Monday, November 28, 2011

The Fictional NBA Replacement Players Fantasy League: What Could Have Been

Eddie Winslow=Zach Randolph?

Waking up to the end of the dumbest professional sports work stoppage of my lifetime was very much like the proverbial "early Christmas present." In fact, if that were the only gift I receive this holiday season, I think I'd be happy. No, I KNOW I'd be happy.

In case you weren't aware of this, let me fill you in on a little secret. I LOVE THE NBA! I love it even more than the NFL. Yes, it's true. While the NFL most certainly has a better top to bottom product than the NBA, it just doesn't thrill my soul like watching Lebron crash and bun in the playoffs. Fact is, basketball is my absolute favorite sport and watching the game at its highest form means a lot to me. That's why this lockout was so painful, and that's why I'm so happy it's finally over.

At some point this week, I'll summarize the new CBA agreement and discuss why I'm wholly unsatisfied with how this thing turned out. Now is not the time for such morbid, realistic talk. Now is the time for celebration! The NBA is back! The season is saved!

With our basketball mortality finally behind us, and the celebration fully underway, it bears wondering what could have been. What would have happened if the lockout had lasted years, as some predicted? I wondered the same thing several weeks ago and decided to throw out an idea as to what the league should do. After recruiting another Boris Diaw Time regular to help me out with this idea, we embarked on a lengthy project to save the future of our beloved league. Here is what we came up with:


I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the NBA has a little lockout situation going on right now. OK, I guess “little” doesn’t accurately describe things…the NBA has a BIG lockout situation going on right now. Big, as in the first month or so of games has already been cancelled. Big, as in David Stern has pretty much guaranteed a doomsday scenario. Big, as in there’s a better chance that a college football playoff is instituted this year than NBA games are played.

This unfortunate turn of events is probably not a big deal to most of you. For the most part, the general public doesn’t start caring about the NBA until after March Madness anyways. Considering the length of the season, I can understand that sentiment. Still, it’s a pretty freakin’ huge deal to me! As much as I love football, it doesn’t’ even compare to how I feel about basketball. By mid-November, I’m DVR’ing multiple college and NBA games nightly. While I’m grateful to still have the college game around to hold my hand on those cold, lonely nights; there will still be a huge Glen Davis sized hole in my heart for the NBA.

But wait, there’s more misery! Not only will I be losing my ability to watch the highest form of basketball; I’ll be losing my beloved fantasy league! (Yes, I realize it takes a special kind of sickness to care this much about fantasy NBA. Leave me alone.) With November 1 being the originally scheduled start to the NBA season, our season should be well underway at this point. Obviously, it’s not…and that means the loss of our draft! Other than March Madness, our fantasy NBA draft might be my favorite sports related event of the year. Now…it’s gone. Probably for the entire season.

With this realization dawning on me, I decided I needed something to tide me over. In 1994, baseball experienced the worst labor dispute in the history of major professional sports. An unfortunate series of events precipitated a players strike that would shake the foundations of the sport. On August 12, 1994 the players followed through with their threat and walked off the job. They would not return until April 2, 1995, a span of 232 days that saw over 900 games cancelled, including the entire postseason and World Series. For perspective, the last World Series to be cancelled up until that point was in 1904. While interesting parallels can be drawn between the ’94 strike and the current NBA lockout, I want to focus on the weird Spring Training of 1995.

With the strike raging on, a large group of owners decided it would be a good idea to keep the game going through the use of replacement players. After all, how could you not pack the house when featuring such a wonderful collection of under-talented misfits? Anyways, the whole replacement players thing didn’t work out so well for baseball…but it sure is worth a try for basketball! With the majority of the ’94 strike occurring at the tail end of a season and in the offseason, the replacement players never really got a chance to spread their wings and fly (out…often). But hey, the NBA season has plenty of time left! It’s only November! There’s plenty of time to get this thing rolling! Seriously, you wouldn’t watch 48 minutes of your favorite washed-up has beens vs. college players you loved but couldn’t quite hack it in the NBA? I know I would!

Not only would this save the NBA season, but it would save my fantasy season too! Until the real players get back, the Boris Diaw Time Fantasy Replacement Players League will do just fine!

