Congrats are in order for SHAQUILLE O’NEAL, the first ever unanimous NBA MVP, the first Rookie MVP since Wes Unseld in 1969, and the youngest MVP of all time. Would that all of our years be this productive. Let’s look back at his 2015-16. It’s hard to believe the journey that Shaq has taken in just one year of NBA play. 28,956 points, an NBA record 353.1 points per game, 13,099 rebounds, 2732 blocks—multiple teams didn’t even score when he was on the court—four titles, stints with six separate teams, several movies of variant quality, a pretty good “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode, a dominant showing in this year’s 1994 FIBA World Basketball Championships, and only one cheating-ass three pointer to his good name. All that, all in only 82 games. A part of me is disappointed that he is following up this legendary season by retiring to his farm, but I intimately understand what achieving perfection can do to a man. You begin to crave a simpler existence, in the soil, learning to love the earth and it’s myriad chaoses.
I will miss him. But every time I look at the moon, I will think about Shaq and his giant Bio-Dome operation he has up there. Thank you, as always, for re-teaching us that being fucking gigantic and deceptively fast-moving is the only way to really succeed on the court, Shaq, and thank you for devoting the rest of your life to terraforming the moon. Thank you.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
An NBA arena, in the middle of a game. But instead of players, playing basketball, there are two people fucking at midcourt. There's no crowd. Just two people fucking at midcourt for two and a half hours, while photographers on the baseline take pictures, cameramen shoot the event, a truck outside edits the footage together, ushers keep one eye on the stands, eight announcers, four radio guys, two, per team, and four television guys, two per team clue the audience in to the subtleties of the action, and the PA plays a steady stream of jock-jam inanities and birthday announcements.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR YOUR BOOK CLUB:
Could a team owner make this happen?
Has a team owner made this happen?
Aside from Prokhorov?
Thursday, January 15, 2015
There’s a patchy field in the middle of a rural county in Washington. Someone crudely spray painted basketball lines onto the ground. There are two hoops, one doesn’t have a net and the other is set to nine feet.
You can choose between two teams. The first is five teenage girls. Clara, Janney, Lindy, Exodus, and Ham. Janney is a mennonite. Clara is wearing an eye patch, and she can’t shoot from distance. The other three play normal but they all have different catch phrases, like “Hey, pass it!” or “My knees are getting sore!” or “It is so humid out here!” They can run four plays: a pick and roll, dribble handoff, and a post-up for Janney. When Janney makes a basket, she prays for forgiveness, because she knows that victory is a sin in the eyes of God. If she scores 10, she is hit by a lightning bolt, and you have to play with four players.
The other team is a little boy named Amelio and an 8-foot tall monster named GLORIOUS. Amelio keeps GLORIOUS on a 15 foot metal chain. GLORIOUS was sent to Earth to enslave the human race and harvest their spirit for food. But when he first arrived, Amelio beat him in a game of Scrabble (He didn’t know English yet) and by the custom of his (Very competitive) planet, was now to be Ameilo’s slave forever. Amelio doesn’t know what to feed him and he is wasting away. No matter what happens, GLORIOUS dies at the end of the game either from exhaustion if he wins and shame if he loses. GLORIOUS is the only player that can dunk on the ten foot rim (Lindy can dunk on the 9 foot rim) but when he does, he loses whatever arm he was using to dunk. If he dunks with both hands, he can only set screens for Amelio and cover pick and rolls away from the basket.
The fourth play the girl team can run is trying to convince Amelio to let GLORIOUS die in peace. They are upset by his slave state. Amelio calmly explains that this is their custom, and that they are being disrespectful to GLORIOUS by suggesting that he go free. “Also, he is a devourer of souls, ladies and I can’t let that happen to such beautiful girls.” Then, Amelio licks his lips for 15-20 seconds. Amelio is a creep.
BRANDON JENNNINGS ACTION BASKETBALL, coming July 2015!
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Dana drills the shot and pumps her fist. She runs back on defense but her mind wanders. Down in stance, hands out. Her grandmother died. She didn’t look at the body. It frightened her to know that this woman, this kind woman, who gave her candies and told her stories, was gone forever. She didn’t accept it. Katie, her cover, beat her off the dribble when her eyes went up into her head as she tried to remember what her grandma looked like.
