Snort of Plenty

Here's a surpriser: over at the Haus, I've got a Longform up on why last night's lottery delivered the NBA.

Oh, and since it's all I can think about today: anyone in Seattle with good writing connections, get at the company gmail. If The Stranger needs someone to cover the Kevin Durant beat, I'll offer my services plus my life savings.

Finally, the Recluse and I have just determined that we both picture the father from Fraser whenever Simmons mentions his pops.

EDIT: I totally forgot that the lottery worked that way, and then denied having ever known it because that would be less embarrassing than having misplaced this knowledge. I think. If you didn't read this post before this edit, don't ask questions.


At 5/23/2007 4:53 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

link fixed. apologies to anyone who thought that my latest column for aol was a photo of a frilled lizard. . .that i double-posted over here!!!!

At 5/23/2007 5:08 PM, Blogger Ben Q. Rock said...

Fraser's dad as Simmons' dad is a good call. Nice.

You're right about the Lottery, too. I couldn't care less about any of the remaining playoff teams and was counting the days until July 1... until last night. Now I'm going to have to start listening to Chad Ford's podcast again. Trades. The Pacific Northwest as the Association's Mecca for the next decade-plus. Yi Jianlian.

I'm excited.

wv: ueyplaad. "Ew, plaid!"

At 5/23/2007 5:47 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Frasier's dad (John Mahoney) is an especially convincing call if you can remember him as the Irish dad in all those Edward Burns movies. Ergo: Simmons=Edward Burns.

At 5/23/2007 5:48 PM, Anonymous pt said...

i know this is the wrong thread, but just now on around the horn adande brought up the hypocrisy of hunting getting a free pass while vick gets villainized. finger on the pulse, shoals.

At 5/23/2007 6:00 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

Did Hibbert pull out? Cause he's not on the mock drafts for either CNN or Sportsline.

I think people are underestimating his worth because a mild mannered center who can hit a 15 footer is much more valuable in today's game. And I'm saying that with no sarcasm.

At 5/23/2007 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hibbert IS going back to school.

At 5/23/2007 6:37 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Hibbert says he's going back to GU.

Yesterday, as I was thinking hopefully about the impending Adelman era in Houston, I almost posted about whether Bonzi might make it back to the Rockets.

Then, today, this.

Bonzi should get his wish. He could have been the difference against Larry Miller's mob.

At 5/23/2007 6:51 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

(for the hyper-technical) Almost commented, not posted.

At 5/23/2007 7:18 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

The best John Mahoney roles were in Say Anything ("I'm incarcerated, Lloyd!"), Barton Fink ("Where's my honey!"), and Eight Men Out ("They're the greatest team I've ever seen, period.").

I think we're gonna have to wait a bit to see what this year's draft actually did to the NBA. For the time being it looks like it's made the league even more unbalanced with 3 of the top 4 picks going to the already overloaded West. The league really needs to have every team play every other team in the league the same number of times so that the truly crappy Eastern teams don't get to slide by with mainly playing other crappy Eastern teams. That way all the really awful East teams will actually be alone at the bottom of the league, surrounded only by other crappy East teams, thus increasing their chances for future great draft picks.

It's gonna be a trade-fest this summer though. Should be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

At 5/23/2007 7:59 PM, Anonymous aug said...

Does Durant really have that much more upside than Rashard Lewis? I mean, Lewis is still really young and hasn't been able to show what he can do fully and he's already able to average 25, 7 and 3 with a block and deadly from 3 point range. Everyone knows durant isn't gonna average double digit boards right? I really love durant, just not for the sonics. They're not going to get any better with durant while a team like the bobcats or blazers or hornets could really use him and go to the next level. Hopefully the blazers and sonics can swap picks somehow, wouldn't that be grand. All drafting durant would do for the sonics is relieve some cap room and buy them some more time. Durant will probably be gone by then. Hopefully.

