Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A SNEAK PREVIEW OF CARMELO ANTHONY'S NEW APP!

As a part of Carmelo Anthony's ambition to become the world's foremost 'Digital Athlete,' Melo Industries, INC. has developed a new IPhone/Android app that will be released later this month. Biscutball has obtained an EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW, which we will share with you right now:








(I got that GIF here)






THE BISCUTBALL LITERARY CORNER, SEPTEMBER 10th, 2014

(About a week ago, Joe Swide, a writer for VICE Sports and my editor over at Portland Roundball Society, asked me if I wanted to review a book for the site. I said “Sure” and he said “It’s on it’s way!” But in the week since then, panic has set in. I haven’t written about a book since I studied literature in college! I needed practice. So I went to My Local Library and picked up some books about basketball and read them. Here is my very important writing about those books.)




Glen Macnow’s book about Charles Barkley is a myth-making undertaking. Barkley crawls from the sludge of Leeds, Alabama, Six-Four if he was a foot, dominating his opponents and enemies and never looking back at the trail of destruction he sewed. When he was a young boy, he spent whole afternoons trying to leap over a four foot tall fence. He wrecked Bobby Lee Young, a Seven foot tall young man who was the best player in Alabama before Young Barkley’s 25 point, 20 performance turned him into a muttering catatonic. His appetite for victory was only rivaled by his craving for food; a list of buffets he put out of business takes up three pages in the middle of the book. Only the sage advice of Julius “Dr. J” Erving* got him to but down the turkey leg and pick up the medicine ball. A computer that tried to track his production broke. He picked up a 200 pound weight and used it to scratch his head. He hosted a beloved Philadelphia area radio show that helped to dismantle that city's political machinery in 1989:



Taken with what we know about Barkley that they wouldn’t write about in a book for children his proclivities for gambling, drinking, being amongst the people and occasionally throwing them through plate glass windows, this book makes Barkley into the Robert Baratheon of basketball. Wielding the hammer and winning the hearts of the people.


There were THREE WHOLE BOOKS about Jeremy Lin at the library. There is a cottage industry around books about Jeremy Lin written for children.


THis one was written by Marty Gitlin for the “Playmakers” series, which also includes volumes about Kevin Durant, Eli Manning and Timothy “Tim” Tebow. It is not a good book. It has a lot of unnerving sentences in it. Here are some:


“The new superstar of the New York Knicks glared at Toronto Raptors defender Jose Calderon”


“His parents were both 5-foot-6. Most NBA players have tall parents.”


“Shirley would arrive early for his games. She also would study the statistics of his opponents.”


“But he did not catch the attention of many Division I college basketball programs. Division I is the highest level of college sports.”


“His website received 20,000 views the day he signed.”


The book goes out of its way to not mention Carmelo Anthony. When nearly all books and internet are consumed by dragonfire and this book is the only remaining document of Jeremy Lin’s time as a New York Knick, people will be deeply confused as to why the Knicks fell apart at the end of that season and D’Antoni got fired. It is an incomplete history at best. Do not read this book.




I thought this book was about the Minnesota TImberwolves, because it was filed with the other basketball books. It was not, it was about actual wolves. It is a complete failure as a basketball book, but I did learn cool stuff about wolves and saw a picture of the world’s most fucked buffalo:


You can’t see it, but the guy on the top right there’s mouth is covered in blood. She means business. Look, Buffalo. Your life is about to end, and that sucks, but take solace in the knowledge that life is an ordeal, and death might be a blessing when you are reborn in livestock heaven.




This is a book about the Utah Jazz. It describes John Stockton has having a “Boy next door smile.” I don’t think I have ever seen John Stockton smile. There are picture of Stockton smiling in the book, but I honestly don’t believe them, they are too disassociating, I think they are photoshop trickery. There is also a whole chapter about the team’s then recently dead owner Larry Miller. If your kid is reading this book and gets super amped for reading about Larry Miller, you need to give him a skateboard and tell him to go outside and hurt himself, because he is terminally uncool. He might actually die from uncoolness. He’s not even the best Larry Miller! I skimmed this one, it was a little too long and boring and I don’t care about the Utah Jazz so much.




