Tuesday, December 03, 2002

SOMETHING I NOTICED LAST NIGHT: While the Mavs were beating the Raptors, and so did Lang Whitaker:

Reader Jeremy writes...
The links are great. Read them everyday.......props to you and Slam. The reason I write is to sound off about Vince Carter. I'm sitting watching the MAVS and RAPS game tonight and with a few minutes left in the 4th and the RAPS down by about 5, VC is on the bench laughing and cracking up. I think he started laughing initially because Davis dunked over Bradley, but come on! Your team is down, are you are supposed to be "showing all the haters" what's up. That you are back this season and you are going to be splitting wigs, but instead you don't have any heart. There are tons of players out there with twice as much heart as Vince, but don't have the athletic ability. If he really wanted it, he could be the best player in the league, but he doesn't. And guess what, he never will, either you want it or you don't. You can't change that. Mark my words. VC will never win a championship. The only situation I see him winning a championship is with a Jordan type player/leader on the team.
San Diego

Jeremy, I was watching that last night, and I got all fired up about it, too. Vince was laughing because he is not mature enough to handle being on the bench with his team down 8. And I think it was Dell Curry who made a joke about AD dunking on Shawn, because the two of them were laughing together. And if they'd laughed for a few seconds, I would maybe understand. But not for a few possessions. Would you ever have seen Michael Jordan do that? Larry Bird? Even Dominique wouldn't have done that. (Well...OK, maybe he would have.) But that's what separates the greatest players from the pretty good ones. Vince is a long way from great.

I wouldn't have noticed it so much if Ron Harper et al hadn't jumped on it--and I thought they were just being, you know, local broadcasters. But Lang agrees.

More from him:

Flipping around on League Pass last night, it's unbelievable how many teams are playing zone defense these days. Dallas wasn't using it that much, but they did throw it at Toronto. Utah put one on Indiana, who immediately ran their's against the Jazz. Even Pat Riley, noted zone hater, was using it. And it's great, because it totally shuts down the one-on-one game and requires the offensive teams to pass the ball quickly to catch the zone rotating slowly and out of position. I don't know about you, but I like watching fundamental basketball. And there are some teams -- the Suns, for instance -- that have no idea what to do when the zone hits 'em. Penny just catches the ball and looks like a deer in headlights.

I love the Slam Links more than ever since Bill Simmons' semi-retirement. And if you don't love the zone I can't talk to you--Temple being one of my favorite college teams and all.

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