Earlier today, Earl Watson (@Earl_Watson) posted this drawing by Jeremy Evans on his Twitter account, with the follwing comment: "Thanks to my boy @JeremyEvans40 for drawing this picture for me! Boooooyyyyyyzzzz!" I do not think it would be a huge stretch to call it the single most illuminating piece of artwork ever done by a Jazz player currently on the roster, and as such, it is our moral imperative as Jazz fans to break it down.
1. Jeremy Evans drew himself and Earl Watson as babies with diapers.
I mean, this isn't exactly behavior you expect from an NBA player. Kevin Garnett, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kendrick Perkins would not have chosen to draw themselves as babies, because, of course, they never were babies. Jeremy is 24, Earl is 32. I don't think this is the kind of behavior you typically expect from adults.
Can Earl Watson really be called a veteran leader if the young guys he's supposed to be mentoring are drawing him as a baby? This just does not compute with the guy who's been playing on an apparently gigantic ankle for 3 months. Babies cry and play in the sandbox. They certainly do not horrifically sprain their ankle and then continue to play professional basketball while their bodies are structurally unsound.
And what of Evans himself? Again, usually young guys coming into the league talk a lot about hard work and proving themselves to be NBA players. Babies, again, do not do these things. They do, however, learn at a remarkably rapid rate about their environment, and from the players around them. Let's hope Jeremy is using his baby status as a metaphor for a young basketball player who is eager to grow.
As @brownbear844 pointed out on Twitter, this is perhaps a reference to Matt Harpring's "early-oop" phrase, where "early" here means "early in life". While at least sensical, this explanation unfortunately means that they listen to Matt Harpring, who likes to tell players to punch hot jump-shooters, among other things. Babies don't let babies listen to Matt Harpring.
2. Jeremy Evans depicts Earl Watson wearing a bib saying "I'm cool" and eating a donut.
This probably means Jeremy likes Earl. Note, in particular, that Earl's bib says "I'm cool" and not, "I'm hardnosed", "I'm bulldog-esque", not "I'm a creative passer" or "I have a 9.34 PER". Does this mean Jamaal Tinsley, by comparison, is not cool? Maybe Raja is perhaps even warm? We don't know for sure. Perhaps Earl Watson is so cool that it's clear that he was even cool at a young age, something that most of us develop after the diaper days. I really hope that Jeremy is not cleverly poking fun at Watson's jump shooting ability.
In his time as a Jazzman, we have actually learned much about Earl's alleged eating habits: when he has an off day, he flies to Kansas City to eat some of their apparently famous barbecue. After a game, he refreshes with a nice cold glass of chocolate milk. Sales at the Park Cafe in Salt Lake City, which he frequently raves about on Twitter, have gone up 37% since Earl began his marketing campaign (probably). We now know that he also enjoys the occasional donut, or at least, Jeremy is completely comfortable depicting him eating one. Given the love for milk, I don't think that's too far-fetched.
3. Jeremy Evans spent kind of a long time on this.
Look at the detail in the drawing. The wood lines are evident in the frame of the sandbox, complete with knots and all, even in the background. The shading of the bottom of the regulation baby hoop. His heels are apparently a completely different color than the rest of his body, something we'd have no idea of otherwise. The numbers on his jersey fold together in a completely unrealistic way. (I would have actually bought this if it were the rest of the jersey, but the numbers stay stiff in real life. And of course, photorealism is an important lens from which to examine this piece of artwork.) The shading of the rectangular support for the hoop itself is superb. Even the motion lines have shadows.
4. Jeremy Evans is a talented artist in a variety of media and techniques.
I thought his portrait of Jerry Sloan (which can be found here) was somewhat understated and impressive, done in charcoal. Here, he seems to be using computer software (perhaps on an iPad?) and, of course, chooses a completely ridiculous and outrageous color scheme and subject matter. Whereas his basketball skills are somewhat one-dimensional, Jeremy Evans' artistic skills are not.
5. Jeremy Evans did one handed, non-jumping alley-oops as a child.
While Evans' most common move is the two hander, it does seem as if he prefers one handed dunks. Consider his dunks during this year's dunk contest, or, alternatively, the last time we've seen him on the court this year: both one handed finishes with a flourish. This preference, however, can only be displayed when the outcome of a game is no longer in doubt.
Impressively, Jeremy did not jump to finish his alley-oops as a baby. We can only guess how he developed his prodigious hops. My theory: at some point in his early life, Jeremy became addicted to dunking. Unfortunately, one day his hoop broke, leaving only the regulation hoop left in his life. From that day forward, he vowed to be able to dunk on that hoop with as much ease as he once did on the younger play basket, working and working on all of the muscles needed to succeed at those heights. Luckily, Evans' story is a happy one: after all of this effort, he's won the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.