“Who are you going to believe – me, or your own eyes?” from The Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup” (1933)
This website was, is, and always will be about the Toronto Raptors. That said, we can’t ignore the pool they swim in; i.e., the NBA. I’ve created a list of players on opposing teams who come to town with buzz, but show little when they hit the Toronto hardwood. “I didn’t see him good [sic]” is an expression scouts use to refer to a player who doesn’t do anything noteworthy when the scout visits. I’ve never seen the following guys good. For decency and brevity’s sakes, I’ll limit my barbs to those players still on rosters. Taking potshots at notorious flameouts like Adam Morrison and Rafael Araujo (shudder) seems déclassé. Several of the players on this list have been whispered to be on their way to the Raps in trade. I fervently hope not.
Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls: This fellow’s reputation as a playmaker and shooter has kept him in the big league for nine seasons. I’ve seen him live at least 10 times, and many more than that on the tube. Not once has he shot well, nor have I seen any compelling evidence for his playmaking reputation. Is he a defender? I suppose, but there are a dozen guards I can name who can outdefend this guy 7 nights a week.
Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers: Volume shooter, but not a volume maker. A player who is supposedly the heart and soul of the Indiana Pacers’ offense. So why are they 28-19 without him this season? I think he’s a serious ball-stopper, whom I’d want no part of.
J.J. Redick, Orlando Magic: He’s having a decent season, sure – but it’s Year Seven of his pro career. He’s the Magic’s version of Andrea Bargnani; a player who’s always going to torch the league, next month or next year.
Emeka Okafor, Washington Wizards: A player who was supposed to be a monster coming out of college, but now is about as scary as a four-year-old yelling “Boo”. Over-hyped and over-paid.
Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Bobcats: Adding his name to this list is admittedly unfair, as the youthful Bismack was nowhere near ready to be an NBA player when Charlotte drafted him. However, it’s Season Two, and in his latest visit to Toronto, I saw no evidence of any enhancement in his skills. He’s not even a defensive presence, which was supposed to be his calling card while he learned the dark arts of offense in the world’s toughest hoops league. A high draft pick, whom some experts considered a sleeper. I agree.
Lou Amundson, Minnesota Timberwolves: What does this guy have to do to play himself out of the league? I remember being interested in him because he had garnered some buzz about being an energy guy, a solid pest. NOT. He keeps finding work; the T-Wolves are his sixth team in as many years. I cannot fathom why coaches keep seeing something valuable in him. His stats are pitiful (e.g., 4/18 from the foul line this season).
Nate Robinson, Chicago Bulls: Another “swagger” guy, like Linas Kleiza. I generally enjoy watching tiny players (Muggsy Bogues – come on down!), but I’ve never liked Nate. He’s scatterass and selfish. Reports out of Chicago indicate he may be put on waivers. I thought I’d better get his name on this list quickly, because he may not get picked up by anyone. Nate is on his fifth team in eight years. Will he find number six?
Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando Magic: Anyone for pizza? No better back in Orlando than he was here. Big reputation, small performance.
What about you, Gentle Readers? Any players you can think of who you were looking forward to seeing, only to be mystified by their poor performance? Leave a comment, please.
Brian Boake is a staff writer for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.