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Thread: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

  1. #1
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    Default OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    A discussion in another thread about how many "The Next Jordan's" there have been reminded me of this article about Chad Ford - who I think's one of the easiest writers to pick apart around (some others are metnioned but it's mostly Ford). Seems like no opinion's too arcane for him to write an uninformed article about.

    Since it's slow, figured I'd offer this up for digestion.

    From: http://www.draftcity.com/headlines.php

    On Tuesday night, foreign-born stars Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker combined for 50 points to lead San Antonio to victory in the Western Conference Finals. That same evening, representatives of the NBA's bottom feeders gathered for the NBA draft lottery. A curiosity just a decade ago, foreigners now saturate the league to the point where mediocrities like Bostjan Nachbar have taken bench-warmer jobs from American stiffs. Despite flameouts like Darko Milicic and Frederic Weis, five or six lottery teams will probably select foreign players in next month's draft. But how are fans to know whether his team is picking the next Nowitzki or the next Tskitishvili?

    Leave it to ESPN.com's Chad Ford. Or maybe don't. Perhaps to justify his expense reports, Ford turns every long-armed Slav into Sidd Finch. Darko Milicic was better-prepared for the NBA than LeBron James because he "played against a much higher level of competition." Recently, Ford anointed a Lithuanian guy "the best shooter in Europe and possibly in the world" after watching him shoot 7-for-14.

    As NBA personnel men have taken to trekking from Almaty to Zagreb in search of talent, the international basketball travelogue has become the hottest new trend in sports journalism. No one matches the hyperbolic heights of ESPN's Ford, but writers like Alexander Wolff, Ric Bucher, and Grant Wahl have also taken to scouring the globe for 7-footers. (For some good recent examples of the genre, check out Wahl's Sports Illustrated African journey "On Safari for 7-Footers" and Jeff Coplon's New York Times Magazine story on basketball in China.)

    For those unfamiliar with the roundball odyssey format, there are a few standard observations that every intrepid hoops reporter must make.

    This guy you've never heard of will turn into this other guy you have heard of: According to the New York Times Magazine's Coplon, "Yi Jianlian, the 6-foot-11 16-year-old … reminds some of a young Tim Duncan." The new favorite appears to be Tayshaun Prince. Ford likens both Turk Ersan Ilyasova and Russian Yaroslav Korolev to the lanky Pistons forward—on the same trip. It's hard to blame writers for this trait—after all, comparing players to known quantities is the language of scouting. But if I had a dime for every Thai who was "like Allen Iverson—only tougher," I would have my own beach house in Krabi by now.

    This country/continent has loads of potential: Eastern European nations are blessed with squadrons of talented shooters, if only they could overcome poverty. Africa has any number of potentially great players, if only they had shoes. And no story on Chinese laankau is complete without rumors of thousands of unschooled 7-footers wandering the countryside—"Here Be Dragons … and Power Forwards With Handle."

    Tony Ronzone says … : The Detroit Pistons talent-spotter has been on the international scene for decades and has never met a reporter he couldn't dazzle. Ford is awestruck at the Runyonesque character's "amazing ability to get out of tight spots," e.g., talking his way into Russia when his passport gets stolen in Germany. Despite his supposed scouting prowess—among Ronzone's supposed discoveries are Yao Ming and Mehmet Okur—he seems more concerned about beer and food. Ford claims that Ronzone "loves meat more than anyone I've ever met." Keeping the super scout's belly filled appears to be the key to Detroit's continued success.

    My journey was incredibly arduous: Ford recaps one recent voyage thusly: "nine days, 14,587 miles, a strikeout in Turkey, a terrible case of food poisoning and tanks rolling down the streets in Moscow." Wahl's pilgrimage to the "Dark Continent" reads like something out of Henry M. Stanley: "To find the most prized big man at the world's most remote big-man camp, you have to take four flights, hop on a pothole-weary bus and light out through the desert of northern Nigeria … until you come upon an astonishing sight: a Hoosiers-style gymnasium, rising from the scrub in the town of Zaria."

    Despite what Ford and Wahl might tell you, watching games abroad isn't as taxing as tracking a yeti across the Himalayan steppes. I know whereof I speak—as producer of The Asian Basketball Show, I spent the better part of four years watching Yao and Wang Zhizhi toy with continental competition. The biggest discomforts I faced in traveling abroad to watch hoops were jet lag and secondhand smoke.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    I never understood why the media always seems to think there needs to be a next anybody.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan
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    I know its not the same, but I have always felt that way about athletes. Be the first you. I hate hearing "the next anybody"............................
    Ah, the next 'better than Jordan.'

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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Interesting to look at the actual all-star team. Out of 24 possible all-stars, there are only 5 foreigners (Z, Nash, Nowitzki, Yao, and Manu). (Duncan used to be a question mark, but he has declared himself definitely American). 2 Europeans, 1 Asian, 1 South American, and a Canadian. Right now the whole America losing to the world story is a lot of sizzle without much steak, Olympics be damned.

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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by 3Ball
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    Interesting to look at the actual all-star team. Out of 24 possible all-stars, there are only 5 foreigners (Z, Nash, Nowitzki, Yao, and Manu). (Duncan used to be a question mark, but he has declared himself definitely American). 2 Europeans, 1 Asian, 1 South American, and a Canadian. Right now the whole America losing to the world story is a lot of sizzle without much steak, Olympics be damned.

    hmm...... 0 10 years ago, 5 now, how many do you think there will be in 10 more years?

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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Less then 5

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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    What do you base that on Jermaniac?

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    Jesus Shuttlesworth
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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Chad Ford is a scout for Detroit?

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    Banned Jermaniac's Avatar
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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by efx
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    What do you base that on Jermaniac?
    Darko Milicic

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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by Jermaniac
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    Darko Milicic
    That's not much to base it on I think.

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    Default Re: OT (sort of) A Commentary on Chad Ford

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays
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    I never understood why the media always seems to think there needs to be a next anybody.
    it doesn't bother me much, unless overdone.

    personally, i regard it as a form of shorthand. for example, you can spend paragraphs describing someone as a lanky defender who uses his long arms to disrupt the passing lanes - or just use a ty prince comparison, which might deliver a clearer picture. assuming the comparison is valid in the first place...

    no reason to think that there will be less non-us all stars in the future. the game is just starting to become popular outside the united states, relatively speaking.

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