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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nick Collison relishes run with OKC

Oklahoma City Thunder's Nick Collison (4) blocks a shot by Dallas Mavericks' Jason Terry (31) in the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals basketball series Monday, May 23, 2011, in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Thunder's Nick Collison (4) blocks a shot by Dallas Mavericks' Jason Terry (31) in the second half of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference finals basketball series Monday, May 23, 2011, in Oklahoma City.

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Oklahoma City power forward Nick Collison, who signed a lucrative, creative four-year contract extension last November, made a grand total of $13.3 million during the 2010-11 season.

The 6-foot-10 former Kansas University standout — he guarded Memphis’ Zach Randolph in a victorious seven-game Western Conference semifinal series and Dirk Nowitzki in a five-game loss in the finals — worked hard for the money.

“It’s the best postseason I’ve had overall,” Collison, who averaged 6.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 24.3 minutes in 17 Thunder playoff games, said in his postseason exit interview available on nba.com.

“I’ve had some good stretches. I almost averaged a double-double for two years but on non-winning teams,” Collison added.

The eight-year veteran averaged 9.6 points and 8.1 rebounds for Seattle in 2006-07 and 9.8 points and 9.4 boards in ‘07-08 — Collison’s last season in Seattle before the franchise moved to OKC.

“This was the most fun I’ve had playing just because in the playoffs we’re playing for more (on) a bigger stage I guess. It’s the best I’ve felt the last couple years for sure.”

The 30-year-old Collison — he’ll make $3,272,997 next season, $2,929,332 in 2012-13, $2,585,668 in ‘13-14 and $2,242,003 in ‘14-15 — missed training camp as he rehabbed from last May’s arthroscopic knee surgery.

He went on to average 4.6 points and 4.5 boards in 71 regular-season games.

“I think going into the season I didn’t know what to expect. You are always a little apprehensive if you have surgery,” Collison said. “Not being able to go to training camp there’s always in back of your mind, ‘Am I going to be able to come back the same?’

“Early in the year I didn’t feel great, but I felt I was probably going to be OK. By the end, my body felt a lot better. I had more spring in my legs. I was able to jump better. I wouldn’t say I had a roller coaster year because it mostly went up for me, but I went through a lot this year for sure.”

He said the past season was his most rewarding.

“The success we had in being part of a team that won as many games as we did (55-27 regular-season mark) ... to get to the Western Conference finals is the first thing that pops into my mind as the best year of my career,” he said.

He believes the Kevin Durant-led Thunder will get better.

“This year we made more steps. The natural progression is to want more,” Collison said. “The biggest thing is not to just say we want to move on. Everybody wants to have a chance at a championship. The key is the teams that can put in the work and get better in the process of ‘every day.’ That’s what we’ve been good at so far.”

Collison plans on working hard this summer in preparation for next season — a season in limbo because of the impending lockout.

“For me personally, when I was young I worked out a lot but I ate whatever I wanted. I didn’t eat terribly, but it wasn’t like I thought about it as it related to basketball,” Collison, the second-leading scorer in KU history, said. “My second or third year in the league, I realized everything I do is affecting kind of the outcome of my career, where I want it to go. I got better eating habits.

“I always worked hard in the weight room. I’ve had that since college. Over time, the accumulative affects of that make a difference in your body. My body fat is lower than it was in college, which is strange for a 30-year-old guy. It’s about forming habits and it becomes easy because it’s your habit now. You live and take care of your body.”

For an article explaining Collison’s contract situation in detail, read http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/22025/inside-collisons-unique-contract-extension.

Workouts

KU’s Brady Morningstar will work out for the Utah Jazz today with BYU’s Jackson Emery, Westminster’s Michael Stockton and Virginia’s Mustapha Farrakhan. Morningstar has said he will likely play in Europe next year if he doesn’t land a spot in the NBA. ... Marcus Morris will work out for the Indiana Pacers today.

Comments

waywardJay 3 years, 3 months ago

Brady... Sniffing the NBA.

WOW.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

"Any professional team that signs Brady Morningstar will have a lousy team!!" --JHockNeg

:-)

I said he ought to go to work for his pop, but I love it that he is looking into playing pro ball. I have said all along there is a potentional Jeff Hornacek-type locked up inside Brady and I hope he gets a chance to show it somewhere.

