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Marcus Thornton Silences “The Haters”

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Published: December 16, 2010

Okay, I will admit that the title of this article might be a little misleading because I am not really going to take a comprehensive look at Marcus Thornton, nor will I give an opinion on his role moving forward. I put his name in the title because I know it will get each and every one of you to click on it, regardless of your opinion on the 6’4″ guard out of LSU. I know he is polarizing and everyone has an opinion on the man, but what I really want is your opinion on this- “What is a HATER?”

This term has become so overused in the media, on message boards, in popular music, in sports. It has spawned terms for sunglasses, a.k.a. “hater blockers.” People have taken a popular drink that first surfaced at the University of Florida and retitled it “Haterade.” There are even counter measures to this act, as “hater baiting” is a new tactic meant to behave in a manner intended to provoke haters or trick closet haters to reveal their true nature.

The mute button on your cell phone is now sometimes referred to as the “hater button” and March 12th has been labeled “Hater Day”, as it is the official day set aside to be nice to your haters. You think I am making any of this up? Google it you Haters.

But seriously, can anybody here even tell me what a “hater” is?  I see it used in so many contexts and I could not help but notice how all the “pro-Thornton” people were calling the “anti-Thornton” people Haters. But is this justified? Well, I guess we first have to define what a hater is before we know for sure.

The first necessary component I think we can all agree on is that a Hater must have some form of dislike for said Subject that they are “hating on.” This can not be the only prerequisite however, as we do not call those who were disturbed by the Holocaust “Nazi Haters”- there must be some additional components as well. Based on this specific example, most would say that those people are not called Nazi Haters, because they are justified in their belief that what the Nazi’s did warrented some level of dissatisfaction.

This opens up a whole can of subjectivity that muddies the water of the issue. If it is merely condemning when you are justified, but Hating when you are not justified, then who is to say which is which? Are there Obama Haters? Should there be? How about Joan of Arc Haters? I am sure there are a handful of people who would have legitimate issues with her.

Which brings us back around to Thornton and his Hater Nation of fans, and some have even speculated, his head coach. Is Monty Williams the biggest Marcus Thornton hater of them all? Most feel that he is because there is not enough empirical evidence out there to support his decision not to play him. Nobody is labeling Monty as a Pops Mensah-Bonsu hater (well almost nobody), but that is because there is no evidence of Pops being able to become a difference maker for a struggling team. Thornton has showed on multiple occassions this year that he could be just that, although to be fair, he has also showed plenty of moments on the court that make Monty’s decision seem justified.

What I will propose to you is this- a definition for what a hater is and I will let each of you decide whether your fellow Hornets fans and your Hornets coaches are truly “Marcus Haters.” I believe that for one to be a Hater, he or she must knowingly want to see the subject of their hating fail due to some desire for personal gain. The gain need not be significant, but some gain is necessary, and it could even influence the hater to actively hold down the subject or ignore the subjects positive contributions.

Basically I do not believe that critique or evaluation of weaknesses should be labeled “hating”, but far too often they are deemed as such. I also think that a conflict of values are often times seen as “hating”, when in actuality they are just a difference of opinion. If a defensive minded coach in any sport values not turning the ball over above all else, he is not “hating” on the high risk/high reward player, he is just sticking to his philosophy.

It is such a simple word to throw around, but it is ignorant to do so, and we are all more educated that that. We owe it to ourselves to see things from multiple angles, and agree to disagree at times without just labeling others “haters.” Of course, if you disagree with me, I understand- I just ask that when March 12th comes around, you show me a little love.

54 comments
42
42

Great observation, and one I agree with. I was referring to you saying we English geeks are treating language and grammar like it's math. Well it is, and too many people treat it likes it's not. I may not the math most folks like to consider, but it's math nonetheless. I suggest The Language Instinct by Stephen Pinker for a nice treatment without any formal mathematics. He was a student of Noam Chomsky at MIT and writes really well.

42
42

I am far from a grammar nazi. I don't want it to be rigid and square. I play with it all the time. Hang around 247 more and you'll see. Looking forward to it.

