When not much is just enough

About the pro teams: the Saints belong more to the NFL than the city of New Orleans; that's how things go when each and every franchise in your league, and the entire league itself, is a monstrously viable business commodity. The Hornets, though, could easily not play this coming season. They mean nothing to the competitive make-up of the Association, garner little or interest from anyone outside of NOLA (if there, even), can't boast anything in the way of star power, and are inconclusively dismal enough to not even register as a Hawks-like punchline.

Hornets basketball isn't inextricably tied to local identity (see this weekend's post on college football), but also isn't such pure sport that it's easily transferred to other cities and a national fanbase (Saints). In fact, the Hornets are just meaninglessness enough—as both a team and a symbol—that they might be the best possible option for "healing through sports." Who will have them but their own? At the same time, who from NOLA would have them if the Hornets didn't earn it? Still just basketball, low on drama and probably pretty shoddy, at that. But basketball with an unmistakable sense of purpose, a little bit of normal life that's both celebratory and utterly mundane.

I'm usually not into this character crap when it comes to scouting, but in this case, you've got to think that drafting Chris Paul was a more valuable choice than they could've ever known at the time.


At 9/06/2005 7:22 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

chris paul may be a great guy off the court, but he is dirty as hell on it. remember when he punched jules in the jewels?

i'm not sure i really understand your point about the hornets, but they've only been in NOLA for like four years or something, right? as a relatively recent expansion team that has already moved once, aren't the hornets the most likely team to be easily transferred to another city?

j.r. smith will have a better career than josh smith. or joe smith, for that matter.

At 9/06/2005 8:35 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

that's exactly. no one gives a fuck about them, there or elsewhere. but people might be incline to because they need something to get behind, cheer for, be excited about, etc. and with the hornets, there's not so much else at stake or the risk of them serving as a distractiton.

that team's so terrible, it might give them a reason to live (team, not people), in new orleans or elsewhere.

chris paul is a basketball ambassador. i kind of like the fact that he's dirty, makes him less naive.

At 9/06/2005 8:43 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

and i know that there are lots of cities that would like a nba team, but THAT team? and do they really want to take them away from a grieving city when they can't claim business inevitability, as they would with the saints?

i guess i'm being a fairly stupid about this idea.

and i wasn't saying that sports shouldn't be a distraction, just that they shouldn't lull you into thinking that things are all good (can't beleive i just typed that), or actually like they were before, before it's right to do so. THE HORNETS ARE A WALKING BASKETBALL CRISIS!!!

At 9/06/2005 9:55 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm a flip it like this: say you're giving toys to kids staying in a shelter. you don't hit them off with the ps2, since they couldn't wholly make use of it (no space for it to light up, what screen?,), it tacitly mocks them, and there's no room for them to find real value in it (since they'll be stuck on how lacking their capacity to fully use it is). you give them something they can use, right now, on their terms. that second toy, my friends, is the new orleans hornets

and while i swear this hasn't transformed over the weekend into a political blog, peep the latest bush family gem:


(that was mostly to take the heat off of me, for a comment that could have been construed as demeaning to victims/poor people)

actualy, i'm sure a ps2 station would be a great thing to have in one of the shelters, but it's not something you'd give a single kid as his very own possession. not enough there to work with.

At 9/06/2005 11:48 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i think i get your point now. i read somewhere that p.j. brown might be missing.

that barbara bush link was insane. she really might be evil.

At 9/06/2005 2:22 PM, Anonymous illwafer said...

i live in san diego, and there's a rumor that the hornets might play the upcoming season here. yes, it is probably the shittiest nba team, but i am excited nonetheless. it would also mean that i wouldn't have to pay a crazy amount to have a decent seat to see the twolves play (read STAPLES CENTER).

i would definitely catch my share of games if the team came to san diego, regardless of how terrible they are.

At 9/06/2005 3:00 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

j.r. is a better all-around player than josh smith, and that around the shoulders dunk he very nearly pulled off would have been ten times as impressive as anything josh that night.

josh is kind of like the ben wallace of swingmen. or a much better gerald wallace.

