DEBATE ZONE: Is Sebastian Telfair the 399th Best Player in the NBA

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks

Bryan Harvey and Josh Spilker, of BallerBall’s “Debate Zone”, debate ESPN’s recent NBA player ratings:


Bryan: We really do need to reassess Sebastian Telfair’s being ranked the 399th best player in the NBA. Without looking at the stats, how do we know? So, being the conscientious analyst that I am, I brought some stats, as in non-debatable facts, to the conversation this morning. Did you know Telfair’s 430th in terms of alphabetical-efficiency among all active players? Which isn’t saying much. However, in terms of alphabetical-T-efficiency, he’s a top ten player. Now, that means that in terms of Advanced-Alphabetics, which is his letter rating added to his jersey number and then subtracted from his alphabetical-normative rating, I compute that Sebastian is at no worse the 389th best player in the League. Respond if you can. But these are stats!

Josh: Bryan, I don’t care what you see on paper, I’ll tell you what I see in my mind’s eye. I see a loser. A L-O-O-S-E-R.

B: You spelled it wrong.

J: No, I didn’t. Like I said, I see beyond the paper. And I see a handle that’s looser than the Cyclone’s bolts. I see a handle that hasn’t improved since he was stuffing down Nathan’s Hot Dogs.

B: You wanna talk dogs? How ’bout this? Sebastian Telfair weighs 165 pounds. You know what else weighs 165 pounds? A Mastiff. But that’s on the old animalytic scale. Since Kenneth Faried’s come along, we’ve learned to combine alphabetical-efficiency with animalytics. This system, which all the geeks are calling alpha-beastronomics, multiplies a player’s weight by the first letter in his last name’s place in the alphabet. In terms of alpha-beastronomics, Sebastian rates out over 3,000, like 3,135. Check the math, if you want, but that makes him as efficient on the court as a mature bison or a female hippo. Now, that might not mean a lot to you now, but what if I told you that Faried–Mr. Manimal himself–rated out at 1,368, or, in the true nature of the stat, as a bear? How can a hippo that plays basketball be ranked at 399? That’s all I’m saying.

J: Who put the zoo in Alphabet City? Not me. But I can’t take the M or the L Train and get to where you’re going. Let me see if I can hang, though.  I like the bison. Especially on a burger. If the bison is on my burger with extra mushrooms and onions, do you know what that means? They’ve been put out to pasture. My friend, Bassy has dropped his last beat. Everyone remembers him as a baby-faced little kid with big city problems and even bigger dreams, but for real he’s like BabyFace. I’m talking old old.

And no respectable GM around is waiting around to exhale on a Sebastian Telfair reunion tour (shoop shoop), even if that’s what the people want. The GMs want the top of the charts, not those leftover remixes. Bassy can’t give ’em that. He’s only breathing in the fumes from Kent Bazemore’s towel waving at this point. He’s pure 400. The last one.

B: I might be about to lose my mind. What did the numbers just say? The numbers said Telfair is better than 399. No matter the scale–we can use octave-analytics–but Sebastian Telfair is better than Jared Dubin,  David J. Smith, and Archibald Butt. By the way, ran some Google +/- on ol’ Archibald, and I’m not even sure he plays basketball–dude was First Secretary for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. So, I’m not sure how that correlates to basketball.

J: I’m not budging from 400. Also, all those names you just named really don’t have anything to do with basketball—they’re people’s Twitter handles.

B: Well, I’m not budging from 398.

J: Hmmmmm.

B: Hmmmmmm.


Bryan Harvey can be followed on Twitter @LawnChairBoys. Josh Spilker can be followed @joshspilker.

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