To get an idea what this league will look like, I think it appropriate to conduct a mock draft. To do this, I’ve brought fellow NBA (and fantasy NBA) enthusiast Nick Laney on board.

Really quick, here are the positions we must fill:

PG (1)

SG (1)

SF (1)

PF (1)

C (1)



Spot reserved for a current NBA player who breaks the ranks because he needs cash (1)

Also, here are the categories we are considering:







Opening Comments

Landrum: Laney, I know you’re as sad as I am about the NBA season being cancelled, but at least we have this consolation prize to stem us over until the league resumes in 2013. So what if we’re the only two people to watch any of the games? At least we have our precious fantasy league back! Speaking of that, I’m pretty excited to draft against you considering my fantasy team decidedly defeated your fantasy team in last year’s playoffs!

Laney:  Oh low blow! To be fair, you had the like 4/5th of the All NBA 1st team on your roster! As sad as the lockout makes me, I’m really looking forward to this. What will we do with all of the free time we would have if we don’t have fantasy basketball!?!? The mere thought depresses me; I might actually have to do something productive!

Landrum: No way, I’m not buying it. You’ll never be able to force yourself to be productive. Also, I acquired all those superstars by totally legit means…all of them…every last one…totally legit…stop looking at me like that! Let’s get to the picks!

#1   Team Landrum – PF Antoine Walker

Who could be a more perfect #1 overall pick for our Replacement Players Fantasy League? So what if ‘Toine’s last good year was 7 years and 125 pounds ago?! He may take heat from his former NBA comrades for being a scab, but the man is totally broke and he’s hungry (that’s not figurative…he’s actually hungry…REALLY hungry). His ability to jack up unbelievable amounts of dumb 3’s and amass mind-blowing usage rates will almost certainly make him a 2 category monster. Thank goodness we aren’t doing field goal percentage and turnovers!

Laney: LOL! I think he’s outside of Stern’s office as we speak with a sign that says “Will scab for food”! Oh how the mighty have fallen, and fall hard he did. It was sad to watch as someone who appreciated how talented he was (I know it was even more difficult for you Jon). With the right attitude, he was a top 10-15 player all time. My main concern with him this go around is his stamina; realistically he’ll be gassed after 2-3 minutes of running! You may have to incorporate a “cherry picker” offense to suit his current physical condition!

Landrum: I actually plan on having a guy with a cheeseburger and a $20 bill posted at both ends of the floor. You’d be surprised at the type of athleticism/speed/stamina he can still display when properly motivated.

#2   Team Laney –  C Charles Gitonga Maina (Saleh in “The Air Up There”)

Let’s face it folks, the hardest thing to find in the NBA is a good center. Having a lockout makes this even more of a problem, so I present you with a seasoned 6’10 monster! Saleh is a proven winner. Against all odds (which were steep with Kevin Bacon as his coach) he defeated the star studded mining company’s basketball team to retain his village for his people. He has a number of low post moves, the best & most unstoppable being the “Jimmy Dolan Shake & Bake”. At “roughly 35” he has a solid year or two left as a dominant scab center!

Landrum: I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to respond to this since I haven’t seen “The Air Up There.” But hey, if he can overcome Kevin Bacon as his coach, he should do fine with Vinny Del Negro as his “replacement coach.” (Wait, Vinny Del Negro is still an NBA coach? How is that possible?)

(Note: Since we’ve headed down this path, let me stipulate that Teen Wolf is not available for this draft.)

Laney: Crap! I was hoping you were going to take Teen Wolf & then I would select J.R. Smith who would counter his effectiveness with all of his silver chains! Since you haven’t seen it, I’ll try my best to describe him. He is raw (likely still, even at “roughly 35”). Imagine a Serge Ibaka but with a near unstoppable post move. The “Jimmy Dolan Shake & Bake” can only be described as the “Knuckle Puck” of basketball. Near unstoppable if executed properly.

#3   Team Laney – PG Ed Cota

Now that I’ve got my center it’s time to select my field general. One of the qualities that most scab players lack is experience. With Ed Cota you get that in abundance. At UNC, he led the Tarheels to 3 Final Four appearances (which roughly translates to a 50% success rate given he was there for 6’ish years). He finished 3rd all time in the NCAA in assists & is the all time assists leader in UNC history. He has won various championships in a very successful career in Europe, where he lead the Euroleague in assists numerous times as well. As we think about Ed Cota, one word comes to mind. “Timeless”. When you watch him, it’s as if time slows and he’s a part of your life for a lot longer than he actually is. Or maybe that’s because he really was at UNC for that long….

