>“This is 10% luck, 20% skill. 15% concentrated power of will. 5% pleasure, 50% pain, and 100% reason to remember the name.” Lyrics to “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor
Every drafted player strives to make a name for themselves. It takes concentrated effort and sacrifice; sometimes we see results right away. Other times a player is still trying to learn the ropes a couple of years into their career. In basketball, finding these young and rising stars just before they hit the big time is a vital edge in bringing home the fantasy glory. Welcome to the first edition of a new feature here on Dropping Dimes. In “3-2-1 Impact,” comparisons between a third year player, a second year player and a rookie are forged. Fantasy impact takes the spotlight. Hopefully by season’s end, your league mates will have all the reason to remember your name…because it will be engraved in gold on your trophy!
As long as there have been sports, there have been superstitions fueled by athletes and their fans. People follow any trend, pattern or action that might avoid putting a dreaded jinx on their beloved team. Now that video games have been part of popular culture for more than two decades, accusations of being a jinx are no longer confined to long-time institutions such as Sports Illustrated.
EA Sports has been the front-runner in sports games for a long time. With games that include “Madden” and “Tiger Woods PGA Tour,” their line-up is as all-star as the athletes that land on their covers. Fantasy basketball remains behind football and baseball in worldwide popularity, but those that play the hoops version are loyal and fiercely into the sport. The “Madden curse” for football has been “involved” in ruining many fantasy football seasons.
Does the idea of a cover jinx hold any water for “NBA Live,” EA Sports’ basketball brand?
The summer might be more about baseball, golf, tennis and fantasy football, but surely there are fellow hoopheads out there with fantasy roundball on the brain. Yes, it is SUPER early and a lot can change, but here is a walk-through of the potential first round come November.
1. Lebron James: To all focusing on upcoming football drafts, LBJ may be the fantasy basketball equivalent of Kansas City’s Larry Johnson. Both have sky-high potential for the upcoming year, but they (for now) lack the track record of their fellow superstars. In any type of league, ‘Bron is my top pick. And to all the critics out there, you can squawk about his free throw percentage, but his overall upside is too much value to pass up. Plus I expect his charity stripe numbers to improve.
Holding stubbornly and often unreasonably to one’s own opinions.
Now, to me, there is a fine line between stubbornness and persistence...especially in the world of fantasy basketball. Sure, I can choose to like 28 points a game, but I can also choose to despise the four turnovers that come with it. You see, I’m not a big fan of “baggage.” I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t have to “give and take” in this sport, thus I choose to hate on certain big name players from time to time for the things that they don’t do…
With that said, I present to you, the soon-to-be (if not already!) dedicated readers of DroppingDimes.com, the first Sargent Says of the 2006-07 basketball season.
Okay, some of you are probably still infatuated with what Stoudemire did during the 2004-2005 season and it’s nothing to sneeze at - 26.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.6 bpg, 55.9 FG%, and a big man that can actually shoot free throws, my word, at a 73.3% clip! And on top of all those very good numbers, Stoudemire was center eligible! That in itself elevates his value a great deal! But, did you read the subject line? I’m sure you did. What does it say? That’s right… despite all that good stuff during the aforementioned season, do not draft Amare Stoudemire.
I know, I’m crazy, right? And I’m sure I’m going to hear from all the Suns fans, but I’m telling you, listen to Uncle Dennis, Amare will not be worth where he gets drafted and we all know that some guy (the proverbial that guy; don’t be him, I implore you) will take him in the first or second round.
With the World Basketball Championships on the horizon and Team USA looking to reclaim their status as best in the world, it is easy to stir up memories of the one true Dream Team. Back then every superstar in the game wanted the call to wear the red, white and blue. In today’s NBA, it has been a struggle to get the best players to come together and play within a national team concept. The NBA has become more international since 1992. Players like reigning MVP, Steve Nash and all-star Dirk Nowitzki for example, have family ties outside the U.S.A. Assuming every current American star was willing and able to suit up against the Dream Team in its prime, here is a glimpse at how the rosters would match up.
Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant
This would be the ultimate head-liner, the main event in this dream scenario. MJ in his prime taking on Kobe who has just entered his prime would be THE match-up to watch. Fire up that DeLorean, Doc Brown, it’s time to go back in time and bring back #23 circa 1992 to make this happen!
I was chillin the other night watching Sportscentre (yeah that’s right the Canadian version!). I wasn’t quite sure if I liked the new sets with burgundy being the main colour of choice (ESPN influence no doubt). Leaf’s signing, Baseball, CFL, Tour de France and some basketball, pinteresting how Canadian’s prioritize their sport’s news?
It is strange seeing Tour de France highlights without Lance Armstrong. What about the Tour de France drug scandal before the race started this year? I digress. Look there Andrea Bargnani playing in Summer League basketball. Hmm, not bad. He is going to struggle the 1st half of the season but he may be a fantasy bench player to look at for the 2nd half. He’ll probably average 10 points, 5 rebs with a three and a block a game. Huh? Fantasy Basketball talk in July? Don’t they say that the 1st step to coming to grips with your addiction is admitting to it? Ok, no problem I can do this. I am a Fantasy Basketball Junkie! I feel better now.
I think Steve Nash is probably definitely the king of assists at this point and will be again, but don’t laugh about Chris Paul possibly taking the assists title in his sophomore campaign.
Nash has the horses to run the floor with him and great shooters that can stop and pop, as well as great penetrators that can take it to the house. And, obviously, Nash has great court vision, but he’s lucky to have the personnel that he does - namely Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire, and the perimeter player du annee. This past season it was Raja Bell and Leandro Barbosa; the previous season, Joe Johnson and Quentin Richardson.
Who did Paul have his rookie year?
Sometimes things come along and it changes the way we live forever. Good examples would include the CD, e-mail, the digital camera…and seedless watermelon. Yet whether it’s launching three-point shots against my buddies with shots of vodka on the line, or just chatting about the pros with friends I have never met face to face, hoops is and always will be, still hoops. Continuing my NBA Love Song:
15. Larry Johnson: As someone who does not have the luxury of being immersed in NCAA hoops (living north of the border does that to you), LJ represents the discovery I made of the college game. I watched them win the title and then their run at an undefeated season the following year die at the hands of Duke. Charlotte was his first NBA stop, and I still vaguely remember the HUGE contract that he signed. In the end, injuries hampered him big time and he became a jump shooter by necessity. Still wish he would raise the “L” one more time after a trey. Hope you are livin’ large, ‘Grandmama.’
My best friends and I recently entered the fourth decade in life. It’s true…the young do not realize how long youth can last. Yet the life experience we have gained allows us to reflect on the past. So as we here at Dropping Dimes launch into a new and exciting direction, it felt like a great time to share some thoughts on some players who jump out at me when I think back to earlier days.
A list like this is so hard to rank. Sometimes it was just a lasting impression that still rings true today. Other times it was about paying tribute to a player’s stellar career. This isn’t about the “best” players over the last 30 years. Otherwise names like Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing and Jason Kidd would probably be listed below. Nor do I pretend to think this list is comprehensive; as hard as I tried to remember every aspect and every angle of the NBA, it still feels like a few deserving guys are left off. This was a personal venture but my goal with this was to stir up some thoughts and emotions, both mine and yours. May you become motivated enough to think a little about your own list! Thanks in advance for reading.
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