“My Reputation Proceeds Me”
I wonder how Terrell Owens feels when the sports media depicts him in a negative light. On some levels he has poured the gasoline on the media fire, especially considering some of his antics, however there are few that could argue against his physical prowess on the football field along with the statistical data to back it up. Some do not view that his 15,000 plus career yards along with 153 touchdowns outweigh what they view as brash, selfish, and childish behavior. It has yet to be seen if he will become an NFL Hall of Famer in part due to his reputation. The same situation goes for countless other athletes such as Randy Moss, Allen Iverson, etc.
The NBA All Star Reserves were announced this past week. There were many prominent names that were listed on both the Western and Eastern Rosters. On the Eastern Conference side, names like Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, and the Atlanta Hawks’ own Joe Johnson were just a few of the reserves chosen. However, there was another name on that same Hawks roster that did not make the cut that is the center of controversy, Josh Smith. Smith is having a phenomenal season, averaging almost 16 points a game, along with nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He has brought his game to another level, especially since an injury to teammate Al Horford virtually ended his season. Smith is having an outstanding season but he is dealing with an image problem and a negative reputation. In most circles, Josh Smith is regarded as a top-notch talent with a great skill set. He has the size, strength, and physical presence to dominate at both ends of the floor, but along with that comes the reputation of being selfish, someone who does not accept coaching, and not cooperative with the team process.
Just looking at the numbers in comparison to some that made the roster, one could make the argument that Smith should have been added. Luol Deng, who has played fewer games than Smith due to injury is averaging slightly less in points with 15.8, less rebounds at 7.1, and assists with 3.3. Andre Igoudala may make even a greater case for Smith as he is averaging almost 13 points per game, 6.7 rebounds, but fares a little better in assists with 5.2. Josh Smith is indeed an “All Star Snub”, but why? Has his reputation been so damaged that people cannot respect his talent? I contend that those in charge should judge him by his play and not by what they think his attitude should be.
Jamie Walker can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @coachjdub21.