Thursday, November 20, 2014

Osprey.

The best play in basketball is the open floor chasedown block. It is a mix of all of the best basketball elements. A block at the rim, a tremendous high athleticism play and a perfect moment in time when precision and power meet at the apex. It's an open floor play which mean it never stops moving. It generally creates a fast break opportunity on the other end, a potential four to five point swing, which, I'm not into "Momentum" or any crap like that, but it is an impressive two way flexing, a classic basketball face rub.

It also involves a very brief moment, a thrilling moment, where the blocker is running down the floor, and slooooows down just a litttttle bit so he can size up his opponent and get perfect timing on the block. Have you ever seen an osprey hunt in person?



I don't think this video captures it, but an osprey will fly over a pond, spot a fish (When I saw it in person, it was a trout at a recently stocked Klineline Pond in Salmon Creek.) and then ever so subtly slow down by pumping its wings and them BOOM, swoop down and snatch a fish right in it's fucking talons. I spent all afternoon trying to captrure this on a shitty camera once, but you have to see it in person to really see the whole range of motion, the little movement an osprey makes with its wings before it dives five stories to nab one fish. Every time I see the little foot shuffle before the big block, I am taken back to the osprey yanking it's own body back before it dives into the water and yanks a fish out of a pond

A given, Lebron is the king of the chasedown. He makes a play so difficult only a few players can properly execute it seem like an inevitability.



 If you watch enough Blazer games, you also come to appreciate Nicolas Batum's approach, which is a little more graceful and hand flicky than Lebron's nightmare train:



But I am only writing this to illuminate Demarcus Cousins's crusher on Jrue Holiday on the 18th.



Look at that open court sprint and size up! Onetwoonetwoonetwo One Two BLOCK. It's not a traditional chasedown masterpiece where you get a real sense of the player's eyes zeroing in on the target. But it's a real rumbler, all six-tenish 250ish of Demarcus thunderin' down the floor and snatching two right out of Jrue's hands. A human being that big shouldn't be able to keep up and make a play like that on an NBA guard, and a very good NBA guard at that. Almost more straight up eagleish than osprety-esq like the small forwards. The Steel Eagle, Stealin' from Jrue, if you will.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ON THE DENVER NUGGETS:

(the original draft of this post is contained below, sort of like how "Song of Myself" is in the Whitman anthology twice.)

HEY, DENVER FANS. It’s your good friend, prominent blogger CORBIN SMITH. You heard of me!? Of course you have. I am a fan, just like y’all! I was reading this stuff about the DENVER NUGGETS FRONT OFFICE SITUATION and boy oh boy, it got my bloog (that’s my name for my blood) a-boilin! The fans deserve better. The fans deserve a GM who loves ball, and loves people, and love making HARD DECISIONS.


The Good People of Denver deserve me, Corbin Smith, a beloved and intelligent basketball blogger. I have all kinds of qualifications:


ONE: I love basketball and understand it pretty good. If I watch a play a few times, I usually know what is happening.


TWO: Modern GMs need to have a knowledge of database operations and management, and an understanding of advanced math. I PROBABLY don’t qualify on the second front, but, whatever, we have calculators now. What do I need to know about long division in the 21st century But as far as databases go, shit, I am ALL OVER THAT. Check this out:




See that!? That is a spreadsheet with information about EVERY Denver nuggets season, even the ABA ones. It has Offensive Ratings, Defensive Rating, Basketball-Reference WIn Shares Leader, all the stuff you need to know. I made it in like, five minutes. There was a problem with the Drive or something, so not all the years pasted right, but whatever, I can fix that. I can also do equations in databases. Look at this:


Then, I press enter, and…


BANG! I am all over this database thing. And if something more complicated presents itself, I can figure that out, because I am a millennial, with a mastery of computers, and a graduate of The Evergreen State College, which means I am a gifted independent worker.


