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Archive for March, 2010

Steroids + Sports = Sense

Posted by hilariousandhandsomesportsguys on March 25, 2010

by: Blockparty

Let us begin this journey with a story that may or may not be entirely fabricated:

Boogie aka “Boo” McSmigglesmuffin dominates the NFL today. Boo has continued the same routine since he entered the league several years ago. Boo wakes up to the piercing siren of his alarm clock and stumbles into his bathroom to take his morning pills. He tosses back a couple aspirin to help stop his throbbing headache from the alarm clock, swallows a Ritalin to off-set his attention deficit disorder, downs several anti-inflammatory pills to ease the pain of last week’s game and chews his gummy Flintstone’s vitamin. Boo’s diet is carefully planned by his personal dietician/chef that has implemented all of the latest advancements in nutrition to optimize his performance. Boo heads to practice, where he takes advantage of the team masseuse and the state-of-the-art oxygenation chamber to quicken his recovery time. The team trainer injects Boo’s knee and shoulder with cortisone to ease the pain he experiences from his past surgeries, which fully corrected devastating injuries. At practice, he has been given the best equipment that money can buy and he takes full advantage of it. After practice, Boo heads to the weight room where a trainer has developed the most cutting-edge training regimen available. Then, to wind down his day, Boo hits the showers with his protein shake in hand, where his buddy will inject him with growth hormone and anabolic steroids.

QUESTION:

When did Boogie McSmigglesmuffin engage in improper performance enhancement?

a.  Alarm Clock

b.  Aspirin/Anti-Inflammatory

c. Ritalin

d. Flintstone’s Vitamin

e. Dietician

f. Masseuse/Oxygen Chamber

Why are there so many answer choices?

g. Modern Equipment

h. Cortisone

i. Surgery

j. Weight Lifting

k. Protein

l. HgH/Steroids

m. I have no freaking clue!

The Performance-enhancing drug (PED) debate in sports isn’t even a debate really. Overwhelmingly, people agree that PEDs should not be used in sports. PEDs make for a good news story though. They have ruined the careers of athletes, made them despised by the masses, and even wiped their names from the record books. PEDs are bad and everyone agrees – except me. In typical fashion, I’d like to know why. Why are PEDs, like HgH, pro-hormones, and steroids, the ugly, step-kid in sports. It’s obvious that lots of other things can, and do, enhance the performance of athletes. Modern advances in surgery, medicines, equipment, diet, and exercise all have the potential to enhance an athlete’s performance. So, why did these few drugs get singled out? Let’s look at the most common arguments against PEDs to see if they are really evil.

Every mother's dream.

It’s All About The Kids:

Really? Does this even deserve a response? Yes, kids may see athletes using steroids and want to try them. Yes, kids, for some mysterious reason, make athletes their role-models. But just like Sir Charles told us – athletes aren’t role-models, and if they are your child’s role-model, then you got bigger problems then steroids to worry about with that kid. Athletes have far worse habits that they are teaching kids than getting big muscles. Tiger has taught kids how to pick-up skanks. Jordan and A-Rod gave us all an in-depth lesson on infidelity. MJ, Barkley and AI teach advanced courses in gambling addiction. Ben Roethlisberger teaches Trolling Bars 101, and we could actually put together a full-sized, course catalogue of hilarious, yet disturbing courses that athletes teach kids (Don’t steal this idea, it’s mine). Get ready to ban strip clubs, alcohol, and slutty girls from sports if it’s really all about the kids.       

Just Say No to Drugs

PEDs Are Illegal Dummy:

The problem with this argument is that most PEDs weren’t illegal until recently. In the early 2000s many of the athletes taking pro-hormones and HgH could have very well been taking them legally. Moreover, many PEDs can easily and legally be obtained by a doctor’s prescription. Even though they were legal, athletes that used them are being crucified by everyone. So this can’t be the real reason PEDs have become the bad guy.

Now here is a guy that could use some steroids.

