Ass Man

I can stomach about any argument people are willing to make regarding why the Blazers should draft Player X.  Ability to score, great defense, best player available, he's a "Nate McMillan guy", NBA body-type.  These are all fine attributes and worthy of consideration when deciding which horse you're going to back in the draft race, but there is one contention that is so bullshit, and increasingly prevalent, that I can't allow it to go on unconfronted.  It is that of the "butts in the seats" claim that so many seem to be making about Adam Morrison.  Even today, our intrepid pundit Jason Canzano (and no, that's not a typo) makes the same claim, once again proving that JC is nothing if not completely unoriginal.

First off, the argument that drafting Adam Morrison will bring back a disaffected fan base is predicated on the assumption that Morrison is popular in the area. Gonzaga has a casual following here in Oregon, but no more than that of any other school in the Pacific Northwest. Spokane is 350 miles from Portland, not exactly in the neighborhood, especially when you consider that Seattle is a scant 175 miles away. Morrison is surely one of the most recognizable college players, with the mop top and all, but is that a reason to draft someone? I certainly hope not. You'd never miss Gheorghe Muresan in a crowd, but I don't hear a whole lot of people clamoring for his return to the NBA.

Then there's the argument that a particular style of play brings in fans, and that is true to a certain extent. People came out to see Vince Carter when he played for the Raptors, even when the team was losing night after night, but come on, Adam Morrison is no Vince Carter. If people are going to make a trip to the Rose Garden knowing full well that the Blazers are most likely going to lose, it's not going to be because they can't wait to see Morrison shoot jumpers and get blown by on defense. And wasn't this the same argument made when the Blazers drafted Sebastian Telfair; that his flashy passing and lighting-quick handles would bring in fans? How'd that pan out? The same with Darius Miles. He got his contract largely on the wings of three months of electrifying above the rim play. How are those jerseys selling?

And this whole discussion assumes that it's somehow important for fans to show up. Bullshit. Winning matters, everything else is ancillary. If your top priority is ticket sales, then start a circus. The fucking Blue Man Group sell out every show, lets draft them! Hell, those guys from Cirque du Soleil got serious ups. Our rebounding problems are over!

If you think Adam Morrison is going to be the next big thing, fine, make that argument, but save all the claptrap about bringing back fans and selling tickets. It's a fallacy. It's no different than the "ellectability" argument usually saved for politicians, and that all but never shakes out the way pundits and "insiders" plan. Just ask John Kerry.

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