Unclamp your velvet

No surprises with today's McSweeney's column, wherein I consider the astoundingly familiar issue of J.R. Smith and his latest new team. Besides the obvious glee of foisting this marginal NBA player upon galleys of unsuspecting non-fans, I wanted to get my three nickels in on one Denver columnist's misguided reaction and J.R.'s myth-making Rucker move.

(By the way, anyone seeking evidence of my claims on Smith's true skill set could do worse than checking out these YouTube mixes. I know that the third is almost all dunks, but respect the fallen and what could've been. Also, #2 suffers from an unfortunate choice of soundtrack, and might be best watched with the mute button fully depressed.)

Other than that, I highly recommend a visit to Fringe Sports Central's Vegas League recap, and stay tuned here for one more message from SLC courtesy of the man with three names. Alias is photoshopped in, but the institutional authority is SO REAL.


At 7/20/2006 12:47 PM, Blogger Gregg said...

You used "nebulous" twice in the first three paragraphs. Other than that, good piece.

At 7/20/2006 1:18 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

that's embarassing, but i also love that FD has readers that read like editors.

and totally vindicates all that time i've spent worrying about repetition within posts.

At 7/20/2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous Jay said...

1. I didn't notice that
2. I looked on the tracker thinger and someone was referred here by searching "sex habits of dolphins"

At 7/20/2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

more J.R. from the Rocky Mountain News. proof that i'm more right than ever. or at least that there's yet another reason for my irrational exuberance.

At 7/20/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger mister turkle said...

Shoals, you are way too good to be ending sentences with prepositions like that, unless it was a purposeful defiance of writing conventions meant to flout your freedarko-grammar and draw attention to the fact that yes, you actually used coelacanth. Also, I would have liked to see a little bit more pretension and mysticism in the closing sentence.

Anyway, it was overall good (and uncharacteristically coherent) essay, and when you factor K-Mart coming excision and Melo's emergence, I might actually be able to pretend that Earl Boykins and Najera don't exist and not hate the Nuggets next year.

At 7/20/2006 2:32 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

mt--if there's now an APB out on my grammar, i'm going to have to ask why i would ever be "flouting" my own grammar


At 7/20/2006 2:34 PM, Anonymous Nels said...

As a Bulls fan, I was fully willing to give JR another year or two to "graduate from college" so-to-speak. While he was never really here, I was sad to see him go.

He'll probably have a better chance to flourish with the Nuggets, anyway, though.

At 7/20/2006 2:36 PM, Anonymous Nels said...

I'll take Trevor Ariza.

At 7/20/2006 2:45 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

Can you please not mention Ariza in the presence of Knicks fans? It's not polite.

At 7/20/2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous White People Don't Know said...

Complaining about ending with prepositions? On a blog?

To quote a fat man, that is the sort of nonsense up with which i will not put.

I feel like jr smith would have had a much better shot at a successful career if he didn't get drafted immediately after josh smith. Is there anyone outside of their home cities, not named bethlehem shoals, who can keep these guys straight?

At 7/20/2006 3:45 PM, Blogger bobduck said...

The Nugs are straight up terrifying next year. Now that they have someone with skills outside of 'Melo, they should move into at least the 4 slot.

Unless George buries Smith. Sigh.

At 7/20/2006 3:48 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

don't you think karl would like nothing more than to make a fellow coach look like a blundering fool?

At 7/20/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger emynd said...

I know nothing about trade situations, but is it possible that JR Smith was traded to Denver as trade bait for the Sixers? Last I heard, Denver was interested in AI but didn't have the personnel to pull of the trade. Is JR going to switch teams AGAIN before the summer is over?

In other news, I hate Billy King.

At 7/20/2006 9:10 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

Turkle - Earl Watson is on the Sonics.

wf: jnnajxax - Jenna Jackson?

At 7/21/2006 12:34 AM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

"First off, the avoid-terminal-prepositions rule is the invention of one Fr. R. Lowth, an eighteenth-century British preacher and indurate pedant who did things like spend scores of pages arguing for hath over the trendy and degenerate has. The a.-t.-p. rule is antiquated and stupid and only the most ayatolloid SNOOT* takes it seriously. Garner himself calls the rule 'stuffy' and lists all kinds of useful constructions like 'the man you were listening to' that we'd have to discard or distort if we really enforced it."

