Serge Ibaka has a website. Along the left side of the home page is a 9-song Spotify playlist. It’s clear it was made some time ago. A couple Watch The Throne tracks. Lupe and Trey Songz’ “Out Of My Head” — it’s a shame the term “everything hooks” wasn’t around during Abdul-Jabbar’s day. Some song called “African Queen” that’s a pretty good time. The strangest song on there is a version of “Work Hard, Play Hard” by some group called the Wiz Khalifa Tribute Team. It’s an odd move by Serge to include that version because Spotify has the actual Wiz track available.
Anyway, this Wiz Khalifa Tribute Team joint is entirely instrumental and has absolutely zero lyrics. It sounds like a really nice stock beat you’d find on a portable Casio keyboard. Like a bad karaoke instrumental, or a beat your friend would make in GarageBand that you’d have to pretend sounded pretty good.
Yesterday the Knicks were a destroyed Casio, collecting dust and mold up in the corner of the attic, rubbing elbows with unused Christmas decorations and your parents’ old middle school yearbooks. Part of the reason for their disastrous play was Ibaka, continuing his season-long tear putting up a grossly efficient 24 on 10-14 shooting. They had absolutely zero answer for him, the Knicks frontline playing with an amount of gusto previously reserved for dandelions. He dominated, truly, and he’s starting to consistently play with a scary kind of fluidity that athletic bigs can reach when they get completely comfortable within a system. He’s becoming more and more fully realized offensively. That jumper of his has been falling for a couple years, and now he’s starting to see what it is to show that shot, put it on a string, have the defender fly by, and head to the rim.
At the moment he’s rolling out per game averages of 14.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 2.3 BPG at the moment (via Basketball-Reference.com). Couple that with shooting splits of 52/42/79 and his otherworldly rim protection and it feels fairly safe to say that he’s playing the best basketball of his life.
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I spent the better part of yesterday watching ESPN and ABC and the one thing that I took away from the day is that Dewar’s and Claire Forlani are trying to give me and everyone else scotch fever dreams. I know I’ve talked about it briefly a couple times before in these columns, but these commercials are just too ridiculous to not be fully dissected. I’m going to get it out of my system and then be done with it forever. These ads, and this poor Angus guy, deserve it.
So who is Angus? Is it this one? Or this one (homeboy’s brooding, huh)? I just need to know. Where is he in these commercials and why is she tormenting him so? In one she’s shouting at him, asking him if he’s thirsty, then full on evil cackling at him. In another she’s telling him to go back to bed. Which, like, that’s terribly disrespectful. Go back to bed? Like he’s your son and you’re in charge of him? You just throw down like that Claire?
And Angus, dude, let me talk at you for a second. This can’t be that rewarding of a relationship. She’s just getting hammered and running around touching drinking glasses and Dewar’s bottles in weird, suggestive ways. I get that she’s sexy. For real, I do. She’s been pretty since Meet Joe Black. But at what cost are you entertaining the idea of this madwoman, Angus?
She doesn’t like you, man. Kevin Durant is more interested in second place than she is in you. She talks to you like you’re her little brother and you’re trying to join some party she threw because y’all’s parents are out of town AND SHE DOESN’T WANT YOU AT THE PARTY. Not at all, dude. I get that it’s a hard thing to ignore, a woman that looks like that in a dress like that, but douse some water on your face and bail, man. The only real thing in that warehouse is manic heartache.
So just get out of there Angus. If you leave maybe she’ll stop popping up on my television eighty times a broadcast. You can stay there and torture yourself and waste away, suffocating yourself under all that velvet, or you can get out of that warehouse and into the real world and begin to work your way towards becoming a functioning member of society whose entire livelihood isn’t dependent upon hoping a girl doesn’t kill too much Dewar’s and in turn treat you like dirt. Be around people who want you around, man. What kind of life is it to hang around a girl who’s doing all she can to make your life miserable? That’s not living, buddy. That’s dying. So grab her car keys — Lord knows she shouldn’t be driving — and go. She’s holding you down.
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Fancy segue. Witness Kicks is a non-profit started by a friend of mine that is designed to get new pairs of shoes to people who need them. He’s a great guy with a great message and it seemed like a nice thing to make the DailyThunder community aware of. You can read all about them at their website.
And I said this at Thanksgiving, but since it’s still basically Christmas, it feels appropriate to reiterate the message again: Thanks a ton for reading. Merry Christmas, everyone.