Saturday, January 26, 2013

4 comments Iman Shumpert is the Next LeBron James Says Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report and one of their writers has provided us with another inane slideshow. The title of the slideshow is "Young Stars Mostly Likely to Yield LeBron-Like Greatness." LeBron James is 28 years old and will most likely be one of the Top 5 players in NBA history by the end of his career. This list of six players on eight slides (the first slide is the introduction slide and the 8th slide is actually a completely different article, which is one of the many ways Bleacher Report manages to get pageviews in an effort to make up for an inferior product) are players who could be the next LeBron James...or have "LeBron-like" potential. Spoiler alert: This article is shitty because none of these players have the potential to be one of the Top 5 players in NBA history. It's just a desperate plea for pageviews.

LeBron James is doing things on the basketball court that no other player ever has.

"So here's a list of players in the NBA right now who may also have the potential to do things on the basketball court that no other player ever has. It makes sense as long as you don't think about it."

He's the best player on the planet and looks nowhere near ready to relinquish that title.

But there are some players entering the league with their targets set on the Heat star.

James is "nowhere ready" to relinquish the title as best player on the planet at the age of 28, but here is a list of six players in the NBA right now who may end up being great like him. Anyone else completely lost trying to follow this logic?

James blends such a unique combination of size, skill and athleticism that anyone would struggle to enter his atmosphere.

Except for these six players currently in the NBA. They won't struggle to enter his atmosphere. It's like back in the late 1990's and early 2000's when no player had gotten very close to Roger Maris' home run record, but then two or three players were getting close to this achievement. Nobody could get close to that record and then all of a sudden something that was rare happened more and more frequently. In that case, PED's allowed these players to get close and exceed 61 home runs in a season, but in this case of someone replicating the combination of size, skill, and athleticism that James has, this Bleacher Report writer is just making shit up.

But that won't stop these players from trying.

Let's start the slideshow!

Iman Shumpert

Shumpert is 22 years old and has career averages of 9.5 ppg, 2.8 apg, and 3.2 rpg.

At the age of 22, LeBron James' averages were 27.3 ppg, 6.0 apg, and 6.7 rpg. Boy, Shumpert certainly is close to those numbers isn't he?

Good size for his position? Check (6'5", 220 pounds).

Relentless, physical defense? Check.

Gifted athlete? Check.

Unique fashion sense? Check, check.

This has to be a joke. I know it isn't supposed to be funny, and it isn't, but it still has to be a joke.

Like James, it's still unclear exactly what position he'll play.

Haha, what bullshit. It isn't clear what position James will play on the court because he can play every position on the court. It's not clear what position Iman Shumpert will play because he isn't a good enough shooter for a shooting guard and isn't big enough to be a small forward. Way to shade the argument in the most ridiculous way possible.

But he's a playmaker on offense, capable of beating his defender and finishing plays himself or finding open teammates.

He's just like LeBron in that they are both black, both tall and both play basketball professionally. The comparison ends there. Sometimes there are articles that are so ridiculous they almost don't even merit to be covered on this site. This slideshow almost reaches that point. Saying Iman Shumpert can have LeBron James-type greatness is so ridiculous, it is almost trolling.

Kawhi Leonard

Scouts weren't sure what to make of the San Jose State product when he entered the 2011 draft.

They probably didn't know what to make of Leonard being from San Jose State because he didn't go to college at San Jose State. He went to San Diego State. Again, this is the type of editorial and written work you get from Bleacher Report sometimes. Half-assed and the main point seems to be purely to get pageviews. The editor of this column had to edit seven slides and he still couldn't do it effectively.

But the Spurs liked what they saw: a basketball player.

This is as opposed to when the Spurs didn't like what they saw when they drafted Pete Sampras in the early 90's: a tennis player.

Leonard projected as a plus-defender at the NBA level. With length (6'7", 225 pounds) and athleticism on the wing, he figured to collect his paychecks at the defensive end.

Just like LeBron he is a defensive specialist.

But he's already displayed a versatile offensive repertoire in his season-plus pro career. He's shot 49.3 percent from the field in each of his two seasons, and his range has extended beyond the three-point line (37.0 percent).

Because Leonard is 6'7" and can shoot the ball well from the three point line and from the field he is just like LeBron long as you ignore his 10 point, 1 assist, 5 rebound averages on the season. But hey, those are just numbers, but relevant and meaningful numbers don't really matter to Bleacher Report writers if they aren't in the form of pageviews.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Scouts questioned his ability to score at the NBA level, and while he's only averaging 10.4 points per game, he's shot 48.5 percent from the field.

The author does realize questioning a player's ability to score at the NBA level means they are questioning how many points a player can score, not the player's field goal percentage? Actually, I'm pretty sure this slideshow was thrown together in five minutes, so the author doesn't realize this. Will Perdue couldn't score at the NBA level and he had a career field goal percentage of 51.5%. His high field goal percentage doesn't mean he could score at the NBA level.

Defensively, he's used his athleticism to compensate for his lack of experience. With his length (6'7") and hops, he's capable of recovering from poor defensive reads.

There's no description here on how Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can have LeBron James-type greatness in the NBA. The author basically says, "Uh...Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is good at defense and he is 6'7" and can jump high. That's just like LeBron!"

This is just supremely lazy writing. The author doesn't tell us exactly how these NBA players are supposed to be like LeBron, but just lists a bunch of attributes the player has and ignores the talent differential between LeBron James and the player this author is describing.

