These are among the most important song lyrics of many a childhood and they're from a Gatorade commercial. The Gatorade commercial.
And after a full minute of seeing your hero, this untouchable flying creature, come down to earth to hang out and do normal things like laugh and let the basketball hit him atop the head, you had no choice but to follow the cultish messaging at the end.
Compiling the Triangle NBA All-Stars offers a way for us to celebrate the players we love way too much. You can see the other entries in the series here. Check out the latest additions, Nick Young and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, below.
Swaggy Motherfucking P
If you don't enjoy Nick Young, you need to step back and take a look at your life. Ask yourself where it all went wrong. Really, seriously. You are not a basketball coach. There is no reason to not love Nick Young. Get off your high horse and jump on top of a camel.
In case you were busy remembering when Kirk Gibson made the impossible happen in the year of the improbable, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday:
Matt Holliday and Shane Robinson hit the first two home runs of the NLCS and the St. Louis Cardinals are one game away from the World Series after their 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Man, what a thrill to be a part of that slugfest," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny after the game. "For fans who love offense, tonight was your night. It was just fireworks and explosions." Matheny then chuckled and added, "I mean six runs? In regulation? What game were we even playing? Hockey?"
Mike Napoli's solo home run off Justin Verlander was all the offense Boston would need, as John Lackey and the Red Sox bullpen led their team to a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers and a 2-1 series lead in the ALCS. The game was notably interrupted by a 17-minute power outage in the second inning, a time that Lackey referred to as "one of those things where my stuff was bad before the thing, then the power outage happens, and boom, my stuff gets good again. It's like some sort of small version of my last few years." When asked if he was saying the power outage was perhaps microcosmic of his career in Boston, Lackey replied, "Nah, I'm just talking about like how things can be going badly, and then they can change and be good again, and like, this moment was like a tiny version of that feeling, which I know all too well." When told that's what a microcosm is, an angry Lackey responded, "I'm not an idiot, OK? I'm not talking about some sort of tiny universe where Neil deGrasse Tyson is a wizard. I'm talking about a small version of a big thing! Like this conversation, and how it's like all my relationships with the Boston media, but in a small amount of time." Lackey then shook his head and said, "There's gotta be a word for that."
Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons marvel at the damage Michael Jordan has done to his hometown Charlotte Bobcats, ponder the fate of Al Jefferson's gigantic $23,000 bed, and Jalen predicts that Michael Jordan will play one game for the Bobcats. Yes, he is serious. You can learn more about the feasibility of Jalen's bold prediction here.
In the below video, taken from Bill and Jalen's forthcoming preview of the Charlotte Bobcats' season, Jalen explains to a flabbergasted Bill that he thinks Michael Jordan will return to the NBA to play one game for the Charlotte Bobcats.
In case yinz were busy getting to Pittsburgh to wait, yinz? Who the hell are yinz? Anyway, here's what you may have missed in sports on Tuesday:
Oh my goodness, hockey's back? Hockey's back! And with it came a barrage of goals from defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago, which beat Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, 6-4, in its season opener. "Ten goals?" yelled 58-year-old Blackhawks fan Gary Habermeyer. "What the hell is this garbage? Polo? What happened to hockey?" When his son-in-law Dan Nielson tried to explain that there were a number of offseason rule changes put in place by the NHL to increase scoring, Habermeyer slammed down the legs of his Barcalounger and shoved a finger in Nielson's face. "I'll tell you what the problem is," Habermeyer shot back. "It's your generation. A bunch of showboaters. No one willing to do the hard work. No one willing to play defense. Patrick Kane? That's just a child wearing skates carrying around a big stick. When things get hard he'll just shut down the government. Not like Bobby Hull. Now there was a real man. Don't look at your phone when we're having a heart-to heart conversation!" But Nielson didn't look up from his phone, as he was texting his wife, Bridget, to say that she owed him more than one for spending the evening bonding with her father, and also to ask what Patrick Kane had to do with the government shutdown.
Pittsburgh's battery of Francisco Liriano and Russell Martin made sure the Pirates' first postseason trip in 21 years would not be a one-game affair, as they topped the Cincinnati Reds, 6-2, in the NL wild-card playoff. "I just keep thinking, What could I have done differently?" said Reds manager Dusty Baker after the game. Baker then took a moment to think back over the events of the game, during which he managed to use seven pitchers without deploying superstar closer Aroldis Chapman, before adding, "And the answer is nothing."
As he told Marc J. Spears over at Yahoo Sports, "Those battles [with Jordan] were a little easier. I would have Jordan get mad at me and go back at me. He knew he was really talented and could do whatever he wanted to. But [Stockton] was more of a challenge to me than guarding someone that would talk back to me. When you talk back to me and say something to me it made my game go to another level. John was one who wouldn't say nothing and you couldn't figure him out. He'd keep going in the pick and rolls and he and Karl Malone would score a big bucket. At times I would guard Jordan and get him mad and into other things."
