8.18.2006

Against Better Judgment

As pictured above, some guy from Test Icicles or Arctic Monkeys or one of those ridiculously overblown bands started a new group with some castaways from some other band called Lightspeed Heat. They're British, or at least some of them are, which I believe can account for the cheekiness of the above photo. My thoughts on crappy music aside, I'm not sure how to feel about this depiction and its implications for style. In one sense it justifies exactly how boring we've always said Dwyane Wade is. In another sense, it's annoying that the choice for one short guy at the end to be wearing the white jersey seems very deliberate.



The dull angst that I feel right now is that toward an offseason in which not a single move seems to make sense. The best moves, coincidentally made by my two favorite teams--Mike James to the Wolves and Ben Wallace to the Bulls--were more psychological than anything else. Their impact could mean as little as the difference between three or so games. Jared Jeffries on the Knicks is all face-saving for the Knicks' front office. This move, along with the Renaldo Balkman pick were all just to say, "Look we care about more than guys who made one all-star team and have some headcase flair...we need solid role players." Thing is though, the Knicks are overgrown with "Medium Forwards." Denver is investing billions in the spare body parts of shaky big men (Joe Smith's corpse, Nene's tender ankle...to go along with the brittle bones of K-Mart and Marcus Camby), while not addressing any of their real needs (perimeter defense and three-point shooting). And the Raptors/Bucks trade seemingly benefits nobody. The Raptors' point guard situation goes from unstable to more unstable with TJ Ford, questionable in health and decision-making. Meanwhile, and perhaps to Freedarko's benefit, Milwaukee has constructed the hardest soft frontcourt in The Association by pairing Bogut with Chillin Villain.

...And let's get serious, I would kill a man for an NBA game right now. I can no longer monitor Terrell Owens' daily progress or the stomach turns of the baseball Wild Card race. If nothing else, thank Jah for this Maurice Clarett debacle. Getting benefactored and sent death threats from an Israeli mobster who set you up with a fly crib in Malibu and hooked up Suge Knight's lawyer to be yours as well is perhaps the only event that could rival Mark Blount's connection to Albanian gangs as the most Freedarko thing of all time.


I'm not sure what the logical segue is here, but during the basketball-dry summer months, I watch a lot of Pardon The Interruption. Like sometimes twice a day. And I can't help but comment on the fact that the commercials for Red Stripe, PTI's primary sponsor, are unnervingly racist. The latest version of these spots features their childlike Jamaican spokesman shouting non-sequiturs in broken English. Disturbing enough for that reason alone, what's more is that these TYPE of spots--LET's GIVE EM SOMETHING WACKY (see also the Guinness Brilliant! joints and the frat-tacular Mike's Hard Lemonade joints)--seem directed particularly toward after-work consumers of sport, people who should find such irreverence (a) "hilarious" and (b) engaging as a result of having zero attention span. A couple weeks ago even Reali (Forever Statboy) made a reference to the commercial while doing the Over/Under segment on the show. Can someone raise the standards here? Scoop Jackson talk to us.


Helping us get through this trying last summer month has been slamonline.com, which we must thank for the repeated shout-outs. Also, WHAT HAPPENED WITH JUWAN HOWARD STEALING SUNGLASSES?

24 Comments:

At 8/18/2006 10:14 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i know it seems like i've been slack in the post dept. this week, but i've actually been fighting back the urge to execute several god-awful ideas. listing all of them would undo all my fine, fine efforts, so suffice it to say that one of them involved a plea for an FD wikipedia entry.

 
At 8/18/2006 10:15 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

that was supposed to second dlic's feelings that this is the absolute worst month in history from a sports blog perspective.

 
At 8/18/2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous lightninghank said...

Hey kids, longtime listener fristtime caller... just thought I'd chime in that to make matters worse, le Tony will not be playing in the WC because of a broken finger. But as a diehard (obviously) Raps fan, I'm intrigued by your comments - maybe we can open up a discussion on them? Totally different team but will they actually be any better? I can't wait to find out. Also, if you get to watch Spain in the WC look out for Jose Calderon. He came over and was absolutely killing it for the first third of last season, then seemingly hit the "82 games?! Really?!" wall. Raptors TV (basically the Canadian version of NBATV) has been replaying the season in "game in an hour" format, and seeing those early season games has reminded me that he really was that great, and it wasn't just a whiteboy infatuation for me. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see him & Pau & Jorge Garbajosa (billed as "the Spanish Oakley" which is intriguing as hell) do their thing.