At 9/06/2005 6:58 PM, Blogger elandfried said...

Off subject...has anyone liked anything the Sports Guy has written lately? His Katrina article was dispicable...his distribe on the fucking WNBA was stupid and he's spending half his time posting comments from readers who are just praising him relentlessly. When he told everyone he was coming out with a book a while back, I was intrigued. And now it's out...and it's just a collection of internet columns on the Red Sox? I'm a Red Sox fan and even I don't want to read that book.

I really just don't even know what to think about him anymore...I knew the day would come when he became so redundant and self-referential that I would no longer want to read his columns - it's not like it's a surprise. But you never fully prepare yourself for these things, y'know? I'd like to see one of you write an intelligent article on Simmons...not sure if it's possible since he's so ubiquitous and I think we all feel the same way about him, but I'd like to see someone try.

At 9/06/2005 7:34 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

we've had conversations about simmons behind the scenes, and i think we are pretty much in agreement. after the patriots--WHO I LOVE--won the last superbowl, i started to feel him getting a bit cocky, a bit too newengland-centric, and as some freedarko members have called it, too "fratboy." too many little quirks of his are getting on my nerves.

an example of the little things that annoys me is how far he goes out of his way to slam peyton manning, who is my LEAST favorite nfl player; but even simmons takes it too far.

then theres the fact that his intern ganked our topless peja photo and never gave us credit for it.

bah...dont get me wrong, i still check him daily...

At 9/06/2005 10:13 PM, Anonymous aug said...

Ya, a friend and I have been sadly watching the SG decline over the past few years. A big problem is that he knows nothing at all about baseball except for redsox players. His basketball articles are for the most part alright, when it's not just a ton of celtics crap(like with all the boston sports). I long for the days where I eagerly awaited his new column. Now, i just check it when i get the chance. His wnba rant, while a bit much, was pretty on the money on most points though.

At 9/06/2005 10:20 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

actually...i think that's a big part of it. i do love his b-ball articles, and it HAS been hoops offseason for a while. the anchorman joint was pretty entertaining...ONE MONTH TILL NBA PRESEASON. FREE BRUNO SUNDOV.

At 9/06/2005 10:42 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i don't know what to make of him anymore. he's gone from everything i aspired to be, writing on sports-wise, to an establishment hack who fouls up my turf and is all the more dangerous for occasionally getting it right.

when he's on, there's no denying him, no matter how much you want to. and when his columns drag, it's like getting a window into an especially clever version of the sports fans i would never talk to (the obsessed, humor-driven ones that are stupid).

he is seriously 2000% better when he writes on the nba. his basketball sensibility is just far less corny than his touch with baseball or football. i think it all goes back to the majesty of the sport--such a sport of style, that it can make a stylish, honest man out of a mediocre columnist.

if a man can find 3000 words to say about the clippers, chances are he's going to end up flashing some brilliance. you just can't fall back on the usual, boring, sports love shit. what the fuck goes into that column if not pure invention!?!?!?!

At 9/06/2005 10:48 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

that's totally it. i used to love simmons because i thought he represented someone who saw the Association like I did, and wrote well about it with this in mind. now it's all so clear to me-it's not simmons, it's basketball itself. anyone who's a halfway decent writer and thinker could pull off something similar if they actually pay attention to the sport, since it lends itself so well to a certain kind of humor and observation.

At 9/06/2005 11:18 PM, Anonymous aug said...

I hope he still does the Clippers blog. That was very entertaining. I like the details I can't get anywhere else, like the player sending his number to a girl in the stands through a ball boy and spreewell moments. Running diaries, while not the best writing or very insightful, still provide some good laughs which is sadly, all I've gotten from him lately. Hopefully he won't be too distracted by the Red Sox Post/Offseason and the Patriots to write decent NBA articles.

Also, the old intern was better.

At 9/07/2005 9:48 AM, Blogger emynd said...

Bethlehem Shoals' ardent love for the game is beautiful. It's clear that NBA has replaced poetry for ol' Shoalsy. I hope some of you people knew this guy 5 or 6 years ago and can see the transition. You need to come to Yardley and visit your 'rents, homie. Your brother is a good dude, but we need to run some ball and listen to some Fellowship and Dipset, playa!


