Friday, October 30, 2009

Greg Oden's Free Throws Land "In The Flowers"

Down 1.
Under 5 seconds to go.
You're at the line, shooting 2.

Every player ever to pick up a basketball has dreamt of this moment.

Minus the "clank it into the roses of the Rose Garden" part. It's too bad because Oden rebounded well and had a couple blocks. Sorry, Big Greg, but on this night your Blazers land on the Merriweather Post Pavilion side of the hype continuum. The season is long and you boys still have time to Hold Steady. And, luckily, you don't have to play against a flaming Caramello every night.

CaraMelo Count: 2

41 pts 6 rebs 3 assists 52% FG 18-19 FTs

ATTN: Carmelo

You keep this up and we'll need your billing address to give to our dentist.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Caramelo Count: 1

As deeply as it pains me as a Jazz fan to say it (only one game into the season too), The Melo balled last night*. The dunk (above) on Milsap alone (minus the post-dunk preening and self-affirmation) is enough to make me eat my first Caramello** of the season. Paul Milsap is one of my favorite players, a real hustler with game, but- hey- throw an outlet pass like that and you'll get what you deserve. You win this time, mellow Cara.

PS: The incessant blitz by the Thugget/Caramelo/ESPN camp about The Melo's MVP candidacy is nauseating. No one ever marketed their way to an MVP. Play like one, then think about getting one.

* Not surprisingly, Deron Williams turned in a near equal line but went under the announcers' Gush Radar.
MELO: 30 pts, 50% shooting, 1-2 3pt, 7-10 FT, +/- of -7, 8 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 2 TO, 1 blk
DWILL: 28 pts, 60% shooting, 2-3 3pt, 8-8 FT, +/- of +4, 3 reb, 13 ast, 1 stl, 5 TO

** Two "L"s. Who knew?

"The Official Site of Canada's Team"

Wow. The browser header on is trying pretty hard.

But they're undefeated and they added a second loss to the LeShaq Cavs. Stay undefeated and, without question, the Raptors will be Canada's Team.

A quick exit poll in downtown Toronto this afternoon capitalized on the immense season-opening buzz generated by the colossal win. Poll results show respondents' top choices when asked, "Which team is Canada's Team?"

1. Toronto Maple Leafs (currently 1-7-2)
2. Toronto Maple Leaves (a lot of respondents weren't sure about pluralizing)
3. Toronto Marlies (Maple Leafs/Leaves farm team)
4. Edmonton Oilers (6-5-1)
5. Minor Midget Jr Canadians (supposedly best junior team in the world)
6. Vancouver Canucks (6-6-0)
7. Ottawa Senators (6-2-2)
8. Calgary Flames (7-3-1)
9. Chicago Blackhawks (7-3-1) and this one has some blogosphere backing
10. Montreal Canadiens (6-6-0)

Other notables
17. Toronto Blue Jays (75-87)
26. Phoenix Suns (there is some loyalty to Nash)

29. whatever pick-up team Steve Nash is playing on
30. Toronto Raptors (1-0)
47. Alanis Morrisette's road crew softball team, The Jagged Little Steals

Next time, we'll poll outside of Toronto too.

Kim to Khloe: I thought we were going ring shopping

Number of Times a Laker Was a Distraction to a Kardashian : 1

It was overheard, even during the overwhelming applause as Adam Morrison collected his first of many championship rings, Kim complaining to her little sis about having to sit through a basketball game. She thought Khloe had promised to go ring shopping with her when she was invited to see her new brother-in-law "get his ring" on Tuesday night. Or maybe it was Lamar who didn't explain it right to his new bride. Either way it was a total drag for a certain Kardashian to be wasting her night stuck inside Staples Center when all along she could have been browsing the Jewelry District.

We agree...what a drag.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

910 Conversation: Northwest Division


Last postseason, I found myself in a position I never thought I’d find myself: rooting for Carmelo Anthony. It surprised me, but it was really my only option once he was one of few remaining obstacles between a) Kobe and a Shaq-less ring, and b) Zenmeister and the breaking of Red Auerbach’s record. I had no choice.