Gordon Ecko
Gordon Ecko

Alright dude, congratulations on being a grammar nazi. Language doesn't have to be so rigid and square like you want it to be.

Gordon Ecko
Gordon Ecko

Some of you English geeks are really treating language and grammar like it's math. Hater comes from the word "player hater"...which evolved from the phrase "don't hate the player hate the game" A player hater was a man or woman that has meritless/insulting criticism for someone who was good at getting women. Whether it be jealousy or some form of cockblocking. It shortened to "hater" which was a broad term for anyone who dislikes something or someone without any merit, little merit, or for the sake of personal selfish reasons. Hater does not mean you actually hate that person. It just means you can't substantiate your criticism with any real substance. Now some people take it too far and label anything as criticism or not liking someone or something as hate. That's where it gets muddy. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you're hating. Ex. I hate Lebron James, he has no rings, he's a ball hog, he's a traitor and he can't win games in the 4th quarter, he's nothing like kobe...= Hate I'm not a fan of lebron james, I don't like the way he handled free agency, he hasn't worked on his low post game, he's not the best shooter, tends to play lebron ball in the 4th quarter...etc... NOT hate. Hating is also with intention...So you can say something totally constructive and your motivation be a little shady. Therefore, Many people use the word Hate/hating/hater.... in a variety of ways. It's mostly about intent and motivation behind the words than the actual words itself. This is not math. someone might think you're hating and someone might not see it as hating. Even then, even if your intent is constructive, your words still can be taken as "hate".

redbone
redbone

come on every player on the team is no better on defense thaen Marcus!! look at what the produce with the minutes they are given Monty sucks as a coach just like Byron Scott did

QueenBee
QueenBee

LOL! I see we have a joker here. How the heck does the team sit in the top 5 of defensive team if no player is better than Marcus at defense? Perhaps Marcus is missing defensive assignments more often than other players on the team.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

I just hope Marcus Thornton can do this (1) consistently and (2) against better competition. GREAT GAME MARCUS, but the only thing I’ve ever criticized Marcus for was inconsistency. This game proves he can play good basketball … it doesn’t prove consistency! L_Reazy

Max
Max

everyone talks about Marcus Thorton not getting enough minutes and blaming Monty for it, well yeah Monty is the reason for him warming the bench most games but it seems the reason behind this is Monty is trying to improve our defense and Thorton just isn't a good defensive player. If he wants to see more minutes he has to show the he can defend as well as produce on the offensive side. Correct me if im worng but that doesn't make Monty a "Marcus hater" but simply a good coach trying to do whats best for the team.

m_W
m_W

1) Marcus' defensive abilities are underexaggerated. He's young, young players always struggle on D. They need TIME on the floor to adjust to the NBA. Also, he busts ass and has a high risk high reward style of play, like CP3, that nets steals, blocks, and things like that, so what if a screen or two catch him unaware? 2) Team defense can always help cover "bad" defenders. Most team defense metrics shows this team actually was better on D with Peja on the floor; counter-intuitive, right? Well, he was smart, he played in the right system, and was gangbusters on the other end. No reason Coach can't use Thornton similarly, only using MT5's speed to cover instead of length, like Peja. Just because the coaches and Hornets' mouthpieces keep talking about Defense like a broken record doesn't mean we have to. Saying MT5 doesn't play D is a B.S. way for Monty not have to explain himself on a more complex level. He plays D. And he's the 3rd best scorer on the team. There's absolutely no reason to not play him 15-35 minutes a game (depending on match-ups, hot hand, etc.).

QueenBee
QueenBee

I'm pretty sure we've said this before. We know Monty wants Marcus to be better at defense but defense hasn't been the Hornets problem as of late. While they have been top 5 in defense, they're anywhere from 24-30 in offense. You desperately need offense and you have a scorer sitting on your bench that can help you. There needs to be a middle ground somewhere.

