For those of you who do not enjoy the NBA, I apologize as this reference is certainly lost on you. For those members of Raider Nation who are Golden State Warrior fans…well, I just feel sorry for you.
If you’re not familiar with Los Angeles Laker small forward Trevor Ariza, do yourself a favor and watch him play when you get a chance. He is exactly the type of player the Oakland Raiders are badly in need of.
Ariza is not a great player. He’s not ever going to be made into a puppet for the sake of selling basketball shoes. Nor will you ever hear his name debated among the likes of teammate Kobe Bryant or Eastern Conference rival LeBron James.
Trevor is a world class athlete with a high basketball IQ and a calm demeanor. His athletic skill allows him to make plays very few are able to accomplish and his knack for reading the game as it unfolds makes him a dangerous weapon at all times on the court.
Micheal Mitchell, if you’re a b-ball fan, I hope you’re watching Ariza play, this could be you.
I first saw Trevor play in high school. He attended Los Angeles basketball powerhouse Westchester High. His athletic ability was off the charts and once he signed on to play for Ben Howland at UCLA, I knew it was only a matter of time until he was on his way to being a lottery pick. Trevor had other plans, opting to depart after one year of college ball. He was drafted in the second round by the New York Knicks - the football equivalent of being picked in the 7th round by the Detroit Lions.
Ariza made a name for himself by being a hard nosed defender. As anyone who has ever played basketball knows, defense is all about desire. That same desire eventually caught the eye of the Lakers and their general manager Mitch Kupchak. Now, Ariza is an integral part of a Laker team competing for the right to play for the highest prize in all of professional basketball.
If Ariza played football, he’d be exactly the type of player Tom Cable would love on his roster.
Trevor’s cat like reactions are the stuff only Nnamdi Asomugha accomplishes with such grace and ease. Ariza rarely cracks a smile. His emotions are always in check. You can hardly tell if his team is up by 20 or down by 40 at any point in the game. He’s got a business like approach and does whatever is asked of him by the coaching staff.
To me, this is the exact type of player the Raiders are lacking to pair alongside Nnamdi. Trevor is the prefect compliment to Kobe Bryant.
Ariza has had to work his tail off to be in the position he currently is in. He does all the little things that can mean so much to a team with lofty goals. Plus, he is capable of making game breaking plays that can turn the momentum in an instant.
Maybe there is a Trevor Ariza-like player on the roster. Maybe we’ll get to see him when the Raiders take the field for the first time in 2009. If not, I just hope that Cable is watching the NBA playoffs, he’s sure to be as inspired by Trevor’s unique skill set and will certainly be begging Al Davis to open his checkbook to sign a guy who will bring the same intangibles to the Oakland Raiders.