Your daily (Mon-Fri) roundup of links from around the blogosphere, typically Trail Blazers related.
• Jason Quick dramatically reports that Rudy Fernandez wants to be traded and the Blazers are working to move him. Quick is taking some heat for the buildup to a rather anti-climatic story, however, I would argue that the buildup was at least to some extent, fan driven. If Quick had something ultra-juicy, he’d likely have to break it quickly for fear of being scooped. The issue at hand is that Quick left a vacuum in his lead up and fans rushed to fill that vacuum with best case and worse case scenarios and quasi-plausible fears. What article is going to live up to that kind of drum-up? In the old days before the internet, people would have heard Quick announce that he had a story about some player drama, shoot the breeze about it around the water cooler, and then wait in anticipation until the story came out. Now, that announcement gets placed in a Petri dish where it can quickly mutate and grow until when the article itself comes out, the expectations are completely out of proportion.
• Kurt Helin at Pro Basketball Talk doesn’t want to see a sad Rudy Fernandez.
• Cha-Lu-Pa! Cha-Lu-Pa! Wait! Make that, E.Co-li E.Co-Li!
• Allow me to take a second to say that I’ve been hard on the Blazers front office during The Offseason of Our Discontent, and I think I’ve been pretty fair about it. There were a lot of communicational miscues that surely could have been handled better, though it is arguable that the Blazers themselves were not at fault for all of them. That said, the actions taken as of late by the Trail Blazers have been home runs. By retaining top scouts Mike Born and Chad Buchannan, hiring a rising star in Rich Cho, bringing in Rip City legend Buck Williams, and bringing in a high-character (albeit overpaid) guy like Wesley Matthews, the franchise has done a fantastic job of whitewashing some ugly stains.
One more thing I’d like to make clear is that when I criticize the Blazers’ “P.R.” I do so in the abstract sense. Kevin Pritchard, Larry Miller, and the rest of the players in this summer’s drama are directly responsible for the words they speak and that moment where their lips are moving in front of that camera or tape recorder is a moment where they hold full responsibility for what they say. I am not of the opinion that the actual public relations department employees are in any way at fault for any of the gross miscues that occurred. Likely, they were at their desk, sobbing into their hands, asking the heavens why that their boss was making their job so damned hard, sort of like a Whitehouse P.R. intern circa 2000-2008.
• Dave Deckard from BlazersEdge remembers Buck Williams, the player.
• Dwight Jaynes wants us to know that he “told us so” about Rudy Fernandez.
• Jerryd Bayless, a man famous for his scowl, discusses happiness.
• Over at Wages of Wins, there is a discussion about advanced statistics and conventional wisdom. I feel that the entire debate is built around a misunderstanding of terms. People misunderstand what it is that statistics can actually tell you. APRBmetrics will almost certainly never produce a one-number ranking system that definitively states who the best players are. The reason I say that is there are too many variables that must be controlled for and one single number would be a crude approximation at best. What APBRmetrics are, is useful. A statistic may be an answer in one area, but be irrelevant in another. If I go to the store to buy eggs, that little number on the package tells me definitively how many eggs are inside the carton, which is very useful. However, I still have to open the carton to see what color the eggs are and if any of them are cracked. “A dozen” is not a color, it is not a guarantee of freshness or quality, knowing the quantity can’t answer those questions. Of course, I could have different, separate metrics that tell me what the odds are that the eggs will be white or brown and how likely it is that any of the eggs will be broken, or I could open the carton myself and take a look. That is the “eyes, ears, mind” approach espoused by freshly minted Blazers’ GM Rich Cho. A statistic is an answer to a very specific question; it is not the answer to all questions.
• In the latest “Link Tachos” over at Bust-a-Bucket, Seth Johnston makes damning accusations that I would be willing to one day join the dark side. I think it’s just because Seth read this New York Times piece about law degrees and NBA front offices and combined that with the fact that I’ve recently shaved my head so now I look like a super villain. That’s not fair Seth, that’s stereotyping.
• Neal Paine over at Basketball-Reference looks at “Who ruled the top defenses? Part II” featuring a dichotomous Nicolas Batum.
• Via BlazersEdge: Apparently the Jail Blazers were not universally loved.