• Many board rats (including me) have wondered what was going on with Selden and Wiggins.

    Lots of drivers explored in trying to model what was up.

    They are in a high pressure, high stakes environment and almost anything could have been impairing their play.

    But get out the strop, lather up the mug, and give Okham’s Razor a few swipes on the leather.

    Remember (if you can) what you were best at when you were coming to KU that freshman year; then remember how you performed at what you were best at, when you were 18 that freshman year.

    I am confident that if you recall that year clearly, and what you did and how you did it, you will very suddenly come to stunning clarity about Wayne and Andrew. And probably about Joel and Frank and Brannen and Conner.

    You were on an awesome roll for a week, and then suddenly completely disoriented the next, then you were knocked out loaded from a girl you met, then your mind was cluster-intercoursed by sitting in a lecture hall with 400 persons, then you had more fun than you ever dreamed possible at a party, then you couldn’t believe how to cram all of the information in you needed to take a test, then you felt depressed because you were far from home, then you felt elated because you were far from home, then you misunderstood what your parents told you on the phone, then you realized you had been wearing the same underwear for over a week, then you felt sick from having an eating contest, etc., etc., etc.

    These are not machines.

    These are 18 year old young men…

    Who just happen to have right tail, 99.9999 percentile hoops talent.

  • @jaybate 1.0 It’s very enjoyable to watch them grow. I love that Selden is finally having fun. Hopefully Wiggins will follow soon.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Nice post. Sometimes I think Andrew Wiggins is a machine when I see him jump, though.

  • Wiggins actually smiled, pleased with his monster slam, headed to the huddle. Loved seeing some emotion. Good solid all around game by all.

  • @KirkIsMyHinrich Could it be that he was advised not getting hurt during his one season of college experience? So he appeared to be cruising more times than not. An injured Wiggins might not be as marketable as a healthy one. Besides he is not hurting his draft status since he is still putting up team leading stats without even appearing to be trying. So how high is his ceiling if he does try his best?

  • @Wishawk I think it’s just a thing where he has trouble being fully engaged for 40 minutes. That was one of the gripes about him coming out of high school, that he can disappear for stretches in games. When he has quiet stretches I doubt he’s thinking about how a potential injury could affect his draft status. And for the most part I think he’s been pretty consistently engaged on the defensive side of the ball. I think he’s still trying to figure out exactly what his role is and how he can be effective in KU’s offense.

    It’s funny, we’re asking what’s wrong with Wiggins and yet he’s averaging nearly 16 points per game. That should give you an idea of how high his ceiling is.

  • I was watching a national championship contender today. Selden has been a new man, which has opened up our whole offense. Wiggins came to himself this game, quit thinking as much, and simply starting playing. I believe, with the progress shown by Embiid, Selden, and now Wiggins, we will compete for a national championship this year.

    The Traylor/Black show was something to see - one guy drawing in the doubleteam, and then hitting the other guy with a perfect pass for an easy score.

    I don’t know how good this team is yet. I think we’ve seen on several occasions how bad they can be. I think our ceiling could be 2008, even though we more closely resemble 2007 so far.

  • @Wishawk, I have thought a lot about what may be driving Wiggins behavior, just as many others apparently have. I have formulated many hypotheses. I have written relatively little on it though for reasons that were not entirely clear without further reflection.

    Finally, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Would we be asking why he were playing like Lebron, if he were? Or would we just be talking about what an incredible athlete he were? Wouldn’t we just be talking about his incredible long strides, his springs, his keen anticipation, his competitiveness, his touch, his focus, his long years of hard work to get to this point?

    We wouldn’t, I suspect, be talking about the reputed vast potential size of his future pro contract elevating him to a phenomenal level of player, would we?

    We would tend to think, well, the big contract is a reward for how exceptional he had been.

    It occurred to me that it is ok to talk about his play, good, or bad. It is ok talk about how much better he could be if he turned it on all the time. It is ok to talk about what he does and does not do on the court, or even off it.

