Who are your Irrational Good Feeling™ players?

Don't judge me

Okay, people who know me know I often have players that I have Irrational Good Feelings™ about.

This is different from being early and right on a young prospect, or being flat wrong about a player. We’re talking about high hopes for someone out of proportion to what you and most reasonable people see.

Some key signs you might have an Irrational Good Feeling™ (IGF) player are:

  1. You regularly use the phrase “if he can just fix X, then he’ll stick in the league” or “if he can just be consistent at Y”.

  2. You publicly stick up for them when they are unknown or unhyped.

  3. You publicly stick up for them when everyone else thinks they are washed up.

  4. As they are falling out of the league, you say “he never got a fair chance because of Z”.

You also can’t have too many at once or it dilutes the whole (frustrating) experience.

So who have been your Irrational Good Feeling™ players? I can’t be the only one.

Here is a short history of my Irrational Good Feeling™ players.

Nico Mannion (2021-?)

He has feel, poise, court vision, soft touch on his pass. A bit of trouble getting by a defender and his jumper has been erratic. But if he can just fix that…

Juan Toscano-Anderson (2020-?)

I maintain this is NOT irrational, but maybe a therapist could argue he is my MOST irrational good feeling guy.

He has ball IQ, good vision, works hard, huge motor, bold communicator, leadership. If he can just get a consistent jumper…

Zach Norvell, Jr (2020-?)

This guy never got a full chance. Active sharpshooter. Was with Santa Cruz Warriors, but just got released after a knee injury. I hope he makes it back.

Chris Boucher (2018-2020)

Some loves were not meant to be. Boucher couldn’t come back from his injury quickly enough to stick with GSW. Then he got healthier and got better. I covered it in extensive detail here:

Jordan Bell (2017-2019)

My most famous irrational good feelings player. He was even ahead of my irrational good feelings growth curve with key contributions in the legendary 2018 HOU WCF, but then he got in the coaches’ doghouse and never came out.

Jeremy Lin (2010-2016)

I was so psyched when GSW brought him into camp and then he stuck… but to be honest he didn’t play well with GSW. Then he got cut for no good reason so DeAndre Jordan could reject money from GSW.

I was just hoping he’d get a decent shot somewhere to become a regular backup and then the whole Linsanity thing happened.

Here is a beautiful interview with him about it:

Draymond Green (2012-2014)

This was only irrational in his first two years when he was cast as a crap shooting SF instead of a revolutionary guard-everyone point PF.

Andris Biedrins (2009-2013)

This was only irrational in his last four years when Beans completely forgot how to be an NBA player. But I just kept hoping he’d turn it around and get over his mental block. Maybe this deserves a different category, a “faith they’re not washed” vs an IGF.

Stephen Curry (2009-2012)

Only irrational in the years of ankle troubles. I was certain that one day — ONE DAY — Steph would finally take the next step… and become… an All-Star injury substitution.

Mickael Pietrus (2003-2008)

If he only could get more consistent from 3, if he could only be less sloppy with the ball, if he could only stop stepping out of bounds… I tell you, he is great in NBA2k4.

Sean Lampley (2003-2004)

I don’t know. Maybe it was the Cal connection. I can’t remember what I saw in him.

Gilbert Arenas (2001-2002)

It was only irrational in his rookie year. A true testament to the supercharging power of unstoppable self-confidence. Let’s ignore the whole gun phase. He was also one of the great early player bloggers before Twitter.

Latrell Sprewell (1997-2001)

Look, I know it’s wrong to choke your coach, but what if he was REALLY annoying

Šarūnas Marčiulionis (1991-1993)

I gave him a little writeup here: