Where Amazing Happens

To start off with an aside, I was watching NFL Sunday Countdown this morning and believe I actually heard Chris Berman lambaste Chad Johnson for wearing his mock Hall of Fame sportcoat after touchdowning in the Bengals first game of the year instead of a “Phoenix [site of the Superbowl] or Bust” blazer. The point was that Chad’s antics were detrimental to the team when they were him-focused but wouldn’t be so bad if they included the team. Lest us all forget that the Bengals’ craptacular defense is the reason for their troubles this year, and Chad Johnson is one of the only people actually keeping them in games putting up career best numbers this year.

In this post-anthrax-in-the-mail world of fear and blind nationalism, America champions the collective over the individual. To reiterate for the 1000th time, Free Darko stands opposed to this proposition and favors the individual in all things, especially in sport. That NBA championships are won by teams and not individual players is a ridiculous notion, with even the most right-way organization of them all, the recent San Antonio Spurs proving this to be the case (Duncan won them all those championships alone, I'll admit it). What's more, the triumph of the human spirit is not that Kobe and Shaq won three championships together while secretly loathing each other. Rather, the triumph of the human spirit is that the greatest individuals on the planet such as Tracy McGrady and Dirk Nowitzki have inadvertently prevented their teams from doing so.

Teams are meaningless, the Association itself even moreso. Ever since the Amare suspension, one must feel that we are but one step away to players being suspended for wearing houndstooth. Individuals will reign now as they have reigned always. It is with this spirit, that Bethlehem Shoals, Billups, the Brown Recluse, Esq., and I bring you FREEDARKO'S FIRST ANNUAL EVERY PLAYER PREVIEW. Together, through hours of watching film and close analysis, we have determined the fortunes and actions of every single player in the League. Today we begin with the A-F portion of the alphabet and will work our way down to Thaddeus Young within a few days. Behold: the only NBA Season preview you will ever need.

Abdur-Rahim, Shareef: Receives public acknowledgment of his 2002 All-Star selection
Abreu, Jean: Graduation day
Adams, Hassan: Will begin his lifelong rivalry with Mustafa Shakur
Afflalo, Arron: Gets his ass beat by Rodney Stuckey
Ager, Maurice: Starts second career as a pen name
Akindele, Deji: Leaves the league forever
Aldridge, LaMarcus: Will render Greg Oden superfluous
Allen, Malik: Start making moves in the Players Association
Allen, Ray: Challenges Tom Brady to a duel
Allen, Tony: Absent-mindedly migrates to the Timberwolves
Almond, Morris: Student Council President
Alston, Rafer: Is dragged to Wes Anderson screening
Amundson, Louis: Changes his name to Louis Williams
Anderson, Derek: Opens a Christian-themed water park
Anthony, Carmelo: Sets up the inevitable George Karl/David Simon lunch date
Anthony, Joel: My favorite player
Anthony Appiah, Kwame: Takes his family to his tailor
Arenas, Gilbert: Guest stars on multiple sitcoms
Ariza, Trevor: Will subscribe to many magazines
Armstrong, Darrell: Adopts a pack of wild dogs
Armstrong, Hilton: Demands personalized towels from the Hornets
Arroyo, Carlos: Tearfully admits that he can't play any instruments
Artest, Ron: Tours with Charo
Atkins, Chucky: Will come to blame Damon Jones for everything he's suffered
Augmon, Stacey: Will spend hours on the road waiting to find himself on YouTube
Augustine, James: Hides during cuts, is never seen again
Azubuike, Kelenna: Is told by Don Nelson to “get a gimmick”

