Victor Oladipo is not the most efficient rookie in his class. He is not the most efficient 2-guard in the NBA. He is not even the most efficient 2-guard on his own team. But that isn't the point. The Orlando Magic have set a course to something worse than mediocrity, and that ship is cruising. The purpose of their season appears to be along the lines of this: lose 55 games; turn Arron Afflalo into a steamer trunk of draft picks; exhume Nik Vucevic from the ocean each night so he can lay waste to a new city; develop Moe Harkless and Andrew Nicholson into chirping, Spurs-esque shooters; shed dead weight like Christian Bale in The Machinist; and let Dipo do Dipo.
At first, it was a fun story. Twenty-year-old kid succeeds in the big leagues after a brief teenage cameo a year earlier. Then it was a tandem story — two outrageously talented, outrageously young rookies setting the baseball world ablaze. Then we started checking the history books. How many past rookie classes compared to the one we were watching?
It's time to recalibrate, again. For this year, at least, Mike Trout has blown by Bryce Harper. He is in the midst of one of the greatest rookie seasons of all time. He's doing things virtually no one his age has done before. He might already be the best player in the game. And if he keeps up this pace, we might soon be able to say this: On a per-game basis, he's putting up one of the greatest performances by any player, of any age, ever.
NEW TOLEDO, OHIO TERRITORY, NEW EARTH, April 28, 3012 — All the dignitaries were there to witness Two Saints Day. Robothal v297.0 recorded all the pageantry with its trademark bleeps and bloops. Giving the keynote speech was Ted Williams's Unfrozen Head, Emperor of New Earth.
"We are here today to celebrate the birth of the Golden Age of Man," said Ted Williams's Unfrozen Head. "On this blessed day, 1,000 years ago, the Chosen Ones first toiled at their craft together. And lo, doth the world remain in their debt, then and forever more."
It was a blessed event, a celebration of the day Mike Trout and Bryce Harper made their debuts as full-time players together in Major League Baseball. The Chosen Ones both won Rookie of the Year honors that season. More than that, they unleashed a worldwide revolution, one that would bring peace, harmony, and prosperity to the planet until the end of time.
Standing on the podium, beaming with pride, was Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig. Looking spry at the tender age of 1,077, the Commissioner reveled in the glory his game had brought to the world. Addressing the throng, he extolled the virtues of Saint Michael and Saint Bryce, and the everlasting joy that emanated from their holy spirits. Thanks to the Saviors, Bud Selig had earned the undying admiration of all living creatures. No one, anywhere, had a better job. And he knew it.
"Next year," the Commissioner said with a wink, "I might even retire."