Tuesday, July 14, 2009
By Andrew Baker
By Andrew Baker
Keith Langford, who scored nearly 2,000 points as a Jayhawk, is putting his NBA dreams on hold for another go-round in Europe.
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I still cannot believe that Langford isn't in the NBA, yet players like Jordan Farmar, J.J. Redick, Adam Morrison, Mark Madsen, Marco Belinelli (making $1.5 Million next yr & averaging 2.1 pt/gm & possibly the single-worst shooting motion ever invented by a professional athlete)...Pls. try explaing to me how Acie Law can get drafted in rd 1 & Langford still can't catch a break on an NBA team...? Absurd. I want to punch every NBA GM in the face.
I know that there has been a controversy over whether his jersey should be retired...and I say it SHOULD. K-Freeze was one of the best players we've ever had here. If it weren't for injury, we're talking top 5 all time here. Not just in scoring, which he already accomplished. No way we lose to Bucknell with a healthy Keith. The dude is an absolute stud and I think his jersey should be hung in the rafters, and I'm gonna go ahead and say F off to the naysayers ahead of time. "speacial credentials, blah, blah, blah"... Keith was just as good of a college player as Kirk. Not to downplay Kirk, because he is a badass, but if Kirk is up here, K-Freeze should be too. Just my two cents. I'll probably get crucified for this though. Loved watching him, and would love to contunue to do so if he gets a shot at the NBA someday. Which he undoubtedly deserves.
Keith is the blue color worker that KU has had so many of. He represented KU with great pride. I love the dude as much as my own brother. If only.......if only......he would not have fouled out in 03 championship game we probably would have won it and he would have been MVP of the tourney; hence he would be in the rafters.
No matter what Keith is one of the best ever to come out of KU. Love him forever!
I'm sorry, not to downplay Langford, but he is just not even near the level of Hinrich as a player. I loved Langford and I scratch my head wondering how he could not be in the NBA, but Hinrich was truly a special player and really not comparable. I wonder if he had not sustained those injuries down the stretch of his career at KU and had not been apart of the flameout against Bucknell, if people would see him in a different light and he would have had his jersey retired.
I agree that Keith was not the best shooter while he was at KU, but with basketball being his full-time job, I can only assume that he has improved his stroke from behind the line while keeping his punishing cross-over. This is all speculation, but I believe if he got a shot in the NBA he would prove to all of us that he can now shoot the three with accuracy.
I hope I never see Keith called k-Freeze again in my life.
I loved Keith Langford as well. But people are delusional about his place both in KU lore and his relative prospects as a pro player.
He's not a true point guard and he's undersized for a two guard. He's not a lights out ball handler. He's a shoot first guard... which if he was bigger, taller, quicker, a better shooter, and a better defender would be fine.
He's been playing the point professionally in other pro leagues, and thats probably where his skill level is at. Theres no shame in that. The fact that he's still playing pro ball at this juncture in my mind is impressive enough.
Comparing him to Hinrich is uber-delusional. Kirk Hinrich was almost destined to be in the league almost from his first day on campus. Langford was a complimentary scorer on loaded teams until his Senior year. And not coincidentally once he became a more important piece of the scoring puzzle he struggled more as teams paid more attention to him.
I was very impressed with Langford when he first began his KU career as an unknown in a much heralded Roy Williams recruiting class. Great slasher and competitor. Did he have weaknesses in his game? Sure, but he was a terrific player, nonetheless. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him play during his college career and wish him the best.
Roy's guys padded their stats playing in a system of beating defenders down the floor in a track meet. How often in an NBA game, do you actually see that style? The NBA is played at much slower pace. The bigs were WRs to the guards in a spread offense played on the hardwood. Great teams with similar caliber athletes can always lock it down. And yet for years, we always wondered why we couldn't win the big one.
Same reason OUs all-world offense didn't do anything to Florida in football this year.
We are always watching these guys through tinted glasses, so we think they are better than the NBA GMs think they are.
Just my opinion, but I don’t foresee Langford’s jersey hanging in AFH. Not just for all the previously mentioned reasons (size, injuries, last game, etc.) but, also because he angered a number of people when Self came. Both he and his mom made a number of statements about leaving KU that didn’t set too well with many Jayhawk fans. It did not offend me personally, but there are a significant number KU fans who don’t remember him with the same fondness as most of have for say Jacque, Wayne, Raef, etc. So, the intensity of the push to get him up on the wall is just not same as it is for other past players. Again, this is just my observation and opinion.
For everyone who thinks Langford isn't good enough, then I say to you that you don't watch enough NBA basketball....Langford's style is a cross between Manu Ginobili, (not as good) George Hill and Will Bynum and Randy Foye....(as good)...None of these guys plays point (even if G. Hill & Bynum are listed as point guards, they always plays the 2)...He's a much better scorer & passer than Daniel Gibson, who is under 6'3" & doesn't play the point position & who also plays dreadful D. -- He's a better overall player than Charlie Bell, Dontell Jefferson, Gerald Henderson, Greg Buckner, and he's at least a thousand times better basketball player than Arron Afflalo, who shouldn't even be playing basketball, let alone playing in the NBA.........All of these guys are undersized 2 guards who Langford right now is better than & the list goes on and on and on, I'm serious...Most of these guys have longer-term deals & teams cannot dump salary I guess, because it's too bad that too many NBA scouts look at height, wingspan as the two major determinants & not if someone is a pure baller or not, which Langford absolutely is.....I don't think he's better than Hinrich, because Hinrich's got wheels, can play the point & is a decent shooting guard (although, not as good a scorer as Langford) & can play lock down defense when he's forced to, as was shown against Boston in RD 1 of the NBA playoffs. But I do think Langford's good enough to play in the league, easy ...He could totally come in an spot someone like Brandon Roy 10 min. per game, for example..There's so much dead weight in this league for Langford not to be in it.....!!!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't KL have microfracture surgery after his SR year? Didn't he come out and say that awhile ago? Isn't one a biggie? Watch highlights of his JR/SR year and he was a shell of the player with half as much explosion as when he was a Freshman. Kirk is in the league because he has consistent jumper, just like everyone else. You don't make the league with out a jump shot. Period. That said, he's still my #1 favorite hawk ever. Loved to watch him play; tons of passion for the game.
Keith has more skill getting to the rim than Kirk, but neither of them has the size to rely solely on that slashing game at the NBA level. Keith was not a good outside shooter in his college days. At his height, he would need to be to make it in the league. Kirk is a clutch outside shooter. Kirk is a great floor leader, which Keith may or may not be (at KU he didn’t need to be). Kirk’s not necessarily a “better” player than Keith, but he’s a very different player. He is a better defender and a better outside shooter, and at their size that skill set translated better to the pro game. Loved watching them both wear the Crimson and Blue, and wish both all the best.
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