She turned around and tried to foul Katie at the rim. Katie powered through her grab and scored. It was then that she realized that her grandma was dead and she would never be able to conjure a complete image of her again. She could close her eyes and bend her brain into loops, but there would always be something missing.
As she stood outside the key, a seed was planted in her mind. Someday this will grow into the plant that fears death. It controls her actions forever.
After making this layup, Clive lands on the ground and crouches. Hands hands feel the hardwood. He feels the spirit of the trees this hardwood once was. He grabs onto the spirit and yanks it out of the floor and devours it, right there, in front of everyone in the gym. Tree sap flies off his face and rains from his pores. It keeps coming and coming. The sap in his body hardens. He is stuck to the floor.
The gym is abandoned. Can’t play with the tree there, can’t chop down what was once a human to make room.
As the centuries progress, this tree that is combined with Clive’s spirit becomes the centerpiece of a mighty forest. Soon, humanity perishes in a horrible war.
Before the sun explodes, her spirits visits the tree the last remnant of humanity. She asks one question:
“What were they like? Did they deserve to keep living? Was the war something deep and dark and inherent, or the malfeasance of a few horrible people?”
The tree stands silent for a second. It delivers its answer in a moan:
“TWOOOOO POOOOOIIINNNTTTTSSSS MAAAAAARK IIIIIIT FOOOOORRRR YOOOOUUUR BOOOOOOYYYY CLIIIVVVVVVEEEEE.”
Laurie rebounded the ball and dribbled in transition. She has an open shot at the rim. But she kept driving, right into the wall. Both of her arms were broken. She collapsed to the ground screamed: “I NEED TO BE BROKEN MORE! MORE MORE MORE! BREAK ME, GOD! PULVERIZE ME UNTIL I AM DUST! I WANT ALL OF ME, ALL OF MY SELF AND MY SPIRIT TO RETURN TO THE EARTH! I WILL BE IN ELEMENCE ONCE MORE! PLEASE, DISSOLVE ME!” She hit her fists and he feed on the ground until she started to bleed. She was restrained and drug out of the gym. “CAN’T YOU SEE THE PRETENSION OF HUMAN BEING!? WHY DO WE ASSUME WE ARE ANYTHING AT ALL!?”
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Wow, has it really been ten thousand years? It feels like we were watching “The King” play in his St. Vincent uniform just 12 years ago. But calendars don’t lie, and Lebron has been since nearly 8000 BCE. Here are some of his best moments, which I have seen in deep in the eyes of my time chrystal after breathing in an instance made of lavender grown in a powerful lava flow which contains the secrets of the past.
Here are his best moments:
5986 BCE: Lebron is born. The shack where he emerged is immediately struck by lightning. Historians say this was the Gods’ last minute attempt to kill him before he became too powerful to handle.
5973 BCE: A teenage Lebron becomes the leader of a pride of lions when he defeats their leader in single combat. His two year stint with the pride gives him the ability to communicate with any animal, and to manipulate more weak willed creatures.
5950 BCE: LeBron builds a crude canoe from an ancient tree that was befallen by a small meteor strike. He uses his animal handling powers to manipulate a dolphin into dragging him across the ocean.
5949 BCE: He floats down the Ohio River and founds ancient Akron.
5807 BCE: Lebron founds the first Christmas tree farm in Northern California. This tree farm will someday be christened “Redwood National and State Parks.”
4017 BCE: Lebron picks up a ball for the first time. He invents the crossover dribble and the fadeaway, but since basketball doesn’t exist yet, his innovations languish more nearly 6,000 years.
3997 BCE: Lebron having lived a very long time, decides that it is time to die. He walks into the ocean, but right before he drowns, a vision of light appears to him: “IT IS NOT TIME.” Lebron swims back to the shore and continues his wandering, burdened, as are we all, with the curse of life.
