An extraordinary set of circumstances over the past week produced my first ever face-to-face encounter with a devoted supporter of the Insane Clown Posse, a fellow with red and blue face tattoos that made him look like the Joker from the most recent Batman movies.
My buddy Chris G., who was alongside me for this episode of Random Bizzarro Encounter That Any Given Day May Bring, later explained to me that the fellow with the face tattoos was an officer in a dangerous gang — a gang so feared and respected that this young man could walk down any street in America, no matter how dangerous, and not have a single person mess with him.
Now, my knowledge of organizations such as ICP and the Juggalos is extremely limited. And I am so old school that the name I associate most with Batman is Adam Ward.
But here I was, having a lucid (albeit delusional) discussion with this young man with the face tattoos, the subject of which was the time he spent on an Army base in Alaska working on prototype military weapons, top-secret such as weather-altering methods (“Trust me, the U.S. Army can produce a blizzard in July,” Joker told me), and it struck me …
This moment was so beyond the boundaries of absurdity, it was somehow analogous to this current NBA season — and the unfolding MVP race.
Let us count the ways:
- Unless you are a masochist or a train wreck rubbernecker, there is no reason to spend a single moment of quality time watching any Eastern Conference team other than the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers. Can we please fast forward our lives to May, and get the Eastern Conference finals started already?
- The New York Knicks have the 28th best record in the NBA. And Jim Dolan is talking to the media. Across the East River, the Brooklyn Nets broke out of their chokehold on the 27th best record Wednesday night as Jason Kidd, ahem, coached his team from a 15-point lead in Toronto to a victory they barely hung onto. The learning curve in the BK is a little steep, eh Jason?
- Derrick Rose went down for the season, and the Los Angeles Lakers paved their path for going free agency shopping next summer by nailing down Kobe Bryant’s contract situation via a two-year extension. Can we just exclude those two teams from the league now that they are irrelevant — just like about 22 others?
This NBA season is just too weird, with so many teams riding enormous winning streaks, the league’s balance of power so top-heavy, and the preponderance of bad teams so acute. Thank goodness the Portland Trail Blazers have been a part of it, because otherwise it would have been all too predictable, if you think about it.
After all, we all knew that the Pacers, Heat, Spurs and Thunder would be very good teams. But this good?
It is just bizarre. But as mentioned earlier, sometimes a lucid conversation with, or of, the bizarre is in order. Which brings us to the MVP ranks, with a third player occupying the No. 1 spot in this here third edition. (Related audio in this podcast with 1280 The Game in Salt Lake City)
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