God: Friend or Foe?

For once, a Game of the Year I managed to watch. If you ever wondered what "competitive style" is, reference no further than Howard's UHHSD8A(*d98aiud1200uWHU of an and-1, or Amare's two cold, cold dunks of note. I'm now officially in the "he will yet return" camp, since Amare's clearly having pre-surgery moments. If he can find it on occasion, then it's just a matter of being that full-time. The 85% is certainly a quantitative, not qualitative, assessment.

The big news, though, has to be Sager's announcement that Amare will most likely have to undergo the same procedure in another few years. Owing, the doctors say, to his earth-turning style of play. In a way, this makes me even more excited about his comeback. It is truly God's will that he's returning to wow, a defiance of odds and past history that only divinity could decree. I guess you could blame the Lord for this cruel tease, or curse His Name for this second eventual death. Personally, I'm thinking it only enhances the cosmic implications of Amare's return. We've only disappeared his free will from the equation if you're disregarding his Christ complex; keep that in the picture and you're looking at a whole new, eternity-phobic theology.

It's also absolutely essential that we make Nash a part of this. If Nash happens to win a third MVP, he'll ascend to the pantheon on the strength of three seasons. Presumably, this second career will be defined by its terseness, its concentrated excellence. Like Amare, he'll have hit upon such a wondrous lode of accomplishment that no one expects it could continue indefinitely. No one wants to see an aged Amare; similarly, now Nash can't possibly go back to mere excellence. Both of these seem almost inconceivable, making a brief window the most perfect careers they could have. Remember, of course, that neither of them was supposed to be where they are, anyway. Amare should be finished, and Nash was an injury-prone system player approaching that age for point guards. It's borrowed time, but what a gift it is.

(Yeah, I said it. And if you insist: it becomes Dark Phoenix when Amare's fully back)

Some other notes:

-Did anyone else feel that Harris only turned it on once Barbosa left him guarding thin air? Like he's fine getting scored on all night until someone tries to make like he's the fast one. . . .

-Amare is the only player in the league who can make the a hostile crowd oooh and ahh. I wouldn't be surprised if they showed his replays, too.

-Josh Howard is All-Defense. Next stop, All-NBA.

-Is his nickname "Plastic Man" already? Would "Double-R" be too confusing?

-I have mixed feelings about Iverson and like James Brown the way I like the Beatles, but an AI montage over "Superbad" is the best tribute to either of them I've seen this month.

-Read everything else I wrote today.


At 12/29/2006 2:38 AM, Anonymous chad ford and the mormon wailers said...

Amare's incredible alley-oop still had me in that beautiful, fluffy place, but then you just had to remind me about Sager talking about future surgeries. I had completely blocked it from my mind, too. Why am I so bummed about what may be a remote possibility in a future I may not even witness (due to my dipping interest in basketball, possible nuclear holocaust, etc.)? I just want not to worry about his knees. Why am I so emotionally invested in "stupid thug jocks who don't care 'bout nothin' other than money", anyways, eh?

wv: arzaaj, the 2057 NBA expansion team, Arzaaj Sons of the Desert

At 12/29/2006 2:55 AM, Blogger skinny said...

nobody needs the nickname "double-r" as nobody wants to be associated with the ruff ryders. and their bikes that look like cars.

At 12/29/2006 10:09 AM, Anonymous AO said...

Well continue to block Amare's knee for your mind. In the A, its all about the here and now. Lebron, for isntance, most certainly will win a ring-or two-or three. But, as of now, he hasn't advanced to the conference semifinals, so you notice has everyone has cooled off on this lebron is the best player of all time stuff?? Yea, he's dropping to people like Agent Zero who is simply having no mercy on the hardwood. He's killing players, teams, no matter who they are and what their rep is. Kobe? Psshh. Nash? Pssh. Torched both of them. M.....V....P....?

At 12/29/2006 11:49 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

AO, what you're saying supports my somewhat convoluted point about THE NEW NBA THEOLOGY OF GREATNESS

straight from TNT, here's the exact quote:

TNT’s Sager reported that he spoke with the doctor who performed Phoenix Suns center Amare Stoudemire’s micro-fracture knee surgery: "(Amare Stoudemire's doctor) said the fact that Amare is young is a great asset. But he also said the because he is an athlete and plays the way he does, in his opinion he will have to have the same type of surgery again in three or four years.”

At 12/29/2006 12:32 PM, Anonymous AO said...

From the players perspective though, I do not believe it is all about the dollaz, as chad ford said above.
There seems to be some awesome passion around the youngsters of the league right now. They all seem to be all about the ring. DWade got it in his 3rd year because of his own personal desire.
So, I think from the NBA Theology of Greatness (players perspective)Amare would be perfectly fine with having the surgery again if he helped lead the Suns to 1 or 2 titles in that 4 years span the doctor says he has. When you get that title, you can't be bad mouthed. You can't be questioned.

Notice, no one is questioning Dwade anymore. How can you after what he did last summer? The Heat are playing like absolute trash, and Dwade is their leader. Any person without a ring would be getting media-spanked for this type of preformance, with or without Shaq. But, he's got the bling. His greatness is proven.

check out what i wrote on my blog about Amare...nasiscoming.blogspot.com

At 12/29/2006 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh Howard is a perfect counter-point to my take on G. Wallace. To get on the floor in Dallas, he had to get his game right, and now he's combined that with his uncanny ability to be moving in five directions and seven dimensions at once, and is scary at times.