Balkman, Renaldo: Duets on commemorative Crown Heights riots single with David Lee
Banks, Marcus: Signs his contract again in different colored ink, faxes it to Suns front office
Barbosa, Leandro: Amare bets him he can't score 13 points in 34 seconds; he gets 14 in 35 and dutifully pays
Barea, Jose: Gets his own website
Bargnani, Andrea: Champion of good eating
Barnes, Matt: Relentlessly campaigns for Hilary
Barrett, Andre: Lies about his age
Barron, Earl: Stays up late with Dorell Wright
Barry, Brent: Doesn't miss it one bit
Bass, Brandon: Lured away from NBA by massive NBDL contract
Baston, Maceo: "It's a parish in Lincolnshire, not a city in New England"
Battie, Tony: Makes a scrapbook for his eventual grandseed
Battier, Shane: Weight off his shoulders when the world tires of hating him
Belinelli, Marco: Cute last name makes respect all but impossible
Bell, Charlie: Commutes from the continent
Bell, Raja: Endorsed by Lacoste, engineers trade to the Nets
Bellamy, Walt: Accused of murder
Bibby, Mike: Consider changing his brand of chewing gum
Biedrins, Andris: Learns the true meaning of heartbreak
Billups, Chauncey: Still isn't a running back
Blake, Steve: Become morbidly obsessed with advanced basketball stats
Blatche, Andray: Records a triple-double wearing nothing but underwear
Blount, Mark: Turns state's evidence
Blowfly: Says to Ronnie Prince, "I can put you on"
Bogans, Keith: Will be sent a birthday card by the Bobcats
Bogut, Andrew: I hope it's bad, whatever it is
Bonner, Matt: Joins Steve Blake's fantasy league
Boone, Josh: Buys some DVDs
Booth, Calvin: Did he die or something?
Boozer, Carlos: His agent convinces him to set the record straight on Prince
Bosh, Chris: Starts reading his own press clippings
Bowen, Bruce: Gives pro-life speech to an island of seals
Bowen, Ryan: Pumps his fist a lot
Brand, Elton: Gets a 60 Minutes feature
Brewer, Corey: His wiriness soften the blow of KG's exit
Brewer, Ronnie: The Recluse checks out his wedding registry
Brezec, Primoz: Deported for his own well-being
Brooks, Aaron: Lots and lots of haircuts
Brown, Andre: Decides to take it slow
Brown, Damone: Becomes the new Awvee Storey
Brown, Devin: Is so underrated that he sucks
Brown, Elton: I don't know who that is
Brown, Kwame: Hands will grow, game will not
Brown, Shannon: Would rather not be given meaningful minutes on the Cavs
Bryant, Kobe: Suspended for tanking games
Buckner, Greg: Gets Jerry Buss to sell the Lakers to the EU
Burke, Pat: Spends a lot of time shopping for Christmas, forgets one kid
Butler, Caron: Prepares for career in local broadcasting
Butler, Jackie: Wins a playoff series for Washington
Butler, Rasual: Will finally have someone pronounce his name like "casual"
Byars, Derrick: Multiple 15-point games
Bynum, Andrew: Starts laughing at the media

Calderon, Jose: Probably is going to bodyslam Sam Mitchell
Camby, Marcus: Will become Theo Ratliff, in terms of injury and possession of a cap-crippling contract
Campbell, Marcus: Is going to average seven blocks per game in the D-League
Caner-Medley, Nik: Will exemplify the curse of U of Maryland basketball stars
Cardinal, Brian: Hopefully will donate his body to science
Carney, Rodney: Will find his way into our hearts
Carroll, Matt: At some point is going to really piss somebody off
Carter, Anthony: Will wither
Carter, Vince: Is going to win the dunk contest
Cassell, Sam: Will be traded to the Celtics by mid-season, propelling them to an NBA championship
Chandler, Tyson: Will burn a copy of his birth certificate
Chandler, Wilson: Is gonna really hustle
Chase, Brian: Will get a piggyback ride from Shaq
Chenowith, Eric: Is going to get posterized by Robert Swift
Childress, Josh: Will punch one of his Hawks teammates, of an equal height, in the back of the head
Claxton, Speedy: Is going to be the best player from the 2000 draft
Clayton, Michael: Grosses over $200 million
Cleaves, Mateen: will pick up a 10-day contract for the Timberwolves.
Collins, Jarron: is going to sport Rocawear.
Collins, Jason: will tutor young children on the SAT.
Collins, Mardy: is going to have an impact.
Collison, Nick: might get a DUI.
Conley, Mike: will win Rookie of the Year.
Cook, Brian: refuses to give up his copy of that new Alice Sebold novel on the team flight.
Cook, Daequan: announces his retirement.
Crawford, Jamal: is the next ballplayer to get stabbed by a bunch of rappers.
Crittenton, Javaris: is going to have eight myspace pages.
Croshere, Austin: rides the BART through Oakland, unnoticed.
Curry, Eddy: will star in a Pixar movie.
Curry, JamesOn: will serve as a metaphor for the Iraq war with his play.

