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Kendall Marshall, Team Slogans, and Adorable NBA Items - The Downbeat - #766

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David Locke put up this video last night of Kendall Marshall from North Carolina. The 6'4'' point guard is a fantastic passer and floor general, but does he have the rest of the game to work in the NBA? Regardless of your opinion of Locke (personally, I like him), it's worth watching just for the accumulated video clips of Marshall's skills.

Truthfully, I'm not particularly worried about his ability to finish in the NBA, but am more worried about his defense. The comparison to Andre Miller seems legitimate (and visually he really looks like him), but I'm also thinking of someone like Jose Calderon: not good at all defensively, but a good passer and floor general.

I have the same worries as Locke: while that's a different player than Devin Harris, is that a better player? IMO, no. I miss nothing more than the days of the Jazz having an good passing PG, my dreams are very literally of Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash in a Jazz uniform. That being said... I don't see Marshall having the tools to be those guys, he doesn't have Rondo's athleticism/style/defensive gambling skills, and he doesn't have Nash's shooting or search dribble.

If you draft him, you get a decent floor managing, cost-controlled, point guard. Neat.

And now I'm reconsidering as I learn and think more about him. Shoot. This is what makes player evaluation often so difficult... there are reasonable arguments to consider. The pro-Marshall arguments:

  1. Look how good he is at managing the pick and roll! Once upon a time, we had players like that. (Their names were Josh Stockman and Karie Malpone. /Bolerjack) Favors has a 1.19 PPP as the roll man on the P&R! Marshall is a good passer! Things could be just like the olden times! I just got too excited.
  2. He knows his weaknesses, and knows he needs to improve them. From an interview with him at DraftExpress:

    JT: Looking to the NBA, is there anything you feel you could really improve upon or the thing you're spending the most time working on from a skills perspective?

    Kendall Marshall: Definitely. I definitely want to become a consistent, knockdown shooter. The last thing I want to be is a liability for any team I'm playing for. I feel like I'm blessed with a gift of getting my teammates involved, but that's not going to matter if guys are defending 10 or 15 feet off of me. And also, working on my body and becoming more flexible -- I think that will help me become quicker on defense. You know, being able to keep guys like Tywon [Lawson], Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook, these highly explosive guards -- I'm not trying to shut them down, but I want to be able to contain them and do a good job staying in front of them.

    I mean, that's really cool. Not only does he know what he needs to improve on, but he knows specifically how he's going to do it. I'm not sure Devin Harris, for example, knows that he needs to improve defensively, or knows how to do it. Marshall does, and to me, that's a big deal.
  3. DraftExpress also compares him to Ricky Rubio, who has turned out to be tremendously fun. As a paying season ticket holder, I like fun.
  4. Passing. Good passing is so incredibly excellent. Jazz basketball, was, once upon a time, based on this notion of passing. Even as recently as 2008, the Jazz were a brilliant passing team, especially after the Kyle Korver trade. Remember, that team also happened to have the #1 offense in the NBA. We could conceivably get back to that.

I still really don't know. Watch the video, look at Marshall's stats. What do you think? Should the Jazz try to get him? What would you give up to acquire a pick that would get you Marshall?

Last night on the award-winning and usually enjoyable Inside the NBA, they created a highlight reel of some of Gregg Popovich's finest moments. You have to click on the link to watch it, but it's probably worthwhile.

Gregg Popovich is Excellent

To me, this misses my favorite Popovich moment of all time: intentionally fouling Shaq on the first play of the season:

This is a good one too:

But, the related note to Jazz basketball is that Jerry Sloan is also awesome, also has a sardonic sense of humor, and also is one of the best coaches of all time. I think the league misses Jerry quotes, and so it will be nice to have him back should he decide to coach again.

Last week in this #4 space, I asked you what merchandise you would like to see the Jazz make. The conclusion: scarves. Hey! The Jazz! You read this blog! Make some sweet scarves! Thanks.

This week, I put you in charge of the Utah Jazz Marketing team as they try to come up with a slogan for the upcoming season. Jon Bois had this look on it weeks ago, but we'd like to try to avoid being on the "Worst NBA Slogans of All Time" list. So, young marketing exec, what would you like the Jazz' slogan to be this season?

