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Player by Player: Brandon Roy

Today's subject for discussion is Brandon Roy.  And believe it or not, I had a hard time getting two people to talk about him.  It's not that folks don't like him.  Quite the opposite, actually.  Nobody I talked to thought they could make any argument against him with a straight face, so nobody wanted to take the con side, thus no discussion.  But finally after about a hundred phone calls I found a couple of guys from New York who agreed to give it a whirl.

So without further ado, please welcome my good friend Jerry.


[Insert funky bass riff here]

What is WITH Rookie of the Year voters today?  I just don't get it.  I read an interview with one NBA "expert" who said he was only voting for Brandon Roy for Rookie of the Year because "there was no one better".  Excuse me?  That's what Rookie of the Year MEANS.  There's no one better. What criteria have you been using up until now?  This is the guy who is reponsible for screwing up all the consumer products in our society.  Why didn't that movie have a better ending?  This guy voted for the second best one!  Why does this mouthwash taste horrible?  He voted for his last choice!  For Pete's sake, somebody stop asking this guy questions until he gets the concept!

Another voter said he cast his ballot for Roy "reluctantly".  Reluctantly!  How can you vote reluctantly?  What is a vote?  It's someone asking your opinion.  How much effort does that take?  What, were you saving that extra brainpower to decide whether to have the pastrami or roast beef on your sandwich?  You're holding up the line at the deli because of the extra concentration it takes to spell a three-letter last name with the same initials as the award you're voting for?  How much easier could it be?  We ask you to go to Iraq and cover the war, that's reluctantly.  We ask you to pencil in the name of the guy who led all rookies in scoring, whose assists and rebounds are two-thirds of the way to the Pippen line already, who became the go-to guy on a team which won eleven more games than it had the previous year without him...that's not reluctantly.  That's a "Yadda-yadda-yadda, put it on sourdough and give me a bag of Sun Chips" kind of decision.

You know what this is, don't you?  It's the East Coast bias.  That's right...the East Coast bias.  People are prejudiced in this country.  They are!  It's not enough that the East Coast has better bagels, better monuments, and better accents (I'm looking at you, Boston), now they have to have better basketball players too.  Nobody wants to vote for anybody who lives more that 100 miles from their home.  If the best rookie doesn't come from one of the 22 original states it doesn't count!

But you know who's going to end up in second place?  You know who?  Andrea Bargnani...the guy from Toronto.  Toronto!  Toronto is not on the East Coast, people!  What are you doing?  You'd rather vote for someone who plays in a whole `nother country than someone from another time zone.  North...north is OK!  North doesn't make me stay up at night to watch.  North doesn't make me deal with uncomfortable questions about Native Americans and the shrinking habitat of Grizzly Bears.  West?  West is bad.  West makes me turn down the TV so my wife doesn't wake up.  West makes me too sleepy to enjoy Regis and Kelly the next morning.  We must not vote for the West!  We will not rest until all teams have been moved to the Atlantic time zone!  Maine!  Vermont!  The Canadian Maritimes!  When they're the Hudson's Bay Blazers THEN they can have a Rookie of the Year.  But not in Portland.  Not on my watch!  

You know what's funny?  This kid plays the right way.  The right way!  In the NBA!  He's unselfish.  He works hard.  He's polite and charismatic.  Your mother would love him.  In fact he's such a good catch that I'd go out with him myself if he didn't have those man hands.  But the media would like him more if he didn't.  The media wants to see him chuck up fourteen more shots a game just to average 22 instead of 17.  THEN he'd be a good player.  They don't want to see a Brandon Roy boxscore.  They want to see another Kobe Bryant.  (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)  But I hope the kid makes it playing just like he does.  It's not very often you see somebody like this come along, and that's no joke.

Thanks Jerry.  Now for the opposing view, Jerry is joined by his friend George.


George:  Trade him.  Trade him NOW!

Jerry:  What are you talking about?  Do you know the guy?  Have you seen him play?  Do you even WATCH the NBA?

George:  It may surprise you to know that I was quite the baller in my day.  I had the old pump fake, spin, lob the ball off the backboard, and lay it in move.  Works every time.

Jerry:  Ah yes, the resemblance between you and Moses Malone IS striking.

George:  Laugh if you want, Jerry, but I happen to know you should trade this guy right now!

Jerry:  Enlighten us, oh wise one.  Why should Brandon Roy be traded?

George:  Simple.  Because I like him.

Jerry:  You like him?  What kind of reason is that?