Landrum: No, it’s not actually a figment of your imagination. Ed Cota’s death grip on the UNC PG position started in 1996 and culminated in his winning the national championship in 2005. It’s true, I saw it. Seriously though, savvy pick. Not only does Cota have excellent point guard skills (along with a jumper you can absolutely depend on 30% of the time), but he can also serve as a sort of player-coach since he’s played against literally everybody who will be in this league. By the way, here’s this little nugget from Cota’s Wikipedia page:

“Despite his success overseas, Cota continues to work toward the goal of playing in the NBA.”

I think that ship has long since sailed, my friend.

Laney:  How prophetic is that last line!? If this comes to pass, he may finally crack that old pesky chestnut. It really surprised me when I saw his middle name was Enrique; I thought it was either “longevity” or “prolongation”. That’s a great point about him as a player coach, in all likelihood he’s 10x the coach Vinny del Negro is.

#4   Team Landrum – PG Gerry McNamara

Your Ed Cota pick frightened me so much that I felt an overwhelming need to take my own 9 year college veteran. As you might remember, McNamara was the star on Syracuse’s national championship team (Carmelo who?) and hit game winning shots in each of his 103 victories during his four year career. While he may not have ever made it in the NBA, he made one D-League All-Star team, so you know he’s good! I’m pretty sure the Walker-McNamara combo is gonna be deadly in the 3 point category and Gerry should rack up tons of assists when Walker runs directly at him and demands the ball so he can jack up another dumb 3. Also, McNamara is a graduate assistant on the Syracuse staff, so he’s a much better player-coach than Ed Cota. MY PICK WINS!

Laney: For a second I thought that said Eric Devendorf! Gerry Mac was a favorite of mine as well. He and Cota are a part of a rare breed that was able to stay eligible for a 7 year period. As you highlighted though, I worry about his slight frame when Walker decides he has to “get his” and runs him over repeatedly to get the ball. I was really hoping you were going to take someone with significantly less college experience, as my Center only has 3 (real life) years at the prestigious Lynn University.

Landrum: That’s a good point about Walker potentially injuring him, but I’m guessing Gerry should have no problem outrunning him if it comes to that. I guess that’s where that valuable experience and extended education comes in, right? After all, in a sure-to-be volatile league like the NBA Replacement Player’s League, experience will be key. I need to be able to depend on my guys to kick in solid numbers on a nightly basis, hence my selection of…

#5   Team Landrum – PF/C Kevin Pittsnogle

Admit it! I know you’re terribly jealous that I stole him out from under you! I know he was on your short list! Seriously though, you can’t do much better in this league than Kevin Pittsnogle…especially when you’re pairing him up with Antoine Walker! Pittsnogle made an average of 2 three-pointers per game during his 4 year career at WVU and hit 41% from behind the arc. That’s an astounding number for a 6’11” guy! Not only do I get the world in 3’s and points; I get solid production in rebounds and blocks. Truly, he’s a fantasy dynamo. Add in the experience that I’ve been coveting, along with the awkward cult-like following that is sure to make him a true superstar in this league, and I feel like I’m getting a bargain at #5.

Laney: The Pitt! I will neither confirm nor deny if he was on my list. At this rate you’re going to have 5 players behind the arc! I was never able to really appreciate the full scope of his cult like following before, but it really was astounding. My only concern with him would be what the personal reasons were that led to his retirement. Honestly, I’m worried one of his followers may have kidnapped him.

Landrum: Thanks to the wonder of the ever-reliable information hub that is Wikipedia, I was able to discover that Pittsnogle ballooned to over 300 pounds thanks to a thyroid condition. Hey, at least he has a legitimate excuse. What’s your deal, Antoine Walker? Either way, I’m guessing being overweight and out of shape is going to be par for the course in this league, so I’m not worried. I’m also not worried about him being kidnapped as he is sure to have huge security details assigned to him throughout the course of the season. The Replacement Player’s League needs stars and they can’t afford to lose their biggest (literally) one!

