"Luke Babbitt has delivered from upstairs!"
Hunches aren't real. I don't think there's any way to have a hunch that isn't secretly influenced by our subconscious biases, hopes, and tendencies. Hunches come from within our brains, not from observing the world around us, so the chances that they're right are little more than a coin flip. Without a doubt, it's best to be objective.
For three years, I had a hunch that Luke Babbitt was a handsomer Larry Bird.
Well, that died off pretty quickly. But I always, always held out hope that Luke could be a serviceable, even good player. I dunno man. Big, awkward left-handed white dudes gotta stick together, right? I wanted it so badly. I watched every blowout in hopes that he'd be subbed in. I was over the moon when he was leading the league in 3-point percentage in 2012. I threw stuff when Stotts opted for Pavlovic over him. I watched every highlight reel (all two of them) and defended him against all taunts.
And you know what? I think I was a little justified. Luke, if he was playing well, gave the Blazers an absurdly shooting-stacked smallball lineup with Luke sliding in at the four for Hickson.
Luke is a relic of a time that has--hopefully--passed. A franchise decimated so badly by injuries and screw-it-all trades that its fans were left arguing about Luke Babbitt's playing time. He might be the least significant player to ever completely polarize a fanbase.
Try to remember that Luke never asked for the ridiculous distinctions. He didn’t ask to be the Chalupacabra. He was just trying to hit shots. He never asked to be the ironic franchise savior for hipsters. He was just trying to hit shots.
And for a few months, he did. Luke, after Elliot Williams went down, was the only thing to watch during the Blazers’ tankathon in 2012. Remember? He launched thirty-footers left and right, and hit them too. He was playing exciting basketball. We argued about his defense and rebounding because that stroke, man. Let’s remember that Luke, the one who gave us something to talk about during the most depressing season since the Jailblazer era. He was a source of much-needed enthusiasm, however half-hearted and ironic.
I’m a little surprised Luke didn’t get an NBA job. Then again, he might have had offers but declined them for more playing time in Russia.
He might be back. With the Spurs, no doubt. And he’ll hit a game-winner during a fifteen-game March win streak that’ll have everyone in America paying lip service to the San Antonio System before they flame out in the playoffs. Book it.
Good luck in Nizhny Novgorod, Luke. I’ll be watching your stats closely. I might even learn Russian so I can read about you. We’ll always have Charlotte. I hope you find your way back soon.