6.01.2007

These Are The Widest Days



Feel the Longform over at AOL, where I rally for the cause of sports-as-entertainment. This is probably my best one yet: the bosses have made it clear that they want these as Shoalsian as possible, and on this one I "voice-ed up" their edits for maximum effect.

I also broach the possibility that LeBron—as a player, and as a viewing proposition—is more hit-or-miss than the Pistons, but that's the price we pay. And also part of why we're willing to pay it.

Found it kind of tickling today that, thanks to Henry, the entire ESPN audience knows how generous OKC was to me with its vinyl. Since that cat is so far out of the proverbial bag, it's time I admit something serious. I hate the Spurs, Pistons, and anything else that passes for "perfect" basketball, because of my own illness.



See, I am a sick man. Among other things, I suffer from some form of obessive-compulsive disorder, primarily when it comes to dog-eared corners on record jackets. Yesterday, I accidentally drove somewhere with a pile in the trunk, and fucked one jacket up some. Then Iater, I was easing off an old corner price tag, and a tiny swath of the cover came off.

I have been tormented by these two things all day, even though the scale of disaster was small and their victims reasonably minor. I've spent a lot of today revisiting LeBron, replaying the game in my head, and having unexpected, though not unrelated, chills in my arms. Nonetheless, I've been bothered by perfection squandered, the line of battle claiming some collateral, and small errors as outweighing cumulative victory.

Now you can see why the FreeDarko brand of basketball is such a psychological release for me. I believe in entertainment, but I believe just as sharply in productive therapy.

25 Comments:

At 6/01/2007 5:23 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Genius work over at AOL and here on FD in the last 24 hours or so. Your passion is almost as compelling as LeBron's performance last night. LeBron last night passed Golden State's 1st round Game 5 for the game of the playoffs so far. This was a series that I barely had any interest in prior to it starting, and now I can't wait for Game 6. LeBron's only 22, I don't see him being tired tomorrow night. Especially not with that Cleveland crowd behind him.

 
At 6/01/2007 6:55 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

I've finally figured out LeBron; he's a walking/talking/breathing nuclear weapon. I can think of only two other players who are like that: Kobe, and maybe D-Wade.

 
At 6/01/2007 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the only reasonable trade i've seen. It involves the Lakers, Wolves, and Nuggets. The players are Kobe, Odom, Radmanovic, Bynum, Kenyon Martin, Iverson, J.R. Smith, and Garnett.

The Lakers would have a starting lineup of Iverson, J.R. Smith, Luke Walton, Garnett, and Mihm/Brown.


The Nuggets would start Steve Blake, Kobe, Carmelo, Nene, and Camby.


The wolves could start Foye, Ricky Davis or Marko Jaric, Odom, Kenyon Martin, and Bynum.


Throw in some player for salary reasons or a draft pick and this deal could happen.

 
At 6/01/2007 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That deal is retarded... somehow you managed to find a deal that moves a bunch of great players without making any team better. I think every team on that hypothetical deal would be considered a loser because of the fact that they could get more by trading with another team.

 
At 6/01/2007 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How quickly we forget who should have been MVP last year, not this year.

http://www.mavsmoneyball.com/story/2007/6/1/175416/2612

Is it ascending to a pinnacle, or just another hill for LeBron?

Wes makes the best point:
"He had 22 points, 8 rebounds, one steal, one assist, and no turnovers, in the 4th quarter during which single handedly outscored the Suns."

The Suns were THE chosen team. Not that Dirk has won anything, but lemme know when LeBron can draw and make free-throws like Dwyane Wade, and then the Spurs shall tremble.

 
At 6/01/2007 10:01 PM, Blogger Ben Q. Rock said...

I'd post this comment over at the FanHouse, but I don't wish to debase myself in such a manner.

Anyway, that was the best Longform yet. Very well said. I think what fans of "Right Way" teams forget is that sports is not just about winning; it's about entertaining. Certainly the former can occur without the latter, as the Spurs have shown, but where's the fun in that?

Predictability in sports is only good for the fans of the teams who stand to benefit most from it.

 
At 6/01/2007 10:06 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

First off, no one can draw fouls like Dwyane Wade. No one outside of the league office has any clue how he's able to get all those calls. Second, Sean, are you claiming that LeBron, Kobe and maybe Wade are like the villain Mark Pillow played in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace?

 
At 6/02/2007 12:14 AM, Anonymous anonycauseiwannabe said...

maybe sean and yams can start their own blog so the rest of us don't have to read them fuckflirting all over the place for weeks on end.

 
At 6/02/2007 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. - you left Iverson out of your trade scenario despite naming him as a participant. Maybe he just retires instead of going to the Wolves.

