We riddle you with form

FreeDarko gets back on the McSweeney's block today, with a DLIC banger about the Year of Redemption. Personally, I have mixed feelings about this; doubtlessly, we've already seen any number of beleaguered souls salvage their fortunes, and I'd say this is a necessary step for any FD-ish player who teased us with potential for too many moons. But I also shiver deep inside, since I slated last season to be this, hitching the sodden horse upon the quarters of Artest, Marbury, and the Franchise, among others. I know, I know, it might've been too fulsome a gamble, and I think DLIC has put made this motif into something far more useful. I would prefer, though, to not be reminded of one of the many tactical errors committed in this blog's past.

I'm also not quite sure why he feels this season is thus far lacking in thematic grist, even if few lack the overarching buzz of REDEMPTION. Certainly, simply speaking "Monta Ellis" doesn't have the same whir as BRAWL FALLOUT, THE NEW OFFENSE, SLASHING OF PERSONAL HEARTS or CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS did, yet that doesn't mean that such individuality need be rotely isolated. I would like here to harken unto the forgotten song of the monad, wherein we learn how seemingly singular examples can be used as perspectival windows out onto the rest of all that quavers with existence. Monta's relevance to the rest of the league might be subtle, even indirect, but as dramatic a statement as he's made invariably affects our view of any number of other players and their travails.

Now that I've summarily discarded my comrade's noble efforts, let me clutch back at the party line by citing this Believer interview with Matthew Barney that, coincidentally, also appears on McSweeney's:

THE BELIEVER: Are you into those NFL highlight films?

MATTHEW BARNEY: Yeah, those NFL films are great. What's probably most significant about them, in terms of the way they influenced filmmaking, is the way they brought the individual character out of the chaotic mass of people. This brought a kind of psychological dimension to the viewer. Before NFL Films, the games were described by an upper three-quarters angle, maybe from one sideline, and occasional close-ups. These guys approached the game completely differently.



At 11/30/2006 12:00 PM, Blogger Vegan Viking said...

Football is basketball? Maybe to the extent that Barney's interpretation of NFL Films matches your interpretation of basketball.

But since NFL Films was founded in 1962, a time when the NBA had 9 teams and about 4,000 people showed up to see Wilt score 100, I doubt the NBA had much influence on NFL Films.

At 11/30/2006 12:23 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i was going for the former, and choosing to ignore the nettlesome latter.

nfl films is fantastic, but it's still basically a very, very deliberate attempt to make the game more personal and human. and yes, that is the thrust of fd's affinity for basketball.

and look, i'd just needlessly criticized something that dlic wrote. i was trying to overcompensate.

At 11/30/2006 1:42 PM, Blogger whitefolks said...

i'm interested to know whether Monta's pure atheltic gifts would have been enough to see this type of success had the recent defensive rule adjustments been different. players of his style and ability may see greater results in the current incarnation of game rules by simply attacking the basket as severely as possible.

the initial defense is already more lax and a blazing first step could mean a less-polished player has a far greater chance at success than in very recent years passed.

i'm thinking if it were not for steve nash controlling tempo, barbosa would be launching himself towards the hoop with reckless abandon and shooting wade number free throws.


At 11/30/2006 2:02 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

monta and barbosa are also incredibly smart and strategic when they drive. creative solutions in action. that's the difference between them and the old breed. and why i love watching them so much.

At 11/30/2006 3:07 PM, Blogger whitefolks said...

agreed. their basketball ability is definitely on a higher plane than guys who were speed-first in the past.

the ability to reconcile the basketball iq, personal iq and the athletic gifts really is the difference between Wade/Marbury or guys like Chris Bosh/Darius Miles. i'm completely convinced that if guys in the marbury, iverson, francis mold could understand and absorb getting close to 10 assists a night would revolutionize their careers.

in fact, a metric i would love to see would be one which showed us winning percentages and trends for "ball hog" guards when they produce 10 assists or more.

At 11/30/2006 4:16 PM, Anonymous lu said...

