Nothing's Going to Wind Me Down
My bad luck to try and follow a flawless Billups banger that exhorted us all to BE PERFECT. And that's the last time I try and deliver myself unto sleep with some off-hand remarks. I was just trying to be like my forefathers in colonial America, who would arise at odd hours to think or pray. When the night and the mind were both clear and unencumbered. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong day for that. And the wrong blog—if every FreeDarko post isn't in some way painful for reader and writer, we're not doing our job. And you aren't, either.
But rather than remove that post's memory altogether, I'm doing it all over again. In the furious crucible of work, where there are no pillows and guilt lurks in every angle. This is a blog of dread, neglect, and selfish self-sacrifice. So here's take two. Let this be proof that I am indeed mortal, vain, and receptive to audience feedback.
First, the Livingston injury. Fuck all of you who took me to task for not crumbling to ground in pity. I wasn't ever informed of the exact point at which injuries became humor or critique-proof. Lamar Odom use to catch shit constantly for bits and pieces of him always rupturing or poking out of place. Baron Davis's career has turned into one big punchline. Why exactly am I a cretin for not donning black when Shaun Livingston destroys his knee? I'm assuming that few of you shed tears over Culpepper's Lonely Finale; same injury, far sadder coda, and yet no one culled through the garbage when his repaired knee came up lame.
My relief was simple. We've been fed this "Livingston: The Future" line since the draft, and he certainly seems like that player. His movements, his passing skills, his occasional grown-ass affect, all scream POINT GUARD FROM BEYOND. But that's a shell, not the animating force, of greatness at that spot. The thing with the Former Stoudemire or the Smiths is that, skill or no skill, you can feel the presence they could have on the court. Polish them up, and all of a sudden they're game-changers. For a point guard, that proof lies solely in the pudding. There's no such thing as potential floor game. Having stellar tools for that is not the same as being comprised of low-post magma; application to an unrealized vision is quite different than defying one's own temporary shortcomings. Or, to spell it out, there are shackled interns, and there are prematurely self-made bwosesses.
As a fan, I was sick of it. We couldn't call him a bust, since all cerebral evidence pointed to the contrary. And yet yowling his name began to feel more and more like an intellectual exercise, not the kind of soothsaying this blog built its scaly-legged house upon. Fine, it sucks for him. I also regret the thousands of people killed in civil wars and other international chaos this month. But like I said, I don't want to have to worry about the Livingston Question anymore.
Whenever I write about Len Bias, I both bemoan never seeing what could have been, and find some slightly macabre beauty in his non-career. Like people who keep pictures of their dead babies on the mantle. With Livingston, I have no regrets about opting for this inhuman, insensitive, indefensible, and totally aesthetically exploitative take on a young man's life and livelihood. Free Jay Williams, motherfuckers.
It was the Pacman coverage that brought me back to "drugs." Lazy of me to point out that athletes like weed, that America does, and convince you all that I spark it on the daily. Lazy and counterproductive. Mostly, I just wanted to say that I think drugs, real drugs, not steroids, uppers or pot, make the wide world of sports that much more flamboyantly engaging. I want to see Chris Anderson busted for Oxycontin in an Oklahoma City motel. I want Kevin Durant and Greg Oden to both have their careers derailed by coke. Give me Luke Walton making 13 threes in one game while he's shrooomin'. Basketball isn't music, except when music is drugs, and I really can't help buying into this equation. Anyone who doesn't either never listened to a record or is themselves a victim of addiction's somber tragedy.
Finally, Billy Hunter's NOLA-phobia. The players should stay away. They have a moral obligation—as in, one exists within them, not one is imposed on them—to feel for that city. Tons of neighborhoods there are still in shambles. Someone like KG is not going to be able to stay away from that, at least not in his mind. Nor should he want to. I mean, this isn't going to be like that Saints/Falcons game, where for all intents and purposes no black people had ever lived in New Orleans. THIS IS THE BLACK SUPER BOWL. Sure, it's easy to show up in that city for a tourist-y purpose and be exposed to minimal dread. That assumes, though, that you're capable of (and want to) block it out. It's not like you have to be staring at a gutted block to keep Katrina in your psyche.
That said, wouldn't this make for an awkward ASW? Paradox: the players, union, and league itself have done a lot already. More than any other sport. And yet this is exactly why they couldn't turn away. This is not the weekend, the occasion, to saddle with that. It's a celebration of frivolous excitement, not MLK weekend. Save that shit for the Finals, which should be the equivalent of all those U2/WTC/troops Super Bowl wellings.
I have learned one thing from the AOL FanHouse commentors: THAT ALL THE THUGZ AND CRIMINALS WHO ATEND ALLSTAR WEEKEND SHOULD HAVE TO GO TO NEW ORLEANS AND DO COMMUNITY SERVIS! UNLESS THEY ARE ALL ALREADY THUG LOOTERS FROM NEW ORLEANS TO BEGIN WITH!!! THEY HAVE NOH PLAZE IN DA NBA!!!!