Friday, June 15, 2007

News:: NBA, it's blog tastic!

As Shane's post mentioned, the Spurs won the title last night. I would have trouble caring less about those guys, so good riddance '07 NBA.A team with Horry, Brent Barry, a dude who looks like the Jamaican guy from Marked For Death, and bald spot Ginoblli will never be a team I want to watch, but this year in the NBA was not too bad. So to close the year, I decided to compare the '07 All-NBA team to some bands. A stretch? Maybe, but hopefully you enjoy it.

Dirk Nowitzki :: Sting
Shane pointed this out, and I must admit I can think of no better comparison. With the Police reunion running wild, it really makes you think about Sting as an entity (like John Brown - hallelujah holla back!). Sting's a cool dude, we all get that. He gets tantric, but does anyone that's not in my dad's foursome really look at the release schedule and thing... "YES. MORE STING!" No one can deny that Sting has chops. He writes some good songs, but he essentially needs people around him to pick up on his limitations.

Enter Dirk. He's a good player. He's way better than anyone could have imagined from when he came into the league. He's going to be good for years to come, but he's proven on his own, well, he gets put out by the Warriors. He needs Josh Howard slashing to the bucket. He needs the poor man's Jet to take big shots. He needs help getting his shot off against tough, quick defenders. More importantly, when push come to shove, he needs to pass the ball when he's doubled. What he doesn't need is more of sassy Sting blond locks. He's got that on lock.

Sting needs Copeland. Sting needs Summers. But that doesn't mean Sting (or Dirk) isn't the face of the band. I'd wager that 90% of the dudes who listen to the Police from time to time can't tell you how many people are in the band or what instrument they play, but everyone knows Sting and his antics. The same can be said about any casual NBA fans. "The Mavs rule! Dirk is the man! Wait, who is Devon Harris?" Dirk has the front man techniques. The angry scowl. The fist pump. The sass. But the trouble with being a front man. You have to shoulder the load on your own when things get tough, and like Sting, Dirk's really more of an important cog.
MP3:: Island of Souls (live)

Tim Duncan :: Spoon
Although I can't stand the Spurs and I love Spoon, this comparison is actually a huge compliment to Britt. Britt is the most consistent song writer going right now. When you hear a Spoon record, you know you are going to be happy with the songs, and you almost take that for granted. As a result, you kind of forget about them.

It's the same as Duncan. Duncan kind of flies under the radar, probably because he's been doing the same thing for years. You've come to expect his 24-12-5-3 stat line, so you forget how impressive it really is. People don’t tune into ESPN to watch Duncan awkwardly lumber into the post, shoot a bank shot or give the incredulous face after every foul, but when you take a step back and look at the output ... the numbers don't lie.

The same exact thing can be said about Spoon's records. People buy them, listen, love the songs, and Spoon disappears again. Blogs stop talking about them, but then when the end-of-year awards roll around, you are like.."wow. Yeah, that's a great record."
MP3:: Rhthm & Soul

Amare Stoudemire :: Snoop Dog
Before you think this a racial type of comparison. Nay friend. Musically, this comparison is spot on. When Snoop came on the scene with Dr. Dre, he was the man. No questions asked. His verses were tight, and when the Doggystle dropped he was on top and people thought he'd dominate the rap game for years. Then he switched up his style, got more into the pimp vibe and started phoning in his verses for people like Pussycat Dolls.

Amare came into the NBA as a man-child. He ran faster, jumped higher and was stronger than any center in the league. He had a solid businessman stache and was almost impossible to stop. When the Suns lost to the Spurs in the playoffs, he manhandled Duncan and everyone assumed the torch was being past.

Then he ripped up his leg and was out for a year. Rumors of him not rehabbing and being more concerned with purple suits* started floating. He was kind of phoning it in, but people still loved him. He had to switch up his style, and while it's not as good, it's going to keep him in the top echelon of the NBA for years to come. His value will be higher than the return on investment, but the fans will always remember him for his initial domination and assume he is always that good.

Snoop and Amare could have both run game for years in their respective arenas, and although they still draw a big crowd and show flashes of greatness, they both come off a bit lazy and are happy just kickin' it. Amare seems more than ok to just be good, but he could be the man and Snoop seems happy to puff cheeba and wear Steelers gear (again, I'm ok with that).

* This rumor about suits was heard by me, as told by me
MP3:: Lollipop

Steve Nash :: Arcade Fire
Everyone loves Nash. Everyone loves Arcade Fire. Seems an easy choice to make, but the similarities are actually run much deeper and are intertwined. Essentially, Arcade Fire is the biggest band on the planet for anyone under the age of 35. They are selling out shows and people talk about them nonstop. Nash, as far as the NBA goes, is the exact same. People love to see him flying around the court doing left handed runners over centers. The Arcade Fire is Canadian. Nash? Check. But it's more important to look at both of them and realize the fact they've made it to the status they are at is bon-kares.