    But it does not seem okay to talk about him dogging it to avoid injury, in order to get that big contract, because…

    After his best games, I have not read one person say that he shot 50% from trey, got to the rack like a gazelle on steroids, shot 80% from the FT line, grabbed 4 boards, and guarded his man, because he wanted to make sure he got his beau coup bucks contract.

    Athletes, are like musicians, painters, actors, comedians, chefs, lawyers and doctors: it is what they do. It is what they know and what they are good at and what they like to do, even if perhaps in a neurotic compulsive way.

    Yes, they have careers and, yes, they are trying to maximize their career earning power, but the variances in their performances are not normally at all related to the risk/reward matrix that looms before them. In my experience, the tendency of these types of persons is to ignore the risks in pursuit of performance in hopes of their continued excellence accruing into making them so respected and valued that they make their pot of gold that way.

    There are some corrupt ones in every one of the fields that I mentioned. But most of them approach their crafts honorably, if a bit neurotically. I am not being an apologist, just describing what I have observed over the course of my life.

    At the margin, I could believe that Andrew might not take a risk of injury that another lesser player without the big contract looming might take, but 99 percent of the game is not played at the margin, or threshold. 99% of the time Andrew can go as hard as he is capable of, or rather as hard as he knows how to go, and as hard as his internal motor permits.

    What I have noticed about persons in the fields I have mentioned above is that when they are not performing well, most often it is because they have run into some kind of mental block they did not even know they had, or some kind of emotional problems, or some kind of problems outside the field that they are struggling with.

    Because they are so good, and can concentrate so well, their performance often does not fall off far as persons with lesser talents. And their tendency to “manage” everything, sometimes leaves the possible impression that they are “up to something;” that they are some how gaming the situation, when they are not necessarily doing so.

    So: I am inclined to give Andrew a pass on the “he’s dogging it to avoid injury” speculation.

    I am changing my tune somewhat here I know. I have speculated once or twice on such things. And I surely speculated on such regarding Xavier.

    My point here is not to say flatly that players like Andrew and Xavier are not letting up on the accelerator to avoid injury.

    I am saying that one probably cannot make even a reasonable guess at such a thing until one has had the full season of ups and downs that players go through to look back on and make a credible assessment.

    I will always believe that Xavier pulled his punches on finishing at the rim that season that he played based on looking back at the whole season. But it would have been more sensible to wait until the season were over to hypothesize such about Xavier. It was okay to say that Xavier just wasn’t a strong finisher during the year he played for KU, but not to speculate that the driver was avoiding injury to get a contract, or what have you, until one had a full season to assess.

    Likewise for Andrew.

    We know he hasn’t played like the next Lebron.

    We know even tonight he did not play like the next Lebron.

    We know his best games have not looked like the next Lebron.

    We know he shows flashes of greatness.

    We know he started strong, then slumped.

    We know most players have slumps.

    We know he could be dogging it to avoid injury and ice a big contract, but we also know that there are many other even more likely drivers that might be at play. Perry Ellis and Frank Mason and Naa Tharpe have had troubles playing hard enough and well enough at times and none of them seem likely to be doing so to ice a big NBA contract. They are doing it, because they are imperfect human beings struggling fitful to get better amidst ferocious competition.

    Let us comment now on how Andrew is doing during and between each game, but let us wait for him to finish his season before we speculate on what his personal motivations may have been. By the end of the season he could be playing like the next Lebron, or not, but we will more likely have enough data to make a reasoned assessment. It seems both logical and fair to do so.

    Let the boys play. Talk about their play. But cut them some slack on motivations. A young man’s motivations, even without a big contract looming, are often baffling to understand, even to himself. I know. I was that age once and I can still vaguely recall the phantoms that held me back, or the angels that propelled me to heights, intermittently.

    I will try to walk the talk with this regarding the players. The ShoeCos, agents, summer gamers, media, NCAA, school admins, etc., on the other hand, IMHO merit quite a good deal of thinking and hypothesizing about their motivations. They have basic entrepreneurial agendas of organizations that are IMHO fair game to hypothesize about. But even with them, it is prudent to put Okham’s razor to the strop before doing so.

