3 things for the weekend: Lebron, Kyle Zimmer, and KU and MU basketball players measure up
The Kansas City Star
Yes, that Boulevard Saison-Brett is every bit as delicious as many of you fine folks said. Big thanks to the fine gentleman at the liquor store for the heads up.
1. When he goes like he went last night, Lebron James is the greatest show in sports. He is so absurdly gifted, games like that, a 6-foot-8 and 270 (?) pound man who also happens to be one of the league’s fastest players, hitting fadeways and leaners and drives to the rack and follow dunks…you just wonder why he doesn’t do that every game.
This is the closest I think I’ll get to understanding what it must’ve been like to watch Chamberlain.
And even when he’s not going Teen Wolf on the NBA, he remains perhaps the most fascinating athlete in sports. So many people project what they want to see, at times I think he’s like a tattooed Ink Blot test. In a world where we tend to want absolutes, Lebron is nuance and shades of gray.
I mentioned this on Twitter the other day, but for someone who merely likes — not loves — the NBA these playoffs have been outrageously entertaining. And whatever happens tomorrow in Game 7 between the Heat and Celtics, should be a gripping Finals with the (O)KC Thunder.
2. Now that he’s signed and official — and because I know you’re DYING to know — I like what I hear about Kyle Zimmer, who the Royals took with the fifth overall pick in this week’s draft.
The new system, which gives each team a specific pool of money to sign all its picks, has some kinks that need to be worked out. People from teams around baseball admit they’ll be better at working the system next year than this year.
But I do believe the Royals when they say Zimmer was the top college pitcher on the board — this is different than their top player overall, of course, which I believe was high school shortstop Carlos Correa, who went first overall.
Zimmer just fits what the Royals have shown themselves to like. He’s a hard-worker from a solid family, an exceptional student (academic All-American) who apparently runs close to a four-minute mile and has a reputation as terrific competitor (read: a bit of a jerk-streak on the mound).
But more than all that, he fits the profile of being coachable and mold-able. This Royals leadership group has always preferred high school prospects to college, particularly with pitchers, because they can better control how much and what kind of work the players put it. Zimmer is a college pitcher, of course, but as a converted infielder he doesn’t have as many miles on his arm and projects to have a lot of unfulfilled potential. He just happens to come in a more mature body with a more mature brain.
That’s pretty close to what the Royals have always liked out of the draft.
3. The NBA combine measurements are out, and of particular local interest…
Marcus Denmon is 6-2.25 without shoes, 188 pounds, 6-5 wingspan, 7-10 standing reach, 6.6% body fat.
Kim English is 6-4.5, 192 pounds, 6-6.5 wingspan, 8-3 standing reach, 4.3% body fat.
Thomas Robinson is 6-7.75, 244 pounds, 7-3.25 wingspan, 8-10 reach, 5.0% body fat.
Tyshawn Taylor is 6-2.75, 177 pounds, 6-6.25 wingspan, 8-1.5 reach, 4.2% body fat.
So, with that information, let me just say: holy crap. I know these are (now) professional athletes in their early 20s, Taylor wasn’t the leanest guy at the combine^, and maybe I’m just saying this as a man in his 30s who needs to get back to running and swimming more to stave off the fat sportswriter stereotype, but those body fat percentages are insane.
^ That would be Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham, at 3.6 percent.
According to this, the average ideal body fat for males up to 30 is between nine and 17 percent. For basketball players, it’s 6 to 12 percent.
And for college kids who live within a short drive of Shakespeare’s pizza or Henry T’s wings, it should be around 30 percent.