Friday, March 13, 2009

Like Your Parents

Not Angry - Just Disappointed

The Education of Trevor Ariza

Is there a more badass song than "One" to play after that? NO.

A brief little basketball related post here. So,, a website I frequent much more than I would like, has a stable of basketball writers. These guys get paid to write about ball all day (awesome!), and millions of people read their shit. In other words, while me and toobi are playing pick up games, they are playing in the NBA. They are the big time. One of my favorite writers is David B. Thorpe - he's a pro trainer who works with actual NBA players, so unlike most espn hacks he's not just making shit up - he's got real insight based on thousands of hours of working with, and watching tape of, nba players. He posts in-depth articles every week, and also has these weekly chats where people can ask questions and he answers them - stuff like this:

Steiny (NYC): If you had worked with Shaq on his free-throw shooting, how much do you think he could have improved? 5%? 10%?

SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:24 PM ET ) I'm as confident in my ability as he is in his. 75% would have been the goal to start.

One day, a chatter asked Thorpe for some more detailed info, so Thorpe told him to hit him up on facebook. Being the little opportunist I am, a facebook stalking of Thorpe appealed to me.. I so searched for "David Thorpe", scrolled through 10 pages till I found the one from Tampa Bay, Fl, then scrolled through 2 more to find the RIGHT one from Tampa. I probably weirded the hell out of two other David Thorpes by friend requesting them with a message about basketball, opera, and movie quotes. Thorpe, being a cool guy, accepted my friend request, and when I asked him if he would be willing to answer some questions for a blog post of mine, he seemed down. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least - here is a busy guy, getting paid to write about ball, willing to take time and answer the little guy's questions. Not to mention the sheer badassery of having David Thorpe, Pro Trainer and ESPN Analyst conducting interviews on MY blog - we would definitely be the most awesome 6-reader blog ever. So I cobbled together some questions about Trevor Ariza [Is "One" his theme song!? Fucking rad!], the freak athlete who is rapidly becoming my favorite Laker, and sent them over... and Thorpe got right back to me! Unfortunately, it wasn't to answer the questions, but to stall.

Feb. 17th (tues.) - I send the questions, Thorpe responds: "My pleasure! But I'm away with my family until thursday. Is it ok if I wait until then?"

Feb. 21st (sat.) - Still no response, so I shoot over a follow up email. Thorpe: "I'll have time to look at them this week. Doing rookies tomorrow and monday."

March 7th - Well, it's obviously been more than a week, and I don't wanna bug the guy, but I want my damn blog post! So I facebook him the questions again, under the 'just in case they got caught in the spam blocker' rationale. I mean that's the rationale I used - I know it's not true. Again, same day, Thorpe responds: "Dan-I'll get this taken care of this week."

March 13th - Well, wtf? I don't wanna be hassling the guy, and I'm tired of using this shit as an excuse for not posting, especially since Trevor just got moved into the starting lineup. He coulda just told me he didn't have time... but then I realize, hey, I already HAVE enough Thorpe answers for my questions - I read his chats all the time! - and this way I can make him agree with whatever point I'm trying to make. AWESOME.
So with no further ado, I present the exclusive Barely Educated Q & A with analyst David B. Thorpe!!!!

Here we go...

BE: Trevor pretty clearly is a valuable contributing member of the Lake Show, and I remember him always playing well in his brief chances in NY (where he was held up as part of Isiah's drafting acumen.. and can't hate on that! [just everything else]), and Orlando... basically noone's every denied he's a talented kid... so why did it take this long for him to get some consistent minutes?

SportsNation David Thorpe: The head coach makes all the difference.

BE: How many Brian Cooks is Trevor Ariza worth? 3? 5? Also, why does Brian Cook have the facial hair of a vagrant? Laker fans have only contempt for the Cookie Monster.

SportsNation David Thorpe: I honestly do not know.

