Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Something Wicked Retahded This Way Comes...

K, so Fats [ed: It's "Fat"] sends me this the other day: “Still like the guy, but Garnett’s nickname should be Origami, cuz he folds so sweet.” I agree with the man about KG needing another nickname, because no one 32 years old should be called “The Kid” unless you have that obnoxious affectation I do of calling everyone “kid”. At least I have an excuse, because in my alcohol-addled haze I cannot recall the name of any but my closets [ed: I like "closets" intimates, but I bet this is "closest"] intimates & even then I’m batting about .406. (Let’s forget the time that I forgot my girlfriend of 5 years’ name when introducing her to old friends, especially since she won’t let me forget it still, these six years after we broke up). So, resolved that Garnett should not be called “Kid”; what then do we name this curious enigma? I like “Nigel” in homage to the observation the peerless Bill Simmons has about him: (Forgive me, because I’m not wicked clever with these progammy things so here’s the damn link old skool style: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3403820.)

My most frank answer is: who cares? I lost interest in basketball after the end of that great Cavs v. Celts series, because I knew that I had seen the 2nd best basketball I was going to see for the rest of the year – the best being that Washington v Cavs. series that was the most physical series I’ve seen since Daly had the Pistons enforcing the Jordan Rules. Lebron, like Jordan, was fearless about contact while taking it to the rack that you see in very few guards. Only Philly Iverson, pre-injury Wade and Ben Gordon come immediately to mind, but there are others though their numbers are few. I leave Kobe off this list not due to my animosity (Wow Fats, [ed: it's "FAT"!] we finally found a black player that I don’t like…although some might make the argument that a brother that speaks Italian is about as black as a White Chocolate Mocha, but I won’t touch that argument) but due to the fact that he never seems to really get any hard contact. Stern has his pinstriped goons protecting that cocksucker as if he had the cure for cancer. Shaq knows: he causes more than he cures.

At this point, it would be worthwhile to clear up a few things, about what I’m watching a basketball game for, because if you’ve bothered to give the game any thought, you’re in it for something more than the final score. Otherwise, why not content yourself with mere boxscores, as several of my more mathematically inclined but less knowledgeable friends do, and allow things like won/loss record and points per to color their entire view. In life, I do what I can to value the collective good & try to think half Marx half Spock: namely “from each according to their ability to each according to their need” and “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” which is really Bentham and Utilitarianism, but let’s go with Spock since more people have heard of him and also he fits the forthcoming geek argument nicely. So why don’t we for the sake of convenience call this a “Star Trek” ideology. So, of course, the opposing ideology is the “Star Wars” one. Why? Because planets like Alderan are destroyed on a whim all for the sake of the personal transformation of Darth Vader from a Hitler-esque embodiment of fear & evil into a redeemed individual. Has all the trappings of the X-tian deathbed conversion & redemption. Star Wars is fun to watch, but think about if we’re playing along to bible rules: let’s say in the split second after Hitler pulls the trigger to end his own life, with that last second of consciousness he sincerely and fully repents and accepts Jesus etc., then he’s now in heaven, hanging out with Augustine, Mother Theresa and Joan of Arc. In society, (with the exception of certain diplomatic historians who endeavor to absolve Kissinger of his many sins) it is untenable to allow for these personal redemption narratives to trump the interests of the rest of society. That’s why regardless of the philosophical nature of intent or the will, we have to keep people who transgress certain norms away from the rest of us, regardless of whether they are truly accountable for the violence they commit. But “ubermench” redemption narratives make the best stories & that is part of the reason that I’ve seen Star Wars over a thousand times, but am indifferent at best about old Star Trek & would rather watch feces racing around in a jar than subject myself to any of the post-Spock & Shatner stuff.

Yeah, that’s nice Mr. Macajew, but what the fuck does this have to do with basketball? The team oriented game bores me to tears. I want great individuals to play their drama out on large scale, and soar or plummet due to their own grand wings. I want to see AI cross someone over and take it to the rack hard, even if he misses the damn layup, rather than watching 7 passes in a halfcourt set and then a Brent Barry 15 footer go in. Give me Lebron willing his way to the bucket through 3 defenders rather than having to watch Rip Hamilton come off of 4 picks in order to get a bucket. In short, even though the idea of a real life Ubermench is ugly and impossible (as Hitler and Bush have kindly demonstrated) that’s exactly what I want to see in sports. Great men who transcend the game so clearly that the laws do not apply to them. The Shaqs, the Jordans, the Lebrons, the Gretzkys, the Lemieux’, the Jerry Rice’s & the Walter Paytons. So maybe KG’s name should be “Raskolnikov”, because he’s always shown that promise to be that kind of superman, but never delivered. He goes so far as to kill the lady, but never without furious self doubt & the final realization that he is of that caliber, but not of that character. Simmons does a good job of pointing out why, so I won’t repeat that argument here, but it’s clear that KG has been the best player in the L for the past 10 seasons, but never has been & never is going to be that kind of hero. He’s Mr. Spock, but stuck in an X-wing fighter making the trench run, but won’t turn off the computer or use the force because not only is it illogical; it’s also just not in his nature. And that is why I have no interest in watching the Celts play the Lakers. As much as I hate Kobe, at one time he was that kind of player. Dropping 81 on a team puts you there. The kind of basketball the Lakers are playing now is Phil Jackson’s hippy shit about making everyone a contributor. When Luke Fucking Walton & Vlad Radmanovic are significant contributors, I don’t want to watch. When Sasha Vujacic has a roster spot, I know that this is basketball that is not worth putting my eyes on. And when Jordan fucking Farmar, that goddamned taxi driving down the street with both doors open, is mistaken for a PG, then I know that fair is foul and foul is fair.

-Bob MacaJew