I really don’t want to write anything at all. The season seems perched on such a fine point, as if a breeze might shift the balance. I have been as pessimistic as can be over the past few months yet now there’s a seedling searching for the sun, with heavyweight players converging on NYC, with stands being taken, fingers being pointed, huddles taking place. The only thing missing is a smoke-filled room yet perhaps it’s not missing at all. We don’t know. We only stare at tiny cell-phone screens, hoping for a sign.
I’ve developed a new loathing for authority over the summer. Adrian Wojnarowski wrote another searing indictment and if there indeed comes a free agency period, we may see a grinning Stern & Silver posing for pictures next to players on blocks with numbers pinned to their suits. Or not. When it comes down to it, money talks and bullshit walks and if there’s any truth to the idea of quadrupled revenue sharing, weasels like Dan Gilbert and Robert Sarver will drop their shoddy facades and thrust their palms forward for the scraps that fall from the mouths of owners that actually know how to run a franchise.
All I want is the truth... and training camp - a chance to still believe that somebody from the end of the second round will make that 15th slot, that this inexorable summer will give way to nights watching basketball, the moments when time stands still again, the incandescent blur. And I worry that I'll see it different this time around, that I'll feel the ghost of asterisks, that I won't let go of resentment. It's 4:00 in the morning, I'll put it to rest. The dog lies between me and the stairs, paws twitching now and then. Pixilate to blackness.
Dateline Saturday morning, Austin. Armed with coffee, I sit in front of my laptop. I put one of those frozen egg burritos in the oven and set the timer. Something momentous better happen before it dings. These continuations are normally where I hit delete. That's how I roll.
Assuming we get to a season with the Lakers facing a $50 million giveaway to help make the league ‘competitive’, and twice that much in newly designed cap penalties, these rooks might get a second look:
Darius Morris is a 6-5 point guard out of Michigan, the 41st pick and said to possess leadership skills. Andrew Goudelock, a gunner from the College of Charleston, was taken 5 clicks later. He was also ‘drafted’ by the Harlem Globetrotters who figured he could sink the 4-point shot. Goudelock doesn’t lack for confidence, telling ESPN, "I’m going to be able to shoot until the day I die". And then there’s Ater Majok, at 58. I’ve watched some tape and don’t quite get it but the name alone could inspire me to write. Pity we didn’t keep Chukwudiebere.
This is the genius of the NBA, where the combined salaries of every rookie in the league will be less than the penalties accorded its most successful franchise. The logic eludes me, balance being somehow designed around the notion that penalties will cause coastal cities to drift inland. Fact - the major markets will still be major markets regardless of the Gilberts of the world. Oh, and cut the mid-level exemption until it more closely resembles the minimum. What was that about the polarization of classes?
Every time a bell rings, a blog dies somewhere, destined to forever collect cyber dust. It’s the kitchen timer, my egg burrito awaits. I'm faced with a choice of keys to press. Slava lives for another day.
Staying in the same place, just staying out the time. Touching from a distance. Further all the time. - Ian Curtis