I live with his decisions because he has a pure heart." The terrible thing about losing is that it makes you sentimental. Winning makes you sentimental, too, but mostly because it fills you with an exaggerated love for the people who helped you along the way. Losing makes you want to defend the people you love who’ve disappointed you. But you can’t say that stuff, because to the people who don’t feel the loss the way you feel it, you’ll sound like a moron, or worse, a mystic. When you lose, I thought as I joined the crawl toward the on-ramp, and you want to hold on to the past that you’re afraid is about to slip away from you, you have to say the opposite of what you mean. What Brooks should have told the media was not "Kevin Durant is pure of heart"; it was "sports is the worst and it sucks and I hate it. — I want to be Brian Phillips.
JR Smith, keeping it real since 2004.
J.R. Smith’s high school yearbook quote: “Get chicks or die trying”
My yearbook quote: “Trying to get chicks; I’m dead inside.”
This post is simple and delightful: The Classical now has a magazine, courtesy of the folks at 29th Street Publishing (responsible for The Awl’s Weekend Companion and Maura Magazine). The Classical was generously Kickstarted into existence a year and a half ago. Those funds were meant to last a year; at that point, it would either thrive on its on two feet or disappear from the face of the Earth. Instead, this magazine happened. The Classical has evolved and has a real way forward; the website will go on in some form but surprise, that’s not the best business model. I’m happy for it.
A note about me and The Classical, since you asked: I’m not actively involved in the day-to-day operations. I may have a byline sometime in the near future, but all writing in my life depends on how much the day job opens up that week. Regardless, I still feel a deep investment in The Classical; in a way, the further I’ve gotten from it, the more I’ve been able to appreciate the great work it showcases. This latest development makes me immensely happy, both as someone who was part of that original vision and always wanted to see it sustained, and as a reader who thinks The Classical is on the side of the light. Subscribe!
Any sane basketball fan should be mourning for the Thunder and for themselves. Not because they look shaky without Westbrook; what team doesn’t lose a bona fide superstar and then experience some aches and pains? Instead, we should allow ourselves to admit that Durant/Harden/Westbrook was a glorious thing and miss it profoundly. — Back on the block at GQ to get all emotional about the post-James Harden Thunder.
What if a perennial All-Star had come out? It would be about a quasi-celebrity, not a working stiff. The effect would be more localized and nearly impossible to react honestly to. Collins is a Basketball Everyman. The reaction to him is indicative of how players feel about each other and it would seem, how they would view a gay teammate. — I weigh in on Jason Collins for Salon.
Steve Marsh wrote a fantastic piece for GQ about fashion in the NBA these days. Rather than deal solely with the surface (meme-worthy press conferences and vanity glasses), Marsh gets into both the heavy specifics (who styles who; who goes to what fashion shows and why) and the roots of the movement. It’s the latter that makes the most provocative claim: that the dress code, rather than stifle identity politics in the NBA, instead laid the groundwork for a new era of image. Hip-hop wasn’t left in the dust; rather, basketball players undertook the same shift in paradigm that’s come to define Jay-Z or Kanye. Style of dress is shorthand for the way they make their way in the world, both professionally and personally.
Dressing like Iverson was a salute to the “real”; all too often, it was also indicative of an inability to adapt to the demands of the NBA life. The dress code, on paper, was to be the worst kind of assimilation. Instead, it forced players to confront maturity on their own terms. Stern wanted suits? Players discovered couture and the rekindled the grand tradition of looking fly. Stern wanted accountability and respectability? Today, players are more self-aware and serious than ever about their roles as businessmen and power brokers. It’s not just about fighting for the right to wear XXXXXXL. They’ve got bigger fish to fry. Ironically, the dress code may, in the long run, have made NBA players even more troublesome. It was the last stand of one era and, in the message it sent, a clear sign that players needed to start working on a stronger, savvier alternative to what they stood for.
I am going to change everything for you right here and to such a degree that I don’t even NEED to put this up on Facebook.
After tirelessly exposing my 1.5 year-old to music that I want to listen to and seeing what seemed to amuse, soothe, or subdue her, I have come up with the magic formula for a band intended for babies but strong enough for music snob parents. Here goes:
-Vocals high and waily. Mariah, disco, Roky Erickson as references.
-Guitar and bass fuzzed out, stomping, moronic riffs. Troggs, Rust Never Sleeps, Earth
-Drums robotic or skittering. Krautrock, trap muzik
Please someone make this dream come true and make everyone’s life a better place. I bet my brains this project will achieve its stated ends.