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Kegboy
02-20-2004, 03:22 PM
The “Greatness” of Mehmet Okur

By Kegboy

You sure hear a lot about Mehmet Okur lately. Detroit just lost six straight games, supposedly all due to Okur sitting out with back spasms. Joe Dumars has been feverishly slashing payroll for months just so the Pistons can re-sign the guy. With all the hubbub, you’d think he was the Second Coming or something. But to Pacers fans without the luxury of League Pass or NBA-TV (myself included), all this fuss seems a bit unwarranted. Wasn’t this the same guy who, last time they played us, had 0 points and 3 boards in 12 ineffective minutes, before being benched and belittled by his coach in the post-game press conference?

But, as anyone who remembers Bruno Sundov’s 17 points against Orlando can tell you, you shouldn’t judge a player by just one game. On the other hand, should we really take the word of his supporters, people who are best known for worshiping a one-dimensional player because of his hair? I don't think so. Instead, to sort this all out, I did what any self-respecting NBA fan with a Math degree would do: I looked up his stats.


G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
52 30 23.8 .456 .294 .786 2.50 4.20 6.70 1.0 0.52 1.06 1.48 2.00 10.2

Still, not impressed? Well, have I got something for you. See, when I first looked at this, I got a major dose of deja-vu. Thanks to my innate ability to remember utterly worthless information, I recognized the line as being similar to a stat line from a different player a few years back. But even I was shocked by what I found. Maybe he is the second coming. The second coming of a guy named Player X*.

*Joe Friday disclaimer: The following story is true. Some names may have been changed to protect the innocent.

Below are Okur's stats, immediately followed by X's:

G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF RPG APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
52 30 23.8 .456 .294 .786 2.50 4.20 6.70 1.0 0.52 1.06 1.48 2.00 10.2
81 14 23.3 .441 .362 .848 1.70 4.70 6.40 1.1 0.54 0.74 1.49 2.50 10.3

Now, take a good close look at those. Pretty freaky, huh? Sure, there are variations; Okur’s a slightly better rebounder and shot-blocker, X has a much better 3-point and free-throw percentage, and is more foul prone. But, for two different guys playing on different teams in different seasons, those numbers are pretty darn close. The biggest differential is the starts, but Playa had 4 All-Stars and an MIP starting ahead of him, a luxury they don’t have in the Motor City.

Hey, it gets better. You see, Memo and PX have more in common than just a stat line. I thought Okur must be a seven-footer. Nope, he’s listed at 6’11”, just one inch taller than X’s 6’10”. And that inch corresponds to an lb spread of 249 to 242, a paltry 7 pounds, which, according to my Atkins-groupie parents, is almost definitely the result of eating a half-slice of white bread.

And now we enter Rod Sterling territory. Okur’s birthday is 5/26/79; X was born 5/1/75. Big deal, they’re four years apart, right? Well, I neglected to tell you that X’s stat line is from four years ago!!! So, there relative ages are less than four weeks apart!

The more I look into this, the more freaked out I get. As I click back and forth between their respective profiles, even their pictures start to look alike. See for yourself:

http://www.nba.com/media/playerfile/mehmet_okur.jpghttp://www.nba.com/media/playerfile/austin_croshere.jpg

Eh, maybe not. Oops, I just let the cat out of the bag. Oh, well, not to worry. Nobody outside of Indiana, Rhode Island and Santa Monica even recognizes Austin anymore. Shoot, he’s even playing less now than he did under Isiah (a fact that, true, should change now that Artest is out.)

Already I can hear Pistons fans far and wide (read: Kstat) going postal: “How dare he compare that overpaid seat cushion tester to our Memo!” Well, let me stop you right there. I’ll concede any argument you make about Okur’s superiority, as long as you concede that 4 years ago, there was nary a Pacer fan who wouldn’t expound on the extraordinary exploits of young Mr. Croshere’s exquisite play at the drop of a hat.

Hey, I’m not saying Okur’s career’s gonna pull a Titanic. I haven’t seen the guy enough to give any kind of analysis, good or bad. Maybe he’ll live up to expectations, or even exceed them. Maybe he’ll even make Darko expendable. But then, maybe he won’t. You might want to keep that in mind when he signs that 7-year, sixty-odd million dollar contract this summer.

Personally, I hope he pans out. I got nothing against the kid. Now, that pot-head rent-a-mate of his, that’s another matter. Am I the only one who’s freaked out by that white thing on his head? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll get to see it when the Pacers head up to Motown on Palm Sunday to wage battle against the most awesome front line the East has seen since Parish, McHale, and Bird. (Yeah, right.) Until then,

:wave:

waxman
02-20-2004, 06:32 PM
WOW.... tee hee.... I was just thinking about this very topic....thanks for looking up the stats...saves me time.

:highfive:

Anthem
07-26-2005, 10:51 AM
Hey, nice job!

Kegboy
07-26-2005, 11:07 AM
You know, instead of "articles", if we'd called these things "Blogs", this really would have taken off. We probably would have been featured on MSNBC by now! :sarcasm: