Friday, October 20, 2006

Charley Rosen is crazy

Some of you might already know this, but I just found out that basketball commentator Charley Rosen is crazy.

I mean nuts. Certifiable. Cuckoo. Cracked. Bonkers. Batty. Mentally eroded. Off his rocker. Riding the imaginary choo-choo train.

There is no doubt in my mind after Rosen named the Cavaliers among the NBA teams that will soon be in desperate need of a rebuild.

"The Cavs players, fans, and management continue to fanaticize about winning a championship. While this fantasy might someday come true, it certainly won't so long as the current roster is intact," he spouts.

Now, I've been burned before by criticizing analysts. I am still eating crow for my springtime assertion that Dayn Perry was smoking something when he predicted the Indians would be a major disappointment while the Tigers would be the surprise team of baseball.

Needless to say, if Perry ever e-mails me six numbers, they are going straight onto a lotto ticket.

But Rosen is different. For one, much of what he says never seems to make a lot of sense. Most of it just sounds like the nonsensical babbling of a elderly nursing home resident going on and on about the nylon shortage during Dubya-Dubya-Two.

Secondly, I've never really seen Rosen say anything good about anybody. All we ever hear out of him is how LeBron James is a woeful defensive player, basically insinuating that he's all sauce and no meat. We never see him break down LeBron's vast offensive game because that would require him to actually compliment a player. I don't think his Red Auerbach-era coaching sensibilities will allow him to do that.

Or maybe he's just one of those crotchety old geezers who sees all the cornrows and tattoos and thinks the entire game has gone to hell in a handbasket. If that's the case, he needs to put down the keyboard and find a nice retirement villa in which to live out his years. But I digress.

What really sticks in my craw is that he thinks the Cavs will need to be torn down and rebuilt within a year. That is one heck of an assertion to make, considering all the trial and error that has gone in to making the Cavs even as good as they are.

Most of the rest of Rosen's list is comprised of obvious choices, teams with aging stars like the Nets, Sixers and Pistons. Those teams were built, had a good run, and are now decaying.

But the Cavs, they just got here. Danny Ferry has spent the past 15-odd months piecing this roster together around LeBron, fine-tuning, attempting to stabilize it, and now Rosen says it's a horribly-constructed, Frankenstein-esque mismatch of fatally-flawed players that needs to be put out of its misery? Even after 50 wins and a playoff series win while missing Larry Hughes and Anderson Varejao for huge chunks of the season?

That's basically the equivalent of walking up to Danny Ferry, spitting in his face, and saying "You are a shitty GM. Your team sucks."

The final line of Rosen's Cavs analysis is particularly perplexing, suggesting that he was comatose for the entire 2005-06 season:

"All in all, this is a mismatched team that can barely afford another unsatisfactory season before frustration becomes institutional."

You can argue that the Cavs don't have all the right pieces. You can argue that they overachieved to get to Game 7 against the Pistons a year ago. You can argue that LeBron needs more help this season. You'd have valid arguments on all fronts.

But to argue that a 50-win team that was missing its second-leading scorer for almost 50 games last season, a team that needed stability more than anything else this summer and received it, needs to be imploded is just plain wrong.

Curiously, the alleged "team-first" teams that purported purists like Rosen sing high hosannas to, the Pistons, the Spurs, the Bulls, are the teams that are models of stability. Yet that stability isn't good enough for the Cavs.

I've seen what a lack of stability does. It creates the Browns. To put it in terms Rosen can understand, it creates the New York Knicks.

Maybe that's what Rosen wants. Maybe he isn't nuts. Maybe he just wants to see the Cavs -- and more importantly, their rich, young, tattooed superstar -- fail miserably. Maybe Rosen, in his own, twisted, senile way, views LeBron as everything that is wrong with basketball.

Maybe Rosen is just creepy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No he's nuts! Try being a Raptors fan. The guy still thinks we're the worst in the NBA.