I spent a considerable part of the last week living in the NBA of the 1990s and early 2000s, preparing what I hope will be a lasting contribution to the discussion of Chris Webber’s place in basketball history. Everyone about my age — I just turned 36 — was old enough to watch games of that era with at least some sophistication. But it’s just impossible to remember the details of specific plays and the general way in which each game flowed without going back and really digging into the available video.
Here are some random thoughts after rewatching a lot of those games from the very different perspective I have now:
So first off let's just say fist-bump-explosion-sound-effect to the Boston Celtics, who came back from down 27 Thursday night to beat the Orlando Magic. Love them or hate them, it's more entertaining to have them in the mix. The win was Boston's third in a row and could be a turning point in its season.
Two things about this game stood out. 1. Quentin Richardson doing air-guitar-Pete Townshend-windmills on the sideline (1:13 into this video) over a Jameer Nelson 3-pointer (I know, the Magic had gone up 27, but drink some dream water, Q) and 2. Kevin Garnett's WAY TOO INTENSE FOR JANUARY postgame interview with Craig Sager, after the Celtics had come from behind for the win.
As part of our coverage of the NBA lockout, Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams checked in with Shane Battier to see how he is spending his newfound free time. Battier discussed being a free agent, how he would solve the lockout, and the toughest player to draw a charge on.
Grantland: Earlier in the offseason, you said that if you played anywhere overseas, it would be in China. Are you surprised that Wilson Chandler signed to play there without the ability to come back should the NBA return sometime in 2011-12?
Battier: “Not entirely. Wilson’s a young guy still. He’s got many more years left to play in the NBA. It’s a much different situation for a guy like me who’s nearing the end. I think Wilson can make up any perceived loss of income he’ll miss out on this one year. I applaud him. It’s a heck of a jump and it’s going to be a great lifetime experience for him and a great basketball experience for him. I was happy to see a young guy, he’s 25 or 26, have the courage to make that jump.”