Staging Area

How to close out this week? With some links, naturally.

-Our Deadspin player profiles continue: Today, we've got Billups on Iguodala. Before, I took on Dirk and Bron.

-KG with some of the realest talk you'll ever hear.

-Amir is actually starting to piss me off. Now he's up on blogs, too?

-Supposedly, Amare's getting it all back. Based on last night, K-Mart is, too.

-Our EVERY PLAYER PREVIEW, if you hadn't heard already.

-Two stellar punchlines on this: Dr. LIC had "Wade's divorce is making him cooler," while The Recluse came with "Cause who I'm talkin' 'bout y'all is hip-hop."

-Shanoff's Liberated Fandom. Read.

Please, discuss all at once right here if you're so inclined.


At 10/26/2007 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(yes, I posted this about two minutes ago, right before this post was up, on the previous post, but i don't care)



also, in other FreeDarko developments:
Team Strength: Speed
I hope Marc Iavaroni likes to run, because with this team he doesn't have much other choice. His two point guards, Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry, are total greyhounds who are much more effective in transition than the half court. Wingmen Tarence Kinsey and Rudy Gay are dangerous finishers in the open floor but struggle to get free in sets, while Juan Carlos Navarro's lack of size will be more easily exposed by opposing wings in the half court.

Up front it's a similar story. Pau Gasol can run all day, especially if he's matched up against centers, while off the bench Stromile Swift, Andre Brown and Hakim Warrick are fearsome finishers in transition who do little of note in the half court. Of the key players, only Darko Milicic and Mike Miller are better walking than running.

At 10/26/2007 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm a fucking mess today...wrong link...feel THIS pic


At 10/26/2007 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about founding a Free Darko appreciation group on Facebook. Thoughts?

At 10/26/2007 3:33 PM, Blogger Pacifist Viking said...

On liberated fandom:

the goal of fandom should be authenticity. If rooting for the teams you are fated to root for through geography and biology feels authentic, then it is. If it is not, and you wish to find authentic fandom through liberated fandom, then hopefully you can find that authenticity.

A few years ago I began an existential experiment. Since I didn't attend colleges with DI programs, I didn't really have a college rooting interest. I decided to somewhat arbitrarily pick a college and start rooting for the sports teams. I picked UCLA. I've developed fandom for the Bruins, but no matter what they do, my soul doesn't roll and wave with their doings like it does for the teams I was born to (or found--even the fandom I was born to didn't become defined until it found contrast in college).

In fandom, I (probably mistakenly) believe we can find transcendent meaning, but for that transcendence, the fandom must be authentic (somehow I've mixed up my fandom somewhere between Sartre and Jesus). If you feel it in your soul for the local teams, then you've already got the authenticity (and you still earn it not through quest, but through daily toiling). If you don't, there's nothing saying you can't find that authenticity by moving your fandom to other players/teams. As long as it's authentic, enjoy: transcendence may someday be yours.

At 10/26/2007 3:35 PM, Blogger dizzle said...

BS-lebron profile changed my week.

At 10/26/2007 3:44 PM, Blogger dizzle said...

also, billup's paragraph about AI being youtube/wii/RJ-minus SDRE=worse joe johnson

At 10/26/2007 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think Klosterman had the best take on fandom, during a segment with Simmons a few years back (apologize for the length):

Klosterman: This is one issue you and I will never agree upon. I absolutely do not understand why you believe geography should have any significance on which teams you are somehow "obligated" to support. That will always strike me as the most irrational reason for liking anything. There is no inherent regional quality to pro sports, beyond the imaginary relationship created by fans. I remember when I lived in Akron, Ohio, during the late 1990s, and it was suddenly announced that the Browns were returning to Cleveland. People in Northeast Ohio immediately began insisting that the Browns were their favorite team; this was before the expansion draft. People were buying Browns' jerseys before they had acquired any players. They didn't even have a coach or a GM. It was a wholly theoretical franchise. So -- essentially -- these people were rooting for (a) an incorporated municipality with a shared tax base, and (b) a color best-described as "burnt orange." These things have nothing to do with football, and you should never like any specific team more than you like the sport itself. ...I don't see why it would be honorable to support anything unconditionally. That kind of thinking has been the source of almost every significant problem in the world, except for maybe the hurricanes.

At 10/26/2007 5:14 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i can't speak for shoals, but i don't agree with klosterman's take at all. i mean, i'm a liberated fan in many respects, but that doesn't mean i am incapable of UNDERSTANDING geographic- or college-based fandom. that was obviously written by a kid who was an outcast in high school.

(not saying i exhibited a lot of school spirit in high school, but klosterman's take is like a bitter kid who left out, not one who just didn't care that much.)

At 10/26/2007 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you haven't seen it, here's Wade's new commercial...


At 10/26/2007 6:31 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i love this shit. broke down it and lebron's new ones on fanhouse this morning.

At 10/26/2007 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck man. See this is what happens when you have a day off and you can't read the usual shit in the morning and throughout the day. Sorry about that Shoals.

At 10/26/2007 9:46 PM, Blogger Pacifist Viking said...

I see Klosterman's point, but he's all sorts of wrong.

