11.11.2008

We All Are Columbus Day


The book is here! In stores now, out on the display tables in some, but still we thought we'd hit you with one more batch of excerpts. This one, on NBA players as city mayors, might be of especial interest to our core audience. Visit the book site for T-Mac and Amare chapters, and check out our fresh slide show on Slate. And even then, you'll barely have scratch the surface of our tome, so go cop that!

A few other things:

-I am kind of annoyed at my friend Paul Slocum for not mentioning to me this Dream Team vs. Croatia/Jesus and Mary Chain sound assemblage he's been working on. So up our alley it makes me faint.

-Watched the first three quarters of Suns/Grizzlies last night, after which it apparently got close. But I do feel qualified to state that teams seem to tire from playing Phoenix even though they shouldn't. Ty Keenan suggest it's Amare fatigue, and it's true, Amare is really a holy terror these days (even if only for half the game). However, I think it's most muscle memory, reflect brought on by the sight of Steve Nash dribbling down the court. Mayo, he's for real like Beasley and Rose. I like that, despite his profligate scoring, he also makes smart plays, resourceful plays, almost mature-beyond-his-years plays that bespeak a certain calm and wisdom. Maybe it's just the beard, which frames his face in way that's anything but post-Bron. I just get the feeling that he's never really in a hurry, and that when he starts going off, it's because he's decided the time is right. There's something Joe Johnson-esque to it.

(I haven't watched nearly enough of him this year, though, so rip away at that. I just can't begin to explain how thrilled I am at what impact him, Rose, and Beasley have made already. In a weird way, it sort of brings down Durant's luster—partly by association with last year's disastrous, over-hyped class, partly in that they've burst upon the scene in true phenom style. Though KD did have quite a game last night, a effortlesly inflamed as ever).

BUY THE BOOK!!!!

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27 Comments:

At 11/11/2008 12:10 PM, Blogger John said...

Just bought the book. It looks great! Although I did have to basically crawl on the floor of my Borders to find it on the bottom shelf of the 'General Basketball' shelf. That shit needed to be on the table in the front of the store.

 
At 11/11/2008 12:13 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Where was this Borders? It was on the bottom shelf at the one I went to in Chicago. I hope this isn't a chain-wide problem.

 
At 11/11/2008 12:50 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Just bought the book, it was on a nice table (unfortunately in the back of the store) at Barnes and Noble in NYC. Loving it so far.

 
At 11/11/2008 1:12 PM, Blogger Harish said...

True, Mayo is just smoooooth, he never seems to rush his plays or shots, he just lets the game come to him and takes over.

[side note: you missed a hell of a 4th quarter last night- Mayo had 19 in the period!]

 
At 11/11/2008 1:15 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Yeah, and I also missed Pierce's big 4th. I wish there were a service that would text me whenever something like that was in progress. Especially when I have the television on anyway.

I try be all Eastern (as in Japan, not Connecticut) about it, and figure that I'll get the chance to see plenty of that again in the future, and saw pieces of it leading up to that point. That's why I didn't freak out over missing Amare's destruction of the Pacers.

 
At 11/11/2008 2:04 PM, Blogger themarkpike said...

RSS feeds linked to STATTRACKER customizable FD algorithms. (i.e. IF recognizable increase in statistical productivity, THEN text me.).

I think MLB's iPhone alerts are pretty similar to this, but as we're all aware, baseball's focus on the individual makes the conditional programming much simpler.

All I know is that Shaq potentially has a Twitter account and it's kind of awesome to have ambient awareness of his daily activities.

 
At 11/11/2008 2:42 PM, Blogger seventysixers said...

just got the book delivered to work from Amazon = little to no productivity the rest of the day.

seriously, the book is off the charts awesome. and all ive done so far is peep the style guide and some random player profiles. great work all around.

 
At 11/11/2008 2:56 PM, Blogger Quantavius Sturdivant said...

I'm expecting the book on my doorstep when I get home from work. These are going to be literally the longest three hours of my life. I don't want to even peek at the samples, I want to enjoy it all at once, like Christmas morning.