#6   Team Laney – SF Terrell Owens

Let's face it, no one wants to get back in the spotlight more than T.O., and this is his opportunity. He's won two MVP awards from the prestigious NBA Celebrity All Star game, displaying wonderful range on his jump shot as well as imposing his exceptional athleticism. My one worry is that he may break down sobbing mid game and cry to you that Ed Cota is his point guard.

Landrum: That’s your one worry? You’re not concerned that he’ll start missing games because he has to tape his reality show, or that he’ll down a bottle of pills? What if he ends up on the Replacement Spurs and starts freelancing on all of Pop’s set plays? Seems to me you just drafted the J.R. Smith of the Replacement League.

Laney: I’m banking on his love of adoration getting him through at least 3/4 of the season without incident. I had to go for someone in great physical shape to wear down the sumo wrestlers on your team! I feel like if we convince him he's now eligible to appear on Basketball Wives, his need for attention will be placated.

*Bonus Comments*

Landrum: Yeah, I’m sure a 38 year old guy coming off a torn ACL is in great basketball shape! At this point, are we sure he can even leave the ground? Also, I’m sure Ochocinco’s fiancĂ©e was on Basketball Wives, so I’m guessing that TO has always been eligible for an appearance. Could be wrong though…I don’t really make it a big priority to keep up with ex-wife’s of washed-up, formerly mediocre basketball players.

Laney: But, but, butttttt…Drew Rosenhaus assured us he is in peak physical condition! That must mean it's true!!!! Also, it’s agreed that Basketball Wives is probably the dumbest show this side of "I love New York" or "Flavor of Love". Getting back to T.O., he'll have to think this is his last shot at the spotlight. I think we'll see a Dwayne Wade like 20/5/5 from him until he blames Jeff Garcia, Donavon McNabb or Tony Romo for the team’s lack of success.

#7   Team Laney – PF Arne Duncan

Let's face it; the Secretary of Education is going to realize he's fighting a losing battle with his 'race to the top' incentive program. The scab league is the perfect outlet for the former captain of the Harvard men’s team. Not only did he have a decent stint in the prestigious Australian Men’s Basketball league, but his stock is at an all time high after his great performance in the Celeb All-Star game. Time for him to take some people to school!

Landrum: Just curious, why did you feel the need to qualify that he was on the Harvard “MEN’S” team, or that he played in the Australian “MEN’S” league? Is there some weird rumor out there that I’m unaware of? Not that I’m trying to imply anything about a prestigious member of our government (THE HORROR!), but I would just be a bit concerned with having a PF who needs to have “MEN’S” clarified. Also, I’d be a little concerned about having a 6’5” PF who has to face monsters like Antoine Walker on a nightly basis. ‘Toine could take him down in one bite! Anyways, you’re really gonna regret this pick when I take President Obama.

Laney: In relation to the Men's league comment; I think specifying the type of league is the politically correct thing to. For all we know it could have been a co-ed team! Also, I don't think Walker would eat him as he is incredibly old and won't look very appetizing. I'm hoping he can use connections established in office to acquire a number of school lunches to keep Walker distracted!

#8   Team Landrum – SF Eddie Winslow

I know I’ve opened up Pandora’s Box with this pick, but it absolutely had to be done. If you’ve ever watched Family Matters then you know Eddie Winslow is a baller and a half. Still, if we were doing this draft back in the early to mid ‘90’s, I’d DEFINITELY take ‘The Fresh Prince,’ as he was a far superior scorer and a better all around player. At this point though, he’s got a lot of stuff going on, and in this league, desperation is good. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but Eddie Winslow has desperation. Lots of it. Given that, I think this is an opportunity Eddie will throw himself into wholeheartedly. It’s a bit hard to project his game since we haven’t seen much of him the last 15 years, but an athletic, physical SF like Winslow should have no problem in the NRPL (National Replacement Player’s League). I’m envisioning an across the board contributor whose game resembles an in-his-prime Ron Artest. Finally, a quick Google search reveals that the now 35 year old Winslow looks exactly like Zach Randolph. I’m not exactly sure what that means yet, but don’t dismiss the possibility of Winslow “suddenly” putting up an endless string of 30 rebound games…as well as hitting a “late growth spurt” that sees him shoot up 6 inches overnight.

