by Lang Whitaker

I didn’t completely disappear today, just nearly. We had kind of a hectic morning, shipping the final pages of SLAM 114, and I had to write an unplanned story at the last second (see if you can guess which article it is when the next issue drops). Then we had a meeting this afternoon to plan SLAM 115. And on top of all that, the Powers That Be at the office decided to introduce an evil subplot about changing our carpet.

I’ve worked at SLAM since 2000, and I’ve walked in and out of the same offices nearly every day over that time, and it wasn’t until about 2:00 p.m. today that I even realized we had carpet in the offices. The carpet was so bland, so nondescript, that it barely existed. Come to think of it, it was everything that carpet should be. But alas, the Great Floods Of 2007 apparently irreparably damaged huge swatches of the carpet, and the Powers That Be decided to just tear all the carpet out and give us new flooring, which at the least should leave us all buzzed on fumes for a few weeks.

Now, that 2:00 time stamp I mentioned earlier is important, because that was when I was told that they would be ripping all the carpet out of the office at 6:00 p.m. We had that meeting at 3:00, and I knew it would last a while, so I had about an hour to make sure everything in my office that was sitting on carpet was no longer touching the carpet. This was problematic, because I have a lot of stuff in my office. T-shirts, shoes, boxes of media guides, shoes, stacks of SLAM back issues, a box of McFarlane NBA figurines and shoes. Everything was all piled up, and there was no way I’d be able to go through it all and properly clean everything out in an hour.

So I figured I’d just move everything from the floor to my desk for the night while they tore out the carpet and installed the new carpet. Then in the morning I could just sweep all that crap onto the new carpet, fully intending to organize it all tomorrow, just as I’ve planned to do every day for about the last four years.

When informed of my plan, however, one of the Powers That Be let slip that they wouldn’t be installing the new carpet immediately — they weren’t exactly sure when that would happen. I asked, So there’s a chance we’ll all just be walking around on unfinished concrete for a few weeks? No, I was assured, there is no chance that could happen.

Armed with this knowledge, I understood that if I planned on being able to use my desk tomorrow, I’d have to sweep everything onto the floor, and then I’d have to pick it all up again and re-load my desk whenever it came time to install the new carpet.

So I started slagging my way through all the stuff on my floor, and I found many treasures: Gerald Green’s SLAM High School All-American jersey, a pair of Diana Taurasi’s signature shoes in my size, a ream of SLAM 100 posters, a huge photograph of Deion Sanders wearing a plaid suit, a ruined pair of Jordan XIs, a FreeDarko shirt, a v-neck sweater, a Michael Vick jersey…it was like hitting the Lang jackpot. Finding so much enjoyment in the stuff slowed me down, to the point that I’d barely scratched the surface of the Ancient SLAM Mounds before I had to go into the meeting.

And then at the last minute, the Powers That Be issued a last-second reprieve, sending out a company-wide email announcing that we had until Friday night to clean everything up. The email went to everyone, but I think it was focused at me.

Anyway, it was a busy day.

Last night I went out Jersey for the Hawks/Nets game, but I didn’t really take game notes. I wrote my weekly column today for Hawks.com and included some thoughts from that game there.

One other thought before I sign off for the night: You know how stories in the NBA are like waves, right? They start as a ripple and then they catch on and everyone starts writing about them all over the place?

Here comes another one, that I’m just gonna put out there, see if it catches on. It might be too early to say it, but could Steve Nash’s window be closing? Maybe just a little? I’m not saying I agree, but if he keeps this up, leading the NBA in turnovers while the Suns struggle, we might get a spate of stories about it. Just wondering…

He scored a lot against Atlanta tonight, but I can’t ever remember seeing him make so many unforced errors. Or maybe I’m just biased because Josh Smith(!) ripped the ball from Nash when Nash tried to cross him over. That’s gotta be a sign of Nash getting older, right?