Dalembert, Samuel: will sing the Canadian national anthem before the first game of the NBA finals.
Dampier, Erick: will leak gravy onto the court.
Daniels, Antonio: forgets what team he’s playing for, passes to himself.
Daniels, Marquis: will be caught sleeping in an old Mavericks uniform.
Davidson, Jermareo: will explode.
Davis, Baron: will lead the Warriors to a perilous ruin, causing a distraction with his unresolved contract situation.
Davis, Glen: is going to wave a towel in a Turiaf-esque manner.
Davis, Paul: will be loved tender.
Davis, Ricky: is gonna get traded, then criticized unjustly.
Deane, Willie: will get pantsed by Gilbert Arenas.
Delfino, Carlos: angry in believing that Flip Saunders is still his coach.
Deng, Luol: Bulls’ first all-star since the Clinton administration.
Diaw, Boris: will FLOURISH.
Diawara, Yakhouba: self-promotes the nickname “Yak Attack.”
Diaz, Guillermo: learns Pig Latin.
Dickau, Dan: envies Luke Ridenour
Diener, Travis: will be starting by January.
Diogu, Ike: accidentally gains 50 pounds during all-star weekend.
Diop, DeSagana: will be a non-factor.
Dixon, Juan: ruins aunt’s political campaign
Doleac, Michael: fixes lightbulbs for shorter players.
Dooling, Keyon: injures himself at Epcot Center
Douby, Quincy: films buddy cop pilot with Quincy Lewis
Douthit, Marcus: still doing the “Walk it Out.”
Dudley, Jared: fined for wearing cornrows under new David Stern policy.
Duhon, Chris: shows a darkside.
Duncan, Tim: implicated in Donaghy scandal.
Dunleavy, Mike: gets nominated by Indiana fans as “Pacer of the year” even though no such award exists.
Dupree, Ronald: begs for roster spot by offering to do all of coaches’ taxes.
Durant, Kevin: is going to date Rihanna.

Edwards, John: Registers as a Republican
Ellis, Chris: Brags about once besting Chris Paul at bowling
Ellis, John: British theoretical physicist, coined the term "Theory of Everything"
Ellis, Monta: Hopes that Saleisha wins America's Next Top Model, Cycle 9
Elson, Francisco: Receives a diamond-encrusted Rolex from Tim Duncan
Ely, Melvin: Kind of misses Jerry Tarkanian
Evans, Maurice: Tells his buddies HE could score 81 if he got to play the whole game
Evans, Reggie: Thinks about dying his hair

Farmar, Jordan: Regrets getting his tattoos
Fazekas, Nick: Calls Charlie Bell, asks what it's like over in Europe
Felix, Noel: Learns to play the accordion
Felton, Raymond: Secretly hates Chris Paul and Deron Williams
Fesenko, Kyrylo: Finally gives in and buys a tricked out Bentley
Ffriend, Kimani: Does not stutter, also not friendly
Finley, Michael: Still trying to convince buddy Nash that just because he hit the ball off his head that one time doesn't mean he wants to play soccer with him
Fisher, Derek: Starts growing out his "playoff beard" after the All-Star break
Fitch, Gerald: Invests in a lumber company
Ford, T.J.: Dunks more often than Bargnani
Foster, Jeff: Basking in the afterglow of his first 20-rebound game, finally does his Christopher Walken impression
Foye, Randy: Has a running bet with Corey Brewer about who will get the first triple double (despite his insistence, they do not allow Ricky Davis in)
Foyle, Adonal: Retires from the Magic to oversee the 2008 election in Florida
Frahm, Richie: Asks everyone to please start calling him Richard
Francis, Steve: Will retire before season's end and open a car-detailing business in Houston
Frye, Channing: Happy that people in Portland don't tease him about his name as much



At 10/22/2007 1:25 AM, Blogger JTExperience said...

