Through Another Fire

For America’s three major spectator sports (yes, hockey, three), everyday NBA fans have to look more and more to the blogs and bloggers for their NBA news than they do to the mainsteam sources, mostly because the NBA offseason futily struggles as the Jan to the MLB pennat race and NFL season Marsha.  This can be a good and bad thing.  On one hand, NBA fans can sate their fixes, on the other, unchecked blogging opinion often lacks veracity (or at least research).  It’s for this reason that I feel the need to defend one Sebastian Telfair, someone who, because ESPN decided to follow him around for a year, probably had/has inflated expectations due to now-unwarranted media attention.

Twice in the past month, I checked SG’s daily Timberwolves news posts for the latest on our squad.  Twice in the last month, I have glanced at an excerpt of an article accusing Bassy of being 1) “One of the worst players in the league…” and 2) Another post summarizing Bassy Telfair as the worst starting PG in the league last season.

My gut reaction to these statements, without research, is that (a) they were wrong, and (b) they were made by someone that probably didn’t watch a single Timberwolves game last year.  As I researched it further, it turns out they were both by Tom Ziller at AOL Fanhouse, and the second post was a defense/correction of his first post in which he admits was done without research.  I don’t know much about Tom Ziller, but I’m sure he’s a fine blogger if he was picked up by AOL.  As I looked at his archive, I noticed he covers the entire league…certainly a tall task for anyone, even a mainstream writer with a research staff.  And, therein lies the problem, categorically making opinions about players you don’t see and don’t research until it’s time to make a retraction and restatement.

Bassy is not Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or anyone of that caliber, and he probably (as in 99%) never will be.  Conversely, he’ll never get a 5 year, $70 million contract (especially with Isaiah out of control) to mail it in.  Speculation after the KG trade is that the guy was simply a filler in the trade, someone Boston wanted to unload.  After Foye’s injury, Bassy got a shot, and I thought he looked awful…at first.  But then he did something he’s supposed to do: Bassy got better.  Bassy’s 5.9 assists per game would normally be good enough to rank him 14th last year…right above Anthony Carter, who the majority of Wolves fans will agree with me in saying that I would much rather have Bassy as a starting PG than Carter.  However, Bassy didn’t play in enough games to make that list (played in 60, started 51), so when Mr. Ziller looked at his NBA assists leaders when it was time to bash Bassy, I’m sure that’s something he didn’t consider.  Bassy also boasted a 3 to 1 assist-to-turnover ratio, a ratio that makes you a serviceable point guard in this league.

On another note, what Mr. Ziller definitely didn’t see that many watching Wolves fans know: No one on this team last year could reliably hit an open jump shot.  Bassy was able to get the ball to our shooters in open spots, but they missed the shots.  Two huge knocks on Bassy’s game: he can’t shoot, and he doesn’t use his speed and penetration to get to the line.  However, I expect him to get better.  He’s in his fifth season as a non-collegiate pro, meaning he would be a rookie assuming a complete college career.  Bassy only cost the Wolves about $2 million last season, and he’s getting a modest raise (by NBA standards) for the next two.

I happen to be one of those guys that doesn’t mind being criticized or knocked…as long as the knocks are legit.  So, from what I’ve seen with my own eyes:

Bassy, work on that jumper.

EDIT – As the Old Logo (now really old logo/original Wolves logo) it is my wont to bring you old news.  Canis Hoopis had Bassy’s back two days ago, too.  Check it out if you haven’t already.

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