“The world is so cold”
Winter has come. The worthlessly pedantic will tell me that autumn doesn’t punch out until the 21st, but that’s a dweeb’s way of viewing things. The leaves are down and snow has fallen. Thanksgiving isn’t until next week, but sometimes Thanksgiving comes after the fall.
Similarly, the season has just begun for the Nets. Again, those annoying types will insist that every regular season game counts, as if any of that is news to a seasoned watcher of the game, but the reality is that nothing really matters until later on. For the good teams, nothing matters until Christmas. That’s when things get serious. For the elite teams, nothing matters until early February, when they have to start ramping up for the stretch run. And for the Golden State Warriors nothing matters until maybe the second or third round of the playoffs. You can beat these teams in any single game, and you should be proud of your accomplishment, but you may very well have beaten a team of sleep walkers.
To be clear, the Nets were never a team with title aspirations, and their alarm clock was set to go off months before the true contenders, but with the sidelining of Caris LeVert, it has gone off. Every game carries added importance. Everything matters, and given that this team seems as antithetical to tanking as I do, we’ve reached the time of shaky knees and sweating palms.
It is possible that their game to the Miami Heat, a wire to wire loss, was their mourning period. The game where they sat on the couch and sulked with a pint of ice cream and a sad movie, and just got fat. As such, there is a profound depression in watching the Nets replace their best player in the starting lineup with Allen Crabbe, who very well may be their worst player (or at the very least their worst player who gets regular minutes). Where LeVert was giving them a PER of 18.9 (The baseline average of PER is 15. LeBron James currently has one of 27.3, which is strong), Allen Crabbe is sporting one of 3. Where LeVert is worth a little over .1 win share for every 48 minutes on the court, Crabbe is worth -.07. I’m not going to bitch about who Allen Crabbe is as a person, because I know damn well he’s not trying to lose games, and teams like the Nets are going to have a few dudes like Allen Crabbe on the roster, but I will say that having Allen Crabbe in the starting lineup is suboptimal. And when I hear YES announcers say “What Allen Crabbe really needs is to get a hot start to break out of this funk” all I can manage to think is “Absolutely not.” Hot starts lead to more shots, and until things change dramatically (Like when he stops playing like a backup in the G-League), I will prefer he takes no shots. No shots for Crabbe until he makes shots. Is that a contradiction? Perhaps. But it would lead to fewer shots for Allen Crabbe, so I’m all for it.
If you’re reading this Allen Crabbe, I don’t hate you. I’m rooting for you. It’s just…I mean you get what I’m saying here, right?
And now, because I’m being overly negative, I will be positive and introduce a new segment: What Did Spencer Dinwiddie Draw On His Shoes.
In addition to being delightful, Spencer has been drawing some stuff on his shoes. These are lovely. The game against the Heat was dedicated as a shout out to the recently departed Stan Lee.
Look at that S drawn on the side? For weeks I thought that was just a really messed up looking S, but I’d finally noticed that it’s an S that is shaped like a D for Spencer Dinwiddie. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of letters being intentionally shaped like other letters. Letters are traditionally shaped like the letter they’re supposed to represent. This S apparently does a killer D impersonation.
Also, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Hey man, dudes don’t usually just slap up their personal logo on a shoe. Usually you get a sponsorship deal, and…well, who the hell is sponsoring Spencer Dinwiddie?” The answer: Spencer Dinwiddie, who has said to hell with the damn middleman and developed his own shoe company called K8IROS. Can you look up to somebody who was born when you were 13 years old? Because I want this guy in my life, breaking down the walls I let society place before me. Spencer Dinwiddie is absolutely fascinating and I just want to dive into his mind.
Things improved considerably in their game against Washington.
The Washington Wizards are a funny team. As Richard Jefferson said multiple times during the broadcast, their record belies their collection of talent. They have players. They should be good. They are not good. The pieces don’t fit, and they might consider blowing it up so that they could build something capable of winning on a consistent basis. Right now there is severe rot, and they’re not about that life.
I want to stress that their jerseys are also pretty disappointing. I like most of the City Edition jerseys quite a bit, but these folks simply wrote out The District of Columbia. I want to be clear, that I think all Washington teams, be they the Wizards, Nationals, Caps, or Racists, should go by DC instead of Washington. The DC Wizards just sounds cooler. But The District of Columbia is boring.
Hey, What did Spencer Dinwiddie draw on his shoes? Why it’s a tribute to Frederick Douglass.
This game was a perfect example of how much Brooklyn needs Caris Levert. Through three quarters, it appeared that the Nets might very well go for a wire to wire victory. Offensively they were absolutely cooking, scoring 97 points in the first three quarters. They took a seven point lead into the fourth, and lost by eight. It was a very bad look during the debut of their incredibly good looking City Edition jerseys.
Having said that, something doesn’t quite sit right about this team co-opting the Notorious B.I.G., a man who only knew these guys as the New Jersey Nets when he was alive, and most likely felt very little connection to on earth. The Coogi inspired jerseys also carry the Bed Stuy patch in the lower corner. I want to be very clear, The Barclays Center is very much not located in Bedford-Stuyvesant. It’s located at the hub of several neighborhoods (Clinton Hill, Boerum Hill, Prospect Heights, Park Slope) and it has done phenomenal work in gentrifying all of these neighborhoods, but it’s influence does not touch Bed-Stuy, a neighborhood still gentrifying, but at a much more resistant pace. To be clear, this is outside of the Barclays Center.
This is not Bed Stuy.
Neither is this.
Absolutely none of this crap is Bed Stuy.
This is a luxury donut shop in the shadow of the Barclays Center. It’s not Bed Stuy, and the Nets are being straight up poseurs for implying that any of this is.
Upon moving to Brooklyn, the Nets have attempted to pretend they’re from the streets. Jay-Z even bought a holistic percentage of the franchise. But that just isn’t representative of the neighborhood, and though it once very much was, it’s a representation that they’ve done their best to pave over. My apartment has a back yard. And the brownstone next door has a lawn with a trampoline and a tree house, and an astroturf field for soccer, with a glass backboard basketball hoop affixed to a tree. While grilling over the summer, I overheard the neighbor kids shooting hoops. The little one called a technical foul. I almost choked to death on my glass of Widow Jane. I understand privilege, but the idea of player-referees who take a free throw when their friend talks back, is straight up dictator stuff. I don’t know what happens when you try to tee someone up on ‘the streets.’ One more flare up and that other kid was looking at a backyard ejection.
My point is that the old Christopher Wallace probably wouldn’t have recognized much of what has become of the area where Atlantic Avenue meets up with Flatbush. I can promise you that Christmas misses absolutely none of the kids in the area, and birthdays are only the worst days when Jaxon’s stepfather forgets to reserve the virtual reality arcade down the street, and they have to settle for a table at Patsy’s. Just like last year. At least everybody around here sips champagne when they thristay. Which is during brunch.
If you’re looking for a more fitting tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G., it was with the Nets living absolutely large for most of the game, before a bunch of dudes from LA connected on an insane amount of shots and buried them.
Thinkin of the day
When you went away
What a life to take
What a bond to break
I’ll be missin you
What did Spencer Dinwiddie put on his shoes? Nothing. Just a simple Coogi look to go with the excellent City Edition Jerseys.
Good look. Better looking than the finish of that game, that’s for sure. Anyway, that’s my time. I realize that writing about the Nets has gone over like a wet fart around here, so this is my final post for IN and DFO in general. It’s been wild, but I’ve got better shit to do than howl into the void.
The Brooklyn Nets are now 7-10, and in 9th place in the Eastern Conference standings.