April 29th, 2011
[Jrue] Holiday also taps right into the part of the brain designed to geek out over point guards—he’s got that level of control that allows him to take what otherwise might count as risks. That’s one thing in a scorer, but when a player does that with the entire team at his disposal, it’s one of those rare times when responsibility is bad-assed.
Me, on Jrue Holiday, from the second weekly Playoff Kibitz on GQ.com. Oh, and before that door slams shut for a while … #jruedown!
April 19th, 2011

Last I posted this photo of Roy Hibbert, tricked by Google image search (and urgency) into thinking it was Paul George. No, it wasn’t a case of “they all look the same”—”they” being the Pacers—but wishful thinking on my part. I also put up a video of a very attractive, quiet African-American lady explaining that George only dates white girls, but felt like it wasn’t my place to fall into that discussion and took that down, too. There are certain side-splitting tweets that I won’t RT; I refuse to have an opinion about someone calling someone else an Uncle Tom. Good things to remember when you write about the NBA as a white person—one who bothers to acknowledge race, at least.

Anyway, I am now fine with this being Hibbert, as I’ve realized that this series is moderate boom-time for all signs of personality among the Pacers. I wrote about it on GQ.com. You can send me a caption if you want, but it kind of has to involve giraffes or ears hanging low.

April 18th, 2011

This Ibaka block summed up the weekend. Here, at GQ.com, is why I feel this way. Sometimes highlights are peaks, sometimes they’re geysers. This was the hard, crystalline center of what made that game great; that game had the same relationship to the entire fucking weekend. May God always watch over our spirits with such care.

P.S. I am waiting one more game before unleashing my Chris Paul/Derrick Rose sermon.

April 5th, 2011
From a piece on the Knicks and Jewish identity that I did today for Tablet:"What made the Ward Affair especially jarring and sad was the team it  involved. For reasons historical, allegorical, and even theological, the  Knicks are without question the most Jewish franchise in American  professional sports. It’s not just the New York City thing. It’s that  the team, more than any other, represents basketball’s increasingly  distant Jewish past, projected onto the present."The Charlie Ward Affair, one of my favorite episodes in recent NBA history, figures prominently. Sadly, a gut-busting line about Larry Johnson’s membership in the Nation of Islam (“at least if it had come from Johnson, it would have made sense”) didn’t make the final cut. Grammar was the culprit, but it does raise the larger issue of whether it’s unfair to make Nation of Islam jokes at Johnson’s expense. The Nation has, at times, espoused some rather outlandish beliefs about Jews, and has never really succeeded in a convincing about-face; granted, Johnson himself has never been a part of this, so you can’t really accuse him of anything directly. But right to kid is different from proof or guilt, and this opens up an entirely different can of worms: The familiar “identity-through-persecution” could be reborn as a bloggy, stylized “who has the coolest repression references”. Knowing someone might be out to get you is, I suppose, a great way to show you’re down. It certainly worked for Isaac Babel, didn’t it?

From a piece on the Knicks and Jewish identity that I did today for Tablet:

"What made the Ward Affair especially jarring and sad was the team it involved. For reasons historical, allegorical, and even theological, the Knicks are without question the most Jewish franchise in American professional sports. It’s not just the New York City thing. It’s that the team, more than any other, represents basketball’s increasingly distant Jewish past, projected onto the present."

The Charlie Ward Affair, one of my favorite episodes in recent NBA history, figures prominently. Sadly, a gut-busting line about Larry Johnson’s membership in the Nation of Islam (“at least if it had come from Johnson, it would have made sense”) didn’t make the final cut. Grammar was the culprit, but it does raise the larger issue of whether it’s unfair to make Nation of Islam jokes at Johnson’s expense. The Nation has, at times, espoused some rather outlandish beliefs about Jews, and has never really succeeded in a convincing about-face; granted, Johnson himself has never been a part of this, so you can’t really accuse him of anything directly. But right to kid is different from proof or guilt, and this opens up an entirely different can of worms: The familiar “identity-through-persecution” could be reborn as a bloggy, stylized “who has the coolest repression references”. Knowing someone might be out to get you is, I suppose, a great way to show you’re down. It certainly worked for Isaac Babel, didn’t it?