As We Glide Upon Long Isles of the Night

Bethlehem Shoals: Okay, so let's set the stage. I wrote that provocative LBJ post only out of enthusiasm for this Warriors/Thunder game. Ziller announced through a major media conglomerate that this was our new talisman. Ty Keenan missed out on free tickets because he was busy mulling over my offer to chat this. And he, like Dr. LIC, were hungry. We certainly did "Let's do this," and here are the results.

BS: Local League Pass feeds are the last bastion of true regionalism.
Ty Keenan: Oh let me put the game on. I was watching Hitman.
Dr. Lawyer IndianChief: I'm watching this on mute.
BS: They've already said "fun" 6,000 times. SETTING THE STAGE.
Dr. LIC: Okay, turning the volume on.

BS: Fuck it, Anthony Randolph is the new Amir.
TK: That hadn't been decided yet?

Dr. LIC: Damn...Sabonis was NOT a Euro.
BS: Sabonis and Drazen, too.
Dr. LIC: Drazen gets real respect. So far I'm not convinced that Spaniards are real Euros either.
BS: Spanairds are a bad influence on basketball, and I mean that in the best way possible

Dr. LIC: My friend Paul just texted me: "What flag is on S-Jax's headband?" I'm guessing Jolly Roger.
Dr. LIC: Oh wait, he was asking about the FD shirt.
BS What if Wade starts a trend with that giant face Band-Aid?
Dr. LIC: He stole that from Penny.

BS: I love that kids in the Bay have no choice but to root for Stephen Jackson.
TK: Why don't any of those kids like Monta? He should have a Dora the Explorer-type cartoon.
BS: The reason why Monta and Randolph should be together forever is that one looks like a bigger version of the other.
TK: The difference is that Monta looks like the happy baby and Randolph looks like the one who had colic.
BS: The other reason Odom likes Randolph is that AR's expressions are even more pained.

Dr. LIC: This whole Thunder coaching situation proved that everyone is wrong about everything. P.J. was hailed as the next Popovich; He couldn't even figure out what KD and Jeff Green's positions were.
BS: I thought he was brought in to sabotage the team. Under the pretense of being "a good coach for young players" which for some reason means yelling, not being imaginative and figuring shit out.
BS: Is Durant so skinny that his bones make a noise when he hits the ground?
TK: I definitely heard a noise.
TK: Monta's getting there.
BS: Monta has more first steps in any path across the court than any player in the league.
BS: Did Marco get tanner while he was injured?
TK: I think a little. It's been really dreary here over that period, too.
BS: I'm implying that he went out of town to tan.
TK: He might have a machine.

BS: There's Thabo!
Dr. LIC: This game is delivering.
BS: I just realized it's 33-26 with lots of time left in the first.
TK: It feels like it's only been five minutes or so
BS: Maggette is the most most Duke-like un-Duke Duke player in the world.
Dr. LIC: True.
TK: Jason Williams might have given Maggette a run for that though
BS: Crawford is like that guy who tries to find the most fucked up people in a bar as an excuse to get trashed

BS: 1) Warriors broadcast shows more replays of opposing team than any other local feed. 2) They once made a Derrick Rose dunk the dunk of the game (I think, TK can confirm this) and 3) They are as obsessed with monitoring Monta's explosiveness comeback as I ever was with Amare.
TK: #2 is definitely true. I think part of those might have to do with the fact that they were bad for so long. And they've had the same announcers for basically the last 10 years and the same color guy for longer. They've always had to make an effort to find something interesting to talk about the game.
BS: I am supposed to mention that I am not live-blogging these nachos
TK: I might want to write about FD college players at some point, because Weaver was totally FD in college but is boring as hell now. Or maybe I'm just not excited by him because he was so cool in college.
BS: (I am chatting with Nate Jones, and trying to explain to A. that I guess I would be cool with her going on a date with Tyson Chandler) I like Weaver. He's what Earl Watson should be.

TK: One thing Monta hasn't really figured out yet is the spin on his crazy finishes.
BS: This game is like floating through heaven: "Oh look, Anthony Morrow's first-born. Now how about an off-the-backboard 'oop, with the announcers intoning that "you knew someone was going to bring it out sometime." Also, Kevin Pelton and I have concluded just now that, if Chandler had gone to the Thunder, they could've fielded the longest line-up ever (Westbrook/Weaver/Durant/Thabo/Chandler).
TK: Green wouldn't be in that lineup?
BS: "Length" wasn't invented until 1992, so no.
> TK: wait, what does 92 have to do with it?
BS: I guarantee you both teams were up for this. I'm fairly certain it's known around the league that playing either of these two team is a rush. Oh, and if Jeff Green gets 20 boards, my foot will cave in. Wait, did the announcer just imply that Krstic sews his own jersey?

