Long ago in a distant land, Alex Arnon was watching a Kings/Suns preseason game when he became so furiously enraged at a Tyreke Evans double-teamed isolation jumper with 19 seconds on the shot clock that he hit his head, fainted, and woke up a delusional new man. To my understanding, he's now wholly ensconced in a bizarro world where some guy named Xenu created the Earth, Segways changed the very core of how people get around, and small markets make up the vast majority of NBA coverage and traffic. So just remember the motto we've provided our cracked-skull columnist: "No superstars? No problem!"
Top of the morning to you, dearest reader! I know you must've missed me in my recent absence but I had to attend to some pressing familial issues, something for which I apologize to you. I would have loved to keep you updated on your beloved small markets during this time but I had to keep to our small market values, the most important of which are family values. Enough about me, though, and on to today's subject -- family values in the NBA!
There's been many NBA players related to one another - Brook and Robin Lopez are brothers, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady are cousins, and Dell and Steph Curry are a sharpshooting father/son duo. Who could ever forget the Pau for Marc Gasol trade, the New York playground legends of cousins Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair, or the shared capriciousness of the Bynum brothers - Will and Andrew? There's Bill Walton's hilarious legend compared to his son Luke Walton's hilarious uselessness, the always entertaining commentating couplet of Jon and Brent Barry (seriously, he used the word scuttlebutt on NBATV recently), and the gritty toughness of the Evans twins, Tyreke and Reggie.
I listed all that fluff out not just to up my word count (to make notorious big-market apologist and big marketeer editor-in-chief Aaron McGuire happy) [Ed. Note: How many times must I reiterate -- I don't care about your word count!], but to make the point that the family who plays together stays together. And it's not just a basketball-specific phenomenon either -- sure, the family that watches basketball together will stay together, but so will the family that does pretty much anything together. Except domestic violence, probably. That... that wouldn't be very cool. I guess this was all just a really roundabout way to say "spend time with your family, you selfish buffoons". You truly never know if that last Bobcats game you watched with your dad will be the last one or if that argument you had with your brother about Durant vs. LeBron will never get settled or if just telling someone close to you that you love and appreciate them will give them something to keep living for. As someone who had to learn this lesson the hard way just over two weeks ago, I want you to go tell a loved one just how much they mean to you. Seriously, go do it right now. Your computer isn't going anywhere anytime soon and if it does, it's replaceable. They aren't. Go do it. Please.
I love you, Dad.
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The State of The Small Market Union (Sponsored by The Memphis School of Modern Dance)
The Los Angeles Clippers are currently on a magnificent tear through the league, having just won their 17th game in a row Sunday night. "But, Alex," you think, "the Clippers are in Los Angeles, one of the biggest markets of all!" On the surface this does seem to be the case, guy in my imagination, but think about it: the Clippers have always been the ignored little brother to the bigger, badder Lakers. And if there's one thing I've learned over the course of my brief lifetime, it's that you can be big market on the surface yet small market at heart just like these Los Angeles Clippers. Uncoincidentally (I DON'T CARE IF THIS ISN'T A WORD, MCGUIRE) [Ed. Note: I DON'T CARE EITHER, WHY ARE WE TALKING IN ALL-CAPS] enough, the top 8 teams in the west at the moment are either small markets or small market at heart. It's not as applicable in the eastern conference, but you know what those ESPN talking heads always say - the western is the bestern and the eastern is the leastern!
Sammy's Sack Racing Presents: "The King Of The League!" Jimmer Fredette MVP Watch
The Jimmer is still rustling our jimmies. Still top-5 in the league for point guard PER, even as he lets troubled teammate DeMarcus Cousins get his first career triple-double in order to boost his trade value for a big market team to give valuable young assets for. He's the ultimate team player, the leader of our hearts, and the guider of our souls. In his last two games - two contests against the biggest of the big markets, the Knicks and Celtics - he went 56% from 3-point land, a rate which vanquished both of his foes. You see, Jimmer doesn't deserve to be just a Sacramento King. He deserves to be a Small Market Knight, demolishing all those big market dragons which lie in his path on his quest to reset the balance of today's NBA by throwing the One Championship Ring into the fiery hellscape of Memphis's Mount Doom. But remember, kids - one does not simply take ridiculously deep 3s into Mordor.
Small Market Mondays Game of the Night
There's not much tonight in the way of small market games, so the honor has to go to the Memphis Grizzlies visiting beautiful Indianapolis to take on the Pacers sans their star player, the Batman. If you ask me, he's faking the injury so that he can take on this evil Fiscal Cliff villain. It's becoming famous -- all of those people who actually care about "politics" (bleh) and the "economy" (meh) and "the future of this country at-large" (yawn) have been talking about it. But that's beside the point - we're here to talk about basketball and basketball is what you'll receive tonight. Look for the Pacers to hit the offensive glass hard (figuratively, not Amar'e-style literally) in classic small market fashion as the Grizzlies attempt to spread the ball around and make as many bank shots as possible before the bank closes for New Year's Day.
And on that wonderful joke, I'm out, dear readers - see you in 2013!