Oscar Robertson gave us “the triple-double.” A 27/7/7 is also known as “a LeBron.” Draymond Green will forever be the triple-single guy. But do you know about the 13.5/5.9/1.4? You should be ashamed of yourself! Every real basketball fan knows that’s “a Thad Young.”
There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Then there’s sports homerism. I’m not sure; maybe commentators have a contractual obligation, some sort of quota they have to meet per broadcast of stats that make the home players seem amazing. But the level of bulls*** like this we are served in broadcasts is exponentially growing every year.
Partly, it’s a symptom of organizations being paranoid about catering to players egos. Let me be clear; I’m positive Thad Young would probably laugh at this and call it absurd. But the fact someone sat at a computer and did a million permutations while finding the perfect balance of 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 30% from three (which is a bad percentage) just to insult our intelligence can’t be a sign of anything good. Why would you even try to put Thad Young with Jordan, Bird, Magic, and LeBron????
Getting this out of broadcasts is the low-hanging fruit of improving TV ratings. Yes, the regular season has no purpose with 82 games, load management, and all that jazz. But I’m willing to wager there’s a noticeably better rating on broadcasts with smart people.
When Tony Romo started working on NFL broadcasts, we talked about him as if he found the cure for cancer. Stan Van Gundy got hired and one of the first things everyone talked about was how much we will miss him on broadcasts. We are so thirsty for people to be reasonably intelligent on broadcasts that when someone’s just average, they should get a lifetime deal.
With all due respect, but the first time Mark Jackson starts talking about players “sacrificing their bodies,” that’s my cue to beeline towards the mute button. I get some coaches are more about relationships, motivation, and communication. But I assume a certain level of Xs and Os is required to get on national TV or an NBA bench.
I hope the intern that came up with this stat got a raise or a bonus. And don’t forget. If you’re in the great state of Indiana and are hanging out with some Hoosiers, your top 5 GOAT discussion better include The Legend, Magic, MJ, Bron, and Thad.