Leandro Barbosa's is dead on, as is Randy Foye's.


At 10/22/2007 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we're not gonna get to hear about Wang ZhiZhi? Or is it ZhiZhi Wang?

At 10/22/2007 3:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Aldridge, LaMarcus: Will render Greg Oden superfluous"

Swing and a miss.

At 10/22/2007 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Camby, Marcus: Will become Theo Ratliff, in terms of injury and possession of a cap-crippling contract"
That hurt.
"Daniels, Marquis: will be caught sleeping in an old Mavericks uniform." This right here, this made me tear up. His game was so wacky. Sliding, slashing, slithering, sneakily stealing...

At 10/22/2007 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shht, Travis Diener is my sleeper fill-in at guard later in my fantasy season. No need to bring him to everyone's attention, shame on Freedarko.

At 10/22/2007 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Claxton, Speedy: Is going to be the best player from the 2000 draft.

I wiki'ed this draft because i was fuzzy on exactly who came out of it (don't hate on wiki). This led me to looking at the 1986 draft, which is, along with the 2000 draft, regarded as the worst in NBA history.

I dont know much about what it takes to be FD but look at this 1986 draft.

-Len Bias dies 2 days after being drafted by the CELTICS (What if Len Bias was there to spell Bird and McHale thus lengthening their careers?) from drug complications.

- Handful of other players have drug problems in true rich guys in the 80's fashion.

- Allstars from 1st round: 3
- Allstars from 2nd round: 7

-HOF from first round: 0
-HOF from second round: 0
-HOF from THIRD round: 1

This is a draft that included Arvydas Sabonis, a guy named Michael Jackson and Dennis Rodman to boot.

sorry for the long post, i had to get this off my chest, and this is the only suitable forum i could think of.

At 10/22/2007 8:54 AM, Blogger Trey said...

Dixon, Juan: ruins mother's political campaign

Juan Dixon's mom (and dad) died from AIDS.

At 10/22/2007 9:03 AM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

yeee...that should have read "aunt" not mother...referring to Sheila Dixon. fixed now. hire me an editor.

At 10/22/2007 10:00 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

re: dixon - i just figured that was some kind of really (like, REALLY) dark joke that i didn't understand.

glad it's fixed now.

At 10/22/2007 11:33 AM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Delfino coached by Mitchell. I'm sure that Chase's piggy-Shaq ride has already happened.

At 10/22/2007 11:35 AM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

thanks Welk...i'm slippin

At 10/22/2007 11:45 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Cassell to the Celtics makes tremendous sense. Damn it. The Celtics might just win the East after all. Of course, the question remains... what the hell do the Celtics have left to offer any team, in terms of trade value? Or are we just assuming that the Clippers are GMed by another Celtic alumni willing to help out the old team? Because thanks to Simmons, I'm hoping Elgin Baylor hates Boston and the Celtics....

At 10/22/2007 11:49 AM, Blogger rich said...

My favourite was probably Kimani Ffriend, but there were a lot of good ones in there. Looking forward to letters G-Z.

Something I'm very confused by, however is the inclusion of "Abreu, Jean". I've never heard of a basketball player with this name, and nba.com/players and a few minutes googling are also drawing blanks.

In fact, the only Jean Abreu I know of is a (Brazilian) choreographer of contemporary dance, who lives and works here in the UK. I find it hard to believe that's who you're referencing here, though.

Any chance you could enlighten me who this NBA doppelganger is?

At 10/22/2007 12:36 PM, Blogger Leee said...

I was under the impression that no one wants Saleisha to win.

At 10/22/2007 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dampier, Erick: will leak gravy onto the court."

This made me laugh more than it probably should have.

At 10/22/2007 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that I think about it, how did Marquis not get traded to the Warriors during the Indiana white-out of 06-07? I would think Nelson wanted him too...

