Thursday, July 10, 2008

NBA Gaiden: Ben Gurion slouches toward Beth Lehem and buys her a drink



as the failing eyes of Stern David turn away, one thousand pointless voices strive to make a horrible joke about Brand Disloyalty



A prime tactic in Reviewieran praxis is the imposition of story on things perhaps not inherently narrative. Eventually--and it don't take long--that thing becomes so imbued with story-quality that it becomes difficult to partake of it without story. Which is why random NBA games between teams I'm not invested in are essentially unwatchable visual noise at this point.

Without context (backstory), the grace, athleticism, &c., no longer compels. Thus, we find ourselves languishing amongst Contradiction's Consequences:


turbulent stories being better than bland ones
and excellence/winning being bland
we prefer Bad Teams.



This Consequence befinds me in literal transition--from Portland to Oaktown--and DDT in transition away from the Blazers. Organizationally, they've become competent and aggressive, and in a crucial development, possess the resources to enact their visions! To put it another way:

Snooze.

I leave behind this Spurs-like assemblage I can neither fault nor care about.

My new position is perhaps more enviable, local to a Warriors team that bulletpoints like so:

  • not yet committed to its rebuilding status, as evidenced by blowing all their money on a guy just good enough to cost them ping-pong balls
  • 2 years ago, they posted the second-best first-round upset in league history
  • last year, they won more games than any lottery team in history
  • their coach, who's probably been doing this with mirrors, is on his way out
  • the rebuilding plan seems to consist of:
    building the team around the second-best Clipper of the last half-decade
  • BTW, the guy in charge of rebuilding? no longer an alcoholic, but now literally addicted to giving longish contracts to desperately replaceable NBA players:
    off the top of my head, Mullin's doled out 4 or more years to all of the following:
    Adonal Foyle
    Lil' Dun
    Troy Murphy
    Jason Richardson
    Derek Fisher
    Corey Maggette


Richardson aside, there's not a special player in the bunch, and even Richardson is a pretty pedestrian brand of special.

Whatever. The best part of the ride of a rollercoaster is the feeling of endless descent, the vertigo where friction yields wholly to gravity, and everything becomes inertial. Eventually, the Warriors'll bottom out, endure a series of sickening lurches, and clang to a halt. That'll probably be ten years from now, when I'll be ready to move again.

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6 Comments + Unabashed Criticism:

Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Quick MEMO to NBA management types (for immediate ditribute):

IF you're rebuilding, THEN don't spend any money on, and this is completely out of nowhere, Corey Maggette-like players. There is no Rebuilding with Dignity, there was no Peace with Honor. Just suck it up, and SUCK for a couple years. Win 15 games. Win 17 games. But win them with men who are YOUNG, CHEAP, and whose contracts are SHORT.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Whoops. Missed a couple of bibliographic notes:
DDT on Kareem.

DDT muses on the new form of 'ball, occasioned by a trade that turned out almost entirely inconsequential.

DDT & Fat go to a game.

DDT and I get DEEP in the comments.

DDT goes batshit insane.

Sigh. DDT makes all these nifty points, then I get us in trouble with the FreeDarko clique in the comments.

Fourteen months later, Shoals said "Fat, I actually think I hate you." Sad and proud in equal measure, me.

DDT tries to stanch the flow.

DDT: "you know...I don't think I ever liked Clyde Drexler".

Fuck the wonder twins.

Bad players are bad players.

Remember when we cared about whether or not Zach Randolph was fat?

USA! USA!

Remember when I gave a flying fuck about Sebastian Telfair?

12:40 PM  
Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

Competency in T-Blazer management + fielding a likeable, enjoyable team = slow slide into disinterest for me, its true.

However, 2 other important story arcs which have cold-ed my heart:

1. The year I thought (really really really thought) Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards were going to make some proverbial noise in the playoffs, that Arenas, specifically, was poised to have an Iverson-in-2001 type of impact on our collective hearts and minds - Arenas had a season-ending injury.

