Baller Shots presents SIMPLE NBA DRAFT PROFILES
Today’s profile: Joel Embiid
The blue and white balloons still shine bright as the lights of the event center in the Lexington Hyatt Regency begin to dim. The sound of gentle chatter still fills the mostly empty room, as employees pull the dustbuster and vacuum cleaner from the supply closet. The small group of men sitting in the middle of the room ignore the chairs being stacked, as they enjoy coffee, cake, and conversation. They’ve spent most of the night signing jerseys, basketballs, and photos of their playing days, so it’s actually the first time they’ve gotten to catch up with one another. These fundraisers are the only times they ever seem to see each other, outside of welcoming other Kentucky Wildcat alumni into their ranks. As they finish their coffees, they make plans to watch the draft at a local bar one of their old booster buddies owns. They laugh, they reminisce, and then they leave. The tallest of the group, a slightly-hunched seven footer, with the arms that almost go down to his knees, ducks his head to avoid the top of the doorframe.
As Sam Bowie walks to his car, he exchanges texts with his kids, checks in on the progress of the latest horse he bought, and casually looks through the ESPN app on his phone. While looking for the score of England’s World Cup game, he finds something that makes his heart sink. He takes a deep breath, reading through the gruesome, familiar details. Much to his chagrin, he accidentally scrolls to the comments section of the news article, his eyes catching the mentions of his own name. Closing the app and putting his phone back on the charger, he closes his eyes, hearing the soft Kentucky rain upon his windshield as the cheers of thousands filling Rupp Arena. Bowie sits in the moment, the ring of his cell phone bringing him back to reality. As he sees the caller ID read the name of his daughter Samantha, he answers with a smile.
Joel Embiid is a fantastic basketball player, and perhaps the only one of his kind in existence today. There isn’t another true center in the game today who moves or shoots like he does. You can see in both the game footage and the workouts that he is exceptionally smooth at everything he does. One of the biggest problems for big guys in the league is that they don’t understand their own size or power, or what it really means to possess it. They think they have to be pounding bodies down low, with Shaquille O’Neal chastising young men for not protecting the post and Hakeem Olajuwon teaching the “Dream Shake” so today’s centers can compensate for their supposed lack of real shooting skill.
Joel Embiid is not that kind of center. If you must find an NBA comp, and of course you must, you’ll have to go back all the way to Roger Murdock Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The resemblance in their game is uncanny. Obviously a more finesse style is clear, with Kareem utilizing his skyhook, and Embiid using a step-back jumper or a one-hand toss toward the basket. How they use their body is very similar as well; very wide stances when posting up, making full use of their exceptionally long arms to effortlessly catch and move around the ball. Neither player could ever be described as a stiff, or as “just a body”. Make no mistake, though. These guys can get it done around the rim. I’ve never seen players dunk with more ease and less flash. Just slamming it down for two, then hustling down the court. Yes SIRRRRRRR.
Their offensive prowess and body control makes you forget about both of their defensive games. They both are quick blockers, precise as assassins, showing up from seemingly nowhere to disrupt layups and easy shots around the basket. Futhermore, they both have the uncanny ability to continue moving the ball the other way after the defensive stop, their long strides getting them downcourt, or using that same precision I talked about for the smart outlet pass.
You want a modern NBA comp for Embiid? The closest I can find is Joakim Noah, but even he doesn’t have the scoring skill Embiid has. Noah’s jumpshot is absolute garbage, even if he does manage to score with it, and he’s not exactly known for his fancy footwork. But he does have a similar body, and knows how to use it for (near) maximum efficiency. Noah’s an amazing passer, and an explosive, punishing, relentless defender. Embiid has such an amazing head start though, there really is no telling where his career could go.
For now, the only place he’s gone is to the operating room. A stress fracture to the navicular bone in his right foot has resulted in a plate and two screws being inserted there, and with a previous stress fracture in his back, Embiid’s career is now bringing up the names of Sam Bowie and Greg Oden. It’s a cliche, to be sure, but only because it’s been real. It’s unknown if human beings are even meant to be seven feet tall, and many who live long lives find it filled with pain, regardless of previous occupations. Those who play basketball, a game filled with running and a surprising amount of physical contact can find their bodies failing them far faster.
It’s heartbreaking, because you want to believe. When you see something as wonderful as his talent, you don’t want to see it end so soon. You want to see it play out. You want to see it blossom, and lead this young man to a wonderful life. Time will tell if a team’s faith in Embiid will be rewarded, but one thing is for sure: the rewards that await them are one of a kind.

