Friday, November 28, 2008
(Below is excerpted from Free Darko's The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac. It is about Kobe Bryant, from the chapter on "Master Builders", a group "For whom dominance has become a truism.")
Check the resume—it's absolutely impeccable. A 6'6" shooting guard with limitless physical tools, a hell-bent perfectionist, he works tirelessly to condition his body and enhance his game. He's fearless in the clutch, voraciously competitive, and serious to the point of bleakness.
You couldn't script a more stellar career, or offer up a stronger candidate for the league's all-around finest. And yet no superstar has cut a stormier path than Kobe Bean Bryant. Kobe may be the Great American Shooting Guard—and indeed, he has spent his whole life aspiring to this kind of abstract dignity. But just as Moby Dick defines our national literature despite its rollicking imperfections, Kobe's drives and desires have made him equal parts pristine legend and unwieldy mess of humanity.
Paired with Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe was supposed to bring on a new Lakers golden age—and he did, once Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson stepped into the scene. However, Kobe and Shaq could not have been more different, and eventually clashed because of it. The world saw the three-peat, but inside the Lakers, tensions came to a simmer, especially when Shaq's conditioning and work ethic flagged. Many read this as Kobe's ego crying out, dying to take control of the team. But it was just as likely his deep-seated sense of justice.
A certain duality has always been present in his game: Kobe is both the league's smartest player and one of its most impulsive. Once, Bryant was a propulsive slasher with an uncommon midrange game. Now, when he's met by a defender, the curtain rises on an interaction of frightening detail and determination. Only Tim Duncan is as adept at milking every single square inch of space, in a precise, Terminator-like assessment of complex obstacles. But for Duncan, the action's near the basket, and the shots—aided by Duncan's height—tend to resolve into something fairly routine. Kobe, operating all over the floor, doesn't take the simple shot, throw up prayers, or gamble on his pride. He figures out how to make the impossible shot viable, going out of his way to demonstrate his superiority.
During the Lakers' lean years, Bryant struggled with his own inability to make an inferior team into a winner. In May 2007, after being ousted in the first round of the playoffs yet again, Bryant exploded, telling any and all media outlets that he wanted out of L.A. Rumors abounded, and several important-sounding meetings took place, but that fall Kobe was still a Laker. He was chummier than ever with his teammates, and had made a point of reaching out to Bynum, who suddenly blossomed, before being waylaid by injuries. The Lakers swung a one-sided deal for Memphis big man Pau Gasol and suddenly possessed the West's most imposing line-up, taking them straight to the Finals.
What exactly had happened between spring and fall? Had Kobe lost control, let out his frustration, and then thought better of it? Was it all a Machiavellian public relations coup on the part of Bryant, who ended up getting the help he wanted? Had he set foot in camp and instantly realized that Bynum was ready to contribute? Did he actually feel betrayed by the organization, emotionally wounded, or just irritated that they'd impeded his still-vital career?
We'll never know the real answer. But most likely, there's a grain of truth in all corners. And that's why Kobe Bryant would fascinate us even if he weren't the world's best basketball player. For in addition to his mastery of basketball—the kind of catch-all supremacy that's led him to pick up Duncan's bank shot—Bryant's also a study in what happens when the drives and desires of greatness fly off the rails and exposes all of its inherent contradictions. To his detractors, Kobe Bryant is Dracula: a spooky, inhuman being that gets s**t done. Starstruck fans regard him as the epitome of glitz, glam, and accomplishment. In truth, he's that most stormy, and mortal, kind of great man. If Shaquille O'Neal always represented Superman, then Kobe's been the Dark Knight: vulnerable, but all the stronger for it.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The early trend in this young NBA season has been the new eyewear that is starting to pop up. Amare got fingered in his eyehole at practice earlier in the year and started the safety trend of wearing super awesome Oakley Blades during the game.
