(3) Lewis Scott, Celtic Pride vs. (14) Henry Steele, One on One
We wondered, right up until tip, whether this game would ever tip-off. The arena was dead silent. The few fans that were allowed in off the street weren’t even sure what to do. In Salt Lake City, most of them have never even heard of one-on-one. The only kids who play ball walk around and shoot on the retractable hoops in their backyards. There are no playgrounds, no one is playing for anything. It’s all too nice. No attitude. Read More »
(6) Butch McRae, Blue Chips vs. (11) Jimmy Chitwood, Hoosiers
You didn’t expect this. Old-school gym. A balcony above the court, one where the edges stick out into the corners. A couple of rusty rims with wooden backboards. Maybe 300 people in the gym and that’s being optimistic. But you’re here nonetheless, and you can’t shake this feeling. It’s balling up inside of you, in your stomach, coming up through your intestines, overbearing your lungs. It’s excitement and anxiety all wrapped in one. Read More »
(4) Jesus Shuttlesworth, He Got Game vs. (13) Travis Porter, Passing Glory
Some lady is leaning out the window of a building, cupping her hands and screaming down some 10 stories to the court. You can’t even make out her face from here. But you can definitely hear her. Jesus Shuttlesworth looks up out of habit – a childhood habit – and shrugs. He’s used to it. Every person, newspaper, media member, fan, friend and opponent has used his name in one way or another, sometimes to praise him, sometimes to mock him. It is what it is. Read More »
(5) Scott McKnight, Just Wright vs. (12) Scott Howard, Teen Wolf
At one point in time, this wouldn’t have been close. An NBA All-Star versus some average high school kid who couldn’t have been more than 5-5? No way. Wrap it up. Play to five and that’s all we’ll need to see. The crowd can go home. We can move on.
But things turned all upside down. One player got engaged, got hurt, lost his heart and then found it all again. The other player changed into a werewolf and became a hairy animal on the court. Read More »
(8) Thomas Shepherd, Above The Rim vs. (9) Saleh, The Air Up There
“Yoooo, he’s playing ball without a ball!”
No, couldn’t be. But there he is on the other end of the court, warming up without any type of basketball. From right to left, he moves, smoothly faking dribbles around his legs. The night air is stuffy; the sky, completely black. But we all can see him.
“He looks like he’s auditioning for the Twilight Zone, b…” Read More »
(1) Neon Bodeaux, Blue Chips vs. (16) Kenny Tyler, The 6th Man
We’re all walking, through the swamps, past the railroad, onto the town’s one main road. There are cracks all over the cement, and houses lining the street, some boarded up and some falling apart. You notice a sign to your left. Algiers, Louisiana it reads in red. Where are we? Everyone seems to be thinking.
It takes you back to the meeting you had with a scout three days prior. A dark, rainy night, all you wanted was a drink and a song. It was late. You were tired. But your friend starting talking. Read More »
The line stretches almost around the block. There’s a girl, black hair pulled back in a pony tail, with a Spalding basketball nestled between her arm and torso. A man with an afro squints forward, his eyes panning through the line ahead of him before reaching down with a finger to clean a sliver of dirt off his Jordans and adjusting a device on his ankle. Towards the back, a man dressed in rags is telling anyone that’ll listen that he could once grab a quarter off the top of the backboard. Read More »
Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)
Conversation is the focal point of sports. We endlessly strive for absolutes when none exist. We make lists and rankings. We compare. And ultimately we arrive at arbitrary, widely accepted conclusions that inform the conventional conscience. We saw that manifest itself in Dime’s 1-on-1 Tournament. When Dirk dealt those deathblows to Kobe and ‘Melo, many of you scoffed. Angrily. When D-Wade decimated LeBron and any semblance of self-respect he had in the reserve tanks, you shook your head. Read More »
Dwyane Wade (photo. Jonathan Mannion)
I’ve pretty much run out of things to say about these guys. So I took the advice of Dime commentor Chicagorilla and had the two battle it out on the NBA 2K11 blacktop.
Don’t worry, I resisted my every urge to participate and let the computer duke it out against itself to obtain the most unbiased outcome. So what happened? Read More »
*You can also vote for the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade semifinal.*
That was Martin Kessler’s first reaction when I threw out Kobe Bryant’s name. Two years ago, that reputation held water. When we gave all our to LeBron, there was nothing left for Kobe. Great but selfish. Confident bordering on arrogant.
Then LeBron did his whole Miami thing and the tide turned. Our venom shifted to a new and unsuspecting victim. But the question remained: how do we treat Kobe now? Read More »