2. For some reason I deeply associated the Mavs-in-the-Finals as the best chance for the Suns(style)-revolution to have its moment of victory. IF the Mavs had won that series in 5 (like they should have), there would have been a profound sea-change in the L. I am CONVINCED of this. Instead, the Heat actually succeeded in winning a O'Brien by grabbing a bunch of vets in the twilght of thier careers (which NEVER works).

Both of these failed storylines were as to butting out a cigarette. In my own eye. Oh yeah, and the Thieving of Seattle.

7:25 AM  
Blogger d.d. tinzeroes said...

Todays I read that Mullin doesn't think the Warriors will be a player in the 2010 Free Agent market which supposedly has some big names because he thinks available free $$ will go to resigning Monta Ellis & Biedrins. Add two more to yr list of replaceable players w/ longish contracts!! !

3:58 PM  
Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

God, what's wrong with me--I actually kinda like those signings.

I mean, Andris is my Latvian brother, so he gets a pass. Plus, he's Chris Kaman without the forced quirkiness, and I think he's still under 22. So not a terrible deal, assuming it's 3 years, maybe 4, and not a crushing quantity of dough.

Figured out my third-biggest gripe about NBA management types, in my cups last night. (Second-biggest I limn in the first comment, first-biggest is of course failing to recognize the passage of time, thus overpaying a man who will never match his own past.) Y'all ready for this?

Half the dudes running NBA personnel believe teams can be good without a good point guard. Statistically, Baron Davis and Corey Magette are about a wash--one of these players, however, needs the other. One of these men can out-succeed the other much more easily.

There's a ton of teams who are legitimately trying out there who simply refuse to spend any money on the guy who--to put it in the most pedestrian terms imaginable--will be making the first pass in every offensive situation for at least 30 of every game's 48 minutes.

While back, I mused on the potentials of constructing a team around players who, regardless of size/nominal "position" accomplish the tasks associated with winning basketball games (scoring, rebounding, etc.). Having grown up with Fat Lever in his glory days, I was optimistic about this development. Here's what I fucked up (minimally):

My two examples? Post-Kareem Lakers and recent Suns. It doesn't take a blog contributer to notice that there's one rather significant similarity between these non-standard team formats: transcendent play from the point. NOTE: not simple dominance from the point. Anybody can dominate a game--I've watched Andre Miller dominate a solid half-dozen games--but only a special sort of 1 can offer transcendent play. Nash or Johnson types. (Other examples doubtless exist.)

For many sins I would claim the head of Jordan: boundless narcissism, those chunky earrings, overrating of championship-winning. But perhaps the greatest damage he did to the league was suggest to it that rings could be had (and teams be great) without a genius at the helm: with the right captain, a ship can go anywhere, regardless of who's at the helm.

(Bad metaphor--I've been thinking about Star Trek all day.)

I'm drunk and exhausted (cf "thirsty and miserable") and not making much sense. Lemme ground out here: the Warriors are gonna suck next year, because they don't have a point guard. The Nuggets are gonna suck next year, because they don't have a point guard.

And that bums me out, because both those situations were made by men. Men who should have made other situations. (Not having a point guard = Mullins' inhumanity to man.)

-Fat

9:09 PM  
Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Quick round-em-up. Required reading on the topic of "freeing up cap space". A little Knicks-centric, but what isn't?
[EDIT: browsing around the site in general, good stuff. Recommended.]

Like a year ago, DDT's ol' lady scored me a pair of Starburys. I love 'em. (Mine are more like Vans or something than a hi-top 'ball shoe, but they're comfortable as hell and look rad.) I hear they're selling on Amazon, and I love to vote with my dollars, so I go take a look.

Looks like I jumped the gun. They're not there yet, but the search-return page does reveal a book about World Historical Fiction. Which isn't world-historical fiction, but I totes wish it were.

-Fat

3:42 PM  

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