Player Previews, Ep. 5: Hakim’s Redemption

If you’re a fan of a certain team, you’re sure to have a few guys on that team that annoy the living hell out of you. I mean, it’s only natural, someone will have to make the bad plays, someone will have to be the scapegoat.

For me, for some time now, that guy was Hakim Warrick. When coming off the bench, he rarely brought anything interesting on offence, constantly missing midrange jumpers and playing matador defence. Sure, he was athletic, sure he scored 30 points that one time he was paired with Steve Nash in Channing Frye’s absence, but that never changed my opinion of him being a scrub, a cheap replacement for the pick-n-roll excitement Amar’e brought to Phoenix. The annoying bricks, the inability to play a team game, all of that was annoying the living hell out of me.

Now, for a little side note. As you may or may not know, I’m a big hockey fan. Not as big of a hockey fan as a basketball fan, but still… A big hockey fan. And as a big hockey fan, I love meself some Edmonton Oilers. That’s right, the Edmonton Oilers that were the worst team in the league last year. I remember watching games, and finding my own scapegoats. Tom Gilbert, a defenceman, always seemed out of position when goals were scored against the Oilers, anytime I goal happened, my eye caught a big number 77 somewhere out there on that replay, confused as to what to do. Then there was centre Andrew Cogliano, a guy with insane speed on his skates, but no skill whatsoever. He could’ve won the Oilers some games, but every time he got a breakaway, or an easy shot, he found a way to screw it up. Today, Gilbert is

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