Posted by: Kingsguru21 | April 18, 2009

Is the argument really about Rubio vs Griffin?

If you don’t feel like reading my ramblings, then A), go fuck yourself, and B) stop reading. Not this piece. Not because I’m a jerkoff down syndrome asshole (which I am). Stop reading because all I do is ramble. Oh, and go fuck yourself anyway. If you’re lucky you rip a hole in your asshole the size of China.

There’s this idea floating around Kings land that the Kings are better off picking Blake Griffin because he will make the Kings better next season. There’s an idea that Rubio is inferior because he’s European. I don’t understand either sentiment. First, because Griffin put up gaudy stats against inferior players doesn’t mean that he will have a similar impact at the NBA level. Second, just because a player isn’t American doesn’t mean he can’t make an impact. Yes, maybe the best players don’t reside out of the U.S. Americans also had a 40 year head start, and considering how bad the US Dream Team made the rest of the world look in 1992, a lot of progress has been made since.

There are 2 reasons why I think Griffin will end up being the guy who captivates many Kings fans. First, because he’s a turbo-charged athletic big man who has a lot of abilities (and he certainly does–I won’t argue this) he’s going to captivate a fanbase who certainly thinks the Kings lack of athleticism is a major area of need.

First point: Is having a greatly athletic team THAT important? Did it help the Kings much in 2002? 2003? 2004? No. (The Lakers and Celtics weren’t that athletic in the 80’s. They were also a whole lot better than pretty much every team when you consider the total decade. And it’s not like players were totally un-athletic in the 80’s. My god, it’s like players didn’t dunk in the 80’s or something. People need to take their heads out of their asses. Comparing the 80’s NBA to the NBA of today is dumb. So, let’s don’t okay?)

Second point: Blake Griffin is a talented player. Watching him live, and watching clips of his dunks you get the same feeling you do watching Rubio’s youtube clips (although Rubio’s clips show various types of abilities across the board) is that you know he can dunk. The problem with Griffin is that in the several games I saw of him before the NCAA tournament I found it hard to identify what his “go to” move was. Every big needs that. Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson need that, in fact. But,if Griffin is going to be a dominant franchise level player of big in the NBA, he ABSOLUTELY will have to have that. And that’s hardly the only issue I see with Griffin.

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I also saw lack of shot blocking instincts. I saw a guy who out rebounded teams because he was more athletic and could just go get the ball. You can’t exactly do that in the NBA. Blake Griffin should be able to rebound at a 10+ clip in the NBA, in time, but I don’t see coming out of the gate. Dominant players do that out of the gate. He is not a Tim Duncan or Shaquille O’Neal level of player. That isn’t Griffin’s fault. But, you can’t chide somebody who doesn’t take a lot of stock or belief in the idea that Griffin’s stats weren’t just about how talented he is (again, I’m not arguing he isn’t immensely talented or a potential multiple time all-star).

Here’s the problem I have with Blake Griffin in regards to this Kings team: What does he do that makes the Kings better next year, 2 years from now, 5 years from now? Doesn’t that level of upside and attainibility factor heavily into your evaluation of how important he is if you own the first pick in this year’s draft? And, by the way, isn’t that equally as important to state that Ricky Rubio should go through that same evaluation process? After all, what’s the point of thinking Ricky Rubio is a more valuable player than Blake Griffin if the single most important evaluation tool is that Rubio fits a greater need than Griffin does.

Speaking of need, and I stress this too, is that I feel the Kings are a mediocre team which had a miserable season. Martin’s health alone adds 10 wins in my opinion. (And, this past season. And if the Kings aren’t Natted, you could be looking at a 30 win team that this group was at without a potential stud.) His work in the off-season hopefully improves his ball handling and decision making area’s. Those are really the major needs of improvement in his game. And, because of this, along with other things, does Blake Griffin become the major player here that the Kings need?

Look, I don’t want to make this about Blake Griffin vs Ricky Rubio. There’s plenty of time to debate that (especially when the Kings are in a position to take either). There is also plenty of time to see what changes before now and the lottery. (Oh, and Rubio hasn’t declared yet with 8 days to go, and with DKV’s President saying that he plans to hold Rubio to his contract.) If the argument becomes Blake Griffin vs Tyreke Evans, then it’s the same argument in my opinion. Evans had a dominant college finale game vs Missouri, but what made it dominant to me was that Missouri COULDN’T stop him when they knew what he was going to do. That’s what make players dominant in the NBA. Every player in the NBA knows they can’t stop LeBron James 1 on 1, and yet, every team devises schemes to make it more difficult to get him to take tough shots and pass the ball in ways that makes him less effective. How effective is that when you’re such a dynamic talent as LeBron? So, in a way, studs matter, but so does the talent around that player. It’s a tricky process that noone gets right 100% of the time. (Just ask Detroit. Even if Dumars does that trade 100 times out of 100.)

