Whatever this blog is about, it is going to involve guys like Antoine Walker as much as possible. The above quote comes from him, and its absolutely awesome, and its why we love sports. Equally awesome is the description of Walker’s life so richly and entertainingly provided by Chris Ballard, which begins with this great description of Walker’s current apartment:
“The air is thick with the smell of smoke. The blinds are drawn. A lighter sits on the coffee table, next to a giant jug of Crystal Geyser water. Unlit incense sticks are nearby. On the TV a game of NBA 2K12 is paused in the second quarter—the Pacers versus the Spurs. There is a large box of Cheez-Its on the floor and bagged-up cartons of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the corner. Boxes of Corn Pops and Cap’n Crunch line the top of the refrigerator.”
That’s our kinda guy here, and the fact that he’s a former Celtic, and he’s our Celtic, means that we will ignore his relationship to a long dark era of Celtic history that pre-dates the three amigos. It’s a history that looks very much like its about to return. They really couldn’t trade Ray Allen? (I love Ray—best shooter of the 2000s (true? Who else? Dirk? Kobe? Redd? Novak?)—but he’s the only trade bait the C’s had because he can still play and he isn’t someone who you can build on long term (aka Pierce and Rondo).
(And btw, I refuse to use footnotes on this site because everyone these days wants to be grantland.com (because it is fucking awesome, and we love you Bill Simmons and Jay Caspian Kang and Wesley Morris and Chuck Klosterman and Jonathan Abram (great piece on the pistons-pacers epic fight), but grantland is using way too many unnecessary footnotes, and David Foster Wallace was even more awesome than grantland and can’t be imitated. Maybe I’ll imitate freedarko? Maybe Bruce Jenkins 3 dot lounge?)
Would that last ellipses have worked better as a footnote?
Next year, the C’s have a bi-polar point guard who could be a shorter Magic or a skinnier Antoine, plus another couple of years before Pierce’s number is retired, plus, what? Why is this team so thin? Why is the bench not just bad, but doesn’t even include any entertainment value? Why have the Spurs kept their three amigos intact as they age, and supplemented them with great role players, draftees, and athletes? If the C’s are going to suck, can we at least get Eddie House back? Or Nate Robinson after he wears down his welcome in GS? (Has anyone seen a smile on the Celtics bench since Nate got traded?) Or Jeremy Lin after he gets inevitably benched in NY?
The Knicks… Who does Chris Broussard work for? A couple of years ago, he notably got the inside scoop on LeBron’s move to Miami before anyone else. At the time people asked, was it great journalism, or was he friends with LeBron. This week, he’s on ESPN claiming that Mike D’Antoni had to go because he lost the Knicks team. “He doesn’t have the respect of the team anymore.”
The quote is from a source. Who is it? Howard Beck at the New York Times is suggestive. He suggests–by implication, he’s not directing his discussion towards Broussard–that it came from Carmelo. And Beck makes sense. Why would D’Antoni lose the respect of a bunch of guys—Jeremy Lin, Jared Jeffries, the amazing Steve Novak, Landry Fields—who owe their new-found livelihoods to him? Does Broussard know something others don’t? Or is Broussard following the path that got him the LeBron leak; kiss the stars asses, protect them, and report their stories? I’m just asking…
Just because its an amazing story….The next John Starks?
So, again, I don’t know what this blog is going to be about exactly. There’s a lot of people involved, some heavy hitters included, and so this blog may evolve in a lot of different directions. But definitely guys like Antoine, and definitely guys like Chris Broussard. Broussard’s not the first ‘journalist’ to play favorites with friends…Remember the great cupcake ‘interview’ by Dickie V. with his ‘friend,’ Coach Jim Harrick at UCLA, where Harrick denied wrongdoing (and resigned a weak later for ‘wrongdoing’)? But at least we know what we are getting with Dickie V. No one’s a better unrepentant homer than Dickie V., with apologies to Tommy Heinsohn. But Broussard is claiming to be a sports journalist, and maybe he is. But is he following the standards of journalism or US (Kardashian) Weekly? I’ll keep following it…
Linsanity… Obviously, he was being exposed by some top-tier point guards. He can’t even guard Jose Calderon, he turns the ball over way too much, and he sometimes looks completely overmatched. But he had at least five of the millenniums most memorable basketball moments in about two weeks, and that was a really fun team and he was at the center of it. They had massive chemistry, and I’ve never seen that many guys on a single team involved, smiling, and loving their coach for creating it. Now they’ve got their isolation offense, and 8th place in the east is for the taking before the beat-down by Chicago or Miami in round one. How many years of this before it ends? If Deron Williams leaves the Nets, can the NBA intervene (unprecedented I know) and manufacture a trade that sends Lin, Novak, Fields, Jeffries, Shumpert, and Chandler to the Brooklyn Ballers? They’d finish above the Knicks in the standings, take the Heat to 6 exciting games, and we all won’t feel so dirty for having to watch the latest of what’s wrong with the NBA star system.
NBA stars get a bad rap. They are mostly good guys, and they do a lot of unnoticed community service. Occasionally, they get political. The players union stood up for itself against the greed of the owners. The Suns made a great move wearing ‘Los Suns’ jerseys in response to the insanity that is a majority of Arizona voters. So, this week, how about responding to the continued exploitation that is NCAA sports? See this nice piece by Dave Zirin. Has any star since Chris Webber said anything about this?
Trayvon Martin only got to play high school basketball….