Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 at 3:43 pm  |  46 responses

The Commish Comments

Responding to some reader comments…

by Vincent Thomas

Earlier last year, when I started this column, one of the first things I made sure of was that our old online editor Sam Rubenstein include my e-mail address in the tagline. The way I saw it, I’d write a provocative piece, the readers would e-mail me some reactionary thoughts, I’d e-mail them back, yada-yada-yada. That was pretty naive of me. SLAMonline is a robust web community, not a newspaper. Online readers like to respond/react, the same way they like their content–in real time. The exchange, as I’ve become increasingly aware, happens in the comment section. On average, there’ll be 50-150 comments per column, but I’ll only get maybe six to 12 e-mail responses. The comments are typically passionate, entertaining, moronic, offensive, knowledgeable, interesting, dogmatic–all that good stuff. My reader e-mails are usually either one sentence (“Great column, Vince.”…”You’re a douchebag, Vince.”) or two sentences (“Great column, Vince. Check out my blog.”…”You’re a douchebag, Vince. Stop writing.”)). This is fine, except I always dug/dig writers’ versions of mailbags. My mailbag would be me using one of three responses (“Thanks.”…”Nice blog.”…”I think I’ll keep writing.”) Wack, right?

So I’m unveiling a new, periodic feature–The Commish Comments. From time to time, I’ll go back through my archives, pick out some reader comments and respond. For this initial installment I kept it to the most recent columns, but I’ll dig further back in the archives for future joints, since I know a lot of older comments hold some current import, in hindsight. At any rate, let’s get it…

Jones wrote: get off roses n*ts. Man, it is clear from watching games that Beasley is a unique talent, unmatched by any before him and can invent his own game. The kid is only 19 and can shoot better than 90% of the NBA. He needs to develop and grow into his own man, but to say he’s not a franchise type player is drinking the kool-aid on Rose. By the way is Rose a PG or a SG?

1.) To tell one man to get off another man’s nuts has always been an extremely biting put-down. Well played, Jones. 2.) This guy Jones probably doesn’t frequent the site. If he did, he’d have read some of the profane and vulgar bile that commenters write and know that there’s no need to asterisk the word “nuts.” “Nuts” is not lowering the decency-bar around here.  You can go ahead and fully spell out “nuts,” Jones. 3.) There are Real Franchise players and there are players we tend to mistakenly call Real Franchise Players (RFP) that are more like Faces of the Franchise (FOF). A Real Franchise player should be defined only–and I mean only–as a guy that can carry a squad to a championship. Not just lead. Carry. Chris Webber (an FOF) forever altered the Kings franchise and gave it unthinkable relevancy during Sac’s new-millennium glory days. He was fully capable of leading that talented Kings squad to a championship. And he would have done just that, were it not for Shaq (an RFP). Duncan, on the other hand, carried an old Robinson and young Parkers and Ginoblis to championships. You see the difference? Very few players fit the RFP description. I’d say there are about five players with RFP capabilities, right now: Kobe, LeBron, DWade, Chris Paul and, perhaps, still Grandpa Duncan. FOFs are great players that make their teams viable, entertaining and successful, but need considerable help to get the ring (Melo, Deron Williams, Amare, Yao, Mac, Dirk, KG, Pierce, etc.). You can “build around” FOFs, construct “championship teams” on their foundations. RFPs are the franchise–all you need to do is provide some furnishings. Rose has a game-with-no-ceiling and a temperament to grow into an RFP. Beasley? Like I said, he’s a Chris Webber-type.

chintao wrote: I have a feeling that this will be a big year for Charlie V. He certainly derserves it.

Do you know someone that looks so uncannily similar to another random person that it seems absolutely impossible that they’re not related? I mean, so similar that it’s a lock; so similar that, no matter how rude or hurtful it would be, you want approach that friend, acquaintance or stranger and say, “Screw whatever you think to be the truth, either you have siblings you don’t know about or your ‘birth parents’ have lied to you all this time.” (And I would definitely finger-quote “birth parents.”) That’s how it is with Villanueva and my brother-in-law Edwin. Same skin-tone, same bald-head and, oh yeah, same lack of eyebrows. Both are NYC Dominicans. They look like twins…identical twins. If you see me walking around Manhattan with a shiner it’ll be because on the previous night I chose to tell my bro-in-law: “You know that woman you say is your mother? She’s not your mother. You see this guy? His parents are your parents. I’m just sayin’…”

Allenp wrote: Vincent must have missed the Denver game last night.