 
At 11/11/2008 3:04 PM, Blogger floppy socks said...

apologies for going off topic but i thought this would get the juices flowing.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Introducing-the-JaVale-cam-?urn=nba,121293

JaVale has made technology obsolete

 
At 11/11/2008 4:11 PM, Blogger James said...

My pre-ordered book arrived from Amazon yesterday.

Incredible.

I intend to finish it when I get home from work.

 
At 11/11/2008 4:55 PM, Blogger Rufus Slim said...

Absolutely sick. Got the book at work and have been reading pieces here and there.

Reading the manifesto brought me to memories of last night how I felt as I watching the Memphis-Phoenix game. What a fun match-up that was.
Thanks FD.

 
At 11/11/2008 5:40 PM, Blogger goathair said...

Aside...

From Tiger Woods:

"I think it's absolutely incredible," Woods told CNBC. "He represents America. He's multiracial. I was hoping it would happen in my lifetime. My father was hoping it would happen in his lifetime, but he didn't get to see it. I'm lucky enough to have seen a person of color in the White House."

If Tiger Woods is talking about politics, I think it's safe to say the election has definitely changed sports.

 
At 11/11/2008 6:08 PM, Blogger Avi said...

Just to let you guys know, publishing houses generally have to pay to get their titles planted in key places around bookstores (e.g., those nice store-front tables or end of aisle displays). It's possible that Bloomsbury struck a deal with B & N but not Borders.

 
At 11/11/2008 6:32 PM, Blogger John said...

@Brown Recluse, Esq...

NYC Borders. I hope they are isolated incidents as well.

 
At 11/11/2008 7:03 PM, Blogger Mack said...

check out this hilarious BCS satire!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6catQoYIeI

 
At 11/11/2008 7:22 PM, Blogger ItTakesAThiefToCatchAThief said...

The book's outfuckingstanding. You guys outdid yourselves. It's worth it for the Lamar, KG, Sheed, TMac, Marbury - should I continue? -, and Vince parts alone. Haven't even started the last section yet either.

Just had to say, outfuckingstanding.

 
At 11/11/2008 7:29 PM, OpenID varsityoptimism said...

just bought the lone copy at the sherman oaks, ca borders. the lovely bookseller had to scavenge through the stock room to find it...

freaken love this book

 
At 11/11/2008 9:19 PM, Blogger Jerk Store said...

another recommendation for a good book. stunning visuals and pure poetry.

 
At 11/11/2008 9:35 PM, Blogger tray said...

I enjoyed the T-Mac excerpt, although I thought you could've made a lot more of what a star-crossed career he's really had, between Hill, his gimpy back, and just his general underachieving approach to the game. Also the fact that when he finally got to play with another superstar, he turned out to be just as much of a gimp as T-Mac himself.

 
At 11/11/2008 9:47 PM, Blogger Both Teams Played Hard said...

Looking forward to Amazon finally shipping that behemoth to my doorstep.

Also...RE: That's why I didn't freak out over missing Amare's destruction of the Pacers.

You should have. It was like a Shakespearean sonnet read to Black Sabbath. Luckily, a guy I know live-blogged it.

 
At 11/12/2008 2:25 AM, Blogger Case said...

I got my copy this morning from a Barnes and Noble in L.A. It's awesome! Outstanding job.

I agree with Tray. The T-Mac excerpt was very enjoyable. He's an intriguing player to me. There's something that really bugs me about him though that I feel just doesn't get enough media attention. I was just wondering if maybe it was just me, or maybe I'm making too big a deal out of it. But hear me out and lemme know what you think.

I notice that when T-Mac speaks about himself or his own game, he seems to hold himself in higher regard than others do, perhaps maybe for his own confidence (reminds me of Stacy Patton from "Eddie"). One example is last year -- the kobe trade hype machine was in full force before the season began and rumors were swirling about a potential kobe for t-mac deal. I distinctly remember T-Mac saying something to the effect of "I'm not surprised by those rumors... I'm a very valuable person to be traded for."