If you feel like your child is still a little young for the Undisputed Guide, I think this book is probably a good stopgap. It has lots of words and information about great historical teams. “There weren’t any jokes in this one.” Yeah, well, sometimes life doesn’t have jokes. Joe Giglio: I tip my hat to you and your good book.




This book is barely a book. It is a collection of pictures. It purports to tell its readers how to play basketball.




“Basketball is a fun game.” SURE, RIGHT. Let’s just IGNORE all of the social and aesthetic angles of basketball. This breeds ignorance into the mind of every people who reads this book. When you start from that place, “Basketball is supposed to be fun!” you will always get dragged back, kicking and screaming. What if you’re trying to derive MEANING from something or explore the outer edges of basketball as a statistical construct!? If, as a child, you were tethered to the pole of “Fun” it is going to yank on your chain when start to stroll into “Basketball in an IMPORTANT game.” Also, does basketball really need to be played with a round ball!? You could play basketball with a football. It would be interesting! Maybe not “FUN” but maybe “INTERESTING” is more valuable than fun!




That is obviously a basketball shaped bong. Look at those longhairs with their stony grins.




It’s “Occam’s Razor” not “Occam’s Boil Everything Down So Much That It Barely Even Exists.”




THis book definitely needed an index. I mean, it had, what, 25 words in it?


DANTON STONE, AND I KNOW THIS POPPED UP IN YOUR GOOGLE ALERT, I REJECT YOUR BOOK AND EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. IT IS DESTROYING THE MINDS OF THIS NATION’S CHILDREN AND DIGGING A HOLE IN THEIR HEADS THAT THEY WILL NEVER MARCH OUT OF. IT ALSO SUBLIMINALLY ENCOURAGES THEM TO SMOKE MARIJUANA, AND I AM NOT OKAY WITH THAT.

*The book gives credit to Dr. J for teaching Barkley professional habits. Barkley has given that credit to Moses Malone. It was pretty weird.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A 50-ISH YEAR OLD MAN HAVING A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN ON A HIGHLIGHT MIX: A BRIEF APPRECIATION


"You can say it really kills you to lose, but until it really kills you? For me, for 3-4 weeks, I've been on a steady diet of Subway, which is 20 minutes from my condo, and I bring it back up to my apartment. Because like I said, you don't feel good about yourself. As a team, that's how it has to be. It has to really hurt a lot.["]”




There was a time, not so long ago (2011-12), when Andray Blatche, Javale McGee, Nick Young and Jordan Crawford were on a team with a young John Wall. This team was not good. In retrospect, you can understand the Washington Wizards’ front office thought process: hey, Arenas was a weirdo and that worked out pretty well! There is a market inefficiency here! YOu take a guy who has some talent but maybe he slips because teams might think he has focus problems or something! It’s an upside goldmine! But then Arenas with the guns and the injuries and the shoepoo.


The coach of this team was Flip Saunders. Flip was a veteran NBA coach, hired to bring the Arenas-Led Wizards to the next level. When it all washed out, he was left with a young team full of young weirdos (This is your captain, Andray Blatche!) that started the season 2-14 and ran roughshod over Flip’s reputation. His excerpted quote about Subway paints a bleak picture of the man’s life; go to work, labor like Sisyphus in search of solutions, get beat because you can’t do anything with these insane co-workers, suck down a Subway and head home to your empty condo, already long torn apart after nights of frustration, sit in your bed and try to sleep, counting cracks in the ceiling, try to draw up a play, work your craft, but every time you visualize how it might happen in real life, it’s just nothing. Scribbles on a page.