Go Brady go!

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

P.S.: And Jazz HC Tyrone Corbin, who played for Ray Meyer at Depaul, and assisted 7 years with Jerry Sloan, ought to recognize a potential Jeff Hornacek type when he sees one...if its in Brady.

What the heck, Tyrone, call Tyrel Reed in, too!!! With a good wheel, Tyrel may have what it takes to sneak in the side door, too!

And if you like Brady, and Tyrel, go give Russell Robinson a shot.

Kansas guys can play pick'n'roll and guard!

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Beate Williams 3 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate, I totally agree. If this doesn't work out if should give him a preview of what to expect in Europe if he wants to continue with bb for a few more years outside of the NBA.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Give Nick's salary a rest.

Everyone knows guys in the L that hang on for more than one contract are mega-bucks up!

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 3 months ago

Loved watching this guy play! Watching a pro hustle, take charges, and play defense was kind of nice. Don't get me wrong I love hcbs but the one thing roys teams did was lay it all out on the floor everytime they stepped on it, and nick is a perfect example of that.

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DrPepper 3 years, 3 months ago

There is a picture in Bill Self's office that you need to study. It shows 3 Self guys laying it all out amongst 2 Roy guys sort of going through the motions. There is a video interview around somewhere that shows it.

Actually, that photo is only exhibit A. How much RoyBall did you see?

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waywardJay 3 years, 3 months ago

Love to Disagree on this point.

Bill's teams have shown in 8 years twice the hustle Roy's teams did game in and game out.... We still have OOPS games, but we have fewer of them.

Another Key... Bill's teams played good team defense regularly, Roy's teams play Great team defense regularly.

This argument is on par with the logic used in your football posts. Flawed and cast in a light specifically to make it look unflattering.

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 3 months ago

Let me know when someone beats Nick's 20/20 game against Texas. To be honest..both coaches did and still do get all out hustle from their players..imo

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 3 months ago

More? Reread. Maybe I'm older. I remember Richard Scott, Billy Thomas, Alonzo Jamison. Rex Walters and so on. These comparisons are really getting old. Roy v Bill Blah blah blah..

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 3 months ago

You seriously don't think roys team showed more guts on the floor. I don't think any of Bills players could write a book called "floor burns"

I know we can lock teams down today but I miss the dives for loose balls and players planting their feet to take charges on opposing fast breaks.

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 3 months ago

Any of the clowns who complain about Josh wanting to go pro are just green with jealousy because of this kinda money. Not sure anyone is really worth 10-15 mill a year, but how could you not wish success for that type of potential? Nick played his best this year IMO. Great to see KU guys keep getting better. Is good for recruiting also when glue guys get to play at the next level, whether Europe, South America or even D league. Go Brady! Well, guess it's time to go into BB withdrawl for a few months...try to get all the honeydoos caught up. Yawn!

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

Collison, Hinrich, Pearce, Arthur, Chalmers, Aldrich, Marcus, Markieff, Henry, Selby, Jackson, Rush, Wright, Kaun, Taylor, TRob......that would be a pretty decent NBA squad.

I wish Brady and Tyrell well but I think both will have to prove themselves in Europe before NBA GMs take a chance on them. Hope I'm wrong...but I don't think I am.

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Jonathan Allison 3 years, 3 months ago

And I think that Gooden could help out too.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 3 months ago

Good point...throw in a skinny Sherron Collins as well!!

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

One thing is for certain, Bill Self would give Brady a serious positive recommendation. He started and played him 30-35mpg one season, and played him 20 minutes per game "behind" Xavier Henry, a first round draft choice, and 15-20mpg "behind" Josh Selby, a likely first round draft choice, even when Selby was healthy; then started and played him 30-35mpg when Selby crashed.

References and fit are hugely important to getting in the door in every business. You have to be able to fill a roll, at the right salary, and have what they need coming in, so they are willing to teach you the rest. Perhaps the Utah GM trusts Self and perhaps Self said, "Give this kid a look. He could be like Hornacek. I had to use him as glue, but the kid can guard, play pick'n'roll, run the floor and shoot the trey exactly the way you need for a backup out of the box. And he would be about half a million cheaper that some of the guys you're going to draft second round that are not any better?" Sometimes getting that look is the difference between getting a shot and not. It got Sherron at least a season in the L. And if Brady gets a look, and a roster spot, even on a D team, he won't blow it with Big Macs. :-)

Go Brady, go!

