Wednesday, May 8, 2019

My Top 5 Most Hated NBA Players


With a title and premise like this, it’s unnecessary to write an introduction. I’m just gonna let my hate flow.

5. Clint Capela

Okay, so before I plunge deep into this list, let me be clear about one commonality with each player on this list: the better they are, the more likely I hate them. Take Clint Capela, who used to be a late-round nobody drafted by the Rockets. Early in his career, I didn’t dislike him. I had no reason to. In fact, I kind of liked him because I delighted in laughing at him when he would snatch an offensive rebound against my beloved Warriors, miss the putback, and then inevitably brick the subsequent free throws when he shot less than 40% from the charity line.

But he’s gotten better over the years. A lot better. Earlier this season, his stats looked like All-Star material. But I can’t stand Capela because he’s basically a volleyball player playing basketball. On offense, his only two talents are crashing the offensive boards with his size and length and rolling or hanging around the basket for alley-oops. Capela is basically an oversized pogo stick with long arms adept at grabbing a ball in mid-air and throwing it through a hoop when it is spoonfed to him by players who have honed far greater basketball skills than him. As a 5’8 has-been with average athletic ability at best, I find it deplorable to watch a player like Capela with his uncanny combination of size, strength, agility, and speed excel at a simplistic skill that is akin to the soaring slam dunks I can throw down on my toddler’s goddamn fucking toy basketball hoop.

And one last note on Capela: it looks like he got shit on by a pigeon with a nacho cheese diet. It’s a bad look, guy. Bad look. Makes you look stupid. (Oh wait, you probably are.)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Let’s Get the Band Back Together (One Last Time)! (or My 2018-2019 NBA Playoff Preview)


We have finally arrived at the NBA playoffs.

This season, my beloved Golden State Warriors are again the heavy favorites to seize and take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. But the 2018-2019 NBA Playoffs will undoubtedly play out differently than recent postseasons. For one, with LeBronto’s move to the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference will send a team other than the Cavs to the Finals for the first time in four seasons. The Eastern Conference is relatively wide open with their top four teams—Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Boston—having a legitimate chance to emerge.

In another anomaly, I think this NBA season is also markedly different because I think the only teams who have a puncher’s chance of beating the Warriors are out east, not within the Western Conference. Milwaukee is a long, athletic, sharp-shooting prototype similar to the dynastic Warriors. With superstar Kawhi Leonard, an emerging two-way star in Pascal Siakam and a deep bench, the Raptors can play a number of lineups, including small-ball lineups, with the very best. The Sixers traded for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to form the most potent starting five outside of Golden State. And Boston added Warriors-killer Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to their already-talented roster. (And if you’re the gambling type, holy shit, I think Boston would be the team with the most bang-for-buck upside to bet on, given how low their current odds are of winning the title.)

Here’s my picks for the opening round matchups:

Friday, January 4, 2019

Kids


Since he’s nearly twenty-one months old and almost three feet in height, Miguelito recently outgrew his plastic baby tub. He has graduated to our adult-sized bathtub. Compared to his baby tub, we use a large amount of water for his baths now. This has bugged me and Maria a little since we live in drought-prone California. So tonight, after we bathed Miguelito, when I was about to unplug the tub to drain the tepid water, I realized I could reuse the bath water. I had not showered this morning and thus due for one, and Miguelito had not peed during the bath (yay!) I feel a little weird and embarrassed to admit how excited I was to essentially recycle that water, but I was. To boot, it had been years—probably over a decade—since I had taken anything resembling a proper bath à la Dude.

With Maria’s go-ahead, I whipped off my clothes and slipped into the bathtub while she dried and cleaned and clothed our son. I pulled back the shower curtain and took a seat in the inch-high water. The blue whale-shaped bath rinser we use to bath Miguelito was floating in the water. I grabbed it and poured water all over my body. I giggled to myself. Miguelito likes to meditatively use the bath rinser to scoop up water and slowly pour it out, again and again and again, so it kind of made me feel like an overgrown baby to use it. But it worked quite effectively.

Soon after, Miguelito was clean as a clean whistle and dressed in his pajamas. Past the bathroom door, I could hear Maria let him loose. As I finished lathering my arms and legs with soap, I heard Miguelito open the bathroom door, then the pitter-patter of his feet. He pulled back the shower curtain as he has many times on me in the past few months. But this time, he didn’t look up at me and laugh with glee as I stood and showered. Instead, he found me at his eye level as he found me sitting in the tub where we had just bathed him. He furrowed his brow and gave me a what-the-fuck-are-you-doing!? look. I smirked. ¡Hola Miguelito!, I said, as I dipped his bath rinser into the water so I could pour the soap off of my other arm. He studied me as I went about my business. And before long, he was grinning. A look of understanding flashed over his face. Since he’s not talking much (thus far), I will never know with certitude what he was thinking at that moment, but I think he figured it out—that I was bathing, just like him. That I’m just an overgrown kid.