I was never much one for math, but we’ve all had to become something of mathematic experts as Milwaukee’s last two seasons offer the possibility of back-to-back transitive property championships. Smugly sitting back in your armchair and firing off tweets about how “if we’d only beaten Eventual Champion X, we’d definitely have beaten Other Eastern Team Y and gone on to win the Finals over Whatever Western Team Z” is all we have left once the fires of our blazing wreck have been put out.
Which is the long-winded way of saying we’ll be stuck with another case of the woulda, coulda, shouldas if Miami does the thing and defeats LA in the Finals. We’ve already faded so rapidly into obscurity that nobody outside of our psychotic corner of the internet will even bother connecting the dots that lead from being down 3-0 to rightful champions. That means it’s even more important than ever that we keep that energy alive. Last year we would’ve beaten the Warriors if only G3 had gone our way. This year we would be getting fitted for our second set of rings if only we weren’t straight-up godawful for over a month.
If you can’t already tell, there isn’t a bunch to talk about until the season comes to a close. For now we’re stuck watching those other guys have all the fun which is no fun at all.
Chasing Giannis Antetokounmpo: How 11 teams can try to land the MVP (ESPN+)
This is peak vulture activity, and in many ways it is absolutely fitting that ESPN is the outfit who decided to dive deep on the insane hypotheticals. The latest era of star movement has been a boon for outlets looking for a buffet of surface-level talking points, but at some point this has to come back to bite everyone involved, right? All good gravy trains must come to an end eventually; we just happen to be unfortunate enough to have an all-time talent who is ripe for the “will he or won’t he?” treatment.
The 100 Most Influential People of 2020 – Giannis Antetokounmpo (Time Magazine)
A testament to the sheer cultural heft Giannis has at his disposal are articles like this. TIME ain’t what it used to be, but it ain’t nothing, either. Two straight MVP awards validate everything he is capable of on the floor, and he seems to embody all the elements of a leader off the court with the Bucks navigating all manner of tribulations. As ever, it’s an absolute pleasure to have him as a Buck.
NBA announces innovative format for Draft Combine 2020 (NBA.com) & The Ringer’s 2020 NBA Draft Guide (The Ringer)
We’re still working on our “Three Bs” exit interview series here on Brew Hoop, but soon enough we’ll be diving into draft coverage. I’ll fess up to not having watched more than three minutes of college ball this year, but we’ve all got time to make up for our shortcomings.
I do have this nugget: I’ve been spending time watching highlight packages of players mocked in the 20-40 range while my brother provides commentary. Some players have looked fine, but it also seems like 65% of the bigs who declared for the draft play exactly like DJ Wilson. Questionable shot selection, avoiding contact at all costs when driving to the hoop, and off-kilter jumpers galore. I’ll keep reminding myself of that when we trade #24 overall for Taj Gibson.
Dubs in-depth: Allen Iverson wants Giannis to join the Warriors (Golden State of Mind)
It’s like this weird arms race to see who can craft the most soulless team possible. Sure, we get to witness “all-time greatness” statistically, but the ultimate cost is too much to bear. And besides, what part of Giannis to Golden State speaks to Iverson in some sort of meaningful way? Just for the hell of it? Every bit of it reeks of deep nihilism.
The Social Media Section
It’s never not fun to go and look at Big Dog’s Basketball Reference page. Guy was a monster from the jump.
Hoverhand champion remains undefeated, never lost
These “behind the scenes” vids should’ve been burned the second we got bounced. They’re just sad now.
Ersan is giving off big “Dad who is chaperoning his kid’s field trip” energy here
I’m telling you guys, Eric is way thinner in-person than you’d expect!
…is Ersan really just spending his offseason touring garages with Giannis, Thanasis, and Brook?
That’s the smile of a couple million guaranteed
Honest question: Since Milwaukee got tossed from the post-season, how much basketball have you watched? To be blunt, I’ve tuned in to very little since it all came crashing down around us. I still believe whoever wins it all can lay claim to a mostly-legitimate title like any previous champion, but whatever investment I had in The Bubble vanished with my favorite team. Given the state of discourse surrounding the Lakers in particular, it may be best that I stay uninvolved even as the stakes are as high as they will get.
If you’ve continued to watch, have you enjoyed what you’ve seen? If you stopped watching, is there a particular reason why? I’m still hashing through a forest of feelings with regards to basketball in the wake of this strange season — it was strange before Covid struck, and it’s been even stranger since.