The Otter and the Grey Thing
Another Miss Gossip banger today, this time with Chris Paul on the subject on bowling, Desmond Mason's burgeoning rap career, and a certain Stojakovic photo. For serious, I wasn't necessarily going to link here, until she made made my morning (granted, it's 7:30AM) by saying she first saw the topless Peja on our fair site. While it's not quite the revelation that her sit down with Oden was, I'd still take it over most of the interviews I've ever heard with NBA players. The most favorable thing about it is how you can see Paul's serious side slip away over the course of the conversation.
Can someone please explain to me why I don't like Mason? He's one of the most passable emcee-athletes of this decade, and was at some point a major player in FreeDarko's Best NBA Art Collection Sweepstakes. Plus his game is the precursor to Gerald Wallace, sort of. Okay, that's too strong, but he does have no jumper, a wild free throw motion, and has made a living off of artful athleticism. I'm going to take this as a sign that the era of NBA from which he sprang is really, truly, can't-catch-a-break curse. There's a world of difference between Mason and, say, Darius Miles; for one, Other Mase has a brain and is likable. More importantly, though, dude also seems like a hard worker whom coaches respect.
That's what makes it all the more strange that I neglect him. If anything, what separates the post-Bron era from the NETS IN THE FINALS millenium is that players give a fuck, or at least take the craft and pith of basketball seriously. Gerald Wallace isn't just a dunker, he's a dunker who also happens to have a Bowen-esque work ethic on the court. I despise Bowen exactly because he's gotten where he is solely through ass-busting, and there's a presumption that this is more noble than combining labor with natural gifts. On the contrary, I think it just reinforces the anti-athleticism bias that, sadly, is the legacy of the post-Jordan pall.
I think, then, that Mason eludes this site's peremptory gaze of freedom exactly because he seems shackled by this old way. I'm not saying that he should abruptly start hoisting three's all day, but if distant memory serves, he accepts himself as lesser for his lack of completeness. Rather than reinventing himself, as Amare, Josh Smith and Melo have done, or reinventing completeness, as Wallace has, 'ol DM seems content to make frightful physical skill into a kind of hyper-responsible role play. And while that's certainly preferably to flailing around in costume, it strikes this observes as something of a compromise, or at least complacency.
While I'm on the subject of figures I don't really care about who have something to do with the Bucks, ANDREW BOGUT WTF?!?!??! Before time began, FreeDarko was all over him for taking shots at Kobe. . . before he had been drafted. Now, Etan Thomas is raging over the Big Aussie's latest round of lazy invective, which I wasn't even going to comment on unless someone in the league saw fit to thusly them dignify. Bogut is really sui generis among internationals, in part because of his college ball over here: He's a foreigner who understands full well what the NBA wants from its imports. Namely, WHITE. Oh, and AN ANTIDOTE TO HIP-HOP. That Bogut conflates NBA foolishness with typical American slobbery is both astute and, for his ultimate place in loud-mouthed history, kind of stupid.