I would like to delve into this a little bit deeper, however. What about Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes? More specifically, how does this utilize their talents? How does Donte Greene fit into the picture if you invest your top pick in Griffin (assuming the Kings get the first overall pick on May 19th). Does this make Donte less valuable, or more valuable? What about a trade with JT or Shawes at some point? How does this effect their trade value?

Speaking of trade value, and while I don’t think JT is as bad as Kwame Brown, a guy like Brown was worth giving up a talented Swing Man, whom the Lakers hadn’t figured out how to integrate in their system, in Caron Butler just to get Brown. This had to be done because having quality players down low was such a dire need for the Lake Show in 2005. And, the Lakers would point out that having Brown was a major component in landing Gasol (I would argue that giving up Marc Gasol meant just as much truthfully) because of his expiring salary last season. And, Kwame Brown as long as he continues to work at his game, and stays healthy, will have a chance to be a 3rd rotation big for the rest of his career. Defensively, he has talent. He just wasn’t the first overall pick, talent wise, in 2001. And, was that his fault because Michael Jordan selected him? No. (If you’re thinking that I’m setting up for an important point here, you’re correct.)

Kwame Brown could “potentially” have a lot of potential for a team like the Kings. He’s big, strong, and has had problems in the past. He’s also a talented player whom, if the Kings invested a 2 or 3 year deal in (5 million for 3 years), you’re talking about the ideal rotation big who can defend 2 positions, and rotate on whichever player is the better matchup for the Kings. This is, ideally, anyway. Maybe Kwame isn’t that good. There is a lot of negative mojo surrounding Kwame. Which is exactly why I like him at this point. This team needs better defense, and Kwame can play. He has a player option (which he can opt out of) this summer, and, maybe he’s expendable to Detroit. (I’m going to ask Detroit fans this before I go further on this point.)

Either way, I think a player like Kwame (or something like that) and a player like Rubio could be more benefitial to this team. After all, this team needs leadership, and that is said to be one of Rubio’s strong suits. And if defense is a major upgrade that is needed, than I would much rather roll the dice on Kwame Brown than Hasheem Thabeet. Jes sayin….

Awhile ago, Tom Ziller posted this on Sactown Royalty (so people like me) could cheer themselves up after a lousy season. It didn’t make me feel better about Griffin, but I did like it. (I’m not a big fan of dunkage, perse, but Griffin could win a dunk contest or two. He is exciting that way.) I am going to take the 2 youtube clips off his post for you to watch if you have not done so. (If you’re a regular StR member, you’ve seen them.)

I don’t look at this debate, even more so as I’ve written this, and even more so because I’ve spent time thinking how I wanted to craft my own point, about Ricky Rubio vs Blake Griffin, or vice-versa. I look at this as a team that needs more talent. They need more talent up front (but how much is the question), and I look at this team missing a quality backcourt player. This is obvious. But, how much more talent does this team really NEED? I almost look at Blake Griffin as a somewhat duplication of Donte Greene, and no dis-respect to Blake Griffin, but anybody can score. You don’t think Donte could have dropped 21 a night at ‘Cuse this past season? What about for his junior year after being in the NBA all this year? You don’t think he could drop 21 a night after the experience he had this season not getting time for the Kings? Cmon, now. Blake Griffin can score. He can rebound. Beyond that, I’m not convinced that Griffin is the type of a player, for a team that just had it’s most miserable season on the court, and off, that needs to invest in long term because a lot of fans around the EC saw him play on National TV. And, that, you fucking morons, is why so many people are intrigued by Ricky Rubio. (Or should be anyway.) Even if they haven’t been able to articulate it yet. And, it gives me the excuse to say, while this isn’t really about Rubio, it just oh so really is.

ricky-rubio

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Responses

  1. I agree on Rubio… Griffin could be a monster… and probably will be. But Big Al posted 20-10 and his team missed the playoffs… how many times did Zach Randolph post 20-10 and his team(s) missed the playoffs… Elton Brand? The Clippers used to stink out loud. Shareef Abdu-Rahim? Grizzlies and Hawks were awful and ‘Reef was a very good player. Even Amare could not take the Suns to the Top.

    It takes a special player who buys into a (the) system and elevates not only his game but the other players around him as well (im thinking Tim Duncan, MJ, Lebron) These players all buy into a system and everyone else fallows their lead… guys like Amare, Z. Randolph… and the like do not LEAD their teams in the sense that they make others buy in. That is what I see missing from Griffin.

    Good Work Pookey… still waiting on your Foreign/Domestic article.

  2. Thanks sellout. I’m still working on that Foreign/Domestic article, and to be honest, all this commenting on StR and GSoM hasn’t helped. I had hoped to finish it today, and I haven’t even written a single word. Hopefully tomorrow.


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