Then, on January 23st, 2012, he broke. Don’t let your children watch this footage:



A look that contains multitudes! The theatre can’t give you this kind of intensity! Is the panic the fear that he will lose his job, or that he won’t? He has spent so long away from his wife and family, will the Wizards continue to pay him just to avoid paying someone else at the same time? Or is Flip such a perfectionist, a person who is at the top of his profession, remember, that he can’t stand the strain of failure. The brief shoulder shift, trying in vain to release the tension that has gripped his shoulders. Is Flip holding back tears? How long since felt the warm, salty stream on his cheek? He wonders if he should just do it, it would feel good, damn the cameras and the fans. They will embrace a broken man, won’t they? He stabilizes. Just watch the game Flip. Find a solution. You’ve been in basketball since you were three years old. Surely, there’s something you can find to fix everything! Or just let the numbness sink in. It can’t hurt you if you don’t let it, old boy!

The next day, Flip was fired. I like to imagine he bought a whole cake from Washington’s finest bakery and ate it with his bare hands on top of a small mountain, dressed in an old Timberwolves track suit.

TALES FROM THE PARK 2: WOODRUFF

Oh, hey Katie. Sorry I am late for our date, but I was getting shots up and I went to a psychic place, you know? I was going the Dirk Fadeaway, where your move your foot and kick your log, totally unblockable. The defenders of the world appeared to me, too impossibly to be real, too real to be a dream, and I drilled it over all of them. Tony Allen, boom, drilled it. Dennis Rodman, drilled it. Bruce Bowen bit on my fake, fweet fweet, two free throws, right there on the blacktops of Woodruff Park in Olympia, WA.

Then he appeared, in a cloud of smoke. The legend in green, goatee and all, number six in your programs, number one in the fight against offense: Bill Russell. I catch the ball at the elbow. He thinks I am going to my signature move, the Dirk Fadeaway, but I drive to the hoop. He’s too fast, too smart, too improvisational. He blocks me into the grass. I go to retrieve it, broken and beaten. I know when I turn around, he will be gone forever. I had my chance against the king and I lost.

But he is still there. I will never know why, Katie. I don’t know what Russell saw in me that led him to give me another chance. Maybe he just wanted to take my dignity away completely, break my spirit until I never took a ball onto a court to idly toss up practice shots ever again. Abandon the honorable craft of part doodling. Or maybe he saw that there was a deeper strength in me. That if I got another chance, I would do what needed to be done.

I catch the ball on the block. This is the moment of truth. He’s behind be, all 6 feet, nine inches, arms that once stretched across the whole of rural Louisiana, the arms that caught 21,620 NBA rebounds, arms in the air, ready to block. His mind produced a wave of intelligence so thick and profound I could feel it in my bones. I wasn’t going to trick this man. I had to just go to it. The Dirk Fadeaway. If I got blocked, I was to be a broken man, if I didn’t I was the hero of the day, the greatest basketball player in the history of Woodruff Park, maybe in all of West Olympia. I turn. I fade. I shoot. Backboard. Inside tip of the rim. Net.

Bill turned to me and smiled. “Thank you. Because of you, I will now be free.” Then he disappeared, probably off to heaven to dominate Wilt Chamberlain.

“...sweetie, you know Bill Russell isn’t dead yet, right?”

Oh.

“Excuse me, sir, you smell terrible and we can’t let you wear basketball shorts in this restaurant.”

PROLOGUE:

DATELINE: 5045 CE. A successful career in the NBA and a series of skilled investments in the technologies of the future had made James Harden a very wealthy man. At the age of 100, from behind his oaken desk at his underwater compound, he decided that he would do away with his own death. A series of injections containing super-vitamins, nanobots and pure liquid sunshine were administered. It worked.

Harden lived his life for the people of earth, for the first 2000 years. He brokered world peace in 2506, funded an end to all disease 2658, was instrumental in the creation of the world all-knowledge system, which gave all human beings instant, in their own minds access to all relevant knowledge in 3050. A 3306 robot uprising was put down almost entirely by his own hands. His tearful speech over the graves of the dead inspired a new nature, a perfect synthesis of technology and biology, feeding off each other and creating a perfectly sustainable Earth where everyone lived in a state of constant bliss, our spirits living on in natures upon their death.

