#WizardsRank: Nick Young, No. 13: Smiling Through the Tears
Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
You may have heard of ESPN’s #NBArank project, now in year two. Now hear of #WizardsRank, where we rank each of those 56 players during Truth About It.net’s five-year run. TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
Participants were given the full list of 56 in alphabetical order, and included for each player were total games, minutes, PER (player efficiency rating), and WS/48 (win-shares per 48 minutes) only from the last five seasons. Participants were asked to rate each player on the scale of 1-to-10 according to this criteria: on court performance; off court performance; intangibles; and own personal memory. Yes, this is totally subjective, but relatively collective.
NOTE: #WizardsRank Nos. 56 to 14 have been posted and links can be found below. We are now releasing player rankings one at a time. -Kyle W.
5.41 out of 10
How was the Nick Young Experience for you?
For me, this was the NYE in a nutshell: no assists, one rebound, and the emptiest 20 points you’ll ever see in a blowout loss to Boston. Across his five-year D.C. career, Young would put up similar numbers in twenty other games; the Wizards ended up winning just six of them.
On the court, Young sometimes tantalized and often frustrated; in the locker room, he could charm the cap off a writer’s pen. “I won’t miss his ability to drop 20 and give up 30,” the Washington Post’s Mike Wise wrote in an epitaph on Young’s Washington career, “but I already miss his smile.”
Maybe we held Young to a unfair standard. The USC Trojan was selected 16th in the draft — a slot that tends to produce bench players and end-of-rotation guys — and generally delivered to expectations. At best, Young wasn’t just a scorer; he could be a scorcher. Forty-three points in one game, a bajillion 3s in another — he was the Wizards’ most devastating catch-and-shoot player these past five years.
But I often come back to what he could have been. As a Wizard, Young grabbed less than two rebounds per game. Those are point guard numbers. Scratch that — players like Chris Paul and T.J. Ford scoff at Young’s career rebound rate.
And Young’s weaknesses extended well beyond the glass. Truth About It tracked Young’s inability to give up the ball and create shots for his teammates. Synergy Sports ranked him 360th in defense this offseason.
How a 6-foot-7 player with such terrific leaping ability and athleticism became arguably the Wizards’ worst rebounder and defender across the past five years… well, it boggles the brain. Unless you were familiar with the Nick Young Experience.
But despite the boneheaded plays and matador defense, I’ll miss him for a sentimental reason. Young — who shared a rookie season with Truth About It — was one of the last links to the team’s mini-Arenas renaissance. He was a lovable loser in a town that’s seen too many losses. So in gratitude for foxtails and his many, many smiles: Godspeed, Swaggy P.
Dan Diamond ][ @ddiamond
No. 56: Cedric Jackson; No. 55: Mike Bibby; No. 54: Paul Davis; No. 53: Edwin Ubiles; No. 52: Quinton Ross.
No. 51: Mike Wilks; No. 50: Mike Harris; No. 49: Javaris Crittenton; No. 48: Dee Brown; No. 47: Morris Almond.
No. 46: Larry Owens; No. 45: Mustafa Shakur; No. 44: Brian Cook; No. 43: Hamady N’diaye; No. 42: Rashard Lewis.
No. 41: Hilton Armstrong; No. 40: Oleksiy Pecherov; No. 39: Mike James; No. 38: Fabricio Oberto; No. 37: Ronny Turiaf.
No. 36: Lester Hudson; No. 35: Yi Jianlian; No. 34: Juan Dixon; No. 33: Josh Howard; No. 32: Chris Singleton.
No. 31: Al Thornton; No. 30: Shelvin Mack; No. 29: Mo Evans; No. 28: Mike Miller; No. 27: Alonzo Gee.
No. 26: Randy Foye; No. 25: Dominic McGuire; No. 24: Andray Blatche; No. 23: Earl Boykins; No. 22: Roger Mason.