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Great BB Coaches
2017 05 16 Jan and I watch a lot of basketball, especially Warriors, especially over the last three years. I repeat, Jan is extremely knowledgable on the subject. With regard to Golden State we’re on the same page: unlike politics: she thinks Trump walks on water: I bet her not to mention him in my presence, not to chase Trump news during the basketball commercials. So: I wince, and try to bear it: disagreement might be fatal: I need her: old, blnd, broke I can’t be too fussy: or I might as well just put my head in the noose. Now we’re in phae three of the Western playoofs, whooping as the Warriors go up 4-love, then 8-love; not 9-love … We love the Spurs, love Leonard; but not the way we love Steph, Draymond, Kle, KD … We like all the players, Pachulia isn’t Steph but we love him anyway … So Pop, the white beard, has to go and attack Trump, Jan hears about it, Jan is ready for war … I try to change the subject. But it’s so volitile we’re on thin ice no matter what we do. Jan starts to badmouth Pop, I try to change the subject … I segue with Pop is one of the great coaches, the greatest … And Jan instantly contradicts. I expect her to insert Phil Jackson, or even Steve Kerr, in either case I would agree, if only for humor, an indulgence;
But she got a total-agreement Yes from me in an assertion I wasn’t quick enough to anticipate: my father! she insisted.
Yes, of course. Jan’s father was the champion Coach Grummond of victorious Andrew Jackson High in Queens, Bob Cousey’s high school coach, Bob Cousey’s discoverer. Champs! Immortals: however much before my time.

Mumble Genius X 2
2017 04 19 Glorianna, we’re back in the NBA post-season, and yep, the Warriors are back at 1- zip! The usual suspects were outstanding: Draymond, Steph … and there was Durant back in the mess messing around. I just watched some highlights of game 1: Portland’s backcourt clicking on cylinders that haven’t even been diagrammed yet, but, as usual, there was a fly in the ointment: like some of Westbrook’s triple-doubles, their excellence was harming as well as helping the team: two guys went off, bang, bang, the rest of the team went invisible. So this year we’ve got the splash brothers and KD, it’s wonderful: even though KD was out for a month, and now has been somewhat injured again … In every event, the Media interview Steph and KD seated side by side … and … How is this possible? Stuffle, mumble, inarticulate gibberish. Imagine Clint shooting all the bad guys, camera comes in close up, his cigar is burned down practically to his lip … and he stutters like Elmer Fudd. These guys are paid the big buck, and the bigger bucks, then the biggest bucks, but the news room director can’t tell them to take their hand away from their face!
Cheese, they take instruction from the bb coaching staff; but, wait a minute: even Steve Kerr sometimes puts his hand near his jaw. I get they’ve already worked for decades to get him to keep his hand away from his lips while on camera.

Ah: so I was watching highlights, both teams, up and down the floor, ten geniuses on the court! How can the stariest stars look so dumb in the interview chairs?

When I was in school, 1950s, my tea would win the game. A journalist would interview the star halfback. (Dom was bound for Harvard!) Uh, duh, Dom would stumble. Then they’d interview the coach: Oh, ah, duh … followed by an actual point. The star jock was an idiot, Harvard bound or no; the coach was allowed by the culture to be only half-an idiot. Well, it’s a different world today, has been for half a century. Lots of stars can carry their weight in front of the camera: even Shaq appears on the same bench with Barkley! So why doesn’t Steph come out talking like Shakespeare?

Results Official
Spectator sports need officials to establish facts in a timely manner. Once established, the facts must not alter. Decisions don’t have to be true, they have to be permanent.
1961 I worked the NYRA seaons: Belmost, Aquaduct, Saratoga. Cappy would announce, “The results are now official.” No one could call in an alternate photon finish the next day. Money the state paid out was gone. The results were not cosigned by God; all that counted was the payout. Go home, come back tomorrow. Lexi just got called on a penalty a day after the events. No, no, no: bad officiating.

The war is over, the winners won, the losers lost. Go home, come back tomorrow. And tomorrow the Yankees will still have beaten the Dodgers. Hitler will be missing, presumed dead. If you find him, shut up about it. Civilization can’t aevise and repreint all the books. Scholars can muddle on about whether Jews killed Jesus or Romans or Commies; but not the Church: the Church will follow Cappy’s results.