    Rock Chalk!

  • Since there’s so many threads on this site I don’t know where to post, here are my thoughts on today’s game…

    Great win for KU. And, lots to discuss…

    First off, hey Mr. Selden. Didn’t know where you went. Nice to see you again.

    It’s great to finally see Selden being aggressive again. And what’s better is that it looks like he’s got his confidence back. And like I’ve said before, confidence is contagious, and that much was obvious. Mr. Wiggins sure caught a case as well.

    I saw a team out there playing together, playing aggressive, and playing with confidence. And more than anything, I saw this team experiencing something that I haven’t seen in some time… THEY WERE HAVING FUN! I guess beating the hell out of your in-state “rival” will do that for a young team.

    It was also nice to see Embiid take what was given to him. If teams are going to give Embiid that shot, drill it. Teams may now be a little reluctant to give Embiid the open look at the top of the key, which will make us harder to guard and leave the post open. Could’ve done without the flagrant though. But I’m sure he’s already learned his lesson.

    And to K-State: Thanks for sneaking into the top 25 just in time for year annual curb-stomping in Lawrence.

    Now, for the nitty gritty. If the presence of Conner Frankamp in the past two games has shown us anything, it’s that KU is deep. CF is one of many resources that KU can bring off the bench and provide a spark. I say this because I found it puzzling why Self didn’t bring in some of the other guys to get them some valuable experience. Particularly when Embiid got ejected, I didn’t understand why Lucas didn’t get some PT. I couldn’t understand why Andrew White and Brannen Greene didn’t get any time at all in this game. I couldn’t help but think to myself with about 5 minutes left, ‘If I’m Andrew White, I’m gone as soon as the season’s over.’ What made it even more perplexing is that we’re going to need shooters on Monday. We all know what Iowa State’s game is: the three ball. If they get out there and start drilling threes, we’re going to need to be able to counter. I love what I’ve seen from Selden, but I’m not sure that he can maintain this kind of consistency. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    Speaking of Iowa State… Let me just say this, the Big 12 is a phenomenal conference this year. If it’s not the best, it’s certainly the most entertaining. Oklahoma’s win today showed just how talented this conference is. That being said, I’ve paid more attention to team’s non-coference SOS this year more than I have in the past–primarily because KU’s was so tough–and I think that we’re starting to see what a fairly weak NCS can mask.

    Like Self said after one of our losses (I think the Florida loss), and I’m paraphrasing, “we’ve been shown our weaknesses and now we can work to correct them.” That’s absolutely right. That being said, who showed Iowa State their weaknesses? How about Oklahoma State? Iowa State’s toughest game was probably either at BYU or against Iowa (I don’t include Michigan because clearly they aren’t who everyone thought they would be). They have one win against a top 25 team and it’s by virtue of a rival they play every year having a good year (Iowa). Oklahoma controlled that entire game. Iowa St. briefly took the lead, but for the most part, the Sooners flat out beat ISU.

    Oklahoma St. struggled against West Virginia mightily and was lucky to escape with the win. I told several people last week after they lost to K-State, that loss may have said more about OSU than it did K-State. I still don’t think KSU is very good.

    So, in the past week I’ve gone from thinking we could miss the tournament if we kept playing the way we did against SDSU to thinking that our chances of winning the Big 12 for the tenth straight time are starting to look a little better. If this team can keep playing with confidence, utilize its depth and stay aggressive I like our chances going forward.

    PS: I thought those uniforms were sweet. This is what it says in small print on the uni: “Pay heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings won’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk.”

    I happen to think that’s pretty cool.

  • @jaybate 1.0 I believe it’s just natural many people whisper advices in the players’ ears, including their parents and friends, and many other “friends”. And the players do what’s best for themselves. We as fans have certain expectation of our team and the players and we compare them against others. We don’t get to make demands, but we do make observations, and speculate on why they out perform or under perform. This is not an attack on their characters, but a speculation based on the observations. Since I have no inside knowledge of the team or players, I’m simply guessing what might be the cause and I could be way off base.

