5.18.2006

The tide's own weight



From JKR, a man reading FreeDarko in the fine city of Cleveland: the exact moment at which all the "fuck this Nike-engineered marketing campaign masquerading as higher truth" noise got hushed up. Check here for the blow-up.

And, in the interest of that equal airtime law, don't forget to check out DLIC's army against Varejao on McSweeney's.

24 Comments:

At 5/18/2006 4:23 PM, Anonymous aug said...

I think dlic pays a bit too much attention to the announcers when watchign varejo(speaking of, how many ways are there to pronounce his last name?). He's not gary trent or those other simply, tough energy, unskilled guys. The man has game. There's a reason he has been playing more minutes than the other cavs big men in the playoffs. He's a good 1 on 1 defender in the post and is quick enough to defend the perimeter on switch offs. He boxes out pretty well and has a good nose for the ball. He is also good on the offensive glass and put backs. He moves around in the offensive scheme well, sets his picks and is a good passer for a big man. He's a starter.

He's not the white kid in high school who was 15th kid chosen for the team because he dove for balls and hustled. The announcers paint him as such because it's more fun to root for the untalented guy who does it all on hustle. I just feel that dlic took a slightly skewed vision of what varejo is and wrote an article about it. I think it just comes down to that dlic doesn't like varejo for being a low upside overachiever contrasting barbosa's career as an underachiever with more upside.

As a magic fan, i was outraged when the magic threw away gooden, pachulia and varejo for tony battie, when the thing the magic need most now is a quick powerforward who is good on the glass and can pass(aka pachulia and varejo). So i, like dlic, may be a bit biased towards varejo.


p.s. How come guys like boris diaw and anderson varejo don't ever tell people how to pronounce their names? Do they do so and no one listens? Because the announcers seem to pronounce it in every way possible in hopes that they get it right at least once per game.

 
At 5/18/2006 4:25 PM, Anonymous aug said...

sorry for commenting in the wrong post. i read from top to bottom

 
At 5/18/2006 4:31 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i don't supposed it's even worth going into the labyrinth that is race in brazil and how that may or may not have anything to do with him vis a vis "exotic hustle player."

 
At 5/18/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

"going into the labyrinth" was not intentional.

 
At 5/18/2006 5:01 PM, Anonymous aug said...

Don't worry, i understand what you're trying to say. By the way, you guys have been all over deadspin lately. Seems it's every other nba article now.

 
At 5/18/2006 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no way American commentators could pronounce Varejão's name the way it's said in Portuguese--it's way too nasal. (Think "Vahd-eh-zhow" with the "zhow" being kind of swallowed, for lack of a better description, at the back of your nose.) If he becomes a good player, they'll all settle on something uniform for him, like they have with Ginobili. Speaking of Gino, at least all the announcers are calling him "Manu" now, as opposed to "Mano," which they were doing all last season and before.

 
At 5/18/2006 7:11 PM, Anonymous futuristxen said...

It's semi-offensive as a Verejao fan to read that the only reason he recieves pub is because of his race. It's like a xenophobic-isiah thomas-larry bird situation. Verejao has been the second best Cavalier this postseason, and he is the future of the franchise's front court. He's being labeled as an "energy" guy, but he's actually JO with more aggression. I don't know if DILC had the opportunity to watch Brazil play the US, and watch Verejao drive from the top of the key on JO, and slam it in his face at the rack. His finishing at the hoop is still good, but the shoulder surgery has basically taken away his dunking at the hoop, hopefully he gets that back because last year he was all about dunking at the hoop.

He has range out to 18 feet--he's as good a shooter from there as Z is. He needs to develop a go to post move, but his quick feet and size still allow him some effectiveness on the block--but he is most comfortable facing his man up and driving past him.

Defensively, he is a 6-11 Larry Hughes. He has a knack for reading passing lanes, stealing dribbles. He plays defense like Rodman used to in that he's kind of a utlitity man defensively in his ability ot basically do whatever the situation needs on the defensive end. His one on one post defense has to continue to develop so that he can stay out of foul trouble when he inevitiably starts next year(watch for Drew Gooden to be traded for Barbosa or Duhon in the offseason).

Anyone who is saying Verejao is just some untalented muck of player, just plain hasn't watched Anderson play enough, and is just buying the media desire to fit everyone into a "role".

