Kenneth Faried isn't an especially polished or skilled basketball player. But in his unrelenting verve and the way that he makes the most out of chaos, Faried is as good an example of what makes the NBA fun to watch as anyone else in the game.
For the last nine years, three friends have made painstakingly crafted, fully comprehensive rap songs dedicated to the NBA All-Star Game and its participants. Is it impolite to ask why and how they keep doing this?
Kobe Bryant's new Twitter feed reveals some, suggests much, and is generally and totally gripping and weird. So, pretty much perfect for Kobe Bryant, then, and a little masterpiece of opaque virtuosity.
Marquis Daniels is a veteran NBA role-player for a living, and a Gucci Mane collaborator as something more than a hobby. The overlap between a day gig as a defense-minded wing player and a sideline in trap music isn't immediately apparent, but it mostly comes back to playing the part required.
It's not just that Dirk Nowitzki revolutionized the position he plays on the floor, although he did do that. But in becoming both a great player and a NBA champion, Nowitzki also exploded his own narrative, and won the right to write his own ending.
Joakim Noah was a widely reviled disaster in Chicago, right up until the moment that he became the best and most reliably berserk reason to watch the Bulls. During the good times and the bad, Noah has always been himself. In his new, All-Star guise, he's simply more himself than ever.
Smush Parker was years removed from his last NBA game when he played in the most important game of his basketball career. That game happened to be an outwardly insignificant basketball game between two losing Greek teams, during the darkest days of that nation's economic crisis.
Paul Pierce has been toying with opponents and the game for nearly a decade and a half. It's strange how easy it is not to notice by this point, at least until you remember that getting you not to notice sets up everything else Pierce does.
One way or another, it appears likely that the Sacramento Kings are leaving the city they've called home since 1985. There's a deeper sense of loss, then, alongside all this familiarly Kings-ian losing. But there's also and already the sense that the Kings never quite happened in the first place.