Death ☠, Taxes💰, and Herb Jones🔒
Peace and blessings. Pull up a chair. Let’s kick it for a minute. Today I’d like to discuss
inevitability with you. There are a couple of things in this life no matter how hard you try, you
have no escape from them. I call it, “The Thanos Theory” Avengers End Game right before he
snaps his fingers again he declares, “I am inevitable”. Death (Father Time aka Cody Zeller will
get you eventually), taxes (Uncle Sam ain’t no uncle of mine but somehow he’s always in your
pockets), and Herb Jones smothering you on defense seem like a Thanos finger snap.
For what it’s worth I wasn’t a fan of Herb Jones. He stole my fandom like he does everything
else. Mr. Jones is the quintessential teammate. A guy you wouldn’t mind going into battle with.
He does whatever is asked of him for betterment. To put it in layman’s terms Herb Jones is a
bad motherfucker. There are only 2 I would compare him to in sports history. Ed Reed who Herb
confirmed was one of his influences growing up. “I watched Ed Reed highlights all day”. Not that
I needed him to confirm that because I have eyes and can see that. Ed Reed made maybe the
greatest play I’ve ever seen where he baited Peyton Manning into believing he was going to
play one side of the field, but in all actuality, he’d studied Peyton’s tendency to pump fake to one
side and throw to that same side. The play commences and Ed starts over to the left side of the
field but once he notices Peyton fake to the right, Ed makes a complete 180 running back to the
right side of the field. This is what you call a bait and switch.
I’ve seen Herb Jones do this an incalculable amount of times. But on December 31, 2023, I saw
him test his metal against one of the goats. While the game was on going Herb and LeBron
were busy having a game within that game. Herb is at the free throw line extended watching
Bron as he dribbles up the floor. Bron directed the offense with a head nod to no one in
particular, Once this happens a player flashes around a screen and usually he’d be open
because LeBron is gonna deliver the pass. Not so fast buddy. Herb notices the motion and
starts to slide his feet to the right corner, and while he didn’t intercept the pass he did deflect it
out of bounce. Lebron was visibly upset, even cussing. Jedi Mind Trick shit that you can’t teach.
Herb Jones is a natural. This season the Pelicans have allowed Herb to play off the ball more
albeit in a free safety role a la Ed Reed. It’s one thing to be an on-ball defender and impose his
will. It’s another to quarterback the defense and be a conduit to his teammates, extending his
defensive prowess to them.
The other defensive player I’d compare him to is a young Scottie Pippen. Both can change the
game with defense. Vividly remember rewatching the ‘91 finals on ESPN Classic, and seeing
Scottie take on the role of guarding Magic Johnson and win the matchup changed the trajectory
of that series for the Bulls. The Lakers had a difficult time getting into their sets. Scottie picked
up Magic as soon as he crossed half-court thus ending any showtime aspirations. You name asuperstar and I’m gonna tell you I’ve seen Herb Jones put his feet on their couch. This is mine
now. Steph Curry must’ve felt like Herb Jones was a part of his jersey the other night.
As I evolve as a fan of the game my philosophy on basketball has changed. No longer do I
believe you need a two-way superstar to be successful. My current theory is situational defense
should be passable enough to win games. 23-24 basketball you need points, go full villain, go
full offense, disrupt the system. But even with my new basketball methodology I’m often still
miffed when someone gets the better of Herb. Herb is kinda like the Gotham (New Orleans) City
dark knight, he’s not the hero we need but he’s the hero we deserve. He gives a damn. He plays
hard. He holds his teammates accountable. They respect him for it. Once I saw Herb yell at JV
about inbounding the ball and I was scared for Herb. Herb took the inbounds, and went coast to
coast, JV smiled. Not to mention his offensive game is evolving, he’s more confident in his
shooting 35% from 3, he’s taking rebounds and finishing on the other end, and his slot cuts are
something I wish everybody does.
If you won’t learn anything else from me in life, just know this. Some say you can cheat death
I’ve seen people evade paying taxes, but NOT ON HERB