    There is plenty of discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of having Wiggins on board, the effect of his presence taking other players’ minutes and slowing others’ development. I think from the eye test, Wiggins didn’t have the highest grades on the effort level among his fellow teammates.

    There are also plenty of discussion on Embiid’s potential return for a second year. And one of the arguments against it is that he risks a potential injury by coming back. Now if there is a potential of injury in the second season, there is certainly the same potential in the current season. Since the one year college is a mandatory delay to the OADs’ debut on the NBA stage, isn’t it paramount to avoid injury in the only and unnecessary season they must go through? So what does it tell when they don’t appear to enjoy (no smile, no jumping up and down with joy) or put out as much effort as his fellow teammates?

    Coach continues to play Wiggins because he still puts up team leading numbers. But the numbers are from his talents, not of his effort. For me, I’d take Andrew White for his efforts.

  • @MoonwalkMafia Some good analysis

  • @Wishawk you are wrong! Wiggins playing is not the reason white or any other guy is seating the bench. We don’t know the reason, could he be eligible for red shirt due to the hip injury? I know he’s played some minutes. Are you in practice and that is why you think he deserves more time?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Just imagine who would start at 3 if Wiggins were not here. And who would receive many more minutes behind Selden.

  • @Wishawk why?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Hypothetical speculation. Isn’t that what we are doing here? If Wiggins weren’t here, who would you start at 3?

  • It has been totally unfair to compare Wiggins with Lebron. Wiggins is infinitely quicker than Lebron, and Lebron is totally stronger. Their games are not the same. Lebron probably has 50 lbs or so on Wiggins.

    Wiggins better be careful not to get hurt. Every player, especially those with NBA ambition, better remain mindful and not play careless basketball.

    We should appreciate the risk Wiggins is taking now. He’s making aggressive moves to the hole and tries to finish near the rim. There is huge risk in playing that style of basketball. I’d rather he only do it on occasion.

    Wiggins is still trying to figure out his game. His game is starting to expose itself to him. Wiggins real talent, what puts him above everyone else is…


    Sorry for running caps… but I think it was worth it to express the truth. Wiggins is lightning fast, but his advantage with speed is easily compensated for when defenders already know what he is going to do. That is why Wiggins is getting contested near the rim. He is taking advantage of that by taking some contact and earning FTs.

    Wiggins real strength (that he is starting to figure out) is to work off the dribble, and make sudden veers off his path for easy jump shots. No one on this level (or the next) will be able to stop him once he perfects his moves. He’ll be the next Kobe, but with much quicker feet. He’ll dominate in mid range… and if he continues to improve his 3-pt shot, he’ll dominate from there, too. And he’ll always be a threat to take it all the way to the rim.

    Wiggins already owns open court play. That’s where his athleticism takes over and he’s hard to stop… but he has to have more game than open court ball.

    Between now and March, I hope he totally figures it out and realizes how deadly of a scorer he can be in mid range. He showed at least one of those moves yesterday. Kobe, move over…

    I never understood why Andrew isn’t compared more with Kobe? Kobe’s game is something closer to what Andrew can mimic (except he can heavily improve on Kobe’s best game). Andrew can forget being the next Lebron… it’s not going to happen unless he stays at Kansas for 4 years and becomes a total Hudy freak!

    Learn to pull up more, Andrew. Learn it now and score more and save your body!

  • @drgnslayr Great post. I think you’re right that it was unfair to compare Wiggins to Lebron. I think that a lot of that came from Wiggins being the best high school recruit SINCE Lebron.

    As far as Wiggins’ game though. I think one thing that doesn’t get highlighted enough is his quickness. When Wiggins calls for a screen and an extra defender comes over to help, he is able to split the two defenders with an explosive first step. His ability to create space and keep defenses honest will make him into a great player, he just needs to be able to nail that shot, like you said, the same way that Kobe can.

