John Hollinger's Team Forecast for the Thunder is pretty bleak.
"The Oklahoma City Thunder. Ugh. Pardon me while I thwack myself in the head a few times."
He also preempted my weather-related pun, which I'm pretty peeved about. In addition to this dismal season preview, the Thunder is dead last in Marc Stein's Power Rankings. Could it be that ESPN is nothing more than a bunch of bitter Seattleites?
The question is, why does ESPN seem to think we won't be very good? Is it because we were a 20-62 team last year and didn't make any significant short-term improvements in the off-season? Is it because we have a gaping hole at center and no consistent outside shooting threat? C'mon guy, we picked up Desmond Mason. Does John Hollinger realize Desmond Mason is a hard-worker who plays the basketball the "right way"? Do they know he has a 40-megawatt smile and signs autographs for children?
I'll tell you what's going on here: Media Bias.
John Hollinger is as biased as they come. He invented something called the "Player Effeciency Rating" for analyzing statistical mumbo-jumbo and trying to look smart. Fans don't like number crunchers, JoHo--hold the phone--is he the same JoHo that hates America? I'm going with yes. So here we have an America-hating intellectual who bases analysis on statistical fact through some sort of scientific method of inquiry. In comparison, Darnell Mayberry would be a great person to have a beer with. Okay, maybe not Darnell, he has zero personality, but probably Berry Tramel. I think he was a wayward transient that wandered into the Oklahoman one day looking for a place to shower and realized he was just as informed as everyone else. So he's probably got some good stories.
I'm not the only one to notice this unfair treatment. Check out this roundtable at the Oklahoman (Sidenote: someone get Mike Sherman a dictionary):
What did I tell you, ESPN is only ranking the Thunder last because they're "mad" at them. Get over it already, John Hollinger!
So in conclusion:
- Seattle fans and JoHo need to stop whining.
- Media outlets like ESPN need to stop picking on Oklahoma City because it's NO FAIR.
Besides, we may lose a lot of games this season, but I promise you this: If we go down, we'll go down smurfing: