Archives For John Wall

Rubio

Teams need wins.

Pretty obvious statement, right?

Obviously teams need wins. Wins produce success. Wins produce playoff chances. Wins produce playoff seeding and possible advantageous match-ups. Wins produce championships. Wins produce confidence and chemistry. Wins produce opportunities. For a team like the Timberwolves, who have struggled so much this season while battling injury after injury, wins produce a sense of relief.  Continue Reading…

Well, the Washington Wizards are just a  mess. John Wall, the future of the franchise, glowers his way to a 3-10 shooting, four-turnover loss. Nick Young devours shot clock searching for just the right contested, long-range jumper.  Andray Blatches and JaVale McGee wallow in their own sulky goofery. Possession after single-pass possession are wasted. Opposing ballhandlers sail to the rim.  Corrosively bad vibes emanate. We offer a little sigh of gratitude that this is not our team to cheer or discuss or play for or coach.

And yet, much of this game’s first half exuded that odor familiar to Wolves’ followers: an opponent already half-beaten before the opening tip given new life by the Wolves’ trademarks of turnovers, foolish decisions and lack of perimeter dynamism. Luke Ridnour failed to generate purposeful ball-movement. Wes Johnson and Wayne Ellington were uncreative and anemic. Darko dropped passes, fell for the up-fakes of much shorter players, missed bunnies, competed meekly for rebounds.

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When you’re surrounded, as I am at Wolves games, by two deadly smart, upper-echelon talkers, conversation tends to wander. At issue during Thursday night’s languid first half was the Cosby Show and it’s depiction of the African-American experience. Were Cliff and his brood a triumph of aspirational representation, a giant step forward from J.J. Walker’s grinning minstrelsy? Or were they a simple reflection of a naively “post-racial” liberal imagination, whistling around the complicated truths of blackness in America? Or both? And anyway why is it the job of every black cultural product to portray the full, complicated spectrum of the African-American experience? And isn’t this asking an awful lot of a sitcom?

Now I love those Huxtables dearly, but what has always gotten under my skin about the show is its eagerness to conform with the sterile, bourgeois fantasies of American success: appropriately upper-middle class professions; kids so charming they’ll hurt your teeth; serious property ownership; more late Louis Armstrong than Ornette Coleman. Again, asking a lot of a sitcom.

It’s just that I happen to prefer Ornette Coleman. And when it comes to the NBA, we can find the Huxtables’ ethos of vanilla success in the competent, businesslike way that the most powerful teams conduct their affairs–and the way the less powerful, but generally more interesting teams tend to aspire to that same bland ethos.

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