November 21, 2010
Like a handful of other crazy New Yorkers, I stayed up late last night to watch the Knicks-Clippers game. That was a fantastic decision, primarily because of Blake Griffin. Griffin annihilated the Knicks with an explosive array of dunks mixed with an occasional 18-foot jumper. Late in the second half, it got to the point where the Clippers’ offense consisted of Griffin driving to the basket and trying to dunk every shot he took, even if the laws of both physics and probability tried to impede him. I’ve never seen anything like it.
If you want to see Griffin’s fearsome handiwork, you can check out the highlights here; I have no interest in posting video of my beloved Knicks being humiliated. But for my money, the best clip isn’t the highlights, but this wordless exchange between Griffin and Amare Stoudemire during a lull in the action. It’s just a neat catch, a funny but profound moment that represents the passing of the torch from the NBA of today to the NBA of tomorrow.
October 30, 2010
I’m not a big LeBron James hater. I think “The Decision” was ill-conceived and egomaniacal, but I’m grateful for it because it provided an awesome test of our supposed sports mores. We say we value teamwork, cooperation, and personal sacrifice in the name of winning championships. So James made a move that embodied all of those values and he’s getting killed for it. Yes, the process was sloppy, but the result is exactly what most of us say we want from our most gifted athletes. Frankly, I share James’ befuddlement about what is expected of him.
But I do hate Miami Heat “fans.” I want to say “Miami fans,” but apparently Dolphins fans are quite loyal and the Marlins’ ownership situation complicates the picture enough for me to overlook their terrible attendance. Heat “fans,” however, are conclusively frontrunners. If the team is good, the place is packed. If the team is average or worse, it’s a tomb. And even if it’s the new-look Heat’s home opener against an in-state rival that also happens to be an elite team, well, that won’t quite do it either, since it’s a Friday night and Heat “fans” have better things to do.
Some of this criticism is rooted in sour grapes, of course. I know this would never have happened in New York, that Madison Square Garden would have been rocking in a way that I haven’t heard since the lockout-shortened ’98-’99 season. Oh well. At least New York now has a young, interesting, and likable Knicks team that is constructed to win games instead of to sell off bad assets.
March 12, 2010
Although March Madness is Gus Johnson’s natural habitat, he is perfectly capable of going insane during NFL and NBA games too. You saw the former yesterday with Brandon Stokley’s catch, and you’re about to see the latter. Here is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen (live) as a sports fan. And luckily, Gus had the call. Climax begins at 0:34.
Favorite part: A small group of Knicks fans talking smack to Bobcats owner Michael Jordan from 0:52-0:56. Because David Lee’s shot definitely makes up for years of Jordan’s Bulls eliminating the Knicks from the playoffs.
January 25, 2010
And, in the interest of fairness…
Two out of three ain’t bad.
August 27, 2009
I really wish I had time for a detailed and focused post, but alas, life intervenes. Here are some links that I found interesting to help tide you over:
- The Red Sox released starting pitcher and failed mega-bargain Brad Penny. Coupled with John Smoltz’ ineptitude and subsequent departure, this development is more than a little bit satisfying considering the praise heaped upon the Red Sox for their low-cost offseason shopping. I have a serious but unrealistic suggestion, though: the Yankees should look into acquiring Penny. The Red Sox couldn’t afford his poor performance because (a) he was effectively their #3 starter and (b) they’re in the thick of the playoff race. Surely, however, Penny would be an upgrade on the Sergio Mitre/Chad Gaudin duo that currently occupies the Yankees’ fifth rotation slot, right? Rob Neyer may well agree with me.
- Deadspin has a brief but outstanding piece about the damaging role of machismo and toughness in professional football. I’ve often thought about making this same point, but Dashiell Bennett conveys in a few hundred words what would have taken me about a thousand. Beware: some of the language in the accompanying video clip is a little off-color.
- An appeals court has ruled that the government was wrong to seize the list and samples of the 104 Major League Baseball players who tested positive for banned substances in 2003. Great, this really helps David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez, who have had their reputations and accomplishments tainted by the egregious violation of their basic rights. What do the players think? Most seem to want the entire list released which, as I’ve said, is a horrible idea. Brian Bannister has the right idea though. Just another reason he’s one of my favorite pitchers.
Happy Thursday, everyone.
May 31, 2009
With the Yankees just losing to the Indians in the bottom of the 9th inning, my instinct is to author another post about the continual mismanagement of reliever deployment. Today’s offense was the refusal to use Mariano Rivera in a tie game on the road, even if it meant (as it ultimately did) losing the contest. Once again, we see that most managers simply will not use their closer unless he is protecting a lead in the 9th inning. I repeat: even if it means losing.
To pacify myself, I will look at the following image and hope that the Cavaliers’ surprising elimination will nudge this ardent dream one step closer to a glorious reality.