Where Amazing Happens
To start off with an aside, I was watching NFL Sunday Countdown this morning and believe I actually heard Chris Berman lambaste Chad Johnson for wearing his mock Hall of Fame sportcoat after touchdowning in the Bengals first game of the year instead of a “Phoenix [site of the Superbowl] or Bust” blazer. The point was that Chad’s antics were detrimental to the team when they were him-focused but wouldn’t be so bad if they included the team. Lest us all forget that the Bengals’ craptacular defense is the reason for their troubles this year, and Chad Johnson is one of the only people actually keeping them in games putting up career best numbers this year.
In this post-anthrax-in-the-mail world of fear and blind nationalism, America champions the collective over the individual. To reiterate for the 1000th time, Free Darko stands opposed to this proposition and favors the individual in all things, especially in sport. That NBA championships are won by teams and not individual players is a ridiculous notion, with even the most right-way organization of them all, the recent San Antonio Spurs proving this to be the case (Duncan won them all those championships alone, I'll admit it). What's more, the triumph of the human spirit is not that Kobe and Shaq won three championships together while secretly loathing each other. Rather, the triumph of the human spirit is that the greatest individuals on the planet such as Tracy McGrady and Dirk Nowitzki have inadvertently prevented their teams from doing so.
Teams are meaningless, the Association itself even moreso. Ever since the Amare suspension, one must feel that we are but one step away to players being suspended for wearing houndstooth. Individuals will reign now as they have reigned always. It is with this spirit, that Bethlehem Shoals, Billups, the Brown Recluse, Esq., and I bring you FREEDARKO'S FIRST ANNUAL EVERY PLAYER PREVIEW. Together, through hours of watching film and close analysis, we have determined the fortunes and actions of every single player in the League. Today we begin with the A-F portion of the alphabet and will work our way down to Thaddeus Young within a few days. Behold: the only NBA Season preview you will ever need.
Abdur-Rahim, Shareef: Receives public acknowledgment of his 2002 All-Star selection
Abreu, Jean: Graduation day
Adams, Hassan: Will begin his lifelong rivalry with Mustafa Shakur
Afflalo, Arron: Gets his ass beat by Rodney Stuckey
Ager, Maurice: Starts second career as a pen name
Akindele, Deji: Leaves the league forever
Aldridge, LaMarcus: Will render Greg Oden superfluous
Allen, Malik: Start making moves in the Players Association
Allen, Ray: Challenges Tom Brady to a duel
Allen, Tony: Absent-mindedly migrates to the Timberwolves
Almond, Morris: Student Council President
Alston, Rafer: Is dragged to Wes Anderson screening
Amundson, Louis: Changes his name to Louis Williams
Anderson, Derek: Opens a Christian-themed water park
Anthony, Carmelo: Sets up the inevitable George Karl/David Simon lunch date
Anthony, Joel: My favorite player
Anthony Appiah, Kwame: Takes his family to his tailor
Arenas, Gilbert: Guest stars on multiple sitcoms
Ariza, Trevor: Will subscribe to many magazines
Armstrong, Darrell: Adopts a pack of wild dogs
Armstrong, Hilton: Demands personalized towels from the Hornets
Arroyo, Carlos: Tearfully admits that he can't play any instruments
Artest, Ron: Tours with Charo
Atkins, Chucky: Will come to blame Damon Jones for everything he's suffered
Augmon, Stacey: Will spend hours on the road waiting to find himself on YouTube
Augustine, James: Hides during cuts, is never seen again
Azubuike, Kelenna: Is told by Don Nelson to “get a gimmick”
Balkman, Renaldo: Duets on commemorative Crown Heights riots single with David Lee
Banks, Marcus: Signs his contract again in different colored ink, faxes it to Suns front office
Barbosa, Leandro: Amare bets him he can't score 13 points in 34 seconds; he gets 14 in 35 and dutifully pays
Barea, Jose: Gets his own website
Bargnani, Andrea: Champion of good eating
Barnes, Matt: Relentlessly campaigns for Hilary
Barrett, Andre: Lies about his age
Barron, Earl: Stays up late with Dorell Wright
Barry, Brent: Doesn't miss it one bit
Bass, Brandon: Lured away from NBA by massive NBDL contract
Baston, Maceo: "It's a parish in Lincolnshire, not a city in New England"
Battie, Tony: Makes a scrapbook for his eventual grandseed
Battier, Shane: Weight off his shoulders when the world tires of hating him
Belinelli, Marco: Cute last name makes respect all but impossible
Bell, Charlie: Commutes from the continent
Bell, Raja: Endorsed by Lacoste, engineers trade to the Nets
Bellamy, Walt: Accused of murder
Bibby, Mike: Consider changing his brand of chewing gum
Biedrins, Andris: Learns the true meaning of heartbreak
Billups, Chauncey: Still isn't a running back
Blake, Steve: Become morbidly obsessed with advanced basketball stats
Blatche, Andray: Records a triple-double wearing nothing but underwear
Blount, Mark: Turns state's evidence
Blowfly: Says to Ronnie Prince, "I can put you on"
Bogans, Keith: Will be sent a birthday card by the Bobcats
Bogut, Andrew: I hope it's bad, whatever it is
Bonner, Matt: Joins Steve Blake's fantasy league
Boone, Josh: Buys some DVDs
Booth, Calvin: Did he die or something?