Bandwagon Fans
2017 02 14 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2017/02/14/mammas-dont-let-your-babies-grow-up-to-be-bandwagon-fans/?utm_term=.855243a91367
This article mocks “bandwagon” fans, admires diehard fans. I’m a diehard fan of a number of important things, a fair weather friend of trivial things: like baseball, football. As a kid in the 1940s I became a Yankee “fan” by being accused of being a Yankee fan, by a Dodger fan. I didn’t know what he was talking about: but once I realized that I was being accused of liking the winners, I thought Hell, and liked the winners. Year after year the Yankees won, the Dodgers lost: till the mid-1950s. I became a GreenBay Packers fan by watching Lombardi’s team beat the Cowboys for the NFL championship. When some other teach won I liked them too. Why not? It wasn’t important.
Some things associated with it all were important: like the Dodgers moving to LA. How dare they? How could they? Surely it should have been illegal. Why didn’t courts step in?
I thought, we all thought, that some how the “Brooklyn” Dodgers represented Brooklyn. I thought Joe Dimaggio was from New York, like Babe Ruth. I thought professional sports had to be like local sports: George was a hero for South Side High School. The Community “owned” the team, it wasn’t a capitalist franchise.
No. What the courts should have done, were there such a things as honest courts, was forbid capitalist franchises from associating themselves in the ignorant public’s stupid mind with cultural hegemonies. We should have thought “Dodgers, a franchise of MLB coincidentally located in Ebbets Field, Brooklyn.

The Yankees were worse: they said “New York” Yankees, when they meant “the Bronx” Yankees.

Jan and I are currently crazy Golden State Warriors fans: because Steph Curry is for basketball what Babe Ruth was for baseball, what Pelé was for soccer. I was a Bulls fan when Michael Jordan was a Bull. I was a Lakers fan when Kareem, when Magic, when Kobe … No, I’m not from LA, and what if I were? My going to South Side High School was an accident of history and economics and politics. My ancestors came to the US, to NYC as fair weather friends of prosperity. Should we have been compelled to stay in Germany? In England? Should people in Las Vegas be forbidden to applaud Beyonce because she’s not from Nevada? the fans aren’t from Nevada either. Actually, that’s the point. None of us are from anywhere except as band wagoners. Should God have posted angels preventing humans from migrating north out of Africa? You were born in the Great Rift Valley, you may not leave it no matter how the climate has degenerated, no matter how poor the gathering and hunting has become.

Maybe there should be angels keeping us in the womb.

PS There have been teams that I’ve followed where geography mattered: the NY Knicks, across a number of periods. Clyde, Pearl … Lucas. Phil Jackson was on that team.

Steph!
2017 01 15 Steph hit 47 for 50 in 3-point practice! Hit first 19!
All the teams are hitting 3s now, lots of guys are swishing long. I used to watch Chet Forte hit from everywhere back in 1956! But Steph is still miles ahead, and looking like an angel.

Australian Open 2017 01 21 Serena shallacked this girl Nicole Gibbs. We’re already long in love with Serena, in awe; but we now love this Gibbs girl. Go, girl, keep rising!

Jan’s Got Steph’s Number!
2017 01 04 Jan knew she’d get the Cavaliers / Bulls game on her cable. Only later did we realize that the Warriors / Trailblazers game would follow: drives us nuts but Warriors games are not common to Florida TV, at least not to Jan’s portion of it: and I don’t have my TV even plugged in: we watch bb, all sports, at her house. Anyway I’m all set up in her TV room, the reflected lake sparkling in her dining room window, when Jan makes her appearance. Instantly riveting. She’s wearing a Steph Curry, #30, jersey in Warrior gold. Her slacks are the most perfect matching Warrior blue. Her shape, standing, walking into the room is perfection. And above her Warriors jersey is a perfect accessory, a blue scarf. I provided my own radiant smile: and smiled throughout the game. Jan’s entrance was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

Earlier today my neighbor Elaine captured all my wrinkles and a smile to top them off:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

pk by gardenia

Steph X 3
2016 11 10 The World Series is completed, Chicago is delirious. Now baskball becomes prominent once again. And immediately Steph Curry makes his mark, then marks again. He broke his own record for 3s in a game, finally after two years of 3s in every game he had an off night, no 3s at all. But now the whole team sets a new record: multiple 3s by multiple players: Curry, Thompson, Green and Durant: each with 1 3! That’s incredible.
God bless my Jan, she’ll be here any minute now and we’ll watch the Warriors take on the Nuggets. Mmm mmm good.

