Archives For Myles Brown

Come and get me

Myles Brown —  November 6, 2012 — 5 Comments

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I made it so you could say Marcy and it was all good. I ‘aint cross over, I brought the suburbs to the hood. Made ‘em relate to your struggle, told ‘em bout your hustle. Went on MTV with du-rags. I made them love you. You know normally them people wouldn’t be f—ing wit you, til I made ‘em understand why you do what you do. I expected to hear, ‘Jay, if it wasn’t for you’….

Shawn Carter bought a basketball team. Well, technically he bought one-fifteenth of one percent of a basketball team, but who’s counting? Regardless, the savvy branding of his recent purchase has blanketed the borough in black and white. Brooklyn Nets apparel is no longer solely in support of a franchise, but of a culture. Their snapbacks are the manifestation of a dream, their owner’s jersey sells more than anyone else on the team, and a short stroll from the Barclay’s Center holds the reason why.

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Well, show’s over, kids. The thirtieth Olympiad has concluded and gone with it are the hours of  equestrian, water polo, race walking and assorted moments in broadcasting cluelessness which left us fumbling for the remote. Of course scattered amongst the monotony were the reasons we actually watch; the worlds greatest athletes, having toiled for years in relative obscurity, dazzling us with their talent, passion and character. The Olympics are shared moment, one where household names and legends are created in a matter of seconds. For Kevin Love, it was just more of the same.

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Coming home after a long trip can be a bit disenchanting. The milk has spoiled and you can’t remember where you put anything. There’s nothing waiting for you but familiarity and more responsibility. Looking back on the luxuries of either friends and family or maids and anonymity, you almost have to ask yourself why you were in such a rush to get back.

That is unless home holds 20,000 people.

It’s been ages since our last gathering at Target Center and with the bitter taste of defeat by OKC still lingering, all our boys needed was some encouragement from another sellout crowd to get back on track. The shot clock didn’t work, Kevin got kneed in the Love and it was almost too nice a day to even be inside. But we weren’t in any rush to leave.

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These things happen.

We can’t all be Kobe Bryant. In fact, these are the nights we wonder how Kobe Bryant is Kobe Bryant. He should’ve been in bed like the rest of us; wallowing in self pity and reaching for that second pint of ice cream. Instead, there he was, pirouetting into those patented fadeaways, jumping passing lanes, and whipping assists to teammates. If dislocations, torn ligaments, aching knees, a broken nose and a concussion won’t slow him down, then Kobe has simply run out of ways to amaze us. We applaud his excellence with a yawn and shake of the head.

Kevin Love, on the other hand, didn’t play tonight; presumably bed ridden with reported flu-like symptoms. This doesn’t make him weak, or any less of a competitor, it just makes the Wolves a befuddled mess. They’d gotten by without him before–including much of the previous night–however those are the exceptions, not the rule.

Or did you expect the bench to outscore our starters for the second straight contest? Well, they did (49-36), but Kobe (31) almost did too. There simply weren’t enough shooters to keep the defense honest, there weren’t enough post threats on either side of the ball  to negate the Lakers size advantage, and there never has been a slasher to keep things moving, much less compete with a Hall of Famer.

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It’s a shame to see all that Kevin Love does and wish he would do more. But watching Elton Brand dismantle him in the post probably made some of us do just that. Early in the first quarter, Brand recovered a loose ball at the elbow, sized up Love with a dribble between his legs, put his back on him and pivoted into a fade away 12 footer as fluidly as 33 year old knees can be expected to. Not pretty by any measure, but sound and effective.

Kevin attempted to fire back from the perimeter but continually missed the mark. His shots were flat and rushed. Philadelphia’s defense certainly took much of the credit, but this also bore the look of someone shooting simply because he was expected to. Not to say that he shouldn’t, only that he has more options. Love only made two shots in the quarter; a layup in transition and a hook shot over Brand off a post up. He missed five jumpers.

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Feed the meter: Rubio v. Lin

Myles Brown —  February 11, 2012 — 4 Comments

You know, it’s odd that sports are still viewed as a monogamous endeavor. Franchises flee cities overnight, cut or trade players on a whim and will lock us out if they feel like it. Players, largely presumed available to the highest bidder, openly court new teammates and tease us with their decisions. Fans, having the most options and least invested, are perhaps the most fickle bunch of the lot, our commitment wavering by the box score.

Ultimately, this is just a business for them. However we’d still like to believe they love the business they’re in, just as they need to believe we’ll keep coming back. Which of course, as the lockout has proven, we will. It can be frivolous, maybe even a waste, but that’s why we call them pastimes.

Don’t be mistaken though. This doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for something substantial. Many of us are bound by loyalty to nothing other than entertainment, but what casual and hardcore fans will always have in common is the love of a good story. We all want to believe in the triumph of will and spirit against any odds or opponent. It’s enjoyable and more importantly, inspirational.

It’s why we’re all talking about Jeremy Lin.

The New York Knicks, as bloated and incompetent a franchise as any in sports, stumbled upon the league’s best story in years. Now, regardless of familiarity with the sport or affiliation with the team, America wants to see the Harvard grad help a big business succeed.

Which surprisingly means, if only for a moment, we’ve found something more adorable than Ricky Rubio. Maybe even more entertaining.

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Well we all knew a fine or suspension was imminent. But now that it’s arrived, is it too much?

As a point of comparison, remember when Andrew Bynum got two games for this?

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Objectivity is bullshit. Our perspectives are the result of prior experience, oftentimes influencing our decisions more than we understand. There’s nothing we can do about it other than be honest with ourselves.

The past few years have led me to think Kevin Love is a nice guy. More importantly, I think Kevin Love is a pretty smart guy. So when I see questions of suspensions bandied about, I have to wonder if I’ve been corrupted when asking, “Why?” There’s room for interpretation here, but have I stuffed it with excuses?

Monday, Luis Scola attempted to save a ball from out of bounds by throwing it at Kevin Love. It just happened to hit him in the crotch. Wednesday, Love faced one of the most physical opponents of his career in the Pacers. Friday, Love found himself embroiled in another physical matchup. Early in the third, Love felt he was fouled multiple times en route to a basket he eventually converted. So emotion was clearly a factor when he aggressively stripped–and fouled–Scola on the ensuing play.

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Pau Gasol is tall. Not the gangly, awkward gaited ‘tall’ that defines so many of the league’s big men, but an unreachably high, arching fluidity that confounds even the best defenders. Kevin Love isn’t tall. So our friend Kevin was in for a long night.

Gasol began by pump faking from the perimeter and driving across the lane with a hook shot. Then he caught at the elbow, immediately fading back and firing. When Love pressured him the following possession, Pau spun him through a series of pivots before simply rising and sinking a seven footer. It was a torturous display that continued throughout the quarter. You see, Love’s been labeled a bad defender, but he’s not bad at everything. Though not the quickest of cats, he moves his feet well and shows good instincts. Kevin just isn’t tall, which puts him at a disadvantage in the post and especially when closing out on seven foot Spaniards with stunning accuracy.

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A new hope

Myles Brown —  January 29, 2012 — 5 Comments

The Lakers are in town and for the first time in a long time, circumstances have changed between these two teams. Our fair city is no longer just another pit stop on Kobe & Co.’s  championship tour, but a game the Wolves are legitimately favored in some corners to win. We had a chat with the Kamenetzky brothers of ESPN LA’s Land O’ Lakers for a closer look at tonight’s matchup.