Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2013 Report Card: James White

Stats:

Player Age G MP MPG PER TS% eFG% TRB% AST% TOV% USG%
James White 30 57 435 7.6 9.1 0.503 0.491 6.5 10.3 12.0 15.2

Per 36 Minutes:

FGA 3PA 3P% FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
9.2 1.2 34.1 1.6 0.579 0.4 3.6 4.0 2.4 1.1 0.3 1.4 3.6 10.3

Given perhaps his last shot at the show, James “Flight” White willed unfurled a parallel phalanx of taut-skirted jet mavens, measured with sleepy eyes the precise number of steps from here to there – from the minimally showered and stubblebearded Euro-hoards from whence he came to a glory unfulfilled – took in his hands the spherical source of his joys and curses, strung out his gait in ever-stretching bounds, leaping skyward with ball held high and legs drawn in, gliding, gliding like grace aloft and reaching, reaching to touch the boydream ether and…

fffffffffffthp.

The signing and eventual release of James White worked out pretty much how most expected: not that well. After a serviceable if hardly incendiary showing at the 2012 Vegas Summer League, the Knicks – crepe thin in the backcourt – felt it worth taking a flyer on a player renowned for being pretty much just that. Many moons had waned since his now legendary YouTube antics, and it was unclear whether the years spent flicking Moltens in roundball backwaters had spurred in White any growth beyond another inch on the runway.

But we listened to Kevin Durant, among others, heap praise on a prospect few had seen. Not when he was biding time in a pair of non-consecutive NBA stints a decade ago. Not even when he was putting up 16 a game during his senior season at Cincinnati. Not when he was moonlighting as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. (H/t Bob Silverman)

All told, James White played in 57 games – 47 more than his first two NBA go-rounds – and started in 16, zero of which I remember. His role featured these specific functions: 1) staple himself to whomever he was guarding on defense; 2) stand as far in the corner as possible on offense; and 3) shoot under two and exactly two circumstances – up by more than 20 points, or down by more than 9,000.

Thanks to not a little social media lobbying, White was invited to participate in the 2013 TacoSodaPhone Slam Dunk Contest. Everyone knew what was coming: Flight’s patented Running-Start-Free-Throw-Line-Launch-Between-the-Legs-How-the-Fuck?-God-and-Gravity-Damning-Special. As if that possibility alone weren’t badass enough, dude assembled a cadre of ACTUAL WOMEN DRESSED UP AS FLIGHT ATTENDANTS for a makeshift runway. Arena lights dimmed low, the stage was set for a throwdown to turn the Toyota Center roof into smoke and shoot towers of flames with colors never even seen before out of every television and computer screen on earth.

Instead, we got arguably the most awkward Slam Dunk attempt in history – a symphony of fail burned to a CD scratched to shit by a pack of rabid jackals. Sometimes Flight would complete the under-leg handoff, only to slam the ball off the backboard with enough force to decapitate a marble statue. One time, the ball was lost mid-transfer and sent reeling off towards the crowd and into the arms of a small child, who threw it back, disgusted. On another attempt, Flight got so little air – a basketball Icarus winged with bacon – oxygen masks descended from the arena rafters. He used seven minutes of a one-minute clock, and the event producers didn’t do anything about it. That’s how bad they felt. One hundred and ten years after the Wright Brothers told gravity to go fuck itself, Flight was grounded. In spectacular fashion.

James White won’t be in the hanger for long; a one-year stateside stint alone should be enough to guarantee a half-decade largesse somewhere overseas. He’s already fielded offers from… teams with a lot of vowels, any of which will pay him more money in four months than I will make in sixty years. There’s even an outside chance that another NBA team will offer a training camp tryout. Whatever happens, none of this is uncharted territory for Flight; he’s a professional basketball player, and probably will remain so for a few more years, because he’s legitimately one of the best 500 or so on the planet. And that’s sayings something. Besides, which sounds like the more appealing February road trip: Milan, Rome, and Burlusconi Bunga Bunga Parties, or Cleveland, Milwaukee, and “QUICK, SOMEONE SNAP MY URINE ICICLE BEFORE I DIE OF EXPOSURE!” Exactly.

Good luck, Flight, and keep those space waitresses smiling.

Grades (5 point scale):
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Teamwork: 4
Rootability: 4
Performance/Expectations: 2
Final Grade: C

8 comments on “2013 Report Card: James White

  1. Z

    Loathing:
    James White = 2010?s version of Greg Butler…just shorter.

    Yes. If the Garden crowd had chanted “we want Butler” during opening warm-ups, and Pitino had acquiesced.

  2. Spree8nyk8

    I have a question about this MWP stuff going on. He’s saying basically from what I have read (don’t know how legitimate it is) that he wants to play for the Knicks or he wants to retire. So my question would be…

    If he does retire doesn’t he forfeit the money from the lakers? I mean if he were to retire before they amnestied him he would lose that money, and when you are bidding on an amnesty player you are buying their old contract (at your bid rate). So wouldn’t he lose that?

  3. Z

    Spree8nyk8:
    I have a question about this MWP stuff going on.He’s saying basically from what I have read (don’t know how legitimate it is) that he wants to play for the Knicks or he wants to retire.So my question would be…

    If he does retire doesn’t he forfeit the money from the lakers?I mean if he were to retire before they amnestied him he would lose that money, and when you are bidding on an amnesty player you are buying their old contract (at your bid rate).So wouldn’t he lose that?

    When players retire, they still collect their full contract due them (all guaranteed money), unless they agree to a buyout. If they retire without being bought out, they are still legally bound to the team and cannot seek employment with another organization. (For example, Kidd agreed to forfeit the money owed him by the Knicks and then subsequently joined the Nets’ organization).

    Artest, as an amnestied player, is threatening retirement because if a team with cap space claims him off waivers, he has no choice but to play for that team or retire from the league. Since the Knicks and Cliuppers cannot claim him (they don’t have the cap space), he needs to clear waivers in order to maintain any autonomy. That is why “retirement” is an issue at play for him.

  4. Spree8nyk8

    So he could retire and still get the money owed to him? I thought that when a player retired that the money owed to them was forfeit and came off the cap. Would seem like any time a player got traded somewhere they didn’t want to be they could just “retire” and still get their money.

  5. Z

    Spree8nyk8:
    I thought that when a player retired that the money owed to them was forfeit and came off the cap.Would seem like any time a player got traded somewhere they didn’t want to be they could just “retire” and still get their money.

    Yeah, a player can “retire”, but it wouldn’t have quotes around it. It would be a real retirement. They wouldn’t be able to play in the NBA, and if they did, it would have to be for the team that is paying them.

    When players get traded to teams they don’t want to play for, a buyout is usually negotiated, making that player a free agent. This is how it was under the old CBA, and I’m pretty sure it remains true today.

    But the Artest situation has nothing to do with collecting money from the Lakers. He is going to get his guaranteed money whether he plays in the league or retires. The issue at hand is whether he would play for the Cavs or opt to simply not play professional basketball in the United States anymore.

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