Neither of us at TBC are Melo fans. We’ll be upfront about that. But neither of us are morons either. The kid can ball. He’s an all-star who can exploit almost any matchup either with the jumper, the drive or the inside game. And he has the assassin instinct. No one is saying any different here. Still, something about Melo rubs us the wrong way. And it’s not just because I’m a Jazz fan and I have intra-conference angst. I don’t like the way he carries himself. He tries to be a thug but doesn’t back it up (see: swing at a Knick then retreat). I dunno. Just can’t root for the guy.

But we’re willing to eat crow. (Ask the Kings.) Or, in this season’s case, Caramelos. Let it be written: every time one of us has to say something like “gotta hand it to Carmelo” or “I hate to say it, but that was clutch” or anything like that, we will eat a Caramelo. We’ll keep a running tally of how many Caramelos we have to eat all season as a sign that we’re willing to be wrong and admit it.


We debated this one for awhile. Is Kevin Love the story? Is there a Ricky Rubio angle that hasn’t been leche-d a la muerte ? We liked the idea of Rambis and a clothesline, but Simmons got there first. It struck us that KG is way ahead of everybody on the T-Wolves all-time lists, to the point of being nearly untouchable. Such a young franchise with turnover like they’ve had doesn’t amass a lot of legacy. But we believe in Al Jefferson and his ability to be a legacy-type player. So, we’re tracking Al Jefferson’s ascent on the T-Wolves All-Time lists- scoring, rebounding, and whatever else he ascends. We’ll check in with who he ‘s passing. That means you, Terrell Brandon and Tom Gugliotta.


OK, media, we get it. You love Durant. And, no, we won’t sleep on the Thunder. Don’t worry.

Who we’re worried about are those poor, swindled Seattle-ites. Having both spent some time up in the NW this season, we got in touch with the depression and angst and resignation and bitterness that the Thunder left. So we’re going to look at Levels of Depression with parallels between Sonics and Nirvana fans. What’s the equivalent of having to watch Kurt marry Courtney? Hearing the Foo Fighters borrow liberally from Tom Petty? Thinking about Krist Novalesic? Seeing animated Kurt sing Bush songs on Guitar Hero? These are our questions.


So. Much. Hype.

So. Many. Expectations.

And to make things worse/better, Oden has shown signs of life in the always-reliable measuring stick that is the preseason.

This team is supposed to win. And supposed to win now. But will the hype hold up? We’ll gauge the Blazers’ success (and ability to live up to the never-ending buzz) on a scale that has Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion (a TBC whipping boy and, for the record, a completely overrated collection of “songs”) on the low end and The Hold Steady’s Boys And Girls In America (a TBC classic and, for the record, an album that everybody was freaking out [or backlashing against] about when it came out, only to have the hype actually not live up to the greatness of the record. So good.) on the high end. I don’t know for sure, but that would probably mean a trip to the Conference Finals at least. Ask me in the spring.

So. Much. Bolding. That bolding was disastrous, but it was either that or bold pretty much the entire paragraph.


Charlie T and I have given ourselves license and long leashes to talk about our favorite teams at will. No criteria. No need for any kind of objectivity whatsoever. And I am a Jazz fan. So prepare for some bias.

Not Just Ron Ron Say So (73)

I know, I know: I shouldn't be posting this until I have my Northwest Division preview up. Oh well. I figure news is news. Not that I broke it, but it's nice to know that I'm on the same wavelength as the L.A. Times, who- like me- see the Bull-ish ambition of this year's Lakers. Unlike me, they have official sources, quotes (Lakardashiodom going on the record), and credentials.

And yes, this was my secondary topic, but it's already news and they haven't even tipped off yet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

910 Conversation: Pacific Division


The truth is: any Don Nelson team has some intrigue. Any Stephen Jackson team has some intrigue. And, so far, any Stephen Curry team has some intrigue. Those are the facts.

Intrigue, if translated into the language of Jay Bilas, is upside, potential, intangibles. So we’re calling this Bay Area team The Jay Bilas All-Stars. Anyone who’s ever watched the NBA Draft or a college game called by Bilas has heard his staggeringly encyclopedic arsenal of noncommittal superlatives- great length, intangibles, upside, athleticism, recovery. We decided that these- the admittedly intriguing roster of the Golden State Warriors- are the kinds of players that inspire Bilas to run, not walk, to the thesaurus. We'll be looking for signs of Bilas-ness* in the Warriors.

