by Lang Whitaker

A couple of weeks ago, my wife invited a few friends over for dinner at our new apartment. Apparently when you move to a new apartment, the actual moving and re-organizing itself isn’t enough to go through; after you move you must then spent the next few months systematically inviting every person you know over so they can see your new place. Anyway, at some point during the evening, Wifey’s friends convinced her to sign up for Facebook. Over the last few years, as Facebook has been on the rise, I’ve stayed out of it. I generally agree with Khalid’s astute assessment that people are connected enough as it is. I had a Myspace page, but that was only because adidas asked me to have one in their microsite and keep a blog during the 2006 World Cup. I let it die soon after. And now Facebook is here, making me even less trusting of people than I was before.

I don’t trust anyone who has a bunch of photos of themselves all over their site. I understand maybe having pictures of your family or your friends or whatever, but really, does anyone need to see a dozen photos of you from third grade?

I don’t trust anyone who uses a scantily-clad picture of themselves as their avatar. I appreciate it, believe me. But I don’t trust them.

I don’t trust anyone who has time to update their site/feed/whatever more than, like, six or seven times a day. I especially don’t get the people who update 25 times with stuff like, “going to the store.” Hey, you’re going to the grocery store, great. Nobody cares!

At least I don’t, and perhaps that’s why I’m just not that into you, Facebook. I can understand people’s willingness to forfeit some modicum of privacy in order to stay in touch with people from their past, but is it really that hard to keep in touch with people? I’m rarely not able to find someone from back in the day, and people seem to have no problem finding me, based on the amount of random emails I get from people from middle school and high school.

Last week I had a meeting with the editor of my book that I’m supposed to be working on, and somehow we started talking about Facebook. Wifey had suggested I join Facebook as a way to promote the book, and I asked my editor’s opinion. He agreed that joining Facebook might be an effective way to help the sales of the book. I submitted that by the time the book is out, in Spring of 2010 (hopefully), Facebook will probably be dead and gone.

So, as sort of a compromise with myself, last weekend I signed up for Twitter. (Actually, I signed up via my Sidekick while Wifey was shopping and I was sitting around bored.) I like Twitter for a few reasons, but mostly because hardly anyone understands what the heck it actually is. I get it though — it’s basically a self-limiting blog. (Thus far, the main thing I’ve been learning about via twitter is the Rick Ross/50 Cent beef.)

What I really appreciate about it is ease of use. For like five years now I’ve asked the powers-that-be behind SLAMonline to give me the ability to post stuff on The Links via email. I used to do one long post every day linking to all the relevant NBA news from around the web, but now that that’s no longer needed, now that the internets are bustling with information, I would love to be able to post short things, five or six times a day, just quick thoughts and ideas and photos. (And imagine the possibilities from All-Star!) But no matter how many times we redesign the website, somehow I still can’t update via my phone.Which means I have to sit down and log in via my laptop and basically build an entire page every time I want to share something with you guys. Which is why I usually wait to update The Links until I have something worthy of posting.

So now I have a tumblr account and a twitter account, both of which I can update via my Sidekick or iPod. I’m still Linkstigating, but I’ll be checking in as often as I can on the other sites, too.So you guys follow me or whatever it is people do on those sites, and I’ll follow you back, or whatever it is people do on those sites.

And since I’m here, let’s get Dirty with the 30. Again, I’m not considering head-to-head performance or anything like that, just ranking these teams in order of which team I’d least like to see my team play against tonight…

