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  1. #1

    Harrison Barnes - "The Brand"

    While I do feel sorry for our mortal enemies (it is horrible losing a chance at a championship to an injury), I can't say that this article didn't provide me with some childish satisfaction. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...lina-tar-heels

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mapleleafdevil View Post
    While I do feel sorry for our mortal enemies (it is horrible losing a chance at a championship to an injury), I can't say that this article didn't provide me with some childish satisfaction. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...lina-tar-heels
    From the article:

    It's easy to blame all this weird, precocious ugliness as well as Barnes's basketball troubles on the "fast-paced media," high school recruiting, and big-time college athletics, but the somewhat liberating truth is that Harrison Barnes just wasn't a great basketball player. He was good, sure, and shot the ball with a confidence that went far beyond his youth, but he never really developed any other part of his game....

    Who but Barnes would give an interview to The Atlantic? What other basketball phenom would think himself into a pretzel and decide that the best way to promote Harrison Barnes, the brand, would be to talk about Harrison Barnes, the brand?
    Thwack.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Washington, DC
    Another great read from Grantland. One thing that the author does not mention, but complements his argument, is that a big factor in Barnes' decision to go to Carolina was do to his desire to "build his brand". I remember during the recruitment process that Barnes made a big deal out of the fact that UNC had a business and marketing major, while Duke does not. And then there's the whole Jordan thing, the brand of all brands. To be honest, if my #1 priority was to become a global icon, I'd probably pick Carolina over Duke too.

    Yet, as the article points out, brands need to be supported by a quality product and Barnes has struggled to back up the hype. In some alternate universe, it wouldn't surprise me if Barnes actually would have been more successful as a player -- and ultimately as a brand -- had he gone to Duke. Think about it -- at Duke his freshman year he would not have been required to be "the man" right away and might not have had his confidence crushed at a critical stage. He would have picked up some toughness banging away with Singler in practice and might have learned from Nolan how to endear oneself to a fanbase. Undoubtedly, Coach K would have improved Barnes' defense and have given him a stern talking to when his level of effort wasn't there. I could be wrong, but I always got the impression that Roy could be soft with Barnes at times.

    All that is to say that I think Barnes could have been a much more improved basketball player after two years at Duke than Carolina. Kind of ironic isn't it?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by FreezingDevil View Post
    Another great read from Grantland.
    I usually think Grantland articles are worthless hyperbolic blather. This one is no different.

  5. #5
    I don't know anything about Grantland, but the article contained a barely disguised nasty, mean-spiritedness. While we can all criticize either Harrison's Barnes' method of announcing that he was going to UNC and/or his game, he is a young man of apparent character and I would never want to see any player -- playing for us or UNC -- given that kind of backhanded compliment treatment. Even if elements of the article ring true, somehow reading it made me feel like the proverbial expression -- lie down with dogs and get up with fleas. Yuck.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 78Devil View Post
    I don't know anything about Grantland, but the article contained a barely disguised nasty, mean-spiritedness. While we can all criticize either Harrison's Barnes' method of announcing that he was going to UNC and/or his game, he is a young man of apparent character and I would never want to see any player -- playing for us or UNC -- given that kind of backhanded compliment treatment. Even if elements of the article ring true, somehow reading it made me feel like the proverbial expression -- lie down with dogs and get up with fleas. Yuck.
    Pretty sure the author is a UNC fan.

  7. #7

    For what its worth...

    Hi,

    These are kids and though I have no qualms attacking the UNC fan base, I am hesitant to say bad things about the players themselves. Kids don't deserve that. The truth is I could never shoot the rock as well as the last kid on the bench at Carolina. I am sickened by the typical anti-Duke Carolina fan who not only says mean spirited things about Duke's players and coaches, but often says things about our student body as a whole that make me cringe.

    GO DUKE!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kewlswim View Post
    Hi,

    These are kids and though I have no qualms attacking the UNC fan base, I am hesitant to say bad things about the players themselves. Kids don't deserve that. The truth is I could never shoot the rock as well as the last kid on the bench at Carolina. I am sickened by the typical anti-Duke Carolina fan who not only says mean spirited things about Duke's players and coaches, but often says things about our student body as a whole that make me cringe.

    GO DUKE!
    It's an interesting question if college players should really be called kids or not. Harrison Barnes himself would probably prefer that he be considered a grown man at this point. I think that representing a university as a celebrated athlete on the national stage only adds to that, and that's before you even consider the steps he has personally taken to increase his own exposure and, of course, "brand." Soon he will be a professional and a millionaire, and if people Barnes's age really are kids who should be protected, then maybe we should reconsider who is eligible to serve in our military.