My Mom Said PEDs Will KILL YOU:

Uhhhhh – No. Of course, if you hook yourself up to an I.V. of steroids like a WWE wrestler then yes you will probably kill yourself, but if you are binge-drinking cough syrup you will probably also kill yourself. So, the overdose argument doesn’t fly. Stick an absurd amount of anything in your body and bad stuff will happen.

The reality of the situation is that there are no medical studies that prove steroids cause long-term harm to users. None. Zero. Not one. PEDs have been around for decades and demonized the entire time, yet none of the tests have ever shown steroids to explode hearts, cause cancer, spark spontaneous combustion, or any of the other rumors that your grandmother has told you.

Now side-effects, yes, there are definitely short term side-effects, but every drug has an immediate risk with their use. Let’s look at those side-effects:

 Depression, mood swings, heart palpitations, loose bowel syndrome, loss of libido, blood clotting, cataracts, Hypertension and Osteoporosis

Ok! I admit "Moobies" are a terrible side-effect.

Oh wait, that was birth control pills. Sorry about that. Here they are:

Ulcers, micro-bleeding, stroke, vomiting, nausea, asthma

No, no, my mistake that was Aspirin. Here they are for real:

Acne, mood swings, liver problems, gynocamastia aka man boobs, virilization, stunted growth, temporary sterility

Clearly, every drug has side-effects. Just like any other drug, these side-effects can be minimized by proper administration by a doctor. The user accepts the risks because the benefits of using the drug outweigh the potential problems. If someone wants to be stronger, faster and recover from injury quicker, then PEDs offer incredible benefits. Well then, if PEDs don’t kill you, unless you OD on them, and PEDs don’t cause long term damage when properly taken, then why are we singling them out in sports? It shouldn’t be health concerns.  

It Makes Your Muscles Big – Artificially:

What kid wouldn't want to look like this?

Lots of things make your muscles big. Protein Powder makes your muscles big. Eating more can make your muscles big. Lifting weights make your muscles big. Exercise makes your muscles big. Yeah, PEDs help immensely, but you could drink steroids out of a gallon jug and nothing would happen without hard work. The point is that there is a whole host of supplements, exercise techniques, and dietary regimens that also help increase athletic potential artificially, and they are not banned. So it can’t be our answer.

Taking it one step further, doctors insert and reconstruct body parts with artificial substances all the time. If artificial substances being administered into the body is the reason that PEDs are bad, then surgery will have to end in sports. Also, consider all of the pain killers that players are injected with just to step onto the field. Cortisone is an actual steroid, and it is the only reason many players can tie their shoes. Caffeine artificially stimulates the body. No more coffee for athletes? Does the guy with ADD not get to use his Ritalin because it helps him focus more than others? If a guy has Lasik eye surgery to get perfect vision, should we start a riot because he did it artificially? I don’t think that the “artificial” argument can be the reason PEDs are bad.    

PEDs Just Aren’t Fair:

This seems to be the biggie. “It’s cheating.” Everyone loves to preach about fairness anytime the PED discussion pops up. It usually comes in two parts. First, PEDs are unfair to all the legends of the game because the records become meaningless, and second, PEDs are unfair to current players because they will have to use them to stay competitive. Let’s look at them one at a time.

You call steroid users cheaters?!? These guys used horses.

Fairness to the record books is a complete joke. The record books were soiled years ago, and it is truly impossible to legitimately compare modern records with the past. Rules have drastically changed. The fields and courts have changed. Modern equipment gives today’s athlete more of an advantage than any drug could ever dream of delivering. Claiming that Barry Bonds ruined Hank Aaron’s homerun record because of steroid use *cough* – excuse me – alleged steroid use may be overlooking several other contributing factors. I’m sure smaller fields, watered-down pitching staffs, lower mounds, superior bats, modern balls, smaller strike zones, and technologically advanced scouting reports had nothing to do with more homeruns. Naaahhh, it was all his big biceps.

Babe Ruth thought alcohol, hotdogs and sex was the pinnacle of athletic training. Today, a team of dieticians and trainers make sure athletes’ bodies can perform at optimal levels. Just a few decades back, a blown knee or torn shoulder signaled the end of a career. However, the modern athlete is practically a cyborg by the end of their career. They have surgeries that not only save their careers from ending, but extend them and allow them to perform far beyond what the body could natural do on its own. If anyone ever tries to make the “unfair to the records” argument, please laugh in their face.

