Stuff That Happened Since My Last Post

Since I believe in starting with a bang, here’s THE MOST INSANE NBA GAME WINNING ENDGAME SHOT I’VE EVER SEEN.

If that wasn’t spectacular enough, it was a great game for Devin Harris as well with 39 points and 8 assists, and the Nets snap a 5 game losing streak. Here’s the full NBA report:

Next we move on to some Nate Robinson news. Avid readers (all 3 of them) of this blog will note how I mentioned how terribly collectible Nate’s green special made All Star Knicks uniform and Kicks would be, and now guess who the lucky shmuck is who gets it:

That’s right, Will Ferrell himself, whom Nate gave it to because of ‘all the years he’s made him laugh‘ something or other. Cool, I guess. I dunno. Whatever. Next is one of the best basketball articles I’ve ever read, The No-Stats All-Star re Shane Battier, who is, no doubt, an All-Star, but definitely not because of how good he looks stats-wise. His ability to change the game via his very presence without racking up a whole lot of numbers brings a perspective to the sport coaches worldwide had always insisted we pay more attention to, but few of us ever really understood or could personify, until he came along.

The virus that infected professional baseball in the 1990s, the use of statistics to find new and better ways to value players and strategies, has found its way into every major sport. Not just basketball and football, but also soccer and cricket and rugby and, for all I know, snooker and darts — each one now supports a subculture of smart people who view it not just as a game to be played but as a problem to be solved. Outcomes that seem, after the fact, all but inevitable — of course LeBron James hit that buzzer beater, of course the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl — are instead treated as a set of probabilities, even after the fact. The games are games of odds. Like professional card counters, the modern thinkers want to play the odds as efficiently as they can; but of course to play the odds efficiently they must first know the odds. Hence the new statistics, and the quest to acquire new data, and the intense interest in measuring the impact of every little thing a player does on his team’s chances of winning. In its spirit of inquiry, this subculture inside professional basketball is no different from the subculture inside baseball or football or darts. The difference in basketball is that it happens to be the sport that is most like life.

And on that note, I’m gonna end this with the news that as I turn off my computer after this, I am excitedly gonna start on this book:

Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delaney, which my gf brought home for me from the US. When the inevitable question on what I wanted to buy from there (she was on vacay) came, I knew she already had a ton of stuff to haul back for other pasalubong, so I decided to choose between this book and a WordPress shirt, sparking a fight between my inner geek and hidden jock. Apparently the jock won, so inspite of the fact I am updating this blog less and less plus spend far too much time coding, there’s hope for me after all. Later losers.

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