Amare ditched the Blades for good when he torched the hapless Pacers without them in early November. Thankfully, Vladamir Radmanovic decided to cop STAT's style and moved forward with slamming his eyeball on Carmelo Anthony's finger so that he could wear his own Oakley Blades with a super sweet Blu Blocker tint. Dude, being able to see the court in full Blu Blocker effect has got to be some sort of huge advantage.
What's next? I'm guessing that super baggy necklines on jerseys will be all the rage by All Star Break.
I'll see you guys later. I gotta go make some money on the beach.
Thanks to this excellent ONION article for the inspiration to write the same thing they did.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In the meantime enjoy the superior drunkenness of The Bunk...
How do you plan on winning when punting a whole category?!?! hahahha.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
EDGERTON, Wis. — When a 15-year-old comes into Wile-e’s bar looking for a cold beer, the bartender, Mike Whaley, is happy to serve it up — as long as a parent is there to give permission. “If they’re 15, 16, 17, it’s fine if they want to sit down and have a few beers,” said Mr. Whaley, who owns the tavern in this small town in southern Wisconsin.
Does his disdain for authority stem from the lenient drinking and driving laws that Wisconsin offers?
Drunken drivers in Wisconsin are not charged with a felony until they have been arrested a fifth time. Wisconsin law prohibits sobriety checks by the police, a common practice in other states.
I went to church with Tim once and he brought in a 12er. I thought he was crazy but now his actions make a little more sense.
In Wisconsin, people often say, there is always a bar around the next corner. But drinking is scarcely limited to taverns. A Friday fish fry at a Wisconsin church will almost surely include beer. The state counts some 5,000 holders of liquor licenses, the most per capita of any state, said Peter Madland, the executive director of the Tavern League of Wisconsin.
I hope we all feel like we now know a fellow Nextian just a little bit better. And that is a good thing.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
In other News:
The Dow Jones plunges on reports of the Dow Jones plunging....haha, the Onion.
In 20 years, which draft will be considered the greatest ever? The article narrowed it down to three: 1984, 1996 or 2003.
#1 pick: Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon
#3 pick: Michael Jordan
#5 pick: Charles Barkley
#16 pick: John Stockton
#1 pick: Allen Iverson
#5 pick: Ray Allen
#13 Kobe Bryant
#15 Steve Nash
#33 Moochie Norris
#1 pick: Lebron James
#3 pick: Carmelo Anthony
#4 pick: Chris Bosh
#5 pick: Dwyane Wade
For the record, my vote is 2003.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
first calderon and KG, now barnes and the rockets. my team is a bunch of badasses. all i need is nate robinson to flip out.
(apologize if the video doesnt work. cant f'ing figure out why.)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
By the way, I heard this game was pretty incredible. I'm about three internal conversations with myself away from dropping $89.95 for the broadband league pass and never working past 4:30 pm again. What, come into work earlier to leave earlier? Are you crazy?
Name: Rasheed Abdul Wallace
Spirit animal: Egyptian mongoose
What he gives us: A role player's attitude with a superstar's game.
Why we care: At some level, everybody wants to strangle somebody else.
Notable remark: "Some people say I'm mean and this and that. On one hand that's cool. That keeps away all the riffraff and all the bugaboos."
Distinguishing marks: On his right arm is a tattoo depicting Akhenaton, the pharaoh who introduced monotheism to ancient Egypt by worshiping the sun god Ra.
Knowledge seed with no jewelry on: After winning the 2004 NBA title, Rasheed made WWE-style belts for himself and his Pistons teammates.
While Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki are generally given credit for reinventing the power forward position over the past 15 years, Rasheed Wallace's contributions are too often overlooked. At a full 6 feet 11 inches, the incredibly athletic Wallace runs the floor like a guard and possesses an unblockable jump shot, with a range that's out past the 3-point line. And unlike many of the big men who have followed in his path, Wallace's skills aren't limited to the perimeter; he has a complete post game with an array of back-to-the-basket moves and is one of the best post defenders in the league. During one NBA on TNT broadcast, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith flummoxed host Ernie Johnson by insisting that Wallace could be one of the top five players in the league if only he really applied himself.
