Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Squeezing the Mind Grapes: NBA NCAA Alumni

“Football is like rock and roll, it's just bam-bam-boo... And basketball is like jazz, you know? You're kind of... Dupee-doo, dupee-do. It's all downbeat, it's in the pocket, it's like...Dupee-do, dupee-do, dapee-dah...” – Michael Scott


Squeezing the Mind Grapes” will be a weekly column where we dive into the hypothetical. Lots of hard thought out “what if” scenarios, for example what if my sister hadn’t introduced me to hard liquor at the age of 12? Well, we won’t use that one because that post would quickly deteriorate into a modern day Profiles in Courage with yours truly being the main character. And let’s be honest, I'm a more likable character when I’m taking the HOV lane to blackout country. With that said, let’s move on to the inaugural edition of “Squeezing the Mind Grapes.”

Recently, a friend of mine who works in college sports forwarded me an article from scout.com where they rank the top 12 NFL Alumni teams by college. The article only takes players currently playing in the NFL, which is different than the dead horse that is the “All-Time Roster” comparisons that ESPN has been beating for the last five years. Whether it’s ranked by combined felonies and misdemeanors or by straight up talent, the U ran away with this one. Clearly the only reason my friend forwarded this to me is she is a U alumnus. I am forced to point out however, that she’s a Cowboys fan, so unfortunately for her that’s minus 33% in credibility. But in her defense, she’s pretty hot, so that’s plus 33% in credibility….let’s see…..carry the one…..take away the remainder….divide by pi…..fuck it, we’ll just call this one even.

So after reading this, it got me thinking what if we did the same thing for the NBA? And that my friends, will be the first edition of S.t.M.G. Obviously we can’t go 12 teams deep in the NBA, as it’s a much smaller league with much smaller rosters, so I figured I’d do a pretenders group, and then a Final 4. Don’t like that format? As my homeboy Larry David would say, "Fuck Hugh."

The Pretenders:

Michigan State

G – Jason Richardson (CHA)
G – Charlie Bell (MIL)
F – Zach Randolph (NYK)
F – Morris Peterson (NO)
C – Paul Davis (LAC)

Bench: Maurice Ager (DAL), Shannon Brown (CLE), Eric Snow (CLE)

You think from all the success that the Spartans have had in the last decade, that they’d be able to put up a better team than this. You’re dead wrong. Arguably their best player from this era, Mateen Cleaves was last seen playing for the Nets in a preseason game before getting waived. Randolph plays on the butt trifling Knicks, Mo Peterson is well past his prime and it’s never a good sign when Charlie Bell is one of the starting guards. Shannon Brown and Maurice Ager could be good eventually, but I think they’ll never fully regain their confidence after losing their last college game to a certain local hoops program that may or may not rhyme with Forge Grayson.

Kentucky

G – Rajon Rondo (BOS)
G – Keith Bogans (ORL)
F – Tayshaun Prince (DET)
F – Antoine Walker (MIN)
C – Jamaal Magloire (NJN)

Bench: Derek Anderson (CHA), Nazr Mohammed (CHA), Chuck Hayes (HOU)

Greasy ass Pitino and “the most famous light skin brotha in college basketball since Miles Simon” Tubby Smith certainly had their fair share of talent while coaching at Kentucky. It’s too bad none of their superstars their really ever panned out in the pros. Antoine Walker has never met a shot or home invasion he hasn’t liked, Walter McCarty’s high point of his career was being Jesus Shuttlesworth’s center at Lincoln, and most of the guys you would’ve thought to be well established professionals like Ron Mercer and Tony Delk are most likely making it rain with pesos in Tijuana right now.

UCLA

G – Baron Davis (GSW)
G – Earl Watson (SEA)
F – Jason Kapono (TOR)
F – Aaron Afflalo (DET)
C – Dan Gadzuric (MIL)

Bench: Matt Barnes (GSW), Jordan Farmar (LAL), Ryan Hollins (CHA)

Baron Davis is clearly the best here, but unfortunately he’ll never reach his potential because of injuries. I watched him play in the Capital Classic his senior year of high school (he was on the same squad as Gadzuric, who was fresh from Holland at that time) and the dude was a beast. I’ve never seen a guy his height fly through the lane and throw down 360 two handed dunks in traffic. His athleticism was off the charts, and I was really excited to see his game develop, but then he went to UCLA, blew out his knee and has never been the same player since. Don’t get me wrong, he’s ill, but had there never been a knee injury, this guy would be top 5 talent right now easy. At least his beard game is still strong to quite strong.

Florida

G – Jason Williams (MIA)
G – Corey Brewer (MIN)
F – Mike Miller (MEM)
F – Joakim Noah (CHI)
C – Al Horford (ATL)

Bench: David Lee (NYK), Matt Bonner (SA), Udonis Haslem (MIA)

Ugh, I can’t even believe I’m putting a Florida team in here. Florida’s biggest claims to fame as a state is the whole voting debacle in 2000, and being a permanent backdrop for the TV show Cops. No basketball history outside of the last 5 years, but they’ve run this shit for the past two so you know they’re going to have some talent in the L. We’ll use a point system for this squad. Mike Miller was one of the first white boys to publicly rock icicle sideburns, so +1 pt for that. David Lee beat out James “Flight” White in a HS dunk contest, so -5 for that (Worst rigged dunk contest ever. Worst than Nate Robinson winning over Igoudala two years ago. Youtube James White and you’ll see what I’m saying.) I put Jason Williams in here even though he got booted for puffing that kush, but hey, the man’s gangster as shit and he’s got “WHIT” tattooed on his right fingers and “EBOY” tattooed on left fingers so +5 for him. Noah, Horford, and Brewer knocked my school from the Final Four so a combined -543,667,932 pts. for them. Final score? -543,667,931 pts. Way to go retards.

