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Classic Outlaw

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Jason Quick has a story about Travis Outlaw's summer workouts in the "O" today.  It's the usual mixed bag...highlighting completely the quandary that is Travis.  Do you celebrate the compliments his coaches give him, their assessment of his potential, and the whispers that someday he could be an All-Star?  Or do you wince at the fact that it's taken him five years in the league to figure out he needs to--I don't know--keep in shape over the summer and that rudimentary workouts are a big achievement for him?  Also cringe-inducing:  his two main foci this summer are dribbling with his left hand (the old two-balls-at-once drill) and trying not to look down when he's dribbling.  That shows you how far he's been behind the normal learning curve.  Of course it also shows you how phenomenal his talent is that he's still been able to make his way through the NBA without being able to complete drills that are second-nature to most fourteen-year-olds.

So where do you rest your feet with this guy?

One thing's for sure:  he's not the young kid anymore.  At 24 and entering his sixth year he's starting to move into his prime years.  He cannot play the ingenue card much longer.  He needs to develop far enough that we stop thinking of him like a kid and start depending on him like a veteran.  Otherwise we're going to be saying the same things when he's 28 years old and ten years into his career, and that would be a waste on multiple levels.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)