Jim Souhan, complaining about the Timberwolves pick of Wesley Johnson (of course he's going to complain. I'm sure he had an alternate, complaining column in case the Wolves picked Cousins), compared the Wolves decision to pick Johnson over Cousins this way:
"In Oscar terms, they went with Walter Brennan instead of Marlon Brando."
Marlon Brando died six years ago, but is certainly famous for being a temperamental pain-in-the-ass genius. Walter Brennan? Walter Brennan? He died when I was less than a year old, and I'm 36 years old. Jesus Christ, Jim Souhan. Walter Brennan last won an Oscar in 1941. Seriously, Jim Souhan--you are not that old. Your writing is, but you are not.
I like Cousins too. I like him a lot. But hey, Wes Johnson is a polished, talented, multi-purpose small forward Ten Artest's , something the Timberwolves haven't had in a long time. There's no bad news in that selection.
But Souhan persists, using the kind of logic you only find from a Jim Souhan type columnist:
"The problem is, the Wolves have tried this good-guy-from-a-winning-program approach before, and it helped them to 15 victories last year. Jonny Flynn (Syracuse), Kevin Love (UCLA) and Corey Brewer (Florida) are good guys from good college programs. Add three more guys just like them and the Wolves can contend for a Big title."
Oh, hey, Jim Souhan--Did you just name three players under the age of 25? And two players under the age of 22? The Timberwolves team last year was designed to lose a bunch of games and give a young, talented core of players a lot of time in the NBA crucible. That was the publicly stated goal. By any measure, last year did exactly what it was supposed to do. Calling last year a failure because a bunch of kids didn't win 50 games is ridiculous. Jim Souhan is ridiculous. He writes this column, over and over again, regardless of the sport. Remember his bitchy takedown of the Twins for not ridding themselves of a then 23-year old Delmon Young? Delmon Young, who's now hitting over .300, has more doubles and walks than he did all of last year, and is closing in on 50 RBI's? Guess what, everyone--sometimes patience is actually a virtue. Who knew?
More Souhan: "Johnson could build a nice career. Cousins could become the best player in the draft." This is a common meme that is being circulated everywhere. But let's be clear here--Souhan isn't an evaluator of NBA talent. He doesn't know any more than you or I about it. He's spouting what he's heard other guys say. Meanwhile, other folks, who know basketball, like Dick Vitale (who is annoying, but does know talent) and Jon Berry think that Wesley Johnson is going to be a terrific professional. Souhan quotes no one who knows basketball in his evaluation. It's just so much bitching.
Combine that with jokes about Commissioner Stern's height, Ron sanity, and Ricky Rubio's wish to avoid the NBA lockout as being somehow the fault of the Wolves, and it combines into a wonderful goulash of whiny, lazy, self-satisfied, know-nothing