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ku98 3 years, 3 months ago

"He could be like Hornacek"? Wow! Did you smoke something with Brady?

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ku98 3 years, 3 months ago

"He could be like Hornacek"? Wow! Did you smoke something with Brady?

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Brianna Zaleski 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm confused about the claim that Collison made $13.3 million this season, but is scheduled to make only $3.2 - $2.2 over the next four years. Seems like a significant pay cut for a player whose value to his team is increasing. And why would you re-sign w/ a team that just cut your pay by $10 million?!?. Also, how could Nick Collison be getting paid $13.3 mil/ year. I understand that pro athletes are paid extremely well, but even that seems quite high for him. He is not even a starter. Could someone please explain? Misprint maybe?

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KUbsee69 3 years, 3 months ago

Endorements, commercials, appearances, etc augment player salaries.

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Clydecito 3 years, 3 months ago

I read awhile back that the renegotiated contract was front loaded as a 'timing' measure with his teammates contracts, and the ceiling, to allow more money for additional players later. In my opinion, he was worth every dime he made.

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sekjayhawker 3 years, 3 months ago

This will help.....it's basically prepaid earnings ala the signing bonus using up cap money that they had on the books. This allows the Thunder to lower his check over the next 3 yrs and use that extra cap space to acquire free agents.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Nick-Collison-s-goofball-contract-extension?urn=nba-288906

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Mark Anderson 3 years, 3 months ago

His contract was structured that way. Heavy up front with less on the back side. That way, as Nick gets older/injured/etc, his contract won't be an issue if a trade comes up in 2 or 3 years. Actually, a really smart way to structure a pro contract and a benefit to Nick as well, if he chooses to continue to play professionally. Someone is more likely to pick up a 2+M contract than a 13+M contract.

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ku98 3 years, 3 months ago

Not a Brady basher, but there is no way he will even land a spot on a European team. There are a lot of europeans who are better and younger than Brady. Time to take that KU diploma and look for a real job.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Not a ku98 basher, but there is no way in hell you would have predicted Brady would get an NBA tryout, so your bonafides here ain't makin' you persuasive on this. Capice? :-)

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waywardJay 3 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate's right on this....

I personally never thought Brady had a shot at a tryout... And yet here he is. there's something you cannot deny about Brady, He gives it everything he can. He's not a great athlete, but he wants to the best he can be.

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ku98 3 years, 3 months ago

A tryout doesn't mean anything. At the very best, he will land a spot for some obscure team in Denmark or Austria, but he won't play in major euro-leagues. It is hard enough for guys like Keith Langford or Kenny Gregory. I am sure Brady is a nice coachable hard working guy, but it won't land him a pro contract in major euro-ball.

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Sam Constance 3 years, 3 months ago

So your NBA tryout is scheduled for... ...when, exactly?

It may not mean much, but an NBA tryout does mean something. Or do you think NBA scouts and executives are in the habit of completely wasting their time trying out guys who they feel have no shot to make the team?

I never cease to be amazed by the assuredness with which some people predict the future.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

A try out means something. It means they think your at least worth a look. It means they think you are probably more likely to fulfill their needs than the other guys they decide not to invite. Come on, this is not brain science. Of course a try out matters. How could any marginal player ever beat the odds and make it, as some infrequently do, if they were not given a try out first. You can't beat the odds, if you don't even get the try out.

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David Hodges 3 years, 3 months ago

Lets not forget the European leagues love short white guys that can shoot the three.

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kushaw 3 years, 3 months ago

This is naive thinking because i don't think you truly understand how "European" professional leagues work. There are a ton of professional leagues overseas and they have different divisions (A, B, C, D, E etc etc). If you're last in one division then you get moved down to the next. If you win your division then you get to move up to the next division and vice versa.

With that said, you can go to China, Russia, South America, Caribbean, etc etc etc which are all professional leagues outside of the main "European" leagues. There are plenty of jobs, but you have to have the right contacts, networks, and enough patience to figure out the system. Somebody in Brady's shoes will definitely have all those connections if he so chooses.