Laney: I feel like you’re trying to make me build a case you'll use against me when we have our Fresh Prince vs. Eddie Winslow debate! Also you seem to be drafting for a sumo wrestling team! My one main gripe with Eddie is that all of his ball was played in the streets (mainly in 3on3 tourneys) we don't know if it will translate to 5on5 full court.

Landrum: Wait…you’re arguing that Eddie’s value in a non-structured system (“street ball”) will work against him in a league of washed up, mostly bad basketball players who’ve been hastily assembled onto random teams and whose primary goal is to jack up as many dumb shots as possible? What does that sound like to you, Mr. Laney? I will simply thank you for inadvertently complimenting my pick and move on.

(By the way, now that you mention it, I do seem to have a serious weight problem on my team. All I have left to do is to draft the random middle aged balding guy from your local YMCA who wears those horrible goggles and who scores at will despite being overweight, out of shape, and terribly unskilled. Once I get him, my draft will be complete!)

#9   Team Landrum – SG Quincy Douby

Points, threes, assists; this guy is a potential fantasy dynamo! OK, so he couldn’t hack it with the Sacramento Kings, a team that has pretty much been serving as a mini-Replacement Player’s League for several seasons. So what? He was the top scorer in the Turkish Basketball League a couple seasons ago! That’s no small feat when you consider he was playing against former NBA legends in Trajan Langdon, Khalid El-Amin, Sean May, Marcus Haislip, and my others. Also, there is literally 0% that a guy named Douby is gonna fail in this crap-hole of a league…

Laney: Am I dubious of this pick? Nope! First you reallllllyyyyy needed a player below 350 lbs. Secondly, as you said, with his last name there is no chance he fails. My one worry about your team is if any of your players can actually come inside the arc and attempt a 2 pt shot.

Landrum: Now that I look at it, I kinda have ignored 2 point shots, haven’t I? Thank goodness this is a fantasy team and not a real team, because it definitely looks like I’ve somehow drafted the greatest open gym team of all-time. Oh well, points are points!

#10   Team Laney – PG Marko Jaric

I'll be honest; I just want his wife at the games. So he's won a couple gold medals in meaningless competitions and done fairly well in the Euroleague… I don't care. I just want Adriana Lima at the games to help her see the error of her ways in marrying Marko freaking Jaric....

Landrum: That certainly is an interesting strategy for a fantasy league. You do realize that you’re not the owner of this team, right? You’re just sitting at home watching games and following box scores like usual.

Laney: All part of my master plan here Jonny. If that fails, all I have to do is slip a Big Mac on his person and one of your fatties will eat him!!!

#11   Team Laney – SG Kenny Gregory

It seems I’m going the anti-Team Landrum route here by drafting in-shape players who can't shoot threes. Kenny Gregory might just be the poster child for this method of drafting. Blessed with every physical tool you could ask for, he just couldn't seem to piece it all together to become the player many thought he would. After a stint in the D-League, he bounced around the Euroleague, putting up pretty solid numbers in a couple different countries. I think he'll be very hungry (not like Jon’s players) to finally get a shot at the league (albeit a scab one).

Landrum: Anytime you can get a guy who was a career 44% free throw shooter in three seasons at Kansas, you gotta do it! Fortunate for you that we’re not doing free throw percentage. Unfortunate for you that we’re doing other basketball related categories, because Gregory sucks. Considering his astonishing lack of success, it seems odd that you have such a fetish for Kenny Gregory. Is there more to this story than I’m aware of?

Laney: He wasn't horrible in his last year at Kansas! He averaged like 16 and 7! I have absolutely no clue why he wasn't much better than was, so I need to watch him play again to comprehend how he overcame all that pure physical prowess of his.

*Bonus Comments*

Landrum: Don’t give me the “he was good at Kansas” argument. Raef LaFrentz, Scot Pollard, and Jacque Vaughn were all great players at Kansas!

Laney: I reject your perfectly good logic and stand by my Al Davisian (too soon?) flawed approach THAT because he is athletic, he will succeed (even though he didn't before).

