The logical first post in this eponymous blog would feature our beloved bomber from the Ukraine but why give away the cake so early? I'm going with the ever popular debate over icon D-Fish. Especially because I've recently read a bunch of other similar pieces and they're easy to rip off. Per usual, Derek's either headed for sainthood or being pilloried for the fact that he cost a whole 3.75 million which could be better spent on one of the league's elite PGs, mathematical realities being lost on some of our brighter cyber minds.
The thing that most chafes me is this continuing clamor about his "intangibles", as if they alone define his worthiness as a starting guard in the league. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Fish. But intangibles? Please. The guy's as obvious as a door. Start with shooting - Fish has never lost confidence in his ability to sink a trey when needed. Which means he'll jack them up with impunity during some of the most epic slumps imaginable and Jackson doesn't seem to mind. Imagine if Slava had been given that much rope. He'd have been a walking double/single in no time.
One of my favorite writers referred to Derek drawing charges as one of his "subtleties" and I just don't see it that way. Every player in the league knows it's going to happen and still gets sucked in. The gravy is Fish looking up from the floor in stunned confusion. Like, how did this happen? And then there's the Scola layout, a thing of beauty. I could watch it endlessly.
Even Fish's recent FA negotiations show a side that's telling. When he wasn't getting the money he wanted he cut to the chase with a very public trip to the media blitz of the moment - Miami. Lakers management got the hint and coughed up another million.
No, there's no trick food on Derek's plate, he's a solid meat and potatoes guard who happens to be uber-smart and the President of the Players Association. He'll probably be a coach some day and will have learned well from Jackson, another guy with a reputation for obtuse designs and blue collar play. Like the time he threw a backwards elbow and broke Jerry West's nose as he was walking off the court. After the game ended.
So screw the intangibles. Derek plays nasty physical defense and when he starts shooting outside jumpers cleanly, he will absolutely hurt you, and usually when it matters in the 4th quarter. Dude has an unparallelled sense of timing. He'll work well this season with Steve Blake whose fundamentals are very strong and who has a much more consistent three-point shot.