THREE: I UNDERSTAND THE CAP, UNLIKE THESE GUYS. Proposing trades you can’t do under the CBA!? C’mon, guy currently running the Nuggets! Get your act together! Here’s a little book I’ve been reading lately:
I’m learning so much from this thing, you guys. Like, “The Players Association agrees to provide the NBA League Office with a list of (a) all agents certified under the Players Association’s Agent Regulation Program, and (b) the players represented by each such agent.” If one of these players tries to get an Unlicensed Agent by me, I am going to be ready, because I will know to consult the list the Players Union sent over, and make sure the agents I am talking to are certified. I am ALREADY a step ahead with how much information I am getting from this thing!


FOUR: I UNDERSTAND FREE AGENT VALUE. Last year, the Nuggets signed JJ Hickson and Nate Robinson to multi-year deals. Hickson is a known sucker bet, the king of fake hustle; a volume rebounder who flagrantly steals boards from teammates, provides no shooting, and is an abysmal defender who destroys your team’s rim protection. And Nate Robb’s only consistence is inconsistency. Coming off a pair of one year deals and playing his last stint with Tom “The Coach Who Always Seems To Make Bad Guards Good”* Thibadeau, the Nuggets brain trust did themselves no favors in assuming he could keep it up in Denver. You get me behind the desk in the Summer of 2013, things go a LITTLE DIFFERENTLY for the NUGGETS.


(LIGHTS UP. Corbin, a very good GM, is talking to LINUS, his assistant. Linus has his phone and stuff, but Corbin is lying down on the floor so he can get blood and good ideas in his very big brain, hardwired for GMing.)


CORBIN: Linus. We have cap room, we have mid level exceptions, let’s make some magic. I will tell you one thing, right now: JJ Hickson and Nate Robinson, OFF THE TABLE. I ain’t signing either one of those guys! Hey, how about this one: we need a reliable Center, and I am thinking that TIAGO SPLITTER could do a lot of good for us! Good defender, underrated roll man! What do you think!?


LINUS: He doesn’t want to pay taxes, so he resigned in San Antonio.


CORBIN: Oh, bummer. Well, that’s okay, because, even though he has some defensive limitations, I think we can get AL JEFFERSON on the cheap.


LINUS: His agents aren’t interested. Apparently he doesn’t, uh, like Denver.


CORBIN: WHAT!? C’mon, it’s beautiful here! Mountains, bike trails. Where’s he going if not here? No one who might make the layoffs has cap room! Let’s get back to the big man thing later. I want some guards, some backup guards, I’m talkin Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Marco Belinelli, maybe Aaron Brooks if we’re looking to get weird!


LINUS: Their agents are looking to get them into Texas. Taxes, again.


CORBIN: Huh. Bummer. Well, we just need to, uh, really Moneyball this. Who’s left!?


LINUS: (Pokes at device.) Nate Robinson and JJ Hickson.


CORBIN: DAMNIT LINUS. Think outside the box! I am going to take this binder full of pictures of players into the SAUNA and I am coming back with some KILLER ASSETS who will help us WIN!


(Then, I do that, and everyone thinks I am a genius.)


FIVE: DRAFTING, I HAVE SOME INTERESTING IDEAS
Can we just agree that College Basketball and European youth development have been sucked dry, and we need to find the next HOT, GREASY VEIN full of PLAYER GRAVY!? What about China!? They like basketball, right!? I’ll send like three scouts to China, they’ll come back in two with a whole basketful of dudes who are shorter Yao Mings. Buyouts? Sure, great! We’re a PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM IN THE NBA, we can DEAL with buyouts!


Two words, Denver Nuggets owners: Dominican. Republic. Baseball loves that country and baseball is hard as hell. Tellin me there’s not some 7-Foot tall Dominican junkballer we can turn into a 15 PER center? Move around in the paint and try to stand in the small dude’s way. Block shots when you can. Catch and dunk the ball. Go for rebounds, but not too often or for too long of a time. Shoot 75% at the line. He’ll be worth like six wins, six times as many as he would produce for a baseball team.


