy coaching to me. Actual talent doesn’t win out, physical talent seems to win out.
It’s become way too playground ball-ish in the last decade. For the first three quarters the players look for groupies in the audience, then decide to try only in the fourth.
As a kid I grew up loving the game of basketball and in Indiana it’s a huge deal.
I love the game.
I had a coach that taught us so much about dribbling, pivoting, passing that we didn’t shoot the ball until the fourth week of practice. That was in fourth grade.
I’m a purist.
The NBA is not watchable.
Yes, they’re electrifying athletes and exciting, but they and the NBA product could be so much better with actual coaching.
Sorry that was so long winded and preachy.
If you are going to blame me for that, you should also blame the Jim Beam I have been drinking as well.
It’s only fair.
I’m sure this has come off as some kind of angry or bitter thing from a dude you all assume is like 5-3”, doughy and racist – none of which I am – but I am frustrated by the current state of the NBA.
It’s just weird how unique that is to the NBA.
NBA Maddux? Nuh-uh…The NBA will NEVER EVER EVER have a Dough Flutie, or a Darren Eckstein, or Greg Maddux.
I guess the only examples I can think of off the top of my head are white, but it has 0 to do with race with me, but about effort and talent.
Maddux is such a talent and not at all a specimen.
Who is his NBA counterpart?
Nobody.
Only a few more to go… so stay tuned!

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8 responses

25 01 2008
Basketball » NBA MVP - Who? (Rivalfish)

[…] withmalice wrote a fantastic post today on “NBA MVP – Who? (Rivalfish)”Here’s ONLY a quick extractBut what I dislike about the NBA (and I don’t know of a way to solve this, and probably, it shouldn’t be solved) is that it’s so physique-oriented and increasingly less talent-oriented. If you’re over 6′11” you ARE getting drafted. … […]

25 01 2008
fouledout

dude, chris kaman is NOT a waste of talent.. the other big guys you mentioned are really mediocre, but kaman is not.. he has improved over the years and he has stepped up in the absence of elton brand.. kaman averages double-doubles now so i guess that’s a proof that he is not a waste of talent. just yesterday he scored 20 points and 21 rebs..

25 01 2008
withmalice

I’m with you on Kaman… he’s the real deal, a legit center.

And to be fair to Andy, originally this was just an email to me bemoaning the state of the NBA. I found it entertaining, and asked him if I could reproduce it, he said ‘no’ but I did anyway.

I kid, I kid – he said no problems… doesn’t necessarily mirror my own opinion, but he raises some valid points.

25 01 2008
Str8Hoops

“The NBA is not watchable. Yes, they’re electrifying athletes and exciting, but they and the NBA product could be so much better with actual coaching.”

I find this so wrong. If anything, players are overly-coached. Also, to imply that NBA players don’t try because they are huge and athletic (rather than small and white) is very misguided. Look at Steve Nash!

25 01 2008
withmalice

But fair’s fair – Nash is an exception, not the rule.
And overly coached? I do disagree on that. Definitely in an age where coaching has less impact than even a decade ago.
Look at how often we bemoan the lack of basic skills players have — which has in part lead to the rise of the ‘Euro-player’, and European basketball in general.

25 01 2008
Patrick

The NBA will NEVER EVER EVER have a Dough Flutie, or a Darren Eckstein, or Greg Maddux. I guess the only examples I can think of off the top of my head are white, but it has 0 to do with race with me, but about effort and talent.

If you are going to leave race out of this, Spud Webb or Mugsy Bogues seem like the perfect examples of the Eckstein type player. Guys who do more with less.

25 01 2008
Str8Hoops

Well, Eckstein and Flutie are also the exception, rather than the rule. And of course its easier for Maddux to be Maddux at his size because what he does requires insane hand-eye control rather than physical athletic skill of running, jumping, strength, quickness… or even being in shape for that matter. He doesn’t have to run up and down the court covering guys like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. The nature of the game of basketball is such that you need to be athletic… or very big at the least. I guess I just take exception to the thought that baseball players somehow try harder than basketball players. Just think about a basketball practice vs. a baseball practice.

As far as you points on coaching and Eurostyle b-ball… now that would be a great debate! I got lots of thoughts on that type of stuff. Too much for this comment box though! 🙂

25 01 2008
Steve

I hate to say that I cannot think of the last time I watched an NBA game wire-to wire..I think it was when the T-wolves lost to the Lakers in the Western confernce finals a few years ago. If you want proof as to how defective the American game has become, in the last world championships in Japan, the US got beat by Greece-a team without a single NBA Player on its roster. And this USA team had talent like LeBron, Melo, etc. We have players who are great ATHLETES , but necesserily (spelling) PLAYERS. I think ghetto ball has hijacked the league(Too much in that point to go into here). I think it’s more than coincidence that the San Antonio Spurs have had so much success with an international line-up that is well coached, well-disciplined and works hard.

That said, when American Basketball players reach a point where they really have something to prove-and we saw this in the ’76, 84 and 92 Olympics, as well as the Tournament of the Americas this past summer. When American balllplayers really feel like they have something to prove, they increase their intensity and play better ball. Look at the job on Defense Kobe did during the tournament of the Americas. It will be interesting if they can keep that level of intensity up this summer in China.

To Patrick’s point, I don’t know, Charles Barkely did pretty well for a guy who was not the fastest, kind of doughy and only 6’4-yet he could rebound like a demon. Love him or hate him, I do think Sir Charles was one hardworking SOB.

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