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Lebron is basketball’s great value hunter. He drives the lane, hits open shooters, avoids buzzer heaves. He shot 56% from the field last year and is shooting 57% this year, an obscenity for a wing player. He and Wade have bragged about their efficiency competitions.

So what the hell is this shot? An off the dribble three, contested by Igoudola one of the three best wing defenders in basketball, a three when a two would take the game to overtime. There’s no good strategic reason to take this shot. But everyone’s vacation starts tomorrow and no one wants to play this inevitable overtime, because if Lebron goes for two, he absolutely will get it. So he just completely abandons his standard hunt-for-efficiency operating procedure and heaves up a wacky one. Look at how much faded to avoid Igoudola’s contest! “If it goes in, it will be awesome, if not, at least this game is over.” And thank God it did, because then Lebron marched around like a killbot in a production of Stomp!

REGARDING PAUL GEORGE’S GAME SEALING STEAL AGAINST ISAIAH THOMAS LAST NIGHT

End of this highlight reel.

When it happened live on TV, it was confusing, like nothing happened at all. Isaiah Thomas had the ball, then Paul George had the ball, as if it were the most reasonable thing in the world.

I was writing notes in bed last night and I swore that Thomas had made a small mistake that George took advantage of. I remembered Isaiah putting his dribble out too far and George taking the ball. Watching again this morning, I saw that Thomas was just doing a routine, low risk in-and-out dribble to either to draw the defense away from Marcus Thorton who was running off a sort of lazily set screen by Aaron Gray. My memory was wrong, George wasn’t exploiting anything, he was dominating Thomas with a finesse movement.

At first, you can see that Thomas doesn’t know what happened either. He feels the pressure on the ball, but his legs keep moving forward like he’s still in control of the ball while he turns his head to see George with the ball.

Thomas is short, and I don’t know if that makes this more or less impressive. It’s less impressive because Thomas’s size made it possible for George to reach damn near all the way around him to hawk the ball. But Thomas’s side and wingspan make his dribble so low that anyone getting a clean steal on his live dribble would have to play it completely perfectly, which George did.

The shorter an NBA player is, the more extraordinary his extraordinary quality has to be for him to succeed. Nate Robinson is an insane supernatural freak athlete who probably could have been an irritating presence any sport. Iverson distinguished himself by taking on insane minutes and working like a lunatic in nearly all of those minutes. Thomas isn’t an athlete like those two, but his his jump shot and his handle are fucking immaculate and his mental approach is ironclad. Him getting picked clean at the end of a game isn’t a rational happening. If that had been a foul he would have known it and complained about it. Earlier in the game an uncalled foul irritated him so much that he reacted by dominating George Hill and forcing the Pacers to switch George onto him. But he knows he’s been got this time.

We associate dominance in basketball with extraordinary force. Griffin dunks on Perkins. Mutumbo blocks any number of shots and waves his finger. Shaq backs down some sorry-ass-small-by-Shaq-standards guy and crams on him. Tony Allen skates around the court like a madman, using his strength and pure will to shutdown his unfortunate cover. But skill can be dominant too. Think about Hakeem ruining Robinson’s life with pivoting action or Carmelo’s bevy of rehearsed turnaround mid-rangers from last night’s Knicks game or Paul George’s every so slight leg and arm movement to create a turnover where none presents itself.

It was absolutely perfect that is happened on the road, too. Imagine the same scenario in the Fieldhouse: George gets the pick on Thomas and THE CROWD YELLS AND HOOTS AND CHEERS! It would’ve ruined the purity of the moment, a big fat highlight for the home crowd instead a confusing play that just happens out of no where and is greeted by a few groans but mostly indifference. Even the Kings announcer said “And the Kings turn it over” with a “Well, this again” sigh. A subtly irritated response for a subtly dominant play.

A LIST OF THE SONGS I’VE HEARD THAT I ENJOYED THE MOST:

There were 13 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Unbelievers, Hannah Hunt (Vampire Weekend)
  2. Maxim’s I, (Julia Holter)
  3. On Sight, New Slaves (Kanye West)
  4. Sunbather (Deafheaven)
  5. The Fall, (Rhye)
  6. Renée Falconetti of Orléans (Jenny Hval)
  7. Ohm, (Yo La Tengo)
  8. T.H.M., Monomania (Deerhunter)
  9. Girl Called Alex, (Kurt Vile)
  10. Green Vapors, (Shellshag/Screaming Females)
  11. Marshall Dear, Husbands (Savages)
  12. Void (Superchunk)
  13. in another way, wonder 2 (My Bloody Valentine)

Those were actually in random order, but coincidentally, “Unbelievers” was actually probably the song I enjoy most this year. That or “On Sight,” which is like if Kanye made a Big Black song and preserved the most obnoxious parts of both of those acts.

This is, of course, a terrible list because I didn’t listen to something of my definition of what is worth listening too is too myopic. 

I also listen to podcasts: The best podcasts this year were The Best Show, WTF and How Was Your Week? AKA the podcasts that are always the best because they are smart and empathetic and funny. Love, Corbin.

Regarding the Best Show, Which is my Favorite Thing in the Universe and is Ending Tomorrow.

My dad doesn’t listen to music very often. When I was a kid he had two CDs in the car: Sammy Hagar’s Greatest Hits, and Bad Company’s Greatest Hits. Between these CDs and his preferred radio station, KGON (Portland’s home for real classic rock) I must’ve heard “I Can’t Drive 55” and “Bad Company” 200 times.

Relevant audio.

Whenever Tom used Bad Company to hang up on someone, I laughed and laughed and laughed. Listening to Tom hang up on a steady stream of chumps was always a profound delight, but I also remembered my dad listening to “Bad Company” and how goofy/fantastic I always thought the drum kick was. Tom took something I was sure no one else had ever thought about and turned it into comedy gold.

The Best Show, it is often said, makes very little sense when you first listen to it. It takes time to catch up both with Tom’s abrasiveness, the obscurity and connections of the Wurster bits, of Tom’s odd cultural frames of reference (Like, for instance, the Bad Company drum kick.). But once you feel ingratiated into Tom’s worldview, you’re so in that listening to a three-hour radio show every week is like second nature. It’s a special thing that creates its own language between Tom and the listeners.

Tom’s Bad GOMPany routine gets me every time. I’m sure that everyone who listened had something different, some different way that Tom said something that connected to them and made them laugh on the bus or in the car or on the exercise bike or while cooking dinner. Best Show for life.

awaaaaake

I am awake in the middle of the night, which doesn’t usually happen. I am sad because of shit I cannot control. I thought I was going to be able to sleep earlier. I took two melatonin and got through two hours fine, then I woke up and was able to go down for a little while longer but now I am awake and looking at a computer screen so so long to that bullshit. Here is an ABBA song about how I am feeling. Also my mouth tastes like garbage

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