*The irony that the two (arguably) most important players on this team (Jackson, Monta Ellis) never went to college yet the team is nicknamed after a college hoops aficionado like Bilas is unavoidable. But we’ll press on. I mean, we’ll tip some balls (Biedrins), make some hard cuts, bring some energy (Turiaf), provide instant offense (Curry), and hopefully have some good second jumpability if our first jumps fail.

Oh, the optimism that’s wafting through the L.A. air. Two teams that made the MLB league championships (may they rest in peace). Two teams that could make some noise in the NBA this year, with one sporting the ridiculously odds-on favorite for Rookie Of The Year. The praise is flowing like Botox. The hype is buzzing like a liposuction machine. This is L.A. to the seedy, heartless core.

But, underneath it all, people are nervous. They may not admit it; they may not want to even acknowledge that they’re denying it. But’s it’s there. The uneasiness. The doubts. They don’t trust anything that has Clippers written on it. And who can blame them? It’s a stench that won’t leave no matter how many times you scrub it. Players come to the Clippers with hope only to leave with “the stink.” Is this the season? Can Griffin & Co. become the official Exorcisers Of The Stink?

Well, to paraphrase ol’ Half Dollar, get wins or die trying. Our role? We’ll provide the visual aid. There’s one way to remove a stink with the potency and vintage of the Clippers' strain. Stay tuned this season to see if this year’s lucky Clips have the answer.


What's left to say about the Lake Show? Artest is a super interesting wild card in the mold of a more offensively-talented Rodman, which Zenphil has experience with.* Odom was a wise re-signing and looks almost sane in the formidably crazy shadow of RonRon. Their wing defense will be formidable as will their swagger. Gasol is by far the world's best Jar Jar Binks impersonator/power forward. Bynum is set to break out for the 10th straight season. They might miss Ariza. They might not. But their core is pretty wicked, as every prognostiblogger has said ad nauseum.

*I do have a theory that Artest’s uniform # (37) is not, as he says, a tribute to Michael Jackson, but rather a fittingly odd/backwards assertion of his goal this season: 73 wins. Break the record. Just this week, he was quoted saying that this team was one of the best ever assembled. If you think ambitious dudes like Kobe, Phil, Artest, etc don’t have history in their sights, you need to pay more attention to the cheesy X hat Phil wore after he broke Red Auerbach’s record. For their sake, I hope the pursuit of history doesn’t obscure their view of what it takes to just win the 2010 title. Maybe they should call Tom Brady, Belichick, et al for some pointers. Speaking of distractions **

**Hate to offer up the actual storyline in a footnote, but it does seem culturally appropriate. We’re going to track how often a Laker is a distraction to a Kardashian. Very simple. In fact, this is probably a good time to welcome my wife to the blog. She’ll be our Kardashian beat researcher. Like Jeff Tweedy, I have no reservations about her ability to keep us at least as in-the-know as those hacks at TMZ.


I love Steve Nash. I do. Let’s just get that little tidbit of journalistic objectivity out of the way.

I’m bummed that his title hopes are probably washed away. This season, for the Suns, the only thing we’ll track is how many ideas of Nash’s Shaq rips off.

So far (retroactive justice): 1. The reality show that Steve Nash would’ve been infinitely better at. 2. Go to a rival team to get back at a former team that loved you but couldn't keep you.


So little faith do we at The Black Converse have in this year’s Kings that we are willing to put our money where our mouth is.

On Friday, January 29, the Sacramento Kings make their last visit to Salt Lake City. A ticket up in the cheapest seats starts at $10 but– after all the ridiculous tacked-on fees– is $21.50 per person. We’ll say the Kings get $1.50/win. So, if the Kings have won 14 games at that point (basically the midpoint of the season), we’ll buy the seats and weather a Kings game. To give you an idea of what they’re up against, last season they finished 17-65. A reasonable 11-game improvement (new coach, stay healthy, keep star happy) will shut us up.

See you January 29, Sacramento?

(In a further note, if they hit 20 wins by that game, we’ll buy the next tier of seats. 25 and we go lower bowl.)

