Mike Brown Invents an Offense

The internal monologue of Lakers head coach Mike Brown was always full of cuss words. Much like our own spatial universe, the space that Brown's cusses inhabited was both infinite and always expanding. Also extremely confusing. Tonight - after midnight in his busy den - the cuss stream burst audibly from his blowfish-esque brown cheeks. I can't honestly say that I'd fare any better in his dilemma, though. Consider that just weeks earlier, the Lakers had signed Steve Nash, perhaps the greatest floor general that basketball had ever seen. This in addition to the Lakers' franchise player Kobe Bryant, perhaps the most skilled isolation player that basketball had ever seen. In addition, several of the Lakers' cornerstones intimately knew the Triangle Offense, the most successful team offensive concept that basketball had ever seen. The team's four cornerstones (Nash, Bryant, Bynum, Gasol) came from four different countries, four different cultures, and four different skillsets, each a genius of athletic achievement in their own respective ways. Most coaches would be ecstatic at this development.

"That is, until they ran the numbers and figured out what all of that actually means," Brown said joylessly. The task before Mike Brown was monumental, and whatever he decided would require innovation on his part and adaptations for his players. A lot of dismal days of patient frustration lay ahead for the Lakers. Still, with his trademark persistence, all the problems of an NBA offense started to make sense to him over the course of the night, and all the mental jetsam discarded in his den's gigantic novelty royal-blue recycling bin started to look better and better until they became literally reusable in Brown's new sets and schemes. From the white boards, a well-used protractor, and forgotten tomes of Phil Jackson strewn about the study, Mike Brown cussed out an entire offense that night. He wasn't confident at all in what he'd invented, but it would have to do, he supposed. At dawn, drinking some coffee and doing a compulsive ritual before the front door, the inventor of the Circle Offense hurried to a 9am presentation of his offense. Soon, he supposed, the Los Angeles Lakers would have to learn to form the Circle at a moment's notice. Continue reading

Player Capsules, 2012 #16-18: Stephen Curry, Anthony Morrow, Lavoy Allen

As our summer mainstay, Aaron's writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. Intent is to get you talking, thinking, and appreciating the myriad of wonderful folks who play in our favorite sports league. This afternoon's trio: Stephen Curry, Anthony Morrow, Lavoy Allen.  Continue reading

Player Capsules, 2012 #13-15: Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake

As our summer mainstay, Aaron's writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. Intent is to get you talking, thinking, and appreciating the myriad of wonderful folks who play in our favorite sports league. This morning's trio: Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Steve Blake. Continue reading

Steve Nash and a Crime of Must

My parents separated when I was 10 years old. To this day, I remember vividly the moment my dad shut the door behind him, a stuffed and angrily packed suitcase in tow. Nothing was really the same for young Adam since. Had this not happened, I might've never been the person I am today. Actually, scratch the might -- I'm pretty damn sure about that.

A few years later, my dad would get a lucrative offer from an American company. The problem? He'd have to live in the US, and would only be able to come to Poland once a month. Even though I cried and begged him to stay, (thinking he was the cool parent, the one I'd rather spend my time with) he still took the offer. After all, it would only be six months or so. Still -- these six months ended up being pretty bad. My mom was pretty depressed after the divorce, and my childlike self savoured the time spent with my dad. He'd play video games with me, take me to lunch to my favourite Tex-Mex place, everything. Every weekend was great, which only made me appreciate him more when he came back for good.

Of course, that was then. Ever since, my dad managed to completely ruin all those memories, and make them into a melancholic journey. You see, in Poland, child support -- due to the reluctance of people to hire college folk -- is held up until age 26. This is for divorced couples, and married ones alike. The only difference is that divorced couples know exactly how much they have to pay. My dad did. And he wanted to change that. So right around my 18th birthday, my dad sued me. I ended up having to deal with all the blowback from the divorce, contacting lawyers, appearing in court, calling executors. It wasn't fun. It wasn't enjoyable. It wasn't right. At least I won, though. We only met once after the trial, for almost exclusively business reasons. Oh, and so my dad could say some mean things about my mom, of course. Then, once again, my dad vanished. It turned out later that he'd left for Canada along with his wife, and my step-brother. I'd only found out because my friend chatted with my step-brother. I didn't even get a proper goodbye, and when I'd mustered up the courage to send him an angry e-mail, I received an answer that somehow blamed me for being angry. Continue reading

