Let me stand down!

It's funny how things happen. Yesterday's blast of rank feelings was supposed to be the seething unconscious of a far more measured, presentable attack on college ball, but ended up temporarily living life by itself. It caught me at my most airy and mystical, and really didn't bother to address any of the larger socio-cultural hailstorms that this month's high-minded fandom is bound to set 'a brewin'. Here, then, is the frontline explosiveness I'd meant to hit you with all along, a McSweeney's column that gets us back to struggle as usual. Tool up and smile!

If you're near NYC, don't sleep on this. I was supposed to be in it and the Times covered it, and the blog-like section of his site is the funniest thing going these days on the dark side of Jazzebration.

The Lakers didn't look half-bad for the three and quarters I caught last night. Granted, I switched it off when they started to cave in, but double granted, they were playing an elite opponent. No one finished with splendid numbers, but they suddenly seem cohesive as a unit. And make no mistake: Smush Parker is explosive.

(How did I never realize until now that "burst" is the diminutive of "explosive?")

Later and lastly, take a good look at whose jersey is prominently featured behind Herr Baron Cohen in the Ali G/Kerr spot airing these days. The set's got the usual "deck the halls with the All-Stars" array, but conspicuously hung in plain view for the entire scene, practically screaming to overtake the prankster's skull, is a certain god-awful, bright orange #3 joint. . .


At 3/31/2006 12:28 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

ok, because this is no man's land...and simply because i dont know when else i'll be able to make these comments, a couple off-topic points:

-pharrell's rapping on "me too" is dope. why the fuck are people bashing that song?

-a DLIC nugget of wisdom that you only get once in a blue moon. just as everyone was getting all uneasy about the pistons' march struggles, i had an epiphany. this is a HALLMARK of flip saunders teams. they always appear dominant until an early spring swoon. it totally messes with everyone's confidence and makes me worry that they will meet the same fate in the playoffs as flip's wolves teams. no, not losing in the first round...but losing to shaq.

At 3/31/2006 12:55 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

FLIPNOTIZED. i'm hoping.

a few weeks back Kirilenko came in studio on TNT wearing a button-up with a sweater draped over his shoulders and monogramed 'AK47' cuffs. yet i've heard no mention of it. i didn't hallucinate this, did i?

At 3/31/2006 1:42 PM, Blogger mutoni said...

first, props on the mcsweeney's column Shoals.

Simmons finally has a new column up today (mailbag, but whatever) and lists his top 10 point guards of all time. pretty interesting and sufficiently entertaining, but I have to disagree with Nash's inclusion. It just feels wrong. He's probably the only guy on that list that I won't remember after he retires. I can't be alone in thinking this.

At 3/31/2006 2:12 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

mutoni, i appreciate the kind words. but i also wanted to tactlessly remind everyone that the point of these companion posts isn't just to show our semi-topical run-off. they're also supposed to provide a forum for anyone to take issue with what we've said--since, after all, it wouldn't be a freedarko utterance without the ensuing debate.

At 3/31/2006 2:12 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3/31/2006 2:33 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

but I have to disagree with Nash's inclusion

well, I think the MVP award cements him in the top ten.

Shoals - with the NCAA/NBA debates, while I totally agree with the over moralizing of the college games' superiority usually given to us by Messers. Packer and Vitale - one thing which I enjoy about both brands is the contrast.

Like FreeDarko tends to repeat - the NBA is a league of stars. But I'd hasten to add - the NCAA is a game of styles. (Not style - big difference - but styles).

As a basketball junkie - the particular rules of the NBA tend to eliminate certain types of style - styles that I really enjoy watching are non-existant in the NBA.

The press-relentlessly-and-shoot-threes-wily-nily (Loyola Marymount, some of those Illinois teams with Steve Bardo, Kendall Gill, Kenny Battle, etc., UNLV, etc.) - doesn't work over an 82 game season. The Amoeba Zone - doesn't work against NBA players as well, because of the NBA zone-defense rules. Temple's Match-up Zone - isn't as effective because no NBA player will get up 5am to work on close-outs and retreats like Cheaney's troops did.

And those are some of the things I like to watch in basketball (small b) - Flex and motion offenses; these may too long to develop in a 24 second shot clock.

But I don't see these as deficianies in the NBA game - I do like the league of style (this time, no 's') - but I also enjoy watching a game of styles. Which I don't think NBA is, as much.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is the difference between the Suns and the Rockets is much smaller than the difference between Washington State University and Illinois.

And the NBA has stuff I like. And the NCAA has stuff I like.


At 3/31/2006 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NCAA slam dunk contest (on tv last night) should be aired during all star weekend in lieu of the NBA future shooting stars of the future whatever dealy dunk contest. I also don't like NCAA nearly as much as the NBA but you have to give them the better dunk contest. The format (30 seconds to complete a dunk with no penalty for a miss) is great and James White was there.

At 3/31/2006 2:57 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

T, i agree with you about appreciating both the NBA and NCAA. i said a similar thing in the comments to yesterday's post.

while we're singing the praises of the NCAA, i have to point out that one of my tar heels--david noel--won that dunk contest!

