“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” are the opening words in Charles Dickens’ historical novel A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens writes a lot about the two cities (London and Paris) in his tale, mostly comparing and contrasting them, but also talking shit on them. You know when someone from your friend group criticizes another friend group publicly, which gets the other friend group’s attention, and even though your friend said some harsh things, they might like your friend’s spunk and invite them into their group, and your friend unexpectedly accepts the invitation and ditches your group? That is called the Dickensian ploy, and it is present throughout the novel.
Okay, I should be honest with you... I haven’t read A Tale of Two Cities. I started reading the Wikipedia summary and gave up a few sentences in when I realized it was an old person book. It would be social suicide if my millennial friends ever caught me reading something like that. Dickens is a Boomer.
Anyways, I told my Liberty Ballers editors that I would weave A Tale of Two Cities into my discussion of Kyle Korver and Kyle O’Quinn for this piece (I think the pitch was “it was the best of Kyle, it was the worst of Kyle”), so I felt obliged to talk about the book in the opening paragraphs. Now that I’ve done that, we can move onto a more pressing issue: rating the Kyles.
Over the weekend, former Utah Jazz (regular season) sharpshooter Kyle Korver agreed to a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, effectively spurning the Sixers and infuriating a section of the Sixers’ fan base with his decision. Korver’s NBA career began in Philly and many hoped he’d return for his final act. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, “Korver labored over a decision between the Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, but his history and relationship with (regular season) coach Mike Budenholzer played a significant role in his ultimate choice.” Basically, Korver chose this guy:
over this guy:
I don’t get it.
With Korver’s decision to sign with Milwaukee, the Bucks appear to have pulled ahead of the Sixers in the race for Eastern Conference supremacy... or have they?
It’s difficult to say which team is better because their rosters are drastically different. The Bucks have chosen to surround point-forward-center Giannis Antetokounmpo with small-bicep shooters in the hopes that optimal floor spacing will give the Greek Freak plenty of room to operate inside the arc. Contrarily, the Sixers have chosen to surround point-forward-center Ben Simmons with massive bodycenters (Note: the word “center” will replace the word “guard” for the remainder of this article) in the hopes that they’ll be able to muscle their way to the basket and easily center weaker opponents.
Perhaps the strongest member of the Philadelphia Bodycenters is Kyle O’Quinn, an eight-year veteran with biceps that more than quintuple the size of Kyle Korver’s biceps. With a Kyle that impressive already on the Sixers’ roster, would Korver have made sense in Philly? Are two Kyles overkill? Are you still reading this shit?
These questions are difficult to answer, so I’m not going to. Besides, I’m more interested in figuring out which Kyle is better. Imagine a scenario in which the Sixers and Bucks are dead even without the Kyles — which Kyle pushes their team over the edge?
I conducted interviews with both players and asked them the same questions. Hopefully, the answers they provided will help you, the reader, determine which Kyle is better, once and for all.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word “mass” ?
O’Quinn: “All of my hard work in the weight room.”
Korver: “Six hours on Sunday.”
What is your wingspan?
Korver: “Uh, I’m not really sure?”
Have you played in Utah?
O’Quinn: “Absolutely not.”
Korver: “Yes, it was great!”
How much do you bench?
O’Quinn: “400... Well, my max is 425.”
Korver: “How much do I bench? Let me think... Usually seven minutes a quarter, but it depends on the game.”
Would you ever flex after a putback dunk?
O’Quinn: “Come on, man. Of course!”
Korver: “I’m not really understanding the point of these questions.”
Have you read A Tale of Two Cities?
O’Quinn: “No, Dickens is a Boomer.”
Korver - “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” ... Those twelve words are so powerful!
Do you like Mumford & Sons?
Korver: “But it was not your fault but mine! JJ Redick and I saw them in concert last spring!”
Would you ever discuss the ethics of watch collecting on the JJ Redick Podcast?
Korver: “I guess you’ll have to tune in on August 7!
What do you like most about your coach?
O’Quinn: “How genuine he is. He also has an awesome beard.”
Korver: “He loves Mumford & Sons! We’re so excited for their next alb—”
What is your favorite movie?
O’Quinn: “No Country for Old Men.”
What is your favorite TV show?
O’Quinn: “The Wire.”
Korver: “I’m not really a TV guy. Sometimes Crash is on Showtime, though, so obviously I have to watch.”
Who is your favorite teammate ever?
O’Quinn: “I’ve loved all my teammates. Really excited to get to work with the guys in Philly.”
Korver: “Probably Grayson Allen.”
Do you have a favorite food?
O’Quinn: “I just went to this spot called Dalessandro’s the other day. I think cheesesteaks might be my new favorite food.”
Korver: “PB&J crust.”
If you could spend the day with any famous person, past or present, who would it be?
O’Quinn: “It’s got to be Chappelle.”
Korver: “Charles Dickens!”
O’Quinn: “Can’t stand them.”
Are we cool?
O’Quinn: Yeah, man, you’re a good guy. Let’s chill soon.”
Korver: “Absolutely not.”
So there you have it. I hope this helped you decide which Kyle is better. For those of you who prefer statistical evaluation, you’re in luck. I developed a ranking system using True Shooting Percentage, Player Impact Plus-Minus, and Value Over Replacement Player to determine which Kyle is the best Kyle in the NBA. Here are the results:
Congratulations to Kyle Kuzma. Second to last is better than last!