Links: The Dirty 30

by January 21, 2009

by Lang Whitaker

Perhaps you’ve heard about this, but today is President Barack Obama’s first day in office. The New York Times is liveblogging Obama’s first day as President, and it includes exciting tidbits such as this:

Reporting for Duty | 9:33 a.m.

President Obama reported to work at 8:35 a.m. on Wednesday, walking into the Oval Office for the first time as the nation’s chief executive.

He read the note left behind by George W. Bush, which was sitting in a folder on top of the desk, with a note marked “44.” Mr. Obama was in the office alone for a brief time, aides said, starting his day after a late night celebrating and dancing at inaugural balls across Washington.

In that same spirit of sharing and transparency, I thought I’d live-blog my first day since Barack Obama was sworn in as President.

8:45 a.m.: Alarm went off. Hit snooze.

8:52 a.m.: Ditto.

8:59 a.m.: Ditto. This is why I’m not the President yet.

9:07 a.m.: Got out of bed. Wifey was already awake and had NPR on the radio. First stop of the day: Bathroom.

9:09 a.m.: Checked email and checked a couple of web sites for any news from overnight.

9:21 a.m.: Checked today’s weather report (High 26, Low 19) on NY1. Showered, then dressed appropriately, though I didn’t wear my bullet-resistant suit. Jeans, a sweater and some Converse seem more sensible.

9:40 a.m.: Took Starbury out for a walk and decided to let her lead the way. These are the kind of tough decisions leaders have to make, to occasionally follow instead of leading the way. Starbury went out the front door of our building, walked about 10 yards, pissed, stood still for a moment and realized that it was unbelievably cold, then turned and went right back in the front door.

9:46 a.m.: While getting ready to leave, went to grab my iPod and realized it was all screwed up. I just got a new computer at home last week and transferring my iTunes library from one computer to the other has been about as complicated as transferring executive staffs. Realize my iPod is in no way synced to my iTunes library. Surreptitiously steal Wifey’s iPod to use today.

9:50 a.m.: Leave my building. Did I mention it was cold?

10:00 a.m.: Get on the subway.

10:20 a.m.: Get off the subway two blocks from the SLAMdome. Stop at my usual Starbucks for my usual venti drip. One of the employees is throwing away all the food in the glass case. Makes me glad I never get the food.

10:30 a.m.: Sign in at the front desk at the SLAMdome. Mark my time as “9:55.”

10:35 a.m.: Spend half an hour returning emails and reading up on world news. Get into an email back-and-forth with Sekou Smith about Mike Bibby’s defense (or lack thereof).

11:07 a.m.: Ben hands me a stack of pages from SLAM 126 to proofread. Today’s the final day of shipping the new issue, and we’ve got about 15 pages to go. Luckily, all the stories are in and everything’s laid out, so it’s mostly just proofreading today.

11:40 a.m.: We have an impromptu inter-office discussion about NBC’s new late night schedule and I mention that The Roots are going to be the house band on Jimmy Fallon’s new show. Seems like a strange fit. Susan says she once had a dream where she got married to Black Thought. I ask if her name became Susan Thought?

12:00 p.m.: Sit down and go through all the NBA teams and rank them from 1 to 30 in preparation for today’s Dirty 30. It strikes me how there are really four distinct levels of teams: great, good, bad and ugly. Also, there’s the Clippers.

12:15 p.m.: Ryne and I walk out to a deli two blocks down the street to grab lunch. Ryne has to buy my drink today because we bet on last night’s Hawks/Bulls game. Even though the Hawks were on the second night of a back-to-back and missing two starters, I made the wager and didn’t demand any points. I think about getting a bottle of Dom Perignon, but instead settle on Vitamin Water.

12:30 p.m.: Eat lunch while reading my usual lunchtime fare.

