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34 is the ninth distinct semiprime and has four divisors including unity and itself. Its neighbors, 33 and 35 also are distinct semiprimes having four divisors each, and 34 is the smallest number to be surrounded by numbers with the same number of divisors as it has. It is also in the first cluster of three distinct semiprimes, being within; 33,34,35, the next such cluster of semiprimes is; 85,86,87.

Possibly interesting to someone but so what?

Walter Peyton wore #34 when he played for the Chicago Bears. Paul Pierce, who was drafted by Chris Wallace when he was in Boston, wears #34 as well.

But what is it about this number that gets it mentioned on a Grizzlies fan blog?

34 is the magic constant of a 4 by 4 normal magic square(if you don’t know what a magic square is read Dan Brown’s book The Lost Symbol):

Is there a mystery involved? Why am I giving you so many random facts about the number 34?

34 is also the number of points Hasheem Thabeet has scored for the Grizzlies this season.

That’s all. Not 34 points in one game. Not 34 points in a week or even 34 points in a month. Thabeet has scored 34 points in almost halfa season! We’re talking about the second pick in the draft. The highest pick the Grizzlies have ever gotten in Memphis. The highest pick the franchise has ever gotten in it’s entire history!

James Harden, the 3rd pick in the same draft, scored12 points at Boston and 23 points at Milwaukee. That’s 35 points in two games on the road! Hardin scored 21 points against Denver and 18 points against Dallas over three days. 39 points in 3 days. Thabeet hasn’t scored that many yet.

Thabeet season high is 8 points. His second best game this season was 4 points. The man is 7-3 for goodness sake. He should accidently be able to throw a ball in a basket five times in one game. Thabeet has scored in double figures exactly three times in his entire career.

It gets worse too. Harden is afriendly comparison. Tyreke Evans scored 34 points in a single game last season. He was the 4th pick in the draft that season. Brandon Jennings, the 10th pick in that draft, had 29 points in a single quarter last season and scored 55 points in a single game!

It’s not all bad news. Thabeet has outscored Ricky Rubio, another player the Grizzlies seriously considered before the draft, by 34 points no less. Of course, Rubio has never played in the NBA so that is a bit misleading.

How could this have happened? How did the Grizzlies make such a huge mistake?

Thabeet has worked hard according to the Grizzlies staff. He spent more time working with the coaches than any other player over the summer. He visited Hakeem Olajuwan (who wore number 34 as a player) to get tips on how to improve his game. Despite all the work and training Thabeet hasn’t improved. In many ways he has regressed. Instead of allowing the Grizzlies to rest Marc Gasol more during games Marc has had to play through a class 2 high ankle sprain to help salvage the Grizzlies season. Thabeet was supposed to be the defensive presence the team needed so badly. Instead he is a walking personal foul. Thabeet has more fouls (49) than points (34) and blocks (12) combined this season!

I have heard the excuses about Thabeet not getting enough playing time needed to developand they are true to a point. Thabeet has only played 255 minutes this season. It’s justhard to put a player like Thabeet in the game when hehas posted a -199 +/- rating over that timespan. That means the Grizzlies losealmost a point per minute to the opposition when Thabeet is on the court. Not only is he not contributing, he is dramatically hurting the team by beingin the game.

And it’s just a coincidence but 34 is also the code for international direct-dial phone calls to Spainwhere Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio call home.

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