As I may have mentioned here before, the Iowa Hawkeyes have but one former player in the NBA. But he’s a doozy.
Reggie Evans, in his 10th season in the league (Reason #33,444 to feel old), doesn’t come with a filter in interviews.
Evans’ Brooklyn Nets host the Heat tonight (Wednesday), and he was asked some questions about them. I especially enjoyed this passage from this New York Daily News story:
“It doesn’t prove nothing,” Evans told the Daily News when asked what it would mean to beat the defending champs. “That was a lockout season.”
So because the NBA played a 66-game regular-season instead of its normal 82 games, the Heat’s championship wasn’t legitimate? Someone tell that to National Hockey League fans. They’re wasting their time watching games this shortened season.
Evans also said Miami’s LeBron James doesn’t warrant any more defensive attention than some of Evans’ Brooklyn teammates.
“Our team is defending the Miami Heat. If our team has to defend one person, LeBron isn’t going to score nothing. …LeBron is no different from Joe Johnson or Andray Blatche. No different. People need help (on defense). Some people don’t need help. Everybody has to be double-teamed, it doesn’t matter who you are. You just have to stop LeBron in transition.”
(UPDATE: Miami beat the Nets Wednesday, 105-85. Afterward, James said “You can’t just come out and say something like that versus a champion. No one knows what it takes unless you’ve done it. You can’t sit here and judge and talk about a team winning a championship unless you’ve done it. (Evans) hasn’t done it.”)
But don’t dismiss Evans entirely. Last season the then-New Jersey Nets went 22-44. This year, they’re 27-19. Yeah, yeah, they also added Johnson and Blatche, who can play a little bit.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers used Evans’ significant help in reaching the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. Oh, yeah, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had something to do with that, too. But Evans did average 7.3 rebounds per game in the postseason, and was a key in the Clippers’ first-round series win over Memphis.
Evans was averaging 8.9 rebounds in 22.1 minutes per game for the Nets before Wednesday. Of NBA players who have been in more than four games, he is second in the league in rebounds per 48 minutes, with 19.3. That’s behind only Minnesota’s Kevin Love, who has appeared in just 18 games because of injuries.
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