"This is all-natural." We believe you John.

"This is all-natural." We believe you John.

That leaves fairness to current players as the only possible reason that PEDs have become the super-villain in sports today. Is it really unfair to athletes’ peers though? Athletes like John Kruk think it is completely unfair that some athletes took advantage of PEDs benefits, while guys like him were afraid of the side-effects. Really? You don’t think putting down the beer and mixing in a salad would have helped you out any? Maybe a trip to the weight room and a few minutes on the treadmill would have helped a little too, right? But while some athletes were taking advantage of those performance enhancers, you were also afraid of their side-effects – namely, sweat, discipline, hard-work, soreness.

PEDs aren’t magic. The athletes taking PEDs have to bust their tails in the gym to see results. They just offer a very useful benefit to athletes at the cost of some side-effects, but this is the case with anything. Is it unfair if one guy practices longer than another or spends more time watching game film? Guys going home early could argue they are being cheated. They want to spend more time with their families and their home life will be ruined if they work as much as someone else. Well, that is a benefit-risk situation that you have to weigh. It’s not cheating though. Some guys may live in the weight room and consume tubs of protein powder. It’s not cheating just because you don’t like getting sore or are afraid of injuring yourself in the squat rack. You decided that the positives of difficult training didn’t outweigh the negatives that come with it. Having a surgery to continue playing a sport involves monumental risks, but this is not cheating. In the same way, I struggle to see how the risks involved with PED use are so dangerous that it scares people into being lesser athletes.         

So when did Boogie McSmigglesmuffin cross the line into improper performance enhancement? Are there stronger arguments against PEDs that I missed?

Posted in Steroids | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Characters We Hate: Pickup Game Edition

Posted by hilariousandhandsomesportsguys on March 12, 2010

by: Blockparty

                         It doesn’t take much to ruin a pickup game. It only takes one clown to slip into your gym or onto your court to transform a glorious game of basketball into a never-ending nightmare. If one of these characters makes his way onto your team, you might as well let the air out of those Pumps and head home because it’s going to be a long day.

"All right guys, huddle up."

The General

                If someone starts drawing up plays before the game even begins, just fake an injury and let someone else deal with this train wreck. Tight hamstring, “dead arm”, turf toe, blurry vision, irritable bowel syndrome – anything will do, just get the heck out of there. The General won’t stop with just drawing up plays. Oh no, The General will control the pace of the game. He will come down the court feverishly waving hand signals or shouting out numbers. God forbid you forget to set down screens or make five passes before taking an open shot, The General will call a timeout and make sure you don’t screw things up again. It doesn’t matter that none of you have ever played together before this moment. If you fail to rotate on command or remember your position in his version of the triangle offense, get ready for a lesson on his marker board during the next water break.   

 

Loose balls is Rudy's favorite stat.

Rudy

    Rudy is either A) the guy with way more testosterone than a human body can safely contain or B) the player who has no clue what he is doing but plays every minute like its game seven of the NBA Championship. Call an ambulance the moment you identify a Rudy because if he doesn’t pass out from dehydration or floor-burn induced blood loss, he will injure someone else. Rudy will be taking charges and undercutting guys from the moment the ball gets checked in. You think you have a wide-open layup on a fast break – think again. Rudy will chase you down and attempt a block shot that looks more like a monkey falling out of a tree. Rudy has mastered the art of the full-speed moving screen. You better pray to god someone on your team is calling out screens because he is going to blindside you all day long. If Rudy decides to guard you, just find yourself a spot far away from the action. Rudy is going to be on you like a wet t-shirt on a fat kid at the pool if you ever even look at the ball, and he will block you out into the bleachers if you try to pull a rebound. Just because you’re Rudy’s teammate doesn’t mean you are safe either. He will be battling you for every rebound and no good rebound is complete without his razor sharp elbows clearing out the area. Possibly worst of all, if Rudy is your teammate, get ready for an uncomfortable number of high fives, butt slaps and tribal yells. Rudy loves his teammates. Thank god there is no shower time after pickup games.

