Let players wear jersey No. 23, retire these things instead
The Brandon Jennings can't shoot rhetoric: The 2006 Rajon Rondo couldn't shoot. The 2008-2009 Sasha Vujacic can't shoot. Don't put B.J. in that class. That was his knock coming out of Italy, it has been his knock since ... but let's kill all that noise. After Saturday's epic 55-point outburst, the youngster said that, finally, in his 29-point third quarter, he grew tired of the Warriors disrespecting him by going under the screens on pick-and-rolls. So he torched them. I know he's a blur with his first step and I know he's not automatic, but defenses need to stop treating this kid like he's Avery Johnson incarnate.
The Oden/Durant discussion: For a while, we tried to hold out. Maybe this was going to be more of a "Houston drafting Hakeem Olajuwon over Jordan" thing. But, come on, let's just be real. This is "Blazers draft Bowie over Jordan" all over again. Durant is headed for a perennial All-NBA career. Poor Greg? Does he even make four All-Star games before he calls it quits? He's looking more like an Erick Dampier (solid big man) than an Andrew Bynum (blossoming stud).
Voting for the All-Star team before Christmas: Seriously, people. Can we let the players get 20 games under their belts before we start deciding who gets the honor of starting in the league's ultimate showcase?
Shaq and Big Z on the floor at the same time: Shaquille O'Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are not Hakeem and Ralph Sampson with the Rockets or Tim Duncan and David Robinson with the Spurs. This is the most immobile big-man tandem in the league playing a game that places a premium on mobile big men, especially over the past five years. Please stop this, Mike Brown. And while we're here, no power forward in the league can check Bron when he moonlights at the 4-spot. I'm just saying ...
Thinking players' prime years end in their early-30s, like it's the 1980s or 1990s: Have you seen the way Steve Nash is playing basketball? He's 35 freaking years old. Isiah was out of the league at 32. The season John Stockton turned 35, he averaged career-low everything (since his first three largely-inconsequential seasons in the league, that is). Do you remember Tim Hardaway the Denver Nugget? Didn't think so. Nash, meanwhile, is playing some of the best basketball of his career. How many guards were playing 2009 Kobe-ball 950 games into their careers? Ray Allen is 35. Nah, seriously, he really is. Advances in training, medicine and therapy have rendered moot whatever we previously thought to be the typical age-range of an athlete's peak years. So if someone were to tell me that LeBron would be leading a contender in 2023, that's not unfathomable.
Big men going out like suckas: Under no circumstance should a big man fall to the ground when taking a charge from a guard. Let's finally put that insanity to rest.
I agree with all of them but the Oden/Durant discussion. Anyone who'd dismiss a center that can go for a double double even with the foul problems, only 75 games into his NBA career, is a little premature to say the least. He's 2 less fouls a game from being a perennial all star, and an all defensive team staple. Durant is great, but he's had almost four times the amount of play time that Oden has. Bowie was much more productive early in his career before fizzling, and Oden hasn't even scratched the surface of his potential. And he's much closer to being a championship player than Durant is. I know people like to draw conclusions at the outset of anything, but absolutely nothing is certain until its actually over. What happens if Oden starts putting up 16-12 with 3 blocks in the second half solidifying the Blazers defense? He plays ten more minutes a game and those numbers are well within reach.
Even though you were given a negative, you're 100 percent right. Not taking one single thing away from Durant, but it's too early to dismiss Oden right now. It's only been 12 games into his second season and he's damn near averaging a double double and 2.5 blocks in less than 25 minutes per game.
"He's looking more like an Erick Dampier (solid big man) than an Andrew Bynum (blossoming stud)."
This quote got under my skin a little. Not taking anything away from Bynum, but who did he look like his first and second seasons in the NBA? Oh that's right... He barely played his first season and at the conclusion of his second season, Kobe wanted to "ship his ass out". Oden's first season was better than Bynum's and he's on track to have a better second season than Bynum did too. Bynum is the blossoming stud we see today because of all the hard work and skill training he's put in. This is his FIFTH year in the league. Give Oden the time to put in that same work. He'll never be the scorer that Durant and Bynum are, but he has the potential to be a powerful low post player, and a dominant rebounder and defender. He hasn't even scratched the surface of his potential.