Paul George

He hasn't yet sniffed out superstar numbers (16.4 points in 35.9 minutes per game), but he's shown enough flashes for the Pacers to hold on to that hope for the third-year pro.

You mean the Pacers should hold on to hope that George is going to end up being a Top 5 player in NBA history right?...which is the impact Paul George would have to have on the NBA to have LeBron-like greatness.

But no, the author says he could be a superstar, which is what LeBron is. So since they both fall under the generic category of "superstar," Paul George and LeBron James are basically the same player. There's no need to differentiate between the levels of being a superstar is there?

He's already a better three-point threat than James (39.7 percent in 2012-13). With his size (6'8", 210 pounds) and handles, he's a matchup nightmare for any defense.

George is a better three point shooter than LeBron? Well, he's already on his way then since this cherry-picked category supports your argument. LeBron weighs 50 pounds more than Paul George by the way. When comparing George to LeBron and saying he's a matchup nightmare for any defense, the fact LeBron is as quick as George with 50 more pounds on his body is incredibly relevant.

And he's blossoming as a creator for his teammates. His 3.7 assists per game has him on pace to shatter his previous career high, more impressive considering he's been without the prolific Granger for the entire season.

LeBron averaged 6 assists when he was the same age as Paul George. Which was impressive considering he was playing with Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden as the second and fourth leading scorers on the Cavaliers team.

He reads offenses, anticipates plays and has the requisite athletic ability to complete those defensive efforts.

Paul George plays defense. LeBron James plays defense. The differences between the two are hard to spot.

Evan Turner

(Bengoodfella stops laughing long enough to continue typing)

The author thinks Evan Turner has LeBron James-like greatness about him. Turner is only four years younger than James by the way.

Evan Turner doesn't have the defensive acumen of James, but he's the best distributor of the group.

If he isn't as good of a defender as James, then he can't have a James-like impact or be great like James. James had an MVP award by the time he was 24 years old. Case closed. End of story.

But Turner is such a visionary passer (4.2 assists per game) that he's more than capable of serving as the offense's focal point. He's got a quick first step and the dribble moves to exploit it.

This is silly. Evan Turner can't be great like LeBron James. Every time I think a Bleacher Report column can't get any more dumb and pointless, I am proven wrong.

Defensively, he's a bit hindered by a lack of strength against bigger wings. But he approaches that end of the floor with the same cerebral approach that continues to evolve his offensive game.

He's hindered by his lack of strength, which isn't a problem LeBron James has, and Turner isn't strong defensively, which is the opposite of how is Turner capable of James-like greatness again?

Nicolas Batum

With four years of NBA service already under his belt, Nicolas Batum is the most experienced of these players.

But he's still only 24 years old.

Or as I state it, Batum has been in the NBA for four years now and still isn't close to being on the same level as LeBron James. Batum is becoming a good player, but he isn't anywhere close to being on LeBron's level. Could he get there at some point? Probably not. I don't think Batum is going to end up being one of the greatest NBA players of all-time, so I doubt he has a LeBron James-type greatness in him.

He's increased his scoring (15.8 points per game in 2012-13) and rebounds (5.6) for the fifth straight season. And he's averaging at least one block and one steal per game for the second consecutive year.

Batum's statistics are improving, which means by the time he is 30 years old he will naturally be on LeBron's level, right?

He has a wiry frame (6'8", 200 pounds) and could stand to add more muscle.

Just like LeBron!

He may not have the commanding personality to fully realize his superstar potential. 

Then why the fuck would he be on a list for young stars who are most likely to achieve LeBron James-level greatness if Batum may not even be a superstar?

And he's frustrated Portland fans with his inconsistent effort as often as he's dazzled them with a highlight finish.

Just like LeBron! LeBron is famous for being lazy and not giving a consistent effort on the court.

But he may be the most naturally gifted of any player on this list. He's certainly got enough time to further his development.

Batum is improving, but exactly how is he going to reach LeBron-levels of greatness? This is never explained. As usual, a Bleacher Report slideshow has a title that doesn't match what is contained in the slideshow, all in effort to get pageviews. If this was a list of young players who could develop into superstars, that's fine, but "LeBron James" was put in the title to gain pageviews and none of the content in this column in any way suggests why/how any of these six players could ever be great like LeBron James.


Eric C said...

Steve Novak is a better 3-point shooter than LeBron too. Wonder if the Heat will trade James for Novak? *smh*

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, well obviously that will happen. Iman Shumpert is the next LeBron James so if the Heat can get Novak and Shumpert for James then that's a no-brainer trade for them.

TheLakerGenera11 said...

LMAO was just about to leave your page and found more great commentary on BS articles roming the net, Well if there is one player on the way to being the next LeBron James it's clearly ....drum roll... no one! Sad thing is people swear by Bleacher Report and a number of their columnist are lazy writers there are some well knowns who write articles for them from time to time but Bleacher Report is pretty crappy. had to drop another line, I def like the content you put out, being critical without critizing is a skill. Good stuff.

Bengoodfella said...

Thanks, I appreciate it. Bleacher Report has improved over the past year or two, I have to admit. The problem is there are still writers who end up putting out crap like this. It's nice that rather than the crap being featured on the main page, good writing can be found there though.

So when is Iman Shumpert going to be the next LeBron James? I'm waiting...