Thursday, November 8th, 2007 at 1:56 am  |  39 responses

Links: Lang, Hawks, blah blah blah

Also, a lot about carpet and Steve Nash

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?

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  • Chris

    You have to be kidding about Nash? Since joining the Suns, Nash’s turnovers have gone up alot because of their style. Nash has even said that he isn’t afraid of turning the ball over. Besides, Dwyane Wade led the NBA in turnovers last year and no one complains. If Nash was declining, he wouldn’t have scored 34 points on 12 of 19 shooting, dished out 11 assists and grabbed five rebounds against the Hawks. Overall through five games, Nash has averaged 22 ppg, 9 apg and 55 percent shooting.

  • Deuce21

    Uno! Slam 114?

  • Dizzle


  • http://www.myspace.com/impulseshopper_acquirente its just alex

    I feel for you having to move all that stuff, Lang. It’s like when you throw a bunch of sh*t on your bed and then stumble into bed at 3 a.m. and realize you no longer have a place to sleep. I feel like Nash is getting older, but then I look at Kidd and he just seems to get better. Hard to know.

  • http://oytun.co.uk bootlace

    I think Nash should put up 20 points per night, 25 max. Once he goes over 30, his fatigue brings down other parts of his game.

  • http://www.tasa201.wordpress.com Tariq

    Nash could be getting older. Of course he also could be MVP again, so it’s a bit tough to tell at this point.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    I think the void of Amare is getting bigger by the day. At the press conference in Vancouver, Nash said he has never felt better physically and had a great off season but, which player is going to tell you they are starting to feel their age wearing on them? I’m not too worried about Nash and the guys offense, it is Amare and those damn knees that has everything hanging in the balance for me.

    As for the media guides, I got a sick amount of pleasure in reading both Sonics and Phoenix guides cover to cover.

    Also Lang, what are your thoughts on Acie Law so far? I am looking forward to catching more Hawks games, I’ve only watched half of their game versus the Suns this season.

  • dma

    how’s that kurt thomas swap out for brian skinner working out for ya phoenix? you’ll save money in the short run, but if the suns keep dying and god forbid dont make the playoffs, that luxury tax savings wont be worth more than a jerome james signed jersey.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    What Holly said up until she got to the media guide stuff. Um, not that there’s anything wrong with reading media guides from cover to cover or anything.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    In my defense, it was a 4 hour bus ride home from the game… But, really, I would have read those things regardless. Another late night/Early morning for you Mr. Bengston. NBA stats got you up again?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Nah, I’m just up. Had some random stuff to do tonight. And I need to be on a train in…uh, five hours.

  • http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/rdp/caasqp/caasqp.html Tarzan Cooper

    first off: lang, i wouldnt mind taking some of those goodies off your hands. holly, its ACIE LAW IV and bengtson, but everyone calls him bengston anyways, probably just to annoy him. steve nash is old, so is shaq.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    If he is listed as Acie Law on the roster thats good enough for me.

    As for Mr. Bengtson? Just showing one of my favorite fixtures at SLAM some respect.

  • http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/rdp/caasqp/caasqp.html Tarzan Cooper

    holly, bengTSon. acie law IV

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Alright, alright, a typo for Russ. It’s what I get for still being awake at 5am. I didn’t even notice that when I re-read your comment and then wrote mine. I even checked the comment left by Russ and didn’t notice a difference! I stand corrected. And, we all know who I mean when I say Acie Law don’t we?! I like to keep it simple. Before seasons end I will probably be calling him something else entirely. I had to make a mental note when I was covering the Suns not to refer to Nash as “Nashy” because for some reason that is what I call him. He’d probably rather be called old than Nashy. hahah


    Lang, I couldn’t agree more… he’s been on the downhill for a while now. Do you see his routine after he comes out of the game?. They treat him like an old man suffering from hypothermia. I am expecting someone to hand him a cane every time he comes out. Then, he lays down on the side of the court.. like he’s in the ICU. Then again that’s where he should be,I guess, after that horrific car accident-like collision with Big Shot Rob last year. NOT!

  • 15AM

    agent zero is 1 of 17 on 3s so far … must be getting old as well.

  • Patrick

    Nash did also intentionally trip up Raymond Felton, almost putting him out for the season. That’s a bad sign.

  • Jared

    Nashty’s back keeps stiffening up on him…it happens, it’s not just an age thing. The guy plays like a soccer player, his motor aint dyin down anytime soon…

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Holly, don’t worry about the IV on Acie Law. It’s good that someone named Tarzan is so insistent about it, but Acie dropped it on the roster. That’s why he’s wearing number 4 this season.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    And about NAsh, I’m not saying this because of his stats, although he is averaging a ton of turnovers. I’m saying it after watching him play a few games. Last night against Atlanta he just turned it over with nobody around him to ice the game.

  • http://whitehoteboysworld.blogspot.com white hot eboy

    It’s called being worn out from carrying a franchise for 3 years in a row. It’s not going to change any time soon. Poor Steve. He deserves better.

  • Watford

    agent zero is always 1 of 17 at the start of the season

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I remember last season when both the Suns and Dallas got off to horendous starts and we were all predicting their downfall. Well, lesson learned. It’s still early folks and to quote every player that has struggled so far this first week: “It’s a looonngg season”. Let’s see where everyone is after the new year. I really do hope the Hawks are still there.

  • JpT

    ATL owned DAL and PHX.. Lang is smiling himself to sleep! :D

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I hope that the Powers That Be don’t read the Links.

  • Myung

    Grant Hill is not a good fit for PHX. It was a bad pick-up. They had their best shot at a championship since 1993 last season. Amare and Boris got off the bench. And that was that. They will not win a title with Steve Nash, which is a shame, because he is one of the best PG’s I’ve ever seen. Marvin Williams is going to give Danny Granger some serious competition for MIP.

  • http://miamiheat.com Reggie Evans

    Nash = Cassell = Paul

  • Myung

    So Nash and Paul are the ugliest players in the NBA?

  • Dark

    Agree with you completely Mung about the Sun’s chance at a title. Last year was their chance; I don’t think they get a second. Had they kept the same exact players, I would say they had a chance this year too, but Brian Skinner instead of Kurt Thomas? Pfft.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    The Powers That Be write The Links.

  • http://www.coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    Good post on Hawks.com Lang, next time pick a side of the sofa and stick with it.

  • J

    Let me take some of those kicks off your hands.

  • f

    nash declining – i don’t see that one catching on. too many people are on his jock. (besides, if a billionaire loses 100,000,000 dollars, he’s still got 900,000,000, which is way more than most people.

    now, if you wanted to say that nash is becoming an ODB, i can see that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scmx1z94WAI

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    I thought his name was Acie Earl….

  • Allenp

    Uh, Gilbert Arenas is coming off major knee surgery. I thought that needed to be said to the guy who compared him to Nash. And I’m assuming WHE was joking with his woe to Nash comments, and if so, good jest. Nash is still nice, but without Amare, that team is going nowhere fast.

  • TonyG

    they did get to the conference finals without Amare..I still don’t believe they have much of a chance to win anything big this year..you can’t win in the NBA if you don’t have some form of D..Phoenix isn’t BAD defensively on the perimeter, but their inside D is pathetic..Duncan dominated them last year, and I would expect Boozer and Yao to do the same..so it’ll be tough for Phoenix to come out of the West this year, especially with Nash obviously slowing down a little..

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    I agree with eboy. They’ve been playing a crazy uptempo game with about seven guys for three years now. Nash is getting up there in years. It has to start showing one of these days. I think they’ll pull it together towards the playoffs for this one more year, but after that it is most likely downhill for Nash. Sadly.