Tuesday, November 30, 2004
The Nine Lives of Marcus Banks 
You just can't bury this guy can you? He's hand picked by Danny in the draft, but can't break O'Brien's rotation. O'Brien leaves and Banks has a new shot. Then we trade for Atkins who sparks a win streak, but Banks remains the main long-term option at point. Danny trades him all the way across the country, where Marcus poses with his new Laker jersey before having "return to sender" stamped to his forehead and sent back to the East coast. West is drafted as a point guard, but can't start the season. West instantly comes in and takes the backup role from Marcus, but promptly breaks his hand. Which brings us up to the present. (and if you needed any of that explained to you, welcome to the site: these are the Boston Celtics - they play basketball)

Clearly this guy has nine lives. Even if he's used up 4 or 5 of them, its clear that he's got more in reserve. I like this analogy too because he's quick and nimble like a cat, but then again, I've always been a sucker for similes.

The talent this guy possesses is unique and jaw dropping. What remains to be seen is if he can put that talent to use in an optimal way. In other words, can he become another point guard who "gets it" after a couple years in the league, or will he be a mini-Kedrick Brown?

Rare is the guy that can come in and lead a team from day one. Jason Kidd was good right away, but even he had a learning curve. Damon Stoudamire and Andre Miller burned bright and faded fast. More often than not, point guards have to "put in their dues" to become solid team leaders and assist men. Chauncey Billups sure started out slow. So did Barron Davis. Do we have the patience to see if Marcus can turn out well?

I say "why not?" What is keeping us from giving him all the time he needs? Is his salary a huge burden on our cap? Is he a locker room cancer? Is he the only tradable asset we have? Well, no, no, and no. It costs us little to have him learn for another year, playing alongside a legend and perhaps even behind a rookie with more poise and less natural talent. He'll either learn to use his head to go along with his body, or he won't. Its as simple as that.

If a deal comes along where we can get a great player and the only way to do it is to include Marcus, that's fine. However, baring such a situation, there sure seems to be no reason to shop him, and every reason to hang onto him. Payton's stay in Boston is not likely to have a long shelf life, and West needs to prove that he is durable. The point position is as good as it has been in many moons right now, but that doesn't mean we are "set" by any means.

I just get this feeling that Marcus is getting enough chances in his career that he just might be destined to fulfill his promise. I want to see him do that in a Celtics uniform.

# posted by Jeff @ 11/30/2004 10:00:00 PM - Message Board

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