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Doug Collins: Police Chief of Malibu, Real Reactionary

On the ABC pregame to Sunday afternoon’s Pacers/Thunder game, Doug Collins went on something of a “Kids these days” rant against the corner three, even going so far as to make a straight-faced (I think?) argument for banning it. The points he brought up ranged from the frequently belabored (the appeal for the return of “power basketball” and interior hustle) to the over-dramatic and logically iffy (the claim that the three-pointer “will destroy” lay-ups and dunks, despite the fact that the need for teams to defend against the three-pointer creates the type of spacing that is ideal for the league’s best and most athletic finishers) to the empirically questionable (Collins railed against the decreased emphasis on second-chance points but the marginal effect of 3-point-shooting on this is probably minimal; when the three was first introduced, ORB% actually went up league-wide for several years and, while they have since decreased over time , teams in the upper half of the league in ORB% take threes on 24.9% of their shots, teams in the lower half take threes on 26.9% of their shots. This is roughly the same as the difference between the 14th and 17th most three-happy teams in the league, which is to say “not much.”  There’s likely more going on here than just three-point shooting.).

I like Collins’ work quite a bit — he’s had a life in basketball that takes a back seat to basically nobody’s and the knowledge he brings to the table about not only the game’s history but also its X’s and O’s remains plenty relevant in 2014, despite some of his more old-fashioned opinions. Still, today’s rant was a thing to behold and reminded me of a favorite movie scene that features a different graying, crew-cutted advocate of traditional masculinity berating a long-haired, counter-cultural iconoclast from a younger generation.

Now, let’s play along at home!

INT. DOUG COLLINS’ OFFICE

[KYLE KORVER is hurled against DOUG COLLINS’ desk, which he bounces off of, to come to rest more or less seated in a facing chair. KORVER’s basketball card is tossed onto the desk. COLLINS leans forward, takes the card and peers at it with disgusted incredulity.]

COLLINS
This is the only black ink on here?

[He is looking at the 226 three-pointers Korver made for Philly in 2004-05.]

KORVER
I know my skill set.

COLLINS
You don’t know shit, Korver.

KORVER
I want a stat-oriented analyst, man. I want John Hollinger.

COLLINS
What are you, some kind of sad-assed refugee from the APBRmetrics Forum?

KORVER
Uh-huh.

COLLINS
Carlos Boozer tells me that you had to leave his Chicago Bulls, he tells me that you just stood in the corner looking for open threes, that you didn’t hustle for offensive boards or play hard-nosed, old school basketball.

KORVER
Carlos Boozer treats mid-range jumpers like high-efficiency shots, man.

COLLINS
Mr. Boozer grabs a lot of offensive rebounds, Korver. You don’t grab shit. We used to have a physical, high-intensity sport for real men who played in the paint and didn’t shave their body hair, and I aim to make it that way again. So let me make something plain. I don’t like you drifting around on the perimeter shooting threes over the power basketball players out there. I don’t like your pretty-boy name, I don’t like your pretty-boy face, I don’t like your pretty-boy playing style, and I don’t like you, pretty boy. Do I make myself clear?

[Korver stares]

KORVER
I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening, I was thinking about the fact that I have a True Shooting Percentage over 65% this year without the benefit of at least 1.5 FTA’s a game and am still grabbing 4 rebounds a night, which nobody has ever done before.

[DOUG COLLINS hurls his steaming mug of coffee with a picture of Dave Cowens on it at KORVER. It hits him in the forehead with a thud, the scalding coffee splashing everywhere. COLLINS is already up off his chair, rounding the desk.]

COLLINS
Stay out of the corner, Korver!

[He kicks the chair out from under KORVER, and then starts kicking at him.]

COLLINS
Stay out of the corner! Get your pretty-boy butt in the lane and draw a charge!

Kevin McElroy