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Stevenson Thinks Too Highly of Himself?


I can't feel my ... ego? (Photo by John Kuntz/The Plain Dealer)


In the Feb. 9 edition of Sports Illustrated, the magazine conducts a poll of NBA players asking this question: Which NBA player thinks he's a lot better than he really is?

First off, that's a loaded question because I don't think any player can get to the league without a supreme amount of self-confidence. Even the quiet guy at the end of the bench thinks he should be starting over someone. That guy starting thinks he should make more money than some scrub coming off the bench for another team. This had the potential to be pretty interesting, but the results (below) were somewhat surprising:

Kendrick Perkins, Celtics C.....8%
DeShawn Stevenson, Wizards G.....8%
Rashad McCants, Timberwolves G.....5%
Dahntay Jones, Nuggets G......5%
Damon Jones, Bucks G.....5%

Not only does this list make most casual NBA fans go:"Who?" but Washington Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson tied for first place with Boston center Kendrick Perkins -- which I assume has more to do with what Stevenson said about another player than what he actually thinks about himself.

I'm not sure what most players were basing their votes on, but it is funny that Stevenson made this list when he benched himself earlier this season. Anybody who decides that he shouldn't be starting has a pretty good perspective about where he is as a player -- but that's just my opinion.

It could have something to do with that "I-can't-feel-my-face" hand-wave gesture, which is hilariously entertaining but perhaps annoying (especially if he missed his previous five shots). I think this really comes down to Stevenson calling LeBron James "overrated." I never agreed with Stevenson -- and James's assault on the NBA record books, his MVP-caliber campaign and that 52-11-10 game the other night disputes that -- but I had no problem with Stevenson expressing his opinion. I certainly didn't interpret it as him saying, "I'm better than him" or anything that like that. He just has the utmost respect for Kobe Bryant and the utmost disdain for James -- and let loose.

As for the poll, I was surprised that no-big name players made this list. Of the top five, only two are currently starting for their teams -- and I never heard any of them crying about minutes or money or all-star snubs (I'm joking about that last one). Damon Jones did once call himself the "greatest shooter in the world." So, I can sort of see how he made this list. But I haven't heard much braggadocio from the rest of them. Perkins gets a lot of technical fouls, but I never heard him clamoring to have the Celtics called a "Big Four" because of him. Rashad McCants is best known for dating the Kardashian not named Kim. And Dahntay Jones? What has he ever done?

The players should know better than me, but I'm interested in which player you think has an inflated opinion of his abilities. Did the players get it right?

Which NBA player thinks he's a lot better than he really is? Fire away.

By Michael Lee  |  February 6, 2009; 1:17 PM ET
 
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Comments

Unfortunately, in a season when he insisted that he was an all-star despite his team's record, Caron Butler.

I would think players would vote for any scrub who is always running his mouth. Actually, I think that's what Damon Jones's tombstone will read: "Here lies a scrub who always ran his mouth." But DeShawn fits that description.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 6, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

deshawn pulling himself from the lineup is admirable but the fact that he felt compelled to do so before the coach saw it was needed is far worse than any shooting percentage he could have posted while playing being nagged by numerous injuries. Bottom line is a coach who allows a guy to play as poorly, as reliably as deshawn, while still feeding him 35 minutes, is going to doom you in all sorts of ways, as tap has done. I remember trying to justify taps hiring when he got the gig. I have yet to understand how he's the choice, nothing in his past prepares him for this job. I most certainly am not an eddie jordan fan, but to replace him with tapscott is throwing in the towel eleven games into the year. The sad thing is I think Ernie, while not really happy because who could be with the general mood enveloping a league worst squad, is content with what he has done. He firmly placed himself in the running for the #1 pick and has eliminated any reasons to try and push gil to get back on the floor too soon. While this honestly may be the best move long term, it's a rough one to take right now. At least until gil gets back on the floor there is a glimmer of hope, but the real misery could only be beginning.

Posted by: bford1kb | February 6, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Jerry Stackhouse has always thought highly of himself, which isn't a crime.

On a different topic, here's what SI.com said about the Wizards trade prospects:

Washington Wizards
• Team payroll: $70.6 million
• Potential trade assets: C Andray Blatche
• Outlook: Blatche, a talented but inconsistent big man, is an attractive commodity, though he's out for another month with a knee injury. Washington will likely be content to play out the string and hope for a high draft pick and the healthy return of Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood next season.


