May 16th, 2013
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.
May 7th, 2013
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. 
February 6th, 2013

Worked on this new Kevin Durant Nike ad. Directed by David Gordon Green!

May 27th, 2011

That’s what a “kibitz” is, according to Google image search. Here’s an excerpt from what it means, on GQ.com, when it’s David Roth and I gettin’ deep about the NBA Playoffs:

Shoals: You know how they say “all politics are local?” Well, all Bulls ads are local.

Roth: The thing with Rose, if I can put on my Brand Manager Cap (it has earflaps!) for a moment, is that the Chicago connection works for him. LeBron is from no-place at this point. Spiritually, he has apparently always been from a gated community near Miami. I think you’re right that the thing that works about the Rose commercial, and maybe doesn’t work for you about Rose, is that he seems to mean it—it feels like he cares because I guess he’s repping his stuff. All the best sneaker commercials have that. There was a Melo one in Baltimore I remember really well that way, with a creepy cameo by a nodding Jim Boeheim.

Shoals: “His stuff”. That sounds like you are saying he’s earnest about his balls.


Next week, the Finals!

May 27th, 2011

"You Only Need To Watch The Last Five Minutes"

Do these people still exist? If so, what do they make of the Heat and Mavericks this past week? I suppose you could have just tuned in to see them dismantle a late lead. The better teams won and all that; the youngsters collapsed, there was an air of inevitability about it, and everything that came before was rendered irrelevant. Except what if you care about process, context, or narrative, or more plainly, tension and release? In a way, an ending like tonight’s is even more dramatic. The Bulls had this game … until they didn’t, and the Heat swooped in to clinch the series. Same with the Mavericks on Monday. It was fun, scary, and overpowering. A nail-biter is one kind of story. This is another.

Addendum: Okay, they still exist. Thanks, Kevin Pelton.

May 26th, 2011
As with the Rays and their unlikely journey from worst-to-first, the Celtics’ Process was sound, even in defeat. They knew their center wasn’t 100%, and they wanted a player they could keep beyond this season. They also surveyed the NBA landscape, and saw that their biggest threats were no longer the Magic and Lakers—two teams with dominant big men who required a stout interior defender to ward them off—but rather the Bulls and Heat, two perimeter-oriented teams who could best be countered by a big, versatile wing player who could help them at both ends.
Jonah Keri, for GQ.com, on why the Celtics made the right move with Kendrick Perkins.
May 26th, 2011

Kevin Durant KILL KILL KILL. In 2007, I did a SLAM feature on Durant when he had yet to find his way in the NBA. Stumbling, I asked if it bothered him that some folks worried he was too low-key. I got an answer that sounded a lot like this one, especially in the tone. He’s been one of my favorite players ever since. Durant, for all his mildness and good manners, is unmistakably real, even abrasive, when he needs to be. And in the end, that KD can be a jerk makes him that much more endearing.

(Via @DailyThunder)

May 17th, 2011

Both David Roth and I have written about Dirk exactly once each, but other than that, I don’t think the Mavs have been discussed much on our GQ blog. That ends today, by excusing itself:

Two reboots, and three epochs later, the Mavericks are the sole squad left standing with a mean age above 26 (estimated). They are all names you thought expired. The Mavs shuffle them around and manufacture wins. Oh, and Chandler is tough. They survived the mass extinction, hid in the hills, and now find themselves clumped in with the NBA’s three biggest buzz-teams. Are they undead? A fluke? One thing’s for sure: a healthy Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler’s injury are not the stuff of commemorative DVDs.

The lone exception, of course, is Dirk Nowitzki. The Big German, as usual, earned some early MVP consideration, but even as the Mavs seemed bound for postseason relevance, Dirk was taken for granted.


And yes, more Dirk.