Granted, there aren't as many jobs as people think because you can normally only have 3 Americans on any given professional team, but there are still plenty of opportunities over there to make a living. Yes, Brady is good enough to make a living playing basketball for another 8-10 years if he so chooses. You could pay me 80K a year, give me a free apt, and not have any taxes taken out and that is a win/win situation. Even at 80K a year, don't think playing basketball professionally over in Europe (Even if you are a scrub) is a bad thing.

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ku98 3 years, 3 months ago

@jaybate, I'd be surprised if ol' Roger didn't have anything to do with that tryout. Tryouts don't mean anything. Didn't Ocho Cinco try out for KC soccer team?
@kushaw, interesting take, though you're trying to teach the wrong guy since I grew up in Europe, played in some of those lower level divisions, and am quite familiar with the euro-ball system. Once you go below D2, or B level, only a few get paid anything, and it is nowhere near $80k. Wayne played for a D2 spanish team, and he was 6'9 250lbs with skills. At 6'3 in shoes and average NCAA D1 skills, Brady will not make a dime playing ball in Europe. Hope I am wrong, for Brady's sake... Only time will tell.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

@ku98,

I'd be surprised if Roger didn't have something to do with you balling in Europe. :-)

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ku98 3 years, 3 months ago

@Jaybate, you are so blindly in love with Brady, I'd be surprised if you weren't Roger himself.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

ku98,

Let's see: I think he has the slimmest of chances of making the Jazz, but that the Jazz thought he was at least good enough for a try out.

That is not a very outlandish position to hold. :-)

You on the other hand haven't even got one of your own pubic hairs to hang by.

You can't even accept that he got an honest try out. No, you are trying to explain away that fact with halluncinatory allegations, like his father bought him a tryout. :-)

And you say you played ball in Europe?

Was it s European Elizabethan League ornamented in a Post Modern Twist with Sartrean Bad Faith--a parallel dimension league where all players you had doubts about got their roster positions, because of nepotism, or family connections, or Camus like absurdity? Did the players have griffin wings and the lion heads, or vice versa? Were the post men all named Yoric? Were the referees dressed like renaissance cherubs in desert cammies? Did the Prospero like coaches all speak in Shakespearean iambic pentameter and grapple with an ogre amidst a Tempest? Did Giotto paint the locker room ceilings in various shades of robin's egg blue with a lot of product placements?

It must have been quite a league. :-)

A league of your own maybe?

Aw, just kidding, like you were kidding about me being Roger.

Brady got a tryout/ Brady got a tryout/ Brady got a tryout/ na, na na na poo poo!

:-)

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ku98 3 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate, je me moques bien de ce que tu dis, et me contrefout complement que tu me crois ou pas. Contrairement a ce que tu crois sans doute, ton opinion n'interesse personne, sauf peut etre les faibles d'esprit et de conviction.

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kushaw 3 years, 3 months ago

You call Collison's contract creative? What about Bobby Bonilla? This guy's agent is a freakin genius. The Met's wanted Bonilla out of New York so bad that they deferred the rest of his 5.9 million contract in 2000 to 2011. What was 5.9 million has turned into over 30 million in 11 years! What?

Starting in exactly 1 month on July 1st 2011, Bobby Bonilla will receive 1.2 million from the Mets for the next 25 years. Let's also not forget that Bonilla get paids 250K a year for being a consultant for the players union. Actually, he does virtually nothing for the players union. Bonilla is a genius!!!!!!!!!!!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703426004575339013108198050.html

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

You're right .. the whole Bonilla deal was quite creative. Noting that the Mets have severe financial issues, I wonder if any of that payout is insured? And what would happen if the Mets went bankrupt like the Rangers did? A brilliant deal could turn into a dog pretty quickly.

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

Can anyone truly fathom Brady Morningstar on an NBA bench? Pure fantasy .. beyond comprehension.

One miniscule possibility .. coach Self takes an NBA job.

I can see it now .. Self takes the Warriors job. Adds Morningstar to the roster. Then starts Morningstar over Monta Elles, suggesting that Morningstar, "Plays solid defense and bring a lot of elements not found in the boxscore. He just makes the team better. The ball doesn't stick with him. We rotate the ball better."

The Warriors message board has sporadic Brady-lovers proclaiming the virtues of "glue" guys.

