Basketball? Basketball. BASKETBALL!!!!
Jesus that was a long offseason. I canât tell you how happy I was to see people live-Tweeting the Celtics playing a goddamn game in Turkey. Sure, itâs a goddamn game in Turkey, but at least it is basketball!
Slowly though, as preseason games have continued, that exuberance has been tempered as I remember that it is the preseason. When the Warriors took on the Lakers the other night, they faced the fearsome starting five of Nash, Bryant, Peace, Gasolâ¦and Sacre? According to Wikipedia, Robert Sacre is a âCanadian professional basketball playerâ and is a member of the Canadian national basketball teamâ. I wonder if Sacre and Nash giggle on road trips while eating Poutine and listening to Drake.
The preseason can give you a funny, inflated view of what is yet to come. The Warriors are 2-0, having beat the Lakers and Jazz, and our rookies look good! But really, the most important number is 12: the number of minutes Stephen Curry on his surgically-repaired ankle before pulling himself out of the game. 6-1 turnover ratio!! Is he actually injured? Was it just a precautionary measure? Will he be able to play through that pain and soreness in three weeks? Who knows, itâs the damn preseason.
The preseason is also the home to my favorite sports clichÃ©, the âheâs in the best shape of his lifeâ sound bite. Enes Kanter weighs 8 lbs. less than last season and looks stronger? If only that included added coordination and he might be able to pull off the worm! Stephen Curry looks like he went to a gun show and traded in his pistols for some gats. Heâll be unstoppable going to the hole now, unless, you know, HIS ANKLE DOESNâT DISINTEGRATE WITH LATERAL MOVEMENT!
Weâre also starting to hear some funny things from the beat reporters, as itâs not just playersâ hoop game that isnât in regular season form, but their media game. We start off with the relatively tame: Deron Williams signed with the Nets over the Mavericks because Mark Cuban didnât show up to a meeting to swaddle Williams. On the one hand, Williams is patently absurd. He is a grown man that is signing a maximum contract, why would feeling âwantedâ trump things like pay, ability to win, training staff etc. On the other hand, as Larry Coonâs recent column (ESPN Insider) demonstrates, because of the salary cap many NBA players are paid less than their full market value. Within that context, it appears that intangible benefits like âfeeling lovedâ really matter.
On the more meaningful end of things, Rudy Gay calls out Chris Paul and the rest of the Clippers! Flop city bitch, flop flop city! Of course, Gayâs quote about Paul is pretty ambiguous: âI mean I love him but I donât like him anymore.â What the hell does that mean? Was Gay confused as to the topic of the interview and thought it was âlame lines you tell a girl when you donât want to date her anymore but you donât have the balls to truly break up with herâ? Thankfully, Memphisâ first game of the season is against the Clippers, where we will see hate (or mild dislike, or something) and David Sternâs new anti-flopping rule collide! Must see TV I think.
If all that didnât seem coherent, duh, youâre right. There is just so much high-quality preseason news coming out and, like those players, Iâm still in preseason form. Frankly, the fact that there are no typos in this piece (for the love of God let there be no typos) means that I am, in injury-talk parlance, a few weeks ahead of schedule.
If youâre wondering if this all means something, the answer is, maybe, but probably not. Sure, the preseason is somewhat predictive of regular season to come, but there is a myriad of more predictive factors, notably last seasonâs results. We canât go so far as to say it doesnât mean anything, so you should care a little bit about your team not picking up that preseason donut, but I wouldnât schvitz too much. Just enjoy the fact that BASKETBALL IS BACK!