Mortal Serina?!
2016 09 08 Serena just lost to Pliskova? Is that possible? Of course it’s possible: but how improbable is it? Well, bravo, underdog. Except that Serena has been on the lip of another level of greatness a cascading number of times here. If she never winds a major again, she’s still the greatest. She was already the greatest before she won the last couple. Federer is stuck on a number: so’s Serena too.

Well, Serena we all love you still, just as much. Except my beloved Jan that is: Jan has always hated you: ’cause your father shoved her once, in Miami: rude oaf.
But never mind Serena: let’s pay some attention to Pliskova! Who?

Iverson Crossover
2016 07 26 No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson
This ESPN doc treats a subject I hadn’t heard of. I’ve long recognized Allen Iverson as a great player, a phenomenon of bravery. He reminded me of Dennis Rodman, always blasting full-tilt into the maelstron, he bounced off trouble. Now I think too of Steph Curry: insane courage.
But, I never liked him much. I didn’t like his expression, his body language, his dress, what little of his conduct I saw in games.
I point out that my position is not consistent, not rational. I adore Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs, don’t know how superficial the resemblances are, same tattoos, “negro” hair … Jaw dropping guy, bravo, live forever.
But I now learn that in highschool, Virginia, much heralded, Iverson was with a group of guys who went to a bowling alley: looking and I guess being very much like a black gang. A counterpart “white” gang was there, name calling was followed by punches thrown, chairs thrown. There was a security camera but it didn’t seen to show much that was definitive. Some lady got hit, the cops came, etc.

There were of course racists, justice fans, whatever, who wanted the black boys taken out and lynched, castrated, set to hard labor. Others were apaulled that Iverson seemed to be being singled out and punished out of all proportion. You want details, check the 30 30 document: I want to say just a couple of things: details don’t have to be 100%.
Know this: background: the area was saturated with sports mania: Iverson was a football hero, a basketball hero.
I don’t doubt that Virginia was full of racists who were indignant that the n-word-guy was about to go to a big college (“for free”, as though talent and excellence in sports didn’t really count, not like money, class, etc.), and then swiftly become a multi-millionaire. (Do those people object to the son of a stock broker have early advantages in Wall Street wealth?

Anyway, one fact came out: the judge deciding much of the case contacted Iverson, in jail, said stay away from my daughter!” That story got re-examined, re-expressed: “Stay away from my granddaughter!”

Some said that the judge was core to a conspiracy to extort future income from Iverson’s career: We won’t jail you for the fifteen years we’ve convicted you for provided that you share your future millions with us”!

It gets better (that is, it gets worse, much worse): some said that the judge and cohorts set up the Iverson gang for racial slurs and a brawl so that Iverson would be in the judge’s pocket: and the judge could coerce Iverson not to accept scholarships from VA or Duke or Maryland; no, no, stay here, play for the local community college: put us on the map! then make your NBA millions.

I heard Iverson confess that he did some bad things: but I don’t trust confessions from torture victims.

Oh, key to Iverson’s conviction was some utter preposterous law that said that I the court could “prove” that you were in the mob having the melee, then the court had also proved that you threw the chair, hit the lady …

Virginia in 1992 was still a slave state. The slaves were millionaires but they were still slaves. The people who owned them yesterday could extort them today.

Now of course the people in favor of crushing Allen Iverson with nothing but legal jargon “facts” to work with likely see the world very differently than I do. They likely see the US as a legitimate nation, Virginia as a legitimate substate state. I do not. They likely believe that “blacks” and “whites” can and must work within the framework of the humans-scripted (and enforced) “law”. I do not. I most emphatically do not. (I want us All to obey Real laws, like gravity, like homeostasis …)

We had a chance to make a real democracy: we flubbed it. Now we lie, say we did, when we didn’t. So: I would have like people to have been Christian all along: meaning what Tolstoy meant, what Ivan Illich meant, what I meant not what some priest / TV evangelist means.

These days I just want everybody to kill everybody, all calling each other preposterous names (such as “black” and “white”). A kleptocracy based in genocide and slavery is ludicrous pretending to be civilized.

I don’t care what we say, what we offer as proof, I just want the population reduced to near invisibility. Such a population would not be worrying about Allen Iverson or pk.

