So Much Hatred
One NBA trimester, one NFL Regular season, and a Jim McMahon SportsCentury later, and I finally realize why football has surpassed our beloved hoops as the nation's pearl. The topic of discussion is a tired one, one that has been thoroughly debated on our very own website, so I will keep it brief and vague: The NFL consistently rewards and pleases its fans; when something goes wrong in the NBA the fans more often than not pay the price. On to the "fuck yous"
Fuck Ron Artest (fingers crossed he comes to Minnesota). You beat the crap out of someone, Stern gets all massa and suspends you, Indiana residents suffer through a painful season that is also Reggie's last, then you say some stupid shit, JO says some even stupider shit about not wanting you back, and due to JO's pride + Artest's crazy, Indiana fans suffer yet again.
Fuck Damon Jones. Maybe I've said this before, but this guy is the Freddie Mitchell of the NBA. Schtick is tired.
Fuck Pat Riley. While Stan Van Gundy's bloated corpse floats somewhere off the shore of Key Biscayne, Riley gives himself a contract extension...and the Heat remain an aesthetic mess. Also, fuck anyone who thinks Alonzo Mourning deserves an award for anything or is some sort of national hero. He completely screwed over the team (NJ) that stuck with him through the toughest of times, refused to play for Toronto, and then goes after a Drexler ring. Oh, also, The Heat will play the Spurs in the finals, and the Spurs will win. Flip Saunders will be exposed as a great regular season coach only. The NBA will be exposed as a sliver of its former self. And I will be bored senseless. "Thank you very little."
Quick to criticize, I will be quick to praise...Jason Williams, believe it or not, may be more responsible for the Heat turnaround than Shaq or Riley. He is seriously bringing it all together and best of all keeping quiet about. Consistency, knows his role, has been making up for Damon Jones' 3-point-shooting, keeping Riley looking like a genius for that megateam-disaster trade (while Toine and Posey keep wasting space). Two other white people that should be given more credit than they're getting: Chris Simms & David Lee. Isiah Lord is a DRAFTING GENIUS.
Switching gears to STYLE, thanks to my man Cam for pointing me to Dr. Romanelli. Not really sure what to make of all of it, but I was intrigued by these two videos of Usher sporting the gear--a Hawks version as well as this Cavs jacket (which Urshr wears while sideline-fiving LeBron):
Like I said, I'm not completely sure what to make of the design, but what I can tell you is that it recalls the style popular during my reign as a Minnesota Timberwolves employee, the height of the Jordan era, the Nike Air era, and the point at which I believe--Clyde Frazier & those ridiculous ABA photos aside--the NBA truly became a LEAGUE OF STYLE. Let me paint a picture....
This was pre-Iverson, so no straight-up block-wear. The most block-like shit was guys like Tony Campbell and Marlon Maxey wearing straight Kani denim ensembles. Brown, orange, and black type patterns. Luc Longley sort of sported the Caucasiastralian version of these. Girbauds. Constantly injured guys like Gerald Glass sported Coogi sweaters on the sidelines. Lots of bright colored purple and turquoise suits. And then the crazy crazy "I make too much money to sport Cross Colours, but I'll rock a variation of that shit" Dr. Romanelli-type patterns. Brad Sellers sported the hat you see on the album cover below:
Oddly enough, Minneapolis was sort of the ideal spot for this style to emerge , as the Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis sound was hot & Prince was still relevant. (I mean, it clearly emerged in other cities first, but the style seemed to suit the Twin Cities quite well). And when the All-Star game came through town in 1994, it was ovah--by the way, who else can't fucking wait for the game in Houston this year...Kirielenko sporting grills??. But back to 1994...a small sampling of the type of folks who were always within arms length (sidenote, it was during All-star Weekend 1994, when I decided that I hated working for the Wolves and for the League...N.othing B.ut A.ssholes):
Mark Curry (Mr. Cooper)
Kid N' Play
Boyz II Men
Naughty By Nature
The dude who played Urkel
This was AN ERA OF FLASH. May I remind you that this was also the year that JR Rider rocked the "Eastbay Funk" dunk to Zapp & Roger's "More Bounce to the Ounce" to win the dunk contest over Shawn Kemp (rocking the removable-pump Reebok Pumps)?
Now, I'm a little too young to be getting nostalgic for a sport and league that I literally didn't care for at all from 1998-2002, but I am realizing that The Association's style revolution--inevitably resulting in a revival of The Association as a whole, Stern are you listening?--must come from off the court rather than from on it. Nash/Amare and Young Gilbert 0 will continue to shock and amaze while the Spurs will continue to win the championships. Dress code be damned. Start rocking ridiculous furs like K-Mart or better yet dust your shoulders off like Marko Jaric, who reportedly last night (prior to playing his best game of the season) wore a "white sports coat straight out of Saturday Night Fever."
And motherFuck 'The Lebrons.' We need Little Penny, Grandma-ma, and Charles Barkley chillin with Humpty Hump.
2006, can you hear me?
(ambiguous throwback mid-90s reference to Dennis Leary MTV spots, fuckers)