Storm tensions mount. The NBA and NHL series both ended up knotted at two games apiece (Dallas moved ahead last night). Over in Grantland (the house that Bill Simmons built), Chuck Klosterman ruminates on the idea that various conditions have conspired to make him a functional amnesiac, citing as evidence that he’ll rearrange his life to be able to watch a middling game of college basketball, despite the fact that he can’t remember who played in the final four three years ago.
This is an important kind of forgetfulness for the world of sports. How else can we watch the same seven game series over and over again? We get the same sound bites from players and journalists alike, year after year. I used to think Rasheed Wallace was the only one who really knew this. So Klosterman is the new ‘Sheed. The usually entertaining (sometimes mocked) Deshawn Stevenson gives us “Lebron checked out” as the new “both teams played hard.” But fear not. Because there was much more going on.
1. Where to watch the NBA finals in Qatar. Al Jazeera is covering the NBA finals for the first time. With news brewing about Isiah Thomas being considered for the head coaching vacancy in Detroit, his old stomping ground from his playing days, a unique opportunity has arisen, if Al Jazeera is going to maintain coverage. I’m not exactly sure how Isiah keeps getting jobs, since he seems to have made a ridiculous mess in every basketball-related position he’s ever held (except as a player when he won two championships). But the Knick faithful get sit back and watch with pride while Al Jazeera teaches 55 countries around the world the two most beautiful words in basketball: Fire Isiah.
2. They storm back. No taunting in Boston, except for all of the bite-mimicry. Imagine if the Dallas Mavericks could similarly mock Lebron James for being generally unpleasant to the media at almost every turn. Could the Mavs just wear some of his suits as pregame warm-up gear?
3. Alex Rodriguez enrolls at Harvard. A-Rod fears no mixture of metaphors, no new principles of mathematics. Ever inquisitive, he has been known to wonder out loud why people sing “take me out to the ballgame” when they’re already there. And 3,000 is the new 3,500, he claims in regard to Derek Jeter’s career hits. He’s now taken Dr. Jeter as his thesis adviser, majoring in staying power under the New York City scrutiny. I look forward to the results of this tutelage, and the subsequent buddy picture. (Some even newer math presents the hypothesis that Jeter and A-Rod should just sit in a room and give each other high-fives forever.)
4. The Serena that everybody knows. Serena Williams is a monster, she herself has made the allusion and comparison to Kanye on twitter. She’s endured a little bit of authentic twitter controversy during her year away from tennis with this picture (as well as a case of stalking). Also, of course, she’s had a serious health scare since cutting her foot after winning Wimbledon last year. But if she’s back, and ready to play her old kind of tennis again, what will she do to the rest of the field? Has Kanye given us a vision?
5. Baby it’s raining. If not in Toronto then in Boston for sure, where 12 goals poured down on the Canucks in two games. Roberto Luongo must have been feeling like he had a personal storm cloud hovering above him alone. And it was raining in Dallas when Mario Chalmers hit yet another buzzer beating 3-pointer at the end of a quarter. But it was the Dallas Mavericks, not Mario’s Heat, who splashed 13 3-pointers to break the deadlock and go up 3-2 in the NBA finals.