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Entries in basketball (3)


Let the Madness Begin

Like most people in this country (for the moment) you have a job.  You’re a 9 to 5 grinder who sits back to back with other cubicle dwellers as you tap away at your keyboard, counting down til’ quitting time.

Most days, working from 9 to 5 doesn’t interfere with your quest to be a red-blooded American.  That is, your ability to drink beer, watch sports, and talk amongst friends.  That’s because, typically, the sports/drinking/friends day doesn’t start until after your day at the office comes to end.

Except for in March, when your daily routine gets interrupted by a little madness.  Madness of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament variety. 

No longer does your sports schedule wait for you to come home from a hard day.  Nay. Your sports day starts (for us West Coasters) as soon as you sit down at your desk. Noon games on the East.  Games at 9 am on the West.  Truly madness. 

So how do you get the full March Madness experience while still appearing to be productive at work? Here’s how.

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An Unfair, Subconscious Comparison

Like you, I didn’t watch a lot of the NBA All-Star game.  It was on a Sunday night that just happened to be hosting the Oscar’s, and I wanted to see how AMC was going to make me fall even farther out of love with The Walking Dead, so I was preoccupied.  Oh yeah, and the All-Star game sucks.  The first 6 minutes were an embarrassment to the sport of basketball.  I did, however, see the last 2 minutes where Bron-Bron had all but willed his team back to a victory before of course destroying any chance they had of winning.

All of that to say that I didn’t see Dwayne Wade break Kobe’s nose.  So when I saw the Laker’s shooting around in pre-game on Wednesday night, I said to myself, “When did the Lakers get Rip?”  Well as you know, the Laker’s did not get Rip.  But rather Kobe was wearing a mask to protect himself from the broken nose and concussion he suffered during the All-Star game.  When I heard about what had happened, only one thought popped into my mind… “this freaking guy”.

Kobe is a guy who plays the mind games, and is constantly fighting psychological battles.  The continuous digs on Shaq.  The trying too hard in All-Star games. 

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Basketball Jesus: A Lintrospective

Do you know why Rocky, Hoosiers and Rudy are some of the most beloved movies ever made?  It’s because America loves the underdog.  America loves when someone who has nothing, becomes something.  America likes their stars to have gone through the ringer. America likes people who look like they shouldn’t be good at something, be good at something (I’m looking at you Reuben Studdard). America is easy to please.

Every now and again, America is consumed by a sports story that meets the criteria for the, “Have you heard about (Insert Name Here)?” water cooler conversation.  Right now, the name that has been inserted is Jeremy Lin.  AKA, Basketball Jesus.

Let’s breakdown the story quickly for those who have been living under a rock for the past few weeks.  Lin was a standout baller at his high school in California.  He was tiny and Asian, so he got looked over by nearly every school in the country.  Except Harvard.  He went Ivy League and had a solid collegiate career.  Entered the NBA draft and was overlooked again because he was still short and Asian.  He bounced around on the end of the bench for a few NBA teams.  Had a couple stints in the NBA D-League and was eventually picked up by the Knicks.  The Knicks were about to cut him when they had some injuries amongst their starters.  Lin was inserted into the lineup (Now to be referred to as LINup) and has dominated play, leading NY to 7 straight victories.

Here’s why you like this story, America:

1) He’s short and Asian.  I hate to bring up race, but I think it’s a huge part to Lin’s popularity.  There just aren’t many Asian ballplayers in the Association.  Lin looks different; therefore, he wasn’t expected to perform the way he has.  His stature and his race lend, at first glance, to think that this guy doesn’t have a whole lot of skill.  Wrong. Yes, he may look like a guy you play with at the local YMCA; he’s just a tad bit more skilled.

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