42
42

I agree with you. As I said, we don't have to just `look like this'. I think having the capacity to throw a more offensive `look' at the bad guys from time to time would have a startling effect and net us some benefit even if we give up a bucket. It's all about situations and surprise, really. There are strategic implications to playing Marcus beyond the tactical considerations. Sun Tzu closes The Art of War with a chapter on spies. He says the war is won when you know what your enemy is going to do. While we don't have spies, we do have game tape which can serve much of the same purpose of what he calls `surviving spies' (except he writes it in some dialect of Chinese). At any rate, if they don't know what you are going to do, it takes away an advantage.

QueenBee
QueenBee

@No 42 we don't need to exclude one or the other but when you have a guy on your bench that can give you some offense, something you desperately need, you need to play that player. Nobody ever sat Peja on the bench because of his defense. Nobody ever sat Nash on the bench because of his defense. I understand there are two ends of the floor but if we have a player that can help us where we're truly, truly lacking at the moment, you need to get him on the floor.

42
42

Screw the middle. We need to to be great at both. It won't happen today, and defense can come first, but we need to be great at both. We don't have to pick one to the exclusion of the other.

m-W
m-W

First, I address Michael's comment that Buckets is "polarizing." Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone recognizes that he is the savior of this team; no one has ever uttered a dissenting opinion. I shall now continue to read the article.

Caleb
Caleb

Yeah I thought that was a bit off as well. Marcus, polarizing? Really? Almost everyone loves him aside from a very small but I suppose vocal minority.

QueenBee
QueenBee

CP3 tweeted.... 2 words for 2nites game...MARCUS THORTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! about 21 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

QueenBee
QueenBee

I was just so happy to see him contributing in a positive way last night. I said in another thread that I hadn't been complaining about Thornton not playing but when your offense has been sucking as hard as the Hornets had been sucking and you have instant offense sitting on your bench, you've got to give that guy a try.

BeesGivingEffort
BeesGivingEffort

Why do I have the gut feeling that even after last night, nothing has changed with Monty? People are already making the "well, we'll see if he can keep it up and earn his minutes" cop-outs for Monty (CP3, Gil McGregor, etc.). I'm afraid that Marcus has a bad game Friday and we won't see him for 2 weeks.

42
42

I take the 'earn your minutes' approach for all players. I don't see it as an excuse for Monty. I applaud him more for pulling Ariza as I do for putting in Marcus, as going to him was sort of an easy decision, if difficult execution. Deciding to pull a starter whosr forte is defense when you just allowed a 23 pt deficit... That takes at least brains...

42
42

I agree, and have maintained for a while, that Marcus is a good player and deserves to get given a shot in each half. Wille, Marco, Jarrett, and Chris should all be competing for minutes. Now, Chris has earned his starting position and has it locked up, but, in principle, he is out there competing for the team and against his teammates for minutes. I didn't argue otherwise. As I said, it was obvious that Marcus needed to be given a shot. Regardless of the bad moves up to that point, Monty did a good in job recognizing that Ariza was the one that needed to sit.

m-W
m-W

Earn his minutes? Sorry if Thornton proved all last year is is highly talented. Yeah, he struggled in pre-season, but that's pre-season. (Cue the Allen Iverson "practice"..."pre-season, we're talkin' about pre-season. Pre-season!") What has Willie Green or Jarrett Jack done that is any better than what Thornton does? I don't buy that argument. As for Gil, Gerry V, and all the other team mouthpieces, they just toe the party line. What they should be doing is being honest: calling for more MT5.

bgalella
bgalella

Not sure why Thornton isn't getting his fair share of minutes, there has to be a disconnect between him and Monty Williams.

JaeAmazin
JaeAmazin

The Fact is We need that 3rd guy when teams are keeping CP out the lane and D West is being doubled or just not hitting his 18 footers..Some nights Marco looks like that guy but for whatever Reason he just doesn't Bring it Every night..We all know from last year that MT5 can be that guy.. I mean when you lose by 10 or whatever it's tough as fans to know that we had a 20ppg guy sitting on the bench..It's easy to question the coaching but None of us can do Better so keep Monty out of your comments..We just gotta hope he saw what we've been knowing for a while now.. On another note if there's any questions you guys would like to ask the Hornets Players..Just let me know..I'll get the Answers