 

"We got Skins!"

Skins Guy

                “We got skins!” This is the go-to line for Skins Guy. Teams will hardly even be split up before Skins Guy can belch out the dreaded phrase – “We got skins!” Before the words are even out of his mouth, Skins Guy will have his shirt off and tossed to the side. He doesn’t care that he has been teamed with a wool-covered Sasquatch, a morbidly obese guy, a pasty white 130 pounder and the guy with three nipples. Oh no, Skins Guy has stripped off that shirt and is ready to go. Does it matter that you have matching shirts, colored jerseys, or have known each other from birth? Of course not. Skins Guy will not let fabric touch that body. Once he has proclaimed, “we got skins!” he will be shirtless the rest of the day.    

 
 

Multiple knee pads and a matching outfit from Wal-Mart can only mean disaster.

Old School

                Much like Rudy, Old School requires an immediate 911 call. You can spot Old School from a mile away. If the John Stockton short-shorts and the tucked-in, spaghetti strap workout shirt wasn’t an instant giveaway, Old School will always have a duffle bag full of “gear”. One after another, Old School will begin removing ankle braces, knee braces, elbow pads, medical tape, and goggles. Old School claims his “experience” makes him an asset, but what he really means is that he has no problem punching people in the package on screens or standing on their feet when they go for rebounds. Old School only makes it up and down the court twice before just standing on the offensive side of the court and calling for hail-mary passes all game. If he doesn’t blow his back out attempting a left-handed layup, he will be sure to blows yours out with a perfectly timed, two-hand shove to the back while you are getting a rebound.      

 

Get ready to front this guy the entire game. If he posts you up, its all over.

Sasquatch

                Thanks to Skins Guy, Sasquatch will always have his shirt off. Sasquatch not only grows a thick forest of bear fur all over his body, but he has already soaked his coat of hair with sweat before the first jumper is heaved up towards the goal. Without fail, Sasquatch makes his living in the paint – posting up anyone foolish enough to let their fingers slide through his foul-smelling fur and boxing out anyone that dares attempt a rebound. Sasquatch’s best offensive weapon is his unstoppable spin move, which is only unstoppable since he is a life-sized slip-n-slide. Just pack a bottle of Germ-X, spray deodorant and sheep sheers to be ready for this character.   

 

"I was open! I had to take the shot."

Rainman

                If Rainman touches the ball, you might as well start boxing people out – he is taking the shot. So what if Rainman missed his last 15 shots – he is wearing the new Jordan’s AND a shooting sleeve. No one even bothers to guard Rainman. Of course, he thinks that’s because he is losing his man with his sick, Richard Hamilton, off the ball movement; so he is oblivious that he is always open because he sucks. To make matters worse, Rainman will always have a mouth. If he isn’t calling for the ball or crying that he isn’t get enough touches, Rainman is dropping obnoxious one-liners after every brick he tosses up. “Got it!” “Moneyball!” “Gotccha!” “Hibachi!”  God forbid he ever actually makes a shot. But inevitably, he tosses up some hideous shot from 10 foot behind the three point line that banks in, and he informs you that “I’m a shooter. I just had to shoot my way out of the slump.”

 

"Seriously guys! You only have five seconds to get the ball inbounds."

The Rulebook

                Have you ever been in a pickup game only to hear “Three-second violation!” excitedly yelled? If so, you have met The Rulebook. Only The Rulebook counts out how long your big man has been in the lane or watches to see if both feet simultaneously hit the ground on that jump stop. And don’t even try to wear a wrong colored shirt. The Rulebook will inform you that not wearing a consistent color scheme is a technical foul. While everyone else is warming up before the game, The Rulebook will be checking the air pressure in the ball. Just buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life if The Rulebook shows up for a pickup game because every over-the-back, charge, carry, travel, illegal defense and hypothetical shot clock violation is going to be called, no matter what team committed the infraction. However, The Rulebook never forgets what the score is or who has the possession arrow. So he isn’t entirely worthless.