Anderson is the best player in the league from Brazil, and personally I think he's better than Splitter too.

Oh and his ability to actually catch Lebron passes will mean that once he gets the minutes he'll be a double double machine. I predict that if Drew Gooden is sent packing next year and Anderson gets 35 minutes per night, he will make the all-star team. If Lebron can make Boozer into an olympian, he can make Anderson into an All-star.

As for the whole Brazillian "hustle player", I don't recall any Brazillian footballers being lauded for doing the hustle work on the field. Brazil works in the star system. And until Anderson changes his name to just "Anderson" I don't think we'll have verification of his stardom in brasil.

Kaka, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Robinho, Adriano--hell even their defenders Lucio and Cafu--these are not grinders. These are showboating celebraters of the idea of sport as art aspect. In Brasil it's not enough to just win, but look good doing it. And Verejao doesn't fit into that.

 
At 5/18/2006 7:20 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

before this goes any further, i feel the need to announce that:

1) i'm a big verejao guy. if he's an energy being, it's in a far more dignified and creative way than the usual bland-roll. does the phrase "pure energy" not sent you bouncing off the rafters? he kind of plays like he's insane, not tough or hard-working. and, hair or no hair, he does it all with style.

2) i'm guilty of part-time brazil jocking

3) i don't spend much time trying to understand verejao in terms of his nationality/culture, though look forward to a lifetime of doing so for the NEW BARBOSA.

4) the all-star projections are a little over-optimistic, but he should be starting next to lebron for the next decade. boozer is probably a better player, but not the more valuable one.

 
At 5/18/2006 7:33 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

"As for the whole Brazillian "hustle player", I don't recall any Brazillian footballers being lauded for doing the hustle work on the field. Brazil works in the star system."

Just because you can't recall them, that doesn't mean that they didn't exist.

Two semi-recent exmaples:

Dunga
Gilberto Silva

These are both classic exampls of the water-carrier that sits in the defensive midfielder and whose primary goal is to be that of a "destroyer", to break up and prevent creative, attacking play.

Dunga was good enough at this that he was the captain of the 1994 World Cup squad (the first Brazil team to win the cup since 1970).

(He was also not very popular in Brazil, as his style of play was regarded as "un-Brazilian", an opinion that was accentuated by the fact that he was born close to the Argentinean border and worse, looked like an Argentinean.)

Silva, who played DMF for the 2002 World Cup champions (as well as for Arsenal, one of the best club teams in Europe), is infamously clueless the closer that he gets to the opposing team's penalty area.

And while Lucio is one of the all-time complete defenders, he's also surrounded by a large amount of purely defensive players so devoid of skill that they are often derided by their own fans as "donkeys", players such as:

Roque Junior
Juan
Kleber

Just to name names from the most recent two WC squads.

I guess my point is that while Brazil is not known for producing hustlers, they do, who then toil in obscurity so that the more loved stars can do their thing.

Additionally, if Varejao resembles a soccer player, it has to be the immortal Colombian Carlos Valderrama, late of MLS and the sporter of one of the more impressive hair-dos of our time.

 
At 5/18/2006 8:09 PM, Anonymous White People Don't Know said...

All these different pronunciations are getting out of control.

Can't we agree to call Varejao something that's easy to say, like Popozao?

 
At 5/18/2006 8:28 PM, Anonymous Futuristxen said...

How is Verejao like Valderamma, except for the hair? Valderamma while possibly my favorite footballer of all time, was not a "hustle" player. He rarely played defense, and was more a stay on the offensive end of the field and ping one touch passes onto running forwards--kind of a lazy mans riquelme.

I didn't mean to say Brasil doesn't produce hustle players(obviously they do, Verejao, Dunga, etc) just that, as you also noted, they are not lauded as being representitive of the ideal of Brazillian culture by Brazillians, not in the way that maybe in america those attributes are.

Perhaps Verejao is more celebrated in the states, less to his "otherness" and more to his american-ness. We love grinders, hustle players, scrappiness. Though Verejao isn't really those things, I think he is cast into that role by the media on the few chances they take to actually acknowledge that there are other players on the floor on the Cavs not named Lebron.

 
At 5/18/2006 8:46 PM, Blogger T. said...

The problem with being away from a computer is that everyone takes your good points.

I was going to write about Silva and Dunga.

But I have nothing to say now.

