For whatever reason, I couldn't get the game Monday. I live in Indiana, Comcast did not have the promo going for League Pass here. So I just sort of paid attention to the ESPN tracker.
When I looked at it at the half I saw something shocking: Demarcus had 25 pts on 8/11 shooting, 9 rebounds and 3 assists...in 19 minutes of play! That would be a monster stat line if he was playing West Campus High School.
So I went to the Sactown Royalty game thread to get the skinny. I didn't realize that no Clipper I've heard of was playing (except Crawford). It would have been nice to read about that. But that's not what I saw.
Hit rewind for a minute with me. I remember reading a story about what transpired between Cuttino Mobley and Rick Adelman when Cuttino joined the Kings. Cuttino had had a rough past and according to the story Adelman sat him down, the way he had done many malcontents, and said (my paraphrase), "I don't care about your past. You have a clean slate. All I care about is moving forward and winning."
Players love Adelman. I think a lot of it is that attitude. "Hey kid, you get a fresh start here. Not a free pass. Just a chance to start over."
Demarcus has been a tool. I would argue that he brought that mentality with him. It is on him. No one can argue he hasn't lived up to his potential. No one can say it is wrong to be frustrated by his failures.
But now Demarcus, along with the entire organization, has been traded. A chance for a fresh start.
So, that brings me to my modest proposal: I propose that we, as a community, suspend our past judgements of Demarcus until the All Star Break. Sure, Voisin, Jones and probably Breton, will comment on Demarcus' past from time to time. I suspect the StR staff will too. Comparing this Demarcus to last year's. That's their job. That's fine. But for us, what would happen if we treated him the way Adelman would have, the way Vivek is: "You have a fresh start; don't care about the past"?
I'm not suggesting we forget. I'm suggesting we wait until the All Star Break to bring it up. Frankly, I want to give him the season. But I know that is much to ask. Indeed, I know what I'm asking isn't easy. We are fanatics. We are the most passionate community in pro sports. That passion attracted a bunch of out of town billionaires to invest in our community. It also can tempt us to go a little over board. C'est la vie.
So what do you say? Can we judge him by this year alone for a few months? Is he acting like one of the highest paid players in the sport? Is he shooting 50% or better the way a big man should? Is he an emotional neutral or plus to the team? What's his plus/minus? Can we judge him on those criteria for now and then stop to compare him to himself at the break?
And if at the break he's a tool who has been ejected a bunch, dominant at times and a liability others, let's pile on and demand a trade. If not, let's enjoy the ride--because if he earns his contract we're in for some fun times.
That's my modest proposal. I look forward to screaming my brains out with you in just a couple of weeks at opening night!!