Sunday, June 25, 2006

If Ty Thomas Could Dribble, Shoot and/or Pass, He'd be Good. But He Can't, So He Isn't.

Two things are currently driving me nuts: The Lake House and Tyrus Thomas. What do they have in common? Well, they are the protagonists for possibly the two dumbest premises of the summer.

First, The Lake House. This is the Keanu Reeves/Sandra Bullock flick where the two - despite living two years apart and being able to communicate only through a magical mailbox - fall in love and live happily ever after. Ah...why the hell do they only communicate through the mailbox? Why doesn't Keanu just write, " know what? Today's my birthday...I remember I was at TGI Friday's two years ago today...why don't you stop by...I'll be wearing a red sweater and a woodpecker will be drilling into my head, since it's made of wood and all. Why don't you introduce yourself?" Case closed! This movie should be over in 15 minutes. Instead, you get to watch two hours of shoving scarves through a mailbox - "I remember it was chilly today two years ago!" - and planting trees that suddenly grow really tall really fast. Stupidest (movie) premise ever.

An even stupider premise? Ty Thomas could possibly go number one in the NBA Draft.


Do NBA GMs pay attention at all (could I possibly use more italics?). I mean, name an NBA team who currently doesn't have a Ty Thomas on its bench? Does any team really need another 6'8", athletic freak-of-nature who can smack his belly button off the rim but couldn't knock down a jumper to save his life and would need 10 chances to dribble through a row of folding chairs? His most flattering compliment has been, "He's Stromile Swift with an upside." Has there ever been a more blatant back-handed compliment?

Honestly, what discernible skill does he have, sans dunking?

He can't shoot; not even close. During his highlight package after he is selected, it will be all dunks and one (read this closely, and remember it: ONE) jumper - a 15 footer from the right wing/baseline against Duke. You know why it will be that one? Because it was the only shot he made the entire tournament - when his stock exploded - outside of the paint. I'm telling you - watch for it.

He can't dribble. When he got out on the break, he looked ridiculous dribbling the basketball. He looked like a 5-year-old playing Wack-a-Mole at Chuck E. Cheeses - just randomly flailing his arms about, hoping to God he hit something. Being unable to dribble was also unfortunate because once he picked it up, he couldn't pass, either.

He is great at two things - blocking/altering shots and finishing around the rim. Give him credit, around the bucket, at both ends, he's legit. But how the hell is he going to get there in the NBA? Beat someone off the dribble? That's laughable. Plus, no one will even come out to guard him - I'd let him jack 12-foot J's all night. He's going to have to rely on catching lobs and getting offensive rebounds...does that sound like someone who should be the first pick in the draft? No, it sounds like a role player, an exciting guy who comes off the bench and can spark runs with energy and electric plays. Sure, he could be helpful, but he isn't a franchise guy. A franchise guy can dribble, shoot and pass - at the very least.

He should be drafted, but not first overall. And not in the lottery. Maybe with some work and time and luck, he could be good. But he isn't a franchise player. He is smart though - he knows his stock will never be higher, so he came out now.

(Side note: Don't GMs consider this?

First GM: "Hey, Bob, you know, I was thinkin' a little - dangerous stuff, I know, I know! - but this Thomas know he's coming out now because there is a very real possibility he could go back to school for another year and be so-so? Well, I was thinking, if he's coming out now to avoid not being good in college, aren't the odds pretty good he will be not very good in the pros, too? I mean, there are better players and stuff...Plus, we're paid to know who's good in college...we never even heard of him before the tournament started...I dunno, I just have an uneasy feeling...."

Second GM: "Best not to think like that, Jim. Didn't you see the two weeks he had in the NCAA tournament? If you can't trust a two-week stretch that's predicated largely on momentum and barely on consistency, what can you trust? No, no, don't think like's really not safe...I mean, everyone else thinks he's good, ya know? Better just go along with the crowd...")

It just amazes me that this kid is going to be drafted in the top three based solely on athletic ability and potential. Am I really the only one who sees this? Me and my younger brother are the only two people who get this, I think. Everyone else is just sold on him, like he's this can't-miss prospect. He can't dribble, pass or shoot. That has to count for something, right?

But, hey, it doesn't matter, I'm not the one pulling the strings on draft night. Charlotte picks at No. 3, though - maybe Jordan can draft himself another Kwame Brown. That worked out beautifully last time.

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