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"Lies, Damned Lies, and Obama (response to Battier article)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Big Chee, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    What's the point of c&ping the whole thing if there's a link?
  3. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    You're right....
  4. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Not to quibble, but Battier's career averages are 10 and (almost) 5 rebounds; the 6 and 5 are for this season. And while he only started one game in 2003-04 for that 50 win team, he did average almost 25 minutes, scoring 8.5 a game. (And the next two seasons he started almost every game.)

    Though his lack of scoring, and stats in general, was kind of the point of the profile, to begin with.
  5. Minister_of_What?

    Minister_of_What? New Member

    Read this site a lot but have never been moved to post until reading this rebuttal, which I like quite a bit. The scoring avg. seems like an irrelevant mistake in the grand scheme of the critique.

    But, having read the article and noticing the list of contributors to that Memphis team, Battier's numbers lagged behind Lorenzen Wright, and certainly weren't as significant as 3 of the starters. There were 5-7 players posting numbers more important than or just as important as Battier. I think the point is preety straightforward, which is that to put the sucess of that grizz squad on battier's shoulders is statistically dishonest.

    the point of the critique in my opinion (and what I agree with and have thought from the start after reading the battier profile) is that his lack of scoring is NOT the point of the article. it's what the author claims is the point of the article. but in the end there was NO clear point of the article. which as a reader made me a little nuts myself.

    I liked this critique A LOT. I will also probably start posting here a little bit more often now that I broke my cherry so to speak.
  6. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    I wasn't feeling the vibe in the later half of that Times article. Lewis creates this atmosphere where only whites were the ones equipped enough to appreciate the nuances to Battier's game while the coded "streets" were only interested in the style and pizazz of players like Chris Webber, who on his worst day is better than Battier on his best.
  7. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    It's an interesting critique on what I thought was a great story. But I like the critical eye on it.

    Here's why I think the "streets" angle was valid: It's what Battier believed; it was his reality. And it seems like his coach, who also coached Webber, believed it too.

    I understand see your disbelief, and annoyance, with it though. Lewis often simplifies his topics so much, he doesn't allow for gray area, or influences the reader so, they think he doesn't allow for gray area.

    But I don't think his point was that blacks weren't cultured enough to appreciate Battier's play. I think it was more of a style issue. I thought Lewis made a great point that skills Battier is renown for, like taking a charge are taught more, or are appreciated more, in environments where it's possible to take one without getting rocks in your head. (Though this discounts the fact that plenty of "urban" basketball is played indoors too.)

    As for the point made about more Grizz posting better numbers than Battier, well, I think you missed the point of the story. Lewis never said Battier was the MVP of the team from a statistics point of view, just that he has proven to be a valuable player because of his basketball IQ and what he brings to the game.
  8. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    I don't get the "style" issue either, considering that the NBA is full of defensive stalwarts who grew up playing ball in the "streets."  I guess now the attributes of taking a charge, knowing that you have minimal offensive ability while relying on your defensive skills isn't a "street" thing. 

    Obviously, he had a tough time getting out of Chris Webber's shadow, but that doesn't stop the Lewis from insinuating that the streets were missing something that "white people?" saw and forcing that drivel into this piece.
  9. Minister_of_What?

    Minister_of_What? New Member

    Not only do I disagree, I disagree strongly. Michael Lewis even disagrees with his own words:

    "The Grizzlies went from 23-59 in Battier’s rookie year to 50-32 in his third year, when they made the N.B.A. playoffs, as they did in each of his final three seasons with the team. Before the 2006-7 season, Battier was traded to the Houston Rockets, who had just finished 34-48. In his first season with the Rockets, they finished 52-30, and then, last year, went 55-27 — including one stretch of 22 wins in a row."

    “every team he has ever played on has acquired some magical ability to win.”

    Both of these quotes imply a direct relationship between Battier and team success. Both are seriously untruthful. Think of this as a tautalogical equation, like you learn in intro to philosophy class: if ____, then ___. In the case of Michael Lewis mentioning the magical ability to win, he implies if shane battier is on your team, your team gains the ability to win games. Being less valuable than 5 or 6 players on the grizz doesn't support that in any way, shape, or form. A rockets team recovering from injuries and improving from 51 wins in 2005 to 52 win in 2007 also tells us next to nothing about battied's impact on team success. In my opinion these aren't even remotely complicated points.
  10. broadway joe

    broadway joe Guest

    It would be a lot easier to go along with the criticism that Lewis is giving all the credit to white people if he wasn't for the fact that he's saying a (half) black man is THE MOST INTELLIGENT PLAYER IN THE NBA. He's not saying that only white people are capable of seeing that, he's saying that hardly anyone is capable of seeing it -- not even smart GMs like Jerry West, who couldn't wait to trade him, and not even the players that Battier shuts down, who think the fact that they tend to have bad nights when he guards them is just a coincidence. It takes a very skewed interpretation of this story to come away with the impression that Lewis was suggesting that only whites were capable of appreciating Battier's game.
  11. Minister_of_What?

    Minister_of_What? New Member

    two questions:

    how was jerry west wrong? battier is a colossal disappointment in relation to his draft position.

    what evidence supports that battier is the most intelligent player in the nba?
  12. Big Chee

    Big Chee Active Member

    Yet, it was the "streets" who not only ignored that aspect of his game, but lambasted him for possessing qualities that lacked the And-1 flash that's stereotypically street.   Lewis clearly differentiates whose who in those criticisms and explicitly states it.  So the tail end of the article simply comes off pushing that angle without egregiously stating it.  

    Shane had problems stepping out of C-Webb's shadow, as do most athletes who follow behind a local legend. But why bother to draw the line in the sand between white people and "the streets" for something that's an across the board human reaction?

    That along with Lewis' statistical dishonesty makes the hype behind that article very questionable.  
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