There are two versions of Charlie Villanueva. The first is a joyful guy, loved by his teammates and positive force in the community. The other is version is an attempt at a professional basketball player, one who played so poorly he will almost surely be out of the NBA next season.
The first guy is the kind of human being we should all strive to be. He's probably the most well known person with alopecia, a skin condition that can result in total hair loss and almost always affects people under 20. While on the road, he always meets with young fans affected by the disease and uses social media to spread positive messages against bullying and generally reminding people to be good to one another.
What is Alopecia? pic.twitter.com/pHpkSCtDsc— Charlie Villanueva (@CVBelieve) March 8, 2016
His friends and coworkers clearly love him too.
The problem this season was with the second guy, Charlie Villanueva the basketball player. There's no way around it, so I'll be blunt: he was awful and awful to the point that he probably should've been cut from the team. Charlie made the team last year after a strong training camp paired with a preseason where he caught fire from deep. He finished last year having hit nearly 38 percent of his attempts from downtown. There were more than a few games in 2014-15 where Villanueva was the needed spark.
This year, he had no such luck, connecting on just 27 percent of his looks from beyond the arc while somehow managing to post the second highest usage rate on the team behind Dirk Nowitzki. So he shot the ball horribly while using up over 1 in 4 possessions he was on the court. That doesn't even begin to address his defense, which was far and away the worst on the team. Charlie was never known as a defensive player, but with two years in the system he never knew where he needed to be on first rotations, let alone situations which called for helping the helper. He hung the entire defense out to dry time and again by managing to be in the wrong place nearly every possession.
At least he was involved in the weirdest (at that time) story of the post season:
Charlie Villanueva tried to get in the way of Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne's pregame routine: pic.twitter.com/7zhvasINPP— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 19, 2016
So his only actual defense this year came before the game. Whatever works, I guess.
Charlie Villanueva is an unrestricted free agent.
It's safe to assume that Mr. Villlanueva will not be back for a third season. As much as Rick Carlisle loves his veterans, the power forward rotation of Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Powell, and Charlie Villanueva is enough to make a person scream at the television. The Mavericks may very well go small next season and it's important that the Mavericks find multi-skilled players who can do more than just fire away from three.
Charlie's last meaningful moment as a NBA player might have been getting ethered by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
Russ & KD ethered Charlie Villanueva pic.twitter.com/xVsQqKS7pe— The Cauldron (ICYMI) (@CauldronICYMI) April 26, 2016
And that's probably okay with him. Despite playing 11 years in the league, he only made the playoffs twice, each time with the Mavericks. Eleven years as a professional basketball player is nothing to scoff at.
Though I doubt any of us fans will miss Charlie Villanueva the basketball player, I will miss Charlie Villanueva, good human being. Thank you for your time in Dallas, Charlie, and good luck in any future endeavors.