BS: What if the Thunder don't really play in Oklahoma City? Like they're on a soundstage in Hollywood that Bennett owns, and the players are all cool staying with the team beacuse it's really Los Angeles life?
TK: I've been exchanging emails with the guy at Run of Play. And he said his dad works next to the practice facility. Mentioned that he gets updates on the cars in the parking lot, but nothing on the players. So it's possible that they stage practices.
BS So anyway, the NBA is going to promote the fuck out of the Thunder starting next year because this team has such star power and is so fun. And none of them leave because it's really LA. Plus all the "fans" are extras, professional ones, waiting in line to audition for Eastbound and Down.

BS: This tableux of over-amped kids is really weird, even grotesque. It's like Rookie/Soph all over again. Maybe Kevin Durant plays his best in front of delirious seven year-olds.
TK: This is sorta like a baseball broadcast. Wait, did the Thunder just let Randolph dunk?
BS: His brand-new reputation precedes him. It's really weird how much he's changed his game recently. It's like a coach actually said something to him in English.
TK: Or Martian, in this case.
BS: Maybe Monta has to translate.

(Half of halftime)

BS A. just asked if she could go on a date with Chris Paul. I said sure. She said "actually, he'd probably make me build a fucking house."
BS Totally subjective: When they show Garnett's championship celebration,wtih some of that sad/surreal/dreamlike Adidas music under him, it kind of makes it make sense to me.
Dr. LIC: Eh
BS: Whatever, advertising rules my mind. Seriously though, it tugs at my KG heartstrings. It even makes that entire Celtics season have some pathos to it. Though maybe that's just because it's not front in front of me pissing me off.
Dr. LIC: That commercial is still wack. KG getting injured tugs at my KG heartstrings.
BS: I'm just a sucker for that music. Need i remind you of a certain KG ad?
Dr. LIC: The stand up comedian!!!
Dr. LIC: There hasn't been a commercial that important since.
BS: For you/me/us or the NBA as a whole? I'd argue "The LeBrons" was more important.
Dr. LIC: Culturally, but not for us. Man, I still can't believe that one Durant commercial had Buck65 music.

Dr. LIC: These "NBA Cares" commercials have officially reached the point of suspicious.
BS: Elaborate. . .
Dr. LIC: Like, you musta done something wrong to have to brag so much about doing good.
BS: Derek Fisher?
TK: Especially Derek Fisher.
Dr. LIC: With the MLB, it's just accepted that they "care."
TK: Is that true?
BS: Like it's not a matter of action? It's a state?
TK: I'm not sure anyone thinks MLB is morally good anymore. They could probably use their own version of those ads.
BS: I think steroids are an entirely other world of morality. Like the way people don't understand how bills get written in Congress. Wait, that's a bad analogy. Whatever, it's a series of parallel moral concerns.
Dr. LIC Modern problems vs. Old Testament sins. That's steroids vs. NBA issues.
Dr. LIC: (Alvin Gentry is secretly coaching the whole league right now)
BS: Okay, I've got this. MLB=Sharia. Please, neither of you be singing a West Side Story tune right now. Though I've got to admit, it's kind of a hot name for a lady.

Dr. LIC: The Warriors have stockpiled enough players. They have to make a big trade for an A-gamer this off-season, or else they'll be the Jerry West Grizzlies.
TK: Every contract is really long, though.
BS: I think you are greatly underestimating how much the Warriors resemble a guerilla movement. Do they move ahead by forming coalition with center-left parties?
Dr. LIC: South Africa?
BS: Let's just drop this. I went to a talk by an ex-Tamil Tiger the other night and that stuff's been on my mind, but I obviously don't know enough about the actual facts.
Dr. LIC: Kyle Weaver, Carl Landry, Kyle Lowry are all the same person to me.
BS: You cannot fool Jamal Crawford with ballhandling. He may not be a great defender, but that other thing's a point of pride for him.

TK: I almost feel like they're making up the score.
BS: Like, adjusted for their having scored too much? Or inventing it for the sake of having to have something?
TK: No, fabricating
BS: That's how I feel about soccer. Also—another dilletante alert—I read today that in Saudi Arabia all budget and data and prices are just made up
when they need them for major deals, projects, etc.
Dr. LIC: Wow
BS: Westbrook is out Monta-ing Monta.
TK: I just want to say that i'm incredibly proud of being right about Westbrook.
Dr. LIC: Me too.
BS: I liked Bayless better, just to be contrary.

