Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Um... forgetting someone?

In a good article about the problem with the draft and tanking, Simmons has this paragraph:

In the past 14 years, only one No. 1 pick made his team instantly competitive: Tim Duncan, who joined a contender that had slipped only because of injuries. Looking back, was it bad that Duncan and David Robinson played together? Was the NBA's competitive spirit compromised? Of course not.


Erik said...

We all know Bill Simmons lumps LeBron in with Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi and every other megabust No. 1 pick in recent memory. He seriously does, based on what he writes. In his mind, LeBron has been a gargantuan failure as an NBA player.

I don't know if Simmons was expecting LeBron to heal the sick and achieve world peace, but whatever Simmons was expecting, LeBron has fallen way short.

Having said that, I sort of agree that LeBron didn't make the Cavs "instantly" competitive. They started off his rookie year 6-19 before Jim Paxson got rid of Ricky Davis and Darius Miles for Eric Williams, Tony Battie and Agent Sub-Zero Jeff McInnis, and they made their late-season run.

I think everything that has happened to the Cavs since LeBron arrived underscores just what a pitiful basketball team they were prior to his arrival, and how bad their overall recent draft history has been.

Four years in to the LeBron Era, and while they are a much better team, they still have some huge holes to fill to become a championship-caliber team. Unfortunately, thanks to some poor trading, they won't be able to use the draft to address those needs for another year.

Ben said...

Ya, I realize what he meant by 'instant contender', the Cavs didn't make the playoffs his first two years (1 game out each year).

But to not mention what LeBron has meant to this entire franchise is just lazy. They may have not made the playoffs his first two years, but the team mattered again (for the first time in a decade).

Drafting LeBron turned the entire franchise around. Instant contenders? Nope. But he did have a small impact.

(and you're on Simmons and his expectations for LeBron and I think I've brought this up before. Simmons seems disappointed that LeBron isn't averaging a triple double, curing cancer, salvaging the Iraq War and colonizing space at the age of 22. Even with this being a down year, and I think we can all agree that it has been, LeBron is pretty freaking amazing.)