A Special Kind of Sports Bullshit

Yesterday morning, ESPN.com posted a video clip entitled “Smith the wrong Cav to take final shot.”  The caption explained: “According to Second Spectrum, JR Smith was not the best Cavalier to try the game-winner, as Jordan Clarkson was more than four times more likely to make the final shot.”

“What shall we call this devotion to breaking down things and energies and practices and perceptions into uniform parts and counting them?” asked historian Alfred Crosby in his history of measurement in early modern Europe.  “This is quantification” he answered, speaking its name, before concluding:  “This is how we reach out for physical reality, push aside its darling curls, and take it by the nape of the neck.”

And this is how we reach out for basketball reality, push aside its complexity and dynamic fluidity, and take it by the nape of the neck: Read more

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Lebron

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My title promises the story of a reason.  Of reason.  But there will be no reasons here, and less Reason.  Consider it more a chronicle of an evening adrift on a roiling sea of inclinations, of aversions and attachments, of affections and affinities.

Sometimes, I think that the whole teeming, cacophonous universe of basketball culture lives all inside me as in a lane tightly packed with jostling big men –  arguing with itself, voicing feelings it finds reprehensible, formulating analyses it finds arcane and over thought, impressed with its own subtlety, appalled at its own ignorance. Read more