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Dennis Smith Jr. is ‘looking forward to learning how to play defense’

If Mark Gottfried is gonna get a job with the Mavs, he’s gonna need better references.

2017 NBA Draft Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Hoooo buddy.

Well, uh, I guess ... I mean at least it’s all out on the table. It should be noted that these remarks are probably not out of ill will, since most of Mark Gottfried’s former players seem to like him fine. I don’t think that was ever the issue for the Gott Man.

Defense, obviously, was. We have seen that every night for years, but last year was a nadir, no doubt about that. I too would like to learn what defense in basketball is supposed to be; you’re not alone, Dennis. I would imagine it involves, like, I dunno, unicorns and footwork and treating your opponents as though they have a corporeal presence.

This underscores another matter: the initial bar for Kevin Keatts to clear is pretty damned low. Outsiders always like to lean on how State fans are this crazed bunch with outsized expectations, and while there’s a scent of truth to that notion, it does not reflect reality.

I mean, all I want is to avoid being publicly embarrassed, which means simply not losing games by 50 points. That’s it. That’s the bar.