A number of Knicks players did something extremely stupid when they dressed in black for last night’s game, saying they were dressing for the Celtics’ funeral. These guys may be talented athletes, but they don’t understand sports. Amazingly. How could they get that far in the NBA without understanding that you don’t celebrate until you win. I know they’re young. I wonder if they’ve ever heard about Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
Sports, if it teaches us anything, it’s how to struggle against our folly. How not to tempt fate. How to manage our own presence.
Look at the incredible baskets these guys make. But they only make them when they’re grounded, in the moment, feeling the energy, whatever it is. So JR Smith started celebrating after they had a solid lead in Game 3. He got ejected, and suspended, and not only wasn’t there to help in Game 4, he broke the bubble around the Knicks, that had been around the team since they emerged from an awful funk in February. Now we have to wonder if they can get it back.
The Celtics, last night, walking off the court, may have helped the Knicks get back in the groove, repeating trash talk about Carmelo’s wife. I’m just theorizing, lip-reading. But maybe he’ll get angry and really want to win. That’s probably all it takes.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma City, the Thunder coach thought he could sneak by the Rockets with a trick. Oh how sad. Kevin Durant who I thought was a true fighter, is instead mired in self-pity. And the Rockets, a young, smart, admirable — wonderful group of young men — are pushing every one of their buttons, artfully. They might pull out the upset. Amazing parallels between the Celtics and the Rockets. One team old, one young. Both not going out peacefully.
All this is a metaphor for my former friend Mike Arrington, who may be the JR Smith of tech. He was celebrating the demise of RSS while the body was still breathing. He had no clue that he had won, or that anyone was keeping score.
Technology isn’t all that different from basketball. There’s teamwork, and bubbles of energy, and franchises. RSS is not something that dies, any more than the NBA dies. Players come and go, there are generations — the Patrick Ewing Knicks and the Bernard King Knicks. Now we have the Carmelo Anthony Knicks. But RSS, like the NBA is bigger than me or Mike. He doesn’t get to say it’s dead. RSS just laughs, shrugs it off and keeps on going.