MaskedTalent
MaskedTalent

I like MT5...hes very talented...but you guys are obsessed....Its been ONE game and your hailing him as if he's MJ reincarnated(even though mj isnt dead...well Jordan isnt dead) the point is Lets Win some more games first with him having similar games like the one your praising him for

Jochbe
Jochbe

"I hate you, I hate you, I don't know you but I hate your guts...I hope all of the bad things in life happen to you" -Silky Johnson

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

Great quote- Silky was indeed ahead of his time. Hate, hate, hate, hate...

sportnlife
sportnlife

There's an important question about the Marcus Thornton situation, but quibbling about the definition of "hater" doesn't address the real issue at all. The real issue is coaching philosophy. Coach Williams inherited a popular but not well rounded player whose strengths do not match the coach's philosophy. For the first 10+ games, the coach was able to win with his philosophy. Marcus Thornton sat. In the last 12 games, the system didn't work so well, but the coach stuck to it because that's what it says you gotta do in all the books. Last night the coach did what it took to win. Obviously somebody on his staff pointed out to him that at the end of the season, the GM wasn't going to ask him, "Hey, did you stick to your philosophy?" The GM was going to ask him "Is it a winning philosophy?" The lesson: winning philosophies are the ones that adjust to accommodate talent. Always have, always will. At the end of the day, you have to produce a winning program. Purism is fine if you get the results you want, but it becomes pure stubbornness when you don't. We live in a city with a head coach who delights in breaking with conventional wisdom and predictability, and wins doing it. Hopefully, some of that is rubbing off on Coach Williams, and he'll become more and more comfortable going offscript. The only way "hate" comes into play is when hating to lose gets to be more important than sticking to an unproductive philosophy.

okijeff
okijeff

@sportlife Very fine comments sportlife.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

I agree with this and I address it at the end of the piece, but I think it goes a step further. The philosophy that coaches have (that fans rarely do) is that they are willing to lose in the short term if it means instituting a culture and a mindset in the long term. Monty is smarter basketball wise than anyone on this site and he understands that with every decision he makes that there will be drawbacks. He knows that by playing CP3 34 minutes as opposed to 40, he is going to sacrifice 4-6 games per year. He knows that by not attacking the offensive glass that the team will have nights where they score 70 points because shots aren't falling and they will not get extra possessions. The list goes on and on. He knows all this, so it is laughable when fans act as if they have thoughts on what would improve the team as if Monty hasn't discussed it at length with each and every one of his assistants. What fans want to know is what can help the team win the next game, but you have to remember the school of thought Monty comes from. He comes from an organization where the head coach would sit a perfectly healthy Duncan or Parker in the regular season. When have the Hornets EVER done that? As for Thornton, the belief of the fans is that he cures what ails the Hornets today, and I won't even argue that there is some truth in that. The question is how he fits in big picture. When the playoffs come and it is a half court grind, when every possession is at a premium on both ends, when you are going against the best players in the world who are coached by the best basketball minds in the world- does MT5 have what it takes to be more of a positive than a negative in THAT situation? If not, then you go onton the next question: Do I play him now, even though I know that he is not a part of the big picture or do I get other guys prepared for that moment and perhaps suffer short term. I am in 100% agreement that it is a philosophy thing. Some coaches would NEVER want Brett Favre on their team. He would have drove Bill Parcells crazy, for instance, and I know Parcells would rather have had Phil Simms. But no fan would ever rank Simms over Favre. It is a conservative philosophy, but Monty has seen it work time and time again. Right now, he does not have the weapons to apply his philosophy and constantly churn out 11-1 stretches, but perhaps one day he will. But to think that he is doing this to spite MT5 or prove he doesn't need him or hate on him or whatever other conspiracy theory I have seen over the last week or two is rediculous. It is just a matter of philosophy and Hornes fans have disagreed with it in the past (see Julian, JR Smith, etc.)- but I just don't like when people insinuate that he is sabotaging the team because he is protecting his ego or any similar nonsense.