910 Conversation: Atlantic Division


There are plenty of storylines this year with Boston. How is KG? Really, how is he? How healthy are the old-timers? Do the Big Three have on more Big One in them? How will the offseason's soap opera affect Rondo? Have they done enough to keep pace with the movers and shakers of the East? If so, do they have what it takes to beat L.A.? Mainstream media will pay plenty of attention to those questions and more, so we’re simply going to focus on one number: 10.

Rasheed Wallace, that shrinking violet, reportedly predicted 72 wins for this year’s Celtics. For a team that nearly everybody (both of us included, southern California media excluded) likes to follow, we’re keeping it simple. We’re gonna countdown those 10 losses.


Confession: I used to be a NJ fan. I have a blue and red 1994 hat. Drazen Petrovic is one of my all-time favorite players. I loved Mookie Blaylock, Keith Van Horn, Jason Kidd. I even sort of held on during the VC phase. But, like Snoop Dogg’s marriage, it fizzled. Maybe that doesn't make me a true fan (but what are the governing rules of allegiance for picking your second or third team? I mean, I'll always be a Jazz fan first. After that, it's been the Dominique era Hawks, the Drazen era Nets, etc. I think you're allowed some whims and crushes for anything after your main team.)

Looking over the roster, there are certainly players with potential: Harris, Lopez, Simmons, Lee…I even liked Douglas-Roberts at Memphis. But, zzzzzz.

What really struck us was the concentration of girls’ names on this roster:






Is this a basketball team or a spirit squad? So, we’re dubbing them the Nettes (or Real Housewives of New Jersey) and keeping tabs on how this A Team Of Their Own fares with the rigors of being a WNBA team in the NBA. Also, we’re hoping they can lure Stacey Augmon and Dominique Wilkins out of retirement.


As a Utah fan, I have one and only one reason to care about the Knicks this year:

Utah owns the Knicks’ 2010 first round pick.

Please let them suck in epic ways. Please give the New York Post all sorts of “Not In The Knick Of Time” and other crappy headline puns on blowing it. All season, we’ll keep track of how Utah’s draft chances look and who the top prospects are.


As well-documented Springsteen fans, we’ll call this season Glory Days. We’ll check in with current and former Sixers to see how they view this season in contrast with past seasons (both players AND the franchise).


A team on the brink of losing its superstar in the gag-inducing hype of 2010 free agency tries to assemble a cast that’ll keep him there. But we’re after the story that’s really concerning the Raptors’ front office:


We’ll watch the power rankings of polled Canucks and their team preferences, as the Raptors fluctuate up and down. Will they end the season at the top? Or will they have Canadians asking, “NB, eh?” Stay tuned. Especially you, Chris Bosh.

910 Conversation - Southwest Division


Looking back over the last several seasons, not necessarily in any kind of scientific/wikipedia/Google way but in more of a "this is what I remember" way, it seems as if the Mavericks have a formula. The formula is: take Dirk, your franchise player, and bring in one guy to complement him. Just look– Jason Kidd last year, Shawn Marion this year, Jason Terry or Jerry Stackhouse or Josh Howard from years past. These might not seem like big moves in retrospect, but at the time there was quite the buzz going around them.

Now, by the same token, go check Sandra Bullock's IMDB page. There's a very similar philosophy/formula happening. That formula? Bring in some male lead who's getting a lot of attention and do either a romantic comedy or a suspense/thriller. There are some exceptions; Crash, Speed, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. But, think about it it's largely the same formula as the Mavericks have used for Dirk Nowitzki.
And, not surprisingly, the results have been very similar. Huge box office success but never really making anything memorable. Nothing that's gonna stand up to the test of time. So much so that we pretty much know what we're getting from a Sandra Bullock movie before we even see the preview just like we can guarantee what we'll get from a Dirk-led Mavericks team. What we at the Black Converse have decided to do as we semi-follow the Mavericks throughout the year is thus Bullocked: determine which Sandra Bullock movie this season parallels the most.

Cue Will Arnett's wonderful pitchman voice: Sandra Bullock is Dirk Nowitzki in the 2009-2010 Dallas Mavericks Season


The Rockets are starting to become a team you can't write off before the season. That's all thanks to the man behind the curtain, Houston's own Oz (the movie, not the show), Daryl Morey. This is no revelation. So what we've decided to do is award Mr. Morey with "TBC Smart Points" every time one of his moves pays off. We also reserve the right to take them away every time Tracy McGrady plays a minute this season. Also, if Smarties or Smartfood or Smartcars want to sponsor this portion of the blog, you know where to find us.