    I do completely agree with your comments about bringing student bodies into a rivalry that is supposed to be about sports.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stealth View Post
    It's an interesting question if college players should really be called kids or not. Harrison Barnes himself would probably prefer that he be considered a grown man at this point. I think that representing a university as a celebrated athlete on the national stage only adds to that, and that's before you even consider the steps he has personally taken to increase his own exposure and, of course, "brand." Soon he will be a professional and a millionaire, and if people Barnes's age really are kids who should be protected, then maybe we should reconsider who is eligible to serve in our military.

    I do completely agree with your comments about bringing student bodies into a rivalry that is supposed to be about sports.
    I'll go with "kids". The spooks will tell us their brains aren't fully developed until their mid 20s.

    -jk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Stealth View Post
    It's an interesting question if college players should really be called kids or not. Harrison Barnes himself would probably prefer that he be considered a grown man at this point. I think that representing a university as a celebrated athlete on the national stage only adds to that, and that's before you even consider the steps he has personally taken to increase his own exposure and, of course, "brand." Soon he will be a professional and a millionaire, and if people Barnes's age really are kids who should be protected, then maybe we should reconsider who is eligible to serve in our military.

    I do completely agree with your comments about bringing student bodies into a rivalry that is supposed to be about sports.
    Its also worth noting whenever people complain about this on the internet that some of the posters here (and fans in general) are about the same age or even younger than the players being discussed. I just graduated college, have several close friends younger than HB, and would hesitate to call them kids.

    Of course, I'm sure I'll have a different perspective on the kid-man continuum when I'm 45, so I guess this is all about perspective.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    Of course, I'm sure I'll have a different perspective on the kid-man continuum when I'm 45, so I guess this is all about perspective.
    You will, Sonny, and probably earlier than 45.

  12. #12
    The whole key to the matter is RW wants to run and gun, just as fast pace as possible. However, when they do get in the halfcourt, they like to feed the bigs, then send the house to crash the boards. Barnes would have been a better fit at Duke because he would have had more opportunies in the half court and a coach who specializes in the half court. A more "coached offense".

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by El_Diablo View Post
    I usually think Grantland articles are worthless hyperbolic blather. This one is no different.
    Have to agree. It had a tremendous story at its inception about the late, great "National" newspaper. Downhill since.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdave View Post
    "It's not entirely fair to judge Barnes in two games without his point guard, but it's particularly damning that a lottery-bound perimeter scorer couldn't create his own shot against the mighty Ohio Bobcats. On Sunday, in the biggest game of his career, Barnes missed his last six shots and looked lost when the game was on the line."
    I dont know why I'm defending the guy since he was largely a disappointment, albeit next to the INSANELY high expectations thrust upon him (or perhaps brought upon him by himself), but the Bobcats are a great perimeter defensive team. They hold teams to <30% shooting from 3 and I picked them to upset Michigan and get to the sweet 16 based on their perimeter defense.

    But yea, that should still probably cause alarm for NBA GMs thinking about drafting him early in the lottery.

  15. #15
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    I thought the article was fair. Barnes is methodical and stiff. I don't think he has made much improvement at all since he came to UNC. He has had some really good games, and some not so good games. It is very clear that Marshall makes him a better player. Barnes really cannot create anything on his own, his ball handling is poor, and he is hesitant to get physical.

    But, all of the things above can be improved on given the right environment. I do not think he is going to get better at UNC. I have never seen Roy get into Barnes face like he has with other players on UNC. Maybe he has, but it seems to me that Barnes can do or not do whatever he wants to with a pretty long leash. This is just my opinion based on watching about every UNC game in the last two years, but I really do not know what goes on off camera.

    What I think is going to ultimately deceide Barnes' legacy is his attitude and persona. If he would lighten up and seem to just relax and be that kid (take a lesson from Henson) and just play ball, I think he could become a phenominal talent.

    But right now, he is like the Tiger Woods of college basketball, without any of the accomplishments. Tiger is hard to warm up too, but by gosh he basically dominated his sport for years, so we (the public) overlooked the distance he seemed to keep everyone at.

    Barnes does not have that ability now. His brand will never become a brand unless he either loosens up and has some success or stays the way he is and dominate the sport....

    Either of these options may be out of his reach...