Another example is the New Orleans All-Star Game. The year before, during the All-Star Game in Las Vegas, he was asked about having the game held in New Orleans and said something to the effect of "I'm not going. It's for my own safety." Perhaps it was in bad taste because of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the state of the city, but that's not what bothered me about it so much. He ASSUMED that he was going to make the All-Star Game, when it turned out that he wasn't voted in by the fans OR chosen by the coaches. (To make him even look like more of a fool, the game was a huge success, philanthropically speaking. Everyone -- players, coaches, David Stern -- seemed to enjoy helping out in re-building New Orleans.)

This is one of the few players that I can think of off the top of my head that speaks about himself in this way. Integrating it with your book (the quote about "finally being in the second round of the playoffs" from 2004 against the Pistons was right on the money), he talks a big game, but hasn't really won in the postseason. This bugs me because he continues to do it. (Sunday night's game, Rockets vs. Lakers. His analysis of how the Lakers played him defensively is laughable. He was single covered practically all night. He mustered up 3 points on 1-for-11 shooting.)

Your thoughts?

P.S. - Any chance of a book signing in L.A.?

 
At 11/12/2008 3:36 AM, Blogger tray said...

Case, see also his recent interview with Stephen A. Smith (who's an idiot, of course, but maybe because he's such a suckup, did a great job coaxing some arrogant crap from T-Mac). He's quite charming throughout, but explains that he didn't really feel badly about last year's playoff loss because, after all, who could've expected them to do anything without Yao, that you couldn't really have expected them to do much pre-Artest anyway because "it can't just all be on me and Yao" (who were Kobe and Shaq's supporting cast again? how much more talent do you need if you're so damn good?), and best of all, that he doesn't really regret losing that series he said was over in 2003 because "all those guys I was playing with aren't even in the league anymore" (Mike Miller, Drew Gooden, Grant Hill, Jacque Vaughn, Steven Hunter - all still very much in the league, Tracy, and Giricek would be, but he bolted for Europe. In fact, there are only five players on that Pistons team he lost to who are still in the league. So it's total bullshit.) Oh, and he also promised that once he makes it past the first round, we'll see a whole new level of play from him that we've never seen before, because then the first-round monkey will be off his back. It reminds me of washed-up rappers promising that their next album will be their best.

 
At 11/12/2008 6:17 AM, Blogger g said...

tray,
Yes lets just blame tmac for everything. Did anyone even except the Magic from that year to take the the pistons to 7? Grant Hill didn't play a single minute in that series. Mike Miller wasn't even on that 2003 Magic team. Drew Gooden is barely an average player. Jacque Vaughn is just a backup point guard. The starting 5 of that team was one of the most offensively challenged starting 5 to make the playoffs. Tmac took a bunch of nobodies and almost pulled off the biggest upset (warriors style). In a 7 game series do you honestly think Giricek playing 32 minutes a game, Jacque Vaughn playing 19 mins a game, Darrel Armstrong and Drew Gooden playing 32 mins a game will get it done against Rip, Chauncey, Tayshaun, and Big Ben (in his prime)? Last year he lost to the Utah Jazz, probably the third best team in the West (behind the Lakers and Hornets). He still took them to 6 games. Rafer didn't even play the first 2 games. Anyone who thought he had a chance to beat Deron and Boozer alone (while AK47 was guarding him and the rest of the Jazz team was waiting to double and triple team) was just dreaming. Just hoping somehow, someway he could win and be relieved of the stress and pressure placed on him. Hoping that he could advance out of the first round and just get on with his career. Daydreaming about a time when TMac no longer needs to answer to anyone about what he didn't do.

The only times he ever had a legitimate chance to get out of the first round were 2005 and 2007. In 2005 the Rockets lost to the Mavs. That was the same series when the refs unfairly targeted Yao Ming (we found this out last summer). The 2007 series went down to the wire with the Jazz. It could have gone either way. The Jazz were the third best team in the league that year (behind the Spurs and Suns). However the Rockets could have won that series. It just came down to luck in the end.

