Fresh off a difficult overtime loss to the OKC Thunder, the Sixers try to salvage a weekend split tonight against the Phoenix Suns. Last night's loss was the cherry on top of a feces sundae, as more frustrating news about Bynum's injury went public. I'm accepting the fact that Andrew Bynum may never play a game for the Sixers, which, forgive my bluntness here, sucks. And this Sixers team - as currently constructed - isn't bad. They're a fun bunch, but, man, it looks like we can just pencil them into the 7th or 8th seed. Again. Forever. But move on we must.
Marcin Gortat stills haunts me. He stepped out of relative obscurity during Game 6 of the 2009 playoffs, when he (11 points, 15 boards) and the rest of the Magic blasted the Sixers in a series-clinching win. Gortat started in place of a suspended Dwight Howard, and I, and the rest of the faithful in attendance, were as a confident as you could be in a team who finished just 41-41 in the regular season.
Up until that day, the only Polish Hammer I feared was Ivan Putski, so Gortat didn't really play a prominent role in my pre-game walk through. (The pre-game walk through took place in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot, and may have been mistaken for a tailgate to the untrained eye). The game itself doesn't need any reminiscing. Orlando jumped us from the opening tip. Fans booed when Dalembert didn't get ejected. My nachos were cold.
So tonight, the Sixers try to extract some revenge against Gortat and the new-look Phoenix Suns. They say revenge is best served cold, and in the form of a regular season game in November three and a half years later.
Remember This Box Score: March 3, 1993; Sixers at Suns. "The Manute Game"
Someday, I'm gonna write a novella loosely based on Bol's life and post it here on LB. But until then, here's a snippet of something I wrote on my old blog years ago.
Bol's jumper was a spectacle. There was the moment a teammate - let's say Ron Anderson for this exercise - passed him the ball from the wing. This pass was a surrender in of itself. A punt and a Hail Mary rolled up into one herky jerky jump shot. Bol would catch and pause. He'd look around, like a guy about to pick up a stray dollar bill on the sidewalk. Should I really be doing this? Isn't anyone going to stop me? The Spectrum fans, of course, weren't helping. It was peer pressure at its finest. We were 6,000 Johnny Dakotas.
"Go on ‘Nute. Try it. What's the big deal? Everyone's doing it...Look at Jeff Hornacek. He's doing it..."
Defenders seemed to stop. Time seemed to stop. It was like ‘Nute really wasn't shooting a basketball, but instead, reloading and firing a musket.
The Suns won that game by ten (including a 43 point first quarter), but the end result was just a footnote. Man333333te was the real story - not to mention that the 6th three he hit was from Glendale.
Manute Bol's Six 3-Pointer Game (Pt. 1) (via LamarMatic)
Manute Bol's Six 3-Pointer Game (Pt. 2) (via LamarMatic)
Remember This Sun: Tony Delk
During our first night in Vegas, I spotted Bobby Jackson at a casino. I played it cool. Asked about his flight in. We exchanged fist pounds. I was about to take this relationship to the next level and mention Jackson's 53 point outburst against the Kings, which would have been great, if, ya know, Bobby Jackson actually dropped 53 against the Kings. Bobby, thankfully, spared me the embarrassment, and made a beeline towards a blackjack table before I could muster another word.
Turns out I have this glaring inability to separate Tony Delk from Bobby Jackson. It's becoming a real problem.
Da Bad Guys
First CD I Ever Bought
The Batman Forever Soundtrack. I found Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" hauntingly beautiful.
The Elephant in the Room
I've never won a game thread. Come. On. I'm beyond due. I'm like 17 months pregnant due.