3506 BCE: Lebron climbs a mountain and meditates there for 507 years.
2999 BCE: Lebron’s Great Meditation is over. In this time, he has communed with the deepest depths of the atom and the vastness of planets. He is also very hungry, so he eats for ten years straight.
2989 BCE Lebron’s Great Feast is over. In this time he has eaten nearly every plant and animal on Earth, and perfected a method of growing beans from seed in five minutes by planting them in a live whale. This method is never utilized by agrarians.
2955 BCE: Lebron obsesses over visiting the moon. He spends fifty years chasing this pursuit, only to be met with failure after failure. It is the low point of his life thus far, until he can’t win a title in Cleveland.
2041 BCE: Lebron crossbreeds some plants in his ancient greenhouse and invents sweet, sweet cannabis. He holds the sweet smoke in his lungs for the first time in history. The Gods descend. “We knew this day would come. You have beaten us. We accept our fate.” Lebron exhaled right in their faces. They exploded, and their fiery guts got in the plants, fertilizing them with the power of the Gods. Whenever you partake of the kind plant, you are become one with the power of the ancient powers.
1955 BCE: Overwhelmed by the constant noise of human civilization, Lebron swims to the bottom of the ocean and lives inside a giant clam for ten years.
1754 BCE: Present at the unveiling of the Code of Hammurabi. He yells “MORE LIKE THE CODE OF HAMMUSHITTY!” with his hand over his mouth. Everyone else in the crowd laughs. They are summarily executed.
1361 BCE: Daps Moses.
850 BCE: Shadow funds the Assyrian Empire out of boredom.
700 BCE: Trains the she-wolf that raises Romulus and Remus.
320 BCE: Is present when Alexander the Great weeps and mourns that there are no worlds left to conquer. He taps on Alexander’s shoulder. “Uhh, Alex, there’s like, a whole giant world you haven’t conquered yet. There are four continents you don’t even know about.”
224 BCE: Goes to China. An excerpt about his trip from his diary: “Hey, this is pretty cool. People should get to know more about this place.” This passage inspired Marco Polo AND Richard Nixon.
0 CE: Is one of the Kings present for the birth of Jesus. He gives him a gift of the finest cannabis oil. “Woah, woah,” said Joseph, who was extremely lame, “You can’t give drugs to a baby.” The Christchild arose from the manger. “Woah, woah J-man. The sweetest of all sweet plants is not a DRUG. Is it a magic carpet that takes you on a consequence-free journey where you touch my father’s beautiful face. It is the greatest of all plants, and the best gift I have received today.” Christbaby looked at the other kings. “You guys did what you could, but this, this is the good shit.” Then he took some of the oil, stuck it between his fingers, lit it up by making a tiny fire in his hands, and smoked it till it was gone. “Oh man. Lebron, you are truly the best king.” Then they high fived so hard it split the clouds in half.
400 CE: The King of the Huns asks Lebron what the name of his heir should be. He suggests “Atrilla the Hun.” The name is workshopped, but they keep the basic structure.
573 CE: Celebrity guest at the opening of the Hagia Sophia.
621 CE: After a petty argument over tree removal with a local priest, Lebron funds the operations of the Prophet Muhammed.
1000 CE: Is very briefly named the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Abdicates the throne to Otto the Great because he “Doesn’t like all this paperwork.”
1153 CE: Speaks to the Pope about the Crusades. “This is pretty silly, seriously. Silly and insane. YOu should stop.” “We will agree to disagree.” “Ehh, I don’t think we should. You should change your mind.”
1320 CE: Present at the birth of The Renaissance, when famous Frieze Sculptor Antonio De Blurzzi pooped in a bucket in front of gathered museum patrons.
1400-1750 CE: Lived in Sweden.
1784 CE: Published “A General Treatise on the Theoretical Sporting of Ring Ball” a pamphlet that proposed a crude version of basketball.
1814 CE: An estate he owned in Melba served as the location of Napoleon's first exile. His shoddy landlording compelled Napoleon to return to France and declare war on all of Europe once more.
1893 CE: First reads about basketball in a newspaper.
1943: Spends 50 Years training in a pressurized chamber in a bid to become the ultimate basketball player.
1993: Plays in his first AAU game.