Boozer, Carlos: His agent convinces him to set the record straight on Prince
Bosh, Chris: Starts reading his own press clippings
Bowen, Bruce: Gives pro-life speech to an island of seals
Bowen, Ryan: Pumps his fist a lot
Brand, Elton: Gets a 60 Minutes feature
Brewer, Corey: His wiriness soften the blow of KG's exit
Brewer, Ronnie: The Recluse checks out his wedding registry
Brezec, Primoz: Deported for his own well-being
Brooks, Aaron: Lots and lots of haircuts
Brown, Andre: Decides to take it slow
Brown, Damone: Becomes the new Awvee Storey
Brown, Devin: Is so underrated that he sucks
Brown, Elton: I don't know who that is
Brown, Kwame: Hands will grow, game will not
Brown, Shannon: Would rather not be given meaningful minutes on the Cavs
Brown, Tierre: STILL IS NOT A WOMAN
Bryant, Kobe: Suspended for tanking games
Buckner, Greg: Gets Jerry Buss to sell the Lakers to the EU
Burke, Pat: Spends a lot of time shopping for Christmas, forgets one kid
Butler, Caron: Prepares for career in local broadcasting
Butler, Jackie: Wins a playoff series for Washington
Butler, Rasual: Will finally have someone pronounce his name like "casual"
Byars, Derrick: Multiple 15-point games
Bynum, Andrew: Starts laughing at the media
Calderon, Jose: Probably is going to bodyslam Sam Mitchell
Camby, Marcus: Will become Theo Ratliff, in terms of injury and possession of a cap-crippling contract
Campbell, Marcus: Is going to average seven blocks per game in the D-League
Caner-Medley, Nik: Will exemplify the curse of U of Maryland basketball stars
Cardinal, Brian: Hopefully will donate his body to science
Carney, Rodney: Will find his way into our hearts
Carroll, Matt: At some point is going to really piss somebody off
Carter, Anthony: Will wither
Carter, Vince: Is going to win the dunk contest
Cassell, Sam: Will be traded to the Celtics by mid-season, propelling them to an NBA championship
Chandler, Tyson: Will burn a copy of his birth certificate
Chandler, Wilson: Is gonna really hustle
Chase, Brian: Will get a piggyback ride from Shaq
Chenowith, Eric: Is going to get posterized by Robert Swift
Childress, Josh: Will punch one of his Hawks teammates, of an equal height, in the back of the head
Claxton, Speedy: Is going to be the best player from the 2000 draft
Clayton, Michael: Grosses over $200 million
Cleaves, Mateen: will pick up a 10-day contract for the Timberwolves.
Collins, Jarron: is going to sport Rocawear.
Collins, Jason: will tutor young children on the SAT.
Collins, Mardy: is going to have an impact.
Collison, Nick: might get a DUI.
Conley, Mike: will win Rookie of the Year.
Cook, Brian: refuses to give up his copy of that new Alice Sebold novel on the team flight.