  16. #16
    Kinda looks like hb, yes?

    fly away hb.jpeg

    Is that huck letting him fly away?

    pigeon.jpeg

    Oh, what the heck; thought I'd add this one. Hiya huck!

    images.jpeg

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by El_Diablo View Post
    I usually think Grantland articles are worthless hyperbolic blather. This one is no different.
    The article works if you place it in context as a response to the hagiographic Atlantic article by Chapel Hill resident Jason Zengerle that is linked in its first paragraph and featured these sorts of observations

    Barnes, now a sophomore at UNC, has lived up to the hype, both on and off the court. A 6-foot-8 small forward with a silky jumper and a knack for hitting game-winning shots, he’s also widely touted as college basketball’s most cerebral star since Bill Bradley

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...eyballer/8911/

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlanta Duke View Post
    The article works if you place it in context as a response to the hagiographic Atlantic article by Chapel Hill resident Jason Zengerle that is linked in its first paragraph and featured these sorts of observations

    Barnes, now a sophomore at UNC, has lived up to the hype, both on and off the court. A 6-foot-8 small forward with a silky jumper and a knack for hitting game-winning shots, he’s also widely touted as college basketball’s most cerebral star since Bill Bradley

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...eyballer/8911/
    The "most cerebral" comment is another area where the hype seems to far exceed the reality.

    By most indications, Barnes is a good student, but did not attain All-ACC Academic teams in his first two years.
    By contrast, his teammate Tyler Zeller was a 4-time All-ACC Academic honoree, and twice an Academic All-America choice.
    No indication if Barnes wants to be a Rhodes Scholar like Bill Bradley, though just think what it would do for the brand.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreezingDevil View Post
    Another great read from Grantland. One thing that the author does not mention, but complements his argument, is that a big factor in Barnes' decision to go to Carolina was do to his desire to "build his brand". I remember during the recruitment process that Barnes made a big deal out of the fact that UNC had a business and marketing major, while Duke does not. And then there's the whole Jordan thing, the brand of all brands. To be honest, if my #1 priority was to become a global icon, I'd probably pick Carolina over Duke too.

    Yet, as the article points out, brands need to be supported by a quality product and Barnes has struggled to back up the hype. In some alternate universe, it wouldn't surprise me if Barnes actually would have been more successful as a player -- and ultimately as a brand -- had he gone to Duke. Think about it -- at Duke his freshman year he would not have been required to be "the man" right away and might not have had his confidence crushed at a critical stage. He would have picked up some toughness banging away with Singler in practice and might have learned from Nolan how to endear oneself to a fanbase. Undoubtedly, Coach K would have improved Barnes' defense and have given him a stern talking to when his level of effort wasn't there. I could be wrong, but I always got the impression that Roy could be soft with Barnes at times.

    All that is to say that I think Barnes could have been a much more improved basketball player after two years at Duke than Carolina. Kind of ironic isn't it?

    Yes. I thought this was the most interesting commentary in that piece:

    What other basketball phenom would think himself into a pretzel and decide that the best way to promote Harrison Barnes, the brand, would be to talk about Harrison Barnes, the brand? Especially when every other super-athlete who talked openly about brands has been met with the public's wrath? Derrick Rose, the antimatter to the brand-building NBA, just signed a $200 million shoe contract. Hasn't it become clear that the way to really build your brand is to breathe basketball, win championships, and throw a couple very public shots at LeBron & Co.?
    Singler is IRON

    I STILL GOT IT! -- Ryan Kelly, March 2, 2013

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreezingDevil View Post
    In some alternate universe, it wouldn't surprise me if Barnes actually would have been more successful as a player -- and ultimately as a brand -- had he gone to Duke.
    As I've watched Austin's development this year I've thought a lot about how it compares to Barnes's last year. Both struggled early on after coming in with a lot of hype. Both were expected to be leaders of their teams as freshmen and had to balance how to lead without playing selfishly. While both players improved over the course of the year, I feel like Rivers has become a much better player, improving on all aspects of his game and continuing to work hard. When he wasn't bringing it during the season, Coach K wasn't afraid to bench him, and he responded well. Coach K wasn't intimidated by his father's stature. Conversely, Barnes seems like mostly the same player even after an additional year - great shooter, uses his height well to shoot over smaller defenders, is ok at most other things but no other skills really stand out.

    I realize this is a totally biased view, but I do think Barnes would have been better off coming to Duke. We certainly could have used him this year.

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