My real ideas:

  • Note The Note. (Get it? take notice of the Jazz?)
  • Jazz Basketball: Getting Higher. (unfortunately, we gainfully employ Josh Howard, so elevation related slogans are difficult)
  • Your Team, Our Dream (Totally cheating off of "One Team, One Dream" years ago)
  • Growing for Glory (alliteration!)

Of course, it's much, much easier to come up with fake ideas:

  • #WeConsistentlyDoDumbS*** (the very first hashtag slogan!)
  • Playoff Push.
  • Jazz basketball: Like the NBA, but without Dancers and Defense.
  • Shots! Shots! ShotsShotsShotsShots! Everybody! (remember, it's a contract year for everybody)
  • EVERYBODY JUST F***ING YELL AS LOUD AS YOU F***ING CAN (a continuation of great Jazz slogans like "Get Loud, Be Proud", "Bring the Noise", etc.

What are your suggestions? Just to make it difficult, I propose a rule: you have to suggest one legitimate slogan before you can start piling on with hilarious ones.

Earlier in the program, I briefly mentioned Ricky Rubio as a comparison for Kendall Marshall. This reminded me of the Ricky Rubio gif:


Which then reminded me of various cute NBA things.

Now look. I am male, and therefore it is not usually my role, as society prescribes, to find things cute at all, let alone adorable. Nevertheless, I am duty-bound to report to you that the Ricky Rubio gif is both. Here are other cute NBA things:

How incredible is it that Kendrick Perkins Jr. is exactly the opposite, personality wise, from Kendrick Perkins Sr.? "I'm Kendrick Perkins Jr!" while waving his arms wildly is so awesome.


Memo's daughter looks remarkably similar to Memo. And she's growing up fast too.

This one's been posted a lot, but it's also pretty adorable. And at the very least, the camaraderie between CP3 and Blake is at the level of "I teach my kids to make faces like yours when you dunk", which is pretty powerful.

Shan Foster's NBA Draft Song is probably the single item on the internet that has affected me the most. There are many things on the internet, so that's saying a lot. It is superbly adorable and very well done. But here's this guy named Shan Foster, who was the star player for Vanderbilt University, honor roll member, and apparently was on a magazine cover for his piano playing. He had an excellent senior season where he shot 47% (!) from 3. He was widely considered the best pure shooter in that draft class.

Unfortunately, though, he started to underwelm. Reading his DX pre-draft workout description is heartbreaking:

Shan Foster was a big disappointment once again, continuing the same trend we saw in the morning and the day before. He looks completely out of his element mentally, forcing bad shots and even air-balling one 3-pointer by about five feet (Andy's note: if Devin Harris was a verb, this is what it would mean), which is completely uncharacteristic of the player widely considered the top shooter in this draft class.

His draft stock fell as a result. He was picked #51 by the Dallas Mavericks, and the other line in his Wiki section for Professional Career is "Foster played for the Mavericks in the NBA Summer League in 2010, but failed to impress." Ouch.

Now he plays for an Italian team, and only shoots 37% there. It's very, very likely that he never gets to play a single minute in an NBA game. And yet, he tried so hard. He's worked harder at his goal than most of us have or will ever have work at anything. In this video, he legitimately thinks he's going to play in the NBA, and HE'S SO EXCITED, cause playing in the NBA is REALLY, REALLY COOL. And he doesn't get to.

It's devastating when you think about it. He doesn't get to because life is completely and totally unfair. When I watched this video, I immediately became like Tom (Joseph Gordon-Leavitt) in his darkest days in 500 Days of Summer for about a week: just lying in bed, canceling/missing appointments and classes, bouncing a tennis ball occasionally because there's nothing else worth doing anymore.

I have no real solutions to that feeling, other than time and perhaps meeting a girl named Autumn helps. So, to avoid ending this downbeat on a particularly down beat, we instead turn to a fantastic GIF of the Rookie/Soph game, where Favors and Hayward didn't have to make any plays (click to view):


Please feel free to share your adorable NBA videos/GIFs/pictures. Because after Shan Foster, we all need to smile.