You might have expected us to contrast the Morey Smart Points with Chris Wallace Idiot Points. There are two reasons why that didn't happen: 1) We'd have to follow the Grizzlies too closely, something we cannot and will not commit to doing, and 2) they signed Allen Iverson to a rock bottom, one year rental agreement which was a really smart move in our eyes.

The more we dug into our vast NBA analytical databases, we discovered that any number in the thirties has the potential to play a large part in this Grizzlies season. They signed a thirtysomething Hall Of Famer, they might win thirty games, they could have thirty fans and they have a starting lineup in which each individual is consciencelessly capable of taking thirty shots per game. The theme of this Grizzlies season for us is Thirtysomething. We'll track anything related to thirty- losses, shot attempts, failed trade offers, you name it.


CP3 is the new KG. A great player who is overly committed to a lousy team that would win about 4 games if he ever left. Don't believe us? Just watch this blog and we will be sure to point out all the instances this season that parallel KG's torturous run in the Land O' Lakes.


Charles Barkley has famously given Tim Duncan the nickname Groundhog Day. A great nickname by all standards and possibly Sir Charles' finest moment outside his foot race with Dick Bavetta and his golf swing.

Looking at the movie Groundhog Day, we see a lot more similarities with the Spurs as an organization and not just with Timmy. Bill Murray and Gregg Popovich have a similar facial complexion. Manu Ginobili debates every spring whether or not he wants to come off the injured list and actually play, much like Punxsutawney Phil. And every Spurs season seems to play out very similarly to the previous one with only slight deviations. So we wonder this year, how will this season deviate from a typical Spurs season?

910 Conversation - Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks

Every season starts with plenty of expectations that cloud our view of reality. As a fan, your team is always going to win about 10 more games than they actually do and you never expect them to do worse than they did the year before. (Trust me, I talked myself into the Heat making a run at the playoffs about 5 different times during their incredible 15 win season.) Inflated expectations are a tough thing to manage throughout the season but they at least can give you hope before you finally succumb to reality. Lets be clear, overachievers do not have to worry about expectations. Its the achievers that have more and more to live up to each year (see: James, LeBron)
There was a heavy debate between Spike and myself about this Hawks team. They took a huge step in managing the expectations following their coming out party against the eventual champion Celtics two years ago by making it to the second round. Now their expectations have been raised so high that they will have to equal the greatest Hawks team (the one lead by the Human Highlight Film himself Dominique Wilkins) and make it to the Conference Finals.
So will this Hawks team live up to expectations or will they weight be too much to bear? Will a team that keeps adding interesting pieces (Jamal Crawford) and continues to retain vital ones (Mike Bibby) continue their climb into the Eastern Conference elite? Or will this just be another ho-hum Hawks team in the vein of those led by Adam Keefe?
Only time (and us) will tell...expectations vs reality...Adam Keefe or Dominique.

Charlotte Bobcats

Look at this roster. Is there any actual direction to the addition or subtraction to players on this team? When I try and figure out how this team came to be all I can picture is MJ, and whoever else has been involved, taking a boat out to the Island of Misfit Hoopsters and loading up on whatever was on sale at the time. Boris Diaw, Tyson Chandler, Larry Brown, Vladimir Radmanovic, the list goes on. The Bobcats are as close to a scrap heap as you will find. The only thing we find remotely interesting about this team is the looming possibility of another trip to the Island of Misfit Hoopsters. Stay tuned.

Miami Heat

As a longtime fan of the Miami Heat, I will be following their every move. Every twitpic of Michael Beasley, every 2010 rumor, every Dwyane Wade 50 point game to put away a team they should beat without Wade. And I will comment as I see fit, with no rhyme or reason other than this is the team I am interested in.