BE: Let's assume that Orlando traded him b/c they thought he couldn't shoot the 3 (so vital in SVG's system). Although Ariza is no Ray Ray/Peja/etc., he's making about 30% of his attempts this year, and from my perspective at least, his stroke looks decent - maybe he'll never be a 40% guy, but 35% doesn't seem improbable to me, with more reps. Was this more a case of him always having had the fundamental ability but not being given the chance, or does his form look actually improved since his days in Orlando? Trevor seems to be a hard worker, so I could see either one.

SportsNation David Thorpe: It's no surprise players play better when being pushed.

BE: On that note, could you briefly assess his progress as a ball handler? When we traded for him the rep was that he was a jumper, that's all, but he's shown more than that in LA.

SportsNation David Thorpe: Honestly, I'm so impressed with his resurgence. He looks terrific. Credit their coaches. And him, of course.

BE: Finally, given all of the above, what do you see as Trevor Ariza's ceiling? Very-good non-All Star (a la battier/bowen)? Couple time all-star? Essential key to title runs (Dennis Green/Michael Cooper)? Something else?

SportsNation David Thorpe: He's impressed me a great deal. Can be an all-star. But he has a long way to go.

BE: It's been inspirational.

SportsNation David Thorpe: Seriously, I'm in the inspiration business. That's step one for coaches. So I sincerely thank you.

Bonus Questions: what's your favorite food? favorite hip-hop song if any? favorite opera? favorite seinfeld episode? favorite character? Is Lamar still Elaine with the way he's been playing? Who wins in a fight, Ronny Turiaf or Josh Powell (a.k.a. ronny 2.0)? Would you mind if I e-mailed you at some later date with more questions/ideas/whatever? Thanks again!

SportsNation David Thorpe: Enough-we don't know!!

Well, there you have it! Information straight from the experts! And yes, these are all direct quotes. Quite informative! Well this was a huge waste of time. Maybe me and Toobi will sit down and discuss these questions amongst ourselves next week... when we're not getting fucked in the ass by finals. And new starter Trevor Ariza is making high-flying plays on offense, using his plastic man arms on d, and never smiling. ever.

- Dan

BONUS: a really sloppy mix of the electro bangers i've been listening to recently... this time it is actually a mix and not a retarded .zip file (and I stopped using zshare b/c of the wait time), so fear not.. 25 megs! Fucking check it out! (or don't, it's pretty sloppy). This was pretty spur of the moment, once finals are over I'll have the time to actually sit down and get a more polished one out. Enjoy!


Artist - Track (Remixer) - [My comments...]
Sticky K - The Weirdo [props to rod for getting his LP out! check it here- BANDARI FUNK]
Lykke Li - Little Bit (Death to the Throne Remix) [I love any and all remixes of this track]
Audio Bullys - Dope Fiend (Tommie Sunshine & Udachi Remix) [Not that I endorse drug use...]
Proxy - Tha Raven - (Kasey & MPC Remix) vs. (Polymorphic Remix)
TC - Where's My Money (Caspa Remix - JACK BEATS RE-EDIT) [remix of the remix... DUBBY]
Foreign Beggars - Hit That Gash (DJ PrimeCuts Remix) [Misogyny! beat is dirty though...]
Qemists - Dem Na Like Me (A1 Bassline Remix) [A1 Bassline is the SHIT. More on him soon...]
Blackfinger - UMF (Supra1 Remix) [DUB]
E-40 & Lil Jon - Turf Drop (Dj Doza Remix) - [SF Electro Stylezzz.. The cut out of this one sucks]
Reset! - Gasa [Italian steez]
U2 - Get On Your Boots (CROOKERS REMIX) - [FRESH Crookers shit... it's been a while!]
Rusko - Woo Boost - [From Crookers' "We Make it Good" mixtape - get the whole thing here]

I love you all! THANK YOU CLEVELAND!!! And now, off to the shrine expo center for some loud noises.

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