Links: NBA Friday VIII

by Lang Whitaker

OK, I’m gonna have to stop numbering out NBA Fridays after today, because I’m really not that good with Roman numerals. There’s a reason their empire collapsed, right?

Couple of things to touch on today before we get to our weekly NBA Friday illustration. Let’s empty out some bullets…

• I was walking home from work last night when the bottom of my jeans got hooked around the bottom of my shoes. This must happen to many of you, too — it’s a constant hazard of wearing baggy pants. Anyway, somehow my left ring finger got hooked in my pants and I bent it backwards, in a direction it’s not supposed to bend. (So if anyone out there in Manhattan saw a dude hopping around in pain on a side street around 6:30 last night, it was probably me.) It’s not broken, I know, but it hurts really badly, especially when I type.

I went to CVS today and bought a roll of athletic tape, hoping to at least wrap it up and give it some support, but when I sat down at my desk, I remembered that I own one of Reggie Miller’s unused finger braces, which I found years ago on the Pacers locker room floor. And it works incredibly well. So thanks, Reggie, for finally doing something nice for the media. Even if you didn’t mean to do it.

• Yeah, Boobie Gibson. Thanks for the shout-out. (We’ve gotta work on that Hannah Montana answer, though.)

• My main man Sekou “Seiko” Smith thinks the Hawks are going to move someone. I hear it might actually be someones they’re trying to move.

• Lots of talk here in NYC in the magazine world about Wal-Mart, which sells somewhere around 20 percent of all the magazines sold in the US, dropping over 1,000 magazines from their newsstands. Here’s the complete list of the mags they dropped — SLAM made the cut, but a lot of other magazines didn’t.

• SLAM’s own Alan Paul appeared on NPR this week. You can listen to his interview here.

• Quote of the day from Charles Barkley, on Kenny Smith missing “Inside the NBA” due to illness: “Kenny’s being a wuss, I don’t give sympathy to wusses.”

• I really loved David Harrison’s diatribe about the pleasures of smoking marijuana, as reported here. According to that report, Harrison said:

I made a mistake and if that mistake costs me my career, then that’s where we need to look. Look at what I did and look at what I lost. You know what I’m saying. Does marijuana, is it that bad? That’s the question I really want people to ask themselves sometimes.

Following rules blindly, doesn’t mean you’re right just by following those rules. There needs to be a just rule. I mean, a long time ago George Washington sat around, didn’t want to pay taxes to the crown. There’s other things going on, but the rudimentary part of our American revolution was we didn’t want to pay taxes. And we broke that rule and we have America today. You know, if we would’ve lost that war, George Washington would be Benedict Arnold.

You know, it’s whoever wins, you get the praise. Nicotine won, the tobacco industry won. That’s the thing, they wouldn’t want marijuana to be legal. It causes less cancer and actually, I’ve read studies where in cities with very bad air pollution like in Indiana, it helps protect you from lung cancer.

Yee-uh! Get that man a number 13 Pacers jersey with “KRYPTONITE” across the back. (And they have “very bad air pollution” in Indiana? And Indiana is a city? I love David Harrison!)

• Finally, let’s get to NBA Friday, where Joel Kimmel, the Official Illustrator of The Links, drops his latest NBA-related illustration. This week’s team is the Golden State Warriors. This week’s subject? Baron Davis.

“I originally put together some ideas to have an illustration of Baron that included a group of the energetic fans of Oracle Arena,” Joel says. “I liked how it was turning out, but right before I started to ink it I took a trip to the Frick Museum in Manhattan. There were so many amazing classical portraits there and I’ve always wanted to paint one myself. I went home, erased everything I’d done and decided to treat the new painting as if Baron was a baron himself who had his portrait painted. From Wikipedia, the word “baron” is described as a specific title of nobility, with the word coming from French, which itself came from a Frankish word meaning “warrior.” I thought that was pretty appropriate. I researched some old paintings of barons and the clothing they wore, added some Golden State Warriors details and colors, and came up with this illustration.”

Awesome. As always, thanks Joel.

Next week’s team? Your Atlanta Hawks! You better not put me in the picture, Kimmel.

Who do you guys want to see? Let Joel know below…