SIX: TALKING TO PLAYERS
As a “member of the media,” I could someday talk to a basketball player so I can learn something and write about it for a website or a newspaper. That means I am already mentally prepared to talk to these guys about stuff like money and playing time. I have some rules:
1: KEEP IT LIGHT. People like it when you tell jokes, and make a comfortable atmosphere.
2: PAY ATTENTION TO POP CULTURE, AND REFERENCE IT WHEN I AM TALKING. Hey guys, I am an older man who is your boss, kind of, but I can “rap” with you fellas about Drake and the newest episode of Bones, which we’re all into!
3: JUST TRY TO AGREE WITH THEM. “I’m not getting enough playing time.” Yeah, absolutely. I will talk to Brian about that. “You don’t pay me enough money.” Absolutely. I will talk to some guys about getting a few extra dollars your way. “Someone is getting on my serves.” We will see about trading them to another team, they really annoy me too.


THERE IT IS! My COMPREHENSIVE LIST of reasons why I would be A GREAT GM FOR THE DENVER NUGGETS (Nuggz) ORGANIZATION. If you are from the team and are interested, please Ello me, @BigCorbs. Thank you.


*Aaron Brooks!? What the hell, man!


BONUS POST
( I wrote this post twice. Here is the first time I wrote it.)


HEY, DENVER FANS. It’s your good friend, prominent blogger CORBIN SMITH. You heard of me!? Of course you have. I am a fan, just like y’all! I was reading this stuff about the DENVER NUGGETS FRONT OFFICE SITUATION and boy ho boy, it got my bloog (that’s my name for my blood) a-boilin! The fans deserve better. The fans deserve a GM who loves ball, and loves people, and love making HARD DECISIONS.


The fans deserve GM Blue-Footed Booby, the water bird who isn’t scared of humans and loves basketball.
I love basketball, I have a background in coaching and scouting, but I have a profound understanding of modern database management, statistics, negotiation and people management skills, and a magnetic personality. I am forward thinking, and I am looking into programmers to utilize new SportsVU data. And unlike most of the Bird Candidates applying for this job, I am also not scared of humans, because I evolved on an island where there were none until Darwin arrived on the Beagle expedition. I don’t think I need to tell you about when Orlando hired that sparrow and he got scared when Van Gundy walked in the room and was never seen again.


Blue Footed Booby is ready. He knows the cap back and forth, up and down. Here’s a picture of him with the CBA, reading and learning and mastering the finer points of transactions.
(Boobie is more than qualified to be a GM but his eyes aren’t what they used to be.)


Your opponents get a trade call from GM Blue-Footed Boobie, you know it’s going to be valid. “Hey, Sammy (Hinkie). It’s Boobie. Look, we’re both in a pickle here. We have some junky, junky rosters. Can we be honest? Just between us? But we have Hickson, and we’re tired of him, looking to offload, clear the cap, I am thinking, we get you a second round pick, you get us, uhh, Shved and Hollis Thopmson. No one gets better and jams a pumpkin into the tank, because Hickson, on the d/l, he is TERRIBLE at basketball, but the last administration were kind of and don’t tell people I said this, Sam, you gossippy bunny, suckers. They were suckers. I mean, Robinson and Hickson in one offseason? I have “DO NOT SIGN THESE GUYS TO MULTI YEAR DEALS” tattooed to my heart, right underneath my ample plumages, with little pictures of their faces on either side. I hear you thinking, Sam, and I have one more drop of honey to sweeten this tea; how about, next time you’re in Denver, I take you and your wife, you have a wife, right, Sam? Anyway, me and you, we go to the SLaughtered Cow. Peyton Manning loves it, I hear. You can get a surf and turf, and they can get me a bowl full of dried bread crumbs and seeds, because that’s the kind of thing a bird like myself eats.”


Now, does Hinke take that trade? I don’t know! He is pretty crazy about keeping his cap clean, so I doubt it. But, it’s a trade that WORKS UNDER THE CAP and is SOMEWHAT CONCEIVABLE. Also, that confidence, that banter, that lust for life that makes a man a power player in his industry. Blue-Footed Boobie has “It.” No more “Projecting a lack of confidence” in Denver. This is one charming man just one of the fellas, tearing up the phones. He is going to be the engine in  HOT ROD organization, VROOM VROOM!
The 2016 Denver Nuggets, ready to tear up the league on their way to the fifth seed.