Harden’s efforts had made a perfect world. But as he looked to the stars in the year 4506, he knew he had more to do. The sort of eternal life he had had become a curse. He thought occasionally of suicide, but he knew that the world’s devastation at their hero’s despairing death might cause problems.

That night, he went into his library and flipped through some old books. With everyone having had access to all world knowledge for a millennia, books had become an anachronism that only he enjoyed. He chanced on one book, it’s pages yellowed by time even in this climate controlled library: “A HISTORIE OF THE GOOD SHIP MAYFLOWER” As his fingers flipped through the pages, their voyage touched him: a journey to a new world. He thought of the stars. Worlds beyond. He had created the ideal world on Earth. It was his imperative to bring that joy to every living being he could. He must take to space.


So, together with his trusty cyborg assistant Russell Westbot and the good ship Mayflower II, JAMES HARDEN: SPACE PILGRIM was born.

(Theme song, something like Jaaammmeeesss Haaaaardeeeennnn/Pilgrim of spaaaaaaace.)

AN EXPLORATION OF NEARLY EMPTY NYLON CALCULUS SHOT CHARTS

The Shot Chart Maker over at Prominent Basketball Blog Nylon Calculus is a powerful informational tool. We can use it to explore the shooting exploits of the powerful shotmaker who bends space to his will…




...the selective assassin, plying his trade in dark corners…




….maniacs shouting into the void, on a desperate search for the swish of the net, and the tiny jolt of dopamine it creates…



...and the master craftsman, who lives for the simple joy of the rim in his fingers.




But what these shot charts refuse to show is the despair of the men who didn’t manage to get off one field goal attempt. The ghost in the machine simply wanders past these tragic heroes of a different age: 96-97 Bruce Bowen, 03-04 Olden Polynice, and 13-14 Chris Smith, seasons lost to the ages, with no visual document to tell us of their struggle.


The closest we can get is pulling up the shot charts of players who only took one FGA. Feel your breath leave you as you look upon Darko Militic’s 2013-13:




Where was Darko’s single field goal attempt, his last as a player in the NBA? The computer hunts and hunts, but it cannot find it. Other documents tell us it was a two point miss, but what kind? A botched putback? A patented DarkoHook that ricocheted off the backboard? Something much scarier, a shot that, if seen, reveals a contour of the universe man isn’t ready for?  Was it the DarkoFade that the prophecy foretold?




Nene is now a one named legend who is known for his efficient, team play and excellent physique that suggests that he works out. But once, he tore his ACL on the first game of the season after only getting up one field goal attempt. If you look hard enough, you will see beyond the emptiness and into the year of surgery and intensive, tedious rehab that the Brazilian big man endured to return to the NBA better than ever. It is an inspiring emptiness, like a man walking out of the desert alive and well.




In his one minute played last year, DeAndre Liggins racked up one offensive rebound and one field goal, good for a 129.1 PER. But Erik Spolestra shut him down: why? Was Spo afraid that this kind of sustained production would break basketball forever? Did Rich Paul and La Familia get to him, and let him know that there could only be one best basketball player on the planet on the Miami Heat?



Andris Biedrins, the Shotless Wonder, owns the distinction of having played the most minutes while only registering a single field goal attempt. Biedrins was serving as an example to the young guns of the 2013-14 Jazz, a totem of what happens when fear of being fouled keeps you and your dreams grounded. I went to NBA.com’s stats site to see what kind of shot it was, but the site won’t register it. It’s as if it was wiped from the record completely.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BISCUTBALL'S PICKS KORNER: OVER/UNDERS, 2014-15

Hey man, what’s going on? Hey, I know how much you like gambling, so I thought I would spit some knowledge to you about these NBA Over/Unders, really give you the hard earned perspective that a guy gets when he is out there in the field, blogging about basketball all damn day. So, hey, let’s go!