TK: That was the greatest broadcaster question ever: "When you're flying in for an awesome fingerroll, how do you know not to use glass? Tell all the youngsters out there."

Dr. LIC: Okay, hear me out on this... in the NFL, too many quarterbacks were getting hurt. So they changed the rules—wussified them, really—so QBs get more protection. And even though they still get busted up (Brady), it seems to have worked somewhat. I think the NBA should do the same with foul rules inside. You've got Amare, KG, Al Jefferson [and Bynum] dying at crucial junctures. Like, start making fines inside a fineable offense. We get higher scores (Gentry style) and less injured bigs.
BS: You are really broken up over this.
Dr. LIC: Dude, KG. Amare. Al Jeff. This fucking SUCKS. That shouldn't hapen.
BS: The problem is that players like Kenny Thomas still exist. Nick Collison, etc.

BS: "Anthony Randolph possibly hit a chair" has weird echoes of "Luke Ridnour couldn't guard a chair."
TK: I think if you said that out of context people would think he got in a fight with a chair.
BS: Anthony Randolph is "special" in so many senses. And no, i'm not calling him retarded.
BS: Maybe Odom said that quote about Randolph's bright future to finally deflect attention away from his own potential. He wanted them to shut up about how HE could've been the next Magic.
Dr. LIC: Stretch run here.
BS: This game is making me think I don't know anything about basketball. Oh and another very Duke thing about Maggette: never seemed interested in leading the league in scoring from a bad team, even though he possibly could've (which no one else from Duke, save Hill, ever could've).

BS: Wait, is Jackson keeping Durant from going off?
TK: He's still 8/13. I'm not sure why he was out for so much of the third.
BS: That's what I love about Durant, even his quiet games are All-Star-ish. As opposed to guy who struggle to get good numbers on off-nights, and thus are impossible to ignore.
Dr. LIC: Durant is truly the quiet assassin. He really is like when people say "he has no conscience."
TK: This is making me imagine him as the insane person in a gothic novel.
BS: I am sure Kobe would be jealous of that remark. Okay, quick, someone come up with a Manchurian Candidate-inspired nickname for KD. Actually, that would be a dope ad.

BS: Durant is a scoring machine. I never really understood that cliche until seeing him this season.
Dr. LIC He really should be drawing double-teams, though. Maybe that's just Nellie's stupidity.
TK: Is anyone doing it? I could see people not wanting to acknowledge that he's already as good as he is.
BS: Who would you leave open? This team isn't THAT bad.
Dr. LIC: See, that's what I'm saying. The Thunder should be much better. The move to Oklahoma made them think they were an expansion team.
BS: Rebuildng from scratch makes anyone think they're an expansion. It's the great equalizer.
TK: What's their record since P.J. left?
BS: I'd do record since 1/1, since that's when Durant really started going crazy.
Dr. LIC: 12-30 since P.J. left
TK: 9-13 since 1/1, going into tonight.
BS: In the West, no less.

Dr. LIC: Watson is the most Blaxploitation last name ever.
BS: Like Matt Watson? Watson like Sherlock Holmes's sidekick?
Dr. LIC: C.J.
TK: Earl, too.
BS C.J. and Earl Watson are two of the least Blaxploitation players in the league.
TK: James Watson definitely wouldn't like to hear that he has a Blaxploitation name.
Dr. LIC: The name is part "Watts," part "son."
BS: I like to pretend that Azubulke works in finance.
Dr. LIC: Kelenna Azubanky.
BS: Ugh. I'm embarrassed.

BS: "He's never going to go away." That's our next Stephen Jackson shirt right there.
BS Someone should do shirts [huh?] about stat inflation. And see what teams inflate the "right" players, versus those that random players have the biggest games against.
Dr. LIC: The Timberwolves.
BS: You're right, it probably has nothing to do with tempo.
BS: Wow, that was truly Odom-esque of Randolph. Forgetting he'd dribbled.

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At 2/22/2009 4:03 PM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

Westbrook from last night:
"I think we could play like the Warriors if we could get some stops and play better defense than we played tonight."

I've spent the last 12 hours trying (in vain) to decipher what that quote could possible mean.

At 2/22/2009 5:59 PM, Blogger Just . said...

Anthony Randolph is like if Dumbo played basketball. Unfortunate name, but the most well known of flying elephants. I wonder if he reads Rudolph Steiner.

At 2/22/2009 6:19 PM, Blogger Ben said...

I love me some Run of Play. Cross-pollination at work here?