I love when we do this. By “we” I mean supposedly rational sports fans and by “this” I mean act as if one game can prove an assertion wrong or right. Allenp was responding to what I wrote about the Nuggs in reaction to the Denver-Detroit trade. I don’t know exactly which part he was responding to, because I’ve also noticed (and love) how commenters like to drop vague and snarky one-liners…always entertaining.  I’ll assume he took umbrage with this portion of the Denver-paragraph in the Commish 10 column: ”The Nuggets play like a respectable team now that Billups is running the show. The rec league days left with A.I.” Or maybe it was: “With their roles more clearly defined and, what seems to be, a different, more practical philosophy, Denver seems more poised than the young Blazers to move ahead of the down-turning Suns, Spurs and Mavs in the West’s pecking order.” Well, of course, the Cavs beat the Nuggs on TNT the night before my column ran. So, I guess that one game was proof-positive that it’s biz-as-usual in Denver and 1.) They still play wild, haphazard, YMCA-ball; and 2.) Denver is clearly not on Portland, Phoenix, Dallas and San Antonio’s level. But, if I’m not mistaken, Denver is 8-2 with Billups in the lineup and Melo constantly marvels at the variety of “ways” Denver can win games now that they play and function like a respectable squad.  Get at me in early-April when every squad is afraid to play this bunch in the first round.

Justin Walsh wrote: if the thunder REALLY get 70 losses+…that would be devastating to a good OKC fan base…and a small victory for seattle who got screwed out of a team.

I love the spite-factor going on, here. As a teaser, I’m going to write about this soon. I grew up in Buffalo as a Bills fan and, next Sunday, my Bills are playing a regular season game in Toronto. It’s the beginning of the end for pro football in Buff. However, in other news, yes, the West Virginia Wild…I mean, the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to lose 70+ games.

Bruno wrote: “Power forwards and centers are like p0rn stars and singers: When they lose it, they lose it. That’s it. End of story.”  … yes, thats for you O’Neals on the league…

Ummm, yeah. My man Bruno put the big-man/porn-star analogy in quotes, so I googled it to make sure that it wasn’t a movie quote or some maxim spit by Confucious, Ralph Wiley or Charles Barkley. Nothing came up, so I’m going to assume that Bruno is the author, which makes me admire him a little more and respect him a little less. I also like the wording of that last sentence, because it makes Shaq (or Jermaine, don’t know which one) sound like a they’re a burden on the league.

Todd Spehr wrote: Couldn’t disagree more on Nash. Name another PG in the history of the game that had peaked after the age of 31 like Steve? His numbers last year actually *exceeded* those of his first MVP season in PHX. If anything, he may be more efficient, more effective, at this stage of his career in a slower system, especially since he peaked as a half-court passer last year.

I went out with one of my boys last Friday. At one point, we were both in the middle of one of those moments where you zone out for a few seconds and just observe things. Who knows what was passing through my mind–maybe how the one chick poppin’ to “Pop Champagne” looked like Turtle from Entourage. My man Tony broke his silence with this, though: “You know who sucks, now? Steve Nash!” You think? OK, OK, OK. Let’s be honest: Steve Nash doesn’t “suck,”…at all. But, as I mentioned in my Season Forecast, he clearly isn’t Steve Nash,anymore. Forget about his stats (considerably less points and assists in about the same minutes), I’m talking about his aesthetic game. Can’t you just see it? Can’t you tell that he’s a step slower and a notch less efficient and effective? Don’t blame this on Shaq, Steve Kerr or Terry Porter. In fact, I think Steve Kerr should be applauded for his prescience in this matter. The 2004-07 Suns philosophy under D’Antoni would falter with a 2008-09 Nash. He’s physically unable to impact that type of game as a player in his mid-30s. And wait until March, when that body really starts to break down (along with Shaq’s). (I think the Suns start–more than any other squad–has been the most misleading.) Nash will still have games–like last night’s close vic over the Thunder–where he’s clutch and impactful, here and there. I’m not saying he’s Lindsey hunter. HOF Nash, however, has faded away.

Kamari wrote: You, sir, are an idiot for saying that LeBron won’t be in top 4 for the MVP race. Kick ROCKS!!!

If the Cavs keep playing like this, then, yes, I am indeed an idiot. I won’t “kick rocks,” though. That’s just stupid.