1. Of course one is not "obligated" to root for a local team; it is still a choice. A lot of people reject that choice. I'm not a fan of local sports teams out of any sense of obligation, but because I've chosen to continue in my relationship to the teams. It's a Sartrean commitment, in which I'm free but I've freely chosen to bind myself to an entity/group.

2. His point on a fan's "imaginary relationship" to a team, particularly his example of Browns fans rooting before the team had any players, is senseless. Devotion does not require a material presence. Human history is filled with examples of people devoted to IDEAS. Devotion to a team is in many ways analogous to devotion to abstract ideas/beliefs; the absence of material reality (in this case, the players) does nothing to diminish that devotion.

3. Sports fans don't "support anything unconditionally," even the biggest local rubes. They may be devoted to a particular team, and wish success for a particular team, but that certainly doesn't mean blind support (there's a lot of bitching and moaning among fans about what/how the team is doing).

At 10/26/2007 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if it has any significance and under which category of fandom this would fall, but here's how my team allegiance came about: in Germany in the early 90's I started to get aware of the NBA when hearing about and seeing a few scenes of Michael Jordan. Then came the '92 Olympics, and when I saw how Magic Johnson played even after his prime there was never a chance of rooting for Jordan and the Bulls. I have always pulled for the Lakers since '92 (through the glorious Van Exel/Eddie Jones/Ceballos years!), basically because the guy whose game impressed me the most happened to play for the Lakers.

On the Wade commercial: him appearing like a happy kid shooting without a ball might be a creative stretch, but the commercial's still amazingly done. Hadn't heard the story about his lost year at Marquette before. I could always see your (I think mostly Shoals's) point about Wade's lack of excitement or whatever one may call it. But maybe this story offers an angle or a perspective to appreciate his game or at least make sense of it.

I have no background in psychology at all, but Wade's controlled and seemingly rational approach to basketball could be a compensation for having lost the game he loves at an important time. I guess Wade would never go with the flow like Arenas does and just see where it takes him. And, at the risk of taking this thought too far, for a shooting guard Wade prefers the drive quite strongly over the outside shot. And while a shot is too some degree an act of faith (in your skill, natural and honed through practice, or in your shooting mechanics), taking the ball to the basket gives a player control until the last split second. Guys like AI or Amare come to mind who've faced personal struggles early in their lives and now attack the basket relentlessly. On the other hand you have Kobe, LeBron or Nowitzki, guys whose path to the NBA was relatively uncomplicated in comparison, who rely way more on their shot. Maybe all that's nonsense, and of course position and athletic ability/skills are tied into this, but on first thought the examples seemd to fit.

At 10/27/2007 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kaifa and the Lakers is exactly the same as me and Arsenal. Blame Dennis Bergkamp. And now that's my team, even if it means rooting for Adebayor.

What's really interesting is how overseas fans find their teams/fav players.

I can tell you that in Korea, there are hordes of Penny fans, probably more Penny fans per NBA fans than any other country in the world. Everybody swears by him.

It has to do with when the NBA got big (mid-90's) and which athletes had the most visible highlight packages/shoe deals.

Now of course, fandom is more enlightened, but the issue for the overseas fan remains the same: how do you pick a team to root for when you have absolutely no geographical reference to the Lig?

By favorite player?
By who ever was winning when you first got into it?
Favorite team mascot?

The answer for most overseas fans seems to be between two options: find that player (legion of Iverson fans here as well) or become a 'fan of the lig.' Finding that player is easy if you're, say, Chinese, but for the rest of us, the answer is - Liberated Fandom!

Fan bases with no rooted interest in specific teams or players will thus learn to love sport, love the style, and love THE NARRATIVE. (Unfortunately, because of time zone and lack of broadcast, we also learn to love THE GAMECAST and THE BOX SCORE).

Conclusion to this ramble? Overseas fans are FD.

At 10/27/2007 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By "now of course" I mean "these days of course", of course.

At 10/27/2007 1:55 PM, Blogger oliver said...

I love that my hopes and dreams for the season are riding on a "crappier Joe Johnson." I don't think that I'm quite liberated enough to not care that the Sixers suck. ...And I'm having flashbacks to the Charles Shackleford era. Anyone else?

At 10/27/2007 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


If the NBA is wrestling, whos Rowdy Roddy Piper?
Whos Jake the Snake?

At 10/27/2007 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the NBA is wrestling, whos Rowdy Roddy Piper?
Whos Jake the Snake?

These (random sporting association/cult movie/ anything) to NBA extrapolations are getting old, and boring.


At 10/28/2007 6:27 AM, Blogger Leroy Cant said...

The best NBA preview on the web by two die-hards.


At 10/28/2007 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pro" wrestling is very physical choreographed dance. Just with horrific acting and worse writing.

At 10/28/2007 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. LIC had "Wade's divorce is making him cooler," while The Recluse came with "Cause who I'm talkin' 'bout y'all is hip-hop."

Funny, "I Used to Love H.E.R." was my first thought reading that D-Wade bit. I love that track, but the line Recluse quotes makes me cringe every time.

At 10/30/2007 10:18 AM, Blogger lost said...

These (random sporting association/cult movie/ anything) to NBA extrapolations are getting old, and boring.

it's much more entertaining to draw analogies between current ballplayers and dead postmodernists, deconstructionists, and other fools who tried to make a science out of reading.

at least, it hasn't gotten old yet...


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