Looking to get rid of Brian Shaw? Who isn’t! Boobie has a guy he is looking to hire, and you are going to be interested:
I am talking about the bear, not one of the human beings. They might come on as an assistant, though, since they played under him at Cal, and this guy is really into establishing a coaching tree to scratch his back with.


He is tough. Very tough. During the off season, he sits in a cave and starves while he plays tape on a loop so he can receive visions of the future of the game. No wife. No kids. No obligations at all. Just film and discipline. Swims three miles a day. And, since Denver is openly unwilling to pay management talent, they will be happy to hear that he can be paid in honey, salmon, and ziploc bags full of a female bear’s estrus juices. Will the janitorial staff need to make accommodations? Sure, but you’re already paying them too much, you’ve been looking to get some more value out of that slot anyway. He thinks the triangle is archaic as hell, and just encourage midrange jumpers. Spread screen and roll, ICE defense, motion elements, giant fur coat for handing the cold Denver winters, this is a coach up on all the latest trends.

(Caitlin Obom helped edit the second draft of this piece.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

THEY SHOULD PUT A D-LEAGUE TEAM IN TACOMA: AN IRREFUTABLE ARGUEMENT

THE NBA D-League is always looking to expand, so more teams can farm out their B-Level talent to go shoot exclusively threes. They should expand into Tacoma, Washington, and play their games at the legendary Tacoma Dome. Why!?

A LIST OF GOOD REASONS:

ONE: The stadium’s capacity is basically in line with the needs of the NBA D-League:


The Dome has a basketball capacity of 17,100. That would make it the largest stadium in the D-League, the crown in the jewel of an up-and-coming enterprise One has to think the only reason they haven’t already invaded Tacoma is that they are intimidated! C’mon, D-League! Dream big! I mean, five hundred people in Bakersfield? Be a little more ambitious!

TWO: The Tacoma Dome is good as hell.
Look at this very good building and the mountain it sits in front of. Here are some fact about the Tacome Dome any dummy can glean:
ONE: It is mountain coloured, so it kind of looks like the mountain’s little round brother.
TWO: It is a dome, a powerful and elegant structure.
THREE: It is very good at holding people for events, such as professional wrasslin’, hockey, Walking with Dinosaurs, Justin Bieber concerts, high school sports tournaments and, ESPECIALLY, basketball games!

BUT I HAVEN’T EVEN MENTIONED WHAT IS GOING ON INSIDE:
You see those beams? The scaffolding of this ultra-modern, nearly futurist building is made of none other than OLD FASHIONED PACIFIC NORTHWEST WOOD! It’s like the world’s biggest ski lodge that you can play basketball in! As a matter of fact, the Tacoma Dome is the LARGEST CLEAR SPAN (I don’t know what that mean, but it sounds good!) TIMBER BUILDING IN THE WORLD! This blog post, over at “Working Wonders with Wood” can tell you EVERYTHING about it! What a good building!

THREE: There is only one Major Pro Basketball team in the Northwest!

Why has the NBA all but abandoned North America’s Pacific Northwest? They understand we stop going outside after like September, right? We're captive audience! Three Major cities, and only the smallest one is blessed with an NBA team. What the crap, guys! I know Canada weirded Steve Francis out so much they they just couldn’t have a team in Vancouver anymore, and a malevolent fracking magnate thought that owning a team in a place where a lot of people actually live would be downright Unamerican. But c’mon! Seattle Metro is a FIVE MILLION PERSON MARKET that is COMPLETELY UNTAPPED!

Putting a D-League team in Seattle proper would be a slap in the face, a fucked up consolation prize. But Tacoma, that’s a mighty distance. Even when the Thunder come back to Seattle when the franchise collapses after Durant leaves, it can exist independently. Hey, maybe you even make it Seattle’s D-League team! Did you know that the Mariner’s AAA Affiliate plays in Tacoma, at a stadium where I once say Joe Biden speak? It could be a cute little thing!