1999: Accepted a scholarship to attend St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Akron Ohio, the city he founded more than 7,000 years ago.
2002: Appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time. His games are shown on ESPN.
2003: Drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2007: Appears in his first NBA Finals, losing to the Spurs 4 games to 0.
2010: Leaves the Cavs to play for the Miami Heat. Appears in four straight NBA Finals and wins two titles, in 2012 and 2013.
2013: Dunks on Jason Terry.
2014: Leaves the Heat to return to Cleveland.
WHAT A LIFE! What is next for Lebron James!? WIll he win another title with the Cavs, or LEAVE and play somewhere else!? KEEP WATCHING TO FIND OUT!
DEC 25th, 2014
We lost to the Clippers today, and I have never been more affronted in my life.
Before the game, instead of engineering a single minded focus in their hearts, zeroing in on the target so they can kill deal with their opponents like professionals, the Golden State Warriors were spending time with their families, who were all flown out to Los Angeles so they could be distractions before the big matchup.
All this mushy minded garbage didn’t do anything to my performance today. This senti-mentality, that’s a sentimental mentality, could not be more foreign to me. I don’t celebrate Christmas, because I don’t believe in Jesus Christ or whatever. It’s just a re-appropriated pagan ritual. And I ESPECIALLY don’t celebrate ANY holidays with my family. I don’t talk to them. It ruins my focus. I had a wife for a week, but I left her when I realized it was going to be a distraction.
Also, I was injured, so I couldn’t play. This loss wasn’t my fault, by body betrayed me, it is laden with weakness. I am sure that weakness comes from distractions buried deep in my bones from when I was a child. My mother’s love wedging its way into my foot bones and sitting there, until it hardens into glass and breaks my bones.
It was everyone else getting distracted by their wives and children. It was downright unprofessional. One guy talked to his kid during warm ups. Totally inappropriate. Your kid should be at boarding school, so he can learn to become an engineer. I consider myself a basketball engineer, I have a very scientific approach to the game. I masturbate once a week, as a way of satisfying biological urges, the same way I poop. This is all anyone needs. Anything more would detract from my single minded focus on beating the Los Angeles Clippers, who are my hated enemy. They bounced me from the playoffs last year, a defeat that burns in my eyes and heart every day. I despise them almost as much as I despise my mother, whose impulsive decision to love me when I was a child continues to microfracture my bones to this day.
When I first got in the league, I wasn’t competitive enough, and I knew it. So I locked myself in a coffin. If I leaned over, I would be cut by the swords. I stood perfectly still. I was in mortal combat with those blades. Now, every time I get on the court, I imagine that my opponent is one of those razor sharp Katanas, threatening my life, and I seek to bend them in the way I could not bend the tempered steel I faced for five days in that coffin.
I wish I had defeated the swords or died in the coffin, but my mother let me out and fed me instead of letting me face the challenge on my own. Her attempt to make me weak was the water poured on the molten steel of my heart. It hardened me forever. Now I only stare forward, looking to plow through my goals. It is the only way it can be.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
These Christmas decorations are KILLING YOU! Reindeer, Santas, Jesus; that ain’t your scene! You love the NBA! Your love for the NBA boils over in your heart! You need to spice up your decorations with NBATTITUDE, and BISCUTBALL is here to help!
Look at this tree:
Bulbs, Snowflakes. This tree STINKS. I need some NBATTITUDE! There’s only one solution!
NBA CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT!
First, punch a hole into a card, as I have done with Sarunas here.
THEN, tie a ribbon through the hole!
NOW, hang your NEW ORNAMENT on the tree!
LOOK AT THAT. That’s a tree with WITH REAL NBATTITUDE!
My mom made this snowflake out of tongue depressors, white paint and glitter. It might be a tasteful, homemade wall decoration, perfect for the season, but I am not a tasteful guy who like to park my ass in front of a TV and watch homemade decorations: I like to zone out in front of THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETES competing AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF COMPETITION, with the sort of NBATTITUDE you can only get from the PRESSURE COOKER of the ASSOCIATION. So I decided to SPICE THIS GUY UP!