My head implodes, leaving an awful mess.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 3 months ago

1) freaking funny! 2) Utah has a policy where they have to consider any/all eligible white guys

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Tyrone Corbin = "black guy" HC in Utah.

1) freaking funny! 2) now deal with it!!

:-)

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Mike Bratisax 3 years, 3 months ago

Ostertag made millions in Utah.

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David Hodges 3 years, 3 months ago

Could anyone have imagined him playing 30+minutes a game on a Jayhawk team that went 35-3? Predicting the future is like weather forecasting in Kansas, you can guess but more than likely you will be wrong.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

jaybate be lovin' the rationalizin'!

All the strugglin' with reality that's conflictin' with the magical belief systems.

Seein' BStar gettin' a try out in the L.

Wonderin' how it can be?

So much dissonance between what some believe vs. what is happenin'.

Choosin' to discount reality to preserve magical belief systems.

Keep Rockin', keep Chalkin'

:-)

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David Hodges 3 years, 3 months ago

What is your pen-name? I need a new book to read....

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motorboatinsomnia 3 years, 3 months ago

Comparing Jeff Hornacek to Brady Morningstar is like comparing Tupak Shakur to Fred Durst.

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David Hodges 3 years, 3 months ago

They were both rappers... one just had a lot less talent. Of course Tupac created his Thug image after he gained fame so maybe Brady can create a new image of his own.

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Sam Constance 3 years, 3 months ago

Interesting choice of comparison, because even though I think you are correct in your implication that Tupak and Durst are eons apart in terms of reputation and skill, both turned whatever it was that they respectively had into lucrative careers that netted millions of dollars and records sold.

And I think most people would agree wholeheartedly that Hornacek had more talent than Brady--after all, he played in the League for 14 seasons, netting an All-Star appearance, two Finals appearances, a retired jersey and a top 50 place in both the career assists (#44) and career steals (#31) lists. He was also actually drafted... Brady just has a tryout.

But to extrapolate that Brady doesn't belong in the league because he's not Jeff Hornacek is silly. Hornacek wasn't always a highly-touted basketball wizard--as a walk-on at Iowa State out of high school, I don't think many people expected him to play in the League either, let alone make an All-Star game and play a pivotal role in reaching the NBA Finals.

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Jack Wilson 3 years, 3 months ago

A new Brady debate .. interesting .. kind of.

Jaybate: Talk to me when he is on an NBA bench. With a uniform on. I will then realize that the universe is much different than I have envisioned. Until then, reality is what we see. You are seriously going to try to make some point about Brady Morningstar because, like countless hundreds of other college players, he gets one team to have him in for a workout? The love runs deep .. real deep. Perhap he can play in Turkey .. if he forgets to wear his deoderant, he'll fit right in.

Reality .. as painful as it is to some .. is that Brady turned out to be exactly as many said. The Brady debate was decided once and for all in the Elite Eight. And the result, magically, just as predicted. And the flop, precisely at the point in time as predicted. Coincidence? I don't know. Reality? Yes.

We will never know what coach Self's commitment to Brady Morningstar cost KU the past two seasons. But all along, many of us were suggesting what many others disputed. But there is just one reality.

We know that KU will never get to a final four or win a national championship with Brady Morningstar in the lineup. Many said that statement was crazy. But it is reality.

Sure, we'll never know, for sure (and some need "for sure" .. or they will stick with their Brady-loving approach) if his presence in the lineup had anything to do with the result. We just know the predictions, we just know the performance, and we just know the result.

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KULA 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Roger's taken up golfing with Tyrone.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

It is so much easier arguing for Brady than against him. I am very grateful to be on the easy side.

Brady averaged 40% for his career, or there abouts, not just one season, if I recall correctly. He slipped terribly to 39 percent one season. :-)

If Russ Rob could shoot the way Brady, or Tyrel can, then he would be getting a look at Utah right now, too. I am sure RR has gotten a few looks at places where Brady, or Tyrel, would not get a look.

This is how it is. Different skill sets attract different teams.

Larry Brown didn't give RR a shot at Carolina last year that I recall, perhaps because he didn't have the kind of game the Larry was looking for; that Sherron with his weight and psyche under control, could give him.

Its just how it is.

