Wednesday, November 19, 2014


(the original draft of this post is contained below, sort of like how "Song of Myself" is in the Whitman anthology twice.)

HEY, DENVER FANS. It’s your good friend, prominent blogger CORBIN SMITH. You heard of me!? Of course you have. I am a fan, just like y’all! I was reading this stuff about the DENVER NUGGETS FRONT OFFICE SITUATION and boy oh boy, it got my bloog (that’s my name for my blood) a-boilin! The fans deserve better. The fans deserve a GM who loves ball, and loves people, and love making HARD DECISIONS.

The Good People of Denver deserve me, Corbin Smith, a beloved and intelligent basketball blogger. I have all kinds of qualifications:

ONE: I love basketball and understand it pretty good. If I watch a play a few times, I usually know what is happening.

TWO: Modern GMs need to have a knowledge of database operations and management, and an understanding of advanced math. I PROBABLY don’t qualify on the second front, but, whatever, we have calculators now. What do I need to know about long division in the 21st century But as far as databases go, shit, I am ALL OVER THAT. Check this out:

See that!? That is a spreadsheet with information about EVERY Denver nuggets season, even the ABA ones. It has Offensive Ratings, Defensive Rating, Basketball-Reference WIn Shares Leader, all the stuff you need to know. I made it in like, five minutes. There was a problem with the Drive or something, so not all the years pasted right, but whatever, I can fix that. I can also do equations in databases. Look at this:

Then, I press enter, and…

BANG! I am all over this database thing. And if something more complicated presents itself, I can figure that out, because I am a millennial, with a mastery of computers, and a graduate of The Evergreen State College, which means I am a gifted independent worker.

THREE: I UNDERSTAND THE CAP, UNLIKE THESE GUYS. Proposing trades you can’t do under the CBA!? C’mon, guy currently running the Nuggets! Get your act together! Here’s a little book I’ve been reading lately:
I’m learning so much from this thing, you guys. Like, “The Players Association agrees to provide the NBA League Office with a list of (a) all agents certified under the Players Association’s Agent Regulation Program, and (b) the players represented by each such agent.” If one of these players tries to get an Unlicensed Agent by me, I am going to be ready, because I will know to consult the list the Players Union sent over, and make sure the agents I am talking to are certified. I am ALREADY a step ahead with how much information I am getting from this thing!

FOUR: I UNDERSTAND FREE AGENT VALUE. Last year, the Nuggets signed JJ Hickson and Nate Robinson to multi-year deals. Hickson is a known sucker bet, the king of fake hustle; a volume rebounder who flagrantly steals boards from teammates, provides no shooting, and is an abysmal defender who destroys your team’s rim protection. And Nate Robb’s only consistence is inconsistency. Coming off a pair of one year deals and playing his last stint with Tom “The Coach Who Always Seems To Make Bad Guards Good”* Thibadeau, the Nuggets brain trust did themselves no favors in assuming he could keep it up in Denver. You get me behind the desk in the Summer of 2013, things go a LITTLE DIFFERENTLY for the NUGGETS.

(LIGHTS UP. Corbin, a very good GM, is talking to LINUS, his assistant. Linus has his phone and stuff, but Corbin is lying down on the floor so he can get blood and good ideas in his very big brain, hardwired for GMing.)

CORBIN: Linus. We have cap room, we have mid level exceptions, let’s make some magic. I will tell you one thing, right now: JJ Hickson and Nate Robinson, OFF THE TABLE. I ain’t signing either one of those guys! Hey, how about this one: we need a reliable Center, and I am thinking that TIAGO SPLITTER could do a lot of good for us! Good defender, underrated roll man! What do you think!?

LINUS: He doesn’t want to pay taxes, so he resigned in San Antonio.

CORBIN: Oh, bummer. Well, that’s okay, because, even though he has some defensive limitations, I think we can get AL JEFFERSON on the cheap.

LINUS: His agents aren’t interested. Apparently he doesn’t, uh, like Denver.

CORBIN: WHAT!? C’mon, it’s beautiful here! Mountains, bike trails. Where’s he going if not here? No one who might make the layoffs has cap room! Let’s get back to the big man thing later. I want some guards, some backup guards, I’m talkin Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Marco Belinelli, maybe Aaron Brooks if we’re looking to get weird!

LINUS: Their agents are looking to get them into Texas. Taxes, again.

CORBIN: Huh. Bummer. Well, we just need to, uh, really Moneyball this. Who’s left!?

LINUS: (Pokes at device.) Nate Robinson and JJ Hickson.

CORBIN: DAMNIT LINUS. Think outside the box! I am going to take this binder full of pictures of players into the SAUNA and I am coming back with some KILLER ASSETS who will help us WIN!

(Then, I do that, and everyone thinks I am a genius.)

Can we just agree that College Basketball and European youth development have been sucked dry, and we need to find the next HOT, GREASY VEIN full of PLAYER GRAVY!? What about China!? They like basketball, right!? I’ll send like three scouts to China, they’ll come back in two with a whole basketful of dudes who are shorter Yao Mings. Buyouts? Sure, great! We’re a PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM IN THE NBA, we can DEAL with buyouts!

Two words, Denver Nuggets owners: Dominican. Republic. Baseball loves that country and baseball is hard as hell. Tellin me there’s not some 7-Foot tall Dominican junkballer we can turn into a 15 PER center? Move around in the paint and try to stand in the small dude’s way. Block shots when you can. Catch and dunk the ball. Go for rebounds, but not too often or for too long of a time. Shoot 75% at the line. He’ll be worth like six wins, six times as many as he would produce for a baseball team.