Striking Hoot Gibson
2016 07 21 I’m not much of a baseball fan. But I found myself enjoying the hell out of the documentary Fastball. I was moved to see footage of Big Train Walter Johnson followed by mentions of Bob Feller, Sandy Kofax and others, including Ryan, Chapman. But I started getting tear-laced lashes as they covered Bob Gibson. Details of the 1967 world series came back to me. Awesome. But of course my emotions were divided, at war against each other. Baseball’s aggressiveness embarrasses me. It’s not nice for a pitcher to endanger or even injure, maybe kill, an opposing batter. And here my jaw was dropping as they showed Gibson in closeup. What a great looking guy, but, as he acknowledges, he’s a “monster”: this big black man, all skill, sinew, aggression.

Bob Gibson pix not loading, do your own search.

So Gibson talks about how angry he was: all the time, about racism in particular.
And I’m thinking, seething with hatred, that we were racists. we are racists, we pretend that we want (and that we have) a level playing field; no we don’t. We pretend that we’re over our racism, no we’re not.
We pretend that if we’re a little more liberal then we don’t have to give anything up today that we gained unfairly yesterday.
So: Gibson had me, coming and going: just wonderful.
I also felt flutters at seeing any number of other greats: Hank Aaron, Mike Schmidt, Joe Morgan, Goose …
getty has some copyrighted closeups of Hoot’s face: search.

Even non-fans, even marginal fans may come to love Ruth, Gerig, Dimag, Mantle. But scholars they are not, not necessarily. This doc discusses the “rising fastball”. Aaron, Schmudt insist that it “rises”: a physicist or two explains via a “scientific” explanation: the mind calcultes where the ball will appear over the plate, then for a millisecond the eye “sees” the ball: the ball isn’t where they expected. That the batter “sees” is his adjustment to his perception: that’s the “rise”. But Aaron judges the scientists to be wrong, trusting his “own” “experience”: Schmidt too, the bunch of them.
Ah, but that is a good explanation. But: Aaron sees better than most, all time classic eye, but he is not infallible. Science explains better than most; but it too is not infallible.
we may be foolwed by our illusions, but illusion is sometimes the best we’ve got. Don’t let “science” become a church, with fat priests.

Lebron in Cleveland
2016 06 27 Lebron says he plans to stay in Cleveland. Harumph. Several years ago he made news by leaving Cleveland. Now it’s big new that he’s staying. I’ve said elsewhere and repeat now that as a kid I thought Joe Dimaggio was from New York, that the Yankees came by him as “family”. My neighborhood friend Rudy was fanatically for the Dodgers, hell, he was himself from Flatbush: all those great Dodgers were his kin. I’ll bet all those front offices were fully aware of the childish mistakes fans make. New York itself was a deliberate confusion. New York Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, the New York Giants, the Brooklyn Dodgers …
Lebron profits by associating himself with Cleveland Ohio: Dayton isn’t Cleveland! Miami isn’t Ohio. And absolutely the brooklyn Dodgers have no right to “move” to Los Angeles!
Lebron enriches himself by peoples’ false assumptions. New he’s gonna be richer than Caesar, riding the same pony. Disgusting.

Pop Licence
2016 03 13 The Spurs Coach is something else, isn’t he? Priceless. We can all fall deeper in love this year with Steve Kerr without losing one jot of our love for Pop. I lost a link I was gonna quote: so I’ll paraphrase:

Coming into the fourth period Danny Green has missed all fourteen of his field goal attempts. Pop said, There’s only two choices: it will go in or it will miss. If it misses, you’ll still get your pay check, your family will still love you. So fuck it, let ‘her fly, have fun, let go.

Currying Favor

2016 05 24 Jan and I avidly followed the NBA playoffs in 2015, anxiously awaiting the resumption of the sport in 2016, and have been crazily rewarded by miraculous play from the Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry has followed a unique destiny seemingly without effort. Along the way Jan and I have fallen further in love with Thompson, Bogut, Green … etc, etc. Ecstasy. But evil has come into the garden. The other week Draymond Green’s foot found Steve Adams groin. The big man went down. Hey, it’s sports. Shit happens. On the TV Sir Chalres said “Never apologize for playing hard”. Yeah, OK.
But should you apologize for playing dirty? Illegally? For violating basic standards of social behavior? I’m an anarchist, I don’t want politicians mandating behavor; at the same time I don’t want competitors kicking each other in the balls all the time.
How many kicks do you get before an accident is perceived as deliberate? actionable?
Once upon a time that was standard strategy. If you were a boxer of course you hit the other guy below the belt, exactly where he was trying to hit you! But gentlemen bettors didn’t like to see guys groaning around rapped from nuts to top knot and from toes to nuts. The Marquis of Queensbury added padded gloves, so blows against bone wouldn’t break all the fighters fingers. Guys got knocked out, much more entertaining, if you’re a barbarian savage with a quid to bet: later on, for the rest of their life, they suffered brain damage. Before the Marquis nobody got brain damage, they got swollen nuts.
Anyway, since the Marquis groin shots are bad sportsmanship. Dirty play earns more frowns than applause.
Well, Draymond Green played more games, one of our favorite players, all year, we nearly worshipped him, not quite as much as Steph, but still. But then everytime we looked up Green’s foot was again in Adams’ groin.
It “knocked the wind out” of Steve Adams. I tell you, it likewise took the wind out of our sails: me, Jan … And we can’t be the only ones.
I still rooted for Golden State but also found it to be justice when Warrior miracles disintegrated, failed, evaporated.

