Friday, May 8, 2009

Renardo Sidney

It’s nice to see teams use their heads every once and awhile. Renardo Sidney is a 6’10 hihg school senior forward from LA who recently had his scholarship offer from USC revoked after UCLA did the same. I read about him a few months ago in The New York Times Play Magazine and the singular thing that stuck out about him was that at age 18, he sucks his thumb and carries a woobie with him. Here’s the quote:

“I’ve been sucking my thumb since I was a kid,” he says. “Sometimes, I do it
just to do it. Like, when I’m mad.” He also travels with a lucky blanket. His
father — Renardo the elder — is seated across the table. He chuckles. “It’s a
sheet,” he clarifies.

I'm glad we cleared that up. Evidently he’s, quite literally, a Baby Huey type. He’s one of those kids who has a tremendous amount of baby fat on him to the extent that his face is almost completely round. Scouting reports and hyperbolic articles say that he has natural ability on the court, but reading deeper, the kid seemed to have a gigantic attitude problem and he’s not helped out by what seems to be an overly meddling dad who only enables his bad-attitude kid.

I had my biases against him and then I saw him play in the McDonald’s All-America game and my biases were cemented. I hated this kid’s game. He managed to look lazy in an all-star game, when everyone plays lazily. I didn’t understand why college coach would want him on their team, and now it appears that at least two, UCLA’s Ben Howland and USC’s Tim Floyd, do not. Their decisions make perfect sense to me. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to have a 6’10 270 kid on your team who will very likely frustrate you every minute of the day he’s on the court because he has the size and natural ability to be good but plays like a lazy, fat, spoiled, entitled, washed-up YMCA guy had some interesting insight on the kid the other day calling him “Antoine Walker in the later stages of his career.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. There is no player in the history of the NBA whose game I disliked more than Walker. His insistence of launching 3s to the complete detriment of his team was nauseating. His shimmy shake thing he did was worse. I hated his game in the early stages of his career, but he got much worse over time. The point is Sidney is like that now. At 19. No NBA team should touch him. He’s not worth the roster spot. He will not change his stripes, and if he does, it won’t be for five years or so, in other words, too far down the line for any GM or coach who lobbied to get him to reap the rewards because they will be fired by then. Teams should run away and not look back.

I don’t like hating on kids, but I love hoops, and this guy’s game is utterly detestable. I thought that having LeBron James being the gold standard in basketball these days that the trend would be kids would try and emulate his unselfish, all-around game. Maybe that is happening to some extent, but until some sycophantic members of the media stop deifying dudes like Sidney the LeBronization of the game is not complete.

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