Until recently, I considered Rodney Stuckey to be one of those annoying players who is relentlessly hyped by those who are in the business of relentless hype-making. You know the sort of player I mean: he performs well for a game, maybe two, but ultimately no amount of opportunity enables him to harness his potential. A 29 point, 11 assist game is immediately followed up by a forgettable three point, four foul effort. People get on and off his bandwagon like it is a trolley car. Think Tyrus Thomas, or Yi Jianlian.
I mostly ignored Stuckey.
Looking back, it is impressive that a certain NBA guru had Stuckey pegged so accurately earlier this past summer. In a way, it reminds me of the high school history teacher who knows that Sonya Marks in his AP History class will ultimately blossom into a beautiful woman. Meanwhile, all the high school boys naively pursue Alicia Cartova. Ten years later, Sonya Marks is in makeup commercials and Alica Cartova still lives in your hometown, looks tired all the time, and works behind the counter of a local hardware store that is slowly being run out of business by Home Depot.
My relationship to NBA players is all about teenager-maturity-level love. To give this pursuit of love some context, it should be noted that in my hometown, school dances were held in the cafeteria. Students who were bored with the dance were permitted to go down the hall to the basketball gym. So that's what my friends and I did. We didn't even play real games, either. Instead, we threw court-length baseball-style passes in our never ending attempt to reenact this moment.
So, when it recently (and finally) occurred to me that I was in love with Stuckey, that he was more Sonia than Alicia, I rushed to my fantasy basketball league's waiver wire and was elated to see that he was still available.
I promptly asked him to the homecoming dance.