Music and Basketball

Another good quote from The Sports Guy.  He had an email exchange with Macolm Gladwell and the subject of music and basketball came up.  The Sports Guys responds:

We had lunch a few weeks ago and discussed the parallels between music and basketball. The structure is fundamentally the same: You have a lead singer (the NBA alpha dog, like LeBron or Kobe), the lead guitarist (the sidekick, like Pippen or McHale), the drummer (an unsung third wheel, like Parish or Worthy), the bassist (a solid, reliable and ultimately disposable role player: like Byron Scott or Anderson Varejao); and then everyone else (the other rotation guys). Bands can go different ways just like successful basketball teams. McCartney and Lennon were two geniuses who ultimately needed one another (like Young Magic and Older Kareem, or Shaq and Young Kobe), whereas MJ and LeBron were more like Sting or Springsteen (someone who could carry the band by themselves). And if you want to drag hip-hop or rap into it, the best parallel would obviously be Jordan’s post-baseball Bulls: MJ was Chuck D, Pippen was Terminator X, and there is no effing doubt that Rodman was Flavor Flav.

It’s a great read if you’re into the NBA and what’s happening right now.  I like The Sports Guy’s take about Lebron.  This is a great time to be a viewer as Lebron is doing what Michael Jordan did in the early 90’s. He’s just destroying people and making it great to watch.  Plus, there’s a Spinal Tap refernce in there.  How could it be a bad article then.  It reads:

As the 2009 postseason rolls on, the King has become its most compelling story, not just because of his insane numbers, that Jordan-like hunger in his eyes, even the fact that he’s still on cruise control to some degree. (Note: I would compare

LeBron James
Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

him to Nigel Tufnel’s amp. He alternated between “9” and “10” in the regular season, and he’s been at 10 in the playoffs, but I can’t shake the feeling that he has an “11” in store for Kobe and the Finals. An extra decibel level, if you will. In my lifetime, Jordan could go to 11. So could Bird. Shaq and Kobe could get there together, but not apart. And really, that’s it. Even Magic could get to 10 3/4 but never quite 11. It’s a whole other ball game: You aren’t just beating teams, you’re destroying their will. You never know when you’ll see another 11. I’m just glad we’re here. End of tangent.) But his relationship with his teammates continues to fascinate me; because of his character and the spirit of the players that surround him, it’s like watching a more animated/funny/bombastic version of Duncan’s Spurs, or even last season’s Boston team. I really get a kick out of them. Only LeBron and Magic could foster a climate like that just by being themselves.

Any other insight from my readers?

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Clint and Gran Torino

I saw Clint Eastwood‘s latest movie, Gran Torino, last weekend and really liked it. Clint played an over-the-hill retired Detroit autoworker who is sour. He’s pissed off at the lack of respect displayed throughout society and his family and his bitterness creates some pretty funny moments.

I also was able to read this month’s Esquire magazine which features Clint. In this article you hear Clint describe an earlier time when kids had it rougher and people weren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty.

Some of his quotes:

we were always moving. Redding. Sacramento. Pacific Palisades. Back to Redding. Back to Sacramento. Over to Hayward. Niles. Oakland. So we were constantly on the road, and I was always the new guy in school. The bullies always thought, Here’s this big gangly guy. We gotta take him on. You know how kids are. We gotta test him. I was a shy kid. But a lot of my childhood was spent punching the bullies out.

My father had a couple of kids at the beginning of the Depression. There was not much employment. Not much welfare. People barely got by. People were tougher then.

We live in more of a pussy generation now, where everybody’s become used to saying, “Well, how do we handle it psychologically?” In those days, you just punched the bully back and duked it out. Even if the guy was older and could push you around, at least you were respected for fighting back, and you’d be left alone from then on.

I don’t know if I can tell you exactly when the pussy generation started. Maybe when people started asking about the meaning of life.

I’ve been hit from Clint from all sides. After i read the article, i then heard an interview of him on NPR where he talks about his Dirty Harry days and how he actually enjoys playing characters that are very different from him.   The mp3 for that interview is here.

I will say that i think Gran Torino is one of his better movies.  Not as good as Million Dollar Baby but still pretty solid.

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OneSeason for Sports Betting


There’s an interesting new website called which is a virtual market of sports players.  You buy shares in athletes and players and based on market demand of those shares their value raises or lowers.  For example, two weeks ago Lebron James was at $1.10 and today he’s at $18.50 because his shares have been rising steadily.

The fun part is that new players come out each day in an IPO (Initial Player Offering).  For instance Yao Ming came out at $5 and immediately traded up to $15.  Each day there’s a reason to get back in

There’s a NYTimes article about this where it talks about the “value” of a share:

Mike Sroka, OneSeason’s founder, a former hedge fund analyst, compares OneSeason stock to collectible playing cards. “The cards have no intrinsic value, but due to limited supply and notoriety of the player, they fluctuate in value,” he said.

The one problem i see is that every player is appreciating right now.  No player has gone down which means nobody has lost any money.  A quick way to put OneSeason out of business would be for everyone to request their money back.  I’m guessing this won’t happen but still, you’ll need losers eventually.

I’m putting in a couple bucks and trying it out.  It’s definitely interesting.  Am i moron for falling for this?  I just bought 3 shares of Adrian Peterson for $25 bucks a piece.  We’ll see what happens.  I’m selling if he hits $50

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