Nash is a small point guard who can't really jump, plays limited D , but he's also a two time MVP and does things on the court that are hard to fathom. He runs full speed, jumps in the air and all of a sudden hits Marion or Amare on the dead run for a jam. He controls the court and has changed the game. If you told me 5 years ago Nash would be the MVP of the NBA I would have laughed at you. Then again, if you told me that the Arcade Fire, a nutty band from Montreal would be world famous, I would have laughed too.

But Arcade Fire has similar game. They build up to these crescendo of sound until they are assaulting your ears from every angle without letting up. You get so swept up in the mix, you start to forget their limitations. You get caught up in the enjoyment, and become a fan (or so I've heard, as they are not my cup o tea).

Both have the same problems. When things go wrong, it goes wrong in a hurry and it's usually a result of trying to do too much. Nash will start piling up turnovers fast enough to make Chad Wadden blush. He starts pressing, and assumes his nutty skills will get him through it (which is usually the case). When Arcade Fire gets on stage and has 10 people running around making fierce faces and chucking unmic-ed drums in the air, I get a little turned off. You can't deny their melodies, but when they press, things start to unravel. Both have tons of fans, but there is an underlying idea they are overrated and only popular for a specific reason (Nash's skin color, the blog hype that escalated AF to the top).
MP3:: Maps (YYY Cover)

Kobe Bryant :: the National
This comparison is more accurate to Michael Jordan, but Kobe is doing his best to follow Jordan's career path (he just adds more rape and overall douchery to the mix). When Jordan came into the league, he was a star in the making. No one could guard him and you legit thought he could go for 60 any night he wanted. He relied on solid fundamentals (which are often overlooked) but the crowd wanted him to climb people's chest every time he touched the ball. As Jordan's legs lost some hops, his game evolved into a more surgical fashion, and that's where both Kobe and the National are headed.

Kobe can still explode for 50 whenever he wants, but he does it in a new way. Like Jordan, he uses fade-away jumpers, crisp efficient moves and simply wears you out. He still has moments where he jumps out of the gym (like the huge double pump under the bucket cram that even made Celtic fans cheer for him IN THE FLEET CENTER), but now he attacks you with without expending the energy you need to try to stop him.

Where does this fit into the National's output? After the success of Alligator, the National realized they had the potential to be one of the best bands in the US. While the crowd fell in love with the high energy of tracks like Mr. November, the band started using subtle movements and arrangements to rip your heart out. I originally said the new record (in an attempt to tie into the Boxer theme) used crisp drums like De La Hoya uses a stinging jab. He (like the band itself) is so good, he doesn't need to go for a knockout blow, he just peppers you like a tactician and the new record does the same. The National doesn't need to try to hit the knockout punch, because they are good enough to fight a perfect fight without opening up their defenses.

This basketball analogy probably holds more water. The National is workman-like with this effort. Every note is controlled, fluid, and unstoppable. It's almost frustrating, like watching Kobe jump straight backwards away from two guys and nestle a 18-foot jumper and walk back like he always knew it was cash. The National knows their songs are going to hit the bottom of the net. Years of practice and talent give them the confidence and the swagger needed to be the big dog on the court.
MP3:: Start a War (live)

Shawn Marion :: Girl Talk
I know that Marion didn't make the All-Pro team (1st, 2nd or 3rd), but he's been rumored to be wearing Celtic green very soon. While I like Marion, I think he's the last thing the Celtics need. When I started thinking about why, the Girl Talk comparison came to mind. Although incredibly fun to watch, Marion exists as a result of other people's efforts. The same can be said about Gillis. Anyone who likes old school hip hop or classic rock samples must admit the fact that Girl Talk puts on a fantastic show and anyone who likes hoops probably loves seeing Marion rise up and flush on someone on the break.

The problem, as I see it is that although Marion makes impact plays, but they are usually the result of Nash's passing, or the fact Amare gets double teamed every time he touches the ball. Huge fast break dunks, put back jams, and wide open 3's are his bread an butter. When Marion is required to lead the way, well, the effort usually falls short or disappears, which is something I think happens when Gillis tries to remix a song. When Gillis is using the sum of other people's parts, he's incredibly enjoyable, but when he is the center of attention I find his remixes leave me flat. Plus, you can easily compare Marion's ugly jumper to the sweaty image of a half naked Gillis all sweaty and gross freaking out over his lap top.
MP3:: Summer Smoke

Posted at 1:53 PM by ack :: 4 comments

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At 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

agreed on hating the spurs...and agreed on them being boring

you are my favorite


At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

Lebron will be back, unfortunately it will be in 4 years when Larry Hughes is finally off the team. You heard it here first.


At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

I don't know who you are and I just kind of stumbled onto your blog, but that was fantastic. AND you used 3 Suns =)


At 3:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

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