m-W
m-W

If Monty doesn't consider Buckets part of his long-term plan, he's an idiot, point-blank. I also am hesitate to substitute my judgment for a coach's, but sometimes you can see your judgment vindicated and the coach's repudiated. Marcus won the game last night, my opinion of Marcus was vindicated, Monty thinking he can't help the team was repudiated. How many teams say, yeah, sure, this guy could score 20-30 points a game if he had significant minutes, but he's not in the plans for this team? It's completely absurd. Is either Jason Terry or J.R. Smith considered even a good defender? No. But they are crucial pieces to highly successful teams. All the talk about Thornton's "lack of defense" is crap. It's not just about short term (i.e., winning last night), but the long-term success of this team: we need scoring, be it starter points or bench scoring. Thornton provides that. You'd think from watching game film of Marcus last year, Coach would know that. As for Monty's 11-1 record, it is irrelevant. He's not 11-1, he's 15-10. That's where sticking to his guns got him. Good, but with room for improvement. With a healthy Chris Paul and David West, there's no reason not to be among the best in the West. And had we seen more Thornton, we WOULD be among the best in the west. Monty needs to admit he screwed up with Thornton, and not go all Byron Scott on us. Pride = fail. As a religious man, Monty should be well versed in that lesson.

sportnlife
sportnlife

Granted there's the cost/ benefit aspect to consider: what price does the coach have to pay down the line for temporary relief to get a "w" at a critical juncture? It's still a better problem to have than to not have the "w" and have to deal with the negative consequences from the extraordinary pressure this franchise is under. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and worry about the fallout later. Because if you don't go to Thornton to get you a win at a crucial moment in the franchise, maybe you don't even have a playoff scenario in the future to be saving your preferred rotation for. I respect Pop's penchant for sitting the regulars to make the point that it's his way or the highway. That's a luxury he has, though, cause nobody's going to fire him, and there's no moving vans outside his arena to ship his franchise to Las Vegas, and he has Duncan, Ginobili, Jefferson, and Parker, and he's going to be a contender deep into the playoffs. Based on what he now has to work with, and hopefully things change soon, Monty doesn't have those options when our team is in a funk. But since you mention San Antonio, it's an open question as to how much is the system and how much is the players. Duncan fit in right away; Parker, not so much; same with Jefferson, though after a summer tutorial with Popovich, he's now on the same page. But Ginobili? Does he really fit their system? In my opinion, Pop recognized his one-of-a-kind talent for creative mayhem and adapted the system to incorporate Manu. Because everybody on that team knows that Manu will take them further than a pure system guy will. All I'm saying is that inspired coaching is about more than locking into a system--whether it worked before with other personnel or not (cf, triangle offense in Chicago in the 90s vs. triangle as run in L.A.). It's also about finding a space for the outlier to the system, the curveball you need to keep from total predictability. Is Marcus the kind of guy you retrofit the system to incorporate? We'll see. That's the whole fun of it--seeing what works and what doesn't in real time. I'm just saying, don't rule it out for no better reason than that it didn't fit into your original plan.

okijeff
okijeff

Also from you Mike. And you did trick my into clicking the link : ) Wise Mike for president! Speaking of producing in the playoffs I would like to see a piece where each player is discussed in relation to their chance of success in the playoffs since playoff basketball is so much more instense. Perhaps have three different writers comment on each player so that we can gain perspective. Maybe this can be done closer to playoff time? Please?

JCS
JCS

Just because someone doesn't like something, doesn't make them a hater. Like MaxJD said, "u have to have a PHD. Also known as a Player Haters Degree." Furthermore, if you sip Hatearade as your PHD hangs on the wall, whilst listening to Bill O'Reily's Hateathon, then it's said you have a diversified Hate Portfolio. MT5's Theme Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxra2Nn7K9Y&feature=related

42
42

Personally I think the term Hater does an injustice to Hate. Call me an Hater hater. Not the people, mind you, the lexicographic choice. Whatever it is Haters do, it's not hating. Nazis hated. They, for instance, got up really early, no snooze or anything, to do badness. Fat Albert Haters don't do such things. They communicate about him when they have little else to do, or are paid to do so. They don't butcher his children slowly while he and their mother watch helplessly. While I've uncorked: Literally is often not used correctly, for instance prefacing a figurative phrase with it. "I literally dropped dead when he said that." Unique means a certain set has exactly one element. This can not be modified or heightened, for example, more unique, very unique. Resilience is what people talk about when they say resiliencey. Commentators should be commenters, and commentating and commentation are not words. Physicality, not physicalness. I am so not the only one who has these peeves. Carlin had a rant about unique, and there is an interesting take in Freakanomics.

paul
paul

My favorite is always hearing people say in a conversation that's been taking place "OK., let's be frank...". Or, "To be honest..." Really? For God's sake, weren't you being frank or truthful up to this point!?

stormsurgephoto
stormsurgephoto

"Call me an Hater hater." It would be 'a Hater hater'.