*"SNOOT (n) (highly colloq) is this reviewer's nuclear family's nickname a clef for a really extreme usage fanatic, the sort of person whose idea of Sunday fun is to look for mistakes in Satire's column's prose itself. This reviewer's family is roughly 70 percent SNOOT, which term itself derives from an acronym, with the big historical family joke being that whether S.N.O.O.T. stood for 'Sprachgefuhl Necessitates Our Ongoing Tendance' or 'Syntax Nudniks of Our Time' depended on whether or not you were one."

-David Foster Wallace, "Tense Present" in Harper's at http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/DFW_present_tense.html

Nice write up on JR and the reasons to keep an eye on him. Although, perhaps it is as much a comment on new v. old media and the audiences, influences, and motives of each. To wit, "Smith is not the known quantity Krieger knows himself to want." is anwonderfully economical way of saying a lot about both of them.

At 7/21/2006 1:07 AM, Anonymous Bluebeard Curry said...

You've got Stephan in your article as Stephen.

Aside from that, excellent piece. JR is going to be deadly for the Nuggets.

Krieger is just stuck in some sort of mode where he believes that the Nuggets need Steve Kerr to be a championship squad. Pretty much all of the media in Denver is.

At 7/21/2006 1:33 AM, Anonymous spider said...

Speaking of Steve Kerr, some of you true freedarkoites may know that his father was killed by Hizballah 20 years ago. Steve himself, who grew up there, probably knows more about the ME region than anybody else in the NBA not named Saikaly or Jasekevicius.

I don't mean to poison this blog with the immanence of today's tragic headlines, but it's interesting, is all.

At 7/21/2006 2:06 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

there are between five and eight uses of the word "time" in it, too.

At 7/21/2006 5:38 PM, Anonymous aug said...

Man, so much grammar lessons here on a blog. I guess we can let it pass considering it's an extremly well written one. Thank you Mr. Six for showing all the grammar snobs that what you learned in your college writing class isn't the definitive answer. Different people prefer different rules and half of them are arbitrary. Repetition is something worth checking out though.

Shoals, i don't know if you have taken writing classes, studied some on your own, or if practice has just served you very well, but your writing has improved drastically since your first few months. It is unfortunate though, that you are usually the only one writing, because all the others who were very active in freedarko's first few months were so important to establishing what the blog currently stands for.

On a basketball note:

I think everyone in denver has to be extremely excited about JR Smith. Whether he's traded for iverson, or used alongside melo to help stretch the defense with his 3 pointers, he is going to work out well. He may not have an in between game, but is there any other team besides the suns that would fit him better? Furious George's fast break offense is sure to provide him even more youtube mix tapes and certainly help the nugs win a few more games.

Besides the big trade news, i think the loss of fransisco elson is gonna hurt. We all know camby is going down in january, and kmart will be on the bench cursing out karl, so where is their rebounding going to come from? Much to the dissapointment of Mr. Turkle, i think it's going to be a steady dose of najera, and i for one couldn't be more thrilled. I love all the creative, malleable lineups in the nba now. The bulls are going to be a glorious mess.

At 7/21/2006 7:37 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...


i was an even better writer before freedarko happened. but you're right, i was a lot more sloppy and pointlessly oblique when there was no one reading.

At 7/25/2006 12:45 PM, Anonymous Stumbleweed said...

Yeah, being a Denver fan, I'm really happy about the JR Smith trade. And I'm still hoping that they don't go the AI route, even though I love the guy. Melo + AI = problems... 'nuff said.

And as far as the rebounding goes, I think they need to re-sign Reggie Evans. Now they have enough offensive firepower to deal with his lack of scoring. Dude pulled down 21 rebounds in about 20 minutes in one game last year. He can definitely help there, and hopefully Nene will pick up some of the slack.

And I'll not have any more of this Camby-cursing. I'm burning sage and dancing around a Marcus Camby statue as I type this.


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