Thanksgiving is fast approaching, but the Lost NBA Season (now in full effect) leaves us with a bit less to be thankful for this year. On the bright side, it gives us an opportunity to remember what we can of the past. Shall we?
When the Goodman and Drew Leagues faced off in their inaugural summer league exhibition game back in August, one of most intriguing battles turned out to be the face-off between Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee and Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins. McGee showed off his athleticism and shot-blocking prowess, while Cousins countered with his strong power post-up game and rebounding dominance.
Although their physiques are obviously different, both players do have some similarities. No one can question their elite athletic ability, as they do things on the basketball court few at their size can pull off. Yet, both also sometimes think they’re guards; JaVale is famous for showcasing his dribbling “talents,” and deep down Cousins loves to launch threes.
Both have had fisticuffs with teammates that led to team-sanctioned suspensions. Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls has nicknamed Cousins “Bad Attitude,” with good reason, and McGee constantly possesses an on-court scowl. Both love to raise the blood pressure of their coaches with mental lapses and by taking plays off. Most importantly to fans, both have potential to be solid performing anchors for their respective franchises for a long time.
The following video contains highlights of the duo from that D.C. summer evening at a packed Trinity University that I recorded with my Flip Cam, so bear with me on some of the grainy footage.
Links, a D.C. picture, commentary, lockout, stuff, a poll…
[A blurry night vision in Washington - photo: K. Weidie]
So before I get to the links, and as I continue to contemplate how much I care about this lockout, officially losing the first two weeks of the regular season – obviously this is an unideal, frustrating situation, but I also could care less about getting wrapped up in the politics, economics, and interpretation (often misinterpretation, likely) of scatterbrained media reports — I wanted to throw out a poll to see where some of the readers of this site might stand. Vote below and drop comments if you feel like venting. Otherwise, thanks for visiting. Even with no games, there’s a ton of potential for content (just not a lot of free personal time for the regular job-working contributors to this site), so just bare with us as we try to make whatever it is that’s going on as fun as possible. Thank you. -Kyle
Andray Blatche had himself a chat on ESPN.com Wednesday. Normally, would that even happen? Doubt it. The assumption is that this is more the doing of him deciding to re-acquire an agent this summer. Now that power-agent Andy Miller is on the scene — clients of his include: Trevor Booker, Kevin Garnett, Jared Jeffries, Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups, Brendan Haywood, Roger Mason Jr., Andre Miller, Michael Ruffin, Sebastian Telfair, Antonio McDyess, etc., etc. — Blatche is hitting the circuit of pumped positivity. And thus here we are.
Anyhow, nothing provocative or ground-breaking in his chat; it totally fits within the norms of prosaic NBA player media & PR fare. The highlights include: when asked about how his roll [sic in a very Ledell Eackles kind of way] has changed over his years with the team, he chats about, “listening to guys like Antawn, Brandon, Caron” … which actually got me very close to seeing if a “Brandon” ever played for the Wizards on Basketball-Reference.com before realizing that he was talking about Brendan Haywood.
[Previously, Nick Young, among others, have wondered about his seeming inability to pass. Now, we are curious about Young's absence from the hyped summertime showcase, Capital Punishment.]
Nick Young’s much ballyhooed participation in Capital Punishment certainly brought the right amount of attention to the circumstance. Young, being the Washington Wizard with the most ties to Los Angeles, was certainly missed, and curiously so. What might remain a mystery is why exactly he didn’t take advantage of the chance to represent this hometown, L.A.’s Drew League team, against his professional city, D.C.’s Goodman League team.
Given that the restricted free agent has made strides playing more within an offensive system and more intelligently on defense over the past two seasons in Washington, efforts which have only gone to greatly increase expectations that will come with the price tag of his next contract, Young might have done himself well to play in the exhibition game held in D.C. No one knows if David Stern had Chinese government-like monitors keeping track of NBA league personnel web traffic, perhaps it being undesired that they, including Wizards brass, even watch Capital Punishment, much less make contact with players. Nonetheless, Young endearing his talents in front of the DMV crowd, albeit for the West Coast squad, could only have been a positive thing. That is, unless, the constant prodding of Young by former teammate and sometimes friend Gilbert Arenas, now publicly available on Twitter, shuttered confidence weary of being overshadowed by the other talent on the court.
Commentary, links, and other things that might be of interest…
[Miles Rawls, commissioner of D.C.'s Goodman League, hopes his boys backup the trash talk against opponents from L.A.'s Drew League this Saturday.]
Well, it’s just about here… the highly anticipated matchup between out-of-work NBAers (and others) from the East to the West. Capital Punishment, to be held at D.C.’s Trinity University, will pit the Goodman League versus the Drew League on Saturday evening. Yea, I know, you’ve heard about it. I’ll be there. Lots of people will be there. In fact, Trinity could be an aboslute circus, but what would this whole event be without one?
Beckley Mason did a great profile of Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls (the above photo of Rawls that I took accompanies his piece from the ESPN.com NBA home page).