The Past Will Never Forget #1

A few links of note:

-We now have a bi-weekly column on Deadspin. Here's my first toss.

-I'm quited pleased with today's Longform, which reconsiders Melo/Bron.

-Not only did Adande shout us out—he asked Phil Jackson some questions about Woody Allen's deleted philosophers/Knicks scene.

I would also like to announce a new feature called, I guess, "The Past Will Never Forget." Or "forgive," I'm not settled on one yet. This hopes to address the utter unnavigability of this site's archive, as well as the fact that no one read us in 2005. Periodically, I'll dig up some links to older material that still stands up well today. If you've already seen it, please reminisce about those foregone days.

-Reading Yglesias's epic guest appearance, I was reminded of my own, far less cogent, take on the NBA's place in the imperial prophecy.

-Speaking of other countries, here's the EVERY PLAYER PREVIEW done for Euros.

-These tales of the wild, crazy David Harrison have long since disappeared from the web, so thank Dr. LIC for actually pasting some into his post.

-Lastly, we revisit our first ever guest blogger: Fran Vazquez, who offered us a diary of his day in the draft (1, 2, 3).

UPDATE: HAWKS/BOBCATS TONIGHT!!!!! Sadly, I have to go to the doctor and will probably have to watch it later online. And yes, I did leave it off of my AOL picks; I didn't want to get in the habit of spotlighting the Hawks every week. Of course, I felt so bad about it that I promptly repressed this knowledge until Silverbird reminded me.


At 11/14/2007 2:03 PM, Anonymous Ben Q. Rock said...

The first Fran Vazquez link is broken. The next two are fine, however, and are spectacular reads.

At 11/14/2007 2:11 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...


At 11/14/2007 2:26 PM, Anonymous Shake said...

I like Forget.

Reading that Harrison bit made my day.

At 11/14/2007 3:05 PM, Blogger goathair said...

Zarko = Shoals TO THE MAX

At 11/14/2007 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just claim you are highlighting th Bobcats this week. We need some love too.

At 11/14/2007 3:34 PM, Anonymous db said...

Or it could be "The Forgetting Will Never Pass"...

Good idea pulling out those old posts for us newcomers. I really liked this quote:

In short, it became for "the hip-hop generation" what soccer was for each non-American nation; only when it stopped claiming anything in particular did it revert to something less partisan, something with a broader appeal for its target audience.

With the emphasis on the "claiming", this is a really succinct summary of NBA politics. It's not that it's stopped meaning anything in particular for the "hip-hop generation" - actually it probably means many more quite specific things - but that these meanings are impossible to get an easy fix on in organisational or media-analytical languages. (Or "governmental" languages even). For me, that's a great rationale for FD's hermeneutical project.

At 11/14/2007 3:48 PM, Blogger BasilDukeLee said...

I don't know if it's that no one relates to LeBron, or if it's that everyone relates to him in a purely banal way. He's one of those trivial truths that you grasp alright but it doesn't really add any value; everything you can possibly say about LeBron is true and there seem to be no conditions which LeBron fails to satisfy.

At 11/14/2007 4:35 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Simmons linked to a Detroit paper reporting this from the Pistons' practice:

Wallace's basketball IQ
Coaches have raved about Wallace's basketball IQ. He gave a sterling example Monday.

The Pistons held a short practice at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton. Coach Flip Saunders had the players run through several often-used sets but switched up everybody's positions. One time down Billups would play center and Wallace point guard; another time Jason Maxiell would play point guard, and Flip Murray would play center, and so on.

Turns out, Wallace knows every play from every position.

"Just basic basketball," he said. "When you come down in transition, you never know where you are going to end up on the floor. A guy might beat you to your spot, so you have to fill in at the other spot. It's like a guy who played quarterback in high school, then went to college and played wide receiver. He's got an advantage because he knows the routes better, he understands the timing of it."

I thought this was quite interesting, either in the Sheed-is-just-a-knucklehead debate from your Deadspin article or maybe even for the positional issue.