Also Shaq and Kobe had a much better supporting cast than Yao and Tracy. The Lakers 3peat team had a great supporting cast. A group of players in which everyone knew their roles. Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Brian Shaw, etc... all knew their roles. They were all good at what they did. The fact that there were dead eye shooters like DFish and Horry meant defenses couldn't sag (like how defenses sag off Rafer and dare him to shoot). Those teams were built much better. Also the Lakers team had the most dominant big man to ever play on its team (seriously 4 time DPOY Mutombo couldn't do anything against Shaq in the 01). People take for granted how great of a player Shaq was in his prime. Sure Duncan might be the better long term player(since he stays healthy), but in terms of pure dominance Shaq was untouchable. Everyone in the league feared him. Never in the history of the league did a dominant big man (Shaq) destroy the best defenders(Mutombo and Duncan) night in and night out. No one could stop Shaq in his prime. Sure Shaq lost to Hakeem in the finals (swept), but he was just a sophmore in the league whereas Hakeem was in his prime. Sure he lost to the Jazz twice but that was when Stockton and Malone were in their prime. When Shaq reached his prime, there was no answer for him. (sorry bout the rant about Shaq, I just think he's the most dominant big man ever and love him).

 
At 11/12/2008 8:09 AM, Blogger tray said...

I don't blame T-Mac for everything (and you're right, they traded Miller mid-season), but when you say your whole team sucked so much that they're not even in the league anymore, shitting on your ex-teammates like that, and what do you know, many are still in the league, and the same is true of the other team, most of them are retired too... I kinda have to call the guy out on that, you know? I mean, can you imagine if Kobe started talking about the Lakers team of a few years ago, and he was like, "that team sucked, my whole supporting cast's out of the league"? Can you imagine the outcry? Or when you say "it can't be all on me and this All-Star center" - well how good are you if that isn't enough to win? They had great defenders, and T-Mac and Yao were supposed to supply the offense. Yeah, maybe they could've used some better shooters than Alston and Head, but no team's perfect (and Head and Battier shot 44 and 42% from three the year they lost to Utah). You put Kobe on that team instead of T-Mac, they definitely make it past the Jazz. So yes, I think he's an underachiever.

 
At 11/12/2008 11:01 PM, Blogger Case said...

"T-mac is an underachiever" = extreme understatement. He might be a superstar, but he's definitely not a winner. It's just annoying how he talks himself up and doesn't back it up on the court. THAT is frustrating.

Most annoying T-Mac moment of this season (so far) = Brandon Roy's .08 game-winner. He called out to Artest for a switch for no reason at all. He was too lazy to cover Roy himself. After the play, I'm surprised Ron Ron didn't punch him in the face.

 
At 11/13/2008 10:54 AM, Blogger AG said...

This book is ridiculously good. A much heavier tome than I was expecting. Sharp, bright, and popping with both color and knowledge. Superb work.

 
At 11/14/2008 7:36 AM, Blogger StreakShooter McFloorburn said...

Re: g's Shaq rant - why must you (and so many others) forget that Wilt is, and probably will remain, even if the game as we know it is played for eternity, the only correct NBA definition of "most dominant big man ever" Say what you want about how much better or different the game is today, and Shaq in his prime probably would have beaten Wilt in his prime, but since that matchup can never happen, we must use facts to determine these things, and since at least 2 of Shaq's championships were gifts (not his fault, and not fact), and Wilt's statistics in his best seasons were numbers that the Incredible Hulk may as well have put up (again not fact), and his overall effect on the game was as great or greater than Shaq's, we must conclude he is the more dominant player. Please use whatever reference materials you have access to, and get the dose of reality that Wilt's stats and records in his best seasons will surely provide. (Yes, I am a bitter, friendless know-it-all prick...no need to respond...who comments 2 days late anyway?)

 

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