A November to (Not) Remember

I know. The Blog Renaissance I promised has hit a lull. A major lull. Let's just call it the November darkness effect. I don't know what Arlo's excuse is, but I, like the rest of you, begin to suspect his "autobiography" may be somewhat slow to materialize on these pages...

Anyway, I was looking at Bill Simmon's latest column, when I came across this sentence, in a piece about taking his daughter to her first NBA game:
She was so delighted by the Clippers dancers that I'm more worried than ever about keeping her off the pole (every father's most important job).
Keeping her off the pole? Dude, that's your daughter you're talking about! What the fuck were you thinking when you wrote that sentence? Even the suggestion of one's daughter as a stripper is completely absurd! I repeat, what the fuck were you thinking?


The Amazing Stephon Marbury

You all could probably guess my favorite quote of all time comes from the always topical "If I Did It" manuscript. Peruse this moment of absolute sublimity:
I was in a lousy mood after the recital. I was exhausted, and not looking forward to getting on another plane, but most of all I was upset about my brief conversation with Ron Fishman. I didn't like what Ron had said about Nicole and the girls: We don't know the half of it. The half I did know about was bad enough, but Ron seemed to think it was worse than either of us imagined. I also thought back to my conversation with Cora, Ron's wife, and felt another twinge of guilt. I'd pretty much given up on Nicole, but she was still the mother of my kids. I had to do something; if not for her, for them.
The best part of this quote is the phrase "We don't know the half of it." In fact, it appears 4 times in the book and acts as a sort key to the Juice's unconscious life. I also like that he tells us "I'd pretty much given up on Nicole... [but] I had to do something...for them." So, you killed Nicole for your kids? Nice gesture!

The whole tome is priceless, well-worth repeated rereading. This ties in quite nicely with this quote I read on ESPN today regarding Stephon Marbury and Zeke Thomas:
"Isiah has to start me," Marbury reportedly said, according to the Daily News. "I've got so much [stuff] on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can [get] me. But I'll [get] him first. You have no idea what I know."
Just imagine an "If I Did It" style novelization of this absurdist saga; "You have know idea what I know" would stand in nicely for "We don't know the half of it."

Alas, it appears Stephon's days with the Knicks are numbered. It has been a wild, incredibly successful ride, nevertheless. I, for one, have loved every single minute of it.


Great NBA Writing

Keeping up with the Kobe theme, I want to link to Chris Sheridan's excellent story on ESPN.com, in which he details the latest development in the Kobe-to-the-Bulls potential saga:

"I'm definitely surprised we didn't come to terms. I thought we would come to terms, I really did. The last couple weeks we started talking more seriously," Deng said.

He was asked what the situation said about the Bulls' commitment to him.

"I understand the question, I just don't really know how to answer it," he said.

And with that, Deng started pressing to have some information passed his way.

And after being told of Bryant's veto power and how he was wielding it, Deng was asked if he knows Bryant personally?


And was Deng friendly enough with Kobe to give him a casual call or send him a text message?

"Yes," Deng said. "I guess it's time for me to pull out his phone number."

This is the kind of detail I love in NBA reporting. Because of Sheridan's depiction of events, we get an actual picture of Deng's reality. I can almost perfectly envision him hesitating before answering those questions, and then sheepishly admitting that he did in fact have Kobe's digits in his iPhone, and then even more sheepishly admitting that he probably should give Kobe a call... So real!

Anyway, kudos to Sheridan for humanizing the media frenzy a little bit. Also, I must add I think it was extremely wise of both Gordon and Deng to avoid coming to terms with the Bulls, who were clearly low-balling both as part of this Kobe scheme.

My beloved Celtic's actions over the summer seem to have finally forced Chicago GM John Paxon to consider making a serious move, after years of sitting on (arguably) much more valuable pieces than Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, and company... I hope he lands Kobe and keeps Deng, but I think his (Paxon's) relationship with Deng may be badly strained, if I read Sheridan's article right... Time will tell, my friends, time will tell!