Links: Treading Water

by September 24, 2007

by Lang Whitaker

Hello there. My name is Lang Whitaker. I used to write a daily column around these parts. And I’m fully planning on going back to writing a daily column, as we get closer to the NBA season. But for now I’m just trying to handle my business. I’ve spent parts of the last two weeks on the road for the cover story of our next issue, writing the official SLAM NBA Preview for that issue, editing a bunch of stuff for the mag, designing a shoe, entertaining my parents when they came to town, and endless other stuff.

I’ve been kinda AWOL, so much so that I wasn’t too surprised when I got an email from an NBA writer friend the other day with the subject line I’M PISSED AT YOU…

The email read…

…for not going to the Isiah trial. I need someone to write hilarious accounts of what’s going on in there, not the websites who are there and their “Isiah’s coming off real bad in this.” No sh*t. And I needed you in there to make me laugh reading about this stuff. You move up the ladder at SLAM and you’ve turned into a sellout. You barely do the links anymore. You’re damn near a f*cking suit these days kid. Very sad.

And I immediately wrote Sam Smith back and said…

Wait, that wasn’t from Sam Smith. Anyway, I wrote the guy back and told him that’s why newspapers are dying — they want us internet people to do all the hard work for them. (I also explained that I own exactly one suit. And it’s a sweatsuit.)

Truth is, I have very little interest in this Isiah case. As this thing unravels like an onion, is anyone surprised to discover that the Knicks front office seems to be a hive of disorganization? I feel dirty just reading about it in the papers every morning.

The one part I really don’t understand was why Stephon Marbury had to testify about having sex with a Knicks intern. What does that have to do with anything in this case? How does that impugn either Isiah Thomas or Anucha Browne Sanders? Is it supposed to illustrate the prevalent dysfunction in the Knicks front office? Because it doesn’t illustrate that, at least not to me. it just illustrates that a couple of people exercised bad judgment one night.

Speaking of that part of the story, shame on the New York Post. Not only have they set out to make a star of said Knicks intern, but they put her photo on the cover of the paper and then had a stalkerazzi picture of her in the paper a few days later. Why? Because she allegedly had sex with a Knicks player? If that was the qualification for being on the front of the New York Post, I’m pretty sure they’d have to run about a thousand alternate covers in order to give all the ladies of Manhattan their due.

The intern in question actually used to work pretty closely with all the NBA writers in New York, because her job involved her handing out media credentials for almost every home game. I didn’t know her well but she seemed like a nice kid, and I feel bad that the Post has decided to exploit her for the sake of their sagging sales. But then, that’s what the Post does, and you won’t hear me complaining when they run photos of all of Paul LoDuca’s barely-legal girlfriends for the sole purpose of embarrassing LoDuca. And Sam.

A few random links, notes and reader mail…

• In the current issue of SLAM — SLAM #112, on newstands now! — I went down to Orlando and wrote a feature on my man Drew Gooden, one of the most endlessly entertaining guys in the League. I’ll do something more about this later this week with quotes and behind-the-scenes stuff with The Big Drizzle, but anyway, it’s out on stands now.

• Linkstigator Struan Smith writes…

Longtime Linkstigator, I am in law school and have been reading every afternoon since I was in grade 10. Like most people who frequent, I am constantly craving for any worthwhile basketball news or articles. Have you ever thought of posting your top 5 list of other basketball blog type sites out there that you frequent? Any recommendations? I am sure the other Linkstagators would be incredibly grateful.

Well, I have a bunch of sites bookmarked right across the front of my web browser. From the left they read: SLAM, SLAM’s WordPress site, SLAM’s RSS feed, ESPN, SI, Deadspin, Yahoo’s NBA page, Yahoo’s MLB page, (mostly New York news and snark) and the Drudge Report.

As far as NBA stuff, I check out Henry Abbott’s True Hoop at least once a day, and I try to check Hoopshype’s Rumors page once every two days. I like these sites because they both aggregate information.

HOWEVA!, I’ve found the best way to get NBA news is to actually read all the different websites from the papers in NBA cities, because a lot of the really fun stuff is usually buried deep down in the stories. This way you can also get a feel for what’s happening behind the scenes and can tell which writers hate which players, etc. The only way to do this is to put in the work and actually spend about an hour going through all these sites. I’ve got ’em all bookmarked by division and I open them in tabs and try to read through them as quickly as I can every day. That’s how I put together The Links.

• Reader Konstantine sent along this link of Darko Milicic wildly profane interview (with subtitles!) following Serbia’s loss to Greece in Euro 2007. I have no idea if it’s translated correctly, but I hope it is. By the way, it’s NSFW if people are reading over your shoulder. Or if they speak Darko, I suppose.

• One plug: Former SLAM editor-in-chief Tony Gervino is now running the very cool Antenna magazine, which is basically a men’s mag dedicated to cool stuff. And I’m writing essays for the mag. In the first issue I wrote about cellphones, and for the next issue I’m writing about deodorant. If you’re into gadgets and clothes and other detritus of life, it’s worth checking out.

• Loved this story. Key quote is this…

“They get into the kitchens, they know where the fridge is, they open it and take everything, and then they defecate everywhere.”

Figure it out: The story is either about a pack of wild baboons or the Atlanta Falcons offensive line.

This is also pretty cool. I took it and it told me Barack Obama was the candidate I should vote for. Not if he doesn’t start returning our interview requests, he’s not.