Baller Shots presents SIMPLE NBA DRAFT PROFILES

Today’s profile: Joel Embiid

The blue and white balloons still shine bright as the lights of the event center in the Lexington Hyatt Regency begin to dim. The sound of gentle chatter still fills the mostly empty room, as employees pull the dustbuster and vacuum cleaner from the supply closet. The small group of men sitting in the middle of the room ignore the chairs being stacked, as they enjoy coffee, cake, and conversation. They’ve spent most of the night signing jerseys, basketballs, and photos of their playing days, so it’s actually the first time they’ve gotten to catch up with one another. These fundraisers are the only times they ever seem to see each other, outside of welcoming other Kentucky Wildcat alumni into their ranks. As they finish their coffees, they make plans to watch the draft at a local bar one of their old booster buddies owns. They laugh, they reminisce, and then they leave. The tallest of the group, a slightly-hunched seven footer, with the arms that almost go down to his knees, ducks his head to avoid the top of the doorframe.

As Sam Bowie walks to his car, he exchanges texts with his kids, checks in on the progress of the latest horse he bought, and casually looks through the ESPN app on his phone. While looking for the score of England’s World Cup game, he finds something that makes his heart sink. He takes a deep breath, reading through the gruesome, familiar details. Much to his chagrin, he accidentally scrolls to the comments section of the news article, his eyes catching the mentions of his own name. Closing the app and putting his phone back on the charger, he closes his eyes, hearing the soft Kentucky rain upon his windshield as the cheers of thousands filling Rupp Arena. Bowie sits in the moment, the ring of his cell phone bringing him back to reality. As he sees the caller ID read the name of his daughter Samantha, he answers with a smile.

Joel Embiid is a fantastic basketball player, and perhaps the only one of his kind in existence today. There isn’t another true center in the game today who moves or shoots like he does. You can see in both the game footage and the workouts that he is exceptionally smooth at everything he does. One of the biggest problems for big guys in the league is that they don’t understand their own size or power, or what it really means to possess it. They think they have to be pounding bodies down low, with Shaquille O’Neal chastising young men for not protecting the post and Hakeem Olajuwon teaching the “Dream Shake” so today’s centers can compensate for their supposed lack of real shooting skill.

Joel Embiid is not that kind of center. If you must find an NBA comp, and of course you must, you’ll have to go back all the way to Roger Murdock Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The resemblance in their game is uncanny. Obviously a more finesse style is clear, with Kareem utilizing his skyhook, and Embiid using a step-back jumper or a one-hand toss toward the basket. How they use their body is very similar as well; very wide stances when posting up, making full use of their exceptionally long arms to effortlessly catch and move around the ball. Neither player could ever be described as a stiff, or as “just a body”. Make no mistake, though. These guys can get it done around the rim. I’ve never seen players dunk with more ease and less flash. Just slamming it down for two, then hustling down the court. Yes SIRRRRRRR.

Their offensive prowess and body control makes you forget about both of their defensive games. They both are quick blockers, precise as assassins, showing up from seemingly nowhere to disrupt layups and easy shots around the basket. Futhermore, they both have the uncanny ability to continue moving the ball the other way after the defensive stop, their long strides getting them downcourt, or using that same precision I talked about for the smart outlet pass.

You want a modern NBA comp for Embiid? The closest I can find is Joakim Noah, but even he doesn’t have the scoring skill Embiid has. Noah’s jumpshot is absolute garbage, even if he does manage to score with it, and he’s not exactly known for his fancy footwork. But he does have a similar body, and knows how to use it for (near) maximum efficiency. Noah’s an amazing passer, and an explosive, punishing, relentless defender. Embiid has such an amazing head start though, there really is no telling where his career could go.