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: 46.5 WINS
Woah, woah! Vegas (that’s the city where we have to bet, because gambling is pretty illegal everywhere else) thinks the Blazers are going to be worse this year? I don’t know about that: this is a young team on the rise, if you ask me! You gotta go OVER!

BUCKS 20.5 WINS
You know, I didn’t really think about the Blazers’ terminal lack of depth and the fact that they had unbelievable injury luck last year. We couldn’t have seen both Batum and Matthews’ hands breaking right in the middle of the season! You win some, you lose some. Anyway, this Bucks team has some real problems, talent wise. Brandon Knight and OJ Mayo in the backcourt? P.U.! Not to mention that Larry Sanders fella, that guy is a MANIAC! I know 20 seems low, but you should go under. It’s free money.

BULLS: 55.5 WINS
Look: I thought Parker was all hype. I think we all thought that. We discussed that. But he sure proved everyone wrong, for sure. Playoffs! Who knew!? Sunrise, sunset in the life of a high risk gambler like yourself! The Bulls here, I don’t trust this team to do well in the playoffs - but I think that Derrick Rose is healthy, and that defense is gonna make it ugly for the opposition. 62 wins, OVER OVER OVER.

CAVS: 57.5 WINS
Yeah, Rose got injured. But, hey. It’s not called “Safe Investing,” it’s called “Gambling.” You gamble. The Cavs, though, that is a sure-ass thing. Kevin Pelton, you know who that guy is? He’s this numbers wizard and he has this projection system that is saying some P-RETTY insane things about the Cavs this year. Some 67 Wins type things. Huh? What? You’re out of money? Well, look. I get that. But this line is 100 Per-Cent, Guaranteed. You absolutely cannot lose. So how about you and I walk over to that check cashing place, and we’ll just get all your money back and maybe a little extra and then you and I can go home, be done for the night.

CELTICS: 28.5 WINS
So it took a little time to gel! They got to 56, didn’t they!? A few rolls of the ball away from the over! Like, one half of a standard deviations from the mean and you’re rolling in it right now. Hey, wait. C’mon, don’t leave! Look, I know a guy. His name is Razor. He can get you some money fast at a PRETTY reasonable rate. The Celtics are definitely going over. They’re not good or anything, but Rondo’s coming back and that Brad Stevens is a hot new coach with a plan of attack. I’m telling you, your money problems are going to be…

CLIPPERS 54.5 WINS
Look, I didn’t think Stevens deserved to be fired that quickly. 0-17 starts are like, common as hell. Anyway, they traded Rondo, that bet shouldn’t have even counted. You were betting on the Rondo Celtics. You know, I’ll bet Vegas like, orchestrated that. These are powerful people, you know? I know you’re saying, “I’m in too deep now,” but brother, the beauty of gambling is that one good bet is like a big ol’ backhoe, tearin’ up the ground and giving you a straight shot out of despair. This Clippers team: new owner, new era, new good feelings. I’m thinking sixty. Pawn that ring and let’s make it happen!

GRIZZLIES 49.5 WINS
Razor is mad, okay? I mean, the whole country is mad after we heard that Steve Ballmer tape, but Razor in particular is mad because you haven’t paid him, with interest. Things WOULD be getting desperate for you, except the Grizzlies are WASHED. Marc Ga-so long to mobility, because you’re a man with knee troubles now!

HAWKS 44.5 WINS
I think we can agree on two things right now: Jordan Adams is A LOT better than you or I or ANYONE expected and taking money from a guy named Chainsaw was a bad idea. I didn’t think he would own an actual chainsaw! Isn’t this like, the desert? Where did he even get a chainsaw, no one is looking to chop down trees here! How many credit cards do you have? Oh man, you’re gonna need to apply for two or three more, like at the same time, so that you can get them all at once without raising eyebrows. Then you will max them out on the Hawks going over and this whole thing will be donezo. I mean, Chainsaw isn’t like, an IRRATIONAL guy or anything!

