The NBA is a fast changing league. When Coach Reynolds agreed to coach the team back in the 2010-2011 season, LeBron was beginning his first season as a Heatle, SportVU looked like a typo, and RPM was a term reserved for cars and bikes.
The game done changed, though, and slowly but surely, trashmen are as valued as they’ve ever been due to new technology, better stats, and smarter management. Still, cameras, numbers, and men in suits can only tell you so much about that #trashmanlyfe. What does Bob Myers know about toe jam tacos? What can R.C. Buford tell me about manhole mountain? They don’t know shit, and that’s why they don’t manage this team. Frank and I do, and below we honor the grimy souls who played their hearts out–literally–in honor of the trash.
Qualifying rules: A Frank Reynolds Trashman can average no more than 12.0 points per 36 minutes. In addition, to filter out the trashmen who don’t really pick up mush trash, we’ve instituted minimums of 700 minutes, .030 WS/48, -2.0 BPM, and -1.0 RPM. Beyond that, the selections are stats-informed but subjective. The overarching goal is to compose the best team possible while also honoring the best individual trashmen.
Point Guard: Elfrid Payton
Backup: Marcus Smart
Only three point guards qualify for the team this year. In fact, initially no point guards qualified, which is why Frank and I made the qualifying rules marginally less stank this year. Elfrid Payton gets the nod over Smart, primarily due to his quintessential trashman hair. Incredible.
Smart was arguably better, but he’ll be a backup on this team as he was in real life. As a Celtic, Smart fills in the shoes of a classic Reynolds trashman Rajon Rondo. Bonus trivia for Smart: he’s from Flower Mound, Texas. Whenever you hail from an area well known for its mounds–even if it’s of flowers–you’re in the rusty pipeline to trashman-dom.
Wings: Tony Allen, Jared Dudley
Backups: Thabo Sefalosha, Nic Batum
Last season only two wings qualified; this year we would have had 7, and with our more liberal criteria, we have 16! The league likely caught word that the wing position hadn’t grimed out hard enough last season and sent out a mandate to for the players to train their garbage sensibilities.
Who do we choose to be on this year’s team? Tony Allen is longstanding admirer of the Frank Reylonds Trashman Team, but he’s never been named to a squad. NO LONGER. T.A. embodies everything that Frank and I value–grizzliness, grit, grind, grime, grossness, goop, glop, garbage, glugging, and, well, you get the point. Joining Allen as a starter will be Jared Dudley. He offers the sharpshooting that is so rare to find among the league’s trashmen.
The bench spots go to Sefolosha and Batum. Sefalosha rebounded and blocked shots with the gusto of trash aficionado, holding down the fort for an underrated Hawks second unit. Batum did about everything else, and we already know the man knows how to get dur-tay. Leaving off Roberson was difficult, given that he qualified despite averaging 6.4 points/36 min. We’ll be keeping an eye on his trashly ways in the coming years.
Big Men: Patrick Patterson, Andrew Bogut
Backups: Al-Farouq Aminu, Rudy Gobert
Bogut was a shoe-in as a starter, being the anchor of the league’s best defense. Plus, Zach Lowe wrote an article called “The Glorious Bastardy of Andrew Bogut.” ‘Nuff said. Patterson is an interesting second choice–he’s not the truest of grimebabies–but his shooting ability, WS, and BPM push him into the starting role.
The big man bench is comprised of trashmen in their truest form, however. Aminu split his time as a wing and a big this season, and in the process racked up blocks and steals by treating his men and the ball like the debris they are. And Gobert, better known as the Stifle Tower, should arguably be starting–he tops this list in WS, rebounding, and blocks. Noah barely missed the cut, which would have made for three frenchmen on this year’s team. Maybe there is something to the “dirty French” stereotype.
Some thoughts before I attend my weekly Grunt Club practice:
- Six of the 10 trashmen play for non-US national teams. I don’t know if this was a trend in previous years or not, but regardless, it seems that other countries are out-trashing the US.
- Where did all the point guards go? It’s increasingly a scorer’s league for point men, but it’s remarkable we had to change the rules to get them to qualify. As a point guard myself, I’m ashamed. Other point guards who barely missed the cut: Shaun Livingston, Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo, and Andre Miller.
- It’s closer to “batshit insane” than “surprising” that Zeller was second (only to Tony Allen) in RPM among our qualified 37 trashmen. His boxscore stats don’t stand out, suggesting he might be doing the weird, scummy things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. One suspects he’ll make the squad in future years.
Who do you think is the best trashman in the NBA? Who would make Frank Reynolds proud? Comment on the article or e-mail us at AGRbasketball (at) gmail (dot) com. Don’t forget to follow @AGRbasketball on Twitter and like us on Facebook.