You don’t need another LeBron story, or another #noheadband enthusiasm, but allow me a minute. (For what it’s worth, I wanted to use this gif to headline this post, but tumblr didn’t want to upload it.)
I know Duncan looks almost kinda dainty in that action up above but without that little tap on the head, the headband stays on. I also know it’s boring to complain about the refs, and the refs were far from the story of the game, even with Joey Crawford being Joey Crawford, but they did determine a good amount of the tone. This defining play above was far and away the weakest of any “love taps” Bron absorbed all night, and I’m not even asking for a call here. But it’s indicative of a number of things.
First, Bron is the new Shaq. He’s so damn strong, and big, it looks like he doesn’t feel pain, or that the legitimately hard fouls he absorbs on his freight trains to the hoop are inconsequential. But if you look at Bron’s misses from last night, they’re not the result of sterling defense. The Spurs are magnificent at defense, no doubt about it, but when you’ve got ten eyes on you, you’re likely to get anywhere from three to five hands on you, too, as happened a number of times in the first half last night. (This also doesn’t excuse the grousing behind the play, I will admit, but I’d be pissed off, too; I mean, I was.)
Second, on top of that routine pummelling, which is the result of Bron not being passive (as too many have griped about his first half) but giving everything on every possession Wade didn’t dominate like an idiot, Bron was playing all out defense on the other end. He expends more energy than just about any other player. And yet that’s not good enough for just about everybody talking about him, it seems. Even when he had an even more crucial block this game than the Splitter one (because this game was super close).
Third, Bron is better than Kawhi, and it should be noted that Kawhi hardly played D on Bron, but damn if Kawhi isn’t one smooth, bad ass motherfucker. And he’s only going to get better; he’s 22 at the end of the month. Too bad he’ll be a Spur for life.
Fourth, sure, Bron didn’t attack as much in the first half, but that was in part because he got nothing from the refs. You can call it a “bail out” call that I want to see from them, but, do you not call fouls when you get hit in the face? On the arm? Fuck being macho. Before everybody decided they loved the Spurs (I do love watching them execute, I will admit), we all hated them not just for the boring post-heavy offense but for the kind of dirty defense that Bruce Bowen in particular exemplified. They were never as overtly “bad boy” hard as those Pistons, or as obnoxious as a Jerry Sloan All Elbows Defense, but, goddamn Bowen fucked some fools up. Don’t you remember that? That legacy lives on, sadly, though it’s getting eclipsed by the flops from everybody’s favorite to forgive, Tony Parker.
Fifth, Bron flopped late, yes, but it was almost like he had to (just once! really!) to get the refs’ attention.
Sixth, Chris Bosh was the other hero, and I hope he shows his kids this game whenever they ask him about his reputation so he can say, “Haters hate,” and feel confident he did him.
Seventh, You can call me a Bron homer, a dork of a fanboy even, and I don’t care. As I’ve said before, and may yet again, in a longer and more cogent argument, that I think LeBron James makes the world a better place. And boy howdy am I happier today because we have Thursday to look forward to. As Zaza says, GAME SEVEN BABY!!!!
[s/o Grantland shootaround and @cjzero for the gifs; and read Zach Lowe’s column for the best level-headed-but-giddy breakdown that goes a long way to illustrate the Heat’s problems (Wade on offense a biggie) as much as the Spurs excellence and everything else about the game, not its narrative quality. More on the Bron narrative another time, like, after Thursday.]
1:42 pm • 19 June 2013 • 2 notes
I shoot windows and doorways a lot because I’m attracted to the concept of the threshold and what determines what will pass through and cross over and seep between spaces, of our selves and of the world, namely light, as light is some kind of ineffible, the kind of thing we often want to call affect, which can be shaped in space by these passage ways as much as by hue, which is really a variation of speed, which is a favorite way to organize life and its often inconsistent juxtapositions.
2:17 pm • 12 June 2013 • 3 notes
untitled on Flickr.
They were so beautiful I had to take a photo of them. You seem to meet these people in BKNY, even if they’re from LA, because of the magnet that is culture, I’d wager. Culture, after all, is everything I miss about New York. I can eat better in SF, the weather is more pleasant, and the city’s bigger than its size would seem to dictate thanks to its odd terrain (hills/valley) and micro-hood vibe. But SF is losing its culture war to tech money, which blows, because it used to be vibrant not vanilla. Who cares you can eat top flight food everywhere? (I meant cheap vegetables above.) I want to walk down the street and see some decent art, to not pay $10 for a Knob rocks at the Makeout Room on an empty soul night where only three girls in stripes dared to groove for five songs. The only benefit of SF getting more expensive is there are prettier girls to talk to, but even that is a flimsy premise for anything, especially culture. I’m attracted to people who do things. Like our friends up top: they’re both musicians, she’s playing Carlos Puyol’s wedding, he makes t-shirts that sell for stupid amounts of money, and they take their “winnings” (as one friend put it) and live in a beautiful house and even grow some food to eat, too, if I remember correctly. Simple goals feeding simple pleasures with some traveling on the side. But it starts from conviction, and lives through dedication, until you arrive (again and again, I’d hope) at an aggregate close to happiness.
2:05 pm • 12 June 2013 • 3 notes
Six free throws in three games when this is something of the norm does not make sense. That said, the Spurs defensive schemes are just plain working. Bron was so out of it last night it’s easy to see why people would call it a relapse to the Mavs series. But thankfully he’s smarter and better now than he was then and I trust the Heat will keep going with their 2013 routine of no back to back losses. The most alarming thing, however, was not that one of the league’s best defenses shut down Bron (by literally focusing only on him) but that Mike Miller had the best game of any Heat player and that Birdman didn’t see the floor as much as he might should have. The reason the Spurs can zero in on Bron is because nobody else is truly reliable, aside from the two ghettoest white dudes in this (friendship) era of the game.
9:58 am • 12 June 2013
Amy Taubin is correct, though that’s the wrong rubric for this (any) film. I need to rewatch and actually articulate more of what I think beyond my dumb letterboxd thing. What I value most isn’t just how it takes its threads and pulls them apart but something more mysterious about intelligence and organizing life, how a certain kind of human intelligence yearns for abstraction because life is terrifying and forever unpredictable. Plus it’s super funny.
11:36 am • 9 June 2013 • 11 notes
Pinkerton ethers those recent VA things
It’s a lot of effort to silo something obviously reductive and boring but, man, it was fun to read.
UPDATE I mean, maybe I should add something. It’s just fascinating that this VA thing is even a thing. At its worst it’s “criticism-as-fashion” but at its best it’s adding other names to a sometimes-predictable conversation. (More primary contention: the conversation at present is altogether wrong, and framed along the wrong lines, but that begs many more words I’m too lazy to get into right now.) My main problem in this arena is that VA seems mainly on the “worst” side of that first construction above, especially as it’s being used in faux-intellectual ways to kinda sorta justify lazy/thin “I like that image” responses. After all, I wrote this gif-heavy post about Michael Bay in 2009 (where’s my props, broderdogs?) that lives up to that latter description. Point is, I fear the VAs are just a step away from listicle retreads of empty or at least shallow arguments when truly vulgar shit like Eric Wareheim’s Bubble Butt video (now over 2milli views!) is what’s truly wild and unique and boundary bouncing (while kinda nihilist and cynical, it’s also celebratory and fun!). Anyways, crickets gone chirp!
12:49 pm • 7 June 2013