At 11/14/2007 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darkofan: Re: link to "shout out" and the Philosphers v. Knicks game, as well as Shaq's self-identification with philosophy sometimes misidentified as protoNazi:

Several of the black liberation writers/ subjects of prison books popular in the the early 70's ("Soul on Ice " : Soledad Brother") spoke of having discovered Frederick Nietzche (phonetic) while imprisoned , as did Malcom X ,

but Shaq as Uberman ? ; no,Shaq has too much humanity and humor. Kobe is more like it. The Jay Gatsby analogy of a few posts back is close , or maybe a young Howard Hughes.

Jason Kidd would be Martin Buber.

At 11/14/2007 5:50 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Really enjoyed the LBJ/Melo piece.

Part of the distinction between the two probably relates to Bron's previously discussed status as ur-deity/pure potential. Although I might argue that we are all in a process of becoming, it is nevertheless difficult to relate to a being that can seemingly be anything he wants to be.

Relatedly, Melo has obviously focused on becoming a scoring machine, so his tool set is relatively small but his skills with his tools are already well developed. Bron's development seems slower because he's seemingly attempting to master ever aspect of the game (witness the blocks, rebounding, and defense in the early part of the season). And that's really one of the most fascinating things about him right now: he's obviously refusing to give in to the common advice one hears from coaches and commentators to focus on a few aspects of his game and get really good at those. It implies a certain awareness of his omni-potential that reveals a psychology overly cloaked by the MJ-inspired veneer of marketing appropriateness.

And, as is implicit in the Shoals's piece, that veneer makes Bron acceptable but not really likable, whereas Melo seems like a cool dude.

Finally, I like the insight that a player at peace is easier on the watcher than one at war internally.

Random observations of the season thus far:

- The Blazers can shoot and seem to know what they're doing despite their ages. Aldridge is fast and skilled. Oden's addition next year is tantalizing.

- The Lakers roster is actually quite good this year with development of the youngs. Wonder what they'll be able to do.

- The Spurs still utterly bore me. They continue to make other teams unwatchable.

- AI looks as good this year as he has since 2001. He absolutely tormented the Cavs. I even saw him post up Boobie! AI posting up!

- That Adande piece was remarkable on so many levels, but Shaq declaring himself the Black Nietzsche totally blew my mind.

phvsmy: sixers vs. marbury's york

At 11/14/2007 6:12 PM, Anonymous db said...

"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."


Re: the excellent LBJ/Melo piece, I think we also need to look at how the context has changed ("the hip-hop generation") since MJ, which makes LBJ's sometimes similar otherworldly demeanor seem more distant ("shallow identification" you said?) than it might have 15-20 years ago. Historical comparisons have to take into account the individual and the environment...

If anything, the closest I can think of to Nietzsche would be KG. A bit manic, redefining the approach to the game, looks weird when not in a comfortable environment, incredible presence, not fully in command of all the tools at his disposal. A famous critic once broke character to say - "the thing with Nietzsche, like Marx and Freud, is that when you read it in the German, it has a 'zing' to it". [Actually, if Arenas would pick up Nietzsche's defensive game, he could fill the role better than anyone].

At 11/14/2007 6:31 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

re Mr. Six: I agree on the Lakers, I saw two games where the rest of the roster had so many exciting moments (mostly Farmar/Bynum/Turiaf) that Kobe's 30 didn't even stand out.

And the Spurs observation is simple but amazing and kind of reverses how I've always approached them.

At 11/14/2007 6:57 PM, Blogger Pooh said...

Re: Spurs and opponent's unwatchability. I often wonder how much of that has to do with fear. And by this I mean that aside from the true upper echelon wing scorers (and even some of them *cough*VC*cough*), it seems like Bowen's guy doesn't really try and go to work all that much. Because Brucy will cut you, and everyone knows it.

At 11/14/2007 7:40 PM, Anonymous Zeke said...

It's pretty rote and cliched to go with "The Spurs are boring." If you want boring, I refer you to the late nineties Knicks/Heat.

Their 2005 Finals against Detroit? Truly horrid, but that's what tends to happen when two teams that can defend well in the half-court go up against each other. The 2005 Finals against Cleveland? No more exciting than watching the Mavericks or the Suns dust the Pacers by 20, since Cleveland couldn't provide a worthy opponent.