At 5/23/2007 10:18 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

lewis turns 28 in august. he's not that young. also, what people keep ignoring about durant is his handle. people SAY big guys have guard skills all the time (kwame brown??), but durant really DOES have guard skills. lewis is basically a tweener, a power forward who isn't a strong enough rebounder or post scorer to be a true 4 and without the handle and passing to be a true 3. he's very effective, but he's a borderline all-star now, at his peak. durant's a potential mvp.

At 5/23/2007 10:37 PM, Anonymous Millions said...

As much as people want to speak of this draft in grand terms, let's not forget that when the Knicks won the Ewing sweepstakes an entire city of New Yorkers had dynasty dreams dancing in their heads. It never worked out. And yet Big Shot Rob has six rings and is one of the most clutch players in the history of the Association. The point is you never know. And I'm not a bitter Celtics fan. I'm actually a Rockets fan and a Durant fan.

Also, the Pacific Northwest may or may not turn out to be the basketbal mecca (probably not), but I honestly cannot build up any excitement about watching the Blazers the way I get excited about watching the Warriors and Suns. Is it because Oden, though a seemingly nice guy, is just boring?

At 5/23/2007 10:50 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

I personally find Oden's defense just a shade less exciting than Durant's offense. I'd agree with you if he were a pure fundamentals defender, but dude flies all over the place to get his blocks. Remember the one to clinch the Tennessee Sweet 16 game?

Speaking of blocks, I find the controlled block more exciting than the five-row-deep spike, likely because so few people do it now that it's shocking to see. Am I alone here, and, if not, is this one of the few times (the only time?) where the "right way" play is more thrilling to watch?

At 5/23/2007 11:13 PM, Anonymous Ridnour&Shuttlesworth&Shard&Durant&Wilcox said...

First of all, I absolutely hate that "controlled block" crap. Guys are blocking shots any way they can, enjoy it, its always a sweet play. Saying you like a controlled block is like saying you'd rather see a "sweet" fadeaway 15 footer from Duncan than a drop-step dunk from Shaq. I mean after all, they are both worth two points, right?

As for Oden, I think he is extremely exciting, not boring at all. Just watch his NCAA Tourney run to see that he is a ticking time bomb. Most of the time he is sleepily controlling the middle, but then out of nowhere he makes an absolutely superhuman block or dunk. I think hes amazing.

At 5/23/2007 11:30 PM, Blogger Sergio said...

My biggest concern with Oden is that he never looks like he wants to be dominant; he is too content loafing around for long stretches.

Durant, on the other hand, lives to skin the opposition alive, and I enjoy watching that kind of intensity.

At 5/23/2007 11:56 PM, Anonymous Millions said...

You got it Sergio. I don't deny Oden his talent, which could (probably will) turn out to be better than we thought and I don't deny his blocks can be fun to watch and I certainly don't deny his brilliant game against the Gators, but the problem is that more often than not he just leaves me cold and bored. Durant, as Sergio mentioned, is an absolute killer. Sure he didn't make it far in the tournament but Oden also had a much deeper team. Durant has got ridiculious passion. He will not pass the ball to Donyell to close out a playoff game.

At 5/24/2007 12:10 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

I watched Durant as much as possible this year and I never noticed this white-hot intensity you guys are talking about. Yes he hit some clutch shots, but I just saw a guy that was just in front of or above everybody else. It was like everything he did was one click faster than the other players on the floor. But it issued from a savant-like talent, not some snorting fire inside his soul. At least it seemed that way to me.

At 5/24/2007 12:11 AM, Blogger wls230 said...

nice article, but it's not about last night's lottery, it's about this year's draft class.
We already knew that this year's class is gonna seriously help the NBA.
I'd love to hear more of your take on how the actual lottery outcome- loaded northwest, spurned tankers- is 'delivering' the association.

At 5/24/2007 12:15 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

And I agree that the controlled block is neater to see, and it's arguably a very FD play. Because what is basketball if not practicing deftness and subtlety while simultaneously stretched to the limits of human movement?

While still intimidating of course. Because without the intimidation, I just described olympic gymnastics.

