Friday, January 26, 2007

D'Antoni's Right: Gilbert WOULD Kill Duke

My appreciation of Gilbert Arenas' candor and my hate of Duke basketball collided beautifully the other day. In case you haven;t come across it yet, here's Gil's response to D'Antoni's statement that Gil would kill Duke:

"One college game, that's five fouls, right? 40-minute game at Duke, they got soft rims...I'd probably score 84 or 85. I wouldn't pass the ball. I wouldn't even think about passing it. It would be like a NBA Live or an NBA 2K7 game, you just shoot with one person."
There's so much there - so, so much - that I'm not entirely sure where to begin. First, it's terrific how serious Gil took it. He contemplated the different rules of the college game, the type of court he would be playing on and even adopted a strategy for gettin his "84 or 85" (with a superb analogy thrown in for good measure). I can't think of any player in the NBA that would seriously take the time to figure out how many points they would score in a college game, even if he is having fun with it, and I'm not entirely convinced he is. Maybe old Kobe, before his new found maturity began to seep through.

Personally, I think Gil underestimated himself. If he plays the whole game, and really gets it going, he could score 100. Definitely; especially with the much closer three. Really, who would stop him on that current Duke team? Even a box-and-one wouldn't do anything; they would have to double-team him from the time he crossed half court. (I love semi-colons; really, they are really special.)

Is 100 reasonable? It might be in the high end, but I think its definitely doable. If I was reading that Arenas snuck onto one of those teams from Russia that play exhibition games against colleges, and he scored 100 points, I wouldn't be remotely surprised. I mean, there are dozens of guys that could drop 100, I think, if they were really motivated.

How many? Let's get the "Who Could Drop 100 on Duke" List going.

Arenas also throws this in:
"I thought it was funny because if I have the chance to go back to college, I’ll give up one NBA season to play against Duke."
In the words of Seth and Amy, Really?!?!

It is a pretty harmless thing for Arenas to say; after all, he can't go back to college - unlike Jim Mora's secret desire to go coach Washington, this has no possibility of ever happening - but it is interesting. Arenas would willingly give up a full year of being paid over 10 million bucks a year to go back to Arizona and play with like the ninth Marcus Williams? I think it's a cute thing to say, and something that he'll obviously never have to back up, and that's that. It would be like me saying

Would any pro willingly give up his salary and lifestyle to go back to college? Does the grind just get to you after a while? Would it be good for every pro to take a break, like a college professor going on sabbatical or MJ going to play with the Barons, and go beat up on some college kids for a year? Or how about the 11th, 12th guys on the roster, just barely hanging on? Would they go back to their scholarships and a chance to crush kids five or six years younger than them? Would a top 25 program even want Stephon Marbury?

If somehow David Stern could make this happen, would any pro ever take advantage of it? Probably not; the money is just too good and roster spots are just too hard to come by, but the TV ratings would be phenomenal. If anyone would do it, though, it would be Gilbert, just because. Or Mike Dunleavy.

Read the Rest After the Jump...