The Heat welcome back the affable-but-troubled Mike Beasley. Does this pickup, along with the Greg Oden signing, flip the script on whether to cheer for the Heat?
Andy G: In I Wear the Black Hat, Chuck Klosterman devotes a chapter to hating rock bands. He runs through a list of every band he’s ever hated, explains the specific point in his life, and why that particular group evoked irrationally negative feelings from him. The chapter is largely focused on The Eagles. In the end, Klosterman forms the discomfiting conclusion that he now no longer possesses the capacity to hate rock bands. Even The Eagles. (He included the band three different times on his list.)
He explains why this is problematic:
Being emotionally fragile is an important part of being a successful critic; it’s an integral element to being engaged with mainstream art, assuming you aspire to write about it in public. If you hate everything, you’re a banal asshole . . . but if you don’t hate anything, you’re boring. You’re useless. And you end up writing about why you can no longer generate fake feelings that other people digest as real.
Klosterman goes on to explain his “brain’s unwillingness to hold an unexplained opinion,” and articulates a general feeling that I’ve struggled with on this blog. Caring about sports — or art — is not a rational exercise. Hating a professional athlete or sports team is as dumb as hating a rock band. Hating a professional athlete is as irrational as loving one. Those are emotions far too strong to hold for people that don’t even know that you exist.
Reading that chapter reminded me of the Miami Heat and its best player, LeBron James.
I hated The Decision. I hated LeBron’s *decision* itself to overlap his talents with Dwyane Wade’s, I hated the primetime stomach-punch to Cleveland, and I hated the Kobe rip-off, “taking my talents” delivery pitch. I hated everything about LeBron exercising his rights as a free agent.
Four things about Heat Hatred:
Clyde Frazier: What a cool basketball player looks like.
[co-authored by Andy G & Patrick J]
The great Chuck Klosterman once wrote about Billy Joel that there was absolutely no relationship between his greatness as a musician and his [lack of] coolness as a person. Klosterman distinguished Joel from, well, every single other rock artist in this regard. He explained:
What [rock stars] are is more important than what they do. And this is not a criticism of coolness; by and large, the musical component of rock isn’t nearly as important as the iconography and the posturing and the idea of what we’re supposed to be experiencing. If given the choice between hearing a great band and seeing a cool band, I’ll take the latter every single time; this is why the Eagles suck.
Bill Simmons works for ESPN
. He’s also called “The Sports Guy.” Apparently he writes a column called “The Sports Column
.” He also has a podcast called The B.S. Report
, which is a free-flowing conversation that occasionally touches on mature subject matter. You know the drill.
So yesterday Simmons did a two-part podcast: Part 1 featured Kevin Love and Wi-ZARDS superfan, Joe House ( Play Download
); Part 2 featured Dirk Nowitzski and Wi-ZARDS superfan Joe House (Play Download
). (CAVEAT: Neither of us have had an opportunity to listen to them yet because of these niggling “day jobs” we have to do, but we’re both pretty psyched to hear them because the Simmon-House duo rules and so do Dirk and K-Love.)
In anticipation of listening to these podcasts, and without a Wolves game to discuss, we decided to look back on our favorite BS Report moments and propose who we would pay to hear on future B.S. Reports.
Andy G’s Favorites
- Bill Walton (Describes the genius of John Wooden in ways only Walton can. Also, I believe this podcast holds the BS Report title for ‘most awkward ending’ when Bill S. asks some question about the late-70’s Blazers breaking up and Bill W. abruptly ends interview. Eds. note: I’m not able to find the direct link to the Walton podcast so I’m posting his general ESPN Audio link, which contains links to many sources of Walton goodness.–AG)
- 3-Man Weave with Mark Stein & Ric Bucher (Simmons loves the Celtics. Stein loves the Mavericks. Bucher loves the Lakers. They rib each other about these allegiances in funny ways, and all three are in touch with the league.)
- Chuck Klosterman (Klosterman could write or speak about tax returns and make them seem interesting. He also knows hoops (though more NCAA than NBA) and his discussions with Simmons on the BS Report are must-listen. One that sticks out is from the week that Charlie Sheen went batshit.
- Jalen Rose (No surprise that BS hired him for HIS OWN podcast on the Grantland Network. He knocked his BS Report out of the park. Lots of good stuff about 90’s NBA and the Fab Five.)
- Steve Kerr (Knows the game, has great stories, and speaks well. He’s a perfect fit for the podcast format.)
Patrick J’s Favorites
- David Kahn (Obviously.)
- Bob Ryan (Breakdown of Pierce as best Celtics scorer of all time–yes, greater than Legend; discussion of how McHale’s greatness is likely to be forgotten)
- Chris Herren (So much Boston here, it warmed my heart just to hear the accent. Also, penetrating discussion of LOYALTY and Rick Pitino. Verification of why Paul Pierce is great.)
- Joe House 2011/12 Season Preview, Part I and Part II(The 2011/12 season preview episodes is funny as hell. House says “Anus Kanter” and I believe he was being earnest about it. That NEVER happens.)
- Larry Bird (Actually, this one was kind of a yawner given that Legend is my all-time favorite basketball player. Bird opines on Rubio (yes, he’s great) and Kobe vs. LeBron (Both are great, Lebron might be more fun to play with, but you’re more likely to win rings if you’re on Kobe’s squad.
Worst B.S. Report
- Blake Griffin (He’s a more stale interview than Derrick Rose. Only sunshine here is that that hearing Simmons pulling teeth to get Griffin to talk was sort of entertaining ‘cause it was almost as hard to listen to as that scene in Swingers where Mikey keeps calling and leaving messages on that chick’s answering machine.)(Eds. note: Who am I forgetting? –PJ)
- (Eds. note: You are forgetting BILLY HUNTER: (ALL listeners were pissed off listening to it (an inherent truth when you cross people who care enough about league to listen to a Billy Hunter interview with outrage of same people from LOCKOUT) and Hunter had nothing interesting to add. I took away no enjoyment from that listen. At least when David Stern comes on, he’s going to piss you off in interesting ways.–AG)
Let’s up the ante: Who WOULD be a great BS Report guest? (Bill, are you reading?)