Would Seattlites take the trip? I don’t know, let’s ask ACTUAL SEATTLE RESIDENT DAMON AGNOS!
Not even Nate Silver can complain about that sample size, because he LOVES Tacoma, AND minor league basketball, and the mix of those things would make him say all sort of irrational things!

In conclusion: Tacoma demands a D-League team. The Pacific Northwest is underserved. The Tacoma Dome is a cool building. The D-League needs to stop fucking around with 500 seat venues if it wants to be an actual thing. Also they should do something about teams exclusively using it to develop three point shooters and engineering their entire offenses to only shoot threes at obscene rates, but that wasn’t the topic of this. TACOMA. FOR. THE. FURUTE.

Friday, November 7, 2014

BISCUTBALL KRAFT KORNER: CARMELO ANTHONY'S COOL HAT!

TONIGHT, NBA Star CARMELO ANTHONY debuted a NEW HAT that is TAKING THE NATION BY STORM!




You, a consumer, want this hat. You crave this hat. But you’re not a millionaire athlete who can either buy this masterpiece with your riches or even get someone else to pay you to wear this badboy! So what do you, a poor consumer with a CRAVING for this awesome hat, do?




THAT’S RIGHT, Y’ALL! A brand new AWESOME CARMELO ANTHONY HAT is in YOUR GRASP as long as you follow my EASY EASY EASY STEPS!


First, lay out your supplies. You’re going to need sturdy paper, a pencil for making temporary marks, ribbon, and a bottle of glue!
Then, measure your head, to find out how big the hat is going to need to be!
Glue the pieces together, so it will wrap around your head!
Then, glue the side…
...and make it into a tube!
Set your tube onto another shoot of paper, and glue them together.
THEN, put a little bit of glue on the top of tube…
...and set another piece of paper on top of the tube!
Cut the top paper into a fitting circle.
Then, cut out a hole in the bottom piece!
 
Use your scissors to form a circular brin at the bottom of your hat!
Cut a piece of ribbon and glue it to the bottom of the hat!
As you can see, you now have a “Very good hat, that many people will enjoy.” But is it Melo’s masterpiece yet? I submit, NO!
So, pull out your watercolor set (Mine was under my bed)
AND GET TO MAKING SOME LIGHT BLUE MAGIC!
Lookin’ Good? Lookin MELLO-W, if you ask me!
Whatever you do, don’t make sure you have a backup hat in case you lose! They’re the Nets! They stink! You’ll win, you’ll have a cool hat, and everything will be fine!
Now, go out there, and talk to those reporters!


EDIT: Kenny Ducey brought the unlit match to my attention, which I somehow forgot to include in the hat. If you squint, you will see that  I have rectified that here:
Thank you.

EVERY POSSIBLE REASON BASKETBALL PLAYERS GET INJURED:

-NBA players play too many games and “Wear and tear” takes a serious toll over time.

-Players are too athletic now, with conditioning and supplements and that explosiveness takes a toll on their ligaments, which don’t get stronger with those types of things.

-Players are running bad, with too much or too little heel strike.

-There is a problem with their shoes, because they don’t wear the right brand of shoes. Their shoes are either too heavy or not heavy enough. If they would just wear Welding Boots or Tom’s, everything would be fine.

-A player is too tall.

-A player’s feet are too small, or too big, or their arches aren’t right.

-A team’s training staff is incompetent.

-A team’s training staff is malevolent and doing little things to encourage injuries as a way of making themselves feel better. Trainers and sports doctors are basically all type-a ex-athletes who boil over with rage about their failures, so they microssagress joints and muscles so they will eventually break down.

-Everyone is taking steroids and HGH, which make your bones brittle and your ligaments into tissue paper.

-NO ONE is taking steroids or HGH, and they should, because they make your body strong like concrete and help you recover from injuries faster. There are all kinds of science papers about it.

-Players are doing the wrong kinds of exercise, including: knuckle pushups, WiiFit, bull riding, mountain climbing, skeet shooting, rollerblading, breaking off the lid of a cooler and using it to streetski behind a car in traffic, and juggling.

-They’re faking injuries so they can spend time on literary pursuits.