Orlando Magic

Would the Nets have traded Vince Carter to the Magic for Hedo Turkoglu straight up at any point during last season? Yes. Would the Magic? Doubtful. So what makes Vince Carter so appealing to the Magic fresh off a run to the Finals? We are not sure. They guy has shown up to a grand total of one dunk contest, a few college games and one Olympic Games. (on a side note, I wish Carter and Gary Payton would bring back the mini-afros they grew that summer) Other than that he has racked up quite the postage bill mailing in performances from around the globe.
We have all heard how he will be extra motivated because he will get to live in the house he owns just down the road from Tiger Woods, but nobody really believes he will actually show up for every game of the season. He will mail some in. Its just that simple. So we have decided to track the postage bill that he accumulates during the year. For example, first class postage for a 12 oz package from Oklahoma City to Orlando? $3.09. Maybe he just sends a postcard from Minnesota, $0.28. How he choses to send his "mailed in" performance depends on how big of an envelope he needs to pass the stink bomb onto the hometown fans. If he crack $20.00 worth of postage, Magic fans might want to start looking for a paper sack and some matches.

Washington Wizards

The Wizards have failed to live up to expectations since they tried to distance themselves from the the name Bullets and DC/Baltimore area crime. The reason they haven't lived up to those expectations is because of injuries, injuries and more injuries. They have yet to play any real big stretch of games with all their guys healthy on the court. Some call it bad luck, but we know different. You can try and leave a life of crime but it just won't let you. We call this The Curse of the Baltimore Bullets. The bullets, and injures, are going to keep flying until the Wiz make amends. Many professional analysts have the Wiz making a return to prominence and the playoffs. We've got them dealing with more injuries.

910 Conversation - Central Division

Chicago Bulls

Derrick Rose, fresh off his rookie season where he won rookie of the year and then took his game to another level in the playoffs, decided he needed to get back to his roots a little bit. So when the invitations came out for the Rose Family Reunion, he naturally thought it would be a good way to do just that. He loaded up the Bentley and headed out to the family farm in Iowa and luckily for you, through a family loophole, we happened to be there for the weekend and followed Derrick around while he caught up with family, got advice from distant relatives and most of all got in touch with his roots. Throughout the season we will drop small excerpts from various conversations had at the Rose Family Reunion.

Cleveland Cavaliers

If you don't know all that has gone on in Cleveland this off season and all that might go on in the future, I'm not sure why you have read this far. So with all the hype and expectation in Cleveland, we have teamed up with the biggest free agent of the summer of 2010 to give us an exclusive insight into the team and into his preparations for free agency. Thats right, all 7 foot 3 inches of Zydrunas Ilgauskus will be checking in from time to as a guest blogger here on The Black Converse. We couldn't be more excited.

Detroit Pistons

Tayshaun and Rip Hamilton remain all that is left from the D that was in Detroit. The hallmark of the 3 different Detroit championship teams was their defensive prowess. Even in the biggest stretch, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva would never be the missing pieces that would bolster a team defense. So a blue collar team in a blue collar city abandons its blue collar roots. At least they aren't making an electric engine Camaro.
With little interest in how this season plays out for the Pistons, it reminded us here of another Detroit native; Kid Rock. Our level of caring for the Pistons this season is proportional to our level of caring what happens with Kid Rock. We believe the parallels between Kid Rock and the Detroit Pistons don't end there.

Indiana Pacers

Danny Granger will score a lot of points. The Pacers will play 5 white guys at one time. Nobody will think twice about the Pacers as a legitimate threat to make the playoffs. But they did draft Tyler Hansbrough, or Psycho T as he is more affectionately know around here. We have decided to create a Psycho T Intensity Tracker. We will check in periodically to see where the Intensity Nobs have been turned to and with any luck he will turn them up to 11 this year.

Milwaukee Bucks

"There is nothing to see here. Move along."
Don't think Obi-wan Kenobi was talking about this year's Bucks team? You're right. He was talking about every Bucks team since Ray Allen and Big Dog. Unless hell freezes over, or thaws out if you are a Bucks fan, the only thing remotely interesting about this organization is Bango the Buck and his Tales of Intrigue.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Woolridge Makes Favre Concessions

Catching up with blogger and known Favre-averse sports fan Spike Woolridge after his lunch yesterday, TMZ is reporting that Woolridge may have admitted a few things:

- he has enjoyed watching Favre, kind of like he always did once all the offseason junk ended.
- he can't wait to see Favre at Lambeau. He knows it's cliche and bandwagon. He couldn't care less.
- he may or may not have Favre on his fantasy team. #3 behind Roethlisberger and McNabb, but still...
- the Panang Chicken might be taking the Massaman Beef's place as "dish you want your taste buds to taste last."

