When The NBA Prey Becomes The NBA Shill

Another NBA Season; Another Jurassic Park Raptors ESPN Commercial. This is one of the strangest NBA traditions.

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I Ain’t Playing Around With The NBA Play-In Tournament

Having lived through another NBA Play-In Tournament my negative emotions and dislike of the experience has only deepened.

It’s still a Hell. No.

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The Kyrie Irving Booster Shot…

I’m so curious to see/know/understand how Kyrie Irving will impact the Nets.

What does it all mean for Brooklyn’s D?

What does it all mean for Brooklyn?

Will his vaccination status (a choice he freely made!) become an obnoxious distraction? Not being vaccinated is the new kneeling. If the entire team is comfortable with his vaccination status then he has zero obligations to take a “shot” for the team.

While the science is sound as a pound this whole pandemic we’ve over sold the “benefits” of militant social solidarity. This ain’t high school, yo: a trail means you’re just following in somebody else’s footsteps. Yes some people won’t follow the pandemic rules; nobody promised us a fair life. His vaccination status is his issue not mine; I ain’t taking that on.

Why didn’t Kyrie Irving play earlier in the season? Even part-time? That seems silly now.

How long will it take for him to ramp up into game shape?

And with his return and the Chicago Bulls heating up how does this impact the East?! (Here’s my honest truth: I have zero respect for the Bucks. The coach is lousy and frowzy; I wouldn’t trust him in a pie eating content.)

After all the hype and all the talk; I had to see it to believe it but is real. Kyrie Irving really has returned to the NBA.

(Canada and Toronto are taking stupid pills so he will not be playing here. Raptors illogically cannot host fans (again!); starting January 15 Canada will prohibit any athletes who are unvaccinated from entering. Sigh. What’s the data and specific metrics that prompted that decision?)

Here’s his first bucket…welcome back!

Kyrie Irving’s Final Stats from His First Game This Season…Nets defeated the Pacers 129 to 121. A win is good.

So many questions but I guess for now I can go zen and just enjoy the moment. #BallorFall

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Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

Championship Ignorance

Sometimes you know something yet you really don’t know something.

In the NBA the Championship Trophy is called the Larry O’Brien. Right? Common knowledge.

It’s named after commissioner Larry O’Brien who expanded and fortified the NBA from 1975 to 1984: just as Jordan was coming in and David Stern was taking over.

I believe most people know that.

What I just clued in was that’s the same Larry O’Brien who had an office in the Watergate complex: it was broken into on June 17, 1972 which ultimately led to the resignation of President Nixon. Yeah!

The penny finally dropped reading Pete Croatto’s fascinating NBA book: From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA.

I dunno why I’ve been pantslessly wandering this earth thinking those were 2 different Larry O’Briens.

Sometimes you know something yet you really don’t know something. And knowing is half the battle.

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177 | Kyle Thrash (Maybe Next Year)

My Summer Lair Chapter #177: What’s The Best Way For A Sports Fan To Show Love For His Team?

You know what’s a popular aspect of sports fandom I’ve never understood? The topless guys all lined up in a row each with a large hand-drawn letter on their bare chest: sometimes they spell the name of the team like Eagles sometimes it’s a different message. Many NFL games are cold why not just make a poster? And worse it’s never the ones you want getting naked.

To get a better sense of sports fandom I’ve invited director Kyle Thrash to My Summer Lair to discuss his NFL documentary Maybe Next Year.

The doc follows Eagles fans like Eagles Shirley, Bryant, Barry, and Jesse while exploring the powerful intersection between their Eagles fandom and personal lives during the course of the 2017-18 season. Which turned out to be a winning season. On Super Bowl Sunday, February 4, 2018, the Eagles faced the 5-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. And won! The Eagles won Super Bowl LII, defeating the Patriots, 41-33.

Yet this was not an easy season nor was many of the lives and experiences of Eagles fans easy. Victory was in doubt.

Yes, this is a documentary about Philadelphia Eagles fandom but it’s a documentary about all of us. This is a football movie that isn’t about football. Winning championships makes cities better: winning makes life better.

In our pre-COVID life, the bus was late, the winter day was freezing, the boss was in a mood there was so much that was not in our control that affected us. Sports is like that: I can cheer, I can boo, I can chant defense and I can make comments about a player’s mother but I have no control. Except over my emotions, I can express my passions…connect with others, laugh during the good times, and find comfort in the dark moments.

And you can see all of this…all of these common experiences in Kyle’s documentary. Including hope: Because Maybe Next Year is ultimately about hope. Recognize and celebrate hope whenever you find it. Hope is the fuel of the underdog.

Maybe Next Year @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Thursday November 5, 2020 at 4:30pm EST

NBA Playoffs 2020: Bubble Over!

Well, that’s that: the NBA Bubble has popped: the bubble has wrapped.

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NBA Playoffs 2020: Game 7!

It’s the second Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs!!

How Sweet It Is.

Though as we saw with the first series: Nuggets vs Jazz the ebb and flow/momentum of a playoff series in the Orlando Bubble doesn’t unfold smoothly or traditionally. It partly explains how a team that was .5 away from being up 3 is now facing a Game 7.

And of course, there’s no home court so the psychology of players and how players feed off energy are all gonna be affected. It’s all weird.

Ultimately Celtics vs Raptors will be determined by the Might of the Midgets: whichever deeply undersized guard shows up will be favoured by success.
One Shall Stand; One Shall Fall!

Great way to kick off the weekend. So getting a large meat lovers pizza for this.

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NBA Playoffs 2020: Game 7!

It’s the second Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs!!

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NBA Playoffs 2020: At The End Of The Fray

Did you watch the Nuggets-Jazz ending? One of wildest finishes for a Game 7; sloppy; some luck and it was all over: Jazz blew a 3-1 lead. That series was lots of fun…zero D it was like it was 7 All-Star Games.

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#CouchWorthy: Blackballed (Who Makes The Game?)

Today Quibi released more full episodes on YouTube including the first episode of Blackballed. Sigh. Set in 2014 Blackballed begins when audio of NBA owner Donald Sterling who was recorded…in his home making racist comments was irresponsibly given to the media. The doc follows the challenges the predominately black NBA players and coach (Doc Rivers!) faced as they formulated a response.

However, as you’ll see in this first episode…it starts off by criticizing Jordan for the whole “Republicans by sneakers!” thing…basically committing the “crime” of not speaking up which is contrasted with LeBron/DWade’s “modern activism.” (Muhammad Ali lost his Championship and years of his prime fighting time…LeBron put up a hoodie for Trayvon Martin. It’s really not the same inspiring athlete activism.)

My issue isn’t what Donald Sterling said/did: there was already plenty of evidence to suggest a pattern. I didn’t need the tapes and his recorded comments which of course were still wrong. My issue is that we comfortably glossed over how the comments were recorded.

Donald Sterling was recorded in his own home without his permission. Yo…we’re ok with that?! Nobody in the media…nobody in the NBA said anything. Really? I’m not comfortable with that at all.

I hope the doc eventually addresses that: because flat out that’s wrong. Why are we glossing this over? The ends do not in any way shape or form justify the means. There’s no way I’m willing to bend on this.

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