Links, commentary, stuff…
Andray Blatche. You might be aware of his various exploits that seem trapped in an devolving time continuum.
Blatche, inherently, is a sympathetic figure. He literally loafed into an NBA career, to the envy of millions, by likely being just smart of enough to realize that if he worked just a little bit to enhance his natural talents, he would get there. And he did.
He’s not a bad guy, nor is he misunderstood like a lot of athletes like to claim. It is, however, true to an extent in that lay people, the “commoners” to which LeBron referred in his infamous quote, don’t know the pressure of money, exposure, expectations, high critique, and high reward, which I am assuming is widely accepted in bounties of tangible goods and women. But to say that some of these pro athletes are misunderstood is to say that they, themselves, are complicated figures. Often, we know, that is not the case. Rather, it’s their situations within the business of the game they love (or “like”) to play which provides varying complex ways to digest someone who is simply human.
Blatche is a human after all. He means well, but the means by which he gets caught up in “the life,” as some like to call it (being a highly paid professional athlete, that is) doesn’t always bode well for him. Whose fault is it? Well, according to my own sliding scale of reason, the older Blatche gets, the more he is solely to blame for his situation(s).
My sarcasm and critique toward the guy, on the court and off, long ago, through conditioning I suppose, came to the conclusion that Blatche is and will continue to be a lost cause in terms of a basketball player. For obvious reasons, I teeter between internal struggles hoping that I’m proven wrong, versus the blind stare of franchise eyes continuing to stubbornly support and believe in disappointment, versus knowing that all humans love redemption stories from various levels and angles.
All of this is to say that Blatche is, again, clearly human and clearly an ‘okay’ guy who is capable of bouncing his life’s ball to another beat. But if he ever does, don’t expect cigars, brandy and pats on the back from me at the re-birth. Perhaps mistakenly, I am prepared to say ‘It’s about time and perhaps long overdue’ rather than ‘Congratulations!’ — I know, not exactly a humanistic quality of optimistic support. I’ll let you come tell me so when Blatche tells us so.
In any case, I’ve previously theorized in a ‘I really don’t know these guys’ way, that Blatche, being the infamous D.C. club-head that he is, might be able to turn a positive corner if he just found love from the right woman, but not in all the wrong places he’s been looking (like purportedly “mushing” women in the face at Ben’s Chili Bowl).
So, I guess, as we recap a couple of Blatche’s Tweets from today (from Miami no less), put the man so committed to working hard for a full seven days that he nicknamed himself that in your thoughts. And bless his heart.
> In goofily covering the Wizards via a self-produced video of myself in coordination with ESPN’s 5-on-5, my foremost curiousity heading into next season was Jordan Crawford. This isn’t to say that what Crawford might do in terms of improving is more curious or important than the likes of JaVale McGee or Andray Blatche (Wall is high on the list of priorities, but seems a bit more dependable in what people can resonably expect from him).
In an in-depth piece I did on Crawford in April, what sticks out most is a comment from his former coach in Atlanta, Larry Drew, specifically regarding Crawford’s late-season success in D.C.:
“You put a guy that can score the basketball, give him a green light, he can score. Jordan Crawford is not the first scorer I’ve seen go into a situation like this. It’s every scorer’s dream just to go out there and get the green light and just let it go.”
Advanced stat heads will justifiably point to Crawford’s high field-goal attempt rate and low field-goal percentage, and gladly lump him amongst other futile shot-jackers in NBA history. And that’s where Crawford belongs until he proves otherwise — guilty as a gunner until proven innocent, I suppose. And that’s the nature of sports… do what you will on a bad team as a 22-year old rookie, Jordan Crawford, but know that we will be carefully watching. People like points, always will, but most no longer care about just scoring (or just rebounds, blocks, assists, etc. — standard box score fare). The key with Crawford, in a what-have-you-done-for-me-at-this-exact-moment way, is that he’s in a low-risk situation that gives the Wizards plenty of time to evaluate a player whose presence on the team, via the trade with the Hawks, is a bonus, if anything.
In this regard, two good pieces have recently come out involving Crawford, along with consideration of the Wizard who could rival him for playing time, Nick Young.
One comes from Izzy Gainsburg at Alone In The Green Room which looks at some statistical comparison between the two. The second comes courtesy of Mike Prada at Bullets Forever. Mike contemplates the “Black Box Theory” when it comes to both players, highlighting the idea that while more and more NBA players are becoming multi-tooled assets, specialists such as Young and Crawford are always needed … as long as the negative aspects of their game aren’t overwhelming the positives.
> Speaking of Nick Young… evidently he is so salty at not being named MVP of LA’s Goodman League while playing for a team that performed badly when it came to winning that he will not be on the Goodman team at Capital Punishment. Whatever kids.
> Highlights from the second meeting last night between the UK Pros and the Dominican Republic national team:
> Wizards fans, and team personnel, need not worry about John Wall getting injured playing overseas during the lockout. Injury-free domestic living is, however, another story… but just like the clause, with Wall it is always for the love of the game.
> Yes, sports talk radio can be pretty intolerable.
> Yi Jianlian continues to be himself…China recently got slatthered by Australia in a friendly in London 71-43. Yi had just 7 points on 2-11 from the field.
[A Stern Warning]
> But Yi did get a fastbreak dunk…
> Finally, DC Pro City Recap via The Mars Reel