HEAT 43.5 WINS
44 EXACTLY! I mean: so close! I definitely thought they had three quarter wins over the course of the season, if they counted those you would have squeaked by right there. It’s okay, man, this next one is easy peasey: Lebron left, that’s like 30 wins, the Heat are doomed. Under under under!

HORNETS 43.5 WINS
Okay, look. That one was my fault. I forgot that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were on the Heat, like in the heat of giving gambling advice. Look. It’s getting to be… desperate out there. Razor and Chainsaw found out about each other and they’ve teamed up. No to mention these credit card companies, blowing up your phone day and night. You should get on that do-not-call list, then they can only send you letters and, I mean, letters, I’ll ignore the shit out of a letter. Hey, look over there? That old guy is just sitting there, catatonic at the slots. I’ll bet you could take his wallet and bet everything in it, cash and credit, on the Pelicans over. AD is breaking out for sure. Next superstar. What? Look, he’s gonna be fine. The casino reimburses anyone who gets robbed and his credit card company sure as hell isn’t going to incur a PR shitstorm over trying to make that war veteran pay his phone credit card bill. Old people haven’t paid their credit card bills in like 20 years!

JAZZ: 19.5 WINS
Oh yeah, the CHARLOTTE HORNETS. I can’t believe I forgot about that! Still, surprised they were that bad. Lance as a primary ball handler, what a bad idea! Look, it’s time to do some things you might not be proud of. Here. Take this gun. See that convenience store? They put their money in the safe at 11:58, in five minutes. That register is heaving with money. Put the mask on, go in there, and take it and bet it all on the Jazz over. I mean, 19 wins: that’s crazy! What kind of team wins 19 games!? There’s some talent there! Just think about it like this: that company isn’t doing anyone any good! Gasoline poisons the environment, sugary snacks make everyone fat.

KINGS 26.5 WINS
Hey. Thanks for meeting me. I know you’re in hiding after Dante Exum really took the Jazz on a suck odyssey. But I have a plan. Here. This is a map to a secret entrance into the vault at the Wynn Casino. You’re gonna have to go into the desert. Here’s a parasol to keep the sun out of your shit. Take all the money out of the vault and bet it on the Kings under. They’re cursed!

KNICKS 36.5 WINS
Hey, surprised to see you out in public again, especially after the Kings made the playoff when they traded Rudy Gay! I guess you probably bet against my advice; probably a good idea, considering I’ve gone 0/12 so far. Haha yeah, not my best year! Anyway talk… huh? You didn’t bet against me? Weird. Well, okay. Why are you able to show your face in public? Shouldn’t Chainsaw be, you know. Whiiiiiir saaaaaaw ahhhhhhh and all that? Well, okay! You want another over under? Sure, uhh…. Knicks, they’re probably going over! Can’t be as bad as they were last year!

LAKERS: 33.5 WINS
You know, I haven’t seen Razor around lately? Someone said he was (knife across throat motion) chheeett. But I don’t believe that. That guy was a real tough customer. Look: at this point it’s more likely that I will be right than wrong. I actually know a lot about basketball, for real! The Lakers have a motley collection, but I’m a real believer in Kobe Bryant, for sure. That guy would never go out like a chump! Look at Derek Jeter: he’s a champion on a farewell tour!

MAGIC: 27.5 WINS
I probably should have looked up Derek Jeter’s stats before I said that. He has been VERY bad and so was Kobe! God, you don’t seem stressed about this at all! You get a new job or something? Or something? Haha, good one, buddy! Anyway, the Magic are probably going under: just too many rookies, you know!

MAVERICKS: 48.5 WINS
...yeah, but, you know. Think about how good Payton and Gordon had to be JUST to get to 29 wins! Hey, where’d you get that ring? This job must be really great! What does it say? “Boss?” Haha, yeah, weird ring, man. Do you, like, punch guys in the forehead so they know who the boss is? Just kidding. Anyone tell you you’re looking pretty ripped? Anyway, this Mavs one is a major toss up, you probably don’t even want my opinion. Huh? Flip a coin? Oh, okay. Uhhhhh…. heads! Over!