Wallace's reluctant dominance made him a perfect fit for the Detroit Pistons, a team of ballsy, hardheaded vets whose swagger was a collective effort. When he arrived there in 2004, he found a team of kindred souls—a bunch of castoffs with boulder-size chips on their shoulders and enough resources to get them to the Eastern Conference Finals the season prior. Rasheed put them over the top, solidifying their interior defense and finally giving them a dependable offensive weapon in the post. More importantly, Chauncey Billups' early work in cultivating his reputation as "Mr. Big Shot," along with Ben Wallace's bulging biceps and throwback Afro, was more than enough to keep the attention off Rasheed. When the Pistons pulled off a shocking 4-1 upset of the Lakers to bring home the title and Wallace was celebrated as the missing puzzle piece who had made it all possible, it was a part he enthusiastically embraced. While he may not always be humble or servile, Sheed's greatest pride is reserved for team, rather than individual, success.
From: The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac
Matt Hyland, a.k.a. Team Kwahl'Itee Shaughts is currently in last place in FT% with a whopping .733 percentage. His team is trying to rally around Dwight Howard, who went 13-20 from the line last night. Shaq managed to go 3-5, which is an improvement.
Matt, have your team watch this instructional video on shooting free throws with your eyes closed:
Monday, November 10, 2008
Arenas has decided to show his permanent support of President-elect Barack Obama with a tattoo. Arenas had the words "Change We Believe In" tattooed onto the fingers of his left hand in cursive writing. Then, Gilbert showed the outside of his pinky finger, which had "44" inked on it.
Arenas shortened Obama's campaign slogan, "Change We Can Believe In," choosing not to add ink to his thumb. Arenas has "change" written on the outside of his index finger; "we" on the inside of his middle finger; "believe" on the inside of his ring finger; and "in" on the inside of his pinky and "44" on the outside of his pinky. In case you didn't already know, Obama will be the 44th POTUS.
Could Gilbert's hand-too be better than the current #1 seed in the NBA Tattoo department? Probably not but it sure sounds crazy.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
We had such a good time that we promised to throw another Nextians event soon. Clear your schedules because there's NBA shenanigans to be had.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday's Election obviously brought out a lot of emotion from many people. If you weren't emotional in some way (good or badd) then there's obviously something wrong with you. Either that or you're a robot/machine. Sex Machine? I digress.........
I was reading THIS ARTICLE in the NY Times which immediately caused me to youtube Oprah's show where she's prentending like she's not praying for a cabinent position and hunt for the clip of the infamously oblivious Sherri Shepherd of Barbara Walters' "The View" fame.
Unintentional Comeday Scale: 9/10 at least. Crazy Points? 8/10
Sherri Shepherd saying that she liked Palin because she also has a child with needs is like Matt saying that he supported McCain because they are both bald. No Limitations!!!
The NBA: IT'S FAN-DIDDLY-TASTIC!!!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
We all know that becoming a legend on the basketball court is 50% skill, 25% personality and 25% shoes. And Gilbert Arenas and his Gil-Zero I's do not disappoint. OK, I know the Gil-Zero II's kinda suck because they only made them in lowtops and there is actually a Looney Toons version but the G-I's are classic. Heck, even Jordan made a badd shoe every now and then.
So if you are in need of some new kicks, join your Cammishoner and pick up a pair of Gil-Zero's in your preferred colorway at Eastbay dot com. If you purchase from THIS LINK I'll make 5% since I just signed this humble blog up as an affiliate of Eastbay. I have two pairs of the Gil-Zero Juans and they are the most stunning and durable hoops kicks I've ever owned. Enjoy owning your opponent on the court!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
If AI is in Detroit making jokes, why the heck can't Chauncey Billups make it out to rOracle tonight to play with his new team as they lose to the Warriors? Methinks there's something going on in the Billups camp with this trade.