At 5/24/2007 12:21 AM, Anonymous Quarterican said...

Uhm, potential starting lineup for the 2007-08 Sonics, the "sweet fadeaway" and the drop-step dunk are both worth two points, yes. The point of the controlled block isn't "check my finesse, I don't have to be all showy," it's that you control the freaking ball. You know, so that instead of spiking it out of bounds or back at an opponent you can pass it to your guards who are running downcourt. For fastbreak points. Smashing the ball into oblivion is fun, but I'd rather actually have possession of the damn ball. At which point I can do all the exciting shit I want with it.

At 5/24/2007 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't be more off-topic. Giants have the most FD staff in MLB.

At 5/24/2007 12:59 AM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

I agree with salt on Durant's will. He was just so far ahead of everyone else in the nation with his combo of skill, athleticism, and size that I'm not willing to claim he exhibits an overpowering will to dominate that Oden will never match. Also, Oden closed down the paint in pretty much every game I saw of his this year. I'm not willing to claim he won't wreck things offensively until I've seen him with full use of his wrist (I know that's been said so much that it sounds like an excuse now, but I think it's true).

That said, the word from people close to Durant is that he has an unbelievable drive to get better (you can see that in his skills). I just don't know if hitting some admittedly clutch shots (including in some games that his team lost, like that incredible OT game against OkSt) translates to anything else than him being much better than every other wing in his age group. I'd like to see what he does against someone like Tayshaun Prince in a clutch situation before anointing Durant the most driven player of his era.

Then again, it's also possible that his team/coach were too stupid--and they were really stupid--to let the will to win take over the offense.

Also, as a Giants fan, I have to agree with the anon. who just posted about the rotation.

At 5/24/2007 12:59 AM, Anonymous Ridnour&Shuttlesworth&Shard&Durant&Wilcox said...

Quarterican & Salt Bagel-
Thats very true. I will say that i sort of took it out of context, as when described by Salt Bagel as a very FD play i would have to agree. I guess I just hate it when talking-head types (Packer, Bilas, etc) laud the play, because i feel they use it in that "don't be all showy" way when in reality that isnt why the play is impressive.

At 5/24/2007 1:05 AM, Anonymous pyrex chapman said...

there are probably a few incidents every season (definitely not per game, considering you can lead the league with about 3 a contest) where an excellent shot-blocker could keep the ball in play instead of sending it into the third row. when a shot gets spiked, it's because the defender is moving towards his opponent and extending his arm with enough velocity to disrupt the ball's trajectory. besides, considering the 24-second shot clock, do you really want your big man attempting to keep the ball in bounds around your own basket instead of putting it safely out of play? unless you're playing amidst munchins, players don't control blocks because it's exceptionally hard to do.

by the way, if you watch clips of how bill russell kept the ball in play, you'll see that he had the back of his hand towards the baseline and flipped the ball away from the basket. it's not necessarily a question of motivation as much as technique -- and i'm not sure it would work against the size and athleticism of today's players. they say russell averaged about 8 blocks a game (they didn't keep track of the stat in his heyday) and no one is even coming remotely close to doing that now.

At 5/24/2007 1:41 AM, Blogger Sergio said...

Re: Durant's Work Ethic

Just to clarify, we all agree that Durant looked smooth as hell this season; he's never demonstrated any of that 2006 LeBron "I'm taking the paint right now" moxie, if you catch my drift.

At the same time, I caught a piece chronicling his rise to stardom, and it mentioned how he would regularly challenge himself to wind sprints up the steepest hill in his town. This was not something his coach insisted on. Rather, it was entirely his choice, a move for his own betterment as a player. That step on his college opposition, while no doubt borne of natural gifts, is at least partially earned.

Again, there's always something to be said for a relentless drive to improve one's game. If LeBron had it, I would not count myself as one of his detractors.

At 5/24/2007 10:30 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

I don't get this whole "Oden is boring" thing. Yeah, he lacks personality, but his play?!? How can you love Tyrus Thomas (and a lot of ya ride his jock), but not feel Greg Oden, who is TyRise if TyRise had any skills whatso ever? Oden can not only solve "everything that can be solved by jumping", he can also do a few other things, too.

