Preseason in the NBA…for many, it’s that long overdue taste of professional basketball action unseen since summer’s beginning and even longer for Milwaukee fans.
For others, it’s a time to gauge the overall improvement and potential of their favorite team from the previous season (the Celtics won two straight games by 20-points?!? Get the shine rag ready, Mr. Silver!! I can almost see that Larry O’Brien trophy twinkling in the distance! Woo-hoo! Wait…they’ve lost the last two to the Knicks and Raptors? Okay, conference Finals for SURE, and, maybe with a little luck…)
By and large, however, it’s a frustrating exercise in speculation, player puff-pieces and mostly-bad basketball.
In the spirit of that time-honored and tedious tradition, I proudly present to you my version of an NBA preseason-caliber blog post: a collection of fragmented, uncoordinated pieces that have aspirations of making the big time, if only they could come up with a solid jumpshot and a little “D.”
Feel free to read this with a beer in your hand and crossword, smartphone and multiple remotes in your lap.
USPS Finally Gets One Up For Wilt
As many of you have probably already heard, the late, great Wilt Chamberlain is finally being honored by the United States Postal Service with a series of postage stamps bearing his likeness. In an effort to bring the largest degree of realism possible to the festivities, the USPS has gone retro, switching from the current self-adhesive stamps back to the dry glue stamps so that Wilt can once again be licked by thousands.
Feeling Kinda ‘Melo
New York Knick Carmelo Anthony says that he’s the most underrated superstar in the NBA, which is kind of like complaining about being the lowest paid bazillionaire in the Bazillionaires-Only Club – a club, mind you, that he’s well on his way to joining after signing that terribly underrated $124 million-plus contract this summer.
Darko Kicks Self Out Of NBA
At 29 years of age, former #2 overall draft pick Darko Milicic has retired from the NBA and announced that he has signed on to become a professional kickboxer in his native Serbia. This savvy decision will bring Milicic ever closer to what has apparently been his lifelong goal: sucking at multiple sports.
Another Deng Case Of Storefront Racism?
In the wake of the recent Donald Sterling fiasco, the NBA was the again center of another racially-charged ruckus in which Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry was taken to task for comments he made during a business meeting. Reading from a scouting report that said that forward Luol Deng “had a little African in him” and likened him to “a man with a nice shop who sells counterfeit items out of the back,” Ferry at first claimed innocence, correctly pointing out that he was just reading the words of another GM. Seeking to diffuse the situation, Deng said that he didn’t think that Danny Ferry was a racist for repeating the blatantly racist rhetoric in the report. Of course, it should be noted that Deng made his statement from deep within a pumpkin patch where he was patiently awaiting the arrival of The Great Pumpkin and his Tooth-Fairy-driven sleigh full of toy Easter egg ghosts.
How Rondo “Rose” To The Challenge
Rajon Rondo, ever the competitor against his point guard brethren, recently raised the stakes in his rivalry against Derick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. After jealously watching Rose blow out both knees over the past two seasons, Rondo shot back by injuring one of his own knees prior to last season and then finally upping the ante this season by taking the party off-court and pulling off the improbable feet of “breaking his hand in the shower.” Top THAT, D-Rose!
Cavalier Claims About Backcourt Superiority
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dion Waiters claims that he and Kyrie Irving are a better backcourt than Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal. In fact, he said that he thought they were the best backcourt in the NBA. That’s kind of like arguing that your imaginary Martian ray gun is better than my hypothetical teleportation device. It’s all just unproven theories and daydreams until somebody disappears or gets vaporized.
The LeBron 11 Sneaker: Scary Good, Or Just Plain Scary?
Speaking of the Cavs, LeBron “Home Again” James had to have his new sneaker launch postponed due to what was referred to as “a cosmetic issue” with the shoe. Some have speculated that it had something to do with LeBron’s switch back to his old jersey number, #23 (I guess the statute of legendary limitations on Michael Jordan’s career must have recently run out), but my guess is that they wanted to move the launch date closer to Halloween when people are a little bit more prepared to see terrifyingly ugly things running in the streets.
Heat – LeBron = Good Times
And speaking of ugly things, the Miami Heat were apparently thrilled to let LeBron leave for Cleveland because they were aching to replace him with new teammates “Fun” and “Losing.” According to Dwyane Wade, all of the tedious winning that LeBron helped to bring down to South Beach was just too much pressure and the team is really looking forward to sucking so badly that playing becomes fun again. Even the oft-maligned Chris Bosh had some questionable quotes about his former teammate. How much do you want to bet, though, that within a year, Wade and his teammates will be overdosing on the joy of losing and wishing for the grim old days of winning those solemn championships?
Silver’s Playbook Lined With Treachery?
Aaaaand speaking of championships…I know what you did this summer, Mr. Silver!! Oh, you’re a sly one, Mr. Commissioner. Since your ascension to the helm of the National Basketball Association, you’ve very carefully and strategically done and said all of the right things. From booting Sterling out of the League to taking quick and decisive action on the first case of domestic violence by an NBA player since the Ray Rice (etc.) scandals broke, to honoring Isaiah Austin by drafting him into the NBA even though he’ll never see the floor in an actual game due to a catastrophic illness, it seems that you’ve been making all the right moves to position yourself as a solid and well-respected commissioner. But, you can’t fool me, Mr. Commissioner…I can finally see your endgame. You’re orchestrating the 2015 NBA Championship for LeBron and the Cavaliers! I know what some of you are thinking, but if you don’t believe me, just study the facts… Fact #1: LeBron announces his return to Cleveland on July 11, setting off the first phase of Silver’s diabolical plan. Fact #2: Paul George, the top player for the Championship-contending Indiana Pacers suffers a season-ending injury in August, removing one potential Eastern Conference hurdle for the new-look Cavs. Fact#3: The upstart Washington Wizards upgrade their team in the offseason with Hall of Fame-bound vet Paul Pierce and big men DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries, so – naturally – Bradley Beal suffers a nasty wrist injury that requires surgery and will potentially keep him under 100% for much of the season when he returns. For good measure, Humphries also injures a finger. Fact #4: With many of the threats to Cavalier contention out of the way in the East, suddenly, the NBA’s reigning MVP and Finals hopeful fractures his foot, requiring surgery. So there it is, Mr. Silver. You’ve been meticulous in the crafting your good-guy image and cunning in the elimination of the foes of your preordained Finals Champion Cleveland Cavaliers, but I’m on to you, Sir, and I am not afraid to let the world know about it. But, before I go into hiding, I want to urge Derrick Rose to tighten up those knee braces and keep an eye peeled for “random” slick spots that suddenly appear on the court. Oh, and to Doc Rivers and his Clippers, and Greg Popovich and his Spurs…I advise you not to even play your main guys until the Playoffs! Then again, if you don’t play your best guys until the Playoffs, there might not BE a Playoffs! Oooooh, Mr. Silver…you are diabolical, indeed!
Jazz Sign 5-Year-Old JP Gibson
No punchlines for this one…I just want to go out on a highly positive note with this great story. What a moving, class act by the Jazz, who made the dreams of a young boy and his family come true in the face of the worst kind of adversity. Wishing the Gibson family love and hope.
Photo Credit: www.screen17.ie