 
 

"I'll just take my ball and go home if you guys are going to keep fouling me."

Big Baby

                “You got me.” “I’ll take it up top.” “And-1.” “I got my foul.” Big Baby has a never-ending arsenal of ways to call fouls. In fact, Big Baby has never missed a shot or committed a turnover that wasn’t caused by a foul. Block his shot – foul. Block him out – foul. Pick his pocket – foul. That backboard shattering layup he just threw up – foul. Cross him over – travel. There is no winning with this guy. If Big Baby shows up to your game get ready to either fight or take your ball and go home, because he makes the game unplayable.   

 

 

"That was clean! I was blocking out. You were probably over the back a little too, but some of us don't cry."

"What?!? I got all ball."

Sir Hacks-a-Lot

                Big Baby’s archenemy is Sir Hacks-a-Lot. Sir Hacks-a-Lot prides himself in tough defense, which translates to beating the hell out of whoever has the ball in their hands. Sir Hacks thinks that blasting through you to dislodge the ball is “quick hands” and that putting you in an arm bar is “picking your pocket.” Once you have determined that Sir Hacks is guarding you, immediately ask your team to not pass you the ball. Sir Hacks will contest every jump shot like he is stage diving at a rock concert, and flies in for rebounds like a fat kid trying to get a piggyback ride. Worst of all, just get ready to be mocked if you ever call a foul on one of his scissor kick, flying elbow, blocked shot attempts. You are just “soft.”

 
 
 

Warning: Cardio King will cause blurry vision.

Cardio King

                The Cardio King is a curse whether he is on your team or the other. If he is on your team, Cardio King turns every possession into a fast break. If he gets the rebound, he will be flying down the sidelines all alone pushing the pace. If he doesn’t get the rebound, he will be the first one down the court and instantly start zig-zagging all over the place, curling off of non-existent screens and creating chaos as he is apparently being chased by invisible, rabid dogs. However, Cardio King on defense is more of a nightmare. He has mastered the one-man full court press – somehow guarding every person that was foolish enough to try and help bring the ball up the court. If you are lucky enough to break his press, Cardio King will lock-down on his man and simultaneous execute a suffocating trap on everyone else’s man that touches the ball. When the game finally ends and everyone heads for their respirators, Cardio King, without fail, chimes in, “Lets run it again.”   

 

"My boys are going to think this pretzel-looking, self-inflicted armbar, crossover is siiiiiick!"

And-1

                Few players can make you want to erupt into a profanity-laced tirade faster than And-1. And-1 has never actually played basketball because he thinks the Harlem Globetrotter’s moves are legit. After endless hours of practice, aka watching Youtube videos of streetball games, And-1 shows up ready to impress. Somehow, And-1 always gets the ball in his hands, and the only way you’re getting it back is after he knees the ball out of bounds or you just go steal it from him. He carries the ball so bad Allen Iverson would be upset and he thinks a running start is a “quick first step.” Somehow And-1 makes things even worse by constantly yelling “clear out” and “give me room.”  And don’t even try to question the legality of And-1’s “sweet handle.” The only way to neutralize And-1 and his spin move-between the legs-over the shoulder-crossover is to freeze him out of the game. It’s tough love.

 
 

Remember, you can't spell douchebags without d-u-o. Don't let them on your team.

Dynamic Duo

                Getting a Dynamic Duo on your team is the worst thing that can happen to you. In fact, you might as well just sit out and call “next” rather than play on the Dynamic Duo’s team. At best, the Dynamic Duo is two siblings or teammates that have just played together their entire lives and have magical, basketball, twin powers. At worst, you’re stuck with two douchbags that only pass the ball to each other and freeze out everyone else on the team. One way or another, you aren’t touching the ball with a dynamic duo on your team. Whether they are throwing no-look, alley-oop hammer dunks or executing the pick and roll like Stockton to Malone, or they are just bastards passing the ball back and forth to each other, launching up ugly shots, you will be stuck simply playing defense and rebounding for these two until the game ends.   