But. But, but, but. I’ll nevertheless always honor the 2015-16 Warriors for being so wonderful: and for exposing us to more Spurs, to the Thunder, to the Clippers, the Trail Blazers … oh, and the Raptors, etc. too.

Notice I don’t mention Lebron? That’s right, I don’t. We’ve had enough of him, to put it in Yiddish, already.
2016 05 30 Some game Saturday, big anticipation for tonight. Saturday Kle Thompson was the record setter. And now I just saw some Cavaliers / Raptors highlights: I guess Lebron is also worthy of all that notice. It’s complciated, living in a kleptocracy of self-deceivers it can’t not be complicated. What a privilege to have such great sport.
I still want Curry to win everything, again. 2017 02 26 Now there’s a basketball game in which the player can instruct Draymond to kick people, below the belt. Why doesn’t somebody sell a game in which we can watch replays of Green’s foul conduct, then watch him in a lower circle of hell getting kicked, forever, and ever.

NBA
2015 06 22 I love the NBA. I love Stephen Curry. I love certain players, certain teams, certain periods of “destiny”. I loved Jordan’s tongue sticking out, I love Steph Curry’s stroke. I got to watch Chet Forte practice trick shots every day in 1956-1957, my crew locker, indoor winter tanks season, was just above the basketball court. So: I know great strokes: and I’ve never seen a greater smoother more repeatable, less defendable stroke than Steph’s.
Meantime: I wear beards, have since I was 15 years old. Beards are not a big deal to me: with an exception: I hate James Harden’s beard! I hate it!
So, it’s no more than justice, that Curry out-defends Harden last night, even if he doesn’t outscore him! Warriors beat the Rockets! Keep it up, Curry. Go all the way.
Do Not Miss the recent gallery of Curry in interview with his daughter on his lap! Wonderful daddy, wonderful daughter. Maybe humans aren’t quite 100% evil.

Draymond and the Marquis
Tom Brady should be celebrated forever because it was he, favorite son, star white boy, who sparked the NFL Commissioner to punish him for the egregious DeflateGate. Brady May have connived in the illegal balls; the Commish unquestionably paraded professional stupidity re: science. If the Commish hadn’t been such an ass could Brady have looked so fabulous in his 2nd half comeback in SB VI?
So what are the bb execs doing while Draymond is giving their sport a bad image? Can’t Steve Kerr tell his bad boy to watch himself? How many billions of dollars would be lost if the public gets fed up with poor sportsmanship? Or is it the poor-sportmanship that brings them salivating for mayhem in the first place? We need a study: gate receipts for playoff games in which LeBron steps over opponents? or receipts for games in which no one steps over anyone: not Laimbeer, not Iverson, not Oakley?
And speaking of ubiquitous racism (and universal hypocrisy), how about a study on historically bad behavior from “white” kleptocrats and warfare norms say among the Zulu?
I heard of the Marquis of Queensbury’s Rules before I knew what balls were or that I would some have some myself. No hitting below the belt Bugs Bunny joked as he wore a belt up over his ears.
Of course guys hit below the belt: that was the easiest, quickest way to slow an opponent down. As a kid I assumed that the Marquis’ point was to be humane, not hurt the fighters. No, no. noone gave a shit about the combatants: the point was to protect the hand and fingers from breaking against sharp bone. Only a fool aimed for the head. But the gentlemen bettors wanted knockouts! knock down&out. Bad behavior moved the quids & the sixpence.

So, forget Steve Adams’ comfort in his body, the gentlemen are screaming for blood, for immobility, for terminal appearances.

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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