Monday, April 7, 2008

NBA Mondays: NCAA Version

I was prepared to take Tyler Hansbrough and Kevin Love seriously as NBA prospects if they took their teams to the Final Four. Remember, neither Gonzaga's Adam nor Duke's JJ was able to do so during their POY seasons. But I think the NBA will still have to wait for its Blue Collar Hero. Who is the Blue Collar Hero? He is usually a white American, looks human enough that the average fan can identify with him, but still has a certain amount of expertise on the basketball court. Let's face it; many fans buy tickets not only to enjoy the artistry of the game, but to see someone succeed who looks and seems a lot like them. #1 on the Blue Collar Hero list is, of course, Larry Bird, but other Blue Collar Heroes have included John Stockton and Tom Chambers.

So what candidates does the NBA have for this vital position? Kirk Hinrich? Steve Nash, if everyone will forget he's Canadian? Chris Kaman, if one looks past the haircut? White Americans have never had fewer reasons to identify with the league. I'd like to pretend this doesn't matter to anyone, but I am sure it does.

Your Random NBA photos are of Eddy Curry.
Yeah So I Met the Knicks

Secondly, Craig Holcomb, a white former recruiter for Iona, was allegedly fired for having a black wife. I am usually suspicious about the veracity of such stories. However, this old NY Post article seems to indicate that Craig performed well at his position:

It started after the 2004 season when the administration, in a power struggle with Ruland, forced out three assistant coaches, including Craig Holcomb, an established recruiter. Iona already had Burtt and Soliver, so an upheaval of the coaching staff was like a spot of rust on the base of a support beam - easy to overlook.

"Craig was really plugged into the AAU programs," said one source. "Losing him set them back at least one season, probably two."

eddie curry!
Unfortunately, it does seem as if Craig was unjustly fired after all. I hope Iona has the decency to settle this now and give him the money he deserves, instead of going to trial and further embarrassing themselves. We shall see...
Me and Christine with Eddy Curry (#34)...he's got some watch!
Oh, and finally, go to this interview with George Clooney, in which he breaks down the baller skills of Jim from the Office and Tom Cruise. George Clooney was a former high school basketball center on a very bad team. On a talk show, George admitted that they were terrible and played many homecoming basketball games.
Us with Eddie Curry


  1. "Blue Collar Hero" is a much politer way of saying "Great White Hope", but that is what they (a lot of fans) are looking for, really. It's not just about looking white, either. John Stockton was Steve Nash long before Steve Nash, yet he never got the love that Bird (or even Nash now) does; Tom Chambers was the most completely athletic white guy I've seen play basketball in the last 20 years (Chris Anderson and Steve Nash would be second and third on my list). Chambers was a smoother, less powerful Shawn Kemp. I'm not sure that's the best description, but that's all I've got.

    The point being that being a winner is also important to the GWH - hence everyone is waiting for the next Larry Bird, the next great white player that can also win a championship or two - preferably for a team with a large fanbase (Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Knicks).

    As for Kevin Love - I believe he'll be a really good player in the NBA. Much better than Morrison, Redick or Hainsbourgh.

  2. Ha, yes, you are correct on that point about the Blue Collar Hero, although Hines Ward is an exception.
    I have some doubts about K-Love, but I think he'll be as good as Bogut. I think that Tyler Hansbrough will be a nice energy player for some team, almost like an Anderson Varajeo, only with more scoring.
    Did you like the Eddy Curry pictures? ha.