Weekly Countdown (cont.)
4 Questions/topics rescued from the spam
4. On my recent argument that major college basketball (and football) players should be paid ...
Decriminalize booster payments? That idea makes you the idiot of all idiots. You do realize that you're using the same logic as the 28-year-old burnout who says the government should legalize pot, don't you? Wait, are you and Josh Howard the same person?
Players are getting paid under the table regardless of these rules. For decades now the NCAA has added more and more rules to try to prevent something that can't be stopped -- and shouldn't be stopped, when you consider how much money the players are creating in today's economy.
People have been making a big deal of whether USC's Mayo received money as a student-athlete. To me, the bigger deal is this broken-down system that maintains players like him should receive no money at all, while so many others are raking in the cash from college basketball and football. I'm not saying the coaches don't deserve the money they make from their lucrative sport. All I'm saying is that the players deserve to be compensated too.
I don't understand the complaint about college athletes not getting paid. I ran cross country and track in college and received a small scholarship. If you are on an athletic scholarship that is paying your room and board and tuition, then you are getting paid. Most students end up in debt with loans to get their education. Student-athletes who will go on to make millions should be thankful they are leaving with no debt due to their full-ride scholarships.
Your point of view applies to the majority of student-athletes who don't go into college dreaming of eight-figure contracts. It's a different dynamic in basketball and football. Those sports are professional operations except for the fact that they've prevented a share of the money from funneling to the players.
3. On my initial mock-draft assessment that the Bulls should use the No. 1 pick on Beasley ...
How is the debate of Beasley/Rose any different than Glenn Robinson/Jason Kidd in the 1994 draft? Beasley will be a great scorer, but the guy is a black hole (one assist to three turnovers). Rose makes your team better. Just one year ago, Luol Deng played at a phenomenal level as the Bulls swept the Heat in the first round. Teaming him with a true playmaker like Rose could get him to play at an All-Star level. And the argument that an All-Star-level point guard isn't needed to win titles is a slippery slope, as great scorers have gone ringless as well (Elgin Baylor, George Gervin, Carmelo Anthony, Karl Malone). Neither guy is going to lead the Bulls to the title by himself; other moves are needed. But Rose helps them become a winning club in fewer moves than Beasley.
Maybe Beasley will turn into Robinson, and maybe Rose will become Kidd. Or maybe not. There is nothing wrong with the Bulls picking Rose so long as they've decided he is going to become the better player. It would be a big mistake to take him based on his position or his ties to Chicago (it isn't always helpful to play professionally in one's hometown: see Eddy Curry in Chicago).
I feel like there's this backlash to the Rose-point-guard-dominance theory. Problem is, people are using historical arguments on point-guard effectiveness rather than looking at current trends. It seems like recent evidence suggests that great point guards can have amazing impacts on their teams the next 10 years.
You may be right. The way the game is played may turn the NBA into a point-guard league. But the most important consideration should be the talent of the player when it comes to the No. 1 pick. If Beasley or Rose has it in him to become one of the top half-dozen players in the NBA, then that's the player Chicago should pick -- because that's the kind of player who can lead his team to the championship, regardless of position.
2. On my questionable assessment that Ben Wallace will make the Hall of Fame ...
Ben Wallace? Hall of Fame? He's averaged 6.5 points a game in his career. Dennis Rodman was a far better player than Wallace and he isn't in the Hall of Fame. Wallace, although he was a solid role player and critical piece of that Pistons championship team, is nowhere near HOF material. I love reading your articles, but I seriously can't believe you just said that.
A one-dimensional player who had a slow start to his career, a four-year peak as a one-way player, and then fell off a cliff. I guarantee you that Ben Wallace never sniffs the HOF.
I may be on the wrong side of this argument. Wallace dominated in a unique way that belied statistics, but I accept your case that he may not have played at a high level for a long enough time to merit the Hall of Fame.
1. Explain how Doug Collins is a good fit for the Bulls. I just don't see it.
I haven't been able to talk to GM Paxson about it, but I assume the thinking is that he could provide direction and discipline to a very young team that went sideways this year. He obviously has the backing of owner Jerry Reinsdorf, with whom Collins has built a strong relationship since he last coached the Bulls almost two decades ago. The issue for Collins is that his intensity as coach has tended to eat him up, which means that he must hire an assistant or two to provide him with perspective. But for the short term, I'm imagining that the Bulls believe he will bring structure to a team that had fallen out of sorts.