The occasion of Grant Hill’s retirement from the NBA is a time for reflection. It's time to consider his accomplishments, both in college at Duke (where he passed Christian Laettner that ball that led to that shot that went in) and at the professional level as a member of the Pistons, Magic, Suns, and Clippers, not to mention on the world stage as a gold-medal winning athlete in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. A time to consider what might have been had ankle injuries not hobbled him in what should have been his prime. And a time to appreciate his evolution into a canny defensive stopper and pick-your-spots veteran when his career blossomed for a second time in Phoenix.
But let’s also remember that years before Kevin Durant helped that frisky Asian woman, Grant Hill rescued an entire cat out of a gutter and had a spectacular mustache while doing it.
You know how at the beginning of every NFL season, everyone is 0-0 and has a chance at the Super Bowl? That is not true in the NBA. For fans of five to 10 teams every year, the NBA draft lottery is the Super Bowl.
No other sport decides its future like this — with an uncomfortable, surreal 30-minute raffle, basically — and that's what makes it so great. In the span of 30 minutes, jammed in before some conference final game every year, the directions of entire franchises can change one way or the other. For instance, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the most insane lottery night of all time ...
... when Memphis nearly landed LeBron James, only to end up with nothing (its pick was protected as no. 1 overall but otherwise the Grizzlies had to send it to Detroit). Instead, we walked away thinking Cleveland had just fallen into a dynasty, Detroit was about to extend its dynasty another decade with Darko's frosted tips coming to the Midwest, and the Nuggets were getting Bernard King 2.0 for the next 15 years. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were destined to remain in NBA no-man's-land, wondering what might have been.
From time to time, the writers of Grantland will use this space to unpack a new sports book. Most of these books will be bad.
Relentless is a sports self-help/inspirational book by famed athletic trainer Tim Grover that reads like it was written by the love child of Gordon Gekko, Ayn Rand, and Sonny Vaccaro. Imagine The Onion doing a parody of an ultra-sociopathic Michael Jordan with the constant roar of the author swinging his dick like a helicopter rotor in the background and you have Relentless.
The moment I knew that Relentless would be a special read was when I got to Grover’s list of 13 traits that define a “Cleaner,” Grover’s term for the ultimate, take-no-prisoners type of winner exemplified by Michael Jordan. Why 13? “To remind you that there is no such thing as luck,” writes Grover, who is mostly known for training athletes in a sport where hitting the same percentage of your shots as a coin flip means you’re really good.
The Internet is beautiful, in the sense that certain fads, memes, and obscure pieces of media have multiple life cycles, with each rise to relevancy enjoyed by new generations of online sleuths. Rarely are things that have been dug up true Internet "firsts."
I had to remind myself of that today, as a clip made its way to my inbox that, for a split second, I was sure had never previously been on the Internet.
But of course it had.
Five years ago, on April 13, 2008, NESW Sports posted an article titled "Michael Jordan vs Charlie and Martin Sheen, Video." The post described a show, War of the Stars, and at the end of the description were two video clips.
Coaching news has rudely interrupted the endless stream of first-round playoff games, as both Charlotte and Cleveland came to major decisions about their head-coaching positions on Tuesday. The Bobcats’ semi-surprising decision to fire Mike Dunlap with one season left on his contract marked the fourth departure of a head coach since the end of the NBA regular season, which happened just one week ago. That round of firings followed four in-season dismissals, and three of the teams that made in-season changes — Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the Nets — are at the very least going to think very hard about making new hires in the next month or two.
On Selection Sunday, Indiana secured the top seed in the East Region. The program has officially been revived; after a latent period, the 2012-13 Hoosiers — with Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller, and coach Tom Crean — will be following in the footsteps of former Indiana legends this March. The school boasts a remarkable basketball history, including five national championships. But one of its most famous NCAA victories came before the Final Four, in a season that ended without a championship.
On March 22, 1984, North Carolina and Indiana met in the Sweet 16 at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta. The Tar Heels — the no. 1 team in the nation and the no. 1 seed in the East — were led by junior Michael Jordan. Their record was 28-2, and the losses had come by a combined three points. Two years earlier, coach Dean Smith had won his first national title when Jordan made the game-winning shot over Georgetown. The ’84 team was considered one of the most talented in Smith’s career, featuring future first-round picks Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, and Kenny Smith in the starting lineup. Indiana was the 4-seed, coached by Bobby Knight and led by freshman Steve Alford.
Indiana junior Dan Dakich drew the task of guarding Jordan that day. Dakich later became an assistant under Knight, and then became the coach at Bowling Green. Today, he hosts a radio show in Indiana and works for ESPN. But the events of that game — a 72-68 upset win for Indiana — would come to define his basketball legacy.
Antoine Walker sits down with Bill at NBA All-Star weekend to look back on his time at Kentucky ("the best college team in history"), his years with the Celtics, and his recent efforts to help athletes better manage their money. In the bonus video, Walker breaks down the secret Chicago workouts Michael Jordan orchestrated before he made his return to basketball.
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