The Intensity of Chris Douglas-Roberts


Interesting anecdote about Chris Douglas-Roberts from last night’s game courtesy of Bucksketball, TrueHoop’s Milwaukee Bucks site, which I think speaks a lot about CDR’s character and intensity about basketball:

The second half was so bad, I thought CDR was going to snap.  He appeared to have gotten in a bit of a shouting match with assistant coach Doug Overton about what was going on on the court.  I couldn’t hear Overton, but my colleague Alex from BrewHoop suggested it had something to do with a stretch where CDR got blocked, turned it over, got it back and missed a lay-up.  CDR shouted at his bench, “we’re losing, what am I supposed to do?!”

I felt for CDR.  He was working hard, he was trying to make plays and he was saddled with some teammates who’ve been injured and/or unable to get the job done to get this team a win.  The whole team had that, “here we go again” look as soon as things started going South in the third quarter.  CDR seemed like he didn’t want to let it happen again.

I can understand the sympathy. While I’m sure no one on the Nets appreciates the 0-12 start, CDR seems to be taking it the hardest. CDR’s total disgust for losing has led to some really eye-opening post-game quotes this season. Remember, it was CDR who challenged his teammates after a humiliating blowout loss to Washington to foul harder and to “protect each other.” Then, when CDR posted his first career double-double against the Pacers earlier this week, the Memphis alumn responded to reporters with this nugget:

It’s nothing if we don’t win,” Douglas-Roberts said. “My numbers don’t matter if we’re losing, because you’re labeled a ‘loser.’ It doesn’t matter what you’re doing on a losing team – nobody cares. I know I don’t.

He’s been described by some around the team as having a fighter’s mentality who’s almost obsessed about proving his doubters wrong.  It’s only fitting considering he was projected as a first round draft pick by many in 2008 and ended up inexplicably slipping to the Nets in the second round. After not playing much until the latter stages of the season in his rookie year, he was pegged by most pundits, and yes, Nets Are Scorching as well, as the ideal sixth man headed into training camp this season. CDR was really the only one, mostly via his Twitter page, who saw himself as a starter, and he proved those “outsiders” wrong by having a phenomenal preseason and truly earning his starting spot.

As the season wears on, and the Nets keep losing, I’m becoming increasingly fascinated with CDR.  While I’m sure some of his postgame comments have to be rubbing a few people the wrong way, his intensity and absolute passion for basketball are unmatched on this team. I’m not going to accuse anyone currently on the roster of milking their injuries, but I think it was fitting that of all of the Nets who hit the injured list two weeks ago, CDR, who had been diagnosed with H1N1 (swine flu), was the first one back, even though he looked like a walking corpse throughout most of his that game in Orlando.

Obviously, CDR’s game has some holes – he struggles to shoot from the outside and he misses some defensive assingments from time to time. But after the first 12 games of the season, I can safely say Chris Douglas-Roberts is a guy this organization needs to build  around going forward. It’s difficult finding athletes with this level of intensity and desire to win. He’s been a pleasant surprise this season – and the fact that I just labeled him a “surprise,” probably means he’s going to want to prove me wrong next. Which is fine by me.