A somber Edgar Allen recaps New York’s defeat at the hands of the Heat. (Unintentional rhyme there. Sorry. But I’m not going back to edit. Deal with it. *puts on shades*) I particularly enjoyed Poe’s take on Amar’e snapping his consecutive 30-point-game streak.
As Christmas carolers soon sing oh noel
Amar’e was singing “Oh, no … Joel”
His streak of thirty ended ugly
Clanking free throws just like Chris Dudley
Everyone loves a great highlight. Dunks, dimes, blocks … They all good.
But as good as they are in a standalone highlight reel or YouTube clip, they are 1000x better live during a game. It’s one of the things that makes basketball, and particularly the NBA, so amazing to watch no matter whether it’s Game 4 of the Finals or a random Hawks/Mavs game in December. At any given moment, something completely out of the blue and unreal might happen.
For instance, I was watching the Heat play recently, as I’m wont to do given my unchartable affinity for Dwyane Wade, and I saw this amazing behind-the-back dribble to split a double team plus an acrobatic layup finish thrown in for good measure. (It’s number two on this Plays of the Week video. It’s at the 1:57 mark and definitely worth your time).
This one brief moment in time (not to mention Dwight’s insane block, which is number four on that countdown) was insane. It’s things like this that make me wonder how anyone can ever watch NCAA basketball aside from the awesomeness that is March Madness. I mean, I try to watch. I went to St. John’s University and try to at least watch a little Big East. And when I’m at work and find out that Duke/Carolina is on that night, I get all pumped up to watch it when I get home.
Then I actually get home and see that there is a Nuggets/Jazz game on, and I’m like “Duke/Carolina will play again later in the year, right?” Because as much as the Tobacco Road thing is cool from a historic rivalry and huge intensity standpoint, there will definitely be multiple things done by Carmelo and Deron in a random Denver/Utah game that make anything that happens in a UNC game look like the basketball equivalent of tee-ball.
But I digress. Getting back to the original point, half of what makes these three or four other-worldly moments per NBA game so amazing is the spontaneity and the holy-poop-that-came-out-of-nowhere factor. And not only are you the fan caught off guard, but so are the defenders, the fans in the arena, the announcers and — oftentimes — the player himself. (Ricky Davis’ borderline leapfrog of Steve Nash is probably the coolest, organic, “what did I just do?” reaction, whereas The Reignman Point, which is number one here, is probably the best “I just did that? You’re damn right I just did that” reaction.)
And it is those times when announcers are caught off guard that I want to praise specifically right now. It’s always been a hobby of mine to pick apart the mundane, over-obvious, old-man-non-humorous and outright incorrect things said by in-game announcers. They are, by and large, pretty poor, and even though I fully realize that it’s a job that is very hard to do well, I more fully realize that it’s really easy and fun to mock those who do it.
But on rare* instances, announcers say something great. And on even rarer instances, these amazing audio moments are unexpectedly forever ingrained in video form by a forthcoming highlight. I’m not talking about the “spec-TAC-u-lar move” or “OOOOOooooooh, MAN … Hell-o” reactions to great plays. I’m talking about the things that are just being said nonchalantly and then oh-so-rudely interrupted by a moment that stops time.
There aren’t a lot of good examples for me to throw out there off the top of my head. But there has been a handful of great ones of the past few years that I remember really enjoying. None, however, likely compares to this “audio posterization” of the unnamed, yet clearly-being-discussed Hasheem Thabeet.
As you’ll see in the video below, Rudy Gay utterly baptizes Al Thornton with a baseline jam. Good stuff, Rudy. Well done. But as he is doing it, you will also hear Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler discussing this year’s coveted number two overall draft pick and saying “…Dikembe Mutombo. But a lot of people think he’s more likely to be the next DeSagana Diop.”
OOOOOooooohhhhh, Man. Hell-o. That has to hurt. How’s your pride feel, Thabeet? (video via Hardwood Paroxysm)
And now we will now forever have this audio posterization courtesy of Rudy and Lawler that will can replay endlessly eight years from now when Hasheem is on his fourth team and playing 15 minutes per night.
And that will be funny.
In the meantime, let’s keep a look out for future — or past — audio posterizations that you come across. Everyone enjoys them, so if you find one, come back here and drop them in the comments. Or at least email me the link.
I have always hated their current logo. It is an ugly triangle with absolutely no whimsy. It is the least fun thing I have ever seen. It is an imitation art-deco clusterfuck of a logo with harsh lines, jagged edges and unnecessary complexity. The current Knicks logo was actually the perfect logo for the disjointed teams put forth by Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas, but that’s not exactly a good thing.