12:50 p.m.: Get dirty…

1. 3. Orlando Magic 33-8 So here’s the thing: I don’t think the Magic are going to win a title this season, but right now, with the Magic shooting the lights out and Courtney Lee still basically slept on, the Magic are the team I’d least want to play.
2. 1. Los Angeles Lakers 32-8 Yeah, they lost to the Spurs (on a wacky last-second play) and the Magic, but I still think the Lakers are the team to beat in the Finals. This week, however, the Magic are red hot.
3. 2. Cleveland Cavaliers 31-8 Because I have nothing to say about the Cavs this week, I give you what I suspect will be Ryan Jones’s favorite link of this column: A link to every Onion headline about George W. Bush.
4. 4. San Antonio Spurs 28-13 They’ve won three straight and 8 of their last 10. But Pop still isn’t letting up:”We suck on D. Pretty much throughout. Both individually and team-wise, we suck. We’re pretty consistent that way.”
5. 5. Boston Celtics 34-9 After not having a slump, the Celts have won 5 straight games since putting Veal Scalabrine in the starting five.
6. 6. Denver Nuggets 28-15 Shout out to Melo for wearing a red tie to the game last night because Obama wore a red tie to the inauguration.
7. 9. New Orleans Hornets 25-13 CP3 hit the game-winner against Indy, and now the Hornets get 9 of their next 11 at home.
8. 11. Houston Rockets 26-16 Leave it to Rick Adelman to get furious about the NBA’s box out rules.
9. 10. Atlanta Hawks 25-16 Look out Sussman! Hawks PR chief Arthur Triche files a great piece about what Obama’s inauguration meant to him and the Hawks (who were in Chicago yesterday).
10. 12. Phoenix Suns 23-16 Got blown out in Boston, but now they get a series of easier teams in the East. BTW, did anyone know that former Cardinals QB Jake Plummer has become a professional handball player?
11. 13. Utah Jazz 25-17 Congrats to Jerry Sloan for signing on for at least one more season in Utah. As Deron Williams said, “I told you I’m going to retire before (Sloan) does.”
12. 7. Portland Trailblazers 25-16 They’re 6-4 in their last 10 and have to play Cleveland tonight. But did anyone notice Oden going for 24 and 15 the other night? He looked like he turned back the clock a few decades, back to when he was just 23 years old!
13. 8. Detroit Pistons 23-17 Can someone (Michael Curry? Joe Dumars?) please tell Rip Hamilton that the Pistons are a better team when he comes off the bench? Thanks.
14. 14. Dallas Mavericks 24-17 Mark Cuban has figured out how to go after Bernie Madoff.
15. 15. Miami Heat 22-18 While we wait for Chris Quinn’s viral videos to drop, let’s applaud him for making 21 free throws in a row.
16. 18. Philadelphia 76ers 20-21 Royal Ivey says of the fast-breaking Sixers: “We know our identity. We know what we’ve got to bring to the court every game. We’ve got to hold each other accountable. It’s not going to change when EB comes back—he’s going to fit right in.” Hmm, yeah, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there.
17. 17. New Jersey Nets 19-22 And don’t think I’m going to miss this bit out news out of Philly (I know, we’re on the Nets here, but whatever): Sammy Dalembert had an assist on Monday night! His first in two weeks! Free at last, free at last!
18. 20. Toronto Raptors 16-27 I’m not sure what was more remarkable, that the Hawks (down two starters) beat the Raptors, or that Toronto even had Jamario Moon out there in crunch time so he could blow a defensive assignment and then take an ill-advised three.
19. 16. Milwaukee Bucks 20-24 In honor of MLK Day, let’s take a second to recognize the first black basketball video game character.
20. 22. New York Knicks 16-24 I hope you didn’t miss that Jerome James somehow ruptured his achilles tendon. Probably while eating.
21. 19. Chicago Bulls 18-25 If they need toughness, maybe the Bulls should sign this guy.
22. 21. Charlotte BETcats 16-25 Unrelated, but (butt) Serena!
23. 26. Golden State Warriors 13-29 Unrelated, but does anyone wonder if Walter Herrman is upset with Suns reserve Louis Amundson for swagger-jacking his look?
24. 23. Indiana Pacers 15-27 Unrelated, but OK, maybe tennis can be funny sometimes.
25. 24. Minnesota L-Wolves 13-27 The L-Wolves all rocked suits to ride the bus from their Utah hotel to the arena in honor of Obama. Then, to honor Randy Wittman, they blew a 14-point second half lead and lost to the Jazz.
26. 25. Memphis Grizzlies 11-29 Can someone tell Dick Stockton it’s Mike Conley, not Mike Connely? Thanks!
27. 29. Oklahoma City Thunder 8-34 5-5 over their last ten games! Still, our man Nick Collison didn’t exactly offer a ringing endorsement of Scott Brooks: “I don’t know what the organization wants to do, but I think he’s definitely able to be a coach.”
28. 27. Sacramento Kings 10-32 Unrelated, but let’s give Denzel credit for being on time yesterday.
29. 28. Washington Wizards 8-32 Is it just me or do the Wizznutz keep getting better and better?
30. 30. Los Angeles Clippers 9-31 Zzzzzzzzzz.