New York Norm Deserves Some Strokes

  • Norm Roberts deserves MEGA STROKES for the whole Joel Embiid phenomenon.

    Norm was down in Gainesville licking wounds from his railroading at St. John’s by the Wrong Way types shutting off his recruiting spigot. He had been given a job by Billy Donovan, who by the way was an absolute man for giving him a job at that time, because the wrong way guys appeared to be really intimidating anyone that dared stand up for anyone they had smighted.

    So: in the no good deed goes unpunished department, Norm is recruiting for Billy and he finds Joel Embiid landing in his flipping back yard. Norm no doubt went gametes to the walls for Joel.

    Then Self says, “Oh, Normie, I want you back in Larrie looking after the bigs, since Danny’s gone down to Cyberspy Tech of Tulsa, OK to try a head job.”

    So: Norm jumps into Mannings enormous flipping big man coaching shoes, shoes of a size many doubted could be filled by Self himself.

    Enter New York Norm with the brass in his kanakas that had gotten him out of the Apple as a young coach and kept him going through thick and thin.

    Norm proceeds to keep Jeff Withey getting better to the tune of becoming one of KU’s all time shot blockers and alterers.

    Norm doesn’t stop with Withey either.

    Self gives his old pal a 3 to play the four named Perry Ellis. Norm had to shake his brain case and mouth silently, “Thanks ol’pal. Just what I need. A finesse 3 playing power forward with a William Powell playing 5.”

    Self says, “Norm, that’s not the worst of it. Perry isn’t even ready. Perry doesn’t even talk yet. The guy you’re really going to have to get it done with is a transfer from the College of Lay Out and Year and Hope. And before that he was from Loyola Marymount. Names Kevin Young. Has no J to speak of. Makes mistakes like the guys we used to recruit for Tulsa. But he tries so hard, Norm. You’ve never seen a guy with the kind of energy he has.”

    So, Norm says, “What is he? 6-9 and 250?”

    And Bill says, “Well, not exactly. He’s 6-8, well, we say he is, but he’s more like 6-6, and, um, well, he weighs 180…after a big meal.”

    New York Norm doesn’t bust out crying. He doesn’t whine. He knows Self has seduced him yet again into coming to his rescue.

    So New York Norm rescues Self’s broad shoulders and slender girlie fingers during the year of Self’s middle aged crazies.

    New York Norm creates something called a Block Party. He turns Jeff Withey from skillful shot blocker polished by Danny Manning into nothing short of a shot blocking savant the covers up all manner of blow byes. And he turns Kevin Young in a whirling dervish, perpetual motion machine that perfects the art of going over the back of bigger bigs to average an outlandish number of reebs for a guy thin enough to walk between Venetian blinds without touching them.

    Thanks to New York Norm Self gets to keep his string of conference titles going.

    Self should have kissed his feet and given him a year off for that big man coaching performance,

    But he didn’t.

    Instead, Self says, “Normie, I’ve got a hole at the five the size of a fully dilated elephant in child birth. I let everything ride on Kaleb Tarshizzonme last recruiting season and true to his name he took a dump on me and signed with Stumpy Miller in Tempe. I got zip, zero, null set for an experienced post man. Landen Lucas might be ready two seasons from now. And Jamari, well, he’s a 3 with no gun playing out of position at the 5, because, well, because I’m queer for guys that can explode out of any position on defense. You dig, Normie?”

    And Norm says, “Don’t do me no favors, Oakie Boy, I shoulda stayed in Gainesville.”

    Bill gets all slit eyed and smiley and says, “New York Norm, I need you to pull a rabbit outta your Borsalino, caprice? Whatcha got for me?”

    New York Norm says, “Well, m!@#$%f!@#$%^r, how does a 7-0 soccer player from Cameroon stashed away for a rainy day under Donovan’s nose sound?”

    Self says, “Next thing I know you’re going to be saying I’m young and single and Olivia Wilde wants cell phone sex with a spokesman for the hair club for men. Get outta here, Normie. Donovan’s got Florida iced, and if he doesn’t, then Leonard over in Talahassee does.”