 

I think the worst past is that Glassman has to explain all these injuries to people. "Really guys, I tripped and sprained my neck on some guy's crotch."

Glassman

                I actually feel sorry for the Glassman. Glassman finds new ways to injure himself every time he steps on the court. He will get his fingers stepped on while wiping sweat off the floor, or get his nose broken by a wild, cross-court pass while he drinks water on the sidelines. Someone will get pissed and soccer-kick the ball, which Glassman’s nuts will promptly catch. The guy defending him will jab him in the eye or his ankle will pop like a gunshot while he grabs a rebound. It’s just sad that Glassman can’t even play a game of NBA Jam without literally catching himself on fire.

 

Yes. You want to punch this guy in the face before he even starts running his mouth.

I have no idea who this is, but he is about to ruin someone's game.

The Mouth

                The Mouth isn’t even on a team. He isn’t playing. He hasn’t ever played. In fact, no one really knows where this guy comes from, but he always shows up. There he is sitting on the sidelines in his Ben Affleck “I’m a douchebag” track suit/fruit-colored, leopard print, velour sweatsuit, letting you know how bad you suck. When someone gets blocked, The Mouth erupts like the fat guy in an And-1 video. Miss a shot, and The Mouth won’t let you forget it. During timeouts, he gets in “his boys” huddle and starts tossing out worthless advice like “you can’t let him do you like that” and “just take that punk – just take him.” When the game ends, The Mouth either erupts into a ticker-tape parade if his boys win or dips into depression and starts trying to pick fights if they lose. The best thing anyone can do is pretend The Mouth isn’t there because acknowledgment of his existence is jet fuel for his motor.      

 

 

"Guys! I'm open."

Cherry Picker

                Cherry Pickers are a blessing and a curse. They don’t reveal themselves until several possessions into the game, but as soon as they get tired of running up and down the court, it’s time to pick some cherries. Cherry Pickers just decide to stop playing defense and focus their efforts on standing around all alone on the offensive end of the court and wait for the full-court pass. Somehow, Cherry Pickers have convinced themselves that this is a legitimate strategy. Ignoring the fact that his team is playing 4 on 5 while he relaxes on the other end of the court, he believes that his teammates actually wants to tenaciously defend and crash the boards so he can do layup drills at the other end of the court. Really, who likes to shoot the ball anyway? To make matters worse, Cherry Pickers love to shout “I’m open!” as if no one knew that he had unilaterally decided to play all-time offense.  

 
 

Of course I can shoot. I wear replica nba jerseys to pickup games.

Deep Threat

                “Kick it out.” You never stop hearing this when a Deep Threat gets put on your squad. If you’re lucky, Deep Threat can shoot a little, but more than likely, Deep Threat is the short, slow, white guy that just perches up behind the arc and launches the three every time he touches the ball. Deep Threat has no concept of off the ball movement, setting screens, attempting rebounds or even dribbling the basketball. You can find him cemented into the ground at his favorite three-point spot just waiting for his moment to shine. Unfortunately, no one guards deep threat and someone ends up getting double-teamed the whole game because Deep Threat is no threat to move his ass from that spot. To make things worse, Deep Threat is usually a Cherry Picker so he is always alone on the other end of the court, but he will never take the open layup. Deep Threat saw Reggie Miller shoot a three once on an open, fast break, and he will forever try to capture that magic.  

 

"Charge. Charge. No basket. I'll take it up top."

Mr. Excuse

                Every pickup game has some guy that just sucks. Inevitably, this guy is Mr. Excuse. That lazy, cross-court pass that he just gift wrapped for the other team had nothing to do with him being terrible – oh no – you didn’t come to the pass. That atrocity of an air ball that he just ripped off had nothing to do with his failure to practice a jump shot the last twenty years. In fact, that’s “his shot,” but today was chest and bicep day at the gym and he’s sore. I know that it looked like Mr. Excuse just got junk-in-the-face, dunked on, but actually it was a charge. And of course, if not for eating those three burritos before the game, he wouldn’t have been torched for thirty points by the other team’s worst player.   

