User Interview: Efunk

Q&A with noted SimLeague Basketball user Efunk

We recently met with SimLeague Basketball standout, Kfunk, to discuss allocating minutes, drafting, double teams, Eric Montross, ODL, David Stern, press defense, Ohio State football and M.L. Carr.

WIS

Who is Kfunk?

Kfunk

I am a 27 year old with the responsibilities of someone at least years older. I am a father (Editors Note: of a two-year old in attendance for the interview), a husband (Editor's note: of a lovely, patient wife who also swung by WIS HQ while Kfunk did this interview), a pastor and a WIS addict.

WIS

How did you learn about WhatIfSports.com?

Kfunk

Probably like a lot of users found it - Bill Simmons. I was in college in '02 and saw him mention it in an article on ESPN.com.

WIS

Which of our games have you played? And which do you prefer?

Kfunk

I have played everything but Clutch and Hardball. NBA is still my favorite. Having played and coached it, basketball is the sport I am most familiar with. I always followed the NBA growing up. And when I coached a few years ago, I was a scout for a high school varsity team and an assistant for a freshman basketball team. I am actually one of the few undefeated coaches in the sport's history. I went 1-0 when the head coach could not attend a game.

WIS

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Kfunk

Family, then work. I really enjoy my work because I mostly get to set my own schedule and I get to meet a lot of different people. I see mankind in its greatest of joys and in its tragedies. I also do a lot of reading, but I guess that goes along pretty well with my work as well.

WIS

Who are some of your favorite coaches, players and teams of all-time?

Kfunk

The Boston Celtics. I loved Larry Bird and... Eric Montross. Montross was a post player like me and I respected his game in college. Not many people may have really liked him, but he had a great rookie season (10 points and 7 boards I believe) and I think he could have been much better had the Celtics put some better players around him. I also love watching Tim Duncan. He is so sound and has such great fundamentals. Ohio State football is another passion. I grew up in central Ohio, not far from Columbus.

WIS

Did you play much basketball (or other sports) growing up?

Kfunk

I only played basketball. My dad coached baseball, football and basketball. I never really got into baseball and my dad did not want us to play football until at least 8th grade. Of course, I saw all my friends in 7th grade coming home with bruises all over their bodies and I decided to stick to basketball.

WIS

Which five people, past or present, sit at your dream roundtable?

Kfunk

I will make this pretty simple - Red Auerbach and Bill Russell will meet with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to teach them how to play together and win.

WIS

What players did you admire most growing up?

Kfunk

Well, I started watching basketball at the worst possible point. It was the end of the Bird era in Boston and the start of the Pistons first run so there was not much to cheer about. I root for Celtics and the Cavs, but the Cavs were not even that good then with Mark Price and (Brad) Daugherty gone. So there was no individual player that I really pulled for. Now, I love Lebron. And, I really like Dwyane Wade too.

WIS

What is your favorite sports moment?

Kfunk

The 2002 National Championship game with Ohio State and Miami. I watched it at my parents with a lot of our family friends. Not everyone was a big OSU fan, but we all got really into it and it was fun to experience that with family. The best live event I have been to was the OSU vs. Texas game in Columbus. We got to go with a bunch of my dad's high school friends, so just hearing their old stories was a blast. But that was the best atmosphere for any even that I have ever seen. The final result was not great, but it was a great game.

WIS

What is your favorite WIS moment?

Kfunk

Either winning one of the ODLs (Original Draft League) or winning a Best of WIS tournament. I am probably equally proud of both.

WIS

As a fan of basketball, what are your thoughts on the current state of the game?

Kfunk

It is a whole lot better now than it was when I started watching, though it may have been even better with the number one pick healthy. I wish more people would appreciate teams like the Spurs who play real basketball, but do not have to score 130 points every game. I really wonder what, if anything, will come of the referee situations with Donaghy and others. David Stern rules with an iron fist, so I am sure he will take care of it.

WIS

What is the top sports related thing you want to do in life that you have not yet done?

Kfunk

Go to an NFL game. That may not sound like an all-time goal for someone, but I have never been and would love to go to any game some day.

WIS

With SimLeague basketball, what is your general strategy for building teams?

Kfunk

Find the team's focus and stick to it. Whether that is rebounding, or scoring, or low turnovers or something else does not matter as much as maintaining that focus. My most successful teams stay consistent.

WIS

What is the most important thing to keep in mind while drafting?

Kfunk

That consistency. And remember that you are not actually drafting those players; you get his stats. I love to put Eric Montross on my teams, if even at 239k, but that may not be the smartest thing to do.

WIS

Are there any players in specific that you feel consistently under or overachieve?

Kfunk

I have only had Bob McAdoo do well for me once. And, Barkley seems to do everything pretty well. He has a lot of different types of seasons so you can always find one to fit a team.

WIS

How do you go about setting your depth chart and allocating minutes?

Kfunk

Very carefully. I max out the guys I paid the most for. And, since I have been playing around with foul settings I have had more success getting the minutes I want out of guys with an aggressive setting. If you are going to do that though, watch fouls. You don't want a bunch of 4+ fouls per game guys just playing the first 15 minutes of a game.

WIS

Do your game plans for offense and defense differ based on the team you have? What do you normally do with these settings?

Kfunk

At this point, I like to change up my teams and gameplans to keep things interesting. In general though, I like to press to create turnovers. Slow-down/press used to be my thing to limit my turnovers and create more, but I am not sure that works as well now.

WIS

How much emphasis do you put on scouting future opponents and double-teaming?

Kfunk

Not much at all. I concentrate on building the best team and then I generally trust the team I have. I may look at other teams occasionally, but so many teams have 3-4 18-22 point-a-game scorers that double-teaming does not make much sense.

WIS

Do you make transactions (call-ups/demotions, waiver wire, etc.) during the season? Why or why not?

Kfunk

Rarely. I only call a guy up if a have really highly rated rookie or a couple of my scrubs get stuck in some early overtime games. I avoid the waiver wire if possible - won't touch it.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of SimLeague basketball?

Kfunk

There is a good dedicated group of owners who I really enjoy and respect. And, though I said that about getting a player's stats, it is fun to imagine these guys on the court together - the real "what ifs." What if Montross...? And, SimLeague Basketball does not take the micromanaging of HD and GD. That's why I had to get out of HD, recruiting was too much.

WIS

What is your least favorite aspect of SimLeague basketball?

Kfunk

The decline in interest lately. I love most of the owners we have, but there are not enough. I would love to get to know even more people who enjoy this game.

WIS

If you were in one of our games, which sport would you play? At which position? And, how much would you be worth?

Kfunk

I would be in the NBA Sim as a 239k player. I would have no scoring, a little rebounding and a high cheer-and-towel-waving rating. I would be like M.L. Carr, Mark Madsen or Jack Haley.

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