This is a tough column to write. It’s the last edition of the Most Improved Player Rankings, and like John Boehner at an eighth grade science fair, I’m about to lose it. I uhh…I just want to tell you all how much you mean to me. (Voice cracks) It’s been another incredible year in this column space. We’ve talked about Ike Manfresca, the Oscars, Seinfeld, the genetic connection between twins, existentialism, John Lennon, Mars Blackmon, and un-seeing the Eastern Conference standings. We even compared every candidate to a character in
As the sun fades into the North Texas sky (not sure why we can’t call it Arlington) on Saturday evening, college basketball will take center stage on the American sports landscape. Everyone except Chris Bernucca will settle in for the Final Four, where some of the NBA’s future stars will duke it out in a titanic stadium not meant for basketball with everything on the line. It is a spectacle that deserves America’s attention. And that is why we’ve decided to lend
A well-proportioned, wise Italian man with a radio show in New York once told me and a listening audience of probably hundreds that the NBA “goes into the clouds” in February and March. I can’t really remember his name, OK? So let’s just call him Ike Manfresca. Manfresca’s quote has always stuck with me, because: (a) it was so strange and (b) it’s the perfect way to describe the seasonal malaise that rolls in around this time of year, like a
It’s part of my nightly routine. First, I sit on the couch and watch hours of NBA basketball, blankly staring at the screen like a zombie or Kevin from The Office. Then, after the final buzzer sounds on the last West Coast game, I flip over to channel 7 and zone out during a late-night mini-marathon of Kevin and all of his friends on The Office. It’s gotten to the point where last night, I dreamt that Dwight crashed the Most Improved Player
This column is supposed to be about improvement, so let’s start it off by declaring that Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest was without a doubt the most un-improved thing in the history of All-Star Weekend. Seriously, what the hell happened there? After Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard – three bona fide stars in the league – actually decided that being considered one of the world’s best dunkers wasn’t beneath them, the league chucked a Snuggie into the Atlantic Ocean and
It was a performance the entire league was talking about. The prolific scoring forward was going off, just knocking down jump shot after jump shot, rarely subjecting the ball to even the slightest graze of the rim. He had 20, then 30, then 40, and there was still plenty of time left in the fourth quarter. He was at NBA Jam levels of On Fire, replete with the flaming basketball and the echoed enthusiasm of the announcers. It was the type of game that
If you haven’t seen Lance Stephenson’s All-Star video, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with it before we begin this column. I’ll wait. For the rest of you—nice weather we’ve been having, right? Yeah. So, you come here often? I hope so. We’ve got some pretty cool stuff here. It’s a nice website. OK– you’ve seen it? So that was pretty cool, right? It reminded me of the old Michael Jordan-Mars Blackmon commercials.
As the great Jerry Seinfeld once said, knowing George Costanza was like taking a walk through the jungle. He didn’t know what he was going to find next, and he was real scared. I feel the same way about this NBA season. All of the injuries – Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, and now Most Improved Player favorite Eric Bledsoe – have basketball fans treading lightly, hoping not to get eaten by a tarantula or something with