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[Slate] The Darko Ages - on overvaluing European players in the early/mid 2000's

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by SamFisher, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    This reads like a rehash of how I spent an overly large portion of my 20's arguing on this board. Where art thou, David_S?
    Worthwile read though:


    http://www.slate.com/articles/sport...nking_and_racism_produced_the_nba_s_most.htmla
     
    #1 SamFisher, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  2. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    Sam, do you have CF style set to Clutchfans Dark?
     
  3. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    something about copying and pasting text now keeps source formatting.
     
  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tastemaker
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    I like how it's black on black, it's very different, very European.
     
  5. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    VSPAN would have revolutionized the game if only Van Gundy would have given him minutes. We let the Greek Michael Jordan just ROT ON THE BENCH!!!!!!

    FREE-Span!!!! :mad::mad::mad::mad:
     
  6. Aleron

    Aleron Contributing Member

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    Darko could have been a very good player, the problem was he only wanted to make enough money to support his family, he never actually cared about getting any better at basketball.
     
  7. Croatian Sensation

    Croatian Sensation I'd rather be a forest than a street
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    The problem is not in the players, it's in the NBA scouts. They value all the wrong traits in a European player. If you're long, lean, athletic and preferably black, you're going to get drafted. It doesn't matter if you don't know how a basketball looks like, you have "upside". Why is Antetokounmpo projected to be drafted 20 picks before Alex Abrines? Abrines is a better baketball player and a member of one of the best European teams with a great youth development history. Antetokounmpo is just some kid from a third division Greek league that has a good wingspan and can jump really high. Does that make him a good player? No, but he's a "project", according to scouts. There are also dozens of young point guards similar to Schroeder, but who cares, he's black and a good athlete.
    None of the guys mentioned in the article were great basketball players. They just had nice measurements and maybe showed flashes here and there. It's true, Miličić could've been one of the best centers in the league, but his work ethic is awful and frankly, he's an idiot. If those scouts asked him a few questions, they would've seen who they were dealing with.

    The only two other types of European players that could be drafted are special talents (like Dirk, Gasol, Rubio) or hard-nosed centers (NBA teams finally figured out that you can find much better centers in Europe than in USA where that position is a dying kind). The "soft Euro" is a stereotype and Peković is a fine counterexample.
    Spanoulis is a solid point guard, a starter on your average NBA team. He didn't want to play in the NBA and that's fine. No need to disrespect him or, on the other hand, overvalue him and say that JVG is the sole reason to blame, etc.

    There are pretty much tons of European players that have a place in the NBA. They're not superstars, they are guys that can fill out the roster, provide quality minutes off the bench, be a glue guy. Most NBA teams only look for home runs and think we have enough of our guys to sit on the bench. And those turn out to be Ryan Hollins, Luke Walton and Ronnie Price. The Spurs are a rare organization that values skill and fundamentals and doesn't consider Europe as a wasteland. They have proved time and time again that you can easily find solid rotational guys playing in Europe, as late first-rounders, late secound-rounders or even undrafted players. Neal and Splitter were a big part of their Finals team. Even Morey has his gem in Beverley.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    I think you're right, but also you shouldn't be as critical of the process. Antetokounmpo vs. Abrines - I think most/many scouts recognize who is better currently. But in the mid-teens many GMs probably prefer the potential upside of Antetokounmpo. He can be a whole lot more. I agree with you a bit, 50/50 at best. But, even if 28 GMs out there also agree with us, it only takes a few to say wow, look at that potential, and draft him ahead of schedule. And that's true of any draft position, and why you have so many busts... and also why you have organizations like the Spurs who rarely seem to have busts.

    Frankly, if I'm the Rockets and move up and can pick, I could easily argue for a stash of Antetokounmpo. And I think DM is a very smart GM. But the home run approach makes sense for our current roster. That's how we ended up with Marcus Morris instead of Kawhi Leonard, btw. Conversely, if you're the Spurs, always picking near the end of the draft, then you can do less of that. DM doesn't have a perfect track record, but its pretty good. Clearly, the smarter teams are getting better and better at finding appropriate value late in the draft. What about Kawhi you say? For one, consider the Spurs didn't technically draft him, but traded for him. But moreover, the Spurs were in a position to take that type of talent at that point in the draft. The Rockets were in a position to reach a bit. Didn't turn out. But for all the complaining about Morris over Kawhi, the real complaint should be passing on Vucevic... but his lack of athleticism made it appear like he also had limited upside (like Kawhi seemed to have, though not due to lack of athleticism as much as lack of and inability to ever have a polished go-to player type offensive game).

    For Darko, I think you have to remember the era. For one, while Chad Ford can definitely be an idiot, Darko did have some incredible skills combined with his size and relative athleticism. But even with international scouting, trips, etc., the overall international scouting just wasn't as advanced. Not as much video. Certainly not the data available today. And even with all that, with the proper agent, a kid like Darko is shielded from answering the appropriate questions, etc... especially back then. That's how you end up with Detroit picking him 2nd with basically no information on him. That and paying way too much credence to Will Robinson, Detroit's then 90+ year old long-time scout who was a belvoed figure in the city and organization, but made statements like:

    “He’s going to own the game. Own the game. We’re going to have to build a new arena. The only thing that could destroy a kid like that is a woman.”

    and


    “Darko reminds me of a young Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt used to do a little of everything, and I haven’t seen a big man with so much skill since Wilt.”

