Look, saying that HB was the worst Olympian of all time is a bit like saying Brandon Ingram is a disappointing NBA player based on a very mediocre summer league. That’s unfair.
Barnes may well have been on the team because several bigger names dropped out, but to blast a guy for that is beyond me. He didn’t do anything to deserve any ire, and if you had a problem with his appointment, blame the guy who put him on the team. He is the same guy who didn’t play him.
To say that he has done nothing to deserve any credit because his situation creates benefits for him and without such, he would what? Be working at a Circle K? You say he lives off his reputation? What are you even talking about?
From the 10 minute mark in his first game at UNC, Barnes has received nothing but criticism from EVERYONE. He didn’t hire a PR firm to elevate his recruiting status. He didn’t make a spectacle of himself and talk about going pro when he was in high school. He never made himself the center of attention. He never showcased, or ball-dominated, or did anything anti-team at UNC. His reputation was over after that first game. Nobody cared that he was the #1 HS player. They only cared about bagging on him about not playing like it. But he wasn’t in charge of the rankings, so why is that his fault.
He was ALWAYS a great representative of his college program, and worked hard to deliver for that school and for Coach Williams. He stayed another year when he didn’t need to — because he wanted to get better and help his team and program. He has never uttered a negative word, had a twitter rant, pouted about his role, or done anything negative in his career. He STARTED ON A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM, and didn’t fuss about his stats or his role. He has actually improved his efficiency every year in the league and is a really solid two way player. Barnes is a very good pro.
So I am not sure why you throw shade on the guy. You think he lives off his reputation, but how is that? He signed a big contract? Where is the shade for Ryan Anderson [4 YR/$80M]? Let’s face it, is that guy living off a reputation that doesn’t exist? Why no outrage that Mike Conley just got the most money in NBA history, despite not even being a top 5 player at his position? Has Nic Batum distinguished himself in 8 years that he deserves $24M a year?
Frankly, the guy you should be bashing is Kyrie Irving. As much as you want to bash HB for disappearing in the finals, I would say that Kyrie saved his career in the finals by shooting out of his gourd. Save that, and I bet you two nickels that Kyrie would have been sent packing. So do we define a player by 7 games and forget all of the other games he plays? Kyrie is a black whole. He is a shot jacking, ball-dominating suckwad who kills your team when the ball is in his hands. Sure, he is an amazing talent. Yet you see why he is not a point guard. He almost lost team USA three games because of his inability, nay, his unwillingness to facilitate to others. Team USA was actually better when the guy you claim is the 12th worst Olympian ran the club. He saved our asses, yet you think he was bad? Kyrie was bad. Wonder why Kyrie played WAAAAAAAY to many minutes? Same reason HB got no run.
You can show all the stats in the world, but we all know that Christian Laettner will always be the worst Olympian ever. Not only was the gap in talent between him and the 2nd worst player bigger than the Grand Canyon, but Laettner was exactly the opposite of who you want representing the USA — an arrogant, entitled jerk. His own Duke teammates didn’t even like him.
Barnes is exactly the type of character who should be representing us — a team first player, do whatever is asked, intelligent, well-liked and respectful person.
In fact, many suggested that Coach K should have had more guys like HB, and less ISO talent guys. I agree with that sentiment. I also think that Lowry should have played more, as should have HB and Green. They needed guys willing to play defense, willing to move the ball, set screens and play a role, rather than having guys out there trying to ISO every single possession.
Which brings me to the final point: Carmelo Anthony should be on this list. Not for his past contributions, but for this year. Yeah, I know he had one big game, but he didn’t and doesn’t deserve to be on the team anymore and he is exactly the type of player they do not need — a ISO ball-dominating shot jacker who can barely play defense. He was equally awful and played far too many minutes [wonder why? Jimmy B maybe]. Draymond Green should have had minutes over him, and should have a number of guys.
I think you you should rethink what kind of person you throw accolades at and what type you blast. Maybe you should be hyping HB for being a pretty good basketball player and better person, and find real jerks to tear down.