Brian Cardinal: On Being Effective

Jess Matthew BeltranCorrespondent IIOctober 13, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 28: Brian Cardinal #14 of the Minnesota Timberwolves pulls down a rebound against the New Jersey Nets at the Target Center on October 28, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Nets 95-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Genevieve Ross/Getty Images)
Genevieve Ross/Getty Images

He looks like an accountant with a receding hairline; you wouldn’t even choose him on a 3-on-3 game. Still at age 33 but looks 20 years older, Brian Cardinal always get to be judge first, long before he gets his feet in the hard court.

But he never thinks about what others say or what he can’t do at 6 foot 8 and playing as a power forward he doesn’t have the quickest feet or an athletic body and he seems to be undersized compared to other forwards but he plays good defense and find ways to always be involved in the offense. He cuts to the basket and finds open spots to nail those long shots. He was always a factor when he was in the court squeezing everything on his measly minutes.

Longevity seems to be the question of young NBA players nowadays but what kept Brian last for about 10 years in the league are the intangibles like setting screens, taking charges, diving for loose balls or just tapping a teammate’s back. Something not everybody likes to do but he finds ways to be effective.

Trying to earn a final roster spot for the Dallas Mavericks, Brian will have a chance to be on a championship contender team for the first time on his career and a chance to show his wares on a bigger stage having been through bad teams with only 7 playoff appearances. Rick Carlisle can surely use a blue collared player like Cardinal someone who doesn’t complain about minutes but plays hard nose defense and can shoot from the outside. He sure has the edge among Steve Novak, Dee Brown and Adam Haluska. No, he doesn’t match their athleticism but he definitely knows what he has to do to get that spot.

Brian never doubted himself he has been on that road before being judge and criticized long before he steps in the court. But each doubting Thomas and each criticism Brian always proved them wrong.

Maybe that’s one way of being effective.