Archive for September, 2009

Links to the present: September 4th, 2009

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Not  a whole lot going on today, as has been the norm, but here’s what’s been going on:

Henry Abbott is not too keen on LeBron’s new “autobiography,” Shooting Stars, which was co-written by Buzz Bissinger. I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, and will definitely check it out when I do have a chance, but this review was disheartening to me, because it confirms my expectations to a degree.

Secondly, athlete biographies are disappointing by their very nature; a better piece on this phenomena may have been written, but my personal choice is David Foster Wallace’s piece on Tracy Austin’s biography in Consider The Lobster. (Full disclosure, again: I’m way more of a Wallace fanboy than I am a LeBron fanboy, to give you some perspective.)

And frankly, LeBron’s biography containing a lack of disclosure isn’t a particularly shocking development: LeBron has been a cipher his entire career and public life, and Bissinger’s previous semi-biography on Tony La Russa, Three Nights In August, was extremely disappointing to guys like me, Moneyball devotees looking for a well-thought out rebuttal from the other side. Instead, there was more rote recitals of the myths Moneyball and Baseball Prospectus have systematically debunked, and a one-sentence, widly off-base dismissal of Bill James’ work. (More disclaimers: there is good stuff in that book, and in this blogger’s opinion Bisssinger could have written Friday Night Lights, died, and still have been one of the defining sportswriters of this generation. Add that to his amazing piece on Stephen Glass, among others, and let it be known that there’s a very, very short of nonfiction writers who I would’ve rather had ghostwrite this book. The less said about Bissinger’s Deadspin-inspired blog saga, the better.)

Ever since LeBron got out of high school, almost every “expose,” or biographical piece produced about him, has been a disappointment. At some point, we’re just going to have to accept that reality as Cavalier fans. A larger piece on LeBron’s off-court life and reputation is coming this off-season, especially how it’s changed this summer, but for now I’ll say that I’ve made peace with the fact that LeBron’s truest form of expression is always going to come on the court.

Links to The Present: September 2nd, 2009

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

First off, sorry for the slight player profile delay: it became obvious when I started thinking about this that Z’s profile is going to take some serious thought, so you’ll have to be a little patient with me. Until, then, some links:

This Rubio thing absolutely infuriates me. Drives me crazy. Nothing I hate more in sports. Anyways, here are some good takes on the situation that at least attempt to give it a positive spin, from the THN’s Howlin T-Wolves blog and blog God-Man Britt Robson.

As it’s unofficially Michael Jordan week around the web, I’ll just say this: I didn’t figure out that Michael Jordan was actually in peril of losing any of those championships until I was about 15 years old, which is around 8 years after the fact. I was just starting to get into sports when he was on his final championship runs, and basically saw him as an invincible God who could never be defeated at anything basketball-related. Whatever he really did back then, there’s no way he possibly could have been as good as I thought he was, and in some ways I feel like I’m happy with things being that way.

ESPN panels like the Cavs to finish first in the East and LeBron to stay in Cleveland. I mean, hooray? All things like this really do is put more pressure on the team, so I don’t really get psyched about “respect” from the national media. Do others feel differently? Sound off, guys.

I skipped Shaq vs. tonight, although I did catch a scene of him buying a bunch of little-leaguers ice cream out of the truck and then the little leaguers giving him batting tips. In that 60 seconds, I pretty much got all I wanted out of the show. Then I’d had enough. And it’s not like my TV schedule was stacked-I ended up watching Tool Academy 2. If I’m not the target audience for this show, who is?

Links to the present: September 1st, 2009

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Invader_Gir_by_Anatagasuki.png Gir Wants To Be A Mongoose image by Bohemianchase

Let’s start with some good news: This mixtape track, released in conjunction with LeBron’s documentary “More Than A Game,” is absolutely freaking epic. Holy crap. I was thinking that this was one of the best dream-team collaborations I’d ever heard and maybe this song of the summer before Eminem came on, and then HOLY CRAP. He just absolutely destroys everything that came before him, and the stuff that came before him was really, really good. Wow.

And for more shiny, happy, things, you can check out this NBA TV segment about LeBron’s dunks. For me it’s a bit of a meh-I’m a Bruce Blitz guy when it comes to these things. And for the last time, Duncan was actually in perfect position on that play. LeBron just jumped over him. There was literally nothing else he could have done. This bothers me for some reason.

So, Stephen Jackson. Not happening. No chance. None. The Cavs don’t want him, as he’s not a bona fide star or even a guaranteed starter on this team, and by my rough math he’s owed $15 million dollars after the day the Mayans predicted the world is going to end. There is no possible chance. And if the Warriors trade him in a salary dump after signing him to a 3-year extension without an agent being involved, all hell is going to break loose. And on a team that needs role players, Jackson’s greatest strength is his versatility. And who knows how he’d re-adjust to not being a captain anymore. There is no reason to talk about this further, as I see it. If it happens, I will be completely dismayed, disappointed, and shocked. Stranger things have happened, but I really don’t see this one as a “developing situation.”

I know I’m probably like three years late on this, but this might be my new favorite website.

Alirght, guys, that’s about all there is for right now. Tomorrow, a player profile, hopefully; we’re starting to move into the big-boy territory. And by the way, for new additions, the posts I wrote about them when they came will function as player profiles, because it would be completely redundant if they didn’t. Until later, campers.