-There are too many people in the arenas, and the vibrations from all of their heartbeats penetrate players’ bodies and turn their organs into dust. If we go even one step further, players will start to dissolve on sight when they try to dunk.

-Not enough rest.

-TOO MUCH rest!

-Problems at home with family often manifest physically, and being a traveling professional athlete can be hard for a husband and wife.

-Subtle tissue and organ harvesting is being performed by teams. The organs are sold on the black market as “Athlete super parts” and are installed in the bodies of billionaires. (I think Cuban actually admitted this one.)

-Charter planes are too relaxing. The stress of commercial flight kept teams’ organs nice and tight in the old days.

-Players are mixing gunpowder into their drinks because they surreptitiously believe that it will make them more explosive, and it’s making their bodies brittle.

-Gunpower smoothies actually DO make players too explosive, and that explosiveness is too much for anyone’s fragile body parts. If we could learn to fortify their bones with steel, gunpowder athletes would do amazing things, like jumping onto small mountains. And that’s why I think the Sharks should invest in my company, SteelBone Solutions, Inc. MARC CUBAN: I am definitely interested. Tell me, do you have a gunpowder mine, or access to a gunpowder mine? ME: You know, Marc, it's funny you say that, because I have a guy on the line for it right now, but I can't make the purchase without this seed capital.

-Sports are staged, and injures are part of the drama. No one gets injured that often, don’t be a dummy. Can’t you see the Potemkin Village we’re all living in?????

-We don’t really know anything about the body, and every injury has a special reason that we could never truly parse out.

-Random quantum explosions at the subatomic level.

-Moral failings manifesting in bodies. (There is Biblical evidence to support this.)

-There is a pool of energy in the world that everyone draws from. Professional athletes draw from the pool more deeply than normal people. As more and more new players draw from this pool, other players get less. Without this energy, they get injured. IF we could figure out a way to get rid of some “Normal people” there would be enough energy in the pool that there would never be another professional sports injury ever again. Unfortunately, “Big Science” and “The University System” is opposed to the research that will prove my theories beyond a shadow of a doubt! Fortunately, for you, a sports fan, you can help. Just Paypal your donation to doctorenergyforabettersportstodayandinthefuture@gmail.com. It’s tax deductable in SEVERAL countries, including Mongolia, Turkmenistan, and parts of Alabama! Once again, PayPal your donation to doctorenergyforabettersportstodayandinthefuture@gmail.com for a tomorrow with no more pro sports injuries!

-Players are having too much sex.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Omer's Foul Shots



Here is a brief video of New Orleans Pelicans center Omer Asik, a favorite around here, stepping to the line in the fourth quarter of the Pelican's loss to the Grizzlies tonight. Asik was put on the line when Tony Allen fouled him while going for a defensive rebound try on the other end.

Omer glances at the basket with a small register of annoyance. He one of the NBA's best defensive centers, doing his job well enough that his opponent tried to grab his arm to stop him. But instead of just letting him have the rebound or giving a new possession to his team, his customary reward for a job well done, Omer, a career .541 free throw shooter has to go to the line all the way on the other side of the court and take two shots.

"I wasn't even attempting a shot," says the look, "They just fouled us so many times that we got into the bonus. I don't want to be in the bonus. We are behind. We need three pointers, not the one pointer I will likely make here. This system is completely insane."

Every time Dwight Howard takes a hack or makes high leverage foul shots, you can feel his stress. It's uncomfortable. He want to make them so bad, so maybe the curse will finally go away . Here, Omer is just annoyed. It's not the demon that haunts his nightmares, it's a scab that never goes away. He's just here to play defense. These fouls shots are some out of his jurisdiction bullshit. It wasn't HIS fault someone fouled him. He was just trying to play defense, and then you say, "No, man, you get (Have) to play offense, because your team played well enough that the other team is being punished for committing too many fouls against your team."

But the moment passes. This is the structure he works in, no matter how absurd it is. Omer takes a breath in through his nose and out of his mouth and makes one of two.

