- I don’t know a ton about basketball, but I feel like combining the rarely-coachable Rajon Rondo, a surly, past-his-prime-with-something-to-prove superstar like Dwayne Wade with a budding superstar like Jimmy Butler who desperately wants to prove that he can be a true leader might be pretty combustible under any coach. With Fred Hoiberg, this could be a disaster. Or they could win 40 games! Which would be even more of a disaster. I’d be willing to have a terrible season and have more room for when the cap expands, and do a rebuild around Butler, Tony Snell, and Dougie McDermott. “Buckets, McBuckets, and Snell” is pretty catchy, right?
- That said, while I don’t know a ton about basketball, it’s nice to know that I won’t ever be as wrong as The Country’s #1 Hoophead, Bill Simmons. Thanks to Awful Announcing for digging up a Simmons podcast where he “discusses” a Wojo scoop in February about Durant being interested in Golden State. “In his podcast, Simmons called the report ‘one of the most ludicrous stories I’ve ever read,’ stating that the Warriors were ‘not thinking about Durant,’ adding that ‘it’s absurd,’ and ‘I just don’t believe it.’ He went on to say it was ‘the most idiotic logic I’ve ever heard,’ and the story got Yahoo’s The Vertical site ‘some traffic, some attention.’ It’s not just being wrong, and it isn’t even just being unbearably and arrogantly and reflexively wrong: it’s that he dismisses Wojo as hungry for attention. Even a casual NBA fan like me knows that Wojo scoops are worthy. Simmons is the most petty and vainglorious writer in the land. Even Norman Mailer would tell him to stop finding slights everywhere. Gore Vidal would advise him to show some humility. Virginia Woolf would tell him to fuck off. (No real reason; I just don’t think she’d care for him.)
- Hey, Democrats! Worried about the email scandal never dying? Well, of course it won’t (and more on that anon), but are you worried about Trump skillfully taking advantage of it? Well, maybe you don’t need to be. There’s no question that he can use it to rally people who hate Hillary, but he is unable to talk too much about it, because, at the end of the day, when he talks about Hillary he isn’t talking about himself. As the Times reports, at a rally last night, he spent a few minutes talking about Comey’s scolding report, and then went into a long rant about the Star of David tweet he got from a white nationalist collection. He defended himself for a long time on it, in a rabbling incoherent stream-of-conscious rant. The thing is, there is a strategy here: doubling down did good in the primary, where any sign of capitulation to the Hideous Liberal PC Establishment was a fatal weakness. He knew how to play it perfectly, and it fit his “I am the cosmos” mentality (apologies to Molly Ivins). He is incapable of not talking about himself, and showing that he is always right, even if- especially if- it means outright lying, obvious lying. A man who has always seen himself as powerful wants to make the truth his possession. Hopefully, that’s a fatal electoral weakness.
- This is as-of-now unconfirmed, but apparently on the local radio this morning Mark Kirk said that his double-amputee opponent Tammy Duckworth doesn’t want to do a Spanish-language debate with him because she isn’t as “quick on her feet.” That isn’t offensive; Kirk wasn’t being deliberate, I’m sure. It’s just a saying, divorced from any actual meaning. But still: it’s literally the one thing you shouldn’t say. It’s the only phrase you can’t use, except maybe like “she’s so incompetent she’d need two partners in a three-legged race”, which isn’t even an actual saying, but that’s the point: you’d need to make something up to say something dumber.
- That said, the idea of a Spanish-language debate is interesting. It’s a skill Kirk has, a good one, and I wish more politicians spoke other languages. (Remember when John Kerry was belittled for speaking French? 2004 was a horrible and stupid year, wasn’t it?) It’s smart politics, and a sign of basic humanity to recognize that maybe other languages aren’t inherently bad. I feel this is something though that only a Republican could get away with. Were it Duckworth who spoke Spanish, and challenged the monoglot Kirk, you’d hear a lot about un-American pandering.
- Now that I think about it, “she’s so incompetent she’d need two partners in a three-legged race” is a great phrase. Remind me to use it when I run for the Water Reclamation District, unless, you know…