 
At 5/18/2006 8:48 PM, Anonymous griffin said...

regarding the photo:
i know that FD tends to lean towards hyperbole when painting its perception of the association. it is a grand opera of sacred and profane peformed by a long list of characters, of tortured souls who's talents sometimes cannot overcome their humanity.

But cool it on LeBron James. He's good and he's definitely running Cleveland's offense remarkably well. and he can get to the basket whenever he chooses.

But witness this: cleveland's coaching staff, specifically their defensive adjustments. They have caught Detroit off guard, almost to the point where you might theorize a certain Brown not named Mike was whispering the secret weaknesses of The Detroit Five. the defense is something worth acknowledging, although much less dramatic than the witness campaign. granted.

 
At 5/18/2006 9:20 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

"How is Verejao like Valderamma, except for the hair?"

That was the extent of my commentary.

Obviously "resembles" is a little vauge, I should have written "physically resembles". I was just riffing on the hair thing.

 
At 5/18/2006 10:20 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

someone sent me the photo; i put it up to show that the "witness" campaign did have an organic life of its own, apart from nike's machinations.

and pardon me for finding the request that we "cool it on lebron james" a little silly. that roster has underachieved all year, and clearly lebron's playoff might inspires them to make those defensive adjustments mean anything during the actual game.

 
At 5/18/2006 11:13 PM, Anonymous griffin said...

clearly lebron's playoff might inspires them to make those defensive adjustments mean anything during the actual game."

lebron and the cavs make me think of Dumbo, the flying elephant. remember how he only believed he could fly if he was holding the little feather in his trunk? lebron, to me, is a similar type of illusion, even in his own mind. like the illusion of himself as a basketball mesiah has made him a better player, making the whole thing something of a self-realized prophesy. and yet, that does nothing to delegitimize anything #23 has accomplished thus far.

i suspect there is a sizable camp of people who despise lebron for this very reason.

 
At 5/18/2006 11:31 PM, Anonymous jack said...

speaking of brazil: I disagree with the whole idea that a nation can love hustle players. The fan loves the hustle players. The announcer does too. Even the city can. The nation does not. Outside of Cleveland, it is hard to drum up much love for Varejao, same with Madsen, Mihm, and so on. Of course we never hear of Brazilian hustle players, we don't even hear of American hustle players, ie, name a hustle player on any of the All-NBA teams this year.

 
At 5/19/2006 12:42 AM, Blogger T. said...

Did anyone ever do any work on developing a FreeDarko scale? How does the Alien rank on that? Would his "I have gigantic balls" dance give him extra FD points?

 
At 5/19/2006 12:53 AM, Blogger bobduck said...

How could the Ball Dance not be worth points?

 
At 5/19/2006 1:12 AM, Blogger T. said...

By the way - why does everyone (Sportscenter) say that the JET punch was missed yesterday? The TNT cameraman stayed on Finley for a good 5 seconds when he was mouthing "I got punched" and throwing the punch.

I think Cuban's wrong though - the guy tried to punch Findog in the nads. That's a suspension.

Is FreeDarko the only NBA blog to contain "nads" and "Derrida" in the comments section? Very Walt Whitman.

 
At 5/19/2006 1:05 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

Jack - I really do believe that Brazilians do not like the hustle players on their team. Maybe some of them appreciate them stoically; however, they are definitely regarded as "lesser" players by the majority of Brazilian fans.

Totally arbitrary and inconclusive Google search:

"Romario fan" - 22 results
"Bebeto fan" - 6 results
"Dunga fan" - 2 results

 
At 5/19/2006 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with EZ that Brazilians in their aesthetics of sport don't put the premium on hustle that Americans do, or at least on the same kind of hustle. In Brazilian sports, if you have to hustle, you don't do it by gutting things out. You either figure out how to dazzle your opponent with ingenuity and style, or you go down in flames.

And defense there is a dirty word. When Scolari (or Felipão) was chosen as the coach of the 2002 WC squad, he was looked down as a defensive-minded oaf who was betraying the beautiful game.

 
At 5/19/2006 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

re terry's punch to finley's whatever, it's funny how you don't see it until you see it -- even in multiple replays -- and then it's obvious he took a swing at the man's manhood, and seemingly connected.

 
At 5/23/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

has anyone looked at the sky in this photo?

 

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