Thursday, April 17, 2008

For My Next Trick

Its an interesting choice to pair these two together. Obviously they have similar strengths and similar demons, but each deserves his own consideration.

Nash: The Suns may be the team I despise most in the NBA, and the looming Suns-Spurs series only fuels the vitriol and venom. But I have a strange respect for Nash, like Caesar thinking fondly of Hannibal. It has little to do with the pace and style of his game. They were the darlings of the NBA until they sold their soul in search of a ring, but I think that Nash retains his playful dignity. And that's exactly what it is, PLAYFUL dignity. The honor with which he plays the game derives from the fact that he is playing a game. I don't think he is a warrior, a champion. I know this is a bold thesis, but I don't believe he thinks like that. He didn't write the language for the commercial, obviously, but take him at his word nonetheless. He does not mention ringsn or dreams, merely the fear of going home. Like some winner-stays school boy pick-up game. Obviously there is a part of him that wishes to win it all, but a championship is not his telos. I think that is why he is a man of peace.

Kidd: Kidd saddens me a little. He has an air of the journeymen in him, despite his all-star status. His wanderings and eventual homecoming confuse me. He, despite his age, may still be the best pure passer in the game today (the previously mentioned individual being his only true rival for that title). But his triple doubles and no-look passes have a jack-of-all-trades feel to me, rather than a feel of dominance. As if he'll do whatever it takes to just get by, and by sheer happenstance happens to get by better than the vast majority of men who play his position. On a personal note, as a boy two Jersey's hung on my wall. One was David Robinson's. The other, Kidd's.

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