Of course Brady could have shot the ball the way Redick did, but he wouldn't have shot the huge percentage Redick did in college. Brady is not as good of a shooter as Redick. But he shoots plenty good for guys that have all the basics wired. Tyrel, too. Any season he was healthy Tyrel shot 40-46% from trey. The numbers are in. RR never shot 40-46% for a season. RR never averaged 40% for a career. Would I rather have RR for a team that needed a great stopper on the perimeter? Yes. Would I rather have Brady on a team that needed a good trinitizer on the perimeter? Yes. Would I rather have Sherron than Brady, or RR, if a team need a do it all PG? Yes.

Its is all about team needs and about supply of a given skill bundle.

The beauty here is that I'm not the one saying Brady doesn't deserve an NBA tryout, so I don't have to try to offer ridiculous rationalizations about why he got a try out, nor do I have to blunt the reality of him getting a tryout with irrelevant claims that he'll never make it, regardless.

Any dissonance about him getting a tryout is not on me. I'm not even particularly happy he got a tryout. I hoped he would go straight into his dad's investment banking business where the real bucks are for him long term. But I don't think it is surprising that he got the try out. I mean the guy was in the line up on 3 season running playing anywhere from 20-38 mpg on a team that was always highly ranged and that was always a big, big winner. And Brady guarded many guys that are now playing in the NBA and held his own.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Really, when you stop and think about it objectively, what kind of pro coach that played a lot of pick and roll, required a lot of defense, and was looking to lower his salary at a back-up perimeter spot wouldn't at least give Brady a sniff?

FWIW, I have no illusions that there is a high probability that Brady will make an NBA roster, because there is never a high probability that any undrafted, marginal player given a try out will make a roster...ever. In this regard, again, Brady is just like any player in this position. RR has been given several looks, because he could help certain teams lower their salaries at certain positions. RR's problem is his shooting touch, or used to be, anyway.

But boy howdy am I amused by everyone claiming shock and surprise that an NBA disciple of Jerry Sloan, like Ty Corbin, would give a tryout to a 40% career trey shooter and very good FT shooter that plays sound defense and protects.

Bill Self is not the only coach in the universe that has trouble finding players that have all the basics wired. Bill Self is not the only guy playing fellows like Brady that may not be the longest and most athletic, but have the key skills wired. Jerry Sloan often had to look for guys that could do what Brady does. I would bet a few bucks that it was Jerry Sloan who suggested to Corbin that he give Morningstar a look.

Again FWIW, few thought Horncek would be the big time pro player that he became, even though he scored alot as a first/second option in college at ISU. I keep telling people, but no one gets it. If Brady had played for a lesser program, say ISU, as Horny did, Brady would have been a high scorer on another team. Create 15 FGAs for him off screens and out of pick'n'rolls and he would have scored 15-25 every night. Same with Tyrel. But Self just told them to play glue and make the open looks and guard, and let his other guys with more MUA be the impact guys. It is how Self does it. It works.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Back to RR for a moment, to reiterate, I can understand why Russell Robinson has had trouble hacking it in the pros. He's got enormous athletic ability, but he is sub 40% trey shooter and role players in the L on the perimeter really have to be able to pot the triceratop, or play the point like wizards (e.g., like Jacque Vaugh). RR is a trey gun away from being a ten year career guard in the L.

Heck, if I had had my thinking cap on about pro basketball lately instead of screwing off in Europe for a month, I probably would have seen this coming.

Brady getting a look in Utah is no different than Sherron getting a look at Carolina last year. Carolina had a coach, Larry Brown that could find his butt with both hands, knew PG material, and so gave Sherron a shot because he was a proven winner, that could do most of what Brown likes, that might allow Brown to shed some salaries and be able to afford to pick up another piece the team needed.

Sherron had what Brown needed right then.

Brady probably appears to Utah possibly to have what the Jazz usually are looking for, even if only for the D League team. They always need perimeter guys that can defend, shoot then spot up trey, protect in a pick'n'roll game and can FTs. Whether Brady is actually good enough, or not, to fill the role better than other guys, I can't say, because I don't know who else is trying out at Utah at his salary level.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Pro teams need guys like Brady, whether Brady turns out to be quite good enough to fill the bill. Pro teams are looking for guys like Brady and it ain't the pigmentation they are looking for. At the pro level, there are just tons and tons of fabulous "long and athletics." Every draft is full of them. The NBA could expand and still fill more rosters with "long and athletics." What the NBA is always short of are glue back-ups that have the basics wired and shoot the NBA trey at 45%. I don't know if Brady could gun at 45% from that distance, but someone at Utah must think there's a possibility.

