I grew up listening to KDAY AM 1580, so I will always have an affinity for West Coast rap. After moving to New York for college and work, I garnered an appreciation of what the East Coast had to offer. To this day, The Notorious B.I.G. remains my favorite. So, it tickled my spine when Michael Gallagher of Rotoworld (@MikeSGallagher) wrote this blurb on Caleb “Biggie” Swanigan over the weekend:
“They don’t call him Biggie for nothing and he’s been unbelievable lately. Swanigan has a story to tell for his tough childhood and weight problems, but sometimes his boards will hypnotize you, especially today when he had at least three boards over three Spurs. It hasn’t been an everyday struggle for Swanigan in Las Vegas and you would think the sky is the limit based on how much he’s dominated in the paint while adding some shooting touch. He’ll still have to earn his minutes, but Swanigan’s style of play could lead to some juicy stat lines”
So good. If you are not following Mike, I highly recommend that you do. I mean, the guy calls himself a “herb” for watching Summer League games on his day off. Man, I haven’t heard someone use “herb” in a long time. Plus, that’s love for the game.
Ahhhhh….so, so good.
Ok, back to Caleb Swanigan. If you’re not familiar with his back story, he had a rough upbringing. His father was a crack addict and he spent time in homeless shelters, as his family moved often. In addition, his father was a large man (6′ 8″ 500 pounds) and diabetic. As a result, Caleb was 6′ 2″ 360 pounds in the eighth grade. Hence, the “Biggie” nickname. Carl, Caleb’s older brother, contacted his former AAU coach, Roosevelt Barnes, who eventually adopted Caleb and changed his life for the better.
The eating habits changed, the workouts increased, and the weight dropped. Come his senior year in high school, “Biggie” led his team to the state title and was named Mr. Basketball in Indiana. He initially chose Michigan State for college, but decommited and decided to play at Purdue, where he played two seasons and became the “first major-college player in the last 25 years to record 600 points, 400 rebounds, and 100 assists in a season.” He was also a finalist for the Naismith Award.
The Portland Trail Blazers selected the 6′ 10″ 247 pound power forward with the 26th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
So far, in six Summer League games, “Biggie” has scored 14.8 ppg, shot 45.3% from the field, grabbed 10.3 rpg, with 1.5 assists, 1.20 steals, and 0.50 blocks per game. He’s physical down low, fights for position, is constantly moving, and has great instincts when it comes to rebounding. He also showed that he can protect the rim on the defensive side of the ball.
On offense, he can pass.
He’s comfortable with his back to the basket, does not rush, and has great footwork.
And, he’s got 3-point range.
A guy that can shoot, rebound, and be physical down-low sounds like a perfect fit for the Blazers at the 4. We’ll just have to wait and see how he performs against the big boys.
Here’s some other things that were on my mind over the past week:
Did you read the Bill Simmons article on Lebron, PG, Wall, and Cousins all going to the Lakers next year? I’d be ecstatic with just two of the guys. All four? Pretty sick. Probably clickbait but, as a Lakers fan, I’m a sucker for it.
The 2017 NBA season hasn’t even started yet and I’m already pumped for next year’s draft class. Michael Porter, Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton, Mohamed Bamba, and Miles Bridges. Nasty. Why are these guys going to college again? So dumb.
As for the future future, I know Zion Williamson has been getting pub, but…..
There’s a reason. Damn….
And I’ve actually been watching a ton of LaMelo Ball lately.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) July 16, 2017
Hahahahahah! But seriously, LaMelo has been balling out lately. Dropping 50 burgers all over the place. He doesn’t jump high or is explosive, but he has a good handle and crazy range on his J. Remember, he’s still only 15 years old. I think what most impresses me about LaMelo is his poise. He doesn’t get too high or too low. Seems very nonchalant out there. I think that’s a good characteristic to have. Let nothing faze you and act like you’ve been there before. I see similar traits in Lonzo as well.
Anyways, hope y’all had a good week. If not, F that week. This one will be better. Peace.