It's never entertaining to watch a prize fighter pound Glass Joe, and that's what the Spurs are, a heavyweight in a league full of bantamweights. I will say that I take pity if watching Duncan work his arsenal of post moves, Ginobili playing with reckless abandon, and Parker zipping past anybody that dares to try and stay in front of him does nothing for you. They execute well, and with the dissolution of Shaq and Kobe, they're the only truly great team in the League right now. Give them a worthy opponent, like the Mavs in 06 or the Suns last year, and they will play some compelling basketball. Their matchup against Dallas two years ago has to be up there in terms of all-time best series, and that's not all on the Mavericks.

At 11/14/2007 8:06 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Rote, cliched, and true.

It's fallacious to essentially argue that Knicks/Heat are the only possible form of basketball boringness.

Although a player-by-player point-counterpoint might be entertaining, I will just say that for me, the whole of the Spurs is less than the sum of their parts ... most of their parts are boring too ... and now they're dragging down others with them.

And finally, I don't as a rule find utter domination boring. To stick with boxing, Roy Jones was completely engrossing even when his opponents were obviously outmatched. The Spurs are both dominant and dull.

At 11/14/2007 8:25 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

i just want to go on record saying i absolutely hate the nets and the YES broadcasting team, and im only watching this came because i want to see magic happen from the celtics

wv: vtrkl - spud webb had an impressive one

At 11/14/2007 9:44 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

For all the talk that you constantly hear about how dirty Bowen is, and how he will "cut you," I can't recall the last time Bowen actually hurt someone and made them miss any time.

I watched Nash trip Felton last week causing him to miss a game, but even the Wince's and Shuttlesworth's of the league haven't missed time after their run-ins with Bowen.

At 11/14/2007 10:03 PM, Blogger T. said...

Wow. Mr. Six crystalizes it for me. It's not that the Spurs are boring (although they might be) - but totally wondered what it was about them that I found so .. . dreary. Especially when I love GIN-O-BLE-IIIII and Tony Parker's teardrops are works of art.

It all makes sense now.

qhbqbzh - chutzpah, but in catalan

At 11/14/2007 10:15 PM, Anonymous trouc said...


holy shit man

At 11/14/2007 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In nearly 48 minutes. Aren't those kind of what we should expect (and he lost)? That's not so holy shit to me.

At 11/15/2007 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy shit is Marko Jaric leading a game in rebounding and McCants scoring 33.

At 11/15/2007 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cry for Golden State.

At 11/15/2007 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:56 -

From the AP article about the Cavs/Magic game:

"According to the Elias Sports Bureau, James is the first player to record that many points, assists and rebounds in a game since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968."

I think the holy shit stands.

At 11/15/2007 2:19 AM, Blogger personalmathgenius said...

holy shit, the Rockets shot shit from the floor, lost Tmac for most of the game, had a 30% night from Yao, and STILL almost beat the Lakers for the fourth consecutive time...yet still lose on a (get this) Rafer Alston missed three. I want to see the control sigil he's cut into Rick Adelman's soul. Other than the aforementioned mind control, there is no other explanation for why Alston should be taking that shot.

wv: jufjjqt- Finnish/Welch chewing gum

At 11/15/2007 3:03 AM, Anonymous ronald james davis said...

i just want to do everything i can to make people aware of both kobe and lebron averaging a block and a half a game right now. .2 behind garnett. particularly spectacular were kobe's blocks of t dunkzz and yao these past two nights.

At 11/15/2007 3:08 AM, Anonymous ronald james davis said...

and let us not, let us NOT, sleep on AI's 3.1 steals per game

At 11/15/2007 4:06 AM, Blogger T. said...

pmg - the game story (I didn't see the game, was, um, working) says that it was a last second play with Yao grabbing the rebound off an intentionally missed free throw and throwing it out to him.

Despite Skip's continual brick laying this season (and inside the 3 point line last year) he's actually a decent (not excellent, but decent) career 3 point shooter - top of my head says around 36%. But not having seen the play, it sounds like Yao just found the first open guy.

At 11/15/2007 4:23 AM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

For those who didn't see it, Yao's missed FT was the best I've ever seen. He threw it off the front rim so hard that he didn't even have to move to grab the rebound.