42
42

I guess I hate proof-reading...

42
42

If any of this applies to a comment someone has made: no offense. I'm not targeting anyone. It's an epidemic, a widespread habit that I wish wasn't true. It's effective communication, and that is what is important. Another: I could care less! Well, if you can... Then you care more tham you might in other cases. I couldn't care less may sound clearer, but it's relative, not absolute. I couldn't care less for my dogs because they are so damned lovable. I don't care is more correct when you don't care... But at times that means that you care but won't act on it. Ok. Corked.

42
42

Nah, you correctly called me out. I blurred the between the incorrect and unfortunate. I do happen to have a degree in English, a significant amount of Latin, and an interest in language (Chomsky, Hidden Markov Models, etymology), but I do alot of research in my life which, at times, allows me to research things of interest, even if they upset me. That commentation stuff I knew to a point, but I just searched using google (google's preferred phrasing per their site and private communication) to get some dates. Using define and a word as the search string is a good way to start. Google also does math for you. Lots of smart stuff.

George
George

Wow I didn't realise commentation was actually recognised as a word I had never heard it before. I guess I really shouldn't have questioned you, as you clearly no more about the english language than me.

George
George

I have to disagree there 42 with your analysis of commentators, as commentating is a word and is more accurate to describe what they do then commenters. Though I agree commentation is definitely not a word.

42
42

It's a word the same way ain't is a word. It is valid and effective communication, but it's a creation tied to misunderstanding. This is how language is born and evolves, I get that; like it . . . Not so much . . . The literalists and prescriptive grammarians tick me off more than I may have let on here, but some words are just carried on by utter laziness (physicalness for physicality; physicalness to describe the essence of a physical exam, on the other hand, is a fine ad hoc construction). Yeah, I'm weird. No arguments there. By the way, both commentator and commentation were in use before 1900.

42
42

You little minx, you...

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

You LITERALLY uncorked several of my other pet peeves as well. I will add incorrect metaphors, analogies, etc in pop music: "popping bottles in the ice LIKE a Blizzard." How does this work on ANY level? Just because I say the word ice, I can make it analogous to a blizzard?? I could care less is my favorite, though, 42 and when I call people out on it they just stumble and reply, "You know what I mean" as if that is a valid response. Based on that logic, lets just always be inaccurate in our messages and then fall back on that modifier.

MaxJD_Nola2NYC
MaxJD_Nola2NYC

You guys have it all wrong, in order to be a true hater, you have to have a PHD. Also known as a Player Haters Degree.. That's the correct context of the word "hater" Just because Coach Williams doesn't play marcus doesn't make him a hater. The fuy is a nice guy! He has no PHD...

Rocco
Rocco

Michael: Most of the posts I've read in the aftermath of last night's comeback win revolve around wether or not MT5 should displace somebody(ies) in the current rotation. I beleive his incorporation into the rotation won't be that disruptive. Did anyone notice that last night's comeback was happening with essentially a three-guard line up? I'm not saying it will work with every opponent, but it can be surprisingly effective against many teams. We have a good mixture of shooters, slashers, distributors (in the backcourt) with varying degrees of defensive abilities . You can cover a lot of needs with the right mixture of players. Against Utah for instance, if Trevor is not a factor I believe CP3, Marcus and Marco could man the floor with Paul and Thorton playing defense against the Jazz backcourt and Belinelli assigned to track Kerilenko. Just a thought. I think last night's game, and results more than anything else, provide the Pollenators with more opportunities on how they deploy different line ups.