"Lewis Hamilton will become the world's highest-paid sportsman after becoming the youngest driver to win the Formula One world championship last night.
The 23-year-old Briton can expect to earn a minimum £100million a year following one of the most exciting finales to a race the sport has ever witnessed.
This far eclipses the £31million that David Beck ham earned last year and even surpasses the £72million earned this year by Tiger Woods."
If Warriors new President Robert Rowell flexes his muscles and tries to void Ellis' contract if and when he comes back simply because Rowell doesn't think Monta is playing like the $60 Million Man they signed, the Dubs would be digging themselves a huge hole for many years. If this happened, why would any major free agent ever want to come to Tha City and play at rOaracle with management like this? And where is GM Chris Mullin in all of this?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Please read the recent press release by Trey and enjoy his masterpiece. Available on Amazon.
Dear amigos and amigas,
I have discovered some major shit.
And it has something to do with Ghosts/Aliens. Now wait, before you start scoffing, think about it for a second. There has got to be some shit out there that nobody can explain. And I’m not talking about the two guys who went looking for UFOs, discover a pick-up truck FULL of Mexicans, and ended up getting into a huge fight. I’m talking about REAL Paranormal Activity.
Maybe you never realized you were searching for something like that, but consider this: What about the time you heard some dude moan and there were no moaning dudes around? Or what about the time you were at a stop light, and you saw this owl just sitting there, and it mouthed your name.
At this point you might be asking why someone like myself has suddenly acquired an intellectual curiosity after a lifelong passion for non-intellectual endeavors, like jerking my gherkin. Well, listen to this. Me and Mike Stevens have interfaced with a dude who might be from another dimension, or India. And if that doesn’t convince you, Derek Wood is willing to give personal testimony that he has witnessed a TELEPORTING HOT POCKET.
I have collected my studies over the past week titled GHOSTS/ALIENS so you guys will have proof of what I’m talking about. (I’m not a dude who just says stuff. Trust me, if I were making this shit up, I would be saying it was 10 Hot Pockets Floating, NOT ONE.) If you want to help out, then check out http://www.ghostsaliens.net/ for combat tips and end-times notices. Also, if you have a buddy that might be interested in this type of thing, make sure to tell them too.
Thank you and farewell,
Trey Hamburger, amateur scientist/pressure-point expert “cousin” of Robert Hamburger email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. If you don’t hear from me again, I’m probably stuck in a trans-dimensional cheese web.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Billups':Maybe this decision is personal since I wouldn't put a pair of Weeboks on my feet to play basketball if my adult league title depended on it. But I think it is obvious choice here are the Chauncey Adidas. Score tied: 1-1.
Category 3: Who earns more Nextian Crazy Points?
Billups is a pretty normal dude. I couldn't find anything "crazy" in his past other than being a perfect gentleman and a championship ring owner. After going through 184 pages of Google Images the "worst" picture I could find of CB was this one of him looking happy in the NBA finals:
Meanwhile, AI has been arrested many times. He beats people up, has been involved in drug deals, and makes rap albums that he can't release because they are too raunchy (check out the song "40 Bars" by "Jewels" on the link):
The all important Crazy Points go to AI. Our winner is Allen Iverson of the new and improved Detroit Pistons!
What this amazing analysis shows us is that Detroit will come out much further ahead than Denver when this thing is all said and done. The evidence is undisputable. Congratulations to Joe Dumars and the city of Motown.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Toomy (Strange Range) was crushing beer cans and shooting them into the recycling bin all night long:
Matt (Quality Shots) and I (Defending We Got Next! Runner Up) were in full effect in our My New Haircut attire. Matt represented the "Jaegah Bombs" sceen while I was all over the "Yeah I grunt when I get my swool on at the gym" outfit.
Tommy (Nudie Mag) and Cam (Monta's Moped) decided to be the same douchbag with MuscleMilk, night time sunglasses and tanner. We just wanted to show everyone how jacked and tan we were.
Anyone else have some solid pictures of themselves from Halloween? Let's see 'em.