At 11/15/2007 4:29 AM, Anonymous bluebeard curry said...

I am amazed at how pompous the local FSN commentator muppets are. I've just recently moved to Los Angeles from Denver, so I'm starting to get to know the local sports callers.

Just a moment ago, on the Clips/Knicks rebroadcast, the commentators asserted that the Knicks had no idea that Chris Kaman was shooting 87.5% from the stripe so far this year.

I don't know. In an age where I can ascertain such information readily, I'd imagine every single professional basketball team in the NBA has that information.

I suppose this brings me to my bigger point; the game has changed, the callers haven't.

At 11/15/2007 5:06 AM, Blogger Brock said...

"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."

Just once, when there is a lot of driving to the basket in a game, I want the sports world to come up with something other than a dick joke. Maybe Phil could say, "yeah, it got totally colonial out there." Which, I guess, is still a dick joke if you look at it right.

At 11/15/2007 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"On Chamberlain's big night in 1968, he had 53 points, 32 rebounds and 14 assists. The 39-13-14 plateau has only been reached seven times, with Oscar Robertson doing it on five occasions."

They keep saying LeBron did it, but he needed overtime and he LOST. Add the qualifiers.

At 11/15/2007 10:48 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...



you guy are as lazy about me as you claim i am about you.

btw i agree with that other guy who claims there's nothing deeper to race in the nba than that it "gives us a window into race relations in the nba." i said as much on here last year.

it comes down to this: yes, the spurs are great. they win. but since they're not my team, that means nothing to me. i don't like watching them, and i don't think that's some kind of fringe attitude. when duncan's in charge, he's rad, and manu can sparkle. that's not how they usually look, though. sorry.

as a fan, they're a point of order. and i don't think this site ever intends to be anything other than a particularly stilted, inflamed fan's perspective.

At 11/15/2007 11:24 AM, Anonymous Zeke said...

It's ultimately a subjective judgment on the Spurs. I'd rather watch the Suns. I'd rather watch the Mavericks. There's a half-dozen teams I'd rather watch play than the Spurs. It doesn't chap my ass if people don't find them compelling enough compared to what else is out there in the League right now. They're way down on my list of priorities when it comes to League Pass.

I just think they've been pidgeonholded and shoehorned into that "Spurs are dirty and boring" meme, the same way Phoenix has to constantly hear about it doesn't play "any" defense, the Mavericks have to hear about how they are too "psychologically damaged" to mount a title run this year, Yao/Tracy have to hear about how they've never gotten out of the first round and thus the Rockets are pretenders, etc. There's more than a grain of truth to these views, but it just gets repeated over and over again to the point that it snowballs and takes on a life of its own, out or proportion to what's actually there.

There's no harm in an inflamed, stilted perspective, so I've judged too harshly.


At 11/15/2007 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd encourage everyone to take a look at Pat Riley's comments after my Heat lost last night. Motherfucker really lays it on and speaks da truth - I mean, if you have passion for basketball and all. Maybe I'm just a homer but he really lays it out:


At 11/15/2007 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody but the Spurs:


-via Mavs Moneyball

At 11/15/2007 6:01 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

It's really funny that Mavs fans listen to Arcade Fire to get ready for a game.

At 11/15/2007 7:11 PM, Blogger Mister said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11/15/2007 7:16 PM, Blogger Mr. Sniffles said...

As they say, when the going gets tough, Pat Riley gets going

At 11/15/2007 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jew jew i'm jew you see jew. metaphysics. jew. leibniz. gerald wallace. seatle. jewish. a priori free world of forms darko pseudophilosophicalychology. jew. jew. kobe bryant? kobe bryant. pavement lyrics. shameless self promotion. free darko. gerald wallace.

At 11/15/2007 10:32 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

self-loather alert!

At 11/15/2007 11:21 PM, Anonymous db said...

Frankly, I find the Mavs more boring than the Spurs, apart from Avery. But their game is just so boring, all those isos and the players just seem to have no flair or are flawed in uninteresting ways. Apart from Jerry Stack who's flawed in interesting ways.