NETS 39.5 WINS
Hey, that’s what happens when you flip a coin! I got this Nets one for sure, though. Under.

NUGGETS 44.5 WINS:
Wow. KG did NOT go gently into that good night. Look, you lost money, but you gained a new appreciation for life, watching that guy spill his blood and guts. Sorry, I just. I am crying a little, like a baby. It was so goddamn inspiring. I can’t even think straight when I say take the Nuggets over. Gallo’s back, Aaron’s back, the whole gang is here to get it done! I just, wow. And when he was hugging that baby? KG just makes me cry.

THUNDER: 56.5 WINS
Oh, yeah, JJ Hickson! Haha totally forgot. I don’t know why I’m laughing, I just keep losing you money! Maybe it’s because YOU’RE in such a good mood! You know, if you want to stop… oh, you don’t? Well, okay! Every time the Durant/Westbrook Thunder have been healthy, they’ve cleared sixty wins. This one is clearly an over. Hey, that’s a really cool picture of the Federal Reserve you got there!

PACERS: 38.5 WINS
Hey. Sorry, it’s hard to keep my mind on these Over/Unders right now, with all the chaos in America right now. How was someone able to rob the Federal Reserve? I know this must be really hard for you, in particular, since you were such a big fan of the Fed. I might not be thinking straight when I recommend you take the under on this one. I just… damn, the whole world economy, in so much chaos, because this guy, this… “Black Ringo” and his ruthless gang of “Vanzettis.” What could make someone into that kind of monster?

PELICANS: 41.5 WINS
You still want gambling advice!? Why!? All the legitimate casinos have been shut down and stripped of their assets as a way of establishing a base level of capital in the United States Central Bank, the new bank that controls all of the money in the United States. The NBA only continues as a mass distraction for the masses, a little glimmer of the old days now that we live in a socialist-totalitarian hellscape. The players are forced into competition! ...oh? You, uh… know someone? In Montana? Okay, I guess, uh, the over? Yeah, for sure. I think The Pelicans are well equipped to handle the new ankle bracelets they’re giving every NBA player.

PISTONS: 36.5 WINS
I don’t think anyone saw the entire Pelicans roster being executed because of Jrue Holiday’s subversive political actions coming. For what it’s worth, I think the replacements they got REALLY mailed it in, especially Adam Morrison. Now that Stan Van Gundy has been named the Warden King Of Florida, I don’t like the Pistons chances this year. Mike Woodson is a retread at best, an active saboteur in all likelihood.

RAPTORS: 47.5 WINS
Heh, I guess Woodson was really mailing it in in New York. Eastern Conference Finals! Then again, those refs were really dodgy all year. I think Josh Smith’s position as an assassin with the totalitarian government got them a whole hell of a lot of 50/50 calls. The Raps over I like this year. Did you hear about Jonas getting a massive cannon installed in his chest? Hey, how do you have all this food in your house? You must really be saving your rations! Also this bearskin rug is very nice, I didn’t recall you owning one of these before The Vanzettis, once the perpetrators of the theft that has left all of us living in a world of chaos, now the thug army that keeps everyone in line, took them from everyone in nighttime raids.

ROCKETS 48.5 WINS
Boy howdy, Jonas did NOT know how to use that cannon. Rockets are going over, I think. Dwight has just been the biggest Government Stan, you gotta imagine that’s worth 50 wins on it’s own. Then again, they’ve already banned every sneaker that isn’t Dwight Howard branded and plastered his smiling face onto every billboard in the country, along with the message “Dwight says: don’t fight! Submit!” I was okay with this until I had Dwight Howard shoved down my throat, frankly.

