Scout's Honor

Knute's back and he's discovered a pot of gold! Have you even wondered where the NBA gets all the good talent? Knute's discovered that it is a lot closer to home than we would have ever imagined...

Konichiwa sports geeks! Knute here with some insider information that is going to blow the lid off of the NBA draft and send all those draft aficionados (that's Spanish for "pathetic loser") scrambling for their prospects sheet.

See, Knute is connected (Knute is also talking like Karl Malone today for some odd reason) and my grubby little tentacles extend even down into the seedy underworld of NBA scouting. Everyone knows that the life of an NBA scout is somewhat akin to that of Dr. Richard Kimball minus the dead wife and one-armed man: You run from one city to the next trying to stay ahead of the competition.

Scouts troll the colleges, they fly to exotic locales like Mongolia and Brazil (Mengke Bateer or Raphael Araujo anyone?) and now they can even be spotted lurking around high school gyms with alarming frequency. It's getting out of hand. Soon it will be like the old Olympic teams in Russia and a group of shady characters will show up at the hospital to spirit away the newborn children of tall parents in the name of "potential".

I have news for you folks, I have a document that proves the NBA, in it's insatiable lust for new "talent", is ready to leave no stone unturned...or more precisely, plumb any depth.

This document was given to me in the dark recesses of the Delta Center by a scout for the Mavericks one night last year in early February. He said that after finding and signing French star Antoine Rigamarole or whatever his name is, Mark Cuban has become obsessed with finding every possible player out there and adding him to the Mavericks roster. Thus the scout was given this rather unsavory assignment: To scout Church Basketball games in Utah and everywhere else Mormons play basketball.

You'd think the extensive research proving the vast majority of Mormons CAN'T play worth a lick (see Bradley, Shawn and Madsen, Mark) would have deterred Cuban from this course. Guess not.

After handing me the document, the scout grabbed me by the collar and, with a wild look in his eye, spat "Tell the world!" His vile work had clearly caused his mind to come unhinged.

Gentlemen, I give you...The Ward Report

December 28, 2002...Sugar House 4th Ward building.

Showed up at the gym, no game...few fat guys playing rat ball said the season doesn't start until January...watched them shoot around for a few minutes...disturbed by how many of them are balding.

January 2, 2003...Sugar House

4th Ward vs. 76th Ward...recognize some of the fat, bald guys...a few new dudes...not much height...good intensity...could have potential to be Mavericks because all they want to do is stand around the arc and fire threes...can't I.D. the,, match-up zone...wait, 2 guys playing zone, two guys playing man, one guy standing underneath opposite basket with his hand in the air yelling for the ball...looks like they are using Dallas schemes.

January 16th, 2003...Lehi 6th Ward vs. Lehi Roller Mills Ward

After watching for a couple of weeks can break down players into distinct categories:

Poser: Dude who comes to each game decked out in NBA team gear with expensive sneakers, multiple headbands, baggy shorts and may or may not have a tattoo or an earring. These guys jack it up every time they touch it and always suck. Note to self: Tell Clippers scout about them.

Jack-Ass: This guy is the same fat ass loudmouth that always seems to sit behind you at a game. He is fat, sloppy and has clearly never played any sort of organized ball of any kind on any level yet he knows everything about every sport. He runs his mouth the entire game and his defense consists of a tomahawk chop across the arms of anyone with the ball. He plays arc to arc mostly, setting up camp on offense at the three point line and firing away if he happens to touch the ball. On defense he trails everyone else and usually stops at the opposite three-point line to watch the rest of his team play defense.

JWill's: This guy is a hundred miles an hour on both ends of the court. Great hustle but no direction. He's like a hummingbird on speed and you expect his heart to explode at any second. He loves to pass but his problem is every pass needs to be a show. Always a no-look or a fancy behind the back or bounce pass. He will do this in the open court or in traffic and then roll his eyes and stare accusingly at his intended target as his pass goes sailing out of bounds. By the third quarter he quits passing and tries to do it all himself then yells at his teammates to get open. With his attitude, this guy could play in the league.

Has Been's - These guys clearly played some sort of organized ball before and it shows. They set picks, box out and help on defense. They also go to the hole and when they play the point, they don't sprint down and chuck up the first shot available like there's a 10 second shot clock or something. These guys usually wear old gray or white t-shirts and shorts and well-worn, plain Nikes. They always play with a look on their face like John Stockton's and while they may get upset at a call or non-call, they just move on and invariably, school some Poser the next time down the court. They are the glue that makes these teams go. They do the bulk of the scoring but also try to spread the ball which turns out to be a mistake because once a Poser or Jack-Ass accidentally hits a shot, say good bye to the rock. These guys can play, know they can play but don't try so hard to prove it like all the others, but they are a little old. I'll tell the Jazz about them.

NeverWas: These guys really can't play and they know it. They just come for the exercise

Refs: No, not the guys in stripes. These guys are a combination Poser/Jack-Ass and they piss and moan every time down the floor. "That's a foul!" or "Get him off me!" are common refrains. They are also fond of "I didn't touch him!" or "That's not a foul! I'll show you a foul!" These guys suck worse than the Poser and spend most of their time hacking, pushing or undercutting guys who are in the air. They remind me a lot of Shawn Bradley.

Official: The guys in stripes. These guys are pathetic but it needs to be noted that they are volunteers assigned to do this. They miss calls, let guys walk and palm the ball, never call three seconds or over the back and lose control of most games shortly after tip off. They then run up and down the floor carrying on a running conversation with the coaches and/or fans. We MUST tell David Stern about these guys, they're perfect for the league!

January 30, 2003...Farmington 5th vs. Centerville 3rd...playoffs

I've been watching a month...I'm starting to see things and the blood is flowing like the Salmon of Capistrano...griping and moaning rings in my ears and the whining pleas for non-existent fouls wakes me at night...on the floor a Jack-Ass has his tenth three point shot attempt blocked by a Has Been and he's screaming for a foul along with a Ref teammate...Posers are strutting around like they need a posse and a NeverWas is wandering aimlessly near mid-court trying to decide which basket is his...OH THE HUMANITY!!!...I CAN'T DO THIS!...ALL WARD BALL AND NO REAL BALL MAKES SCOUT CRAZY!!!!!!...KHAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!

The report ends here folks, with scribbles and scrawls and what appear to be tear drops on the paper. Pray for this man and beware the Ward Ball.

Until next time...

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