Another Day Dream – NBA Mediocrity


I’ve always had a recurring day-dream about playing in the NBA.  The strange thing is I don’t dream of being a great player, but having a freak growth spurt and being eight feet tall.  Then I get drafted as a project, not because I’m good, but just purely because I’m freakishly tall.

So there I am in my day-dream – suddenly eight feet tall, unable to fit on an airplane – and everyone is going, “Woh, what happened?!” and I’m like “Yeah, I’m huge right?!”  The doctors are saying that surely I’m going to die, and now I’m the guy  people gawk at  – little kids point and say, “look at the tall man!”  Japanese tourists want to take pictures with me, and they call me “White Giant,”  (spelled 白い巨大な of course) and my teammates call me “Legs,” –  not because I’m fast, but because my legs are so long and pale.

At eight feet, you can dunk without jumping.  It’s great!  I’m an entire foot taller than most other centers.  Meanwhile, the media rails me for being such a bad player, and I only come in and get garbage minutes, maybe commit some fouls.  The headlines say things like “Giant bust.”  After a few years of grinding it out as a bench warmer, I become a passing NBA player, and maybe even have a few double-doubles in the playoffs.  But that’s pretty much the extent of my success. No championships, or all-star games, or Nike commercials – just good enough to barely play at the NBA level. You’d think in my day-dream, where anything is possible, I would imagine up something more exciting than mediocrity, but apparently that’s all my brain needs to have a good time for five minutes.

I have one other NBA related recurring day-dream, and that is that suddenly I am given the gift of a 100% shooting percentage.  I suddenly can’t miss any shot, from anywhere on the floor, including half court.  I then try to figure out, given no other improvement in my skills, if I could actually help am NBA team.  Even at a 100% half court shooting percentage, my defense would still be nonexistent, and once you put a good NBA defender on me, I’d never be able to get the ball –  let alone get a shot off.  So, I’m running around, trying to get the ball, and then shooting mid court fade-aways.  This day dream is more of a riddle than an aspiration, and the answer to the riddle is that even with a 100% full court shooting percentage, I would still be a detriment to every NBA team, as I would  end up missing 90% of those shots due to the ball getting swatted out of bounds.

Related follow-up riddle: The average height of the NBA has grown at a steady clip.  In 1950 the average was 6’3″ (197 lbs), while today the average is 6’7′ (225 lbs).  If it continues at this rate, the average will be 6’9″ in 2032,  7 feet by 2062, and 7’5″ by 3012.   At what point, if ever, would you have the rim raised to eleven feet instead of ten?   I would say raise it by 3082 for sure, when the average player is eight feet tall (my day-dream height) and can dunk flat-footed.

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