Stacy Patton, for those of you who don’t know, is a character played by the late Malik Sealy in the movie Eddie.
In the film, Patton is a ballhog who plays for the New York Knicks, has a ridiculous contract, and gets his ass benched by Eddie, the team’s coach played by Whoopi Goldberg. Upon being removed from the lineup, the Knicks go on a winning streak thanks to the team ball that results from Patton’s benching.
Isaiah isn’t kinda, sorta, a little bit like Stacy Patton. Isaiah IS Stacy Patton. So much so, that I refuse to refer to him by any other name besides Stacy Patton from here on out. For the rest of this article, Isaiah Thomas will only be acknowledged by the name “Stacy Patton.” Here goes.
Stacy got sat down tonight for what would equate to the entire fourth quarter of play, and the Huskies went on a fantastic run. Overcame a double-digit deficit and nearly won a ballgame that they should have lost going away. This team, in its current structure, plays better when Stacy Patton is out of the lineup.
The fact is, Stacy should be thrilled that he’s getting any PT whatsoever right now. He’s killing this team. KILLING them! With remarkable aplomb, I might add.
I could see the logic in playing Stacy if he was our only scoring threat, say if Quincy Pondexter didn’t exist. But Quincy does exist, and so do a handful of other players who are capable scorers when given the opportunity. Stacy doesn’t give them that opportunity, though, and that’s where the problem lies.
Stacy just isn’t getting it. He’s been off for most of the entire conference season, and even a benching here and there by Coach Romar hasn’t retooled his mentality.
The dude’s answer to a bad shooting night is to keep shooting. Like the percentages are gonna catch up to his garbage performance or something. Wrong.
Here’s the thing. I could look up all the numbers, but I’m not going to, because they’re irrelevant right now. The reality is that when Stacy Patton drives the lane these days, I cringe. I get a little nauseous, get that sick feeling in my stomach. The same feeling we all used to get when Bobby Ayala — who also wasn’t as bad as the numbers indicated — entered one-run ballgames. The same feeling we all used to get when Tyrone Willingham — who WAS as bad as the numbers suggested, but that’s neither here nor there — was making play calls. It’s THAT BAD right now!
Last year it wasn’t like this. Last year, Stacy would drive the lane and magic happened. This year, he’s forcing shots and has the horse blinders on. He’s not looking for anyone to dish to, and is more or less a selfish guy who’s trying to pad the stats. Makes me sick.
On top of that, he makes no one better. No one. People wonder why Abdul Gaddy is still a starter. Quite simply, because he’s a damn fine passer who makes his teammates better. He finds open shooters, finds cutters, finds dudes under the hoop, sets guys up. Stacy’s done that once: when he made that crazy no-look pass to MBA for a dunk a few games back. That’s it.
Anyone who has ever played the game has played with guys like Stacy Patton and it’s no fun. Dude’s a ballhog, plain and simple, and it brings the others down. No way around it.
With a guy like Stacy in the lineup, you sit on your heels, never expecting to see the ball. You hesitate to shoot, are slow to react to plays, and tend to stagnate on offense. You end up spending more time watching than actually playing, and it ruins the entire flow of the ballgame.
Here’s the thing, Stacy. I’m gonna break it down for you very clearly. You keep playing like this, you will never make the NBA. Ever. No one wants a 5’8″ guy who can’t pass. Right now, you’re a poor man’s AI only shorter. That’s attractive to no one.
You can get on your Twitter and joke about playing football, or that you’re gonna stay all four years, or that you plan on testing the draft waters at the end of the season if you like. Doesn’t matter. You can tweet (and I effing hate that word, so a big sarcastic “thanks” for making me use it) about whatever the hell you damn well please, but it won’t make a difference if you can’t get your head on straight for 40 minutes a night.
You know what I’d kill for, Stacy? I’d kill for a Scott Skiles line from you one day. Two points, six boards, 15 assists, and a victory. I’d love to see that sh*t. It would make me wet my pants a little bit. That would show some progress, some maturity, something that lets us know that you are understanding and embracing the team. Not Stacy Patton. But the team.
Physically, you are capable of delivering that line. You’ve got a fully functioning body, so you can bring us that line if you so choose.
But it’s the choosing that creates an obstacle.
You don’t choose to do that, so mentally, you aren’t prepared to give us those numbers. Not now, and not until you get your mind right.
You’re killing me, Stacy.
Good luck getting your name back this year.
P.S. And I almost regret to say this, but it has to be said. I like your hair. I do. I think the fade is badass. But damn if you might just be suffering from Joel Smithitis. The longer that hair gets, the worse you play. Just a thought. Now get your sh*t together.