Wednesday, August 18, 2004

There is one among us(a).

Not really much going on, save for the endless yammering about the Olympic Basketball team. The Brushback says it best (top left page) when it asks "The Olympics: Are They Over Yet?" My only goal is to somehow catch an Argentina game, to see Nocioni play. Beyond that, I will watch US when they're on, but I really don't care if they win or not. Just want to see some good basketball, no matter what the teams involved.

There was good basketball being played in the one game I saw, but it certainly wasn't by Stephon Marbury or Carmelo Anthony (overrated crybaby, btw), it was by Puerto Rico's Carlos Arroyo. Now as loyal NBA enthusiasts we all shouldn't be bemoaning the fact that our league's stars can't shoot [and its not that the league can't shoot, its that they only brought ONE player who is among the top 50 in 3pt% (Jefferson-37th)], we should be happy that an international talent like Arroyo is also in the league. I think players like him showcase what is good about the league as much as some of the 'dream' teamers exemplify the bad.

"All-of-a-sudden basketball-expert" Bill Simmons notes Arroyo's performance as a reflection on current NBA point guards:

Arroyo destroyed Marbury and Iverson. Murdered them. He controlled every aspect of the game, made every big play when they needed him -- it was one of those virtuoso performances straight out of the Cheeks-Isiah-Stockton Era of the '80s. (For some reason, the NBC announcers were surprised by this, including Mike Breen, who dropped "the game of his life" phrase more than once. Before he injured an ankle last season, Arroyo was playing like that every night for the Jazz. Whatever.) More importantly, there isn't an American point guard under the age of 30 -- with the possible exception of Wake Forest's Chris Paul -- who could dream of controlling a game that way.

Pandering "NBA golden age" reference aside, the man has a point (no pun intended) about American point guards (since he mentions Tony Parker along with Arroyo).. I don't see why it matters what country the player's from, but did he forget about Kirk Hinrich? It's not hard to forget that a year before Kirk was drafted, Jay Williams was supposed to be the shining star of the franchise, but even if he remained healthy he would have still likely developed into a shoot-first guard in the Davis/Francis/Marbury/(Gordon?) mode. With Hinrich the Bulls have seemed to acquired an even rarer commodity in today's NBA. Someone who would look good in a Team USA uniform right about now.