Monday, February 4, 2008

The All-Star Post With an Abraham Lincoln Reference

The cold being here and the NFL finale coming to pass is an exciting trigger for me. Now random sports fans (and people who write words about sports) begin to turn their fickle heads to give the NBA the much desired look-back. Whew, just in time for the upcoming All-Star Game Festivities (when in doubt, capitalize everything).

Unfortunately, if you’re like me and absolutely love the ASGF, this may not go well. Every year I forget that a healthy chunk of these people just want to give a reminder that the league is in a perennial state of decline. I once sat through a conversation with a dilettante who spoke with the confidence of a purist; he enlightened me that the dunk contest was boring and irrelevant. Almost makes me wish it was still football season.

Vince Carter proved that the death of the dunk contest had been greatly exaggerated about eight years ago. A logical person might think that would stop a hater or two, at least for a while. Nope.

You can try to debate the issue. You can try reason. How many classic dunks has this contest given us since Vince? Jason Richardson. Josh Smith. Iggy. JR Smith. Dwight. I’ll stop because I’m tired of putting in links. Still, in my personal history of defending this event, such logic has failed to convince.

NBA haters in general are an odd bunch. Like Lincoln’s obsession to march on Richmond (yes, I’m making this analogy), they launch failed attempt after failed attempt and disregard advice from those advocating another perspective. Of course, Lincoln eventually listened, and the war was over. That would be a key difference. No listening here, and no end in sight. Real haters rarely get out of siege mode.

Talk all you want about the NBA’s growing global profile, about huge stars and great talents that will ensure interest for years. About young teams on the rise, about a changing style, about beauty. It won’t matter.

I’m officially retired from this argument, and I would hope some of those on the other side will grow weary at some point. Perhaps hibernation between the end of the Super Bowl and the start of spring training would be a worthy avenue to pursue. That way you can have sufficient distraction from this loathsome league and spare us your crotchety venom.

We can get back to enjoying our All-Star Game Festivities in peace. The game itself, the dunk contest, 3-point shootout, skills competition, I’ll even watch whatever weird WNBA synergy thing they awkwardly throw on this year (but mostly out of spite).

And next season, Brandon Roy in the skills competition, please.


Agree said...

The NBA needs bigger names in the contest. They won't even have to do amazing dunks just them being there will bring back the dunk contest. Imagine Kobe, Lebron, Wade, McGrady all in the contest.

Jack Brown said...

No doubt it'd be better, but I don't think the dunk contest needs to be "brought back," it's been here all along. But since the big timers won't do it, I'm happy having the guys that want to impress people.

john said...

Also, as a sometime Lincoln scholar, I think it's more than debatable that Lincoln was obsessed with marching on Richmond. As to his generals, that is a different story, but it would be my contention that the number one most frustrating issue that Lincoln had with his generals was that they couldn't stop thinking about Richmond and all he wanted them to think about was fighting the army in front of them.

Jack Brown said...

Yeah, but that wouldn't be as snappy to use in an All-Star post. I've heard Lincoln's Richmond-obsession has been exaggerated in popular history, but still thought it would be funny to reference.

The idea of a potential Lincoln debate on this blog, after this post, is strangely awesome.

John, if you want to use your scholarliness on an awesome NBA/Historical Figure methaphor post, email me.

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