The Audacity of Pride
I'm reporting from space while Big Baby, Silverbird, and Shoals are on the front lines. Make sure to check them out on the FD East Coast tour. Oh also, I should mention, you can buy the Macrophenomenal Almanac for 40% off on Amazon ALL DECEMBER LONG.
Lots to catch up on. In the sporting world, there is currently a war on pride. Whether it's Sean Avery, Plaxico Burress, or Stephon Marbury, the standards athletes are being held to is that of a superhuman, which--pay close attention--doesn't get to feel the things that humans feel. Humans get to boast about their sexual conquests (within reason), protect themselves without relying on 350-pound bodyguards, and voice concern when they feel they have been betrayed.
To focus on our bread and butter, I am going to have to once again stand up for Stephon Marbury and talk about how ridiculous the vilification of him is. I never like a player disrespecting a coach, and therefore, I can't back him for dissing D'Antoni in saying...
"Mike had no intentions of me playing basketball here," Marbury said. "He gave me straight disrespect. It was beyond disrespect. He put in (Danilo) Gallinari, whose back is messed up and (who) didn't participate at all in training camp ahead of me (in the season opener). ... That's saying, `I'm letting you have it right now.' He was sticking it to me."
...I do, however, empathize with his feelings of being disrespected. And for Q-Rich to say that he "left his teammates out to dry" is just hypocritical. This is where I back Steph in his comments that
"I didn't hear one of my teammates say, `Why isn't Stephon Marbury playing? This is a good system for him, even to play with the second unit and bring more firepower.'
Not one guy stood up for him? I mean, you don't expect them to complain to Mike D, but you do expect them to communicate with Steph directly on some "that's f'd up, man." For nobody to have it in them to even approach Steph about his situation is about as arrogant as whatever Starbury has done to this point. And what exactly has Steph done. I always come back to this old saw. He never broke the law, he never fixed a game, he never coasted through a series. His crime, being a ballhog and not living up to a monstrous contract a la Raef LaFrentz or anybody else.
The fact that there aren't immediate takers for Steph speaks to the absolute ridiculousness of sports in the 21st century. CP3, D-Will, Mo Williams, and now more than anybody Chauncey Billups are proving that this is a PG-dominated league, and Steph would instantly transform a lot of PG-less teams into at very least playoff teams (WIZARDS I SEE YOU). Pro athletes should be superhumanized for their brawn, and accepted as human for their personalities. If Michael Vick has to play in the CFL out of jail, I'm going to gag.
While on the subject of pride, I have to pour out a cup of something foamy for Sam Mitchell, last of the true nutsacks in the NBA. Carlesimo, Eddie Jordan, and now Sam Mitchell. Where have all the grown-ass men gone? The only silver lining for me (sorry Skeets) is that it makes Mitchell a more likely candidate for the Minnesota position, which should go vacant....any day now. I love Mitch's style, but I realize that guys like him, and Skiles, and Eric Musselman are really an entirely new brand of coach. The stop-gap hard-ass. They are the guys that are going to come into a rag-tag situation, scream on everybody, rally up the troops and bring them back to respectability...until the players start tuning them out. Much as I hate to say it, I think Colangelo made the right move...again.
A few more notes. Shoals demands that I point out Rajon Rondo's line last night (even though I hate Rondo):
Shoals has deemed Rondo, "the Garnett of point guards," which reminds me, this song is really good: Willie the Kid and La the Darkman -- The Rap Kevin Garnett.
Also, I was completely prepared to hate this, but it turns out to be the most compelling thing I have seen in some time. I can't turn away.