Most NBA fans’ eyes were on Team USA’s gold-medal winning performance in Rio de Janeiro, but for me the most fascinating story of the weekend involved veteran Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler. The 29-year-old decided to do a little deep-sea fishing, a day of fun enjoyed by many Americans every year.
But Chandler didn’t make the news because he had a few beers and caught a few moderately sized fish on the open water. It’s because he caught a 350-pound grouper that looks like something out of a science fiction movie.
— BlacktipH (@BlacktipH) August 21, 2016
It’s an otherworldly creature with a weight more commonly seen from NFL linemen. The sight of this grouper inspires a host of question, most of which involve how such an animal could exist. The sea is truly an awe-inspiring place.
Also, you may have wondered if this fish could start for the Nuggets. Thankfully, I conducted some high-level research. Read on for my analysis structured around several key questions.
Where can the grouper reasonably play?
Positions have become increasingly vague in the NBA, but our fish would still need to find a role to prove worthy of becoming a starter. A normal 350-pound NBA player would have to be a frontcourt player, and most likely a center due to speed issues.
However, the grouper does not appear to have anything like a big man’s body. Based on available images, the fish is certainly not tall enough to defend any center in a one-on-one situation. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine the grouper adequately protecting the rim from drivers, except perhaps by eating them.
So the grouper would have to find a spot in the backcourt. While it may seem odd to put a 350-pound organism at a position more commonly occupied by very fast, hyper-athletic humans. Nevertheless, there is some precedent for pudgy guards — think Khalid El-Amin — and the grouper seems to have a pretty solid physique. Perhaps the grouper only looks overweight in the face, like Eric Gordon or Carmelo Anthony.
Is the grouper a point guard or shooting guard?
The grouper is most definitely not a point guard. It is difficult to tell from the photos, but groupers — all fish, really — do not possess arms. As such, it will be difficult for the grouper to dribble, pass, or shoot any kind of shot outside of a few feet. You don’t want such a player running your team.
Yet the grouper could succeed as an off-guard with a role similar to that of Tony Allen. With its superior girth and intimidating look, could become a perennial All-Defensive First Team selection and lock down the opponent’s best perimeter scorer. Like Allen, the grouper probably won’t contribute much on offense. But the Nuggets could use such a player in the backcourt to join with offensively minded guards Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murray.
Can the group live outside of the ocean?
No, the grouper cannot breathe oxygen out of the water. Plus, Colorado is landlocked and cannot offer the salt water habitat that such fish need to survive.
Conclusion: The grouper could not start for the Denver Nuggets.
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