In a story about 2006 and Redemption, how can you give no love to Grant Hill? There's a lot of FD there- all about the potential and the personal story and the pretty moves (when not crippled.)

At 11/30/2006 4:34 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Whitefolks: I checked out the game log for Marbury on Yahoo - so far no 10 assist games in 06-07. In 05-06, Marbury had 9 games of double figure assists; the Knicks were 4-5 in those games. In 04-05 (pre-Larry Brown), they were 16-8 in games in which Marbury had double figure dishes.

AI in 06-07: 3-1; 05-06: 14-4; 04-05: 16-10.

Draw conclusions.

At 11/30/2006 4:38 PM, Blogger GentleWhoadie9000 said...

Football isn't basketball. Basketball is actually raquetball, but everybody's too ashamed to admit it.

At 11/30/2006 4:43 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

marbury has actually averaged over 8 assists per for almost his entire career. he's regularly in the top 5 in the league for assists. yet, somehow he's still a ballhog. and i don't mean, yet somehow people keep calling him a ballhog when he's not, i mean he IS a ballhog, yet he has high assist totals. most of that is because his game is all penetration (no homo), and he gets a fair share of drive-and-dish dimes.

wv: mgolrkt = magloire's getting traded to the rockets!

At 11/30/2006 4:45 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

reading your comment again, i'm wondering if you think there's something special about a 10 assist game that should make a victory more likely than, say, an 8 or 9 assist game. because marbury gets a lot of those. that's what i meant.

At 11/30/2006 5:06 PM, Blogger whitefolks said...

I think it's entirely based in the perception of Marbury and similar players who have taken on the tweener role of a shooting point guard.

As they seem to have the ball in their hands as much as a point guard plus that of a shooting guard, the assist numbers appear incidental. 10 assists is definitely a mental line of demarcation since it is the mark for the double or triple double.

The drive-pentetrate-assist seems to be where most of his assists would come from, but I can't shake the notion that committing some more time to making the assist, he would possibly be closer to a dozen a game and much more overall success.

At 11/30/2006 6:10 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

well, i definitely agree that marbury needs to look to get others involved more. he's always struggled with knowing when to go for his and when to pass. i guess i'm just saying that statistics, as always, can be misleading, and marbury could become a better point guard without his assists total necessarily changing too much. it's the quality, rather than the quantity, of the assist that would change.

At 11/30/2006 6:44 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

I'm issuing DLIC 10 demerits for using EmO. Simply doesn't work. Find a new nickname.

At 11/30/2006 8:28 PM, Anonymous NW Narcissist said...

I'm late, I realize. But did someone list Darius Miles alongside Chris Bosh as an indicator of quality or basketball IQ? Or did I misread something?

At 11/30/2006 9:22 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i think it was a compare/contrast. opposites.

At 12/01/2006 12:57 AM, Blogger "rem" said...

too bad the nba (as an entity in and of itself) does not embody FDism while it cowers with only two as the nfl has a thurs night game

tsk tsk the shame

At 12/01/2006 1:05 AM, Blogger "rem" said...

i always thought Melo was more "aunt-like" than "ugly middle child"

:P geniuses

At 12/01/2006 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



mgolrkt would work for me

At 12/01/2006 2:01 AM, Blogger T. said...

while it cowers with only two as the nfl has a thurs night game

I think every TNT Thursday game up till now has been the only game. Or at least it feels that way.

By the way? Kobe Bean Bryant? 3rd quarter? 9-9 from the field. 10-10 from the line. Ouch.

At 12/01/2006 2:10 AM, Anonymous ronald_james_davis said...

mamba on some stacey augmon in nba jam shit.

At 12/01/2006 8:32 AM, Blogger JoshLove said...

yeah, looks like we were all snookered by the Zen Master's "I don't know if he'll ever be 100% again" line. after last night it's sounding like just the latest in a long line of brilliant motivational tactics.

At 12/01/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

if so, he seems to be sticking to that approach:

"It's a combination of things he did tonight," Jackson said. "He used his explosiveness, maybe not as dramatic as in the past, but there's still plenty of fire there."


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