Introducing: THE 910 CONVERSATION

The long, dead summer is over. Now, we at The Black Converse like us some baseball–Charlie T the still-in-it Phillies, me the disappointing Red Sox. But, we got into this to blog about a mix of the NBA and music. Or to blog about them independently when the mix isn’t working. Kind of like Chris Cornell and Timbaland. Or Chris Cornell and the RATM dudes. Or Chris Cornell and short hair. Or Chris Cornell and anyone but Soundgarden or a home 4-track*. Whatever. The point is: The Black Converse dry season is over and NBA Opening Night is next week.

Which makes a fine segue into introducing THE 910 CONVERSATION. (Or 910 Converse-ation, if you're into hyphens and overselling the pun.) 910 because it's the 09-10 season. Conversation because obviously we, the Converse, will use this format to discuss the season. It's essentially a team-by-team criteria we've concocted for talking about the upcoming season, unique to each team. We're fully aware just how genius the title is. It took us a mere 20 minutes to come up with it. Give us a half hour and we'll be pulling Pulitzers.

See, we’re not hoop experts or statisticians, so we don't venture into the usual sportsblogger predictions. And we’re not hyperfans, so we won’t be breaking any news or giving any ultra in-depth insights or talking about how this offense doesn't suit that player or how this matchup should dictate that lineup shift. Please. We can admit to our limitations as normal NBA fans and, frankly, think that that’s what makes us readable anyway. We are the Chauncey Gardener/overweight sitcom schlub/Everyman of the hoop blogging world. Even if saying so seems pretty pretentious. Moving on.

True to the iChat roots of this blog, we've spent the past month or two IM’ing about every team- angles, new players, drama, degree of our interest, media oversaturation, stars, off-court life, and more. Eventually, for each team, we settled on (some would say compromised, others might say surrendered to) a storyline that we’re inclined to follow this season. Some teams (Bucks, Nets) interest us so little that we’ve chosen purposefully obscure non-stories that may only surface once all season. Other teams will get more regular coverage. And two teams (Jazz for me, Los Heat for Charlie T) will get the unabashed personal bias and unrepentant skewed focus of fans (There, I outed us. Now all the Carlos Boozer posts make sense. I feel a huge weight lifted.). We're hoping that THE 910 CONVERSATION will give us one thing that many NBA predictions don't have: accountability and legs. So many writers make predictions only to a) ignore them when it's convenient (aka: wrong), b) remind us of them when they're right (aka: rarely), or c) revise them when bandwagons and/or hype machines dictate.

Charlie T will introduce you to our Central, Southeast, and Southwest Division storylines and I’ll introduce the Atlantic, Pacific, and Northwest (incidentally, my favorite parts of the country) Division storylines. After that, we’ll both be posting whenever the spirit strikes us. So, just like every other sports blog, let's roll out the 2009-2010 preseason stuff.

NOTE: All of these storylines will be searchable by the following tag: “(Team) 910”


Friday, October 2, 2009

The Turning Seasons

This is my favorite time of the year. My fantasy football team is a bust so I can stop worrying about it, the college football championship has been decided (also off my radar for the most part), its jacket weather, good tv is back on and the NBA season is just starting to gain some hype. Yes I realize college football is only 4 games in, the NFL 3 and October will inevitably have a few days in the 80's that make me miss the summer. There will also inevitably be a slew of great albums come out between now and the end of the year, starting with this weeks Avett Brothers release and a new Thao album in the weeks to come. And its also NBA time.

Last night was the first official pre-season game. While I don't care that the Jazz beat down the Nuggets last night or that the Pacers could field a whiteout at some point tonight against the Bulls, I do care that something besides Michael Beasley's rehab stay in Houston is on the sports ticker under the NBA section. We, The Black Converse, are furiously working on a gigantic NBA season preview unlike any you have ever experienced. If everything works out, and we don't die while trying to sustain another overly ambitious project (see here for a previous death by ambition example), then you, us and the NBA will be ready to roll the last week of October.

In the meantime, I am trying to imagine how the conversation went as Kyle Korver talked Kirilenko into letting him style his hair.