On a scale of one to basketball: Preseason preoccupations, praise, and proclivities


The preseason is happening and will continue to happen as games keep getting played by teams (two of them, one to a side) before the official launch of the NBA season which will be taking place in the future but specifically on Oct. 16, 2018, and people everywhere are excited about this occurrence taking place eventually when it does at the proper time and place. Yes.

How about you? How are you expressing your excitement? Song? Painting? If you’re anything like me, which is a really good person-type to emulate, you’ve been cooking a few liters of chili every night so you can freeze it and have good, hearty, microwaveable meals on hand from now until the playoffs start. It’s starting to get cold. You notice that? I noticed that.

But that’s enough about the non-present. It’s important to live in the moment, you see. Things like “looking ahead” or “planning for the future” are very bad to do. Some people say these things are good to do, but they are wrong. These things are bad to do.

Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about the preseason. It’s actually been kind of fun. Most of us have been going through a bit of withdrawal since the WNBA finals, and while Jimmy Butler being upset is fun to think about for a little while, it can’t really sustain a human being for more than a couple days. Like Triscuits.

It’s not enough. We need something meatier, like a slice of summer sausage and some smoked gouda on the aforementioned Triscuit. The following things I’m going to talk about are real, corporeal basketball miracles that have been delivered to our faces and minds over the last few days. These aren’t the only important things, but they’re the most important important things.

Andre Drummond is taking 3s

He’s taken three of them, in fact. It’s hard to decide which is most beautiful, but we must try.

I’m picturing these like baby birds first attempting to fly. This bird’s name is Dominic. He was the first to leave the nest.

This is Rihanna. She saw her brother take to the air and thought to herself “I too have wings, and I must express myself through the wind dance of flight-movementing.”

This is Noob Saibird. She spent her young life under her mother’s wing watching The Price is Right and getting annoyed that Drew Carey never allows birds to come up and play the games. It’s always the human people, usually one with a loud voice or hat.

Anyhoo, all three of these baby birds crashed straight into the ground. It was like how Woody called flying “falling with style” except there wasn’t any style and instead there were three distinct “plap” sounds.

Here’s hoping Drummond offers us more morbid bird moments in the future. This is such an exhilarating tragedy.

The Lakers exist and are an actual team made of people who play basketball together

When LeBron officially made his move to the Lakers, it was an unfortunate moment for people who enjoy things that aren’t predictable. However, every signing from that point onward seemed so far off script that one could be forgiven for thinking that the outcome of every NBA game isn’t pre-determined.

The notion of LeBron James sharing a locker room with Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and Lavar Ball’s son just seems like it can’t possibly sustain existence. It’s just too unstable. Rondo and Stephenson will bump shoulders in a hallway one day, and a small portion of the universe will collapse in on itself.

But that hasn’t happened yet. The Lakers were put on a basketball court to play basketball, and somehow they played basketball. It’s almost as if they’re professional basketball players and that’s what they do. Almost. So, so close.

It’s not gotten less weird over time. I feel like I’m seeing through to the other side of the pretty cross-stitched pattern. The reality of it is tangled and ugly, and that reality is just beneath the surface. I’m going to keep watching. Rot will out.

Markelle Fultz isn’t injured and is shooting jump shots

Maybe it’s fixed now! We get to see him shooting jumpers in actual game time rather than practice footage off someone’s iPhone from across a gym!

Whatever happened to Fultz’s shot is the most irritating mystery in the NBA right now, but at least now we’re getting to see it reveal itself on a basketball court instead of Bryan Colangelo’s wife’s burner accounts.

I just want him to shoot every shot for every team forever so that I can get a large enough sample size to determine something or other. Is that too much to ask?

Next. Meet the 2018 NBA 25-under-25. dark

Random teams from everywhere

Flamengo! Haifa! Guangzhou! Orlando! They’re all here, and they’re all playing against NBA teams! That slight, tiny, minuscule hope that one of these extra-league teams can win is just so fun to fans. Anything that gets you hyped up over practically nothing should be cherished.

And that’s basically the message of the preseason. Very little of this matters. You can pull as much or as little from it as you want. All I want is the images and motion that resemble NBA basketball, and so far I think I’m getting it in delightful new ways.

I missed this. I missed this so much.