Friday, January 6, 2012

Wild Speculation and Outlandish Guesses: Fun Sized Players Edition

Hey! Nate Robinson, aka N8 tha Gr8, got a job!  Everyone's favorite pint sized scorer, who up to this point, was sans employment, secured a one year deal with the Golden State Warriors.  We all feel great for Nate.  Well, Kevin Draper, Lucas Sokol-Oxman, Alex Maki, and new Diss-cussant Andrew Snyder feel great.  Jacob Greenberg remains skeptical.  We discuss this, as well as some of our other favorite pint-sized players and moments in NBA history.

Let's get to it, before Randy Newman gets his gun and shoots the hell out of some short people.  

1.  The one word I'd use to describe N8 the GR8 is ________.

Andrew Snyder: #HumanHighlightReel.  I made it into one word by hashtagging it.  Deal with it, or just follow me on Twitter.  Whether it's blocking Yao Ming one of his several put back dunks, or his general ability as a mediocre "volume scorer," everything awesome Nate Robinson does looks way cooler because he's a little person.

Long Bui:  Dunks-over-Dwight-Howard.

(Editor's Note: I am well aware that putting dashes between multiple words doesn't magically make it a word.  My contributors, apparently, are not.)

Alex Maki:  Ebullient.

Lucas Sokol-Oxman:  KryptoNATE.

Jacob Greenberg:  Imbalanced.  A volume shooter in a point guard's body.  A high school point guard's body.  I watch a lot of basketball, and I cannot think of a single team where Nate would be a good fit.

2.  Assess the validity of this statement: Robinson's one year deal with the Warriors is his last chance to prove he's an NBA player. 

Andrew Snyder: Nate once scored 45 points in an NBA game, and he definitely belongs on an NBA roster as the Donkey to somebody's Shrek.  That being said, Nate's problem in the league has always been on the defensive end, and with Mark Jackson emphasizing defense for the Warriors this year, what could go wrong?

Long Bui: Maybe to prove he's a rotation guy, but he already proved it with his 17-4-44% '08-'09 season with the Knicks.  Speaking of, what an interesting team.  It took the talents of pre-bandwagon Z-Bo, Jamal Crawford, and Q-Rich launching threes and combined them with the corpses of Eddy Curry and Larry Hughes to field a team that seemingly wanted to give up 120 points a night.  I bet Isiah is a formidable fantasy manager.

Alex Maki:  False.  His last chance was in Boston.  But it doesn't matter, he has enough upside (just barely) to warrant teams taking flyers on him.  The ghost of Nate Robinson will haunt desperate basketball teams long after he passes away.

(Editor's note: Jesus, Alex.)

Lucas Sokol-Oxman:  Nate is definitely an NBA-caliber player, but this may perhaps be his last chance to prove his part in a 6-man rotation.

Jacob Greenberg: True.  To be an NBA player, Nate must be in the rotation.  Lots of point guards have made careers without getting consistent playing time (take bows, Kevin Ollie and Rick Brunson), but made their careers on intelligence, professionalism, and experience (Kevin Ollie taught Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook how to be pros on the 2008-2009 OKC Thunder).  Nate hasn't shown much of any of that in his six season career.

3.  Who is your favorite short guy in NBA history, and why?  

Andrew Snyder: Anthony Jerome "Spud" Webb (5'7'').  Simply for the fact that he reigned supreme on the SI for Kids 1981-1996 "Slam Dunk Champions" poster that hung about my childhood bed.

Long Bui: Avery Johnson (5'11''), because of this. In a world occupied by the J-Kids, J-Riches, KGs, and T-Macs, we had The Little General.  As far as nicknames go, that's pretty damn awesome.

Alex Maki:  Earl Boykins (5'5'').  Even though he is so small, traditionally he has given the Timberwolves a hard time.  That by itself might be a fairly mundane feat.  But since he is so damn short, he has my utmost respect.

Lucas Sokol-Oxman:  Allen Iverson (listed at 6'0'', but definitely around 5'10'').  Who do you think exciting (slightly taller, but not by much) players like D-Rose and Westbrook are taking after?

Jacob Greenberg: Every part of me wants to say Tim Hardaway (5'11''), but his homophobic transgression precludes his selection.  So I will go with Calvin Cambridge (4' 6''), who took it to NBA stars after finding a pair of magic sneakers during the 2002 NBA season.

4.  What is the greatest short dude moment in NBA history?

Andrew Snyder: Favorite?  This Earl "The Squirrel" Boykins game tying shot against the heat from last season.  When a 5'5'' dude can take LeBron, Wade, and Bosh, then something is right with the world. Dark horse: when Nate Robb took 14 attempts to make his "championship" dunk in the 2006  dunk contest, edging out Andre Iguodala by a final score of 141-140.

Long Bui: Two words: Space Jam.
Muggsy: What are you saying? That I'm disobeying my mama?
Psychiatrist: I didn't say that. You did, Muggsy.
Muggsy: But I love my mama.

Alex Maki: Spud Webb winning the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest.  That image is burned eternally in my mind.

Lucas Sokol-Oxman:  Calvin Murphy getting voted into the hall of fame, earning himself the distinction of shortest player (5'9'') ever to achieve such status.  That guy used to be the Rockets' all-time leading scorer?  My God.

Jacob Greenberg: The moment this picture was taken.

5.  True or False: Nate Robb will be in the NBA by this point next year.

Andrew Snyder:  True.  Nate Robb can ball, but you gotta let the height haters hate.  As a Celtics fan, I'll always remember him as part of one of the goofiest bench duos ever.

Long Bui: True.  Dude can score, and that's always valuable off the bench.

Alex Maki:  True.  I don't know where it will be, and it might not be at the beginning of the season.  But at some point during the 2012-2013 season Nate will still be balling.

Lucas Sokol-Oxman: True.  No lockout next year means a normal offseason, and many teams would like to have someone like Nate, who has been described by former Thunder-bro Kevin Durant as "the best teammate ever."  And he once scored 41 points -- off the bench.  

Jacob Greenberg: False.  I didn't think he was going to get a contract this season, despite the obvious skill and potential rewards.  I think Ish Smith and Brandon Rush fit in better with Mark Jackson's defensive sieve...I mean, system.  That, and he's never struck me as someone who takes his job all that seriously, and there are bench scorers who would come with a lot less risk.

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