At 10/22/2007 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jean Abreu starts alongside Kwame Anthony Appiah in a formidable frontcourt.

At 10/22/2007 4:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Rich: there is also no NBA player named Michael Clayton.

That was one of my favorites, though. This whole post was straight up splendor.

At 10/22/2007 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

randy foye's was awesome. as was ricky davis'.

in fact, the whole thing was glorious.

marquis daniels: sleeps in old mavericks jersey, asks to get traded to the warriors

At 10/22/2007 4:41 PM, Blogger personalmathgenius said...

Brian Chase's should read "Angela finally made an honest man of the Krakow boy"

At 10/22/2007 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apropros of nothing, is anyone else getting sick of all this "Kevin Love is the Right-Way Savior!" bullshit? If you are, the article on espn.com about him and Wooden will make you vomit in your trash can. The kid hasn't even played a game at the college level yet, and already he's getting J.J. Redick- level hatred from me.

Maybe I should have waited until the L's section of the preview (which is brilliant, by the way) to post this, but somebody owes me a clean trash can, damn it.

At 10/22/2007 6:05 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

Art: Word from Those Who Know is that Love isn't athletic enough to be a true NBA star, so I wouldn't get too bent out of shape yet.

I submit that half-court outlets are FD, though.

At 10/22/2007 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bogut, Andrew: I hope it's bad, whatever it is"

FD discourse argues against fandom based in outdated dualisms such as good/bad and wins/losses, so I won't call Bogut the anti-FD, but he is an important counterforce to the typical FD hero. In order for "Style" to flourish, the league needs to be flattened to a field that players like Arenas, Josh Smith, etc. can spin style upon. Bogut pushes edges, just ones that are possibly too absurd for even FD. Bogut is Die Blechtrommel, not The Wire. The NBA needs ugly too.

At 10/22/2007 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the ESPN blue ribbon preview book says that OJ Mayo scored in the 95th percentile on the ACT.

Is this enough for a new post on him?

At 10/22/2007 7:11 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

that was part of the impetus behind the original post i was going to write—which krolik wrote much better.

At 10/22/2007 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my bad, i hadn't checked google and realized that this was old news.

At 10/22/2007 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it.

At 10/22/2007 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant.
I just spent 10 minutes giggling and scrolling, giggling and scrolling... "Davis, Glen: is going to wave a towel in a Turiaf-esque manner." ... oh my god, I love this site

PS the name is a Hemingway reference, not Wheel of Time author

At 10/22/2007 10:47 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Daniels can't play for the Warriors because he can't shoot threes, a seeming pre-requisite.

But even that isn't a disqualification for Pacers shooting guard.

At 10/22/2007 11:02 PM, Blogger Colonel D. Williams (Ret.) said...

Where is Billups in all this?

At 10/22/2007 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Billups would not be Billups if his appearances were predictable . . .

At 10/23/2007 1:15 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

fyi this installment has contributions from me, dr. lic and the recluse. billups will be in the mix for tomorrow's.

At 10/23/2007 7:04 AM, Blogger rich said...

paper tiger, SML: Both of those guys have wikipedia pages, though. And I can't find any philosophers/Hollywood blockbusters with the name Jean Abreu, either.

I know that explaining the joke isn't FreeDarko, but I can't imagine that contemporary dance is, either, so is there really no chance that someone would please take pity on me and give me a clue as to whom this entry is referring?

At 10/23/2007 12:09 PM, Blogger mdesus said...

Yeah the recluse was not a fan of his capoeira inspired rendition of swabn lake. His words "massively unwhelmed." Also Jean is the cousin of Sammy Dalembert, and once stole his last piece of bread. They are no longer on speaking terms

At 10/25/2007 2:41 PM, Blogger NDEddieMac said...

no Earl Boykins? Either way, just genius as always

At 10/26/2007 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Claxton, Speedy: Is going to be the best player from the 2000 draft.

Michael Redd?

At 4/19/2013 4:25 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You are right. Talents help the team but it isn't enough to win everything. People usually see team as formed from individual talent and they don't look it as whole. It is quite interesting to read Hostpph forum about it.


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