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A few thoughts on Jason Kidd’s longevity in the NBA and finding the next Jeremy Lin

Jason Kidd wants to play 20 years. 18 down, 2 more to go.

Two Jeremy Lin posts, am I contributing to the problem?

Well this isn’t really about Jeremy Lin…but more about Jeremy Lin-types and the question that keeps coming up in relation to him playing so well after having been discarded a few times. That question is, Are there more Jeremy Lins out there? How can we find them?

A few days ago Jason Kidd surpassed Michael Jordan’s career steals total. Kidd is an 18 year veteran and from what I’ve seen thus far this season he’s still making the case for his roster spot. Something that Kidd said stuck out to me:

“Being a passer can keep you in the league a lot longer, if I was a scorer I’d probably be out of the league a long time ago.”

It was fitting that the day after I read that I quote, I ran across this blog post on GQ by Oklahoma Thunder Nick Collison where he talks a little bit about what guys like him, the non-stars and non-shooters can do to achieve longevity in the NBA. He says:

Before most of us entered the League, we were one of the main scoring options on our college teams. Offenses were designed to get us the ball. We got features in the media and received all the accolades. When you make an NBA roster, that all changes. All of a sudden, you find yourself on a different level of the totem pole, and you have to adjust. Each team may have three to five guys who consistently find themselves creating their own shots. The other ten guys on a roster have to learn to play off of those guys and find ways to create value for themselves. You create value for yourself by doing enough positive things to make your coach keep you on the floor. The guys who have success in the league and stick around are the ones who understand how to make themselves valuable to an organization.  You do this by embracing your role and focusing on things other than scoring.

I think Collinson gets it right as it pertains to guys who never had marquee names. Those guys have to prove their value to teams  in order to stay in the league. Although Kidd made a huge name for himself a few years in New Jersey he was never a guy who carried a lot of hype-and because of that he’s had to alter his game over time to show that he can make a legitimate contribution to whatever he team he plays for. I don’t see that Kidd has been giving any passes, really.

If the guys who DID carry a lot of hype at one time, for example, Vince Carter, had to live by the same rules as the guys who never did (i.e. contribute consistently or say goodbye) we might be looking at a different league right now. The fact is, from my perspective, there are guys who are still in the league simply because they once had a name.

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10 Players Have Already Torn Achilles Tendons; Plus 400lb Bryant McKinnie Looks For Work

I soooo did not want to write this post. I can’t even type the phrase “torn achilles” without grimacing. It just sounds so damn painful! Anyway, I wondered if it was common to have 10 players to injure their achilles in two just two weeks of camp, and it looks like this hasn’t happened in the past. Judy Battista at the New York Times took on the subject in her column yesterday.

But so far, the unintended winners of the lockout are orthopedic surgeons. With training camps open for less than two weeks, unofficial counts have 10 players with Achilles’ tendon tears, season-ending injuries that Monday claimed their latest victim, Mikel Leshoure, a rookie running back for Detroit.

The number is notable because nine players are thought to have torn their Achilles’ tendons in all of the 2010 preseason. According to figures compiled by Football Outsiders, a Web site that tracks every game of the season, nine players were on injured reserve with Achilles’ tendon injuries in the first week of the season last year.

WOW, so before the pre-season even begins, more players have injured their achilles in training camp than would typically injure them in the pre-season. Battista quotes a doctor who says that not training enough during the lock out could be contributing to the problem.

I hope that players’ muscle memories can hurry and catch up, because if 10 more players injure their achilles tendons it’s gonna be some trouble!

Speaking of not working out enough, Bryant Mckinnie was cut by the Minnesota Vikings for being out of shape. Yes, I know you knew that. But what you probably didn’t know is that his weight was reportedly 400lbs and his cholesterol level was a soaring 400. Just so you know, anything headed into the 200s is considered high. And sure offensive tackles like McKinnie are big but 400lbs? Even at 6’8 400 is pushing the envelope.

Still, McKinnie is looking for work.

From Jason La Canfora:

Rosenhaus’ (Mckinnie’s agent) email to NFL teams reads as follows: “Free agent Bryant McKinnie would be willing to sign a one year contract for $2,500,000 plus reasonable incentives. Please let me know if you have an interest.”

Don’t all jump at once!

McKinnie has been one of those guys who’s ALWAYS questioned about his behavior. I defended him in this blog post when the innanets blew up about him supposedly spending 100K on a bar tab. Some of the other things he’s done have been borderline indefensible. But as I always say, character issues in the NFL are of no consequence as much as we like to pretend we care. What matters is winning, and guys can’t perform when they’re out of shape.

The Jacksonville Jaguars  also released a player, Vince Manuwai, for being out of shape. But it looks like most of the guys across the league came to training camp in good condition. Or, good enough, at least given the circumstances.

That reminds me, I hear New England Patriot Albert Haynesworth is lookin good like I knew that he would! And that’s all that matters, really.




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