June 13, 2016, 10:31 am
Hello friends, welcome to another wholesome edition of Last Week This Morning, a food review quiz show unlike any other! Whoops, wrong serialized thing on the Internet. This is a weekly NBA doodad, but if you happen to know what deep dark Internet show I referenced above, drop me a note on Twitter and I’ll mail you a $10 Chipotle gift card. I am a man of the people.
The Junk Whisperer
Side note, I’m not completely sure what the heading of this section is supposed to mean. I don’t actually know what ‘the (insert anything here) whisperer’ phrase tells you about that person, but right here, right now, today, in this column, it means Draymond Green likes to hit people in the junk with whatever appendage is closest to the targeted junk.
I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I am a very naïve NBA fan, and a hopeless optimist. To this day, I’m not comfortable saying that Draymond Green has purposefully junkshotted anyone. I’m not in his head, and it’s so far from anything I would ever consider doing that I cannot rationalize someone as successful as Draymond Green doing it, either. It’s below a player of his caliber, it’s below anyone, really, so that is sort of where I stand on that whole thing in the ‘real’ world.
In the fake NBA world, the one where crazy nonsense happens on a regular basis, I am ALL IN on junk hating Draymond. A lot of people hate Draymond Green, and I always use ‘hate’ loosely. Very few people actually hate Draymond Green; most people ‘hate’ him to benefit their engagement in all things NBA. We need heroes and villains. If everyone were a ‘good’ guy, none of this would be nearly as fun. A little professional wrestling never hurt anyone.
Draymond Green is a wonderful villain, a welcomed villain, a necessary villain. So while I’ll admit that I don’t think Draymond Green is a bad guy here, in this very serious basketball column, on Twitter you will find me promoting his villainous behavior, retweeting his nutshots with the eyes emoji, and so on and so forth, because it’s fun, and that is what it’s all about anyway, right? I wouldn’t watch if it wasn’t fun.
Underhanded Free Throws
I was listing to Bill Simmons’ podcast with Malcom Gladwell earlier this week, and they discussed one of Simmons’ favorite topics, the underhanded free throw, and more specifically, why DeAndre Jordan and other poor free throw shooters don’t try it.
I cannot, for the life of me, understand how this is a real discussion two very intelligent people can have. Am I totally missing the logic here? It’s taken DeAndre Jordan 8 years in the NBA shooting free throws using his regular form to get his free throw shooting UP to 43%. It’s actually improving! On what planet would attempting a new method he has spent zero time working on result is a better free throw percentage?
For a guy like Simmons, with highly respected NBA analytic buddies like Daryl Morey and everyone else involved with the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, the probability of this actually working for DeAndre Jordan, or anyone who has spent over 20 years doing something the correct way, seems incredibly slim, if not completely impossible.
Don’t get me wrong, watching DeAndre Jordan shoot underhanded free throws would make for an excellent Vine, but no, no way. It wouldn’t work.
To say I was happy about the news that DeMarcus Cousins had earned a spot on the United States’ Olympic roster would be an understatement. With that being said, ‘earned’ may not have been the most accurate word there considering the shocking number of NBA stars and Team USA mainstays who straight up declined their invitation.
A lot the USA’s top talent is staying home. James Harden and Russell Westbrook, to name a couple. Some players have referenced the need for rest and recovery, which I can respect, and others have expressed some fear about their safety in Rio, also legitimate. I think it takes an incredible amount of restraint to say ‘no, I need to stay home’ because playing Olympic basketball sounds like the greatest thing imaginable, but again – that is the naïve NBA fan in me.
At any rate, I think Team USA is going to be a lot more interesting in Rio than they have been in quite some time, mostly because of the unknown. In all likelihood, USA will be the favorites, but the team is going have a different look. We’re going to see different matchups. If they in gold, we’re going to see new medalists. I’m looking forward to it, and you should too.