Yeah, that’s a Wes Unseld Coaching card! I stuck a piece of take to the back, stick side facing towards the room…
...so I could stick it to the snowflake, giving it REAL NBATTITUDE!!!!!! THAT’S A HALL OF FAME SNOWFLAKE, DISHING OUTLETS AND SETTING SCREENS WITH THE BEST OF THEM!
Charming village my family inherited from my grandmother when she passed!? WHO WANTS THAT BULLSHIT!?
YEAH THAT’S ONE CALIENTE (hot) VILLAGE! CAN’T GOVERN THIS CITY, BECAUSE THE RESIDENTS LIVE BY THE CODE OF NBATTITUDE!GO to work!? HELL NO, WE’RE HERE TO DUNK A BASKETBALL! Pay taxes to maintain roads? SHUT UP, LIBS, WE’RE HERE TO CROSS SOME DUDES OVER! ONE TWO BANG BANG, SWISH.
Schools? AINT NOTHING WORTH KNOWING YOU CAN’T LEARN PLAYING BASKETBALL, SO SAYS ME, THE NEW KINGMAYOR, MICHAEL JORDAN.
WELCOME TO BASKETTOWN, WHERE PEOPLE WHO ARE BAD AT BASKETBALL GET THEIR HEADS CHOPPED OFF AND TURNED INTO BASKETBALLS!
Oh, look, picture of me sitting on and standing near various Mall Santas! Probably conjours good memories of my childhood long passed in the hearts and minds of SOME PEOPLE, but NOT ME, MAN. I am just looking at this thing and thinking “GET THAT TUBSTER OUT OF HERE, HE CAN’T EVEN TOUCH RIM, I need to see some guys with real NBATTITUDE to get in the HOOPSMAS SPIRIT!
THAT’S MORE LIKE IT! This shit is making me want to really sit on the ground, so hard that there is an imprint where my butt goes where I can really fucking relax and sit in front of a television and get taken to A ZONE with these NBA Games that are on tomorrow, man! “Corbin, we are opening gifts” GET OUT OF MY FACE OLD LADY, JOHN WALL HAS 12 ASSISTS IN THE THIRD QUARTER!” “Corbin, your grandma needs help with her wheelchair.” “PFFT, WHAT DO I CARE ABOUT THAT, CAN’T YOU SEE THAT LEBRON AND WADE ARE SQUARING OFF FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE LEBRON WENT HOME TO CLEVELAND!?” Corbin we’re all taking a picture together, our whole family, we haven’t spoken in ten years but we decided to bury the hatchet and start the process of healing old wounds, so we can be whole again, and we are taking a picture together to mark the occasion.” WHAT!? FAMILY IS AN ARBITRARY CONCEPT, LADY. YOU KNOW WHAT ISN’T ARBITRARY, THOUGHT, THE CONSTRUCT OF A BASKETBALL GAME, AND THERE’S ONE ON RIGHT NOW, THE LOS. ANGELES. LAKERS AND THE CHICAGO BULLS, YOU EVER HEARD OF THESE HISTORIC TEAMS, AND THIS GAME IS SO IMPORTANT, IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE UNIVERSE, AND I AM NOT LIFTING ONE OUNCE OF MY OWN MEAT OFF OF THIS FLOOR TO WALK OVER TO THE COMMEMORATIVE BANNER YOU ALL MADE TOGETHER AND GET MY PICTURE TAKEN FOR ANYONE, BEACUSE I HAVE TRANSCENDED ALL OF THAT BULLCRAP, I LIVE MY LIFE BY THE PRINCIPLES OF NBATTITUDE NOW AND YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT OR GO OUTSIDE AND SUCK ON A RAW FISH ‘MOM’ OR SHOULD I SAY ‘CLARA’ BECAUSE I KNOW THAT’S YOUR REAL NAME, LADY! AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED BY ONLY PARENT IS THE ASSOCIATION, THEY BROUGHT ME INTO THIS WORLD AND THEY WILL BE AT MY BEDSIDE AS I LEAVE IT, A FATHER, A MOTHER AND A CHILD ALL IN ONE!”