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A Note On AA

I wanted to chime in on a little update re our favorite Ben Ball warrior. Dohn had a writeup yesterday on Team AA's efforts to get him drafted:

Former UCLA All-American guard Arron Afflalo didn't attend the NBA's pre-draft camp in Orlando, but he was in town and worked out for several teams before heading back to Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Afflalo's agent, Sam Goldfeder, said the former UCLA star either worked out or will work out for the Lakers, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Utah, San Antonio and Seattle in preparation for the June 28 draft.

Goldfeder said it was too early to determine if Afflalo, projected as a second-round pick in many mock drafts, could work his way into the first round. But Goldfeder added Afflalo's on-court accomplishments, highlighted by leading UCLA to consecutive Final Four appearances, was reason to decline an invitation to the pre-draft camp.

"His body of work speaks for itself," Goldfeder said. "He's been seen by NBA (scouts). There was no real reason for it."

Afflalo's father, Benjamin, said Arron wanted to use the individual team workouts to demonstrate skills he was not asked to use while at UCLA.

"Everybody knows who he is, which is a big thing ... his character, sensibility and everything," Benjamin Afflalo said. "During the workouts he wants to showcase more of his game then he showed at UCLA, when he played in a system."
Now a number of Bruin fans have taken offense in Mr. Afflalo's comments interpreting it as a slight to Coach Howland's system at UCLA. I didn't take it that way at all. Here is why.

First, I think it goes without saying if anything it was Coach Howland's system which allowed AA to emerge as the unquestionable leader and key cog in the machine that reestablished UCLA once again as one of the dominant powers in college hoops. One would have to be a complete Trojan MORON to not see that. His agent's comments confirmed that through his comments as well. There was no reason for him to go the camp because AA's high profile appearances and outstanding performances as a Bruin (thanks to Howland's system) negated any need for him to go to a pre-draft camp.

As for Mr. Afflalo he was just being a father who is doing what he can to improve the prospects of his son. I remember Jordan's Dad saying essentially the same things, which was followed up by Jordan saying it was Howland's coaching that allowed him to make meaningful contributions to the Lakers right away. All AA's Dad is doing here is trying his best to market his son by essentially saying Howland's system did not allow him to go crazy and play one on one street ball like the NBA. Well that is pretty much true. If AA played for another team he probably would have been able to jack up more threes and pad his scoring stat a bit. But he wouldn't have the exposure and the end results he achieved under Howland. And I think that should be obvious to anyone who appreciates and understands college basketball.

So I am perfectly fine with Mr. Afflalo's comments. I wish him and his son the best of luck as they keep working to achieve his goals to play in the NBA. I will be rooting for him.