“Basically, the contest involves the tying of a competitor’s trousers at the ankles and the subsequent insertion into those trousers of a couple of peculiarly vicious fur-coated, footlong carnivores called ferrets. The brave contestant’s belt is then pulled tight, and he proceeds to stand there in front of the judges as long as he can, while animals with claws like hypodermic needles and teeth like number 16 carpet tacks try their damnedest to get out.”
— Donald Katz in Outside (If you don’t want to read on, then, well, oh well.)
There’s been a lot of talk about which team in the NBA Finals is, in fact, the truly evil of the two teams. A lot of the good discussion has centered around how this is actually a really dumb discussion and things aren’t black and white and sports are sports are sports; you watch them for whatever reasons you want to watch them—from the crypto-racist to the bizarrely utopian.
The worst of the discussion is like all worst discussions: black and white, a lot of clenched fists knocking into wood-composite desks, and a lot of angry people getting even angrier about a few guys and what they do with a blown up piece of rubber. Seriously, EVERYTHING goes to back rubber, but anyway.
This is generally how the sports discourse works nowadays, and that it’s been so painfully obvious over the past few days makes sense because it’s the NBA FINALS and it’s LeBron James, the worst-possible, most-powerful stimulant for these ratcheted-up fearmongering, first-time-long-time caller types.
But now they’ll just play, which is great because this promises to be the best-played, most-exciting Finals in a long while. From LeBron James being a souped-up version of Bo Jackson’s as-athletic, savvier, twin-lost-at-birth to Kevin Durant being the most likable (meaning: quiet person who wears backpacks to press conferences, isn’t old enough to have done anything wrong, and no one really knows anything about deeper than surface level Outside The Lines gravitas-ed piano pomp) possibly-solar-powered basketball-scoring machine, it’s really just going to be fucking great, whatever happens. (Barring any injuries.) (*punches tree*)
Not-four-not-five-not-however-many-fingers-Chris-Bosh-has-and-I’m-not-convinced-it’s-not-an-odd-number doesn’t matter. Clay Bennett’s beef steak-y guffawing, team-stealing, anti-gay-rights-crusading bummer fest doesn’t either. While, sure, ESPN-and-the-like will find things to get mad about as the series progresses, and then other things that’ll make them mad about the things they were originally mad about, there will finally be actual, probably hyper-awesome basketball.
James Harden’s beard might contain a small family of picture-book mice, but James Harden is really good at basketball, too. So is Russell Westbrook. And, basically, so is everyone else. I think that means this all might be kind of fun.
I’ve always wondered if the best way to stop Messi wasn’t for Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa, Khedira, and Marcelo to make a circle around him and then hold hands with each other for the entire game. That is something that I am still wondering, but this photo is the best.
“I think I am a genius, but not a rebel. I have my life, my world, I do what I want, without annoying anyone. I believe I am more intelligent than the average person. It is said that geniuses are misunderstood. So perhaps genius is so different that people don’t understand. The talent God gave me is beautiful and wonderful, but it is difficult because you are always facing other people keen to judge you. There are few people with such talent, so there are few able to judge what I am doing.”
“Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.”
That is a case of Mike’s Hard Light Lemonade and Cranberry Lemonade that was given to me for no charge. For The Billfold, I wrote about PR emails, PR people (who, for the record, are all mostly not-terrible people), and being tempted to fill my apartment with more things like this free case of alcohol.
I don’t know what LeBron James is doing here. Presumably, he’s taking a picture of some grass and some goalposts and some white-painted lines on that grass. LeBron James also did something last night. He had 28 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals, and 5 assists in an NBA playoff game, yet he still managed to disappoint a lot of people. That actually makes sense … in the way that people being stupid is not surprising.
Something that doesn’t make sense: LeBron James is a part of Liverpool FC, and Kenny Dalglish is not.
There is nothing that I currently know re: everything.