 

"I got this. Just give me one more try."

Hops

                “Hey bro, toss me an alley.” No doubt, you have heard this from some clown that has just spent the last thirty minutes barely grabbing rim. Hops is in his element before the game, during water breaks and after the game. During the game, Hops disappears and there is no actual evidence that he actually participated in the game, but right on cue, when there is a pause in the game, Hops “flies” into action. He takes off in a full sprint from half-court and manages to grab enough rim to shake the goal and magically transforms himself into Dr. J. As you begin throwing him alley-oop after alley-oop, he manages to whiff on the ball, get rejected by front iron and tangle his hand all in the net before he starts making condescending comments about your passes. Eventually, Hops will get fed up with your “bad timing” and start attempting windmill dunks and off-the-backboard 360 slams on his own. Unfortunately, his “hamstring will tighten up” or his “stomach will start acting up” and prevent him from executing dunks that Vince Carter has never pulled off. Just pray there isn’t a tennis ball within a mile of the court, because one Candace Parker dunk with a tennis ball will star 

Posted in Characters We Hate | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

Mediocre Athlete of the Month: February 2010

Posted by hilariousandhandsomesportsguys on March 8, 2010

Prodiseth

Name: Andrew Bogut

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Position: Center

Reason for break out: Convinced himself that he does not have to be Darko 2.0 and is playing like it

Forecast: Eastern All-Star reserve Center for the next 2 – 4 seasons. Count on it.

 In 2005, Andrew Bogut was the consensus number 1 pick out of Utah. And while he’s been a nice player, he’s clearly not lived up to the Dream Team level talents of Chris Paul and Deron Williams (pg’s picked 3rd and 4th in the same draft). And somehow, people are ok with that. It seems like after a few seasons, if a player doesn’t improve, people label them a bust or they’re moved into a secondary role and life goes on. This could have easily happened to Bogut. He struggled with the NBA game all the way up until this season, he has a history of back and migraine issues, and he even caused some controversy during international play (Dude’s an Aussie) where he had some awkward quotes about his NBA American teammates. Even more dangerous than all of these, he could have fallen into Darko mode. Now Darko mode is a increasingly more frequent condition that befalls high lottery picks (mostly but not exclusively foreigners and white players) who don’t perform as they think they should. Whether it’s playing time, lack of talent, success of players also drafted in the lottery that year, players who fall into Darko mode can generally be spotted by players growing attention grabbing facial hair, being seen doing derogatory things at the hands of teammates and being openly bitter about it, or having placid, glazed over looks on their faces as they ride the pine.

 Bogut was a perfect candidate to fall into Darko mode. He’s white. He can grow an insatiable beard. He couldn’t really play when he first got into the league. There were superstars drafted after him. But Bogut has done something the others usually don’t. He got better. Have you seen the Bucks play lately? Bogut’s a beast! He’s a legit 7’0″, 265 lbs. He boards like someone his size should. He uses his body well in the post. He doesn’t shoot 3’s. He’s your pro-typical center. He’s amazing. And while  you may think I’m gushing, his numbers for the past month are 18 and almost 11. His numbers on the year are 16 and 10. He’s figuring it out and he knows it. So yes, people watch the Bucks because of Brandon Jennings, but make no mistake, Bogut is the franchise.

Now, humor me. Say you’re starting an NBA team today and you have to pick a center (not counting all the superstar power forwards right now). Even if you’re Andrew Bogut’s mother, you’re taking Dwight Howard with the 1st pick. But if you have the 2nd pick, who are you going with? Andrew Bynum? One of the brothers Gasol? An arguement can be made for Brook Lopez for sure, but my boy Bogut is right there with these guys. Throw in the fact he’s only 25, has a hilarious sense of humor (youtube the video of him giving himself high fives when his teammates leave him hanging), and has single handly carried the Bucks to the 5th spot (as of today) in the Eastern conference standings (ok, Jennings has helped but he’s not that great. Salmons has been an awesome pick up) and we have a Center on the come up.

All Star for the next 2 – 4 years. No doubt about it.

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