Apropos of nothing, Brandon Bird’s Uncanny Valley.
February 23, 1985: On this day in history, Bobby Knight threw a chair, the world split in half, and the Hoosiers lost to Purdue.
(Things get good around 1:03.)
Derrick Rose: Monster on Madison Street
Audio courtesy of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver.
countcenci asked: Which game would you have wanted to see more in person? Any Boston Celtics game seven against Philadelphia when Wilt still played there and Russell was on Boston--this can include 67' when Russell wasn't yet accustomed to life as a player coach and lost to the Sixers in 5)? Or any Celtics-Lakers finals match up when the Lakers had Elgin and West in their back-court (before Elgin injured his knee and Chamberlain signed there). This is very important. Also, you seem quite pretty and sardonic, which is a good combination. Michael Phelps is probably someone that kisses inexpertly by engulfing his kissing partners whole mouth with his. Mr. Ed does come to mind. I'm gonna stop blogging and just ask questions tonight.
Initially, I was sure I’d have wanted to see Russell v. Chamberlain, namely the 1967 East Division Finals you mentioned. It may have been Russell’s first year as player-coach, but I’m not sure how much adjusting he actually had had to do — he was already the unchallenged leader of that squad (at least, for the most part), and I mean, he led them to a 60-win season. But even though Wilt and Bill faced each other a mind-bendingly absurd number of times throughout the ten years of their “rivalry,”* I think the more captivating competition really began in the 1962 Finals between the Lakers and the Celtics.
Those Lakers were, on the whole, a better opponent for the Celtics — sure, Chamberlain was an insane player, but games against any of his teams were really just games against Wilt. The Lakers had to play a decent part of that season without Baylor, and during his absence West really tightened up his play, and then Elgin returned just absolutely on fire. He missed 42 games and still scored over 1,800 points. And that ‘62 Finals series was magnificent. Big E against the Celtics in Game 5? 61 points and 22 rebounds. Only Michael Jordan has topped that in a playoff matchup. And Game 7? Russell clocked 30 points and 40 rebounds. FORTY. The game went into OT at 100-100 after Frank Selvy missed a wide-open jumper and potentially got fouled by Cousy in the process (Elgin was right under the basket, and in all likelihood had been fouled by Sam Jones; instead, Russell grabbed the rebound, and you know the rest). The Celtics only won by three (110-107), and the series as a whole was belligerently competitive, well-attended (kind of surprising, as the Lakers were only on their second season in L.A.) and it kick-started what has arguably been the best rivalry in any sport. So yeah, I would have loved to have witnessed that. But it’s definitely a tough call. A+ question.
And I don’t know, Phelps always seemed like a biter to me. I’d posit ~1/2 of his left hand could envelop my entire head, though, which would have been neat. Also totally hot. Big hands are the best hands.
*Bill and Wilt were great friends off the court, so in my mind this somehow knocks their status as on-court enemies down a few rungs.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being DeAndre Jordan
It’s no secret: we at NBA Off-Season are very clearly of the opinion that Blake Griffin is a monster. But we also believe strongly in the skills of another Clipper — center DeAndre Jordan — and are concerned his play has been somewhat overlooked when compared with the former.
Last evening, DeAndre the Giant tweeted: “If you think you can play out here and do better, come to the gym and try out!!! If not be quiet…” — to which we present the above video. Because talents like his are just as worthy of accolade.
Edited by me, KC.
TNT analyst and former high-rebound power forward Charles Barkley stumped vociferously for Love during the cable network’s announcement of the picks, at one point saying that there are so many bad teams in the NBA because coaches “don’t know what the hell they’re doing.” He then went on to talk about the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass.
<3u Kev (NUMB#RS 4EVR)
The Best Time I Almost Married an Olympian
In the spirit of The Hairpin’s “Personal Bests" column, here’s a story about a girl with bad hair and a boy with totally honorable intentions.
The first vacation I took with my new stepfamily was to Grand Bahama Island, when I was 16 and apparently unaware that blonde hair cannot (and in my case should never) be purchased in a box. I was also unaware of one Michael F. Phelps, who at the time had amassed thirteen gold medals at various swimming championships, including an impressive showing at the previous summer’s Olympic Games.
I was, however, well aware that the casino I had accompanied my father and stepmother to on one Friday night barred entry to anyone under the age of 18; my father dismissed this fact with a wave of his hand, asking me if I’d rather go back up to the hotel room and play cards with my 13-year-old brother and stepsister. Afraid he’d change his mind and decide I wasn’t mature enough to handle tagging along, I quickly refused, and so I followed them wide-eyed amidst the slot machines and craps tables, to the bar where my stepmom gave me a small sip of my “first” cocktail (a Cosmopolitan), to the blackjack table where my dad settled in to test his luck. I watched over his shoulder, happily sucking down my Diet Coke, pretending it was mixed with rum and also pretending I knew how the hell blackjack worked. I didn’t. I really just wanted to hide in the bathroom. I was sure casino management knew I wasn’t of age and would come to collect me at any moment. I would probably be arrested and forced to spend the rest of my formative years in a Bahamian gulag, where I would write my story on a piece of toilet paper and leave it in a hole in the wall I dug out with a spoon. (We were staying at a Sheraton.)
So when this woman who looked and sounded like Julia Louis-Dreyfus on amphetamines approached me and started running her mouth about some celebrated swimmer named Michael-something-or-other whom she managed and who would also like to meet me, my initial reaction was that it was some sort of ploy by security to escort me off the premises and avoid causing a scene. I then wondered why such an accomplished athlete would have his manager do his dirty work for him, so I told her that I had a boyfriend, to which she replied: “Meeting him can’t hurt anything, I can give you his e-mail address. You could stay in touch, just be friends.” Yeah, whatever. But I agreed — as long as my stepmom could come along — and off we went to shake the hand of and make small talk with an Olympian. His manager gave me a hand-written card with both his personal and professional e-mail on it.
I remember thinking he had bad teeth. I ended up seeing him again, twice, walking around the resort. He remembered my name. I lost the card.
When he made history in 2008, my family told literally everyone we knew that I could have been “Mrs. Michael Phelps” if I hadn’t been so careless. They still believe that.
The year may be coming to an end, but the NBA season is in full swing — and it has been anything but mundane. From “ugly” Kevin Garnett, to Maestro O’Neal of the Boston Pops Orchestra, to Kevin Love’s awkward handshake, untold Blake Griffin slams and Tyreke Evans’ recent act of heroism, the last few months have been packed with savory snacks that have converted even the most apathetic fans into fervid followers.
So here’s our salute to 2K10 — we leave you with this video, and the promise that we’re only getting started. Have a happy New Year.
Video credit to: ESPN, NBA TV, Fox Sports, TNT, Comcast, TSN, WGN, FIFA, Nike, Adidas, IGN Entertainment, the Boston Celtics/Nate Johnson’s small feet, and the Minnesota Timberwolves (for being phenomenal)
Audio credit to: OutKast (we miss you)
hey, I made this, watch it or something
Beanbag Chair — Yo La Tengo