Sports, the Universe & a Healthy Dose of Cynicism in Portland

The Gifts we are Given

Someone said this to me the other day.

“The genetic lottery is half the battle.”

I can’t remember who. So many pointless questions circulating in South Beach. You have to have thick skin here in the NBA.

Anyway, it was probably Shane. The wrinkles on his head are weathered signs of wisdom. He knows how to survive.

Like sex, the NBA is also about the games you play in your head. Not just the ones you play on the court.

You’re given gifts as an NBA player. It’s what you do with those gifts, of course. The genetic lottery really is half the battle. Motivation is the other half. It’s the Poland of the NBA. You must first always start there before commencing upon domination.

Not everyone capitalizes on their gifts. Some people have the NBA body, but they don’t have the acting chops. They’re no Daniel Day-Lewis.

Daniel Day-Lewis is like the Animal Collective of Pitchfork, btw. It doesn’t matter whether the movie he’s in is good or not (they always are, usually) – people will just love it and overreact and say it’s awesome anyway and write an article about it with words like “sonic identity” and “bleating” and “blurting.”

I’m waiting for Lewis’s Centipede Hz, which I think was a way to throw nosy Pitchfork off their track. Dan’ll put a movie out someday that’s just really bad to see if people actually pick up on it.

Kurt Cobain was like that. He made In Utero to push away the fans he got from Nevermind. But Kurt Cobain could only make really good poppy songs so he failed.

Nirvana is probably the least grungy “grunge” band ever, but they still made really awesome music. There also isn’t a single Nirvana song that sounds like The Pixies, for that matter.

It’s convenient if you openly say that you were trying to rip somebody off and you don’t really end up sounding all that much like them. Way to go Vampire Weekend. We’ve all heard Paul Simon. Even if nobody’s heard of S.E. Rogie.

Vampire Weekend ripped off some other person’s rap song in their last album. I’m not a hater, I just don’t like when people do remixes and it’s their hit single. Like Lenny Kravitz. If he wasn’t an awesome clothing designer in that Hunger Fire movie, I’d say he was untalented.

Kurt said Nirvana was often limited by their technical capabilities. He was modest with his un-talentedness on the guitar. He couldn’t play it like Jimi Hendrix, sure, but he had such a way with the words.

That happens a lot, but you can also have bands that are technically gifted, but sometimes the creativity isn’t there. Like Russel Westbrook.

He’s like the Black-Eyed-Peas. Westbrook is just so uncreative and sometimes really boring to watch despite being simultaneously “awe-inspiring” according to the cool people. I just think he’s always stealing airtime from more talented musicians with all those crappy jumpers.

KD is like Radiohead. They started off somewhat different if you don’t remember. Not saying I don’t love Creep, but it’s like the opposite of Paranoid Android and Reckoner.

People adapt; they might evolve and become better and change and grow like Radiohead and KD.

KD can pass now and is a better passer than Westbrook who has nearly half the assist ratio (17) of Josh McBobRoberts (30). Maybe they should trade.

There’s also Muse, which is like, somewhere in between Radiohead and Russell Westbrook, probably more technically capable but not quite as creative. They also sound just like Kevin Durant, so they’re probably like Paul George. They’re probably not as good though. I think Paul George is better than Muse though. Do you?

I mentioned Pitchfork a while back. Pitchfork stinks generally, yet I always find myself reading their articles. Is that bad? Is Pitchfork worse than porn? Is my time better spent on YouPorn? Redtube? What is a “tube?”

Maybe reading Pitchfork is damaging my true ability to like music because I’m basing my ideas about music on something that just isn’t realistic or rewarding. We all can’t be as overtly pretentious and annoying as Pitchfork in real life, just like we can’t possibly expect to do dirty porn stuff to every girl we date.

Mark Cuban said that the collective information and truth taken from the aggregate (don’t you always think Aggro Crag?) sum of consumer hash-tags is more relevant and powerful than any one journalism review.

So if we took all the hash-tags in the world and ran it through a sorting system, couldn’t we find a truer truth than a Pitchfork review?

Do you think a girl is too young to date if she’s never heard of the Aggro Crag?

What if we collectively summed up the #hash-tags of all the internet porn in the world? Would we have something less or more classy than Pitchfork changing their opinions and scores on albums when millions of other less-chill people found them to be cool later?

But like Shane said a while back, it’s always about how hard you work. You can be given the skills, but you have to care about being great – truly great – and you have to work hard.

I just wish I could get back out there. Get on that court, block some guys like the good old one day I played in the NBA.

If anyone listened to anything I said ever, I’d tell them to cherish every second they had on that court.

Doesn’t matter if you never figure it out. You cherish every single one of those 5.6 rebounds you pick up at 6’11”

Shooting under 40%, taking your black-hole-usage-rate for granted.

Make every moment count.

– G


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