I said yesterday’s podcast was going to be a two-part thing with another interview coming with director Jason Reid, BUT it appears I suck at computing. Somehow, the interview isn’t there or didn’t record or something. So, apologies to everyone, especially Jason since I evidently wasted his time. It was a nice conversation though.
John Wooden is one of my favorite people ever, so I enjoyed this story very much: “Wooden, of course, is almost synonymous with UCLA. But here’s the amazing thing. At the time he was offered the UCLA job, he was also in the running to become head coach in Minnesota, which was closer to home for him. There were some complications with the Minnesota position, though, which he wanted to get straightened out first. They said they’d call by 6 p.m. with the details of his final offer. UCLA was due to call at 7. Minnesota didn’t call, so when UCLA called, Wooden said yes to his second choice. As he hung up the phone, it rang, and it was Minnesota. A blizzard had knocked out all the phone lines, so they had been unable to get through, but now they were offering everything he had asked for.”
Just very cool of Alvin Gentry: “Griffin said one of his goals as a rookie is “to be one of the most conditioned guys on this team.” He wants to be ready when his name is called. Speaking of….Griffin was inserted in the starting line-up tonight. Gentry explained that he likes to do that when young guys play their hometown, plus he knew his parents were in attendance.”
Speaking of, it appears that Michael Ruffin will see his first real playing time tonight in Tulsa? Coincidence? I hope not. (You see, he’s a Tulsa grad…)
48 Minutes of Hell’s resident stat doctor weighs in on the KD debate: “Durant will undoubtedly improve on both ends of the court in the years ahead. According to an analysis of APM trajectory over time, we could expect an overall APM improvement of a whopping +3.3 points/100 possessions over the next 6 years: and given Durant’s undeniable scoring talent, it is not at all unlikely that his improvement will be much greater . . . i.e., he could be contributing like a bona fide All Star within a few years. (Carmelo had a similar trajectory: major APM liability his first couple of seasons, yet All-Star caliber APM last year.) There’s no guarantee, of course, but it would be unwise to think such a scenario unlikely.”
And the world’s stat expert Kevin Pelton had something to say too: “The way Durant’s absence influenced how Green and Westbrook were used on offense helps illustrate my biggest quibble with Winston’s comment denigrating Durant. It ignores the fact that adjusted plus-minus captures a player’s value only in the context of a certain role with a certain team. On the Mavericks or any other team, Durant might thrive in a different role. This is a weakness of any statistical rating system, not something germane solely to adjusted plus-minus, but that’s why analysts must be careful to supplement the bottom-line numbers with skill-based statistics and observation.”
The first Daily Thunder fantasy draft went off without a hitch last night. We had a nice turnout as I think 16 of the 20 teams were represented and we got it done in just under two hours. And I think it’s obvious that I have the best team. Sleepers for the win!
Just so you know, I’ll be taking part in ESPN.com’s team chats. Oklahoma City’s is next Friday. So come one, come all to talk some Thunder ball with the big boys.
3 Shades of Blue