Archive for June, 2012

Essay: Analyzing The Draft

Editor’s note: For the five to ten dedicated readers who’ve missed Shaky Ankles these last few weeks…

Great. Now that that’s been covered, on with the draft grades.


I write these grades while acknowledging that there’s absolutely no way to know who will be Jack Sparrow and who will be Barnabas Collins. Probabilities are different for different guys—Anthony Davis has a 99.9999999% chance of having a “successful” career, but that isn’t 100%—but nothing can possibly set itself in stone before cement is even poured. That’s impossible. Predicting who the winners and losers are is a lot like forecasting whether or not we’ll see rain on July 4, 2013. Grading teams on the draft is a useless exercise, but unlike predicting the weather, it’s fun. Tons of fun.

Before reading any of this, please take into account that I watched very little college basketball last year. I do, however, read a ton, listen to a dangerous amount of podcasts, and occasionally drop by Youtube whenever a particular player ropes me in, so my analysis shouldn’t be discounted as ENTIRELY rubbish. Just a little bit of rubbish.

I’ve slotted winners, losers, and interesting situations based on how I see the given team’s current needs as opposed to how skilled the player selected may be, if that makes any sense. Nobody knows who will dominate and who won’t, but from where we stand this morning, value and common sense can surely be judged.

Read more…

Categories: Essays

Essay: Belated Thoughts On Mike Miller

In almost every basic circumstance, only the most disturbed type of person can obsessively hate someone they’ve never met who has no record of harming anyone or anything, and no reputation of malicious intent in any facet of his/her life.

I say almost every basic circumstance because the world of sport is exempt, floating in a surreal universe alongside other forms of public entertainment. Fans “hating” players is natural. When it comes to this particular non-communicative correspondence, sometimes vitriol exists with no justifiable meaning; it’s perfectly normal to spend time at a bar speaking negatively about any random sports figure or celebrity with no explanation needed, and statements that would be seen as completely ridiculous in almost any other context are barely met with a flinch. Read more…

Categories: Essays

Essay: Previewing The Finals

The Finals are here! Yay! And guess what? The matchup is more fascinating than any in my entire life, including the 2008 Finals that reinvigorated the greatest rivalry in basketball, and at the time looked like the beginning of something special (unfortunately, injuries to Kevin Garnett derailed what could/should have been a rematch in 2009).

Not only does this year’s championship include six of the league’s 20 best players, but diving deeper, we’re blessed with the MVP, the scoring champion, the sixth man of the year, a top five point guard, a top three shooting guard, the league’s best shot blocker (by far), and a goofy giraffe that’s really good at knocking down wide open jumpers.

This series feels important for several reasons, making it more significant than your average finals. It lends the feeling that whatever happens two weeks from now, the league will never be the same. Read more…

Categories: Essays

The Game Gets His Ankles Broken


Dear Game,

It’s okay (one blood), this is how we do it in the Drew League. Sometimes you scream on ‘em, and other times they pour a little Ol’ English in your memory, for your trouble. Either way, hate it or love it, there’s some serious dope boys out there ballin’ hard, and no angel or California vacation can save you from this house of pain and humiliation. You wouldn’t get far, my friend. You wouldn’t get far.



Categories: Shook Ankles

A Superstar’s Struggle

How do we know when a well-decorated career has earned its last meaningful ornament? In judging these situations, even the keenest of eyes can be blinded by years of good memories, highlight after highlight playing on a loop in their mind. Sometimes there is no defined answer. Sometimes a player shades back and forth, slipping into recession for a week before reaching deep inside and pulling out the type of incredible performance that serves as a glaring light in the investigators eye line. It’s for this reason that pinpointing a superstar’s decline is beyond difficult. Call it too soon and look like a fool. Call it too late and appear sentimental.

Right now, I’m not sure where the jury stands with Dwyane Wade. His days of being an All-Star are far from over, but—foolish as this may make me sound and despite his second straight appearance in the Finals—his existence as one of the league’s franchise leading superstars could be through. Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

Essay: Are The Warriors Beggars Or Choosers?

“I think we’re going to explore consolidating, looking at various trade possibilities,” [Warriors General Manager Bob] Myers said. “And that’s the nice thing about having the assets that we have going into this draft. You get in a room with guys like Jerry West, myself, our coaches … now we have the ability to put on the whiteboard endless possibilities as to what we can do. And that’s a good feeling.”

Sitting in the shadows of one of the sketchiest tank jobs in recent NBA history, Joe Lacob, owner of the Golden State Warriors, had his jaw muscles clenched and his knuckles ghostly white as he waited to hear whether or not his team would be forfeiting the draft’s #7 pick to Utah. Karma was sitting on the roof with a sniper, but Lacob had something even more powerful temporarily shielding him: great odds. Read more…

Categories: Essays

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