Why Are We Drawn to CDR?

chris-douglas-roberts-2010-1-5-23-10-35For a second round draft pick who’s not known as a shooter or for his defense, there’s just something oddly fascinating about the downward spiral of Chris Douglas-Robert’s 2009-10 NBA season.

He certainly showed flashes of being a rotation player late last season and earlier this season. While the roster was decimated by injury in November, CDR appeared to be riding shotgun with Brook Lopez as the only consistent offensive performers on the team, averaging 17.3 points points per game. But in the following months, CDR’s role on offense diminished greatly. Last month, he was replaced in the starting lineup by Jarvis Hayes, and rumors of him “falling out of favor” with coach Kiki Vandeweghe seemed to have put a further crimp on his playing time. On Sunday, he earned the dreaded, DNP-CD against the Memphis Grizzlies, and an unnamed team executive said Douglas-Roberts was late for a practice, as the reasoning. CDR disputed that claim on his Twitter page, a tool he often uses, rumor has it, much to the chagrin of Kiki and other members on the Nets front office.

Both Sebastian and I have spent a lot of time breaking down and analyzing CDR’s season from both a basketball-sense – which is obviously more objective – and from a more philosophical, subjective perspective. And it seems like many of the team’s beat writers take this approach with CDR as well. Because what’s not to like about a guy who always seems willing to talk candidly when a microphone or a notebook is shoved in front of his face. CDR has told the world in one way or another, that his team is soft, has no heart and has developed a new “system” of which he plays less of a role. He’s Tweeted about loving his “Memphis People” after trade rumors regarding sending him to the Grizzlies surfaced, and then emphatically denied he was pining for a trade after the fact.

And all of these factors have created a gravitational pull around CDR whether you love him or hate him. Has anyone questioned why Trenton Hassell hasn’t received playing time from Kiki Vandeweghe recently, despite playing above expectations earlier this season? How about Bobby Simmons who was one of the better shooting SFs in all of the NBA last season? Simmons hasn’t played in months.

CDR hasn’t been a factor in a Nets game in more than a month.  He plays a position where the Nets actually have some decent depth on the roster, and stand to acquire more depth giving the high profile names on this summer’s free agent list. Maybe it’s time for us all to collectively stop wringing our hands and obsessing over what CDR is doing, the good and the bad. If he’s truly falling out of favor with the organization, that will be demonstrated in due time when he is either traded this summer or released.  It just seems like a lot of ink has been spent rehashing something that seems to only be affecting one player who may or may not even be in the league a year from now.