Monday, April 25, 2011

Limping to the Finish Line

We're almost there. The year is ending, the work is coming to a close, and the blog is about to undergo a transition. There are a couple of hard days of work left, though, and while that's happening, I'm going to keep it brief.

1 - I'm on a podcast! The fellas at Countless Screaming Argonauts had me on their show to chat about sports, politics, journalism, and etc.


Take a listen to Part 1 and, if you dare, Part 2.

2 - This is just a fascinating article about the relationship between Jeter and Cashman.

3 - Yanks won 6-3 in 11 innings last night after a lengthy rain delay. All three of our runs came on infield singles, which has to be some sort of record. Jeter had four hits, Granderson continues to pound the hell out of the ball, and Freddy Garcia had another really nice start. Joba blew most of the lead in the 7th, and Mariano did the rest in the ninth to let the Orioles back in.

And in case you couldn't decipher from this brief recap, I saw none of this game. Or any other game. Please, please end, school.

4 - I'll close with a reader e-mail from John, a big Duke fan. He has a strong take on the Kyrie situation, and I thought it was well-written and salient enough that it'd be interesting for everyone to read. Have a good Monday.

Let’s talk Kyrie Irving. Admit it, the more time has passed from that awful ending to a good season, the more angry you’ve become with Kyrie for choosing to spurn the Blue Devils. Admit it. Despite your satirical post addressing this very subject, Kyrie’s premature Duke defection burns you up as much as it does me. ADMIT IT!!!! Come on, you can tell me.

Not ready yet? Ok, fine. But hear me out for a second...

At the risk of sounding like a spoiled Duke fan – that would be a first, right? – I’m gonna try to convince you of why I think we’re all letting Kyrie off the hook a little easy here.

Now, before you go there, let me say this – I get it. I get it that Kyrie was always “supposed” to be a one-and-done talent. I get it that this was “supposed” to be the only year for us to enjoy the magnificent basketball abilities from our “once every ten years New Jersey point guard.” I get it that a kid considered among the favorites for the number one overall draft slot is “supposed” to go pro. I get it.

Here’s the problem, and there’s really no getting around this. Kyrie was SUPPOSED to play more than 11 games this year – not become the best cheerleader Duke has ever seen. He was SUPPOSED to be the missing piece that returned Duke basketball to its up-tempo days of domination – not return from injury just in time to screw up our chemistry when it mattered the most. SUPPOSED matters about as much as Larry Drew II now, doesn’t it? Side note – the number of UCLA fans who think that they’ve found their point guard savior is amusing, at the least.

Not yet convinced? Let’s keep going. There are essentially four players with a reasonable chance to claim the number one overall draft pick this season – Sully, Prince Harry, Perry Jones, and Kyrie. Even though all four are essentially guaranteed a slot in the elusive lottery, complete with a first contract worth millions, 75% of the above group have already committed to returning to school! The only one jumping ship? Kyrie! I SIMPLY DON’T GET IT!!! WHY, KYRIE, WHY?!?!?!?!?!?! WHAT DID WE EVER DO TO YOU?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Wait, I saved the best for last! THRE’S NOT EVEN GOING TO BE AN NBA NEXT SEASON!!!!! No matter where the kid gets drafted, he’s going to be playing exactly zero basketball next year! None! Zip! Zilch! Squat! Squilch! – combination of squat and zilch. UGH!!!...Breathing deeply and collecting myself...

As much as I’ve tried to be ok with all of this, I simply cannot support a decision that involves a basketball loving kid choosing to not play basketball next year. And what’s so bad about another year at Duke? Outside of his injury – Matt Howard’s revenge – it seemed like he had a pretty good year, right? Seemed like a happy, fun loving kid living the college life to me. Why not come back for one more year of that? Not to mention that the team that he would be leading next year would be - to say the least – FUUUUUUNNNN! Throw in a pre-season top five ranking, a chance at a National Championship, and what’s not to like? If Kyrie’s decision is final – I’m simply never going to understand. Sigh.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t give me the “he might hurt his draft stock” argument. For one, he’s too talented, and there’s too much of a premium in the NBA for point guards of his caliber for his stock to fall considerably. Secondly, I counter with an obvious assertion from the season – for every Kyle Singler (player whose stock unfortunately drops during his senior season) there’s a Nolan Smith. Period.

Ugh. I’m depressed. I haven’t seen any headlines telling me that Kyrie is “rethinking” his decision. Alas, what’s there left to do - keep bitching?

Maybe I’ll pray for a miracle- it is, after all, almost Easter Sunday.

Dear God,

Please don’t make us play a stacked UNC team next year without Kyrie. Please don’t make us play a stacked UNC team next year without Kyrie. Please don’t...

6 comments:

  1. Kyrie would be nuts to return to college after that injury. He needs to go get paid. Even if there is a lockout, he could just go play pro in Europe for a year, and either way he's going to get multi-million dollar endorsements.

    I'm sure Durham is great and all, but when your worst case scenario is being a professional athlete in Europe, you've made the right decision.

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  2. I agree with the Kyrie take. Glad someone finally said it.

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  3. The more I read it, the more I realize that this letter is either fucking idiotic or a troll trying to get me pissed at a Duke fan. Whatever, I'll take the bait.

    It's OK to be sad about Kyrie leaving. It's OK to think about what could have been if he had stayed. It's not OK to be mad at him or think that he owes you or Duke anything. He doesn't owe you shit. If it weren't for the NBA rules he probably never would have attended Duke at all. Kyrie doesn't care about you, and you don't care about him (aside from selfishly wanting him to remain at Duke).

    At the risk of sounding like a spoiled Duke fan – that would be a first, right? – I’m gonna try to convince you of why I think we’re all letting Kyrie off the hook a little easy here.

    As I mentioned, he owes nothing to the fans or university, so there's no hook for him to be let off of.

    He was SUPPOSED to be the missing piece that returned Duke basketball to its up-tempo days of domination – not return from injury just in time to screw up our chemistry when it mattered the most.
    Well, he was that, and then he got hurt, and then he worked his ass off to rehab the injury, all the while being about the best teammate he could be. Lovely dig though, can't believe he doesn't want to risk his future to play for such a wonderful fan. For the record, any blame for screwing up chemistry goes with K and his staff. If you want to put it on a player, I think the only choice is Nolan. (But seriously, it's on the coaching staff) Also, Duke lost because Arizona hit just about everything, and got just about every rebound. But yeah, chemistry.

    Not yet convinced? Let’s keep going. There are essentially four players with a reasonable chance to claim the number one overall draft pick this season – Sully, Prince Harry, Perry Jones, and Kyrie. Even though all four are essentially guaranteed a slot in the elusive lottery, complete with a first contract worth millions, 75% of the above group have already committed to returning to school!
    It's an individual decision, so I'm not sure this is really an argument. If anything, those players returning means Kyrie will be drafted higher, which means more money both from playing and endorsements.

    Secondly, I counter with an obvious assertion from the season – for every Kyle Singler (player whose stock unfortunately drops during his senior season) there’s a Nolan Smith. Period.
    Except Kyrie has nowhere to go but down, so your assertion doesn't apply to Kyrie's situation. Hell, if Nolan had been projected as a top 3 pick after 2010 he might have jumped.

    I already covered the lockout argument in my first comment, so I won't get into it again.

    Enjoy three Plumlees with nobody that can get them the ball.

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  4. Awww, I think the spam filter ate my lengthy tirade.

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  5. After listening to both podcasts I must say I completely enjoyed it, including your crazy dinner party. Spaceman Lee, way to be outside the box. Also, great point on Rose's hits record. That said, I was questioning the commentary that Ripken stayed for the record. He played for three more years after sitting down for the first time, and wasn't awful in that time.

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  6. Sorry Nasty, was away for most of the day. It's up now. Fucking spam. Thanks Alex, glad you liked it.

    -Shane

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