In case you haven't heard the good word Ridiculous Upside in the premier hoops community themed around NBA prospects, particularly the NBDL. RU is "where potential is way cooler than reality." Actually come to think of it... that's a lot like the Golden State Warriors right now.
Jump to commence the ridiculousness...
Atma Brother #1 (Golden State of Mind): Ridiculous Upside is the most passionate NBDL themed fan blog and community out there. We're NBA junkies, so we can understand the the fandom that drives other team specific blogs, but your "(unhealthy) obsession with minor league hoops" is both incredibly impressive and uncanny. What fuels this obsession? Is there a cure for your "illness"?
Ridiculous Scott (Ridiculous Upside): Well, basically, I'm just a small town boy, living in a lonely world. Haha, the obsession can mostly be attributed to growing up in Bismarck, North Dakota, which, as you may have guessed, isn't much of a sports city, as a huge sports buff. Therefore, I started following the Dakota Wizards, the only professional team within a seven hour radius, in 1995 and never really let it go. When Matt Moore sent out a memo on RU asking if anyone was interested in blogging about their local team, I spoke up, and Bam! Here we are, six months later. I'm not really looking for a "cure" because the D-League is actually really fun to watch. Every game is available free online, which also helps. It's like watching the first round of the NCAA's - a bunch of guys who (for the most part) have been underdogs their whole careers (Blake Ahearn, anybody?), but a whole season of underdogs. And when one makes it, a la Lou Amundson, Kelenna Azubuike, or CJ Watson, to the NBA, it's that much more rewarding. Plus, like scouting college basketball, you feel like you could always be on to the next big thing, great players who just haven't seen their chance to shine - and there are plenty.
Atma Brother #1 (Golden State of Mind): Charles Barkley always says that every player in the NBA is a great player. Even the worst are great basketball players. How good would you say the worst NBDL player is? What's the skill difference between your average 12th man in the NBA and your average D-Leaguer?
Ridiculous Scott (Ridiculous Upside): Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of turrible D-League players. At a minimum, I think the average 12th man and at least the best player on every D-League team could interchange without anyone noticing, but it's all about getting that opportunity. The skill difference between the average 12th man and the average D-Leaguer isn't all that far apart as the majority of the D-League guys excelled in college or have NBA experience - when DeMarcus Nelson joined the D-League this season, even after starting an NBA game in the same season, he was at best the third best player on his D-League team, behind Marcus Williams (not that Marcus Williams) and Malik Hairston (and possibly Dwayne Jones). The worst D-League player, however, is not very good. There are probably four guys on every D-League roster that have the ability to play in the Summer League, a few that will be solid D-Leaguer's for as long as they choose to go that route, and the rest are filled out by rookies fulfilling the "every team must have a rookie rule" or guys that just don't want to go overseas and are happy to settle for traveling in buses to from North Dakota to South Dakota before boarding a three-stop plane to Hidalgo, Texas for $13,000 a season.
Stay tuned for the rest of our ridiculous Q&A with Scott. Don't forget to hit up Ridiculous Upside for all your 2009 NBA Draft needs and more!