Man, the Shoals' contradictory feelings are enough to make me want to throw up my Maker's - you like perfection on your record sleeves but you can't stand the Spurs. Somehow you are telling me that you like to watch Eric Snow shoot the ugliest jumper ever rather than Finley or Horry's sweet stroke. Illgoosekus over TD? Really? It's times like these where I feel sorry for people who need a hero to be interested in a game and not the sheer beauty (sexiness?) of playing the game and grinding an opponent down to exposed nerve endings.

Bring on the Cavs!! Spurs in 5. Illgauskis blows but Donyell Marshall on Ginobili is what I'm really looking forward to.

 
At 6/02/2007 1:20 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

no, i'd rather watch shawn marion or kevin martin.

 
At 6/02/2007 5:37 AM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

Yes, predictability is usually boring, but for some reason I find the Spurs pretty exciting when they're having one of those hellspawn blowout quarters like in the first quarter of the last game vs. Utah. I think it might have something to do with what Shoals said a little while ago about embracing identity. As long as they don't pretend they're holding off inevitable (as so often seems the case when they're playing a close game) I'm fine with them.

On a completely unrelated note, I was unable to watch the Raging Inferno on Thursday, so anyone who can send me a copy of the game somehow would be a major help to me and I'd be in your debt. If you can help me, leave a comment on my blog (westcoastbasketball.blogspot.com) or something so as to not mess up this forum. Thanks much.

 
At 6/02/2007 7:44 AM, Anonymous Sean said...

Wild Yams: Maybe . . .

anonycauseiwannabe: Whatever man. If you want, I can start arguing with you. I'm sure you're a complete and utter douche bag anyway.

 
At 6/02/2007 7:53 AM, Anonymous Sean said...

Not to repeat what anybody else has said, but some of those commenters on Fanhouse are amazingly stupid.

 
At 6/02/2007 10:30 AM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

I love that anon's trade was preceded by "This is the only reasonable trade i've seen." I also love that in some twisted way it makes some amount of sense. To the anon that followed, I'm not sure what situation Lakers ever get more than Garnett/AI/JR. As a Laker fan, I'd be pretty stoked. T'wolves are the only clear losers there, and even then Odom/Bynum/Martin is about as good as any hypothetical KG package I've heard floated.

No trade I've seen on the internets really touches this one though:
http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=1017~3027~981~110~1998~617~49~592~1727~1711~362~1966&teams=13~13~22~5~22~21~5~13~13~22~21~13
I'm pretty sure that's assuming Lakers get the pick, too.

 
At 6/02/2007 12:09 PM, Anonymous randyduck said...

Shoals on AOL reminds me of a blurb on the cover of my copy of INFINITE JEST: "It's as if Paul Bunyan ahd joined the NFL or Wittgenstein had gone on Jeopardy." (Quotes don't imply accuracy here.) It's amazing that some of those people are deriving pleasure from the same game as I.

But I wonder: I grew up with the Warriors, who have not in my lifetime won ANYTHING without playing the Wrong Way. If the nationalist pride and chest-thumping the W's bring me were associated with Spurs-and-Pistons-ball, would I fetishize/aestheticize it the same way? Or would I just crow about how many wins my team had?

 
At 6/02/2007 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carter- the Suns get butt raped on this one, Lakers end up with the most amazing team ever that will refuse to play defense, and Kobe gets relegated to the wasteland that is Cleveland (which is really where that chump belongs).

 
At 6/02/2007 1:13 PM, Blogger Sergio said...

LeBron is the most dangerous man in the world -- with a ball in his hands.

 
At 6/02/2007 4:49 PM, Anonymous m said...

All we ask is that our memories not be tarnished, that our present astound us with the new, and that the future contain unlimited potential.

 
At 6/02/2007 8:06 PM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

You're probably right anon, the starting lineup of Nash/LBJ/Durant/Randolph/Amare is maybe a tad unrealistic.

Freaking kidding me? The Suns getting an unfair shake, the Lakers D, and Kobe going to Cleveland are your only problems with that trade? My personal problem is that Vlad isn't send out in exchange for Dwight Howard.

 
At 6/02/2007 9:24 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

On a non-baskebtall note: Has anybody here seen "Children of Men"? I just watched it, and Wow! what a movie.

 
At 6/02/2007 11:43 PM, Blogger Ben Q. Rock said...

We are all witnesses...

... to Daniel Gibson. 20 points in 8 minutes is FD.

 
At 6/02/2007 11:53 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

When was the last time someone dominated every offensive possession while only making three field goals?

 
At 6/02/2007 11:53 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Gibson was the man tonight.

 
At 6/03/2007 12:24 AM, Blogger MemphisRaines said...

You can't say the play of the Cavs (Gibson especially) wasn't entertaining. I'm looking forward to the matchup vs. the Spurs.

 
At 6/04/2007 1:37 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

anonycauseiwannabe, it's good to have a fan. Thanks :)

 

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