Your Annotated Smartphone Bathroom Reader for Sunday, July 28th, 2013.

Didn’t do one of these last week.  Don’t want the place to fall into ruin, you know?

The NSA Transcript of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s Late Night Phone Call
Chris S.
Negative Dunkaletics

I must admit that I am something of a curmudgeon when it comes to so-called NBA fan fiction.  I don’t really get off on hearing about NBA players searching for relics in temples, or getting lost on desert islands, or whatever.  But I was pleasantly surprised by this piece that I stumbled upon while cruising around Twitter yesterday.  I’m not sure if Paul Pierce played a role in getting Kevin Garnett to waive his no-trade clause so the deal with the Nets could go forward.  I’m not sure if that role involved a personal phone call.  But if it did, I hope it looked a bit like this.  The image of Garnett and Pierce as old statesmen, sadly but slyly lamenting about the coming storm for their respective countries, is rather humorous, and very well written.  A nice Sunday read to ease your wearied minds.

- JG

Why is Jennings Still Unsigned?
Jonathan Hartzell
Hang Time Blog

Casual fans might not have any idea who this fellow is, but hardcore fans can agree: it’s a bit puzzling that Brandon Jennings is still on the market.  The talented but mercurial point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks, who scored 55 points (against the Warriors) in his seventh game in the league, remains an unrestricted free agent.  Why is this?  Jon Hartzell provides us with the answers in this tidy little piece for Sekou Smith’s Hang Time Blog.  Hartzell boils it down to two main issues: (1) Jennings cannot shoot, which is a problem since he often shoots more than anyone on the court, and (2) he is a restricted free agent, meaning his current team can match whatever offer is delivered to Jennings and retain his services.  The problem is that the Bucks seem ready to move on from Jennings so they can build around defensive big-men Larry Sanders and John Henson, and, as Hartzell writes, no self-respecting NBA teams hungers for “a point guard who can’t shoot for the next four years at a high price”.  Seems reasonable.  This is a good read if you’re wondering about what’s going on with the most talented piece left in the free agent bargain bin.

- JG

The Ghost of Robert Smith
Sam Riches
The Classical

Failed Player narratives often become trite and overblown; like we’re really supposed to be heartbroken that someone didn’t earn the $250 million they deserved, and only made off with $11 or $12 million.  Those types of pieces usually make me roll my eyes, and attempt to seek out a more legitimate sob-story elsewhere.  However this piece by Sam Riches about Robert Swift, the failed center for the Seattle SuperSonics/OKC Thunder, really does a nice job emphasizing both the uniqueness of that situation, while at the same time, highlighting the motifs that seem to be ubiquitous in tales about guys who didn’t make it.  Riches writes that Swift’s failure — informed by a weak frame, under-developed skills and a knee injury — has features present in other Failed Player narratives, but stands out due to the way it ended: with reporters trying to figure out why he wouldn’t leave his foreclosed home in a Seattle suburb.  It is an informative and somewhat eerie read.

- JG

About Jacob Greenberg

Jacob is a behaviorist by day, blogger by night, and founded the Diss. Follow him on Twitter @jacobjbg
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