Do you have the NBA Lockout blues? We feel your pain and have a cure for you. The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together Bloguin's best basketball writers for a new feature called: The Jump Ball. We toss two current NBA players into the air and ask the simple (yet complex) question: which of the two players would you choose to play for your fictional team next season. You only have this player for one season and one season only. So, who ya got: Kevin Love or Zach Randolph?
Consensus: Zach Randolph
"This is a tough one because they are both similar players: undersized, unathletic, seemingly out of shape, great rebounders. And while Zach Randolph is perhaps the best low post scorer in the League, I'm still picking Kevin Love over him - he's younger, a better passer, shooter and rebounder and, most importantly, brings far less off court mayhem and distractions as Z-Bo and his posse do." - Jeff Fox
"K-Love - K-LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, after hating on him for most of his career, I gotta give it up. He's legit, and pretty good. Plus he shoots the three-ball like it's nobody's business. He's younger and has less emotional baggage, although I admit Z-Bo has done a lot of good of resurrecting his character since going to Memphis. And I really like Z-Bo's game. He's a beast down low. He just can't shoot the three like Love can, which is what pushes it over the edge to advantage: Love." - College Wolf
"Kevin Love is one bright talent with a lot of upside, but upside don't win a title right away. So, I'm gonna have to go with Zach Randolph. I like his game better. He's a load in the paint, can rebound, play solid positional defense, and can hit that mid-range jumper as well. Plus, he's a bit more consistent than Love."- Ezra
"Both guys are amazing talents - and this would be a tough one to mess up, but for a one-off year I'm going to go Zach. It's a rare player that is able to actually discernibly lift during the playoffs, but that's exactly what Randolph did last year. The guy has undergone a major transformation, from being someone who never hit expectations to someone that routinely exceeds them. Now... Kevin Love. An amazing player - he just seems to devour rebounds... but that's part of my problem. Love seems to be more interested in statistical excellence than winning games. I have at times witnessed him overpowering his own teammates in his desire to get the board. The guy plays to win - that's not in doubt... but sometimes individual pursuits need to take a back seat to the success of the team. As often as not - it amounts to the same thing. But not always, and I think Love's still in the process of working that out."- Don
"This one is an easy one for me. Randolph has shown increasing maturity throughout his career and is coming off a very successful season with Memphis and some outstanding playoff performances. Love's Chamberlain-like pursuit of individual stats diminishes him in my eyes. He is not a guy I want on my team. Randolph all the way."- brumbygg
Previous Jump Balls: Kobe vs Wade, Amar'e vs Carmelo, CP3 vs DRose
I apparenlty appear to be in the minority here in believing that Z-Bo really hasn't "matured" as much as it seems. After all, it was just a month ago that a bunch of his boys were arrested at his house for beating up a drug dealer with a pool cue. Maybe Randolph has matured, but if he's still hanging with the same crowd it doesn't make a difference. Plus he just signed a big contract extension - the perfect time for him to revert back to a knucklehead.