The ever-renewing cauldron’s dutiful thud
I may have
It’s not just that the so-called zone of actuality rarely delivers the kind of roaring outcomes you’ve spent so long working out in your head. More it’s the sudden, crushing sense that basketball has become irrevocably fixed: rotations set, strategies apparent, pecking orders recited by all. Of course powerhouses may abruptly crumble, and late bloomers can kick into gear for the home stretch. And as I’ve amply discussed
I am sure that at this point, several of you have already turned aside in disgust. But before you call me Judas, Leonard, or avocado, behold: THIS IS A LEAGUE OF POTENTIAL. The Assocation bustles with activity of one kind or another throughout the year’s twelve months. Yet only during March, April, May, and June could it really be said to achieve actuality. The rest of the time, it’s wrestling with its own growth and decay, as the denizens of the sport most prone to spontaneous outbursts, madding lulls, and improvised flourishes waits to see if they will soar past their own horizons or crash into unforeseen limitations. Couple that with basketball’s innate cockiness, swagger, whatever, and it’s hardly a stretch to presume that much of the Association is watching itself, wonder how high it can go and when. If football is the optimizing of a rational system, and playmaking ability a mere booster pack, then the National Basketball Place counts on self-exceeding instants as the basis of identity. Until things have to get serious, the whole damn league is waiting to find itself, and gambling on discovering the tremendous.
You don’t believe me? Check the fucking schedule.
TODAY-May: The regular season that matters
August: Free agency, summer leagues
September: Anticipation of untested combinations
October: Pre-season, news from training camp
November: Surprise teams, surprise players begin to show themselves
December: Disappointing teams and players still worth missing
January: It sinks in that everyone’s better than you’d remembered
February: Trade talk, dreams of second-half push
That’s eight months out of the year that basketball fans can’t help but spend a whole lot of time meditating on what could be. Some people insist that the Association is flawed because it only matters for that brief period of actuality; given that it’s my absolute favorite sport that ever was, I have no choice but to say that the potentiality does just as much, if not more, for me. You may say that makes me an abortion of a fan but I say, what else are you doing during those eight long months of deferred promise, o ye who claims devotion to this league?
Those of you who have been with FreeDarko before should show no shock. As little of an actual investment as we might have in the plight of Darko, what he stands for—ceiling so high it’s vague and invisible, projections bordering on myth, harvesting of a far-off crop of hypothetical beings—could not be nearer and dearer to the heart we try to share as much as humanly possible. We’ve also been steadfast in our attention to all matters Draft, and rarely needed much provocation to anoint an unproven combination of souls contenders on the loose. Any old slob can look at the givens and guess the outcome, and sly “expert picks” are like girls who ass-fuck to preserve their virginity: afraid of the tyrannical force they have tapped into. What sets us above from mere observers is the active role we take in fandom, the delight we feel in racing through scenes that may never be. This doesn’t make us better men, or disqualify us from the sheer racket of watching grueling competition. But seriously, in a league whose stars are known in large part for their auras, ineffable styles that transcend any mere collection of feats or breathtaking acts, why not savor the imaginary along with the real?