Hey, everyone. It's two in the morning right now, and I can't sleep. My pledge semester ends in a week, and I am officially a miserable shell of a human being. Perhaps that's why the NBA's first week has brought me more misery than happiness so far, but most of the major and not-so-major developments in the NBA so far have made me extremely displeasured. I might come back in a little with the things that are making me happy, but right now the list is essentially Boobie Gibson, nicotine, and Tom Jones' duet with Joss Stone. I probably feel worse about loving that than loving smoking, but I'll be damned if I don't love em' both. Anywhere, here's my list of misery:
1. Kobe's failure to doody or get off the pot
This was supposed to be the year when the Kobe in LA saga would finally come to its conclusion, with Kobe tiring of toiling in relative mediocrity and making a final push to either achieve greatness or finally implode unto himself like a dying star. Instead he's still with the Lakers, and he's playing pretty much the same way he did last year; unassailable greatness without true transcendence, mixing flashes of dominance with stretches of quasi-dominance, switching between singularly driven bursts of revenge basketball and a vague attempt to understand the dynamics of team greatness that remain opaque to Kobe despite all his efforts, with the ring he can call his own haunting him the way Daisy Buchanon haunted Jay Gatsby as he strove to make himself perfect in order to gain access to a place of bliss that his own hubris made it impossible for him to inhabit. Instead of drawing to an awe-inspiring crescendo, his story continues to linger, and I'm tired of waiting.
2. LeBron's failure to become the ultimate weapon
This summer, we saw a vision of the perfect basketball player; LeBron James, he gifted as none before him have ever been, was supposed to have gone home this summer and have brushed up his weaknesses, specifically his outside shooting and free throw shooting, and on top of that, he said he was adding post moves. Oh, and he got laser surgery to give him 20-15 vision. He then proceeded to flash his new pretty form at the FIBAs en route to making 2/3rds of his 3s. This was the season LeBron was to become the ultimate machine of basketball. And even though he's giving a crap and playing great so far this season, he continues to struggle with the weaknesses we all assumed would be cured by time and work; he went 3-11 on long jumpers last night, and 7-15 on free throws. Now I may be forced to cope with the fact that LeBron has a ceiling, which I refuse to do.
3. Boston's big 3 imploding horrifyingly on itself
I love KG. I love Ray Allen. I like Paul Pierce. It's somewhat enjoyable to watch them all play perfectly together, but how much more fun would it have been if they became a horrifying new version of the Knicks, especially since the Knicks have slid into unfunny mediocrity? KG probably would have punched someone out by now, and Doc Rivers would probably start wearing body armor to games. And admit it, we're all rooting for a little Boston failure right now. Of course, this may be lingering resentment over the fact that they were given the East Championship before the season started while my team got written off after WINNING THE THING LAST YEAR. Freaking East Coast Bias.
4. The Suns going establishment on us
At this point, they're really just a skilled pick-and-roll team with a great point guard and quality shooters. They've lost their breakneck pace, regularly scoring less than 100 points. More horrifyingly, the beast that is Amare is still MIA-seeing him fire up 20-foot jumpers is like seeing Che Guevarra take over and then decide it might be time to keep everything the way it is, except for some possible changes in tax law.
5. Gilbert losing his swag
If there's one guy who earned his superstar rep all the way, it's Agent 0. Now that he's fallen, the dogs are all over him like a fallen piece of meat, and it's not pretty to watch.
6. AI2 in hiatus
What happened to the guy that was an MVP candidate after Iverson left last year? Now he's gone back to being tantalizing. I hate tantalizing.