NBA COWARD RANKINGS, WEEK ONE:

NBA COWARD RANKINGS: WEEK ONE


ONE: NBA FANS
It’s going to take a monumental effort to unseat these guys, sitting in their chairs, judging the world’s greatest athletes. Hey, buddy: if you want to get off this ignoble throne, maybe you should get in the court yourself and see how you do! Oh, tough guy is stuttering like a real dummy now! Sit down, tough guy, go buy some more nachos. You disgust me, you coward.


TWO: KOBE BRYANT
You see Kobe yelling at Dwight? What are you scared of, man? That we won’t think you’re a man? That you’re not heteronormative enough? Quit performing your gender so aggressively, with the cursing in interviews and whatnot. Take your shitty season with a stoic face, like a brave person would. You’re melting down out here, you weirdo.


THREE: 76ERS GM SAM HINKE
Hey man, I’m just working with the system that’s in place. Being bad and collecting high picks is the way toward sustainable success. Don’t blame me, blame th… WELL I SAY, YOU'RE A COWARD, SAM HINKE. Living off the detritus of the NBA’s deeply rooted corruption, instead of standing up, getting your hands in the dirt and YANKING OUT THOSE WEEDS, SO YOU CAN PLANT AN NBA REVOLUTION! This strategy is coward’s work, and he should feel a deep shame in his heart. He should also feel a deep sword in his belly, because seppuku is the only honorable out here.


FOUR: CARMELO ANTHONY
One line, brother? That’s all you had the courage to manage? Bill Russell was in THREE SCENES of a Dick Van Dyke episode. Moses Malone was the lynchpin of the “Big Mac” arc on Hill Street Blues. And I don’t have to tell anyone about the episode of Miami Vice where Larry Bird played Crockett. Be more like these legendary NBA thespians, you COWARD, not one of these one line wonders wandering in and out of prestige-y but not really, actually kind of trashy TV Shows.


FIVE: NBA.COM’S VIDEO PRODUCERS
Lotta top tens on this bad boy. Why do you need to put yourself in a box? Can’t just give the people the best assists, be there six or twenty-six qualifiers for the title? You just do whatever your content hungry masters command? Get outside of the warm box, you cowards.




SIX: SAN ANTONIO SPURS FRANCHISEE PETER HOLT
Is that a pair of loose fitting jeans, brother? You scared a slimmer cut will reveal something you’re not prepared to share with the world? Or are you scared the tailor will give you a sideways glance when you go in to buy slacks without having enough knowledge to tell him exactly what you want? Would have been higher, but that is a bold-as-hell belt buckle, and I respect that. Combine it with some more revealing pants and we can get talking about sticking you on the NBA Braverman Rankings (title pending).




SEVEN: FANGED VAMPIRE DEER
The Vampire Deer resurfaced after FIFTY years of complete non contact with humans. Does this guy think he can just show up at the beginning of the NBA season and have everyone talkin’ again about how he is the king of basketball playing deer? I say: HELL NO. You don’t dodge the competition for fifty years and expect everyone to think you’re a baller again. Pick up a ball, post up on a reindeer, and show us, don’t just float around the gym like you’re bad or something, just because you have those teeth. I’ll bet you don’t even suck blood, bro.


EIGHT: NBA REFS
You really need that whistle? Just try to have a conversation with the players about what they’re doing wrong. Blowing into a tiny aluminum horn just makes it seem like you have a control complex. Understanding is bravery, control is cowardice.


NINE: HIGH SCHOOL WILT CHAMBERLAIN


We all know you could have dunked that, but you would have gotten a penalty or something, since these were the prohibition years. But, C’MON. It’s not like you were going to lose the game: WILT CHAMBERLAIN was on your team, in 1955 or whenever! Give the people a show, consequences be damned! Spit in the face of your fear of losing!


TEN: DEATH
Manifest a human-like form and let us challenge you personally, you son of a bitch. I will take you in one-on-one, and if I win, I get to live forever. Scared you’ll lose? Of course you are, you sniveling wimp. It’s all scythe swings, no off the dribble game, no finesse. Just a goon, a big, stupid goon.