Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Love in the Time of LeBron NBA Awards

It’s the end of the season, and what a season it was. The lovable underdogs, the Los Angeles Lakers took home the championship and the Summer of 2010 is about to descend in all of it’s apocalyptic fury. Incidentally, one year ago on this very day, this blog started with a vision of human sacrifice performed by a back-up for the Minnesota Timberwolves. We have come so far since then. Let’s celebrate with the first annual Love in the Time of LeBron NBA Awards. Yes, we are doing this. Yes.

All Fallen Heroes Team
This is the team of my five favorite players who were once truly great but saw terrible decline this season. Either felled by their own tragic flaws, the indifference of a cruel universe, or the sapping, and unrelenting force of age and time, some of my absolute favorite players became shadows of themselves this past season, and left me sad. The flickering torches of true and genuine greatness must be passed before they extinguish. We grow old, we grow old, and we wearour trousers like damn fools. For the heroes.

PG Gilbert Arenas
SG Allen Iverson
SF Vince Carter
PF Kevin Garnett
C Shaquille O’Neal

All Nerd Team
Just a bunch of nice guys who leave their comics, videogames, Rubik's cubes, and blogs. Oh and Steve Nash. Sure, Steve Nash isn’t nerdy in those same terms, but he’s deeply silly, and well, I mean c’mon.

PG Steve Nash
SG Danny Granger
SF Marvin Williams
PF Channing Frye
C Brook Lopez

Creepy Cerebral Team
Not nerds, but (potentially) evil geniuses. This team would pick you apart so fast that you couldn’t help but feel naked. Some of the most ruthlessly gifted players in the league, but also uncannily bright. Imagine the team meetings.

PG Steve Nash
SG Kobe Bryant
SF Shane Battier
PF Tim Duncan
C Emeka Okafor

Total Badass Team
Be honest with me. Would you mess with a single guy on this team? Note, four out of five made the Finals and the other went to jail. Just saying.

PG Gilbert Arenas
SG Kobe Bryant
SF Ron Artest
PF Kevin Garnett
C Rasheed Wallace

All Nemesis Team
If you have the ball, who do you not want to see defending you? These guys. Not quite the all-defensive team, but rather a collection of the peskiest defenders in the league who pride themselves in getting under your skin an inside your head. Varejao must exemplifies that attitude and Sasha and Birdman combine that with certain magical quality that just make people hate them. Rondo and Wallace are legitimately great defenders by everyone’s accounting, but they bring a certain stony athletic quality that scares their opponents. I love that.

PG Rajon Rondo
SG Sasha Vujacic
SF Gerald Wallace
PF Anderson Varejao
C Chris Anderson

Pure Joy Team
I love watching these five guys. Wish they were in every game. They play brilliant, joyful basketball and remind me of the full potential of the NBA. Also, maybe just a coincidental fact, but nice smiles all round. Think about it.

PG Chris Paul
SG Ray Allen
SF LeBron James
PF Josh Smith
C Dwight Howard

Can We Hang Out Team?
Simply put, the guys in the NBA who I want to hang out with. Dudes who just seem cool, nice, and relatively down to Earth for ridiculously talented millionaires. Maybe not the ultimate list of dudes who you’d want to hit the club, but definitely the dudes who I’d want to go to a barbecue with. Another name for this list might be, “Why I’m Not Bill Simmons.”

PG Steve Nash
SG Baron Davis
SF Caron Butler
PF Channing Frye
C Brook Lopez

All Bench Team
Personal and sentimental favorites who could totally start for lots of teams. They are all starters in my heart.

PG Ty Lawson
SG Goran Dragic
SF Martel Webster
PF Marcin Gortat
C Channing Frye

Gimme Some More Team
We didn’t get to see very much of these guys this season, and that’s a shame because the are all awesome or dripping with awesome potential. Injuries and a lack of national TV coverage did these guys in.

PG Chris Paul
SG Kevin Martin
SF Gerald Wallace
PF Blake Griffin
C Greg Oden

Hipster Team
Not necessarily made up of hipsters, but full of “underground,” “buzz,” and “cult” picks. One of these picks, I am told, is “ironic.” Bonus Rorschach test: if you scoff at these picks for being too obvious: what does that say about you? If you scoff at these picks for being too irrelevant: what does that say about you?

PG Brandon Jennings
SG Rudy Fernandez
SF Luke Walton
PF Serge Ibaka
C Ian Mahinmi

Thomas’s Psychosexual Dream Team
The heroes and actors of Thomas’s over active imagination and bizarre repressed desires. Fully bearded and soft on the inside. Perfect. They would probably win about five straight championships if they weren’t too busy being metaphors for Thomas's psyche.

PG Derek Fisher
SG Dwyane Wade
SF Lebron James
PF Troy Murphy
C Pau Gasol

All Destiny Team
This one is just for fun. Listen, I know this can’t happen, but here it is. Of the possible free-agent super teams that can be created, by necessity, the best ones involve LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. They complement each other far better than LeBron with his mini-me in Wade or the skilled, but distinctly unfreakishly singular Bosh and Stoudemire. If you start talking about Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay I will laugh in your face. In any event, this scenario supposes that LeBron signs with Chicago and through a series of fanciful sign and trades, gets rid of Hinrich and Deng and brings in Dirk and noble Ray Allen, who signs for a relatively low contract to be apart of this new superteam. Ray and Dirk offer the three-point shooting LeBron has always needed. Noah offers the gifts of a true center and defensive anchor, while Rose offers a harmonizing, slashing counterpoint to LeBron’s game. Maybe this would be slightly more possible in New Jersey with Harris and Lopez playing the part of the young core, but this dream is just too beautiful.

PG Derrick Rose
SG Ray Allen
SF LeBron James
PF Dirk Nowitzki
C Joachim Noah

All Love in the Time of LeBron Team
“For exemplifying the spirit of the blog and all of it’s ridiculousness.”

PG Steve Nash
SG Allen Iverson
SF LeBron James
PF Channing Frye
C Shaquille O’Neal

Beard of the Year
Baron Davis

He faced a stern challenges from young James Harden, but Boom’s beard abides.

Dreamhaunter of the Year
Tyler Hansbrough

I don’t get it, but it’s just a fact.

Team of the Year
Nuggets, Thunder, Suns

I couldn’t decide. For my money, these are the three most fun teams in the league. The Suns seemed destined to fade fast. The end of the Nuggets as we know them looms. Enjoy these two teams in their twilight and then bask in the glorious dawn of the Thunder. May they reign forever.

Disappointment of the Year
Wizards, Hawks, and Clippers

I couldn’t decide again. I thought each of these teams were going to be legitimately good but they were each undone by their respective weaknesses: fingergunz, poor coaching, and being the Clippers.

Coach of the Year
Alvin Gentry, Suns.

Is any other coach in this league so loved by his team? Does any coach in the league love his team as much as Alvin? We are all about love here: it’s in the name.

Love in the Time of LeBron Player of the Year
Chaning Frye

You all know why.

Love in the Time of LeBron Champion of the Year
Ron Artest.

Everything is coming up Ron Ron. Let's stop here, fellow champions.

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