RANKPREVTEAMRECORDCOMMENT
15Boston Celtics41-9Back on top! 12 straight and rolling. Hey Rajon, now can we admit it was a slump?
23Cleveland Cavaliers38-9I’m still not 100-pct sold on the Cavs as title contenders just yet. Hey, it’s not them, it’s me.
32Los Angeles Lakers38-9I’m not really a Kobe fan (at this point he’s the world, I’m Switzerland — neutral), but I can’t tell you how much I’m hoping he runs off a string of 40+ games now that Bynum’s out. Also, it wouldn’t hurt this.
41Orlando Magic36-11Hey, I said it wouldn’t last. But I didn’t think it meant that Jameer Nelson would go down for possibly the rest of the season. We know what this means: The return of Anthony Johnson!
54San Antonio Spurs33-15I love that Pop sat their Big 3 last night because “they needed a break.” I can understand a little backlash from some fans, but Pop’s thinking about June here.
612Portland Trailblazers30-17They’ve been hot since Steve Blake went down (7-3 in their last 10; won 5 in a row). What happens when Gummo returns next week?
76Denver Nuggets32-16Do you think Carmelo picks up the box scores every morning and goes through all the All-Star forwards in the West like, “Duncan…didn’t get hurt. Damn. David West…didn’t get hurt. Damn. Gasol…still healthy. Crap!”
87New Orleans Hornets28-17Lost three straight but they get a triple treat coming up of Chicago, Toronto and the L-Wolves to soothe their wounds.
914Dallas Mavericks28-19OK, I can’t wait any longer: This Christian Bale thing is awesome. It’s NSFW, but it’s also hilarious. Idea: Never curse someone out when you’re ON A MOVIE SET WEARING A MICROPHONE. Nice work, Batman!
108Houston Rockets30-19The good news is that T-Mac’s dunk over Tyrus Thomas looked encouraging. The bad news is that he hurt is hand and is now out for the next month. (OK, not really, but still…)
1110Phoenix Suns26-20I don’t understand all the drama from the PHX. Can’t they all just get along? Was Mike D’Antoni really that much of a miracle worker?
1211Utah Jazz27-22Guess who Jerry Sloan was talking about when he said this: “He’s been a warrior as long as he’s been here. He’s never backed away from anybody or anything.” That’s right kids, Matt Harpring! Yes he can! That SLAM cover is going to happen one of these days, I swear.
1313Detroit Pistons25-21Wow, I didn’t see this 3-7 skid coming at all…
1415Miami Heat26-21At what point do the Heat realize that perhaps keeping Shawn Marion is the best idea?
159Atlanta Hawks27-20They’re more beat up right now than Andrei Arlovski. BTW, I asked Josh Smith why he wasn’t in the dunk contest this year. He said they invited him, but he declined. Just reporting the facts, people…
1616Philadelphia 76ers23-24Let’s pour some out for Sam Dalembert, who had 1 assist in back-to-back-to-back games two weeks ago. He’s averaging about 1 assist per 100 minutes. That has to be some kind of record, right?
1717New Jersey Nets22-27How about VC busting out the triple-dip last night? I wrote a Vince feature in the new SLAM where I talked to him about how dramatically his game has changed over the last few years. He’s not as exciting as he once was, but he’s probably a better all-around player than he’s ever been. As Vince told me: “I’d rather be able to perform in the last three minutes of the game where it means something rather than jump over seven-footers all day.”
1819Milwaukee Bucks24-28If a Buck loses in the woods…
1920New York Knicks21-26The Knicks are still wacky and inconsistent. But hey, Sam, have we got a job opportunity for you when you finish with yer fancy learnin’ school…
2021Chicago Bulls21-28Derrick Rose is fast and all, but when he can’t stop Aaron Brooks when the Bulls need a stop, makes me think he still has a lot to learn.
2124indiana Pacers19-30Maybe Miley Cyrus is just a fan of the Spanish basketball team?
2218Toronto Raptors19-31Hey Toronto, before Chris Bosh leaves, maybe you guys should make the Raptors rock the same horrible throwbacks the Canadiens wore over the weekend.
2322Charlotte BETcats19-29Here come the BETcats (5-5 in their last 10). Someone call Free and AJ!
2425Minnesota L-Wolves17-30OK, how’s this for a deal: If the L-Wolves get to .500, we’ll drop the “L.”
2523Golden State Warriors15-34Well, once Monta comes back…wait, he came back two weeks ago? Whoops!
2626Memphis Grizzlies12-35This is a sad story, right up until they put the criminal’s mug shot on the screen. I defy you not to laugh.
2727Oklahoma City Thunder11-375-5 in their last 10!
2829Washington Wizards10-38My favorite lede of the week comes from, of course, the Wizznutzz.
2928Sacramento Kings11-39You’re telling me Reggie Theus couldn’t have done better than this?
3030Los Angeles Clippers10-38The Clips have lost 20 of their last 22. Blech.