    From a (maybe selfish) KU perspective, Wiggins could probably score on every possession (or at least lead to a score) if he didn’t take plays off and stayed aggressive. He’s too talented not to. If he demands two defenders off the screen that would force defenses to collapse on the post while we would still have three guys open.

    Just my thoughts.

  • Has Wiggins taken plays off and hurt the team? Maybe he hasn’t had the intensity everyone would like to see. I think that he gives the impression of not hustling sometimes because of his laid back, fluid style. He is our leading scorer. If he hasn’t done what coach wants, maybe he takes him out for a period of time…which he had on occasion…maybe not as much as everyone apparently wants.

  • Think about this possibility – both Greene and White transfer.

    It’s possible.

    Kelly Oubre’s coming in and both White and Green could view him as the presumptive starter at the 3. If Selden stays, the two spot is locked.

    Even if Selden does turn pro, both Greene and White could make their transfer decisions before Selden would make his.

    Anyway, I do think it is a distinct risk that we lose both. But I firmly believe right now that we will lose at least one. That’s how it was shaping up the precise minute that Wiggins signed.

  • @HighEliteMajor I hate to see these two talented guys leave the program but I agree that there is a high probability of at least one of them leaving.

    Prior to the OU game I had felt that CF should have red shirted as he did not look to be physically ready for the Div 1 although he did play well in both the games. I would have imagined Self using Greene and/or AW3 in these games and I was surprised that CF got the mins. He must be doing well in the practice. It appears to me that Self is trying to mentally grind out/toughen up Greene and AW3 and he is doing that to make them ready for the future. In the back of his mind he may be drawing the analogy to Russ Robinson’s career at KU

    Regardless the rotation mins between CF, AW3 and Greene have been a mystery to me and I hope that it all works out well for KU and the players.

  • @HighEliteMajor Agree that it is possible they both transfer…hopefully not probable. Certainly a higher risk that we lose 1…White being the greater possibility, I think. I would think (hope) that one of them would see Selden, Oubre, and CF being the competition for playing time and think they could earn minutes as part of that competition, as a 3 man ration at the 2/3 is standard. Of course, we don’t know how the experience in general has colored their perceptions of that.

  • @Wishawk if Wiggins weren’t here, I 'd start Greene at 3. Saw Selden go in for Wiggins at the end of game, Mason and Tharpe 1 and 2

  • @MoonwalkMafia take plays off? Do we want Wiggins to play w/the rest of our team, or shoot and drive every time? Wiggins is trying to be part of our team! Someone told me they didn’t think there were enough balls to go around on this team. It really pisses me off to hear that crap! I was at the game, got some hi 5’s from the team-I’m not a teen either. It was a total blast to be there. Hopefully my kstate fans will shut the heck up for awhile! I also loved the uni’s.

  • This post is deleted!

  • @drgnslayr, first, I really think you are on the right track with the Kobe-Andrew comparison, but maybe did not give younger readers enough history about Kobe for them to appreciate your insight. I aim to add some of that historical context on Kobe in my post shortly, but first want to address a possible trigger of the persistent, confusing comparison of Andrew and Lebron.

    After having tried to recall the hyping of Wiggins from all sources I can recall, I don’t recall Wiggins was ever exactly compared to Lebron in terms of type of game. He was compared to Lebron in terms of his expected ability to dominate a game at D1 level and pro level, and in terms of his ability to be the next big super star endorser; this was a lot different than saying he played like Lebron.

    Perhaps a lot of us soaking up media simply leaped incorrectly to the conclusion that Wiggins game was literally like Lebron’s game; that that was what the hype was saying, when it wasn’t in a literal sense.

    After all, the hype is designed to be accepted without thinking in the first place. It is slickly conceived, packaged and disseminated to make us buy into it. It is designed to be accepted simplistically; i.e., without thinking through what was really said.

