Boris Diaw is a photographer, apparently? I didn’t really know this because most of the things I know about Boris Diaw are about his cheese preferences, how he gained a lot of weight “on purpose” this year and that he treats American women really, really great. But yeah, I guess he’s a picture taker, which makes sense because of the whole French thing and the French Photographic Society (Société française de photographie) and how he seems to be more concerned with basically everything else that isn’t basketball, even when he’s playing basketball.
Nonetheless, his skills with the camera got him a gig as Nike’s man for showing off their new French soccer uniforms (“football kits,” if you will). They’re all white, which seems antithetical to a sport that involves a lot of sliding, but they look great. I’ve pulled a few of the pictures from the set, either because I recognize the subject or I know what Boris was thinking when he composed the scene.
This Monday through Friday, I’m going to give my season predictions in a countdown from worst to first. The format will be three teams per post, one post in the morning and one in the afternoon. Whichever team you’re a fan of, there’s a good chance you’ll feel like I’m disrespecting them. I understand this, and I promise you I won’t take your insults personally.
30. Detroit Pistons
Seven years after the Pistons won their last NBA championship, I think the grace period for President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars is over. He is a terrible GM and I have to wonder how much nostalgia for that title and his playing career in Detroit is keeping him employed in his current job.
Does Joe even understand that his team needs to rebuild? And if he knows this, does he know how to do it properly? Based on the contracts he just approved while re-signing Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey, I have a hard time believing that. Even if the Pistons improve their talent level with high draft picks, the cap-clogging contracts of Prince and Stuckey will hold them back for at least the next two seasons.
Optimistic Pistons fans might point at sophomore center Greg Monroe as a beacon of hope, but he’s an average rebounder and a poor defender and that combination will always sour me on a big man’s potential. There just isn’t a lot of upside on this roster, unless you think Brandon Knight has Rookie of the Year potential, which I don’t.
We live in an attention economy-driven world where the most important things are the things you see the most and the things you see the most are the things a few select people decide are important. If you’re not cool enough to be noticed, then you’ll never be cool because you’ll never be seen.
“My drive is because of the fact every other team is getting mentioned right now, whether it’s their blockbuster trade or how good they’ll be,” Thomas told the Observer Monday. ”So I know we have to come in and work. My drive right now is to be mentioned. It just disgusts me when you watch ESPN, and out of the 30 teams you’re not mentioned.
“I think a lot of our guys have that chip on their shoulders. Just to show we’re in the league, too, you know?’’
If you’re a team no one cares about, this is the way to do it. Just play your balls off, try to be fun and win some games. Eventually someone will put you on TV.
Except, of course, for the fact that the league’s national TV schedule is pretty well set and the only way to get more exposure is to be chosen as the featured game for Fan Night on NBATV. And because they’re the Bobcats, they’ve only got four national games.
Not to mention, they were the 26th slowest team in the league last year, according to the pace statistics provided by Basketball-Reference. And they were the 26th worst offensive team in the league last year. And they had less dunks last year than Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin did individually. And their leading dunker (Kwame Brown, 72nd in the league) just signed a hilariously huge contract with another team. And their highest draft pick might not be joining the team this season.
I’m not saying it’s impossible for the Bobcats to get national exposure, I’m just saying there are some obstacles. Maybe Tyrus Thomas just needs to start saying quotable things to anyone who’ll listen. Not only did that “get my check” blurb get him some attention, this little nugget got him a super valuable blog post. You gotta start somewhere.
Yes, it was a pretty far-fetched idea in the first place. The Bobcats are a team coming off a 34-48 season which saw them trade their best player, Gerald Wallace, midway through for virtually nothing. This year, they plan to center their offense around Corey Maggette. Yup. Guess they’ve gotta go with something.
Either way, I’m not here to judge rosters, especially since we have no idea how things will shake down when Friday’s free agency extravaganza begins, but just a quick glance at this year’s schedule basically kills any chance for Charlotte to overachieve.
Strength of schedule aside, the Bobcats play four games in five nights a league leading 12 times, meaning 48 of their 66 games (73 percent) will be played under those tough circumstances. The average team plays four games in five nights just six times.
Last season, Charlotte was the fourth worst team on the second night of back-to-backs when compared to games following an off night. As you’d expect, they’re close to the top in the numbers of back-to-backs this season at 23 (Indiana has 24). Sorry, ‘Cats fans. Expect some lackluster play.
I love me some Kemba Walker swagger and Bismack Biyombo’s jumping abilities, but with such a short camp, I don’t see the rooks making a big mark this season. A team like Charlotte needs to outwork the opposition if they’re going to be successful, but that looks pretty hopeless when checking out the calendar.
Wonder how Michael Jordan feels about that hardline stance now.
Dan Le Batard: Your teammate is the worst smelling player in the NBA. Who is second?
Amar’e Stoudemire: I dunno, man. I try not to get too close to these guys. But I think Boris Diaw may be a close second. 1a and 1b.
Just so you know, apparently the French guys in the NBA smell terrible. Way to enforce stereotypes, Amar’e. Kind of harsh, but I played against Tony Parker’s brother in high school and he really did smell bad, so I see where he’s coming from. (Not saying all French people smell, but that it is very believable that maybe these specific French fellows smell. I don’t want to get any angry emails from beautiful smelling French folks, so take a chill pill.)
Nonetheless, it’s good to know who the real stinkers are in the league. I would have put money on Nick Collison, since he’s supposedly the sweatiest guy out there, but I guess he has that special non-stink sweat. It’s still a good idea to ask every player, just to make sure. Nice to see Dan Le Batard’s on it.