The NBA season is just an incredibly long grind. No team can afford 12 superstars. They've got to find backup glue guys that have the basics wired for the stretches when the injuries come, and for the stretches where the "long and athletics" with the basics only half wired are nickel and diming them to death.

What people keep missing about Brady's time at KU is simple: there just aren't very many guys that have all the basics wired, as he does (and as Tyrel did), and there aren't very many half-wired "long and athletics" that you can afford to let play a full 40, because of what they cost you. The "long and athletics" without all the basics wired just nickel and dime you to death in TOs, missed treys, missed FTs, and so on. And alot of them sulk if they are asked to do anything but shake and bake.

So: what coaches apparently do, is they try to get the "long and athletics" that can impact with MUA for part of the time and then get guys like Brady in the game when you decide to play through another player for awhile; that way the half-wired "long and athletic" isn't nickel and diming you to death for about half the game. It is the same thing in the pros.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Go back an look at all of Phil Jackson's teams, for an example. Steve Kerr, John whatever his name was, Ron Harper. Brian Shaw. Derek Fisher. These were never the best players Phil could have gotten Buss to go out and get. These were guys that were on the down hill in their careers, or guys who were never going to be much. Their salaries fit and they had the basics wired. Sometimes Phil played guys ahead of them. Some times not. But he always had to have some of these guys to put in the game to keep his real stars performances from being diminished bym half-wired "long and athletics" that he would not be playing through down the stretches of big games, because they would be nickel and dime him to death.

Great pro coaches have never bought into the nonsense that if you just keep giving half wired "long and athletics" more and more minutes eventually they will become fully-wired "long and athletics." Being fully wired in the basics is a gift, or a talent, just like being "long and athletic" is a gift, or a talent. If a "long and athletic" were fully wired, and a lot of them are in the NBA, then they are starters and often stars. But if they are half-wired by the time they reach the NBA, then they are probably always going to be half-wired.

So: ya gotta have a few fully wired glue guys around and like I said, they don't grow on trees.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

When board rats talk about the pros drafting potential, they are absolutely correct when talking about the impact positions. They will take all kinds of risks on any potential impact player. But they don't draft, or sign, half-wired marginal players believing they will become fully wired. They just don't do it. Well, let me rephrase that. The GMs and coaches that are fully wired themselves don't do it any time they can avoid doing it.

Jerry Sloan gave a great quote that bears on this issue.

"I don't care if he's 19 or 30. If he's going to be on the floor in the NBA, he's got to be able to step up and get after it. We can't put diapers on him one night, and a jockstrap the next night. It's just the way it is." –on second year guard C.J. Miles, the youngest player on the 2006–07 Utah Jazz.[21]

You gotta be fully wired in the basics of your position, if you are a player at the margin.

Next...

Regarding KU having no chance to get to a Final Four with Brady in the line-up, well, that's just completely unverifiable opinion. It actually seems like kind of magical thinking to me, but, what the heck, there's no law against magical thinking on a basketball board.

Of course, Self said even back during Brady's first year starting that he was a lot like Jeff Gueldner on Danny's ring team in '88; indicating that with the right mix of players Brady could get the job done on a ring team, like Danny's.

The problem Brady had in his years that he was in the line up at KU is that he never played with any guy as good as Manning.

I am very comfortable with Self's logic that if you put Brady on Danny's '88 team he could get the job done and get the ring, just as Gueldner did with Danny Manning.

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jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

And I am comfortable extending the logic as follows: if you put Danny on any of Brady's teams, KU would have won the rings those years.

But if you put Cole, or the Twins on Danny's team, in place of DManning, they don't win a ring in '88.

Brady played with some good players, but Cole and the Twins were just not up to Danny's abilities. And it was first Cole and then the Twins that folded in their designated roles big time in the bright lights, not Brady. Brady actually pretty much fulfilled his glue role in all the tournament exits he played in. What Brady did not do was compensate for the poor play of the impact players on all his teams. But then Jeff Gueldner never really had to do that for Manning did he?

