How Much Value Does Character Have Below The NBA Level?

I am also what I like to call a “class act.” I never tested positive for drugs or was involved in an altercation. I just came to work everyday ready to go. I remember a few teammates of mine who were the exact opposite. One teammate I played with used to come to practice nearly an hour late reeking of alcohol from the night before. I averaged more points and rebounds than him. Yet, he currently has a job playing. Another teammate failed a drug test twice. He is also currently playing. Another teammate was thrown out of team meetings and practice numerous times for having a bad attitude. And yup, you guessed it…he is currently playing. Damn. If only I had lived it up. I could currently be a jerk and an alcoholic, but at least I would have a job.

via Hugging Harold Reynolds: Waiting for Godunk: Losing Control.

There’s two ways of going about it, I suppose. If you’re an NBA team, you can afford to have quality guys, because your talent pool is so high, you can have quality guys and still have talent. Below that it gets a little shady. So often Euroleague and D-League teams are the ones that operate on needing a talent advantage. Having one really talented player in the D-League could literally win you the championship, though Idaho’s kind of a counter to that argument.

But it’s got to be hard on coaches to always have to be selecting talent over hustle. After all, many of these guys are former college coaches, so sinking to this must be kind of nauseating. At the same time, the talent gap innerleague can be so wide, you can’t afford to not get the best talent. Hopefully someone will find Owens’ talent level high enough to throw the man a bone. I don’t want him listening to Smiths albums and painting in a dark room.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.