At 9/07/2005 12:03 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

this is something thc and i talked about a while back when we first re-connected. . .there's a lot of us who were into sports growing up, took a break to get pretentious, and then came with back with a reckless fusion of the two.

and i think it should be clear that basketball now contains for me all sorts of elements of style, politics, and culture that it couldn't possibly have when i was younger (not like hip-hop ever left, anyway). if you want, you can say that i never left when i went in a whole 'nother directio, or that my view of sports is now so fractured that i never really came back.

that yardley visit is actually in the works. .i'll keep you posted. but i have to say, if any of you ever saw the masters hoop it up, you'd be vastly disappointed. i can't speak for thc or the recluse, but the rest of play like you resurrected one of the old jewish ymca teams, trained them with gypsies, and then asked them to save fiji from the planters.

i am varajeo.

At 9/07/2005 12:23 PM, Anonymous illwafer said...

bill simmons game is off because it is summer and the tvbshows are reruns - except for Real World, which he must not be watching this year. he had to force himself to use stuff like the anchorman.

he's on top of his game when he's writing about TV.

At 9/07/2005 1:30 PM, Blogger emynd said...

"There's a lot of us who were into sports growing up, took a break to get pretentious, and then came with back with a reckless fusion of the two."

So real.

But, let's face it, the "political unconscious" is embedded in everything. The ideology of the system has infiltrated every social interaction and institution. Paying special attention to it in sports is just one of the more fun (and somewhat un-examined) places to find it.


At 9/07/2005 1:51 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

"There's a lot of us who were into sports growing up, took a break to get pretentious, and then came with back with a reckless fusion of the two."

can i THIRD that?

emynd, are you jamie laurie's boy? this might be a more incestuous interweb than i initially thought. neither the time nor the place, but please step off:

a) my 90 minute tape of insomniac, murs, and jihad from third sight freestyling on the radio

b) the kwest tha madd ladd freestyle battle marathon tape

c) the sacred hoop brougham demo

i feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

At 9/07/2005 2:46 PM, Blogger emynd said...


I am indeed Jamie's boy (I'm everyone's friend, nh) but I have no idea what you're talking about with regard to those tapes.


At 9/07/2005 2:50 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

it wasnt anything specific...just spontaneously revisiting the music of my post-initial-sports phase/getting pretentious-phase

At 9/07/2005 3:18 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

insomniac and megabusive. . .they were my tape trade snob aces-in-the-hole. everyone knew bus driver, they just hated him. but those two, i could be like "what? you've never heard him" or, alternately, lay awake late at night thinking about how special i was for jocking them.

At 9/07/2005 4:30 PM, Blogger emynd said...

Except insomniac was wack and megabusive was amazing. God he had such a terrible ear for beats though. T'was really the death of him, methinks. Well, that and his extreme laziness. Log Cabin dubs was always my ace-in-the-hole. You can get all that shit online now, though.


At 9/07/2005 4:50 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i'm sure i'm going to ruffle someone's feathers here (like i did when i told thc that i was largely responsible for getting "slug is my hero" out, and he shot back that he'd made the tape in the first place), but i think i had a lot to do with making that log cabin shit worldwide. i dubbed that for nearly everyone i traded with (including plenty of heavy hitters) during my time in tha game, and almost everyone who had that shit on their list had the exact same tape i did. and mine originally came from pedestrian, who put it together from his massive archives.

and now i don't have any of the log cabin classics. i downloaded a few tracks off of limewire, but a couple of them cut off in the middle.

log cabin was my tape trade bread and butter, and i probably listened to those songs over a million times each. so while they may have been new to most, to me they became a fouding pillar of hip-hop history, up there with the fellowship, and i just couldn't fathom that they were so, so far from that for most people. insomniac and megabusive, though, practically screamed obscurity.

At 9/07/2005 4:50 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/07/2005 4:53 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

let me clear that up: my tape was made special for me by pedestrian.

there e, are you happy now? my secret is out.

At 9/07/2005 4:55 PM, Anonymous aug said...

