"I love everything about Mario West. I've always loved what he's done for our ballclub* from day one. He pushes practice. I'm not scared to throw him in the game and he has to defend the best player on the opposing team. So it's good to have him back in a Hawk uniform."*In the story this is actually (I assume) a typo and reads "ballcub" which would be a great nickname for West were he not already nicknamed Greasy.
Bret LaGree, 6/8/09 on Hoopinion:
The most specialized* specialist in the NBA, putative energy guy, and offensive rebounder of such abandonment that he might be classified as a health risk Mario West accomplished at least two things in his (baffling in its very existence) second NBA season:I don't retract the good luck I wished West on the occasion of him getting cut in October. Nor do I retract this accompanying sentiment:
West failed to match even the low offensive standard of his rookie season by shooting far less often, making a lower percentage of his shots, turning the ball over far more often, and making less than half of his free throws.
- He scored more points than he committed fouls.
- He proved that he cannot contribute at all on the offensive end.
*Useful for harassing the opposition's best perimeter player while he dribbles down the clock on an end of quarter possession.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Every day that Mario West spends on the Hawks' roster is an indictment of the organization's competence. Certainly seems like a nice guy, though.
...any NBA team that uses a roster spot on him isn't serious about the end of its bench.As pointless as it is to use a roster spot on West, to play him in games that count (at least for stretches longer than a Mario) actively damages the team's chances of winning. Until Monday's win in Boston Marvin Williams has often been surplus to defensive requirements late in games. Jeff Teague rarely gets the call to try to keep a quick guard in front of him more often than Bibby, Crawford, or Joe Johnson can manage. But Mike Woodson's not scared to throw Mario West, who can't actually stay in front of someone (without fouling) who is trying to play basketball, out there and have him defend the opposing team's best player.
This contradiction doesn't undermine the improvements Woodson has made as a coach over the last two seasons but it doesn't encourage one to speak up on his behalf for an offer of an extension.