    New York Norm, who has been keeping Joel Embiid in his hip pocket, in case Self melts down from the middle age crazies, says, “Alright, Bill, order some pizza for the Gulf Stream and lets get down to the Orange Panhandle ASAP. I got a guy you gotta see.”

    Cut to Joel Embiid’s gym and Self’s jaw hanging down through the bleacher all the way to the floor.

    “New York Norm, you been holding’ out on me,” Self says. “New York Norm, you’ve been hiding the next Hakeem from me. New York Norm, this guy is Hakeem with Baryshnikov feet. Full press him. I don’t care if Donovan does have him locked up. Unlock him. Get me a meeting with the kids mother. Get me ten minutes with his mother and I will land him without a net. I will have him in the boat and you can coach him up yourself, see? Make it happen, New York Norm. Make it happen!!!”

    So he does.

    And you know what?

    New York Norm coaches the kid from Cameroon UP!!!

    By late December Joel Embiid is being mentioned for Numero Uno in the draft. Joel Embiid is blocking and altering like Withey with a equatorial accent. Joel Embiid is making free throws. Joel Embiid is entertaining the national media with lion and shark killing stories. Joel Embiid was last seen going for a walk on the Kaw River.

    And New York Norm ain’t letting any grass grow under his feet either.

    Next up Miles Turner!

  • What great imagination! Chuckled at the very thought of such conversations between them. Thanks.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Has this or any board ever missed your brand of verbiage??? HOLY SCREECHIN’ CATSHIT!!! Hike on up in June for an 11 month bed and board in Larrieville, Miles Turner. From Commitment Day thru perpetuity you will have access to the most gifted boardrats in all of Hoopsworld focusing on your game.

  • I’ll chalk it up to autocorrect… Myles

  • @jaybate 1.0 When I saw they brought Norm back, I said to myself, “self, we’re going to start landing top recruits again”.

  • @jaybate 1.0 This is a fiction right. I mean no malice. 🙂

    Nicely done!

  • Great stuff!

  • @Kip_McSmithers: wish I could say yes, but it was old fashioned operator error. :-}

  • @bskeet Thx

  • “Normie, I’ve got a hole at the five the size of a fully dilated elephant in child birth.”

    I don’t know where that idea came from, and quite frankly, I’m not sure I want to know… but I’m thrilled to be able to experience a visualization, free of charge!

    Ha… @jaybate , you do have some catchin’ up to do. We’ve all been deprived so long from your creative side. I’m anxious for you to update the shoe war again!

    Keep up the inspiring work, good buddy!

    I think Norm deserves more than a few strokes… he deserves a serious increase in pay. He gives us a vast improvement on recruiting and practice coaching. I hope we can keep him here. If we can somehow brainwash in the mantra, “there’s no place like home… there’s no place like home…” Eventually, he’ll realize the red slippers exist only in Lawrence.

    We do have to focus on M.Turner now. He’s a legitimate footer who will most-likely continue to grow and reach a footer+ length. Some say he has the genes of Ralph Sampson.

    Imagine if we have the opportunity to help mold the careers of both Embiid and Turner? Two bigs with the size but needing help to bridge over from HS to the NBA.

    I can’t help but feel (if this goes down like this) that we will sit atop the list of every quality HS footer for years to come!

    Euless Trinity is calling your name, Coach Roberts!

    Tarc who?

  • @KUSTEVE Yes, the correlation is striking. Now, of course, there are a lot of factors contributing to this sort of thing. Number One is Self’s sustained success. Number Two is Self. Number 3 is the recruiting team of Kurtis Kool and Joe D that were out hard in the Hampton Inns the last few lean years, when lessers might have jumped ship–never underestimate what Kurtis and Joe D did recruiting against some harsh political headwinds. Number 4, Self is no longer recruiting against the tide of Scalpingate, Lewgate, and Realignmentgate. Number 5 is Adidas has apparently made a monster commitment to Self and KU to flank the Nike hegemony. But even with all of that, Norm has brought value to the table. So: its pretty likely Norm will get another crack at a head job, despite the salt on the temples, and he sure as heck deserves it if he wants it. If one were a “RIGHT WAY” AD, you would have to look at Norm and say, “Well, being forced out for not cooperating with scum; that one strong reason to hire him. Another is his long association with the winningest coach the last decade. Another is he was good enough for Self’s only equivalent in Self’s generation of coaches–Billy Donovan–to give him a second shot, when the “wrong way” heat was out intimidate. And, finally, look at the guys KU has signed since Norm’s been on the job. Hell, yes, hire him yesterday!”