Texas

G – Daniel Gibson (CLE)
G – T.J. Ford (TOR)
F – Kevin Durant (SEA)
F – Lamarcus Aldridge (POR)
C – Chris Mihm (LAL)

Bench: Royal Ivey (MIL), Maurice Evans (ORL)

This is a tough one, because in about 5 years this team could easily be in the top 3, just way too young right now. Kevin Durant will be a better player and playa’ than Greg Oden, you can mark my words. T.J. Ford could be much better if he could manage to keep his spine intact. I hate Daniel Gibson because there’s zero reason any grown man should allow himself to be referred to as “Boobie.” Aldridge is going to eventually pan out and be a big part of that Portland youth movement for years to come. Chris Mihm? Only superlative I can think of is he’s probably higher on the depth chart at this point than Kwame is and Mihm is hurt. Oh and Royal Ivey, I forgot to tell you something after you nailed that shot vs. the Wiz on Sunday in OT. FUCK YOU.

Final 4

#4 Duke

G – Luol Deng (CHI)
G – Corey Maggette (LAC)
F – Carlos Boozer (UTA)
F – Elton Brand (LAC)
C – Shelden Williams (ATL)

Bench: Chris Duhon (CHI), Shane Battier (HOU), Mike Dunleavy (IND), Grant Hill (PHX), J.J. Reddick(ulously gay) (ORL)

The rankings for the Final 4 teams was very tough, because as you’ll see they all have tons of talent and depth on their rosters. Choosing #4 was probably the easiest choice though, and that’s because I hate Duke. Looking at their roster though, I will have to say that recently Duke has really recruited some top tier talent to their program. Up until the late 90s, and even into the early 2000s, Duke was notorious for having great college players and terrible or non existent pros. Prime examples: Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, William Avery and Trajan Langdon. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a handful of idiots that come out of Duke who either suck at life or make terrible decisions (I’m looking in your direction Jay Williams) but at least their more recent big names are becoming mediocre talent instead of becoming NBDL fodder. At the end of the day though, one thing is for certain. Duke is awful at life.

#3 North Carolina

G – Raymond Felton (CHA)
G – Jerry Crackhouse (DAL)
F – Vince Carter (NJN)
F – Antawn Jamison (WAS)
C – Rasheed Wallace (DET)

Bench: Sean May (CHA), Brendan Haywood (WAS), Marvin Williams (ATL), Brandan Wright (GSW)

Let the hate begin. I know of a certain friend of mine who will have a conniption when he sees I ranked UNC at 3. But let’s be real here, all I see in that roster is four starters who are in the twilight of their careers and a bunch of young guys that haven’t proven themselves. You know that Jamison’s my dude though simply because he plays for the BEST TEAM EVER. Felton is a good young PG, but he’s no Deron Williams or Chris Paul. Brendan Haywood has, as a friend of mine says, his wires crossed because he “has a soft heart and hard hands when he should have a hard heart and soft hands.” Truer words were never spoken. Unless someone said that Brenda’s (you see what I did right there, I left the N of his name, inferring that he’s a woman because he pulls hair in fights. +1 me) head looks like a Milk Dud, because it totally does. I think the rest of the young guys are going to be serviceable, but never a power player in the L.

#2 Arizona

G – Gilbert Arenas (WAS)
G – Mike Bibby (SAC)
F – Richard Jefferson (NJN)
F – Andre Igoudala (PHL)
C – Channing Frye (POR)

Bench: Jason Terry (DAL), Luke Walton (LAL), Salim Stoudamire (ATL)

Sweet Jesus talk about Guard University. Had it not been for Damon Stoudamire being waived last week he would’ve made this list too. By the by, how does a guy who was rookie of the year end up getting waived by a doo doo feces team in a very anti-climatic fashion? I’ll tell you how. This way. And this way. Well done Mighty Mouse. The more I think about it, the more I think that this school underachieves. They have TONS of talent in college but not many of the guys make it in the league. Remember who the best player on the 1997 Championship team was? Not Mike Bibby, but Miles Simon who I last saw wearing jorts with flip flops and socks watching an NBA game from the 400 level. Remember that 2001 team that lost to Duke in the championship game? All 5 starters were projected to be taken in the draft; Gilbert Arenas, Richard Jefferson, Jason Gardner, Michael Wright and Loren Woods. Only two still play in the league. And only one of them is cool. The other one is like that guy who you hang out with to make yourself look better. Still, they get the nod over Duke and UNC based on youth and Agent Zero.

#1 UConn

G – Ray Allen (BOS)
G – Rip Hamilton (DET)
F – Caron Butler (WAS)
F – Rudy Gay (MEM)
C – Emeka Okafor (CHA)

Bench: Charlie Villanueva (TOR), Ben Gordon (CHI), Donyell Marshall (CLE), Josh Boone (NJN), Marcus Williams (NJN)

Holy loaded roster. Perfect blend of vets and young guns, tons of depth on the bench and a Bullet and Bullet alumnus on the squad to top it off. Imagine how good this team would’ve been if the Chicago brass would’ve been smart enough to put pizzas on the rim to motivate fat ass Khalid El-Amin when they drafted him. Now where is he? Playing in Israel dodging RPGs on his way to the rim. Seriously though, look at that starting 5. No other team in this list can even hold a candle to that. I would probably take this UConn team over every pretender team combined. They do lose street cred because Ray Ray plays for the evil empire now and they do have a guy with the last name Gay, which no one can really take seriously in a testosterone filled environment like the NBA. Holy shit, that last sentence sounded like John Amaechi wrote it, so I'm out this bitch.

Yours in blood,
Agent Hiro.



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