#12   Team Landrum – SF/PF Joe Alexander

This was really an easy pick once I thought about it. Thinking back to that crazy run West Virginia made in Alexander’s junior season (2008), it’s pretty clear to me that this is the type of league a guy like Joe Alexander was put on the earth to play in. His complete and utter lack of any discernable basketball skill didn’t play too well in the NBA, where EVERYONE (except for Eddy Curry) was as athletic as him. In the Replacement League, however, skill is more a luxury than a necessity. As evidenced by Alexander’s dominance of the D-League (top 10 in scoring AND rebounding!), he should have an easy time going over and around guys who are either far older or far fatter than he.

Laney: Three white players!? You’re Larry Bird and I claim my $5.

Landrum: First of all, I have no idea what you’re referring to with the $5 thing. Do I owe you money? Second of all, how can you possibly judge someone’s draft strategy when you’ve gone with a movie character, a football player, the Secretary of Education, and Marko Jaric? That’s right…step off with your Bird comments! (With my next pick, Ben Hansbrough!)

#13   Team Landrum – C Omar Samhan

I honestly can’t believe he’s still available this late in the draft! Even more so, I can’t believe he’s not owning the NBA and single handedly ending the lockout right now! After all, what’s not to like about a chunky, un-athletic center with no game outside of 8 feet? Laney, I don’t need to remind you how dominant Samhan was in his senior season at St. Mary’s, particularly during their crazy NCAA Tournament run. With that in mind, what’s to prevent him from putting up a 20/10 with 2 blocks on a nightly basis? Heck, those might be CONSERVATIVE numbers, no?

Laney: Oh man... I don't think I have any harsh words regarding big Omar here. He came in a very respectable third in my rooting order behind Jimmer and Big Bob (Robert Morris) that year. What's not to like about a St Mary’s team full of crazy Aussies and a center with a refreshingly good low post game. His only downside is that he literally cannot jump 4 inches off the ground. Mildly depressing too because of his offensive skill set.

Landrum: Yes, Samhan’s “downside” is exactly that. Considering Antoine Walker and Kevin Pittsnogle are going to be franchise cornerstones, I’m guessing that won’t matter all that much.

#14   Team Laney – PG Dan Dickau

From the ranks of the infamous (likely for flopping in the NBA) line of Gonzaga PG's, I give you Dan Dickau, who was far and away one of my favorite players in college. His vision and agility had him likened to Pistol Pete. Unfortunately, that didn't really translate to any success at the professional level. At all. He sure was amazing in that 01-02 season though! I see no reason (aside from the past 8 years) that he can't recapture that 20-5 form he had going with the Zags.

Landrum: At one point in college, my game was likened to that of Dan Dickau. Was that a compliment or should I have punched the guy in the face?

Laney: Unless he specifically said your game was likened to Dan Dickau 00-02, I would have given him the ole’ throat punch. Those two years were magical while they lasted but like all good things (pepporoni duo from Donatos, the Shaq and Kobe Lakers and Steve Jobs) it had to come to an end at some point.

#15   Team Laney – PF Marcus Fizer

I still have a lot of frustration and general anger in my heart at Marcus for losing to a 15 seed and robbing me of the chance to see more of that awesome Iowa St team. After 10 years though, I think it's time to move forward. His professional career has been up and down after being the #4 pick in the draft (up =winning the D league MVP; down=winning the D league MVP), resulting in him going to Europe to play. Ironically he is now a teammate of Antoine Walker's in Puerto Rico.

Landrum: I didn’t actually realize he was ‘Toine’s teammate…that really is ironic. On a serious note, I was always confused as to why Fizer didn’t make it in the NBA. I know he was undersized and all, but that hasn’t stopped other guys from being productive. I just thought he was a good player. Then again, that Bulls team could break anyone’s spirit. Just ask my boy, Ron Mercer, who became so depressed that he quickly became clinically addicted to jacking up contested 3-pointers.

Laney: 100% agreed. Thought he would have turned out much better. A rich man’s Chuck Hayes or a homeless man Chuck Barkley. Maybe all those tattoos weighed him down? Also, R.I.P. Ron Mercer's midrange jumper.

