When the Clippers played the Dallas Mavericks during the regular season, I felt like the guy in the classic Warner Bros. cartoon, "One Froggy Evening." (One thing you may not know about me is that I am something of an aficionado of Warner Bros. cartoons, in particular anything directed by the brilliant Chuck Jones, which of course this was. "What's Opera Doc?" is perhaps the greatest seven minutes ever set to film, in my humble opinion.)
Anyway, readers of a certain age know the cartoon to which I refer. A construction worker finds a box, and when he opens it the frog inside begins to sing and dance. With visions of dollar signs in his head, he takes the frog to a talent agent - but for the agent the frog is just a frog, and sits on the desk and croaks. Throughout the cartoon, the frog sings and dances when no one else is around, but sits and croaks when anyone other than the hapless man is watching. The poor guy goes broke trying to promote his temperamental amphibian. I'm not sure why Chuck Jones named the frog, as it had no bearing on the story, but he did, and his name is Michigan J. Frog.
Well, this season, J.J. Barea was my own personal Michigan J. Frog. Against the Clippers, he was unstoppable. He single-handedly dismantled the Clippers multiple times this season - he was easily the best player on the Mavericks, and appeared to be among the best players in the league, at least when he played the Clippers. But looking at his overall averages, clearly he wasn't playing like that all the time. Sometimes he just sat there and croaked. And when I tried to tell others about him - "no really, I know you wouldn't think it looking at him, but I'm telling you, this guy is completely unguardable" - they'd look at me just like the policeman in the cartoon looked at that poor man.
So I guess I'm happy at this point that J.J. is doing to the Lakers and now the Thunder in the playoffs what he did to the Clippers in the regular season. The little frog is finally singing and dancing on the big stage. I'm not crazy after all. Now if I could only a figure out a way to make money off of this.
One Froggy Evening - Michigan J. Frog (via amigataz)