Did anyone watch simmons embarrass himself on jim rome? Jim Rome didn't know what to do with him. It feels worse because his stance on things actually made me like jim rome and that alone is enough to make me want to repent.

At 9/07/2005 5:01 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i skipped jim rome to go play a with a stray cat in my yard. what happened?

if i ever heard simmons speak, i'm sure i would kill him once and for all.

At 9/07/2005 5:42 PM, Anonymous aug said...

I'm with you. I've been trying not to hear him speak ever after hearing my friend tell me how awful it was and I didn't want to ruin my picture of him. His accent wasn't as annoying as my friend said, but he still doesn't have a very good voice, isn't very relaxed, and seems to just quickly respond with a bad emotional reaction to everything. Roger Lodge and Jim Rome made him look foolish with their thought out responses and being articulate.

They were talking about Lance Armstrong coming back and Bill just went on a rant about how cycling is stupid and we should stop talking about it because no one cares and talk about Felix Hernandez more. Rome and Lodge tried to diffuse the situation by playing the human interest story angle but Simmons shot it down by saying something along the lines of
"If someone had cancer and came back to be the champion of connect 4, would we all start caring about connect 4."
He made a couple other comments about it and Lodge and Rome had their own Mike Meyers face on and quickly changed the subject.

Bill embarrassed himself on all the topics though. I wish I didn't see that.

At 9/07/2005 5:47 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i think i'd convinced myself at some point that josh what's his name for si, who used to be on ath, was simmons

At 9/07/2005 6:35 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

As long as we're getting tremendously off topic here, let me ask why the hell does everyone shit on freddy mitchell so hard (AS A PLAYER). isnt this the guy who is responsible for the two biggest plays of donovan mcnabb's career? (4th & 26 vs Green Bay and the crazy scramble on MNF). And isnt Fred Ex at least better than Pinkston? I think the media killed this guy because they didnt like to see him hamming it up. Bullshit.

At 9/08/2005 9:02 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

the media seems to believe you can only run your mouth when you've really earned the right. ali, barkley, t.o.--all were arguably the greatest at their class/position at their peak. you certainly can't say that for mitchell. this is really nothing compared to how the media silenced/ignored craig hodges or mahmoud abdul raouf, who actually had some interesting shit to say.

seeing the sports guy on tv would be the final nail in the coffin for me. his NOLA column was akin to bush's talking about all the good times he used to have there when he visited. it's enough to make me embarrassed to be (half) white.

in conclusion, i kinda like jim rome, but have never really felt megabusive. log cabin is all right, more interesting than actually good.

At 9/08/2005 9:13 AM, Blogger emynd said...

Only on freedarko is this sentence relevant:

"i kinda like jim rome, but have never really felt megabusive."


At 9/08/2005 11:05 AM, Anonymous aug said...

Freddie Mitchell is a below average receiver. People had high hopes for him when he was drafted in the first round but never panned out. He's not a very good route runner, doesn't have breakaway speed or big playmaking abilities. He will forever be a #3 or 4 receiever. Pinkston is better than him. Taller, faster, and a better deep threat. Pinkston is a good #3 receiver and it's a big loss for the eagles that he's out. Mitchell is garbage. The media was right to kill him, with the career he has had and will have.

At 9/08/2005 11:20 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

emynd--that was intentional.

At 9/08/2005 11:35 AM, Blogger emynd said...

BRE, well it was still funny.



At 9/08/2005 8:49 PM, Anonymous paul said...

holy fucking shit you guys are into some awful music.

At 9/08/2005 9:23 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i think it's all mostly a big inside joke at this point

At 9/09/2005 8:43 AM, Blogger emynd said...

Yeah, I think we've all graduated into the realm of Freeway jocking.


At 9/09/2005 10:52 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

unless you're saying that Allen Toussaint and Big Star are lousy. . .if so, whatever, you and I are just from different planets

At 9/11/2005 11:32 PM, Anonymous Jimmy Jefferson said...

The best thing Simmons has ever done was mentioned AC Green in reference to the movie 40 year old Virgin


Post a Comment

<< Home