Because the Rays are winning by nine, there’s no other baseball games on and I need to write something before Robbie replaces me with Kyle Rancourt, here is my semi-live coverage of a league that I don’t watch. This would be like Tim Legler analyzing Tim Tebow’s NFL potential. Oh wait, he did that this morning.
9:56 We pick this up with nine minutes left in the first quarter and the San Antonio Spurs leading 7-0. Shutout still intact! Dick Stockton is on commentary along with some guy that kind of looks like me if I was 50 years older and from the Northeast.
9:59 Bad news, the shutout is already gone as the Dallas crowd rises to its feet for the first time. I’m already losing my shallow stock of newsworthy things to talk about here, dammit.
10:01 Just a preface for this game that you probably already knew, but I did not: Dallas is leading this series 1-0. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apparently made news earlier when he simply said “I hate the Spurs.” Cheers to you, Mark, I admire your sense of hatred.
10:04 Caron Butler of Dallas just went for the first power dunk of the night. He was fouled and did not make it, but if he had, people would surely have gone crazy acting like they’ve never seen a dunk before for the next three minutes (read: until the next one happens).
In case you’re wondering, the Rays are now winning 12-0 in the 6th inning and a Chicago reliever just got a sarcastic standing ovation for throwing a strike. Sarcastic standing ovations are awesome.
10:08 Back to And-1 Streetball land, the Spurs are up 18-11, and we just got our first zoom-in reminder of the night that Greg Popovich is the ugliest son of a bitch on the face of the earth. Seriously, most people look at Pearl Harbor and 9/11 as days of national tragedies. Popovich is still devastated by the day that high definition television coverage was introduced.
10:13 I interrupt these rambles to bring you this amazing piece of information that is shocking to everyone, and by everyone I mean me. Matt freaking Bonner, everybody’s favorite ex-Gator basketball-playing ginger is actually included on the Spurs roster. Whether or not they pay him real money, I’m not sure. There is a solid chance that he is compensated for his services in cheap whiskey and J. Crew clothing. Either way, he is a pastey white dude from New Hampshire, and he is a professional damn basketball player.
10:17 At the end of the first quarter, the Spurs lead the Mavericks 24-20. Not that I wouldn’t rather be watching meaningless April baseball, but that was rather painless.
At the end of each quarter, I’m going to go all [CBS golf announcer who shall not be named] on you and throw out a personal anecdote about my experiences of attending NBA games. I’ve attended three, so this is perfect.
- Lakers-Magic in Orlando (Heads-up: I don’t remember any of these dates or seasons): I went with my Dad to see these two teams when the Lakers were at the height of their dynasty, and Tracy McGrady actually played basketball. It was freaking sick. McGrady and Bryant went at each others throats all night, and Rick Fox got hurt in the first quarter. It was a good night. The Magic won and I was hooked. I wanna go to NBA games all the time! That was a blast! This story becomes incredibly less charming in one quarter’s time.
10:25 Jason Heyward just pulled off a monstrous dunk to bring the Mavs within one of the Spurs. You’d think baseball would be enough for the kid, but it’s starting to look like he plans on taking over all of sports. Okay, so it’s really some other guy named Heyward, and I’m pretty sure he spells his name differently. In fact, that’s not even his last name.
10:30 Tim Duncan, who has been sitting with two early fouls is about to enter the game. One can only assume that ratings are about to drop.
10:32 After a foul, cameras picked up Bonner uttering a four letter word that is as abrasive as his hair color. It also rhymes with truck, duck and luck.
10:38 New stat for sports nerds to look into: Ratio of white people (crowd:court). My reason for this? This is one of the pastiest audiences that I have ever seen at a sporting event. It is legitimately difficult to find one person who might be some form of a distant relative of any of the players sans Matt Bonner. Also, the arena is filled with more pastel-colored shirts than Sunday at Augusta National and a Sigma Chi Fall Rush party combined. Hardly an intimidating atmosphere.
10:44 Aside from ginger outbursts and a raging frat party in the stands, there is a real-life basketball game going on, and the Spurs are beginning to regain use of the kick-ass button. They lead by 12 with one minute left in the first half.
10:46 End of the second quarter, and the Spurs lead 58-46.
- Bucks-Magic in Orlando (Same season as the Lakers’ game): I went to this game with my cousin Jen (shout out!) while our families did something at Disney World. I promised her the world. I’ve been to a Magic game! It was the best thing ever! This game sucked. It was here that I learned that live NBA games have two levels: great and terrible. When an NBA game is bad, it is painful to sit through in person, and I used to happily go watch the purple Devil Rays and creamsicle Bucs play.