The Knicks logo has actually had two major revisions. It was once a fun but confusing drawing of a Knickerbocker, which is both a descriptor of the Dutch settlers who discovered New York and the type of pants that they wore. Is that silly? Of course it is. Not silly enough to change when you consider that there aren’t many lakes in Los Angeles, but the team did change it in 1963. Oh well . . .
The next revision of the Knick logo was the charming “parachute” design for the 1964-65 season. It was an extreme change from the previous logo and color scheme, which I always have problems with, but you can’t deny that it is a quality logo. The parachute gets more love because it is associated with the greatest success in the team’s history. Why did they decide to change this logo in the summer after Pat Riley’s team almost beat a far superior Bulls team in 1992? I suspect that the change was in the works well before that fun ’92 playoff run as a sort of karma-shift from the depressing Stu Jackson/John McLeod teams, but the plan probably should have been abandoned after Pat Riley proved that the only real way to change the culture of a team is to run it well. Oh well . . .
Please allow me to digress for a moment into my family history so that I can explain to you what I expect from a sports team logo. Once you understand my point of view, I hope that you will hate the current Knick logo as I do.
My grandpa, who died when I was eight years old, played semipro baseball and basketball in the 1930s for a team called the Astoria Arrows. He was one of my favorite people of all time (as a grandfather should be) and, as such, I would be clad head-to-toe right now in Astoria Arrows merchandise if I could find it anywhere. People would ask me what that archery-themed logo was on my hat and then I’d tell them about Al “Big Maxy” Drews, how I have a scrapbook at home of clips mentioning him in Queens newspapers, including one with the headline “Drews Sinks One” that mentions his timely “slam shot” as the highlight of game in which the winning team scored something like 20 points. The person who asked me about that logo might not care about the lengthy answer that I would give them, but the joy of talking about my grandpa one more time would make any money that I spent on Arrows paraphernalia a very worthy investment. Unless, of course, they happened to have changed the logo . . .
If the Astoria Arrows logo was changed in 1963, and again in 1992, then it would be a tad difficult to muster much emotion when I placed their cap upon my head:
“Hey, Ken, what’s that mysterious logo on your hat?” a passerby would ask.
“Well, friend, it’s actually a semipro team that my grandfather played for in the 1930s,” I would answer.
“Cool,” the passerby would say.
“Only they wore different colors,” I would add.
“And the arrow faced the other direction.”
“And the font for the team name was different.”
“That’s great, Ken. I’m going to go now.”
Sounds like a fun exchange, huh?
It is just laundry, folks. It is a tired and trite axiom at this point, but all we root for is the laundry on the players’ backs. A sport is ephemeral and the men wearing the laundry change. We root for that laundry because it connects our past to our future. I want Charles Oakley to have a connection to Dave Debusschere. I want the team that my grandpa watched on WWOR back in the day (for free!) to have a connection to the career of Danilo Galinari and Wilson Chandler. I want any connection to my grandpa that I can get. The players change, but leave the laundry the same.
So go ahead and rank the Knicks logo low, Jared. It sucks for one of the oldest teams in the sport, playing in its most famous arena in its biggest market, to have a middling ranking…but it’s a freaking triangle. Give the Knick logo the C-minus that it deserves. How could you rank it higher? It was created in 1992 and was five years out of date even back then. It’s not the logo of the 1970 team (one of the sport’s most memorable title winners) or the logo Willis Reed had on his warm-ups when he limped out of the tunnel in 1970. The triangle isn’t the logo of the team that suited up Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton as the NBA’s first black player in 1950.
Who needs a logo with a connection to the “Knickerbocker” era of Sweetwater, Dick McGuire and Harry Galatin? Who needs a connection to Willis Reed, Clyde Frazier, Dave Debusschere, Dick Barnett, Bill Bradley, Black Jesus and the other men who wore the “parachute”? Who needs a logo with a glorious past when you have one that was on the towel Charles Smith used to hide his face in shame after getting four point-blank shots blocked by smaller players in the 1993 conference finals?
Oh well . . .
Kenneth Paul Drews co-hosts the FreeDarko Presents: The Disciples of Clyde Podcast along with the ever-loquacious, never-salacious Dan Filowitz. Ken also writes about the NBA on the DOC website and can often be found having recurring nightmares about Isiah Thomas.
Fun Fact: If you type “comical failure” into Google, it asks Did you mean:Charles Smith
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