Why does anyone A) ever let Harris go left, B) not make him shoot J's all night long?

Would Barbosa be averaging 27 per if he could finish at the rim consistently? It's like he's so fast that where a normal player would take one dribble and lay it in on the front side, or two and reverse it, his one dribble takes him precisely under the rim.

Phoenix needs to put the ball in Diaw's hands more when Nash is on the bench - they don't seem to be working the two man with Bo and Matrix nearly as much this year.

At 12/29/2006 2:17 PM, Anonymous MaxwellDemon said...

Will anyone speak for Raja Bell? For me, he established himself as the Association's equivalent of The Guy Who Robs Bubbles when he went all thugified during the playoffs this year. In addition to being a dick, though, he doesn't seem to add value--witness the clutch pass to nowhere in the last seconds against the Mavs or the 0-8 from 3 pt range against the Wiz. What am I missing?

At 12/29/2006 3:03 PM, Anonymous Tim said...

Maxwell, Raja is in there for defense and a little stability next to Nash's pin-ball like game. If you check out that new Sun's book "Seven Seconds or Less" you'll see that he's not just a thug who was trying to hurt someone. He is really likable and he is just that emotional. He's definitely not the guy who robs Bubs. He's more Bode when he kicks in the Police car window, or punches the cop in season one. Knows the right move, just gets caught up in the moment.

At 12/29/2006 3:45 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Amare's alley-oop gave me chills. It almost made Dirk's game-winner irrelevant.

By the way, I was listening to Iron and Wine while I was watching the game, and somehow it made sense.

At 12/29/2006 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Guy Who Robs Bubbles

That would only occur if Raja's bad defense on Howard somehow caused Nash to rocket the ball off of Amare's knee in the next possession, bringing him low yet again.

At 12/29/2006 5:36 PM, Anonymous ronald james davis said...

the mamba jewish plot thickens.
also, keep em torched!


At 12/29/2006 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it God's will that he returns or is Amare defying God in his quest for basketball completeness? To me, the idea that his playing style in itself is responsible for tearing his legs asunder speaks to some sort of otherwordly battle going on here. Amare as Fallen Angel?

At 12/29/2006 9:06 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Amare is defying God, which may or may not only be possible if God wills it to be so. Except that the Black Jesus is something like a deity, or at least part of one, so Amare is willing himself to defy himself.

At 12/29/2006 9:32 PM, Anonymous gabe said...

Off topic in most every way: just found out that I will be sitting center court, feetonthehardwood courtside at this Supes-Celts game Sunday. I think they are Howard Schultz' old seats, actually.

Never thought I would experience this kind of up-close action, needless to say I'm PSYCHED, and I was wondering - anyone ever viewed a game from this type of crazy vantage? Suggestions for maximizing the experience/not getting kicked out?

At 12/29/2006 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabe: DO keep your feet tucked in and DO exercise your right to harangue players and refs (if you're into that). I've seen a couple b-ball games from courtside press row and I must say I vastly prefer the view from around 20 rows up, since you can actually see who gets rebounds, who fouled whom, stuff like that. But it is definitely cool to see the players up close and hear refs, players and coaches exchange words on occcasion.

At 12/29/2006 10:11 PM, Anonymous torgo said...

Shoals, does the league have to be monotheistic? I could see a Greek myth/pantheon thing going on. Substitute Black Jesus for Black Hercules, and I think it fits. Superhuman, but hated by a god. Of course, it's easy to see the parallels to Phoenix as an obvious cult of Apollo.

At 12/29/2006 11:12 PM, Anonymous MaxwellDemon said...

Tim, thanks for your input. I can't look at Raja and see Bodie just yet, but I'll try to change my worldview a little. Gabe, show up early and experience--I've had those seats twice (Clippers) and I found it pretty cot damn inspiring.

At 12/30/2006 3:02 AM, Blogger T. said...

I was away in San Diego watching the aesthetic opposite of NBA/Freedarko (Cal vs. aTm - gridiron; college variety) so maybe I missed this - but just a quick perusal of the past few days comments - did no one notice that Channing Frye celebrated his 2nd-to-3rd overtime jumpshot .. . with a Jim Jones/Ballin'/NY Football Giants jumpshot?

For heaven's sakes Channing, you're already playing basketball . .. no need to imitate it.

bbdxypd - Bell Biv DeVoe's personal security guards

At 12/30/2006 12:09 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

T, I was wondering about that too. A pro basketball player imitating a football player imitating a rapper imitating a pro basketball player? Postmodern overkill.

At 12/30/2006 2:13 PM, Anonymous gabe said...

I miss Bodie, in a frighteningly real way. How does a man spit like that? Shit was so gangster.

Fucking McNutty.

At 12/30/2006 2:45 PM, Anonymous gabe said...

And oh yeah, as '06 passes, let's all take a split to remember George Mason.

Shit was so amazing, so true.

People forget about the Tony Skinn ball-punch, the majesty of it all. I loved George Mason - I loved him.

What do you all think about this song?



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