FanPost

Reality check: "potential"  edition

OK, so the team stinks right now and I suspect that some of those voices who liked the Jax extension just a few weeks ago are now feeling the evil hangover that ridiculously poor front office decision leaves us with.  Jax is inked until he can join AARP.  So is Maggette and it appears that Rowell is intent on having Nellie coach them even if Nellie's lost interest or touch with the game these days.  We can collectively wait for Monta in hope (or pessimistically try to figure out how poorly he'll do as a point guard and/or how Rowell will further alienate/devalue/destroy one of the team's actual bright spots for the future), but until he's really ready, there's just not that much going on. 

I realize that watching a losing team tends to make us long for *anything* new.  When what you see stinks (e.g. Jax shooting us out of games, zero collective defense, no real sense of urgency or excitement from the players) it's real easy to hypothesize that the unknowns must somehow be better; all they really need is time and seasoning.  It's easy to fall into unfounded logical traps like so-and-so needs playing time to develop, though this really means "I'm tired of what I've seen; maybe what I haven't seen will be better so at least give me something new no matter how much rational thought indicates that it's not likely to be better."

Which brings us to the 'potential'.  As Jimmy Castor says in a far, far funkier manner than I could ever hope to achieve, it's a funny word potential.  It's tossed around a bunch to describe players  So are terms like "upside" and "high ceiling", usually being attached to guys who, for some reason, a people think has a skillset or natural ability that suggests, if everything all falls together, means the sort of special game changer we want.

It's all a means describe some level above where a player is, with some notion of what that player *could* be.  Problem is when making decisions about who to invest in (e.g. salary, holding from trades, drafting, giving playing time to) one *should* recognize that if there's a low, low likelihood of ever achieving this "potential", the "ceiling" and "upside" stop having much real meaning. 

Missing in all of it is probability. 

Potential means very, very little if it's always a long-shot bet.

 

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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