    The hype on Andrew was like advertising puffery that we have been conditioned to buy into for our entire lives. For example, “Mercedes Benz, engineered like no other car in the world”–most hear that and think it means they are the best engineered car in the world, but of course it does not actually say that. It just says they are engineered differently. Every car company can make that claim. In fact for the last ten years, despite the advertising and PR hype from car company ad agencies and presstitute car mags, a few automotive engineers I have talked to agree that Toyota/Lexus has made the best engineered cars in the world at every price point they participate in and its not even close. They may not handle quite as well, but that’s only because Toyota did not design them to. Everything the Toyota engineers designed to be better than Mercedes in fact was better than Mercedes, according to these engineers I talked to. And Consumer Reports research has indicated that up until the last couple years, by most objective measures of engineering results, Mercedes actually falls far short of several brands in many categories.

    But back to Kobe.

    I think many of us just consumed the line “the greatest prospect since Lebron” like a puffery line. We imputed things into it that it did not say. Wigs can be the greatest prospect since Lebron without being remotely like him. But, as I said, puffery hype lines are designed to suck persons into imputing things that are not said and it happened with Wigs.

    Next, when I asked recently: did Lebron ever have this long of a stretch of not being able to dominate, I was not suggesting that the comparison be made in terms of dominating the exact way Lebron did, but rather through their sharply different ways their sharply different types of bodies and games could enable.

    The issue for me still is: can Wigs dominate a whole game and can he dominate for many games in a row? Did Lebron ever have these lengths of slumps at the NBA level that first season that Wigs is having at the piddling (in comparison) D1 level? I don’t recall this many, but I confess not to have followed Lebron closely. Never the less, Lebron seemed a dominant player almost from the start.

    Self called Lebron the biggest athletic freak on the planet and he has not used that phrase to describe Andrew. Like Wilt Chamberlain, I really do think Lebron is the biggest athletic freak on the planet of his era. I do not think Andrew has the kind of athletic freakishness that would let him walk onto an NBA floor and begin punishing NBA players and dominating games.

    But that hardly means Andrew Wiggins is NOT the greatest prospect to come along since Lebron. And it hardly means that Andrew Wiggins is probably NOT going to become the next great super star after Lebron.

    I agree with you that Kobe is a more apt comparison, because of body morphology, perimeter athleticism, but less so because of skills at the same stage. I lived in LA when Kobe started and he always seemed a sharply better shooter at all ranges than Wigs seems to me now, and that was against NBA guys, not D1. Also, Kobe seemed a sharply better ball handler at the same stage.

    But here is where your post opened my eyes and should open others.

    I do see that Wigs has a kind of unprecedented first, second and third step that can shrink a half court to the size of a pool table, at times. In this way, Andrew IS a great athletic freak. Maybe Dominique Wilkins might had similar steps, but I doubt it. Maybe Connie Hawkins, but he never seemed to play the 2. Jordan in transition yes, but neither Wilkins, nor Jordan, nor Hawkins had this kind of freakish length of step in half court sets to be able to three step from near mid court in a half court set and be at the rim. Wilt could have done it, did do it occasionally in college, but he was not a perimeter player. Kobe frankly does not even have these two-mile long steps.

    Interestingly, something most forget is that Kobe had kind of a befuddled first season in the NBA (the same time that Wigs is playing at KU). It was not till his second season that he became a solid back up (runner up 6th Man of the Year in the NBA), then in his third year became much of the dominant starting guard we think of today as Kobe Bryant, though being carried by Shaq the first few years.

    An interesting and significant anecdote about the early Bryant is found on his Wiki page. After high school he was picked by the Charlotte Hornets, but worked out for the Lakers against Larry Drew and Michael Cooper, the latter a crack NBA perimeter defender. Jerry West reputedly said that Bryant, at 17 “marched over these people.” That reputedly convinced West to trade Divac for Bryant.

    Why I mention this is that it indicates that in one on one Bryant was good enough at 17 to kick ass on each of two seasoned pros, but NOT to step in and start in the NBA in a team framework. This point is critical in understanding by illustration your characterization of Wiggins being similar to Bryant.

