I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat since yesterday, so I just want to let you know I nailed my fantasy football draft. The team is looking like one of the best squads I’ve had in years. As long as 2020 doesn’t take a huge dump on football, I should have a very fun season.
• The NBA has a boatload of talent, which means a handful of that talent is bound to be stuck on a sinking ship.
Just think to yourself how many advanced players there are like Zach LaVine, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal in this league, but their situation never allows them to get on that playoff stage.
Polished, skilled, they have counters, they hit shots under pressure. Real game! pic.twitter.com/Epqy1TG3e3
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) September 5, 2020
• Two of the players listed above, along with several others (Karl-Anthony Towns, De’Aaron Fox, and Collin Sexton, just to name a few) make-up an interesting “what if” tier of NBA talent. Oftentimes, we forget how important it is to be drafted into the right situation. When a player is picked in the high-lottery and/or has big numbers early in his career, we begin to expect that player to turn around a team’s fate. Unfortunately, a franchise’s infrastructure can be enough to change an entire player’s reputation. What if Zach LaVine had fallen four spots to Boston? What if Karl-Anthony Towns went to the Lakers at No. 2 instead of the Timberwolves at No. 1 or Devin Booker went to OKC at No. 14 instead of Phoenix at No. 13? While we might perceive them similarly, it’s quite likely they have more respect in this alternate reality.
• I’ve said it before, it’s very difficult to judge whether or not someone is a “winning player” when all they’ve been taught is how to lose. How an organization grows with a player is just as important as how that player grows individually. Think about it, LaVine is 24-years-old heading into his 7th season in the NBA … and he’ll play for his 6th head coach. The Bulls and Timberwolves haven’t held up their end of the deal.
• Talent isn’t the question for LaVine. We can probably all agree he has All-Star-level skills that, if used properly, can help most teams add to the win column. The issue is neither organization he’s been a part of has understood what it takes to build a winning a team, be it via quality coaching or roster building. In a conversation with HoopsHype back in April, LaVine admitted that he doesn’t know how to win at the NBA level, and it sure sounds like something that eats at him on the daily:
“I really just want to be a winner because everyone benefits from it. It’s something that all of the great players do. It doesn’t matter if you put up 40 points a game, you’re not going to be looked at as a winner.
Coming out of high school and college, I’ve always been a winning player. Now, I just want to do it in the NBA. Then, I think you’ll get the recognition that you deserve.”
• In the same interview, LaVine said “the hardest thing in sports is learning how to win.” Right. There is a learning curve to winning. Players can’t just come into the NBA and lead their team to a championship (Jordan couldn’t even do it). Winning takes time and guidance – especially for players who enter the league at 19-years-old. To be clear, I’m not saying LaVing would be the next James Harden if he ended up on the right team, but I do think he could easily have more W’s, more respect, and more All-Star appearances (meaning, at least one) under his belt.
• I think this is in his contract somewhere.
Can we all agree that if Giannis gets swept today that he has to come play in Chicago? Yes? Cool.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 6, 2020
• The NBA bubble has been supplying use with some A+ baby content:
The Baby Section is such an incredible addition to NBA games pic.twitter.com/G2HdbcjD2h
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) September 4, 2020
Interview coming soon with Fred VanVleet featuring a very special (and very adorable) guest pic.twitter.com/F75Z03A2Os
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) September 6, 2020
• Coby could do it better.
Dude, you’re not supposed to do this to Kawhi pic.twitter.com/lzwoQuGDmW
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) September 6, 2020
• I had a few giggles: