Tag Archive for 'LeRoy James'

The Curious Case of Carmelo Anthony

All up in yo face!

There’s a new theme developing throughout the NBA. Maybe it’s been around for awhile and I’ve just been to young (I’m only seven) to notice. Or maybe players are just becoming more aware of their surroundings, whatever that means, and want a change of scenery. The phenomenon I write of is players demanding to be traded despite having years left on their contract, just because they want to play somewhere else, with different players.

I would understand this a little more if it weren’t for the fact that most of these players demanding trades are on winning teams. It’s not as if there stuck in Minnesota (sorry ‘sota, I got nothing but LOVE for ya but y’all need to step yo game up.) The most obvious instance of this is of course Carmelo Anthony. I would bring up the whole Chris Paul “I want to leave” bit but he was just trying to be LeRoy James Jr. and pretend like he was going to go to a big market. Let me give you a serious piece of advice CP3, leave it there.

So what’s Carmelo’s deal anyway? We’re talking about a team two years ago that took the World Champion Lakers to six games in the Western Conference Finals. We’re talking about a team that had their coach not had to undergo excruciating cancer treatment could have made a deep run in the playoffs. We’re talking about a team that still has tons of talent and players and is arguably the most thuggish ruggish team in the NBA. We’re talking about practice…well no, not that last one, but you know what I’m getting at.

Carmelo is one of the purest shooters in the NBA. The 2003 draft class has so much effin talent that he sometimes gets overlooked with all the other big names making waves. One quality he always had better than D. Wade or LeRoy was that he can score from anywhere on the floor. He has an amazing dribble-drive-fadeaway shot, is smooth from inside and out, and can handle the ball like a point guard. It’s all of these qualities that have propelled his team into the playoffs each of his seven years in The League.

What disappoints me the most is instead of Carmelo stepping up and being a leader on the Nuggets he’d rather privately request a trade to New York. I get it, New York is sweet, but the addition of you isn’t going to make them a real contender. They’d still suck even with you and Amare. So while you can make it be known that you’d love to play there it doesn’t really matter, you still have a year left and you aint going anywhere. Plus, the Birdman needs you as a teammate, friend, and lover. And you wouldn’t want to let him down would you? I wouldn’t want to piss J.R. Smith or Kenyon off too much either.

In closing (what a bad way to end a post) let me just get a general though off my hairy, undersized, underdeveloped chest. The NBA season is from the end of October to, for most teams, May. That’s seven months. Considering you don’t have to attend any summer leagues (which most third year guys and beyond don’t) you pretty much have 150 days off a year. Here’s and idea; buy a god damn condo in Manhattan and live their in the off-season. It’ll be just as much fun then as it will be during the season. You can sit at home and play slap dick all you want and still play for a different city come tip off time. Just a thought, just an idea.

Kevin Durant — Back to the Future

It's Velvet Hoop!

After watching today’s FIBA matchup of Brazil vs the United States, it’s clear everyone in the media and basketball is in love with Kevin Durant. And by in love I mean I’d be willing to bet that half the reporters out there would let KD take their daughter to prom, violate her in ways that aren’t even imaginable, and still pick-up the dry cleaning bill to rid his tux of blood and other…fluids.

Is all this attention overdue, overhyped, or just where it needs to be? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out. Let’s take a closer look at where Durant is headed, and where he’s going to be (I have a flying DeLorean, so yes I know what’s going to happen next year. By the way, Tampa Bay in 6.)

Taking a look at Durant’s first three seasons, just by the numbers, is certainly a way to clearly see how much better he’s gotten in just three years. His scoring average has jumped by five points each year, his free throw percentage keeps getting better, and he shoots nearly fifty percent from the field. Even though he only (and I say “only” because Durant’s damn near seven feet, so some people might expect more) averages 7 boards a game, that number too has increased every year. Not to mention he took a worthless Sonics team and turned them into a playoff squad in three years. Reminds me a little bit of King Jam—err, someone I used to know who played basketball.

But why now all of a sudden does it seem that everything and anything that has to do with basketball stops and starts with KD. Well, for one, he’s the star of the FIBA worlds competition. No one from the 2008 gold medal Olympic team is on this years roster, so naturally we need to obsess with someone else. He’s the clear choice. While guys like Rose, Iggy-Diggy and Kevin Love are getting their fair share of heterosexual praise, Durant is always the headline. I’d be willing to bet that any headline from ESPN, RealGM or HoopsHype that relates to the World tourney has the phrase “Durant Leads,” “Durant Stars” or “Durant Goes From Person of Interest to Prime Suspect in Dallas Murder-Suicide” in it. It’s only natural that the media is snowballing his success and making him one of the NBA headliners.

A shift in the NBA game has also created a new role for KD. Who really thought both Bosh and LeRoy were going to Miami? I didn’t, and I’m not sure anyone else out there two weeks before Le Decision knew either. So how does this relate to Durant. Well for one I don’t think there’s any chance LeRoy/Wade/Bosh wins the MVP next year. It clearly won’t be LeRoy because he’s not going to win it three years in a row. Even if he averages a triple-double it would still be tough for him to win. To me there’s really only two candidates, Durant and Howard. Now, I don’t believe Howard’s anywhere near good enough to win an MVP, but we’ve seen the fickleness of reporters before when it comes to MVP voting. All these stupid unwritten rules about who to vote for, who deserves it, MVP of team vs League blah blah blah. The only way Durant doesn’t win the MVP this year is if he gets hurt and misses a SIGNIFICANT amount of time. If he keeps the 30 + points a night and improves his boards and his assists even marginally, he’s got it locked up.

So are there any negatives? Is he just one big greased up well oiled machine that can’t possibly be stopped? Of course not. Last time I checked he still plays for the OKC Thunder. I like them, I think they have some good young pieces, but I think it’s awhile before we can call them serious contenders. He could mirror LeRoy’s fourth year and take his team to the Finals, seeing as the West has been weakened, but no way he wins a Chip. Plus, I’m not convinced he’s even the best player in the league. Until someone knocks Kobe off he’s still King of the Hill. He’s also still a pretty scrawny, scrappy guy. I’m not saying this is always bad, but seeing as almost every NBA player is now a genetic freak, we’ll see if KD’s body can maintain health after all the bumps and bruises he’ll go through this year. He’ll also have a target on his back this year. He’s no longer just a new up and comer. He’s one of the NBA’s stars. He’s taking away headlines from the The Chosen Three in Miami, the Super-powers out West, and over the hill, overweight, cigarette addicted Caucasian coaches.

I’m excited to witness watch the rest of the FIBA world tournament, and we’ll see if KD is really on track to become the next stud in the NBA. Because, after all, a game doesn’t really count if the key on the court looks like something out of an origami puzzle book.