Instead of preparing for his upcoming MCAT, he typically spends his late nights watching Youtube videos of obscure NBA events. He’s also extremely generous, so he occasionally shares these videos with me — the most recent being this eleven minute compilation of NBA fights.
In middle school, Aashir never made the school basketball team because of his weight issues. Despite these failures, he was still a self-proclaimed top 5 basketball player in his grade. I remember us discussing his prospects of making the NBA, and whenever I would say only one in a million make it, he would always confidently respond with “what if I’m that one?”
In the midst of MCAT preparation, he still made time to watch most Playoff games and even attend two of them. His loyalty has sometimes been questionable, like when he forced us to leave a Rockets game early and miss T-Mac’s historic 13 in 35. Nevertheless, the impossible trade scenarios he routinely creates for the Rockets prove his commitment to the organization.
Unfortunately, our discussions on the NBA are often… inadequate? I can’t think of the right word to describe our conversations on the subject, so maybe an example will help.
Yesterday we were comparing LeBron and Jordan. Aashir said Jordan was without a doubt the better player. I said it was impossible to conclusively pick one player over the other, so I decided to play devil’s advocate and back LeBron.
Aashir’s first argument was that Jordan’s team would suffer more than LeBron’s team would without their respective superstars. Fortunately, we were both at computers, so I checked his theory. The Chicago Bulls went 57-25 in the 1992-93 season with Jordan and then 55-27 in the following season without Jordan. The Cleveland Cavaliers went 61-21 in the 2009-10 season with LeBron and then 19-63 in the following season without LeBron. Aashir said my evidence was invalid; there are too many varying variables (I think he meant confounding variables).
Aashir’s second argument was that Jordan made his teammates better, even more so than LeBron does. I pointed out that Jordan had only one season averaging above 6.5 assists per game, and LeBron has already had seven. Aashir said my numbers were meaningless; assists are only one way of measuring the impact on teammates.
He reaffirmed the “helping teammates” argument with a more specific example — Scottie Pippen. Aashir claimed that Jordan turned Pippen into a Hall-of-Fame player when Pippen won four championships with Jordan. I was taken aback by this, since I had always thought they won all six championships together. A quick search on Google confirmed I was right, and I pointed this out to Aashir.
He acknowledged the mistake, but he claimed his original point was still true; Pippen was a horrible basketball player before he was on the Bulls. Not knowing much about Pippen, I checked his stats online. The first NBA team Pippen played for was the Bulls.
Again, Aashir acknowledged his mistake… followed by yet another clarification. Pippen may have started off playing for the Bulls, but apparently Chicago never thought he was going to be good when they drafted him. Of course Chicago didn’t. Pippen was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the fifth overall pick.
Aashir concluded the discussion saying majority of NBA Analysts agree with him, so he must be right. He then told me I know nothing about basketball, and I will never know because I have never played at a high level. I said playing basketball shouldn’t be a requisite for analyzing the sport; we don’t only go to doctors who have had cancer before when we look for cancer treatment. He didn’t appreciate my response, so he ended the conversation with the last words — “you’re done boii.”
I can assure you, none of this is made up. None of this was even exaggerated at all. If you ever want to experience a debate without any facts, Facebook message Aashir any night this summer. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Aashir is that he beat me in two Fantasy Basketball leagues this past year. To him, this serves as perfect evidence of his superior analytical capabilities.