As for the early commenter who warned of the potential of another Ewing in the draft... um, I'm a Knicks fan, and I enjoyed the Ewing era. Okay, he never got us the championship, but I would still prefer annual trips to the playoffs, being a contender every year, and a trip to the Finals over being the Hawks, or the Clippers (forever rebuilding). And I'm sure that Trail Blazers fans feel the same way. Ideally, no matter what, you won't have to rebuild for another 10 years - you might have to tweak the lineup around Oden a few teams, but the next 10-15 years will be the Oden Era in Portland.

At 5/24/2007 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article only proved that the draft is good for the NBA. The lottery was disastrous, since it’s going to send the next two potential franchise players to the basketball nether-regions of the Pacific Northwest.

At 5/24/2007 11:26 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

everyone has a point. i saw the lottery as a reminder that this draft would do great things and stimulate basketball. i really didn't care where anyone went. will post something later, though, on the simple twist of fate aspect of it all.

oh, and FUCK YOU JACK. i'm moving to seattle in a month.

At 5/24/2007 11:26 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

(btw that was in the same vein as "i will kill anyone who says durant doesn't end up in seattle")

At 5/24/2007 4:09 PM, Blogger Leee said...

re: the Giants rotation sporting FDness. I'm not sure where anon and ty are seeing this -- either that or I'm still trying to piece together FD's aesthetic ideology.

SFG rotation to me:
1. Overpaid.
2. No run support, plus hints of sophomore slump.
3. Resurgent beard.
4. Streakier and much much cheaper version of #1.

At 5/24/2007 5:24 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...


Admittedly, I can't piece the ideology all together either, but here goes.

1. Throws 86, but carries himself like he throws much harder--except for a ridiculous looping curveball. Also works fast.
2. Extremely young. From Alabama. Loads of potential. No run support seems FD to me, for some reason.
3. Morris doesn't really seem that FD to me, outside of the beard. Although multiple arm surgeries might qualify as unfulfilled potential.
4. Incredibly streaky.
5. Lincecum needs no explanation.

In the end, maybe they're not FD so much as I'm incredibly excited about what this rotation will look like for the next decade.

At 5/24/2007 6:32 PM, Anonymous Jesse said...

Hey sorry, I was the one who posted the original anon comment. I meant to add the name, and forgot -- perhaps dealing with the repressed shame of posting offtopic. Luckily, since this thread seems to be almost vacant now, I can feel more free.

My thoughts were similar to what Ty wrote. And sure, a lot of it has to do with telling stories to make my fandom more entertaining to myself.

1. Overpaid is bad for the team, but not a moral failing. When he does well, it's compelling to me in its smallness.

2. Potential. The everpresent possibility of a no-hitter. (In uneasy balance with my sense that I will never see a Giants no-hitter.)

3. Yeah. I don't know if I was really thinking past the beard.

4. Both the changeup and extremem streakiness are products of the superego, but one shows control while the other shows compulsive lack of control.

5. This fucking guy.

At 5/24/2007 10:47 PM, Anonymous Goon said...

I'n watchign Pistons-Cavs game 2 right now and it is just awful. The teams can't barely score 70, crowd is silent, ball is slapped away on every possession, and the all around offensive incompetence sucks. THis is a CONFERENCE final?

Rasheed is playing well though.

At 5/24/2007 10:49 PM, Anonymous Goon said...

Also: why does Lebron stand around so much? Every time he catches the ball he stands around for like 4 seconds then dribbles around for a few and gives it up near the end of the shot clock.. is that all he's got?

At 5/25/2007 1:24 AM, Blogger Notorious D.I.G. said...

Durant's gonna be fun to watch in a real Nash kinda way. While Oden/Aldridge is gonna be an evil mismatch on both sides of the court and WILL WIN RINGS. I'm really kind of jealous of Portland right now.

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