Is the prestige and adulation of the NBA All-Star Game just not your thing? Would you rather spend your time looking into new hair-care products
or making poorly timed trade demands
? No need to conjure up a mysterious hip ailment or get caught urinating in a Wendy's dumpster, here are a few proven, sure-fire ways to get completely ignored every January. Rest up, your team has three busy months of losing to worry about.You are The Man...The 6th Man.
As long as Gregg Popovich is alive, Manu Ginobili will never go to the All-Star Game again. Popovich always insists on keeping Manu's minutes down, presumably to keep him fresh (i.e. he gets so amped at times he may spontaneously combust), but to the casual fan this means a lack of talent. But if someone hid the Mentholatum vapor rub, rendering Michael Finley, Brent Barry and Bruce Bowen unable to move, you'd see that Ginobili is quietly having an insanely good year. Sit down for this: 4th among shooting guards in assists (per 48 mins), 3rd in points and 2nd in steals, while shooting 40% on threes and an NBA Jam-like 74% in the clutch!
Kobe Bryant, you can't do that.
But practical-minded coaches can be the downfall of many a great player. What if Phil Jackson decided to keep Michael Jordan "fresh" during the 90's? Pigeons would be pooping on a Scottie Pippen statue in front of the United Center. I trust that Ginobili will be tossing back some brews with guys like Ricky Pierce, Detlef Schrempf and Toni Kukoc, and having a good laugh. Because exhibition games are for suckers.Your Teammates Suck.
Al Jefferson is having the break-out year many people expected, but there was no doubt whatsoever that Al would be completely ignored. Great players on crappy teams are largely overlooked because people are fully aware of the "Ugly Friend" effect: you might look awesome only because
your teammates are terrible.
Believe it or not, Zach Randolph was a completely respectable player as recently as last year. But a 24 point, 10 rebound campaign was nowhere near enough to hide the fact that the Blazers were working on 50 losses (and Zach had outstanding warrants
). And Shareef Abdur-Rahim goes without saying (a steady 20 point, 9 rebound, 50 loss guy in Vancouver for 5 seasons).
The "Ugly Friend" effect was so effective back in 2001, it even fooled Bulls GM Jerry Krause, causing Elton Brand to be traded for pennies on the dollar. Those pennies being Tyson Chandler, then PJ Brown. And yes, I'm still bitter.You have no endorsements and magazines ignore you.
Make no mistake, the All-Star Game can be a shameless popularity contest, and if you don't market yourself, the NBA won't market you. The tide turned when BJ Armstrong started alongside Kenny Anderson back in 1994. Now, at this point in time, is Jason Kidd, with his advanced age and sub-37% shooting, a better option than Michael Redd?
Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony were voted as starters this year, but the last two league MVPs had to be named as reserves. Think about that.
Labels: All-Star Game, conspiracy theories, Manu Ginobili, NBA marketing