I watch the spurs as a learning experience in what it takes to win. It's a different kind of watching, for sure, but there's lots of ways to watch a game.

At 11/15/2007 11:24 PM, Anonymous db said...

except of course they just got beaten... so what do i know...

At 11/16/2007 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I slipped a pick-and-roll and the person following called me a Jew. It was weird. My father was a Jew. I am not.

At 11/16/2007 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arcade Fire going in and "In Rainbows" going out.

At 11/16/2007 1:12 AM, Anonymous Zeke said...

Did you watch that game tonight, db? I saw plenty of side to side ball movement from the Mavs and less reliance on iso play. They had 20 assists. Dirk has become much more adept at anticipating where the blind-side double teams are coming from and finding the cutters.

But what do I know? I'd rather watch a Bobcats-Hawks game because Gerald Wallace and Josh Smith can really run the floor like gazelles, and there is great metaphysical truth in this.

At 11/16/2007 1:15 AM, Blogger rebar said...


i'm sorry, but i don't think that last year's spurs-suns match-up was epic or whatever other term you used to describe that travesty.

in general, the spurs and many other teams are boring because they've lost all narrative drive. teams can only be exciting so long as they can remain immanent to the plane of transcendence (right-way ball). in point of fact, call me a blood-thirsty savage but the suns are really starting to bore me. i'm not a big snash fan and amare is still swt but as a team they're too damn predictable. their narrative has taken on a predictable trope, much like the spurs (for the suns, it appears to be "they're fun! steve nash is fun to play with! they're fun to watch! they might win it all this year!" my response: you said that last year. and the year before.)

i completely agree. the spurs are utterly unwatchable. you could have a freak all-star team of the hawks/warriors/grizz/kobe versus the spurs and they would still blow to watch (at least for me). why? because i can predict exactly how the game would go:

-spurs slow pace, play defense
-tony/manu make some interesting plays
-timmy scores 21 points, grabs 13 rebounds, plays defense
-commentator says something about bruce bowen/timmy's defense
-whichever team wins, wins by like 3-10 points.

seriously, have the spurs ever been blown out in the last several years?

wv izljor: Kirilenko's dog

At 11/16/2007 1:21 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

If you're going to make fun of me, at least do so in convincing fashion. There's no metaphysical truth in Josh Smith, and if there is any in Wallace, it has to do with certain tensions in his game. Who gives a fuck about running?

Starting tomorrow, if i have any time, I'm going to start deleting comments this piss me off.

Suns have kind of gotten stale.

Me: The Suns are looking old
Jones: That might not be such a bad thing for them.

At 11/16/2007 7:38 AM, Blogger rebar said...

i sincerely hope that comment wasn't partially directed at me. if so, i hang my head in shame.

personally zeke, while i disagree with you, i thought that was hilarious.

i don't mind old (see jackson, stephen or wallace, rasheed), what i mind is the lack of vim and vinegar. i just can't think of a suns player doing something like starting a fight or roaring after a dunk because they're so passionless about the game. maybe back in the day when snash wasn't the machinic assemblage of working knees and fast-twitch reflexes minus bloodlust he is today. i believe you (or another fd'er) touched on something once in a deadspin post (of all things) talking about how steve nash is very similar to duncan in his approach to the game. no wonder they're equally unwatchable?

At 11/16/2007 9:46 AM, Anonymous Zeke said...

Actually rebar, I said the Spurs-Mavs matchup two years was as compelling as it gets. It's certainly up there with that Kings-Lakers matchup in 2002.

I don't find the Suns boring at all, but I've come to really dislike them because of all the whining that they do and the sense of entitlement that they have. They're still taking about that Spurs series 6 months later. The suspensions didn't change the outcome, you lost, get over it. D'Antoni in particular seems like he's wound too tight. Why is he calling out Phil Jackson over a timeout? Or his own home crowd because they're not standing on their feet and cheering for all 48 minutes like the Cameron Crazies for a November game against the Knicks? His attitude reeks of "We're not only winning games, we're special because of HOW we win games. How dare you fans not be sufficiently grateful for that." It probably hasn't crossed his mind that winning 55+ games every year gets old, at that point fans only care about the money season.


Post a Comment

<< Home