  • @drgnslayr Copy and paste, slayr. And see my response to KUSTEVE for a bit more on Norm’s virtues and his likely future allure to right way ADs. And yes, I sure wish we could keep him at home.

  • Right on…

    I’ve been feeling the love from Adidas and realize that we have become their front line to battle Nike. That puts us in a great position… otherwise, we fall into the deep hole of Nike and the rest, never to make a difference.

    I think I’ll feel comfortable when knowing Wiggin’s NBA shoe contract. If he ices up the total projected fatness deal from Adidas, it will do more for Kansas recruiting than all the Norms in NY, tea in China and oil in Saudi Arabia… because the end result of being on the shoe war front is the fat deals the players receive. Follow the money trail… it’s all about the bucks passed along to the players. The sides are chosen first in college. And it is no surprise that images are captured of all the college stars tilting the camera upwards, with the wide-angle starting from their high-tops and flowing up to their heads around the rim. Players are “marked” in college, and rewarded for their loyalty at the next level.

    I’m not sure it always works out that way, but what a great story line if you are a shoe company in search of a hero to propel your brand, from Day 1.

  • While Embiid’s progress has been impressive, he is not near the level of Whitey when it comes to shot blocking. Whitey had three attributes that Embiid has yet to master.

    Timing - Withey had perfect timing and would not normally take the fake by the offensive player, no doubt a result of his volley ball background. Embiid is getting there but not quite yet; he still react to the fake and gets the foul every time; his own volleyball background will eventually kick in.

    Verticality - Withey jumped straight up and seldom fouled on the play; he committed less fouls than any other player at his position. Embiid is still learning this part and not fully utilizing his athleticism fully; at this time he is more brute force than finesse.

    Rejection Direction - Withey had the uncanny talent to direct the blocked shot towards a teammate; he is the best at doing this of any player I can think of. Embiid is still all raw power and has not worked on this aspect of blocking.

    Embiid’s potential is much greater than Whitey and the upside is unbelievably high.

  • While Embiid’s progress has been impressive, he is not near the level of Withey when it comes to shot blocking. Withey had three attributes that Embiid has yet to master.

    @JayHawkFanToo Accurate assessment of Withey’s arsenal in his 5th year of collegiate competition.

    And your final point is an understatement given we are comparing to Embiid’s 3rd year of organized basketball. It’s impossible to get apples to apples, but if we looked at Withey’s performance his freshmen year in High School, that would a fascinating comparison…

    But it probably wouldn’t be a fair comparison on so many levels.

  • @bskeet

    I was trying top compare Withey and Embiid not at similar stage sin their development but in the season prior to being drafted and because of al the comparisons I hear from analysts and fans alike.

    Withey obviously had the height but his athleticism was limited and his blocking skills wee developed almost solely by working in his technique and paying his dues for many years.

    Embiid on the other hand, certainly has the height and God-given athletic ability; his technique at this time is still very raw but the ceiling is high, and his major asset is his natural ability. As he improves his technique he will become a much better blocker; however, Withey has set a high bar that will be tough to beat…at least in his only year playing at KU.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Totally agree! Didn’t mean to sound critical of the comparison.

  • I’ve got it! jaybate is actually Jeff Goldblum doing the fly thing that allows him to be that fly on the wall so he can be privy to these conversations. Classic jaybate. (beer)

  • @JayHawkFanToo Really feel Embiid is tons ahead of Withey offensively, already.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Maybe Embiid is ahead of freshman or sophomore Withey. Senior Withey was the best rim defender KU has had in a long time; Embiid is not there yet.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Agree with rim defender, but not offensively! Withey was never this fluid!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 All the recent posts in this thread were uniquely about shot blocking and not about offensive ability.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Seriously, that is some funny stuff!

  • Gamenight Monday Toledo.

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