2013 brought many strange occurrences and changes. From the triumphant, like Jason Collins’ admission of homosexuality, to the tragic, like the Boston Marathon bombings, to the downright necessary, like Pope Francis and the charge toward universal acceptance. Toronto got some run, with Drake and Mayor Rob Ford (pictured above) giving the Ontarian capital a few things to consider aside from the Maple Leafs’ collapse and a distinct lack of Chris Bosh in recent years. It also brought a website, born of a hellish New York morning and a few text and Facebook messages, which, we hope, you have enjoyed thus far. Now, several of us discuss 2013 in its many forms. How could 2014 ever follow this performance?
Hope you’ve had a supreme 2013 and that there is more in store for 20-1-4. LeBron is turning 29, having already accomplished enough to merit Hall of Fame induction if he retired tomorrow. What is in store for the King, maybe halfway through his career? Also, James Harden as the theoretical unstoppable force facing an entirely movable object in free throws, and Andrew Bynum is this year’s George Sauer, probably without the journalism aspirations. But you never know with that guy, and that hair.
If you had to choose a theme for this holiday blockbuster season, you could make a strong argument that it is delusion. I spent my vacation time away from work in the company of some of the most arrogant, excessive and stubborn characters I have ever seen on a silver screen. Some were relatively grounded; others were space cadets. American Hustle, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and The Wolf of Wall Street all displayed varying degrees of lunacy and screwiness in movies where the central characters were all tied together by the size of their kaiju-like egos.
Holiday movies tend to be a bit warmer with a focus on a hero or redeeming character. You can probably get this fuzzy feeling from films like Saving Mr. Banks, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. But it seems to me that the three most buzz-worthy offerings would rather you go running to your raucous family gathering for escape rather than go to the movies to avoid more awkward meals with your second cousin.
Christmas is traditionally a time for family, gift-giving and eggnog guzzling. But not my Christmas. Not this year. With an exceptional slate of NBA games, featuring the league’s most eligible bachelorettes noteworthy franchises, this was the type of day when you fake some indigestion and sneak away to watch some basketball.
If only I was so lucky.
I had only suffered through a sloppy first half between the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls before the arrival of my little cousin, who came wielding his favorite Christmas gift. A DVD of the classical musical, Annie.
How do you say no to a little kid who wants to spend his Christmas watching his new favorite movie? I’m no Grinch, so I surrendered the television and my grand basketball-watching plans to my cousin.
Rather than obsessing over transition offenses, I spent my Christmas engrossed in show tunes. As the old saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men usually end in watching a musical about orphans.
But this doesn’t mean I didn’t follow the games or miss out on the ugly sweater party the NBA tried to pass off as holiday uniforms. While I’ll still be breaking down the best and worst from the Christmas day games, in honor of my cousin, this installment will be Annie-themed.
Enjoy, and happy holidays!
I am currently in Santa Barbara, California, and I am proud to say: We made it.
I have written this column in almost as many different cities around the world (five) as I have had losing weeks against the spread (six). Together, we have seen the glory of the Mediterranean Sea, the chaos of French keyboards, and the beauty of RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON. Read More
Happy Holidays, from all of us to all of you. For Christmas, we got you a ridiculous (and also kind of practical) draft proposal to phase out the lottery and engender a culture of parity in the NBA. The New York Knicks winning the Patrick Ewing sweepstakes in 1985 and, more recently, the New Orleans Hornets
being given the #1 pick in a rigged lottery process gaining the rights to Anthony Davis are two examples of a system which has caused much controversy since its implementation almost thirty years ago: the NBA draft lottery. One team executive has proposed a new system which, proponents claim, would eliminate the temptation of tanking. Meanwhile, Atlanta becomes the third team in the Eastern Conference to break .500, and the Charlotte Bobnets are ever closer to returning the Buzz to the Queen City.
A game winning shot hangs in the air for what always seems like eternity. When it’s your opponent lobbing up a prayer, only when the ball clanks off the rim can you let our a shy of relief that you’ve been holding in longer than you thought. But if the ball falls through that metal cylinder, you experience a sinking feeling in which all hope is lost. The final horn has sounded, and your team is behind on the scoreboard. There’s no last possession. Game over.
But if it’s your guy, your team, which wins on that shot, it’s easily the quickest swing of emotions in the sports watching world. The feeling of hopelessness and disappear immediately evaporates and is replaced with unbridled joy.