Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Off the Front Rim

May 27, 2003 Columns No Comments


Off the Front Rim

by Dean Austin

find myself fascinated by the story of Jayson Blair, the disgraced former New York Times scribe who resigned after allegedly filing false reports. Tom Goldstein in an article well worth reading in the San Francisco Chronicle opinioned, “No breach of faith in modern journalism measures up in size, scope and audacity to the misdeeds committed by Jayson Blair of the New York Times.”

Why are people surprised by this? We have evolved over the past 40 years into a society that thrives on instant gratification; a society that looks for the short cut in everything we do, where lay away is replaced by credit cards and where I want my ten minute brownies in five damn it! It used to be that an individual invested significant time in their career, hard work that brought reward after an appropriate time.

Why should journalism be exempt from this malaise? Now of course I always cite my sauces. A1 is kind of good, the veritable HP sauce is a classic but for just the right taste on those greens, try Heinz Salad Cream. And yet, all silliness aside, would you know if I didn’t? Take for example the case of San Jose State freshman Antonio Lawrence who declared for the NBA draft. Lawrence is a talent, and even as a freshman has enough of the dreaded “upside” to potentially intrigue someone at the end of the 2nd round. The young man has generally been dissed for declaring and ESPN even went so far as to label it the worst early entry decision. All true, but apparently the story behind this decision is rather sad. Lawrence’s Grandmother is said to have cancer and the freshman is going pro in the hope of raising some money. How do I know this, intrepid reporting, unique sources? The answer is in fact a quick couple of paragraphs, without even a reporter byline, at the end of an article in the Alameda Times Star talking about a Pacific 10 conference expansion.

But would you have known if I had started this column announcing my “exclusive?” And would I have been caught? The answer I’m afraid is probably no to both.

This need for instant gratification was never more evident this past week. King James signs a $90 million shoe contract, prevents the Gunds from selling their franchise and energizes an entire city whose current claim to fame is Drew Carrey. Hey whatta you know, Carey was right, Cleveland Rocks! Of course his LeBron-ness is a prodigious talent, can fly through the air with the greatest of ease and has a court awareness that leaves the scouts drooling. There does however remain more than a sneaking suspicion that he can use a little work on his game, especially his outside shot. The NBA is not the place to be learning such a skill, even Kobe and KG took time to adjust and could have used the time in college.

You can’t blame Carmelo Anthony for going pro after winning the National Championship. Well maybe you can’t but I can. It’s a dumb move. Sure he’ll go to Denver and play well with the Nuggets for a couple of years, see out his rookie contract and sign with the Knicks. But even given his supreme talent this is a young man that could have benefited from three more years of college. He’ll make his millions now and in the future but those missed years of fundamentals will prevent him from being a Superstar. Maybe he doesn’t care, but he’ll never be the player he could have been.

It seems a lifetime ago that Michael Jordan stayed three years at North Carolina and then you realize that it is a lifetime ago. LeBron was born after Jordan left North Carolina. There will never be “another Michael Jordan” until one of the great high schoolers bucks the trend and goes to college for more than a cup of tea. Jordan’s disdain for his teammates lack of work ethic was self-evident all year in Washington. Most individuals learn to knuckle down at the end of high school and during college. You learn what is required to be successful in the workplace. Remove that urgency and you end up with the self-centered lackadaisical pro basketball players we have today. The NBA is worse for it and so is the college game.

     

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.