Vincent Thomas is a columnist and feature writer for SLAM. He can be reached at vincethomas79@gmail.com.

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  • http://iwantoutofokc.com/ James the balla


  • http://iwantoutofokc.com/ James the balla

    f()ck Bron. Kobe for MVP 12-1… Dirk got it with ok numbers and almost 70 wins. If the Lakers hit 70 wins, Kobe gets it even if he only put 24 ppg in. You heard it here first!!

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Everybody around here complains that my comments are too long. I was just pulling a Joe Biden. I had a problem with your assertion that Denver’s defense had taken a quantum leap forward. I disagree. That was what I was talkign about. They will improve on defense, but I’m not buying that quantum leap thing. And Melo still hasn’t shown that he can adjust offensively to the new style.
    Also, wasn’t everybody scared to play Denver in the first round when Iverson came over that first year? You know, the year they beat the Spurs the first game of the playoffs and the whole world hopped on their nutsacks? That whole thing about people being scared of teams is old news. The league would have been scared of the Suns last year, but the Spurs took care of them in five games.
    Oh, and I like your column. You’re an idiot. Just playing.

  • http://www.ngunioamosotho.com Nguni

    keep righting Vince. Read my blog. Just kidding. don’t have one.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Vince Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Don’t Read My Blog!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Commentor TADOne is garbage!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Happy Thanksgiving….. turkey!!!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Vince cracked me up on the real though.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    An eboy sighting!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Vince, READ MY DAMN BLOG!!!! (I see you, Russ)

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    I want to make the next installment of The Commish Comments. I hope the Lakers sign Marbury at some point. Those two sentences may or may not be connected.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq al Haydar

    You don’t think Dwight Howard is an RFP? I don’t, but I just want to know where you rank him, since you didn’t mention him on either list.

  • Jackie Moon

    Derrick Rose is scary good. He’s as fast as a young Iverson, but taller and stronger. His highlights make everyone else look like they’re stuck in doo doo.

  • Eazy-Yi

    When will these current rookie contracts expire?

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    This is awesome. Jukai has pretty much disappeared from this site and I think he maybe in hiding just to keep me from rubbing Rose’s success in his face.

  • http://nothinpersonal8.blogspot.com/ nothin personal

    That bruno comment was a Sports guy Quote. Just saying. I thing it was in his recent Oden column, or maybe his mailbag.

  • http://nothinpersonal8.blogspot.com/ nothin personal

    sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/081028 here is the page

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Quoting Simmons…smh

  • j4zzm4n

    rose is most definitely fantastic but i think the bulls need a decent centre as noah is just lackadaisical and doesn’t cut it.plus b-easy is lacking defensively and currently doesn’t belong in the same bracket as rose

  • http://violetsprite.tumblr.com Ulee

    Kicking rocks can be fun. It’s kicking boulders that usually hurts …

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    The Bulls need to replace the majority of their current roster. If only Paxson had the guts to make trades when he had the chances.

  • Kamari

    Thx 4 using my comment as apart of your column. And sorry about my calling you an idiot and telling you to kick rocks. I just can’t have you dissing my favorite player like that.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    Great job Vince, like that my spite comment made the cut. I also like that the Steve Nash is no longer Steve Nash talk has begun on time- Jason Kidd needed that talk in the media two years ago but for some reason the talk didn’t happen until the Mavs trade.

  • WhaHuh

    Tony Parker is far more likely to win the MVP than McGrady

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Eboy sniffed too much toxic fumes on his visit to New Jersey. Anyway, i’m not sure what Vince was trying to prove with this column, but it was mildly entertaining. Maybe that was the point?

  • http://heavyasheaven.blogspot.com Kid Presto aka Tha Fly Spitta

    smart, vincent. I like this kind of post very unique. look for the commentor formely known as DP if you want some real dope quotes though.

  • http://www.hoopmixtape.com Simon S.Y Lawy

    Kobe for MVP…,LeBoom sux…

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    chintao is an idiot, for various reasons. This should make it to The Commish Comments. Thanks.

  • Bruno

    vince, it was on quotes cause i really got from somebody else. i can’t write such a poetic line in english, but that was so long ago… before season tipoff, that i don’t remember where i read that.

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    B Long: I posted on this website at work. Work is over for Thanksgiving break. Hense, not much posting. Expect me to pick up my posting after Thanksgiving week and then you can rub Roses’ success in my face as much as you want (which has shocked me as much as any doubter).

