Happy Memorial Day! Great to see you! So, now that you’re here, it’s time to attack: Do you ever think about instigators, or why a lot of people die unnecessarily? Did you see the BARRY finale? What do you fear the most, and why is it the mirror? Anyway, haha, *high five*, let’s honor some of what we thought were the dead, but they’re still living.
Jimmy Butler has fulfilled his mission and obligation as The Man for the Miami Heat. Via the way the game is played today, et cetera, he found himself at the foul line with three seconds to go, the exact three seconds and three shots he needed to close out the Boston Celtics and end any speculation that the best-positioned team in NBA history to recover from down 3-0 would do so. He nailed all three, Michelobs surely on the brain.
1, 2, 3…
At his core, he was a dancer. If Kobe was the Baryshnikov of his era, Carmelo Anthony was Albert Torres, engaging defenders at the elbow in a perpetual tango evoking their shared Puerto Rican roots. A step forward, a feint with his elbow, a half-pivot, then: gone, with the duck of his sweatband-adorned head. It was one of the seemingly endless ways Anthony could score; it didn’t look effortless, but, like a choreographed routine done right, it usually looked like he was having fun.
Except to older heads whose respect he ended up earning anyway, it doesn’t much matter that the biggest win of Carmelo Anthony’s career happened before he ever made it to the NBA. Everybody wants to win – of course – but winning was never the most interesting nor important thing about Anthony himself. On the day when the team that drafted him bounced the last team he played for from the playoffs, Anthony announced his retirement.
Prior to the penultimate round of the NBA playoffs kicking off, a matter of only negligibly less importance took place in Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. Mere steps from the closest stop off the CTA’s green line, the future of the NBA began to reveal itself. Several sweaty executives, a handful of younger NBA players and the odd nostalgia act rolled in as representatives of the fourteen teams eligible for lottery picks in this offseason’s draft.
The prize at hand? What we’ve known for two years, at least, if not longer: French prospect Victor Wembenyama, a 7’3” stir-fry of Kevin Durant, Kristaps Porzingis and Anthony Davis, if the scouting reports and highlights are to be trusted. Behind him, Scoot Henderson, along with several other players of varying overt Christian influence. But Wemby was the target, even for the teams with barely 1% chance of getting him. Twenty years after LeBron James’ draft lottery, a prospect of perhaps even greater repute has entered the chat.