SIXERS: 17.5 WINS
Dwight sure missed a lot of free throws last year! Way more than expected, I think. Before they executed him for leading a revolutionary group that stormed the Connecticut State House and freed thousands of pallets of food for the people of Hartford, Skip Bayless was on PIRATESPN running his mouth about, “Dwight can’t handle the pressure of being the disgusting face of this Sinful Government.” I don’t think it had anything to do with that, I think it was probably just like a normal regression, you know? Standard deviations from the mean can be surprisingly large. Look: Skip was a hero to the revolution, his dying words, broadcast over TV while he was beheaded, send a chill down my spine every time I think about them, but that guy just BLOVIATED when he talked about sports. I think the Sixers are in for a good year. They managed not to lose any players in the government’s BasketPurge, and they’re going to be motivated after Hinke lost his hands because he tanked too much.

SPURS: 57.5 WINS
Wow, even competing against players that would have been sub-sub-replacement level in last year’s NBA, the Sixers were TERRIBLE! Look, I don’t think the government is like “Good” or anything, but in retrospect I might be on their side with that Hinke thing. Hey, what’s this? No, on your desk, there? Hey: is this… oh my God, this is a plan to kill the King of America!? And it’s labeled… “Operation Succession!?” Wait… that picture of the Fed… your neverending stream of income despite everyone else living in poverty… your ongoing ability to make bets, even though gambling is punishable by death… you’re, you’re… Black Ringo, the leader of the Vanzettis! And you’re planning to assassinate the king, which would launch America into chaos and allow you and your gang of goons to step in and take over in the resulting power vacuum! Oh my God! I’m not giving you over/under advice ANY MORE! I’m leaving! To tell the world about your evil life!

SUNS: 42.5 WINS
H-hello? Who is this? How did you get this number? Black Ringo. We’re going to get you! The REAL REVOLUTION is coming for you, you understand!? What!? You bet the under on the Spurs!? That’s a terrible idea! I would have told you that! God, your instincts on this are even worse than mine! ...no, I’m not giving you a pick for the Suns!

TIMBERWOLVES: 25.5 WINS
LOOK HERE, EVERYONE. We’re The Bayless Army and we’re the only hope for this world gone mad! Once we destroy Black Ringo and disband his gang of thugs, we will help rebuild the world! You, farmer John, will teach the world how to plant food in the ground again! Iron Dave, the art of the factory! Missy Lewis, Queen of the Needle, the textiles that will keep our children warm once more! And I will teach the world how to blog about basketball! But first, we must band together with these terrible weapons and commit acts of violence! It’s the only way to make the world a better place in the future! Wait, did you guys hear that? I think it’s th-

WARRIORS: 49.5 WINS
I’m going to get out of this prison, you understand!? I’m going to get out of here, and I’m going to kill you! I don’t care WHAT you want! Wait… another over/under!? Who are you even betting with at this point!? I’m not saying a wor… okay, stop pointing the gun at me. I’ll tell you. Uhhhh… well… Klay Thompson is the best basketball player in the world now that practically every other player once in the NBA has been killed, so this is a pretty solid over, I think. Okay. Hey, I could use some food, so… THIS IS A VIOLATION OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION, BLACK RINGO, YOU SON OF A-

WIZARDS: 50.5 WINS
Well, here we are. The Warriors went under because Klay Thompson withered under the responsibility of primary ballhandling, and you are on the lip of the Grand Canyon across from me, pointing a gun at your unprotected head, Black Ringo. This is all going to be over soon. America will never be the same, but hopefully we can build it again, better and kinder than it once was. But before I shoot you and leave your corpse at the bottom of the world, I just want to know one thing: why did you keep asking me for over/unders? TELL ME, GODDAMNIT! My picks were terrible! What? Because you loved me? You did all this, just to get money so you could keep making bets as per my recommendations because… you wanted me to love you back? This is very shocking, Black Ringo. I… I… don’t know what to say. Nevermind, yes I do. I will say: the Wizards will not only go over, they will win the title and become the symbol of hope for the new world. A world without you...

(Corbin shoots you in the head, and your body falls into the Grand Canyon.)

...my friend.