Posted by: jweber1 | February 6, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Definitely it's Stephon Marbury. I remember he had this interview with S Smith a couple of years ago and he said that he's the best point guard in the league....better that J Kidd.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 6, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Damon Jones has certainly earned his spot, kendrick perkins makes sense because of that scowl he has and the way he tries to be the incredible hulk after a rebound or shot made, he acts like a guy who thinks he's the man, mccants always seemed to be full of himself in college and in the league he can't get away with that, small fish in a big pond. Deshawn makes sense because his actions simply rub people the wrong way but a guy who gets that excited about making a three clearly knows it isn't happening very often, could you imagine redd, or ray allen celebrating a three? Nah, it's their job, they take it in stride when they bang theirs. And then Dahntay jones, I don't really get but he is from Duke so it makes as much sense as anyone in my book and he is garbage, maybe it's actually josh mcroberts or shavlik randolph, but a Dookie had to be in there

Posted by: bford1kb | February 6, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

On an unrelated topic. RE: Today's WAPO article by Ivan Carter about attendance. here are some quotes from Peter Biche:

"the overall economic downturn have been factors in the attendance drop, according to Peter Biche, the team's president of business operations and chief financial officer."

""This is not just the Washington Wizards," Biche said. "This is going to be a challenge for everybody"

"There were NBA marketing meetings in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago and one of the primary elements of discussion was renewals. You can't be naive with this economy the way it is."

"Where you might have had a larger margin of error in the past, you don't have that now."


My, my, my, Ivan you should have made this story a blog post. Biche is so up the creek, it is ridiculous. To blame the economy is a cop out, and insultig to all the hard working Washingtonians in the metro area. The DC area is well below the natinal unemployment rate. The Capitals are experiencing HUGE gains in attendance, and have been selling out damn near every game lately. That place is nuts for Caps games. The bottom line is this article tends to lead readers to believe that the economy is one of the major factors in the Wizards pitiful attandance. No, it is about WINNING!!! Just look at the Caps. The economy sure isn't affecting their attendance, now is it? The difference, they are WINNING.


Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Here's a tidbit from yesterday's notebook, that I haven't seen mentioned here:

no firm timetable has been set for Arenas and Haywood, though the team hopes that both will be back after the all-star break.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: jones-y | February 6, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree stat man. DC is recession-proof. I thought that was common knowledge.

Posted by: jones-y | February 6, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Jones-y. I am not sure if you really agree with me, or if you are sarcastically mocking my comment. Not that I care either way, I am just curious.

Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

LOL I'm serious, my friend. I could see how you would doubt me though ...

Posted by: jones-y | February 6, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I wasn't sure lol. I just thought the Caps example was pretty much fool-proof, and I would have been curious to hear how you would have seriously disagreed with me. It would have been an interesting discussion.

But yeah, it just blew me away when I read that the Wizards front office are trying to blame the attendance on the economy. Have they been to a Caps game??

Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Getting back to Mike Lee's original question, rather than paying attention to what players say, I'd look at who takes more shots than he should in light of his proven inability to knock down his shots.

This is a category in which Wiz players abound. Exhibit one: Mike James, who keeps jacking up shots even though his shooting has been way off the mark. Exhibit two: MeShawn, who jacks up three pointers like there's no tomorrow. Often AJ fits this category. Pecherov thinks he's another Ray Allen, the dude's sadly mistaken.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | February 6, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"But yeah, it just blew me away when I read that the Wizards front office are trying to blame the attendance on the economy. "

Nice job trying to blatantly misrepresent someone's words in an attempt to make a point. Next time, try quoting the whole thing:

"The team's poor record, injuries to three-time all-star Gilbert Arenas and starting center Brendan Haywood, and the overall economic downturn have been factors in the attendance drop, according to Peter Biche, the team's president of business operations and chief financial officer."

"Injuries have been huge," Biche said. "Brendan is not as high profile as Gil is but it's hurt us, obviously. Gilbert is two things: He's fabulous on the floor and he's also fabulous from a personality standpoint and fans are drawn to that. A guy who can score 30, hit the game-winning shot and also has that charisma, that's a dream for someone who is marketing him." "

Biche didn't "blame" the attendance on the economy. He said the economy was a factor, which it unquestionably is, along with the team's record and injuries, which he also clearly cited.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 6, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I like how a few of those guys are straight from High School.

but I'll bite:

Kendrick Perkins
I love this pick!

Derek Fisher
He was the worst his first stint with the Lakeshow.

Luke Walton
Even his Dad loves to bust on him.

JJ Redick
I loved JJ at Duke and I bet he did too.

...and anybody who rocks a faux hawk and can't finish at the rim.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | February 6, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Wrong again pal. I did read the entire article. He quoted the economy as a reason on 4 separate occasions. Yes that’s right, FOUR, and I quoted them all. The overall message of the article is that the economy is playing a major factor. The economy should not have been quoted once, that is my point.

Fact is the economy is irrelevant. Let us go back to the pre-Jordan era in DC. How was the Wizards attendance doing then? Not so good, huh. The economy was just fine then. Let me explain something to you Confucius, WINNING is all that matters. The Caps are selling out almost every game, if not a sell-out, damn near close. So are you saying the economy only hurts basketball fans. Are hockey fans “immune” to the economic downturn? Think about it. Enlighten me when you get a chance. I’m eager.

Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

David West and Boobie Gibson come to mind. But the tops on my all-time list is Kenyon martin, who i consider to be one of, if not the, most overrated players in the NBA.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 6, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

How many points will the Wizards lose by tonight?? I'm guessing about 30.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 6, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"I did read the entire article."

I never said you didn't. I said you only quoted the parts (out of context) that supported your clearly biased opinion while blithely ignoring all of the things he said that didn't fit your conclusion. Which is quite obviously what you did.

"Yes that’s right, FOUR, and I quoted them all. "

He also quoted the team's injury situation and record multiple times, and you quoted them none.

Convenient, no?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 6, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

You still didn’t answer my question. My whole point was Bliche should not have quoted the economy one time. Period. It has absolutely nothing to do with the attendance figures. SO therefore, I chose to quote the sections of the article that I disagreed with. Why would I quote the section of the article that I have no problem with? Who would. When arguing a point, one tends to focus on the point to which he is arguing, and my point is the economy should not have been mentioned once in the article. Let me ask you again:

WINNING is all that matters. The Caps are selling out almost every game, if not a sell-out, damn near close. So are you saying the economy only hurts basketball fans? Are hockey fans “immune” to the economic downturn? Think about it. Enlighten me when you get a chance. I’m eager.


Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

And pointing out that winning is what matters only serves to underscore my point and make you look like an even bigger boob.

The article states, quite clearly, that the team's injury situation and record are factors in the attendance. But you ignored those words and conveniently cut quotes around them to give the blatantly false impression that team's spokesman was placing all of the blame on the economy. Not only is that wrong and a misrepresentation, it's a blatant, bald-faced lie.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 6, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"My whole point was Bliche should not have quoted the economy one time. Period. It has absolutely nothing to do with the attendance figures."

Of course. Because it's obvious that a near-depression level economic downturn would have no effect on people's willingness to spend money on expensive luxury items. I'm sure any economist would happily sign off on such sterling logic.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 6, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

cj658:"Fact is the economy is irrelevant. Let us go back to the pre-Jordan era in DC. How was the Wizards attendance doing then? Not so good, huh. The economy was just fine then. Let me explain something to you Confucius, WINNING is all that matters."

Well, winning is definitely the biggest thing. But I'm wondering if the Caps attendance doesn't trail off during the second half of the season, too. Be hard not to. We're seeing record unemployment, and the GOP seems determined to torpedo a stimulus package.

This isn't just a poor economy; this is the worst in many a year. People talk about the Great Depression, but it reminds me more of the 1970's, an awful decade if there ever was one.

However, it is true that businessmen who made some execrable decisions (particularly acquisitions) in the first part of the decade are now blaming them on the economy rather than their own bad judgment. Can you blame them? I once heard a sage contend that the skills you needed to get ahead in the modern corporate environment were 1) the ability to take credit for any success that comes your way, and 2) a knack for shifting blame for failure.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 6, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

arenas is the obvious choice.... the man is really good, but he thinks he's Kobee/James good. Maybe he is, but he hasn't proven it yet.

Posted by: stevie2 | February 6, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Good points, as usual Samson 151.

The other (rather obvious, one would think) point is that there's a world of entertainment and luxury options aside from sports. In a tight economic climate, people reduce the amount of money they spend on nonessentials, including sports tickets. Instead of spending money on 5 recreational items (e.g., sports, movies, restaurants, bars, concerts) they may only spend money on 1 or 2. That where the economic impact comes in, determining how much they're willing to spend. The level of personal investment they have in a particular activity determines whether it stays on the list or gets dropped. That's where winning comes in. The people who go to Caps games decided to spend their money on Caps tickets rather than movie tickets because the Caps are winning. The people who've stopped going to Wizards games did so because they'd rather watch a move than watch the Wiz lose. Obviously winning factors into the choice. But if it weren't for the state of the economy, they wouldn't have to make such a choice in the first place

It's Econ 101. But I guess "some people" are still struggling through the remedial summer school course.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 6, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Samson, good points. But please check the DC area unemployment versus the national unemployment. Of all the 49 metropolitan regions with at least 1 million people in the USA, the DC Metro area has the 2nd lowest unemployment rate in the country, right behind Oklahoma City. Yes, look it up Kalman. http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/04/news/economy/metropolitan_unemployment/?postversion=2009020410 Facts are facts.