 
At 8/18/2006 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DLIC- thank you thank you thank you for bringing up mo clarrett. i was gonna make an off-topic post, but the thought of "can someone bring up clarrett" going straight to shoals inbox disuaded me. i don't really have anything to say about it other than how bizarre, how bizarre

wv- ywpnubbn: yungwun's po nubbn

 
At 8/18/2006 12:13 PM, Anonymous numbaonestunna said...

as to the admonishment of the redstripe commercials- statboy's brand-hocking aside (he is a breathing negative indicator)- a sense of humor helps. while you can say that they are playing on stereotypes, it's no different from a dave chappelle sketch. humor does exist in context, and no doubt it was two skinny white dudes who came up with them, but these ads blow the coors light train, budweiser co-opting of q-tip/chemical bros, miller 'man laws' BS out of the water. knee jerk reactions to ideas that these ads are a boyish jamaican spouting broken english should be re-examined. First off, Jamaicans speak english. Secondly, I doubt anyone is looking for a tour de force in their beer advertisements, european Stella Artois spots aside (check em out, killer), beer is beer, if people drink it to get drunk and relax, ads will follow suit.

 
At 8/18/2006 12:25 PM, Anonymous Pichi Campana Aguanta said...

I like that the Wikipedia entry for Larry Brown includes an indictment of his treatment of rookies says "This has been the subject of many articles in the media and has given rise to the Internet's "FreeDarko" movement."

Also, Aug's comments in the previous post about Krzyzewski perhaps serving up the proper variety of Right Way Play seems to be on target, especially with so many quotes from Bron et al about how this team is different than the 2004 team because NOW they're playing the right way. It's pretty clear that Larry Brown's Right Way isn't.

And thirdly, I get the press releases from USA Basketball and they all end with this mysterious roll call of the coaching staff: Krzyzewski is serving as head coach of the USA Senior Team and is being assisted by Syracuse University (N.Y.) and Hall of Fame mentor Jim Boeheim, Phoenix Suns head mentor Mike D'Antoni and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Nate McMillan.

What makes D'Antoni and Boeheim "mentors" and McMillan just a "head coach"? Is it like the dotcom era when employees could choose their own title to put on the business card?

wv: nfsjpti = something about PTI not being safe for work, Jimmy.

 
At 8/18/2006 1:01 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i'll just go on record with two potentially embarrassing and unpopular statements:

1) i think tj ford is going to radically change the raptors. i really like that trade for both teams. also, tj ford looks like talib kweli.

2) i kinda like those man laws commercials.

DON'T JUDGE ME!!!!!!

 
At 8/18/2006 1:28 PM, Anonymous White People Don't Know said...

i'm with numbaonestunna on the beer commercials. relatively gentle stereotyping doesn't seem as bad when the alternative is unapologetic misogyny.

 
At 8/18/2006 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

T.J. Ford is by no means "questionable in health". He recovered 100% from the injury and related surgery. The surgery not only fixed the injury, but corrected the pre-existing spinal stenosis.

Scott Carefoot

 
At 8/18/2006 2:28 PM, Blogger bobduck said...

I'm a big TJ Ford fan since his college days, but I was really pumped to see Toronto trot out 3 huge dudes on a night to night basis. They would have been a terror to behold, and a stunning departure from Colangelo's earlier smallball infatuated Suns.

Also: does anyone else notice that the "New NBA" Simmons is on about just seems to mean that everyone is smaller?

 
At 8/18/2006 3:15 PM, Anonymous lightninghank said...

I still see them trotting out 3 huge dudes. The long-term plan is to make Bargnani a C, but in the short-term I expecting to see a lot of him at SF.

 
At 8/18/2006 4:03 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

He shouldn't be asked to be a center. As long as the frontcourt produces the aggregate of stuff that you need from a successful frontcourt, that's all that counts. The coach's job is to get that to happen without sacrificing the extra production he brings, and fitting into traditional roles only limits what you can get out of this kind of player. I see the Italian as kind of a 3.5+ and Bosh at the 4.5 position.

As for the ringing doldrum that is August sports, I felt a little refreshed to see some PGA Championship yesterday and today. Is Jesper Parnevik FD? If you look at just the dress, it's too contrived, but then you realize that for him it's no more than an aspect of being.

Back in the hoops universe, I'm surprised to read so little here about DaJuan Wagner's quest. I never heard much news about his illness during his original struggles, although maybe I forgot. I think we would benefit from having him back.

wv: aoiln Ain't oil necessary?

 
At 8/18/2006 4:20 PM, Blogger there is no you or me without Suomi said...

Juwan's 5FD on the shades was the basis for my caption on that picture of him and Deke.
Can someone who ponies up for Insider tell me what Sheridan's thinking with predicting the USA for bronze?

wv: xvuyphw- cross varejao, udrih- you produce heavy water

 
At 8/18/2006 4:20 PM, Blogger there is no you or me without Suomi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/18/2006 4:31 PM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

My favorite quote from the whole Clarett-Israeli mob story was Clarett excusing himself from a meeting with football officials by saying, "I've got to go, it's Shabbos."

Also, sorry but those Red Stripe commercials are some minstrel bullshit. I mean, besides the fact that it's hilariously funny how black people are all musical and have great rhythm... and they're so much less threatening when they have those cute Carribean accents.

 
At 8/18/2006 4:33 PM, Anonymous Joel said...

Red Stripe commercials are stereotypical and racist?

You mean the Jamacian guy calling the white guy "ugly" or assuming he can't dance worth a shit?