    Wiggins has the phenomenal athleticism that Bryant had, plus more. His skills seem a bit less developed at the same stage. He also seems to lack some of Kobe’s furious drive. However, Andrew does have a former NBA pro for a dad, as Bryant had. But even with all of that, Wiggins probably has to develop his game and his body to actually be ready to be a starting NBA 2/3 player, as Bryant also had to do. Bryant needed two full development years of being brought along slowly and of developing the basics that you have said Wiggins needs to develop. Wiggins will develop some of that this year. He will develop more of that next year in the NBA, whether he lands with a team that can afford to bring him along slowly, or has to throw him to the dogs. The following year, if Bryant were any indication, will be the year Andrew’s biological maturation and his skill maturation converge to create a dominant NBA player.

    I really think the above explains why Wiggins is not dominating at D1. He is young, young, young, and he is playing for a coach that wants him to fit into a scheme that is reputedly similar to the schemes of the NBA. In essence, Wiggins is being given maximum PT in his OAD year to work on some of his basketball skills a bit at a time and to get used to plugging into a pro style scheme, not to take over games, which he, with any luck, will not be asked to do in the pros for another couple years, as Kobe was not.

    If my reasoning were sound here, based on what you were outlining, Wiggins probably could crank it up and hang 30 right now, just as he did in high school, but that would be to waste this year of development that he, like Kobe, needed in order to become polished, dominant, starting NBA players as soon as possible, i.e., 2 seasons or so from now. Trial by starting fire next NBA season might accelerate, or destroy, Wigs time line, just as it might have accelerated, or destroyed, Kobe’s time line. I would be inclined to trust Jerry West on this one, even though Derek Rose and John Wall survived trial by fire starting their first NBA seasons. Andrew Wiggins seems much closer to Kobe in development, maybe even a little behind him, than to Derek Rose and John Wall. And look at what’s become of Rose and Wall. Rose is a mess from injury and Wall does not seem to have become the total player that Kobe became. I hope Andrew gets to go somewhere and come along slowly for a year, or two.

    This is all a long way around the mulberry bush to reiterate I think you are reading this situation correctly, though perhaps may not added quite enough historical context of Kobe for younger readers to really appreciate the rightness of your insight.

  • @jaybate 1.0 This is right on the money.

    I’d take it even a step further. Look at the body types. First, let’s get Lebron out of the way because nobody is built like that. Coming out of high school, he was listed at 6-8, 240. At that size (about the size that T-Rob was when he left KU), Lebron was as quick as most NBA guards, with the same ball handling ability, but as strong as some NBA power forwards, combined with the explosive leaping ability rivaled by few in the world (40+ inches). Nobody else in the world is built like that. Lebron is a Transformer. He can be a tank. He can be a sports car. He can be an ATV. He can be a jet. At times, he can be all of those things at different moments on the exact same play.

    Kobe, as you aptly pointed out, is not quite the same. Young Kobe could be a sports car or a jet, in much the same way that young Jordan could. The difference was that Kobe had a very good jump shot pretty early in his career.

    Wiggins is in the same sports car/ jet range as young Kobe. He has the agility and explosiveness, but lacks the power to just bull through defenders. He is different than many of the sports car/ jet players in that he is much taller and longer. People see his leaping ability and see Lebron, or a young Nique. What they forget is that those guys were both more power players. Wiggins is speed and agility. He’s a Ferrari hugging the turns. He’s a Lamborghini going 0 to 80. He’s a lear jet barreling down the runway for takeoff.

    Lebron is a different beast. He’s a tank boxing out a 6-10 power forward for a rebound, then a sports car exploding from the pack in the paint at high speed, converting to an ATV as he moves through the lane on the other end, then a jet as he explodes off the floor for the finish.

    On that same type of play, Wiggins is a jet soaring for the rebound, then a sports car using his speed and agility to weave through the defense. The problem for Wiggins right now is that he doesn’t yet have the power to convert back into a jet to finish, so he’s trying to finish as a sports car, careening around curves. He has to get back to being a jet and turning that forward momentum into upward momentum for the finish.

Log in to reply