Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dunk Contests are Bourgeois

Hey, it's Election Day. And I listen to non-hip-hop music once in a while:
The Replacements- "Election Day"

I'll start this with an update on the NOOCH who, after pacing the Warriors, are 1/20.5 closer to a perfect season, which is pretty much my goal now. Led by C. Emmanuel Paul's 22 points, 11 assists, and 6 boards, we can officially be labeled as feisty. The subplot of this win and Monday's victory over the Rockets on the road was Tyson Chandler's formidable rebounding. Right now I miss P.J. Brown about as much as I miss Horatio Sanz on "SNL." There was even a great interview tonight in which TANBR's patron saint Jordy Hultberg interviewed his Oklahoma counterpart and really condescended to him. The only damper on tonight's game was that the Hornets were wearing their Oklahoma City unis, which is troubling.

When one types "Chris" and "Paul" into any search engine, half the photos are of a certain 6' demi-god, half are of guys sitting around in Scorpions t-shirts. I'm guessing the guy in the middle's name is Marv.

Speaking of the Warriors, they beat the Mavericks and, by the very grace of God, I didn't have to endure news updates about how Don Nelson had figured out his old team, had remembered their plays or something. Is there a sports story more tired than "Man, I guess Don Nelson knew their whole game plan and used it to his advantage"? That's such an inadequate understanding of what a coach does. Avery Johnson wouldn't have been Coach of the Year if he hadn't implemented a different system altogether. Even if Nellie had the current Mavs playbook, he wouldn't have a much better chance at beating them than he would have watching lots of game tapes, which is undoubtedly the approach he took. If the Warriors had lost, would Don Nelson had been accused of "forgetting the Mavericks' gameplan"? As if he didn't already know what their gameplan was, the way they would try to execute. I mean, NBA schemes are a little more complex than Avery Johnson holding up a "four" on one hand and a "one" on the other for a play to Werewolf at Sunset. (When I was eleven, I played for a playground team that actually used this system. By the second quarter, all of our passes were being stolen. One game I called the coach an idiot to his face. Good times.)

"One-two-three-four, I win the thumb war."
"You smell like gin and Mondo Fruit Drink."

LeBron, thy name is inconsistency. By "LeBron," I mean the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have dropped two consecutive games to NBA juggernauts Atlanta and Charlotte. Here's what it comes down to: LeBron is not ready to take this team to the next level. He's taken two steps backward for every step forward. In two nights, he presented two portraits of his inconsistency: a) being embarrassed by the defensive prowess of Adam "Wanna see my van?" Morrison to the tune of 3-13 shooting, b) scoring 34 in an overtime loss. These teams are playing him like a keytar, and everyone knows his numbers don't matter if the Cavs can't win. A great player would have found a way to win at least one of those games. Morrison's defense is kind of like me playing a Playstation game with no turbo or block buttons, and you're telling me he was able to shut down a potential MVP? I love Bron Bron like a son, but you know adjustments have to be made when you can't beat a Marvin Williams-less Hawks team. Either they need to get the ball to Ilgauskus on the low block more, or LeBron should think twice about flashing his "O face" every time he makes a big play.

Since this site will probably never have another anti-King James paragraph, I'll just pile it on. He's a Yankees fan? I'm burning the part of my computer with this photograph.

Speaking of inconsistency, the Bulls have a different look every night. Three of their four games have been decided by fifteen or more points, which isn't what you want in a champion. A lot of people's knock on them was that they don't have the experience to win close games, but they've proven that a moot point thus far. They won yesterday behind Ben Gordon's 37--I mean, Nocioni's 17 points.

What's up with the Jazz of all teams? They beat the Pistons with balanced frontcourt play, Matt Harpring is pacing it off the bench, and to top it all off, their mascot Bear won the totally official title of Mascot of the Year:

Not only is Orrin Hatch (R- Utah) taking time out of his schedule to present fucking Bear with Mascot of the Year--two days before Election Day no less--but Bear looks pissed off about the whole thing. Is there something about Crunch the Timberwolf's tax breaks I should know about?

Before I go to bed, I have to mention that today is the fifteenth anniversary of Magic Johnson's retirement from basketball, specifically the press conference where he declared that he had been diagnosed with HIV.

When I first heard about it, I was waiting in the car with my dad while my mom was returning Tupperware in the house of a friend of theirs. I didn't understand why he would retire when his game was still at that level, and my Dad wouldn't explain it. His anwer was: "Everybody has to retire sometime. That's just how it goes. Before you know it, Larry Bird will retire. Even Jordan will." I started to cry. Not only did he pass up an important opportunity to address a sexual issue with me, he brought up something about Bird I didn't want to face. Thanks, Dad.

Here's my point: Magic was one of the best players of all-time, and no matter what he does now to undo those memories--suiting up for these all-star competitions, hosting "The Magic Hour," looking like a turtle--he has a greater significance. Because of what Magic went through, his decision to not fade away, so many more people end up having that conversation with their dads. In addition to building up inner-city businesses or any other kinds of civic contributions, that's probably his greatest legacy. Even as a Celtics fan, I can't deny that I respect the man greatly.

Put your lighters up:

Okay, end of serious moment. Here's something to think about as I go to bed: In 1988, this is probably the only scenario you could draw up for which A.C. Green would be getting laid more than Magic Johnson. "Wait, what if...A.C. Green got married, and Magic got some kind of horrible, life-threatening disease that meant he couldn't have sex anymore? Naw, that could never happen." Interesting bookend? My dad brought me to an abstinence seminar four years after the Magic retirement featuring a special video message from one A.C. Green. Thanks, Dad.

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