NBA & NFL: The Year of the Rookie

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Earlier today I gave you a little taste of the topic of this afternoon's post.

Taking a look at Los Angeles Clippers rookie dynamo Eric Gordon's stat line this morning, I suddenly realized how ridiculous the class of rooks was this year. And even more startling was how closely it resembles the rookie class in the NFL this season.

Follow along after the jump.

Earlier today I gave you a little taste of the topic I'll be talking to you about right now.

Taking a look at Los Angeles Clippers rookie dynamo Eric Gordon's stat line this morning, I suddenly realized how ridiculous the class of rooks was this year. And even more startling was how closely it resembles the rookie class in the NFL this season.

I'm not sure how this has happened, but the evolution of sports is something that cannot be explained. Because of the lack in superstar talent around the Association, it's almost as if the players evolved like the accia trees that developed a quasi-poisonous gas defense mechanism against the giraffes who fed on their leaves.

Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Russel Westbrook, Eric Gordon, D.J. Augustin, Brook Lopez, Michael Beasley, Marc Gasol and Rudy Fernandez have all had signature moments this season that made you forget their rookie status.

And if you look at that list, you'll notice it's players with talent at the most important positions on the floor. Most notably at the point.

The point guard position in the NBA has quickly become more important to rebuilding franchises than big men, thanks to guys like Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. And this year the supply of talented young point guards was plentiful, similar to the talent at running back in the NFL Draft.

Rose, Westbrook, Gordon and Augustin in the NBA.

Chris Johnson, Steve Slaton, Matt Forte and Jonathan Stewart in the NFL.

You've also had two underachieving players at or near the top of the draft in both leagues.

Michael Beasley's had an extremely difficult time trying to crack the starting lineup because rookie head coach Eric Spoelstra has actually asked him to play defense. The first time a coach has ever done that to him in his lifetime. All of this despite being the second overall pick.

In the NFL you had Darren McFadden. He underachieved thanks to a horrendous Raiders team, multiple injuries and a logjam at his position (Justin Fargas & Michael Bush). All of this despite being the fourth overall pick.

For so long, it was status quo to only rely on proven veteran talent and maybe a few draft choices here and there for your fantasy squad. Now you must make it your priority to be aware of the rookies not only at the top of the draft board, but also near the bottom. The guys you've never heard of but Mel Kiper Jr. and Chad Ford drool over.

Otherwise you'll be left with a roster full of aging, injury prone veterans like Baron Davis and Ahman Green instead of fresh faced rookie sensations like Eric Gordon and Steve Slaton.

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Thanks for sharing this! The NFL is one of the most famous leagues of football players in the field of sports. Sadly, it might be a time of great mourning for football fans, as John Madden will grace the small screen no more. John Madden has not passed away, but instead he is retiring from broadcasting games and from other activities. Madden is among the greats of sports broadcasters. His coverage never needed credit repair for his knowledge of the game. Madden is also in the National Football League Hall of Fame as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, who never had a losing season during his tenure and which included a Super Bowl victory. Chris Colllinsworth is slated to take over for him, but many would give personal loans to keep John Madden at his post.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on January 9, 2009 1:41 PM.

Thursday's top hoops lines of the night was the previous entry in this blog.

Monday's top hoops lines of the night is the next entry in this blog.

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