'Bad Attitude Bigs'.....catchy, isn't it?
The most recent episode of As The Cousins Turns has inspired me to take a look at why talented bigmen are given such a long leash these days.
I remember being a teenager in the 90's and seeing NBA teams give up way to soon on guys likes Rasheed Wallace and Chris Webber. The latter was traded from Golden State because management sided with their head coach, Don Nelson. A similar situation happened last season in Sacramento, only head coach Paul Westphal was shown the door. Back in 1994, there were enough talented post players for the Warriors to recover from giving up on that kind of raw talent. The Kings, obviously, didn't feel the same way in 2012.
Today, there just isn't the same pool of bigmen. Giving up on a future All-Star may set a franchise back a decade, maybe more.
Before Andrew's knee injury this year (and Frederick Douglas fro), the major topic surrounding him was his bad attitude. He was known for sending 5'10" PGs flying through the air, ripping jerseys off after losses, and sitting 10 feet away from timeout huddles. Oh, and don't forget about that handicapped parking habit he has.
When the Lakers sent Bynum to Philadelphia last summer, it was partly due to that attitude of his. But, they would've never pulled the trigger had they not been getting what they thought was an even better center. Trading big-for-small was never in Mitch Kupchak's or Jim Buss's vocabulary. Not in today's NBA.
In Washington, they probably disagree with me. The same franchise that gave up on 'Sheed' back in the day (and C-Webb now that I think of it) continues to give up on large talent. The Wizards let both JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche go in the past year, getting back less talent in return. Those two seven-footers may still be knuckleheads, but they also have talent out the roof. The Denver Nuggets decided to give McGee $10 million/year without even really maturing that much (yet). Brooklyn, meanwhile, is going to Blatche more and more in games as the season progresses. Andray, responds by talking about his former team in the media (hardly mature). Time will only tell if Washington will recover from letting these young bigmen go.
Now, back to the earlier story of DeMarcus Cousins. Despite his most recent incident, an ejection at Utah, The Sacramento Kings are reportedly still not interested in moving the talented bigman.....and they shouldn't. Sacramento, and Seattle for that matter, will likely not have that type of game-changer inside for years. The ability of a Cousins, when right, can take you from the outhouse to the penthouse. A mature DeMarcus may just be enough to single-handedly take down a great perimeter team like the Heat. He's physically that good. But it's a process, and one that takes patience. Geoff Petrie should be commended for telling people DC is "not going anywhere."
In today's smallish NBA, it's becoming clear.....big guys with bad attitudes are worth the trouble.