All Kentucky fans, Celtics fans, and fans of good basketball players may now pay their respects to the long-deceased Ron Mercer. May his underutilized athleticism and mid-range jumper never be forgotten.

#16   Team Landrum – PG/SG Jacob Pullen

Let’s face the facts; Pullen isn’t playing in the NBA. He’s too small, he’s too slow, and he’s too unathletic. However, that Beard DEFINITELY has a prominent place in the Replacement Player’s League! In a league full of old, slow guys, how could Pullen NOT score 30 a game? Can you really see 50 year old Stephon Marbury chasing him around screens for 40 minutes? Let me ask it to you this way…if I set an over/under of 17.5 wide open 3’s per game, what are you taking?

Laney: Did he go undrafted? There's absolutely no way I will get anywhere near you in threes it seems. Though, I think you’re going to break the internet with how bad your team’s collective shooting percentage will be! Also, your teams name absolutely has to be 'I Gotta Get Mine!'

Landrum: Done and done! What a fantastic name idea! From now on, that’s what I’ll be calling myself. Also, when the real NBA comes back, I’m going to roll with it there as well. Thankfully, I’ve got a good head start by having Monta Ellis and Michael Beasley as possible keepers. If I bring my A game to the auction, there’s no reason I can’t put together a team worthy of the “I Gotta Get Mine” name. I’m thinking my roster should consist of some combination of these players; Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Carmelo Anthony, Tyreke Evans, Stephen Jackson, Andray Blatche, Jamal Crawford, Charlie Villanueva, Ben Gordon, DeMarcus Cousins, Al Harrington, Corey Maggette, Nate Robinson, and Nick Young.

#17   Team “I Gotta Get Mine” – PF Wayne Chism’s Headband

In all seriousness, how the heck did that headband stay on his head? Click on that link and tell me how it is physically possible for that headband to stay on that head for an entire game! Since I’m a huge Kentucky fan, I watch a lot of SEC basketball. In all the Tennessee games I’ve watched, I think I only saw it come off twice. Two times! Is anything in sports more amazing than that? Two years ago, DeMarcus Cousins got angry and basically ripped it off his head. I was 100% certain that he would drop dead, just like the guys from ‘The Matrix’ who die when the plug is pulled before they get out of The Matrix. Even the announcers flipped out, as if ripping his headband off was like forcibly removing a Luchador’s mask! Though Chism somehow stayed alive, I’m still convinced his headband is an organic being.

Laney: One of the modern marvels. I think we've spent more time discussing his headband than him as a player. There had to be some sort of adhesive he used, otherwise I don't think it’s physically possible. The organic form theory also has merit. I remember watching Big Cuz knock it off; one of my happiest memories in NCAAB history. I was waiting for another one to instantly grow back in its place like an iguana’s tail.

Landrum: I forgot that I was at your house when Big Cuz knocked the headband off! Man, was I out of control during that game or what?! Anyways, I’m pretty excited about adding a younger, far less talented version of Antoine Walker to my roster. This should definitely work out well!

#18   Team Laney – PF/C Stromile Swift

Another person on my list of "Why weren't you better". Let’s be honest, he should have been substantially better due to how great his name was. I mean, how can someone with that sort of natural name talent not average a double-double? Weight may have been a "tiny" issue during his NBA tenure. As of last year, he's playing with the Shandong Lions in China. Due to the air quality there, I'm guessing that he’s constantly sick and has subsequently lost 85 pounds. Come on back to the fresh air, Stromile!

Landrum: I’m 100% certain that Stromile and Antoine Walker will morph into one of the fiercest rivalries of our generation. One is a fat waste of talent that might as well have a condo on the three point line, while the other is a fat waste of talent that looks hopeless from anywhere outside of dunk range. I sure hope Versus has a wide lens camera for these games…

Unfortunately, our incredible slowness prevented us from finishing our draft...and by "our slowness" I really mean me. Still, I thought it was important to run this. For one, we had spent an incredible amount of time and I'd feel awful if it was all wasted. For another, it serves as a message to everyone who says "I don't care if the NBA comes back." Do you really want this? Do you really want Antoine Walker and Stephon Marbury (my next pick) cluttering up your TV? I think not. Thank goodness we don't have to live this nightmare. Thank goodness the NBA is back.

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