Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Mission Statement (at least, mine)

Welcome to Jordan Pushed Off, a new blog about the National Basketball Association. We are three guys who have known each other for ten years, united by, among other things, our love of basketball, vigorous debate, careful examination of the way things are, and extreme sit-up contests.

We are avid readers of many of the best basketball blogs out there; you can imagine the list. We come not to mimic or send a rejoinder to any other writers, but to say what is not now being said. Our experience around the world, our years of training in how to think, and our willingness to see through old b-ball shibboleths will allow us to illuminate the League like it has never been lit up before.

Personally, I have to confess, I am tainted by some tribal loyalty: I grew up rooting for the Pistons. Zeke, Joe D, Worm, Spider, Microwave, Buddha, Mahorn and Laimbeer: these men were my idols, adorning the walls of my bedroom and occupying most of my discussions at the back of the school bus. I even had a shower radio on which I would listen to George Blaha announcing many of the Pistons’ 63 victories during that glorious 1989 season, while I got myself squeaky clean. I could not afford to miss a minute. Today, the Pistons still animate me, but I do have other likes, which I will reveal as these posts continue.

We are hardly the first observers to argue that Michael Jordan committed an offensive foul on the Bulls’ last play of the 98 Finals. A quick view will reveal a “push off” that would surely be called, or at least contested, in your average YMCA game. But events in recent years have made this quasar of injustice glow ever more brightly as an exemplar of what is wrong with the league. Stars allowed to take three or more steps through the lane; multi-millionaire MVP candidates allowed to pout, sulk, complain, demand trades, and generally be spoiled brats; referees swallowing their whistles for fouls in the last 30 seconds of a game (except when a foul could favor a preferred team or sink a villainous one). Of course the people demand drama, and this league provides entertainment. But without risk, where is drama? If the superheroes can effortlessly dodge bullets forever, like Jack Bauer with better hops, where is the challenge? It is hardly controversial (but then again…) that the rule of law leads to prosperity. (If we believe that latter link, does that mean we should always trust the Dear Leader Stern?)

We will talk about much, much more, over the next weeks and months, including all sorts of random basketball-related shizz. Hope you keep reading!

No comments: