Thursday, August 16

El Capitan

Who will be the next captain of the Seattle Sonics?With Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis gone to new pastures this season, the obvious choices for Sonic captain have gone with them. It begs the question: Who will be the team captain this year?

The best player on the team - Kevin Durant - can't even order a drink at a bar (unless he comes to Vancouver, that is), so I'm guessing he's out, as is fellow rookie Jeff Green.

Johan Petro? No, merci. Mickael Gelabale? Great hair, but no. Wally Szczerbiak? Well, you'd like your captain to be able to, you know, play more 30 games before blowing an ankle, so Wally's out. Chris Wilcox? I doubt he'd be interested and you kind of get the feeling that Wilcox is always a bad game away from Benoit Benjamin territory. Damien Wilkins? He's got the captain-type attitude and is a stand-up guy, but he lacks the minutes or veteran presence. Delonte West is too fresh on the scene to merit the honor. I won't mention Mo Sene, and Robert Swift's got plenty of other things to worry about this year, so cross them both off the list.

That leaves four candidates - Kurt Thomas, Earl Watson, Luke Ridnour, and Nick Collison. Personally, I think that nominating either Watson or Ridnour is a decision fraught with peril because of the way it would anger the other one, so eliminate the both of them.

Which means Thomas and Collison are the only two legitimate options. Here are the reasons pro/con for both:

PRO: Tougher than a well-done steak at Denny's, knows all the referees in the league (and their middle names), respected throughout the league, extensive experience.
CON: New to the club, might be a one-year wonder in Seattle, limited playing time.

PRO: Team USA experience, young-and-improving player, great attitude, aggressive player, doesn't hide from challenges, been with the team for a few years and may be around for years to come.
CON: Not a great player, makes plenty of mistakes (i.e., fouls), has ups and downs, likely won't be a starter (although Thomas may not, either), doesn't have Thomas' league-wide respect.

Weighing all the options, I'm siding with Kurt Thomas, at least for this season, with perhaps Nick as an "assistant captain." Feel free to add your insults in the comments.


Anonymous said...

i don't know him personally but from the way he handles himself on court, collison does not look like the leader type of a guy..more of a follower type..although he may have been giving off those types of vibes because of shard and ray..

Anonymous said...

It's gotta be Durant.

mcwalter44 said...


I think Collison is the logical choice as captain. Though, maybe the Sonics don't need one. There are several teams that do not name captains, so the Sonics might be wise not to have one.

Also, Collison will be a starter for the Sonics. I believe that he'll split time between PF and C for the Sonics and be their starting center on most nights. I see Swift playing a limited role (10 to 15 mins per night to start the season) and Thomas as having a reserve role 15 to 20 mins a game.

Anonymous said...

It might come down to whom the Sonics are playing on a given night. If they need a shot blocker, then Swift gets the nod, if they need someone quicker (like against the Suns), then it's Collison, or if they need someone tough to push (against, say, Eddy Curry or Shaq) then they'd go with Thomas. Center by committee isn't so bad.

Anonymous said...

Collison or Thomas would be a decent choice.

I wouldn't take Durant out of the equation though. Sure he's a rookie but it's already HIS team.

Chris Brummel said...

What about Watson AND Rindinour? It might force them to work together more...

Paul said...

If the Sonics are truly trying to make a fresh start, why not hand it over to Durant and Green right now? They are not your typical rookies, and are already probably the best players on the team. I just can't imagine any of those other guys as Captain material.

I vote for the Rooks!

Dave said...

I think ruling out both PGs was too hasty:
Co-captains Collison and Rids

Anonymous said...

OMG who gives a f*ck if so happend's Ridnour is our captain and Earl Watson gets mad...

Btw I vote for Collison and Ridnour 4 co-captains they are both working out very hard this off season..we will see the fruits of their labor this year. can't wait!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't care about Earl/Luke's feelings, I just care about the team. Last year, the negative attitudes between those two cost us a few wins, I think. I think they both think of themselves as better than the other guy, and like the rest of us, they don't perform as well when they feel that someone inferior to them is ahead of them.

It's one thing to say, "Who gives a crap about Earl's feelings" when you're not involved in day-to-day operations, but if you're the coach, it matters. Think of it like an office; if you got passed over for promotion by someone who you thought was clearly inferior to you, and that decision was broadcast to the entire city of Seattle, wouldn't that affect your performance just a bit? Naming Ridnour captain would just piss Earl off even more, and I don't see what good would come of it. Unless EW gets dealt, it doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Chris to name Ridnour and Watson as co-captains. Not to work together, though... Luke gets the job for the first three quarters, then Earl takes over for the 4th & post game huddles.

Realistically, I like Collison.

Chris Brummel said...

I agree with the first 4 words of what "anonymous #12" said.

Anonymous said...

I'll spell it out for you (again):




That's the only reason the Sonics can't deal Rid right now. Or have you forgotten the Hawks were willing to trade their 1st-round pick this June for Luke? I'd be willing to bet that in a perfectly open market, the Sonics would get as much or more for Luke than they would for Earl, simply because Earl's shot is so weak.

Anonymous said...

i don't really see a problem with letting durant be captain. just like paul said, it's already his team. i can't really say this with any certainty since i don't know the guy but if you're the biggest name on the team that everybody is expecting you to "save" and as y ou've pointed out the rest of the team doesn't exactly have the clout that ray and rashard did.

and for the pg debate, I like luke. i understand lots of people don't like him (even some of my friends don't) and that some prefer earl but i'd rather we shop him around than rid. then maybe give him co-captain status to show some faith in the guy

Anonymous said...

"Or have you forgotten the Hawks were willing to trade their 1st-round pick this June for Luke?"

No they wised up at the last minute. You can't tell me that you weren't thinkin like I was thinking that "Oh my god I hope and pray that Atlanta is stupid enough to give us their 1st rd pick for Dook Ridnour".

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree with thebigo, however much that pains me ;~)
Ridnour has shown he's a mentally weak guy. Loses confidence way too easily to ever be an effective starter, can't take criticism or demotion. What happens next summer when we draft a future PG star? Watson will deal with it and maybe be a mentor (with West) whilst Luke will suck his thumb and cry. Or are we going to pass on all the PGs for someone we don't need, so we don't upset Luke, and you guys can say "let's give him ONE more year to break out...after all, PG is the hardest position to learn..."?

Anonymous said...

That's funny, wasn't it Watson who was bitching and whining last year long before we heard about Ridnour complaining? Hey, Luke's had to watch 1) Antonio Daniels get minutes in crunch time and 2) Earl Watson get his starting job, so can you really blame him for complaining?

Maybe the best thing is for the two of them to stay on the team this year, go at it in training camp, decide on a starter, and see how it goes during the season. Hey, I'm not an idiot, if Frodo doesn't step up this season, then that's it, he's had his chance. Same goes for Earl. If he doesn't hit 40%+ on his shots, or get the offense going, then dump his butt, too.

I think we can all agree that we want the Sonics to win games, and it doesn't matter who's playing PG, so long as we win. Agreed?

As for the ATL trade, yeah, I washoping that it would go through, just because I don't want both of these guys on the team simultaneously. Now, though, we're stuck with Luke for at least this season because of his contract status, so it makes sense to me to trade Earl.

Maybe we have to wait until mid-season, when we can deal Earl+Thomas' contract to somebody (maybe include Wilcox too) and pickup something valuable. Like, oh, Jason Kidd?

Anonymous said...

Neither Jermaine O'Neal nor Jason Kidd are walking through that door—so deal with it. In all reality, they'd want nothing to do with a rebuilding franchise such as the Seattle Supersonics.

Regarding Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson, they're both flawed players who are undeserving of a starting point guard spot on any NBA team. Both of them are undeserving of their mid-level salaries, too. Hell, there's a reason that I suggested the following trade proposal -- which has been reiterated by at least one other person -- several weeks prior to this moment.

PG Jason Williams ($8,937,500)

PG Earl Watson ($5,800,000)
SF Damien Wilkins ($2,900,000)

Anyhow, as most of y'all know, I'm enamored with Antonio Daniels. Last season, Daniels averaged 4.2 assists per turnover, drew a foul on 21.7% of his field-goal attempts, and had a 13.9 opponent efficiency rating; thus, he was a proficient ball-handler, a gutsy player on offense, and a defensive stalwart. On the whole, those are all wonderful qualities that collectively form a unique package.

I, without a further ado, have created the following four-team trade proposal.

Its objective is to acquire a defensively sound starter at center -- as Nick Collison and Kurt Thomas are truly power forwards who should man the high-post, while Robert Swift should be a 16 minute per game backup down in the low-post at this juncture -- fix the conundrum at point guard, and lower the payroll after this season by virtually dumping an anchor of a deal for three third-string players who've got expiring contracts.

Anonymous said...

I think West should be the captain. He was a leader for the Celtics when Paul was out (on & off the court). The other young Celtics respected what he had to say. My mid January Doc pointed him out for his leadership qualities. He may not be the best player but he is the glue.

Anonymous said...

I like ak1984's sentiment - I thought AD was a very sound baller, and a stand up guy. I dont know that bringin him back right now would be plausible slash practical, though. Like many before have said, I was salivating at the possibility of moving Luke (even though I like him. I'm a fan. I have to admit. maybe I should join RFA, Ridnour Fans Anonymous) and picking up anyone from Law to Noah to Stuckey to whoever (just crossing my fingers they wouldnt go after Hawes...) but, alas, no. I dont know what hte Sonics need to do at Point, I just think that West will be a good steady presence.

Anonymous said...

"I think West should be the captain. He was a leader for the Celtics when Paul was out (on & off the court)."

and the celts were GARBAGE.

I vote for Green his maturity is unheard of for his age.

Green is gonna TEAR the NBA up!

Anonymous said...

west was not the reason the celts were garbage... plus being a captain all about the attitude one can bring upon a team like being a good role model, helping out in the community, having a postive attitude, etc.. the celtics were bad because most of the players were very inconsistant (i know i watch every game).

eh said...

I think Thomas will get captain just because he is the most experienced player on the team, and then probably Collison alongside him, or Durant if the team can trust him already.