Oh, of course not...

It's a light-hearted commercial. Not everything in the world has a racist component behind it. Get a grip.

 
At 8/18/2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

sheridan thinks the u.s. team can't subsist on american fast food and that they'll be distracted/disgusted by how bad foreigners smell. i wish i were making that up, but that's what he wrote.

also, the u.s. is too young, inexperienced, not used to playing together, too small, can't shoot well enough, etc.

wv: tpdnw = top down, wheels spinnin

 
At 8/18/2006 8:04 PM, Anonymous aug said...

He makes some points though BR. I can't assume how much or how little serious league basketball you played growing up, but it definitely got to me. I played against this team with some foreign guy and it was awful. Not only did he have BO, but he was the sweatiest, dirtiest guy i've ever played. He would always post me up with and his sweat smell stayed on me for what seemed like days afterwards. It's not a huge deal, but it definitely doesn't help the americans. The food i don't think is too big a deal.

The whole hassle of being in a different country thing will play a factor. It's completely different for them there and the honeymoon period will wear off by the time the knockout rounds start and they're all gonna start being homesick(US sick, i know they travel in the nba but in america). It's gonna wear on them and it's only gonna be a disadvantage come medal rounds.

As far as size goes, i think that's stupid because the american game is very physical, so the nba players are more than ready even though there are teams with multiple 7 footers.

The best points sheridan made was the refs, the teamwork, the 3 pointers, and the familiarity.

The refs are gonna play a huge role, because as any intramural/high school basketball player knows, the nba players travel every other possession in nba games. Not only that, but the players will not get star treatment here. They'll probably get the opposite. International refs don't reward players as much as nba refs for getting a guy in the air and throwing themselves at them with not intention on scoring. That's how high school and college refs work it too. As a ref, you're not supposed to give a foul, even if the other guy did hit him, if he put himself in an intentionally low percentage situation. That's what i'm told from the experienced refs that i work with(i ref middle and high school city leagues). Anyone who has watched the game has seen wade try that whole reggie miller foul thing and end up turning it over. It just doesn't work.

There is no way around it. The US team has no chemistry. The style of ball they're playing now won't work in the knockout rounds. They're still relying way too much on lebron or someone else going 1 on 1 and creating like in the nba. The top teams won't let that happen with their experience, size and disciplined zone defenses. I'm as worried as sheridan after these exhibition games. They really don't look that much better than the 04 team. I would've felt so much better if Gil didn't hurt himself and wasn't having an off shooting week like he was in the exhibitions, or if rashard lewis or redd were here. Fatigue is gonna wear on the players playing almost every day in a foreign country, and everyone knows the first thing to go is your legs and your shooting. In the 08 olympics, they should have adequate chemistry if they play some more friendlies against worthwhile countries during the offseason.

I still think the US is one of the best teams out there and they're still the favorite. I think they're gonna pull it out, but i wouldn't bet the farm on it or anything. Tony Parker being out for france really kills them considering they're not very deep at the point. I'm pumped about the US playing Slovenia. They're the team USA of the euro world. A lot of talent, but not enough chemistry to play up to potential.

In my opinion, the best teams are
1. US
2. Argentina
3. Spain
4. Brazil
5. Greece
6. Slovenia
7. France(hard to tell without tony)
The rest of the teams are missing some players or aren't deep enough.

Me and my DVR are all set for NBATV playing the non-US games. I'll have plenty of late night tv watching. I only wished they would show them live like the US games. I still haven't decided if i'm going to check the results prior to the tape delayed game or not.

 
At 8/18/2006 9:05 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

Don't have Insider to read Sheridan's article, but is the US not staying at an American-style hotel? If they are, and they eat at the hotel, they'll get essentially American food, not just fast food. (If they're staying at some ryokan without a restaurant, who made their travel arrangements?) It will be like staying in an American hotel, which I would assume these guys are pretty used to doing. That one doesn't make any sense to me.

Style of play and the refs are concerns, although US players should be more used to the zone now. (And guys like LBJ seem to be able to wreck the zone.)

What I wondered about watching the Olympic games is whether a US coach would ever try to implement a really hard NBA defense that physically punished the opposing team--or if that's just not acceptable at these kinds of events. There still aren't that many international players who would take the abuse of 90s Knicks defense.

 
At 8/19/2006 12:24 AM, Anonymous josh said...

Mr. Six is right, at the least about two things:

1. Are our guys so fragile as to wilt in the face of foreign cultures, homesick or not? They ought to have an American hotel, but if lacking one is enough to deny us the WC then why even field a team?

2. A Knicks-style physical defense would be interesting to see in intnl play, if only for the shock value. But God, who would want to watch multiple games that in any way resembled Knicks-Heat in the nineties.

 
At 8/19/2006 2:29 AM, Anonymous aug said...

If that happened, then the whole international game might get swept up in rileyball. What a sight to behold.

 
At 8/19/2006 3:45 AM, Blogger "rem" said...

hehe @ Chillin Villain

nice yours Chief?

 
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