{i didn't get to see it, though. do you know if there's video online anywhere?)

At 3/31/2006 3:06 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

personally i'll take the mcdonald's contest. it's the most loose. didn't see it this year. though.

At 3/31/2006 3:41 PM, Blogger emynd said...

Quite simply, the NCAA and NBA operate under completely different aesthetic criteria. The problem arises when folks try to privilege the NCAA criteria as the more "authentic" and/or just plain "better" set of criteria. That's fucking ludicrous.

That being said, I do enjoy the hell out of the chaos that is the March Madness tournament. But, that certainly doesn't mean I'll ever argue that it's somehow a better form of basketball (or even a more enjoyable form of basketball to watch) than the Association.

And, shit, it's always fun to legally gamble in a corporate setting.


At 3/31/2006 4:37 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i mean conceptually

At 4/01/2006 12:50 AM, Blogger Thomas M. said...

I want dynasties, dominant players, astonishing displays of fluid cohesion among individuals. No one likes a sure thing, but topsy-turvy peril does nothing to actualize legacies or break out the bright crayon of historic notation.

So, would you agree that this is why the current state of the NFL is so piteous?

(And by current state, I mean the quality of the game and the quality of the teams, not the financial state of the game, which is ridiculously good, doubly so when contrasted to the product on the field.)

At 4/01/2006 2:57 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

just caught part of the ncaa dunk contest. much nicer than the pros. true, the dunks aren't as innovative, but i think that part of execution is plausibility. . .i.e. is it really a dunk that you can do without getting lucky? and in that, the ncaa contest brings that much more--it's almost off-the-cuff, borderline in-game-like. the hs contest, where it's like one big house party where someone occasionally busts out of the crowd and reels off a highlight-quality jam, takes this to an almost ludicrously informal, acompetitive extreme. consistent with the top-of-the-world glow that hangs over all mcdonald's players.

the ncaa contest, though, is almost bittersweet. all those guys have been knocked out of the tournament and are in many cases acting out that most nba of events when they know they'll never be pulling this off for real. and yes, a dunk contest can and should be something that is only valid for the nba.

re: DB's very astute comments on the post before this one (go down and read them before looking at what follows). as a draft maniac, i too like getting players we know something about, as personalities and defined basketball workers, as opposed to a sea of raw mystery. but i prefer for players to land somewhere between the two. otherwise, you get the anti-climactic sure things. like, who really wanted to spend their time thinking about if okafor or jameer nelson could make it in the pros? you're faced with either seeing the obvious unfold, or the demoralizing task of deciding just how limited they will be in the pros. better to watch someone who would've had some growing left to do in college, anyway.

that might be the one thing i do like about picking players who got hot in the tournament. it shows someone coming into his own, and they hit the pros on that upswing.

it's a little crotchety, though, to think that all the passion in the association comes only from prolonged college warfare. maybe four years in the trenchs makes someone more willing to accept coming off the bench, or define their career through glamor-less specialization. but it seems to me that competitive drive is something a player either has or doesn't have--there are plenty that coast through college and never have to/realize they have to cultivate it, and just as many examples of guys who skipped or cut short college and seem to have had no problem developing a monster work ethic/drive to victory.

and thom, yeah, i do think a lot of the nfl is shitty and unwatchable. in that case, though, you really don't have any choice but to take what the season gives you.

At 4/02/2006 3:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Count me among the people who think Simmons is slipping, but hasn't quite fallen off yet. This point guard list is pretty flawed though. The inclusion of Nash is dubious for right now (sort of the reverse of that old Bonds debate about how many MVPs he should have), and The Glove went from off the list to better than Walt Frazier (sort of the reverse of "You went from top ten/to not mentioned at all"). Call me a victim of the N.Y. hype machine, but Frazier needs to be a little higher, and Simmons needs to sharpen his darts if he's not gonna even make a Just for Men reference when discussing the merits of Clyde's career.

At 4/02/2006 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, the basketball gods saw fit to buff up Shoal's argument Saturday. LeBron vs. D-Wade is super official. Fcuk the Final Four. Don't know what this does to the 'rivalry' post though. Those two are eventually gonna have some riotous playoff meetings.

At 4/02/2006 3:30 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

yeah, this is officially the best weekend of NBA in forever. bron/wade was breathtaking (no matter what my feelings on wade's aesthetic, doesn't mean he's not a worthy, pulse-racening opponent for lebron) and this suns/pistons game has truly had a playoff atmosphere. best individual match-up in the league, two best teams up against each other.

oh, and why are last season's suns superior? THEY HAD A GO-TO GUY.

why are the pistons better? THEY HAVE ONE IN BILLUPS.

chauncey: "it's just self-gratification for me."

how long before we bust out the Myth of Next Chauncey Billups for FreeDrafto? or is he part of the Myth of the Big Point Guard?

At 4/02/2006 3:35 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

oh, and i personally don't believe that does anything to discount e's rivalry post. wade and bron love each other, everyone on their respective two teams is indifferent about the match-up. at most, it's an incredibly competitive, late-night one-on-one marathon that will never see the late of day. but somehow ended up on national television.

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