If you were 7’2″ and 260 lbs, what sport would you likely play? NASCAR? Golf? And within that sport, what position do you reckon you’d be slotted at? Hint: It doesn’t start with a “G” or an “F” and it rhymes with “renter.” It doesn’t take Jack Ramsey to figure this stuff out.
But don’t tell Byron Mullens this. He said last week in Orlando that he’s no center. He’s a power forward. And I guess I believe him. Because that’s sure how he plays.
We’ve seen Mullens in a total of seven professional games and I can remember only two post moves – one an airballed hook shot and the other a step-back jumper from the block. Out of 53 shot attempts, just two post moves from a 7’2″ guy. Two post moves. For someone that is 86 inches tall. That makes about as much sense as Christian Bale still using his Batman voice when he was talking to Lucius.
But don’t just blame B.J. Byron Nelson James Mullens. Because by all appearances the true center is dying, one seven-footer at a time or as Clark Matthews put it in an email, “The center position should be on the endangered species list next to albino otters.” It’s a basketball epidemic. Or I guess maybe it’s just an evolution in the game. Who knows? We’re seeing more and more Amare’s, Mehmet Okur’s and David Lee’s and less Shaq’s, Al Jefferson’s and Yao Ming’s. Heck, look at guys like Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Nenad Krstic. They’re seven-feet tall but they prefer the pick and pop instead of the post and score.
In Mullens’ defense, he is uniquely gifted for a guy that size. He has nice touch on his jumper and he’s absurdly athletic for his size. He’s not some stiff that just takes up space. He really has the skills of a jumpshooting power forward. But combine that with at least a mediocre post game and match him up against slower, less athletic guys of similar size and wouldn’t he be a matchup nightmare? Well, that’s just what common sense says. Keep Reading…