Cook, Daequan: announces his retirement.
Crawford, Jamal: is the next ballplayer to get stabbed by a bunch of rappers.
Crittenton, Javaris: is going to have eight myspace pages.
Croshere, Austin: rides the BART through Oakland, unnoticed.
Curry, Eddy: will star in a Pixar movie.
Curry, JamesOn: will serve as a metaphor for the Iraq war with his play.
Dalembert, Samuel: will sing the Canadian national anthem before the first game of the NBA finals.
Dampier, Erick: will leak gravy onto the court.
Daniels, Antonio: forgets what team he’s playing for, passes to himself.
Daniels, Marquis: will be caught sleeping in an old Mavericks uniform.
Davidson, Jermareo: will explode.
Davis, Baron: will lead the Warriors to a perilous ruin, causing a distraction with his unresolved contract situation.
Davis, Glen: is going to wave a towel in a Turiaf-esque manner.
Davis, Paul: will be loved tender.
Davis, Ricky: is gonna get traded, then criticized unjustly.
Deane, Willie: will get pantsed by Gilbert Arenas.
Delfino, Carlos: angry in believing that Flip Saunders is still his coach.
Deng, Luol: Bulls’ first all-star since the Clinton administration.
Diaw, Boris: will FLOURISH.
Diawara, Yakhouba: self-promotes the nickname “Yak Attack.”
Diaz, Guillermo: learns Pig Latin.
Dickau, Dan: envies Luke Ridenour
Diener, Travis: will be starting by January.
Diogu, Ike: accidentally gains 50 pounds during all-star weekend.
Diop, DeSagana: will be a non-factor.
Dixon, Juan: ruins aunt’s political campaign
Doleac, Michael: fixes lightbulbs for shorter players.
Dooling, Keyon: injures himself at Epcot Center
Douby, Quincy: films buddy cop pilot with Quincy Lewis
Douthit, Marcus: still doing the “Walk it Out.”
Dudley, Jared: fined for wearing cornrows under new David Stern policy.
Duhon, Chris: shows a darkside.
Duncan, Tim: implicated in Donaghy scandal.
Dunleavy, Mike: gets nominated by Indiana fans as “Pacer of the year” even though no such award exists.
Dupree, Ronald: begs for roster spot by offering to do all of coaches’ taxes.
Durant, Kevin: is going to date Rihanna.
Edwards, John: Registers as a Republican
Ellis, Chris: Brags about once besting Chris Paul at bowling
Ellis, John: British theoretical physicist, coined the term "Theory of Everything"
Ellis, Monta: Hopes that Saleisha wins America's Next Top Model, Cycle 9
Elson, Francisco: Receives a diamond-encrusted Rolex from Tim Duncan
Ely, Melvin: Kind of misses Jerry Tarkanian
Evans, Maurice: Tells his buddies HE could score 81 if he got to play the whole game
Evans, Reggie: Thinks about dying his hair
Farmar, Jordan: Regrets getting his tattoos
Fazekas, Nick: Calls Charlie Bell, asks what it's like over in Europe
Felix, Noel: Learns to play the accordion
Felton, Raymond: Secretly hates Chris Paul and Deron Williams
Fesenko, Kyrylo: Finally gives in and buys a tricked out Bentley
Ffriend, Kimani: Does not stutter, also not friendly
Finley, Michael: Still trying to convince buddy Nash that just because he hit the ball off his head that one time doesn't mean he wants to play soccer with him
Fisher, Derek: Starts growing out his "playoff beard" after the All-Star break
Fitch, Gerald: Invests in a lumber company
Ford, T.J.: Dunks more often than Bargnani
Foster, Jeff: Basking in the afterglow of his first 20-rebound game, finally does his Christopher Walken impression
Foye, Randy: Has a running bet with Corey Brewer about who will get the first triple double (despite his insistence, they do not allow Ricky Davis in)
Foyle, Adonal: Retires from the Magic to oversee the 2008 election in Florida
Frahm, Richie: Asks everyone to please start calling him Richard
Francis, Steve: Will retire before season's end and open a car-detailing business in Houston
Frye, Channing: Happy that people in Portland don't tease him about his name as much
Labels: every player preview