Sports

Truly Awful: A Blog By Mike Valenti

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02: Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates before he cuts down the net after the Wildcats defeat the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 2, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, LA – APRIL 02: Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates before he cuts down the net after the Wildcats defeat the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 2, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

mike-valenti g) Mike Valenti
Valenti moved to Michigan at 17 and never looked back. A graduate of...
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So what do we do with Anthony Davis? What is he? Where will he play? What does he project into? It’s not nearly as simple as many believe. Let’s have a chat.

First of all I’m obsessed with AD’s game and truly believe he is a special talent. I think he is a no brainer as the No.1 selection in the upcoming NBA draft. But classifying his abilities is far more complex than just saying “he’s a power forward”, in fact I think you’re being shortsighted to classify him at all.

The fact is Anthony Davis has been a “big” for roughly 2 years. Do you realize he was a 6’2 guard up until his senior season in high school? Do you also realize his high school team won a grand total of 12-games his last two season? TWELVE. You know how bad your teammates need to be for that to happen? In fact, you can make the case he’s only now just getting comfortable being 6’10.

Fact is, he hasn’t even scratched the surface of his abilities. I’d argue he’s only 25% of the way there. He’s gotten one year of adequate coaching at UK, one year of true weight training, and one year of game experience in his new body. What will he look like on his 21st birthday? How about at age 25? I laugh when people, especially the idiots on twitter, say he is too weak or too light for the pro game. Really? What did Kevin Garnett weight out of high school? Durant? How about ANY big man not named Shaquille or Dwight in the past 20 years?

Simply put, the game has changed. Guys who weigh 270+ and impose their will on the game are as rare as albino pigeons. Let it go.

Anthony Davis represents the future. He has a combination of skills I haven’t seen. Think about this. He has the skillset of a guard due to his YEARS of being one while now possessing the size and tenacity of a true Power forward. He has a basketball IQ that is off the charts for a kid of his age. Somehow this kid developed a sense for the game as a 6’10 player in roughly 18 months. He is a tremendous help side defender, shot blocker, rebounder and yes…ball handler. Does he need work on his feet? His jumper past 16-feet? Yes and yes. What 19-year old doesn’t? But think about where this kid would be with another year in school? Two years? It’s frightening and exciting.

Stack up what Davis did in his freshman year at UK and put it against ANY big man of note. Shaq, David Robinson, Tim Duncan…he destroyed them all.

I view Davis as being a hybrid of Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett…with a touch of Ben Wallace. Sounds silly right? It is. When trying to classify him he becomes unclassifiable. Is that a word?

Last night he did next to nothing on offense and still DOMINATED the game. In the tourney run he altered or blocked 51 shots. Who knows how many others he altered with his sheer presence?

6pts 16reb 5 ast. 6blk 3stl. Incredible.

My best guess on what he will be? A lot depends on who drafts him. I could see this kid being a high flyer, transition monster who dunks his way to Blake griffin status while throwing shots into the seats as a trailer. I can also see him being a Kevin Garnett type using his jumper to loosen teams up then putting it on the deck to attack. Did we mention his baby hook he learned like 3 months ago?

He becomes a lovechild of Ben Wallace and KG with a splash of Durantula. All while smelling like roses.

I’m truly excited to see where he lands and what he becomes. Combo of Camby and KG? Durant and Big Ben? Russell and McHale? Who the hell knows? But the fact we can even utter those things tells you all you need to know about his potential.

Viva La Unibrow.

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