Player Capsules, 2012 #10-12: Chuck Hayes, Trevor Ariza, Toney Douglas

As our summer mainstay, Aaron's going to be writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. Intent is to get you talking, thinking, and appreciating the myriad of wonderful folks who play in our favorite sports league. Today's three players, in our fourth installment: Chuck Hayes, Trevor Ariza, and Toney Douglas. More on wednesday. Continue reading

Player Capsules, 2012 #7-9: Dante Cunningham, Paul George, Charlie Villanueva

As our summer mainstay, Aaron's going to be writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. Intent is to get you talking, thinking, and appreciating the myriad of wonderful folks who play in our favorite sports league. Today's first three players, in our 3rd installment:Dante Cunningham, Paul George, Charlie Villanueva. More this afternoon. Continue reading

Player Capsules, 2012 #4-6: Greg Monroe, Tristan Thompson, John Salmons

As our summer mainstay, Aaron's going to be writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. Intent is to get you talking, thinking, and appreciating the myriad of wonderful folks who play in our favorite sports league. This afternoon's three players, in our second installment: Greg Monroe, Tristan Thompson, and John Salmons. Below the fold. Continue reading

Player Capsules, 2012 #1-3: Jarrett Jack, Ish Smith, Pau Gasol

As our summer mainstay, Aaron's going to be writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. Intent is to get you talking, thinking, and appreciating the myriad of wonderful folks who play in our favorite sports league. This morning's three players, in our first installment: Jarrett Jack, Ishmael Smith, and Pau Gasol. Due to length, we'll hold off on an all-five grouping and post three more players later in the day. Continue reading

An Introduction to the 2012 Gothic Ginobili Player Capsules

Here at the Gothic, we have a big and possibly-too-often restated goal. We want to start discussions. We like talking -- not merely to hear our own voices, but to really engage our readers and the mass online following of basketball as a whole. Now, there isn't a ton to talk about in a long offseason. I think we all know that. There's the occasional trade, of course, and this year we have the Olympics to tide us over. (And yes, we'll be offering a bunch of Olympic coverage as well -- don't worry about that.) But on the whole, there's not all that much to talk about, other than frittering away at the narratives of a season gone by and handicapping a season we as-of-yet know nothing about. Not much to ruminate. We'd like to allay that, at least partially -- we'd like to give everyone something to talk about.

So here we are. ESPN has their crowdsourced #NBARank, Basketball Prospectus has its excellent preseason guide, and the esteemed John Hollinger has his thorough examinations of each player in the league for insider. And us, here at the Gothic? We offer for your consumption -- as both an offseason and an early season feature -- our Gothic Ginobili Player Capsules. Last season, before this blog even began, I did a whole lot of these. Seriously, a ton. In the GG archives we have a select few -- 30, to be precise -- but rest assured there were quite a few more. I completed 271 player capsules in the run-up to the 2012 season. They were posted on a private discussion forum, and most likely, will never see the light of day. They weren't at all edited, included more vulgarities than a classic J. Dana Teague rant, and some went far too long/short. It was a mess, basically.

This year, I'm going a bit loony. I've taken a list of every player in the NBA that played over 100 minutes last season -- that's 440 guys. I sifted through that list and took out 70 more players, because I couldn't find anything interesting to say about them and I needed to cut this project down to at least a moderately manageable amount. The plan, as it stands? Talk about the 370 players left. All of them. I've done some outlining, got some basic points set up, and worked the format down to where I get enough leeway to talk but enough structure to feel like everything comes together. I've compiled statistics for each player, articles, reports, et cetera.

And for the rest of 2012, I'm going to talk about them. Here's the plan, in a convenient and easily updated FAQ format. Continue reading

A Nightmare in Forum Blue (or, Nash Terrors)

Let's go unfiltered at the Gothic Ginobili. I'd like to talk about a dream I had.

I had some expectations going in, as I vaguely became aware of my location in the dream. Like, I knew it would be a nightmare from the start because the room I was in was really well-lit, and yet from the window I could tell it was night. Great foreshadowing, dream. Also, in real life, I had been in a minor bike accident a few hours before going to sleep (I'm fine, just some scrapes), so I'd expected some flashes of violent imagery. So not just a nightmare, but a screamer as well. There was a compounding and foreboding sense of fear -- as if chemically induced -- that I felt all around me in the emptiness of the room. Continue reading

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