For now, the only place he’s gone is to the operating room. A stress fracture to the navicular bone in his right foot has resulted in a plate and two screws being inserted there, and with a previous stress fracture in his back, Embiid’s career is now bringing up the names of Sam Bowie and Greg Oden. It’s a cliche, to be sure, but only because it’s been real. It’s unknown if human beings are even meant to be seven feet tall, and many who live long lives find it filled with pain, regardless of previous occupations. Those who play basketball, a game filled with running and a surprising amount of physical contact can find their bodies failing them far faster.

It’s heartbreaking, because you want to believe. When you see something as wonderful as his talent, you don’t want to see it end so soon. You want to see it play out. You want to see it blossom, and lead this young man to a wonderful life. Time will tell if a team’s faith in Embiid will be rewarded, but one thing is for sure: the rewards that await them are one of a kind.

Sources do not expect Dumars to stay in the position much longer—either he’ll step down or owner Tom Gores will go in a new direction. Dumars, one source said, is weary of the criticism he has received in trying to rebuild the Pistons after constructing a franchise that went to the Eastern Conference Finals six years in a row (2003-2008). The criticism, the source said, fails to account for a dismal Detroit economy and restraints placed on Dumars while the franchise was up for sale and ultimately changed ownership hands.

Hey, memo to Joe Dumars, if you’re tired of people criticizing you after you make shitty move on top of shitty move, maybe you should stop making said shitty moves.

I can only roll my eyes so many times at GMs who, with amazing methods of measuring a player’s talent, value, and statistical contribution at their disposal, still manage to make god-awful deals for their franchise.

Am I supposed to feel sorry for Joe Dumars? The dude signed Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon to deals worth a combined 95.7 million dollars over five years, then doubled down by signing Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings for a combined 74 million dollars. Joe Dumars should not have done either of these things, and worse yet, there were plenty of people on the planet who were telling Joe Dumars to not do these things.

Even if all Joe Dumars had to judge players on was game footage, judging players by the eye test alone, he should have known better. Both Smith and Jennings are ball hogs, and two of the most ill-advised shot-takers ever. I’m positive that under “personality” on their NBA 2K14 profiles, both these guys are listed as “unpredictable”. Both players have shown the potential to be good, even very good, but both require a disciplined coach to utilize only their strengths, and coach the weaknesses out of them. Even if Mo Cheeks had been that man, why even tempt fate like this? What the hell was Joe Dumars thinking?

In the fourteen years Dumars has been the President of Basketball Operations and General Manager for the Detroit Pistons, ten head coaches have come, and nine have gone. In the past six years alone, counting current interim head coach John Loyer, the Pistons have had five head coaches. That is absurd. That is absolutely absurd, and it shows that Joe Dumars no longer has any idea what he’s doing, and everybody hates him because of it.

Dumars does not have the right to be frustrated with the criticism of his decisions. The only person Joe Dumars should be frustrated with is Joe Dumars.

It’s also a nice excuse not to play hard. That’s a classic, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ Well, you don’t have trouble getting up to the paystub line. You know what you need to do to get your check. You know what to do. They will. They’ll figure it out.

Good god, Mike D’Antoni with the burn! When you got Mr. Pringles bustin on you in the media, you got problems, Pau.

EDIT: In retrospect, D’Antoni does have the longer track record of being an asshole. I’ll leave it up for you all to decide who’s more at fault in this.

Mike D’Antoni suggests Pau Gasol needs to play harder | Inside the Lakers

Parody Twitter accounts of real life celebrities are very hit and miss, usually filled with groan-inducing topical fodder that sounds nothing like the celebrity they’re openly impersonating.
Then there’s the Michael Jordan account. I’ve posted tweets from it before, but it’s amazing it’s lasted this long, and is still so funny.
Most importantly, though? These totally could be tweets from MJ.

Parody Twitter accounts of real life celebrities are very hit and miss, usually filled with groan-inducing topical fodder that sounds nothing like the celebrity they’re openly impersonating.

Then there’s the Michael Jordan account. I’ve posted tweets from it before, but it’s amazing it’s lasted this long, and is still so funny.

Most importantly, though? These totally could be tweets from MJ.