I was happily watching my beloved basketball, and enjoying, yet all the while feeling old. I reminisce about the good old days. The bulls were winning 72 games, shorts had just gotten longer, the only tattoos were on Dennis “the Worm” Rodman, and Centres were lumbering lumpy giant dudes like Bill Cartwright and Rasho Nesterovic, with undefined arms and soft hands, like a baby’s bottom. It was a simpler time. You could be a geek, and still dominate the NBA, a la John Stockton, who was a millionaire, and never stopped getting his mom to cut his hair, apparently. The league, while being dominated by the likes of freaks like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, still had room for geeks to make their mark. Heck, the biggest geek of them all, the illustrious Larry Bird, the one lumpy to rule them all, still played in 1992. Is there space for Geeks in today’s league, or is there only to be athletic freaks from now on? Let’s take a look at a few from each column, and see if they fit the description, hmmm?
Giannis Antetokoumpo PG, SG, SF
He is called the Greek Freak, and it is a moniker that is well deserved. In the interests of this article, it should be pointed out that he was a mere letter from being in both categories, but clearly he is a freak in the truest sense. this year, his fourth, he has gone 22.3/8.9/5.9/2/2 with half a trey per game, shooting .524!! He would cost you a top ten talent, but I would gladly part with a Chris Paul to get this Freak. Maybe a Paul George and Mike Conley? I’m just spitballin’, maybe neither of these will land you Alphabet, but you should do your diligence and try, no?
Gordon Hayward SG, SF
You’re not fooling anyone with that hipster haircut, Gordon. We know you’re a geek. We still remember the gangly kid from Butler with the haircut with bangs. Even then, you were pure murder, but looked like he just came from a Magic the Gathering marathon. His name says pocket protector, but his game says legit assassin. Dude is 23.3/6.4/3.4/1.1/.1 with 1.77 treys per game for this year. I’d try to get this cat while he’s shaking off the finger injury, you might be able to parlay that into a student card discount.
Al Horford PF, C
Al has been productive for the Celtics this year, going 14.3/6.2/5.3/.6/2.3 with 1.5 treys per game, and shooting .483. Horford is a fundamentals type, he has no tattoos, and a choirboy haircut. He looks wholesome, but don’t sleep on his game. I think he’s gotta go in the geek category, but this dude can ball, and is a tremendous asset to any squad in real life or fantasy Ball. Try to see what it would take.
Kevin Love PF, C
Love is a geek, does this even need to be justified? He was the pudgy guy at UCLA, and his first years in Minny. Also, no tattoos, not that that makes him a geek, but seeing as 95% of the NBA has them, he is an outsider there. He has played through a back injury this last week, and has played well, so this could be a sell high point. Keep him if you have confidence, I personally get nervous about back injuries. More concerning, the injury was non contact related, it just locked up. Yeesh. Do with that what you will
Russ is a freak who tries to act like a geek. Geek-chic is the term, I believe, but homeboy is a athletic phenom. He just had his 7 game streak of trip-dubs broken, and he still went 37/12/6/2/0. Russ is fantastic, and suggesting a sell is frankly silly of me, but hear me out: he shoots at a poor percentage, and turns the ball over a ton, and his value is stratospheric. Could Russ get you a Chris Paul? Greek Freak? Kevin Durant? It’s possible. I wouldn’t really trade him for less than top 6-8 talent, but stranger things have happened…
Ok gentle reader, that’s it for this week. I know this is self indulgent, but I wanted to remember my dear friend Matthew who passed away from ALS 2 years ago yesterday. Homeboy could shoot the illest 360 floater I have ever seen, and I miss him. Much love, fella.
That is all. Until next time, may all your shots be nothing but net!