“The people who go to Caps games decided to spend their money on Caps tickets rather than movie tickets because the Caps are winning.”

Kalorama, you are an absolute idiot. So I guess Caps fans aren’t going to the movies. Where do you get the audacity to make a stupid comment like that. How the hell do you know how Caps fans spend their money?

Again, nobody addressed my points about the Wizards attendance in the pre-jordan era. It was pitiful, and we were not in a recession. People go to watch teams that win. Period. All the gibberish about economic theories is simply nonsense.

Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Here’s a simple solution. If one were to poll all Wizards fans, and ask them why they are not going to the games, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the economy will rarely (if ever be the answer). It’s safe to assume that 995 out 1000 wizards fans are not going because the team sucks. It’s plain and simple.

Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@cj658: I don't know why you feel compelled to be so rude to people who disagree with you. It makes it hard to read this blog.

Posted by: Matte | February 6, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree that economic theory is garbage. That's just my personal opinion, and it really has nothing to do with the debate at hand. What economists fail to realize is that its not a science. And that's precisely because its based on human judgement, which is, as we all know, about the most unstable base upon which to build theses. Humans can and do make irrational decisions with money.

Having said that, the theory of economics does have merits, I just wouldn't call them theories, but that's the scientist in me. For example, even though DC is recession proof, don't think that the current economic situation does not have psychological impact within the beltway. I do think however that the Wiz poor attendance is linked to their performance more than anything related to the economy.

All that is besides the point being made (and a point that I agree with, and that underscores my opinion about economic theory overall), which is that discretionary expenditures are called that because they are spent at the discretion of the spender. And especially in the realm of entertainment, the spender will spend her money on an activity that she feels will give the most bang for the buck. They won't go see a movie that they don't anticipate enjoying anymore than they'll see a bball game that they don't anticipate enjoying.

Posted by: jones-y | February 6, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Matte: Yes, I called Kalo_rama an “idiot”. Please reference that he called me a “boob” above. That hrt my feelings, so I called him an idiot.

If me calling someone an “idiot”, makes it hard for you to read this blog, than I do not know what to say. I once heard Krang call Shredder an “idiot” on my favorite episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yet I continued to watch.

Again, if you consider me calling someone an idiot “rude”, I apologize in advance. Seriously, There is only one or two people that I typically rude towards on this blog, and you’re not one them.

Posted by: cj658 | February 6, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

hey i hear that the Suns are testing the trade waters with Amare Stoudemire. i heard this and thought to myself about the possibility of being able to land Stoudemire in Washington. So doing the math and dreaming up a trade that the Suns would actually like and would help both teams, I came up with this:

TRADE:
Suns get,
F Antawn Jamison
G DeShawn Stevenson
C Darius Songaila

Wizards get,
F Amare Stoudemire
F Grant Hill
F Matt Barnes

and with expiring contracts, we can decide whether or not to resign Hill or Barnes at the end of the season, giving us more flex room under the cap. also Grant Hill has a connections here (his parents LIVE in DC). and after getting completely SNUBBED by not making the All-Star game, this will give Jamison a better shot of making the game next season (because I would hate to see him go like any one of us and this is the only reason I came up with).

... please let me know what you think.

- Justin L.

Posted by: rickysanders83 | February 6, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The only slight advantage I see in that trade is that AJ is probably better suited to playing off a dominating center; Amare has struggled at it. Other than that, that trade absolutely stinks for PHX.

Posted by: jones-y | February 6, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

for the wizards purposes that trade is a no-brainer, I doubt the suns would have anything to do with it though, and there is no way jamison deserves to be an all-star this year, he's a very good offensive player, but playing no d and being on the worst team excludes you, as it should.

Posted by: bford1kb | February 6, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't think having no d would ever keep someone from making the all star game. but being on the worst team will.

and I don't think the suns would go for that trade. but i could see them giving up amare for jamison and a couple other players. just not adding more to the deal than that. although i'd love to have grant hill.

Posted by: crs-one | February 6, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Love this topic. My all-time favorite personal overrater is Charles Barkley. Undoubtedly a HOFer, but he considers himself on par with MJ and Magic and Bird. Gimme a break.

Posted by: MitchfromDenver | February 7, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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