Player Capsules 2012, #370+: Matt Bonner, The Author, The End

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the summer dies down and the leaves turn, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last third. And now, the end. Today we conclude this absurd, unnecessary, slog of a series with Matt Bonner. And me, too. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #367-369: Ed Davis, Darrell Arthur, Wilson Chandler

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Ed Davis, Darrell Arthur, Wilson Chandler. Continue reading

Small Market Mondays #8: Family Values

Long ago in a distant land, Alex Arnon was watching a Kings/Suns preseason game when he became so furiously enraged at a Tyreke Evans double-teamed isolation jumper with 19 seconds on the shot clock that he hit his head, fainted, and woke up a delusional new man. To my understanding, he's now wholly ensconced in a bizarro world where some guy named Xenu created the Earth, Segways changed the very core of how people get around, and small markets make up the vast majority of NBA coverage and traffic. So just remember the motto we've provided our cracked-skull columnist: "No superstars? No problem!"

Top of the morning to you, dearest reader! I know you must've missed me in my recent absence but I had to attend to some pressing familial issues, something for which I apologize to you. I would have loved to keep you updated on your beloved small markets during this time but I had to keep to our small market values, the most important of which are family values. Enough about me, though, and on to today's subject -- family values in the NBA!

There's been many NBA players related to one another - Brook and Robin Lopez are brothers, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady are cousins, and Dell and Steph Curry are a sharpshooting father/son duo. Who could ever forget the Pau for Marc Gasol trade, the New York playground legends of cousins Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair, or the shared capriciousness of the Bynum brothers - Will and Andrew? There's Bill Walton's hilarious legend compared to his son Luke Walton's hilarious uselessness, the always entertaining commentating couplet of Jon and Brent Barry (seriously, he used the word scuttlebutt on NBATV recently), and the gritty toughness of the Evans twins, Tyreke and Reggie.

I listed all that fluff out not just to up my word count (to make notorious big-market apologist and big marketeer editor-in-chief Aaron McGuire happy) [Ed. Note: How many times must I reiterate -- I don't care about your word count!], but to make the point that the family who plays together stays together. And it's not just a basketball-specific phenomenon either -- sure, the family that watches basketball together will stay together, but so will the family that does pretty much anything together. Except domestic violence, probably. That... that wouldn't be very cool. I guess this was all just a really roundabout way to say "spend time with your family, you selfish buffoons". You truly never know if that last Bobcats game you watched with your dad will be the last one or if that argument you had with your brother about Durant vs. LeBron will never get settled or if just telling someone close to you that you love and appreciate them will give them something to keep living for. As someone who had to learn this lesson the hard way just over two weeks ago, I want you to go tell a loved one just how much they mean to you. Seriously, go do it right now. Your computer isn't going anywhere anytime soon and if it does, it's replaceable. They aren't. Go do it. Please.

I love you, Dad. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #364-366: Tyrus Thomas, Rashard Lewis, D.J. White

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Tyrus Thomas, Rashard Lewis, and D.J. White. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #361-363: Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, Timofey Mozgov

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Channing Frye, Richard Jefferson, and Timofey Mozgov. Continue reading

Player Capsule (Plus): Anderson Varejao and Smile that Wins

It was as if Nature, planning an Andy, had said to itself: "We will do this thing well. We will not skimp."

Anderson Varejao embodies many things. Effort and energy, heart and hustle, grit and grind. He's traditionally been described as something of a dirty tertiary player -- the most common depiction of Varejao is that of a feckless flopping savant, a play-actor miscast in the sport of basketball. The spitting image of the "European" big man -- floppy, long haired, and oh-so-annoying. Cavaliers fans have traditionally balked at this -- or at least, from personal experience, I have. There's so much more to Varejao than just a few flops. Summarizing his game as such made sense years ago, but things are different -- players change, and Varejao is no exception. The man has completely revolutionized his game over the last few years. The problem I've always had arguing against the idea that he's simply a flopper is that the image is simply very enduring. Fans of opposing teams have certainly seen Varejao flop on a dime before -- everyone has, even his own fans.

It's not that it never happened, it's that he's developed new facets to his game that have eliminated entirely his absolute dependence on the act. He still flops, from time to time, but it's more spice than main course. The garnish atop a multifaceted game, not the game itself. But people's minds are hard to change. Few things are more intransigent than a once-true impression. It's why people maintain friendships with childhood friends they can hardly stand. It's why repenting felons can't get jobs. It's why everyone cautions to make a good first impression. It takes a particularly enduring new image to make wholescale alterations to a now-false impression that was once gospel. And although I've tried for years to come up with a better impression, only yesterday did I finally think of one that's flexible enough to really describe and embody the talents of the big Brazilian.

Anderson Varejao is, above all things, the NBA's smile.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #358-360: Alonzo Gee, Anderson Varejao, James Jones

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Alonzo Gee, Anderson Varejao, and James Jones. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #355-357: Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph, Marcin Gortat

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Rasheed Wallace, Zach Randolph, and Marcin Gortat. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #352-354: Hedo Turkoglu, Francisco Garcia, D.J. Augustin

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Hedo Turkoglu, Francisco Garcia, and D.J. Augustin. Continue reading

Player Capsules 2012, #349-351: Tiago Splitter, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the leaves turn frosty, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last full week. Not quite done yet, but close. Today we continue with Tiago Splitter, Gerald Wallace, and MarShon Brooks. Continue reading