Slam Dunk Contest winners scare me.
There’s pretty much no in between with these dudes. Other than, say, Nate Robinson, they’re either future all-stars or total duds. For every Michael Jordan there’s a Harold Miner. For every Kobe Bryant there’s a Fred Jones. For every Dominque Wilkins, there’s a Brent Barry.
And then there’s Gerald Green, who is definitely not an NBA jobber, but is not quite an all-star yet. Not really sure if he ever will be, and what scares me most is that while he was a pretty awesome dunker, he’ll always be known as a gimmick dunker for his Birthday Cake Dunk. And being a gimmick dunker is kind of like being a gimmick wrestler on the order of Koko B. Ware or the Gobbledy Gooker.
In a way, it would be interesting if Green never was an all-star, because he wouldn’t be the first 6-7-ish wing sixth man for the Suns who can run the floor, shoot from distance, was on the same team as Jeff Hornacek and never made the All-Star Team.
The first would be the legendary Eddie Johnson, who filled it up as the first man off the bench as Hornacek’s teammate on the mid-to-late 80s Suns.
Green’s stat line looks very much like a vintage Johnson line about three out of every six games, but in the other three he builds little brick houses for you and me, ooh yeah.
Still, I’m buying in on Green, who has sandwiched a goose egg with games where he went for 28 against Brooklyn (and 11-12 from the line) and 26 vs. the Clips, where he hit four of eight threes and tossed in two steals and a block. As long as the Suns keep running, Green will keep scoring.
If he were a wing, he’d be a microwaved Goldrush wing from Pluckers Wing Bar in his hometown of Houston.
If that’s not your thang, try one of these flavors:
Aaron Afflalo – Soooo … where did Afflalo go in your draft? In mine, he went before Jeff Green, Bradley Beal, Darren Collison and Reggie Jackson. Two things were practically guaranteeing a drop-off season for the eight-year vet: One, he’s now sharing a backcourt with Ty Lawson; and two, Brian Shaw is his coach, and Brian Shaw is apparently having trouble thinking straight in the Mile High air. He’ll get you three-pointers and an 18-20 point game here and there, but he’s not better than those four guards, and I’m sure he went higher than that in other drafts. TGI Friday’s wing.
Anthony Morrow – The next Dude Who Will Fill The Scoring Void While Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook Are Out showed up in our comments section last week, and those who picked him up must have felt pretty good about themselves when he dropped 28 points (including 4-5 3PT shooting) on Boston last Wednesday. Bet they’re feeling not so good today after he put up only four points on 1-9 shooting as the Thunder fell to the Rockets 69-65 in Sunday’s Pat Riley-era Knicks special. Over his career Morrow has shown that if he gets 30-plus minutes he can be a slightly better Wesley Johnson. You think that’ll hold OKC over until Batman and Robin return? Wing from the American Chicken Bunker.
Gordon Hayward – Went over him last week, said I didn’t like him, and some comments arrived in his defense. He went for 30 the day I flicked a booger at him, then plopped an 11-point stinker (5-16 shooting), then cranked it up for 33 against the Knicks, then did another doodie against the Raptors where he had only 12 points. The 30-point games and multi-cat contributions are schweet, but I gotta see some consistency to be truly impressed and off this twerp’s back. Wing that tastes better the more you eat.
Kawhi Leonard – Two weird things have come out of the mouth of this one-time heir apparent to the wing throne. One, he said he didn’t know if his conjunctivitis would clear up at any point this year. This might be true, but it also might be a convenient excuse if or when his current hot streak comes to an end. Number two oddball statement, which is sort of related, is Kawhi’s not-really-a-promise that he intends to return to San Antonio even though he didn’t sign an extension and will become a free agent. Again, he creates a nice vague situation that provides an out should he bolt for tons of dough. I would trade him the next time he hits a hot streak. I have a bad feeling that karma’s gonna bite Kawhi in the butt. Three Mile Island Wing.
K.J. McDaniels – You drafted him and felt smart for doing so. You watched him put up better production than Andrew Wiggins and patted yourself on the back. And then, finally, Brett Brown inserted him into the starting lineup last week and you started fellating yourself. But then you almost broke your spine snapping back upright after watching McDaniels play like cat poo in Dallas’ 53-point demolishing of the Sixers. I say chill (and stop doing that, it’s disgusting and impossible. I mean I think it is, er, nevermind). Even if you believe Philly is tanking, they want to win a game at some point, and in order to do that they will need to give McDaniels big minutes. The last wing in the first round of wings that gets moved to a fresh hot second plate of wings and absorbs the heat and freshness.
Kyle Singler – SVG has given Singler 25-plus minutes in his last four games, and on Saturday the stringbean rewarded him with 21 points on 5-7 shooting from downtown. In the deepest of leagues, he’s worth riding while he has his coach’s attention. One of those not-quite-wings.
Nick Young – Not sure which Nick Young is more annoying, the “Swaggy P,” Sixers-era Young with his Buckwheat-inspired hairdo or the current Young, who is making ridiculous claims as his targeted return date (Tuesday) nears. All this nonsense aside, I see Young as a very useful player now (Kobe will get his points, but someone else has to score too, which has been a problem) and later if Kobe actually does get dealt. Wing that tastes pretty good but gives you bad gas.
Otto Porter – If I’m in a deep league where I can stash dudes, I’m grabbing the palindrome, because if you think Paul Pierce won’t be getting extended rests by the end of the year, you’re smoking kinnikinnik. Wing in the fridge for tomorrow.
Rasual Butler – This year it seems like there’s been a lot more definitive calls for owners to “steer clear” of a certain player that “you can ignore in standard leagues.” Then whenever this statement has been made, the guy comes back and has another solid game. Such was the case with Butler, who followed up Wednesday’s 18-point anomaly with a 10-point, two assist, three rebound effort that also included 2-3 from three-point land. Yes, the 35-year-old Butler could lose minutes when Bradley Beal returns, which is supposed to be tonight. But Garrett Temple has been stinking up the joint, so maybe when Beal bumps Temple to the bench, Butler will continue shooting well, and Randy Wittman will send Temple to the end of the bench where the guys in suits sit. Wing from your grandma’s roasted chicken.
Trevor Ariza – He’s been on so many teams that it feels like he should be 100 years old, but Ariza is only 29 and is on the perfect team for what he brings to the table. That being said, he feels like another guy who has more real-life value than fantasy worth, so unless you need Ariza for the three’s and other little goodies he brings, I’d wait until he goes on another run of 20-point games and look to sell high. Turducken wing.