Posts Tagged ‘gus johnson’

The Book of Basketball: Where Flawed but Entertaining Happens

“So that’s what this book is about: capturing the noise, sorting through all the bullshit and figuring out which players and teams and stories should live on. It’s also about the NBA, how we got here, and where we’re going. It’s way too ambitious and I probably should have stuck to an outline, but screw it—by the end of the book, it will all make sense.”

Bill Simmons’ The Book of Basketball is a book best read over time and on the side. Simmons, ESPN’s The Sports Guy and arguably the most famous sportswriter working today, has penned an overlong and overly ambitious paean to professional basketball in America that can, if needed, stop a bullet in its pages. It is fun to read but in smaller doses—roughly the length of a Simmons column at a time, or, as so many of his readers like to point out, one trip to the bathroom.

This is because Simmons’ style wears on you after a while, or at least it has on me after eight years of more or less devoted readership.* He’s fun and informal, and he makes a lot of clever references; this has never been in doubt. It’s just that, over the course of 700 pages, the allusions to porn, Boogie Nights, trips to Vegas, and Teen Wolf get a little tiresome. It becomes frustrating that Simmons’ only means of articulating one thing is through the prism of this other thing. In breaking down why Rick Barry was the 26th best player of all time, Simmons starts sentences with the following clauses: Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read while frantically revising our brackets…

John and Tim Pick the West Bracket

Andy will lead a couple Raut-ins...

1 Syracuse vs. 16 Vermont

Tim: Behind Sorrentine, Coppenrath, and the surprising contributions of Germane Mopa-Njiala, the Catamounts will shock the world and the fourth seeded Orange in the 2005 NCAA Tournament!

John: Wouldn’t it be amazing if that happened again?

Tim: And if Gus Johnson called it again…

Tim’s Pick: Syracuse

John’s Pick: Syracuse

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Aught Lang Syne: The Buzzer Beaters of the Decade

Earlier, we counted down the Top 10 Games in college basketball over the last decade. But if you’re half the college basketball fan that I am, you know that list was surely lacking. Here, in no particular order, are the games that, while overall weren’t good enough to make that list, still provoke that ineffable joy of the fantastic finish. They are good games with great finishes. Enjoy and bookmark.

2005 Michigan State v. Kentucky


This was the third best regional final that year. Yeah.

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It’s College Basketball Season!

As we draw toward the unexciting close of what can only be described as a woeful college football season, it’s high time we shifted our sights to the only flawless sport left in America: college basketball. Oh sure, the naysayers point out a deterioration in the quality of play, the untenability of the one-and-done rule, and recruiters’ blatant disregard for the rules.

But college basketball is the only sport that manages to maintain a meaningful regular season and an exciting postseason (and doesn’t kill its players, ruling out the NFL). It’s played in the loudest environments in the country and has been, for most of the last decade, the most intriguing sport to watch on an everyday basis.*

*Little-celebrated fact: Thanks to really low ratings (and, you know, its lockout), the NHL wasn’t renewed on ESPN in the middle of the decade, freeing up time every night of the week for college basketball on the Worldwide Leader.

Here are the six best storylines of the 2009-2010 season:

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