Topic: NBA

November 14, 2012

Rasheed Wallace has been very good at basketball at different points in his career. But while the Knicks' 38-year-old victory blunt's best ball is in the past, he remains the NBA's foremost, most inspiring and most indelible transgressor of norms, compiler of technicals, and general outlaw genius.

November 13, 2012

Danilo Gallinari looks goofy, out of sorts and generally out of place on the court, right up until the moments in which he looks like star. The good news, for him and the Denver Nuggets and fans of the implausible and graceful, is that Gallo seems to see himself as the star, not the doofus.

November 12, 2012

The Tracy McGrady who received a hero's welcome at China's Qingdao Liuting Airport was not the player that has slipped into itinerant bench-player status in the NBA over the last few seasons. He wasn't the superstar who lit up the league in the early part of the last decade, either, of course. This T-Mac was something altogether different: a different type of star in a different type of basketball culture, and possibly China's next great basketball mogul.

November 12, 2012

Consider Andrew Bynum, born into a life of relative comfort and coasting since then on his genetic good fortune, standing now as Goliath in the City of David. He is doubly blessed in every sense, but he has to play his home games in Philadelphia. And in that regard, and for those reasons, Andrew Bynum seems somehow doomed.

November 12, 2012

It may be uncomfortable to think about, but professional basketball players -- like any entertainers -- are essentially commodities; shipped from here to there like very tall stalks of televised corn for us to watch. But comparative advantage has taught us that sometimes, some places are just better than others at making certain products and basketball is no different. Over the few days, we'll look at where basketball players come from and where they go from there. 

November 9, 2012

Brandon Jennings wants to be noticed, and plays wildly and well enough to deserve it. But at the start of his fourth season in the league, and one that will do much to define the rest of his career, Jennings still has some self-inflicted blemishes, and they don't look any better in the spotlight.

November 8, 2012

Derrick Rose is a great player, and his injury was indeed a big deal. But the attempt by Adidas to turn him and his recovery into a Cause We All Can Believe In just feels... well, dumb, but also kind of sad.

November 8, 2012

Given that we already know who Demarcus Cousins is—an enigmatic but increasingly undeniable force, and someone who could well be the NBA's best big man in a year or two—it's amazing how much of a mystery he remains. Until, that is, you remember that he's still just 22 years old.

November 7, 2012

It's not just that Rajon Rondo finds passing lanes where there are not apparently passing lanes, or regularly reaches seemingly unreachable spaces on the floor. That's remarkable enough, but how he gets there is what makes him great. What Rondo offers on a nightly basis is the possibility contained in the unknown. He is the deviant in a league that thrives on ritual and repetition.

November 6, 2012

Nikola Pekovic is a working man who happens to have a bruising, difficult job. He is also a hooded warrior who wants your skulls. Both of those things. This is what makes him great. It's complicated.