Frankly, its a myth that Brady failed in his role in big games in the Madness. Brady's role was always glue. He was never assigned the role of impact player in any really big March Madness game. Either Sherron/Cole/Xavier got the impact calls, or The Twins, did. And those two groups of impact players were why KU could not pull the games out, even though they were close. You live and die with your impact players, not your glue players. If you intended to live and die with an glue player, you sure as hell would not have him playing glue.

Self never turned the ball over to Brady and said go win Madness games for us, kid. Maybe he should have, but he did not. So whether Brady had good shooting nights, or bad ones, really was never decisive in any game, certainly not the Madness games. Did Brady ever get lit up defensively in a Madness game? Probably, but not most of the time. And even if he did, it is the impact players that are finally responsible for the decisive plays of the game on both ends. If Cole and the Twins had really been able to control the paint the way impact bigs are supposed to be able to do, then it wouldn't have mattered when Brady got lit up by an opponent. And vice versa, Brady locking down an opponent was never enough to offset the impact big men failing to control the paint.

Regardless, ain't it great that the kid so many said didn't deserve to play at KU got an NBA try out?!

All for now.

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Sam Constance 3 years, 3 months ago

Personally, I think the idea of a "PTP'er" is largely a phenomenon of the human brain, not a external skill that can be attributed to a given player.

While the "moment" plays a role in how a given player performs--i.e., whether or not their nerves hinder their ability to do what they are typically capable of--an overwhelmingly larger influence is the simple law of averages.

Case in point--Brady Morningstar's shooting percentages from the 4 games prior to the VCU game are listed below. I would argue that once you get into March, the pressure of the "moment" is roughly the same from game to game (given the finality of the single-elimination format), individual game situations notwithstanding. Brady's 4 games prior to the VCU game were against Texas in the Big 12 title (that seems like a pretty big "moment") and 3 games in the NCAA tournament (THE definition of the "moment" in college basketball).

He shot as follows:

TEXAS: 5/7 overall; 1/2 from three BOSTON: 5/9 overall; 0/3 from three ILLINOIS: 2/5 overall; 1/3 from three RICHMOND: 7/11 overall; 4/7 from three

4-game totals: 19/32 (59.3%) overall; 6/15 (40%) from three

So is it really that Brady just can't perform in the moment? Or is it that a shooter's overall percentage is reached by a string of shooting performances that vary from game to game? It's worth noting that his worst three-point shooting night was against Boston, the easiest opponent on that list. There will be some Boston/VCU performances (0/3 from deep in each game), and there will be some Richmond/Texas performances. You can take my word for it that Reed's numbers show a very similar story.

(to be concluded...)

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Sam Constance 3 years, 3 months ago

(...conclusion)

Another example: Lebron James. Please bear with me, as I have less hard data for this example. Until this year (and even including this year, if you remember all the talk in Round 1 of the playoffs about the Heat's collective futility in "big moment" shots), he was regarded as the best player on the planet, but someone who hadn't really hit the big shots in crunch time. If you've been following him at all, he's been pulling out icing shot after icing shot as he's played against the Celtics, Bulls and now Mavs last night. So is Lebron James the guy who struggled in the moment? Or is Lebron James the guy who hits about every no-business-making-this-shot, falling away at the end of the shot clock garbage that he has done in the last three series in this playoffs? The answer, imho, is that he is neither.

He is a player whose incredible physical gifts give him the advantage in any single one-on-one play, so he has a better ability to get himself in position to make those kinds of shots. But as far as his ability to make a given single shot based on the context of the game at that moment, he's subject to the same laws of averages as everyone else.

In other words, the PTP'er is, imho, an illusion. Our brains want to extrapolate meaning about a player's ability perform from the importance of a given moment. The more important the moment, the better a test of a given player's ability. However, when it comes to something repetitive and mechanical like accurate long-range shooting (or jump-shooting in general) such concepts don't apply. A player's method of shooting doesn't change based on the moment, so it seems misguided to think that a player's ability to make a shot could change based on the moment. Of course, unless the "moment" affects a player's nerves to the point of it changing his/her mechanics. I just have a feeling that watching Brady take a shot from the VCU game won't look fundamentally any different than watching him take a shot from the Longwood game (season opener).

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