Tuesday, August 14, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- Steve Nash to ESPN the Magazine's Sam Alipour on those nuts handing him a beer, between cars, on the freeway: "Just a carload of appreciative fans who managed to safely execute a timely table service."
- I'm reading Bill Bryson's excellent book about his childhood in Des Moines. About the only traumatic thing that happened to him was that one day his mom made him wear capri pants to school. Sounds like he's still traumatized several decades later. Meanwhile, check out James Harden on Jimmy Fallon. Rocking those capris without a care in the world. Takes a real hombre.
- Once upon a time "Mama there goes that meme," back-and-forth arguments on HoopSpeak between Ethan Sherwood Strauss and Beckley Mason were one of my favorite things on the web. Then they went on extended hiatus. But today, let there be joy, because they're back, wondering how good the Lakers will be. A favorite point from Strauss: "I defer to few men in my Steve Nash appreciation, but my fan-fueled observation has led me to conclude that his skills have suffered a subtle, recent erosion. Last year, I witnessed Nash get blitzed on PnR traps some. It could be all-too-subjective memory, but the old Steve (meaning, the relatively younger Steve) was more elusive. The pushing-40 version can get hung up and helpless out there. Arnovitz once described the Shaq era Phoenix offense as restricting Nash like a 'hummingbird in a paper bag.' Nowadays, the opposition brings the lunch sack. Also, what kind of sick monster puts a hummingbird in a paper bag?"
- Joe Johnson scored a ton of points catching passes from Josh Smith. Do the Nets have ways to get him those same kinds of looks?
- For the record, Stan Van Gundy blames Magic management, not Dwight Howard, for how things fell apart.
- Terry Stotts says watching Spurs training camp he learned the power of endless repetition.
- Derrick Rose is on Twitter.
- Danny Ferry talks to Grantland about his vision for the Hawks, and this: "I was very routine-driven. My warm-up and my pre-game. When I ate. I always ate spaghetti and chicken, or tried to, before every game. Three dribbles before a free throw. I got into sports psychology the more I played. I practiced some of that stuff pretty consistently as I went along: visualization stuff, meditation, things of that nature. To get yourself ready, calm, mind in the right place. It’s not for everybody, but for a large number of people, I’d encourage it."
- Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns on who'll control the Laker offense: "If I were Mike Brown, I would let Nash control the offense and see what he can do with all his toys. If that were to happen everybody would get theirs, yet instead of being contested post-ups and fadeaway jumpers they would be dunks and open J’s."
- Jeff Van Gundy doesn't see a lot of hope for Magic fans.
- An economist argues that Team USA's performance has a lot to do with the quality of the players on the team and not a lot to do with chemistry.
- David Leonard has published a new book about race in the NBA called "After Artest." From the publisher's description: "David examines how white American fans and commentators, as well as NBA officials, have struggled with this image of the black player. Once upon a time, when the embodiment of the NBA player was the universally liked Michael Jordan, blackness was not a problem. But after Jordan’s departure, the model of the black player became someone more than Allen Iverson, with his tattoos, braided hair, and sideways cap, ridiculing the idea of attending practice. The perception of the NBA player as overpaid and undisciplined thug burst open with the 2004 'Brawl at the Palace.' In response to scenes of Ron Artest and other players fighting with fans at the close of a game, commentators and fans stated openly that the problem with the NBA player was that he was a product of black, hip-hop culture. David’s book looks at these responses and the efforts of the league to rectify the NBA’s damaged image, by turning players into respectable professionals who would be more acceptable to white fans in the seats, to the wealthy buyers of luxury boxes, and to the league’s corporate sponsors."