  • http://fjsdklf.com Jukai

    Also, I’m a HUGE Steve Nash fan, really really big Steve Nash fan. I love him like a brother. So, there is no bias when I say that I agree with Vince. Steve Nash has FINALLY DROPPED WITH AGE. He’s more than a step slower. He’s making plays far more often at the top of the key rather than in the paint (which is because his speed and agility aren’t there).
    And while I am watched him WRECK OKC by himself and am watching him play fantastically against Minnesota, I doubt this is where Nash ‘picks up’ where he left off.
    Dude still is a top ten point guard though. Just not top three.

  • Bruno

    i agree on the nash part again. steve is still a good player, of course, but age comes to everybody and he just can’t be the one he was, and there’s nothing bad about it.
    unfortunatly, for him, he couldn’t be that player from the past 4 years before… otherwise, he would be what, top5 history??
    ok, top 5 history, together with the name steve nash, even just visually, is already a shock, but you get the idea…
    steve can still run a competitive team, though.
    and well, before the season i thought the bulls had made a terrible mistake passing on Beasley, but just look at Derrick Rose’s night after night shows.
    kid has been AMAZING. even playing with such BAD company.
    you should definitly post a pic of charlie v and your brother-in-law side by side.

  • Bruno

    i have to admit here, i HATE lebron’s game and specially, the media hype.
    i hate his shooting movement as bad i hate marion’s, but, the way the cavs are going… and with kobe taking the regular season off, lebron has a chance for mvp.
    Wade, as i predicted during the olympics right here, is havinga better season, main reason, cause he is a better player, but thats another discussion, problem is, the heat sucks too much and i don’t think he has a shot at mvp, but i wanna make sure i say it here. right now:
    wade, top 5 points, assists, steals and top 10, blocks (!!!!).
    smallest player on the top 10 block list is the 6’9 ben wallace.
    just saying…

  • starbury&stevey

    A Shot out to Shaq,Jermaine,Eddy Curry,Big-Ben,Dampier….and Stacey Valentine!!!

  • adams

    Still don’t see how Wade is up there in RFP category, he needs at least two All-Stars or one Shaq to win another round in the playoffs ever again.

  • http://n/a 007

    @adam:hell no..WADE is an RFP. when 2 RFP(shaq) meets..a chip occurs just like kobe. where were you during the 2006 finals game 3(3rdQ) and above?
    and to think the line up of that heat paled a bit in comparison to the 3 peat lakers and even d spurs..they had a peak Horry compared to walker each time plus lake had a less aged payton.
    And pls. if u really breath b-ball u should just know who’s playing RFP game and who’s not every time possible.

  • Bruno

    agree with double O…
    that heat squad qas a complete garbage. they took TOINE to a title… that should deserve instantanious HOF and a statue @ the main entrance.
    Wade is a RFP for sure. hope he keeps the rythm, cause against the rockets i already suspected a rough night, but portland?
    keep healthy D!

  • Bruno

    b2b tomorrow and friday, that will get you to my stock challenge lineup, so u better be healty.

  • Bruno

    actually, friday/saturday

  • adams

    Oh, I was at home watching those Finals and wondering how the refs could so blatantly blow call after call. I’m just saying that Wade alone won’t win you a playoff series any more, which is something I wouldn’t say about LeBron, Duncan, Kobe and Paul. And shouldn’t a RFP not be blown out by Portland by 38 points?

  • adams

    Also, don’t you think the Heat would have the same type of “success” now, if you replaced Wade with one of the FOF type players, except broken T-Mac? But I do admit that I’ve become a Wadehater after the humble and nice Wade (who I really liked) turned into such an arrogant douchebag after those infamous Finals.

  • Zero

    LOL@ allenp for writing a long comment to say he writes them for a reason. no better way to do that without an incredibly boring long comment ay?
    and another thing: as a nugs fan, chauncey billups, i love you, you saved our sorry ass. i love ai, in philly, nowhere else.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Thanks Zero.
    I love you too.

  • chintao

    Regarding Teddy’s post, if people are judging me by my Charlie V comment, I guess I would look pretty much like an idiot. Villanueva’s minutes are down this year and the rest of his stats are merely holding steady around his career averages. Thanks for putting me out there like that, Vincent. We’re still cool, though. Go Bills!

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