As a “member of the media,” I could someday talk to a basketball player so I can learn something and write about it for a website or a newspaper. That means I am already mentally prepared to talk to these guys about stuff like money and playing time. I have some rules:
1: KEEP IT LIGHT. People like it when you tell jokes, and make a comfortable atmosphere.
2: PAY ATTENTION TO POP CULTURE, AND REFERENCE IT WHEN I AM TALKING. Hey guys, I am an older man who is your boss, kind of, but I can “rap” with you fellas about Drake and the newest episode of Bones, which we’re all into!
3: JUST TRY TO AGREE WITH THEM. “I’m not getting enough playing time.” Yeah, absolutely. I will talk to Brian about that. “You don’t pay me enough money.” Absolutely. I will talk to some guys about getting a few extra dollars your way. “Someone is getting on my serves.” We will see about trading them to another team, they really annoy me too.

THERE IT IS! My COMPREHENSIVE LIST of reasons why I would be A GREAT GM FOR THE DENVER NUGGETS (Nuggz) ORGANIZATION. If you are from the team and are interested, please Ello me, @BigCorbs. Thank you.

*Aaron Brooks!? What the hell, man!

( I wrote this post twice. Here is the first time I wrote it.)

HEY, DENVER FANS. It’s your good friend, prominent blogger CORBIN SMITH. You heard of me!? Of course you have. I am a fan, just like y’all! I was reading this stuff about the DENVER NUGGETS FRONT OFFICE SITUATION and boy ho boy, it got my bloog (that’s my name for my blood) a-boilin! The fans deserve better. The fans deserve a GM who loves ball, and loves people, and love making HARD DECISIONS.

The fans deserve GM Blue-Footed Booby, the water bird who isn’t scared of humans and loves basketball.
I love basketball, I have a background in coaching and scouting, but I have a profound understanding of modern database management, statistics, negotiation and people management skills, and a magnetic personality. I am forward thinking, and I am looking into programmers to utilize new SportsVU data. And unlike most of the Bird Candidates applying for this job, I am also not scared of humans, because I evolved on an island where there were none until Darwin arrived on the Beagle expedition. I don’t think I need to tell you about when Orlando hired that sparrow and he got scared when Van Gundy walked in the room and was never seen again.

Blue Footed Booby is ready. He knows the cap back and forth, up and down. Here’s a picture of him with the CBA, reading and learning and mastering the finer points of transactions.
(Boobie is more than qualified to be a GM but his eyes aren’t what they used to be.)

Your opponents get a trade call from GM Blue-Footed Boobie, you know it’s going to be valid. “Hey, Sammy (Hinkie). It’s Boobie. Look, we’re both in a pickle here. We have some junky, junky rosters. Can we be honest? Just between us? But we have Hickson, and we’re tired of him, looking to offload, clear the cap, I am thinking, we get you a second round pick, you get us, uhh, Shved and Hollis Thopmson. No one gets better and jams a pumpkin into the tank, because Hickson, on the d/l, he is TERRIBLE at basketball, but the last administration were kind of and don’t tell people I said this, Sam, you gossippy bunny, suckers. They were suckers. I mean, Robinson and Hickson in one offseason? I have “DO NOT SIGN THESE GUYS TO MULTI YEAR DEALS” tattooed to my heart, right underneath my ample plumages, with little pictures of their faces on either side. I hear you thinking, Sam, and I have one more drop of honey to sweeten this tea; how about, next time you’re in Denver, I take you and your wife, you have a wife, right, Sam? Anyway, me and you, we go to the SLaughtered Cow. Peyton Manning loves it, I hear. You can get a surf and turf, and they can get me a bowl full of dried bread crumbs and seeds, because that’s the kind of thing a bird like myself eats.”

Now, does Hinke take that trade? I don’t know! He is pretty crazy about keeping his cap clean, so I doubt it. But, it’s a trade that WORKS UNDER THE CAP and is SOMEWHAT CONCEIVABLE. Also, that confidence, that banter, that lust for life that makes a man a power player in his industry. Blue-Footed Boobie has “It.” No more “Projecting a lack of confidence” in Denver. This is one charming man just one of the fellas, tearing up the phones. He is going to be the engine in  HOT ROD organization, VROOM VROOM!
The 2016 Denver Nuggets, ready to tear up the league on their way to the fifth seed.

Looking to get rid of Brian Shaw? Who isn’t! Boobie has a guy he is looking to hire, and you are going to be interested:
I am talking about the bear, not one of the human beings. They might come on as an assistant, though, since they played under him at Cal, and this guy is really into establishing a coaching tree to scratch his back with.

He is tough. Very tough. During the off season, he sits in a cave and starves while he plays tape on a loop so he can receive visions of the future of the game. No wife. No kids. No obligations at all. Just film and discipline. Swims three miles a day. And, since Denver is openly unwilling to pay management talent, they will be happy to hear that he can be paid in honey, salmon, and ziploc bags full of a female bear’s estrus juices. Will the janitorial staff need to make accommodations? Sure, but you’re already paying them too much, you’ve been looking to get some more value out of that slot anyway. He thinks the triangle is archaic as hell, and just encourage midrange jumpers. Spread screen and roll, ICE defense, motion elements, giant fur coat for handing the cold Denver winters, this is a coach up on all the latest trends.

(Caitlin Obom helped edit the second draft of this piece.)

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