The NBA Rookie Game bench. Photo from pspspiele.biz/
Man, that’s rough news about Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker tearing his ACL. I can’t remember a more injury laden rookie class in NBA history. And that’s including when everybody wore cardboard Chuck Taylor’s and smoked cigarettes during games. Seven out of the top eleven picks are out with injuries right now, many for the entire season. What’s going on, Generation Y? If Steve Nash and Tim Duncan can play through dialysis then you should make it when you’re still not old enough to rent a car.
It’s really a short, small race for Rookie of the Year right now. Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins, who I believed would eventually get ROY, is now the clear favorite. He’s followed closely behind by KJ McDaniels. However, KJ McDaniels plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. Technically someone has to score and do things for them. He’s like a kangaroo boxer. Technically he’s doing what he’s supposed to do but only because someone shoved him out there.
Who else is realistically in the running? Here’s my top ten:
1) Andrew Wiggins – I might be a homer, but he’s a future star for sure. Right now he’s like the J-Lo of basketball. Sorta good at everything but not great at any one thing. In 3-5 years he’ll be the Beyoncé of basketball. Which I think means he’ll be a Brooklyn Net?
2) KJ McDaniels – He plays for the Sixers. Call me when you’re a real boy on a real team, Pinocchio.
3) Elfrid Payton – I would pay anything to have my name be “Elf”. Elf Brody. I’m 6’5″ so nobody could make “Santa’s Little Helper” jokes. Also, nobody seems to acknowledge that Elfrid’s hair looks just like MC Hammer’s sidekick’s stupid diamond-shaped head.
Elfrid Payton (far left, bottom) getting ready for Orlando’s next game.
4) Jahill Okafor – He’s still in college but screw it, we got nothing. Put him in already.
5) Nerlens Noel – He plays for the Sixers. Call me when you’re a real boy on a real team, Pinocchio.
6) Henry Rowengartner from the movie “Rookie Of The Year” – “Did he just say ‘Funky butt lovin’?” Hey, at least when this kid gets hurt he gets better!
7) Larry Bird – I think it’s fair. Yeah, he already won ROY in 1980, but he’s older than Strom Thurmond and if he could actually average more than 13 points a game I think he should get it.
8) Michael Carter-WIlliams – While we’re in the business of letting players re-play their ROY campaign, let’s make MCW do his over again. He plays for the Sixers and well…you know.
9) Shabazz Napier – It’s a fun name to say. Try it. SHABAZZ! NAPIER! It sounds like fireworks if you yell it loud and fast enough. That’s good enough for #9 for me.
10) Me – I think I can do it. I’m 36, wildly out of shape and don’t currently have insurance but I really think I can make a run for at least #4. After all, I don’t play for the Sixers, I haven’t been injured in 20 years (possibly due to lack of physical movement) and I know everything about basketball.
Next up the Wolves play the Celtics in Boston on Friday. I can’t wait to see Larry Bird’s first geriatric rookie game. Hope he’s been to the chiropractor. Go Wolves!