10:53 Just a halftime note, there are two reasons why I am ever drawn to NBA programming. Those two reasons are LeBron James and Charles Barkley. This is probably where I would say something about “the NBA needs to do a better job of promoting its stars,” but it would probably be wasted on me anyways. I listen to Merle Haggard and enjoy a nice sale on Guy Harvey T-shirts at Bealls from time to time. Not sure if I’m their target demographic.
11:08 We’re back to the game, and the first quote out of Dick Stockton’s mouth is “Jason Kidd has yet to leave his mark on this game.” That explains why I haven’t written his name yet. Thanks, Dick.
Rays game is over, and they won 12-0. This basketball game now has my undivided attention. Okay, not really. As long as there is Facebook and cell phones, few things will ever have my undivided attention.
11:14 Random observation: Jason Terry does not really look like an NBA player. Kind of goofy looking. I do appreciate his desire to keep tall socks going, though. He’s like 2010’s Keith Van Horn.
11:19 Another random observation brought to you courtesy of a game quickly becoming uncompetitive: It would kind of suck to be a professional athlete in Dallas unless you are a member of the Cowboys. Obviously playing for the Cowboys is one of the greatest gigs in sports, but playing for any other team in Dallas likely means that you’re taking major leftovers in the ladies department. Three for Mike Jenkins, one for you. Five for Tony Romo, one for you. Two for Mat McBriar, none for you.
11:25 Manu “can a playa get some Rogaine” Ginobili hits a three to make this a 15-point game with four minutes left in the third. Relax, Mark Cuban, you’re rich.
11:28 Dirk Nowitzki gets a technical foul while Haywood chalks up a foul of his own to further suck any life out of this Easter basket of an arena. Easy now, Dirk. Nobody likes an angry German.
11:32 While I sit here watching an uneventful game in my least favorite league, I just received a little encouragement from fellow co-author/boozer Robbie Hilson who I can only assume is raging all over Gainesville as I write this. “I’m gonna call you drunk in about 35,” read the text. Here’s your official theme song for Thursday morning, Robbie. I’m sure it will fit right into your musical pantheon of Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins. Okay, probably not.
11:37 The Mavs make a bit of a run to end the third quarter. They now only trail by a score of 82-72 heading into the fourth. “You can make your way back from 10 points down,” said Stockton’s sidekick. Translation: PLEASE KEEP WATCHING!!! WE NEED RATINGS!!!
- Heat-Pistons (a preseason game in Tampa): This game honestly did not make enough of an impression on me for memory. I remember that I was there and that I was sitting second row behind the hoop, which probably would have seemed much cooler had there been a crowd larger than 6,000 in attendance.
11:42 The fourth quarter is under way, and according to Stockton, the Mavs are off to an ice-cold start. Well, that’s not all bad. I mean, it is the only thing cooler than being cool. If TNT has anything to say about it, this game will soon become a classic. Why? Because they know drama, that’s why.
11:45 Just saw another commercial for the KFC Double Down, and I know what you’re wondering. Bryan, did you have your first Double Down today? Hell yes I did, America. My thoughts: It is excessive. It is much larger and more intimidating than it seems in commercials. It is delicious for about the first half, and then you begin to feel like a bad person. Kind of like a drunken hook-up with a less-than-fortunate looking girl. Regardless, it is a necessary experience.
11:48 After two Butler free throws, the Mavs are now only down by six, and white people are going wild, like “OMG we’re on our way to the Kenny Chesney concert” wild.
11:52 “The Spurs are trying to hold onto this game and head back to San Antonio with home court advantage,” says Stockton. Yes, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels is a loyal Spurs season ticket holder. Home court advantage is even more advantageous when it includes the possibility of a devastating Sweet Chin Music. Watch out, Kidd.
11:57 Duncan drives the lane for two to give the Spurs an 11-point lead with four minutes left in the game. The Mavs immediately call a timeout. This is one of the places where basketball bothers me. Dallas, you’re not going to come back. I appreciate your effort, but you are about to draw this game out for 30 minutes longer than it should actually take. For this, I hate you.
12:01 All-time personal hero Troy Aikman was just spotted by cameras and looks like he’s had one or two [cases] of Bud Light. Good for him.
12:05 Terry misses a three with two minutes left. Stockton says that the crowd would have erupted if he hit that one, but he didn’t. Ginobili goes right back and hits a three to further dig a grave for the Mavs.
12:07 Maverick fans are leaving the building at a rapid pace with just under two minutes remaining in the game. That’s good enough for me. I have somehow overcome my lack of enthusiasm and written over 1,800 words on an NBA game (and Shawn Michaels, KFC, country music, gingers, Guy Harveys, etc.), but who’s counting? Thanks for pretending to read.