    I don't care how much reverence you hold for the guy, hopefully you listen to younger and better scouts with a better understanding of the modern game
     
    2 people like this.
  9. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    In the NBA, it has been proven that a team can be successful if they have the right stars. High ceiling, low floor players often have more value than the low/med ceiling high floor guys who tend to end up as better players. I think the Rockets are one of the few teams willing to try to get low/med ceiling high floor guys whether in Europe or in America.

    Once you have your stars in place, like the Spurs, you can go after the better low/med ceiling high floor guys. Granted the Spurs were ahead of curve and got some good high ceiling/high floor guys in Parker and Ginoboli.
     
  10. Rocket Booster

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    You just made about 5,000 members enemy list. Prepare to be forever trolled and mocked here for all the time you are on this forum. The xenophobe NBA only fans will taunt you forever now.
     
  11. Croatian Sensation

    Croatian Sensation I'd rather be a forest than a street
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    Both post give great answers.


    It saddens me to see some of the folks here making fun of European leagues and rating their players as second-class and talking how most of them have no chance making it in the NBA. They do have, but the NBA teams only look at high risk, high reward players. Those guys don't pan out 99 out of 100 times and other quality players stay in their shadow. Antetokounmpo is intriguing, but most likely a bust. Abrines has a lower ceiling, but a much higher chance of succeeding. I'm always on the side of those who say draft an already skilled player and try to develop him in other areas. Leonard over Morris for me was a no-brainer, although I understand the pick. Antetokounmpo is raw and 19 years old. If he was playing center, then he'd maybe become a star. As a small forward, no way. I just don't see it.
    Those med ceiling players just have a real tendency to be better than expected and the risk is much lower. You have those guys in Europe. You have my fellow Croatian, Ante Tomić, selected 44th overall by Utah in 2008, drawing comparisons to Pau Gasol everywhere he goes. He's been selected to the All-Euroleague first team a month ago. He wanted to play overseas a year ago, but nobody called. And it's a damn shame, really, because NBA lacks quality big men.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Hey look, it's rockets dynasty arguing with himself. Fun fun! :)
     
  13. Pieman2005

    Pieman2005 Member

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    His post was actually very good. Don't try to act like you were treated unfairly.
     
  14. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    He didn't call Jan Vesely the most athletic player in the NBA, Spanoulis one of the best PGs in the world, say LeBron would be an average player in Europe, or spend 10,000 words ranting about Ricky Rubio, so I think he's good.
     
  15. LelWestbrick

    LelWestbrick Rookie

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    Darko was garbage but the hackneyed (and predictable given that it's Slate) racial narrative goes too far. He was the best player in Europe coming after a period where multiple (Parker/Nowitzki/Ginobli/Gasol) very high quality European players had been drafted. Drafting young was a big trend. He seemed like a hard worker with a Duncan level humbleness. He had amazing pre-draft workouts. He was a true 7 footer. His play looked great. And that's it, that's why he was drafted. There was no "magical thinking" or racism behind Darko busting.
     
  16. Easy

    Easy Very Calm
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    Someone should write a piece: The Kwame Ages, on overvaluing high school players.
     
  17. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    Were they particularly overvalued? There were a couple of massive busts, but a lot of high school players were really, really good.
     
  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    This would be a very short article - among top-5 picks, the only true busts are Jonathan Bender, Shaun Livingston (both due to injuries) and Kwame Brown (mostly just sucked) Darius Miles (an average player). The others are:

    LeBron James
    Kevin Garnett
    Daryl Dawkins
    Tyson Chandler
    Eddy Curry
    Dwight Howard

    a lot of research has been done on this back in the mid 00's when the HS ban went into effect - IIRC the numbers indicated that drafting HS players was statistically more likely to be successful - not surprising given the HOF team you could assemble from the 39 HS draftees from the 95-2005 "gold rush era"

    Kobe
    McGrady
    James
    Garnett
    Howard

    Honorable Mention:

    Jermaine O'Neal
    Tyson Chandler
    Amar'e Stoudemire
    Rashard Lewis
    Andrew Bynum
    Al Jefferson
    Monta Ellis
    JR Smith
     
  19. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    LOL - how do you know he "had amazing pre-draft workouts" - were you there?

    No, you weren't. I wonder how a guy who had a vertical leap of 26.5 inches (that's less than Matt Bonner, who came out the same year btw...) has an "amazing" pre draft workout....unless you're predisposed to think he's going to be the next big thing.
     
  20. Kruze10

    Kruze10 Member

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    Darko will forever be one of the most annoying players I've ever seen play. I still remember when he would get into it with Dikembe.
     
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