Shoals, what don't you understand about guerillas? I know at least the beginning points of finding out about 4th generation warfare, so if you're looking for something in particular, I may be able to help.

At 2/22/2009 6:35 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Well, go back to the Warriors analogy. Is what they really need, in all their unconventional, asymmetric glory, to add (for instance) a healthy Elton Brand? I think that Philly, a similar team, already proved that isn't the case. I'm wondering what exactly the model is for revolutionary movements based around guerilla violence, vis a vis merging with some aspect of the political mainstream, or less radical movement. Does that work? Or are they just supposed to keep trying to overthrow the state on their own?

Remember, I said this was a stretch to begin with.

At 2/22/2009 6:44 PM, Blogger Mr. Thell said...

In the LBJ post, are we talking Sartre "bad faith" or a more colloquial definition?

At 2/22/2009 7:11 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Isn't Sartre colloquial enough?

Look, mea fucking culpa here. I woke up and saw a million news stories about how awesome LeBron's long-range shooting was. Without bothering to watch, I let out all my frustration over LBJ's decidedly unexciting (if now fairly effective) use of the three, and how stylistically, it seemed to depart from who he is as a player. It's not that I don't like threes, but there's something about the way James (previously) shot them that seemed like, yes, a betrayal of his personality/style. Hence the "inauthentic" talk, and comparison to Durant's long-range game, which is so in keeping with all we believe him to be.

HOWEVER, after watching the Bucks highlights a few times, and being thoroughly lambasted by so many of you, I've come to the conclusion that yes, LeBron throwing up 30-footers with zero hesitation and tons of time left on the clock is the perfect LeBron-ization of the shot clock. My whole beef with the three is that it's so much more likely to be devoid of personality, and thus the "feeling it/video game" rampage uninteresting to me.

But I was wrong, at least about whether any of this still pertains to LeBron. For now.

At 2/22/2009 7:20 PM, Blogger wondahbap said...

Something tells me the Warriors don't need an A-gamer. They don't need to be a winning team. Just wildly entertaining. The fans love them and their underdog status.

At 2/22/2009 10:50 PM, Blogger T. said...

I was traveling all last week, so only had a bit of time, but I saw a quote which reminded so much of something that I felt it was necessary to bring it back up.

From a few days ago talking about the Moneyball era in basketball

"Only a few years ago, time barely existed in the Association."

Magic Johnson once signed a $25million dollar contract . . . for 25 years. How astounding is that? If that contract has held up . . .it'd be finishing up right around now.

At 2/23/2009 10:49 AM, Blogger El Presidente said...

FD AUTHORS: I was going to suggest this even before I saw the aborted post below, so now it makes even more sense.


Donate your fragments. Unfinishable, unstable, beautiful. Surely you can find something fitting. I say we here nominate Joakim Noah for donation.

...nothing to add for now. Except if you want a better understanding of the Warriors offense, go watch Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

At 2/23/2009 11:03 AM, Blogger Jon L said...

"So anyway, the NBA is going to promote the fuck out of the Thunder starting next year because this team has such star power and is so fun."

As nice as this might be to see, I kind of doubt it will happen. One could argue that the NBA is in a position right now that it hasn't been in a long time, that of having both players in the prime of their (market)ability as well as players just on the cusp.

I'm really pretty sure Wade and Howard were chosen to coach the rookie/soph game because they had that T-Mobil ad. In fact, Wade was practically the mayor of that weekend (at least for those watching on TV). And given that he, LeBron and Howard are currently the faces of the league, and are young enough to be so for five more years (assuming health, etc.), I think it's going to be hard for younger players like Durant (and maybe Rose?) to break through that.

The League has to find time (or at least thinks it has to find time) to promote (through scheduling) the Cavs, the Heat, the Magic, the Lakers, the Celtics, arguably the Spurs, arguably the Rockets, Portland, New Orleans, and depending on how things go with various players/teams, the Nets, the Knicks and the Bulls.

Now, it's possibly Durant could force his way in by making the all-star team next year, but even then I think it might have to be as a starter (I don't think the league would base its "star" strategy around an all-star reserve, unless it's Shaq), and given that Bruce Bowen came so close this year I'm not sure that will happen.

At 2/23/2009 2:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who came away from Saturday's game with the impression that Monta and Randolph look like different sized versions of each other.

At 2/25/2009 10:43 AM, Blogger The Till Show said...

I know this is late, but I know a woman named Sharea, and it's because of the Muslim ritual. She's not Muslim (I don't think) but she knows and cherishes the meaning.

So yes, Sharia is a great name for a woman.


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