Jordan & Kobe

"We're never seeing another Jordan, just like we're never seeing another Brando or Lennon. It's just not happening. They might compare statistically and stylistically, but Jordan could command a room of 10 people or 20,000 and get the exact same reaction: Every set of eyes trained on him for as long as he was there. His personality, his charisma, his aura, his passion ... indescribable. Like nothing I have ever seen. Nobody remembers this now because he hasn't played in awhile, but Jordan was always the coolest guy in the room. Without fail. He was like Doctor J. crossed with Sinatra. Remember those dopey ads when somebody said, "My broker is E.F. Hutton," and everyone else in the room froze? That was what happened to an arena when Jordan walked in. You would freeze, and you would hear screams, and then it would be a sea of lightbulbs. And everyone was saying the same thing, "I get to say I watched Michael Jordan."
Kobe always wanted people to feel that way about him. He shaved his head, made music videos, jumped cars for viral videos, changed his number, stole MJ's fist pump, created that creepy face where he stuck his bottom two teeth out ... none of it worked. He will never command a room like Jordan did. Sorry."

--Bill Simmons

March Madness

The Big Dance is here. It time to fill out the brackets, and get behind in school. We filled ours out this morning. My final four has UNC, Kansas, Texas, and Duke with UNC over Duke in the final. This was hard, for I am a huge fan of both UT and UNC. I just don't think Texas can deal with Psycho T. Duke's whole team couldn't. Alicia went with UNC, Kansas, Texas, and UCLA with Texas beating UNC in the final.

Dwight Howard is nice.

I really enjoy watching dunk contests, and used to look forward to the NBA dunk contest. The last several years have been pretty disappointing for various reasons. Not this year. Dwight Howard put on a show with 4 sick dunks in a row. It was probably the best dunk contest performance I've seen (yes, better than Vince). Two of his four (his 1st & 3rd) may be in my top 5 nicest dunks of NBA dunk contest history. You can watch the contest in three parts here, here, and here.

Durant wins Naismith Award

The tourney didn't turn out so good, but Durant nabbed the Naismith Award. He is the first fish to take this trophy home. This is Durant's sixth National Player of the Year award. He also won the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Adolph Rupp trophy, the Associated Press Player of the Year, the National Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year, and the Chevrolet/CBS Player of the Year, at age 18. The only one left to take home is the John R. Wooden award, of which he is one of the 5 finalists. It would be nice if he stayed around Austin for another year, or three, but I am not going to get my hopes up.

March Madness & Common Grace

Yesterday, I finished a book called 'He Shines in All That's Fair: Culture and Common Grace' by Richard J. Mouw. It is an interesting little book dealing with the doctrine of common grace, particularly as it has been developed in the Dutch Reformed tradition. In it he says,

I think God takes delight in Benjamin Franklin's wit and in Tiger Woods's putts and in some well-crafted narrative paragraphs in a Salman Rushdie novel, even if these accomplishments are in fact achieved by non-Christian people....I think God enjoys these things for their own sakes."
If Mouw's thesis is correct, then I think God was particularly delighted by today's NCAA tournament games. It was a fantastic day of college hoops and interspersed studying for midterms. I am hoping to see 35-plus from Durant tomorrow afternoon.

The Big Dance

March Madness is upon us. I love college basketball. I've got Duke, Texas, Memphis, Gonzaga, UConn, Illinois, North Carolina, Villanova, and Florida in the Elite Eight. I think Texas, Gonzaga, UConn, and Villanova will make it to the Final Four. Go ahead Jay, let me have it for putting UT over Duke. I know it is a fat chance, but it is possible. It should be a real good tourney. I would love to see Texas make it to the final, but I would also love to see North Carolina meet Duke. Neither will probably happen. I don't think Duke or UConn will win it though. We will see. Hopefully I won't spend too much time in front of the television.