George:  I'm cursed.  I've always been cursed.  Since I was a child the teams I like have never won.  You know who my favorite team was growing up?  The Washington Generals.  That's right, the Washington Generals.  My dad would take me to see the Generals play the Globetrotters every time they came into town.  I rooted for them every game.  And every game they lost.  And they didn't just lose normally...oh no!  They lost because some guy hit a backwards, over-the-head, no-look halfcourt shot.  Nobody else has that happen to them.  Nobody!  And you know why it happened?  Because I was rooting for them.  Because I'm cursed.  And ever since then the teams and players I root for always lose.  It's still the same today as it was when I was a kid.  You don't outgrow a thing like that.  It follows you.

Jerry:  I see.  You like Brandon Roy, and so...

George:  So they should trade him!  Trade him now!  Get whatever you can for him.  Trade him for one of those big salads or a cup of crab bisque.  Mark my words, he is doomed.  You know that foot injury, and then that knee thing?  This is just the beginning.  He's going to sit on his wallet wrong and throw out a hip or something and then that's it!  End of story!  Finito!

Jerry:  Finito?

George:  Finito!  Wham!  Bam!  The end!  He's sitting on the end of your bench with an Italian suit and a Brooks Brothers tie and you're left thinking, "I wish I had that big salad about now."

Jerry:  Why not just stop liking him then?

George:  You can't do that.  You can't just stop liking somebody.

Jerry:  Sure you can!  Just concentrate on their biggest flaw and blow it way out of proportion.  It works for me all the time.

George:  But he doesn't have any flaws!

Jerry:  Yes, that is a problem.  He's too perfect.  But can't you still just decide not to like him?

George:  It'll never work.  It's like that girl you wanted back in high school, but you knew she'd never date you because she's too perfect, so you try not to like her.  You make up bad things about her in your head.  You tell yourself over and over again she's not the one.  But then you see her walking down the hall and BLAMMO!  Her genuine hotness overcomes your phony dislike.

Jerry:  So Brandon is too hot to dislike spontaneously.

George:  Yeah.  Besides it wouldn't work anyway.  He'll never make it in the NBA even if I do stop liking him.

Jerry:  Why not?

George:  Because he's too nice.

Jerry:  Too nice?

George:  Yeah.

Jerry:  How can you be too nice to make it in the NBA?

George:  Pay attention here.  What do all NBA players have in common?

Jerry:  They're tall?

George:  Besides that!

Jerry:  They can play basketball?

George:  No!  What they all have in common is girls!

Jerry:  Girls.

George:  Yeah girls.  They get followed around by girls all day and all night.  I was in the Garden parking lot after a Knicks game once and you could hardly get past the throngs of women just WAITING for these guys to come out to the bus.  It was like a girly smorgasbord.  Hundreds of them, and every one pretty.

Jerry:  And this affects Brandon how?

George:  All NBA players get followed by swarms of pretty girls.  And what do pretty girls like?  They like jerks, that's what.  They say they like nice guys, guys who make them laugh, but ask them out even once and they'll turn you down flat.   Then the next time you see them they're with a big brute of a boyfriend who's so stuffed full of human growth hormone that he's no longer human.  And he's a jerk!  A total, complete jerk.  Every time.

Jerry:  So Brandon Roy can't make it in the NBA because...

George:  Because all NBA players get pretty girls, but all pretty girls like jerks, and Brandon Roy is NOT a jerk, and therefore he will not get pretty girls.  That proves he CANNOT be a real NBA player!

Jerry:  You sound pretty confident about this.

George:  Oh believe me Jerry, I've got this clocked.  Down to a science.

Jerry:  They should make you a General Manager.

George:  Oh yeah, I've suggested it.  I've suggested it.

Jerry:  Are we done here?

George:  I think so.  Let's go get a sandwich.  I could go for a nice, thick club sandwich right now.

Jerry:  Oooh.  I hate those.  What's with the little toothpicks in the middle?  They're not useful to hold the sandwich together because you have to take them out before you eat it.  But you can't pick your teeth with them afterwards because they've got bits of sandwich on them already, defeating the whole purpose of tooth picking.  That's a waste of good wood if you ask me.

OK, thanks guys.  That was...ummmmm...enlightening.  Anyway if you wish to discuss Mr. Roy here are his stats for the year.  Even if you don't have an argument against him you could always just list the things you appreciate about him and maybe the ways you hope he continues to improve.

--Dave (